Unless you’ve been under a rock this week, you have probably noticed that Donald Trump’s tax returns have reportedly been obtained by the NY Times and published. According to the report, Trump paid just $750 in federal taxes the year he won the election and his first year in the White House. In fact, according to the report, Trump paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.
Predictably, the left is furious and calling for Trump to be thrown in jail while the president’s supporters are already justifying it. Meanwhile, TFTP would like to insert the third narrative that you will not hear in the chatter this week. Trump is not alone in his avoidance of taxes. In fact, the entire system — both on the left and on the right — is setup in such a way that those who make the most, pay the least.
But don’t take our word for it, we can look at academic studies which show how the system is setup in a way that forces the middle class to pay a higher tax rate than the billionaire class. After all, the middle class doesn’t have the billions of dollars to purchase their own congressman to write laws that benefit them personally.
According to an analysis of tax data by the University of California at Berkeley’s Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman for their book “The Triumph of Injustice,” in 2018, billionaires paid 23% of their income in federal, state, and local taxes, while the average American paid 28%.
“The US tax system is a giant flat tax — except at the top, where it’s regressive,” Saez and Zucman wrote in “The Triumph of Injustice.” “As a group, and although their individual situations are not all the same, the Trumps, the Zuckerbergs, and the Buffetts of this world pay lower taxes than the teachers and secretaries.”
Last year, in a damning piece from ProPublica, Congress even confirmed this madness and essentially told the citizens that it is easier and cheaper to go after the working poor rather than the rich. According to their report, Congress asked the IRS to report on why it audits the poor more than the affluent. Its response is that it doesn’t have enough money and people to audit the wealthy properly. So it’s not going to.
A recent example of this disparity comes out of Arkansas after a man found a massive diamond. After Kevin Kinard found a 9.07 carat diamond — the IRS found him. Once the diamond is appraised, Kinard will be forced to pay income tax on it. If the taxes are more than he has in his bank account, he’ll be forced to sell the diamond just to pay the taxes on it. This is ludicrous.
While many on the left will claim otherwise, it is important to point out that because someone amasses wealth they are not automatically corrupt. Most people work very hard to save money and acquire wealth. However, it is how a few of these people gain such vast amounts of wealth, that is cause for concern.
The ruling elite in the United States quite literally hand-pick politicians and pay for their campaigns to put them in office. More than half of all donations provided to the 2016 presidential candidates, in both parties, proves this notion as they came from a mere 158 families.
The 158 families, who’ve donated billions of dollars to these candidates, have entirely different reasons for choosing their politicians versus Joe Sixpack. Consequently, it is for this reason that Joe Sixpack’s requests are completely ignored by the next puppet to be placed in office who claims to represent him.
The United States government is, by design, a machine to redistribute wealth. This wealth redistribution, however, is not what the political blowhards on the TV and radio say it is. Since the inception of the income tax, and the Federal Reserve, the United States government has become excellent at separating you from the product of your labor.
While you’re told by the Sean Hannitys of the world that the government takes from the rich to redistribute to the poor, the reality is actually the opposite. The state fleeces the poor and middle class in America, and that money is, in turn, redistributed to the most wealthy Americans.
As Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, David Cay Johnson, pointed out, the result of such a government system are,
“policies that take from the many and redistribute to the already rich few through stealth techniques that rarely make the news but can be found in the public record. Among these policies are a failure to enforce the laws of business competition, severe restrictions on unions and subsidies galore for big companies.”
When the topic of the ultra-rich controlling elite is brought up, most of the time the free market gets the blame. But most of these opinions fail to take the role of the state into consideration.
“Such massive inequality reflects not market economics but political influence that tilts the economic playing field,” explains Johnson. “And because of their political influence, those at the very top get tax favors, especially the deferral of taxes into the distant future, which transforms the burden of taxes into a bonanza of increased profits.”
The reason that nothing ever seems to get accomplished in Washington D.C. is because your elected officials have no loyalty to you. That’s why Trump and other billionaires can carry over loses for decades but everyone else cannot.
As we’ve seen from nearly every political candidate in the last century, the “promises” made on their campaign trails are but fleeting memories once they get into office — Trump included. After all, how can a politician keep true to their campaign promises when they are busy creating and passing into law, loopholes and subsidies for the very small group of people who put them in power?
The only solutions proposed by those within the system to offset the ruling elite and their fleecing of the citizens is, ironically, more legislation — because it’s worked so well in the past right?
Attempting to change the system by using the criminals within the system is akin to asking a mugger to stop mugging you.
The good news is that people are beginning to understand this exercise in futility and they are creating and operating systems that exist outside of the state-controlled monopoly. Bitcoin is an excellent example.
Sadly, on the other hand, many people are so infatuated with the perceived benefits of taxation, i.e., roads, police, military, and schools, that they conveniently ignore the fact that they have become slaves on the tax farm which is America.
If you are confused by the phrase “taxation is theft,” just think of the government as people without any special privileges. If an average person takes money from someone under the threat of force it is called robbery. However, if the government does it, then it is considered legal and moral, and is called “taxation.” No one actually ever agreed to this arrangement, it has been forced on millions of people against their will, and a long list of justifications have been created to convince people that they are not being stolen from.
“Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.” ― Murray N. Rothbard
Since the government is allowed to extract money from its citizens via the barrel of a gun, this guarantees that they will have funding for any kind of project they want, even if those projects are unpopular with taxpayers like war and the police/surveillance state. This is because the public has no choice but to pay taxes, therefore they have no say in how their money is used and are typically forced into paying for their own oppression and the slaughtering of their neighbors in foreign countries.
Sure, there are some social welfare programs that do benefit some people, but the money that these projects cost is but a tiny fraction of the money that is actually received from taxation. Most of the money that is brought in through taxes is used for bureaucratic budgets, collection enforcement, and the gluttony of federal and state governments.
So, while a portion of the revenue is being used for beneficial projects, a majority of the money is still being wasted or used for nefarious means. Some researchers have described this as a thief giving you five dollars, while at the same time taking a hundred dollars from your back pocket.
There is an unbelievable amount of fear directed at this concept because for so long, our civilizations have been propelled by violence instead of rationality. Immediately upon hearing about these ideas of doing away with coercive taxation, many people who are new to the idea will immediately scoff, “if taxes were not collected under threat of force then no one will pay them and there will be chaos and the poor will die in the streets.”
The release of Trump’s tax records show that taxation isn’t working for the average person. Therefore, ideas about “the consent of the governed” and “the social contract” are complete fallacies. If someone explicitly states that people wouldn’t pay taxes if they weren’t mandatory, they are then admitting that tax revenue is not used to benefit the public and that no one would pay if they didn’t have a—proverbial and sometimes real—gun to their head.
As long as we keep arguing over which elite billionaire will rule over us we can expect this system of wealth redistribution to continue until the middle class is entirely wiped out. For our species to have any chance on this earth, we must start thinking about more peaceful ways of going about things, and stop justifying the use of violence in all circumstances, even soft-core violence like legislation, taxation, and indoctrination via public schools.