Death and taxes

My latest video on American taxation:

Covered some of what I brought up in my last post on here. To break it down, the four points I propose are:

  1. Taxes on people’s income should be much, much lower (or entirely eradicated for those earning less than, say, $100,000/yr., to throw a figure out there).
  2. Major corporations should be taxed a lot more and denied welfare and bailouts paid by us. Heavy taxation on major corporations is important to check their size and power so that they don’t do exactly what they’re currently doing which is going out and buying up everything under the sun and monopolizing/oligopolizing. Too much power consolidated in the hands of a relative few major corporations has led to them holding more sway in our political sphere and has undermined capitalism through anti-trust violations and making it impossible for smaller enterprises to compete. Corporations were limited by charters initially for a reason — now they’re dominating and dictating the entire economic landscape. The only way to limit their power is through financial and legal means that we the people must enforce, lest they come to rule over us (as we’ve figured out).
  3. Taxes should be paid voluntarily by individual citizens and should not be extracted automatically from people’s pay before they receive their checks.
  4. Tax codes should be less complex so that people are able to understand them. Legalese jargon has obfuscated tax codes and rendered them a nightmare for anyone without professional training in deciphering that mess. This is unacceptable and only serves to obscure how intensely we’re being taken advantage of. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid. The only reason it’s made this complex is because it’s intended to befuddle Americans, as it’s terrifically succeeded at doing. It’s difficult to argue against that which we can’t clearly comprehend.

Those are my thoughts on that. The solutions to this problem could take several forms and be ushered in by both individual citizens and collectives. But first we have to wake up to the reality that we do indeed possess power here and that taxation is just a notion conjured up by people. Since people set this ball in motion, we as people retain the power to direct it according to what’s best for ourselves and this society.

I’m open to people’s thoughts and ideas in relation to this matter.

To hell with worthless debt

My latest video, recorded Friday evening:

Can’t squeeze blood from a turnip…

1.) The Pentagon budget and military spending is a controversial topic littered with countless conflicting claims, making it nearly impossible to pin down reliable data, but here are some of the claims influencing my thinking on the matter:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/07/everything-chuck-hagel-needs-to-know-about-the-defense-budget-in-charts/

http://fcnl.org/issues/budget/US_military_spending_is_this_enough_or_do_we_need_to_spend_more_to_be_safe.pdf

Some people point to military spending being only 4-5% of GDP, which I have seen cited in reputable publications and is comparable to the percentage of GDP designated for both Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security separately. However, the 51% claim I make in the video pertains to percentage of federal discretionary spending, though that particular figure is nearly a decade old now.

“In 2011 military spending accounted for more than 58 percent of all federal discretionary spending and even more if the interest on the federal debt that is related to military spending were added.”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-morris/military-spending-_b_894656.html

One example of how portions of defense-related spending wind up obscured: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/on-drones-keeping-the-public-in-the-dark/

We’re hemorrhaging money all across the globe, and who knows how accurate the audit information is when it comes to covert overseas training? Here’s some of what we do know about: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/04/15/us-boosts-foreign-military-aid-to-promote-global-clout.html

2.) Now, moving on to student debt concerns.

http://chronicle.com/article/Public-Pay-Landing/131912/

https://chronicle.com/article/College-Presidents-Salaries/63874/

Student Loan Debt Statistics: http://www.asa.org/policy/resources/stats/

High Hopes, Big Debts: http://www.ticas.org/files/pub/High_Hopes_Big_Debts_2008.pdf

The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan that I’m signed up with: http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-based  (a big incentive for me to remain relatively poor)

3.) Corporate Welfare vs. Social Welfare.

See pages 3-8 specifically in this report: http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/CorporateTaxDodgersReport.pdf

A notable quote from the above report (pg. 4):

Thirty corporations paid less than nothing in aggregate federal
income taxes over the entire 2008-10 period. These companies, whose pretax U.S. profits totaled $160 billion over the three years, included: Pepco Holdings (–57.6% tax rate), General Electric (–45.3%), DuPont (–3.4%), Verizon (–2.9%), Boeing (–1.8%), Wells Fargo (–1.4%) and Honeywell (–0.7%).

 

http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/corporate-welfare-federal-budget

A word from Ron Paul on the subject: http://www.theburningplatform.com/2012/10/09/corporate-welfare-social-welfare-collapse/