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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.

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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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The Tensions that Will Define America’s Future

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Agreeing to participate in Robert Tucker’s Pacific Coast Futures Retreat in Santa Barbara has challenged me to explore some of the trends and forces that will influence America’s future. The most impactful forces that define periods in history are often not linear. They are cyclical, a tension of forces that force movement between two extremes. Defining such tensions and where we are on them can open us to opportunity and possibly save us from disasters of our own making. Here are ten tensions in play at this time in history:

Energy Scarcity or Energy Abundance: Affordable energy is needed for economies to prosper and citizens to reach their own potential. With the current administration’s rejection of fossil fuels and promotion of specific alternative energies, energy scarcity with its inflationary pressure is winning the day. Within the next ten years, increased use of nuclear energy, less restrictions on fossil fuels, and developments in fusion energy will help reestablish energy abundance.

Embracing Technological Innovation or Rejection of Technology: Rapid technological innovation and artificial intelligence (AI) have increased our dependence on devices to perform daily activities. This trend will increase with those rejecting such advances falling behind and limiting their employment opportunities. Today, embracing innovation is winning the future, but there are dangers on the horizon. Will the AI innovations we create eventually create machine cognition that becomes hard to control increasing resistance?.

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Human Relationships or Virtual Reality: You don’t have to look far to see the preoccupation with smart phone interaction in place of actual social conversations. Expect that metaverse advances in the use and quality of virtual reality (VR) interaction and augmented reality (AR) headsets will become more intense and attractive. True relationships take time, can be frustrating, and are seldom as consistently satisfying. Sadly, pornography will likely be leading the way in driving the expansion of virtual reality. This powerful force will strike a blow at our social fabric and cohesion.

Government Dependence or Personal Responsibility: Biden’s administration has argued for guaranteed income and established more government entitlements. With a small Republican majority in the House and Biden’s veto power, more citizens remain dependent on the government, and those producing services and products face increased taxes. The conflicting draw of socialism and capitalism will always be with us, but free-enterprise capitalism will win the future on the basis of economic results.

Soft on Crime or Strong Enforcement: We’ve witnessed increased criticism of law enforcement abuse and growing demands to defund the police. Traditionally, one of the basic functions of a civil society is for authorities to hold people accountable for crimes and protect citizens and their property. Far too many district attorneys and politicians are refusing to prosecute criminals and are calling for gun control. With citizens feeling unsafe, guns and private security systems have proliferated. The growing call for stricter enforcement will continue to grow in response to the riots and increases in crime. Law and order is a winning campaign issue for 2024 and beyond.

Peace or War: The longing for peace and the reality of war have always been with us. With the proliferation of more powerful weapons, waging war is far more destructive. There is hope that diplomacy, global economic interdependence, and the resulting economic opportunity will be enough to maintain world peace and limit destructive conflict. Unfortunately, the existence of biological, nuclear, EMT weapons makes the likelihood of mutual destruction a frightening reality. The current open conflict in Ukraine gives war a scary advantage for the immediate future.

Out of Many One or Out of Many Tribes: The civil rights movement and the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. was to make our motto e pluribus unum, “out of many one,” a reality. Since that time there has been a strong focus and progress in eliminating racial bias. Recent societal forces have worked to divide citizens by skin color to justify ‘special interest” rewards for certain groups. A reaction to this new “tribal racism” is beginning to gain support and fuel a fight against special interest reparations for past racism. Expect a hard-fought resistance to reparations and a renewed call common rights and responsibilities for all citizens, no matter their age, gender, race, or ethnicity.

School Choice or Public Schools: After the poor performance and questionable indoctrination from public schools, there is a strong drive for school choice. Parents want more control over what schools children attend and what they are taught. With strong minority support, this is a trend that will win the day and result in a better education for our children.

Open Borders or Controlled Immigration: There is no question that we need more workers to continue to drive our economy. With the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants adversely impacting cities throughout the country, there is renewed interest in controlling our borders. Expect a resurgence in demands for secure borders, accountability for drug cartels, and increases in legal immigration.

Greed or Compassion: America has always supported individuals pursuing happiness and success, but it has valued others being able to do the same. A commitment to compassion supports benevolent self-interest where compassion for one’s fellow man is realized as the only way for all to thrive. Care for one’s community over selfishness will remain a strong force that should win the day in coming years.

Secular or Sacred: America has been a Judeo-Christian country that anchored its freedoms and future in the assurance of a loving God who cares about every individual and demands ethical behavior. Dostoevsky’s would observe, “If there is no God, everything is permissible.” Without faith, ethical absolutes are not shared. Although there’s been a decrease in church attendance, there seem to be signs of a spiritual revival. In tough times, people search for and depend on God. Expect a renewed focus on faith, ethics, and involvement in religious communities in the challenging times ahead.

At any given time, all of these tensions become forces that define what the future holds for countries and individuals. There are dangers ahead that must be managed, but tough times develop stronger citizens and demand more responsive politicians. Those who thrive in these times will do so by finding ways to tap and capitalize on the ascending forces impacting society. Thankfully for America, President Biden’s radical liberal changes have created strong counter forces that will result in a rejection of many unpopular changes and fuel a call for more conservative policies and priorities.

Purchase Dr. Paulson’s newly released ”Joy Comes with the Morning” course today! Get ready to enjoy the 31 short, recorded messages on your computer or smart phone. Each message is designed to expand and enhance your joy-filled faith experience whenever you need or want it. Visit tomeapp.com/joy to start bringing more Christian joy to your morning today. Contact him at [email protected]

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Top Five Online Scams to Avoid

How to recognize them, and what to do when they come your way.

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Scams have been around for centuries, but with the advancement of technology, it has become easier for scammers to reach a wider audience and deceive more people. In this article, we will discuss the top five scams to avoid, how to recognize them, and what to do when they come your way.

Phishing Scams

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Phishing scams are one of the most common types of scams that people fall for. This type of scam involves a scammer sending you an email, text message or phone call pretending to be a legitimate company, such as your bank, PayPal, or Amazon. The scammer will then ask you to provide your personal information, such as your username, password, credit card number, or social security number.

How to recognize a phishing scam:

The email, text message or phone call will usually have urgent language, urging you to take immediate action.

The email or website may have poor spelling or grammar.

The website link provided may look similar to the legitimate website, but it will have a different URL.

The email may come from an unfamiliar email address.

What to do if you receive a phishing scam:

Do not click on any links or download any attachments from the email.

Do not provide any personal information.

Contact the company directly using the contact information on their legitimate website.

Forward the email to the company’s fraud department.

Investment Scams

Investment scams are designed to make you believe that you can make a lot of money quickly and easily. These scams can be found in many forms, such as Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, or high-yield investment programs. These scams often require you to invest a large amount of money upfront and promise high returns in a short amount of time.

How to recognize an investment scam:

The investment opportunity promises high returns in a short amount of time.

The investment opportunity requires you to invest a large amount of money upfront.

The investment opportunity is not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The person offering the investment opportunity is not licensed or registered with the SEC.

What to do if you come across an investment scam:

Do not invest any money.

Research the investment opportunity thoroughly.

Contact the SEC to see if the investment opportunity is registered.

Report the scam to the SEC.

Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams

Lottery and sweepstakes scams are designed to make you believe that you have won a large sum of money. The scammer will then ask you to pay a fee or provide personal information to claim your prize. These scams can be found in many forms, such as email, text message, or phone call.

How to recognize a lottery or sweepstakes scam:

You are notified that you have won a prize, but you have not entered any lottery or sweepstakes.

You are asked to pay a fee or provide personal information to claim your prize.

The email, text message, or phone call is from an unknown source.

The prize amount is much larger than the entry fee.

What to do if you come across a lottery or sweepstakes scam:

Do not provide any personal information.

Do not pay any fees.

Do not respond to the email, text message, or phone call.

Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Tech Support Scams

Tech support scams are designed to make you believe that there is something wrong with your computer or device. The scammer will then offer to fix the problem for a fee or by gaining remote access to your device. These scams can be found in many forms, such as pop-up ads, phone calls, or emails.

How to recognize a tech support scam:

You receive an unsolicited phone call, email, or pop-up

The caller claims to be from a well-known tech company, such as Microsoft or Apple.

The caller will usually use scare tactics to make you believe that your device has a serious problem.

The caller will ask for remote access to your computer or ask you to install software on your device.

What to do if you come across a tech support scam:

Do not provide any personal information.

Do not allow remote access to your computer.

Do not download any software.

Hang up the phone or close the pop-up ad.

Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Romance Scams

Romance scams are designed to make you believe that you have found love online. The scammer will often create a fake profile on a dating website or social media platform and start a conversation with you. The scammer will then ask for money, either for travel expenses, medical expenses, or other reasons.

How to recognize a romance scam:

The person’s profile may have very few details or photos.

The person will often profess their love very quickly.

The person will ask for money.

The person may claim to be in a foreign country.

What to do if you come across a romance scam:

Do not send any money.

Do not provide any personal information.

Research the person’s profile and ask for proof of their identity.

Report the scam to the dating website or social media platform.

In conclusion, it is important to be aware of these top five scams and how to recognize them. By following the tips provided and taking the necessary precautions, you can avoid falling victim to these scams. Remember to always be cautious when providing personal information and never send money to anyone you do not know or trust. If you do come across a scam, be sure to report it to the appropriate authorities. Stay safe and stay informed.

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