Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Freedom of Press is limited to those who own one - H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

There’s Gold In Them Thar Bills

One of the most cynical things said by politicians during the healthcare debate (among an embarrassment of riches) was Nancy Pelosi’s “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” statement.  Passive-aggressive obtuseness of the Baltimore Mafia Spawn aside, it likely helped to drive the final nail in the coffin of any majority popular support the bill may have had.  Which is interesting, because it’s also completely accurate.

A good example of this is the gold tax that’s buried in the bill.  Usually, the gold bugs over at ZeroHedge would have been all over something like this, but I didn’t read anything about it until about a month ago in a comment on one of the threads.  So I looked it up, and sure enough, from ABC News:

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, Form 1099s will become a means of reporting to the Internal Revenue Service the purchases of all goods and services by small businesses and self-employed people that exceed $600 during a calendar year. Precious metals such as coins and bullion fall into this category and coin dealers have been among those most rankled by the change.

This provision, intended to mine what the IRS deems a vast reservoir of uncollected income tax, was included in the health care legislation ostensibly as a way to pay for it. The tax code tweak is expected to raise $17 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Basically, every time a coin dealer buys one of your 1 oz. American Eagles, he has to fill out a 1099.  Because most of these transactions actually take place in coin shops, which are hardly large businesses, small dealers are crying foul.

What’s the Democrats’ justification for this?  Oh, I see:

The recently revealed investigation by California authorities into consumer complaints against Goldline International, which has used Beck as a pitchman, and Superior Gold Group (which has not) has put a spotlight on what one liberal leaning politician, Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., calls the “unholy alliance” between gold coin sellers, such as Goldline, and conservative talk personalities, such as Beck.

What a shock--the progressives went and created a bunch of boogeymen in order to justify this (Mother Jones apparently did an article in the same vein).  Seriously, this is a classic case of the government doing its best Goldman Sachs vampire squid impression (thanks, Matt Taibbi!)--sticking it’s blood funnel anywhere it smells a revenue source.  As recently as June 2006, gold was selling at around $525 an ounce; in January 2009 it was around $900, and today, it closed over $1,260; so it’s hardly surprising that the Democrats would find a way to try and tap into the revenue from that type of inflation.  Anyone like Weiner who argues this is about regulating a bunch of out-of-control financial pirates is either lying or is completely ignorant regarding the precious metals industry. 

This provision is so fucked up, even several of the lunatics at Democratic Underground recognized that it’s going to place an onerous burden on coin shops, which are largely small-business operations that deal in more than just gold and silver (for instance, I filled out my State Quarter collection at the local shop I frequent).

This is what happens when our Lords and Masters pass a bill to “find out what’s in it,” rather than be open about what exactly is in the bill.  Quite frankly, Pelosi and the Dems should be removed from leadership based on this attitude alone.

Note: I’m not going to get into a debate in this post on the merits of gold over paper currency (although I do find it ironic that Confederate dollars are now worth more than U.S. dollars, but that’s just because the CSA stopped printing).  For purposes of disclosure, I do own a little gold and a bit more silver, which probably amounts to about 8-10% of my rather miniscule net worth.  I’ve found that people on the Intertubes who seem to worship it as a fail-safe typically don’t take into account that because we are no longer tied in to a gold standard, a sudden turn to the use of precious metals as currency basically means that all confidence in the dollar has collapsed--and that would likely mean a rather chaotic societal upheaval that renders the idea of precious metals as currency as irrelevant outside of smaller, well-defended communities.  I treat it as a hedge, but nothing more than that. 

I’ve seen a few people argue for having 50% or more of their net worth tied in gold, but for some reason these same people also seem think they’ll be sitting on a horde of gold American Eagles and South African Kruggerands like a dragon in a fantasy novel when the shit hits the fan. 

Posted by on 09/14/10 at 08:24 PM in Health Care   Left Wing Idiocy   Life & Culture   Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
Page 1 of 1 pages