Category Archives: Taxes

The 5 Craziest Ideas from the Democratic Primary Freak Show, by Doug Casey

There was abundant competition among Democrats’ many crazy ideas, but 5 winners emerged. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Democratic primary

International Man: Elizabeth Warren proposed an annual tax on a person’s wealth. What do you make of this?

Doug Casey: When you tax something, you discourage it. If Elizabeth Warren wants to tax people’s wealth, that’s going to encourage people to hide their wealth. And discourage them from getting wealthy. So, it’s poison from an economic point of view.

But it’s even worse from an ethical or spiritual point of view. It sends a signal that wealth is evil. That it has to be kept under control and limited. That a political priesthood should determine how much is enough and who should get it. It’s especially perverse in that people like Warren act like they have the moral high ground. When in fact, they’re in the moral gutter.

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The Vampire Effect, by Eric Peters

The government does its best to kill self-reliance. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

One of the subtler – and most vicious – ways the government renders us more dependent on it is by rendering us less able to help ourselves and one another.

I just got the second of my twice-yearly bills from the government demanding about $1,000 in rent – it is styled “property tax” – on what is absurdly styled “my” house, in order to be allowed to continue living in it (hence rent, notwithstanding I am technically the “owner” of my house, having paid the former owner in full for it many years ago).

It’s a lot of money for me – and for most people.

It’s also just about the same amount of money a family member needs to cover rent they can’t pay this month.

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1,015,736,491,184 reasons to have a Plan B, by Simon Black

The US economy and financial markets had a great fiscal year 2019 and still the government went over $1 trillion deeper in the hole. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Precisely one year ago today, the US federal government opened Fiscal Year 2019 with a total debt level of $21.6 trillion:

Specifically, the US federal debt on October 1st last year was $21,606,948,183,180.23

Today is the start of the government’s 2020 Fiscal Year. And the total debt is now $22,622,684,674,364.43

That means they accumulated more than $1 TRILLION in new debt over the course of the 2019 Fiscal Year.

Think about that for a moment:

FY2019 was, literally, the BEST year EVER measured by short-term US financial performance. The stock market reached an all-time high. Real estate prices reached an all-time high.

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Could Pricey Urban Meccas become Crime-Ridden Ghost Towns? by Charles Hugh Smith

You can only tax so much and let city services deteriorate to a certain point before your most productive citizens decide to pick up sticks and leave. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

As the exodus gathers momentum, all the reasons people clung so rabidly to urban meccas decay.

If there is any trend that’s viewed as permanent, it’s the enduring attraction of coastal urban meccas: despite the insane rents and housing costs, that’s where the jobs, the opportunities and the desirable urban culture are.

Nice, but like many other things the status quo considers permanent, this could reverse very quickly, and all those pricey urban meccas could become crime-ridden ghost towns. How could such a reversal occur?

1. Those in the top 10% who can leave reach an inflection point and decide to leave. The top 1% who live in enclaves filled with politicians, celebrities and the uber-wealthy see no reason to leave, as the police make sure no human feces land on their doorstep.

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The National Debt Is Now More than Ten Times Annual Tax Receipts, by Ryan McMaken

Federal debt relative to tax receipts has never been higher. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Politicians from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Dick Cheney are united in their agreement that deficits don’t matter. Of course, that’s exactly what a politician would say. Politicians score points by spending other people’s money, so naturally, they don’t want to hear anything about how prudence suggests it might be a good idea to not spend that extra 800 billion dollars they don’t have.

But there is apparently little concern in Washington, DC as the annual deficit — for a single year, mind you — approaches one trillion dollars for the first time since the hit-the-panic-button days of the Great Recession. Except that now huge deficits are coming during “good” economic times.

Moreover, as the Congressional Budget Office has forecast, the debt load is expected to rise to 125 percent of GDP over the 20 years. That’s higher than the US debt-to-GDP ratio during World War II.

This, of course, assumes no major geopolitical or economic disruptions, whicih would make things far worse.

For those who believe huge debts are no big deal, however, there’s still no need to worry. After all, they say, actual debt payments are still only a minor issue. In fact, they’re still lower than where they were during the early 1990s.

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Illinois’ financial decay spreads to cities across the state, by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner

De facto insolvency is spreading across Illinois’s municipalities. From Ted Dabrowski and John Kligner at wirepoints.org:

Illinois’ finances aren’t just decaying at the top, they’re falling apart everywhere. The state’s one-size-fits-all pension laws and overly generous benefits have left many cities suffocating under impossible pension debts as their populations shrink, tax burdens jump and resident incomes stagnate.

Without an amendment to the Illinois Constitution’s pension protection clause – and subsequent pension reforms – expect many cities to head toward insolvency.

The map below shows just how wide and deep the crisis is. Of the 630 downstate police and fire pension funds that reported data to the Illinois Department of Insurance in 2017, 57 percent had funded ratios lower than 60 percent. And nearly 100 funds had funded ratios below 40 percent.

What’s worse, the downstate pension decline has occurred during one of the nation’s longest-ever bull runs. If Illinois public safety pensions are doing this poorly in a great economy, imagine their struggles during an eventual downturn.

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The government gave her son a sex change without parental consent, by Simon Black

Simon Black chronicles more doings in the government’s theater of the absurd, grotesque, and horrifying. From Black at sovereignman.com:

Welcome to our Friday roll up, where we highlight the most interesting, absurd, and concerning stories we are following this week.

Can’t sue cop for breaking domestic violence victim’s bones

It all started when a boyfriend playfully tried to push his girlfriend into the pool.

Most people would see that as harmless horsing around. But one lady saw domestic violence. So she called the police.

Police came and arrested the boyfriend. His girlfriend, the alleged victim, became quite irritated, as you could imagine. She insisted that he had done nothing wrong, and they were just fooling around.

Then she walked away from police as they were talking to her. So one officer saw fit to run up behind this 5-foot tall woman and body slam her to the ground. He took her down with such force that he broke her collarbone, and she lost consciousness.

Amazingly enough, the police then arrested HER and charged her with disturbing the peace.

I’m not joking. The lady who broke her collar bone due to excessive police force is the one who apparently disturbed the peace.

Naturally this became a lawsuit. But last week, a federal court ruled that the police officer cannot be sued.

He gets “qualified immunity”, because, while he was slamming this petite bikini-clad woman to the ground and crushing her bones, he was performing his official duties as an agent of the government. Therefore he cannot be held personally liable for his actions.

Click here for the court documents.

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