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No, the US Congress isn't "coming for crypto"
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They Aren’t Coming For YOU
A cynicism towards people in positions of power is a healthy thing. It is even healthier if the people in power are also the people you support. Everyone, in the presence of power, has the potential to abuse it. Keeping a watchful eye cannot hurt.
Yet in functioning democracies, the power of government is rarely used to come after YOU—you as a person, the industry in which you work, your possessions, your hobbies—you name it. Aside from tax collection, can you recall a single instance where something in your life specifically has been taken away by the government?
Yet, this scare tactic is all over far right media: Obama’s coming for your guns! (didn’t happen). Congress is going to kill Wall Street! (check your bank account if you were working in finance on the day Dodd Frank passed versus now. If it’s lower, then you need to switch professions).
Sometimes government does need to take some stuff away, or limit its use. Asbestos, big tobacco, environmental regulations, your right to own other people or segregation based on race, etc.
The far right (distinguished from principled libertarian types for whom I have much respect) playbook that has been recycled over and over again usually breaks down like this: any spending bill is too long (they usually cite a length that makes it sound, you know, extreme), it’s hard to understand (to them), it contains wasteful spending (depends on your point of view), and it is coming after YOU.
Why does this formula work so well? Once people have made you emotional (angry), they own you. If they own you, then they can make money off you. There’s a reason why the Emperor tells Luke to embrace his rage as a means to conversion to the dark side.
The Maxi Take
What does one Bitcoin Maxi, “Pomp”, think about the US Infrastructure Bill in its current draft form?
Adopting with almost word for word like precision the language, together with Russian State News, A qanon news website, and another site that shows a former US president in the guise of Napoleon, Pomp gives it a TL;DR. Except he did. But couldn’t understand it and totally misrepresented parts of it. Here he is:
The document is over 2,500 pages in length, which means that it is impossible that any politician has personally read the entire thing.
Earlier this week, I sat down and tried to read some of the document. It was quite hilarious because even after reading some of the sections, I still didn’t know what it was saying. Additionally, we found sections that included the removal of invasive plant species, $1 billion for an organization that is overseen by a politician’s wife, and what appears to be authorization for the US government to purchase marijuana to be used in studies of the impact of driving high. Seriously…you can’t make this stuff up.
Let’s focus on the $250mm to remove an invasive plant species because that is really a big issue to me. Long story short, they are talking Kudzu. It swallows entire forests in the Appalachian mountain region. Its not only ugly but it destroys life. Its pretty much only in the South and as the Southern US states have gone way right, they have cut funding to fight Kudzu. This is funding is needed, and it pays for itself 10x over in the number of people who visit national parks in kudzu affected areas but won’t be back if Kudzu kills it. This picture of Kudzu overtaking a native forest was taken a few counties away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which receives the most number of visitors of any park nationwide at around 12 million per year:
Pomp proclaims no political affiliations; perhaps. But when your writing parrots Qanon crazies—you just don’t know. This is just the warm up though, to get you to hate it, so he can, you guessed it hype bitcoin by running the old “they’re coming for YOU playbook.”
Are they coming for your Bitcoin? Of course not. You’re just going to have to pay taxes on the gains from your Crytpo trades. Just like stocks. This is already a thing—try to explaining to an IRS agent “you made 300% on the dollars you put into your Coinbase account by going long ETH, but because you took profits and put it in USDC, then you didn’t actually make money.”
Others who are less willfully obtuse complain the language around “brokers” is too vague. That too doesn’t matter. If you are recognizing gains, no matter what the form they take, and no matter who you are, you owe tax on that. If you’re really lucky you have made tons of money and have rich people problems. No one is coming for your Bitcoin, and once again the human Foot Gun that is Pomp shoots himself—and all of crypto—in the foot…with Kudzu.
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