MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘IRS’

Pennsylvania’s Contribution to the Wars On Cash and Your Liberty

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2020

OMG! There is a coin shortage in the PA Liquor Control Board system!
Yes, PA still has “state stores”.
The sign in my local state Wine and Spirits shop tells us due to the coin shortage the cashier will accept only exact change, credit or debit cards. Exact change is not likely, so we are limited to plastic.
Do you ever wonder what happens when you buy with plastic?
There is a digital record of that purchase that is potentially available to anyone. The credit card company certainly maintains a record. Probably the PA LCB also.
Who else might have access to your (liquor) purchasing history? The state insurance commissioner, police agencies, IRS (you betcha!)?
Who could possibly request or purchase this information? Your medical and auto insurance company, your local police, a prospective employer, your employer, the lawyer you are facing in a court case?
A credit card is like having On Star in your pocket. It tells everyone where you have been, whether you were with someone and how you spent your money.
You have no cash on hand and…ATM goes down. Bank had a run and went cafluey. A faceless bureaucrat doesn’t like what you are doing. You crossed a state line with a packet of Sudafed. Your digital money can be shut off with a flick of a switch.
It is all about control.
Think about that when you are putting that Pink Catawba or ammo purchase on a card.
Be seeing you…from Pennsylvania

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Fedcoin: A New Scheme for Tyranny and Poverty

Posted by M. C. on July 28, 2020

Fedcoin poses a great threat to privacy. The Federal Reserve could know when fedcoin is used, who is using it, and what they use it for. This information could be shared with government agencies, such as the FBI or IRS.

Is it so hard to believe that the ability to track purchases would be used in the future to “discourage” individuals from buying guns, fatty foods, or tobacco, or from being customers of corporations whose CEOs are not considered “woke” by the thought police? Fedcoin could also be used to “encourage” individuals to patronize “green” business, thus fulfilling Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s goal of involving the Fed in the fight against climate change.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/27/fedcoin-a-new-scheme-for-tyranny-and-poverty/

Written by Ron Paul

If some Congress members get their way, the Federal Reserve may soon be able to track many of your purchases in real time and share that information with government agencies. This is just one of the problems with the proposed “digital dollar” or “fedcoin.”

Fedcoin was initially included in the first coronavirus spending bill. While the proposal was dropped from the final version of the bill, there is still great interest in fedcoin on Capitol Hill. Some progressives have embraced fedcoin as a way to provide Americans with a “universal basic income.”

Both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee held hearings on fedcoin in June. This is the first step toward making fedcoin a reality.

Fedcoin would not be an actual coin. Instead, it would be a special account created and maintained for each American by the Federal Reserve. Each month, Fed employees could tap a few keys on a computer and — bingo — each American would have dollars added to his Federal Reserve account. This is the 21st century equivalent of throwing money from helicopters.

Fedcoin could effect private cryptocurrencies. Also, it would limit the ability of private citizens to protect themselves from the Federal Reserve-caused decline in the dollar’s value.

Fedcoin would not magically increase the number of available goods and services. What it would do is drive up prices. The damage this would do to middle- and lower-income Americans would dwarf any benefit they receive from their monthly “gift” from the Fed. The rise in prices could lead to Congress regularly increasing fedcoin payments to Americans. These increases would cause prices to keep rising even more until we face hyperinflation and a dollar crisis. Of course, we are already on the path to an economic crisis thanks to the Fed. Fedcoin will hasten and worsen the crisis.

Fedcoin poses a great threat to privacy. The Federal Reserve could know when fedcoin is used, who is using it, and what they use it for. This information could be shared with government agencies, such as the FBI or IRS.

The government could use the ability to know how Americans are spending fedcoin to limit our ability to purchase goods and services disfavored by politicians and bureaucrats. Anyone who doubts this should recall the Obama administration’s Operation Choke Point. Operation Choke Point involved financial regulators “alerting” banks that dealing with certain businesses, such as gun stores, would put the banks at “reputational risk” and could subject them to greater regulation.

Is it so hard to believe that the ability to track purchases would be used in the future to “discourage” individuals from buying guns, fatty foods, or tobacco, or from being customers of corporations whose CEOs are not considered “woke” by the thought police? Fedcoin could also be used to “encourage” individuals to patronize “green” business, thus fulfilling Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s goal of involving the Fed in the fight against climate change.

Fedcoin could threaten private cryptocurrencies, increase inflation, and give government new powers over our financial transactions. Fedcoin will also speed up destruction of the fiat money system. Whatever gain fedcoin may bring to average Americans will come at terrible cost to liberty and prosperity.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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How Make Your Vote Count – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 13, 2020

Do Not Consent

Voting in the state’s elections continues the racket.  And it will continue.  Your vote would consent to it.   Don’t do it.   Would you vote for new leaders in the Mafia or Ku Klux Klan while believing that doing so will encourage those organizations to play nice?

Don’t let the enemies of freedom get away with equating the state with government.  Government can and should exist without the state.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/george-f-smith/how-to-make-your-vote-count/

…The message I’m delivering is pro-government-in-the-market sense only, anti-state.

To sum up, my advice is:

Do not consent to the coercive agencies that are currently installed at all levels of our current system of government, from federal to local.  At the federal level they include the usual enemies such as the DEA, NSA, IRS, and the Federal Reserve.

Do not consent to what’s called taxation, to the right of some people to confiscate your wealth, however great or modest your wealth may be.

Do not consent to the current institutions that thrive on “wars” of all kinds, whether it’s a war on a bug, a drug, or an unfortunate condition of human existence, most of which the state created and intensify the problems they’re alleged to fix, that are done in your name and with your expropriated money.

Do not consent to the vast military – industrial – congressional – media – educational complex that claims to be a defender of your liberty as it murders families overseas and destroys their society’s infrastructures — again, with your expropriated wealth.

Do not consent to the idea that you need to surrender your right to self-defense, including defense against the state.

Do not consent to the criminal invasions of your privacy that the state has made legal.

Do not consent to the state’s educational system as it attempts to train obedient servants of the state while continually dumbing-down the requirements for advancement.

Do not consent to any government that claims the right to enlist your sons or daughters in a war or project against their will.

Do not consent to the state’s war on market giants that achieved their status because consumers voluntarily traded their money for the products or services the businesses offered.  Remember, consumers can and have shut down market giants by taking their business elsewhere.

Do not consent to the practice of state – business “partnerships” that create unfair competitive advantages for the business or industry, while cheating consumers with higher prices and/or inferior products or services — a practice best described as crony capitalism but which for anti-market purposes is usually called capitalism.

Do not consent to any state institution that attempts to dictate how we should live, what we can or cannot consume, read, watch, say, or listen to.

Do not consent to any government that does not secure your property rights, including your right to life.

Voting in the state’s elections continues the racket.  And it will continue.  Your vote would consent to it.   Don’t do it.   Would you vote for new leaders in the Mafia or Ku Klux Klan while believing that doing so will encourage those organizations to play nice?

Don’t let the enemies of freedom get away with equating the state with government.  Government can and should exist without the state.

In this book I’m speaking to adults who wish to take full responsibility for their lives, regardless of their age, medical condition, race, sex, or anything else, who are fighters not wimps, who want to lay the foundation for a better life not just for themselves but for their families and the generations to come, who want to end the acrimonious fighting over the levers of power that would force the winner’s agenda on the rest of us.  If you are in agreement then express your conviction with a thumbs-up to the movie Do Not Consent, coming in late Julyon my YouTube channel, GFS543.

In the meantime, I hope this book will convey the message the movie will dramatize.

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The IRS’s History of Attacking Political Dissenters and Opponents | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2020

As the history of government expansion has shown, government agencies such as the IRS have a nasty way of sneaking into other parts of our lives. What originally started out as an agency solely focused on taxes has morphed into an omnipresent government body that can control political behavior.

Things got even more heated when the New York attorney general decided to investigate the group for “financial improprieties” and threatened to strip the organization of its nonprofit status. None of the investigations have resulted in concrete actions, but the NRA’s interaction with the New York State government illustrates that even the most milquetoast of advocacy groups isn’t safe from the clutches of regulators.

https://mises.org/wire/irss-history-attacking-political-dissenters-and-opponents?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=74a2cf91bb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_12_31_06_15_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-74a2cf91bb-228343965

The US purports to be the land of free speech, but you can always expect politicians to carve out exceptions. Just look at how government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service can slither their way into the political affairs of individuals and organizations.

Americans generally associate the Internal Revenue Service with the hassle of filing income taxes every April. Of course, this is an annual ritual that Americans have been accustomed to for over a century, and it represents one of the numerous ways the federal government violates Americans’ economic freedoms. Income taxation is also one of the main enablers of government growth thanks to its ability to extract hundreds of billions of dollars from hardworking taxpayers annually. In 2019 alone, the IRS collected nearly $3.5 trillion in tax revenue.

The IRS’s misdeeds aren’t just limited to economic activity, though. Most would be surprised to find that the IRS is a violator of free speech rights. When IRS agents aren’t finding ways to squeeze as much revenue as humanly possible from taxpayers, they try to make the lives of America’s most civically engaged miserable.

The IRS as a Political Tool

Former congressman Ron Paul shed light on the IRS’s anti–free speech activity last year in a piece voicing concerns about income tax privacy. In 2019, House Democrats tried to pull every legislative stunt possible to get President Trump to hand over his tax returns. Although these efforts did not materialize into anything substantial, the New York Times published some of Trump’s tax returns from the 1980s and 1990s. The Times’s publication of the returns raised speculation about a potential leaker in the IRS handing this information over to the news outlet.

Right off the bat, Paul understood the bigger picture. As the history of government expansion has shown, government agencies such as the IRS have a nasty way of sneaking into other parts of our lives. What originally started out as an agency solely focused on taxes has morphed into an omnipresent government body that can control political behavior. Paul cited several examples of IRS politicization, including Franklin Roosevelt’s auditing of New Deal opponents, John F. Kennedy’s use of audits against political opponents, and the agency’s investigation of a church hosting an antiwar sermon during the Bush era. One of the more recent cases of IRS harassment of political opponents occurred when it placed Tea Party groups under increased scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

The IRS’s history shows that its abuses go beyond partisan politics, seeing how the agency has been used as a cudgel to smash opponents from across the political continuum. From a big-picture perspective, political advocacy in America is excessively regulated. Thanks to so-called campaign finance reform, now political organizations have to worry about complying with a whole set of new regulations—as if the IRS breathing down their necks wasn’t enough.

Just a minor slipup could have IRS or other regulatory agents storming an organization’s office. This is typical of the administrative state era we live in, in which filing the wrong paperwork could land someone behind bars. Because we all know that those dastardly political rabble-rousers not hitting the right bureaucratic checkboxes present a clear and present danger to the rest of society.

State Governments Have Followed the Federal Government’s Lead on Political Harassment

Even after the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FECwhich ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting the ability of political organizations to use independent expenditures for political communications—government entities still find creative ways to stifle political speech. At the state level, governments have taken advantage of regulatory functions to poke and prod organizations that cause too much trouble. Politicians launch “ethics reform” campaigns, where they use ethics commissions and similar bodies to muzzle speech. Politicians will construct narratives saying that they’re fighting against corruption, when all they’re really doing is curtailing the efforts of dissident groups to expose the political class’s dirty laundry.

In 2014, a grassroots gun rights organization, Palmetto Gun Rights, faced harassment from the most unlikely place—the office of then Republican governor Nikki Haley. The South Carolina governor was supporting an ethics reform bill (H 3945) that would have forced an organization or an individual making an “an electioneering communication” to report the “top five donors to the reporting person” to the State Ethics Commission. “Electioneering communication” in this case meant “any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication or mass postal mailing or telephone bank” referring to “a clearly identified candidate for elected office” and that is publicly “aired or distributed within sixty days prior to a general election or within thirty days prior to a primary for that office.” So, if a political organization in South Carolina had some mean things to say about a politician in the finals days of election season, their biggest donors could potentially be fair game for political harassment.

On the other side of the spectrum, groups such as the National Rifle Association have recently witnessed government agencies launch politically motivated investigations against them. Despite what the media says about the NRA, they’re no extremists on the gun issue. However, that has not kept states such as New York from trying to snoop around their private affairs. Twenty nineteen was a rough year for the NRA due to various episodes of internal drama and leadership disruption. Things got even more heated when the New York attorney general decided to investigate the group for “financial improprieties” and threatened to strip the organization of its nonprofit status. None of the investigations have resulted in concrete actions, but the NRA’s interaction with the New York State government illustrates that even the most milquetoast of advocacy groups isn’t safe from the clutches of regulators.

The regulation of economic activity in this stage of American history has undeniably evolved into a mechanism of behavioral control. It’s no longer about whether an individual will have X amount of dollars left after the government takes its share of the loot. Now, people’s political activities, such as their speech, can be subject to political micromanagement.

It’s not enough to just talk about the numbers when making the case against economic regulations. These regulations are ultimately enforced by massive government agencies, which politicians can manipulate in clever ways to suit their own ends. Add in the round-the-clock growth of government agencies, and you’re now dealing with institutions that have the power to branch out into other activities.

By limiting themselves to ho-hum discussions about tax policy, advocates of government restraint ignore some of the biggest threats coming from bureaucratic mammoths. A crusade against bureaucracy is long overdue in America.

 

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IRS Warns Against Keeping IRA Funds In Gold At Home | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on February 26, 2020

What the heck is a windfall profit anyway?

As far as I can tell, it’s whatever politicians decide it is. It’s completely arbitrary. There are no objective measures to define it.

In short, a windfall profit is simply a profit politicians don’t like. The whole concept is a scam—a word trick to camouflage and sanitize legalized theft.

Gold-harder to steal than a digital bank account. Gold-It screams independence. The government like neither.

Never use a safety deposit box. If legal troubles find you the box gets a lock for which you are not allowed a key. If the bank gets in trouble-same.

If you bank is like Wells Fargo the contents of your box are up for grabs.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-07/irs-warns-against-keeping-ira-funds-gold-home

 

The Internal Revenue Service isn’t too keen on the recent advertisements suggesting retirement savers store their tax-free individual retirement account funds in gold at their house or in safety-deposit boxes, the Wall Street Journal writes.

Storing Gold at Home: Legal, But with Caveats

The statement from the IRS comes in response to a number of ads online and on the radio, such as one from Hartford Gold Group, suggesting investors can avoid stock market turbulence by investing IRA accounts in gold coins and bullion they can store where they like, including their home, according to the Journal.

 

But the law on such practices is cloudy, the publication writes.

 

For example, IRA assets can’t be stored in collectibles such as antiques, gems, artworks or wine, according to the Journal. On the other hand, it’s legal to keep IRA investments in coins and bullion-quality bars in metals such as gold, silver and platinum, the publication writes.

 

But few IRA investment providers offer the option — Vanguard and Charles Schwab don’t allows their clients to invest IRAs in physical metals, according to the Journal.

 

The IRS may be taking issue with just how difficult and expensive investing in physical gold could end up for the investor. Fidelity, which allows IRA investing in some coins and bullion, charges up to 2.9% to buy and 2% to sell the assets, and a further 0.125% quarterly storage fee, the publication writes.

 

And keeping the gold at home is not an option: out of tax compliance considerations, Fidelity requires physical metals to be stored at a qualified facility and doesn’t let IRA investors take the gold out or even view it without notification from the IRA custodian, the Journal writes.

 

Proponents of store-at-home gold say that IRA owners can legally keep their gold in a safe-deposit box or at home if they are the owners and managers of a limited-liability company that uses the funds from the IRA to obtain the gold, according to the publication.

 

Some attorney says this structure would allow investors to store coins owned by the LLC at home — but for bullion, they would still have to store it in an LLC-owned safety-deposit box, the Journal writes.

 

Home storage can get pricy, too: one professional whose company provides paperwork for at-home storage of IRA gold charges $400 to $1,200 to set up such an LLC, according to the publication.

 

And because the issue of LLC ownership by IRA has no legal precedent, companies advertising home storage of IRA gold are careful to note that they don’t provide legal advice, the Journal writes.

*  *  *

Amid the increasingly mainstream “war on cash” and ‘hoarding’ across the globe, the timing of the IRS’ warning about keeping gold in your IRA seems highly coincidental at best and more than worrisome at least as the “different this time” confiscation methods shift attitudes from concerns to actions…

The government blatantly stole wealth from the American people before.

Many worry the U.S. government might confiscate gold again if it becomes desperate enough. I don’t think those fears are unfounded. The U.S. government’s abysmal financial situation is only getting worse.

But would it really do a 1933-style grab again?

I don’t think it will. However, there is another growing threat to your gold.

More Likely Than Outright Confiscation

Today, only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population owns gold. Heck, I’d bet most Americans have never even seen a gold coin, much less appreciate its value.

This wasn’t the case in 1933, when the U.S. was still on a variation of the gold standard. That’s why the government probably won’t repeat the 1933 rip-off. It’s simply not worth the effort.

If the government wants to confiscate wealth, it’s far more likely to go for the easy option… steadily debasing the currency by printing money. It’s a stealthy way to confiscate from savers.

That doesn’t mean gold owners are in the clear.

I think the government will try a new scam: taxing windfall profits on gold. This would make it much easier for the government to accomplish something similar to its 1933 heist.

There’s precedence for it, too. In 1980, Congress passed the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act, which taxed up to 70% of “windfall profits” of domestic oil producers.

What the heck is a windfall profit anyway?

As far as I can tell, it’s whatever politicians decide it is. It’s completely arbitrary. There are no objective measures to define it.

In short, a windfall profit is simply a profit politicians don’t like. The whole concept is a scam—a word trick to camouflage and sanitize legalized theft.

If the price of gold explodes, I wouldn’t be surprised if Congress passes a Fair Share Gold Windfall Profit Tax Act levying a tax of 80%, 90%, or more on gold profits.

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“Antifa” Organization Has 501(c)(3) Status, by Eric Striker

Posted by M. C. on December 15, 2019

Terrorism is now tax deductible.

OPP’s activities are in flagrant violation of their 501(c)(3) obligations, and it’s shocking that an IRS investigation did not uncover this.

http://www.unz.com/estriker/antifa-organization-has-501c3-status/

An organization run by veteran left-wing extremist Daryle Lamont Jenkins, One People’s Project, has 501(c)(3) status, according to a public document obtained by National Justice.

The IRS filing shows that OPP received favorable determination in March 2017, which means that people subsidizing his group’s activities can write contributions off on their taxes. The above image, obtained through Open Source Intelligence, shows Jenkins tabling the “Antifa” booth at the 2018 New York Left Forum.

Jenkins, based out of Somerset, New Jersey, is a prominent figure in violent left-wing paramilitary circles and one of their chief spokesmen. In 2018, a film called “Skin” dramatized Jenkins’ collaborative effort with the Southern Poverty Law Center to remove tattoos from a skinhead.

A source familiar with paramilitary groups organizing in Philadelphia and New Jersey told us that Jenkins plays the role of bridging the gap between masked terrorists and respectable liberals.

Jenkins is close friends with Thomas J Kennan, another native of Somerset who moved to Philadelphia at the same time Jenkins was there and was the de facto leader of Philly Antifa.

Keenan is currently being charged with a 12-on-2 gang assault against two Mexican-descended off-duty Marines, which is being upgraded to a hate crime due to his alleged use of racial slurs during the unprovoked attack. Losing Keenan and Jenkins leaving Philadelphia have weakened Philly Antifa.

Jenkins’ OPP pioneered the tactic of “doxing” political rivals, where the personal information of nationalists and conservatives is published on the internet in order to intimidate them and their families into silence.

Jenkins has publicly stated that he was inspired by anti-abortion terrorists of the 1980s and 90s, who would publish the information of abortion doctors with the unspoken understanding that they would be targeted for assaults or assassinations. The Nuremberg FIles, a directory of the home addresses belonging to abortion doctors, was utilized in the shooting of Barnett Slepian.

OPP’s activities are in flagrant violation of their 501(c)(3) obligations, and it’s shocking that an IRS investigation did not uncover this.

Concerned citizens can file a complaint here.

(Republished from National Justice by permission of author or representative)
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IRS Testing Behavioral Analytics to Verify Online Users

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2019

You wouldn’t think the government was short on ways to track who you are, what you do and where you are.

I am sure once you are misidentified it will be easy to fix. The IRS SWAT team will graciously fix your wrecked door and pay your gunshot medical bills.

Yes, The IRS, USPS, USDA Dept of Ag have SWAT teams. Those departments also spend A LOT of money on ammo.This is just the feds.

https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2019/09/irs-testing-behavioral-analytics-verify-online-users/160043/

By Aaron Boyd,
Senior Editor, Nextgov

When taxpayers use online systems, the IRS really wants to make sure the people accessing information are who they say they are. The agency has implemented a number of authentication tools over the years—with varying degrees of success—and is now looking at behavioral analytics as an option.

The IRS announced a sole-source contract to BioCatch for a proof-of-concept that would incorporate behavioral analytics for the agency’s eAuthentication system. BioCatch’s technology tracks how a user interacts with their device and the agency’s apps to continually verify their identity.

“BioCatch collects behavioral metrics—i.e., left/right handedness, pressure—while a user is interacting with eAuth without impacting user experience and establishes a profile for the user,” IRS contracting officers wrote in the statement of work. “Once this profile is established, this data is used to detect fraud on subsequent login attempts and to prevent account takeover during the user’s session.”

For the program to be successful, the proof-of-concept has to demonstrate the ability to reliably authenticate users without disrupting the process or adding extra steps.

The proof-of-concept work will go through Jan. 17, at which point the IRS will decide whether to adopt the technology or seek a different solution…

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As Democrats Push a “Wealth Tax,” Here’s Why Other Countries Got Rid Of It | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 27, 2019

https://mises.org/power-market/democrats-push-wealth-tax-heres-why-other-countries-got-rid-it

Daniel J. Mitchell

…Another guilt-ridden rich guy wrote for the New York Times that he wants the government to have more of his money.

My parents watched me build two Fortune 500 companies and become one of the wealthiest people in the country. …It’s time to start talking seriously about a wealth tax. …Don’t get me wrong: I am not advocating an end to the capitalist system that’s yielded some of the greatest gains in prosperity and innovation in human history. I simply believe it’s time for those of us with great wealth to commit to reducing income inequality, starting with the demand to be taxed at a higher rate than everyone else. …let’s end this tired argument that we must delay fixing structural inequities until our government is running as efficiently as the most profitable companies. …we can’t waste any more time tinkering around the edges. …A wealth tax can start to address the economic inequality eroding the soul of our country’s strength. I can afford to pay more, and I know others can too.

When reading this kind of nonsense, my initial instinct is to tell this kind of person to go ahead and write a big check to the IRS (or, better yet, send the money to me as a personal form of redistribution to the less fortunate). After all, if he really thinks he shouldn’t have so much wealth, he should put his money where his mouth is.

But rich leftists like Elizabeth Warren don’t do this, and I’m guessing the author of the NYT column won’t, either. At least if the actions of other rich leftists are any guide.

But I don’t want to focus on hypocrisy.

Today’s column is about the destructive economics of wealth taxation.

report from the Mercatus Center makes a very important point about how a wealth tax is really a tax on the creation of new wealth.

Wealth taxes have been historically plagued by “ultra-millionaire” mobility. …The Ultra-Millionaire Tax, therefore, contains “strong anti-evasion measures” like a 40 percent exit tax on any targeted household that attempts to emigrate, minimum audit rates, and increased funding for IRS enforcement. …Sen. Warren’s wealth tax would target the…households that met the threshold—around 75,000—would be required to value all of their assets, which would then be subject to a two or three percent tax every year. Sen. Warren’s team estimates that all of this would bring $2.75 trillion to the federal treasury over ten years… a wealth tax would almost certainly be anti-growth. …A wealth tax might not cause economic indicators to tumble immediately, but the American economy would eventually become less dynamic and competitive… If a household’s wealth grows at a normal rate—say, five percent—then the three percent annual tax on wealth would amount to a 60 percent tax on net wealth added.

Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute makes the same point in a columnfor the Hill.

Wealth taxes operate differently from income taxes because the same stock of money is taxed repeatedly year after year. …Under a 2 percent wealth tax, an investor pays taxes each year equal to 2 percent of his or her net worth, but in the end pays taxes each decade equal to a full 20 percent of his or her net worth. …Consider a taxpayer who holds a long term bond with a fixed interest rate of 3 percent each year. Because a 2 percent wealth tax captures 67 percent of the interest income of the bondholder makes each year, it is essentially identical to a 67 percent income tax. The proposed tax raises the same revenue and has the same economic effects, whether it is called a 2 percent wealth tax or a 67 percent income tax. …The 3 percent wealth tax that Warren has proposed for billionaires is still higher, equivalent to a 100 percent income tax rate in this example. The total tax burden is even greater because the wealth tax would be imposed on top of the 37 percent income tax rate. …Although the wealth tax would be less burdensome in years with high returns, it would be more burdensome in years with low or negative returns. …high rates make the tax a drain on the pool of American savings. That effect is troubling because savings finance the business investment that in turn drives future growth of the economy and living standards of workers.

Alan is absolutely correct (I made the same point back in 2012).

Taxing wealth is the same as taxing saving and investment (actually, it’s the same as triple- or quadruple-taxing saving and investment). And that’s bad for competitiveness, growth, and wages.

And the implicit marginal tax rate on saving and investment can be extremely punitive. Between 67 percent and 100 percent in Alan’s examples. And that’s in addition to regular income tax rates.

You don’t have to be a wild-eyed supply-side economist to recognize that this is crazy.

Which is one of the reasons why other nations have been repealing this class-warfare levy.

Here’s a chart from the Tax Foundation showing the number of developed nations with wealth taxes from1965-present.

Jun-25-19-Tax-Foundation-Chart.jpg

 

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A horrible future awaits for anyone who depends on government | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2019

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/a-horrible-future-awaits-for-anyone-who-depends-on-government/

By Joe Jarvis

Lice, cockroaches, and root canals all have better approval ratings than Congress.

Congress controls government spending. And nine out of every ten people say the government doesn’t spend tax dollars wisely.

57% say tax rates are too high.

(But only 13% want to cut right to the heart of the issue and abolish the IRS.)

And whatever side of the aisle you’re on, the voters’ choice of President seems to be getting more ludicrous with each election cycle.

We all agree there is plenty to bitch about when it comes to the government.

But I’m still waiting for people to realize that you can ignore most of what the federal government does.

I don’t cast a ballot on election day. I vote with my life choices.

Sure I’ll criticize the US government; they certainly deserve it. But I don’t fight them. I just step aside, find the loophole, and get on with my life.

When one loophole closes, another opens. For instance, I plan to move to Puerto Rico and pay a total tax burden of 4% by taking advantage of the amazing tax incentives of Act 20 and 22.

Identifying how to navigate around the beast is a much more valuable outlet for my energy compared to campaigning, rallying, or arguing.

Yet some people are hopelessly stuck in the system.

A recent survey found that 80% of millennials worry Social Security won’t be there for them when they retire.

And they’re right – it won’t. The Social Security Administration admits it will run out of money in 2034.

Luckily, millennials have decades, sometimes almost half a century to go until retirement.

You can’t save Social Security by voting, running for office, or rioting in the streets. It’s already over $50 trillion short on the promises it’s made.

But you can take your retirement into your own hands. Read the rest of this entry »

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Abolish Foreign Aid, All of It – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2019

If U.S. officials were honest, they would acknowledge that foreign aid is nothing more than bribery.

https://www.fff.org/2019/04/18/abolish-foreign-aid-all-of-it/

by

On the welfare-state side, the big-ticket items are Social Security and Medicare, the two crown jewels of the American welfare state. Abolishing them would go a long way toward resolving the fiscal problem.

Yet, to even suggest such a thing brings howls of lamentation, despair, and rage from both conservatives and liberals. These two socialist programs go to the core of their joint statist philosophy. They’re not about to touch either one, especially since that would alienate seniors, who unfortunately have grown dependent on the government dole.

On the warfare-state side, the big-ticket items are the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA, along with their foreign and domestic empire of military bases and their forever wars, occupations, regime-change operations, coups, invasions, wars of aggression, and ongoing assassination program. Dismantling America’s national-security establishment and restoring a limited-government republic to our land would go a long way toward resolving the fiscal problem.

Yet, to even suggest such a thing brings howls of lamentation, despair, and rage from both conservatives and liberals. The warfare state goes to the core of their joint statist philosophy. Moreover, there is no possibility that the national-security establishment would ever consent to its own dismantling or to even a major reduction in the amount of tax money that it expects to be allocated every year.

In the middle of this fiscal morass are a multitude of mid-sized or small-sized federal programs, such as the drug war, farm subsidies, education grants, the SBA, and Radio Martí. Abolishing all of them would go a long way toward resolving the fiscal crisis. But conservative and liberal supporters maintain that abolishing any one of them would do nothing significant to reduce overall federal spending and, therefore, they say, each and every one of them should be left intact.

So, where does that leave the nation?

Think Greece. At some point, things could get pretty nasty, with the feds desperately looking everywhere they can to seize money, such as IRA accounts and 401k accounts, and replace them with government bonds, much like President Franklin Roosevelt did during the emergency economic crisis in the 1930s when he seized everyone’s gold and replaced it with government bonds.

But here’s an idea: Why not abolish foreign aid, all foreign aid?

After all, foreign aid is really nothing more than welfare for foreign officials. Like other welfare-state programs, it’s funded by money that the IRS extracts from American taxpayers…

If U.S. officials were honest, they would acknowledge that foreign aid is nothing more than bribery. The foreign aid is never “free.” It comes with strings. The strings say: Do as we say or you will lose your dole. So, when the U.S. government needs votes in the United Nations, international dole recipients know full well what their duty is. Or when the U.S. government needs a “coalition of the willing” to support one of its imperialist adventures, it knows that it can call on its international dole recipients. Even when the U.S. Empire is going it alone in some foreign escapade, it knows it can count on no criticism from its dole recipients, or else.

There is also a moral element to foreign aid — the fact that American tax money is being used in immoral ways, including oppression of innocent people. Two good examples of this phenomenon involve Israel and Egypt. U.S. foreign aid to Israel helps the Israeli government maintain its brutal system of oppression against the Palestine people. U.S. foreign aid to Egypt enables the Egyptian military dictatorship to maintain its brutal system of oppression against the Egyptian people…

Be seeing you

 

 

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