Reliable Source of Tax Revenue – Consumption vs Income

One question that first concerned me about the FairTax was what happens when people reduce their spending? Since the FairTax is collected on retail sales and services would it generate enough revenue to keep the federal government running when people cut back on their spending during tougher economic times? What I learned in educating myself regarding the FairTax is that spending is actually a more reliable source of revenue for the federal government than is income.

During good economic times lots of people have jobs and everyone spends. But, when times get tough fewer people have jobs. Those who lose their job or are downsized pay less or no income taxes. However, everyone still spends even if they are spending less. And, by collecting the tax at the point of retail sales and service those visiting the U.S. from other countries are contributing to its tax base.

Our Country is in the midst of some pretty turbulent economic times, and the answer from many in Washington is simply to raise income taxes on U.S. citizens. But, imagine what would happen if every visitor to our Country were also paying taxes, every undocumented worker were paying taxes, every person in underground economies was paying taxes with each purchase. The FairTax is not about reducing tax revenue, or even reducing taxes. It’s about spreading the tax base fairly and evenly, and making our tax system transparent and responsible.

The common refrain for several years has been, “It’s a good idea, but it will never happen.” The FairTax is a good idea, and it’s an idea whose time has come. Please investigate the idea of the FairTax. If it makes sense to you, educate yourself on the legislative bill, H.R. 25. And finally, take steps to help effectuate its passage into law. It can happen; it will happen, but will it happen in time to arrest the crumbling of our republic?

Use Onions to Prevent Flu

Oh-noo! Mr. Bill!
Oh-noo! Mr. Bill!

Life at the CowChows is a little stinky lately. You may not know this about me but I have a quirk, or two. One of my quirks is that I’m a bit of a germ-o-phobe. I’m not quite ready to don a surgical mask and gloves in public, but only because I can’t decide whether they should match my socks or my belt. But, being in the midst of cold and flu season I am always on the lookout for anything that might keep me and the Ladybug healthy. So naturally, the onion cure caught my interest.

Apparently, there are several supposedly true stories to support this. You cut onions in two and place the halves in bowls and place the bowls throughout your house. Somehow the onion absorbs the bacteria that cause cold, flu and other viruses. The onion will turn black as it absorbs these germs and then you just throw it away and slice another onion. One story describes placing a slice of onion on the bottom of each foot, covered with a new, white cotton sock. You do this at bedtime and in the morning your fever will be gone. I’m not sure why the socks have to be new, or white, or cotton, but if it works I’m not going to quibble.

So, as you can imagine the CowChows is pretty aromatic these days but then I got to thinking. If onions in the house protect me from germs in the house then wouldn’t it make sense to be protected outside the house, as well? Why wait until I bring the germs home to expose them to the cure? So, I went out and bought twenty pounds of onions and a big bag of new white cotton socks. I have to warn you, though, the onion slices are a little uncomfortable to walk on until you get them all squished up, but the extra arch support is kind of nice.

Then, I got to thinking about how far the germs have to travel to get to the onions. They enter through the nose or mouth and have to go all the way to the feet to get out. So, I thought I would give them a shortcut and I put onions in my pockets. Apparently, the cure is working because I haven’t been sick since I started using it and after a while you don’t really notice the smell so much. Plus, Ladybug says when I perspire I smell like a cheeseburger and who doesn’t like a big old juicy cheeseburger?

Yours in good health,

Tim Couch

Nature’s Plan

wasp-and-spiderAs daylight crept in through the western windows of the CowChows this morning I found myself in the midst of a life and death struggle. I stood at the window watching night slip away when sudden and frenzied activity caught my eye. A wasp was entangled in a spider’s web just outside the window pane.

I watched for a while as the wasp struggled with all his might to escape the silken threads; his wings beat the air; he twisted and grasped for purchase but could reach nothing solid. The spider crept close but stayed safely away. He reached out one slender arm, tentatively touched the struggling wasp, and then retreated to safety. The wasp was several times the size of the spider but he had no defense against the sticky strands that bound him, and the spider had only to wait.

What should I do? Should I leave the wasp to his fate, or interfere and rescue him? The laws of nature would have me leave him to the spider. After all, spider’s have to eat, too. But, my own nature called for me to spare his life. What chain of events might I set off if I were to interfere with nature’s plan, or was there no real plan but only a careless wasp and a lucky spider?

I watched as the wasp grew tired, and finally still. The spider, too, watched and waited. Finally, I could deny my own nature no longer and I slipped out onto the porch. I took a stick and reached it out to the exhausted wasp. He grasped it and clung to it as I pulled him from certain death. I lowered him onto the porch rail where he staggered to his feet. Remnants of the web clung to him and dragged him down, and he collapsed there on the porch rail unable to go on.

I stepped close, and gently and carefully began to pull the tangled strands from his motionless body. Perhaps after some rest he would revive and fly away. As I pulled the last of the spider’s web from his tiny feet, the little bastard stung me!

I guess nature had a plan after all.

Best Regards,

Tim Couch

What Japanese Beetles?

Japanese Beetles on a tasty green leaf
Japanese Beetles on a tasty green leaf

One of the great things about living in the Ozarks is the constant changing of seasons. It seems like only a few days ago we were in the throes of ice-storm season, and then came allergen season, and of course thunderstorm season, and now we’re in the midst of Japanese beetle season.

If your house has not yet been overrun and your plants devoured by Japanese beetles it means one of two things. Either you have the crappiest tasting plants in your neighborhood, or you have a neighbor like me.

Here at the CowChows we try to get along with everybody, but when the Japanese beetles began eating the green off our shutters it was time to take action. We thought about insecticide but couldn’t find one that kills only Japanese beetles. I tried going around squishing them but that quickly turned into a fulltime job. And then we heard about these nifty “Japanese Beetle Traps.” What could be better than that? You hang up this plastic bag with a little scented lure; all the beetles do a Hotel California conga into the bag, and no other bugs get hurt. It sounded perfect so we bought a bunch of them and hung them up all around the place.

There’s just one little problem with this solution. It works too well. All the beetles for miles around were magically drawn to our yard. We had bags full of them, and then trash bags full of those bags, And then, under the summer sun they began to rot and stink until our neighbors began to complain about the stench and when we said, “It’s the Japanese beetles,” they said, “What Japanese beetles?”

Turns out we had solved the Japanese beetle problem for everyone around us. While we were doing battle with these voracious little devils our neighbors thought we had developed a hygiene problem. That’s when I realized I was doing it all wrong. So, I gathered up all the lures and went for a walk around the neighborhood. Now when one of my neighbors complains about the Japanese beetles I just smile and say, “What Japanese beetles?” Life is good here at the CowChows.

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch