Tax Day Special… The False Hope of Code Changing

Like many Americans, I approach Tax day each year a little more annoyed than the year before. I have done my own taxes for many years. And once I was married, I took over preparing taxes for two. It is not a new concept for me. I feel like I have a simplistic grasp on the process, although I would never come close to qualifying as an expert. What I find is that each year it becomes more complicated than the year before. New tax codes, special breaks, and searching for documentation for every nickel you might have earned over the last year all come together to create a headache for anyone sitting at their computer attempting to figure it all out. I find this fact troubling for one specific reason…. I am a pretty smart guy. I don’t want to toot my horn too loudly. But I have managed to keep a 4.0 GPA through all my degrees, I have an IQ that qualifies me for special groups, I have a tremendous memory, and I generally can figure out just about anything I want to figure out. So why is it that what should be the simple act of filing my taxes is enough to make me feel like I am back in “Quantitative Application of Statistical Theory” again?

I didn’t make that class name up, for the record. I had to take QAST I and II. Talk about a headache each night as you sit down to do schoolwork. Anyone who has ever had to take statistics knows what a pain that course is, now imagine statistical theory! But it was child’s play when compared to attempting to understand the tax codes and the things that must be done to simply file your federal taxes. And here is the thing, I am a smart guy and I struggle with it every year, so how are the regular Americans who weren’t given my brain power supposed to figure this stuff out or understand it?

The short answer…. They aren’t.

Today’s tax code is as complicated as it is on purpose. There are several reasons for the complexity of the tax code. The first is so that the average American cannot find a way to beat it. The second reason is so that the wealthy in America can prosper in spite of it. And the third, and this is the most important reason, is so that the government can use the tax code as a tool to manipulate both individual citizens and corporations into taking the actions that the government wants them to take. Allow me to explain each of these in a little more detail.

Beating the System

Step one in having an income tax in America is to make sure that it gets paid. That sounds simple, and perhaps as though it is a step I didn’t need to mention. But the fact is that there are lots of smart people in America. And the ones who are smarter than the average bear are more likely to find the best ways to earn an income. As such they are made more liable for taxes. So in general, the smarter you are, the more money you make, and the more money government gets to “legally” take from you.

One problem with that: the smarter you are, the more likely you are to find ways to work the system in order to limit the amount of money that you have to give the federal government. Just ask any of the smart folks on this site if they work to limit the amount of taxes they pay. So the government does what they can to limit the ability of the smart folks to work the system. This means that they make the tax codes so expansive and complicated that it almost becomes too time consuming to fully work the system. Many smart folks simply elect to just pay the damn tax rather than spending hours and hours reading tax codes to find a way out. A complex tax code helps ensure that those making higher incomes have a more difficult time finding ways to not pay the ante in America.

And that is where I sit folks. I know that I can find ways to limit the amount of taxes I pay. But thus far it simply isn’t worth the time that it would take to do so. That doesn’t stop the federal government thugs from harassing me though. I am sure it was just a coincidence (can you feel my sarcasm?), but I have never been audited in my life, until I started writing a political blog critical of government. All of the sudden I got looked at a lot harder, and they claimed I didn’t pay enough in 2007. I filed the paperwork showing them the errors in their calculations, but they still haven’t acknowledged so. They continue to send me a bill for additional money to be sent to them.

Serving the Rich

Now at some point along the income line you cross over into what is considered “wealthy”. This puts you a step above the “smart” folks because you are making enough money that the government really gets to take you for a ride (and those lefties want to take you for even more of one, you have to pay your fair share!). There is a big difference between the truly wealthy and the just smart folks. That difference is that you no longer are responsible for your own taxes. You get to hire someone else to do them for you, and not just someone else, but someone who is really, really good at it.

You see, the wealthy don’t have to do the contemplation about whether it is worth the time and effort to find ways to work the system. They simply hire someone else to do that for them. So the wealthy are able to better take advantage of the tax codes. I know, some of you are saying, “then USW, what the hell are you doing all this bitching about increasing taxes on the wealthy for? If they don’t have to pay, what does it matter?” I didn’t say they don’t pay taxes, I said the truly wealthy are able to work the system better than the rest of us, because they have the hired help to do so. Obviously they are still paying a ton, since they happen to be paying for the rest of American society (remember that the top 10% pay 70% of the income tax, according to the IRS).

But the point is this… the federal government has always, always benefitted the wealthy. The rich elite in this country are akin to a country club. And you don’t punch your most beneficial donors in the mouth without giving them the ability to dodge the punch. There are enough on the left who push the wealthy’s taxes higher and enough on the right who write into the tax code enough loopholes to ensure that the wealthy don’t abandon ship and take extreme measure to protect themselves. Remember that the US originally supported primarily rich, white landowners. Don’t think for a second that the tax code isn’t still written in a way that makes that the case today.

Manipulating Behavior

The two reasons discussed above are small potatoes compared to this one. Herein lies the PRIMARY purpose of the United States Tax Code. Manipulation. There are so many misconceptions out there about the tax code and the purpose of taxes in America. Many people still believe that the primary purpose of taxes is to raise revenue for the government in order to fund social programs and government functions. Don’t get me wrong, the tax code does perform that function, but that is no longer it’s primary function. The primary function is manipulation.

Think for a moment about the ways that the government does this. They provide tax “breaks” for performing actions that the government approves of. Some examples would be becoming more energy efficient, buying a home during a down housing market, purchasing American made goods, or living a healthy lifestyle. And those are just individual things. When you get to the business level, the manipulation goes even further. We see tax breaks for companies that hire new employees during a down economy, or provide government approved health care options, or whatever else government wants them to do.

And these are not even taking into consideration the fact that the tax code is a primary bribery tool for politicians who want to raise campaign funds. Promises to push for tax breaks or subsidies for an industry is a surefire way to gain the support, both financial and influential, of big business. Remember that the completely flawed economic theories of Keynes are what we follow in the US. These theories hold that the government can control the economy at a macro level. Do you really think that the number one revenue generator for the federal government isn’t a part of that plan. They use the tax code as yet another tool to control the economy.

Conclusion

And that, my friends, is why you are never going to see a simplified tax code. And you absolutely aren’t going to see something as simple or easy to understand as a fair tax or flat tax implemented in the United States. To do so would be devastating to the federal government’s ability to manipulate the people and businesses in the economy.

But that doesn’t stop them from “promising” to make things simpler. I saw a video today on Fox News about a “true bi-partisan effort” by Republican Senator Judd Gregg and Democrat Senator Ron Wyden to simplify the tax code. They were claiming that they want to change the tax code to eliminate the ability of special interests to benefit from it. They both readily admitted that they cannot get support from the leadership of either party.

Yet they claim that all 100 Senators believe that the tax code needs to be fixed. In fact, they claimed that if you took a vote asking so, you would get 103 votes of yes, as some would want to vote twice (of course if ACORN ran the vote, they could get even more than 103 votes out of 100 Senators). Let me just say right up front, they are liars. There is no desire in the United States Congress to “simplify” the US tax codes. The last thing that members of the federal government ever want to do is make the tax code simple enough so that people could understand it.

Making the tax code simple enough to understand it would have two different negative impacts, from the federal government’s point of view. First it would begin to alleviate the manipulation power that they have with the tax code. Second, it would make Americans become more aware of all the different ways that this federal government is screwing them. Right now 90% of Americans have no idea just how much of their money is going right into the pockets of Uncle Sam. It isn’t just income tax, it is taxing every single thing they possibly can. Hell, in many cases they are taxing the same thing two or three times!

If you want to try a fun little game sometime, attempt to sit down and figure out how many times the same $100 you earn gets taxed. Start at taxing it as income tax, and then spend what is remaining. If you ever do this exercise comprehensively, you will be stunned at how little of that $100 is actually yours, or conversely, what a large portion of that $100 ends up in the hands of the federal government. It is actually pretty stunning if you take into account the taxes that go into what you buy before it ends up in your hands. Go ahead, give it a try! I am willing to bet that if you do it publicly, here on the site, that several of us will find taxes you missed!

So there you have it, my take on the complexity of the tax system in the United States. It certainly doesn’t really give you that feel good, “we’re working for the betterment of society” feeling, does it? Yet there are still so many folks making the argument that it serves a good purpose. We will tackle the tax codes in the “let’s fix it” series eventually, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

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Comments

  1. Hey, USW, I sure am glad I ain’t the only one consterpated (I made that word up) about taxes. You already know what my old man did back in the fifties about not paying taxes and the consequences we all paid for it.

    You said, “so how are the regular Americans who weren’t given my brain power supposed to figure this stuff out or understand it?”

    My answer is in two words – Turbo Tax! Since we are now totally retired and living off a fixed income (everything we have is long since paid for), we use the shortest and easiest way to pay – I ain’t going to make the same mistake my old man did – and I have set up all our W-2’s so that we pay extra to the fed and state each year so we won’t get caught short. However, income tax isn’t all there is because there is property tax and we got slammed this year with a $400.00 increase in that, thanks to our former Governor and now your Homeland (non) Security Secretary who bankrupted our state during her two terms as gov. She is a “Spend & Tax” Liberal, through and through.

  2. I have done more tax returns in my day than I care to think about. My price: 1 20 oz Mtn Dew. I’ve been doing it since college. Never had a question raised or an error made until the last five years. Every year in these last five someone comes back to me and shows me a letter saying something like “we have adjusted your refund for the following reason” which just irks me to death because I follow every rule to the tee. And only once did I make a mathematical error. I will show the person exactly where it is written in the book that I was correct and explain that if they want to wait some extra time for their refund that I will dispute the error if they like. So far no takers. They take their loss and run with the cash. This year I refused to fill out taxes for anyone. The horror stories they come back with about the cost is funny to me but I’m sure H&R Block is laughing harder than me.

    I have my accountant figure my business taxes for me. Last year The IRS sent a guy to my door saying I owed 26k for 2005 and that they could ultimately shut me down if it goes unpaid. We went back & forth for months working it out. In the end they were wrong and so were we. But this time I won to the tune of a 46k refund. 🙂 The same guy came back with papers saying I owe 35k for 06, 07. I’m still waiting for another refund check.

  3. So last night I decided to watch the local news and national news on CBS. I was surprised the local news covered the local tea party protest after I had only seen one local radio station truck there. I thought if it was on the national news, it should be on the national news because these took place everywhere. Was I ever wrong. Absolutely no mention of it on CBS evening news. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised they completely ignore it.

    • wow, just wow.

      (CNN) – Tea Party activists marked Tax Day with a high-profile rally in Washington, DC, and other protests across the country, but President Obama says the anti-tax movement actually owes him a thank you.

      Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Miami Thursday night, the president touted tax cuts in the stimulus measure and the fact that the tax rate has not been increased for those making less than $250,000 a year.

      “So I’ve been amused in recent days by these people having rallies,” he told the crowd at the fundraiser to laughter. “I think they should be saying thank you.”

      Members of the crowd, who paid between $250 to $1,250 to attend the event, immediately rose to their feet and replied “Thank You!”

      Obama also won a standing ovation from the Miami crowd when he praised the recent passage of the health care reform plan.

      “As my vice president said, ‘This is a big deal,'” Obama said to laughter in reference of Vice President Joe Biden’s verbal slip at the bill’s signing ceremony where he was heard telling the president “This is a big F-ing deal”

      “And he was right,” Obama said.

      • Shouldn’t we be thanking President Bush? I’m mean all the horrible things we’re experiencing now are his fault right? The things Dear Reader has done aren’t being felt yet, right? So, THANK YOU President Bush!

      • Diplomacy-skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility

        Tact-a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense

        Humility or humbleness -is a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity.

      • “Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Miami Thursday night, the president touted tax cuts in the stimulus measure and the fact that the tax rate has not been increased for those making less than $250,000 a year.”

        But what he has never said is that he would not create NEW taxes for EVERYONE to pay – “Obama(doesn’t)care” will create trillions in new taxes . . . it just never ends.

        BTW, my brother-in-law lives in Florida and he thinks Obama is the greatest thing since instant peanut butter. He is a retired Navy Officer. He also thinks Carter was one of our best Presidents . . .

        Makes me wonder about making people spend all that time at sea. 😉

  4. I reluctantly paid what I owed…I do not get refunds. I do not let the government use my money anymore than they already are. I plan my taxes very closely and avoid penalties…follow the rules until the rules are changed. I use whatever tax codes are available to me and use professionals to help me plan.

    As mentioned to you….part two of he Immigration will be upon my return. I am leaving for the border today and will be back in two or three days with fresh information and stats. Have a great weekend all.

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    Wow – quite a nice pat on thine’s own back this a.m. USW! 😉

    I think you give the government too much credit – I think the tax system has jsut because so hosed that they have no discernible way of unscrewing it – to think it is somehow strategic – not sure I get that.

    And since when is ‘working the system’ a bad thing? If my accountant, whom I pay well, follows the law and applies the codes appropriately – then I/we have done what was intended and what (important part here so pay attention) I would want done. No one in the IRS shot me a note on the side giving me on “in” on anything.

    Wherein you see manipulation others see opportunity or, gasp, in your words being super smart and intelligent. So the government wants to encourage me to save more energy and costs in the long run by offering me a tax break? Watch how quick I bend over and grab my ankles rather than waiting another two years as I’d planned on some projects. The systemic effect it has is beyond just my house and wallet USW, and apparently beyond thinking this can only be ‘manipulation’.

    But back to original point – tax code is a mess – it can and should be simplified – and our technology exists to rid ourselves of this idiotic once a year rat race – but that would reduce the size and scope of the IRS and I guess that is a bad thing.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Yes, it can and should be simplified, which is precisely the reason that it will not be simplified, for the very reasons that USW laid out.

      You can believe that the tax code simply became the boondoggle that it is by simply growing over time into a spaghetti-monster of unforseen proportions, or you can believe that it is the way it is by design.

      If it grew over time into a spaghetti-monster, you would THINK that it would be in the best interests of the government to simplify it and make it more efficient, both for the citizens and for the government.

      If it is the way it is by design, you would tend to see a great reluctance to even consider any possible measure to simplify it in any way.

      I generally see a great reluctance to even consider any measures that would simplify the thing, and great enthusiasm for any measures which make it even more complicated than it already is, so the evidence points to this being intentional.

      • The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Peter – I would advocate trashing the entire thing and starting from scratch. Reminds me years ago of re-wiring network cabling closets and in some cases just cutting from the RJ-45 onwards, tagging the 50 lbs of CAT5 spaghetti and trashing it. It was easier thus to re-wire – services were down down for a few hours but it saved a lot of aggravation.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          If we HAVE to have taxes at all (which is a debate for another day, and you already know my position on the issue :)), then yes, scrapping the whole thing, starting over from scratch, and making it as simple as possible would MAKE SENSE.

          Precisely why it is NEVER gonna happen unless the fundamental nature of our current government changes significantly.

          You are agruing that logically it would make sense for something to happen. As USW points out in his article (and I agree with him), taxation is a means of command and control. If taxation were primarily a funding mechanism, then it would be in the best interest of government to have a SIMPLE TAX CODE WITH NO LOOPHOLES.

          Since taxation is NOT primarily a funding mechanism, but a mechanism of command and control, it is in the best interest of the government to have an incredibly complex and beastly tax code with a myriad of loopholes, credits, deductions, penalties, and everything else imaginable.

          • I completely agree with Peter and USW. The tax code is purposefully manipulative and complicated. Politicians ALWAYS talk about lowering nad reforming the tax code, but every time they actually do something it gets more complicated and convoluted, not less.

    • Ray,

      I think you’ve missed the point completely.

      The Tax Code is purposely complex.

      It has been designed purposely to be this way. It is not by accident.

      Reasons:
      (1) The more complex, the great granularity the government has to manipulate specific classes of people. In computer-geek, there are more and more “if-then-else” gates which allow for more specific situations.

      (2) The more complex, the more likely the individual has made a serious error on their return. No one – and I mean no one – who attempts to claim a deduction can guarantee they are not allowed to make such a claim. It is completely at the whim of the Tax Dept. to determine this.

      They can – at a whim and with no evidence – disallow any claim. You are required to pay (including interest and penalty) – even if you dispute. You have to take the matter to court, pay for your own lawyer and accountants, and then avail yourself in a closed system of a government-paid judge in a case with a government-paid Tax dept. account on a case for more government money vs you. Good luck.

      (3)Massive resignation and submission of the People to the government. As many here are relating their attitude is approaching “I just give up, take all of it, and give me what you, the government, don’t want!”

      It is overwhelming so it becomes overwhelming. Accountants love it. Lawyers love it. Government loves it. The People cringe and collapse.

      Further, it is a tactic of exhaustion.

      People complain about the tax code. Politicians take up their fight – encouraging these People to come and expend huge effort in documentation, meetings, hearings, travel, discussion, to only then ….

      …see it go for not. Exhausted, the People stagger home, swearing never to do this again – and eliminating huge swathes of activists.

  6. The code is definately a smoke and mirrors game to hide what is really happening. It is on both the state and federal levels. I end up with less than 50% of the spending power of my money when I get paid by regular paycheck. As a business owner, I get a lot of deductions and breaks, and I have gotten quite adept at working the system. Still, I end up owing in spite of making slightly below poverty level this year due to “self employment tax”. Yippie.

    • And they have upped the ante with the Health Care law, making the IRS responsible for enforcement, requiring only 16,000 new, helpful, professional
      accountants to screw us over. I wonder what it will take to argue your case
      in the future, a CPA, lawyer and a doctor?

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    There is an article over at Yahoo about how Bank of America made stunning profits this past quarter. It is essentially an ADMISSION of what I have been warning you all about for some time now. Here are the first few paragraphs of the article, interspersed with my comments:

    “CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Bank of America said Friday its first-quarter earnings rose 0.7 percent to $2.83 billion as strong trading revenue helped the bank offset continuing losses on consumer loans.”

    MY COMMENTS:

    Translation: Bank of America got tons and tons of free money from the government (to the tune of billions). We simply intected this free money into the faltering and beaten-down stock market. A bunch of other big banks did this as well. Overall, over half a TRILLION dollars was pumped into the stock market in this way. By pumping around half a trillion previously non-existent dollars into the stock market, stock prices NECESSARILY SHOT THROUGH THE ROOF, so all of the banks that did this made tremendous profits. Our ACTUAL BUSINESS (providing loans, etc.) STILL ISN’T WORKING WORTH A DAMN, and we are still losing our shirts on that actual business we are supposed to be doing, but these STAGGERING LOSSES were more than offset by our tremendous profits from pumping fiat money into the stock market.

    “The bank reported a $2.1 billion loss in its home mortgage business, but said its other consumer loan businesses were showing signs of healing.”

    MY COMMENTS:

    If the home mortgage business still lost $2.1 billion for BofA, and even if other consumer loan businesses were showing “signs of healing” (lets say they only lost $200 million on those “other” consumer loan businesses), and their net PROFIT was 2.83 billion, that means that the “profit” generated THROUGH TRADING ALONE WAS $5 BILLION IN JUST THIS PAST QUARTER!!!!!

    “Bank of America’s results after payment of preferred stock dividends are up slightly from $2.81 billion a year ago. They surpassed expectations and provided further evidence that the banking industry and the economy are recovering. JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Wednesday also reported improvements in its consumer loan business, and said continuing credit losses were offset by income from trading.”

    MY COMMENTS:

    The banking industry and the economy are NOT RECOVERING AT ALL!!! The ONLY reason that banks are “profitable” is that they were given NEARLY A TRILLION DOLLARS in freshly minted money, and promptly turned around and SHOVED HALF OF IT INTO THE STOCK MARKET, thereby generating tremendous profits for themselves ON PAPER! This is what your “government-funded bailout” of the banking industry has accomplished – NOTHING MORE.

    If you have been in the stock market and gone along for the ride up from 6600 to 11,000, enjoy those nice profits that all of this funny money has generated for you. However, BE WARNED! Business fundamentals of ALL of these banks ARE STILL IN THE CRAPPER! If you have made good money in this recent run-up, you might want to strongly consider getting out now before it all evaporates!

    The price of gold and other commodities HAS NOT DROPPED AT ALL during this entire “market rally”. This is because the entire rally has been founded upon the injection of TONS AND TONS of previously NON-EXISTENT money into the market. All this really is is inflation; however, because of the way it has worked (pumping up the stock market artificially without an excessive amount of other inflation), it has actually been beneficial to any “consumers” who were in the market at the time.

    At some point, this money is either going to enter the broader marketplace (inflation) or is somehow going to have to be withdrawn from the economy (yeah, like THAT is going to happen).

    The ride might continue for some time yet, but it is critically important that you all realize that it is not sustainable.

  8. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Further comments stemming from the BofA article:

    The Bank of America article can be presented as proof positive that taxation is primarily a tool of command, control, and manipulation.

    Essentially, the entire bank bailout was a grand scheme of command, control, and manipulation based upon taxation from the get-go.

    Step 1: Artificially create $787 billion “tax dollars” which the government DID NOT HAVE from thin air.

    Step 2: Use some of this money to have the government obtain a controlling interest in the banks, thus making the government the de-facto owner of the banking industry.

    Step 3: Insure that none of this money enters the economy through traditional means such as consumer loans, mortgages, business loans, etc. This is extremely important and TOTALLY INTENTIONAL.

    Step 4: Pump the vast majority of this newly minted money into the stock market. This generates profits for the banks by driving up the price of stocks (especially the banking and investment company stocks themselves), and also generates profits for the banks because the banks ARE the big investment firms, and they are profiting on every single trade which is executed through commissions and fees. A win-win for the banks.

    What does all of this accomplish? The COMPLETE ILLUSION OF AN ECONOMIC RECOVERY. There are few if any jobs created, because businesses are still unable to obtain credit and financial uncertainty is so great that the vast majority of businesses will not expand in this type of environment. It does NOTHING to help the average consumer, unless the average consumer happens to be invested in the stock market. It also does nothing to alleviate the problems in the residential and commercial mortgage markets. The banks make enough paper profit to “cover their losses”, but the housing and commercial real estate markets are still a shambles. People are getting foreclosed on in droves, and small businesses are shutting down and leaving strip malls and commercial office buildings too vacant for the commercial mortgages to get paid. The entire business fundamentals of the banking industry are still a complete mess (and that is putting it EXTREMELY politely).

    In spite of this, the media can still claim that an economic recovery MUST BE HAPPENING, because the stock market has gone up from 6500 to 11,000.

    If I were writing a manual on how to create the complete and total ILLUSION of an economic recovery, this is precisely how I would do it!

    If you STILL persist in the belief that taxation has anything to do with funding the government after digesting that and actually thinking about it, I am afraid I cannot help you. Taxation is for command, control, and manipulation, plain and simple.

  9. Income Tax Filing Strategy

    To: Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury Washington, DC 20001

    Enclosed is my 2003 Form 1040, together with payment. Please take note of the attached article from USA Today archives. In the article, you will note that the Pentagon paid $171.50 each for hammers and NASA paid $600.00 each for toilet seats.

    Please find enclosed in this package four toilet seats (value $2,400.00) and six hammers (value $1,029.00). This is in payment for my total tax due of $3,429.00.

    Out of a sense of patriotic duty, and to assist in the political purification of our government, I am also enclosing a 1.5 inch Phillips head screw, for which HUD duly recorded and approved a purchase value of $22.00, as my contribution to fulfill the Presidential Election Fund option on Form 1040.

    It has been a pleasure to pay my taxes this year, and I look forward to paying them again next year in accordance with officially established government values.

    Sincerely,
    Another satisfied taxpayer

  10. Judy Sabatini says:

    The NEXT Obamacare — Financial Regulatory Reform

    By Andrew Langer

    Beware of the next Obama, Pelosi, Reid target — reforms that would bring us a permanent bailout authority.

    As awful as the new Obamacare law is, perhaps the worst news is that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid aren’t done yet; they have until January 3 to keep making new, terrible laws. Many Americans are still focused on healthcare, and that is good—we need to direct that outrage both to the elections and at efforts to repeal it. However, we can’t forget about the work that needs to be done in preventing more bad policy from being enacted before a new Congress can take office and clean up the mess.

    Perhaps the most terrible idea being pushed is a “financial regulatory reform” that would not only give the government even more control of banks, but would also contain a permanent bailout authority. The bill being debated in the Senate right now would give the government another $50 billion to spend for new bailouts whenever it sees fit, i.e. whenever politically-connected interests like the unions or President Obama’s political allies come calling for it.

    There’s a lot more in the bill — a thousand pages more. Essentially, liberals in Congress, with President Obama’s support, think that if you get a few more DMV-quality bureaucrats setting policy for the big banks, that suddenly the financial markets will operate smoothly and efficiently with no more crashes, ever.

    That’s ludicrous. The financial crisis happened for a number of reasons, but two of the biggest are the fault of too much government, not too little.

    1) The housing bubble collapsed. In recent years, a favorite pastime of politicians was cheerleading overly-generous lending standards to people who wanted to buy more house than they could afford. This wasn’t the market at work, but the distortions of government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which exacerbated the moral hazard of the housing markets to an incalculable degree. Specifically, Fannie and Freddie were Ground Zero for the subprime lending crisis, exhibit A of the “troubled assets” that were the basis for the original $700 billion bailout bill passed in October 2008. Fannie and Freddie should be privatized immediately, instead of being insulated from rational supply and demand. To date, Congress hasn’t acted.

    2) Tax increases were made almost inevitable by the November 2006 congressional elections. Taxes were one issue where Republicans maintained an edge on Democrats, but fatigue from the Iraq war and disgust at congressional excesses (including overspending) carried the day. Financial markets, which actually started their downturn in 2007, realized that control of Congress by far-left politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid meant that the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts were likely to expire at the end of 2010. Now that 2010 has arrived, we have a chance to extend or make permanent some of those tax cuts, but President Obama and his allies in Congress want as much of them as possible to expire, which would amount to a $2 trillion mugging of taxpayers.

    Liberals argue that the real culprit was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation passed in 1999 and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. This law repealed the New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act, which had banned a given company from dabbling in any combination of investment banking, commercial banking, and insurance. Liberals, who fundamentally distrust a free-wheeling, open economy, are naturally suspicious of financial deregulation.

    However, a government mandate that a department store not be allowed to sell both T-shirts and rubber ducks would be laughed at—T-shirts and rubber ducks are simply commodities to be sold, and it should be up to a businessman what he sells in his store. It’s the same with securities and insurance, regardless of their higher dollar value. Liberals think they can scare Americans by emphasizing the complicated nature of these different financial products, but we shouldn’t let them.

    The most important thing to understand is that taxpayers should not be forced to bail out businesses—when we do this, not only are we usually just postponing the inevitable, but we’re ratifying the failed business models of those businesses. This is a very important point: though it sounds heartless to allow a company to fail and potentially for its workers to lose their jobs, if we prop up failing companies, it devalues the companies that have successful models, making it harder for them to establish their deserved dominance in that given industry which can, in turn, allow them to hire more workers, including the ones laid off by the failed company.

    One final point. The financial markets already have massive, overlapping and burdensome regulations they have to navigate from the Treasury Department (which has controlled the bailout money), the Securities and Exchange Commission (which enforces reporting requirements), the Federal Reserve (which sets interest rates and has also bailed out companies), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (which regulates other financial products known as derivatives), and other members of the Washington, D.C. alphabet soup brigade. It’s a ridiculous myth that Wall Street is unregulated, and in fact many Wall Street executives give heavily to liberal politicians.

    Let’s not add to this mess with another layer of regulations. Call your Senators TODAY and tell them that you don’t want more government meddling in the financial sector.

    Andrew Langer is President of the Institute for Liberty.

  11. Judy Sabatini says:

    GE: 7,000 tax returns, $0 U.S. tax bill
    By Annalyn Censky, staff reporterApril 16, 2010: 11:52 AM ET

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — General Electric filed more than 7,000 income tax returns in hundreds of global jurisdictions last year, but when push came to shove, the company owed the U.S. government a whopping bill of $0.

    How’d it pull off that trick? By losing lots of money.

    GE had plenty of earnings last year — just not in the United States. For tax purposes, the company’s U.S. operations lost $408 million, while its international businesses netted a $10.8 billion profit.

    That left GE (GE, Fortune 500) with no U.S. profit left for Uncle Sam to tax. Corporations typically face a 35% federal income tax on their earnings. Thanks to its deductions and adjustments, GE reported an actual U.S. federal income tax rate of negative 10.5%. It got to add a “tax benefit” of $1.1 billion back into its reported earnings.

    “This is the first time in at least decades that GE has reported negative U.S. pretax income and it reflects the worst economy since the Great Depression,” Anne Eisele, GE’s director of financial communications, said via e-mail.

    But what about the $10.8 billion profit overseas? GE is “indefinitely” deferring income tax payments on those profits, Eisele said.

    It may seem like accounting magic, but it’s completely legit.

    GE isn’t the only “Top 5” company on this year’s Fortune 500 list that owed no income taxes. Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), which suffered major losses in 2009, included a tax benefit of $1.9 billion in its annual profit.

    “That’s one way of escaping taxes,” said Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation. “Companies get to deduct their losses, so if there’s no earnings, then they pay no income tax.”

    But GE isn’t exactly escaping all tax-related pain: The company paid almost $23 billion in taxes to governments around the world from 2000 to 2009, Eisele said.

    Plus, paying the accountants to crank out 7,000 tax returns can’t be cheap.

    And then there’s all the lawyers needed to defend those returns. GE filed tax paperwork in more than 250 jurisdictions around the world last year. “We are under examination or engaged in tax litigation in many of these jurisdictions,” the company dryly notes in its annual report.

    GE may not owe the IRS, but it still has to file — and its filings are epic.

    In 2006, as the IRS ramped up its corporate e-filing program, the tax agency actually issued a celebratory press release when it processed GE’s tax return. On paper, the return — the nation’s largest — would have totaled a massive 24,000 pages. But instead, the IRS was able to upload the 237 MB document in under an hour.

    Reading it, though, is apparently taking a bit longer. The IRS is currently auditing GE’s tax returns for 2003-2007. To top of page

  12. Judy Sabatini says:

    Markets could be derailed again, warns Soros
    Apr 14, 2010 07:11 EDT
    credit crisis | Economist | george soros | modern economics

    CLIMATE-COPENHAGEN/Railway porter-turned-billionaire financier George Soros delivered a stark warning last night that the financial world is on the wrong track and that we may be hurtling towards an even bigger boom and bust than in the credit crisis.

    The man who ‘broke’ the Bank of England (and who is still able to earn a cool $3.3 bln in a year) said the same strategy of borrowing and spending that had got us out of the Asian crisis could shunt us towards another crisis unless tough lessons are learned.

    Soros, who worked as a porter to pay for his studies at the London School of Economics after emigrating from Hungary, warned us to heed the lesson that modern economics had got it wrong and that markets are not inherently stable.

    “The success in bailing out the system on the previous occasion led to a superbubble, except that in 2008 we used the same methods,” he told a meeting hosted by The Economist at the City of London’s modern and impressive Haberdashers’ Hall.

    “Unless we learn the lessons, that markets are inherently unstable and that stability needs to the objective of public policy, we are facing a yet larger bubble.

    “We have added to the leverage by replacing private credit with sovereign credit and increasing national debt by a significant amount.”

    One crumb of comfort could be the 10-year period between the 1998 Asian crisis and the 2008 credit crisis. If the pattern is repeated, it should at least mean we have another 8 years to go before the next crash…

  13. Pay slaves! Thy Master demands it!

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Slavery used to be considered a terrible evil. The master would use the work of his slaves to generate and harvest crops which could then be sold by the master at a profit. This profit would not be shared (in most cases) by the slaves. Instead, they would be provided with a bare subsitence level of clothing, food, and housing at best. If the master was displeased with any of his slaves, he could summarily punish them in any way he saw fit.

      It is even worse now. Slavery is not even recognized as BEING slavery. Perhaps that is because it is no longer one particular race primarily being subjected to it, but ALL races. The master uses the work of his slaves to provide the slaves with food, housing, roads, security, defense, clothing, medical care, and a myriad of other things. However, the labor of the slaves is insufficient to pay for all of these expenditures 100%, even if the slaves were to pay 100% of the proceeds of their labor to the master. In addition, the master wishes to retain the illusion of not being the master, so the master allows his slaves to retain a portion of the proceeds of their labor in order to fool the slaves in to thinking that they are free. Because the slaves have the illusion of freedom, and are being provided with far more than merely a barely adequate susbsitence of food, clothing, and shelter, many do not even understand the concept that they may, in fact, be slaves. If you try to convince them that they are, in fact, slaves, they simply accuse YOU of being crazy.

      Last I checked, DELUSION was a form of insanity. Slaves who do not even believe that they ARE, in fact, slaves, are delusional. Those of us who realize that we are slaves and try to point out to others that they are also slaves do not suffer from that particular delusion, yet we are thought to be the ones who are “crazy”.

  14. The best way to enslave is to convince the slaves they are free.

    They will toil and toil and never revolt.

    They will even fight for your cause!

  15. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. Oops-Play this one instead

  17. Judy Sabatini says:

    Obama ‘amused’ by massive nationwide protests against him
    Rick George
    Addressing a DNC fundraiser in Florida, President Obama said that Tea partiers should be “grateful” to him for lowering their taxes. And AP reports that the president says, “he’s been a little amused over the past couple of days when people at the rallies complained about taxes.”

    Amused? Amused at trillion dollar deficits? Amused that his health care plan is one of the most unpopular pieces of major legislation in American history? Amused that our enemies in Iran and North Korea continually mock and laugh at the United States under his leadership? Amused at the utter, complete, and total failure of his economic policies to create jobs.

    Yes, those unemployed Americans are laughing right along with you Mr. President. So are the tea partiers and other Americans who look at what you are doing to the country and see a wasteland where before there was a garden.

    You keep laughing, Barry. Come November, the smirk will be wiped off your face.

    • Hi Judy,

      When I saw that clip on TV I felt like not only had I been just bee raped, but that my assailant had just laughed in my face and sneered “You’re welcome, Bitch.”

      I’m really begining to dispise that Fraud…….

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi Cyndi

        Yeah, right, be grateful my a$$. How dare him even thinking or saying that. How and why should we be grateful? What lower taxes? Tell you what I’d like to do, and that’s to slap that smug a$$ look off his face, his, and Pelosi’s as well as Reids. I’ll be grateful when they can no longer ruin this country, but by then, it might be to late. Hope not anyway.

        • President POS is pretty quick to point out that EVERYTHING we’re experiencing is because of President Bush. So how can any of his follwers believe the ‘lower taxes’ aren’t because of President Bush? I guess they’ve forgotten how to do their own thinking.

          I wonder if President POS will still have that smug look on his face when he’s sitting in a jail cell for the rest of his miserable life….

    • USWeapon says:

      My opinion is that this sort of sentiment by the President and his cabinet is nothing more than attempt to re-write what the movement is about, in the same way that idiots like Cesca attempt to make it about racism.

      The movement isn’t just about increasing taxes, although that is a good portion. And what the President attempts to do here is play to the dumb half, claiming he has not done so. Anyone who has a brain realizes that he is lying through his teeth, and taxes have been raised all over the place.

      Only those not paying attention or hopelessly mindless folks in the liberal camp would accept such nonsense from the President. It is intentional misrepresentation of what he has done and intentional mischaracterization of what the tea party is about. Political games.

      Makes me want to see Vince Flynn’s “Term Limits” come true.

      • USWeapon,
        Can you list the taxes that have been raised?

        • USWeapon says:

          I can tell you want to play the game that the President wants to play. So let’s….

          Let’s start with the cigarette tax increase that impacts 25% of all Americans.

          Do you dispute it?

          • USWeapon says:

            You know what before we even get into this game…. what is it that you want to claim Todd? Are you going to go the route that the liberal pundits are going by claiming some technicality or loophole that makes the things raised not apply to his promise during the campaign? Are you actually going to sit here and tell me that he has not raised taxes on 95% of Americans? C’mon, man, this is not a crowd of mindless dolts here at SUFA. Those arguments ring hollow to a group that really follows politics.

            Let’s talk turkey here. We have the health care madness. Have you read much of that bill? Just the stupid 10% tax increase on tanning bed use is enough to prove his promise wrong, but you and I both know there is a lot more than that in there. Take, for example, the requirement to get health insurance. You are either going to now pay a premium for a health insurance plan you don’t want or you are going to be fined by the IRS. Either way it isn’t technically a “tax”, but it sure as hell is government legislation signed by the President that will take money out of people’s pockets. What about Cap and Trade, already through the house and on the docket for the Senate, and the President WILL sign it if it gets passed. Sure it doesn’t come out and say that it increases taxes on people, but EVERY study, including the CBO’s very modest accounting BS, shows it will cost every American more money. Again, not a “tax”, but government legislation taking money out of pockets.

            In today’s 70k tax code, are you really going to attempt to claim that he hasn’t raised taxes? We can find examples all day, and you know it. But you want to play the Bob Cesca gotcha game? You are better than that. Obama and his policies are taking money out of every American’s wallet.

            • USWeapon,

              Are you actually going to sit here and tell me that he has not raised taxes on 95% of Americans?

              Cigarette and Tanning Bed tax. Yes. But aren’t both of those sales/consumption taxes that many of you advocate here? If you don’t want to pay them, don’t buy the product.

              But raised taxes on 95% of Americans? No.

              We can find examples all day, and you know it.

              If it’s that easy, then why don’t you just do it? You obviously know how to use Google. How long could it take you to find the tax increases?

              But you want to play the Bob Cesca gotcha game?

              Are you just going to make petty emotional pleas? Or answer my question?

              You frequently complain that Liberals make ridicules claims and then use emotion when they can’t back up their claims with facts. It sounds like you’re doing that now.

              • USWeapon says:

                I think JAC summed it up well, as did my longer post last night, which detailed the claims of no new taxes while finding a plethora of other ways to take wealth out of every American’s wallet and spread it around.

                I didn’t say he raised taxes on 95%. HE claimed he would not raise a single dime of taxes of any type on 95% of Americans. I asked whether you are actually going to attempt to say that he has lived up to that claim. Because he clearly did not. Yes, many of those taxes are consumption taxes. I don’t recall him making that distinction in his speeches. HE said No tax increases. It was a lie.

                As I said, I wanted clarification from you as to what your claim is going to be. You have given it so I appreciate the response. Unfortunately, what you have chosen to do is play the political game. You attempt to say he “technically” hasn’t raised taxes, while ignoring all the extra money coming out of most American’s pockets. I am not going to play the political game. Money is coming out of my pocket. And the claims of “he technically has not raised taxes” doesn’t seem to put any of it back.

                But since you want to play the political game instead of having the conversation based on reality instead of rhetoric…

                Taxpayers who itemize will lose the option to deduct state sales-tax payments instead of state and local income taxes
                The $250 teacher tax credit for classroom supplies is not being renewed
                The tax deduction for up to $4,000 of college tuition and expenses is not being renewed
                Individuals who don’t itemize will no longer be able to increase their standard deduction by up to $1,000 for property taxes paid
                The first $2,400 of unemployment benefits are taxable, in 2009 that amount was tax-free
                Taxes on dividends will jump from 15% to 39% in 2010
                The health care bill includes increases on taxes on all health insurance plans, as well as on brand-name drugs and biologics, and on medical devices.
                Taxes on capital gains are going up 5% in 2010
                The expiration of the 2001 Bush tax cuts that BO is not renewing, means the rates for ALL the different groups will go up: top-tier personal income tax rate will rise to 39.6 percent from 35 percent. The 25 percent tax bracket will revert back to 28 percent; the 28 percent bracket will increase to 31 percent; and the 33 percent bracket will increase to 36 percent. The special 10 percent bracket is eliminated.

                There you go. That is what a simple 5 minutes on google will get you. But finding all these numbers is irrelevant if you are just trying to play the President’s semantics games. As I said, and I will continue to say, the President’s policies are taking money out of the pockets of the middle class, and attempting to play this gotcha game isn’t putting it back.

              • USWeapon,

                I asked a simple question. Based on your original post, I thought it would have been easy to answer. But instead of answering the question, your response includes things like:

                What is it that you want to claim Todd?

                Are you going to go the route that the liberal pundits are going by claiming some technicality or loophole that makes the things raised not apply to his promise during the campaign?

                But you want to play the Bob Cesca gotcha game?

                Was my question not clear?

                And then you come back with this:

                Unfortunately, what you have chosen to do is play the political game. You attempt to say he “technically” hasn’t raised taxes, while ignoring all the extra money coming out of most American’s pockets. I am not going to play the political game. Money is coming out of my pocket. And the claims of “he technically has not raised taxes” doesn’t seem to put any of it back.

                But since you want to play the political game instead of having the conversation based on reality instead of rhetoric…

                And I’m being accused of playing the political game on a political blog by probably the most political person I know? Who now claims he wants to have a conversation based on reality instead of rhetoric…

                If you would have answered the question, maybe that could have happened…

              • Todd,

                I started to answer your question, but then decided that I didn’t want to go into too much digging in one direction if you were only going to play the political game of saying “technically” instead of actually. So I figured I would ask first. You answered the quick two examples I gave with dismissing them as consumption taxes and therefore, I am to assume, they don’t “technically” count as an answer to you. I also clarified the 95% thing that you apparently misunderstood.

                I made it clear why I asked you to clarify. I was interested in finding out if you are going to play the political game or whether you were willing to accept honest answers. I then gave you a paragraph’s worth of examples on where money is coming out of all American’s pockets despite the claims of there “technically” hasn’t been a tax increase. Are you still claiming that I haven’t answered the question? Are you ignoring the examples I provided, or are you attempting to say they don’t count?

                And for the record, Todd, I don’t have a problem with you playing the political side of things. Obviously I am adept at that as well. But that you seem offended that I asked first which way you were trying to have this conversation isn’t warranted. I play often on the liberal sites, and I watch as they play the political game of trying to claim there have been no “real” tax increases while ignoring all the examples that I provide of money coming out of taxpayer’s pockets. So when I see you start down the same path, I don’t think it is wrong to ask if that is the direction you are going. If you are, there isn’t any merit to continuing the debate as you have your mind made up. If you aren’t, you are willing to attempt to look at it honestly. Before I spend time, I want to know if I am wasting my time doing so. But I gave you some examples anyway, just in case you were interested. Now it seems you are ignoring the examples and simply attempting to demean me.

                I think I have made it clear on this site that I am willing to honestly discuss anything. But you, just like some others here, seem to rarely give me any benefit of the doubt in a debate. You assume I am spinning something or that I am being dishonest from the start. I can live with it, but I hope you understand why I pick and choose my battles with those who assume the worst about me.

                USW

              • USWeapon,
                One more question. I hope it’s simple enough.

                Last week you posted a challenge to show that increasing the tax burden on the wealthy is ECONOMICALLY the right move to make in order to help those who are poor to survive and become self sufficient.

                I answered that challenge.

                Are you doing to respond to my answer sometime?

              • Yes I will answer it. I must have missed your last post on that topic. I have had a very busy week that has left me with barely enough time to write, let alone catch up on reading. I will pull it to the open mic night this week. I don’t think I will have time to get to it until then.

                USW

              • USWeapon says:

                And yes your question was simple enough, which is good, cause I am a simple man. I get confused easily and distracted by shiny things.

        • I see taxes that will hit business’s which will effect individuals. Taxes on cadillac plans which have been delayed not gotten rid of. Taxes on cigarettes, taxes on tanning, taxes on wheelchairs and taxes based on whether or not you buy insurance which you ignored. So if this article is correct there does seem to be taxes that will hit people making under $200,000 a year. There also seems to be changes in allowable deductions which will effect a lot of people.

          New Health-Care Taxes Help Obama ‘Spread the Wealth’ (Update1)
          Share Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A

          By Ryan J. Donmoyer

          March 22 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said on the campaign trail in October 2008 that he wanted to “spread the wealth around.” With Obama on the verge of signing sweeping health-care overhaul legislation, he’s about to do just that.

          If the final version of the legislation passes the Senate, high-income investors will pay higher Medicare taxes, tax breaks for out-of-pocket medical deductions will be curtailed, and it will cost insurance companies more to pay executives millions of dollars. Those levies will help fund expansion of Medicaid services for the poor and subsidize health insurance to cover millions who don’t currently have benefits.

          “It’s very clear that taxes are levied on the wealthy and the benefits will spread across the entire income distribution, with a lot going to expanded Medicaid distribution and expanding health insurance,” said Roberton Williams, an economist at the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research institute backed by the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. “One couldn’t claim he didn’t keep that promise” to “spread the wealth around.”

          In all, the bill would generate $409.2 billion in additional taxes by 2019, according to an analysis by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan agency. The bill also imposes about $69 billion more in penalties for individuals and businesses who don’t meet mandates to buy insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office, another nonpartisan agency.

          Higher Medicare Taxes

          Most of the revenue would come from higher Medicare taxes on about 1 million individuals earning more than $200,000 and about 4 million couples filing jointly who make more than $250,000.

          The legislation would for the first time apply Medicare taxes to investment income received by these households, beginning in 2013. The 3.8 percent rate would apply to unearned income such as realized capital gains, dividends, interest, rents and royalties. It wouldn’t apply to other income subject to income taxes, including interest from municipal bonds and retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans until funds are withdrawn.

          Obama’s budget proposes to allow the existing 15 percent tax rate on dividends and capital gains to rise to 20 percent in 2011 for the same high-earners. Layering a 3.8 percent Medicare tax on top of that would mean a new top rate on dividends and capital gains of 23.8 percent. The top tax rates on interest and rental income would rise to as high as about 44 percent, assuming other Obama tax increases on high-earners are enacted.

          Individual’s Share

          The bill also increases the individual’s share of Medicare tax currently imposed on salaries starting at $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples to 2.35 percent, from 1.45 percent currently.

          The combination of the new Medicare taxes and Obama’s budget proposals, if they were in place this year, would cost a married couple with a household income of $5 million an extra $287,100 in taxes, according to analysis by the consulting firm Deloitte Tax in Washington.

          The Medicare taxes superseded an earlier Senate proposal to tax high-value employer-provided insurance coverage, dubbed “Cadillac plans.” That 40 percent excise tax was delayed until 2018, when it would begin to apply to benefits over $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for couples.

          Those thresholds would be indexed to inflation, which grows at a slower pace than the cost of health care, meaning more employers would likely face the levy over time.

          Out-of-Pocket Costs

          Other provisions likely to affect higher-income individuals would scale back tax preferences associated with paying out-of- pocket medical expenses. Starting in 2013, Americans under 65 won’t be able to deduct medical expenses until they exceed 10 percent of income, up from 7.5 percent now; retirees would keep the lower threshold.

          The bill in 2011 places new restrictions on what can be purchased using special savings accounts funded with pre-tax dollars including health savings accounts. Improper withdrawals from the accounts also would be hit with a new 20 percent tax.

          And the legislation for the first time would place a $2,500 limit on what can be contributed to employer-sponsored flexible spending accounts, another type of account funded with pre-tax dollars that can be used to pay for medicines, co-payments, and other expenses.

          Employers currently set their own limits, typically between $3,000 and $5,000 in the absence of a government cap. This change would cost an average worker about $625 in tax savings, according to WageWorks Inc., a San Mateo, California, company that administers 1.5 million accounts.

          Tanning Salons

          Consumers who frequent tanning salons would pay a 10 percent excise tax, and those who buy devices such as wheelchairs would pay a 2.3 percent excise tax. Drugmakers may pass on a $3 billion annual fee. Insurance companies would be denied deductions when they pay their executives over $500,000.

          Under the reconciliation bill that is now before the Senate, individuals who don’t purchase insurance would be subject to a fine of $325 in 2015 and $695 in 2016. Individuals may be subject to a charge equal to as much as 2.5 percent of their income in 2016, if the total is greater than the flat payment.

          Employers with 50 or more workers would pay $2,000 per worker if they don’t offer health insurance. The legislation offers a small business tax credit to help pay for employer- provided premiums.

          Companies also would face more scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service for using tax shelters.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ake7tOWwUT6E

        • Failure to extend cuts is an effective increase on the amount of income taxes at the time of Obama’s campaign.

          Cigarette tax affects people he claimed no new taxes would be raised on.

          ditto the tanning tax

          The health care bill forces increased cost of living by government mandate. A tax for all intents and purposes.

          Reduction in the write off of charitable giving, as well as the increase in taxes on interest and capital gains affects a great number of people. The income of some of those people is lower than 200k, even tho the assets are high.

          The threat of cap and trade, as well as the changes in required services and tax structures for states changes the taxes for the individual.

          Most importantly, the increased deficit spending is leading to a quickkly falling dollar, a hidden tax affecting us all.

          He is a liar and a fraud, deal with it.

          As for your stuff about economic benefit of raising taxes, you did little more than show where an economic boom offset the negatives of tax increases, nowhere in your post were you able to show how the tax increases themselves were the cause of the economic boom.

      • HE did NOT raise taxes.

        HE did NOT lower taxes.

        HE did NOT pass health care.

        HE did NOT pass the stimulus.

        HE did SIGN those laws PASSED by Congress.

      • JAC,
        Sounds like a lot of rhetoric and emotional pleas.

        Can you list the taxes that have been raised?

        • Todd

          You are correct in part. The Tea Party stuff started with TARP-Bush and then boiled over with the Stimulus-Obama. Everyone forgets that because of the current rhetoric.

          Last year the Tea Party was using Taxes Are to High as one of their mantras but I honestly believe that was in response to what they could see coming not what had passed to date.

          At that time it was limited to the cigarette tax I believe.

          What has happened, in my opinion, is the professionals are trying to get a hold of the tea party. So now you see these “sound bites” like Obama hiked my taxes.

          But notice that is not the “common” theme among the party. It is Taxes in general. Folks could see the writing on the wall.

          Cap n Trad, Health Care, loss of the Bush cuts. The Admin has been real good at mentioning raises but there have been NO bills I know of to implement. So why do they mention them? I think to test the waters in part and to inflame the tea party in part. Then they can make fun with “we haven’t done that”.

          This Admin is expert at this game so far. As good, maybe better, than Clinton/Gore. For example, notice the release of the data showing taxes were lower this year. The day before the Tax Party on 4/15. I looked at the story closely and could not find where the actual data supported their story line. Because the data was a mix of apples, oranges, tomatoes and grapefruit. And of course it ignored the fact that incomes are down and thus income taxes are lower. And the LOWEST year of tax would have been Bush’s last year. This was the SECOND lowest.

          So to the point, I know of only the one tax raised for sure. But I also know they DID NOT lower taxes as they claim they have done. Decreasing the withholding but not the tax rate is NOT a cut. Neither is special rebates/credits to select people like first time home buyer, weatherization, and purchase of an electric car.

          And perhaps the most hypocritical thing in all this is the claim of getting 95% of the folks a break through one means or the other, all the while criticizing the exact same thing when Bush did it in 2001.

          There is a whole lot of BS flying from both sides right now. Hopefully everyone will start to see that and get focused on the real job at hand.

          Sorry for the very long answer but needed to share some frustrations about what I see happening right now.

          Hope your Sunday is wonderful.
          JAC

  18. Judy Sabatini says:

    Ballad of a Tea Party, by candidate for congress Joel Pollak

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/04/ballad_of_the_tea_party.html

  19. Frank Chodorov, The Income Tax: Root of All Evil, 1954, (p. 46):

    “[T]he Sixteenth Amendment corroded the American concept of natural rights; ultimately reduced the American citizen to a status of subject, so much so that he is not aware of it; enhanced Executive power to the point of reducing Congress to innocuity; and enabled the central government to bribe the states, once independent units, into subservience.

    No kingship in the history of the world ever exercised more power than our Presidency, or had more of the people’s wealth at its disposal.”

  20. At three score an 10+ yrs, and having no desire to make it to +15.

    Tax Day to me is just another day on calendar. What are they going to do, send me to a gray bar hotel, that would be an improvement in my standard of living. I would also get the same Medical as the Gitmo Detainees maybe.

    Next, my back ground, I am a vietnam vet, On my paternal side, father served in WW11 and Korea. Was a survivor of Savo Island, where the USS Quincy was sunk, also had a tin can sunk by a Japanese Kamikaze. My grandfather was to old for WWII at 65+, and as a Canadian was to old for WW1. Helped to build ships in the bay area.

    On maternal side, My mother’s father spent time in Leavenworth for bad mouthing the Red Cross, and encouraging young men to wait to be drafted and not volunteer for WW1( Free Speech was dead in 1920). His father was a steam packet Captain for the Quartermaster Corps, on the Union side. Going back even further, ancestors fought on both sides in the War for Independence.

    My wife’s, father was in WW11 and Korea, her maternal Grandfather was in WW1 and WW11, her Uncle died in a Chi Com Pow Camp. They still have not gotten his body back. Going back on her side, ancestors fought on the side of the South in their War of Independence. They were not owners of involuntary forced labor(UN term for Slavery)

    So as far as I am concerned, our citizenship is marked as FULLY PAID.

    I have been trying to get my son to emigrate at least to Canada.

    This country cannot afford to have people who feel as I do that there is no HOPE for Freedom in the last bastion.

    • Fred

      Actually this country needs exactly that, if you are willing to fight for freedoms return.

      It is YOU who recognizes what has happened and it is thus YOU who can educate the next generation as to their possibilities. We may not live to see the resurrection of Liberty but we can certainly plant the seeds that will assure its rebirth.

      Blessings and good wishes to you and yours.
      Live free and Peace.

      JAC

    • I thought of fleeing the country for a while, but there aren’t many better options. I think I would rather go down swinging. I have a feeling that is my path.

  21. The Landlord’s Tale; Paul Revere’s Ride

    Tales of a Wayside Inn 1863

    Listen, my children, and you shall hear
    Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
    On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
    Hardly a man is now alive
    Who remembers that famous day and year.

    He said to his friend, “If the British march
    By land or sea from the town to-night,
    Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
    Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
    One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
    And I on the opposite shore will be,
    Ready to ride and spread the alarm
    Through every Middlesex village and farm,
    For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

    Then he said, “Good night!” and with muffled oar
    Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
    Just as the moon rose over the bay,
    Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
    The Somerset, British man-of-war;
    A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
    Across the moon like a prison bar,
    And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
    By its own reflection in the tide.

    Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,
    Wanders and watches with eager ears,
    Till in the silence around him he hears
    The muster of men at the barrack door,
    The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
    And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
    Marching down to their boats on the shore.

    Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
    By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
    To the belfry-chamber overhead,
    And startled the pigeons from their perch
    On the sombre rafters, that round him made
    Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
    By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
    To the highest window in the wall,
    Where he paused to listen and look down
    A moment on the roofs of the town,
    And the moonlight flowing over all.

    Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
    In their night-encampment on the hill,
    Wrapped in silence so deep and still
    That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
    The watchful night-wind, as it went
    Creeping along from tent to tent,
    And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
    A moment only he feels the spell
    Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
    Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
    For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
    On a shadowy something far away,
    Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
    A line of black that bends and floats
    On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

    Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
    Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
    On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
    Now he patted his horse’s side,
    Now gazed at the landscape far and near,
    Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
    And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
    But mostly he watched with eager search
    The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,
    As it rose above the graves on the hill,
    Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
    And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
    A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
    He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
    But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
    A second lamp in the belfry burns!

    A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
    A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
    And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
    Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
    That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
    The fate of a nation was riding that night;
    And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
    Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

    He has left the village and mounted the steep,
    And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
    Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
    And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
    Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
    Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

    It was twelve by the village clock,
    When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
    He heard the crowing of the cock,
    And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
    And felt the damp of the river fog,
    That rises after the sun goes down.

    It was one by the village clock,
    When he galloped into Lexington.
    He saw the gilded weathercock
    Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
    And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
    Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
    As if they already stood aghast
    At the bloody work they would look upon.

    It was two by the village clock,
    When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
    He heard the bleating of the flock,
    And the twitter of birds among the trees,
    And felt the breath of the morning breeze
    Blowing over the meadows brown.
    And one was safe and asleep in his bed
    Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
    Who that day would be lying dead,
    Pierced by a British musket-ball.

    You know the rest. In the books you have read,
    How the British Regulars fired and fled,–
    How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
    From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
    Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
    Then crossing the fields to emerge again
    Under the trees at the turn of the road,
    And only pausing to fire and load.

    So through the night rode Paul Revere;
    And so through the night went his cry of alarm
    To every Middlesex village and farm,–
    A cry of defiance and not of fear,
    A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
    And a word that shall echo forevermore!
    For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
    Through all our history, to the last,
    In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
    The people will waken and listen to hear
    The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
    And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

  22. USWeapon,
    I really didn’t have an agenda when I asked the question. I was curious what you would list.

    Here are two article about the tax reductions included in the stimulus bill:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-04-13-stimulus_N.htm

    http://ctj.org/pdf/truthaboutobamataxcuts.pdf

    JAC commented that special rebates/credits to select people like first time home buyer, weatherization, and purchase of an electric car should not be included.

    You said Money is coming out of my pocket. And the claims of “he technically has not raised taxes” doesn’t seem to put any of it back.

    So is it fair to count all money flowing out of people’s pockets and all money flowing back into people’s pockets?

    Cigarette and Tanning Bed tax. Yes. But aren’t both of those sales/consumption taxes that many of you advocate here? If you don’t want to pay them, don’t buy the product.

    This was a stupid attempt at a joke. I didn’t mean to dismiss these taxes. But you were already playing the political game based on your assumptions and comments, and I followed along…

    For health insurance, you had posted in the past that 85% of Americans have health insurance, so the “tax” applies to the remaining 15%. There are subsidies for individuals and families to buy coverage, as well as subsidies for small businesses that offer insurance to their employees.

    So it’s not quite as straight forward as you are either going to now pay a premium for a health insurance plan you don’t want or you are going to be fined by the IRS. Some people may be happy to be able to finally afford coverage…

    Cap and Trade has not passed and I doubt it will. It’s not taking money out of your pocket. If you want to argue about potential future taxes, I can make up all kinds of potential future reductions.

    The expiration of the Bush tax cuts is also in the future. But that is not an Obama tax increase. Laws were passed in 2001 and 2003. Those laws have a time limit. The blame for those time limits lie with those who wrote and passed those laws.

    One of his promises was to continue the Bush tax cuts for incomes under $250,000. We’ll see if that comes true.

    Do you have links for the other things you listed?

    I think I have made it clear on this site that I am willing to honestly discuss anything.

    Are you willing to honestly discuss this, including the tax reductions?

    But you, just like some others here, seem to rarely give me any benefit of the doubt in a debate.

    So you expect to be given the benefit of the doubt? Why? Should I just accept your statements as fact? Do you ever give that to someone who disagrees with you? This whole “argument” started because you assumed I was playing games with my simple question. You wouldn’t give me the benefit of the doubt on a simple question…

    You assume I am spinning something or that I am being dishonest from the start.

    Well how about this quote from last night’s article:

    What I mean is, it is in their DNA to say freedom but to actually mean freedom so long as it contributes to the “greater good” myth that they have.

    Do you really think this is a true and valid statement? In their DNA? You make so many terrible assumptions about those that disagree with you…

    • Jon,

      Failure to extend cuts is an effective increase on the amount of income taxes at the time of Obama’s campaign.

      The expiration of the Bush tax cuts is in the future. But that is not an Obama tax increase. Laws were passed in 2001 and 2003. Those laws have a time limit. The blame for those time limits lie with those who wrote and passed those laws.

      One of his promises was to continue the Bush tax cuts for incomes under $250,000. We’ll see if that comes true.

      Cigarette and tanning tax – yes.

      The health care bill forces increased cost of living by government mandate. A tax for all intents and purposes.

      For health insurance, USWeapon had posted in the past that 85% of Americans have health insurance, so the “tax” applies to the remaining 15%. There are subsidies for individuals and families to buy coverage, as well as subsidies for small businesses that offer insurance to their employees.

      So it’s not quite as straight forward as forces increased cost of living by government mandate. Some people may be happy to be able to finally afford coverage…

      The threat of cap and trade

      Cap and Trade has not passed and I doubt it will. If you want to argue about potential future taxes, I can make up all kinds of potential future reductions.

      Most importantly, the increased deficit spending is leading to a quickkly falling dollar, a hidden tax affecting us all.

      The deficit and debt have been increasing for a long time. This link shows were the current deficit has come from. If you don’t like deficits, then you’ll agree the Bush Tax cuts should expire?

      http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3036

      As for your stuff about economic benefit of raising taxes, you did little more than show where an economic boom offset the negatives of tax increases, nowhere in your post were you able to show how the tax increases themselves were the cause of the economic boom.

      The challenge was not to show that increased taxes on the wealthy were the cause of the economic boom.

      The challenge was to show that increasing the tax burden on the wealthy is ECONOMICALLY the right move to make in order to help those who are poor to survive and become self sufficient.

      In your post on the Open Mic, you said taxation weighs heaviest on the middle class. Are you changing your mind now?

      I posted two links showing tax cuts in the response to USWeapon. Will you consider those in this discussion?

      If you have links for the other things, I’d be happy to look at them.

    • USWeapon says:

      Todd,

      Some good stuff you posted. I will answer what I can right now, and I will get you the link I had on the other things. I don’t want to ignore answering the things as part of tonight’s article that I promised to as well. And as I said, I will be answering some of your stuff under open mic tomorrow as well.

      I disagree with JAC’s contention in the context of my conclusions. I am including all kinds of things that are not technically taxes in my conclusions, as I have clearly stated. In doing so I would be hypocritical to not also include the things that JAC mentioned as things that put money back in some people’s pockets. I accept that you are correct that there are, in fact, things in the current legislation that ease the tax burdens in some ways. And it is only fair to count all money flowing out AND in to people’s pockets. I don’t have time tonight to review the two links you provided, but I do accept that you wouldn’t have put them there if they didn’t say what you are claiming that they do. I don’t think I am being unfair on this point.

      For health insurance, you had posted in the past that 85% of Americans have health insurance, so the “tax” applies to the remaining 15%. There are subsidies for individuals and families to buy coverage, as well as subsidies for small businesses that offer insurance to their employees.

      So it’s not quite as straight forward as you are either going to now pay a premium for a health insurance plan you don’t want or you are going to be fined by the IRS. Some people may be happy to be able to finally afford coverage…

      Agreed. It is not as straight forward as what I said. And I imagine that there are going to be plenty of people happy to be able to afford coverage. But are you willing to accept that it very well may end up that there is rationing and increased premiums on the rest of the people because of the steps that the government is taking. My contention all along with the health care bill is that it will overall have a negative effect on both health care costs and health care treatment. For example, it is a physical impossibility for insurance companies to be forced to cover pre-existing conditions without increasing premium rates for all others. I simply do not see any way for it to happen otherwise. Can you?

      The expiration of the Bush tax cuts is also in the future. But that is not an Obama tax increase. Laws were passed in 2001 and 2003. Those laws have a time limit. The blame for those time limits lie with those who wrote and passed those laws.

      One of his promises was to continue the Bush tax cuts for incomes under $250,000. We’ll see if that comes true.

      When those tax cuts were passed the intent was that they would be permanent. It is not an Obama increase, but it is an Obama political decision. So he is in the hook for taking an action that increases the tax burden on all Americans when those tax cuts expire. He is just as culpable for inaction as action. He makes the decisions. In an economy where those tax cuts make a huge difference in people’s wallets, every decision that Obama makes is an Obama decision with consequences. If he holds course and continues the cuts for all under 250k, I would feel somewhat differently. But the indications at this point are that he is not going to hold to that promise. It is money the federal government can increase revenues with while blaming it on the previous administration. Every fiscal player in Obama’s cabinet and advisory groups say that taxes MUST go up, so I cannot see him holding to this promise.

      So you expect to be given the benefit of the doubt? Why? Should I just accept your statements as fact? Do you ever give that to someone who disagrees with you? This whole “argument” started because you assumed I was playing games with my simple question. You wouldn’t give me the benefit of the doubt on a simple question…

      You assume I am spinning something or that I am being dishonest from the start.

      Well how about this quote from last night’s article:

      I absolutely do not expect that you will accept ANYTHING that I say as fact. I do, however, expect that you would assume that I am not attempting to intentionally deceive people. You can assume I am being political. You can assume that I am seeing things from a different point of view than you do. And you can assume that I am wrong. But on more than one occasion, you have assumed that I was intentionally either lying or offering information in an attempt to deceive. I am an honest person. Many who know me would say I am honest to a fault. I can be wrong. I can come to a faulty conclusion. I can spin something in a way that you don’t agree with. But I do not lie in my articles, and I do not intentionally attempt to deceive the people who read here.

      I have questioned what you said. I have asked your motive. I have, as I did here, incorrectly assumed you were going to take a path in the debate that I have seen taken on many liberal sites. But what I have never done, ever, is accuse you of lying or intentionally attempting to mislead people with what you say. I give you the benefit of the doubt 100% of the time that your intent is honest. That is what you have not given me. You aren’t alone. Ray has accused me of intentionally attempting to deceive people as well. I don’t question your integrity. But you have on more than one occasion questioned mine.

      As for the quote from last night’s article. I will add that to tonight’s comments to reply to.

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