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Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the May 31, 2018 edition of Tidbits          
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

In September 2017 the USA National Debt exceeded $20 trillion for the first time ---

Human Population Over Time on Earth --- 

State Income Taxes Ranked From Highest to Lowest

The Federal budget for 2017 ---

Jensen Comment
Note that even before the 2018 corporate tax cuts the corporate income tax has been a shrinking part of the Federal budget of the most recent decades. I've long been an advocate of replacing it with a VAT tax but liberals and conservatives alike hate that idea.

Medicare and Medicaid are the least sustainable entitlements predicted for the future.

Interest on government debt is a huge worry since foreign interests (think China and the oil-rich nations of the Middle East) own so much of it with the threat that one day these large investors will stop rolling over their investments in USA debt.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $20+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- 
In 2018 Foreigners (think Asia and the Middle East) May Be Losing Interest in USA Treasuries ---
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 ---

How Americans Get Health Insurance ---

Here are the Ten Best Pieces of Advice from 2018 Commencement Speakers ---
Click Here


The Best Advice from 2018's Celebrity Commencement Speakers ---


Eight Science Quotations from Commencement Speeches


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


The Lucretius Problem is a mental defect where we assume the worst case event that has happened is the worst case event that can happen ---


The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.


How many times have we heard ‘free tuition,’ ‘free health care,’ and free you-name-it? If a particular good or service is truly free, we can have as much of it as we want without the sacrifice of other goods or services. Take a ‘free’ library; is it really free? The answer is no. Had the library not been built, that $50 million could have purchased something else. That something else sacrificed is the cost of the library. While users of the library might pay a zero price, zero price and free are not one and the same. So when politicians talk about providing something free, ask them to identify the beneficent Santa Claus or tooth fairy.
Walter Williams


Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
Eric Hoffer.


The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
Winston Churchill


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

In honor of his centennial, the Top 10 Feynman quotations ---

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

I have lots of ideas . . . I always have more ideas than I can possibly write about.” So he prays for discernment about what ideas to pursue and what ideas to let die. And increasingly, over the last three or four years, I pray more and more that God would teach me when it’s time to shut up. That’s the thing that I’m least good at. Just shutting up.
Alan Jacobs

Magazines haven’t raised their rates since the 1950s. Even New Yorker staff writers typically don’t get health insurance ...

The enemy is fear
We think it's hate
But, it's fear


That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
Thomas Jefferson

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

And many writers have imagined for themselves republics and principalities that have never been seen or known to exist in reality; for there is such a gap between how one lives and how one ought to live that anyone who abandons what is done for what ought to be done learns his ruin rather than his preservation: for a man who wishes to profess goodness at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good.
Niccolo Machiavelli

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

You can get a lot farther with a smile and a gun than you can with just a smile.
Al Capone

Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.
Teddy Roosevelt

The Atlantic:  Justin Trudeau’s government has started rejecting more refugee claims from migrants who cross the U.S.-Canada border on foot ---

The fact that Canada still has overall rates higher than those in the U.S., then, lies squarely at the feet of the provincial governments ---
Jensen Comment
It's virtually impossible to compare international tax rates, and this article highlights the major reason. The reason is that government outlays differ so much in terms of what is funded by those taxes. In the Canada the provincial taxes fund most of the national health care plan. In the USA income taxes fund very little in the way of health care except for Medicaid, although payroll taxes fund a lot of Medicare. To be more comparable, we would at least have to add medical insurance

HOT N COLD North Korea’s sudden “unpredictable” frostiness was entirely predictable ---

MIT:  California is throttling back record levels of solar—and that’s bad news for climate goals ---

North Korea has already reportedly canceled talks with South Korea.---

Michigan State and Nassar Victims Reach $500M Settlement ---

Brazil election is anyone’s guess as presidential frontrunner campaigns from jail ---

Climate:  The Deep Time of Walden Pond ---

Low-Income Students: More Going to College, But Few Earning Degrees ---

Pennsylvania’s looming pension crisis ---

When President Trump tweeted in March 2017 that the Obama administration "had his wires tapped" during the 2016 presidential campaign, he wasn't entirely wrong ---

The backlash that never happened: New data shows people actually increased their Facebook usage after the Cambridge Analytica scandal ---

Russian information troops, disinformation, and democracy ---

Vermont Voted to Buy Its Prescription Drugs from Canada, and the Pharmaceutical Industry Is Not Pleased ---

Russian programmers have built up an outsize presence in the world of blockchain, crypto currencies, and other virtual assets ---

The U.S. Post Office saw a shipping and package income of $19.5 billion last year, which is up 11.8 percent compared to the previous year.---

States With a Population Smaller Than Los Angeles County ---

Socialist Seattle to mom and pop landlords: Criminals are welcome! Your rights not so much ---

Congress quietly passed the largest rollback of Wall Street regulations since the financial crisis ---

Congress Sends Trump Bill With Senior Financial Abuse Reporting Section ---

NYT:  The for-profit-college industry continues to cheat students while the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress do nothing ---

NYT:  Can 30,000 Cameras Solve Chicago's Crime Problem ---
Jensen Comment
They might help prevent or solve murders on the streets but they won't prevent the unending corruption in City Hall and School Boards.

U.S. high school dropout rate reaches record low, driven by improvements among Hispanics, blacks ---

Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti has become a 'hero' on the left — and he has an aggressive fan base ---
Jensen Comment
Avenatti is popular only because he is aggressively trying to embarrass and punish Donald Trump. Otherwise he's just someone sharing earnings of a prostitute. There's another word for guys who do that. Those guys are not admired on the right or left.

Everything you need to know about the Italian political crisis — which is 9 years in the making and could bring about the demise of the eurozone ---
Jensen Comment
In the good old days before the Euro European nations like Italy and Greece just devalued their currencies in times of financial crises. It did not take an act of the EU parliament to screw debt investors and pensioners. Something similar may happen in the USA if some states (think California, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Kentucky) don't get more fiscally responsible.

China is now producing more steel than the rest of the world combined ---

Everything you need to know about the Italian political crisis — which is 9 years in the making and could bring about the demise of the eurozone ---
Jensen Comment
In the good old days before the Euro European nations like Italy and Greece just devalued their currencies in times of financial crises. It did not take an act of the EU parliament to screw debt investors and pensioners. Something similar may happen in the USA if some states (think California, Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Kentucky) don't get more fiscally responsible.

George Soros warns the European Union is on the brink of collapse — and Trump is partly to blame ---

How Seattle's Economic Illiteracy Kills Jobs (and creates homelessness) ---

Seattle Scales Back Tax in Face of Amazon’s Revolt, but Tensions Linger ---

SEATTLE — After intense lobbying by local businesses and a bold threat by Amazon to curtail development in its hometown, the Seattle City Council on Monday approved a smaller and more limited tax on big companies than originally envisioned.

The new tax — dubbed the “Amazon Tax” by locals — will fund affordable housing and homeless services in a city whose economic boom, driven in no small part by Amazon, has priced many residents out of the area and forced some onto the streets.

Amazon, which halted two major expansion projects in Seattle in protest over the larger tax increase, said it was disappointed even with the smaller tax package, although the company said it would restart the planning process for one of its new buildings. It was still exploring the possibility of subleasing a second building that a developer is currently building.


The council had originally considered an annual “head” tax of $500 per full-time employee for Amazon and other large employers, but the amended measure that passed reduced that figure to $275. Instead of the $75 million a year the tax was originally expected to raise, it will bring in less than $50 million. The council also included a sunset provision that would require the tax to be reauthorized in five years.

The compromise failed to defuse tensions between Amazon and the city it has called home for the last 24 years.

Even though the company decided to resume one of its building projects, Drew Herdener, an Amazon vice president, said in a statement, “We remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.”

But the company’s tactics in Seattle has also garnered concern among other cities bidding to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to town.

Twenty finalist locations across North America have been aggressively wooing Amazon to win up to 50,000 high-paying jobs that its second headquarters would bring. In some of those places, there is opposition growing over the tax incentives that some city and state governments have agreed to give Amazon in return for being selected. And Amazon’s hardball politics in Seattle has further soured some local leaders.

“I absolutely find it unacceptable to see politically threatening behavior as is occurring there,” said Robin Kniech, a member of the City Council in Denver, one of the finalists for Amazon’s second headquarters. “It certainly doesn’t send a message that you expect to be a part of the community.”

Continued in article

How to Mislead With Statistics
Who pays the most tax in Europe?

Jensen Comment
You've probably heard me warn repeatedly that when taxes are compared it can be misleading unless you also compare what those taxes are paying for in family living. Income tax rates in the USA are relatively low and highly progressive with nearly half of the taxpayers paying zero income taxes. But this is misleading since things like health care and public education are paid out of other taxes and/or personal savings. Even when comparing nations with national health care plans funded heavily out of income taxes, comparing tax rates can be misleading. Firstly there are taxes other than income taxes such as VAT taxes and sales taxes. Secondly, not all national health care programs are equivalent in terms of how certain coverages are paid for. In Germany, for example, the public health plan is rather minimal and most Germans that can afford it have private supplemental medical insurance. My neighbors from England at the moment are back in the U.K. arranging to sell a parent's home for nursing home care expenses. Nursing home care in the U.K. is covered in the national health plan but revenues from home sales must be applied to this care --- so I'm told by my neigbors.

In Europe taxes supposedly pay for college education and/or job training, but less than half the young people are admitted to programs funded by tax dollars ---
Other people depend upon companies to fund on-the-job training, and many people are not allowed into college unless they study in other countries or take distance education courses such as MOOCs..

States Where Teachers Are Paid the Most and Least ---

Jensen Comment
Higher pay does not necessarily translate to higher graduation rates. New York pays the highest salaries and is mired down in down in low graduation rates. South Dakota has low teacher pay and high graduation rates.

Also note the cost of living ranking reported with each state. This matters a lot where pay buys a whole lot more (think housing) in South Dakota versus New York and Connecticut.


Bob Jensen's health care messaging ---

World Wealth & Income Database ---

OECD Health Statistics 2016 ---

Facts and statistics (Fast Facts) --- 

Bob Jensen's health care messaging ---

Bob Jensen's links to data and statistics ---

Bob Jensen's World Library ---


Bob Jensen's threads on health coverage are at

Vermont Voted to Buy Its Prescription Drugs from Canada, and the Pharmaceutical Industry Is Not Pleased ---

Not-so-great GASB: Accounting rule pushes hospitals near default ---

Harvard:  The costs of health care are now the greatest financial concern for most Americans—more than the costs for housing, food or retirement ---

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has found that, by exploiting Obamacare’s expansion of the program, California has enrolled hundreds of thousands of ineligible adults in Medicaid. Consequently, the state has bilked the federal government out of more than $1 billion in funding to which the state was not entitled.
Jensen Comment
Nearly half of the Medicaid recipients in Illinois were found to be not elgible for Medicaid due to their income levels.

Vermont Voted to Buy Its Prescription Drugs from Canada, and the Pharmaceutical Industry Is Not Pleased ---


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 ---