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Archive for April 7th, 2012

Tax day is just around the corner, and we even get a one-day reprieve since April 15 falls on a Sunday.

And since everyone knows that I’m a big fan of the current tax system and the IRS (speaking of which, here’s a very good joke), let’s celebrate by digging into the Jeff MacNelly archives for these two tax cartoons.

First, here’s what many of us will be doing next weekend. Click to enlarge the cartoon. Every line is worth reading.

It would be nice to have a simple and fair system like the flat tax, requiring a 10-line return that can fit on a postcard. But be wary of some “simple” plans, as shown by Barack Obama’s two-line plan for a flat tax.

And here’s another cartoon showing how tax laws are developed. Very appropriate when you think about the IRS’s proposed interest-reporting regulation or the new FATCA law.

Jeff MacNelly was my favorite political cartoonist during my formative years. Sadly, he passed away far too early.

For good political cartoons today, I recommend starting with Michael Ramirez and Lisa Benson.

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I’ve reported some horror stories about bureaucrats ripping off taxpayers with lavish compensation packages, including:

We now have another über-bureaucrat to add to our list.

Here are the key details from the New York Post.

Take your salary cap and shove it. While Gov. Cuomo continues to push a bill that would limit New York school superintendents’ annual salaries to $175,000, Syosset, LI, Superintendent Carole Hankin — the highest paid in the state —has already circumvented the proposed ceiling. Last June, four months after Cuomo first proposed the salary cap, Hankin, 69, quietly inked a five-year contract that guarantees she will receive no less than her current salary— $405,244, The Post has learned. …“This is despicable and gives new meaning to the word ‘chutzpah,’ ” said Desmond Ryan, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, a developer’s lobby. “In these difficult economic times, that the school board would even consider this is a disgrace.” …Hankin’s total annual compensation comes to $537,767, including retirement funds and fringe benefits. Expenses include use of a “late-model car” and gas. She can also do outside consulting on her time off. She oversees about 6,600 students in 10 schools, yet her salary is nearly double that of New York City Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who gets $212,614, to watch over 1.1 million kids in 1,700 schools. Hankin’s first deputy, Jeffrey Streitman, rakes in $419,033 in salary and other benefits, but Cuomo’s bill would not apply to underlings. …Joshua Lafazan, an 18-year-old Syosset HS senior running for a seat on the school board, blasts Hankin’s cushy deal and the nine board members he calls her “puppets.”

Ms. Hankin and the other bureaucrats mentioned above are extreme examples, but they help underscore the problem that exists when politicians and bureaucrat unions make insider deals, swapping political support for lavish compensation levels.

Taxpayers, meanwhile, get screwed. This video explains why this is a problem at all levels of government.

What makes this so outrageous is that most bureaucrats get overpaid for position that shouldn’t even exist. If we shrink government to its proper size, the problem is mostly resolved.

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