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Moving Away from Government Money

By Ben Hart

At a certain point, it becomes too expensive to keep using government money.

Think about the cost to you of using government money — the cost of using dollars.

Government takes about 40 cents of every dollar earned in America. For high-income earners, it’s closer to 50 percent, and is even higher than 50 percent if you live in high-tax states such as California and New York.

Add to this the fact that the dollar is devalued every day because the Federal Reserve is constantly printing new money to monetize the national debt. The federal government is today borrowing 46 cents out of every dollar it spends. The way it finances this debt is to print more money.  It then pays its debt with devalued money (which doesn’t make creditors, like China, any too pleased).

When measured against the price of gold and silver, the dollar has lost more than 60 percent of its value since Barack Obama’s first day in office.

But the biggest cost for using government money is clearly the Tax Man — who takes 40-50 cents of every dollar you earn.

Alternatives to Government Money

Libertarians and most conservatives basically believe that the money we earn is ours, or should be.

We then willingly pay taxes — much like a condo or association fee — for common services we all want and need: law and order, national defense, roads and infrastructure, care for the disabled, etc. — tasks and functions that serve the “general welfare” of the people.

But the government has an entirely different view of the money you earn.

The government believes the money you earn is the government’s, and that the government is being nice by letting you keep some of it.

But, in a very real sense, the cash you earn at your job is the government’s money . . . because the government just prints it. U.S. currency is printed or minted by the government.

So if you want to be free (or more free than you are now) you must look for ways to stop using the government’s money, or at least reduce your use of the government’s money.

What’s the alternative?

Well, there are an almost infinite number of alternatives to government money.

Casinos use chips. Corporations often pay people with stock or stock options.

Prisoners use cigarettes as currency. Frequent flier miles also have a monetary value. Frequent Flier miles amount to an ethical bribe to keep you using the airline.

And then there’s the barter.

What I Learned from Karl Hess

When I was a student at Dartmouth College in the early 1980s, I brought a speaker to campus named Karl Hess.

He had been a speechwriter for Barry Goldwater. He wrote Goldwater’s most famous line: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

Well, Karl by 1980 had become an extreme libertarian. He had a speaking fee, but we could not pay him with cash.

To hire him to speak, we had to pay him in the form of food and other basic staples (canned goods, bags of rice, toilet paper, gift certificates, clothing, etc). He had a long shopping list of what he needed that totaled about $2,500 — his speaking fee at the time.

Karl Hess was so anti-government that he would go to any and every length not to pay taxes, of any kind.

As long as you never receive cash, you can escape the Tax Man for the most part.

The way Hess paid his rent was to perform services for his landlord. He was a skilled carpenter, welder, and machinist.  So he could perform whatever task was needed on his landlord’s property.

Hess had been an orthodox conservative and Cold Warrior.  His radical libertarianism was apparently triggered by an especially brutal audit of his finances by the IRS.

Following the audit, Hess sent the IRS a copy of the Declaration of Independence with a letter saying that he would never again pay taxes.

The IRS answered by charging him with tax resistance, confiscated almost all his property, and put a 100% lien on his future earnings. So basically, the IRS was sentencing Karl to death. If you are forbidden by the IRS to keep any money, you can’t eat, can’t pay rent, can’t buy clothes.

Some sympathetic lawyers with libertarian leanings helped Hess get out of his legal situation with the IRS pro bono and in combination with some kind of barter arrangement.  So he never spent any time in jail. After that, the IRS left Karl alone. Can’t get money from a stone.

Karl continued to live this way for the rest of his life — trading his services for physical goods: barter.

Hess said that if 10,000,000 Americans would have joined him in defying the IRS and refusing to participate in the government’s cash economy, we could have replaced the current tax code with something that makes sense — that’s consistent with liberty. And we could have restored America as the “land of the free.”

He said most people are terrified of the IRS, so cower in the corner praying the government won’t notice them and will just leave them alone.

Most people don’t want to live like Karl Hess — with no cash.

But it is a way to get through life without having the government always coming after you.

I’m a conservative constitutionalist, not a libertarian.

I believe we need government. We need a military, roads, infrastructure, sewage systems, law and order, ports, airports.  We don’t want people starving on the streets.  There are essential jobs we need government to perform. The Hoover Dam was a good idea. So was landing on the moon. Attending school should be mandatory. The government should be able to use its eminent domain power to build a road through your property, so long as you are compensated at fair market value. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.

But there comes a point when the government starts to more resemble a mafia operation than an institution honestly looking out for the good of the country.  When the IRS rules that Karl Hess is no longer entitled to have any money at all, we’ve gone way past that point.

Alternatives to the Karl Hess Strategem

There are ways, however, to minimize the cost of government money (the amount you must pay the Tax Man) without having to take a major hit to your quality of life.

More and more, people are looking for ways to do exactly this.

The key is to keep your cash income as low as possible and to look for other ways to get paid for your work, or to postpone payment for your work so you can be taxed at a lower rate.

Let’s say you are a car salesman and work on commission. Or you work for a base salary, plus you receive bonuses based on a percentage of what you bring in.

All you need is enough immediate cash to cover your living costs. Plus you want to maximize contributions to your 401k or IRA because that lowers your taxable income.

The rest can be paid in IOUs or stock equity in an effort to keep your income below the point where the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax kicks in.

The Best Tax Shelter

Now the #1 tax shelter is to own your own business because you can then decide how much cash to pull our of your business. You then use most of your money to keep building and expanding your business because you are not taxed until you pull cash out for yourself or have cash sitting in you company’s bank account (profit) at the end of the year.

Let’s take someone like me. I’m in the direct marketing business.

The currency in direct marketing is the list I build — my list of leads and buyers.

Each postal address or email address has a monetary value ranging from 25 cents each to $20 each depending on an array of factors.  Marketers understand the value of an email address, a postal address, a first-time buyer, a repeat buyer, or a lead who has never bought anything from me or my clients.

So the way I build value is to build my email and postal address list — my database of buyers and leads. I know at all times exactly how much that list (database) of names and addresses is worth. It’s the equivalent of money in the bank.

The way I build my list of email and postal addresses is by mailing letters, sending email, or purchasing ads — the cost of which is a tax-deductible business expense. I can then convert this list of email and postal addresses to money whenever I need cash.

I can turn my list into cash either by mailing out a sales letter or by renting my list to other marketers.

The IRS can’t tax me until I convert my list to money that I then deposit in my personal bank account. So it operates exactly like a 401k or IRA. That is, I build my business with pre-tax money (by advertising) because business costs are tax-deductible.

The currency for companies like Facebook, Google and other Internet properties is the number of users these sites have because the number of users represent eyeballs for the ads they are selling.

A user has a specific monetary value to these companies. Facebook and Google knows exactly what the value of a user is to them. But the IRS doesn’t tax these companies by the number of users even though users equal money — only better . . . because they aren’t taxed.

All businesses operate this way. They build their value with pre-tax money. Their value is determined by their sales — their customer base or market share.

The money is in the value of the business — usually valued at 10 times annual earnings, but sometimes valued at 30 or even 50 times annual earnings or more (if you are a fast-growing hot tech company).

The stock market values Amazon at $124 billion even though it’s not turning an actual profit, or is barely turning a profit most years. The currency for Amazon is its number of customers — just about everyone in America who has an Internet connection. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is worth about $24 billion — mostly because of the Amazon stock he owns — even though Amazon technically is not turning much of a cash profit.

That is, not turning a profit in terms of the government money it’s accumulating in its bank account. For Amazon, market share is the currency of choice — the alternative to government money. But the IRS can’t tax “market share.”

And, of course, the IRS can’t tax Bezos on his $24 billion estimated net worth until he cashes in his stock.

This is why business owners have such an advantage over employees in terms of building wealth. The business owner might be cash poor, might not take much money out of the company at all for herself. Their real wealth is in the value of the business.

This is how Warren Buffett and Mitt Romney pay very little tax.

Plus, business owners can justify much of what they do in life as a business expense. Vacations can be called business travel so long as they actually do some business when they travel, etc. In today’s Internet world, your office can be anywhere.

I haven’t had to fight rush -traffic to get to a real office since 1990. I work in a virtual office — my computer with an Internet connection.

So owning your own business should be priority #1 — even if it’s just a side business and most of your income derives from full-time employment.

If that’s the case, consider converting your full-time job to contract work where your employer just pays your company for your services. Then you’ll be able to deduct much of your car, your fuel, your phones, the computers and gadgets you use, your travel and lodging costs, etc.

You’ll have to pay your employer’s portion of your FICA payroll tax and buy your own health insurance (through your business). But you do that with pre-tax money. And, very likely, you’ll come out way ahead — especially if your adjusted gross income at your full-time job is more than $125,000 per year. Depending on your situation, that’s about when the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax starts to kick in with a vengeance for many taxpayers and you begin to lose most of your deductions and exemptions.

For example, if you are a commissioned salesman who pays for your own business expenses, you can’t deducted your legitimate business costs once your income goes above about $125,000 (depending on your situation).

The only way to protect yourself from the Tax Man when you reach that level of income is if you are a small-business owner and have a way to keep most of your money working productively in your business.

Your business is like a bank. You can pull money out when you need it.

What’s really the point of making a lot of money anyway?

It’s to have enough left over for a rainy day — either when business is not going so well or when you want to retire, or when you are sick or injured and can’t work.  But then you’ll be taxed at a lower rate when you pull some money out.

The Second Best Way to Shield Yourself from the Tax Man

But let’s say you really are not in a position to start your own business, or you don’t want to for whatever reason. Maybe you just like the company you work for. Perhaps you don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit.

Here’s an alternative to starting your own business.

Strike a deal with your employer to minimize your take-home pay.

If you are a high-income earner (let’s say $100,000 per year or more), this should be a pretty easy deal to strike with your employer — especially if you work for commission or a base salary plus bonuses based on how much money your bring into the company.

Give your employer the option to make a deal with you that goes something like this: “Just pay me $6,000 per month [or whatever figure you really need to live] and add x% interest per month on the unpaid balance and let it accrue.”

Many companies need capital, can’t borrow from banks because of the Dodd-Frank legislation, so will be happy to not pay you what they owe right away, use the capital, and pay you interest on the capital. This then just accrues, like a mutual fund.

You are then doing exactly what the owner of the business is doing.  You are  building equity in the business and pulling money out when you need it, thus avoiding having to pay confiscatory tax rates.

Of course, you have to have a good sense of the company’s financial stability to do something like this. And you must trust the company. But that’s a simple matter that can be accomplished with some due diligence and a contract or note. You can’t be taxed until the money actually changes hands. You can’t be taxed on what your employer owes you, only on what you are actually paid.

IOUs are just like money — better than money because they include an interest rate (which protects you from the dollar’s declining value).

So you wait until you really need the money to collect it. And then you’ll be collecting your money at a lower tax rate.

Or consider exchanging services: “I’ll do X for you if you’ll do Y for me” — the Karl Hess strategem.

Kids understand this concept: “If you buy me the Halo video game, I’ll mow your lawn.”

The key concept is to keep your cash income down to a minimum. You need a certain amount of cash to live. Then look for other ways to receive compensation other than immediate cash money.

Trading pay for equity in the company you are working for is a great way.

The Modern Economy Is Actually Built on IOUs . . . and That’s a Good Thing

When you think about it, most of the economy runs on IOUs.

There’s only about $1.6 TRILLION of actual currency (printed and minted money) in circulation in a $16 TRILLION U.S. economy. The $16 TRILLION U.S. economy runs on a vast web of interlocking promises that something will happen in the future — contracts, promises.

That’s how the $1.6 TRILLION in physical currency turns into a $16 TRILLION economy.

You need to look for ways to run your own personal economy this way because it’s really the cash that’s the fiction. And it’s cash transactions that are taxed.

The economy is running on a 10-times multiplier of physical currency in circulation to the actual annual GDP. This means if you are operating only in the cash economy, you are effectively short-changing yourself by a factor of ten.

Think about how banking works.

Banks can borrow money today from the Federal Reserve at a near zero percent interest rate. They then lend this money out at 3-7 percent or more. The banks are only required to keep 10 percent of deposits as cash on hand. As long as they do that, there’s almost no limit to what they can borrow for near-0% interest from the Federal Reserve.

So this is free money for the banks.

The banks then lend this money to people so they can buy homes and start or expand businesses. For home buyers, lenders always frontload your interest payments. Your payments for the first 20 years on a 30 year mortgage are almost all interest payments. Almost no principal is being paid until the end of the loan period. Those who sell their homes within five to seven years are thus paying an interest rate on the money they borrowed of about 30 percent, not the four percent you’d pay if you paid for the entire 30 years.

That’s how lenders get rich. Lending money is just about the easiest way to make money.

But you can operate your own personal economy this way. Become a lender . . . to your employer, to your clients . . . so you can keep your cash draw to a minimum. Accept payment in the form of IOUs or equity in the company.

I know some lawyers who have become part-owners of some sizeable companies by accepting payment for services in exactly this way.

More Alternatives to Government Money

Think about how a partnership works.

People usually form partnerships because they can’t yet afford the cost of hiring employees or they can’t afford to hire that employee. Simply forming a partnership is not a taxable event.

If the company you are working for gives you stock in lieu of cash payments for your services, that’s not a taxable event (if you play your cards right) — not until you cash out the stock. And if the company you are working for is growing and a good company, your stock is likely to be worth far more than what you would have been owed in cash.

Think of the founders of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg did not have the money to pay all these people are the beginning. So he gave them a piece of the company. Many of them are not multi-millionaires and even billionaires. But they aren’t paying tax on their Facebook stock, unless they cash out.

If they wanted to diversify their holdings, they could conceivably trade some of their Facebook stock for something else of value — say bars of gold or real estate in Costa Rica, or perhaps guns, food, oil futures, or stereo equipment. The IRS tracks and taxes cash transactions.

As long as you are still holding your casino chips, the IRS can’t tax you. The instant you cash in your casino chips for government money (if it’s a large amount) is when the Tax Man takes his 40-50 percent cut.

So you want to create the equivalent of casino chips for people you do business with.

That, in essence, is what private money is. It’s the equivalent of prisoners playing poker for cigarettes. Gift certificates and coupons are other forms of private money. If you were paid in subway tokens and gift certificates, art work, coupons, and bags of rice, the IRS could not tax you.

Well, technically the IRS probably could if it wanted to devote a lot of manpower to figuring out how much all this stuff is worth.

I’m just scratching the surface here on alternatives to getting paid with government money. Just trying to get you thinking — helping you to see there are so many other ways to get paid.

I’m not offering tax advice here. I’m not qualified for that. So don’t just run off and do exactly why I’m suggesting here. Consult a smart tax attorney first to make sure it’s all legal and done correctly, or you’ll be in for a rude surprise.  I’m just talking general principles here — providing some food for thought.

A smart tax attorney will show you how to do this correctly — the way people like Warren Buffett, Mitt Romney, and the super-rich do it to minimize the bite taken by the Tax Man.  Isn’t it amusing that Warren Buffett (who is worth $54 billion) wants higher taxes for everyone else (for you and me), but fights the IRS tooth-and-nail to pay the absolute lowest amount of tax possible on his own income and assets?

The point is: The vast array of alternatives to government money is limited only by your imagination.

So why let the Tax Man take 40-50 percent of what you earn when there are so many alternatives to government money?

Imagine if you had to pay a 40-50 percent front-end load to invest in a mutual fund. That mutual fund would have a tough time finding any investors.

But that’s the load we are paying when we accept payment in government money.

You don’t have to go full-blown Karl Hess to push back against the government.  If everyone just uses their imagination (and a smart tax lawyer) to push back a little against the government, positive changes will start to happen.

The idea with this article is to encourage you to provide some resistance to what the government is doing to you — within the law, of course.   Be creative in finding ways to get paid other than with immediate cash money.

The Proliferation of Private Currencies

By some estimates, there are now more than 4,000 private currencies in circulation.

Communities across America (especially in senior citizen communities) are setting up what are called “Time Banks” are being established. So if you offer to drive a senior to visit the doctor, you establish credit in the Community Time Bank, which can be redeemed as services performed by someone else for you.

You have, no doubt, heard of the hypothetical case of the restaurant patron who did not have enough money to pay the bill so was enlisted to wash dishes. Same concept as the Time Bank, which is systemetized.

Time Banks keep a data base of community tasks that need doing. You accumulate Time Credits for doing these tasks. Your Time Credits are money in the bank.

Local banks in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts have issued their own currency called Berkshares. For $95, you can purchase $100 worth of Berkshares. More than 400 regional businesses have agreed to accept Berkshares as the equivalent of cash. The reason these banks are doing this is to encourage consumers to buy from local merchants. This helps keep business in the region, helps the local economy, and helps the banks which are lending to these business.

Berkshares operate much like the most famous private currency of all-time — the WIR in Switzerland. During the worldwide depression in the 1930s, the banks cut-off credit to businesses. In response, businesses issued their own currency (credits), which could be used to pay for goods and services at participating businesses.

The WIR cooperative was really just an accounting system — tracking debits and credits. According to the WIR cooperative’s bylaws, its purpose “is to encourage participating members to put their buying power at each other’s disposal and keep it circulating within their ranks, thereby providing members with additional sales volume.”

Because of the rise of the WIR, Switzerland was not hit nearly as hard as other countries by the depression of the 1930s.

Today, the WIR cooperative (a non-profit) has 62,000 members, assets of more than $3 billion and is considered a key pillar of Switzerland’s stunningly strong and stable economy.

Casino chips are a version of this. As long as you are in the casino, you can use your casino chips to pay for your drinks, pay your tab at the restaurant, buy clothing, buy anything in the casino’s shops, pay tips.

Online marketers are stepping up there use of digital currency in a big way — from Facebook credits, Nintendo Points, and Bit Coins to Amazon’s new “Amazon Coin.”

Amazon already allows you to pay with Digital Gifting and gift cards. Amazon’s Kindle Fire will have its own payment eco-system.

What Amazon is doing here is freezing out competitors — in effect creating its own currency that can only be used in the world of Amazon. Your primary incentive for using Amazon’s digital currency is discounts.

Part of this new Amazon economy might work something like the American Express “Rewards” program, where you accumulate points by using your AmEx card that can be redeemed for all kinds of products — “rewards” for your loyalty to AmEx.

But Amazon (because Jeff Bezos is so brilliant) will no doubt come up with many other ways for you to accumulate “Amazon Coins” (credits) other than paying with cash.

You can accumulate frequent flier miles by using your credit card.  Surely, Amazon will be entering into these kinds of barter arrangements with credit card companies, airlines, restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, hotels, car rental companies, etc. to create its own Amazon “near-cashless” economy.

So the world (and smart people) are finding ways to move away from government money — have been for a long time. This trend will only accelerate exponentially.

What’s to stop a billionaire or consortium of billionaires from from creating their own competitor to the Federal Reserve, complete with their own currency that’s backed by gold?

It’s illegal for Americans to go into direct competition with the dollar by minting their own currency. So they would need to set this up offshore.  Or they would need some smart lawyers to set this up in a way that this would not be a “competing” currency, but would be a “complimentary” currency.  And they probably could not call it currency.  They’d have to call it “credits,” or something.

Someone much smarter than me can figure out the nuances of how to keep it all legal.

Stockpile Physical Gold and Hard Assets

The Chinese mother of my wife Wanda was an expert at escaping totalitarian regimes.

When the Japanese took over most of China, she escaped to Laos with suitcases full of cash, gold, and silver.

Then when the Communists took over Laos, she escaped with her family (nine kids, including Wanda) to Thailand and then the United States.  Wanda’s Laotion name is Vanhdalone — which she Americanized to “Wanda” when she arrived in the U.S.

Wanda’s mom was an expert on knowing the value of gold and silver. She was always looking for ways to pay cash for gold. People were always bringing her the gold and silver they had because they needed quick cash for food.

Wanda’s mom is a master barterer.  But her goal was always to accumulate gold and silver.

When all Hell breaks loose, what you want is gold and silver, as well as stockpiles of dry, canned and vacuum sealed food products  – which will only increase in value even if all Hell doesn’t break loose.

Wanda still has this mindset.  She doesn’t like to keep money in the bank.  She doesn’t
trust the banks.  She’s seen first hand what can happen to a country overnight (in her case, Laos). Wanda’s even more radical than I am.  She’s a big fan of Alex Jones — doesn’t think he’s the least bit crazy.

She says Obama, with his soothing promises and rhetoric (always promising free food, free health care, free housing, free education) sounds exactly like the Communists who took over her country.

Two of her relatives spent five and six years respectively in Communist labor camps. They eventually managed to escape (or would have died) walking for weeks barefoot through the jungle to get to Thailand.

Wanda says she wants to be sure we’re set up and prepared for a quick exit if the situation here really starts heading south.

The John Galt Option

What Wanda is suggesting is the John Galt option.

That is, taking all your marbles and leaving America for a more favorable tax and business environment. What John Galt did in the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged was quit the system — much in the way Karl Hess did.

The country doesn’t need to go completely Communist or Socialist for that option to become attractive.

The John Galt character had been a spectacularly successful entrepreneur and innovator. The Rand novel contemplates the question: What would happen if every successful entrepreneur, business leader, and innovator got so fed up with being hassled by the government and punishing taxes that they simply quit the system?

What would happen to the economy if all the successful people, all the creative leaders, just up and left?

That’s what Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin did. He took his billions and moved to more tax-friendly Singapore. He said the confiscatory tax rates in the United States was a major factor in his decision to pull a John Galt and simply leave the USA.

So now Singapore has the benefit of Eduardo’s Saverin billions . . . instead of us.

Many millionaires and billionaires are doing exactly this — taking their marbles and moving elsewhere. If you are a multi-millionaire or billionaire, you can afford to live anywhere.

What do you think will happen to the U.S. economy if all the millionaires and billionaires simply left the USA — forever?

But that’s exactly what’s happening.

Why live in America, where you will be constantly assaulted by the IRS, hassled by government bureaucrats, and even vilified by the President of the United States for not “paying your fair share”?

Why not move some place that will welcome you with open arms? Why not move some place where the government will pretty much leave you alone, some place that has reasonable taxes — perhaps a place that only takes 30 cents of every dollar you earn instead of 50 cents or more?

Many political and economic commentators are asking the question: why is the stock market hitting new highsl, but the wider U.S. economy so poorly?

The answer is that the stock market is no longer the U.S. economy.

Corporations (like people) can set up shop anywhere. And they are setting up factories in places like China, India, and countries where the labor is cheap, taxes are lower, and the business climate more friendly.

Apple has 20,000 employees working oversees. But more than 700,000 people (almost all of them oversees) are working for contractors making and assembling Apple’s products. Apple has, in effect, pulled a John Galt. Most other sizable corporations that manufacture products are doing exactly this.

Detroit is gone now. The car companies have moved elsewhere to escape the labor unions and insane leftist economic policies.

So the stock market (as in the Dow Jones Industrials, the S&P 500, and the NASDAQ)  has very little to do with the U.S. economy anymore.  America could go away and the corporate world will do just fine . Corporations (though they might have been U.S. companies at one time) are now multinationals — global. They build their factories and provide jobs where the business climate is most favorable. The top corporate tax rate in the U.S. is now 35 percent. The USA has the highest corporate tax rates of any country in the industrialized world.

Socialist-leaning Canada recently cut its top corporate tax rate to 18 percent.

Then when you add the cost of ObamaCare and punishing labor laws into the mix, the question is: why would anyone want to set up a business in the United States anymore?

It’s not like the Cold War days when the U.S. was just about the only game in town for capitalism, when communism was on the march everywhere. Today, the Soviet Union is gone. Communism is not much of a threat. People and businesses are now free to go wherever they want. They have many options.

America is no longer the “Shining City on Hill” envied by the rest of the world.  America used to be special, but really isn’t anymore.  The American idea of liberty that made America the most economically successful nation in human history is over.  So why not choose a place where it’s easy to do business and where the government takes much less of your money?

It’s not just using the government’s money that’s becoming so unattractive. Continuing to live in the United States is becoming increasingly untenable.

Obama’s Counter-Productive War on Achievers and Producrers

Of course, it’s the poor and the middle class who are hurt most by these confiscatory taxes and costly mandates and regulations. The rich can just pull a John Galt, pick up their marbles, and leave. Most Americans can’t afford to do that.

This is why Obama’s and the Left’s war on the rich is so silly, counter-productive, and harmful to the poor and middle class.  The rich have many ways to protect their wealth and save themselves from socialism and Obama’s economic illiteracy.  The rich did not get rich by being stupid.  The rich are a lot smarter than Obama. The rich have off-shore bank accounts and offshore corporations to protect their assets from the Tax Man.  The rich have teams of super-smart attorneys who they pay $1,000 per hour to figure out how to do all this.

Trillions of dollars in U.S. corporate cash is now parked oversees out of reach of the IRS, and doing absolutely nothing for the U.S. economy.

This is why the stock market is hitting new highs, while the U.S. economy is still stuck in the mud at zero GDP growth.

But Barack Obama is so locked into his 1960s-1970s neo-Marxist mindset that he has no clue as to why this  is happening. He thinks he can control everything. He can’t.

In his arrogance, Obama thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.  He isn’t.

QE3: Ben Bernanke tells Congress he’s going to devalue the dollar some more by printing a lot more money

Get set for Carter-style inflation

Hey, isn’t Bernanke flipping us the bird in this photo?

CNBC: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Wednesday that a new stimulus program is in the works that will entail additional asset purchases, the clearest indication yet that the central bank is contemplating another round of monetary easing.

Bernanke said in prepared remarks that the economy is growing more slowly than expected, and should that continue the central bank stands at the ready with more accommodative measures.

“Once the temporary shocks that have been holding down economic activity pass, we expect to again see the effects of policy accommodation reflected in stronger economic activity and job creation,” he said

“However, given the range of uncertainties about the strength of the recovery and prospects for inflation over the medium term, the Federal Reserve remains prepared to respond should economic developments indicate that an adjustment in the stance of monetary policy would be appropriate.”

Read more here >>>

Gold surges to record highs on news Bernanke plans to print more money

REUTERS: Gold futures rose to a record settlement above $1,585 on Wednesday, as the possibility of more Federal Reserve stimulus coupled with Europe’s deepening debt crisis fueled bullion’s longest winning streak in five years.

Spot gold [XAU= 1579.11 13.86 (+0.89%) ] last rose 1.2 percent to $1,584.39 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures [GCCV1 1585.40 23.10 (+1.48%) ] for August delivery rose $23.30 to settle at $1,585.50 an ounce .

Bullion prices added to early gains after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank is ready to ease monetary policy further if the economy weakens and inflation moves lower. Silver rallied nearly 6 percent, moving in tandem with commodities, U.S. stock markets and risk assets.

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Is Bernanke a lunatic, or just completely incompetent?

THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE: Did you see Ben Bernanke’s testimony before the House Budget Committee on Wednesday?

It was quite a show. Bernanke seems to believe that if he just keeps on repeating the same mantras over and over that somehow they will become true.

Bernanke insists that the economy is getting much better, that quantitative easing will lower long-term interest rates, that all of this money printing by the Federal Reserve is not causing inflation and that the Fed knows exactly what needs to be done to dramatically reduce unemployment inside the United States.

So is anyone out there still actually buying what Bernanke is selling? Sure, a handful of people in the mainstream media still have complete faith in Bernanke. But for the rest of us, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is something really “off” about Bernanke. So just what is going on with him? Is he lying to all of us on purpose? Could he be insane? Is he just completely and totally incompetent?

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Video That Explains What Ben Bernanke and President Obama Are Doing To You in Layman’s Terms

Bernanke’s Secret Exposed: Foreign banks got most of the secret cheap money from the Fed

BLOOMBERG: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s two-year fight to shield crisis-squeezed banks from the stigma of revealing their public loans protected a lender to local governments in Belgium, a Japanese fishing-cooperative financier and a company part-owned by the Central Bank of Libya.

Dexia SA (DEXB), based in Brussels and Paris, borrowed as much as $33.5 billion through its New York branch from the Fed’s “discount window” lending program, according to Fed documents released yesterday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Dublin-based Depfa Bank Plc, taken over in 2007 by a German real-estate lender later seized by the German government, drew $24.5 billion.

The biggest borrowers from the 97-year-old discount window as the program reached its crisis-era peak were foreign banks, accounting for at least 70 percent of the $110.7 billion borrowed during the week in October 2008 when use of the program surged to a record. The disclosures may stoke a reexamination of the risks posed to U.S. taxpayers by the central bank’s role in global financial markets.

“The caricature of the Fed is that it was shoveling money to big New York banks and a bunch of foreigners, and that is not conducive to its long-run reputation,” said Vincent Reinhart, the Fed’s director of monetary affairs from 2001 to 2007.

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Libya Banks Got 73 Loans Totaling $35 Billion from Bernanke’s Secret Cheap Money Stash

BLOOMBERG: Arab Banking Corp., the lender part- owned by the Central Bank of Libya, used a New York branch to get 73 loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve in the 18 months after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed.

The bank, then 29 percent-owned by the Libyan state, had aggregate borrowings in that period of $35 billion — while the largest single loan amount outstanding was $1.2 billion in July 2009, according to Fed data released yesterday. In October 2008, when lending to financial institutions by the central bank’s so- called discount window peaked at $111 billion, Arab Banking took repeated loans totaling more than $2 billion.

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