Backdoor Taxes to Hit Middle Class
Earlier today, Reuters ran a story with the preceding headline. Then, suddenly, it was gone.
Imagine that. A story that confirms yet another broken promise by President Barack Hussein Obama removed from public view.
Is this censorship? Did the propaganda ministry in the White House black list the story? No explanation from the news agency certainly leads the mind to wonder.
Fortunately, the folks at ShowbizGossips posted the story before the censors decided bad press for Obama isn’t allowed. We’ll repost it here in case they feel the Propaganda Ministry pinch too. Here’s the post Reuters (and the Obama administration?) didn’t want you to see!
The Obama administration’s plan to cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade relies heavily on so-called backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families.
In the 2010 budget tabled by President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House wants to let billions of dollars in tax breaks expire by the end of the year — effectively a tax hike by stealth.
While the administration is focusing its proposal on eliminating tax breaks for individuals who earn $250,000 a year or more, middle-class families will face a slew of these backdoor increases.
The targeted tax provisions were enacted under the Bush administration’s Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Among other things, the law lowered individual tax rates, slashed taxes on capital gains and dividends, and steadily scaled back the estate tax to zero in 2010.
If the provisions are allowed to expire on December 31, the top-tier personal income tax rate will rise to 39.6 percent from 35 percent. But lower-income families will pay more as well: the 25 percent tax bracket will revert back to 28 percent; the 28 percent bracket will increase to 31 percent; and the 33 percent bracket will increase to 36 percent. The special 10 percent bracket is eliminated.
Investors will pay more on their earnings next year as well, with the tax on dividends jumping to 39.6 percent from 15 percent and the capital-gains tax increasing to 20 percent from 15 percent. The estate tax is eliminated this year, but it will return in 2011 — though there has been talk about reinstating the death tax sooner.
Millions of middle-class households already may be facing higher taxes in 2010 because Congress has failed to extend tax breaks that expired on January 1, most notably a “patch” that limited the impact of the alternative minimum tax. The AMT, initially designed to prevent the very rich from avoiding income taxes, was never indexed for inflation. Now the tax is affecting millions of middle-income households, but lawmakers have been reluctant to repeal it because it has become a key source of revenue.
Without annual legislation to renew the patch this year, the AMT could affect an estimated 25 million taxpayers with incomes as low as $33,750 (or $45,000 for joint filers). Even if the patch is extended to last year’s levels,the tax will hit American families that can hardly be considered wealthy — the AMT exemption for 2009 was $46,700 for singles and $70,950 for married couples filing jointly.
Middle-class families also will find fewer tax breaks available to them in 2010 if other popular tax provisions are allowed to expire. Among them:
- Taxpayers who itemize will lose the option to deduct state sales-tax payments instead of state and local income taxes;
- The $250 teacher tax credit for classroom supplies;
- The tax deduction for up to $4,000 of college tuition and expenses;
- Individuals who don’t itemize will no longer be able to increase their standard deduction by up to $1,000 for property taxes paid;
- The first $2,400 of unemployment benefits are taxable, in 2009 that amount was tax-free
by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann at Townhall.com
While Obama has been at great pains to make a show of avoiding taxes on the middle class to pay for his health care changes, his proposed increase in Medicaid eligibility will have a huge impact on the 39 states whose income cutoffs for the program are below those required in the new federal legislation.
All states except for Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin (plus the District of Colombia) will have to raise their eligibility for Medicaid under the Senate health care bill. And they will have to pay for part of the cost. Under the House bill, with a higher Medicaid eligibility standard, Massachusetts and Vermont would also have to pay more.
The magnitude of the new Medicaid spending required by Obamacare is such as to transform the nature of state finances. A large part of the reason that some states, particularly in the South, have been able to avoid higher taxes is because they have chosen to keep down the Medicaid eligibility level.
The hardest hit states would be Texas ($2.8 billion in extra state spending), Pennsylvania ($1.5 billion), California ($1.4 billion) and Florida ($909 million). Who knows if Florida could avoid imposing an income tax if it has to meet so high an unfunded mandate?
In many of the states represented by swing senators in the health care debate, the required increases in state spending are likely to be quite high. In Arkansas, where swing Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln live, the increased state spending required under the Obamacare bill would come to $402 million (not counting the federal share), about a 10 percent increase in state spending. In Louisiana, where Marie Landrieu has sold her vote in return for more Medicaid funding, the increase would come to $432 million (a 5 percent hike in state spending), more than wiping out the extra funds she got in return for her vote. In Indiana, where moderate Evan Bayh is senator, spending would go up by $586 million, a hike of 4 percent. In Ben Nelson’s Nebraska, the additional state spending required under the bill would be $81 million, a 2 percent increase. The Obamacare bill would cost North Dakota, home of Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, $14 million, and in South Dakota, represented by moderate Democrat Tim Johnson, Medicaid spending would have to rise by $33 million.
The Medicaid expansion provisions of the Senate bill are complex. In the first year of the program (2013), states must enroll anyone who earns less than 133 percent of the poverty level in their programs. For a family of four, the national average poverty level in 2009 is $22,000 a year. So any family that size that makes less than $29,000 would be eligible for Medicaid. Many states, particularly in the South, actually have Medicaid cutoffs that are below the poverty level. Arkansas, for example, cuts off its Medicaid eligibility at only 17 percent of the poverty level, and in Louisiana, it goes up to only 26 percent. For these states, the spending increase required by the new bill is huge.
Here’s Bob Wright of the Lee County Militia addressing a Tea Party in New Mexico.
by Donald Lambro at The Washington Times
Fourth of July “Tea Party” rallies, picnics, marches and other demonstrations were scheduled across the country Saturday to protest what organizers say is record federal spending and taxes by the Obama administration that enlarges government and threatens the nation’s prosperity.
Whether the turnout would match or exceed the hundreds of April 15 Tea Party protests remained to be seen, though a survey of dozens of publicized events from Maine to California suggested the grass-roots movement had not lost its energy and support.
Though the MSM and even Fox News spent the last few days broadcasting near 24-hour coverage of the death of a washed-up pop star, there were real news stories to be covered. The same day the US House passed the job-killing Waxman-Markey tax hike disguised as a climate bill, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released a draft report by EPA researcher Alan Carlin that had been suppressed by the agency’s top brass. We now have the full report available and it’s damning to the EPA and, by extension, to the President.
Three days prior to releasing the draft, CEI had published four internal EPA emails that show the agency’s was motivated by politics to ignore science that undermines global warming alarmists’ propaganda. Emails from an EPA bureaucrat forbidding Carlin to speak to anyone about his findings and another that basically informs Carlin his research is being ignored for political reasons are especially damning. The same bureaucrat, Al McGartland, followed up his previous emails with the statement, “I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change.”
I seem to recall President Obama making the claim that he would restore science to its rightful place, or something along those lines. But here we have professional bureaucrats, who serve his administration, placing politics over science. Obama’s pledge to maintain the “most transparent administration in history” is broken (again) in the same breath. And once again, the MSM drops the ball to keep the American people uninformed of the failings of the President’s administration. Searches of CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, and NBC News for “Alan Carlin” reveal none of these networks have made any attempt to cover this story. Of the major news networks, only CBS covered the story in a timely manner. Though it aired a story on the report today, even Fox News ignored the story in the beginning.
Carlin points out that his research was performed under such severe time constraints that errors may exist in his findings, but goes on to say “What is actually noteworthy about this effort is not the relative apparent scientific shine of the two sides but rather the relative ease with which major holes have been found in the GHG/CO2/AGW argument.” He concludes the EPA’s choice to depend on third-party research based on questionable science to stake its position on global warming is a mistake.
He notes the hyp0thesis that Global Warming is man-made, or even occuring, violates basic scientific principles because observable data fails to conform to the supposition. According to Carlin, “The most reliable sets of global temperature data we have, using satellite microwave sounding units, show no appreciable temperature increases…” His report challenges the practice of ignoring other “major potential causes” of Global Warming in models the EPA depends on to support its position, stating that said practice likely overstates the importance of the impact of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
Carlin notes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s AR-4 report, heavily leaned on by the EPA to support its position, is outdated and that global temperatures have actually decreased even while CO2 levels and emissions have increased. He also points out that empirical evidence invalidates crucial assumptions in the IPCC report. Another glaring problem ignored by the EPA is recent scholarly work that indicates some of the IPCC’s data was invalid.
So if observable data doesn’t support the EPA’s position, and clear evidence the agency is suppressing findings that contradict its position exists, and that evidence strongly suggests the agency was pressured to conform its findings to the political will of the President’s administration, what can we conclude?
It’s becoming obvious the only place science has in the Obama administration is to support his political position. If science doesn’t support that position, such findings will be buried and the administration will attempt to silence the authors of any such report. Upon her confirmation by the Senate to lead the EPA, Lisa Jackson said “As Administrator, I will ensure EPA’s efforts to address the environmental crises of today are rooted in three fundamental values: science-based policies and programs, adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency.” At least two of the three “fundamental values” were abandoned in the suppression of this report.
I’m including Administrator Jackson’s contact information at the EPA and encourage any and everyone to contact her office by phone, email and snail mail to let her know we recognize what’s going on and we don’t like it. She and the President have used the agency to further the political agenda of Obama in an effort to push through the massive tax hike known as “Cap and Trade.” You can also contact the White House to let them know we know what Obama’s up to and be sure to contact your Senators and demand they vote against Cap and Trade.
Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator
This administration may well be the most dishonest, opaque, and devious ever to occupy the White House. Let them know we’re not fooled.
By a 219-212 vote, eight Republicans and 211 Democrats, passed today what Democrats titled “Cap & Trade.” According to The Heritage Foundation, HR 2454 will cost a family of four $2979 per year by taxing energy consumption, increased production costs that will be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, and adverse economic impacts such as lost jobs and lower GDP. Though concerned citizens jammed the switchboards of their representatives yesterday to fight against what is really the Democrats’ new “Energy Tax,” our elitist elected officials ignored their constituents’ pleas and protests to push through this huge tax increase that will surely cripple an already ailing economy.
Though President Obama campaigned on the promise of a middle class tax cut, he’s a principal backer of this economy-killing tax. The Wall Street Journal points out that the 95% of Americans the President promised a tax cut will be the hardest hit by this latest Democratic plan to seize a bigger portion of our paychecks. Forget for a minute that what Obama calls a tax cut doesn’t deserve that moniker. The President claims what he dubs a tax cut will save American households only $500-$1000–nowhere even close to the costs those Americans will incur if HR 2454 passes the Senate and is signed into law.
What the President and his Democratic allies are perpetrating is a huge con job on the American people. They hand you somewhere between $500 and $1000, while picking your pocket for $3000–smiling and laughing all the while. That’s the worst part.
Heritage notes that “Climatologist Chip Knappenberger crunched the numbers and found that even the strictest version of Waxman-Markey would reduce projected global temperatures by just 0.044ºC by 2050.” Less than one degree if the Democrats got everything they want and it all works the way they claim. Both of which are doubtful.
Less than one degree! How much of the polar ice cap will that save? How many heat related illnesses and deaths will that avoid?
The fact is, there will be virtually no change to the effects of global warming and Obama and his Democratic pals in Congress know it. This entire bill is a ruse they’ve created for one purpose and one purpose only–to raise taxes. It’s one big con and we, the American people, are the marks.
Contact your Senators, and keep contacting them to make sure this bill dies in the Senate. We cannot afford the Democrats’ tax increase, regardless what name they give it.
The federal government is spending $2.6 million to make sure prostitutes in China drink less on the job.
That’s the goal of a five-year study, bankrolled by the National Institutes of Health, designed to help lower HIV infections among China’s “female sex workers,” who are referred to in the study as “FSWs.”
Researchers will visit 100 houses of ill repute — a whole hamlet of harlots — to collect data on 700 prostitutes and 150 pimps and madams, referred to as “gatekeepers” in the study’s sterile abstract.
Government researchers are spending more than $400,000 in taxpayer money to hit the bars in Argentina.
The National Institutes of Health are paying researchers to cruise six bars in Buenos Aires to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior while drunk — and just what can be done about it.