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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." - Claire Wolfe
"Encouragement of consumption is no benefit to commerce, for the difficulty lies in supplying the means, not in stimulating the desire of consumption: and we have seen that production alone furnishes those means. Thus, it is the aim of good government to stimulate production, of bad government to encourage consumption." - Jean-Baptiste Say - "A Treatise on Political Economy", 1803
"Faith that paper money itself was of any lasting value would have struck our forebears as patently absurd." - Christopher Mayer - writing for the Ludwig Von Mises Institute.
CONGRESS HAS GOT TO CUT SPENDING
On October 18, 2005 the house passed, by 2 votes, spending cuts of 54 billion, OVER 5 YEARS. With budgets in trillion figures a ten billion per year cut is absurd, and believe it or not it was laughably a contentious battle. - Something from Ron Paul
(Update '08 this section only) This section had been devoted to the Constitution Party, but they are stunningly blind in regard to geo-political events, and an enemy that has waged war against those that don't hold the same religions beliefs as themselves. Alan Keyes gets it, and stunningly the Constitution Party turned down an historic opportunity to run Alan on their ticket for this upcoming fall election.
Taxes that enslave citizens with the threat of imprisonment or the loss of property have no place in a free State. What the government is in fact doing is compelling us to purchase our freedom through each and every tax return that we are required to file. Further, since the local government will seize and sell property if taxes are unpaid, we are effectively renting our property from the government. In other words all real property as well as our freedom, is effectively owned by government. It might help if we returned to our constitutional taxes of duties imposts and excises, and copied current Bahamian taxes in order to restore our personal freedoms, as well as personal savings. After all, our "temporary" income tax has become exactly the kind of tax that it was characterized by one congressman upon its passage, as a tax that would "punish the honest and favor the rascals".
"Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard—the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money—the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law—men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims—then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.- Ayn Rand
REPLACE INCOME TAX WITH CONSUMPTION TAXES SUCH AS
DUTIES AND SALES TAXES
The only way to run the debt clock backwards is to cut spending while removing taxes on productive enterprise, and instead place them on consumption. If we began with a 10 or 15% duty across the board, and encouraged our trading partners to do the same, while eliminating income taxes and supplementing with a National Sales Tax, we could begin to depart from policies that have created our Marxist Slave States around the world. According to most advocates of sales taxes they would be enough to operate our government. One such organization is Americans For Fair Taxation. Consumption taxes would encourage desperately depleted savings from our current national, virtually nonexistent, average of .2%. Here's more from the Mogambo Guru, on savings. Had Babylon never left the Constitutional forms of taxation established by our forefathers we would never have been able to run up such a massive trade imbalance and many more manufacturing jobs would have stayed at home. Take just the high-tech and manufacturing jobs lost, or even down to the American catfish farmer whose back has been nearly broken by imports from communist Vietnam (raised in the Mekong Delta; YUCK!) forcing U.S. consumers to inadvertently finance the communist Vietnamese government. Our government regulation and unconstitutional taxation have gone a long way toward eliminating manufacturing from the U.S. economy.
RESTORE SOUND MONEY
As far as the National debt goes, I believe it would be appropriate for our government to write a check on an account that had no funds in it, to the Federal Reserve and the other central banks for a combined 7.5 trillion dollars. This would constitute payment in full, and in kind, for the debt that we ran up. After all, the so-called "money" that we "borrowed" never existed to begin with.
Because of the massive volume of trash cash that Greenspan and Co. printed it would, of course, be inconceivable that we could have sound money ever again except for one thing. During the dot com bust we watched as hundreds of billions, or trillions of "dollars" vanished in a puff of smoke. When the stock of a $100 billion company opens in the morning at half of the prior day's value, the $50 billion lost does not transfer from one person to another, it simply disappears. The net effect of a gradual decline is the same since there are buyers and sellers all the way down. Now consider housing decreasing in value to 50% of today's market. This is certainly conceivable since prices would only be backtracking a few years in many areas of the country. This would offer another opportunity for trillions in Keynesian cash to disappear in a puff of smoke, however it would probably take the global banking system with it. Imagine if prices returned to what they were 3 or 5 years ago in your neighborhood. This would constitute trillions of "dollars" in so-called "equity" to disappear. What would this do to the value of second homes, and vacation homes? Robert Prechter anticipates that this shake-out, in farmland for example, would return to prices of about 50 years ago. In mid-Georgia this would be roughly 1/30th of today's values. What would this do to the luxury home market? How about apartments in NYC?
Imagine if interest rates were rising (and mortgage rates with variable rate mortgages) at the same time that housing was sinking. An increase of just 1.5% in a 15 year variable-rate mortgage originated at 4.8% would cause monthly payments to go up by about 10%. How long would homeowners sustain this position?
NATIONAL SALES TAX
Babylon's government has become so bloated, that in the reform short term, to fund a rapidly shrinking government, we would probably have to supplement temporary revenue shortfall from the loss of income taxation with a consumption tax such as a national sales tax. Businesses are already sometimes paid to collect this tax in many states so it would only be a little extra burden, for which they could be compensated. VAT or value added taxes should be avoided because they allow the government to hide the amount of tax that the consumer is actually paying by collecting at the wholesale level. Even consummate bears like Bill Bonner, of the Daily Reckoning, who lives in France, believes that the French actually pay less taxes than we do in the U.S. perhaps because he has lost sight as to how much tax is being collected from him by taxes he does not see. Sales taxes confront the taxpayer on a daily basis and are the most appropriate to help empower disgruntled citizens to force government fiscal responsibility.
Formerly I was in favor of excluding necessities such as food and clothing from sales tax, often referred to as a tax on the poor, but on further reflection in the modern world it would seem perfectly "progressive", borrowing the liberal parlance. Consider how much tax would be collected by a high income person shopping at Gucci compared to a low income person shopping at Kmart or Target, for a pair of shoes. The person shopping at Gucci may be paying ten or twenty times as much tax as the person shopping at Kmart. The same goes for groceries. One person buying T-bones while another buys beans. It already works at the State level with auto sales tax on a new Ferrari compared to tax on a used Chevy. I believe that poor people would make out quite well on this deal. You might view this as a voluntarily graduated tax. Further, virtually every NST proposal allows for rebates for the poor based on income and means which is a much better solution than exempting Gucci shoes and handbags.
Consumption taxes encourage savings which should provide the means of investment, not debt, as the quote at the top suggests. Here is the Mogambo Guru on savings. Today, along with Babylonians being rabid consumers, they often have money in the stock market, at least via retirement accounts, while carrying credit card debt and mortgages on their homes as well. Thus they are effectively borrowing money at credit card rates (average 15%) in order to speculate in stocks, and finance their over-consumption. At this point, at least in the Nasdaq market cycle, many probably would not have minded if the money that they lost in the market had been applied to their homes. When the market takes its next nasty leg down and the housing bubble pops on higher interest rates, they may really be wondering why they didn't apply it to their home. The stock market has always been and will always be a vehicle of pure speculation. Make no mistake, all involved are speculators not investors. Investors risk their money at market bottoms in tangible investments and private business, not at market tops in paper assets; and the present dividend yield compared to the DJIA would hardly indicate a bottom.
As regards citizenship, along with general standards of decency, our republic could be healed if everyone observed two basic principles of common law, those being: 1) that you do what you say you are going to do and 2) that you don't do anything that interferes with anyone else's rights. If everyone steadfastly adhered to these two simple principles we would hardly need courts, police, or even laws.
END PENSIONS FOR HOUSE AND SENATE POLITICIANS
AND REDUCE CONGRESSIONAL SALARIES FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS
I am convinced that the most constructive way to begin to reduce the rate of increase in the debt clock would be to reduce the pensions of all Senators and Congress persons, past and present, by 20% each and every year that the debt clock runs forward. At the same time salaries could be reduced by 10% per year. Any revenues raised from tax increases would of course not count, since deficits and debts are rooted only in spending. After 5 years congressional pensions would be gone forever, and the remaining 50% salaries would still be substantially above middle income. I personally think that minimum wage would be appropriate remuneration for this bunch, after having treated our children's futures so cavalierly. Having their own incomes slashed, and heading for a retirement as a ward of FDRs great "nanny state", like many other Americans who have been systematically robbed through taxation and inflation over the years, might help turn their interests more toward slashing government programs and employment. I firmly believe that the following generation of politicians, perhaps with salaries of $40,000 or less, would be more dedicated to representing their constituents rather than themselves. Stiff penalties and prison sentences for personally profiting from their positions both while in office and after, would help to dissuade would-be self-interested persons from running for office. Congresspersons could spend small parts of a few of years in Washington, and then return to their productive businesses full-time, during breaks in their term and afterward, the way our framers envisioned, and did. Ultimately I think that a salary of $40,000 or less would be very generous, perhaps with coach class travel expenses provided for required commutes to Washington. A position in congress was never intended to be a full time job. Today's congresspersons are, more often than not, simply parasites feeding at the public trough while they squander our nation's hard-earned wealth. A congressman's sole job is to do as much as he can to discern how his constituents would vote on particular items in bills, and then to faithfully represent them in Congress. He can do this best by spending most of his time in his home district among his constituents as this record of Davie Crockett attests.
CAPITAL GAINS TAX IS A DRAG ON THE ECONOMY
The regressive effects of capital gains taxes are often misunderstood. At first blush a citizen that seeks to have their health care etc., paid for by others (our new socialist majority), may view this "tax on the rich" as a likely source to parasitize, however it is one of the worst places to look. If, for example, a person has had a long term investment in real estate they may have realized a "gain" of perhaps 100%. I place gain in quotation marks because the property has not really appreciated over that period but rather our fraudulent currency has lost 50% of its purchasing power through inflation (Random House Dictionary - inflation adj. 1. undue expansion of the currency of a country, esp. by the issuing of paper money not redeemable in specie.). Let's presume, for example, that upon the sale of that property the owner faces a capital gains tax of 30% that would need to be paid on the amount that the property appreciated (1/2 of the total sale price). This means that in order for the owner to have an interest in selling his 100% appreciated property, he has to view his next investment as having an immediate potential gain, or undervalue, of 15% at the time of purchase (to recover the equity lost through taxation), otherwise it may be too risky to flip the money. If he sells and holds cash waiting for the next opportunity, inflation will erode his purchasing power, and if the next purchase realizes just a little deflation of the asset immediately after purchase, he is racing backwards in the fast lane. As a result it makes the most sense to keep the appreciated property and no tax is collected at the Federal level, and at the local level the property tax basis often remains the same. The property may eventually achieve a new basis in his estate where it can remain stagnant, or it may have been transferred to his heirs during his life to avoid going into the estate and could remain static. If the property had sold, the county may have realized as much as double the value toward on-going revenue that they would collect, and the energy of the new owner and velocity of his money would have created employment resulting in income taxes, and rapid improvement of the property in the short term, resulting in an even higher tax base.
What was government like under Ronald Reagan?
GET THE U.S. OUT OF THE U.N. AND GET THE U.N. OUT OF THE U.S. NOW!
We need to get the U.N. out of the U.S. and get ourselves out of the United Nations and any other law making body, or agreement, that would subjugate our Constitutional laws to any outside law making body of any kind. Our National sovereignty is paramount.
THE PEOPLE WON AND THE HOLLYWOOD/MEDIA ELITE AND
JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT OBSTRUCTORS LOST IN 2004
Bush is the first president to be elected and gain seats in both the house and senate since 1936. Will the democrats understand that it is time to confirm Bush's judicial appointments now? Did they learn anything from minority "leader" Dashle's demise?
With 55 seats in the Senate and a huge majority in the house isn't it time to seize the moment and begin by instituting an across-the-board freeze on automatic spending increases, and at the same time adopt zero base line budgeting? This may sound odd to some but government spending is based on automatic spending increases, and so when politicians talk about a spending cut, they are really only talking about a reduction in the amount of spending increase, in other words still an increase, even though it is called a cut.
Following success at this, why not try cutting spending by 5% across the board? All Americans will go along with this. Special interests will have no opportunity since the cuts would be uniform no matter what. Military spending must remain flexible for as long as we are at war but then military will later be expected to accept their share of cuts. I believe spending cuts would be overwhelmingly popular with the American people as long as they were accomplished throughout government. This should include paychecks for congressmen and senators as well. The financial markets would celebrate and scream higher, and our dollar would strengthen with bonds rising, resulting in interest rate reductions.