by Gary Gibson
The Dollar Vigilante
April 15, 2013
That’s when millions upon millions of Americans file their taxes with a mingled sense of duty and relief, rather like long-term hostages who are happy that they made their captors’ coffee just right that morning.
Those who don’t absolutely detest paying taxes are broken somewhere deep down inside and I feel sorry for them. They have my deepest sympathy for the part of their humanity that has so clearly been mangled by the state.
Millions upon millions of such broken, foolish people have also been conditioned to hate those who don’t want to pay taxes, especially income taxes. That’s how successful the government has been at brainwashing nearly everyone.
Liking The Way The State Does It To Them
I know plenty of people who are bothered to no end about how corporations are watching us and our online activities in order to — gasp and horror — provide us with goods and services that more suit our needs…Yet these same people have no problem when their government gets even more invasive in order to steal more money and put more people in jail as an example to others. From US News and World Report:
The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year–it’s also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers’ digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it’s never gone before.
The IRS, under heavy pressure to help Washington out of its budget quagmire by chasing down an estimated $300 billion in revenue lost to evasions and errors each year, will start using “robo-audits” of tax forms and third-party data the IRS hopes will help close this so-called “tax gap.” But the agency reveals little about how it will employ its vast, new network scanning powers.
Consumers are already familiar with Internet “cookies” that track their movements and send them targeted ads that follow them to different websites. The IRS has brought in private industry experts to employ similar digital tracking–but with the added advantage of access to Social Security numbers, health records, credit card transactions and many other privileged forms of information that marketers don’t see.
“Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are,” boasted Dean Silverman, the agency’s high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications. The IRS did not respond to a request for an interview.
If Americans are so enamored with paying taxes and “paying their fair share”, then they should be happier than ever in the age of the Internet and social media. Not only does the IRS consider ALL supposedly private electronic communications like email and cloud information within their right to search, but they will also be spying on your Facebook and Twitter accounts to see if you aren’t reporting every possible taxable action.
According to another recent article in US News:
With IRS staff sharply reduced in recent budget cuts, computerized tax processing and “data matching” of third-party networks are becoming the new normal. The IRS is using data to catch tax cheats and identify theft. But taxpayers who document legitimate expenses carefully could also be snarled in the digital dragnet and face time-consuming audits and costly appeals.
Now to be clear, the IRS has said in a statement, “Contrary to some suggestions, the IRS does not use emails to target taxpayers. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong.” The IRS swears that it will only use its Sauron-like powers to monitor your entire e-life if there is “suspicious” stuff on your tax return.
First of all, these people specialize in theft at gunpoint, so keep that in mind when they give you their solemn word that they aren’t spying on your emails. But also keep in mind that once an audit is triggered by any abnormal activity (even if it proves to be perfectly allowable abnormal activity), every electronic record that can be used to hang you will be used. That means emails, the stuff you placed in online “cloud” storage, and your Facebook and Twitter posts.
Almost Incalculable Power
We are talking truly cosmic levels of obersvational and tracking power becoming availabe to the IRS. The IRS has expanded its data capacity 1000 percent in the past six years. A year’s worth of tax returns can now be processed in just 10 hours. This is as opposed to the four months it used to take just eight years ago. And processing those returns at that speed only takes a fraction of the IRS’s computing power. What are they doing with the rest of it?
According to the article, the IRS plans to use their big data and computing power to do things like:
– Charting and analyzing social media such as Facebook
– Targeting audits by matching tax filings to social media or electronic payments
– Tracking individual Internet addresses and emailing patterns
– Sorting data in 32,000 categories of metadata and 1 million unique “attributes”
There will be no more slipping through the cracks or hiding in the shadows. The IRS now has the ability to see absolutely everything that you do. Everything. There won’t be a deposit, withdrawal or transaction that they won’t be able to scrutinize. They will be looking not just at your electronic conversations, but also your online habits. There will be no hiding from them. Your financial soul will be naked, exposed and ashamed before them like Adam and Eve before an angry god in the Garden of Eden.
Why Bother Filing?
With this ability to see all, we have to ask: “Why bother making us file?”
If the IRS is able to see everything, and if they have all that computer power, then why not just save us the trouble and determine what we owe exactly and down to the last penny? I mean, why ask us to spend so much time sweating, worrying and filing our activities and then reconciling them on all those forms? Why make us risk misreporting and facing penalties and time in prison?
I suppose it’s because the government doesn’t really need the money. The reporting requirements aren’t to fund the government. Those criminals have debt and inflation for their spending needs. No, the reporting is to remind the citizenry of their place. It’s to keep them in line. You think it’s an accident that the tax code constantly gets longer and more convoluted? The government creates lays created a labyrinth of the tax code and then fills it with landmines in order to keep us all fearful of making a mistep.
The government’s theft of your money isn’t the worst part. It’s that they make you sit down and take detailed, stressful accounting of the theft so that your numbers reconcile with their own. That’s like the rapist insisting that you seductively roll the condom onto his member.
Why Put Up With It?
Things are only going to get worse from here on out. While taxation is repugnant, it would be a lot more tolerable if it wasn’t such a huge drain, both in the amount of money stolen and the amount of time and effort spent trying to comply with the law…and then never being absolutely sure that you won’t get in trouble despite your best efforts.
Why put up with the fear? Why put up with a government that will keep stealing more and more from you in the name of “fairness” and make it impossible for you to amass any wealth? I write a newsletter called Homegrown about surviving and thriving in the US amidst increasingly worse conditions of government interference and theft. But I never stop kidding myself about this fact: total escape from the US is the best option (and one I will ultimately be taking myself).
It’s really not enough to expatriate, however. Ultimately those with anything to protect will want to divorce themselves entirely from the all obligations to the US. Like the producing class in Ayn Rand’s prophetic classic “Atlas Shrugged” the producers in the real world are realizing there is no good reason to stick around and continue to be stolen from while living under constant invasive monitoring.
If you would be free, you will need to join a kinder, less unfree tax farm before you can relinquish Uncle Sam’s claim on you. Learn more about how to unslave yourself from the US here.
And TDV is building its own version of Ayn Rand’s Galt’s Gulch for those fed up US tax slaves to gather and live more freely. Learn more about securing your piece of the Gulch by clicking here.
About the author:
Gary Gibson, The Dollar Vigilante’s Editor, cut his teeth writing for liberty and profit as the managing editor of the now-defunct Whiskey & Gunpowder financial newsletter. He now writes for and edits The Dollar Vigilante. In his capacity as managing editor of TDV’s monthly subscription letter TDV Homegrown, Gary insists on playing Russian Roulette by basing himself in the USSA heartland so he can round up information on how the TDV readers stuck in the USSA can best survive and profit in the increasingly turbulent times in the morally and financially bankrupt empire.
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