Tags: The | Payroll | Tax | Holiday | Fraud

The Payroll Tax Holiday Fraud

Tuesday, 08 January 2002 12:00 AM

Democrats are back at it – suggesting a one-month break from payroll taxes. This means one month in which Social Security and Medicare taxes would not be deducted from your paycheck. This is touted as some sort of economic stimulus plan. The latest proponent is Missouri's accidental senator, Jean Carnahan.

First – there is no economic stimulus in this plan. To stimulate the economy you stimulate the people who drive our economy. You try to change their behavior to cause them to engage in more investment and business activity. There is nothing in a one-month payroll tax holiday that is going to cause anyone to change his or her behavior.

Now – to the wee bit of class warfare that is imbedded in this "payroll tax holiday" plan.

The proponents of this plan – mostly Democrats – would have you believe that all wage earners will have their Social Security taxes reduced by one month's worth of deductions. Not true. The only people who will get a break on Social Security taxes are those who earn less than the Social Security earnings limit.

I'm not sure of the exact limit right now, but I think it's around $88,000. Once your earnings exceed this amount you stop paying Social Security taxes.

So – if you make less than $88,000 a year you will, indeed, save money. If you make more than $88,000 a year you will have your taxes delayed, not reduced. If you would normally stop paying taxes in, say, October, you would now pay them through November.

I just wanted you to realize that this Democratic plan is yet another tax cut, so to speak, that is aimed at the lower-income levels that tend to vote Democratic. The higher achievers get nothing.

That name's familiar, isn't it? But just where have you heard it before? Here's a hint: "To hell with you, I'm gone!"

Yup, that's him. The jerk who ran down the up escalator at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport about a month ago, thus inconveniencing over 10,000 air travelers and costing the airlines in the millions of dollars.

We haven't heard much about Lasseter lately. I wonder if he and his lawyers have managed to grease the skids – to get him out of this mess with a small fine and some probation.

I did a bit on CNN's TalkBack Live yesterday afternoon. It was just a part of the media attention being paid to that idiot teenager Charles Bishop, who flew a small airplane into a Tampa office building over the weekend. This has been THE major story on network and cable television news since it happened.

Yes, this is a big deal to me. Aviation is my hobby and passion. If you listen to my show or read my program notes, this will not have escaped you. Rush loves to talk about football. I love to talk about aviation. I recognize that there are far more football fans out there than there are aviation enthusiasts, so I try (though sometimes it's hard) to set the subject aside.

It's hard right now to set this all aside. The hysteria of the press and the lack of information on the part of the general public now constitutes a significant threat to the future of general aviation.

It should come as no surprise to you that there are a significant number of people out there who, you might say, don't exactly like me. The reasons are varied, but usually it's because I espouse ideas and positions on the air that they disagree with.

I make no small number of people very uncomfortable with my oft-stated belief that each of us is where we are today not because of what other people have done to us, but because of what we have done to ourselves through our decision-making processes. You should see some of the e-mail I get from these people. Here's an example:

What are we to do? Ban anything that can possibly be used as a weapon once it falls into the hands of some demented individual?

Every single motor vehicle out there is a potential weapon that could be used to commit multiple murders. Take one car or truck – and one crowded sidewalk in any major city – and you have more deadly and destructive potential than you do with a small airplane flying into an office building.

Another listener sent me a very interesting e-mail this morning. It contained a thought on security – your personal security, your personal safety. He said that you are only as safe and secure as those people around you want you to be. Not one bit safer.

Do I think things can be done to make general aviation and small airplanes safer? Absolutely! The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has come up with some great ideas. But the only sure way to make people safe from small airplanes is to destroy all airplanes, just as the only way to make pedestrians safe from cars is to ban cars near pedestrians.

The problem here is that the private aircraft owners and pilots are a rather small portion of the population. Easily envied and easily targeted for punitive actions.

There are only 600,000 or so licensed pilots in this country. There are around 200,000 small airplanes. It's tough for a group this small to defend itself against the ill-informed hysteria of the media (see the next item) and the fears of an uninformed public.

If true security is your goal, just remember: True security from the actions of other human beings can be found only in complete isolation. That's not an option for most of us.

I heard this many times last night – and again this morning on the news broadcasts. Anxious and breathless reporters and anchors telling us that the Cessna being flown by the demented teenager passed about 1,000 feet over a commercial airliner.

Sounds pretty dangerous, right?

Well – here's the rest of the story. The standard vertical separation between aircraft in IMC conditions – that's on instruments and in the clouds, where you can't see anything – is 1,000 feet. In other words, that 1,000-foot vertical separation is perfectly normal. Happens all the time.

Do you think there is one single reporter or news anchor out there who bothered to research this particular point?

Yeah, right.

Today Elvis Presley would have been 67 years old. That's "would have" – if he hadn't become a bloated drug abuser.

I can't tell you how little interest I have in Michael Jordan's divorce.

The A-Team – Mr. T not withstanding – is the nickname given to a group of Green Berets that went into Afghanistan and were given credit for killing over 1,300 Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. They were instrumental in directing bombers where to drop.

The handful of special forces were not particularly liked by the Northern Alliance at first. They seemed to think of them as intruders until they proved themselves. That opportunity presented itself on Oct. 28.

The Green Berets directed a B-52 bomber in on the target and it dropped its full load of 2,000-pound bombs. One of the Americans said that the bombs "lifted the whole top of the hill two feet in the air." That impressed the alliance.

"They were slapping us on the back. It seemed like the more accurate the bombing, the better they fed us."

It also sounds like the Taliban/al-Qaeda fighters needed several changes of underwear that day. One of the Green Berets described the U.S. strategy as "You bomb one side of a hill and push them in one direction, then bomb the next hill over and push guys the other way. Then, when they're all bunched up, you bring in more planes and drop right on them. Eventually they learn, but then you start doing something else.

"Our mission is not necessarily to outfight the enemy," he added. "We would rather out-think them."

As impressive as our military has been, it sounds like that wasn't a particularly difficult task. You know, our efforts in the Gulf War were nothing short of amazing, but our fighting men and women just keep getting better and better.

The more I hear about the campaign in Afghanistan, the more impressed I am. It's nothing short of amazing.

There's a new weapon for the military that will be in use in a few years. According to a spokesman, it will bring the precision of guided bombs and cruise missiles to the infantry.

"We're bringing air warfare to the ground," he said. The weapon is a new kind of "rifle," for lack of a better term, although it is described as "the difference between a bow and arrow and a modern rifle."

It will fire "smart bullets," a smaller counterpart of smart bombs. The official name is "Objective Individual Combat Weapon System," or OICW, and it has some pretty amazing capabilities – as well as a pretty amazing price tag ($32,000 a pop – well worth it if it lives up to the claims).

"It's the closest thing you'll get to bullets going around corners," said Barbara Muldowney, the OICW assistant product manager for the U.S. Army's Pickatinny Arsenal in New Jersey.

Along with the standard 5.56-mm projectiles, the OICW will shoot 20-mm explosive rounds containing miniaturized electronics that can detonate the ammunition in midair. That means a soldier shooting the OICW doesn't have to hit his target to hit his target, so to speak. Instead, he can cause an explosion behind the target – and behind or above the barrier the target is hiding behind.

So, instead of having to score a bull's-eye to kill a bad guy, a marksman only has to make sure the target's in the blast radius, the exact measurement of which is classified. Unless the target is protected by a strong-enough wraparound shield, the OICW will make many obstacles irrelevant.

Things are not looking good for Yassir Arafat. After a series of suicide bombings in Israel over the holidays, he came off looking like he was either totally incompetent or lying through his teeth. Add that to being ugly. The Israelis took the opportunity to label him "irrelevant," effectively making him so on the world stage.

Yassir arrested some people and called for a cease-fire, but shortly after, the Israeli SEALs captured a ship carrying 50 tons of weapons, which they claimed was a Palestinian vessel.

Arafat denied any knowledge of it, but yesterday the captain of the ship admitted to the news media that he was recruited by an Arafat right-hand man to take the ship, pick up the cargo, and deliver it to the Palestinians.

Once again Arafat comes off looking like either a buffoon or a liar. It appears his days as head of the Palestinians are numbered, unless he somehow has the political savvy he's been sorely lacking the past several years. I guess it's possible, but I seriously doubt it.

Linda Bowles has a wonderful column describing the leftists' goals and the way in which they plan to achieve them – incrementalism. In it, she quotes Ayn Rand – one of my favorite authors, but a weird woman nonetheless.


As I pointed out yesterday, George Bush was grammatically wrong with his "not over my dead body" line, but I have to admit the man is fighting this one.

Tom Daschle gave his opening-round speech on the economy Friday, and Bush came out swinging on Saturday ... to the point where even Democrats like Dianne Feinstein were distancing themselves from Daschle on the Sunday talking heads shows.

Bush was again on the offensive yesterday with his very publicized meeting on the economy, which included Alan Greenspan. He all but ridiculed the Daschle take on the economy and came off looking very strong. Even the media seem to be shying away from the majority leader.

It's good to see that the Republicans were not caught napping on this one. Let's hope they don't trip.

You might remember that a year or so ago the San Diego City Council passed a resolution banning the use of the word "minority" in city documents and council deliberations. Interestingly enough, shortly after this resolution was passed we learned that whites had become the minority of the city population.

The lesson was clear. As long as blacks were in the minority it was OK to use the word. As soon as whites became the minority the word was banned. It would have been amusing if it wasn't so transparently pathetic.

Well ... now we have Boston, Mass. The Boston City Council has actually approved – by a 12-0 vote – a measure banning the use of the word "minority" in city documents. The council says that the word has become pejorative.

Charles Yancey is the president of the council. He says that the word "minority" is, or soon will be, politically incorrect. He predicts linguistic extinction in a few years.

Looks like we're going to need another word for "minority" soon. Maybe Jesse Jackson can come up with one for us.

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Democrats are back at it - suggesting a one-month break from payroll taxes.This means one month in which Social Security and Medicare taxes would not be deducted from your paycheck.This is touted as some sort of economic stimulus plan.The latest proponent is...
Tuesday, 08 January 2002 12:00 AM
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