Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wheat and Chaff: Part II of Understanding the Code (Bill Butler)

Bill Butler continues his critical look at the "Matrix that is the federal income tax code":

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” ~ Matthew 3:12

So much of life is about: (1) making distinctions; and (2) making choices. Indeed, the meaning and consequence of all our lives can fairly be said to be a test of our free will choices and the rational, intellectual distinctions we make in choosing between free will courses of action. Two identically smart, identically diligent people making nearly identical choices can arrive at very different places based on the distinctions they make in choosing a course of action. For example, two very smart, productive individuals may have earned and been able to “save” $200,000 over the last decade. One smart person may have put that money into the stock market in a government-blessed peculium, like a 401(k) or IRA. The other person may have allowed that $200,000 to run through the federal tax gauntlet, paid his 30 percent tithe to the state, and used his net $140,000 to buy, as just an example, gold. Although both people are smart and may be equally honest and upstanding, each makes his decision based on different assumptions. The first assumes that the fiat paper-denominated market is safe and takes no heed or notice of government rules, regulations and fines that compel his actions. He trusts his rulers and perhaps does not understand how his actions support things that he finds morally abhorrent. When his rulers tell him that his paper is fire-proof or that they can control the unquenchable fire, he believes them. The second assumes, for perhaps a myriad of reasons, that his tangible gold (a bird in the hand) is better than paper notes or computerized digits. He knows that his rulers are fallible men just like him and so distrusts them when they tell him that their paper is fire resistant. Their attempts to coerce him to act in a certain way only heightens his suspicions.

That is life, isn’t it? Upon whom and what we place our trust and faith says everything about us. If we do not challenge basic assumptions and question everything, we risk getting burned with the chaff.

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