America: Not Getting our Money’s Worth
Nanny state taxes for Laissez-faire services
American political debate within the phony Left-Right parameters usually boils down to one of “big government” vs. “small government.” At least that’s what they tell us. In actuality, the last vestiges of a smaller central government were seen during the Calvin Coolidge administration. Since that time, the federal government has kept expanding.
With each new agency established within the federal government, we drifted a bit farther away from the Founding Fathers’ original intentions. Starting with FDR’s “New Deal,” the central government became an increasingly unconstitutional monstrosity. A faceless bureaucracy that everyone laughs at, but no one wants to change. Anyone who has tried to contact any government agency within the last ten years or so, understands just how necessary those agencies are.
There was a tremendous blowback against “big gubmint” during the two terms of Ronald Reagan. Like Donald Trump, however, Reagan’s record was far, far different from his rhetoric. Not a single sub-agency was eliminated by the Reagan administration. The great “tax cutter” in actuality only dramatically cut the highest rates, for the richest Americans, while raising everyone else’s taxes. Social Security taxes, which disproportionately impact blue-collar workers, were raised three times by Reagan, and set in motion the transfer of nearly $3 trillion from Social Security into the general fund. And under Reagan, Social Security benefits became taxable. Talk about a double tax! But no one does talk about this.
No “conservative”- not Reagan, or Bush, or Trump- seriously even considered eliminating one of our countless worthless, unconstitutional government agencies. Instead, Ayn Rand- inspired “new” Republicans like Paul Ryan emphasize scaling back or getting rid of “entitlements,” like Social Security and Medicare. The average worker pays over $3000 a year into the Social Security fund. That would amount to about $135,000 during the course of a working career. The average monthly Social Security payment is, according to the source, anywhere from $1300 to $1500 monthly. That’s at best $18,000 annually. While this is above the federal poverty level in most states, it’s pretty pathetic.
While “conservatives” whisper in private about getting rid of these “entitlements,” the new “liberals” say nothing about the wildly regressive Social Security system. Only the first $127,000 of income is subject to Social Security taxes. They also don’t talk about means testing. Ross Perot trotted out voluntary means testing for billionaires like him back in 1992, and was shouted down. Why are Bill Gates and his ilk paying the same amount of Social Security tax as someone making $127,000? Why should those top One Percenters get any Social Security at all?
The average “Woke” Leftist criticizes Social Security as much as they criticize the horrendous Medicare system, which every worker also pays into for decades. I don’t hear Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or anyone in the Biden administration talking about these programs, which are gigantic rip offs for the working class. You don’t have to be a math major to factor in all those unmarried, childless workers who die before they retire, and thus leave uncollected whatever they paid into the system. Or who die a few years into retirement. Or married workers whose spouses died before them. Or those whose debilitating medical expenses, even with the “best” plans, counteract whatever government is reimbursing them. However you look at it, as many people lose under this system as “win.” And those who win aren’t exactly winning bigly.
Social Security and Medicare epitomize what has become our system; a taxation rate that could fund a socialist nanny state, with returns meager enough to warm the heart of Ebenezer Scrooge himself. It is, in fact, difficult to figure out just what Americans are paying for with their tax dollars. The last I checked, Tax Freedom Day was at the end of April. That means workers toil for nearly four months to make enough just to pay the cornucopia of taxes everyone is saddled with. It certainly isn’t representation, one of the rallying cries of the Revolution. Taxation without representation has long been a reality for all but the wealthiest Americans.
We’ve discussed Social Security and Medicare. Diminishing returns for most, at best. And I didn’t even mention Medicaid, which only the destitute qualify for. What else does our taxes cover? Roads, bridges and other infrastructure? It’s hard even typing that with a straight face. Our Third World infrastructure hasn’t been significantly touched since the Eisenhower years. Police? Another laugher. The Supreme Court ruled in the 1980s that police aren’t obligated to protect the public. So there. They don’t hesitate to harass and brutalize, however. As the conspiracy crowd likes to say, never, ever call the police.
Fire departments? Well, they could come in handy, but how many fires have you even seen in your lifetime? They are a very well-paid crowd, who spend much of their time fraternizing in their firehouses. And their lucrative pensions, like those of their law enforcement brethren, threaten to bankrupt many cities. Animal control? Recently, we had a nasty-looking snake slither onto our screened-in porch. They told me they’d come if it came inside our house. Social Services? They have broken more families than they’ve helped, and the evidence shows they may very well be used as a conduit for child sex trafficking.
Public schools? Well, I guess if you like critical race theory and transgender story hour. Most teachers, principals, and school board members are uncaring bureaucrats at best, and corrupt stooges at worst. Read my book Bullyocracy: How the Social Hierarchy Enables Bullies to Rule Schools, Workplaces, and Society at Large for endless examples. And why should those without children pay taxes for education at all? We don’t assess personal property taxes on those who don’t own property.
Speaking of personal property taxes, what exactly are they for? We’re told they pay for our schools, among other things. Well, we see how our schools are engaging in the most heinous indoctrination of children, while leaving them largely illiterate. And why should we be taxed yearly on the same house, or the same car? For a while, there was a movement among conservatives to abolish property taxes, but it seems to have gone the way of term limits.
Exactly what do the people at the Department of Energy do, other than to suppress alternative energy technology? We’re still beholden to gas and oil. Why do they even exist? How about FEMA? What do they do between “emergencies?” For that matter, what do they do during emergencies? We saw just how valuable they were during Katrina, and they have been invisible during this dastardly pandemic. If the past year hasn’t qualified as an emergency, what would?
There are so many agencies that serve no purpose whatsoever, except to drain tax dollars from working Americans. I know from personal experience with a loved one that the Americans with Disabilities Act, whatever it cost, was and is a total waste. They aren’t an independent agency, and they don’t really help anyone. Instead, to try for services you’ll never get, you are routed from one ineffective agency (Legal Services, EEOC, etc.) to another by indistinguishable and rude, well paid government workers.
What does the Department of Labor do nowadays? Big labor died as a political force with NAFTA and the other horrific trade deals. The only effective unions left are those representing those stellar government employees. Do you hear any supposedly far Left Democrats bemoaning the lowered wages and lost benefits of the working class? Certainly “Labor” doesn’t. Is their reluctance to speak on the subject due to the fact that the single biggest reason for those decreased wages and disappearing benefits is the explosion of immigrants into the workforce, including foreign Visa workers? And we pay Immigration and Customs Enforcement for….what? To control the border, and monitor immigration status?
How about our military? Surely, with the most powerful national defense any nation has ever possessed, at least we’re safe, right? Well, except for that pesky southern border, which remained wide open even at the height of the “pandemic.” Nothing must be permitted to stop the influx of all that cheap labor. We have troops still stationed in countries from our post WWII occupation days. There isn’t a single example of our military serving a purpose that benefits taxpayers, anywhere in the world. But conservatives sure love to salute that flag and say “thank you for your service.”
The CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies, all of them totally unconstitutional, continue to have secret budgets. So we not only don’t know much of what they actually do, but aren’t even allowed to see the bill for their “services.” We do know the NSA was spying on all Americans, which resulted not in any reforms or punishment of the NSA, but the exile of the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who revealed it. The CIA’s long history of foreign (and perhaps domestic) assassinations, psyop proposals like Operation Northwoods, election interference, distribution of LSD, among other things, make it quite clear they aren’t providing anything positive, either.
The FBI has recently been in the news, as Tucker Carlson and some others on the Right are finally exposing what they’ve been doing for decades. I went into their history of infiltration of “extremist” groups from the Black Panthers to the KKK in Hidden History. They unquestionably create more crime and more “criminals” every day than they stop. The narc culture has lured many an unsuspecting dupe, from nonviolent pot users to solicitors of prostitutes, and sent them away for long terms in our wildly overcrowded prisons.
Speaking of which, those prisons are full of unknown numbers of innocent people, as DNA evidence alone has shown over the past few decades. If you’ve ever dealt with the legal system to any degree, you know just how much money the judges and prosecutors are worth. There is little hope of justice for any common person in our courts. All those frame ups, wrongful convictions, and unjust prison sentences are paid for by your tax dollars. And again, hear anyone on the Left protesting this, even though a disproportionate number of prisoners are Blacks?
What specifically does the Department of Health do? Other than suppressing natural remedies and wholistic medical treatment? Americans are less healthy than ever, thanks to our increasingly obese population. I guess I can’t really blame the government for that. The Department of Agriculture has overseen absurd amounts of corporate welfare to wealthy non-farmers, as I detailed in Survival of the Richest, for a very long time. They’re still paying farmers not to grow, and destroying crops when so many are in need. Huey Long ranted about this back in the 1930s.
I’ve probably left something out, but you get the picture. The American brand of “socialism” is far different than what is found in European countries. Cynthia McKinney posted on social media a while back that she hadn’t encountered a single pothole while driving across France. I don’t think there are very many blocks in this country without potholes. France gives mothers and fathers lengthy paid leave after births, so does Canada. France even sends someone to deliver diapers and help out with other tasks. I’m not saying I advocate that, but it is indicative of the kinds of services actual socialist governments do provide.
You aren’t likely to hear anyone on the Left or the Right talk about these things. The Right is enamored with the unconstitutional Homeland Security Department, created in the wake of the 9/11 psyop. No one talks about abolishing it, or the odious Patriot Act that accompanied it. Where is the Left here? The only way they’d speak out against Homeland Security is if some “marginalized group” complained about being discriminated against by those who run it.
We have the worst of both worlds. A bloated, nightmarish federal leviathan that is so confusing and user-unfriendly that a guy named Matthew Lesko built a career out of selling books that purport to reveal all the hidden benefits that can be accessed. Now, I have no idea if these are real benefits, or how many of Lesko’s readers have received anything really valuable from any government agency. But the fact someone can write a book like that, because the system is so big and nontransparent, tells us all that we need to know.
On the other hand, while we pay basically four months worth of our yearly salary in various taxes, we get nearly nothing back in exchange. The poor and working class, and what’s left of the middle class, are basically donating their money to a black hole. And they don’t get a tax write-off for what is for all intents and purposes an involuntary charitable contribution. Crumbling infrastructure. Police that harass more often than help. Government representatives that are unpleasant to interact with.
Instead of public works projects that could provide young people with important and decently paid jobs, we get more toll roads. Instead of actually upgrading our woefully outdated power grids, we buy transformers for them from China, who could theoretically hack into and shut them down. Instead of a top-level healthcare plan that covers all costs for the elderly- who need them more than any other demographic- we give them a needlessly complex and subpar Medicare plan, after they paid into it their entire working lives. And charge them a monthly payment on top of that.
True populism recognizes that there are no good solutions offered by what Huey Long called “the twin towers of disaster”- the Democrats and Republicans. Either a very limited, Libertarian-style system or a European brand of socialism would work much better than the current American mess. However you measure it, American taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth. You want reparations? How about huge refunds to every citizen, for the decades worth of wasteful and fraudulent use of our forced contributions?
One of our country’s most important freedoms is that of free speech.
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