by Jarret B. Wollstein

Out-of-control taxes and regulations are crippling America. According to current federal budget projections, within 15 years the government will take 70% of your income directly in taxes.  America will look like East Germany under the Soviets.

IRS agents raided the Engleworld Learning Center near Detroit. Parents were told their children would not be allowed to leave until parents immediately paid any balance due to the Learning Center for the coming months. However, the money would not go to the Center, but to the IRS. A creative IRS official thought he had a great way to force parents to pay the Center’s taxes.

“It was like something out of a police state,” Sue Stoia says. “They were using the children as collateral.”
Marilyn Derby, director of Engleworld, said, “Parents were not allowed to see their children until they had signed an agreement with the IRS. It was a very scary situation, like the Gestapo was here. Children were crying, parents were trembling. I told one woman whose hands were shaking that she shouldn’t sign anything she didn’t want to. She signed anyway.”
18 Elderly Nursing Home Residents Die When The IRS Seizes Their Home and Kicks Them Out In The Dead Of Winter
During a freezing winter cold snap, the IRS seized all of the assets of a nursing home in Toledo, Ohio. Unable to even buy food or pay an electric or gas bill, the owners were forced to close the home. Eighteen of the residents died during the hasty relocation. When Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) demanded an explanation from the IRS, he was told it was an “extremely routine” seizure.
IRS collection agent Art Harris described the mentality of many of his fellow agents:
“Some [agents] were vicious – they’d brag back at the office, ‘Boy did I make that guy jump,’ or ‘I had that woman crying when I told her I’d put her on the street with her kids.’ One agent who bragged about padlocking some guy’s business said the man was so upset he asked, ‘How do you expect me to pay now?’ The agent said, ‘I told him, Go get your wife to peddle [herself].'” [Source: Art Harris, “The Tax Man and the Big Sting,” Washington Post 4-16-89, p. F4]

Down The Government Sewer:
What Happens To Your Tax Monies?

These incidents show how far our government has strayed from its original purpose of protecting our lives, liberty, and property. Providing basic government services such as police, courts, and military defense would cost a fraction of what we now pay in taxes. Fifty years ago, the US had an excellent court system and the most powerful military in the world, yet taxes then consumed less than 5% of the average person’s income.
Today, taxes are over ten times as high, and ninety percent of the money we pay in taxes is wasted. Would you send $20 billion of our tax dollars to Mexico to prop up the peso? Would you pay for inner-city schools that graduate students who are unable to read or write? Would you pay farmers not to grow food? Would you authorize the Pentagon to spend $7,622 for a coffee maker designed to survive a plane crash? Would you have spent billions to build up the militaries of the Shah of Iran and Gen. Noriega of Panama? Would you spend $352,000 to study the mating habits of the California kangaroo rat? Would you spend $17,000 so an artist could display a picture of Christ in a jar of human urine?
Any business that spent money as irresponsibly as the government does would quickly go bankrupt – if their directors weren’t lynched first. But, as the Supreme Court has ruled, government is not legally obligated to provide you with any specific service in return for the taxes you pay.
Unlike legitimate businesses, only the government can legally force you to pay for its programs, no matter how wasteful or outrageous. And there’s no limit to how much of your income the government can seize.

How Much Do You Really Pay?

According to the Tax Foundation, in 1994 the average American paid 22.4% of his or her income in federal taxes, plus 11.8% in state and local taxes – 34.2% total.
But that’s just the beginning! Dr. James Payne of the University of California found that in addition to direct taxes we also pay huge, hidden taxes including:

  • Compliance costs– record keeping, monies spent on tax planning, computers and software purchased to fulfill IRS requirements, etc.
  • Enforcement costs– IRS audits, field investigations, service center corrections, criminal investigations, litigation, and forced collections.
  • Emotional, moral and cultural costs – families forced onto welfare, time and creative energy lost figuring out how to avoid taxes, etc.

For every $1 we pay in direct taxes, we spend an additional $0.65 in compliance costs. And even that figure doesn’t include the cost of import duties, license fees and other government regulations. For a typical U.S. family, the real cost of taxes and regulations is at least:
Federal taxes              22.4% of income
State & local taxes      11.8%
Compliance costs        22.2%
Regulatory costs         12.7%
70.1% of your income is now consumed by government

Taxes Are Crippling America

Why are more businesses failing, why is unemployment soaring, and why are more and more families becoming homeless? Two major reasons are skyrocketing taxes and destructive regulations.
Taxes and regulations are destroying businesses. By the time businesses pay income tax, payroll tax, capital gains tax, inventory tax, corporate tax, license fees, IRS penalties, EPA fines, etc., etc., little or nothing is left to operate the business.
Taxes and regulations are destroying the middle class. Thirty years ago, middle-class Americans could afford to buy a house. Today, increased taxes consume a sum equivalent to mortgage payments. Both parents now have to work just to make ends meet. 15% Social Security taxes make it nearly impossible to save for retirement. And state and local taxes make it difficult for many families even to pay utility bills. Taxes keep poor people poor. Cash-starved businesses can’t afford to hire and train the poor. The working poor often can’t even afford to feed their families on what’s left of their paycheck after taxes. Taxes make it extremely difficult for the poor to start businesses. To operate a push cart you must pay a $7,000 license fee in Washington, DC. A city “Medallion” to legally operate a taxicab in New York costs $142,000. Atlanta charges the poor $50 for a license to beg for money.

How Can We End Taxes?

The first step is to reduce taxes to the levels of 50 years ago when people could still afford to buy houses and start businesses. That means cutting government spending with a meat axe. Here are four initial cuts that would save over $600 billion a year – enough to immediately eliminate every cent you pay in personal income tax.
Cut military spending by 60%.We’re now spending $279 billion a year on defense – almost as much as we did at the height of the Cold War. We can cut military spending at least 60% without jeopardizing our security by scrapping 90% of our 25,000 nuclear weapons, eliminating four of the navy’s seven fleets, and requiring honest, competitive bidding for all military procurement.

– Savings: $167 Billion A Year –

Get rid of the welfare bureaucracy.Former Treasury Secretary William E. Simon reports that 80% of the budgets of welfare programs go for salaries of government social workers and other overhead expenses. By phasing out the tax-funded welfare bureaucracy and providing private, voluntary aid through churches and community charities – we can cut welfare costs 80%.

– Savings: $160 Billion A Year –

Privatize the schools.Public schools are failing on every level – moral, academic, and social. SAT scores continue to drop, violence is widespread, and many inner-city schools look more and more like prisons. The solution is to privatize education by allowing parents to spend their money on the schools of their choice that reflect their values. Since government schools spend over $6,000 per pupil vs. less than $2,500 for independent, private schools, this means we would get better education at half the cost.

– Savings: Up To $100 Billion A Year –

End Corporate welfare.According to the Cato Institute, some 129 federal programs now spend $87 billion of our money each year subsidizing big business. Here are a few examples:

  • In fiscal 1995, taxpayers spent $1.4 billion subsidizing sugar farming. 40% of this money went to the largest 1% of sugar farms.
  • Taxpayers spent $465,000 to help advertise McDonalds’ McNuggets and $2.5 million to promote Dole products overseas.
  • Texas Instruments received $13 million to create civilian applications for military hardware. Hewlett Packard received $10 million and Chrysler $6 million. We paid these companies to develop military technology, and now we’re paying again to help them figure out a way to sell it to K-Mart. Corporate welfare should be eliminated now.
– Savings: $87 Billion A Year –
End Tax Slavery Now!

As government consumes more and more of our income, the IRS and state tax authorities act increasingly like criminal gangs. Violent confrontations with tax agents, seizures of bank accounts and homes without trial, and lengthy prison sentences for people who can’t both pay their taxes and feed their families, are rapidly increasing. In 1992 alone, the IRS seized 3,253,000 paychecks, bank accounts, cars and homes without trial.
As historian W. H. Chamberlin states:
“One of the most insidious consequences of the present burden of personal income tax is that it strips many middle-class families of financial reserves. [It] has made the individual vastly more dependent on the State.”
At the current rate of growth, within 20 years taxes will consume every penny we earn. Long before then, we will all be living in public housing projects and eating government cheese.
Taxation is impractical, unnecessary, and immoral. It is impractical because tax-supported public services – from public schools to police protection – work poorly, if at all, and are very wasteful.
Taxation is unnecessary because any service or product that people truly want or need – from education to roads to charity – they can and will purchase without being forced to pay. And taxation is immoral because it is based on brute force – the threat of fines and imprisonment of peaceful citizens.
For 150 years, America got along fine without the personal income tax, sales tax, profits tax, and most other taxes. We need to end taxes now, before tax slavery ends America.

Jarret B. Wollstein was cofounder of the original Society for Individual Liberty
This pamphlet was revised in November 1997. It is part of ISIL‘s educational pamphlet series. Click here for the full index of pamphlets online.

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