Source: Michael Snyder The Economic Collapse
The way that we tax people in the United States is fundamentally broken and should be completely discarded. The U.S. tax code is absolutely riddled with loopholes that allow the super rich to legally avoid taxes while many of the rest of us are being taxed into oblivion. In our system of taxation, middle class families that work hard and try to play by the rules are deeply penalized while those that are willing to abuse the system make out like bandits. There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that enables wealthy politicians such as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to pay a smaller percentage of their incomes in taxes than millions of middle class families. Mitt Romney hasmillions of dollars parked down in the Cayman Islands and in other tax havens. He does this to avoid taxes. Unfortunately, most Americans do not have the resources to funnel money through offshore tax havens. Most Americans just automatically have their paychecks shredded by taxes and then try to live on whatever is left over. Most Americans are just trying to survive financially from one month to the next. But the super rich have options. Thanks to technology, they can live almost anywhere they want and they can run their companies and manage their investments from anywhere in the world. The truth is that the wealthier you are the easier it is to avoid taxes. But even as the ultra-wealthy do their best to avoid taxes, many of them still feel free to demand that the rest of us be taxed more.
So what are some of the ways that the super rich avoid taxes?
Well, let’s start with those that are just “somewhat wealthy”. Many millionaires still want or need to be U.S. citizens, so they are subject to the U.S. tax code. Fortunately for them, their tax lawyers know of thousands of loopholes that have been designed to help the rich avoid taxes.
The following is from a recent article by Jen Talley….
Some of the richest people in the country pay the least, relatively speaking, in taxes. How is this possible? Answer: Through the clever manipulation of the U.S. tax code’s loopholes. And it works: as income rises, effective tax rates rise as well, but only up to a point. IRS data shows that the effective income tax rate flattens out at just over 24 percent for those making over a million dollars. As income exceeds $1.5 million, the rate begins to decline; those with incomes above $10 million pay an average income tax rate of around 19 percent. So, how do they do it?
You could write an entire series of books on the technical details of how this gets done. Trust me, I studied tax law when I was in law school.
If you are interested in digging into some of the technical details of tax avoidance, a recent Businessweek article detailed 10 ways that the wealthy use our current tax code to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. It is an article worth reading if you have the time.
Sadly, tax avoidance by the wealthy is not just something that happens in the United States. The truth is that the exact same kind of thing happens in the UK as well.
There is not an easy fix to this problem. Our politicians have had decades to try to come up with a fair tax system and they have completely failed. The wealthy are always several steps ahead of them.
But federal taxes are not the only taxes that can be avoided. The vast difference in state tax rates creates another opportunity.
One advantage that wealthy Americans have is that they are far more mobile than most other Americans are. So if they don’t like the tax system in one state they can simply pick up and move to another state.
According to the Tax Foundation, 3.4 million Americans left New York state between 2000 and 2010.
So where did they go?
The following is from a recent CNS News article….
Where are they escaping to? The Tax Foundation found that more than 600,000 New York residents moved to Florida over the decade – opting perhaps for the Sunshine State’s more lenient tax system – taking nearly $20 billion in adjusted growth income with them.
There is no state income tax in Florida. So moving from New York to Florida can end up saving you a bundle.
The same kind of migration is happening out west as well. According to that same CNS article, hundreds of thousands of people have been moving from California (a high tax state) to Texas (no state income tax)….
Between 2000 and 2010, the most recent data available, 551,914 people left California for Texas, taking $14.3 billion in income. Texas has no state income tax or estate tax.
A total of 48,877 people moved to Texas from California between 2009 and 2010 alone, totaling $1.2 billion in income. Another 28,088 from California relocated to Nevada and 30,663 to Arizona, a loss of $699.1 million and $707.8 million in income respectively.
Not that anyone really needs much of an excuse to move away from California. It is rapidly decaying right in front of our eyes.
But a lot of families do not have the same options that wealthy people do. Unfortunately, most average Americans are tied to their jobs and it would be much more difficult for them to pick up and move across the country. In this economy it can be economic suicide to give up a good job.
The reality is that most of us simply do not have the resources to play the same kinds of games that the wealthy play.
Sadly, even our most prominent politicians avoid taxes.
Just look at Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. He has avoided approximately $500,000 in taxes by docking his yacht in Rhode Island rather than in Massachusetts.
Yet Kerry sure does love to call for more taxes on the rest of us, doesn’t he?
Now let’s talk about the “super rich” and the “ultra-wealthy”. For many people that are worth billions of dollars, tax avoidance has become an art from.
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin made national headlines recently when he gave up his U.S. citizenship, but the truth is that his case is small potatoes compared to the global elite and the shadow banking system that supports them.
According to the IMF, the global elite are holding a total of 18 trillion dollars in offshore banks.
That amount is more than the GDP of the entire planet for an entire year.
So what do I mean by “offshore banks”? I defined the term in a previous article….
Well, the term originally developed because the banks on the Channel Islands were “offshore” from the United Kingdom. Most “offshore banks” are still located on islands today. The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Isle of Man are examples of this. Other “offshore banking centers” such as Monaco are actually not “offshore” at all, but the term applies to them anyway.
Traditionally, these offshore banking centers have been very attractive to both criminals and to the global elite because they would not tell anyone (including governments) about the money that anyone had parked there.
An article that appeared in the Guardian estimated that a third of all the wealth on the entire planet is being kept in offshore banks. One of the primary reasons for this is tax avoidance.
A lot of wealthy individuals never even visit these tax havens and yet reap the benefits anyway. The truth is that tax avoidance has become way too easy. The following example is from a recent Politico article….
A plausible scenario plays out like this: I hire an accountant. Doing her job, my accountant tells me that if I sign a few legal documents and route my money through a small Caribbean island, I could keep more of my paycheck and pay a lower tax rate. I may have earned my money in the United States, but legally I can claim that it was, in fact, earned in a tax haven.
Are you disgusted yet?
You should be.
But even though they avoid taxes like the plague, many of these elitists have the gall to call for higher taxes on all the rest of us.
For example, let’s review what the managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said in a recent interview….
“Do you know what? As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax.”
Even more than she thinks about all those now struggling to survive without jobs or public services? “I think of them equally. And I think they should also help themselves collectively.” How? “By all paying their tax. Yeah.”
It sounds as if she’s essentially saying to the Greeks and others in Europe, you’ve had a nice time and now it’s payback time.
“That’s right.” She nods calmly. “Yeah.”
And what about their children, who can’t conceivably be held responsible? “Well, hey, parents are responsible, right? So parents have to pay their tax.”
Well, it turns out that she doesn’t pay any income taxes at all on her own income….
The IMF chief Christine Lagarde was accused of hypocrisy yesterday after it emerged that she pays no income tax – just days after blaming the Greeks for causing their financial peril by dodging their own bills.
The managing director of the International Monetary Fund is paid a salary of $467,940 (£298,675), automatically increased every year according to inflation. On top of that she receives an allowance of $83,760 – payable without “justification” – and additional expenses for entertainment, making her total package worth more than the amount received by US President Barack Obama according to reports last night.
Her “diplomatic status” allows her to escape all income taxes.
So perhaps she should pay her “fair share” before pointing the finger at anyone else.
But she is not the only one being hypocritical.
The super rich claim that they should pay lower taxes on investment income for the good of our “capitalist system”, but when their banks are about to go under they are more than happy to have those losses be socialized.
As I wrote about yesterday, the stage is already set for another massive round of bailouts when the next great financial crisis strikes. Once again our taxes will pay for the mistakes of the ultra-wealthy.
The truth is that our system is fundamentally broken.
We need to abolish the income tax and shut down the IRS.
Those two steps alone would do wonders for our economic system.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of our politicians are not even willing to consider any of those solutions.
So our fundamentally broken system will continue to chug along.
It really is sad.
Washington Times Breaks U.S. Media Blackout On Bilderberg
Washington Post fails to mention the fact that dozens of hugely influential power brokers are meeting in their own back yard
Source: Paul Joseph Watson
The U.S. media blackout on Bilderberg has been broken, with the Washington Times being the first mainstream U.S. news outlet to cover the gathering of over 100 power brokers in Chantilly, Virginia which kicks off today – but the Washington Post remains mute.
The Times reports that a half-mile security perimeter has been set up around the Westfields Marriott hotel and that a a photographer for the newspaper was told by police, “any attempt to get close to the building would result in arrest.”
It’s all part of the unprecedented security crackdown now in force to protect global financiers, banking heads, media and technology moguls as well as elected officials from the very public whose lives are affected by their decisions.
“This year, it’s the biggest ever. The security is leveraged up big time. It’s unprecedented,” Alex Jones told the newspaper.
Despite the fact that dozens of the most powerful and influential people on the planet are meeting today in their own back yard, the Washington Post, which itself is routinely represented at Bilderberg via its publisher Donald Graham, has failed to even mention the event thus far.
Expect the Post to only report on the conference once it’s wrapped up. Bilderberg relies on big media to ignore their meetings so as not to draw more press attention while the summit is in progress.
In a separate story, numerous prominent Canadian newspapers, including the Calgary Herald, are reporting on criticism leveled against Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s following her announcement that she will attend the meeting at a cost of $19,000 to taxpayers.
As we reported yesterday, Redford, a prominent global warming alarmist, will scheme with Bilderbergers on the best way to implement Agenda 21 using the threat of ecological crises.
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, who was previously characterized as a national embarrassment by Redford for daring to question the official mantra behind climate change, savaged Redford for not paying for the trip herself.
“That’s $19,000 on the taxpayer dime for a committee that meets in secret, has no policies, no resolutions, nobody is allowed — it’s invite only,” Smith said. “What is Alberta getting out of this?
“I think in fact she’s actually thinking more about her career after politics and she’s using it as a networking event. Well, fair enough, then she can pay for it herself. We don’t think Albertans should be on the hook for this tab.”
Redford has promised to report back on what she discussed at Bilderberg, but don’t expect her to go into much detail because attendees are sworn to secrecy – another example of Bilderberg’s contempt for the democratic process.
Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper also carries a story today which largely regurgitates Infowars’ original piece about the stifling security measures now being put in place.
Digital Journal also has a piece looking at the likely topics of discussion at this year’s confab.
Stay tuned to Infowars.com today for all the breaking news on Bilderberg as attendees begin to arrive.
Source: NY Times
New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat risingobesity.
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in the Governor’s Room at City Hall.
“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”
A spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, an arm of the soda industry’s national trade group, criticized the city’s proposal on Wednesday. The industry has clashed repeatedly with the city’s health department, saying it has unfairly singled out soda; industry groups have bought subway advertisements promoting their cause.
“The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top,” the industry spokesman, Stefan Friedman, said. “It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity. These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal requires the approval of the Board of Health, a step that is considered likely because the members are all appointed by him, and the board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who joined the mayor in supporting the measure on Wednesday.
Mr. Bloomberg has made public health one of the top priorities of his lengthy tenure, and has championed a series of aggressive regulations, including bans on smoking in restaurants and parks, a prohibition against artificial trans fat in restaurant food and a requirement for health inspection grades to be posted in restaurant windows.
The measures have led to occasional derision of the mayor as Nanny Bloomberg, by those who view the restrictions as infringements on personal freedom. But many of the measures adopted in New York have become models for other cities, including restrictions on smoking and trans fats, as well as the use of graphic advertising to combat smoking and soda consumption, and the demand that chain restaurants post calorie contents next to prices.
In recent years, soda has emerged as a battleground in efforts to counter obesity. Across the nation, some school districts have banned the sale of soda in schools, and some cities have banned the sale of soda in public buildings.
In New York City, where more than half of adults are obese or overweight, Dr. Thomas Farley, the health commissioner, blames sweetened drinks for up to half of the increase in city obesity rates over the last 30 years. About a third of New Yorkers drink one or more sugary drinks a day, according to the city. Dr. Farley said the city had seen higher obesity rates in neighborhoods where soda consumption was more common.
The ban would not apply to drinks with fewer than 25 calories per 8-ounce serving, like zero-calorie Vitamin Waters and unsweetened iced teas, as well as diet sodas.
Restaurants, delis, movie theater and ballpark concessions would be affected, because they are regulated by the health department. Carts on sidewalks and in Central Park would also be included, but not vending machines or newsstands that serve only a smattering of fresh food items.
At fast-food chains, where sodas are often dispersed at self-serve fountains, restaurants would be required to hand out cup sizes of 16 ounces or less, regardless of whether a customer opts for a diet drink. But free refills — and additional drink purchases — would be allowed.
Excuse sought to widen security perimeter
Source: Paul Joseph Watson
Bilderberg’s security apparatus is planning to announce a fake bomb threat as an excuse to widen the exclusion perimeter around the Westfields Marriott hotel and keep protesters and journalists away from arriving attendees, according to our source close to the secretive organization.
Should Bilderberg security decide to go ahead with the hoax, it will take place either tonight or tomorrow morning, the source told radio host Alex Jones. The hotel itself is set to be swept by security for bombs in the morning.
In addition, other provocateur actions are being planned to demonize protesters and beef security around the confab.
Such a stunt would represent a repeat of what happened last year in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where a bomb threat cleared protesters from the area immediately opposite Bilderberg’s hotel for a short period of time.
As we reported earlier, preparations for the arrival of over a hundred global power brokers tomorrow have been intense, with threats of machine guns nests and Bilderberg security harassing the last hotel guests to leave.
Alex Jones’ source also confirmed to him that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did indeed attend the 2008 Bilderberg meeting in Chantilly, which we first reported at the time when the media was baffled as to why Obama and Clinton had managed to evade the press and slip away to a secret location.
Any serving U.S. politicians who attend Bilderberg are in violation of the Logan Act, which states, “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
It should not come as a surprise with unemployment over 8% that good paying jobs in manufacturing are harder than ever to land.
At the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama more than 20,000 people have applied for one of the 877 job openings.
The surge of people applying may seem unusual, but it’s not.
Take a look:
- Last summer Ford had more than 18,000 people apply for one of 1,800 jobs at the retooled Louisville plant. That plant will open and start building the Edge SUV in mid-June.
- In 2011, more than 41,000 applied for one of the 1,300 positions at the new Toyota plant in Tupelo, Mississippi.
- In 2009, more than 65,000 applied for one of the 2,700 jobs at the new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN. Since opening, that plant has added shifts and is currently hiring another 820 workers.
There’s no doubt the recession and the fact so many Americans are still out of work was the primary factor driving the waves of people applying for jobs at auto plants.
Another huge factor is the type of jobs being offered. Good pay and benefits with solid companies in an industry set for steady growth over the next 3-5 years. Those jobs are hard to find in blue-collar America.
Source: Vivianne Rodrigues in New York
Wednesday 18.20 BST. Risk appetite is deteriorating sharply as hopes for Chinese stimulus measures are dashed and concerns grow over Spain’s banking problems.
In the US, eurozone fears were compounded after a report showed pending home sales dropped by the most in a year, sending the S&P 500 index down more than 1 per cent. The broad measure of US stocks is on track to close the month of May 6 per cent lower.
The FTSE All-World equity index is down 1.6 per cent as the FTSE Eurofirst 300 sees a loss of 1.5 per cent and after the Asia-Pacific region slid 0.7 per cent. The Vix index, a measure of expected US equity volatility known as the “fear gauge”, is up 11 per cent to 23.3.
Traditional “risk-off” strategies are being deployed with vigour across the market.
The euro has dropped below $1.24, the Reuters-Jefferies CRB commodities basket is at its lowest since October 2010 and perceived havens are seeing strong demand.
Benchmark US Treasury yields are down 12 basis points to 1.62 per cent, the lowest in more than 60 years, while the dollar index has risen 0.5 per cent to flirt with a two-year high, a move that leaves gold down 0.9 per cent to $1,542 an ounce.
The two main market drivers on Wednesday are essentially the reverse of factors that had delivered a more positive tone for much of the previous session.
Investors had been buoyed on Tuesday by hopes a plan by Madrid to nationalise troubled lender Bankia would help draw a line under Spain’s banking difficulties – helping to ease broader eurozone tensions.
At the same time, a belief that the Chinese government was planning to deliver a bold stimulus plan to raise the pace of growth also bolstered investor sentiment.
But it was noticeable that while equities and commodities had a decent day, gauges tracking eurozone anxiety – such as the euro and sovereign bond yields – did not join in the bullish mood.
The latter assets proved the more prescient.
First, traders on Wednesday are faced now with the news that Madrid’s plan to pay for the Bankia rescue has been shot down by the European Central Bank, raising fears that Spain’s borrowing difficulties will become more acute as the market prices in extra funding.
The yield on Spain’s benchmark 10-year bond is up 21 basis points to 6.65 per cent, approaching levels that precipitated bailouts for fellow eurozone members Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
An Italian debt auction has also tested the market. Rome was looking to sell up to €6.3bn in five- and 10-year bonds, and before the issue the country’s benchmark 10-year yield rose sharply.
In the event, the auction went reasonably well but at a higher coupon as investors remain nervous about Rome’s finances. The secondary market 10-year yield pushed above 6 per cent, though it is now up 19bp to 5.96 per cent, a four-month peak.
As money leaves the “Mediterranean” sovereigns it seeks safety in the northern “core”, pushing yields on benchmark German Bunds down 9bp to a record low of 1.27 per cent. UK gilt yields are sliding 13bp to 1.64 per cent, also a record trough.
The single currency is struggling in the wake of all this eurozone negativity, earlier touching a fresh 22-month low of $1.2387. It is now off 0.7 per cent to $1.2295.
The euro, and indeed the market as a whole, had a sharp bounce at 12.00 BST when European Commission comments about the possibility of using the bloc’s permanent bailout fund to recapitalise banks hit the wires. But this rally swiftly faded once traders realised it was a suggestion in a report and not agreed policy.
The second issue rattling confidence is global growth concerns, focusing on China. The country’s official Xinhua news agency – and a number of other reports and commentaries – said Beijing had no plans to introduce large-scale stimulus measures to boost the slowing economy.
“The Chinese government’s intention is very clear: It will not roll out another massive stimulus plan to seek high economic growth,” Xinhua said on Tuesday. “The current efforts for stabilising growth will not repeat the old way of three years ago.”
That has knocked Asian bourses and commodities with a tight correlation to China’s economic health.
The Shanghai Composite was down 0.2 per cent but weakness in Hong Kong-traded financial stocks – also reacting to eurozone worries – saw the Hang Seng underperform with a fall of 1.9 per cent.
Copper is lower by 2.3 per cent to $3.38 a pound and US-traded WTI crude has broken back below $90 a barrel, currently off 3.4 per cent to $87.72.
Source: Kurt Nimmo
Green Party Congressional Candidate Joseph Diaferia of New York is demanding that the elite Bilderberg and their far reaching policy deliberations be made public.
“This is a Rockefeller construct,” Diaferia said in a press release issued today, “it would be imprecise to call it an organization because although it has its so-called regular attendees every year—David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Robert Rubin, Vernon Jordan, Richard Holbrooke, Etienne D’Avignon, and so on—they have no offices, and they have no specific location or headquarters. They meet by invitation only, their meetings are closed, their findings are secret, but their decisions often have far-reaching implications. Given the chronology and trajectory of presidential politics before and after the 2008 Conference, it is not much to conclude that this is where Barack Obama’s beatification was finalized.”
Diaferia said the globalists attending the confab have until recently excelled at secrecy. “They still insulate themselves from public oversight or any other democratizing process. In fact, they finally stipulated to their existence only because they could no longer conceal it. For decades, independent journalists have pursued the Conference assiduously, and finally, David Rockefeller—I believe in his memoirs—had no choice but to acknowledge the Conference’s existence. But, their discussions and confabulations are never made public,” he said.
Diaferia thanked “political libertarians” and “left progressives” for recently exposing the Bilderberg agenda. He said the left has taken a new look at the globalist confab and many no longer attribute the “Bilderberg to the imaginations of conspiracy theorists.”
Although, as a Green socialist, Diaferia disagrees with Lou Dobbs, he notes that the former CNN anchor “reported that an amalgam of Rockefeller funded think tanks was, and perhaps still is, planning a North American Union.”
The American Free Press and its seasoned reporter Jim Tucker trail-blazed Bilderberg reportage early on. Alex Jones’ Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com have reported on the Bilderberg conference for nearly a decade and are largely responsible for exposing the confab and its globalist agenda to the public.