Posts Tagged ‘Tax Holiday’


by Burt Prelutsky on Friday, January 18th, 2013

by Burt Prelutsky

We all know that whenever liberal politicians start insisting that guns are evil, it’s for the same reason that stage magicians employ patter, top hats and silk capes. It’s done in order to distract us. At present, Obama would like us to ignore the fact that thanks to the end of the payroll tax holiday and ObamaCare everyone’s taxes have shot up. That’s not to say the liberals wouldn’t love to disarm us and make the Second Amendment null and void. But even they know that’s not going to happen. If they were serious about reducing gun violence, they’d quit yapping about guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, and go after the people who use them not for hunting or for defending their homes and families, but to murder.

I’m referring to the black and Hispanic gangs that terrorize inner cities. Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, the city in which 506 murders were committed in 2012 – only a handful as the result of assault weapons – doesn’t declare war on the punks responsible for spilling most of that blood. Instead, he demands that the city divest itself of any investments it might have in gun manufacturing firms. Displaying the wisdom for which big city mayors are renowned, he not only does nothing to diminish violent crime in his locale, but he makes certain that the city fails to profit financially from the only growth industry that exists in Obama’s America.

In fact, I think it’s fair to suggest that Benghazi was Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s idea of a gun-free zone.

When every massacre from Columbine to Newtown has taken place where firearms are banned, you would think that even liberals could get their pointy heads around the fact that just as outlawing guns guarantees that only outlaws will be armed, gun-free zones promise would-be killers that they have nothing to fear. They might as well post signs for the convenience of armed psychos that read: “You are now entering the Happy Hunting Grounds. Be a responsible killer and pick up your spent shells before you leave the park.”

Inasmuch as cars and booze are responsible for far more deaths than guns, why don’t the various municipalities initiate buy-back programs offering cash and concert tickets for ’94 Chevys and unopened six-packs? I happen to have a half bottle of Manischewitz Concord Grape I’d be willing to trade in for a pair of argyle socks.

As you’ve probably heard, a New York rag called the Journal News published a list with the names and addresses of registered gun owners in the area. The reaction of decent, law-abiding people was so overwhelming that the newspaper hired people with guns to protect its offices.

When someone suggested that the names and addresses of the self-righteous loons who own or work for the Journal should be circulated, Bill O’Reilly, who occasionally mistakes himself for an archbishop, sermonized against it, on the grounds that two wrongs don’t make a right. What unmitigated crapola! The members of the mainstream media, like the left-wing politicians they adore, assume that they can act with impunity, putting the lives and safety of others in jeopardy, while wrapping the First Amendment around themselves whenever it suits their fancy.

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Dysfunctional Government or Corrupt Media?

by Roger Aronoff on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

This is article 249 of 393 in the topic economy

Did the Republicans suffer a disastrous and humiliating defeat when they “caved in” and agreed on December 22 to accept the two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday that had been passed in the Senate with strong bi-partisan support? The Democrats and their mainstream media allies were high-fiving and gloating about an early Christmas. Chris Matthews called it a “rub it in their face moment.” In this instance, even many in the conservative media were heaping criticism on the way the Republicans, particularly the House GOP, handled this matter.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page came down hard: “The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play…Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter, although he’s spent most of his Presidency promoting tax increases and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. This should be impossible.”

There is no question about it. In terms of coordination between the Republican leadership in the House and Senate, this was a blunder, which allowed President Obama to seize the stage as if he and the Democrats were the party advocating tax cuts for the middle class, while the Republicans were standing against such cuts, and ergo, against middle class working people.

The columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote, “making economic sense is not the point. The tax-holiday extension—presumably to be negotiated next year into a 12-month extension—is the perfect campaign ploy: an election-year bribe that has the additional virtue of seizing the tax issue for the Democrats.” He added that “The House Republicans’ initial rejection of this two-month extension was therefore correct on principle and on policy. But this was absolutely the wrong place, the wrong time, to plant the flag. Once Senate Republicans overwhelmingly backed the temporary extension, that part of the fight was lost. Opposing it became kamikaze politics.”

That may be true, but in terms of substance, and even long-term perception, was it really such a victory for Obama and the Democrats? Was it really such a defeat for Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and the House Republicans? If the media get their way, then the answer will be yes. But it’s worth taking a look a little deeper to see what happened during the process, and the nature of the Democrats’ victory.

One person who caved, though the media hardly took note, was President Obama, who had insisted on December 7 that “Any effort to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject. So everybody can be on notice.” He was referring to a decision on the proposed $7 billion, 2,100 mile Keystone oil pipeline from Canada down to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries that he had attempted to postpone until after the upcoming November election so as not to offend either of two constituencies with a direct interest in his decision—Big Labor and radical environmentalists. He was hoping to avoid angering either group before the November election, but now, according to the agreement, he has to make a decision within two months, well before the election.

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Running the USA into the Ground

by Alan Caruba on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

This is article 164 of 471 in the topic Government Corruption

I needed a mattress cover so I went over to the local dollar store today and discovered they have them in every size but twin. I returned home. I went online to Bed, Bath and beyond. With a few keystrokes I not only had the exact item I wanted, I also received an email confirmation of the sale and a notice that once shipped, I will be able to track its delivery from the warehouse to my front door.

If only the federal government operated with such efficiency. Instead, we have a government that has been operating on “continuing resolutions” for over a thousand days due to a lack of a budget. An essential job of the executive branch is to produce a budget, but if you don’t have one, you can egregiously waste billions.

Everybody else has a budget, but not the federal government.

As we head into an election year, even more political madness and maneuvering will ensue. As a Wednesday editorial in The Wall Street Journal said:

“The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play. Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter, although he’s spent most of his Presidency promoting tax increases and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. This should be impossible.”

Serendipitously, the Journal also ran an opinion by Peter J. Wallison, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “The Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuits against six top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced last week, are a seminal event. For the first time in a government report, the complaint has made it clear that the two government-sponsored enterprises played a major role in creating the demand for low-quality mortgages before the 2008 financial crisis.”

“More importantly, the SEC is saying that Fannie and Freddie—the largest buyers and securitizers of subprime and other low-quality mortgages—hid the size of their purchases from the market. Through these alleged acts of securities fraud, they did not just mislead investors; they deprived analysts, risk managers, rating agencies and even financial regulators of vital data about market risks that could have prevented the crisis.”

One member of Congress, among many who protected Fannie and Freddie, who will not be indicted, is Rep. Barney Frank who is retiring with full pension and benefits, no doubt more wealthy than he arrived.

A new book by Peter Schweizer, the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institute is titled, “Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Inside Stock tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism that would Send the Rest of Us to Prison.” At this point, the only bipartisan activity in Congress is the way, on both sides of the aisle our elected representatives increase their personal wealth. The book so rattled Congress it is now holding hearings on the extraordinary premise of requiring its members to obey the same laws as the rest of us!

A familiar theme of those of us that comment on government is its size, its waste of public funds, and its general inefficiency.

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Private sector must lead recovery, and government must get out of the way

by Herman Cain on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

This is article 162 of 393 in the topic economy

A senior Obama Administration official said recently that the private sector will have to lead this economic recovery. He’s right! But the private sector cannot do it unless government gets out of the way. The Obama Administration’s policies have increased the size of the federal government, increased regulatory barriers and dramatically increased the national debt.

Most Americans sitting around the kitchen table knew that we could not spend and regulate our way to prosperity. But the president and the Democrat-controlled Congress at the time did it anyway. And now, after nearly $1 trillion in government spending, the economy is still stalled. Namely, 1.8 percent growth in Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of 2011 is anemic, and a 9.1 percent unemployment rate continues to be disappointing to the nearly 15 million people who are still unemployed.

Our national GDP could easily be growing at 5 percent or more, with the top tax rates for businesses and individuals set at 25 percent and made permanent until we replace the entire tax code mess. And taking the capital gains tax rate to zero is just the fuel that the small business part of our economic engine needs.

It sure would be nice to hear an unemployment rate report of under 5 percent again, which would mean at least 7.5 million people could be back to work again. It would be more than just music to their ears. They might even have some real hope again.

“Hope and change” became spend and regulate in the Obama Administration. And now, the president and the Democrats want us to “watch and hope”. Simply extending the tax rates for two years with a 2 percent one-year payroll tax holiday for employees is not going to tickle this economy back to prosperity.

With all due respect, Mr. President, there is no hope that this economy will turn itself around. It will remain stalled because there are no meaningful tax cuts, there is no regulatory relief and there is still the uncertainty about what tax rates will be in 2013.

The rollout of ObamaCare is adding to the uncertainty. Thousands of companies and several states have asked for waivers from trying to comply with ObamaCare, due to its adverse effect on their current health care costs. At the same time, many of the bureaucratic rules are still being written.

There’s a better way to increase access to health care and reduce costs, using patient-centered and market-driven principles. ObamaCare is the exact opposite. It must be repealed and replaced, but that will not happen with this administration.

When the National Labor Relations Board tried to intimidate Boeing Corporation into not expanding a production facility in South Carolina because it is a “right to work” state, some businesses simply put expansion plans on hold. They are not going to be bullied into expanding their businesses into union-dominated states.

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Thoughts about the “best deal we could get”

by Robert E. Meyer on Monday, December 13th, 2010

This is article 73 of 307 in the topic Taxation/IRS

As of this writing, it is difficult to speculate on whether or not the Democrats in Congress will pass the deal to maintain current tax rates, as agreed upon by Obama and Republican political leaders. If they fail to do so before the end of the year, the “Tax cuts for the rich,” will become tax increases for everyone. The people in the 10% tax bracket will find their taxes will increase by 50%, in order to spite the wealthy from getting a 10% increase.

The tax compromise proposal keeps tax rates for all Americans exactly where they have been for nearly a decade. It extends benefits for unemployment for an additional 13 months—a feather in the Democrats’ hats. It raises the estate tax from 0% to 35%, but keeps them from rising back to 55% as they were scheduled to do in 2011—chalk up one for the Republicans. I don’t know how anyone can complain about the payroll tax reduction of 2% in 2011. It will result in a full 2% refund of tax on wages and salary for the working poor and lower middle class. Nobody will be rebated more than about $1800 no matter how high their income.

Democrats in Congress have become indignant because they were cut out of the negotiations and because they think Obama unnecessarily gave away the farm. But the Democrats’ reputation as champions of the little guy is purely illusion. If they really wanted to maintain tax rates for the middle-class, that should have been a legislative priority long before crunch time.

Personally, I could live with this deal. As a middle-class American I would benefit from the payroll tax holiday. Out of principle I wouldn’t shed a tear if the proposal fell through though. I think it would be a disaster for the Democrats if they choose to die on this hill. When the average American sees their first pay check in January, reflect a decline in less take-home pay, they are going to ask how all this happened. The answer will be that Obama made a deal with Republicans that was nixed by Democrats. After the lame-duck session, it will be harder for Democrats to save face.

Let me tell you about my principles. I believe in limited government. That’s limited government, and neither anarchy nor a nanny state. As such, I think taxes are way too high. Tax structure has been used as a political football to perpetuate class warfare for far too long. Progressive income tax is a gift from Karl Marx. I prefer a flat tax rate, either on income or on consumption. We do not have a tax problem, we have a spending addiction. As such, no tax structure will be much of an improvement if the Congress continues its spendthrift ways. Tax reduction, or in this case, continuance of current rates, doesn’t “cost” anything or result in a deficit. The impression that keeping tax rates the same is a budget cost, assumes all the money belongs to the government to start with.

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A Born Again Bush Booster and the Stealth Stimulus

by Dr. Robert Owens on Saturday, December 11th, 2010

President Barak Obama faced the nation as a born again Bush Booster as he reversed years of personal commitment and regurgitated rhetoric presenting the extension of the Bush tax cuts as his plan for recovery.

Lurking beneath the über partisan vitriol in President Obama’s announcement and serial defense of his post-partisan compromise with the Republican leadership he admitted that raising taxes is counterproductive when growing the economy is your goal.

Does it make anyone else wonder why when the bubble burst we didn’t cut taxes and get out of the way?  For approximately the same cost of the TARP slush fund, which was used to pay for everything except toxic assets or the non-stimulating stimulus slush fund, every working American could have been given a one-year tax holiday.  Just think about it, if you were getting the gross instead of the net every week do you think you would have spent any more money?  Do you think the economy would still be in the doldrums a year and a half after the Great Recession is “over”?  Come to think, of it why don’t the unemployed just go out and get one of those shovel-ready jobs?  Oh, that’s right two years after the razzle-dazzle sales pitch the pitchman learned they never existed.  Then we learned he knew it all along.

Don’t be fooled as the Democratic Progressives race the Republican Progressives to the microphones complaining they were rolled in Mr. Obama’s Great Compromise.  What they’re really arguing about is how much of the money we earn they can afford to let us keep.  If either side was really ready for the heady wine of liberty they’d talk about eliminating taxes not just about letting us keep the pittance George II agreed to let us hold for a few years.

Three generations ago, back at the dawn of the 20th century before the Creature from Jekyll Island and its mad creator, the Congress that devoured a nation began their present reign as the Central Bank and the Central Planning Board most of the taxes that Americans presently bear were nonexistent.  Was the Federal Government broke?  Were millions starving to death because food stamps hadn’t been invented?  Were our citizens wallowing in ignorance because the Education Department hadn’t been created?  Were the States declaring bankruptcy because they didn’t receive grants, bail-outs, or subsidies?

No. Before the creation of the Federal Reserve, which was supposed to safe guard the value of the dollar and end the boom and bust of the business cycle, America was the most prosperous, innovative, and growing nation on earth.  Before the Progressives managed to shackle the capitalist engine of growth, dumb down the best informed public, and make dependent the most independent population the world had ever known America was the can-do capital and the go-to place.

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Get ready for the battle over the third stimulus

by John Lott on Saturday, September 4th, 2010

This is article 89 of 393 in the topic economy
It looks like Obama in moving towards a third stimulus package. Of course, the Obama administration doesn’t want to count the $26 billion jobs bill as a stimulus.

Obama dismissed a reporter who asked if he regrets calling the past months the “summer of recovery.” “I don’t regret the notion that we are moving forward because of the steps that we’ve taken,” he said. “We are moving in the right direction. We just have to speed it up.”

It is getting tiring hearing that the economy would have been worse if it weren’t for the stimulus. If we only had spent more money, things would have been fine they claim. Few discuss the theory for why the stimulus would increase unemployment. So what is in store this next week?

The few things that might pass Congress — such as a payroll tax holiday or extended research-and-development tax credits — won’t work, or at least not before November’s midterm elections, when Democrats face potentially devastating losses.

And the few things that might work — such as an aggressive new infrastructure spending bill — can’t pass, uniformly viewed as politically impossible at a time of trillion-dollar-plus deficits.

What to do? If you’re President Barack Obama, you go out and talk about the economy — in Milwaukee on Monday, Cleveland on Wednesday and at a White House news conference Friday. He’s expected to propose some new business tax breaks next week, including possibly a payroll tax break and R&D credits, but the White House said no final decisions have been made. . . . .

Of course, the Obama people don’t even want to call this new bill a second stimulus.

The White House press office on Thursday refused to say how much a financial package might be, other than to say it won’t be a “second stimulus.” But the administration will have a tough time selling nearly any package to terrified, Obama-phobic Hill Democrats who increasingly blame the president – and his ambitious, expensive legislative agenda – for their dismal prospects this November. . . . .

The R-and-D tax cut, which Congressional Democrats have already considered would, for example, be paid for by closing overseas corporate loopholes. . . . .

Even NPR sorta gets it:

This was supposed to be the season the economy heated up, thanks to a wave of public works projects, funded by the government’s stimulus program. But summer is coming to an end, and the recovery has not taken root. (The Labor Department on Friday reported a slight rise in the unemployment rate to 9.6 percent in August as more people were looking for work.)

And before long, stimulus dollars will be fading like autumn leaves.

None of that is encouraging for President Obama, who launched the summer with a crew in hard hats in Columbus, Ohio, on June 18.

“Today, I return to Columbus to mark a milestone on the road to recovery: the 10,000th project launched under the Recovery Act,” Obama said, announcing a $15 million effort to widen a roadway and add bike lanes.

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