Tag Archives: taxes

Taxation Without Participation

It’s easy to vote for higher taxes when you’re not paying.

Michael Kinsley described a “gaffe” as anytime a politician is caught telling the truth. This is particularly accurate for Republicans and conservatives as is demonstrated by the reaction to Mitt Romney’s comment regarding Obama’s base.

The setting was unfortunate — a $50,000–a–plate fundraiser — but the message was accurate. As he discussed campaign strategy — not governing philosophy — Romney explained: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what…who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it… And the government should give it to them…

Our message of low taxes doesn’t connect…so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful…”

Romney neglected to mention another solid portion of the Obama base: the welfare–industrial complex composed of government workers and associated special interest groups. The simple fact is the more people receiving government handouts, the more government employees you need to distribute the geetus.

The size of the two populations increases in lockstep as does the size of the Obama base. There is no exit strategy for the War on Poverty.

And this is nothing new, as Ann Coulter pointed out, “Democrats’ problem with welfare reform always was that if it worked, we would need fewer of these well-pensioned public employees, a fact repeatedly acknowledged by liberals themselves.”

Democrat “compassion” for the poor and underprivileged always comes with a healthy dose of self–interest. Just like any attack on Republicans while defending welfare programs is done with elections in mind. They know a reduction in dependency threatens to result in a reduction in Democrats.

Why do you think the Obama administration imitates Tupperware and throws food stamp parties to urge people to apply for handouts? Why did the number of able–bodied participants in the food stamp program double after Obama suspended the work requirement? Why do a record 8.8 million Americans collect disability checks? Why do federal unemployment checks continue for almost two years? And why is the Obama administration spending a record 15.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product on direct cash payments to individuals?

The answer is simple: Obama’s building his base. That’s why Democrats at their national convention had no problem with an Orwellian video that proclaimed, “Government is the only thing that we all belong to.”

Realizing this 47 percent voting block constitutes a problem isn’t a targeting decision made inside the Romney campaign. It’s an issue with the potential to rend the social fabric of the nation. It is a serious enough problem to offer Democrats a trade.

Conservatives agree to abandon photo ID requirements for voting if in return Democrats agree any citizen who is dependent on the federal government for his livelihood is not eligible to vote. This important reform would not mean a permanent loss of voting privileges and the creation of lifelong second–class citizens. On the contrary, as soon as the dependent citizen re–establishes financial independence the individual regains his vote. Regaining his vote acts as an incentive for personal responsibility.

When 47 percent of the populace is dependent on government benefits the nation is fast approaching a tipping point. Once the number passes 50 percent, American society will no longer have a crucial element of shared sacrifice. Instead the dependency block gets to vote for their share of increased benefits and taxpayers make the sacrifice. Even Democrats should be able to recognize that situation is unfair and inequitable.

For example, are McDonald’s customers allowed to set the price of a Big Mac? Do employees of Government Motors vote to set their own salaries? Do football teams get to vote on how many points the opposing defense will surrender?

There already exists a precedent for temporarily relinquishing the vote. Judges, Congressmen and even members of the city council are not supposed to vote or rule on matters in which they have a financial interest.

Naturally government employees would retain voting privileges. As would Social Security recipients, simply because seniors have been told since the program’s inception the money is not welfare. It’s not true now and it was a lie in 1935, but I’m not prepared to penalize seniors because the government misled them.

This reform would leave us with an electorate that bears the responsibility of paying for the government it advocates. Without this reform the Obamatrons continue to benefit unfairly from Taxation Without Participation.

In November one might cynically term Obama’s 47 percent “pocketbook voters,” only the pocketbook they’ll be voting is yours.

Debunking 5 Paul Ryan Myths

When Mitt Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate nine days ago, he forced Democrats to engage in serious intellectual debate in the coming weeks and months, rather than demagoguing which has been the main practice of the Obama/Biden campaign as of yet.

Paul Ryan holds his Plan, The Path to American Prosperity

Well, that’s what one would have thought, because, well, conventional wisdom says so. However, in the latter, Democrats and the left have tried to demonize Paul Ryan in every way absolutely imaginable. The day after the announcement of Paul Ryan to be the running-mate of Mitt Romney, the attacks started. From Ryan’s budget, to a ‘war on women’, to Ryan ‘pushing grandma off of the cliff’, let’s debunk five myths about Paul Ryan.

1. The Ryan Plan Destroys Medicare.

The Liberal New York Congressman, Rep. Steve Israel has recently claimed that the Romney/Ryan ticket is a “nightmare for seniors who’ve earned their Medicare benefits. For the last 18 months, we’ve said Republicans will have to defend the indefensible—their vote to end Medicare.” The Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been running around spewing lies claiming that the Ryan Plan would end Medicare as we know it. This wouldn’t be the first time that Schultz has lied, or probably the last. Look at what she said regarding presidential tax returns and Mitt Romney.

The Wyden-Ryan Medicare Plan – yes that is Democratic Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon – says that the plan will not affect anyone over 55. Anyone over 55 wouldn’t see a change in their plans or their benefits. Anyone under 55 wouldn’t either, unless they voluntarily chose to take part in the Plan. Washington would still be paying the premiums for the healthcare choices you made, and if you believed in the basic principles of free-market capitalism, this would improve the services while driving down the cost.

Furthermore, the liberal leaning Urban Institute recently found that the average citizen will pay $149,000 in Medicare taxes, while only taking out $351,000 in medical services during retirement. In reality, the party that doesn’t want to reform Medicare, and who doesn’t want to ‘change Medicare as we know it’, is single-handedly destroying the system from the inside out.

2. Paul Ryan is a Constitutional Obstructionist

According to a recent Gallup Poll, the 112th Congress’ approval rating has hit an all-time low. Of course, Obama, his administration, and his campaign blame the GOP for the gridlock in Congress, which may we not forget; Paul Ryan is a part of. It’s not necessarily fair, considering the House has passed massive amount of bills that focus on economic recovery that have been killed by Harry Reid in the Senate. May we also not forget that, a) Obama’s ‘serious’ budget was rejected by everyone in both the House and the Senate, and b) Ryan’s Budget passed the House by a vote of  228-191.

Contrary to what the President said yesterday during his surprise visit to the press room of the White House, he is stepping across the preverbal line ‘in the sand’. “So, if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. It’s time to put politics aside and pass it right away,” the President said last week in Iowa. But in fact, the House has already passed a measure that helps farmers that have been struck financially by the drought.

3. The Ryan Budget is Extreme

President Obama’s Campaign Manager, Jim Messina, someone who probably actually hasn’t sat down and read the Ryan Plan, is calling the plan ‘radical’.

New York Times Columnist, Paul Krugman, is spewing the common lies about the Ryan Plan. He said the plan, “would kill people, no question,” while the Plan would “cut discretionary spending to levels not seen since Calvin Coolidge.” In defense of Coolidge, life wasn’t that bad under his leadership – low taxation, high economic growth and relative peace. But, to anyone’s surprise, this isn’t true. The Ryan Plan only brings back non-military discretionary spending to the 2008 levels. The plan also cuts the federal bureaucracy and it’s subsidies by 10% and it reforms the compensation plans of federal employees.

But when we talk about discretionary spending as a percentage of the entire budget, you don’t have to be an economic genius to know that Krugman does have a point, but a very misleading one at that. Because mandatory spending has grown at about six times that of discretionary spending over the past 20 years, it’s really easy to argue that President Obama will keep discretionary spending at levels not seen since Calvin Coolidge – anyone could.

However, there are a lot of Conservatives that aren’t exactly in love with the Ryan Budget. For one, it balances the budget over ten years versus the Connie-Mac Penny Plan which balances the budget over eight years. Don’t we know that anything a president implements that expands past his time in office, usually never completely comes to fruition? Meaning, I seriously doubt that the Ryan Budget would make it all ten years.

Moreover, the Ryan Plan only reduces spending from current levels of 24% down to 19.8% of the GDP. Several leading economists have pointed out that this would only bring down federal expenditures to post-WWII levels. Furthermore, in the Ryan Budget federal spending increases over the next ten years, and revenue each year after. The budget would expand from $3.6 trillion in 2013 to $4.9 trillion in 2022.

4. Ryan is at ‘War with Women’

Didn’t we all see this one coming? It’s a classic ‘hail mary’ out of the playbook of the left against anyone on the right. Democratic Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy said that Ryan “believes we should ban all birth control as well. He voted for that.” The President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Nancy Keenan, said that Ryan “supported the ‘Let Women Die Bill,’ which would allow hospitals to refuse to provide a woman emergency, lifesaving abortion care, even if she could die without it.”

Gosh, Ryan really does hate woman, right? Wrong. Ryan has never voted or said any of these things that he is being accused of. However, he did vote for the “Protect Life Act,” which would have, if it passed, rewritten provisions in Obamacare that allowed for federal subsidies to be provided for abortions. Ironic, because liberals and the left already claim that the government doesn’t fund abortions. “Protect Life Act,” also had a provision that exempted Catholic hospitals from having to pay for contraception or abortions. He also supported a bill that would have dulled the HHS Mandate that Catholic hospitals provide free condoms.

5. Ryan’s Plan Favors the Rich

Another classic play from the playbook of those on the left – class warfare. A day on the campaign trail just wouldn’t be right with a little class warfare. Many on the left have claimed that Romney “chose a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment” of a “new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy…”

Regardless of what you will hear from Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton or an Obama SuperPAC add, there are absolutely zero special tax cuts in the Ryan Budget ‘for the wealthy’. Common sense tells you that when Washington enacts across-the-board tax reform, the rich (who already pay the vast majority of the taxes) are likely to benefit. Ryan’s Plan however, only supports keeping the current tax rates that we’ve had for the last decade – one’s that a lot on the left have also supported.

What the Ryan plan does do is simplify our tax system. We currently have a six-bracket tax system. Under the Ryan Plan, this would be simplified to two tax brackets – the lower bracket being a 10% bracket, and the upper bracket being a 25% bracket. This plan fixes the Alternative Minimum Tax, and cuts corporate tax rates to reflect those of other competitive nations to the U.S. Ryan and Romney both also support closing loopholes that wealthy Americans disproportionally use.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @chrisenloe

Olympic Medal Winners Face a Tax Hit

In his third Olympic Performance, Michael Phelps won a total of six medals: four gold and two silver. His performances in the thirtieth Olympiad is sure to bring big financial awards, but his performances are also going to cost him.

Every American who won a medal in the London Olympics will receive cash rewards from the U.S Olympic Committee. Each gold medal winner will receive $25,000, each silver medal winner will receive $15,000 and each bronze medal winner will receive $10,000 respectively. This means when Michael Phelps returns to the states, he will be collecting a healthy $130,000 from the USOC.

Phelps with his record breaking 19th Olympic Medal

However, Phelps will also be taxed for each medal he received. For each gold medal, Phelps will have to pay the IRS approximately $9,000, for each gold, $5,400 for each silver, and if he would have earned a bronze, $3,500.

Soon after stories surfaced about U.S. Olympic athletes facing deep financial hardship, some Washington politicians have offered and supported a bill that would offer the athletes a reprieve.

Republican law makers led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown introduced a bill named Olympic Tax Exemption Act last week. The bill has already gained the support of President Barack Obama.

“Our young athletes endure years of grueling training and make enormous sacrifices so they can represent our country on the national stage and make us proud. Our thanks should not come in the form of a giant tax bill from the IRS.” Brown said when asked about the bill.

Follow Me on Twitter @chrisenloe.

Drug Addicts and Taxes

Did you know that there is an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)? And that for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, President Barack Hussein “what’s another deficit” Obama’s budget requested $25.6 Billion for the National Drug Control Budget, an increase of 1.6 percent over FY 2012. Further, the budget request calls for $542.4 million to provide funding programs that provide housing to individuals in illegal drug, excuse me, substance abuse treatment.

Guess where all that money is coming from. That’s correct – us law abiding tax payers.

The ONDCP web page begins with this statement” “… represented a new direction in our efforts to reduce illicit drug use and its consequences in the United States, with the goal to achieve a 15 percent reduction in the rate of drug use and similar reductions in drug use consequences over the course of 5 years.”   [emphasis mine]

Specifically, two of the seven ONDCP goals are:

  • “bringing more Americans in need of treatment into contact with the appropriate level of care”
  • “protecting public safety while also ensuring that drug-involved offenders have the opportunity to end their drug use and rebuild their lives”

In support of the first goal, there is a “Treatment & Recovery” section. It offers this:

“For millions of Americans, substance use progresses to a point where the efforts of the individual, his or her family and friends, and social networks may not be sufficient to bring the problem under control. In these cases, access to addiction treatment can be a critical-even lifesaving-resource.

Like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully. Although often a long and difficult journey, research shows treatment is effective in helping addicts achieve recovery. Effective treatment programs enable people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on the brain and behavior and to regain control of their lives. Providing treatment also lessens the burden substance use cause society. Studies show that every dollar spent on treatment saves four dollars in health care costs and seven dollars in public safety costs.”

In my 63 years on this planet, I have NEVER taken an illegal drug (prescriptions are bad enough), nor have I abused any substance (unless you call one beer per day abuse). I do not hold myself up as “holier than thou.” I just want some answers to some questions I have.

  • I did not force the needle into the addict’s arm (or eyelid, or between his/her toes, or wherever), or force the abuser to abuse the substance, I did not get the “high” that accompanies drugs or substance abuse, I did not receive any of the “benefits” of drugs/substance abuse, so why should I be forced to pay for them?
  • It’s unfortunate if the addict/abuser choosesto ruin his/her life. And it’s unfortunate for the family (especially the children). But it is NOT my responsibility to be forced to provide for them.
  • The ONDCP web page says that “Studies show that every dollar spent on treatment saves four dollars in health care costs and seven dollars in public safety costs.” That’s all well and good, but just think of the dollars we could save if the programs were not needed.
  • The ONDCP web page refers to addiction as a “chronic disease.” Does that mean that the addict/substance abuser could not avoid the condition that caused the “chronic disease,” that he/she had no way to avoid the cause, and that we taxpayers should now be responsible for, suffer the consequences of, the behavior of the addict/substance abuser?

It’s fine if I choose to provide funding for programs, such as with faith-based or charitable organization avoidance/recovery programs. But, through taxes, I am forced to support (pay for) drug/substance abuse programs. Therein lies the rub. The last time I looked, the IRS has the power to throw me in jail if I didn’t pay my taxes. That sounds a lot like force to me. So what it all boils down to is choice versus force.

In support of the second goal mentioned, we already pay for a program to achieve that goal. It’s called JAIL! Enough said.

So now it is the responsibility of the tax payer to provide substance abuse treatment and recovery services. I guess it’s not enough for us to pay for their treatment and recovery, we must also provide housing. When are the addicts/abusers going to take responsibility for and consequences of their choices? Will the federal government madness never stop? But, because the addicts/substance abusers (are allowed to) vote, the answer is NO.

But that’s just my opinion.

Please visit RWNO, my personal web site.

Luxury Tax 2.0 – Obama’s War on Prosperity

President Obama keeps asking “Do you want to return to the failed policies of the past?” At the same time he is urging us to envy those who have worked very hard and risked their own capital to make the American dream come true.

An examination of that question might be in order. Those who are not willing to just blindly accept what they hear, but are of reasonable mind might wish to examine the facts. His plea is not a new one, it is one we have tried before, with disastrous results.

The politics of envy got a thorough trial under George Herbert Walker Bush (41). In fact it worked out so well, it cost him his job along with 200,000 other poor unfortunates. Philosopher George Santayana put it so well, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Either the current administration does not remember the “Luxury Tax” or they are banking on the fact that the public does not.

To refresh our memories, after his famous 1988 campaign quote “read my lips, no new taxes”, in 1990 under enormous pressure from the Democrats in congress, President Bush acquiesced and signed the “punish the rich for being rich” luxury tax bill. That bill greatly increased taxes on things like yachts, airplanes and expensive jewelry. The Democrats said it would increase revenues and if folks could afford to buy yachts, they should cough up some of that cash to help the poor and unemployed. The actual effect though, as one might guess, is that people quit buying yachts, or bought them offshore. The net effect was that revenues went down, and 200,000 people who worked in the boat building industry lost their jobs. Ultimately it cost Bush the 1992 election.

What so many people fail to grasp is “The Law of Unintended Consequences.” Everything we do has consequences but so many want a life without adverse consequences to anything. It just isn’t possible. The law of unintended consequences is a offshoot of the law of cause and effect. If one hits one’s self in the head with a hammer, one’s head will hurt. Cause (hitting your head), effect (head hurts).

The law of unintended consequences comes into play when ideas which sound, on the surface like good ideas meant only for the benefit of people, are implemented without any thought to what the actual outcome might be. For example everyone wants clean air. We probably have the cleanest air in the world now, but under the guise of cleaner air the EPA has put in place regulations which are closing coal fired power plants all across the nation, 57 this year and 175 by 2016. In the US 42% of our electricity comes from coal fired generators. That means that in exchange for making our air an infinitesimal amount cleaner we are going to not only sacrifice 8.5% of our coal fired generating capacity with nothing to replace it, but we are going to put thousands and thousands of people out of work. All of this while energy consumption continues to grow. As the power plants shut down, so do the coal mines, the coal haulers, the coal mining suppliers, and the coal rail haulers.

In addition to reducing our capacity for electrical generation, we will also increase the cost of electricity by at least a factor of two. So Grandma, who was worried about Paul Ryan throwing her off a cliff by trying to save social security, can just fry in her apartment because she can’t afford to pay the electric bill.

As the cost of energy increases, so does the cost of everything else. Farmers and manufacturers must pass this added cost on to consumers. Meanwhile, lets add some additional tax and regulatory burden to those manufacturers as well, because they are the evil rich and we have to get them. No one ever explains why we have to get them, we just do. It’s the fair thing, no matter what it costs the rest of us.

How To Help Millenials: An Interview With Former Labor Department Official

The July 2012 jobs report was released on August 3rd 2012, and major news outlets have been reporting that the US economy added 163,000 jobs.  While the debate  rages on about the accuracy of the real number of jobs created or lost, the economic impact on young Americans has been lost in the fervor.

Paul Conway -former US Labor Department chief of staff & current president of Generation Opportunity

The jobs report revealed some startling and terrifying numbers about how the 18-29 demographic is struggling in the American economy.  To get a firm grasp on exactly how dismal the economy is for young Americans – and what can be done to reverse this trend – Conservative Daily News spoke with Paul Conway, the former US Labor Department chief of staff and current president of Generation Opportunity.

Generation Opportunity – or simply, “GO” – is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that is “committed to addressing and working toward solutions on immediate challenges, such as the lack of job opportunities, as well as the broader underlying issues, such as debt and federal spending, that impact our economic future and sustainability.”

—-

QFirst of all, I wan to thank you for talking with us today, Mr. Conway.  Why do you believe that the media is not including the figures from the household survey in their reporting?

A – “Well, you hope the ideal would be accurate reporting, but let me put my hat on as a former Labor Department chief of staff.  Here’s the thing about the household survey, I don’t think it is inaccurate.  I do think that some of the media want whatever the best picture is.”

 

Q – I have reviewed the full jobs report, and it is rather comprehensive.  Are there other pertinent aspects about the report that the media, and other outlets, are ignoring, or simply not reporting?

A –“I think sometimes the media will look at that monthly number, and that is the one thing that they will fixate on.  What they miss is the story behind the number and the people involved.  And on the larger terrain, what are the other significant factors that policymakers usually pay attention to before coming to conclusions and making decisions?

“There are some things out there that you can not ignore.  One of them is the household survey.  Also, another one is, out of the number of jobs created last month, how many of those were not full-time jobs?

“Yet another thing that can not be ignored is, of the jobs being created, how many of those jobs are going to older workers versus younger workers – which the majority of them were last month [June], and again this month [July].

“Also, the rate of new job creation.  In order to significantly take down high unemployment numbers, it takes between 250,000 and 400,000 jobs per month; depending on who you talk to, and there’s a great economic research team at the University of Maryland.”

 

Paul Conway at CPAC

QDo you think the media and policymakers fixate on that positive monthly number in order to further their own agenda, or to keep the public calm and prevent panic?

A – “That’s a very interesting question.  I think there are some that will look at the number and see if it fits a particular narrative, and I don’t think that is a good thing.  Whether there is a sincere effort by some to do that, I would say absolutely.  People will look at that [jobs report] and say ‘wow, look at that, let’s celebrate 160,ooo jobs!’.

“I saw one report where the uptick in job creaton number basically turns in to 35 new jobs per major city across the U.S. last month.  So if you created 35 jobs in Manhattan, is that a success?  No, it’s not.  What you need is a sustained period of job creation at the multi-hundred thousand level, just to start moving the unemployment number down.”

 

Since it will take a significant number of jobs to begin a recovery, of sorts, what sector of the workforce in the July jobs report is the most affected, or which demographic will require the most jobs?

– “If you look at the unemployment number for young adults – we had 8.3% come out [overall] – let’s take a look at the hardest hit demographic.  No one really wants to talk about it, and those are young Americans.  That [unemployment] number is 12.7%.”

What people don’t like to talk about is that there are an additional 1.7 million young adults who are no longer counted by the federal government.  If you take those 1.7 million young adults, and add it to the 12.7% that were counted, and we have 16.7% unemployment among young Americans.  What do you think the public would do if they knew that among adults aged 18-29, almost 17% of them were unemployed?

“This is a national issue, but people only want to talk about 8.3 percent, and somehow that’s normal.”

 

Q – Being in the 18-29 demographic myself, do you believe that having more than one-sixth of us out of work will be a hindrance to young Americans becoming entrepreneurs?

A – “Absolutely.  When you look at some of the best innovation that has come out of our country, they actually come from the folks who are young and took a risk.  This question is great because of how you are looking at it, and that is long-term.

“With almost 20% of young adults sitting on the sidelines of the American economy, all of that creativity, drive, and initiative; what does it do for American competitiveness in the face of China and India in 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years from now?  It’s a much different story when you look at it in the context of the bigger picture of the world stage and the U.S.”

 

Q – As president of Generation Opportunity, your organization focuses on helping my age bracket.  With Generation Opportunity’s “Call The White House Initiative”, do you think that making our voices heard in the White House would be more effective than calling the policy-makers who can draft and pass legislation that benefits established businesses and would-be entrepreneurs?  Or would calling both be best?

A – “What you are looking at is actually a series of tactics and initiatives that we are rolling out, and you are in the midst of watching it come out in full force.  What you will be seeing more of in the next several weeks is an aggressive campaign for young adults to make their voice heard in Congress, as well.  You can sign up on our website and it will allow you to find out who your legislators are, what the current issues and bills are, can also contact their representative and senator, as well as various committee chairs.

“So you are actually watching the emergence of several different tactics and initiatives, and ‘Call The White House’ is just one of those.  This is just the opening round.”

 

Q – I ran for US Congress in 2010 – starting my campaign at age 25.  Does Generation Opportunity have any plans on supporting actions to get young adults into public office in order to get that creativity, energy, and personal initiative – which you mentioned previously – into policy-making positions?

A – “When we put together our plan, we looked at what our long-term objective was, and what we wanted to do.  The long term objective for us is to serve as an education platform for young Americans, and to provide a tremendous about of resources for them.

“As far as candidate endorsement, we decided that we would not do that because it is better for us to serve as a vehicle for long-term education.  As an organization, we feel that in the long term is is better to identify with principle rather than a personality.”

 

Q – What principles does Generation Opportunity identify with, or espouse, as an organization?

A – “We organized on three principles.  Those three principles are, number one: Greater economic opportunity for all Americans.  The second is, advancement and defense – and I emphasize defense – of individual freedom: especially in the face of the federal government whose policy tries to dictate what the size and scale of liberty is.  The third is the size and scope of government

“Those principles have given us access to a very broad spectrum of people who are frustrated and want to make changes.  Our principles have attracted conservatives, libertarians, disaffected Obama supporters, and many more.  We have provided a large number of materials and resources on our website already, such as training guides and links to policy, so that people can become more engaged in the process.”

 

Q – Mr. Conway, unfortunately, it seems that we are out of time for today.  I want to again thank you for joining us, and I hope to speak with you again in the future.

A – Certainly.  It was a pleasure.  Thank You.

###

 

 

 

To learn more, please visit http://www.GenerationOpportunity.org

 

 

 

 

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IRS Punishes Excellence: The Tax Burden on Olympic Athletes

This week, the best of American athletes, who’ve spent years putting hard work and effort into training for their respective sports, are in London for the Olympics.

It’s a wonderfully capitalistic competition- the best, the most talented, the hardest working from around the world competing to see who is the best. Excellence is rewarded with medals, international recognition and the personal satisfaction of knowing that your dedication has propelled you to victory.

Yet, how does America, the supposed bastion of the free market, reward the excellence of their athletes upon their return home?

By taxing them of course.

United States tax law states that U.S. athletes, who face a top tax rate of 35%, must add their Olympic medals and prizes to their taxable income.

Americans for Tax Reform notes that a gold medal is worth $675, a silver medal is worth $385 and a bronze medal’s worth is under $5.

Their is also a cash prize that accompanies each medal won- $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze.

The following chart, from Americans for Tax Reform, shows the tax burden, graduated by medal type, that athletes pay on each individual medal they receive:

  Medal Tax Prize Tax Total Tax Burden
 

Gold

 

$236 $8,750 $8,986
 

Silver

 

$135 $5,250 $5,385
Bronze $2 $3,500  

$3,502

This astounding tax on excellence is made even worse by the fact that U.S. athletes are virtually the only competitors who are taxed for their winnings, because the U.S. is one of the only countries that taxes worldwide income- income earned overseas by taxpayers.

However, Tea Party favored Florida Senator Marco Rubio is making an attempt to end the tax. Calling the American tax code a “complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success”, Rubio introduced a bill that would end the tax on Olympic medals.

House GOP Unite to #StoptheTaxHike that Would Destroy Another 710,000 Jobs

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday called out the Democrats for considering a tax hike that would lead to another 710,000 jobs lost in an already brutal recession.

As Congressman McCarthy noted, in 2010 a total of 139 Democrats joined with Republicans to stop a tax hike when they said the economy was too weak to do so. McCarthy cited 86 currently serving Democrats who are now considering the allowance of an effective tax increase in an even weaker economy.

Among those Democrats mulling the tax increase are Steny Hoyer, Henry Waxman, Steve Israel, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. The House GOP are working to counter the so-called “Taxmageddon” of January 1, 2013, when a record-setting $494 billion in tax increases is set to further damage an already weak economy.

President Obama has already broken his pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class, but he has saved his most economically damaging policies for after a potentially disastrous re-election. These would include the implementation of Obamacare, whose cost estimate has tripled since the bill was passed, and the looming “Taxmageddon.”

 

Obamacare Costs $1.9 Trillion AND Still Leaves 30 Million Uninsured

I need to know how many quality years this patient has left STAT

Since the 5-4 decision to uphold Obamacare as constitutional through the taxing authority of Congress, the CBO gave their final grade. .  But it’s not biggie.  This entire overhaul is “deficit neutral” and will save money in the long run.  That’s what the Left try to sell us.  Even Joe Six Pack knows that something can’t be deficit neutral when you spend over a $1 trillion dollars on a new entitlement program.  As Jeffrey Anderson of The Weekly Standard wrote on July 27:

So, what — besides less liberty — would Americans get for their $1,930,000,000,000 and change?  Well, the CBO now says that Obamacare would cause between 4 and 6 million Americans to lose their employer-sponsored insurance, writing, “Between 4 million and 6 million fewer people are estimated to have coverage through an employer, compared with coverage in the absence of the [Affordable Care Act].”

Moreover, the CBO and/or the Medicare chief actuary have previously said that Obamacare would raise health insurance premiums, would raise overall U.S. health costs, would raise taxes on Americans and on American businesses, and would siphon something approaching $1 trillion (from 2014 through 2023) out of Medicare.  In the process (according to the Medicare chief actuary), Obamacare would reduce reimbursement rates for Medicare providers to the point where they’d be lower even than the notoriously low reimbursement rates paid to Medicaid providers — therefore jeopardizing seniors’ access to care.  Oh, and Obamacare would also establish the unelected and largely unaccountable 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to institute further Medicare cuts.

Lastly, one of the most intrusive pieces of legislation will still leave 30 million uninsured a decade from now.

However, we shouldn’t be surprised. The CBO reported back in March that 20 million could lose their coverage as a result of Obama’s health care takeover.  Heritage’s Mike Brownfield cited this report on March 16 in The Foundry:

In one of the CBO’s reported scenarios20 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health benefits, and 49 million more Americans could become dependent on government-sponsored health care. And it won’t come cheaply for American taxpayers. Projecting through 2022, Obamacare could cost as much as $2.134 trillion, and individual and employer mandate penalties could hit $221 billion.

Then there’s the issue of the unconstitutional individual mandate that forces Americans to buy government dictated health insurance or pay a penalty, as well as the anti-conscience mandate that religious employers, including schools, hospitals, and charities, must provide abortion-inducing drugs and contraception despite the fact that such services totally contradict many of these groups’ core religious beliefs.

Under Obamacare, costs will go up, people will lose the coverage they have, and quality of care will decline. Individuals and businesses will face penalties, seniors will feel the effects of Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare, doctors will suffer from increased regulation and lower government reimbursement for services, taxpayers will face new taxes, jobs will be lost, millions of Americans will remain uninsured and stuck in overcrowded emergency rooms, religious institutions and the faithful will suffer the loss of their religious liberties, and future generations will pay the costs.

While the cost of this bill is astronomical, the scary number for me is 49 million.  An additional 49 million Americans dependent on government run health care services, which coupled with the 67 million Americans already receiving funds from at least one federal program, is a staggering 116 million people who need Washington to survive.  If you don’t believe the political left is pushing a pernicious dependency agenda, you’re insane.  Obamacare is a cornerstone in their lust to make everyone dependent on government since a federal program is considered, by liberals, to be an inherent good and an equalizer in outcomes.  Note that opportunity has become a fossilized term in the lexicon of the far left.

However, since Obamacare is the largest tax increase in history, especially for middle class families, let’s see what we all owe Uncle Sam and the consequences we will have to endure in the coming years compliments of Alyene Senger.

 

  • 20 million. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that as many as 20 million Americans could no longer have their current employer-based health coverage by 2019; others predict it could be as high as 35 million.
  • 85 million. The Office of the Actuary at CMS estimates that, by 2020, Medicaid enrollment will increase from 54 million in 2010 to 85 million, pushing America closer to government-run health care.
  • 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Individuals earning over $44,680 a year and families earning over $92,200 a year are not eligible for any federal subsidies to help purchase coverage under Obamacare.
  • $1 trillion. Based on an updated CBO score, Obamacare imposes 18 new taxes or penalties totaling over $1 trillion from 2013 to 2022 that will directly or indirectly impact families, including those earning below $250,000.
  • 8.1.2012. Starting August 1, Obamacare forces many employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to offer abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception.
  • $1.683 trillion. Obamacare expects to spend over one-and-a-half trillion dollars between 2012 and 2022 on its coverage expansion provisions alone, according to the CBO.
  • 30 million. Updated CBO estimates show that despite spending over a trillion dollars, Obamacare will leave 30 million Americans uninsured in 2021.
  • $716 billion. Although Medicare faces $37 trillion in unfunded obligations, Obamacare takes $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for non-Medicare coverage provisions, according to CBO’s latest update.
  • 15. The number of unelected officials that will be in charge of cutting Medicare payments for millions of seniors under the Independent Payment Advisory Board in Obamacare.
  • 50.8 percent. The majority of Americans continue to support repeal. The Real Clear Politics Average from March 10, 2012, to July 28, 2012, shows that voters support repeal by an 8-point margin.

Repeal needs to be the primary initiative for a, God willing, Romney administration with the help of a Republican Congress.  No time to debate with squishy Republicans.  The Obama administration has raised the Dependency Index by 23% in two years.  That’s where the 67 million new dependents come from.

In addition, almost half the nation doesn’t pay income taxes.  We’re dealing with a larger proportion of a dependent demographic that’s subsidized by a smaller and smaller tax base. A tax base that the political left feels it can squeeze more revenue out of and still maintain its social welfare commitments, which, as George Will astutely noted, is the flawed logic of trying to leap a chasm in two bounds. To complicate matters, the president holds a deep antipathy towards small business owners and the wealthy, who are also known as the job creating and investing class.  A class that pays 70% of all the income taxes filed. They’re the ones who keep the dependents alive and will  pay for this new entitlement program nobody wants, but will keep the Democratic base of freeloaders pacified. With the cost of $1.9 trillion dollars and about the same number of uninsured as we have right now a decade out, it’s just another episode highlighting the failure of big government policies.

Senator Patty Murray – Your Money or Your Life!


In a move reminiscent of Bruno Hauptmann, the Senate’s No. 4 Democrat, Senator Patty Murray said, “Millions of jobs could be lost through the automatic cuts, programs families depend on would be slashed irresponsibly across the board, and middle-class tax cuts would expire. And once again, if Republicans won’t work with us on a balanced approach, we are not going to get a deal.” in a speech at the Brookings Institution on Monday.

She went on, “[I]f we can’t get a good deal – a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share – then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013, rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus,”.

This is quite like asking, “Would you rather be strangled slowly or shot in the head?” With a 100 year drought looming, the USDA advertising to get more and more people on food stamps because they aren’t spending enough money, the HHS secretary illegally suspending welfare work requirements because they aren’t spending enough money, 4 major cities bankrupt and hundreds more on the brink, more people going on Social Security Disability each month than finding jobs, Ms. Murray is running an extortion scam to raise taxes on the folks who employ 53% of the work force, small business!

Either the Republicans agree with her, and we all jump off the fiscal cliff early next year, or taxes go up for everyone and we jump January 1st.

As we are falling off this impending cliff, I would like Ms. Murray to look my daughter in the eye and explain to her why she won’t be able to get a job when she finishes school. I want Ms. Murray to explain that it was much more important to appear to soak the rich in order for her party to perpetuate a senseless class war so they could get re-elected, than it was to be mindful of my daughter’s welfare.

Even the President acknowledged last year that the last thing you want to do in a recession is raise taxes on anybody. The job creators are leaving in droves. According to the Cato Institute, citizenship renunciation is up a whopping 750% since Barrack Obama was elected.

Jeff Immelt, Obama’s own Job CZAR has said the way to get us out of this mess was to create a stable and predictable tax environment with lower rates and closed loopholes to be competitive with other countries, smaller government, reduced debt and deficit, a trained workforce, a friendlier regulatory environment, and more certainty on health care costs and regulations. But the President hasn’t met with his jobs council in six months. He has been a little busy with all those golf outings and $40,000.00 a plate fund raisers.

Never mind all that, we need Barrack re-elected, and the way to do that is to engender resentment against those who provide the paychecks in this country, those evil rich. Well not all of them are evil rich. Not the ones who have donated money to his campaign. To them we give hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and watch them go bankrupt or take the money and jobs to Finland, China, India, and Mexico.

By all means Ms. Murray ignore all the economic evidence since time began and continue your bolshevik revolution, it worked out so well for the Soviets.

WaPo Hypes Poll On…Weather!? Buries Anti-Tax Hike Sentiment

Scientists predicted periods of glaciation back in the 1970s…

With the scorching heat and the infamous derecho that left D.C. in the dark on June 29, it seems perfectly logical for folks in the Washington area to blame “global warming” as we all bake in the 100 degree heat. In fact, The Washington Post conducted a poll that showed that a majority of Americans believe that world temperatures are rising and that it can be remedied by government action to decrease energy consumption.

However, the reason why this story was buried at the bottom of the page A13 today may well be because a whopping 7 out of 10 of those poll opposed hiking taxes on gasoline and other fossil fuels.

As this recession continues to chip away at the middle class, it’s no surprise that:

“Americans are leery of broad-based tax increases.  More than 70 percent oppose policies that would rely on tax increases on electricity or gas to change individual behavior, while 66 percent favor tax breaks to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”

What’s more, the second to last paragraph shows that nearly half of Americans “perceive that President Obama wants a great deal or quite a bit of government action on global warming.”  This comes on top of the public’s overall aversion to Obama’s health care industry overhaul.  The American people know the president’s prescriptions would be heavy on taxes, and they don’t like it.

The Post buried the lede like an ostrich buries its head in the sand.

Refresh My Memory; Is Justice Kennedy the Wobbly One?

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts prefers to dress casually in his off hours.

Last Thursday dawned bright and clear. It was shaping up to be a great day for conservatives. More than one observer — waiting for the Obamacare decision outside the Supreme Court — noticed aircraft coming in low on the horizon. Everyone assumed it was ICE drones searching for illegal aliens deserving of amnesty and a college scholarship.

But as the aircraft passed overhead the full weight of our mistake hit home. That wasn’t the Army Air Corps insignia on the underside of the wing. That circular logo was the Obama meatball and it was Pearl Harbor all over again! Obamacare was legal and conservatives were caught completely unprepared as plans to roll back Big Government exploded in their face.

Make no mistake. Chief Justice John Robert’s decision is a total, crushing and potentially unrecoverable defeat. Roberts joins with Chief Justice Roger Taney of Dred Scott fame as another Maryland chief justice responsible for a Supreme Court decision that will live in infamy.

“I always say…that if my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It’s my job.

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

“It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

Chief Justice John Roberts

Justice Holmes, a crusty veteran wounded three times during the Civil War, was being cheerfully cynical. Justice Roberts, who appears to be suffering from PTSD induced by State of the Union criticism following the Citizens United decision and potential criticism prior to the Obamacare decision, is merely being pathetic.

Berkeley law professor John Yoo contends Robert’s doesn’t agree with his own ruling but intended to “pull the court out of political fight.”

Unfortunately, Robert’s job is to uphold the Constitution regardless of Democrat political pressure. His failure to do so removes one of the few remaining limits on the growth and expansion of federal power.

This type of judicial temporizing in the face of political pressure is the same thing that happened during the 1930’s. A gutless Supreme Court stood idly by while FDR and the Democrats twisted the Constitution and began the long, legislative march toward intrusive, domineering Big Government.

If conservatives had not been lulled into a false sense of security, much like radar observers at Pearl Harbor, the Robert’s decision earlier in the week to overturn most of Arizona’s illegal alien law would have served to warn us of impending problems.

Deluded optimists claim the decision was a clever rope–a–dope and now Obama has to run for re–election with Obamacare and its hidden tax hung around his neck for all the voters to see.

I don’t know what election these optimists have been watching, but the failure of Obamacare was already part of his campaign. Now, thanks to Roberts, he can run on the success of Obamacare, which serves to solidify a base that was becoming increasingly disillusioned. Protecting the fruit of this Supreme Court decision becomes a strong motivator to get out the Obama vote.

If this is a victory for conservatives, God save us from defeat.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) is already whining that it’s going to be difficult to repeal the entire law because it’s so complicated. But it doesn’t require a 2,400–page bill to repeal a 2,400–page bill. You could do it with a bill no longer than a single page. What it does require is a certain strength of will and Sen. McConnell is telling us he and the majority of Republicans in the Senate lack that will.

They would rather file a lawsuit and let the Supreme Court do the heavy lifting, an option that after last Thursday no longer exists. This, in fact, will increasingly complicate life for Congressional Republicans as an imperial presidency continues to trample the Constitution. The legislative branch can no longer delegate Constitutional protection to the Judiciary.

The second rationalization for our famous victory is that Roberts ended the abuse and misuse of the Commerce clause. But that’s wrong, too. As Rick Richman notes in the Commentary blog: “Part III-A of the Roberts opinion – concluding the Obamacare mandate was not valid under the Commerce Clause – was not in the portion of his opinion that represents the opinion of the Court.” Which means the Commerce portion does not set or overturn precedent.

What a difference a week makes. Last Thursday a powerful conservative fleet was ready to weigh anchor. Eager to catch the high tide of the Obamacare decision and sail to victory in the fall. Today we’re tapping on the barnacle–encrusted hulls of capsized battleships trying to find survivors.

Some are using hammers. Me? I’m using my head.

RI Senator- Tax Rates Don’t Affect Small Businesses

Tax policy was the subject of a panel, titled 98 to 2: Raising Taxes to Invest in America and Promote Fairness, held in Washington last month. The panel was associated with former Obama administration official and radical Van Jones’s Take Back the American Dream Conference, which basically aims to advance progressivism.

The panel consisted of several prominent progressive activists and politicians, among them Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, of Tea Partiers are racists and part of white supremacist militias fame.

The main goal of the panel was finding the best way to sell tax increases to the American people and to counter the Republican idea that taxing the rich hurts jobs, since the rich are  usually job creators. Amidst the debate, Senator Whitehouse chimes in with the stunning statement that he isn’t aware of a single small business in Rhode Island that is affected by tax rates.

“What works well for me at home, I don’t have this, you know, poll-tested…I say, look I don’t know a single small business in Rhode Island that is going to be made or broken by tax rates.  What’s going to make or break small business is whether people are actually coming through the door to spend money, whether they have customers.”

What Senator Whitehouse’s ridiculous statement fails to take into account is a recent meals tax proposal that caused an uproar among small businesses in his state. The proposal to add a 10% tax to all meals caused an aggressive campaign against the proposed tax, lead chiefly by restaurants. Cities like Newport, which rely on money tourists bring in, through restaurants especially, complained that the tax would crush them. It would force them to raise prices, which would drive away business.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation, and has some of the highest taxes on small business in the nation. Unemployment is well above the national average, about 11% in May, and every year, more and more businesses leave the state because of the high costs Rhode Island’s high taxes cost business owners.

Maybe Senator Whitehouse should spend a little less time participating in panels sponsored by communists, and a little more time amongst his constituents.

 

Debt and Taxes: Obamacare A Deadly Prescription for America

As the European welfare state flails wildly on the emergency room medicart, and the EU’s quack doctors try futilely to shock the terminal patient back to life, the brain surgeons in the Obama administration believe prescribing the same deadly medicine for freedom will cure us of our national ills. If the Obamacare plan is not repealed, Americans can look “forward” to sharing the EU’s economically DOA future.

The judicial death panel having blessed the purulent, plague-infested monstrosity known as Obamacare with a clean bill of Constitutional health, we can anticipate its bloated bureaucracy to metastasize throughout the economy like gangrene.

Obamacare threatens to turn the United States into a diseased quarantine of red tape with a steady overdose of toxic taxation. A post-Obamacare nation will see progressively higher unemployment, mounting inflation, skyrocketing costs, and insurmountable public debt.  Tampened into this volatile crucible will be decreasing productivity, diminished quality of healthcare, and a reduction in private sector opportunity.

That is a deadly prescription for “change.” Sure, before our nation was dragged into radical amputation surgery for the real-world equivalent of a hangnail, there were a few million citizens who lacked healthcare insurance, desired to purchase it, and didn’t already qualify for Medicaid.

Instead of lowering the costs for those few caught in no-man’s land between public assistance and insurance affordability (for real, not just because one’s X-box costs crowd it out), such as by opening up interstate competition and limiting lottery lawsuit awards, the Democrat Party went the exact opposite course: Jacking up premiums and running up costs so high the medical system collapses into unabashed statism.

Within a decade, barring radical intervention by the “conservative” Republican Party, the state will own one-sixth of the economy. And that’s in addition to the inconceivable power our federal government has already accrued. As we can see from countries around the world fleeing from coercion-based medical arrangements, the costs of “universal” medicine are astronomical.

If we compare a “post-op” America with “pre-op” America and its trans-Atlantic cousins, the charts read quite clearly: Continue on this course, and we will experience fundamental transformation (as in “caterpillar into chrysalis or pupa, from thence into”… the grotesque).

Compare how much the United States (blue dotted line) spent on public healthcare as of July 2009 versus other countries:

Now consider that premiums have skyrocketed due in part to the passage of Obamacare. A major designer of the law, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, concedes as much, despite having earlier touted it as a cost-saver.

Next, let’s take a look at public debt per person around the world before Obamatax was passed in the United States.

And while looking at the chart above, compare these debt levels with the type of medical system for each country.

As one can see above, those countries with universal healthcare (dark green), a medical system that Obama supported prior to championing the PPACA (please backup your computer before attempting download), are the most heavily indebted. The United States was the only exception to this rule: It was among the most indebted before it started its suicidal path to universal healthcare.

If the United States progresses towards single-payer over the next decade, it will collapse the entire economy that much faster. The CBO has already put an expiration date on our birth certificate: 2027.

This Fourth of July, as you’re out barbecuing and shooting off fireworks, be extra careful not to drop the M-80s into your gas grill. We already have a doctor shortage that is only going to get worse as Obamacare blows up private medicine.

Also, make sure your family and friends know that your Independence Day celebration will soon be for naught, so long as Obama and his Democrat allies are re-elected this November. Don’t miss your chance to ask for a second opinion of your fellow Americans, before we get Kevorkianed by Dr. Obama’s poison pill.

Is The ObamaCare Penalty A Tax?




Let’s see. SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts, on Thursday, June 28, 2012, said that ObamaCare was unconstitutional if considered under the US Constitution’s Commerce Clause. His opinion rejects the federal government’s power to regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. But he did conclude that the ObamaCare mandate is constitutional if considered a tax. So does that mean that if Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Democrats, and Obama supporters deny that the ObamaCare mandate is a tax, do they admit that it’s unconstitutional?

President Barack Hussein Obama has a real problem here. When campaigning in 2008, he said that no one making under $250,000 per year would not see any new taxes.

I can make a firm pledge: No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase – not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital-gains taxes, not any of your taxes. And my opponent can’t make that pledge, and here is why: For the first time in American history, John McCain wants to tax your health care benefits.

Ironic, isn’t it? Now Obama’s key legislative achievement has become the single greatest legislative deception in American history. By upholding ObamaCare’s individual mandate as a “tax,” Roberts has labeled Obama the largest tax increase President in the history of the country!

Five SCOTUS Justices argued that, while the fine or penalty imposed by the law for not buying health insurance would otherwise be unconstitutional, the fine is actually legal under Congress’ authority to tax. So the fine is officially a “tax” in the eyes of the Supreme Court.

Now White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is contending that the fine is still just a “penalty” rather than a tax. If Carney is correct, that the fine for not having health insurance is not a tax, isn’t he saying that it is unconstitutional. Try as he (and Obama, and his supporters) may, they can’t have it both ways. We have a name for Obama’s, Pelosi’s, Reid’s, and Carney’s current predicament: Catch 22.

My personal prediction is that, in the next weeks, we will hear some really tortured logic (if you can be generous and call their thought processes logic) from Obama, the White House, and the MSM as they try to simultaneously defend both Obama and ObamaCare. In fact, it has already started. Calling it a “tax” causes political problems for Obama, who vigorously fought that label when campaigning for ObamaCare in 2009. Carney said, “It’s a penalty, because you have a choice. You don’t have a choice to pay your taxes, right?” Mr. Carney, can we consider that by not having a choice, we are forced to pay taxes? Carney also said, “It is not something that you assess like an income tax.”

By declaring that ObamaCare must be considered a tax to be constitutional, Roberts has forced the entitlement state to forgo its pretence that government entitlements are, by their very nature, beneficial, and concede the reality that benefits are, in fact, the application of FORCE to take from some to give to others. And that is the definition of a tax.

But that’s just my opinion.

Please visit RWNO, my personal web site.

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