The Global Elite Are Hiding 18 Trillion Dollars In Offshore Banks

In recent days, the fact that Mitt Romney has millions of dollars parked down in the Cayman Islands has made headlines all over the world.  But when it comes to offshore banking, what Mitt Romney is doing is small potatoes.  The truth is that the global elite are hiding an almost unbelievable amount of money in offshore banks.  According to shocking research done by the IMF, the global elite are holding a total of 18 trillion dollars in offshore banks.  And that figure does not even count any money being held in Switzerland.  That is a staggering amount of money.  Keep in mind that U.S. GDP in 2010 was only 14.58 trillion dollars.  So why do the global elite go to such trouble to hide their money in offshore banks?  Well, there are two main reasons.  One is privacy and the other is low taxation.  Privacy is a big issue for those that are involved in illegal enterprises such as drug running, but the biggest reason why people move money into offshore banks is in order to avoid taxes.  Some set up bank accounts in foreign nations because they want to legally minimize their taxes and others set up bank accounts in foreign nations because they want to illegally avoid taxes.  You would be absolutely amazed at what some large corporations and wealthy individuals do to get out of paying taxes.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of the rest of us don’t have the resources or the knowledge to play these games, so we get taxed into oblivion.

So why do they call it “offshore banking”?

Well, the term originally developed because the banks on the Channel Islands were “offshore” from the United Kingdom.  Most “offshore banks” are still located on islands today.  The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man are examples of this.  Other “offshore banking centers” such as Monaco are actually not “offshore” at all, but the term applies to them anyway.

Traditionally, these offshore banking centers have been very attractive to both criminals and to the global elite because they would not tell anyone (including governments) about the money that anyone had parked there.

These days some governments (particularly the U.S. government) are trying to change this, but we certainly will not see the end of offshore banking any time soon.

The amount of money that goes through these offshore banks is absolutely astounding.

It has been estimated that 80 percent of all international banking transactions take place through these offshore banks.  $1.4 trillion is being held in offshore banks in the Cayman Islands alone.

One article in the Guardian estimated that a third of all the wealth on the entire globe is being held in offshore banks, and others believe that as much as half of all the capital in the world flows through offshore banks at some point.

Obviously, all of this tax avoidance means that governments around the world are missing out on a whole lot of money.

It has been estimated that the U.S. government is missing out on $100 billion a year because of these offshore banks.  Others would put that figure significantly higher.

Avoiding taxes is a game that the global elite have mastered.  They are playing a whole different ballgame than you and I are.  They don’t just sit there like idiots and get blasted with taxes.  Instead, they hire the best experts and they employ every trick in the book to hold on to as much money as they possibly can.

These days, taking advantage of offshore tax havens is not that complicated to do.  The following is from a recent Politico article….

A plausible scenario plays out like this: I hire an accountant. Doing her job, my accountant tells me that if I sign a few legal documents and route my money through a small Caribbean island, I could keep more of my paycheck and pay a lower tax rate. I may have earned my money in the United States, but legally I can claim that it was, in fact, earned in a tax haven.

If it is legal, perhaps more of us should look into this.

After all, if playing these kinds of games is good enough for Mitt Romney, then why isn’t it good enough for all the rest of us?

During a campaign stop recently, Romney said the following….

“I can tell you we follow the tax laws”

I certainly believe him when he says that.  But it is what he said next that is troubling….

“And if there’s an opportunity to save taxes, we like anybody else in this country will follow that opportunity.”

I certainly believe him when he says that too.

ABC News recently revealed that Bain Capital has established an astounding 138 different offshore funds in the Cayman Islands.

Something has got to work pretty well to want to do it 138 times.

But Bain Capital was also very busy over in other offshore banking centers as well.

One of the largest shell companies that Bain set up down in the Caribbean was called Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd.  It did not have an office in Bermuda and it had no staff in Bermuda.  But it helped clients of Bain Capital avoid a whole lot of taxes.

The following comes from a 2007 Los Angeles Times article….

In Bermuda, Romney served as president and sole shareholder for four years of Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. It funneled money into Bain Capital’s Sankaty family of hedge funds, which invest in bonds and other debt issued by corporations, as well as bank loans.

Like thousands of similar financial entities, Sankaty maintains no office or staff in Bermuda. Its only presence consists of a nameplate at a lawyer’s office in downtown Hamilton, capital of the British island territory.

“It’s just a mail drop, essentially,” said Marc B. Wolpow, who worked with Romney for nine years at Bain Capital and who set up Sankaty Ltd. in October 1997 without ever visiting Bermuda. “There’s no one doing any work down there other than lawyers.”

The amount of money being funneled through Sankaty today is absolutely stunning….

Today, Bain Capital manages $60 billion in assets, according to a spokesman. The total includes $23 billion in Sankaty debt and credit funds. Half a dozen Sankaty affiliates now are active in Bermuda, corporate registry records show.

The Sankaty debt hedge funds are organized as partnerships in Delaware that produce taxable business income by investing in fixed-income bonds and other debt instruments. Under tax law, even tax-exempt U.S. institutions may face a 35% tax if they invest directly in such hedge funds. By investing instead through a Bermuda corporation, the taxes are legally blocked, experts say.

Of course all of this is perfectly legal.

So nobody gets into trouble for any of this.

By keeping money offshore, even those managing these kinds of funds can avoid being taxed.

Victor Fleischer, a tax professor at the University of Colorado Law School, recently explained how this works….

“The idea behind some of the Cayman Island strategies was that the income that the fund managers receive for managing the money would be kept offshore in the Cayman Island — and the chief benefit is that you can defer when you recognize that income until a later date and you can reinvest the money from the Cayman islands and none of those reinvested funds get taxed until you bring them back either”

So was Romney doing this?

We may never know unless he shows us his tax returns.

What we do know is that Romney has millions of dollars of his own personal wealth invested in offshore tax havens.

The following comes from ABC News….

In addition to paying the lower tax rate on his investment income, Romney has as much as $8 million invested in at least 12 funds listed on a Cayman Islands registry. Another investment, which Romney reports as being worth between $5 million and $25 million, shows up on securities records as having been domiciled in the Caymans.

But Romney does not just have money invested down in the Cayman Islands.  Apparently his money is invested in a whole host of offshore tax havens.

The following quote comes from a Reuters article….

Bain funds in which Romney is invested are scattered from Delaware to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, Ireland and Hong Kong, according to a Reuters analysis of securities filings.

So is there anything wrong with this?

Well, it depends on how you define “wrong”.

What Romney is doing is perfectly legal.

But it also stinks.  Washington lawyer Jack Blum recently told ABC News the following about Romney’s finances….

“His personal finances are a poster child of what’s wrong with the American tax system”

So now we may have a few hints as to why Romney may not want to release his old tax returns.

But as noted above, what Romney is doing is just small potatoes compared to what the ultra-wealthy do.

The U.S. Congress has been trying to clamp down on offshore banking, but the ultra-wealthy are always two or three steps ahead of them.

The ultra-wealthy will go to just about any extreme in order to avoid paying taxes.

In fact, the Washington Post has reported that an increasing number of wealthy individuals are actually deciding to renounce their citizenship rather than face the wrath of the IRS.

The ultra-wealthy aren’t really concerned that much with national citizenship anyway.  If they want to influence an election, they can have far more influence by donating a few million bucks to a “Super PAC” than they can by casting the few votes that they have.

In a previous article, I described how the ultra-wealthy use offshore banks as a “shadow banking system” that plays by rules that most people don’t even know exist….

It is a shadow banking system that most Americans don’t know anything about. Most Americans don’t have the resources to be able to set up shell companies in half a dozen different countries so that they can “filter” their profits.  Most Americans don’t know a thing about complicated tax avoidance plans that tax lawyers use such as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich”.  Most Americans would have no idea how to eventually have most of the money that they make end up in Bermuda so that it can avoid taxes.

Most among the global elite simply do not care that U.S. debt is climbing into the stratosphere.  All they care about is keeping as much of their own money in their pockets as they possibly can.

Of course there are always exceptions to this rule.  Warren Buffett recently wrote a check to the U.S. Treasury for a little more than $49,000 to help pay off the national debt.

But considering the fact that the U.S. national debt is increasing by more than 100 million dollars an hour, that didn’t exactly do much to help.

Our system is deeply broken and the global elite are getting away with bloody murder.  Over the decades, they have carefully crafted the rules so that as much wealth as possible is funneled into their pockets, and they have carefully crafted the rules so that as much wealth as possible stays in their pockets.

Of course if we got rid of the personal income tax and the corporate income tax entirely and replaced them with a completely new system we could get rid of all of this game playing once and for all.

But what do you think the odds are of that happening?

Taxed Into Oblivion

In the United States today, we are being taxed into oblivion, yet it is being done so stealthily that most Americans don’t even realize what is happening.  Most people are fixated on federal income tax rates, but the federal income tax is only one of the dozens of different taxes that each of us pay each year.  The politicians have learned that people get really upset when income tax rates are raised, so they have found hundreds of other ways to raise taxes on us.  What most taxpayers in the United States today are facing is “death by a thousand cuts”.  When you add up all forms of taxation from all levels of government, approximately 40 percent of all the income in the country is taken in as taxes by government.  Large numbers of Americans end up paying well over 50 percent of their income in taxes, and many of them don’t even realize that it is happening.  We truly are being taxed into oblivion, and yet the politicians just keep coming back for more.

On all levels, government just keeps growing, and all of this government has got to be paid for somehow.  Politicians have become masters at finding ways to tax us so that we won’t even feel it.  They have an endless hunger to spend more money, and they depend on us to feed that addiction.  Today, the combination of federal government spending, state government spending and local government spending now accounts for a larger share of U.S. GDP than at any other time in our history.

Yes, federal income tax rates were significantly higher 30 or 40 years ago.  But virtually every other tax you can think of has gone way up since then or did not exist back then.

Federal income taxes definitely still hurt, but the reality is that where we really get hit is in all of the other taxes that we pay.  American families pay Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, state income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, death taxes, various excise taxes, gasoline taxes, tire taxes, utility taxes, liquor taxes, telephone taxes and cigarette taxes just to name a few.  The truth is that there are dozens and dozens of different taxes that most Americans pay each year, and there are a whole bunch of others that get passed on to us through businesses that we deal with.

Speaking of cigarette taxes, there is legislation in Congress right now that would send taxes on tobacco products absolutely skyrocketing yet again.

I don’t smoke and I never will smoke, but I find the attack on smokers by our politicians to be seriously offensive.  If smoking is legal, then leave them alone.  Don’t tax them into oblivion just because you don’t like what they are doing.

An excerpt from S. 1403 (The IDEA Full Funding Act) is posted below.  You will notice that a portion of this legislation even refers to itself as the “Saving Lives by Lowering Tobacco Use Act”.  They are openly admitting that they want to make tobacco so expensive that people cannot afford to use it….

SEC. 3. TOBACCO TAX INCREASE AND PARITY.

(a) Short Title- This section may be cited as the ‘Saving Lives by Lowering Tobacco Use Act’.

(b) Increase in Excise Tax on Small Cigars and Cigarettes-

(1) SMALL CIGARS- Section 5701(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking ‘$50.33’ and inserting ‘$100.50’.

(2) CIGARETTES- Section 5701(b) of such Code is amended–

(A) by striking ‘$50.33’ in paragraph (1) and inserting ‘$100.50’, and

(B) by striking ‘$105.69’ in paragraph (2) and inserting ‘$211.04’.

(c) Tax Parity for Pipe Tobacco and Roll-Your-Own Tobacco-

(1) PIPE TOBACCO- Section 5701(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking ‘$2.8311 cents’ and inserting ‘$49.55’.

(2) ROLL-YOUR-OWN TOBACCO- Section 5701(g) of such Code is amended by striking ‘$24.78’ and inserting ‘$49.55’.

(d) Clarification of Definition of Small Cigars- Paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 5701(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 are each amended by striking ‘three pounds per thousand’ and inserting ‘four and one-half pounds per thousand’.

(e) Clarification of Definition of Cigarette- Paragraph (2) of section 5702(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting before the final period the following: ‘, which includes any roll for smoking containing tobacco that weighs no more than four and a half pounds per thousand, unless it is wrapped in whole tobacco leaf and does not have a cellulose acetate or other cigarette-style filter’.

(f) Tax Parity for Smokeless Tobacco-

(1) IN GENERAL- Section 5701(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended–

(A) in paragraph (1), by striking ‘$1.51’ and inserting ‘$26.79’;

(B) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘50.33 cents’ and inserting ‘$10.72’; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

‘(3) SMOKELESS TOBACCO SOLD IN DISCRETE SINGLE-USE UNITS- On discrete single-use units, $100.50 per each 1,000 single-use units.’.

You can view the full text of this legislation right here.  Please notice that some of the tax increases are absolutely mind blowing.  For example, the tax rate on pipe tobacco is going from 2.8311 cents to $49.55.

Now that is a tax increase you can really sink your teeth into.

We are seeing “quiet” tax increases like this happen on every level of government all over the United States.

Of course I haven’t even mentioned all of the fines and fees and “registration” charges that state and local governments are hitting us with.

Have you gone to renew your car registration lately?  In some states (such as California) the fees have gotten absolutely ridiculous.

Speaking of California, it looks like they are getting ready to target cellphone users once again.

According to USA Today, California is getting ready to seriously jack up the fines for talking on a cellphone while driving….

The state Senate has sent a bill to Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. raising the basic fine for a first automotive offense from $20 to $50, the Sacramento Bee reports. For subsequent offenses, the fine would rise from $50 to $100. That’s not the worst of it: by the time state and local assessments are added on, the total for a first offense rises to between $208 to $328. For additional tickets, make that $328 to $528.

Yes, talking on a cellphone while driving is dangerous.  But hitting people with tickets of $300, $400 or even $500 is not about safety.  It is all about revenue generation.

Right now we are seeing an epidemic of speed traps all over the country.  State and local governments are desperate for money, and they see speeders as an easy source of revenue. You can read more about this phenomenon right here.

Speaking of “revenue”, that seems to have become Barack Obama’s new favorite word lately.  He seems absolutely obsessed with raising more money for the federal government.  The Obamacare law was absolutely packed to the gills with new taxes, but now he wants even more.

Yes, it is true that the wealthy are getting away with murder under our current tax system.  I find it highly offensive that many people that make millions of dollars each year are able to find ways to pay much, much smaller percentages of their incomes in taxes than I do.

But raising tax rates isn’t going to solve the problem.  Those that are masters at avoiding taxes are going to continue to do so.  Meanwhile, middle class Americans and small businesses will continue to get bled to death.

Our current tax system is fundamentally broken and needs to be completely thrown out and replaced.

However, no system is going to work until the federal government gets a handle on its spending addiction.

In the past couple of years, spending by the federal government as a share of GDP has been the highest that it has been since World War II.

You would think that there should be plenty of fat to trim, but as the recent debt ceiling deal clearly demonstrated, our politicians do not intend to significantly reduce government spending.

They are just going to keep borrowing, spending and finding more ways to tax us.

All of this nonsense in Washington D.C. is part of the reason why Americans are so displeased with Congress at this point.  According to Gallup, 84 percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job, which is a brand new all-time high.

The truth is that sending more money to Washington D.C. is not going to “fix” things.

The federal government has multiplied in size over the past several decades, and yet the number of poor people just continues to increase.

Giving the poor more handouts may ease their suffering for a little while, but it is not the solution to their problems.  What they really need are good jobs, but our politicians have very busy setting up unfair trade agreements that allow millions of our jobs to be shipped overseas, and they continue to suffocate businesses in this country with mountains of ridiculous regulations.

No, the people that truly benefit when more money flows to the federal government are the fatcats that live and work around Washington D.C.

The past few decades have been a bonanza for government contractors, lobbyists and lawyers in the D.C. area.

According to the Washington Post, those living in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area now have a higher median household income than anyone else in the country….

Washingtonians now enjoy the highest median household income of any metropolitan area in the country, and five of the top 10 jurisdictions in America — Loudoun, Howard and Fairfax counties, and Falls Church and Fairfax City — are here, census data shows.

The signs of that wealth are on display all over, from the string of luxury boutiques such as Gucci and Tory Burch opening at Tysons Galleria to the $15 cocktails served over artisanal ice at the W Hotel in the District to the ever-larger houses rising off River Road in Potomac.

There is a ton of money in the D.C. area.  I know.  I used to work there.  Approximately one third of the GDP of the region comes from spending by the federal government.  Even during this recent economic downturn, the Washington D.C. region continues to do really, really well.

So, no, raising taxes is not going to fix what ails us.  It would just feed the monster that we have created in Washington.

We are already being taxed into oblivion.  Middle class America can’t take much more of this.

We need to change our entire approach to taxation in this country, because right now our tax system is fundamentally unfair and it is not working.

So what do all of you think about our tax system?  Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….

 

65 Ways That Everything That You Think That You Own Is Being Systematically Taken Away From You

Everything that you own is slowly being taken away from you.  It is being done purposely and it is being done by design.  Many Americans like to think of themselves as “well off”, but as will be demonstrated below, we don’t “own” nearly as much as we think that we do.  The truth is that most of us have to frantically run around accumulating wealth as rapidly as we can so that we can somehow stay ahead of the rate that wealth is being taken away from us.  The entire system is designed to take what you have away from you.  There are many ways that this is accomplished – taxation, inflation, debt, interest, fines, fees, tickets, government seizures and good old-fashioned corporate greed.  If you tried to just sit back and do nothing but hold on to the wealth that you already have you would find out that it would disappear rather quickly.  When you take the time to really analyze our system the conclusion is undeniable – everything that you think that you own is being systematically taken away from you.

There is a reason why the wealthiest one percent of all Americans control 40 percent of all the wealth in the United States.  The system is designed to funnel all of the wealth to them and to the government.  Average Americans are experiencing a declining standard of living and it is not by accident.

Just check out some of the ways that our wealth is being taken from us….

#1 Do you think that you own your house?  You might want to think again.  Most Americans that “own a home” are paying a mortgage.  If you stop paying that mortgage you will lose that home.  Over a million American families were kicked out of their homes last year.  This year a million more American families will get the boot.

But when those families get booted out onto the street they don’t get their down payments back.  They don’t get all the mortgage payments that they have made back.  The banks get to keep all of the money and all of the houses.

Perhaps you don’t have a mortgage.  Does that mean that you “own your home”?

No, not really.  Just refuse to pay your property taxes and watch what happens.  At best you can say that you have the right to rent your home from the government.

In any event, the reality is that the banks now own more of “our homes” than we do.  During the most recent recession, the total amount of U.S. home equity owned by the banks surpassed the total amount of U.S. home equity owned by the rest of us for the first time ever.

Things used to be far different in this country.  Once upon a time American families owned most of the houses and most of the land in this nation.

But now the banks own most of it.  Sadly, most American families that believe that they “own homes” are actually enslaved to 20 or 30 year debt contracts.

#2 Do you think that you own your car?  You don’t own it if you are still making payments on it.  If you stop making payments you will rapidly lose that car.

But even if your car is paid off, you can only operate that car if you do the following….

*You must pay the license fee

*You must pay the car registration fee

*You must pay the emissions inspection fee

*You must pay the property taxes on that car (if that applies in your area)

*You must pay the tire taxes

*You must pay the gas taxes

If you have paid all of those taxes, then you are permitted to drive only where the government allows you to drive and only under the rules that the government sets for you.

But at least you “own” your car, right?

#3 What about your possessions?  Do you own them?

Well, yes, you probably own some possessions.

But that doesn’t mean that they are not enslaving you.

After all, did you use a credit card to pay for any of them?

If so, you could end up paying much more for your possessions than you originally thought that they cost.

For example, if you only make the minimum payment on your credit card each month, a $6,000 credit card bill could end up costing you over $30,000 (depending on the interest rate).

#4 Do you own your education?  Well, it is undeniable that nobody can ever take it away from you.  But if you took out student loans that debt may end up enslaving you for decades.

The borrower is the servant of the lender and student loan debt is more of a financial drain on Americans than ever before.  Americans now owe more on student loans than they do on credit cards.  As hard as that is to believe, that is actually true.  Americans now owe more than $903 billion on student loans, which is a new all-time record.

#5 Will you protect your wealth if you put your money in the bank?

No, in fact your wealth will be systematically destroyed in the bank.

Inflation is a hidden tax on every single dollar that you own.  It destroys the value of all dollars in existence.  There are some Americans that have been saving money for decades, but those savings are being taxed into oblivion by inflation.  Many experts are now projecting that the average price of a gallon of gasoline will hit $5 by the end of the year.  So the next time you go to the gas pump just take a moment to think about how your wealth is being drained away by inflation.

#6 Insurance costs continue to soar.  After insuring everything in our lives many of us barely have any money left over to actually live our lives with.  In particular, health insurance premiums have become completely and totally ridiculous.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Blue Shield of California plans to raise rates an average of 30% to 35%, and some individual policy holders could see their health insurance premiums rise by a whopping 59 percent this year alone.  So how are American families supposed to survive if they keep on handing over bigger and bigger chunks of their income to the health care industry?

#7 State and local governments all over the nation have turned to ticket writing as a primary revenue source.  In fact, in some areas of the country traffic citations are soaring at a crazy rate.  For example, 110,000 more traffic citations were written in Los Angeles County last fiscal year than were written in the fiscal year immediately prior to the last recession.

The truth is that the police even realize what is going on.  Just consider the following quote from from Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan….

“When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues.”

#8 Some states have decided to simply confiscate wealth even if nothing has been done wrong.  For example, the state of California is aggressively seizing “unclaimed” safe deposit boxes.  If you have a safe deposit box that you have not checked on in a while you might want to make sure that it is still there.

#9 You might end up losing your valuables when you cross the border.  It is being reported that U.S. border agents are now regularly seizing laptops and other electronic devices as people cross the border.  In many cases those items are never returned.

#10 If you don’t pay your property taxes, you will lose your house and it will likely be a big Wall Street bank that will be taking it from you.  As I have written about previously, the big Wall Street banks are buying up thousands upon thousands of tax liens and are making a killing by socking distressed homeowners with predatory interest, outrageous penalties and almost unbelievable legal fees.

#11 Of course the biggest way that our wealth is being drained is through federal income taxes.  The reason that the Federal Reserve and the IRS were established back in 1913 was to redistribute wealth.  Wealth is transferred from the American people to the U.S. government and then ultimately to the elite and to the causes that the elite favor.

But federal taxes are only one of the taxes that we pay.  The truth is that the average American pays dozens of different taxes each year.  Just check out a few examples of the different taxes that drain our wealth….

#12 Accounts Receivable Taxes

#13 Building Permit Taxes

#14 Capital Gains Taxes

#15 CDL License Taxes

#16 Cigarette Taxes

#17 Corporate Income Taxes

#18 Court Fines (indirect taxes)

#19 Dog License Taxes

#20 Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)

#21 Fishing License Taxes

#22 Food License Taxes

#23 Gasoline Taxes

#24 Gift Taxes

#25 Hunting License Taxes

#26 Inheritance Taxes

#27 Inventory Taxes

#28 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)

#29 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

#30 Liquor Taxes

#31 Local Income Taxes

#32 Luxury Taxes

#33 Marriage License Taxes

#34 Medicare Taxes

#35 Payroll Taxes

#36 Property Taxes

#37 Real Estate Taxes

#38 Recreational Vehicle Taxes

#39 Road Toll Booth Taxes

#40 Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)

#41 Sales Taxes

#42 Self-Employment Taxes

#43 School Taxes

#44 Septic Permit Taxes

#45 Service Charge Taxes

#46 Social Security Taxes

#47 State Income Taxes

#48 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)

#49 Telephone federal excise taxes

#50 Telephone federal universal service fee taxes

#51 Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes

#52 Telephone minimum usage surcharge taxes

#53 Telephone recurring and non-recurring taxes

#54 Telephone state and local taxes

#55 Telephone usage charge taxes

#56 Toll Bridge Taxes

#57 Toll Tunnel Taxes

#58 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)

#59 Trailer Registration Taxes

#60 Utility Taxes

#61 Vehicle License Registration Taxes

#62 Vehicle Sales Taxes

#63 Watercraft Registration Taxes

#64 Well Permit Taxes

#65 Workers Compensation Taxes

Even the future is being taken away from us.  The future is literally being stolen from our children and our grandchildren.  They will be inheriting the 14 trillion dollar (and still rising) national debt that we have accumulated.  What we have done to future generations is unthinkable, and yet we continue to endlessly borrow more money.  The Congressional Research Service estimates that the U.S. government will need to borrow $738 billion between April 1st and September 30th.  Faith in U.S. Treasuries is falling so rapidly that now the biggest bond fund in the world, PIMCO, is actually shorting U.S. Treasuries.

When you base an entire economy on debt, eventually you end up with money problems that never seem to end.  As a nation we are now enslaved to a vicious spiral of debt that is going to destroy everything that our forefathers worked so hard to build.

As the debt loads of our federal, state and local governments become even more burdensome, they are going to want even more money from us.  For decades we gave in to new tax after new tax thinking that it would finally satisfy them.  But it never seems to be enough.  They always want more.

It is the same thing with the banksters.  They are never satisfied either.  They always want more assets and they always want more Americans to be enslaved to debt.

Unfortunately, most Americans are so caught up in the “rat race” that they never take much time to think about who designed the race or why they are running it.

Hopefully more Americans will wake up and will realize that our entire economy and our entire financial system need to be reformed.  Our current system is inherently flawed and it will eventually impoverish the vast majority of us if we allow it to.

The Shadow Banking System: A Third Of All The Wealth In The World Is Held In Offshore Banks

You and I live in a totally different world than the ultra-rich and the international banking elite do.  Many of them live in a world where they simply do not pay income taxes.  Today, it is estimated that a third of all the wealth in the world is held in offshore banks.  So why is so much of the wealth of the globe located in places such as Monaco, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man?  It isn’t because those are fun places to visit.  It is to avoid taxes.  The super wealthy and the international banking elite think that it is really funny that our paychecks are constantly being drained by federal taxes, state taxes and Social Security taxes while they literally pay nothing at all.  These incredibly rich elitists make a ton of money doing business in wealthy western nations and then they transfer virtually all of their profits offshore where they don’t have to contribute any of it in taxes.  It works out really great for them, but it sucks for the rest of us.

It is estimated that approximately $1.4 trillion is held in offshore banks in the Cayman Islands alone. According to an article in Forbes magazine, there is a total of approximately 15 trillion to 20 trillion dollars in offshore bank accounts, brokerage accounts and hedge fund portfolios.

A recent article in the Guardian stated that a third of all the wealth on the entire globe is held in offshore banks and that the vast majority of international banking transactions take place in these tax havens….

On a conservative estimate, a third of the world’s wealth is held offshore, with 80% of international banking transactions taking place there. More than half the capital in the world’s stock exchanges is “parked” offshore at some point.

All of the biggest banks in the world are involved in playing this game.  All of them have big branches in these various tax havens.  All of them work very hard to ensure that the tax burdens on their ultra-rich clients are as light as possible.

Nobody knows for sure how much money big governments around the globe are missing out on from all this tax avoidance, but everyone agrees the number is huge.  It is at least in the hundreds of billions of dollars every single year.

It is a shadow banking system that most Americans don’t know anything about. Most Americans don’t have the resources to be able to set up shell companies in half a dozen different countries so that they can “filter” their profits.  Most Americans don’t know a thing about complicated tax avoidance plans that tax lawyers use such as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich”.  Most Americans would have no idea how to eventually have most of the money that they make end up in Bermuda so that it can avoid taxes.

No, most Americans just go to work every week and have their hard earned paychecks raped by an oppressive taxation system.

To the ultra-wealthy and the international banking system we are all just a bunch of suckers.  In fact, a big portion of our taxes ends up going into their pockets to pay the interest on all of the government debt that they are holding.

When the global elite decide that they want to do some “social engineering” inside the big countries where they operate, they just set up tax-free “charitable trusts” that usually aren’t very “charity-oriented” at all.  Rather, many of these “charitable trusts” push the various radical political and social agendas that many of these elitists love to promote.

Examples of this include The Rockefeller Foundation and The Ford Foundation.  George Soros also loves to use entities like these to push his various agendas.

The wealthy know how to play the game.  For most of the rest of us, the game kicks our behinds.

So for those who are constantly screaming “tax the rich”, the cold, hard truth of the matter is that those who are truly ultra-rich know how to escape just about any oppressive tax regime you may set up.  They are light years ahead of the rest of us in knowing how to play the game.

What are you going to do?

Kick them out of the country?

Yeah, they will be really sad to spend even more time down in Bermuda or in the Cayman Islands.

Are you going to kick out any company that has any stock holders that have offshore bank accounts?

Well, you would have to kick out virtually every single major corporation in the United States.

This is just another example of how deeply flawed our system of income taxation really is.

Do you want to become a master of the tax code?

You might want to set aside some time for reading.

A lot of time.

The income tax code and its associated regulations contain well over 7 million words and are more than seven times longer than the Bible.

The IRS employs more than 90,000 people and it costs more than 11 billion dollars a year to operate.

Talk about a colossal waste of resources.

Meanwhile, the ultra-rich are just parking all of their money in Bermuda and the Caymans and are laughing at all the rest of us.

It would be hard to understate just how much influence and power all of this offshore money has.  The ultra-wealthy and the elite international bankers own many of our largest corporations, they exert influence over central banks, they control big media outlets and they “contribute money” (bribes) to political campaigns.

The elite are always two steps ahead of any new laws that get passed.  They are masters at moving money around.  They will quickly find a half dozen ways around any new law that you could possibly dream up.

Most of us never even get to meet any of these incredibly wealthy individuals.  They don’t attend the local church or go shopping down at the local shopping mall.

No, the global elite generally live in very exclusive gated estates or hang out at the most expensive private resorts.  They don’t spend a lot of time mixing with the rabble.

It turns out that life is pretty good when you have a ton of money coming in and you pay next to nothing in taxes.

So the next time you get your paycheck and you see that a half a dozen things have been taken out of it, take a few moments to think of the global elite that don’t pay any taxes at all and see how that makes you feel.

Hopefully when enough Americans get mad enough and start demanding change, the current income tax system will be scrapped for good and something much more equitable will be put in place instead.

Why Democrats And Republicans Are Both Wrong About The Bush Tax Cuts

All over the Internet, Republican pundits are declaring that extending the Bush tax cuts will save the economy and Democrat pundits are declaring that ending the Bush tax cuts will save the economy. Well, you know what? Nothing will save the U.S. economy. The U.S. government is going to continue to drown in a sea of debt no matter what happens with these tax cuts. State and local governments are also going to continue to drown in a sea of debt. Thousands of factories and millions of jobs are going to continue to be shipped overseas every single year. America is going to continue to transfer tens of billions of dollars of its national wealth to foreign nations every single month. Nothing that the Republicans and Democrats are debating right now is going to do a thing to alter the fundamental problems that the U.S. economy is facing.

Not that I personally do not like tax cuts. I would like my own personal income taxes to be cut down to zero percent please. I will take as many tax cuts as I can personally get.

And it is absolutely undeniable that the federal government is already handed way, way, way more money than it ever should need. Starving the federal monster of cash is a good thing. We need a much, much, much smaller federal government. But the odds of us ever returning to the kind of limited central government envisioned by our Founding Fathers is somewhere between slim and none and slim just left the building.

So aren’t less taxes always good? Well, not necessarily. You see, the federal government is planning to spend much more money in the years ahead. When you combine significant tax cuts with huge increases in spending you get lots more debt.

Extending the Bush tax cuts (and throwing in a few extra ones) will help the U.S. economy in the short-term, but without accompanying brutal spending cuts it will make our long-term debt problems even worse.

But most of our politicians don’t think about the long-term. Most of them just want the economy to turn around in the short-term so that they can get re-elected.

For example, Barack Obama is not completely stupid. He realizes that these tax cuts are probably his best shot at a short-term economic boost. If the economy starts to get back to “normal”, it may be just enough to get him another term in office.

And self-preservation is what most U.S. politicians are most interested in.

Meanwhile, we are heading for a national debt nightmare that threatens to destroy our financial system and plunge us into national bankruptcy.

But if our politicians did attempt to make the brutal spending cuts that would be necessary to balance the budget, most Americans would start screaming bloody murder. The truth is that the American people have become dependent on the government and they like getting their checks, their handouts and their government contracts.

Okay, so what will this deal that Obama has made with the Republicans actually do?

Well, it will extend most of the Bush tax cuts for two years (right up through the 2012 presidential election). The following are some of the details….

*All income levels will continue to be taxed at the lower rates instituted by the original Bush tax cuts. That means that the highest rate will remain at 35 percent.

*Barack Obama claims that extending these tax cuts will save the average American family approximately $3,000 next year.

*The 15 percent rate on capital gains and dividends will be continued.

*As part of the package, Republicans have agreed to a 13 month extension of long-term unemployment benefits.

*One new tax cut included in the deal is a reduction of the Social Security payroll tax by two percentage points for one year. So for a year U.S. workers will be paying just 4.2 percent instead of 6.2 percent.  Barack Obama believes that Americans will save $120 billion next year from this tax cut alone. For the average American family, it will mean that they will have approximately an extra $1000 in their wallets.

*The existing $1,000 child tax credit will be extended for the next two years.

*Another tax cut that is new would allow U.S. businesses to immediately expense all business investments in 2011. The Obama administration is claiming that this tax cut would be the biggest “temporary investment incentive” in American history.

*A compromise was reached on the estate tax. There will be an estate tax exemption of 5 million dollars per person and the maximum rate will be 35 percent.

So how much will all of this cost?

Well, all over the Internet the Democrats and the Republicans are arguing over figures.

One figure that is being thrown around quite a bit is $900 billion over two years.

But what is another $900 billion when we are already caught in a death spiral of government debt?

The IMF was already projecting that federal government debt was going to exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2015.

So how soon will we get there now?

Today, our national debt is more than 13 times larger than it was just 30 years ago….

So can’t we just “grow” our way out of this debt?

Not a chance.

Reducing taxes and increasing government spending will both stimulate the economy in the short-term, but both of them will always cause government debt to go up.

The sad truth, as I have written about previously, is that it is now mathematically impossible to pay off the U.S. government debt.

If you took every dollar out of every single wallet, out of every single mattress and out of every single U.S. bank and sent it to the government you wouldn’t even make that big of a dent in the national debt.

So can’t the U.S. government just go out and create more money and solve the problem?

No.

You see, under our system the creation of more money is also the creation of more debt.

As long as the Federal Reserve system exists, the U.S. federal government will be trapped inside a perpetual debt machine.

The best we can hope for is to slow the expansion of government debt down to a reasonable level.

But as I explained in a previous article, it is extremely unlikely that the U.S. government will ever have a balanced budget ever again.

The U.S. government currently has to borrow approximately 41 cents of every dollar that it spends.  The spending cuts that would be required to slash that much out of the federal budget would be beyond draconian.

Sadly, the truth is that even the really bad official budget deficit figures severely understate the extent of the crisis that we are facing.

If the U.S. government was forced to use GAAP accounting principles (like all publicly-traded corporations must), the annual U.S. government budget deficit would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 trillion to $5 trillion.

So anyone who thinks that we are just a “tweak” or two from fixing U.S. government finances is living in a world of delusion.

Unfortunately, the years ahead look downright apocalyptic.  After analyzing Congressional Budget Office data, Boston University economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff concluded that the U.S. government is facing a “fiscal gap” of $202 trillion dollars.

But the American people don’t want to hear this.  The American people don’t want to hear that there are serious consequences for running up the biggest debt in the history of the world.  The American people just want to be told that there are smart people working on the problem and that they are on the verge of “fixing” it.

But it is all a lie.  We can keep trying to “kick the can down the road” for a while longer, but eventually a day of reckoning is going to come and it is going to be painful beyond imagination.

Somehow we have the arrogance to believe that our children and our grandchildren should pay back all of the debt that we have accumulated.  What we have done to future generations is beyond criminal.

America has enjoyed the greatest party in the history of the world, but eventually it is going to be time to turn out the lights.

For now, however, the Republicans and the Democrats are busy trying to figure out ways that they can keep the party going for a little while longer.

Perhaps they can just slash taxes all the way to zero and the federal government can just borrow all of the money that it needs.  At least that way we wouldn’t be endlessly pouring our own money into the financial black hole called the U.S. government.

Less Money, More Problems

How in the world is the U.S. economy going to recover if the American people have less money to spend?  Millions of American families are heading into 2011 knowing that either they won’t be seeing an increase in income or that their incomes will be smaller next year.  Long-term unemployment benefits are being cut off for millions of Americans, federal workers are having their wages frozen, Social Security recipients are not going to get a cost of living increase for 2011, taxes are going up for the vast majority of U.S. families and employers are forcing pay cuts on their workers across the United States.  Meanwhile, the cost of food just keeps going up, the cost of gas just keeps going up and the cost of health care just keeps going up.  So what are millions of American families that are already stretched to the limit going to do when they have less money in 2011?

Millions of unemployed American workers are heading for a very bleak 2011.  Unless Congress acts, and there is no indication that is going to happen, approximately 2 million Americans will stop receiving unemployment checks over the next couple months.

The government is really between a rock and a hard place on this one.  After all, who is so heartless that they actually want to cut off the little financial support that millions of deeply struggling American families are depending on?  Not extending the long-term unemployment benefits is going to mean more Americans are going to lose their homes, more Americans are going to go bankrupt and more Americans will end up in tent cities.

But as CNN recently reported, extending the long-term unemployment benefits through next year would cost the federal government $56.4 billion that we simply do not have.  The U.S. government is absolutely drowning in red ink and cannot afford to just chuck another 56 billion dollars more debt on to the pile.

At this point even Barack Obama is taking some small steps to get federal spending under control.  He has just announced a plan to freeze the pay of federal government workers for the next two years.

So how are federal government workers handling the news that they will not be seeing any raises for the next coupe of years?

Not well.  In fact, many of them are absolutely furious.

But can you blame them?

How would you feel if your wages were just frozen for two years and yet the price of everything just continues to keep going up?

Meanwhile, the Social Security Administration announced last month that there will be no cost of living adjustments for Social Security benefits once again next year.

According to the government, the cost of living is not going up.

So now our seniors will just have to stretch those meager checks even more.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, now a whole slew of tax increases is coming.  The U.S. Congress is busy debating which (if any) of the Bush tax cuts that they are going to allow to expire, but the truth is that the Bush tax cuts are only a small part of the story.  There are so many tax increases scheduled to go into effect in 2011 that it is hard to keep track of them all.  In fact, there are many (myself included) that are calling 2011 “the year of the tax increase“.

But it is not just the federal government that is raising taxes.  In the past two years, 36 of the 50 U.S. states have jacked up taxes or fees.

In addition, many local governments are so strapped for cash that they are going to absolutely ridiculous lengths to raise cash.  For example, from now on if you are caught jaywalking in Los Angeles you will be slapped with a $191 fine.

This kind of thing is happening all over America.  Police departments are being turned into revenue raising operations.  Police are so busy writing tickets that they barely have any time to investigate actual crimes anymore.

Unfortunately, all of this latest news comes at a time when incomes are already down from coast to coast.  Median household income in the U.S. declined from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.  Some areas are declining faster than others, but the truth is that almost all areas of the United States have been seeing incomes go down.  In fact, of the 52 largest metro areas in the United States, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income during 2009.

Times are getting really tough.  Employers all over America are forcing their employees to take pay cuts.  Even some of the most prominent unions are agreeing to unprecedented concessions.  For example, just check out what The New York Times says is going on over at General Motors….

In its most recent union contract, General Motors is paying new employees $14 an hour, half the rate it pays its long-term workers.

Unfortunately, American families are going to have to try to do more with less during a time when prices are going to be going up.  Most economists agree that all of the quantitative easing that the Federal Reserve is doing is going to cause inflation to start increasing significantly at some point.  In fact, some of the top Federal Reserve officials have publicly stated that they want to purposely raise the rate of inflation as a way to stimulate the economy.

One of the great things about Americans is our relentless sense of optimism, but it is time for a major reality check.  Our economic system is in an advanced state of decay.  Our nation is a sea of red ink from coast to coast, we continue to consume tens of billions more than we produce every single month and we are rapidly being transformed into a post-industrial wasteland.

The economy is not going to be “getting better” in the long-term.  Unless fundamental changes are made to our economic system, we are going to continue to speed toward a horrific economic collapse.

The storm clouds are gathering on the horizon and time is running out.  It is imperative that we all make the most out of every single day because night is coming soon.

75 Ways That The Government And The Financial Elite Will Be Sucking Even More Of The Life Blood Out Of The American People In 2011

The American people are experiencing financial death by a thousand cuts and most of them don’t even realize it.  The U.S. government, state governments, local governments and the financial elite are draining us financially in dozens upon dozens of different ways, and yet we have become so programmed to accept it that it just seems normal to us.  2011 is rapidly approaching, and a whole slate of federal taxes is scheduled to go up, state taxes are being increased from coast to coast, local governments are finding new and creative ways to stick it to us and the financial elite are becoming more predatory than ever.  Meanwhile, the incomes of many average Americans are actually going down.  According to the Census Bureau’s annual survey of income and poverty in the United States, of the 52 largest metro areas in the nation, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income during 2009.  Tens of millions of Americans are flat broke and they are getting pissed off.  According to a new poll conducted by CNBC, 92 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is either “fair” or “poor”.  The American people desperately want someone to fix the economy, but instead our “leaders” are trying to come up with new and creative ways to drain even more money out of us.

In no particular order, the following are 75 ways that the U.S. government, state governments, local governments and the financial elite will be sucking even more of the life blood out of the American people in 2011….

#1 State governments across the U.S. are raising fees and taxes in so many different ways it is staggering.  A reader named Richard recently sent me an email in which he described the shock that he experienced when he recently received his license plate renewal notice in the mail….

I just got a license plate renewal notice from the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles. When I opened the envelope and saw the amount of the renewal, I was shocked. The amount seemed much higher than usual.

I have a computerized record of all my financial transactions over the last many years. I looked up previous DMV license plate renewals and I saw that my vehicle license plate fees were up 187% in only 8 years! In other words, they were almost triple what they were 8 years ago!

#2 The cost of health care also continues to escalate out of control.  Americans already pay more for health care than anyone else in the world, and yet costs continue to explode.  Health insurance companies from coast to coast are already announcing that they must raise health insurance premiums substantially due to the new health care law that Barack Obama and the Democrats have pushed through.  For example, I am in perfect health and I have never had a single claim on my health insurance policy and yet I received notice earlier this year that my monthly health insurance premiums were going to be increasing by about 50 percent.

Unfortunately, I am far from alone.  Crazy rate hikes are being reported from coast to coast.  According to The Wall Street Journal, the following are just some of the health insurance companies that have announced rate hikes that are at least partially attributed to the new health care law….

*Aetna says that the extra benefits that the new health care reform law is forcing it to cover are behind rate increases for new individual plans of 5.4% to 7.4% in California and 5.5% to 6.8% in Nevada.

*Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon claims that the cost of providing additional benefits under the new health care law will account for 3.4% of a 17.1% premium rise for small employers.

*Celtic Insurance claims that half of a whopping 18% health insurance premium increase it is seeking comes from complying with mandates in the new health care law.

But do the financial elite in the health care industry really need more of our money?  According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America’s five biggest for-profit health insurance companies ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.

#3 But it isn’t just our health insurance premiums that are going up because of the new health care law.  One review of the health care legislation identified at least 19 different tax increases.  Not only that, according to an analysis by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the health care reform law will generate $409.2 billion in additional taxes from the American people by the year 2019.

#4 From coast to coast, the big Wall Street banks are buying up thousands upon thousands of tax liens and are making a killing by socking distressed homeowners with predatory interest, outrageous penalties and almost unbelievable legal fees.  The article which I published yesterday, “The Big Wall Street Banks Have Found A New Way To Strangle The American People: Predatory Property Tax Collection” elicited a very strong reaction from many readers.  In particular, Walter Burien, who has done some great work exposing financial fraud at the government level, left a message explaining how this kind of predatory property tax collection is being done by design….

Per the article “Predatory Property Tax Collection” here is the why government did this. The feds put it through last year at the recommendation of a few private associations that represented many local governments and it was the government that pushed forward to require the banks and mortgage companies to do the tax collection tied directly into the mortgage. (Quicker money for the local governments) Read the new mortgage documentation and the banks have been required to collect property taxation up front for the local government.

Government in most venues had to wait four (4) years to move forward with foreclosure for delinquent property taxes. Well now that they have assigned the banks to do the collection, the banks usually move on foreclosure in six months which gets a new head in the door to pay the same levied property taxes quicker.

But the biggest drain on all of our incomes is excessive taxation by the government.  If the U.S. Congress does not act, and there is little reason to believe that they will, the following tax increases will go into effect in 2011….

#5 The lowest bracket for the personal income tax is going to increase from 10 percent to 15 percent.

#6 The next lowest bracket for the personal income tax is going to increase from 25 percent to 28 percent.

#7 The 28 percent tax bracket is going to increase to 31 percent.

#8 The 33 percent tax bracket is going to increase to 36 percent.

#9 The 35 percent tax bracket is going to increase to 39.6 percent.

#10 In 2011, the death tax is scheduled to return.  So instead of paying zero percent, estates of $1 million or more are going to be taxed at a rate of 55 percent.

#11 The capital gains tax is going to increase from 15 percent to 20 percent.

#12 The tax on dividends is going to increase from 15 percent to 39.6 percent.

#13 The “marriage penalty” is also scheduled to be reinstated in 2011.  Members of Congress keep promising to do something about this, but so far nothing has happened. 

#14 Many American businesses are going to get hit with a very significant tax increase in 2011.  Small businesses had been able to “expense”, rather than slowly depreciate, equipment purchases of up to $250,000 a year.  Now that will be slashed down to $25,000.  Larger businesses had been able to expense half of their purchases of equipment.  Now all of it will have to be depreciated. 

#15 They keep talking about it, but so far Congress has not passed a “fix” for the Alternative Minimum Tax.  If a fix is not passed, one out of every six U.S. taxpayers is going to be hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax.  The taxpayers most likely to be affected are married couples, very large families, home owners and taxpayers in states that have high state and local taxes.  The average tax increase that these taxpayers will be facing is going to be approximately $3,900 and most of them have no idea that it is coming.  If nothing changes, 27.2 million American households will pay AMT in 2010.

The following are a whole bunch of other taxes that Americans must pay each and every year and which seem to continually go up….

#16 Accounts Receivable Taxes

#17 Building Permit Taxes

#18 Capital Gains Taxes

#19 CDL license Taxes

#20 Cigarette Taxes

#21 Corporate Income Taxes

#22 Court Fines (indirect taxes)

#23 Dog License Taxes

#24 Federal Income Taxes

#25 Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)

#26 Fishing License Taxes

#27 Food License Taxes

#28 Fuel permit taxes

#29 Gasoline Taxes

#30 Gift Taxes

#31 Hunting License Taxes

#32 Inheritance Taxes

#33 Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)

#34 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

#35 Liquor Taxes

#36 Local Income Taxes

#37 Luxury Taxes

#38 Marriage License Taxes

#39 Medicare Taxes

#40 Payroll Taxes

#41 Property Taxes

#42 Real Estate Taxes

#43 Recreational Vehicle Taxes

#44 Road Toll Booth Taxes

#45 Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)

#46 Sales Taxes

#47 Self-Employment Taxes

#48 School Taxes

#49 Septic Permit Taxes

#50 Service Charge Taxes

#51 Social Security Taxes

#52 State Income Taxes

#53 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)

#54 Telephone federal excise taxes

#55 Telephone federal universal service fee taxes

#56 Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes

#57 Telephone minimum usage surcharge taxes

#58 Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges taxes

#59 Telephone state and local taxes

#60 Telephone usage charge taxes

#61 Toll Bridge Taxes

#62 Toll Tunnel Taxes

#63 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)

#64 Trailer registration taxes

#65 Utility Taxes

#66 Vehicle License Registration Taxes

#67 Vehicle Sales Taxes

#68 Watercraft registration Taxes

#69 Well Permit Taxes

#70 Workers Compensation Taxes

#71 The Internet is increasingly being viewed as a potential major revenue source.  Many U.S. states are working harder than ever to collect taxes that they feel they are owed from online transactions on the Internet.

#72 Student loan debt is more of a financial drain on Americans than ever before.  Americans now owe more on student loans than they do on credit cards.  As hard as that is to believe, that is actually true.  Americans now owe more than $849 billion on student loans, which is a new all-time record.

#73 More Americans than ever find themselves unable to pay their bills, and an increasing number of frustrated creditors are actually resorting to wage garnishment.  Yes, you read the correctly.  Creditors are starting to ruthlessly go after the weekly paychecks of debtors.

The following is an excerpt from a recent New York Times article that discussed the rise of wage garnishment as a weapon against debtors….

After winning, creditors can secure a court order to seize part of the debtor’s paycheck or the funds in a bank account, a procedure called garnishment. No national statistics are kept, but the pay seizures are rising fast in some areas — up 121 percent in the Phoenix area since 2005, and 55 percent in the Atlanta area since 2004. In Cleveland, garnishments jumped 30 percent between 2008 and 2009 alone.

So if you are getting behind on your debt, you better watch out – your creditors may soon decide to garnish your wages.

#74 Many state and local governments throughout the United States are now viewing their police forces primarily as revenue raising organizations.  For example, earlier this year a federally funded ticketing blitz in the state of Virginia resulted in a total of 6996 traffic tickets being handed out in a single weekend.  Sure the roads are a little safer, but it also brought in a ton of money for the government.

The truth is that the police even realize what is going on.  Just consider the following quote from from Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan….

“When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues.”

#75 If all of this wasn’t bad enough, now there is an increasing amount of talk in international circles about the need for global taxes.  The IMF and the World Health Organization are both proposing new global taxes that would be imposed on all of us.  Not only that, but representatives from 60 different nations recently met at the UN to discuss a tax on global financial transactions that would be used to battle poverty and “climate change”.

If all of these methods of draining us financially were combined into one, the American people would be screaming bloody murder.  But because all of them are so small, and they go up so gradually, most Americans don’t seem to notice.

It is like the story of the frog in the kettle.  If you tried to drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it would hop out immediately.

But if you put a frog into a kettle of warm water and turn up the heat very gradually, it will just sit there until it boils to death.

Well, we are that frog.  Every single year, they drain us a little more rapidly.  Tens of millions of us are flat broke and yet they keep coming back for more. 

Never before in American history has money been drained out of us in so many different ways.  They are literally bleeding us dry, and eventually there will simply be nothing left to drain.

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