Category Archives: Taxes

The Age of Fear: A Graduation Message for Terrifying Times, by John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead

Some good advice, and not just for graduates, from John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”—Hermann Goering, Nazi leader

With all that is crashing down upon us, from government-manipulated crises to the blowback arising from a society that has repeatedly prized technological expedience and mass-marketed values over self-ownership and individual sovereignty, those coming of age today are facing some of the greatest threats to freedom the world has ever witnessed.

It’s downright frightening.

Young people will find themselves overtaxed, burdened with excessive college debt, and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state. They will be threatened, intimidated and beaten by militarized police. They will be the subjects of a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies and government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice.

As such, they will find themselves forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands that “we the people” be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences.

It’s a dismal prospect, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, we failed to guard against such a future.

Worse, we who should have known better neglected to maintain our freedoms or provide our young people with the tools necessary to resist oppression and survive, let alone succeed, in the impersonal jungle that is modern America.

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The ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ Recession, by Charles Hugh Smith

A lot of people are walking away from the unsatisfying job, tax donkey, and debt slave merry-go-round. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

o hey there Corporate America, the Fed and your neofeudal cronies: take this job and shove it. This time it really is different, but not in the way the Wall Street shucksters are claiming.

Conventional economists, politicos and pundits are completely clueless about the unraveling that’s gathering momentum beneath the superficial surface of “reflation” because they don’t yet grasp we’re entering an unprecedented new type of recession: a ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ recession which is unlike any previous downturn.

Long-time readers know I’ve addressed the emergent class structure and systemic decay of the socio-economic order for many years. Just as a quick refresher, here are a few of the dozens of essays I’ve written on these topics:

America’s Nine Classes: The New Class Hierarchy 4/29/14

The Managerial/ Professional Class Is Burning Out 3/28/16

America’s Metastasizing Class Wars 8/27/20

This Is How It Ends: All That Is Solid Melts Into Air 9/10/20

This Is Why Inflation Will Rip Everyone’s Face Off 9/17/20

What the chattering class of apologists, toadies, lackeys, factotums and apparatchiks missed about the pandemic lockdown was the tidal change in perceptions of work and life enabled by a withdrawal from the deranging frenzy of work: once people had time to reflect on their lives, mortality, goals, identity and the soaring costs and dwindling rewards of their efforts to “get ahead” via slaving away in a dead-end job / career, the tune that began to haunt their subconscious ruminations was Johnny Paycheck’s timeless classic, Take This Job And Shove It (2:31).

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The Coming IRS Reign of Terror, by James Bovard

The IRS is probably the federal government’s most tyrannical agency, and it’s only going to get worse. From James Bovard at jamesbovard.com:

The power to tax has long conferred the power to destroy political opponents. But in the glorious era of President Joe Biden, all previous cases of government abuse of power are being expunged, at least by the media and Biden supporters. That is why it is supposedly safe to vastly increase the power of perhaps the most feared federal agency, the Internal Revenue Service.

After announcing his endless wish list for new federal spending, Biden told Congress last week: “I’ve made clear that we can do it without increasing deficits.” Biden believes he has found a goose that will lay golden eggs for federal revenue — a new army of IRS agents to hound Americans and corporations to pay far more taxes.

The Washington Post reported that “the single biggest source of new revenue in the plan comes from dramatically expanding the clout of the nation’s tax agency.” Slate reported, “Biden wants to fund a massive upgrade to the American welfare state by making the IRS great at audits again.”

But the agency Biden seeks to expand and unleash has an appalling record. As author David Burnham noted in “A Law Unto Itself: The IRS and the Abuse of Power” (1990), “In almost every administration since the IRS’s inception the information and power of the tax agency have been mobilized for explicitly political purposes.”

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This is not the time to procrastinate, by Simon Black

If you don’t have a Plan B, you have no time to waste coming up with one. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

In early 387 AD in the eastern Roman city of Antioch, a local bureaucrat stood outside of the city council chambers to read a new decree that had just arrived from Emperor Theodosius I.

As the anxious crowd gathered, the bureaucrat began reading aloud–

Just as the crowd had feared, the new decree was a series of debilitating new taxes, ranging from heavy taxation on commercial activities, to mandatory donations to the Emperor himself.

The crowd became furious.

Antioch had already suffered immeasurably. The imperial government had depleted the city’s grain, killed off a large number of the youth from endless war, and already exacted heavy tolls and taxation.

These new taxes were too much to bear. And a riot ensued almost immediately.

People all over Antioch (in modern day Turkey) poured into the streets ripping down monuments of the imperial family, burned their portraits, and destroyed public buildings.

Naturally in our modern times we would call such activities “mostly peaceful”. But back then it constituted treason, and the rioters were ultimately put to death.

But the tax protests didn’t stop.

Throughout most of the next century, in fact, the Western Roman Empire was in a near-constant state of civil war and insurrection, quite often over the imperial government’s exorbitantly high tax rates.

Farmers, who were among the most heavily taxed citizens, abandoned their lands and sought refuge with northern barbarian tribes. Even soldiers and Roman noblemen fled the empire to escape the totalitarian regime, extreme corruption, and usurious tax rates.

Salvianus, a contemporary writer and historian at the time, wrote

“the name of Roman citizen, once not only much valued but dearly bought, is now voluntarily repudiated and shunned, and is thought not merely valueless, but even almost abhorrent.”

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Escaping Serfdom, by Jeff Thomas

Most of us would swap tax rates with the serfs in a heartbeat. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

The concept of government is that the people grant to a small group of individuals the ability to establish and maintain controls over them. The inherent flaw in such a concept is that any government will invariably and continually expand upon its controls, resulting in the ever-diminishing freedom of those who granted them the power.

When I was a schoolboy, I was taught that the feudal system of the Middle Ages consisted of serfs tilling small plots of land that belonged to a king or lord. The serfs lived a meagre life of bare subsistence and were subject to the tyranny of the king or lord whose men would ride into their village periodically and take most of the few coins the serfs had earned by their toil.

The lesson I was meant to learn from this was that I should be grateful that, in the modern world, I live in a state of freedom from tyranny, and as an adult, I would pay only that level of tax that could be described as “fair”.

Later in life, I was to learn that, in the actual feudal system, some land was owned by noblemen, some by common men. The commoners typically farmed their own land, whilst the noblemen parcelled out their land to farmers, in trade for a portion of the product of their labours.

As a part of that bargain, the nobleman would pay for an army of professional soldiers to protect both the farms and the farmers. Significantly, unlike today, no farmer was required to defend the land himself, as it was not his.

There was no exact standard as to what the noblemen would charge a farmer under this agreement, but the general standard was “one day’s labour in ten”

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What’s Yours Is Now Mine: America’s Era of Accelerating Expropriation, by Charles Hugh Smith

The smaller the pie the higher the probability that somebody will resort to theft. That somebody includes the government. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The takeaway here is obvious: earn as little money as possible and invest your surplus labor in assets that can’t be expropriated.

Expropriation: dispossessing the populace of property and property rights, via the legal and financial over-reach of monetary and political authorities.

All expropriations are pernicious, but the most destructive is the expropriation of labor’s value while the excessive gains of unproductive speculation accrue to the elite that owns most of the nation’s wealth.

In a nation in which the leadership has finely honed the art and artifice of legalized looting and financial legerdemain, it’s not surprising that the expropriation of labor’s value takes many forms. For the self-employed and small business proprietor, the list is practically endless:

1. Proliferating junk fees for permits, licence renewals, applications, late fees, penalties, fines for violating obscure regulations, etc. (Never mind if you’re losing money; by definition, as a business owner you’re “rich” and deserve petty expropriations. If you’re Amazon, however, we’ll shower you with subsidies and tax breaks.)

2. Sky-high liability insurance, disability insurance and workers compensation insurance, because all the fraud and friction in these systems adds expense and you’re the one who will pay for it all.

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Mulcting-by-the-Mile, by Eric Peters

Can’t levy gas taxes on electric cars? No worries, enact a tax on each mile driven. Problem solved. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The government has been pushing “fuel efficient” cars on the public for decades – and now  intends to punish the public for driving them.

By taxing them by the mile. To make up for their fuel efficiency. Ostensibly, to make up for the loss of “revenue” that isn’t being collected – via the tax on fuel. Which, of course, will still be collected, in full – in addition to the tax on driving.

This tells us the object of the exercise isn’t to reduce fuel consumption.

It is to reduce driving. By making it more and more expensive to drive.

Not just by taxing it by the mile, either.

This tax will inevitably morph into taxing by time – as of day. This is called “congestion pricing” – and it means taxing people for when (and where) they drive – as during “peak” times, such as the morning drive and the evening drive home. So as to discourage people from driving when they need to drive and encourage them to ride . . . government forms of transportation: The ever-unpopular bus or train, which can only become popular by making it too expensive to drive.

This has been the underlying goal all along but now it’s becoming explicit. The recently (s)elected Biden regime’s secretary of transportation recently came out – so to speak –  in favor of mulcting-by-the-mile at the federal level and in states such as Oregon, there is legislation afoot to impose the same idea at that level.

The Oregon legislation would impose a tax-by-mile on “fuel efficient” vehicles beginning in 2026.

Which vehicles qualify as “fuel efficient” enough to have their gas mileage advantage become a tax liability? Any car that achieves 30 MPG or more – as well as electric cars and hybrid cars – the irony of which is probably lost on the people who bought them thinking at least in part about how much money they were going to save on gas.

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The Plutocrats of Wall Street and Silicon Valley Are Scamming America, by Ryan McMaken

Very few ostensible capitalists have any ideological loyalty to capitalism. They’ll crawl into bed with government any time it’s in their interest to do so. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

In recent years, it seems that the nation’s CEOs and billionaires are increasingly willing to drop the pretense that they are politically neutral entrepreneurs who simply want to go about their business.

Last week, for example, more than a hundred CEOs met to plot ways to punish the people of Georgia by “stopping investments in states” that pass laws unapproved by the billionaire class.

This comes in the wake of a decision by Major League Baseball—a collection of billionaire-owned sports teams—to punish residents of Georgia for the fact a tiny number of politicians there passed legislation designed to lessen voter fraud. In retaliation, MLB decided to move the league’s all-star game so as to deny the residents of Atlanta the economic benefits of hosting the game.

This comes only a few years after Apple CEO Tim Cook led a corporate campaign to boycott Indiana after Cook and Marc Benioff (the CEO of Salesforce) demanded the people of Indiana be punished. This was because the Indiana legislature passed a law which some billionaires decided was insufficiently pro-LGBT.

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Global Taxes – Global Stagnation, by Ron Paul

Raising taxes never helps an economy. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has proposed that governments around the world require payment of at least a uniform “global minimum corporate tax.” A motivation for Yellen’s push for a global minimum corporate tax is fear that the Biden administration’s proposed increase in the US corporate tax will cause some American corporations to flee the US for countries with lower corporate taxes.

President Biden wants to increase corporate taxes to help pay for his so-called infrastructure plan. The plan actually spends more on “progressive” priorities, including a down payment on the Green New Deal, than on infrastructure.

Much of the spending will benefit state-favored businesses. For example, the plan provides money to promote manufacturing and electric vehicles. So, the idea is to raise taxes on all corporations and then use some of the received tax payments to subsidize government-favored businesses and industries.

The only way to know the highest valued use of resources is by seeing what goods and services consumers voluntary choose to spend their money on. A system where the allocation of resources is based on the preferences of politicians and bureaucrats — who use force to get their way — will be less efficient than a system where consumers control the allocation of resources.

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NY State To Give Up To $2.1 Billion To Illegal Immigrants, by Tyler Durden

New York is giving money to illegal immigrants at the same time it’s raising taxes on it’s legal population. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Just when you thought things couldn’t get more surreal, New York State’s democratic-party-dominated legislature decides to crank the virtue-signaling ‘equity’ amplifier up to 11.

Embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo – desperate for any news to distract from his dueling sex abuse and nursing home death scandals (“Hey, want some pot?“) – struck a deal on Tuesday with New York Lawmakers to spend $2.1 billion towards to assist jobless workers who were excluded from unemployment benefits during the pandemic – primarily undocumented immigrants and ex-convicts, after activists launched several hunger strikes.

Lawmakers justified the stunning addition to the state’s broader $212 billion budget agreement, by claiming – as Lohud.com’s Tifany Cusac-Smith and David McKay Wilson report – many undocumented immigrants have not received aid such as stimulus checks or federal unemployment benefits during the pandemic, even though studies show that they pay billions of dollars in taxes each year.

The study in question – by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy – appears custom-tailored to justify classifying illegal immigrants as qualifying residents, as they claim tax revenues would skyrocket if currently illegal workers were suddenly made legal and paid taxes… legally?

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