Wednesday, November 23, 2011
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENIN’ – WEDNESDAY EDITION
+ Don’t forget to check out the NOVEMBER issue of LOIS.
+ The idiots in Congress have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they are not just idiots but totally f**king useless as well – they can’t get a damned thing done (except, as John Stewart pointed out on a recent DAILY SHOW, vote to make school lunches less healthy).
The failure of the “super-committee” – unable to agree on anything after three full months of “talks” – is the latest example of the uselessness of the idiots in Congress.
The consequences have already begun. BANKS.COM reported that –
“The failure of the congressional debt committee to reach a deficit reduction agreement sent the markets into a nosedive with the Dow collapsing 300 points to 11,495. Nasdaq sank 59 points to 2512.”
Alan Silverleib provides a good review of the situation at CNN.COM in “Analysis: Super Committee Reflects Our Own Super Failure” (the highlight is mine) -
"The failure of the super committee is not just a failure of 12 members of Congress, who I believe genuinely tried to cut a deal but were rebuffed by their party leaders. It is a failure of political leadership on both sides of the partisan aisle," said Brown University political scientist Wendy Schiller.
"Both parties chose their own electoral livelihoods over the good of the country, and it is outright shameful. ... This might be the most self-serving, mediocre and uncaring set of legislators in Congress in the last 50 years."
Alan adds – “don't forget to leave room on the bus for the American public. Americans voted them into office”.
When it comes to the idiots in Congress Kay Bell has the perfect bottom line in her week-end post “Death of Super Committee Deficit Deal Expected as Soon as Monday“ (highlight is mine) –
“To paraphrase a line from another classic holiday tale that gets replayed year after year, God help us everyone.”
+ Trish McIntire has some insight on the method for the madness of the idiots in Congress and offers a good suggestion in “First Things First” at OUR TAXING TIMES.
+ Howard Gleckman lists “Five Reasons Why the Deficit Super Committee Failed” at the Tax Policy Center’s TAXVOX blog. I especially like reason #5 (the highlight is mine) -
“There was never a serious penalty for failure. If lawmakers really wanted to force action by the super committee, they would not have delayed the consequences of inaction ($1.5 trillion in automatic cuts) for more than a year. Imagine telling your teenager that if she doesn’t do her homework tonight she’ll be grounded—in 2013. As it is, weeks before the deficit panel flopped, powerful lawmakers were already talking about how they’d defuse those spending reductions—especially those targeted at the Pentagon.”
And Howard hits the nail on the head with his bottom line (again highlights are mine) –
“Much like the European Community over the past few years, Congress’ goal when it created this panel was not to resolve a fiscal mess, it was merely to buy time so it could avoid painfully tough choices. And it wasn’t looking to stall only until this Thanksgiving. It wanted to delay though the 2012 elections. And in that, at least, Congress succeeded gloriously.”
The members of Congress may be idiots, but they ain’t necessarily stupid.
+ Now here is an interesting tax question – another one that I have never been asked in my 40 tax seasons in the biz – what about “The Tax Consequences of Exorcism”? Prof Jim Maule gives his answer at MAULED AGAIN.
I agree with Jim’s analysis – including the possibility of a deduction for the cost of an exorcism along the same lines as was allowed for “a Navajo medicine man sing”.
As I say in my report “Itemized Deductions: A Complete Guide to Schedule A" –
“Neither the medical practitioner prescribing the treatment nor the method of treatment prescribed has to be American Medical Association approved or sanctioned to claim a tax deduction, as long as the practitioner and treatment are valid within the patient’s religious or cultural context.”
I wonder if an exorcist would help remove the “demons” within the idiots in Congress?
+ Over at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG Joe Kristan tells us "President Signs Into Law New Tax Breaks For Hiring (and Replacing) Veterans” and gives a good overview of the new credits included in the bill.
Joe also asks the question “Are these credits good tax policy?” His answer, the correct one, is (the highlight is mine) –
“No. Their inherent complexity and paperwork make it likely that many taxpayers will fail to claim the credit; it rewards having a good human resources function as much as it awards hiring veterans. I doubt that veterans need special help finding work -- their successful service alone is often a good signal to prospective employees. It seems insulting to lump veterans in the same code section as "qualified ex-felons." And Opportunistic taxpayers with good HR departments can even fire existing veterans and use the credits to hire their replacements.”
The above highlighted FU just adds to the proof that the members of Congress are idiots (are you sensing a theme to this BUZZ installment?).
Before I leave Joe – let me thank him for plugging my post on charitable contributions!
THE LAST WORD:
I do believe I have said enough about the idiots in Congress above. Something non-tax this installment.
The latest TWOT (total waste of time) from Adam Sandler was recently released – JERK AND JILL I think.
An excellent rule of thumb is to avoid any comedy that stars Adam Sandler.
The only thing that I can recall from Adam Sandler that was anywhere near actually being funny is his Hanukkah song. I do believe it is the only thing he has done that does not excessively reference bodily excretions and secretions.
Sandler’s films are, for the most part, targeted to 5th grade boys, or those whose mental development has not passed that of a 5th grade boy.
He actually had the “stones” to remake two iconic films of their time – MR DEEDS GOES TO TOWN and THE LONGEST YARD. In reviewing DEEDS one critic rightly observed, “Adam Sandler is to Gary Cooper what a gnat is to a racehorse”. And he is certainly no Burt Reynolds (I hear the only good thing in the remake was Burt Reynolds performance).
Actually a good rule of thumb is to avoid any movie that stars anyone from any SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE cast, except for those who appeared during the first two years and the early films of Eddie Murphy.