Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Destroying America, bill by bill

By Sovereign Man, Simon Black

As you’re probably aware, yesterday was the much ballyhooed blackout of several popular web sites in protest of new legislation that threatens the Internet as we know it.

The United States Congress has teed up two separate bills which give government agencies sweeping new powers to punish millions of innocent users, criminalize harmless activities, and effectively make entire web sites disappear at their sole discretion without any judicial oversight.

In a nutshell, these bills would create the online equivalent of Nazi Germany.
But what can we really expect from these people?

It’s not the first time that Congress has gone out of its way to destroy freedom and prosperity, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Just look at the last decade for a plethora of examples:

USA PATRIOT Act, 2001. The US Constitution officially became toilet paper when this bill of over 60,000 words just happened to be introduced only a few weeks after 9/11. Roving wiretaps, suspension of due process, and a complete loss of privacy became the norm.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2002. In the wake of the Enron scandal, Congress did the only thing it knows how to do– pass stupid laws with no thought of long-term consequences. SOX, as it became known, was one of the most burdensome pieces of legislation to American business in history.

The disclosure requirements alone added millions of dollars of unnecessary expenses to US businesses and sent foreign companies who were thinking about listing on the formerly prestigious NYSE running for the hills. Places like Hong Kong and Singapore benefitted from such short-sighted regulation, and the US became less competitive. Again.

Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, 2010. The inappropriately named HIRE Act essentially puts a gun to foreign banks’ heads and forces them to make a decision: any bank with US clients must either enter into a costly information sharing agreement with the IRS, or be subject to a 30% withholding tax on US-sourced capital flows.

Consequently, a number of foreign banks have begun dropping their US clients. Taken in conjunction with various US Securities rules, many foreign businesses have also begun dropping US citizens as partners, shareholders, and directors. It’s simply too onerous to have to deal with all the disclosure filings and risk action by the SEC or IRS...

(please click here to read the rest of the story: http://www.sovereignman.com/expat/destroying-america-bill-by-bill/?a_aid=CRX)

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