Posts Tagged ‘capital gains’

U.S. Now Has Highest Corporate Tax Rate IN THE WORLD (But Emperor Obama Says Business Must Render More Unto Him Instead Of Creating Jobs)

April 2, 2012

America is NUMBER ONE!!!  But unfortunately, we’re just number one in anti-competitive taxes, pseudo-scientific obstructionism and costly regulations that all guarantee we’ll never be number one in much else ever again.

Let me take those in order:

No Fooling: U.S. Now Has Highest Corporate Tax Rate in the World
Curtis Dubay
March 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

This April Fool’s Day, the joke is on all of us. That’s because as of April 1, the U.S. now has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world.

Our high corporate tax rate has long made the U.S. an uncompetitive place for new investment. This has driven new jobs to other, more competitive nations and meant fewer jobs and lower wages for all Americans.

Other developed nations have been cutting their rates for over 20 years. The U.S. did nothing.

The U.S. was at least able to stay out of the top spot until now, because Japan had also failed to get its corporate tax rate in line with other more competitive nations. But Japan has finally seen the light and reduced its rate as of April 1.

Japan’s rate was 39.5 percent. That was just barely ahead of the U.S. rate of 39.2 percent (this includes the 35 percent federal rate plus the average rate the states add on). Japan’s rate now stands at 36.8 percent after its recent cut.

The U.S. rate is well above the 25 percent average of other developed nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In fact, the U.S. rate is almost 15 percentage points higher than the OECD average.

This gaping disparity means every other country that we compete with for new investment is better situated to land that new investment and the jobs that come with it, because the after-tax return from that investment promises to be higher in those lower-taxed nations.

Our high rate also makes our businesses prime targets for takeovers by businesses headquartered in foreign countries, because their worldwide profits are no longer subject to the highest-in-the-world U.S. corporate tax rate. Until Congress cuts the rate, more and more iconic U.S. businesses such as Anheuser-Busch (which was bought by its Belgian competitor InBev in 2008) will be bought by their foreign competitors.

To get back in line with international norms, Congress needs to reduce the rate so the combined federal and state rate matches or falls below the OECD average. Some will contend that with deficits north of $1 trillion annually, we simply can’t afford such a large rate reduction. But the actions of the nations we compete with for new investment show that these nations understand that lowering the corporate tax rate is necessary because of the boost to economic growth it provides.

The United Kingdom, for instance, is in as perilous fiscal situation as the U.S. However, the U.K. reduced its rate in 2011 from 28 percent to 26 percent. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne recently announced that the U.K. would further cut its rate to 22 percent by 2014 to increase competitiveness.

Congress needs to cut the corporate tax rate to make the U.S. a more hospitable place for investment. The time for excuses is over. Until it does, every day will be a cruel joke.

An interesting exchange between ABC News anchor Charles Gibson and Barack Obama during a debate shows us where Obama is:

You have however said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, “I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton, which was 28 percent.”
 
It’s now 15 percent. That’s almost a doubling if you went to 28 percent. But actually Bill Clinton in 1997 signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.
 
SENATOR OBAMA: Right.

MR. GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.

SENATOR OBAMA: Right.

MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?
 
SENATOR OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

You can reward wise practices or you can punish them.  You can reward individual initiative or you can punish it.  Obama is the latter even though the former is far and away the best for society.

Consider the words of Mark Levin as he shreds Obama’s “fairness” meme:

Utopianism also finds a receptive audience among the society’s disenchanted, disaffected, dissatisfied, and maladjusted who are unwilling or unable to assume responsibility for their own real or perceived conditions but instead blame their surroundings, “the system,” and others.  They are lured by the false hope and promises of utopian transformation and the criticisms of the existing society, to which their connection is tentative or nonexistent.  Improving the malcontent’s lot becomes linked to the utopian cause.  Moreover, disparaging and diminishing the successful and accomplished becomes an essential tactic.  No one should be better than anyone else, regardless of the merits or value of his contributions.  By exploiting human frailties, frustrations, jealousies, and inequities, a sense of meaning and self-worth is created in the malcontent’s otherwise unhappy and directionless life.  Simply put, equality in misery – that is, equality of result or conformity – is advanced as a just, fair and virtuous undertaking.  Liberty, therefore, is inherently immoral, expect where it avails equality.

Equality, in this sense, is a form of radical egalitarianism that has long been the subject of grave concern by advocates of liberty.  Tocqueville pointed out that in democracies, the dangers of misapplied equality are not perceived until it is too late.  “The evils that extreme equality may produce are slowly disclosed; they creep gradually into the social frame; they are seen only at intervals; and at the moment at which they become most violent, habit already causes them to be no longer felt.”  Among the leading classical liberal philosophers and free-market economists, Friedrich Hayek wrote, “Equality of the general rules of law and conduct … is the only kind of equality conducive to liberty and the only equality which we can secure without destroying liberty.  Not only has liberty nothing to do with any sort of equality, but it is even bound to produce inequality in many respects.  This is the necessary result and part of the justification of individual liberty: if the result of individual liberty did not demonstrate that some manners of living are more successful than others, much of the case for it would vanish.”  Thus, while radical egalitarianism encompasses economic equality, it more broadly involves prostrating the individual.

Equality, as understood by the American Founders, is the natural right of every individual to live freely under self-government, to acquire and retain the property he creates through his own labor, and to be treated impartially before a just law.  Moreover, equality should not be confused with perfection, for man is also imperfect, making his application of equality, even in the most just society, imperfect.  Otherwise, inequality is the natural state of man in the sense that each individual is born unique in all his human characteristics.  Therefore, equality and inequality, properly comprehended, are both engines of liberty (Mark Levin, Ameritopia, pp. 7-9).

Levin proceeds in the following paragraphs to demonstrate why “equality” is inherently easier to demagogue than “liberty.”  He then points out – in words that obviously could be applied to ObamaCare:

Utopianism’s authority also knows no definable limits.  How could it?  If they exist, what are they?  Radical egalitarianism or the perfectibility of mankind is an ongoing process of individual and societal transformation that must cast off the limits of history, tradition, and experience for that which is said to be necessary, novel, progressive, and inevitable.  Ironically, inconvenient facts and evidence must be rejected or manipulated, as must the very nature of man, for utopianism is a fantasy that evolves into a dogmatic cause, which in turn manifests a holy truth for a false religion.  There is little or not tolerance for the individual’s deviation from orthodoxy lest it threaten the survival of the enterprise (Ibid., p. 10).

Obama isn’t just pushing for more and more taxes to punish more and more job creators to guarantee that there will be fewer and fewer jobs; he’s also targeting the oil that lubricates the entire American economy and way of life:

Yesterday the Obama administration announced a delaying tactic which will put off the possibility of new offshore oil drilling on the Atlantic coast for at least five years:

The announcement by the Interior Department sets into motion what will be at least a five year environmental survey to determine whether and where oil production might occur.

Obama has a documented history of performing endless “studies” and then perverting those studies in profoundly unscientific ways:

Academics, environmentalists and federal investigators have accused the administration since the April spill of downplaying scientific findings, misrepresenting data and most recently misconstruing the opinions of experts it solicited.

[...]

The latest complaint from scientists comes in a report by the Interior Department’s inspector general, which concluded that the White House edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts supported the administration’s six-month ban on new deep-water drilling. The AP obtained the report early Wednesday.

And Obama has used frankly Stalinist tactics to then pressure the experts to fabricate their numbers in his political favor:

The Obama administration pressured analysts to change an environmental review to reflect fewer job losses from a proposed regulation, the contractors who worked on the review testified Friday.

The dispute revolves around proposed changes to a rule regulating coal mining near streams and other waterways. The experts contracted to analyze the impact of the rule initially found that it would cost 7,000 coal jobs.

But the contractors claim they were subsequently pressured to not only keep the findings under wraps but “revisit” the study in order to show less of an impact on jobs.

Steve Gardner, president of Kentucky consulting firm ECSI, claimed that after the project team refused to “soften” the numbers, the firms working on the study were told the contract would not be renewed. ECSI was a subcontractor on the project.

The government “‘suggested’ that the … members revisit the production impacts and associated job loss numbers, with different assumptions that obviously would then lead to a lesser impact,” Gardner testified before a House Natural Resources subcommittee. “The … team unanimously refused to use a ‘fabricated’ baseline scenario to soften the production loss numbers.”

So when Obama says he’s going to do a study, what he means is that he’s going to delay and stall and finally use manipulation and pressure-tactics and deception to fabricate a bogus “legitimacy” for his ideology and his cronyism.

To add to the injury Obama is doing to the economy there is the “hidden tax” of regulation:

A new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) titled “Ten Thousand Commandments” reveals the vast amount of private-sector capital drowned in the sea of government regulations.

The report’s conclusion is mind-boggling.  The cost of complying with federal regulations has hit the $1.7 trillion dollar mark.

That’s trillion, with a T.

To put that number in perspective, it’s larger than the President’s own anticipated 2011 budget deficit of $1.6 trillion.  In fact, the current regulatory burden imposed on businesses across America now amounts to 50% of total government spending in one year alone.

That’s nuts!

But guess what?  We can top it.

As the CEI report underscores, the compliance cost of regulation is larger than all corporate pretax profits in 2008 and dwarfs the estimated 2010 individual income tax receipts by nearly 50%.

That last point is worth repeating:  The cost of abiding by all the government regulations tallies up to $1.7 trillion, which towers over the revenue brought in by all income taxes, in every bracket.

Putting it all together puts America out of business.

Why Do Americans Want ‘Buffett Rule’? Because They’re Greedy And Ignorant And Hurt Themselves To Attack Those They Envy

January 24, 2012

I think it’s a safe bet that the name “Warren Buffett” will come up in Obama’s State of the Union address tonight (which under this president ought to be renamed “State of the Demagoguery).

There’s a rumor that Obama will plant Warren Buffett’s now-famous secretary next to Michelle Obama to drive his demgogic point home.

We’re going to be told that “the rich should pay their fair share.”  Because the fact that a tiny minority of the rich pay the overwhelming majority of the income tax burden while nearly half of Americans pay ZERO federal income tax is utterly immaterial:

The latest data show that a big portion of the federal income tax burden is shoul­dered by a small group of the very richest Americans. The wealthiest 1 percent of the population earn 19 per­cent of the income but pay 37 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent pay 68 percent of the tab. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent—those below the median income level—now earn 13 percent of the income but pay just 3 percent of the taxes. These are proportions of the income tax alone and don’t include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.

We’re going to hear about the so-called “Buffett Rule,” the idea that Warren Buffett says he pays less in tax than his secretary and he thinks that he should pay more.

Part of the problem with that is that Warren Buffett is a big fat phony hypocrite who actually owes a BILLION DOLLARS in back taxes.  So apprently the REAL “Buffett Rule” is to talk out of your ass while you welch on your legitimate tax obligations.

It is of course also true that Warren Buffett could pay as much tax as he wants.  He hasn’t paid more because in point of obvious fact he’s never wanted to pay more.  Which makes him not only two-faced, but two HYPOCRITE faces. 

These points are inconvenient, so the media will proceed to ignore them as being completely besides the point.

But there’s more to it.

The reason that Warren Buffett is taxed at such a low rate is because he pays taxes on “capital gains” rather than “income.”  Income has a top federal rate of 35%; capital gains are taxed at 15%.  Capital gains are taxed at such a low rate because investors have to put their money at risk in order to receive a reward.  And if you hike the capital gains rate, you decentivize investment (why risk your money on a business failing if you don’t even get to keep what you make when you win?) and economic growth and job creation tanks.  It’s as simple as that.

Obama doesn’t care about helping the economy or increasing the actual tax revenues; he’s all about Marxist “fairness” instead as ABC News anchor Charles Gibson once got Obama to admit:

MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

SENATOR OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

The Senator then proceeded to bash evil rich (sorry for the redundancy) people, so the moderator asked the question again:

MR. GIBSON: But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.

I wrote an article on this type of issue titled, “Tax Cuts INCREASE Revenues; They Have ALWAYS Increased Revenues.”  It is simply true that every single time we have cut income tax and capital gains tax rates we have had a surge in revenue to the government because investment was being encouraged.  Not only that, but the rich also paid a HIGHER percentage of that revenue than they had been paying prior to the tax cuts.  It is simply win-win – unless you are a communist or a fascist, which unfortunately Democrats are today.

It’s not about the rich paying any “fair share,” because they already PAY MORE than their fair share.  It’s not about increasing revenues, because the thing that Obama and liberals want to do will actually DECREASE revenues.  Rather, it is about Karl Marx and class warfare and playing off of ignorant people’s greed and envy and using demagoguery to stir up Marxist-based anger.  It is about cutting off your own leg so you can beat the rich man with it.  At least until all your blood gushes out of your femoral artery and you yourself die.

Here’s one last thing to read about the “Buffett Rule”:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Class Warfare and the Buffett Rule
by Noman Says

Noman was delighted to find an Arthur Laffer opinion piece in this morning’s paper. In it, he argues that a millionaire surtax would hurt everyone but the super rich like Warren Buffet. Noman imagines that Buffet knows this, which is why he felt safe being so bold as to champion the notion.

Waving Mr. Buffett’s op-ed for all to see, Mr. Obama wasted no time in proposing a surtax on millionaires called the “Buffett Rule.” Putting aside all the oohing and ahhing over Mr. Buffett’s selflessness, his effective tax rate on his true income would hardly budge if this “Buffett Rule” were applied.

Mr. Buffett’s net worth rose by $10 billion in 2010 to $47 billion, according to Forbes Magazine. That increase, an unrealized capital gain, is part of his total income by any standard definition, including the one used by the Congressional Budget Office. After also including a $1.6 billion gift to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Buffett’s true income in 2010 was much closer to $11.6 billion than the $40 million figure cited in his op-ed. Hence his true effective tax rate was only 6/100ths of 1% as opposed to 17.4%. And these are just the additions to his income that we know about.That untaxed $11.2 billion of income would still not be touched by the Buffett Rule, after application of which his taxes would increase by $7 million. His effective tax rate would rise to .12% from .06%.

 

Zowie! Meanwhile, the rest of us would have our growth ceiling, and probability of reaching it, lowered.One might argue that Buffet’s paltry tax relative to his true income only underscores his point, which is that hedoesn’t pay enough. But, the real point is that under his own proposal, he still wouldn’t. The rest of us, on the other hand, would have to endure higher rates, higher taxes, a less prosperous economy, fewer routes to upward mobility, and the ignonimy of having to laud Buffet’s selflessness.

 
 
After laying Mr. Buffet’s pretensions to waste, Laffer targets his hypocrisy.

Mr. Buffett’s donation to the Gates Foundation goes to the heart of my critique of his public call for higher tax rates on the rich… [I]f his gift weren’t tax sheltered he wouldn’t give it. So much for “shared sacrifice.”

In a 2007 CNBC interview, when asked why he shelters his money through tax-free strategies rather than writing big checks to Uncle Sam, Mr. Buffett responded: “I think that on balance the Gates Foundation, my daughter’s foundation, my two sons’ foundations will do a better job with lower administrative costs and better selection of beneficiaries than the government.”

So Mr. Buffett thinks he and his family can put their money to better use than the government can. I guess he’s really not so different from the rest of us after all.

That article of clothing lying about your ankles, Mr. Buffet, is your pants. Whatever was once holding them up has been plucked off.

Laffer is the foremost advocate of the well-documented and statistically-verified policy argument that if you want the rich to pay more taxes in both absolute and relative terms, then the high end of marginal tax rates should be lowered, not raised.

When it comes to raising tax revenues by raising tax rates on the rich, Mr. Buffett would again appear to be on the wrong side of the argument. Between 1921 and 1928, the top marginal income tax rate fell to 25% from 73%. During this period, tax receipts from the top 1% of income earners rose to 1.1% of GDP from 0.6% of GDP. The top income tax rate dropped to 70% from 91% after the Kennedy tax cuts began in 1964, while tax receipts from the top 1% of earners rose to 1.9% of GDP from 1.3% of GDP in the period 1960 to 1968. By the way, these periods were two of the biggest booms in U.S. history.

Guess what was the third period of boom? Since 1978, the top earned income tax rate fell to 35% from 50%, the top capital gains tax rate fell to 15% from 39.9%, and the highest dividend tax rate fell to 15% from 70%. After taking office in 1993, President Clinton virtually eliminated the capital gains tax from the sale of owner-occupied homes and cut government spending as a share of GDP by the largest amount ever.

Meanwhile, the top 1% of earners saw their tax payments climb to 3.3% of GDP in 2007 from 1.5% of GDP in 1978, while the bottom 95% saw their tax payments drop to 3.2% of GDP in 2007 from 5.4% of GDP in 1978. Why would Mr. Buffett want to reverse these numbers?

Laffer’s facts are tough to argue with. But, that doesn’t prevent Statists from trying.

Of course, cynics and die-hard progressives might object to the above evidence on the grounds that it was driven by an explosion of income gains. But that’s largely the point.

The evidence suggests that big government Lefties’ real attraction to higher taxes is that they leave the vast majority of people worse off, not better. Widespread poverty, not increased receipts to the government, appears to be the true aim of the “fair share” set. Anything to reduce the sphere of private decision-making, and increase the dominion of centralized power, eh?

And, that’s just fine with Warren Buffet. He’ll cut his own deal with whatever hegemon needs to be placated.

Noman has written about Laffer, and Buffet, and encourages you read the former’s “The End of Prosperity” (2008). It sheds a great deal of light on class warfare as an economic stratagem, and makes one question the morals of those who foment it as a political one.

 

Hiking taxes on the rich won’t result in their paying more revenue; it will result in their paying less revenue as they quickly shelter their money by using tax free bonds and other investment vehicles such as collectibles.  They will find if worth while to pay a high-priced tax attorney to find every possible shelter for their wealth.  And if you can’t similarly afford such a high-priced lawyer, well, doom on you then.

The result of Obama’s demagoguery would be less investment in business and in job creation, which are the very investments we need more of.

The small businesses that produce 75% of America’s jobs are utterly terrified of Obama and his vile Marxist policies for damn good reason.  Obama is counting on the American people’s ignorance and greed.

If Obama wins, America is doomed, and get ready for the beast of Revelation as his crony allies and his policies set up a $600 trillion collapse.

You won’t hear a word of any of the above in Obama’s speech tonight; but that is because virtually every word of his speech will be lies.

Oh, by the way, Obama is also going to tout his job recovery.  It is all a lie.  We have lost millions of jobs; the number of jobs available in America has collapsed:

‘Unexpected’ (Drink!!!): Jobless Claims Rise Sharply During Economic Wreckovery

Obama ‘Added Jobs’ Only If You Count Them With Propaganda Math

Obama Hell: When Bush Left Office Average Length Of Unemployment Was 19.8 Weeks; NOW IT’S 40.8 WEEKS

8 Illuminating Charts That Show How Truly Failed Obamanomics Truly Is

But don’t you worry, Democrats.  You can completely trust your ideological allies in the most biased news media since Goebbels to keep that shameful little secret of Obama’s, too.

AP Fact On Obama’s Tax The Rich Demagoguery A Reminder To Obama: ‘YOU LIE!’

September 21, 2011

Remember Joe Wilson?  That night Obama was giving one of his quadzillion speeches, and Joe shouted “You LIE!”

Those were the two most honest words said that entire night.

Well, Obama was a liar before Joe Wilson’s outburst and he remained a liar after Joe Wilson’s outburst.  And it’s nice that every once-in-a-while a mainstream media outlet such as the Associated Press points that fact out.

FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER – Associated Press | AP – Sep 20, 2011.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he wants to make sure millionaires are taxed at higher rates than their secretaries. The data say they already are.

“Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it,” Obama said as he announced his deficit-reduction plan this week. “It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million.”

On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

The 10 percent of households with the highest incomes pay more than half of all federal taxes. They pay more than 70 percent of federal income taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

In his White House address on Monday, Obama called on Congress to increase taxes by $1.5 trillion as part of a 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. He proposed that Congress overhaul the tax code and impose what he called the “Buffett rule,” named for the billionaire investor.

The rule says, “People making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.” Buffett wrote in a recent piece for The New York Times that the tax rate he paid last year was lower than that paid by any of the other 20 people in his office.

“Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires,” Obama said. “That’s pretty straightforward. It’s hard to argue against that.”

There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But that’s less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

The latest IRS figures are a few years older — and limited to federal income taxes — but show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4 percent of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS.

Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9 percent in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3 percent.

Obama’s claim hinges on the fact that, for high-income families and individuals, investment income is often taxed at a lower rate than wages. The top tax rate for dividends and capital gains is 15 percent. The top marginal tax rate for wages is 35 percent, though that is reserved for taxable income above $379,150.

With tax rates that high, why do so many people pay at lower rates? Because the tax code is riddled with more than $1 trillion in deductions, exemptions and credits, and they benefit people at every income level, according to data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official scorekeeper on revenue issues.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46 percent of households, mostly low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes this year. Most, however, will pay other taxes, including Social Security payroll taxes.

“People who are doing quite well and worry about low-income people not paying any taxes bemoan the fact that they get so many tax breaks that they are zeroed out,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “People at the bottom of the distribution say, ‘But all of those rich guys are getting bigger tax breaks than we’re getting,’ which is also the case.”

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressed at a White House briefing on the number of millionaires who pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-income families. He demurred, saying that people who make most of their money in wages pay taxes at a higher rate, while those who get most of their income from investments pay at lower rates.

“So it really depends on what is your profession, where’s the source of your income, what’s the specific circumstances you face, and the averages won’t really capture that,” Geithner said.

Here’s a pretty good compendium of the media’s reporting on what are truly breathtaking and astonishing Obama lies:

President Obama has claimed that the “rich” aren’t paying “their fair share” and he likes to use Warren Buffet’s claim that Buffet pays less in income taxes to infer that Buffet’s situation the norm among our wealthier citizens.

Well it isn’t. And, in fact, any number of news organizations have pointed that out today.

AP:

President Barack Obama makes it sound as if there are millionaires all over America paying taxes at lower rates than their secretaries. . . . The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

ABC News:

Treasury Secretary Geithner yesterday declined to answer a key question about the president’s proposed ‘Buffett Rule’: How many millionaires and billionaires pay lower tax rates than middle-income families? The answer appears to be this: not many. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has crunched the numbers and found that Warren Buffett and his secretary are the exception to the rule. For the most part, the wealthy pay a significantly higher percentage of their income in taxes than middle-income workers.

The Wall Street Journal:

There’s one small problem: The entire Buffett Rule premise is false . . . . [N]early all millionaires still paid a rate that is more than twice the 8.9% average rate paid by those earning between $50,000 and $100,000, and more than three times the 7.2% average rate paid by those earning less than $50,000. The larger point is that the claim that CEOs are routinely paying lower tax rates than their secretaries is Omaha hokum.

And the WSJ calls it what it really is:

We rehearse all of this because it shows that the real point of Mr. Obama’s Buffett Rule and his latest deficit proposal isn’t tax justice or good tax policy. It is all about re-election politics.

Even NBC is on to the game:

[W]ith some 14 months until Election Day 2012, Obama’s speech yesterday essentially marked the end of the governing season and the beginning of the campaign. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer admitted as much to the New York Times. ‘The popular narrative is that we sought compromise in a quixotic quest for independent votes. We sought out compromise because a failure to get funding of the government last spring and then an extension of the debt ceiling in August would have been very bad for the economy and for the country.’ Pfeiffer added, ‘We were in a position of legislative compromise by necessity. That phase is behind us.

If there is any transparency at all to this administration, it is this – there every move is obvious and it is clear this is being pushed out there for political reasons, not reasons having to do with what is best for the country.

Do you know why – even as Obama continually lies and demagogues the rich in his Marxist class-warfare campaign – he never actually says just how much more “the rich” should pay?  Because the stock market would completely TANK and remain tanked until the fool resigned from office in the disgust and disgrace he so richly deserves.

So he demonizes in the abstract.  Absolutely NOTHING Obama is saying has a single melting snowball’s chance in the basement of hell of becoming actual U.S. policy; this is pure political posturing and pandering as Obama tries to regain some toehold with his disintegrating base.

A president with a conscience would be trying to actually fix the problems in Washington and reach out to enact legislation that could make a positive difference.  But “conscience” rules out Obama.  The man is a demagogue and a fearmonger to the very core of his being.

Prior to giving his speech before the joint session of Congress a couple of weeks ago, it is utterly incredible to note that Obama made ZERO attempt to contact Speaker John Boehner to work out some kind of deal that would get through Congress and become law.  Obama doesn’t want solutions; he wants to demonize and blame other people for the mess that HE and ONLY HE has created.  Obama is the president; but the buck stops anywhere but with him.

So blame George Bush.  Because even three years after leaving office, George Bush remains more of a president and more of a leader than Barack Obama ever was or ever will be.

That said, let me mention Warren Buffett.  It’s funny how this fraud says he wants to pay more taxes.  Because first of all, there is NOTHING stopping him from paying more tax to the federal government other than the fact that he is a liar and a hypocriteEVERY SINGLE AMERICAN can pay as much as they want to the Treasury.

Second of all, if Warren Buffett wants to pay more taxes, the fraud might start off by paying the billion dollars in back taxes he already owes:

Warren Buffet May Owe A Billion Dollars In Back Taxes
Obama’s favorite billionaire isn’t quite ready to practice what he preaches.
by  John Hayward
08/31/2011

Warren Buffett, President Obama’s pet billionaire, spends a great deal of time calling for tax increases on wealthy people.  He began a recent New York Times op-ed, entitled “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,” as follows:
 
OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.
 
While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.
 
These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.
 
That’s right, serfs: anything your benevolent “leaders” in Washington allow you to keep is a “blessing” that has been “showered” upon you.  All money rightfully belongs to the State.  It’s about time you spotted owls got with the program.
 
Funny thing is, it turns out Buffett was being… shall we say… disingenuous when he claimed his “leaders” never got around to asking for his “shared sacrifice.”  His company, Berkshire Hathaway?, has been fighting the IRS tooth and nail to avoid paying its federal tax bill for nearly a decade.
 
How much of the State’s rightful money has this hypocrite been clutching in a white-knuckled death grip?  Oh, only about a billion dollars or so.  Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government tallies up the bill:
 
Using only publicly-available documents, a certified public accountant (CPA) detailed Berkshire Hathaway’s tax problems to ALG researcher Richard McCarty.  Now, the American people have a better idea of how much in back taxes the company could owe Uncle Sam.
 
 According to page 56 of the company report, “At December 31, 2010… net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million”, or about $1 billion. McCarty explained, “Unrecognized tax benefits represent the company’s potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities.  They have to be recorded in the company’s financial statements.”
 
He added, “The notation means that Berkshire Hathaway’s own auditors have probably said that $1 billion is more likely than not owed to the government.”
 
On top of this tax bill, figure the value of the time IRS agents have invested trying to collect it – they don’t work cheap, and we pay their salaries – and the resources Buffett’s people have invested fighting back.  All of which would have been saved if Buffett simply practiced what he preached, and willingly handed over his fortune to the brilliant and compassionate “leaders” he commands the rest of us to support without resistance.
 
Warren Buffet is no different from the other liars and frauds orbiting Barack Obama?.  His hypocrisy just runs billions of dollars deeper.  When it comes to “shared sacrifice,” you do the sacrificing, and they do the sharing.

Allow me to add Warren Buffett to the VERY partial list of liberal frauds who inhabit Barack Obama’s orbit of prodigious hypocrisy:

And, of course, Democrats who lecture us on “paying our fair share” while they either welch on their debts, refuse to contribute to charity, cheat on their taxes, or all damn three are a dime a dozen. Let’s have a few prominent examples: Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have largely welched on Hillary’s campaign debts. There’s Charlie Rangel, the man who chaired the committee that wrote the tax laws while not bothering to pay his own damn taxes. There’s “Turbo Tax” Timothy Geithner, the man in charge of the Treasury and I.R.S. who didn’t bother to pay his own taxes. There’s former Democrat candidate for president John Kerry, a millionaire, who tried to wriggle away like the worm he is from paying the taxes he should have paid on his yacht. There’s Kerry’s wife and fellow Democrat Teresa Heinz-Kerry, who in spite of inheriting the Heinz fortune actually pays less in taxes than the median American family. And then there’s a bunch of more garden variety cockroach Democrats such as Eric Holder, Tom Daschle, Bill Richardson, and Claire McCaskill. And the vile putrid bunch of Democrats running Bell, California.

Another thing to recognize – and another example of the disgusting hypocrisy that today is the quintessential defining characteristic of the entire Democrat Party – is that “The Warren Buffet Rule” wouldn’t actually even apply to Warren Buffett.  This is because of a fundamental disingenuous misrepresentation that Obama has deliberately peddled conflating income taxes with capital gains taxes.

Warren Buffett pays low taxes because first and foremost, he is a tax cheat who has not paid a BILLION DOLLARS in tax debt and who has been fighting his obligation to the last lawyer even as he hypocritically demands that everyone else pay more taxes like he himself won’t.  But it goes beyond that.  Another simple fact is that Buffett has structured his income in such a way as to MINIMIZE his income tax liability – just like nearly all wealthy people (and especially the wealthy liberal hypocrite jackasses) – do.  Warren Buffett has his assets in trusts and foundations and structures his assets that he takes income as capital gains – with are taxed at less than half the rate of income tax.  He doesn’t HAVE to do that; it’s just that this lying fraud chooses to do that to reduce his tax liability as much as possible.

What would happen if capital gains were taxed at the same rate as income tax – as Obama suggests we begin doing?

Kiss investment goodbye.  Kiss the U.S. economy goodbye.  Kiss millions and millions of jobs goodbye.  And kiss the next genuine Great Depression hello.

Whenever a person invests in a stock or a company, there is a very good chance that that person may well lose money.  It is a RISK.  And if you lose, the most you can deduct is something like $3,500 on your taxes.  But if you win, the government currently takes 15% of whatever you gained.  It’s a good deal for the federal government, if you lose, you lose and the government loses nothing; if you gain, the government helps itself to your winnings.  And the simple fact of the matter is that as an investor loses the ability to profit from his investment – while receiving no similar increase in his ability to be protected from his losses – his or her incentive to invest dries up like cheap plastic in a hot and arid desert.

And unless the poor are going to start risking THEIR money to fund and build businesses that in turn hire workers, the American economy will pretty much just fade away and go poof.

All that to say that unless we start attacking investment by attacking capital gains, the Buffett rule would hypocritically most certainly NOT apply to the very man it’s named after.

Up to this point, Obama’s entire presidency has consisted in making false promises, lying, demagoguing and demonizing his opponents and imposing failed “solutions” that have made what was bad far worse.

And as the Liar-in-Chief goes into full-fledged campaign mode, it appears he is merely picking up speed to accelerate all of the above.

Even Head Of Obama’s Own Jobs Council Immelt Says Obama’s NLRB Attack On Boeing An Incredibly Stupid Idea

July 14, 2011

Jeffrey Immelt is Obama’s handpicked chairman of Obama’s jobs and competitiveness council.  He is clearly NOT a rightwing anti-union reactionary.

But get this: even Immelt thinks Obama’s war on Boeing for daring to create jobs in a non-union plant is utterly ridiculous.  From USA Today:

Asked about the fuss over the National Labor Relations Board investigating aircraft maker Boeing for opening a plant in South Carolina, Immelt said he was totally supportive of Boeing in the matter, given that the company is a major jobs creator.

“I can’t see one reason why we’d want to go down that road,” he said.  Immelt added that he felt his company has worked on improving relationships with unions, saying, “They are hungry for jobs.”

Getting good union-employer relationships requires an adjustment, he said. “It’s taken change on both sides.”

The NLRB sued Boeing in April, saying the aeronautics giant illegally retaliated against unionized Washington state workers when it opened a 787 passenger jet manufacturing line in South Carolina, a right-to-work
state.

Boeing hopes more than 1,000 non-union workers will eventually build three of the aircraft per month at the $750 million South Carolina plant, the largest industrial investment in the state’s history.

But Obama would rather see a Great Depression than allow non-union jobs.

Let me simply provide a single quote from the Seattle Times:

“The Machinists union has struck Boeing’s Puget Sound-area factories four times since 1989, most recently in 2008.”

Boeing has contracts to build the plane they are building at this South Carolina plant that specifically guarantee delivery of aircraft by specific dates.  They simply cannot play games with work-stoppage, which the union is documented to have done repeatedly.  The 787 Dreamliner has already had more than enough problems, and the last thing Boeing needs is a bunch of pampered union workers having a hissy-fit and stopping production because even though they get FAR more in salary and benefits than they deserve, it still isn’t enough for them.

Strike and its aftermath
The next major delay in the Dreamliner program came largely as a result of a 57-day machinists strike. The strike, which ended on November 1, 2008, according to Reuters, forced Boeing to delay the plane’s first flight and first delivery yet again, this time until well into 2009.

And then, just a month later, Boeing again announced delays, blaming them on supply shortages due to the strike, as well as problems with assembly. “The new schedule reflects the impact of disruption caused by the recent Machinists’ strike along with the requirement to replace certain fasteners in early production airplanes,” Boeing said at the time.

The problems continued to mount after that, and not all were due to the strike. In June of 2009, Boeing once again announced a delay in the first flight and the first delivery, this time “due to a need to reinforce an area within the
side-of-body section of the aircraft,” it said. “The need was identified during the recent regularly scheduled tests on the full-scale static test airplane. Preliminary analysis indicated that flight test could proceed…as planned. However, after further testing and consideration of possible modified flight test plans, the decision was made…that first flight should instead be postponed until productive flight testing could occur.”

On December 15, 2009, the first Dreamliner finally took air, lifting off from Payne Field in Everett, Wash., in front of a crowd of thousands of Boeing employees, fans, and journalists.

But that didn’t mean Boeing’s problems with the Dreamliner were done.

In August 2010, National Aviation Co. of India, the Indian-state-owned company that runs Air India, announced it was demanding compensation of $840 million from Boeing for delays in the 787 program. The company said the delays were hampering its growth plans, according to Bloomberg.

Boeing said at the time that it was negotiating with carriers over costs related to the delays.

As someone who has been in management, I can well-understand Boeing’s dilemma.  They can’t admit that the union has them by the balls and it really hurts when they squeeze, I mean strike.  That would be tantamount to an open invitation for the union to strike every time there was a significant deadline.  At the same time, these work stoppages are like cancer, and they have to do something to try to innoculate themselves from the cancer of unions even while they carefully try to avoid saying that the unions are bleeding them like particularly nasty leaches.  And the effects of strikes are far worse on the bottom line than they appear on paper; because after a lengthy strike, it takes workers some time to recover the groove they had been in (it’s like that famous Polock joke: “Why is it so expensive to give union workers hour lunches?  Because they have to retrain afterwards”).

So – without laying off so much as a single union worker – Boeing expanded its operation to a right-to-work state, and specifically, to a plant that HAD been union, but voted the union out as a bunch of trouble-making losers.

And that’s when Obama took off his incredibly foul-smelling loafer and began to slam it on the table shouting, “We will bury you!” at Boeing.

Barack Obama would rather see jobs go overseas to China than he would see them go to South Carolina.  That’s the bottom line.

Barack Obama is a fascist.  He is the Cloward and Piven president.  He doesn’t want a thriving America; he wants to control it no matter how small it has to become for fascist progressivist-liberalism to dominate it.

Allow me to give you a rather clear example of how Obama thinks.  As the following video of Obama in a Democrat debate will show, Obama would raise the capital gains rate EVEN KNOWING IT WOULD HURT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND RESULT IN LOWER INCOME TAX REVENUES.  He would do so in the name of “fairness.”

There is a pathological, reflexive Marxist mindset that forces Obama to punish job creators even though it will result in less job creation.  Because at the core of Barack Obama’s tiny shriveled little cockroach soul, he is a Marxist who believes the central tenant of Marxism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  And Obama’s record – and the holocaust of jobs to go with the statements of small businesses that they’re not planning to hire any time soon -

But we don’t need the success of Republican policies, do we?  We don’t need to have unemployment rates of 3 and 4 percent like North Dakota and Nebraska.  We don’t need to have the incredible job creation of a Texas.  We certainly don’t need to ever balance a budget.  We’ve already slit our throats by voting for Democrats, and we really might as well just keep sawing until our heads fall off so that we can end up the way we’ve already basically been since 2006 when we started electing Democrats:  completely brainless and therefore completely clueless.

‘Unexpected’ Increase In Tax Revenues: More Confirmation That Lower Taxes Increases Growth/Revenue

May 9, 2011

I just finished responding to a pair of enjoyable comments from Robbie (here and here).  And Robbie posts an excellent 5:46 minute video of the great economist Thomas Sowell:

As Robbie points out, I say much the same things as Sowell.  What he says about tax rate cuts and increased investment and growth having been proven by four presidents over nearly a century (Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George Bush) is exactly what I pointed out in my article “Tax Cuts Increase Revenues; They Have ALWAYS Increased Revenues.”

We just had more confirmation of the effectiveness of tax cuts in INCREASING tax revenues (which means that when the government has lower tax rates, it actually collects MORE in tax revenue than it would were it to have higher tax rates):

WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner now is saying that, contrary to his recent dire warnings of “catastrophic economic consequences” should Congress fail to increase the nation’ debt limit, there has been an apparent unexpected increase in projected tax revenue, and the deadline for possible default has been benched until mid-spring.

Allow me to define “unexpected” for you: it is an adjective in Democratese for, ‘We’re too stupid to understand why, and too dishonest to admit it, but conservative economic policies are working.’”

A little more information as to why we had this “unexpected” increase in tax revenue comes out of an interview:

CHIOTAKIS: So how did the Treasury Secretary do this? I mean, I thought the old deadline of July 8th was pretty firm.

GENZER: Yeah, that’s what everybody thought. But Geithner actually got a little help from you and me, Steve — the taxpayers. It seems the IRS actually took in more tax revenue than expected last month.

There was an expectation that was building for the entire second half of 2010 that Republicans would win big in November, which greatly stimulated the stock market:

More than 85 percent of institutional investors see the GOP taking the House next month. While political polls suggest that changes are likely in Washington, a staggering number of professional investors think that the Republicans will win back the House of Representatives in November and that may be adding to their sense of a better business environment going forward. Since government policy error remains the biggest fear of investors, according to the poll, the view of DC trends matters.”

The unemployment rate – which had been steadily going UP, has gone down every month since Republicans were overwhelmingly elected and took over the House.  As I have pointed out in the past:

Here’s an interesting factoid that doesn’t seem to get any mention in the mainstream media: Unless I’m seriously mistaken, the unemployment rate has gone down every month since Republicans took control of The House in January:

Unemployment was if anything going UP.  And then Republicans took over, and whammo.  It started going down.  But Republicans didn’t receive so much as a scintilla of credit from the mainstream media.  It’s just amazing.

One of the things that investors and businesses were looking for from Republicans was their central promise that they would not budge in demanding that the Bush tax cuts be extended.  And as confidence grew that the Republicans would win in November and force Obama to reverse his repeatedly stated intention of pursuing Marxist class warfare and punishing investment, production and growth, people who actually produce in this nation began to act accordingly.

Hence the “unexpected” increase in tax revenue.

Democrats invariably point to the Clinton years as “proof” that the century proving that tax rate cuts increase revenues was just a ninety year fluke.

But the Clinton years actually prove the opposite: conservative policies were right during the Clinton years, too.

First, Clinton and Democrats increased taxes on the top marginal income rates in 1993.  Did wonderful things happen after that?  Well, if you’re a Republican, yes, they most certainly did: as a result of the complete failure of Clinton’s economic policy, 1994 marked the biggest takeover by Republicans in history, with Republicans slaughtering Democrats and taking over both the House and the Senate.

It wasn’t until Clinton reduced the capital gains rates that we really saw the kind of growth that Democrats love to point to.  It wasn’t until AFTER Clinton announced “the era of big government is over.”  And yet the actual reasons for that growth prove that their policies are totally wrong.

With the help of mainstream media propaganda, the American people have largely forgotten that Bill Clinton was forced to say, “The era of big government is over.”  With the help of mainstream media propaganda, the American people have largely forgotten that the “good” Clinton years came as a direct result of Republicans dominating both the House of Represenatives and the United States Senate.  With the help of mainstream media propaganda, the American people have largely forgotten that the “Clinton surplus” was the direct result of the Contract with America and its pledge for a balanced budget – literally over Clinton’s constant attempts to prevent it.

The mainstream media - like the Democrat Party whose propaganda whores they are – WILL NOT tell the truth about such matters.

But here we are again.  Republicans pass tax cuts, and then there’s an “unexpected” increase in revenue.  Just like every single other time.

After George W. Bush passed his tax cuts, we had dishonest and confused liberals reacting as the New York Times did:

“For the first time since President Bush took office, an unexpected leap in tax revenue is about to shrink the federal budget deficit this year, by nearly $100 billion.”

And for the record, President George Bush’s 2003 tax cuts:

raised federal tax receipts by $785 billion, the largest four-year revenue increase in U.S. history. In fiscal 2007, which ended last month, the government took in 6.7% more tax revenues than in 2006.

These increases in tax revenue have substantially reduced the federal budget deficits. In 2004 the deficit was $413 billion, or 3.5% of gross domestic product. It narrowed to $318 billion in 2005, $248 billion in 2006 and $163 billion in 2007. That last figure is just 1.2% of GDP, which is half of the average of the past 50 years.

Lower tax rates have be so successful in spurring growth that the percentage of federal income taxes paid by the very wealthy has increased. According to the Treasury Department, the top 1% of income tax filers paid just 19% of income taxes in 1980 (when the top tax rate was 70%), and 36% in 2003, the year the Bush tax cuts took effect (when the top rate became 35%). The top 5% of income taxpayers went from 37% of taxes paid to 56%, and the top 10% from 49% to 68% of taxes paid. And the amount of taxes paid by those earning more than $1 million a year rose to $236 billion in 2005 from $132 billion in 2003, a 78% increase.

It boils down to this: the more you hate America; the more you hate American economic power; the more you want to see the American people suffer; the more you should vote Democrat.

Now, I mentioned two comments to Robbie.  The other comment was about QE2 and its impact.

QE2 is the economic equivalent of sugar in nutrition.  Will it provide quick energy?  Sure it will.  Will that quick energy come at the expense of future health?  You bet it will.

Right now, as a result of the Obam Federal Reserve’s policy of increasing the monetary supply by buying debt from itself (literally creating money out of thin air), there is more economic activity.  Right now, as a result of this policy, credit rates are lower.  Fewer banks and corporations are going under because of the ready access to cheap money.  Investors see the stability and invest.

We should all feed our children tons of sugar, so we can enjoy the short term bonanza of frenetic activity.

Unless you worry about all the cavities, the weight gains, the diabetes, and of course that huge depressing crash with all of those catastrophic health consequences that necessarily come later..

The first time we ended QE1, the stock market lost 16% of its value in two weeks.  Which is to say it didn’t work the first time for the same reason it won’t work this second time.  Or a necessary third time, etcetera.

One of the more sinister effects of quantitative easing is that it essentially becomes a tax on saving.  You were busy at work putting away as much as you could during a period when your money was worth more.  But now, as a result of artificially increasing the money supply, all that money you accumulated in saving is worth less.  Why is this?  Because you can increase the money supply all you want, but you’ve still got the same finite amount of goods and services.  And when you’ve got twice as many dollars in the money supply as you had before, over time those same goods and services will cost twice as much as before, and so on.

Right now, prices are going up dramatically on virtually everything that matters.  And yet the only ones who refuse to admit it are the federal government and its stauchest mainstream media propagandists who think and report what the Obama regime wants them to think and report.

Meanwhile, the key factor that led to the economic crash in 2008 – the housing market – just had its worst quarter since the darkest depths of that crash.  And as bad as that is, the experts are saying that we are STILL  a ways off from hitting bottom.  Obama hasn’t solved anything.  And economists are described as being in the fetal position over this “unexpected” – (there’s that word again) – development.

It’s just like feeding that little kid sugar: frenetic activity that actually accomplishes nothing, followed shortly afterward by a nasty crash.

AP Rips Obama Infomercial On Facts, Honesty

October 30, 2008

By and large, the media has utterly failed to analyze Obama’s fanciful rhetoric to check for facts or for honesty.  Study after study has shown a profound mainstream media bias favoring Obama and attacking McCain.  A prominent ABC journalist called this bias “a very, very dangerous game … with the Constitution.”

A brand new study by the Project for Excellence in Media came out yesterday with absolutely devastating results on rampant media bias.

We’ll quickly be able to see the media bias, as people appearing on Obama’s infomercial – such as Roberta Johnston, Larry Stewart, and Mark and Melinda Dowell – either get their lives microscopically investigated the way Joe the Plumber did or not.  The media witch hunt (a.k.a. “investigative journalism“) into the life of Joe the Plumber – who drew a vicious media backlash for merely asking Obama a simple question outside his own home – was an unprecedented intrusion into a private citizen by a media machine that was determined to dredge up dirt on him.  If they go after Obama infomercial’s citizens the same way (can she really only afford to buy half a gallon of milk?  Did that mother buy herself a pair of shoes rather than buy snacks for her children?) I’ll be very much surprised.

Still, every so often some reporter actually tries to be fair.  And in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s $3 million infomercial spectacular, in a campaign in which Obama is outspending McCain 4-1 after Obama broke his promise to accept public financing, a little bit of objectivity is better than nothing at all.  So it was refreshing that Associated Press writer Calvin Woodward finally took a critical look at claims that Obama has been making with virtually no media scrutiny for months:

WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office.

Obama’s assertion that “I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond” the expense of his promises is accepted only by his partisans. His vow to save money by “eliminating programs that don’t work” masks his failure throughout the campaign to specify what those programs are — beyond the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

A sampling of what voters heard in the ad, and what he didn’t tell them:

THE SPIN: “That’s why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year.”

THE FACTS: His plan does not lower premiums by $2,500, or any set amount. Obama hopes that by spending $50 billion over five years on electronic medical records and by improving access to proven disease management programs, among other steps, consumers will end up saving money. He uses an optimistic analysis to suggest cost reductions in national health care spending could amount to the equivalent of $2,500 for a family of four. Many economists are skeptical those savings can be achieved, but even if they are, it’s not a certainty that every dollar would be passed on to consumers in the form of lower premiums.

THE SPIN: “I also believe every American has a right to affordable health care.”

THE FACTS: That belief should not be confused with a guarantee of health coverage for all. He makes no such promise. Obama hinted as much in the ad when he said about the problem of the uninsured: “I want to start doing something about it.” He would mandate coverage for children but not adults. His program is aimed at making insurance more affordable by offering the choice of government-subsidized coverage similar to that in a plan for federal employees and other steps, including requiring larger employers to share costs of insuring workers.

THE SPIN: “I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost.”

THE FACTS: Independent analysts say both Obama and Republican John McCain would deepen the deficit. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates Obama’s policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years — and that analysis accepts the savings he claims from spending cuts. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, whose other findings have been quoted approvingly by the Obama campaign, says: “Both John McCain and Barack Obama have proposed tax plans that would substantially increase the national debt over the next 10 years.” The analysis goes on to say: “Neither candidate’s plan would significantly increase economic growth unless offset by spending cuts or tax increases that the campaigns have not specified.”

THE SPIN: “Here’s what I’ll do. Cut taxes for every working family making less than $200,000 a year. Give businesses a tax credit for every new employee that they hire right here in the U.S. over the next two years and eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Help homeowners who are making a good faith effort to pay their mortgages, by freezing foreclosures for 90 days. And just like after 9-11, we’ll provide low-cost loans to help small businesses pay their workers and keep their doors open. “

THE FACTS: His proposals — the tax cuts, the low-cost loans, the $15 billion a year he promises for alternative energy, and more — cost money, and the country could be facing a record $1 trillion deficit next year. Indeed, Obama recently acknowledged — although not in his commercial — that: “The next president will have to scale back his agenda and some of his proposals.”

There are some facts to consider about Barack Obama’s health care plan that he failed to tell you last night:

One thing is extremely important to understand: Obama’s health care plan is modeled on the Massachusetts plan.  How are things going there?  Well, in the three years of the program’s existence, the tiny state is now already facing cost overruns of over $400 million.  Does that sound like a rousing success?  Massachusetts is facing a projected 85% increase in its costs by 2009 – which should set up a serious red flag that such programs are MASSIVELY underfunded.

Barack Obama’s health care plan is estimated to cost $1.6 trillion in 10 years.  But that doesn’t take into account the very sort of cost overruns and cost increases that are even now plaguing the very state that Obama is basing his own plan upon.  What is going to happen to our economy given the extremely real likelihood that Obama’s massive national plan runs into similar issues?  Do you believe our economy is strong enough to bear the brunt of these massive cost increases in this current climate?

In the aftermath of the unpopular $850 billion bailout of the economy, it is extremely relevant to question what Obama would do in light of a $1 trillion annual federal budget deficit and an over $10 trillion national debt.  That said, you’d probably want to hear about Obama’s sponsering of an $845 billion Global Poverty Act:

Sen. Barack Obama, perhaps giving America a preview of priorities he would pursue if elected president, is rejoicing over the Senate committee passage of a plan that could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars in an attempt to reduce poverty in other nations.

The bill, called the Global Poverty Act, is the type of legislation, “We can – and must – make … a priority,” said Obama, a co-sponsor.

And it is also critical to realize that while Obama promises to provide alternative energy which will free us from dependence on foreign oil, his plan will produce nowhere near enough energy to even begin to end our dependence on foreign oil.  Obama has been part of the Democratic trifecta with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, and you simply cannot trust them to dramatically increase our production of domestic oil, which we desperately need.  Gasoline and heating oil have dropped recently, but it is only a matter of time before OPEC cuts its production in order to drive the prices back up, and the very real possibility of a crisis in the Middle East could cripple us at any moment.

It’s too bad that Woodward didn’t more critically examine Obama’s tax plan, and questioned whether it was a good idea to dramatically increase taxes on capital gains, and on corporations and businesses during a time when we need more jobs and a stronger economy.

All that said, it’s good that at least one journalist from one publication took a stab at taking a critical examination of Obama’s infomercial promises and claims.

Obama-Biden Will Come After Middle Class With Taxes

October 29, 2008

I still remember George H.W. Bush’s “Read my lips: no new taxes” promise that cost him his re-election bid against Bill Clinton.  Clinton made hay out of the fact that Bush had promised not to raise taxes FOUR YEARS EARLIER, but eventually did (thanks to a Democrat-controlled Congress that ultimately forced him to do so, but why blame Democrats when there’s a Republican around?).

Promises are important, at least if they are made by Republicans.  Democrats can apparently say anything they want, as far as the mainstream media is concerned.

Well, Obama  is doing a whole lotta hedging recently.  He’s already shifting on his promise, and he hasn’t even been elected yet.  Not that the media is holding him to any of his promises.

The Obama campaign’s homepage still reads, “Obama said he wanted to give a tax break to all families making under $250,000 per year.”  He’s been making big hay with that.  During his second debate with John McCain, Obama said:

“If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.”

Obama has repeatedly said he’d give a tax cut to 95% of Americans (and the fact that 40% of that group who don’t pay federal income taxes would get a welfare check merely amounts to an inconvenient truth).

Byron York puts it this way:

Obama’s position in the past was that he would raise taxes on families making more than $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $200,000.  But in his new ad, “Defining Moment,” he seems to lower it to $200,000 for families. “Here’s what I’ll do as president,” Obama says in the ad.  “To deal with our current emergency I’ll launch a rescue plan for the middle class That begins with a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. If you have a job, pay taxes and make less than $200,000 a year, you’ll get a tax cut.” That seems kind of ambiguous, but the graphic on the screen says clearly: “Famlies making less than $200,000 get tax cut.”

And then Joe Biden almost immediately moves the goal post yet again:

“What we’re saying is that $87 billion tax break doesn’t need to go to people making an average of 1.4 million, it should go like it used to. It should go to middle class people — people making under $150,000 a year.”

All this even as facts begin to trickle out of a media machine that has not wanted you to know the truth about Obama.

According to the 2006 IRS statistics published by the National Taxpayers Union, “95 percent of working Americans” only includes those making less than $153,542 per year.

The Wall Street Journal crunches the numbers, and it turns out that Obama’s tax plan is like Captain Crunch, the cereal that tastes good to ignorant children, but is terrible for you when it actually gets into your system.

We suspect what’s going on here is more than Mr. Biden’s normal gift of gaffe. As with his admission that a President Obama would quickly be tested by our enemies, the Delaware rambler was stumbling into the truth. An Obama Administration couldn’t possibly pay for a tax cut for 95% of Americans by raising taxes on a mere 5%. Those 5% don’t make enough money, or at least they won’t after they find ways to shelter more of their income when their tax rates rise.

“$250,000.  No.  $200,000.  No, wait, $150,000.  Well, maybe it isn’t really $150,00, even though the numbers tell us we’re going to have to go after $150,000 in order to fund all the social spending programs we want.”  You better remind yourself that Barack Obama voted to raise taxes on people making $42,000 a year.  FactCheck put it this way:

Barack Obama Voted Twice In Favor Of The Democrats’ FY 2009 Budget Resolution That Would Raise Taxes On Those Making Just $42,000 A Year. (S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #85: Adopted 51-44: R 2-43; D 47-1; I 2-0, 3/14/08, Obama Voted Yea; S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #142: Adopted 48- 45: R 2- 44; D 44- 1; I 2-0, 6/4/08, Obama Voted Yea)

Democrats don’t have a very good record in even wanting tax cuts, much less at ever actually passing them.

I’ve got to put it this way: if you vote for Obama because you think he’s going to tax someone making more money than you and give it to you, I hope he raises your taxes.  That would be plain, simple poetic justice.  If you want someone else to pay more so you can have more stuff, it is only fitting that you should have to pay more so someone else can have your stuff.

There’s ALWAYS somebody with less.  If you make $42,000 a year, shouldn’t you pay more so that someone who makes $20,000 a year can have a piece of the pie?  And, if you make $20,000 a year, shouldn’t you pay more so that someone who doesn’t have a job have a piece of the pie?

Joe Biden earlier said:

Noting that wealthier Americans would indeed pay more, Biden said: “It’s time to be patriotic … time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”

The logic is that 5% of Americans should be patriotic and pay more in taxes, while the other 95% should be unpatriotic and pay less in taxes.  Don’t believe that crap: Obama-Biden will give as many people as they possibly can the opportunity “to be patriotic.”

In Biden’s version of Obama’s “spread the wealth around” moment, Biden told ABC’s Good Morning America, “We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people.”  Or as Obama earlier called it, “reparative economic work,” and “redistributive change.”

To paraphrase the old garage-sale adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”: One man’s middle class is another man’s rich.  You may wake up and find out that you’ve just been classified as “rich.”  And God help you then, because the Democrats in total control of the government sure won’t.

Obama once put it this way:

“…the African-American community, uh, are doing as bad, if not worse, and recognizing that my fate remained tied up with their fates, that, uh, that my individual salvation, uh, is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country.  Um, Unfortunately, I think that recognition, uh, requires that we make sacrifices, and this country has not always been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to bring about a new day and the new age.”

But if you vote for Obama, “a new day and the new age” is coming.  Like it or not, you are voting “that we make sacrifices.”  You just may not know it yet.

I could end here (on that nice poetic flourish of Obama’s), but I have a little more to say.  Let me introduce The New York Sun’s editorial from April 18, 2008:

The big television networks take a lot of abuse for their supposed left-wing slant, but for a few moments in yesterday’s presidential debate on ABC News, anchorman Charles Gibson sounded like a charter member of the Club for Growth or Americans for Tax Reform. It came when Mr. Gibson questioned Senator Obama about the capital gains tax. Mr. Gibson quoted Mr. Obama as talking about raising the tax to 28% from 15%. “But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent,” Mr. Gibson said. “And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent. And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?”

Why, Robert Bartley couldn’t have put it better himself. Mr. Obama was totally flummoxed, betraying a fundamental lack of understanding of the Laffer Curve. The Democrat of Illinois spoke of the need to “finance health care for Americans who currently don’t have it,” and of the need to “invest in our infrastructure” and in “our schools.”

Mr. Gibson, to his credit, wouldn’t let the point go. “But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up,” he replied to Mr. Obama. Mr. Obama replied by changing the subject, to “a housing crisis that this president has not been attentive to.”

From the actual debate transcript:

MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

SENATOR OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year — $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That’s not fair.

Charles Gibson, and yes, John McCain, have been talking about growing and expanding the economy which in turn would create more jobs and build more wealth.  Call it “top-down,” or whatever you want, but it works.  Barack Obama talks about fairness.  He talks about reparative economic justice.  He talks about spreading the wealth.  He talks about “redistributive change.”  Call it bottom-up or whatever you want (I call it “socialism” myself), it doesn’t work.  Higher taxes, whether they be personal or corporate income taxes, or capital gains taxes, or several other forms of taxation, cause the economy to retract, not expand.

The simplest question: if Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi raise taxes on corporations and businesses, do you for one second actually believe that they won’t pass those increases on to you?

Actual Job Creators Favor McCain 4-1 Over Obama

October 20, 2008

It aint just Joe the Plumber; chief executive officers have a lot of problems with Barack Obama’s socialism, too.

Obama’s “spread the wealth around” answer to plumber Joe Wurzelbacher about the fact that his buying a plumbing business would put him into Obama’s $200,000 class warfare zone is the quintessential definition of socialism.  There literally could not be a better four-word definition.  It should infuriate Joe.

“Small businesses” which can employ as many as 500 people and gross millions of dollars, employ 84% of American workers.  And of those businesses that employ just ten or more workers, an overwhelming majority would fall under Obama’s federal income tax increase.  80% of the people who would their taxes increase significantly under Obama’s plan are small business owners.  Partnerships, sole proprietors, S corporations–80 percent of the tax returns are in those brackets that Obama considers rich.  Under Obama’s plan, a lot of ordinary workers will lose their jobs as employers struggle to retain profitability or even make payroll.

People are most concerned about jobs right now; maybe they should stop listening to mainstream media ideologues and start listening to the people who actually create jobs:

Chief Executive Magazine’s most recent polling of 751 CEOs shows that GOP presidential candidate John McCain is the preferred choice for CEOs. According to the poll, which is featured on the cover of Chief Executive’s most recent issue, by a four-to-one margin, CEOs support Senator John McCain over Senator Barack Obama. Moreover, 74 percent of the executives say they fear that an Obama presidency would be disastrous for the country.

“The stakes for this presidential election are higher than they’ve ever been in recent memory,” said Edward M. Kopko, CEO and Publisher of Chief Executive magazine. “We’ve been experiencing consecutive job losses for nine months now. There’s no doubt that reviving the job market will be a top priority for the incoming president. And job creating CEOs repeatedly tell us that McCain’s policies are far more conducive to a more positive employment environment than Obama’s.”

Disastrous for the country.”  That doesn’t sound good.  And that’s about as optimistic as the CEO’s get about Barack Obama:

“I’m not terribly excited about McCain being president, but I’m sure that Obama, if elected, will have a negative impact on business and the economy,” said one CEO voicing his lack of enthusiasm for either candidate, but particularly Obama.

In expressing their rejection of Senator Obama, some CEOs who responded to the survey went as far as to say that “some of his programs would bankrupt the country within three years, if implemented.” In fact, the poll highlights that Obama’s tax policies, which scored the lowest grade in the poll, are particularly unpopular among CEOs.

Bankrupt the country within three years.”  There.  You want socialism, you can have it.  “Spread the wealth around” so that country itself is as broke as the defaulting homeowners and the defaulting mortgage houses we keep hearing about.

One thing is extremely important to understand: Obama’s health care plan is modeled on the Massachusetts plan.  How are things going there?  Well, in the three years of the program’s existence, the tiny state is now already facing cost overruns of over $400 million.  Does that sound like a rousing success?  Massachusetts is facing a projected 85% increase in its costs by 2009 – which should set up a serious red flag that such programs are MASSIVELY underfunded.

Barack Obama’s health care plan is estimated to cost $1.6 trillion in 10 years.  But that doesn’t take into account the very sort of cost overruns and cost increases that are even now plaguing the very state that Obama is basing his own plan upon.  What is going to happen to our economy given the extremely real likelihood that Obama’s massive national plan runs into similar issues?  Do you believe our economy is strong enough to bear the brunt of these massive cost increases?

Did you like that $850 billion government bailout of the US economy?  No?  Then you probably won’t like Obama’s $845 billion bailout of the world, either.

Sen. Barack Obama, perhaps giving America a preview of priorities he would pursue if elected president, is rejoicing over the Senate committee passage of a plan that could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars in an attempt to reduce poverty in other nations.

The bill, called the Global Poverty Act, is the type of legislation, “We can – and must – make … a priority,” said Obama, a co-sponsor.

Barack Obama also wants to push alternative energy whether the market wants it or not by dredging up yet another $150 billion from the great-great-great grandchildren of taxpayers while ignoring oil and nuclear power.  He claims he is not opposed to these – now.  But he consistently has been, along with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, and his carefully-phrased distinctions guarantee we would see neither domestic oil or nuclear power during any administration of his.  The problem is, alternative energy will not be able to even begin to make a dent in our energy demand for decades to come.  Oil products constitute nearly 90% of our energy.  And Obama’s “safety regulations” would ensure that the only alternative energy source that even could conceivably lessen our need for oil, gas, and coal – nuclear power – would be unable to even get through the permit process during an Obama presidency.  Saying you “won’t take it off the table” is a far cry from supporting it, especially when you attack the candidate who supports it.

And Obama favors raising capital gains taxes, windfall profits taxes, death taxes, and significantly higher taxes for “the rich.”  At a time when we desperately need investment – which is why the government has been pumping in so many billions – Barack Obama wants to create a powerful negative disincentive to invest in the economy.  Everyone will ultimately pay more because of Obama’s tax plan as businesses pass their additional costs on to consumers through higher prices.  Worse, as Obama finds his income tax base shrivel up, the politician who supported tax increases on those making just $42,000 a year will levy higher taxes on larger groups of tax payers.  The percentage of tax payers in Obama’s “top 5%” have already shrunk by half due to the recent finacial meltdown.  In short, Obama’s tax plan will fail.

By the way, that overwhelming 4-1 preference for McCain over Obama on handling the economy is nearly matched by a better than 3-1 preference for professional soldiers for McCain over Obama on handling our wars and our defense.


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