National Debt Clock

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Backdoor Taxes to Hit Middle Class

The Obama administration's plan to cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade relies heavily on so-called backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families.

In the 2010 budget tabled by President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House wants to let
billions of dollars in tax breaks expire by the end of the year -- effectively a tax hike by stealth.

While the administration is focusing its proposal on eliminating tax breaks for individuals who earn $250,000 a year or more, middle-class families will face a slew of these backdoor increases.
The targeted tax provisions were enacted under the Bush administration's Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Among other things, the law lowered individual tax rates, slashed taxes on capital gains and dividends, and steadily scaled back the estate tax to zero in 2010.

If the provisions are allowed to expire on December 31, the top-tier personal income tax rate will rise to 39.6 percent from 35 percent.
But lower-income families will pay more as well: the 25 percent tax bracket will revert back to 28 percent; the 28 percent bracket will increase to 31 percent; and the 33 percent bracket will increase to 36 percent. The special 10 percent bracket is eliminated.

Investors will pay more on their earnings next year as well, with the tax on dividends jumping to 39.6 percent from 15 percent and the capital-gains tax increasing to 20 percent from 15 percent. The estate tax is eliminated this year, but it will return in 2011 -- though there has been talk about reinstating the death tax sooner.

Millions of middle-class households already may be facing higher taxes in 2010 because Congress has failed to extend tax breaks that expired on January 1, most notably a "patch" that limited the impact of the alternative minimum tax. The AMT, initially designed to prevent the very rich from avoiding income taxes, was never indexed for inflation. Now the tax is affecting millions of middle-income households, but lawmakers have been reluctant to repeal it because it has become a key source of revenue.

Without annual legislation to renew the patch this year, the AMT could affect an estimated 25 million taxpayers with incomes as low as $33,750 (or $45,000 for joint filers). Even if the patch is extended to last year's levels, the tax will hit American families that can hardly be considered wealthy -- the AMT exemption for 2009 was $46,700 for singles and $70,950 for married couples filing jointly.

Middle-class families also will find fewer tax breaks available to them in 2010 if other popular tax provisions are allowed to expire. Among them:

  • Taxpayers who itemize will lose the option to deduct state sales-tax payments instead of state and local income taxes;
  • The $250 teacher tax credit for classroom supplies;
  • The tax deduction for up to $4,000 of college tuition and expenses;
  • Individuals who don't itemize will no longer be able to increase their standard deduction by up to $1,000 for property taxes paid;
  • The first $2,400 of unemployment benefits are taxable, in 2009 that amount was tax-free.

Palin Wants Rahm Fired

In a Facebook post, Sarah Palin calls on President Obama to fire Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for reportedly describing the strategy of Senate liberals as "f$&%*$&# retarded."

"Yes, Rahm is known for his caustic, crude references about those with whom he disagrees, but his recent tirade against participants in a strategy session was such a strong slap in many American faces that our president is doing himself a disservice by seeming to condone Rahm's recent sick and offensive tactic."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky on Organizing for America's Recommended Reading List

Her government class passed out this propaganda recruiting paper so students could sign up as interns for Obama's Organizing for America (OFA is the former site.)
Obama is using our public school system to recruit for his Alinsky-inspired private army. Organizing for America is (and I quote) recruiting in our high schools to "build on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering students across the country to help us bring about our agenda" ............of national socialism.

Check out the recommended reading list page 4:
  • Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky
  • The New Organizers, Zack Exley
  • Stir It Up: Lessons from Community Organizing and Advocacy, Rinku Sen
  • Obama Field Organizers Plot a Miracle, Zack Exley, Huffington Post
  • Dreams of My Father Chicago Chapters, Barack Hussein Obama

State Department Admits No-Bid Contract 'Violates' Obama Campaign Pledges

The recent awarding of a lucrative federal contract to a company owned by a financial contributor to the Obama presidential campaign -- without competitive bidding -- "violated" President Obama's many campaign pledges to crack down on the practice, a top State Department official told Fox News.

The contract in question, worth more than $24.6 million, was awarded on Jan. 4 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to Checchi and Company Consulting, a Washington, D.C.-based firm owned by economist and Democratic Party donor Vincent Checchi. The deal called for Checchi's firm to train lawyers and judges in Afghanistan and thereby strengthen the "rule of law" in the war-torn country.

Crowley confirmed that the contract has been "terminated" because the circumstances under which it was awarded “violated the Competition in Contracting Act." Crowley said the contract was actually a renewal of a $44 million contract first awarded to Checchi and Company in October 2004 by the Bush administration -- after a competitive bidding process -- and will now be put out for competitive bids.

Obama Plan Has $79 Billion From Cap-and-Trade in 2012

President Barack Obama’s budget plan assumes $78.7 billion in revenue in 2012 from the sale of greenhouse-gas emission permits to polluters, putting pressure on Congress to pass legislation by early next year.

A “cap-and-trade” program would generate a total of $645.7 billion by 2019, according to the budget blueprint Obama sent to Congress today. Initial funds would be used to invest in “clean” energy, help finance Obama’s tax credit for workers as well as offset higher energy costs for low- and middle-income people and clean up costs for small businesses.

The budget calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to get $19 million to begin setting up an inventory of greenhouse- gas emissions that most scientists say are causing rising temperatures and sea levels. Obama has asked Congress to send him a bill that would create an emissions trading system, putting a mandatory cap on carbon-dioxide pollution nationwide for the first time in the U.S.