You may not have heard (if you’ve been in a coma since 1994), but our national debt is spiraling out of control. If you could imagine a fire hose spraying a stream of $100 bills instead of jets of water, that’s essentially the way our federal government pisses through money on an average day. If you’re having trouble staying awake at night, here is a number that might help: $233 billion. That’s not the latest national debt figure. Oh, no. That’s just the interest on it we pile up each year.
Won’t somebody come up with a plan to stop all the fiscal hemorrhaging? Anybody? Nobody? Okay, I guess it’s up to me to bail out America…. Again.
Last week, I shared Part I of my solution to our national debt problem. In this week’s thrilling conclusion, I solve it even more. So let’s get started, shall we?
Cape Canaveral – Kennedy Space Center: $11.5 billion. If you’re still a kid at heart, this one’s for you. Located on the pristine golden beaches of Central Florida’s Atlantic coast and just a two-hour drive from Disney World. Always wanted to be an astronaut? Now you can own a whole crew of them. Guess who gets to press the “Blast off” button at Mission Control? You do! Comes with a free ride on the next Space Shuttle Endeavour flight. (Fine print: Next scheduled Endeavour flight: 1st of Never.)
State of Alaska: $780 billion. Call the Last Frontier your home with this incredible once-in-a-lifetime bargain. See Russia from your house. Be the first among your friends to own your own state. Comes with tons of room to spread out all your stuff, not to mention access to our nation’s largest oil and natural gas pipeline. Stunning views of mountains, grizzly bears, bald eagles and hot ex-governors. Juneau what else? For just $20 billion more, we’ll even rename the state capitol after you. Flexible payment terms. Ask about our layaway plan.
US Interstate 80: $87.6 billion. If you thought you could “get your kicks on Route 66”, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Own a part of the world’s greatest highway network. The nation’s second longest interstate, I-80, runs from scenic California through the Nevada Dessert (where you can do 130 mph and the state troopers won’t hassle you) through the golden corn fields of Nebraska, before your journey ends at glamorous New York City. Continue reading “I have solved our nation’s debt problem – no need to thank me (Part 2 of 2)” »
Here’s a number that might scare you: $17,746,662,973. That’s almost 18 trillion dollars, give or take a few hundred billion. That’s the current estimate of our national debt according to the OMB (Office of Management and Budget).
Here’s a slightly smaller but equally frightening number: $1 million. That’s the amount our nation’s debt is expanding – per minute. The clock is ticking. Economic experts estimate that our national debt will increase by another $10 trillion in the next decade. And I thought I was bad about managing my money. I look like Ebenezer Scrooge compared to Uncle Sam.
Depressed? Don’t be. Because I have a brilliant solution to our nation’s debt crisis. And it doesn’t involve painful tax hikes, closing down your favorite park or eliminating daily delivery of your mail.
As many of you know, I (often imagine that I) am a highly sought-after, award-winning, Harvard-educated economist. I won’t drone on about my many notable achievements in the fields of econometrics or applied macro-economic asset price modeling theory (because I have no idea what those words mean). Suffice to say, I took both Econ-201 and Econ-202 Pass-Fail in my second year of college.
I have successfully balanced my personal checkbook 8 of the past 12 months. And I have completely paid off our family’s credit card debt on all but 5 of our 17 credit cards. I saved $4,000 by the time I was 18 years old by doing summer jobs, and I didn’t blow it all until late spring of my freshman year of college (hey, I needed a new stereo system). So when I say I have a solution for the nation’s debt crisis, I think my credentials speak for themselves.
Continue reading “I have solved our nation’s debt problem – no need to thank me (Part 1 of 2)” »
It seems like I’m paying more in income taxes every year. My tax preparer just completed my return and it appears that I owe more in taxes than I actually earned last year. Very discouraging. In full disclosure, my tax preparer was my college-age daughter. I’m thinking subtraction may not be her forte. But in her defense, she was tutored in math by her father.
Like most Americans – other than my brother Todd – I always pay my taxes. But I am concerned the government will just squander my taxes on unnecessary government boondoggle projects. I assure you, I am perfectly capable of squandering those funds on my own boondoggle projects with no help from Uncle Sam, thank you very much.
I read the other day that many of the largest Fortune 500 companies routinely claim so many business deductions and tax loopholes that they avoid paying any federal income tax at all. Apparently the key is to become a multi-billion dollar global enterprise with incriminating photos of a U.S. Senator having gay sex with an under-age intern or a sheep, and you won’t have to pay a dime. That seems totally unfair. The only incriminating photos I can get my hands on are a couple embarrassing selfies I took at last year’s company holiday party dressed as Gumby in drag.
I believe it’s time that we demand our government take drastic action to simplify the tax code. I’ve come up with a plan that will make it far easier for me to pay my fair share – which based on my rough calculations, comes to nineteen dollars and forty-seven cents (give or take a quarter). Under my plan the following items would become tax deductible expenses:
Continue reading “Tax deductions I’d like to see” »
I was recently astounded to read that the USA has more prisoners per capita than any other country in the world, easily surpassing #2 Russia. Did you know that the USA makes up just 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prisoners? All I can say is WAY TO GO, AMERICA!
We now have over 2 million Americans living in prison (several million more if you include New Jersey). The cause of the explosion in our inmate population over the past thirty years is primarily thanks to the incredible success of our War on Drugs, and only secondarily because of the many cast members of Jersey Shore who have served time.
A thoughtful examination of America’s War on Drugs leads to only one obvious conclusion: By any standard (other than reducing the level of our nation’s rampant drug abuse problem), this war has been an overwhelming success. The only thing left to do is hang a Mission Accomplished banner atop the fence along the U.S. – Mexican border.
Thanks to our impressive victory in the war on drugs, we have corralled thousands of our nation’s most dangerous habitually stoned South Park viewers and thrown them into the Graybar Hotel. Law-abiding Americans can now sleep safely, knowing they no longer have to fear that a deranged pothead might break into their home during a late night Harold and Kumar movie marathon in search of Doritos or other snack foods with dangerously unhealthy levels of high-fructose corn syrup.
Continue reading “Launching America’s next war: A War on Idiots” »
America is the world leader in most important categories: #1 in nuclear warheads, #1 in citizens incarcerated, and breaking into the top 50 in healthcare. We don’t look to Europe for solutions to our problems because those countries are a bunch of whiny, over-indulged socialist brie-eaters with funny accents. If there is one thing every patriotic American knows, it’s that socialism is pernicious and has no place in the American way of life.
That’s why our cherished Constitution forbids socialism to flourish anywhere within our borders – with the very narrow exceptions of our public schools, postal system, fire and police departments, interstate highway system, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, federal prisons, all state universities, most community colleges, Social Security Administration, National Guard, Coast Guard, public libraries, most local garbage collection services, the National Weather Service, and a few thousand other minor social service programs.
My point is, with a few isolated exceptions, the USA simply does not tolerate the tyranny of socializing our civil services (if you don’t count the folks at the Civil Service Administration). The mere mention of the word socialism stirs a visceral fear in the hair-trigger psyche of our proud democracy.
Socialism enslaves people through intrusive government over-regulation. Case in point: Canada’s socialized healthcare system. Ask any Canadian how they feel about their healthcare compared to ours. An astonishing 98%* of Canadians surveyed said they would gladly swap their healthcare system for ours (* if it was necessary to do so in order to get their child back from kidnappers).
Continue reading “When it comes to my healthcare, give me liberty and give me death!” »
After months of grueling, often intractable debates – at times marred by heated name calling on both sides – the two leading members of the Jones household budget Super Committee appear to have reached an eleventh hour compromise that will keep the family budget funded, at least for a few more months.
As the deadline for a solution to the budget crisis approached, both sides became further entrenched in their positions. On the brink of failure, the leadership on both sides blamed each other for their selfish intransigence and caving to special interest lobbyists.
The leading liberal on the super committee, Michele Jones, argued vociferously, “We have to raise revenues. I know the other side enjoys writing its humor blog week after week, but we will never be able to pay for college on a blogger’s income. It’s time to wake up and smell the Skinny Double Tall Latte.” Meanwhile, the leading fiscal conservative on the committee, Tim Jones (coincidentally Ms. Jones’ husband), argued, “In this economic climate, near term job creation is simply not a viable option. The only feasible solution is drastic budget cuts and serious entitlement reform – starting with the kids’ cell phone $40/month unlimited texting plans.”
Mr. Jones has pushed for a variety of drastic budget cuts to some very popular entitlement programs, including scrapping plans for the upcoming Hawaiian family vacation in February and next summer’s student exchange program in Italy for their younger daughter.
Continue reading “Household Budget Super Committee Reaches 11th Hour Compromise” »