Do you feel it? The sun is in the air, the temperatures are going up and Washington is more corrupt, incompetent and invasive as it was the same time a year ago. Republicans, Democrats and President Obama have endorsed legislation that is intended to help the United States economy but will instead impose hindrances, burdens and unintended consequences.
If you have noticed – how could you not? – the U.S. economy hasn’t improve since the economic collapse a short few years ago. Despite the government spending vast amounts of money, keeping the printing press on all the time and passing endless pieces of legislation, the only thing the U.S. has to show for is more overall national debt.
Have the president, Democratic leadership and the GOP learned their lessons? Of course not, because what have they done? They certainly haven’t cut spending, lowered taxes, repealed many of its overstretching laws or ended its foreign interventions. Instead, it has decided to introduce a number of concepts designed to “help” the private sector (the term help is in quotations because as we know whenever the government wants to help you must be aware and run very, very far away!)
For some reason or another, there are many facets of the population that agree with the government’s economic measures. Take a look at this quote that was uttered by none other than the liberal establishment’s favorite economist Paul Krugman, who called for the need for more inflation and criticizes his detractors who want less government intrusions.
“Budget deficits, for example, don’t drive up interest rates; printing money isn’t inflationary; slashing government spending has really destructive effects on incomes and employment,” wrote Krugman. “Whenever anyone talks about the need for more stimulus, monetary and fiscal, to reduce unemployment, the response from people who imagine themselves wise is always that we should focus on the long run, not on short-run fixes. The truth, however, is that by failing to deal with our short-run mess, we’re turning it into a long-run, chronic economic malaise.”
As opponents of big government and proponents of Austrian economics like to ask: if budget deficits aren’t bad then why stop at $1 trillion and increase it to $5 trillion? If money printing is a great practice then why not print $1 million for each American? If slashing government spending is bad then why not tax the people’s incomes 100 percent and make government spending $10 trillion?
Nevertheless, the government is in the midst of employing six new regulations that will surely make the economic collapse even worse. Here are the regulations that you may or may not have read about.
1. Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act: in the summer of 2011, Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin introduced this piece of legislation that is designed to stop wealthy Americans from using offshore tax accounts. This initiative attempts to target $100 billion in lost revenue each year. It imposes a number of measures, including:
- Strengthen the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) when foreign financial institutions and U.S. persons must report foreign financial accounts to the Internal Revenue Service
- Close credit default swap loophole and the foreign subsidiary deposits loophole
- Require annual nation-by-nation reporting
- Combat hidden foreign financial accounts
- Enhance penalties on tax shelter initiatives and those who assist in tax evasion
“Uncle Sam can’t afford offshore tax abuses that are robbing the Treasury of $100 billion in lost revenue yearly and increasing the tax burden on honest, hardworking Americans,” said Levin, alongside co-sponsors Senators Conrad, Bill Nelson, Sanders, Shaheen, and Whitehouse. “Offshore tax abuses are not only undermining public confidence in our tax system, but increasing the tax burden on middle America.”
2. Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act: earlier this year, Levin, yet again, introduced more legislation to address various financial matters, such as ending offshore tax abuses (legislation on top of legislation), strengthening tax enforcement, ending excessive corporate tax deductions for stock options, tar sands oil spill loophole and the carried interest loophole and closing the derivatives blended rate loophole.
Levin’s push to end tax loopholes could give the federal government an additional $200 billion in revenue over a 10-year period, according to one estimate his staff put out there. The chairman of a Senate investigations subcommittee says corporations are paying a tax rate of 15 percent because of the loopholes, even though it’s at 35 percent.
3. International Tax Competitiveness Act: last month, Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett introduced the bill in order to amend the IRS code of 1986 to reduce international tax avoidance and “restore a level playing field for American businesses.”
The bill, which was referred to committee on Apr. 15, would identify foreign corporations within the U.S. as domestic corporations for tax purposes. It would also make royalty income and income from tangibles received from a foreign corporation taxable and change tax treatment of property (not stock) to a taxable dividend.
4. Fairness in International Taxation Act: Doggett introduced a similar bill on the same day and is an attempt to amend the 1986 IRS code and stop corporations from exploiting tax treaties to evade taxation of U.S. income. It has also been referred to committee.
“Of the many Americans who are right now getting their taxes ready to file, I doubt there are very many that think they will be able to pay a mere nickel on the dollar,” stated Doggett in a news release. “But there are many of America’s largest corporations that continue lobbying the Administration, and this Congress to let them pay a nickel on the dollar in taxes on a significant portion of their earnings.”
5. Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA): it was first introduced in the House in 2011 by Michigan Republican Congressman Michael Rogers (111 co-sponsors) and has captured headlines over the past two years. It was passed in the House but failed in the Senate. It was reintroduced in February and passed in the House, but did not garner a vote in the Senate.
Ardent critics argue that the legislation would turn the average website into a government spy. If CISPA were to pass in Congress then numerous government agencies, who suspect you of a crime, could spy on you, such as the IRS, FEMA, the Postal Service, the Department of Homeland Security and much more.
Even if CISPA hasn’t been able to pass in Washington, the U.S. already uses a cybersecurity program to monitor online traffic and employ data sharing software similar to CISPA between the Pentagon and Internet service providers, according to recent reports.
“Senior Obama administration officials have secretly authorized the interception of communications carried on portions of networks operated by AT&T and other Internet service providers, a practice that might otherwise be illegal under federal wiretapping laws,” wrote CNET reporter Declan McCullagh.
6. The Marketplace Fairness Act: this has garnered mainstream attention. The Internet sales tax gives states the power to collect online sales taxes from retailers outside their borders. Proponents argue it levels the market playing field, but opponents say it’s just another tax grab.
Economic Collapse News has reported on the Internet sales tax, including the likelihood of it passing and giving state governments another form of taxation – tax hikes will be sure to come in the future.
“And giving ravenous state governments new authority to tax sales made by out-of-state businesses practically guarantees future sales tax hikes, as the arguments will be made that most of the increases will fall on out-of-state businesses,” explained retired Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul in an op-ed this week. “These businesses will lack effective ability to oppose the tax increases — a form of taxation without representation.”
An online sales tax would benefit big businesses and governments, while hurting small businesses and consumers. Large corporations support it because it hurts their competitors, like minimum wage and anti-trust laws.