Fasten your seat belt, read it all:
..One of the big reasons why I had to move into the “Van Down by the River” was because I simply COULD NOT FUNCTION using cash. When I was foreclosed upon because I could not provide the bank with a tax return (because I have declared a tax strike), I began investigating possible rental scenarios in preparing to move. Kids, you CANNOT rent an apartment “above the table”, pay the utilities on said apartment, insure a vehicle and scores of other necessary expenses in the former U.S. using cash today. Between IRS liens and mortgage foreclosures, my credit score is destroyed, which also disqualifies above-board rental. If you think that cash controls and the move to outlaw the use of cash is crazy talk, just stop and think about all of the myriad ways that IT IS ALREADY IMPOSSIBLE to pay with cash. We’re already 75% of the way there...
It’s That Time Of Year Again. What time? College decision time….
If you have one or more kids that are approaching the time when they fly the nest, you’re either involved in this in some way or likely will be.
I’ve hammered on this nail many times, but I’m going to do it again today, because right about now is when decisions have to be made about next year and bad decisions here can cripple or even economically destroy a young adult.
This is not overstating the case folks.
In the 1970s and early 80s you could spin pizzas or wash cars and put yourself through school, and many people did. Today that is nearly impossible, and a big part of the reason is that schools have gotten predatory and treat young adults not as a mission but as a revenue source to be extracted from to the maximum possible extent.
I look at balance sheets literally all day long. Guess what: So do colleges, and the balance sheets they’re looking at are yours, having essentially forced your disclosure through the FAFSA. Continue reading
… I’ve spent days analyzing the bill… and frankly, it’s a joke. You can read the 200+ pages yourself if you like, but here are the important points–
As we’ve discussed before, US government spending falls into three categories.
1. Discretionary spending is what we normally think of as ‘government.’ It funds everything from the military to Homeland Security to the national parks.
2. Mandatory spending covers all the major entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
Then there’s (3.) interest on the debt, which is so large they had to make it a special category.
The latter two categories are spent automatically, just like your mortgage payment that gets sucked out of the bank account before you have a chance to spend it. The only thing Congress has a say over is Discretionary Spending. Hence the name.
But here’s the problem– the US fiscal situation is so untenable that the government fails to collect enough tax revenue to cover mandatory spending and debt interest. In Fiscal Year 2011, for example, the US government spent $176 billion MORE on debt interest and mandatory spending than they generated in tax revenue.
In Fiscal Year 2012, which just ended 6 weeks ago, that shortfall increased to $251 billion. This means that they could cut the ENTIRE discretionary budget and still be in the hole by $251 billion.
This is why the Fiscal Cliff is irrelevant. The automatic cuts that are going to take place don’t even begin to address the actual problem; they’re cutting $110 billion from the discretionary budget… yet only $16.9 billion from the mandatory budget.
Given that the entire problem is with mandatory spending, slashing the discretionary budget is pointless. It’s as if the US economy is a speeding train heading towards a ravine at 200 mph, and the conductors are arguing about whether they should slow down to 150 or 175.
Oh, and there’s just one more problem… go here
Imagine if your taxes tripled — literally overnight.
The so-called Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. That means that all of the current income tax rates will rise to pre-2001 levels overnight. The lowest rate will jump from 10% to 15% and the highest from 35% to 39.6%. Although Congress extended all of the cuts at the end of last year, some Democrats have pledged to let the tax cuts expire for the “rich” — individuals making $200,000, and $250,000 for families. Continue reading