The Choice

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

 

Obama 2009: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

How about Health Insurance!? 🙂

IT’S NOT A TAX! IT’S A PENALTY Levied and enforced by a tax collection agency. But it’s not a Tax! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 

According to CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, the White House disagrees with the Supreme Court in its ruling Obamacare is a tax. From Twitter:

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Orwell is intact. Even though the EXPLICIT reason the  mandate survived is because the SCOTUS called it a tax, the Liberals are still spinning away from it.

When is a tax not a tax? When President Obama says it isn’t, or when the Supreme Court says it is?

Obamacare was sold on several fraudulent lines. The president knows the country doesn’t want to pay higher taxes, given the deplorable way their government spends the money. And so the administration packaged it as something different.

That’s called bait and switch, which is defined as “an illegal tactic in which a seller advertises a product with the intention of persuading customers to purchase a more expensive product.” And Obamacare, if it is not repealed, is guaranteed to be more expensive, not to mention more bureaucratic, delivering lower-quality care and eventually rationing to save money.

Does it matter what this president promises since so many have turned up empty?

This ruling will impose a massive tax increase during a lingering recession. Twenty-one new taxes are associated with Obamacare, according to the House Ways and Means Committee. That doesn’t include the scheduled year-end expiration of the Bush tax cuts. President Obama has said taxes shouldn’t be raised during a recession.

Simply put, if government is going to take more money from the people who earn it — mostly small businesses — it will result in those businesses hiring fewer people, or laying off more employees, or both, thus increasing already high unemployment. People who have never run a business, or made a payroll, like most in this administration, have no sense of that.

The list of lies and deceptions by this administration is long and growing. When campaigning for president in 2008, candidate Obama made “a firm pledge” not to raise taxes: “Not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” In 2009, he vigorously denied to George Stephanopoulos of ABC that the individual mandate is a tax. Now Chief Justice John Roberts says it is. If money leaves your pocket and goes to government, it’s a tax, no matter the label.

Some congressional Democrats, especially those running for re-election in traditionally Republican districts, might not have voted for this law had it been presented as a tax increase. They will now have to either defend the tax hike or vow to repeal the law. One way, they appear not to have known what they were doing. The other way, they will be portrayed as having lied.

In the short term, the president may have won the argument, but the Supreme Court has given Mitt Romney and the Republicans three issues: higher taxes, a loss of individual freedom and the wrong solution to reforming health insurance.

So the Republicans just have to have their viable plan for replacing ObamaCare, sell it. The liberal media will tear it apart faster than piranhas would a cow in the Amazon River NO MATTER WHAT IT SAYS  but they have to just go for it.

But will they? I don’t know.

The Founders sought to “secure the blessings of liberty.” This president wants to secure the power of government. And so government, which has done a poor job of running Medicare and Medicaid, will now be responsible for an even bigger program. This is like renewing the license of a serial drunk driver.

Roberts joins a long line of justices nominated by Republican presidents, beginning with Earl Warren, who agreed with the liberal wing of the court on cases favored by the Left. Rarely, if ever, does a liberal justice vote with the conservatives.

Roberts suggested he wouldn’t do the work of the people. If they don’t like Obamacare, they can change the leadership. The Republican Governors Association is planning to do nothing on Obamacare until after the election, an indication they believe a Romney presidency and a Republican Congress will repeal the law.

In a statement following the court’s decision, President Obama promised to implement the law with all deliberate speed. He apparently hopes that with more of it in place (except the taxes that come in 2014), people will become dependent on it and won’t want to do away with it.

In just four months, voters will have the opportunity to live up to the responsibility that Roberts says is theirs. Otherwise, voters will become co-conspirators in the weakening of health care and the further destruction of our liberties. (Cal Thomas)

It’s all on you now.

Do you want to be a nation of Serfs or Free (relative to Serfdom) People? Your Choice. Your Children’s choice. Your Grand children’s Choice.

THE TAX BOMB

Summary (from Heritage Foundation)

PPACAcontains 18 separate tax increases that will cost taxpayers $503 billion between 2010 and 2019. Three major tax hikes make up nearly half of the new revenue raised by PPACA:

  1. Section 1401 imposes a 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans. This new tax will apply to health plans valued in excess of $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. Those thresholds will grow annually by inflation plus 1 percent. The tax takes effect in 2018 and is projected to raise $32 billion by 2019.
  2. Section 1411 increases the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) portion of the payroll tax. This provision will increase the employee’s portion from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent for families making more than $250,000 a year (and for individuals making more than $200,000). Combined with the employer’s portion, the total rate will be 3.8 percent on every dollar of income over $250,000 when the tax hike takes effect in 2013.
  3. Section 1411 also imposes a new payroll tax on investment. This tax provision applies the new higher 3.8 percent Medicare tax to investment income—including capital gains, dividends, rents, and royalties—and is scheduled to become effective in 2013. Together, the Medicare tax hikes will raise $210 billion between 2013 and 2019.

Table 1 lists all of the tax increases in PPACA.

Impact

As a result, the tax hikes in PPACA will slow economic growth, reduce employment, and suppress wages. These economy-slowing policies could not come at a worse time. PPACA tax increases will impede an already staggering recovery.

They Will Slow Economic Growth and Destroy Jobs . Taxes transfer money from productive private hands to the less efficient public sector. A politicized allocation is less efficient than market-based allocation because political decisions do not consider the highest-value use of resources, while the private sector considers such issues and therefore does a better job of assigning resources where they will contribute the most to economic growth.

They Will Discourage Work and Savings. Congress must levy high tax rates to take more Americans’ money, and this has a number of negative implications. Higher tax rates decrease the incentives for individuals to work and save more, both of which are essential for economic growth. Additionally, high rates discourage individuals from working harder and saving larger portions of what they earn. Combined, these two effects impede economic growth and reduce the number of jobs that businesses would have created had tax rates been lower.

They Will Not Reduce Deficits. Higher taxes never close budget deficits because, in the short run, Congress will spend all of the extra revenue it receives from higher taxes. Congress always spends every dollar of tax revenue it raises and however much it can borrow from credit markets. In the long run, the extra revenue will dissipate as individuals adjust their behavior to minimize their tax liability. The only way to close deficits is to cut spending and align it with how much revenue the tax code typically raises.

A New Direction

All tax increases have negative economic effects because higher taxes take resources from the productive hands of the private sector and transfer them to the wasteful hands of politicians. Higher taxes also lessen the incentives for individuals and businesses to engage in activities and behaviors that expand the economy and create jobs.

The tax code is a severe drag on the economy and is badly in need of fundamental reform. Ideally, a revised tax code would adhere more closely to the well-known flat tax. This new tax system would tax all wage and salary income at one rate and provide for only minimal deductions, credits, and exemptions. Tax reform is not an excuse to raise taxes. The new tax code would raise the same amount of revenue as the current system but in a more efficient manner in order to enhance economic growth.

Full List of Obamacare Tax Hikes

(From Americans for Tax Relief)
Obamacare law contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses

Taxpayers are reminded that the President’s healthcare law is one of the largest tax increases in American history.

Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses.

Arranged by their respective effective dates, below is the total list of all $500 billion-plus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) in Obamacare, where to find them in the bill, and how much your taxes are scheduled to go up as of today:

Taxes that took effect in 2010:

1. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971

2. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion).  This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113

3. “Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion).  This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105

4. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies ($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980

5. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike ($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004

6. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services ($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399

Taxes that took effect in 2011:

7. Medicine Cabinet Tax ($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959

8. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike ($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959

Tax that took effect in 2012:

9. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Min$/Jan 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

Taxes that take effect in 2013:

10. Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013):  Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93

  Capital Gains Dividends Other*
2012 15% 15% 35%
2013+ 23.8% 43.4% 43.4%

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.  The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

11. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax ($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:

  First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee
All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee
Current Law 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
Obamacare Tax Hike 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

12. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers ($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exempts items retailing for <$100. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986

13. Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI ($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995

14. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” ($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).  Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs educationBill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389

15. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D ($4.5 bil/Jan 2013) Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994

16. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives ($0.6 bil/Jan 2013). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000

Taxes that take effect in 2014:

17. Individual Mandate Excise Tax (Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

  1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1% AGI/$95 1% AGI/$190 1% AGI/$285
2015 2% AGI/$325 2% AGI/$650 2% AGI/$975
2016 + 2.5% AGI/$695 2.5% AGI/$1390 2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS). Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337

18. Employer Mandate Tax (Jan 2014):  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer). Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

19. Tax on Health Insurers ($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.  Phases in gradually until 2018.  Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993

Taxes that take effect in 2018:

20. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans ($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family).  Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions.  CPI +1 percentage point indexed. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956

Obama 2009: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

But don’t worry, even now after the SCOTUS has called it a tax, the DOJ that defended it in court said it is a tax, the White House still maintains it is not tax and thus they are not lying out what’s left of their collectivist asses.

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

How to Avoid ObamaCare :)

“I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes,”
President Obama, September 12, 2008

REAL ESTATE SALES TAX
Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income.

In February 2010, 5.02 million homes were sold, according to the National Association of Realtors.  On any given day, the sale of a house, townhome, condominium, co-op, or income from a rental property can push middle-income families over the $250,000 threshold and slam them with a new tax they can’t afford.

This new ObamaCare tax is the first time the government will apply a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income.  This new tax on home sales and unearned income and other Medicare taxes raise taxes more than $210 billion to pay for ObamaCare.   The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income “destructive” and “ill-advised” and warned it would hurt job creation.

  •  It raises taxes by more than a half-trillion dollars over the next 10 years B the largest tax increase in American history.
  • It cuts more than a half-trillion dollars from Medicare to finance a new entitlement, and includes a series of additional gimmicks that hide the true cost of the legislation.
  • It adds to an already unsustainable rate of government spending growth that will overwhelm the Federal budget and sacrifice the Nation’s future prosperity.

But if you can change it, Armageddon! Grandma being thrown off a cliff! Medicare will end and Seniors will be thrown out into streets to fend for themselves against the evil corporate pack wolves and they will be ripped apart by the evil capitalists!!!

You can’t live without Government controlling of your life! 🙂

Want to avoid Obamacare:

President Obama’s solicitor general, defending the national health care law on Wednesday, told a federal appeals court that Americans who didn’t like the individual mandate could always avoid it by choosing to earn less money.

Neal Kumar Kaytal, the acting solicitor general, made the argument under questioning before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, which was considering an appeal by the Thomas More Law Center. (Listen to oral arguments here.) The three-judge panel, which was comprised of two Republican-appointed judges and a Democratic-appointed judge, expressed more skepticism about the government’s defense of the health care law than the Fourth Circuit panel that heard the Virginia-based Obamacare challenge last month in Richmond. The Fourth Circuit panel was made up entirely of Democrats, and two of the judges were appointed by Obama himself.

So Obama solicitor general says: If you don’t like mandate, earn less money.
Which by the way qualifies you for, wait for it: GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE!! 🙂
TA DA!
The so-called “hardship exemption” in the health care law is limited, and only applies to people who cannot obtain insurance for less than 8 percent of their income. So earning less isn’t necessarily a solution, because it could then qualify the person for government-subsidized insurance which could make their contribution to premiums fall below the 8 percent threshold.
Amazing how that happens. 🙂

The new Medicare investment tax provides a disincentive for business expansion. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reports, “The $250,000/$500,000 thresholds only apply to the sale of a primary residence, so the tax will hit other property sales harder.”

NFIB also points out that this tax “marks the first time that non-wage income is designated to fund Medicare.” Beyond its marginal effects on real estate sales, the new application of the Medicare tax to investment income will have substantial effects on the economy at large. Analysts in Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis write, “Raising the tax burden on investment income further damages the economy and ultimately affects all members of society.” Their findings show that this tax will result in lost job opportunities, a reduction in productivity, losses in gross domestic product, and reductions in household income.

So is there a sales tax on real estate included in the health care law? In some cases, yes. But will the same provision that taxes some profits from real estate cause widespread damage to the economy? Absolutely.

The issue is not whether Medicare costs should be controlled but how. Congress can pursue one of two routes: (1) It can change the structure and culture of Medicare to empower patients to make health care decisions in order to achieve the best value, forcing plans and providers to compete for their dollars (cue the liberals screaming “ending Medicare”), or (2) it can further empower bureaucracy to impose top-down controls on the costs of services. This can indeed reduce spending, but it guarantees a simultaneous reduction in the quality of health care Americans enjoy today.

The first is the path taken by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R–WI) in his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal. Heritage’s Robert Moffit and James Capretta write that a premium support system like the one proposed by Ryan would:

…give Medicare patients control over the flow of dollars and freedom to make decisions about how they access medical services. This will stimulate intense market competition among plans and providers, control costs, and promote rapid innovation and higher productivity through the efficient delivery of quality care, thus guaranteeing value in return for retiree premiums and taxpayer dollars.

Last week, President Obama embraced the alternative: toughen up the bureaucracy and ratchet down Medicare payment to doctors and hospitals. The President described strengthening the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member board of unelected officials created under Obamacare to rein in the cost of Medicare.

Under Obamacare, the board can tweak Medicare to hold growth in spending beneath its target, mainly by making cuts to provider reimbursement rates. Reducing provider payments means reduced senior access to physicians, another form of rationing of health care that already occurs to some extent in Medicare today.

Strengthening IPAB could have even more alarming consequences. The President suggested further reducing the growth rate target IPAB would act to achieve. The White House would “give IPAB additional tools to improve the quality of care while reducing costs, including allowing it to promote value-based benefit designs that promote proven services like prevention without shifting costs to seniors.” In addition, it would “give IPAB additional enforcement mechanisms such as an automatic sequester as a backstop for IPAB, Congress, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.”

So you can trust the Government to take care of you, or you can just die horribly or just take a poverty-inducing job –according to Democrats.
Now don’t you feel better! 🙂
Are you Swelling with All that Hope & Change! 🙂
Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Skin in the Game

Today, a record number of Americans—52 million, or 36 percent of all filers—have no direct connection with the basic cost of government because they pay no income taxes. If we add this group to the people who have some income but don’t file a tax return, the ranks of American households outside the income tax system rise to 48 percent.

It gets worse, just keep reading. And remember the liberal mantra that evil Rich people don’t pay any taxes!

Tax Expenditures and Progressivity

There is a common belief that because so many tax expenditures benefit upper-income taxpayers, the “rich” are not paying their fair share of taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed, because of the expansion of tax benefits aimed at low- and middle-income households, the OECD finds that the U.S. has the most progressive income tax system of any industrialized country. What that means is that the top 10 percent of U.S. taxpayers pay a larger share of the income tax burden than do the wealthiest decile in any other industrialized country, including traditionally “high-tax” countries such as France, Italy, and Sweden.

Meanwhile, because of the generosity of such preferences as the EITC and child credit, low-income Americans have the lowest income tax burden of any OECD nation. Indeed, the study reports that while most countries rely more on cash transfers than taxes to redistribute income, the U.S. stands out as “achieving greater redistribution through the tax system than through cash transfers.”

The share of the income tax burden borne by America’s wealthiest taxpayers has been growing steadily for more than two decades. Figure 4 compares the share of income taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers to the share paid by the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers.

The chart shows that, as of 2008, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 38 percent of all income taxes, while the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers paid just 30 percent of the income tax burden. By any measure, this is the sign of a very progressive tax system.

Indeed, many of these 52 million tax filers now look to the IRS as a source of income thanks to the more than $100 billion in refundable tax credits paid to people who have no income tax liability.

As a result of removing millions of people from the bottom of the tax rolls, we have dramatically reduced the number of people with “skin in the game.” Indeed, the top 1 percent of taxpayers now pays a greater share of the income tax burden than the bottom 90 percent combined.

Sadly, individuals are not the only taxpayers looking to the IRS as a source of income. The proliferation of tax credits aimed at promoting technologies such as renewable energy and fuel-efficient products has addicted many companies and industries to IRS handouts. In a recent case, one-third of the profits of a major appliance company were attributable to energy production credits.

Ironically, but perhaps not surprisingly, the sectors suffering the biggest financial crises today—health care, housing, and state and local governments—all receive the most subsidies through the tax code.  The cure for what ails these industries is to be weaned off the tax code, not given more subsidies through such things as the First Time Homebuyer’s Credit, Premium Assistance credits, or more tax-free bonds.

Washington can actually do more for the American people by doing less. The solution lies in fundamental tax reform. Indeed, as the plan authored by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson (co-chairmen of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform), demonstrated, Americans could enjoy much lower tax rates, and the government could raise the same amount of revenue if most—if not all—tax expenditures were eliminated.

That said, the primary goal of fundamental tax reform should not be raising more money for government. The primary goal should be improving the nation’s long-term economic growth and lifting living standards.

Economists at the OECD have determined that high corporate and personal income tax rates are the most harmful taxes for long-term economic growth. Unfortunately, the U.S. has one of the highest corporate income taxes among industrialized nations and one of the most progressive personal income tax systems.

Cutting these rates while broadening the tax base would greatly improve the nation’s prospects for long-term GDP growth. The benefits of higher economic growth will accrue to taxpayers and Uncle Sam alike.

To be sure, many people improperly view the forgone revenue from tax expenditures as “the government’s money.” By this view, what the tax code allows taxpayers to keep through tax preferences has thus been “spent” in the same manner as a government program.

But there is a very real moral and functional difference between the government taking $1,000 from a taxpayer and giving it to the Department of Energy for switch grass research, and a tax preference which allows that taxpayer to keep $1,000 of his own money because he purchased new windows for his home. The tax credit may be poor tax policy, but the transaction is clearly one that the taxpayer chose of his own accord. The government did not actively take his money and give it to Home Depot for the new windows.

One of the dominant issues in any discussion of tax expenditures is who benefits from them. Because the value of a tax deduction depends upon the taxpayer’s marginal tax rate, many of the largest and best known tax preferences, such as the mortgage interest deduction, do tend to benefit upper-income taxpayers. However, over the past 20 years or so, lawmakers have increasingly turned to using tax credits to benefit low- and middle-income taxpayers. This has had the unintended consequence of removing millions of taxpayers from the tax rolls altogether.

Most tax credits can only reduce the amount a taxpayer owes to zero, but the EITC and the child tax credit are also refundable, meaning that taxpayers are eligible to receive a check even if they have paid no income tax during the year. Those tax returns have become, in effect, a claim form for a subsidy delivered through the tax system in much the same way that a traditional government program sends out a welfare check or a farm support check.

In 2008, according to the most recent IRS data available, 25 million tax filers received $51.6 billion in EITC benefits. Of this amount, $50.5 billion was refundable in excess of their income tax liability. Also in 2008, some 25.3 million filers received $30.7 billion in child tax credit benefits, with more than 18 million of these filers getting $20.5 billion in refundable checks. Many families are eligible for both the EITC and the child credit. These are not refunds of overpaid tax; they are payments to people who have already gotten back everything that was withheld from their paychecks during the year.

In an important 2009 study, in order to gain a better understanding of the overall amount of redistribution that occurs through both tax and spending policies, Tax Foundation economists measured how much families at various income levels paid in taxes versus how much they received in spending benefits.  The results of this analysis show that federal tax and spending policies are very heavily tilted to the poor and middle-class, even before considering the Obama administration’s major policy initiatives such as health care reform. For 2010, the Tax Foundation report found that the bottom 60 percent of American families received more in government spending than they paid in taxes.

Not surprisingly, as Figure 5 shows, government spent $10.44 on the lowest-income families for every dollar they paid in taxes. Remarkably, families in the middle-income group received $1.15 for every dollar they paid in taxes.

By contrast, the top 40 percent of families paid more in taxes as a group than they received in government spending benefits. The highest-income families received 43 cents in government spending for every dollar they pay in taxes, even though they are assumed in this study to disproportionately benefit from public goods such as national defense.

Overall, federal tax and spending policies combined to redistribute more than $824 billion from the top 40 percent of families to the bottom 60 percent of families in 2010. In other words, the entire federal fiscal system is very progressive and redistributive.

But you’ll never hear that from your anti-rich, anti-corporate Class Warfare liberal.

Why?

Because that like asking Al Sharpton to not be a Race Baiter. It’s what they do. It’s at the core of what they do.

That’s the game.

And that’s their skin in that game. Without it, they have no skin.

And speaking of snakes and skin: Rep. Anthony “The Weiner” Weiner who once boasted that ObamaCare and he were “one” now wants waivers from ObamaCare for New York City because he wants to run for Mayor some day soon.

That’s his skin in the game.

New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner toasted the one-year anniversary of Obamacare this week — and accidentally spilled his champagne glass all over the disastrous, one-size-fits-all mandate. Ostensibly one of the federal health care law’s staunchest defenders, Weiner exposed its ultimate folly by pushing for a special cost-saving regulatory exemption for New York City.

If it’s good for the city Weiner wants to be mayor of, why not for each and every individual American and American business that wants to be free of Obamacare’s shackles?

Weiner joins a bevy of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s” loudest cheerleaders — unions, foundations and left-leaning corporations — in clamoring for more waivers for favors. (The list of federal waiver recipients now tops 1,000, covering more than 2.6 million workers.) And he follows a gaggle of health care takeover-promoting Democrats maneuvering on Capitol Hill for get-out-of-Obamacare loopholes.

At a speech before the George Soros-supported Center for American Progress, as reported by Politico.com, Weiner revealed that he’s “in the process now of trying to see if we can take (President Barack Obama) up on” a favor waiver and is “taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.” Echoing all the Republican critics of Obamacare who objected to top-down rules that override local variations in health care expenditures, Weiner explained: “I’m just looking internally to whether the city can save money and have more control over its own destiny.”

More local control over taxpayers’ destiny, eh? Give that man a “Hands Off My Health Care” sign, a Gadsden flag and a tea party membership card ASAP!

I kid, of course. The ultimate agenda of many waiver-seekers is to create a wormhole path to even more radical restructuring of the health system. Weiner has brazenly called for a single-payer “public option” to replace Obamacare should it be repealed. Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon has also crusaded for more Kabuki “flexibility” in the law through a bipartisan state waiver proposal.

But as The Heritage Foundation noted, the plan “simply changes a date on an existing ‘state innovation’ provision of Obamacare from 2017 to 2014 — still well after the federal Obamacare infrastructure has been cemented in place.” And it is essentially “a back-door vehicle for progressive states to enact the ‘public option’ and speed up the establishment of a single-payer system for health care.” White House health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter further reinforced in a conference call to liberal advocates that the bill would help states implement single-payer health care plans, such as those tested in Connecticut and Vermont.

Weiner argues that the waiver process dispels “this notion that the government is shoving the bill down people’s throats.” But only the politically connected, deep-pocketed, lawyered-up and Beltway-savvy can apply. And the White House refuses to shed more light on its decision-making process. Obama’s selective favor waivers simply underscore the notion that unaccountable regulatory bureaucrats are presiding over government by the cronies, for the cronies and of the cronies.

Real control over our destinies means flexibility and choice for all. Repeal is the ultimate democratic waiver. (Michelle Malkin)

But more likely, we’ll be skinned as game!! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Michael RamirezPolitical Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Damn Those Greedy Rich People

AP: About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That’s according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17, according to a separate analysis by the consulting firm Deloitte Tax.

Tax cuts enacted in the past decade have been generous to wealthy taxpayers, too, making them a target for President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. Less noticed were tax cuts for low- and middle-income families, which were expanded when Obama signed the massive economic recovery package last year.

The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners — households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 — paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment.

“We have 50 percent of people who are getting something for nothing,” said Curtis Dubay, senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

The vast majority of people who escape federal income taxes still pay other taxes, including federal payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, and excise taxes on gasoline, aviation, alcohol and cigarettes. Many also pay state or local taxes on sales, income and property.

That helps explain the country’s aversion to taxes, said Clint Stretch, a tax policy expert Deloitte Tax. He said many people simply look at the difference between their gross pay and their take-home pay and blame the government for the disparity.

“It’s not uncommon for people to think that their Social Security taxes, their 401(k) contributions, their share of employer health premiums, all of that stuff in their mind gets lumped into income taxes,” Stretch said.

But income tax rates were lowered at every income level. The changes made it relatively easy for families of four making $50,000 to eliminate their income tax liability.

Here’s how they did it, according to Deloitte Tax:

The family was entitled to a standard deduction of $11,400 and four personal exemptions of $3,650 apiece, leaving a taxable income of $24,000. The federal income tax on $24,000 is $2,769.

With two children younger than 17, the family qualified for two $1,000 child tax credits. Its Making Work Pay credit was $800 because the parents were married filing jointly.

The $2,800 in credits exceeds the $2,769 in taxes, so the family makes a $31 profit from the federal income tax. That ought to take the sting out of April 15.(IBD)

Which is why the Stealth Taxes of the Health Care Law, Cap & Trade,  and the end of the “evil” Bush Tax Cuts, and others will likely not be felt until this time next year when it’s too late to “throw the bums out”.

And the people who are most worried about it are the media-dubbed “terrorists”, “racists”, “violent” people.

Funny how that worked out! 😦

And then there’s Finance Reform, also known as Intimidation 101.

You pass a reform where if the Treasury Secretary, aka Turbo Tax Geithner, “deems” (there’s that word again 🙂 ) your company “to big to fail” and on the verge of failure he can seize it. Lock, stock, and shareholder.

With no appeal and no actual reason other than he deems it so.

So He fires the company officers, he breaks up the company and sells it off, he screws the shareholders into the ground and he can do it just because he can. Under the proposals the Democrats want.

Now, you’re a big company that donates to the evil domestic terrorist organization, The Republican Party, would you get a visit from Timmy “the Hammer” Geithner or his subordinates?

Under the proposed rules he can just go in at his discretion without any oversight whatsover.

Add in “The Chicago Way” and you have Intimidation 101.

On April 21st, Congress is going to publicly flog several big companies for announcing the hundreds of billions in cost from  ObamaCare out loud, embarrassing them.

It’s pay back time.

The Liberal want to their hunk of flesh.

How dare they speak the truth to the masses!

EVIL!!!

And they want to make sure you won’t do it again.

So Guido, the Union thug will come by your board room and make sure you are playing ball or you’re company may be “swimmin’ with the fishes”…

Don’t think Liberals are capable of it?

Why not?

They just crammed a massively unpopular Health Care bill down your throat because THEY wanted it.

They plan to take over the Financial Sector.

They will crush you with Cap & Tax and The EPA.

They already have their own Car companies.

They own an Insurance Company.

And, the best reason of all, The End justifies the means.

So why wouldn’t they?

After all, it’s the “greedy” “selfish” rich that they are flogging.

The same “greedy” “selfish” rich that likely give you your job and also pay the vast majority of the taxes in this economy.

They also send lots of money to politicians.

So when faced with a choice of funding the opposition and potentially losing your company or just staying silent, which do you choose?

And for the people, do you stay silent? or do say something and be branded a “racist” and a “terrorist” and a violent anti-american whackjob??

Well, my choice was made a long time ago.

How about you?