Are Republicans Set to Cave on Tax Hikes?

November 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm (Fiscal Cliff, Lindsay Graham, Medicaid, Medicare, Peter King, Saxby Chambliss, Social Security, Taxes)

A skilled poker player as they say, never shows his cards. Republicans seemingly haven’t heard such advice.  With ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations taking place in the media of late, they are proving to be poor poker players, poor negotiators, and all-to-willing to fold.

Several Republicans, responding weak-kneed in a kneejerk reaction to their 2012 election beating, have signaled a willingness to compromise on tax hikes, despite little indication that Democrats would make similar concessions with spending cuts. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and Peter King (R-NY) have gone so far as to walk back a no-tax pledge they placed their signatures upon.

Amelia Chasse, vice-president of Hynes Communications, says that while Americans are looking for both sides to come together after the election, Republicans should not be so quick to give away the farm.

Discussing the matter on Neil Cavuto’s show late last week, Chasse opined that, “In terms of raising taxes, I think Republicans will be making a huge mistake with their constituents if they agree to any proposal that raises taxes for the sake of raising taxes”.

According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations however, Republicans are set to do just that.  Their information indicates:

“We suspect that enough Republicans could support a top tax rate in the 37-38% range along with limits on deductions, which together would raise $600-800 billion over 10 years.  Along with a few other revenue provisions, the total deficit reduction from revenue could reach $1 trillion.”

The 37-38% represents an increase on the current level of 35%.  Chasse indicates that such a tax hike plan “would raise rates for some of the most vulnerable taxpayers in this economy – small business owners”.  Furthermore, limits on deductions would have the same economic effect as raising marginal rates on upper-income taxpayers even further.

Why would Republicans agree to such a plan?

“The key to Republicans going along with this tax increase,” the source adds, “is structural reform of entitlement programs”.  This would presumably involve such programs as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.  The wisdom being that meaningful deficit reduction can be accomplished through ‘means testing’ and raising the eligibility age.

FreedomWorks Vice President of Health Care Policy, Dean Clancy, doesn’t believe these methods will be successful.

“These two ideas are unpopular, and, while they are better than across-the-board cuts, they do not alter the underlying structural problems with the big entitlement programs or make them more voluntary for individuals.”

He adds, “If ObamaCare goes into effect, raising the Medicare retirement age will have the effect of increasing federal outlays for ObamaCare premium subsidies and for Medicaid.”

So a cave-in on tax hikes is being negotiated for the benefit of a deficit reduction plan that would likely be unsuccessful.  But at least an agreement and compromise on tax rates and entitlement reforms will lead to significant cuts in the deficit, avoiding an economic calamity, right?

Not quite…

The real key for a fiscal cliff breakthrough, according to the source, lies with the President himself.

“If he puts major entitlement reforms on the table, a grand bargain that reduces the deficit by roughly $2-2.5 trillion over ten years is likely.”

Such a ‘grand bargain’ would fall significantly short in terms of necessary deficit reduction over the next decade.

Clancy claims, “We would need more like $8 trillion in savings over 10 years to balance the budget within 10 years.”

Chasse agrees, stating that the President’s proposals “would barely make a dent in the deficit”.

With the fiscal cliff looming in the near future, Republicans are foolishly signaling a willingness to concede on tax hikes.  Such concessions – with little to no valuable reductions in spending and entitlements – indicate the party has not only lost the election battle of 2012, but they may be willing to surrender in the war on conservative fiscal values.

Cross-posted at FreedomWorks

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Texas Schools Teaching Kids That the Boston Tea Party was a Terrorist Act?

November 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm (American Revolution, Boston Tea Party, Britain, Government, Taxes, Tea Party, Terrorists)

Liberal academia?  Revisionist history?  Nothing to see here, move it along people…

Via CBS Houston: 

The most historical instance of protesting against taxation without representation is now being taught in Texas schools as a terrorist act.

As recently as January of this year, the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative included a lesson plan that depicted the Boston Tea Party, an event that helped ignite the American Revolution, as an act of terrorism. TheBlaze reports that in a lesson promoted on the TESCCC site as recently as January, a world history/social studies class plan depicted the Boston Tea Party as being anything but patriotic, causing many people to become upset with the lack of transparency and review for lessons.

“A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation’s busiest port,” wrote the teachers in charge of organizing the curriculum about the Boston Tea Party. “Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities.

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Major League Baseball Players Trying to Front-Load Contracts to Avoid Obama Tax Hikes

November 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm (Adam Dunn, Barack Obama, C.C. Sabathia, Carl Crawford, Contracts, Front-load, Greg Genske, Major League Baseball, Mitt Romney, Taxes, Vernon Wells)

It looks like major league baseball players, much like businesses, are proactively and pessimistically trying to avoid the disaster that is the looming second-term Obama economy.

Via My Fox NY:

Team executives and agents wandered into the Agave Sunset lounge at the resort where the general managers’ meetings were held in Indian Wells, Calif. Four of the six flat-screen televisions were showing election coverage, with the other two turned to sports.

President Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney was of as much interest to baseball’s money men as the game scores, given the millions of dollars routinely guaranteed in player contracts these days.

As free agents negotiate deals this offseason, tax policy is an area that comes up along with the usual issues. Some players are wrangling for as much money as they can get before the end of the year to avoid a take hike in 2013.

“Front-loading would make sense if at all possible as tax rates will definitely go up on January 1st on all high-income taxpayers,” agent Greg Genske said in an email. “The only question is HOW MUCH will the rates increase????”

Genske of course should be wary of the tax implications lurking for his clients in 2013.  After all, his clients currently represent nearly $100 million in contract values for the 2013 season.  Genske represents such clients as C.C. Sabathia, Vernon Wells, Carl Crawford, and Adam Dunn.

Nobody expects to feel sorry for MLB players, but the point here is that prevailing wisdom in the player agent field is to get your money up front, and get it before President Obama can take it away.

Perhaps advice we should all be following…

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Times Economist: Fair Share For the Rich is a 91% Tax Rate

November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm (91%, Corporate Tax, Economy, Fair Share, Jobs, New York Times, Paul Krugman, Rich, Tax the Rich, Taxes)

How can liberalism’s favorite economist know so little about the topic he is known for?  New York Times economist, Paul Krugman had this to say in today’s op-ed regarding the Twinkie situation…

Consider the question of tax rates on the wealthy. The modern American right, and much of the alleged center, is obsessed with the notion that low tax rates at the top are essential to growth. Remember that Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, charged with producing a plan to curb deficits, nonetheless somehow ended up listing “lower tax rates” as a “guiding principle.”

Yet in the 1950s incomes in the top bracket faced a marginal tax rate of 91, that’s right, 91 percent, while taxes on corporate profits were twice as large, relative to national income, as in recent years. The best estimates suggest that circa 1960 the top 0.01 percent of Americans paid an effective federal tax rate of more than 70 percent, twice what they pay today...

… Along the way, however, we’ve forgotten something important — namely, that economic justice and economic growth aren’t incompatible. America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share; it gave workers the power to bargain for decent wages and benefits; yet contrary to right-wing propaganda then and now, it prospered. And we can do that again.

Yes, because business will certainly prosper with an added burden of a 91% tax rate on the wealthy, and a corporate rate double what it is today.  It will surely create a scenario where wealthy business owners and small business owners alike will announce thousand upon thousands of job openings.

It’s no wonder Krugman is heralded as an economic hero in liberal circles.  Reality however, offers a different vantage point.

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Mourning in America – Here’s Those Layoffs We Voted For

November 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm (2012 Election, Budgets, Full-Time Jobs, Government Spending, Health Care Reform, Layoffs, Medical Device Tax, Obamacare, Part-Time, Taxes)

Tuesday’s victory for the President marks the first time since its inception that Obamacare is no longer a what-if; it is the future of health care in America.

It also means a near immediate impact on the economy.  With 20 or so new or higher taxes set to be implemented, ranging from a $123 billion surtax on investment income, through the $20 billion medical device tax, all the way down to the $600 million executive compensation limit, Obamacare will be a nearly unbearable tax burden on the economy.

Who will pay?  The middle-class workforce, of course.

So with another four years for President Obama to look forward to, and the obvious inevitability of Obamacare that this entails, let’s examine the very real jobs that will be lost, and the very real lives that will be affected.

Welch Allyn

Welch Allyn, a company that manufactures medical diagnostic equipment in central New York, announced in September that they would be laying off 275 employees, or roughly 10% of their workforce over the next three years.  One of the major reasons discussed for the layoffs was a proactive response to the Medical Device Tax mandated by the new healthcare law.

Dana Holding Corp.

As recently as a week ago, a global auto parts manufacturing company in Ohio known as Dana Holding Corp., warned their employees of potential layoffs, citing “$24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. health care expenses”.  After laying off several white collar staffers, company insiders have hinted at more to come.  The company will have to cover the additional $24 million cost somehow, which will likely equate to numerous cuts in their current workforce of 25,500 worldwide.

Stryker

One of the biggest medical device manufacturers in the world, Stryker will close their facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs in December.  Worse, they plan on countering the medical device tax in Obamacare by slashing 5% of their global workforce – an estimated 1,170 positions.

Boston Scientific

In October of 2009, Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott, warned that proposed taxes in the health care reform bill could “lead to significant job losses” for his company.  Nearly two years later, Elliott announced that the company would be cutting anywhere between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs, while simultaneously shifting investments and workers overseas – to China.

Medtronic

In March of 2010, medical device maker Medtronic warned that Obamacare taxes could result in a reduction of precisely 1,000 jobs.  That plan became reality when the company cut 500 positions over the summer, with another 500 set for the end of 2013.

Others

A short list of other companies facing future layoffs at the hands of Obamacare:

  • Smith & Nephew – 770 layoffs
  • Abbott Labs – 700 layoffs
  • Covidien – 595 layoffs
  • Kinetic Concepts – 427 layoffs
  • St. Jude Medical – 300 layoffs
  • Hill Rom – 200 layoffs

Beyond the complete elimination of a significant number of American jobs is another looming problem created by the health care law – a shift from full-time to part-time workers.
Sean Hackbarth of Free Enterprise explains:

A JP Morgan economist “points out that 8.3 million people are working in part-time jobs even though they’d prefer full-time work. Unfortunately, because of President Obama’s health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), workers in the hotel, restaurant, and retail industries could be pushed into part-time jobs working less than 30 hours per week.”

“Under the health care law, if a company has more than 50 “full time equivalent” workers, a combination of full and part-time employees, but doesn’t offer “affordable” coverage that meets the government’s minimum value standard, the company will have to pay a penalty. This penalty is determined by the number of full-time employees minus 30 full-time employees. So to reiterate a very important point: part-time workers are not part of the penalty formula. The health care law creates a perverse incentive to hire part-time versus full-time workers.”

Tangible examples of Obamacare causing a reduction in full-time workers:

Darden Restaurants

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Darden Restaurants, a casual dining chain best known for their Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, is “experimenting with limiting the hours of some of its workers to avoid health care requirements under the Affordable Care Act when they take effect in 2014”.

JANCOA Janitorial Services

The CEO of JANCOA, Mary Miller, testified to Congress that Obamacare was a “dream killer”, adding that one option she had to consider “is reducing the majority of my team members to part-time employment in order to reduce the amount that I will be penalized.”

Kroger

The American retailer in Cincinnati, Ohio recently was reported to be planning a significant slashing of their hourly workers.  Doug Ross writes:

Operative Faith (a mid-level manager with the company) reveals that Kroger will soon join the ranks of Darden Restaurants and slash the hours of its non-exempt (hourly) workers to avoid millions in Obamacare penalties.

According to the source, Obamacare could result in tens of thousands of Kroger employees being limited to working 28 hours per week.

Summary

This is by no means, meant to be an exhaustive list.  But it is meant to provide examples of real companies, real jobs, and real names, soon to be added to the growing list of employment casualties provided by the inevitable implementation of Obamacare.

Last night, America voted for four more years of President Obama and his destructive economic and health care policies.  By extension, America last night voted their approval of the aforementioned layoffs and overall work reduction.

Now we must accept the inevitable.  Welcome to mourning in America.

Cross-posted at FreedomWorks

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Gillibrand: Here’s an Idea, Let’s Raise Social Security Taxes on the Middle Class

October 25, 2012 at 10:29 am (Kirsten Gillibrand, Middle Class, New York, Small Business, Social Security, Taxes, Wendy Long)

The following is a press release from Wendy Long’s campaign:

It’s well known that Senator Gillibrand supports raising income taxes on individuals and small businesses, making over two hundred and fifty-thousand dollars, now she apparently wants to raise Social Security taxes on them too.

Gillibrand told the Poughkeepsie Journal Editorial Board that she would support raising or even eliminating the social security wage base (sswb) ensuring that middle income and small business owners especially those on Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the New York metro region will pay even higher taxes.

Gillibrand said, “One idea would be that we put in less off your first hundred thousand maybe 5 percent or 4 percent or less and then apply that to all income levels, or apply that to income levels above two hundred and fifty thousand.”

U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long said, “Another day, another proposed tax increase from Senator Gillibrand. Many hardworking New York families look forward to that day when their Social Security payment ends and they get to take home a few more bucks of pay but Senator Gillibrand wants to make sure that day never comes for middle class and small businesses.”

Currently the Social Security wage base is set at $110,100. Gillibrand proposes to simply eliminate that cap entirely or eliminate it for those with incomes over two hundred fifty thousand dollars. Either way the impact on already burdened self employed, small businesses and middle – income taxpayers will be devastating.

Long added, “Self employed New Yorkers and small business owners who are already struggling to compete with the highest tax burden in America will be especially hard hit by this proposal. ”

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Biden Admits "Yes We Do" Want to Raise Taxes by a Trillion Dollars

October 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm (2012 Election, Business, Economy, Jobs, Joe Biden, Tax Hike, Taxes, Trillion Dollar)

Anybody else looking forward to the vice-presidential debates as much as I am?

Biden is simply the gift that keeps on giving…

I’m sure businesses will be chomping at the bit to start hiring knowing that a trillion dollar tax hike is in the works.

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Joe Biden Stumbles Onto the Truth: ‘Middle Class Has Been Buried the Last Four Years’

October 3, 2012 at 9:00 am (Economy, Jobs, Joe Biden, Last Four Years, Middle Class, Mitt Romney, President Obama, Taxes)

This is going to pose a significant challenge for Team Obama heading into a possible second term.  They’ve been programmed and conditioned to blame everything that ails our country on the previous administration, but doing so in a second term would actually mean taking credit for their failures.

And the cracks have already started showing, with Joe Biden saying this yesterday:

It didn’t take long for Mitt Romney to agree that yes, the Middle Class has been buried under Obama:
And here is your proof that, yes, Joe Biden was actually right about something…
Vice President Biden Said The “Middle Class … Has Been Buried In The Last Four Years.” BIDEN: “This is deadly earnest. How they can justify, how they can justify, raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried in the last four years.”(Vice President Joe Biden, Remarks, Charlotte, NC, 10/2/12)
·         Buried Under More And More Debt: Since President Obama took office, the national debt has surpassed $16 trillion – an increase of $5.4 trillion. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/2/12)
·         Buried Under Falling Incomes: “Median household incomes have fallen 8.2 percent since President Obama took office and continue to drop despite the official end of the  recession, a new study shows. Data compiled by Sentier Research found that since the economic recovery technically began in June 2009, median household income has dropped 5.7 percent.”(“Household Income Down 8.2 Percent Since Obama Took Office, Study Shows,” Fox News, 9/26/12)
·         Buried Under High Unemployment: More than 23 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or have stopped looking for work. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, 10/2/12)
·         Buried Under Rising Gas Prices: Under President Obama, gas prices have more than doubled from $1.85 per gallon to $3.80 per gallon. (U.S. Energy Information Agency, 10/2/12)
What Would Four More Years Of President Obama Mean For The Middle Class? More Debt And Higher Taxes:
AEI Has Calculated That The Annual Cost Of President Obama’s Current And Looming Debt Burden Amounts To $4,000 Per Year In Higher Taxes On The Middle Class. “In a new paper, AEI’s Matt Jensen looks at the real annual cost of servicing the debt for households at various levels of income — including a potentially higher tax burden. As the table below illustrates, a household making between $100,000 and $200,000 a year could find its tax liability higher by roughly $2,400 every year. Over ten years, that works out to $24,000. And when you add in the debt already accrued the past four years under President Obama (the second table), that’s another $1,600 a year. So now we are now talking about $4,000 a year, $40,000 over ten years.” (James Pethokoukis, “Study: Obama’s Big Budget Deficits Could Mean A $4,000 A Year Middle-Class Tax Hike,” American Enterprise Institute, 10/2/12)

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Another Awesome Video – Obama Voter: Libyan Ambassador Probably Had It Coming

September 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm (Ambassador, Bedford, Christopher Stevens, Libya, Middle East, Mitt Romney, Obamabot, Ohio, Taxes)

Hey, Ohio.  It may be time to check the drinking water for contaminants.  You know, the kind that feasts on the frontal lobe of Obama supporters.

The stupid is strong in this one.

I’m not sure what part of the video is better:

1)  The interviewer says, “where does he (Romney) say he’s going to raise taxes on the middle class?”  And the Obamabot responds with his big ‘Gotcha’, “where does it say he’s not?”  His face lights up with complete and total satisfaction at the comeback.

2)  The interviewer asks, “what if he cut taxes for everybody, would that be good for you?”  Obamabot – “No.”  Okay, so we’ve now established that Romney is bad because he’s going to raise taxes, but even if he cuts taxes, he’s still bad.

3)  And of course the stunning response to the death of Ambassador Stevens – “He probably had it coming.”

Ohio, you need to represent yourself better than this.  Or this from earlier today.

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CBO: Obamacare Raises Taxes on Middle Class

September 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Economy, Healthcare, Middle Class, Obamacare, Obamatax, Penalty, Penalty Tax, President Obama, Taxes)

“With every passing day, more evidence mounts that Obamacare is a costly disaster. Yesterday the CBO informed us that even more of the middle-class families who President Obama promised would see no tax increase will in fact see a massive tax increase thanks to Obamacare. The American people do not want this law, we cannot afford this law, and when Mitt Romney is president he will repeal it and replace it with common-sense, patient-centered reforms that strengthen our health care system.” – Amanda Henneberg, Romney Campaign Spokesperson
To View This Press Release Online, Click Here: http://mi.tt/UgLiTP
Yesterday, The Congressional Budget Office Issued A Report Estimating That Obamacare Will Raise Taxes On Nearly Six Million Americans:
The Congressional Budget Office Estimates Nearly 6 Million Americans Will Get Hit With Obamacare’s Tax Increase.“Congressional budget analysts are now estimating that nearly 6 million Americans — most of them in the middle class — will have to pay a tax penalty for not getting health insurance once President Barack Obama’s health care law is fully in place.” (“Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6M Uninsured People,” The Associated Press, 9/19/12)
CBO’s Latest Estimate Found That 2 Million More Americans Would Experience A Tax Hike Because Of Obamacare.“The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect. The difference — 2 million people— represents a 50 percent increase.” (“Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6M Uninsured People,” The Associated Press, 9/19/12)
And It’s The Middle Class That Will Be Hurt By Obamacare’s Tax Hike – A Violation of President Obama’s Pledge To Not Raise Taxes On The Middle Class:
The CBO Analysis Found That “Nearly 80 Percent Of Those Who’ll Face The Penalty” Are In The Middle Class.“Nonetheless, in his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000. And the budget office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who’ll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level.” (“Tax Penalty To Hit Nearly 6M Uninsured People,” The Associated Press, 9/19/12)
In 2016, 4.7 Million Americans – Who Live In Families That Earn Up To $123,000 Per Year – Will Be Subjected To The Individual Mandate Tax In Obamacare. (“Payments Of Penalties For Being Uninsured Under The Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 9/12)
  • 600,000 Americans – Who Live In Families That Earn Less Than The Federal Poverty Level Of $24,600 Per Year – Will Be Subjected To The Individual Mandate Tax In Obamacare. (“Payments Of Penalties For Being Uninsured Under The Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 9/12)
  • 1.2 Million Americans – Who Live In Families That Earn Between $24,600 And $49,200 Per Year – Will Be Subjected To The Individual Mandate Tax In Obamacare. (“Payments Of Penalties For Being Uninsured Under The Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 9/12)
  • 1.2 Million Americans – Who Live In Families That Earn Between $49,200 And $73,800 Per Year – Will Be Subjected To The Individual Mandate Tax In Obamacare. (“Payments Of Penalties For Being Uninsured Under The Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 9/12)
  • 1.1 Million Americans – Who Live In Families That Earn Between $73,800 And $98,400 Per Year – Will Be Subjected To The Individual Mandate Tax In Obamacare. (“Payments Of Penalties For Being Uninsured Under The Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 9/12)
  • 600,000 Americans – Who Live In Families That Earn Between $98,400 And $123,000 Per Year – Will Be Subjected To The Individual Mandate Tax In Obamacare. (“Payments Of Penalties For Being Uninsured Under The Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Budget Office, 9/12)
FLASHBACK: Candidate Obama, In 2008: “Under My Plan, No Family Making Less Than $250,000 Will See Their Taxes Increase … Not Any Of Your Taxes.” OBAMA: “And I can make a firm pledge: under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase – not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes..” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks, Dover, NH, 8/12/08)
  • During Debates Over Obamacare, The Obama White House Emphasized That President Obama’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge “Didn’t Come With Caveats.” REPORTER: “The President’s opposition to tax increases for the middle income.  Does that apply to the health care bill, and specifically to this idea about taxing health insurance premiums?” ROBERT GIBBS: “Taxing?” REPORTER: “Health insurance premiums.” GIBBS:  “Well, I mean it’s — the statement didn’t come with caveats.” (Press Briefing By Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Washington, D.C., 4/15/09)

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