Friday, January 11, 2019

January, 2019, Part 7, Political Class Insanity: More Math Ignorance from Ocasio-Cortez and Doggie Lawyers For All

It is another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

We keep trying to end this month’s political class insanity but every time we think we are done, newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opens her mouth and expels something stupid, idiotic or inane and we are pulled back into another January insanity post. So, let’s get started:

1) Ocasio-Cortez recently put forth the proposal that those earning over $10 million a year should have every dollar over $10 million taxed at the insane and disgusting rate of 70%. We say disgusting since no matter how much you hate rich people, in this country taxing their hard earned money at 70% is almost equivalent to slavery. Why work so hard when a large majority of what you earn marginally forcibly goes to an inefficient and ineffective entity, the Federal government? (And saying this is equivalent to slavery does not make me a racist so do not go there.)

So, am I the only one who thinks this is a stupid concept? Consider what former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan thinks about this idea:
  • He simply calls this 70% tax rate a “terrible idea.”
  • He feels that this plan would result in “a significant drop in economic activity.”
So, who are you going to believe? A former Fed chairman who has extensive economic training and experience, who oversaw one of the greatest economic expansions in the history of the country or a newly elected member of Congress who is:
  • Under 30 years old.
  • Whose previously life and work experience involves bartending.
  • Who does not even know the definition of the unemployment rate despite having an economic degrees.
  • Who grossly misunderstood a Pentagon audit report, thinking that she had miraculously found $26 TRILLION in Pentagon waste.
  • Who does not even know what the three branches of the U.S. government are.
If it took you more than two seconds to decide, then you are part of the problem.

2) Ocasio-Cortez has proposed/supported two major programs including “Medicare For All” and “The New Green Deal.” The former program would entrust the Federal government and people like her with our entire health care and the latter program would turn the economy upside down in order to resolve the mythical man made climate change problem. When questioned on how she would fund these massive pieces of nonsense, she usually lashes back that she prefers to do the moral thing and not be bothered by facts.
  • As a trained statistician I find such ignorance of numbers and the reality they reflect to be repulsive. So let’s look at the numbers and compare her 70% income tax rate for high earners to her “Medicare For All” plan, a plan that is estimated to cost $32.6 TRILLION over the first ten years, or about $3.26 TRILLION a year:
  • We will use official, real IRS income tax numbers from the year 2016, the last year with full national tax totals that are available.
  • In that year Americans filed 150,272,157 tax returns.
  • Only 16,087 taxpayers earned over $10 million that year, the taxpayers that Ocasio-Cortez wants to gouge to fund two massive Federal government programs.
  • 16,087 taxpayers represent .1% of all taxpayers, again showing the insanity of her plan, expecting .1% of all taxpayers to shoulder the load for her programs.
  • The adjusted gross income of this .1% of all taxpayers was $482 billion in 2016, accounting for only 4.7% of the adjusted gross income of ALL American taxpayers.
  • Again, see the idiocy of expecting 4.7% of all income to pay for these programs?
  • According to the IRS, the average gross adjusted income of this .1% is $29,966,272.
  • If you taxed their entire income at 70% you would get about $337 billion.
  • This would cover about only about 10% of the annual Medicare for All cost of $3.26 TRILLION.
  • But she wants to tax only the amount over $10 million at 70% which brings down the number to about $224 billion, about only 7% of the annual incremental cost of “Medicare for All’s” $3.26 TRILLION.
  • But hold on, that amount over $10 million is already taxed at 37% so the incremental amount that would be collected is only 33% of the income over $10 million, 70% mins 37%.
  • This gets the incremental total down to $105 billion which is only 3.2% of the annual $3.26 TRILLION that “Medicare for All” would require.
  • Thus, her taxation plan would leave her 96.8% short of the amount needed to fund one year of the “Medicare For All” costs or about $3.1 TRILLION short.
  • And it is doubtful she would get this much since the cross elasticity of income and taxes would cause some people to curtail their earning power since why work harder just to give the government 70% of that incremental effort and earning, or as often happens when you raise taxes a ridiculous amount the “more you tax the less you get.”
And this does not even begin to address the massive amount of money it will take to fund her “New Green Deal” fantasy. Where is all of this money going to come from? We have already shown in a previous post that she would have to almost double the annual tax burden on EVERY American household to fund the “Medicare For All” concept. Would she have to double taxation again to fund her Green Deal program also?

Yo, Congresswoman, while you may only care about the “moral thing” to do, how about you look at reality once in a while and realize how inane and idiotic, and impossible, your socialism is? The numbers do not lie. You ideas are impossible to fund without turning every American into 70%, or more, wage slaves.

3) We have often talked about how politicians worry about nits and the smallest perceived problems while ignoring the major issues of our times. They are the classic example of rearranging the deck chairs as the Titanic sinks. 

This syndrome recently cropped up in the state of New Jersey, my former home state. The state government and its horrible finances are currently in a hotly contested race to see what state government will go bankrupt first. Like most states, it has severe infrastructure repair needs. It has some of the highest taxes in the country. Most of its schools continue to under educate the state’s kids despite sky high education costs.

Given these major issues facing the state’s residents, what are New Jersey politicians in state government worried about:
  • According to Warner Todd Huston, writing for the Godfather Politics website on January 8, 2019, New Jersey, Democrats in the state legislature are working on legislation to give animals human-like rights in courts of law.
  • State assemblywoman Annette Quijano has written legislation that “would give pets a human advocate/lawyer in court cases of abuse and other cases.”
  • Yes, Fluffy would be able to retain a lawyer legally in the state.
  • John De Cando chief animal officer for the city of Paterson is quoted as saying: “Dogs need representation. They need people to come forward on their behalf. They can’t speak. It would be nice to have someone pro bono come forward and represent an animal that can’t speak for themselves.”
  • Dogs need representation” but cats, snakes, ferrets, do not, where does it end?
  • Rather than fix current laws to correctly punish animal abusers, we want to give dogs a whole new level of status in this country.
  • And New Jersey is not alone, apparently Connecticut already has a doggie lawyer bill on the books.
  • New York state politician Linda B. Rosenthal is putting together a doggie lawyer bill for New York state also: “From divorce to abuse cases, animals are involved in all manner of court proceedings. These advocates will help to decrease the likelihood that animals end up in cruel situations, and I look forward to working to see it become law.”
I am a dog lover to the hilt. I believe, irrationally, that animal abusers should receive the death penalty. But three big problems with this whole doggie lawyer business:
  1. Fix this problem the right way, amend the existing laws to properly punish animal abusers, make it easier to punish them and eliminate any loopholes that allow them to get off without appropriate punishment.
  2. I doubt that providing lawyers to dogs would rank very high on the list of priorities of residents in these states, given the need for better schools, better roads, help to the hungry and homeless and drug addicted, and a myriad of other societal problems that are far more important than doggie lawyers.
  3. And finally, I find it personally repugnant that liberal politicians are more than ready to give lawyer and legal rights to dogs but not to unborn souls in the womb, actually human beings who I personally think would deserve legal representation before Fido.
In any case, bad priorities, doing something anything to prove their worth even though they can never resolve a real issue.

Another day of political class insanity, from the font of all insanity lately, Ocasio-Cortez, and dog loving politicians everywhere. More insanity to follow.

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