Monday, March 31, 2008
I was complaining about how hard it is to run a business under our countries current tax structure today and I was appalled by a response I got. someone actually said to me that if I am a S-corp then I don't pay taxes. I don't understand how such a large percentage of our population has no idea of how a business is run or how the tax structure actually works in the real world. I guess if all you do is pick up your check on Friday and pay the lease payments on your car and apartment you can't understand how things actually work.
Yes, my business is a s-corp. While a narrow and limited view may assume that i don't pay corporate taxes, that in reality is quite wrong. We file a corporate tax return with just a minimum filing fee. Then all the "profits" are rolled into my personal return. Any money in the corporate checking account on the last day of the year is considered profit and taxed at my personal federal tax rate of 28% and state rate of 6%. This means if I leave 10,000 dollars in the corporate account as of midnight on 31 December then the government is going to take 3,400 dollars of it away from me.
So to keep this from happening the natural tendency is to roll the money out of the corporate checking account. Some goes into the pension fund where it is gone until I am as old as Moses. Some I write to myself as a distribution, pay the 34% taxes on it and stick it in a savings account where it will probably sit until I die and do nothing for the countries economy. The rest I spend on equipment the we may or may not actually need. This is pretty much standard operating procedure for most small companies.
What I need, is to be able to leave a couple of dollars in the company account at the end of the year without penalty. I have to start each year dead broke or pay a severe penalty on the money that is sitting in the company account as of the last day of the calender year.
This year we are planning to do an addition to the building so that we can put more men in here working. This will give jobs to the local community through using several subcontractors to do the building and by hiring workers to fill the new addition. I had enough money to get started back at the end of the year but not the time. So instead of proceeding with the project when we had the cash a good deal of money got rolled into the pension plan and the rest into some equipment that we sorta kinda needed but not really. So now we are having to replenish funds before we can do the addition. My concrete subcontractor is really slow and really wants the work to begin but i am about 60 to 90 days from having enough cash in hand to start and finish the project. Oh yeah, we do things like this with cash and not by borrowing at the bank but that is a different rant... If i could have carried the funds for this project over into this fiscal year from last without penalty this project would be underway if not nearing completion at this point.
If I could carry funds from one year into the next without penalty for making payroll I would have probably carried one more employee through the winter. It is hard to stare a new calender year in the face with zip in the checking account and payroll to make for four employees every Friday. At thanksgiving we had plenty of cash on the books and I had to make it all go away before Christmas or get hammered by the man. If i had been able to carry that over into the new year without paying a significant amount of taxes on it I could now be spending it now on infrastructure and creating new jobs.
Instead the company is now trying to recover enough cash reserve to build instead of having contractors running around here putting up walls. I am interviewing but dragging my feet on hiring a new man so that I can be sure and have enough reserve to make payroll EVERY Friday with five folks sticking out their hands. I also need the addition done so that the new employee has a place to work without bumping elbows with the folks already here.
Companies like mine need an account where we can carry over operating capital from year to year without penalty. I am happy to pay taxes on it when I take a check but as long as it sits in the corporate account to pay business expenses I need the g-men to leave it alone.
All the people that live at the whim of a payroll check on Friday or their entitlement check and don't run a business really get my goat. Statements like corporations don't pull their weight or s-corps don't have to pay taxes, or the rich don't pay enough taxes make me want to break out my aluminum baseball bat and start busting knee caps.
This little chart ought to be enough to shut those raise taxes on the rich up forever. If they still think that the rich are not paying their fair share then they need to be sterilized before they breed and perpetuate their particular brand of ignorance into the gene pool. (I am tongue in cheek with a few of these statements but almost serious)
This country is supported almost completely by the upper 50% of the income bracket. Until someone has had to keep a real live corporation on its feet for the first quarter of the year after the tax man has either forced them to divest themselves of all on-hand cash or raped them for keeping a few dollars on hand they need to keep their mouths shut and thank the American corporate world for keeping this country working.
I am not the most educated person around or even very smart but after 20 plus years of keeping a business afloat, while making sure that payroll is met every week, all the bills are paid on time and the tax man is satisfied I have learned a few things. 90% of the people out there are not qualified to render an opinion. They just don't have enough real world experience in the matter to say anything about it. That statement is not aimed at anyone in particular but if the shoe fits...
I think we ought to go back to the original concept of a voting public that our forefathers instituted. According to the original voting laws in this country each state set the rules for voter qualification in their jurisdiction. In most states you had to own a significant piece of property, be a business owner or have an set amount of wealth to qualify to vote. The folks that just picked up a paycheck and didn't at least own their home were not considered responsible enough to vote.
I am tired of having Representatives that were elected by freeloaders living in public housing and collecting an entitlement check that I earned for them telling me how to live and run my business. If we went back to a system where you had to show that you were at least capable of supporting yourself to qualify to vote this country would be much better off. Letting the thieves watch the store is not profitable. I say open the borders to anyone willing to work and send the ones that won't out to a deserted island and let them play survivor for real.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I have heard a couple of public comments made from the liberal press today about global warming that actually have my blood warming. How is it that so many folks are buying into the idea that we are going to cause our own extinction in the next few years? If you just bother to research the facts without bias before forming an opinion you may just realize that the situation does not bode as bad as Al Gore would have you believe.
A couple of articles have crossed my desk of late that seem to have a lot of bearing on the subject. The first is from a source that I have always considered very liberal and to the left. NPR (national public radio) has released an article stating scientists have found that the planets ocean water temperatures have not risen at all in the past decade. Ocean temperatures are the real measure of the planets temperature. In fact the ocean temperatures have actually cooled off during the last decade. Follow the link for the entire article:
In another recent article from The Australian scientists are admitting that the problem may not be as bad as some folks have suggested. One quote says this:
This complete article can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
Duffy: "The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?"
Marohasy: "That's right ... These findings actually aren't being disputed by the meteorological community. They're having trouble digesting the findings, they're acknowledging the findings, they're acknowledging that the data from NASA's Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they're about to recognize that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide."
Duffy: "From what you're saying, it sounds like the implications of this could beconsiderable ..."
Marohasy: "That's right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer's interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point."
If Marohasy is anywhere near right about the impending collapse of the global warming paradigm, life will suddenly become a whole lot more interesting.
For years scientists and politicians have been at odds over the science behind the global warming ideals. Both sides have accused each other of "junk science". As more research is done and the facts become more refined, the more it seems that the evidence of impending doom is just not there. In fact many scientists claim that they feel that their opinions have been purposely suppressed and they have been pressured not to publicly suggest that global warming may not exist. Here is a link to a U.S. Senate report on the subject:
What many people fail to take into consideration is that the planet is still recovering from a mini ice age which climatologists agree ended in the mid 1800's. The following link goes to an article that suggests the possibility that we may actually be headed for another ice age.
So now lets consider that global warming could be real, and if so, what would the results of warming temperatures mean to the human race? Science and history actually show that the overall warming of the planet would result in a much smaller number of weather related deaths. Yes, global warming would actually save lives. I am reposting an article from Discover Magazine.
The heat wave in Europe in early August 2003 was a catastrophe of heartbreaking proportions. With more than 3,500 dead in Paris alone, France suffered nearly 15,000 fatalities from the heat wave. Another 7,000 died in Germany, 8,000 in Spain and Italy, and 2,000 in the United Kingdom: The total death toll ran to more than 35,000. Understandably, this event has become a psychologically powerful metaphor for the frightening vision of a warmer future and our immediate need to prevent it.If the idea of global warming is a myth then what could be the reason for all of the politicians and press running around screaming "the sky is falling."? Political agendas that depend on mass hysteria rather than the facts to garner support in the election process seems to be the key. Certain folks are getting a lot of press and political support from their "environmentally green" to the point of lying stances. Some people are actually suggesting that Al Gore be sued for his obvious politicalization of the global warming stance and vehement spreading of the idea.
The green group Earth Policy Institute, which first totaled the deaths, tells us that as "awareness of the scale of this tragedy spreads, it is likely to generate pressure to reduce carbon emissions. For many of the millions who suffered through these record heat waves and the relatives of the tens of thousands who died, cutting carbon emissions is becoming a pressing personal issue."
While 35,000 dead is a terrifyingly large number, all deaths should in principle be treated with equal concern. Yet this is not happening. When 2,000 people died from heat in the United Kingdom, it produced a public outcry that is still heard. However, the BBC recently ran a very quiet story telling us that deaths caused by cold weather in England and Wales for the past years have hovered around 25,000 each winter, casually adding that the winters of 1998-2000 saw about 47,000 cold deaths each year. The story then goes on to discuss how the government should make the cost of winter fuel economically bearable and how the majority of deaths are caused by strokes and heart attacks.
It is remarkable that a single heat-death episode of 35,000 from many countries can get everyone up in arms, whereas cold deaths of 25,000 to 50,000 a year in just a single country pass almost unnoticed. Of course, we want to help avoid another 2,000 dying from heat in the United Kingdom. But presumably we also want to avoid many more dying from cold.
For Europe as a whole, about 200,000 people die from excess heat each year. However, about 1.5 million Europeans die annually from excess cold. That is more than seven times the total number of heat deaths. Just in the past decade, Europe has lost about 15 million people to the cold, more than 400 times the iconic heat deaths from 2003. That we so easily neglect these deaths and so easily embrace those caused by global warming tells us of a breakdown in our sense of proportion.
How will heat and cold deaths change over the coming century with global warming? Let us for the moment assume-very unrealistically-that we will not adapt at all to the future heat. Still, the biggest cross-European cold/heat study concludes that for an increase of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit in the average European temperatures, "our data suggest that any increases in mortality due to increased temperatures would be outweighed by much larger short-term declines in cold-related mortalities." For Britain, it is estimated a 3.6°F increase will mean 2,000 more heat deaths but 20,000 fewer cold deaths. Likewise, another paper incorporating all studies on this issue and applying them to a broad variety of settings in both developed and developing countries found that "global warming may cause a decrease in mortality rates, especially of cardiovascular diseases."
But of course, it seems very unrealistic and conservative to assume that we will not adapt to rising temperatures throughout the 21st century. Several recent studies have looked at adaptation in up to 28 of the biggest cities in the United States. Take Philadelphia. The optimal temperature seems to be about 80°F. In the 1960s, on days when it got significantly hotter than that (about 100°F), the death rate increased sharply. Likewise, when the temperature dropped below freezing, deaths increased sharply.
Yet something great happened in the decades following. Death rates in Philadelphia and around the country dropped in general because of better health care. But crucially, temperatures of 100°F today cause almost no excess deaths. However, people still die more because of cold weather. One of the main reasons for the lower heat susceptibility is most likely increased access to air-conditioning. Studies seem to indicate that over time and with sufficient resources, we actually learn to adapt to higher temperatures. Consequently we will experience fewer heat deaths even when temperatures rise.
Discover, Aug. 31 2007
No matter what side of the global warming fence you may sit, be sure that you do some actual research to support your stance. Just parroting what you hear from a particular politician, party or organization is irresponsible. Look into the subject by reading from a variety of sources. I read articles from both sides of the issue and then try to use my limited ability of logical reasoning to decide which school of thought is most plausible.
At this point I don't see any definitive proof that global warming is an imminent disaster on the horizon. I will keep reading real research on the subject as it is released and reserve the right to change my opinion if the evidence convinces me otherwise. But for now I am going to spend my allocated "worry time" on more pressing issues.
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