Archive for May 16th, 2013

When I was a little kid, my sports idol was Mickey Mantle.

When I went to college, Herschel Walker was my guy.

Now, I may have to add Evan Mathis to that distinguished list.

Who is Evan Mathis, you ask?

Well, he’s an offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles who played in college for the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

2012 - UGA-BamaSince I’m a Georgia Bulldog, I wouldn’t normally hold someone from ‘Bama in high esteem – especially since I haven’t stopped sulking since the SEC Championship Game. but when someone does something that merits high praise, I’m willing to be ecumenical.

And Evan Mathis passes that test, as explained by NBC Sports.

Already the least popular of the federal governmental agencies, the IRS has taken a significant hit in recent days amid news confirming longstanding beliefs that the U.S.Evan-Mathis-Peeing-IRS-Sign tax department exercised its discretion to conduct audits and generally give folks a hard time with politics in mind. Like most if not all Americans, Eagles offensive lineman Evan Mathis doesn’t like it.  Unlike most if not all Americans, Mathis has opted to make his views known, in an entertaining way. Mathis posted on Instagram a photo of himself in the universal standing pee position by an IRS sign, with the message “Audit this.”

So what message was Mathis trying to send? It’s unclear, but there are many reasons why the IRS deserves scorn.

No wonder I thanked President Obama for unleashing this new scandal and reminding many new people that they should listen to those “voices” who warn about unchecked power in Washington.

P.S. I’m not sure how I’ll react when the IRS resorts to the novel tax-collection tactic that’s being tried in Pakistan.

P.P.S. Maybe Mathis can become a national spokesman for tax reform after he retires from football.

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I’m in Europe as part of a six-nation speaking tour, participating in the Free Market Road Show.

My first speech was yesterday in Greece, which is infamous for a government that is insanely wasteful, even to the point of subsidizing pedophiles and requiring stool samples from folks applying to set up online companies.

But I don’t want to share anything about my remarks, which would be rather familiar to regular readers of this blog.

Instead, I want to share a couple of slides from Professor Aristides Hatzis of the University of Athens.

Let’s start with a look at the number of bureaucrats over time in Greece. You don’t need to read Greek to see that featherbedding exploded over the past 35-plus years.

Greece - Number of Bureaucrats

As you can see, it’s an expanded version of this grim chart.

Now let’s look at another slide from Professor Hatzis.

Greece - Anti Business

When you see these numbers (or read this information), it’s a surprise that Greece didn’t collapse earlier.

One reason that I liked the presentation from Professor Hatzis is that he included a couple of amusing cartoons, one of which he borrowed from the United States. Here’s the Gary Varvel cartoon he shared with the Greek audience.

Greece - Varvel Cartoon

Varvel, by the way, was part of my political cartoonist contest. His cartoon on Social Security and Bernie Madoff was my favorite, but the above cartoon would have been a good addition to the list.

Speaking of cartoons, you can see good cartoons about Obama and Greece here and here.

And here’s a cartoon about Greece and the euro.

I’ll close be recommending this very funny video from a Greek comedian and this non-PC map of how the Greeks view the rest of Europe.

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