Tax Cuts: Republican Style

As promised, the follow-on to Friday's Democrat version.

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The Republican Version of Tax Cuts

First the team hires an outside accounting firm under a no-bid contract to process the refunds, paying them $12 per refund processed.

The people in the $10 seats get back $0.

The people in the $25 seats get back $7.

The people in the $50 seats get back $28.

The people in the $75 seats get back $175.

Because the funds collected are not sufficient to pay the extra $100-per-ticket for the $75 seatholders and the $12-per-ticket refund processing fees, the team borrows the money to cover the shortfall.

They then announce that the only way they can make a profit and pay back the debt is to attract more $75 ticket buyers back to the ballpark, and thus begin offering them incentives such as free baseball jerseys and massages. They subcontract out the purchasing and distribution of the jerseys and the operation of the massage center to friends of the team owner, paying 40% more than if they ran the services themselves, claiming that the real cost savings are in not increasing an already bloated team bureaucracy.

When the $75 tickets do not sell like hotcakes, they borrow $500,000 to commission a study on what will attract more $75 ticket buyers. The study is performed by a marketing firm the team's general manager used to work for, takes 3 years, and runs $300,000 over budget. The final answer is that the $75 ticket buyers want a private entrance to the park so they don't have to mingle with the $10, $25, and $50 ticket buyers.

The team borrows $3.5 million to construct the private entrance. They give a no-bid contract to a contractor who is a good friend of the team's owner. The contractor proceeds to use shoddy materials and undocumented, undertrained workers who are paid minimum wage. Not surprisingly, the completed entrance fails its safety inspection by the city.

The team sues, claiming the city's safety regulations are too restrictive and unfriendly to business. They lose the suit when the jury takes a trip to see the new entrance and two jury members are struck by falling bricks, knocked loose by the vibrations from a passing truck.

The team starts a bidding process and gets a new contractor to tear down the unsafe entrance and rebuild it to code with properly trained workers, griping about the costs all the way. They borrow money to pay the lawyers who lost their suit against the city, and borrow money to pay the new contractor, but because the first contractor was a good friend of the team owner, he is never sued over his shoddy work or all the money it cost the team.

Finally, a year and a half behind schedule and $4.5 million over budget, the new private entrance is completed and passes inspection. The $75 seat holders start returning in a trickle, but it becomes a flood when the team offers free beer and hot dogs in the luxury area.

With all the $75 seats filled, the team is still losing money because their profit margin on those seats is slim after all the free beer, free hot dogs, team jerseys, and massages. The team determines that the only way to become profitable is to convert the $50 area to $75 seats. Though the profit margins are slim, they state they'll make it up in volume.

They borrow another $14 million to renovate the $50 seat area to bring it up to par with the $75 seats.

Still failing to make a profit, they raise the $10 seats to $35 and the $25 seats to $55, plus increase concession stand prices in the former $10 and $25 areas by 20%.

After all this, the team still isn't making a profit. They now owe their creditors an amount greater than four times their annual revenues, and continue to borrow money to subsidize the giveaways to the buyers of the most expensive tickets, hoping against hope that this will turn things around.

Now do you understand? If not, please contact President Bush so he can tell you that questioning his actions presents a divided front to America's enemies and as such only emboldens them. So sit down and shut up before your questions force Homeland Security to change the threat level to a sort of teal with purple flecks in it. Are you trying to cause another 9/11?

["The Republican Version of Tax Cuts" is ©2009 Greg Bulmash, blogger at Brain Handles, and reprinted with permission.]

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Posted January 25, 2010

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