Sorry Grover, Sometimes Government is the Solution

Via Hilzoy, some great news:

The number of homeless veterans in the United States has fallen 33 percent since 2010, to just under 50,000 as of January. The number of homeless veterans sleeping in the street, as opposed to in shelters, fell even faster, down nearly 40 percent over the past four years.

At least those were the figures put out by a trio of federal agencies in a news release Tuesday. When I first saw the numbers, I was more than a little skeptical. A change that dramatic often reflects a shift in the way data is collected or some other statistical quirk, not a trend. Moreover, the Obama administration has every incentive to make the numbers look good, especially at a time when the Department of Veterans Affairs is mired in scandal.

I’ve looked into the numbers, though, and it seems my skepticism was misplaced. The number of homeless veterans really does seem to be falling. What’s more, it’s falling at least in large part due to government intervention.

50k is still a large number of people, and it would be nice if we would treat all homeless people the way we feel obligated (but often never act) to take care of homeless veterans, but this is still a positive thing in an increasingly ugly world. Click through to read the whole story.

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97 replies
  1. 1
    Amir Khalid says:

    I thought of this song. I hope it’s not inappropriate.

  2. 2
    Yossarian says:

    Yep. I used to work for HUD, and I can tell you everyone from the Secretary on down was committed to moving mountains to make ending homelessness a reality. I mean, during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, homelessness stayed essentially flat. That’s extraordinary – and a ton of it was due to the “failed” stimulus.

  3. 3
    Roger Moore says:

    Now if there were just a free market solution to drowning Grover Norquist in his bathtub…

  4. 4
    Ugh says:

    Hilzoy! Where?!!?

  5. 5
    Belafon says:

    @Roger Moore: Maybe a Kickstarter project?

  6. 6
    sherifffruitfly says:

    pretty sure good news isn’t allowed.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    @sherifffruitfly: Good news won’t be covered by the media, that’s for sure.

  8. 8
    raven says:

    @Amir Khalid: Try Arlo
    When A Soldier Makes It Home

    The night is coming quickly
    And the stars are on their way
    As I stare into the evening
    Looking for the words to say
    That I saw the lonely soldier
    Just a boy that’s far from home
    And I saw that I was just like him
    While upon this earth I roam

  9. 9
    eric says:

    The only vet i want homeless is that war monger dick cheney….oh, wait….nevermind

  10. 10
    Chris says:

    it would be nice if we would treat all homeless people the way we feel obligated (but often never act) to take care of homeless veterans

    This occurs to me every time I hear a story about homeless vets.

    The way we treat far too many of our returning veterans is disgraceful and made much more so by everything veterans have undergone for the country. That said, you shouldn’t have to volunteer to lay down your life for your country before your country will even pretend to feel obligated towards you.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @Chris: So draftees are ok?

  12. 12
    Hunter Gathers says:

    What’s more, it’s falling at least in large part due to government intervention.

    But that’s unpossible! We all know that government intervention makes you lazy (like the Blahs). The government intervening in the lives of the lazy homeless will only make them even lazier! Why can’t those welfare cheating homeless bums pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get their MBA’s like a Real American would? Next you’ll be telling me that putting an Uzi set to fully automatic in the hands of a nine year is a bad idea. What are you, some kind of fag?

  13. 13
    David Hunt says:

    @Belafon:

    @Roger Moore: Maybe a Kickstarter project?

    Drowning him in his bathtub would need to be a stretch goal. I’d definitely go in if a relatively low-level reward was taking “kickstarter” literally and you were buying the privilege of kicking Grover Norquist.

    Jeez, the more I find out about that asshole and his ilk, the closer I get to being serious when I post crap like that. Not there yet, though…

  14. 14
    muddy says:

    @raven: I think he meant that you ought not have to be a veteran to have the country care that you are homeless.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    @muddy: I know what he meant and I also know what a volunteer is.

  16. 16
    D58826 says:

    OT but the latest from the craxy Kristol

    Someone said, ‘we can’t just bomb,'” he said, speaking about an ABC panel he was on. “You know, why don’t we just [bomb?] We know where ISIS is. What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens? I don’t think there’s much in the way of unanticipated side effects that are going to be bad there. We could kill a lot of very bad guys!”

    I vote we give him an f-15, a coupon for a months worth of bombs and point him in a generally easterly direction. I’d even include a few pre-paid post cards so he can keep us up[ to date on his great adventure.

  17. 17
    Scratch says:

    Of course, there’ll be some libertarians who think, “Imagine, if government can actually help, just imagine how much we would have done if we had used free-market solutions.”

  18. 18
    Yossarian says:

    Totally agree that it shouldn’t require serving in the military to get the government to care about someone being homeless, but there are some good bureaucratic and clinical reasons to separate groups out like that. In this case, the big thing is that homeless veterans can get access to both HUD resources and VA housing support resources, which can make a huge difference in terms of both getting “more” services to people but also allowing agencies and service providers to target those services more effectively.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    @raven:
    I think some of us who grew up with an all “volunteer” military will occasionally forget that the draft used to be a thing.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    Good to hear this success story.

    And good to see JGCole posting, several days now, before vampire hours.

  21. 21
    raven says:

    @Roger Moore: “The New Action Army”!

  22. 22
    Chris says:

    @raven:

    Fine. Considering that my point was that anyone in shitty circumstances like homelessness should be able to rely on society giving a shit and that “anyone” includes draftees as well as volunteers as well as people who didn’t serve as well as… well, “anyone” – I don’t see which part of it denigrates draftees.

  23. 23
    gene108 says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    You think America is paying for this? Moron!

    We are borrowing this money from the Chinese and when the Chi-Coms call in their debts, these veterans will have nowhere to go. Or maybe they will have somewhere to go and can pay off Obama’s doubling of our debt in Chinese forced labor camps.

    Just like Democrats to engage in short term thinking to buy votes, when the real problem is more and more of this country is being owned by the Chi-Coms. Borrowing to fund your government, your home or anything else is not a long term solution.

    Reducing the size of government, so we do not have to be in debt is the first step to restoring America’s greatness that has been ruined these past five years.

    But leave it to liberals to think this sort of short term thinking is a good idea, because liberals are not able to understand the importance of being responsible for yourself, let alone your country, means more than just giving handouts to everyone.

  24. 24
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I’m a lifelong atheist. God, now’s your chance. Prove you exist. Have Norquist drown in a bathtub. I’ll convert the day I hear the news.

  25. 25
    raven says:

    @Chris: Who said you denigrated them? You just left them out.

  26. 26
    raven says:

    @gene108: You’re a fucking jackass. Don’t you need to be out on the range giving uzi lessons?

  27. 27
    trollhattan says:

    @raven: And here I thought it was snark. Too letter-perfect for a homeschooled kid.

  28. 28

    @gene108: Nice try, Doug J., but you need more ALLCAPS! and less punctuation to get me to believe that you’re a true conservative.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @gene108:

    But leave it to liberals to think this sort of short term thinking is a good idea, because liberals are not able to understand the importance of being responsible for yourself, let alone your country, means more than just giving handouts to everyone.

    I know, right? Not only will the debt crush us all, but our ludicrously high corporate tax rates are killing innovation. That great American institution, Burger King, is moving to Canada in order to take advantage of Canada’s lower tax rates, so they can keep innovating. Unless we eliminate the corporate tax altogether, we’ll never know what new innovations the fast food industry might bestow upon us! What if Burger King decides to close all of its American stores in order to drive innovation? Where are we going to go for re-heated hamburgers then?

    Do stupid Liberals care about that? Of course not. They’re too busy attending heathen weddings of Godless faggots, standing up for African mongrels who deserve to die at the hands of the police and enjoying consequence free sex. These radicals are stupid enough to believe in equality, and refuse to do their duty as Americans and kick out all the dirty Hispanics and vote for Godly Conservatives like Jesus wants. Next thing you know they’ll support a woman for President who isn’t a Godly Conservative, who will only accelerate the oppression of white male conservatives. These ignorant Liberals are going to get us all converted to Islam, and our children will be forced to birth half-breed mongrels.

  31. 31
    Goblue72 says:

    @gene108: that’s some high quality satire

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    @raven:

    The narrative of “you owe veterans,” at least as I’ve been told it my entire lifetime, is specifically tied to the all-volunteer force – “they volunteered to die for you, therefore you owe them,” ergo I was reacting to that. But fine. I left out draftees. My apologies.

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Scratch: And that’s when I reached for my nine-year old wielding an Uzi.

  34. 34
    raven says:

    @Chris: You don’t owe me shit.

  35. 35
    JGabriel says:

    Slightly OT, from a TeaPartyInfo.org ad/poll that appeared on the right side of the BJ home page:

    1) Do you believe Obama is the Worst President in History?

    A) Yes, Obamacare put him there.
    B) Yes, his handling of the economy was devastating
    C) Yes, his increases in the welfare state are tragic
    D) No, he is not worse than Jimmy Carter

    What an inspiring and wonderful example of objective polling!

  36. 36
    flukebucket says:

    If you guys have not read the Ben Stein piece “CNN has flipped out” linked to from Newsmax you really, really need to:

    “Now first of all, it isn’t standard procedure, it’s an extremely rare thing when that happens. Second, the idea of calling this poor young man unarmed when he was 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, full of muscles,” he said. “Apparently according to what I read in the New York Times [he was] on marijuana. To call him unarmed is like calling Sonny Liston unarmed or Cassius Clay unarmed. I mean he wasn’t unarmed; he was armed with his undoubtedly strong, scary self.”

    6 foot 4 and full of muscles. Did he come from a land down under? So now just like Trayvon Martin was armed with the sidewalk I guess any oversized black guy is armed with his huge scary self. I can’t believe these people have no clue as to how damn dumb they sound!

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @D58826: I really think it would be the optimal solution to send ol’ Bill as the payload on a bombing run against ISIS.

  38. 38
    Belafon says:

    @flukebucket: That was the Fox talking point a couple of days ago. It’s making the rounds. Plus, we all know how scary marijuana makes you.

  39. 39
    chopper says:

    @flukebucket:

    “I mean he wasn’t unarmed; he was armed with his undoubtedly strong, scary self blackness.”

  40. 40
    Gus says:

    @flukebucket: “on marijuana?” Did he time travel from 1954?

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    @flukebucket:
    “Sonny Liston”? “Cassius Clay”? Just how old is this Ben Stein person, anyway?

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Yes, smoking dope usually results in violent behavior, unlike meth, the drug of choice of white trash, which makes you mellow.

  43. 43
    Citizen_X says:

    @JGabriel:

    Yes, Obamacare put him there.

    Da fuq does that even mean? Who’s “he?”

    @flukebucket: Ben Stein is full of something.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: I believe it was Steve Doocy who expressed concerned about kids in Washington and Colorado getting “all potted up”.

  45. 45
    Belafon says:

    @Gus: Did Ben Stein ever leave 1954?

  46. 46
    Chyron HR says:

    @flukebucket:

    “Second, the idea of calling this poor young man unarmed when he was 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, full of muscles”

    Apparently according to what I read in the NY Times, he may not have spoken English, but [he was] eating a Vegemite sandwich.

  47. 47
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JGabriel: B) Yes, his handling of the economy was devastating

    I know that I, for one, have been devastated by the S&P 500 going from 850 to 2,000 over the course of his Presidency.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Ben Stein is full of something.

    Vegemite, from the sound of things.

  49. 49
    dmsilev says:

    @Amir Khalid: Born 1944 according to Wiki, so 70. That’s physical age. Intellectually, he dates back to the mid 17th century.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev: Oh, I’m thinking 12th century. 14th, tops.

  51. 51
    Calouste says:

    @flukebucket:

    I’m 6 foot 6 and 260 pounds (and not so full of muscles). Good thing I’m not black, other wise I’d better be wearing a bulletproof vest whenever I go out on the street. 6 foot 4, 300 pounds and full of muscles makes you a serious bodybuilder or martial artist btw, and Michael Brown didn’t look like that, just a big overweight kid. By comparison, Hulk Hogan is listed as 6’7 and 302 pounds.

    Btw, if American cops would actually spend some time every week learning judo or some other martial art as cops in civilized countries do, they wouldn’t have a problem with an unarmed big guy. But that would eat into their time eating donuts and posting racist screeds on the internet and would threaten the use of their metal p3n1s substitute.

  52. 52
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @flukebucket: like calling Sonny Liston unarmed or Cassius Clay unarmed

    Well, one could argue that Liston brought a knife to a gunfight in Lewiston.

  53. 53
    Chyron HR says:

    The short-lived series “Win Ben Stein’s Frontal Lobe” was popular, but would have serious repercussions for the actor/pundit in the future.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:

    The narrative of “you owe veterans,” at least as I’ve been told it my entire lifetime, is specifically tied to the all-volunteer force

    Which is ludicrous. If anything, the draftee deserves more than the volunteer. After all, the volunteer at least theoretically knew what they were signing up for. We made promises to them when they enlisted and they accepted them, so all we really need to do is keep our half of the bargain*. A draftee, OTOH, was dragged away and forced to serve against his wishes and without any chance to agree to anything. That’s the person we really need to bend over backward to support as compensation for the danger they were forced into unwillingly.

    *ETA: Though there are obviously plenty of assholes who want to renege on those promises. People who want to back out of our promises that way deserve to roast in the lowest levels of Hell.

  55. 55
    JustRuss says:

    @flukebucket: Extra points to Ben for mentioning Cassius Clay instead of that Muslim-sounding Mohammed Ali. Although he’s going for scary, so I take them back. WTF Ben?

    And he was “on marijuana?” Quelle horreur! If I were going up against a 300 pound guy, I’d happily let him smoke all the reefer he wanted before the bout.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gus:

    “on marijuana?” Did he time travel from 1954?

    I think you’re off by a decade. The reference to Sonny Liston and “Cassius Clay” shows he most likely time traveled from 1964.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Though there are obviously plenty of assholes who want to renege on those promises. People who want to back out of our promises that way deserve to roast in the lowest levels of Hell.

    These people are called “Republicans”.

  58. 58
    burnspbesq says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    What if Burger King decides to close all of its American stores in order to drive innovation?

    The Burger King that is buying Tim Horton’s in order to be Sir Robin doesn’t operate stores. It’s a franchisor. If they can figure out a way around three or four pieces of the Internal Revenue Code and get the US rights to their IP offshore without having to pay a big toll charge (and I assume they have, or they wouldn’t be doing this), all of that franchise-fee income will go “poof” for US purposes.

  59. 59
    Shakezula says:

    Nuh-uh. Just get rid of big government in the form of the 3rd Amendment and require people to house [former] troops.

  60. 60
    burnspbesq says:

    @flukebucket:

    Maybe if he’d offered the cop a Vegemite sandwich, he’d still be alive.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Maybe if he’d offered the cop a Vegemite sandwich, he’d still be alive.

    Have you ever tasted that stuff? That’s assault with a deadly weapon, so there would be no question that it was a righteous kill.

  62. 62
    Woodrowfan says:

    he was 6′ 4″ and “full of muscles.” Unlike the cop, who, judging from the righties’ reaction, was about 5 foot 2 and barely topped 110 when sopping wet.

  63. 63
    Calouste says:

    A Guardian commenter sums up the essence of the 9-year old girl shooting the gun instructor:

    Presumably the instructor doing his job had been asked by the parents to allow this child to handle such a weapon

    And if you were a gun instructor and were asked by parents to let their nine year old daughter handle an Uzi, would you say:

    (a) What a great idea!

    Or

    (b) Are you fucking mental?

    Take your time.

  64. 64
    Belafon says:

    @Calouste: How are you going to get her hooked on guns if you don’t show her how deadly awesome they are?

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Roger Moore:
    I’m surprised that no one has yet worked “You better run, you better take cover” into a comment.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: The NRA is all for getting 9 year olds hooked on guns. It’s a major part of their mandate from their masters, the merchants of death, who need to move product.

  67. 67
    burnspbesq says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Are we now all Milton Keynes Dons fans?

  68. 68
    shelley says:

    The only vet i want homeless is that war monger dick cheney….oh, wait….nevermind

    Just realized that it’s been almost two weeks since we heard any rumblings from Cheney or his spawn. For which god should we thank for this?

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @shelley: I’m sure the recent refocusing of our ADD MSM on the Middle East will call for someone to ask the Dark Lord for his totally predictable views on the “failures” of the near sheriff.

  70. 70
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    What if Burger King decides to close all of its American stores in order to drive innovation?

    Actually, that might legitimately drive innovation – particularly if we figure out a way to close all of the McDonalds at the same time.

    Interesting side-note: Do you know a big reason why Subway and Quiznos and such chains have been so successful? All states require grills and fryers to meet quite stringent codes for grease capture and suppression. The cost of building a Burger King is tremendously large compared to building a Quiznos that has no grill or fryer. That also means you can build the non-grill restaurants in malls and chains where a grill restaurant would be prohibitively difficult to do. Coincidentally, thanks in small part to this shift, Americans are actually getting healthier:

    Some good news for heart health this week: A new study published by the journal Circulation reports that America—home of the Big Mac, Dunkin’ Donuts, and all things super-sized—has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of cardiovascular hospitalizations and deaths over the past decade. This is a big deal, since cardiovascular disease is currently the number one cause of death in the United States.

    Government regulation inadvertently improving health outcomes. Yay us!

  71. 71
    shelley says:

    @flukebucket: Yes, and ‘apparently,’ ‘according to’ and ‘what I read….’ makes it all gospel truth.

    And love the tone of ‘ in the New York Times [he was] on marijuana’. Methinks Ben Stein has watched ‘Reefer Madness’ one too many times.

  72. 72
    Trollhattan says:

    @dmsilev: I believe he was born aged 42, so there’s that.

    Anytime Ben Stein has a speaking platform, it should be mandatory to run the video of him mocking (yes, mocking) the economist predicting the imminent real estate collapse. In 2008. (BTW, the economist was a Paultard, just to make things more interesting.)

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🚸 Martin: Government regulation improving health outcomes? This cannot be! Some heart surgeon is being denied work in bypasses due to this socialist interference in the free market! The tree of liberty is parched!

  74. 74
    Trollhattan says:

    @Woodrowfan:
    I am full of muscles. They’re virtually everywhere (including intercranial).

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan: Ben Stein is to economics what Donald Rumsfeld is to military strategerizing.

  76. 76
    Trollhattan says:

    @shelley:
    They’re off fighting in Syria–family vaycay.

    Yeah, I crack myself up.

  77. 77
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    “Ben Stein: The Gordian knot of unknown unknowns. ”

    Quick, somebody hand me a sword.

  78. 78
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I need to quit working towards my Network Administration degree and start working on a font for sarcasm. Sweet Zombie Jeebus.

  79. 79
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq: Obviously, some tightening up the tax code is required, to preclude this sort of sleight of hand, but the chances of this being done anytime soon is pretty much as distant as the Andromeda galaxy, for two reasons:

    1) Teatard veto of any such effort, since the magic word “tax” is involved.

    2) Utter inability of teatards to comprehend such an effort in the first place.

  80. 80
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Violet: When something just works:

    it won’t be newsworthy

    cons will say it fixed itself

    the program that fixed it will receive no credit, the people who worked on it no credit, even from their shouty in-laws, who will shoutily inform them that the problem was made-up by the media to get us to [fill in the blank]

    the funding will be cut

    the next time it happens serious people will wring their hands about why such a great program that worked last time can’t be implemented now

    the next generation will declare that the idea that the old program worked to fix the problem is a political myth

  81. 81
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Chris:

    The way we treat far too many of our returning veterans is disgraceful and made much more so by everything veterans have undergone for the country. That said, you shouldn’t have to volunteer to lay down your life for your country before your country will even pretend to feel obligated towards you.

    This. Exactly what I was thinking, all of it.

  82. 82
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @raven: You need therapy. Also, if a person was drafted for Vietnam IMO they chose not to run when their country called. I know people who ran, don’t you?

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer): Well, I often say to those who don’t care to have to devote some of their own efforts (in the form of taxes) to caring for our veterans is that they should have thought about that before the were so keen to go to war to pay back those who attacked us on 9/11. It really is too bad that the veterans created by those wars weren’t actually getting back at those who attacked us on 9/11, but a hajii is a hajii, you know.

    If you don’t want to pay for veterans’ benefits, stop creating more veterans. It’s really quite simple.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human (now with new computer):

    I know people who ran, don’t you?

    Let’s see now. George W. Bush. Richard Cheney. Rush Limbaugh. Newt Gingrich. Grover Norquist. For starters.

  85. 85
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @raven: We could replace you with a bot. You can retire now. Very simple algo:

    1. Act like a jackass
    2. Double down

  86. 86
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Amir Khalid: stein is so old, he was old when he was on Bueller’s Day Off.

  87. 87
    Trollhattan says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):
    His onsies were little 3-piece suits with bow ties.

  88. 88
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Don’t forget the Nuge!

  89. 89
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Ted “Poopypants” Nugent.

    And for the classic chickenhawk style there’s always John Wayne. Ugh.

  90. 90
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Trollhattan: Psych!

  91. 91
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @Trollhattan: This proves he is stuck in the 18th century and nothing from the 19th or 20th or 21st may sully his beautiful mind.

    1841 Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds — Nope!
    1859 On the Origin of Species — Nope!
    1930 A Treatise on Money — Nope!

    1967 The Medium is the Massage — ?? Given the existence of “Expelled”, I’m gonna guess that’s another no.

  92. 92
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @🚸 Martin: Probably in larger part due to smoking cessation efforts.

    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/healt.....opics/smo/

    Improved CAFE standards especially on heavy vehicles and laws restricting idling also play a role in reducing heart and lung disorders.

  93. 93
    gene108 says:

    @trollhattan:

    And here I thought it was snark. Too letter-perfect for a homeschooled kid.

    I am not aiming for the wing-nut incoherent letters of rage. I’m more angling for copying a right-wing pundit, who generally tends to write more crisply and properly than the average letter to the editor.

    @Goblue72:

    that’s some high quality satire

    Thank you. I wish I had more time at work to comment on Balloon Juice. I really want to try and polish this sort of reasoning up. Maybe I can make a few extra bucks, myself, as a new thought-leader for the right, since Dinesh D’Souza’s on the outs, I could fill in his spot.

  94. 94
    Roger Moore says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):

    stein is so old, he was old when he was on Bueller’s Day Off.

    Stein was an old fogey when he was still in diapers. Some people are just born that way.

  95. 95
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As you know, I do international tax for a living. I see the latest round of inversions as a sort of canary in the coal mine. The whole structure is FUBAR. We need to acknowledge that in a world where capital is mobile, we can’t continue to tax domestic corporations on their worldwide income. Unless you’ve got a way to make capital immobile, US corporate taxation has to be consistent with international norms, and right now the international norm is a rate in the teens or 20s and territoriality (accomplished in one of three or four ways).

    If you patch the inversion hole, smart people like me will find something else.

    And AFAIC, anything that gets us closer to the point where we have to have a serious conversation about a VAT is fine.

    I don’t blame any corporate tax director who inverts. As long as he/she reports to a CFO who has a fiduciary obligation to maximize shareholder value, he’s hardly in a position to leave that money on the table unless the CFO explicitly tells him/her it’s OK. That’s another thing we need to talk about.

  96. 96
    jayackroyd says:

    I’ve just started working for Easter Seals NY, which has programs for homeless, at risk of homeless and unemployed vets in NYC and the Syracuse area. If you know of someone who needs help, or if you want to support the effort, you can email me hackroyd@eastersealsny.org.

  97. 97
    jayackroyd says:

    @burnspbesq: I do recommend Lynn Stout’s The Myth of Shareholder Value

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