George Washington met Osama bin Laden at the Pearly Gates. He slapped him across the face and yelled, "How dare you try to destroy the nation I helped conceive!"
Patrick Henry approached, punched him in the nose and shouted, "You wanted to end our liberties but you failed!"
James Madison followed, kicked him in the groin and said, "This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"
Thomas Jefferson was next, beat bin Laden with a long cane and snarled "It was Evil men like you who inspired me to write the Declaration of Independence."
The beatings and thrashings continued as George Mason, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans unleashed their anger on the terrorist Leader.
As bin Laden lay bleeding and in pain, an Angel appeared. Osama wept and said, "This is not what you promised me."
The Angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you in Heaven. What did you think I said?"
A bit of satire from my friend, Tom Solari
I wish to alert you to a serious problem. There is a movement across the country to dispose of the Federal Income Tax System and replace it with a National Sales Tax, also called a "consumption tax." It's known as the FairTax proposal.
Not only will we lose our income and payroll taxes but we will also lose our gift taxes, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, alternative minimum taxes, Social Security/Medicare taxes, self-employment taxes, and corporate taxes. All this WITHOUT reducing revenue to the Federal Government!
The problems with this may already be obvious to you but I will go over them just in case.
First of all, you will no longer be required to keep any records for tax purposes--no record of income and no record of expenditures. Do you understand??--NO RECORDS OF ANY KIND!
Tell me--how is the federal government going to keep track of our individual personal finances if there are NO RECORDS???
Fortunately, with this proposed National Sales Tax, the businesses that sell goods and services WILL have to keep records and they will have to forward the sales tax money to the government just as they do now with state sales taxes.
But you and I, the citizenry, will NOT have to keep records. This is very upsetting! I am sure you are as upset by this as I am.
And it doesn't stop there. Under this new system, no one will be required to file an Income Tax Return!!! NO RECORDS!! NO RETURNS!! NO APRIL 15th DEADLINE!! NO IRS!!!!!!!
This is un-American. I weep for our country.
TRASHING THE 16TH AMENDMENT
In fact, the 16th Amendment to our United States Constitution (put there in 1913), which authorizes the government to collect income taxes from its citizens, will be REPEALED! That means it will be gone from the Constitution, just as PROHIBITION is now gone from the Constitution.
We let them repeal PROHIBITION! Are we now going to allow them to repeal INCOME TAXES?
With an income tax, a portion of your income goes directly to the government before you have a chance to spend it. Then the government spends it for you. What a beautiful system!! Why would anyone want to change that??
With a consumption tax, you get all the money you earn (minus any state income taxes) and the only way you will be allowed to pay federal taxes is by buying things. And here is where it gets really insidious. If you don't buy a lot of things, you will pay LESS TAXES. This drives me crazy!
It gets worse.
FAVORING THE RICH
If we only pay taxes when we buy things, whom do you suppose will end up paying the most taxes? RIGHT! RICH PEOPLE!!!! What will happen to all those great tax shelters and foundations and accountancy tricks and loopholes rich people use to void paying taxes? They will become USELESS!!!!
There will be no way for rich people to avoid paying taxes because they are not going to want to stop buying things--because what is the point of being rich if you don't buy things? DUH!!!
So the rich people will end up paying the lion's share of the taxes because they are going to keep buying things--luxurious, high-priced things--because that is how you let people know you are rich and successful--you buy things! They are not going to stop this practice and this is a direct assault on our democracy--for what good is a democracy if there is no way to cheat the system!!!???
But this "FairTax" proposal will not just affect the rich. It will also seriously impact organized crime!
Let me ask you this. When was the last time organized crime paid taxes? RIGHT! NEVER! Organized crime does not pay income taxes because what they are making their income from is ILLEGAL and needs to remain HIDDEN! They do NOT fill out an IRS return which says they made $100 million dollars from drug sales so they can pay taxes on it.
Remember, only HONEST people pay income taxes! It is a right and a privilege reserved for honest, hardworking Americans.
But criminals do BUY things with their ill-gotten gains. Under the "FairTax"/consumption tax plan, criminals will be taxed like everyone else. Can you imagine what that will do to their bottom line? From zero taxes to a sales tax on everything they buy--suddenly they will be sharing in the support of the country. They will be helping to fund the very law-enforcement organizations that are there to put them behind bars.
Now, you may wonder what is wrong with that? I will tell you. Organized crime and all criminals are a precious part of our national heritage. Imagine life without "The Godfather" series of motion pictures or "Good Fellas," "The Sopranos," "Married To The Mob."
There is a whole criminal culture here and part of its appeal is that they get a free ride. Dent that free ride and we could lose that culture!
Criminals, who operate completely on the idea of non-contribution-- something for nothing--will now be forced to contribute to the society like everybody else, when they BUY things. Is criminal activity going to be worth the risk if they end up having to pay taxes just like the average Joe?
I don't know if the criminal psyche can deal with this, not to mention putting a lot of good cops and prison guards out of work.
I'm sure you see the seriousness of the threat and why we need to stop this "consumption tax" movement before it ruins everything.
UNTAXING THE POOR
Now you need to be alert for arguments from the other side. For example, here is a direct quote issued by one of their propaganda outlets.
"To ensure no American pays tax on necessities, the FairTax plan provides a prepaid, monthly rebate... for every registered household to cover the consumption tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level. This,along with several other features, is how the FairTax completely untaxes the poor, lowers the tax burden on most, while making the overall rate progressive."
Okay, there you have it in their own words. The FairTax completely untaxes the poor and they call that "progressive."
It's always the poor, isn't it, who get the short end of the stick, while the rich get to pay nearly all of the taxes because they buy so damn much.
Another argument that is made in favor of a consumption tax is that the current income tax system results in higher prices for consumer goods and services, because of the tremendous income tax compliance costs that end up being added into the prices of things.
Well, that is what is so fabulous about an income tax!! These costs are HIDDEN!! No one thinks about them!!! We don't know we are being charged for this!!!
With a consumption/national sales tax, it will all be right out there in the OPEN!!! Every time you buy something you will be aware of exactly what the tax is!!! A lot of people will be upset by this!!! They will start to complain and they will demand that the government stop SPENDING so much!!! That is like asking the government to stop BREATHING!!!!!!!!!!!
MY GOD, PEOPLE, I HOPE YOU ARE GETTING THIS! WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF A TERRIBLE CATASTROPHE IF THIS ANTI-INCOME TAX LEGISLATION GOES THROUGH!!!
(Deep breath...) I'm sorry. It's important not to panic.
The answer to these arguments, of course, is the pure beauty of the income tax system, which only you, my fellow tax lover, can completely appreciate. I must admit, it gives me chills of pleasure just thinking about it. Here it is.
With an INCOME TAX, every working person in the country pays taxes in proportion to how much he or she earns (excepting criminals and the tax-dodging rich). Earnings are, more or less, based on production. The more a person produces or the better the product or service, the more the person earns. The more the person earns, the more the person is TAXED.
To the tax lover, this is pure joy. To the person who does not appreciate taxation the way we do, this is looked upon as "punishing" production. They make the analogy of a football team where the star running back gets FINED every time he makes a touchdown. Can you imagine? They have a problem with this!!!
OUR FABULOUS TAX CODE
But there's more. Not only do the successful producers pay more taxes, they spend countless hours each year keeping records and compiling data in anticipation of their annual tax filing. Most hire tax accountants who are needed to interpret the 7 million word tax code.
When it comes to businesses and corporations, the time and money spent on this process is HUGE! In fact, it is estimated that it costs taxpayers $225 BILLION per year for tax filing, tax record keeping and tax reduction advice.
Well, it is true that this expense is passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, and some complain about that. But they are just not looking at the big picture.
When our prices are high, people around the world cannot easily afford to buy what we produce. This helps countries like China and India take over the world markets. That means less jobs for us and more for them.
Hey! What are unemployment lines for!!!???
You see how beautifully this all works? And these "consumption tax" types want to CHANGE all that! They will completely eliminate the time and expense of income tax compliance that individuals, businesses and corporations have to deal with, and our prices will come DOWN, making us MORE competitive on world markets and creating MORE AMERICAN JOBS!!!.
Do you really want to live in a country where everyone WORKS!!?? I don't think so.
Needless to say, I hate and despise these "FairTax" people. But don't despair. We can defeat them if we just continue to spread the incredible logic of our position.
TO THE STATUS QUO!!!!
Copright@2004,2011 Tom Solari
Reply to Mr. Tax Lover: email@example.com
My wife woke me up for Face the Nation this morning. She does that. She knows I like the show. I hate that it is on at the same time as Meet the Press, as I'd like to see both shows. Getting a fair and balanced view of what is happening in my state, my country, my world, is near impossible, with so many opposing sound bites out there.
By the time I had a cup of coffee and was focused on the guest speaker, Harry Reid, D – Nev, Senate Majority Leader, the question on the table was “Will the government shut down at the end of the week?” It was a question he did not answer. Instead he sang the same old song: Oh, the poor children! Oh, the poor vets! Oh, all our favorite causes!
The senator hit the high notes right on cue: “We're going to have to cut Helping Hand, all the aid to orphaned children and homeless veterans.” Every time someone brings up actually running the government on a budget, out come the widows and orphans, the homeless vets. Next comes the police, fire and education. (See my earlier blog on balancing the budget.)
What, does Senator Reid say, is causing the difficulty? It's the Republicans and the Tea Party causing all the trouble. Congress is afraid of the Tea Party, when there aren't any members around. Sn. Reid says that at the last rally, “there weren't thousands, there weren't hundreds, there were tens...”
We're talking about 12% of the budget, right? So what about the hundreds of redundant government agencies and top heavy bureaucracy? There are more people in the Department of Agriculture than there are farmers. If you go in with a paring knife and carve out some of the fat and waste in the government, you will find that we can run the country on a budget.
Going for the heart, lungs and brain as the first to go when cutting out fat is insane. Let's get rid of the crazy people and put someone sane in the government.
Then came Lindsey Graham, R – South Carolina, who brought up another ghastly waste of government funds, the proposed State Department Army.
Our choices seem to be, in Libya and other countries, 1) putting soldiers there for years and years, 2) arming the rebels or 3) putting a State Department Army there for years and years (see option 1 – only more expensive.)
Remember that we poured money into Libya for the current regime to stay in power. Now we should pour more in to oust him and put in another government? The rebels we arm today will be the enemy we fight tomorrow – and they will be armed with our guns. We have squandered American taxpayers' money giving it to other countries and now we are throwing good money after bad in expensive “Police Actions” which will be followed by expensive rebuilding. The United States is the only country in the history of the world that rebuilds a country after it destroys it. How stupid are we?
Teddy Roosevelt, a Democrat, gave us the Big Stick. We should , as Senator Graham has suggested, take the fight to the leaders, sitting fat and happy in their stronghold, and end this thing. Then let them rebuild without us. It will be a lesson to the rest of the world: “Mess with us and we leave you broken.”
Arm the rebels? No! Build a State Department Army to hemorrhage money onto foreign soil? No! Take the fight to Gadhafi and his crew? Yes – and then stop sending our money overseas, we have need of it here. You want to rebuild something? Rebuild New Orleans.
When there is a bully in the neighborhood, you take him out and then you go home. You do not then become the next bully. And when there is a household budget to trim, to make it fit within your income, you do not cut the buying of food, clothing and shelter first.
It has been a song heard too long by government voices, all chanting in unison: if you want to cut the budget, the first things to go will be the fire department, police department and education – then all your favorite charitable agencies. Oh, weep for the widows, orphans and homeless vets. They are the chorus of the old familiar song. What is missing from the song is the billions showered on the Middle East and countries that want us dead.
I can always tell when the government, medical or psychiatric organizations have been dabbling in our television shows, the message is singular, obvious and insane.
It was clear as a bell when the popular (for a while) television show, Touched by an Angel, came out in favor of psychotropic medications. In that episode, a jazz musician was a danger to himself and his family if he was not on his medication, but he was not creative or even a good musician when he was all doped up like that – in fact, he hated it. So he didn't take his meds, got creative and was happy playing music to die for. The “Angel of the Lord” came and told him, “Your medication is a gift from God. You must take it.” Thereafter, he did “the right thing,” taking his meds and opting for mediocrity instead of musical greatness. That was the last time I turned that show on. It was canceled soon after.
The other night, I was doing late work and my wife was watching “Law and Order.” The culprit was a loving mother who did not believe in getting her child vaccinated. Her failure to get her child vaccinated caused another child to be sick and die. They arrested the mother, took her child away and the world was again safe. The message repeated again and again during the show was “Get your child vaccinated.”
For years I have feared that there was something going into the vaccine that the government wanted us to get but that we wouldn't stand for given the choice. The answer: remove the choice. There are many parents who will not have their child vaccinated. They do not believe in it, or they do not believe in government intrusion. Perhaps they are organic people and do not believe in the artificial, chemical, Brave New World that is being sold to us daily.
For years, I have had a rule: Where there is a hard sell, there is something of which I should beware. Now here is none other than the “Do no evil” cops of “Law and Order” telling us we should get vaccinated. I say “No!” Just because the government or some medical organization or psychiatric organization (especially a psychiatric organization) says to line up and get stuck with a needle full of something mysterious and magical, that is no reason for me or anyone else to do so. In fact, when they sell it to us so hard, that's a good reason to be extra careful.
It was Karl Marx who said, “Give me a child before he's five and I'll have him for life.” I fear that what is in that vaccination is something that will be in my child for life and not to his betterment. The proof of the pudding is that the powers who want that needle in the kid's arm have gone to the writers of popular television shows to sell it to us.
Shame on you, Law and Order.
Great idea! A diet wherein the first things to be sacrificed are your lungs, heart and brain. Sound good?
It's called the Politicians' Budget Cutting Diet. It has been in use for decades and hasn't worked yet. No wonder it keeps getting implemented.
Here's how it goes in real life: You demand the budget get cut, everyone agrees, so those you trust (giggle!) to represent (giggle!) you go to work (giggle!) and start cutting expenses. The first things they cut are the Fire Department, Police Department and School System. Before you know it, you are screaming for the budget cuts to stop before we are completely stupid and defenseless. Of course, by then, you have no library system left, though no one knows (giggle!) where the money went.
It goes back to Proposition 13. The voting public told the California legislature that they demanded lower spending and the Police, Fire and Education cuts were the first, last and only cuts made. In North Carolina, education is 2% of the budget, yet it is the first thing mentioned by our governor when budget cuts are brought up.
There are redundant reports, useless studies (like the US study to discover why men in prison are depressed) and stupid projects galore in the budget, yet these remain in place while Fire and Police Departments go begging. We don't need another million dollar paper on the North American Blue Bird. We need a balanced budget.
Remember the ex-governor of North Carolina, Mike Easley? It took two years to investigate his abuses, financial and otherwise. He made millions illegally while in office, yet was charged $1000 in fines and $153 in court costs. So the taxpayers paid millions to investigate him and yet he is charged $1153? Give me a break! How do you balance the budget? Make him give all the stuff back and pay the money, covering the costs of investigating him and prosecuting him. Dock his pay. Wherever he goes to work, take it out of his weekly until the state is even again. Maybe that will be a deterrent to future criminals who want to make crime pay by going into public office.
It goes for state budgets and for the Federal budget. The President keeps talking about cutting domestic spending. Domestic Spending – does that bring up a question? What about International Spending?
For years we have heard about billions (Billions!) given to countries that hate us. It is not talked about a lot on national television, but we are still giving billions to countries with whom we are at war. We support them while fighting them, destroy them, then rebuild them – and they never give us anything back for all that. The only country ever to repay a war loan is Finland.
What if we stop giving our money to other countries, maybe we won't be in financial ka-ka ourselves. Let's start with countries we are at war with, then go to countries that merely hate us, then we can take the weekly allowance from countries that just don't care for us. Eventually, we will balance the budget.
See, I didn't even mention the politicians that served one or two terms and we are still paying them for it. Gee, if we just hired them like we do everyone else, we wouldn't have to pay them forever. But I didn't mention it. That's another blog.
In the final chapter of my latest novel, Terminal Research, I couldn't help but comment on recent news in North Carolina. As my hero, Jack Richmond, is in the Triangle area at the time, the news is about the former governor, Mike Easley. Here is the chapter:
The Cost of Being Governor
“What?” asked Teri, standing in the kitchen doorway, her hands on her hips.
It was moving day. Teri was making sandwiches for the road and finishing up the rest of everything we had for lunch. After which we would get into our respective cars and drive to Washington, where we would be staying with Eva at her house in Georgetown. We had stayed there before. It was a nice place. But my mind was on other things.
I had just turned off the television and thrown the remote on the chair in anger. I was pissed!
“The former state governor admitted to filing a false campaign report, a felony. The investigation lasted two years. He's the first NC State Governor to admit to a felony. Two years! The public has been paying for an investigation into this guy for two years!”
“And now they have him,” said Teri, shaking her head. “You're making too much of this.”
“That's the point, if we get used to this, the criminals win. Guess what! He entered an Alford plea, which means that while he did not admit guilt, he acknowledged there was sufficient evidence to convict him of a crime. He'll pay a fine of $1,000, plus $153 in court costs. He'll pay a thousand friggin' dollars! That's less than a helicopter ride he took at taxpayer expense.”
“OK, so that's not much,” admitted Teri.
“He's quoted that he has to take responsibility for the campaign and that the buck stops with him.”
“So, good. He's taking responsibility.”
“No! He's not! He created a position for his wife at N.C. State at an enormous salary. According to the local paper, he got a $137,000 discount on a lot at a coastal development. He's fined $1000 and he got a kickback of 137 times that on a single land deal.”
“You want ham or turkey?” asked Teri, changing the subject.
“No prison time, no jail time, no time-out in the corner. He has to pay a hundred and fifty-three dollars in court costs. That's criminal! You want to cut costs in government? Have the felon you just convicted pay for the investigation. Two years to investigate his felonious actions? He might have to sell that seaside lot he bought.”
“You can't do anything about it. Ham or turkey?” said Teri, pointedly. She was raising her voice.
“The current governor is also coming under fire for possible misuse of funds. They'll spend two years investigating that one and then the fine will be whatever is in the lawyer's pocket at the time.”
“Stop it, Jack. Yes, it's criminal. Yes, it's wrong. It's a windmill with which you cannot tilt at this time. I'm giving you turkey, you need a nap.”
“Fined a thousand dollars!”
“Come in and get some of this soup while it's hot.”
“$153 in court costs!”
“Jack!” yelled Teri. I stopped and looked at her. It took a few seconds for the room to stop spinning. I took a deep breath, feeling sheepish.
“What's that thing,” said Teri, “about changing the things you can and putting up with the things you can't and having the wisdom to know the difference? You need to recognize when you can't do anything about a thing. Next time, see it coming and be in the courtroom. Write an article or be in a position to make a statement on television.”
She stood there in the kitchen, a stack of wrapped sandwiches on the side counter and a pan of hot soup on the table, ready to pour into waiting bowls.
“Right now, my knight, you can do something about lunch. Come and eat soup, then we'll go.”
I nodded and walked into the kitchen to get my soup.
She was right. She was usually right. Teri was my gyro, keeping me on course, on message.
The prosecutor said he “believed that the plea deal best served the interests of justice.” How he didn't break into laughter as the words were coming out of his mouth is beyond me. How the newspapers reported it without bursting into flame is also a wonder.
The reason that the grand conspiracy continues is that it is in plain sight, that the perpetrators lie openly and the lies are usually obvious and yet we accept them.
Occasionally, a criminal comes along and uses up two years worth of resources that could have gone to schools or libraries or fire departments. He gets the proverbial slap-on-the-wrist and those in power think that's OK.
The only answer is for people to wake up; to realize that it's not OK and to replace those people as fast as possible; to demand good government on a large and small scale, and to be vigilant when it comes to expenditures.
Members of the modern day Tea Party are the closest thing we have to involved citizens and they are getting labeled by the media as a bunch of nut cases.
The Founding Fathers would storm the halls of government at the top of their lungs at what passes for governing today. It makes me want to stand up and scream, “Who's in charge here, anyway?”
Unfortunately, I know the answer to that question, and it chills me to the bone. I thought it was the Trilateral Commission. And to a certain extent, that's true. But it was Rutledge who said it, the Trilateral Commission doesn't run the world, the Council on Foreign Relations does that.