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Fair Tax is Unfair & Flat Tax is Not Flat

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by Laurence M. Vance

According to the Tax Foundation, tax freedom day came on April 12th this year. This means that everything the typical American taxpayer earned from January 1 to April 11 went toward meeting his total federal, state, and local tax burden.

Of all the taxes Americans are saddled with, the federal income tax is the most objectionable. Like most, if not all of you, I grudgingly filed my 2010 income tax return before the April 15th deadline last month. And although most other Americans did likewise, many people who filed an income tax return didn’t actually pay any income taxes.

According to the most recently released IRS data, the top one percent of taxpayers (in terms of adjusted gross income) paid 38 percent of all federal income taxes in tax year 2008. The top 10 percent of taxpayers paid 70 percent of the taxes and the top 50 percent paid a whopping 97 percent. The “rich” are not only paying more than their “fair share,” they are also paying the share of many other Americans as well. And not only do the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers pay little or no income taxes, many of them actually get tax refunds anyway thanks to what are called refundable tax credits.

Clearly, something is wrong with the U.S. tax code.

Our current income tax system, inaugurated in 1913 with the adoption of the Sixteenth Amendment, began with a 1 percent tax on taxable income above $3000 ($4,000 for married couples). A series of surcharges of up to 6 percent were applied to higher incomes, with the maximum rate being 7 percent on taxable income over $500,000. In actuality, less than a half a percent of the population actually paid an income tax.

From these humble beginnings, the income tax soon blossomed, thanks to World War I, into a tax with a minimum rate that doubled and a maximum rate that reached 77 percent on income of over $1 million. The rates did not fall significantly until 1925. In the middle of the Great Depression, the top rate rose to 79 percent. During World War II, the tax rate for those in the highest income bracket reached an astounding 94 percent. The complexity of the code also increased. The Internal Revenue Code of 1954 established 24 brackets with rates ranging from 20 to 91 percent. The top rate remained at 91 percent until 1964. Under the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 and the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the top marginal tax rates were lowered to 50 and 28 percent respectively. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 established the tax brackets of 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent.

The detrimental change in these tax brackets that was set to take effect at the beginning of this year was averted by a deal reached between the president and congressional Republicans late last year. The so-called Bush Tax Cuts were extended for all income groups for two years. Additionally, certain tax credits were also continued, and payroll taxes were reduced for this year. All of this came with a price, though, as unemployment benefits were also extended.

Nothing about any of this, however, changes the fact that the federal tax code is still too long, too complex, too intrusive, too confusing, and too inequitable. The members of Congress responsible for the tax code would not even disagree. As a consequence of the monstrosity that is the tax code, cries for tax reform are continually heard from every quarter – and especially around election time. There are even organizations dedicated solely to tax reform like Americans for Tax ReformReform AMTCitizens for Tax Justice, andAmericans for Fair Taxation. And since the federal government is always looking to increase its revenue while at the same time making Americans feel better about paying their taxes, it too has climbed aboard the tax reform bus, such as when President Bush formed thePresident’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform.

Other than some libertarians who oppose taxes on principle – while at the same time welcoming real tax reform or tax-rate reductions that move toward the goal of substantially reducing or abolishing the income tax – no one seems to have much of a problem with paying taxes per se.

Liberals, who want to use the tax code for their social engineering and income redistribution schemes, are not opposed to taxes on principle. Barack Obama ran campaign commercials openly boasting that no taxes would be raised on any American making under $250,000. This, of course, means that he intended to fleece any American making over this amount. And that is exactly what he and the Democrats are still talking about doing.

Conservatives are not generally opposed to taxes on principle either. They have no problem taxing the American people to fund foreign aid, bloated defense budgets, U.S. military adventures around the world, the CIA, FBI, and anything related to law enforcement or homeland security, faith-based welfare programs, educational vouchers, abstinence education programs, farm subsidies, the space program, the war on drugs, and various conservative pork projects.

As explained by Jacob Hornberger, the president of the Future of Freedom Foundation: “The left-right debate in America over income-tax policy assumes the continued existence of the welfare-warfare state way of life, along with the continued existence of the income tax that funds this way of life.”

But what’s up with some libertarians?

Brink Lindsey, of the Cato Institute, supposedly a libertarian think tank, wrote in an online article for the New Republic that also appeared on the Cato Institute website:

Tax reform also offers the possibility of win-win bargains. The basic idea is simple: Shift taxes away from things we want more of and onto things we want less of. Specifically, cut taxes on savings and investment, cut payroll taxes on labor, and make up the shortfall with increased taxation of consumption. Go ahead, tax the rich, but don’t do it when they’re being productive. Tax them instead when they’re splurging – by capping the deductibility of home-mortgage interest and tax incentives for purchasing health insurance. And tax everybody’s energy consumption. All taxes impose costs on the economy, but at least energy taxes carry the silver lining of encouraging conservation – plus, because such taxes exert downward pressure on world oil prices, foreign oil monopolies would wind up getting stuck with part of the bill.

Shift taxes? Increase taxes? Tax the rich? Impose new taxes? Use the tax code to influence public policy? What kind of libertarian tax reform plan is this? Libertarians are generally known for advocating that taxes be reduced, cut, eliminated, or abolished. Not deductions, exemptions, credits, shelters, and loopholes – but taxes.

Two specific tax reform plans that many conservatives and some libertarians have fallen for are the Flat Tax and the FairTax. Both plans promise to invigorate the economy, increase employment, and raise everyone’s standard of living. But neither one is true to its name, and neither one is an incremental step toward lower overall taxes. Both are fraught with problems and contradictions, and both are revenue-neutral plans that would fund the federal government at the same obscene level that it is now.

The Flat Tax is an income tax. It is the tax-reform idea that has been around the longest. First proposed by economist Milton Friedman in 1962, the Flat Tax entered the mainstream through a 1981 Wall Street Journal article by Hoover Institution economists Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka called “A Proposal to Simplify Our Tax System.” This article grew into a 1985 book published by the Hoover Institution Press called The Flat Tax. A second edition was published in 1995, and an “updated revised edition” in 2007 that can hardly be called either.

Aside from this book, the Flat Tax gained national prominence when House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) pushed the idea of a flat tax after the Republicans gained control of Congress during the Clinton administration. A few bills based on the Hall-Rabushka plan were introduced in Congress, but they came to nothing. Other incarnations of the Flat Tax were pushed by both Democrats and Republicans. Another version of the Flat Tax is that of former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes. His 2005 book is calledFlat Tax Revolution.

Under a flat tax, everyone’s income is taxed at the same rate (Hall and Rabushka say 19 percent; Forbes says 17 percent). But not only are there no tax brackets, there are generally no tax deductions either, other than those for personal and dependent allowances. Social Security and Medicare taxes would remain as they are now. The appeal of the Flat Tax is simplicity. You can do your taxes on a postcard-sized form says Forbes. Goodbye anxiety and compliance costs.

The main problem with the Flat Tax is a simple one: the Flat Tax is not flat. And furthermore, no one actually pays 19 or 17 percent. In fact, taxpayers don’t even pay the same percentage. The Flat Tax is actually a highly progressive tax. It is more progressive than our current system, and effectively has more tax brackets. Who said progressivity requires graduated tax rates?

Under the Forbes plan, a family of four would pay no federal income tax on its first $46,165 of income; a family of six would owe nothing until its income exceeded $65,930. And those figures are sure to have increased since they were first proposed back in 2005. But not only would many families pay no income tax, they still might get a refund anyway because the Forbes plan includes a refundable child credit and earned income credit.

The Social security tax is sometimes touted as an example of a flat tax. This, however, is incorrect. The 12.4 percent Social Security tax (split between employer and employee) is not assessed on income over $106,800. If you want an example of a real flat tax, look no further than the 2.9 percent Medicare tax. Everyone pays 2.9 percent (split between employer and employee), on every dollar earned, no matter one’s marital status, number of dependents, or income level. I am in favor of neither the Medicare tax nor Medicare, but if you are looking for a genuine flat tax, then the Medicare tax is your tax.

Because the Flat Tax is still an income tax, it deserves the scorn heaped upon the income tax by Old Right stalwart Frank Chodorov in his book The Income Tax: Root of All Evil. As explained in this classic work, with an income tax the state says to its citizens: “Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide. . . . The amount of your earnings that you may retain for yourself is determined by the needs of government, and you have nothing to say about it.”

The FairTax is a consumption tax. It is the most radical tax reform plan, bar none. It also has the most vocal and intolerant proponents. The FairTax is the brainchild of three businessmen concerned about the crippling effects on the economy of the federal tax code. After adopting the name “FairTax” for their tax-reform plan, they formed Americans for Fair Taxation in 1997 and enlisted then Representative John Linder (R-GA) to introduce FairTax legislation in Congress. Linder first sponsored the “Fair Tax Act” in the House in July of 1999, and reintroduced a FairTax bill at the beginning of every congressional term since then until his retirement in 2010.

Although Linder’s FairTax bill always languished in the House Committee on Ways and Means after it was introduced, it always had a number of cosponsors, including Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and our own Jeff Miller, but never Ron Paul, the acknowledged taxpayers’ best friend. The FairTax also has its share of supporters outside of Congress, including Mike Huckabee and Neal Boortz. The latter is the author, with congressman Linder, of The FairTax Book, published in 2005. A paperback version of The FairTax Bookwas issued in 2006 with some notable changes to correct false statements made in the original hardcover release of the book. Boortz and Linder also published a sequel, FairTax: The Truth, Answering the Critics, in 2008.

Although the idea of the FairTax has been around since 1997, I don’t think I ever heard of it until after I wrote an article for the Mises Institute in 2005 on the evils of the withholding tax. It was only after my inbox was bombarded with mail from FairTaxers trying to sell me on the FairTax that I looked into it. If you have read any of my articles on the subject you know that I didn’t like what I saw. I don’t consider myself to be an expert on the FairTax, but I have written more articles on the subject than I can remember and have reviewed in great detail Boortz’s books on the subject.

The FairTax is a national retail sales tax of 30 percent on the final sale of all new goods and services. All new goods are included – from cars and houses to prescription drugs and food. And with the exception of college tuition, all services are included – from heart operations and funerals to rent and haircuts. Purchases for business purposes would be exempt. Because it would replace the personal income tax, there would also no longer be withholding tax, capital gains tax, the alternative minimum tax, or taxes on interest and dividends. Even your gambling winnings would no longer be taxed. Of course, with no income tax, there would be no income tax deductions or credits either: no mortgage interest or charitable contribution deductions, and no earned income or child credits. The FairTax would likewise eliminate the corporate income tax, estate tax, gift tax, unemployment tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax.

The appeal of the FairTax is obvious: no more complex tax code, no more taxes withheld from paychecks, no more arcane tax forms and schedules, no more April 15th, and, so we’re told, no more record keeping, no more compliance costs, and no more IRS audits. And if that weren’t enough, the FairTax also includes a monthly payment called a “prebate” to offset the taxes paid on basic necessities.

But for a plan that promises such a utopia, the problems with the FairTax are legion. The FairTax plan creates new taxes, new taxpayers, and new tax collectors. The stated rate of the FairTax is too low to achieve the promised revenue neutrality. The amount by which it is claimed prices would fall under a FairTax system has been grossly exaggerated. There is nothing to prevent an income tax from being reinstituted, giving us a two-headed hydra of an income tax and a consumption tax. The institution of a FairTax would not abolish the IRS – if there were no IRS then why would businesses bother to collect a national sales tax? The FairTax’s monthly prebate would put all Americans on the dole – from Bill Gates on down – and require a vast welfare apparatus to oversee its payment. The FairTax has unknown and potentially huge transition costs. The FairTax double-taxes the savings of retirees who worked their whole life and paid taxes and then need to begin spending the money accumulated in their after-tax savings accounts. And not only would the FairTax require state and local governments to pay a national sales tax to the federal government on all their purchases, the federal government would have to pay sales taxes to itself on all its new purchases. How ludicrous is that? Since I have already written extensively about the problems with the FairTax, and that is not the focus of my talk, I will stop with its problems here and focus on why the FairTax, like the Flat Tax, is not true to its name.

So why is the FairTax not fair? Well, first of all, what’s fair about a consumption tax? Why is it that people who rightly criticize the income tax are so quick to accept a national sales tax on consumption? The FairTax perpetuates the fallacy that the government has a right to confiscate a percentage of the value of each new good sold and every service rendered. This is no different than claiming that the government has a right to the portion of each American’s income. As the late economist Murray Rothbard explained:

The consumption tax, on the other hand, can only be regarded as a payment for permission-to-live. It implies that a man will not be allowed to advance or even sustain his own life, unless he pays, off the top, a fee to the State for permission to do so. The consumption tax does not strike me, in its philosophical implications, as one whit more noble, or less presumptuous, than the income tax.

The FairTax is also not fair because of the rate. What is fair about the government taking a 30 percent cut on every transaction? I know the FairTaxers claim that the rate is only 23 percent, but when I buy an item for $1.00 and end up paying $1.30, the basic math I learned in elementary school tells me that I paid a tax rate of 30 percent. But regardless of whether the rate is 23 or 30 percent, why should the bloated, pork-laden leviathan we call the U.S. government get anywhere near this much of our income? And finally, maintaining that the FairTax is a “fair” tax system, or one that is “fairer” than our current system, is highly subjective. Neal Boortz himself even acknowledges this in his newest book on the FairTax: “Whether a tax system is ‘fair’ is a complicated economic and philosophical question, one that inevitably involves oversimplification and subjective judgment.”

If you want an example of a real fair tax, then consider the equal tax. I first saw this proposed by the late Joe Sobran. Let every American pay the same amount – no deductions, no exemptions, and no exceptions. Sobran reasons: “The billionaire doesn’t use the police or the streets any more than the pauper. Maybe less, since he presumably hires private guards to protect him and has less need of the police, and he is less likely to drive long distances than to fly.” Now, I wouldn’t like paying this tax any more than I like paying income tax, but it is certainly a fair tax.

But not only is the Flat Tax not flat and the FairTax not fair, the Flat Tax is not fair and the FairTax is not flat. Let me repeat that: not only is the Flat Tax not flat and the FairTax not fair, the Flat Tax is not fair and the FairTax is not flat.

According to Hall and Rabushka, the flat-tax system they propose is both “fair and progressive – the poor pay no tax, and the amount that a family pays rises with income.” They say their Flat Tax is fair because it is based on the principle that “income should be taxed exactly once, as close as possible to its source.” But how can a system that punishes success and fosters class envy be considered “fair”? And why should it be considered “fair” that income is taxed “exactly once, as close as possible to its source”? Just because every American would pay the same rate under the Flat Tax doesn’t necessarily make it a fair tax. Making the tax code less progressive is not enough. As Rothbard again explains:

The flat-tax movement is part of a process by which the government and its allies have been able to split and deflect the tax protest movement from trying to lower the taxes of everyone, into trying to force everyone into paying some arbitrarily defined “fair share.”

It is no consolation to a wealthy person who is stripped of his money by the federal government that a poorer person is likewise relieved of his money by the same percentage.

One of the reasons FairTax supporters claim that their tax is fair is that it has a flat rate that everyone would pay. But the FairTax is about as flat as it is fair. I have already mentioned that the FairTax includes a monthly payment to offset the taxes paid on basic necessities. This “prebate” is based on the government poverty level and family size. Thus, although everyone would pay the same rate under the FairTax, the end result would be that some Americans would pay no taxes at all, some would have most of their taxes offset, and some would get more money back than they paid in taxes. This makes the FairTax an income redistribution scheme under the guise of tax reform.

Although the Flat Tax is an income tax and the FairTax is a consumption tax, they have something important in common that in the end makes them virtually identical. Each of these tax-reform plans is revenue neutral. They allow the federal government to raise more efficiently the same amount of revenue that it does currently. The Flat Tax and the FairTax merely change the way that taxes to fund a federal budget fast approaching $4 trillion are collected. They shift the debate from how much wealth the federal government confiscates to how the wealth is confiscated. Yet, as Congressman Ron Paul has remarked on several occasions: “The real issue istotal spending by government, not tax reform.”

Under either the Flat Tax or the FairTax, all federal departments, all federal programs, all federal agencies, all federal projects, all earmarks, all pork-barrel spending – they would all continue just as now. Thus, Congress could continue its spending orgy while taking credit for simplifying and making the tax code fairer. The winner in these tax-reform proposals is clearly the federal government, not the American people. The root of the problem is clearly taxation itself, not the tax code. The problem with the code is not that it is too complex, too intrusive, too long, too full of loopholes, too unfair, or too progressive. The problem is that it is used to fund trillion-dollar budgets.

Any revenue-neutral tax-reform scheme can, by definition, only shift taxes, not lower them. Neither the Flat Tax nor the FairTax is a step toward the goal of relieving Americans of their tax burden; neither tax-reform plan is an incremental step toward lower overall taxes. They could be, however, if their promoters recognized that the root of the problem is taxation itself, not the tax code. We don’t need compassionate tax reform that makes people feel better about paying their taxes; we need radical tax reform that reduces, cuts, eliminates, and abolishes taxes without replacing them with other taxes. With the United States heading toward financial collapse, I can’t think of anything that is more of a waste of time than quibbling about how the government can make the tax rates flatter or fairer while it confiscates and redistributes the wealth of its citizens. Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic!

Twenty years ago federal spending was only about one-third as much as it will be in fiscal year 2011. Congressional spending is clearly out of control. We only “need” an income tax because of the federal government’s insatiable desire for money. There was no permanent income tax in the United States for 125 years. Can anyone possibly say that the government didn’t have enough revenue to function during that time? Before then the federal government operated successfully with the revenue it received from tariffs, fees, land sales, and excise taxes. It wasn’t until the adoption of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913 that the redistributionist road was paved for an income tax. And what benefits has the increased government revenue from the income tax given us? It is the income tax that has made possible World War I, the New Deal, World War II, the Great Society, the Vietnam War, and our current welfare-warfare state.

All the proposals put forth by the Democratic and Republican parties to rein in government spending are nothing but band aids and window dressing: baseline budgeting, a Balanced Budget Amendment, automatic across-the-board spending cuts, sunset provisions, spending increases limited to the rate of inflation, spending caps based on GDP, deficit reduction targets, elimination of earmarks, deficit commissions, temporary freezes on certain categories of spending, rollbacks to some previous level, non-binding public voting on spending cuts, and, of course, cutting waste, fraud, abuse, and unnecessary spending.

What Republicans want is a slight reduction in the welfare state with an increase in the warfare state. Democrats regularly call for just the opposite: a slight reduction in the warfare state with an increase in the welfare state.

The only way to really rein in government spending is by dismantling the illegitimate functions of the federal government. This means the wholesale elimination of departments, agencies, commissions, administrations, corporations, councils, boards, and bureaus with all of their programs and personnel.

Of the sixteen executive branch Cabinet-level departments, a limited Constitutional case could be made only for the departments of State, Treasury, Justice, and Defense. Any legitimate operations of the Departments of Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs could be subsumed under the Department of Defense. This means that the functions and bureaucracies of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, and Transportation should be eliminated in their entirety. The original four departments might conceivably serve some useful purpose – but only if they were scaled down considerably, and especially the Defense Department, which spends most of its budget on offense.

Next to go would have to be the alphabet soup of government agencies like the DEA, ATF, EEOC, LSC, TVA, NEA, NEH, FHA, CPB, SBA, NLRB, FEMA, OSHA, and USAID.

This also means no more funding for income redistribution schemes like food stamps, WIC, TANF, SCHIP, housing subsidies, foreign aid, refundable tax credits, Head Start, the National School Lunch Program, scientific research, unemployment benefits, farm subsidizes, and climate change studies.

Oh, and do I need to say that there should be no office of surgeon general or those of drug czar, AIDS czar, or faith-based czar?

In other words, strictly limit government spending to only what is constitutionally authorized.

Consider just two issues that are always in the news: health care and education. Because the proper role of government is not the issue that it should be, the debate over health care and education among liberals and conservatives and Democrats and Republicans is always how government should fix or reform health care and education instead of why the government should do it. It is precisely because of government intervention into health care and education that they are in the condition they are in.

In Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution there are delegated specific powers to the federal government. In Amendment Ten it says that whatever is not delegated to the central government is reserved to the states. The national government has been delegated no authority concerning the areas of health care and education. Because state constitutions have provisions regarding health care and education, we can and should debate on the state level the necessity of the states to provide, control, or regulate these things. On the national level, however, everything is perfectly clear. There should be no federal laws relating to health care or education. There should be nofederal regulations concerning health care or education. There should be no federal funding of health care or education. It is that simple.

Limiting government to its proper role will automatically cause the spending problem to disappear. The government needs to be gotten completely out of the places it doesn’t belong. In his powerful pamphlet Common Sense, Thomas Paine remarked: “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” Although the federal government in the early years of the American republic may not have been government at its best state, the federal government as it exists today is certainly an intolerable one. It is intolerable because it embodies the role of government as described by Voltaire: “The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third.”

The income tax system is a vast income redistribution and social engineering scheme. But the income tax code doesn’t just need to be simplified, shortened, fairer, or less intrusive. And neither do the income tax rates just need to be made lower, flatter, equal, or less progressive. The income tax should be repealed, not replaced. The IRS should be abolished, not given a new name. Tax reform should result in revenue reduction, not revenue neutrality. The only fair tax is a tax low enough to flatten skyrocketing congressional spending. Like educational vouchers and the privatization of Social Security, the Flat Tax and the FairTax are gimmicks that conservatives and libertarians should avoid.

This talk was given on May 18 at the monthly meeting of the Gulf Coast Economics Club in Pensacola, Florida.
Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The Revolution that Wasn’t, and Rethinking the Good War. His latest book is The Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. Visit his website.


Taxed By The Mile — Coming Soon!

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by Michael Snyder

Do you know what a trial balloon is?  It is when politicians will float an idea in the media to see what the reaction of the public will be.  Well, right now one trial balloon that is being floated is the idea that we should tax Americans for the number of miles that they drive.  This proposal showed up in a draft bill that was being circulated within the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Office of Management and Budget.  You can view a copy of this draft bill here.  Of course the Obama administration is denying that this proposal will be in the final draft of the legislation.  The Obama administration is stressing that this was just “a draft” of the bill.  But this is what happens very often with trial balloons.  They are put out there and the politicians will say things like “this is being studied” or “this isn’t a serious proposal yet” and then one day we all wake up and it is suddenly being implemented.  The fact that there is even draft legislation that would tax Americans based on the number of miles that they drive should be incredibly sobering for all of us.  If the global warming alarmists have their way, there are going to be lots of these kinds of taxes in our future.

The following is how an article posted on The Hill describes some of the specifics of this proposal….

Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.

Doesn’t that just sound lovely?

How many of you are going to line up to be the first ones to have this tracking equipment installed in your car?

Sadly, if this ever does become law, the tracking equipment will probably be installed on all new vehicles.

This is just another example of how our politicians love to tax things that they don’t like.

The Obama administration is full of global warming alarmists that want to penalize Americans for anything that increases emissions of carbon dioxide.

It doesn’t matter to them that carbon dioxide is one of the basic building blocks of life on planet earth, and that our atmosphere is already starved of carbon dioxide.

It doesn’t matter to them that reducing levels of carbon dioxide will make it harder for crops to grow and could set off a global famine.

It doesn’t matter to them that carbon dioxide has nothing to do with global warming.

It doesn’t matter to them that over 95% of all carbon dioxide emissions would still occur even if humans were not present on Earth.

For those that are “true believers” in the radical green agenda, no amount of common sense will stop them from pressing forward with their militant crusade.

In Europe, the European Commission has unveiled a plan to ban all cars from major European cities by the year 2050.

Yes, you read that correctly.

In Europe, the mantra that “carbon dioxide = evil” has become gospel.  This banning of cars from city centers is all part of a draconian master plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Europe by 60 percent over the next 40 years.

The sad truth is that the radical green agenda is at the very heart of the tyrannical New World Order system that the global elite very much desire to impose on every nation on earth.

Just watch the video posted below.  It was originally produced by the Forum for the Future, a major NGO funded by big corporations such as Time Warner and Royal Dutch Shell.  In this video, the Forum for the Future presents their chilling version of the future.  Are you ready to live in a “Planned-opolis”?  Are you ready to use a “calorie card” and to have what you eat determined by a “global food council”?  This is the kind of tyrannical future that these radical environmental organizations want to impose on you and I….

Are you frightened yet?

You should be.

Who could forget the “Green Police” advertisement that was run during a recent Super Bowl?

It is a very funny commercial, but the underlying message is very serious.  Audi is trying to communicate that their cars are “good for the environment” and that if you want to be a good “global citizen” you will consider their line of vehicles….

This is the direction that the world is heading.

Are you going to sit there and do nothing or are you going to speak out?

The radical green agenda is already being heavily implemented in the United States.

Today, the federal government has become so obsessed with reducing carbon emissions that now they even tell us what kinds of light bulbs we are allowed to buy.

In some areas of the United States, government snoopers actually sort through the trash of residents to ensure that environmental rules are being followed.  For example, in the city of Cleveland, Ohio authorities have announced plans to have “trash supervisors” go snooping through trash cans to ensure that people are actually recycling according to city guidelines.

Is that the kind of “Amerika” that you want to live in?

This is happening all across the United States.

If you plan to say something, now is the time.

Later might be too late.

You know what?  The international community is even considering doing some “radical geoengineering” to the earth in order to fight global warming.

In a recent article, I documented 12 of the stupidest ideas that authorities have come up with to fight global warming….

#12 One “researcher” actually seriously proposed that we should dump millions of tons of Special K into the oceans of the world.  This would supposedly alter the “reflectivity” of the oceans, thus reducing global warming.

#11 The head of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, says that UN scientists will now be looking into “geoengineering” methods for fighting global warming which include placing mirrors above the planet to reflect the sun’s rays back into space, sprinkling huge amounts of iron filings into our oceans and creating “man-made volcanoes” that would shoot sulfate particles high into our atmosphere.

#10 There are some scientists that are proposing that we should have our cows eat massive amounts of garlic to keep them from farting so much.  It turns out that global warming alarmists are terrified of methane, and new research shows that garlic may help reduce the amount of methane that cows produce.

#9 On a similar note, Lord Stern of Brentford, one of the leading “experts” on climate change in the UK, says that everyone should simply stop eating meat so that we do not need to have as many cows and pigs around.  The idea is that if there are less cows and pigs there will be a whole lot less farting and thus a lot less methane in the atmosphere.

#8 Dr. Jason Box, a scientist from Ohio State University, is actually proposing that we should wrap Greenland in a gigantic blanket.  He believes that the blanket would attract the sun’s heat, and therefore the melting of Greenland’s glaciers would be slowed down.

#7 The U.K.’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers wants to cover our buildings with massive amounts of algae.  Their theory is that the algae would absorb lots of carbon from the atmosphere and therefore help reduce global warming.

#6 James Lovelock, the creator of the Gaia hypothesis, stated in an interview with the Guardian earlier this year that “democracy must be put on hold” if the fight against global warming is going to be successful and that only “a few people with authority” should be permitted to rule the planet until the crisis is solved.

#5 Paul J. Crutzen of Germany’s Max Planck Institute says that we should pump massive amounts of smog high into the earth’s atmosphere.  The idea is that the sulfur dioxide in the smog would reflect solar radiation, thus cooling the planet.

#4 The Optimum Population Trust, based in the UK, says that preventing the birth of one child in Africa is enough to “offset” the carbon footprint of one flight from London to Australia.  So they propose providing huge amounts of condoms to the developing world to “help” them have less children.

#3 Professor Kevin Anderson, the Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, says that wealthy nations should implement World War 2-style rationing in order to cut carbon emissions to acceptable levels.

#2 Some “climate scientists” are now actually being so bold as to propose the “forced relocation” of entire human populations.  The executive summary of a key report that was discussed at the recent international climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico proposes “the implementation of relocation programs for human settlements and infrastructure in high risk areas.”  Considering what “forced relocations” have looked like throughout history, that statement is more than a little chilling.

#1 For many climate scientists, the number one reason why there are too many carbon emissions is because there are too many humans.  Therefore many involved in the fight against climate change see “population reduction” as the key to humanity’s future.

Sadly, this philosophy is now even showing up in official UN documents.  For example, the March 2009 U.N. Population Division policy brief begins with the following shocking statement….

What would it take to accelerate fertility decline in the least developed countries?

It seems like population control is very much on the minds of the folks over at the UN these days.  This was very clearly seen once again when the United Nations Population Fund recently released its annual State of the World Population Report entitled “Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate“.

The following are three quotes that were pulled right out of that document….

1) “Each birth results not only in the emissions attributable to that person in his or her lifetime, but also the emissions of all his or her descendants. Hence, the emissions savings from intended or planned births multiply with time.”

2) “No human is genuinely “carbon neutral,” especially when all greenhouse gases are figured into the equation. Therefore, everyone is part of the problem, so everyone must be part of the solution in some way.”

3) “Strong family planning programmes are in the interests of all countries for greenhouse-gas concerns as well as for broader welfare concerns.”

If no human is “carbon neutral”, that means that each and every one of us is part of the problem.

To those that are obsessed with the radical green agenda, the fact that you are alive and breathing air is a problem.

Many radical environmentalists would actually cheer if a large percentage of humanity suddenly died off.

Yes, there are lots of people out there that are actually like that.  They see humanity as a “disease” the is “infecting” the planet.

If you doubt this, read my article entitled “The Green Agenda Is About Getting Rid Of As Many Humans As Possible“.

You or I would never think like this, but many of those that are true believers in the “green movement” are absolutely obsessed with rescuing the Earth from evil humans.

Look, there is certainly nothing wrong with protecting the environment.  There are very real ways that the environment is being absolutely destroyed every single day.

Unfortunately, the radical green agenda almost totally ignores most of the real environmental issues and instead focuses on things such as carbon emissions, global warming and “overpopulation”.

The solutions proposed by those advocating the radical green agenda would actually be severely damaging to the planet and would leave humanity living in a futuristic, tyrannical hellhole.

If you do not want to live in a “Planned-opolis” where your life is completely dominated by a bunch of control freaks you better say something now, because this is the direction that the world is headed.
Michael Snyder runs End of the American Dream.

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The Obama Tax Increase and Small Business

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by Erick Erickson

John Boehner, on Sunday, suggested that he might be willing to support a tax package that included Barack Obama’s tax increase on job creators — those making more than $250,000.00 a year.

There are some important points to consider.

First, this tax increase is, according to the Democrats, a tax increase on the rich. This is code for “job creators.” Neither you nor I have ever met a poor man writing a paycheck. It is the rich who write paychecks. They are the job creators.

Second, the Democrats insist upon equality. It is, even more so than tolerance, their chief virtue. Apparently, however, the Democrats are perfectly happy to treat job creators as something less than equal by raising the percentage they pay in taxes.

Third, whether the Democrats like it or not, and they routinely try to deny it, it is from this pool of people the Obama tax increase would affect from which we see the most hiring, whether it be an employee for their business, a nanny, a gardener, or some other service provider. This Obama tax increase will cause trickle down unemployment.

Fourth, the Republicans, out of necessity, need to stop talking about this as a Bush tax cut expiring and talk about an Obama tax increase because that is what it is.

Lastly, and most importantly, Democrats respond to all of this and ask where all the jobs are if those tax cuts worked so well. The jobs were there until the Democrats took back Congress in 2007 and created gobs of uncertainty as to the fate of the tax cuts and, due to the uncertainty, sent the economy in the tank.

Democrats, in their support of the Obama tax increase on job creators, are showing they have learned absolutely nothing about creating jobs.

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Ground Zero Imam a Taxpayer-Subsidized Slumlord

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by Connie Hair

The elitist, media-generated grand illusion of the Ground Zero mosque imam has begun to collapse under scrutiny.

New reports from The Record out of Hackensack, N.J., reveal Feisal Abdul Rauf, the would-be Ground Zero imam, owns taxpayer-subsidized apartment buildings in Hudson County where the tenants have made municipal health complaints including rat, roach and bedbug infestations, seeping toilets, leaks, urine-soaked hallways, no heat and no hot water.

Despite millions of dollars in government subsidies, Rauf has trouble maintaining several small apartment buildings in North Bergen, Palisades Park and Union City.

From the NewJersey.com report:

Page after page of municipal health records examined by The Record show repeated complaints ranging from failure to pick up garbage, to rat and bedbug infestations and no heat and hot water.

Cynthia Balko, 48, of Union City — a longtime tenant of Rauf’s — said she’s had to live with rats, leaks and no heat: “I don’t have anything nice to say about the man.”

Despite having received over $2 million in public funding for renovations, Rauf’s tenants were forced to file municipal health complaints to seek relief. One such single mother living in a Rauf-owned apartment in Union City said Rauf has not answered complaints.

From an additional story in The Record:

To understand her perspective, you need to go to a forlorn corner on the Jersey side — to 22nd Street in Union City and a four-story apartment building owned by Rauf. The locks on a front door are broken and the hallway leading to [Melba] Lopez’s two-bedroom apartment smells of urine.

Looking east on 22nd Street — back across the Hudson — the Empire State building pokes the sky. On that side of the river, New York’s mayor speaks of Rauf as a symbol of religious freedom and last week invited the Imam’s wife, Daisy Khan, to dinner at Gracie Mansion to honor the Islamic celebration of Ramadan.

But in Union City, Lopez, a single mother, has another way of describing the man who has time to promote the so-called Ground Zero mosque, but does not seem to have time to answer her complaints about leaks in her toilet.

Lopez said in the report she has never met the would-be Ground Zero mosque imam but she says she has met Rauf’s wife Khan.

Lopez said she remembers Khan telling her that she and her husband did not have enough money to fix her leak and other problems in the building. What Lopez did not know was that at the same time, Rauf and Khan were trying to raise money for their mosque project on the other side of the Hudson.

According to the new reports, Rauf has a long history of taxpayer subsidies and grants for slum properties. There’s even a new revelation of a lawsuit settled in June over what the report terms a suit alleging fraud.

From the link:

[T]he suit alleged Rauf and Khan transferred ownership to another firm they owned and then obtained a $650,000 mortgage on the same building from a bank. After the building was damaged by fire in February 2008, Rauf and Khan stopped making mortgage payments to Cockinos, a former key executive at Daibes’ Mariner’s Bank. When Cockinos tried to foreclose, he discovered Rauf and Khan had switched ownership and filed suit alleging “fraud.”

The case was settled shortly before a June 28 trial, with Rauf and Khan agreeing to pay off the mortgage to Cockinos within the next few years, said the couple’s lawyer, Richard Rosa of Hackensack.

There is much more on Rauf and Khan’s current financial woes at the link.

The New York Post reported the site’s developers owe hundreds of thousands in back taxes:

The mosque developers are tax deadbeats.

Sharif El-Gamal, the leading organizer behind the mosque and community center near Ground Zero, owes $224,270.77 in back property tax on the site, city records show.

El-Gamal’s company, 45 Park Place Partners, failed to pay its half-yearly bills in January and July, according to the city Finance Department.

Sounds like a good time to raise $100 million for a mosque.

Reuters is reporting New York is considering granting the group a reported $70 million in public funding.
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