If you have ever wondered why our leaders in Washington D.C. seem to act so strangely, the truth is that it almost always comes down to just one thing. It has been said that “money makes the world go round”, and that is definitely true in Washington. This year the federal government will spend more than 4 trillion dollars, and that represents well over one-fifth of our national GDP. With so much money coming in and so much money going out, the stakes are incredibly high, and that is why so much money is poured into political campaigns on the national level.
And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that those that live the closest to this gigantic money machine have benefited greatly. Forbes just released their brand new rankings for 2017, and they found that five out of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the entire country are suburbs of Washington D.C.…
Virginia’s Loudoun County holds the title of the nation’s richest county with a median household income of $125,900. While nearly 10,000 residents commute to the District, according to Forbes, about 11,700 businesses employ 161,000 county residents, with Dulles International Airport, Loudoun County Public Schools and the Department of Homeland Security leading that charge.
The nearby city of Falls Church, Fairfax and Arlington counties in Virginia and Howard County in Maryland also lead the nation based on wealth.
In general, salaries for federal workers are significantly higher than in the private sector, and benefit packages are usually much better.
But in addition to having a very high concentration of federal workers, the D.C. area is also home to hordes of lawyers, lobbyists, defense contractors and other government vendors. Big government means big business for those guys, and business has been very good in recent years…
The federal government has a lot to do with this: The Capitol and the economy orbiting around it (including lawyers, defense contractors, computer engineers along the Dulles Corridor, and doctors near NIH) attract college graduates who reliably contribute to six-figure households. Crucially, there was a $1.7 billion increase in lobbying between 1998 and 2010, as Dylan Matthews explained. With each $1 million of lobbying “associated with a $3.70 increase in the D.C. wage premium,” the money pouring into Washington wound up in the pockets of its residents.
This certainly isn’t the limited government that our founders intended.
So where did we go wrong?
One of the big turning points came in 1913. That is the year when the Federal Reserve and the modern version of the income tax were established. The Federal Reserve was designed by the elite to get the federal government very deeply into debt, and an income tax was needed to help service that debt and to help pay for the much larger government that the progressives were wanting.
Back then, D.C. was nothing like it is today. In fact, even in the 1970s there were still large farms inside the Beltway. But the federal government just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and now it is a four trillion dollar monstrosity.
What I believe we should do is to dismantle as much of that monstrosity as we possibly can. Instead of asking which government agencies we should close, I believe that we should be asking which government agencies we really need to leave open.
A great place to start would be by abolishing the Federal Reserve, the IRS and the income tax. Those institutions are at the very core of the Washington money machine, and so it would essentially be like tearing the heart out of big government.
And don’t worry, the federal government would still have plenty of money coming in. The individual income tax only accounts for about 46 percent of all federal revenue, and theoretically we could still have an absolutely enormous federal government without an income tax. I once wrote an article that listed 97 different ways that various levels of government get money out of us each year, and so getting rid of the federal income tax would still leave 96 ways for the politicians to extract money from us.
As I remind my readers so frequently, the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was when there was no income tax and no central bank. But I know that a lot of people out there love the 1.33 percent average yearly GDP growth rate that we have been experiencing over the past decade and would have a really hard time giving that up.
Unfortunately, it would actually be a very tough transition to a much more limited federal government because so much of our society is geared around the enormous money machine in Washington. In 2018, more than a billion dollars will be spent on the mid-term elections, and most of that money will be going to incumbents that are committed to maintaining the status quo.
If we ever want things to really start changing in Washington, we have got to start sending people there that haven’t been bought off by the big money interests.
In my congressional district there is no incumbent running in 2018, and nobody else in the race is nearly as conservative as I am. But since I can’t be bought by the special interests, I am going to have to rely on grassroots support.
Donald Trump showed us that anything is possible in American politics. When Jeb Bush decided to run for president, he had an extremely long list of endorsements and a hundred million dollars behind him, and he still got trounced by Trump because Trump had a much stronger message.
If we stand united, we can take our government back and there won’t be anything that the establishment will be able to do about it.
But if we sit back and do nothing, the cesspool of corruption in Washington D.C. will just continue to get deeper and deeper.
Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.
The quote in the headline comes from Ron Paul, and it should be the goal of every conservative lawmaker in the entire country. When professional politicians tell you that they are in favor of reforming the tax code or reducing taxes a little bit, essentially what they are telling you is that they are perfectly fine with the status quo. They may want to tweak things slightly, but in general they are content with big taxes, big spending and big government. I spent an entire year getting a Master of Laws in Taxation at the University of Florida Law School, and in my opinion the best thing that Congress could do to the tax code would be to run it through a shredder and put it in a dumpster. As I noted the other day, the tax code is now more than four million words long and it takes Americans about six billion dollars a year to comply with it. Those that believe that they are offering the American people a “solution” by proposing to tinker with this abominable mess are just fooling themselves.
The only long-term solution that is going to work is to get rid of the entire steaming pile of garbage. Ron Paul understood this, and we would be very wise to take his advice. The following is the full version of the quote from the headline above…
“By the way, when I say cut taxes, I don’t mean fiddle with the code. I mean abolish the income tax and the IRS, and replace them with nothing.”
If I run for Congress, and I am very strongly leaning in that direction, this is what my position on taxes is going to be.
Of course we are going to have to dramatically change the composition of the House and the Senate in order to get this done, so in the short-term we may have to focus on reducing tax rates and the size of the tax code by as much as possible.
But ultimately, the goal will be to abolish the tax code and the IRS altogether.
We have become so accustomed to an income tax that many of us couldn’t possibly imagine a society without one. But today there are seven states that do not have one, and that includes very big states such as Texas and Florida. And from 1872 to 1913, there was no federal income tax. When a federal income tax was finally reinstituted in 1913, the rates were extremely low. The following comes from Politifact…
The 1913 law imposed a tax of 1 percent on income up to $20,000, for both individual and joint filers. However, exemptions from the tax — the first $3,000 of income for individuals and the first $4,000 for joint filers — meant “virtually all middle-class Americans” were excused from paying, according to W. Elliot Brownlee’s book, Federal Taxation in America. The law also put in place a graduated surtax on incomes above $20,000; the highest rate paid, 7 percent, applied to Americans making more than $500,000 (about $11.4 million in 2011 dollars).
So how did things go for our country during the four decades when there was no federal income tax?
Well, if you regularly follow my work you already know the answer to that question.
That period of time just happened to be the best period of economic growth in U.S. history.
Oh, but we wouldn’t want to change from the way things work today, would we? After all, the U.S. economy has grown at a blistering average yearly rate of just 1.33 percent over the past decade, and we are actually behind that pace so far in 2017.
If you want a no growth economy and a steadily shrinking middle class, then our current system is perfect for you.
But I believe that we can do so much better.
So how are we going to fund the federal government if we eliminate the income tax?
Well, the truth is that taxing individual incomes accounts for only 46.2 percent of all federal revenue. The federal government has lots of other ways that it raises money, but of course we wouldn’t be able to keep the massively bloated federal bureaucracy that we have today. We would need to reduce the size and scope of the federal government to an appropriate constitutional level, and of course most politicians on the left would resist this greatly.
There are some federal agencies and programs that we could completely eliminate altogether. If it was up to me, the EPA, the Department of Education and the BATFE would be good places to start. Any essential functions that they are currently performing could easily be absorbed by other agencies.
There are very few politicians in our entire country that will still talk like this, because our leaders have taken us so far down the road toward “a social state” that most Americans don’t even know what “limited government” looks like anymore.
I would like to share with you an old newspaper clipping that was posted to Facebook by Get Involved, You Live Here…
Over the past several decades, the left has made a tremendous amount of progress toward achieving the goals that Saul Alinsky originally outlined in Rules for Radicals. Obamacare was a giant step toward federal control over our healthcare system, poverty is exploding as the middle class shrinks, we are nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt, our public schools have become left-wing indoctrination centers, and God has been pushed out of almost every corner of public life.
We should be very thankful that we got Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton, but many radical leftists consider Trump to simply be a bump in the road on the way to completely eradicating our way of life.
They want to criminalize what we believe by making it “hate speech”, they want to steal the minds of the next generation by dominating our system of education, and they want to use government institutions and the legal system as tools to completely reshape society in their image.
The only way that we are going to defeat this tyranny is if we stand up and fight for our country, and that is precisely what we are going to do.
There comes a time when it becomes necessary to draw a line in the sand. When the early settlers came to America, they were desperate to find a place where they could live in freedom. And our Founding Fathers worked very hard to draft a Constitution that would guarantee that future generations of Americans would live in a nation where the freedom and liberty of the people were maximized. Unfortunately, the way of life that our founders sought to establish is slowly being killed off by the progressive agenda of “the Liberal World Order”. Just about every single element of their progressive agenda is diametrically opposed to the values and the principles that this country was founded upon. And if they ultimately get everything that they want, our way of life will be eradicated for good.
The term “Liberal World Order” is a phrase that is starting to be used quite frequently by the establishment. It was used by the Washington Post to describe Barack Obama’s final speech to the United Nations, and Vice-President Joe Biden used it during his speech at the World Economic Forum in January.
But of course it is a term that doesn’t just apply to Democrats. Many establishment Republicans also believe in the progressive agenda of the Liberal World Order, and that is why before Trump was elected nothing ever seemed to change very much in Washington no matter who was in power.
Sadly, the same thing is true all over the western world. The Liberal World Order dominates most of the major political parties in just about every industrialized nation, and they are very much accustomed to getting their way. That is one of the reasons why they hate Donald Trump with such a passion, because he is someone that they cannot fully control.
At this point, the Liberal World Order has almost complete control of our culture. In addition to dominating the political system, they also have a stranglehold on the media, on the entertainment world, on most large corporations, on our system of public education, and even on many of our largest religious institutions.
In the end, their goal is not to just win elections. I recently wrote that liberals hate “anyone that disagrees with them”, and even though they claim to be “tolerant” the truth is that they are some of the most intolerant people on the face of the planet. When Kathy Griffin held up a bloody mock ‘decapitated’ head of Donald Trump, it really was a picture of what they want to do to our entire way of life. They literally want to eradicate our worldview, and laws are slowly being put in place all over the western world that are moving us in that direction.
For the true believers in the Liberal World Order, government is a weapon to be used to achieve societal dominance. That is why so many of them are drawn to law school. I have often referred to law school as “seminary for liberals”, because that is essentially what it is.
Our legal system is absolutely infested with radical leftists from the top to the bottom, and that makes it a perfect tool for the left to advance their agenda. Whether it is abortion, gay marriage or any other issue, the left often finds that the easiest way to achieve their goals is by going through the court system.
True believers in the Liberal World Order also tend to believe that government is the answer to just about every problem. So central governments all over the western world have just gotten bigger and bigger and bigger.
But every time government gets bigger, we lose more freedom and liberty.
If you will think about this you will see that I am right. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of statutes, rules and regulations on the federal level. If you throw in all of the statutes, rules and regulations on the state and local levels as well, that brings the total into the millions.
Every law restricts freedom and liberty in some way. Of course in some cases this is a very good thing. For example, we don’t want the freedom to go around randomly murdering one another. But we certainly do not need millions of laws.
We are supposed to be “the land of the free”, but most Americans seem to have forgotten what that really means. If people want the government to tell them what to do every moment of every day, they can move to Europe. Our founders guaranteed us a nation where liberty and freedom would be maximized, and the Liberal World Order has stolen this from us.
And of course having an enormous government is very expensive, and so we get to pay very heavily for the privilege of being oppressed. I talk a lot about the income tax because that is one of my pet peeves, but that is only one of the taxes they hit us with. In a previous article I listed 97 different taxes that Americans pay each year, and when everything is all said and done there are some Americans that end up handing over more than half of what they earn to various governmental entities.
But our leaders don’t use the term “socialism” to describe what is being done to us, because the American people aren’t ready to accept that reality quite yet.
Unfortunately, the control freaks that dominate our government always want more. Our progressive politicians always seem to have another new tax up their sleeves, and earlier this year top Democrats in Congress proposed yet another payroll tax that would be taken directly out of our paychecks…
The Democrats plan, reintroduced in February by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D, Colo.), is The FAMILY Act, which would create a national fund to provide workers with two thirds of their income for up to 12 weeks, no matter where they live or work. The Democrats’ proposal would be funded by employee and employer payroll contributions, averaging less than $1.50 per week for a typical worker.
One of the primary reasons why my wife and I originally moved up to north Idaho was because we wanted to find a place where we could live free without someone constantly telling us what to do. But we have come to realize that eventually the Liberal World Order is just going to take over everything if we don’t fight back. If the America that so many in previous generations fought and died to defend is going to survive, we must take action now.
So I am calling on every man, woman and child that can hear me to engage in a new American revolution. This isn’t a revolution with guns and bullets, but rather a non-violent cultural revolution that will be fought with votes, pens and keyboards.
We need to clearly communicate a vision for the future of America that is based upon the values and the principles that this nation was founded upon. Those values and principles once made us the greatest nation on the entire planet, and they can do it again.
We also need to wrestle as much political power away from the Liberal World Order as we possibly can. That means contesting Democrats and establishment Republicans on the federal, state and local levels. Even capturing a seat on your local school board can make a tremendous difference, and so I am encouraging as many people as possible to become politically active.
If we do not take a stand now, eventually there won’t be anywhere left for freedom-loving Americans and their families to go.
Just like with the original American revolution, there are no guarantees that we will win. At the time, very few could have imagined that the great British empire could have been defeated by a ragtag group of rebels, but it happened. And the Liberal World Order is most definitely a formidable foe, and it will not be taken down easily.
All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.
So let us be strong and courageous, and let us rise up and fight for the future of our nation.
After eight long, bitter years under Obama, will things go better for entrepreneurs and small businesses now that Donald Trump is in the White House? Once upon a time, America was the best place in the world for those that wanted to work for themselves. Our free market capitalist system created an environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses greatly thrived, but today they are being absolutely eviscerated by the control freak bureaucrats that dominate our political system. Year after year, leftist politicians just keep piling on more rules, more regulations, more red tape and more taxes. As a result, the number of self-employed Americans is now lower than it was in 1990…
In April 1990, 8.7 million Americans were self-employed, but today only 8.4 million Americans are self-employed.
Of course our population has grown much, much larger since that time. In 1990, there were 249 million people living in the United States, but today there are 321 million people living in this country.
What this means is that the percentage of the population that is self-employed is way down.
In fact, one study found that the percentage of Americans that are self-employed fell by more than 20 percent between 1991 and 2010.
And if you go back even farther, the numbers are even more depressing. It may be hard to believe, but the percentage of “new entrepreneurs and business owners” declined by a staggering 53 percent between 1977 and 2010.
Sometimes I like to watch a television show called Shark Tank, and on that show they make it seem like entrepreneurship in America is thriving.
But the exact opposite is actually the case. In a previous article, I discussed how the number of new businesses being created in the United States has been steadily falling over the years. According to economist Tim Kane, the number of startup jobs per one thousand Americans has been declining for several consecutive presidential administrations…
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
So why is this happening?
As I mentioned at the top of this article, self-employed Americans are being absolutely strangled by oppressive rules, regulations and taxes.
To illustrate this point, I would like to share with you some quotes from an open letter that was authored by a small business owner named Don Chernoff…
#1 I work for myself and have to pay my own medical expenses. Before the “affordable care act” I was paying about $200 per month for a high deductible policy. It was far from perfect but it got so much worse under the “Affordable” care act.
I now pay over $400 a month, my deductible went from $5,000 to over $6,000 and my out of pocket costs for care have skyrocketed.
#2 I have to spend dozens of hours and thousands of dollars for a tax accountant each spring to prepare my taxes because I cannot possibly understand how to do it myself, and I have a master’s degree in engineering.
#3 Many years ago when I quit a perfectly good job to start my own small business, I was shocked to learn that I had to pay both my share and what had been my employer’s share of Social Security.
#4 Between state, federal and local taxes you’ve probably paid 50% or more of your income in taxes, but that’s not enough for politicians.
If you’ve been lucky enough to have created a business you can sell, now you’ll get to enjoy paying another tax on the capital gain from the sale.
This is another reason why we need a conservative revolution in Washington. We should demand that our members of Congress lower tax rates dramatically, completely eliminate the self-employment tax, greatly simplify the tax code and get rid of as many regulations on small business owners as possible.
In fact, if it was up to me I would abolish a number of federal agencies completely.
What we are doing right now is not working. Small businesses have traditionally been one of the main engines of economic growth in this country, but thanks to the left they are unable to play that role at the moment.
It isn’t an accident that over the last ten years the U.S. economy has grown at exactly the same rate as it did during the 1930s.
If we want our economy to be great again, we need to go back and start doing the things that made it great in the first place. If we continue to suffocate our economy, we will continue to get the same results.
And with each passing day, we get more signs that the economy is heading into another major downturn. For instance, we just learned that Sears is closing 30 more stores on top of the 150 that had already been announced…
Sears Holdings, which wasn’t shy when it announced at the start of the year that it is closing 150 underperforming stores, has quietly added at least 30 more to the list.
Another 12 Sears stores and 18 Kmarts are among the locations that are closing, from Carson, Calif., to Hialeah, Fla., with most scheduled to shut their doors in July, based on calls to the stores, malls and confirmation in local media.
At the start of the year, the retailer pinpointed the 150 stores it said it would close. But it declined this week to provide a list of additional locations that are slated to shut since then, saying that it update store counts each quarter.
In addition, we just learned that new home sales in April were 11.4 percent lower than they were in March…
If you’re surprised by the collapse in new home sales in April, then you’re not paying attention.
The 11.4% MoM plunge in new home sales in April was 5 standard deviations below expectations and the biggest since March 2015.
Yes, the stock market is holding up for the moment, but for most Americans the “real economy” just continues to deteriorate. Just because we are at the end of a giant financial bubble does not mean that everything is going to be okay.
The numbers that I brought up in this article are just another example of our long-term economic decline. In a healthy economy, entrepreneurs and small businesses would be thriving. But instead, they are being systematically strangled out of existence by a political system that is wildly out of control.
The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides. The Trump administration and the Chinese government are both gearing up for a prolonged trade war, and this is going to have very severe implications for the entire global economy. During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that we “can’t continue to allow China to rape our country”, and he was quite correct about that. Over the past ten years, the U.S. has run a trade deficit of over $2 trillion with China, and as a result of imbalanced trade we have lost tens of thousands of manufacturing businesses, millions of good paying jobs, and hundreds of billions of dollars of tax revenue.
So clearly something needs to be done to balance our trade with China and other countries. But the situation must also be handled delicately, because trade disruptions could bring substantial short-term economic pain.
Prior to winning the election, Trump threatened to unilaterally impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports. Unfortunately, China is not just going to sit there and take whatever Trump throws at them. Every single time the U.S. has imposed tariffs on Chinese goods in the past, China has responded by slapping tariffs on U.S. goods.
And this time around, the Chinese are already preparing a very harsh response even though Trump has not officially made his move yet…
The policy advisers believe the Trump administration is most likely to impose higher tariffs on targeted sectors where China has a big surplus with the United States, such as steel and furniture, or on state-owned firms.
China could respond with actions such as finding alternative suppliers of agriculture products or machinery and manufactured goods, while cutting its exports of consumer staples such as mobile phones or laptops, they said.
Other options include imposing tax or other restrictions on big U.S. firms operating in China, or limiting their access to China’s fast-growing services sector, they added.
When this coming trade war erupts, economic activity will be reduced significantly. And considering the fact that U.S. economic growth is projected to be about one percent in the first quarter of 2017, that could be more than enough to push us into a deep recession.
Some of the biggest U.S. exports to China include airplanes, autos and agricultural products, and the Chinese are ready to attack on all of those fronts. The following comes from CNN…
Here’s what Global Times, a newspaper backed by the Communist Party, had to say about how Beijing would respond to tariffs of 45%:
“A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus,” the paper said Monday. “U.S. auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and U.S. soybean and maize imports will be halted.”
But once again, something must be done for the long-term good of our country. We have been allowing the Chinese to flood our shores with super cheap goods, but meanwhile they have already been hitting our products with ridiculously high tariffs. Here is just one example…
U.S.-made cars exported to China face tariffs of at least 25 percent, including American-made Cadillacs. The American-made Jeep Grand Cherokee costs $27,490 at U.S. dealerships and cost at least $85,000 in China.
What we have with China today is very far from “free trade”, and if they want to trade with us they need to do so on a level playing field.
But China will never allow that to happen. As Donald Trump has correctly stated, they have been “raping” us for years, and they are going to fight very hard to keep anything from upsetting the status quo.
Trump has got to do something for the long-term good of the U.S. economy, but he has also got to try to find a way to avoid a major trade war, because a major trade war would be exceedingly painful for both countries.
Most Americans don’t realize this, but more iPhones are actually sold in China than in the United States. And it is being projected that Boeing will sell nearly 7,000 airplanes to China over the next decade…
By the end of 2015, Chinese consumers bought 131 million iPhones. The total sales to U.S. customers during the same period stood at only 110 million. And iPhones are only a small part of U.S. exports. Boeing, which employs 150,000 workers in the U.S., estimates that China will buy some 6,810 airplanes over the next 20 years, and that market alone will be worth more than $1 trillion.
So what happens if all or part of that economic activity goes away?
According to one study, in the short-term millions of U.S. jobs could potentially be at risk if a major trade war happens…
“Millions of American jobs that appear unconnected to international trade—disproportionately lower-skilled and lower-wage jobs—would be at risk,” according to the PIIE study.
And of course a major trade war would hit American consumers very hard as well.
Just think about it. When you go into a Wal-Mart or a dollar store, are more of the products made in the United States or in China?
A trade war would hit all of us in the wallet as the cost of living goes up. And considering the fact that about two-thirds of the country is essentially living paycheck to paycheck, that would not be a good thing.
So yes, our trading relationship with China definitely needs to be rebalanced, but Trump needs to find a way to make this transition as minimally disruptive as possible.
A major trade war is just one of the “black swans” that could push us into the kind of economic nightmare scenario that I have been warning about for a very long time. And sometimes a trade war can serve as a prelude to a real war. The South China Sea has become a major sticking point between the U.S. and China, and the Chinese are getting ready to cross one of the “red lines” that Barack Obama established while he was still in office…
Beijing has plans to start construction on the disputed Scarborough Shoal this year.
China has reclaimed land in both the Spratly and Paracel Islands and constructed military outposts, but it has been hesitant to start construction on the Scarborough Shoal. Xiao Jie, the mayor of Sansha — an administrative base for China’s South China Sea activities masquerading as a city — said this week that China intends to construct environmental monitoring stations on a number of territories in the South China Sea, including the Scarborough Shoal.
So how will Trump respond when construction on Scarborough Shoal actually begins?
It will be very interesting to watch how that plays out.
The relationship between the United States and China was starting to deteriorate badly even before Donald Trump was elected, and it is very easy to see how it could totally break down in the months ahead.
And considering how interconnected the global economy is today, the United States and China could easily end up dragging down everyone else along with them.
For the past eight years, Barack Obama has been using the power of the U.S. presidency to impose his vision of a progressive world order on the entire globe. As a result, much of the planet will greatly celebrate once the Obama era officially ends on Friday. The Obama years brought us the Arab Spring, Benghazi, ISIS, civil war in Syria, civil war in Ukraine and the Iran nuclear deal. On the home front, we have had to deal with Obamacare, “Fast and Furious”, IRS targeting of conservative groups, Solyndra, the VA scandal, NSA spying and the worst “economic recovery” since the end of World War II. And right at the end of his presidency, Barack Obama has committed the greatest betrayal of Israel in U.S. history and has brought us dangerously close to war with Russia.
So is the end of the Obama world order worth celebrating?
You better believe it is.
Of course Obama and his minions are in a great deal of distress that much of their hard work over the past eight years is about to be undone by Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden warned the elitists gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos that their “liberal world order” is in danger of collapsing…
Vice President Joe Biden delivered an epic final speech Wednesday to the elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The gist of his speech was simple: At a time of “uncertainty” we must double down on the values that made Western democracies great, and not allow the “liberal world order” to be torn apart by destructive forces.
And without a doubt, we definitely want it to collapse.
During his time in the White House, Barack Obama has used the full diplomatic power of the government to promote “abortion rights”, “gay rights” and other “liberal values” to the farthest corners of the globe. Here at home, the appointment of two new Supreme Court justices under Obama paved the way for the Supreme Court decision that forced all 50 states to recognize gay marriage. During his final press conference on Wednesday, Barack Obama told the media that he was particularly proud of this…
Obama said he’s particularly proud of the “transformation” on gay rights during his presidency, which saw monumental Supreme Court decisions on gays in the military and same-sex marriage. Obama said his role was mostly to deliver “a good block downfield to help the movement advance.”
He said gay and lesbian activists deserve most of the credit, and singled out talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, to whom he awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year.
And the final press conference of his presidency also afforded Obama the opportunity to talk about UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Sadly, Obama still does not have any regrets for betraying Israel so dramatically…
“It was important for us to send a signal, a wake-up call, that this moment may be passing, and Israeli voters and Palestinians need to understand that this moment may be passing,” he said.
As far as many of us are concerned, January 20th cannot get here soon enough.
Somehow we have survived as a nation for the last eight years, but without a doubt a massive amount of damage has been done.
Many are hoping that Donald Trump will be able to start repairing that damage and will work hard to set this nation on a positive course once again.
It still doesn’t seem quite real to me that Donald Trump will soon be residing in the White House. Perhaps after I watch him being inaugurated on Friday I will feel differently. And I certainly am not expecting any miracles under Trump, but it sure will be nice to have a new face in the Oval Office.
Right at this moment, moving trucks are in the front of the White House and those that worked for Obama are packing up and leaving. This is a somber moment for them, but a joyous one for tens of millions of patriotic Americans. Many of us have been waiting for this for eight long years, and by Friday morning the current White House staff will all be gone…
In between closing out final projects and typing up reports on the work they’ve done, White House staffers are packing away their knickknacks, coffeemakers and photos. The boxes stack up in offices already vacated by staffers who have departed over the past few weeks.
By Thursday night, all must be gone to make way for Trump’s team.
Before they leave the building for the final time, they’ll go through a checklist that completes their formal separation from the White House: cell phones handed in, computers locked and papers properly filed to be archived. The last step, aides said, is the hardest: handing in the badge that provides access to the complex day or night.
But just because the left lost the election does not mean that they are ready to roll over and give up.
On the contrary, emotions are running extremely high on the left, and many of them are preparing to make the inauguration of Donald Trump as chaotic as possible.
For instance, on Tuesday night a man actually set himself on fire in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington…
A protester set himself on fire outside Trump International Hotel in Washington DC on Tuesday.
The 45-year-old man, who has not yet been identified, said the act was in protest of the President-elect’s looming inauguration.
Witnesses described how he yelled ‘Trump’ several times as ‘flames ran up his back’ before lying down in the street.
And it is being reported that radical leftists plan to blockade major roads and metro lines throughout the D.C. region on Friday in an attempt to prevent people from getting to the inauguration of Trump.
So let us rejoice that the Obama world order is ending, but let us also understand that the battle is not over.
In fact, the truth is that the war for America is just beginning.
The election of Donald Trump has energized the left like never before, and they are going to hit his administration with everything that they have got.
Donald Trump is going to need our support, our voices and our prayers if he is going to have any chance to succeed.
And all Americans should want him to succeed, because our nation is at a crossroads, and if we go off on the wrong path we may never find our way back.
At this time of the year, millions of Americans are rushing to file their taxes at the last minute, and we are once again reminded just how nightmarish our system of taxation has become. I studied tax law when I was in law school, and it is one of the most mind-numbing areas of study that you could possibly imagine. At this point, the U.S. tax code is somewhere around 4 million words long, which is more than four times longer than all of William Shakespeare’s works put together. And even if you could somehow read the entire tax code, it is constantly changing, and so those that prepare taxes for a living are constantly relearning the rules. It has been said that Americans spend more than 6 billion hours preparing their taxes each year, and Politifact has rated this claim as true. We have a system that is as ridiculous as it is absurd, and the truth is that we don’t even need it. In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in all of U.S. history was when there was no income tax at all. Why anyone would want to perpetuate this tortuous system is beyond me, and yet we keep sending politicians to Washington D.C. that just keep making this system even more complicated and even more burdensome.
If you hate taxes, you are far from alone. According to NBC News, here are some of the things that Americans would rather do than pay taxes…
Six percent would rather sell a kidney, eight percent would rather name their first-born “Taxes,” and 11 percent would rather spend three years cleaning the bathrooms at noro-torious Chipotle.
Of course our system was never intended to be like this anyway. Our founders hated taxes, and they fought a very bitter war to escape the yoke of oppressive taxation. During his very first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson clearly expressed what he thought about taxes…
“A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
Why couldn’t we have listened to him?
When the federal income tax was originally introduced a little more than a century ago, most Americans were taxed at a rate of only 1 percent.
But of course once they get their feet in the door, the social planners always want more, and today we are being taxed into oblivion. Below, I would like to share with you three quick facts about our taxes that come from the Tax Foundation…
-This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year (excluding Leap Day).
-Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of almost $5.0 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.
-Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.
That last statistic is a huge sore point with me.
How can anyone argue that we are not a socialist society when the government takes more of our money than we spend on food, clothing and housing combined?
What they are doing to us is deeply wrong and it is fundamentally un-American.
And of course the elite have the resources to be able to hire very expensive tax attorneys that help them manipulate the game in their favor. At the end of the day, many extremely wealthy Americans end up paying a much lower percentage of their income to the government than you or I do.
For example, just consider what the Clintons have been doing…
The Clintons and their family foundation have at least five shell companies registered to the address 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware — which is also home to some 280,000 other companies who use the location to take advantage of the state’s low taxes, limited disclosure requirements, and other business incentives.
Two of the five are tied to Bill and Hillary Clinton specifically. One, WJC, LLC, is used by the former president to collect his consulting fees. The other, ZFS Holdings, LLC, was used by the former secretary of state to process her $5.5 million book advance from Simon & Schuster. Three additional shell companies belong to the Clinton Foundation.
One could argue that they are simply “playing the game”, but why do we have to play such a complicated game in the first place?
Another thing that frustrates me is how our tax money is being wasted. Speaking of the Clintons, did you know that Bill Clinton still receives close to a million dollars from the federal government every year? Since he left office in 2001, he has been given approximately 16 million of our tax dollars.
Does that seem right to you?
Of course there are other examples that should make us all sick as well. Tens of millions of our tax dollars have been spent on Obama vacations, and Planned Parenthood received 528 million taxpayer dollars in one recent year.
Our system is deeply, deeply broken, but I am under no illusion that it will change any time soon. It will probably just continue to roll along until it eventually collapses under its own weight.
And of course it isn’t just income taxes that I am talking about. Our politicians have become masters at inventing ways to extract money from all of us. If you doubt this, just look at the list that I have shared below. It comes from my previous article entitled “A List Of 97 Taxes Americans Pay Every Year“, and it shows how the politicians are squeezing money out of us in just about every way that you can imagine…
#1 Air Transportation Taxes (just look at how much you were charged the last time you flew)
#2 Biodiesel Fuel Taxes
#3 Building Permit Taxes
#4 Business Registration Fees
#5 Capital Gains Taxes
#6 Cigarette Taxes
#7 Court Fines (indirect taxes)
#8 Disposal Fees
#9 Dog License Taxes
#10 Drivers License Fees (another form of taxation)
#11 Employer Health Insurance Mandate Tax
#12 Employer Medicare Taxes
#13 Employer Social Security Taxes
#14 Environmental Fees
#15 Estate Taxes
#16 Excise Taxes On Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans
#17 Federal Corporate Taxes
#18 Federal Income Taxes
#19 Federal Unemployment Taxes
#20 Fishing License Taxes
#21 Flush Taxes (yes, this actually exists in some areas)
#22 Food And Beverage License Fees
#23 Franchise Business Taxes
#24 Garbage Taxes
#25 Gasoline Taxes
#26 Gift Taxes
#27 Gun Ownership Permits
#28 Hazardous Material Disposal Fees
#29 Highway Access Fees
#30 Hotel Taxes (these are becoming quite large in some areas)
#31 Hunting License Taxes
#32 Import Taxes
#33 Individual Health Insurance Mandate Taxes
#34 Inheritance Taxes
#35 Insect Control Hazardous Materials Licenses
#36 Inspection Fees
#37 Insurance Premium Taxes
#38 Interstate User Diesel Fuel Taxes
#39 Inventory Taxes
#40 IRA Early Withdrawal Taxes
#41 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
#42 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
#43 Library Taxes
#44 License Plate Fees
#45 Liquor Taxes
#46 Local Corporate Taxes
#47 Local Income Taxes
#48 Local School Taxes
#49 Local Unemployment Taxes
#50 Luxury Taxes
#51 Marriage License Taxes
#52 Medicare Taxes
#53 Medicare Tax Surcharge On High Earning Americans Under Obamacare
#54 Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax (if you don’t buy “qualifying” health insurance under Obamacare you will have to pay an additional tax)
#55 Obamacare Surtax On Investment Income (a new 3.8% surtax on investment income)
#56 Parking Meters
#57 Passport Fees
#58 Professional Licenses And Fees (another form of taxation)
#59 Property Taxes
#60 Real Estate Taxes
#61 Recreational Vehicle Taxes
#62 Registration Fees For New Businesses
#63 Toll Booth Taxes
#64 Sales Taxes
#65 Self-Employment Taxes
#66 Sewer & Water Taxes
#67 School Taxes
#68 Septic Permit Taxes
#69 Service Charge Taxes
#70 Social Security Taxes
#71 Special Assessments For Road Repairs Or Construction
#72 Sports Stadium Taxes
#73 State Corporate Taxes
#74 State Income Taxes
#75 State Park Entrance Fees
#76 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)
#77 Tanning Taxes (a new Obamacare tax on tanning services)
#78 Telephone 911 Service Taxes
#79 Telephone Federal Excise Taxes
#80 Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Taxes
#81 Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes
#82 Telephone State And Local Taxes
#83 Telephone Universal Access Taxes
#84 The Alternative Minimum Tax
#85 Tire Recycling Fees
#86 Tire Taxes
#87 Tolls (another form of taxation)
#88 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
#89 Use Taxes (Out of state purchases, etc.)
#90 Utility Taxes
#91 Vehicle Registration Taxes
#92 Waste Management Taxes
#93 Water Rights Fees
#94 Watercraft Registration & Licensing Fees
#95 Well Permit Fees
#96 Workers Compensation Taxes
#97 Zoning Permit Fees
So after reading all of this, are you still satisfied with how our present system operates?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*
Did you know that 95 percent of all retail sales in Sweden are cashless? And did you know that the government of Denmark has a stated goal of “eradicating cash” by the year 2030? All over the world, we are seeing a relentless march toward a cashless society, and nowhere is this more true than in northern Europe. In Sweden, hundreds of bank branches no longer accept or dispense cash, and thousands of ATM machines have been permanently removed. At this point, bills and coins only account for just 2 percent of the Swedish economy, and many stores no longer take cash at all. The notion of a truly “cashless society” was once considered to be science fiction, but now we are being told that it is “inevitable”, and authorities insist that it will enable them to thwart criminals, terrorists, drug runners, money launderers and tax evaders. But what will we give up in the process?
In Sweden, the transition to a cashless society is being enthusiastically embraced. The following is an excerpt from a New York Times article that was published on Saturday…
Parishioners text tithes to their churches. Homeless street vendors carry mobile credit-card readers. Even the Abba Museum, despite being a shrine to the 1970s pop group that wrote “Money, Money, Money,” considers cash so last-century that it does not accept bills and coins.
Few places are tilting toward a cashless future as quickly as Sweden, which has become hooked on the convenience of paying by app and plastic.
To me, giving money in church electronically seems so bizarre. But it is starting to happen here in the United States, and in Sweden some churches collect most of their tithes and offerings this way…
During a recent Sunday service, the church’s bank account number was projected onto a large screen. Worshipers pulled out cellphones and tithed through an app called Swish, a payment system set up by Sweden’s biggest banks that is fast becoming a rival to cards.
Other congregants lined up at a special “Kollektomat” card machine, where they could transfer funds to various church operations. Last year, out of 20 million kronor in tithes collected, more than 85 percent came in by card or digital payment.
And of course it isn’t just Sweden that is rapidly transitioning to a cashless society. Over in Denmark, government officials have a goal “to completely do away with paper money” by the year 2030…
Sweden is not the only country interested in eradicating cash. Its neighbor, Denmark, is also making great strides to lessen the circulation of banknotes in the country.
Two decades ago, roughly 80 percent of Danish citizens relied on hard cash while shopping. Fast forward to today, that figure has dropped dramatically to 25 percent.
“We’re interested in getting rid of cash,” said Matas IT Director Thomas Grane. “The handling, security and everything else is expensive; so, definitely we want to push digital payments, and that’s of course why we introduced mobile payments to help this process.”
Eventually, establishments may soon have the right to reject cash- a practice that is common in Sweden. Government officials have set a 2030 deadline to completely do away with paper money.
Could you imagine a world where you couldn’t use cash for anything?
This is the direction things are going – especially in Europe.
As I have written about previously, cash transactions of more than 2,500 euros have already been banned in Spain, and France and Italy have both banned all cash transactions of more than 1,000 euros.
Little by little, cash is being eradicated, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning. 417 billion cashless transactions were conducted in 2014, and the final number for 2015 is projected to be much higher.
Banks like this change, because it enables them to make more money due to the fees that they collect from credit cards and debit cards. And governments like this change because electronic payments enable them to watch, track and monitor what we are all doing much more easily.
These days, very rarely does anyone object to what is happening. Instead, most of us just seem to accept that this change is “inevitable”, and we are being assured that it will be for the better. And no matter where in the world you go, the propaganda seems to be the same. For example, the following comes from an Australian news source…
AND so we prepare to turn the page to fresh year — 2016, a watershed year in which Australia will accelerate towards becoming a genuine cashless society.
The cashless society will be a new world free of $1 and $2 coins, or $5 or $10 bank notes. A new world in which all commercial transactions, from buying an i-pad or a hamburger to playing the poker machines, purchasing a newspaper, paying household bills or picking up the dry-cleaning, will be paid for electronically.
And in that same article the readers are told that Australia will likely be “a fully cashless society” by 2022…
Research by Westpac Bank predicts Australia will be a fully cashless society by 2022 — just six years away. Already half of all commercial payments are now made electronically.
Even in some of the poorest areas on the entire globe we are seeing a move toward a cashless society. In 2015, banks in India made major progress on this front, and income tax rebates are being considered by the government as an incentive “to encourage people to move away from cash transactions“.
Would a truly cashless society reduce crime and make all of our lives much more efficient?
But what would we have to give up?
To me, America is supposed to be a place where we can go where we want and do what we want without the government constantly monitoring us. If people choose to use cashless forms of payment that is one thing, but if we are all required to go to such a system I fear that it could result in the loss of tremendous amounts of freedom and liberty.
And it is all too easy to imagine a world where a government-sponsored form of “identification” would be required to use any form of electronic payment. This would give the government complete control over who could use “the system” and who could not. The potential for various forms of coercion and tyranny in such a scenario is obvious.
What would you do if you could not buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without proper “identification” someday? What you simply give in to whatever the government was demanding of you at the time even if it went against your fundamental beliefs?
That is certainly something to think about.
Many will cheer as the world makes a rapid transition to a cashless society, but I will not. I believe that a truly cashless system would open the door for great evil, and I don’t want any part of it.
What about you?
Would you welcome a cashless society?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…