Thursday, March 13, 2008

Change can be good OR bad...the facts speak for themselves

The article below has appeared on various sites but authorship seems to be unknown. From what I can see it is pretty accurate, though

Proposed changes in taxes after 2008 General Election:

CAPITAL GAINS TAX

MCCAIN 15% (no change)

OBAMA 28%

CLINTON 24%

How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.

DIVIDEND TAX

MCCAIN 15% (no change)

OBAMA 39.6%

CLINTON 39.6%

How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama or Clinton become president. The experts predict that "Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit."

INCOME TAX

MCCAIN (no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)

Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750

CLINTON (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)

Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750

How does this affect you? No explanation needed. This is pretty straightforward.

INHERITANCE TAX

MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)

OBAMA (Keep the inheritance tax)

CLINTON (Keep the inheritance tax)

How does this affect you? Many families have lost businesses, farms and ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will not only lose them to these taxes.

NEW TAXES BEING PROPOSED BY BOTH CLINTON AND OBAMA

* New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet
* New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already)
* New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity)
* New taxes on retirement accounts
and last but not least....

* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

In case you want more information on Obama's tax and spend agenda: If Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) Could Enact All Of His Campaign Proposals, Taxpayers Would Be Faced With Financing $874.35 Billion In New Spending Over One White House Term:

Updated February 14, 2008: Obama's National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank will cost $60 Billion Over Ten Years; Equal To $6 Billion A Year And $24 Billion Over Four Years.

Obama: "I'm proposing a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank that will invest $60 billion over ten years." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks On Economic Policy, Janesville, WI, 2/13/08)

Obama's Health Care Plan Will Cost Up To $65 Billion A Year; Equal To $260 Billion Over Four Years. "[Obama] campaign officials estimated that the net cost of the plan to the federal government would be $50 billion to $65 billion a year, when fully phased in, and said the revenues from rolling back the tax cuts were enough to cover it." (Robin Toner and Patrick Healy, "Obama Calls For Wider And Less Costly Health Care Coverage," The New York Times, 5/30/07)

Obama's Energy Plan Will Cost $150 Billion Over 10 Years, Equal To $15 Billion Annually And $60 Billion Over Four Years.

"Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, invest in low-emissions coal plants, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid." (Obama For America, "The Blueprint For Change," http://www.barackobama.com/, Accessed 1/14/08, p. 25)

Obama's Tax Plan Will Cost Approximately $85 Billion A Year; Equal To $340 Billion Over Four Years.

"[Obama's] proposed tax cuts and credits, aimed at workers earning $50,000 or less per year, would cost the Treasury an estimated $85 billion annually." (Margaret Talev, "Obama Proposes Tax Code Overhaul To Help The Poor," McClatchy Newspapers, 9/19/07)

Obama's Plan Would Raise Taxes On Capital Gains And Dividends, And On Carried Interest.

Obama's tax plan includes: "[i]ncreasing the highest bracket for capital gains and dividends and closing the carried interest loophole." (Obama For America, "Barack Obama: Tax Fairness For The Middle Class," Fact Sheet, www.barackobama.com, Accessed 1/8/08)

Obama's Economic Stimulus Package Will Cost $75 Billion. "Barack Obama's economic plan will inject $75 billion of stimulus into the economy by getting money in the form of tax cuts and direct spending directly to the people who need it most." (Obama For America, "Barack Obama's Plan To Stimulate The Economy," Fact Sheet, www.barackobama.com, 1/13/08)

Obama's Early Education And K-12 Package Will Cost $18 Billion A Year; Equal To $72 Billion Over Four Years. "Barack Obama's early education and K-12 plan package costs about $18 billion per year." (Obama For America, "Barack Obama's Plan For Lifetime Success Through Education," Fact Sheet, http://www.barackobama.com/, 11/20/07, p. 15)

Obama's National Service Plan Will Cost $3.5 Billion A Year; Equal To $14 Billion Over Four Years. "Barack Obama's national service plan will cost about $3.5 billion per year when it is fully implemented." (Obama For America, "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country: Barack Obama's Plan For Universal Voluntary Citizen Service," Fact Sheet, http://www.barackobama.com/, 12/5/07)

Obama Will Increase Our Foreign Assistance Funding By $25 Billion. "Obama will embrace the Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme poverty around the world in half by 2015, and he will double our foreign assistance to $50 billion to achieve that goal." (Obama For America, "The Blueprint For Change," www.barackobama.com, Accessed 1/14/08, p. 53)

Obama has sponsored a bill in the senate that will tax 1/7th. of 1% of U.S. GDP to give to the UN for distribution to poor countries. This will amount to $845BB/yr. from American taxpayers that most of it will end up in some tyranical despots Swiss bank account!!! As of March 1, 2008, this bill is still in process but is believed to be thwarted by the Senate.

Obama Will Provide $2 Billion To Aid Iraqi Refugees. "He will provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries, and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find a safe-haven." (Obama For America, "The Blueprint For Change, http://www.barackobama.com/, Accessed 1/14/08, p. 51)

Obama Will Provide $1.5 Billion To Help States Adopt Paid-Leave Systems. "As president, Obama will initiate a strategy to encourage all 50 states to adopt paid-leave systems. Obama will provide a $1.5 billion fund to assist states with start-up costs and to help states offset the costs for employees and employers." (Obama For America, "The Blueprint For Change," www barackobama.com , Accessed 1/14/08, p. 15)

Obama Will Provide $1 Billion Over 5 Years For Transitional Jobs And Career Pathway Programs, Equal To $200 Million A Year And $800 Million Over Four Years. "Obama will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce." (Obama For America, "The Blueprint For Change," www.barackobama.com, Accessed 1/14/08, p. 42)

Obama Will Provide $50 Million To Jump-Start The Creation Of An IAEA-Controlled Nuclear Fuel Bank. Obama: "We must also stop the spread of nuclear weapons technology and ensure that countries cannot build -- or come to the brink of building -- a weapons program under the auspices of developing peaceful nuclear power. That is why my administration will immediately provide $50 million to jump-start the creation of an International Atomic Energy Agency-controlled nuclear fuel bank and work to update the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty." (Sen. Barack Obama, "Renewing American Leadership," Foreign Affairs, 7-8/07)





Barack Obama wins Mississippi

BARACK Obama has beaten Hillary Clinton in the Mississippi Democractic primary, restoring his momentum in their increasingly nasty presidential fight. The win for Senator Obama, who would be the first black US president, extended his lead over Senator Clinton in pledged delegates to the August nominating convention. The Illinois senator also won on Sunday in Wyoming.

Senator Clinton revived her hopes in the Democratic race last week with big wins over Senator Obama in Ohio and Texas, prolonging their bitter fight for the right to face Republican John McCain in November's presidential election.

While voters in Mississippi, where more than half of the likely Democratic electorate is black, were still casting their ballots, racial remarks about Obama by a prominent Senator Clinton supporter sparked a harsh exchange between the two camps. The Mississippi primary would usually be an afterthought in the nominating contests, but this race is so close that any win is valuable and every delegate vital. Senator Obama's win today adds to his nearly insurmountable lead in delegates. Mississippi has 33 pledged delegates at stake.

But the main prize remaining in the race is the Pennsylvania primary on April 23. With 158 delegates at stake it is the only big state yet to vote. Its importance was evident when, even as Mississippi votes were being counted, both candidates had already left the state to continue their campaigns in Pennsylvania.

Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton is likely to reach the 2025 delegates needed to clinch the nomination without help from nearly 800 superdelegates - party officials and insiders free to back any candidate.

Source





New race row rocks Democrats

BARACK Obama's camp has called on Hillary Clinton to fire history-blazing supporter Geraldine Ferraro, after she put the Illinois senator's stunning rise in the US presidential campaign down to his race. The latest controversy ripped between the two campaigns as primary voters in Mississippi cast their ballots in the latest installment of the dramatic Democratic White House race, with Obama tipped for another victory.

Ms Ferraro, who sits on Senator Clinton's finance committee and is a surrogate speaker for her, sparked the latest firestorm when she was quoted by a California newspaper as saying: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.''

Obama's top strategist David Axelrod said the comments were part of an "insidious pattern that needs to be addressed,'' bringing up previous racially tinged rows between the two camps. "When you wink and nod at offensive statements you are really sending a signal that anything goes,'' he said. "We call on the Clinton campaign to take firmer action in this regard. (Ms Ferraro) ought to be removed from those positions.''

Ms Ferraro was the first woman on a major presidential ticket when she stood for vice president in 1984 alongside Democratic nominee Walter Mondale. Republican Ronald Reagan won re-election in a landslide.

There was no immediate comment on the Ferarro affair from the Clinton campaign, but communications chief Howard Wolfson told the Politico website: "We disagree with her.'' In an interview with the Daily Breeze newspaper, Ms Ferraro was also quoted as saying that Obama's success revealed the "very sexist'' attitudes of the media.

"And if he was a woman - of any colour - he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept,'' she said. Another Obama advisor, foreign policy aide Susan Rice, told MSNBC the comments were "outrageous and offensive'' and worse than those of her campaign colleague Samantha Power who quit last week after branding Senator Clinton a "monster''.

Source




The Obama Tax Hike

Until recently, Sen. Barack Obama took a responsible position on Social Security, noting the urgency of reform and saying all options should be on the table. But having cornered himself among Democratic activists whose attitudes toward Social Security reform range from demagoguery to denial, Mr. Obama has recently veered sharply left. He now proposes to solve the looming Social Security shortfall exclusively with higher taxes. "Once people are making over $200,000 to $250,000," Mr. Obama says, "they can afford to pay a little more in payroll tax." No shared sacrifice, no outreach to moderates or conservatives, here.

Mr. Obama's proposal is to make a significant change to the payroll tax system. Currently, all wages below about $100,000 are subject to a 12.4% Social Security payroll tax. But all wages above that amount are not subject to the tax. Mr. Obama wants to eliminate the cap, but, in a concession to taxpayers, exempt wages between $100,000 and $200,000. He wants to create a "donut hole" in the taxing mechanism that pays for the nation's largest retirement program.

The problem is two-fold: His proposal would be a very large tax hike, yet it won't be enough. Mr. Obama's plan fixes less than half of Social Security's long-term deficit, making further tax increases inevitable. The Policy Simulation Group's Gemini model estimates that Mr. Obama's proposal, if phased as Mr. Obama suggests, would solve only part of the problem. A 10 year phase-in, for example, would address only 43% of Social Security's 75-year shortfall. And this is assuming that Congress would save the surplus from the tax increases -- almost $600 billion over 10 years -- rather than spending it, as Congress does now.

What's more, Mr. Obama's plan would keep Social Security in the black for only three additional years. Under his proposal, annual deficits would hit in 2020, instead of 2017. By the 2030s the system would still run an annual deficit exceeding $150 billion.

Mr. Obama's modest improvements to Social Security's financing come at a steep cost. The top marginal federal tax rates would effectively increase to 50.3% from 37.9%, equivalent to repealing the Bush income tax cuts almost three times over.

If one accounts for behavioral responses, even the modest budgetary improvements from Mr. Obama's plan are likely to be overstated. If employers reduce wages to cover their increased payroll-tax liabilities, these wages would no longer be subject to state or federal income taxes, or Medicare taxes. A 2006 study by Harvard economist and Obama adviser Jeffrey Liebman concluded that roughly 20% of revenue increases from raising the tax cap would be offset by declining non-Social Security taxes. Assuming modest negative behavioral responses, Mr. Liebman projected an additional 30% reduction in net revenues, leaving barely half the intended revenue intact.

Mr. Obama's plan would also dramatically raise incentives for tax evasion, further degrading revenue gains. Many high-earning individuals evade the Medicare payroll tax by setting up "S Corporations," paying themselves in untaxed dividends rather than taxable wages. John Edwards avoided $590,000 in Medicare taxes this way in the 1990s. Under Mr. Obama's plan, Mr. Edwards's savings would have exceeded $3 million. With that much at stake, the incentive to follow Mr. Edwards lead will be that much greater.

Mr. Obama's plan shows the limits to taxing the rich as a solution to Social Security's problems. Top earners would effectively be tapped out, with taxes as high as economically and politically feasible, yet most of Social Security's deficit, and the much larger shortfalls in Medicare, would remain.

The U.S. already collects far more Social Security taxes from high earners than other countries do. Social Security taxes here are currently capped at about three times the national average wage -- far above other developed countries. In Canada and France payroll taxes are levied only up to the average wage. In the United Kingdom, taxes stop at 1.15 times the average wage; in Germany and Japan at 1.5 times. Social Security is already more progressive than these countries' pension programs, and Mr. Obama's plan would make it more so.

President Bill Clinton considered lifting the wage ceiling modestly, but was skeptical of eliminating it outright. Doing so would "tremendously change the whole Social Security system . . . We should be very careful before we get out of the idea that this is something that we do together as a nation and there is at least some correlation between what we put in and what we get out," Mr. Clinton said in 1998. "You can say, well, they owe it to society. But these people also pay higher income taxes and the rates are still pretty progressive for people in very high rates."

Social Security's shortfalls are primarily attributable to society-wide trends of lower birth rates and longer lifespans. If we want to retain the shared character that underpins its political support and distinguishes it from traditional welfare programs, we need to share the burdens of reform proportionately. Mr. Obama should drop his exclusive focus on raising taxes and return to his previous view, that Social Security faces significant problems requiring prompt attention. All options should be on the table.

Source

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2 comments:

natalietc1 said...

JR, I am only commenting on the posted opinion about income state taxes.

First of all, neither Obama nor Clinton propose income tax increase for anyone except for the top bracket earners making significantly more than $125,000, the highest of the incomes discussed in the post.

Second the quoted numbers "before" and "after" Bush's tax cuts are incorrect

Correct numbers (assuming income before deductions)
http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/23003.html.html

Single, income of 30,000 before cuts $3,157.50 after cuts $2,756.25
Single, income of 50,000 before cuts $7,262.50 after cuts $6,606.25
Married, income of $50,000 before cuts $5,085.00 after cuts $4,012.50
Married, income of $60,000 before cuts $6,585.00 after cuts $5,512.50
Single, income of $75,000 before cuts $14,262.50 after cuts $12,856.25
Married, income of $75,000 before cuts $9,426.50 after cuts $7,762.50
Single, income of $125,000 before cuts $29,378.50 after cuts $26,472.25
Married, income of $125,000 before cuts $23,426.50 after cuts $19,462.5

A tax calculator
www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm
allows to determine tax based on income after deductions.

For a 30,000 single after deductions this would yield
Before cuts (2000)- $4,988
After cuts (2007) - $4,109

The net difference before and after cuts is $879, not $3,900 as claimed.

Still in doubt?

Check tax tables directly:
http://www.irs.gov

Link for the year of 2000:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/i1040tt--2000.pdf

Explanation of tax calculation rules for the year 2000:
http://www.va.gov/publ/direc/finance/00ga2_02Bul.htm

It pays to use skills acquired while pursuing advanced degrees to question validity of information we are flooded with.

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