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If your state doesn't then they don't care.

The Department of Economic Opportunity sent letters to several businesses, flagging the various companies for “repeat non-responsiveness” to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

“If you persist and fail to respond to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), there will be significant consequences,” the letters reads, warning that the notice serves as the “final opportunity to respond before consequences are initiated.”

Florida's legislature passed a law that required all employers to run E-Verify on every employee and certify they have done so, subject to audit.  This is a trivial, no-cost requirement in that its a simple computer check.  It is not absolutely bomb-proof but very close, and makes using a stolen Social Security number (or a made up one) almost certain to get declined and, for those employers who "don't care" they won't run it at all and thus can't be in compliance.

As I have repeatedly pointed out virtually all of the scams -- the medical billing scam (charging someone more through their insurance than if they pay cash, often by 10x as much) or otherwise refusing level and consistent pricing in that marketplace, engaging in pricing-fixing in the medical field and similar nonsense can all be fixed at the state licensing level because states have a near-plenary power to regular business licenses.  A business license is a privilege, not a right.

No license, no business.

It doesn't matter what the business is.  From the corner convenience store to the largest bank or insurance company if you don't have that license from the state (and usually from the county as well in many cases) you don't operate and if you try to get cute with it you get arrested.  For real.

Virtually all of the really ugly nonsense that goes on "mandated" by the Federal Government can be stopped at the state level via this mechanism.  If it touches a business interest in some way (and it nearly always does) any state that chooses to do so can cut it off by conditioning business licenses on not doing that and the Federal Government has nothing they can do about it.

It doesn't matter if the firm is involved in interstate or international (in the case of cruise lines) commerce; to operate in the state they must have a business license and there is no underlying right to one.  Thus the options are (1) comply or (2) pull up your stakes and move to another state that doesn't care.

All of these problems -- every last one of them -- that your state refuses to address are in fact choices.  Your state CAN force these issues to be resolved within your state.  It can't force other states, but that's the entire point of 50 political laboratories: The good ideas win population and businesses, the bad ones lose.

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2023-01-17 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in States , 495 references
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If you haven't read my long-standing legislation to resolve the medical mess go read it here.

That's the latest revision dating to 2017; an earlier revision was included in Leverage.

None that exactly zero of this has been put forward by our Federal Government, despite it being fact that CMS, "Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services", is the single largest element of the Government and responsible for far more spending than our deficit.  It also is expanding at a higher rate than GDP and has been for decades with no actual attempt to rein that in by either political party.  These facts mean that it will be the reason there is eventually a default, if there is one, and the reason there is a collapse in both the government and medical system when that occurs, and it will occur with certainty if this trajectory is not halted and in fact reversed.

I fully understand that this is the "third rail" of American politics, and it doesn't require you to touch it to get BBQd; it is in fact one of the oldest partisan claims made by the left that the GOP intends to kill Granny by starving her to death or throwing her down the stairs, usually depicted as Granny in a wheelchair for more dramatic effect.

Expecting the Federal Government to take this on is, at this point, probably a lost cause.  The people will not demand it of their Representatives in sufficient quantity and there's always something "more important" to be addressed, whether its some "equity" claim or cutting taxes.  Never mind skyrocketing inflation and 30%+ shortfalls on electrical generation after you cater to the Green initiative coming out of DC, or, for that matter, a NOTAM system (for pilots) that apparently was considered "not safety-critical" (it isn't, directly, but you can't without having that data legally so "its not safety" is simply because if it doesn't work you don't fly at all.)  Pete and rest of the crazies in DC didn't bother thinking about that, of course.

No, let's focus on the state level because it is there that all medical licensing happens, and thus it is there we can push much of this back.  Not all of it, mind you, but most of it.

Incidentally the states can immediately implement the level pricing requirements in that above-cited article, so leaning on them to do so would be a good idea too.  How?  Simple: All states issue business licenses and in the medical field they also issue credentials without which you cannot operate in the profession.  Indeed in most states, including Tennessee, it is unlawful to practice medicine without a license, and each person upon which one does so is a separate offense.  Therefore the states can absolutely enforce the level pricing mandates in my proposed legislation by tying said licensure of both facilities and persons to them doing so.  The states have near-plenary authority in this regard particularly when their actions implicate the rights of their citizens, and in this case that is absolutely true, particularly given price-fixing and monopolist practices, as declared unlawful in 15 USC Chapter 1, also are mirrored in state legal codes for conduct entirely within a state.

Further, state-level consumer protection and privacy laws can impose an absolute requirement that medical records are the sole property of the individual and that any use by any third party is subject to the personal acquiescence of said person and may not be transferred without their explicit consent.  This does not forbid the Obamacare mandate for electronic records but it would immediately prevent the retention, sharing or transfer of same beyond the person's personal control.  Prior to EMR you could literally walk out of the doctor's office with your file; we must restore that and restore your ownership of your medical history.

We should also consider expanding the general pushback we saw with alleged "*******s."  I will argue that no ******* should be able to be mandated for anyone, at any time, under any circumstance and the right of bodily autonomy to refuse should be ensconced into State Constitutions. This does not interfere with a State's right to quarantine someone who is actually infectious for the duration of that period of time; said power is separate and already present in State legal codes.  At the same time I would forbid at state level, and punish same as a criminal felony of intentional great bodily harm the labeling of anything a "*******" unless it induces sterile, stable and durable immunity to the disease in question, and the combining of that which is a ******* with that which is not results in the entire preparation losing said claim.

Another change, and one that does come into play, is to mandate that no actual ******* which has a boosting requirement during one's life to maintain protection, such as tetanus, may be offered at all unless you can obtain it separately at a reasonable price compared to that when compounded with anything else.

We used to call the annual flu inoculation "the flu shot" for this reason; it does not induce stable, sterile and durable immunity.  It does, in some cases, reduce the risk of acquiring the flu or its severity but it does not prevent getting or transmitting influenza.  By definition leading people to believe they're "safe" from getting and transmitting a disease when they're not puts other people at risk and is fraud -- not just upon the person who gets the inoculation but against society generally because they are led to believe they are safe when others have taken it and that is not true.

That doesn't mean that "shots" cannot be offered (e.g. the flu shot); they can provided they're truthfully marketed and no statement or implication is made that they induce sterile and stable immunity.

At the same time I would fully support the state supplying at no charge to any resident any actual ******* they wish, to be administered at any county public health department with no questions asked and an explicit bar on referral to any agency.  Yes, this means anyone including those who are here illegally.

Why "no mandate" even for things like MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)?  Because if anyone who wants them can have them at no cost to them and no risk of their information being exposed, since its "no questions asked" then anyone who chooses not to take them accepts the risk of the bad outcome if they get the disease.  If the ******* actually works then if you take it you're protected.  If it turns out they don't work and we've been sold a bill of goods and the reason for the decline to near-zero for, as an example, measles isn't actually the ******* but simply because that virus is disfavored in a reasonably-sanitary and developed world then that should be increasingly and immediately apparent.

Never mind that we have millions of people who have unlawfully come into the United States who have not been required to present evidence of having taken any vaccinations whatsoever to enter.  It is ridiculously inappropriate to demand something when it comes to health of citizens you will not impose on those with no right of entry into the United States in the first place.  Improving their coverage with actual *******s is a good thing from a public health perspective particularly considering that those people almost-never have any sort of private health cost coverage and thus their illnesses, if they're severe enough to require medical attention will wind up being paid for by the taxpayer anyway.

(For the record: I have no reason to believe that's its the case that most of the "common" *******s are ineffective, and from my work the math on the MMR *******, which I have done from published data, is that its a better gamble than the disease.  Not completely safe -- nothing is -- but its safer than getting the measles and not by a little either.)

So let's take this fight to the states and get these changes ensconced into law.  The various state medical boards can whine all they want but since the state can both remove these requirements and demand that medical license holders act in accordance with said mandates the power to both levy the regulation and enforce it is not only in the same place and thus they can be forced to accept these changes the regulatory muscle is closer to the people -- which is how and where it should be.

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2023-01-16 11:12 by Karl Denninger
in Flash , 1468 references
[Comments enabled]  

Well now the classified document scandal has really blown up in Biden's face.

But even more-intriguing is that there is an apparent set of evidence of both hinky dealing and intentional cover-up to be found in Biden's tax returns and the revelation that Hunter was paying Joe $50,000 a month to rent a house that was worth a couple of million.

Hunter also claimed that said house was owned by him, but the tax and deed records say otherwise.  That, however, is Hunter's problem --  not Joe's.  Joe's tax return not only shows the property tax paid on the house it also deducts mortgage interest.  It's his house both by deed and by who's covering the mandatory bills.

Joe's tax returns from the subject year shows business income from pass-throughs (two S corps) which is perfectly legal.  The tax returns do not show income in that classification from other sources; ergo, said "rental" has to be inside one of those two corporations or there is a serious felony involved, because that would be $600,000 of undeclared (and untaxed) income.  Line 17 of Schedule 1 shows this and ties back from Schedule E, as it must.  The other "business income or loss" from Schedule C is inconsequential in amount.

But this leads to a very serious question: There's nothing wrong with an S corp owning property but does it not have to be titled into the corporation?  It wasn't; at all times material the house was owned by Jill and Joe Biden in their personal capacity.  It was not in a trust of some sort nor was it retitled into an S-corp as there's no record of either.  That seems rather hinky but perhaps not.  In any event rental property is very different than a personal residence in that with rental property there's depreciation and all other manner of things you can deduct that isn't true for a personal residence -- but if you convert it back to a personal residence that gets recaptured which is something I've warned other people to be careful of.

So let's see the records on those two S-Corps that the Bidens declared and paid taxes on during that year.  Is the rental income from Hunter in there, and if so, how does the S-Corp, which I remind as a corporation must keep formal books of account and not lie in any material respect account for income from an asset it does not own?

If the rental income isn't in those two S-Corps then either it never existed or Joe and Jill ripped off the government and committed tax fraud on the $600,000 paid by Hunter to Joe that is not declared anywhere in their state or federal tax returns.

In any event someone is hiding something in there.  Whether this is more confabulation of a drug-addled Hunter or was disclosure of "10% for the big guy" kicked back to his father under the table and either improperly buried in an S-Corp "profit" that never owned the asset in question and thus can't do that or Joe and Jill got $600,000 worth of undeclared income and didn't pay taxes on it is now the question that demands an answer.  After all tax cheating in that sort of size is serious business, felony-level serious, and is one of the few plausible explanations for what those documents disclose.

I'm not a CPA or Enrolled Agent; I paid both when I ran corporations, but I have run an S-Corp, an LLC and a C-Corp and signed tax returns listing income from all three over the years.  I know what the law is in this regard because I respected and properly followed same.

If I pulled something like this and attempted to claim 10x the reasonable and expected rate of rental income on a single house by running it through an S-corp I'd have federal and state tax people along with law enforcement crawling so far up my rectum I'd be able to taste it.


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2023-01-16 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 663 references
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You know what I'm talking about.

Now think about why it was able to be applied to you.

Let's have some honest reflection.

Did you have a crushingly-expensive mortgage, a couple of nasty car payments and no reserves?  Well, you knew that was stupid, right?  How many people have told you over the years that six months of reserves is a reasonable amount and three is an absolute minimum?  Plenty.  Every single piece of financial education related to personal life has put that metric on the table.  You ignored it, deliberately.  Who's responsible for that?

Did you really think there were no replacement jobs?  You know full well that's BS; there was never a time in the last three years where "no job available, no unemployment, no income" was on the table.  Maybe not as much as you were making but again, your "monthly nut" is almost all under your control.  Its easy to say "well, that $100 bottle of scotch isn't getting bought this week or next"; not so easy to say "that $3,000 mortgage payment is optional", is it?  The fact is that in the first few months when people got laid off the government was handing out unemployment "boosts" and outright cash; you got it, I got it, we all got it.  After the first few months, and well before any sort of "mandate" there were (and are today) a crap-ton of jobs so there was no risk of you not being able to go work and do something for money.

Have you structured your life around that which in truth you can't really afford?  If you have a lifestyle that requires a six-figure income what leads you to believe you'll always have it, and in what sort of sane world would you not expect to have to fund that for at least a year without income at all?  Its a basic fact that the further to the right of the median you go the fewer people there are and thus if you're making that sort of money and something happens to your job (your fault or not) there are a lot fewer people and jobs on the right side of where you are on the bell curve than to the left.

The more-extreme your income compared to the median the more conservative you have to be on reserves and spending as a percentage of said income for given things simply because you're stupid to do otherwise!  There are 159 million, more or less, employed people in this country today.  The median household income is just over $78,000 and median personal income is $37,500.  If you make double that personal income then you're well beyond the peak of the bell curve, or if you already have some sort of disability, no matter what it is, you had better be a heck of a lot more-conservative than the "general rules" because there are far fewer replacement jobs you can do that pay more than those that pay less.

Let me put it succinctly: If you can't make it on materially less than the median personal income where the greater count of potential jobs in terms of pay if you lose your current gig is to the right of you on the curve rather than to the left -- that is, despite your outsized income you have insufficient reserves to cleanly bail out of there and decamp to a much smaller required monthly "nut" before they run out -- you have nobody to complain to when it happens.  This is always a choice.

Who's responsibility is it to take care of yourself and your family?  By what sort of wild-eyed crazy did you think you could buck the odds forever and not get nailed?  Are you really crazy enough to believe you'll never roll a "1"?

I've lived in every economic strata except the crazy-rich where you literally don't care what things cost.  Yes, I did say every and I mean it; I've literally been homeless before.  Never was I under more sleep-losing stress than when I "purchased" a townhouse and vehicles (yes, married at the time) that was well into the "you can afford this but not a huge amount more" ratios that all the banks use to approve same, but didn't have the ability to fund that for at least a year and I was well beyond the median income for where I was living at the time.  I knew damn well that if my firm had failed during that period due to either my own stupidity as a CEO or an act of God entirely beyond my control I was screwed and the odds I could unscrew myself by going to work for someone else before I ran out of reserves at a sufficient salary to keep my head above water approached zero.

Years earlier when I was renting a clean but rather plain and small apartment and had an old, crappy car I was earning below median personal income and thus knew that if push came to shove and I lost my job for any reason I'd be ok.  I'd not be going to the bar chasing skirts on Friday night but the rent could be covered along with the power bill and food; there was basically no way I couldn't find enough employment, save nuclear holocaust (in which case I don't care, obviously) to be able to meet the monthly minimums and thus although I didn't have a big stack of cash that was ok because my income was almost-immediately replaceable save being entirely disabled or dead.  I slept like a baby.

You don't want to read things like Steve Kirsh's substack if you got coerced.  Really, you don't.  There's almost-certainly nothing you can do now to make things better if you put yourself in that position.  You're going to have to live with the insult, whatever it may be, that you imposed on yourself.  But do not kid yourself; you could not have been coerced without being financially irresponsible and ignoring basic facts beforehand.

Nobody owes you a thing if you put yourself in that position.  The responsibility is yours and, if you have family that depends on you, that responsibility is owed to them as well -- by you and you alone.  Everyone else in society and government owes you nothing.

This will not be the last time around.  It never is.  Who's responsibility was it back in 2006 when people were taking out Option ARM loans to buy houses that were interest-only (or even negative amortization!) for the first couple of years and thus had tiny payments predicated on the price going up by at least 20% in those two years and thus you could refinance and do it again?  Basically everyone who did that couldn't pay the full amortization at the start and the more "turns" on that you saw from the so-called price appreciation the worse it got because the principle amount increased with each twist of the crank.  What could possibly lead you to believe that in two years your income would go up by more than 20% plus however much more was required to make an amortizing payment because if it didn't and for any reason you couldn't roll the loan you were going to get foreclosed on and thrown into the street!

If you didn't learn from that after seeing the carnage and foreclosure signs everywhere and didn't take the intervening 13 years to get out of that hole yourself then why are you complaining this time about being "coerced"?  You weren't coerced -- you deliberately dug the hole you found yourself in, got in said hole, kept shoveling more and deeper until you were fully underground and then want people to feel sorry for you!

You had more than a decade to resolve that after you watched others get whacked over the head with a clue-by-four and didn't remedy your personal level of risk and behavior.

Learn from this folks because there will be a next time.  I don't know when the next time will happen or what form it will take but it will happen.  In my adult life I've lived through a bunch of them and although most did not get me personally they did get others and I saw what it did to them.  The late '70s/early 80s, the early 1990 recession, the blow-up in 2000 and then the so-called "great financial crisis" in 2008.

That looks like about once every ten years doesn't it?  Yeah, it does, and it holds over my entire life with the particular insult changing from event to event but the next one always comes.

If you took physical damage its yours and there is nothing you can do about it.  Whatever limitations it places on your life from here forward are yours.  If you boxed yourself in and then got coerced you had better figure out how to move down below the center of personal median income and be ok because given what we now know the odds are dangerously high you're going to find yourself with a serious income problem in the next five to ten years.  That's what history and the odds tell you.

If this means you live well below your means and sock back that capital or get out of a high-cost area and move to a low-cost one and accept whatever lifestyle changes that means you better do it now, on your own terms.  Exactly where you choose to do that is up to you of course and there are many criteria that ought to go into that decision but chief among them needs to be that you will be ok with an income below the median personal level unless you have a large capital reserve you can live off in your current lifestyle if something goes wrong at your current cost of living, plus inflation which, as you've seen, isn't going to be zero any time soon.

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2023-01-15 08:00 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 269 references


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