Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Tax Question

"The White House chief of staff [Rahm Emanuel] said this week that he did not pay rent during the five years he bunked at the Capitol Hill home of Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn). But that raises questions whether Emanuel reported the rent-free lodging to Congress, since DeLauro is married to pollster Stan Greenberg. And will either of the parties report what could be “imputed income” to the IRS?” -National Review

My tax question is not, is Rahm Emanuel a criminal?

I think we all know the answer to that question rests on selective enforcement of our tax laws based on the whims of those in power.

My tax question is, has it ever been a criminal act to stay with a friend in any other civilization over the course of human history, without paying the government for the privilege?


  1. FDR,

    Awesome point, I was thinking the same thing. Plenty of people are going to have to live with friends and family and borrow vehicles before this depression is over. It's insane and evil.

    "When did we see you a stranger and invite you in?"


  2. Where have you been? I was worried sick.

  3. I wonder how Rep. Rosa DeLauro treated the place tax wise?

  4. To the question I venture perhaps a yes. In the CCCP era of the Soviet Union, I believe it was an infraction against the State to harbor an unalloted or unauthorized occupant in designated public/government housing. The crime was not in lost payments or taxes per se to the government, but the potential lost labor in the centrally planned productivity of the "people."

  5. Hi PPT,

    I don't think I buy that analogy. In the case of hard line Soviet communism, the crime was not working on behalf of the state, which is different, and somewhat understandable given their system of "freebies" in exchange for much more work than the "freebies" were worth.

    In this case, the criminal would be a law abiding citizen if he chose to live in a cardboard box, or if he moved into the house after his friend had died, or if he paid rent in a business relationship.

    The only reason our government treats both men as outlaws is because their relationship is one of friendship, an act of kindness took place and they did not pay the government a lot of money to allow that relationship to exist.

    The crime is kindness between two friends, because without kindness neither could illegally benefit.

  6. Thanks for the explanation and clarification FDR, I didn't understand your point, so I admit I was reaching.

    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force."
    -Ayn Rand, Russian-American novelist and philosopher

  7. The government has been doign anything it pleases for decades.

  8. FDR you have been hitting the bulls eye on oil since your call to sell it at 135.Recently a lot of big investors have turned bullish on oil taking into account oil vs gold ratio.Do you think oil can go up now in near term and back to 70-80? or it will keep going down to your target of 25? Also Dow is now in the mid 7k range that you expected.Do you expect it to go down further or we reverse from here?

  9. Hi VJ,

    I would not be surprised to see oil vary quite a bit on its way down to my next target, published below.

    I would not play a technical bounce in oil before heading off to new lows. It could and probably will a bounce a little, but the fundamentals are so bad (virtually endless supply meets shriveling demand) that the risk is not worth a long, in my view.

  10. I concur FDR.No use playing the volatility in oil now.Its better to stay on sidelines and short on higher bounces.Will wait for your signal before going long on Dow again.Possibly at 6.5k?


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