Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tax and Balance

The martial arts are a deep study in how to use efficient energy. Budo also is a study of balance. I often see the world through expressions of the yin and yang - how to balance energies.

While in the dojo we play with muscular energy, gravity, the energy of stamina. But business is often a part of budo too. We have to make deals for the space to train, for the lights to come on, and supplies we train with. Money is a quantification of energy and it too can be seen through the lens of yin and yang. Too much spending is unbalanced yin and will kill an organization. We must have balance.

So today I call in a guest author to talk about unbalance of energy in our system, my Dad. This is not a right versus left wing issue. You simply have to pay your damn bills no matter what your political agenda is. If you don't, the system is sick and unbalanced, and it will break down.

The following is a picture of my Pops at my wedding, if you feel like arguing with him. He showed up with a battle ax, got real drunk and wheeled off. Apple don't fall far from the tree, eh?


In honor of tax week, I figured I would give you some insight into exactly how much Washington is spending and how they are spending it. On average, of course.

* In 2010, Washington will spend a record $31,406 per household.
* In 2010, Washington will collect $18,276 per household in taxes.
* The $13,130 difference between spending and revenue is our budget deficit per household ... on top of all prior government debt.
* Since 2008, government spending has increased by $5,000 per household. That's in just two years folks.
* Over the last decade, government spending has increased $10,000 per household.

Now, considering that Washington spends $31,406 per household .. here are the highlights:

* Social Security/Medicare: $9,949 per household
* Defense: $6,071 per household
* Antipoverty programs: $5,466 per household
* Unemployment benefits: $1,640 per household
* Interest on the federal debt: $1,585 per household
* Veterans' benefits: $1,052 per household
* Federal employee retirement benefits: $1,018 per household
* Education: $914 per household
* Highways/mass transit: $613 per household
* Health research/regulation: $550 per household
* Mortgage Credit: $470 per household
* All other federal programs justice, international affairs, natural resources, the environment, regional development, farm subsidies, social services, space exploration, air transportation and energy: $2,078 per household

At the same time that our government has seen fit to spend more money that it has ... the number of non-payers (there are people without income tax liability) has increased by 59% in less than a decade. The number of non-payers grew from 32.6 million in 2000 to 51.6 million in 2008. At the same time, the total number of tax filers only grew by 10%.

This is simply unsustainable. Our country absolutely cannot survive this slide into fiscal hell. We're at the point where only a minority of working Americans actually pay for the operation of our Federal Government.

This debt clock is nutty.

debt clock


  1. I did not get drunk, I merely celebrated the wedding of my only son to a wonderful, understanding woman with great and unrestrained enthusiasm.

  2. My Dad brought a muzzle-loading rifle to my wedding. We went through five Kegs.

    On the tax note, I read the other day that 53% of our taxes go to the military and sustaining our empire abroad.
    How about we start cutting there?

  3. Rat,

    I found a pie chart supporting your claims, it is misleading in order to make a political statement.


    the website says....

    This is a distortion of how our income tax dollars are spent because it includes Trust Funds (e.g., Social Security)

    Well true, but guess what...the trust funds are not adequate to cover the payments so the remainder comes from taxes. And really the whole social security thing is a tax program anyhow, just dressed in different clothes.


    However I do agree our military spending is insane, but so is the inefficient social program spending.

  4. Guns or butter, I could care less but pay for it in cash, not on credit cards.

  5. Well, I'd rather have Butter.

    Check this out also:

    "The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.
    More than half of foreign companies and about 42 percent of U.S. companies paid no U.S. income taxes for two or more years in that period, the report said.
    During that time corporate sales in the United States totaled $2.5 trillion, according to Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who requested the GAO study."