Gold and silver are money. But most governments treat precious metals like a commodity. They don’t accept it as payment. Worse than that, they tax it. Think about the absurdity of this policy. You don’t tax money!
These policies not only ease the burden on investors, it opens the door to use gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundational step for the people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.
Retail sales unexpectedly fell again in February. It was the third straight monthly drop and the first time the US economy has seen three straight months of declining retail sales since 2012.
Sales fell 0.1% in February. Analysts had expected an uptick of 0.3%. According to CNBC, households cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and other big-ticket items, pointing to a slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter.
So, why is this happening? Peter Schiff offered a simple reason in his latest podcast.
Americans are broke.
As the GOP tax plan wound its way through Congress, we argued that it is not going to create the kind of economic benefits promised without some reduction in the size and scope of government. We don’t just need tax relief, we need government relief. But there don’t appear to be any serious efforts to cut spending or to reduce the size of the federal government on the horizon. In fact, it looks like D.C. is hurtling in the exact opposite direction. With tax reform in the rearview mirror, Pres. Trump has set his eyes on a federal plan to “fix” America’s infrastructure.
This is a Keynesian boondoggle of epic proportions. And as Ryan McMaken shows in the following article originally published at the Mises Wire, it isn’t even necessary. We don’t need a federal solution to the infrastructure problem. Not for practical purposes. And not to “stimulate” the economy. In fact, the borrowing and money printing that will be necessary to finance whatever plan the politicians in D.C. come up with will compound the country’s economic woes.
In a recent interview on RT Boom Bust, Peter Schiff talked gold.
In a piece he wrote for the December issue of the World Gold Council Gold Investor, WGC chief market strategist John Reade outlined several key reasons he thinks gold will shine in 2018. He said rising global income will be the primary factor pushing demand for the yellow metal upward in the next year.
Peter put a little different spin on Reade’s analysis, saying it’s not just rising incomes in places like India and China that will help boost gold. Global inflation will play a key role.
There is a mass exodus from Illinois.
According to the US Census Bureau, the Prairie State lost a net 33,700 residents in fiscal year 2017. More people bailed out of Illinois than any other state in the US. And based on calculations the folks over at ZeroHedge worked out, the exodus was even worse than the Census Bureau numbers indicate.
Of course, the net population loss masks the true gross outflow of Illinois residents as it doesn’t account for natural births/deaths. Assuming that Illinois has the same natural population growth as the US as a whole (0.7%) implies that the state lost a staggering ~125,000 residents in aggregate, or roughly 1 man/woman/child every 4.3 minutes.”
So, why the big rush to bail out of the great state of Illinois?
We’ve done extensive reporting on the GOP tax reform bill as it’s moved through Congress. We’ve highlighted a number of concerns about the plan, specifically the significant expansion of the national debt it will cause. Yesterday, we explained how the impact on the deficit will likely be even bigger than expected because of the incentives found in the latest incarnation of the plan. Most significantly, we’ve echoed Peter Schiff’s view that the plan isn’t really tax reform. It’s tax cuts masquerading as reform.
But all of this leaves an important question unanswered. What would actual reform look like?
Mises Institute senior fellow Mark Thonrton offers some ideas in his latest piece at the Mises Wire. In a nutshell, shrinking the size of government is a key ingredient necessary for real reform.
A bill prefiled in the Alabama House for the 2018 session would exempt the purchase of gold and silver bullion from state sales and use tax, encouraging its use and taking the first step toward breaking the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.
Rep. Ronald Johnson (R-Sylacauga) prefiled House Bill 19 (HB19). The legislation would exempt the gross proceeds from the sale of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion and coins from sales and use tax in the state.
Governments will tax just about anything.
Of course, we are all intimately familiar with income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. But these are just the tip of the iceberg. Governments around the world have come up with some amazingly creative ways to tax their citizens.