“The power to tax involves the power to destroy.” John Marshall, McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819).
Last week Apple felt that power from abroad. The EU decreed Apple owes $15 Billion in back taxes. The imposition is seen as retaliation for Apple’s sales success in Europe. Economic success warrants retaliation in the twisted mind of government.
Here in America, Congress is desperately seeking similar retaliation. It has been suggested that American tax power may be weaponized to strike hard at European companies. While they’re at it, they may want to strike at you as well.
The past decade has seen a massive increase (1,000% or so) in Americans attempting to flee the ruins of the old Republic in efforts to preserve what they have created (and to preserve their own freedom). Fleeing the Land of the Free for freedom. Odd.
But just to make sure expatriates know “who’s the boss,” in 2012, Senators Schumer and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation to retroactively punish them. The “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy Act,” or Ex-PATRIOT Act, would punish wealthy expatriates by forbidding them from ever reentering the US. The proposal would apply to anyone with a net worth of $2 million or more at the time of expatriation. It would also be retroactive for the 10-year period prior to enactment of the statute.
The Ex-PATRIOT Act didn’t pass in 2012, or in 2013 when Schumer reintroduced it as an amendment to another act. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it reappears in 2017. It’s hard to see how someone like Donald Trump, who bashes everything non-US, could oppose this bill. And Hillary Clinton has long slammed corporations that move their base of operations from the US to save on corporate taxes. It’s not a huge jump to conclude that if elected, she’d sign the Schumer-Casey proposal into law.
A retroactive law is known legally as ex post facto (after the fact). Such laws were viewed for centuries, rightly, as unfair. They are forbidden not once but twice in the Constitution: Art 1, § 9 and § 10. Such a deliberate targeting of the successful is known as a Bill of Attainder – also prohibited by the Constitution, again in Article I, Section 9.
The U.S. abandoned the ancient abstention of retroactive prosecution in 1945 and has not looked back. The Constitution is abandoned. “Constitutionalists” may say what they like but saying doesn’t stop the doing. And it’s all done anyway.
Anyone who deals with the IRS knows Washington wages an everyday war for power. It is more about showing the commoners “who’s the boss” than the money.
Remember Jim Bakker the 1980’s televangelist? His affairs left him with a $500,000 tax bill. Thirty years later the debt has grown (with interest and penalties) to around $6,000,000. Bakker will never pay that off. The government doesn’t expect him to. They are most happy lording over him for life; the money is a side issue. His freedom, otherwise redeemed by the passage of time, is destroyed by taxation. Marshall was on to something.
Everyone makes mistakes. Many pay for them. Some have to pay and pay and pay … forever. God forgives. The IRS does not.
The future looks to hold much of the same. Schumer is still trying to ram his pet (illegal) law through Congress. The IRS terrorizes millions. Do not look for help from either presidential candidate.
Trump has already announced an intention to use selective confiscation for his benefit. He wants to seize drug cartel funds and use them to construct his wall. Remember that such programs grow over time, usually to encompass more targets than originally stated. Remember too any wall that can keep Mexicans out can also keep Americans in.
God help you if Clinton is elected. She views all of you as servants and the government as a giant tool for her personal gain. IRS persecution of anyone deemed even slightly anti-Clinton is a given. Worse, she may use tax records (And she didn’t know they were classified! Honest.) to compile a hit list. You know, for more of those “suicides”.
Tomorrow is Labor Day – the day for celebrating productivity in the workforce. Ponder for just a moment, between the burgers, beer and football, that you have a silent partner at work. Whatever you do, your partner takes 20%, 40% (honestly much more – maybe 60-70% in totality) of every dollar you earn and produce while contributing absolutely nothing. Your silent partner uses taxes as a weapon to keep you in line or, at the least, to rob you.
Jim Bakker. Tammy Faye? The makeup??