Overtaxed–The road to slavery

Overtaxed–The road to slavery

By Ed Henry


The road to slavery

Surpluses mean that we are overtaxed. When the government takes in more money than it needs, and does so in great quantities, then there is something seriously wrong. Start thinking of yourselves as slaves paying duty or fealty to the feudal lords.

In fiscal 2000, the federal government had a surplus of $237 billion. This is not a small or normal contingency amount. When the surplus is 12 percent of total revenue, it’s a gouge. If it continues as predicted, we are on the road to tyranny and oppression.

Without public outcry, by quietly accepting this fate, the American people are surrendering to an oligarchy. We are giving the greatest mandate of all to those in power. Continually robbing us is definitely not what’s supposed to happen in a free representative and constitutional form of government.

Where the 2000 surplus came from

Of the $237 billion surplus in fiscal 2000, $87 billion came from income taxes. It came from personal income tax payments, corporate tax payments built into the price of every product and service you buy, excise taxes and inheritance taxes. Overpayments in the general tax.

The wealthy paid most of this $87 billion. As John Kasich, head of the House Budget Committee puts it: “Eighty percent of income taxes are paid by the wealthiest Americans.” Thus, a small percentage of the people should rightly get the largest tax cuts or refunds if our two political cults don’t typically argue over this until it’s forgotten and no one gets anything back.

The larger balance of the surplus, $150 billion ($149.9 billion), came from taxes paid by the working stiffs of this country, not the rich. Entitlement taxes for things like extra Social Security, Medicare, gas taxes and many other things where the money is not supposed to be spent elsewhere. Money over and above what was needed by each of these to meet all of their year 2000 commitments.

Of these surplus entitlement payments, $94.7 billion came from Social Security alone. That amount makes some of your Social Security payments the greatest single rip-off in tax history. A rip-off that comes right out of the working man’s pocket since the tax stops at $72,200 and the wealthy pay nothing beyond that point.

Along with Medicare and gas taxes, it’s a poor man’s tax. Many even pay more in FICA taxes than they do in income tax.

What you could have done about it

We just had an election where the people could have thrown some of the pirates out of office. Instead, it looks like a lot of the people, and those who need this money the most, actually voted for the candidate who promised to go right on stealing.

Believing that he represented “the people,” these voters supported the man and the party that promised to continue stealing even larger future entitlement surpluses in order to pay down the national debt. A debt that has been run up to more than $5.7 trillion in the last two decades by both parties. A debt that was the government’s idea in the first place. A costly Cold War expense to beat the Russians into the ground economically, and continued since 1988 just because they were used to it and wanted to build a false economy based on debt.

By the narrowest of margins, we ended up with a president who is the lesser of two evils only because he has a half-baked plan to at least put Social Security surpluses into “personal accounts.” Individual investment accounts that seem to resemble the government’s own Thrift Savings Plan that his father introduced in 1987, during the Reagan Administration.

This method of investing retirement money in the stock market has worked well for two million government employees, returning an average 28 percent over the past four years, making federal bureaucrats wealthy. Unfortunately, it would be a disaster if applied to the 141 million working people throughout the nation.

The problem is that such a plan would put an extreme burden on every employer in the country. Instead of one monthly check to the government, covering anywhere from two or three to five or ten thousand employees, employers would be required to report each employee separately. Accounting costs would go through the roof, and so would consumer prices to cover this paperwork expense.

Unlike the government, private enterprise does not have a bunch of bureaucrats sitting around with nothing better to do than keep track of who wants to invest where, and all the switching back and forth possible if left up to the individual.

Besides that, Social Security has never been a system of private accounts. Like any of the big pension investment houses, TIA-CREF or SURS for example, it’s one large common pool that could be invested wisely in the hands of people who specialize in safely bringing home the bacon. No one, not even Milton Freidman or other academic economists, tell their retirement system how to invest their money. When an individual retires, Social Security figures benefits from previous income tax records.

The problem

It’s been three years since Clinton told us we had to “save” Social Security. Despite phony, photo-op town hall meetings, politicians and committees all over the place, think tanks working on alternatives, we still have nothing. Most of all, too few politicians are admitting to the outright theft of entitlement surpluses. Not just Social Security’s, but all entitlements and user fee surpluses.

Until the government stops stealing our money, until it’s invested wisely in something besides the “Pay-It-Again, Sam” plan double taxation “special obligation” Treasury securities, and until the people see through the phony fright stories about baby-boomers or an organization turning a $94.7 billion annual profit being in trouble—we’ll never know what might be done better. The pirates of Washington will not give up their booty easily. Why should they? They’re living off the fat of the land.

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