Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

A Philly talk show host introduced the topic of food stamp abuse on his show a month or two ago. He was outraged that people who appeared not to need it were getting this kind of welfare but he did not think to look in a mirror.
I agree that a trip to the grocery store is pretty frustrating when I am in line behind a food stamp recipient and see what they are buying.  Even more so when I see them in the parking lot loading those groceries into a nicer car than mine.
But this particular talk host also does ads where he is shilling for one of the solar panel companies and brags that his electric bill is now zero.  He seems oblivious to the fact that the only reason that this might be so is that he was the beneficiary of state and federal subsidies on the purchase and now on the solar energy credits that keep his bill at zero.  Apparently you can get a system for free up there after the company gets government money.  If he actually had to pay for the system his break even point would be about the time this junk would be on its way to the dump.  Solar costs about 2-2½ times coal and natural gas.
This normally conservative commentator seems not to understand that now he too is collecting welfare money but to pay his family’s electric bill instead of grocery bills.  So he gets electric stamps verses food stamps; a distinction without a difference.
If it works up there like it does here, the money for the ongoing subsidies is part of the electric bill that all of his neighbors, rich and poor, pay. The utility charges a premium to pay for the solar energy credits that the state requires them to buy.
The working poor and those on disability and the elderly on social security are paying the inflated electric rates to subsidize this guy and his ilk.
The sad thing is that since he is the one getting the benefit, he apparently does not even see it as welfare. He probably thinks that he deserves it for being smart enough to take it.  It does not occur to him that the only way he is getting free electricity is that his bill is being paid for by others whose option would be not to pay the bill and freeze in the dark.
I wonder if that is much different than what the food stamp recipient in the BMW thinks.


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The Liberally-leaning Mainstream Media and hand-wringing Republicans are whipping up a frenzy that the President is in a rather powerful position. The following analysis is an interesting take on a different view…

2 (Probably 4) More Years

How did that happen? Americans just re-elected Barack Obama but also gave Republicans an only minimally diminished House majority, thereby ratifying a status quo that hardly anyone finds satisfactory. The answer is that as almost all of the big swing states–North Carolina is the lone exception, with Florida still too close to call–went Democratic in the presidential race, they sent GOP majorities to Congress.

Here’s how the new House delegation breaks down for each swing state with 9 or more electoral votes, with Republicans counted first: Colorado 4-3, Florida 17-9 (with 1 yet uncalled), Michigan 9-5, North Carolina 9-3 (1 uncalled), Ohio 12-4, Pennsylvania 13-5, Virginia 8-3, Wisconsin 5-3.

Add it up, assuming Democrats hold their leads in the uncalled races (including for Florida’s 29 electoral votes), and Obama beat Romney in these eight states 115-15, while Republican House candidates beat Democratic ones 77-37. That’s enough to account for both Obama’s margin of victory and, in all likelihood, the Republican margin in the House.

So, the President’s victory States are the same as the Republican House’s victory States. However, Obama is a lame duck, while every member of the House will need to get re-elected in 2014. So, who has the incentive to cave in? Those facing re-election after promising that they would not raise taxes? Or the one person who is worried about his legacy?

It’s imaginable that Obama, freed from the re-election need to pander to his leftist base, will either tame the House Republicans or learn to work with them the way Bill Clinton did. But there is little in his first term to suggest he has the skill to do the former or the inclination to do the latter. And the history of presidential second terms is not a terribly promising one.

On the other hand, here’s an optimistic take from reader Mark Swanson: “The most powerful man in the country is now Speaker Boehner. He can tell Obama, ‘Meet us halfway, both of us giving up some of what we want and accepting some of what we don’t want. Or face four years of gridlock.’ Boehner holds all the cards because he can live with either outcome, while Obama wants neither. Obama’s desired outcome (also his idea of compromise) is, ‘Give me everything I want, but I’ll accept a slightly slower timetable.’ But he doesn’t want his second term to be four years of nothing, so Boehner has the stronger hand.”

2 (Probably 4) More Years – WSJ.com.

Again, every one of the House Republicans was elected on a platform of no tax increases, lower the rates and broaden the base, and cut federal spending. Every one of these members must face the voters in 2 years in Districts that support the member’s position. The Senate, on the other hand, has not passed a budget in 3 years and is an easy whipping boy for the House Republicans to use. The President is the only one sitting there with a free pass and a legacy at stake.

While I would have preferred a President Romney, the power of the purse still resides with Congress, and we’ve got a strong hand to play.

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I was thinking about Elizabeth Warren and the president’s contention that entrepreneurs and small business owners did not make it on their own since things like highways made their success possible.  Their point is that they did not pay for those roads themselves.
Of course that was not his only point. It was being used to justify his contention that they now must pay more in taxes than they do now to make it fair. Translation, if you are successful, YOU OWE ME! Now send it in.
Lets look briefly at how those highways are funded. The idea was that fuel taxes would pay for them. As of the last year reported, fuel taxes covered less than 30% of the money spent. So where did the other 70% come from?  Not the government, they don’t have any money until they take it from someone.
Well, we know that only 50% of people even pay taxes plus the corporations (except GE), so the other 50% are only contributing the excise tax money on the fuel that they purchased. This means that the 50% of the country that pays income tax, cap gains, corporate tax and the myriad of others paid 70% of the costs on a sliding scale based on income with our progressive tax system. They paid their fuel tax as well.
So, they are already paying almost all of the bills for highways and those not paying taxes are paying little.  I don’t think that is wrong.
But it does not seem to me that they owe a “larger” percentage of the costs. Who owes whom?  But, on the bright side, at least almost all of those using the roads pay something.  It’s a start.

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If so, when you sell your home in 2013 or beyond, it could be subject to a 3.8% unearned income tax of 3.8% to pay for the “free” healthcare that you will receive under ObamaCare… Welcome to the “Rich”…

“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

Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income of “high-income” taxpayers which could apply to proceeds from the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income, depending on your individual circumstances and any capital gains tax exclusions. Importantly, the “high income” thresholds are not indexed for inflation so will reach increasing numbers of middle-class taxpayers over time.

In February 2010, 5.02 million homes were sold, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). On any given day, the sale of a house, townhome, condominium, co-op, or income from a rental property could slam middle-income families 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.

via ObamaCare Flatlines: ObamaCare Taxes Home Sales – Clobbers Middle-Class Americans – Blog – GOP.gov.

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Land of the Freebies…

Quasi-instruction video on how you can get a 1,000% return on your tax dollar and become a part of the soon-to-be-majority in this country… It’s a SNAP…

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As the owner of a small business with at least 2 openings that, under normal circumstances, I would like to fill, the following survey results come as no surprise to me. 59% say the fiscal cliff will have a direct impact on them and almost 3 out of 4 think that the healthcare law will make hiring more difficult. As the Vice President said, “It is a big f***ing deal.” — Yep, depression era unemployment is a big f***ing deal… Thanks, Mr. Veep. I’m so glad that now that he has received his marching orders, Governor Markell is supporting it.

Only one in five small businesses expect to add employees in 2013 and 82% think the national economy is on the wrong track, according to the U.S. Chamber’s fifth quarterly small business survey released today.

“Washington’s policies are not meeting our country’s fiscal challenges and are prolonging uncertainty among small businesses,” said Dr. Martin Regalia, the Chamber’s chief economist. “Washington can restore confidence for small businesses in this country by  addressing the fiscal cliff, removing regulatory barriers, increasing energy production, and starting over on bipartisan health care legislation.”

The poll of 1,225 small business owners, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that nine out of ten small businesses are concerned about Congress’ ability to reach consensus on expiring tax rates and other business provisions coupled with sequestration cuts—the so-called “fiscal cliff.”  59% say failure to address the fiscal cliff will have a direct impact on their company’s growth.

Of the small businesses surveyed, 72% said the health care law will make it harder for them to hire.  Specifically, they will scale back their workforce to avoid triggering the employer mandate and cut back on full-time workers.

78% of small business owners are looking for government to “get out of the way,” noting that decisions in Washington impact their business. Additionally, 96% believe it is important to vote for a candidate that supports free enterprise.

“We need a change in Washington in order to stimulate economic growth and create jobs,” said the Chamber’s Senior Vice President and National Political Director Rob Engstrom. “Small business owners cannot afford more of the same failed policies.”

via Small Businesses Hesitant to Hire, Say the Economy Is Off Track – Council on Small Business.

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The saga of State Representative, Head of the State’s Budget Writing Committee, and Mayoral Candidate for the cash flow negative City of Wilmington, Dennis Williams, continues apace. According to the News Journal:

State Rep. Dennis P. Williams hasn’t rushed to pay his outstanding tax and utility obligations to Wilmington, and the city isn’t in a hurry to collect them either, it seems.

That’s left Williams, one of four candidates who have filed to succeed Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker, facing questions about why he hasn’t paid his debts since they were first publicized in March, and city officials explaining why they haven’t actively sought satisfaction of the unpaid bills.

Williams – who wields substantial influence over public money as chairman of the state Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee – still owes $1,486.94 in delinquent city property taxes on the Madison Street and Vandever Avenue properties that he owns in Wilmington, according to city records. He also owes $1,697.83 in delinquent water and sewer bills, the records indicate.

At the same time Williams, D-Wilmington North, has been extolling his financial acumen during public forums, the records show he has been habitually late in paying his city debts.

Now, we’re familiar with Democrats financial problems across the country (e.g. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner or former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle); however, closer to home Democrats have been spending more time drinking, driving, philandering, and burning tires (aka Brad Bennett & John Atkins). But Rep. Williams is doing his part to hold up the Party’s national reputation.

So, what is his excuse for not paying taxes?

On Wednesday, Williams said that he had fallen behind on his city taxes and utilities because he was helping his ailing mother pay her medical expenses for several years.

Medication and co-pays for visits to the doctor have contributed to a bill in the “thousands of dollars,” he said.

 Note, that Rep. Williams and his wife, a Wilmington City employee, combined make almost $130,000 per year. In addition, I assume that Rep. Williams has coming to him his policeman’s pension. Both he & his wife are eligible for taxpayer provided healthcare. So, throwing in 30% benefits, the Williams’s are making over $170,000 per year.
I assume that his mother is a senior citizen and is on Medicare, which, according to the President, is a great example of government-run health services — very affordable with high-quality. So, it makes no sense that Rep. Williams should be blaming his mother’s government-provided healthcare as the reason that he does not have the $3,000 to pay his taxes.
Perhaps… perhaps… Rep. Williams hasn’t paid his taxes because he is not so frugal with his own money — just like his State Budget writing hasn’t been particularly frugal, either… The City of Wilmington is already running operating deficits, does the City really need a mayor that can’t balance his own books?

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