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Old 01-24-2012, 11:25 AM   #1201
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Got nothing on the Iranian Navy.



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LUL Iran must be feeling some pressure right now.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:51 AM   #1202
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Oh noes! Ron Paul will gut the military!

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Old 01-24-2012, 12:27 PM   #1203
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What every democrat loves to wish, but fails to do.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:19 PM   #1204
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Oh noes! Ron Paul will gut the military!
I would be interested in seeing that same chart using relative figures versus absolute (i.e. spending as a % of GDP, currency adjusted).
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #1205
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For Scrappy:

Quote:
Trust Us: IRS Wants to File Your Taxes for You
by Tom Giovanetti

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. It wants to ease your mind about compliance with the tax code and make April 15 as stress-free as possible.

Sound too good to be true? Of course it is. Their real goal is to extract more tax dollars out of your pocket without having to muster the political courage to advocate a tax increase, and to do so in the most cynical way possible—by taking advantage of the least-sophisticated and lowest-income workers.

Some of our elected officials and the revenue establishment are convinced that there is a $345 billion annual “tax gap” between what people actually owe or should be paying and what the IRS actually collects. Of course, in a voluntary compliance system—the alternative to which is a police state—there is always going to be some gap in compliance. Not surprisingly, the IRS doesn’t mention the certainty that many people actually pay more than they owe because they fail to take advantage of deductions available to them.

Does the revenue establishment fault the tax code’s inherent complexity and Congress’ failure to reform it as responsible for the supposed shortfall? Guess again.

Slowly, over the past several years, the IRS has been insisting that more and more information be submitted from employers and from the savings and investment industry directly to them. At the same time, they’ve been tightening down on who can and who cannot prepare tax returns. Have you noticed?

And today, the IRS will hold its second hearing on what they call the “Real-Time Tax System,” which they claim is intended to give the IRS the ability to identify tax non-compliance in real time. Of course, the Real-time Tax System will require even more information from taxpayers, employers, banks and brokerage firms, but of course it’s being done to “reduce the burden for taxpayers.”

Of course it is. There’s actually a fairly insidious plan behind all of this. The “Real-Time Tax System” is just an appetizer for the pièce de résistance of the revenue establishment–a “return-free” system where the IRS would calculate your tax obligation for you (convenience!) and simply ask for your signature in large, friendly letters. In one fell swoop the IRS could claim to have the taxpayer’s best interests at heart, while making the calculation that reflects the best interests of the revenue establishment.

The return-free system (and thus the virtual elimination of voluntary tax compliance) is the ultimate goal of the revenue establishment. Before assisting in the destruction of the U.S. economy, Austan Goolsbee described the benefits of a return-free system in a 2006 op-ed in The New York Times. President Obama has endorsed return-free, and it was also discussed by the so-called “super committee,” which was specifically tasked with finding ways to raise more revenue for the government.

Make no mistake–Not only will the return-free system result in your paying higher taxes, it will require that substantially more of your personal financial information be disclosed to the IRS.

Perhaps the most cynical thing about the return-free system is that it takes advantage of the most vulnerable taxpayers—those with below-average incomes and below-average tax sophistication. What will they do when they get a bill from the IRS in a threatening envelope filled with legalese and threats of penalties? They’ll sign and pay up.
Our elected officials have constructed the most onerous and complicated monstrosity of a tax code imaginable, and instead of fixing it, they want to solve their revenue problem by extracting higher taxes from us without having the political courage to raise tax rates.

Our voluntary tax compliance system is a feature, not a bug. It’s a key indicator of self-government, one of the hallmarks of American freedom. The bug is our absurd tax code, which contains multiple and conflicting definitions of income, saddles the U.S. economy with an incredible compliance burden, and results in deadweight losses to the economy and to our global competitiveness.

If there is a tax gap, the fault lies at the feet of Congress for not overhauling our tax code into something that is functional and competitive in the 21st century. Fix that. In the meantime, I’ll prepare my own taxes, thank you very much.

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:23 PM   #1206
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For 99:

Quote:
http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/weird/Man...138053288.html

A man who spent two years in solitary confinement after getting arrested for DWI was awarded $22 million for suffering inhumane treatment in New Mexico's Dona Ana County Jail.

Stephen Slevin was arrested in August of 2005 for driving while intoxicated, according to NBC station KOB.com. He said he never got a trial and spent the entire time languishing in solitary, even pulling his own tooth when he was denied dental care.

"'[Prison officials were] walking by me every day, watching me deteriorate," he said. "Day after day after day, they did nothing, nothing at all, to get me any help."

Slevin said he made countless requests to see a doctor to get medication for his depression, but wasn't allowed to see one until only a few weeks before his release. He also never got to see a judge.

The $22 million settlement, awarded by a federal jury on Tuesday, is one of the largest prisoner civil rights settlements in U.S. history, according to KOB.com.

"I wanted people to know that there are people at The Dona Ana County Jail that are doing things like this to people and getting away with it," Slevin, who now suffers from PTSD and believes he will have to take medication for life as a result, said. "Why they did what they did, I have no idea."

Neither the county nor Slevin's attorney returned phone calls from msnbc.com, but Slevin's attorney, Matt Coyte, told KOB.com, "I have never been with or seen a braver man who stood up to these guys for what they did to him ... [This case] It affects everybody and it's not good for this country. It's not good for Mr. Slevin for sure and it's not good for this country. It has to stop."
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:40 PM   #1207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
For 99:
I'm supposed to be offended?

The award is larger than it should be IMO, yeah. But IMO, all the people involved in that case should have been fired.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:41 PM   #1208
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it's in response to your sig.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:44 PM   #1209
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Ah, yeah. Fire all the ******* involved in that case IMO, but that's just not gonna happen. ------- corrupt system.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:10 PM   #1210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brain's IRS article
Perhaps the most cynical thing about the return-free system is that it takes advantage of the most vulnerable taxpayers—those with below-average incomes and below-average tax sophistication. What will they do when they get a bill from the IRS in a threatening envelope filled with legalese and threats of penalties? They’ll sign and pay up.
This already happens. The IRS sends "fishing" letters out saying, essentially, "We think you might have done something incorrectly and owe $X. Please pay before Y date to avoid $X + $Z interest and penalties."

Many people assume the IRS is only sending that letter because the filer made a mistake, so they mail in a check. To the contrary, I've seen several people get those letters when there was a mistake made by the IRS - particularly Roth distributions that the IRS is trying to treat as taxable.

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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
For 99:
If that is accurate - that a guy was arrested for DUI and held in jail for 2 years without a trial or hearing - that is... appalling. That boggles my mind that it is even possible in the USA. That is something you would expect in a 2nd or 3rd world country.

The worst thing about the whole thing will be if there is no employment penalties. That is, if the taxpayer ends up footing the bill but the employees suffer virtually no negative repercussions...
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:19 PM   #1211
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack View Post
This already happens. The IRS sends "fishing" letters out saying, essentially, "We think you might have done something incorrectly and owe $X. Please pay before Y date to avoid $X + $Z interest and penalties."

this happened to me once. But it was more like hey, we see you got a 10-99, why didnt you pay taxes on that ---- dawg? pay or die!
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:27 PM   #1212
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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
this happened to me once. But it was more like hey, we see you got a 10-99, why didnt you pay taxes on that ---- dawg? pay or die!
Same here.

My wife's previous employer sent us a W-2 on time with her regular wages. What I didn't realize is that they screwed up and hadn't included her overtime and bonus wages.

Sooo...instead of fixing it correctly and refiling a revised W-2 (and alerting us and sending us the revised W-2), they filed a separate 1099MISC with her overtime and bonuses. And didn't bother to send us a copy of the 1099.

Around the time I'm expecting to get a check in the mail from the IRS, I get a letter saying I owe some $800 in taxes.

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:34 PM   #1213
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yep, it was a year later at tax time...had to pay instead of play.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:54 PM   #1214
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http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3124



P.S. and edit: Since we are posting directed stuff now, @Brainy
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:16 PM   #1215
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Lol wut?

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Old 01-25-2012, 06:42 PM   #1216
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Thanks for the Bush illustration, Flier! Note my chart is a relative increase, yours is an absolute.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:47 PM   #1217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaen99 View Post
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3124



P.S. and edit: Since we are posting directed stuff now, @Brainy
Cool. Show me that chart by year, with who controlled Congress.

EDIT: Mind you, I've no interest in trying to defend the GOP's record on deficit spending. I just think examining deficit increases by presidential terms rather than congressional control is a bit silly.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:54 PM   #1218
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PUBLIC debt to GDP is much better measure:



notice the change? Public vs Gross.... mislabeling sure is fun.



and while the chart is technically accurate this paints a better picture:



Notice this is GROSS debt...



still all in all marginal value without comparative context.



Here's a read: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...0Y6K_blog.html


Quote:
If the chart were recast to show how much the debt went up as a percentage of GDP, it would look pretty bad for Obama after not even three years in office. In fact, Obama does almost twice as poorly as Reagan — and four times worse than George W. Bush.
Reagan: plus 14.9 percentage points
GHW Bush: plus 7.1 percentage points
Clinton: down 13.4 percentage points
GW Bush: plus 5.6 percentage points
Obama: plus 24.6 percentage points
(Note: We derived most of these data from table 7.1 of the budget office historical tables, which gives end-of-fiscal year figures, so they do not quite match up to presidential terms. Obama’s figures are based on the GDP: public debt ratio as of June 30, 2011)
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:08 PM   #1219
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Brainy, are you serious?

Even your own article corrects itself, and you don't have the...something to post the corrected figures?

Quote:
Update: David Clayton, one of our dedicated readers, crunched the numbers for calendar years and shows that, in the transition from Bush to Obama, adjusting the dates makes a difference in the result. His math shows that a more accurate figure would be plus 11.6 percentage points for Bush and plus 19.7 percentage points for Obama. The shift doesn’t change the overall result but divides up the responsibility for the debt more accurately. In a later column, we also posted other ways that readers suggested to look at presidential debt records.
I mean, come on. I don't even need to bother picking apart the article, even the article itself admits it was inaccurate using (seriously flawed) methodology! You couldn't even post more accurate figures that your own ------- article that you linked admitted were wrong Brainy? COME ON! That's crazy man. Your own article even admits that it is using **** poor methodology to try to make a political statement. WTF man?

And for a more on topic bit...

Quote:
A few weeks ago, I posted a link to an article on my Facebook wall, about Rick Santorum and how he said that nobody has ever died for lack of health insurance, ever. I grew up in the Rural South, very "Red State" territory, and I've got dozens of "friends" that I went to school with and am vaguely interested to keep up with whatever happened to them.

A couple of them leaped on this to support ol Frothy, and refused to believe he said that because the quote was from a Liberal-leaning website. I re-posted with a link to an MSNBC article where it repeated the same quote. My conservative acquaintances started commenting about how "socialized medicine" is so inefficient and wasteful and leads to people being so unhealthy as everybody has to wait for years to see a doctor, and how the US has the absolutely best healthcare system in the world that everybody else, everywhere wants to be just like. They were completely sincere in these beliefs.

I responded by posting hard statistics that showed that nations with single-payer healthcare systems like the UK, Canada, and Australia (which are also culturally similar to the US) have substantially lower per-capita healthcare expenses and longer life expectancies, among other statistics that showed that their healthcare systems were more efficient than ours and their citizens lived longer, and poll figures that showed high satisfaction levels with those systems and had a higher level of approval than American's own approval of our system.

I took the opportunity to note how many Republicans ignore facts in favor of blind adherence to dogma: like ignoring scientific evidence of evolution for religious Creationism dogma, ignoring scientific evidence of global warming, ignoring studies that show that "abstinence only" sex ed only increases disease and pregnancy rates, and how you can't fix the US budget deficit by cutting taxes even more.

The conservatives I know, actual good 'ol boys using real names of people I grew up with, not anonymous Fark handles, said that every one of those issues was a "moral choice" that everybody has to make based on their own faith and beliefs and how I shouldn't try to force my own "science" beliefs on them. They said that if they believe in their hearts that cutting taxes will make more income and balance the budget, it is morally wrong for me to tell them otherwise, because they know it to be true.

They then started (over the course of about 4 dozen replies to the original Facebook post) on how the US was founded as a Christian state and that activist Judges need to remember that and stop persecuting Christians by banning public prayer and overturning laws that are in agreement with "God's Law", like bans on all abortions or requiring the teaching of Biblical Creationism, and how the term "separation of church and state" isn't anywhere in the Constitution and was just made up by liberals to attack Christianity.

I cited the Treaty of Tripoli of 1796 and it's explicit (and unanimously ratified by the Senate) clause that says that the US is not and was not created as a Christian nation, as well as the No Religious Test, Establishment, and Free Exercise clauses, and how the term "separation of Church and State" was first used by President Thomas Jefferson, circa 1802, to concisely explain what those 3 clauses mean to US law, and if the person who wrote the Declaration of Independence used it it's obviously not a modern day "liberal" term. I also explained how how James Madison, the person who chiefly drafted the Bill of Rights, also used the term in a 1819 letter, for the same reason as explaining how the US Constitution, which he largely wrote, interacts with religion.

They came back and started talking about how no piece of paper can ever convince them about how the US isn't a Christian nation and was founded explicitly as such and is under attack by atheists . . .ect.

Basically, they admitted point-blank they don't care about documented facts, they only care about things that validate what they already believe in.
Yeah. I'm sorry, but people who try to claim things like "evolution" are beliefs are...impugning their intelligence is unfair and untrue, but they are extremely lacking in formal education.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #1220
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Brainy, are you serious?

Even your own article corrects itself, and you don't have the...something to post the corrected figures?



I mean, come on. I don't even need to bother picking apart the article, even the article itself admits it was inaccurate using (seriously flawed) methodology! You couldn't even post more accurate figures that your own ------- article that you linked admitted were wrong Brainy? COME ON! That's crazy man. Your own article even admits that it is using **** poor methodology to try to ..


What? Not sure if serious.
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