At times in our lives we need to deal with adversity. It’s part of life.
How we deal with it is what determines the long-term and sometimes life-changing way it will impact us.
I just re-read the book “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. There are so many things I love about this book. The eloquence of the writing. The irresistible story. The thorough historical, factual research and basis for the book. The complexities and surprises that unfold as the story takes one through Russia from just after the revolution in 1918 up to the 1950s.
But what I love most are the characters, and especially the outstanding main character, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov who is the “gentleman”.
Count Rostov is the stellar example of how to take unthinkable adversity and turn it into a beautiful life with a constant spirit of joie de vivre and an irrepressible attitude.
Consider what you would do if at the age of 30 your home and possessions were taken from you, you were forced to living quarters in a small 100 sq foot almost window-less garret room, allowed only those clothes and possessions that would fit into the confines of that small room, and that if you ever left the building that housed that room at anytime during the rest of your life, you would be shot.
That is the fate that Count Rostov was dealt.
It is impossible for us who live in a western civilization where freedoms are mostly guaranteed, to comprehend the realities of a system like Communism that started to rule Russia in 1918 after the Tsars were killed and the revolution was over.
Property and possessions were seized by the government and the citizens were re-distributed to housing of a size deemed appropriate for their needs. The Politboro dictated what labor people had to perform and where, and how many work hours in the day and for what pay. Food and necessities were in short supply for everyone except those in charge of the government.
Those of us who have the freedom to live our lives the way we want and make our own choices, to take
advantage of opportunities that come our way, to make our own opportunities by being industrious and inventive, and to live where every possible need from food to clothing to shelter is available in abundance, have much to appreciate.
One would think that government takeover of our lives here in the U.S. could never happen like it has in communist and socialist countries. But it is already happening here.
The first tool governments use to take control is financial. Here it’s done in the form of taxes. For years we have docilely accepted the steady nudging up of taxes on every aspect of our lives. Look at any of the bills you get for essential services (heat, electric, Internet connections, phones, etc.) and you’ll see taxes added that go back to the government. And they continually increase.
There is very little in our country that we are not taxed for.
Governments at all levels, local/state/federal, keep raising and adding new taxes that affect every person regardless of their economic situations. The low-income as well as the well-off. School taxes,real estate taxes, occupational privilege taxes, estate taxes, payroll taxes, social security taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, income taxes; and then there are really weird ones such as in New York, if you buy a bagel at the deli and have it sliced, you pay an 8 cent tax for that. Yep! A bagel slicing tax.
We are being pelted with lemons in the form of taxes! And they are piling up quickly. Get ready, because a lot more is about to be forced on us in a very large way.
The government just announced that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised again this year it will run out of money. They’ve raised the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960. What funds that debt ceiling? You got it … more taxes.
The Biden administration has hired 87,000 more IRS agents for 2023. In 2021, 659,000 citizens were audited by the IRS. That is 1 person or couple for every 250 tax returns filed. Think of how many more people will be targeted in 2023 now that there are 87,000 more IRS agents doing this.
These agents are nothing more than government bureaucrats, but they are empowered to do audits of our finances at will, without any evidence, proof, or indication that there is a reason for it. They are authorized to put liens on your property, seize your property, freeze your bank accounts, attach your paycheck, impound your assets and generally ruin your life if they so choose.
Their goal is to get at least $200 billion more dollars by doing an additional 1.2 million IRS tax audits this year, most of them hitting middle class families and small businesses. The IRS is already predicting they will put 800,000 more federal tax liens on taxpayers’ homes, vehicles, and other personal property this year as a result of this IRS expansion of power. They are actually boasting about this – proud of what they are going to do.
Low and middle income wage earners are audited at 5-1/2 times the rate for millionaires for no other reason than they are easy marks. Low-hanging fruit for the IRS. In 2021 only 1.1% of the audits made were on people with a million or more in income.
Our current government has made a very deliberate decision to investigate, and take, the finances of its citizens to an intrusive extent never before done in the U.S. This is not a Democracy.
This is government taking control of your life which is exactly the story of what happened to Count Rostov in 1918 Russia. This is a level of adversity we’ve never dealt with before in our country. It should not be tolerated. If we don’t seize the power given us by our Constitution to put a stop to it, we have only ourselves to blame for letting it happen.
“You know that big government doesn’t hurt big corporations. They’ve got the best lawyers, lobbyists, and accountants in the world. Who gets destroyed by big government? The little guys.”Marco Rubio
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