There are several key differences between our United States of America and the one that Jack grows up in. The one most people would notice first is that there is no Federal Income Tax. The States had gotten sick and tired of having their money taken out of their State and then only given back if they did what the Feds told them to do. So they debated repealing that Amendment during the reformation of the Federal Government. Yes, there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth over the whole thing, but it was mostly politicians and network types who were doing the screaming. And the Americans who survived the Second Great Depression, the Islamic Jihad, and the Cybernetic Wars didn’t have many sympathies left for the sensibilities of Federal politicians or their very good friends in the national networks. So they told the Feds to go pound sand and repealed that Amendment with prejudice. They’re still debating whether or not that was a good move in Jack’s time, but the repeal has held against multiple attempts to break it, most recently during The Shang War. You will note that I don’t say exactly how many. That’s writer speak for “I don’t want to contradict myself by accident sometime in the future.” 😉