Carbon Capture & Storage

World-Saving Technology or Waste of Money?

Investment into Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage will play an important role in abating carbon emissions in the future. While American government investment into renewable energies increased significantly with the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), there is evidence to suggest that this investment crowded out private investment into renewables. Meanwhile, nearly half of the sum from this act allocated for partnerships to further carbon sequestration technologies went unspent.

Historical Energy Policy in the United States

Energy policy in the United States has historically been based on the goal of increasing self-reliance for national security. This has been done through tax benefits to companies that contribute to this end. Many of these tax preferences, such as full depreciation for intangible drilling costs allowed to be expensed in the year the assets are bought, introduced in 1916, still exist in limited form today.

In the 1970s, alternative fuels and energy sources began to be more heavily subsidized, and a greater importance was placed on energy efficiency; environmental concerns became more pronounced and national security concerns increased with the oil embargo and energy crisis of 1973. In the 1980s with the Reagan Administration, many of the tax credits previously enacted expired, as a free market approach to energy policy was adopted. Although many of the tax preferences for alternative fuels expired, the tax provisions for oil and gas remained. In the 1990s tax preferences and subsidies were revitalized under George H. W. Bush for alternative fuels, renewables, and oil and gas, along with excise taxes on gas (Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures).

In the 2000s, energy efficiency and innovation was further incentivized with the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 and The Energy Policy Act of 2005. From 2008 to 2014, energy subsidies increased with the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Up until this point, most of the tax preferences were to subsidize fossil fuels, but with this legislation renewables were more heavily subsidized than fossil fuels. In 2016, 59% of energy related tax preferences went to renewables, and 25% went to fossil fuels, out of the $18.4 billion total (Federal Support for Developing, Producing, and Using Fuels and Energy Technologies).

Rationale for Government Investment

Money is invested by the government, whether it be through tax preferences or direct cash payments, with the aim of promoting something under-provided by the private sector. This often applies when a sector or technology is so nascent that the risk outweighs the potential profit. Additionally, it is the case when the positive externalities, or socially beneficial spillover effects from the investment, cannot be captured by the price of the output. This has increasingly been the case with research and development into renewable energies because of the research into the positive externalities from replacing carbon emitting fossil fuels. Accordingly, without government invented incentive to the private sector to adopt or innovate carbon sequestration technology, there is no incentive to develop it. In fact, of the $3.4 billion appropriated for fossil fuel research and development programs by the ARRA, $1.5 billion went unspent in 2015 when the deadline passed (Federal Support for Developing, Producing, and Using Fuels and Energy Technologies).

Questions remain about why this part of the stimulus package went unused. It could be because it was provided to fund relationships with utility companies to sequester CO₂ from coal plants: increasing investment into renewables, coupled with many coal plants nearing their end of life, to be replaced by natural gas, spooked decision-makers. Because it is so expensive to fund a demonstration project for carbon sequestration technology, and the subsidies were limited in duration, there was not enough incentive to outweigh the risk of private investment into the technology. Limitations on the efficiency of plants fitted with carbon sequestration technologies may not make them viable with the existence of renewable energies. By some estimates, the only reason that coal plants continue to produce electricity cheaper than renewables is that the sunk costs of building the plant have been incurred. Therefore, if a new coal plant is to be built, the electricity will be more expensive than other options that are better for the environment.

Future United States Energy Investment Portfolio

So, then, if carbon sequestration technologies are too expensive to develop for coal, even with billion-dollar subsidies from the government, is there enough of an incentive to develop them for natural gas? If there is, it is because of the cheaper cost of natural gas compared to other forms of energy, especially as the supply has increased since the shale oil boom. The CO₂ emissions from natural gas are significantly less (50-60%) than coal, but methane emissions from the transport, drilling, and extraction of natural gas, which have a more drastic warming effect on the earth in the short term than CO₂, make it an imperfect alternative. It is clear, however, that fossil fuels have a place in our energy portfolio as a state, as they offer some benefits that have eluded other renewable forms of energy, such as mitigating the risk of energy intermittency. Unless there is major investment into infrastructure to store energy created by renewables, and enough trust to overcome the potential outcry of the public for relying on such new and unproven technologies, fossil fuel power plants are necessary.

Has the United States investment into renewables since the Great Recession resulted in crowding out? Researchers found evidence of crowding out at high levels of investment in this sector in China (Feifei, et al., 2016). Moreover, a global race to more reliance on solar energy could result in spillover effects from other countries’ investments. If renewable energies are at a point that the private sector investment is enough to support the industry, because there is enough opportunity for profit with little enough risk, government investment is a waste. Especially because the technologies will transfer to the private sector for profit without the taxpayer realizing any profit from the investment besides the positive externality from decreasing carbon emissions. Crowding out in other countries with similar investment in the technology points to the fact that the potential profit from a global energy shift is enough so that the optimum level of investment is made available by the private sector.

Even worse is the antiquated tax preferences made available by the government for domestic oil and gas. These subsidies, as mentioned before, were in response to national security energy concerns, but as the United States is now one of the largest exporters of oil in the world, they are unnecessary and costly. A study by the National Academy of Sciences found that eliminating the tax preferences for domestic oil producers would have no effect on the supply of oil. The cost of these policies “was between $90 and $200 per additional barrel of domestic oil produced”, in addition to the market price of the barrel of oil. Domestic oil producers reported that they would reduce their production by 20%, however a testimony from the CBO doubted this in respect to historical data and trends (Federal Support for Developing, Producing, and Using Fuels and Energy Technologies).

Carbon Sequestration Overview

It is impossible to give an overview of carbon sequestration without doing so in respect to coal. States such as Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and New Mexico, among others, get more than 75% of their energy from coal, with 13 other states getting between 50-75% of their energy from it. The cost of operating these plants has increased with increasing environmental regulation, however, and it is estimated that 20% of these plants could close by 2020 and be replaced by natural gas as a result (“Capturing CO2”, 2011). In fact, U.S. coal consumption in 2018 was set to be the lowest it has been in 39 years. The fear from this change is an opportunity for votes, resulting in political moves to change policy, and renewing interest in carbon sequestration technologies across the political aisle. Bi-partisan support is crucial because of the costly and risky nature of researching the basic science, and the large amounts of capital necessary to create plants that use these new technologies. For instance, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, after investing $6 million into a coal CCS project, cancelled the project as a result of mounting concerns of the economic viability and changing environmental regulations (“Coal-Fired Power,” 2018).

Another factor motivating the interest in carbon sequestration is the ability to use the recovered particulate to inject into oil fields and boost oil recovery. This application provides an incentive for existing energy producers to benefit from a continued dependence on coal and subsidized carbon capture. Many nascent applications of CCS are hopeful to use the byproducts of the process economically in other ways, however, instead of needing to store them underground, which represents an additional cost. CCS initiatives often tout that it is the only technology boasting the possibility of negative emissions, though current implementations in power plants have not been close to achieving this. Instead, there is evidence that with the more potent methane leaks upstream inherent to natural gas production and use, current technology could result in only a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions if all coal plants were replaced with natural gas. Further technological advancement is necessary to make an impact as we transition from the dirtier alternative of coal, to the cheaper and cleaner natural gas. There is evidence that post-combustion capture of natural gas, a type of carbon capture that does so after the creation of the electricity, faces less technical hurdles than post-combustion capture of coal, because there are less contaminants to filter from the exhaust. Less particulates also mean a healthier environment for inhabitants in surrounding areas, a reason why natural gas plants face less opposition from community members.

Carbon Capture & Storage Viability

Although coal energy maintains a higher global proportion than natural gas, as natural gas production increases across the world, and as more coal plants are retired, natural gas plants could replace them. Whether or not advances in carbon capture and storage for coal will transfer to other fossil fuels, such as natural gas, is a driving question for whether coal carbon capture and storage should be pursued. Additionally, the effect of the existing coal plants before they retire on the environment should be weighed with the cost of developing new CCS technology and retrofitting existing plants with it. One of the drivers behind policy is whether subsidizing a part of a sector is politically viable. There is evidence of bi-partisan support for innovating carbon capture for natural gas, whereas there is evidence that subsidizing coal is a political move to gain votes from key republican states. For instance, a recent bill, the Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovations for Natural Gas, is a bi-partisan effort to partner the private sector with national laboratories to advance the technology and provide reliable, cleaner energy (“Cassidy, Colleagues”, 2019).

One of the reasons that carbon capture seems viable is that the companies that extract natural gas from the ground have needed to clean the CO₂ from the natural gas in order to sell it. Therefore, there is some proof of concept for the technology. How to incentivize implementation and development of the technology is another issue. For instance, in the past there have been tax preferences made available for new technologies, and in the case of the ARRA, there were also grants that amounted to cash transfers to firms. There are drawbacks and benefits to market-based policy that taxes carbon and makes carbon sequestration more attractive for firms, or a cap and trade program that would allow the sale and purchase of permits that would allow firms to pollute, incentivizing the new CCS technologies. Additionally, the government could be more heavily involved in the technology with prescriptive policies that mandate technology or amount of pollution, and there are drawbacks and benefits to these types of policies, too.

The government should be instrumental in the creation of these new technologies because without government intervention, there is no incentive to create the technology. Instead of relying solely on a market-based or prescriptive mechanism, the Department of Energy should focus on the development of these riskier endeavors. Renewables have been the focus, whereas CCS subsidies have been introduced as an excuse to subsidize a dying industry for political votes. Most coal plants in the United States were built before 1990, and they are being retired more quickly than expected, not because of increasing environmental concerns, but because of competition from renewables and natural gas. Basic science research and proper government incentives are necessary to bring CCS to the point that the private sector will invest more heavily. Enduring investment into the technology will be a signal to the market that the technology is a worthy investment because of the profits transferred to the private sector from government research and development in the past.

New Energy Culture

Although nuclear energy is the most obvious solution as a technology that solves intermittency issues and provides a gateway to cheap energy security, the salience of danger from this technology, however misleading, makes it a tough sell to policy makers. Natural gas, however, is a symbol of America’s shale boom and independence from traditional energy exporters. “Freedom gas” is a cleaner and more effective policy directive that is not built on an agenda to get re-elected by those who feel helpless and discouraged from the loss of their jobs in an industry where their jobs costed them their lives. Environmentally safe energy independence is increasingly relevant, and to achieve this, subsidizing research and development, coupled with prescriptive policy that encourages private sector innovation, is necessary for CCS technologies.


United States, Congress, Subcommittee on Energy Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Terry Dinan. “Federal Support for Developing, Producing, and Using Fuels and Energy Technologies.” Federal Support for Developing, Producing, and Using Fuels and Energy Technologies.

Yu, Feifei, et al. “The Impact of Government Subsidies and Enterprises’ R&D Investment: A Panel Data Study from Renewable Energy in China.” Energy Policy, vol. 89, 2016, pp. 106–113., doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2015.11.009.     

United States, Congress, Sherlock, Molly F. “Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures.” Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures.

Anderson, Glen. “Capturing CO2.” NCSL.org, Mar. 2011, www.ncsl.org/research/energy/capturing-co2.aspx#c.

Shah, Nafi. “Coal-Fired Power Plant with Carbon Capture – Cutting Emissions or Increasing Them? – TexasVox: The Voice of Public Citizen in Texas.” TexasVox, 13 Dec. 2018, www.texasvox.org/coal-fired-power-plant-carbon-capture-cutting-emissions-increasing/.

“Cassidy, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Ensure Reliable, Affordable and Environmentally-Sound Energy Supply | U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.” Press Release | Press Releases | Newsroom | U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, 23 May 2019, www.cassidy.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cassidy-colleagues-introduce-bill-to-ensure-reliable-affordable-and-environmentally-sound-energy-supply-.

Vaccine vs. Stimulus

American Congress argues about further stimulus. Will we dole out another $1 trillion or 2, after a $3 trillion dollar stimulus. No big deal, this is about 5-6 times the amount of the cost of the New Deal in today’s dollars. And guess what, we’ve only devoted $10 billion to a vaccine, the CAUSE of the recession. Meanwhile, we’ve pumped money into the economy at an unprecedented scale. In addition to the fiscal stimulus, the Fed has made added another $3 trillion to it’s balance sheet. 

Why are we not investing more into a vaccine? 

The answer is gross. There is a financial incentive to not solving the problem. Emergency provides an opportunity to pillage the society for “special interests”. Perhaps some of our leaders are not capable of such treachery, but to be sure some of them are. Invest just enough to keep those pesky citizens off of our back and fight over where their money goes. Meanwhile, as millions can’t pay their rent the stock market hits an all-time high. At an all-time high because the government bank has created financial entities (they can’t be called companies, you see) that pump money into ETFs (traded on the stock market) at the discretion of a hedge fund. Yes, this is really happening. 

Think very clearly about the financial incentive here

There are many people being paid handsomely by this suffering, and if someone else doesn’t, someone will. This is a terrible moral hazard that no one is talking about.

We needed an excuse to print more money for “deleveraging” from the last leveraging from the last “deleveraging”. Our government needs to take a HELOC on any equity left on the mortgage. 


It is either this awful sort of corruption, or our government and leadership is stupid, inept, incompetent. You decide which is worse.

Welcome to the beginning of a lost decade?

Corona Age Jobs Report

In America, Donald Trump stated that the July jobs report would show a “great number”. At first glance, you might think that the over 1.5 million jobs added back to the economy are a great number, but look a bit closer and you’ll see that most of those added back were from temporary layoffs and stimulus induced government jobs. In fact, that the number of permanent unemployed Americans is actually increasing.

Preliminary Analysis of MinePi Crypto

  • View the white paper here: https://minepi.com/white-paper.
  • View the site here: https://minepi.com.
  • Download the app from the store and use haydenrear as invite code to investigate. You can only sign up once (the system will flag duplicate accounts)

This is a Cryptocurrency created by some Stanford graduates so that anyone can mine “Pi” from their phone, by being a member, for free. “Pi” is the name of currency. Try it out. The affiliate offers for this coin do not increase exponentially, and, in fact, the number of possible pi is fixed for each of the 100 million users:

In contrast to Bitcoin which created a fixed supply of coins for the entire global population, Pi creates a fixed supply of Pi for each person that joins the network up to the first 100 Million participants..

This is through the grapevine, but someone in the chat said that monetization would begin sometime in March of 2020. There is a chat in the app that you get added to. The future of the coin depends, to a certain extent, on the ability of the community to innovate. In the white paper, it talks about purchasing our attention.

Getting paid for your data, and removing the middle man between the content creator and the end consumer, freeing up the capital to allow content creators and consumers to get a better deal. By removing the middle man. Is it a pipe dream meant to garner attention, and thus users, without credibility? Or is this a golden opportunity of mass adoption, and we are cashing out on the research done by Stellar developers.

Project Libra by Stanford to Avoid Regulators

If Libra was a project built for Facebook, then maybe Stanford copied it into a social app and made it this. This is like the blockchain version of VenMo, with rules like a central authority built into it through the ability to aggregate preferences quickly, easily, and cheaply. That central authority determined through voting rights of the community of nodes, introducing a fault tolerance for each transaction. Apparently, as we move towards more users, the distribution of power through the nodes in the community will progressively decrease the need for any semblance of a governing authority, because of the ability of the system to identify problem transactions. And it is free right now because we are so early on in the development cycle.

Okay, this is like Bitcoin, right?

Consider that the price of Bitcoin was tied up with how much power someone is willing to exert to calculate the next block of the transaction (how much it costs to “mine”, with the power, as well as the depreciation costs of the mining machine), a function of the cost of the bitcoin, which is a function of the demand. It is so expensive to mine bitcoin that there are high transaction fees, and long lag times, when you have to wait for the transaction to go through. Furthermore, the concentration of bitcoin wealth is a security concern, when there are a few parties that could collude to take the system down. Bitcoin is missing a ceratain fault tolerance that will become increasingly relevant with quantum computers, or jumps in operational efficiency that represent the intermediate between quantum and the current binary computers.

Now, what does this have to do with MinePi?

Compare early Bitcoin to Pi, and there are not many differences, except that Pi is built on a more advanced network that increases the number of transactions per second, and the first-mover advantage is less than that of Bitcoin. In fact, it is clear that the individual can only scale in so much as they positively impact the community. Meanwhile, the next block of pi is so cheap to mine currently that we can do it on our phones. This is because there is not very many transactions yet. And so it is easy to get the next reward (pi).

So many questions… Good questions though.

Whether or not more equipment will be needed to verify the inreasingly complex puzzle that is the MinePi blockchain is a mystery. The dream of the project is that only a certain amount of Pi will be made available, and only to the first 100 million customers, however there seems some reservations when it comes to maintaining a scarcity important for the expectations for the coin. The white paper seems to do a good job of what the Federal Reserve does in it’s Forward Guidance., setting investor expectations for the future. 

Concluding Thoughts

We are early on in the project, so questions remain, such as when the project starts to scale, is the algorithm built into the system good enough to weed out duplicate users, as it says it will? If so, if means the system is built on advanced artificial intelligence, allowing it to weed out the fraudulent accounts. If it can weed out fraudulent accounts, can it flag transactions as fraudulent? As one of the core developers of Ethereum, Vlad Zamfir, reminds us that blockchain governance has always been a social design problem, will the new MinePi currency be able to have sufficient and effective distribution of control so that this design problem can become a new payment system that introduces the masses to crypto? Oh, I said it. Is mass adoption on the horizon? 


These researchers at Stanford seemed to realize that in order to bring Crypto to the masses, they must distribute information about it equally, instead of gaining from the information asymmetry which usually characterizes ICO’s. The real question is whether or not the coin will make it through the initial phase, wherein too much centralization could allow for polluted incentives to destroy the project. Do the founders of the project have sufficient autonomy to do their work, while retaining safety from corruption?

The white paper made it sound like because of less concentration among initial members, there is more of a chance of corruption. Is the tech advanced enough, is the chain of custody properly established, and will the average person accept a gift that they don’t understand? This is me doing my part to try and explain, which the white paper says is duty for participants in the market.

Tried reaching out to the team developers, here, however I did not receive a response. Would love to ask them some questions, and perhaps have a podcast.

#minepi #stanford #blockchain #cryptocurrency #libra #graduates #free #development #paymentsystem #massadoption

WeWork – Cash Out Vibe

Cash out vibe? Loaning millions of dollars to yourself from a company posting losses in excess of revenues. Adam Neumann, the C.E.O. of tech “start-up” WeWork, which started in 2010, is what everyone is talking about. Investors are whispering to each other, so as to not ignite the herd to sell everything, silently off-loading as much as they can, buying safer assets to keep the index high and not trigger a greater sell-off. Or maybe they are huddled excitedly, waiting for a crash so they can cash in on short orders and buy everything back up. Adam Neumann is there with them, telling them what to buy.

Who is Adam Neumann? A diversified investor. A capitalist to the core. He loans out as much as he can to buy as much real estate possible, purchasing “assets” (they are really liabilities at this point, intuitively). Now, as we sit at the top of bursting bubble… or the crescent of a new era of stability *cough*, He has some money stacked away, loaned to his company and then distributed to him, as well as controlling rights of the company, WeWork.

What do you do to fight this? You can’t dummy. It is a qualified, rational investor taking his most profitable investment and selling it when it is worth the most. You can try to regulate the amount of money that a founder could distribute, but this would lower the drive for profitable investment because of the increased costs, whether it be in time or whatever.

This does bring the question, though: how much of the billion dollar losses that are music to investor’s ears, are just distributions to people with controlling interests?

In any case, we can marvel at the brilliance of someone taking the silicone valley principles of innovating the customer experience, and all that, to attract greater and greater sums of money to build, what.. office space? It is a different vibe though, for sure.

We should not make business any less desirable, because if consumption is up and everyone is paid, everyone is happy. In fact, we can probably look at his behavior, a well-connected real estate mogul, as a signal to the rest of the market. In any case, if WeWork goes broke because they provide some information more alarming than a $1.9 billion dollar loss (doubtful…) then we know who heard it first.

Side-note: ever wanted to deploy a website on AWS, with TLS and SSL, for free? Now, you can learn how to do so using this guide: learn to host on AWS for free, and even transfer a domain from another domain manager!


Why is it important to fight fires in the amazon?

There is a war going on between Brazilian farmers, who want to expand and survive, the Brazilian president rallying behind them.

But this means expanding into land currently home to the most expensive and elegant biodiversity, for which we dont even know the value.

Essentially, because of a mismatch of incentives, real estate that could be worth millions and billions of dollars is being demolished. We don’t know the value, and therefore we assume there isn’t any.

The economic solution to a problem like this is to subsidize the farmers for what they would have earned, however lack of organization, and the transaction costs from an unstable political environment, have made this arguably impossible. Also, it’s politically unpalatable to invest into biodiversity, especially with the rise of populism, which is by definition driven by short-term interests.

So if our government, saddled in debt from a great recovery from the Great Recession, isn’t able to make a subsidy of that kind, the best thing we can do is support organizations (Greenpeace, for example) that fight the causes. These organizations hold the key to future generations benefiting from the mind boggling technology nature has created in the Amazon, however most people don’t have the money to support them. Also, mistakes in the past by these organizations coupled with loss aversion bias, or the human tendency to put further weight on those mistakes rather than successes, may lessen support.

Communication Monopoly

In a time where we can be reduced into digital identities, and then come out the same, communicating should be free. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Our communication is limited, because of something called monopoly power.

When a firm has monopoly power, it will reduce the quantity to that when the marginal cost equals marginal revenue. They do this because if you sell any less then you can still get marginal revenue over marginal cost, aka profit; you keep on selling until you get to that point. This means a lower quantity to artificially inflate the price for the people that will participate in the market.

To the extent that the increase in price ceases to lose as many consumer’s, they increase the price. Then, for the consumers that are left, the firm will make more profit than they would have at the lower price.

These are the connections that distinguish humanity in the 21st century. It is the speed at which new ideas can be communicated, a most important part of producing technology, fashion, and everything in between.

Being so important, they should be subsidized through government investment to assure that the economically efficient quantity have access, because of the increased benefit to society that this results in, specifically that benefit that isn’t captured in the price.

There is proof that utility companies (those companies that provide us with communication) underprovide the service. This means there is a market failure: subsidy or other regulation is necessary to achieve a socially optimum quantity.

The reason for centralized action: in Economics, when a product has positive spillover effects that benefit the society, more of the product should be provided than a firm will provide, because a firm will only provide up to the amount that it receives the benefit from.

The society should invest up until the society receives benefit that outweighs the cost of investment. It should invest up until a dollar invested will return a dollar in benefit, because up until that point a dollar invested will result in more than a dollar benefit. Up until that point there was net benefit, meaning more opportunity.

Teaming up as a society means working hard for the economy!

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the primary reason why many jobs are being automated. When the tool becomes so sophisticated that it can do everything we can, at a lower cost, investors or business owners buy the tool instead of paying someone to come work for them. What does this mean for you?

It means that it is likely that there won’t be a job for you in the standard sense of the word. This is true for a large percentage of people because of the powerful tools we have created, but if you act soon you can start building yourself income streams that will last a lifetime if properly managed. The technology we have is powerful, and if you start using it to your advantage, you can increase your earning potential by a ton! Earning money online can be difficult to do without the necessary experience, however, so we offer materials with step by step instructions, simplifying the process and making it possible for you!

Remember, it is a risk free offer (links to explanation of what risk free offer means), which means that you have time to cancel and get a refund. Thank you and good luck!

Donald Trump Proposes Payroll Tax

Donald Trump has proposed that we have a payroll tax increase to decrease the national debt. This after a tax cut for higher earners. It’s not the amount of the tax that matters, as the wealthiest would be less price sensitive, it is that there is a tax cut for the wealthy, and this news drives business investment.

Moreover, a cut in the wages of workers, which is essentially what a payroll tax increase is, economically should not impact the amount of hours worked, and may in fact increase the amount. It depends on if the substitution effect or the income effect is stronger. It makes sense that people making less money would be less responsive to a change in wage, or work more because of a pay cut, because they have bills to pay. This makes it an economically efficient choice. As far as economics, things stop there.

As far as equity goes, there are many opponents. The reason for this is simple and obvious: taxing poorer at a higher percentage of their income. Of course this assumes that you make enough to pay taxes. If you don’t, you get a return. It is the middle class that is getting taxed at a larger percentage, which is probably you, the person reading this.

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