Friday, October 22, 2010

The New Tax Man

Among the lessons we should have learned from the Romans: allowing powerful private entities to collect taxes is a bad idea. In the case of American banks, it means a shift from a business model based on fraud to one based on extortion.

In this particular tale as told by the Huffington Post, local governments are making Faustian bargains with big banks, allowing them to collect taxes and even add their own fees on top of them in return for fronting government the revenue. Minor shortages in people's tax returns are blossoming into huge, multi-thousand-dollar shakedowns, and in many cases people are losing their homes because of what was originally a delinquent tax/utility bill of less than $1000.

This, of course, is an entirely separate issue from the other scandal of banks trying to foreclose on people who aren't behind on their mortgages, or worse, don't even have a mortgage by not bothering to review their own paperwork.

It's also different from the other, OTHER scandal of banks hiring what are basically thugs to break into the occupied homes of people they are illegally foreclosing on to change the locks on them, and in many cases burgle their home in the process.

And that's different from the other, other, OTHER scandal of the foreclosure mills [i.e., the thugs] hired by the banks giving their employees jewelry, cars, and houses in exchange for forging documents to submit to courts so they can steal people's homes.

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