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Archive for April 5th, 2012

Some of the world’s most disgusting and evil regimes restricted the right to emigrate, including the imposition of exit taxes designed to fleece those who did want to escape.

Given the evils of communism, you won’t be surprised to learn that the Soviet Union had such a policy. Here’s an excerpt from a 1972 story in the Palm Beach Post.

…citizens have been refused permission to leave the Soviet Union unless they pay a new tax… Nearly 500 Jews signed a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim calling the tax an illegal “ransom” and an extreme injustice. Jews trying to emigrate to Israel have been the main victims of the new tax imposed by a decree… However, the tax is applied to anyone trying to emigrate from the Soviet Union.

Not surprisingly, the Nazis also used the same approach. Here are the relevant passages from a report by the World Jewish Congress.

… nearly a third of the German war effort was paid for with money stolen from Jews according a new study about the role of the German Finance Ministry during the ‘Third Reich’. …Ministry officials robbed an estimated 120 billion reichsmarks [the equivalent of nearly US$ 20 billion today] by looting and through stringent confiscation laws. …Tax laws discriminated against Jews from 1934, while some who managed to leave Germany before the Holocaust had much of their wealth seized through an ‘exit tax’.

Unfortunately, exit taxes still exist, and I’m embarrassed to say that the United States is one of the few countries to impose such a levy.

There’s no anti-Semitic motive for the tax. Instead, politicians have imposed exit taxes because some Americans decided to emigrate to jurisdictions with better tax law.  And rather than interpret this as a sign that the tax code was too onerous and should be replaced with something like a flat tax, they decided to enact a law to ransack people as they crossed the border.

But even this reprehensible policy isn’t enough for some of the clowns in Washington. Senator Barbara Boxer, the empty suit from the formerly Golden State, has decided that basic liberties such as the presumption of innocence are an impediment to tax enforcement. As such, she’s attached an odious provision to a transportation bill that would restrict the right to travel.

"Ihren papieren, bitte?"

A bill…that could potentially allow the federal government to prevent any Americans who owe back taxes from traveling outside the  U.S. is one step closer to becoming law. Senate Bill 1813 was introduced back in November by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-LosAngeles)… Section 40304 of the legislation states that any individual who owes more than $50,000 to the Internal Revenue Service may be subject to “action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport”. … there does not appear to be any specific language requiring a taxpayer to be charged with tax evasion or any other crime in order to have their passport revoked or limited — only that a notice of lien or levy has been filed by the IRS.

The good news, at least relatively speaking, is that Boxer is only motivated by greed and statism. But the end result is still a reprehensible restriction on the liberty of people disfavored by the ruling elite.

If Barbara Boxer is any sort of example, no wonder California is such a mess, losing jobs and investment to other states.

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Like its evil twin of Nazism, communism is an utterly despicable ideology that explicitly elevates the state over the individual.

That’s actually the nicest thing that can be said about this barbaric system. If you want to begin to understand the human cost of communism, watch this short Reason TV video featuring Lee Edwards.

Sometimes, it’s helpful to mock this disgusting philosophy with humor, as Reagan did so effectively (see the fourth video at this link and the first video at this link). Or we can use jokes like this doctored image.

And we can point out that communism is so inefficient that you wind up with rationing of everything from food to toilet paper.

But let’s not forget that communism isn’t just a sad page from history. Some people are still suffering under the yoke of Bolshevik tyranny.

Here are some excerpts from a report in the Australian.

North Korea has reduced the minimum height requirement for military conscripts because the current generation facing call-up was stunted by a deadly 1990s famine, a new report says. …the military has cut the minimum height to 142 centimetres from 145 cm. All able-bodied North Korean males aged 16-17 must begin mandatory service that lasts about a decade. Women deemed fit must also serve for a shorter period in the 1.2 million-strong military, the world’s fourth largest. …North Korean boys facing conscription this year were born in the mid-1990s – at the height of the famine that devastated the impoverished communist state and killed hundreds of thousands. …UN agencies, after a visit to the North, estimated last November that three million people would need food aid in 2012. UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, after a separate visit last October, said that in northern regions almost one in two children were chronically malnourished.

The passages above illustrate evil on so many levels, including famine and militarization. Imagine how awful it would be to be trapped in a sinister place like North Korea.

This is why I am so quick to attack institutions, ranging from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Mercedes-Benz, that demonstrate moral blindness to the evils of communism.

By the way, even though I freely admit it’s unfair, I can’t resist adding this link revealing who the head of the Communist Party has endorsed for 2012.

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