Pants on Fire, Part Umpty-Seven point Three

The Post Office is going to sue Lance Armstrong for running “the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program” that the world has ever seen which apparently hurts postal customers’ essential concept of the Post Office.

Yeah, I’d hate ever to think the Post Office might have the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful program for anything. That would definitely give us the wrong idea about the Post Office.

The Postal’s Services own studies show that the service benefitted tremendously from its sponsorship — benefits totaling more than $100 million in sales.

Speaking of sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping programs: Sequestration? Budget cuts?

I’ve been looking for a straight answer on how much will be cut from actual Federal spending this week. Best I can tell, the boogeyman will slice about $85 billion from the federal budget. And also, best as I can tell, total Federal spending for fiscal year 2012 reached $3.6 trillion and is due to rise for fiscal 2013. What do you bet the increase will be more than $85 billion? For the record, fiscal year 2012 marked the fourth consecutive year of trillion dollar deficits.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell: everyone is afraid that their personal ox will get gored.

Wow. That never happens in business.

Texas Instruments laid off 1,700 people. NBC dumped 500. Solel fired 140 of their remaining 430 workers. Xerox restructured 2,500 current employees into former employees. Stryker closed their facility in New York and plans to counter the medical device tax in Obamacare by slashing 1,170 jobs, some 5% of their global workforce. And those were just some of the announcements last November alone.

Nobody said boo when Citigroup slashed 11,000 jobs, when Dow “retired” Rufus, or when Motorola did the same for Liz Arden, but the Feds can’t handle a 2% cut in money they haven’t even spent yet?

Yesterday, Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) said, “We can’t cut our way to prosperity.” Perhaps not, but the stock market is up on news of the layoffs and faith in government is down on news of higher spending.

As Gail Collins wrote in the NYTimes, “Did you know one of the most popular TV shows in Norway was about firewood? Maybe you should have this discussion with a Norwegian.” Better yet, maybe we should have this discussion in Norwegian.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

From “In 1909 progressives in Congress again attached a provision for an income tax to a tariff bill. Conservatives, hoping to kill the idea for good, proposed a constitutional amendment enacting such a tax; they believed an amendment would never received ratification by three-fourths of the states. Much to their surprise, the amendment was ratified by one state legislature after another, and on February 25, 1913, with the certification by Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, the 16th amendment took effect. Yet in 1913, due to generous exemptions and deductions, less than 1 percent of the population paid income taxes at the rate of only 1 percent of net income.”

My, how things have changed.

2 thoughts on “Pants on Fire, Part Umpty-Seven point Three

  1. I AM not afraid of my personal ox being gored because I have made sensible preparations and have no unprotected ox that this looming, wacko monetary facade can afflict.

    I AM satisfied that things must get much worse than what we now see on a national and global scale. I know it because for 20 centuries billions of people have been praying the simple prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” It’s in The Book.

    So, we know that His Kingdom must and will come. And we know from scripture that it will come after a period of “great tribulation” has erupted and spawned the most horrendous of conflicts: A battle called Armageddon.

    By the time *great tribulation* has firmly set its teeth into the human existence–and long before Armageddon is upon the species–neither any man Left Behind, nor his hapless ox, will find refuge.

    But take heart, O, ye unprepared. You still have time. Things are not yet bad enough to be labeled a “great tribulation”; but as sure as night follows day, they must of a certainty continue to spiral that direction.

    So, keep feeding the personal ox of your lusts and passions that he may be fit for the goring that surely looms; and while you’re at it, hide your prideful goat in the barn. Because the government will try to get that first.

    Wot’s this thread about, anyway?

    — George

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