Posts Tagged ‘Taxation’

Is there nothing they won’t consider harassing us over? Do they not realize they are killing the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg? Once all private enterprise is crushed, whom will they leech off of?

A new rule being proposed by the federal Department of Transportation would require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is a part of DOT, wants to adopt standards that would reclassify all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles, officials said. Likewise, the proposal, if adopted, would require all farmers and everyone on the farm who operates any of the equipment to obtain a CDL, they added.

The proposed rule change would mean that anyone who drives a tractor or operates any piece of motorized farming equipment would be required to pass the same tests and complete the same detailed forms and logs required of semi-tractor trailer drivers.

Drivers would keep logs of information including hours worked and miles traveled. Vehicles would be required to display DOT numbers. A CDL in Virginia costs $64 for eight years, or $8 per year, not including the cost of an instructional class and the written test.

Read the rest at the Gazette-Virginian.

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Do you think you have the right to toss a gift card in a drawer for a couple of years and use it later? What, do you think the money is yours or something? Seriously, this is the equivalent of the completely busted-out state rummaging under the sofa cushions for random change. And it presses the precedent that your assets belong to the state whenever the state says it does.

The New Jersey Treasury Department has signaled it won’t abandon its effort to seize unused money on gift cards and traveler’s checks.

State Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff has told a U.S. District Court judge in Newark that the state will appeal a Nov. 13 ruling that temporarily struck down a new law concerning seizures that was enacted in July as part of Governor Christie’s budget.

The legislation amended part of the state Uniform Unclaimed Property Act to include gift cards for the first time, allowing the state to consider a card abandoned two years after purchase and seize the balance.

Read more at NewJersey.com.

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The headline and lead paragraph of the original blog entry mention President Obama, but this isn’t about him. This is about the ever-growing federal leviathan, which grows regardless of the identity of the party stooge at center stage.

Would President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency really force Americans to pay a tax on “rainwater runoff” from homes and small businesses?

You bet they would.  In fact, the EPA, under radical environmentalist Lisa Jackson, is proposing regulations to do just that.

Take a look at the EPA’s own Federal Register filing, where the EPA generally describes the initiative it’s proposing:

…requirements, including design or performance standards, for stormwater discharges from, at minimum, newly developed and redeveloped sites. EPA intends to propose regulatory options that would revise the NPDES regulations and establish a comprehensive program to address stormwater discharges from newly developed and redeveloped sites and to take final action no later than November 2012. (Source)

This is bureaucratic-speak for having the EPA force cities and counties to limit stormwater runoff to levels the EPA deems acceptable.  Limiting “rainwater runoff” will mean forcing homeowners and businesses to pay new taxes in order to rein in rainwater, and that’s no pun intended.

Think about just how big-government this is.  A Washington, D.C. bureaucracy plans on forcing your local county or city to slap new taxes on you and me because this big-government bureaucracy wants to micro-manage rainwater across the entire country.  Already, several counties and cities across the United States are moving to pass new taxes and fees in anticipation of the new EPA rules, including cities in states as disparate as Florida, Ohio and Kansas.  For more details CLICK HERE

Read more at Americans for Prosperity.

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The Food Safety Act, which would have placed draconian restrictions on small farmers while favoring mega-corporations like Monsanto and Tyson Foods, has run into trouble in Congress, and the reason is that the House has decided to defend its authority to be the sole originator of direct taxes.

As reported by The Hill:

Senate Democrats say an error in the food-safety bill passed Tuesday can be resolved in time to send the legislation to President Obama by the end of the year.

Two senior leadership aides confirmed that the bill the Senate approved, 73-25, inadvertently contained tax provisions that, under the Constitution, must originate in the House of Representatives. That means the bill must be passed a second time by the Senate, giving critics such as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) another chance to block it.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) indicated Wednesday the House was prepared to move on the Senate bill. “I presume they’ll be able to pass it,” he said. “It passed pretty handily in the Senate.” http://bit.ly/h9tkJS

Here’s the pertinent part of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7:

“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

There’s nothing ambiguous about the language of this Article. Taxes are to originate in the House, the chamber that’s representative of the people. The Founders, you may recall, had this thing about taxation without representation.

Publications like The Hill are calling this attempt by the Senate to usurp the authority of the House an error or an oversight. We call it a flagrant overstepping of authority and a rare example of the House standing up for its own prerogatives.

So the lame-duck Congress has officially failed to pass this legislation. Will a Republican-dominated House of Representatives go along with the legislation next year? We’ll have to wait and see.

By the way, another good thing about this tie-up is that it has wasted valuable time during which the lame-duck Congress could have been perpetrating other mischief.

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This is what happens when religious organizations accept the 30 pieces of silver known as 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. If a religious organization doesn’t want to be harassed by the IRS over what it teaches or advocates, it shouldn’t accept the tax cut. Most religious organizations in the U.S., though, can’t resist the boost in revenue tax exemption results in. They should be aware that all federal benefits come with strings attached and are ultimately about control.

A Pennsylvania Jewish group that has claimed the Internal Revenue Service is targeting pro-Israel groups introduced in federal court today a letter from an IRS agent to another,  unnamed organization that tax experts said was likely outside the usual or appropriate scope of an IRS inquiry.

“Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?” IRS agent Tracy Dornette wrote the organization, according to this week’s court filing, as part of its consideration of the organizations application for tax exempt status. “Describe your organization’s religious belief sytem toward the land of Israel.”

The document emerged in the course of a lawsuit filed in August by Z Street, a hawkish group that casts itself as the Zionist answer to the liberal J Street. Z Street claims that a different IRS agent reviewing its application for tax exempt status said the agency is “carefully scrutinizing organizations that are in any way connected with Israel” and that “a special unit” is determining whether its activities “contradict the Administration’s public policies.'”

The IRS can deny tax exempt status to groups that work against “established public policy,” a precedent established in its denial of a tax exemption to Bob Jones University over racial discrimination, and Z Street is suggesting that the IRS has begun applying some such policy to pro-Israel groups. The State Department has complained of tax exempt contributions to groups that fund weapons and equipment for West Bank settlers, which Z Street co-founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus said Z Street has never come close to doing.

“Given that we have fallen within this net, how big is the net?” she asked.

Read more at Politico.com.

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Is this guy ever going to shut up and go away? Maybe he’s running around preaching his gospel in India because he can’t travel anywhere in the U.S. without being jeered at and mocked. One thing he’s got right: If you label something—anything—as terrorism, you can claim the moral high ground, shut down reasoned debate, and demonize anyone who disagrees.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and champion climate campaigner Al Gore outlined the doom the world is awaiting because of climate change and expressed disappointment at world leaders failing to clinch a treaty to fight the new global terror. Terming the logjam in climate negotiations as a “startling paradox”, the man, whose documentary, The Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar said the year 2010 had seen worst of climate change.

“There was severe drought in Russia and extreme flooding in Pakistan. What more evidence is required for action,” he said at HT Leadership Summit.

Read more at The Hindustan Times.

See also:

Climate Change Is a $528 Billion Global Industry

The Collapse of the Global Warming ‘Consensus’

The Religious Language of Global Warming ‘Believers’

NY Times: No Warming Trend in U.S. Since 1895

With Straight Face, Climatologist Says January Hottest Ever

EPA Head: Lack of Warming Doesn’t Prove Lack of Warming

Climategate Scientist Admits: No Warming Since 1995

World May Not Be Warming, Say Scientists

Climatologist Threatened for Questioning Global Warming

Inbred Royal Gets All Pouty over Blowup of ‘Global Warming’

EPA Suppressed Internal Global Warming Study

Global Warming Cultists Die in Suicide Pact

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Members of Ireland’s Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin are understandably irate that their own government has sold them into debt slavery.

Ireland is in the process of being IMF’d—stripped of its assets and sovereignty, its people impoverished and enslaved by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank, described the process Ireland is now undergoing to journalist Greg Palast in an interview published back in 2001. Excerpts from that interview:

“There’s an Assistance Strategy for every poorer nation, designed, says the World Bank, after careful in-country investigation. But according to insider Stiglitz, the Bank’s staff ‘investigation’ consists of close inspection of a nation’s 5-star hotels. It concludes with the Bank staff meeting some begging, busted finance minister who is handed a ‘restructuring agreement’ pre-drafted for his ‘voluntary’ signature (I have a selection of these).

“Each nation’s economy is individually analyzed, then, says Stiglitz, the Bank hands every minister the same exact four-step program.

“Step One is Privatization – which Stiglitz said could more accurately be called, ‘Briberization.’ Rather than object to the sell-offs of state industries, he said national leaders – using the World Bank’s demands to silence local critics – happily flogged their electricity and water companies. ‘You could see their eyes widen’ at the prospect of 10% commissions paid to Swiss bank accounts for simply shaving a few billion off the sale price of national assets. . . .

“After briberization, Step Two of the IMF/World Bank one-size-fits-all rescue-your-economy plan is ‘Capital Market Liberalization.’ In theory, capital market deregulation allows investment capital to flow in and out. Unfortunately, as in Indonesia and Brazil, the money simply flowed out and out. Stiglitz calls this the ‘Hot Money’ cycle. Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then flees at the first whiff of trouble. A nation’s reserves can drain in days, hours. And when that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation’s own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%. . . .

“At this point, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step Three: Market-Based Pricing, a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and cooking gas. This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls, ‘The IMF riot.’

“The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, ‘down and out, [the IMF] takes advantage and squeezes the last pound of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up,’ as when the IMF eliminated food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998. Indonesia exploded into riots, but there are other examples – the Bolivian riots over water prices last year and this February, the riots in Ecuador over the rise in cooking gas prices imposed by the World Bank. You’d almost get the impression that the riot is written into the plan.”

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At what point does the economic collapse and the looting of the private sector by the public sector become laughable? Consider this.

“Infinite” is not a word you expect to find in a report on municipal spending. It’s more of a science fiction–type term — Tremble, Earthling, before the infinite might of Galaxor! But there it was, in a recent report on San Francisco‘s finances: Spending on the city’s employee retirement system in the past decade had grown at an “infinite” rate.


Naturally, that’s an exaggeration. If you do the math, the city’s retirement costs for employees in the past 10 years actually grew only 66,733 percent.

Still, you might call that a Galaxor-sized number.

In fiscal year 1999-2000, the city spent about $300,000 on its retirement system. In fiscal year 2009-10, it was $200.5 million. Benefits alone — not salaries, just benefits — for current and retired employees this year are budgeted at $993 million. Spending on retirees’ health care and pensions is conservatively projected to triple within five years.

And after that? Infinite.

Read more at San Francisco Weekly.

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This story is for anyone who’s still laboring under the delusion that those pushing for a carbon tax are doing so out of concern for you and me and our environment.

THE global climate change industry is now worth more than $528bn, powered by China’s rise as one of the top nations for climate revenues.

As the debate on setting a price on carbon in Australia continues, HSBC Global Research issued a report on climate change that showed the sector had proved resilient to the global slowdown, seeing less than a 0.9 per cent decline in revenues in 2009, as companies push ahead with plans despite political uncertainty over green policies.

“Despite concerns over the risks that governments may retreat from their pledges to deliver emission reductions and continuing uncertainty surrounding the withdrawal of regulatory incentives in key markets, global climate revenues have held up remarkably well and in 2009 stood at $US530bn for listed companies,” the report says.

The headline figure is greater than the global wireless telecoms services sector and comparable to the GDP of Switzerland, the report says.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

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U.S. Health Commissar Kathleen Sebelius, herself hardly a picture of health

Even if the health insurance industry is correct in saying that the Health Care Act has forced an increase in premiums, no one can be allowed to say as much. To do so would be to inform the serfs that they’ve been royally screwed, and that would threaten the security of the party of parasites currently in power.

“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.”

That sounds like a stern headmistress dressing down some sophomores who have been misbehaving. But it’s actually from a letter sent Thursday from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans — the chief lobbyist for private health insurance companies.

Sebelius objects to claims by health insurers that they are raising premiums because of increased costs imposed by the Obamacare law passed by Congress last March.

She acknowledges that many of the law’s “key protections” take effect later this month and does not deny that these impose additional costs on insurers. But she says that “according to our analysis and those of some industry and academic experts, any potential premium impact … will be minimal.”

Well, that’s reassuring. Er, except that if that’s the conclusion of “some” industry and academic experts, it’s presumably not the conclusion of all industry and academic experts, or the secretary would have said so.

Read more at Townhall.com.

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