Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tax Freedom Day, April 15, 2013


As you know, George Washington is considered to be the father of our country.

He presided over the constitutional convention in Philadelphia and was our first president.

Without his leadership ,and the universal respect he held, many believe there would never have been a United States of America.

While he was instrumental in creating our government, he was deeply concerned about the power that government possessed and the tendency for it to be abused.

He said “ Government is a necessary Evil” and then again :”Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

If the father of our country was concerned about the evil of government power , perhaps we should be too.

And the power to tax is the most raw form of government power that exists.
Our war of independence was fought ,In large part, over abuses of taxation.

It can punish enemies and reward friends, it can intimidate you and manipulate your behavior, it can ultimately take your property and destroy you when it is in the wrong hands.

Yet while evil , as washington said, government and taxation is also necessary.
How else will we pay for legitimate functions of our government ?

So the question before us becomes what form of taxation is the least evil ?
What form best keeps power out of the hands of government and with the individual?

Well, lets start with what the founders had to say about it.

Article 1 section 8 of the constitution states the congress has the power to tax, but that tax must be uniform throughout the united states. In other words, equal so that some could not be taxed more heavily than others. This equality under the law is a central tenant of our form of government.

Section 8 later states that no capitation or other direct tax on an individual shall be laid.

So the founders knew the ability to tax an individual or to tax unequally was an evil that would lead to the abuse of government power.

It required changing the constitution before an income tax on individuals could be instituted. The 16th amendment , passed in 1913, not only allowed taxing income from any source,
but stated that it did not have to be proportional or equal among the states.

By the way, at the time, the people where promised the income tax would be temporary, never more than 7%, and only on the most wealthy.



While the top income tax rate started at 7% in 1913, it had risen to 67% by 1917 – just 4 years later. It has gone as high as 94% (under Roosevelt) and as low as 25 % (under Coolidge) – but it has never gone away. The moral – don't give government power and expect they won't use it to the fullest.

So what evil has the mutation of this new government power wrought in the last 100 years?

First, we have created a system that taxes unequally - depending on personal income, and the political whim of the day.

The power to tax an individual is virtually unlimited and depends only on how much politicians want to take. If the government is taking 80 or 90 percent of your income, are you not in reality, an indentured servant or slave?

The motive for such inequity and theft is jealousy and revenge. The commissioner of the I.R.S in 1953 stated that the income tax system was “conceived in class hatred”. And he was exactly right.

We say, It's not fair that he has more than I do so we are going to take it from him by force. Those who want to punish producers do not see that their own liberty is lost in the bargain.

Envy ------ one of the oldest and most destructive of human emotions, and the income tax enshrines it. Is it any wonder that a progressive income tax was a major goal of the Communist party – the worlds biggest peddlers of a class hatred that empowers themselves.


The system fails also because it gives exceptions to those the government favors. It is ,by definition, unequal treatment under the law.

While get the rich may be the battle call, only some of the rich pay a high tax.
Those with good attorneys and lobbyists, the right political connections and an industry the administration in power favors, pay very little.
In 2011, G.E. Filed a 57 thousand page tax return and had profits of 14 billion. According to the New York Time, they paid no federal corporate income tax at all. U.P.S. ,by contrast, had an effective corporate tax rate of 34% that same year.

The complexity of the tax code its self makes enforcement unequal - a matter of whim, chance and some times even revenge on political enemies.

No single person could possibly know all of the tax law. It is documented that the I.R.S. Its self gives different answers to the same tax question depending on who picks up the phone.

If no one knows exactly what the law is and it can be enforced selectively - Is this not the very definition of corruption?

Beware of what often passes as tax reform.
To simplify the tax code is not a bad thing it just misses the point. A flat tax for example is just what the income tax started out as before the thousands of exceptions got written.


But getting rid of the income tax altogether returns power to the people and to the states;
Just as its institution took power from the individual and gave it to the Federal Government.

The Fair Tax replacing the income tax is a structural change that will deconstruct
illegitimate and capricious federal power. Power that has grown over the last 100 years.

The income tax targets the individual and his property with a power that is limited only by the greed of politicians.

The fair tax, taxes commerce in the form if new goods and services. When, how and if that commerce takes place is controlled by each person.

The income tax gives bureaucrats the power and reason to to inspect every aspect of a persons life that has a monetary value attached to it.

The fair allows how we make income and what property we own to remain private.

The income tax is full of exceptions and deductions the government favors.
The system can be , and is, used to manipulate us into certain behaviors and punish others.
The I.R.S. , for example, will use our tax returns to collect information on who is compliant with Obama Care in 2014 and then take the penalties from our tax returns if we do not have the approved health insurance.

The Fair tax is well ------fair. When any individual buys new goods and services they pay a tax. The more he spends, the more he pays. There is no favoritism or special treatment.

The income tax is taken from the individual by the Federal government and is apportioned back to the states if they comply with Federal mandates for the funding.

The fair tax is collected at the point of service, in the states, then forwarded to Washington for federal functions only.

And we know , as in all of life, who ever controls the purse strings has the power.

As Mr. Washington said – government is a necessary evil.

It is our job not to empower that evil beyond what is absolutely necessary to a government of and by the people.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Missouri Health Care Freedom Declaration

Each citizen of Missouri has the unalienable and God given right to his own life. He has the liberty to live that life according to the dictates of his conscience.

Therefore, he has the absolute right to choose the medical care he desires or to choose none at all; as well as the right to buy or sell whatever health insurance or health care product he chooses or to buy none at all.

This is the natural right of a free man to direct his own life.

We, the citizens of Missouri, declare that the federal government has no constitutional or moral authority to mandate how we buy and sell health care; we therefore declare null and void any and all laws attempting to do so. We refuse to comply with powers they have assumed but were never granted by the states.

The United States and Missouri constitution clearly state that that powers not specifically granted to the Federal government by the states are retained by the states and the people.

We further note that this basic human right to health care freedom has been affirmed by the Missouri house and senate and by vote of the people by passing Proposition C -the health care freedom act - on August 2nd. 2010.


Principles

Missouri seeks to create an environment where vigorous competition can flourish both in health care products and services and in health insurance.

An abundant supply of doctors, clinics and hospitals as well as new health plan providers is critical to lowering cost, as is the ability of innovators to make a profit in a free market.

It is equally important that consumer have the information on price and quality they need to make wise and cost effective decisions.

As in with any product or service, it is competition in the free market alone that brings down cost, thereby making those products and services more affordable, abundant and accessible for all.

It is also our belief that each individual has personal responsibility for and freedom of choice in his health care.

Those who act responsibly and maintain health insurance coverage on themselves should not be penalized when they loose coverage through no fault of their own; whether that loss of coverage is from divorce, loss of job or becoming an adult. Those who keep themselves insured should have the opportunity to continue that coverage when a life event changes their situation.

These three principals: open competition, free access to information and the ability to maintain continuous coverage guide the policies to follow. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mo. Fair Tax Testimony

Testimony for HJR 8 – The Missouri Jobs and Prosperity Act (Mo. Fairtax)
James Coyne – Owner Coyne Agency Inc. Columbia, Mo.

George Washington once said “Government is a necessary evil” .
By extension, so are the taxes that fund it.
Necessary, because we must pay for the legitimate functions of Government.
Evil, because taxes take from a man the fruits of his labor and oppress him with regulation.
The question before us then is what method of collecting taxes is the most fair, the most simple and the least intrusive to our liberty? In a word, the least evil.
Every year Missourians go about trying to figure out what they owe and why they owe it under our income tax. Those with good tax accounts figure out how to pay less or none at all , the less crafty pay much more. In this bizarre game, businesses and individuals spend days of effort and thousands of dollars trying to figure out how to win.
But the rules of the game are fuzzy at best. Ask 3 tax attorneys if a particular method of organizing a business or a given deduction is legal and you might well get 3 different answers. An individual can end up on the wrong end of the law and not even know it. He can be subject to harsh punishment without even knowing he broke the law.

Worse yet, winners and losers are actually picked before the game ever starts by the state. Tax policy is used to reward some and punish others. It is used to manipulate citizens and that is unamerican and unworthy of the great state of Missouri.
We are not children nor compliant subjects – we are free men and women who have the right to equal treatment under the law – regardless of what businesses we are in or our economic standing.
The only reason I can think of to support the current tax system in Missouri is if you are one of the winners in this rigged game. If you have figured out a way to pay less than your neighbor or you are in a business favored by the state, you send a lobbyist to make sure you hold on to that winning hand. You will be hearing from a number of them today. They forget the greater good and simply like the unfair game because it favors them.
The excessive regulation of our tax code takes its toll on people in time, money and loss of liberty. I run a small insurance agency in Columbia consisting of myself, my daughter and my wife. Every year I spend over a thousand dollars paying a c.p.a. To do my payroll, file and send in my withholding tax and file tax returns.
In addition to the wasted money, I take time every month to inform her of what was paid and to whom. At the end of the year, it takes days of work with mounds of papers to prove every expense, penny of income and deduction.
And frankly there is always that fear in the back of my mind that I will get a knock on the door from a man from the government and he will find I did something wrong and I will be in a world of trouble.
If you are honest with yourself, doesn’t every person in this room have the same fear? With tax laws that are incomprehensible, that can be applied selectively, who knows if all your papers are ever truly are in order? And does not the income tax give the state the entree, the perfect excuse, to delve into every nook and cranny of you private life? What part of your private life is not touched in some way by money?
Multiply that loss of time, money and privacy over the millions of citizens in Missouri and we start to see a system that bleeds our state. This system makes the people fear the government and that is anti democratic.
The bill before you offers a stark alternative to all of this. I ask for your serious consideration of it. Everyone pays tax at the point of purchasing new goods and services and is done with the matter. No papers to keep, no taxes to file, no hassle, no fear. It is fair – everyone pays it and it is applied equally. It is simple and easily understood by the common man and it does not waste peoples time and money or intrude on their privacy.
The amount of income coming into the state will be the same as it is now. I believe the positive effects will be far reaching throughout our great state.
This system of taxation has been extensively researched in the academic world and has broad support by economists and citizens alike. It is currently being used by a number of states with great success. I will let others explain the well proven economic and job creating advantages .
But let me ask you one parting question. How did we get along before the income tax? The answer is - just fine.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Obama Care Reform or Submission? Talk at state capitol,

We've all heard plenty about the twenty five hundred page health care bill passed last year in Washington.
We know those who voted for it never read it or cared what was in it.
We know it empowers Federal bureaucrats to interpret and apply hundreds of mandates as they see fit.
Rather than cataloging all the ways it robs consumers, doctors and insurers of their liberty – let me sum up the whole thing for you in four words. “ Now we run everything”.
That's why they didn’t care what was in the bill – they knew it ultimately gave them control over healthcare.
They want to dictate to your doctor which procedures are approved and which are not.
They want to force you to buy the health insurance they approve.
They want to tell your health insurance company what policy’s they will sell, how they will run their business and if they will be allowed to be in business.
But most of all they want to make you dependent on them – once all healthcare is doled out by the government you will never vote them out.
Our founding fathers wisely feared above all things the power of the Federal government. They knew the natural tendency of government was to amass more and more power to itself until total tyranny prevailed.
To keep the Federal Government in check the states granted only strictly limited powers to it. They went on to demand an amendment that asserted that all powers not specifically enumerated as Federal where retained by the states and the people.
So not only will this so called reform destroy our health care it is clearly unconstitutional – it assumes powers for the Federal government that are prohibited to it by our founding documents.
I felt most proud of our state when, on Aug. 2, 2009 we asserted our right to determine our own healthcare.
Prop. C – the health care freedom act, passed overwhelmingly in the Missouri house and senate and was approved by 71% of the voters

The law states that no individual, employer or health care provider can be compelled to participate in a health care system (federally mandated or not).
That you may not be penalized for paying directly health care services.
And that the purchase or sale of private health insurance may not be prohibited.
This was a wonderful confirmation of the natural rights we posses as a free people. However, I can tell you from personal experience ,as a health insurance broker, that prop. C has not slowed the enforcement of health care reform at all.
Implementation is well underway in Missouri and will be completed by 2014.
A few months ago the requirement that insurers accept all minors age 19 and younger was phased in. This forces insurers to accept an individual who waited until they were sick to buy insurance. Kind of like buying home owners insurance while the house is burning down.
The result is no insurance company in the entire state now sells child only policy’s. They want to sell it, people want to buy it but the Federal government has made it impossible. By 2014 this will apply to to all adults and minors.
On January 1 of this year the 80/20 rule was phased in, requiring insurers to run all operations on 20% of income and prove it to Washington.
The result is we have 2 less choices in health care plans. Mercy announced they did not have the resources to comply and were bought out by coventry. Prudential stopped selling health insurance altogether. No new health insurers have entered the market in the last 2 years to my knowledge.
Over 200 Federal waivers to the 80/20 rule have been issued to well connected companies like Mc Donald’s while the rest of us are told to eat cake.
This year a myriad of other mandates on all coverage has raised premiums even higher.
Less choices, less competition and higher prices – all by design.
As the private healthcare industry continues to be killed off, we will end up with 2 or three compliant insurers that might as well be called an arm of the Federal Government.
When a private business is told what they must sell, what they can charge and how to run their business - what can you call it other than socialism?
The last man standing will be the Federal government who makes all the rules,prints money whenever they need it and destroys anyone who stands in their way.
The bulwark of our resistance lies with the states and the people.
The founders foresaw this day and gave us the power to resist Federal tyranny.
The healthcare freedom act we passed is clear – now lets enforce it.
Oklahoma and Arizona passed similar legislation this November. Florida passed it through the house and senate. And Indiana, New Mexico, and Wyoming are considering it.
We must stand immovable with other states against the usurping of our liberty. We must state with a clear voice that we do not recognize their authority in this matter and that healthcare reform is null and void in Missouri.
We have much to be hopeful about-the people are wide awake and will prevail.
Our natural rights as free men are a gift from God and no man may take them.
May the Great State of Missouri always be free and her people shine forth in the light of liberty.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Contract From Missouri

The Contract from Missouri

The following document was drafted with the approval of several Tea Party/Patriot groups in Missouri. It affirms the principles of our government and the rights of each citizen under it. It also asks our elected Federal and State officials to commit themselves to specific actions in office that will secure our liberties and assure constitutional limits on our government. They may endorse in whole or to specific commitments.

Principles

Each citizen of Missouri is endowed with the unalienable and God given right to his own life. He has the right to live his life according to the dictates of his conscience, respecting that same right of his neighbor.
He furthermore has the absolute right to the fruits of his labor-his property belongs to him alone. The people may, therefore, be taxed only with their consent for the constitutionally limited functions of government.
All power resides in the people of Missouri and is granted to the government for the protection of their liberty.
The state of Missouri is sovereign and all powers not strictly Federal in nature and not specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution reside with the state and with the people.
To spend only those funds it has is a prime responsibility of Government. To accrue debt to future generations is immoral, sentences our descendants to servitude and destroys their freedom and ability to prosper.

Commitments

1. I vow to protect the sovereignty of the state of Missouri by vigorously opposing federal legislation or regulation that dictates to our state on issues of health care, education, energy production and usage, banking, commerce, manufacturing or any other area not wholly federal in nature and not specifically enumerated as a federal power in the U.S. Constitution. I will seek to stand with other states to defend this sovereignty. I will apply the original intent of the commerce clause when considering legislation affecting Missouri.

2. I vow to oppose, by all legal means, the appointment of any justice that has not demonstrated, in judicial philosophy and rulings, a commitment to the original intent of the U.S. Constitution and a record of applying the law as written. I will vigorously oppose any judicial nominee who has ruled in a way that creates law from the bench or uses international law as precedent. Such actions usurp the power to make law from the legislative branch, undermine the U.S. Constitution and thereby negate the will of the people through their elected officials.

3. I vow to work for a balanced budget amendment and begin the process of paying off the national debt. I further vow to vote against any legislation that adds to the deficit (is not paid for) - the single exception being wartime spending after a congressional declaration of war. I will initiate action that will cut the Federal budget in the first two years of my term to 2000 levels - that budget to include all spending (entitlements, defense, etc.). These budget cuts will include cutting congressional pay and particularly benefits and retirement.

4. I vow to scrap the current tax code and replace it with a simple single rate tax system such as the FairTax. The current tax system infringes on the privacy of the people and is a tool of federal manipulation. The selective enforcement of an incomprehensible tax code is unequal justice under the law.

5. I vow to build the southern border fence as authorized and to take all other steps necessary to stop illegal border crossings - the protection of our borders being a prime responsibility of the federal government. I further vow to vigorously enforce existing immigration law and oppose any legislation that gives amnesty of any sort to those who have broken our immigration laws. Unknown foreign persons in our nation are a danger to the Republic.

6. I vow to promote, through constitutional amendment, a limit on U. S.Senators and U.S. Representatives to no more than 12 years in one office. I vow to personally serve no more than 12 years in one office. Public office is intended to be a temporary post of public service, filled by citizens, and not a career that enriches and empowers the office holder.

7. I vow that I will apply laws equally to the legislature and the American people, whether that legislation relates to social security, health care or any other issue. I will oppose special treatment for legislators and public officials that is not granted to the people.

8. I vow to support legislation that requires bills to be on a single subject for a single purpose. I will also support complex bills being broken down to single specific proposals. Adding unrelated items to bills and making them so complex that no one understands or reads them is an attempt to hide what is being passed. This practice prevents transparency and open debate on important issues. Bills that are not understandable can also be selectively applied. This constitutes unequal justice and gives regulators the power to make law by how they choose to apply it.

9. I vow to support legislation that requires any regulation having the effect of law, from any agency (E.P.A., H.H.S., I.C.E. etc.), to be first approved by both houses of congress before they are implemented – the creation of law by unelected regulators being unconstitutional.

10. I vow to defend the sovereignty of the United States and its Constitution and law as supreme over all foreign governing bodies.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Tao Of Capitalism

Capitalism is a system that is no system. It is the lack of a system.
It is the way things happen.

An economic system seeks to direct what work people do and where they spend money.
Capitalism allows people to do what they want and spend money on whatever they wish.

There is a perfect symmetry and balance to nature and we and everything we do are part of it. Work flows to where it is needed and money flows to what is in demand. This happens with no plan.

Demand finds the perfect amount of supply, constantly seeking balance; as water perfectly fits the dimensions of a crack. There is no plan that can predict it – no formula that can duplicate it. It is the Tao - the way of things. It is the perfect freedom and balance of nature itself.

If there is a stretch of road 100 miles between two cities and the need of travelers is sufficient; a gas station will be built. The idea will come to someone and they will set out to fill the need. If the service is sufficient the business will grow and money will flow to it. If the service is not sufficient, it will die and another will sprout up to fill the need. This will repeat until the needs of the travelers is met perfectly- when there is enough it will stop.

If within that service station there is a need for drinks or sandwiches or twinkies they will be offered. If one type of sandwich is not good to people, it will no longer be offered and more of the varieties they like will be.

Supply and demand – creation and void in a constant dance finding balance more perfectly than any plan could.

No study was done by the Government to asses the need or decide what should be built. No incentive was offered to build the station and no one was there to stop the building when the supply was enough.

It all just happened. That is the Tao of capitalism.
Trust the universe – it operates beautifully without us.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Other Side of America

I awoke in some long ago day that I can not remember.
Shuffling past row after row of Grey buildings -
all slowly rotting in the same way.
Cold Grey sky – cold Grey streets.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
are one endless day - that is the same day.
People passing by, going nowhere really-
as there is nothing to do – nothing that can be done.
We exist for no reason.
“What we have has been given to us”.
I look in to their faces and see no spark of life -
hollow ghosts, wind whistling through.
They do not speak; there is nothing to talk about -
there is no future but eternal death.
The New York Times said “God is dead”
And so he is - never to return.
“All are equal” is our creed
And always will be.

James Coyne