Obama/Napolitano Discover A New Tax To Feed Statist Needs

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Keeping up with the Obama Administration’s efforts to bloat the government ranks as rapidly as three and one half more years will allow them to, has become a formidable task.  Its lack of common sense has never been surprising, however, the absurdity of its intent sometimes rises well beyond what must surely be any barely functioning intellectual comprehension.

Peace Arch Monument

Peace Arch Monument

From the pen of geographically challenged Napolitano comes the following statement to the House of Representatives homeland security committee, explaining that fresh sources of revenues are needed to feed her fast growing empire. No need to make this up, or exaggerate, so here from her Homeland Security website is the following text:

“Processing the more than 350 million travelers annually provides nearly $150 billion in economic stimulus, yet the fees that support these operations have not been adjusted in many cases for more than a decade. As the complexity of our operations continues to expand, the gap between fee collections and the operations they support is growing, and the number of workforce hours fees support decreases each year.”

Let’s ignore the fact that the country just to the North of the 49th parallel represents America’s biggest trading partner (for Napolitano’s education, that country is Canada).  Let’s also ignore the fact that fees (taxes) are already levied to finance inspections of commercial and agricultural goods crossing the border.

Instead, let’s consider the mindset capable of delivering the above statement.

Holding forth with the foremost  culmination of its reasoning, the Obama Administration first stands on the positive economic statistic of $150 billion which travellers bring to America. It then advances the persuasion in full ideological mode with an incomprehensible submission that this extremely successful activity should be taxed.  Obama and Napolitano cannot help themselves. In stereotypically socialist fashion, they request that Congress tax those who visit the United States to spend their cash.  Evidently anyone who has cash to spend should be penalized because he or she must have too much of it and any such surplus is an ideal target for taxation.

Thousands of businesses who depend, even thrive, on foreign visitors, would feel the pain inflicted by the imposition of such measures. In an environment long suffering from the weight of a stagnating economy, and businesses anxious about their prospects for remaining afloat, which part of the statist mind is it that believes that building barriers to foreign buyers and to their cash is an intelligent and creative concept?

Visitors from Mexico may not come into the U.S. to spend to the same degree that Canadians do, so the impact from the South may not be as painful as the impact on crossings over the Northern border.  Millions of Canadians purchase goods in the United States each and every day, escaping their own onerous taxation system and their inflated costs of goods, from cheese, to cars, to gasoline, to TVs.  Most of those Canadians are ‘day’ visitors. If anything, this Administration should open the 49th parallel further to ease the movement of goods between the two countries.  Instead, it claims that it will create new jobs with this fresh tax – thousands of them, so don’t worry if your business goes under, just get in line for a government job. The Obama job creation machine is coming to a border community near you.

Perhaps Obama and Napolitano might forego a holiday to take a day trip to Buffalo and simply ask a few businesses for an opinion.  They might then catapult across the continent for a visit to any business in Bellingham, Washington, to seek first hand feedback on these brilliant measures being concocted in their political eco chamber.  

The MSM doesn’t seem to much care about these non-subtle tax-and-spend moves from this Administration, but the Governors of all border states should be campaigning on the White House lawn on behalf of their constituents.  Increased taxation is no way to stimulate an economy – any part of any economy.  Just ask the border towns.

A constituent of the vast baby boomer generation with a career which has been fortunate to know the ponderous corporate worlds, as well as the intimately pressurized, and invigorating entrepreneurial domains of high tech and venture capital, I have harvested my share of mistakes meandering through corridors of enterprise from Silicon Valley, to London and endless, colourful, sometimes praetorian points in between. The voyage has provided an abundance of fodder for a pen yielding to an inquisitive keyboard, a foraging mind, and a passionate spirit. Whether political or business or social or economic or personal, is it not all political? It is a privilege to write, and an even greater privilege to be read by anyone, and sometimes with the wind at my back the writing may occasionally be legible. I do not write to invite scorn, nor to invite respect, but if I get really lucky the writing can stimulate thinking. I also write for the very selfish purpose of animating my own processes, and engaging the best of what life offers. Above all, whether biting fire or swatting shadows, I am grateful to be gifted the freedom to write and publish whatever flows down to the keyboard. To all those who enabled this freedom, and to all those standing guard to preserve it, I am indebted.

11 Responses to “Obama/Napolitano Discover A New Tax To Feed Statist Needs”

  1. 1

    Scott in Oklahoma

    Hmmm… I have a few friends that live in Canada, they have already said that $15-20,000 they spend in our country every year will stay north of the border. Pretty sad, and I’ll miss seeing them.

    But I do know the fix… since Napolitano’s agency is so hungry, maybe we should just defund it and close it down. I can’t think of anything they have done with a positive effect since they were created, they suck up money like there is no tomorrow without accomplishing anything. Think of the money we can save, shut down the useless TSA as well, let the Border Patrol go back to being the Border Patrol, and Immigration and Naturalization can go back to being the INS. There, problem solved, positive cash flow back into paying off the debt.

  2. 2



    @Scott in Oklahoma: Common sense will destroy the Obama Fantasy, I work for many people just on the other side of the border. They drive 12 miles across the border to by gasoline and groceries, and to save money. Tax them and they will stay home with their money. Why lose money and waste time to support Obama’s pipe dreams.

    Our tax receipts will be minimal and businesses on this side of the border will turn tits-up without the Canadian dollars coming in, but we will have a whole new class of ethnic studies people sucking on the government tit working at a no production job. A job that will soon need tax money from a viable source.

  3. 3

    Scott in Oklahoma

    Skook said: ” Common sense will destroy the Obama Fantasy…” Man, we can only hope that’s the case. I just hope we can find a way to derail the Obama train before we go so far we can’t get it back.

  4. 4

    oil guy from Alberta

    Compare the 2 Niagara Falls cities. The Ontario side is bursting with economic activity. Tourism and world class casinos. The New York side caters to retail. Many of the buildings need major upgrades. These new taxes should finish it off.

  5. 5


    I really don’t think the Obama folks actually care how much money the feds take in. Taxing is more about the power and leveling the playing field in their way of thinking so to speak. The amount coming in certainly hasn’t throttled the spending side of things.
    In one of the debates he said it was about fairness not about bringing in more revenue.

  6. 6

    James Raider


    @Scott in Oklahoma: #1,

    they have already said that $15-20,000 they spend in our country every year will stay north of the border.

    Not surprisingly, Canadians along the 49th spend large amounts in border States. Generally the savings range from 30% to 60%. Electronics are at least one third cheaper. You can purchase a French Bordeaux for one half the price in WA, and sometimes less, than you can in Canada. Gasoline has become a major monthly expense, and Canadians are ready, willing, and able to travel an hour to fill-up with US gas on which the savings can be anywhere from $25 to $50+ per tank – it adds up.

    @Skook: #2,

    Tax them and they will stay home with their money.

    Agreed, and I think that the majority will reduce their visits. At some point there is a cost of ‘inconvenience’ which becomes a greater consideration.

    Furthermore, there is the hard cost of whatever that new Obama/Napolitano tax will actually be, and there is the ‘message’ which this Administration is sending to millions of daily visitors who spend hard cash. Both will have very negative impact on the border economy.

  7. 7



    Mully, you hit that one, right on the money, but there is a series of problems: Taxes are like anchors on an economy, the more money you pull out of a dynamic economy the less dynamic it becomes. Our liberals will argue that tax money will be spent on goods and services, without mentioning federal salary increases and pension funds for federal and union retirees. This money then becomes what I term dead money. It contributes no real value to the economy. Money that purchases food and perishable goods stays dynamic and adds value to an economy. A twenty dollar bill might change hands ten times in a week and contributes approximately $200 worth of trade. If the money is taxed the economy is not only missing the $20 bill, it is missing the $200 worth of trade that would have transpired if that bill was left in the economy. It is gone, left forever and the dynamic economy must make up the deficit to remain viable. If the government finds enough reasons to pull out too many of those $20 bills, the economy stagnates and dies.

    Installing a goods and services tax on the goods Canadians are buying will strangle an economy on a border that is only staying alive because of the Canadian trade. Obama will kill the economy, but he will have the personal satisfaction of installing another tax.

    He is a simpleminded man who can’t visualize cause and effect, for him and all despots of history, the power to tax is the power to control and the exercise of power itself. Obama would rather be in complete control of a decaying economy than have moderate control over a vibrant dynamic economy that doesn’t really need his interference.

  8. 8


    Not content with the amount of taxes you currently pay, the Senate has suddenly found a new respect for states’ rights.

    On a motion to advance S. 743, described as “A bill to restore State’s sovereign rights and enforce State and local sales tax”, the Senate voted 74-20 for the bill.

    Currently, in my state, if I order from Amazon and the vendor is not in my state, I do not pay sales tax on the purchase. If the vendor is in my state, it is considered that there is a “local” outlet and I am charged not the sales taxes at point of sale, but the taxes at point of purchase (my local tax rate.) How this differs is that if I were to drive to another area in my state to purchase a product, I would pay their local tax rate, not the one where I live.

    This bill is being pushed by local merchants, and merchants, such as Target, Wal-Mart, Sears (well, you get the idea), that have brick and mortar locations in all states. It is thought that out of state sales harm local sales.

    But what if you live in an area that has a sales tax, but purchase a product from a business that is in a locality without a sale tax? You will be charged the sale tax at your local rate. And if you live in an area without a sales tax? You will be charged the tax where the merchant is located. At least that is how I read it.

    This will have far reaching consequences. Anyone who sells on Ebay, or any other internet auction site, will be then required to collect sales tax and file that tax report with the state for which they collected the sales tax. Internet sites like Amazon will be required to file state tax reports with all 50 states. Again, this is just another example of a) the greed of taxing agencies and b) Congress’ opinion that although a system is not broken, they must fix it.

  9. 9

    James Raider


    @retire05: #8,

    Internet sites like Amazon will be required to file state tax reports with all 50 states.

    Strangely there is no up-roar, yet, on the enormous impact this will have on small on-line businesses. Large organizations can amortize the ‘bureaucratic’ administrative overload over hundreds of millions or billions of dollars worth of purchases. Small businesses will drown keeping up with the paper work.
    Some rational intelligent common sense has to be applied on this one. Hundreds of thousands of people depend on their incomes or supplement their incomes through sites like Amazon, or eBay, or Craigslist.

  10. 10


    @James Raider:

    Hundreds of thousands of people depend on their incomes or supplement their incomes through sites like Amazon, or eBay, or Craigslist.

    How long before the states are required to turn over the sales tax remissions information on a guy who sells a couple of hundred dollars worth of stuff on Ebay/Craig’s List to the IRS so that the leviathan, that cannot ever be sated, can make sure that guy is paying income taxes on that tiny bit of income? How long before the Federal Government is monitoring those websites to acquire the names of people who sell stuff?

    OK, so you have a broken riding lawn mower and you sell it for parts for $100 on Craig’s List. Now you have to send the state whatever the percentage of sales tax is. Then you get a notice from the IRS that there was $100 in income that you did not claim and you owe late fees and fines on that hundred bucks. Big Brother is watching you.

  11. 11

    Still Free in Texas

    Let’s start with taxing all medical care for non-citizens at say 50%. If they are here illegally heal them and then deport them. If the lines are too long in their system they should pay their fair share. They are subsidizing their drugs with our R&D so this should actually equalize things.

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