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Can You Increase Prosperity By Taxing Success?

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“You can’t increase prosperity by taxing success.”

~ Calvin Coolidge

 

One of the mantras of Democrats is to make the wealthy pay their fair share. You heard it often on the campaign trail from the plethora of Democrat candidates who ran for president. So it should come as no surprise that one of the most vocal proponents of soaking the rich, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has offered up legislation for a wealth tax.

The bill, called the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act, would apply an annual 2% tax on individuals with net worths between $50 million and $1 billion. Individuals worth over $1 billion would pay an annual 3% tax. Senator Warren claims it will generate $3 trillion in revenue over 10 years and that money would be invested in programs such as child care, education, and infrastructure.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

On the surface, this may sound like a good idea to the common citizen working a 9 to 5 job. Why not soak the rich and make them pay their fair share? One must ask a counterquestion. What do you consider a fair share?

The top 25% of taxpayers pay 86 percent of total income taxes. The top 10% of taxpayers pay 70 percent. The top 5% pay 59 percent. The top 1% of taxpayers pay 38.5 percent of total income taxes. In contrast, the bottom 50% of taxpayers pay only 3.1 percent of total income taxes. It is a myth that wealthier individuals aren’t paying a fair share.

The next question is how do you enforce this wealth tax? It’s an administrative nightmare. In Warren’s proposed legislation, she allocates an additional $100 billion into the IRS for enforcement and mandates a 30 percent annual audit rate for the agency. That would mean hiring more IRS agents and a third of American households would be audited every year.

On top of that, do you really think wealthy people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett will actually pay that wealth tax? They may be big liberals but also realize they have some high-quality accountants to help avoid paying any more in taxes than necessary. They will find loopholes and off-shore accounts to shelter their wealth.

You may wonder why does this even concern me? Do you think politicians like Elizabeth Warren will stop at those with wealth of $50 million or more? You can already picture a scenario where the revenue this wealth tax brings in will be far less than they anticipate. Thus, they will have to expand the tax to anyone who has wealth of $20 million or more. Then to $10 million or more. Then to $1 million or more. It’s yet another slippery slope to an ever expanding tax.

“Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”

~ Milton Friedman

 

If Elizabeth Warren and her comrades were truly interested in leveling the playing field and making a difference in the lives of people across America they would advocate for limited government and focus on a more robust free-enterprise system. The reality is that’s not what they are seeking.

This legislation is more about pandering to the Democrat base and low-information voters in a continuing concertive effort at fostering class warfare and animosity. By creating division through class and racial strife the Democrats see their path to decades of power. This is all about redistribution of wealth.

You can’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. The entrepreneurs and visionaries create jobs. As businesses grow and expand they create further job opportunities and opportunities for ancillary businesses.

Warren’s legislation is an impractical and arbitrary scheme of leveling. It’s despotic and completely antithetical to our Constitution. In a sane Congress this legislation would find its way into the trash can. Given the current political situation in Washington that seems unlikely. Democrats are pushing forward on every one of their Marxist policies and insanity runs amok.

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Michael was born and raised in Wisconsin and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a BA-History. He started writing a blog in January 2016 called, Conservative Thinker, and has written about politics, foreign policy, economics, and social issues with a historical perspective. He resides in Cullman, AL and enjoys hiking, photography, and traveling in his spare time. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @buckyboymike and follow his blog at www.conservativethinker.net.



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Wrongly Imprisoned Real Estate Broker Demands Investigation of Ohio Prosecutors

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The Obama administration targeted sole proprietors and small businesses in the real estate industry after the crash of 2008, while letting the big banks off the hook with bailouts. One of most horrific cases involved Republican real estate broker Tony Viola, who served nine and a half years in prison as a juicy target of Ohio Democratic prosecutor Dan Kasaris. He was convicted of supposedly tricking banks into offering mortgages with no money down. But in reality, the banks were knowingly offering those loans — evidence the prosecution withheld from him. 

Viola only got out of prison due to an employee of the prosecution, Dawn Pasela, becoming so disgusted with the suppression of evidence showing the banks weren’t tricked and other corruption such as missing computers full of evidence that she changed sides, helping Viola conduct a successful appeal pro se from prison.   

But nothing happened to Kasaris or the federal prosecutor involved, Mark Bennett. Pasela’s parents, Edward and Karen Pasela, who have remained fairly quiet until now, are so outraged that they participated in a a press conference with investigative journalist Brian Douglas last month exposing what happened in Viola’s case and how bad corruption is in the Ohio criminal justice legal system. 

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

Douglas put together Viola’s story in a two-part series which included former colleagues of Viola’s testifying to his impeccable character. For his efforts, Douglas was threatened with a lawsuit by Kasaris’s attorney, which Douglas included in his investigation so people are aware of the intimidation. Douglas has been forced to hire his own attorney.

Pasela was threatened by several FBI agents with prosecution if she did not leave the state and avoid testifying. They said they would bring charges against her for violating an NDA — but she never signed an NDA.

Pasela was found dead the day she was supposed to testify in court in Viola’s defense for the first time, and it was blown off as alcohol poisoning with no real investigation. The parents of Pasela want a full investigation into their daughter’s death. 

Kelly Patrick, who was married to John Patrick, the brother of Kasaris, revealed how she discovered that Kasaris intervened as county prosecutor to prevent his brother from being prosecuted for domestic violence against her and for a marijuana growing operation. She also has evidence that Kasaris was having a longterm extramarital affair with the prosecution’s key witness, Kathryn Clover, documented by over 100 pages of Facebook messages with his wife Susan. Bennett admitted that Clover, who was a paralegal for the prosecution, not really much of a fact witness as she was portrayed, had committed perjury but would not let her recant her testimony on the witness stand, even though she wanted to. 

Elsebeth Baumgartner also spent several years in prison due to legal corruption in Ohio. She discovered $1.4 million being misspent related to schools, and, as a lawyer, initiated federal racketeering lawsuits against those responsible. Kasaris got her indicted for intimidating a judge with the lawsuits — even though no federal judge ever ruled that her lawsuits were without merit. 

She believes she was targeted because she ran a blog exposing all the corruption. She said the corruption and cover-ups are so bad she’s been unable to get any justice, “There is no place to go to bring public corruption charges against a public official.” 

Brenda Bickerstaff, a private investigator, explained how as part of her job, she tried to talk to a witness in a high-profile case, and Kasaris threatened to have her indicted if she did. 

Bob Grunstein, who wrote “Bad Minds, High Places” about how powerful people in the criminal justice system in Ohio misused the system to attack him after he dared to criticize an Ohio judge, relayed how common the corruption in Viola’s case is. He said the problem is the corrupt are untouchable. “Any new rules and laws don’t matter since they won’t follow them, and no one will hold them accountable. No one will come forward because they’re terrified of what they’ll do to them. The federal courts protect their friends in the lower courts, because that’s where they came from.” 

Viola said his case comes down to four key facts: First, the prosecution has never turned over the $20 million it collected as “restitution” to the “victims,” big banks. Instead, it’s been used as sort of a “slush fund” for prosecutors, buying laptops, hotel rooms, etc. Viola calls it money laundering. Second, the FBI admitted it did not know about 10,000 documents in its possession — many that exonerated him — for 10 years. 

Third, the judge in his case, Federal District Court Judge Donald Nugent, sealed the records regarding Clover so Viola and others cannot use the evidence of her role to expose prosecutorial corruption in his case and others. And fourth, Kasaris used a Yahoo email account with his official signature on it to conduct official business, using it as a backchannel way to communicate with criminal defense lawyers. 

Mariah Crenshaw of the criminal justice reform organization Chasing Justice said the laws can be changed to stop this kind of abuse. She is proposing legislation that will allow prosecutors to be charged with criminal negligence for withholding potentially exculpatory evidence, and wants to allow defense attorneys to present their side to grand juries instead of leaving it exclusively to prosecutors.  

Viola wants Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to suspend Kasaris and conduct a full investigation into his wrongful prosecution, as well as a DOJ investigation of Bennett. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) asked the FBI in November to enlist the Inspector General to investigate the FBI’s actions in Viola’s case, but so far there’s been no response. 

Maybe Viola will finally get somewhere because he’s gotten such a broad spectrum of people interested in his case. Even Black Lives Matters is involved. When you have people all across the political spectrum expressing outcry over a criminal case, perhaps the corrupt players

responsible for putting an innocent man in prison will finally be investigated — and exonerate over a thousand others in the real estate industry who were likely also wrongly prosecuted.

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Doing Our Best in Handling What Was Unforeseen

Despite obstacles, there is a way to proceed and still feel good about all that you accomplish

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By now, everyone has mentally marked 2021 as one strange year. (Actually with Biden and Harris ‘leading’ the United States of America, it was already marked to be a disastrous year).

While we can’t guard against the unknown, we can do our best with what we have. Each day when you compose your to-do list and begin proceeding merrily down it, do you take into account what is likely to occur in the course of a day?

No matter how well we organize our lists and how productive we are in handling the tasks, unexpected obligations, interruptions, and other developments arise that still could throw us off.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

How do you react when you are humming along, and all of a sudden, you get an assignment from out of left field? Perhaps your boss has asked you to jump on a task or project immediately. Maybe a client calls and needs something ASAP. Maybe something gets returned to you that you thought was complete.

Stymied No Longer

If you are like most people, you might become flustered. The intrusion on your time and your progress means that you are not going to accomplish all that you set out to before the end of the day.

Is there a way to proceed and still feel good about all that you accomplish?  There is, and it involves first making a miniature, supplemental to-do list that accurately encapsulates the new task that you need to handle.

Why create this supplemental to-do list? It gives you focus and direction, reduces anxiety, and increases the probability that you will remain buoyant at the time of its completion and be able to turn back to what you were doing before the task was assigned.

If you don’t compose such a list, and simply plow headlong into the unexpected challenge that has come your way, you might not proceed effectively, and you might never get back to the to-do list on which you were working.

Anticipating the Unexpected

Unforeseen issues and tasks that arise represent more than intrusions on our time; they represent intrusions on our mental and emotional state of being. Some people are naturally good at handling unexpected situations. Most of us, however, are not wired like this. Interruptions and intrusions on our workday take us off the path that we wanted to follow, and tend to be at least momentarily upsetting.

Hereafter, when executing the items on your to-do list, proceed with the mindset that there will be an interruption of some sort. You don’t know when it is coming or how large it will be, but it will pull you off course. The key question is ‘Can you develop the capacity to maintain balance and equanimity in the face of such disruptions?’

The good news is that you can, and it all starts with acknowledging that the situation is likely to happen, devising a supplemental checklist to handle the new task, and as deftly as possible, returning to what you were doing.

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