The IRS commissioner, in a Congressional hearing found out that you don’t mess with Trey Gowdy
The IRS commissioner, in a Congressional hearing found out that you don’t mess with Trey Gowdy
John Redwood, a prominent and experienced Brexit MP, posted on his blog today (http://johnredwoodsdiary.com) about doing an interview on British Press:
Yesterday I was phoned to be asked onto the BBC Radio 4 Today program this morning. They said they wanted me to answer questions about how the election would change the UK’s ability to negotiate a new, good relationship with the EU. I was happy to do so, and said I could make any time at their studio. It seemed like a good topic, and central to what the PM said about her reason for calling the election.
They then proceeded to ask me a series of questions all designed to get me to disagree with the UK negotiating position and Prime Minister. I explained that I supported the PM, agreed with her Brexit White Paper and stated aims, and suggested if all they wanted to do was to criticize her, they should approach the opposition parties. They continued to try to get me to disagree. They did not seem to have read the White Paper or the PM’s speech on the topic, so I had to tell them what was in them and why I agreed with them.
I explained again that their thesis that the leave supporting MPs were in disagreement with the PM and were “rebels” was simply untrue. We are not in disagreement with the PM and we have been strongly supporting the government’s statements and legislation on Brexit. She said she would get back to me about the invitation to go on, with the details.
She did not of course bother to, as it was clear I was unwilling to feed their view of what the news should be.
I then found that another Leave supporting Conservative MP had been given the same treatment, and he too had thought the BBC were trying to change the news rather than report the position. When I came to do a live interview on some other BBC program, I was faced with the same stupid thesis and had to explain on air how wrong their idea was.
I do not know who is feeding the BBC this nonsense, but it is frustrating that they do not accept the truth from those whose views they claim to be reporting, and do not bother to get back and openly say they do not want you on because you won’t say what they want you to say.
Lol! The lament of the Liberals.
The old worn out (liberal) order (NWO) is cracking and crumbling. They acknowledged it. They’re defending with all their might against the rising ‘populists’ (which they find it difficult to define), but identifiable by the likes of Trump and BREXIT.
And this piece of BS is from the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR)…of course.
Prior to 2016, debates about the global order mostly revolved around its structure and the question of whether the United States should actively lead it or should retrench, pulling back from its alliances and other commitments. But during the past year or two, it became clear that those debates had missed a key point: today’s crucial foreign policy challenges arise less from problems between countries than from domestic politics within them. That is one lesson of the sudden and surprising return of populism to Western countries, a trend that found its most powerful expression last year in the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU, or Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.
It can be hard to pin down the meaning of “populism,” but its crucial identifying mark is the belief that each country has an authentic “people” who are held back by the collusion of foreign forces and self-serving elites at home. A populist leader claims to represent the people and seeks to weaken or destroy institutions such as legislatures, judiciaries, and the press and to cast off external restraints in defense of national sovereignty. Populism comes in a range of ideological flavors. Left-wing populists want to “soak the rich” in the name of equality; right-wing populists want to remove constraints on wealth in the name of growth. Populism is therefore defined not by a particular view of economic distribution but by a faith in strong leaders and a dislike of limits on sovereignty and of powerful institutions.
Such institutions are, of course, key features of the liberal order: think of the UN, the EU, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and major alliances such as NATO. Through them, the Washington-led order encourages multilateral cooperation on issues ranging from security to trade to climate change. Since 1945, the order has helped preserve peace among the great powers. In addition to the order’s other accomplishments, the stability it provides has discouraged countries such as Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons.
This peace-building aspect of the liberal order has been an extraordinary success. So, too, is the way in which the order has allowed the developing world to advance, with billions of people rising out of crippling poverty and new middle classes burgeoning all over the world. But for all of the order’s success, its institutions have become disconnected from publics in the very countries that created them. Since the early 1980s, the effects of a neoliberal economic agenda have eroded the social contract that had previously ensured crucial political support for the order. Many middle- and working-class voters in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere have come to believe—with a good deal of justification—that the system is rigged.
Those of us who have not only analyzed globalization and the liberal order but also celebrated them share some responsibility for the rise of populism. We did not pay enough attention as capitalism hijacked globalization. Economic elites designed international institutions to serve their own interests and to create firmer links between themselves and governments. Ordinary people were left out. The time has come to acknowledge this reality and push for policies that can save the liberal order before it is too late.
THE BOATS THAT DIDN’T RISE
In 2016, the two states that had done the most to construct the liberal order—the United Kingdom and the United States—seemed to turn their backs on it. In the former, the successful Brexit campaign focused on restoring British sovereignty; in the latter, the Trump campaign was explicitly nationalist in tone and content. Not surprisingly, this has prompted strong reactions in places that continue to value the liberal order, such as Germany: a poll published in February by the German newspaper Die Welt found that only 22 percent of Germans believe that the United States is a trustworthy ally, down from 59 percent just three months earlier, prior to Trump’s victory—a whopping 37-point decrease.
The Brexit and Trump phenomena reflect a breakdown in the social contract at the core of liberal democracy: those who do well in a market-based society promise to make sure that those disadvantaged by market forces do not fall too far behind. But fall behind they have. Between 1974 and 2015, the real median household income for Americans without high school diplomas fell by almost 20 percent. And even those with high school diplomas, but without any college education, saw their real median household income plummet by 24 percent. On the other hand, those with college degrees saw their incomes and wealth expand. Among those Americans, the real median household income rose by 17 percent; those with graduate degrees did even better.
You don’t need a slide rule, a set of log tables or a high frequency trading algorithm to see the light. Everyone on Main Street now knows that the Western banking cartel’s fixation with debt colonisation is a busted flush. Debt does not work as the basis of a global financial system.
Behind the scenes, all the indications are that universal debt forgiveness is set to be announced. A global debt jubilee is waiting in the wings. The Doctrine of Odious Debts has been spectacularly revisited. The default position of the global financial system is to be permanently reset. The vaults are stocked. The precious metals are audited. The new gold-backed regional currencies are printed, minted and ready.
The most recent catalyst for change has been Iraq. Before the Western cabal’s US-UK war of occupation and plunder began in Iraq in March 2003, Iraqi exiles expressed the hope that in a post-Saddam democratic Iraq, there would be a fair and equitable disposition of Saddam’s debts.
These Iraqis wanted the future administration of Iraq and the international community to review the debts accumulated under Saddam’s régime. Those loans which had been used for benign purposes should be restructured and paid back by Iraq over a prudent time period. Those loans which were used for objectionable purposes and which did nothing to enhance the well-being or prosperity of the Iraqi population at large, should be struck off the record immediately and completely.
This illustrates one of the core principles of debt forgiveness. Why should Iraqis be forced to repay the US, the British, the French, the Germans, the Russians, and all the others who had financially supported Saddam’s oppression of them?
The Iraqi argument for debt forgiveness had a sound basis in law. It reflects the century-old legal principle of the Doctrine of Odious Debts.
The Doctrine of Odious Debts was created to further international finance by limiting the ability of governments to repudiate debts. Three conditions had to apply before a sovereign state could repudiate a debt:
(1) The debt must have been incurred without the informed consent of the citizenry of the state.
(2) The debt must not have benefitted the citizenry of the state.
(3) The lender must have been aware of conditions (1) and (2) at the time that the loan papers were signed.
The United States employed these principles after the Spanish-American War to repudiate the Cuban debts.
If a despotic power incurs a debt which is manifestly not for the needs of the State, or not in the plain interest of the State, but is a debt incurred solely to strengthen the position of the despotic cabal as a self-serving faction within that State, the debt is odious. The debt is not an obligation for the nation; it is a cabal debt, a personal debt of the cabal which incurred it. And the debt falls with the fall of the cabal.
The Doctrine of Odious Debts not only promotes accountability, it promotes democracy in the debtor state as, one by one, the nature of the inherited debts are articulated in a public legislature.
The Doctrine of Odious Debts also promotes democracy in creditor states. In Canada and most European nations, the lending of state enterprises is generally hidden from taxpayers. Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada, for example, is exempt from Canada’s Access to Information law.
In the case of Iraq, state agencies from France, Germany and Russia may have made questionable loans. Under an odious debt process, they would need to establish that they acted with due diligence to be entitled to repayment. Knowing this, they would be less likely to make questionable loans in the future.
Debt forgiveness and the Doctrine of Odious Debts also applies to individuals. The same principles have legal traction on loans or structured financial inducements made by financial institutions such as banks, mortgage lenders, insurance companies, stock-trading entities, energy conglomerates and pharmaceutical firms.
If the intention of the financial transaction tied to the loan, or tied to the financial inducement, is extortion, if it is, in effect, an élite scheme to bamboozle the borrower with small print or to blind him with science, that loan or inducement, should be struck off the record immediately and completely. The debt was not incurred with the informed consent of the borrower. The debt did not benefit the borrower. And the lender was well aware of these facts when the loan papers were signed.
Universal debt forgiveness is on the way as an essential precursor to the planet’s new gold-backed financial system. It has deep historical roots and powerful support in natural law. This imminent global debt jubilee is organically related to the disbursement of The World Global Settlement Funds, to the long-planned public NESARA announcements, and to the opening of Pandora’s Suitcase.
More background about the concept of the Odious Debt can be found here (pdf – 11 pages – Jayachandran and Kremer) and, in the specific context of Greece in 2011, here. Murray Rothbard’s original 2004 piece on Repudiating the US National Debt can be found here. And The Center for Global Development’s 2010 review entitled: “Whatever Happened to the Jubilee? A 10th Anniversary Assessment of the Debt Relief Movement” is linked here.
Citing both Keen and Hudson, Yiamouyiannis is persuasive. When debt is fraudulent, debt forgiveness is both the logical and the only remedy for the situation. Whatever the name you give to the process – erasure, repudiation, abolishment, cancellation, jubilee – debt forgiveness will eventually have to emerge at the forefront of global efforts to solve the ongoing systemic financial crisis.
The only way to erase counterfeit money and counterfeit assets amounting to hundreds of trillions of dollars is to erase the debts associated with these fake assets. They are not toxic assets. They are fake assets.
Debt forgiveness accomplishes two important things. First, it eliminates the increasing and outsized portion of productive enterprise which is being employed to pay off unproductive obligations. Second, it clears the ground for new opportunities, new thinking, creative invention and positive entrepreneurialism.
Stentorian calls for austerity are nothing more than the delusional efforts of a fraudulent bankster status quo to avoid the consequences of its own error and fraud. The élite demands for austerity are a self-serving effort to kick the profit-can down the road in perpetuity. So bedazzled by the false wealth created by debt multiplication and its concomitant fantasy of ever-higher returns, the fraudulent bankster status quo continues to be stupidly amazed that ordinary people in the street are not spending money, and that the national economy is not picking up.
Productive human wealth has been trapped by establishment banksters in a web of parasitic theft, counterfeiting, liability evasion, non-regulation, and prosecutorial non-accountability. All the fundamental attributes of a functioning exchange economy have been warped to reward creative criminals.
Fabricated or parasitic so-called “wealth” destroys value by diluting the value of real productive wealth. Debt or credit which cannot be paid back is never an asset; it is always a liability. That some people in the market can be fooled into buying such liabilities and thus generate sale profits and transaction fees is risible.
The operating models upon which the modern debt nexus is historically based have no organic contact with reality. They assume unlimited growth and an unlimited ability to pay. When matched against the reality of real people paying ten times their salary for mortgages, which actually add more money owed to their principal (with negative amortization), require no money down, and set up balloon payments – large step-ups in payments after a few years – there is no possible way such people could not default within a predictable timespan.
Systemically, all debt which charges a percentage originates in delusion. Debt grows exponentially indefinitely; income and other growth cannot do this. This leads to a widening condition where the fruits of productive growth devoted to interest payments increase until those fruits are entirely consumed. Once this happens, stores of wealth (hard assets) begin to be cannibalised to make up the difference. You can see this now in Middle America where, absurdly, people are having to liquidate their retirement accounts to pay for their current cost of living.
The problem is compounded by a privately owned Federal Reserve syndicate which lends money into circulation at interest, and then allows the multiplication of this consumer debt-money liability through fractional reserve banking.
The total amount of money in circulation today can pay for only a tiny fraction of the total private and public debt. This fact alone is evidence of a kind of systemic fraud. This is why debt forgiveness makes not only moral, but also rational and mathematical sense. Finances require balancing to be coherent. There has to be some way to redress the systemic imbalance in Western macrofinance. There has to be some way to zero the scales in order to get an accurate weight of value, and to re-establish healthy value creation.
The problem with debt is that it creates scarcity. Scarcity stimulates fear. Fear drives manic competition. And manic competition favors opportunism, collusion, and concentrations of power. These élite concentrations of power translate into establishment abuse. The inevitable result is a visible collapse of legitimacy within the economic system. This is what is being seen now, all over the Western World, by Joe Public and his missus.
Debt forgiveness recognises the inherent, systemic, mathematical inability to make good on debts, and (or) the naked fact that the debt itself was manufactured through fraudulent means.
The foregoing twelve paragraphs précis some of the ideas which Zeus Yiamouyiannis has suggested in his writing on debt forgiveness. The best brief summary of his thoughts is probably here (01.09.11).
The situation is plain. You cannot solve the debt problem by issuing more debt. You solve the debt problem by cancelling, completely, all national, corporate and personal debt. You do this simultaneously across the planet, and you do it permanently. And then you recapitalise the whole bangshoot using an established resource base such as The World Global Settlement Funds and the associated US Dollar Refunding Project.
This next bit sounds exotic. But in future years it may well sound like a blinding glimpse of the obvious. You don’t establish the value of something by sticking it in a market. You establish the value of something by giving it away free and seeing what social value accrues as that something is used locally to energise cooperative livelihoods and free barter.
Interestingly, the core idea of global debt forgiveness is not restricted to the benevolent ivory towers of economic utopians. It is beginning to be talked about, in public, by national parliamentarians.
At the end of August 2011, in Ireland, the Irish Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, had to respond to organised calls for debt forgiveness in connection with his EuroZone nation’s struggling mortgage borrowers. The story was run prominently in the Business section of the Irish Times on Friday 2nd September 2011. Its headline was: “Minister rules out ‘free-for-all’ debt forgiveness. Noonan insists there is no magic bullet.” The article, by Simon Carswell and Colm Keena, can be found here.
And we don’t say goodbye
We don’t say goodbye
And I know what I’ve got to be…
I make my journey through eternity
I keep the memory of you and me
Fulfill your destiny
It’s there within the child
My storm will never end
My fate is on the wind
The king of hearts
The joker’s wild
We don’t say goodbye
We don’t say goodbye
I’ll make them all remember me
Cause I have found the dream that must come true
Every ounce of me must see it through
But you are my only
I’m sorry I don’t have the role for love to play
Hand over my heart I’ll find my way
I will make them give to me…
There is a vision and a fire in me
I keep the memory of you and me
And we don’t say goodbye
We don’t say goodbye
In all my love for you
And what else we may do
We don’t say goodbye…
“…what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one more thing, fellow citizens a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” – Thomas Jefferson (1801)
The income tax is enshrined into law but it is an idea that stands in total contradiction to the driving force behind the American Revolution and the idea of freedom itself. We desperately need a serious national movement to get rid of it – not reform it, not replace it, not flatten it or refocus its sting from this group to that. It just needs to go.
The great essayist Frank Chodorov once described the income tax as the root of all evil. His target was not the tax itself, but the principle behind it. Since its implementation in 1913, he wrote, “The government says to the citizen: ‘Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide.”
He really does have a point. That’s evil. When Congress ratified the 16th Amendment on Feb. 3, 1913, there was a sense in which all private income in the U.S. was nationalized. What was not taxed from then on was a favor granted unto us, and continues to be so.
This is implied in the text of the amendment itself: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
Where are the limits? There weren’t any. There was some discussion about putting a limit on the tax, but it seemed unnecessary. Only 1% of the income earners would end up paying about 1% to the government. Everyone else was initially untouched. Who really cares that the rich have to pay a bit more, right? They can afford it.
This perspective totally misunderstands the true nature of government, which always wants more money and more power and will stop at nothing to get both. The 16th Amendment was more than a modern additive to an antique document. It was a new philosophy of the fiscal life of the entire country.
Today, the ruling elite no longer bothers with things like amendments. But back in the day, it was different. The amendment was made necessary because of previous court decisions that stated what was once considered a bottom-line presumption of the free society: Government cannot tax personal property. What you make is your own. You get to keep the product of your labors. Government can tax sales, perhaps, or raise money through tariffs on goods coming in and out of the country. But your bank account is off-limits.
The amendment changed that idea. In the beginning, it applied to very few people. This was one reason it passed. It was pitched as a replacement tax, not a new money raiser. After all the havoc caused by the divisive tariffs of the 19th century, this sounded like a great deal to many people, particularly Southerners and Westerners fed up with paying such high prices for manufactured goods while seeing their trading relations with foreign consumers disrupted.
People who supported it – and they were not so much the left but the right-wing populists of the time – imagined that the tax would hit the robber baron class of industrialists in the North. And that it did. Their fortunes began to dwindle, and their confidence in their ability to amass and retain intergenerational fortunes began to wane.
Limit to Accumulation
We all know the stories of how the grandchildren of the Gilded Age tycoons squandered their family heritage in the 1920s and failed to carry on the tradition. Well, it is hardly surprising. The government put a timetable and limit on accumulation. Private families and individuals would no longer be permitted to exist except in subjugation to the taxing state. The kids left their private estates to live in the cities, put off marriage, stopped bothering with all that hearth and home stuff. Time horizons shortened, and the Jazz Age began.
Class warfare was part of the deal from the beginning. The income tax turned the social fabric of the country into a giant lifetime boat, with everyone arguing about who had to be thrown overboard so that others might live.
The demon in the beginning was the rich. That remained true until the 1930s, when FDR changed the deal. Suddenly, the income would be collected, but taxed in a different way. It would be taken from everyone, but a portion would be given back late in life as a permanent income stream. Thus was the payroll tax born. This tax today is far more significant than the income tax.
The class warfare unleashed all those years ago continues today. One side wants to tax the rich. The other side finds it appalling that the percentage of people who pay no income tax has risen from 30% to nearly 50%. Now we see the appalling spectacle of Republicans regarding this as a disgrace that must change. They have joined the political classes that seek advancement by hurting people.
The Payroll Tax
It’s extremely strange that the payroll tax is rarely considered in this debate. The poor, the middle class and the rich are all being hammered by payroll taxes that fund failed programs that provide no security and few benefits at all.
It’s impossible to take seriously the claims that the income tax doesn’t harm wealth creation. When Congress wants to discourage something – smoking, imports, selling stocks or whatever – they know what to do: Tax it. Tax income, and on the margin, you discourage people from earning it.
Tax debates are always about “reform” – which always means a slight shift in who pays what, with an eye to raising ever more money for the government. A far better solution would be to forget the whole thing and return to the original idea of a free society: You get to keep what you earn or inherit. That means nothing short of abolishing the great mistake of 1913.
Forget the flat tax. The only just solution is no tax on incomes ever.
But let’s say that one day we actually become safe from the income tax collectors and something like blessed peace arrives. There is still another problem that emerged in 1913. Congress created the Federal Reserve, which eventually developed the power to create all the money that government would ever need, even without taxing.
For the practical running of the affairs of the state, the Fed is far worse than the income tax. It creates the more-insidious tax because it is so sneaky. In a strange way, it has made all the debates about taxation superfluous. Denying the government revenue does nothing to curb its appetites for our liberties and property. The Fed has managed to make it impossible to starve the beast.
Chodorov was correct about the evil of the income tax. Its passage signaled the beginning of a century of despotism. Our property is no longer safe. Our income is not our own. We are legally obligated to turn over whatever our masters say we owe them. You can fudge this point: None of this is compatible with the old liberal idea of freedom.
You doubt it? Listen to Thomas Jefferson from his inaugural address of 1801. What he said then remains true today:”…what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one more thing, fellow citizens a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”
Do we owe society taxes?
Tax day is tomorrow. Some people get excited because they will get money back which the government withheld–a clever trick that makes people feel less oppressed and plundered by filing taxes.
Something the regressive left likes to say is that taxes are justified because of the infrastructure of society, provided by the government, makes all earning possible. It is, therefore, only fair to share some of that wealth to continue funding the common property. They say the rich would never have gotten rich without government provided services, and that is why they owe the government.
An up and comer on the left who we will unfortunately not stop hearing from anytime soon has weighed in on why we owe taxes to society. This is an old but relevant quote since progressive champion Elizabeth Warren will probably be a White House contender soon enough. While running for Senate she said:
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody! You built a factory out there, good for you, but I want to be clear, you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that mauraduing bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did… But part of the underlying social contract is that you take a hunk of that, and pay forward for the next kid that comes along.
I think she slipped up there. Do you see it? Warren says that if the government didn’t provide security for the factory, the business owners would have to “hire someone to protect against” marauding bands. And she is correct in that.
What she leaves out is that their money is already stolen to pay for the police. So why on earth would they say no thanks to a service for which they were forced to pay? (Well, I guess because the police do a terrible job. Most factories do in fact hire their own security in addition to the police that “the rest of us” paid for.)
And this is the whole issue: Which came first, the government or wealth?
Clearly, a business first has to have money in order to be taxed. And it makes sense to think that since the infrastructure already exists, it helps people to earn money. And it does, but it was all paid for first by privately produced wealth.
Think about it, the very first tax payers were farmers that were conquered by herders and forced to pay a share of their yield to the nomadic invaders. The herders realized they could make this a regular thing if they didn’t murder all the farmers, and thus government was born.
Not murdering the people was the first service which government ever provided. Boy, are we lucky to have them!
Ironic that Warren says taxes are paid to basically prevent from happening the very thing which began the existence of government. It was extortion from the very beginning. The farmers paid protection money to their government.
Who was the main threat? The government. The mafia does the same thing.
But looking at the first taxpayers shows that they necessarily had to have earned something and created wealth before they were taxed on it.
And this means we are building on a stolen foundation. It means we didn’t need the government to make wealth creation possible in the very first place. Based on the very function of government, which only came into existence after the first farmers had created wealth, this proves that it is possible to create wealth without that magnificent infrastructure for which “the rest of us” paid.
Warren said it herself when she admitted the factories could simply purchase their own protection. But what they are really paying for, is protection from the people they are paying, the government.
So is taxation the price we pay for the society government has built around us? Without a doubt, certain things taxes pay for are used by everyone living in society and thus contribute to business, like roads for shipping.
And even though the government is used to providing these things, the question remains are taxes what we owe to society for the opportunity to do business? Or did wealth have to be created first before taxes could be paid?
Justifying the Upward Redistribution of Wealth
Everything government does is done with tax dollars, therefore first something of value had to be created before they could tax anything.
So then why do people argue that we owe the government taxes because they have made everything we earn possible?
We wanted to add a Bernie Sanders quote since he was vocally against the wealthy. He is one of the most powerful U.S. Senators at this point, with his unspent war chest of individual campaign donations, and an army of useful idiots.
But it turns out the man said remarkably little for how much he talked. It was all catch phrases and the same repeated lines about how immoral it is to be wealthy. The rich need to pay their “fair share” he says, but that doesn’t actually answer the question of why anybody should have to pay taxes. We all need to be robbed equally?
There are certain ways to become wealthy which are immoral, such as securing government contracts, government bailouts, government grants, government loans, and government subsidies. But Bernie’s support for higher taxes would only exacerbate that upward transfer of wealth.
Sanders actually never tried to justify why the rich owe taxes, his only criticism seemed to be that they were wealthy. He repeated over and over that they basically stole this wealth from the middle class, but offered no real examples other than the Wall Street bailouts (which yes, were theft on their part, but again that was a government transfer of wealth, which giving the government more power would only increase).
Turns out what Bernie was doing has been done since the beginning of government. Jared Diamond explains the origins of Chiefdoms in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel:
These noble and selfish functions are inextricably linked, although some governments emphasize much more of one function than of the other. The difference between a kleptocrat and a wise statesman, between a robber baron and public benefactor, is merely one of degree: a matter of just how large a percentage of the tribute extracted from producers is retained by the elite, and how much the commoners like the public uses to which the redistributed tribute is put…
Make the masses happy by redistributing much of the tribute received, in popular ways. This principle was as valid for Hawaiian chiefs as it is for American politicians today.
Clearly, Bernie is a big fan of the redistribution method; his free college proposals sound pretty good to his young target demographic.
So basically, these “progressive” stars are actually regressing to the oldest forms of government which always looted and tricked the masses into supporting their power grabs and wealth confiscation.
The government didn’t create the wealth in society, and they didn’t even make that wealth creation possible. They simply stole the wealth that others created and redistributed it in obvious and popular ways. They monopolized mechanisms like roads and security in order to make it seem like the government is the only method of laying the infrastructure to create wealth.
But clearly wealth came before taxation, otherwise, there would have been nothing to tax! The premise of their justification for theft is a fallacy.