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Forum Post: Will the United States still exist in a thousand years? Part I

Posted 9 months ago on July 18, 2013, 8:47 a.m. EST by JackHall (439)
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Formerly - Will the United States still be here in a thousand years? Part I

The Declaration of Independence should be read and recited in English every 4th of July before the fireworks display begins. (To ensure that it will be.)

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. (etc.)”

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War in the United States, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, but gradually grew into a world war between Britain on one side and the newly formed United States, France, Netherlands, Spain, and Mysore on the other. The main result was an American victory and European recognition of the independence of the United States, with mixed results for the other powers.

The war was the result of the political American Revolution. The British Parliament insisted it had the right to tax colonists to finance the colonies' military defense, which had become increasingly expensive due to the French and Indian Wars. The colonies argued that they already spent much through local government to maintain their place in the British Empire, with Benjamin Franklin appearing before the British Parliament testifying "The Colonies raised, clothed, and paid, during the last war, near twenty-five thousand men, and spent many millions." The colonists claimed that, as they were British subjects, imposing laws in Parliament upon the colonists, and particularly taxation without representation, was illegal. The American colonists formed a unifying Continental Congress and a shadow government in each colony, though at first wishing to remain in the Empire and loyal to the Crown.

France, Spain and the Dutch Republic all secretly provided supplies, ammunition and weapons to the revolutionaries starting early in 1776. By June 1776 the Americans were in full control of every state, but then the British Royal Navy captured New York City and made it their main base. The war became a standoff. The Royal Navy could occupy other coastal cities for brief periods, but the rebels controlled the countryside, where 90 percent of the population lived. British strategy relied on mobilizing Loyalist militia and was never fully realized. A British invasion from Canada in 1777 ended in the capture of the British army at the Battles of Saratoga.

The British spent about £80 million and ended with a national debt of £250 million, which it easily financed at about £9.5 million a year in interest. The French spent 1.3 billion livres (about £56 million). Their total national debt was £187 million, which they could not easily finance; over half the French national revenue went to debt service in the 1780s. The debt crisis became a major enabling factor of the French Revolution as the government could not raise taxes without public approval. The United States spent $37 million at the national level plus $114 million by the states. This was mostly covered by loans from France and the Netherlands, loans from Americans, and issuance of an increasing amount of paper money (which became "not worth a continental"). The U.S. finally solved its debt and currency problems in the 1790s when Alexander Hamilton spearheaded the establishment of the First Bank of the United States.

The greatest threat to United States independence today is its debt and currency problem.

Tax brackets are the divisions at which tax rates change in a progressive tax system (or an explicitly regressive tax system, although this is much rarer). Essentially, they are the cutoff values for taxable income — income past a certain point will be taxed at a higher rate.

Tax Brackets

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_bracket [right click]

In the United States, with certain exceptions, individuals and corporations pay income tax on the net total of all their capital gains. Short-term capital gains are taxed at a higher rate: the ordinary income tax rate. The tax rate for individuals on "long-term capital gains", which are gains on assets that have been held for over one year before being sold, is lower than the ordinary income tax rate, and in some tax brackets there is no tax due on such gains. The tax rate on long-term gains was reduced in 1997 via the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 from 28% to 20% and again in 2003, via the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, from 20% to 15% (for individuals, whose highest tax bracket is 15% or more), or from 10% to 5% for individuals in the lowest two income tax brackets (whose highest tax bracket is less than 15%) (See progressive tax). The reduced 15% tax rate on eligible dividends and capital gains, previously scheduled to expire in 2008, was extended through 2010 as a result of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act signed into law by President Bush on May 17, 2006, which also reduced the 5% rate to 0%. Toward the end of 2010, President Obama signed a law extending the reduced rate on eligible dividends until the end of 2012.

The law allows for individuals to defer capital gains taxes with tax planning strategies such as the structured sale (ensured installment sale), charitable trust (CRT), installment sale, private annuity trust, and a 1031 exchange. The United States, unlike many other countries, taxes its citizens (with some exceptions) on their worldwide income no matter where in the world they reside. U.S. citizens therefore find it difficult to take advantage of personal tax havens. Although there are some offshore bank accounts that advertise as tax havens, U.S. law requires reporting of income from those accounts, and willful failure to do so constitutes tax evasion. Progressive taxes attempt to reduce the tax incidence of people with a lower ability-to-pay, as they shift the incidence increasingly to those with a higher ability-to-pay. The opposite of a progressive tax is a regressive tax, where the relative tax rate or burden increases as an individual's ability to pay it decreases.

In 2013, the highest tax bracket is taxed at 39.6% on income above $450K. In 1986 it was 50% on income above $175K. In 1980 it was 70% on income above $215K. In 1961 it was 90% on income above $400K. In 1944 it was 94% on income above $200K. In 1927 it as 22% on income above $64K.

The top 1% in the United States are almost untouchable today. Thirty-plus years of government dominated by the Republican Party (1970 – 2008) has left the Democratic Party weaker and disoriented. They may win elections, but what have they done in office? The Democrats today in 2013 behave like moderate Republicans of the 20th century.

Formerly - Will the United States still be here in a thousand years? Part II




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[-] 2 points by webmuskie (10) from Burlington, VT 9 months ago

I don't think that account of the revolution is complete. Taxes were only one small piece of the motivation. A much bigger piece that's often forgotten is that Britain was restricting the kind of trade the colonists could engage in so that it could further the monopolies of the crown corporations. And there were still other greviances, not all admirable (the British didn't allow settlement west of a line set by treaty,whereas the colonists wanted to settle further west (i.e., steal indian land).

But as to whether the US will be around in 1000 years it is worth looking at the conclusions of the expert committees whose job it was to figure out how to protect the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (a nuclear waste dump) frm intrusion by humans. They concluded that continuity of government (ie, control of the plot of ground in New Mexico where WIPP is located) could not be counted on over a mere two hundred years.

[-] 1 points by JackHall (439) 9 months ago

Thanks for the information. This is only 30 years after Reagan and 70 years after Roosevelt. The economy would have cycled back into the Great Depression if not for Roosevelt's safety nets. Without trying harder and being more demanding we may not make it through the next 200 years.

[-] 0 points by TikiJ (-38) 9 months ago

Yes, it will just encompass the entire globe.

[-] 1 points by JackHall (439) 9 months ago

Wishful thinking, my friend. The question arises, how can the United States maintain its independence, as defined in its Declaration of Independence, if it encompasses the entire globe? There is, seemingly, an implicit conflict of interest between how the United States originated and a destiny as a global empire.