When we think about our tax obligations, income tax generally comes to mind, but there are other ways that the government siphons money from the American people. Kristin Tate, the Libertarian Chick joined the podcast to discuss with Jason Hartman the variety of hidden taxes that we pay on a daily basis and how we can identify these overlooked taxes, as well as the ways that our taxes are spent on ventures that we never intended to support.
She added that the millennial generation is not as clueless as the rest of society believes, and though they may be a little lost in fiscal policy, they are often open and embrace Libertarian views.
Hartman also covered the ending of the Venture Alliance weekend in New York City and reminded listeners to up-level their conversations. He mentioned as well that he plans to develop a brand-new conference set to take place at a tropical location in November of this year.
Level-Up Your Conversations
Recording from a Lyft car in New York City, Jason Hartman states that he has just finished the Venture Alliance meeting. He explains that he’s going to speak to a couple of attendees who are traveling with him on their experiences with the Venture Alliance Mastermind, followed by an interview with guest Kristin Tate, also known as the Libertarian Chick. He reminds guests not to lose interest too quickly, as a lot of people are Libertarians and don’t even know it yet.
He mentions that the Venture Alliance weekend ended with a heavy debate on self-management versus having a professional property manager. Hartman adds that he has had many frustrations with property managers recently. There are a lot of bad ones out there, and there are some who do decent work, like in any industry.
He states that he took a skyline cruise last night and took several photos that he posted to his Instagram account, which listeners can follow by searching for the username JasonHartman1. He mentions that the skyline photo he took came out so nice that it almost looks fake.
During the Venture Alliance meeting on Saturday, Hartman mentions that there was a speaker that talked about how Blockchain can be used to prevent fake news, while another speaker talked about how some very wealthy people are coming into the US from other countries. This involves a lot of money moving around, as some of these people became billionaires through privatization in the former Soviet Union.
Recalling the events during the weekend brings Hartman to another point. He encourages listeners to start up-leveling their conversations with other people. Make your conversations of high-level and try to discuss topics of importance.
Speaking of social interaction, Hartman takes a moment to interview a couple of attendees traveling with him, Carmen and Mason.
Carmen attended the Ice Hotel trip to Sweden earlier in the year and explains that this past weekend was her first official Venture Alliance meeting. She states that the conversations were amazing, that she was constantly learning, and had a great weekend.
Mason, the second-place winner of the 5-Year Plan contest mentions that the weekend has been busy so far and that he has gotten into discussing deep topics. He was interested to hear about the experiences of others, as well as observing how people sharpen each other. Listening has been great so far, and he’s glad to have attended.
When asked about tips on his 5-year plan, he explains that he finds having goals very important and that he had a 5-year plan before the contest. He tends to focus on personal development and states that goals are the beginning of it.
Upcoming Events and Website News
Hartman explains that the “Properties” page of the website is going to be redesigned, as there have been some troubles associated with finding properties. It’s going to have a new look and be more user-friendly.
He also mentions that he plans to introduce a brand-new kind of conference and that the first meeting will take place in November at a tropical destination. If you’re planning a tropical vacation, save it for November and participate in the new conference. Stay tuned for more information.
Are Millennials Paying Attention to Fiscal Policies?
Hartman welcomes Kristin Tate to the podcast. Tate is a columnist for The Hill and the author of How Do I Tax Thee? A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off. She has appeared on several news outlets, such as CNN and Fox News. Hartman mentions that taxes are the largest expense in any of our lives, and if we don’t become aware of them, we will waste a lot of time paying more than we should. Tate is here to address hidden taxes, as well as her observations on the millennial generation.
When asked whether millennials are paying attention or not, Tate answers that it might seem that they aren’t paying attention some of the time and that the generation has a bad rap. She notes that her millennial friends lead her to believe that the whole generation isn’t as clueless as they seem. For example, millennials tend to have strong opinions regarding social issues, though they can be a bit clueless about fiscal policy.
Tate states that if you get specific and ask about taxes and government involvement, they tend to have pretty Libertarian views. She adds that it’s about messaging and showing young people how policies are going to affect them.
Hartman recalls when Ron Paul has been on the show and attended different conferences, and he attracted a lot of the millennial generation. He was somehow well-supported in the college crowd, which might be due to his Libertarian stances on social issues, adding that Libertarianism seems to be the only honest position.
When it comes to the topic of hidden taxes, Hartman mentions that he read years ago that a loaf of bread is taxed two-hundred times before it reaches the grocery store. There are also underhanded taxes placed within gas expenses, phone bills, and other utilities. We are being taxes everywhere.
We Are Being Taxed Everywhere: Identify Overlooked Taxes
Tate agrees that everything is taxed, and while it’s a hot topic in the news now, the national dialogues only seem to focus on income tax. What people don’t understand is that income tax makes up less than half of our taxes. She explains that she wrote her book to open people’s eyes about how the government is siphoning money from people and help them identify overlooked taxes.
She states that every time we do anything: paying for a subway ticket, taking a plane, getting gas, staying in a hotel, eating at restaurants, seeing a movie, paying rent, utilities, and more, all of it is inflated with taxation by way of hidden fees. In her book, she explains that she treats fees the same way she treats taxes, because they’re both used in the same way. They take money from people and direct it to the government. Over the course of a year, taxpayers pay about $650 billion with these fees. Tate says she wants these hidden fees to be part of the conversation.
Hartman mentions that income tax is apparent, but there is also inflation tax. He adds that millennials don’t really know about this one because they have not experienced inflation much. It is still stealing from us and big government is behind it. He recalls a personal experience with renting a car in Phoenix recently. The tax on his bill was more than the base price, being 69% tax. The whole fee for two days was $107, and 31% went to the vendor.
Tate states that the resulting revenue from hidden taxes is often squandered. For example, in Florida the taxes collected from rental car fees are used to build sports stadiums. Taxes make up a large portion of bills and expenses so it’s important we identify overlooked taxes. She notes that in New York City, 27% of all utility bills are taxes. In New York City, if you pay electric bills, you’re funding the subway system that still has ticket rates rise continuously. They’ve still got a $6 billion deficit every year, and this same issue happens in many major cities. The revenue is going toward expenses that have nothing to do with what you’ve just paid for.
Hartman mentions that you can’t hear the dogs that don’t bark and states that in Tate’s book, she talks about renting. He adds that one would think that in places like New York City that seem pro-tenant, there would be developments in favor of tenants, but the book points out that this isn’t true. If these taxes were taken away, there would be more supply and rent would be lower for tenants.
Your Money Isn’t Going Where You Expect
Tate explains that in her book, she focuses on transparency. The book isn’t supposed to simply say that taxes are too high, which she believes they are, the issue is visibility and the need to identify overlooked taxes. If you want to live in a big city with high taxes because you’re in favor of what those taxes support, that’s fine. However, the bureaucrats understand that raising taxes isn’t popular, so they add hidden taxes and we don’t see them.
She gives a personal example of when she got a dog and asks Hartman if he recalls paying for a pet licensing fee when he obtained his dog Coco.
Hartman confirms and mentions that in Scottsdale, if he forgot to renew the license, the city would send a nice letter in the mail to remind him, as well as fines for being late.
Tate states that when she adopted her dog, she felt good about it until she got the fee. She didn’t want to pay it but thought it would contribute to the shelter in some way. This is not the case. In most places, the licensing fees do not go to anything pet-related, rather, they are funneled into a general fund for bureaucrats to spend how they want. You’re essentially being punished for doing a good thing.
She adds that a lot of people will roll their eyes about it and simply say that they won’t renew the fee, but many cities go to great lengths to ensure that they obtain their fees. In Seattle, the city will call up pet stores and get the manes and addresses of every person who purchased dog food at the place. They will then send letters to those addresses threatening misdemeanor charges if they don’t renew the license. This tactic generated $80 million in Seattle just last year.
Identify Overlooked Taxes: Debauchery Tax and Consequences
When asked about sin tax, Tate explains that this tax goes beyond alcohol and cigarettes. Some places are taxing sugar, and others are getting into the complicated field of taxing candy. “What is candy?” she asks. The muddy waters involving what is and isn’t considered candy adds compliance costs and raises prices for consumers. In Philadelphia, there are taxes on sugary drinks, and the government said that the revenue would benefit pre-k.
Tate confirms that though this tax has been in place for several years, not a single dime has gone to benefit pre-k because it has been used to make up for budget deficits. These new taxes have not helped people lose weight or live healthier lives as well. All it seems to be doing is hurting poor people who buy soda because they don’t have the money to buy organic drinks.
Hartman adds that the government probably assumes that the poor people are going to start substituting for kombucha at $3-$4 a bottle, and Tate clarifies that studies show that people often end up switching to beer.
The taxes on sugary drinks are also hurting businesses in the area, but businesses outside of the city limits are booming because shoppers are going outside of the city to stock up on soda. Either that or they’re paying the tax, or spending more of their money for healthier alternatives, and it ends up being money they don’t have.
Hartman wonders what the real reason is behind the health problems in the US. He states that if the government wasn’t in bed with Monsanto, that might help. The bigger you make the monster, the worse things get, and there are so many unintended consequences of the big government problem.
What’s After Awareness?
When asked what we can do after becoming aware of and beginning to identify overlooked taxes, Tate states that most of the hidden taxes we find are implemented at a state or city level. If you live in a small or medium town, it’s a little easier to get rid of these added taxes. People not knowing the taxes exist is the main problem. Even in big cities, there is the power to fight them.
In Boston, there were added taxes and a hike in subway ticket prices and people found out what was happening due to some great investigative reporting. Citizens were furious, and they protested the fees for a month. The city lost the battle and took the tax away, as well as lowering the fares to their normal rate. Above all, we should not take these hidden taxes lying down. Tate also advises that if we don’t like that our cities are taxing things, we should avoid buying them in that city. It tells them that businesses are being hurt by the fees.
Hartman recalls again that we can’t hear the dogs that don’t bark, and states that this is a good reason behind why a lot of businesses don’t start, and how raising the minimum wage only created more unemployment. Fewer people are hired and fewer businesses open.
He remembers when he had offices in California and every time he looked at a new space, the state demanded that all the wires be yanked out of the wall and redone. If the previous tenant was only in for a short time and the wiring was up to code, it didn’t matter and still had to be done again.
Easier to Identify Overlooked Taxes and Fight It in Smaller Cities
Tate mentions that people aren’t moving to places like New York and California like they used to, and a big exodus is happening in those areas. Like California, New York is losing more and more working people because it’s become impossible to live a high-quality life in the state on a normal salary. They’re being left with the insanely rich and the insanely poor remaining, while their taxpayers are going elsewhere.
She adds that what’s irritating about it is that a lot of liberal people will go to places like Texas and vote in the same policies they fled. She mentions that she’s from New Hampshire and people from Massachusetts come to her state and vote in liberal politicians who bring on higher taxes. New Hampshire used to be a purple state, and they’re slowly going blue. Texas is on the same path.
Hartman agrees and states that when it’s everybody’s money, it’s nobody’s. What happens is, iron triangles are created, like public employee unions where they unionize against the taxpayers and it becomes incredibly hard to dislodge the system without revolution.
Tate adds that it becomes hard to fire public employees. In the roster of public employees in New York, there are scores of people with nebulous job titles making $200,000 a year. Subway workers are making six figures, which is terrifying. They’re taking advantage of a bad system.
Hartman notes that they are also taking advantage of the pension scam as well and will have multiple government jobs to collect on. One guy he read about was a retired lifeguard in California and had a second job with a pension and collected large sums of money from both.
Kristin Tate’s History
When asked about how she got started in her career, she explains that she grew up in New Hampshire and because she was at least 40 minutes from stores, her family only had each other. They talked about politics a lot, and because her father was a neo-con and her mother was a liberal, there was a lot to talk about.
When she graduated, Breitbart news was launching their Texas branch, so she was there during the border surge. It was an eye-opening experience for her, and afterward, she returned to the east and wrote her books. She closes stating that a lot of people think the US is doomed but she doesn’t believe that. Millennials are not stupid and as they grow and work, they are slowly turning into Libertarians.
For more information about Kristin Tate, you can visit her website at www.thelibertarianchick.com or follow her on Twitter at KristinBTate. Her published works include Government Gone Wild: How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You for a Ride – and What You Can Do About It and How Do I Tax Thee?: A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off.