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Who Pays Income Taxes: Tax Year 2018 – Foundation – National Taxpayers Union

Posted by M. C. on January 1, 2021

https://www.ntu.org/foundation/detail/who-pays-income-taxes-tax-year-2018

by Demian Brady

Introduction

Many left-leaning politicians have argued that the tax system is rigged to benefit those at the top and that the wealthy are not paying their “fair share” of taxes. These claims overlook the starkly progressive nature of America’s income tax code. The code has become increasingly progressive over the past several decades, and despite much political rhetoric to the contrary, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made it even more progressive by shifting a greater share of the income tax burden to the top earners.

New data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the first tax year under the TCJA confirms that even as the tax reform law reduced top marginal tax rates, the top income earners shouldered a larger share of the income tax burden, far exceeding their adjusted gross income share. Lower income earners are largely spared from income taxes and actually paid a smaller share under the TCJA’s reforms.

New Data Highlights Progressivity of the Income Tax Code under the TCJA

Each fall the IRS’s Statistics of Income division publishes data showing the share of taxes paid by taxpayers across ranges of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). The most recent release covers Tax Year 2018 (filed in 2019).[1] This is the first year of reported data under the changes in the TCJA which lowered tax rates, nearly doubled the standard deduction, and expanded the child tax credit.

The new data shows that the top 1 percent of earners (with incomes over $540,009) paid over 40 percent of all income taxes. Despite the tax rate reductions associated with TCJA, this figure is up slightly from the previous tax year’s 38.5 percent share. In fact, NTUF has compiled historical IRS data tracking the distribution of the federal income tax burden back to 1980 and this is the highest share recorded over that period, topping 2007’s 39.8 percent income tax share for the top 1 percent. The amount of taxes paid in this percentile is nearly twice as much their adjusted gross income (AGI) share.

The top 10 percent of earners bore responsibility for over 71 percent of all income taxes paid and the top 25 percent paid 87 percent of all income taxes. Both of those figures represent an increased tax share compared to 2017. The top fifty percent of filers earned 88 percent of all income and were responsible for 97 percent of all income taxes paid in 2018.

The other half of earners (with incomes less than $43,614) took home 11.6 percent of total nation-wide income (a slight increase from 11.3 percent in 2017) and owed 2.9 percent of all income taxes in 2018, compared to 3.1 percent in 2017.

As NTUF reported earlier this year, the number of filers with no income tax liability increased from 2017 to 2018 to 34.7 percent.[2] The number of nontaxable returns is often related to the economy: as employment decreases and income falls, the number of filers facing no income taxes tends to increase, and vice versa. While 2018 saw a strong economy that would ordinarily increase the number of individuals with income tax burdens, the TCJA removed additional people from income tax rolls by increasing the standard deduction and expanding refundable credits.

Historical Comparison

As noted above, NTUF has compiled historical IRS data tracking the distribution of the federal income tax burden back to 1980. In that year, the income tax share of the top one percent of filers was 19 percent – less than half of what it is now (40 percent). This is despite the fact that the top marginal income tax rate was 70 percent in 1980 and has since fallen to 37 percent in 2018.[3]

On the other side of the income spectrum, the bottom 50 percent’s income tax burden has been significantly reduced over the past forty years. In 1980, it stood at 7 percent. That dropped to a low of 2.4 percent in 2010 during the recession. As the economy gradually improved after the recession, the tax share of this income group gradually increased to 3.1 percent in 2017. Although the economy remained strong in 2018, this group’s tax share fell from the previous year. This can be attributable in part to the lower rates and higher standard deduction enacted in the TCJA along with its additional provisions designed to ease burdens low-income earners such as  the increased child tax credit.

The trends are clear: the code has become increasingly progressive, and when people are allowed to keep more of their own money, they prosper, move up the economic ladder, and pay a bigger part of the income tax bill for those who aren’t.

Tax Cuts and Tax Fairness

Democratic party leaders have taken rhetorical shots against tax reform bill since it was introduced back in 2017. During the debate, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) went so far as to call the TCJA the “worst bill in the history of the United States Congress.”[4] Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also disparaged the bill as a “product that no one can be proud of and everyone should be ashamed of.”[5]

Progressives continue to assail the TCJA in the years since its passage. A few days before the election, the Center for American Progress, a  self-described “progressive” policy institute, called the tax system “unfair” and said the results of the TCJA were a “hugely regressive tax cut.”[6]

This ignores that most taxpayers paid less thanks to the TCJA.

See the rest here

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Jim Bovard’s Guide to Surviving Election Day | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on October 30, 2020

What’s the point of voting if “government under the law” is not a choice on Election Day?

Having a vote does nothing to prevent a person from being molested by the TSA, spied on by the NSA, or harassed by the IRS.

Politicians are increasingly dividing Americans into two classes—those who work for a living and those who vote for a living.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/jim-bovards-guide-to-surviving-election-day/

by Jim Bovard

Election Day can be the longest day of the year. Especially if the presidential race remains undecided late into the evening, neither Xanax nor vodka may be enough to kill the pain. In lieu of other sedatives, following are some cheerful lines which might blunt the impact of the prattling on CNN or MSNBC, though there is no known antidote to PBS’s piety.

Voting

  • The most dangerous political illusion is that votes limit politicians’ power.
  • Nowadays, we have elections in lieu of freedom.
  • The defects in any system of choosing rulers outweigh the risks of letting people run their own lives.
  • People are entitled to far more information when testing baldness cures than when casting votes that could lead to war.
  • What’s the point of voting if “government under the law” is not a choice on Election Day?
  • Having a vote does nothing to prevent a person from being molested by the TSA, spied on by the NSA, or harassed by the IRS.
  • Politicians are increasingly dividing Americans into two classes—those who work for a living and those who vote for a living.
  • Voting for lesser evils makes Washington no less odious.
  • Politicians have mandated warning labels for almost everything except voting booths.
  • On Election Day, Americans are more likely to be deluded by their own government than by foreigners.
  • Politicians talk as if voting magically protects the rights of everyone within a fifty-mile radius of the polling booth.
  • Political consent is defined these days as rape was defined a generation or two ago: people consent to anything which they do not forcibly resist.

Democracy

  • Modern democracy pretends that people can control what they do not understand.
  • We have a drive-by democracy where politicians wave to voters every few years and otherwise do as they please.
  • The more power politicians capture, the more illusory democracy becomes.
  • A democratic government that respects no limits on its own power is a ticking time bomb, waiting to destroy the rights it was created to protect.
  • The surest effect of exalting democracy is to make it easier for politicians to drag everyone else down.
  • The Washington Post’s motto is “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” But democracy also dies from too many Iron Fists.
  • The phrases which consecrate democracy seep into Americans’ minds like buried hazardous waste.
  • Rather than a democracy, we increasingly have an elective dictatorship. Voters merely designate who will violate the laws and the Constitution.
  • Democracy unleashes the State in the name of the people.
  • The more that democracy is presumed to be inevitable, the more likely it will self-destruct.
  • America is now an Attention Deficit Democracy where citizens’ ignorance and apathy entitle politicians to do as they damn well please.
  • Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
  • Americans now embrace the same myths about democracy that downtrodden European peasants formerly swallowed about monarchy.
  • Instead of revealing the “will of the people,” election results are often only a one-day snapshot of transient mass delusions.
  • Nothing happens after Election Day to make politicians less venal.

Lying

  • A lie that is accepted by a sufficient number of ignorant voters becomes a political truth.
  • America is increasingly a “Garbage In, Garbage Out” democracy. Politicians dupe citizens and then invoke deluded votes to stretch their power.
  • Promising to “speak truth to power” is the favorite vow in the most deceitful city in America.
  • Truth delayed is truth defused.
  •  A successful politician is often merely someone who bamboozled more voters than the other liar running for office.
  • The biggest election frauds usually occur before the voting booths open.
  • Politicians nowadays treat Americans like medical orderlies treat Alzheimer’s patients, telling them anything that will keep them subdued. It doesn’t matter what untruths the people are fed because they will quickly forget.
  • When people blindly trust politicians, the biggest liars win.
  • Secrecy and lying are often two sides of the same political coin.
  • The more powerful government becomes, the more abuses it commits, and the more lies it must tell.

Government et Cetera

  • America is rapidly becoming a two-tier society: those whom the law fails to restrain, and those whom the law fails to protect.
  • Idealism these days is often only positive thinking about growing servitude.
  • It is naïve to expect governments to descend step-by-step into barbarism—as if there is a train schedule to political hell with easy exits along the way.
  • The first duty of today’s citizen is to assume the best of government, while federal agents assume the worst of him.
  • America needs fewer laws, not more prisons.
  • Every recent American commander in chief has expanded and exploited the dictatorial potential of the presidency.
  • Many people reason about political power like sheep who ignore the wolf until they feel its teeth.
  • Political saviors almost always cost more than they deliver.
  • There is no such thing as retroactive self-government.
  • The arrogance of power is the best hope for the survival of freedom.
  • Washingtonians view individual freedom like an ancient superstition they must pretend to respect.
  • Paternalism is a desperate gamble that lying politicians will honestly care for those who fall under their sway.
  • Citizens should distrust politicians who distrust freedom.
  • The Night Watchman State has been replaced by Highway Robber States in which no asset or right is safe from marauding politicians.
  • P.T. Barnum may have been thinking of Washington journalists when he said there’s a sucker born every minute.

About Jim Bovard

Jim Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994), and 7 other books. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and other publications. His articles have been publicly denounced by the chief of the FBI, the Postmaster General, the Secretary of HUD, and the heads of the DEA, FEMA, and EEOC and numerous federal agencies.

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Liberals Confused By Man Giving Money Without Government Forcing Him To

Posted by M. C. on October 21, 2020

Most liberals just didn’t know what to make of the bizarre occurrence.

https://babylonbee.com/news/liberals-confused-by-man-giving-money-without-being-forced-to

LAS VEGAS, NV—Progressives expressed their anger and confusion this weekend as President Donald Trump was seen putting a wad of $20 bills in the offering bucket at International Church of Las Vegas.

In the video, Trump is seen reaching into his pocket and pulling out some money of his own free will. There are no IRS agents nearby making sure he gives his fair share. Nobody even has a gun to his head. Then, entirely of his own volition, he puts the money in the bucket.

Most liberals just didn’t know what to make of the bizarre occurrence.

“He’s giving money, and there isn’t even a law that says he has to!” screamed one woman on TikTok into her iPhone as she drove around Portland. “WAKE UP AMERICA! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” She then drove into a pond.

Liberals were similarly confused by people not wearing masks or social distancing, thereby taking responsibility for their own health and well-being after assessing risks and coming to a conclusion regarding whether or not they should go to a large religious gathering.

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The NRA Would Be Wise to Leave New York ASAP | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 3, 2020

Although there are legitimate critiques about the efficacy of said sanctuary movements, gun owners are at least getting into the right mindset of using local action to effect change as opposed to waiting for the Executive Branch or the Supreme Court to save them. Moreover, some have rocked the boat even further by suggesting state lines be redrawn.

https://mises.org/wire/nra-would-be-wise-leave-new-york-asap?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=cc3d46d665-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_02_06_25_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-cc3d46d665-228343965

José Niño

The State of New York has wasted no time reminding Americans about its pathological disregard for personal freedom.

Its covid-19 lockdown policies were among the most heavy-handed responses implemented by a state government in the country. Controversies surrounding the state government’s decision to place recovering covid patients in retirement homes, arguably a major factor behind the state’s deadly retirement home outbreak, were major black eyes for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration. The Empire State’s overreach hasn’t been confined to covid-19, though.

New York policymakers are taking crisis opportunism to another level by attempting to dissolve the National Rifle Association. Led by New York State attorney general Letitia James, the State of New York moved forward with a lawsuit last month in an attempt to gut the organization during a time when the NRA is mired in financial scandals. The New York suit alleges that the NRA has been involved in extensive cases of misallocation of funds and corruption, therefore requiring the state to dissolve America’s oldest and most powerful gun lobby.

How Bureaucrats Target Their Ideological Enemies

While state governments have the power to investigate organizations for potentially defrauding donors, the case the State of New York is pursuing against the NRA reeks of political grandstanding. The NRA is an easy target for the Left, which is ecstatic about any opportunity to demonize gun owners and institutions that encourage lawful use of firearms. In the case of New York attorney general James, her record of antigun crusading speaks for itself. While in her previous position as a public advocate for New York City, James attempted to force banks to break their ties with firearms manufacturers after the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. James is a politician with an ax to grind, and the current covid-19 lockdown hysteria gives her an opportunity to poke a “deplorable” group in the eye.

The NRA is no steadfast paladin of gun freedom, at least when compared tohard-line rivals or the manygrassroots organizations that don’t rely on big donor money to stay afloat. Be that as it may, its recent confrontation with New York’s state government should concern any organization advocating for even stronger firearm-related freedoms.

Previously, I wrote about the increasingly politicized nature of the political speech and activities that nonprofit organizations participate in. Historically, politicians have used the levers of tax power to harass political organizations that rub them the wrong way. It wasn’t too long ago that the Obama administration’s IRS made went after Tea Party organizations and excessively scrutinized their internal operations. While the IRS issued an apology for its behavior during the Obama years, the threat of government sticking its nose in the affairs of political organizations is still present at all levels. For now, activist state governments will be more than happy to make people’s lives miserable.

Gun owners face threats from all corners—from state and nonstate actors. To mitigate these threats, it would be wise for Second Amendment organizations to go where free speech and political organization are treated best. As riots across have vividly demonstrated, we cannot assume all jurisdictions will uphold their side of the proverbial “social contract” and protect basic liberties. Mises Institute president Jeff Deist candidly observed, “Selective prosecution and selective nonprosecution are terrifying features of the crappy US justice system. Any of us could have our lives ruined tomorrow by a political DA.”

Politicians are picking up on the divergent political paths states are taking. South Dakota governor Kristi Noem made a name for herself by refusing to enact a statewide lockdown. Similarly, Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge came to the NRA’s defense by penning a piece for NBC News condemning her New York counterpart and demonstrating how her state offers more favorable conditions for gun owners and advocacy for the concept. After all, Arkansas is a constitutional carry state and is not going to go out of its way to persecute political organizations for wrongthink by using the excuses of campaign finance violations or trumped-up charges of misuse of funds.

The NRA’s current dilemma is emblematic of our political era—mass polarization and a widening gulf between the values of states dominated by major urban centers and those with more rural constituencies. Let’s face it: New York hasn’t been a gun-friendly jurisdiction in recent decades. From New York City’s assault weapons ban during the early 1990s to the passage of the SAFE Act in 2013, which established universal background checks and broadened the definition of so-called assault weapons, the State of New York has demonstrated a clear antipathy toward gun ownership. It is no surprise that it’s ranked dead last according to Guns and Ammo magazine’s annual rankings for gun friendliness.

The Benefits of Decentralization

America’s federalism still provides a fallback option for Americans living in states that are hostile to economic and cultural interests. If states become overzealous in their policymaking, people can vote with their feet by moving to states that are friendlier to personal and economic freedoms. We are already witnessing this trend in action, as 6 million Americans have already left states like California in the past decade for more business-friendly and affordable places such as Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. So, the movement of people is not just a hypothetical scenario in today’s climate of polarization.

President Donald Trump sagaciously suggested the NRA move its headquarters to Texas, a state known for its gun culture and policies that are receptive toward lawful gun ownership. From 2020 and beyond, many gun owners will have to grapple with the grim reality that certain jurisdictions will not be amicable toward wedge issues that span the spectrum from abortion to gun ownership. A number of gun owners have already gotten the memo and have begun to explore unorthodox ways of getting around the existential threat of gun control in their respective localities. Some have launched the notorious Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions movement. Although there are legitimate critiques about the efficacy of said sanctuary movements, gun owners are at least getting into the right mindset of using local action to effect change as opposed to waiting for the Executive Branch or the Supreme Court to save them. Moreover, some have rocked the boat even further by suggesting state lines be redrawn. For example, West Virginiainvited rural counties of Virginia to join the state, while disgruntled residents of Oregon and Northern California are attempting to break away from their respective states to become part of a Greater Idaho that better represents their values.

More states should make it a point to differentiate themselves from progressive bastions. Americans can see for themselves that there are other jurisdictions in the country that treat certain freedoms better than others. The potential loss of a significant portion of their tax base could be enough for blue states to start to reconsider their divisive policies. The question is, Are they ready to see the error of their ways?

We will have to see. Author:

Contact José Niño

José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer. Sign up for his mailing list here. Get his e-book The 10 Myths of Gun Control here. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter, or email him here.

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WHY TAXATION IS SLAVERY

Posted by M. C. on September 2, 2020

Now I put it to you that the above description is exactly the reality that you face in relation to government as we know it today. The “I” in the example above is the IRS. It takes away your money by means of coercion, intimidation, and force and gives it to others who claim to legitimize the theft on the basis of majority rule, public benefit, wealth distribution, homeland security, etc., etc., etc. To the extent that the above description is correct, the government is a thieving parasite and you are its host. To the extent that you don’t get to keep the fruit of your labor the government owns it, not you; and to that extent you are a slave.

https://www.titanians.org/why-taxation-is-slavery/
By Robert E. Podolsky

Government is a Criminal Enterprise

I have maintained for some time that taxation is government’s most criminal enterprise and that it is, in fact, a form of slavery. Yet it continues to baffle me that so many people cannot or will not see the obvious truth in these statements and insist on arguing that taxation is necessary to humanity’s well being and that it is not slavery at all. “The greatest good for the greatest number” goes the usual utilitarian refrain…which I maintain is one of the greater falsehoods…for the usual reasons. But since these reasons are so elusive to the greatest number I have decided to explain my reasoning in language that (hopefully) anyone can understand, thus settling this dispute once and for all in the eyes of any reasonable person.

While a whole book might easily be devoted to this subject, it is my intention to present here only a brief treatise on the subject in order to make the information as accessible as possible. I present herein three separate, but not entirely independent, arguments to make my case. I call them respectively:

1. The Property Rights Argument,

2. The Robin Hood Argument, and

3. The Smart Business Argument.
The Property Rights Argument

Property Rights is the one usually presented by libertarians in the manner of the late Murray Rothbard. Unfortunately, Rothbard presupposed that most people would accept intuitively that people own their own bodies. From this assumption he then reasoned that this implied the existence of property rights and hence absolute ownership of whatever the individual might create or produce. While the reasoning behind this argument is correct, few people accept it because it is counter-intuitive. It is counter-intuitive because as children it is obvious to us that our parents own our bodies, rather than we ourselves. When we go to school our teachers appear to own us. And when we grow up and become employees it often seems that our employers own us. We also observe as adults that if we refuse to pay taxes we can involuntarily lose possession of all our assets, thus demonstrating that government has a higher claim than we do to whatever we would like to believe we own. In the midst of such a society it is hardly surprising that most of us are unconvinced that we have any property rights not mitigated by government decree.

So it follows that if indeed we have any property rights worth discussing we will need some other way to discover this fact than simply agreeing with the Rothbard assertion that we own our own bodies. Fortunately there is another avenue of reasoning that we can call upon for this purpose. It begins with the definition of an ethical act:

An act is ethical if it increases the creativity of anyone, including the person acting, without limiting or diminishing the creativity of anyone.

As I have shown elsewhere, this definition is logically equivalent to similar definitions in which the word “creativity” is replaced by “love”, “awareness”, “personal evolution”, or any of a potentially large set of resources that are logical equivalents of creativity. I have also conclusively shown elsewhere that the utilitarian definition defining an ethical act as one that does more good than harm is invalid, and that because of this that it follows by simple logic that ethical ends cannot ever be attained by unethical means no matter who (or how many) benefits from such an act[1].

Now let’s ask the question, “Might it be ethical to steal someone’s possessions, either by force or by deceit?” And the answer is a resounding, “NO!” The scientist depends on her computer. The poet depends on his word processor. The artist needs her brushes and paints. Steal these things from someone and they are rendered less creative. By definition such an act is unethical…bad…evil. It follows logically from this that if we have the “right” to be treated ethically then we must have the “right” to own whatever we are able to acquire without stealing from someone else…and that therefore no one has the right, for any reason, to deprive us of the fruit of our bodies’ labor. By similar reasoning it follows that we do indeed own our own bodies and that any act which abrogates that right of ownership is an act of slavery because it diminishes our self-ownership. If our physical and financial possessions indeed contribute to our creativity, then it follows that the systematic removal of any such resources from our possession is evil and is a form of enslavement. Taxation is just such an act.
The Robin Hood Argument

The Robin Hood Argument is even easier to understand. We begin the discussion with my asking you the question, “Would it be all right with you if I stole your assets?”

And of course your answer is, “No.”

Next I ask, “Would it matter to you whether the theft was by force or by fraud?”

Again you answer, “No.” Then I ask, “Would you care what I did with the money?”

Again, “No.” Then I ask, “What if I gave the money away…would that make it okay?”

Again, “No.” “Suppose I gave half the money to a lot of poor people and they liked it and wanted more. Would that make the theft okay with you?”

Still, “No.” “Suppose all those poor folks elected a bunch of congressmen and I gave the other half of your money to them to spend as they wished. Would that make the theft okay with you?”

Still, “No.” “Finally, suppose those congressmen got together and wrote a piece of paper saying it was all right for me to steal from you and give away the proceeds; and they called that piece of paper a ‘tax law’. Would that make the theft okay with you?”

At this point I hope you have the good sense to continue saying, “No. NO. NO!”

Now I put it to you that the above description is exactly the reality that you face in relation to government as we know it today. The “I” in the example above is the IRS. It takes away your money by means of coercion, intimidation, and force and gives it to others who claim to legitimize the theft on the basis of majority rule, public benefit, wealth distribution, homeland security, etc., etc., etc. To the extent that the above description is correct, the government is a thieving parasite and you are its host. To the extent that you don’t get to keep the fruit of your labor the government owns it, not you; and to that extent you are a slave.

I should say a few words here about how the government steals from you. It does so in three ways. First it taxes you directly by means of income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, parking and traffic tickets, court imposed fines, school and utility district assessments, licensing and registration fees, gasoline, alcohol, and tobacco taxes, etc. Then there are taxes passed on to you indirectly. Most of these are taxes paid by the businesses which make or import the things you buy. Every time the government requires a tariff for the importation of foreign goods or raw materials it requires you to pay more and get less. If your Toyota dealer pays a tariff, then you are paying more for a car than the free market would charge. If you save yourself the added expense by buying a Ford, then in effect your government insists you settle for an inferior product so that Ford can make a bigger profit. This amounts to an indirect tax. Either way value is taken away from you and given to someone else who didn’t earn it.
Hidden Taxes

And finally there are hidden taxes. The most blatant example of a hidden tax is inflation…the illusion of rising prices. Every time the Federal Reserve prints money for the government to spend, the government gets the full value of each Federal Reserve “dollar” printed. But shortly after the money is spent by the government it is absorbed by the economy and the value of every dollar in your bank account is diminished. In effect the government thereby steals the buying power of all of your money without your even knowing that you are being taxed[2].

All in all, if one includes direct, indirect, and hidden taxes, the average American gives up about 50% of their gross income to local, state, and federal authorities by way of taxes. That means that fully half the fruit of your labor is forfeit whether you like it or not. Is it any less odious to be a half time slave than it would be to live as a full time slave? I think not? Slavery is slavery.
Smart Business Argument

The Smart Business Argument starts with a fantasy. Imagine I am a slave owner and you are one of my hard-working slaves whom I use as labor in my agricultural business. They (and you) plant my fields and harvest my crops, which I sell at a substantial profit. My business depends on them. While you may think that slave labor is free to me, the fact is that it is not. Besides the initial purchase of my slaves, I have to maintain them. I feed, clothe, and house them…albeit cheaply, but it’s not free. I pay for whatever medical expenses I decide to invest in their health and I pay for their management, which includes the services of bounty hunters who round them up for me when they escape. I also have to pay for the tools and implements that my slaves use and the seeds that they plant. All in all it’s an expensive operation. What is more, I am limited in the geographical scope over which I can deploy my slaves, so my business is pretty much limited to the acreage contiguous to my home. This limits my profits still further.

Not wishing to remain so limited I consult a savvy business adviser and soon create a labor cartel together with a number of my colleagues. The cartel in turn goes into partnership with the government. Soon thereafter I round up all my slaves to attend a meeting at which I make the following announcements: “As of today your life will be different. Subject to certain rules and conditions, you and all other slaves will hereby be set free. The purpose of the rules is to reimburse me and my colleagues for the investment that we have made in you. When that debt has been paid, you will be completely free for all time. These are the rules:

1. You can live anywhere in the world you wish. As of today you can live in any housing you can afford. You pay for your own.

2. You can do any kind of work you want to do. You will work whatever hours you and your employer agree upon.

3. You will attend school through at least the age of 18 in preparation for your work. You will pay for your schools through taxes.

4. You may own a business if you so desire and are able to acquire the capital needed to start it.

5. You will carry an identification token all your life and through it your income will be tracked. I will know where you are working and for whom. I will know how much you earn and where you bank.

6. Directly and indirectly you will pay me and my colleagues 50¢ out of every dollar that you earn. This will apply toward payment of your debt to me.

7. If you need to borrow additional money and can convince a bank that you are a good ‘credit risk’, money will be created for you with the stroke of a computer key. This money costs the bank nothing to create and represents no risk to the bank, but if you fail to repay it with interest the bank will take away your house, your car, or any other assets you have that the bank required as collateral for the loan.

8. When the government needs to spend more money than it has collected in taxes, it will ‘borrow’ it from the Federal Reserve System which is a cartel of the world’s biggest banks. It will not need your permission to do this, but you and your descendants will be responsible for repayment of the loan. It will simply be added to whatever you already owe [3]. Naturally the value (buying power) of all the money (Federal Reserve Notes) in your possession will steadily diminish as the Fed continues this practice, so of course your debt to me and my colleagues will never be repaid in full.

9. In order to maintain your sense of freedom you will participate in general elections at regular intervals. The majority vote will determine who occupy the positions of elected officialdom. But the rules above will never be changed to your advantage…only to the advantage of the banking and labor cartels that are actually the owners of the whole system (including you). Accordingly, discussion of these rules will never be part of the general debate at election time.

10. The local, state, and federal governments of the United States will be responsible for enforcement of the rules above in keeping with its partnership in the banking and labor cartels. The courts will adjudicate any conflicts that arise; but discussion of these rules will be forbidden in court and any reference to them will be deemed ‘frivolous’ by the courts. In this way the rules become in themselves a form of law more potent and inviolable than the state and federal constitutions and local charters that might otherwise interfere with the working of the rules.”

The rules above are just “smart business” from the viewpoint of the modern slave owner. Costs are held to a minimum. Productivity is maximized. The slaves manage themselves. There are no rebellions to be concerned with. And yet the slaves are easy to manipulate and control using modern methods of scholastic indoctrination and media communication. What a blessing that most of the slaves have no inkling whatever that they are in fact slaves. This fact alone makes the whole system worth whatever sacrifices the slave owners have made to create it, because there are no organized modes of resistance to the system. Even the organized religions don’t protest the half-time slavery imposed on the public. What a deal for the owners of the system!

In Conclusion, I ask you not to feel too badly if you didn’t get it before now…if you didn’t realize that you are a slave. Most of us don’t get it and billions of dollars are spent each year to keep us in the dark about it. By maintaining the illusion that we are not slaves the system’s owners remain free to continue their perpetuation of the system, with the eventual (though not too distant) goal of taking over the whole world. If we don’t act promptly and with vigor that goal will be attained…very probably within your lifetime. As the goal is neared the deceit will become less and less subtle and the limitations on our freedom more and more pronounced. With the exceptions of 1865 and 1920 (emancipation and suffrage) we have had less freedom every year than the year before. This series of books [4] points the way to the only viable solution that I can see to the, otherwise inevitable, outcome of global slavery and the concomitant degradation of the social and physical environments of the world…to the detriment of all…including those who will be world’s rulers. It is a universal characteristic of parasites that, in the end, they destroy their host and with it themselves. Now let’s look at another atrocity – the attacks of 9/11/2011.

[1] See Appendix B of “BORG WARS” by Robert E. Podolsky

[2] See The Creature from Jekyll Island, a Second Look at the Federal Reserve System by G. Edward Griffin,

[3] Fully one half of your direct federal taxes today go to pay the interest on such loans.

[4] Titania™, the Bloodless Revolution by Robert E. Podolsky

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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.

Be seeing you

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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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propertyn tax

 

 

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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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Bernie

 

 

 

 

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