Archive for the ‘Tea Party’ Category

A few years back, it was a mantra on the Left to say, “Bush lied, people died.” Of course, rational people (usually those not working in the MSM) knew that Clinton, Kerry, Gore, Pelosi, Reid, et al had seen the same intelligence as the Bush Administration and had come to the same conclusions as President Bush. It was bad intelligence, but making the issue political was and remains hugely damaging to potential bi-partisanship in Washington.

I won’t go so far as to say that the President lied. Maybe he was fed bad intelligence. However, the fact remains that there has been a concerted effort by the Obama Administration and the MSM to blame a video on the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya. It was a foolish claim at the time (protesters don’t come to a protest carrying their RPG’s). But, in order to deflect the charge of gross negligence and incompetence on the President’s Administration (leaving our Embassies in the Middle East under protected on the anniversary of 9-11), the MSM was willing to trump up a false charge and change the topic to Governor Romney’s poorly structured argument as to why 47% of the nation continues to support the President despite record poor levels of employment, debt, and economic activity.

You know that it is getting bad when even the AP has to report the truth…


WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says it was a “terrorist attack” that killed the American ambassador to Libya and three others, and she says the U.S. will not rest until those responsible are brought to justice.

Clinton told reporters Friday at the State Department that, quote, “what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” And she said the U.S. would track down, quote, the “terrorists who murdered four Americans.”

(Source: AP News)


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Evidently, Mitt Romney was wrong. Some of the 47% that currently support the President’s re-election efforts are NOT soley earning their money on the government dole. Although, I suspect that Jay-Z is a minority-owned enterprise, and that might get him some government set-asides…


President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in Manhattan that featured a champagne tower of 350 bottles worth $105,000 – more than twice the median household income of an American family.

The tower of $300-a-bottle Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, known as ‘Ace of Spades’ because of its label, is a permanent fixture at the club.

‘It’s floor-to-ceiling gold bottles in the entire space,’ a 40/40 representative told the New York Post. ‘It’s beautiful—breathtaking. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in.’

The median income for an American family was $51,413 in 2011.

via $280,000 champagne tower at Obama fundraiser with Jay-Z and Beyonce in Manhattan night club | Mail Online.

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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 Liberal 4, including 2 appointed by the President know that it was a tax. Since they are partisans, they wanted to save the President’s socialist utopian legislation irrespective of the law. So, they were willing to call a tax a tax and rewrite the legislation — putting the President in an awkward spot, campaign-wise. George H. W. Bush comes to mind — “Read my lips”.

In short, President Obama is the author a huge tax increase on the Middle Class. We’ll see how that plays out in an election…

Am I disappointed in John Roberts? Yup. Although it is ironic that both Biden and Carper were holding up his nomination back in the day.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  You were against the individual mandate…

OBAMA:  Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  …during the campaign.  Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?

OBAMA:  Well, hold on a second, George. Here — here’s what’s happening.  You and I are both paying $900, on average — our families — in higher premiums because of uncompensated care.  Now what I’ve said is that if you can’t afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn’t be punished for that.  That’s just piling on. If, on the other hand, we’re giving tax credits, we’ve set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we’ve driven down the costs, we’ve done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you’ve just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances.  And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that’s…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  That may be, but it’s still a tax increase.

OBAMA:  No.  That’s not true, George.  The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.  What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But it may be fair, it may be good public policy…

OBAMA:  No, but — but, George, you — you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase.  Any…


OBAMA:  What — what — if I — if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that’s not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  I — I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: Tax — “a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”

OBAMA:  George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.  I mean what…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Well, no, but…

OBAMA:  …what you’re saying is…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  I wanted to check for myself.  But your critics say it is a tax increase.

OBAMA:  My critics say everything is a tax increase.  My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy.  You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

OBAMA:  I absolutely reject that notion.

via Obama: Mandate is Not a Tax – ABC News.

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The following is from the website: Bankrupting America. It is a very concise review of the tax and spending related issues that will be faced by the Lame Duck Session of Congress that will occur after the November election. I believe that the Constitution needs an amendment that eliminates Lame Duck sessions. The reason that there is a delay between election and the start of the new Congress was for travel purposes. In the era of jet travel, this reason is no longer valid. Delaware, for instance, has no Lame Duck sessions. The winner of the November election immediately assumes office. Therefore, elected officials are accountable for their decisions. Lame Duck sessions allow officials who have been either voted out or not voted back to make decisions that can affect all of us. That is not accountability.

Gearing up for the Lame Duck:

Congress putting off lots of work until after the election

After the 20th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, it created the possibility of lame-duck sessions. Any time Congress meets after the November election but before the new Congress takes effect (generally on January 3), it is considered a lame-duck session1. After this upcoming November election, Congress will only have about 20 legislative days of the lame-duck session2. Why does this matter? It matters because it appears that Congress is putting off lots of work until after the election. Will they even have time to do it all? Will they rush and pass bills that no one reads?

Below we take a look at several issues that Congress could address during the lame-duck session.

  • Debt Ceiling
  • Sequester
  • Tax Increase Set Without Action
  • Medicare’s Payment to Doctors
  • Emergency Unemployment Insurance

Debt Ceiling
Nearly 10 months ago, the President signed the Budget Control Act into law. In exchange for an immediate increase in the debt ceiling—the largest debt ceiling increase in American history—the law laid out steps to reduce the deficit over ten years.3

But it didn’t do much to reduce the deficit because now the head of the U.S. Treasury is telling us that we will need to increase the debt ceiling by the end of this year4 .

Because of this, it is looking increasingly likely that this issue will come up during the lame-duck session of Congress.


The same bill that increased the debt ceiling last August also triggered a process called sequestration because Congress failed to find further deficit savings as mandated by the law.

What is sequestration? By definition, sequestration makes spending reductions to get budget levels in line with statutory spending goals5.

It may go without saying but, Congress and the president have the ability to amend the sequestration process triggered by the Budget Control Act6. And now there is talk about Congress modifying the sequestration process.

In specific, the cuts trigged by sequestration go into effect in January
2013. Some want to stop these cuts, totaling $109 billion for just next year, from taking effect. With approximately half the cuts coming from defense spending, many Republicans are looking for a way out. In fact, on May 19, 2012, the House adopted legislation that replaces the sequester7. Although this issue is unlikely to move in the Senate at this time, it is certainly possible that this issue will come up during the lame-duck session of Congress.

Tax Increase Set Without Congressional Action
At the end of 2012, many tax policies are set to expire. Although many of these tax provisions are commonly referred to as the “Bush tax cuts,” President Obama extended many of these provisions for two years in December 20108.

Individual Income Tax Rates
In December 2010, President Obama extended the income tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 through the end of 2012.

  • Prior to the 2001 law, the tax rates were as follows (with the actual rate depending on what the taxpayer earns): 15 percent, 28 percent, 31 percent, 36 percent, and 39.6 percent.
  • Through 2012, the rates are as follows: 10 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent.

As is stands now, these tax rates will reset to the rates before the 2001 law passed at the start of next year.9 However, Congress is likely to address this issue in some capacity in the lame-duck session.

Estate Tax Rate

The current rate for the estate tax is 35 percent, with an estate having an exemption of nearly $5 million. (In 2010, the estate tax was repealed—but just for just that year.)

Without action, the rate of the estate tax is set to skyrockets to 55 percent, with the estate exemption falling to $1 million.10 Congress is likely to address this issue in some capacity in the lame-duck session.

Dividend and Capital Gain Tax Rates

A dividend is “a distribution of a portion of a company’s earnings, decided by the board of directors, to a class of shareholders11.” In other words, if an individual owns a stock that pays a dividend, they generally receive a portion of a company’s earnings in cash.

  • The current dividend tax rate is 15 percent for most taxpayers.
  • Next year, without action, dividends will be taxed as ordinary income so the rate will skyrocket up to 39.6 percent.12
A capital gain is “an increase in the value of a capital asset (investment or real estate) that gives it a higher worth than the purchase price13.” In other words, if you own stock and sell it at a later date for more than you purchased it for, the difference is a capital gain.
  • The current capital gains tax rate is between 15 percent and 5 percent, with the rate depending on how much income you earn.
  • Next year, without action, the capital gains tax rate will increase to a rate between 20 percent and 10 percent.14
Congress is likely to address this issue in some capacity in the lame-duck session.
Payroll Tax Holiday
In December 2010, Congress created a temporary measure that reduced what employees pay in Social Security taxes. In February 2012, this provision was extended through the end of 201215. Currently, employees pay two percent less in Social Security payroll taxes than what is traditionally paid. If this provision expires it “means low-income workers will pay several hundred dollars more than they’re paying now, while high-income workers will pay roughly $2,340 more16.”

Since this “temporary tax holiday” has been extended more than once, it could be extended again during the lame-duck session.

Tax Extenders
Many tax extenders provisions expired at the end of 2011. Some of these provisions may not be renewed but many are likely to be. The research and development tax credit, for example, is likely to be extended. These expiring provisions generally “fall into a group of tax deductions, credits and provisions — now known as ‘extenders’ — which Congress has repeatedly renewed, but never makes permanent, simply because it doesn’t want to acknowledge their true costs.”17

It is likely that Congress retroactively extends some of these tax extenders for 2011 in the lame-duck session. As a point of reference, the last time Congress addressed the tax extenders issue, it retroactively passed it as well18.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
In 1969, Congress created the AMT as a separate tax system. The stated goal of the AMT was to make sure the wealthiest Americans owed some income taxes. In 1967, the Treasury secretary reported 155 people with incomes more than $200,000 owed no income tax because they were able to use tax code deductions and credits to bring their tax liability to zero. The AMT isn’t indexed for inflation, which means more and more middle class families now fall under the AMT.19

To limit the impact of the AMT, Congress traditionally passes a “patch.” “Patching” means raising the income level automatically exempt from the AMT, usually for one year or two.” For 2011, the AMT exemption for a single person is $48,45020.

Like tax extenders, the AMT is not permanently addressed because Congress simply doesn’t want to acknowledge its true cost. According to the independent Joint Committee on Taxation, the AMT patch for 2010 and 2011 is estimated to reduce revenue to the federal government by nearly $137 billion over 10 years21.

Currently, there is no patch for the AMT for 2012, so “all taxpayers can do is wait for Congress to approve another patch.22

Congress is likely to address this issue in some capacity during the lame-duck session—before individuals file their 2012 tax returns.

Medicare’s Payment to Doctors
In an effort to reduce the budget deficit in 1997, Congress passed the Balanced Budget Act. This law outlined a “sustainable growth rate” (SGR) for Medicare payments to doctors. SGR restricted doctors’ reimbursements for certain Medicare payments23. Specifically, the law limited the reimbursement to doctors so “total pay for physicians could not exceed the growth rate of the rest of the economy24.”

However, SGR hasn’t been implemented as the law scheduled it to be. Congress routinely blocks the SGR formula on a “temporary basis.” The current block lasts until the end of 201225. Why does Congress only enact temporary fixes? Because it “costs” too much to eliminate the SGR on a permanent basis. Therefore, Congress prefers blocking SGR on a short-term basis.

Congress is likely to address this issue in some capacity during the lame-duck session.

Emergency Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment insurance is distributed jointly by federal and state governments. Before the recession, a person in a state with low unemployment generally could receive unemployment benefits for about 26 weeks. Because of the recession, the 2009 stimulus bill extended this benefit for up to 99 weeks.26 (The amount of time a person can be on unemployment varies from state to state.)

Today someone can be on the program for up to 73 weeks–down from the high of 99 weeks. This extension last until January 2013.27

Since emergency unemployment insurance has been extended several times, it’s possible to be extended again during the lame-duck session.

So there you go. No matter how you slice it, waiting until after the election— with only about 20 legislative days on the calendar to actually do work—to address these issues is too much work to pile on the plate at one time. Both houses of Congress and the White House should cooperate and work together to address some of these items now.

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Previously, I blogged on the problems with the actual structure of the creepily-named Delaware Health Security Authority proposed by Rep. Kowalko, Rep. Jaques, Rep. Osienski & Sen. Ennis. That post can be found here. I don’t know how anyone can secure my health, so let’s look at the proposed legislation to see how these 4 wise men would:

§1605 Powers of the Delaware Health Security Authority.

(a) The Authority shall have the following powers:
(1) To make, amend and repeal by-laws, rules and regulations for the management of its affairs [Editor’s note: This untouchable group will set their own rules without so much as a nod to a public rule-making process];
(2) To adopt an official seal;
(3) To sue and be sued in its own name [Editor’s note: The Authority can take you to court];
(4) To make contracts and execute all instruments necessary or convenient for carrying out the purposes of this Act;
(5) To acquire, own, hold, dispose of and encumber personal, real or intellectual property of any nature of any interest therein;[Editor’s note: This is an extremely broad government taking. Basically, the Authority can set its own rules thereby defining its own interests. Then the Authority uses its interests to encumber your intellectual property. This is tantamount to a government taking. Anyone ever hear of due process?]
(6) To enter into agreements or transactions with any federal, state or municipal agency or other public institution or with any private individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association or other entity;
(7) To appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments or other agencies of federal, state or municipal government;
(8) To appoint officers and to engage and employ employees, including legal counsel, consultants, agents and advisors and prescribe their duties and fix their compensation[Editor’s note: As we already know, the Authority is unaccountable and untouchable by statute. They can now hire their own staff and define what they want to pay this staff — all outside of the control of the State budget writers or average citizens. If you don’t like it, they can sue you or define your intellectual property to be encumbered and unusable.];
(9) To establish advisory boards and councils;
(10) To procure insurance against any losses in connection with its property in such amounts, and from such insurers, as may be necessary or desirable;
(11) To invest any funds held in reserves or sinking funds or any funds not required for immediate disbursement, in such investments as may be lawful for fiduciaries in the state[Editor’s note: They can overcharge for their services and then invest that money  as they see fit. What does Treasurer Flowers think about this?];
(12) To accept, hold, use, apply and dispose of any and all donations, grants, bequests and devises, conditional or otherwise, of money, property, services or other things of value, which may be received from the United States or other agency thereof, any governmental agency, any institution, person, firm or corporation, private or public. Such donations, grants, bequests and devises may be held, used, applied or disposed for any and all of the purposes specified in this Act and shall be used in accordance with the terms and conditions of any such grant. Receipt of each such donation or grant shall be detailed in the annual report of the Authority, which shall include the identity of the donor, lender, the nature of each transaction and any conditions attached thereto; and
(13) To do any and all other things necessary to carry out the purposes of the Delaware Health Security Act.[Editor’s note: To do anything that they want to carry out the purposes that they defined under paragraph (1)!]

So, to summarize:

The Authority will write its own rules, have the ability to sue you and encumber your intellectual property (aka steal it), hire their own staff (while legally being able to self-deal), invest any excess money that they have for their own purposes (remember self-dealing?), and by statute, do “any and all things necessary to carry out” their own purposes.

I wouldn’t give this power to a Saint. Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely. This list of powers is extreme and scary.


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