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News Link • TAXES: Local

Gonzalo Lira: Shakedown Nation

How many counties and municipalities and States are doing what Mono County did—acting no better than thugs? Especially now, after they got themselves in the nightmare fiscal situation most of them are in—how many are retroactively charging taxes, fees, levies, and then going after innocent citizens they are supposed to serve with threatening letters and the real possibility of a legal nightmare? How many counties and States are using the threat of damaged credit reports to squeeze out a few miserable more bits of money from the people—laws and Constitution and basic morality and decency be damned? My guess is, A lot. Is this how a government of the people, by the people, for the people is supposed to work? By using the law to extort the citizenry? By retroactively charging them “fees” and “adjustments” that are obviously unfair, immoral, and flat-out un-Constitutional? The word “un-Constitutional” gets tossed around a lot—but here is a case where it is literally un-Constitutional. The Constitution says so right in its first Article! “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” But like so much of American life, these Constitutional guarantees don’t mean squat if the leadership is willing to overlook them, or run roughshod over them—as California clearly is.

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