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What America Gets From The "Ignorance Tax"

LOTS of very bad things...

The U.S. Income Tax: An Excise On The Profitable Exploitation Of Federal Privilege

The U.S. Ignorance Tax: The Profitable Exploitation of Confusion About The Income Tax

I WAS IN A GROUP THE OTHER DAY in which I overheard, "The income tax just goes to pay the interest on the national debt!" Would that it were so...

The statement is a long-standing misconstruction of something said by Peter Grace of the Reagan-era Grace Commission, which had been tasked with an analysis of the federal budget. Grace attempted to illustrate the significance of the federal debt burden by pointing out that the interest paid on that monstrous debt was so much as to more-or-less match the amount taken in by the income tax-- an amount that is a metaphorical synonym for "huge".

Money, of course, is fungible, so even if the tax take were earmarked for the interest payment, that would simply free up other funds for other uses. Thus, the "earmarking " concept is illusory at best. Income tax revenue gets spent for any and all government purposes, just as is true of every other dime that goes into the general fund.

FURTHER, GRACE UNDERVALUED the income tax dramatically. This is because he didn't understand that FICA (Social security and Medicare) taxes are just income "surtaxes"-- meaning income taxes like any others, despite the misleading application-specific label of "employment taxes". As a result of this misunderstanding Grace failed to factor this additional enormous amount into his casual analogy.

The reality is that the income tax take-- by which we really mean the "ignorance tax" take, since we're talking about the amount captured by government through exploitation of ignorance about what is really subject to the income tax under the law-- is many times the amount paid in interest on the national debt. Last year (2016), for instance, the interest payment was about $432 billion. The ignorance tax total was a whopping $3.9 trillion.

MY POINT HERE IS NOT TO CRITIQUE THE GRACE REPORT, however. I'm only interested in stopping its mistakes from being repeated and persisting as a false "factoid".

The reason I'm concerned is that the throw-off, "It just goes to pay the interest on the national debt..." line, though not meant as, or in support of, anything but a disparagement of the tax, actually serves to minimize or conceal the horrendous evil for which the tax really does pay.

Lets look at a small sampling of the things made possible by the ignorance tax:

  • The corruption of our political office-holders;

  • The drug war and all the violence and corruption it brings;

  • Our wives, daughters and ourselves being virtually strip-searched in airports;

  • Agricultural price supports raising the cost of our food;

  • A bloated military unable to account for $6.5 trillion given to it over recent years;

  • Hundreds of millions who hate us for the harm we have inflicted directly after violently invading their homes (here's an analysis of just a few of these affairs), or by supporting the despotic regime holding them in thrall;

  • A Department of Education working to fill American kids' minds with mush and PC propaganda;

  • The Panopticon surveillance state which spies on all of us all the time, subverting our privacy and any hope of confidence in the independence of our elected officials;

  • The militarization of our local police;

  • A direct and indirect federal workforce of 14,000,000 or so, every member of which needs to be messing with some or many citizens' lives in one way or another in order to justify his or her pay;

  • The coercion of state governments into certain behaviors even where no Constitutional authority exists for Washington's decrees, by issuing grants with strings;

  • The supplanting of genuine prosperity opportunities for young Americans by entrapment in rotten, impoverishing economic prisons.

  • And on, and on, and on...

NOW LET'S LOOK at what preservation of the "ignorance tax" scheme has made valuable to the schemers, and therefore an increasing part of our lives:

  • The inculcation and maintenance of a pervasive fear of government lawlessness;

  • A corrupt judiciary;

  • The systematic erosion of the rule of law;

  • The mis-education of our children about our founding principles and the legitimate authorities and limits of our public institutions;

  • The co-option of our churches into cheerleaders for the statist-quo;

  • A de-emphasis on logic, economics and history in our schools and school textbooks;

  • The infection of our legal framework with hive thinking, identity politics, and "social justice";

  • And on, and on, and on.

EVERYTHING LISTED ABOVE IS what is actually paid-for by the "ignorance tax", either in the conventional sense of being financed with its enormous, corruption-inducing aggregation of wealth into the hands of a political class with feet of clay, or as a price we all pay by the degradation and loss of our principles and our values.

Is all this really how a sensible people want to be spending their resources? I think not, but this IS what we're doing now, because of all those not yet awakened to the truth about the income tax.

Be an alarm clock.

(Click on Saruman to see what he means..."