Patterico's Pontifications


It’s Tax Day!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:27 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It’s a bit late, but on the West Coast people are still frantically working on their taxes, hoping to beat the deadline.

The Republican National Committee chose Tax Day to announce it is suing the IRS for rebuffing Freedom of Information Act request for documents concerning the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

“We’re filing this suit because the Obama administration has a responsibility to be transparent and accountable to the American people. The IRS has a legal obligation to answer our inquiry for these records,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “On Tax Day especially Americans deserve to know whether they can trust the agency to which they’re sending their taxes.

The IRS has delayed turning over the documents for 226 business days.

Also, see where your tax dollars went!


Major entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) gobbled up 49 percent, while more federal benefits took another 20 percent. These additional “income security” benefits include federal employee retirement and disability, unemployment benefits, and welfare programs such as food and housing assistance. Obamacare spending didn’t really kick in until 2014, so that will show up in next year’s breakdown.

We are reminded how we got here:

Everything changed when the U.S economy crashed in 2008. Job losses and a drop in personal income led many more Americans to rely at least temporarily on government programs to make ends meet.

… But the worst is yet to come: The Congressional Budget Office projects that public debt will reach an economy-crushing 100 percent in less than one generation. Unlike the unpredicted drop in U.S. fiscal health brought about by the recent recession, this time, structural problems are driving the decline.

The federal budget is structured around entitlement programs—and they don’t leave room for much else. Here’s a sobering thought: “The federal government could cease all other operations, including its core constitutional duty to provide for the national defense, and would still end up in a fiscal hole within a generation.”

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me.


30 Responses to “It’s Tax Day!”

  1. I still have 4 minutes to click transmit.

    Paul (09ce2d)

  2. it’s so hard for me to be properly offended by how much money i pay to the hyper-fascist incompetent and odious government of the “USA”

    you know why?

    cause of I haven’t yet learned to endure the brutal annual california tax-rape with grace and equanimity

    I journal and I journal and I journal

    and every year it happens again and I feel violated

    and I feel dirty

    and I feel used

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. Okay, you made me laugh with that, happyfeet.

    Dana (9f8700)

  4. It was kind of darling. I have the loveliest of accountants. And she was almost in tears telling me how much I owed.

    Like I was going to be mad at her.

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  5. I had already transferred twice that from savings to checking.

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  6. when I grow up I want to be Steve57

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. Remy says it best with music:

    Simon Jester (935902)

  8. I grew up?

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  9. I’m thinking Mr. feets needs a Thai Salad recipe.

    I’m thinking we all could use a Thai Salad recipe, ’cause it’s cheap.

    This grenade is going to go off. And when it does, Yum Talay.

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  10. mister happy,

    When you feel beaten down by the Neo-Fascist Democrat State and His Girl Friday the Tax Man, just keep in mind that if you like your casserole, you can keep eat it.

    (But don’t forget to pay the tax for eating it. And don’t forget there’s a new water tax if you wash your dishes.)

    Elephant Stone (8a7f08)

  11. I like the way they conflate Medicare (a non-means-tested program that one pays a direct lifelong tax to support) with Medicaid, a welfare program.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  12. Also, in two years, net interest will be close to 20%. What then?

    Kevin M (b11279)

  13. omg

    that thai salad is like a whole afternoon

    I’m a start with a Trader Joe’s frozen seafood mix and scale it down from there

    but i love thai… I figured out all the healthy dishes already

    the spicy beef salad is awesome and also the ginger fish

    the glass noodle salad can be good too unless the glass noodles come from weirdo areas of china what have loose definitions of “food”

    casserole-wise I think I’m a do “king ranch chicken” next

    it’s been forEVER since i had that

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  14. On a related topic, two background links:

    The Fed is down to three governors, two nominated and another two simply vacant.

    Stealth US debt investor.

    On the one hand, the ECB has no authority to simply print money, on the other hand US debt is supposedly issued by our Treasury for purchase.

    The ECB has a dire need for more collateral both to originate debt and, more realistically, to undergird debt already perilously extant.

    With the last Debt Ceiling raise US debt leapt $380 Billion overnight, immediately ahead of this Belgian leap in US Debt ante.

    Did money change hands? Where did it go?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  15. The government, such as it is, has announced that revenues-tax receipts-have run will ahead of historical precedent this fiscal year-to-date.

    Intuition suggests this is not personal income tax and businesses’ forward guidance is for earnings to be down in 2014 8.5%.

    I wonder whether we’re witnessing the Sinification of government official information.

    [Q1 Chinese GDP] beat on a Year over Year basis rising 7.4%, just fractionally above the 7.3% expected, while at the same time it missed on a sequential basis with Q1 GDP growing 1.4% Q/Q, just below the 1.5% expected, suggesting the annualized Q/Q has slowed to a meager 5.7% – a number far below China’s 7.0% minimum threshold target.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  16. I did mine electronically. The payment too. You need a checking account, kind of a bummer but it’s worth it to be able to do it on the last day. My bank had posted it way before midnight last night. It’s ok. If it goes to pay Justice Kennedy’s salary for another term so he can legalize public necrophilia with horses, it will have been my part of the battle against reactionary, petit-bourgeois fascism.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. We, the proletariat, appreciate your adherence to socialist morality.

    It needed to be said.

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  18. Casseroles and crossbows. It’s what I do.

    That and line launcers.

    It’s my contribution to naval warfare.

    On a related note, along he way I picked up a pair of AFR cylinder heads. Which I’m thinking about selling along with the rest of the stuff.

    Because an argument for keeping the Chevy would be the World Products S/R Torquer heads. Which are not nearly as good as the AFRs. But I’ve got the heads. I’ve got How to Build and Modify Chevrolet Small-Block V-8 Cylinder Heads (Motorbooks Workshop) [Paperback]. And I’ve got a grinder.

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  19. *launcers=launchers*

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  20. Let me put a plug in.

    Brzezinskini Racing Products

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  21. “There’s one for you, nineteen for me”

    Kevin M (b11279)

  22. I journal and I journal and I journal

    hf, you need to consider your part in this rape:

    1. You lived in California
    2. You dressed like you had money.

    Clearly you had it coming.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  23. the part that few explain is that we’re also in this hole because everything is so over regulated that business either is paralyzed because it can’t decide what will be a good move to make and how much doing so would cost or they’re paralyzed because they can’t make that move because they don’t know what their employee/fees/taxes/other costs will be due to having to comply with governmental regulations (at all levels).

    We have government employees spending their time shutting down lemonade stands and telling people they can’t give away food and any number of other actions that have suddenly become objects of governmental scrutiny. The scrutiny of other businesses and activities is even greater and more costly.

    This is why we will not be able to dig our selves out (and why we haven’t so far); we are finally choking on all the laws/rules/regulations and arbitrary enforcement by 3-4 levels of government.

    You have to have a lot of money to start any kind of business and no guarantee that it won’t be shut down due to some obscure law or rule that is incorrectly interpreted by some government employee.

    That all would have to change and there just isn’t the political will or the awareness by the public that that’s what needs to happen. And of course there are plenty of governments and companies that take advantage of those rules and laws being in existence to raise their profits and they will fight tooth and nail to keep those rules and laws on the books.

    Case in point; the tax system. Tax preparers, accountant, fund managers. Whole departments are dedicated to digging out and taking advantage of the tax laws.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  24. 23. Excellent point. Flat tax of some sort and abolish the IRS.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  25. More than a month ago China ran into collapsing Copper and Steel commodity prices which were being used as collateral for loans.

    Luxury properties suddenly were cashed, picked up by a greater fool, to pay margin calls.

    Nevertheless, Leftists covet Chinese authoritarians’ power to exact behavior changes.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  26. Sing it, jakee308.

    Why is Kali circling the drain? this is why. Over regulation.

    Before Ice Cream Shop Can Open, City’s Slow Churn

    San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee’s office announced last week a $1.5 million fund to help small businesses, calling the sector the “Backbone of SF Economy.”

    If true, then the saga of a new ice cream shop seems to indicate that the city needs a good chiropractor.

    …But getting it opened wasn’t easy.

    “Many times it almost didn’t happen,” said Juliet Pries, the owner, with a cheerful laugh.

    Ms. Pries said it took two years to open the restaurant, due largely to the city’s morass of permits, procedures and approvals required to start a small business. While waiting for permission to operate, she still had to pay rent and other costs, going deeper into debt each passing month without knowing for sure if she would ever be allowed to open.

    “It’s just a huge risk,” she said, noting that the financing came from family and friends, not a bank. “At several points you wonder if you should just walk away and take the loss.”

    Ms. Pries said she had to endure months of runaround and pay a lawyer to determine whether her location (a former grocery, vacant for years) was eligible to become a restaurant. There were permit fees of $20,000; a demand that she create a detailed map of all existing area businesses (the city didn’t have one); and an $11,000 charge just to turn on the water…

    I have no idea why anyone would want to own a business in Kali. Or rent someone a house. Or even try to build a house.

    SLO Leaks

    One man’s struggle to get a building permit for his house in San Luis Obispo County

    I actually started this blog in February 2011. I wish I had started back in August 2009 when Judi and I first decided to build a new house. But since August 2009 I kept every email, every letter, every report, and every drawing so I have been able to recreate all that happened. I also used the California Public Records Act to try to get all its relevant emails from the San Luis Obispo County Planning Department. From here on I will post things as they happen – because after over two five years of effort I am still far, far away from securing my permit.

    To someone who doesn’t live in San Luis Obispo County (SLO) all of this must seem crazy. After all, how much more difficult could it be to get a building permit in SLO than the rest of the state, or the country? The answer is, sadly, a lot more difficult…

    This guy’s tale of woe is sadly not unusual. In February he noted:

    In the Avila Beach, Avila Valley, Squire Canyon, See Canyon, and San Luis Bay Estates areas of SLO County, judging by building permit activity, only one new house has been built in the last five years. It would have been two houses, but my building permit application was denied by the California Coastal Commission.

    The story of the kangaroo court hearing he got from the Kali Coastal Commission was epic. They actually were angry at him because he wanted to use the private property he had purchased as private property. They chewed him out for his lack of public spiritedness, and one of the commissioners actually asked one of the CCC’s lawyers present at the hearing if there was any way they could take his property away from him. His own attorneys actually gasped at the abuse he was getting and later asked him at the bar (the guy says he usually doesn’t even drink and I have no reason to doubt him but he did that day after the inquisition was over) how he could sit there and take it so calmly.

    A co-worker of mine tried to build a house in San Diego county. His land was in the mountains to the east of the city of San Diego, so it wasn’t even under the thumb of the CCC. I worked with him on a particular project for two years. Before I even met him he had had bought this property with the intention of building a home there. When I left the project (and the company) he had still not laid the foundation because the county kept throwing up roadblocks. At one point they designated it an archeological site and a wetland.

    Did I mention this property was on the side of a mountain? Something like a 30 degree slope. An arid mountain.

    So it was up to him to prove it wasn’t an Indian burial ground and it wasn’t even damp. San Diego county really, really did not want him to have his house. Just like SLO county and the CCC don’t want people to have their houses and ruining the beach (one fo the commissioners pulled rank and got the CCC to reverse their decision not to let him build his house and attendant outbuildings and now he makes sure nobody else builds theirs, proving once again that a developer is somebody who wants to build their cabin this year while a conservationist is somebody who built their cabin last year). I felt bad for the guy, but sometimes I just couldn’t help laughing when he’d show up with this dazed expression and fill us in on the latest hurdle San Diego had thrown up to stop him from building his house on his property.

    A friend of mine, a general contractor, bought a piece of land in the city of San Carlos, which is in San Mateo county south of San Francisco. It was zoned residential. It was large enough to build two or three houses on, and then he could divide the property and sell it for a tidy profit. What could go wrong?

    Ahh, but the “conservationists” who have engineered the Kali unaffordable housing market were way ahead of him. He needed to cut down 20 trees to do this. He knew this, because the city made him pay for a “tree survey.” And once the city knew exactly how many trees there were and where exactly each one was, they told him he couldn’t cut them down himself. He needed to select a contractor off the the approved list of tree cutters. No doubt each one with a relative on the city council. And the fee would be $1K a tree. So, that was $20k right of the top.

    He ended up throwing up his hands and giving up on the idea. I don’t think it was just the trees, but he realized the city of San Carlos was not going to let him build anything on that property. I personally think he should have checked this out before he bought rather than finding all this out after, but I didn’t say “I told you so.” In any sane world the city would have wanted him to develop that property. At the time the San Francisco Chronicle was making TV adds about how a doll house on the peninsula would run you a million dollars.

    People in Kali just can’t figure out why people aren’t building affordable housing in Kali. Or starting businesses in general. It’s a mystery to them.

    Steve57 (078ed2)

  27. I don’t buy that chart of where our money is going.
    President Obama has added $7 Trillion to the national debt in 5 years.

    It wasn’t interest going up, right?

    It wasn’t a massive increase in social security recipients, right? We’d have heard about that.

    Same with Medicare, I think.

    I know there has been a boost of people going on Social Security disability…but it can’t be $1T+/year, can it?

    The military is cutting deeply. GWOT/OCO funding ended 3-4 years ago.

    At the same time, tax revenue over the last 6 months was at an all-time high (despite the struggling economy)

    Why is no one doing any reports on where the money is going that is causing all this debt?

    As has been pointed out, the Obama Administration has cooked the books on everything, hiding everything they do and stonewalling FOIA requests.
    They cooked the books on F&F, on IRS targeting, on Obamacare enrollment, on Census counting, on domestic spying, on all the calculations for Obamacare’s cost curves in the first place. They discredited and fired any IG that dared point out spending indiscretions.

    Is there anyone who seriously believes Obama didn’t cook the books on where the money has gone?

    Or is it possible he is using the Fed’s Quantitative Easing to spend money Congress hasn’t appropriated?

    In any case, I seriously don’t see where the numbers add up.

    Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame (d3a934)

  28. 11.Comment by Kevin M (b11279) — 4/16/2014 @ 1:16 am

    I like the way they conflate Medicare (a non-means-tested program that one pays a direct lifelong tax to support) with Medicaid, a welfare program.

    The Heritage Foundation (run by ex-Senator Jim DiMint) did that, not the IRS.

    The IRS has its own chart (for Fiscal 2012) on page 100 of the Form 1040 instructions.

    See Major Categories of federal Income and Outlays For Fiscal Year 2012 in the sidebar on the left and click on it.

    They put Social Security, Medicare and other retirement in one category. That amounts to 38%. Social Security probably includes disability and survivor benefits. All these are not means tested.

    They have a category for “Social programs” that includes Medicaid. Medicaid itself amounts to 14%. The whole category amounts to 21%, and includes food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families (welfare?) unemployment insurance, housing assistance, SSI (payments to people above what Social Security would give, often for people categorized as disabled) health research and health programs (the NIH and CDC?) and some other social services. Most of this is means tested entitlements, but not all of it is.

    A third category is national defense, veterans and foreign affairs. The Heritage foundation gave 18% for national defense in 2013. The IRS has 19% for the armed forces in 2012. To which ia added veterans benefits, both paid to veterans and paid for them (like VA Hospitals) which is another 3%, and 1% for U.S. embassies and foreign aid (military and economic assistance) and contributions to international organizations.

    There’s 9% for “Physical, human and commmunity development” which the footnote explains is “agriculture; natural resources; environment; transportation; aid for elementary and secondary education and direct assistance to college students; job training; deposit insurance, commerce and housing credit, and community development; and space, energy, and general science programs.”

    The Heritage Foundation seems to have buried that partially under income security (Pell grants and payments to farmers would go there) while separated out some other categories: K-12 education: 1%, transportation (Highways and railroads like Amtrak) 3% and some maybe in he other category of 3%.

    The IRS also has 2% for law enforcement and general government, which the Heritage Foundation Mist have included in 3% for all other.

    Both have net interest at 6%.

    The IRS does not include offsetting receipts, amounting to $104 billion, or around 3% of outlays. Offsetting receipts are rents and royalties on the Outer Continental shelf, proceeds from sales of assets and the “U.S. government’s share of its employee retirement programs” which I don’t understand what it is.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  29. This is where the $787 billion stimulus was supposed to go when it ws passed – but there are no Dollar figires here:

    Sammy Finkelman (caf2ab)

  30. #26, Steve, the building restrictions are even tougher in the Small Scale Neighborhood area of Cayucos, about 45 minutes North of Avila Beach. I renovated an old tear-down (which cost more than new construction) because the iron-clad building rules were all but impossible. So, after a year of effort I ended up with a nice comfortable but very expensive little shack sitting on a million dollar lot across the street from Estero Bay (you can see the curvature of the Earth).

    BTW, if you’re in Avila Beach stop in for a bite at Fat Cats Cafe at the north side of San Luis Bay, and there was a pretty good night spot out on the pier. I spent many a pleasant weekend anchored out in Pirate’s Cove and hanging out at the yacht club.

    ropelight (20622b)

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