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Political News and Commentary from the Right

Why would Reuters pull this story?

Backdoor Taxes to Hit Middle Class

Earlier today, Reuters ran a story with the preceding headline. Then, suddenly, it was gone.

Poof!

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

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Obama, Taxes | , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Gay leaders furious with Obama

By &   at Politico

Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that — in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California — is looking for a fight.

Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, opposes abortion rights but has taken more liberal stances on the government’s role in fighting poverty, and backed away from other evangelicals’ staunch support for economic conservatism. But it’s his support for the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that drew the most heated criticism from Democrats Wednesday.

“Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,” the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote to Obama Wednesday. “[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.

…(Read full article)

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Gay Rights | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A promise that won’t be kept?

But this is a good thing! Jim Kuhnhenn, of the Associated Press reports in this article that Obama may already be backing off an oft-repeated campaign promise–to increase taxes on Americans earning more than $250,000. Perhaps Joe the Plumber got through after all. For those who may have missed it, here’s the video that put Joe in the spotlight.

After that the Obama campaign continued to charge forward with its call for a tax increase on everyone except those earning less than $250,000. The campaign even embarked on a smear campaign against Joe the Plumber, the American citizen. His background was investigated, his integrity was publicly questioned by Obama himself when he said “How many plumbers do you know that make a quarter million dollars a year ?”

This weekend, Obama introduced his team of economic advisers and, according to the AP, specifically stated that he would move forward with the tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year. Noticeably though, he avoided any mention of the oft-repeated campaign promise of raising taxes on others. When pressed on the issue following Obama’s remarks, aides reportedly said there will be no tax increases in the immediate future. This is the first good change I’ve had to report and its a change conservatives have been calling for in Obama’s platform.

I don’t make $250,000 a year (Heck, I don’t even make 20% of that.) and I know many of you don’t either, but historical evidence shows tax increases don’t stimulate the economy and don’t increase government revenues in the long term. Take a look at this chart which compares the top tax rate with U.S. tax receipts.

federal spending, economic crisis, taxes, deficit,
Click to view larger image.

Source (Tax Receipts): Tax Policy Center
Source (Tax Rate): TruthAndPolitics.org

It’s clear from the graph that tax cuts tend to temporarily reduce tax receipts, but the long-term growth in those receipts that follows the short dip more than compensate. Compare the relatively stagnant growth rate when tax rates were at their highest with the booming growth as these tax rates were stepped down to their current levels. That’s all well and good, but how does the top tax rate effect the growth of the overall economy? For that, let’s look at the next chart which compares the U.S. Gross Domestic Product with the top tax rate.

economic crisis, credit crisis, obama, change,
Click to view larger image.

* Source (Tax Rate): TruthAndPolitics.org
**Source (GDP): Whitehouse.gov

It’s apparent from these graphs that higher taxes stifle economic growth. When taxes are kept low, it leaves capital in the hands of consumers who know best how to spend their money. We don’t need more taxes, we need government to cap spending. If our federal government capped spending for 5 years, there would likely be a huge budget surplus available to pay down the mounting U.S. National Debt. We haven’t gotten there yet, but perhaps one day we’ll have a President who will demand Congress act as responsibly as the American people are required to act–paying their bills as they go.

If Obama has reversed himself, this is a victory as conservatives have been harping on the dangerous effects on the economy if he did push through his vaunted tax policy. Let’s keep up the pressure and maybe the next four years won’t be as bad as we originally imagined.

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Economy | , , , | Leave a comment