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 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.

Critical Race Theory: A special brand of evil

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Part of what makes it hard for us to challenge the left is that their beliefs are complicated. We don't mean complicated in a positive way. They aren't complicated the way love is complicated. They're complicated because there's no good explanation for them, no basis in reality.

The left cannot pull their heads out of the clouds. They are stuck on romantic ideas, abstract ideas, universal ideas. They talk in theories. They see the world through ideologies. They cannot divorce themselves from their own academic fixations. And — contrary to what they believe and how they act — it's not because leftists are smarter than the rest of us. And studies have repeatedly shown that leftists are the least happy people in the country. Marx was no different. The Communist Manifesto talks about how the rise of cities "rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life."

Studies have repeatedly shown that leftists are the least happy people in the country.

Instead of admitting that they're pathological hypocrites, they tell us that we're dumb and tell us to educate ourselves. Okay, so we educate ourselves; we return with a coherent argument. Then they say, "Well, you can't actually understand what you just said unless you understand the work of this other obscure Marxist writer. So educate yourselves more."

It's basically the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, the idea that when you point out a flaw in someone's argument, they say, "Well, that's a bad example."

After a while, it becomes obvious that there is no final destination for their bread-crumb trail. Everything they say is based on something that somebody else said, which is based on something somebody else said.

Take critical race theory. We're sure you've noticed by now that it is not evidence-based — at all. It is not, as academics say, a quantitative method. It doesn't use objective facts and data to arrive at conclusions. Probably because most of those conclusions don't have any basis in reality.

Critical race theory is based on feelings. These feelings are based on theories that are also based on feelings.

We wanted to trace the history of critical race theory back to the point where its special brand of evil began. What allowed it to become the toxic, racist monster that it is today?

Later, we'll tell you about some of the snobs who created critical theory, which laid the groundwork for CRT. But if you follow the bread-crumb trail from their ideas, you wind up with Marxism.

For years, the staff has devoted a lot of time to researching Marxism. We have read a lot of Marx and Marxist writing. It's part of our promise to you to be as informed as possible, so that you know where to go for answers; so that you know what to say when your back is up against the wall. What happens when we take the bread-crumb trail back farther, past Marxism? What is it based on?

This is the point where Marxism became Marxism and not just extra-angry socialism.

It's actually based on the work of one of the most important philosophers in human history, a 19th-century German philosopher named Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

This is the point where Marxism became Marxism and not just extra-angry socialism. And, as you'll see in just a bit, if we look at Hegel's actual ideas, it's obvious that Marx completely misrepresented them in order to confirm his own fantasies.

So, in a way, that's where the bread-crumb trail ends: With Marx's misrepresentation of an incredibly important, incredibly useful philosophy, a philosophy that's actually pretty conservative.

We've heard a lot about critical race theory lately, and for good reason: It's a racist ideology designed to corrupt our children and undermine our American values. But most of what we see are the results of a process that has been underway for decades. And that's not something the mainstream media, the Democrat Party, and even teachers unions want you to know. They're doing everything in their power to try and convince you that it's no big deal. They want to sweep everything under the rug and keep you in the dark. To fight it, we need to understand what fuels it.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck exposes the deep-seated Marxist origins of CRT and debunks the claims that it's just a harmless term for a school of legal scholarship. Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer joins to argue why we must ban critical race theory from our schools if we want to save a very divided nation.

Watch the full "Glenn TV" episode 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.

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck blasted the Democrats — and anyone else on the left — who have been so eager to open our southern U.S. border for the past several months, but also willing to turn a blind eye to the Cuban people in need of help today.

"While we are welcoming people from any country, all over the world, without any kind of information, and setting them into our country, putting them on American planes paid for by American taxpayers," Glenn began. "And our Coast Guard Cutters are turning these [Cuban] people away. Shame on you! Shame on you!"

Glenn said that he's "sick and tired" of hearing about "brave" leftist activists like Colin Kaepernick, who protest the America flag while wearing Che Guevara and Fidel Castro t-shirts. Meanwhile, the Cuban people are risking their lives by taking to the sea to escape their oppressive regime and come to America.

"Anybody who glorifies Che doesn't know their ass from their elbow. You can't call them a human rights activist. You're protesting the American flag, because you so deeply believe in the right to be free? And yet, you wear a Che T-shirt?" Glenn said.

Glenn went on to argue that, even though the left has "bastardized" the meaning of our country, he still believes America is the best nation on Earth. In fact, he'd give up his citizenship "in a heartbeat" if another country could prove to be better, more noble, and more free. But no other nation exists like ours, he said, which is why it's so imperative we fight for freedom here, in Cuba, and around the world.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn explain:

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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.

There's a new "reality" spreading, and the mere act of questioning it has become incredibly dangerous, Wall Street Journal investigative journalist Abigail Shrier told Glenn on the most recent episode of "The Glenn Beck Podcast."

Shrier's book, "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters," exposes the radical gender activism that — like critical race theory — has overtaken our children's schools and culture. But even worse, she warned, it could end your parental rights for good.

Shrier made it clear she is by no means "anti-trans," but simply speaking up against the extremes of this new "reality" has made her enemy No. 1 to many activists. Her book has been bashed so hard by the Left that Target has stopped selling it twice, Amazon once banned ads for it, and the American Booksellers Association even called sending it to others "a serious, violent incident."

In the clip below, Shrier explained why she believes "there may be no hope for the public school system."

"You have teachers behaving like activists across the country who have no interest in actually teaching. They believe their job is to remake your child," she asserted. "We're seeing so much evidence of that, I think it's fair to say that it may be too deeply rooted in the ideology being taught in public school. I'm not sure that the public school system is redeemable at this point."

Watch the video clip below for more or find the full podcast with Abigail Shrier here:

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.