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April 19, 2012 Click here to mail this page to a friend.
Ignoring Clint Eastwood's advice in "Dirty Harry" that opinions, like certain body parts, are best kept to yourself.
Fairness in Taxes
by Dave Johnson

My friend Dave Johnson in Laughlin, Nevada is the world's second greatest Trivia expert.
Dave loves trivia, this
was on my homepage
a few years ago.

My friend Dave Johnson is retired and lives in Bullhead City, Arizona, right across the river from the casinos in Laughlin, Nevada. I try to get out and see him once a year, and make some money, or at least not lose much.

The "Buffet Bill", which would require a minimum of 30 percent tax liability for those making over a million dollars a year, failed to pass recently. Tax bills are always confusing. I have not analyzed this bill in any detail. People on both sides of the isle will point fingers at the other quoting statistics and rationale for their position. I don't know if this particular bill was good or bad, but the idea is intriguing.

My very best friend over the years in died last year. He was a multi-millionaire. He came to see me every place I lived. He visited me in at least five different locations. I loved him like a brother. But I had to set aside the devious businessman part of him and accept him as a friend.

When he visited us in Abilene, he arrived in a new motorhome. While he was there he and his wife had to go over to a little town to the east of Abilene to buy an antique. I asked him what he was looking for. He said it didn't matter as he just needed to buy an antique so he could write off his trip. He added that motorhomes could be expensive. He also attended a high-end auto auction in Scottsdale every year. He obtained a dealers license so he could write off the trips in his motorhome as well as the expensive stay at the exclusive motorhome park at Westworld in Scottsdale. When I had first met him, he owned a business. He had furnished himself with a company car to use for both business and personal use. No logs were required at that time. We played in a dance band together. He would drive to the job, with the company-paid car with gas, maintenance and all other expense deductible for his business. And, did I forget to add that he took an additional 10 cents a mile for driving to the dance job as if were a personal car?

In my professional career, like Warren Buffet's secretary, I paid more income tax than my boss did. I sat at the right hand of "God" at more dinners than you can imagine. There were always high income folks present. When someone came up with another scheme to screw the government out of taxes, every one would snicker and take notes so they could enjoy those benefits. Our company had an office in South Dakota to manage a part of the organization. I only took one trip to South Dakota but on my one trip I stayed at the owner's condo. His condo? Well he had been there at least twice, but SD income taxes held a better advantage for him than AZ, so that was his residence for tax purposes.

I have paid taxes on every penny that I earned. That is because I was on a salary. There were no deductions for trips based upon bogus businesses. Even when I won a jackpot at Las Vegas, I got a W2 for the money received. When I was a Senior in High School and would play for a dance in some other town, the fifteen dollars I made went on my tax return. (Less the two dollars for sharing a motel room.)

There is something terribly wrong. Politicians have a hard time passing laws to close the loopholes because:
1. They are doing it themselves for the most part.

2. Their contributions come from the wealthy people they choose not to offend.
The Buffett law may NOT be perfect, and I would not support it nor promote it without an INDEPENDENT evaluation of it. Any opinion crap that comes from either conservative or liberal sites is bogus, and is slanted to influence you.

It has been said that Millionaires are not paying their fair share? Are you kidding. Of course they aren't. Who benefits the most from contributions by the wealthy? I won't bother answering that. Making millionaires pay won't make much difference in our budget. It would just make us feel better. We as a government need to make some deep cuts in expenditures AND increase our tax rates on those who can afford it.

I don't have to worry about taxes. I am living on Social Security. Any Congressman can waste more in one night having a good time than I take in in a month.


I welcome responses, and will be glad to post them here. Email your remarks to

Dave: I think that the “Buffet Rule” is mostly campaign rhetoric that does almost nothing to really solve our nation’s deficit but is designed to direct attention away from the more pressing issues of government spending gone crazy and government ineptitude. Yes, I would also feel better knowing that the loopholes of the wealthy are closed and for the life of me, I don’t understand why the Republicans would give the Obama Administration the perfect campaign gift of this diversion. This would be the perfect time for the Republicans to present a national tax overhaul and throw the debate and class warfare presentation back to the Democrats.

I don’t know that Mr. Cain’s 999 plan is correct, but it is without doubt time to consider a fair flat tax and toss out our convoluted current tax system. But how can anyone really think that the current Administration in Washington has the ability or honest desire to make logical tax law changes when they cannot even do something as simple, and ignoring the legal mandate, as formulate a single budget in over three years?

What the “Buffet Rule” really is is more smoke and mirrors to draw our attention away from what is happening, so that the magician can continue to amaze us with his tricks. If we really want “hope and change” the first thing we need to do is replace this Grant style Presidency.

Clint Chase - International Falls, Minnesota

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