Local papers told Us this week that the government's tax revenue report revealed a shortfall of some $20-$25 million.
First of all, do tell. Second of all, let's see the spins:
Spin 1: Early Christmas shopping. With the sales tax going into effect on November 15th, the spin goes that most people did their Christmas shopping before then.
As My son says: Yeah, right.
That assumes that We are "smart" consumers, those with savings, those that buy and reduce their credit payments by paying in full instead of letting interest rates pile on, those that buy before the rush because they have the foresight and cash in hand. It would also imply that November sales were significantly higher than in previous years, a claim no one has made...or can make.
Spin 2: We haven't received all the tax monies yet. Well boohoo. Aside from indicating how poorly-managed this whole fiasco is, the fact is that collecting this tax money is not, will not and cannot be successful because the incentives to avoid it are immediate, clear and manageable. If economic theory teaches anything worthwhile it's that slapping a tax on an activity decreases it and increases those activities that help avoid or circumvent it. Hence: the perfection of the underground economy. So whether you can collect it faster or not will make no difference, Fools: You ain't getting all you expected.
Or will you? For behind the numbers is an interesting fact: The tax amount collected--$110 million--is exactly the maximum amount under law, for every dollar beyond that would go to pay the "extraconstitutional debt." This debt, used by Our governors since the 1970s, raped by Pedro Stupid Rosselló and turned into a bottomless political warchest by Sila "Quitter" Calderón, is like a credit card without limit or oversight committee. Under the tax law, beyond a certain limit, tax monies must be used to reduce that debt. That's basically taking what the Fools consider is their money and throwing it into a pile where they can't touch it.
Is December tax revenue lower than expected? Damn straight.
Is it worrying The Fools? No.
Are they still ahead of the game? Of course they are: they rigged it that way. They are on their way to winning big.
But that doesn't mean that We will win, does it?
The Jenius Has Spoken.