How to Cook a Frog – the Rt. 147 Toll Road
If you have a pot of boiling water and you throw a frog in, he is going to feel the hot water and jump out. So how do you cook a frog?
I'm glad you asked. I know you've been dying to know.
You put down a pot of warm water and put the frog in. He will be comfortable and will not try to jump out. Then you raise the temperature a little at a time until the water is boiling and he's cooked.
Why do you care? Because the Toll Road part of Route 147 doesn't affect you all that much.
When the powers-that-be created a toll road along Rt 147 south of I40 for just a little ways, you didn't think much about it. You would either get a pass, which is not too much, or you would pay the bill when it arrives in the mail.
You see, it works like this: If you have a pass, you stick it in your window. If you don't, they take your license plate and send you a bill, thereby sticking it to you. But it's not enough to be uncomfortable and besides, there are still side roads to be considered. In other words, the water is warm so you're happy.
It has recently been announced that “sections of I40” might also be turned into a toll road. Oh, well, that is a different kettle of frog! But it still might not affect you. You might drive south of the toll part, or north. And there are side roads that could be used – maybe. If you have ever tried to circumvent I40 on side roads, you know the frustration of small, country roads.
This is what people talk about when they use the term “slippery slope.” Once you set foot on a slippery slope, your next step could be the one that takes you all the way to the bottom. First it's a little-used part of one small road, just for a test. Then it's “sections of” another road, more traveled. Soon, every major road in the state is a toll road, with cameras tracking our comings and goings, billing us for the trip unless we have a pass – but taking our picture anyway.
There are two (at least) points to be considered. One is the concept that we are spied upon when we take the toll road, the picture of our car, our plate, perhaps our face, logging where we drive and when. The other is that we are charged yet another tax for driving on the road.
Now, think. Have you ever heard of a toll road that finally paid for itself and no longer needed to be a toll road? Have you ever heard of a tax that was put in place to pay for a project that was later dropped because the project was paid for? It is unlikely that once a tax is in place it is ever dropped; the money is simply diverted to other projects, or someone's pet project, or a slush fund for whatever comes up. That's how politicians pay for trips to the Bahamas with their secretaries.
Here is my point. Let us all be aware of what is happening around us, to be cognizant of the little steps in the grand scheme of things. One small toll road is not one small toll road, but a step in a longer plan to have toll roads wherever we go. Each toll is a tax on your freedom to travel. Each tax is one more until you are paying a dollar in tax for every dollar you earn, 100% tax.
When 30% goes to the IRS in April, 12% to the state, 7% for everything you buy, taxes on our cars, on our homes, on our phone, internet and television services, hidden taxes in our gas, food and other consumables and now on the road we travel – how long until you must pay every dollar you earn?
A little more each time is how you cook a frog.
You got to have a deal,
If you don't have a deal,
Then how you gonna get a budget through?
For those of you who remember South Pacific, the musical, the song, Happy Talk, you get the above reference.
The Happy Talk was all over the Sunday News Shows. Experts pointing fingers and talking about Raising Taxes and Cutting Entitlements. And Boy! Are they happy!
Oh, they may look serious and concerned, but they are tickled pink. They talk of Putting the Burden on Middle Class Americans and Catastrophic Damage to the American Economy.
But there is only the one budget they are talking about (when a question gets answered at all). Let's talk about the other budget. Let's define our terms.
Entitlements are being defined as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the one we all paid for from the first day we worked. These are the programs we love, so cutting them sounds horrific.
There are other entitlements.
There is Federal money going to support undocumented (illegal) aliens in several states – California, North Carolina and Texas for three that are pretty obvious. There are signs in Spanish at the border telling those who cross to get to North Carolina for a free pass. The free pass includes money, food, housing, transportation and education – all gratis.
There is Federal Welfare, which has a huge infrastructure to do nothing but give free money to those who contribute nothing to the national production.
There are millions and billions given to United States Territories, which receive the same benefits of states but pay no taxes.
And millions and billions given to foreign countries, some of which hate us and actively work against us, which get us nothing.
There are millions going to Federal Programs that have been over for years or are useless, such as the psychiatric study to discover why men in prison are depressed. Millions into the pockets of a small group of psychiatrists to study men in prison. Hm!
Would you like to cut tax breaks? Cut the huge tax breaks to two of the most profitable sectors in American Business – the oil companies, which are logging the highest profit levels in history, the history of any company in the world, and Big Pharma, which gets billions in tax breaks and even government money for “development” of new drugs, and then charges big-time for the results.
The argument, if it comes up at all, for these is that they are not very big categories and would not save us much if they were cut.
Horse-biscuits! In the first place, I don't believe it, because every time I read a report about these tax-breaks, it's in the millions, if not billions. In the second place, if it is true, so what? A little here and a little there could save Social Security.
Suppose your family sat down at the table to discuss the family budget. OK, I know, that's a fantasy, but suppose it happened, just for argument's sake. Would you cut out food, clothing and shelter first thing? Or would you look good and hard for things that could be cut without endangering life and limb?
Suppose you wanted to go on a diet. Would you begin by depriving your lungs of air, so they would shrink in size? Would you cut out your liver, spleen and stomach? No, you would believe there must be a better way.
The Sunday morning talk shows have been all about the budget today, but only two things were discussed, raising taxes and cutting entitlements. However, no one mentioned eliminating tax breaks to the sections of society already making more money than Midas, and no one mentioned eliminating the entitlements that are really sucking this country dry, the money going to people who are contributing nothing to our country except to the crime rate.
If we want to get the country back on it's financial track, we have to get some people on the job who are willing to look at the whole picture. Let's hear about the other budget, the one nobody seems willing to adjust.
Are there hard choices to make? Yes, there are. But the smart decisions aren't politically hurtful to the other party, so neither side wants to make them. The bi-partisan decision would be to cut the fat, the unnecessary expenditures, the old, retired programs and the favorites that help no one but a few special interest groups with loud front men.
Perhaps it would help if the Sunday Morning Talk Shows got some guests who are willing to really talk about the subject rather than stoke the argument, point fingers and lay blame. It's time for a new panel, one that gives us more than “Happy Talk.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org