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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

$1 TRILLION for Democrats’ Criminalization of America’s Health Care

ARRA News Service: Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House democrats rolled out their health care plan called “America’s Affordable Health Choices.” Part of their plan would force employers to offer workers health coverage or face severe fines. Also it would forcw individuals to participate in a health insurance plan or face penalties that would generally vary with their income level. Maybe it should have been called “Criminalizing of America’s Health Care” or the “Destroy Individual Choices in Health Care.”

The Heritage Foundation is reporting the cost of the bill at $1.3 Trillion. The bill is 1,018 pages and comes to $1.264 billion per page. It even includes universal abortion coverage at taxpayer expense. The Congressional Budget Office, not a conservative “right minded” think-tank, reported that the health care reform plan proposed by House Democrats on Tuesday will add more than $1 trillion ($1,042 billion) to the national federal budget deficit over 10 years (2010–2019) . And, this is only their preliminary estimate of the damage.

The CBO report states that its cost estimates are not comprehensive. They are only preliminary as administrative and other costs are not yet projected. Heritage advises, “But even this analysis understates the true costs of the bill. The CBO only scores bills on a ten-year time frame, and House Democrats have designed their bill to obscure the catastrophic long-term fiscal path on which it places our country.”

Heritage identifies that according to the CBO, the cost for the first four years is just $84 billion, but then it accelerates sharply. By 2019, the new entitlement is set to cost American taxpayers $254 billion. So while many Americans may look at the $1.3 trillion price tag over ten years and conclude the plan will cost $130 billion a year, in reality it will cost nearly double that. By backloading all the spending, the House is hiding the true cost of their plan from the American people. Between 2018 and 2019, federal costs for the new entitlement and the enlargement of Medicaid would increase by a combined 8.9%.

Last week CNS News reported that Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) introduced legislation calling for a $540-billion tax hike to pay for the health plan that President Barack Obama insists will be “deficit neutral.” This tax is a new surtax on households earning $350,000 and above. It starts at 1%, bumping up to 1.5% at $500,000 in income and to 5.4% at $1 million. Since many small business owners fall within this income range, this surtax will also be a huge job killer.

The Washington Post writes: [T]here is no case to be made for the House Democratic majority’s proposal to fund health-care legislation through an ad hoc income tax surcharge for top-earning households. …There is simply no way to close the gap by taxing a handful of high earners. … Pretending that “the rich” alone can fund government, let alone the kind of activist government that the president and Congress envision, is bad policy any way you look at it.

Summary: President Obama, Democrats in Congress, powerful special interests and influential lobbyists are hard at work in Washington, D.C. trying to drastically change our current health care system. They are seeking to replace it with a “nationalized health care ” system where the politicians and government officials will dictate the kind of medical services you and your family receive and the rules under which you access care and coverage. Read : Patients First – Vote No on Government Run Health Care and then take action.

July 15, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Feds want to raise gas prices NOW!


Digg!

Remember when gas was $4+ a gallon?  Of course you do, it was only a couple of months ago.  Weren’t you relieved as the price plummeted? 

Well don’t spend the extra money in your checking account just yet.

It seems federal bureaucrats are excited about the recent crash in gas prices as well, only they’re not excited for the same reasons you are.  Apparently, they think this is the perfect opportunity to raise the gas tax.  And not just a little, they want to seize an extra 10 cents on every gallon of gas you buy, and 12 to 15 cents on every gallon of diesel sold.  At today’s prices, that’s will result in a 7% increase in the cost of a gallon of gas and 5% on a gallon of diesel.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, Americans are driving less and buying more fuel efficient vehicles.  Of course your employees (that’s right, they work for you) consider these bad habits because they result in less of your money ending up in Uncle Sam’s coffers.  

If Americans are driving less, that means there’s less wear and tear on the highways which naturally reduces the costs of maintaining those roads.  One of the primary methods of increasing fuel efficiency is to reduce the weight of the vehicle, so if more Americans are driving fuel efficient vehicles, that should also translate to lower maintenance costs on highways.  The shrinking economy reduces demand for goods hauled by heavy trucks, so you can also figure there’s less tonnage rolling across the country’s roads.  Again, leading to reduced wear and tear and reducing the costs of upkeep on the highways.

But that means we have the perfect storm going on in the country that should be saving the government money to maintain roads.  Why then are they demanding more of our money to pay less for road maintenance?

Because they can’t pass up an opportunity to dig into your wallet–plain and simple.

Last month, the US Department of Transportation said Americans drove 100 billion fewer miles over the past year, resulting in ~$3 billion less in gas taxes collected.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a mathematician to figure out that’s 3 cents per mile. 

But, the fed tax on gasoline is currently 18.4 cents per gallon.  Let’s be conservative and say the average fuel consumption for cars on the road was 10 mpg.  That means gas taxes collected were less than 2 cents per mile so the cost to the government from fewer passenger vehicle miles driven couldn’t possibly be the 3 cents the DOT is claiming.

Okay, you might be thinking “What about big trucks?”  The fed tax on a gallon of diesel is 24.4 cents per gallon.  Now, it just so happens that I drove a truck for about 5 years so I can tell you 6 mpg is a pretty safe, conservative estimate for the average fuel consumption of big trucks on the road today.  So that means 18-wheelers are paying a little more than 4 cents per mile driven in federal fuel taxes.  So maybe the DOT’s figures are accurate and the 100 billion fewer miles driven really is costing the feds $3 billion in lost revenue–if trucks are responsible for the bulk of the reduced miles traveled on American highways.

Here’s the problem with that theory.  A truck weighing 80,000 pounds is certainly going to do more damage to a road than a car weighing 3,000.  If we take the DOT numbers at face value, then we can assume there’s far less wear and tear due to the disproportionate reduction in heavy truck traffic.  In other words, the DOT shouldn’t need more money.

Finally, with the US economy in a prolonged recession that could still worsen before we see better times, this is no time to be confiscating more of American’s money.  This proposed tax increase will further dampen demand for goods, which will further reduce traffic on our highways and create even more of a reduction in fuel tax revenue.

This is just another example of overpaid bureaucrats seizing an opportunity to confiscate more of your money!


Digg!

January 2, 2009 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment