Monday, January 21, 2013

No Taxes on the Middle Class? The Ways Your Government Robs You Blind

(1) Number 1 tax on the middle class:  Inflation and Quantitative Easing.  Over the past five years the actual purchasing power of your earnings have been significantly reduced, at a faster rate than what normally occurs for inflation.  We've been through several rounds of Quantitative Easing, dramatic increases in inflation meant to artificially reduce reverberations in the economy from the latest crises.  It is really a hidden tax that allows the government to pay for things by taking the value from your dollars, rather than your actual dollars.

This hidden tax not only affects the value of what you earn, but the value of everything that you've saved.  It taxes the money you made years ago in addition to the money you're making now.  And it affects rich and poor (hurts the poor the most).  

You've been taxed a great deal over the last five years, and you probably don't even know it, because you forget that the dollar amounts in your bank statement don't mean what they used to mean a few years ago.  And while these taxes were a sort of flat tax, it wasn't levied by your Representatives and it didn't necessarily have your best interests at heart; and if this is cronyism, it sure hasn't gotten a lot of attention.  Why all your Democrat Representatives would have to do to fire you up about it is simply call it "crony capitalism."  But they haven't and you probably aren't.  The Occupiers will just have to occupy because the corporations are being all "corporationey."

(2) Not quite a tax but reduces your ability to buy:  Restricted oil production inflates gas prices and dramatically increases the price of nearly everything, since gas allows farms to be farmed and allows food and merchandise to be transported everywhere.  The energy need to produce and transport contributes to the price.  Decisions to prefer other nations (such as to develop their offshore oil rather than developing our own resources.  

Food prices have skyrocketed over the past couple years.  While overall U.S. food prices rose about 5% last year, earlier in the year food inflation was the highest recorded in 36 years.  The USDA sees food prices rising 2.5%-3.5% in 2012 but many believe that inflation could be much higher.  This is concerning since the economy is not rocketing and interest rates are near zero.  *
Gasoline plays a big role in nearly any transaction.  If you buy used books on, how much of the  amount you pay is shipping?  You can buy a book for $0.01 and you'll still pay $4 in shipping.  Seems like graft and probably is, but it also points to the fact that supply and demand can't get around the cost of doing business, and much of that is the cost of oil.  And as much as some have argued to the contrary, does it seem likely that having an oil-sufficient America would make the Pan-Arabist nations more competitive in their prices to America?  After all, the high European tax rate discourages oil consumption and petrol-based transactions in Europe, otherwise American liberals wouldn't be claiming that the high prices are good (contrary to their pre-2008 claims that high gas prices were bad for the working man) because they discourage the use of oil.

Everyone knows (and Obama has suggested that the world despises us for it) that American is The Big Consumer of oil.  That's demand, and it allows the Middle East to raise the price.  If we have less demand for oil produced outside the U.S. (which will have the added cost of transportation), the Saudis will have to drop their prices if they want to keep up sales (10% of 2,000,000 sales is better than 15% of 1,000,000 sales).  Would Imagenation Abu Dhabi fund an anti-oil "green energy" film the way it funded Matt Damon's fracking-can-blow-up-a-town drama, or would they have had a say in how about how what movies they bankroll?  Maybe it helps them for America to rely more on what they sell than on what we can produce, hmmm?

Is this not exactly what liberals have been saying for over 20 years? that we will not need the Middle East's oil if we have our own?  But when Romney says we need to produce our own oil, all of a sudden there are a bunch of energy wonks arguing  that American demand doesn't affect global oil price and American supply doesn't affect prices in America?  And if that's not what they're saying, then what in great Zeus's beard are they saying?!  Nope, we don't need our own oil, but we sure need to dump billions upon billions into failing earmarked green energy boondoggles so that our demand for oil goes away.  Yup.

Doubling of gas prices in the last 5 years (not to mention the rise over the last 10 years) has made the dollars earned by the 24% underemployed Americans not go nearly as far they used to.

(3) Complicated laws inflate the price of justice and hurt the "99%".
There are many problems with the literal mountain of statutes and regulations that have resulted directly from our "every problem requires a new law/regulation" addiction of this country.  Justice tends to go to the individuals and companies that can afford $500-an-hour attorneys.  As John Stossel notes in his Illegal Everything special, you are probably a lawbreaker and don't even know it.  Better not upload anything offensive about Muslims to Youtube, because if a "demonstration" or "act of error" the Obama administration will have the FBI find out what they can arrest you for.  And you might be subject to indefinite "prolonged detention" since it affects national security.

So if your goods and your livelihood are only as secure as your ability to defend them in court, the red tape trail that the "there has to be a law for this" do-gooders churn out of their regulation mill are going to make you owe a lot of money to lawyers are face bankruptcy/foreclosure.  Which will be great for do-gooder business, since you will be more willing to give government more power to "protect" you from this risk; the great thing about government solutions is that the problems they cause will be used to sell you even more government solutions! That's repeat business!

If you're in the "99%" all this is bad for you but is quite all right for the D.C. politicians. Yes, the rise in payroll taxes due to the out-of-control Social Security and Medicaid commitments are going to hurt, but that's true especially since these aforementioned measures have already been levied against the beleaguered public.

Remember that Obamacare was 2000+ pages of complications, said to be basically just Romneycare (70 pages?) with over 1930 extra loopholes and lobbyist-driven provisions, a regular maze of provisos and conditions.  This is going to require hospitals to pay lawyers to guide them through this added maze of potential litigation.  This is going to affect what hospitals charge their patients and/or what insurance companies charge their clients.

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