We here at Why Not Nashville? like to look at proposed legislation and ask “why?” Too often our leaders propose legislation simply to say they did something and hope their constituents are satisfied, even if said legislation will have virtually no positive impact. For example, the whole thing about banning assault rifles. Why? What’s the benefit? It isn’t going to do anything about the rifles that are already out there, it probably wouldn’t have stopped the Connecticut shooting from happening, and it isn’t going to do anything about the primary weapon used for shootings, the semi-automatic handgun (which we have a Constitutional Right to own). Moreover, gun laws don’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals anyway. In other words, banning assault rifles would have no impact, other than to advance the agenda of the anti-gun left. Not much of a reason if you ask me.
The fiscal cliff debate is another such example, although its assumed outcome will have a far more practical effect than simply lessening our liberties. It should be rather obvious to everyone that Barry wants us to go over the proverbial fiscal cliff. How do we know this? House Speaker John Boehner was actually going to give Barry what he allegedly wanted: a bill that would permanently fix tax rates for the overwhelming majority of Americans, while ultimately allowing the rates on rich people to go up on January 1. The conservatives in the House shot this possibility down last night, but Barry had already stated he was going to veto such a bill. Why would he want to do that? Because he wants to raise taxes on the top 2%, while Boehner’s bill would only have raised taxes on approximately the top .9%. But why does Barry want so desperately to raise taxes on the top 2%? Even the left agrees raising taxes on the top 2% will negatively impact small business. They also agree it would retard the already tepid economic growth we’re experiencing. Crap, Barry’s even asking for stimulus money to try and offset the negative impact of the tax hike. Finally, the tax hike will do virtually nothing to our long term debt and deficits. In other words, it’s being pushed only to advance the left’s “pro-middle-class” agenda. It has nothing to do with improving anything, however, which is why I’m glad the “Tea Party” members of the House shot Boehner’s proposal down.
Poorly thought-out, agenda-driven legislation is a bad idea. Want proof? Let’s look at budgetary black-hole California, where major cities are going bankrupt, and the Dems running the state have absolutely no idea what they’re doing because their ideology doesn’t match up with reality. As you may or may not know, Californians voted to raise the state sales tax and to raise state income taxes on “wealthy” people. The presumed purpose of the proposition was to reduce California’s massive debt. Contrary to popular belief, however, raising taxes doesn’t always result in raising revenues, especially when the people you’re raising taxes on are already paying more than they should be, and have the resources to flee to greener pastures.
According to the report, personal income tax revenues were ‘$827 million below the month’s forecast of $4.387 billion.’ Sales and use tax receipts ‘were $9 million below the month’s forecast of $1.601 billion’ and the year-to-date sales tax revenue was $8 million below forecast.
Not surprisingly, corporate tax revenues were also down, $175 million below the month’s estimate and year-to-date corporate tax revenues were $441 below estimate.
It’s examples like this that convince me we won’t actually begin solving our fiscal problems until we hit rock bottom. After all, it wasn’t the California state govt. that voted to raise taxes; it was the friggin’ people. In other words, there is a large group of people out there who believe we should be raising taxes, despite the ample evidence that doing so will actually make things worse. Maybe it will take another round of massive lay-offs and a recession to wake people up. Maybe even that won’t be enough. The older I get the more convinced I am that there are huge swaths of unemployed people that, despite their protestations to the contrary, are perfectly happy living in card board boxes as long as they have cable, cigarettes, and Wild Turkey. I don’t get it, but it’s clear that I’m in the minority. At least there’s still a few House Republicans who refuse to vote for legislation that they know won’t work.
America just re-elected a guy who presided over four years of deficits exceeding a trillion dollars. That’s never happened before (the deficits I mean…we’ve re-elected presidents before). The White House believes it now has a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy. The House of Representatives believes it has a mandate to keep that from happening. The Senate believes it has a mandate to never produce a budget, which it has failed to do for more than three years now. Is any of the foregoing true? Who knows. I have no confidence in most Americans knowing the difference between the debt and deficits, let alone ways to fix it.
The day after the election, House majority leader John Boehner said he was ready to talk to Barry about reducing our deficits. He said he was ready to put new revenue on the table through tax reform. Some of the more pathetic members of the Republican party have even agreed to increase taxes the wealthy, despite overwhelming proof that doing so will have virtually no impact on the deficit, while actually harming the economy. Barry’s response to Boehner:
President Barack Obama will begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday by calling for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next decade, far more than Republicans are likely to accept and double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011.
$1.6 trillion. Where will that come from, you ask? Well, everyone agrees that eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000, which is what everyone was arguing about during the debates, will only amount to $824 billion over ten years. While that’s certainly a lot of money, it’s only half of what Barry is looking for. Where’s the rest going to come from? Barry hasn’t told us that yet but I’ll be holding onto my wallet.
All of this is being discussed in an effort to avoid the upcoming “fiscal cliff.” The “cliff” refers to what our economy is set to figuratively fall off of on January 1 due to the expiration of all the Bush tax cuts, plus a crap-load of automatic spending cuts. In other words, taxes go up on everyone while spending goes down. You’ll hear the Dems argue that the Repubs are “holding America hostage for the sake of the rich.” You’ll hear some Repubs continue to say no to any new taxes, especially without significant entitlement reform, while some other Repubs will panic and say something like taxing the rich a little more won’t be the end of the America.
You know what gets lost in all of the “Bush tax cuts” argument? The reality that the “cuts” were to everyone’s taxes, and a whole bunch of people were removed from the tax rolls altogether. Fact is, our income tax system is more progressive now than it was thirty years ago. The problem, as we all know, isn’t our tax rates; it’s our spending problems. But hey, what do I know? I voted for the other guy.
So, given that America has re-elected Barry, and given that Barry and the Dems and their constituents want taxes raised on the wealthy, I say Congress should simply do nothing. “But that will cause our economy to go back into a recession and it will be terrible.” I say let it come. Our economy sucks. Unemployment sucks. Our debt and deficits suck. And you know what? The guy who was just re-elected doesn’t care. He has an agenda, and I say let him have it. You want to increase taxes on the wealthy? Screw that. I say raise taxes on everyone, and bring a whole bunch of people who voted for Barry back into the tax base. Is anyone really serious about spending cuts? Well, they’re coming up on January 1, 2013…$1 trillion of ’em.
As we speak, there are a surprisingly large number of people signing their names to petitions on the White House’s website, asking the feds to let their respective states secede from the union (the “surprising” part is that so many people are voluntarily giving the White House a reason to monitor their activities). The left will tell you they’re all just a bunch of bitter-clingers who hate Barry because he’s black. The reason the petitions were started is because many people see their country running down a path to insolvency and regular real unemployment being above 10% (it’s currently 14.6%), and they want off the train before it gets there. In other words, the country’s in distress and we don’t have a president who cares.
Despite what a majority of this country believes, money isn’t infinite, and companies aren’t charities. About 870,000 Ohio households just received proof of the former yesterday. Lots of people have been experiencing the latter for four years now. In other words, the people made their beds.
Why does every stupid socialist law implemented by liberals have to have the word “fair” in it? Do they think it will actually make us think there’s something “fair” about it? Do they not realize that “fair” is code for bigger government? Now, the internet sales tax is yesterday’s, well, more like five days ago’s, news, but I didn’t catch the name of the bill at the time. It’s called the “Main Street Fairness Act.” I love it. In fact, this is actually a double-whammy, because it also squeezes “Main Street” in the title. No surprisingly, its co-sponsors are all raving lunatics liberals like John Conyers.
I actually discussed this Act with a fellow conservative on Facebook other day. He was, to my surprise, a fan of the bill because it would help local business. Not necessarily untrue, but my response is better (bias?): Instead of increasing the sales tax on merchandise purchased on the internet, why not decrease local sales taxes? The City of Chicago , for example, drives shoppers into the open arms of the surrounding communities due to its ridiculous sales taxes. The liberal’s answer is always to raise taxes…wouldn’t lowering them achieve the same “fairness” while actually helping consumers? Aren’t consumers the people that drive our economy? Do any of you reading my posts actually respond to these rhetorical questions out loud? If so, good for you.
I read a good article this morning at ABC News’ website. It points out that the Boston Tea Party wasn’t about an increase in taxes, as many apparently believe. Instead, it was about anger. Anger at a government that was out of touch and out of reach. The same is true about the current Tea Party Movement. As someone who has attended a couple of Tea Parties, I can tell you that the people in attendance aren’t angry about taxes per se. They’re angry about a government that seems to feast on the workers while subsidizing the non-workers.
Ours is a government, despite what some believe, that has one job…do what the majority of the people want. That’s what a representative democracy does. The only real limit on the will of the people is the Constitution. In other words, the government can’t institute slavery again. The people of California voting to amend the state Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman is an example of their authority over their government’s.
We, and yes I’m saying we, are angry because our government is ignoring us. And not just the tea-partiers. It’s ignoring the majority of the people in favor of, well, I’m not real sure. The poor and/or unemployed certainly aren’t being helped by the current administration’s policies. Neither are those who are working, as they see their health insurance premiums and taxes rise while their salaries comparably fall.
Simply put, the current Administration either doesn’t know what it’s doing or absolutely knows what it’s doing. I’m not sure which one makes me feel worse. In any event, it doesn’t really matter because both options suck. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it appears unlikely that our president and democrat-dominated congress are going to pull their heads out of their collective-rears to listen to the will of the people, who are turning out to be smarter than them. November can’t get here soon enough. Party on Tea-Partiers.
Americans For Tax Reform authored a piece today that provides a reminder to everyone that the largest tax hike in history will hit January 1, 2011. The entire piece is worth reading, but I decided to post the first source of tax increases: the Bush tax cuts expiring.
Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:
– The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
– The 25% bracket rises to 28%
– The 28% bracket rises to 31%
– The 33% bracket rises to 36%
– The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%
Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.
The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.
Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.