How Not to Run a Nation – Tea Party Nation

How Not to Run a Nation – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

The political farce that ended 2012 and began 2013 has surely made the United States a laughingstock among the nations of the world. The sharp divisions between liberals and conservatives in Congress led to desperate last minute negotiations to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that faced the nation’s taxpayers and that still threatens default on our debts. The same battles will be fought again when it comes time to raise the nation’s debt ceiling limit in two months.

This is a Congress that has not passed a budget for three years.

This is no way to run a nation!

By a vote of 89-8 in the early hours of Tuesday, the Democrat-controlled Senate approved a plan to raise taxes on families earning more than $250,000 and to postpone sequester cuts for two months. By mid-afternoon, however, reported that “House Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed to the Senate’s bill to avert the fiscal cliff, making it nearly certain that Speaker John Boehner’s chamber will amend the legislation and send it back to the Senate – a potentially serious blow to a package that appeared well on its way to becoming law.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the No. 2 House Republican, told GOP lawmakers that he was opposed to the legislation in its current form. Republicans are chiefly concerned with the lack of spending cuts in the tax bill.” And that has been the problem since Obama took office, too much spending and too much borrowing to continue spending.

For the year or more the “fiscal cliff” existed Congress chose to do nothing. The frantic negotiations resulted in an agreement to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, something Democrats and the President campaigned against for years.

Having to fight these fiscal battles all over again in two months will only reaffirm that Congress is incapable to arriving at common sense solutions. For the 47% of Americans who pay no taxes, the discussion is a distraction from watching the bowl games and other diversions.

It is useful to review the Heritage Foundation analysis issued prior to the late night vote. Amy Payne spelled it out in a recent commentary, saying “Tax hikes are the centerpiece of the problem” warning that the largest tax increase in American history was scheduled to kick in on January 1.

While the Bush tax cuts remain, solutions are needed to resolve what to do with the payroll tax, the alternative minimum tax patch, and a host of other tax policies that were scheduled to expire at year’s end.

However, twenty tax increases built into Obamacare are scheduled to go into effect. They will generate a trillion dollar increase for the years 2013-2022. Curiously, a tax on medical instruments that covers everything from tongue depressors to MRI machines will make healthcare more expensive for everyone despite the claim that Obamacare would make healthcare more affordable.

As the Heritage Foundation and others have been shouting from the housetops, Obamacare raises the hospital insurance (HI) portion of the payroll tax on wage income over $250,000 from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent. It then applies that 3.8 percent rate to investment income-capital gains and dividends—for anyone earning above $250,000.

Tax experts like Curtis Dubay, a senior policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, points out that “this is a massive policy change, since it represents the first time the payroll tax will apply to investment income.” He calls the investment income HI tax “a dangerous step down a slippery, tax-hiking slope”, predicting that “the economy will suffer, because incentives to work and invest will fall. Less work and investment will mean that businesses create fewer jobs and pay their existing workers less than they otherwise would have.”

Dubay refutes President Obama’s claim that his plan for taxing the rich would just be a return to the rates that existed under President Clinton. “That is flat out incorrect,” noting that Obama is ignoring the tax hikes hidden in Obamacare.

Stephen Moore, a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and a senior economics writer, a regular commentator on CNBC-TV and Fox News, has a new book out, “Who’s the Fairest of the Them All? The Truth About Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America.” ($21.50, Encounter Books). It blessedly brief, but it covers a lot of ground, especially as regards the lies coming out of the White House about the “rich.”

A lot of Americans are oblivious to the fact that the President is operating from an ideology that is the opposite of everything that built the greatest economy the world has ever seen. His views are those of a Socialist or to put it more bluntly, a Communist. He stops short of initiating programs by which the government would nationalize all industries, but Obamacare in effect does that for the health care industry; twenty percent of the nation’s economy.

In his book, Moore defends the free enterprise system as “the on-ramp to economic progress and rising incomes.” Under President Obama, “the ranks of the poor have risen and the progress of the middle class has stalled in the United States in recent years because we have moved so aggressively away from free markets and toward ham-handed government solutions.”

The lies the President told all through his 2008 campaign and the last four years of his first term have all been intended to create class warfare. Moore points out that “Mr. Obama says that in recent decades the middle class has suffered and shrunk. He is dead wrong on this count. In fact, the last thirty years (up until the 2008 recession) have been a boom period for the middle class.”

The proof of that, Moore notes, “By 2011, after Mr. Obama’s first three full years in office, and after nearly two years of radical spending and taxing policies, the median American family incomes declined by almost $4,500 for every household. The poverty rate increased, and so did the number of Americans losing their homes. Yes, Mr. Obama inherited an economic mess, but his policies have done little to stop the decline.”

Throughout 2012, according to Obama, if you earn more than $250,000 you are among the “rich” in America. This is surely a redefining of what we used to consider rich; usually those earning a million or more. As things stand now “Our government,” says Moore, “relies for more than 50 percent of its revenue on the richest three percent.”

The tax rate increase on “the rich” that Obama has been demanding would raise enough revenue to run the nation for about a week. Meanwhile, the U.S. must borrow $4.8 billion every day just to meet its expenses.

Obama’s goals since becoming President can be found in the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” and I recommend you get familiar with it as the nation hurtles toward financial collapse because that is exactly what the strategy is intended to bring about in order to impose a total socialist/communist system on the world’s greatest capitalistic economy.

Among the strategy’s proposals was a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls” and we have seen this in the expansion of the food stamp program and loosening of requirements for those on welfare to seek employment. The goal of the Cloward-Piven strategy is to ultimately “sabotage and destroy the welfare system in order to ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would ‘the rest of society’ accept their demands.”

That is Obama’s definition of “fairness” and it exists today as half of society, those with jobs or self-employed, are having their income taxed to pay for government programs for those who do not work or cannot find work; an estimated 26 million are unemployed or stopped looking for work. Another 47 million are using food stamps, a program that has greatly expanded during Obama’s first term and which uses television commercials to encourage more people to sign on.

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll noted that 73% of likely voters want government spending cut. They sense the danger of a government grown so large it threatens the economy and, indeed, enforcement of the Constitution’s limits on government.

It has become a cliché to say the problem is government spending, but the problem is government spending.

There are a variety of scenarios regarding the near future and among them is the collapse of the U.S. dollar. Should that occur there would be wide-spread panic and demands that the government “do something.” One massive form of control has already been imposed in the form of Obamacare. When the government can determine who lives or dies, or how much care they can receive, Americans have lost a precious freedom. Other freedoms would be lost.

Obama has found ways to worsen the financial crisis and it has been deliberate. He is not merely “transforming” America, he is destroying it.

© Alan Caruba, 2013


The Holy Grail for the left – Tea Party Nation

The Holy Grail for the left – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

The left is coming very close to something many of them consider the Holy Grail for liberalism right now.   It is a long held goal that many of them have had and now it is within reach.

 What is it and how bad is it for America?

 The Holy Grail that the left has been working on for a while now is a carbon tax.  The Carbon Tax is an idea that all forms of carbon (I.e. energy) will be taxed.  The tax will fall across businesses and people.  There will be taxes on energy when it is produced and when it is consumed.

 The left is almost orgasmic over this tax.

 Forget almost.  They are orgasmic over this tax.

 The Carbon Tax is their way of attacking the mythical man-made global warming.  But more importantly for the left, it is a massive new tax stream.  Some estimates are this could be a trillion dollars or more in new taxes. 

 The White House is quick to point out they will not propose a carbon tax.  No they won’t.  Liberals expect a Republican to offer it.  They will use the gullible Republicans for political cover.

 But this tax is far more complicated than adding a new tax to gas, oil, coal and other “carbon producing” fuels.

 The left immediately starts screaming that any tax cannot be a tax on the poor or the middle class.  But unlike income taxes, there is no way to differentiate the purchaser of energy products.

So what will they do?

 They will create a new bureaucracy that will offer refunds to lower income energy consumers so they are not punished by this new tax.

 Isn’t that great. 

 The government is going to create a whole new welfare program, even though it will not be called that.  Much, if not all of the revenue that this new tax generates will go to pay for the new bureaucracy.

 In the mean time, the American energy sector is pillaged by yet another tax. 

 The Carbon Tax will create yet another unending stream of tax dollars for liberals of both parties to spend while they claim they are looking out for America.

 America does not need another tax. We have enough of those and they are a disaster right now.  The energy sector does not need another tax they will pass along to consumers.

 What we need is to cut spending. 

 This is the message we need to be telling America.  The problem is not taxes or revenue and we do not need more taxes on the people or more revenue for government. 

 Each year the government wastes hundreds of millions of dollar.  There are programs that are identified every year that are riddled with waste, fraud or duplicate other government programs.

 The people of America need to demand that this spending be cut.  It is not the government’s job to give money to a friend of the Vice President so he can open a luxury car dealership in the Ukraine.

 We are seeing riots in Greece.  We are following the path of Greece.   In Greece, children are being sent to school with notes pinned to their clothes from their parents saying that they can no longer afford to care for their children. 

 This is the future of America if we do not stop the insane growth of government now.

IRS told employees to ignore potential fraud in program used by immigrants – Washington Times


English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...


IRS told employees to ignore potential fraud in program used by immigrants – Washington Times.


By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times


IRS supervisors ignored employees who tried to warn agency higher-ups of fraud in a program designed to collect taxes from immigrants, resulting in the agency paying out potentially bogus refunds, according to an official audit released Wednesday.


The Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA) said the IRS is too focused on getting out refunds quickly rather than getting them only to qualified taxpayers. Auditors also said the agency eliminated some methods employees had used to figure out questionable refund requests and doesn’t have the right training or tools to screen out bogus identity documents when immigrants apply for taxpayer numbers.


“TIGTA found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications,” said J. Russell George, the inspector general.


In the wake of the finding, one congressman called on the IRS commissioner to resign.


IRS pays out $6.8 billion in refunds to taxpayers who file using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). They generally are immigrants, here both legally and illegally. The potential amount of fraud was not stated, but the investigators detailed seven schemes that paid out $9 million in tax refunds in 2011


The agency said it has put new checks in place to try to crack down on fraud, including getting training from the Homeland Security Department on how to verify documents when an immigrant applies for an ITIN.


But the IRS disputed the inspector general’s assumption that fraud is rampant in many of the cases in which taxpayers are using the same addresses for multiple applications.


“While this is one of many risk factors for fraud, it is also the case that some taxpayers list the address of the tax return preparer to ensure that any future correspondence from the IRS is received. The IRS is analyzing this issue in more detail as it conducts its review of the ITIN program,” the agency said in a statement.


The auditors took a closer look at fraud after being prompted by senators, who said they had heard complaints from IRS employees that their warnings were being ignored.



Mr. George confirmed that, saying IRS supervisors were urging employees to turn their backs on potential fraud from identity theft.


Rep. Sam Johnson, Texas Republican, called for IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman to resign.


He has written a bill that would limit the popular child tax credit to only those taxpayers who have a Social Security number. The House passed a bill that included a version of his legislation, but the Senate has not acted on it.


The IRS said the law doesn’t prohibit illegal immigrant parents from obtaining the credit, though many members of Congress disagree.


Overall, the audit painted a picture of some cases investigators said should have raised red flags.


For example, investigators said the IRS issued 23,994 refunds to one address in Atlanta, totaling $46 million in refunds.


And one single bank account was issued 8,393 refunds totaling $236,747, while another account was issued 2,706 refunds totaled $7.3 million in 2011.


“This report is shocking,” said Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., Louisiana Republican and chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the IRS. “It’s one thing if the IRS tries to catch fraud and fails, but it’s quite another when management apparently takes steps to weaken program integrity.”




Big Lies in Politics – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Big Lies in Politics – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run. The current outbreaks of riots in Europe show what happens when the truth catches up with both the politicians and the people in the long run.

Among the biggest lies of the welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic is the notion that the government can supply the people with things they want but cannot afford. Since the government gets its resources from the people, if the people as a whole cannot afford something, neither can the government.

There is, of course, the perennial fallacy that the government can simply raise taxes on “the rich” and use that additional revenue to pay for things that most people cannot afford. What is amazing is the implicit assumption that “the rich” are all such complete fools that they will do nothing to prevent their money from being taxed away. History shows otherwise.

After the Constitution of the United States was amended to permit a federal income tax, in 1916, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of $300,000 a year or more fell from well over a thousand to fewer than three hundred by 1921.

Were the rich all getting poorer? Not at all. They were investing huge sums of money in tax-exempt securities. The amount of money invested in tax-exempt securities was larger than the federal budget, and nearly half as large as the national debt.

This was not unique to the United States or to that era. After the British government raised their income tax on the top income earners in 2010, they discovered that they collected less tax revenue than before. Other countries have had similar experiences. Apparently the rich are not all fools, after all.

In today’s globalized world economy, the rich can simply invest their money in countries where tax rates are lower.

So, if you cannot rely on “the rich” to pick up the slack, what can you rely on? Lies.

Nothing is easier for a politician than promising government benefits that cannot be delivered. Pensions such as Social Security are perfect for this role. The promises that are made are for money to be paid many years from now — and somebody else will be in power then, left with the job of figuring out what to say and do when the money runs out and the riots start.

There are all sorts of ways of postponing the day of reckoning. The government can refuse to pay what it costs to get things done. Cutting what doctors are paid for treating Medicare patients is one obvious example.

That of course leads some doctors to refuse to take on new Medicare patients. But this process takes time to really make its full impact felt — and elections are held in the short run. This is another growing problem that can be left for someone else to try to cope with in future years.

Increasing amounts of paperwork for doctors in welfare states with government-run medical care, and reduced payments to those doctors, in order to stave off the day of bankruptcy, mean that the medical profession is likely to attract fewer of the brightest young people who have other occupations available to them — paying more money and having fewer hassles. But this too is a long-run problem — and elections are still held in the short run.

Eventually, all these long-run problems can catch up with the wonderful-sounding lies that are the lifeblood of welfare state politics. But there can be a lot of elections between now and eventually — and those who are good at political lies can win a lot of those elections.

As the day of reckoning approaches, there are a number of ways of seeming to overcome the crisis. If the government is running out of money, it can print more money. That does not make the country any richer, but it quietly transfers part of the value of existing money from people’s savings and income to the government, whose newly printed money is worth just as much as the money that people worked for and saved.

Printing more money means inflation — and inflation is a quiet lie, by which a government can keep its promises on paper, but with money worth much less than when the promises were made.

Is it so surprising voters with unrealistic hopes elect politicians who lie about being able to fulfill those hopes?

The Tax System Explained in Beer – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary


Tax (Photo credit: 401K)

The Tax System Explained in Beer – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

In my explanations of the Laffer Curve, I’ve shown evidence that high tax rates discourage productive behavior and boost the underground economy.

And if higher tax rates are sufficiently onerous, the resulting reductions in taxable income can completely offset the revenue-generating impact of higher tax rates. Indeed, this is what’s already happened with the “Snooki tax.”

And the same thing happens in reverse. If lower tax rates lead to a big enough increase in taxable income, the government actually collects more revenue – which is exactly what happened when the top tax rate was lowered in the 1980s.

I’ve also tried to explain, shifting from economics to philosophy, that confiscatory tax rates are unfair and immoral. And I’m glad to see that most Americans agree, with 75 percent of all people saying that nobody should ever face a tax rate of more than 30 percent.

Notwithstanding that polling data, though, I fear that many people don’t really understand the economics of taxation. So I’m happy to share this little story that periodically winds up in my inbox.


Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

  • The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing
  • The fifth would pay $1
  • The sixth would pay $3
  • The seventh would pay $7
  • The eighth would pay $12
  • The ninth would pay $18
  • The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20?. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

The bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

  • And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
  • The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
  • The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
  • The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
  • The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
  • The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.


Very well done. Reminds me of the PC version of the story about the ant and the grasshopper, or perhaps the joke about using two cows to explain various economic and political systems.

And if you like those, you’ll appreciate this modern fable about bureaucracy, featuring an ant and a lion.

New Polling Data Shows How to Fight Obama’s Class Warfare – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary


taxes (Photo credit: 401K)

New Polling Data Shows How to Fight Obama’s Class Warfare – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

Since starting this blog, I’ve periodically shared polling data that gives me hope. Highlights include:

o More than two-to-one support for personal retirement accounts.

o Recognition that big government is the greatest danger to America’s future.

o An increasingly negative view of the federal government.

o More than eight-to-one support for less spending rather than higher taxes.

o Strong support for bureaucrat layoffs and/or entitlement reforms instead of higher taxes.

o And my favorite poll results are the ones showing that voters understand that the goal is less spending, not lower deficits.

Now there’s some new research that is both encouraging and educational. Here’s part of the report from The Hill.

Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation’s top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill. The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75 percent said the right level for top earners was 30 percent or below. The current rate for top earners is 35 percent. Only 4 percent thought it was appropriate to take 40 percent, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward. The Hill Poll also found that 73 percent of likely voters believe corporations should pay a lower rate than the current 35 percent… Republicans were more likely than Democrats to support lower tax rates for the wealthy, but voters in both parties solidly supported lower rates compared to current law. Eighty-one percent of Republicans favored tax rates below current levels, compared to 70 percent of Democrats. The Hill Poll, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research of 1,000 likely voters, also found broad support for lower rates across income groups. The group most supportive of lowering tax rates on the wealthy below current rates made between $20,000 and $40,000 a year; 81 percent supported tax rates of 30 percent or lower.

This data is important because it shows the value of framing an issue. Instead of defensively responding to Obama’s class warfare, proponents of good tax policy should be making a philosophical/economic point that “nobody in America, no matter how rich or how poor, should have to pay more than one-fourth of their income to government.”

And proponents of class warfare should be put on the spot and asked “what do you think is the maximum tax rate anyone should pay?”

Last but not least, friends of liberty should make the key point that higher tax rates on the so-called rich are merely precursors for higher tax rates on everyone else – as even the New York Times recently admitted.

Congratulations to General Motors: Worst Car Stock of 2011; Chevy Volt a ‘Worst Product Flop of 2011′ Winner – Tea Party Nation


English: General Motors EV1 electric car

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Congratulations to General Motors: Worst Car Stock of 2011; Chevy Volt a ‘Worst Product Flop of 2011′ Winner – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Seton Motley on January 6, 2012

General Motors stock (NYSE: GM) finished 2011 down 46.1% – the absolute worst car or car-related product stock on the board.  Besting (so to speak) the second worst by 4.5%.

And GM’s unprofitableunpopularcombustible electric Chevy Volt was a ‘Worst Product Flop of 2011’ winner.  Oh, and GM is moving electric vehicle development (and production?) to China – which sort of undermines the jobs “created or saved” reason for the $50 billion GM bailout.

All of which is even more terrible GM news for We the Taxpayers.

Per the titanic GM stock price drop-off: As a result of President Barack Obama’s $30 billion in additional bailout coin, we own more than 500 million shares of GM stock.  To break even on our “investment,” these shares must be sold at $53 per.  GM closed yesterday at $21.15.  Which if sold today would mean for us about a $16 billion loss – just on the stock portion of the GM bailout (we’ve suffered additional huge losses on other portions thereof).

Less Government tracks the looming stock loss – and offers the solution for how we can extricate ourselves from GM – at

Less Government President Seton Motley:

“From the moment the bailouts began – and General Motors became Government Motors – we have seen GM stack failure upon failure.

“There’s the unprofitableunpopularcombustible electric Chevy Volt – a ‘Worst Product Flop of 2011’ winner. That costs We the Taxpayers $250,000 per unit sold. GM sold in 2011  25% fewer Volts than they had planned – but is in 2012 bizarrely increasing production by 500%.  And despite all of this failure – including the inability to determine what is causing Volts to burst into flames – GM will next year begin producing an electric Cadillac and an electric Cruze.

“GM in 2010 received more clean (non-energy) energy patents than any other entity – of the Solyndra,TeslaFisker, uber-failure variety.

And onand onand….

“And GM and its Obama Administration-Democrat backers ludicrously tell We the Shareholders that all of this failure is a ‘success.’

“Well, GM was last year the worst car stock of all – and the Chevy Volt was an award-winning flop.  So the market ain’t buying it.  And neither are We the People.”

Health Care | Cost | Obamacare | The Daily Caller

Health Care | Cost | Obamacare | The Daily Caller.


Registered voters say President Barack Obama’s health care reform bill “has been bad for America” and half say their costs have gone up since its passage, according to a new poll set to be released Tuesday.

The Resurgent Republic poll, obtained in full, exclusively by The Daily Caller, asked registered voters whether they support the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that passed Congress with the president’s support. Forty-eight percent said they opposed the bill while 41 percent indicated they supported it. Independents said they opposed the bill 54 percent to 34 percent.

The survey asks the question a second way, presenting the respondents with two arguments. The first says that the bill has “been good for America” as “[i]t has provided health insurance to those who didn’t have it, is controlling health care costs, and holding the insurance companies accountable.” The other argument says that the bill has been “bad for America” because it has raised “health care costs, cut 400 billion dollars from Medicare, and injected government bureaucrats into health care decisions.”

Respondents again came out opposing the bill, 49 percent to 44 percent. When asked whether their health care costs have gone up, down or stayed the same since the bill’s passage, 50 percent indicated that their costs have gone up. Only two percent indicated that their costs had gone down while 43 percent said their costs have stayed the same.

Presented with two arguments on President Obama’s jobs bill, which was presented as keeping “teachers in the classroom, police and firefighters on the job” and repairing “crumbling infrastructure,” respondents came out in favor of the bill, 50 percent to 44 percent. The opposing argument presented the bill as “exactly like the first Obama stimulus bill that did not work” and just added to the deficit while the unemployment rate went up. However, independents came out in opposition to the bill, 47 percent to 45 percent.

Respondents also came out in favor of “raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.” When presented with the argument that “this is the wrong time to raise taxes on anyone” and that raising taxes means “more money going to the government, and less money in the economy that businesses can use to hire workers and create new jobs,” respondents supported the tax increase argument 54 percent to 42 percent. Independents supported increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations, 53 percent to 44 percent.

When the same pro-tax argument was put against an alternative anti-tax argument, that the “top ten percent of earners already pay over two-thirds of all federal income taxes… and U.S. companies pay a thirty-five percent tax rate, more than most European countries,” the results were similar. Fifty-three percent said they favored raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations while 43 percent said they opposed it.

The poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters from October 30 to November 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Resurgent Republic is a 501(c)(4) organization which, according to its website, “promote[s] conservative free market principles such as lower taxes and economic growth, and support strong national defense policies.”

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Lit Exxon sign logo

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Posted by W. Michael King, Ph.D.

Recognition of media distortions started for me back in the 1970s when strife over oil supply and demand came roaring to the surface. Seemingly (almost) overnight, gas prices at the pump doubled. The media cried out “Oil Company (fill in the blank) profits soar 100%!” and in some cases, 200%!!

The public was outraged at both the price of gasoline and the supply shortages. Teddy Kennedy wanted to “nationalize” the oil companies. The media missed the context. To the “profits soar 100%” shout, it happens to be true: The Return of Equity of the typical oil company did double – from 2% to 4% – and that is, in fact, a 100% improvement. Thanks to media distortions, if you stuck a microphone in front of most people on the street and asked what the profit of oil companies were at the time, I suspect you’d heard 100% or even 200% angrily said with outrage, concealing the truth that the ROE was among the lowest of any industry at that time. The other part the media missed is that the Arab-American Oil Company (ARAMCO) price-fixed the price of oil and OPEC decided they should control the market to the market-price, not by bureaucrats influenced by the US government. Also missed was that the tax and the growing pernicious environment policies made it less expensive to import than to develop and produce domestically.

The distortions happened again during the oil price run up that was unleashed by speculators circa 2008. Once again the media cried out: EXXON PROFITS $15 BILLION in the quarter. The $15 BILLION cry was shouted, and even the normally rational Chalie Gibson during an interview with the CEO of Exxon, followed the call like an automaton on a mission never putting the number into context. In fiscal quarter, Exxon’s profits were a tad over 8% of sales. In the quarter before and in the quarter after, Exxon’s profits were between 5% and 6% – not exactly ripping off anyone.

Recently, it was a case of “here we go again!” The new cry was GENERAL ELECTRIC PAID NO TAXES. A more accurate headline would be “General Electric Suffers Huge Losses from financial division, and investments in “green energy” and profits slammed!”

The media and much of the public seems convinced that “taxing the corporations” is salvation, completely missing the fact that taxing corporations is only a sales tax because that cost of doing business (taxes) is passed down to the consumer like any cost of business. The continuing cry of “increase taxes on the wealthy” misses the context of two points: the top 1% of income earners already pay 38% of the taxes, yet they call this “the fair tax” and that if the net wealth of all the 1% were to be confiscated, it would not dent the squandering debt of the current administration.

Collectively, all of these media indignations only fuel the class war to those who do not study the details and profoundly miss the greatest indigation of them all: the media bias by itself.

Liberal Republicans want to raise taxes. – Tea Party Nation

Lamar Alexander 2

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Liberal Republicans want to raise taxes. – Tea Party Nation.

If you wanted to rate Tennessee’s Senator Lamar Alexander, you would have to put him somewhere between horrible and even worse than awful. 

 What has he done?

 Lamar Alexander, or as Tennesseans refer to him as Liberal Lamar, is working on legislation that will force online retailers to collect sales taxes for states.

 While Liberal Lamar is a little vague on the details, it is a nightmare. 

 First, no branch of government, Federal, State or Local needs any more tax dollars.  Americans need that money in their pockets. 

 If you have any indication this is a bad bill, it comes as soon as Liberal Lamar opens his mouth and says he hopes this bill will have bipartisan support.

 Internet stores such as Amazon have a significant advantage.  They do not have to charge sales tax therefore their prices are usually cheaper.   The down side is if you want something from Amazon or or any other online retailer is you have to wait a week or two for the item to be shipped to you.  If you want your product now, you have to go to a brick and mortar store.

 When this issue is discussed, it is usually in terms of the big online internet retailers.  Amazon  has threatened to move facilities from states that have tried to make it collect sales taxes and has even terminated affiliate relationships in those states. 

 By requiring these retailers to collect sales taxes, Senator Liberal Lamar Alexander is creating a nightmare.  There are fifty states that have fifty different taxing structures.  It is not simply a matter of adding the tax to the purchase and then sending it to the states, these retailers are going to have to add staff to make sure they understand each state’s taxes, program their computers so they are in compliance with the tax laws, accountants to make sure the taxes are sent and then of course, they are going to have to deal with the ever popular tax audits.

 Amazon, Office Depot, Staples and Sears, some of the largest online retailers, will have to deal with this.  If costs become too great, they will shut down their online retail operations.  No matter what, there will be significant cost increases.

 They will probably survive.

 The real casualty here will be small businesses.  The vast majority of online retailers are small businesses.   They offer products or occasionally a service.  Many of these small businesses only have a few employees.  Some only have one. 

 This legislation will not simply cost these businesses more money.  It will put a lot of them out of business.  The taxes that will be increased in some cases make the difference for these retailers between staying in business and going out of business.    The extra costs of figuring out these taxes may force some of these businesses out of business.

 Businesses understand the nature of costs.  The first rule of business is you hold your costs down.  If you cannot hold your costs down, your competitor will and you will be out of business.

 Liberals, like Lamar Alexander, do not understand this.  Taxes and the mandates that go along with them, are a cost to business.  If costs exceed revenue, a business dies.  If costs rise to the point where a businessman cannot draw profit from his business, he will say it is not worth it and shut the business down. 

 All liberal politicians, like Lamar Alexander and Barack Obama do is add more and more regulations, taxes and costs on businesses.    It makes the costs of what we consumers buy greater and it forces businesses out of business.

 Lamar Alexander is the personification of the RINO concept.    He is a walking disaster who manages to screw up everything he touches.   He is proof that the theory we send our best and brightest to Washington is absolutely wrong.

 If you think Liberal Lamar Alexander’s bill is a bad idea, and you want to tell him about it, call his office today.  I certainly will be. 

 His Washington Office number is  (202) 224-4944 and his state office is 615-736-5129.