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"If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own."
— Wes Nisker, Radio Commentator

In Dependence Day

Hi everyone, welcome back to Fiscal Friday. This is Bess Byers with A Generation Empowered. Tomorrow is Independence Day, so I’ve put on the patriotism to talk freedom, finances and our future.

If you slept through history… The Revolutionary War started in April 1775 in resistance to taxes imposed by the British parliament. King George taxed colonists for British military purposes. Americans felt it was unconstitutional. Insert war here, we all know who won. ‘Merica! On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence and almost 100 years later, in 1870, Congress declared July 4th a national holiday.

Wow! Let’s fast forward a couple hundred years and look at the evolution of our independence.

Well, we’re still funding wars… According to The Overseas Contingency Operations fund (war fund), taxpayers have spent $1.64 trillion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Hidden in this fund is an estimated $100 billion in non-war spending for the Pentagon to bypass budget caps. What’s not included in the $1.6 tril estimate is future war costs, medical care for soldiers and veterans and interest payments on debt incurred by funding these wars.

So, maybe excessive war is unpatriotic… Let’s look elsewhere…

President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935 creating an economic safety net for millions of Americans. This pay-as-you-go program benefits retirees, disabled persons, and their families. So are we free to be socially secure? Meh… No. According the Social Security Administration’s annual trustees report, the program ran a $76B deficit in 2013 and funds are estimated to be depleted by 2034. It is criminal the US government forcibly take our income under the guise of retirement. Moreover, who would trust a government $19 trillion in the debt to manage their savings?

Alright, Social Security needs an Insecurity rebranding… Healthcare? We have the freedom to choose that, right?

Not under the Affordable Care Act. The government forces you to buy healthcare or pay a fee. If Americans opt out, they pay the Orwellian-named “Individual Shared Responsibility Fee.” For 2015, this fee is $325 per adult or 2% of your taxable income - whichever is greater. Of course.

War… Social Security… Healthcare… Why not throw in some taxation without representation? 

The income tax is an annual tax collected by the Fed, most states and some local governments, on an individual’s or business’s net profit. For most people, this tax is impossible to escape, unless you’re a big corporation or special interest group.

The Federal Estate Tax is the worst, as the government literally profits off death. (That’s comforting considering they control healthcare). Also known as the Death Tax, it’s a tax on the estate transfer of a deceased person. Under current law, assets totaling more than $1 million are taxed at a 55 percent rate. Assets include homes, cars, furniture, artwork, property, machinery, stocks and bonds. When Grandma dies, the last thing a family should worry about is paying the IRS.

Tax your life, tax your death, why not tax investments too?

Capital gains include stocks, bonds, precious metals and property. The capital gains tax is a tax on profits from these investments, and it’s only paid at the time of sale. If you buy a house, sell it and make a profit, the government still takes a cut. (So you bought the house with money you paid taxes on… Then turned a profit… 

Wow… Taxes, fees and forced retirement. Is America truly free, or are we beholden to politicians running us trillions in debt? What would our founding fathers think? I’m sure DHS would brand them domestic terrorists. 

This is Bess Byers, signing off. Happy Independence Day, and remember, it’s your generation and you’re empowered!

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Leaving a generation almost $20 trillion in debt is unacceptable and unpatriotic.

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