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.