Category Archives: Taxes

Slightly Up From Slavery, by Doug Casey

Taxation is theft and those who labor to pay them are slaves. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

slavery

To eliminate misunderstanding as to what taxes are, it is helpful to define the word “theft.” One good definition is “the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another.” The definition does not go on to say, “unless you’re the government.”

There is no difference, in principle, between the State taking property and a street gang doing so, except that the State’s theft is “legal” and its agents are immune from prosecution. Many people do not accept that analogy, because the government is widely viewed as being of, for, and by the people, even though it’s also acknowledged as acting badly from time to time.

Suppose a mugger demanded your wallet, perhaps because he needed money to buy a new car and threatened you with violence if you weren’t forthcoming. Everyone would call that a criminal act. Suppose, however, the mugger said he wanted the money to buy himself food. Would it still be theft? Suppose now that he said he wanted your wallet to feed another hungry person, not himself. Would it still be theft?

Now let’s suppose that this mugger convinces most of his friends that it’s okay for him to relieve you of your wallet. Would it still be theft? What if he convinces a majority of citizens? Principles stand on their own. Even if a criminal act is committed for a good purpose, or with the complicity of bystanders, (even if those people call themselves the government), it is still an act of criminal aggression.

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White Knuckles Worldwide As The USSA Coyly Dangles Foreign Pork, by Becky Akers

The biggest boondoggle of the them all is the U.S. military budget. From Becky Akers at lewrockwell.com:

Every year for the last 60, the Swamp has passed a monstrous bill called the National Defense Authorization Act. That legislation has robbed Americans of billions and billions to finance the Empire’s crimes abroad. No doubt because of that gargantuan theft, the NDAA enjoys almost universal and thoroughly bipartisan support each winter when its renewal draws nigh. Nor has its enactment ever failed. Indeed, only once did its success teeter: Donald Trump ensured his title of “Most Hated President” in 2020 when he vetoed the NDAA. (Our Rulers’ massive loyalty to this honeypot ensured an easy override of that rejection.)

It gets worse. Since 2012, the NDAA has threatened American serfs not only with bankruptcy but also with kidnapping and caging for an indefinite period sans trial, even a kangaroo one. Its proponents have long soft-pedaled that menace by claiming that the provision applies only to “domestic terrorists.” Which became even more frightening under Brandon’s administration, given his relentless attempts to smear innocents as “terrorists.”

This year, the cozy little arrangement whereby the Feds, the military and the latter’s countless contractors pick our pockets clean is once again and surprisingly in danger: “…the Senate is at a standstill on the legislation. Several Republicans have delayed the process as they push for votes on their amendments to the bill, and Democratic leaders didn’t begin the floor process for the bill until this week — far later than in past years.”

But fear not, all ye who swill from the public trough: “A bipartisan [told ya!] group of senators … promised that the Senate would approve the legislation in time as it usually does.”

Or as “a frustrated Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told reporters…,” “Don’t mess up the one thing that you can count on the Senate to do in a bipartisan [ahem!] way every year … A Senate that cannot do this hardly deserves the title.”

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Pritzker Administration sloughs off Illinois pension liabilities passing $500 billion mark, dissembles on pension crisis again, by Mark Glennon

The taxpayers of Illinois are buried under the pensions that have been granted to public employees. From Mark Glennon at wirepoints.org:

There’s a lesson here not only about Illinois pensions but about how easily the press will let Gov. J.B. Pritzker thumb his nose at a crisis.

We reported Wednesday that the total unfunded liability for Illinois state and local pensions passed the $500 billion mark. That includes pensioner healthcare liabilities, which are constitutionally guarantied just like pensions. It is based on numbers from Moody’s Investor Services which uses assumptions comparable to those used in the private sector and are less optimistic than those the state uses. Read Wirepoints Special Report: Illinois pension shortfall surpasses $500 billion, average debt burden now $110,000 per household

Greg Hinz at Crain’s asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office for a response.

“Pritzker’s office is pushing back on the notion that he’s done too little,” wrote Hinz. “Steps such as discounted buyouts of some pensions have ‘begun to bend the curve,’ with the percentage of total spending that goes to pension now flattening, a spokeswoman says in an email.”

Nonsense. Pritzker has done nothing significant whatsoever to fix pensions and it is particularly dishonest to cite pension buyouts as an example of progress.

Pritzker has long been boasting about pension buyouts but forever refuses to provide any support or analysis showing that buyouts would have any meaningful effect. We and others have written about it repeatedly.

  • In 2019 he told The Economic Club of Chicago that some study says buyouts will save “billions and billions,” perhaps $25 billion. But he has never produced that study or anything else to support the claim, and the state’s bond documents said something very different in the debt offering made just prior to that claim. Those documents said just 818 workers and retirees who are eligible for either of the state’s buyout programs had applied for one. That’s less than 2.3%, not 20% as Pritzker told the Economic Club. The documents further said, “The State is unable to quantify the amount or timing of any [reduction in pension liabilities] at this time.” In other words, Pritzker brags about savings to the public but the state says something different when the penalty would be securities fraud.

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Blame the Supply Chain and Protect the Elite, by Bill Bonner

Monetary inflation is always and everywhere a problem caused by the people who control the production of money, or more properly, fiat-debt instruments—governments or central banks. These people always point a thousand different directions to deflect the blame. From Bill Bonner at rogueeconomics.com:

Policy failures will be responsible for tens of thousands of families getting stranded at airports, paying exorbitant gas prices, and encountering grocery store shortages. Americans face the most expensive Thanksgiving on record.

– The Hill

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report came out just after we filed yesterday’s Diary.

The Washington Post broke the news:

Prices rose 6.2 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest annual increase in about 30 years, as rising inflation complicates the political agenda for the White House and policymakers’ road map for the economy heading into the end of the year.

Overall prices rose 0.9 percent from September to October, tying June for the biggest one-month increase since the Great Recession. Only a few categories saw prices fall last month, including airfare and alcohol.

But don’t worry. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, who insisted that inflation was only “transitory,” now promises to make it go away:

…we understand completely that it’s particularly people who are living paycheck to paycheck or seeing higher grocery costs, higher gasoline costs, when the winter comes, higher heating costs for their homes. We understand completely what they’re going through. And we will use our tools over time to make sure that that doesn’t become a permanent feature of life.

But a 6% inflation rate wreaks havoc.

The current yield on the world’s most important asset – the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond – is only 1.46%.

The 10-year Treasury is the backbone of pension funds, corporate savings, Social Security, insurance programs, and other institutional holdings.

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Minimising Government’s Dominance over Your Life, by Jeff Thomas

If you really want to at least partially rid yourself of government, you’re probably going to have to move. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Recently, whilst having lunch with several successful businessmen, the value of formal education was being discussed and one said, “When I got out of school, I thought I was fully educated and ready to take on the business world, but actually, I was clueless.”

The others laughed, recalling their own introductions into business. All agreed that, although they had taken all of the requisite courses, formal schooling prepared them not at all in the understanding of commerce.

That is, all except one. He, as a boy, had been encouraged by his parents to take on a paper route, open lemonade stands, cut lawns for neighbours, etc. Although his parents couldn’t afford university for him, by the time he graduated high school, he thoroughly understood the principles of commerce.

The bicycle that he rode in his early teens was bought out of profits from his early business ventures. Later on, he bought his first car out of his earnings. And so, when he left school, he hit the road running and was ahead of his “luckier” peers who were then at university.

When they graduated, each had an advantage the others didn’t have. Yet, at the lunch meeting mentioned above, each university graduate agreed that understanding commerce, which they had had to learn on their own, after graduation, was the central lesson that enabled their later success.

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The wealth tax is coming, by Simon Black

The government is broke and it’s coming after everything, including wealth that’s already been taxed at least once. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

I arrived home late last night back to Puerto Rico after a wonderful, 2-day event with our Total Access members this weekend.

Luminaries like Ron Paul and Robert Kiyosaki joined me on stage, and as you can imagine, we spent a lot of time talking about the trends in western civilization– inflation, social conflict, supply chain disruptions, etc.

We also spent a fair bit of time talking about taxes, given that lawmakers in the Land of the Free are presently bickering about whose taxes to raise, and by how much.

Some of these tax proposals are downright mystifying.

For example, one proposal forbids Individual Retirement Accounts from making ‘non-traditional’ investments like startups, private placements, and even certain crypto investments.

This is completely bizarre when you think about it– the politicians who came up with this idea (i.e. Comrade Bernie Sanders) love to dump all over Wall Street.

Yet by taking away the ability for IRAs to buy private assets, Bernie would force millions of Americans to invest all of their retirement funds with the very same Wall Street banks that he claims to hate.

So basically we have a Socialist who is engineering more business and more fee income for Wall Street’s biggest banks. Weird.

On top of this, there are proposals in the legislation that could be considered clinically insane, if you take the definition of insanity to be trying the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.

The proposal to jack up capital gains tax is an obvious example.

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Achieving Equity Through Mediocrity: Why Elimination Of Gifted Programs Should Worry Us All, by Jonathan Turley

Here’s how you educate really bright kids: bore them to death, and by all means, don’t challenge them. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Below is my column in the Hill on the elimination of the gifted programs, proficiency requirements, and other performance-based elements in our public school system. This was highlighted recently by the elimination of the gifted and talented programs in New York City under Mayor Bill de Blasio, which were denounced as racist. I have long been critical of this trend which focuses on reducing disparities in performance by trimming the top rather than raising the bottom of a student body.

Here is the column:

Journalist H.L. Mencken once denounced public education as an effort “simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.” Mencken’s fears may be coming true in a way that few of us thought possible just a few years ago.

While much of our public debate today has centered on the teaching of the concepts of systemic racism and white privilege, a far more worrisome trend is sweeping our public school system. Across the country, school districts are removing advanced programs and even standardized testing to achieve an artificial appearance of equity. Indeed, it promises a kind of equity through mediocrity that all families should reject.

This movement was on display this week after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the elimination of the Gifted and Talented (G&T) program for the city’s school system. G&T programs have been denounced by some as racist because a disproportionate number of white and Asian students are in the advanced programs. The De Blasio panel previously declared such programs to be “segregation” due to the lower number of minority students. The move is part of a campaign to eliminate racial disparities not by elevating the performance of minority students but by removing standardized testing and special programs that highlight such disparities. Now those separate programs will be eliminated and the students returned to the general student body. They can seek “accelerated” materials but will be taught in classes with other students in conventional schools.

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Is The Small Business Sector Being Deliberately Targeted for Destruction? by Brandon Smith

Small business owners are not exactly a core Democratic constituency, while the large corporations they compete with have become big Democratic backers. From Brandon Smith at theburningplatform.com:

Is The Small Business Sector Being Deliberately Targeted for Destruction?

The past 18 months have not been kind to small businesses. If you were unfortunate enough to live in a blue state during the onset of the covid lockdowns and you own a brick-and-mortar business then you have probably spent a large part of that 18 months closed, or struggling to stay open with a skeleton crew of employees. If you did manage to get a PPP loan from the government during shutdown you are now realizing that the 24-week grace period is running out and you will probably have to pay most if not all of that money back soon. Many who tried to get a PPP loan failed because the money was quickly chewed up by major corporations instead of being reserved for small businesses.

And this isn’t even the beginning of the list of troubles for small companies. I have to say, unless a large part of your business is handled online your chances of staying solvent are slim. This is not the fault of most business owners, though, it is a consequence of artificially created conditions and restrictions.

What do I mean by this? Well let’s look at some factors that many people might not be aware of…

Here’s why small businesses are suffering

For example, both state and federal governments have been offering some level of covid unemployment stimulus. In the case of federal programs this could amount to $300 extra a week on top of a person’s existing unemployment checks, even more if their state has a separate program. This has created a massive drought in the employee pool. No one wants to work when they can stay home, do nothing and make more money than they ever were before the pandemic. The reality is that there are jobs everywhere right now, but almost no one is applying.

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Pritzker Goes To Bat For What The Wall Street Journal Calls ‘One Of The Greatest Fiscal Cons In History’ – Wirepoints, by Mark Glennon

Surprise, surprise! A guy who’s going to get a lot of money from a financial fraud is all for it. From Mark Glennon at wirepoints.com:

President Biden and his allies in Congress are having a rough time winning support for a new, historic, gigantic spending plan, but they knew who to call for help.

On Friday, Gov. JB Pritzker joined Biden on a Zoom call with local reporters to make the case for the pending federal legislation.

You may know the bill as the “$3.5 infrastructure bill,” which is what it has been commonly called in the media.

But that’s just a testament to media distortion. It’s not $3.5 billion and it’s not infrastructure.

The true cost is likely to be $5 to $5.5 trillion over ten years according to the bipartisan Committee For A Responsible Budget. A primary gimmick being used, it said, is pretending that programs intended to be permanent expire, which they say obscures “the true cost of the legislation and put program beneficiaries at risk.” A Wall Street Journal editorial detailed various “time shift gimmicks” and also explained how some states will be stood up for paying, on their own, part of the cost of new, universal pre-K entitlement and free community college. Hence, their preface: “Behold one of the greatest fiscal cons in history.”

“The press has reported almost none of this,” said the Journal about the phony cost estimates.

The Biden’s Administration’s answer to the cost issue is astonishing, even by its standards. The cost is actually “zero,” they say. Biden himself said the cost is “nothing.” On what basis? They claim they will raise taxes enough to cover the cost.

How’s that for chutzpah? As long as you are billing taxpayers, you can say it costs nothing.

And infrastructure is only a small part of what it’s about, even by CNN’s charitable description: “The sweeping 10-year spending plan marks the biggest step in Democrats’ drive to expand education, health care and childcare support, tackle the climate crisis and make further investments in infrastructure.”

The bill in fact includes a massive expansion of multiple government dependency programs, which CNN tried to list, based on “what we know so far,” as they candidly put it last week. Does anybody really know besides a few insiders?

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Get Ready for Non-Transitory Inflation: Ten Things About to Shoot Up in Price, by Kerry Lutz

It’s time to adopt the inflationary mindset. From Kerry Lutz at financialsurvivalnetwork.com:

Get ready for non-transitory inflation. 10 things about to shoot up in price.

Electricity In 2020 38% off all natural gas used in the United States went towards generating electricity. There are 1793 gas-powered electric plants in the US. While utilities generally buy most of their natgas through long-term fixed rate contracts, the low spot price that we experienced since 2015 has led to utilities increasing their gas spot purchases and decrease their long-term contracts. With natural gas recently nearing $5.5 per mm btu’s, higher electric costs are baked into the cake. In the past 12 months natural gas prices rose over %130. Assuming a prolonged period of increased gas prices, electricity rates will soon start shooting higher.

Heat It’s about to get way more expensive to heat your home. About half the homes in the US use natural gas for space heating and hot water. This sector alone was responsible for 15% of natgas consumption in 2020. For the same reasons as above, the decline of long term fixed-price supply contracts, prices are headed much higher.

Taxes Unbeknownst to many people, their largest annual expenditure is taxes. It’s not just direct taxes like income, state, real estate, etc., but it’s also indirect taxes levied by federal, state and local governments upon a myriad of businesses and services that are hidden from consumer view. A large portion of your utility bill goes to pay state taxes. Your cellphone bill contains a number of federal, state and local taxes. Tolls and other miscellaneous taxes are also part of the mix. Many of these governmental subdivisions employ expensive union-based labor. As inflation escalates, these employees will get automatic cost of living wage increases. This will increase already staggering pension costs. Therefore, governments across the board will be increasing their already high tax burden. And it will result in higher taxes on everything, even if federal income taxes don’t go up. Get ready for a major upside surprise.

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