Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Obama may be the most destructive tax increaser in history

The punitive double taxation of company profits (once in the hands of the company and then again in the hands of the dividend recipient) has a hugely distorting effect on any economy. So much so that a LEFTIST government in Australia abolished it long ago.

A major effect of it in the USA is to divert investment away from companies and into risky small businesses. As a way of avoiding the tax, many small businesses operate as sole traders instead of as companies. But small businesses go broke at an enormous rate, thus destroying lots of capital and lots of jobs.

The only bright side of the U.S. system is that dividends are taxed at a low rate -- 15% -- so many people are prepared to wear that as a penalty for putting their money into companies. But Obama now wants to take that away and hike the dividend tax rate to 43%. That will kill a lot of company investment and hence a lot of job creation. Americans must not let this moronic idea pass

“President Obama released his FY 2013 budget this morning. By his own numbers, his budget raises net taxes over the next decade by $1.56 trillion (Table S-9, page 225). As a percentage of the economy, tax revenues would rise all the way to 20.1% of GDP in 2022, far higher than the historical tax revenue average of 18.3% of GDP (Table S-1, page 205).”

One and a half TRILLION dollar increase in tax years.

That is $1,5 Trillion taken from your family and businesses and given to government. You can then add another TRILLION for the increases costs of businesses, for their taxes, which will be passed on to the consumer

“The dividends rate will raise from 15% today to 43.4% next year. The Obama budget proposes taxing dividends for investors making more than $250,000 per year at ordinary income tax rates, which will rise to a top rate of 39.6% under the budget. In addition, the Obamacare surtax on investors will combine to nearly triple the tax rate on dividends in just one year.”

This is a killer for investments and buying power. This budget is a job and economy killer. Obama may get his wish, he will transform this nation–from a prosperous one to a Third World County.



Obama’s Cost-Neutral Contraception Lie

The story over the Obama administration’s non-compromise compromise on contraception shows few signs of cooling off. The U.S. Catholic bishops have given it the cold shoulder, though the Senate’s two foremost RINOs, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, have said they back the White House’s new proposal.

A less-examined issue is the rationale that the White House gave for its non-compromise compromise. Supposedly, religious organizations wouldn’t have to pay for providing contraception coverage to their employees. Rather, the insurance companies would pay for providing the employees with such coverage. The administration says this wouldn’t cost the insurers a dime:

"Covering contraception is cost-neutral for insurance companies since it saves money by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services."

On a conference call on Friday, an administration official said, “Let me be clear, we have lots of evidence and we’ll be trying to provide some of that evidence today in an issue brief why we think this is net cost neutral. So there should be no extra charge for contraception. ... We’ll be getting you that evidence we don’t think there is an issue of (insurance companies’) co-mingling of funds because we don’t think there is an extra premium associated with this service.”

I have yet to receive that issue brief. I’ve contacted a few of the other reporters on that call and they didn’t receive it either.

Perhaps that’s because there is no evidence that a mandate on insurance companies to provide contraception is cost-neutral. A search of PubMed turns up nothing.

Tory Bunce, policy director at the conservative Council for Affordable Health Insurance, told IBD, “In our research, we’ve looked at the cost of mandates on the state level. We’ve asked our members to price these mandates in their actual policies. What we’ve been told from the actuaries is that the contraceptive mandate costs 1%-3% of premiums.”

Mark Litow, an actuary at Milliman, explained in an email:

"Prior modelling of several preventive mandates such as cervical cancer and screening suggests there is a balance regarding preventive mandates. That is, if testing is limited to high-risk individuals (i.e., women at high risk of cervical cancer whether due to family history or other factors), then savings due to catching the problem early has the potential to equal or outweigh the costs of the additional tests in total. But testing large groups of people was found to likely create more cost than savings, in the case of cervical cancer, by a substantial margin. Given the scope of the mandate with contraceptives ... the likelihood is that the contraceptive mandate in reality will cost substantially more than any savings created."

In short, the Obama administration never had any evidence that providing contraception would be cost-neutral for insurance companies, since there isn’t any.

But it just doesn’t seem all that remarkable anymore that the Obama administration is willing to engage in such a brazen lie.



MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Compares Santorum to Mass Murdering Communist Joseph Stalin‏

Where is the outcry? Try comparing Obama to Stalin, then see what happens

MSNBC host Martin Bashir isn’t one to shy away from issuing far-flung comparisons. This time, however, the unabashedly liberal newscaster may have gone several steps over the line. Bashir, in his “Clear the Air” segment, compared GOP contender Rick Santorum to mass-murdering, Communist dictator Joseph Stalin.

During one of his typical ravings, the MSNBC anchor connected the former Pennsylvania senator to George Orwell’s Big Brother from 1984. This was merely the icing on a cake, however, as Bashir saved his harshest comparison for last: ”If you listen carefully to Rick Santorum, he sounds more like Stalin than Pope Innocent III.”

To provide a backdrop for his slander, Bashir played a clip of Santorum where he then contrasted, “…When we last saw the Republican front-runner Rick Santorum speaking before a crowd yesterday, all we could think of was George Orwell’s novel 1984 about a society dominated by the most extreme form of totalitarianism.” Before showing a clip of the movie version of 1984, he added, “See if you can spot the similarities.”

RICK SANTORUM: -The loud voices that support the Republican Party and the conservative cause!

BIG BROTHER (from 1984): One week from now, in this very square, we shall have a demonstration of our resolve.

BASHIR: The similarities with George Orwell’s novel and that movie are not just superficial. No, Rick Santorum holds some pretty stern views on a number of important issues and he regularly sounds like a theocrat. For example, he has asserted that the right to privacy does not exist and has equated same sex relationships with bestiality.

BIG BROTHER: Brothers and sisters, the endless catalogue of bestial atrocities that will inevitably ensue from this appalling act, must, can, and will be terminated.

BASHIR: Mr. Santorum has pledged to repeal all federal funding for contraception and says individual states should be allowed to outlaw any kind of birth control.

BIG BROTHER: The forces of darkness and the treasonable maggots who collaborate with them, must, can and will be wiped from the face of the Earth!

BASHIR: In reviewing his book It Takes a Family, one writer said “Mr. Santorum has one of the finest minds of the 13th century.” But I’m not so sure. If you listen carefully to Rick Santorum, he sounds more like Stalin than Pope Innocent III.



The New York Times Supports Project Veritas – Sort Of

When conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe and his colleagues at Project Veritas released their bombshell video showing election workers in New Hampshire giving out ballots in the names of dead voters, conservatives nodded knowingly and Democrats started talking about throwing the whistleblowers in jail.

Now it turns out that The New York Times and the Pew Center on the States (neither of which are exactly bastions of conservative thinking) both support O’Keefe in his conclusion that “U.S. voter registration rolls are in disarray” as the Times put it.

A recent Pew study found that there are about 1.8 million dead people listed as active voters. Some 2.8 million people have active registrations in more than one state. One in eight active registrations is invalid or inaccurate.

Of course, neither The New York Times nor the Pew Center was willing to go so far as to say straight-up that Democrats have long-supported weakening voter ID laws, but the story did quote a law professor and political scientist at Columbia, who said, “it is now pretty clear that Democrats want to enact measures that make voter registration easier, and Republicans fear that would be an invitation to fraud.”

That The New York Times would print such a statement demonstrates that the problem must truly be verging on crisis.

Conservatives in the New Hampshire legislature were close to addressing this problem in their state until Democratic Governor John Lynch vetoed a voter ID bill passed by the Republican legislature. Lynch claimed that there was no evidence that vote fraud could or was being perpetrated in New Hampshire -- but O’Keefe and his intrepid band of investigators proved that to be false, and set Democrats sifting through the law books looking for something to charge them with.

While neither The New York Times article nor the Pew study mentions James O’Keefe or Project Veritas by name, it should be taken as proof positive that their New Hampshire ballot security project was right on the principles and right on the facts.




Europe’s first Vega rocket blasts off successfully: "Europe's first Vega rocket blasted off from French Guiana on Monday in a successful inaugural flight aimed at giving Europe a vehicle for scientific satellite missions. The rocket took off from the European Space Agency's (ESA) launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, on the northeast coast of South America at 7.00 a.m. (1000 GMT), with nine scientific satellites on board."

NASA eyes plan for deep-space outpost near the moon: "NASA is pressing forward on assessing the value of a 'human-tended waypoint' near the far side of the moon -- one that would embrace international partnerships as well as commercial and academic participation, has learned. According to a Feb. 3 memo from William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations, a team is being formed to develop a cohesive plan for exploring a spot in space known as the Earth-moon libration point 2 (EML-2)."

Liberal judge robbed By knife wielder: "The Supreme Court has confirmed that Justice Stephen Breyer, his wife and several family friends were the victims of a knife-wielding robber at the Breyer vacation home on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean. Neither the justice nor any of his family or friends were injured. But reports indicate that the criminal made off with nearly $1,000 in cash. On Twitter, somebody asked me the big money question: "So if conservatives are just liberals who have been mugged, does that mean we can now kiss Obamacare goodbye?"

The abusive TSA again: "A female passenger has claimed she was forced to undergo repeated body scans after an airport employee complimented her figure. Married mother Ellen Terrell said she was stopped by airport staff at Dallas Airport in the US during a trip with her husband. Mrs Terrell, from Texas, alleges she was told to go through the machines three times after a female airport employee asked her if she played tennis. When she replied that she didn’t the employee allegedly said: “You just have such a cute figure”. Mrs Terrell told news website CBS 11 that she felt sexually exploited and was “totally exposed” for the benefit of male staff who watch the scanned images - which give a detailed image of the naked body - in a back room."

Even great passenger trains can no longer compete: "Iconic Australian rail icon the Indian Pacific is under threat and will slash services to stay afloat. The world-famous train linking Western Australia with the eastern states via the Nullarbor Plain is battling competition from low-cost airlines and the cruise ship market, amid slumping tourism and a high Australian dollar. GSR has been forced to cut back services on the Indian Pacific, which runs between Perth and Sydney via Adelaide, dropping back to one service a week from March 28 two months earlier than it usually scales back for the low season. The Ghan, linking Darwin and Adelaide via Alice Springs, will from April 4 also only operate one service a week. The Indian Pacific, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010, and The Ghan are regularly mentioned in lists of the world's great rail journeys."

Iranian terrorist blows off his own legs: "A wounded Iranian fleeing an unintended explosion at a house threw a grenade at Bangkok police that instead blew off one of his legs in a series of blasts on Tuesday that Israel's defence minister called an "attempted terrorist attack" by Iran. The violence came a day after Israel blamed Tehran for targeting its diplomats with bombs in India and Georgia. Police who had been called to the scene tried to apprehend Moradi, who hurled a grenade at them, "but somehow it bounced back" and blew off his leg, Pansiri said. Photos of the wounded Moradi showed him covered in soot, lying on a sidewalk strewn with broken glass in front of a primary and secondary school. Hospital officials said Moradi's right leg was severed below the knee, while his left leg was severely injured."

British money-printing hits the elderly: "More than one million pensioners have been consigned to a life of poverty because of the Bank of England’s strategy of pumping money into the economy. Every day, 1,500 people are forced to take a retirement income which has been lowered because of the policy called Quantitative Easing, or QE. While the wider economy may recover, this lower income is permanent, damaging a pensioner’s wealth for ever. To add to this, thousands of pensioners who rely on income from savings, and are already burdened with record low interest rates, have seen their returns eaten away by rises in the cost of living caused by QE. It means their nest eggs are now worth £41 billion less than before QE began. This toxic combination of high inflation and low interest rates means many elderly people are now down to their last few thousand pounds after a life spent saving."



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