Hey AOC, this is what taxing the rich really looks like

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made news last week when she unveiled a sweatshirt for $58 with the message of "Tax the rich." From a political marketing point of view, this message is brilliant. It is simple, vague, easy to remember, sounds catchy, and easy to repeat on Twitter so it can become a trending hashtag.

From a principled and informed point of view, it is a message that is misleading atbest and downright dishonest at its worst.

Why?

Because our friends on the left, who promote this message, never fully reveal their plans of precisely what taxing the rich looks like. They will share a few policies, but you must trust them with the economy's keys to get the final destination of what they believe is fair. Today, I want to show you what taxing the rich looks like in reality, and you can decide for yourself how reasonable it is.

Definition of "Rich"

When you hear "tax the rich," the first question everyone should ask is: "What is the definition of rich?" You should expect an accurate and detailed answer. If you ever engage with people on social media, you have likely gotten vague replies like:

  • It's clear who is rich
  • Top 1%
  • Fat cats
  • Bankers
  • Millionaires & billionaires, etc.

The kind and compassionate people who support taxing the rich are always quick to promote taking other people's hard-earned money, yet equally quick to complain when their income is taxed more.

Socialism and big government policies eventually come for everyone...

Socialism and big government policies eventually come for everyone because there is always someone less fortunate than you. The only question is how long it will take before the crowd turns on you and demands you pay your fair share. Let me answer this for you.

I will share with you the taxation policies of a country for which many Americans have positive feelings: Ireland. Ireland is a socialist nation, and its government is very proud of its progressive taxation policies. As I go thru each level of taxation, ask yourself what would happen if America adopted these policies tomorrow.

Note: The figures quoted below are in Euros. Currently, the exchange rate is approximately €1 to $1.20.

Wages

The simplest place to start is with your wages. We have three taxes on our direct income:

  • PAYE – Pay As You Earn
  • PRSI – Pay Related Social Insurance
  • USC – Universal Social Charge

The rate of PAYE is 20% on the first €35,300 of income. Every additional penny above is taxed at 40%*.

PRSI is 4% of income. However, if you annually earn under €18,304, you can apply for a yearly credit of up to €624.

The rates of USC are based purely on income:

  • Up to €12,012 — 0.5%
  • €12,012 to €20,484 — 2%
  • €20,484 to €70,044 — 4.5%
  • €70,044 and above — 8%

*Taxation in Ireland is a complicated matter because of individual/couple tax allowances and credits, which can vary from person to person, depending on their circumstances. You will always pay a lower rate of PAYE with these deductions.

Sales Tax

Ireland has a national sales tax, which is called Value Added Tax (VAT). The standard rate of VAT in Ireland is 21%. This rate is charged on the majority of items people purchase – including your grocery shopping, accessories around your household like televisions, PlayStation, and furniture. It also includes personal items like jewelry and clothing.

There are a few exceptions.

We have a reduced rate of 13.5% for items like home utilities (natural gas, electric), building maintenance, and cleaning services.

To help stimulate parts of the economy, the government added a third rate of 9%. This mainly applies to the hospitality sector – pubs, restaurants, and hotels.

Gas Taxation

Americans complain if gas prices go to $3.50 per gallon, get upset at $4.00 a gallon, and if it increases to $5.00 a gallon, watch out!

Gas prices are one of those issues about which Americans complain (and rightfully so), but non-Americans will not sympathize. So why do non-Americans have no sympathy?

For most of the last year, Irish gas prices (similarly worldwide) have been low because of crude oil's cheap cost. Depending on where you shop, the average price has been around €1.20 per litre or €4.55 per gallon ($5.46 per gallon). Note that this is considered inexpensive in Ireland. In the past, Irish gas prices have been closer to $8-$9 per gallon. So why is it so expensive?

America is blessed with oil fields that produce the majority of oil consumed by your country.

America does hold a natural advantage when it comes to oil, purely because crude oil is quoted and traded in U.S. dollars. America is blessed with oil fields that produce the majority of oil consumed by your country. Although U.S. gas prices include some taxes, Irish gas includes FOUR separate taxes:

· Excise tax is €0.50 per litre

· Carbon tax is €0.06 per litre

· NORA levy is €0.02 per litre

· VAT is 23%

Let's put these prices into context. If oil became free for everyone worldwide with Irish taxation, it would be virtually impossible to see gas prices of less than $4.00 per gallon.

Double Taxation

In Ireland (and most countries with big governments), it is prevalent for income to be taxed more than once. Ireland has very progressive tax policies when it comes to people using their money to advance themselves. Let me share some examples.

  • DIRT Tax (41%)

This stands for Deposit Interest Retention Tax. It is prevalent (mainly in working-class areas) to take a portion of your paycheck and save it in the credit union. The credit union then uses your money to fund its business and gives interest at the end of the year. During the year, any interest earned is taxed at 41% and is taken directly by the credit union.

  • Capital Gains Tax (33%)

After all these taxes, if you are lucky enough to have some money left, you may decide to invest in the stock market, buy some gold or other investment. Any profits from these investments are taxed at 33%.

  • Gift Tax (33%)

If you decide to give someone a gift of money or an asset, it will be taxed at 33% if you surpass the different thresholds. You can currently give your friend or extended family (i.e., cousins) €16,250 or a sibling/parent €32,500 ($39,000) tax-free. Everything above is taxed at 33%.

  • Inheritance Tax (33%)

Inheritance taxation is similar to the Gift Tax and has similar tax free thresholds. It is also charged at a rate of 33%.

Additional Taxation

There are countless other taxes, but here is a small sample of additional taxes:

  • Stamp duty of 1% is due on all house purchases
  • Property tax of up to 0.25% of your property value must be paid annually
  • Car tax on your vehicle is based on engine size (noting that U.S. vehicles are much bigger). A standard SUV will likely cost €570 - €750 annually.
  • Benefit in kind: If you are lucky enough to work for a company that provides you with a work vehicle, you will pay a tax on your wages because you are deemed in receipt of a benefit from your employer.
  • If you own a pet, you also have to pay a tax to get a dog license, etc. These are about €20 annually.

Conclusion

This is what paying your fair share looks like in Ireland 2020. To those who read this and think it's not enough, fear not, as Ireland is not the finished article. I do not doubt that it will only be a matter of time before the Irish or European governments develop new and innovative ways to ensure everyone pays his/her fair share.

This is what paying your fair share looks like in Ireland 2020.

After reflecting on these numbers, I would ask you to think about whom these taxation policies hurt the most. Are they taxing the rich or hurting the poor?

I hope you have never been poor or had to worry about putting food on the table. If you have, you will know that every penny counts. There will be weeks that you have nothing left in your wallet because everything is so expensive.

  • With this in mind, how could anyone possibly justify a 23% tax on all you buy?
  • How can anyone justify taxation on gas being so high that it costs €65 to fill a car?
  • If someone is careful with his/her money, saving all they have to buy a first home or move to a better place, how can someone justify taking 33% or more of their savings?

Socialist and progressive policies can sound great in theory and may even come from a place of well-meaning. In reality, they always hurt society – especially those at the lowest income levels working hard to improve their financial future.

Jonathon hosts a weekly one hour show exclusive to the Blaze Radio Network called Freedom's Disciple where he highlights the IDEA of America, promotes the eternal principles of freedom & and shares his passion of America's Founding documents. Please check out his show for FREE on The Blaze and is available on all major platforms.

How RFK's example can help our nation in the wake of Trump's attack

Rowland Scherman / Contributor | Getty Images

How did you feel last Saturday when you heard the news that a former president of the United States narrowly avoided an assassin's bullet by a mere few inches? Were you angry at the media for their constant demonization of Trump and his conservative contingency? Did you blame the left for curating a political climate that fostered an assassination attempt?

In his immediate reaction to the news, Glenn pointed us back to a similar moment in American history: April 4th, 1968—the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

"The best speech I've ever heard given was by RFK Sr. on the day Martin Luther King was killed" - Glenn

Robert F. Kennedy, the father of current independent presidential candidate RFK Jr., was en route to Indianapolis when he heard the terrible news. His security team, expecting violent outrage across the country, asked RFK Sr. to turn around and head back to safety. But as Glenn said, RFK Sr. believed in the good in people and demanded to give his speech. He arrived in Indianapolis Park late in the day, and he addressed the crowd of predominantly black campaign supporters.

There were no riots in Indianapolis that night.

The message RFK Sr. gave that night wasn't one of vengeance, hatred, or hopelessness, but of calm and goodness. He appealed to the best in people. He called for people to set aside their differences, anger, fear, and confusion and instead express love and compassion towards one another. RFK Sr. asked for wisdom and the pursuit of justice so that we might be resolute in our unity as the country faces another difficult chapter.

What we need in this country is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another.

Glenn has made a similar plea to our nation—a plea for unity and not to lash out in fear and anger. Don't use this time to blame your friends and family who disagree with you politically for what happened or to tell them "I told you so!" Instead, reach out with compassion and grace. This is a turning point in American history. Let's turn it upward, away from hatred and violence and towards unison and compassion.

Fortunately, President Trump walked away from his attempted assassination with very minor injuries. The bullet that wounded Trump's ear could have just as easily ended his life, and his survival is nothing short of a miracle.

Sadly, that miracle didn't extend to everyone attending Trump's ill-fated Pennsylvania rally. Three other people were shot. David Dutch and James Copenhaver, both Pennslyavia residents, are thankfully in stable condition. Corey Comperatore, however, tragically died after being shot while protecting his wife and daughter from the hail of gunfire.

“Corey died a hero."

Camperatore, a 50-year-old loving father and husband from Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania leaves behind his daughter Allyson, his wife Helen, sister Dawn, and many other friends and family. Camperatore was a man of service, having spent 43 years as part of the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Company and had worked his way to becoming the fire chief when he stepped down to spend more time with his daughter.

Corey Comperatore's firefighting gear outside the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Company. The Washington Post / Contributor | Getty Images

Corey's friends and family have nothing but good things to say about him, and judging by their testimonies, Corey's final heroic act was consistent with how the volunteer firefighter lived his life.

According to many people who knew Compertore, he was a true patriot who loved his country. He was a fan of President Trump. Compertore was very excited to attend Saturday's rally, which he expressed in his last social media post.

Corey_Comper/X

During his speech addressing the shooting, President Biden expressed his condolences to the Comperatore family, stating that "He was a father. He was protecting his family from the bullets that were being fired.”

Democrat Mutiny? These prominent Progressives and Democratic leaders DEMAND that Biden withdraw

NurPhoto / Contributor, Justin Sullivan / Staff, Cindy Ord / Staff | Getty Images

Biden is still taking hard blows from both sides of the aisle after his abysmal performance in last month's presidential debate. As Glenn pointed out in his post-debate coverage, Biden came across as so incompetent that it has made many Americans scared that, should the country face a major threat, Biden would be unable to respond to it. This includes many Democrats, who are finally admitting that Biden isn't as fit as they have been claiming for the last four years.

Many names have already been suggested as potential replacements for the Democratic nominee, but many people, including some Democrats, don't believe Biden should even stay in office for the election. Here are some prominent progressives and Democratic lawmakers who have called for President Biden's resignation:

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)

Tom Williams / Contributor | Getty Images

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Arizona)

NurPhoto / Contributor | Getty Images

Rep. Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)

Justin Sullivan / Staff | Getty Images

Rep. Mike Quigley (Illinois)

Pool / Pool | Getty Images

Rep. Angie Craig (Minnesota)

Anna Moneymaker / Staff | Getty Images

Rep. Adam Smith (Washington)

Scott J. Ferrell / Contributor | Getty Images

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (New Jersey)

Chip Somodevilla / Staff | Getty Images

Rep. Pat Ryan (New York)

Tom Williams / Contributor | Getty Images

Rep. Hillary Scholten (Michigan)

Bill Clark / Contributor | Getty Images

Senator Peter Welch (Vermont)

Bonnie Cash / Stringer | Getty Images

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)

Chip Somodevilla / Staff | Getty Images

BONUS: Actor George Clooney

Cindy Ord / Staff | Getty Images

These TOP 5 new technologies left Glenn SHOCKED

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Glenn has been covering some of the most groundbreaking, exciting, and often terrifying technological advances. Some new tech has the potential to make a positive impact. Some tech is just SUPER cool, like a flame-throwing robot dog. However, there is also a dark side to technology. Glenn exposes how some new technological developments, particularly in the realm of AI, pose serious ethical questions.

Here are the top five new technologies that Glenn covered that will make your jaw drop:

Anti-gravity device

This new technology developed by Dr. Charles Buhler and his team may change everything we know about transportation and travel. Described as "propellant-less propulsion" by Dr. Buhler, this technology appears to defy gravity and is potentially a way for people to travel into and through space without the need for rockets. It doesn't stop there either, this tech could be used to forever change the way we travel here on Earth.

Human embryo-powered supercomputer

To have massively powerful AI, something, which many people seem to have an invested interest in, you need a lot of electricity to power the computers that host the artificial intelligences. Naturally, this energy consumption upsets the environmentalists so in response a terrifying solution was developed. Bio Processors are essentially computer chips powered by human cells, specifically stem cells, which are predominantly harvested from embryos. These Bio Processors have a limited shelf life, meaning they need a steady supply of stem cells to keep the computers that use them operational. What could be more terrifying than an AI that eats human cells?

Voice-stealing AI

When ChatGPT came out in late 2022 its power and versatility took the world by storm. Suddenly, students had it write entire essays in mere seconds, and it was creating songs and poems with ease. The capabilities of the ChatGPT AI were as disturbing as they were impressive, but after a recent update, it took a hard turn towards disturbing. OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, decided to give the program a voice and tried to recruit famous actress Scarlett Johansson to lend her voice to the machine. After she declined the offer, OpenAI went ahead and released the update for ChatGPT featuring a voice that sounded eerily similar to Johansson's. While OpenAI claims it's a different, similar-sounding voice actress, the idea that a computer is going around with your stolen voice is terrifying.

Flamethrower robot dog

How could you possibly ever make something cooler than a flamethrower? Simple, strap it to the back of a robotic dog of course! Originally built to help fight forest fires (ironically enough) by creating backburns, Glenn pointed out that a pack of these bad boys patrolling your property would be the ultimate home defense. Nobody would come anywhere near your house if it was guarded by a few of these firey companions.

Wormhole-generating UFO's

It's been a decade since the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. No trace of the aircraft or any of its passengers, except a few small pieces of debris, were ever found nor was an official cause of the disappearance ever given. There have been an infinite number of theories explaining what might have happened, but this one from investigative journalist Ashton Forbes might take the cake for the wildest. Forbes joined Glenn on his radio show and brought with him convincing video evidence that seemed to show the now-missing aircraft being circled by three mysterious orbs before suddenly disappearing in a flash of light. Does this video show the doomed aircraft being sucked into an artificial wormhole, or is it an amazing piece of hoaxwork?