Tag Archives: Taxes

Four more Years of Obama Will be Every Bit as Bad as Feared

Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as the leader of the United States today, giving us a first glimpse as to what four more years under Obama might look like.

Brad Dayspring, a senior advisor to YG Action Fund, a conservative super PAC, tweeted, “Let me translate: the era of Big Government is back.”

In other words, our worst fears are  being realized.

For months leading up to the election, conservative pundits and talk show hosts attempted to relay to the public the dire need to get out from underneath the onerous burdens of a liberal agenda.

Already, Obama and his liberal cohorts have raised taxes on anyone with a job, thousands of dollars for working class families.

Additional tax revenues will only be in the $60 billion range and 75% of new taxes will go to new spending projects.

Deficits solved right?

President Obama touched on global climate change, gay rights, entitlements and gun control, the liberal boondoggle quadrangle.

Barack Obama, unfettered by the need to tack to the center for political point-scoring in an attempt to get re-elected, is showing his true colors. All of those Democrats who defended Obama as a moderate – as opposed to the socialist most of us know him to be – will have be in a precarious position once the POTUS starts pushing his agenda further and further to the left.

And let’s be very serious about this: he absolutely will.

Obama has every intention of pushing forward with the continued spend and borrow habits that lead to the U.S. credit downgrade and trillions in deficits. He will continue to fund programs at taxpayer expense that have no net benefit to the American people, or are heinously disorganized and inefficient.

He believes in big government for the sake of big government and big government is what we’ll get unless the Republicans can wrestle the majority in the Senate away from the left.

Even so, the Democrats will have two years of leverage to push through whatever agenda they deem fit. It’s how we got ObamaCare, the only piece of major reform in the last century passed without a single bi-partisan vote.

Inflation remains a concern, unemployment has government costs soaring as people collect their food stamps, unemployment insurance and Medicaid supplies, all while investors remain wary of tax increases as Obama has made it quite clear he plans to take out businesses at the knees.

Taxes will go up again and businesses will respond by cutting jobs. The implementation of ObamaCare will cost millions more their jobs as companies fight off rising costs. Rising debts will stunt the strength of the U.S. dollar and our economy in markets around the world.

Obama’s support for unified labor will continue to bleed taxpayers despite the fact that schools aren’t getting any better and our students aren’t getting any better prepared for college.

As a first-term president, Obama was petulant, stubborn and uncompromising. How do you expect him to act when he’s not facing re-election and is concerned only with his own legacy? No president, perhaps in history, is a more self-absorbed and self-promoting leader than Barack Obama.

Furthermore, he’s shown he just doesn’t get it. In his speech, Obama took a shot at Paul Ryan in saying, ” The commitments we make to each other — Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

It’s utterly incoherent. How do welfare programs free us to take risks when the people paying to take risks are also the ones paying for the social programs? The only people social programs “free” are the people who don’t have to work or take risks. What Obama lays out is all well and good except for it being completely false.

What can we expect from Obama’s second term? More of the same. And that’s exactly what we spent the last four years worried about.

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Democrats have perverted tax system to hide their failures of fiscal responsibility

Republicans tell you that we have this fiscal cliff problem because the government spends too much. Democrats say the issue is tax revenues.

They’re both half-right.

Truly, the issue with the massive deficits and debt the U.S. government has created is in the very formula with which government spending arises.

In short, we’ve lost sight of why it is we have taxes.

As part of the social contract, dating back thousands of years, the people agree to give up certain freedoms in exchange for things like protection and the management of otherwise unmanageable resources.

In the old days, we had kings and fiefdoms and other monarchical, oppressive taxation systems. But then we created this thing called democracy. It was beautiful and wonderful because the people got a say.

Once a monetary system evolved and true governments came about, it became clear that in order to fund government, we’d need to pay for it somehow.

Hence the creation of taxes.

But governments, at least the U.S. government, doesn’t set up its budget based on its revenues like every other budget created by any one else for any reason whatsoever.

That’s because it controls its own revenue in the form of taxes. In other words, revenues can be whatever the government says.

This idea of “fairness” in taxation is entirely new, not to mention entirely fabricated by President Obama and the left. The government needs X dollars to function, then taxes should be Y. That’s how this system should work, it just doesn’t.

Obama’s leftist, wealth re-distribution notion that paying over a third of one’s income is somehow unfair (even though we have a progressive tax system) is inherently flawed.

That’s not how government works, nor is it how taxation ought to work.

But there are two major problems preventing us from having a system that actually makes sense. The first is that once budget allocations are made for programs, they’re nearly impossible to erase. If you spend the money, you get it again the next year, usually including a several percentage bump.

For years, the government has actually advertised for social services like food stamps because they hadn’t spent their full allocation and they were in danger of losing funding if they didn’t spend all of their allotments.

State government, for example, passes multiple-year budgets – usually biennial budgets. Taxes are based on the budget, not some arbitrary idea of fairness.

If the state has reduced its spending or increased its inefficiencies, taxes can go down. Likewise, if the state has drawn higher than expected corporate taxes or other fees, then income taxes can fall. This is happening right now in Wisconsin after Scott Walker’s brave budget lead to a (wait for it) surplus!

Property taxes work in a similar way. Local governments set budgets and then based on the value of your house, you pay a rate. It’s a progressive system that makes people with better houses pay more – usually these people are more wealthy. Everyone accepts this is how the world ought to work.

Then why doesn’t the federal government work the same way? Well, the first problem is they don’t pass budgets. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget since Barack Obama took office, so how can we possibly know how much we need? Without knowing how much spending we’re doing, we can’t know how much revenue to take in.

Likewise, our deficits are growing and our debts have burgeoned, something we don’t allow local and state governments to do. They have to have balanced budgets and their debts need to be below a certain percentage of their total revenues in a given time period.

Taxing along arbitrary lines allows the government to spend along those same arbitrary lines. It also precludes any sort of fiscal responsibility because there’s no guideline for budget-makers. That’s why, under the watch of Democrats, we have record debt, record deficits, and truly insane spending. By talking about taxing the rich, the left can obfuscate the reality that their view of taxation is an imaginary one. A canard.

There will be a resolution to the fiscal cliff, but because it won’t involve fundamental tax reform, it won’t solve anything related to our budget problems. What’s more, the Democrats admit that raising taxes on the rich won’t solve our deficit problems when 70% of those new tax dollars will go to new spending.

Democrats have no leg to stand on, no political ideology to point to when they talk about the “fairness” of the tax code because taxes are about balancing revenues and expenditures. They’ve shown no willingness to even begin to address that discrepancy and no plan they put forward can be taken seriously until that changes.

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Romney’s so-called gaffe won’t hurt him with his base

Mitt Romney said something months ago that was neither ‘eloquent’ nor articulate, but it’s not going to lose him the election despite what Keith Olbermann thinks (and argued with me on twitter over).

Romney’s campaign went into full-blown panic attack mode, but the leftist outrage is overblown. The GOP presidential candidate didn’t say anything his supporters didn’t already believe and his detractors didn’t already assume he believed.

If you want to fact-check what he said, that 47% of Americans are dependent on government, you can. The number is accurate, but the intent is somewhat disingenuous because less than 20% of tax filers reported with exemptions from taxes.

Despite what the Obama campaign wants to say that these comments mean, Romney was speaking purely from a political standpoint. He did not imply that he would forget about people on welfare and government subsidies.

In fact, this pernicious attack is specious at its core given the fact that Romney has dedicated his life in his church to helping the less fortunate, not just through his volunteering and charitable work, but through millions of dollars in charitable giving on top of the millions he’s paid in taxes over the years.

The intent of Romney’s now infamous “47%” line was meant to illustrate the burgeoning welfare state under Obama (which frankly starter unded President George W. Bush).

Nearly 1 in 7 Americans are now on food stamps, double what it was four years ago. President Obama has, habitually and repeatedly, made it a priority to hand people a government check, rather than the help the needy to be self-sufficient.

In fact, the USDA has been running radio spots for people to sign up for food stamps.

Unemployment remains above 8% despite what the president has said his policies would produce. For every dollar in private sector growth Obama has created, he’s created $3 in deficits.

His trumpeting of private sector job growth remains faulty as the jobs growth he’s creating has been unable to keep up with population growth, hence why the unemployment rate has remained above 8% and why the ‘real’ unemployment numbers are well above 10%, as people have simply dropped out of the workforce.

This is the dependence Mitt Romney was talking about. A president who believes the government is the way to prosperity, despite the fact that his every effort to provide a helping hand has gone wanting and the economy continues to falter.

Seniors, who make up a majority of those 47% of non-taxpayers, likely agree with the heart of Romney’s claims. A 70-year-old retiree living in Boca understands that she’s paid her fair share of taxes of the course of her life. She understands that the millions of Americans out of work and on welfare threaten the benefits she earned over the course of her working life.

If you want to hear the average person over the age of 50 launch into an epic, curmudgeonly diatribe, ask them about free-loaders. Most people have worked hard enough in their lives to resent those people, and Romney’s sentiments resonate.

Where these comments don’t sit well is on the left, where they’d like to grow the welfare state and expand their own power over the unwashed masses. The best way to repress a people is to make them dependent on government to survive.

While it’s true that poor people tend not to vote in high numbers, as Ezra Klein points out, how can we know the true effects of Obama’s welfare nation building until this election at the earliest?

All of that being said, this moment of inarticulacy from Romney hasn’t lost him the election. The election has already been lost ‘5 or 6 times’ by Romney according to geniuses like Olbermann, yet the former Massachusetts governor remains neck and neck with the woefully incompetent incumbent.

It is time for Romney to let go of the ideological attacks, the flaccid demagoguery that we hate about his opponent. While Obama has been allowed to be vague, oscillatory, and weak  over his four years in office, it’s time for Romney to prevent clear, specific alternatives.

In a battle of brands, Romney can’t win. The Obama campaign is too strong, but in a battle of ideas, Romney can’t lose. It’s time to remind the American people why.

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The left’s lies about Mitt Romney’s tax policies

The left’s insistence that their class warfare crusade was over, but their tour of lies and deception about Romney’s policies toward the rich have reached full bore.

Gov. Romney’s tax policies are most recently under attack, despite the fact the the Tax Policy Center who the advertisements cite, had to essentially guess about the specifics of Romney’s policy and how they would affect citizens.

Specifically, Donald Marron, who wrote the report said, “I don’t interpret (the report) as evidence that Gov. Romney wants to increase taxes on the middle class in order to cut taxes for the rich, as an Obama campaign ad claimed.”

Marron does say he believes the Romney plan cannot achieve it’s objective of cutting taxes across the board without closing some deduction loopholes for the middle class.

Certainly we can argue about the merits of Romney failing to be specific about which loopholes he’d close on the rich, but as Politifact also points out, most of the deductions in the tax code go to wealthy Americans.

The top 5 percent alone get 41 percent of the total tax savings associated with these breaks, the study found. The “middle” 60 percent of earners, by contrast, get less than a third of the benefit, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow with the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center.

Moreover, President Obama’s attack ads insist “the rich” will get hundreds of thousands in lower taxes, while the middle class will see an added burden.

There’s no evidence that is true, as Romney has insisted his plan is to cut rates for everyone. It is, however, true that then you cut rates, the amounts appear skewed in favor the rich.

The fact of the matter is that when you’re talking about 4% fewer in taxes on $100,000 versus 4% fewer on $1 million dollars, the numbers will make it seem as though “the rich” are making out like bandits.

But this is how a ‘rate’ works. It’s the reason we use rates and don’t just say, “Everyone has to be pay the government $1,000 a year in taxes.”

As Politifact points out:

The big benefits for the top fifth of earners, as found by the Tax Policy Center, are in a group whose incomes start at $103,000. Is that “wealthy?”

Plenty of people would argue, particularly those near that $100,000 range, that this is the middle class. Add costs like school, especially college, and a mortgage and suddenly $100,000 doesn’t get you very far in today’s modern world.

Live in a city like New York or San Francisco, and $100,000 puts you decidedly in the middle class.

We know politicians make promises you can’t keep. Many make promises they don’t even intend to keep.

Mitt Romney has stated over and over that he wants people to pay lower effective tax rates. Remembering that half the country doesn’t pay taxes, that means a small portion of the working poor, the middle class and the so-called rich are the only ones who pay taxes in this country.

Given that he wants to lower tax rates across the board and close loopholes, something that would disproportionately effect the top earners, the left’s claim about Romney’s tax plan is disingenuous at best. When you consider Romney’s steadfastness in wanting to keep everyone’s rates low (and no evidence he “favors” the rich) the left’s accusations are baseless and essentially false.

Hopefully the GOP ticket will offer some clarity and specifics in the debates about its tax plan to finally put to bed the accusations from the left based on a study that directly disagrees with the Democratic claims.

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Romney’s attacks on President grow more pointed, become more effective

I’ve wondered for months now whether or not Mitt Romney ‘gets it.’

Does he know how to run a campaign so that he wins on the ideas that he should be winning on?

I’m starting to believe that he does.

In a recent interview with CNN Money, he laid out a more detailed plan for how he’d deal with the tax code.

He insisted that the Tax Policy Center, who concluded his plan would raise taxes on everyone but the rich, was “garbage” because the TPC made assumptions about his plan that simply weren’t true.

Romney has been somewhat coy about what, specifically, he’d do in terms of closing tax loopholes and making sure his plan was revenue neutral, but his point over and over has been that he will figure out a way to do it.

Frankly, a guy as smart as he is – this guy is a dual Harvard graduate and a math wonk, I have faith – should be able to if he’s given the time to put something extensive and comprehensive together.

But that’s not what impressed me about that CNN interview.

It was that Romney took a pointed criticism from the reporter, one that had been backed up by an independent source, answered it effectively and efficiently, then turned it on Obama.

Romney points out that the same Tax Policy Center concluded that Obama’s plan would actually raise taxes on middle class families by a considerable amount, repeated that ObamaCare was a tax, and then says unequivocally that he will not raise taxes on the middle class period.

(Of course, this New York Times article on Romney’s plan fails to mention the comparison to that of Obama)

That is what being an effective politician looks like.

President Obama is the better orator, is the more likeable guy and has the better “street cred” with athletes, musicians and the Hollywood liberal elite.

You’d be hard-pressed to argue that Romney isn’t the more seasoned legislator, the more experienced political leader, and the most decorated policy-maker in this election.

But that doesn’t make him the best politician necessarily, because he will have to do the little things like answer these types of questions in the way he just did.

Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t always been so eloquent, but rather has been prone to misspeak, or at least speak with less ferocity and pointedness.

Perhaps it is the arrival of Paul Ryan as his running mate, or the fact that Romney is realizing this campaign is eminently winnable, but something in him may be shifting.

And it will need to.

Political rhetoric will only ramp up from here and Romney will have a slew of debates to try and take on Obama in the realm where he beat down John McCain in 2008.

If Romney can show he’s up to the task and at least hold his own in Obama’s arena, he may convince enough people in the middle that he can also stand up to the challenges we face in this country.

For starters, fixing the damage down by a wildly ineffective, but burgeoning federal government.

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By the numbers: Refuting leftists claims of tax injustice

No one, perhaps in the history of politics, has used words more effectively to obfuscate the blatant and demonstrably false ideas he’s put forward than soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama.

His idea of the rich “paying their fair share,” is so intuitive, so empathetic, it’s hard to resist.

Of course. Everyone should pay his or her own fair share.

Obama’s campaign is based on painting Mitt Romney as a money-grubbing businessman, the very big-money fatcats that made Occupy Wallstreet a national phenomenon flash in the pan.

But, as any person with a false ideology does, Obama runs into a problem of parody.

Mainly, that there isn’t any when it comes to the United States taxing rolls.

An article in the Wall Street Journal lays out the burgeoning piece of the tax pie that the rich are paying.  The article notes:

In the 1980s, the top 5% averaged 22.6% of income and paid 28.5% of taxes.

In the 1990s, the top 5% averaged 25.3% of income and paid 34.3% of taxes

In the 2000s, the top 5% averaged 28.4% of the income and paid 40.3% of the taxes.

– Wall Street Journal “The Numbers Behind a Hot-Button Issue”

Often, the argument made by liberals is that rich people are so much richer now, so they should be paying more. Or perhaps the argument goes, well the top percent of income earners control more wealth, so they should be paying more.

Both of those statements are factually true, but because of factors like inflation and population growth, the taxing system has not kept up with the historic trends of taxing the rich.

As the numbers from WSJ show, the top 5% actually account for 42% more of the overall tax rolls than they did a generation ago.

As for the claims in Obama’s latest add about the rich like Romney paying less in taxes than the middle class, on average, that simply isn’t true.  As the WSJ points out:

The annual Internal Revenue Service scorecard of the top 400 taxpayers—who reported average incomes of $200 million—showed they paid 19.9% of their adjusted gross income in federal income taxes in 2009, well above the rate paid by the middle class. Those with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000, for instance, paid about 12%. (The IRS tally for the top 400 counts only income reported on tax returns, and only income taxes. Neither the IRS nor CBO calculates figures for the 1% using the broader definitions of income and taxes.) 

Now remember that nearly half the households in America don’t pay any taxes, as in zero dollars, this gap between what we hear from the left and reality only grows.

The rich are richer, this is certainly true, but any sense of fairness of them paying more has to be lost when you account for the fact that they’re paying more of the bills now than at any point in history.

Obama’s infamous “you didn’t build that” gaffe seems even more incoherent now when you consider than business owners and the wealthy really did build that.

The money the government gets, by and large, comes from the rich. Not only do the top-earners finance most of commerce in the world, they finance most of the work the government does as well.

More importantly, the rich are always paying, and now by a higher percentage than ever, for the work not being done by the rest of the country. The middle class doesn’t pay for most of Social Security or entitlement spending.

The rich do with their taxes.

This idea that the rich don’t pay their fair share, when they’re paying not only their share but also the share for nearly 50% of American households, is a complete non-starter. By that standard, when the president means he wants the rich to “pay their fair share,” he has to be talking about lowering taxes, since the rich already pay for themselves and literally half of the country.

Of course, the president doesn’t mean this, which is exactly why so many believe the president means only to punish the wealthy, take from them and redistribute the money to his ardent base of statists, his rich friends, and whomever he chooses.

Does that sound like everyone paying their fair share?

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Obama’s example has lead the nation astray

Our soon-to-be-former President’s message about taxes has been consistent: Everyone needs to pay their fair share.

Apparently that excludes people in his own administration.

According to the IRS (via this story, Obama’s staffers owe more than $800,000 in back taxes.

The Oval Office has almost 460 employees, bringing in $37 million in salary. For those of you counting at home, that’s more than $80,000 per employee.

That’s up more than $4 million from the Bush administration.

In fact, in all, federal government employees owe $3.4 billion in back taxes. That’s billion with a ‘b.’

So much for “paying their fair share.”

No, we can’t directly blame our incompetent president for all of these employees who apparently believe the rules don’t apply to them.

On the other hand, it’s a perfect example of this government’s lack of accountability and that does stem from the oval office.

This president has repeatedly shirked the responsibility his office holds: one to be dutiful to the taxpayers not the fundraisers.

President Obama has habitually abused his power and further perpetuated the tax and spend liberal mythology to the utmost degree.

His attitude toward entitlements has only furthered the idea that the government can and will do what it desires, regardless of whether or not it’s legal to do so.

If we want to join a war in Africa without congressional approval why not?

If we don’t want to pay our taxes who is going to make us? Certainly not the government. We are the government.

I don’t know how many times it must be said, but attitude reflects leadership.

When our leader declares that people need more help from the government to survive, people tend to believe him. When our leader does what he wants without going through the proper channels, we tend to feel emboldened to do the same.

When our leader blames politics, incites division and instigates conflict, people tend to imitate.

Republicans don’t want Barack Obama out of office because he’s a Democrat. They want him out of office because he represents everything that is wrong with politics from political divisiveness, to cronyism, corruption and a big government power grab.

Regardless of his political stripes, Barack Obama’s example is one this country can no longer afford to follow.

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