American Elephants

The IRS is So Efficient That We Should Give It Vast New Powers? by The Elephant's Child

The damage done to the nation by this bunch who elevate “winning” in politics above all else, is almost inconceivable. It’s a mindset foreign to most Americans. To win an election, a bureaucracy supposedly acting for the American people in a nonpartisan way, tossed out responsibility, ethics, oaths, decency in order to silence other Americans who only wanted to express their opinions.

They had to be silenced because their opinions differed from those of the administration seeking to be returned to office for another term. That doesn’t work. The IRS is a very large bureaucracy that collects and manages our taxes. A department that depends on a vast amount of trust from the citizens of the country. America has long depended on people voluntarily paying their taxes, and for the most part being honest about it. If the IRS is a corrupt organization, this is a very big deal.

There are vast new powers granted to the IRS as a result of ObamaCare. If Washington’s bureaucrats cannot be trusted, Americans should be concerned. Here are the numbers:

  • There are 18 new taxes in ObamaCare, including 12 that directly violate  Senator Barack Obama’s “firm pledge” that those making under $250,000 a year would see no rise in their taxes.
  • ObamaCare charges the IRS with implementing 47 new provisions, according to the General Accountability Office.
  • The tax if you do not buy “government approved” health insurance is $695 which the IRS will enforce.
  • The IRS will need 1,954 new bureaucrats to manage ObamaCare implementation  and enforcement in the coming fiscal year.
  • The IRS has been charged with improperly seizing 60,000,000 medical records, raising concerns about whether the agency can handle the personal health insurance information all Americans will be required to submit to the IRS.
  • $429,584,000 — The IRS’s request for new spending on ObamaCare implementation in the coming fiscal year. The IRS did not specify how much will go to $30,000 hotel rooms and agency retreats.
  • Americans already devote 6,100,000,000 man hours to tax compliance. A number that will rise significantly with ObamaCare.
  • $1,000,000,000,000 — that’s the new revenue raised by ObamaCare in its first 10 years along according to the Congressional Budget Office, sums that will rise in the future.

Eight arguments for why ObamaCare should be repealed, and defunded.  Under the first list of new taxes, look at it with the incentives in mind.What is it that these taxes encourage people to do? Those who drafted ObamaCare have no understanding of incentives at all. The incentives for doctors are to retire or move to a concierge practice, or find a more rewarding occupation. The incentives for providers are to arrange their practices so they can be adequately paid. The incentives for scientists is to stop the search for new drugs for big problems, for they will be too expensive to be practical. The incentive for improvements in medical equipment is no longer there. What’s the use of developing a miraculous new prosthesis for amputees? This government would not pay for the expense.  What makes expensive new inventions come down in price and be available to all? What makes the cost of medicine go down? The free market — something to which this administration is unalterably opposed. Not fair, you know.

Europe Under Water: Record Floods by The Elephant's Child

Czech Republic Europe Floods

While Americans are absorbed in the tornadoes in the Middle West, the people of central Europe are coping with record flooding. Record rainfall during the past week has led to flooding and landslides across the Czech Republic and portions of Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. In some places, as much rain fell in two days as would normally fall in a two-month period. The flooding has claimed ten victims and thousands of people have been displaced — some 8,000 in the Czech Republic alone. Painful reminders of the force of nature.

Der Spiegel has a gallery of photos of the flooding, which are quite amazing.


This is the city of Passau in Germany. It just looks unreal.The top photo is the Vltava River and the suburbs of Prague. That’s going to be a lot of misery and a lot of digging out. The people of Central Europe  have our thoughts and prayers.

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