Conservatives who favor federal “wars” on drugs, gambling and other behaviors should understand the damage they have done to the constitutional underpinnings of limited government.
Andrew’s Note: I never cease to be amazed by the fact that in many places the government protects the people from the ‘evils’ of gambling by granting itself the sole concession in the form of State run lotteries or from the ‘evils’ of drinking by only offering alcohol through State owned ‘ABC’ stores. How can anything be a crime when there is no victim? In the land of the free we should even be free to make poor decisions.
Individually, Americans do not deserve to be subservient to such a fear-mongering, intimidating and powerful agency as the Internal Revenue Service; but collectively, we do…
In order to squeeze out of us half of what we produce [taxes and regulatory burden], a government tax collection agency must be ruthless and able to put the fear of God into its citizens. The IRS has mastered that task. Congress has given it powers that would be deemed criminal if used by others…
The bottom line is that members of Congress need such a ruthless tax collection agency as the IRS because of the charge we Americans have given them. We want what the IRS does — namely, to take the earnings of one American so Congress can create a benefit for some other American. Don’t get angry with IRS agents. They are just following orders.
Today we introduce the first of a periodic series looking at current and recent events in the U.S. that shouldn’t have happened…but did. This isn’t some third world country with a dictator leading through a cult of personality, intimidation and force…this is the United States of America…but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it can’t happen here (it being all those things that aren’t supposed to happen in the Home of the Free) because thinking that it can’t happen here will lull you into a false sense of security that will mean that it does happen here…and occasionally does.
Unfortunately, many of our fellow citizens are more interested in what the Kardashians are up to than in government corruption, our potential slide into socialism… the erosion of our rights and their replacement with obligations that masquerade as rights.
One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.
Speaker of the House Thomas B. Reed (1886)
The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy estimates that it costs Americans $1.75 trillion to comply with federal regulations each year. To put $1.75 trillion into perspective, that amount is larger than all but eight economies in the world. It also means that over 10% of the U.S. economy is spent on trying to satisfy rules issued by Washington bureaucrats. That doesn’t even include federal, state, and local taxes.
This heavy regulatory burden diverts resources from innovation to compliance, discourages business investment, and chills job creation. It is no accident that as Washington adds new regulations, more and more Americans are unemployed and underemployed.
…Elected leaders need to carefully consider the costs and negative unintended consequences of unnecessary federal regulations. They need to remember that real people must comply with these regulations and that making them overly burdensome stifles American growth. This blog features just some of the victims of government.
Senator Ron Johnson’s Victims of Government Blog
Creating a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country is essential. The way we treat our friends and neighbors who are undocumented – by creating a mechanism for them to earn citizenship and move out of the shadows – transcends the issue of immigration status. This is a matter of civil and human rights. It is about who we are as a nation. And it goes to the core of our treasured American principle of equal opportunity.”
Attorney General Eric Holder via Holder Calls Amnesty a ‘Civil Right’
Andrew’s Note: Maybe policies that secure our borders and reward those that follow, not break our laws should be our civil right instead…just say’n.
Let’s play make believe for a moment so that we can understand the Internet Tax Madness that is going on in the Senate right now… with the aptly misnamed Marketplace Fairness Act, S. 743.
Pretend you own a successful specialty store in Vail, Colorado selling the world’s best widgets (or maybe prepper supplies). Everything’s going along swimmingly until there’s a convention of State and local politicians and bureaucrats from all over the country in town. Several of the conference attendees, let’s call them Larry, Moe & Curly decide to skip out of their taxpayer funded educational opportunity and stop by your store. While they’re browsing your store they notice a couple of their neighbors, let’s call them Joe and Shemp from back home buying your wonderful widgets with their hard earned money.
When you ring up Joe and Shemp’s sale you follow all local laws including collecting applicable local taxes. When Larry, Moe & Curly notice Joe & Shemp’s purchases they turn green with envy. You notice them whip out a couple of slide rules and start calculating something. What they are calculating is all the ‘lost’ tax revenue that they could have made if Joe, Shemp and everyone else would have purchased their widgets back home…so that Larry, Moe & Curly’s various levels of state and local government could have taken their ‘fair share.’
The government expands at will, based on what might be charitably called flimsy constitutional reasoning and less charitably and more accurately called arrogant judicial tyranny. Government authority these days rarely comes from the Constitution as written but from the last carefully crafted misinterpretation of it. This is called legal precedent.
The regulatory, administrative state, which progressives champion, is generally a servant of the strong, for two reasons. It responds to financially powerful and politically sophisticated factions. And it encourages rent-seekers to exploit opportunities for concentrated benefits and dispersed costs (e.g., agriculture subsidies confer sums on large agribusinesses by imposing small costs on 316 million Americans).
Such government inevitably means executive government and the derogation of the legislative branch, both of which produce exploding government debt. By explaining these perverse effects of progressivism, the Hudson Institute’s Christopher DeMuth explains contemporary government’s cascading and reinforcing failures.
Executive growth fuels borrowing growth because of the relationship between what DeMuth, in a recent address at George Mason University, called “regulatory insouciance and freewheeling finance.” Government power is increasingly concentrated in Washington, Washington power is increasingly concentrated in the executive branch, and executive-branch power is increasingly concentrated in agencies that are unconstrained by legislative control. Debt and regulation are, DeMuth discerns, “political kin”: Both are legitimate government functions, but both are now perverted to evade democratic accountability, which is a nuisance, and transparent taxation, which is politically dangerous.
Today’s government uses regulation to achieve policy goals by imposing on the private sector burdens less obvious than taxation would be, burdens that become visible only indirectly, in higher prices. Often the goals government pursues by surreptitious indirection are goals that could not win legislative majorities — e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases following Congress’s refusal to approve such policies. And deficit spending — borrowing — is, DeMuth says, “a complementary means of taxation evasion”: It enables the political class to provide today’s voters with significantly more government benefits than current taxes can finance, leaving the difference to be paid by voters too young to vote or not yet born.
…High affluence and new technologies have, DeMuth believes, “led to unhealthy political practices.” Time was, the three basic resources required for effective political action — discretionary time, the ability to acquire and communicate information and persuasion skills — were scarce and possessed only by elites. But in our wealthy and educated society, interest groups can pressure government without being filtered by congressional hierarchies…
Pretend you’re in high school for a minute and let’s have a party. Let’s invite our friends and the kids our age in the neighborhood. We’re going to be careful though and just invite people we know are level headed and won’t make trouble because we don’t want any police calls to the house. Also, we have to limit the number of party goers so that we have enough bratwursts, beverages and party favors for everyone.
Unfortunately, because we’re having the party in our backyard it’s just too easy for party crashers to waltz in and help themselves to our limited number of bratwursts, beverages and party favors so let’s get together a group, oh let’s say a gang of eight of our friends to develop a plan for dealing with the party crashers.
Our little gang of eight friends that we’ll let all the party crashers stay in exchange for a promise that they won’t break any more rules in the future (just because they broke rules to crash the party doesn’t mean they won’t follow our other party rules now that they’re here, right?) and an agreement that we’ll really, truly secure the property to keep any additional party crashers from coming in at some point in the near future (at this point all the party crashers get on their cell phones and tell their buddies not to wait and crash the party before it’s too late).
Yesterday those of us who value the right to self defense and believe that an armed public is the best defense against future tyranny won a battle but not the war for firearms freedom.
Although the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the gun control bill from consideration he’s indicated that the President intends to go around Congress (again) and take executive action to limit firearms freedoms. It must be a terrible burden to bear when you have to resort to executive decree to force regulations on a populace that’s failed to support your schemes willingly.
If you’re a freedom loving citizen then by all means, celebrate this victory…but remember that you’re celebrating the win of a battle, not of a war. The gun grabbers aren’t giving up, just taking time to reconstitute, resupply, and wait for the next crisis they can exploit.
Five days later than last year…
Tax Freedom Day® is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year. Tax Freedom Day provides Americans with an easy way to gauge the overall tax take-a task that can otherwise be daunting due to the multiplicity of taxes at various levels of government and “hidden” taxes and fees that are often buried in the cost of living. Tax Freedom Day computed by dividing total tax collections by the nation’s income, as reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Every dollar that is officially called income by the government is counted, and every payment that is officially considered a tax is counted. The resulting percentage is then converted into days of a 365-day calendar year.
Tax Freedom Day 2013 is April 18th. In 2013, Americans will pay $2.76 trillion in federal taxes and $1.45 trillion in state taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.22 trillion, or 29.4 percent of income. April 18 is 29.4 percent into the year. To read the full report, click here.
When you print money [qualitative easing], the money does not flow evenly into the economic system. It stays essentially in the financial service industry and among people that have access to these funds, mostly well-to-do people. It does not go to the worker. I just mentioned that it doesn’t flow evenly into the system.
Now from time to time it will lift the NASDAQ like between 1997 and March 2000. Then it lifted home prices in the U.S. until 2007. Then it lifted the commodity prices in 2008 until July 2008 when the global economy was already in recession. More recently it has lifted selected emerging economies, stock markets in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, up four times from 2009 lows and now the U.S.
So we are creating bubbles and bubbles and bubbles. This bubble will come to an end. My concern is that we are going to have a systemic crisis where it is going to be very difficult to hide. Even in gold, it will be difficult to hide.
There should be something like a bit tax… I mean, a bit tax could be a cent per gigabit and they would make, probably, billions of dollars a year….[and a] very tiny tax on email.
Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak via Should the government tax your email? One California official thinks so | Fox News
Andrew’s Note: Maybe while we’re at it we can put an extra tax on video games to subsidize the sagging boardgame industry…or maybe a tax on horseless carriages to resurrect the troubled wagon wheel industry. Let’s elect folks who look at ways to cut taxes and make government more efficient…not methods to subsidize inefficiency…even in Berkeley, CA! I think that you and I can make better decisions about how to spend the money we earn than a politician or bureaucrat. Tax e-mail…what will they think of next?
Our government is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people…but when I look at Washington, D.C., I see a government of elites. Rules are made by the elites, for the elites. It’s one reason why seven of America’s ten richest counties now surround D.C.
I must say, even in my most direst predictions in this [European] parliament over the years over the way the EU bosses were behaving, never did I think that they would, in a completely unprecedented manner, resort to stealing money from people’s bank accounts [referring to the EU proposal that Cyprus seize 6.7 to 9.9% of all deposits in Cypriot banks]… once one country goes, the whole deck of cards will come tumbling down…
The message that sends to people who’ve got savings in banks in those countries, certainly if I was them, is get your money out while you can…
British Politician & Leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage via British Politician’s Warning to Europeans With Cash in the Bank: ‘Get Your Money Out While You Can’ | Video | TheBlaze.com.
Andrew’s Note: This story is rapidly developing and the government of Cyprus has rejected this measure…but the EU’s demand is no less alarming for it’s defeat.
…here in California, I just want to say liberals – you could actually lose me. It’s outrageous what we’re paying – over 50 percent . I’m willing to pay my share, but yeah, it’s ridiculous.
Andrew’s Note: Top Combined Federal and California tax rates are actually closer to 60%…but at least it’s better than France’s! Who would have thought tax rates could get so high that they even offend Bill Maher..who’s an extremely pro-tax television personality.