The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make

The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make

October 25th, 2010

Don Feder, GrassTopsUSA.com

When you step into the  voting booth on November 2, you will make the  most important decision  of your life. You’ll literally be voting on your  future – or, more  precisely, whether or not you and your country will  have one.

Would you like to live in Cuba, own a business in Venezuela or have the   civil liberties of an Iranian? Without a radical reversal of course,   those happy fates could be yours.

Think of the watershed elections of our lifetime – Nixon-McGovern   (1972), Reagan-Carter (1980), The Contract With America (1994), and   Bush-Gore (2000). None even comes close to the importance of what will   happen in less than two weeks.

You won’t just be voting for a House member and, in some cases, a   Senator. You won’t just be voting on whether Nancy Pelosi (“We have to   pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it”) remains Speaker of the   House, or whether Harry Reid (town meeting protestors are   “evil-mongers”) is still the Senate Majority Leader.

You will be voting on whether Obama will still have a rubber-stamp   Congress on January 3, 2011 – where a Democratic majority (liberal pod   people) vote robotically for whatever economy-annihilating measures the   administration dreams up.

If you want a snapshot of Obama’s vision of America (a Kodak moment  from  Hell), consider the political mutants who descended on our  nation’s  capital on October 2 to push his agenda.

Along with the usual assortment of labor hacks, educrats and racial   guilt-mongers, One Nation Working Together included the Communist Party   USA, the Democratic Socialists of America, the American Muslim   Association (People for the Jihad Way), the U.S. Campaign to End the   (alleged) Israeli Occupation, and the National Council of La Raza (The   Race).

Read more.

Cartoon of the Day: Obama’s Plan to Drown the Rich

“Historic” Rise in Taxation in 6 Mos.

“Historic” Rise in Taxation in 6 Mos.

Posted by Veronica (Profile)

Friday, July 2nd at 12:20PM EDT

53 Comments

We’ve been here before.

Americans For Tax Reform culled a few things from the List of Expiring Federal Tax Provisions 2009-2020 off the government’s website:

In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect.  They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families.  These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed).  The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.  All the rates in between will also rise.  Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.  The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

– The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
– The 25% bracket rises to 28%
– The 28% bracket rises to 31%
– The 33% bracket rises to 36%
– The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income.  The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child.  The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level.  The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax.  For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million.  A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011.  The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011.  These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave: Obamacare

There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare.  Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011.  They include:

The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The “Special Needs Kids Tax” This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit).  There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.  Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.  The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million.  These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level.  The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear. Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or “depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000.  This will be cut all the way down to $25,000.  Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment.  In January of 2011, all of it will have to be “depreciated.”

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place.  The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others.  Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available.  Tax credits for education will be limited.  Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses.  Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut.  Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed.  The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA.  This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.”  This ability will no longer be there

Planned Parenthood Missing Over $1 Billion Taxpayer Dollars

Planned Parenthood Missing Over $1 Billion Taxpayer Dollars

2010 June 23

What is Planned Parenthood Doing With Our Money? 

Ever misplace over a billion dollars?  What do you think would happen to you if you did?  How long would your prison sentence be?  Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is missing around $1.3 billion of government assistance.  Where’s the outrage?  Where are the investigations?  Where is the congressional hearing?

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released a new report on Planned Parenthood’s handling of money given through federal grants and programs.  Between 2002 and 2008 the government funneled 2 billion dollars to PPFA.  But the GAO audit on the organization shows only $657.1 million of that money has been spent during that time.

That leaves over $1.3 billion taxpayer dollars unaccounted for!  Where is it? Just under 33 percent of the money given to PPFA by the federal government has been spent.  And as of right now there is no account of where the rest of the money is.

“Why the discrepancy? These numbers don’t add up and from an organization with a track record like Planned Parenthood’s, the American people deserve an explanation.” – Rita Diller, American Life League

This report was done after 31 U.S. senators and representatives asked for it.  In the last year many reports have come out in the press of various local Planned Parenthoods being involved with illegal abortions, covering up rape cases, and lying about what an abortion does to the fetus.  Just today a news story came out about a Planned Parenthood in Iowa teaching 8th graders how to do graphic sex acts.

Such a report should shock Americans when you realize what ObamaCare will fund.  Obama’s health care overhaul will give “health centers” like Planned Parenthood over $11 billion.  So you are going to give a lot more money to a group that can’t account for 70 percent of its funding.  Most of that funding that PPFA did spend was to woo women into their facilities for free health care, then they give them free birth control, and when that fails they are ready to provide abortions.  How many abortions?  PPFA admits that between 2002-2008 they aborted over 1.8 million unborn babies.

“At a time when the majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life, Planned Parenthood rakes in over two billion of our tax dollars, inconsistently reports how they spent our tax money and then admits to killing 1,803,302 preborn babies between 2002 and 2008 alone.  A growing number of Americans are fed up. It’s time to defund Planned Parenthood.” – Diller

I agree with Diller (who wrote an op-ed on this issue in the Washington Times).  Recent polls over the last couple of years have consistently shown that most Americans are pro-life and are definitely against government funding of abortion and abortion clinics.  How in the world can we continue to fund Planned Parenthood with the American tax dollars?  If we thought ACORN was bad then we should unite together as citizens and demand that government support for PPFA stops today!

That Stench of Rotting Bull is Just Obama’s Oval Office Speech

That Stench of Rotting Bull is Just Obama’s Oval Office Speech

Posted By Jeff Dunetz On June 16, 2010 @ 5:03 am In Environment, Federal Spending, News, Obama, Politics, Regulation, taxes |

Putting aside for a second the fact that this speech was given about 50 days late, last night’s oval office speech proved that the President is not ready to be honest with the American people.  For the first 30 days of this crisis, President Obama was ignoring the fact that the crisis existed, and now when he uses the oval office to give the people confidence that he is on top of the problem  he spends more time trying to sell cap and trade than discussing capping the well. Essentially, he is still ignoring the crisis.

Lets take a look at the key points of the President’s speech. He begins by trying to convince America that he has been doing a great job at managing the disaster:

“…  I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge – a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s Secretary of Energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.”

Nobel prizes have not been impressive since  Obama recived one for doing nothing and Al Gore got one for a hoax.  The key is how the ideas from those great minds are implemented. The President’s management of the crisis has been horrible.  Even the progressive bible  the NY Times [1] trashed Obama’s  management of the crisis:

“The information is not flowing,” Senator Nelson said. “The decisions are not timely. The resources are not produced. And as a result, you have a big mess, with no command and control.”

In other words,  the leadership and management coming from the executive branch of the government has been a disaster.

Read the rest of this entry »

Growing number of overseas Americans renouncing citizenship over taxation…

More American Expatriates Give Up Citizenship

 

WASHINGTON — Amid mounting frustration over taxation and banking problems, small but growing numbers of overseas Americans are taking the weighty step of renouncing their citizenship.

“What we have seen is a substantial change in mentality among the overseas community in the past two years,” said Jackie Bugnion, director of American Citizens Abroad, an advocacy group based in Geneva. “Before, no one would dare mention to other Americans that they were even thinking of renouncing their U.S. nationality. Now, it is an openly discussed issue.”

The Federal Register, the government publication that records such decisions, shows that 502 expatriates gave up their U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status in the last quarter of 2009. That is a tiny portion of the 5.2 million Americans estimated by the State Department to be living abroad.

Still, 502 was the largest quarterly figure in years, more than twice the total for all of 2008, and it looms larger, given how agonizing the decision can be. There were 235 renunciations in 2008 and 743 last year. Waiting periods to meet with consular officers to formalize renunciations have grown.

Anecdotally, frustrations over tax and banking questions, not political considerations, appear to be the main drivers of the surge. Expat advocates say that as it becomes more difficult for Americans to live and work abroad, it will become harder for American companies to compete.

American expats have long complained that the United States is the only industrialized country to tax citizens on income earned abroad, even when they are taxed in their country of residence, though they are allowed to exclude their first $91,400 in foreign-earned income.

One Swiss-based business executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of sensitive family issues, said she weighed the decision for 10 years. She had lived abroad for years but had pleasant memories of service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Yet the notion of double taxation — and of future tax obligations for her children, who will receive few U.S. services — finally pushed her to renounce, she said.

“I loved my time in the Marines, and the U.S. is still a great country,” she said. “But having lived here 20 years and having to pay and file while seeing other countries’ nationals not having to do that, I just think it’s grossly unfair.”

“It’s taxation without representation,” she added.

Stringent new banking regulations — aimed both at curbing tax evasion and, under the Patriot Act, preventing money from flowing to terrorist groups — have inadvertently made it harder for some expats to keep bank accounts in the United States and in some cases abroad.

Some U.S.-based banks have closed expats’ accounts because of difficulty in certifying that the holders still maintain U.S. addresses, as required by a Patriot Act provision.

“It seems the new anti-terrorist rules are having unintended effects,” Daniel Flynn, who lives in Belgium, wrote in a letter quoted by the Americans Abroad Caucus in the U.S. Congress in correspondence with the Treasury Department.

“I was born in San Francisco in 1939, served my country as an army officer from 1961 to 1963, have been paying U.S. income taxes for 57 years, since 1952, have continually maintained federal voting residence, and hold a valid American passport.”

Mr. Flynn had held an account with a U.S. bank for 44 years. Still, he wrote, “they said that the new anti-terrorism rules required them to close our account because of our address outside the U.S.”

Kathleen Rittenhouse, who lives in Canada, wrote that until she encountered a similar problem, “I did not know that the Patriot Act placed me in the same category as terrorists, arms dealers and money launderers.”

Andy Sundberg, another director of American Citizens Abroad, said, “These banks are closing our accounts as acts of prudent self-defense.” But the result, he said, is that expats have become “toxic citizens.”

The Americans Abroad Caucus, headed by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, and Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, has made repeated entreaties to the Treasury Department.

In response, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner wrote Ms. Maloney on Feb. 24 that “nothing in U.S. financial law and regulation should make it impossible for Americans living abroad to access financial services here in the United States.”

But banks, Treasury officials note, are free to ignore that advice.

“That Americans living overseas are being denied banking services in U.S. banks, and increasingly in foreign banks, is unacceptable,” Ms. Maloney said in a letter Friday to leaders of the House Financial Services Committee, requesting a hearing on the question.

Mr. Wilson, joining her request, said that pleas from expats for relief “continue to come in at a startling rate.”

Relinquishing citizenship is relatively simple. The person must appear before a U.S. consular or diplomatic official in a foreign country and sign a renunciation oath. This does not allow a person to escape old tax bills or military obligations.

Now, expats’ representatives fear renunciations will become more common.

“It is a sad outcome,” Ms. Bugnion said, “but I personally feel that we are now seeing only the tip of the iceberg.”

The Obama way: Bluster, bully, bribe

The Obama way: Bluster, bully, bribe

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 5, 2010 10:46 AM

My syndicated column looks at the White House bribe-a-thon. On a related business-as-usual note: Campaign Donors Working On Policy At The White House. On another business-as-usual note: Cashing out of the Obama administration.

***
The Obama Way: Bluster, bully, bribe
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

The White House took great offense this week when conservatives suggested President Obama might be trading a judicial appointment for a wavering Democrat’s vote on his health care reform plan. “Absurd,” a miffed administration official told Politico.com. Wherever could the American people get such an impression? Let us count the ways.

On Wednesday, the very day President Obama hosted ten swing Democrats who had opposed the expansive health care takeover bill in November, the White House issued a press release trumpeting the nomination of Scott M. Matheson, Jr., to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Matheson just happens to be the brother of Democrat Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah – one of the 10 invitees invited to sip wine and nosh on calorically-correct appetizers with the arm-twister-in-chief.

The seat on the 10th Circuit has been vacant for nearly a year. When one of the judges, Michael McConnell, resigned to take a lucrative post at Stanford Law School last summer, Matheson – Rhodes Scholar, law school professor, and dean — let the White House know right away he wanted the job. For nearly a year, there was no action. Liberal groups have been complaining for months about the glacial pace of Obama’s judicial nominations – a predicament they blame not solely on obstructionist Republicans, but on Obama’s own team of incompetent, indecisive foot-draggers who put the issue at the bottom of their priority list. (It’s worth noting that Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch supports Matheson’s candidacy.)

As the National Law Journal pointed out at the beginning of this year, the Obama administration has been slower than the Bush administration in sending judicial nominations to the Senate, “ submitting 12 circuit nominations last year compared with 28 for Bush in 2001. The White House last named a circuit nominee on Nov. 4.”

Now, out of nowhere, comes announcement of Matheson’s nomination – in the heat of White House vote-grubbing to salvage the Democrats’ government health care designs? To quote Dana Carvey’s old Church Lady character on Saturday Night Live: How conveeenient.

Let us consider the possibility, for a brief moment, that this is all merely coincidence. Is the White House so fantastically blind and tone-deaf that it failed to detect the blood-red flags and blaring alarm bells that Scott Matheson’s judicial nomination would raise coming on the very day President Obama was wooing his brother, Jim? Incorrigibly corrupt or incorrigibly stupid. Take your pick.

The perception of a Judgeship-for-Obamacare-vote deal is, of course, horribly unfair to Matheson, who seems more than qualified for the position. But full blame for creating that unmistakable perception lies squarely at the feet of the rank opportunists in the White House whose timing is worse than a broken metronome.

This debacle comes on the heels of damning disclosures about other possible White House bribery. Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania admitted to veteran Philly newsman Larry Kane that Team Obama dangled a “high-ranking” position in the administration if he dropped out of the Senate race and left incumbent Republican-turned Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter alone. In Colorado, the Denver Post reported last fall that Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina “offered specific suggestions” for an Obama administration job to far Left Democrat Andrew Romanoff if he withdrew his challenge to White House-backed incumbent Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet.

And earlier this month, the Washington Times noted that Mary Patrice Brown, the person assigned by Justice Department to oversee an internal investigation into the shady dismissal of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation cases, is now “the leading candidate for a federal judgeship – for which she is being vetted by some of the same offices she supposedly is investigating.”

So, wherever did we get the impression that pay-for-play is the Obama way? Somewhere, Chicago corruptocrat Rod Blagojevich – who wanted to play, but didn’t get paid — is laughing bitterly.

Here’s what happens when Obama kills the Bush tax cuts

Here’s what happens when Obama kills the Bush tax cuts

April 17th, 2010

By Kevin “Coach” Collins

 Obama is going to allow the repeal of the Bush Tax Cuts

The Tax Policy Center, a Washington based think tank, has examined the tax consequences we will have heaped on us when the Democrats allow the Bush Tax Cuts to expire at the end of this year.

* Those making $75,000 who sell a stock at a profit will pay a higher capital gains tax.

*Parents who enjoy a $1,000.00 tax credit for having a child will see that benefit cut to just $500.00 next year.

*Families with incomes over $250,000 will see many itemized deductions disappear and ultimately pay more of their hard earned money. Their capital gains taxes will climb on stock dividends.

The probability that higher taxes will hit America’s hardest workers and highest earners is real because the Democrat controlled Congress will let all or most of the tax cuts passed by George Bush in 2001 and 2003 expire.

Read More:

The Contract from America

http://www.thecontract.org/

The Contract from America

We, the undersigned, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items, work to bring each agenda item to a vote during the first year, and pledge to advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.

Individual Liberty

Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices.

Limited Government

The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.

Economic Freedom

The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.

1. Protect the Constitution

Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does. (82.03%)

2. Reject Cap & Trade

Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures. (72.20%)

3. Demand a Balanced Budget

Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. (69.69%)

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform

Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution. (64.90%)

5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington

Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning. (63.37%)

6. End Runaway Government Spending

Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%)

7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care

Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries. (56.39%)

8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy

Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs. (55.51%)

9. Stop the Pork

Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%)

10. Stop the Tax Hikes

Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011. (53.38%)

FOX NEWS: Tea Party Protesters Descend on D.C. with New ‘Contract From America’

FOX NEWS: Tea Party Protesters Descend on D.C. with New ‘Contract From America’http://www.thecontract.org/

April 15, 2010

Thousands of protesters descended on the nation’s Capitol for April 15 tax deadline protests as activists offered up a new “Contract From America” aimed at using the winning formula of the 1994 Republican revolution while also developing a direction for the burgeoning movement.

WASHINGTON — Thousands of protesters descended on the nation’s Capitol for April 15 tax deadline protests as activists offered up a new “Contract From America” aimed at using the winning formula of the 1994 Republican revolution while also developing a direction for the burgeoning movement.

Those behind the document say that by asking visitors to the Web site contractfromamerica.org to propose and vote on the agenda, the results are a list not “handed down from on high by old-bull politicians, but one handed up from the true grassroots in this country.”

“After garnering nearly half a million votes in less than two months, the Contract from America has now been finalized into a blueprint that will serve notice to public officials about what the people want for their future,” reads a press release from the contract’s organizers.

Continue reading at Fox News