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1.) BREAKING: The tax code sucks— Here’s something that probably won’t shock 90 percent of you: The tax code is pretty complicated. The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Betsi Fores reports:
“A report from the IRS’ own taxpayer advocate has found that the tax code is apparently too complicated for many ordinary filers. Nine of 10 Americans rely on outside services to prepare their tax returns — 60 percent of taxpayers hire paid professionals, while the other 30 percent rely on software products. In total, it takes U.S. taxpayers — including both individuals and businesses — more than 6.1 million hours to complete their tax filings. … [National Taxpayer Advocate Nina] Olson estimates that it cost individuals and corporate taxpayers $168 billion to comply with the tax code in 2010.”
Just to put $168 billion dollars in context: It’s about double the amount of money President Obama’s original proposal to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 would have brought in per year. Let’s just call the tax code the H&R Block stimulus.
2.) Cuomo’s gun control — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is laying down the gun law, TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:
“As the gun control debate rages, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the state to enact the ‘toughest assault weapon ban in the nation’ in his State of the State address Wednesday afternoon. … Cuomo said gun policy should focus on limiting access to assault rifles and high-capacity magazine. … He also called for federal background checks on private gun sales, the banning of high capacity magazines, enacting tougher penalties for illegal gun use, preventing the mentally ill from getting access to guns, and banning ‘direct Internet sales’ of ammunition to New York residents.”
3.) How to question a Hagel — President Obama has laid the ground work for the political event of the season by nominating Chuck Hagel to be his next defense secretary. At his nomination hearing, Hagel will certainly face a barrage of tough queries. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein comes up with 10 that should be asked. Among them:
“In a 1998 interview, Sen. Hagel, you seemed to rationalize Palestinian terror against Israel when you said, “Desperate men do desperate things when you take hope away. And that’s where the Palestinians are today.” But study after study has shown that terrorists — in the Palestinian territories and elsewhere — are generally both better educated and wealthier than their neighbors. In other words, they are among the least desperate people in their societies. Do you have evidence that suggests otherwise? And following your logic, do you believe the suicide terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 were acting out of desperation? Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, was a middle class Egyptian studying architecture in Germany. What made him particularly desperate?”
See the rest. No, really. Do it. Now.
4.) Sticking it to the sticky-fingered knuckleheads — TheDC’s Matt Labash supports the H&R Block stimulus. What? Let him explain:
“While I salute Mr. Depardieu’s one-man tax revolt, I tend to break with Mark Levin, or at least with his stand-in. Yes, it’d be nice if our tax code wasn’t 70 thousand pages. Yes, it would be great if we had a 13 percent flat tax. But with the current climate of rapacity – both Obama’s and Congress’s apparent conviction that what’s yours is theirs, that the only way we can grow wealth and cover our profligate tabs is to pick your pockets in ways big and small – I maintain that a complicated tax code with lots of loopholes and exemptions is the only hedge we currently have against these sticky-fingered knuckleheads. Plus, at least we’re creating more wealth for our accountants. Somebody ought to promote job growth, since the government sure seems to have no interest in it.”
6.) Today in North Korean News –BREAKING: “Bonfire Meeting of Those Engaged in Construction of Power Station Held”