STRAIGHT OUT OF THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO: The Obama Tax Code, Destroying Jobs and Opportunity

If I’m late with my taxes, will a claim of being an illegal alien undocumented Democrat get me off the hook? Just wondering.

As Americans navigated the labyrinthine tax code ahead of tax day, many felt the sting of the President’s myriad tax increases.

Despite calls for more taxes on the rich, the Heritage chart shown above reveals that the recent tax increases disproportionately affect the working wealthy. The top 10 percent of all income earners paid 71 percent of federal income taxes in 2010, yet they earned 45 percent of all federal income. Compare that to the bottom 50 percent of earners, who earn 12 percent of income yet pay only 2 percent of federal income taxes.

So when Obama and advocates of higher federal taxes opine that the rich do not pay their “fair share,” they are correct—affluent income-earners pay a whole lot more than they would pay if we had a proportional tax code instead of the highly progressive one we have today.

While taxes have increased for most taxpayers, the wealthy are—relative to the rest of the population—increasingly shouldering the federal tax burden. The Wall Street Journal’s John McKinnon notes that this burden has shifted largely as a result of the tax changes passed at the start of 2013 during the fiscal cliff debates. These changes include a “bump in the top ordinary income rate to 39.6% from 35%, a limit on itemized deductions and an increase in the top rate on investment income.”

But the tax misery is not limited only to the well-to-do. All taxpayers faced an average tax increase of 1.8 percent in 2013. Indeed, Heritage tax expert Curtis Dubay uncovered no less than 13 tax increases that kicked in at the beginning of the year, six of which came on the coattails of Obamacare. Taxpayers also face state and local tax burdens that remain high in much of the country, as well as the prospect of rising payroll taxes in the future.

In addition to stifling economic growth, many of these new taxes—especially those on income—penalize success and discourage work. As Dubay has written, it is imperative to reform the tax code because families would be able to earn more, “but would not pay higher marginal tax rates on their higher earnings. The tax code would not punish families as it does today for being more successful and for earning higher compensation because they are more productive.”

Most Americans are not aware that the “progressive” tax code was lifted right out of the Communist Manifesto by the Democrat Party.

It is meant to punish success, dampen investment, destroy jobs and opportunity, and — in general — make people more dependent upon the government.

And with this administration, those results are precisely what we’re getting.

Hat tip: BadBlue News

Doug Ross @ Journal

COMIC RELIEF: SEIU demanding that the Obama administration unionize… Media Matters

Guest post by Labor Union Report

Over the years, the Left-wing Media Matters has taken it upon itself to criticize the “Right” for its opposition to unions’ attempt to effectively eliminate workers’ right to secret-ballot elections on whether or not to unionize.

Due to its apparent penchant to having employers unionized based on “card check,” it would seem that Media Matters’ CEO David Brock would be against forcing his workers to go through the arduous process of actually voting for the Service Employees International Union, rather than merely accepting the SEIU without an election.

Nevertheless, despite Media Matters’ prior defense of the SEIU. it appears that Brock & Co. are not voluntarily recognizing the union based on card check.

On April 10th, the SEIU filed an election with the Baltimore region of the National Labor Relations Board to have an election for 50 employees working for the George Soros-funded media “monitor.”

According to the National Labor Relations Board’s website, Media Matters has hired the high-priced, management-side law firm of Perkins Coie.

Although former Obama White House Counsel Bob Bauer is a partner in the firm, Perkins Coie’s website boasts of helping employers in all aspects of traditional labor law:


Whether directly negotiating collective bargaining agreements, developing strike contingency plans or defending unfair labor practice proceedings, Perkins Coie Labor & Employment attorneys provide employers with decades of experience managing traditional labor law issues…

…As the Obama NLRB continues to issue union-friendly decisions, we understand the attendant challenges that employers face in developing and maintaining productive employee relations and economic sustainability.

While a NLRB-conducted election is likely weeks away, several questions emerge:

  • Will David Brock live up to his pro-union progressive values by remaining “neutral” during the SEIU’s campaign to unionize MMA staff? Or, will Brock campaign vigorously against unionization?
  • If Media Matters’ employees do vote to unionize, will Brock bargain in good faith? Or,…
  • Has the SEIU already given Brock a “sweetheart deal?”

Only time will tell before we know the answers to any of these questions.

Read more at Labor Union Report

 

Doug Ross @ Journal

The Gut-Wrenching Charts Obama Doesn’t Want You to See

Guest post by Amy Payne

Talking about Obamacare’s effects is one thing; seeing hard data is another.

Heritage’s newly updated Obamacare in Pictures has 15 charts that show the law’s effects on Americans—from canceled insurance policies to new taxes, Medicare cuts, reduced choice for plans, and more.

Here’s a quick look at just three of these charts and how Obamacare is hitting three groups.

YOUNG PEOPLE

Obamacare says you can stay on your parents’ health insurance until you turn 26. This chart looks at what happens after that—if you don’t have employer-sponsored insurance and you have to get insured through Obamacare. If you’re trying to save for a car or house—or just paying rent to have your own place—seeing your premiums double is quite a blow.

SENIORS

You may recall Heritage experts’ warning that Obamacare would cut $ 716 billion from Medicare. That’s still happening.

Despite the Obama administration’s recent walking back of Medicare Advantage cuts for this year, Obamacare’s planned cuts to Medicare are moving forward. This chart shows which parts of Medicare are affected.

Heritage expert Alyene Senger has explained that, instead of cutting waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare program, Obamacare targets the amounts Medicare service providers are paid. These cuts have ripple effects on seniors. Doctors, nursing homes, and other providers who can’t afford to be part of Medicare any more will cut back or stop participating—and that means fewer options and less access to care for seniors.

ALL AMERICANS

This chart looks a lot like a heartbeat—and it tracks one of Obamacare’s vital signs: public opinion. There has been a 10-point gap between support for and opposition to the law for some time now. That spike in opposition/sharp decline in support? It coincides with the flood of cancellation notices that landed in Americans’ mailboxes last year.

Obamacare remains unpopular because it’s raising taxes, killing jobs, and cutting Americans’ health care choices. We need health reform that reverses these trends.

 
>>> See the rest of Obamacare in Pictures

Doug Ross @ Journal

Obama Budget Lays Groundwork for Universal Gun Registration… and Eventual Confiscation

Guest post by GOA

Last Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder testified before a House appropriations subcommittee on behalf of his department’s proposed budget for FY2015.

Apparently, Holder didn’t think anyone would read his written submission, because he all-but-admitted that Obama intends to implement a Universal Gun Registry by executive fiat.

He also asked Congress to help fund so-called “smart gun” technology, which would prevent a gun from firing unless the shooter is wearing an accompanying bracelet or ring.

“Smart guns” are a dumb idea

Given that “smart gun” technology only works about 80 percent of the time — according to the New Jersey Institute of Technology — gun owners almost universally consider this a “dumb” idea.

Even police have rejected the “dumb gun” approach for themselves.

Currently, there are no such guns on the market in the United States. One gun store did briefly offer an Armatix .22 caliber earlier this year, but public outrage forced them to pull the handgun from the shelves.

Holder pushes a Universal Gun Registry

This year’s Obama budget shows how the administration is trying to quietly create the infrastructure for a universal gun registry.

In proposed “Program Increases” for the FBI, Holder has this to say:

“This program enhancement will double the capacity of the existing NICS [National Instant Check System] system. These expansions are vital in ensuring that the NICS system can support a Universal Background Check requirement, which is expected to double gross NICS transactions.”

Huh?

It may have escaped the Attorney General’s notice, but the Democrat Senate defeated his Universal Background Check requirement.

So, in effect, Holder’s asking for $ 100 million and 524 personnel to implement a program Congress rejected.

But that’s not all.

Holder seeking more ATF agents to copy to 4473 forms

In the section on ATF “Program Increases,” Holder demands $ 51.1 million and 255 agents and other personnel for enforcement and inspections.

In case anyone has forgotten, these are the people who are going to the FFL’s in connection with “annual inspections” — and physically copying all the 4473′s and bound book entries. GOA has reported on these efforts before, and one can read first-hand accounts from gun dealers here and here.

So under Holder’s proposed budget, many more 4473′s would be copied and fed into ATF’s de facto registry.

At the same time, Obama’s illegal Universal Background Check — implemented, presumably, by executive fiat — would ensure every gun transaction would have to go through an FFL. And this, of course, would guarantee that every American gun owner would have a 4473 which can be copied.

Think about it. With Republicans expected to take the Senate this fall — and Obama stymied legislatively — he has every incentive to go “full tyrant.” And that, apparently, is exactly what he intends to do.

But we have no intention to sit back and let Holder take away our Second Amendment rights. We have drafted legislation to prohibit ATF from copying 4473′s — and to require it to destroy any 4473′s it currently has.

UPDATE: GOA recently alerted you that an import ban on certain ammunition could be forthcoming from the ATF. Well, it’s official now — the ATF just declared that Russian-made 7N6 5.45×39 ammo is armor piercing. This lawlessness represents another reason that Congress needs to cut the ATF’s budget.

ACTION: Contact your Representative. Demand that the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill contain language to prohibit ATF from compiling a national gun registry by copying and retaining the 4473′s of every American.

Hat tip: BadBlue Gun News

Doug Ross @ Journal

New poll finds 62% don’t trust President Obama to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons.

MEME-obama-Iran(Washington, D.C.)  — As the Obama administration continues making a series of missteps in foreign policy, Americans are losing confidence in their Commander in Chief.

From Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Syria’s use of chemical weapons to the Benghazi situation in Libya and the near-breakdown of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Americans do not see the White House and State Department  providing strong, steady, principled, bipartisan leadership. Rather, they see confusion, weakness, and vacillation.

Now a new poll finds that a significant majority of Americans are anxious that the President cannot be trusted stop Iran from building nuclear weapons, one of the most important national security issues facing the U.S., Israel and our Arab allies.

As we geared up for the release of The Auschwitz Escape, my publisher, Tyndale House, and I commissioned a national survey to help us better understand how Americans view the current geopolitical issues in light of the history of the Holocaust. 

Working with McLaughlin & Associates, a nationally respected polling firm, we asked 1,000 likely U.S. voters numerous questions. One of them was: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: ‘As a result of President Obama drawing a red line on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but then refusing to take military action when chemical weapons were used, I do not have confidence that when Mr. Obama says he will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon that he can be trusted to keep his word’?”

The results were sobering.

  • 62.3% of Americans agreed with the statement, saying they do not trust the President to stop Iran from building The Bomb
  • 30.5% of Americans disagreed with the statement, and do trust the President to stop Iran
  • 7.2% said they don’t know

Americans’ distrust of the President is of particular concern given that 80% of the public says they fear a “Second Holocaust” — the annihilation of the six million Jews in Israel — if Iran gets The Bomb. What’s more, 68% of Americans say they fear a “nuclear holocaust” here in the homeland if Iran is allowed to build nuclear weapons.

I will provide more analysis of this in the days ahead.

Meanwhile, here are some of the other results of the poll we have released so far:

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>> Read the column I recently wrote for CNN.com with fmr. Senator Rick Santorum — “Lessons of history: Americans fear ‘second Holocaust’ if Iran gets the bomb”

>> Read the attack on our column by an Iranian government official — Iranian official attacks oped I wrote with Senator Santorum as “ludicrous, counterproductive and unfortunate.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog