Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy payday, off-the-books workers – Deficit climbs

April 15 receipts short $2 trillion

When Uncle Sam toted up his IRS returns this year on the ides of April, he got some shocking news.

The receipts are down by $2 trillion in unreported income earned by people who work off the books, don't pay withholding, and could care less about the deficit, profligate government spending or the debt service paid to the world's cold-hearted bankers and coupon clippers.

Two trillion simoleons, U.S. Currency.

According to a long-term student of the off-books economy, the deficit would be a pittance – a triviality - if the government could collect all that coin.

Edgar Feige told “The New Yorker” columnist James Surowiecki, “The best footprint left in the sand by this economy that doesn't want to be observed is the use of cash.”

Working men and women don't trust banks. They don't even use them. Wonder why.

Nannies, barbers, waitresses, cooks, bakers, candle stick makers, web-site designers, construction workers – all pay zero taxes because their bosses save themselves big bucks by making no deductions from their payrolls.

It goes a long way toward pointing a light at a great, deep, dark mystery.

It so happens that, “even though the percentage of Americans officially working has dropped dramatically, and even though household income is still well below what it was in 2007, personal consumption is higher than it was before the recession, and retail sales have been growing briskly,” according to an article by Mr. Surowiecki in the April 29 number of The Magazine.

Here's the best part, proof positive that the light at the end of the tunnel is neither an approaching train, nor is it a special effect straight off a Tinseltown back lot.

“Americans still hold an enormous amount of cold, hard cash – as much as seven hundred and fifty billion dollars...”

Way to fire, oh, ye calloused, footsore and weary working people of the Land of the Big PX. They say the new dynamic is kind of hard on the "social contract." Surely, they mean the same one that applied on that fateful day when Congress and the President approved the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) or the too-big-to-fail bank bailouts. 

Must be. It says here.

But we of The Legendary don't care. We on your side. Keep on Chooglin'! I am sincere. I have spoken.

- The Legendary

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