RE: Grading the gov't (was Re: G & J, in cahoots?)

From: Jeff Barr (
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 16:11:04 PST

You missed two really obvious targets:

FAA: Air safety gets better all the time, B+
IRS: <insufficient data>


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Bone []
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 3:12 PM
To: Dave Long;;
Subject: Grading the gov't (was Re: G & J, in cahoots?)

So, hey, let's look at the value of all that progressive taxing. What are
results? When I invest in a company, I have certain expectations of its
performance. Why shouldn't I have similar expectations of performance with
federal gov't, in whom I'm "investing" my tax dollars?

USDA: doing a pretty poor job, IMO.
Postal Service: can't even operate profitably. Why do we have this again,
of private concerns only?
FBI, BATF, DEA, Marshall Service, Secret Service: why so damned much
FBI: here comes Big Brother! Why do we need national-scale law
enforcement, again?
FCC: we've got a winner, folks! Thank these guys for the 20 year delay on
FTC: can't even bust up the one predatory *global* monopoly we've got!
CIA: well, I dunno how well they're doing, give 'em the benefit of the
NSA: who? ;-)
D. of Edu.: well, I'd say we've got just a *sterling* educational system,
DoE: rolling blackouts? Nuclear waste dumps as tourist attractions? Just
what *do*
these guys do, anyway?
NIH, CDC, etc: no cure for cancer, no cure for AIDs... are these guys
DoD: well, we haven't been invaded lately.
NASA: why haven't we been to Mars yet? WTF's the deal with this Space
hocus, btw?
D. of Ag: do we really *need* this thing? Did we ever?
D. of Commerce: at least the NIST is fairly useful. Count this one a
ARPA: we hit the jackpot, here. This has paid off in spades.
D. of Health / Human Services: no reason for this to exist except to employ
work majors.
D. of Housing and Urban Development: it's a fucking local issue, for
D. of the Interior: okay, I'm okay with this one.
D. of Justice: well, the jury's out on this one...
D. of Labor: now, *what* exactly do these guys do again?
State Dept.: okay, no problem here.
D. of Transportation: I'm okay with the FAA, and somebody's got to keep up
the IHS.
D. of Treasury: no problem here, except their weird excursion into law
D. of Veteran Affairs: get rid of 'em, let the military branches handle it.
EPA: roll this into the Interior.
NEA, NEHumantities: what the hell is this? Why are we funding art?
Federal Acquisition Jumpstation: no shit, it's real. I have no idea.
NSF: another jackpot, ROI out the wazoo.
Peace Corps: disband immediately, don't even let 'em come home.
Smithsonian: okay, fine.
Social Security Administration: fucking kill it before it eats the whole
US Agency for International Development: WTF? Roll this into the State
US Information Agency: Huh? I'm sure this isn't necessary.
US Institute of Peace: Again, huh? Kill this program. State + Defense
cover this.

Across the board, I see nothing but waste, waste, waste. The feds get a big
fucking "F." If the fed were a corporation, they'd be facing incredible
lawsuits. Unfortunately, they aren't accountable. Yeah, yeah, we can vote
politicians out of office, but the bureaucrats have very little churn. A
fresh young
idealist shows up in DC and immediately gets the message hammered into his
"don't fuck with my budget. In fact, make it bigger."

The bureaucrats make the Mafia look like a Rotary Club. The Sicilians may
violent, but at least they're direct, have a clear motivation, and if you do
their way you're always going to be just fine. Brooklyn's the safest part
of NYC.

I want ROI. I want small, well-factored, local, interlocking systems with
checks and balances and a kill switch. I want good interface /
separation. Good separation of concerns. Instead, we've got a massive
whore of a
system riddled with "spaghetti code" relationships, inefficient
redundancies, waste
on an unheard-of scale, and outright unnecessary bullshit.

Thanks for spending my tax dollars so wisely, Mr. Big Gov't!

With love,

Somebody Who Paid Beau Coup Taxes Last Year

PS - this e-mail is specifically designed to trigger Carnivore. If you're
out there,

One note on the progressive tax argument. I said:

> Okay, stay with me --- I'll be moving in a slightly circular fashion, but
> promise there's a point. Most people --- even those *with* lots of
money ---
> can't spend 8 figures in a year on goods and services. Most of the excess
> to investment. So let's say I buy a restaurant. Money goes in, that's a
> deduction. The restaurant starts generating profits. I can either pay
taxes on
> that income, or I can sink it back into the business and grow, expand: I
> either pay 39.6% to the gov't, or I can hire new employees; and in
essence, in
> doing so, I'm paying $0.60 on the dollar for these new salaries, etc. In
> addition, I get tax breaks on that growth investment, etc.
> When you're worrying about buying goods and services for yourself, your
> breaks are limited; hence, the progressive system most penalizes folks
> assets and income are most tied up in furnishing their own needs in terms
> personal / family goods and services. When you move it into business,
> all kinds of ways to grow your asset value without paying taxes: just
> aggressively and avoid taking profits to the bottom line.
> That's how it works.

Just to be clear, I'm not complaining about that --- the basic problem is
that the
way all these interlocking tax laws are rigged, there's a minimum price to
You've got to have all your basic goods and services --- whatever those
might be,
whatever you feel you want or need --- covered *first* and then have
leftovers to put to work growing your asset value in a tax-advantaged way.

The unfairness here is the tax advantages afforded people beyond their own
"magic number." The rigged system and the insane complexity are a comedy of
compounded errors which interact to maintain or broaden the gap between the
rich and
the not-so-rich. Thank you, progressivists. Whether this is by design or
by intent
is a matter of opinion, and open for debate.

We MUST go to a flat tax, at a minimum. Better would be a flat rate,
across-the-board consumption tax. Gotta have it.


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