The $100,000 Raise

Picture this, tomorrow you march into your boss’s office and demand a $100,000 raise.  What do you think?  Would you walk out of that office with a job?  What if you demanded a $2,000 or $3,000 raise?  Perhaps that is more likely.  But it should be no shock that companies have been laying of tens of thousands of workers now that Obamacare is the permanent law of the land.

Starting in 2014, companies with 50 or more employees  must offer their employees corporate health insurance plans, or employee #50 will cost the company an additional $100,000-$150,000 in taxes.  That’s $2,000-$3,000 per person.  So if you are employee #50, you may want to brush up your resume.  In fact, if you are employee 50-100 you may be starting to sweat just a little bit.

So why won’t companies simply offer their employees health insurance?  Probably because with a price tag of $16,000 per family for a corporate plan, it simply isn’t economical.  Companies could pay their employees the $5,000 or so for a private plan through a defined contribution benefit package as Sears, Darden Restaurants and others are opting to do, but that does not save them from the $100,000+ tax.  Imagine being able to get money from your company to go out and buy your very own tailored healthcare plan where single men don’t have to pay for maternity and women don’t have to insure against testicular cancer.  Unfortunately, the insurance lobby was able to convince Obama that personal choice is a bad idea.

I’ve heard a lot of people suggest that companies who are laying off en masse are doing so only to protest the Obama re-election.  Yes, that’s right, companies are intentionally hurting themselves to show Obama how upset they are.  Really??  That would be like suggesting a pro-choice lesbian would get knocked up and have a baby to protest a Romney win.

It’s more like this, if a company can’t afford to pay $16,000 per family in health insurance coverage, they just might lay off 200 workers in order to save between $400,000 and $600,000.  By the way, most small businesses with 5o employees can’t afford  $100,000 in additional taxes.

If you think companies are just bitter and that is why job losses are up 78,000 since the election, consider this: with Obamacare companies just saved $156 million by laying off those 78,000 workers.  Obama is incentivizing layoffs by taxing employment.

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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?

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.

Why Obama/Biden are Scared of Romney/Ryan

The morning of the Ryan pick, Obama already had a graphic up from the “truth” team declaring that Ryan was going to raise taxes on 95% of Americans, ban birth control, end Medicare, end green energy, and so on.  The only things they left out were shoving Grandma off a cliff in her wheelchair and poisoning us with e.coli.  But why go overboard when Mitt Romney can already use cancer to kill people.

On the other hand, word on the street is that Biden had to change his pants after the 60 minutes interview with Romney and Ryan.

It’s not that Obama is the one that cut $700 billion out of Medicare.  It’s not that Obama’s green energy initiatives remind everyone of Solyndra.  It’s not that Obama is lying when he says Romney/Ryan would raise taxes on 95% of Americans.   It’s not that Most Americans don’t want to force pro-lifers to pay for other people’s $5 birth control that destroys after conception.  It’s more that Ryan is smarter and more articulate than the other three on the tickets.

Don’t hate me, Palin fans, but Ryan is not a cheerleader.  He is a teacher.  He turns platitudes into tangible facts that people can hold on to.  Obama and the Democrats are running around with the mantra that Ryan will get rid of Medicare.  But anyone who is paying attention knows that it was Obama who cut popular programs like Medicare advantage.

Ryan, on the other hand, wants to give seniors the same options for healthcare that Congress has.  He wants to put choices in their hands.  The scary thing about Ryan is that he actually is understandable on these points, and he has the credibility.  No one has worked more on the US budget and solutions to Medicare, Social Security, and healthcare than Paul Ryan.

Democrats aren’t scared that Biden is an inarticulate gaffe machine.  They have the media on their side.  All Biden has to do is coherently string ten words together in a debate without telling someone in a wheelchair to stand up or make an Indian 7/11 joke and the press will announce he exceeded expectations.

Democrats are scared because the media can only do so much.  Eventually Paul Ryan will be heard, and he speaks a language even independents can understand.

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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.

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