IRS Sets Sights on Frequent Flyer Miles, Hotel Points

Just in time for your summer vacation, the IRS is getting ready to toughen the tax treatment on frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty reward programs.

The IRS announced in 2002 that it wouldn't try to go after individuals for income taxes on frequent flyer miles or hotel loyalty points earned on company-paid business trips.  Yet the temptation to wring some tax revenue out of the vast non-dollar economy of Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints, Marriott Rewards points, American Airlines AAdvantage miles, Delta Skymiles, and so on is apparently so great that that the government just cannot resist.

Sure enough, the Tax Foundation, a research group that tracks tax issues, flags a recent post on the View From the Wing blog that runs under the provocative headline, "The IRS Looks To Be on the Verge of Imposing a Big Tax Burden on Loyalty Points."

The IRS's plans are vague, but they have airlines and hotel owners concerned enough about the issue that they reportedly sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. "The IRS' proposal to alter the tax treatment of loyalty programs will impose a significant new tax on existing and future loyalty points that travel customers enjoy and rely upon," said the letter, according to a report in Politico. "Any change or clarification of loyalty program accounting should be made through the legislative process, not IRS promulgation." 

Frequent flyer mile fanatics got a wake-up call on the issue back in 2012 when Citibank sent IRS Forms 1099, documenting "miscellaneous income," at a rate of 2.5 cents a mile, to customers who had signed up for an American Airlines-branded credit card and gotten 40,000 AAdvantage miles as a bonus. It was an unpleasant surprise to cardholders who thought they were getting a free trip, not an unwanted extra tax bill.

The frequent flyer flap underscores several policy points that are worth keeping in mind.

If the government imposes tax rates that are high enough, people will do what they can to get around them. Frequent flyer and other loyalty programs did not arise as a way around payroll and income taxes. But the fact that the rewards are generally tax free to the recipient makes them that much more attractive to all concerned than a hypothetical alternative under which a business pays a slightly lower fare or room rate for reward-program-free-travel, then passes along the savings to employees in the form of higher taxable wages.

If something is working basically well, chances are the government will come up with a plan to change it and make it worse. Part of that is because there are differences in culture between the private sector and the government sector. Government ethics rules dictate that frequent flyer miles racked up by government employees flying on government business are government property, so the pleasure of a point-based vacation is unknown to many bureaucrats.

There's a monetary policy angle, too: Americans who keep large balances of unused American Express Membership Rewards points, or airline or hotel points, are not all that different from those who choose to buy gold or Bitcoins. They are choosing to store value in something other than U.S. dollars.

And there's an inequality angle: All those statistics on income inequality and the lagging middle class have a hard time accounting for non-monetary perks like the value of a free vacation earned while traveling on business.

Finally, when the government is spending so much more than it takes in, the pressure rises for Washington to dream up new items to tax, or to raise taxes on.

There seems to be no end to it. President Obama raised taxes on tanning salons, medical devices, and individual income to pay for ObamaCare, and on cigarettes to pay for an expansion of Medicaid. In a deal with Republicans after the 2012 election, he raised taxes on income and on capital gains, then came back with a plan to raise taxes by another trillion dollars over ten years. If anyone balks at paying, Senator Schumer has a plan to turn those who owe taxes over to private collection agencies.

Maybe frequent flyers will prove a more formidable political force than smokers, tanning salon owners, or medical device manufacturers. If not, the time to book that free ticket may be sooner rather than later, at least if you want to avoid having to use those miles to buy an extra seat on the plane for the tax man.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Just wait until they go after the children of deceased frequent flyers with untaxed miles.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    They will only go after the children after they have the miles.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I hear that the next thing that the IRS wants to tax is the “imputed value” of the AC and heating and lighting and water-cooler water that you drink at work, and, come to think of it, the oxygen and the gravity that you consume as well… THANK YOU, Government Almighty, can I please have another?!?!

  • ||

    the gravity that you consume

    I thought gravity is the ultimate sustainable resource.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    That just makes them think they can tax it forever.

  • ||

    When you put it that way, it starts to make sense.

  • Mt low rider||

    Up next, tax the coupons and the money you save on sale merchandise.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    After that tax reporting for birthday and Christmas presents.

  • ||

    They already do that if you receive more than 10 grand. Hell, various states and cities tax 14-year-old babysitters. Oh, you were paid $5/hour and you were allowed two popsicles from the freezer? There's an extra $0.40 you owe us.

  • brec||

    There's no tax on the recipient of gifts.

  • Curtisls87||

    Actually, in California, they already do this with respect to sales tax. If you buy an item on sale at $300, but the original price was $500, they charge sales tax on the original price of $500.

  • ||

    You already pay income taxes on your sales taxes, license plate taxes, property taxes, gas taxes, licenses, and any other non-business taxes you can't write off. To paraphrase Homer Simpson: When it comes to taxes, government is a ravenous blood-sucking monster always wanting more... more... more!

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    But it is for the greater good of all.

  • Cro's Innumerous Basterds||

    The greater good...

  • Erasmus vs. Luther||

    Stop that!

  • Bubba Jones||

    My sales tax is deducted from my income tax.

  • gleff||

    "Government ethics rules dictate that frequent flyer miles racked up by government employees flying on government business are government property, so the pleasure of a point-based vacation is unknown to many bureaucrats."

    That changed. Since December 2001 government employees have been able to keep and use frequent flyer miles earned through official travel.

    See http://www.doi.gov/pfm/travel/.....02-01a.pdf

  • Ted S.||

    Besides, the bureaucrats were just stealing the points before.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    After this goes down, the only people who will be able to keep the points tax-free will be the feds.

  • The Hyperbole||

    Wait a second, are you guys seriously suggesting that when something of value changes hands that the government, which undoubtedly made this transaction possible, shouldn't get a cut? What are you Anarchists?? Who's gonna build the Roads??? What about the children????

  • LarryA||

    Dear Mr. Bole,

    Now that your valuable comment has changed hands to the Reason blog you owe $.05 in Value Added Tax. Please remit instantly or we seize your checking account.

    Sincerely, IRS

  • UnCivilServant||

    I contest the assertion that a Hit and Run comment has any value added. Now some other sites, those are comedy gold.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    Sincerely, IRS

    Dear IRS,
    I am writing to discontinue my subscription to your service. Please take me off your mailing list.
    Sincerely,
    Live F.O. Diet

  • Almanian!||

    *SWAT busts down LFOD's door, shoots dog, terrorizes any children present, tazes LFOD, punches him in the face a couple times for good measure, searches home for, like, two hours while leaving LFOD zip tied on the floor with dead dog and any screaming children, then hauls off to jail to charge him with....something....tomorrow*

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    At least they didn't shoot the goats and chickens this time. Just another weekend in the New Police State.

  • Sevo||

    From down below:
    Derpetologist|5.26.14 @ 8:23PM|#
    Robert Reich vs. SE Cupp on min wage; Reich claims no force involved:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tft98HS_GJQ

    See, the left doesn't want to put anyone in jail! The left just wants everyone to agree with the left, and only if they don't will the left THROW THEIR ASSES IN THE SLAMMER!

  • american socialist||

    You mean we shouldn't 't throw tax cheats in jail? Are there black helicopters currently buzzing around your compound? I love tim pawlenty... We need to give businesses the trained employees they need. Not to worry, governor, the good folks in Libertopia will fund your engineering programs for those awesome job creators out there.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: AmericN Stolid,

    You mean we shouldn't 't throw tax cheats in jail?

    There is no such thing as a "tax cheat", ASs. You don't cheat a thief.

  • West Texas||

    Dear God in Heaven I wish more Americans would realize this. That there is nothing honorable or dutiful or fair about taxation of income. In fact, it's about as far from those things as it can get and thanks to the way that it's set up (i.e. payroll withholding and progessivity), most Americans don't even notice or care.

  • Irish||

    You mean we shouldn't 't throw tax cheats in jail?

    Yeah, when the government takes 40-50% of your earnings, you're clearly a terrible person if you don't acquiesce to their flat out theft.

  • Horatio||

    No, put them in charge of the IRS.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    I can only answer for myself. Yes.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Piketty Rejects ‘Ridiculous’ Allegations of Data Flaws"

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....flaws.html

  • Sevo||

    ..."Gabriel Zucman, an assistant professor at the London School of Economics whose research focuses on global wealth, inequalities and tax havens."...

    Certainly no bias in that source.

  • Derpetologist||

    A compilation of hateful proggy protesters:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPcpW-wQpB0

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Your masochism makes the Flagellants look restrained.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Those IRS shitheads have been trying to do this for decades, but I've heard that it keeps getting spiked in congress because all of the congressional staffers really like their frequent flier miles.

    -jcr

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    An obvious way around that is to create something like a frequent flier miles franking privilege for Congresscritters and their staff.

    Because laws are only for the little people to follow.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    When do you leave?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I've been in Tucson since 7:30 this morning. Took the overnight train from Union Station.

    Just got back from shopping for tomorrow's hike with her. Having a grand time so far.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Wow, I'm impressed, I restrained myself from making an inappropriate joke.

    Have a good time!

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Oh Eddie, if you won't maintain the moral dignity of this commentariat, who will?

    Thanks though, we most certainly will!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Glad you're having a good time. I just got back. Parts of the trip were a disaster.

    Have you seen those pictures of crowded wave pools at water parks in Asia? That's what the water park in Legoland was like. I spent about 5 minutes there before giving up. No refunds, obviously.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I live near Knott's and its Soak City so I know exactly what you mean. I've always been kind of grossed out by the thought of sharing water with a bunch of strangers.

  • ||

    There is a little mountain that overlooks Tucson that is nice to hike. My sister took me there when I visited her. I forget what it was called, but it was fun.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Not sure if it's the same thing, but we'll be doing a trail on Mount Lemmon near Summerhaven.

    We're going to leave earlier in the morning so it won't be too hot on the way up.

  • Agammamon||

    'A' Mountain?

  • ||

    Yes, that's it. It even has the big "A" at the top.

  • ||

    Sentinel Peak. I see it evey time I walk out the front door.

  • ||

    How'd you like the train ride?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I overall enjoyed the experience.

    Pros:

    Being able to stretch my legs and relax in the lounge car where there was large windows and more room

    Cons: sitting next to a large Nigerian man that took up both power sockets in our row and ended up falling asleep with his music audibly loud coming out of his headphones.

  • ||

    Did you ask if he was a prince?

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Heh, that was the same reaction I got from kibby when I told her the tale.

    Moving to the lounge car a few times helped. Got to see the desert sunrise which was pretty cool.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Why no pictures on Facebook? I want to see the sunrise, and more importantly, I want to know if Kibby is real.

  • ||

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I think Jesse is trying to say is that pictures of the desert aren't going to cut it.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The pictures of the sunrise didn't come out too good. Dirty window and it's really hard to see anything.

    And as for her you'll have to ask her for permission, I'm not sharing anything without her consent.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Wouldn't it be faster if you just asked her for me? You can show her pictures of me first, if that helps prime the pump.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    OK, that came out wrong. But you know what I meant.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Lot's of wrong in that statement.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    If that's wrong, I don't wanna be right.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Uh, phrasing? And she's already knows what all of you look like that I am friends with on Facebook.

    Sorry, you might have to wait for her to get over her aversion to social media, which she plans on doing by getting Facebook soon.

  • ||

    Sorry, you might have to wait for her to get over her aversion to social media, which she plans on doing by getting Facebook soon.

    So cute, you're already worsening her life just a little bit.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I look forward to being the first one to unfriend her.

  • ||

    I bet Epi will reveal himself just so he can have that honor.

  • kibby||

    I AM REAL & RESENT THE IMPLICATION THAT I AM NOT.

    & this discussion is making me not ever want a Facebook page....you guys might actively ruin my life.

  • Irish||

    Might?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Or, we might offer to get you guys a room in Vegas.

    Oh, wait, we already did that.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Hmmm, Freedomfest is in July...

  • Trollo||

    You DON'T want a facebook page.

  • ||

    I bet Epi will reveal himself just so he can have that honor.

    THIS ISN'T THE MATRIX JESSE

    ...and besides, I only friend people so I can immediately hide them.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Hide meaning......... kidnap?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Epi, I'm going to friend you later tonight. Just so that you know I can find you.

  • ||

    If you can find me, more power to you. But I just bought a few hundred bucks worth of Fruity Juice/Juicy Fruit and will be pretty fucking stoned later, so don't expect anything coherent from me. Or your mom. I just have to grill a NY strip steak, some lamb sausages, some corn, and some chicken, and then I can get retarded.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Just beer for me tonight. Red Tail. I had some pretty good beer in SD this weekend. Visited the Stone and Karl Strauss breweries.

  • ||

    I just had an Ayinger Oktoberfest and some Alskar Aquavit. Appropriate since I played tennis in Ballard earlier. And ate at El Camion.

  • Irish||

    If you're ever in the mid-west, you need to have Zombie Dust from Three Floyds. I get it in Chicago, but I've never seen it outside of the mid-west. It is a great IPA and I seriously doubt it's available in Seattle.

    Dark Lord from Three Floyds is also an unbelievable Russian imperial stout.

  • ||

    I would have to check The Beer Junction for that; they are pretty much the only place that might have it. Just yesterday I was having a No Doubt Stout mixed with a Raspberry Lambic, and it was tasty as shit.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Thanks for the warning. I'm not really into coprophagy.

  • robc||

    ZD is sometimes available in KY.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Sure, that's an obvious way to get around it, but the Ruling Party still has to worry about offending leftard sensibilities. Letting congressional minions get their air miles tax-free while the subjects have to pay would piss a lot of middle class voters off.

    -jcr

  • Derpetologist||

    Chris Hayes calls Washington corrupt; laments we are ruled by an oligarchy. Still wants more money and power for the govt.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_eUQZux0mE

    I believe our good friend sarcasmic has a nice quip about this:


    All we need to do is give more power to the government, which is the people, and then the people will control the corporations that control the government.

    And if that doesn't work, then obviously the government needs more power so it, the people, can control the corporations.
  • Trollo||

  • lap83||

    The worst part of that article for me was the equating of "gay dad" with primary caregiver and "heterosexual dad" with aloof parent.

    "The more time a man spent as primary caregiver, the greater the connectivity"

    This is the only part in which they admit it was the time spent that influences the connectivity, the rest of the article they act as though it's the sexual orientation itself that causes it. It's bad reporting.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Yep. I was the secondary care giver for my older son, primary for my younger. I don't feel any gayer.

  • Irish||

    "The more time a man spent as primary caregiver, the greater the connectivity"

    This is the only part in which they admit it was the time spent that influences the connectivity, the rest of the article they act as though it's the sexual orientation itself that causes it. It's bad reporting.

    So, their basic argument is that if you spend more time with your children you'll have a better connection with your children?

    No fucking way!

  • Irish||

    The 48 gay fathers raising children with their husbands seemed to be both mom and dad, brain-wise. Their emotional circuits were as active as those of mothers and the interpretive circuits showed the same extra activity as that of heterosexual fathers'.

    Now, I don't want to tell scientists how to do their jobs, but I question if a sample size of 48 is quite large enough to draw conclusions.

  • cyrus6225||

    its awesome,,, Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out www.Fox81.com

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I'm at my in-laws right now, and my bro-in-law is listening to NPR news. Apparently, everybody is racist.

  • Sevo||

    And the only thing we can cut is the defense budget!

  • AdamJ||

    I heard that nobody is racist, but everyone else is racist, and everything is racist, especially society, but definitely not big government.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Of all the things to do on Memorial Day.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    My day has been busy keeping two Weber grills and an open-fire rotisserie going. I've cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, t-bones, pork back ribs, sirloin roast, potatoes & onions, corn on the cob and sweet potatoes. Went through about 4 pounds of butter.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    All with NPR on in the background, right?

    How many people are you cooking for?

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    Uh, not sure how many people. Around a hundred? Most people brought something with them too. There were 6 versions of homemade potato salad. One guy brought about half a pig worth of his BBQ and a gallon of vinegar sauce. I thought my wife was going to kiss him right there and then.

    Radio varies between old rock, country of several vintages, and some newer stuff I can't identify. No NPR. They don't want to piss off the cook.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    Uh, not sure how many people. Around a hundred? Most people brought something with them too. There were 6 versions of homemade potato salad. One guy brought about half a pig worth of his BBQ and a gallon of vinegar sauce. I thought my wife was going to kiss him right there and then.

    Radio varies between old rock, country of several vintages, and some newer stuff I can't identify. No NPR. They don't want to piss off the cook.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    My father-in-law grilled BBQ pork ribs, chicken, and andouille sausages. Baked beans, mac n' cheese, collard greens, potato salad, corn on the cob, and lemon cake. I'm stuffed.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Fuck. I had El Pollo Loco. The good one in Hawthorne, though, not the shitty one in MB.

  • ||

    I think they slapped a coat of paint and some stonework on the shitty one in MB. The last time I had a poblano burrito from there I was sorely disappointed. It was so delicious the time before.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I always ask for some of the poblano sauce in a to-go cup when I'm there. Then I make a better burrito myself.

  • ||

    I got to listen to my in-law's in-laws (my SIL's parents) bitch about how gay used to mean fun and those "damn transgenders." They also told my wife and I that we should have a baby soon multiple times.

    They also complained about southern baptists being to uptight, which I found hilarious.

  • Derpetologist||

    Why don't baptists have sex standing up?

    Because it might lead to dancing.

  • ||

    They are technically correct, as much as I find these people to be far down the protestant weirdo scale, at least they will consume some alcoholic beverages.

  • robc||

    Some southern baptists drink. Just not with other baptists around.

    And then there is me.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    Why don't baptists have sex standing up?
    Because it might lead to dancing.

    I originally heard that one from a beauty from Grantham, PA, though I think her version began "Why don't baptists believe in premarital sex?" The college there was run by Baptists who wouldn't let them have "dances," so they had "formals." Of course I called it a dance and everyone in earshot shushed me down. Afterwards she told me the joke.

  • ||

    Our Baptist college jokes are much simpler: "Baylor girls take it in the ass."

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    We didn't go there, but that's never been much of an interest of mine. At that age I always seemed to have the best sex with religious girls. Our joke was that it was all the guilt driving them.

  • ||

    ...a little bit ...sometimes.

  • Derpetologist||

    Robert Reich vs. SE Cupp on min wage; Reich claims no force involved:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tft98HS_GJQ

  • juris imprudent||

    Because anyone who doesn't see the glorious light of progressive wisdom must not be an actual human being and thus can be disposed of without troubling any progressive consciences.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Fukushima cancer risk not as serious as thought, UN says

    The UN researchers looked for iodine-131 (a form of radioactive iodine) and cesium-137 in fish caught off the northeast coast of Japan and found nearly all types actually had lower than the acceptable levels of those radionuclides, which had escaped into the air and water from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

    [...]

    However, the UN report said the increase in the number of [thyroid] nodules found [in humans] was due to increased screening, and that there was no difference between the population in 2006 and the population that was exposed to the radiation.
  • Jordan||

    Smilin' Joe! Haven't seen you around in a while, broseph.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    It has been tough to get on the last couple months. Can't make the AM links anymore and I always show up for the PM links just when they are getting stale.

    I'm having major H&R withdrawl. I never thought I would say this, but I sorta miss Tony, Shreek, and the other trolls 'round here...

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Try the independents threads. It's like the PM links, but with a lot more drinking and drama.

    Shriek has melted down there twice. One of the times, he got deleted.

  • Irish||

    Shriek has melted down there twice. One of the times, he got deleted.

    Holy fuck, seriously? What happened?

  • ||

    It recently got very hyper--whoever is the sockpuppeteer must have been in quite a mood--and stated that Rush Limbaugh was a pedophile, and that it had proof of such. When asked for said proof, it said something lame about being at a golf thingy or something else weak as shit and that the staff told it about Rush and young boys or something.

    I have no interest one way or the other, but the Reason webmaster thought that it was libelous enough to delete. Warty taught them an expensive lesson, one they are not eager to re-experience.

  • Irish||

    That is hilarious. I haven't really been on Reason much during the week since I got a new job, so I feel like I've missed some hilarious recent drama.

    I totally missed Tulpa's Rollo incident and I'm still kicking myself about that.

  • ||

    It was remarkably stupid. And remember, Tulpa totally isn't Hydra, except when he flat out admits he is.

    I'm trying to determine whether Tulpa is going to end up with several decaying female corpses in his basement, or several mixed gender decaying corpses in his basement. I can't quite read his sociopathy that well yet.

  • JW||

    You left out the part where he dresses the corpses up in his mother's clothes up and has tea parties with the them.

  • ||

    Didn't Tulpa admit that he thought Psycho was a documentary? About him?

  • ||

    Wait, I thought Tulpa murdered a bunch of kids in Santa Barbara when they wouldn't recognize his genius.

  • gaoxiaen||

    They're not decaying, they're marinating. They'll be gone after Memorial day.

  • Derpetologist||

    The real Steve Smith once said:

    "It's not so much the unkind words as it is the lack of any quality, creative fan fiction to go along with it."

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/05.....d-the-stev

    I think SF took him up on the fanfic challenge.

  • Irish||

    Holy hell, the old Reason threads were way crazier than the ones I've seen.

    This place gets a little dark for my tastes on occasion, but Reason in 2010 was fucking anarchy.

  • Derpetologist||

    The comments were great fun in 2010 with all the joke handles and what not. Then Crazy Mary came along and we got stuck with registration.

    I posted a few times in 2010 under joke handles. I didn't start posting regularly until a few months ago.

  • ||

    It wasn't registration that made things crazy, it was threaded comments. You just couldn't go apeshit on a thread before threaded comments. It was too easy to skim over someone's crazy bullshit, and they couldn't nestle it into every subthread.

    I realize that they are here to stay and have no interest in fighting change, but if we're going to be honest, it's threaded comments that made Mary possible. And probably me by baiting the shit out of her.

    HELLO RECTAL I KNOW YOU ARE PROBABLY READING THIS RIGHT NOW YOU INSANE OBSESSIVE WEIRDO

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    In 2010, I posted as a sock named "Grey Panther" one afternoon. The post was a rant against some new technology or something, in the voice of a mildly crazy old man. It took Heroic Mulatto about 5 minutes to totally figure it was a sock. Based on the language used he came amazingly close to describing my age, sex, where I grew up, and where I live now. I decided joke handles/socks just weren't for me.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Before registration...

    *turns and looks out window and sighs wistfully

  • Irish||

    I mean, holy fuck, this is the first paragraph of an article that Welch wrote in 2010:

    Bill Plaschke, the Thomas L. Friedman of sports columnists (minus Friedman's ability to sell books), uncorks a piece today that, while not the worst sports column ever written, certainly belongs in any reasonable Top 10. Plaschke, a penis-eater, makes with a straight face the argument that, "The First Fan, with his support of the White Sox and Bulls, shares our passion for sports, unlike any president before him and in ways that only true sports nuts will understand."

    Welch was hardcore four years ago. What happened?

    W-w-w-w-w-w-wh-wh-wha-wha-what-what-WHAT???? The president may be a damned good basketball player, and possibly the most fit cigarette smoker we've had in the White House, but when it comes to baseball he throws like a pre-Title IX girl and can't name a single favorite player off his allegedly favorite team:

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh man. I like Welch from four years ago.

  • 619 Limo||

    people should not drink and drıve

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Just call 619-limo, amirite??

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    619? Is there anybody commenting here from San Diego?

    At least the anonobot shit is an online product.

  • juris imprudent||

    Only for a few more weeks.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You're in SD? We could have had drinks at Karl Strauss last night..

    BTW, Welk was even worse than I ever could have imagined.

  • GroundTruth||

    At what point does the IRS (or their congressional masters) simply demand that you turn everything over to them and they will give you an allowance?

    At least Lenin was honest about what he wanted to accomplish.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Doug Bandow lays out tempting troll-bait. Must...resist...must...oh, heck, here it is -

    "Most of the conflicts in which so many Americans died were fool’s errands, wars which the U.S. should never have fought.

    "Few were as tragic or unnecessary as the American Civil War, which 150 years ago was grinding through its bloodiest year. Today most Western governments would not use force to stop peaceful secession—it is impossible, for instance, to imagine the British military occupying Scotland to prevent the latter’s departure from the United Kingdom. But in 1861 mystic nationalism combined with practical politics to impel President Abraham Lincoln to call out northern troops to coerce southern citizens to remain in the Union. Abolition only became a war measure as the conflict proceeded....

    "...Every other slave society peacefully abolished [slavery]...

    "...After the carnage of the Wilderness campaign, Sen. Henry Wilson of Massachusetts observed: “If that scene could have been presented to me before the war, anxious as I was for the preservation of the Union, I should have said: ‘The cost is too great; erring sisters, go in peace’.” Had he and others done so, more than 600,000 brave soldiers on both sides would have lived."

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/do.....ed-summer/

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    You can take a horse to water...

  • Contrarian P||

    I never really get the point of those sorts of articles. It's undoubtedly true that the American Civil War (War between the states, Northern Aggression, Abe vs. Jeff, whatever) was an incredibly wasteful undertaking in terms of lives and property lost, and clearly didn't settle the question of institutional racism in America (let alone racism beyond the control of law). Still, you could say that any war was wasteful and destructive, could have been avoided with better planning, and so forth. The Civil war wasn't unique in that regard. I'd put it way down on the United States stupid war ladder, for sure.

  • Derpetologist||

    I put peanut butter on a tortilla and wrapped it around a banana. I call it a banarito.

    It wasn't enough, so I walked to Sonic and got some chili fries. I noticed one of the workers had a swastika tattoo on his calf- a big one.

    Made me think of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsnIozKuxaw

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    That's living, man.

    I felt like I was cutting corners with all of this food talk, so I went out and got some redneck cottage bacon. Not sure what it is, but I have some high expectations.

  • Derpetologist||

    Robert Reich says Americans are not living beyond their means. I guess all that credit card, mortgage, and student debt is bunk.

    Trigger warning- zero-sum game fallacy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB_Yuo6XNAA

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    Replace all taxes, local and federal, with the FairTax. Pay as you go.

  • Derpetologist||

    Repeal the income tax and cut spending until the budget is balanced.

  • ||

    Abolish the income tax, and replace it with nothing.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    In once took that same stance. When I was a teenager.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: CentristClassicalLiberal,

    Replace all taxes, local and federal, with the FairTax. Pay as you go.


    CCL, the only Fair Tax is NO tax. There's nothing fair about thievery.

  • robc||

    Im cool with the single land tax.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    You remind me of leftists who claim that private property is theft, just slightly less utopian.

  • ||

    How the fuck are airline miles income? It's a fucking discount program. If I go to the local burger joint with a 2 for 1 coupon does some fuckstick IRS auditor parasite get to eat half of the 2nd burger?

  • Derpetologist||

    What, you expect to go hungry after they work all day on their Gilligan's Island parody?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zU2BxRw9_Q

  • SIV||

    How the fuck are airline miles income?

    The same way a contest prize is. It is only a discount if you're traveling on your own dime. Most people are expensing the travel and collecting the points. I assume the IRS is only going after $600 and up, or whatever the current figure is.

  • Robert||

    But what's the difference if you're reimbursed for a business trip? Why should the employer be interpreted as having bought both the business trip and the miles the employee got as a bonus, when the employer wanted only the benefit of the business trip? They'd've paid for the trip whether it came with points or not. The employee bought a package; the employer got the benefit of part of the package, and paid for that part. You kept the other part, but you bought it.

    Suppose you paid for pencils for the business. You kept 1 pencil from the package because the business didn't need all the pencils, and paying for them separately would've cost more. They reimbursed for the package of pencils. How is the extra pencil part of payment for your services?

  • Sevo||

    Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ|5.26.14 @ 9:28PM|#
    "How the fuck are airline miles income? It's a fucking discount program. If I go to the local burger joint with a 2 for 1 coupon does some fuckstick IRS auditor parasite get to eat half of the 2nd burger?"

    I got eyes opened by "The History of Money" by Jack Weatherford. http://www.amazon.com/History-.....eatherford
    And then I happened by Glide Memorial Church as they handed out turkeys at Thanksgiving and watched them turn into dope in half a block.
    If you can trade it, it's money.

  • ||

    Sure, it's money, but it's not income. It's a discount to be exchanged at a later date.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The Kings are destroying the Hawks.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Dang. My kids have the big TV tonight. Lego Movie or some such shit.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Basketball is on in the living room. I'm watching in my in-laws guest room on the computer. Click on the link for First Row Sports.

    http://firstrowusa.eu/

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I forgot to mention that I'm expected to watch with them.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Oh yeah. Have fun.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    The female voices (Allison Brie and Elizabeth Banks) are really hot.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Would you say they're well put together?

    (because they're Legos)

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I would rather have heard the dirty joke you were going to tell about Serious.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I would have given a list of hiking equipment and added something dirty at the end...I hadn't even decided what. So now you're as close to a complete joke as I am.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I wonder if I could have phrased that better?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Dirty punchline suggestion: The Anal Intruder.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXqLWqCqDHc

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    OK, then, these jokes are incredibly dirty.

    http://www.ribald.net/jokes/mud/best

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    As a Flyers fan I find it impossible to watch a Kings game w/o getting dark thoughts.

  • Bobarian||

    As a Flyers fan, isn't impossible to not have dark thoughts?

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Kinda. It's been a thing for years where the Flyers will let a player go or trade away a great player for peanuts and then watch as that player or players go on to win the friggin Cup. Williams, Brind'amor, Seidenberg, Sharp, Richardson, Carter, etc..

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    As a Philly fan, it's impossible to not have dark thoughts. They pelted Santa Claus with snowballs and booed him, for Chrissake.

  • avocats||

    My kid just said the same thing.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Hyun-jin Ryu loses a perfect game bid in the top of the 8th inning.

  • Homple||

    His sorrow is as nothing to that of Harvey Haddix.

  • SIV||

    Where's Notorious/crimethink? He should be all over this shit:

    Soylent Green

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Thank you - very distressing, I'm sure it was on my Twitter feed, I must have been away from the computer.

    Incidentally, are you saying I'm crimethink? Because I ain't.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    IIRC, he's just a bit more anarchist than I am.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    It's already legal in Switzerland, this is a private group relaxing its requirements.

    But even for supporters of the right to suicide, roping in the medical profession blurs what ought to be a bright line. Medical professionals are said to be practicing the *healing* arts. Making them the authorized conduit for suicide has things exactly backwards even from the point of view of a right to die - better to hire a professional assassin to off you than a physician or nurse.

    And of course, I *don't* think there's a right to suicide. I am aware what a trial life is for a lot of people, but a lot of this is loneliness, a curable condition for those who are charitable enough, and some of it (in the US) is I believe the DEA, also a curable condition.

    And you're going to see a lot of "volunteers" who just got nagged by their relatives until they decided "not to be a burden."

    And

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    ...and out.

  • See.More||

    ... I *don't* think there's a right to suicide...

    If I own myself, then I own my life. If I own my life, then I have the basic right to dispose of that property as I see fit (without aggressing against others).

    If, however, you wish to deny me that right then you are denying that I own myself.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Kibby is presently in the kitchen barefoot and making me dinner. As it should be.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    You're so alpha, bro.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    As soon as we verify that she's real.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Why are women's feet so small?

    So they can reach the controls to the stove.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You know that entire saying is in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, right?.

    Use extreme caution.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    My wife is all three of those things. It's not as great as it sounds.

  • kibby||

    Sadly, this is all true -- I am a traitor to my sex. =(

  • ||

    Honest question, who of any gender wears shoes around the house (which includes the kitchen)?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Madame Cruella wears jackboots.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    My wife's family wears socks. So weird.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I wear socks in the winter. Never shoes.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Do you have hardwood floors? My wife's family does, including stairs. Several slip-and-falls....

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yeah. Not really an issue.

  • Raven Nation||

    I knew a girl whose mom insisted everyone wear socks in the house. Shoes were for outside while bare feet were dirty.

    I wear lambswool slippers in the winter: cold apartment & saves me wearing holes in socks.

  • lap83||

    I don't get why the barefoot thing is so bad either. Stilletos would be much worse.

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    Tony wears shoes to bed. True story.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Night y'all. It's vodka time.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    'Night Grey Panther.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I am all for
    1. Getting rid of Cash and all forms of annonymous currency. I'm all for Bitcoin but it shouldnt be annonymous
    2. Getting rid of City Local, property, school, consuption, and ALL Taxes in General
    3. Getting rid of Corporate Income Taxes.
    4. Establishing a FLAT Income Tax on ALL Income regardless of source whether from investments, employment, inheretance, etc.

    We would not need such a HUGE IRS effort.

    I know libertarians are big fans of Sales tax. There's way to much fraud and effort to collect.
    Just have people paid into an account noted by SSN and tax that account at the federal level and allocate local funds that way. What do we need? Infrastructure? I'm even for getting rid of public schools and public housing and everything else public as a compromise. As long as those disabled, pensioned, and poor can eat, send their kids to school, have a place to live, and are treated for medical emergencies and catastrtophic illnesses, I'm all for it.

  • Sevo||

    Alice Bowie|5.27.14 @ 9:01AM|#
    "I am all for
    1. Getting rid of Cash and all forms of annonymous currency. I'm all for Bitcoin but it shouldnt be annonymous"

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Bubba Jones||

    How is the airline supposed to know which of my miles were accrued on business?

  • Response||

    "Senator Schumer has a plan to turn those who owe taxes over to private collection agencies"... because a private company would actually do a good job trying to collect. When they really, really want something done, the gov goes private.

  • INFORG||

    They don't seem to have a problem collecting, since they just order wages or bank accounts garnished.

    Not sure why they would have to privatize that other than to add in some additional costs and a new set of cronies to pay off.

  • ejpoleii||

    I would challenge this on the grounds that frequent flyer mile rewards are not income. They are a part of the purchase agreement when a ticket is bought. Taxing these as income would be like taxing a quantity discount as income.

  • Alice Bowie||

    agreed!

  • avocats||

    This will make gun control efforts look like a walk in the park.

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