Politicians talk about the uninsured. Special interests argue on behalf of those with pre-existing conditions. But why is no one wondering how doctors are affected by the new law? They’re the ones on the frontlines dealing directly with new patients, as well as the red tape that makes bureaucracies go round.
Politicians proclaim the benefits of small business while on the campaign trail. But when they meet in the seedy halls of Congress, they have no problem doing whatever they can to stifle, regulate, and subdue their progress. Instead of siding with entrepreneurs, these politicians often side with political allies and cronies that helped put them into office.
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Especially now that you have all the time in the world to do what you really want. Entrepreneurs don’t only come out of Silicon Valley. They come from all walks of life, from all different ages. If you’re retired and want to stay active while you relax, then find out the steps you need to take in order to start, manage, and grow your next small business.
Technology brought the world together. But has it gone too far? Decades ago, mail was delivered by hand. Now it’s delivered in seconds. How has that changed the way you live your life? How has it changed the way people act with each other? These are just some of the questions we need to ask.
The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for almost a century, and already there are signs it may be in decline. But that doesn't mean it's not still valuable. On the contrary... As Chris Mayer explains, there are many reasons the U.S. dollar will remain relevant on the world stage for years to come. Read on...
Gun control isn’t a modern idea. The rise of gun control laws and limits on your 2nd Amendment freedom go hand in hand with the increase in the size and scope of government. Politicians want you to think the only people who can keep you safe are government forces. But as one renown libertarian economist and thinker will show you, their misguided laws do nothing but take away your freedoms and leave you less safe.
The government will do whatever it takes to make sure it has enough of your money to fund itself. On the surface you might think that means enduring a grueling audit. But the IRS and the government is more than willing to ignore your privacy in the cold relentless pursuit of the money they think they deserve. As they get bigger and bigger every year, the smaller and smaller your paycheck becomes as they leach off it.
The Congressional Budget Office said the government needed to reach 7 million people by the end of March. They claim to have reached the goal and now the debate about Obamacare is over. But what does this milestone really mean in the ongoing healthcare discussion? And more importantly, how will it affect reforms going forward?
If you’re good at something should you be penalized so others have a chance at success? Should award winning actors and actresses be barred from future Oscar ceremonies to give other men and women the chance to succeed? Success should always be rewarded and encouraged. But what happens when you have a government that wants to even the playing field and take away the spoils of success. Gregory Bresiger finds out...
In an effort to cut costs and keep track of patients' records, governments could institute a medical guideline cookbook. Bureaucrats might think they have the best of intentions in mind, but these new rules would drag down the medical process and destroy whatever quality is left in our current system.
Practical people often pooh-pooh fiction reading as a time wasting dalliance, dominated by a Marxist coloring of the world. However, fiction readers were given a scientific reason recently for spending hours absorbing fanciful figments of someone’s imagination.
Argentina is suffering the ravages of government debasement of the currency -- i.e., inflation, the process by which government pays for its ever-increasing debts and bills by simply printing more paper currency. The expanded money supply results in a lower value of everyone’s money, which is reflected in the rising prices of the things that money buys.
When government expansion is allowed to continue unabated or when it casts a heavy regulatory shadow on America’s entrepreneurial spirit, the freedoms that we’ve come to know, and perhaps take for granted, slowly begin to slip away.
The saga of All Saints could soon be coming to a community near you. Thanks partly to the scandal surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the agency has proposed a new set of rules for a huge number of social-welfare groups that claim tax exemption under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code.
The new reality of Obamacare’s tax credits has left finance reporters to pen articles warning readers to “take care” when considering a tax credit and providing strategies for how best to “protect yourself.” So what do finance reporters know that the White House doesn’t?
Nihilo ex nihilo fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. First put forward by ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides in the fifth century B.C., Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine later used this axiom to prove that the universe needed a “first mover” to get things going. Even if the whole thing began with some kind of “Big Bang” moment, it still needed a banger to bang it. Who? God, of course.
What positive steps can we take? The energy that is now expended by well intentioned, freedom-seeking individuals on the destructive course of politics can be turned into powerful steps that will have a positive effect on the future. All are moral, right and just. None require aggressing. Consider the following...
The Affordable Care Act creates a new health insurance marketplace (the exchange). But because of the great uncertainty about what buyers will enter the market and who will buy what product, the law creates three vehicles to reduce insurance company risk.
Politicians and bureaucrats are notorious for manufacturing euphemisms -- clever but deceptive substitutes for what they really mean but don’t want to admit. That’s how the phrase “revenue enhancement” entered the vocabulary. Some of our courageous friends in government couldn’t bring themselves to say “tax hike.”
“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future,” says a proverb often attributed to Yogi Berra. Imagine the world of freedom, or lack of it. Who could foresee the technologies that make our lives so rewarding and convenient? The same technologies have us all under the government’s giant microscope. Thankfully, the brave have turned the microscope around.
In the months since Edward Snowden revealed the nature and extent of the spying that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been perpetrating upon Americans and foreigners, some of the NSA's most troublesome behavior has not been a part of the public debate.
National Treasury Union President Colleen M. Kelly recently described the 2014 IRS budget allocation as “woefully inadequate.” But the agency has not proven itself to be an efficient steward of taxpayer dollars. Here are ten ways the IRS lost the trust of the American people.
It’s easy to be negative about the U.S. economy these days. Find a glint of silver, and folks come running to point out all of the dark clouds looming about. This, of course, is what we got last week when the monthly jobs report was released from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Folks pooh-poohed the number of jobs and whining that they’re not enough or that it’s less than a bunch of economists thought that it might be. But you know what? Stuff ’em.
Given how poorly states like California and Illinois have funded the pension funds for their own employees, one would think that this would stop dead in its tracks any plan to have the government assist in managing private sector funds too. The spate of recent activity, however, suggests otherwise.
Facts are easy. You can check facts. What supporters of the Affordable Care Act are doing, on the other hand, transcends factual bungling. It’s far more advanced: a warping of reality so debauched it looks like something out of a tale by H.P. Lovecraft.
The problem for NSA apologist is that when guys like Snowden disclose that the government conducts comprehensive surveillance in ways that would have made 1984’s O’Brien drool, it puts the entire progressive agenda in jeopardy.
The east coast and parts of the southern U.S. were to varying degrees paralyzed by blizzards a few weeks ago. The snow as expected rendered the roads treacherous, and in anticipation of slick streets, shoppers flocked to the grocery stores in advance.The rush into grocery stores, and its aftermath, offers worthwhile lessons in economics.First up, […]
The high priests of the civic religion are very worried that people no longer seem to trust government. The law stands discredited. Once-hallowed institutions are under fire and losing status. People are openly loathing public officials. Movies, television, and best-selling books urge revolt. Most people don’t bother to vote.
And these priests wonder why.
Here’s an example of why. As the year opened, the House, Senate, and president all collaborated to enact the largest tax increase in human history — under the cover of night on the first day of the year, on the 100-year anniversary of the income tax. They did it in the name of saving us from some mythical beast called the “fiscal cliff.”
It’s going to take an extra $20-40 or more out of your paycheck per week. If your son or daughter or a thief did that without your permission, you would be mighty upset. But this is what our elected leaders are doing to us, and we have no choice about it.
The tax increase is sly in other ways. It occurred in an area of federal finance that had not even been part of the debate, an area of taxation that many people don’t even believe constitutes taxation: the payroll tax. The 2% add-on that everyone will pay hammers the middle class in a way that all politicians, left and right, have sworn they would never do.
But they did it anyway, even though it will seriously harm job creation, rob people blind every day for years, and do injury to that paltry economic growth that barely seems to exist. In short, from an economic point of view, it is the stupidest policy one could impose, given the fragile state of things.
Why would they do this? Because you have money and they want it. They have deemed their priorities to be more important than your need to save, go out to eat, go to the movies, rent movies, join the Laissez Faire Club, or whatever.
In all the stimulus efforts since 2008, only one measure truly made sense. In 2010, the administration and Congress cut the payroll tax. The idea was to leave more money in workers’ hands and lowering the cost of hiring. It was a rare moment of good sense. It wasn’t enough, but it was step in that direction.
The frenzied deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” — a phony, D.C.-generated crisis designed to frighten and intimidate the public — included a repeal of this tax break. Incredible. All that talk about taxing the rich only, about broadening the base, etc., and this is what it comes down to: a massive fleecing of the entire workforce, combined with no spending cuts at all. And get this: The bill is called the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.”
You can be forgiven for not knowing about this. You have to read deep into The New York Times article on the tax deal to find it. I listened to an hour of Morning Edition on NPR and didn’t hear a word about it. Instead, all we hear about is what a glorious moment this is for the cause of political compromise and how the new tax will affect only incomes over $400,000. This is sheer nonsense.
As for 2%, that’s no small shakes. It was the whole of the tax as it existed from 1943-49, and then it was effective only up to $3,000 in income. Over time, it increased more and more. Today, two-thirds of taxpayers pay more in payroll tax than they do in income tax. For the vast majority of Americans, the payroll tax is the main means by which they are looted every day. It is hardly irrelevant.
Why is it that we hardly ever hear about this tax? Long ago, when FDR first put in place the Social Security program that the payroll tax funds, he fobbed it off as a form of insurance. Insurance is a market institution. You pay a premium to guard against risks you can’t control. It makes no sense to apply this term to a guaranteed payout that appears at a set date in the future, one funded not by premiums, but by direct transfer payments.
Still, the term stuck. All these years later, and despite the obvious insolvency of the “insurance” aspect of the Social Security program, people inside and outside government still treat the payroll tax as some kind of market-based program. This is rot. The payroll tax as currently constituted brings in enough revenue to fund the whole of the federal government as it existed in 1982. Yet the elites are still not calling it what it is.
The little scam to raising this tax in cloak-and-dagger conditions is an old one. This is precisely what Ronald Reagan did after 1983. He was able to use his reputation as a tax cutter to enact what was then the largest-ever tax increase in the guise of “saving” Social Security. Much to the delight of the entire political class, the trick worked. Taxes went up and up, and somehow, Reagan still maintained his reputation as a tax cutter.
So this recent racket is a redux of the 1980s. In retrospect, we all should have seen this coming. This is why Washington ginned up this phony hysteria about the “fiscal cliff.” Reporters never stopped talking about it. Every day, we were told about the coming disaster. This way, we were supposed to be grateful to our elected leaders for saving us from falling.
The news is also slowly leaking out that the tax deal doesn’t cut a dime of spending; on the contrary, it guarantees spending increases far into the future. Irresponsible? Absolutely. But think hard about this. What incentive does anyone have to cut spending so long as there is a money printing machine down the street — it’s called the Federal Reserve — that can cover the liabilities as quickly as Congress can rack them up?
The Fed was founded 100 years ago this year. It’s the best thing that ever happened to government. It took a few decades for the presidents and Congresses to warm up to the wonderful reality, but finally, after 1973, when the dollar became nothing but paper and all gold was removed as a limit, it became clear: No one in Washington would ever again have to curb their appetite for spending other people’s money.
Thenceforth, they would take what they could through every possible means, and print what they could not steal directly. This is the business of government
Most people are clueless about the specifics. But most everyone knows that something has really gone wrong in Washington. Most everyone gets the core truth: These people are living at our expense. All the pseudoscience in the world can’t cover up for that core fact.
This is why so few really trust the system anymore. It’s a system of robbery. It’s always why so many people have realized that if they intend to retain any of their liberty and property, they are going to have get extremely creative about doing so. After all, if government can use this amount of trickery to rob us, the rest of us are surely justified in using any clever means possible to put a lid on it.