Political Poontang

April 28, 2005 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Regardless of how some in this industry run their shops, the collision repair business is still a business. It is not a nonprofit organization or a hobby or a school. You are running a business and as a business owner or manager you should be interested and aware of national and regional policy issues that can, and will, affect your bottom line. Now I know many of you could give a flying fornication about politics. And a few of you have expressed your disappointment or distaste of my occasional political pontifications. Too freaking bad. It?s important, if you care about the future of your business, to be aware of what those slimy politicians are up to. Those of you who are easily offended by right wing rhetoric may want to find a nice tree to hug, or better yet, find some smelly homeless person, take him home with you and give him a bath. The rest of you should read on.

As you know, there are efforts by collision repairers across the country to introduce legislation intended to curb steering, aftermarket parts usage and insurer owned shops. What many of you don?t know is that the insurance industry is not sitting back in the defense mode. They are going on the offence and are introducing legislation of their own. Much of it is nonsense and would never pass, and if it did the courts would most likely find it unconstitutional.

In California there are a couple bills backed by insurers that border on ridiculous, but then again, so doesn?t many of California?s current laws. One bill would redefine the term ?Like Kind and Quality? and ?aftermarket? to something the state deems appropriate. Here is their official description of the bill. The bill would establish that a noncar company certified aftermarket crash part is of like kind and quality to a part manufactured by the vehicle manufacturer. The bill would prohibit a person from imposing a penalty upon a person leasing or financing a vehicle who repairs that vehicle using certified aftermarket crash parts. In other words, any certified part would be considered Like Kind and Quality whether it fit or not. Here?s the link. Read the entire bill.

That?s not the worst of it. California has another bill in the works that would allow insurers to pay only the rate their DRP shops are working for. So if you had some cheap whore down the street from you working for $30 per hour, the insurer wouldn?t be obligated to pay you a penny more. Nice, huh? Here?s the link.

In Connecticut, recently, the insurance industry introduced a bill that would require shops to let insurers inspect a vehicle before they could even tear it down. It basically puts entire control of the repair in the insurers hands and removes the control from the consumer and repairer. Here?s the link.

These bills have been quietly introduced and are a clear attempt to head off any future legislation brought forth by the collision repair industry. Their goal is to keep repairers busy fighting these ridiculous bills so they don?t have the time and energy to get their own legislation passed. You folks better pay attention to your state politics or you?ll find yourselves spending lots of hard earned money trying to get some stupid bill repealed through the courts.

Nationally there are a few things happening that could have a profound effect on your business. First, that fat, disgusting, drunken, killer, Ted Kennedy (of whom I have no opinion) is introducing legislation that would force all employers to supply every employee seven paid sick days per year. Seven! 7!

I know some of you think this is great. Obviously you don?t run a business. This is just one more attempt at the liberals utopian welfare state. Old Teddy is whining that many people in this country get no paid days off when they are sick. They have to work to make money. Poor babies. Isn?t that sad? Look, we would all love to get paid to do nothing. But schemes like this only hobble employers with more expenses, expenses that have to be passed along to the consumer or taken from the employees pay. You know damn well that if your techs know that by law they are entitled to seven paid sick days, they will be sure to take every one of those days off. Think of how much money that will cost you.

When you calculate how much you can afford to pay your techs, you?ll have to take those seven paid sick days into account. That will lower your techs? hourly rate. Not only will it cost you, it will also cost your techs.

Thankfully, this bill has no chance of getting out of committee. With Republicans in power moronic wealth distribution bills like this have no chance. Why do I bring it up then? Because Ted Kennedy and his wacko group of friends may someday be in power again. They may just get this bill on the floor for a vote. With the way the country is headed, along with socialized medicine, this seven paid sick day bill could actually become the law of the land. You need to pay attention to what?s happening in Washington if you want to ensure your business survives.

Another issue, which is getting plenty of news time, is the social security fiasco. It seems the old fogies have forgotten about the idea of making your children and grandchildren?s lives better than yours. They don?t want to let go of an institution that was a mistake from its inception and has become a national joke.

Every penny of social security contributions is spent every year. There is no trust fund. There is no pool of money waiting to be spent. As more people retire, and more people go on the government nipple, fewer of us are going to be contributing to this non existent fund. The program is in serious trouble. Frankly, I love to see the whole thing scrapped. I would gladly forfeit every penny I?ve put into it just to see it end. That 15% of my income that goes to the social security program every year could be invested in something that would actually give me a return. As it stands now we?re just paying the government, and if we?re lucky to live long enough we get some of that money back.

Something has to be done because the alternatives are not pretty. Right now you can retire at a fairly reasonable age and collect some of your hard earned money back from the government cash vacuum, but there is talk in Washington of raising the retirement age to something like 70. Do you want to work until you?re 70 just so you can collect a few measly dollars that weren?t carefully invested by the government? How?d you like to be dealing with the likes of the geniuses from Progressive, Nationwide and Allstate when you should be clogging up traffic in Florida somewhere. Many more people will die before reaching retirement age, and all that money? It?ll just be spent erecting a building in the name of some politician.

Another thing being kicked around in congress–and the Democrats are drooling over this one?is raising the cap on earnings that are taxed. For social security purposes, right now the cut off is about $90,000. If the greedy politicians get their way they will raise that ceiling to what, $100,000? $120,000? $150,000? Yeah, get those evil rich people. Many of you, as business owners, are making more than $90,000 a year. Do you want to give up another five or ten grand a year so some old coot, who should have been saving for his own retirement and is now getting a monthly allowance from the nanny state, can spend his final days filling adult diapers in the tropical sun?

Now that you are thoroughly pissed off at me, how?d you like some good news? How would like to be able to fire your accountant? How would you like to think of April 15th as just another day at work? Wouldn?t you just love to see the entire IRS eliminated? What would you think about not having any money taken from your paycheck every week? Wouldn?t you just love to keep every penny you earn? How would you like to decide how much tax money you give to the government each year?

Right now there is a bill slowly making its way through the mind numbing beauracracy of the US legislature that would do all of the above and more. As a business person, there is probably no piece of legislation that would have as profound an effect on your bottom as the Fair Tax bill. And this effect would be all positive. The Fair Tax bill is the result of years of grassroots work and research that has evolved into the most far reaching government reform bill ever proposed.

The Fair Tax would eliminate the IRS. It would eliminate all federal withholding taxes. All of them! Your gross pay would be your net pay (except for that pesky state and local taxes). There would be no business or corporate taxes. Billions and Billions spent every year trying to comply with our insane tax codes would be saved. Retail prices would fall by an average of 20% because the embedded taxes in every product we purchase would vanish. We wouldn?t have to worry about the social security problem. Foreign interests would trip over each other trying to invest here. Interest rates would fall. The economy would boom.

How would the government operate? A federal sales tax of about 23%. I know that sounds huge, but remember, you?ll keep every penny you earn. Prices will fall by an average of 20%. Including the Federal sales tax, prices will remain about the same as they are now. Only new goods and services would be taxed, so if you?re frugal you could buy all used items and pay no taxes. And for those of you who worry and wring your hands about the poor and ?less fortunate,? 100% of the taxes on the necessities of life would be refundable. The poor would pay no federal taxes, just like they pay no taxes now. Drug dealers? They?d finally pay taxes on all that illegal money. Illegal aliens? They would finally be paying federal taxes and helping to support our effort to send them back to where they came from. The entire underground economy would surface. All those high priced, slick attorneys who find loopholes for their rich clients would be out of business. By taxing money when it is spent, tax dodgers will finally be paying their share.

You naysayers keep your mouths shut until you know all the facts. If you want the facts click the link on the left side of this page to FairTax.org and spend some time reading. Let me suggest the FAQ section to those of you with questions, arguments and ignorant reasons why it won?t work, or why it would be bad for the country. The Fair Tax has been researched and worked on for many years. No one has been able to come up with a logical, reasonable reason why the Fair Tax wouldn?t be the greatest reform our country has ever seen. No one has been able to find a sector of the economy or a group of people who wouldn?t benefit from the Fair Tax aside from the accounting industry and the IRS people, and who is going to feel sorry for IRS agents? There will be so many new jobs created, I don?t think these people will have too much trouble finding work.

Business people, think of time and money saved by not having to figure deductions for your employees checks (yes I know the state taxes will still have to come out). You?ll be able to do your own payroll. You won?t need your accountant any more. You won?t have to come up with clever ways to keep your quarterly taxes lower. Hell, you might even be able to give your techs a raise!

If you are too busy to pay attention to politics you will write your own epitaph. Everyone in the collision repair industry who tries to make changes and improve the industry finds out very fast that politics is the rubble that blocks the road to change. Insurers are deeply embedded in the political system. They spend millions every year greasing the slimy wheels we call politicians, to shape the system to meet their business model and their business needs. As long as the insurance industry is in bed with politicians we need be voyeurs and watch their vile acts long enough to learn how to seduce the politicians into our own bed. It?s time for our industry to get some political poontang.

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7 Comments on Political Poontang

  1. Rob Johnson, Illinois on Thu, 28th Apr 2005 3:01 pm
  2. I would think a true conservative would push for the elimination of Social Security and the payroll tax altogether…but then WalL Street campaign contributors have nothing to gain!

    Look past the trees and look at the forest!

  3. Bodiman on Thu, 28th Apr 2005 3:17 pm
  4. He just got in the seat John, your already pissing off the POPE!

    Politics, there aught to be a law!

  5. Johnny Brick on Thu, 28th Apr 2005 5:30 pm
  6. John. It’s too bad Bodymen don’t know that they are in business. As I have said before, "If ignorance was money the Bodymen in this country would be MILLIONAIRES" Remember the concent decree of 1963, it’s still being kicked around. What you write is true, it will never happen until the Collision Industry is ORGANIZE. Have a Good Day.

  7. Rob Johnson on Thu, 28th Apr 2005 11:55 pm
  8. John, it seems even the President now wants "means testing" for social security!

  9. PAUL IN OHIO on Fri, 29th Apr 2005 8:53 am

  11. Rob Johnson on Fri, 6th May 2005 3:40 am
  12. social security and the alleged crisis is just a smokescreen for the true problem…MEDICARE and our health care system


  13. John Jackson, Newcastle,New South Wales, Australia on Sat, 23rd Jul 2005 9:26 pm
  14. Dear John,
    Hello from down under,
    Australia has a 10% goods & services tax (GST) introduced 2000, the federal government still is in trouble trying to formulate equitable division for all States.
    The industry awards in Australia generally have provision for 8 days sick pay.

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