Tag Archives: Tax

Time To Eliminate YOUR Wall Street Tax?

(IVN) As we get older, and hopefully wiser, we generally start to become more discerning on how we view the world and the problems we face. Many of us who seek to make the world a better place try to look at the problems, analyze them, and do what we can to correct them.

However, because there are so many different problems facing us, this approach often overwhelms us and can instill a sense of hopelessness in our ability to create positive change.

Looking deeper into this situation, we discover that many of these difficulties are symptoms of much deeper problems, and that attempts to address these symptoms are not an effective or efficient way to bring about the changes we desire.

One can compare this to having abdominal pains and visiting a doctor who offers you pain killers without investigating the underlying cause of the pains being experienced. If the pain is the result of a cancer or an ulcer, then the pain is only a symptom, not a root cause.

Treating the symptoms in this case is not an effective or efficient way to address the problem. It may bring about temporary relief, but ignores the root cause.

Looking more deeply into this situation, we discover that many of these difficulties are symptoms of much deeper problems, and that attempts to address these symptoms are not an effective or efficient way to bring about the changes we desire.
Rudy Avizius, IVN Independent Author

A similar situation exists when we look at the wide range of issues we face as a society. Some of the issues include homelessness, lack of medical care, unemployment, high debt loads, widening wealth gap, declining schools, infrastructure neglect, fraying safety net, increasing government fees and tolls, etc.

Trying to address each one of these issues individually becomes an overwhelming task. These issues are not root causes, but symptoms.

If we take time to ponder and analyze each of these issues looking for a common thread, one can determine that they are all the result of money, more specifically the lack of money. This process starts getting us closer to the root causes.

So how is it that as a society we can work so hard and still experience this lack of money?

Consider this…. If you have a given amount of money in your possession or control, all of that money is available to you to spend. Once you give some of that money to someone else, it is no longer available to you and is now available to others.

While this concept may seem to be quite elementary, this is the basis of where much of the problem lies. If one applies the same principle to a larger group such as a family, a community, a county, state and even nation, the result is still the same. Once money leaves the group, it is no longer available to that group.

Understanding this brings us another step closer to the root causes.

Most homeowners can relate to this.

Let’s suppose that you have taken out a mortgage for $100,000. By the time you have completed paying off your mortgage, it will probably have cost you well over $200,000. The cost of the interest payments exceeds the original cost of the home. These interest payments are money that you and your family no longer have to spend on your needs.

The same principle applies when a school district, municipality, county or other entity wishes to do a repair, a capital improvement or infrastructure project. The costs of these projects can easily double or even triple due to the interest charges.

It almost seems insane, but we pay more to the financiers of these projects than to those who provided the materials and labor for the project. This does not even include the fees imposed by the bank on the borrowers. Now we are approaching the root causes.

In California, the long awaited new Bay Bridge span was recently completed at a cost of $6.4 billion, which was 4 times over the initial projected costs. What most Californians don’t realize is that the total cost of the bridge will eclipse $13 billion when interest payments are considered over the life of the loans or bonds. So when we talk of projects costs doubling or tripling, it is not hyperbole.

So exactly where does all this interest and fee money go when it leaves the community?

It flows to the big Wall Street banks, enriching them, while impoverishing the community. This is the “Wall Street Tax” that effectively doubles or triples the cost of every project across every community in the nation.

It is YOU, the taxpayer who pays this tax. Once the money leaves the community, it can no longer circulate locally and is no longer available to the community, exactly as described in an earlier paragraph.

This is a root cause of why so many communities are struggling.

To add insult to injury, these big Wall Street financiers are not even using their own money. They use other people’s money so they can skim the interest payments to line their own pockets.

Once the money leaves the community, it can no longer circulate locally and is no longer available to the community.
Rudy Avizius, IVN Independent Author

We have all seen how Wall Street has prospered since the 2008 crisis, while Main Street has been left to languish.

So why do school districts, municipalities, counties and states (we’ll just refer to them as “communities” from this point on) use these big Wall Street financiers to fund their projects? It is because the costs of these projects usually exceed the ability of small local community banks to finance them.

Additionally, because of capital requirements, the deposits of these communities can not be handled by the smaller local banks, leaving only the big banks capable of handling such large deposits and transactions.

This means that even the deposits of these communities that can include tax revenues, payrolls, and pension funds, are deposited with the large banks and therefore also shipped out the community.

These funds are then “invested” by Wall Street anywhere in the world where they can obtain the highest return. These funds are not being used to invest in local needs. This is another root cause for why Main Street has been struggling, while Wall Street has been thriving.

With the current banking system we have witnessed the largest concentration of wealth in human history, while the vast majority of people have experienced stagnant wages, declining wealth, and recurring recessions.

Maybe it is time to engage in some “out of the box” creative thinking? Wouldn’t it be wiser for communities to be able to obtain local funding at reduced interest rates where any interest payments would remain in the community and get recycled?

Any good businessman would tell you that it is sound business to eliminate any middleman in a business transaction. Wall Street is nothing more than a middleman between funding and community needs, and if the Wall Street middleman was eliminated, more money would remain in our communities. How could this be done?

There is another way to finance public projects and it is already happening across the world and in the state of North Dakota.

North Dakota has its own public bank, the Bank of North Dakota. This bank has been in existence for a century and provides communities and businesses with low cost loans.

Some examples of this: A new business in North Dakota can get a 1% loan for 5 years, student loans are available at below market rates with no bank fees, no town or county in ND has or needs a “rainy day” fund, they instead have the Bank of ND where they can obtain low interest loans should an emergency arise.

The Bank of ND does not compete with community banks, but rather partners with them. There is a correlation between this partnering and the fact that North Dakota has the largest number of community banks per capita of all states in the nation.

Additionally, the Bank of ND has only one office and no branches, no tellers, and no ATMs that compete with community banks.

This partnering with local community banks means the Bank of ND does not lend directly to small local businesses, but relies instead on the local community banks to originate those loans.

The public state bank can provide funding beyond the deposit base of a small community bank, allowing the community bank to finance projects it could not have financed without the partnership.

If a local bank had a $5 million limit, and a business wanted $10 million for a new showroom, the bank would have to say no to the loan, forcing the business to go to a Wells Fargo, Citi, JP Morgan Chase or other large Wall Street bank. This results in the loss of business for the community bank.

With the public state bank, the community bank could partner on the loan, raising its loan ceiling, retain the money in the community, and provide the services needed.

One very important issue that needs to be raised is that of the safety of the loans being made. It is important to be sure that bank loans are made to people and entities that are truly credit worthy.

In North Dakota, there is a double check on this process. Any loan that a community bank requests a partnership with would require approval by both the community bank and the state bank officers, since both would be providing the funds.

This results in a lower default rate as two sets of eyes are examining and approving the loan.

There are those who may say that a state public bank could be at risk of failure and may need to be bailed out by the taxpayers. This was an issue that created much anger during the 2008 crisis.

However, the Bank of ND was properly managed and did not need a bailout, and in fact returned a profit of millions that year and every year since then to the state treasury. Politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle in the North Dakota Legislature love and support their state bank! How common is that?

The proper management of the Bank of ND can be attributed to the fact that the officers of the bank receive appropriate salaries (far less than their Wall Street counterparts) and have no bonuses and therefore no incentives to take on excessive risk.

The private Wall Street bankers are pressured by their shareholders to return high profits, which often leads to excessive risk taking rather focusing on the economic growth of the state and nation. Some of these investments could possibly be for things the community would not support or would even work against the best interests of their community.

The public bank is required by its owners, which would be the people, to invest wisely to promote the economic vitality of the community.

Politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle in the North Dakota Legislature love and support their state bank!
Rudy Avizius, IVN Independent Author

The prosperity created by keeping deposits locally and recycling the fee and interest money locally, would create new jobs, new businesses, fund “wish list” projects, and as a result would raise tax revenue. As more businesses thrive, the tax base and ratables would became larger, which could possibly contribute to tax cuts.

A public bank is not limited to only states. Municipalities and counties could also form their own. There are public banks being considered in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Vermont, California, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and other places.

These public banks have the ability to transform how communities obtain funding. It will keep deposit and interest money circulating locally and out of the hands of Wall Street, thus enabling our local communities to thrive.

I would encourage readers to do their own research and discover how a public bank can tip the balance towards Main Street, rather than Wall Street, and help their small community banks at the same time. A good place to start is with the Public Banking Institute. Perhaps this is a good time to eliminate the Wall Street Tax that you are paying.

On Thursday, April 6, 2017, two world-renowned economic thinkers, Michael Hudson and Ellen Brown, came to Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA to discuss how a public banking option can affect governmental effectiveness.

The discussion was moderated by Walt McRee, the chair of the Public Banking Institute.

The discussion, which was open to the public, focused on the key differences between government’s unquestioned reliance on private capital markets and how an entirely new, more productive arrangement could be devised.

Kudos to Franklin & Marshall College for providing their students and community with such a high caliber seminar. The following video is that discussion:



Written by .


This article was republished with permission from IVN.

Economists Weigh In On Sanders’ Social Security Tax

By Juliegrace Brufke – Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed lifting the cap on the Social Security payroll tax on those making over $250,000 a year, but economists argue the move won’t do much to extend the solvency of the program and may cause some negative repercussions on the economy.

Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), just the first $118,500 of income is taxed at 6.2 percent, with employers paying the other 6.2 percent. Sanders claims eliminating the taxable maximum would solve the program’s solvency issues for the next 50 years, but according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, lifting the cap would solve less than 50 percent of the long-term imbalance.

“There are plenty of reasons why removing the cap on FICA taxes is not the cure-all that campaign-trail rhetoric from Sen. Sanders claims it would be. For one, Bernie (and Hillary for that matter) is proposing to expand Social Security and other social programs in a number of ways,” Pete Sepp, president of taxpayer advocacy group the National Taxpayers Union, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “According to our tracking project at www.candidatecost.org, in just one of the Democratic candidate debates alone, Sanders offered Social Security expansion proposals that would increase annual federal spending by more than $10.5 billion.”

The Democratic candidate said he plans on expanding the program, which is expected to run out of money in 2033, and the legislation he proposed would bring in enough revenue to, on average, provide seniors with an addition $65 a month.

“What this means is that raising the FICA cap under a Sanders presidency is not necessarily about preserving the solvency of the existing Social Security system, it’s also about making government bigger,” Sepp continued. “But even if there was not an additional cent of government spending on the table, busting the FICA cap would not suddenly ‘fix’ Social Security’s finances.”

Sanders argues from a “moral perspective,” increasing the tax burden on high-income earners is the right thing to do, saying it will help reduce income inequality.

“While liberals complain that the payroll tax is ‘regressive,’ our extremely ‘progressive’ income tax tilts the overall federal tax system hugely in favor of low earners,” Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, told TheDCNF. “CBO data, for example, shows that the highest one-fifth of households pay an average overall federal tax rate of 23 percent, while the bottom one-fifth of households pays an average rate of just 2 percent.”

According to Curtis Dubay, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, the move would indirectly hurt low- and middle-class Americans due to the negative impact it would have on economic growth.

“Lifting the cap would raise marginal tax rates on those effected by 15.2 percentage points. This would greatly curtail the incentive to work and slow the economy,” Dubay said. “Middle and low-income families would experience less opportunity because there would be fewer jobs and lowers wages for all Americans as a result.”

The cap was initially put in place to ensure no one was contributing more “than the protecting they received,” according to the Social Security Administration.

“Raising payroll taxes on higher earners will induce them to reduce work and avoid the tax man more, and that will cut both payroll and income tax revenues,” Edwards said.

Sanders’s overall economic plan has received strong criticisms from both political parties, with four former Democratic White House advisers coming out against his policies Wednesday, saying they are unrealistic and not supported by economic evidence.

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Utah Vapers Could Face 86 Percent Tax Bombshell

By Guy Bentley – Utah vapers could be hit with an 86.5 percent tax on e-cigarettes if a bill proposed Friday passes the state legislature.

State Rep. Paul Ray introduced the bill HB333, which would tax e-cigarettes at the same rate as other non-cigarette tobacco products, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

E-cigarettes “are not taxed now because they are relatively new and they have never been put into the tax code, or into any code, as a tobacco product,” said Ray. “It has nicotine in it, so it is a tobacco product.” E-cigarettes themselves do not contain any tobacco.

Ray claimed that e-cigarette producers are targeting children with certain fruit flavorings and said 10,000 high school students had signed a petition in favor of the bill. Health officials attacked the rising level of advertising from the e-cigarette industry.

Ray’s bill would use extra revenue from the tax to improve health care in rural areas. Lawmakers also are considering using such a tax to help fund expanding Medicaid to people uncovered in Utah, mostly targeting poor, rural areas, Ray said.

E-Cigarette advocates told The Salt Lake City Tribune the tax was not only disproportionate but also dangerous. Shilo Platts, with the Utah chapter of the Smoke-Free Trade Alternatives Association, said “seeking a punitive tax on vapor products is the wrong approach. It’s time Utah embraced harm-reduction, instead of a regressive tax that pushes vapers back to combustible tobacco or one that creates a black market.”

The proposed tax rise comes less than a week after an Oregon Democrat introduced a bill to raise the retail tax on e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Rep. Phil Barnhart is sponsoring House Bill 4062 which raises the retail tax by an eye-watering 50 percent. (RELATED: Mapped: States Most Vulnerable To E-Cigarette Taxes In 2016)

But the e-cigarette industry aren’t the only ones fighting against the new taxes. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) are a staunch critic of anti-vaping movement and has launched a new website Stope Vape Taxes.


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Seattle City Council Unanimously Approves “Gun Violence Tax” on Firearms, Ammo

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously on Monday to levy what lawmakers are calling a “gun violence tax” on ammunition and firearms sales. Seattle, Wash. lawmakers also approved a bill that would penalize individuals who fail to report lost or stolen firearms with up to a $500 fine. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray reportedly supports both bills.

According to The Seattle Times, the measure, which was introduced by City Council President Tim Burgess, would apply a $25 tax on firearms sales, a 5 cents-per-round tax on most types of ammunition, and a 2 cents-per-round tax on ammunition at or below .22 caliber.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement on the tax proposal, “The unanimous Council vote on this ordinance demonstrates the commitment of this City and this community to lead on the ongoing national epidemic of gun violence. While action at the federal level and in many other jurisdictions remains gridlocked, we are moving ahead to address an issue so damaging to the young people of Seattle, especially young people of color.

KOMO-TV notes that city officials estimate that the tax will bring in between $300,000 to $500,000, which would be spent on gun safety and gun violence prevention programs. Lawmakers plan to implement the program on January 1, 2016.

However, Washington state law bans municipalities from regulating firearms, and gun rights groups are expected to sue to block the legislation. A Seattle law banning guns in parks was overturned in 2010 after pro-gun organizations filed suit. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has argued that the tax is authorized under the city’s taxing authority.

Second Amendment Foundation co-founder Alan Gottlieb called the proposal “dead on arrival” and said, “The courts aren’t going to buy it. This is not authorized by state law, and therefore it’s not going to hold up.

Some gun shop owners believe the tax is a covert attempt at driving them out of the city. Sergey Solyanik, who owns the Seattle-area gun shop Precise Shooter, said, “I would have almost no margins, so I would pass the tax on to my customers and most people would simply not buy from me. They would go to any of the stores around Seattle — there are a large number — and I would have to close.” He also pointed out the facts that guns and ammunition would still be available tax-free just outside of the city and that city officials’ tax revenue estimates are not factoring in the possibility that buyers will shift their purchases away from stores within city limits to evade the tax.

City Council President Tim Burgess said that he has been inundated with emails about the proposal. “The reaction has been mixed. We’re getting a ton of emails arriving from outside Seattle and across the country in opposition. But we’re getting emails of support, as well,” he said.

Tax on Streaming Services Takes Effect in Chicago, Netflix, Spotify Prices to Rise 9%

A new interpretation of Chicago’s amusement tax by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has officially taken effect as of July 1, and, as a result, starting in September, consumers in the city will be required to pay 9% more for their subscriptions to streaming online services like Netflix and Spotify.

The new tax, which has been referred to as a “cloud tax”, comes not through legislative action but by way of a ruling by Chicago’s Department of Finance, which re-interpreted an existing amusement tax on tickets to concerts and sporting events as applying to streaming online subscription services used within the city. The 9% rate increase is also expected to affect subscriptions to online games. However, sales of downloads of movies, games, music, and other content will not be taxed under the ruling.

The city expects the June ruling to bring in about $12 million each year in the latest example of Mayor Rahm Emanuel relying on boosting various smaller fees and fines to try to help close the city’s yawning budget hole,” noted the Chicago Tribune.

Russell Brandom of the technology magazine The Verge explained, “Chicago’s new tax is actually composed of two recent rulings made by the city’s Department of Finance: one covering ‘electronically delivered amusements’ and another covering ‘nonpossessory computer leases.’” He added, “The first ruling presumably covers streaming media services like Netflix and Spotify, while the second would cover remote database or computing platforms like Amazon Web Services or Lexis Nexis.

A client alert letter by the law firm Reed Smith criticized the ruling and said, “There are strong arguments that both rulings run afoul of provisions in the Federal Telecommunications Act, the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and federal and Illinois constitutional limits on taxation. In addition, the rulings gloss over many details of applicable federal law and how telecommunications and computer networks operate, and assume the simplest factual scenarios that do not realistically comport with how many providers and their customers transact business.

The Department of Finance’s ruling indicated that “the amusement tax will apply to customers whose residential street address or primary business street address is in Chicago, as reflected by their credit card billing address, zip code or other reliable information.” Though the amusement tax is a tax on consumers, it is expected that service providers will collect the tax through the billing process. Active enforcement of the provision has been delayed until September of this year to grant companies time to make preparatory system changes.

In an environment in which technologies and emerging industries evolve quickly, the City periodically issues rulings that clarify the application of existing laws to these technologies and industries. These two rulings are consistent with the City’s current tax laws and are not an expansion of the laws,” read a statement by Elizabeth Langsdorf, a spokesperson for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration.

To fight obesity, scientists suggest a tax on sugary foods

While obesity continues to threaten the lives of many Americans, a government advisory committee has suggested placing a tax on sugary food items to drive people away from the foods in order to fight the heath threat.

The Dietary Guideline Advisory, which consists of fourteen health experts according to CBS Boston, released a report saying the health and well-being of Americans would benefit from a tax on sugary foods and drinks. The committee recognizes though, they do not make any policies concerning the public, rather they simply make suggestions.

The report reads, “Taxation on higher sugar-and sodium-containing foods may encourage consumers to reduce consumption and revenues generated could support health promotion efforts… Alternatively, price incentives on vegetables and fruits could be used to promote consumption and public health benefits.”

Economic and social costs were also considered in the report, with the committee saying, as time goes on and people continue to neglect their physical wellness, the costs would be irreversible as people would require more healthcare in order to live.

“What we’re calling for in the report in terms of innovation and bold new action in health care, in public health, at the community level, is what it’s going to take to try and make a dent on the epidemic of obesity,” said committee chairwoman Barbara Millen according to Bloomberg Business

CNBC also reports the committee suggested nutrition programs should be made available at the federal, state, and local levels in order to promote a healthier lifestyle for all citizens.

The report made other suggestions for living a healthier lifestyle as well. Namely, the report suggests eating less red and processed meats, and eating more farm-raised fish instead.

Fourteen ways you can avoid paying the Obamacare tax

NASHVILLE, December 7, 2014– Tax season is just around the corner, and the majority of Americans are still completely puzzled when it comes to how Obamacare will affect their taxes. According to Dr. Omar Hamada, unbeknownst to most, 14 ways, in total, to avoid paying the Obamacare tax penalty for not complying with the federal insurance mandate exist. In fact, one of them is so incredibly ambiguous, just about anyone can get away with not paying the tax.

As of now, these “waivers” are available until at least 2016:

1. You were homeless.

Documentation Required: None

2. You have been evicted in the past 6 months, or were facing eviction or foreclosure.

Documentation Required: Copy of eviction or foreclosure notice

3. You received a shut-off notice from a utility company.

Documentation Required: Copy of shut-off notice from a utility company

4. You recently experienced domestic violence.

Documentation Required: None

5. You recently experienced the death of a close family member.

Documentation Required: Copy of death certificate, copy of death notice from newspaper, or copy of other official notice of death

6. You experienced a fire, flood, or other natural human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property.

Documentation Required: Copy of police or fire report, insurance claim, or other document from government agency, private entity, or news source documenting event

7. You filed for bankruptcy in the last 6 months.

Documentation Required: Copy of bankruptcy filing

8. You had medical expenses you couldn’t pay in the last 24 months.

Documentation Required: Copies of medical bills

9. You experienced unexpected increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member.

Documentation Required: Copies of receipts related to care

10. You expect to claim a child as a tax dependent who’s been denied coverage in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child.

Documentation Required: Copy of medical support order AND copies of eligibility notices for Medicaid and CHIP showing that the child has been denied coverage

11. As a result of an eligibility appeals decision, you’re eligible either for: 1) enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Marketplace, 2) lower costs on your monthly premiums, or 3) cost-sharing reductions for a time period when you weren’t enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace.

Documentation Required: Copy of notice of appeals decision

12. You were determined ineligible for Medicaid because your state didn’t expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Documentation Required: Copy of notice of denial of eligibility for Medicaid

13. You received a notice saying that your current health insurance plan is being cancelled, and you consider the other plans available unaffordable.

Documentation Required: Copy of notice of cancellation

And here’s the final exemption that will allow anyone without insurance to avoid paying the penalty. Because documentation is only required “if possible” it’s impossible to collect the tax against virtually everyone without insurance. Although it is certainly not suggested that one lie to the IRS, many people could end up doing so in order to have extra money to feed their family.

14. You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance.

Documentation Required: “Please submit documentation if possible.”

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Tea Party lawsuits against the IRS thrown out of court

The courts have ruled in favor of the IRS Thursday after federal courts in DC threw-out lawsuits being brought against the agency by more than 40 conservative groups seeking compensation for the delays and scrutiny of their tax-exempt forms and applications.

Two cases involving the groups True the Vote and Linchpins of Liberty were deemed moot by Judge Reggie Walton of the US District Court of the District of Columbia, after it was made clear the IRS had granted the groups their desired tax-exempt status.  The case involving Linchpins of Liberty also involved the other 40 conservative groups who had banded together and polled their efforts for the case.

“After the plaintiff initiated this case, its application to the IRS for tax-exempt status was approved by the IRS,” said Judge Walton, according to Politico.  “The allegedly unconstitutional governmental conduct, which delayed the processing of the plaintiff’s tax exempt application and brought about this litigation, is no longer impacting the plaintiff.”

True the Vote founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, said she was very upset by the decision and feels the targeting and her and her group’s political views is a “reprehensible” act.  “The court acknowledges in its opinion that the IRS did in fact target True the Vote for our perceived political beliefs, but then it holds that neither the agency nor the individual IRS agents or officers are responsible for this unconstitutional conduct,” said Engelbrecht. 

“It’s a disappointing ruling,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Signal.  “It basically leaves targets of bad behavior by the IRS without a remedy.”

The IRS has admitted it used inappropriate measures and criteria to single-out conservative groups, starting in 2010, in order to slow the process of holding the status of tax-exempt groups.  Two House committees are still carrying out their own investigations into the IRS on these claims, according to the Washington Times, and many top IRS officials, such as Louis Lerner, have already resigned from their positions.

D.I.N.K.s Should Pay Higher Taxes?

Today’s political pundits come up with strategies to shift the tax burden to certain groups instead of suggesting the obvious: lower the tax burden for all by shrinking the size of government.

Slate.com’s blogger

“Who should pay more? Nonparents who earn more than the median household income, just a shade above $51,000. By shifting the tax burden from parents to nonparents, we will help give America’s children a better start in life, and we will help correct a simple injustice.”

Wait, What? Simple injustice? Really?

Basically, Salam is singling out D.I.N.K.s (Double Income No Kids) to punish them.

My wife and I used to be D.I.N.K.s and it was great. Sales people loved us too. Because they knew we had money. I remember when we would tell the appliance salesman that we had no kids and saw his face light up as he pushed us toward a more expensive flatscreen T.V.

This is what people like Salam need to know: stealing from people via taxation is morally repugnant and it’s bad for the economy too. Taking away more money from D.I.N.K.s to waste on government programs will hurt the economy and hurt the salesman trying to sell me that new flatscreen. D.I.N.K.s are spenders. They are an important demographic and part of the engine that makes the American economy thrive.

I really hate even subjecting the Benswann.com readers to this type of thinking. The lack of knowledge of basic economics is shocking, but this is what the Liberty movement is fighting against.

This story reminds me of a quote from Frédéric Bastiat which is so true even today, “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Well, hopefully we can can change this mindset through the new media and through the great leaders in the Liberty movement.

Here are some of the leaders who woke me up from my dogmatic slumber: Ben Swann, Ron Paul, Tom Delorenzo, Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods, and Dr. Jon Boulet who first introduced me to Austrian economics. There are many more as well. I recently heard Jeffrey Tucker give a speech that was fascinating regarding how markets and innovation side step government regulation.

The challenge is getting these leader’s messages out to more people and break through the noise. We need more messaging that advances economic freedom and personal liberty, not the message of government control and the confiscation of property.

I for one wish people like Salam would leave me and my wallet alone. I’m taxed enough already.

Please comment in the section below.

Armed Agents Evict Elderly Veteran With Dementia For Forgetting $134 Property Tax Bill

Image Credit: WP Marine Corps Veteran, Sergeant Coleman (Retired)
Image Credit: WP
Marine Corps Veteran, Sergeant Coleman (Retired)

After we broke our exclusive interview yesterday with Robert Fernandes, the man who paid more than $7k in property taxes in single dollars bills to protest the tax, a heart-breaking study emerged from the Washington Post. 

Bennie Coleman, US Marine Corps Sergeant (retired), watched from a lawn chair across the street as armed federal US Marshals stormed his house, stole his possessions and put his house up for sale, which he paid in full with cash more than 20 years ago. If that wasn’t enough- the agents also took his dignity. They took his photographs of his late wife and his medals from his career as a US Marine Corps Sergeant.

A controversial program is at fault. In Washington D.C. tax liens are placed on property owners. If not paid, the lien is sold to a private group who inflates the original debt to astronomical figures. Sergeant Coleman owed $134 to the government. Rather than continue to try and work with the honored Marine Sergeant and widower, his government, which he served for years sold him out.

Sergeant Coleman’s tax bill ballooned to $4,999. He lost his $197,000 home and all equity that it had built over the past two decades. The program entitles the private “investors” to everything. The investors’ entitlements even trump the mortgage companies.

According to a 10 month investigation from the Washington Post:

Tax lien purchasers have foreclosed on nearly 200 houses since 2005 and are now pressing to take 1,200 more, many owned free and clear by families for generations.Investors also took storefronts, parking lots and vacant land — about 500 properties in all, or an average of one a week. In dozens of cases, the liens were less than $500.

Property owners have 6 months to pay their lien before the “investor” can foreclose on their property and have them evicted by armed federal agents. So then, pay your taxes, or you can be greeted by a gun in your face at the door in 6 months. Never-mind that you “own”  the property.  

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below-