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….

 

Sheeple: Government Handouts = 35 Percent Of U.S. Wages But For Michael Moore That Is Not Nearly Enough

The ratio of government handouts to wages and salaries in the United States is now at an all-time high.  According to TrimTabs Investment Research, government handouts have reached a level that is equivalent to 35 percent of all wages and salaries in the United States.  Considering the fact that this figure was only 21 percent back in the year 2000 and only 10 percent back in 1960 that is very frightening.  The sad truth is that today the American people are more dependent on direct government payments than they ever have been before.  What this does is that it takes formerly independent Americans and transforms them into “sheeple” and pets of the government.  Today we have tens of millions of Americans that eagerly await the crumbs that the federal government tosses them each month.  This is one reason why our national debt is exploding, but our politicians like this system because it enables them to buy votes.  Meanwhile, the federal government and the international corporations that dominate our economy have rigged the game so that power and money are becoming increasingly centralized in their hands.  As a result of the system that the “big boys” have developed, millions of small businesses across the country are being absolutely crushed, the standard of living of the middle class is gradually being destroyed and more American families slip into poverty ever single day.  What we need to do is to dramatically reduce the power of both the federal government and the big corporations so that small businesses and individuals can thrive once again, but instead “activists” such as Michael Moore are out there demanding even more taxes and even more government handouts.

Not that a “safety net” is a bad thing.  We simply are not going to allow tens of millions of Americans to starve out in our streets.  However, it has gotten to the point where the majority of American families are now dependent on the U.S. government in one form or another and that is very, very wrong.

More government handouts are never a long-term solution to anything.  Handouts do not give people dignity.  Handouts do not teach people to be independent.  Handouts do not enable people to live the “American Dream”.  Handouts are not the path to prosperity.

What the American people need are jobs and an environment where small businesses can thrive.  But instead, the federal government has allowed the big global corporations to ship millions of our jobs out of the country and the federal government continues to burden our small businesses with an endless array of new taxes and regulations.

Who is successful in America today?

It is the big boys.  Everyone else is being crushed.

This is what the founding fathers tried to warn us about.  They did not want the federal government to have much power at all, and they were deeply suspicious of large corporations.

But we have turned our backs on the principles of the founding fathers.

We should be figuring out how to get back to the America that our founding fathers originally tried to create, but instead all of the attention is being given to “activists” such as Michael Moore who are calling for even more taxes and even more government handouts.  The following video is of Michael Moore giving a speech to protesters in Madison, Wisconsin on March 5th, 2011.  His speech was entitled “America Is Not Broke”….

Yes, the “little guy” is being absolutely crushed in America today.  But for people like Michael Moore the solution is always to tax the middle class more and to pass out even more government handouts.

That isn’t going to solve anything.  Most of the ultra-wealthy have turned avoiding taxes into an art form.  A third of all the wealth in the world is now held in “offshore banks“.  Many of our largest corporations don’t pay a dime in federal taxes even as they pass out multi-million dollar bonuses to their executives.

Raising taxes in most definitely not the answer.  Those that have mastered the art of avoiding taxes will continue to do so no matter how high you raise them.

The truth is that we need to shut down the IRS and scrap the current tax system entirely.  It simply does not work.

What we need to do is to get the federal government and the big corporations under control and transfer the power back to the American people.

That is what our founding fathers intended.  They intended for the common man to be empowered  to start businesses, create wealth and pursue happiness.

But instead tens of millions of Americans have become addicted to government handouts.  When large numbers of people give up and willingly become wards of the government that is not good for society.

Unfortunately, more Americans today are dependent on the U.S. government than ever before.  Just consider the following statistics….

-According to TrimTabs Investment Research, social welfare benefits in the United States have risen by $514 billion over the past two years alone.

-As 2007 began, only about 26 million Americans were on food stamps, but today over 44 million Americans are now on food stamps.

-Over 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid.

-Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 American is on Medicaid.

53 million Americans received $703 billion in Social Security benefits in 2010.

-Right now the U.S. government is either writing or guaranteeing well over 90 percent of all mortgages in the United States.

-It is being projected that extended unemployment benefits will cost the federal government $34 billion over the next two years.

-30 U.S. states have borrowed a total of $41.5 billion from the federal government just so that they could continue paying out unemployment benefits during the recession.

-Entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare now account for 58% of all U.S. government spending.

But what else should we expect?  The federal government has been using a sledgehammer to endlessly pound away on the capacity of small businesses and individuals to create wealth and jobs and opportunities.  The business atmosphere in the United States is now so toxic that it is amazing that any small businesses have survived.

Most Americans find themselves with no other way to make a living other than to work for someone else.  But the big global corporations have discovered that they can make much larger profits by getting rid of American workers and by shipping our jobs overseas and our politicians are allowing them to get away with it.

The truth is that both political parties don’t have the answers.  Neither party seems to have any clue about how to stop millions of jobs from leaving the United States and neither party seems to have any clue about how to create a business environment inside the United States where individuals and small businesses can actually thrive.

How much longer will it be before we all finally admit that we are experiencing total system failure in this country?  Should we all just quit trying and sit on our couches waiting for the next government handout?  The truth is that there aren’t nearly enough jobs for all Americans anyway.

The middle class is dying and the establishment has us all fighting with each other.  The left and the right are busy fighting about taxes and budget cuts while the ultra-wealthy continue to enjoy massive profits and incredibly low taxes in the globalized economic system that we have allowed our politicians to create.

Yes, there are tens of millions of Americans that are deeply suffering right now and they need to be helped.

But government handouts are never a long-term solution to anything.  What we need to do is to massively reduce the power of the federal government, massively reduce the power of the big corporations and stop businesses and jobs from being shipped out of the country.  We also need to create an environment in the United States that is very favorable to small businesses.  That would give our country a chance to start creating good jobs again.

But instead, we continue to allow our politicians to destroy our economy.  We actually have 10 percent fewer middle class jobs in this country than we did just ten years ago.  The middle class is being systematically destroyed.  All of the wealth and all of the power are slowly being transferred into the hands of big government and the big corporations.

The vast majority of the rest of us are being transformed from strong, independent, prosperous Americans into dehumanized sheeple that can’t wait for the next government check to come in.

Does anyone out there actually believe that this is what our founding fathers originally intended?

Barack Obama’s Budget For 2012: A Complete And Total Joke

Is Barack Obama trying to play a joke on all of us?  The budget that the Obama administration has submitted for fiscal 2012 is so out of touch with reality that it may as well be a budget for “Narnia”, “Fantasy Island”, “Atlantis” or some other mythical land.  You can view the hard numbers for Barack Obama’s 2012 budget right here.  Obama’s budget assumes that the U.S. will experience economic growth of over 5 percent for most of the coming decade.  That is so far-fetched that “optimistic” is not the right word for it.  It also assumes that U.S. government income (primarily made up of taxes on all of us) will more than double over the next ten years.  For 2011, the budget projects that the U.S. government will take in a total of 2.1 trillion dollars, and for 2021 the budget projects that the U.S. government will take in a total of 4.9 trillion dollars.  For the Obama administration to assume that the federal government will be able to drain an extra 2.8 trillion dollars per year out of the American people by the year 2021 is ridicul0us beyond belief.  In his new budget Barack Obama does propose some very, very modest spending cuts that he knows have no chance of getting through Congress.  Barack Obama’s budget for 2012 also does not even attempt to make any cuts to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.  In essence, you can sum up Barack Obama’s budget proposal for 2012 by saying that it is a complete and total joke.  This budget is so delusional and so out of touch with reality that it is hard to imagine anyone taking it seriously.

Oh, but Obama is really trying to sell it hard.  When Obama unveiled this new  $3.7 trillion budget for 2012 at a middle school in Baltimore, he insisted that his plan will make it “so that every American is equipped to compete with any worker anywhere in the world.

Well, that is a nice sound bite, but as I have written about previously, unless Barack Obama suddenly finds a way to stop multinational corporations from paying slave labor wages to their workers on the other side of the globe the job losses in America are going to continue.

But that is a topic for another day.  Getting back to the 2012 budget, Obama is proposing to cut more than a trillion dollars from federal budget deficits over the next ten years.

That sounds really good until you figure out that means that the cuts only amount to about $100 billion a year.  Considering the fact that Obama’s budget is projecting that we will have a $1.6 trillion budget deficit this year alone, that really is not a whole heck of a lot to be cutting.

The truth is that Barack Obama should be proposing spending cuts that are at least ten times as large if he was actually serious about addressing our budget woes.

But at least Obama is not proposing an increase in spending.

Oh wait, he actually is.

In fact, under Obama’s budget, U.S. government spending will soar from 3.8 trillion dollars this year to 5.6 trillion dollars in 2021.

But the mainstream media is solely focusing on the budget cuts that Obama is proposing.

Apparently they are trying to cast him as some sort of “fiscal conservative”.

Try not to laugh.

But the modest cuts that Obama is proposing are at least some place to start.

Under Obama’s budget, approximately half of all government agencies will have their funding decreased from 2010 levels.

In fact, approximately 33 billion dollars would be saved by scaling back or shutting down 200 federal programs.

Of course Obama’s fellow Democrats in Congress will never go along with many of these cuts, but at least it is something.

However, this is where most in the mainstream media stop their analysis.

They don’t take a closer look at the numbers in Obama’s budget.

They don’t question the wacky economic growth assumptions.

They don’t question the bizarre government income projections.

But even with the Obama administration’s crooked numbers, the federal deficit still never drops below 600 billion dollars over the next decade and a total of 7.2 trillion dollars is still added to the national debt over the next decade.

If economic growth ends up being much lower, or if the U.S. government is not able to get twice as much money out of the American people by the end of the decade then the projections would look much, much different.

So where does the Obama administration assume all of that extra money for the government is going to come from?

Oh, from raising taxes of course.

The Obama budget assumes that there will be significant tax increases starting in the year 2013.

A recent article on CNBC summarized some of the tax increases that the Obama budget calls for….

The plan unveiled Monday includes tax increases for oil, gas and coal producers, investment managers and U.S.-based multinational corporations. The plan would allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012 for individuals making more than $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000.

Wealthy taxpayers would have their itemized deductions limited, including deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.

There are many liberals (such as my friend Gary) that would love to see these tax increases go into effect, but Obama knows that there is no chance that they will ever see the light of day unless the Democrats retake the House of Representatives.

But most of Obama’s budget for 2012 is based on things that simply never even have a chance of happening.

The reality is that Obama’s budget for 2012 is a great work of fiction.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to accumulate staggering amounts of debt.

In fact, Obama’s budget admits that we will witness the biggest one year debt increase in history this year.

In 2011, the gross federal debt with surpass 15 trillion dollars.  In fact, it is being projected by some analysts that this will be the year when the debt finally becomes larger than the size of the entire U.S. economy.

Ouch.

But Obama insists that he is taking this debt problem very seriously.

Obama insists that he is committed to making “deep” cuts.

In fact, as he announced this new budget Obama stated that these budget cuts hit “many programs whose mission I care deeply about, but meeting our fiscal targets while investing in our future demands no less.”

Do any of you actually believe him?

Not that the Obama administration is in an easy position.  The truth is that the U.S. government (both Republicans and Democrats) have been horribly irresponsible with our money for decades.

The 14 trillion dollar national debt problem that we have now did not develop overnight.

Neither will it be solved overnight.

But Obama is not even trying to address the tough issues such as Social Security and Medicare.

The truth is that the federal debt problem cannot be solved without addressing our out of control entitlement programs.

So why didn’t Obama address them in his budget?

Well, the reality is that Obama is not stupid.  Social Security and Medicare are political sacred cows.  Obama is not going to do anything at this point that would cost him millions of votes in 2012.

So Barack Obama ignored most of the $4 trillion in budget cuts recommended by the White House-appointed deficit commission.

It kind of makes you wonder why Obama ever appointed a “deficit commission” in the first place.

One area that Obama does attempt to cut in his new budget is military spending.  Obama’s budget for 2012 sets military spending at 5 percent below what the Pentagon requested for 2011.

In fact, Obama’s defense budget would slash military spending by $78 billion over the next five years.

His budget also assumes that we are not going to get involved in any more wars, which is not necessarily a safe assumption.

So will these military spending cuts actually get through Congress?

Not likely.

The Republicans control the House of Representatives, and they are not likely to take too kindly to large cuts to the defense budget.

In fact, the truth is that not too many of Barack Obama’s spending cuts are likely to survive in Congress.

As a recent article on CNN explained, Barack Obama’s budget plan must navigate a vast array of congressional committees in the coming months and by the time it emerges it is likely to be radically changed from its current form….

Before it gets back to Obama’s desk for a signature, the spending blueprint will go through no less than 40 congressional committees, 24 subcommittees, countless hearings and a number of floor votes in the House and Senate.

As our Congress critters have demonstrated over and over and over, they love to spend our money on some of the most wasteful things imaginable.

For example, a total of $3 million has already been granted to researchers at the University of California at Irvine so that they can play video games such as World of Warcraft.

Something seems to happen to people who get elected to Congress.  Almost all of them seem to develop an addiction to spending our hard-earned money.

Let us hope that something changes in that regard, because right now government debt is completely and totally out of control.

In fact, the U.S. national debt is currently increasing by approximately 4 billion dollars every single day.

In the end, if something is not done about all this debt it will destroy the entire U.S. financial system.

But our politicians just keep putting it off and putting it off.

Eventually we will reap what we have sown.  Debt is a very cruel master, and nobody can run from it forever – not even the U.S. government.

Shocking Video Of Howard Dean Declaring That It Is The Job Of The Government To Redistribute Our Wealth

In the shocking video you are about to watch, Howard Dean declares that it is the job of the government to redistribute our wealth.  Not only that, he says it in such a way that indicates that he believes that such a notion should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.  Well, while it is true that the United States has become a highly socialized nation, the reality is that this is not what the founding fathers intended.  The founders intended for us to live in a land where we would have enough freedom and enough liberty to be able to work hard and enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  They did not intend for a gigantic federal government to take huge amounts of money from one group of people and give it to another group of people.  In any nation where a large scale redistribution of wealth is happening, the incentive to work goes right out the window.  Pretty soon you end up with an entire class of people that have learned how to “make a living” by being a parasite of the government, and that is not good for any economy.

If our founding fathers were alive today, they would be horrified by what we have turned into.  In 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following….

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

The sad truth is that democracy starts to break down once people start realizing that they can vote themselves money out of the national treasury.  In fact, that is a very large part of what politics in America is all about today.  Politicians are constantly promising what they are “going to do” for various groups of people.

Benjamin Franklin once stated the following….

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

Not that our founding fathers were against charity.  In fact, they believed in it very much.  It is just that they did not believe in repressive taxation by a huge national government and they did not believe in large scale redistributions of wealth.

With all of that in mind, watch this shocking video of Howard Dean declaring that it is the job of the government to redistribute our wealth….

Obviously Howard Dean envisions an “America” that is very different from the one that our founding fathers intended.

But does that mean that all government welfare programs are bad?

Of course not.

In fact, if we were to cut them all off today we would have millions of people starving in the streets.

A very large percentage of Americans today don’t even know how to take care of themselves.  If we pulled away all government support all of a sudden there would be chaos and anarchy in the streets.

The sad reality is that we have tens of millions of Americans that are now deeply dependent on the socialist system that we have established.

Unfortunately, this is what socialism does – it turns people into pets of the government.  Our society should be teaching people to be self-sufficient, but instead we are teaching people to allow the government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave.

So does that mean that our founding fathers would be in favor of the rampant corporate greed that we are witnessing today?

Of course not.

As I have written about previously, the founding fathers were against all large concentrations of power.  During the Boston Tea Party, it was the tea of perhaps the most powerful corporation in the entire world at the time (the East India Trading Company) that our founders dumped into the harbor.

If you study early American history, you soon come to realize that corporations were generally very limited in scope and size for many, many years.  The era of the giant corporation is relatively new, and our founding fathers never intended for our society to be dominated by gigantic international corporations.

So when the Democrats argue that we should give more power to the federal government and the Republicans argue that we should give more power to the big corporations they are both wrong.

Our founding fathers did not intend for our federal government to have nearly so much power and they did not intend for big, wealthy corporations to have so much power either.

Fortunately, many Americans today are getting back in touch with those principles.  There is a growing dissatisfaction with the size of government, and according to Gallup two-thirds of Americans are now dissatisfied with the size and influence of major corporations in America today.

However, it is one thing to discuss the finer points of political and economic philosophy, but it is another thing altogether to deal with the reality of tens of millions of people that cannot feed themselves.

As I have mentioned many times before, there are over 43 million Americans on food stamps today.

So what are we going to do with all of them?

Allow them to starve?

Almost 53 million Americans receive Social Security payments.

What are we going to do – cut off Social Security and watch millions of elderly and disabled people freeze to death in their own homes?

Of course not.

But we have got to start swinging the pendulum back in the other direction.  Right now one out of every six Americans is enrolled in some kind of anti-poverty program run by the federal government.

How many Americans being taken care of by the federal government will be too much?

One out of five?

One out of four?

One out of three?

Eventually the entire system crumbles when there are too few people still willing to work hard.

If you ever get the chance to visit a communist country you should.  You will notice that nobody really works very hard.  That is because there is no incentive to work hard.  Very little real wealth gets produced and everyone suffers for it.

So does that mean the U.S. system works?

Of course not.

What we have in the United States today is not real capitalism.  It is more aptly called “corporatism”.  The big corporations and the big financial institutions have accumulated an absolutely stunning amount of economic power and over the decades they have gotten the government to tilt all of the rules of the game in their favor.

In America today, it is really hard for the average person to start a successful business.  The big, powerful international corporations that dominate our economy are everywhere.

So most Americans today have to rely on working for an employer.  Unfortunately, the big employers have started to realize that they can make much larger profits by shipping our jobs overseas.  That is really bad news for the U.S. middle class.

Well, can’t we just tax all of these big corporations like crazy and even everything out?

Unfortunately it just does not work that way in today’s global society.

As I have written about previously, the ultra-wealthy and many of the biggest corporations have figured out how to “minimize” their tax burdens.  While you and I are being taxed into oblivion, the global elite have figured out how to move their money around to escape taxation as much as possible.  In fact, it is estimated that today approximately a third of all the wealth in the world is held in “offshore” tax havens.

Ultra-wealthy individuals and mega-powerful corporations can call just about anywhere “home” in today’s global economy.  That is just the way the world works now.

In order to “tax the rich”, you first must get legal jurisdiction over their money.

Our tax system has become entirely unfair and it simply does not work.  The whole thing needs to be scrapped.

But as we discuss tax policy, there are tens of millions of Americans that are living in poverty.

So what are we going to do about the growing number of Americans that cannot even feed themselves without government help?

Well, the truth is that what they really need is not more handouts.

If you give people handouts, they will just need more handouts tomorrow.

No, what all of these Americans really need are good jobs.

Unfortunately, there are a whole lot less good jobs in America today than there were ten years ago.

Our politicians have stood by as the giant corporations have moved thousands of facilities over to places such as China and India where they can legally pay people slave labor wages.

Since 2001, over 42,000 U.S. factories have closed down for good, and that number is going to continue to increase unless someone stops it.

But nobody is.

Virtually all of our politicians are just standing off to the side with their hands in their pockets.

So now we have 19.3 percent of the workforce that is either unemployed or underemployed.

Our entire economic system is breaking down.  Millions of Americans families are scrambling to find some way to survive.  Over the past two years, U.S. consumers have withdrawn $311 billion more from savings and investment accounts than they have put into them.

Other Americans are going very deep into debt because they don’t have any other options.  When they finally can’t keep up with all the debt, many of these families are losing their cars and their homes.

We are in the middle of an economic nightmare that is absolutely unprecedented.  “Redistributing the wealth” would just be like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic at this point.  It would not fix a darn thing.

When our politicians promise that a little “change” here or a little “tweak” there will get our economy back to normal they are lying to you and most of them know it.

What we need is a comprehensive overhaul of our entire economy.  Basically what we need to do is to go back to the blueprint (the U.S. Constitution) and essentially start over.

But most Americans are not ready for that.  Most Americans are still enjoying the tremendous prosperity that the biggest debt binge in the history of the world has purchased for us.  Most Americans still do not believe that an economic collapse is really coming.

But a massive economic collapse is coming.  This whole thing is going to come crashing down and it is not going to be pretty.

10 Reasons Why It Has Become So Soul-Crushingly Difficult To Find A Job In America Today

Have you been unemployed lately?  If so, then you probably know how frustrating it is to try to find a job in the United States today. It now takes the average unemployed worker about 33 weeks to find a job.  There are millions of Americans that have not been able to find a full-time job even after searching hard for an entire year.  Some areas of the United States have been devastated so badly by the economic downturn that they are starting to resemble war zones.  Unless you have been there, it is hard to even try to describe the extreme frustration that one feels when you are unable to pay the mortgage and feed your family.  It can be absolutely soul-crushing.  But it is not the fault of those who are unemployed.  The truth is that our economy is dying and it is not producing nearly enough jobs anymore.  Unfortunately, as you will see from the facts listed below, most of the things that are causing our economy to die have no realistic chance of being changed any time soon.

The following are 10 reasons why it has become so insanely difficult to find a job in America today….

#1 There are a lot fewer job openings in the United States today.  The number of U.S. job openings declined once again in December.  Prior to the most recent economic downturn, there were usually somewhere around 4.5 to 5 million job openings in America.  Today there are about 3 million.

#2 There is a lot more competition for the very few job openings that are actually available.  According to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent for over a year.  When Gallup includes “underemployed Americans” that have part-time jobs but really want full-time jobs in the numbers, they get a lot worse.  Currently, Gallup says that 19.3 percent of the workforce is either unemployed or underemployed.

#3 The U.S. economy is producing an extremely low number of new jobs.  The federal government says that only about 36,000 jobs were added in January.  Well,  an increase of 150,000 jobs per month is necessary just to keep up with population growth.  We continue to fall farther and farther behind.

#4 All across the nation, state and local governments are rapidly cutting jobs.  Government jobs used to be considered some of the safest jobs available, but today state and local governments all across America are facing horrific budget crunches.  In fact, things have gotten so extreme that some cities are cutting their police forces by up to 50 percent.

#5 U.S. businesses are being absolutely crushed by regulations, and yet the government just keeps piling them on.  For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is projecting that the food service industry will have to spend an additional 14 million hours every single year just to comply with new federal regulations that mandate that all vending machine operators and chain restaurants must label all products that they sell with a calorie count in a location visible to the consumer.  These kinds of ridiculous regulations are chasing U.S. businesses out of the country at a blistering pace.

#6 When you combine all forms of taxation, businesses pay more taxes in the United States than just about anywhere else in the world.  Some of the biggest corporations have figured out how to get around this, but many other businesses are being absolutely crushed by this.  All of this taxation is also chasing businesses out of the country.  Now Barack Obama is at it again.  He has just proposed an increase in unemployment taxes.  This is going to make it even less likely that businesses will want to hire more employees.

#7 Advances in technology mean that less workers are needed today.  A robot can do the labor that a hundred workers used to perform.  A computer can do the work that a thousand people used to perform.  Our society now needs less manual labor than it used to, and that is not going to change.  In fact, our society is only going to become more computerized and more automated.  That means that the ultra-wealthy do not need as many of us to work for them.

#8 Nations such as China are taking jobs away from us.  Tens of thousands of factories and millions of jobs are moving to China.  There is a reason why Barack Obama mentioned China four times during his State of the Union address.  China now even makes more beer than the United States does.  China has been very shrewd.  They have invited international corporations to come over and take advantage of their vast population by paying them slave labor wages.  The U.S. middle class is being shredded by this.  Why should companies pay U.S. workers 10 or 20 times more than they could pay a Chinese worker?

#9 Every single year, the U.S. buys hundreds of billions of dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  This is called a trade deficit, and it is killing the U.S. economy.  The hundreds of billions of dollars going to the rest of the world could be going to U.S. businesses, and in turn U.S. businesses would need more workers.  But instead of fixing our trade balance problem, our politicians continue to insist that “globalism” is going to be really, really “good” for us.

#10 Every single year the U.S. federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars just on interest on the national debt.  This is money that we don’t get any economic benefit from.  If we were not in so much debt, the U.S. government would be able to spend that money on goods and services inside the United States and that would support a lot more jobs.  This is just one of the ways that our horrific national debt is a tremendous drag on our economy.

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.

Government Waste: 20 Of The Craziest Things That The U.S. Government Is Spending Money On

You are not going to believe some of the things that the U.S. government is spending money on.  According to a shocking new report, U.S. taxpayer money is being spent to study World of Warcraft, to study how Americans find love on the Internet, and to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam.  Not only that, but money from the federal government is also being used to renovate a pizzeria in Iowa and to help a library in Tennessee host video game parties.  These are just some of the examples in a new report on government waste from Senator Tom Coburn entitled “Wastebook 2010“.  Even as tens of millions of American families find themselves suffering through the worst economic downturn in modern history, the U.S. government continues to spend money on some of the craziest and most frivolous things imaginable.  Every single year articles are written and news stories are done about the horrific government waste that is taking place and yet every single year it just keeps getting worse.  So just what in the world is going on here?

It almost seems as though Congress actually enjoys inventing new ways to waste U.S. taxpayer money.  It seems nearly inconceivable that anyone could keep a straight face while trying to justify spending money on many of the things in the list below.

At a time when the U.S. national debt is closing in on 14 trillion dollars, government waste just seems more out of control than ever.  The following are 20 of the craziest things that the U.S. government is spending money on….

#1 A total of $3 million has been granted to researchers at the University of California at Irvine so that they can play video games such as World of Warcraft.  The goal of this “video game research” is reportedly to study how “emerging forms of communication, including multiplayer computer games and online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life can help organizations collaborate and compete more effectively in the global marketplace.”

#2 The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the University of New Hampshire $700,000 this year to study methane gas emissions from dairy cows.

#3 $615,000 was given to the University of California at Santa Cruz to digitize photos, T-shirts and concert tickets belonging to the Grateful Dead.

#4 A professor at Stanford University received $239,100 to study how Americans use the Internet to find love.  So far one of the key findings of this “research” is that the Internet is a safer and more discreet way to find same-sex partners.

#5 The National Science Foundation spent $216,000 to study whether or not politicians “gain or lose support by taking ambiguous positions.”

#6 The National Institutes of Health spent approximately $442,340 to study the behavior of male prostitutes in Vietnam.

#7 Approximately $1 million of U.S. taxpayer money was used to create poetry for the Little Rock, New Orleans, Milwaukee and Chicago zoos.  The goal of the “poetry” is to help raise awareness on environmental issues.

#8 The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spent $175 million during 2010 to maintain hundreds of buildings that it does not even use.  This includes a pink, octagonal monkey house in the city of Dayton, Ohio.

#9 $1.8 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars went for a “museum of neon signs” in Las Vegas, Nevada.

#10 $35 million was reportedly paid out by Medicare to 118 “phantom” medical clinics that never even existed.  Apparently these “phantom” medical clinics were established by a network of criminal gangs as a way to defraud the U.S. government.

#11 The Conservation Commission of Monkton, Vermont got $150,000 from the federal government to construct a “critter crossing”.  Thanks to U.S. government money, the lives of “thousands” of migrating salamanders are now being saved.

#12 In California, one park received $440,000 in federal funds to perform “green energy upgrades” on a building that has not been used for a decade.

#13 $440,955 was spent this past year on an office for former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert that he rarely even visits.

#14 One Tennessee library was given $5,000 in federal funds to host a series of video game parties.

#15 The U.S. Census Bureau spent $2.5 million on a television commercial during the Super Bowl that was so poorly produced that virtually nobody understood what is was trying to say.

#16 A professor at Dartmouth University received $137,530 to create a “recession-themed” video game entitled “Layoff”.

#17 The National Science Foundation gave the Minnesota Zoo over $600,000 so that they could develop an online video game called “Wolfquest”.

#18 A pizzeria in Iowa was given $60,000 to renovate the pizzeria’s facade and give it a more “inviting feel”.

#19 The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave one enterprising group of farmers $30,000 to develop a tourist-friendly database of farms that host guests for overnight “haycations”.  This one sounds like something that Dwight Schrute would have dreamed up.

#20 Almost unbelievably, the National Institutes of Health was given $800,000 in “stimulus funds” to study the impact of a “genital-washing program” on men in South Africa.

In light of all this, is it any wonder why the approval rating of Congress recently hit another new record low?

According to the most recent Gallup poll, only 13 percent of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing.

Just think about that – only 13 percent!

Our politicians seem very confused about why there is so much anger in the country today.  Well, there are certainly a lot of reasons for it, including the fact that the U.S. economy is on the verge of collapse, but it certainly doesn’t help that our government is basically flushing our tax dollars down the toilet and spending them on some of the most wasteful things imaginable.

It would be bad enough if the federal government was swimming in money, but the truth is that all of this waste is being committed at a time when the U.S. government is nearing bankruptcy.

Over the last 30 years, the U.S. national debt has gotten 13 times larger.  We have accumulated the largest debt in the history of the world and there is no end in sight.

In fact, we are rapidly running out of people to borrow money from.  According to the Wall Street Journal, in order to repay maturing bonds and finance the exploding budget deficit, the U.S. government will have to borrow 4.2 trillion dollars in 2011.

Eventually the rest of the world is going to lose confidence in the ability of the U.S. government to repay all of this debt.  Once confidence in U.S. Treasuries is totally gone, and there are already signs this is starting to happen, the game will be over and the U.S. financial system will collapse.

But the U.S. Congress just continues to act like it is “business as usual” and the wasteful spending just continues to get worse.  Someday historians will look back and think that we must have been a nation full of idiots and morons.

For decades our politicians have been spending us into oblivion, yet we keep sending the vast majority of them back to Washington D.C. every time an election rolls around and the mainstream media keeps assuring us that our “respected leaders” know exactly what they are doing and that everything is going to be okay somehow.

It is almost as if some sort of collective insanity has overtaken most Americans.  The path we are on inevitably leads to national bankruptcy and the destruction of our financial system, but only a small percentage of the population seems to care.

Well, in the end we will reap what we have sown.  Unfortunately, the economic pain that is coming is going to be devastating for all of us – including those of us who are awake and are trying desperately to change things.

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.

The Economic Collapse