Obama's Huge New Tax that will hit everyone
Pity the poor entrepreneur and small business owner in America now getting socked, with the mother of all taxes, by a government that has become either hostile, or indifferent, to understanding what it takes to build a business, grow a company and hire more workers. I'm not talking about new fees, but about a much greater confiscatory tax, imposed without any real debate or consideration--the confiscation of time.
Nearly every Obama administration initiative demands new, more complicated reporting and compliance filings on small businesses and entrepreneurs that are already overburdened with a mish-mash of reporting requirements that suck away an entrepreneur's time and energy. 2008 compliance costs for a small business, according to a recent SBA Report, was approximately $10,000 per employee. But, the Obama Administration has added new, and far more onerous, reporting demands that are likely to treble those costs to $30,000 per employee. Facing such huge, and hidden, costs of compliance, is there any wonder small businesses are not hiring as they have in the past?
Consider, for example, one of the new reporting requirements contained in Section 9006 of the disastrous Obama healthcare bill which requires all small companies to file 1099s for any purchase over $600, to include anything from office supplies to electricity to independent contractors. As a result, small businesses may need to hire a full-time compliance officer that does nothing but file these new forms and reports.
But that is just the start. For example, Section 1512 of the Recovery Act (ARRA) requires that a report with a minimum of 12 data points be submitted quarterly for each Recovery Act project over $25,000. A separate report has to be submitted if the business worked as a subcontractor on any ARRA project. This report is separate from and in addition to the mandatory, contractual reports submitted monthly to the government contracting officer on each project and, separate from and in addition to, the quarterly program reviews provided for agency leaders. Of course, if the business performs ARRA work at the State level, many of those states have additional reporting requirements for businesses who are working on federally funded stimulus projects within the state.
Small business already struggles because the federal government's reporting requirements are a moving target. Businesses must track the unusually frequent changes in government-issued guidance regarding reporting requirements. For example, since issuing the first reporting requirements for ARRA in February 2009, these requirements have changed nine times in the past 19 months, in March 2009, April 2009, June 2009, September 2009, November 2009, December 2009, April 2010, May 2010 and most recently in September 2010.
Each "update" to the reporting requirements issued by OMB is followed by an ancillary memo issued within each federal agency by each agency's Chief Acquisition Officer.
Businesses, especially small businesses, may spend large segments of the workday tracking reporting requirement changes. Businesses must do this because a clerical error, which could be interpreted by the oversight community as fraud, carries severe penalties, and the burden of proof of innocence falls on the business.
Taxes take many forms. More damaging, than canceling the Bush tax cuts, more damaging than the changing definition of who is considered "rich", more disturbing than Obama Administration's complete lack of understand of what it takes to grow a business and an economy, is the fact that time is money, so the new, burdensome and intrusive reporting requirements demanded by Obama's flawed policies puts a tax burden of time on all businesses.
Under the guise of "accountability" and the lure of "transparency", the Obama Administration continues to bombard businesses with additional, ill-thought reporting requirements. Few legislators and few members of the Obama Administration have ever experienced first-hand, the struggles of entrepreneurship--what Jerry McGuire calls "an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege," of trying to win a customer's business, be competitive and succeed. The Administration, clearly, does not understand or does not care about the true cost to business of their self-serving actions.
Peter Drucker, the management guru once said: "if you're meeting, you're not working". Perhaps the corollary is that when a business is "reporting", then they aren't really working either.
Make no mistake: well-reasoned reports aid in accountability and transparency and are essential to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely by the government. But this is not happening in the Obama Administration. The President Obama once promised he would not raise taxes on the middle class. Yet, fees, fines and mandatory purchases are "onerous, rigorous demands" which, according to Webster, qualify as taxes.
Obama has demanded the one commodity which is in limited supply, and which can never be reproduced once spent-time. Obama wastes our time--and that tax is the greatest of all.
President Obama's Tax Piracy
By Peter Ferrara
Starting on January 1, 2011, President Obama's economic recovery policy will begin the implementation of comprehensive, across the board, tax rate increases for every major federal tax. The full breathtaking scope of those tax increases, and how they will harm every family in America, is discussed in my latest work, President Obama's Tax Piracy, published as part of Encounter's Broadside series. That series now includes 17 publications by such outstanding authors as Steve Moore on economic policy, John Bolton on national defense and American sovereignty, Betsy McCaughey on Obamacare, Michael Ledeen on Obama's betrayal of Israel, Michael Mukasey on terrorism, Roy Spencer on "global warming," and John Fund on Obama's election fraud, all in the tradition of Thomas Paine's Common Sense pamphlets.
Among the bonehead increases that beckon to shove the economy back into recession is a nearly 20% increase in the top two income tax rates, counting the phase-out of deductions and exemptions. The top capital gains tax rate is scheduled to soar by nearly 60%, counting the application of Obamacare's new 3.8% tax on investment income. The tax rate on dividends is scheduled to nearly triple, from 15% to 43.4%, counting the new Obamacare tax as well. The Obamacare legislation also increased the Medicare HI payroll tax rate by 62% for the nation's employers and investors. On our current course, the death tax will rise from the grave next year with a 55% top rate.
At least that was the plan. But the Democrat Congress left town without ever making good on candidate Obama's pledge to the American people in 2008 to avoid any tax increase on those making less than $250,000 a year, by extending all of the Bush tax cuts for everyone below that income level. That means under current law federal income taxes will now increase next year for virtually every American. The bottom income tax rate of 10% will soar by 50% to 15%, and every other income tax rate will rise by a similar amount. The child tax credit will be slashed by 50% from $1,000 per child to $500 per child. The marriage penalty will also rise from the grave to tax more heavily those who are married rather than those who are just living together.
A family of four earning $50,000 per year will pay more than $2,100 in higher taxes. A single mom earning $36,000 per year will pay over $1,100 more in taxes.
Married senior citizens earning $40,000 per year will pay more than $1,400 in higher taxes.
If you have been listening to President Obama's rhetoric, you would be thinking how could failing to extend the Bush tax cuts result in all these tax increases on everybody, since Bush supposedly cut taxes only for the rich. That is why you should not be listening to President Obama's misleading, manipulative, deceptive rhetoric.
Baghdad Bob Economics
In case you have forgotten Baghdad Bob, he was the Saddam Hussein propaganda minister who called a press conference just before American forces entered Baghdad in 1991 to announce that those forces had been massacred in the desert by Saddam's military machine. With Saddam gone, Baghdad Bob now has a new gig. He is in charge of economic and tax policy propaganda for the Democrat party.
You can see the results of his work on national television all of the time. Joy Reid, Keith Boykin, and Christian Weller show up to argue that cutting tax rates for employers and investors causes recessions and economic calamity, such as the financial crisis. Indeed, President Obama is saying the same thing all the time with his rhetoric about "the failed policies of the past" that "got us into this mess."
That's not even Keynesian economics. Rather than John Maynard Keynes, or even Karl Marx, that economic "logic" follows more in the tradition of Jim Jones, and the Jonestown school of economic policy. Joy Reid adds to this body of work her "argument" that increasing real savings and investment for retirement would only cause another bubble in the markets. Reid was voted Netroots Blogger of the Year, which shows how much deep trouble our country is in as long the people identifying themselves as Progressives are anywhere near the levers of government power.
I explain in my Broadside publication how President Obama has consistently followed exactly the opposite of every plank of Reaganomics. As a consequence, we can rightly expect that America will now suffer exactly the opposite results, unless those economic policies are quickly overturned by new Congressional majorities.
In 1983, President Reagan's third year, his tax rate cuts became fully effective, and real GDP zoomed upward over the first 4 quarters of recovery by 7.7%. That recovery flowered into a generation-long, 25-year economic boom, interrupted only by two short, shallow recessions, following President Bush's budget deal increasing tax rates in 1990, and the 9/11 terror attack in 2001.
Art Laffer and Steve Moore have rightly called this Reagan boom "the greatest period of wealth creation in the history of the planet." Indeed, more wealth was created in America during this 25 year boom, from 1983 to 2007, than in all the prior 200 years of American history, from George Washington to Jimmy Carter, combined. That is why Steve Forbes has rightly called it an "economic Golden Age."
The mirror image opposite of this economic performance would be the natural, logical result of following the mirror image opposite of Reagan's economic program, including the counterproductive incentive effects of Obama's comprehensive federal tax rate increases, the costs and burdens of Obama's reregulation hitting next year, and the continued drain of private sector resources due to President Obama's supposedly stimulative spending increases and deficits. Laffer explains:
[W]hen the U.S. economy comes to 2011, the train's going to come off the tracks.. The tax boundary that will occur on January 1, 2011 tells me that GDP growth in 2010 will be some 6% to 8% higher than GDP growth in 2011. A year on year decline from trend of some 6% to 8% in GDP growth would represent a larger collapse than occurred in 2008 and early 2009.
We see signs of that already even in this year's economy, which, again just the opposite of Reagan's performance, should be the peak economic year in President Obama's reign of error. Economic growth is in a tailspin, falling from 5% in the fourth quarter of 2009, to 3.7% in the first quarter this year, to 1.6% in the second quarter. Unemployment is rising again, with the economy continuing to lose jobs every month. The stock market has been long stalled, mired 30% below its record highs over 14000 in the Dow. This weak economy couldn't be a worse time to raise Federal tax rates across the board. With President Obama's current economic policies, the probability of a renewed, double-dip recession is over 100%.
Food Stamp Nation
"The lessons of history ... show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit."
These searing words about Depression-era welfare are from Franklin Roosevelt's 1935 State of the Union Address. FDR feared this self-reliant people might come to depend permanently upon government for the necessities of their daily lives. Like narcotics, such a dependency would destroy the fiber and spirit of the nation.
What brings his words to mind is news that 41.8 million Americans are on food stamps, and the White House estimates 43 million will soon be getting food stamps every month. A seventh of the nation cannot even feed itself.
If you would chart America's decline, this program is a good place to begin. As a harbinger of the Great Society to come, in early 1964, a Food Stamp Act was signed into law by LBJ appropriating $75 million for 350,000 individuals in 40 counties and three U.S. cities.
Yet, no one was starving. There had been no starvation since Jamestown, with such exceptions as the Donner Party caught in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846-47, who took to eating their dead.
The Food Stamp Act became law half a decade after J.K. Galbraith in his best-seller had declared 1950s America to be the world's great Affluent Society.
Yet, when Richard Nixon took office, 3 million Americans were receiving food stamps at a cost of $270 million. Then CBS ran a program featuring a premature baby near death, and told us it was an infant starving to death in rich America. The nation demanded action, and Nixon acted. By the time he left office in 1974, the food stamp program was feeding 16 million Americans at an annual cost of $4 billion.
Fast forward to 2009. The cost to taxpayers of the U.S. food stamp program hit $56 billion. The number of recipients and cost of the program exploded again last year.
Among the reasons is family disintegration. Forty percent of all children in America are now born out of wedlock. Among Hispanics, it is 51 percent. Among African-Americans, it is 71 percent. Food stamps are feeding children abandoned by their own fathers. Taxpayers are taking up the slack for America's deadbeat dads.
Allow citizens to sell kidneys: "Every year thousands of people die because they are unable to secure a healthy kidney replacement in time and thousands more are relegated to years of costly dialysis. The waiting time to receive a kidney transplant is around five years. The shortage is due to the fact that patients can only receive donated kidneys, either from the deceased or an extremely rare and charitable living individual. Because it is a crime to voluntarily trade one's organ for another's money we have a constant under-supply of kidneys."
Bureaucracy gone wild: "Unelected federal bureaucrats are forcing New York City to spend $27 million to replace their street signs. Our bureaucratic overlords maintain that streets signs must contain both upper and lower case letters, instead of just capital letters! Do you feel grateful that you're being protected from upper case streets signs? This dictatorial mandate comes from the Federal Highway Administration, and applies to every community in America, not just New York City. But don't blame this outrage on the busy-body Democrats. This isn't an Obama directive. The rule was actually promulgated back in 2003 - during the Bush Administration."
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc. He is pretty cutting about Obama's Afghanistan/Pakistan policies.
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)