Posts Tagged ‘Tax Increases’

The 2 Cent Budget Fix

by Michael Medved on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This is article 343 of 389 in the topic economy

The president could break the logjam in Washington and move toward a solution of all budgetary problems if he merely asked every American to contribute 2 cents.

No, this isn’t some far-fetched science-fiction scheme, like beating the debt ceiling by minting two platinum coins valued at a trillion dollars each.

It’s a practical, patriotic, down-to-earth solution that might enable Barack Obama to assemble a bipartisan coalition, finally transcending the petty bickering he pledged to end when he first campaigned for president five years ago.

Americans have begun to realize that the nation’s crushing debt threatens their own economic survival. In a moment of anxiety and crisis, a majority of the public might embrace the fairness and necessity of demanding that all Americans who pay taxes chip in 2 cents on the dollar more, while everyone who receives government payments of any kind accepts 2 cents on the dollar less.

If nothing else, this comprehensive and comprehensible idea could move our leaders past the present paralysis. For President Obama, refusing to negotiate over the debt ceiling hardly represents the sort of cooperative, consensus leadership he once promised to deliver. But in the midst of the January 14th press conference challenging the House to a new confrontation, he actually hinted at the right approach to leading the country beyond the risky game of chicken that’s preoccupying both sides.

The president said then that the American people “want us to get our books in order in a balanced way, where everybody pulls their weight, everyone does their part. That’s what I want, as well.”

The problem is that the fiscal-cliff fight and all previous budgetary battles featured the president explicitly exempting 98 percent of Americans from making any sacrifice for the sake of deficit reduction. He repeatedly (and effectively) insisted that he wanted to protect everyone except the highest income taxpayers from either tax increases or benefit cuts. This approach achieves almost nothing in terms of balancing the nation’s account books, with the tax increases on top earners imposed this year yielding at most a 6 percent reduction in annual deficits that still exceed $1 trillion a year.

If the president called instead for a genuine program of shared sacrifice, he could rally support from moderates and pragmatic conservatives and make serious progress in reducing the devastating deficit. With no other alterations in projected federal spending, an increase in taxes of 2 percent across the board (yes, including corporations), combined with a cut in spending and benefits that also subtracted 2 cents on the dollar, would yield deficit reduction of $400 billion this year—four times as much as the mandated sequestration cuts scheduled for March, and nearly seven times as much as the combined tax hikes in the fiscal-cliff deal. In fact, if applied for a full decade, the 2 cent fix would easily top the $4 trillion in total deficit reduction the president declared as his ultimate, visionary goal. It would move the country nearly all the way back to the normal, post-war spending-to-revenue ratios that applied as recently as 2007—19.5 to 18.3 percent of GDP. This compares to the unprecedented imbalance of last year, which saw spending at 24.3 percent and revenue at just 15.8.

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The Tax Man

by Bob Livingston on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

This is article 216 of 304 in the topic Taxation/IRS
The Tax Man

PHOTOS.COM

Now that President Barack Obama has broken his promise about not raising taxes on the middle class, it’s “Katy, bar the door” time.

The Obama Administration is once again considering switching from a per-gallon gasoline tax to a pay-per-mile plan in order to increase the amount of money going into the Federal Highway Trust Fund. According to a Government Accountability Office study, the trust fund needs a tax increase to keep from going broke.

The trust fund is drying up because of the move to more fuel-efficient cars. Better gas mileage means fewer trips to the pump, hence the drop in trust fund revenues.

To maintain spending at current levels would require a doubling of the gas tax to 32 cents per gallon, according to the GAO. Should the Federal government add spending needed to fix crumbling infrastructure and build new roads, that tax would have to increase to 45 cents per gallon.

The GAO says the average driver pays about $96 per year in Federal gas taxes. To raise the $78 billion needed to fix and maintain roads, that would need to rise to $248. Translated into a pay-per-mile plan, the average driver would see an increase in the tax from .9 of a cent per mile he currently pays to 2.2 cents per mile.

A pay-per-mile plan was floated during Obama’s first term. It was scrapped after it was met with public outrage.

Between the fiscal cliff deal and a number of Obamacare taxes taking effect in 2013, Americans have already been hit with $264 billion in new taxes since New Year’s Day. It’s one of the largest one-year tax increases in American history.

Of course, Obama believes there is no spending problem. He’s right. Recent legislation proves neither Obama nor Congress has a problem spending money. Cutting, though, is a different story. And passing a budget is out of the question.

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Obama Supporters are Shocked, Shocked, I Tell You….

by Selwyn Duke on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

This is article 215 of 304 in the topic Taxation/IRS

My mother always used to say, “Life is the best teacher.” Sure is — and sometimes it smacks you right upside the head. It appears this has happened with Barack Obama supporters now witnessing their paychecks shrink in the wake of tax increases. And they’re none too happy. In fact, they’re shocked.

Shocked, I tell you.

Providing examples of this liberal anger and angst, Joseph Curl writes:

“What happened that my Social Security withholding’s in my paycheck just went up?” a poster wrote on the liberal site DemocraticUnderground.com. “My paycheck just went down by an amount that I don’t feel comfortable with. I guarantee this decrease is gonna’ hurt me more than the increase in income taxes will hurt those making over 400 grand. What happened?”

Well, pal, I’ll explain it. George Bush has found a way to control Obama’s mind, sort of like a zombie. I mean, you don’t think the great orator’s mouth makes all the mistakes it does (off Teleprompter) because it’s actually controlled by the great orator’s brain, now, do you?

Curl continues:

The Twittersphere was even funnier.

“Really, how am I ever supposed to pay off my student loans if my already small paycheck keeps getting smaller? Help a sister out, Obama,” wrote “Meet Virginia.” “Nancy Thongkham” was much more furious. “F***ing Obama! F*** you! This taking out more taxes s*** better f***ing help me out!! Very upset to see my paycheck less today!”

How can you pay off loans with smaller paychecks, Virginia? Ask Nancy; she sounds like a real intellectual.

Curl again:

“_Alex™” sounded bummed. “Obama I did not vote for you so you can take away alot of money from my checks.” Christian Dixon seemed crestfallen. “I’m starting to regret voting for Obama.” But “Dave” got his dander up over the tax hike: “Obama is the biggest f***ing liar in the world. Why the f*** did I vote for him”?

I could explain why, Dave — very clearly. But I don’t use the kind of language you do. So I’ll just say, my good man, that you’re what they now call a “low-information voter.” And you and your comrades have given us a low-information president.

Curl mentions that more is yet to come, when other Obamabots get their first paychecks on the 15th. I’ll add that even this is just the tip of the iceberg. Wait till they feel the full bite of ObamaCare and whatever else is coming down the pike.

Well, as the old Dutch proverb goes, “We grow too soon old and too late smart.”

Then again, sometimes the age shows up without the smarts.

Curl tells us that many liberal posters are blaming these tax hikes on Bush. This is no surprise. I’m telling you, some of these people’s epitaph will read, “It’s Bush’s fault.”

© 2013 Selwyn Duke — All Rights Reserved

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The First Wake-Up Call?

by Bob Livingston on Friday, January 4th, 2013

This is article 214 of 304 in the topic Taxation/IRS
The First Wake-Up Call?

PHOTOS.COM

Five years ago, I penned these words in my printed newsletter, The Bob Livingston Letter (subscription required), in a column titled Ignorance of Reality:

The system and its controlled masses are hostile toward reality. They want no discomfort of thought. They are at peace with regimentation although not aware. The system is pabulum for lazy people. The first wake-up call is to come to know that there is a system.

All around, it seems there is an awakening, particularly among those of the masses who call themselves “Republicans.” The fiscal cliff deal may prove to be the first true wake-up call for the masses.

Senate Republicans joined with Democrats and voted overwhelmingly to raise taxes on 77 percent of Americans. House Republicans split on the vote, but enough joined the Democrats to pass the bill which was conceived by Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. The bill reportedly “solved” the artificially created fiscal cliff crisis. The political class on both “sides” of the spectrum claim to hate the bill for what is and what is not in it. That is all for show.

President Barack Obama and his minions have for months vowed to raise taxes only on “the rich” who were not paying their “fair share.” He promised that those who aren’t “rich” would not see a dime of tax increases. Yet thanks to the fiscal cliff bill, American workers saw the tax on their paychecks rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent because a payroll tax cut passed in 2011 and 2012 was not renewed.

This means workers earning $20,000 to $30,000 will take home $300 less per year. Workers earning $50,000 to $70,000 will see their paychecks drop by about $1,000 per year. Workers earning about $100,000 per year will lose about $2,000 per year in take-home pay. And those in the $500,000 to $1 million range will pay about $15,000 in additional taxes.

The meme out of the cesspool that is Washington, D.C., is that our benevolent leaders saved us from doom once again by sparing us a tax increase and dreaded “cuts” to government services. But workers will see that their paychecks are smaller and will wonder why.

They may also come to wonder why the legislation contained $76 billion in tax favors for large corporations like General Electric, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and DIAGEO and why Hollywood and green energy companies received special favors. These are favors the White House insisted the bill contain, and Democrat and Republican lawmakers concurred.

This transfer of wealth cannot be hidden and cannot go unnoticed. Even the ever-sleeping, beer-swilling, “Monday Night Football”-“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”-“American Idol”-watching crowd will notice their paychecks are smaller and begin to inquire as to why.

To conclude the above-mentioned column, I wrote:

People with system blinders on cannot see the axiom that, “things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” If there are two politicians each under different party labels but upon objective analysis they have the same philosophy and the approximate voting record, they are the same in reality.

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Cliffs: Fiscal And Real

by John Myers on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

This is article 337 of 389 in the topic economy
Cliffs: Fiscal And Real

PHOTOS.COM

It seems our elected representatives in Washington celebrate the English tradition of Boxing Day. That would explain why Congress took off Dec. 26 before coming back last Thursday, even though the Nation is facing an economic catastrophe.

Like most of you, I was working on Boxing Day and read that President Barack Obama cut short his Hawaii Christmas break to get back to Washington to deal with the impending fiscal cliff.

Monday was the deadline for $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts.

Economists predict these tax increases and spending cuts could send the U.S. economy back into a recession by the end of next year. Americans will see their January paychecks shrinking as they pay higher taxes that automatically engage unless the George W. Bush tax cuts are extended.

It is expected that the average middle class family will see its tax bill go up by about $2,000 a year.

Regardless of whether Congress was able to cut the mustard before yesterday, a second economic shoe may have already dropped. The United States may have already fallen into a renewed recession. This would make Congress and the President a day late and a trillion dollars short by the time something meaningful is done.

It is already being reported that U.S. holiday retail sales this year were the weakest since 2008. That was the Christmas the Nation was in its deepest recession since the Great Depression.

There is already a litany of excuses as to why retail sales were weak this past Christmas, including bad weather (as if the United States always has good weather in December).

In the final analysis, millions of Americans didn’t spend what they typically do this time of year because they fear that the wheels on the American economy have already slipped over the edge of a very steep precipice.

The Log Jam Of 1983

My Dad, Vern, had a tradition to cut lumber off his acreage at the start of the new year. So it was on Jan. 1, 1983. My best friend, Dave, and I were riding on the wheel covers of Dad’s red Massey Ferguson 35-horsepower tractor, which had a front-end bucket to load logs on after they were cut down with a chain saw.

Men of my generation like to golf or ski, but Dad had been through the Depression and, regardless of any financial success he earned, he was determined to be self-reliant even through his later years. That meant growing a large garden in the summer, canning vegetables in the fall and cutting wood in the winter. He kept a potbellied woodstove in the kitchen and functional fireplace in the living room.

He had 80 acres of land near Chattaroy, Wash. Half of it was on a plateau; that’s where he grew Northwest poplar trees and had a corral for his two horses. The other 40 acres was on a steep slope facing north; it was full of wild ponderosa pine trees.

While he loved the outdoors, my father’s mind typically wandered as he thought about where the economy was headed and, therefore, where his subscribers should invest their money.

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Washington Post pays 2013 dividends now so investors can avoid tax increases championed by president the paper endorsed

by Doug Powers on Saturday, December 8th, 2012

This is article 198 of 304 in the topic Taxation/IRS

In October, the Washington Post backed President Obama for re-election, praising his proposed “balance of entitlement reform and revenue [tax] increases” that could take effect in January of 2013. Obama may well get his way and taxes could soon go up on $250k and up earners (and maybe everybody).

With that in mind, the Washington Post Company can now be added to the list of those who are paying 2013 dividends in 2012 so their investors won’t get nailed by the possible tax increases the paper endorsed as a terrific way for the government to cull additional revenue. Proof positive that no matter what happens in the negotiations, the country is definitely going off the irony cliff:

The media and education company said Friday that its dividend of $9.80 per share is payable Dec. 27 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 17. The payout is instead of regular quarterly dividends next year.

Washington Post is the latest company to move up its quarterly payout or issue a special end-of-year payment to protect investors from potentially having to pay higher taxes on dividend income starting in January.

The business arm of a publishing conglomerate contradicting and rebutting an endorsement from its media arm is not uncommon. In the universe of corporate MSM, the WaPo is serving as another nice example of self-contained point/counterpoint — cause & effect rolled up neatly in one newspaper.

Related story: In September, Costco’s founder said that Obama would be better for business than Romney. This month, Costco borrowed billions to pay out in special dividends to investors before the tax increases Obama wants will more than likely hit next month. Joe Biden recently offered personal thanks for the former.

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Obama Digs In

by Donald Douglas on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

This is article 194 of 304 in the topic Taxation/IRS

At the New York Times, “Pushing GOP to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In“:

WASHINGTON — Amid demands from Republicans that President Obama propose detailed new spending cuts to avert the year-end fiscal crisis, his answer boils down to this: you first.

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Disciplined and unyielding, he argues for raising taxes on the wealthy while offering nothing new to rein in spending and overhaul entitlement programs beyond what was on the table last year. Until Republicans offer their own new plan, Mr. Obama will not alter his. In effect, he is trying to leverage what he claims as an election mandate to force Republicans to take ownership of the difficult choices ahead.

His approach is born of painful experience. In his first four years in office, Mr. Obama has repeatedly offered what he considered compromises on stimulus spending, health care and deficit reduction to Republicans, who either rejected them as inadequate or pocketed them and insisted on more. Republicans argued that Mr. Obama never made serious efforts at compromise and instead lectured them about what they ought to want rather than listening to what they did want.

Either way, the two sides were left at loggerheads over the weekend with less than a month until a series of painful tax increases and spending cuts automatically take effect, risking what economists say would be a new recession.

Mr. Obama refuses to propose more spending cuts until Republicans accept higher tax rates on the wealthy, and Republicans refuse to accept higher tax rates on the wealthy while asking for more spending cuts.

“I’m puzzled why Republicans are locking into a principle that’s not sustainable and why Democrats aren’t taking the moment to put forward their own vision of entitlement reform,” said Peter R. Orszag, a former White House budget director for Mr. Obama.

It’s simple really. The GOP won’t budge on taxes and Obama won’t budge on cutting spending or reforming entitlements. I personally think Obama wants a cliff dive and everyone’s taxes will go up, so he can blame it on the Republicans. That’s not going to look good for him, however, as I’ve indicated previously. Go over the cliff and watch out for a double-dip. The public will blame both parties, especially the Democrat Socialists.

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Are Establishment Republicans Ready to Give In to Obama?

by Jerry McConnell on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

This is article 319 of 389 in the topic economy

If I’ve said it once in my columns, I’ve said it a dozen or more times; and that is, “in the lexicon of the liberal Socialist-Communist Democrats, the word bipartisanship means, ‘do it our way’.”

As if providing evidence of that one-sided axiom, the head enforcer, Slippery Senate Leader Harry Reid, (D-NV) was quoted by Reuters Money News online November 29, 2012, as saying “A U.S. debt ceiling increase must be part of any deal to resolve the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax increases and spending cuts.”

That is libDem speak for ‘bipartisanship.’  Note carefully the words “must be part of any deal…”  Those words shine the spotlight on what Reid and Obama and Pelosi ALL determine is needed if a bi-party agreement is to be accomplished.

Of course Reid and his ‘pressure pals’ know that the chances are probably not terribly far off the table to get the Establishment Republicans, AKA, RINOs to capitulate and give in to the measure that will allow those same ‘budget-bustin’ spendthrift hustlers to continue to send the National Debt Ceiling into even greater and greater as well as insurmountable heights of onerous debt that will destroy not only our country but the rest of the lives of our children and their children for eternity.

These selfish, and utterly stupid and careless Socialist-Communist cretins will not be satisfied until all Americans, including themselves who they mistakenly think will later get their rewards from the corrupt United Nations robbers and frauds.  How is it possible that this country can boast of having over sixty million voters who are willing co-conspirators in the demise of what once was the greatest country in the world?

Just fresh off the greatest perpetration of a felonious rip-off by somehow or other rigging nationwide voting machines to return the greatest fraudulent imposter to the highest office of our land and the most incompetent usurper of the presidency ever in the history of this or any other country, these country killers are insanely demanding that they be permitted to accelerate their ruinous destructive actions that they have been carrying on for the past four years.

Somehow we have to dig deep into our pitiful pool of impotent pikers and pluck out a plum who can keep these treasonous traitors at bay for four more years.

And speaking about how out of kilter the libDem country destroyers are in this hour of the sad beginnings to another four years of watching the monument of greatness manufactured by our Founding Fathers being hacked away with glee by the anti-Americans who were, in the main part, nurtured and raised by its goodnesses right here on this land.

Money News that provided the Harry Reid diatribe of non-partisanship noted above with the hand of Reuters, here provides the always refreshing and accurate offerings of the renowned scholar Charles Krauthammer as written by Michael Kling by leading off saying “Budget negotiations aimed at avoiding the fiscal cliff are supposed to be about taking a balanced approach.”  At least, Mr. Kling used the word “supposed” when presenting the bipartisanship hoax of Harry Reid.  When the entire world knows of something, the hoaxer (Reid) should use a bit of decorum and belief that his audience is on to his shenanigans and stop the lying.

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House Republicans make counter offer to Obama’s fiscal cliff non-starter

by Doug Powers on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

This is article 318 of 389 in the topic economy

President Obama’s opening bid, which consisted of tax increases and more stimulus in 2013 along with unilateral presidential authority to raise the debt ceiling, was received with a laugh.

Today’s GOP counter offer will get a similar reaction because it doesn’t include tax hikes on the “rich” the White House insists must be included in any deal.

From The Hill:

House Republican leaders have made a counteroffer to President Obama in the fiscal cliff negotiations, proposing to cut $2.2 trillion with a combination of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and $800 billion in new tax revenue.

The leaders delivered the offer to the White House on Monday with a three-page letter (PDF) signed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and four other senior Republicans, including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the party’s just-defeated vice presidential nominee.

Republican officials said the offer was based on a proposal outlined by Erskine Bowles, the former chief of staff to President Clinton, in testimony last year before the congressional “supercommittee” on deficit reduction. That offer is distinct from the widely-cited Simpson-Bowles deficit plan released two years ago.

Initial response from the White House was predictable:

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, said the plan “does not meet the test of balance.”

“Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve,” he said. “While the president is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates … Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.”

A “balanced approach to reduce our deficit”? Obama’s initial bid proposed cutting nothing, raising taxes $1.6 trillion and giving himself unlimited authority to raise the debt ceiling. At least if we go off the cliff they’re seeing to it that there will be plenty to laugh at.

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Balanced approach

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Prepare For The Tantrums To Get Worse

by J.J. Jackson on Saturday, December 1st, 2012

This is article 313 of 389 in the topic economy

With the “fiscal cliff” looming before us, it is time to warn you that this Christmas Season the only thing you are likely to receive are worsening tantrums from Washington. Most of these tantrums will come from liberal Democrats. Although, make no mistake, there will be many coming from liberal Republicans too. Sure, there are a lot more of the former, but the latter are just as bad.

The reason for these tantrums is simple: liberals just don’t understand the problem. The problem is that America is spending more money than we are bringing in. Now, liberals think that they can solve this problem by “bringing in” more money through tax increases on the “rich”.

Yawn. It’s the whole robbing Peter to pay Paul sort of economics liberals excel at. Increasing taxes simply doesn’t solve the problem. And all intelligent beings know this. You don’t get growth by shifting money around.

Let’s look at the math, shall we?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the way we measure a country’s standard of living. It is equal to private consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports – imports).

Taking money from the “private consumption” and “gross investment” components (by taxing people) and moving it in to the “government spending” component changes nothing. Well, it makes liberals who benefit from “government spending” happier, but essentially the GDP stays the same.

The math is simple. Subtract a billion dollars from “private consumption” to add into “government spending” and nothing changes. Swat another billion dollars from “gross investment”, and likewise move it to the government’s control, and still nothing changes. All you have is the equation now looks like this:

GDP(new) = (PC – $1 billion) + (GI – $1 billion) + (GS + $2 billion) + (exports – imports)

And further:

GDP = GDP (new)

And then, if you really want to deal with the real world, things start looking not so good once you realize that government never gets the most out of the money it taxes from Americans to spend. If you doubt this, I suggest you review the history of government spending money on failed “green” energy jobs. Lots of government spending has gone POOF with nothing to show for it. Again, except for a lot of rich liberals who are laughing all the way to the bank with your tax dollars.

In reality, GDP (new) is much less than GDP before.

The real problem is that the “government spending” component of the GDP exceeds government revenues by about a trillion dollars. That’s every year. This means that our GDP is artificially inflated by about one trillion dollars. Make any cuts, which we need to do, and the GDP goes down. That can have serious economic impacts in the short term. In the long term, it solves a great many problems, however.

But liberals won’t let those problems get solved. They won’t let them get solved because too many of their constituents rely on that extra billion dollars of funny money we are spending every year. And we all know what angry liberals do when they don’t get what they feel they are entitled to. Just remember the Occupy Wall Street crowd and those rioting loons over in Greece if you need a refresher.

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