Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]
07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]
07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]
07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]
07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]
07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
High Crimes vs. Human Rights
07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]
07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]
07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]
07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]
07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
Thinking About Taxes
Social engineering, though often justifiable, has unfortunately resulted in our voluminous and confusing tax code.
There is a direct correlation between US wars and significant increases in income taxes levied, though sometimes these increases are deferred by running up the national debt first.I’ve been thinking about taxes. Actually I’ve been thinking about the American Revolution, tax freedom day on July 3, wars, 1913 and the 16th Amendment, social engineering, and the need for real tax reform. This nation revolted and broke away from motherland England because of taxes. Ok, there were justifications like “don’t tread on us,” but the real battle cry was “no taxation without representation!”
You see on Wednesday April 15, our federal and state tax returns (in the 41 states which levy income taxes) are due. Corporations were dinged on March 15. In Illinois, real estate taxes are payable in mid June and September. Such taxes which fund municipalities, counties, and local units like schools, libraries, fire districts, parks, etc. are levied via these assessments. Taxes paid on food, clothing, gasoline, utilities, booze, tobacco, and just about all other items consumed in the business of living are extracted every time we take out our billfolds, checkbooks, or credit cards. I’d be hard pressed to come up with one item bought or consumed where purchase prices do not exact taxes as an add-on or are some part of the prices paid. TH*NK about it!
Presently, “tax independence day” is now July 3rd. For those working for a wage, all income earned up until July 3rd is paid to some taxing entity in one form of tax levy, or another. This equates to roughly 51% of wages! Our founding fathers would be appalled by this reality of 2009. They revolted in 1776 for far less than that! True, we now have taxation WITH representation; but do elected officials truly honor our wishes on the taxes they require us to pay? I sincerely doubt it.
In preparation for this column, I did a brief review of US income tax history. It was a real eye opener. The first income tax was levied in 1862 to underwrite the so-called HUGE costs of the Civil War. This relatively miniscule levy of 1% on incomes over $800 wasn’t permanent and was repealed in 1872. A later tax enacted in 1894 was deemed unconstitutional in 1895 because it was not apportioned to the population of each state. The 16th Amendment was drafted to remedy the constitutional contradiction and became law when ratified by the 36th state (Wyoming) in 1913.
Initially, those meeting that taxable hurdle by having a net income exceeding $3,000 paid 1% while those who made over $500,000 - regarded as a criminally obscene amount of income in 1913 - paid 6%. If that still held true using some fast and dirty computational roll forwards (given that the dollar has lost 97% of its purchasing power) those now earning in excess of $16.6 MILLION would pay $1 MILLION – not the roughly $5,785,000 that they would owe using the current 2008 tax computation worksheet. Such may not be a fair (or valid) comparison because the limited tax law of 1913 is a far cry from the thousands of pages of today’s tax code. What we have here now can only be characterized by the words “a crime against humanity - an abomination!”
A goodly number of Americans will pay way more in taxes than they should. Many who prepare their own returns should hire professional help. Instructions for the tax forms and the core tax code behind them are way too complicated for those not having the necessary formal training. It is already noted that a majority of mistakes made will involve realizing the full recovery rebate credit, properly deducting job search expenses, properly claiming unemployment benefit income, deducting IRA contributions, and deducting the appropriate amount of investment portfolio losses.
This present albatross on the backs of the American people and business is the legacy of our many intervening wars and the social engineering motivating our voluminous tax code. Warfare generates tax increases. There is a direct correlation between the US at war and significant increases in income taxes levied. The politics of rewarding and punishing social behavior has also led to our current tax mess. Last Fall’s elections were waged under the banner of recessionary pain and the desire for fashionable “green” energy reforms. Have we really seen relief in our filings due on Wednesday? Enough already!
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2008 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on April 13, 2009.