What Has America Become?

August 30, 2010

Editor,

Has America become the land of special interest and home of the double standard?

Let’s see:  if we lie to Congress, it is a felony and if Congress lies to us it is just politics; if we dislike a black person, we are racists and if a black dislikes whites, it is his 1st Amendment right; the government spends millions to rehabilitate criminals and then does almost nothing for victims; in public school you can teach that homosexuality is OK, but you had better not use the word God in the process; you can kill an unborn child, but it is wrong to execute a mass murderer; we do  not burn books in America, we rewrite them; we got rid of the communist and socialist threat by renaming them progressives; we are unable to close our border with Mexico, but have no problem protecting the 38th parallel in Korea; if you protest against President Obama’s policies, you are a terrorist, but if you burn an American flag or George Bush in effigy it is your 1st Amendment right.

You can have pornography on TV or the Internet, but you had better not put a nativity scene in a public park during Christmas; we have eliminated all criminals in America, they are now called sick people; we can use a human fetus for medical research, but it is wrong to use an animal.

We take money from those who work hard for it and give it to those who do not wish to work; we all support the Constitution, but only when the Constitution supports our political ideology; we still have freedom of speech, but only if we are being politically correct; parenting has been replaced with Ritalin and video games; the land of opportunity is now the land of handouts; the similarity between hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill is that neither president did anything to help.

And how do we handle a major crisis today? The government appoints a committee to determine who is at fault, then threatens them, passes a law, raises taxes, and tells us the problem is solved they can get back to their reelection campaigns.

 What has happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

                                                                          —Ken Huber, Tawas City

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Reprint:  By: David Freddoso Online Opinion Editor, “The Washington Examiner”

Even Obamacare’s biggest cheerleaders won’t be able to ignore Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster forever. Based on current law, Foster says, seniors who rely on Medicare will replace Medicaid recipients at the bottom of the health care ladder as early as 2019, five years after the individual mandate kicks in. That’s when the fees Medicare pays to providers will be slashed below Medicaid rates, which are already well below market prices.

“And if you’re in a plan that pays the lowest rates, you’re in trouble,” John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, told “The Examiner.”

That’s because the $575 billion cut to Medicare over the next decade — which is needed to pay insurance subsidies for 32 million new people — will force one in seven hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and hospices out of business, according to the formal Medicare trustees report released on April 22. By 2050, 40 percent of existing health care facilities will be forced to close their doors.

Nearly half of the 32 million newly insured people will be enrolled in Medicaid (those whose incomes are at or below 133 percent of the poverty line will have no choice), but they shouldn’t expect the level of care that current Medicaid recipients receive, Goodman adds.

“For many low-income people, there’s not going to be much difference. Now they get care at community health centers and hospital emergency rooms. The Medicaid system won’t be able to handle them in a substantially different way. They’ll end up going to the same doctors and the same facilities they go to as uninsured.”

But there will be one difference: The wait for care will be much, much longer. Obamacare will provide 100 million Americans with much more generous insurance than they have today, Goodman points out, with no co-pays and no deductibles. This will give people new incentives to access medical care even though there won’t be enough doctors to handle the increased demand. A looming shortages of nurses won’t help, either.

Many physicians already refuse to accept new Medicare patients. More will refuse when payments from the government fall below cost. “It will be a game of medical musical chairs,” Goodman predicts. And when the music ends, it will be 15 million vulnerable senior citizens who wind up without a seat

 First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief: In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families. These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise.  The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed).  The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.  All the rates in between will also rise.  Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.  The full list of marginal rate hikes include:

 –          The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%

 –          The 25% bracket rises to 28%

 –          The 28% bracket rises to 31%

 –          The 33% bracket rises to 36%

 –          The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family:  The “marriage  penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income.  The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child.  The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level.  The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax: This year, there is no death tax.  For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million.  A person leaving behind two homes, a business, a retirement account, could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones. Think of the farmers who don’t make much money, but their land, which they purchased years ago with after-tax dollars, is now worth a lot of money. Their children will have to sell the farm, which may be their livelihood, just to pay the estate tax if they don’t have the cash sitting around to pay the tax. Think about your own family’s assets. Maybe your family owns real estate, or a business that doesn’t make much money, but the building and equipment are worth $1 million. Upon their death, you can inherit the $1 million business tax free, but if they own a home, stock, cash worth $500K on top of the $1 million business, then you will owe the government $275,000 cash! That’s 55% of the value of the assets over $1 million!

Higher tax rates on savers and investors:  The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011.  The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011.  These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Wave Two: Obamacare:  The most onerous wave will be Obamacare. There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:

The Medicine Cabinet Tax Hike: Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The Special Needs Kids Tax Hike: This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: Parents of special needs children.

There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can not be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA (Health Savings Account) Withdrawal Tax Hike: This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Wave Three: The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Employer Tax:  When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise-the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.

The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear. Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly deduct, or “depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000. This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can currently expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, all of it will have to be “depreciated.”

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others.

Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs. Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching will be reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs will no longer be allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.

Oh yes, now your insurance will become INCOME on your W-2 forms! One of the surprises we will all find next year is, (next year folks), our W-2 tax form sent by our employer will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance we are given by the company. It does not matter if that’s a private concern or governmental body of some sort. Just can’t wait until the public sector sees its W-2 forms for 2011. Mmm, Mmm, Mmm.

Retired? So what—your gross will go up by the amount of insurance you have.

You will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that you have never seen. Take your tax form you just finished and see what $15,000 or $20,000 additional gross income does to your tax debt. That’s what you’ll pay next year. For many, it also puts you into a new, higher bracket so it’s even worse.

This is how the government is going to buy insurance for the 15% that do not have insurance and it’s only part of the coming tax increases. Not believing this? Here is a research moment from the summaries—On page 25 of 29: TITLE IX REVENUE PROVISIONS- SUBTITLE A: REVENUE OFFSET PROVISIONS-(sec. 9001, as modified by sec. 10901) Sec. 9002 “requires employers to include in the W-2 form of each employee the aggregate cost of applicable employer sponsored group health coverage that is excludable from the employees gross income.”

Had enough? Not yet. Plans for even more astonishing government extortion will be revealed in later blog posts. For now—vote REPUBLICAN in November. It is the only vote that may help to change some of the above intrusions upon our individuality and freedom.

[Excerpted from Internet articles.]

Over a decade ago, the Supreme Court overruled a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions because of statements from the large and influential medical group, the American Group of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG.)

During the hearing, ACOG lobbied the Supreme Court with “evidence” that partial-birth abortions were critical tools to help “save the lives of women.” Evenso, the Supreme Court could not find any evidence of ACOG’s claims of the health benefits of partial-birth abortions and ruled there was faulty health evidence.

Enter Elena Kagan. Never one to allow anyone tell her that her personal opinions are incorrect, even the Supreme Court, Kagan persisted. So instead of having ACOG, a group of real accredited and practicing medical doctors, write another statement in support of partial-birth abortions, Kagan decided to create her own. As Solicitor General she wrote a legal memo to the Supreme Court claiming partial-birth abortions “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”

The evidence given to the Supreme Court was supposed to come from ACOG not a Liberal Washington bureaucrat. It is possible Kagan wrote even more skewed memos and disguised them as evidence coming straight from ACOG. Kagan presented her “medical opinions” to the highest court in our country disguising them as “medical facts” from the American Group of Obstetrics and Gynecologists.

Elena Kagan is not a doctor that specializes in women’s health issues. She is a Liberal ideologue who attended upper-class schools and spent her time at Harvard trying to destroy our Constitution and dishonor our brave military personnel.

Apparently that is enough for her to believe she is qualified to make critical decisions about women’s lives and the lives of the unborn. Just like Obama’s arrogance at believing even though he had absolutely no experience he was qualified enough to run our country, Kagan doesn’t think her incompetence should stop her from making critical health decisions for Americans. And Barack Hussein Obama agrees. Mmm, Mmm.

Now Harry Reid is desperate and worried as Democrats appear ready to bail on the Kagan nomination. As such, he has called for the Senate to vote on Kagan’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by Thursday, August 05, 2010.

A criminal himself, like Kagan, Reid does not mind that Kagan thinks science is politically subjective and therefore subject to a higher level of interpretation. As Solicitor General to the Supreme Court, Kagan blatantly disregarded actual medical facts and abused her position of power when she decided to edit scientific findings about the dangers of partial-birth abortions during the Clinton Administration. Accordingly, she is the perfect Liberal Puppet for President Obama to use the Supreme Court to push even more dangerous and controversial legislation from the bench upon the American People.