William Thien

Archive for the ‘Tax Revolt’ Category

As tax time approaches once again I wanted you to read one of my most popular essays, America’s Unfair Tax Code and The Brown Headed Cowbird. I have debated often about socialism and communism in The United States and how socialism and communism are implemented through the tax code and in that way their effects are less obvious, though still pernicious. I will be talking a lot about America’s tax code in the next couple of months. To my friends and colleagues who utilize the tax breaks I speak of, I say, use them. Don’t feel guilty for my meager commentary on what is unfair about them. Were I in your shoes, I would do the same. But know they must change. The tax code must be made fair. It was in fact the unfair tax code during colonial times that led to the formation of this country and I don’t see that things should ever change in that regard.

America’s Unfair Tax Code and The Brown Headed Cowbird

An associate of mine was telling me that he had received a substantial tax refund this year and when comparing it to mine I was rather surprised as it was many thousands of dollars more. During the time that we have worked together, he has received close to a year’s salary in total tax refunds more than I. That’s substantial and a bit of an insult to me since we have the same position and are paid exactly the same. We are not businessmen so we do not have a large number of operating costs we can write off. We both make the same amount of money. He is married, I am not, but that was only a minor difference. The major difference between his tax return and mine was that he has five children.

On his tax return each of his children represented a large deduction to his earnings and as a result, he received a substantially larger tax refund than I did. At first I thought, OK, raising children is expensive these days, why shouldn’t he get some help from the government (that’s us the taxpayers, by the way)? But then the thought occurred to me (I didn’t tell him and I hope he doesn’t read my blog) that his children are going to public schools and at times he has used public services for medical support of his family. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. It is good that we offer the best public education in the world and can provide medical support to families in need.

But to give him a tax break substantially larger than mine when in fact he uses more public services than I do, uses more services in a substantially greater amount than I do, seems like foolish and definitely unfair tax policy. What is essentially happening is that I am paying for his children to attend school and to obtain free health care. The tax break, the deduction that he receives is possible because I do not receive the tax break. In essence I am paying to raise his children. That’s how they offer him a tax break. They take it from me in some way or another and give it to him in the form of a deduction.

In the region of the country where I live there is a bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds and then lets the other birds rear their young. The name of the bird is The Brown Headed Cowbird. It sneaks up to another bird’s nest when the other bird is away foraging and deposits its egg in the other bird’s nest. When the bird that is out foraging returns to the nest, more often than not they simply begin incubating the Brown Headed Cowbird’s egg along with their own and then they rear the fledgling as if it was their own. Sometimes the host bird can’t raise its own and is only able to raise the fledgling of the Brown Headed Cowbird due to diminished resources in that vicinity and the voracity of the Cowbird fledgling.

It occurs to me that much like the unwitting bird who is rearing the Brown Headed Cowbird’s egg, the invader’s egg, a parasite as defined by ornithologists, I am paying to raise the children of others. If you ask me, that is unfair tax policy. Some might say, well that’s just the way it is, and I myself, I’m not certain I have a problem with that really.

But perhaps many of the problems we have with balancing governmental budgets, many of the problems we have with massive abuses of the huge system of entitlements we have in this country stems from the perception that people have originating from the tax code. Can we afford to have another child? Heck yea! It’s a tax break! And as families have more and more children using more and more government services, we as a country are at a loss for how to pay for those services used because we in fact give people a tax break for using them. In a sense, that is what is happening. And similar tax policies apply to corporations as well for conducting certain types of business or using certain types of resources, natural resources even.

No business in their right mind pays people 100 percent of the cost of their products to purchase their products. You will not find one truly successful business that says, “we will give you five dollars for every hamburger you buy from us.” Instead of you paying us, we will pay you. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Until of course it comes time to pay all those people behind the counter, the servers, the ones cooking the food, the maintenance people. Where is the money? Well, boss, we gave it to the customers. Well, where are they? Get the money back! They are at the restaurant across the street eating with the money we gave them. Well whose harebrained idea was it to give them the money in the first place?

It seems to me that if we want to balance the country’s budget and the budgets of all of the states and municipalities we need realistic tax codes and policies that address budget disparities, tax policies that somehow seek payment for services used and not payment to the users, particularly the Brown Headed Cowbirds of America.

It’s only fair.

Or, how about this? Do you have a Brown Headed Cowbird living in your back yard? Check this box for your standard Brown Headed Cowbird deduction, and if you are a corporation, double the deduction.

Copyright © William Thien 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

Advertisements

Most white Americans want nothing to do with any racist or fascist organization but often such organizations are the only organizations publicly enumerating white grievance in The US, where the government and the media often falsely place historical guilt upon white Americans to increase tax levies upon the middle classes, for all manner of social programs, many of which whites pay for but benefit from very little.

While white Americans also comprise a relatively stable number in population, minorities that benefit from such social programs are increasing in size, some of them dramatically, at rates unprecedented in American history.

So, while America’s population of whites remains relatively the same, the tax burden to pay for such social programs and the use AND ABUSE of such social programs is increasing dramatically, correspondingly increasing the burden upon white Americans whose population stays relatively the same.

Attempts by white Americans to organize and enumerate their grievances publicly have been met with 1st Amendment transgressions by municipal leadership or pandering to violent reactionaries in such cities as Berkeley and Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore.

Any attempts by white Americans to organize in the public square are now met almost automatically with false and slanderous calls of fascism and racism by the media and municipal governments as well as the threat of violence from reactionaries.

Unless there is change there will come a day when white America will no longer stand for it.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

Most white Americans want nothing to do with any racist or fascist organization but often such organizations are the only organizations publicly enumerating white grievance in The US, where the government and the media often falsely place historical guilt upon white Americans to increase tax levies upon the middle classes, for all manner of social programs, many of which whites pay for but benefit from very little.

While white Americans also comprise a relatively stable number in population, minorities that benefit from such social programs are increasing in size, some of them dramatically, at rates unprecedented in American history.

So, while America’s population of whites remains relatively the same, the tax burden to pay for such social programs and the use AND ABUSE of such social programs is increasing dramatically, correspondingly increasing the burden upon white Americans whose population stays relatively the same.

Attempts by white Americans to organize and enumerate their grievances publicly have been met with 1st Amendment transgressions by municipal leadership or pandering to violent reactionaries in such cities as Berkeley and Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore.

Any attempts by white Americans to organize in the public square are now met almost automatically with false and slanderous calls of fascism and racism by the media and municipal governments as well as the threat of violence from reactionaries.

Unless there is change there will come a day when white America will no longer stand for it.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

To me what is getting lost in all of this discussion about the possible wire tapping of The Trump Towers is that not only now that Trump is in The Whitehouse he doesn’t appear to have a complete understanding of the scope of surveillance upon the American public, the Chairman of The House Intelligence Committee is not communicating with Trump about potential capabilities.

In other words, how could President Trump now that he is in The White House not understand how surveillance of his team occurred? It’s happening to all of us all of the time. The entire country is under a blanket search warrant. Once called “The Patriot Act,” it’s now called “The USA Freedom Act” (really, I mean come on, The USA Freedom Act?) after The Patriot Act expired in 2015. The difference is that The NSA no longer stores all of the information from your phone calls and emails, texts. That is done by telecoms. That’s right. The phone companies are now keeping all of your information.

And that is why I concluded in my earlier observation on the matter that it was more likely that telecoms (telecommunications/phone companies) or the media were leaking information about The Trump Campaign rather than the government. If they are storing the information there is a pretty good chance they can access or someone else can access the information because in no way is it as secure as if were stored at The NSA.

If Trump does not know this, somebody isn’t doing their job very well, which is where Devin Nunes (R-CA) stepped in and that is probably why Adam Schiff is so upset. The Chairman of The House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, a Democrat, has conveniently neglected to apprise the current administration, which is Republican, of the true nature and capability of such matters.

For more information on this issue read the following two articles:

https://www.marketplace.org/2015/06/01/tech/patriot-acts-new-name

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/15/congress-pressures-fbi-reveal-any-trump-wiretap-info-graham/99203964/

Copyright © William Thien 2017

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

 

One of the primary focuses of my writing at this venue is how the tax code affects me as an individual and I for one as an individual who owns no property or that has no dependent write-offs am waiting to hear about the new tax plan.

During the campaign promises of increases in deductions were made to families with dependents and to property owners as well but little if anything was mentioned about single tax payers with no dependents or property, what I have called “the indentures” to the US tax code.

Even if the only change for single tax payers is a decrease in the tax rate, I will find that quite satisfying as someone making the same as I do and that has dependents or that owns their home receives a substantial tax refund compared to my taxes and pays less throughout the year as well on their paychecks. The government has in effect given them a raise, a raise with my tax dollars.

As I’ve stated before I do not begrudge the other tax payers. They should take the tax write-offs. I would do the same. But that is blatantly unfair tax policy and if the tax code should be one thing and one thing only, the tax code should be fair.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

 

We often examine the differences between the candidates and magnify them or amplify them to make our choice at the ballot box easier, but my previous post briefly touched on political cloning, candidates that appear to be different but have in fact quite the same political composition or agenda, even if they come from different parties.

In the case of the two major candidates in the current presidential election, though at the outset they would appear diametrically opposed in many ways, there is one glaring fact that nobody is really talking about in any measurable way, both candidates are from New York.

Hillary Clinton was a New York Senator, even though she originated from Arkansas (go figure that!), and Donald Trump is of course a New York real estate developer. There is also the fact that one candidate has in the past donated significant amounts of money to the other candidate’s candidacy, but that’s neither here nor there, or is it? They tell us it is neither here nor there, that’s for sure. There are other similarities and or connections, some of them not so obvious. Our media is just being paid not to recognize them, I’m quite certain. The most glaring similarity though in my opinion is that both candidates are from New York.

Something about New York, I guess…or New Yorkers, or…

What’s that you say? We live in a democracy!?

Ah, yes, the illusion of choice and so much more efficiently accomplished this time around.

Democracy?! Really? Where?!

Had me going there for a second.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

One of the greatest myths about a flat tax is that a flat tax unfairly burdens the poor. The argument you will hear is that a flat tax of fifteen percent, for example, on a person making twenty-thousand dollars per year would be $3,000 dollars while the same tax on someone who makes $100,000 per year would be $15,000, and the argument against the flat tax then goes on to suggest that three thousand dollars to the person making twenty-thousand dollars per year means a lot more than $15,000 dollars does to the person making $100,000 per year.

But you never hear the person who makes $20,000 a year complain that such an arrangement would be unfair. I have never heard anyone from that income bracket say they think it is unfair that people pay the same level of taxes at all income levels. Never. Ever!

But you will hear the very wealthy suggest a flat tax is unfair to those earning poverty wages. You would think the very wealthy were looking out for the poor when they make their argument against a flat tax.

The problem with that perspective is that people making middle-income and lower-income wages often pay quite a bit more in taxes as an effective tax rate than the very wealthy. Why? Because those who make such middle and lower-income wages do not have all of the tax loopholes to apply to their income that the very wealthy have when tax time arrives.

While reading the local newspaper today where I reside I came across an article concerning one of the wealthiest women in America, a model self-made woman as described by Forbes Magazine to which the article referenced. The article also revealed that for the last five years the model self-made woman has only paid income taxes during one of those five years.

The self-made woman, a billionaire, must have used umpteen loopholes to avoid paying income taxes for four of those five years, eighty percent of the time she was earning income during the subject period, and while avoiding income taxes it was of course easy to be one of the wealthiest self-made women in America because everyone else was paying the “self-made” woman’s taxes for her while she skated off. How self-made is that?

No wonder there is such a strong sentiment against a flat tax. A flat tax would ensure that people actually pay their fair share. There is, by the way, a component of fairness when it comes to taxation. If you disagree with me, read on.

Now, I do not state here that I favor a flat tax but the scenario I’ve described demonstrates one of the strongest arguments favoring a flat tax.

I am a conservative. I believe in keeping control of taxation. But everyone has to pay taxes if they are earning income. It’s only fair, and the tax code must be fair otherwise it should be subject to the application and exercise of public grievance.

The scenario I have described to you about the woman is by the way really just “socialism.” Such tax loopholes enable people to become what I call “Supersocialists.” The woman has been able through most likely a series of tax loopholes to foist her tax burden on to the public and avoid paying income taxes altogether. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a redistribution of wealth, socialism, communism, what have you. That’s not capitalism, that’s socialism. We see here then in this example that the tax code has significant socialist structure to it, something I’ve been saying for many years now.

Do not be fooled by the argument that a flat tax unfairly burdens the poor. The poor are the most likely beneficiaries of a flat tax as a flat tax would generate added revenue, that which a substantial portion of the population has quite obviously been able to avoid paying, revenue the country desperately needs.

How someone who is on the Forbes list of wealthiest people in America can go four out of five years without paying any income taxes whatsoever to me indicates the US Tax Code is a criminal act upon the American public.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

Sign up to receive updates. It’s easy and safe. Just go to the upper right hand corner of this page and add your email address. We will never sell your contact information to anyone.

 

 


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Find by month

Find by date

June 2019
M T W T F S S
« May    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Follow William Thien on WordPress.com
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: