Taxes and Calcium
The government tells us to do a lot of things. Sometimes they make recommendations. "Hi. How's it going? In case you're interested, we recommend that you get 1000 milligrams of calcium a day. Calcium. It's good."
But with other things, they have a different approach. You're not going to hear them tell you, "Hi. How's it going? We're going to make a couple of recommendations. We recommend that you get 1000 milligrams of calcium a day. And we recommend that you pay us $10,000 in income taxes. Those are our recommendations. But if you'd prefer to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Dunkin Donuts, and spend most of your money on heroin, who the hell are we to stop you? Go for it, bro. Do what you want to do. We're just recommending that you eat right and pay all your taxes. But we'll be happy with whatever you eat. And we'll be happy with whatever you give us--whether it's $10,000, a pack of undershirts, or a naked photo of your girlfriend. Whatever, bro. Do whatever you want. We're just the government. We recommend things. Feel free to ignore us. If you want, you can go down to the IRS's office and do your heroin there, while telling the IRS's agents to go fuck themselves. That's your right as an American. That's why some patriots dumped tea in an ocean."
Instead of saying that, the government will point a gun at you and say, "If you don't give us $10,000, we're going to make you our slave or put you in prison. ... Oh yeah. One more thing. Try to get 1000 milligrams of calcium a day. You don't have to, though. The calcium thing is a recommendation. The money thing ain't no recommendation, motherfucker! The money thing is backed by our bullets. That's how we do things. We audit your accounts for missing money. We don't audit your blood for missing nutrients."
It's kind of like the way some Jewish mothers are with their sons. They don't say, "Jonathan--I recommend that you become a doctor and marry a Jewish girl." Instead, they tell Jonathan, "If you drop out of school and you keep on dating that Muslim girl, I'm going to kill myself. Right after I kill you." Jewish mothers actually take it to the next level. They don't even let you eat what you want. "Stop eating donuts, Jonathan! Sit down, and have some soup." For some reason, Jewish mothers think they have veto power. [Jewish Mother:] "I'm going to exercise my veto power on this one, Jonathan." [Son:] "Ma--you don't have any veto power." [Jewish Mother:] "What are you talking about? I'm your mother, you're my son. I have veto power. And I'm vetoing your relationship with that Muslim girl. Break up with her. And do it the right way. Be gentle and understanding. Otherwise, she might declare a jihad on you."
I'm surprised the US government doesn't hire Jewish mothers to work for the IRS.
Anyways, the point is, the federal government forces you to pay taxes. And they don't even give you a thank you note when you do. We should get more than a thank you note. The government should be like those charities that send you a letter and picture of a child you're sponsoring. "We used your $20 to give your child food, clothes, and an education." I think the government should tell us what they did with your tax money. They should send us a letter that says: "We spent your $10,000 on five jellybeans and a yellow balloon."
By using force, the federal government collects two and a half trillion dollars a year.
And then it spends four trillion. And it does all of that by plan. They have meetings where they say: [Politician 1:] "What should we do this year?" [Politician 2:] "How about we collect two and a half trillion and spend four trillion?" [Politician 1:] "OK. Sounds good."
And then at the end of the year, they tell us, "We planned a budget, and we stuck to it. Another successful year."
The government usually puts a positive spin on any numbers it releases. "Last year, we lost 500,000 jobs. This year, we only lost 400,000 jobs. We slowed down the job loss rate." "Last year, we lost $1.5 trillion. This year, we only lost $1.4 trillion. We reduced the deficit." "Last year, we took a piss on your doormat twice a week. This year, we took a piss on your mailbox once a month."
I think some husbands should try that with their wives. "Honey--I slept with 10 women this month, compared to 12 woman last month. My infidelity rate is down 20%. I think as a reward for that, you should let me sleep with 15 women next month. Including your best friend. I'm gonna sleep with her on your birthday. And Valentine's Day. And our anniversary. And President's Day."
But again, politicians brag to us about how they planned a budget and stuck to it. And they tell each other, "Good job, guys. Raises for everyone."
And of course, that's when we tell them, "We recommend that you don't lose any money next year."
How come we can't go with the government's strategy, and tell our Senators and Congressmen something like, "If you don't stop spending money like a heroin addict, we're going to put you in prison. ... Oh yeah. One more thing. Try to get 1000 milligrams of calcium a day. You don't have to, though."
We can't do anything like that. We can, however, vote. But voting hasn't led to much in the way of a government that collects and spends money the way it should.
I'm not so sure I get what's going on. I don't get the system.
Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson
A long time ago, some people moved to America and formed 13 colonies. All of which were run and taxed by the British.
Then on January 10th, 1776, Thomas Paine released a pamphlet called Common Sense, and told the nation, "Our British government doesn't help keep society in order, it doesn't let us choose our laws--and it doesn't even tell us how much calcium to eat. It doesn't really do much aside from take our money. Let's get rid of them."
Common Sense quickly took off throughout America----sort of like that "Gangnam Style" video on YouTube.
And then on July 4th of that year, America's 13 colonies declared their independence by sending a postcard to the British with a picture of a gun on it: "Dear John, George, etc. Ever since we landed on Plymouth Rock, you've done nothing but force us to trade with you, convict us of crimes we didn't commit, and take our money. We recommended that you do something else. But you didn't. So we're going to go ahead and declare our independence from your empire. We're our own country now. We're not connected to you. To us, you're just some other country we have nothing to do with. In other words, if you try to take so much as another penny from us, we'll cut out your hearts and shove them down your throats. Sincerely, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and A Few Dozen Other Pissed Off Americans. P.S. Happy Fourth of July. P.P.S. Try to get 1000 milligrams of calcium a day. You don't have to, though. The calcium thing is a recommendation. The moneything is backed by our bullets."
That's what America told the British. And the British responded "No" to pretty much all of it.
Seven years later, the colonies won the Revolutionary War. And four years after that, they passed the Constitution. Here's the current version:
"We finally got our own government--and now we intend to do things right. One Country,
Thirteen Fifty States--we put everything to a vote, and here's what we decided. First of all, you can forget about all of that King and Queen bullshit--because we think we've come up with something better: the People's bullshit.
"The people will choose Representatives and Senators who will vote on issues every once in a while, and spend the rest of their time kissing babies and shaking people's hands. Our Congress shall have the power to tax the people, borrow money, pay debts, maintain a military, regulate international trade, decide who's allowed in this country, print money, establish a postal service, make additions and deletions to this Constitution, add new states to the Union, change the presets on our radio, and decide what toppings will go on our pizza. (Only the Senate can add extra cheese.)
"The people will also choose a President who will head the military, pardon offenses, make treaties, appoint people to high offices, veto Congress's proposed laws, and bullshit us every once in a while with a State of the Union Address. Oh yeah. A person can't be elected President more than two times. After all, we don't want to listen to the same asshole year in and year out for the rest of our lives.
"We'll also have a Supreme Court and many inferior courts that'll interpret and apply our laws. Criminal trials and big money civil trials will be decided by a jury of twelve people who just want to go home and get on with their lives.
"But Wait. There's More. Americans have the right to say stuff, not say stuff, shoot stuff, drink stuff, vote for stuff (without paying stuff), keep their stuff private, and keep soldiers out of their stuff. If you're accused of stuff, the government can't treat you like you've already been convicted of that stuff. If you're convicted of stuff, the government can't do strange or violent stuff to you. And if you've been acquitted of stuff, the government can't put you on trial again for the same stuff. If the government needs your stuff, they'll have to pay for it. And they can never do stuff to you unless they follow their own laws. Um... oh yeah. We thought about all that slavery stuff, and decided to make it illegal. (And if you want stuff for all the stuff you were forced to do for free, that's not going to happen.)"
Why I'm Not a Republican or a Democrat
The right to vote was given to white male landowners, and then to everyone else. Nowadays, the media gives people a lot of information about the government and politicians. People use that information, and vote for Presidents, Senators, and Congressman. And we end up with a federal government that collects $2.5 trillion, spends $4 trillion, and spends it wastefully.
For $4 trillion, society should be getting way more than a military, some money for people who are over 65 or making under $20,000 a year, a little assistance with health care costs, a lot of subsidized corn, an occasional rocket to the moon, and PBS specials about Bob Dylan, elephants, and Lorenzo de Medici's favorite pasta dishes.
Has the government ever heard of Walmart? Do you know what you can get over there for $4 trillion? DO you know what you can get over there for $4 billion. 173,000 HD TVs, 4 million truckloads of oatmeal, universal health care, 500,000 homes for the homeless, 23 armies, 14 navies, 1.7 million sleeveless t-shirts, and 127 million Garth Brooks CDs.
I'm not a Republican or a Democrat. I'm a member of the Take Uncle Sam to Walmart Party. Our party's main objective is to replace the President and all members of Congress with 536 Walmart shoppers. Any time I'm at Walmart, I address the people there as "Senator" and "Congressman." I also go to the musical instruments section and play "The Star Spangled Banner" on a ukulele. Then I go the guns and ammo section and recite the second amendment.
But if we can't get 536 Walmart shoppers to run our government, I'll settle for anyone who spends money less wastefully than our current government does. Safeway shoppers. Banana Republic customers. Professional gamblers. Yacht owners. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Lottery winners. Crackheads. The Kardashians. How about we put Kim Kardashian in the White House, Khloe Kardashian in the Senate, and Kourtney Kardashian in the House of Representatives? With them in office, our government will save at least a trillion dollars a year. Let's put them on C-SPAN, and our current government on the E! Network.
What is the government doing with the $4 trillion it spends a year? They tell us. They break things down into a few categories. That way, it looks like they're not doing anything wrong. "Yeah--we spent $4 trillion, and we collected way less than that. But it's okay. After all, we put everything in categories. We didn't just spend it like maniacs. Every dollar we spent has been accounted for and put into a category. So relax." Imagine some rich celebrity saying something like that. His wife tells him, "Honey--you made $15 million this year, but you spent $22 million. That might be a problem." And then he replies, "Don't worry about it. I'm not just spending like a maniac. I put all of my expenditures in categories--the way the government does. Like food: $20,000, hookers: $1 million, cocaine: $2 million. Categories, honey. Don't worry about it."
Even when the government spends money on something that seems legitimate, when you dig deeper, it doesn't seem so legitimate anymore. For instance, they spend $500 billion a year on welfare and unemployment benefits. And yet, there are still 700,000 homeless people in the country, all of whom could be fed and housed for about $5 billion. How do you spend $500 billion helping the poor and unemployed, and not manage to eliminate homelessness?
The people we have in office right now shouldn't be allowed within 100 yards of a one dollar bill. Our currency should file a restraining order against them.
Take the $500 billion away from them, and give it to the Kardashian sisters. Even if they spend most of it on purses and shoes, they'll still have enough to eliminate homelessness.
Our federal debt is currently at $15,550,000,000,000.23. Actually, it's more than that. By the time you got half way into that number, it increased to $15,550,000,030,000.23. You can't even mention the debt without having it go up about 30 grand while you're still trying to finish the number.
The debt is nothing like the stock market. There are no ups and downs. It always goes up. Every day. I think every Fourth of July, the government should throw a bunch of money at the debt, and announce, "Today it went down!" Of course, the following day, we'll lose money as usual. You know what? I think we should also have a Fifth of July celebration. And instead of firecrackers, we'll fire politicians. "Happy Fifth of July, Senator. You're unemployed. But don't worry. We got a nice severance package for you. Ten thousand leftover Fourth of July hot dogs."
I'm not so sure that'll change things, though. After all, we keep on voting--and our debt keeps on going up. Our votes haven't managed to change that at all.
You know what? Instead of electing new people to office, let's just transfer our debt to a drug dealer. That should do the trick. After all, it's easy for the government to borrow another trillion dollars from China, but it won't be so easy to borrow another hundred dollars from Ray Ray the crack dealer. He's not really into IOUs. He's more of a "cash only, cash now" kind of guy. If you owe him $15.5 trillion, he's not going to extend any more credit to you. Imagine the President having to deal with someone like him. He'll call him up and say, "Mr. Ray--how you doing? It's the President. Uh--should I call you Mr. Ray? Would you prefer Ray Ray? Or just Ray? ... About that money we owe you. We're going to need a little extension on it. And if you could give us another trillion dollars, that would be nice, too. I'll just wait here at the White House. You can send over a check. Or cash. Cash is fine. Or gold. Or if you want to give us cocaine, that's OK, too. We'll take whatever. We just need the extra trillion ASAP. We got a little deficit going. By the way, we're planning a deficit for the next five years. So we might have to borrow some more money from you later. Is that cool?"
The President wouldn't really have that option. That's why we need Ray Ray.
On the other hand, if we transfer our debt to Ray Ray, the President might make a return. He might hand America's ownership papers to an Indian Chief at Pechanga Casino, and say, "Good news! We're giving you guys the country back. By the way--you owe $15.5 trillion. Ray Ray will drop by to collect the next payment in about five minutes. I hope you guys make a lot of money at the blackjack tables between now and then. You're going to need it."
Or instead of doing that, the President might print another $15.5 trillion in cash, and use it to pay off the debt. Of course, we're already doing something a little like that right now. Our money isn't fully backed by assets anymore. The government prints cash without adding gold or anything else to Fort Knox. And of course, that causes people to put less trust and value in our money.
I have a plan for dealing with that. The police confiscates a lot of drugs every year. Let's take it all to Fort Knox, and tell everyone, "Now our money's backed up with trillions of dollars in heroin, crack, and marijuana. And if we ever run into economic problems, we can all go down to Fort Knox and get high."
We Need a 99 Cent Economy
Considering the way our government spends money, I'm beginning to think that representation isn't all it's cracked up to be. We should get rid of our three branches of government, and go with a monarchy instead. And I have a good king for us. The CEO of the 99 Cent Store. That guy knows what he's doing.
I'm part of the Take Uncle Sam to the 99 Cent Store Party. Forget Wal-Mart. The 99 Cent Store is even better than Wal-Mart. With a lot of stores, you leave feeling guilty that you spent so much. But the 99 Cent Store is different. Any time you walk into one with twenty dollars, and you walk out with 36 rolls of duct tape and 324 pairs of socks, you feel guilty that you spent so little. You do a double take any time you're at the checkout stand. "$14.27? Are you sure? That can't be right. You do realize I have 99 carts full of socks and tape." You leave there feeling like you just did some shoplifting. Afterwards, you go to church. "Forgive me Father--for I have sinned. I just bought a lifetime supply of socks for under $20."
When you see a calendar at Barnes and Noble for $15, and then you see a similar calendar at the 99 Cent Store that's 3 for 99 Cents, what does that say about supply, demand, and the rules of economics? It invalidates 99% of those rules. If you want to learn about economics, don't bother reading chapters 1 through 20 of an economics textbook. Just study aisles 1 through 20 of the 99 Cent Store. And don't forget to pick up your economics degree on aisle 21. You can get 4 for 99 cents. Or you can buy a Master's degree, 2 for 99 cents.
The 99 Cent Store is a fantasy land. It's like a cartoon where things don't even make sense--like how a bullet to the head doesn't kill Daffy Duck, or how Bugs Bunny can just pull a gigantic mallet out of nowhere. That's the 99 Cent Store. Any time I walk in there, I expect to hear the Looney Tunes music playing.
Someone make him King of America.
And if you want some sort of checks and balances, then add a branch of government run by the CEO of Tata Group--a company in India that's selling $700 homes. Pretty much. The home is actually in a box, and there's some assembly required.
I bought a table from IKEA a few months ago--and putting one of those things together isn't that easy. I still haven't put it together. I just gave up. It's still sitting in the middle of my living room, half-finished. I tell people that it's a piece of abstract art. And that it represents man's struggle to put together an IKEA table.
If building an IKEA table isn't that easy, building a home might be a little more demanding.
On the plus side, you'll be able to brag about building a home. And you'll also get to tell people get to say to someone, "You read War and Peace? Big deal! I read the 3200 page manual for building a home in a box! It's way longer and more complex than a Dostoevsky novel."
But here's the point I want to make: If you can buy a home for $700 and almost anything else for 99 cents or less, I think the federal government can spend money a little more efficiently.
Is that the point? I don't know. Maybe there is no point. Maybe I just like talking about the 99 Cent Store.
And maybe I shouldn't care about federal spending and the debt. Why does CNN keep bringing up all of it, as if I'm in charge of our finances? If some Chinese loan shark comes to collect the trillions, I'll just drive him to the White House, lead him to the Oval Office, and say, "Talk to that guy. That's where the buck stops."
The Fourth Branch of Government
A lot of people don't know that the Constitution has an additional section that's been lost over time. In the original Constitution, there's a fourth branch of government that completes the checks and balances system. There's an Executive Branch, a Legislative Branch, a Judicial Branch, and a Crazy, Angry Redneck Branch. It's just one redneck. He's crazy. And he's angry. And he's pissed off about the government. And he's drunk on Sam Adams. There are millions of people like that. I've come across a few suitable candidates on YouTube. Just pick one. That guy is the fourth branch of government. Back during the days of Washington and Jefferson, that redneck hung out at Congress and dropped by the Supreme Court and White House--and he kept things checked and balanced. If you look closely at a pic of a one dollar bill, you can see an angry redneck in the background, holding a rifle to George Washington's head.
I'd love to see an exchange between the President and that redneck. [President:] "Well I really think we need to increase our expenditures, and our taxes, and our debt--because of this, this, this, and that." [Redneck:] "That's a mighty argument you just presented, Mr. President. But the 12 bullets in my rifle disagree with you. All of these bullets are fiscal conservatives." [President:] "I don't think you understand. I'm the President." [Redneck:] "I don't think you understand. I'm a crazy, angry redneck holding a rifle. I'm the fourth branch of government. You got veto power. I've got a veto of your veto. Also keep in mind that I'm off of my medication. You say one more word, and there's gonna be a shotgun impeachment."