Streamlining the United State’s Federal Goverment Spending

The term to “starve the beast” is a strategy by conservatives to limit government spending by lowering taxes with the aim of a depriving the government of revenue hence forcing it to reduce spending. In this case the united states federal government and the programs it funds like welfare,social security and Medicare are referred to as ‘the b east’ and will not generally refer to spending on military or law enforcement prisons.

The purpose of starving the beast is to limit the amount of revenue that is at the disposal of the United States federal government so that it limits spending on tasks that are considered as less priority by cutting taxes. The reduced taxes have the effect of starving the federal government of revenue hence forcing it to cut its budget due to revenue shortfall.

Why should the United States starve the beast?

Most Americans feel that the government has a budget and since every dollar that is used within the budget line provides a reasonable spending, then government spending should be limited only to the budget as this reflects the will of the tax payers. The underlying fact about starving the beast is to ensure that the government does not spend money just to fulfill presidential or any other political agenda while their taxpayer feels that the money could have been spending otherwise. While most common men and women in America feel that they are highly taxed and that the revenues collected are more than enough to run government expenditure, the main problem lies in how the money is spend and hence the feeling among taxpayers that revenue is not the problem but failure to make realistic spending budgets for public finances is the biggest challenge hence the need to starve the beast who already has more than enough.

The argument against starving the beast

One main problem of starving the beast is that although it may cause the government to streamline its spending, it does not generally guarantee that government spending will reduce since it will use other avenues to generate the revenue deficits in form of printing more money or borrowing hence increasing domestic debts. Furthermore reducing government revenue through tax cuts has adverse effects on the government’s ability to cater for annual spending entitlements like Medicare and social security which are largely a function of demographics. If the country is not at war then the money set aside for military support programs can be used to propagate growth on non defense discretionary spending like environmental protection, space exploration and healthcare research and these programs can only be supported if the beast is not starved.

While both sides of the coin have a bearing on whether or not to starve the beast, it is always important to affect the measures depending on the United States federal government of the day by critically assessing its strength and weaknesses and banking on the positive side of the coin.

The United States Post Office – Survival – Then and Now

The Birth of the United States Post Office

In early colonial times most correspondence took place between the colonists and England. The King’s authorities would read and scour all of the information and mail that was being sent. Correspondence between the colonies depended on trusted friends, merchants, or friendly Native Americans.

Around 1639 Richard Fairbanks’ Tavern in Boston, Massachusetts was designated as the official repository of mail by The General Court of Massachusetts (appointed by the King). Using taverns as mail drops was common practice in England, and the colonists adopted this practice as well. Local authorities designated by town representatives and England operated post routes within the colonies, some of which are still around today.

In 1673, Governor Francis Lovelace of New York set up a monthly mailing post between New York and Boston. The post rider’s trail became known as Old Boston Post Road, which is part of today’s U.S. Route 1. Old Post Road in North Attleborough, Massachusetts was part of this rider’s trail and is considered one of the oldest roads in America.

In 1683, William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania and a leader in the Quaker community, established its’ first post office. Slaves or private messengers delivered communications from one plantation to another.

Most importantly, Thomas Neale received a twenty-one year grant in 1691 from the British Crown to begin a North American postal service. Neale had never laid foot on North American soil, so he appointed then Governor Andrew Hamilton of New Jersey as his Deputy Postmaster General. Neale’s franchise cost him only 80 cents a year. In 1699, he assigned his interests in America over to Andrew Hamilton and R. West. Neale died heavily in debt as a result of this endeavor.

By 1707, the British Government had purchased the rights to the North American postal service from the widow of Andrew Hamilton and R. West. The government then appointed Andrew Hamilton’s son, Andrew, as Deputy Postmaster General of America. He served until 1721 when he was succeeded by John Lloyd of Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1730, Alexander Spotswood, a former lieutenant governor of Virginia, became Deputy Postmaster General for America. Seven years later, Spotswood appointed Benjamin Franklin as postmaster of Philadelphia. In 1753, Bejamin Franklin and William Hunter who was postmaster of Williamsburg, Virginia, were appointed by the British Crown as Joint Postmasters for the colonies. Upon Hunter’s death in 1761, a man by the name of John Foxcroft of New York succeeded him, serving until the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.

During his time as a Joint Postmaster General for the Crown, Benjamin Franklin influenced many important and lasting improvements in the colonial posts. He immediately began to reorganize the service; he inspected post offices in the North and as far south as Virginia. New surveys were made, milestones were placed on principal roads, and new and shorter routes were laid out. For the first time, post riders carried mail at night between Philadelphia and New York, and the travel time had been shortened in half.

William Goddard, a publisher, set up a post for colonial only mail service. This was separate from the British crown and was funded by purchasing subscriptions. Net revenues were to be used to improve his postal service. In 1774 Goddard suggested to Congress that the colonies come together to form a United Postal Service. He believed that this would be a way to separate the colonies’ mail from the British postal inspectors. This way they could communicate colonial news only to the colonies. Goddard proposed his idea of a postal service to Congress two years before the Declaration of Independence was signed

By 1774 colonists did not trust the British crown and viewed the royal post office with suspicion. Benjamin Franklin had been dismissed of his post duties by the Crown for his actions. The crown believed that Franklin was displaying sympathy to the cause of the colonies. In September 1774, shortly after the Boston riots, known today as the Boston Massacre, the colonies began to separate from England. A Continental Congress was organized at Philadelphia in May 1775 to establish an independent government. One of the first questions before the delegates was how to convey and deliver the mail.

With the Revolutionary War imminent, the Continental Congress assembled and enacted the “Constitutional Post.” This act ensured that communications between the public and patriots, or those fighting for America’s independence, continued. On July 26, 1775, the Second Continental Congress chose Benjamin Franklin as the nation’s first Postmaster General. The establishment of the organization that became the United States Postal Service nearly two centuries later traces back to this date and Ben Franklin. In 1760, Franklin reported a surplus to the British Postmaster General.

Franklin dedicated himself in this position, as well as many others, to fulfill George Washington’s dream of an information highway between the citizens and government. Like Goddard, whose idea was to become united, Washington believed, that as a nation, we could forever be bound together by a communication system of roads. When Franklin left office in November of 1776, post roads operated from Florida to Canada and mail between the colonies and England was operating on a regular schedule.

America’s present day postal service descends from an unbroken line of the system Franklin created, planned, and placed in operation. History rightfully affords him major credit for establishing the basis of the postal service that has performed magnificently for the American people.

The Post Office and the Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation (our countries first written form of government) gave Congress the right and power to establish and regulate post offices from one state to another, and to exact postage on papers passing through the same as may be required to so to defray expenses of the post office.

The Postal Act of 1792 further defined the role of the Postal Service. Under the act, newspapers were allowed in the mails at low rates to promote the spread of information across the states. To ensure the sanctity and privacy of the mails, postal officials were forbidden to open any letters in their charge unless they were undeliverable. These provisions enlarged and strengthened the duties of the Post Office and unified the organization by providing rules and regulations for its development. One of which was the transportation of mail. Other than by railroad or steamboat, the delivery of mail would only be given to bidders who offered stagecoach services.

Postal headquarters were located in Philadelphia until 1800, and then later moved to Washington, D.C… Officials carried all postal records, furniture, and supplies from Philadelphia to D.C. in in two horse drawn wagons.

The Post Office and the President’s Cabinet

In 1829, then President Andrew Jackson appointed William T. Barry of Kentucky to become the first Postmaster General within a President’s Cabinet. However, the Department of the Post Office was not formally established as an executive department by Congress until June of 1872.

In 1830, an investigative and inspection branch of the Post Office was established and was led by P.S. Loughborough. Loughborough is known as first Chief Postal Inspector.

Up to 1845, mail was delivered by coach, railroad, or steamboat. This was abolished by Congress on March 3, 1845. This act provided that the Postmaster General will lease all contracts to the lowest bidder who gave sufficient guarantee of providing a faithful performance, without conditions, except to provide for the “celerity, certainty and security” of the transportation of mail. These bids became known as “celerity, certainty, and security bids” and were represented by three stars known as star routes.

Scandals

The Star Routescandals involved United States Post Office officials receiving bribes in exchange for awarding postal delivery contracts in the southern and western areas of the states. In 1872 and 1876, during President Grant’s administration, an investigation into what is called the Star Route Frauds had been made. However, evidence in the investigation had been tainted by bribery and the investigation was temporarily shut down in 1876. A resurgence of the Star Route Frauds took place in 1878 under the Hayes Administration and continued into the Garfield Administration. Many of the major players involved were large contractors, US Representatives, and past Postmaster Generals.

Then in 1881, then President James A. Garfield led an investigation into the corruption of the Star Route Frauds. After Garfield’s death by assassination, then Vice-President, turned President Chester A. Arthur continued the investigation. A trial then prosecution took place in 1882 finally shutting down the Star Route Frauds and its postal ring.

Although the Star Route Frauds were widespread, there were few that were convicted. As a result of public distrust over the frauds and death of President Garfield, the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 was implemented. This act is a federal law that stipulates that federal government jobs will be awarded on merit. The act provides for the selection of government employees by means of competitive exams. It also made it made it illegal to fire or demote government employees for political reasons.

Under President Theodore Roosevelt, allegations of widespread corruption in the U.S. Postal Service were made. An internal investigation in 1902 revealed many cases of bribery, blackmail, overcharging, and extortion. The press publicized the findings in 1903. This forced the President to appoint two special prosecutors who subsequently indicted 30 Post Office officials and private contractors.

In 1994 Congressional Post Office scandal referred to the discovery of corruption among various Post Office employees and members of the United States House of Representatives. Investigations took place from 1991 through 1995, and ended in the conviction of House Ways and Means Committee chairman, democrat Dan Rostenkowski.

Initially, embezzlement charges against a post office employee were investigated, but evidence led to several other employees before democrats in the House of Representatives moved to close the inquiry. A new investigation was started by the postal service resulting in embezzlement and money laundering charges. The Committee on House Administration began its own investigation, breaking through party lines. Democrats issued a report stating that the matter was closed, while republicans issued their report including a number of unanswered questions and problems with the investigation.

In July of 1993, Postmaster Robert Rota pleaded guilty and implicated democratic Representative Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois and democrat Joe Kolter from Pennsylvania. Both were accused of conspiracy to launder post office money through stamps and postal vouchers. Finally, in 1995, Rostenkowski was convicted and sentenced to eighteen months in prison until President Bill Clinton pardoned him in 2000.

The True Role of the United States Post Office

The role of the United States Postal Service is to operate as a basic and fundamental service provided by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. The Postal Service basic function is to provide postal services to link the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to the citizens and shall render postal services to all communities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.

Until the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, the U.S. Postal Service functioned as a regular, tax-supported, agency of the federal government. In 1982, U.S. postage stamps became sold as products rather than a form of taxation. Since then, the bulk of operating cost has been paid by customers through the sale of products and services rather than taxes.

The United States Post Office does get some taxpayer support. Around $96 million is budgeted annually by Congress for the “Postal Service Fund.” These funds are used to compensate the post office for postage-free mailing for legally blind persons and for mail-in election ballots sent from US citizens living overseas. A portion of the funds also pays for providing address information to state and local child support enforcement agencies.

Each class of mail is expected to cover its share of the costs. This is a requirement that causes the costs of different classes of mail to vary. Postal rates are established and proportioned on a fair and equitable basis. Under federal law, only the Postal Service can handle or charge postage for handling letters. Despite this monopoly worth some $45 billion a year, the law requires that the Postal Service remains neither makes a profit or suffers a loss.It is supposed to break even.

Today’s Postal Woes

The Postal Service, by law, is an independent establishment of the Executive Branch or government. The service doesn’t normally use tax dollars for operations, but it has exhausted a $15 billion loan from Treasury. The Postal Service defaulted twice last year on required payments to the federal government. The Postal Service’s financial woes continue as the agency waits on Congressional action to address its debt.

A key culprit in its current decline is the 2006 congressional mandate. This states that the post office has to prefund healthcare benefits for future retirees. This mandate has forced the United States Postal Service to borrow billions of dollars from taxpayers. Much of the $11.1 billion loss is due to the costs of future retiree health benefits. Included with this is an operating loss of $2.4 billion, lower than the previous year.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said that the post office reduced costs by boosting worker productivity, but that mail agency has been hampered by congressional inaction. The Postal Board of Governors, which oversees the United States Post Office, tells us that mail volume fell to 43.5 billion pieces from 43.6 billion earlier this year. The board, which asked for measures to cut costs, endorsed the post office’s recent move toward suspending mail delivery on Saturday.

The data presented by the post office did show an increase in advertising mail from the 2012 election. The agency’s packaging and shipping services continue to grow, increasing by 4% in the first quarter. This year, extra mail tied to the November elections and stronger revenue from holiday-related packages contributed to a better quarter.

Donahoe has made it clear that the Postal Service could have been profitable had Congress acted. “It’s critical that Congress do its part and pass comprehensive legislation before they adjourn this year to move the Postal Service further down the path toward financial health.”

The Senate did pass a postal bill in April that would have provided financial relief by reducing the health payments and by providing an $11 billion cash infusion. This cash infusion would have been considered a refund on overpayments the Postal Service made to a federal pension fund. The House, unfortunately, stalled over a separate bill that would allow for aggressive cuts, including an immediate end to Saturday delivery.

The post office had an operating revenue of $65.2 billion in fiscal 2012. This amount was down $500 million from the previous year. Expenses for 2012 climbed to $81 billion, up $10. billion. This was largely due to the health prepayments. The annual payment of roughly $5.6 billion was deferred for a year in 2011, resulting in a double payment totaling $11.1 billion that became due this year. The Postal Service is the only government agency required to make such payments.

The post office also has also witnessed declining mail volume. As more people and businesses continue switch to the Internet to pay bills or to communicate, less volume is being produced for the post office. The number of items mailed in the last year was 159.9 billion pieces, a 5% decrease, much of it in first-class mail.

The post office is reporting some growth. Its shipping services, which include express and priority mail, grew by 9 percent. This helped offset much of the declining revenue from first-class mail.

Without legislative intervention annual losses might exceed $21 billion by 2016. If Congress fails to intervene, there could be postal shutdowns that would have undeniable consequences for workers whose jobs depend on postal services.

The Future

Our nation’s post office developed and survived in colonial America. It is one of the original freedoms our forefathers paved for us. They gave us the right to communicate with one another in a trusted and private manner. The United States Post Office has gone through loss and scandals, but it has survived.

Our nation’s post office does have a role to play in present day. It will be important for government officials to keep in mind the changing role the post office needs to take.

The Post Office needs to continue to market their strengths, which is the handling and shipping of products. With more and more people shopping over the Internet and paying their bills as well, there is less need for stamps and mailing envelopes. The Post Office would do well to think about expanding their mailing concepts to complement their customers’ needs.

It is proven that more and more people use the Internet to buy and sell products or services. Given this the Post Office must consider changing their operating schedule to include on line customer scheduling. They should have a web site where customers must use prescheduled times and dates for packages to be delivered, picked up, or shipped. They should also consider mail delivery based on neighborhoods and computer scheduled input from customers. Further, post offices day to day operations and hours should be reevaluated to align with today’s ever changing customer.

The Internet is a huge connector for communication, and yet so was the Post Office. By today’s standard, the post office is obsolete, but needlessly. We still need their services to get our products to and from, and, like the Internet, to have our voice heard across the world. Remember, the post office was not meant to make a profit, nor was it meant to report a loss, the post office was developed in such a way as to break even.

Where Should You Live To Minimize State Taxes In The USA?

With election year in full swing, there will be a lot of talk in the coming months about taxes. Who should pay them? Should the wealthy be paying more? What about individuals, who intentionally keep their true income low to keep from paying anything at all? Millions of Americans everywhere are divided on the tax issue, but with unemployment as high as it has been and slower job growth than normal, the United States does have some places that you can go to minimize or get rid of state taxes altogether. While the federal income tax will be fought out on the national stage, you may want to consider the following states to help alleviate some of what you owe in April:

Alaska (0%)

Alaska is the tax hater’s best friend. This state, far removed from the contiguous United States endures relatively harsh winters and mild springs and summer. They are so far removed from the rest of the country and have such a low population among the 50, that a state income tax is not necessary, even on interest and dividends.

Florida and Nevada (both 0%)

These two tourist hotbeds do not charge state income tax because they are able to amass enough revenue through tourism to locations such as Las Vegas and Miami. With tourists accounting for more than half of these states’ overall needs, why put that burden on the citizen?

Tennessee and New Hampshire (both 0%)

These two states follow the same pattern of thinking when it comes to taxes. Don’t ask the regular citizens to pay a state income tax, unless they’re earning on interest income and dividends. This effectively ensures that the wealthy pay their portion of what is required for the state to improve and grow.

South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming (all 0%)

These three states have considerable land mass but very few people living there per capita. Washington does have Seattle, but for the most part, these states derive most of their usefulness from the land rather than development, so the need for higher tax dollars just isn’t there. Tourists also contribute quite a bit to the states’ economies through sales tax dollars.

Texas (0%)

Texas has the same idea that Florida and Nevada do. They charge nothing in way of state income tax, and instead receive most of their support from tourism and local economic growth. Texas has often been considered one of the best run states in the union on account of the low unemployment and the myriad job opportunities. Cities like Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, have also left a large footprint on the American culture allowing for much of the state’s income to be tourist generated. The no state income tax is quite remarkable considering its size in land and population.

Lessons Americans Can Learn From Argentina’s Economic Collapse for SHTF in the United States

As America heads towards an economic collapse due to its crazy national debt and runaway spending, we can learn some great lessons about how to prepare for the SHTF (Sewage Hits The Fan) that is to come by looking at what happened to Argentina

In 2001, Argentina plunged from being a very wealthy country with a large middle class to a country where the middle class all but disappeared. It was all due to uncontrolled government spending. Since the situation is so similar to what we have here in the United States today, the lessons learned are especially pertinent.

The first lesson to be learned from the economic collapse in Argentina is that desperate people will do desperate things. People took to the streets protesting what they saw as the robbery of the middle class by the banks and the betrayal of the politicians. Civil unrest became a common occurrence, as people who saw their bank accounts and retirement plans evaporate suddenly had nothing left to lose.

In addition, as the situation dragged on, more and more crime became commonplace. It wasn’t just robberies in bad neighborhoods, but more sophisticated burglaries in previously safe neighborhoods as well. People learned that their homes were being staked out and, when all the members of the family left and the house was vacant for a few hours, they could come home to a house that had been stripped.

In addition, a new term “express kidnappings” was coined. Instead of just kidnapping rich people where a huge ransom could be demanded, thugs started kidnapping people of more modest means and demanding only a couple hundred dollars. They would drive the around in a cab all day until a phone call to their home produced some sort of a payoff, and then they would move on to the next victim.

Express kidnappings were very smart financially for the bad guys, as the amount of money taken would not warrant a huge investigation from the overburdened police force. And if they knew what they were doing, they could pull off a couple of these every day.

Another thing that became commonplace was that former middle class people became unlicensed “taxi drivers” using their minivans or luxury cars to drive people to work or the airport. Others tried their luck to get work as a handyman. Women did nails and cleaned houses. People worked for a fraction of what they used to make, just so that they could feed their family.

Those looking for economic opportunity in a post-economic collapse society found that the teaching (especially vocational studies where you would teach a trade) and counseling professions did well, as people needed to get new skills to work and needed counseling to cope with a world turned upside down.

Another unfortunate development was food shortages and power outages. Although there was technically enough food for everyone, in the tumultuous times where prices could jump 10% in a week for some items, no grocery stores wanted to sell out of their products. Therefore, it became common for store shelves to be empty, as a lot of stock was held in reserve.

Power outages occurred as the utilities and local governments were strained financially with so many people unable to pay their bills and taxes. So infrastructure repairs and maintenance were neglected, leading to less reliable services.

There is a lot to consider if you want to prepare for an economic collapse in the United States. The best way to begin your “preps” (that is a term that preppers use) is by first analyzing what has happened before so when history repeats itself, you will be ready instead of having regrets.

Immigration Amnesty in the United States

The United States is one of the few countries in the world which faces a very serious problem of illegal immigrants. These illegal immigrants enter the country usually with the aid of a middleman and usually work in low paying menial jobs, so that they can avoid going back to their home country. ‘Immigration Amnesty’ refers to the practice of granting legal immigration status to any person who is in the country illegally, and has been a much debated topic for years. Although immigration amnesty can be given to people who have entered the country through illegal means, it is also granted only to people who have lived in harmony with others and who have not committed any offenses or conducted illegal activities.

The Pros

Immigration Amnesty was once considered the right solution to discourage people from entering the US illegally. Since the 80’s alone, it is estimated that more than 4 million immigrants have been granted immigration amnesty in the US. This has only heightened the debate even more with different reasons being cited as to why it should be promoted or scrapped altogether. Many people agree that illegal immigrants take up menial jobs that many citizens actually reject, and in a way they make an important contribution to the economy itself. For instance, in states where farming is the prime occupation, these immigrants do many back breaking jobs for very low pay. The government spends huge resources on identifying illegal immigrants, which may be better spent on more important issues like combating terrorism, education and healthcare if immigration amnesty is awarded more frequently. Thirdly, many of these immigrants bring their families with them or get married in the US, which gives the children born the status of a US citizen, so granting immigration amnesty seems sensible.

The Cons

On the other hand, there is another viewpoint which states that illegal immigrants are people who are responsible for breaking the law and rewarding them with a legal status undermines those who enter the country legally. Secondly, illegal immigrants do not pay taxes and are considered a burden by more than 70% of Americans, as revealed in a recent poll. They may also use public facilities and services like schools and transport, without making any indirect contributions towards it. Thirdly, since these immigrants are willing to work for very low pay, it makes it difficult for natives themselves to get well-paying jobs. Over a period of time, this brings down the value of a worker as well.

Finding a Solution

Illegal immigration is not just a growing concern for society itself but also for the government. It may be easy to criticize the ‘Dream Act’ bill which stated that children of illegal immigrants would be allowed to get legal permanent resident status if they attended college or served in the military for two years, but finding a solution is harder than it appears. Probably, the best stand to adopt is to stay focused on what benefits the country the most, but to also be fair to the illegal immigrants who clearly contribute a lot to the economy. However, enforcement of immigration laws and making sure that incentives are not given to future illegal immigrants is very important. Ensuring that existing illegal immigrants are protected and that they are slowly merged with the rest of society seems to be the best answer to the problem.

Is the United States Financial System Doomed?

Is the countries fiat money system bound to collapse? I do not know about you, but these are questions I tend to ask myself sometimes. The thought first struck me several years ago when I was doing a bit of research on my computer and found out the federal reserve is a private company.

So, I began to dig deeper and my research led me to places I could never imagine. Did you know the American government is in debt trillions of dollars and continues to borrow more money? Did you know it is impossible to get out of debt in a system which borrows money from private corporations with interest attached. Did you know your taxes go directly to the federal reserve bank and not the United states government?

The federal reserve bank has been loaning American taxpayers dollars in the trillions to foreign countries for years now. They answer to no one, have never been audited, and control our nations stock markets, industries, media and wealth. They even control our government through rich foreign lobbyist and powerful international banking corporations. The people have been manipulated and lied too, it is our job to wake people up to this deception and spread the message of truth to the farthest reaches of this country through radio, news, entertainment, the internet, and any other form of expression.

No longer can American citizens stand by and be controlled by a system they were manipulated into by the British, and again by foreign interest in 1914. Many have begun to sign petitions asking for an audit of the Federal Reserve. The question is, will enough people sign it?

Erik Hals is a political analyst and writer from Minneapolis MN. He is the creator and webmaster of The Hals Report, a daily news blog which discusses sensitive issues. If you enjoyed this article, please take a moment to visit The Hals Report. The Hals Report [http://www.thehalsreport.com].

Is General Aviation a Valuable Industry in the United States?

Perhaps, you are not aware that there is a shortage of pilots in the United States, and we are having challenges getting people into the profession, for instance we don’t have enough aerospace engineers for the future. Worse, China is graduating more engineers than we are, and they have a rather aggressive five-year aviation strategy. In fact, they are opening up general aviation nationwide. Unfortunately, we are going the other way, at a time when we very much need the jobs for making aviation equipment and aircraft, as it is one of our strongest exporting industries.

Last month there was a rather problematic article in Aviation Maintenance Technology News titled “NATA Responds to Obama’s Disparaging Comments About General Aviation,” which was published on June 30, 2011. Apparently the President of NATA (National Air Transportation Association) was just fit-to-be-tied over the comments that President Obama had made about general aviation (GA) while pitching his budget proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy and secure the future of ObamaCare and all his social programs. The article stated that NATA’s members are;

“appalled by Obama’s attacks on GA during a press conference. They want to eliminate a series of tax deductions; tax depreciation schedules for GA airplanes, to raise $400 billion in Tax Revenue over 10-years. Obama has repeatedly degraded the value of GA to our nation’s economy. This time, he does so a day after appearing at an American aircraft manufacturing facility to promote job growth. It is perplexing that he bashes an industry responsible for 1000s of manufacturing, maintenance, and service jobs.”

There is a reason why we have the tax codes the way we have them. General aviation has experienced attacks by politicians before. I can remember in the early 80s they got rid of the luxury tax laws, and modify the depreciation schedules, and at the time I was in the aviation business, and it just flat killed the entire industry. It was a horrible thing, and it cost tens of thousands of jobs in California, Florida, South Carolina, and of course in Wichita Kansas.

Before President Obama took office, he had made statements about rich corporate executives traveling in their corporate jets. Once elected, he followed that up by more disparaging statements during the bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler when those executives flew their corporate jets to Washington DC to speak to Congress. Corporate and general aviation for business purposes makes sense, because it is efficient, and these are business tools that we need.

Yes, one has to be fairly wealthy to fly and support owning a private jet. But when they buy a new private jet many people go to work to build it and there is a huge service industry supporting general aviation. That’s how I started my first business at 12 years old. Attacking general aviation right now is absolutely the wrong thing to do. And indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on.

Can the United States of America Really Reach Its Alternative Energy Objectives and Goals?

It’s amazing how many politicians will sit up at their podium and spew nonsense when it comes to alternative energy. The reality is that are alternative energy future is not providing the jobs which were promised, but that’s not because the politicians lied about what they were trying to do, it’s because it would be impossible for us reach that goal. Let me explain.

First of all, we cannot produce the materials for solar panels, wind turbines, and other alternative energy technologies in this country at the price they can in China. Germany and Japan also produce a large number of solar panels, but they are losing most of their market share to China as well. Now then, the only reason that we have some solar manufacturing in the United States, or that they have any left in Germany and Japan, is because the worldwide demand is huge. But why is the worldwide demand so high?

It’s not because solar offers a better return on investment for the amount of energy it creates, because it really can’t compete with coal-fired plants, and other forms of energy generation such as hydro or geothermal. The reason that everyone is buying solar panels is because of the tax credits, the incentives, and the subsidies. That’s a real problem because when you tax the people of the population so that you can provide these benefits to one form of energy generation over another, you are unbalancing the playing field in the free market for energy.

This will only cause energy prices to go up. And I suspect here the United States we will triple our energy costs in the next five years. In fact, it’s already starting. It’s happening because not only are we over regulating coal-fired plants and other forms of energy, we are also over taxing them as well. All the while letting alternative energy companies slide. That indeed is quite unfair, and that has nothing to do with capitalism, unless you consider state run capitalism actually free-market capitalism, which it is not.

Now then, is it possible to reach our alternative energy goals here the United States? Not long ago, I was discussing this with an acquaintance in Europe who stated; “Yes I KNOW it is possible! But perhaps not yet. But when we got to that point, we will look back and think about how easy it really was to do. It just took the ideas and ingenuity.” Indeed, I agree, the technology is achievable, I know it is! We need to spend the money on the research, not wastefully, carefully, and stop subsidies and propping up bad decisions in the market place with no real return.

But it’s not going to happen overnight, it will happen in due time, and if we force it we will make mistakes, and the bubble will burst before we get the benefits at of the alternative energy dreams that we have set forth. Additionally, we can have clean coal technologies too! So, let it all compete, and if we are going to fund alternative energy, let’s fund clean coal technology too! Let the best energy form win. We have plenty of coal in the world, don’t forget.

Indeed, hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you have any comments, questions, and/or concerns please shoot me an e-mail soon as possible, I’d love to hear from you.

Out Fox The Feds With A State Tax On Undocumented Workers And Their Employers

We all know that for whatever reason Washington does not want the states to enforce United State immigration laws because that is the domain of the Federal government. Initial complaints about the law charged that the word “solely” implied that racial profiling could be one factor used in the determination of nationality. Arizona immediately dropped it from the law. Critics of the law still charged that the law could allow racial profiling.

In prompt response, Arizona reworded the law to specify that any inquiry concerning a person’s nationality could only occur if the person had been questioned about other legal issues first. That is, the amended law insured that state law enforcement personnel could not stop and question someone solely to determine their nationality. On the off chance that a Federal court might find the present very controversial Arizona law illegal, the governor could simply take an innovative approach to the problem. Forget immigration, switch to a tax law that is clearly within Arizona’s constitutional powers, but not subject to Federal interference.

The approach I recommend is to introduce a one year renewable tax on everyone living in Arizona. For all citizens resident in Arizona as well as foreigners with Federal permission to reside in the country, the tax would be ten dollars per household regardless of income. For non-citizens without Federal residence permits, the tax would be100% of earned income with no deductions. It would seem entirely permissible to distinguish between citizens and legal residents and all others.

The law would also require the employers of such workers to collect the tax and remit it to the proper state agency. Failure to do so would constitute a crime. Since it would cost the state more money to monitor the payments of legal residents and properly documented foreign workers, payment of this tax should be on the honor system. Legal residents would easily realize that this was actually a temporary tax that would probably not be vigorously enforced or renewed. This would leave the state time and money to follow up on employers suspected of hiring workers without Federal residence permits.

The employers, by withholding the100% tax on workers without Federal residence permits would confirm that he or she did in fact break the law, and would be treated in conformance with the new state legislation. Of course, the tax would never be collected because no one would work for free. Those employers who hired undocumented workers without collecting the tax would have to certify that he or she had not hired such workers and that no tax was owed, making them guilty of perjury and violating Arizona state TAX law, not an immigration law.

Therefore the Federal government would really have to struggle to find a way to interfere with this system. Random checks of employers could verify whether or not they actually did hire undocumented workers. However, with a 100% tax on undocumented workers, there should be no undocumented workers. If an employer did, in fact, hire undocumented workers, and failed to collect the 100% tax and forward it to the state government, he or she would face criminal prosecution for violating state tax law, not any sort of immigration law.

Undoubtedly the state’s lawyers will find flaws in this as I have explained it, but they should be able to make appropriate changes. My objective here is only to change the issue from an immigration matter, which gives the government reason to challenge the law, to a state tax issue, which should eliminate the question of jurisdiction.

Donald Trump’s Tax Plan and Its Effect on the United States Nationally, Globally and Its Citizens

Donald J. Trump initially proposed his tax plan of cutting taxes for businesses and the middle class while campaigning for the primaries. In August he revised his plan and added many details including Tax Brackets, Standard deduction changes, corporate rates and eliminating the gift/estate tax. Furthermore, Donald J. Trump’s plan could have an effect on the economy at domestically and globally. In this paper, I aim to simplify the effects of his tax plan, on the individual, the United States and examine some assumed outcomes for the United States from a global perspective.

Individual
Let’s face it, there are not many people on this earth that think about the good of their country before the good of their own wallet. Trump’s tax cuts are close to home and can help the average American. He proposes doubling the standard deduction and lowering effective tax rates across the board. This means that around $8,000 for single filers and $16,000 is completely untaxed; combined with the fact that most incomes will see a lowering of effective tax rates, everyone will be paying fewer taxes.(Fox, Pg. 1) Trump’s system is very appealing across the board, but only two groups benefit greatly. First, since the standard deduction and the 0% tax bracket are increasing some families earning low incomes could experience no tax at all. The second group that could experience a massive tax break is multi-millionaires.

“… the highest-income 0.1 percent of taxpayers (those with incomes over $3.7 million in 2015 dollars) would experience an average tax cut of more than $1.3 million in 2017, nearly 19 percent of after-tax income.”(Nunns, Pg1)

Some people compare Trump’s tax plan to an escalated version of the George W. Bush tax cuts. Another issue with Trump’s tax plans is they are very vague in substance and impractical in today’s society where corporations and individuals take advantage of every break possible. One loophole that exists is that individuals can set up LLCs and like corporations and actually lower their tax rate, this is due to very low unearned income tax rates. By funneling all of your income through these mock corporations, individuals could create a tax ceiling of 15%(Trump’s unearned income alternative rate) even though the normal tax brackets go up to 33%. Now, it can be reasonably assumed that this plan once brought to a cooperative congress would be tightened up with many more rules added to eliminate glaring loopholes and problems with the plan. In the case of a democratic house or senate, these tax reforms could be shot down entirely. With the assumption that his whole plan goes through the decrease in tax revenue could create a strained relationship between the United States’ revenue stream and the expenditures they have budgeted for, thus influencing their ability to create an economic incentive for the U.S. economy.

National
On a grander scale than the individual, the United States economy would change due to Trump’s tax plan. After the individual changes are accounted for, the corporations would be the next largest factor. Trump plans on dropping corporate tax rate considerably, which would create an upwards swing in after-tax profits. This benefit could go two ways; first corporations could pay the excess profit out to shareholders in dividends or second corporations could reinvest the extra money into retained earnings. Either way, this would give an injection of good profits and growth to the economy. In terms of United States tax revenue, this growth caused by the tax break would make up for some of the deficit in tax revenue even more so if most of these profits were distributed in dividends. To further decrease the tax deficit Trump has proposed a one-time offshoring tax that would be paid by any U.S. firm that has moved its operations overseas. These measures could eliminate the deficit in the short term, but long term the deficit could arguably skyrocket. This is due to a drop in tax revenue and a projected increase in spending. Some major expenditures would include border security (the wall) and increases in military spending. Trump has promised to decrease expenditures in other facets but has only stated that he will eliminate inefficiency and cut out waste. Trump’s economic policy is not very favorable for the United States economy. Due to increased globalization and low reinvestment of profits, the initial gain from Trump’s plan diminishes and actually reverses. Overall, Trump’s plan could be very bad for the economy, especially if previous tax cuts are any indication of their effects. (Zandi, pg 2)

Global
Internationally, the United States is no longer the world’s only powerhouse. With a multitude of other countries on par with the US and winning in some facets. The United States is in no place to fall behind. The biggest problem with Trump’s tax plan and his overall economic policies is that they are isolationist policies. Globalization has created winners and losers, but segregating the United States by pulling out of trade deals like NAFTA will actually decrease exports and make our exports more expensive. Plus, the one-time offshoring tax will create a strain on multinational companies. The largest upswing for the United States would be the new low corporate tax rate could attract companies to come back to America and enjoy the low taxes. This is shown with the temporary gain in GDP growth rate. It has not yet been shared exactly how the lower corporate tax rate would bring companies back, most companies that have offshored their business still maintain corporate status in the United States and I doubt that a break in corporate taxes would be greater than what it costs to pay an American Labor force.

In conclusion, Donald Trump’s tax plan can and would have a much greater effect than it appears on the surface. If the senate agreed to adopt Trump’s full plan as it is now: the individual would see personal taxes decrease and corporate taxes decrease as well, Federal revenues would swing high then low along with the United States GDP, and Trumps overarching economic policy could put America in a very sticky place in the global economy. As a forewarning, this essay does follow many assumptions made by Moody’s and the Tax institute. In final thoughts, Trump’s tax plan would benefit Individuals and the United States corporations greatly but would create friction in the overall US economy could cause another economic slowdown.