The Tax Bill Passed Last Night

This is the summary from Thomas.gov of the tax bill that passed the Senate last night.

H.R.1 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Introduced in House (11/02/2017)

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to reduce tax rates and modify policies, credits, and deductions for individuals and businesses.

With respect to individuals, the bill:

  • replaces the seven existing tax brackets (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%) with four brackets (12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%),
  • increases the standard deduction,
  • repeals the deduction for personal exemptions,
  • establishes a 25% maximum rate on the business income of individuals,
  • increases the child tax credit and establishes a new family tax credit,
  • repeals the overall limitation on certain itemized deductions,
  • limits the mortgage interest deduction for debt incurred after November 2, 2017, to mortgages of up to $500,000 (currently $1 million),
  • repeals the deduction for state and local income or sales taxes not paid or accrued in a trade or business,
  • repeals the deduction for medical expenses,
  • consolidates and repeals several education-related deductions and credits,
  • repeals the alternative minimum tax, and
  • repeals the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes in six years.

For businesses, the bill:

  • reduces the corporate tax rate from a maximum of 35% to a flat 20% rate (25% for personal services corporations),
  • allows increased expensing of the costs of certain property,
  • limits the deductibility of net interest expenses to 30% of the business’s adjusted taxable income,
  • repeals the work opportunity tax credit,
  • terminates the exclusion for interest on private activity bonds,
  • modifies or repeals various energy-related deductions and credits,
  • modifies the taxation of foreign income, and
  • imposes an excise tax on certain payments from domestic corporations to related foreign corporations.

The bill also repeals or modifies several additional credits and deductions for individuals and businesses.

Some Facts About The Republican Tax Plan

The first fact to remember about the Republican tax plan is that what is eventually passed by Congress will be different than what was introduced today. How different we don’t know, but it will be different.

The Daily Signal posted an article today highlighting some of the proposed plan. The plan would simplify taxes, lower income tax rates, and positively impact business taxes.

The article reports:

The tax reform package would simplify and lower the current tax rate structure, from seven different rates ranging from 10 percent to 39.6 percent, to four rates: 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent, and 39.6 percent.

Most low- to middle-income earners would face lower marginal tax rates, which would help encourage more work and also put more money back into taxpayers’ pockets to spend more productively than the federal government.

Unfortunately, the plan maintains the top marginal rate of 39.6 percent (which reaches 43.4 percent when factoring in the Obamacare surtax).

While only 1 of every 150 taxpayers actually pays the top rate, more than 1 of every $5 of taxable income is subject to that tax rate. That means a lot of economic activity is affected by the top rate, and lowering it would have a significant and positive impact on investment, productivity, incomes, and job growth in the U.S.

Maintaining a high top rate for wealthy Americans may make the plan more politically palatable, more appealing to average Americans, and help reduce the alleged “costs” of the tax reform plan. In reality, though, it would not result in nearly as much revenue as static estimates project, and it would limit the plan’s ability to maximize job growth and boost incomes for everyday Americans.

One aspect of the tax plan that is going to meet with a lot of resistance is the change to state and local tax deductions.

The article explains:

The proposed tax plan would partially eliminate state and local tax deductions by getting rid of the deduction for income or sales taxes, and by capping the deduction for property taxes at $10,000.

State and local tax deductions provide no economic benefit. In fact, they are outright detrimental to the economy.

By allowing those who itemize their taxes to deduct property taxes as well as income or sales taxes they pay to state and local governments, these deductions shift the burden of high-tax states onto low-tax states, and spread a portion of high-income earners’ taxes onto lower- and middle-earners’ tax bills.

For example, just seven states (California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut) receive more than 50 percent of the value of the state and local tax deductions.

And on net, the average millionaire receives 102 times as much benefit from the state and local tax deductions as a typical household that makes between $75,000 and $100,000.

Eliminating the sales and income tax deductions would be a huge benefit to at least 85 percent of Americans.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It explains how each part of the tax plan would impact families in all income brackets. What we are hearing in the mainstream media is not necessarily accurate.

 

 

It’s Not The Income–It’s The Spending

CNS News posted an article today about the tax revenue the government has received in the first six months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through the end of March). The government has collected $7,387,280,000 more in income tax revenue in the first six months of fiscal 2017 than were collected in the first six months of fiscal 2016.

The article reports:

The federal government also collected $547,491,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes during the first six months of fiscal 2017. That is about $2,731,820,000 more than the $544,491,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes (in constant 2017 dollars) that the government collected in the first six months of fiscal 2016.

Despite collecting record amounts of individual income taxes and payroll taxes, the Treasury still ran a deficit of $526,855,000,000 in the first six months of fiscal 2017. (The emphasis is mine)

No matter how much money we give them, it will never be enough. We need a budget (not continuing resolutions) that does the things that are constitutional for the federal government. All other functions need to be left for the states (as stated in the Tenth Amendment). Spending cuts are needed.

Another Way To Interfere With The Profit Margins Of Businesses

What you are about to read is not the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, but it is definitely close.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about a recent statement by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

The article reports:

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and world’s richest man, said in an interview Friday that robots that steal human jobs should pay their fair share of taxes.

“Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, Social Security tax, all those things,” he said. “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”

How do you tax a robot? If he doesn’t pay his taxes, do you take out his battery?

This is another example of the government interfering in the free market. As some people in the government push to raise the minimum wage, certain businesses will have no choice but to replace human workers with robots.

The article further reports:

Recode, citing a McKinsey report, said that 50 percent of jobs performed by humans are vulnerable to robots, which could result in the loss of about $2.7 trillion in the U.S. alone.

“Exactly how you’d do it, measure it, you know, it’s interesting for people to start talking about now,” Gates said. “Some of it can come on the profits that are generated by the labor-saving efficiency there. Some of it can come directly in some type of robot tax. I don’t think the robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax. It’s OK.”

Another example of the government finding new ways to take money away from people who have earned it.

The Government Doesn’t Need More Tax Revenue–It Needs To Cut Spending

CNS News reported the following today:

The federal government brought in a record of approximately $213,300,000,000 in individual income tax revenues through the first two months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through the end of November), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

That is approximately 36 times the $5,966,000,000 the federal government brought in from customs duties imposed on foreign imports over the same two-month span.

In constant 2016 dollars (adjusted using the BLS inflation calculator), the record $213,300,000,000 in individual income taxes the Treasury raked in during October-November of this year was up $6,432,550,000 from the $206,867,450,000 it brought in October-November of last year.

Meanwhile the website usgovernmentdebt.com posted the following:

The tax revenue is going through the roof and the deficit is rising. Would you run your household budget this way?

One Reason Washington Insiders Fear Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz is not a Washington insider. Despite the fact that his career path has taken him to Washington, he is not part of the ‘in-crowd.’ He has shown numerous times that he has basic principles and that he is willing to take a stand on those principles whether anyone joins him or not. This sort of thinking is dangerous to the Washington establishment–of either party. That is one reason the attacks on him will increase as the primary elections continue.

Currently the Internal Revenue Service Tax Code is a tribute to the effectiveness of lobbyists. The tax code is used to encourage certain behavior and discourage other behavior. There are times when the tax code has been used to encourage marriage and families and times when it has been used to discourage marriage. Certain business with strong lobbyists have received tax breaks in the past. The tax code has been used to subsidize certain industries and behaviors. Crony capitalism has been a major force behind changes and writing of the tax code. It is time for that to end, and Ted Cruz has an interesting suggestion as to how to end it.

The following is taken from Ted Cruz’s webpage:

FlatTaxPlanWouldn’t it be nice to be able to pay your taxes on this simple form?

The website further reports:

PERSONAL INCOME TAX – SINGLE RATE: 10%

The Simple Flat Tax creates a simple, single-rate flat tax for individuals. The existing seven different rates of individual income tax will become one low rate: 10%.

  • A family of four will pay no taxes on their first $36,000 of income.
  • The plan exempts a large amount of initial income for low- and middle-income taxpayers, with a $10,000 standard deduction and $4,000 personal exemption. It also keeps the Child Tax Credit and expands and modernizes the Earned Income Tax Credit with greater anti-fraud and pro-marriage reforms.
  • The plan keeps the charitable giving deduction and features a home mortgage interest deduction, capped at principal value of $500,000.

BUSINESS FLAT TAX – SINGLE RATE: 16%

The corporate income tax along with the payroll tax are abolished, replaced by a 16% Business Flat Tax.

  • The current corporate tax code is riddled with years of accumulated loopholes and special favors, burdening U.S. businesses with the highest top tax rate among the advanced nations. This convoluted and anti-competitive structure will be replaced with a simple 16% tax on net business sales (gross sales minus expenses and capital expenditures).
  • The current payroll tax discourages work and job creation. The vast majority of Americans pay more in payroll tax than in income tax. The Simple Flat Tax will eliminate the payroll tax, boosting jobs and wages for working Americans, while guaranteeing funding for Social Security and Medicare.

UNIVERSAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (USA)

The Simple Flat Tax creates Universal Savings Accounts (USA) allowing savings of up to $25,000 per year in tax-deferred dollars.

Savers can withdraw the funds at any time for any reason – whether it be for college tuition, a down payment on a home, or their son or daughter’s wedding. This savings feature harmonizes with the tax elements of the Cruz Simple Flat Tax to move toward encouraging savings and investment – a recipe for economic growth and jobs.

There are other tax reform plans out there, but this plan looks possible and interesting. The plan also eliminates the death tax, the overseas profits tax, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and the ObamaCare taxes.

I would just like to note that there is some serious double taxation in our current tax code–the death tax taxes money that taxes were paid on during the life of the person who died. Taxes paid on Social Security income are being paid on money that was already taxed when it was earned. The government needs to become considerable less greedy and allow Americans to keep more of the  money they earn.

 

 

The Problem Is Not The Revenue–It’s The Spending

CNS News posted a story today stating that the federal government raked in a record of approximately $2,883,250,000,000 in tax revenues through the first eleven months of fiscal 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 through the end of August), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Friday. This equals approximately $19,346 for every person who was working either full or part-time in August.

The article further reports:

Despite the record tax revenues of $2,883,250,000,000 in the first eleven months of this fiscal year, the government spent $3,413,210,000,000 in those eleven months, and, thus, ran up a deficit of $529,960,000,000 during the period.

…The largest share of this year’s record-setting October-through-August tax haul came from the individual income tax. That yielded the Treasury $1,379,255,000,000. Payroll taxes for “social insurance and retirement receipts” took in another $977,501,000,000. The corporate income tax brought in $268,387,000,000.

The chart below is an illustration of America‘s spending problem.

The article also noted that under ObamaCare new taxes took effect in 2013.

Excessive spending is a problem that Washington has no incentive to fix. It is up to the voters to give them an incentive–fix this or we vote you out of office!

 

This Is Called Blackmail

Yesterday Fox News posted an article with the title, “IRS chief warns of refund delays over budget cuts.” You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on here. If people experience delays in getting their tax refunds, they will complain. If they make enough noise, Congress will have to give the IRS more money to get the refunds out promptly. I hope Congress is smarter than that.

The IRS in recent years has abused its power and become a political tool. I think it is time to cut its funding (actually, I think it is time to make it go away and replace the income tax with a consumption tax of some kind).

The article reports:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen gave details Thursday on ways the tax-collection agency might try to cut costs. He said everything from taxpayer services to enforcement efforts could be affected.

But, in a move that could impact millions, he said there could be a lag in refunds being processed.

“Everybody’s return will get processed,” Koskinen told reporters. “But people have gotten very used to being able to file their return and quickly getting a refund. This year we may not have the resources, the people to provide refunds as quickly as we have in the past.”

In recent years, the IRS says it was able to issue most tax refunds within 21 days, if the returns were filed electronically. Koskinen wouldn’t estimate how long they might be delayed in the upcoming filing season, which is just a few weeks away.

Congress cut the IRS budget by $346 million for the budget year that ends in September 2015. The $10.9 billion budget is $1.2 billion less than the agency received in 2010. The agency has come under heavy fire from congressional Republicans for its now-halted practice of applying extra scrutiny to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

I totally support cutting the budget of the IRS. I would also support eliminating the agency.

 

Good Government Makes A Difference

When Governor Scott Walker took office in January 2011, he began a wave of reforms that have advanced Wisconsin’s economy. Wisconsin added over 63,000 private sector jobs in 2011-12 following the loss of about 134,000 private sector jobs during the previous four years. The private sector job gains under Governor Walker are the best two-year gains under any Governor in over a decade.

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune posted an article about Governor Walker’s plan to use part of the state’s surplus to reduce taxes on the residents of the state.

The article reports:

Assembly Republicans put the finishing touches Tuesday on Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to devote a huge chunk of the state’s surplus to tax cuts, approving the proposal one last time before sending it to the governor to be signed.

…The bill calls for using the state’s projected $977 million surplus to cover property and income tax cuts. The measure would send $406 million to technical colleges to reduce their property tax hit and cut income taxes by $98.6 million. The changes would translate to a $131 reduction on a median-valued home’s property tax bill this December and save the average worker $46 in annual income taxes.

Admittedly, that’s not very much–a little over $200 for a family where both parents work–but it represents movement in the right direction. How many years have the residents of Wisconsin watched their taxes increase by that much?

Governor Walker created an environment in Wisconsin that attracted businesses, and businesses came. The irony of this is that many ‘experts’ have attributed the migration of Americans to southern states to warmer climates–frankly, I am not sure you could convince anyone to go to Wisconsin based on climate alone.

Congratulations to Governor Walker for a job well done!

 

 

 

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A Forgotten Promise

When he ran for office in 2008, President Obama promised not to raise taxes on any family that earned less than $250,000. Then candidate Obama stated, “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” (from Townhall.com) Well, I guess that promise has been added to the list of broken promises.

Today, Heritage.org posted a story about tax increases that occurred in 2013 and tax increases planned for 2014.

The article reports two new taxes for 2014:

  • Obamacare’s individual mandate. Beginning in 2014, it’s mandatory to purchase health insurance. If you don’t, you’ll pay a penalty that dramatically increases over time. It starts at $95 or 1 percent of your income (whichever is greater). It rises to $325 or 2 percent of income in 2015, and $695 or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.
  • Obamacare tax on insurance companies. If you liked seeing your premiums go up, you’ll love this new tax on health insurers—which they are most likely to pass on to you.

The article also posted a list of the 2013 tax increases. The Social Security payroll tax for workers went from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent for everyone–regardless of whether or not they earned $250,000.  Also increased were various taxes on high earners–marginal tax rates increased, deductions decreased, investment taxes increased, and inheritance taxes increased. Excuse me for being totally politically incorrect here, but keep in mind that taxes on people who do not work but collect welfare or other government handouts did not increase. Keep in mind that when you tax an activity it decreases, and when you don’t tax an activity it increases. These kinds of tax increases do not encourage economic growth–they stifle it.

The article reminds us:

President Obama promised the American people a “balanced approach” of tax increases and spending cuts to reduce deficits and debt. He achieved the tax increase portion of that approach. Now Congress needs to force him to follow through on the spending cuts.

Until we see spending cuts, the economy will continue to grow much more slowly than it is capable of growing. The combination of high taxes and over regulation by the government is the biggest obstacle to a much needed economic recovery.

 

 

 

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Income Inequality

Lately we have been hearing a lot about ‘income inequality.’ It’s even a Biblical concept–Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.” So income inequality was with us in Biblical times and is still with us. It seems to be a constant thing. Other than help the poor among us, do we have the ability to change it. Well, we have a government that right now is trying.

Yesterday CNS News reported that according to a new study by the Congressional Budget Office, the top 40 percent of households by before-tax income actually paid 106.2 percent of the nation’s net income taxes in 2010. So what did the bottom 60 percent pay? That sounds like too few people pulling the wagon with too many people in it.

The article explains:

The households in the top 20 percent by income paid 92.9 percent of net income tax revenues taken in by the federal government in 2010, said CBO. The households in the fourth quintile paid another 13.3 percent of net income tax revenues. Together, the top 40 percent of households paid 106.2 percent of the federal government’s net income tax revenue.

The third quintile paid another 2.9 percent—bringing the total share of net federal income tax revenues paid by the top 60 percent to 109.1 percent.

That was evened out by the net negative income tax paid by the bottom 40 percent.

There is one aspect of the tax code that needs to be considered when viewing these statistics. When Congress has the highest percentage of millionaires per capita in America, why would they produce a tax code that is so unfavorable to the rich? Well, it’s not totally unfavorable to the rich–it is unfavorable to rich people who currently are earning their wealth. Family wealth carefully invested in tax shelters is not taxable. Previously acquired assets are not taxed unless they are sold.

The American tax code is already 13 miles long. We need to scrap it, and make it very simple–how much did you make, how much did you give to charity, how much mortgage interest did you pay? Subtract that from your gross income and pay a small percentage of what is left. The charitable deduction encourages people to support charitable works and the mortgage deduction encourages people to buy houses and form communities. End of story.

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Reaping The Rewards Of A Well-Run State

Reuters reported yesterday that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed a plan to simplify Louisiana’s tax code to make it more friendly to business. The Governor’s plan is to eliminate all corporate and personal income taxes in a way that would be revenue neutral.

The article reports:

But political analyst Maginnis (John Maginnis) questioned whether the Republican-majority Louisiana legislature would endorse Jindal’s ambitious plan.

“Any tax increase (such as sales tax) or elimination of exemptions would require a two-thirds vote, a form of legislative approval that would require (Republican) solidarity and significant Democratic support,” Maginnis said.

Jindal said his team will meet with lawmakers soon to discuss details of his tax reform plan.

“Eliminating personal income taxes will put more money back into the pockets of Louisiana families and will change a complex tax code into a more simple system that will make Louisiana more attractive to companies who want to invest here and create jobs,” he said.

There an important lesson in this idea. Raising taxes slows economic activity and does not necessarily result in an increase in tax revenue. Lowering taxes increases economic activity and often results in increased tax revenue.

During the 1980’s President Reagan lowered taxes. This resulted in an increase in revenue taken in by the government. Because the Democratic congress never kept their promise to cut spending, the federal deficit did not decrease, but federal revenue did increase.

Lower taxes mean more economic activity. Washington needs to learn that lesson.

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Class Warfare Backfired

One of the tenets of the Obama presidential campaign was the idea that we needed to tax millionaires and billionaires to fix our budget problems. A lot of voters who were not really paying attention decided that ‘the rich’ should be punished for their success and should contribute more. No one bothered to explain to them that even if you took all the money from the wealthy, it really wouldn’t help with the deficit because the problem is spending–not taxing.

The truth of who pays what is a little different. The Heritage Foundation reports:

The top 10 percent of income earners paid 71 percent of all federal income taxes in 2009 though they earned 43 percent of all income. The bottom 50 percent paid 2 percent of income taxes but earned 13 percent of total income. About half of tax filers paid no federal income tax at all.

Just for the record, in case anyone assumes I have a vested interest in this battle, I am not in danger of entering the top 10 percent of income earners. However, what I have learned over the years is that when the taxes go up on the rich, the rest of us suffer.

Meanwhile, Examiner.com reported today on some interesting tweets from Obama voters. These voters have received their first paycheck of the new year.

Some sample tweets posted in the article (please excuse the language, but some of these people are upset):

Twitter user Dave Cardenas15 tweeted, “Obama is the biggest f**king liar in the world why the f*ck did I vote for him.”

Another Twitter user said, “Idk why but I feel like I’ma regret voting for Obama.”

Some of the users wish they had voted for Mitt Romney as expressed by Warren G who tweeted, “I should have voted for Romney, I want a do over.”

Hilda Brown, a user on Warren G’s Twitter account replied back and said, “You’re entitled to your own opinion but do you really think Romney would have done a better job than Obama?”

Warren G responded, “My paycheck says yes.”

The Examiner article further reports:

Peterson (Hayley Peterson of the UK’s Mail Online news site) also said, “Earners in the latter group will pay an average 1.3 percent more – or an additional $2,711 – in taxes this year, while workers making between $30,000 and $200,000 will see their paychecks shrink by as much as 1.7 percent – or up to $1,784 – the D.C.-based think tank reported. Overall, nearly 80 percent of households will pay more money to the federal government as a result of the fiscal cliff deal.”

Part of the increase in middle class taxes is due to the fact that the Social Security tax is now back to what it had been previously, but other tax increases currently aimed at those making over $200,000 a year may filter down to the middle class fairly quickly as the cost of Obamacare rises.

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JUST A NOTE: The Washington Times also posted a story about the reaction from Obama voters on their decreased paychecks. It is enjoyable reading.

It’s The Spending–Not The Taxes

On Friday Representative Darrell Issa posted an editorial in the Washington Times about the current fiscal cliff debate in Washington.

He begins the article with some recent history on American tax policy:

Twenty-six years ago, President Reagan implemented significant tax reforms that lowered the individual income tax rate, limited deductions and brought equality to tax rates across all levels. Before that reform, there had been 15 different marginal tax rates reaching levels as high as 50 percent for top brackets. By the time Reagan left office, the number of brackets had been reduced to two: 15 percent and 28 percent.

In 1993, President Clinton raised the top two income rates to 36 percent and 39.6 percent while also raising the corporate tax rate, increasing the taxable portion of Social Security benefits and increasing income taxable for Medicare. This is what has become known as the “Clinton tax rates.”

In 2001, President George W. Bush changed the rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, lowered the capital gains and dividend income rates, and expanded credits and deductions such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The current discussions in Congress are centered on the idea of raising taxes–not on cutting spending. What would be the impact of raising taxes on the rich?

Representative Issa points out:

If you raised taxes on the top income bracket, you would generate around $1 trillion over 10 years. The past four years under President Obama have resulted in trillion-dollar deficits each year. At this rate, in 10 years we’re looking at $10 trillion in new debt. At best, the “tax-the-rich” proposal is just a 10 percent solution.

Government spending has traditionally been about 18 to 20 percent of America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Under President Obama, it has been about 24%. Since tax revenue is about 18% of GDP for year, the source of the deficit is obvious. Even when taxes are raised, tax revenue remains about 18% of GDP.

Representative Issa concludes:

The other side tries to boil this down into a seven-second sound bite about taxing the rich and people paying their fair share. In 2009, the top 10 percent of earners in the United States already paid more than 70 percent of federal income taxes.

This isn’t about fairness and unfairness. It’s about taxing and spending, and the federal government has spent enough.

The federal government collects more tax money from all Americans than the Medieval lords collected from the serfs. It really is time for that to stop.

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The Charts Tell The Story

Steven Hayward posted a story at Power Line including the following charts:

The article points out:

Second, raising rates on the rich has always been a liberal cover for raising taxes on everyone.  Obama doesn’t seem to know much about economics, but he certainly knows that taxing the rich alone won’t begin to resolve the deficit.  The real money has always been found in taxing the middle class.  The great jump in federal revenues began in World War II when the income tax was changed to reach much further down the income ladder of the middle class.  (See Figure 4.)  This is why I think Obama actually wants to go over the fiscal cliff, slam the middle class, and blame it on Republicans.

Hang on to your hats. We are going to get what we voted for!

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As You Hear The Debate On Raising Taxes…

As we approach the fiscal cliff put into place by Congress and the President, we will hear a lot about the need to increase taxes to balance the budget. We will also hear that the ‘rich’ are not paying their fair share.

First of all, this is how the tax code currently works (2009 numbers) according to the National Taxpayers Union:

Who Pays Income Taxes and How Much?

Tax Year 2009 

Percentiles Ranked by AGI

AGI Threshold on Percentiles

Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

Top 1%

$343,927

36.73

Top 5%

$154,643

58.66

Top 10%

$112,124

70.47

Top 25%

$66,193

87.30

Top 50%

$32,396

97.75

Bottom 50%

<$32,396

2.25

Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Secondly, watch the first minute of this video taken from the 2008 Democrat Presidential Primary debate:

Ask yourself, “What is this debate really about, and why is President Obama so determined to ‘tax the rich’ when it has been proven that doing so will not increase revenue to reduce the deficit?”

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What In The World Are We Thinking ?

Bill Clinton’s relationship with the truth has not changed since the 1990’s. Breitbart.com posted a video of Bill Clinton on CNN yesterday explaining that the American people are easily confused by plans of lower taxes and lower spending. In the video he cited a few facts that were simply not true. See the numbers below taken from the National Taxpayers Union to see who actually pays income taxes in America.

Who Pays Income Taxes and How Much? 

                                Tax Year 2009

 
Percentiles Ranked by AGI AGI Threshold on Percentiles Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid
Top 1% $343,927 36.73
Top 5% $154,643 58.66
Top 10% $112,124 70.47
Top 25% $66,193 87.3
Top 50% $32,396 97.75
Bottom 50% <$32,396 2.25
Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Lower taxes and smaller government allow the private sector to grow. There is nothing confusing about that, and the American people are not confused. We are reaching the point where more people are taking money out of government that are putting money in. At that point the system totally breaks down and America as we have known it disappears. This election may be our last chance to prevent that.

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Some Common Sense Applied To Government

Fox News reported yesterday that a bill has passed the House of Representative which would fire federal employees who have not paid their income taxes.

The article reports:

It passed by a vote of 263 to 114 and will be sent to the Senate.

The article further states:

Those on a plan to repay back taxes or in negotiations with the IRS would be exempt from the proposed change. IRS employees already can be terminated for non-payment of federal income taxes.

In April 2011, the bill was passed out of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of which Chaffetz is a member.

The bill would include those seeking federal contracts and grants, but exempts uniformed military personnel. In addition, federal agencies would be required to give 60 days notice before taking personnel action.

Current IRS data shows that 100,000 civilian government employees owed $1 billion in unpaid federal income taxes in 2009. Rather than raise taxes on everyone, shouldn’t we be concerned about collecting taxes already in existence from those who owe them?

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About That Buffett Rule…

Pat Robertson on the 700 Club revealed some numbers his research people came up with regarding the taxes of Warren Buffett and Warren Buffett’s secretary. They are as follows:

Warren Buffett’s 2010 Taxes:

Adjusted Gross Income              $62.9 million

Taxable Income                          $39.8 million

Income Taxes                             $6.9 million

Warren Buffett’s secretary in 2010

Forbes Magazine estimated her income at somewhere around $200,000

Her estimated tax burden was approximately $70,000 or slightly higher

A significant amount of Mr. Buffett’s income came from sources that the government had already taxes at 35% (corporate taxes). There is no reason to tax that money again. Mr. Buffett’s secretary did not pay more in taxes than he did. That is a lie.

 

 

 

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Is This An Example We Want Anyone To Follow ?

Breitbart TV posted a video of Cindy Sheehan speaking to Occupy Rose Bowl. She states that she has told her credit card companies that she will not be paying them anymore and that she has not paid her income tax for eight years. Good grief!  Credit card bills occur when people buy things. If you don’t buy things, you don’t have a credit card bill. When you buy something with a credit card, you take on the obligation of paying that bill. If you don’t want the bill, don’t buy the stuff! As for the income taxes–I guess the George W. Bush Administration was simply not political enough to have Ms. Sheehan audited.

Oh, how I long for the good old days!

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Sorting Out The Numbers In The Class Envy Promotion

It has already become obvious that one of the issues in the 2012 elections will be the evil rich who keep getting richer. Just in case you were wondering, I am not in any danger of entering that class. Anyway, we recently heard that as the rest of us are eating out less often and keeping our cars longer, the evil rich are prospering at a fantastic rate. Well, not so fast.

An article slated for tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal takes apart the numbers and reveals what has really happened to the rich under the Obama administration.

The article reports:

A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office (CB0) says, “The share of income received by the top 1% grew from about 8% in 1979 to over 17% in 2007.”

I’m not positive, but I suspect either Barack Obama or Joe Biden has referenced those numbers in recent days. If not, I am sure you can find them in sound bites from other Democrat leaders. Do you wonder why the numbers stop at 2007? There is a reason.

The article further reports:

The CBO didn’t say, although its report briefly acknowledged—in a footnote—that “high income taxpayers had especially large declines in adjusted gross income between 2007 and 2009.”

No kidding. Once these two years are brought into the picture, the share of after-tax income of the top 1% by my estimate fell to 11.3% in 2009 from the 17.3% that the CBO reported for 2007.

The article explains the different types of income the rich receive and how they are taxed. It also explains the impact of changing tax rates in various areas. Please read the entire article to understand how the Obama administration is twisting the facts in order to stir up class warfare.

The article concludes:

If Congress raises top individual tax rates much above the corporate rate, many billions in business income would rapidly vanish from the individual tax returns the CBO uses to measure the income of the top 1%. Small businesses and professionals would revert to reporting most income on corporate tax returns as they did in 1979.

If Congress raises top tax rates on capital gains and dividends, the highest income earners would report less income from capital gains and dividends and hold more tax-exempt bonds. Such tax policies would reduce the share of reported income of the top earners almost as effectively as the recession the policies would likely provoke. The top 1% would then pay a much smaller portion of federal income taxes, just as they did in 1979. And the other 99% would pay more. As the CBO found, “the federal income tax was notably more progressive in 2007 than in 1979.”

We need to cut government spending. Until we get spending under control (back to below 20 percent of the GDP as it was before President Obama took office), we will never be able to raise taxes enough to pay the cost of government. Even if we confiscated all the money and property from everyone who made more than $100,000 a year, we would still not pay off our debt or be able to stop borrowing one out of every four dollars we spend. It’s the spending, stupid.

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The Tax Increase No One Is Talking About

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article by J.E. Dyer on the tax increase scheduled for January 1. This tax increase has nothing to do with the super committee or any recent actions by Congress–it is simply the result of the expiration of the ‘Bush tax cuts.’ As you remember, the Republicans never had enough of a majority in Congress to make the Bush tax cuts permanent–they were renewed in a budget deal in December, but only for a year. Now the Clinton tax rates are set to come roaring back and totally devastate any economic growth that may be coming down the pike.

Some examples of the taxes involved show that the Bush tax cuts gave serious tax relief to middle class families. The article explains:

Bob Jennings at Fox Business ran some numbers for a young couple with two kids and combined income of $100,000.  (H/t: Lonely Conservative.)  Their tax bill would go up by nearly $3600 between 2011 and 2012, or about $300 a month.  And that’s just federal income tax:  they’re also paying property taxes (they have a mortgage), probably state income tax as well, and sales taxes and special excise taxes (e.g., federal gas tax) – plus they’re sending 13% of each of their earned incomes to Social Security and Medicare.

If you are a young family with children, $300 a month is significant. Unless Congress acts to continue the George Bush tax policies, more young families will struggle economically.

The article gives some specific examples of changes:

It’s not just rate increases for the “rich.”  The 10% bracket goes away, with the lowest rate reverting to 15%; the child tax exemption goes from $1000 per child back to $500; the “marriage penalty” comes back in terms of personal exemptions – and those are just the changes that will be felt by the most people.  Taxes on dividend income will go up as well, and all exemptions will be phased out as income rises (which will hit the small-business proprietors and professionals whose activities with their own money make an outsize contribution to economic growth and prosperity – not to mention dealing a blow to charities).

Hopefully, someone is Congress will prevent these tax increases from taking effect, but I am not optimistic. We need to constantly remind Congress–taxes are not too low–spending is too high!

 

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Am I The Only One Wondering About This?

I reported in January at rightwinggranny.com that General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt was appointed lead the President’s new jobs council. In March I reported at rightwinggranny.com that General Electric had paid no corporate income taxes in 2009.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

“”We expect to have a positive tax liability for 2010 when we file our U.S. income taxes later this year,” the conglomerate said in a written response to questions from Dow Jones Newswires. But “we think it will be covered by overpayments.””

“…GE called the Times report “particularly distorted and misleading” on its website Friday. On Monday, GE noted on its website that it paid almost $2.7 billion in “cash income taxes” globally in 2010, “including significant U.S. federal income tax payments.”

“GE also has said that its tax rate has been abnormally low recently largely because of losses suffered by its financial arm, GE Capital, during the financial crisis. The company noted that GE Capital lost nearly $32 billion from 2008 to 2010.

“”Our 2011 tax rate is slated to return to more normal levels with GE Capital’s recovery,” the company said.”

Today the New York Times reported:

General Electric, the nation’s largest industrial company, on Friday reported net earnings for the third quarter of $3.2 billion, up 57 percent from the same period in 2010 despite what the chief executive called a “volatile” economic environment.

The article further reports:

G.E. has been expecting its business for power generation equipment, which involves gas, steam and wind turbines, to improve this year. Profits in that component of its business were down 19 percent in the second quarter. 

Does anyone doubt that if the Obama Administration continues to pursue green energy, General Electric will profit handsomely by being well placed in the industry? I seriously doubt that any of this activity is illegal, but it is a glaring example of crony capitalism. The people at Occupy Wall Street are definitely protesting the wrong people–they should be out in front of the White House.


 

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Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

Pinocchio visto da Enrico Mazzanti (1883)

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent fact check on some details of one of President Obama’s speeches. After Warren Buffet claimed that his secretary paid more taxes than he did, President Obama began to repeat the claim. Associated Press decided to do some fact-checking.

The article at Hot Air reported the following:

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 and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 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.

There is also the fact that if Warren Buffet wants to pay more in taxes, there is a place on his tax return that allows him to do just that. The flip side of this is wondering how many lawyers and accountants he employs to keep his taxes as low as possible. While I am piling on, I would like to refer to a story I posted on September 1 at rightwinggranny explaining that a business move recently made by Warren Buffet will result in Berkshire Hathaway paying a tax rate of 10.5 percent on the $300 million in dividends it will receive each year from Bank of America instead of the normal rate of 35 percent. If Mr. Buffet is so convinced millionaires should pay higher taxes, why did he bother to make that move?

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