Category Archives: Taxes

Are You Easy Prey? by Jeff Thomas

Broke governments, particularly the broke American government, are growing increasingly rapacious. Unfortunately, the only way to protect yourself may be to leave the country. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

easy prey

For many years, I’ve been predicting the coming of a crisis of epic proportions. I’ve focused on the economic and political aspects, although the social aspects will be no less severe.

This is not the stuff of crystal balls, nor is it mere guesswork. The fundamentals for economic crisis have remained essentially the same for thousands of years, and if we’re diligent enough to study history and analyse the present, we can identify the fundamental ingredients of a crisis in the making. Once we’ve done this, the actual prediction of the event itself is no more inspired than recognising that if we have a bomb filled with explosives and we light the fuse, it will go off.

The predicted bomb was long in coming, but in 2020, it arrived on our doorstep and the fuse is lit.

Governments understand that, if they wish to give the shaft to their own citizens and still remain in power, they must deflect blame for their actions to another party.

In 2020, they outdid themselves by creating perhaps the most ingenious distraction ever created. Whether or not the coronavirus was consciously created and/or consciously released, governments’ handling of it has been brilliant.

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Doug Casey on Rapidly Rising Taxes and 3 Other Imminent Dangers to Your Wealth

Broke governments are going to be even more unbelievably rapacious than they are now. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

dangers to your wealth

International Man: President Biden’s Treasury Secretary—and Obama Fed Chair—Janet Yellen recently floated the idea of taxing unrealized capital gains through a “mark-to-market” mechanism.

What is going on here?

Doug Casey: When you tax unrealized capital gains—as they do with foreign stocks in a number of countries, like New Zealand, where it made my life expensive and miserable while I was living there—any stock market assets that you have are marked to market annually. This is a big disincentive to own them because whether you sell the asset or not, you’re going to pay taxes as if you’d sold it.

This is why very few Kiwis own foreign stocks. They’re liable to be taxed on gains, whether or not they sell and actually pocket the gains. I presume that’s what Yellen is talking about. It would make it pointless to buy a stock like Berkshire Hathaway and just hold it for decades to escape capital gains taxes. But the bright side is that if this law was in force, Warren Buffett would no longer be able to whine about the injustice of paying fewer taxes than his secretary.

I question whether the proposal will be enacted, though, simply because it’s so stupidly destructive. It’s clear that Yellen needs to collect on some more six-figure speeches to gain a proper understanding of it and get off that hobby horse.

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The New Gas Tax By Another Name, by Eric Peters

A tax is a tax is a tax; regardless of what they call it, it takes money out of your pocket. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

One of the ways that gas taxes will be increased is by not calling them that. It goes down easier – like the “shared responsibility payment” you’re forced to pay for not paying the health insurance mafia for an Obamacare policy you don’t want to buy.

Instead, the new gas taxes will be called carbon taxes – which makes it easier to shame-silence objections to them. This is an important tactical consideration for the Left especially because gas taxes are already the most regressive taxes on a necessity extant. Only a handful of things – like cigarettes – are taxed more punitively and disproportionately.

But most people don’t smoke – and no one has to. 

Driving is different – even if you don’t. Because someone else has to. Like the guy who drives the truck that brings your food to the store and practically everything else you need to live.

The delivery cost of which is reflected in the cost to you.

Plus the cost of making what’s delivered – almost all of which involves energy and almost all of that involves gasoline.

An increase in gas taxes – technically, motor fuels taxes, encompassing diesel fuel as well as gasoline –  is therefore a hard sell, politically, when you’re a politician posturing as a “progressive.” Like Mayor Pete Buttigieg, for instance – who is now fief underlord of the president selected by the Left to lord it over the entire country.

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Has Joe Biden Lost His Mind? by MN Gordon

Social Security is a lost cause but the Biden administration thinks it can “reform” it. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Are you an accidental dependent of Washington?  Many people are.  And many people don’t even realize it.

Systems of elaborate folly have been erected with the most impossible of promises.  That wealth can be created without production.  That stimmy checks can be paid without taxes.  That everyone can get free solar power at the expense of their neighbors.

Central to these promises are the central government and central planning authorities.  They promise ease and comfort and, in return, they make you a dependent.  They promise a secure retirement, and free drugs, while running a scheme that’s beyond Charles Ponzi’s wildest dreams.

Social Security, no doubt, is a tempting idea.  The government confiscates part of your paycheck every two weeks.  Then, in return, and after putting in 45 years, your retirement is subsidized.  You can enjoy your golden years in comfort.

According to Rachel Greszler, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation:

“[Social Security’s] America’s favorite entitlement program, and part of the reason it’s so popular is it’s not solvent.”

Indeed, the most popular programs are those that promise people they’ll get out more than they put in.  The promise is so appealing people trust that by hook or crook their government leaders will deliver.  Alas, those counting on Social Security may suffer a grave disappointment.

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The Incentives Coming . . . by Eric Peters

The incentives are coming for electric cars, and the disincentives are coming for cars powered by internal combustion engines. From Eric Peters at ericpeters.com:

It’s pretty clear what is going to happen to new cars now that Joe Biden has been selected president. They will get smaller – and smaller engined. They will also cost more – and more of them will be electric. These developments follow inevitably from Uncle Joe’s pending reversal of the Orange Fail’s policies, including the OF’s efforts to prevent California Governor Gavin Newsome from setting new car “emissions” standards for the rest of the states.

They are actually not “emissions” standards in the sense generally understood – i.e., harmful gasses coming out of the tailpipe. Unless you consider nonreactive carbon dioxide a contributor to smog and breathing problems – in which case you need a refresher course in high school chemistry.

Also high school English.

In any event the insistence on ever-lower “emissions” of C02 will result in all of the things mentioned above coming to fruition as the only way to reduce these “emissions” is to make engines smaller – as has already been occurring – or to not make them at all and make electric motors instead.

That’s what’s coming to showrooms near you – and everyone else – soon. But what about what’s in your garage?

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Blue State Economies Will Soon Crumble – But Will They Take Red States With Them? by Brandon Smith

When the blue states collapse, they’ll be looking everywhere and anywhere for bailouts, and that includes the red states. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.us:

This article was written by Brandon Smith and originally published at Birch Gold Group

Over the past six to eight months, the U.S. has seen perhaps one of the largest migrations of people based on economic and ideological concerns in almost a century. Not since the Great Depression has there been so many Americans relocating in search of a better life. Today, however, those who relocate seem to be largely conservatives and moderates. There is a very good, multifaceted, reason for this.

One of the best recent explanations for the conservative migration is visible in the near-180-degree turnaround by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on his draconian lockdown mandates. All of a sudden, Cuomo has announced that New York simply cannot stay closed any longer and that businesses need to reopen quickly.

What could have possibly forced the thick-skulled Cuomo to finally see the light?  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that New York has attempted to distribute millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and they have only been able to give out 30% of them. This means that around 70% of people eligible to get the vaccine in New York are apparently refusing to take it (a smart move in my opinion considering the highly experimental and untested nature of the cocktail). Surprisingly, at least 30% of NY healthcare workers are also refusing to take the vaccine. Cuomo has resorted to threatening hospitals with fines if they do not distribute the vaccines fast enough.

In his latest statement Cuomo is trying to send a message that New Yorkers need to take the vaccine so that a reopening can begin. In other words, “take the vaccine or the economy will collapse”.

I don’t believe Cuomo is mending his totalitarian ways, but at least for now, I think he is realizing what most of us in the alternative economic field have been saying for the past year:  Blue state economies are dying because they are oppressive and this stifles trade and business.

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Cuomo Reverses: Demands “Reopen The Economy” Amid Dismal NYC Vaccine Rollout, by Tyler Durden

Cuomo has perhaps noticed that his tax base is shrinking as his Covid measures stop business activity and the productive wealthy are fleeing the state. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Despite NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts late last week to expedite COVID vaccinations by finally expanding eligibility requirements (after initially threatening to fine hospitals for supplying doses out of order), the sign-up process for people living in NYC remains “bewildering”, according to Comptroller Scott Stringer, a Democrat who is running to succeed Bill de Blasio as mayor when his second term ends later this year.

Stringer’s complaints follow reports of hospitals in the city being forced to throw away doses of the vaccine.

Dr. Neil Calman, president of the Institute for Family Health, complained to the NYT that the Family Health Center of Harlem had to throw away doses when patients didn’t show up to their appointments, since they couldn’t turn around and instead administer the doses to others.

And despite the fact that legal repercussions could further slow the process, state authorities have investigated healthcare providers that may have violated vaccination plans, including the city’s ParCare Community Health Network, which authorities say may have ignored the state’s vaccine prioritization guidelines.

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U-Haul Reveals 2020 Migration Trends As Pandemic And Taxes Take Toll, by Tyler Durden

They’re leaving the totalitarian states and headed towards the states that have preserved a vestige of freedom. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A new report has found that Tennessee posted the largest net gain of U-Haul trucks than any other state in 2020, making it U-Haul’s top growth state for the first time.

Growth rates are determined by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus leaving that state in a given year. U-Haul keeps tabs on more than two million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions annually, allowing the company to observe migration trends, according to the report published by U-Haul.

“Tennessee’s influx of do-it-yourself movers during a turbulent year marked by the coronavirus pandemic means that a state other than Florida and Texas tops the growth rankings for the first time since 2015 when North Carolina led the way,” the report said.

Texas and Florida were the top two other destinations. For three consecutive years, Texas had the largest net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks before Florida displaced it for the number one spot last year.

Before the pandemic, Americans fled liberal-run states and metro areas because of high taxes to conservative states that were business-friendly, such as Texas and Florida. The pandemic certainly amplified the exodus.

Ohio, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, and Georgia made up the rest of the top ten states with a net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks.

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The Coming War on Wealth and the Wealthy, by Charles Hugh Smith

Poverty is imminent for many Americans, and who do you think they’re going to blame? From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Here’s looking at you, Federal Reserve–thanks for perfecting ‘legalized looting’ and neofeudalism in America.

The problem with pushing a pendulum to its maximum extreme on one end is that it will swing back to the other extreme minus a tiny bit of friction.

America has pushed wealth/income inequality, unfairness and legalized looting to the maximum extreme. Now it will experience the swing back to the other extreme. This will manifest in a number of ways, one of which is a self-organizing populist war on wealth and the wealthy.

To say the system is rigged to benefit the already-wealthy and powerful is a gross understatement. Take the tax code as an example–thousands of pages of arcane tax breaks and giveaways passed by a thoroughly corrupted Congress and thousands more pages of arcane regulations and legal precedents.

How many pages apply to the bottom 95% of American taxpayers? Very few. There’s the standard deductions for mortgage interest, healthcare costs, etc., but virtually no other tax breaks. Very few pages apply to even the 99%–go talk to a CPA and you’ll find there are no more tax breaks for a sole proprietor making $500,000 in earned income than than there are for a sole proprietor making $50,000.

99.9% of the tax code benefits the top 0.1% and the corporations, LLCs and philanthro-capitalist foundations and trusts they own / control. Stripped of artifice and spin, America’s tax code is nothing but legalized looting. This is only one small slice of the entire pie of legalized looting, of course, but it’s one we can all understand.

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California “Techsodus”: Tech Companies, Billionaires, Millionaires, Tech Employees Flee San Francisco & Silicon Valley, by Wolf Street

Money and business do tend to migrate to where they’re treated the best. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

And we coined “Management by Zooming Around.” Which is what Oracle’s Larry Ellison is doing.

When on December 11, Oracle disclosed that it “is implementing a more flexible employee work location policy and has changed its Corporate Headquarters from Redwood City, California to Austin, Texas,” it was another step in the process that we will henceforth call “Techsodus.”

The exodus of tech companies, executives, billionaires, millionaires, and regular tech employees from California, and particularly from San Francisco and Silicon Valley, is a combo of fleeing California and a shift to work-from-anywhere. Texas, Florida, Colorado, and other states have been among the destinations. Texas and Florida don’t levy state income taxes, so sure.

But Larry Ellison, co-founder and chairman of Oracle, isn’t moving to Texas along with the headquarters of his company. He has moved his primary residence to Hawaii, following Oracles new doctrine of working from anywhere. And Hawaii’s state income taxes are not far behind California’s.

Oracle already has a 560,000-square-foot campus in Austin, which it opened in 2018 – and moving its headquarters to Austin might not change all that much at first in terms of employment. Oracle said that it would “continue to support major hubs for Oracle around the world,” including its soon-to-be former headquarters in Redwood City. Oracle, founded in 1977, is one of the older tech companies that helped make Silicon Valley.

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