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Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the July 27, 2017 edition of Tidbits          
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

How Your Federal Tax Dollars are Spent ---

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $20+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- 
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" ---
One worry is that nations holding trillions of dollars invested in USA debt are dependent upon sales of oil and gas to sustain those investments.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted entitlements) ---
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---


Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it's been fertilized with more bullshit.


Shoot for the space in between, because that's where the real mystery lies.
Vera Rubin


Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley
Even conversations that are not politically correct.

Why, we grow rusty and you catch us at the very point of decadence --- by this time tomorrow we may have forgotten everything we ever knew. That's a thought isn't it? We'd be back to where we started --- improvising.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Act I)

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth, Historic Home Run Hitter
What's sad is to witness what Syria has become because nobody will give up.

And "because they're nonstate actors, it's hard for us to get the satisfaction of [Gen.] MacArthur and the [Japanese] Emperor [Hirohito] meeting and the war officially being over," Obama observed, referencing the end of World War II. 
President Barack Obama when asked if the USA of the future will be perpetually engaged in war.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. 
Joseph Campbell

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. 
George S. Patton

If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
Yogi Berra

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau


California Requires Solar Panels on All Homes and Windmills on All Farms
Jensen Comment
Power greedy Californians don't seem to mind that millions of windmills will eradicate wild birds in the rural parts of their state.
This bill stands a good chance of being unconstitutional. But much depends upon the makeup of the state and federal Supreme Courts.

Years of Dishonesty Cost the GOP ---

California Still Facing Pension Crisis Even With Good Stock Market Returns ---

Heather Mac Donald ---
Claremont McKenna announces five suspensions for students who prevented an audience from hearing Heather Mac Donald, an author whose views on criminal justice they call racist ---
Jensen Comment
Middlebury College punished 67 students with hand slaps (no suspensions) for blocking Heather Mac Donald's speech on campus, including virtually no punishment for physically assaulting and injuring a faculty member.

Colleges Are to Blame for the Contempt in Which They’re Held ---
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 12, 2017

A study from Ball State University reports that a quarter of U.S. jobs are vulnerable to offshoring, but the stunning statistic is an estimate that half of net business formation in the United States since the recession has happened in 0.64 percent of U.S. counties. That’s 20 of the 3,100 U.S. counties.

California wants to spend $3+ billion more to help wealthy people by luxury Teslas ---
That's in addition to the subsidies already given to Tesla buyers by Washington DC
Poor people don't buy electric cars since the only buyers of electric cars also have at least one other car for longer distance driving.

Scotland sets renewable energy record as wind power provides enough energy to power 3 million homes ---
Jensen Comment
Scotland does more than the USA to protect its birds from windmills
However, some bird lovers argue that neither Scotland nor the USA is doing enough to protect birds and bats

In an entire year, all the existing lithium battery factories in the world combined manufacture only enough capacity to store 100 billion Watt-hours (Wh) of electricity. But the USA alone uses 100 times this capacity: more than 10,000 billion Wh per day. Worldwide humanity uses over 50,000 billion Wh daily. Focusing on solar power, that means storing electricity for 12 hours a day – to power homes and businesses around the globe for the 12 hours per day that photovoltaic systems will generate power each sunny day in the 100% solar world of the utopian future – would require 25,000 billion Watt-hours of battery power (ignoring future electricity needs to recharge electric vehicle batteries).

In the last two years over half of German companies have been hit by sabotage --- 

Record cold across South America decimating crops. Hundreds of thousands lose power ---

Hillary, don’t Blame Comey or Russia, ‘Blame Yourself’
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ---

Do Taxes Affect Marriage? Lessons From History ---

U.S. auto manufacturers this year made more cars in Mexico, despite President Donald Trump putting pressure on them to create jobs North of the border, write Mike Colias and Chester Dawson.  A move to produce to popular sport-utility vehicles at Mexican factories resulted in a 16% increase in overall production of light vehicles in Mexico during the first six months of the year, compared to the same period in 2016. One in five cars built in the North American Free Trade Agreement zone comes from Mexico, according to data by Auto manufacturing will be a central point for new talks between the Trump administration and Canada and Mexico, scheduled for August.



They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There's only one step down from here, baby,
It's called the land of permanent bliss. 
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Bob Dylan

Well, the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in

Bob Dylan

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son
And what did you see, my darling young one
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Bob Dylan

Hear Bob Dylan’s Newly-Released Nobel Lecture: A Meditation on Music, Literature & Lyrics ---

Patti Smith Sings Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rains Gonna Fall” at Nobel Prize Ceremony & Gets a Case of the Nerves ---

Who Pays USA Taxes?

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

Negative Correlation Between High State Tax Bites and State Fiscal Condition

Ranking States by Fiscal Condition ---


USA vs. Europe:  The Legal Costs of Banks Behaving Badly ---


Authors on Freakonomics ---

Good intentions are nice, but with so many resources poured into social programs, wouldn’t it be even nicer to know what actually works?
Freakonomics Podcast, July 12, 2017

Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “When Helping Hurts.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.)

Good intentions are nice, but with so many resources poured into social programs, wouldn’t it be even nicer to know what actually works?

Below is a transcript of the episode, modified for your reading pleasure. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post. And you’ll find credits for the music in the episode noted within the transcript.

*      *      *

In our previous episode, we looked at a study that explored the links between jobs and family structure. The findings were surprising and, frankly, a little bit depressing. It turns out that the fracking boom, which has provided a lot of good jobs for less-educated men, also led to a mini-baby boom. As economics would predict. People tend to have more kids when their financial circumstances are solid. But economics would also predict that when people’s financial circumstances improve, they’re more likely to form families – not just have babies. But that did not happen. About 40 percent of the babies born in the U.S. these days are born to unmarried mothers – a huge increase over the past few decades. Coming into the fracking study, the researchers had suspected, and hoped, that good jobs would lead to more stable families. It didn’t.

And as you likely know, kids born into less-stable families are at much higher risk for bad outcomes in life – education, health, income, you name it. So the next question becomes: if more and more of these at-risk kids are being born, how can society best help them? That’s what today’s episode is about. We’ll begin, briefly, in Los Angeles

Continued in article

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2)
Freakonomics, June 22, 2017

How Stupid Is Our Obsession With Lawns?
Freakonomics, May 31, 2017

Are the Rich Really Less Generous Than the Poor?
Freakonomics, May 24, 2017

There’s A War On Sugar. Is It Justified?
Freakonomics, April 26, 2017

In pursuit of a more perfect economy, we discuss the future of work; the toxic remnants of colonization; and whether giving everyone a basic income would be genius — or maybe the worst idea ever.
Freakonomics, April 19, 2017

Did China Eat America's Jobs?
Freakonomics, January 25, 2017


Who Pays USA Taxes?

Jensen Comment
There also is controversy regarding how to define a "tax." Social Security funding was probably not a "tax" as originally designed and implemented by FDR in the 1930s. It was more like a pension system where payments into the system were forced savings that participants cashed in on in their senior years. Over the years it became more of a tax as Congress added benefits for the disabled (at any age who sometimes pay zero into the stystem), dependents of military killed in service, etc.

Are "profits" from government enterprises a form of taxation if they benefit the public sector at the expense of the private sector? For example, revenues flowing into the government from patents and royalties in some sense deprive the private sector of those "profits." There are huge gray zones such as when when Indiana University benefits from the sale of every tube of Crest tooth paste or when the University of Texas benefits from the sale of every gallon of oil and gas from its oil wells. The National Parks receive considerable revenue from the operation of hotels and restaurants as well as the charging of admission fees. This is often not viewed as "taxation" since only those that directly benefit from the services pay the fees. Non-users pay no such fees.

Deloitte Scraps Its Diversity Groups ---

July 25, 2017 message from Dennis Huber

Abuse of the tax benefits of conservation easements has reached a fever pitch as easement donations are now syndicated at multiples of nine to one and above.  Put $100,000 into the syndication black box and take out a charitable contribution of $900,000 a year or two later. And wrap yourself in a green flag to defend the travesty.




How a pain-in-the-neck girl from rural Virginia came to run the most powerful (and richest) university in the world.---

California Still Facing Pension Crisis Even With Good Stock Market Returns ---

Jensen Comment
Until recently California used highly deceptive accounting practices to intentionally hide government debt ---
"Budget Deception: Weird Accounting Diminishes Accountability," Jon Coupal, June 12, 2016 ---

. . .

David Crane is a Lecturer in Public Policy at Stanford University and President of Govern For California who has written extensively on California’s deceptive accounting practices. He points out that proper accounting could have stopped the largest non-voter-approved debt issuance in California history. That 1999 debt was not a bond. Rather, it was retroactive pension increase for state employees. Had that cost been “booked” the way businesses account for future liabilities, the legislature may very well have thought twice about undertaking such a huge financial burden.

The good news is that the days of deceptive government accounting may be numbered. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has, for the last several years, been forcing government entities to finally begin reporting pension obligations and “Other Post-Employment Benefits” (OPEBs) in a way that is both more honest and transparent. Also, the California Legislature now has as a member Senator John Moorlach, a no-nonsense accountant who predicted the Orange County bankruptcy several years ago. He, like Crane, is shining a light on California’s budgetary shenanigans. With a looming downturn in the economy, this enhanced transparency will be critical.

How to Mislead With Statistics (Possibly?)

RANKED: The UK degrees where graduates earn the highest salaries ---

Jensen Comment
I have all sorts of questions about these rankings.

Firstly, it's not clear to me how the term "graduates" is defined. For example a job in "law" typically requires post-graduate studies in comparison with a job in "computer science."

Secondly, some careers require certification such as the certification of being a a "lawyer" or a "chartered" accountant. Are brain surgeon graduates in England really paid less than new graduates in English literature? I seriously doubt that!

Thirdly, salaries usually vary with cost of living such as when a computer science graduate might prefer a lower salary in Lancaster than in London due to such things as housing costs.

Fourthly, how are the unemployed factored into the reporting of outcomes? Fore example, the salary data looks fairly good for graduates in English literature, psychology, and chemistry, but how are those graduates who could not find jobs in those disciplines accounted for in the study? For example, in the USA graduates in "English Language and Literature" are ranked among the ten worst credentials for finding jobs ---
My hunch is that there are a lot of English literature graduates waiting on tables in English restaurants, especially those who did not graduate from Oxrford or Cambridge.

Fifthly, graduates should be encouraged to look at career potential rather than starting salaries. Some jobs with high starting salaries are dead ends.

In the USA
"10 jobs with the best salary potential," Jada A. Graves, US News & World Report, February 3, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
Keep in mind when reading the article below that the State of Washington is one of a nine states in the USA without either an income tax or a very limited income tax.
Note the map at

Seattle's Income Tax Is Almost Certainly Illegal (unconstitutional) ---

List of Cities in the USA that levy income taxes ---

Jensen Comment
I suspect that income earned in the above cities is taxed even if the taxpayers reside outside the city limits, which is also how state income taxes work for non-residents. There are controversial gray zones where sports team players (think the Seattle Seahawks) are taxed when they play in jurisdictions with income taxes even when their employers are located in states without income taxes. Players must cringe when a lucrative playoff game is scheduled a jurisdiction with income taxes.

I've been given lecture honoraria in some universities where the state withheld a portion for state income taxes even though I resided in states (Florida, Texas, and New Hampshire) without income taxes.

The advantage of being a non-resident in a city or state with an income tax is that income earned outside the city or state may not be taxed. For example, a friend of mine was a Harvard professor who paid a Massachusetts income tax on his Harvard Salary. However, his total annual  income was much, much higher due to book royalties that were not taxed by Massachusetts because his home was in New Hampshire where such income is not taxed. High city income taxes drive high income folks (think wealthy retirees) to move out of a city or state. This, in addition to weather, leads to the mass migration of retirees in New York City to retire in Florida.


Heather Mac Donald ---
Claremont McKenna announces five suspensions for students who prevented an audience from hearing Heather Mac Donald, an author whose views on criminal justice they call racist ---
Jensen Comment
Middlebury College punished 67 students with hand slaps (no suspensions) for blocking Heather Mac Donald's speech on campus, including virtually no punishment for physically assaulting and injuring a faculty member.

Colleges Are to Blame for the Contempt in Which They’re Held ---
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 12, 2017

The Chronicle’s story about the new Pew Research Center survey on American attitudes toward higher education displays a photo of Middlebury College students turning their backs on Charles Murray at the March 2 protest that culminated in assaults on Murray and Professor Allison Stanger.

The photo deftly captures the essence of the Pew report. The survey of 2,504 adults found a dramatic shift in the percentage of Republicans who see colleges and universities having "a positive effect on the way things are going in the country." The finding has been widely reported: In just two years, Republicans have flipped from a majority (54 percent) saying higher education has a positive effect on the country, to a majority (58 percent) saying the opposite.

I am heartened by the news. It has taken a lot to break through the complacency of these voters. In my role as head of the National Association of Scholars, I’ve given speeches at countless grassroots events, written or published hundreds of articles, and spent hours on talk radio in an effort to persuade ordinary Americans that something is terribly amiss in higher education. The Pew survey suggests that at least some people have begun to listen.

Of course, the real credit for this turnaround goes to those students at Middlebury and their counterparts at dozens of other colleges and universities. It goes to Melissa Click, the professor who was caught on video saying, "I need some muscle over here!" to expel a student reporter from a protest at the University of Missouri in November 2015. And it goes to college presidents such as Hiram Chodosh, at Claremont McKenna; Peter Salovey, at Yale; and Laurie Patton, at Middlebury whose fecklessness in the face of students’ outrageous violations of the norms of the academic community has shaken public confidence in higher education’s basic ability to provide an environment where ideas can be freely debated.

I wouldn’t want to leave out the debt to Kate Aronoff, the student leader at Swarthmore College whose activist group, Mountain Justice, took over a board meeting. Swarthmore’s president at the time, Rebecca Chopp, later called for dialogue, to which Ms. Aronoff replied by way of headline, "F*** Your Constructive Dialogue." [Asterisks are mine.]

That was in May 2013, and while I doubt that many of the Pew responders called it to mind, it was a key moment in the breaking of the dams that had restrained the self-indulgent crudity and swinishness of students who impose their own views on their communities. President Chopp’s half-hapless, half-obliging handling of the situation was also a forerunner of the behavior of the throng of college presidents who make an art form of acquiescence.

My thanks to all the social-justice warriors, race hustlers, faculty ideologues, and administrative enablers who have brought about this change in public opinion. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment

I think the biggest problem is that in the colleges and universities the public perception has been one of grade inflation where the median grade in the USA moved over several decades from a C+ to an A- where student evaluations drove down the academic standards of chickenshi* faculty worried about tenure and performance evaluations ---

Political correctness restraints on free speech, curriculum, and hiring of faculty also drove conservatives to perceive the "Closing of the American Mind" on campuses dominated by liberal faculty and administrations.

Allan Bloom's 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind ---


Political Correctness and Safe Spaces:  Tread Carefully with the Socratic Method ---


Bob Jensen's threads on how political correctness took over college campuses and curricula ---


Political Correctness and Safe Spaces:  Tread Carefully with the Socratic Method ---

Bob Jensen's threads on political correctness on college campuses ---

What Married Couples Need to Know About Social Security ---
10 Ways to Increase Your Social Security Payments ---

Finding and Using Health Statistics ---

Tapper:  Democrats' Obamacare Pitch Was Dishonest ---
Jake Tapper, CNN


Medicare Fraud is Rampant ---

More Than 400 People (many physicians) Charged for $1.3 Billion in Medicaid and Medicare Fraud ---


Bob Jensen's health care messaging ---

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives --- 

Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Summary of Major Accounting Scandals ---

Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:

Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---

Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Enron ---

Rotten to the Core ---

American History of Fraud ---

Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at 


Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

·     With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier

·     With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams

·     With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR

·     With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  ---
By Bob Jensen

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging

Bob Jensen's threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page ---