A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Posts tagged ‘wealth’

Obama: Church Shouldn’t Focus on Protecting the Unborn & Marriage

by Barry Silver

666 the prezA couple of weeks ago President Obama took part in a panel discussion on poverty at Georgetown University where he launched into an attack on the focus of the Christian church in America. I’m not certain what makes him an expert exactly. I know he claims to be a constitutional law attorney. Funny though, the prez and the first lady were both attorneys, disbarred by the State of Illinois. Why is an attorney disbarred? An attorney is disbarred because of conduct unbecoming. It’s like being a soldier and being dishonorably discharged.

obsequious moderatorThe prez said that his comments were based on his “own Christian faith.” The panel was moderated by a famous Washington liberal, so the panel gravitated to praising the left while attacking the right when it comes to poverty. No discussion was made about the disparity in charitable giving between red and blue states, but simply to the fact that conservatives didn’t believe the government should be used for charity, while the left believes the government should be the main source of charity. Obama criticized churches for how they engage politically, focusing on “divisive issues” such as protecting life and preserving marriage.

“The president argued last week that churches would gain more followers if they embraced the “powerful” idea of helping those in poverty. “I think it would be powerful for our faith-based organizations to speak out on [poverty] in a more forceful fashion,” he said.

The president also said that advocating the redistribution of wealth is “vital to following what Jesus Christ, our Savior, talked about.”

More often, he engaged in double-speak like this:

“When it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what’s the defining issue, when you’re talking in your congregations, what’s the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, [poverty] is oftentimes viewed as a nice to have, relative to an issue like abortion.”

homelessThe ignorance of the president knows few bounds. To imply that ending poverty should be of greater concern to Christians than ending the holocaust of innocent lives through the eugenics of abortion is repulsive. All you hear liberals talk about is human rights until it comes down to actually considering what those rights are. Essentially, the unborn have no rights because they don’t have the capacity to vote.

burningrightsinternetMen don’t have rights either. They can vote, but they’ve been emasculated unless they want to tow the Washington line. The state can rob and plunder anyway it pleases. It sees itself as Robin Hood, especially as the champion of the children that it wants to own. It does this fully through single mothers. It champions the Bradley Amendment. It robs from parents and tolerates the church – for now. Government wants your faith. The church is simply poor competition. By deduction, Christians are pains in the arses to compete with the state in any way. Prez knows best.

dad-slaveryAs far as same-sex marriage goes, homosexuality is just another sin, conveniently listed among those sins, of which Yahweh says that no man or woman will enter His Kingdom. Many churches are already on a wide road to destruction according to scripture, but that’s another topic beyond the stupidity and corruptibility of American leaders and obsequious stone-headed church leaders. What a real Christian would best do isn’t covered much in public.

The American Expatriot Primer

indigent in AmericaA growing number of Americans are frustrated with the way in which their economy has been managed and are becoming increasingly concerned about future measures the government may take to keep its coffers full.

A question that is arising with increasing frequency is: does expatraition offer a viable protection to those concerned about a more financially-intrusive US system?

The answer is ‘yes’, it does offer a completely legal solution for ending your obligation to pay US income, capital gains, and gift taxes on your worldwide income. But it is certainly not for everyone and should only be pursued after lengthy and diligent consideration.

And before you begin dreaming of a tax-free future, you should realize that the United States imposes taxes on a broader basis than any other country. The United States is one of two countries, and is the only major country, that imposes significant income, capital gains, gift, and estate taxes on its non-resident citizens.

In virtually all other countries, individuals end their liability to pay income tax after a sustained period of non-residence, generally one year or longer. But to legally and permanently end U.S. tax liability on their worldwide income, U.S. citizens must also give up their U.S. citizenship and passport. This process is called “expatriation.”

Yes, it’s a radical step. However, if you’re a U.S. citizen, you can make nearly all of the preparations for a possible future expatriation without permanently leaving the United States. This is a four-step process:

Phase 1. Relocate your assets from the United States to other jurisdictions, preferably where the assets won’t be taxed.
Phase 2. Identify foreign countries where you would consider living,
Phase 3. Obtain a suitable second passport
Phase 4. Expatriate – give up your U.S. citizenship and passport

Once you’ve accomplished the first three phases, summarized here in Part I of this report, the final step – expatriation – is much easier than if you’re starting from scratch. Part II of this report describes the expatriation process.

Are you a good candidate for expatriation? You are, if:

You are comfortable living outside the United States, or are already doing so-
Your spouse and children are comfortable living outside the United States, or are already doing so; and
You have already or are capable of shifting the majority of your income and assets outside the United States.

Phase 1: Relocate Your Assets Outside the United States

decisions about wealth and lifestyleWith a few exceptions, the IRC imposes taxes on both U.S. source income and foreign source income of U.S. citizens. Non-resident, non-U.S. citizens (also known as “non-resident aliens”) pay tax only on U.S. source income, although some U.S. sources of income (e.g., most capital gains) are tax-free.

To prepare for this more favorable tax treatment in anticipation of expatriation, begin moving liquid assets outside the United States to more tax-friendly jurisdictions. Begin selling assets that can’t be relocated (e.g., real estate) so that you may reinvest the proceeds overseas.

Invest only in countries and investments with which you are comfortable. If you are accustomed to buying and selling U.S. securities, consider using offshore bank or brokerage accounts to target non-U.S. securities. If you are an experienced real estate investor, investigate real estate purchases outside the United States. Keep in mind that a targeted investment or real estate purchase may also qualify you for legal residence in some countries (Phase 2) or even a second passport (Phase 3). If you have substantial domestic investments in precious metals, consider moving the metals offshore.

The vast majority of foreign banks and brokerages now refuse to accept new U.S. citizen clients, especially U.S. citizens resident in the United States. However, banks and brokerages in a handful of countries still accept new U.S. citizen and resident clients and allow them to purchase non-U.S. securities. A few banks in Austria, the Bahamas, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Singapore, and Switzerland are suitable for this purpose. The minimum deposits in these banks start at $100,000. Minimum deposits in offshore brokerages start around $5,000. Fees are much higher for banking services and securities trading than in the United States.

Both the accounts you hold offshore and the income derived from them must be reported to U.S. authorities. The penalties for failing to make these disclosures are draconian. Consult with an expert familiar with the tax and reporting rules for international investments when you file your annual tax return.

Offshore real estate is a non-reportable asset for U.S. investors if owned individually or jointly with your spouse or other individuals. Income or gain from foreign real estate investment is reportable and taxable. Countries offering first-world infrastructure and where real estate is relatively affordable include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Spain, and Uruguay.

Numerous potential “land mines” exist in offshore real estate investments. Among them are the lack of a multiple listing service in many countries, difficulty in establishing good title, and legal provisions giving squatters the right to live on your property. Retain a knowledgeable real estate attorney in the country in which you purchase real estate to avoid problems.

You may transport precious metals you own in the United States to another country and store the metals in a safety deposit box, bank vault, or private vault. One option for doing so is to use a secure shipping service. Make certain the service not only promises secure transport but also assists with completing non-U.S. customs and tax declarations. Another option to transport precious metals out of the United States is a like-kind exchange under Sec. 1031 of the IRC. If you move the metals yourself, the best option can be to hire an import agent in the country to which you’re taking them to handle the import formalities. You will generally post a bond through the agent covering taxes due (if any) plus the agent’s fee.

Phase 2: Identify Foreign Countries Where You Would Consider Living

big life decisionsOnce you give up U.S. citizenship and passport, you no longer have the right to live in the United States. You may generally make brief visits, but in most cases, you won’t be able to stay more than approximately four months annually without becoming subject to U.S. tax on your worldwide income based on the IRC’s “deemed residence” rules discussed in Part II of this report. Finding another country to live in is therefore an essential part of any expatriation exit strategy.

Even if you have no plan currently to leave the United States permanently, finding a country that you may wish to relocate to in the future is a prudent safeguard. If economic or political conditions deteriorate in the United States and reach your personal breaking point, having legal residence in a suitable offshore jurisdiction provides a valuable “insurance policy.”

If you merely want the right to live in another country in the form of a residence permit, but don’t necessary want to be physically resident there, a number of countries can accommodate your needs. These include Belize, Costa Rica, Malta, Mexico, the Dutch Caribbean territories, and Panama. In most cases, you can qualify for residence (although not the right to work in the country) by either making an investment or demonstrating a minimum guaranteed pension payment. Residence rights may be purchased in some countries by making an investment of $80,000 or more in real estate or other assets. A guaranteed pension payment of $1,000 or more may also qualify you for residence. In other countries, you may need to qualify on a points system. Some countries have multiple programs to consider.

Phase 3: Obtain a Suitable Second Passport

To end your responsibility to comply with U.S. tax and reporting obligations, you must give up your U.S. citizenship and passport. Without a second nationality in place and passport in hand, however, giving up your U.S. passport would render you a “stateless person.” Avoid this status, as it makes it difficult or impossible to legally live or travel internationally.

A second passport also conveys numerous other benefits:

It gives you the right to reside in the country that issued the passport, and possibly other countries. For instance, a passport from a member of the European Union conveys the right to live and work in any other EU country.
It gives you a way to travel internationally if your primary passport is lost or stolen, or if the issuing government confiscates or refuses to renew it.
It provides you with the opportunity to travel to countries blacklisted by the government that issued your primary passport. For U.S. citizens, this includes countries such as Cuba, North Korea, etc.
It avoids disclosing your primary nationality, should you ever need to keep that a secret. This can be useful if you’re ever confronted by militants who oppose the government that issued your primary passport.

You may qualify for a second citizenship and passport by ancestry, marriage, religion, or extended residence in another country. If not, a handful of countries offer “instant” citizenship in return for an investment or contribution. The Commonwealth of Dominica and the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis are the only countries with an official, legally mandated, economic citizenship. (Note: Dominica and the Dominican Republic are different countries.)

Dominica is the least expensive option. The nationality law of Dominica authorizes the government to waive the normal requirement of seven years of legal residence to acquire citizenship in exchange for a cash contribution. Total costs including all fees for a single applicant come to about $105,000. Add $25,000 for your spouse and up to two children under 18. The Dominican passport holders can travel without a visa, or obtain a visa upon entry, to nearly 90 countries and territories.

The Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis offers two options to obtain economic citizenship. One option is to make a direct contribution to a charitable foundation set up to support displaced sugar workers: the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF). Total costs including all fees for a single applicant under this option come to about $285,000 or $335,000 for an applicant with up to three dependents.

The second option is to purchase “qualifying property” with a minimum investment of $400,000. Fees and closing costs add a minimum of $100,000. Total costs for a single applicant come to at least $500,000 and close to $600,000 for a family of four. The St. Kitts & Nevis passport provides visa-free entry, or visa upon entry, to more than 120 countries, including nearly all of the 27 member countries of the European Union.

In all cases, applicants must pass a strict vetting process that includes a comprehensive criminal background check.

Bogus second citizenship offerings abound. In recent years, I have received offers to purchase passports from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, and Lithuania, among other countries. Some of these offers are outright scams. Others involve illegally purchased or stolen documents. Even if you succeed in obtaining a passport on this basis, it may be revoked at any time and you could be subject to arrest and/or deportation.

Conclusion

Once you’ve completed Phases 1, 2, and 3 of your four-step plan to disconnect from the United States, you’re ready for Phase 4: expatriation. While you may never take the final step of giving up your U.S. citizenship and passport, taking the preparations summarized so far at least gives you that option.

Mark Nestmann is a journalist with more than 20 years of investigative experience and is a charter member of The Sovereign Society’s Council of Experts. He has authored over a dozen books and many additional reports on wealth preservation, privacy and offshore investing. Mark serves as president of his own international consulting firm, The Nestmann Group, Ltd. The Nestmann Group provides international wealth preservation services for high-net worth individuals. Mark is an Associate Member of the American Bar Association (member of subcommittee on Foreign Activities of U.S. Taxpayers, Committee on Taxation) and member of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2005, he was awarded a Masters of Laws (LL.M) degree in international tax law at the Vienna (Austria) University of Economics and Business Administration.

Copyright © 2012 Chris Martenson

Fair Child Support: The Audacity of Hope

Not a few of us have come to personally wonder, even mourn the loss of our true national identity. The personal identity of Americans is even more challenged. We have come to a place of oppression and circumstances over which we have no control, but we are going to have it all rubbed in our faces by oppressive law and unfettered government application. Mistakes aren’t permitted unless you have influence and a hefty bank account. Justice is bought and sold like a revel at Bourbon Street. It’s cheapened the nation and weakened the fabric of society instead of strengthening it. We are a nation that encourages vile and predatory behaviors which reject the core of what builds and strengthens the strong nations of the past for the rhetoric of despots that seek to wield unlimited power.

But …social conservatives…want a return to a bygone era, in which sexuality outside of marriage was subject to both punishment and shame, obtaining a divorce was far more difficult, and marriage offered not merely personal fulfillment but also well-defined social roles for men and for women. In their view, any government policy that appears to reward or even express neutrality toward what they consider to be immoral behavior whether providing birth control to young people, abortion services to women, welfare support for unwed mothers, or legal recognition of same-sex unions-inherently devalues the marital bond. Such policies take us one step closer, the argument goes, to a brave new world in which gender differences have been erased, sex is purely recreational, marriage is disposable, motherhood is an inconvenience, and civilization itself rests on shifting sands.

In this missive posted in his book Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama pretends to be reasonable by acknowledging the feelings of the opposition. He spends a chapter acknowledging the beauty of the Constitution, while dismissing it for something better, likely because of his status as a attorney that specializes in constitutional law. Instead, he talks around it as if to say, the Constitution is nice to study and a great document to thump on when you want to make a point, but it is a quaint tool of the past. Too bad the nation didn’t read his books before they voted him into office, not that it really matters anyway. John McCain, with ties to banking fraud, wasn’t a better choice, just a different one. Presidents have become cheerleaders of what sounds good while allowing Congress to pass predatory legislation without so much as a wimper. They have become complicit with the criminals that pretend to protect the nation.

Many politicians say that they see life as an issue of sexual behavior instead of the ability to maintain relationships, which government is loathe to do. It reinforces the negative instead of the good. It lies and distorts for the powerful and well-to-do. It favors mothers over fathers based on the timeworn models that it seeks to reject through the politics of empowerment. It has transferred this evil to divorced or rejected non-custodial parents. They are simply work horses that will sustain the children of the state as the elite look after their own interests.

“But all in all, I have little sympathy for those who would enlist the government in the task of enforcing sexual morality. Like most Americans, I consider decisions about sex, marriage, divorce, and childbearing to be highly personal-at the very core of our system of individual liberty. Where such personal decisions raise the prospect of significant harm to others-as is true with child abuse, incest, bigamy, domestic violence, or failure to pay child support-society has a right and duty to step in. (Those who believe in the personhood of the fetus would put abortion in this category.) Beyond that, I have no interest in seeing the president, Congress, or a government bureaucracy regulating what goes on in America’s bedrooms.

Moreover, I don’t believe we strengthen the family by bullying or coercing people into the relationships we think are best for them-or by punishing those who fail to meet our standards of sexual propriety. I want to encourage young people to show more reverence toward sex and intimacy, and I applaud parents, congregations, and community programs that transmit that message. But I’m not willing to consign a teenage girl to a lifetime of struggle because of lack of access to birth control. I want couples to understand the value of commitment and the sacrifices marriage entails. But I’m not willing to use the force of law to keep couples together regardless of their personal circumstances.” – (Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama, page 335)

No Mr. Obama, instead we bully them after the fact with law that only the most wealthy can manage. In the article “Deviance and Society in Child Support Law,” I detail how behavior has been stigmatized and grouped into types of addicted behavior. Politics ignores the truth about its’ role in the process as it seeks the “common good,” pretending to be above all matters of humanity. It treats single mothers and their children as wards of the state and celebrates its’ role in the matter. It treats fathers as workhorses, slaves which must forever pay for the mistakes of the relationship without due process and the standards that built the nation. Remember that these standards only apply to criminal law. The possibility of innocence only applies to criminals, but not to the non-custodial parent of children that the  government owns.

Family law has carefully been maintained as civil law, the law of lying ex-spouses and courthouse escapades, even though the non-custodial behavior has been criminalized in a world without the assurance of justice on any level. Judges can’t stand the irreverent carping of the ‘human trash’ they serve. Government has sanctioned the same predatory behavior in families and relationships that it holds as precious in its worldview of control. Manipulation has become the reality of all relationships, while soft words such a diversity and peace are espoused. They sell the virtues of sacrifice without possessing that virtue. Diversity and peace are the watchwords of society, as that society is gripped by social engineers that claim “common good.” We don’t need society. Government is the holder of punishment and shame.

You know the solution. Be a good slave, stay employed at all costs in the name of fear and don’t make waves- or face the consequences. Economics don’t matter, nor does unemployment. Good men and women know what they have to do. Playing into the system isn’t necessarily the best answer. Otherwise, there isn’t even the audacity of hope, the kind of hope that President Obama claims to live by.

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Fair Child Support: The Audacity of Hope by E.J. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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Book Review: Children of the State

Children of the State by Joseph A. D’Agostino

There is no such thing as other people’s children. – Hillary Clinton

Conservative Americans fancy that socialism has been largely defeated or that its greatest remaining threat lies in taxation and spending. They forget that the dream of leftist revolutionaries for centuries has been not only to equalize wealth and social status, but to eliminate all distinctions among the citizens of their ideal republic. All of these revolutionaries from Marx on down have targeted the family for destruction.

Undemocratic Institution

The family is a highly undemocratic institution. The nuclear family consists of one man and one woman, a highly specific and unliberated straitjacket of a social structure. They have loyalty to one another greater than that to society at large and also dedication to their own children, over whom they have authority—and any private authority is a rival to the government’s. To a true democrat, this preference for one’s spouse and authority over one’s children violates the principle of equality, which proclaims that we must treat everyone exactly the same. For the modern democratic statist, these loyalties and authorities weaken his own power and inhibit the ongoing concentration of all authority in one central government.

Stephen Baskerville’s Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family (Cumberland House) details just how far leftists have succeeded in abolishing the family. Of course, anyone with a cursory knowledge of the state of the American family knows that it has been largely destroyed, with most children spending at least part of their childhoods without one of their biological parents at home, a divorce rate of more than 40%, an ever-increasing illegitimacy rate and no-fault divorce laws that render a marriage compact less legally enforceable than a cell-phone contract.

Yet what most do not know, even if they follow family issues, is that our family courts are nearly all-powerful, unaccountable star chambers that openly reject due process, traditional legal rights and the Constitution itself. Family courts are civil courts or courts of equity, not criminal courts, so most constitutional protections and procedures do not apply, even though these courts have been given tremendous power. They routinely take couples’ children away from them without trial on the flimsiest accusation of abuse from a teacher or neighbor, limit or eliminate one or both parents’ contact with their own children after divorce without any evidence of wrongdoing on the parents’ part, order parents to pay the fees of lawyers and psychotherapists they did not hire, and send parents to jail without a hearing.

Control of the Courts

This excellent book carefully documents the extreme control that these courts have and how faithless mothers—and, increasingly, faithless fathers—use them and are used by them to eject the other parent from the family and garnish his wages for themselves. Then, of course, these mothers must obey the courts’ every order concerning how their children are raised and educated, and the courts are not shy about imposing government-approved methods. Baskerville knows his subject backward and forward and provides 974 endnotes for documentation and further reading. He also provides intriguing psychosocial speculation on why parenthood, and particularly fatherhood, have come under such intense attack in recent decades as a culmination of the long-ago revolt against broader social fatherhood—organic societies and traditional monarchies—and against God the Father Himself.

Those who believe that the United States has, despite the occasional abuse, a just legal system will probably ignore the above. Yet in a country where the courts have declared abortion-on-demand a constitutional right no matter what legislators say and have authorized the government to effectively confiscate land without compensation if an official finds an endangered species on it, is this so unbelievable?

Baskerville repeatedly points out that it is no secret that family courts operate in this way. They officially have the powers that they use thousands of times every day. Unwillingly divorced fathers and children bear the brunt of the family court industry, which profits every time a family is broken but loses financially whenever one stays together. A mother who unilaterally divorces her husband receives primary custody of their children the vast majority of the time and child-support payments to boot. Under the no-fault divorce laws of the various states, wrongdoing on the part of the father is usually not alleged, much less proven. It doesn’t matter: When one party wants to destroy the marriage, the other pays—and now that more men are catching on to the game, mothers are beginning to lose out. Yet contrary to the image portrayed even by conservative journalists, at least two-thirds of divorces are desired by the woman and not the man. It is more women than men who are destroying families today.

Fathers Needed in Homes

The consensus among the vast majority of liberal social scientists, as Baskerville explains, is that children without their biological fathers in the home are far more likely to be abused, poor and develop psychological problems. More than race, income, or race and income combined, father absence is a predictor of juvenile delinquency, drug abuse and mental illness. Divorce harms children by reducing their fathers’ presence in their lives far more often than it helps them—and even scientists can see it.

Baskerville, a longtime fathers’ rights activist and now a professor of government at Patrick Henry College, provides one horror story after another: The unwillingly divorced father ordered to pay two-thirds of his income in child support, the man innocent of any crime jailed for saying hello to his children in the street. Since family courts usually operate in secret without oversight, there is no way of telling how common such atrocities are. But the real horror is the routine process: The power of the courts to control parents’ access to their children and determine their financial lives once the betraying spouse decides to abandon the other.

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