These via the Americans for Tax Reform. Says the ATR:
Taxpayers are reminded that the President’s healthcare law is one of the largest tax increases in American history.
Indeed. Tax increases which took place in 2010 after the passage of the bill:
1. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971
2. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion). This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113
3. “Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion). This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105
4. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies ($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980
5. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike ($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004
6. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services ($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399
By my count $53.4 billion plus that collected in point 1.
7. Medicine Cabinet Tax ($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959
8. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike ($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959
$6.4 billion more ($59.8 billion and counting).
9. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Min$/Jan 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957
No actual number but let’s just say “billions and billions” as the middle class gets taxed for its health benefits. Next year (2013), these kick in:
10. Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013): Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93
Also known as a “tax on the rich”. To what effect? Well in 2012 capital gains is taxed at 15%, dividends at 15% and “other” at 35%. If you’re wondering what constitutes “other” here’s how it is defined:
*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations. It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income. It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.
Go HERE for the rest.
Washington’s Disdain for Wealth Creators Is a Big Part of the Problem
Like too many other long-reigning fixtures on Capitol Hill, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) doesn’t appreciate the magnitude of the challenge to the authority he presumes to hold over America’s job and wealth creators. Or maybe he does, and frustration over that fact explains why he besmirches companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Hewlett-Packard.
Levin presided over a Senate hearing last week devoted to examining the “loopholes and gimmicks” used by these multinational companies to avoid paying taxes – and to branding them dirty tax scofflaws. Well here’s a news flash for the senator: incentives matter.
The byzantine U.S. tax code, which Senator Levin – over his 33-year tenure in the U.S. Senate (one-third of a century!) – no doubt had a hand or two in shaping, includes the highest corporate income tax rate among all of the world’s industrialized countries and the unusual requirement that profits earned abroad by U.S. multinationals are subject to U.S. taxation upon repatriation. No other major economy does that. Who in their right minds would not expect those incentives to encourage moving production off shore and keeping profits there?
Minimizing exposure to taxes – like avoiding an oncoming truck – is a natural reaction to tax policy. Entire software and accounting industries exist to serve that specific objective. Unless they are illegal (and that is not what Levin asserts directly), the tax minimization programs employed at Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Hewlett-Packard are legitimate responses to the tax policies implemented and foreshadowed by this and previous congresses. If Levin is concerned about diminishing federal tax collections from corporations (which, of course, reduces his power), the solution is to change the incentives – to change the convoluted artifice of backroom politics that is our present tax code.
Read it all HERE.
This may be the first time in history that a President of the United States has called a terrorist attack against the country a “bump in the road.” (September 23, 2012).
Obama still thinks the change happening in the Middle East is a good thing and says the Libya and Egypt attacks on our embassies and consulates are just “bumps in the road”. He describes “strains” of extremism and anti-Americanism that still need to be controlled. But in the end he predicts more peace and prosperity in the Middle East and N. Africa.
Romney came out swinging today, questioning Obama’s remark that the difficulties in the Middle East are just bumps in the road:
Bumps in the road? We had an ambassador assassinated, we had a Muslim Brotherhood member elected to the presidency of Egypt, 20,000 people have been killed in Syria, we have tumult in Pakistan, and or course Iran is that much closer to having the capacity to build a nuclear weapon. These are not bumps in the road. These are human lives, these are developments we do not want to see.
This is time for a president who will shape events in the Middle East, not just be at mercy of the events in the Middle East. I will get American on track to have the kind of leadership we need so we can shape the future of this part of the world and keep America strong!
Read and view the video HERE.
Mocking Muhammad is not hate speech
To stop Islamist violence over perceived insults to Muhammad, I argued in a FoxNews.com op-ed Friday, editors and producers daily should display cartoons of Muhammad “until the Islamists get used to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”
This appeal prompted a solemn reply from Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim website, who deemed it “irresponsible and beyond the pale.” Why so? Because, as she puts it, “The solution to escalating violence and hate speech is not more hate speech.”
That sounds sensible enough. But does mocking Muhammad, burning a Koran, or calling Islam a cult constitute hate speech? And what about the respectful representations of Muhammad in the buildings of the U.S. Supreme Court or the New York State Supreme Court? Even they caused upset and rioting.
Hate speech, legal authorities agree, involves words directed against a category of persons. Here’s a typical definition, from USLegal.com: “incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like.”
Attacking the sanctities of a religion, I submit, is quite unlike targeting the faithful of that religion. The former is protected speech, part of the give and take of the market place of ideas, not all of which are pretty. Freedom of speech means the freedom to insult and be obnoxious. So long as it does not include incitement or information that urges criminal action, nastiness is an essential part of our heritage.
Read more HERE.
Pamela Geller Takes CNN To The Woodshed Over Islamic Jihad Ads
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or so they say. Radical Islamist have been running anti-Semitic ads in New York subways for years, and now the establishment is upset that Pamela Geller’s group is countering this false narrative? Thank God for Free Speech, at least while it exists.
CBO: Electric Cars Are A Waste Of Money
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) did a good job of shredding the electric car industry and the government’s role in its evolution with this report (Link).
I’m not knocking electric cars, I’m knocking DC’s role in this industry. Washington has provided the loot necessary for research on battery design, it has committed to up to $25Bn of soft loans to the auto industry and it is subsidizing every electric car that is sold. Without the massive support from our “rich” Uncle Sam there would be no electric car industry in the USA. The question is, “Is this money well spent?”
The government’s role with electric cars goes back to the 2009 emergency spending program ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act):
ARRA provided $2 billion in funding to the Department of Energy (DOE) for grants under that program. Of that amount, $1.5 billion was awarded to battery producers, intermediate suppliers for those producers, and recyclers of vehicle batteries; the other $500 million was awarded to manufacturers of components for electric vehicles and intermediate suppliers of that manufacturing.
DOE’s Transportation Electrification Initiative has made commitments for $400 million in grants for demonstration, deployment, and education projects involving electric vehicles. (Party Time!)
I think it’s important to note that the original objective of supporting electric car production was that it was a plain old economic stimulus. This was dropping money from a helicopter in the hope that it (and all the other money) would stabilize a rapidly declining economy. Another motivation for the federal investment/subsidy was that it created a back-door support package for the auto industry that was falling off a cliff back then.
Washington also agreed to provide $25Bn in cheap loans to the companies who make electric cars. So far, $8.4Bn has been committed. The rest of the money will be doled out before 2019. The money is being lent by the Federal Financing Bank (FFB). Because the loans are guaranteed by DOE, there is no risk of repayment to FFB. As a result, the loans are excluded from the calculation of the debt limit. The 25 ‘large’ is all “off balance sheet”. A very neat trick indeed!
Read it all HERE.
Obama’s Appeasement Has Convinced Radicals America is Finished
It is amazing how events in international affairs that would have been easily and accurately understood decades ago are now surrounded by obfuscation and misunderstanding. Such is the case with Libya and the U.S. role there. Forget Obama’s Cairo speech and all that bowing, apologizing, appeasing, and empathy. All of it is meaningless now.
The facts are clear. Along with its NATO allies, the United States helped overthrow the dictatorship of Muammar Qadhafi in Libya and installed a new regime. This government, non-Islamist, technocratic, and led by defected old regime politicians or former exiles, won the election and is now in power.
What does this mean? Simple. Libya is now a U.S. client state. In the eyes of many Arabs and Muslims—especially the radicals but not just them—Libya is now an American puppet state. Most important of all it is not an Islamist Sharia state. The revolutionaries—a group including the Muslim Brotherhood, radical small groups, and the local al-Qaida affiliates–want to change that situation.
How do you do that? One way is to attack the regime’s institutions, including raiding police stations to get weapons. Another way is to assassinate officials. A tempting way to build popular support is to murder Americans.
The killing of the ambassador and five other Americans (a Foreign Service reserve officer, two bodyguards, and two Marines) has nothing to do with a video made in California. It has everything to do with the Libyan Islamist revolution. This revolution will go on for years and will become increasingly bloodier. It is nothing short of amazing that U.S. leaders don’t seem to recognize this.
Let’s sum it up in a slogan:
Bush occupied Iraq and Afghanistan; Obama occupied Libya and killed Usama bin Ladin. Have no doubt that the revolutionaries—including the Muslim Brotherhood—and a lot of others view Obama as just as bad as Bush. Obama’s attempts at appeasement have further convinced them that America is finished and easily bullied. In his speech of September 2010 calling for revolution in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad al-Badi explicitly said that.
Finish reading this HERE.
Got to be a dog with a liberal for an owner!
Russia to “Liberate the World from US Occupation”
Russia and its ally China are planning to replace the United States as the world’s leading power. Part of that plan involves ensuring that the US dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency…which will spell economic disaster for this country.
A State Duma deputy, the head of the Committee on Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship of the Russian State Duma, Yevgeny Fyodorov, told Pravda.Ru of his impressions from visiting the APEC summit in Vladivostok. According to him, the meeting showed that the U.S. gradually loses absolute power in the world economy and politics. The power and influence of other countries, such as Russia and China, grows against such a background.
“APEC is a very interesting and important event, although it seems to be an ordinary one. The leaders get together and discuss important issues, but in reality it is the key event in today’s global scenario. With the onset of the global economic crisis,with political and economic turbulence, the APEC is a key event in terms of the demonstration of new vectors of unity of the international community outside the United States.
It is clear that it is not a split – everyone still plays by American rules, but the countries already demonstrate their independence in economic policy. I was there and saw how angry Mrs. Hillary Clinton was when she came from China, where several Chinese leaders – especially those who are to become top officials of China next year – did not even want to meet her. In China, Clinton was told no when she wanted to take on mediator’s functions in resolving China’s territorial disputes with Asian countries.
She also heard no in response to her requirement to set the yuan rate. It is an annual requirement of the United States to China to set the yuan rate for political reasons to pump resources and opportunities from China to the U.S. It is an additional form of tribute from China, which China had to deal with every year for political motives. Nowadays, the U.S. was refused. The world is changing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly expressed his attitude to the dollar as the world reserve currency. In fact, he offered the countries of the world to start building a large number of regional currencies as an alternative to the reserve system of the dollar. This is a strong step and a strong move, including the initiative to switch to mutual payments. He also said that Russia and China had already switched to the system and he urged other countries to follow the example. This shows that the world begins to change fundamentally, and Russia’s role at this point is to become the leader in changing the world. I would say that Putin as the leader of the national liberation movement in Russia, demonstrated himself at the event as a leader and provider of ideas for the world national liberation movement against the system of occupation, which was formed after 1991 not only about Russia but also China and many other countries.
Today, the world begins to unite against the colonizer – USA. For the time being, it is a conceptual and preparatory process, but it takes place. In this regard, I would call the preliminary results of the meeting in the Far East the meeting of the future members of the world national liberation movement to free the world from the U.S. occupation.
The shift in global power centers is economic and political at present. If Barack Obama is re-elected, and continues his mission of destroying the US military…the stage will be set for war…a war that America will have little chance of winning.