Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

New Romney Ad Ties Obama to Pelosi and Middle Class Tax Hikes

   Bookmark and Share                A new 30 second commercial being run by the Romney-Ryan ticket finally begins to interject a narrative into the presidential race that can effectively counter the Obama class warfare strategy being aimed at middle class Americans.  (see ad below this post)

While the ad is far from groundbreaking what it does do is cast a large shadow of doubt over President Obama’s policies by pointing out that not only will they lead to higher taxes on the middle class… they ‘already have’ raised taxes on the middle class.

The ad which is aptly titled “Already Has” bases the claim on a very reliable and non-partisan report issued by the Congressional Budget Office back in July.  The report essentially concludes that between Obamacare and Obama economic policies the federal government will spend more money, raise more tax revenue, and reduce the deficit by much less than the President claims.

According to the C.B.O. revenue increases built into in the Obamacare law would essentially lead to a trillion dollars in higher taxes.  These taxes include revenues from Obamacare-driven individual and employer mandates, combined with a so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-cost benefits and additional taxes on drugmakers, medical device manufacturers and insurers.   All of which in addition to raising medical costs will also place direct and indirect tax increases on middle class taxpayers and their families.  The report also concludes that this would all result in  a net increase in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2013–2022 period.

All of this spells disaster for taxpayers and the American economy and none of it should provide thinking Americans with  good reason to reelect President Obama but to really drive the point home, the ad goes a step further by featuring a picture of the President with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.  The image is a politically damaging reminder of just how ideologically close Obama and Pelosi.  It is a point that can only help to turn the stomachs of any fiscally responsible voter.

Unfortunately, most casual observers will not want to get into the nuts and bolts that explain the charges in Romney’s new ad.  However, by just bringing it to the attention of the 6% or so of the independent voters out there in the six swing states that will determine who the next President is, Romney is finally on track to establishing a narrative in this campaign that could provide him with the momentum he needs to turn those currently uncommitted voters in to committed Romney voters.

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Is Mitt Romney a Bold Conservative?

Mitt Romney is going to have a hard time selling his tax plan.  Not because it’s a bad plan, it is actually a very good plan which I have enthusiastically endorsed.  But it does call for tax cuts and guts special interest group power.  It also makes the tax code simpler.  I think Reagan would approve of Mitt Romney’s tax plan.  Then, Romney came out with his energy plan.  I think it is getting harder to deny that Mitt Romney is actually a bold conservative.

Let me contrast Obama and Romney on energy with two pictures.  These two pictures show practical economic common sense versus pure ideology.  They show why every person concerned about our economic future should vote for Mitt Romney and not Barack Obama.

Romney's energy plan

Mitt Romney’s energy plan is a real all of the above approach.  He lets states control the energy resources on federal land within their borders, effectively giving states the choice whether they want jobs, energy independence for their state, and vast economic growth, or they can continue with the failed Obama subsidized green energy idea.

The key to this graphic is the figure in the upper left hand corner.  3.6 million jobs.  Of course, that is solely based on the energy sector and doesn’t take into account economic multipliers and the effects of using energy to drop unemployment below 8%, the increased tax revenue involved, or the additional spending power of families who no longer have to pay close to $4 a gallon for gas so that Saudi princes and Libyan terrorists (who Obama tried to befriend) can get rich off of our commutes.

Romney also doesn’t forsake green energy, but includes it as part of his all of the above approach.  He also includes increased nuclear energy, which is clean and efficient.

Contrast this with Obama’s rebuttal.

Obama doesn’t like Romney’s energy plan because it would cost 37,000 jobs in the US Wind industry.  Can you see what the big problem is here with Obama’s ideology?  Romney’s plan would provide 3.6 million jobs.  Obama complains that in the process 37,000 wind energy jobs would be lost.  Do the math, should we abandon the Romney energy plan to save those 37,000 wind jobs?

Two more key problems with this graphic:

1. Was Obama concerned with saving energy jobs when he cancelled the Keystone Pipeline?  The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that Obama’s decision to cancel the Keystone Pipeline cost 250,000 jobs.

2. Notice the verbiage.  Obama-Biden supports 75,000 jobs.  In other words, Obama’s green energy plan is based on government subsidization of the industry.  Instead of the Romney plan that would create 3.6 million private sector jobs supported by private enterprise, Obama wants us to support his government program where taxpayer foot the bill and get 75,000 jobs.  That’s a pretty weak rebuttal, Mr. President.

In the meantime, we have already gone through four years of Obama’s energy plan and we know it doesn’t work.  We have actual, historical evidence that it doesn’t work.  Forget Solyndra for a moment, what about the jobs Obama has created through his green energy initiatives?  The Gateway Pundit estimates a pricetag of $4.8 million per permanent job.  That isn’t how much each employee makes, that is what the government has spent per new employee.  That is unsustainable.

Wouldn’t you prefer a plan where private companies invest the money to hire people to produce energy that actually works and has practical significance for the American consumer?  The Obama plan is to take tax dollars to produce energy we don’t use on a large scale so that we are stuck buying our gas from people in the Middle East who don’t particularly like us.  I’d much rather buy American.  For Obama, the environmental lobby make that an impossibility.

Mitt Romney has proven that he is not just the anti-Obama.  He is not just a status quo politician who will keep from making things worse.  The Romney-Ryan tax plan and energy plan are not tired RINO talking points.  They are bold change.

 

Why I Love Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan

Let me start by saying this: were I the supreme commander of the United States with absolute control, the Romney tax plan would not be the final product.  I have been and will always be a fan of a pure, simple flat tax where anyone can file with anyone else and the government cannot punish or reward you for how you choose to live your life.

Preface #2: I am a licensed tax professional with experience in preparing thousands of personal, corporate, state and some types of international tax returns, so I do have a little bit of street cred on this issue.

paul ryan

The Romney tax plan is something Paul Ryan can proudly run on

All that being said, I love Mitt Romney’s tax plan.  First, it is not wimpy.  It is not RINO, status quo policy.  The Romney tax plan will be easy to run against for someone like Obama, who is willfully choosing to run as dishonest a campaign as he possibly can.  It has necessary trade offs and it destroys the leverage of special interest groups.  It makes it so that billionaires can no longer zero out their tax returns.  It will be a small tax hike for people like Mitt Romney, who can sit back and collect carrying interest and dividends and live comfortably on that income.  It will be a tax break for the middle class.

The best thing about the Romney tax plan is that it ends the power of special interest groups that is built into the tax code.  Currently, people and corporations are punished and rewarded by the tax system for certain behaviors.  For example: if you go to school, you are rewarded.  If you rent your home, you are punished.  If you put all your money in interest-free muni bonds, you are rewarded.  If you sell your capital assets with less than a year holding period, you are punished.  While there is still uncertainty as to which credits, deductions and loopholes Romney would eliminate, the key is that he will be eliminating many and trading them for a 20% tax cut across the board.

That brings me to the second best thing about his plan: it means a simpler tax return.  Just when you thought it was impossible enough to do your own taxes, with Obama’s plan, now you will have to record your health insurance on your tax return, and if you make a certain amount you will have 3.8% in extra taxes on investment income and .9% extra on wages.  Have fun with those IRS schedules, and don’t screw it up or they’ll catch you two years from now plus interest and penalties.

The Romney plan will eliminate pages of schedules and forms from your tax return and trade them for a simple across the board rate reduction.

If Democrats knew enough about the tax code to understand what this plan does, they would support it too.  Instead of lobbing an extra 4.7% tax increase at taxpayers (including small business owners) who make $200,000, plus an additional 3-4.6% if Obama has his way with the Bush tax cuts, the Romney plan eliminates the tricks that the mega rich use to cut their tax rates below 15%.  It is a targeted change to the tax system, not a hatchet rate increase that harms employers.

If Romney is raising taxes on the super-rich who shelter their income, won’t that hurt growth?  No, and especially not compared to Obama’s plan.  Obama’s plan is to increase the dividend rate to the income tax rate.  That’s a tax hike of up to 19.6 percentage points.  Obama plans to hike capital gains taxes by 5 percentage points.  Romney would leave those taxes as is for the wealthy and eliminate them for people who make less than $200,000.  In other words, if you are middle class you will be able to invest money without paying 15% off the top to the government.  That will change the risk reward ratios for millions of middle class investors and shift capital ownership while encouraging saving among the middle class and not discouraging investment among the rich.

Then there are the tax cuts for businesses to make the US more competitive with other countries.  Also, by switching to a territorial tax system, Romney let’s multinational companies invest in American growth without being penalized and removes the incentive to keep investments off-shore.  This will allow companies to bring overseas profits back to the United States to build headquarters, offices, and manufacturing plants here instead of keeping it in other countries to avoid a US tax hit.  Then the income from this new American growth will contribute to American tax revenues going forward.  With the current system, we tax multinational companies if they want to invest dollars in the US, even if they have already paid foreign taxes on those dollars.

Romney will have some difficulty with certain groups.  For example, if he takes away the $250 deduction for teachers buying teaching supplies in exchange for a 20% tax cut, you can bet there will be ads run with poor children holding out their empty backpacks and a subtext about how they used to have school books but Romney took them away.  If Romney touches the mortgage interest deduction in exchange for a 20% tax break, you can bet the National Association of Realtors will be running ads with homeless people talking about how Romney took their opportunity at home ownership away.  Those special interest groups will hang on tough.  Democrat city mayors who would normally decry the rich for sheltering their income will suddenly discover that tax free interest on municipal bonds is the only thing keeping society from turning into some sort of post-apocalyptic jungle.  Never mind that middle class families will pay less in taxes under the Romney plan; threaten to take away their mortgage interest deduction and most do not know enough to be OK with that.

Then there is the valid argument that the rich already pay their fair share of taxes.  But the Romney tax plan doesn’t target the rich who invest their money in American businesses like Obama’s plan does; it targets the rich who get high life insurance payouts tax-free, who shelter their money in tax-free municipal bond interest, who invest in oil and gas wells to shelter income through high amortization expenses, and so on.  Won’t that hurt investment in oil and gas, you may ask?  Not with Romney as President instead of Obama, because he will open up the avenues for exploration to the point where major companies can hire and get involved.  Then average citizens like you and I will have more opportunity to invest in companies that buy and develop oil fields.  And on top of that, we won’t have to pay taxes on our dividends and capital gains from those investments.

I’ll be honest: I liked the Bush tax cuts, but I didn’t love them.  They made some things more complex and left much of the rest of it at the same complexity.  Meanwhile, they cut taxes across the board.  I applauded their passage and re-passage under Obama, but they didn’t fundamentally change our tax code from the garbled, complicated special interest buffet that it is right now.  I hated Herman Cain’s plan; it would have been a more complicated mess than what we have now, and would have been a huge tax hike on the poor and middle class.  I’ve written extensively about it here at Whitehouse12.com.

I love Mitt Romney’s tax plan, and I never imagined that I would.  Additionally, he hired the right guy, Paul Ryan, to explain it, because it will be much easier to distort his plan for political gain than to spell it out in a way that people can understand.  To be sure, it is an over-all tax cut.  There is no denying that.  However, if it inspires growth as it is designed to, the revenue increase will make up the difference and keep it revenue neutral as promised.  Even the Tax Policy Center, which originally claimed Romney would hike taxes on 95% of Americans, has come clean and admitted his plan is viable.

In my mind, no tax plan will be perfect until it is flat and cuts spending by at least $2 trillion.  But this is the next best thing.

The Years Obama Didn’t Pay Taxes

Harry Reid thinks Americans are stupid.  That’s why he believes that his lies about Romney not paying taxes for the last ten years are a positive for the Democrat party. Romney, who paid about $3 million in 2010, would have to have some pretty incredible accountants in order to not pay taxes considering how much wealth he has in investments making money for him.  In fact, if Romney went ten years without paying taxes, his accountants probably should be in jail.

A campaign built on lies

A campaign built on lies

We already know Harry Reid is lying because McCain vetted Romney and knows he paid taxes during that time.  On the other hand, nobody has vetted Obama.  We didn’t even see a valid birth certificate until last year.

Obama should release his tax returns from 1980 to 1983.  Why?  Because he didn’t pay taxes during those years.  In fact, its possible Obama didn’t pay taxes between 1985 and 1988 either. Actually, aside from a short one year stint at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group, Obama didn’t have a real job for ten years after high school.  Did he even file tax returns during that time?  Perhaps to get the earned income tax credit.  Obama should release his tax returns from the 1980s so that we can see if he paid a higher or lower rate than Mitt Romney when you look at their entire tax history.  Just looking at Obama’s work and school history, it’s safe to assume he had a negative tax rate for much of the 80s.  In other words, he didn’t pay anything in, but he got money back.

Another valid question is whether Romney needs to release more tax returns when the one he has released shows more taxes in that one year than Obama has paid over the last ten years combined. Or what about the Democrats who are calling for Romney’s tax returns?  Pelosi won’t release hers.  Harry Reid who himself is worth about $10 million won’t release his.  But they’ll happily lie about Romney to try to get him to release his.

Then there is the question of Obama’s college transcripts.  Apparently Obama attended and graduated from Columbia University.  At least that seems to be the case, although we do know he was not an honor student.  Yet somehow, this young man who grew up on foodstamps and smoked his way through his first four years of college ended up at Harvard.  How?  No really.  They don’t just let anyone into Harvard.

Harry Reid is a disgrace.  With his blatant lies about Romney not paying taxes for ten years, Harry Reid should resign.  And Obama should pay back the taxpayers of the United States for the 1980s when he freeloaded off the tax system, paying nothing and taking refundable credits.  Or he should release his 1980s tax returns (and college transcripts) and prove me wrong.

Latest Lie from Obama

When I saw the story from the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan wing of the liberal Urban Institute and Brookings institute, declaring that Romney’s tax plan would raise taxes on the poor and middle class in order to give a tax cut to the rich, I knew it wouldn’t be long before Obama was campaigning on it.  The Obama administration has determined that the claims they make in their advertising doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be citable.

latest obama lie

The latest lie from the Obama administration

What the Tax Policy Center did was made up half of Romney’s plan.  In case you were wondering, they made up the half where Romney raises taxes on the poor and middle class to pay for tax cuts for the rich.  They started with the assumption that the Romney economy would be as terrible as the Obama economy.  Then they took only the proposed rate cut for the rich in Romney’s plan, minus potential elimination of certain deductions for the rich, and figured what it would take to balance the budget with our current low GDP and high unemployment.  They turned that remaining dollar amount into a tax hike on the poor and middle class.  Nevermind it is a false premise based on wrong numbers assuming parts of Romney’s plan that he has explicitly said are the opposite of what he intends to do.

And that’s all Obama needed to start running on Romney’s tax hikes for the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich.

So I thought I would run my own numbers.  Obama has promised to cut the deficit by $3.2 trillion over the next ten years.  Please, stop laughing.  No, really, this gets better.  Do I have you back yet?  The problem is that eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the top two brackets will only raise $848 billion over the next ten years.  Follow?  So nevermind balancing the budget.  If Obama wants to cut the deficit by $3.2 trillion and only increase taxes on the rich by $848 billion, that means that Obama is going to raise taxes on the poor and middle class by $2.4 trillion dollars.  Think about it.  You know Obama isn’t going to cut spending.  So where is the rest of the money coming from?

Let me repeat that.  President Barack Obama’s tax plan will increase taxes by $2.4 trillion dollars on the poor and middle class.  On average, that is a $26,000 tax increase on every family in America that makes less than $250,000 over ten years, or $2,600 a year.

So there is your clear choice from the non-partisan Whitehouse12.com.  Romney might be raising taxes on every middle class family by $2,000 to give a tax cut to the rich, but by the same reasoning Obama is raising taxes by $2,600 for every family that makes less than $250,000 a year so that he can give tax cuts, stimulus funds, and handouts to unions, supporters like the owners of Solyndra, abortion overseas, and his friends.  Does that sound like a good economic plan?  Pay $2,600 more in taxes so Obama can fund his friends?

The difference between Romney and Obama is that Romney isn’t going to use this article in a campaign commercial.

Obamacare Forces Company To Alter Expansion Plan

Cook Medical recently opened a new plant in Canton, IL. According to Pete Yonkman, executive vice president of strategic business units, the medical devise manufacturer has invested about $30 million renovating an abandoned facility. When it becomes fully operational, the plant should employ about 300 workers.

Pleased with the results, Cook Medical was going to use the new Canton plant as a model for expansion. The plan was to open five facilities in the mid-west, over 5 years with each of the new plants employing about 300 workers each. Score one for the private sector.

Except last week Cook Medical announced they tossed that plan into the wet bowl.

What the hell happened — why the briefing bummer? Obama-care, of course.

More specifically, within Obama-care there is a provision that hits medical devise manufacturing with this itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny little tax of 2.3% — so we can insure the healthy and give out free birth control prescriptions, don’t you know. After Cook’s bean counters counted the beans, the company realized this itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny little 2.3% tax was going to cost them $20-30 million per year. Again, that’s per year — before the expansion.

Well, Cook’s management, keenly aware of their itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny need for profit, decided they needed to pull the plug on the five plants because there just isn’t enough cash left after the tax man’s shakedown. So that’s two or three years of planning expenses, five shiny new facilities, and 1,500 workers — American workers — flushed.

Does that mean Cook won’t expand? Of course not. But it does mean Cook will transition into expansion “Plan-O” — as in Overseas. Some mumblings about Ireland, Denmark and Australia were heard during Cook’s disappointing announcement.

But remember, as Democrats like to preach, taxes don’t drive the rich from cities and don’t drive businesses overseas.

Yeah, right.

Follow I.M. Citizen at IMCitizen.net

Obama Rust Belt Tour Based on a Lie

Obama is getting ready to board his Canadian made campaign bus and tour the rust belt states touting his message of economic recovery, and Romney’s record of outsourcing jobs at Bain.  There’s only one major glaring problem with this tour’s premise:

Bain has asserted and left-leaning factcheck.org has confirmed that Bain Capital did not outsource jobs under Mitt Romney’s leadership.  Obama’s bus tour is based on a lie.

Meanwhile, Obama is the President who took Chrysler from its US bondholders and sold it cheap to Italy.  Obama is the President who has limited US oil drilling while giving billions of tax payer dollars to Brazil so they can drill there.  Then, in what one Yahoo! business commentator called a result of Obama’s incompetence, Brazil didn’t even sell the oil they extracted to us.  They sold it to China instead.  So while Obama is falsely accusing Romney of outsourcing jobs, Obama is stopping US energy jobs and instead financing Brazil’s energy sales to China.  Way to go, Mr. President.

Obama is basing his campaign thus far on two propositions: his base will vote for him no matter how openly dishonest he is, and independents will not educate themselves about his lies.  If these two factors hold up, the left’s ambivalence and the center’s ignorance will help Obama win in 2012.

No Silver Lining – Obamacare Taxes the Poor

We passed the bill, and even now we are still finding out what is in it.  When Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass the 2,700 page healthcare bill to find out what was in it, that’s because nobody really knew.  Turns out they missed something big.  If a state can’t pay the $2 billion to set up a state run health insurance exchange and passes on that portion of the law, the federal government cannot provide the poor in that state with health insurance tax credits.  In other words, if states spend their limited resources on teachers, roads, police, firemen, and libraries instead of building one of Obama’s bureaucratic insurance exchanges, the poor not only don’t get help buying health insurance, but then have to pay the penalty tax for not buying health insurance.

If $695 in penalty taxes is enough to bankrupt a homeless person, than you can count Obama’s claim that no one would ever face bankruptcy for medical reasons again as one more broken promise.

There is a provision for the federal government to set up a national exchange for states who don’t or can’t spend the money to build their own.  However, a simple mistake in the law, or possibly an intentional penalty, only allows for federal tax credits to individuals in states with state run exchanges.  Perhaps Obama thought that by the time the law was implemented states would be able to shell out an additional $2 billion to pay for it.

Personally, I support Governor Scott’s decision to use that $2 billion to keep Florida from having to lay off teachers in our already hurting school districts.

Add this unforced error to Obamacare and there are few silver linings left for most Americans. Families can keep their kids on their health insurance up to age 26, but in many cases these “kids” are either old enough to be out on their own or are still students and could actually get student health insurance plans for far cheaper than the cost of being added on to their parent’s plan.  At the same time, the cost of adding 25 year olds to family plans has helped raise rates for everyone.  There is the tax credit for small businesses, but a tax credit for businesses with 15 or fewer employees who make less than $50,000 but can still afford to provide health insurance and pay an accountant who knows how to figure the credit are few and far in between.

When the health insurance taxes are fully implemented and the price of health insurance shoots high enough, no one will get health insurance until they get sick.  In states that can’t afford exchanges, the poor won’t get insurance either.  The very problem Obamacare sought to fix, that of middle class and poor “free-loaders” who either can’t afford insurance or decide not to buy it, will be made infinitely worse by Obamacare.

One more thing to add to this mess is that many states can’t afford the Medicaid expansion either.  Liberals are scratching their heads trying to figure out why states would forgo more Medicaid money.  But it’s like this: picture if someone with a million dollars in debt invited you to have steak dinner with him at the most expensive restaurant in town.  The two stipulations are this, first you have to pay half, second you have to then do the same thing for every dinner for the rest of your life.  And if this man with a million dollars of debt can no longer afford his half, you’re stuck with it.  Would you accept the offer of “free” steak?  State’s can’t afford their half of the Medicaid expansion, and they certainly know Uncle Sam can’t afford his share either.

In the end, Obamacare is bad news for the majority of Americans.

Be Afraid – Be Very Afraid

Bookmark and Share  We now know Obama-tax is the law of the land. It’s a big-ass beast that’s here to stay unless the people kill it. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you’re probably not digging the idea of a big tax hike during a “recession”. Americans For Tax Reform estimates some $500 billion over 10 years and further, it includes 20 new or increased taxes already in effect or right around the corner. And not all but lots of these are applicable to wage earners at the $250,000 a year level or below. A level Obama swore he wouldn’t exploit. Worse, just yesterday CNBC reported the house ways and means committee says there are “21 tax increases costing more than $675 billion over the next ten years” and “75% of the costs could fall on the backs of those making less than $120,000 a year.” Geez, what happened to the $250,000 mark?

And as a result of Thursday’s ruling, The American Action Forum (AAF), says, because states now know they can cut their Medicaid rolls back to the federally designated minimums, that tax payers will get hammered further. AAF chief Douglas Holtz-Eakinand said,”It seems safe to say that the [health law] will leave the taxpayer on the hook for “an additional $500 billion or so in federal costs over the first 10 years.” Not good.

Recall in March, the Congressional Budget Office released an ‘official’ government adjustment for the cost of Obama-care over a decade from $940 billion to — here we go — $1.76 trillion. Now, according to AAF, we can throw another $500 billion or so on to that. Super.

Let’s be honest, whether it’s $940 billion or $1.76 trillion or over $2 trillion (if you add in AAF’s new $500 billion) this is absurd. This isn’t a 2-cent increase on everyone’s phone bill, you know, an unpleasant little creature hiding under the stairs. This is a colossal beast — dirty, drooling, dim and dangerously destructive. Doctors don’t like it, businesses don’t like it and the majority of people (about 60%) don’t like it. Who does? The supreme ruler, San Fran Nan and other liberal-socialist politicians and their followers. But they represent the minority.

You’re going to hear lots of speeches that include personal stories of how Obama-care helps Joe. You’ll see lots of television commercials about how Sally was saved by Obama-care. These are designed to tug on your heart. Don’t be swayed. Unrolling benefits before costs was an intentional move by Democrats. Everyone knows the bill always comes after the meal. Pay close attention. It will be interesting to see how many seniors are paraded out as examples of success and how many times the phrase cost-utility analysis is used.

Cost-utility analysis is used to estimate the ratio between the cost of treatment and any benefit in terms of the number of years lived in full health by the patient. Basically, it’s a financial calculation to determine whether a medical procedure is worth it. For example, does an Obama-care bureaucrat authorize heart surgery for a 74-year old? Does a government bureaucrat authorize a life long, expensive prescription to a 15-year old? And what if, say, the prescription doesn’t really bring “full health” but rather just maintains the 15-year old at his or her current level of impairment. This is the Obama-care you won’t see on television or hear in rah-rah speeches — a bureaucrat running cost-utility analysis on a spreadsheet in a cubicle in Washington. Are these death panels? You tell me.

You’ll also be presented with the false choice of Obama-care or back to the old ways. I’d wager virtually everyone in America would be receptive to re-working healthcare. The argument is that this particular healthcare proposal sucks. Sure there are some strong concepts, but the rest just blows — big time. It wasn’t thoughtful legislation. It arose from emotional and fanatical, liberal-socialist ideology — it’s been a wet-dream for the Left for a 100 years — quick we’re in power, rush, rush, sign, sign. It wasn’t even written when it was passed.

All I’m saying is deranged Doc Barack, his loony lab assistant San Fran Nan and the other liberal-socialist scientists had their shot at mixing the test tubes and they concocted this monstrosity. And now it’s on the loose. We need to destroy this monster now, before it destroys us. There are other ways to approach healthcare that don’t need massive government, outrageous taxes and costs or bureaucratic death panels — pardon me, cost-utility calculations.Bookmark and Share

If It It, It Is. If It Isn’t, It’s Un-constitutional.

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In keeping with my quoting former President’s in discussing the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare we will quote the (in)famous William Jefferson Clinton:

“It depends on what the definition if ‘Is’ is.”

The SCOTUS decision rendering the Obamacare mandate legal only under the Congresses power to tax is not even a week under the belt but has most still hot under the collar. Conservatives are up in arms that they were betrayed by one of their own at the last moment as Chief Justice John Roberts apparently changed his mind at the 11th hour and liberals are scrambling to explain how they can still support it as a ‘tax’ which will impact millions of middle and lower class families.

The President says it’s not a tax. His chief of staff says it’s not a tax. Pelosi says it’s not a tax. John Carney says it’s not a tax. Most Democrats, especially those up for re-election who supported the bill are screaming that it’s not a tax. ***BREAKING NEWS*** The Supreme Court of the United States of America says IT’S A TAX. You wanted a ruling in your favor…you got it.

So….as most pundits and armchair constitutional lawyers try and wrap their heads around what they feel is a very complex situation, allow me to simplify it for you.

The SCOTUS ruled it’s a tax. If you are going to continue to claim publicly that it is not a tax then you are making the argument against your own bill. Which by the way AS A TAX can only be disputed after someone has to pay it which will happen in 2014. If it is not a tax then you arguing that it is in fact unconstitutional. Good, we agree on something.

So, for those of us who believe this ruling to be a gigantic infringement upon one’s personal liberty as well as a Pandora’s box of the government’s power to tax, take a chill pill. The administration and it’s surrogates are making the disputing of the ‘tax’ easy for us by claiming, despite the ruling to the contrary, that it is not a tax.

It all depends on what the definition of ‘Is’ is.

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Obama’s Class Warfare Targets Middle Class

By now, the country is used to the rich being the easy target of the left.  When a tiny percentage of the country pays the vast majority of the tax burden, it is easy to target that tiny majority as the evil villains who only have what they have because the government paved the roads between their dorm and class room.  This allows Democrats to come out in favor of massive tax increases while not losing elections.  The only people who are affected by taxes on the rich, other than the rich, are those bitter clinger Americans who still believe in the American dream and foolishly think they could also earn more than $200,000 some day.

So what does Obama do when the Supreme Court reveals that the Obamacare tax hike is in fact a tax hike?  What does he do when the numbers are tabulated and we discover that the majority of people affected by Obamacare are not the evil rich, but in fact are the angelic middle class?  Well, it’s time to do some re-branding.

Meet the evil middle class.  While making more than 400% of the poverty level, they still would rather pay an annual $695 per person tax than shell out $695+ per month for health insurance.  These are the “free-loaders”.  They are the people who supposedly can afford to spend 10% or more of their income on health insurance but choose not to.  As a result, when they get sick we all foot the bill.

The problem is that Obamacare is designed to vastly expand the evil, free-loading middle class.  First, the Obamacare tax is $695 per adult, making it far cheaper than overly taxed Obamacare approved insurance.  Second, the $2,000 and $3,000 taxes on businesses for not insuring their employees is far cheaper than the overly taxed Obamacare approved corporate insurance plans.  Third, you don’t have to have insurance.  Under Obamacare, you can skip getting insurance right up until the doctor hands you the bill for the expensive operation you just had.

The CBO predicts that 20 million people will lose their insurance because of the Obamacare tax.  I’m proposing that it will be more than that.  Ask any American if they would like to save upwards of $8,000 a year, minus $695, by simply dropping their already frustrating insurance plan and just buying insurance as needed when they get sick.  Obama is about to discover just how evil, and smart, the middle class really is.

All of this may end up being an academic exercise.  The evil middle class free-loaders, like the rich free-loaders, will find pay the Obamacare penalty tax in order to avoid paying the more hefty Obamacare tax embedded in insurance rates.  But the real crippler for Obamacare taxes will be states who refuse to pay the Medicaid tax mandate involved with fully implementing Obamacare.  Obamacare is, as Kagan described it, a boatload of federal money to increase state Medicaid programs.  But that boatload isn’t nearly sufficient to meet the needs of expanded Obamacare Medicaid state programs.  States like Florida who refuse to partner with Obama on the vast Medicaid expansion now have no threat of losing their current Medicaid dollars.  Losing the cooperation of the states will make Obamacare even more unworkable.

Obama promised no new taxes for people making less than $200,000.  He lied.  Obamacare is a tax on the middle class.  Now that this has been made supremely official, Obama must figure out how to continue to wage his war on the middle class and somehow still get the middle class to vote for him.  Misinformation seems to be his best bet.  That’s why many Americans still think Obamacare has anything to do with being free or universal.

Hit Piece Misses

The day after Scott Walker demonstrated the sheer might of the conservative vote over the power of public unions, media outlets are doing everything they can to find something else to talk about.  For example, Ross Tucker at The Exchange writes “Republicans Bungle the Battle Over Light Bulbs”.  His article is all about how Republicans are preventing Americans from saving money by preventing Democrats from making incandescent light bulbs illegal.  Apparently, the only way Americans know how to buy economically is if the government eliminates all non-economical options as determined by bureaucrats in DC.

In other news, MSNBC tried to say that the Walker win was a great thing for Obama because the exit polls that showed Walker barely surviving also showed Obama winning in Wisconsin.  Of course, Walker didn’t barely survive, but instead creamed his opponent by a 7 point margin.  If you adjust exit polling by the actual results of the election, Romney will have the distinction of being the first Republican President to win Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan.

AP highlighted Elizabeth Warren tweeting about Scott Brown’s no vote the Democrat equal pay bill that would unintentionally make more women unemployable.  I’m not sure why Warren needs an equal pay bill for women; she already got her affirmative action benefits for being a “Cherokee”.

But the best hit piece was a headline from Rick Newman at US News & World Report stating that Mitt Romney’s desire to sell the government owned GM stock would cost taxpayers $15 billion.  Or as his headline put it, “Mitt Romney’s Stance on GM Sale Would Cost Taxpayers Dearly”.  What a headline.

Newman himself reviews the reason we have GM stock in the first place, but can’t seem to make the connection that the losses to taxpayers from GM might actually be Obama’s fault.  When GM was faltering and heading into bankruptcy, instead of selling GM to Italy like he did with Chrysler or allowing them to go through the legal bankruptcy protection process, Obama funneled about $25 billion dollars into GM making the US taxpayer a Wall Street shareholder.  He did the same thing with AIG and Citigroup.

When it comes to playing Wall Street fund manager with our tax dollars, Obama sucks. I wonder what Occupy Wall Street thinks about our Wall Street fund manager-in-chief?

When GM re-emerged on the market at $35 a share, Obama did not cut our losses and sell.  Instead he held on to GM with our tax dollars.  GM has now dropped to $21 a share according to Newman’s article.  Newman admits that GM would have to reach $52 a share in order for taxpayers to recover the original money Obama invested in GM.

The premise of Newman’s article is that we don’t need any of our money back and can wait to see if GM makes it back to $52 a share.  Of course, at this point GM would have to more than double in value.  Newman thinks this could happen by the end of 2013.  I’d like to know what he is smoking and where I can get some.

Large cap stocks rarely double in a year.  Large cap stocks freshly out of bankruptcy with 60% of their common stock shares owned by a government who is just itching to sell may never double in price. Romney is wise to cut our losses.

By Newman’s own math, Obama cost taxpayers $8.7 billion by not selling when GM peaked at $39.

Newman was trying to use fuzzy math to make Romney the bad guy for cleaning up the President’s taxpayer funded investment.  Instead, he unintentionally presents a clear indictment of one more foolish Wall Street fund manager: Barack Obama.

Romney needs to call Obama’s Bluffet….

 

We know that the Bluffet, sorry Buffet, rule is a motif for President’s class warfare, and more warning shots will be fired when Congress returns today from a two-week recess to a test vote on the rule, which would impose a minimum 30 percent tax rate on income over $1 million. The Bluffett tax targets wealthier Americans’ investments rather than salaries.

Today is the day when this issue of class warfare kicks off for November in earnest, now that we know it will be Romney for the GOP and Congress gets to have a say on the matter.

President Obama, who pays less tax than HIS secretary (he filed tax returns showing he paid an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent on income of about $800,000 in 2011) says the government needs the revenue from the Bluffett rule, estimated at $47 billion over 10 years, to cover “a broad range of goals.” He also says “This is not just about fairness.” Well, he got that right, it is very unfair, but not in the simplistic moralistic way he is peddling.

He says “This is also about growth. It’s about being able to make the investments we need to strengthen our economy and create jobs. And it’s about whether we as a country are willing to pay for those investments.” In other words, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Fact is, do we really need government to do the investing, and where does the investment go? Into government black holes and deep pockets, rather than into businesses which create wealth. The Bluffet tax would not create wealth, it would merely enhance dependency. We would see a better rate of return on the $47 billion in business investment by the wealthy than we would from government. That is an awful lot of liquidity to take out of the markets, and I don’t see too many secretaries taking up the slack.

Of course, keeper of the Treasury keys Tim Geithner was out pushing the rule on Sunday, “Just because Republicans oppose this does not mean it’s not the right thing to do and not the right thing to push for,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. Double negatives aside, we can say that just because Democrats think it is the right thing to do doesn’t mean it even begins to make sense.

If we look at the paying side of this, we see the rich targeted for this end up paying more. Simple. But for what are they paying? Increased revenue means increased expenditure, and so the things for government to spend on expands to meet the expanded revenue. More programs, more dependency and less reward for effort. What does the payer get in return? They get little benefit, and the wealthier they are the less they need what they are paying for.

Which means the sole purpose of the Bluffet rule is twofold, increased state powers and redistribution of wealth. Conservatives who attack Romney or the rich for their wealth are playing with the same deck as Obama.

Obama says, “If you make more than $1 million every year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle-class families do… Most Americans support this idea. We just need some Republican politicians to get on board with where the country is.” Of course, Obama doesn’t have to worry too much about his investments, because after leaving office, which cannot come soon enough, he will make a ton of cash for the remainder of his days. He doesn’t have too much to worry about…The rest of us do.

More “Muppet” than “Buffet” – Obama goes for populist message instead of leadership on tax.

President Obama’s “Buffet Rule” Tax push on millionaires represents most of what his term in office has come down to; lots of rhetoric filled with theatrics and little or no long term beneficial substance for the nation. President Obama himself said Wednesday, “Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit, Well, I agree.”

The so-called Buffett Rule, which aims to set a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for Americans who earn more than $1 million annually. The president theatrically surrounded himself with some wealthy campaign contributors to make another pitch for a higher tax rate on the country’s biggest earners, even at one stage suggesting President Reagan would have supported it.

I use the term Muppet, instead of Buffet, as the current administrations cynicism, theatrics and contempt at which they treat the public is bordering on a scene from the “Muppet Show.” The White House honestly believes ordinary Americans, and others,  are not intelligent enough to see this latest stunt as nothing more then politicking at its worst.

If the President respectfully was serious about addressing the nations’ financial woes and put as much effort into getting the United States Democratic Controlled Senate to pass a budget, that would do more good for the nation and the economy, then the $49 billion the Buffet rule would bring in over ten years. The U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in almost 1080 days surely as president and leader of the nation, this serious matter deserves more than a fleeting moment of his time and attention.

President Obama’s claim that the Buffett Rule “is something that will get us moving in the right direction toward fairness” would be more convincing if his actions where more reflective of such rhetoric too. Three years into his presidency, President Obama has not introduced a plan for comprehensive tax reform, arguably the most important aspect for repairing America’s finances and boosting long-term economic growth. The fact is, this is a president who appointed the Simpson-Bowles commission only to then completely ignore its findings and is devoid of  purposeful ideas. He has failed to lead on tax reform and will no doubt return to more rhetoric about Congress failing to act, when it is voted down in Congress next week.

Where the president and Washington have got it wrong is their disregard for the ordinary person. Yes inequality is a huge and growing problem across America, and in other countries however; it is not a “Fair-Share” as President Obama argues that people want pushed. People want a “Fair-Society” where there are opportunities for personal and business growth, success and financial reward.

It should be every leader’s aspiration to create the circumstances to get as many people into the workplace as possible, not become dependent on the state for handouts. How can it be a “Fair-Share” when you are penalised for success if you attain it. If government steps back and respects individual liberty, successful people will reinvest in the economy and it will involve more people in the work environment ultimately delivering a better, more prosperous and “Fair-Society.”

Make no mistake about President Obama’s attempt to frame this as an issue of social equality; it has nothing to do with equality, or any tangible benefit except for the president, as the “Buffett Rule” polls well.

How much time has the president spent trying to sell this $49 billion Buffet Rule to the American people compared to solving the spending and deficit issues in Washington? American’s and others looking on, are not stupid Mr. President. It is a pity that a presidency which promised so much at the outset has become so arrogant in their belief that they can treat their public likes a bunch of Muppet’s.

The fact is yesterday’s speech and this populist token exercise has nothing to do with growing the American economy or tackling the more serious issues facing the nation. It does not serve the American people, it is fundamentally and solely electioneering at its worst.

Unfortunately, this presidency has lacked any real ambition or effort at meaningful tax reform. If the president and his administration believe the “Muppet Rule” will fool the ordinary American in exchange for their vote well, I believe ordinary American people are a lot smarter for themselves then the Obama administration believe them to be. Sadly, sound bites have well and truly replaced substance in modern American public service and politics while the people fail to be served.

Is Mitt Bouyant? Or Santorum Sinking?

The day before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is looking good.  It’s looking like he will take the key state of Ohio and could take Tennessee.  Both of these are very close races.  But Romney’s ascendency back to the top is marked by Santorum’s dive in the polls, and Newt’s resurgence again.  Newt will win Georgia, which has the most delegates of any Super Tuesday state.  Newt is also now tied with Santorum and within one point of Romney in Tennessee according to one poll.  Just last week, Santorum was looking good in both Ohio and Tennessee.

If Santorum is suddenly seen as faltering, we may see the polls seesaw back to Newt on fears of unelectability.  However, at this late stage that may serve to only help Romney, unless Santorum loses big time.  If Santorum comes in third in Tennessee or Ohio and Gingrich easily wins Georgia, the shift back to Newt could be significant.

Consider this, if Santorum was not in the race and his voters went to Newt, Newt would sweep Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia.  On the other hand, the same could be said for Santorum if Newt dropped out and his votes went to Santorum.  In either case, Romney is the beneficiary of the social conservative split.  Meanwhile, Ron Paul is fleeing from social issues as he descends back into below 10% irrelevancy.

This could be short lived however, as Republicans revisit the myth that social issues are losers in elections.  As I pointed out the other day, a one dimensional economy candidate is going to struggle against Obama.  Republicans are more likely to be inspired to go to the polls for a bold conservative, and Romney is all pastels.  If Santorum falters tomorrow and Newt remains on message, this one could be far from over.

Romney Tax Plan Deserves an F

If we wanted a Liberal, we would just vote for Obama.  That should be the clear response from Conservatives after Romney followed up  his pledge to raise the minimum wage with a tax plan only a Liberal could love.

At first, Romney’s tax plan sounds pretty good.  Cut every bracket by 20%, including the top brackets.  Who could argue with that?  Of course, it doesn’t solve the complexity of taxes or cut into the billions of dollars America spends preparing taxes like Newt’s Flat Tax would, but it does lower taxes across the board, right?

No.  Romney went on to say that his tax plan would be revenue neutral, meaning overall it would not be a tax cut.  He would pay for the plan by limiting deductions for the top 1%.  According to Bankrate.com, that means that Romney would effectively raise taxes on every American who makes more than $343,000.  His populism perpetuates his timidity and presents us with a consumerism driven plan that will not grow the economy any more than Obama’s stimulus packages, or Obama’s own tax plans.  Romney appears to be appealing to the “99”.

Romney may think he will score points by taking shots at the top 1%, but here is the real problem. Deductions are already limited for the mega-rich like Romney.  Romney’s tax plan will create a donut hole tax hike on upper income earners that will become basically irrelevant to someone who makes as much as Romney. His tax plan would result in a 3% tax hike for himself, assuming he targets charitable contributions as one of the deductions he limits.

Based on average itemized deductions for individuals who make more than $250,000, someone just over the top 1% threshhold of $343,000 could end up trading a tax cut of $24,000 from the reduced rates for a tax hike of up to $25,000 from losing their deductions.

In order to make this tax plan more effective in raising taxes on the mega-rich to pay for it instead of small business owners, Romney will have to target deductions that are not already currently limited.  For example, you can only claim a deduction for mortgage interest on the first $1.1 million in debt principle.  That means that someone with a $5 million dollar home won’t be affected as negatively by Romney’s tax plan as someone with a $1 million home.  However, if he decided to limit deductions on charitable giving, that could result in the mega-rich paying for Romney’s tax plan instead of small business owners.  Is that something Romney is prepared to do?

Romney’s plan is a timid one because it does not seek to decrease taxes and spending, it simply seeks to move money around from business owners and investors to consumers.  That is Liberal Taxation 101.  Romney’s plan follows the same Liberal analogy of taking buckets of water from the deep end of the pool and pouring them in the shallow end in order to fill it up.  It may win some moderates and independents, but it will not win over conservatives who want to see lower taxes all around and lower government spending to pay for it.  We also don’t want to see more money being taken from economic producers and being put towards government waste instead.

Romney’s plan does nothing to simplify taxes, and in fact will make it much worse for upper income earners.  He is adding another level of complexity to how deductions are calculated and making it more difficult for economic producers to plan for the future.

Romney has yet to issue substantive details, but for now I give his tax plan an F.

 

 

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