Who Is Going To Pay For It?

Amongst the protests about Arizona’s passage of a tough immigration law, and the Crap & Tax bill making it’s reappearance in the Senate, Investors.com reported on this little jewel coming to the Congresscriminal near you:

Barely a month after the 2,600-page health care bill became law, Congress has teed up another landmark piece of legislation: a 1,600-page financial overhaul. So what’s the big hurry?

As with the health care measure, no one seems to know exactly what’s in this massive new bill. And what we have seen leaves a lot to be desired.

• It makes bailouts a routine part of America’s financial markets, putting smaller, entrepreneurial financial houses at a serious competitive disadvantage to bigger firms such as Goldman Sachs that give millions to Democratic candidates.

• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which triggered the housing meltdown in 2005 with an unparalleled surge in mortgage lending, go untouched. And taxpayers are still on the hook for a $400 billion bailout of the two largest mortgage banking companies on Earth.

• Sweeping new powers are given to the Fed to regulate not just banks, but all financial companies, across the board. As Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute wrote:  "The Fed, never having regulated a hedge fund or an insurance company, is now supposed to set capital levels, liquidity requirements and permissible activities for each type of business and for each individual institution." Good luck with that, Ben Bernanke.

And all of this being considered without any consideration of compromise from Republicans by the majority Democrats.  Does this get any better?  Let’s consider these excerpts from Phyllis Schlafly:

The news that the U.S. has become a two-class society — i.e., half of Americans pay federal income taxes and half don’t — has bounced around the media and shocked Americans. Most people had no knowledge of this appalling economic fact.

Even worse is the reality that 40% of Americans receive federal government handouts of cash and valuable benefits. Those handouts are financed by the people who do pay federal income taxes.

Those handouts create a big bloc of people who depend on the government for their living expenses. The Tax Foundation reports that 20% of Americans get 75% of their income from the federal government and another 20% get 45% of their income from the government.

Obama’s stimulus law will add nearly $800 billion in new means-tested welfare spending over the next decade. That means $22,500 for every poor person in the U.S., which will cost over $10,000 for each family that pays federal income taxes.

According to the Tax Foundation, married taxpayers pay three-fourths of all federal income taxes, whereas two-thirds of single parents who file as head of household pay no income tax at all. According to a Heritage Foundation report, taxpayers (mostly those who are married) will spend more than $300 billion providing welfare aid to single parents (mostly women).

Here in Michigan, we are very, very close to becoming a state where one half of the population supports the other half.  There are approximately 7 million people living in the State of Michigan, of which there are approximately 3.2 million receiving government aid of some nature (Welfare, Medicaid, & Medicare).  This means that 55% of the population is supporting the other 45%.  And our State legislature is still proposing budgets that raise spending as well as taxes.

imageBut let’s stop and think for a couple of seconds.  Any time that government gets involved with anything, whether it is health care, climate change, welfare, defense, energy, or the like, it is the taxpayer, not the Congresscriminal, that is on the hook to pay the bills.  Considering the trillions of dollars that will be paid in interest on top of the principal that Congress has borrowed to spend our way to prosperity, our great-great-great-great grandchildren might see some daylight only if Congress does not commit the United States to any more debt.

As if we could expect swine and bovines to fly at supersonic speeds…

We have been told for years that government has the American people’s interests at heart, but it has been painfully obvious that the majority of professional politicians that are elected to the highest offices in the land are not, repeat, not servants of the people.  Instead, they are self-serving, aspiring to accumulate only more and more power through their policies and legislation.

If the recently passed healthcare bill is any indication, take this from AP:

Nearly 4 million Americans — the vast majority of them middle class — will have to pay a penalty if they don’t get insurance when President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law kicks in, according to congressional estimates released Thursday.

The penalties will average a little more than $1,000 apiece in 2016, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report.

"The individual mandate tax will fall hardest on Americans who can least afford to pay it, many of whom were promised subsidies by the Democrats and who the president has promised would not pay higher taxes," said Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Does this sound like something that has the American People’s welfare at heart, or is it another method of controlling the population through greater and greater financial obligations through the threat of imprisonment?  If not, then why is the government on the verge of hiring 18,000 more IRS agents for the specific purpose of making sure that you pay your “fair share” of the health care costs?  Didn’t the Founders of this country revolt under the burden of unfair taxes?

I’ve heard the word “unsustainable” many, many times over the past few months.  Our country is on this path via the “leadership” of the politicians of both political parties.  It’s time for the politicians to put the country first and themselves last.  Otherwise, I fear for the future of this country and our progeny.

Post-Partum Tax Promises

From Investors.com:

Rather than protesting the greatest expansion of government in U.S. history, Tea Party attendees should be thanking Big Government for all it’s done. At least, that’s what President Obama thinks.

As the Associated Press reported Thursday, the president said he was "amused" by the Tea Party faithful gathering in cities across America to protest soaring government spending, ballooning debt and the explosion in taxes that will be needed to pay for it all.

"You would think they’d be saying thank you," he said.

And why should they be thankful? As the president himself said on his weekly radio address a week ago, "one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000; that’s another promise we kept."

In fact, that wasn’t his promise at all.

Here’s what candidate Obama really said in September of 2008: "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."

Got that? "Not any of your taxes." The claim of no tax hikes on those below $250,000 as a result of the current administration’s policies is completely and utterly false.

A report from the House Ways & Means Committee’s GOP members notes that, since January 2009, Congress and the president have enacted $670 billion in tax increases. That’s $2,100 for each person in America. At least 14 of those tax hikes, the report says, break Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000. Roughly $316 billion of the tax hikes — 14 increases in all — hit middle-class families, the report says.

Actually, I’m happy that President Chucklehead didn’t personally raise my taxes.  His short, two-line tax return would have the following question and statement:

  1. How much did you make?   $________________.00
  2. Send it in (no change, please – that’s yours to keep).

But what did our leader actually pay in taxes?  According to President Chucklehead’s return, his income for 2009 was $5.5 Million, of which he paid $1.8 Million (which is the 32% bracket) and gave $329,100 to charities (5.9%).  Which is far more than the 47% of people who did not pay any Federal taxes.

Which only goes to show that the progressive tax structure that we have isn’t working.  When 47% of the adult population do not pay any Federal taxes, something is drastically wrong.  Perhaps this is why a flat tax is so appealing.

With a flat tax, a multi-page tax return gets cut down to one or two pages.  Tax legislation is reduced from a mind-numbing 16,845 pages to less than ten.  And just think – with a simpler tax code to enforce, the number of IRS agents needed would be less, reducing the size of government.  The downside is that the thousands of accountants that rely upon tax season to make most of their income would find themselves looking for another job.

I’m really starting to think that the only reason that the tax codes exist in their present form is for the government to enforce more power over the population through fear and intimidation.  After all, the most feared letters in the English language are IRS.

Yep, the government is in charge, and not the People.  How far this country has departed from the Founder’s vision…

Happy Tax Day!

On this date, millions of people will file their income tax returns, dreading every minute and hating to give up their hard-earned money.  But you CAN make the government happy.

Just send it all in.  And don’t worry – Obummer will take care of you…

Just Another Rant?

Haven’t posted for a while – just been so busy with work.  After being out of work for 10 months and then getting a job that works me 10+ hours a day 5-6 days a week, I’m definitely making up for it.  But it does mean that the blog (among other things) gets neglected.

AR But during this time, I have listened to the news and read posts from most of you.  And you know, thinking back over the past couple of months, we are still on the same topics.  Obummer is still on the campaign trail trying to sell us on the "new" government-run healthcare, the media is still trashing the TEA Party movement, the Republicans are in disarray (at least in my opinion), and anyone opposed to Obummer’s policies or actions is a racist.  Then there’s the international stage, of where the United States is rapidly becoming either a laughingstock or pariah, and is pissing off most of our traditional allies.  Last is a financial crisis of governmental deficit spending that I believe will be the end of this country if not corrected immediately.

Which tells me that we are all in a big steaming bowl of "not good" in a hand-basket on the express train to Hell…

Quite frankly, the political / government system of the United States has moved so far away from what the Founders of this country had envisioned I wonder if we will ever get it back.  The Founders knew that an informed and involved populace was necessary for the Republic to survive, thus the reason for the First Amendment right to Free Speech / Freedom of the Press.  However, that has been hijacked by a media that is interested more in ratings points and support of one side of an issue rather than fairly presenting all sides of an issue.

We have also seen the advent of the professional politician.  This creature dips into the public trough throughout their lives, voting benefits for themselves (healthcare and pensions) while supposedly serving the public’s interest.  This creature, in my opinion, couldn’t support themselves in any useful fashion if it wasn’t for politics.  It’s no wonder that the original Constitution required office holders and voters to be property owners and to receive no compensation for their service.  Serving in a public office was considered an honor and a privilege, not a career path.

Government is no longer a government "by the people for the people", but is now a government taking care of the people through social programs.  The recently passed health care legislation is only the last in a long line of government programs designed to "help" people.  I submit that while some people need help once in a while when some misfortune falls upon them, that task was not the responsibility of the government of the United States.  Instead, the government is to protect the rights of the population to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," and is not responsible for the success or failure of the individual in their "pursuit of Happiness."

But that is not the case, because what happens if you take away all incentive to improve oneself?  Take this excerpt from a post back in 2006:

…I got to know the mentality of many of these people. The bottom line is that they feel do not have a way out, and since they feel that they have no way out, they are thus entitled to the Welfare. Yes, training was available for them to improve their educational background, but if they went through the training and got a job, their benefits would be cut to a level below that they would be receiving from the Government. Thus, in general, they were better off just sitting around & not working. Some people did go out & try to work, but not very many.

Moreover, what incentive does anyone have to succeed?  I have heard that part of the Obummer tax plan would be to tax families or businesses earning more than $250,000 gross would be taxed at a higher rate.  Why aspire to a higher level of income if you are going to have your hard work taken away from you?

Worse yet, the details of the costs of the government health plan are starting to surface, and it really doesn’t look good.  In fact, it is a disaster of almost unimaginable proportions.  It’s so bad that talk of a national VAT (value added tax) is being kicked around.  Now if there is anything besides a national health care plan being a drain on an economy, it’s going to be a VAT.  For those of you who don’t know how a VAT works, here’s a definition (from Wikipedia):

Value added tax (VAT) avoids the cascade effect of sales tax by taxing only the value added at each stage of production. For this reason, throughout the world, VAT has been gaining favour over traditional sales taxes. In principle, VAT applies to all provisions of goods and services. VAT is assessed and collected on the value of goods or services that have been provided every time there is a transaction (sale/purchase). The seller charges VAT to the buyer, and the seller pays this VAT to the government. If, however, the purchaser is not an end user, but the goods or services purchased are costs to its business, the tax it has paid for such purchases can be deducted from the tax it charges to its customers. The government only receives the difference, in other words, it is paid tax on the gross margin of each transaction, by each participant in the sales chain.

In many developing countries such as India, sales tax/VAT are key revenue sources as high unemployment and low per capita income render other income sources inadequate. However, there is strong opposition to this by many sub-national governments as it leads to an overall reduction in the revenue they collect as well as a loss of some autonomy.

Sales tax is normally charged on end users (consumers). The VAT mechanism means that the end-user tax is the same as it would be with a sales tax. The main difference is the extra accounting required by those in the middle of the supply chain; this disadvantage of VAT is balanced by application of the same tax to each member of the production chain regardless of its position in it and the position of its customers, reducing the effort required to check and certify their status. When the VAT system has few, if any, exemptions such as with GST in New Zealand, payment of VAT is even simpler.

A general economic idea is that if sales taxes exceed 10%, people start engaging in widespread tax evading activity (like buying over the Internet, pretending to be a business, buying at wholesale, buying products through an employer etc.) On the other hand, total VAT rates can rise above 10% without widespread evasion because of the novel collection mechanism. However, because of its particular mechanism of collection, VAT becomes quite easily the target of specific frauds like carousel fraud, which can be very expensive in terms of loss of tax incomes for states.

The bottom line is that you, the consumer, will pay more for your goods and services, and the government gets more money to waste after it takes its cut.  And the politicians from both parties wonder why the TEA parties are popular…

Our government must be taken away from the professional politicians and returned to the people that it is to represent and protect.  The Republican and Democratic political parties are more concerned with power than representing the people that elect their members to office.  We see this time and time again with the irresponsible behaviors exhibited by our elected officials.  The question is whether or not the People will wake up and take action in time to save this country.

Tom’s Place Congratulates …

… the Duke Blue Devils for winning the NCAA Basketball Championship.

I watched the game, and it was close all the way down to the end.  Butler put up a good fight, but Duke prevailed.  I’ll let the pundits dissect the game.

Great game, but I’m going to pay for it tomorrow at work with bleary eyes and a droopy tail…