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Saturday, April 29, 2006

It's bigger than all of us

An impossibly busy schedule (including an upcoming appearance at Candidates Gone Wild this Monday evening) has combined with other considerations to cause the Complete Internal Revenue Code Podcast Project to go on hiatus.

However, this important project continues to inspire others, even in its dormant state, and now our moving reading of one of the early tax code sections has been put to music, with spectacular results. As Neil Young says, there's no holding this back -- let's get it out there on the internet to the whole world right away. Go here for the mp3 file, and be transformed. As always, it's free. (Courtesy Tom Ono.)

Comments (6)

Will you ever get to the provision. if there be one, that says it is a federal crime for an IRS agent to lie?

A 2k loss in each of two years from stock trades can, via arbitrary assessment, be converted to 138K in tax liability and penalties.

Suppose that Ameritrade delivered info on both buys and sells, with the consent and at the direction of the gullible, to the IRS . . . would the IRS still plead ignorance to the existence of the buys and assert that the arbitrary-assessment-victim must have lied. "You must have something to hide" is all that the IRS guy hears in his head and blurts out reflexively. It is like clean money . . . Book-Em Dano . . . or we will be accused of not "just doing our job."

Being lazy just does not cross the mind of the IRS folks.

I was behind an Maserati Spyder with Ron Tonkin license plates yesterday (got picture too, as proof that they exist). It only costs 90K. Toss in an off-road hummer for 50K, to boot. (This "stone" must have one of each, I suppose.)

Ah, the power of just being a bureaucrat . . . a cog.

Will your reading clarify whether the standard deduction for the poor, with neither savings nor much income to speak of, should be raised to match the highest possible exclusion from taxation for retirement savings accounts for certain special folks, or roughly 135k per year? Is that rich persons "future" financial security of greater value than the poor slobs "present" and immediate living expense on essentials? Forget the future, what about TODAY!

Supplement your "busy work" in the tax code with analysis and critique. There is talk of "law and economics" but it is largely filled with tripe from cogs that are at best half-wits. It needs some vigor in the debate, as in unrestrained skepticism. Check out this Mother Jones piece by James K. Galbraith titled "The Predator State."

Economics, in historical contexts, was a discipline for semi-old farts with lots of accumulated knowledge to integrate . . . not like today with nutshell series style reductions of a few core phrases to guide all analysis, as if it were like the literalists approach to reading the bible . . . or the IRS code . . . or the constitution.

Give a humanistic perspective, not that of a robot. (I have not listened to your podcast yet so I really do not know if you have added color commentary to make it worthwhile and entertaining.)

I was blown away by the Section 5 remix. You could end up being the next big thing on the rave circuit Jack!!!

By the way, what in the world was that Ron guy talking about? Maseratis, Ameritrade, and literalist bible readings???

Could someone expand upon the comment "should be raised to match the highest possible exclusion from taxation for retirement savings accounts for certain special folks, or roughly 135k per year"?


How much can a "key employee" put into a retirement account in a given tax year? It looks like one rather large bit of disposable income to me. Are we to believe that they are being invited to avoid buying luxury goods?

If someone can craft a little bit of IRS code to define, but limit, this unusually large deduction for a very small set of taxpayers then it surely must also be OK, in terms of equity, to simply make it an option to anyone and everyone with income below that threshold.

It is like a standard deduction from the perspective of a "key employee" that had a salary of 500,000 dollars. They would have already met all their living expenses, and more, and then have this bit of extra cash that they would plan on saving anyway, without encouragement. The encouragement is not to save, for the sake of saving, but to direct that saving to a third party class of folks that offer investment services; and offer the benefit too of anti-alienation protection of such assets. If the limit were set at X for all then some investment services folks could not tap into this pool of savings dollars in the hands of some high income folks.

It is an example of gross inequity in the code, but with an arguably equitably-neutral explanation for its' existence.

I'll be at CGW too - as a volunteer. (Dude, I just got a call from them as I was typing this post - how bizarre?!?) Anyhow, is there any hope that you'll be resurrecting your rapper costume for the event?

Jack's been Fark'd. Yes, that's a compliment.


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