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

www.shop.ocasiocortez.com

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 at best 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.

Eric Weinstein, managing director of investment firm Thiel Capital and host of "The Portal" podcast, is not a conservative, but he says conservative and center-right-affiliated media are the only ones who will still allow oppositional voices.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Eric told Glenn that the center-left media, which "controls the official version of events for the country," once welcomed him, but that all changed about eight years ago when they started avoiding any kind of criticism by branding those who disagree with them as "alt-right, far-right, neo-Nazi, etc.," even if they are coming from the left side of the aisle. But their efforts to discredit critical opinions don't stop there. According to Eric, there is a strategy being employed to destroy our national culture and make sure Americans with opposing views do not come together.

"We're trifling with the disillusionment of our national culture. And our national culture is what animates the country. If we lose the culture, the documents will not save us," Eric said. "I have a very strongly strategic perspective, which is that you save things up for an emergency. Well, we're there now."

In the clip below, Eric explains why, after many requests over the last few years, he finally agreed to this podcast.

Don't miss the full interview with Eric Weinstein here.

Want to listen to more Glenn Beck podcasts?

Subscribe to Glenn Beck's channel on YouTube for FREE access to more of his masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, or subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Glenn Beck: Why MLK's pledge of NONVIOLENCE is the key to saving America

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Listen to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s pledge of nonviolence and really let it sink in: "Remember always that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory."

On the radio program, Glenn Beck shared King's "ten commandments" of nonviolence and the meaning behind the powerful words you may never have noticed before.

"People will say nonviolent resistance is a method of cowards. It is not. It takes more courage to stand there when people are threatening you," Glenn said. "You're not necessarily the one who is going to win. You may lose. But you are standing up with courage for the ideas that you espouse. And the minute you engage in the kind of activity that the other side is engaging in, you discredit the movement. You discredit everything we believe in."

Take MLK's words to heart, America. We must stand with courage, nonviolently, with love for all, and strive for peace and rule of law, not "winning."

Watch the video below for more:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Conservatives are between a rock and a hard place with Section 230 and Big Tech censorship. We don't want more government regulation, but have we moved beyond the ability of Section 230 reforms to rein in Big Tech's rising power?

Rachel Bovard, Conservative Partnership Institute's senior director of policy, joined the Glenn Beck radio program to give her thoughts and propose a possibly bipartisan alternative: enforcing our existing antitrust laws.

Watch the video below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Dan Bongino, host of The Dan Bongino Show, is an investor in Parler — the social media platform that actually believes in free speech. Parler was attacked by Big Tech — namely Amazon, Apple, and Google — earlier this week, but Bongino says the company isn't giving up without a fight. In fact, he says, he's willing to go bankrupt over this one.

Dan joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he calls a "smear" campaign behind the scenes, and how he believes we can move forward from Big Tech's control.

"You have no idea how bad this was behind the scenes," Dan told Glenn. "I know you're probably thinking ... well, how much worse can the attack on Parler have gotten than three trillion-dollar companies — Amazon, Apple, and Google — all seemingly coordinated to remove your business from the face of the Earth? Well, behind the scenes, it's even worse. I mean, there are smear campaigns, pressure campaigns ... lawyers, bankers, everyone, to get this company ... wiped from the face of the earth. It's incredible."

Dan emphasized that he would not give up without a fight, because what's he's really fighting for is the right to free speech for all Americans, regardless of their political opinions, without fear of being banned, blacklisted, or losing jobs and businesses.

"I will go bankrupt. I will go absolutely destitute before I let this go," he said. "I have had some very scary moments in my life and they put horse blinders on me. I know what matters now. It's not money. It's not houses. It's none of that crap. It's this: the ability to exist in a free country, where you can express your ideas freely."

Watch the video below to hear more from Dan:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.