Taxes

Taxes have been the subject of a lot of grumbling amongst the general population of every country in history, as far as I know.  Tax collectors were notoriously unpopular, according to the stories in the New Testament.  These days, the overgrown federal government is giving away money to people who are too lazy to work, and making many other forms of payments to individuals, all of which are unconstitutional.  New types of taxes are being added constantly, to support the bloated government's appetite, because the prospect of cutting back on spending is politically out of the question.

Of the many taxes we pay every week, the income tax is the most costly.  Yet the income tax didn't exist until about a hundred years ago, and even the income tax started out as a small inconvenience to the wealthiest people in America.  Taxes today include numerous nickel-and-dime fees that are tacked on to your telephone bill or the price you pay for an oil change or a set of tires.


Related topics:

Odometer taxes

Gasoline taxes

Cigarette taxes

Value Added Tax

Lies about taxes

The IRS

The use of the IRS as a weapon



Newest Obama Admin Mandate: Corporate Tax Patriotism.  First it was Vice President Joe Biden who said paying higher taxes was "patriotic."  Now, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has resurrected the taxes-as-patriotism meme for the Obama White House.  Secretary Lew used the phrase "economic patriotism" this morning [7/16/2014] on his interview on CNBC to discuss the Administration's new plans to regulate the corporate marketplace.

Government will take every penny you've earned so far this year.  As Americans celebrated this nation's birthday on July 4, most were likely unaware of a less uplifting commemoration that fell on the calendar during the same holiday weekend.  That was Cost of Government Day, or July 6, 2014.  The date's significance is one of political math and symbolism.  By the time 2014 ends, local, state and federal governments will have consumed the equivalent of every dime of national production created between New Year's Day and July 6.  The money goes to government spending and regulatory compliance.  Americans have only from Monday [7/7/2014] until year's end to produce anything for themselves.

Highway (trust fund) robbery.  This is a classic Washington crisis by the numbers.  Congress sets up a "trust fund" — in this case, the Highway Trust Fund — and depletes it by spending the cash on projects that have nothing to do with highways.  When there's no money left, taxes must be raised.

House Aims to Stop Highway Robbery.  Every time you buy a gallon of gas in this nation, you pay 18.2 cents to Uncle Sam.  The original rationalization for the federal gas tax was that it was collected in a "Highway Trust Fund" and used to pay for road infrastructure.  In 1983, a transit account was created, diverting 20 percent of the trust fund to pay for the mass transit dreams of local potentates.  The Highway Trust Fund (which President Barack Obama is reportedly planning to rename "Transportation Trust Fund") has paid for railroad pork all over the country.

Senators propose 12-cent gas tax increase.  Two senators unveiled a bipartisan plan Wednesday [6/18/2014] to raise federal gasoline and diesel taxes for the first time in more than two decades, pitching the proposal as a solution to Congress' struggle to pay for highway and transit programs.

Don't Raise the Gas Tax.  The federal Highway Trust Fund, historically, is a fund that the government can't be trusted to spend on federal highways.  Unfortunately, Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) is proposing to put more money in it by raising the federal gasoline tax, a proposal he's concocted with Senator Chris Murphy (D., Conn.).  Corker's idea is bad policy and bad politics.  The politics:  Gas prices are rising rapidly, taxes on fuel are regressive, and Americans, rightly, really don't like when you raise any kind of tax at all.

After touting estate tax, Bill and Hillary Clinton seize on loopholes.  Estate tax champions Bill and Hillary Clinton are doing just about everything in their power to stave off hefty estate taxes on their own personal fortune, according to Bloomberg News.  The report out Tuesday [6/17/2014] shows that the two heads of the political dynasty have been seizing on legal but slippery loopholes to minimize taxes on inherited wealth — maneuvers not atypical of multimillionaires but which will inevitably drum up cries of hypocrisy based on the Clintons' active support for the estate tax in the past.

Highway (trust fund) robbery.  The administration insists that America's roads are crumbling, the bridges tumbling, and Congress must raise taxes, or else.  "If they don't act by the end of the summer," President Obama says, "federal funding for transportation projects will run out — will run out.  There will be no money.  The cupboard will be bare."  This is a classic Washington crisis by the numbers.  Congress sets up a "trust fund" — in this case, the Highway Trust Fund — and depletes it by spending the cash on projects that have nothing to do with highways.  When there's no money left, taxes must be raised.

Conservatives' Moment to Stand Against Cronyism.  Most Americans know that our revolutionary history began when a handful of brave patriots tossed crates of tea into Boston Harbor to protest unfair taxation.  But what they might assume incorrectly is that our forefathers did so in response to increased taxes.  In fact, the Tea Act of 1773 actually lowered taxes on imports.  What truly offended the colonists was that it only lowered them for one corporation, the politically connected East India Company, giving it an unfair, artificial advantage over smaller, local American competitors.  Thus, not only was the American idea hatched in protest to a government that was too big and too intrusive, but also protesting a government that was willing and able to unfairly benefit favored special interests at the expense of everyone else.  Today, it's commonly known as "cronyism" and represents a uniquely malignant threat to American exceptionalism.

Liberal Austin homeowners surprised to find they have to pay all the taxes they voted for.  Voting and paying are different endeavors entirely.  Often, when one has to pay for the things one has voted to fund, that decision becomes less flippant.  This is a comment, less on the specifics of Texas' or Austin's tax system than the blaring disconnect between liberals in Austin who are voting for higher taxes and the actual paying of the taxes.  Which, as it turns out, is painful, discouraging, and can be a detriment to the fabric of the city.

The Unpopular Property Tax.  The complexity of property taxes is also an issue.  In Texas, there are more than 3,900 localities that impose property taxes, including school districts, counties, and special districts.  Texas' property tax burden has grown from approximately 1 percent of value in the early 1980s to nearly 3 percent today.  The rising burden from property tax is worse for the housing-rich but income-poor elderly homeowners.  For example, elderly homeowners tend to move more often to reduce their property tax burden, which is an additional cost of owning a home for those who can least afford to move.  Interestingly, another reason voters hate property taxes is because they are more "salient."  A salient tax means that the burden is transparent, easy to understand, and hard to avoid.  If paid directly, property taxes are found to be more salient compared with sales taxes applied at checkout or income taxes withheld from a paycheck.

People Moving Due to Taxes.  The source data — from the IRS — shows the changes in each state's total adjusted gross income of taxpayers who've moved either in or out.  The states with the highest income taxes have had a net loss in taxpayer AGI of $107 billion, and the the states with no income tax have had a net gain of $146 billion.  In other words, there's been an exodus from high tax states to those with no taxes.

Federal employees owe $3.3B in back taxes.  Federal employees owe a total of $3.3 billion in back taxes to the federal government, according to Internal Revenue Service data released Thursday [5/22/2014].  In all, 318,462 federal employees owed back taxes as of last Sept. 30 — an increase of 2.6% from the previous year.

Thousands of Federal Workers Owe Billions in Back Taxes.  From workers in Congress and at the White House to active duty troops, more than 318,000 federal employees and retirees owe just over $3.3 billion in back taxes, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.  That works out to nearly 3.3 percent of all 9.8 million federal workers and retirees who are behind on their taxes, which is significantly lower than the proportion of delinquent taxpayers in the overall population.

The Tax System Explained in Beer.  Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.  If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this... The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.  The fifth would pay $1.  The sixth would pay $3.  The seventh would pay $7.  The eighth would pay $12.  The ninth would pay $18.  The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

Group Claims Obamacare Unconstitutionally Imposes New Taxes.  A Sacramento-based law firm is challenging President Barack Obama's health care law, claiming it imposes new taxes unconstitutionally.

Taxman auctions widow's home over $6 bill.  A Pennsylvania judge ruled that it's perfectly OK for state tax authorities to have sold a widow's home at auction because she failed to pay a $6.30 tax bill.

California Tops List of 10 States With Highest Taxes.  The Tax Foundation has ranked the states by their state income tax rates and among the highest are California, Hawaii, and Oregon.

Obama Calls for Highest Sustained Taxation in U.S. History.  In the budget proposal he presented to Congress last month, President Barack Obama called for what would be the highest level of sustained taxation ever imposed on the American people, according to the analysis published last week by the Congressional Budget Office.  Under Obama's proposal, taxes would rise from 17.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2014 to 19.2 percent in 2024.  During the ten years from 2015 to 2024, federal taxation would average 18.7 percent GDP.  America has never been subjected to a ten-year stretch of taxation at that level.

Scalia To Student: If Taxes Go Too High 'Perhaps You Should Revolt'.  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a crowd of law school students that if taxes in the U.S. become too high then people "should revolt."  Speaking at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday [4/15/2014], the longest-serving justice currently on the bench was asked by a student about the constitutionality of the income tax, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.  Scalia responded that the government has the right to implement the tax, "but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt."

Paying more than your fair share of income taxes.  If you are a member of the 53% of the US population who actually pays income taxes, due today without a penalty, perhaps this chart from the Internal Revenue Service and analyzed by Mark J. Perry of AEIdeas will make you feel better.  Or not. [...] And these are the stats on people who at least pay income taxes; in 2012 Republican presidential candidate's Mitt Romney was actually criticized for even mentioning that 47% don't pay income taxes.

IRS considers taxing employee perks doled out by companies.  The Internal Revenue Service is considering a bold move to label perks like free lunch given to workers by companies as taxable.  The agency wonders if freebies like haircuts and gym memberships are a way to compensate the highly skilled rather than just a way to jumpstart productivity.  Companies say it would be a step too far that needlessly chips away most notably at the fruitfulness of industries in Silicon Valley that have become a driving force behind the American economy.

Just 39% Think Federal Income Tax System Is Fair.  Just 39% of Americans say today's income tax code — which features multiple tax brackets along with myriad deductions and exemptions — is the fairest.  As to what sort of tax system would be more fair, the public hasn't made up its mind.  Thirty-six percent say a flat tax is the fairest way to collect income taxes, while 19% would prefer a national sales tax.

Gallup: 52% of Americans Say Federal Income Taxes Too High.  Just in time for tax deadline day, a new Gallup poll finds that a majority of Americans — 52 percent — say they pay too much federal income tax, while 42 percent say they amount they pay is "about right."  Three percent said their federal taxes are "too low."

The Editor says...
If you feel that your taxes are too low, you can always send a check to the Treasury in the amount you would prefer to pay.  In reality, what the 3 percent are saying is that your taxes are too low, not theirs.

What Obamacare Means for Your Taxes.  Tax day is here — and some people will pay more this year because of Obamacare.  The law's biggest tax provision — billions of dollars in tax credits to help people cover the cost of their premiums — is already in effect, but doesn't affect the taxes due on Tuesday [4/15/2014].  A handful of smaller provisions, mostly affecting wealthy households, will show up for the first time in this year's filing.  Among this year's changes:  a 0.9 percent increase in Medicare taxes and a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income.  Both are limited to high-income taxpayers, and both took effect for the first time in the tax season that just ended.

The Democrat Party's Century of Tax Hikes.  [T]he 16th amendment, ratified in 1913, stands as one of the most viscous deteriorations of the American Experiment.  Stating simply "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration" the amendment grants to the Federal government powers typically reserved for serfdom or British ruled colonies.  It's not that tax collection is inherently evil, or that a personal income tax of some nature is abhorrent to Constitutional values, but the 16th Amendment marked the beginnings of progressive dominance in political discourse.  Direct taxation (which was expressly prohibited in the Constitution) endangers personal property, privacy and anonymity.

Obama has Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office.  Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with "only" 34 proposed tax increases.  Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President.  In addition to the 442 tax increases in his annual budget proposals, the 20 signed into law as part of Obamacare, and the massive tobacco tax hike signed into law on the sixteenth day of his presidency, Obama has made it clear he is open to other broad-based tax increases.

Obama's Economy-Killing Tax-Hike Frenzy Knows No End.  In his first campaign, President Obama pledged to cut taxes for all but the very rich.  Now that another tax day has come and gone, it should be very clear that his pledge was just another in a long line of falsehoods. [...] A new report from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a group that advocates tax cuts to restore economic growth, says that President Obama has so far pushed for 442 tax hikes — many of them aimed squarely at the struggling middle class whom Obama has vowed repeatedly to protect.  If Obama were to get his way, he'd be the most prolific tax hiker in history.

Molinaro signs repeal of county energy sales tax.  Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today [4/8/2014] signed a measure that removes a 3.75 percent sales tax on residential energy sources in Dutchess County.  "We have listened to our constituents and now keep our promise to repeal this tax upon receipt of aid from Albany," Molinaro said in a statement.  The Dutchess County Legislature voted unanimously Monday night to repeal the sales tax, which was imposed last year in order to make up a budget shortfall.

'Tax Freedom Day' falls three days later this year.  The day when the nation collectively has made enough money to pay its total tax burden for the year is three days later this year, according to a new report.  According to a report released Monday [4/7/2014] by the Tax Foundation, this year Tax Freedom Day falls 111 days into 2014, on April 21.  By April 21, to [sic] group says, Americans will have made enough to pay the $3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state taxes — more than they will spend on food clothing and housing combined.

Iowa goes retro to keep millions from tax that doesn't exist.  For six years, the state has collected more than $20 million for a tax that didn't exist.  When questioned about it, the Legislature adopted the solution preferred by small children who've done something wrong — they pretended it never happened.  In 2008, the Legislature passed a bill that accidentally included language repealing the section of the tax code that imposed a sales tax on heavy machinery purchased in the state.  No one noticed until last summer, when a lawyer contacted the Iowa Department of Revenue seeking clarification about the tax.

White House Exposes Corrupt Tax System with Attack on Drudge.  It is probably fair to say nobody had ever heard of the guy outside of his cocooned little Twitterverse of journalists and bloggers who follow his utterances for strained happy talk about President Obama and his signature health care law.  That is, until last Friday when Jesse Lee strayed from his comfort zone of spotting unicorns dancing under rainbows to talking about taxes and how they are paid by the people who build small businesses in America.

Taxable swag: If you got free goodies, the IRS wants to know.  [A]s far back as 1960, the Supreme Court, in Commissioner v Duberstein, ruled that a businessman who'd received a Cadillac as a gift from a company he did business with needed to pay taxes on it.

For some who are married but filing taxes separately, another HealthCare.gov hurdle.  In May 2012, when the Internal Revenue Service proposed its rules for Americans to get government subsidies for health insurance, officials acknowledged that a legal quirk needed to be fixed:  The Affordable Care Act was written in a way that inadvertently denied such help to some people who live apart from spouses who abuse them, are in prison or are on the cusp of a divorce.  The problem is that the law's authors, in creating tax credits to help pay for health plans bought through the new insurance marketplaces, had overlooked the fact that some married people file their tax returns separately.

What U.S. states have the highest and lowest taxes?  If you hate paying taxes, pay attention to where you live.  Residents of the nation's lowest-tax states pay less than one-quarter of the levies contributed by those in the highest-tax states.  And that's even when they earn the same amount and spend the same amount on everything from housing to beer, according to an analysis by personal finance site WalletHub.  The site looked at 10 different taxes, from property and state and local income taxes to those on vehicles, food, alcohol, fuel, telecommunications and sales.

Red state residents pay fewer taxes than blue state residents.  The average American family pays nearly $7,000 in state and local taxes in a given year, but the actual amounts vary wildly.  A Californian who lives on the western side of Lake Tahoe pays almost three times more in state taxes than their neighbor on the Nevada side of the lake.  Someone living in Portland, Ore., pays more than twice as much as a neighbor living across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Wash.

Gates: Tax consumption to fix unemployment caused by technology.  Billionaire software mogul Bill Gates has joined the growing chorus of tech experts who predict that low-skill Americans will face greater unemployment because more jobs are being done by software and robots.  The Microsoft founder, whose net worth is $76 billion, suggested the problem could be fixed by reducing taxes on employers and raising taxes on employees, via the reduction of payroll taxes and the addition of new federal consumption taxes.

The Editor says...
Nonsense.  Robots and software might take over some menial and tiresome tasks, but it's difficult to ask a robot to explain what happened last Tuesday when the production line came to a halt.  I work with an automation system, and believe me, it's not automatic.  Mr. Gates and his products have probably forced a lot of people to change jobs or change careers; but he should realize that jobs come and go, and if your job disappears you go find another one, unless it's easier to claim some kind of disability.

Pre-K vs. Back Pay: Personnel Costs Threaten Progressive Goals.  If universal pre-K is as critical as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio insists, funding should be found by cutting lower-priority programs, not through his proposed new income tax.  Public sector unions bring out the worst in the modern administrative state.  States with weak labor regulation also tend toward bloat and inefficiency, but it's in blue states, which overcompensate their employees and mock the concept of "public service" with their absurdly protective work rules, where government operates most like government.  In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio believes in the benefits of government spending, but his progressive goals are threatened by unsustainable personnel costs.  His proposed solution is to raise taxes, thus doubling down on bloat.

On Track to Restart the Cold War.  On economic policy, President Obama has consistently and thoroughly followed just the opposite of everything Reagan did.  And that is why he has consistently and thoroughly gotten the opposite of Reagan's results.  Reagan slashed tax rates, with the top income tax rate reduced from 70% when he entered office to 28% when he left. [...] In sharp contrast, Obama's consistently anti-growth economic policies have produced the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.

Obama unveils $4T budget plan.  [Scroll down]  Obama also announced a four-year, $302 billion plan to boost spending on highways, rail projects and mass transit.  Half of the initiative would be financed through corporate taxes.  Funding for highway and mass transit projects expires at the end of September, and there's bipartisan interest in finding a supplemental funding stream to augment stagnant revenues from the $[sic]18.4 cents-per-gallon gasoline tax.

The GOP Needs To Stop Attacking Conservatives.  Here's what a GOP tax reform idea should look like.  Let's cut rates on people who actually contribute to society to 15% and pay for it by eliminating anything not found in the Constitution.  This basically means stopping every program that takes money from people who work and gives it to the deadbeat Democrat-voting losers who refuse to.  It's simple, fair, and most of all it hurts the kind of parasites who elect dillweeds like Harry Reid.

Report: Duke Energy paid no federal income taxes in recent years.  Duke Energy is one of 26 profitable Fortune 500 companies that paid no federal income taxes over the past five years, according to a new report.  A Duke spokesman said the Charlotte-based company benefited from accelerated depreciation on billions of dollars in capital investments that it will be paying taxes on for decades to come.  Boeing, Corning, General Electric, Priceline.com and Verizon Communications also are listed among the group that paid no federal income taxes from 2008 to 2012 in the report issued Wednesday [2/26/2014] by the Citizens for Tax Justice, an advocacy group, and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

How to Fix Our Appalling Tax Code.  There have been so many changes to the tax code over the past decade that it is now 10 times the size of the Bible, but with none of the Good News.  That factual statement usually gets a good laugh back home in Michigan.  What isn't funny is the effect that constant tinkering with taxes has had on the people who pay them, and on the economy.  According to Nina Olsen, the National Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, Americans overall spend over six billion hours and $168 billion every year to file their returns.  This is stark testimony to the complexity of the tax code.

8960 or Fight!  Some TurboTax customers are mad at Intuit, maker of the popular tax-prep software, because they've finished their returns but are unable to file.  Their anger is misplaced.  They should blame the Internal Revenue Service, along with the 111th Congress and President Obama for enacting and signing the tax increase with which TurboTax can't yet comply. [...] At issue is ObamaCare's new 3.8% "net investment income tax."

Mayor wants to impose regulations on ride-sharing industry.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel will move Wednesday [2/5/2014] to fill a "regulatory vacuum" that has given ride-sharing companies an unfair advantage over taxicabs, with no safeguards to protect consumers.  The 20-page ordinance, expected to be introduced at a City Council meeting, would license ride-sharing companies as "transportation network providers" and require them to pay an annual, $25,000 fee, plus $25 per driver.

Here's why taxes are high:
65 of 70 biggest spenders are Democrats, led by Congressional Black Caucus members.  Democrats in Congress sponsored 618 bills in 2013 that would have spent at least $1.35 trillion, and Republicans sponsored 147 bills worth $635 billion, according to a Washington Examiner analysis.  The figures provide an unusual insight into what members of Congress would do if they ran the show and had a free hand to spend tax dollars.  Of the 70 members who sponsored the largest number of spending bills, 65 were Democrats, four were Republicans and one an independent.

Congress seeks to jack up fees on home heating oil in midst of frigid winter.  Congress' mammoth farm bill restores the imposition of an extra fee on home heating oil, hitting consumers in cold-weather states just as utility costs are spiking.  The fee — two-tenths of a cent on every gallon sold — was tacked on to the end of the 959-page bill, which is winding its way through Capitol Hill.

"America is One Big Pothole": LaHood Wants to Raise the Gas Tax.  With money running out in the Trust Fund that takes care of the highways and other mass transit projects, Mr. [Ray] LaHood has picked up President Obama's main budgeting technique:  raise taxes to find the money.  What's even funnier is that LaHood stated, "Because people are driving less, driving more fuel-efficient cars, and the gas tax hasn't been raised in many years" we are running out of money in the Highway Trust Fund.  Isn't that exactly what the government wanted us to do?

Grab your wallets: House to consider internet sales tax.  Old-line retailers are pushing Congress to enact the sales tax bill passed by the Senate last year to "even the playing field."  What they rarely mention is that it will drive some smaller online outlets out of business while hugely complicating online purchases due to thousands of state and local tax jurisdictions that have to be considered.

New IRS rule could cut into restaurant workers' tips.  Even as President Obama and progressive activists are trying to sell the nation on hiking the national minimum wage to help restaurant workers and other low-wage employees, the Internal Revenue Service is seemingly determined to make life harder for those same workers.  A change in tax policy implemented Jan. 1 will prevent restaurant workers from collecting automatic gratuities — the added 18 percent fee many restaurants charge to groups of eight or more — as part of their tips.

11 Nasty Trends That Will Test America's Resilience.  Last year was a challenging one for entrepreneurs and other productive Americans.  No fewer than 13 new taxes were put into place.  Big government now consumes one of every four dollars of our GDP and is getting bigger.  Entering 2014, we face problems, including taxes and spending, that neither the White House nor Congress is addressing.

New Year Brings Dawn of Obamacare Tax Increases.  [Scroll down]  Seventy-seven years later, the Social Security tax rate is now 12.4 percent.  In 2013, a little over six percent began to be withheld from both employer and employee.  Like Social Security before it, Obamacare promises to increase Americans' taxes year by year, starting this month.  Here are three of the major tax increases that come from the Democrats' healthcare law: [...]

Hidden Obamacare taxes will appear on health insurance bills starting in 2014.  New Obamacare taxes that were previously kept secret have been unveiled by outraged customers who feel betrayed.  Residents in many states have yet to feel the change that will come when President Obama's signature health care program which will go into full effect in January.

Coming up next: ObamaCare taxes and fees.  The disastrous rollout of ObamaCare is only the appetizer for Americans, the 2013 lead-in to higher costs and fees built into the so-called Affordable Care Act.  What most people haven't heard — yet — is the new fees that ObamaCare charges for access to those higher premiums.

New ObamaCare fees coming in 2014.  Here comes the ObamaCare tax bill.  The cost of President Obama's massive health-care law will hit Americans in 2014 as new taxes pile up on their insurance premiums and on their income-tax bills.  Most insurers aren't advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums, opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.

The Minimum Wage Issue — Again.  Minimum wage-earners actually pay a "negative" tax.  A person making the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25/hour will make $15,080/year (assuming he/she works 2,080 hours — 40 hours/week times 52 weeks).  He/She is in the first income quintile according to a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report.  According to the same report, he/she pays an income tax rate of -9.2% (Table 2), or $1,387.  He/she pays no income tax on the $15,080, and receives $1,387.  So the effective minimum wage is $7.91/hour ([$15,080 + $1,387]/2,080).  But wait!  There's more!

The Air Boehner Tax.  He is the new tax collector for the welfare state.  And House Speaker John Boehner's latest gift to the American people — a 124% tax increase on air travel — can aptly be called The Air Boehner Tax.

Surprise! Obamacare Includes A Medicaid Death Tax.  Before Obamacare there was a Medicaid provision allowing the state to recuperate funds spent on a Medicaid patient over 55 years old from his/her estate.  The end result of that policy, for those on Medicaid dying with assets, would see the government seizing the assets of an estate forcing family members to purchase back any items they'd want to keep.  It's called estate recovery, and it's not exactly advertised as one of the terms for Medicaid enrollment.  But pre-Obamacare there weren't many people who were a) on Medicaid and b) had many assets of value for seizing.

Expanded Medicaid's fine print holds surprise: payback' from estate after death.  As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington's expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print:  After you're dead, your estate can be billed for ordinary health-care expenses.

IRS using Google Maps to spy on taxpayers.  Agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are using Google Maps as part of their tool kit to audit taxpayers and organizations, The Daily Caller has learned.  A redacted IRS letter dated Sept. 8, 2011 reveals that at least in one case the IRS's examiners used photos of a property, obtained through Google Maps, as evidence to revoke the 501(c)(4) status of a homeowner's association.

Administration Finalizes Obamacare Tax Over Holiday Weekend.  The Obama administration quietly finalized the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a provision in Obamacare that will cost nearly $60 billion over the next five years and raise health care premiums by 3 percent.  The final rule, published on Nov. 27, imposes a fee beginning in 2014 for health insurers with premium revenues over $25 million per year.  The annual tax is levied for "United States health risks," and is hidden from consumers since it is directly assessed on health insurance companies.  David R. Burton, a senior fellow in economic policy at the Heritage Foundation, said the tax will disproportionally impact small businesses.

Illinois Judge Strikes Down State's Internet Tax Law.  A Cook County Circuit Court judge has struck down Illinois' Internet affiliate tax law, handing a victory to thousands of Internet entrepreneurs across the state.

Berkley, CA Councilman Wants Billions in Email Taxes — to Fund Post Office.  Yes, Leftists are talking about taxing emails.  Again.  Ponder for but a moment the monumental government overreach necessary to monitor and count every email every American sends.  Network Neutrality and President Barack Obama's Cyber Security Executive Order are hay-yuge government Web data grabs.  They pale in comparison to this.

With trucker tolls on GWB rising to more than $100, some drivers say they'll avoid NYC.  As toll increases go, the one that starts today is pretty moderate, at least for most of us:  an extra 75 cents on your E-ZPass bill to drive a car across the George Washington Bridge.  But truckers are being asked to dig a lot deeper — deep enough, they say, to cut into or even eliminate their profits. [...] It will now cost those who pay cash to cross in the biggest rigs more than $100, and all truckers are being hit for an extra $8 to $12 dollars [sic] per trip, even with E-ZPass.

Tax hikes remain toxic.  On Tuesday, November 5 the good citizens of Colorado voted 65% to 35% to defeat a ballot measure that would have replaced the present 4.63% flat rate income tax with a higher rate of 5% for those earning up to $75,0000 and a 5.9% rate for those earning more than $75,000.  This measure, if enacted, would have increased taxes by $1 billion a year with promises that it would be spent "on education."

Michigan House Mulls 9-1-1 Fee for Prepaid Cell Phones.  Michigan House Bill 5468, now under consideration, would change the way 9-1-1 fees are collected on prepaid cell phones in the state.  Currently those fees are charged at wholesale, which leads to complications in apportionment and consistency.  The bill would change the process so fees are charged at retail. [...] Several states, including Georgia and Hawaii, have used 9-1-1 collections to close budget deficits.

WH Predicts: Taxes Will Hit Record $3T in FY14 — $29,673 Per Full-Time Worker.  The latest Monthly Treasury Statement, which was released on Wednesday afternoon [11/13/2013], relies on the estimate made by the White House Office of Management and Budget to say that federal tax revenues will top $3 trillion for the first time in the nation's history in fiscal 2014.  In fact, the record $3,023,004,000,000 in tax revenues that the White House is predicting the federal government will rake in during fiscal 2014 not only exceeds the inflation-adjusted revenue taken in by the government in any previous year, it also equals $29,673 in tax revenue for every full-time worker in the country.  It is also equals $9,534 for every man, woman and child currently living in the country.

Report: Government redistributes more than $2 trillion in one year.  Government policies effectively redistributed more than $2 trillion in income from the top 40 percent of American society to the bottom 60 percent in 2012, according to a new study from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.  The study tracked the beneficiaries of government spending programs largely paid for by taxpayers who are not very big beneficiaries of those programs.  Families in the top 1 percent shouldered nearly half of the more than $2 trillion that was redistributed last year.

The ObamaCare taxi tax.  This week, The [New York] Post reported how the city's taxi drivers are now being charged a new tax of 6 cents — i.e., a nickel and a penny — per ride.  The hidden add-on is supposed to go toward programs that help cabbies figure out ObamaCare (good luck with that one) and for disability insurance "over and above" what medallion owners must already provide.

Happy Birthday, Income Tax!  For a century and a quarter, the United States avoided an income tax.  Thomas Jefferson warned against such "internal" taxes, saying that under the British they had "filled our land with officers and opened our doors to their intrusions."  Until the early 20th century, a small federal government relied on import duties and taxes on alcohol and tobacco for most of its revenue.  Congress passed an income tax to fund the Civil War in 1862 but allowed it to expire a decade later.  In 1894, it passed another — a 2 percent flat-rate income tax that kicked in at today's equivalent of $110,000.

Happy birthday income tax, you're 100 years old (ouch!)  "In 1913, the tax code consisted of 400 pages," said Timothy Nash, a professor of free market economics at Northwood University.  "By 2012, the tax code was 73,608 pages," he said.  "We have gone from a simple tax system to a complex, unfriendly system."

Public to Congress: Force an Internet Sales Tax at Your Own Risk.  While movement on a bill to extend the reach of state sales tax laws to out-of-state retailers has been quiet lately, that doesn't mean the American public is more accepting of the idea.  A new poll released by the National Taxpayers Union and R Street Institute showed that 57 percent of likely voters oppose letting state tax authorities require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes for them.  Only 35 percent support the idea.

$2,472,542,000,000: Record Taxation Through August; Deficit Still $755B.  The federal government raked in a record of approximately $2,472,542,000,000 in tax revenues through the first eleven months of fiscal 2013, which ran from Oct. 1, 2012 through the end of August, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for August.  That is up about $285 billion from the approximately $2,187,527,000,000 in taxes the government took in through August of fiscal 2012.

Left With Nothing.  On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb. [...] The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered.  By sundown, he had nowhere to go.  All because he didn't pay a $134 property tax bill.

New IRS policy taxes automatic tips for waiters.  A new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) policy will classify many waiters' tips as taxable income instead of self-reported tips, leading to increased costs for restaurants.  The IRS will begin classifying automatic tips at large restaurant tables — which are built into the bill, and which currently count as tips that are not subject to payroll tax withholding — as taxable service charges, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Obama Pushes Cell Phone Rate Hike, Without Congress.  The president is pushing a plan to raise money by hiking cell phone fees and use the revenue generated to wire up local schools with high-speed Internet access.  The idea of allowing states and towns to figure out how to pay for their own Internet access is evidently anathema to this administration, as is the idea that government should stay within its constitutional boundaries.  He's also planning to do this without input from Congress, via the Federal Communications Commission, according to the Washington Post.  Congress, not the executive branch, is empowered by the Constitution with the ability to levy or reject taxes.

Feds May Raise Phone Taxes to Fund Common Core Test-Taking.  The Obama administration may raise taxes on everyone's phone lines by about $5 per year to increase K-12 tech subsidies because most schools cannot administer the computerized Common Core tests coming out in 2015.  President Obama announced the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will likely overhaul the schools and libraries universal service support program, commonly known as E-Rate.  He also asked the U.S. Department of Education to use federal funding to give teachers more training in using technology.

Tax reform proposals to be secret for 50 years.  The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee last month asked senators to submit written proposals detailing tax breaks they'd like to see preserved once the tax code is reformed and explain why.  The point was to help inform committee leaders in their efforts to craft a tax reform bill.  The request apparently wasn't embraced, and the committee has now promised skittish senators that their proposals will be kept secret for 50 years.

Detroit's strange earnings tax.  Detroit's lumbering slog through the bankruptcy court is well underway, of course — with the requisite examination of its lessons for other communities across the country.  One lesson might be found in Detroit's weird earnings tax.  It collects an income tax from residents, as well as non-resident income earned in the city, just like Kansas City.  But the rate for residents is much higher:  2.4 percent of income.  For non-residents, it's 1.2 percent.  Does that make any sense?

Online 'Marketplace Fairness Act' Could Tax Your 401(k).  The bill authorizes states to "require all sellers not qualifying for the small seller exception [$1 million in sales or less] to collect and remit sales and use taxes with respect to remote sales sourced to that Member State."  Yet "sellers" and "sales" are never specifically defined, and there are no specific exemptions for certain types of products or services.  Financial experts say this means states could tax "sales" such as stock trades in a mutual fund or brokerage account, or even contributions to pension plans such as 401(k)s that were designed to be tax-free until retirement.

Homes, Businesses to Pay 'Rain Fees' In Nine Maryland Counties.  Despite a Republican filibuster attempt in the Senate, the Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation that would implement a stormwater pollution fee to raise revenue to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.  Approved by the Senate and House of Delegates minutes before the end of the legislative session, HB 987 requires nine counties and Baltimore City to establish a watershed protection and restoration program.  Senate Republican Leader E. J. Pipkin proposed 12 amendments, none of which were adopted.  Pipkin said the bill was essentially an attempt to tax rain water.

Tax Code Needs To Be Simplified And Rates Lowered.  Sens. Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch, the top tax writers in the U.S. Senate, issued a challenge to their colleagues last month:  [quote?] We're clearing out the tax code, and starting from scratch — consider all credits, deductions and "loopholes" to be wiped clean.  If any of their 98 colleagues would like to preserve or add back certain provisions, they have until July 26 to make their case.[end quote?]  I applaud Baucus and Hatch, and hope their colleagues will take seriously this effort to simplify and improve an antiquated and overly complex tax code.

ObamaCare and Boiling Frogs.  When President Lyndon Johnson expanded America's welfare state with his Great Society programs, the legislation included a provision requiring business owners to withhold a slice of their employee's paycheck each week so they would hardly notice.  It was a masterstroke.  Taxpayers no longer had to write a huge check to Uncle Sam at the end of each fiscal year and boil, like the proverbial frog, at the sight of their massive tax bite.

How to Repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments.  Repeal of the 16th Amendment starves the federal beast by depriving it of its consumption of money from the states and the taxpayers through income taxes.  States could exercise better control over how or even if their money is spent.  Repeal of the 17th Amendment makes United States senators directly appointed by the state legislatures, as they were at our nation's founding, and representative of the will of each state and its citizens.  This action would check the federal government's proclivity to pass laws binding the states to unfunded mandates.

Online 'Fairness' Tax Could Hit Your 401(k).  In February, the European Union proposed allowing its member countries to levy taxes on the trading of stock, bonds and derivatives.  Supporters argue that in addition to raising revenue, the tax would act as a "speed limit" that reduces volatility in the markets.  Opponents counter with studies showing that the revenue estimates are overstated, and that the tax could actually increase volatility.

Tax breaks for the rich!
What is the California Endowment?  [Scroll down]  At its website, one can glean the answer from an overview of its history and activities, as well as its 428-page tax filing for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.  The endowment is a nonprofit corporation, exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.  That means that its contributions as well as most of its operations are untaxed.  But if you'd like to make a contribution, you're out of luck:  "Thank you for the generous offer, but we do not accept donations," the website announces.  They hardly need to.  The tax filing lists the endowment's total assets as of the end of the fiscal year as $3,660,548,295.

Tax Reform Is the IRS Fix.  Apart from criminal prosecution, the best way to strip the power of politics and corruption from the IRS is to initiate broad-based, pro-growth tax reform and simplification.  It's the complexity of the tax code that nurtures the corruptness of the IRS.

Critics Slam Unfairness of 'Marketplace Fairness Act'.  New legislation that would significantly change how customers of online retailers are taxed is being considered in Congress.  S. 336, the "Marketplace Fairness Act," would expand the ability of state governments to charge sales taxes on purchases from out-of-state retailers, regardless of whether the retailer has a physical presence in the state.

Berkley, CA Councilman Wants Billions in Email Taxes — to Fund Post Office.  Ponder for but a moment the monumental government overreach necessary to monitor and count every email every American sends.

Top 10 bogus arguments for the Marketplace Fairness Act.  Whenever there are tens of millions of dollars worth of lobbying muscle behind a piece of legislation, folks seem willing to say just about anything to make a case for it.  The Marketplace Fairness Act, the misguided legislation to allow states to enforce their tax laws on out-of-state businesses, is but the latest example.

Backroom Internet Tax Ambush.  Now that the Senate has approved a bill to give state and local governments more power to collect Internet sales taxes, the bill's author intends to find out what's in it.  Specifically he's trying to find out how many audits his bill authorizes against e-commerce companies.

Senate Passes Internet Sales Tax.  The so-called "Marketplace Fairness Act" passed the Senate today [5/6/2013] on a 69-27 vote, meaning that businesses with more than $1 million in sales will be subjected to tax collection laws no matter where they're located in the United States.

House hits brakes on Internet tax passed by Senate.  The House was in no rush to take up an internet tax bill that senators approved Monday night [5/6/2013].  And even if the House takes up the issue, lawmakers said, it will be a bill very different from the Senate's.

Dems propose minimum 45 percent tax rate on income above $1 million.  Several House Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation that would impose a minimum 45 percent tax rate on taxable income above $1 million, and would set a 49 percent rate on income above $1 billion.  The Fairness in Taxation Act, H.R. 1723, was proposed by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who said the bill would help put the nation's wealth back into the hands of middle- and lower-income workers.

The Editor says...
That was the original idea of the income tax — to skim a little off the wealthiest Americans and spread the wealth around.  Right now, the ceiling is at a billion dollars — above which the Democrats would like to help themselves to half your income — but I predict the ceiling will gradually drop until the 45% rate affects most of us.  Changes of this sort always start with something inocuous (like a tax on billion-dollar income) and then the limits move in small increments, so the boiled frogs never have much of a reason to object.

Obama Wants to Make Sure You Don't Retire Rich.  A bullet point on Page 18 of President Barack Obama's 2014 budget sounds ominous:  "Prohibit Individuals from Accumulating Over $3 Million in Tax-Preferred Retirement Accounts."  That it appears in a section titled "Strengthening the Middle Class" is odd since such a proposal would seem to undermine the goal.

But of course...
$3 Million Retirement Cap in Obama's Budget Would Not Apply to Him.  President Barack Obama's 2014 budget puts a $3 million cap on tax-advantaged retirement accounts to crack down on "wealthy individuals" using these investment vehicles to earn "substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement savings."  But an analysis by Forbes finds that a 20-year old saving for retirement would need to amass a $9.97 million portfolio to fund just a $60,000 lifestyle by age 65.

RINO alert!
27 GOP Senators Embrace Internet Taxes: Find Out Who.  If this many Republicans will vote for this in the Senate, how many will vote for it in the House?

The 1-percenter who doesn't pay his 'fair share' — President Obama.  The White House admitted in a Friday afternoon [4/12/2013] news dump, of course, that President Obama paid only an 18.4 percent effective federal income tax rate on his adjusted gross income last year of $608,611.  The highest income-tax rate last year was 35 percent (and has now increased to 39.6 percent, thanks to the fiscal cliff tax hike).  Once again, the president piously demanded that "the wealthiest Americans should pay their fair share" and yet, in the very same paragraph, the multimillionaire president admitted to paying less than half the standard rate for his income bracket.

The Internet Sales Tax Rush.  Every time Congress has taken a serious look at proposals to boost Internet sales taxes, it has rejected them.  That's probably why pro-tax Senators are trying to rush through an online tax hike with as little consideration as possible.

Where Did Your Tax Dollar Go?  Most Americans dread Tax Day, and for good reasons.  Beyond the huge tab Americans pay to the government, the tax code is so complex that it's difficult to figure out what we owe to the IRS.  This is a pain for taxpayers and a huge drain on the economy.

Tax Day
Most of it is in the form of direct payments to individuals, which are completely unconstitutional.
Where Did Your Tax Dollar Go?  The Heritage Foundation has come up with a snazzy graphic so that Americans can see where each percentage of every tax dollar that the federal government takes goes.

Tax-portation bill.  The [Massachusetts] state Senate passed a sweeping transportation spending plan last night [4/13/2013] that socks the public to the tune of about $500 million in new gas, corporate and cigarette taxes — but took a step toward transparency by ordering the long-secret MBTA pensions to be made public.  Senators voted 30 to 5 to pass the financing bill, which would gradually provide $800 million in new revenues for transportation and about $100 million for education, housing and other human services.

A Bizarre New 'Rain Tax' Makes A Splash In Maryland.  The Chesapeake Bay faces a serious pollution problem.  The Environmental Protection Agency decreed in 2010 that Maryland had to stop so much stormwater runoff from draining into the Bay, a project that would cost $14.8 billion.  To pay for that, authorities decided to tax "impervious surfaces" — in the words of The Gazette, "anything that prevents rainwater from seeping into the earth (roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.) thereby causing stormwater runoff."

The 'Rain Tax'.  In 2010 the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency ordered Maryland to reduce stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay so that nitrogen levels fall 22 percent and phosphorus falls 15 percent from current amounts.

The Editor says...
The Chesapeake Bay has a pollution problem only because the EPA says so.  The EPA has chosen arbitrary reduction goals of 22% and 15% for chemicals that will make their way into the Chesapeake Bay eventually, even if all the storm drains are plugged up.  The EPA is apparently just making excuses for new taxes.  I've never been to the Chesapeake Bay, but I've never heard anyone say it is horribly polluted — except the EPA.

Exclusive: Obama's budget raises taxes by $1 trillion.  President Obama's 2014 budget calls for a trillion dollars in new taxes, almost twice as much as previously thought, The Washington Examiner has learned.  "Of the more than $1 trillion in new taxes, about $800 billion is raised through the individual income tax system, about $125 billion comes from new excise taxes — including new taxes on tobacco and financial companies," a source familiar with the president's budget explained.

The Obama Budget Proposal: Tax Increase on Charity.  President Obama's long-awaited budget proposal, to be released today, does not come right out and say that it intends to reduce contributions to charity — but that is almost certainly what would happen were it to become law.

Obama's tax, spend, borrow, and redistribute budget.  Here are the facts: According to Obama's own numbers, his budget would leave the American people with a $19.03 trillion debt burden by 2023.  And according to the Congressional Budget Office, under current law our debt is scheduled to reach $19.94 trillion by that same year, a difference of $900 billion.  So right off the bat, half of Obama's claimed debt reduction turns out to be pure fiction.

Cell Phones Often Taxed More Heavily than Alcohol or Cigarettes.  Wireless consumers in the United States pay more than 17 percent in taxes and fees on average on their cell phone bills, including more than 11 percent in state and local charges, according to a new analysis by the Tax Foundation.  In Nebraska, the combined federal-state-local average rate is nearly 24.5 percent, and in six other states — Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington — it exceeds 20 percent.

California 'Lumber Products Assessment' a tax by any other name.  The clowns who frequent Sacramento's seedy bars and whorehouses, otherwise known as the members of the California State Legislature, have pulled off another midnight raid deep into the pocketbooks of all Californians.  At least street thugs and bank robbers are a one-time occurrence; [...]

They pay less, so you pay more.
Understanding the Many Costs of Corporate Welfare.  Beneficiaries of the various special tax treatments and exceptions include owners of NASCAR speedways, companies in American Samoa, rum producers, businesses on Indian reservations, railroads, Hollywood moviemakers, and green-energy firms, including wind-power equipment producers. [...] Corporate welfare is a way for politicians to maintain the façade of a free economy while rewarding some activities and punishing others.

IRS knowingly sends Billions in Fraudulent Refunds to Illegal Immigrants.  A WTHR-TV Indianapolis investigative report exposes a fraudulent scheme wherein the IRS is sending $4.2 billion per year to illegal immigrants as an "additional child tax credit" for children who don't even live in the U.S.  Further, the IRS and Congress have been ignoring the scheme for years.

This Space for Rent.  The TurboTax business wouldn't even exist if Congress had not seen fit to enact a tax code too complicated for most people to navigate.

Senate overwhelmingly backs states' collection of online sales tax.  The Senate on Friday [3/22/2013] overwhelmingly approved an amendment empowering states to collect taxes for online sales, delivering a huge victory to lawmakers and stakeholders who have devoted more than two years to the effort.

House Dem calls for penny-a-gallon increase in the gas tax.  Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) on Tuesday [3/19/2013] said Congress needs to pass legislation increasing the federal gasoline tax in order to pay for increased and ongoing demands on U.S. infrastructure.  DeFazio warned on the House floor that the federal highway trust fund will fall to zero by next year, and said the government is spending billions less on infrastructure each year, which is hurting job creation.

The Editor says...
If the government is "spending billions less on infrastructure," what happened to the trillion dollars of "stimulus" money spent in Obama's first term?

House Dem budget includes $1.2T in taxes, $200B new stimulus.  House Democrats on Monday unveiled a 2014 budget proposal that includes $1.2 trillion in new taxes and $200 billion in stimulus spending.  That's about twice the level of stimulus spending that what was in the Senate Democratic budget, which included $975 million in new taxes.

Senate Democrats Want Unnecessary $1.5 Trillion Tax Increase.  It has been nearly four years since the last time the Senate passed a budget.  In that time, it hasn't as much as proposed a budget.  That at long last changed yesterday when Senate Budget chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) released a budget plan for next year.  Now that the Democrats in control of the Senate have at least proposed a budget, passing it through the senior chamber will be the next challenge.  Doing so will be no small order.  It could be difficult because, to no one's surprise, Murray's budget includes a massive tax increase.  She wants to raise taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.  She would do so by "closing loopholes."

Senate Democrats' Budget Hikes Spending 62%.  Federal spending this year will top out at $3.6 trillion.  At the start of the recession in 2007, federal spending was just $2.7 trillion.  Under the Democrat's plan, however, over the next ten years spending will rise sharply to $5.7 trillion, an increase of 62%.

Senate Democrats release first budget in four years, includes $1 trillion in tax increases.  The Senate on Wednesday [3/13/2013] presented its first budget in four years, a proposal by leaders of the Democrat-controlled chamber that calls for nearly $1 trillion in tax increases but includes no strategy to make federal revenue match spending in the coming years.  The plan calls for $975 billion in new tax revenue through closing loopholes and ending deductions and credits benefiting corporations and the country's highest wage earners.

Taxes are highest in states run by Democrats.
States With the Lowest and Highest Tax Burdens:  The average American paid 9.9% of their income on state and local taxes during 2010, according to data from The Tax Foundation.  The state of New York ranked highest, with residents paying 12.8% of their income on state and local taxes.  The lowest:  Alaska at 7.0%.

Dinner for twelve at the fancy hotel is nothing compared to the real cost.
Obama, Graham, McCain Dinner Leads to $600B Tax Hike Idea.  The price of Senators McCain and Graham attending an 'outreach dinner' with the president may wind up costing taxpayers $600 billion more in taxes.  And you thought the only price paid would be to their image.  While Rand Paul was working the Senate chamber in a 13 hour-long filibuster to ensure the American homeland would not be treated like a permanent battlefield, the two GOP Senators were noshing on some mega-caloric meal with President Obama.

Bicycles to Be Taxed for Causing Global Warming.  The triumph of moonbattery means that there is no longer any limit whatsoever to government greed or tyrannical absurdity.

Report: Facebook paid no income tax last year.  While most of country is getting hit with higher taxes, the social-media giant got a pass — and even got $429 million in refunds.

City hikes taxes on Sandy-hit houses.  Homeowners in an exclusive waterfront enclave in Brooklyn thought Hurricane Sandy was as cruel a blow as they could suffer — until the taxman proved them wrong.  The city is claiming that property values have actually shot up for many homes in Manhattan Beach and it's going ahead with hefty tax hikes for the houses devastated by the October superstorm, shocked property owners told The [New York] Post.

NY Times Notices Obama Tax Hikes Are Crushing Americans, Fails to Mention Obama.  This should be the first in a series.  Wait until these poor [people] start have to paying $20,000 a family to start for their free ObamaCare.  Still, curiously missing from this story is the name of the man responsible for this massive tax hike.

100 years of the income tax.  Sunday, February 3, is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, which makes it the one hundredth birthday of the income tax.  It has grown rather ill-tempered in its dotage.  Americans for Tax Reform commemorated the occasion by publishing a few fun facts about the income tax.  Among other interesting statistics, the initial top tax bracket was only 7 percent, and it didn't kick in until income reached a whopping $11.6 million in 2013 dollars.  Only 358,000 people had to fill out 1040 forms at first, because the standard family deduction was an adjusted $93,000.

The Income Tax at 100.  Today the federal tax system is a national disgrace:  4 million words, tens of thousands of special favors to rent-seeking individuals and companies, hopeless complexity.  It is contradictory, arbitrary, duplicative, and deeply injurious to the federal fisc, American democracy, and our place in the world.

Where Do Your Taxes Go?  The top one percent of taxpayers — those earning over $390,000 — pay the same amount in income taxes as the lowest 95 percent of Americans combined.  That top one percent also earns a huge portion of the nation's income, while the taxpayers in the lowest 95 percent each make less than $150,000, according to the Tax Foundation.  "Last year, Washington paid out more than $70 billion in refundable tax credits to individuals who either had no income tax liability or just a small one, so that's why people look at April 15 as pay day rather than tax day," said Scott Hodge, President of the Tax Foundation.

Fees, Taxes on Wireless Services Keep Climbing .  Growing almost as fast as the wireless communications industry are the fees and taxes paid by wireless phone users.  Even as revenue earned per wireless phone falls, taxes and fees climb.

Va. governor considers doing away with state gas tax.  Virginia could become the first state to eliminate its gasoline tax if the state legislature votes to adopt Gov. Bob McDonnell's alternative plan, which calls for raising the state sales tax and imposing additional vehicle registration fees in order to pay for roads throughout the state.

E-Filing and the Explosion in Tax-Return Fraud.  Tax-identity theft exploded to more than 1.1 million cases in 2011 from 51,700 in 2008.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration last summer reported discovering an additional 1.5 million potentially fraudulent 2011 tax refunds totaling in excess of $5.2 billion.

Obama Voters Furious About Tax Hikes.  Disillusioned Obama voters are waking up to face the reality that Obama didn't exempt them in his quest to steal money from all Americans to pay for his expanding government.  It turns out that those making $30,000 a year will pay more taxes than those making $500,000 because of the deal Obama pushed for after the fiscal cliff debacle.  Obama voters, the joke's on you.

Is It Still Possible to Get Out of Dodge?  The government does not want its citizens living overseas, nor do they want its citizens having assets overseas. [...] The US is the only country in the world (except for Eritrea) that has citizenship based taxation.  No matter where you live, and no matter where you draw your income, the US taxes it.  Every other country has residence based taxation — you are taxed only if you reside in the country or earn income in the country.

The truth about Obama's tax fake out.  Further out, this agreement will do almost nothing to slow the dangerous erosion of our nation's financial strength; projected ten-year deficits of $7.9 trillion will be whittled down by $650 billion as the wealthy, by the way, pay not "a little more," but quite a lot more.  On top of a hike in rates from 35% to 39.6%, the wealthy will also see deductions phased out, will be paying new surtaxes on investment income to fund ObamaCare and Medicare as well as higher rates on investment income.  In addition, several states, including California, have passed new taxes on those in the top income brackets.

Obama supporters shocked, angry at new tax increases.  With President Obama back in office and his life-saving "fiscal cliff" bill jammed through Congress, the new year has brought a surprising turn of events for his sycophantic supporters.  "What happened that my Social Security withholding's in my paycheck just went up?" a poster wrote on the liberal site DemocraticUnderground.com. [...] Shocker.  Democrats who supported the president's re-election just had NO idea that his steadfast pledge to raise taxes meant that he was really going to raise taxes.

Pelosi says upcoming fiscal deals should include greater tax increase.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday [1/6/2013] that recent tax increases are "not enough" to solve the country's fiscal problems and argued that additional hikes should be included in upcoming deficit-reduction deals.

Fiscal Cliff Deal: $1 In Spending Cuts For Every $41 In Tax Increases.  When Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush increased taxes in return for spending cuts — cuts that never ultimately came — they did so at ratios of 1:3 and 1:2.

Obama's idea of 'compromise':  What was McConnell thinking?  The fiscal cliff deal passed by the Senate contains $1 in spending cuts for every $41 in tax hikes.

Obama's Fiscal Cliff Victory Is Far Less Than Meets the Eye.  President Obama and his acolytes are gushing over his fiscal cliff victory.  But the glow isn't likely to last long, once everyone figures out that the tax hikes Obama wrangled from Republicans only made matters worse.

What You Could Buy with the Average Tax Increase.  What's $1,635 per year more in taxes for tens of millions of households?  That's just $136.25 taken from a family budget per month.  Like prudent mobsters, President Obama and Speaker Boehner are just skimming a little from your earnings to keep the nation from falling off that awful fiscal cliff.

The Progressive Income Tax.  Looking back on 1913, one can only be amazed at the incredible innocence of that generation of Americans.  When the Sixteenth (the progressive income tax) Amendment to the Constitution was formally ratified, the Congress responded by adding a seemingly quite inoffensive federal income tax rider to the Underwood Tariff Act.  The rider called for rates running up to a maximum of 7 percent on the last bracket of a $200,000-a-year income.  Although the principle of the income tax had been subject to a long controversy (it had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1894), the legislators took it lightly.

House Speaker Boehner Votes for Obama's Marxism.  Scottish economist Ramsay McCulloch said in 1845:  "The moment you abandon ... the cardinal principle of exacting from all individuals the same proportion of their income or their property, you are at sea without rudder or compass and there is no amount of injustice or folly you may not commit."

Cliff Deal Only Whets Obama's Appetite For More Taxes.  Anyone who thinks the fiscal cliff deal will end President Obama's soak-the-rich campaign isn't paying attention.  Even before the ink had dried on his $620 billion tax hike, Obama was talking up his desire for more.

The Republicans didn't compromise: they surrendered .  There are some hidden tax rises that affect almost everyone.  Rates on capital gains and dividends go up and a 2 percent payroll tax cut is due to expire.  According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the ending of the payroll reduction will raise taxes on 77.1 percent of households.  The average cost will be $1,635.

Give It to Me.  [Scroll down]  Internal Revenue Service data for 2010, as reported by the Tax Foundation, show America's top 1 percent of income earners receiving 18.9 percent of the nation's adjusted gross income and paying 37.4 percent of all federal income taxes — about double their share of total income.  Similarly, the top 5 percent of income earners received 33.8 percent of the nation's adjusted gross income in 2010 and paid well over half the total federal income tax bill — 59.1 percent.

The Multiplier Effect of Government Spending is 0.  If we want to tax for growth here is what we should do.  1. Eliminate deductions for the wealthy, but give them a flat tax, say around 17%.  No matter what they make on anything, they send in 17%.  Hauser's Law says no one pays more than 20% anyway.  2. Allow some deductions for the middle class and poor, but those deductions should be economically efficient.

Time to own the election, America.  Yes, America, you voted for higher taxes!  During his four-year campaign for re-election, the president never said a word about cutting spending.  He still doesn't plan any, even in the 11th hour of fractious debate over the "fiscal cliff".

Voluntary cooperation vs. violence.  No corporation or charity ever threatens you with violence if you don't buy their product, or contribute to their cause.  Only "The Violent Entity," The State, or what we inaccurately call "government," does that.  And it is only by colluding with politicians that corporations and other special interests gain the power to pick your pocket. [...] When The State uses violence against us, rather than protecting us from it, it ceases to be a government, and instead becomes a criminal gang.  That is where we are today.  We do not have a government.  We have a violent criminal gang.  Today is the day you must tell the criminal gang how much you earn, so they can steal their preferred amount.  You do not have a choice.  Do not file your taxes and you will eventually be subjected to violence.  You will lose your freedom, and everything you own.

An Overlooked Constant.  One of the constants in any analysis of income taxes paid in the United States since their inception in 1916 is the correlation between the top marginal rates and the taxes actually paid by the so-called wealthy.  Short of turning America into Stalin's police state and confiscating all the wealth of the "evil" one percent, the predictable behavior of this economic class very much revolves around the tax policies of the government, both state and federal.

What happens if we confiscate 100% of all the income for people who make more than $200K?  The IRS received 3,924,490 tax returns showing an income over $200K.  These returns represent a total income of $1.964 trillion!  That's a huge amount of money.  But it's still not enough.  The federal government is spending about double that this year.  Confiscating 100% of the income from those who made more than $200K funds the federal government for only about six months.

Italics in original.

Sen. Thune: Obama has an 'obsession with raising taxes'.  Republican South Dakota Sen. John Thune said President Obama seems to have an "obsession with raising taxes" as part of a deficit reduction deal between the White House and congressional leaders to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.  Thune, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, added that such a policy would only raise enough revenue to fund "about a week" of government spending.

The War on (Married) Women.  Here's how the marriage penalty works:  Mr. and Mrs. report a combined income to the IRS.  This pushes them into a higher tax bracket than they, or at least one of them, were in when they were single, so their taxes rise.  They are taxed on their joint income even when electing to report as "married filing separately."  Women are the ones who typically take the larger financial hit, since most married women are second earners — by choice, it should be noted.

IRS aims to clarify investment income tax under healthcare law.  The Internal Revenue Service has released new rules for investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends earned by high-income individuals that passed Congress as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law.

Tax and tell.  Illinois has a reputation for being an expensive and difficult place to do business, a big reason why the state has the ninth-highest unemployment rate in the country, higher than every state that borders it.

Gohmert: The True Meaning of 'Fair Share'.  Since he first took office in 2008, President Barack Obama has been relentless in his cry for all Americans to pay their "fair share" of taxes, without ever once giving the specifics of a tax plan that would truly create a "fair share" tax system.  Here's a novel idea:  let's take the President at his word.  Let's demand taxation fairness.  And nothing will better insure that everyone is paying his or her "fair share" than a flat tax.

California's Road to Perdition.  California was once the envy of everyone.  But this promised land is now being controlled by a super-majority of leftists, and the liberal, pro-union Democrats have only one answer to California's woes:  to raise taxes.

New IRS Rule Benefits Only Foreign Dictators.  The Internal Revenue Service is doing its part to drive foreign investment from the U.S.

The Return Of The Tax-And-Spend Democrats To D.C.  President Obama promised to move the country forward, but his so-called deficit-cutting plan looks a lot like good old fashioned tax-and-spend liberal politics to us.

CNN: Time for a Gas Tax Hike.  Dishonestly portraying "some experts" as offering a new fix to the fiscal cliff, CNN explored the idea of hiking the federal gas tax because, author Steve Hargreaves says, the current 18.4 cents per gallon is "not enough."  "As lawmakers race to negotiate a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff," Hargreaves urgently reports, "some experts say one tax increase should be on the table: a gas tax hike."  The tax, which raises $32 billion a year, hasn't been raised since 1993, he tells us.

Liberal Democrats: Higher rates for wealthy 'just the beginning'.  The group says "low and moderate-income Americans are already contributing to deficit reduction," and that "progressive tax reform is the only way that wealthy Americans can share significantly in that sacrifice."

The Editor says...
Exactly the opposite is true.  The "low and moderate-income Americans" who expect taxpayers to make up for their shortfalls are the ones who are dragging the country down.  The budget deficit exists because of (unconstitutional) payments to individuals, many of whom pay no income tax.

White House: Obama 'Will Not Sign' a Deal Unless It Increases Taxes.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today that no matter what else happens President Barack Obama — who is the only modern president other than Franklin Roosevelt to serve in four years when federal spending topped 24 percent of GDP — will not sign a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that will arrive at the end of this year unless that deal increases taxes.

Obama's 2009 stimulus chief says taxes and rules on junk food are coming.  Larry Summers, chair of the White House National Economic Council when the 2009 stimulus was developed, suggested that President Obama will eventually tax and regulate junk food to drive people to eat more healthily — although he dinged First Lady Michelle Obama's healthy foods initiative.

U.S. Carbon Tax to Shovel Dollars to U.N. Bureaucrats?  It appears there will be an international dining section for hogs at the carbon-tax trough.  Any new tax that promises hundreds of billions of dollars per year, as a carbon tax does, would bring out the special-interest hogs, and one of the interests likely to be fed by any federal carbon tax is the U.N.'s Green Climate Fund.

Obama Administration Gets Sued Over Carbon Tax E-mails.  President Obama's Treasury Department is facing a lawsuit for stonewalling a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request relating to a planned carbon tax on fossil fuels.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a watchdog group focused on energy and environmental regulations, filed suit Tuesday ]11/13/2012] in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., announcing in a press release that it expects Obama's congressional cronies to propose the tax in the upcoming lame-duck session.

More about so-called carbon taxes.

The Debate About Tax Rates:  The federal government consumed less than four percent of GDP in 1930, 9.8 percent in 1940, and 16.2 percent in 1948.  By 1965, the number had climbed to 25 percent of GDP, and it hit 30 percent in 2000.

You reap what you sow.  Democrats want to have their cake and eat it too.  I say, let them have their welfare state and let them pay for it too.  Raises taxes now, across the board, and let the Democrats start to accept responsibility for what they have wrought.  They have sown the wind; now it is time for them to reap the whirlwind.

Time for the Unthinkable: a Third-Party.  IRS statistics show that 50% of American citizens pay zero income taxes.  This has led to what is called, in economic parlance, "infinite demand for government services."  In other words, if services are free to large amounts of voters, they will want all they can get.  This is basic human nature.  So under our present tax system, 50% of the American voters want more government spending every election year.

A Declaration of Grievances.  [Scroll down]  As you might expect, after 1913, when the income tax was legally challenged, the Court "found" that it was an indirect tax, not a direct tax.  Shocker.  (And remember, for a little context, the tea tax was considered a direct tax since it was laid on a foodstuff!)  The most basic idea inherent in that of American taxation was that the federal government could basically tax only the states, who had to cough up the dough by their own means.  But the fed generally couldn't tax individuals.

Eco-Taxes? Study Financed by U.S. Treasury Will Link Tax Code to Carbon Emissions.  A major tax study currently being sponsored by the U.S. Treasury will give environmental activists a powerful new weapon in their campaign to alter the entire American economic and social landscape in the name of halting "climate change" — including the possible levying of new carbon taxes.

The Quiet Californians.  [Scroll down]  This November the California voting public is poised to raise state income taxes on the top earners to over 12%, ensuring that the state's rates top both Hawaii's and Oregon's.  With sky-high sales and gas taxes, Californians are already the highest-taxed in the nation.  The state's schools and infrastructure are among the very worst.

Taxes Without Borders.  In draft guidelines published this September, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control indicated it may put a cigarette tax on the table at its November conference in Seoul, Korea.  "First we had doctors without borders," said David Williams, president of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance.  "Now you could have taxes without borders. ... This is a new frontier in taxes.  If they're successful with this, consumers and taxpayers should be concerned about what's coming down the pipe."

Citizens or Subjects?  [Mitt] Romney wishes that he had answered more delicately a donor's question on who would and would not support his candidacy.  But Romney did highlight the 76.1 million Americans whose income tax is $0.00.  Many of them also consider Big Government their great provider.  Some feel squashed by a flat-tire economy that thumps along at 1.7 percent GDP growth.  Others have become seduced by an ever-expanding state that caters to their every craving.

As the UN opens its General Assembly session, it is already thinking up new global taxes.  A 1 percent tax on billionaires around the world.  A tax on all currency trading in the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound sterling.  Another "tiny" tax on all financial transactions, including stock and bond trading, and trading in financial derivatives.  New taxes on carbon emissions and on airline tickets.  A royalty on all undersea mineral resources extracted more than 100 miles offshore of any nation's territory.  The United Nations is at it again.

The Fall of the House of Obama.  [Scroll down]  Consider President Obama's near-pathological insistence that the rich are not paying "their fair share," when any cursory review, easily accessible from the CBO, shows that the top fifth of all income tax earners pay approximately 94 percent of all income taxes.  The bottom half, or close to it, pays no federal income tax.  The implication is that we're all pulling our weight, but that the "millionaires and billionaires" are making out like bandits.  And somehow, throughout all this, the Republicans are guilty of perpetrating, as one Democratic congressman put it, some variant of "the big lie."

It's worse than Romney said: 49% on federal aid, 49% pay no tax.  While Romney suggested that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government aid of some sort, the number is actually slightly higher.  Over 49 percent of Americans live in a household where somebody is dependent on federal assistance, according to federal statistics.  And the percentage of people who don't pay taxes is worse than Romney pegged at 47 percent.  According to the Heritage Foundation, it's over 49 percent.

Obama's Internet tax.  The government doesn't handle technology well.  When Uncle Sam comes into contact with something new, his first instinct is to impose familiar regulations and taxes regardless of whether doing so makes any sense.  So it's no surprise the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to apply telephone-era rules to the Internet, making it more expensive than ever to log in to keep in touch with friends and family.  In late July, the FCC — a relic from the New Deal — moved to replace the Universal Service Fund with the cheerily titled "Connect America Fund."

FCC backpedals from Internet tax.  The Federal Communications Commission is rapidly backpedaling from a proposal to tax broadband Internet service after a public outcry over the issue.  Democrats and Republicans at the agency are now blaming each other for pushing the idea in the first place.

Government Unions Plot to Have 11% Illinois State Income Tax on Top Earners By Changing State Constitution.  And if one digs beneath the surface of this plan, one finds government employee unions as a major source of money for supporters of the tax.  The non-taxpayers want more money.  Illinois has a flat 5% and these greedy unions want 11% out of some people.

Progressive income tax: Brought to you by Illinois unions.  A coalition of progressive groups is beginning to coalesce around a proposal to create a progressive income tax in Illinois.  Under their plan state income tax rates will increase as one reaches higher incomes, up to a top rate of 11 percent for incomes over $1 million.  This plan would leave Illinois with one of the highest income tax rates in the country, increase Illinoisians tax bills by more than $8 billion, and would most likely drive entrepreneurs and jobs from the state.

Spread the bandwidth around.
FCC eyes tax on Internet service.  The Federal Communications Commission is eyeing a proposal to tax broadband Internet service.  The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access.  The FCC issued a request for comments on the proposal in April.  Dozens of companies and trade associations have weighed in, but the issue has largely flown under the public's radar.

Obama's Campaign about Nothing.  There is isn't any good logical reason to vote for Obama even if you are a liberal.  Let's take his tax policy.  He wants to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires in an effort to do what?  Nothing really.

The Silent Second-Term Agenda.  President Obama has a reputation for talking, but not necessarily for saying much.  He has achieved new levels of vagueness this election season.  Beyond repeating that he's in favor of making the "rich" pay for more government "investment," he hasn't offered a single new idea for a second term.  This is deliberate. [...] Let's dispense with the obvious:  An Obama second term will be foremost about higher taxes and greater spending.  The president has been clear about the former and will consider victory in November a mandate to raise taxes on higher-income Americans and small businesses — at the least.

The Internet Tax: Another Government Assault On Prosperity.  Across America politicians of both parties will tell you the number one issue facing our country is job creation.  They're right — yet what they continually refuse to acknowledge is that creating these jobs is not their responsibility.  Government's role in economic development should always be passive — confining expenditures to core functions while keeping taxes low in an effort to allow the optimum conditions for private sector growth.  "Get out of the way," in other words.

Rich Americans pay their fair share in taxes — and then some.  The Congressional Budget Office reported last month that in 2009, the top 20 percent of taxpayers paid an average of 23.2 percent of their income in federal taxes — more than double the 11.1 percent paid by the middle quintile, and 23 times the 1 percent paid by the lowest quintile.

Obama's Calculated Deception.  [In 2007], after 25 years of Reagan Republican tax policies, the top 1% paid 40% of federal individual income taxes.[...] Also in 2007, again before Obama was even elected, and after 25 years of Reaganomics, the bottom 40% of income earners on net as a group paid less than 0% of federal income taxes.  Instead of paying at least some income taxes to help support the federal government, the federal government paid them cash through the income tax code.  Does that reality sound like what you hear in President Obama's deceiving speeches?

New Hampshire fights Internet sales tax.  A bill pending in Congress would turn New Hampshire businesses that sell over the Internet into tax collectors for other states if they have more than $500,000 in remote sales.  "By imposing collection requirements on businesses that have no physical presence outside of their home state, the legislation under consideration stands to erode existing protections on state sovereignty," U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday [8/1/2012].  Ayotte is a member of the committee.

No Internet Taxation Without Representation.  Our nation was born from the idea of "no taxation without representation" — that citizens should not be taxed by governments in which they have no political voice.  Yet now lawmakers in Washington want to overturn that bedrock principle in order to extract more revenues from American consumers.  The Marketplace Fairness Act recently introduced in the Senate would require online retailers to collect and pay sales taxes to states where they have no physical presence or democratic recourse.

New sales tax likely cost every internet shopper an extra $125 a year.  Internet shoppers could soon be hit with a new sales tax, making online purchases up to 11 percent more expensive.  Congress is considering new legislation that would allow states to force sales tax on internet purchases, which would help make up states' budget shortfalls.  Meanwhile Amazon, the world's largest internet retailer, is making deals with individual states to collect sales taxes regardless of what Congress decides.

The shocking truth that Harry Reid can't deny.  [Scroll down]  Reid didn't have time apparently to mention an accurate report that 36 Obama White House aides are $833,000 behind in their taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service.  Nor did Reid explain how the IRS has somehow overlooked a decade of missing tax returns from a multi-millionaire who's this administration's main political opponent.

Fire Government Workers Who Don't Pay 'Fair Share'.  According to Internal Revenue Service data, 100,000 federal workers and contractors owed $1 billion total in unpaid federal taxes in 2009, the latest figures available.  They simply didn't pay what they owed.  And that dollar amount is up 67% since 2004, when federal workers underpaid by nearly $600 million.  In fact, every year since 2004, the IRS has had to deal with about 100,000 federal workers and contractors who underpay their taxes each year.

House to Vote on Whether or Not to Fire Federal Workers Who Are Tax Delinquent.  If you're going to work for the government, you'd better be paying your taxes.  So says a bill written by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, that will be voted on Wednesday evening [8/1/2012] in the House of Representatives.  Chaffetz's bill will terminate the employment of current federal employees who have "seriously delinquent tax debt" and prohibit future hiring of such individuals for federal jobs.

Sneaky double taxes.  States are so desperate for cash that they're getting sneaky.  Combine the sluggish economy with Obamacare's expensive Medicaid expansion and spiraling public-sector union benefit payments, and the usual tricks just aren't balancing the books anymore.  That's why some are looking to tap out-of-state businesses as a new source of revenue.  On Tuesday [7/24/2012], House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, held a hearing on a bill he said "has bipartisan support from members both on and off this committee" to let states tax Internet sales.

Is Dick Durbin Stupid, Ignorant, or Just Lying to His Constituents?  Senator Dick Durbin is pushing for passage of a federal law allowing individual states to impose sales tax levies on any internet sales made to citizens of those respective states.  Those taxes would be identical to the taxes that would be paid if you or I went to a local store and purchased the identical item.

CBO: Obamacare levies $1 trillion in new taxes.  President Obama's health care law raises taxes by $1 trillion, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office.  The individual mandate — which the CBO calls a "penalty tax," in apparent deference to Chief Justice John Roberts — will produce $55 billion in "penalty payments by uninsured individuals," the CBO told House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a Tuesday [7/24/2012] letter.  Of course, the framers of the law didn't design the mandate as a tax, and so it produces less revenue than any other provision in the bill.  The "additional hospital insurance tax" is the largest tax increase in Obamacare, projected to bring in $318 billion in new revenues.

Bay Area faces new high-speed rail costs.  Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to allow the state to spend billions on high-speed rail, Bay Area residents had better brace for the real ride — a push for $650 million in toll hikes and new San Francisco taxes.

More about high-speed rail boondoggles, especially in California.

The Robin Hood Tax Scam Is Back.  In a burst of uninformed enthusiasm, William La Jeunesse, writing for Fox News, announced that the bill offered by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) — the "Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act" — was the Robin Hood tax.  If he knew better, La Jeunesse would have called it by its correct name:  the Tobin Tax, first offered 40 years ago by a Keynesian economist, following the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement when President Nixon took the United States off the gold standard.  That bit of information would no doubt have helped to curb his enthusiasm.

Obama's Millionaires.  President Obama's latest proposal to raise taxes on high-income earners would effectively cut taxes for a number of senior White House advisers whose net worth exceeds $1 million.  At least five millionaires currently employed in senior White House positions would receive a tax cut under Obama's plan, an initial Washington Free Beacon review of financial disclosure records has found.

Obama's Class-Warfare Rhetoric Demonizes Success.  Anyone who wants to study the tricks of propaganda rhetoric has a rich source of examples in the statements of President Barack Obama.  On Monday [7/9/2012], for example, he said that Republicans "believe that prosperity comes from the top down, so that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, that that will somehow unleash jobs and economic growth."  Let us begin with the word "spend."  Is the government "spending" money on people whenever it does not tax them as much as it can?  Such convoluted reasoning would never pass muster if the mainstream media were not so determined to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil when it comes to Barack Obama.

The Tax Man Cometh To Police You On Health Care.  The Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of President Barack Obama's health care law will come home to roost for most taxpayers in about 2½ years, when they'll have to start providing proof on their tax returns that they have health insurance.

ObamaCare's 7 Tax Hikes On Under $250,000-A-Year Earners.  Obama's pledge against any form of tax increase on Americans making less than $250,000 a year "was thrown out the window" when he signed the healthcare law, says John Kartch, communications director with Americans For Tax Reform (founded by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist).  Here's a rundown of seven ObamaCare tax hikes that affect the hoi polloi.

Can Government Now Tax Handgun Ammunition 10,000%?  Conservatives still reeling from Chief Justice John Roberts's decision to uphold the 2,700-page ObamaCare legislation as a Federal tax are rightly worried that Roberts opened the door to unlimited Federal coercion of the American public through the tax code.  One possibility that should generate grave concern is that the Federal government could use to the tax code to undermine the Supreme Court's landmark decisions affirming Second Amendment rights in Heller v. D.C. and McDonald v. Chicago.

DNC Chair: It's easiest for the IRS to administer the health care mandate, but it's not a tax.  Just remember, guys:  The Internal Revenue Service might be the best-equipped entity to administer the "penalty," and the "penalty" might be assessed on your tax return, but the requirement to pay a "penalty" if you don't buy health insurance is most definitively not a tax.

More about the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare.

Maryland Imposes 'Millionaires Tax' on $100,000 Incomes.  The State and Local Revenue and Financing Act raises state income tax rates by 0.25 percentage points for single filers reporting more than $100,000 and joint filers reporting more than $150,000 taxable income.  For people in the $300,000-$500,000 range, taxes go up 0.50 percentage pointst [sic], an almost 10 percent increase.  The law also reduces personal exemptions for these couples, eliminating them entirely for couples with more than $200,000 in federal adjusted gross income.  This raises both state taxes and the local piggyback income tax.

'The Largest Set of Tax Law Changes in 20 Years'.  A new report from the Treasury Department says that Obamacare "represents the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years and affects millions of taxpayers."  As the report notes, Obamacare's "new taxes, fees, and penalties account for approximately $438 billion."  But, really, it's even worse than that.

Detroit: The Moral of the Story.  The Left's answer to the deficit:  raise taxes to protect spending.  The Left's answer to the weak economy:  raise taxes to enable new spending.  The Left's answer to the looming sovereign-debt crisis:  raise taxes to pay off old spending.  For the Left, every deficit is a revenue-side problem, not a spending-side problem, and the solution to every economic problem is more spending, necessitating more taxes.  The problem with that way of looking at things is called Detroit, which looks to be running out of money in about one week. Detroit is what liberalism's end-game looks like.

The Not-So-Free State.  Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley [Democrat] signed a quarter-billion dollars' worth of tax increases into law on Tuesday [5/22/2012].  The move is meant to keep the state's ever-expanding budget on a path toward growth.  "Growth" is the last thing the private-sector economy is going to see in the Free State.  According to the latest Labor Department figures, Maryland lost 6,000 jobs in April, the largest such drop in the nation.

Improvised Explosive Device Tax.  'Taxmageddon' isn't only about the half-trillion-dollar blow to the economy that arrives in 2013 on the end of the Bush-Obama tax rates.  Several of the Affordable Care Act's worst tax increases kick in too, such as the new excise tax on medical devices.  The 2.3% levy applies to the sale of everything from cardiac defibrillators to artificial joints to MRI scanners.  The device tax is supposed to raise $28.5 billion from 2013 to 2022, and it is especially harmful because it applies to gross sales, not profits.

New Yorkers Leave Like East Germans Fled Communism.  New York thinks of itself as the place to be, but its high taxes have made it a place to flee.  Those who have escaped the Empire State tax man could fill a major city.

High-Taxing Empire State Loses 3.4 Million Residents in 10 Years.  New York State accounted for the biggest migration exodus of any state in the nation between 2000 and 2010, with 3.4 million residents leaving over that period, according to the Tax Foundation.  Over that decade the state gained 2.1 million, so net migration amounted to 1.3 million, representing a loss of $45.6 billion in income.

Reluctant to raise taxes, some states push the tax man on tougher collection enforcement.  Dentist Frank Illuzzi was stunned when Vermont tax collectors began demanding a 6 percent sales tax on the value of toothbrushes and floss he hands out to patients.

The Editor says...
Sales taxes are usually levied on items based upon the prices of items as they are sold — not the MSRP or someone else's estimate of the value of those items.  If the dentist gives you a toothbrush, then the sale price is zero, and so is the tax.

Can California Be Fixed?  Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation.  As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?

Democrats who cheat on their taxes want us to pay more.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner did not pay the taxes he owed; Charles Rangel (D-NY) who as chairman of Ways and Means wrote tax laws, has run afoul of tax authorities for years' worth of malfeasance; and the latest:  Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri — a stalwart supporter of Barack Obama and one of the richest members of Congress.  Lest we forget, Tom Daschle, Obama's putative first choice for HHS Secretary had to drop out when it was disclosed that he also failed to pay taxes he owed.  These are all members of the 1% Club.  Meanwhile, the staff of the IRS is being boosted by thousands of new auditors to snoop on our taxes to make sure we pay our "fair share" and Democrats rail against the "rich" who don't pay their fair share of taxes.

IRS Gives Billions in Tax Refunds to Illegals.  Here's how it works.  Illegal immigrants cannot qualify for legitimate Social Security numbers, which would entitle them to work legally in the U.S. and file income tax returns, but the Internal Revenue Service allows them to apply for nine-digit individual taxpayer identification numbers, or ITINs, which also are used to file federal income tax returns.  In addition, a provision in the tax code permits illegals to claim "additional child tax credits," which grant families $1,000 per "dependent" child.  Roughly three-quarters of tax returns filed by illegals include these ACTCs.  With the ITIN, illegals are able to get tax credits and refunds for nephews, nieces and other family members who never have touched U.S. soil.

Obama-Loving Media Spin the Economy.  [L]ow-tax states outperform high-tax states.  Seven states have no personal income taxes (PIT) — Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.  Two states tax only income on interest and dividends — New Hampshire and Tennessee.  The average state and local revenue growth of these nine states from 2000 to 2009 was 81.53 percent.  Average revenue growth in the nine states with the highest PIT rates — Ohio, Maine, Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Hawaii and New York — was 44.88 percent.  Similarly, gross state product growth from 2001 to 2010 averaged 58.54 percent in the nine states with no PIT versus 42.06 in the nine states with the highest PIT rates.

Taxing the Sunlight.  Of the more than 50 different taxes that exist today on federal, state and local levels, here are a few more familiar and common taxes.  Federal income tax, sales tax, bridge tolls, sales tax, commuter tax, dog license tax, gasoline tax, Social Security tax, seven different taxes on telephone usage, and the list continues.  We jokingly talk about how politicians would tax the air if they could.  Water is already taxed.  If only they could contrive a way to tax the sunlight.  Wait ... believe it or not ... it's been done!

Medicare slush fund shows Obama's abuse of power.  President Obama regularly misuses executive power, often nakedly in the service of his political interests. [...] More than 60 Republican congressmen last week sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service charging that Tea Party groups across the country were being "harassed" and "stonewalled" by the agency.  Rep. Tom McClintock described a group in his Northern California district that easily obtained nonprofit status from the state government but got nowhere with the feds.  The list of demands, as described by McClintock on the House floor, sounds like political bullying:  "The IRS demanded the names of every participant at every meeting held over the last two years, transcripts of every speech given at those meetings, what positions they had taken on issues, the names of their volunteers and donors, and copies of communications they had with elected officials, and on and on."

Amazon, Texas reach sales tax deal.  Amazon.com on Friday agreed to begin collecting sales tax in Texas, forging a deal that promises to bring more jobs to the southern U.S. state and as the online marketer lost another round in a series of state-by-state sales tax battles.  The agreement, to take effect July 1 for Texas' 6.25-percent sales tax, follows an accord reached with Nevada earlier in the week to begin collecting that state's 8.1 percent sales tax Jan. 1, 2014.

Judge throws out Illinois 'Amazon tax'.  A Cook County judge has ruled against a state law that requires Amazon.com and other Internet companies to collect sales taxes on transactions with Illinois customers.

Devious Taxation.  If Congress spends $3.8 trillion out of this year's $15 trillion GDP, what must it do to accomplish that goal?  If you said it must "find a way to force us not to spend $3.8 trillion privately," go to the head of the class.  One way to force us to spend $3.8 trillion less is to tax us that amount, but we're being taxed only $2.5 trillion.  Where does the extra $1.3 trillion come from?

Your Tax-Free Nest Egg May Not Be Tax-Free After All.  More than 30 years ago, lawmakers made a deal with Americans:  Set up a retirement nest egg and we'll let you fill it with tax-free money.  A financially troubled Washington now plans to break its word.

Feds eye retirement-fund tax to cut $16 trillion-plus deficit.  Uncle Sam, in a desperate attempt to fix its $16 trillion-plus deficit, is leering over Americans' retirement nest egg as its new bailout fund.  Capitol Hill politicians are assessing tax changes that could let the Internal Revenue Service lay claim to a portion of the $18 trillion sitting in 401(k) accounts and other tax breaks used by middle-class workers, including cutting the mortgage tax deduction.

What's U.S. Citizenship Worth?  [During President Obama's] tenure, the number of Americans renouncing citizenship has taken a sharp upward turn, from an average of 482 per year under George W. Bush to 742 in 2009, to 1,534 in 2010 and to 1,788 in 2011.  At the least, his calls for hiking taxes on the wealthy can't be doing anything to discourage this trend.

Monsieur Obama's Tax Rates:  Celebrity chef Alain Ducasse changed his citizenship this month from high-tax France to no-income-tax Monaco.  He says it wasn't a financial decision but an "affair of the heart."  Of course.  Nonetheless, plenty of other Frenchmen have moved abroad to escape their country's confiscatory taxes.  Americans should be so lucky:  Ours is the only industrialized country that taxes its citizens even if they live overseas.

Global reach of the IRS:  The tax burden on Americans living abroad is so great that many are renouncing their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying the IRS.  The United States is one of just four countries that taxes its citizens even if they are living and working abroad, and it is the only country that insists its citizens pay taxes on global income, capital gains and estates.

Wealthy socialite and top Democratic donor Denise Rich denounces her U.S. citizenship.  Denise Rich, the wealthy socialite and former wife of pardoned billionaire trader Marc Rich, has given up her U.S. citizenship — and, with it, much of her U.S. tax bill.  Rich, 68, a Grammy-nominated songwriter, top Democratic donor and glamorous figure in European royalty circles, renounced her American passport in November, according to her lawyer.

New federal agency OFR stirs 'Orwellian' fears.  Starting in July, the OFR [Office of Financial Research] Fiscal Year 2013 budget, estimated at $158 million, will be funded entirely through assessments — also known as taxes — on bank-holding firms with consolidated assets worth at least $50 billion.  But as became clear at Thursday's [4/19/2012] hearing by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, a close reading of the law the president signed provides no limit on the growth of OFR's budget, nor on the taxes the agency can impose on big banks to fund it.

Americans Making Over $50,000 a Year Paid 93.3 Percent of All Taxes in 2010.  According to statistics compiled from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the Tax Foundation, those people making above $50,000 had an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent, and carried 93.3 percent of the total tax burden.  In contrast, Americans making less than $50,000 had an effective tax rate of 3.5 percent and their total share of the tax burden was just 6.7 percent.  Americans making more than $250,000 had an effective tax rate of 23.4 percent and their total share of the tax burden was 45.7 percent.

Md. Governor Calls for Sweeping New Internet Taxes.  Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) 2012 budget would impose taxes on digitally delivered goods and services and tax purchases made from out-of-state online retailers that rely on referrals from affiliates.

Yippee! Free government money! Come and get it!  As you prepare to send in your income taxes on April 15 — for many taxpayers the amount involved is more than they spend on food and housing combined — remember that other people get paid money when they file taxes, because their incomes are lower than yours.  The desperation to spend as much money as possible on taking money from taxpayers and giving it to other people who didn't earn it and who don't pay income taxes is offensive to everyone who works hard, succeeds, and as a result has a bulls eye painted on their pocketbooks.

No. 1 in corporate taxes.  As of Sunday, the United States has the highest corporate tax rate of any country in the world.  Given the shaky state of our economy, it's not worth celebrating.

Why Politicians Promise Heaven And Deliver Hell.  The United States now has the dubious distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate in the world.  And people wonder why American corporations are expanding overseas, providing jobs to foreigners.  The left may get their jollies attacking "the rich," but the real victims are other people, who want the jobs that are sent overseas to escape a hostile business climate at home.

Maryland Governor Calls for Sweeping New Internet Taxes.  Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) 2012 budget would impose taxes on digitally delivered goods and services and tax purchases made from out-of-state online retailers that rely on referrals from affiliates.  The proposed budget is in bills introduced in the Maryland Senate and House in January.  Under the governor's proposal, digitally delivered goods and services would be subject to the state's general 6 percent sales tax.  The proposal would also tax digitally delivered goods and services such as music downloads on iTunes, ringtones, smart-phone applications, and blogs that charge for their services.

Progressive Caucus Budget Proposes $2.9 Trillion Spending Hike.  [Quoting Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.):]  "This budget responds to what the people want, what the economy requires and what the Progressive Caucus believes in.  I look forward to a national discussion about what's in this plan, and I'm excited to stand behind it."

Liberals' budget would raise taxes to an all-time high.  If you want to know why House Democrats lost 63 seats in the 2010 elections — the largest political defeat since 1938 — look no further than the budget put forward this week by the 83-member Congressional Progressive Caucus.  Perhaps unsatisfied with the title they used last year — "The People's Budget" — the CPC calls this one the "Budget for All."  It raises taxes to levels never seen before — not even during World War II — guts defense spending and splurges on a number of liberal priorities.

We're No. 1: In highest corporate taxes.  Come Sunday [4/1/2012], America finally has something to crow about in its economic war with China and Japan:  It will have the highest jobs-killing corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.  No, it's not an April Fool's joke.  When Japan officially slashes its rate to 36.8 percent Sunday, America's will be tops at 39.2 percent.

Biden: "We Want To Create A Global Minimum Tax".  "We want to create (what's called) a global minimum tax, because American taxpayers shouldn't be providing a larger subsidy for investing abroad than investing at home," Biden said at a campaign event.

House Dems propose raising taxes by 40%, including on middle class.  A new budget proposal from liberal House Democrats suggests what Obama's "dream agenda" might be.  And if Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan is the "Path to Prosperity," the Congressional Progressive Caucus has offered the "Road to Ruin."

White House considered a $170 billion soda tax to pay for Obamacare.  In the view of the Obama White House, a $170 billion excise tax on soda doesn't raise taxes on the middle class.  Nor does a new $20 billion labor tax raise taxes on the middle class.  Unless the tax is specifically an income tax, it doesn't really count against Obama's pledge in their view.  This is why Obama doesn't consider various Obamacare taxes, such as new limits on health savings accounts or taxes on medical device manufacturers, as middle-class tax hikes, although they surely will come out of middle-class pocketbooks.

Obama promotes proposed $10,000 Volt tax credit.  Are you having a hard time convincing yourself to buy a Chevy Volt?  Perhaps a $10,000 instant tax credit will change your mind.  According to a fact sheet sent to reporters today [3/7/2012], President Obama will once again highlight a proposal to increase the tax credit for electric vehicles.

State seeks 'outrageous' vending fee hike.  The Patrick administration is pitching a staggering 500-plus percent hike in vending machine license fees — in part to meet Obama-care rules that haven't even been written yet, the [Boston] Herald has learned.

Obama's Dividend Assault.  President Obama's 2013 budget is the gift that keeps on giving — to government.  One buried surprise is his proposal to triple the tax rate on corporate dividends, which believe it or not is higher than in his previous budgets.  Mr. Obama is proposing to raise the dividend tax rate to the higher personal income tax rate of 39.6% that will kick in next year.

White House Economic Adviser: 'We Need a Global Minimum Tax'.  Gene Sperling, director of the White House's national economic council, said today [2/13/2012] at an official meeting that "we need a global minimum tax".

No 'global tax,' W.H. says.  National Economic Council director Gene Sperling's comments that a "global minimum tax" is necessary to curb outsourcing have caused a stir in the blogosphere — but White House officials say there's no United Nations-imposed duty in the works.

Obama Confirms Adviser Sperling's Call for a "Global Minimum Tax".  Speaking in Milwaukee on February 15, President Obama, re-ignited a controversy on "global taxation" set off by his top economic adviser during comments on the administration's budget on Monday.  Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of President Obama's National Economic Council (NEC), caused a commotion this week with his statement that the Obama administration favors "a global minimum tax."

Who are you going to believe?  Your eyes and ears, or the White House propagandists?
Obama Confirms Adviser Sperling's Call for a "Global Minimum Tax".  Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of President Obama's National Economic Council (NEC), caused a commotion this week with his statement that the Obama administration favors "a global minimum tax."  Sperling's comment, captured by C-SPAN cameras, was soon spread across the blogosphere in numerous YouTube postings.

States with enacted or pending online tax rules:  Attention, online shoppers.  The days of tax-free online shopping may be coming to an end.  More than a dozen states have enacted legislation or rules to force online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases, according to tax publisher CCH.  Similar legislation is pending in 10 states.

A World Tax? Keep Your Eyes on the Internet.  [Scroll down]  The internet is the perfect vehicle to fund such programs because it's global in nature and it's easily accessible to anyone with a computer or a smartphone no matter where he or she lives.  What does that mean in practical terms?  It means that we are moving toward a global government with teeth.  By that I mean a global political body with taxing and enforcement powers.  As things stand now, the U.N. is a paper tiger because it depends on the goodwill of governments around the world to operate, but if a global governing authority had direct access to a substantial tax revenue stream, things would change with lightning speed.

Obama's Silly Rule.  The system is already fair, if by that you mean steeply progressive.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 1 percent pays on average 18.8 percent of its income in federal income taxes, the broad middle pays 4.2 percent, and the bottom 20 percent gets more money back than it pays in.  When all federal taxes are taken into account, the top 1 percent pays almost 30 percent — Obama's magic number.

Here's why union membership keeps falling.  Folks in Springfield, Ill., witnessed a bizarre scene two years ago.  Thousands protested outside the Capitol, chanting:  "Raise my taxes!  Raise my taxes!  Raise my taxes!"  Who protests for higher taxes?  Government unions do.  The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees helped organize the rally.  This is the new face of the union movement.

Only the debt ceiling will reach the moon.  [Scroll down]  After all, if you confiscated the total wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans it would come to $1.5 trillion.  Which is just a wee bit less than the federal shortfall in just one year of Obama-size budgets.

36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes.  How embarrassing this must be for President Obama, whose major speech theme so far this campaign season has been that every single American, no matter how rich, should pay their "fair share" of taxes.

Takers Taking Over.  Like the socialists who govern Greece, Obama's left-wing administration depends on the support of left-wing activists, unionized government workers, radicalized students, and welfare recipients.  All of these groups have been pressing for more government spending, and Obama has not disappointed them. ... Ominously, the percentage of takers, those who collect benefits and pay no federal income tax, now sits at 49%.  Anything beyond that and the country is lost forever.

Government Gone Wild.  Our economic problems rightfully dominate the news.  However, they are merely symptoms of a bigger, underlying problem:  government. ... Government has become little more than a carefully crafted myth based on propaganda disseminated by government itself.  It has devolved into a scheme of plunder whereby the elites plunder the masses.

Cut or Tax? Are You an Adult or a Child?  If you are a child, then the government might seem to you like a parent.  It needs to be big and strong in order to take care of you and pay for all your needs and emergencies.  If you are an adult, you might view the government more like one of your offspring:  someone who has a limited number of chores to do and should be given a small allowance by way of payment for those chores.  If you are an adult, you know freedom entails responsibility. ... A child, on the other hand, wants total freedom — and then comes crying to Mommy when it gets him in trouble.

The Occupation Should Be On White House Grounds.  At a recent town hall meeting, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, reminded constituents of a story that broke earlier in the year — that General Electric paid no taxes on profit of $14 billion, $9 billion of which was earned overseas.  Ryan related how he had asked a GE tax officer the length of GE's tax filing.  The tax guy said it was filed electronically but if it had been printed out he reckoned about 57,000 pages.  This speaks both to the complexity and unfairness of the tax code.

Sales Taxes and the Internet.  The Internet-tax measures under consideration would not expand governments' power to tax, but its power to conscript businesses into acting as tax collectors.  At the moment, their ability to do so is limited by longstanding interstate-commerce jurisprudence:  The Supreme Court ruled in the 1967 Bellas Hess v. Illinois decision that states could require businesses to collect sales taxes in only those jurisdictions in which the businesses maintain an actual physical presence.

City fines and fees double, triple for minor and major offenses.  The mayor isn't just throwing the book at criminals.  He's also raising nuisance fines.  They include:  Allowing weeds to grow to a height that exceeds 10 inches — $600-to-$1,200-a-day, up from $500-to-$1,000.  [And] Illegal dumping or allowing trash to accumulate in a way that provides a food supply for rats — $300-to-$600, up from $250-to-$500.

The Tax Haven That's Saving Google Billions.  The heart of Google's international operations is a silvery glass office building in central Dublin, a block from the city's Grand Canal.  In 2009 the office, which houses roughly 2,000 Google employees, was credited with 88 percent of the search juggernaut's $12.5 billion in sales outside the U.S.  Most of the profits, however, went to the tax haven of Bermuda.

Progressives and Their Taxes Kill Cities.  High taxes are bad for cities.  Low taxes encourage growth.  In fact, between 1980 and 2007, compared to the ten most-taxed metropolitan areas, America's ten least-taxed metropolitan areas experienced three times faster population growth, 2.7 times faster employment growth, and twice as great an increase in personal income.

Republican senators push for Internet sales taxes.  Senators Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee are currently putting the final touches on their bill, which is backed by Wal-Mart Stores, Best Buy, Home Depot, and other companies that are currently required to collect sales taxes.  It's a bipartisan concept:  a related effort was embraced by Democrats including Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois a few months ago.

61% want tax code dumped.  Rasmussen asked likely voters: Is it a "Good Idea To Get Rid of Tax System for Something Simpler?"  61% said yes.  19% said no.  They must be working for the Internal Revenue Service because as far as I can tell, the only people who benefit from our Byzantine tax system.

9-9-no way.  Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan has become center stage of the Republican presidential nomination race and for good reason.  The American tax code has grown into an unwieldy beast.  Self-serving politicians hell-bent on controlling you and enriching their cronies have morphed it into a multiheaded Hydra with endless loopholes, exceptions, subsidies, giveaways, penalties and more.  Cut off one head and another grows back in its place.  This monster can't be tweaked, massaged or even reformed.  It must be killed.

Laffer: 9-9-9 is fine-fine-fine.  My doubts about the efficacy of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan were eased when economist Arthur Laffer wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal vouching for it.  The key components are two things I like:  eliminating most of the $1 trillion in tax deductions and tax credits.  Hooray.  The IRS tax code is socialistic and corrupt as politicians use its intricate and Byzantine system of deductions and tax credits to wield power, control the economy and pocket contributions (and even more, do-nothing jobs for relatives) from fatcats.  Herman Cain's plan would flush out the sewers of Congress and the White House.  The biggest reservation is giving Congress the power to impose sales taxes.

The 'fair share' farce.  It's about time the rich started paying their fair share, according to the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters.  Those fat cats aren't chipping in as much as the less fortunate.  When are they going to start spreading their wealth around?  Unfortunately for the occupiers, facts have a way of ruining a good story line.  Because when we check the dollars and cents behind who pays what, we find the rich already are sharing quite a bit of their earnings.

Pastors plan to defy IRS ban on political speech.  Setting the stage for a collision of religion and politics, Christian ministers from California and 21 other states will use their pulpits Sunday to deliver political sermons or endorse presidential candidates — defying a federal ban on campaigning by nonprofit groups.  The pastors' advocacy could violate the Internal Revenue Service's rules against political speech with the purpose of triggering IRS investigations.

Is a Progressive Tax Constitutional?  So much has been made of wealthier citizens paying their "fair share."  Much of the argument against this sort of rhetoric has focused on why we shouldn't raise taxes on the highest tax bracket, or why we shouldn't create another tax bracket.  But one argument that is missing is whether or not such a system of taxation is legal at all.

Kansas Budget Director Anderson Calls for End of State Income Tax.  Kansas Budget Director Steve Anderson hopes lawmakers will pass proposed legislation to eliminate gradually the state's personal income tax  A similar attempt to end the tax stalled in the state Senate last year.  In addition to eliminating the personal income tax, the current bill would raise sales and property taxes and cap state revenue at the 2010 level.  It also would reduce corporate taxes from 4 or 7 percent to 3.5 percent.

The internet tax:
Little-Noticed Federal Online Tax Proposal Draws Fire.  On the sweltering Friday afternoon of July 29, all of Washington and most of the nation was fixated on the political drama over raising the federal debt ceiling.  Few may have noticed that same afternoon also marked U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-IL) introduction of the Main Street Fairness Act (S 1452), which would give the federal government's backing to the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA).  The compact would empower state and local governments to collect sales taxes from online retailers that have no physical presence in their state.

Let the Billionaires Pay! Then What?  The wealthiest Americans already pay a huge amount in taxes.  In 2008, the top 1 percent of households paid 38 percent of all federal income taxes.  A second reason taxing the rich won't work is because government spending dwarfs the wealth of the richest Americans.  Even taxing away all of the wealth of the nation's billionaires would fund the federal government for only about four months.

Progressives and Their Taxes Kill Cities.  High taxes are bad for cities.  Low taxes encourage growth.  In fact, between 1980 and 2007, compared to the ten most-taxed metropolitan areas, America's ten least-taxed metropolitan areas experienced three times faster population growth, 2.7 times faster employment growth, and twice as great an increase in personal income.

5 Major Ways The Obama Administration Is Killing American Jobs.  [#5] Taxes:  Obama has relentlessly demonized any American who's wealthy, productive, or owns a business.  Then, Obama has gone on to scratch his head and wonder why those same people aren't creating jobs.

Jobs Created or Saved' Is White House Fantasy.  When the government distributes lucre or loot, people spend it.  If your interest is national income accounting, spending other people's money is great.  Spending is a back-door way for government statisticians to measure what matters, which is the real output of goods and services.  But the government has no money of its own to spend; only what it borrows or confiscates from us via taxation.

The Cynicism of Obama's Soak-the-Rich Policy.  When first adopted, the income tax rate on the wealthiest Americans was 7 percent.  However, it didn't take long to justify a massive increase.  Woodrow Wilson, using the 1st World War as an excuse, soon (within 4 years) increased that rate to 77%.  As a result of the excessive taxation, inflation topping 20% at the end of the war, and a subsequent dramatic deflation in prices, the Gross Domestic Product fell by 16% from 1919 to 1921, unemployment hit nearly 12 percent, and a full-blown depression started under Wilson's tenure.

A Short History of the Income Tax.  [Scroll down]  The new president, Woodrow Wilson, and the strongly Democratic Congress promptly passed a personal income tax.  It kicked in at 1% on incomes above $3,000 (a comfortable upper middle-class income at the time) and reached 7% on incomes over $500,000.  But there were many deductions, bringing the effective tax rates down sharply from the marginal ones — a feature of the tax system ever since.  Unfortunately the corporate income tax, originally intended as only a stopgap measure, was left in place unchanged.  As a result, for the last 98 years we have had two completely separate and uncoordinated income taxes.

Obama's Anti-Rich Crusade.  Apparently, politicians around the world now want to tax the rich, because they believe, or say they do, that's where the money is.  They're wrong.  The simple fact is that there aren't enough of the "millionaires and billionaires" who are now the target of President Barack Obama's campaign trail scorn to make the tiniest dent in America's deficit.

Obama Speech was "Obama Unplugged".  As others have pointed out, the top 10 percent of earners pay nearly 70 percent of all income taxes and the richest one percent pay more than 30 percent of their income to the federal government, while the average worker pays less than 14 percent.  In addition, almost half of the public do not pay any income taxes at all.  This is known as a progressive tax system.

Average Federal Tax Rates by Quintile, 1979-2007
Tax Demagogues Are Lying Liars, in One Graph.  From just this one graph, several observations can be drawn.  The most obvious observation is that the higher your income, the greater your federal tax rate is.  Taxpayers in the top quintile paid about 25% of their income in federal taxes, while those in the bottom quintile paid about 5% in 2007.  The rate for the top quintile has been very steady for the last thirty years:  about 25%.

Obama figures he can just lie.  A polite word for what President Obama is being with his claims about millionaires and taxes is "disingenuous."  A more straightforward term would be lying.  Neither the Associated Press nor the Wall Street Journal called him that yesterday, but both reported the facts that the President is grossly and willfully distorting.

Presidential prevarication.  Not that there was ever any doubt, but the Associated Press ran the numbers on President Obama's soak-the-rich tax scheme, and guess what?  The president's a fibber.  The news agency culled figures from a number of key authorities — like the IRS and the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center -- and demonstrated conclusively that top US earners pay far higher rates than other folks.  And foot a wildly outsized portion of the federal tax tab.

Where leftist Democrats thrive, businesses do not.
Illinois among worst states to do business: Survey.  Taxes and high costs were among the factors that contributed to the state's poor showing in the survey.  California was deemed to have the worst business climate, followed by New York and Illinois.  Illinois recently increased its income tax rate, which has prompted several companies, including Chicago-based CME Group, to consider leaving the state.

Where leftist Democrats thrive, sensible people pack up and leave.
A Tragic Tale Of Two States.  Increasingly, the "I Love New York" sentiment is being replaced with "I Leave New York."  In the past decade, about 1.6 million New Yorkers — most of them from the New York City metropolitan area — moved to other states.  That represents 8% of the state's population, the biggest exodus from any state, according to an analysis by the Manhattan Institute.  Compare and contrast that to Texas, ranked first among best states to do business in the Chief Executive survey.

IRS Data Show Most Millionaires Pay Taxes at Higher Rate Than Middle Class.  Data compiled by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center show households pulling in more than $1 million pay about 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes.  By contrast, households making between $50,000 and $75,000 pay about 15 percent.

Obama digs up dead tax hikes.  Once again, Barack Obama proposes to raise job-killing taxes on a weakening economy, one that has all but stopped growing under his 1930s-style policies.  In a confused presidency whose policies have zigged and zagged more times than the stock market, Mr. Obama can't seem to decide what his policy should be, changing its direction and its prescriptions from one year to the next or, more aptly, from one political strategy to another as his job-approval polls have continued to plunge.

Exhibit A
The rich don't pay lower average tax rates.
The Buffett Alternative Tax.  Washington has repeated nearly every economic policy mistake of the 1930s in recent years, so why not repeat one of the bigger blunders of the 1960s too?  We refer to President Obama's proposal yesterday for a new "Buffett Rule" to raise taxes on Americans earning more than $1 million a year.  This may sound familiar to readers of a certain age, because it is how the current, and much-hated, Alternative Minimum Tax was born.

Obama is right.  The cold, hard truth is that the rest of America — the poor, the lower-middle class, the unions and the government employees have to pull more of the load.  The reality is that Mr. Obama's voters get a free ride as a bribe to vote, support and contribute to the president.  Yes, we need more "fairness."  The problem is that Obama voters — those doing the most protesting and complaining — are the ones who need a refresher course in the definition of "fair."

Playing Robin Hood isn't leadership, Mr. President.  According to the latest data from the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, the top 1 percent of taxpayers made 20 percent of all income in the United States and paid 38 percent of all income taxes.  Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers made 13 percent of all income and paid just 3 percent of all income taxes.  Even more revealing is the fact that the top 5 percent earned 34.7 percent of the nation's gross adjusted income and paid nearly 60 percent of all federal individual income taxes.  In short, our tax code is steeply progressive already.

The Stealth Wealth Tax.  The stealth wealth tax may be the single-largest tax ever imposed on the American people, yet virtually no one knows about it.  What is particularly unconscionable about this tax is that it has been imposed upon the most responsible citizens and the elderly in a most disproportionate way, and the real tax rate on American savers has soared to record levels.

Media Myth Debunked:
Millionaires Don't Pay Less Tax as Percent of Income Than Lower Earners.  As President Obama trots out his new "Buffett Rule" to raise taxes on millionaires, the media are predictably assisting his efforts by spreading misinformation about the wealthy paying less taxes than lower wage earners as a percent of income.  2009 tax figures recently released by the Internal Revenue Service thoroughly refute this assertion.

Obama's Recipe for Tax Disaster.  President Obama's "Buffett Tax" proposal to change the nation's tax laws may sound seductively reasonable.  Ensuring that nobody earning over a million dollars a year pays a lower percentage than the middle class sounds like justice.  The truth, however, is that — no matter how well-packaged it may be — Obama's proposal is a nasty bit of class warfare that will destroy jobs, drive investment out of the economy, and harm the middle class, and it is certain to raise far less revenue than predicted.

Back to the Future: Part III.  Ninety years ago — in 1921 — federal income tax policies reached an absurdity that many people today seem to want to repeat.  Those who believe in high taxes on "the rich" got their way.  The tax rate on people in the top income bracket was 73 percent in 1921.  On the other hand, the rich also got their way:  They didn't actually pay those taxes.

The Statist DictionaryTax Expenditure.  If your earn $1,000, and the Statist is able to tax only $300 of that from you for the government to spend, the other $700 of your earnings that you are allowed to keep is viewed as a Tax Expenditure, meaning they could have taken it as well.  And wish they had.

The Democrats' Invincible Ignorance.  If you Google the words "Who pays income tax?" you will find a chart from the National Taxpayers Union.  It includes these telling statistics:  The top 1% of income earners pay 38% of all federal tax revenue.  The top 5% pay 59%.  The top 10% pay 70%.  The top 25% pay 86%.  The top 50% pay 97.3%.  Conversely, the bottom 50% pay merely 2.7% of all federal tax revenue.  As the data shows, the rich are certainly paying their fair share.  In fact, they pay the vast share.  The poorest Americans, conversely, pay literally nothing in income taxes.

Ratio Of Takers To Givers Reaches A Tipping Point.  In America, nearly half of wage earners pay not one single dime in federal income taxes.  Many of them trudge down to the local polling place or vote via absentee ballot — and vote themselves a raise.

Ten Thousand Commandments 2011.  Thanks to the bailouts and other amplified spending, CBO projects a FY 2011 deficit of a previously unthinkable $1.48 trillion, greater than FY 2010's actual deficit of $1.294 trillion.  With the unveiling of the 2012 budget, President Obama projects an even larger FY 2011 deficit than CBO does:  $1.645 trillion.  This figure will be the largest deficit since World War II, at 11 percent of the entire U.S. economy.

Top 10 Tax-Unfriendly States for Retirees.  If you are lucky enough to contemplate retirement in these tough economic times, keep in mind how much of your hard-earned money you will have to fork over to the government.  With a nod to Kiplinger's "Money Power," which compiled the rankings, here are the Top 10 Tax-Unfriendly States for Retirees, which are ones, for the most part, predominated by liberalism.

The Link Between Cigarettes and Income Taxes.  Fifty-one percent of Americans currently pay no federal income taxes... none!  This does not mean that they do not pay any taxes at all.  They pay sales tax, property tax, and perhaps other local taxes.  However, like those who do not pay pay cigarette taxes, these 51% pay nothing in federal income taxes.  Simply put, if you pay zero percent in income taxes and a politician talks of the need to increase taxes, he or she is nearly always talking about increasing the percentage rate of those already paying taxes.  If I pay no income taxes, I don't care if tax rates are increased.

Obama Administration Blames the Messenger.  The Democrats had their spokespeople on the Sunday [8/7/2011] TV news programs to respond to the S&P downgrade of U.S. sovereign debt, and to provide the talking points we can now repeat from memory. ... The New York Times had its short list of suggested tax increases in an editorial Sunday:  income tax rates for everybody, capital gains rates, a new value-added tax, a new carbon tax, higher gasoline taxes, and eliminating all the tax loopholes for corporations and wealthy individuals.

This is where "negative income tax" comes from.
Reaganomics Vs. Obamanomics.  Newt Gingrich's Contract with America adopted a child tax credit of $500 per child that reduced the tax liabilities of lower income people by a higher percentage than for higher income people.  President Bush doubled that credit to $1,000 per child, and made it refundable so that low-income people who do not even pay $1,000 in federal income taxes could still get the full credit.

Not enough rich to cover the deficit.  Soak the rich, eh?  They do not have the money.  A report from the Internal Revenue Service found that the rich — 8,274 people with incomes of $10 million per year or more — earned a total of $240 billion in 2009.  Even of you confiscated every dime they earned, you would barely have enough money to cover government spending for 24 days.

Progressives and Their Taxes Kill Cities.  High taxes are bad for cities.  Low taxes encourage growth.  In fact, between 1980 and 2007, compared to the ten most-taxed metropolitan areas, America's ten least-taxed metropolitan areas experienced three times faster population growth, 2.7 times faster employment growth, and twice as great an increase in personal income.

Democrats Are Obsessed With Raising Taxes.  The House-passed spending control plan rejected by the Senate is exactly what Republicans were elected to do last November.  The president's obsession with tax increases repudiates the will of the people.

Bachmann's Right: All Should Pay Taxes.  She was responding to a questioner at a meeting given by the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce who told Bachmann that part of the deficit problem was that some major U.S. corporations were paying "very few dollars of federal income taxes, if any."  Turning the question in a slightly different direction, former federal tax attorney Bachmann replied:  "Part of the problem is (that) today only 53% pay any federal income tax at all, 47% pay nothing."

No, Americans Don't Want Higher Taxes.  Four of five Americans are "sold" on higher taxes to solve the deficit impasse, according to President Obama.  Either he's deceiving himself or he completely misunderstands how the public really feels.

Class warfare, Obama-style.  President Obama is pushing for what he calls a "reasonable proposition" of tax increases mainly on those families with incomes of $250,000 or more.  "We weren't balancing the budget off of middle-class families and working-class families," he said last week.  "And we weren't letting hedge-fund managers or authors of best-selling books off the hook."  Left unsaid was that the top 10 percent of earners are already on the hook for around 70 percent of total income taxes, and the bottom 50 percent pay next to nothing.  If "fairness" was as important to liberals as they say it is, they would be seeking balance by raising taxes on the low end of the income scale.

Read Obama's lips: More new taxes.  The White House is fighting hard to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis with a deal that raises taxes to maintain elevated spending levels.  Republicans need to understand that compromising on taxes would be disastrous, possibly guaranteeing President Obama's re-election in 2012.  We found ourselves in a similar situation 21 years ago.

Cat Owners Hiss at Licensing Proposal.  Should cats be treated like dogs, when it comes to licensing and immunization requirements?  The San Diego city auditor's office recommends doing just that — for the sake of health, safety and "cost recovery" for taxpayers.

A Stealth Tax Hike.  The White House wants Republicans to agree to tax increases that no one wants to call tax increases, and for an insight into this political method let's focus on one proposal in particular -- the phase-out of itemized deductions for upper-income taxpayers.  We hope the tea party is paying attention, because this kind of maneuver is why people hate Washington.

Give Americans an income-tax vacation.  President Obama wants to raise taxes dramatically.  What is the GOP answer?  "Let's keep taxes where they are." ... Here's the problem:  Mr. Obama is a socialist who wants to raise taxes and punish business owners; the alternative is the GOP, which wants to keep things where they are or nibble around the edges, at best.  Neither is the right answer.  That puts America in a lose-lose scenario.

Taxpayers Win Three Times Over in Defeat of S. 782.  The U.S. Senate voted 51-49 today [6/21/2011] against proceeding to final passage of S. 782, a bill which would increase spending on a Great Society-era community activist government slush fund.

A New Paradigm for the Left?  More and more people believe that government exists not just to perform essential services as delimited in the Constitution, but as a grand equalizer of economic outcomes.  It's one thing to argue that those who earn more should pay a higher percentage of their earnings in income tax.  But it's a completely different idea to suggest that the government should use the tax code and other legislative schemes not just to ensure sufficient revenues to operate the government, but to more equitably distribute people's remaining income — or, possibly, assets.

Democrats' Tax-And-Spend Insanity.  You have to wonder who's advising Democrats these days.  With the economy stuck in a two-year, Obama-dug rut, their only new economic growth idea is to raise taxes and hike federal spending.

All liberal debt plans raise taxes to historically unprecedented levels.  This January Peter G. Peterson Foundation paid six think tanks $200,000 each to produce long-term budget plans that would reduce our nation's debt.  Today all six plan were revealed. ... The six tanks are the American Enterprise Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for American Progress, the Economic Policy Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network.  All but the only conservative groups in the mix (Heritage and AEI) call for raising taxes to levels unprecedented in American history.

Taxes are the Number One Household Expenditure in Canada.  As a single household expenditure most Canadians are paying more to maintain their governments than they are paying for their housing.  According to 2009 data published by Statistics Canada, average annual household expenditures in Canada for personal income taxes exceeded shelter costs.

How Will States Tax Internet Downloads? Congress May Decide.  Here's an interesting conundrum, posed by Representative Dennis Ross (R-Florida), at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing held on Monday:  "Imagine you are sitting in Dulles airport in Virginia, waiting for a flight back to Florida," Ross began in his opening remarks.  "You download a music file from Apple, which is headquartered in California.  The music is sent to you via a server in Oklahoma."  Which of these states should be allowed to tax the sale?

The Editor says...
I think I see where this is headed:  A federal sales tax for the internet.

Superficiality: A necessary part of liberal-progressive-socialism.  Liberal-progressive obsession with "taxing the rich" is another example of superficiality, or more often today, mendacious political posturing.  Democrat-Socialists tell us that we can cover government's gigantic spending deficits simply by repealing Bush-era tax cuts.  The fact is, of course, that taxing 100% of income from "the rich" would cover only a small fraction of present and mandated future deficit spending.

A "Third Income Tax" To Fund Public Education?  California, with an average statewide unemployment rate of over 12% (in some regions the rate is over 20%) and a budget deficit of somewhere between $10 and $15 billion, is considering the imposition of a third income tax.  The additional income tax rate would vary, according to which region of the state one lives in, and would be imposed directly by school districts and county governments.  Many of California's public school districts (there are over 1000 of them) are themselves broke, just like the state government.

That's about what you should expect if you live in California.

Property Taxes: an ATM for the Government.  Congratulations to citizens of North Dakota, fed up with taxation and have raised the necessary number of signatures to place a measure abolishing property taxes on the ballot.  The voter initiative needed 27,000 signatures.  28,000 signed the petition.

The Satellite Tax: Bad for Texas Consumers.  Two prefiled amendments to HB 3790 would impose a new tax on ALL Texans who purchase video/cable services.  There are three problems with this proposed new "satellite" or subscription video services tax.  First, it is a new tax on consumers in a state where they already pay some of the highest telecommunications taxes in the country.  The average Texan with a landline telephone, cable, and cell phone pays $318 per year in taxes.

Punishing the producers.  The hypocrisy of the president is the only transparent thing I have seen come out of the Obama administration.  President Obama has been campaigning and giving speeches declaring how rich people need to shoulder more of the tax burden.  What the president doesn't say is that rich people already pay the lion's share of the federal tax burden and that almost 50 percent of Americans (mostly Obama voters) pay no federal income tax.

The Gas Price Freakout.  Mr. Obama usually begins his gas price narrative, now a campaign trail staple, by explaining that there aren't easy solutions.  That's true — there's not a lot the political class can do to change gas prices in the short run — but then the President goes on to mention that there happens to be one easy solution:  raising taxes on the oil and gas industry.  This is also his stock answer on the budget deficit, world hunger and everything else.

There's No Fairness in Taxing E-Sales.  On the homepage of his US Senate website, Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin invites visitors to learn about his record of "Looking Out For Consumers" by protecting them "from excessive fees and predatory practices."  Alas, the senator's concern for the welfare of consumers goes only so far.  Indeed, he is poised to introduce legislation that would subject millions of American consumers to "excessive fees" they have long been sheltered from:  sales taxes on their online purchases.

Tax Day And The Future Tyranny Of The Non-Taxed.  Ah, April 15th!  I want you to consider that the date means absolutely nothing to 47% of US households as they will pay zero in federal income tax.  Yes, state, property and sin taxes still get them, but we are seeing a disturbing trend towards a tipping point where fewer than half of us pay any sort of income tax.

A nation of sponges:
Nonpayers Complicate Republican Effort At Overhaul of U.S. Tax Code.  More than 45 percent of U.S. households won't owe federal income taxes for 2010.  That stems from decades of tax cuts and, in the minds of some Republican lawmakers, it's also a problem.  Policies designed to ease the tax burden of lower-income Americans and offer targeted tax incentives have pushed millions of people off the income tax rolls.  That has bolstered an argument that these households don't have enough of a stake in the political system because they don't pay income taxes.

It is impossible to "soak the rich" enough to pay for Obama's level of spending.
100 Percent Tax on Those Earning $500K or More Leaves U.S. With $839B Deficit.  When he presented his plan for dealing with the national debt last week, President Barack Obama suggested a number of ways he would like to increase taxes on people he referred to as "millionaires and billionaires."  However, recently released statistics from the Internal Revenue Service indicate that taxing away 100 percent of the income of every American who earned $500,000 or more in 2009 would still have left the United States with a massive annual deficit.

Taxes On Everything.  As Americans scramble to file their taxes, the second-ranking Senate Democrat plans legislation to tax cyberspace.  Liberals seem willing to tax anything that moves — and even some things that don't.

Obama: Message Received, I'll Raise Your Taxes.  It didn't take Barack Obama long to receive the message sent by Friday's historic budget deal.  He knows what America really wants is higher taxes.

Here Comes the Odometer Tax.  The odometer tax would add yet another layer of taxation to the gasoline tax, the annual license plate fee, the county road and bridge fee, the federal tax on tires, and the cost of your annual state inspection sticker.

U.S. Census Bureau request alarms Tulsa County Assessor.  Buried deep in the bowels of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a provision to impose a 3.8% tax on real estate transactions.  Proceeding without regard to Federal Judge Roger Vinson's ruling that the health care law is unconstitutional the Obama administration appears to be pushing ahead with implementation of the real estate tax scheme.  The Tulsa World reports that County Assessor Ken Yazel has come under fire for comments made last month during the Tulsa County Republican Convention.  Mr. Yazel told the convention that the U.S. Census Bureau had asked his office for information that he believed could be used to help create a data base for collection of a 3.8% real estate sales tax.  The steadfast assessor isn't backing down from his statement.

Suspend the gas tax.  Republicans should demand the immediate suspension of the 18.4-cent federal gasoline tax and, at the state level throughout the nation, the suspension of the additional 30-cent average local tax.  When gas prices drop again — likely not for several years — the taxes should resume.  All told, federal, state and local excise and sales taxes account for almost 50 cents of the price of gasoline at the pump.

No State Will Ever Go Broke So Long as It Can Raise Your Taxes.  Neither individual states nor the federal government will ever literally go bankrupt.  That is because governments have a backup plan that is not available to any family with a mortgage or college loan:  it can confiscate as much of the income of its citizens as it needs to keep itself going.  With this mindset, a state need never face up to the reality of budgets that are out of control due to generous benefits packages given to already well-paid government employees, as well as pork-barrel spending aimed at boosting the popularity of politicians.

Confiscate Americans' Wealth to Pay Government Workers?  Even the most jaded of true-believers on the Left knows that confiscating the wealth and taxing what they consider to be unjust income would be self-defeating.  What could be done one time can never be repeated and there would be no one to create jobs or a higher standard of living for the overall citizenry, particularly those on the left side of the ruling class.  A cursory study of the experiences in the Soviet Union, Mao's Red China and Cuba among others reveals that government control of the means of production and wealth creation is a massive failure.

CBO Sees Benefits in Taxing Motorists Based on Miles Driven.  A new Congressional Budget Office study says taxing motorists based on the number of miles they drive would be a fair and "efficient" way to charge motorists for the real cost of using the nation's highways.  "Vehicle-miles traveled" taxes (or VMT taxes) also would provide a strong incentive for people to drive less.

The Cheesehead Rubicon.  In 2008, 56 percent of Wisconsin voters supported Barack Obama for president.  In 2009, Wisconsin's Democratic governor and Democratic Legislature passed legislation that raised taxes and fees by about $1.2 billion over three years.  State lawmakers approved the bill on the very day it was introduced, with no public hearing.  Remember that.

Capitalism is Peaceful, Socialism is Force.  Government wealth redistribution is force, plain and simple.  It's not a power authorized by the United States Constitution, and it's never moral.  It's the principle of the thing:  Initiating force against another is always wrong.  When you form an army, a police force and build jails to house people who don't obey you, and you threaten this loss of freedom (including death, should you try to escape) for not giving up a portion of your money to others, then this is force.  And it's wrong.

Top 5 silliest state tax hikes.  If you own a vacation home in New York, consider yourself a resident. ... Last month, a New York court ruled that a New Canaan, Connecticut couple's income is subject to New York state taxes because they own a vacation home on Long Island.  Even though they visit the home only a few times a year, it will cost them an additional $1.06 million in taxes — merely because the court ruled that the home was inhabitable year-round.

Could the UN Tax Your Airplane Seat?  Almost certainly because of the failure of US Congress to enact carbon legislation and the debacle in Copenhagen last December, the proposal from [Nicholas] Stern is for the UN to be the revenue raiser.  The UN has been mentioned for the first time as the vehicle to raise $100 billion per year to fight climate change.  This departure from past plans is so outlandish, so far out of any authority that the UN has ever claimed on member states, that it would lend credibility to the pronouncements of not just right-wing radio talk show hosts but the most radical phobias of world governance expressed by fringe groups.

The 'Your Money Is Not Yours' Crowd.  One branch of American politics shares [Paul] Krugman's view that the money you earn — the material manifestation of your mental and physical labor — is not yours.  It belongs to the government.  This view was recently on display when some referred to the extension of the Bush tax rates as "tax cuts."  With tax cuts, taxpayers pay lower rates.  With an extension of tax rates, taxpayers keep paying the same rate.  Extending the Bush tax rates prevented tax rates from going up.  Nobody got a tax cut.

Save Us From the Intellectuals.  Extending Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more would not be a giveaway.  We're not talking about the government's money, but money earned by individuals.  Only leftists believe that all income is the property of the state and that the amount remaining after income taxes is a gift from the government to the individual.  Moreover, the tax rates we're discussing have been in place since 2003.  To extend those rates would not be a cut.  To fail to extend them would constitute a tax increase.

Save Us From the Intellectuals.  [Scroll down]  Extending Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more would not be a giveaway.  We're not talking about the government's money, but money earned by individuals.  Only leftists believe that all income is the property of the state and that the amount remaining after income taxes is a gift from the government to the individual.  Moreover, the tax rates we're discussing have been in place since 2003.  To extend those rates would not be a cut.  To fail to extend them would constitute a tax increase.

Md. bill would create sales tax on gasoline.  Democratic leaders in the Maryland Senate are proposing a new sales tax on gasoline — roughly equal to $2.16 per tank — with a bill that would steer one-quarter of the revenues from Montgomery, Prince George's and Baltimore counties to the jurisdictions' billion-dollar light rail projects.  Maryland currently charges drivers a fixed 23.5-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline.  Tacking on a sales tax would not affect the state's per-gallon rate, but instead would tie any tax increases to the cost of gas.

No Such Thing as Carbon Neutral.  If you can't stop yourself from driving your car, cooking in your kitchen, heating and cooling your home, exhaling CO2, then 'They' will charge you fees you can't afford.  'They' have set up unelected local authorities through the EPA who have no accountability to voters and who will decide who uses what resources to 'their' ends.  To insure your submission and compliance with 'their' vision of utopia, 'they' will place Smart meters on your home, GPS devices in your car, tax you for your non-compliant appliances, take away your incandescent light bulbs, tax your airline flight, tax your tickets to entertainment venues, tax and cut your water usage, tax your hair-dresser, tax your nail salon, tax your local deli, tax your (exhale CO2) dry cleaner, anything that does or doesn't move.  'Their' will be done on earth.

Houston's 'Rain Tax' Could Swamp Property Owners.  A new "rain tax" that voters in Houston narrowly approved in the November general election could add thousands of dollars of fees to some properties.  The so-called Proposition 1 "rain tax" applies a minimum fee on all property in the city limits without exemption for churches, schools, charities, or senior homeowners.  Supporters sold the fee as a means to improve drainage and reduce flooding in the city, but opponents say it is a tax and grab.

The Editor says...
How can the citizens be taxed as a result of rainfall?  In Houston, rain is an every-day event over which the taxpayers obviously have no control.

Rep. Bachmann: Tax Bill Violates Article 1, Section 7 of U.S. Constitution.  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told CNS News that the tax bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday [12/15/2010] violates the U.S. Constitution.  "Article 1, section 7 says that all revenue bills originate in the House and that is our province and, of course, this originated in the Senate," she told CNS News in an interview Wednesday [12/15/2010] on Capitol Hill.

Stealth Socialism.  Under the scheme envisioned by ObamaCare, in which insurers would be obliged to cover all comers, a medical policy would no longer be insurance — that is, a contract to indemnify the policyholder against risk.  It would instead be, as [Justice Department lawyer Ian] Gershengorn describes it, a "financing mechanism" for medical services.  As Suderman points out, because participation would be mandatory, the "premium," and not just the penalty for failure to pay it, would effectively be a tax.

'Temporary' Tax Code Puts Nation in a Lasting Bind.  Welcome to the world of the temporary tax code.  In the late 1990s, there were typically fewer than a dozen tax provisions that had just a limited lease on life and needed to be renewed every year or so.  Today there are 141.

Who Owns Us? Congress? Or Ourselves?  Do farmers and businessmen have a right to congressional handouts?  Does a person have a right to congressional handouts for housing, food and medical care?  First, let's ask:  Where does Congress get handout money?  One thing for sure, it's not from the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus, nor is it congressmen reaching into their own pockets.  The only way for Congress to give one American one dollar is to first, through the tax code, take that dollar from some other American.  It must forcibly use one American to serve another American.

A Rate Which Lives In Infamy.  President Calvin Coolidge famously said that the chief business of the American people is business.  Now it seems that the chief business of Congress is to make sure American businesses are taxed at a punitive rate.

Leasing Your Life From The State.  One of the many beneficial side effects of driving Democrats out of power is that they become more open about their beliefs when they're panicked.  Such a moment came on Megyn Kelly's Fox News program on Wednesday [12/8/2010], when Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) freaked out over the estate tax. ... This is one of the purest expressions of reflexive Marxist impulse in recent memory.  You don't own anything in the mind of the Democrat Party.  It all belongs to the State, and it always did.  You are allowed to keep what our wise and benevolent masters decide to let you keep, and when you die, they're entitled to take it all back.

Uncle Sam Makes a Killing.  Our representatives in Washington, D.C. are about to use the votes we gave them with our votes to sign a death warrant.  They will condemn to death any frail elderly people worth more than five million dollars who are within range of the tender ministrations of their heirs, particularly if they are dependent invalids.

Estate Tax Row Exposes Marxist Hatred for Capitalism.  Liberals, especially those in Nancy Pelosi's House, are reportedly violently angry about President Obama's "deal" with Republicans which sets the estate tax at 35% for estates valued at over $5 million dollars.  Moonbats wanted a 45% tax to kick in for estates valued over 3.5 million.

Democrat economics borrowed from Marx.  The Democrats lack a winning platform on estate taxes — work hard, save, invest and after death, Uncle Sam gets half.  Why would anyone in their right mind put any effort into work or take any chances on starting a new business if they knew half was going to the government?  It shows hard work and risk-taking isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Democrats don't realize that unlike the Joe Kennedys of this world, children might not keep accumulating wealth.

Net Neutrality: Treating the Internet Like a Utility.  The FCC's proposed power grab could end up sticking you with a usage-based internet bill, costing many of us high-volume users our employment. ... The problem commences with who gets to regulate the Internet.  The usual suspects in Washington, from Henry Waxman (D-CA) to Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski, are pushing for rules which would take things in a radically different direction.  Recall the "Fairness Doctrine" in radio was an FCC regulation — not a law.  What's currently being pushed as "net neutrality" is in many ways simply a fairness doctrine for the Internet.

The Unemployment Crisis Catch-22.  The historical facts are quite clear on the subject:  lowering tax rates always results in economic growth by leaving more investment resources in the private sector, where real jobs must be created.  Lower tax rates have always resulted in increased tax revenue streams by way of economic expansion.  So why are Democrats so committed to raising taxes?

Why they call it Taxachusetts.  In Massachusetts in particular, it feels these days that if you simply sneeze you will get taxed.  I suppose it is the price you pay for living in a state that gets about two months of decent weather all year.  But what I had not anticipated, was that taxation with so little representation would become such a fine tuned art, that someone would devise the most imaginative and creative ways to fleece a guy who simply wanted to celebrate his wedding anniversary.

The Truth Behind the Tax Cut Lies.   The biggest battle in the lame duck session of Congress may well be over whether or not to extend the Bush administration's tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire in January.  The fact that this decision has been left until late in the eleventh hour, even though the expiration date has been known for years, tells us a lot about the utter irresponsibility of Congress.

Financial Bigotry.  The "tax cuts for the rich" debate needs a new focus.  We are missing the point of the tax debate.  It is not about taxation in a recession.  The wealthy will be comparatively well-off regardless of the economic environment.  It is not about the wealthy's ability to promote job creation.  Our government does not care about private-sector growth when it considers government employment an acceptable (and even more valuable) alternative.  And it's certainly not that Republicans are in love with the rich, since households that vote Democrat tend to have higher incomes than those that vote Republican.

Global Warming, Global Taxes.  Within 72 hours of the Tea Party's "shellacking" of Obama and Pelosi, Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, called for global taxation of the American public — an idea endorsed by a high-level official of the Obama administration.  Ban must not have been watching television on Election Night, because he missed the voters' rejection of big government, higher taxes, and out of control spending.  Or perhaps he did see the results and thought it best to get his $100 billion of "climate financing" fees on the agenda of the lame duck Congress.

The Democrats' Taxation Fraud.  One of President Obama's campaign promises was not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans.  So here's my question:  If there's a corporate tax increase either in the form of "cap and trade" or income tax, does it turn out to be a middle-class tax increase?

The Tax Man Cometh!  When the House voted to adjourn about a month ago by a 210-209 margin, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her cronies avoided dealing with extending the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which expire Dec. 31.  Rather than address the tax issue, the Senate also voted to adjourn.  Instead, Congress is holding a lame-duck session beginning Nov. 15.  What that means is whether or not you elect them back into office, they are poised to do what they want when they want with little election fallout.

Brass Oldies.  More than 80 years ago, the "tax cuts for the rich" argument was refuted, both in theory and in practice, by Andrew Mellon, who was Secretary of the Treasury in the 1920s.  When Mellon took office, there was a large national debt, the economy was stagnating, and tax rates were high, though the tax revenues were still not enough to cover government expenditures.  What was Mellon's prescription for getting out of this mess?  A series of major cuts in the tax rates!

Report: DNC repeatedly delinquent on property taxes.  The Democratic National Committee and the party's private club in the nation's capitol have been delinquent with tax payments on sixteen separate occasions over the last seven years, Pajamas Media has learned.  According to District of Columbia government records, since 2004 the Democrats' main political committee and its National Democratic Club — an exclusive restaurant and hideaway on Capitol Hill where prominent Democrats and their guests dine — have been hit with fines and interest penalties in excess of $115,000 for failure to pay their property taxes on time.

Government Greed.  Those who are always accusing people in the private sector of "greed" almost never accuse government of greed, no matter what it does.

Obama believes your paycheck is not your own.  This is an extreme concept and one that is best understood by analyzing it personally.  Everyone understands that when I "spend" money on a charity or at the grocery, the implication is that I am using my money to make a contribution or to buy chips and beer.  The President clearly believes differently, that my paycheck does not begin its life as mine, from which taxes are taken.  Rather, he believes that my paycheck begins life as his, from which residual amounts are beneficently granted to me for living expenses.

All Tax Hikes Eventually Hit the Middle Class.  One of President Obama's campaign promises was not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans.  So here's my question:  If there's a corporate tax increase either in the form of "cap and trade" or income tax, does it turn out to be a middle-class tax increase?

New Yorkers hit with nearly 5% state clothes tax.  Sticker shock led to rage yesterday [10/1/2010] when bargain-hunting New Yorkers realized they were being slapped with an almost 5 percent tax hike on clothes and shoe purchases.

The Government Tapeworm.  A successful parasite must keep its host alive, finding the point where it can maximize its intake without killing off its source of sustenance.  So, too, with governments taxing their citizenry.  With taxation, governments can reach the point where higher rates produce less revenue.  An academic study found that a tax increase of just 1% of GDP causes a recession and then a permanent loss of 1.84% of GDP compared to what it would have been without the tax increase.  The results of this study have some really broad and interesting implications.

Obama's Tax Evasion.  [Scroll down]  In the liberal imagination, the money is the government's by default, and the president and Congress determine through the tax code how much to give back to the people.  Last week Obama told an audience in Virginia that an extension would be "giving them $100,000 for people making a million dollars or more."  But this is backwards.  Low taxes don't give away the government's money.  Low taxes allow individuals to keep the money they've earned through hard work, sound investment, and good fortune.

Obama Endorses Global Taxes on Eve of U.N. Summit.  In a classic case of misdirection, while the media are preoccupied with the fate of the Bush tax cuts, President Obama is preparing to attend a United Nations summit next week to endorse "innovative finance mechanisms" — global taxes — to drain even more wealth out of the U.S. economy.

41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes.  Over the years a lot of suspicion has built up across the country about Washington and its population of opportunistic transients coming to see themselves as a special kind of person, somehow above average working Americans who don't labor down in that monument-strewn former swamp.  Well, finally, an end to all those undocumented doubts.  Thanks to some diligent digging by the Washington Post, those suspicions can at last be put to rest.  They're correct.

A Presidential Tax Cut For Liberal Elites.  President Obama likes to argue that his targeted tax cut is designed to make the most affluent Americans assume their "fair share" of the nation's obligations.  On closer inspection, it really seems designed to exempt the liberal elites who define those obligations from as much of the burden as possible.

This could happen here, too.
UK Proposes All Paychecks Go to the State First.  The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.  The proposal by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

Your payroll taxes go into a bottomless hole.  As you've long ago learned, there's a big difference between your salary and what you take home.  For most workers, the largest deduction is for FICA. ... FICA is the deduction for Social Security (old age, survivors and disability) and Medicare.  It consumes the first 15.3 percent of your earnings.  Half is taken out of your paycheck, and your employer pays the other half.  But since the employer must pay, you know it is money that might otherwise have been available to increase your salary.  So, in effect, you're paying the entire amount.

Chart:  FICA rates 1937 - 2009.

Government Believes It Has A Right To The Wealthy's Income.  During his recent speech in Ohio, President Obama made it clear his administration will soon raise taxes on those in the top marginal income tax bracket.  While not surprising given the administration's penchant for redistribution, the manner in which President Obama made his declaration brings cause for concern:  "This isn't to punish folks who are better off — it's because we can't afford the $700 billion price tag."  Not only will such tax-the-rich policy hamper U.S. economic growth, principally among small businesses, but the statement itself is a clear indictment of the president's broader philosophical belief:  Earned income is the Government's, not the Peoples'.

Us vs. Them: The Idle Rich vs. the Working Rich.  Don't you hate those rich people who inherited all their wealth?  They were just born into privileged circumstances and did absolutely no work to earn it.  And still, that's never enough for such greedy individuals, and they constantly seek more and demand to have everything they want handed to them.  It's a bitter, craven existence, and that sense of entitlement and wanting to just take from others does nothing but hurt this country.  And if anyone deserves to be taxed heavily in this country, it's these idle wealthy who don't deserve their riches in the first place.  Lucky for the taxman, then, there are a few hundred million of them to go after.

The Stupid Lies Democrats Believe.  [Scroll down]  Here are some examples:  "The rich don't pay taxes."  False.  For the 2007 tax year (the latest income tax data year released by the IRS), the top 1 percent of income earners, those making over $410,000 a year, paid 40 percent of all federal income taxes.

Thief-in-Chief.  When taxes become involuntary, they become theft.  When a majority votes for an involuntary taking of private property, the government becomes an instrument of gang-theft.

Tax Hike Planned For Lame-Duck Session.  Liberals in Congress have a plan to raise your taxes after the elections this fall, something they must do to continue feeding the Obama Administration's spending addiction.  Watch for them to act after the midterm elections under the cover of the report from the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  You don't need a commission to see that President Obama's policies have led to out-of-control federal spending and a growing federal government.

Toward a coarser, ruder culture.  For earlier generations of Americans, it was absolutely none of the government's business how much your income was, as long as you came by it legally.  The 16th Amendment changed all that.  In the succeeding decades, more and more parts of our formerly private financial lives were subject to the prying eyes of the IRS. ... Worse, though, are the effects of government redistributing our money.  Contemporary democratic politics in America has degenerated into a sordid scramble to see who can use the political process to extract the most wealth from one's fellow citizens.

Raising Your Indirect Taxes.  There are currently two pieces of tax legislation that have been introduced into Congress that will affect virtually every person in the United States.  These new bills are very deceptive, since they tax the chemical and petroleum industry; however, what EPA and the sponsors of the bill do not mention is that these taxes will be passed back down to the consumer level.

Obama Commission Will Call for Trillions in Tax Hikes.  Obama debt commission member, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, launched a scary trial balloon on ABC News.  Gregg suggested the debt commission will likely recommend a massive $26.7 trillion tax increase.

Hawaiians Loudly and Successfully Object to Proposed Tax Increase.  [Scroll down to page 8]  Hawaii's General Excise Tax (GET) is a multilevel sales tax on all goods and services, including food and medicine.  Because of its compounding nature on the gross income, receipts, or proceeds of all business activities, the GET, at a base rate of 4 percent, is comparable to at least an 11 percent sales tax.  In addition, Hawaii's GET is more regressive than most sales taxes, as many states and local governments exempt items such as food and medicine but the GET does not.  Currently the GET rate in Hawaii is 4 percent except for the island of Oahu, which charges 4.5 percent to fund a $5.3 billion commuter rail project for the island.

The Great Escape.  Oregon voters decided in January that it was a good idea to raise taxes on the wealthy to increase revenues.  The result:  Tax revenues are actually down.  The lesson:  Envy doesn't pay.

Middle Class — Not the Rich or the Poor — Pay Majority of Federal Taxes.  Middle-class Americans — not the rich or the poor — pay the majority of annual tax revenues taken in by the federal government, according to data released in a new Congressional Budget Office study.  Households earning less than $34,300 per year, meanwhile, actually pay a negative average federal income tax rate.

Plastic Bags:  Untapped Tax Gold Mine?  Only one US city — Washington, D.C. — has successful instituted a plastic bag tax, but at least 13 other states are considering one.  In its first month, the 5-cent bag tax brought the city about $150,000.  Revenues have increased each subsequent month, reaching $226,000 in May, and totaling $942,000 from January through May.  The funds have all gone towards efforts to clean up the Anacostia River, which runs through Washington.

The Left and Progressively Higher Taxes.  Liberals have a very amorphous definition of fairness, and a very ambiguous definition of who should pay them.  That is something that should leave us all very nervous.  How much, for how long, and to what end should taxes be paid?  The left can not answer these questions.  If they were to be honest, they would admit they have never even considered them.  Still they are unshaken in their certitude of "fairness:"  a progressive tax system.

Democrats' budget plan:  Tax and spend more.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday [6/22/2010] that Democratic congressional leaders have opted not to propose a budget this year.  "It isn't possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we've considered the bipartisan commission's deficit-reduction plan, which is expected in December," he said.  This means Congress won't pass an annual budget plan for the first time since enactment of the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.

Democrat 'Suicide Bombers'.  [Scroll down]  Let's just think this through, which the Democrats obviously haven't.  Both the Cap-and-Trade bill, and a VAT imposition, would raise taxes on everyone in the country. ... These new taxes are not the type that can be withheld from a paycheck, or tacked discreetly on everyone's phone bill.  They are the type that will be paid every day.  They will be paid at the gas pump.  They will be paid at the checkout line in every store in the country.  They will be paid every single day.

Death tax cometh.  The federal death tax may be coming for more New Yorkers, a well-placed Capitol Hill source tells The [New York] Post.  The tax will jump to 55 percent next year on all estates valued at $1 million and up — unless lawmakers can reach a compromise to raise the threshold amount or cut the rate, or both.

Checking Chumps.  Hollering about "fairness," Democrats vowed to punish U.S. banks by passing new laws to micromanage their businesses.  As a result, free checking may soon be dead.  So who's really paying for all that "fairness"?

Dick Durbin's Dastardly Plan for Your Debit Card.  While you were preoccupied with the oil spill, the Middle East crisis, the unemployment rate, and everything else in the news, the Senate has been trying to slip a fast one by you.  This time, it has to do with your everyday purchases that you make on your debit cards. ... The amendment would make the Federal Reserve Bank dictate debit card "interchange rates."

In Canada:
New eco fees catching consumers by surprise.  Checking her receipt as she left a downtown Canadian Tire, Chris Colorado noticed a new charge.  Her $1.99 bottle of dish soap was accompanied by a 13-cent "eco fee."  The levy for thousands of new products, from pharmaceuticals to fire extinguishers, quietly came into effect July 1, the same day as the harmonized sales tax.

Low Taxes Are an American Tradition.  Except in times of war, the effective tax rate imposed by all levels of government in the U.S. seldom rose above 5 percent prior to 1916.  During the past century, unfortunately, the U.S. has moved far away from the low-tax views of the Founders.  Today, total tax burden stands at 31.6 percent of personal income, with the national government imposing a tax burden of 21.0 percent and state and local governments imposing an additional 10.6 percent.  The typical taxpayer must work 116 days a year just to pay his taxes.

Five ways Obama may tax you to pay for the government's 'reinvention of journalism'.  Translated, "reinvention of journalism" is codespeak for "Repeal the First Amendment's prohibition on Congress doing anything to abridge the freedom of the independent press to find and report all of the facts about what politicians, bureaucrats and their allies in the private sector are doing, are planning on doing, did in the past, or are thinking about doing to the rest of us and with our tax dollars.

Fix Is On by Obama and Congress in Union Fight.  [Scroll down]  To fund his reordering of power in the midst of a steep economic downturn, Obama has signed into law 25 tax increases totaling $670 billion over the next ten years, according to a report issued by the House Ways and Means Committee.  And Paul Volcker and Nancy Pelosi — reacting to the reality that increased income taxes cannot save the country from going broke — are pushing a Value Added Tax, the most pernicious of levies that will empower the IRS to enter places of business unannounced to demand records and enforce compliance.

Big Spenders, Cronies Stack Budget Watchdog.  President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is supposed to come up with ways to slash the budget deficits and shrink a public debt expected to hit $20 trillion at the end of this decade.  But its chief purpose is to propose a laundry list of new taxes to pay for Obama's costly vision of a far bigger government than we have now, and to give him and the Democrats political cover while they continue to spend our money like there's no tomorrow.

Fee!  Fie!  Foe!  Fum!
Creepy Pennsylvania Tax Agency Ad Goes Big Brother.  A threatening TV commercial appearing in Pennsylvania has residents of the state spooked by its "Orwellian" overtones, and critics are calling it a government attempt to scare delinquent citizens into paying back taxes.  In the 30-second ad, ominous mechanical sounds whir in the background as a satellite camera zooms in through the clouds and locks onto an average Pennsylvania home.

12 Taxes in Health Care Law Violate Obama's Pledge.  As many as a dozen taxes in the new health care law violate President Barack Obama's campaign pledge not to raise taxes on families earning less than $250,000 and on individuals earning less than $200,000.  At least seven of these taxes directly affect health consumers regardless of income, such as the individual mandate to buy insurance, the employer mandate, the tanning tax, and limits and penalties on health savings accounts.

The Global-Warming Tax.  Never has a public-policy agenda been pursued with so little regard for scientific fact or public opinion.  In March, 48 percent of Americans agreed that global warming, while real, is exaggerated.  When Gallup first asked this question in 1997, only 31 percent thought the threat exaggerated.  Despite this shift in sentiment, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and John Kerry (D., Mass.) and President Obama insist upon ramming a new global-warming tax (called a "fee") through the Senate.

'If you tax them, they will leave'.  [New Jersey Governor Chris] Christie has a powerful motive for not sugarcoating the state's troubles.  His program is radical, at least for New Jersey.  He wants to slash $10.7 billion from a 2011 budget projected at $38 billion, reduce taxes, cut regulations, and privatize enterprises such as the state-owned TV network and parking garages.

Obamacare will make every day feel like April 15th.  New taxes on investments, taxes on medical supplies, taxes on drugs and health insurance, and taxes on you if you are just breathing... the list of taxes Americans will face just got a lot longer thanks to ObamaCare.  The health overhaul plan just enacted represents the largest tax hike in U.S. history — $569 billion over 10 years through a dizzying array of taxes and fees that promise to frustrate taxpayers at every turn.

More about the high cost of Obamacare.

Lower and Simplify Taxes!  It's that joyous time of year:  income tax time.  So I spend time with my accountant.  I don't want to see him, but I must.  I could not do what he's doing.  The tax code has grown so complex that today most Americans hire someone to do their taxes.

Emergency Bill to Close Tax 'Loopholes' Includes $46 Million Tax Loophole.  A bill titled "The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010" that will add $115 billion to the federal deficit between now and October 2011, and that the Democratic leadership intends to push through Congress before they leave for their week-long Memorial Day recess, includes a special $46 million tax loophole for Hollywood movie and television producers.

The President is delusional.
Obama 'amused' by Tea Party rallies.  President Barack Obama struck a hyperpartisan note Thursday [4/15/2010], telling Democrats that he was "amused" by the Tax Day Tea Party rallies.  Obama, addressing a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraiser in Miami, did little to endear himself to the Tea Party groups protesting around the country, saying "they should be saying thank you" because of the tax cuts he has signed into law.

How Dumb Does He Think They Are?  Does Obama seriously not understand that most voters — not those who show up for his rallies, but voters of normal competence — are well aware of the tax increases in Obamacare, the tax increases in cap and trade, the tax increases when the Bush tax cuts expire next year, and the looming VAT tax that will impact every American family?

Obama's new tax on... Rainwater!?  Would President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency really force Americans to pay a tax on "rainwater runoff" from homes and small businesses?  You bet they would.  In fact, the EPA, under radical environmentalist Lisa Jackson, is proposing regulations to do just that.

Why 70 Million Americans Don't Pay Uncle Sam a Dime.  While you struggle to meet your deadline, consider that although the law requires you to file a tax return, more than 70 million of your fellow filers will not owe a single penny to Uncle Sam.  As the latest news from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center shows, a record 47 percent of tax filers will have no federal income tax liability this year.

Redistributing Our Earnings To Freeloaders.  Income tax day, April 15, now divides Americans into two almost equal classes:  those who pay for the services provided by government and the freeloaders.  The percentage of Americans who will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009 has risen to 47%.  That isn't the worst of it.  The bottom 40% not only pay no income tax, but also the government sends them cash or benefits financed by the taxes dutifully paid by those who do pay income tax.

Fair Tax Distraction.  Every April, as the due date for individual income tax returns rolls around, I watch for two inevitable events.  One is reports of various U.S. attorneys all across the nation issuing indictments for tax fraud.  The typical targets are local citizens prominent enough to make sure that the story gets media attention just before the annual peak in filings.  The other is articles promising a quick political fix to the labyrinth known as the Internal Revenue Code and the entire industry that has grown around it.  The most commonly proposed solutions being promoted are some variation on a flat tax or a national sales tax.

Nearly half of US households escape fed income tax.  Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it's simply somebody else's problem.

Obamacare Violates Obama's Pledge Not to Increase Taxes.  As many as a dozen taxes in the new health care law violate President Barack Obama's campaign pledge not to raise taxes on families earning less than $250,000 and on individuals earning less than $200,000.  At least seven of these taxes directly affect health consumers regardless of income, such as the individual mandate to buy insurance, the employer mandate, the tanning tax, and limits and penalties on health savings accounts.

Opposing An Intolerable Act:  The history of the United States begins with a rebellion against unfair taxation. ... The punishment for that first Tea Party was a series of intrusive laws so oppressive that they were described as the "Intolerable Acts." ... Obamacare is today's "Intolerable Act."  It too should be opposed and repealed.

Internet taxation is on the way.  The Obama Era has become a protracted, nightmarish Whack-A-Mole game of tax increases and bureaucratic self-enlargement.  In sector after sector of American life, another scheme to expand government and wrench more earnings from Americans' pockets pops up.  Its next targeted sector?  The Internet.

The Coming Tax Rebellion:  There is widespread understanding that the American people cannot win back control of their government until the federal tax system is either repaired or ripped out by the roots and replaced.

Obamacare Dystopia.  [Scroll down]  In one of a bazillion little clauses in a 2,000-page bill your legislators didn't bother reading (because, as Representative Conyers explained, he wouldn't understand it even if he did), Congress voted to subject the 28 percent tax benefit to the regular, good, ol', American-as-apple-pie corporate tax rate of 35 percent.  For the purposes of comparison, Sweden's corporate tax rate is 26.3 percent, and Ireland's is 12.5 percent.  But just because America already has the second-highest corporate tax in the OECD is no reason why we can't keep going until it's double Sweden's and quadruple Ireland's.

The ObamaCare tax hike that loses five times what it brings in.  We turn to the Wall Street Journal for the math on what it will cost to raise taxes on corporations' retiree prescription drug coverage.  This is the provision that has caused several corporations to take markdowns recently.  The bottom line:  by closing this "loophole" — which was originally created to dissuade companies from dumping retirees' prescription costs into Medicare Part D — the government could lose more than five times what it brings in.

States may hold onto tax refunds for months.  Residents eager to get their state tax refunds may have a long wait this year:  The recession has tied up cash and caused officials in half a dozen states to consider freezing refunds, in one case for as long as five months.

A Misleading Sales Pitch.  [Scroll down]  The FairTax sounds too good to be true.  It is.  The campaign for the FairTax is deeply misleading, and much more likely to set back the cause of tax reform than to advance it.  The FairTaxers give a misleading answer to the first question everyone asks about their idea:  How big will the tax be?  The FairTaxers say they want a 23 percent sales tax.  Most people will assume that a product that costs $100 before the tax is added would cost $123 with the tax.  Actually, the tax would be $30 and the total price $130.  They call it a "23 percent" rate because $30 is 23 percent of $130. ... It is not at all clear that this 30 percent sales tax would raise enough revenue to eliminate income and payroll taxes.

Politicians Smother Cities.  Cleveland, once America's sixth-largest city, has been going downhill for decades.  Why do some cities thrive while others decay?  One reason is that some politicians smother their cities with the unintended consequences of their grand visions, while others have the good sense to limit government power.  In a state that already taxes its citizens heavily, Cleveland's politicians drown businesses in taxes.

Charging residents for calling 9-1-1?  As if California taxes weren't exorbitant enough the town of Tracy, California, hoping to generate "extra revenue while it suffers a $9 million budget deficit," is requiring residents to "pay every time they call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency."

Obama Endorses New Wealth Taxes, More Drugmaker Fees.  President Barack Obama, seeking to break an impasse over health-care legislation, proposed a plan that includes the first Medicare tax on capital gains and higher fees on companies such as Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. to help cover millions of uninsured Americans.

The United States of Argentina:  Obama's Pension Grab.  Barack Obama's money train has steamrolled uncontrollably across the country, compiling record-breaking budgets, deficits, and debt along its path.  Now, the train is running out of fuel, and the nation's retirement money may find its way on board, to keep the train on the tracks.

Class Warfare's Next Target:  401(k) Savings.  You did the responsible thing.  You saved in your IRA or 401(k) to support your retirement, when you could have spent that money on another vacation, or an upscale car, or fancier clothes and jewelry.  But now Washington is developing plans for your retirement savings.

Goodbye 401(k)
Administration Advances Plan to Federalize Private Pension System.  In February, the U.S. Treasury and Labor departments jointly announced they were seeking public comment on proposed design changes to employer-sponsored 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts that would centralize the private pension system under structures created and administered by the government.

Beware of Congress's Threat to Tax 401Ks.  With the bear market red in the claw, with an equal opportunity bear market taking out solid stocks right and left, with panicked investors feeling like every headline is an explosion, comes this impenetrable stupidity:  Some Democrats in Congress have held hearings that included discussions of new proposals to tax 401K money.  Specifically, the idea would be to eliminate most of the $80 billion in annual tax breaks that 401(k) investors receive. Which means a nearly $80 billion tax hike.

Targeting Your 401(k).  You may have heard about Argentina's plan to nationalize private retirement accounts.  Some Democrats on Capitol Hill are inspired, and with their big election victory they may get the chance to test Peronist ideas in America.

Killing 401(k)'s?  It's still more than two months before the Obama administration takes office, and we are already seeing signs of just how the Democrats intend to govern.  One proposal being floated by Congressional Democrats aims to abolish the tax incentives for individual 401(k) retirement plans.  With the recent financial meltdown having hit a lot of people's funds heavily, those lawmakers think that the time would be ripe to end the private system and fold it into an expansion of Social Security.

Retirement Fund Trillions Lure Government Grabbers.  Is the government making plans to confiscate your retirement money?  The Obama administration is certainly exploring the idea.  This question no longer seems far-fetched when the group-thinkers in Washington unabashedly promote a doctrine of wealth redistribution and central planning.  These Keynesian socialists know they will need vast new sources of revenues to fund their relentless spending binges to "transform" this nation.  A logical next step would be to legitimize the confiscation of private retirement assets — an idea that was contemplated in the recent past by the Clinton administration.

Irish Government Raids Private Pensions To Pay For Spending.  The Irish government plans to institute a tax on private pensions to drive jobs growth, according to its jobs program strategy, delivered today.  Without the ability sell debt due to soaring interest rates, and with severe spending rules in place due to its EU-IMF bailout, Ireland has few ways of spending to stimulate the economy.  Today's jobs program includes specific tax increases, including the tax on pensions, aimed at keeping government jobs spending from adding to the national debt.

Private Pensions For Public Spending.  Ireland says it will seize parts of its citizens' private pensions so politicians can spend more -- a truly awful idea that may be coming to a government near you.  Ireland?  Surely, it can't happen here, you say.  But it can.  Indeed, governments at both the state and federal level have moved more than once to seize all or part of the money you've saved for retirement.

When the Chips Are Down, All Democrats Are Liberals.  [Scroll down]  Second, the Obama tax pledge — no tax hikes on families making less than $250,000 — has been eviscerated by the bill.  There are no less than seven categories of taxes on the supposedly non-rich and they are not insignificant.

Unlearned Lessons.  Last week, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that New Jersey lost $70 billion in wealth over the past five years.  The reason?  Affluent people have moved to states with a lower tax rate or no income tax at all.  The findings are from a study conducted by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, the first study on interstate wealth migration in the country.

Deer hits car, 'crash tax' hits driver.  [Scroll down]  The Westchester resident suffered only minor injuries, a few cuts and scrapes from the damaged windshield.  What hurt far more was a $350 bill from the Glenside Fire Protection District, a fee critics refer to as a "crash tax."  Locklin, a nurse who was on her way to work at nearby Glen Oaks Hospital, said emergency crews arrived quickly.  Locklin said she declined treatment and signed a waiver at the scene.  Weeks later she was billed by the Glenside Fire Protection District.

Obama and the Government Employees:  [Scroll down]  Meanwhile, Big Brother, like many big brothers, has become a bully.  The Internal Revenue Service is on a hiring binge to crack down on taxpayers; fees on candy, plastic bags, iPod downloads, sugar, and many other things that make life fun are going up and up; our tax rates are inflating; and studies show that there has even been an explosion in parking tickets and fines for every picayune sort of "violation" that the bureaucrats can dream up in all their spare time — phantom taxes, they have been called.  The leviathan must be fed.

Obama Begins His Assault on Your Life Savings.  The welfare state and your life savings are two cars heading down a one-lane road in opposite directions.  One must yield, or there will be a crash.  For Americans who believe in the old-fashioned virtues of hard work, self reliance and respect for private property, the solution is obvious.  The welfare state must yield.  For politicians who believe in the welfare state and redistributing wealth, the solution is equally obvious.  Your savings must yield.

Nutter proposes 2-cent-per-ounce sweet-drink tax.  [Philadelphia] Mayor Nutter wants to treat the city's weight and wallet problems in his 2010-11 budget with the same remedy:  the nation's highest tax on all sweetened beverages including soda, energy drinks, ice tea, even chocolate milk.  Nutter's plan would put Philadelphia at the front of the movement to tax sweet drinks, an effort that the beverage industry already opposes and that could encounter resistance in City Council.

What 'population control' really means:  Again and again I see examples of people voting to the left of their actual convictions. ... The classic case is "tax the rich."  Very few people are in favour of having their own taxes raised, or their own spending regulated.  But if a politician will assure them that he is going to put taxes up on everyone above a certain income, he is sure to generate some enthusiasm among those below it.

What Obama and the Media Aren't Telling You about Taxes.  Even if Barack Obama does adhere to his income tax plan, his promise that he won't raise taxes on the common man is still a lie.  A continual theme of the Barack Obama campaign has been his vow that no one making less than $250,000 a year would get a tax increase.  Now he has provided more details, pointing out that to qualify for a tax cut you must earn less than $200,000.  Then, on Tuesday, Joe Biden said during an interview that tax breaks should go to "people who make $150,000 a year."  My, my, when Obama said he was the candidate of change, he never mentioned that it applied to figures and campaign promises.

The Secret Plan to Pass a Global Tax.  With President Barack Obama attacking "fat cat bankers on Wall Street," left-wing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) see a great opportunity to pass a global tax on financial transactions that could generate at least $700 billion a year from the U.S. and other "rich" countries.  They are expecting Obama's support.

List of Taxes Proposed to Pay for Health Care Reform.  The U.S. Senate recently released its long-awaited proposal for a government-run hostile takeover of the entire U.S. health care system.  Predictably, it includes a barrage of higher taxes to pay for the bill's immense price tag.  [They include]
 •  A value-added tax, which would tax the value added to a product at each stage of production,
 •  An excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages including non-diet soda and sports drinks,
 •  Higher taxes on alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, and spirits,
 •  A tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage of up to 2.5 percent of their adjusted gross income.

Obama's 2011 budget will include phantom cap-and-trade revenue.  A trade publication is reporting this afternoon [1/29/10] that President Obama's 2011 federal budget proposal will assume receipt of billions of dollars in revenue generated from the cap-and-trade program even though that proposal appears now to be all but dead in Congress.

Cash-strapped states avoid word 'taxes'.  Faced with severe budget shortfalls after a steep economic recession, state legislatures and governors are trying to raise money without raising taxes — at least not technically.  A fee hike, an increased penalty or fine, the elimination of a tax exemption — none of these technically counts as a tax increase, as far as many state lawmakers are concerned.

The Quarter-Percent Solution?  The sponsors of HR4191 are either so naïve as to have no conception of the operations of modern-day financial markets — and of the competitiveness which makes a single basis point a crucial cost advantage — or, more likely, so callous as not to care.  They see an opportunity to curry favor with a poorly informed electorate by trashing Wall Street while at the same time placing within their grasp trillions of dollars of future tax revenues to secure future political advantage.

War Against the Wannabe Rich.  There is class warfare going on in this country — but it's not against the established rich.  It's against those who are trying to become wealthy.  President Obama has declared that those who make over $200,000 will pay higher income taxes.  Caps on payroll taxes are supposed to come off as well for the upper class.  Envisioned estate taxes will take 45 percent of individual inheritances valued over $3.5 million.  Many states have also hiked their income taxes on the upper brackets.

Liberal Economic Illiteracy:  It doesn't matter one iota that there have been three major tax cuts initiated by three different presidents since the 1960s — and every one of them resulted in increased revenue flowing into federal coffers.  It doesn't even matter that the largest one was passed, not by a Republican president, but by Democrat John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Socialism's Greatest Lie:  Government Can Give You Everything for Free.  The idea that the government will take care of you is appealing, entire nanny states have been built on that proposition.  But the government can't take care of you, it can't even pay its own bills without you.  It can't run a television station, a toll bridge or even an off track betting service, or any venture that in private hands would be profitable, without using taxpayer funds to prop it up.  A legitimate enterprise never needs to fool its customers into thinking that they will receive something for nothing.  It is only the scammers that need to do that.

States hike taxes and fees to cover budget shortfalls.  Speeders doing more than 85 miles per hour in Georgia will soon pay an additional $200 in fines.  Racehorse owners in New York now must fork over $10 to enter their steeds in events.  And Massachusetts started charging a 5% tax on broadcast satellite service.  These measures are part of a record $23.9 billion in tax and fee hikes and $7.7 billion in other revenue increases enacted by states in fiscal 2010, according to a report released this week.

California Stealin'.  Desperation grabs for revenue are nothing new in politics, but California is once again leading the way in creative financing.  To help close yet another gaping budget deficit, now estimated to be $7 billion this year and reach as high as $20 billion next, Sacramento lawmakers have authorized a 10% increase in the amount of taxes withheld from worker paychecks starting November 1 and through 2010.

Time to Bury the "Death Tax".  Kevin Hancock simply wants to harvest trees — sustainably — and create jobs in the process.  The federal government may put a stop to all that.  His business, Hancock Lumber, has been in the family for six generations.  It owns 30,000 acres of Maine timberland and employs 550 people.  But Kevin already knows that when his elderly mother dies, he'll have to sell off huge swaths of his land to pay the ensuing tax bill.

How Do You Measure Integrity?  The term "kleptocracy" is applied to a government that extends the personal wealth and political power of its own officials and the ruling class via the embezzlement of state funds at the expense of the wider population, sometimes without even the pretense of honest service.  That sounds pretty close to what we have in America today.

Obama's false 'stimulus'.  President Barack Obama has little interest in, understanding of or affection for free markets, so he fails to understand that the fundamental relationship between government and the economy is that of parasite to host. ... [Although] government can consume wealth and redistribute wealth, it can't create wealth.  And unless wealth is created, there is nothing to consume or redistribute.  That's why — even when government is doing something we all agree must be done or most of us want to have it do — government is a parasite.  All it has is what it takes from the producers of wealth.

The Income Tax and Government Spending.  In 1913, We the People amended the Constitution to allow the federal government to punish "the rich" by seizing from them wealth the government did not need.  The government, as Reagan said, quickly found a way to spend that wealth on its priorities, without the consent of those who actually created it.  And so it has gone, from that day to this, with ever more spending, ever more taxing, and an ever-growing national debt.

A Tax To Grind.  The average tax rate assessed to corporations worldwide has fallen 10 years in a row, but the U.S. isn't driving the trend.  Policymakers in the most advanced economy continue to punish their constituents.

American Idea.  [Scroll down]  Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to tax and spend for the enumerated activities therein.  Every American is duty bound to pay his share.  Congress has neither constitution nor moral authority to take the earnings of one American for the benefit of another American.  What do you think will happen to you if don't comply, say with Congress' demand that part of your earnings be taken to bail out a failing business?  You'll see all the brute force that you want to see and if you resist too much, death is not off the table.

Democrats and Job Creation ... or Not.  I wonder what level of unemployment Democrats need before they start considering actual rate cuts.  A cut in the payroll tax would stimulate the economy instantly by cutting the cost of employing people.  Is that really too hard to understand?

Progressives Back Obama Push for Global Tax.  While policymakers debate a few million dollars for ACORN and a few hundred billion dollars more for health care reform, those committed to one-world government are moving ahead with plans for a global tax that could extract trillions of dollars out of Americans' already depleted IRAs and stock holdings.  One can't exclude the possibility of such a tax being slipped into a health care or cap-and-trade bill that the Congress or the public could not have time to read before passage.

Liberals never learn.  Michigan is an economic basket case.  As noted in the Wall Street Journal, the Democratic governor pushed through a tax increase on business in 2007.  This is standard liberal practice — pretending that a tax on business has no effect on the taxpayer.

Don't Increase Federal Gasoline Taxes — Abolish Them.  Many experts believe that gasoline taxes should be increased for a variety of reasons.  Their arguments are unpersuasive.  Oil is not disappearing, and when it becomes more expensive, market agents will substitute away from gasoline to save money.  The link between oil price shocks and recessions, although real in the 1970s, has been much more benign since 1985 because of the termination of price controls.  Market actors properly account for energy costs in their purchasing decisions absent government intervention.  Pollution taxes, congestion fees, and automobile insurance premiums more closely related to vehicle miles traveled are better remedies for the externalities associated with automobile travel than a simple fuel tax.  Gasoline consumption does not necessarily distort American foreign policy, impose military commitments, or empower Islamic terrorist organizations.

In Praise of Lobbyists.  Raising taxes on the overseas profits of American firms has been a central plank of Barack Obama's agenda since his campaign for President in 2008. ... The U.S. is one of the few developed countries that even tries to tax corporate overseas profits.  Most operate on a territorial system, in which business profits are taxed in the country in which they are earned.

Transfer Machine.  The theory of government I was taught says that government provides benefits, primarily security, to the entire population.  In return we pay taxes.  But lately the government has been a distributor of special privileges, taking money from some and giving it to others.  America is now about evenly split between those who pay income taxes and those who consume them.

47% will pay no federal income tax.  Most people think they pay too much to Uncle Sam, but for some people it simply is not true.  In 2009, roughly 47% of households, or 71 million, will not owe any federal income tax, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Court clears suit to affirm voluntary Medicare, Social Security.  A federal judge has cleared the way for consideration of a class-action lawsuit in which plaintiffs — including former House Majority Leader Dick Armey — are asking for a ruling upholding an existing law that declares participation in Medicare and Social Security to be voluntary, not compulsory.

Let's do some detective work.  Today's White House proposes and Congress taxes and spends for anything they can muster a majority vote on.  My investigative query is:  Were the Founders and previous congressmen and presidents, who could not find constitutional authority for today's bread and circuses, just plain stupid and ignorant?

Getting back our liberties:  We all have a moral obligation to pay our share for constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government, but we have no such obligation to have Congress take the earnings of one American and give them to another American.  Forcing one American to serve the purposes of another is one way slavery can be defined.

Revenge of the Golden Goose.  As taxes increase, and inflation brings bracket creep, expect tax avoidance and outright tax cheating to soar in America.  President Obama's "soak-the-rich" economic populism grows increasingly obvious and the initial promise of no tax increases for those earning less than $250,000 is clearly history.  Soon-to-arrive inflation guarantees tax bracket creep so today's "middle-class" $200,000 a year family will soon earn a quarter of a million with no jump in spending power while mandatory health insurance enrollment, cap and trade induced higher energy costs, increased regulatory burdens, among other Obama policies, will be new de facto tax increases.

Land Of The Fee.  To keep ObamaCare alive, Montana Democrat Max Baucus has proposed a Rube Goldberg scheme of fees and fines on insurers and the uninsured designed to forcibly bring everyone into the loving and protective arms of the nanny state.  To help finance his Plan B, Baucus would impose annual fees of $6 billion on health insurers, $4 billion on medical-device makers, $2.3 billion on drug manufacturers and $750 million on clinical laboratories, among other taxes.

Baucus Healthcare Revenue Options:  This report is from May 20, 2009.  Nevertheless, it is still revealing what means the Senate Finance Committee and Mr. Baucus are considering to pay for their healthcare reform plans.

Paying for Obamacare.  Much of the discussion to date about health care reform has understandably focused on the contents of the reform plan itself.  But with the plan expected to cost $1-1.5 trillion over the first ten years, an equally important question is how the president and congressional Democrats plan to pay for it.  While we won't know for certain until we see the final bill, it looks like the answer is going to be higher — much higher — taxes.  And many if not most of those taxes will fall squarely on the middle class.

More about Socialized medicine.

Congress, president overstep authority.  A president has no power to raise or lower taxes.  He can propose tax measures or veto them but since Congress can ignore presidential proposals and override a presidential veto, it has the ultimate taxing power.  The same principle applies to spending.  A president cannot spend a dime that Congress does not first appropriate.  As such, presidents cannot be held responsible for budget deficits or surpluses.  That means that credit for a budget surplus or blame for budget deficits rests on the congressional majority at the time.

Taxing Off A Runway.  Hard to say which is worse.  From the U.S., the Democrat-led Congress is mulling the misnamed "Travel Promotion Act" to hit travelers with a $10 tax for visiting the U.S. under the visa waiver program.  High-spending Europeans will take the hit.  The aim?  To promote more tourism through a "nonprofit" company staffed by political cronies and set up to buy advertising.  From the U.K., a government advisory Committee on Climate Change is recommending a $10 tax of its own on every airline ticket sold.  The purpose here is to compensate Third World countries for global warming, turning every business trip into a guilt trip.

Smoke gets in your ice.  Many Americans find the debate in Washington over adopting a "cap-and-trade" program to reduce carbon dioxide a bit confusing.  That's understandable.  Put simply, it's a tax on energy consumption.  In fact, it would be a huge tax.  If enacted, cap-and-trade would be one of the government's largest revenue sources within the next decade.  It also would break one of President Obama's promises.  In his speech before Congress in February, he said, "If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime."  Unless you use energy, apparently.

Brace yourself for higher taxes.  President Obama had said in September, 2008:  "I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."  This pledge has already been broken, at least with respect to federal tobacco taxes.  But the White House has, until very recently, maintained the fiction that the promise is still in effect with respect to the taxes everyone pays.  Then, in a television appearance on Sunday [6/28/2009], White House advisor David Axelrod refused to re-commit to Obama's pledge.

More about President Obama's numerous flip-flops and broken promises.

The U.S. Treasury — A Once and Everyman's Oyster.  Not having access to their own money press, our elected bandits are relegated to stealing money from the sweat equity of citizen taxpayers who must send checks into the treasury each year.  That and the automatic collection of taxes from virtually any known transaction creates enough chump change for them to fight over at the end of each year; the latter coming from the Accounts Receivable Tax, Building Permit Tax, CDL License Tax, Cigarette Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Dog License Tax, Federal Income Tax, Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), Fishing License Tax, Food License Tax, Fuel Permit Tax, Gasoline Tax, Hunting License Tax, Inheritance Tax, Inventory Tax, IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax), IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Tax, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service charge taxes, Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax (Truckers), Sales Taxes, Recreational Vehicle Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment Tax (SUTA), Telephone Federal Excise Tax, Telephone Federal Universal, Service Fee Tax, Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax, Telephone State and Local Tax, Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Tax, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Watercraft Registration Tax, Well Permit Tax, and a Workers Compensation Tax.  Not sure who first pulled this perpetual tax list together, buy my taxpayer sense tells me it's accurate.

The Editor says...
I can think of a few omissions right away.  Even after your income is taxed by the IRS, you pay sales tax on everything you buy.  That's double taxation.  Here in Dallas, the annual license plate fee is accompanied by a County Road and Bridge Fee (which is what I thought the gasoline tax was for).  Most cities in Dallas County have a one-percent sales tax for the mass transit system.  Then there is the federal excise tax on new tires, and the "disposal fee" for your old tires.  I've never had to pay it, but there is also a gas guzzler tax on large vehicles.  Completing this list is left to the reader as an exercise.

Driving Taxes Upward:  During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama endeared himself to many voters with a promise that 95 percent of Americans would get a tax cut.  Those making under $250,000 "would not see a single dime of tax increase — not on anything."  Yet since Obama's victory, spending has skyrocketed.  It was only a matter of time before his pledge fell by the wayside.

More examples of Obama's flip-flops and broken promises.

Tax Man's Target: The Mobile Phone.  The use of company-issued mobile phones could trigger new federal income taxes on millions of Americans as a "fringe benefit," spurring efforts by the wireless industry and others to kill the idea.  The Internal Revenue Service proposed that employers assign 25% of an employee's annual phone expenses as a taxable benefit.

The IRS Phones Home.  With federal spending in 2009 at 28% of the economy and deficits heading north, Democrats are eyeing tax increases on everything from soft drinks to electricity to health benefits to charitable contributions.  But the palm for creativity goes to the Internal Revenue Service, which is contemplating a new tax on the use of business cellphones.

Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look.  With budget deficits soaring and President Obama pushing a trillion-dollar-plus expansion of health coverage, some Washington policymakers are taking a fresh look at a money-making idea long considered politically taboo:  a national sales tax.

Here Comes the Internet Tax.  What is the single modern invention most responsible for enhancing peoples' freedom and standard of living across the world?  Arguably, it is the Internet.  Yet, Democrats from revenue-starved states and Congress are proposing to make it less free by taxing Internet commerce.  (Content regulation should be coming soon to a screen near you.)  This should not come as a terrible surprise.  After all, the Internet was just too good, too free, too easy, too innovative, and too favorable to small businesses for government to stay away.

Tax Increases, Coming To A Theater Near You.  In only 100 days and change, President Barack Obama has committed $6.5 trillion to waste, fraud and abuse.  That's $6,500,000,000,000.00, which is more than all the costs of World War I and World War II combined.  And you think it can't get worse?  Believe me, IT CAN.  Things have gotten so bad that, even in my home state of California, a Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is urging support for a massive $16 billion tax hike which is deceptively masquerading as a measure to put a lid on out-of-control government spending.  You read that right:  A massive tax-hike — Proposition 1A — is being peddled to the people as a measure to control spending.

Deferral: Why You Should Care.  President Obama proposes to increase taxes on American companies — already the second highest-taxed in the world — by eliminating the deferral of double taxation on income earned abroad. ... Obama's proposal is a terrible idea that will damage our economy and cost American jobs.

Voting with Their Feet.  New Hampshire has discovered a good way to boost its economy during these troubled times.  Unfortunately, it's not a solution that lends itself for application elsewhere.  It involves having one's state located next to another state that is being run by economic idiots.

Entitlements crisis? No problem, just raise taxes.  As things now stand, according to the trustees, Medicare's Part A will run out of money for reimbursing hospitals for elderly care in 2017, while the Social Security shelf goes bare in 2037.  Spending on the two programs exceeded $1 trillion last year and is now increasing at an annual rate that will double it in 2050.  With Barack Obama determined to add trillions in new health care and social welfare spending, there is simply no way — short of slashing benefits for the old and infirm — for the government to generate sufficient revenues to cover its promises without massive tax increases on productive, working Americans.

A clear violation of the 4th amendment:
Workers coming inside to assess a home's worth.  Don't look now, but that could be the Norfolk real estate assessor at your door.  Not content with merely taking a gander at the exterior of your abode, and factoring in building permits and sales of comparable houses, Deborah Bunn and her lieutenants want to snoop around inside to determine your castle's worth.

Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich.  With states facing nearly $100 billion in combined budget deficits this year, we're seeing more governors than ever proposing the Barack Obama solution to balancing the budget:  Soak the rich.  Lawmakers in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Oregon want to raise income tax rates on the top 1% or 2% or 5% of their citizens.  New Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn wants a 50% increase in the income tax rate on the wealthy because this is the "fair" way to close his state's gaping deficit.

Hail the tea bag, weapon of terror.  "Tea-bag parties" erupted — and "erupted" is the correct verb — across the country on April 15, celebrated by joyous "progressive" taxpayers and loathed by everybody else as the day to report the intimate details of your life, along with cash, to the Internal Revenue Bureau (which the bureau insists that we call not a bureau but a "service").  Bureau or service, it's run by bureaucrats, not servants, and always the target of April ire.

Prosperity Lost.  If a tax is levied on a corporation, and if it is to survive, it must raise the price of its product, or lower dividends or lay off workers.  In each case, it is people, not some legal fiction called a corporation, who bear the burden of any tax levied on the corporation.  An important subject area in economics called tax incidence says that the entity upon whom a tax is levied does not necessarily bear the burden of the tax.  Some of the tax burden can be shifted to another party.  That's precisely what corporations do and as such they are merely government tax collectors.

Prescription for Poverty.  Barack Obama's press conference last night claimed economic recovery is "inseparable" from a proposed budget that offers charity for none, malice toward many, and debt for generations to come.  In a conference replete with bad ideas, his most egregious proposal is reducing tax deductions for charitable donations.  Currently, those in the top two tax brackets can deduct 33 and 35 percent of charity, respectively.

Doubling Down on the Welfare State.  The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything.  The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you're rich.  You may be surprised to discover you're rich, especially if you're broke.

The Tax Story Media Invariably Bury  One of the assertions that the media make most often about the U.S. economy is that President Bush's tax cuts didn't do what he promised.  But the data clearly show nothing could be farther from the truth.

What other subjects are being avoided by the news media?

How Democrats Make Millionaires.  Even in these hard economic times, Democrats across the nation are working on plans that will turn some of you into instant millionaires.  There's only one catch.  You're not actually going to be bringing in a million-dollar income.  ... To pay this ["millionaires'"] tax, you won't have to make anywhere near a million dollars.  If you make even $300,000 a year, the cash-strapped Empire State will consider you a millionaire.

Oregon Governor Proposes Increasing Taxes, Fees.  The 2009 Oregon legislative session opened with a call from Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) for $2 billion more in taxes and fees.  The $2 billion would come mainly from three sources, according to the governor's proposal.  One proposed source is a $1 billion per biennium tax increase through a 2 cent increase in the gasoline tax and big increases in vehicle registration fees (200 percent), title fees (100 percent), and license plate fees (100 percent).

Dems Use Homestead Exemption to Avoid Taxes.  Democrats love taxes. So much so that Joe Biden claimed paying higher taxes is a patriotic act, which must make April 15 some kind of utopian version of Flag Day.  The problem is that Democrats don't like paying taxes.  Over the past several weeks we've learned enough to make the words "Obama Cabinet" and "taxes" a running punchline.

Parking meter rate hike sparks a rebellion.  I spent last week staring at parking meters.  And wondering if I was witnessing the beginnings of a boycott.  Boycott is probably too strong a term.  Quiet rebellion may be more like it. ... What's up is that a month ago, when the City of Chicago privatized parking meters, rates were immediately jacked way up, and you now have to feed 28 quarters into the meter to park a car in the Loop for two hours.  In exchange for a 75-year lease, the city got $1.2 billion to help plug its budget holes.

There's tax revolt in the air.  Long ago, if you wanted to put on a good taxpayer revolt, you marched in the streets, waved flaming torches, and maybe dumped a load of British tea into the harbor.  Today, you go on the "John and Ken Show."

Is All "Fair" With the Obama Agenda?  [Scroll down]  The richest of the rich in 2006 paid nearly double the proportion of their income in income taxes.  Such a disproportionate burden makes it tough to argue that the tax system is rigged to benefit the rich.  Perhaps more striking is the burden placed on the 13.8 million earners who represent the top 10 percent of Americans.  In 2006, the top 10 percent earned almost half of all the income (47.3 percent) but paid a full 70.8 percent of all income taxes.  Put differently, 13.8 million taxpayers paid almost three-quarters of the entire income tax bill in 2006.

Democrats Introduce Retroactive Tax Increase.  Taxes for [Connecticut]'s wealthiest residents would rise retroactively under a new plan unveiled Thursday [4/2/2009] by Democratic legislators.  The current highest rate on the state income tax of 5 percent would increase to 6 percent for couples filing jointly who earn more than $250,000 annually.

Senate Democrats to scrap Obama's $400 tax credit.  A top Democrat in the Senate announced a budget blueprint Tuesday that would scrap President Barack Obama's signature tax cut after 2010 and blends sleight of hand with modest restraint on domestic programs to cut the deficit to sustainable levels.  Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., promises to reduce the deficit from a projected $1.7 trillion this year to a still-high $508 billion in 2014.

Taxpayers consider cheating.  The high-profile tax missteps of three of the Obama administration's key nominees could make it more difficult for the IRS to enforce the law, tax preparers and academicians say.  Numerous studies have shown that taxpayers are less likely to comply with the law if they believe other taxpayers are cheating, says Jason Mazzone, associate professor of law at Brooklyn Law School.  "Taxpayers don't like to be suckers," he says.

US Companies Pay the Highest Taxes in the World.  American businesses, large and small and across all industries pay from 35% to 41.6% of their income in combined state and federal taxes.  The 41.6% maximum rate is scheduled to rise to 46.2% in 2010 when President Obama's promised tax increases are implemented.

Package stimulates socialism, not economy.  According to Scott A. Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation, Exxon-Mobil paid or remitted $29.3 billion in taxes in just the first quarter of 2008, almost three times the net profits the company earned for its shareholders.  Government benefits more from Big Oil than Big Oil shareholders do.  But it doesn't stop with Exxon-Mobil.  Take the taxes Wal-Mart, Ford Motor Co., Coca-Cola, and then the thousands upon thousands of other businesses across the nation pay.  Then factor in the income taxes collected on the salaries they pay, everybody's property taxes, the sales taxes and on and on.  In other words, for 2008 the various federal, state and local governments collectively took in $4,925,500,000,000 (that's just under $5 trillion) in taxes.

Talk of state's 'millionaires' tax' expands to not-so-rich.  Just how much money does it take to be rich in [New York]?  What started as a debate over whether to hit the wealthy with higher income taxes to help balance the state budget has expanded to talk of a "millionaires' tax" on households with annual incomes exceeding $250,000.  That means a tax plan originally focused on 36,000 of the state's wealthiest residents would extend to nearly 300,000 additional households, according to 2006 state tax figures, the most recent available.

Here's the real story behind the Tea Party Protests.  "Tea Party" protests have sprung up in multiple cities across the country since Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus bill into law as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  As much as I rejoice in the sight of legions of fed-up Americans taking to the streets to protest the central government's colossal waste of the first fruits of their labors, it is important that people The Problem With 'Nationalization' understand that the original Boston Tea Party was neither spontaneous nor a mere lark.

$1 Trillion in Taxes is Hell to Pay.  Big government is back — and so are big taxes.  President Obama unveiled a mammoth, $3.6 trillion budget yesterday that would dramatically boost federal spending almost across the board — and pay for it with tax hikes of $1 trillion on individuals and businesses over the next decade.

Drove my Chevy to the ($4.8bn) levy.  President Obama has proposed squeezing $4.8bn out of the mobile network operators with a levy on the spectrum for which they have already paid, or thought they had.  The levy starts at $50m in 2009, rising to $200m in 2010 and eventually hitting $550m a year per company — raising $4.8bn over the next decade, which could go some way towards addressing America's $1.7trn budget deficit.

What Will Obama's Budget Cost You? $25,573.48... Each!  Obama is about to unleash a $3.552 TRILLION budget on this poor nation.  So, if we each of us were expected to fork over our share of that tab, what would it cost us?  Well, according to Toby Harnden, blogger for the Daily Telegraph, it would amount to $25,573.48 each.  I don't know about you but, I just don't have it.

Rent car in suburbs, pay Chicago?  How would you like to rent a car in Waukegan or St. Charles, only to be slapped with the 8 percent "transaction tax" that applies to Chicago car rentals?  Brace yourself.  With a burgeoning $50.5 million budget gap, Chicago is reaching into suburban pockets.  And Enterprise Rent-a-Car has filed a lawsuit challenging the Daley administration's effort to collect the tax from drivers who rent cars in the suburbs.

It's Time for American Freedom Fighters to Unite.  If one taxpayer refuses to pay for their Marxist spending spree, he will go to jail.  However, if ten million taxpayers refuse to pay, we have a whole new ball game here... Legitimate tax revolt organizations are popping up all over the country in response to the massive Pelosi-Reid-Obama power grab of 2009.  Two organizations worth looking into are Freedom Works and The American Taxpayers Union.  There are many others forming, so I recommend doing a little individual research into which ones offer the highest odds of collective success.

The Editor says...
Yes, but if there were ten million people who had such strong convictions about taxes, who were willing to organize and collectively refuse to pay up, then Obama probably wouldn't have won the election.  There are ten of millions of others who just don't care about the IRS, as long as the IRS leaves them alone.

They tax horses, don't they?  With government revenues hobbled, cities and states are dreaming up ever more exotic excise taxes, which are targeted taxes on goods rather than on income.  Chicago has a now-famous bottled water tax.  Ski lift tickets, veterinary bills, and tattoos are entering the realm of taxable commodities.  You may remember we fought a revolution over the question of the state's right to impose such taxes.  Maybe we will again.

Too Taxing.  We're tempted to say America needs a Treasury secretary who is smart enough to figure out his own taxes.  But such a cheap shot would be beneath us.  Instead, we are going to make a serious point:  America needs a tax code simple enough for the Treasury secretary to figure out.

Feel like a chump?  Like all of my fellow citizens, I do not understand what is in the 65,000 or so page Internal Revenue Code that everyone is supposed to obey.  If the leaders of Congress and Treasury agree the tax law is too complex for anyone to be able to comprehend it, and thus people like [Timothy] Geithner should not pay fines for not reporting all of their taxable income correctly, what possible justification do they have for insisting that those who are not politically connected (and not as well trained in tax law) pay taxes on all their income and pay fines on errors and omissions?  Does not the U.S. Constitution say all must be treated equally under the law?

Tiny Tims:  Timothy Geithner isn't the only government worker with a tax problem.  According to data from the IRS and the Office of Personnel Management, nearly 100,000 current federal employees are behind on their taxes.  Not all of them are big offenders, but they are delinquent to the tune of nearly $1 billion — an average of about $10,000 each.  If retirees collecting federal pensions and military personnel are included, the number is about 267,000, and they owe a total of about $3 billion.

Treat Us All Like Charles Rangel and Timothy Geithner.  Longtime Texas Lt.-Gov Bill Hobby was locked up one night for driving under the influence, but immediately released when his attorney came down to point out the high status of the fellow. ... Ever since, Texas lawyers have been showing up to spring their inebriated clients by exercising this previously unknown "Hobby Rule."  It's standard legal procedure to this day. ... American taxpayers could win the same get-out-of-jail-free pass, thanks to the ongoing legal saga of my friend and colleague, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-Harlem), and new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Did someone mention Congressman Charlie Rangel?

The grim tax reaper.  "Death and taxes" are often linked as life's two certainties.  Yet, in the United States, there's a third link to this — "Democrats, death and taxes" — one can always count on Democrats to levy or maintain a tax, if it is in their power, even at death's door.

Global Taxes and Global TV Now on the Agenda.  President Obama's pick for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is being urged to lay the foundation for "global governance" by considering "international taxation" measures to loot more money from U.S. taxpayers.

RINO alert!
California governor wants to tax golf, auto repairs.  In California, Schwarzenegger wants to help close a nearly $42 billion budget deficit by taxing rounds of golf, auto repairs, veterinary care, amusement park and sporting event admissions and appliance and furniture repairs.  Democratic Gov. David Paterson in New York has proposed levies on MP3 downloads, taxi rides, movies, concerts, sporting events, and personal services such as haircuts, manicures and massages.  Schwarzenegger's fellow Republican in Utah, Gov. Jon Huntsman, has shelved a proposal to tax attorney and accounting services but promises to bring it back next year.

The Editor says...
Why not tax illegitimate children, illegal immigrants, and those hubcaps that rotate backwards?

Why Does Your Devalued Home Have Such a High Tax Rate?  Are your property taxes rising while the value of your house falls?  Join the multitudes of Americans in the same predicament.

First Page Funnies.  The headline read:  "Home tax won't fall very much."  The article explained that, although housing costs have fallen substantially (the word used was "plunged") the property tax will drop little, if at all.  And why not?  Here's the mirth-inducer:  "...news reports of double-digit drops in housing prices are mostly irrelevant, county officials say."

Socialist Republic.  Consider what we are about to do.  Bush in 2008 spent 21 percent of GDP.  States, counties and cities spent another 12 percent.  Thus, one third of GDP is spent by government at all levels.  Obama and Co. propose to raise that by another 10 percent of GDP.  We may soon be north of 40 percent of gross domestic product controlled and spent by government.  That is Eurosocialism.

Scrap the Code.  The U.S. Tax Code has 17,000 pages of tax regulations, 5.5 million words, many inconsistent with each other, 569 different income tax forms requirements, billions of dollars spent on tax lawyers and accountants to understand tax regulations, and the presumption of guilt until innocence is proven.

Benedict Arnold.  Just over five years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger swept into power in California, vowing to crush the "spending addicts" responsible for the state's crushing budget deficit and to thwart Sacramento Democrats who saw taxpayers as ATMs.  "The people of California have been punished enough.  From the time they get up in the morning and flush the toilet, they are taxed.  Then they go and get a coffee, they are taxed.  They get into their car, they are taxed.  They go to the gas station, they are taxed. ..."

States to levy a bevy of new taxes.  As a tumultuous year limps to an end, state governors are planning to deliver more hits to our already battered pocketbooks.  More taxes are coming our way.  You may not recognize them because, transparency and honesty be damned, many of them will come disguised as fees, assessments, and whatever euphemisms can be pulled from a government thesaurus to obscure the truth.

Commission Urges 50 Percent Hike in Federal Gas Tax.  Motorists are driving less and buying less gasoline, which means fuel taxes aren't raising enough money to keep pace with the cost of road, bridge and transit programs.  A federal commission created by Congress to find a way to make up the growing revenue shortfall in the program that funds highway repairs and construction is talking about increasing federal gas and diesel taxes.  A roughly 50 percent increase in gasoline and diesel fuel taxes is being urged by the commission until the government devises another way for motorists to pay for using public roads.

San Francisco Studies Fees to Ease Traffic.  Following the lead of other congested cities like London and Singapore, officials in San Francisco are considering a plan to ease traffic by charging drivers a fee upon entering notoriously clogged sections of the city.  Using $1 million in federal funds, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority is studying various "congestion pricing" options.  If approved, such pricing would make San Francisco the first American city to charge cars a fee to enter certain neighborhoods at certain times.

'If I had a nickel for every bag,' sez Mayor Bloomberg.  Mayor Bloomberg wants to nickel and dime you at the grocery store -- taxing you an extra 5 cents for every plastic bag you take home.  The controversial charge could raise at least $16 million for the cash-strapped city while keeping tons of plastic out of landfills, city officials said Thursday [11/6/2008] -- but some outraged shoppers aren't buying it.

15 Percent NYC Income Tax Hike On the Way?  Mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to cut the city work force by 3,000, but that's just the beginning of the pain New Yorkers will feel as part of the fiscal crisis.  A slew of new taxes are also on the agenda.  There will be 1,000 fewer cops, but the city will hire 200 more traffic agents to give out $60 million a year in new block-the-box tickets.

One Life to Give the IRS.  This week, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden unleashed the most absurd remark of his illustrious career, claiming that taxes are "patriotic."  Biden claims that wealthier Americans should pay more in taxes because "it's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut."  Oh, the injustice of American society!  When, exactly, did taxation transform into a form of charity?

Taxes could get sky-high with aerial technology.  A new high-tech aerial photography system that can spot an illegal porch from 5,000 feet is being marketed to tax assessors as a way to grow revenue.  Pictometry International Corp. says it offers tax assessors 12 different views of every square foot of building or land in a jurisdiction that buys their system.  They call it "sophisticated visual intelligence."  State Sen. Jeff Van Drew has another name for it.  "It's Big Brother," said Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic.

America's Tax Bill Tops $26,738 Per Household.  Americans paid about $3 trillion in taxes in 2004, totaling $26,738 per household, according to a new study released March 26 by the Tax Foundation.  "Which Taxes Weigh Most Heavily on Americans with Different Incomes?" shows $17,338 of that amount went to the federal government, with $9,400 going to state and local governments.

Investors Flee From 'Change' Obama Hypes.  Are Barack Obama's proposed tax increases adversely affecting our financial markets?  We say yes, unambiguously.  The senator has done a masterful job distracting attention from his tax increases with his $500-per-worker tax credit supposedly for 95% of Americans. ... With the bottom 40% of income earners not paying any federal income taxes, such tax credits would not reduce any tax liability for these workers.  Instead, since they're refundable, they would involve new checks from the federal government.  These are not tax cuts as Obama is promising.  They are new government spending programs buried in the tax code and estimated to cost $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

Taxing Times.  The two months between the time of a presidential election and the time when the new president takes office is an eternity in terms of how much money can be transferred out of the country electronically before any new high-tax laws can be enacted. ... Much wealth from Third World countries flows out to richer countries like Switzerland or the United States, where it is safer from confiscation.  Jack up the capital gains tax rate in the United States and more Americans can be expected to send their capital elsewhere.

Obama tax cut 'refunds' those who don't pay.  To pay for his middle-class tax cuts, Mr. Obama would raise the top marginal tax rate on Americans earning more than $250,000 to 35 percent from 30.6 percent.  According to the IRS, the top 5 percent of all income earners in 2004 paid 57.13 percent of all income taxes.

Obama's Tax Cut is Actually a Spending Increase, Says Non-Partisan Group.  The heart of Obama's tax cut proposal is in his use of refundable tax credits, which the [Tax Policy] Center describes as "credits available to eligible households even if they have no income tax liability" — in short, refunds available even to those who don't pay taxes. ... These refunds have the ability of reducing a taxpayer's liability below zero, meaning they can get a refund without actually paying taxes.

Obama's 95% Illusion.  Once upon a time we called this "welfare," or in George McGovern's 1972 campaign a "Demogrant."  Mr. Obama's genius is to call it a tax cut.  The Tax Foundation estimates that under the Obama plan 63 million Americans, or 44% of all tax filers, would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year.

Searching for Obama's 95 Percent.  If Barack Obama can effectively claim that his plan cuts taxes on 95 percent of Americans, then the term "tax cut" has no meaning.

The Case Against Barack Obama, Part 1.  Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama promises to "cut taxes for 95 percent of American workers."  That's not possible.  Why?  More than 30 percent pay nothing in federal income taxes.

In Defense of "The Rich":  The top 5 percent (those making more than $153,542 — the group whose taxes Obama seeks to raise) pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes.  The rich (aka the top 1 percent of income earners, those making more than $388,806 a year), according to the IRS, pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes.  The top 1 percent's taxes comprise 17 percent of the federal government's revenue from all sources, including corporate taxes, excise taxes, social insurance and retirement receipts.

Memo to McCain:  Take the Gloves Off.  Obama says, without rebuttal, that his plan lowers taxes on "95 percent of working families."  This is flatly impossible because 32 percent of income tax returns filed (some 43 million Americans) pay absolutely nothing in federal income taxes.  Obama makes his claim by offering a $500 "Making Work Pay" tax credit to everybody ($1,000 per family), by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and creating other credits.  If your tax credit is more than your tax liability, you receive a check from the Treasury and you pay no taxes.  That is not a "tax cut."

Good Money After Bad.  While gas prices are at record highs and American families are feeling the economic pinch, Congress may just decide to boost gas prices even higher.  Their reason will be to save jobs.  As the Associated Press reported on July 20, "Now, lawmakers quietly are talking about raising fuel taxes by a dime from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel fuel."

Benchmarks of bondage:  The average American worker toils from Jan. 1 to the end of April, and has no legal claim to the fruits of his labor for that period.  Federal, state and local governments, through tax codes, take what he produces.  A small portion of the fruits of his labor provides for the constitutional functions of government.  Most of what is taken, up to two-thirds, is given to some other American in the forms of farm and business subsidies, Social Security, Medicare, welfare and hundreds of other government handout programs.  As in slavery, one person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another person.

Taxachusetts, RIP.  Massachusetts was home of the Boston Tea Party, but in recent years the commonwealth's voters have tended to docilely accept whatever level of taxation the robber barons on Beacon Hill deem appropriate.  When the tax issue is put directly on the ballot, however, Bostonians momentarily regain their tax-resisting, tea-dumping spirit.

Texas Treats Phone Use Like a 'Sin'.  Texas consumers who buy electronics or yard equipment pay a combined state and local sales tax rate of 8.25 percent.  For cars, it's 6.25 percent.  Only mixed beverages (14 percent) and cigarettes (35.6 percent) are in the range of telecom taxes.  Taxes and fees for local telephone service total almost 29 percent, putting telephone use in Texas in the "sin tax" category.

Bottled Water Tax Brings Only a Trickle of Revenue.  The city of Chicago's bottled water tax, which went into effect in January, may bring in less than half of what revenue forecasters first said it would raise.  Consumers appear to be buying their water anywhere but in the city.

Cook County President Gets Earful from Angry Citizens.  Hundreds of residents of Cook County, Illinois gave County Board President Todd Stroger (D) an earful over a 1 percentage point sales tax increase that is forcing county shoppers to pay the highest sales tax burdens in the nation.  Groans and derisive laughter greeted comments by Stroger and his staff as they defended the tax increase at a meeting at a local college in Palatine in June.  Applause greeted many people who spoke against the county's tax-grabbing, high-spending ways.

New York's Snatch-and-Grab:  New York tax officials are looking to fill budget shortfalls by looking beyond state borders.  As part of its budget, New York passed a first-of-its kind law that saddles sales tax collection burdens on catalog and online retailers in every state of the country. … Needless to say, this new sales tax law has glaring constitutional problems.

New tax shocks business owners.  Wayne Bronner, president of Michigan's iconic Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, doesn't feel much Christmas spirit these days for the new Michigan Business Tax.  Compared with what his company paid under Michigan's hated Single Business Tax, Bronner's will pay about 500% more now under the new Michigan Business Tax, a supposed improvement over the SBT that took effect Jan. 1.  The increase includes a surcharge approved late last year so the state wouldn't go broke.

Virtual Steamroller.  New York recently finished 50th in Chief Executive magazine's survey of the best states to do business.  Respondents cited high taxes, regulation and Governor Eliot Spitzer's "hostile image toward business."  The Governor, for his part, seems to have decided that if he can't convince companies to move to the Empire State, he'll simply have to govern them from a distance.  Eager to fund his proposed 4.8% budget increase this year (last year's was 6%), Mr. Spitzer is attempting to force out-of-state retailers such as Amazon.com to collect New York state sales taxes.

Windfall-Profit Nonsense:  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to raise the price of oil, as well as most everything else, and lower the value of the pension and mutual funds that union members and retirees depend on.  Of course, they don't describe their plan that way.  Instead, they call for a windfall-profits tax on the oil companies.  But it's the same thing.  Taxing a "windfall" sounds appealing, but stock prices are based on expected profits.

Paying at the Pump:  Gasoline Taxes in America.  Early gasoline taxes in the states were explicitly created in an attempt to charge road users for the privilege of using roads.  However, from the very inception of gasoline taxation, public officials have faced temptation to divert gasoline tax revenue to projects that are only tangentially related to transportation and that are often purely politically motivated.

What the "Alternative Minimum Tax" Really Means for American Families:  By its name, many taxpayers might assume the AMT is a good thing.  A simpler "alternative" to the complicated and overly burdensome tax code would be welcome news. … To the contrary, the AMT denies taxpayers many important deductions, so that middle class families subject to AMT actually pay higher taxes.  To make matters worse, Congress failed to index the AMT for inflation.  So the AMT has not been adjusted to keep pace with the rise in income and cost of living.

Bush signs $555 billion spending bill.  Mr. Bush also signed into law a bill that places a one-year freeze on the alternative minimum tax.  Without such legislation, more than 20 million taxpayers would have faced this tax for the first time this year and it would have cost each an additional estimated $2,000 at tax time.  Last year, 4 million paid the AMT; this year, it was expected to hit 25 million.

Tide turning against toll hike plan.  Gov. Jon Corzine's plan to cut state debt and fund transportation projects by sharply hiking tolls ran into deep political trouble yesterday, with every Republican in the Legislature and a key Democratic senator vowing to oppose it.

NJ:  High Price For Rotten Government.  When New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine announced his slimmed-down budget recently, he said that the state could no longer afford the government that it now has.  What he didn't say is that this government isn't just expensive, it's also mismanaged and ineffective.  That is, New Jerseyans pay some of the country's highest taxes to get one of the country's worst governments.

Why business is fleeing New Jersey:  It's like watching a car wreck in slow motion.  What the Democrats are doing to the state's economy, I mean.  Pieces are flying off in all directions.  In terms of taxes and regulation, New Jersey was once a relative haven, a cheap place to do business.  But for most of this century, we've been slowly losing high-income residents and high-income jobs. … The primary source of job growth in recent years has been in government, not private industry.  And that represents a death spiral.  Public employment creates higher taxes, which in turn discourage private employers from locating or expanding in New Jersey.

N.J. struggling under tax burden.  Between 2002 and 2007, property-tax collections went from $16 billion to $22.1 billion -- a 38 percent jump caused largely by the ballooning costs of running schools and towns.  That increase was more than double the inflation rate in the same period.

New Jersey Lawmakers Consider Tax On Fast Food.  The sputtering economy has caused an increase in prices of many staples including gasoline, rice, ice cream, even beer.  Now some lawmakers in New Jersey are considering taking food taxes a step further and install a proverbial "sin" tax on fast food.  Yes, the idea of marking up your favorite fast food burger or pack of fries is actually being tossed around, and it's not settling well with many residents.

New Jersey Has the Nation's Worst Business Tax Climate.  The Tax Foundation's 2009 State Business Tax Climate Index, the sixth annual report ranking the 50 states on the business-friendliness of their tax codes, finds New Jersey has the worst business tax climate in the nation ... for the second year in a row.  The organization released the index in October in Trenton, New Jersey to highlight the Garden State's earning the worst overall score.

Cash-strapped states resort to odd taxes.  Need a few million dollars to fill a budget deficit?  Lease a toll highway, like Indiana and Virginia did, or cash in on future lottery profits as a half-dozen states are considering.  You could slap a tax on pornography as six states already have, or tax strip joints like they do in Texas, where they call it a "pole tax."  Some states take a slice out of pumpkin sales at Halloween.  And most states tax Shaquille O'Neal and Barry Bonds when they visit, using a "jock tax" on professional athletic events.

Taxman may come for Wake's cats and dogs.  Wake County [NC] wants to put a tax on dogs and cats of up to $30 a year — an idea that is making some veterinarians, pet owners and animal advocates bristle.  Under a proposal that county commissioners still must approve, the annual tax would start in July and be levied on every dog and cat.  The licensing tax would be $15 for a dog or cat that had been spayed or neutered; $30 for non-fixed canines and felines.

Raising Taxes is Not the Answer.  American businessmen, American families, and the individual American taxpayer deserve another way to pay for Washington's annual budget.  Raising taxes is not the answer.  It is a temporary solution to the permanent problem of government overexpansion.  We simply must stop finding ways to pay for an ever bigger government.

Tax Day is every day in Chicago.  Bears fans pouring into Soldier Field on Sunday may not notice as they wait with anticipation for the kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings, but City Hall will have its hand in their pockets.  The price of their tickets includes a hefty 8 percent "amusement tax."  But then, it's not easy to keep track of all the times the city dings you because it has about two dozen different — and sometimes obscure and stealthy — ways to do it.

Live and Let Live.  When the Salvation Army asks you for a donation, you are free to say no, and you suffer no consequences.  When the U.S. government demands a tax return and a check on April 15, you can't say no and go about your business.  You comply or face fines or imprisonment.  Yes, you get to vote for candidates periodically.  But having an infinitesimal say in who will coerce you doesn't change that fact that they are using force.

5-cent gas tax hike proposed for bridges' repairs.  House Democrats feuded with Republicans and the Bush administration Wednesday [9/5/2007] over raising gasoline taxes to pay for safer bridges.  A month after an interstate bridge collapsed in Minneapolis and killed 13 people, the government is struggling to develop a long-term way to pay for repairs and new construction.

The Editor says...
First of all, the existing gasoline tax is supposed to have already paid for highways and bridges over the last fifty years.  Secondly, there would be plenty of money for highway and bridge maintenance if the government would stop spending money on the exploration of other planets, football stadiums, and hundreds of other pork barrel projects.

Eliminate the Gasoline Tax?  The Greens have, as long as my memory serves, hated gasoline as much as DDT.  We instinctively know that taxing gasoline "will not discourage highway congestion and reduce accidents on the roadway."

Why Liberals Spread Poverty:  It's called a "surcharge."  You and I would call it a tax increase.  One more way and reason for the political class to take even more of the money that you and I slave for by slugging it 9 to 5 everyday.  In their funny little semantic sideshow this "surcharge" would be their answer to resolving the problem of the "alternative minimum tax."

The Real Reason For Federal Corruption:  The increased role of the federal government opens the door to federal corruption.  As long as the federal government spends millions of taxpayer dollars on purely state and local projects, lobbyists would be fools to stay away.  As long as the federal government spends cash on bridges to nowhere and structures named after senators, political interest groups will lurk in the shadows, offering pay-for-play.

Kill this monster.  What politician would rail against the country's irrational, insufferable, infernal Internal Revenue Code today, except perhaps for ceremonial purposes?  Some in Congress have made distinguished careers leading the innocent and unwary through its byzantine ways and byways, occasionally constructing secret passages to favor the special interests they represent.  Whole industries like accountancy and tax law have been built on it.

The People who Brought you Tax Day.  Taxes are too complex for the good of the economy, too complex for families, and too complex for small businesses.  For big business and for Washington lobbyists, complexity means profit.

The 'Tax Gap' Myth:  The "tax gap" is the difference between what the Internal Revenue Service thinks taxpayers should be paying and what it collects.  The IRS currently estimates this at about $290 billion a year.

Let the backlash begin.
Election Earthquake Rattles Pennsylvania Legislature.  "Earthquake" is one of the words politicians are using to describe the ouster of numerous incumbent lawmakers in the May primary elections by voters who were angered and outraged over tax hikes, spending increases, and boosts in legislative pay.  The epicenter of this electoral earthquake was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where at least 47 lawmakers will leave office. … Before the May primary election, 30 other incumbents had announced they would not seek reelection, most because they believed they would lose, according to Pennsylvania political observers.

The pan-partisan "debt, debt, and more debt" plan:  Politicians of both parties like to spend.  Both like to increase taxes.  Both want to "do more things."  It's gone out of style to just keep the old services going; the general consensus seems to be:  progress.  By which they mean:  debt. ... The four-letter word of politics.

IRS Wants E-Commerce Data.  The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is sounding an early warning on a proposal in the president's 2008 budget that would require Internet businesses such as Ebay and Amazon.com to collect personal data on their customers and share it with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The move is part of an effort by the U.S. Treasury Department to track down unreported small business income generated by the sale of personal property on such sites.

Internet Sales Tax Looms.  Online shoppers in more than 20 states may soon pay sales taxes on their purchases if Congress passes pending legislation.  Under the proposed Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Act, out-of-state merchants and online vendors must collect sales tax on goods shipped to some states.

The Fair Tax:  America's Last Best Hope.  I think there is one last chance for America to regain its past glory and, perhaps, to turn back the tide of socialism that threatens our future prosperity.  This last chance comes in the form of a single piece of legislation which, if passed, will cure almost all of what is ailing America.  I know that seems like an extreme position but I think it can be argued persuasively.

Why I'm a Conservative:  A Conservative is not opposed to all taxation, but rather sees taxes as a necessary evil, and therefore wants to encourage only the level of taxation that will support the necessities of limited civil government.  Tax policy shouldn't be used as a means to punish economic social classes that have benefited from the America Dream, nor as a wedge to promote envy, discontentment and coveting.

Democrats and high taxes go hand in hand.
Minnesota Senate OKs $1 billion tax increase.  The bill would create a top Minnesota tax rate of 9.7 percent, giving the state the highest top income tax rate in the nation.

Holiday Season 'Tax Holidays' are No Break for Taxpayers.  This year, South Carolina lawmakers have enacted a gimmicky, two-day "sales tax holiday" to follow the real holiday, but it will only remind us of their unwillingness to let taxpayers keep more of their money year round.

New Jersey Has Highest Property Taxes in U.S.  New Jersey has the highest property taxes in America — a burden that is alarming young couples and retirees alike and deepening public cynicism in a state with a long and rich history of graft and self-dealing.  The average property owner in the Garden State pays about $6,000 a year in property taxes, twice the national average.

Corporate Income Tax Rates in U.S. Are Among the Highest in the World.  Amid growing concerns about U.S. economic competitiveness, policymakers are awakening to the fact that America has one of the world's most inefficient corporate income taxes.  Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York), chairman of the U.S. House tax committee, has proposed reducing the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 30.5 percent.  Henry Paulson, secretary of the Treasury, is also promoting a corporate tax rate cut.

Stealth tax hike slips through Senate.  On May 23, as the Senate raced toward passage of the comprehensive immigration bill before the Memorial Day break began, Sen. Charles Grassley moved the adoption of a new Title III to the measure.  It passed easily without anybody mentioning that the amendment raises revenue, which was a violation of the U.S. Constitution's requirement that all such measures originate in the House of Representatives.

Blanco administration looking at possible tolls on Interstates.  An idea floated by Gov. Kathleen Blanco's transportation chief to turn Interstates 10 and 12 across south Louisiana into toll roads ran into opposition Thursday [8/10/2006] from Louisiana's two U.S. senators.  U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who released information on the proposal, said it would unduly tax thousands of people who use the highways and asked Blanco to scrap any proposals to put toll booths on Louisiana's interstates.

It attacks a village.  A Congress that maintains the death tax isn't just attacking families like the Hannays, it is also attacking the villages where they live.

Taxes, Spending, and Debt are the Real Issues.  The question to ask yourself is this:  What would I do with the money withheld from my paycheck each month?  The answer is simple:  you would spend, save, or invest the money, all of which do more for the economy and society than sending it to Washington.  Thanks to the deception of income tax withholding, however, some people actually look forward to tax time and a much-anticipated refund.  Imagine how quickly Americans would demand lower taxes and spending if they had to write the federal government a check each month!

At Tax Day Rally, Conservatives Want Taxpayers to 'Get Mad and Stay Mad'.  Edward Hudgins, executive director of the Objectivist Center thinks Americans are too dependent on politicians for handouts.  The tax system is immoral because it makes free Americans beggars, "dependent on crumbs thrown to us by politicians," he says.

Florida Wants to Double Local Car Rental Tax.  The Florida legislature voted in May to allow local governments to increase the current car rental tax surcharge from $2 to $4 per rental.  Now only Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and November referenda in localities that want to increase the tax stand in the way of car rental tax hikes. … Bush has indicated misgivings about allowing higher car rental surcharges, telling news-press.com the biggest problem with the measure is that people who would pay the higher tax "can't vote on it."

[Well, Governor Bush, that's because we live in a democratic republic, not a direct democracy.  When the voters elect certain types of people, they have voted to raise taxes.]

Flat-Out Smart.  Imagine a law that affected everyone in the country but was so confusing that only a select few could understand it.  And those select few didn't even include the people who enforced the law.  That may sound like a recipe for disaster.  Actually, it's a description of our current tax policy.  Almost 900 tax forms are in use today.  It takes more than 60,000 pages of laws, regulations and IRS rulings to explain how we are supposed to fill out those forms.

A dangerous obsession.  Can you imagine anything more dangerous than allowing politicians to decide how much money each of us can earn?  Of course, such political control of incomes is usually advocated only to deal with "the rich."  But, when income taxes were imposed in the early 20th century, they applied only to "the rich" and they took a very small percentage of their income.  Once the floodgates are opened to this kind of political power, however, we have seen with the income taxes that they not only spread far beyond "the rich," they took a serious share of even middle class incomes.

The Number of Americans Outside the Income Tax System Continues to Grow.  Economists estimate that for tax year 2004, a record 42.5 million Americans who filed a tax return (one-third of the 131 million returns filed last year) had no tax liability after they took advantage of their credits and deductions.  Millions more paid next to nothing. … In addition to these non-payers, roughly 15 million individuals and families earned some income last year but not enough to be required to file a tax return.

The Top 1% Pay 35%.  The wealthiest 1 percent of tax filers paid a remarkable 35 percent of all individual income-tax payments [in 2004].  Some will claim that this merely shows that the Bush tax cuts made the rich richer.  In fact, the Statistics of Income data reveal that there were more Americans filing taxes in every income category from $50,000 and up in 2004.

The top one-hundredth of one percent.  Collecting taxes is not as easy as it sounds.  And taxes don't redistribute income — they just reduce income.  Means-tested federal transfer payments account for little more than 10 percent of federal spending, and more taxes won't change that because the poor don't lobby or contribute to campaigns and rarely vote.

Millions Hit by Tax Intended for the Wealthy.  Millions of middle-income Americans are about to be hit by the alternative minimum tax (AMT), enacted nearly 30 years ago to ensure the nation's wealthiest citizens pay income taxes.  Congress failed to act on the AMT in 2005, leaving more than 15 million Americans to feel its bite this year.

[Are there really 15 million wealthy people in the U.S.?]

Whatever the Question, the Answer is Not Raising Taxes.  Each year when budget time rolls around in the states, there are questions of how to pay for government functions.  Often, there are more hands outstretched to lawmakers than tax dollars to dole out.  Rather than raiding taxpayers' wallets each year, fiscally responsible legislators and state officials have turned to several key strategies to prioritize and control state spending.

Are We Being Taxed to Death?  Governments in the U.S. take approximately 40 percent of the country's total income in taxes.  In other words, nearly half of all the income generated each year is sent to governments to spend.  The good news is that a growing number of people pay no federal taxes at all. … The bad news is that people who do pay taxes much pay more to make up for those who pay nothing.

Liberty in Our Lifetime.  Are you frustrated at the loss of freedom and responsibility in America, while the growth of government and taxes continues unabated?  Do you want to live in strong communities where your rights are respected, and people exercise responsibility for themselves and in their dealings with each other?  If you answered "yes" to those questions, then the Free State Project has a solution for you.

58 Million Wage Earners Pay No Federal Income Tax.  According to the Washington, DC-based Tax Foundation, "a record 44 million tax returns filed in 2005 will be correctly demanding the return of every dollar (or more) that is being withheld from their paychecks during 2004."

Interesting chart:
Who Pays Income Taxes?  See who pays what.  Half of the US taxpayers pay 96.5% of all taxes.  The other half get a free ride.

History of Federal Individual Income Bottom and Top Bracket Rates.

Update:
The Top 50% pay 96.54% of All Income Taxes.  This is the latest data for calendar year 2003 just released in October 2005 by the Internal Revenue Service.  The share of total income taxes paid by the top 1% of wage earners rose to 34.27% from 33.71% in 2002.  Their income share (not just wages) rose from 16.12% to 16.77%.  However, their average tax rate actually dropped from 27.25% down to 24.31%.

Who pays the taxes?  A few weeks ago, the Internal Revenue Service released data on tax year 2003.  They show that the top 1 percent of taxpayers, ranked by adjusted gross income, paid 34.3 percent of all federal income taxes that year.  The top 5 percent paid 54.4 percent, the top 10 percent paid 65.8 percent, and the top quarter of taxpayers paid 83.9 percent.

Washington's Governor Wants to Spend an Additional $503 Million.  With a $1.45 billion ending fund balance projected for the remainder of the 2005-07 budget biennium, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) is proposing $503 million in new spending in her 2006 supplemental budget request. … "We are right back on board the tax and spend merry-go-round.  This year's spending will inevitably lead to higher taxes down the road," warned outgoing state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance.

The Editor interjects...
[State and federal governments don't just spend what they need and refund the rest.  If they can create even a momentary perception of a surplus, they'll spend every dollar they can get.]

On the other hand...
Georgia Governor Gives up Tax 'Windfall'.  The governor's tax cut follows a one-month moratorium on the state sales tax on gasoline that was implemented after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hurt supplies.  That moratorium was ratified by the General Assembly in a special session and saved motorists an estimated $77 million.

When taxation is obviously theft:  The New York Times reported on utilities that collect taxes from their clients, but don't pay those taxes to the government.  And get away with it.

The Bad Tax Bill Within the Bad Energy Bill:  The tax provisions are little more than a collection of old ideas that have never worked, new ideas unlikely to work, and a lot of pork for the energy industry.

Fixing America's Tax Code:  With all its mind-numbing complexity and wrong-headed rules, the tax code is emblematic of the entire body of federal laws and regulations on every subject imaginable.  Thus, the stakes riding on successful tax reform are enormous.

The top one percent:  Because most people now accumulate most capital gains and dividends in ways undetectable on tax returns, tax data wrongly suggest that only the very rich (whose investments exceed the caps on 401k and Keogh contributions) still appear to be realizing many gains.  This creates a statistical illusion that only those at the top appeared to benefit much from the 1982-2000 boom in stocks and bonds.

Feeding the kitty for Katrina.  The tax increase proponents seemingly cannot grasp that taxes reduce our economic vitality.  When taxes rise, the economy slows.  When taxes are reduced, job creation and economic growth accelerate.  Those who do not understand the role of incentives are always surprised when tax revenues increase, as they did after the Reagan and recent Bush tax cuts, and fall or stagnate when tax rates increase.

The Facts About Federal Spending.  Including the President's fiscal year 2003 proposal, the Congress will spend almost $800 billion more between 2000-2003 than it did during the period of 1996-1999.  This escalation in spending will raise the total four-year cost of the federal government to an egregious $73,373 per household.

The Government's Endless Appetite for Spending.  Last December, Congress approved a $290 billion increase of the debt limit to support the government's borrowing through February.  This lifted the total amount the federal government can borrow to $12.4 trillion.  But today Congress wants to go into even more debt.

The Editor says...
Please take a moment to recall which party is in control of the Congress while all this is going on.

"View tax" triggers revolt in rural New Hampshire.  The one-room cabin David Bischoff built in a cow pasture three years ago has no electricity, no running water, no phone service and no driveway.  What it does have is a wide-open view of the surrounding hills — a view valued at $140,000, according to the latest townwide property revaluation.

The Editor asks...
Are blind people exempt from the view tax?

More information on taxes in general:

50-State Table of Individual Income Tax Rates.

State and Local Tax Burdens by State, 1970-Present.



The 108-year-old Telephone Tax

Time for a Truce in the Spanish-American War.  One-hundred and seven years ago, the United States went to war with Spain.  Because at that time telephones were still a luxury item owned largely by the rich, Congress decided to create a special, 3 percent excise tax on telephone service to finance the war.  Although the war ended pretty quickly, the tax endured and, in fact, is still assessed on every American's phone bill.

Three Percent Fee On Cell Phones Started 107 Years Ago.  Anybody who has ever tried to decipher a cell phone bill knows how tough it can be.  One of the charges is a 3 percent fee on every cell phone bill in America.  The origin of the tax predates the invention of the cellular phone by nearly a century.

Phone Taxes are Cell Hell.  You can't hang up on the taxman.  Eleven federal, state and city levies add as much as 33 percent to the cost of New Yorkers' cellphones, a [New York] Post analysis found.

Courts Strike Down Phone Tax.  The IRS is having to defend itself against lawsuits from large telecom consumers because of its refusal to stop collecting the "temporary" federal excise tax (FET) on telephone services the federal government imposed to help fund the Spanish American War, which ended on December 10, 1898.  Telephone service then was in its infancy, and only some wealthy people and businesses had telephones.  The tax stayed in place, however, as telephone use spread, and it was expanded over time to cover other telecom services.

Finally!
The Phone Tax is Laid to Rest at Age 108.  Bowing to changes in technology and pressure from taxpayers and phone companies, the Treasury Department said yesterday that it would scrap the 108-year-old federal excise tax on long-distance phone calls.  The move will bring consumers and businesses about $15 billion in refunds on next year's tax returns.

Consumers Will Get Refunds for 1898 Phone Tax.  More than 100 years after the Spanish-American War ended, the 3 percent telephone tax that was imposed to pay for the war is about to end.  The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on May 25 they plan to stop collecting the tax on long-distance phone calls beginning August 1.  Consumers will receive about $15 billion in refunds on their 2006 income tax returns, filed in 2007.

After 100 Years, Telecom Tax Is No More.  The U.S. Treasury Department will stop collecting the 3 percent telephone tax, more than 100 years after the end of the Spanish American War, the conflict the tax was levied to fund.

Update:
IRS Failed to Refund $4 Billion in Improper Taxes.  The Internal Revenue Service has failed to refund about $4 billion in improperly collected taxes, according to a Treasury Department audit.  The IRS collected $8 billion while an outdated tax on long-distance telephone calls was being challenged in court, according to a federal report that states "a significant amount" of the tax "may never be refunded."

Somewhat related:
Tax zombie that refuses to die.  [The FCC's Universal Service Fund] is a program that brings telephone service to mainly rural areas and can be traced back in one form or another to the New Deal.  The current cost of the program is $8 billion and is funded by taxes levied on Americans' phone bills.  The FCC is in the process of reforming the USF, and instead of continuing to run the fund as an open-ended entitlement program basing costs on last year's base-line, the program should be reformed to operate on a zero-based budgeting model.



Telecom Taxes Are Unduly Harsh, Regressive:  Study.  Taxes and fees imposed on cable TV and phone services in 59 U.S. cities cost the average household approximately $264 a year, according to a new report from a team of researchers at The Heartland Institute and Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University.  On average, communication services are taxed at 13.32 percent, twice the average rate of other products, the study found.

Cook County Eyes $4 Phone Tax.  A Cook County, Illinois proposal to impose a $4 tax on all wireline and wireless phone lines has drawn fire from all sides, including the local phone company, consumer advocates, and the local utilities watchdog group.

Congress Considers Beer a Luxury — But Not Mink Coats, Private Jets, or Yachts.  President George H.W. Bush and Congress in 1990 raised a host of excise taxes on "luxury" items including expensive cars, fur coats, jewelry, yachts, and private airplanes.  Included in the list of luxury items was beer, which at the time saw a doubling of the federal excise tax, from $9 to $18 a barrel.  Fifteen years later, the taxes on expensive cars, fur coats, jewelry, yachts, and private airplanes have been rolled back.  The beer tax remains, even though the main purchasers of beer are lower- and middle-income consumers.  Taxes make up an astounding 44 percent of the retail price of beer, according to the Beer Institute.

Tax Group Targets Spanish-American War Tax.  Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) announced on March 10 [2005] that it would make repeal of a 107-year-old federal excise tax on telephone service a major priority in the current session of Congress.  Since then, support for the proposal has been increasing.  The tax — a flat 3 percent on every telephone bill — was enacted in 1898 to fund the Spanish-American War.

Don't Tax My iPod!  Anyone who has ever taken the time to inspect a landline or wireless phone bill will know that, on top of the price of service, the government heaps taxes:  the telecom excise tax, universal service fee, and various others.  The combined state and local tax rate for wireline telecom services averages 14 percent and can be as high as 30 percent, putting communications in the sin-tax bracket along with alcohol and cigarettes.  For a country that claims to value free speech, it's ironic that the tax system is so regressive, favoring communication for the rich.

Evidence, evidence and more evidence.  An opinion piece by reporter Anna Bernasek in last Sunday's New York Times actually argues that there's no real evidence that lower tax rates spur economic growth.  Bernasek finds a couple of economists to back up her idea before concluding that tax "reform based on a notion that taxes are bad for the economy is just that:  a notion not backed by strong evidence."  Let me beg to differ in a very strong way.



The Smoking Section:

The boom in smuggling to avoid cigarette taxes.  More than half of the cigarettes sold in New York State are smuggled in from other places to avoid the Empire State's taxes on smokes, which have soared nearly 200 percent since 2006, according to a report issued by the conservative Tax Foundation.  New York is the highest net importer of smuggled cigarettes — illegal smokes account for 56.9 percent of the state's total market.  New York's cigarettes tax is $4.35 per pack, the country's highest.

Illinois Cigarette Tax Increase Becomes a Fiscal Flop.  In May of 2012, state legislators approved a $1-per-pack increase on the price of cigarettes, nearly doubling the state's tax rate to $1.98 per pack, the 17th-highest state tax rate in the nation. [ ... But critics] noted the likelihood that consumers would try to avoid the tax by buying cigarettes out of state, where taxes are lower.

Obama budget includes 94-cent tax hike on cigarettes.  President Obama's budget plan would increase taxes by $580 billion over the next decade, but it relies on many proposals that have been repeatedly rejected by Congress.

Dig deeper for smokes in Cook County.  On the eve of a $1-per-pack Cook County cigarette tax increase, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle stood in the glow of X-rays showing damaged lungs, surrounded by some of Stroger Hospital's top pulmonary specialists as she discussed how smoking shortens people's lives.  The setting and talking points made clear the message Preckwinkle wanted to convey Thursday:  This is a public health problem, one she plans to fight by giving smokers an incentive to quit and teens a reason not to start.

'Prohibition by Price' Drives Cigarette Smuggling in New York, Elsewhere.  Cigarette taxes have been in the news lately, and not just because politicians keep raising them.  What's new is that state and local levies have grown so onerous in some parts of the country that they almost could be called "prohibition by price."  And like other forms of prohibition, this one has led to a spike in smuggling-related criminal activity as smokers turn to illicit distribution channels.

Those cigarette taxes are sure working out, eh?  [L]et's circle back and see how things are going in the states which have chosen to sin tax their way back to prosperity.  First, my own home stomping grounds of New York, which has been seeking a way to stave off total fiscal collapse by jacking up one of the highest tobacco tax rates in the nation.  How's that working out for ya?

Cigarette Tax Evasion Remains Rampant in New York.  The report found that in 2011, New Yorkers purchased 384 million packs of cigarettes from other states, Indian reservations, duty-free shops, and military bases.  If New York State tax had been collected on all of these purchases, it would have generated $1.67 billion in tax revenue.

Violent criminals expand into cigarettes.  A recent wave of state tobacco tax increases, designed to pump revenue into cash-strapped local governments, is inspiring an increasingly dangerous cigarette smuggling industry where big profits lure violent criminal gangs and drug traffickers into the booming illegal market, according to law enforcement officials and court records.

The War on Cigarettes.  [Scroll down]  Just last month in Virginia, for example, a contraband cigarette smuggler pleaded guilty in court of hiring a hit man to murder two people that he suspected of stealing his bootleg cigarettes.  According to media reports, the man's gang was hoping to make a cool $1 million by selling nearly 400,000 cartons of cigarettes in New York City — where taxes alone on a pack of smokes are $4.25.  Amazingly, New York lawmakers are seeking to add another $1 to this already obscene amount, an increase which will only fuel additional bootlegging — and additional violence.

Obama's First Tax Hike.  President Obama approved his first tax hike today [2/4/2009].  The bill he signed to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program contains a provision to increase taxes on tobacco by a whopping 155 percent.  That means the federal taxes on cigarettes have gone up an additional 61 cents a pack.  This brings federal taxes on a pack of cigarettes to $1 per pack total.

Lawmakers consider $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax hike.  For years tobacco companies have successfully fought off attempts by California lawmakers and health groups to increase the cigarette tax.  But next month, as the state grapples with the worst financial crisis in recent history, that may change.  Lawmakers will consider a proposal to hike cigarette taxes by $1.50 per pack and raise $1.2 billion annually.  During the last decade, cigarette makers have spent tens of millions of dollars to kill 14 straight attempts to make smokers pay more.

Smokers face a hit as tobacco taxes spike.  However they satisfy their nicotine cravings, tobacco users are facing a big hit as the single largest federal tobacco tax increase ever takes effect Wednesday [4/1/2009].  Tobacco companies and public health advocates, longtime foes in the nicotine battles, are trying to turn the situation to their advantage.  The major cigarette makers raised prices a couple of weeks ago, partly to offset any drop in profits once the per-pack tax climbs from 39 cents to $1.01.

Obama Breaks Tax Pledge, Signs SCHIP.  Barely two weeks after assuming the presidency, Barack Obama signed into law a bill expanding a health insurance subsidy and breaking one of the central promises of his candidacy.  Obama's February 4 signing of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) expansion bill more than doubled the federal cigarette tax, even though he had pledged he would not raise taxes on Americans earning less than $250,000 a year.  Taxes on various classes of cigars also increased.

$10 a Pack! Now That's a Drag.  If this doesn't make you quit, nothing will.  With a new 62 cent federal tax on cigarettes added this week with the passage of the State Children's Health Insurance Program law, the new price of a pack of cigarettes will soar past $10 in Manhattan.

Texas House Approves $1 Increase in Cigarette Tax.  A pack-a-day will cost Texas smokers an extra $365 a year under a cigarette tax increase approved in the House on Thursday [4/27/2006].

Update:
Texas smokers face tax increase.  Smokers in Texas are bracing themselves for a $1 tax increase per pack of cigarettes next month, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Sides square off in fight to hike tax on tobacco.  Come November, Californians will be asked to impose the biggest tax increase ever on tobacco products, a change that healthcare advocates believe will reduce cigarette consumption, but some officials think will increase cigarette smuggling.

Cigarette Taxes Are Fueling Organized Crime.  Come July 1, New York City's smokers will be paying on average $9 a pack for legal cigarettes.  But if history is any guide, most cigarettes sold will actually be trucked up from Virginia, or shipped in from China, by "butt-leggers" who can make over $1 million on each tractor-trailer load of smuggled smokes.  The blunt fact, which politicians of both political parties are determined to ignore, is that high cigarette taxes in New York have led to a bloody, decades-long smuggling epidemic.

Cigarette Smuggling:  While it's politically popular to impose confiscatory taxes on America's 40 million tobacco smokers, there are a number of consequences one might consider, but let's start out with a quiz.  If a carton of cigarettes sells for $160 in New York City, and $35 in North Carolina, what do you predict will happen?  If you answered tons of cigarettes will be going up I-95 from North Carolina to New York City, go to the head of the class.

N.Y. Smokers Face Highest Tax In Nation.  New Yorkers start paying the highest cigarette taxes in the nation Tuesday [6/3/2008] with the latest $1.25 spike per pack that officials expect to bring in $265 million a year.  Convenience stores across the state and the smokers who will be paying the price are angry about the change, but health officials hail the tax increase as a success.

New York Sets Record Cigarette Tax.  New York's state cigarette tax climbed from $1.50 to $2.75 a pack in June, the highest state cigarette tax burden in the nation. … New York City charges its own $1.50 a pack tax, for state and local taxes totaling $4.25 a pack, said Jeff Lenard, spokesperson for the National Association of Convenience Stores.  The federal excise tax on cigarettes adds 39 cents a pack.

Cigarette Tax Hike:  'Gold Mine' for Smugglers.  The proposed tax hike on cigarettes in the state budget would create a "black market gold mine" for smugglers and force New York smokers to pay the highest taxes in the nation, experts warn.  Facing a $5 billion budget gap, state lawmakers see doubling the state's cigarette tax, to $3 a pack, as a way to help weather a difficult economic period.

Higher Cigarette Taxes Mean More Smuggling.  Here's a puzzle for lawmakers:  If the same percentage of Texans smoke as nationwide — 20 percent — why are sales of tax-paid cigarette sales so much lower in Texas?  The answer:  Texans are smoking millions of bootleg cigarettes smuggled into the state to avoid the tax of 41 cents per pack.  A tractor-trailer holds 200,000 packs, so the profit margin is awfully tempting.

Cigarette Tax Hikes:  A Feeble Attempt to Cut Smoking Rates and Balance the Budget.  Last week, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved a 25 cent increase in the state's cigarette tax in an effort to help eliminate the state's budget deficit. … Higher cigarette taxes are needed, some legislators say, to avoid "deep cuts" in the state's budget.  They find it is easier to balance the budget on the backs of smokers than to cut wasteful spending.

Are Cigarette Taxes Becoming Obsolete?  Social and economic changes force us to ask whether excise taxes are obsolete.  If they are, governments will increasingly find that excise taxes do more harm than good.  Cigarette taxes, because states have raised them precipitously during the past 10 years, provide a good test of the obsolescence theory.

Butt Taxes Go Up in Smoke.  The city hauled in $123 million in cigarette taxes last year — but lost about $40 million to tax-evading smokers, according to a study released yesterday [10/19/2007].

Tobacco Tax Increase Will Cost Wisconsin.  On January 1, the tax for a pack of cigarettes in Wisconsin increased by $1 bringing it to $1.77 per pack. … A tobacco tax, aside from being dramatically regressive, is a thoroughly unreliable stream of revenue for health care expansion; at the end of the day, you will need more smokers or the imposition of higher taxes on workers and consumers.

Indiana Nearly Doubles Its Cigarette Tax.  Hoosiers will pay an additional 44 cents per pack, with about 33 cents of that tax going directly to [Governor Mitch] Daniels' plan to subsidize health insurance for lower-income Indiana citizens.  Hoosiers will pay a total tax of 99.5 cents per pack. … "Increasing the tax on cigarettes does not answer our objects of an overall health plan for Indiana," said Craig Ladwig, president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation.  "In fact, it just adds the onus of socialized medicine to legislative moralizing."

Drop in Smoking Means Less Tax Revenue.  Across the country, states are putting their treasuries under pressure by adopting smoking restrictions as well as higher cigarette taxes, which appear to be discouraging people from lighting up, as many health activists had hoped would happen.

Cook County Doubles Its Cigarette Tax.  The Cook County, Illinois tax on cigarettes has doubled to $2 a pack, giving the city of Chicago the highest cigarette tax in the nation.  County, city, state, and federal taxes on cigarettes now total $4.05 a pack in Chicago.

[Remember, $4.05 per pack is just the tax, not the total price.  The stores also charge an additional fee for the cigarettes themselves.  It's no wonder that cigarettes are used as money in prisons.

Cigarette Tax Doesn't Live Up to its Promise.  The $1.425 state excise tax [in the state of Washington] is now one of the highest in the nation.  There comes a point when taxes on a product will eventually stunt the overall volume of sales — therefore negating a once-promised high source of revenue.  The evidence suggests this has been happening with cigarettes for quite some time.

NYC Seeks to Tax and Fine Online Cigarette Buyers.  New York City residents who purchased smokes over the Internet are facing huge fines and garnishment of their wages for failing to pay city cigarette taxes. … New York City has the highest cigarette taxes in the nation.  The state tax on one pack of cigarettes is $1.50.  The city tax adds another $1.50.  The federal tax is 39 cents a pack, for a total tax of $3.39 per pack.

Harm's a two way street.  The largest losers of America's anti-tobacco crusade aren't tobacco companies and smokers, it's the American people who are incrementally giving up private property rights.

Cigarette Smuggling:  Diverse state tobacco taxes are a key reason for cigarette smuggling, in which organized crime and terrorist groups increasingly are involved.  A July 21 article in the Detroit News quoted John D'Angelo of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as saying, "There is no doubt that there's a direct relationship between the increase in a state's tax and an increase in illegal trafficking."

Cigarette Tax Lessons from Oregon:  The Governor should be wary of increasing cigarette taxes, or any tax for that matter, in light of the election night results from Oregon.  Oregon voters were asked to increase their cigarette tax by $0.845 to $2.02 per pack from $1.18 per pack in order to fund expansion of the State Children Health Insurance Program-commonly referred to as SCHIP. … The ballot measure was rejected by a resounding 60-40 margin.

Smokers Head for the Border to Avoid Cigarette Tax Increase.  Guy Arrans, chief operating officer at St. Joseph-based Primar Petroleum, said the tax increase is going to hurt business at the 14 area convenience stores and gas stations Primar owns and the 30 other independently owned stations it supplies.  "They're building more and more of the budget on smokers but they keep saying they want people to quit," he said.  "Why would they build a budget on what they hope will be a vanishing tax base?"  Arrans also pointed out that, since Michigan charges sales tax atop the cigarette tax, the real tax is $2.12 [per pack, compared to a 55.5 cents per pack in Indiana.]

States Blow Tobacco Funds on Budget Smorgasbord.  States spent two-thirds of tobacco settlement money on government programs unrelated to health care in 2005, according to an annual survey released [in April 2005] by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

How to identify American totalitarians:  In America today, two groups are most actively engaged in falsifying history:  the ACLU and the anti-smoking movement.  The ACLU is suing cities and counties to remove crosses from their city and county seals. … Examples of anti-smoking fanatics doctoring photographs [to remove cigarettes] are so legion that I can only offer a few examples in the space of a column.

Cigarettes are one possible motive for crash burglaries.  The price of a pack of cigarettes is apparently enough to prompt a group of thieves to steal cars, ram them into Twin Cities convenience stores after hours and scoop up packs of smokes and other goods to sell on the street.

The government often plays the role of a heavy-handed nanny, not just a tax collector, when it goes to great lengths to discourage smoking.  That discussion is on another page.

Illinois Brothers Charged with $10 Million Cigarette Tax Scam.  Two brothers from the Chicago suburb of Burbank, Illinois were arrested June 6 for allegedly diverting millions of dollars in taxes on sales of tobacco products.

Cigar Tax Up 6,000% to Pay for SCHIP.  The increase in federal tobacco taxes that congressional Democrats are proposing to fund their new healthcare initiative is being praised by anti-smoking advocates as an effective way to discourage tobacco sales. … The tax hikes would include raising the federal cigarette tax from 39 cents to one dollar.  Additionally, the tax cap on cigars would be raised from five cents to three dollars, a 6,000 percent increase.

Did someone mention SCHIP?

Taxes on Smokeless Tobacco are Unfair and Ineffective.  In recent years, controversy in many state legislatures has erupted over the right way to tax smokeless tobacco.  It is not immediately clear why some states outside the South tax smokeless tobacco so heavily and some so lightly, nor why some base their tax on weight and others on price.  Assuming the role of government is to prevent individuals from harming one another, and not to prevent individuals from harming themselves, then special taxes on tobacco products should exist only if those products impose significant costs on third parties.

Get ready for $11 a pack cigarettes.  New York City smokers already pay the highest cigarette taxes in the nation, but a new state law will push those taxes even higher this summer.

Smokers, cigarette sellers fuming over tax.  No butts about it — smokers and shopkeepers are not fans of New York's $1.60 cigarette tax hike.  In the space of three hours Thursday, four customers at a convenience shop called Candy Store in Times Square declined to buy a pack when they heard the price was up to $12.75.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart



A national sales tax:  Representative John Linder, a Georgia Republican, has a 133-page bill to replace 55,000 pages of tax rules.  His bill would abolish the IRS and the many billions of tax forms it sends out and receives.  He would erase the federal income tax system and replace it with a 23 percent national sales tax on personal consumption.

On the other hand...
The national sales tax:  I have written many times before about what a dopy idea I think this is. … The national retail sales tax would tax 100 percent of services, including medical services and government services.  Every time you go to the hospital, you will have to pay 30 percent on top to the federal government.

A Hacksaw for Our Government Shackles:  The top benefit of a national sales tax would supposedly be reduced bureaucracy or even elimination of the IRS.  Don't bet on it.  Forty-three states with income taxes rely heavily on federal enforcement to ensure compliance.  With that enforcement gone, forty-three state bureaucracies would end up performing drastically more audits.  And for a national sales tax to correlate with existing state collections, the five states without sales taxes would have to create brand new agencies.

National sales tax:  There's no question that tax reform is needed, but tax reform is secondary to a much larger issue — federal spending.  From 1787 to 1920, except during war, federal spending was a mere 3 percent of GDP, compared to today's 20 percent.  If the federal government takes only 3 percent of the GDP, just about any tax system is relatively non-oppressive.

Okies Enjoy Largest Tax Cut in State History.  The tax cut package passed only months after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, which they had last controlled in 1921-22.

Do you trust your neighbor to pay taxes?  Journalists invent sources.  Employees loot their employers to the tune of $50 billion per year.  Shoppers make off with about $13 billion worth of products through shoplifting every year.  No one obeys speed limits.  Are we then to believe that only a small minority of taxpayers, offered the opportunity to cheat such an impersonal entity as the U.S. Treasury, are declining to do so?

Scrap the tax code.  "There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a mule," is an old Texas axiom, and it applies to simplification of the U.S. tax code, which is outdated, overly complex and exceedingly resistant to reform.  The tax code now exceeds a staggering 60,000 pages, prompting Americans to waste 6.2 billion hours just completing their returns every year.  Deciphering it costs the country $203.4 billion a year, according to the Tax Foundation.  Its complexities generate additional job-killing distortions throughout our economy.



Tax Freedom Day

Tax Freedom Day Is April 17.  Because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia, the deadline for filing federal income-tax returns this year falls on April 17.  Coincidentally, that is also Tax Freedom Day for 2012: the day on which the average American will have worked long enough to pay his share of all the taxes government will extract from the populace this year.

Marching Toward Taxmageddon.  Americans effectively stop paying for government on Tax Freedom Day.  Directly, that is.  Regulation acts as a huge de facto tax.  And many other liberties have been lost to government over the years.  However, taxes are the easiest way to measure the price of government.  This year Tax Freedom Day falls on April 17.  That is four days later than last year, primarily "due to higher federal income and corporate tax collections," explains the Tax Foundation.

Now everyone works for the government.  While the number of Americans on the federal payroll has dramatically increased, so has the number of us who work for the federal government without being on a federal agency payroll.  Back in 1910, when Tax Freedom Day was first observed, taxes were just five percent of a person's income, and Tax Freedom Day came on Jan. 19.  Now we pay more than 26 percent of our income to the government, and we work until April 9 (three months later) just to pay our taxes every year.

How much taxation is enough?  Imagine for a moment that Tax Freedom Day was Dec. 31.  In other words, picture working 365 days a year for the government.  Now, the government would "give" you a place to sleep, food to eat and clothes to wear, but all your income would really be Washington's income to allocate as it saw fit.  Some romantics might call this sort of arrangement "socialism" or "communism."  But another perfectly good word for it is "slavery" or, if you prefer, involuntary servitude.

Now everyone works for the government.  While the number of Americans on the federal payroll has dramatically increased, so has the number of us who work for the federal government without being on a federal agency payroll.  Back in 1910, when Tax Freedom Day was first observed, taxes were just five percent of a person's income, and Tax Freedom Day came on Jan. 19.  Now we pay more than 26 percent of our income to the government, and we work until April 9 (three months later) just to pay our taxes every year.

How much taxation is enough?  Imagine for a moment that Tax Freedom Day was Dec. 31.  In other words, picture working 365 days a year for the government.  Now, the government would "give" you a place to sleep, food to eat and clothes to wear, but all your income would really be Washington's income to allocate as it saw fit.  Some romantics might call this sort of arrangement "socialism" or "communism."  But another perfectly good word for it is "slavery" or, if you prefer, involuntary servitude.

2009 Tax Freedom Day:  August 12.  Americans had to work from January 1 until August 12 this year just to cover the cost of government.  That is 26 days more than they had to work last year to cover the cost of government.

2005 Tax Freedom Day Falls on April 17.  That's the day when "Americans stop working to pay taxes and begin working for themselves."

"Our Taxes Are Too High," Americans Say.  Tax Freedom Day calculates the day each year when we stop working for government and start working for ourselves.  In effect, this measures taxes as a share of aggregate income.  Last year, taxes took 29.1 percent of income by this measure, down from a recent high of 33.6 percent in 2000.  In short, the tax burden is well above the level that at least two-thirds of Americans think should be the maximum and right at the level that 90 percent believe should be the absolute limit.

Chart shows Tax Freedom Day by State, 2006.

Tax Burdens and Tax Freedom Day.  Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year.  Tax Freedom Day provides Americans with an easy way to gauge the overall tax take — a task that can otherwise be daunting due to the multiplicity of taxes at various levels of government and "hidden" taxes and fees that are often buried in the cost of living.

Cost of government:  How about 231 labor days?  August 19th is the day the average American worker has finally earned enough to pay for his share of the government spending and regulatory burdens in 2010.  From now until December 31, he can finally keep the fruits of his own labor, according to an annual report by the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation.  It's eight days later this year than last.

The Costliest Day.  As Doug Bandow recently explained on this site, last Thursday, August 19, was "Cost of Government Day" (COGD), the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels.



Let's Scrap the Code!  Our tax system needs to be changed.  Every year, Americans spend 6.2 billion frustrating hours fighting forms and figures, digging for documentation, and checking and rechecking their math to make sure everything is right.  That's because our archaic 60,000 page tax code is mired in special interest loopholes.

The Law That Never Was:  In 1984, William J. Benson began a research project, never before performed, to investigate the process of ratification of the 16th Amendment.  When his year long project was finished at the end of 1984, Bill had visited every state capitol and knew that not a single state had actually and legally ratified the proposal to amend the Constitution.  Thirty-three states engaged in the unauthorized activity of amending the language of the amendment proposed by Congress, a power the states do not possess.

When It Comes to Taxes, We Need Some Real Pain.  Actually writing out checks to the government generates a lot more thinking and questions about the size and scope of government.  From 1913 to 1942, income taxes were paid in quarterly installments during the year after the income was earned.  Returning to such a system would mean that all income earners would have to sit down four times a year and write out a check to the government.

Study Finds Controversial Jock Taxes Spreading.  The jock taxes are so named because they require traveling professional athletes and other team employees to pay income taxes in every state where games are played.  "This is a real slippery slope," said Andrew Chamberlain, a Tax Foundation spokesperson.  "If jock taxes continue to be applied this aggressively, more and more professionals that travel to other states are going to be subject to them.  Eventually, a traveling executive would have to pay tax in every state that he visits during the year.  That creates an untenable level of complexity."

Government Workers: Working Hard or Hardly Working?  People who have waited on line or on hold or who have heard "that's not my area" too often wonder if anyone works in federal agencies let alone if those working know what they are doing.  Often they do not:  a 2003 study disclosed that the IRS gives incorrect answers or no answer at all 43 percent of the time!

Wireless Phone Costs Drop, but Taxes Skyrocket.  Taxes on wireless telephone service in the United States have climbed nine times faster than those on general business since January 2003, putting a damper on the growing use of wireless communications, according to Jim Schuler, director of policy at the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.

Tax-free Internet Access Might End November 1.  If the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) is not extended, consumers may pay taxes to access the Internet this fall.  Congress will either need to extend or make permanent the federal ban that expires on November 1 to keep Internet access tax-free.

Top 10 Wireless Tax States.  Since 1993 the average wireless phone customer's monthly bill has gone down almost 37 percent, while minutes of use have increased about 300 percent … but some state legislatures see wireless service as an easy target and are taxing it more and more.

Taxing Forests to Death.  Proponents of the estate tax claim it affects only the very rich.  However, forest owners, many of whom are cash-poor, are more likely to incur the estate tax than the general population.  Suburban growth has caused timber prices to rise; thus substantial increases in the value of forest acreage are not unusual.

Estate tax questions.  Financial advisers today tell middle class couples that they will need at least $1 million in financial assets to live comfortably in retirement.  And with the big run-up in housing prices in recent years, it is not at all uncommon for middle class families to live in $600,000 homes.

The IRS vs. Foreign Investment:  Foreigners have invested more than $1 trillion in capital in the United States since 1984, when Congress and the Reagan administration established a policy of not taxing interest they earn on U.S. bank deposits.  This influx of capital will be jeopardized if a proposed IRS rule is implemented.

Tax Cuts and the Rich:  High tax rates on the wealthy may make the promoters of economic class warfare feel good, but they do not raise revenue for the federal government.

Pennsylvania Voters Want Property Tax Reform; Legislators Ignore Them.  "This poll confirms what policymakers have known for years," said Matthew J. Brouillette, president of the Harrisburg-based Commonwealth Foundation.  "Pennsylvanians want the same protections that citizens in an overwhelming majority of other states have.  They want the power to approve or veto future school property tax increases."

What is the FairTax?  The FairTax, pending in Congress as HR 25 and S 1493, is a non-partisan proposal that would abolish all federal income taxes, including payroll, self-employment, alternative minimum, income, capital gains, corporate, and death taxes, replacing them with a simple, visible, federal sales tax.

They're gaining in the poles…
Wooden Telephone Pole Tax.  An attempt to raise taxes on New Hampshire phone calls.  The magic show where politicians claim businesses can make money appear from nowhere used to be convincing.  But today's economically savvy voters will no longer be fooled by this sleight-of-hand pick-pocket scam that has too often left them wondering where their money has gone.  Voters today know that, in the end, only people pay taxes.

 Editor's Note:   What would be the purpose of taxing telephone poles, and what good could result from this tax?  Is this just a way to compel people to switch to cell phones?  Or was this proposal cooked up by a tree-hugging liberal who opposes the harvesting of trees?  (Does the tax apply to metal poles, too?)  In any event, there aren't very many new telephone poles installed on a typical day, except after a storm, and there certainly aren't many poles which carry telephone lines exclusively — most carry power lines and other utilities as well.

The FICA slush fund:  This time each year, as we all go through the ritual torture of filling out our income-tax forms, we hear a crescendo of complaints from friends, neighbors and co-workers about how unfair, complex, onerous and contradictory the tax code is — and they're right.

Simplify the Tax Code with a Flat Tax:  The income-tax system began in 1913 as a two-page form backed by 14 pages of law. Today, we struggle with 742 different forms and 254 separate publications, backed by more than 17,000 pages of law.

The "progressive" taxman cometh.  In an ideal world, every person and every corporation would pay the same tax rate on their income, with no deductions for anything.  A universal flat tax rate would be fair, and for most people, the rate would be lower than the rate now being paid.  A single tax rate would reduce the IRS bureaucracy to a mere shadow of itself.  Tax attorneys and CPAs would need to find productive work.  First-time employees and low-wage earners could assume the same tax responsibility everyone else bears.  Tax returns could, indeed, be no more complicated than a postcard.

The U.S. Income Tax Burden: An Analysis of CBO Numbers.  An enormous percentage of taxes are payed by a minority of Americans.  The Top 1% of taxpayers pay 29% of all taxes.  The Top 5% of taxpayers pay 50% of all taxes.

Tax system punishes success:  According to tax data released by the IRS in 2000, the top 5 percent of wage earners pay nearly 57 percent of all income taxes collected annually; the top 10 percent pay 67.3 percent; the top 50 percent pay more than 96 percent of all income taxes.

High Tax Republicans Replacing "Tax and Spend" Democrats?  A new tax revolt may be in the works.  Only this time, the "bad guys" are Republicans.  Taxpayers in several states are complaining the GOP politicians they put in office are acting like Democrats when it comes to spending their hard-earned dollars.

Theft of your labors:  Americans collectively spend more on government today than they do on food, clothing and shelter combined.  Much of that biggest expense in their budget is based on this wacky notion of the sliding scale.  You pay one price, your neighbor pays another.  And those who pay the most get the least in return.

Winning The War Over Liberalism:  A review of "Let Freedom Ring — Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism", by Sean Hannity.  "Government spending is at an all-time high.  And the tax burden is at a record high, having skyrocketed during the Clinton-Gore years," Hannity writes.

Death to the death tax:  It's time for the Senate to join the House in repealing, once and for all, the socialistic death tax monster, whose only remaining purpose is to serve as ammunition for class warfare demagogues.

Does Bigger Government Help the Poor?  Higher tax burdens are associated with greater poverty.  Big government that is tax-financed is more likely to add, rather than subtract, from poverty rolls.

This next one is a broken link, but I'm trying to track it down somewhere else.
Evaluating the Incentives to Stay in the Welfare System:  A family with $12,600 in earnings before taxes pays $1,251 in taxes but gets back an EITC of $2,247 for a total of $13,596.  [A negative income tax!]

What's the Worst Tax for Texas?  A new study unveiled in Midland finds that an income tax would be a drag on Texas' economy, and suggests that reliance on sales taxes and user-fees will harm economic growth the least.

Collection Contributions:  The IRS uses an illegal quota system that rewards agents for the amount of money they collect.

"Global Tax Police" Under ScrutinyHouse Majority Leader Dick Armey says a Paris organization is trying to initiate a "global network of tax police" targeting low-tax nations such as the United States.

Income Tax Withholding Called "Triumph of Big Government":  Americans are now in their 60th year of having income taxes withheld from their paychecks.  And the National Taxpayers Union, no friend of the Internal Revenue Service, is condemning the law for having created a "bloated" welfare state that lacks accountability and punishes taxpayers.

Maine tops in taxes per person:  Mainers paid 14.5 percent of what they earned to the state and local government for income, sales and property taxes, the New York Times reported recently.  New Yorkers came in second place at 14.2 percent.



"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
— Will Rogers          


Part 1.1 — The Proposed "Odometer Tax"

Odometer tax proposal likely to stallTransportation chief says fees on miles driven would turn all roads into "toll booths."  (This is a very bad idea, but taxpayers are spending $700,000 to study it!)  "Fears about spying are unfounded, said David Forkenbrock, director of the University of Iowa's Public Policy Center.  The system would only track miles traveled, not destinations..., Forkenbrock said."

Similar story:  Big Brother eyes taxes by the mile:  State considers space-based technology to collect revenue.

Obama's transportation goal:  coercing people out of cars.  Liberals love Ray LaHood because he is the type of Republican who wants government to control more of American life.  When President Obama named him secretary of transportation, it was not so much an act of bipartisanship as an expression of ideological solidarity.  About a month into his tenure, LaHood told the Associated Press that the administration should consider taxing people for every mile they drive their car, a system that would require tracking people's movements.

State Tracking Of Auto Movements By GPS Called "Nutty":  If a proposal by an Oregon State task force becomes law, the government would be able to use satellite equipment to keep track of each driver's mileage and tax that driver accordingly in order to pay for road repairs.

The Wacky World of Oil:  Taxes — at every level — are the major component of gasoline.  All states tack on the standard Federal Excise Tax and a State Excise Tax, and many cities and counties throughout the USA add local sales, usage and consumption taxes.  New York, California and a dozen other states add a sales tax to top it off.  That's right, they tax the tax.  Add in the taxes … and perhaps 50% of the cost of our gasoline goes to the government.

More about odometer taxes.


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Updated July 22, 2014.

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