In What Universe Does This Make Sense?

On Tuesday, The Daily Caller reported that the Medi-Cal program in California will now cover healthcare for illegal aliens. It is not a surprise that California has one of the highest tax rates in the country and one of the highest cost of living.

The article reports:

The state of California’s program providing taxpayer-funded health care to illegal immigrants covers sex change surgeries and hormones, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of the program.

The program, which is known as Medi-Cal, covers hormone therapy and surgical procedures “that bring primary and secondary gender characteristics into conformity with the individual’s identified gender, including ancillary services, such as hair removal, incident to those services,” according to a state memo from May 2022. Roughly 700,000 illegal immigrants in the state between the age of 26 and 49 qualify for full coverage as of Jan. 1, California State Sen. María Elena Durazo said in May of the state’s latest move to expand the program.

I have no problem providing necessary medical care to anyone who needs it. However, the cost of sex change surgery and the drugs necessary to keep up the pretense should not be paid by the taxpayers–particularly when the people requesting the surgery are not here legally.

The article concludes:

In recent years, there’s been a massive surge in illegal immigration at the southern border, where federal authorities recorded more than 2 million encounters of migrants crossing the southern border illegally in fiscal year 2023 and more than 2.2 million in fiscal year 2022, according to federal data.

“In California, we believe everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage – regardless of income or immigration status,” Newsom’s office told ABC News of the latest expansion. “Through this expansion, we’re making sure families and communities across California are healthier, stronger, and able to get the care they need when they need it.”

At some point, Americans need to realize that the cost of illegal aliens and the disrespect many of these illegal aliens are showing to our laws will destroy the country as we know it.

As The Evidence Mounts

As the evidence mounts that the Biden family had very large inexplicable sources of income during Joe Biden’s political career, the family, the media, and the Democrat party are struggling to explain exactly what was going on. On Thursday, The Hill posted an article with the latest explanation/justification.

The article, by Jonathan Turley, explains:

As the House of Representatives goes into high gear in its impeachment proceedings (and possible contempt resolution against Hunter Biden), the Biden family legal problems continue to mount. In one week, it was revealed that President Biden’s brother James was caught on an FBI audiotape in a corruption investigation, while Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter, is now also facing demands for unpaid taxes.

James Biden is expected to appear before the House for questioning in the coming weeks. The appearance may solidify a new line of defense for the Bidens: that they are harmless grifters.

After years of denying influence peddling with the help of an obligating media, even some Democrats are now admitting that Hunter and his uncles have been selling influence. Biden associates confirmed that Joe Biden was the brand that they were peddling to foreign clients, who paid millions to the family.

The article also notes:

The greater problem facing the White House is that roughly 70 percent of voters (including 40 percent of Democrats) believes that President Biden acted illegally or unethically, or both. Even Hunter’s friend Archer said that the president’s denials of knowledge were “categorically false.” Other witnesses, such as Tony Bobulinski, have stated under oath that they personally spoke to Joe Biden about these dealings.

This is likely why defenders are now failing back on the claim that the Bidens may have been grifting, but not actually selling out. It was an act put on for corrupt marks wanting to buy an advantage. That is why the Biden team immediately said that James Biden took $100,000 but then did nothing to deliver his brother.

It is becoming very obvious that Joe Biden is not the model of an honest office-holder. However, since almost all of these actions were done when he was Vice-President, I don’t see their relevance to impeachment. I haven’t seen any actual evidence that he is currently crooked. Admittedly, you can draw that conclusion based on his past actions, but that really isn’t good enough. The Democrats made impeachment a joke. The Republicans need to avoid doing the same thing.

Whoops, I forgot…

On Wednesday, Just the News posted an article about an ethics complaint filed against Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. It seems as if the Justice forgot to list some sources of family income on her disclosure statement.

The article reports:

The Center for Renewing America filed the complaint on Monday with the Judicial Conference Secretary alleging that she “willfully failed to disclose required information regarding her husband’s medical malpractice consulting income for over a decade.”

“As part of her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Justice Jackson disclosed the names of two legal medical malpractice consulting clients who paid her husband more than $1,000 for the year 2011,” the complaint continued. “On her subsequent filings, however, Justice Jackson repeatedly failed to disclose that her husband received income from medical malpractice consulting fees.”

How convenient.

The article continues:

“We know this by Justice Jackson’s own admission in her amended disclosure form for 2020, filed when she was nominated to the Supreme Court, that ‘some of my previously filed reports inadvertently omitted’ her husband’s income from ‘consulting on medical malpractice cases,'” it went on. “Compounding the omission and further demonstrating willfulness, Justice Jackson has not even attempted to list the years for which her previously filed disclosures omitted her husband’s consulting income. Instead, in her admission of omissions on her 2020 amended disclosure form (filed in 2022), Justice Jackson provided only the vague statement that ‘some’ of those past disclosures contained material omissions.”

“Given that she was aware of this provision when she filed her first form in 2012, it would appear the Justice Jackson willfully violated § 13104(e)(1)(A) because she did not disclose this required information on her forms for several years,” the complaint asserted. “The fact that she referenced her omission in 2022 and did not correct it as required is more indicia of her willfulness to not report this information.”

If the Democrats in Congress want to violate the separation of powers and make the Supreme Court accountable to Congress, maybe they should check on their party’s own appointments first.

 

Let’s Teach Our Children To Be Successful

On November 21, The NC Family Policy Council posted an article about the keys to help our young people become successful adults.

The article notes:

While some of these trends have been beneficial (I’m personally a fan of working remotely), not all of these have been good for our society. Many of the values that the parents of these two generations have tried to pass on have instead been tossed to the wayside. Principles like the importance of getting a good education, waiting until marriage to have children, or getting a good job have been ignored more and more.

While the long-lasting impacts of these lifestyle changes are yet to be seen, researchers Wendy Wang and Brad Wilcox have confirmed that these “traditional” values are actually beneficial for individuals, giving them the information to build what they’ve termed the “Success Sequence.”

The Success Sequence

The report from Wang and Wilcox states that Millennials are most likely to live an economically successful life and avoid poverty if they follow these three steps:

    1. Graduate from high school or get a GED by their mid-twenties;
    2. Work full time;
    3. Marry before having children.

This sounds an awful lot like what my generation was told growing up. Here’s the evidence for their model:

    • 97% of Millennials who follow this sequence are not poor when they reach adulthood. The link remains strong when this cohort of young Americans reaches their mid-30s.
    • 94% of young adults from lower-income families who followed the success sequence are not poor.
    • 95% of young adults from non-intact families who followed the success sequence are not poor.
    • The poverty gap between college and high school graduates is small among those who followed the success sequence.

Correcting For Disadvantages

What is interesting is that this works across all of the variables that are often cited as reasons for people to be economically disadvantaged, including race, gender, parents’ low economic status, not receiving a college degree, and being from a non-intact family. The poverty rate for adults between the ages of 32 and 38 after completing each step is well under 10%, even for those experiencing the disadvantages mentioned above.

These are the values the parents of the baby boomers taught their children and grandchildren. It’s time to go back to those values.

The article includes a video summary:

Numbers Don’t Lie (But Politicians Do)

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog yesterday about one aspect of the latest draft of the Democrat Party platform. The article notes that the platform is largely an attack on white people. The platform mentions whites or whiteness 15 times, never in a positive light.

The article includes a quote from the platform:

Median incomes are lower and poverty rates are higher for Black Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, compared to median white households.

Well, the article includes a chart from the 2018 Census:

As you can see, the charge included in the draft of the Democrat Party platform is not true.

The article concludes:

The Democrats are right to focus on median income as a basic indicator of well-being, but they have to lie about the statistics. They can’t face the reality that America is a land of opportunity, and there is nothing standing in the way of people of any ethnicity succeeding in the most fundamental way: making money.

If the United States were really a white supremacist society, as the Democrats claim, the facts would be very different. Whites incomes would dwarf non-white incomes. That obviously is not the case, which demonstrates that America is not a racist or white supremacist society. The Democrats are wrong. It is hard to see why voters would entrust with power a party that falsely slanders its own country.

The platform is being put together with a purpose. After seeing the racism and the lies in the platform, I wonder what that purpose is.

What Happens If The Trump Tax Cuts Are Repealed?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an opinion piece with the following title, “Democrats want to repeal most important part of Trump’s tax cuts.”

I would like to note at this point that according to CNS News:

The federal government set records for both the amount of taxes it collected and the amount of money it spent in the first four months of fiscal 2020 (October through January), according to data released today in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

So revenue has increased under the tax cuts–not decreased.

The piece at The Washington Examiner continues:

Democrats are vowing to repeal the GOP’s 2017 tax reform bill, starting with raising the corporate income tax. The Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee recently held a hearing laying the groundwork for this tax increase, falsely claiming that the corporate rate was lowered at the expense of middle-class families.

Reality belies this rhetoric. The corporate tax reduction from 35% to 21% has benefited families and workers alike by growing the economy, raising wages, and creating new jobs.

It’s no coincidence that, in the two years since the tax cut, unemployment has dropped to a 50-year low. It has hit all-time lows for key demographics including women, African Americans, and Hispanics. Thanks to these pro-growth policies, nearly seven million jobs have been created since Trump took office, and there are now fewer unemployed people than job openings.

Wages have also grown.

Annual hourly earnings have grown by 3% or more in the past 12 months. In fact, real median household income has increased by over $5,000 during Trump’s tenure, according to data released by Sentier Research. In addition to this wage growth, the tax cuts have allowed businesses to expand, hire new workers, and increase pay and benefits.

Savings are also on the rise.

When Trump was elected president, the Dow Jones sat at 18,332. It is now at roughly 29,000, an increase of about 60%. This stock market growth benefits the 100 million 401(k)s, the 46.4 million households that have an individual retirement account, and the nearly $4 trillion in public pension funds, half of which is invested in stocks.

And the Congressional Budget Office has revised revenue up by over $1.2 trillion, 80% of the cost of the tax cuts, due to improving economic conditions since the tax cuts were passed.

You have to wonder why the Democrats would want to undermine an economy that is obviously working for everyone. If federal revenue is at record levels, why would you change things?

The piece concludes:

Utility savings for households are another benefit of the corporate rate reduction. As a direct result of the corporate rate cut, utility companies in all 50 states reduced their prices. That means lower monthly electric, gas, and water bills for households and businesses. If Democrats raise the corporate rate, they will be saddling households with higher utility bills.

The Left won’t stop there, either.

Democrats have proposed trillion-dollar annual tax increases that include payroll tax increases, small-business tax increases, income tax increases, and even an increase in the “death tax.” The fact is, corporate tax cuts have grown the economy, lifted wages, and created more jobs. Democrats would undo these gains and harm middle-class families.

Are the Democrats economically ignorant, or do they simply not care about the impact of their policies on everyday Americans?

The Economic Numbers Under President Trump

Steve Moore posted an article at Fox Business on Thursday about the economy under President Trump.

The article includes the following:

The article explains:

In one Washington Post piece, the reporter sneers of Trump’s “rambling distortions” and complains: “Trump’s numbers appear to have originated in a pair of columns from the Heritage Foundation’s Steve Moore, who used research from a private firm called Sentier Research.”

Stop right there. Yes, it is true the data comes from Sentier Research — a private firm. But what is not ever mentioned in the article is that the data come from the Census Bureau’s “Current Population Survey,” which is the gold standard of economic data.

The article concludes:

In my analysis on these numbers, I have openly admitted these monthly data are a first rough estimate of what is happening with incomes over time — just as the jobs numbers are. They catch the trends over time.

Three years into the Trump presidency there is no calamity and there is no recession. Trump is right to recite real and legitimate data that substantiates the on-going middle-class boom in America today. It isn’t Trump, but his accusers who are engaged in “rambling distortions” and who deserve Pinnochio noses.

The questions for the 2020 elections are: “Do you want your income to continue to grow, and do you want to keep more of what you earn? How much of the money you have earned are you willing to give to people who did not earn it?”

The Numbers Are In

CNBC is reporting today that nonfarm payrolls rose by 128,000 in October, exceeding the estimate of 75,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

The article notes:

There were big revisions of past numbers as well. August’s initial 168,000 payrolls addition was revised up to 219,000, while September’s jumped from 136,000 to 180,000.

The unemployment rate ticked slightly higher to 3.6% from 3.5%, still near the lowest in 50 years.

The pace of average hourly earnings picked up a bit, rising 0.1% to a year-over-year 3% gain.

The article also reports:

Central bank leaders have largely praised the state of the U.S. economy, particularly compared with its global peers. The Fed earlier this week lowered its benchmark interest rate a quarter point, the third such move this year, but Chairman Jerome Powell clearly indicated that this likely will be the last cut for some time unless conditions change significantly.

“The October jobs report is unambiguously positive for the US economic outlook,” said Citigroup economist Andrew Hollenhorst. “Above-consensus hiring in October, together with upward revisions to prior months, is consistent with our view that job growth, while clearly slower in 2019 than in 2018, will maintain a pace of 130-150K per month. Wage growth remaining at 3.0% should further support incomes and consumption-led growth.”

The economic policies of President Trump have resulted in significant economic growth for America. American workers at all levels are enjoying the benefits of these policies. The decision for the voters in 2020 will be whether or not they choose to continue this economic growth.

The Real Answer To Poverty

Breitbart posted an article today about the impact the economic policies of President Trump have had on poverty.

The article reports:

Black Americans are experiencing an economic renaissance under President Donald Trump.

Black unemployment hit a new low last week of 5.5% — the level once described in economics textbooks as “full employment” — and the gap between black and white unemployment shrank to its lowest margin ever.

This week, Census data showed that black poverty has dropped to its lowest level ever (18.8%). The reason: wages are climbing, even in low-wage jobs.

This is the Promised Land that left-wing activists have talked about for decades. Except they do not seem to have received the memo.

Listen to the Democratic presidential candidates debate, and you will still hear them complain that the economy is terrible, that the middle class is shrinking, that we need to redistribute income and wealth from the rich to the poor to over come the “white privilege” that is our country’s original sin, dating to slavery in 1619.

All of that is untrue. The economy continues to perform well, despite media-hyped fears of recession. Yes, the pace of hiring is slowing in some sectors, but that is partly because of the scarcity of labor — which is also driving wages up. Yes, the trade war is hurting some individual businesses, and China is retaliating against American agriculture — but the trade war has failed to drive up prices so far, as many people (including me) had expected.

The article notes:

While funding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) declined under President Barack Obama, for example, “under the Trump administration, federal funding for HBCUs has increased by more than $100 million over the last two years, a 17% increase since 2017.”

The above information is a surprise to me. It totally goes against anything the mainstream media is telling us about President Trump. The article reminds us that President Trump’s economic policies have benefited all Americans–a strong economy is the best solution to poverty in minority communities.

The article concludes:

Limited government allows black Americans to do for themselves what government fails to do for anyone.

The Democrats do not get it. They are talking reparations — the brainchild of Al Sharpton, one of the worst racial demagogues in the country, whom Obama rehabilitated to provide political cover within the black community.

The frontrunners, including former vice president Joe Biden, promise to raise taxes, kill the energy industry, and bring back hyperregulation. They claim to be fighting racism. Trump has shown black Americans there is a better way.

Obviously this is not a message Americans will hear from the mainstream media. However, voters are perfectly capable of seeing the positive economic changes in their own lives and the lives of the people around them. That is one of the main reasons the media is trying to convince voters that a recession is right around the corner. Will voters believe what they see or what the media tells them? What voters believe will determine whether or not our economy continues to prosper.

Do We Really Want To Give Power To These People?

Yesterday The Hill posted an article with the following headline, “Democrats vow to repeal tax reform, putting taxes in focus for 2020.” Why? Federal tax revenue has increased, and the economy is doing very well, why would you want to mess with success? Because you can’t let President Trump succeed at anything. And if the American people figure out that lower taxes are better than higher taxes, Washington will lose its stranglehold on the American taxpayer.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden made it clear: “First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) seconded the motion, saying she would repeal the tax cuts on “day one.” Mayor Bill de Blasio has attempted to raise taxes on high earners in New York City.

Democrats seem eager to prove that they still have no idea how jobs and wage increases are created in a capitalist economy — that is, by capital investment that starts new businesses or expands existing ones, increasing the demand for labor as jobs are created, bidding up wages.  

But stimulating capital investment requires incentives that arise from reducing tax rates. That is what President Trump and Republicans in Congress did in their Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Was it good for America and its workers for the federal government to impose the highest marginal corporate tax rates in the industrialized world? Before Trump’s tax reform, those tax rates were nearly 40 percent, counting federal rate and state corporate rates, on average. Most of the rest of the world imposed marginal tax rates only half as high on their businesses.

Tax reform reduced the rate on businesses to the world average and ended double taxation on earnings of U.S. corporations abroad. That is why the U.S. economy has created millions of jobs with Trump in the Oval Office. The Democrats’ ball and chain on American business has been sharply cut back, creating a capital investment boom.

The article concludes:

And contrary to Democratic disinformation, President Trump’s tax reform included tax cuts for the middle class of about $2,000 a year per family; rates for families making $19,000 to $77,000 were cut by 20 percent. The same occurred for single taxpayers making $9,500 to $38,700. Tax reform also nearly doubled the standard deduction, and actually doubled the child tax credit — both of which benefit lower-income workers the most.

Amazingly, these tax benefits have been confirmed by the New York Times and the Washington Post, which have acknowledged that most Americans received a tax cut. H&R Block concluded that “overall tax liability is down 24.9 percent, on average.” So much for the socialist derision of tax reform.  

Raising taxes would only consign America’s working people back to renewed recession, as under Biden and President Obama. Democrats seem to want to run as they did in 1984, when Walter Mondale campaigned on a tax-increase platform. Then recession occurred when President Bush agreed to raise taxes in a 1989 budget deal, which only increased the deficit.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” should be the motto of the day. The Trump economy is doing very well. The Obama economy did not do well. In 2020, American voters will have a chance to choose between the two. Let’s hope they choose the right one.

The Impact Of New York City’s New Minimum Wage

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about the impact of New York City raising the minimum wage over the past four years.

The editorial reports:

Over the past four years, the minimum wage for New York City restaurants that employ more than 10 workers went from $10.50 an hour to $15. That’s a whopping 43% increase. Next year, every restaurant, big and small, will have to pay their workers at least $15 an hour.

A big victory for workers, right? That’s how it’s depicted by the “Fight for $15” crowd. And, yes, if you held a full-time minimum-wage job over those years, your gross income would have gone up by $9,360.

But those massive wage hikes come at a painful cost that backers refuse to acknowledge. They kill jobs. Just like they’re doing right now in New York City.

In just the last three months of last year, 4,000 workers lost jobs at full-service restaurants, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.

One of the problems here is a misunderstanding of the purpose of the minimum wage. A minimum-wage job should not be an ultimate goal. A minimum-wage job should be a way to enter into the workforce and learn some basic skills–dealing with people, being punctual, having manners, etc. Theoretically these basic skills will allow you to advance to a job that pays better than minimum wage.

The editorial continues:

Even during the Great Recession, restaurant workers didn’t suffer as much as they are now. In fact, over the course of the recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, the number of restaurant jobs in the city actually increased by 1,800.

It’s getting so bad that fast-food workers now want the city to protect them from getting fired without “just cause.”

Those who keep their jobs aren’t necessarily better off, either.

The Hospitality Alliance survey found that more than three quarters of New York restaurants cut worker hours in 2018 to offset that year’s wage hike. Seventy-five percent say they want to cut hours this year.

“Though the new regulations are intended to benefit employees, some restaurateurs and staffers say that take-home pay ends up being less due to fewer hours — or that employees face more work because there are fewer staffers per shift,” notes Tara Crowl in an article in New York Eater.

The results of a significant increase in the minimum wage in New York City are similar to the results of a significant increase in the minimum wage in Seattle and in Illinois. It seems to me that we need to stop making the same mistakes over and over again and take a good look at the results. Rather than increase the minimum wage, we should be encouraging people to learn the skills they need to get them into jobs that pay better than minimum wage. We should also realize that raising wages too high too fast will create unemployment–not wealth.

Most People Got Bigger Tax Refunds This Year Than Last Year

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about this year’s tax refunds. The article was in response to a Washington Post article claiming that people were getting lower tax refunds this year than last year.

The article at Hot Air pointed out a number of things that might result in getting a smaller tax refund:

But since we have to play this game, let’s figure out why your refund is smaller. Did you get a raise or a significant bonus last year? Did you perhaps start a new job that pays more? Were there any other major changes in your financial situation? Tax filing company Intuit has a list of possible explanations you could look for. They include things such as your filing status changing, the selling of assets or the possibility that you were hit with a penalty.

There will be a small number of people who lost out on part of their SALT (state and local tax) deductions, but that should really only have a significant impact on people in high-tax states like New York who are earning well into six figures. As for everyone else, if your income went up, did you adjust your withholdings accordingly? If not, perhaps you need to have a chat with an accountant.

The article also reminds us that a tax refund is a refund of the money that you gave to the government during the year. You allowed them to have that money interest free until you filed your tax return and they were obligated to give the money back to you. Ideally, your tax refund should be small–that means that you correctly calculated the amount of money you actually owed the government. The question is not how big your tax refund is–the question is how much money you actually paid in taxes. The size of your tax refund is simply a reflection of how much money the government took from you during the year.

How Cutting Taxes Creates Revenue

On November 16th, Hot Air posted an article about the impact of the Trump tax cuts on government revenue. As I am sure you remember, the Democrats called the tax cuts on individuals ‘crumbs’ and swore that the tax cuts would bankrupt the country. Well, that’s not exactly what happened.

The article reports:

Unemployment is at an historic low. Employment is at an all-time high. Wagers are growing after years of stagnation.

And now from all that increased economic activity, the federal government has just reported historic record tax revenues in October, the first month of the new fiscal year, of $252,692,000,000.

That’s more than $11.4 billion above revenue for October of last year, which was the previous record tax revenue for an October.

And it did this by collecting more than $3 billion less in personal income taxes, thanks to the tax cuts.

The new revenues were the result of increased business taxes because of increased business. Here’s how much different it was:

Corporation income tax receipts to the U.S. Treasury this year in October were a whopping $8,000,000,000. This compares to the previous October’s $3.8 billion.

Despite the record tax revenues in October, the federal government ran a deficit of $100.5 billion that month because, spending. That’s a problem that newly-elected members of Congress such as Indiana’s senator-elect Mike Braun, a businessman, said would be a major target in 2019.

The thing to remember here is that as unemployment decreases, government spending should also decrease. Unfortunately Congress did not get the message. Our problem is not the revenue–the problem is the spending. If either party were serious about curbing government spending, it would have been done by now. Obviously they are not. There are a few members of the Republican party who have been trying to put the brakes on runaway spending for years, but they are either not trying very hard or they are ineffective. At any rate, we need to elect Congressmen (regardless of party) who will pledge to bring the spending under control. It does no good to increase the revenue if the spending increases right along with it.

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.

If Your State Has High Unemployment, Read This

Forbes Magazine posted a story last Tuesday about what has happened to the North Carolina economy. The change began in 2013 (just before we got here). At that point the North Carolina General Assembly was controlled by Republicans and a Republican was governor.

The article reports:

Unemployment insurance (UI) reform in North Carolina continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. The 2013 UI reform, made possible by the Republican-dominated General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory, will enable $240 million in tax savings for state employers in 2016 alone, thanks to a UI Trust Fund that has grown to over $1 billion. In addition, the Tar Heel State’s 2013 tax reform bill will once again lower the corporate income tax rate, from 5% to 4% (it was 6.9% prior to 2013).

Please follow the link above to read the entire story, but here are a few of the highlights:

In February of that year, Governor McCrory signed a bill that reduced the maximum amount and duration of unemployment benefits to levels in line with those of neighboring states. This triggered the cutoff of long-term federal UI benefits being moved up by six months.

…Ironically, in his 2010 economics textbook, Krugman (Paul Krugman) expressed an opposing sentiment. “Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect,” wrote Krugman, explaining that granting more generous benefits “reduces a worker’s incentive to quickly find a new job.”

…Due to the reforms, however, the federal UI tax hikes were halted in 2014, and dropped back to standard rates after the debt was paid off last year. The result has been significant tax relief for job providers.

The second major change in 2013 was the recalibration of DES under the leadership of former state House Speaker pro-tempore Dale Folwell. Today, the call center answers 97% of incoming calls, up from a dismal 5%, and the average appeals process has been driven down to just 74 days from seven months.

…Today, North Carolina’s fiscal health is in far greater shape than it was in 2012, thanks to bold unemployment insurance reforms that will enable an additional $240 million in tax relief for state employers in 2016. For a roadmap to UI reform, states should look no further than North Carolina, where a crackdown on fraud has saved tax dollars and early debt repayment has enabled massive savings for job creators.

The numbers above are helping draw additional businesses and jobs to North Carolina. I like that, but I also wish that other states would follow our lead. The five-percent plus unemployment rate in America is a joke–the labor participation rate is dangerously low. I am hoping for all Americans to have a chance to find the jobs they want. Following the example set by North Carolina would be a step in that direction.

Was Obamacare About Healthcare Or Taxes ?

Reuters reported on Monday that the Internal Revenue Service has released new rules concerning dividends and capital gains as part of the 2010 healthcare law. The obvious questions here is, “What do dividends and capital gains have to do with healthcare?” Evidently more than we knew.

The article reports:

The tax affects only individuals with more than $200,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and married couples filing jointly with more than $250,000 of MAGI.

The tax applies to a broad range of investment securities ranging from stocks and bonds to commodity securities and specialized derivatives.

The 159 pages of rules spell out when the tax applies to trusts and annuities, as well as to individual securities traders.

Released late on Friday, the new regulations include a 0.9 percent healthcare tax on wages for high-income individuals.

Please keep in mind that the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) was originally enacted to impact only the wealthy. As of 2011, a single person who made $48,450 was impacted by that tax. I really don’t consider $48,450 wealthy. How long will it be before the new healthcare taxes begin to impact the middle class?

The article further points out:

The IRS plans to release a new form for taxpayers to fill out for this tax when filing 2013 returns.

Oh joy.

Enhanced by Zemanta

News That Really Does Not Make Me Happy

Bloomberg reported yesterday that incomes in America declined more in the three year expansion since 2009 than during the longest recession since the Great Depression. The ‘great recession’ in America officially ended in 2009. There is a technical definition of a recession, and according to that definition, the recession in America ended in 2009. However, the income and unemployment numbers for Americans have not improved.

The article reports:

“Almost every group is worse off than it was three years ago, and some groups had very large declines in income,” Green (Gordon Green, Sentier Research LLC.), who previously directed work on the Census Bureau’s income and poverty statistics program, said in a phone interview today. “We’re in an unprecedented period of economic stagnation.”

While gains in hourly earnings and average hours worked per week may have had “a minor mitigating effect” on income declines, they couldn’t offset a jobless rate that hasn’t fallen below 8 percent since February 2009 and a record duration of unemployment, according to the Annapolis, Maryland-based firm.

The average duration of unemployment increased to a record 41 weeks in November and remains at 39 weeks, Labor Department data show. Almost 5.2 million Americans have been out of work for at least six months.

This snapshot of the economy does not bode well for the re-election chances of Barack Obama.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta