U.S. Tax system explained in terms of beer, to make it more manageable

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid the bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Because you are such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay the bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men — the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).

The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”

“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!” “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!” The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money among them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Ask Carnac the Magnificent

A: Midrash

Q: What is a Middle East skin disease?

A: The Gaza Strip

Q: What is an Egyptian Belly Dance?

A: A classroom, a Passover ceremony, and a latke

Q: What is a kheder, a seder, and a tater?

A: Sofer

Q: On what do Jews recline on Passover?

A: Babylon

Q: What does the rabbi do during some sermons?

A: Kishka, sukkah, and circumcision

Q: What are a gut, a hut, and a cut?

Why Computers Sometimes Crash

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port, and the bus is interrupted at a very last resort, and the access of the memory makes your floppy disk abort, then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash, and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash, and your data is corrupted cause the index doesn’t hash, then your situation’s hopeless and your system’s gonna crash!

If the label on the cable on the table at your house, says the network is connected to the button on your mouse, but your packets want to tunnel to another protocol, that’s repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss, so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse; then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang, ‘cuz sure as I’m a poet, the sucker’s gonna hang.

When the copy on your floppy’s getting sloppy in the disk, and the macro code instructions cause unwanted risk, then you’ll have to flash the BIOS and you’ll want to RAM your ROM, just quickly turn the darn thing off and run to tell your Mom!

Leaks in the gene pool

A woman went down to the Welfare Office to get aid. The office worker asked her, “How many children do you have?”

“Ten,” she replied.

“What are their names?” he asked.

“LeRoy, LeRoy, LeRoy, LeRoy, LeRoy, LeRoy, LeRoy, LeRoy, LeRoy, and LeRoy,” she answered.

“They’re all named LeRoy?” he asked  “What if you want them to come in from playing outside?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” she said. “I just call ‘LeRoy,’ and they all come running in.”

“And, if you want them to come to the table for dinner?”

“I just say, ‘LeRoy, come eat your dinner’,” she answered.

“But what if you just want ONE of them to do something?” he asked.

“Oh, that’s easy,” she said. “I just use their last name!”

Be careful setting your goals

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define “great” he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!”

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

Don’t ask, don’t tell

Little Lucy was playing in the garden when she spotted two spiders mating.

“Daddy, what are those two spiders doing?”

“They’re mating, Lucy” he replied.

“What do you call the spider on top, Daddy?” Lucy asked.

“Oh, that’s a Daddy Longlegs.”

Lucy asked, “Oh, so one’s a Daddy Longlegs and the other one is a Mommy Longlegs?”

Daddy replied, “No, both of them are Daddy Longlegs.”

Lucy thought for a moment, then took her foot and stamped them flat. “Well, we’re not having THAT sort of thing in our garden!”

Find out about the co-pay first

A man was brought to Mercy Hospital, and taken quickly in for coronary surgery. The operation went well and, as the groggy man regained consciousness, he was reassured by a Sister of Mercy, who was waiting by his bed.

“Mr. Smith, you’re going to be just fine,” said the nun, gently patting his hand. “We do need to know, however, how you intend to pay for your stay here. Are you covered by insurance?”

“No, I’m not,” the man whispered hoarsely.

“Can you pay in cash?” persisted the nun.

“I’m afraid I cannot, Sister.”

“Well, do you have any close relatives?” the nun essayed.

“Just my sister in New Mexico,” he volunteered. “But she’s a humble spinster nun.”

“Oh, I must correct you, Mr. Smith. Nuns are not ‘spinsters;’ they are married to God.”

“Wonderful,” said Smith. “In that case, please send the bill to my brother-in-law.

Great news?

A woman gets home, screeches her car into the driveway, runs into the house, slams the door and shouts at the top of her lungs: “Honey, pack your bags! I won the lottery!”

The husband says, “Oh my God! What should I pack: Beach stuff or mountain stuff?”

The wife yells back, “It doesn’t matter … just get out!”