Financial Statements…

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I am going to be busy for the next few days as we try to nail down our living arrangements before Friday. We’ve set a sort of “personal goal” to have something permanent lined up as soon as possible.

While I work on our finances and make sure we have enough money to pay for our next home, take a moment to see how much your government is spending

 

Just for grins, use the above chart to dissect Christopher Hayes’ statement that our current and future deficits are caused by “three things: the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts and the recession.”

Two of those three things — the wars and tax cuts — were in effect from 2003 through 2007. Do you see alarming deficits or trends from 2003 through 2007 in the above chart? No. In fact, the trend through 2007 is shrinking deficits. What you see is a significant upward tick in 2008, and then an explosion in 2009. Now, what might have happened between 2007 and 2008, and then 2009?

If I worked my budget the way the Democrats have been working with our economy, I would be moving into Bill Gates’ house and you’d all be paying for it!!! Aren’t you glad I’m not a Democrat?!?

Sunday Silence

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Spenders, Snubs, & Shakespeare

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As you’ve read in the previous few posts, this was a busy week. Next week will be even busier. Thank God it’s Friday. (No that was not an ad). Tomorrow I am taking the boys over to Sweetwater Creek State Park to do some birdwatching. Who knows what we’ll see.

For now, let’s see what else happened this week that I forgot to talk about.

Thought #1

The current debt ceiling is $12.1 trillion. Democrats want to raise that ceiling 14.87% this year alone.

In a bold but risky year-end strategy, Democrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year’s rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections.

“We’ve incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told POLITICO Wednesday. And the Maryland Democrat confirmed that the anticipated increase could be as high as $1.8 trillion — nearly twice what had been assumed in last spring’s budget resolution for the 2010 fiscal year.

I don’t know about you, but my bank doesn’t increase my credit line 14.87% everytime I get close to reaching my limit. It’s time to stop this b.s., isn’t it?

Thought #2

Wow. It’s one thing to change protocol at the White House and attempt to change things at every level of government here in the United States, but isn’t it a bit arrogant to cancel out on the events that Norway plans for all Nobel Peace Prize winners?

Barack Obama’s trip to Oslo to pick up his Nobel peace award is in danger of being overshadowed by a row over the cancellation of a series of events normally attended by the prizewinner.

Norwegians are incensed over what they view as his shabby response to the prize by cutting short his visit.

The White House has cancelled many of the events peace prize laureates traditionally submit to, including a dinner with the Norwegian Nobel committee, a press conference, a television interview, appearances at a children’s event promoting peace and a music concert, as well as a visit to an exhibition in his honour at the Nobel peace centre.

He has also turned down a lunch invitation from the King of Norway.

Oh that’s right, President Obama isn’t like most of the other Nobel Peace Prize winners. They actually had to earn theirs. I found this following line the funniest of them all in the article.

The Norwegian Nobel committee, which awards the peace prize, dismissed the criticism. “We always knew that there were too many events in the programme. Obama has to govern the US and we were told early on that he could not commit to all of them,” said Geir Lundestad, secretary of the committee.

President Obama is far too busy governing the United States so it’s understandable that he cannot find the time to attend all of these events. I suppose the Nobel committee forgot all about his trip to Copenhagen to lobby for the 2016 games for the city of Chicago.

The Obama administration said at the time that the President could ‘multitask’ so there was no problem with him traveling to Copenhagen to lobby the Olympic Committee.

So what’s the problem with Oslo and the King of Norway? No kickbacks? No incentive to attend? Come on, tell the truth for once.

Thought #3

Al Gore doesn’t know how to read

. It must be all those carbon credit fumes clouding his mind.

Q: How damaging to your argument was the disclosure of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University?

A: To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s sound and fury signifying nothing. I haven’t read all the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old. These private exchanges between these scientists do not in any way cause any question about the scientific consensus.

Yet, the East Anglia emails are dated from March 7,1996 through November 12, 2009. Wow. First we have global warming now we have time warping. Ten years have passed since November 12th? Someone get me a few thousand global second credits, this is going to be painful.

4.9 Trillion Reasons To Contact Your Senator

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In the same fashion as the House version of health care reform, the Senate version eliminates lifetime and annual limits on the benefits for any participant or beneficiary, dependent coverage is extended until children turn 26 (although they are very much NOT children by this point), and it prohibits the discrimination of coverage based on salary.

I don’t really get that last one, because employers will be terminating their own health care plans because the government fines and fees for not providing coverage will be much lower than the cost of the plans themselves.

The Senate version provides for immediate access to insurance for those individuals with a pre-existing condition, sets up the “health benefit exchange”, and like the House version, creates so many layers of bureaucracy in health care that you’ll be lucky to make it through the red tape to see an actual doctor.

While reading the Senate’s “amendment in the nature of a substitute” to HR 3590, I realized that even though they worked on it behind closed doors and kept the whole process hush-hush, we’ve seen much of this bill before. Most of the provisions of the Senate version of the bill have been seen twice before, even three times, in the previous versions of the House bills as well as the first Senate bill that was “tossed out there” for all of us to see.

And just like the House version(s), this bill stinks, and it stinks bad. The Senate debated the bill all day today and they are scheduled to debate again all day tomorrow. You can watch the proceedings on CSPAN2, but make sure you contact your senators before you do anything else and tell them to vote against cloture on this bill. A vote for cloture (remember, they need 60 votes to proceed) is a vote for the bill (since they only need 51 votes to pass the bill).

Rather than go section by section (which would take me a couple days to post again) I thought I would cover some of the more pertinent and dangerous portions of the bill. If you read my posts on HR3200 or HR3962 then you are pretty much up to speed with this Senate bill, with a few exceptions.

The Senate bill weighs in at 2,074 pages (the largest one yet) and 20.8 pounds. The average staple weighs roughly 32 milligrams, average paper clip weighs 1 gram, and the average stethoscope weighs about 5 ounces. The Senate bill weighs more than 294,835 staples, 9,434 paper clips or 66 stethoscopes. That’s one heavy bill.

When Medicaid was created years ago, the original estimates put the cost of the bill at $238 million, yet the cost of Medicaid hit $1 billion and have been rising ever since, so let’s get real about the cost of this (or any) health care bill presented thus far by the Democrats.

James Capretta, the Ethics and Public Policy Center fellow for NRO, estimates the true cost of the bill (with the “doc fix” included) to be $4.9 trillion over 20 years with Democrats raising $2.2 in tax hikes and recovering more money by making cuts to Medicare coverage.

At a cost of $2.5 trillion, which is turning out to be a very conservative number itself, the Senate bill will cost us $1.2 billion per page, or $6.8 million per word.

The Senate bill includes provisions which will impose an additional taxes and fees which borderline on ridiculous. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said it best when he said,

If you have insurance, you get taxed. If you don’t have insurance, you get taxed. If you need a life-saving medical device, you get taxed. If you need prescription medicines, you get taxed

There is a new marriage penalty which will hit many couples right in the pocketbook, and will increase the federal deficit, which President Obama promised he would not support doing. Of course, when was the last time you heard an honest word come out of his mouth, seriously?

The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation released it’s own report which estimates how much revenue taxes in the bill are likely to generate. According to the JCT,

  • Tax on high-end health insurance plans: $149.1 billion
  • Capping flexible spending accounts at $2,500: $14.6 billion
  • Fees for drug makers: $22.2 billion
  • Fees for medical device makers: $19.3 billion
  • Fees for health insurance companies: $60.4 billion
  • Higher floor for deducting medical expenses: $15.2 billion
  • Higher payroll tax for top earners: $53.8 billion
  • Tax on cosmetic surgery: $5.8 billion

The report goes on to list all of the different taxes and fees, which total much more than this initial list which comes to $340.4 billion in new taxes paid by you and me. Notice that last one which reflects the new 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic surgery. Nancy Pelosi is not going to like that provision at all. How much you want to bet that entire paragraph gets stripped in conference if this bill passes the Senate?

One fee not mentioned, until now, is the monthly abortion fee that everyone under the government-run plan will be paying for. According to Section 1303 of the Senate bill, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will have the authority to determine when abortion will be allowed under the government run health plan, and all premiums paid under the government run plan will be paid into the U.S. Treasury account which will be used to pay for abortion services.

HR 3590, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” will also allow the government to enter your home under “home visitation programs”. Section 2951 will allow the government to send officials into your home to check the “wellness” of your children, to make sure you are parenting your children properly and otherwise taking care of them at some standard which will be set by the government.

Those officials will be checking on low income families, women under the age of 21 who become pregnant, families with a history of substance abuse, families that have members who use tobacco products, families with children who have low student achievement, families with children who have learning disabilities or developmental delays, and families with individuals who are serving or have served in our armed forces.

Just think of the ramifications of section 2951 which is a clear example of invasion of privacy, and that section alone is enough reason not to support the passage of this bill.

There is no doubt that our health care system needs an adjustment, or even reform if you want to call it that, but this bill, as well as all of the other Democrat bills presented thus far is not what we need, or want. We cannot allow this bill to be forced upon us by Barack Obama, with help Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

Remember to take some time out of your day tomorrow to contact your senators and tell them to vote no on cloture. One vote could literally save our country from the downward spiral known as government run health care.

Two Thousand Seventy Four Pages

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Scary Harry Reid released the brand new Senate health care reform bill. I’ve added it to the source document list to the left, and I will begin reading it sometime tomorrow. According to early reports, the bill will cost $849 billion over 10 years, and will reduce the deficit by $127 billion over that same 10 years.

$127 billion dollars sounds like an awful lot, except it’s not. Not really. The federal deficit for October 2009 alone, was $176 billion. Think about it. The Senate version of health care reform will reduce the deficit by $1.058 billion per month for 10 years. If we have more months like October 2009, the deficit will still rise by more than $174 billion every month.

The next time you hear someone brag about this bill “reducing the deficit” just slap them in the face with the facts and watch the blood drain from their face.

The Senate health care bill is being introduced as an amendment, in the form of a substitution, for House Resolution 3590. HR 3590 had absolutely nothing to do with health care before this substitution.

Early reports indicate that this substitute HR3590 contains a 40% excise tax on health care plans which are in excess of $8,500, an additional 0.5% Medicare tax on wages in excess of $106,800, and additional fees for manufacturers of certain drugs and medical devices. The bill also raises taxes by $370 billion over 10 years, and it doesn’t stop there. The Senate health care reform bill allows for taxpayer-funded abortions through the public health insurance plan and the health insurance “exchange”.

In short, the Senate bill will raise premiums, raise taxes, and cut benefits. You can read the Congressional Budget Office score of the bill (PDF), for more information on the costs of this version of health care reform but remember one thing. The bill they scored for this report (HR 3590) will not be the same bill (therefore their score of the bill will no longer be valid) once it passes. It is sure to “evolve” before any final vote comes to the Senate floor.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I will begin my review of the substitute to HR3590 tomorrow evening. Until then, get reading. Don’t make me do it alone.

Capitulation, China, Crazies, & Contracts

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I’ve got quite a bit on my mind this evening, so let’s get started.

Thought #1

The Obama administration has decided that the mastermind of the September 11th attacks should be tried in a criminal court with a civilian jury. No matter what you call it, we are at war with Al Qaeda, and trying those captured on the battlefield in our nation’s courtrooms makes about as much sense as completely overhauling our nation’s healthcare system to insure those who are currently uninsured.

According to former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, when 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was apprehended in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in March 2003, his first response to his captors was to sneer “I’ll talk to you guys after I get to New York and see my lawyer.”

Now the second half of KSM’s taunt to his captors is coming true. He is off to New York, where he will have endless opportunities to converse with his many lawyers. They will work hard to ensure that his trial is all about what he “endured” at the hands of the U.S. government, and not at all about what he inflicted on the American people. They will strive to put in the dock George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, George Tenet, John Yoo, the CIA, and the United States government and the American people.

This decision will have serious repercussions for the United States. Precedent will be set to try all war criminals in our courtrooms, and we all know that’s a terrible idea. Let me make it clear that I would support trying him in our criminal courts with a civilian jury, if and only if (a) he had been in the United States when the attack occurred, and (b) he was captured on American soil. But neither (a) nor (b) apply in this case, and therefore I see no reason (other than showing a sign of weakness to our enemy) for trying his case on U.S. soil in American courts.

Many argue that it would be a “hang him now” type trial anyway, but that is irrelevant, especially in light of the fact that the last guy who tried to blow up the World Trade Center didn’t get the death penalty either.

The entire world will be watching the circus that is created by holding his trial in New York, and the entire world, especially our enemies will perceive our actions as weakness in the battle and a sign of capitulation on the part of our President.

Don’t believe me? Just pay attention for the next few months. Watch what happens here in the United States as well as across the world.

Thought #2

In an apparent attempt to show they are pleased with President Obama, the people of China are preparing for his upcoming visit on Sunday.

The Chinese have learned English from his speeches and celebrated the way he rolls up his sleeves. Now President Barack Obama is finally coming, and he’s being greeted with “Oba Mao” T-shirts and a statue of him that bursts into flames.

“He’s so hot right now, so I wanted to translate that through my work,” said Liu, who was inspired by the idea of the first black U.S. president.

Oba-Mao t-shirts and a statue that bursts into flames? Those Chinese have a strange way of showing their support of the curent U.S. President, don’t they?

If I was Obama, I would be worried about that Mao Tse Tung visual association and the fact that the people of China actually think setting him on fire is a sign of respect. Shen Dingli brings it all into perspective later in the article.

“He’s special for the Americans, but definitely not for the Chinese,” said Shen Dingli, director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. “On the contrary, we are always influenced by the tone of government-monitored media.”

Maybe Obama is heading over there for a refresher course on that “government-monitored media” they speak of.

Thought #3

Does this really make sense?

The Obama administration, mindful of public anxiety over the government’s mushrooming debt, is shifting emphasis from big-spending policies to deficit reduction. Domestic agencies have been told to brace for a spending freeze or cuts of up to 5 percent as part of a midterm election-year push to rein in record budget shortfalls.

President Obama, Nanny State Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Scary Harry Reid are all working as hard as they can to force government run health care down our throats at a cost that will add unprecedented amounts to our deficit. So this year they are going to triple our deficit, but “next year” they are going to freeze spending and make cuts.

Sure they are. Sure they are.

Thought #4

I don’t mean to be disrespectful… Oh who am I kidding? When I read the following quote I couldn’t help but remember 1994.

Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House speaker and purveyor of the GOP “Contract With America” that helped his party win control of the House after President Bill Clinton’s election, says GOP chairman Michael Steele has started work on a new framework for 2010 that he is calling “First principles.”

They’ve done this before, and we fell for it. The “Contract With America” was a great idea, it was a great motivator and it helped turn the tide in Washington, D.C., but soon afterward we all realized that it was just a ploy for many Republicans In Name Only to gain a stronghold in an otherwise crowded House.

For too many years now, we’ve watched those same Republicans become lazy, non-responsive, and ineffective when it comes to doing what is best for our country.

Sorry Newt, I’m not falling for it this time. The upcoming elections in 2010 have nothing to do with the (R) or the (D) next to the candidates names. It has everything to do with making sure that those candidates which are elected can do the best job to preserve the principles of our founding fathers and our nation’s laws.

Thought #5

Sometimes I wonder how much disdain one must have for his country to act like this.

 

Wow. Just wow. Such respect for our nation, for our flag, for our principles. Great job, Mr. President.

With that, I will finish for the night.

UPDATE (11/18/2009):

It’s come to my attention that the above photograph was not taken during the playing of our National Anthem or for any reason to salute the flag. The other people on the stage were saluting President Obama as he was introduced. I hope you’ll forgive this slight error, as President Obama is known for standing in the same pose while our National Anthem is actually playing.

 
This one has video to back it up.

 

A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.
George William Curtis

Send A Message, Let Your Voice Be Heard

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I’ve created a new category for the HR3962 review posts, which should make it easier for people looking for information contained in the bill.

This evening I am sitting back, relaxing, catching up on some television shows and watching election results from across the country. It looks like a message is being sent to Barack Obama this evening.

Here are some thoughts to get you through until tomorrow.

Thought #1

Each year we, as taxpayers, lose $60 billion due to Medicare fraud, and the top 10 insurance companies make just $8 billion in profit. Exactly how is government run health care going to save money?

So, the next time someone alleges that government-run health care is cheaper because of “lower administrative costs” — a truly preposterous claim on its surface — these numbers would be good ones to have at the ready: $60 billion in annual Medicare fraud, $8 billion in combined annual profits for America’s ten largest insurance companies.

Thought #2

When Barack Obama was elected, he promised there would be transparency from his administration. He finally got around to making the White House visitor log, which is public information by law, accessible to the public. Wow. It only took nine months to open the logs. What took so long? Were they waiting for them to dry after scrubbing them?

I’m amazed at the number of high powered lobbyist types which appear on the list. Didn’t Obama make some sort of promise about lobbyists too?

Thought #3

This is the 111th Congress of the United States of America. Isn’t it ironic that House Resolution 3962 will create 111 new federal bureaucracies?

1. Retiree Reserve Trust Fund (Section 111(d), p. 61)

2. Grant program for wellness programs to small employers (Section 112, p. 62)

3. Grant program for State health access programs (Section 114, p. 72)

4. Program of administrative simplification (Section 115, p. 76)

5. Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 223, p. 111)

6. Health Choices Administration (Section 241, p. 131)

7. Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman (Section 244, p. 138)

8. Health Insurance Exchange (Section 201, p. 155)

9. Program for technical assistance to employees of small businesses buying Exchange coverage (Section 305(h), p. 191)

10. Mechanism for insurance risk pooling to be established by Health Choices Commissioner (Section 306(b), p. 194)

Make sure you click the link above to read about the remaining 101 entries on that list.

Thought #4

Check out the video of the day from Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).

 

Tomorrow is a new day, but tonight, I sleep.

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
Mark Twain

Steroids, Shame, & Secrets

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I’ll be posting more about HR3962 soon, it’s taking a while to get through it all and digest so much information.

Thought #1

The other day I told you about the President’s plan to erode capitalism in the United States. It seems even some Democrats think the idea is outrageous.

Lawmakers from both parties are attacking a White House proposal that would grant the federal government sweeping powers to wind down financial firms – an authority one Democrat derided as “TARP on steroids.”

“Let’s not adopt ‘TARP on steroids,’” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said in a release before the hearing started.

TARP on sterioids? TARP was a bust anyway. Imagine the roid rage.

Thought #2

President Obama should be ashamed of himself for making a trip to Dover Delaware Air Force Base for a public relations stunt.

Eighteen of our bravest citizens, who paid the ultimate sacrifice, were flown back to the United States this past week, following the same procedure as all of those who have preceeded them. So what was different this time? The President of the United States asked 18 families if he could use their family members as a prop for his photo shoot. 17 of those 18 families refused.

Barack Obama was nearly denied the photo-op he traveled to Dover Air Force Base for early this morning as all but one of the military and civilian families of the fallen refused permission for the media to report on the return of their loved ones.

The sole family to allow media coverage was the family of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin.

According to media reports, Griffin’s casket was the last to be brought off the C-17 cargo plane that carried the bodies of 15 soldiers and 3 DEA agents killed this week in Afghanistan.

It’s one thing to show solemn respect to those who have died, it’s quite another to pack up the White House Press Corps along with their cameras and take them on a field trip over to Delaware at midnight. It’s shameful actually.

Thought #3

Some things never change.

The Justice Department invoked the state secrets privilege Friday to try to stop a lawsuit over Bush-era wiretapping — the first time the Obama administration has done so under its new policy on such cases.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced the decision in a California lawsuit challenging the warrantless wiretapping program begun after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Under the state secrets privilege, the government can have a lawsuit dismissed if hearing the case would jeopardize national security.

Isn’t it amazing? No matter what a candidate says when they are running for office, they really don’t know the reality of the situation until they sit in that chair.

Just when you thought the health care debate couldn’t get any more confusing…

Earlier today, Speaker of the House, Nanny State Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) introduced the “Affordable Health Care for America Act“, or House Resolution 3962.

HR3962 is a whopping 1,990 pages and with the estimated cost of nearly $900 billion, it amounts to roughly $2.4 million per word.

I read on Politico that the word ‘doctor’ does not appear in the bill, so I checked myself, and they are correct. The only two reference to ‘doctoral degrees’ are in reference to marriage family therapists and mental health counselors. Interesting yes?

When Nancy Pelosi and the gang introduced the new public health care bill including the “public” option in a public place, the announcement was closed to the public.

 
So much for Nancy Pelosi’s promise, huh?

This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.

Not including the two times it appears in the table of contents, the word ‘abortion’ appears in the bill 23 times, and yes, the bill explicitly allows federal funding of abortions through the public option as well as private insurance plans.

The term “death panel” did not make it into this version of health care reform but the section relating to end-of-life care remains in the bill.

HR3962 imposes 13, yes thirteen, new taxes. From the American’s For Tax Reform website:

Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).

Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.

Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324): Non-prescription medications would no longer be able to be purchased from health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Insulin excepted.

Cap on FSAs (Page 325): FSAs would face an annual cap of $2500 (currently uncapped).

Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326): Non-qualified distributions from HSAs would face an additional tax of 20 percent (current law is 10 percent). This disadvantages HSAs relative to other tax-free accounts (e.g. IRAs, 401(k)s, 529 plans, etc.)

Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327): This would further erode private sector participation in delivery of Medicare services.

Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336): Imposes an income surtax of 5.4 percent on MAGI over $500,000 ($1 million married filing jointly). MAGI adds back in the itemized deduction for margin loan interest. This would raise the top marginal tax rate in 2011 from 39.6 percent under current law to 45 percent—a new effective top rate.

Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339): Imposes a new excise tax on medical device manufacturers equal to 2.5 percent of the wholesale price. It excludes retail sales and unspecified medical devices sold to the general public.

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344): Requires that 1099-MISC forms be issued to corporations as well as persons for trade or business payments. Current law limits to just persons for small business compliance complexity reasons. Also expands reporting to exchanges of property.

Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345): Delays for nine years the worldwide allocation of interest, a corporate tax relief provision from the American Jobs Creation Act

Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346): Increases taxes on U.S. employers with overseas operations looking to avoid double taxation of earnings.

Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349): Empowers the IRS to disallow a perfectly legal tax deduction or other tax relief merely because the IRS deems that the motive of the taxpayer was not primarily business-related.

Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357): Publicly-traded partnerships and corporations with annual gross receipts in excess of $100 million have raised standards on penalties. If there is a tax underpayment by these taxpayers, they must be able to prove that the estimated tax paid would have more likely than not been sufficient to cover final tax liability.

In addition to imposing all those nice luxurious new taxes, HR3962 will also require federal regulation of vending machines. Yes, vending machines. In Section 2572, on pages 151-1516, the bill states,

(viii) VENDING MACHINES.—In the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that —

(I) does not permit a prospective purchaser to examine the Nutrition Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not other wise provide visible nutrition information at the point of purchase; and

(II) is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article.

There is no word if cameras will be installed, or if social security numbers will be required in order to make a purchase. With the level of federal government intrustion into our lives, it only makes sense to think this is what they have in mind, eventually. The government has to receive some kind of record about the people who are eating the unhealthy food from those machines, because they need to know when to start rationing your health care if you do.

Oh shut up, you know it’s coming.

The Congressional Budget Office puts the initial cost of this version of health care reform at $1.055 trillion. Of course, this is above and beyond the self-imposed limit put in place by President Obama, but we all know he hasn’t been to stringent about rules and keeping his word anyway, so I’m sure that’s just a rhetorical number.

This past summer millions of Americans raised their voices in opposition to government run health care. Apparently, Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats did not get the message. An overwhelming number of Americans want health care reform but they want reform that lowers the cost of health care and makes it more available. They don’t want health care reform that will raise taxes, raise health care costs, add to our national debt, place additional financial burdens on their family, parents, children, and their own small businesses.

I’ll be posting more about this bill over the next couple days. It’s a given that they want to begin debate on this bill next week, and there is no way I can cover all 1,990 pages over the weekend, but I will do my best to cover as much as possible before the debate begins.

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Mao, Money, Men, & Murder

Category: Opinions | Comments Off | 726 words | Print

What an interesting day today was.

It started with some clouds and rain outside to dampen our bird watching plans. We had planned to visit Sweetwater Creek State Park again to see if the bald eagle was still hanging around and to see what migratory birds were flying about. After a very short discussion we decided we could wait until tomorrow when the skies should be clear.

Because the birdwatching trip was out, we made a short pit stop at our favorite antique store in Villa Rica. We spent about an hour walking around looking at everything and when we walked out I loaded an antique Irish Spinning Wheel into the back of the truck. Gidget loved it and the price was reasonable, so we brought it home. It appears to be about 200 years old, and it’s definitely going to be interesting to see what Gidge does with it.

I was going to do an in-depth post tonight, but after our exciting day, I decided to take the evening off and just post some more quick thoughts. I seem to get more attention for my quick thoughts anyway. Is this your way of telling me that I am long winded in my other posts?

Thought #1 – Mao Tse-Dunn

Wow.

Thought #2 – Whose Deficit Is It?

The federal budget deficit has surged to a new, all-time record high of $1.42 trillion, as the recession as tax revenues to plunge while the government’s massive spending has put a debt on our kids and grandkids that will be nearly impossible to dig out of. The budget year ended on September 30th and the deficit is more than triple that of last year’s previous record under Dubya.

There’s enough blame to go around, but truth be told, the Democrats (including Senator Barack Obama) have been in control of Congress, which is ultimately responsible for spending, since the 2006 elections. We could spend hours debating exactly whose fault it is, but the fact remains, the deficit is ours. Yours. Mine. Ours. It belongs to all of us, and now we have to figure out how to get out of the mess they (everyone involved in creating that debt) got us into.

Thought #3 – Sheriff Joe Rocks!

An Arizona sheriff known for cracking down on people who are in the country illegally launched a crime and immigration sweep in northwestern metro Phoenix on Friday, a half day after officials in Washington limited his powers to make federal immigration arrests.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose sweeps have led to allegations of racial profiling, said the rebuff from Washington won’t stop him. He said he can still arrest immigrants under a state smuggling law and a federal law that gives all local police agencies more limited power to detain suspected illegal immigrants.

“It doesn’t bother me, because we are going to do the same thing,” said Arpaio, whose deputies had arrested 16 people by Friday evening on unspecified charges. “I am the elected sheriff. I don’t take orders from the federal government.”

We need more law enforcement officers like Sheriff Joe.

Thought #4 – The Face Of Single Payer

This one is a tough one. When I first read about this over at Insignificant Thoughts, I almost didn’t click the source link, because I knew it was going to be bad.

In England, a woman was having a very difficult pregnancy. She ended up going into labor 21 weeks and five days after conception. The record for a suriving baby is 21 weeks and six days.

And it still is.

The fetus did not survive.

Oh, it was born alive. Its heart beat, it breathed, it moved. But under the definition of the National Health Service, it was too early. So it was denied any care whatsoever — and the miscarriage took almost two hours after delivery to recognize that it was not alive.

Fortunately for Sarah Capewell, she was under the care of Britain’s universal health coverage system. Had she been in the US, things might have turned out differently.

I was right. It’s hearbreaking. If you support the current versions of health care reform being tossed around on Capitol Hill, make sure you click that link. You need to see what you’re supporting.

Man becomes man only by his intelligence, but he is man only by his heart.
Henri Frederic Amiel