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DaretothREdux (39.79)

You’re Being Robbed!

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March 17, 2009 – Comments (30) | RELATED TICKERS: STE

If I walked into your house and began to take your valuables what would you do? Shoot me? Maybe. I’m sure some of you would…(Put down the gun Abit...) Or at the very least you would call the cops and have me arrested. And you would probably demand your valuables back.

What if I told you that I was robbing you but I was going to give it all to Charity?

And I meant it.

Every penny I earn stealing from you will go either to feed/clothe the poor/starving or to provide medical care for those who don’t have it.

So, (let’s assume I’m telling the truth and you believe me) can I steal your property now?

What do you mean no?

What’s that? You’re an environmentalist you say? You would rather I spend your money to help save an endangered species or a whale or a wetland or two? Alright, it seems a little silly to me, but that’s fine, I promise to do some of that as well... 

In fact, I’m also going to fund a few wars to promote freedom and democracy in the world…and I'll try to keep all harmful drugs from coming into this country, so that your kids will be safe from Puff the Magic Dragon.

I will even invest in roads and bridges, as well as clean energy and I'll build national parks.

Hey, I’m starting to sound like a pretty nice thief! I mean, I’m well-intentioned and I’m doing everything for the greater good of mankind. And I’m not asking for anything in return...

What’s that you say? I am asking for something? Your property?

Well…I mean…sure if I had let you keep it, then you could’ve spent it on things you really wanted. But you didn’t really need that new car. I feed the poor instead. You didn’t really need a home of your own. I built a shelter for one hundred homeless people.

Sure. Maybe you would’ve given more money to your church and they would’ve spent it more wisely and more efficiently. Or maybe you would have given a scholarship grant to a medical school and allowed some kid to cure cancer. But I couldn’t count on your charity. I have a moral obligation to steal from you, so that others may benefit.

Besides, you don’t need your property. In fact, it’s not even yours. It’s mine. I’ve been taking it from you for nearly a hundred years. Sometimes directly with the threat of jail time for when you don't pay up. Extortion you say? Nonsense.

Sometimes, of course, I simply created money out of thin air, which in turn makes your money worth less. More sneaky yes, but stealing from you nevertheless.

Don’t you see though? I have to steal from you. It’s for the good of everyone. It’s so we can create the best of all possible worlds. It’s so Big Brother can take care of you...Don't worry. I’ll keep you safe...I just need you to remain ignorant awhile longer, so each year I can steal a little more of your property.

 

Yours truly,

The United States Government and The Federal Reserve

30 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 17, 2009 at 6:29 AM, PrestonCheek (31.85) wrote:

Very nice Dare, I've been waiting on something from you.

Keep up the good work, I'm going to copy that in a e-mail and get it going on the net, I've got friends that will enjoy sending that around.

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#2) On March 17, 2009 at 6:36 AM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

PrestonCheek,

I am assuming that you were asking me if you could do that?

I'm just kidding with you. I would be thrilled if you were to start circulating my work! Just let everyone know where they can find my blog for more in the future. I will take any many readers as I can get.

Keep up the good fight,

Dare

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#3) On March 17, 2009 at 6:43 AM, Mary953 (77.94) wrote:

Are they gone, Dear?

Yep.

Did they look in the Bread Machine?

Nope, The dough's still safe.

Good.  I love tax shelters!

As long as they keep leavin' em in, we'll keep usin' em!

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#4) On March 17, 2009 at 7:26 AM, outoffocus (22.76) wrote:

"Sure. Maybe you would’ve given more money to your church and they would’ve spent it more wisely and more efficiently."

Its funny you say that.  Apparently the government agrees with you.  Contributions to church are tax deductible. 

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#5) On March 17, 2009 at 7:42 AM, Mary953 (77.94) wrote:

Charitable contributions are deductible if they, along with interest on your home, property tax, personal property tax, and a handful of other deductions are greater than the standard deduction.  Most of the time, this is not the case - which means that our tax code discourages charitable contributions by not rewarding them just as it discourages saving by taxing dividends, interest, and capital gains.  Also, your charitable giving must be to a recognized organization with a proper registration.  There can be no 'helping someone who is having a difficult time.'  (I find this hugely frustrating at times)

There may be a HUGE GOOD side to this though.  I read that one of the changes for 2009 will be to break the charitable giving out and treat it as a separate category with its own line under adjustments and credits.  I have heard this and read it in other years and it did not actually happen, but each time I am hopeful.

Most people only know about the tax breaks they can take themselves.  Outoffocus - I am working my way through lots of tax returns at the moment, but it makes me smile that you know about this one.  God bless you.  ;-)

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#6) On March 17, 2009 at 7:51 AM, OneLegged (< 20) wrote:

The flip side of this coin is that the stealing also allows us to have good roads, a fire department, schools for kids and police departments.  Do you want to live without any of these things?  I doubt it.  I hate taxes as much as anyone, especially the one's that go to schools since I have no kids, but some evils seem somewhat necessary do they not?

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#7) On March 17, 2009 at 8:02 AM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

OneLegged,

If those were the only things that my tax dollars went to, then I would probably have little problems with them. But do you know how much is spent each year funding overseas wars or on pet projects that I recieve no benefit from?

A LOT. A huge portion of the Federal Budget.

And let me ask you this? How do you think those things existed before the Federal Government got involved?

Trust me. They existed. In fact...schools in particular used to be much more effective without the millions of dollars of Federal money that is simply throw at it...

They should call it The Department of De-Education.

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#8) On March 17, 2009 at 9:31 AM, outoffocus (22.76) wrote:

Charitable contributions are deductible if they, along with interest on your home, property tax, personal property tax, and a handful of other deductions are greater than the standard deduction.  Most of the time, this is not the case - which means that our tax code discourages charitable contributions by not rewarding them just as it discourages saving by taxing dividends, interest, and capital gains. 

Mary, I have to kindly disagree with you. Charitible contributions, if used in proper tax planning, can be a great tool to reduce you tax liability; especially for people who do not own a home.  Also, do not forget that state and local income taxes, which most of us pay  (or sales tax if you don't) are deductible.

Case in point, I consider myself in a pretty screwed up tax bracket.  I'm single, make a modest income, have no children, and rent an apartment.  This puts me at risk of paying a much higher % of my income in taxes than most of the people in this country.  However, I was still able to obtain a sizable deduction on my schedule A due mostly to charitable contributions. To me that is a win-win situation. Not only do I get to choose who I help and how they are helped with my money, but I also get to reduce my tax liability.

If anything this deduction has encouraged me to give more to charity. Because if I hadn't, I would not have recieved a refund this year.

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#9) On March 17, 2009 at 10:02 AM, rofgile (99.37) wrote:

Well, Robin Hood was a hero... 

 But, I guess it sucks if you are the one inside the carriage filled with gold and jewels when he arrives.   

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#10) On March 17, 2009 at 10:15 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Good post Dare.

One of my favorite characters in the history of literature is the man who tried to destroy Robin Hood, Ragnar Danneskjold of Atlas Shrugged.

David in Qatar

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#11) On March 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM, Gemini846 (50.38) wrote:

Most Roads, Fire Depts, Schools et are funded at the local level by a guy (or woman) you can touch, talk to, elect, snub, tell off et. Usually that manages to keep the tax money in check doing what it is supposed to be doing. When you start to consolidate at higher levels of government you get less control of where your money goes.

Take the childrens healthcare funds for a second. I believe in public health. I believe in immunizations that prevent pandemic diseases from ravaging our country. I think church and local clinics can do a better job than the fed. Yet I have to pay taxes to some guy in washington who greases the palm of some healthcare provider and big pharma before passing it on to my govenor who greases some state beurocracy and by the time it turns into needles for shots half the money is gone.

Furthermore perhaps I live in a rural community or a community with no kids, or a religious sect that doesn't believe in immunizations. I still have to pay. Do you see the problem with the federal government now?

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#12) On March 17, 2009 at 12:36 PM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

Gemini846

I think church and local clinics can do a better job than the fed. Yet I have to pay taxes to some guy in washington who greases the palm of some healthcare provider and big pharma before passing it on to my govenor who greases some state beurocracy and by the time it turns into needles for shots half the money is gone.

AMEN.

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#13) On March 17, 2009 at 1:23 PM, GNUBEE (25.51) wrote:

We pay comparitively low taxes compared to the rest of the developed world. We also have more "hardware" than any of them.

Dare, maybe your article should have drawn a parallel with "protection" money, not outright robbery.

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#14) On March 17, 2009 at 2:16 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

There can be no doubt that the politician and the banker are more like magicians, making your money disappear, through slight of hand. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain ...

Like the false outrage at AIG bonuses of $126 M USD in a bailout of more then $1 T USD. Chris Dodd put into the bailout bill an amendment to protect the bonuses, then decries the excesses of capitalism.

Like Barney Frank saying the "markets have failed" is a turn of a phrase, where he means "markets have failed to achieve our socialist goals of total wealth distribution" ...

Look out ... they are coming for you, not just through the back door of the inflation tax, but the front door of those making more than $250,000 ... this year. Wait until they lower that number to $100,000 ... then $50,000 ... becuase it's just not fair!

Curse them all.

Known by whereaminow only as nzsvz9

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#15) On March 17, 2009 at 2:26 PM, Alex1963 (28.55) wrote:

Hey Dare,

Good dissenting comments here already but I would also remark that the bulk of the federal budget now goes to health care and that trend will continue unless something is done. Please, keep in mind that there is a comprehensive plan to reprioritize our tax dollars to correct some, indeed, if not all, of the examples you cite. I agree that things are just 'whacked' right now. It will take time, and political will, and commensurate party consensus but the 2010 budget (as presented anyway) gives me cause for optimism (notice I'm avoiding the word "hope"-too incendiary :) If you look at the pieces individually like what tax rates of which income ranges, or cherry pick programs here and there it is easy to find flaws, but if you look at the whole cloth (if you haven't yet) I really believe you'll find there is something for everyone. The ship of the US is clearly in dangerous waters but it can't turn on a dime either. I believe we have a chart here to plot an overall healthy course correction We still have to deal with immense iceberg of national debt and bloated gov't, and the hidden bulk of financial issues still below the surface but that's a battle for another day IMO (I hate to get all nautical on your a**, my brother but I needed to make a Titanic point. Ok I'll stop :) 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/  

but here are the overview links

President’s Message (4 pages, 73 KB)
 Inheriting a Legacy of Misplaced Priorities (12 pages, 163 KB)Jumpstarting the Economy and Investing for the Future (26 pages, 239 KB)Conclusion (2 pages, 45 KB)  

Sincerely

Alex 

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#16) On March 17, 2009 at 2:59 PM, Alex1963 (28.55) wrote:

 

 whereaminow

Yes, well it's always good to review the villians too 

Good antogonists from Atlas Shrugged are are Jim Taggert or Lillian Riordan.

or from The Fountainhead John Erik Snyte or Ellsworth Toohey

All of them acted tirelessly to destroy the Producers and their works but two couldn't articulate their own motivations, or a cohesive and heathly replacement for society. And the other two could- but honestly didn't care that is was likely far worse than the status quo. I don't know which is scarier.

Great books with many interesting and compelling, if somehwhat simplistic & often cartoonish, visons of societies and personalities. Since reading them in high school, I have learned most people, and economics, are far more complex in RL.

Alex 

 

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#17) On March 17, 2009 at 3:29 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Alex,

Definitely true. I'm not a Randain, but I did enjoy The Fountainhead. Atlas Shrugged was a science fiction book. It was a story, and like most stories, it did not have many believable characters. That's what separates the great writers. Ayn had a fine grasp of history and the interrelatedness of events, but her writing left a lot to desire.

David in Qatar

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#18) On March 17, 2009 at 3:29 PM, Wharrgarbl (51.86) wrote:

I personally smile every time I pay my taxes.  Why, you ask??? I'm getting one of the greatest bargains the world has ever known.  The collection of taxes and dispersion of them throughout our country is what has allowed us to grow, prosper, and thrive.

Without taxes, the wonderful roadway system, which is the greatest in the world, has allowed our economy to flourish by increasing the efficiency of our transportation system as a whole. (By the way, the majority of roads are 75% federally funded through motor fuel tax and supplemented by state motor fuel tax.  Any local match is then made through the municipalities MFT proceeds.  "Local" money is typically paid through your local property tax, and is for the most part insignificant.)

Without taxes, we would not have a public education system which allows anyone who wants to learn the ability to expand their horizons and better themselves.  This in turn increases our population's ingenuity which leads to greater and greater productivity increases in our economy.  (Federal funding of public school systems is quite substantial, if it wasn't all schools would blow off the worthless "No Child Left Behind" policy.)

I don't know about you, but I think I'll pass on having the local quacks at the "clinic" or church developing and administering their snake oil immunizations to my children.  My children are much too important to me.  Every time I see children in other countries ravaged by easily curable/preventable diseases, I thank God that I live in this country and have a government who cares enough about its population totry to educate and protect its population from this.

Without taxes, we would not have the most powerful military in the world, and would probably be running around with funny Russian accents.

We'd all like to see our taxes spent a bit differently.  We'd all love to see greater efficiency is the federal.  But the thought of allowing the local buffoons make these type of decisions is pure madness.

Ignorant??? Please.  Try educated.  I've set foot on every continent on this planet 'cept Antarctica thanks to Uncle Sam and I've seen what the rest of the world and "local control" has to offer. 

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#19) On March 17, 2009 at 3:35 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

The collection of taxes and dispersion of them throughout our country is what has allowed us to grow, prosper, and thrive.

I wonder how our country ever grew before taxation?

David in Qatar

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#20) On March 17, 2009 at 4:34 PM, Wharrgarbl (51.86) wrote:

I wonder how our country ever grew before taxation?

Expansion by conquest, child labor, abuse of workers by business, destruction of the environment...

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#21) On March 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

Good discussion here everyone. This is exactly what I strive for when I write any of my blogs. I'm also glad to see that discussion has remained civil.

For what it's worth I am not completely naive and I'm no fool. I am aware of the potential "good" brought about by our government's policies, as well as the potential dangers of any small localized government...

Even so, I will always insist on a constant hard look at governmental policies (especially Federal) and will demand change when I see wasteful spending and a consolodation of power away from the people, which inevitably leads to a loss of civil rights.

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but neither do I simply sit idly by and gripe and complain when I see injustice in the world.

I will address more of you specifically later. Again though thank all of you for your comments, questions, and rebuttle as well as anyone who recommended this post.

For Liberty,

Dare

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#22) On March 17, 2009 at 6:08 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Expansion by conquest, child labor, abuse of workers by business, destruction of the environment...

And these things have ceased in our current utopia?

David in Qatar

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#23) On March 17, 2009 at 6:21 PM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

David,

Funny. That's almost exactly what I wrote. 

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#24) On March 17, 2009 at 7:52 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

Just kidding. Plenty of room up in that empty cranium for two people.

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#25) On March 17, 2009 at 7:58 PM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

David,

There are worse places to be than your head. But you are right, it's very spacious in here...perhaps I will build myself a beach-side condo and rent it out as a timeshare.

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#26) On March 17, 2009 at 8:05 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Nice one, Dare. Fuckin capitalists. Always exploiting the environment. See what happens when you let a man have a little liberty?

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#27) On March 18, 2009 at 1:17 AM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

Mary953,

Yes. Wouldn't it be nice if any and all charitable contributions were tax deductible? I'm sure that this would make too many tax loop holes, but even so would it be so terrible to incentivize charity?

Or at the very least not punish those who are already giving?

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#28) On March 18, 2009 at 1:19 AM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

rofgile,

Robin Hood was a hero...but he didn't steal from the poor and middle class through inflation to give to the wealthy bankers and the military industrial complex...

Seems a little different to me. In fact I wrote about that in the past in a blog called Rob From the Rich to Hurt the Poor!

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#29) On March 18, 2009 at 5:14 AM, DaretothREdux (39.79) wrote:

nzsvz9,

You sound like Mark LeVin...doesn't mean I don't agree with you. I'm just sayin'...

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#30) On March 18, 2009 at 6:22 AM, PrestonCheek (31.85) wrote:

Dare, again very nice job. I love it when people start saying that without taxes we wouldn't have nice things. I would like a fare tax system, I would also like that the individual people recieving my tax dollars have to pass drug screens like I do to make it.

Oh well, thats always a sore subject I guess. Yes I understand that certain things have to be, and I will go on in everyday life, but when will enough be enough. It's hard to think that the millions paid to AIG people are living it up right now........saying suckers. Thats a hard pill to swallow.

If someone want's to defend that I don't think they have a leg to stand on myself, when they offer me full salary to death, full insurance, the best medical care money can by, I might join them. :)

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