Politics News

Laws Repealed

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I don’t think John Bohner truly understands how much we Americans hate this Congress. I don’t believe he understands what Congress is supposed to do. And, if he wants to be judged on how many laws they repeal – they suck at that one, too.

Austerity

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Watch Peter Gourevitch, political scientist and founding dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego, talk about austerity.

Off the Top Of My Head…

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Here’s just a quick comment on yesterday’s CBO report regarding the income inequality:  One of the reasons the lower sectors went up by 18% is because the employer paid premiums were included in the study.  If those had been removed, you would see the lower earning parts of the population more stagnant between 1979 and 2007.  (I don’t have the figures on how much, but I’ll find them.  I did find a report that showed that since 1995, premium contributions nearly doubled.  However; that report is from the California Healthcare Foundation and I am unsure if it covers just California or the whole country.)

Anyway, if you want to know why everyone is angry in this country, I think this graph from the Congressional Budget Office Trends in the Distribution of Household income between 1979 and 2007 report says it all.

CBO Figure 1 - Growth in Real After-Tax Income
CBO Figure 1 - Growth in Real After-Tax Income

I saw a comment on one of the news articles on this where the guy actually defended the Top 1%.  He thinks they somehow deserve to earn that much more than those on the bottom.  That’s his right to believe it, but a lot of the Top 1% are the same guys who ruined our economy and walked away in millions of golden parachute money.  (One example: Martin Sullivan – CEO of AIG received $47 million for failing.)  What I did find interesting was that he was defending the upper 1% without spelling anything correct.  Another commenter mentioned that what they earned didn’t affect him.  And, he’s wrong.  Companies only have so much to go around.  Every dollar that goes into a CEO pocket is one dollar less the company has to put into a worker’s pocket.

The more I read about how the financial crisis happened, the angrier I get.  I will be sitting down soon and writing up my own opinion.

Herman Cain’s Tax Plan

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When it comes to taxes and being told what’s going to cost me more money and what’s going to save me money, I generally don’t believe the Press, or the person touting the plan.  What I do believe is taking what I pay in taxes now and comparing that to the new plan.

This is what I did when comparing the “savings” Paul Ryan’s plan touted.  This is what I have done with Herman Cain’s plan.

Now, there is something I’d like to add.  Mr. Cain has not made public a lot of details about his plan.  It is possible that I am making incorrect assumptions.  I am listing the assumptions that I have made before the comparison – if anyone knows for a fact that the Cain plan doesn’t do any one of these, please leave a comment and I will make adjustments.

  • No deductions: personal exemption, neither Medical nor the Standard Deduction.
  • Taxes on everything: food, gas, clothing and bills such as electric and cable.
  • Even though when I purchase my next home or car – and only if Cain’s plan passes – I would pay a 9% sales tax on the home or car, I did not include this in my car payments, nor in my mortgage payments.  I made the assumption that the 9% tax would not be retroactive.  Therefore; in my total spending, I did not include my mortgage nor car payments.

I picked last month for my spending.  I figured September is a typical month for me.  Some months I might spend more and some months, I spend less.  For comparison purposes, I included Paul Ryan’s plan in my chart.

 

Current

Ryan’s Plan

Cain’s Plan

Salary

$5,416.67

$5,416.67

$5,416.67

Insurance Deduction

$253.44

$0.00

$0.00

Personal Exemption

$291.67

$316.67

$0.00

Standard Deduction

$483.33

$1,041.67

$0.00

Taxable Income

$4,388.23

$4,058.33

$5,416.67

Federal Income Tax

$784.18

$1,014.58

$487.50

National Sales Tax

$0.00

$0.00

$399.09

Total Tax

$784.18

$1,014.58

$886.59

%

17.87%

25.00%

9.00%

This is based on one month’s salary and all the spending for the household.  In the month of September between bills (cable, electric, cell phone, etc.), food, household items and misc. items (books, software), I spent $4,434.30.

As you can see, I currently pay – each month – $787.18 in Federal Income Tax (after deductions, which really aren’t taken out until the end of the year, but I wanted this to be a fair comparison – apples to apples).  Under the Cain Plan, I will only have $487.50 taken out of my paycheck for Federal Taxes.  That’s a savings of $299.68.  That sounds pretty good.

But, wait – there’s more…

Once the addition of the sales tax on $4,434.30 of goods and services is paid, my federal tax bill is raised by $399.09 – almost $100 more than the initial savings.  This brings my total taxes under Herman Cain’s plan up to $886.59!  Clearly, the Cain Plan is not a winner for me.

Let’s deal with the critics on this.  I’m sure some people are saying, “Just spend less.”  Hmmm, nice idea, but then what’s the point?  If, in order to save taxes, I slow down my spending, then for what am I working?  What’s my motivation for earning more money?  What do I get and how does the economy get rolling along if I cut my spending in half?

Let’s say I only spend the essentials – cut out the extras, like eating out or my passion for books – what happens then?

Well, I would save $52.80 in taxes each month.  And, sure, I could sock the extra money away in savings, but who wants to live like that?  I don’t drive up to Brookfield every single day to not enjoy the money I spend.  I sock away savings and money for retirement, but then I enjoy life.

And, how will I pay for that next car?  Sure, I could use my savings, but when the average car price is around $20,000 an extra 9.0% in sales tax is really going to make a huge difference.  That adds – without any other taxes or licensing fees – and extra $1,800 to the price of my new car.

Perhaps, Cain’s plan won’t take food or, maybe, cars will be exempt.  Wouldn’t that be subsidizing certain industries and isn’t that one of the ways we ended up in this mess in the first place?

Here’s what I recommend – don’t take my word on whether or not you like the Cain Plan.  Do the math for yourself.  Figure out exactly how much more or how much less you’ll pay in taxes.  Come to your own conclusion.  That’s what we should really be doing anyway.  Checking out the plans and weighing our options.

Happy Calculating!

A Little Tax Tidbit

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Average Federal Tax Rates By Household Type

Take a good look at this chart – it is from a CBO Report – I am conducting research into a few tax myths and I came across it in a report.  I wanted to pass it on and share it because it proves my points.  Those of us who are childless on the ones that the tax burden falls mostly heavily on.  And, yet, the Republican – written by Paul Ryan – Roadmap for America wants to raise our taxes even higher.

Who do they think truly keep the economy going?  It isn’t the rich.  They aren’t hiring anyone.  It’s us DINKS (Double-Income, No Kids).  Our taxes and our spending make the economy go round.  And, the Republicans want to tax us even more!

Perry Apologetic for Heart Comment

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Apology NOT accepted!

According to Huffington Post, Rick Perry apologized for calling his fellow GOP Candidates heartless. <sigh>  Isn’t that sad?  I mean really, really sad.  He said something he means or, should I say, meant and he’s not standing behind his comment.  He was right – his fellow GOP Candidates are heartless.  A few of them are hypocrites (can you say Michele Bachmann, boys and girls?).

I disagree with Rick Perry on a lot of subjects, but educating the children of illegal aliens is the right thing to do.  He has a point when he said, “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

And, now he says “I was probably a bit over-passionate by using that word, and it was inappropriate.”

Isn’t that what we want in a Presidential Candidate?  A guy who feels strongly?  Okay, truth is, I wasn’t going to vote for Rick Perry if he was the last man on earth, but come on.  Stand up for what you believe in.  Tell those sorry ass competitors of yours to go screw themselves.

Quit freaking apologizing!  I hate that!

Gay Agenda is the same as the Straight Agenda

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I saw a comment on Huffington Post where the commenter stated that she didn’t like the gay agenda.  Her comment was on the article of how the Republican Candidates for President stood silently (probably booing inside), while the audience booed a gay soldier.

I posted the following to her, but apparently, it wasn’t approved.  I decided to post it here. I want to set the record straight, so to speak, on the gay agenda.  Pay attention and feel free to pass this along to your friends and family.

What part of the “gay agenda” don’t you like? I’m gay and I don’t have any agenda beyond being able to have the right to live my life like anyone else. My wife should be able to draw on my Social Security, just like a straight woman can draw on her husband’s. My wife should be able to inherit our house without tax repercussi­ons, just like a straight woman. We should be able to file our federal taxes together, visit each other in the hospital (without jumping through hoops) and make the necessary health and financial decisions like any other married couple. 

If wanting to have the same rights as everyone else means I have an agenda, okay, I guess I have one.

What part of MY agenda don’t you like? What part of I pay taxes too means that I don’t get to live like any other taxpaying, God fearing American?

It’s time we stop hiding behind crap lines like “gay agenda” and start realizing that this is America, where we are all considered equal.

Regarding the cowardly GOP Candidates for President, I wrote my opinion here.  They are sad excuses for American citizens – every last one of them.