William Thien

Posts Tagged ‘Taxes

From February 6, 2015 but even more poignant now since the tax code hasn’t been mentioned in any measure as far as I can tell during the campaigns. The socialist tax code marginalizes certain groups of people and to me it is little different than a form of genocide. By having to pay for others to fornicate and paying to raise their children my own financial ability to do the same is substantially marginalized.

February 6, 2015:

It occurs to me that if I’m paying for others to fornicate and copulate and all other manner of sexual interaction and I’m paying for the brooding, education, medication, and frequently the incarceration of the related progeny, paying for all of that sex through the tax code, paying for others to claim dependent deductions on tax returns and through not having eligibility for withholding on my own paycheck since I have no children or dependents of my own, I am subject to a form of economic genocide. Because that’s exactly what economic genocide is. It’s just that in this case, the genocide is facilitated through America’s socialist tax code.

Copyright © William Thien 2015

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Whereas the individual tax payer has been made a tax surrogate and has been indentured by the tax code on behalf of unrelated others:

If the (a) government is going to tax an individual taxpayer at a rate or using a method that is different from others simply because the others own property or have a family with dependents, if the government is going to tax an individual taxpayer so that they must pay proportionately more in tax or so that they see less of a return for their efforts after taxes when compensated than others who own property or have a family, that is blatantly unfair to the individual tax payer.

The fact that someone has a family or the fact that someone is making mortgage payments on property are the result of life choices made by that particular person or family. They should not receive a lower tax rate or be taxed using a method that is different from an individual who has not made those same choices, particularly when the there is a greater likelihood that more government services are used by the family or the property owner.

These are the facts. The fact that it is difficult and expensive to raise a family or the fact that making mortgage payments is financially burdensome are invalid reasons to tax someone unrelated to those activities to compensate for the cost of those activities.

 

For quite some time now I’ve been talking about how unfair and complex the tax code is. Some essays have been well received such as America’s Unfair Tax Code and The Brown Headed Cowbird or other observations suggesting that the tax code is a form of economic genocide and indentured servitude, particularly for singles with no children or property. I provide examples and often use my own circumstances to support my position.

Here is another rather blatant example of how overly complex the tax code is and this might unsettle you a bit if you haven’t completed your taxes, yet. First, let me preface this observation with the fact that aside from the overly zealous tax collector, I don’t forsake The I.R.S. for pursuing taxes. The tax code originates in the elected body and The I.R.S. is merely tasked with enforcing it, sometimes perhaps a bit too energetically. If we have a gripe about the level of taxation, it must be directed at our elected officials to bring relief.

With that said, I recently completed my taxes. I use an online web site that we’ve all heard of and I’ve been using it for a number of years. My taxes aren’t overly complicated in and of themselves and I’ve had fairly decent success completing my taxes using the web site. This year I had some income that was unexpected and I was not quite certain how to treat it. So, not only did I use the online web site, which is free for federal taxes, I went into one of the offices associated with the web site and had an accountant (C.P.A.) complete my taxes. I also had a friend do them who is an accomplished accountant. I was interested in getting the best outcome and hoped that one would be better than the other.

What I discovered upon receipt of the results from my friend the accountant astonished me. All three of methods achieved completely different results. When I showed the taxes completed at the office of the online service to the accountant friend of mine, he concluded that they were completed correctly. The results from the office associated with the online service did not provide a return and instead required that I send a check to The US Treasury and to my state department of revenue, which I’ve done already of course. My accountant friend believed the taxes he completed himself were done correctly as well. The only method that provided a return was the online version of taxes.

Conclusion?

The tax code is overly complex. The tax code is in fact blatantly unfair and unnecessarily complex. The tax code needs to be simplified and restructured.

Not one candidate is talking about the tax code during the primary season. Not one. Coincidence?

No, it’s not a coincidence because not one of them plans on doing anything about the tax code. Keep that in mind when you go to the ballot box, especially if you are single.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

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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

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One thing socialists and communists don’t want the public to know about socialism and communism is that the social programs they derive make things more expensive for those who are taxed to pay for the programs.

Let’s take rent assistance, for example. If you skim tax dollars off of the middle class (that’s where the money comes from) to redistribute it to pay for single women having children out-of-wedlock (nearly half of all babies born last year were born to single mothers), single mothers who need to stay home and take care of their babies, what is effectively happening is that an increase in the demand for rental housing is taking place and there is a corresponding supply of money, rent assistance dollars, to satisfy that demand. The socialists are using your money, tax dollars, to pay for that rent assistance. You are thinking, “Awe, isn’t that nice, I’m helping someone keep a roof over their heads.” But that’s only a small portion of it really, the good part.

The social programs put more money into the rental economy and thereby enable landowners to increase their rents. If all people don’t have enough money to pay the rent, landlords have to lower the rents. When demand is high, when money is available as in the form of rent assistance, prices are kept high, artificially high. The key word is “artificially” high. When demand is low, prices go down.

Now there is nothing wrong with landowners getting paid for renting their property, but social programs such as rent assistance are a double whammy to you and your dollar in that they totally undermine your very own housing dollar by working against it, driving the price of housing up for you and also taxing you for the dollars to do it! That’s what the socialists and communists don’t want you to know! They are forcing you to screw yourself right out of your very own place!

The same holds true for most major social programs and entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, you name it. If you examine the cost of health care since the implementation of those two programs, what has happened? Recognize a pattern, yet?

Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone. They don’t want you to know, either. I’m not supposed to say anything, or else!, they say.

The media doesn’t tell you, do they? No, they want people sitting at home in front of the television or making more babies on the rug in front of it. If people are working, they can’t watch TV. Only those who ascribe to the socialist system can stay at home and watch TV all the time because they get the check, the assistance, and the food stamps. And many do. One in six Americans now receives food stamps, almost fifteen percent of the population. How many of them are working?

Corporate media actually likes the socialist system because it creates a large audience of viewers that they can market their products to in order to get the money from the food stamps and assistance checks. Is it big business? No, ladies and gentlemen, it’s huge!

How about food stamps? We’ve been talking about that lately. As I’ve described, when you throw a bunch of money in to any market, prices go up. It’s basic economic theory. If the supply remains constant and demand increases, prices go up. When you put $74 billion dollars into the market economy demand increases and so prices go up. And prices have gone up, haven’t they?

There were some questions sent to me asking about how such assistance programs drive up the prices of things and as you can see, not only do social programs drive up the price of things you buy, they use your money to do it. That’s what the socialists and communists in the government don’t want you to know.

Well, what’s in it for the socialists and communists in the government, you ask? A job, a job helping you screw yourself it appears, and judging from the size and scope of social programs in the US in comparison to the 1950’s, apparently they take great pleasure in seeing to it. Maybe Senator McCarthy from Wisconsin was right. Yes, I suppose he was.

Shhh! I shouldn’t be telling you all of this, any of it.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Yesterday I tuned in to that national conservative radio talk show host who broadcasts during the day. He brought up the subject of the two major big-box retailers we all know of, one whose name begins with a W and the other a C, and their support for an increase in the minimum wage. The radio host contends that the two retailers support an increase in the minimum wage because they can afford it and it will displace their competition who cannot afford to pay their own workers an increase in the minimum wage.

That was my position regarding the potential onset of a national internet sales tax. Certain retailers such as big box retailers who also have an internet presence can absorb the cost to the customer of a national internet sales tax, thereby pricing their competition out of the market. Smaller retailers would by default be increasing prices when adding the sales tax to the total receipt. Previously the smaller retailers were able to keep prices close to or competitive with the big-box retailers when adding in the cost of shipping because their overhead was naturally lower. They do not have to pay to maintain a retail location or locations. The implementation of a national internet sales tax would change all of that.

An increase in the minimum wage is another issue altogether. The motivation by the two major big box retailers to seek an increase in the minimum wage is due to the fact that their customers are no longer able to afford to shop at their stores. Retail prices, all except those that are subject to governmental price controls such as that of milk and food staples in general, have seen a large and certain jump in prices since 2008 and just prior as a result of various economic stimuli at the national level.

As a country, we are now starting to see the real and detrimental effects of the various economic stimulus plans. We are seeing the effects of the economic stimuli in the form of substantial levels of inflation and the least affluent customer, that customer to which the two big-box discount retailers primarily cater can no longer afford to shop at their stores. Sales are down at those discount retailers because prices are up substantially due to inflation, inflation which the retailers can no longer control with their economies of scale and purchasing power. Yet, their customer base has not seen a corresponding increase in wages in five years if you consider the national minimum wage while at the same time prices are being driven substantially higher. The economic stimuli we have seen since 2008 and prior have done little for the poor and lower economic classes, quite the opposite in fact.

One issue, that of the internet sales tax is a price control issue, the other issue, that of the minimum wage, is one of money supply on the demand side. When the customer has no money, that’s bad for retail business. And the customer has no money to cover the cost of inflation. The economic stimulus made sure of that.

To prove my theory I did a rather unscientific study. I went to the closest big-box retailer whose name begins with the letter W. Of the thirty or so lanes located to check out, only two lanes were open right in the middle of the afternoon (a little after 4pm), and the only line that had formed was at the self-checkout lanes and that line had only three or four people in line. The store is new and is considered a “Supercenter.” By retail standards, I’m sure it would have been considered a bit of a ghost town.

Their customer simply has no money to shop there anymore.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Marital property laws and community property laws may not be about “equality” as was originally thought.

Marital property and community property laws are about wresting control of income from the breadwinner, traditionally the male of the household, though that is changing, and giving control of that money to the lady of the house. Why? Because all of the marketing sciences are directed at the consumer and the lady of the house has been designated as the focus of America’s marketing efforts. She was and still is the primary consumer of the household. She does most of the spending. Almost all of America’s discretionary income marketing is focused on her. By giving her control of all of the money, marketing can get her to spend more of it. It is as simple as that.

When divorces started increasing during the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s, and women were left with little or nothing, women were taken out of the marketing equation because they were not getting as much money from the divorce. The solution was for states to enact marital property laws and community property laws to stimulate sales. You have to remember, sales taxes play a key role in sales at the register. When consumers spend, they also pay sales taxes. When spending slows, so do tax revenues.

Marital property laws did not come about simply due to issues of equality, they were created out of economic necessity in the marketplace.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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