middle class

Obama to welcome new Congress by proposing billions in new taxes

Obama's $320 tax hike SOTU

President Obama will propose $320 billion in new tax increases over ten years during his seventh State of the Union address on Tuesday night. After historic Republican victories during the 2014 midterm elections, which gave Republicans the largest majority in the House in decades and a majority in the Senate for the first time since Obama became president, Obama is set to reject those results and charge full steam ahead with his one-sided liberal agenda.

Americans for Tax Reform, an organization which pressures elected officials not to raise taxes, highlights the five major tax hikes Obama will propose tomorrow night:

1. Capital Gains Rate Hike: raises capital gains and dividends tax rate from 23.8% today (20% plus 3.8% Obamacare surtax) to 28% (including the Obamacare surtax).

The capital gains tax has not been that high since President Clinton signed a rate cut in 1997.

It would represent a massive hike in the rate since Obama took office. When he was sworn in, the rate was 15%. He proposes to nearly double it to 28% in the twilight of his administration.

2. Stealth increase in the death tax rate from 40% to nearly 60%.

Under current law, when you inherit an asset your basis in the asset is the higher of the fair market value at the time of death or the decedent’s original basis. Almost always, the fair market value is higher.

Under the Obama proposal, when you inherit an asset your basis will simply be the decedent’s original basis.

CBO: Minimum wage hike would cost 500,000 jobs

An ever-increasing federal minimum wage is a statist panacea. Even Mitt Romney supported tying it to inflation in the 2012 campaign. But the CBO on Tuesday released its report scoring the proposals, and the numbers aren’t good.

If the minimum wage were raised on $10.10, as the Obama administration has proposed, somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million jobs could be lost over the next two years:

Once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent, CBO projects. As with any such estimates, however, the actual losses could be smaller or larger; in CBO’s assessment, there is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight reduction in employment and a reduction in employment of 1.0 million worker

Economists and politicians have debated for decades about the minimum wage’s effect on employment, but the non-partisan government calculator has spit out a decisively negative result, at least for employment.

cbo1

Adding more salt to the wound, the CBO finds that raising the minimum wage also won’t be the immediate fix for poverty that many thing it would:

The increased earnings for low-wage workers

Why GOP needs to remake their image

The Republican Party has an image problem.  Really, anyone who follows politics knows it.  Years upon years of corporatist policies has lead to people who really believe things like this quote that was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“I hadn’t paid attention to the race, but I’m voting the Democratic ticket,” said Bryan Dabruzzi, a 43-year-old from Atlanta who is finishing a degree in nuclear engineering. “I’m not rich, so I can’t vote Republican.”

Now, Dabruzzi is probably a pretty bright guy.  After all, I’m not even close to finishing a degree in nuclear engineering.  At 43 years old, he’s also not likely to be some kid who just doesn’t know any better.  No, most likely, this is an opinion based on years of observation.  For what it’s worth, this quote was made in reference to a governor’s race here in Georgia.

It’s easy to discount Dabruzzi’s quote as someone who, while maybe not unintelligent, just doesn’t understand politics.  However, one would think that a member of Forbes staff might look at things a bit different.  One would be wrong though, according to John Tamny:

Having lost an eminently winnable presidential election to a failed president in Obama, the Republicans are a Party desperately seeking a message, image, and probably both.

Obama’s health care proposal increases taxes on middle class

As you probably know, President Barack Obama released his health care proposal yesterday (you can read it here), outlining what he sees as “reform,” in attempt to bridge the divide between the House and Senate versions of the bill:

The White House today unveiled President Obama’s health care overhaul bill, which it says will expand health insurance to 31 million more Americans and reduce the federal budget deficit by $100 billion in the next 10 years.

The White House also released the changes Obama wants to see in the Senate Democratic health care bill. Even before its release, the White House’s plan had already met with fierce Republican resistance.
[…]
Administration officials call the health care bill a “starting point” point for Thursday’s televised, bipartisan discussions on health care overhaul.

“I think it’s a starting point in as much… as Republicans come to Thursday’s meeting with constructive proposals that they’re willing to discuss,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today.

Obama made sure to pander to his constituencies, such as labors unions, and while the Cornhusker Kickback is gone, other vote buying provisions, such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Medicaid provision for Florida, are still included in the proposal.

Shameful: Obamacare penalizes hospitals that provide free or discounted healthcare

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) celebrated Obamacare in an interview with Vox, calling the law “beautiful” but conceding that it’s a “work in progress.” Americans, however, don’t agree with that assessment, according to the latest Associated Press/GfK poll.

Americans have had to deal with several unintended consequences of Obamacare, some of the most frequently mentioned are the canceled health insurance plans, loss of access to doctors, and higher premiums.

But another unintended consequence of the law received some attention from The New York Times over the Memorial Day weekend. In short, Obamacare penalizes hospitals for providing healthcare to those who need it most:

Hospital systems around the country have started scaling back financial assistance for lower- and middle-income people without health insurance, hoping to push them into signing up for coverage through the new online marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act.

The trend is troubling to advocates for the uninsured, who say raising fees will inevitably cause some to skip care rather than buy insurance that they consider unaffordable. Though the number of hospitals tightening access to free or discounted care appears limited so far, many say they are considering doing so, and experts predict that stricter policies will become increasingly common.

Mike Lee to give Tea Party’s State of the Union response

The Tea Party Express has announced that Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) will give its response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Politico reported yesterday.

This will be the third consecutive year that the Tea Party Express — one of the major Tea Party organizations formed after the movement rose to prominence — has offered a response to the State of the Union address. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) delivered its response in 2012, followed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) last year.

Elected in 2010 Tea Party wave, Lee quickly established himself as one of the most fiscal conservative members of the Senate. He has also been a fierce defender of the civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution as well as a critic of President Obama’s expansion and abuse of executive power.

RELATED: United Liberty chats with Sen. Mike Lee

Lee, a former assistant U.S. Attorney, published an e-book last summer in which he detailed the problems with the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2012 Obamacare case, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. Last fall, Lee joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the unsuccessful, though principled effort to defund Obamacare through the Continuing Resolution.

Obamacare proves unaffordable for many Americans

The Obama Administration continues to insist that Americans will get better health insurance coverage and see lower healthcare costs because of the so-called “Affordable Care Act.” But that’s not true for those who make too much money to receive tax credits to offset the higher costs.

USA Today analysis shows that many Americans in states on the federal exchange are finding that Obamacare is bringing much higher health insurance premiums, not just in rural areas, but also in the suburbs of major cities:

More than half of the counties in 34 states using the federal health insurance exchange lack even a bronze plan that’s affordable — by the government’s own definition — for 40-year-old couples who make just a little too much for financial assistance, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

Many of these counties are in rural, less populous areas that already had limited choice and pricey plans, but many others are heavily populated, such as Bergen County, N.J., and Philadelphia and Milwaukee counties.

3.5 million have lost health coverage, middle class hit with sticker shock

Obamacare meme

The number of insurance cancellations is beginning to pile up, once again proving false President Barack Obama’s infamous promise that if Americans like their health insurance plan, they can keep it.

Just a few weeks ago, various media reports indicated that hundreds of thousands of Americans had received health insurance cancellation letters. But the Associated Press reported yesterday that 3.5 million have now lost their health insurance coverage because of Obamacare:

The Obama administration insists nobody will lose coverage as a result of cancellation notices going out to millions of people. At least 3.5 million Americans have been issued cancellations, but the exact number is unclear. Associated Press checks find that data is unavailable in a half the states.

Mainly they are people who buy directly from an insurer, instead of having workplace coverage. Officials say these consumers aren’t getting “canceled” but “transitioned” or “migrated” to better plans because their current coverage doesn’t meet minimum standards. They won’t have to go uninsured, and some could save a lot if they qualify for the law’s tax credits.
[…]
But in a nation of more than 300 million, 5 percent is a big number — about 15 million people.

Mike Lee Introduces the Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has introduced the tax plan he outlined during his speech at the American Enterprise Institute, the Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act.

Lee’s plan was described as a “pro-family, pro-growth plan that incentivizes social mobility, promotes middle-class economic security, and improves opportunity for all Americans.” The plan has received praise from former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Business Insider politics editor Josh Barro, among others.

Mike Lee rolls out tax reform plan, slams cronyism

Mike Lee speaks at AEI

In a speech yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) outlined the principles of a tax reform proposal that focuses on the family, equal opportunity and pursuit of happiness for all Americans.

“Today, this fundamental American ideal is hanging by a thread,” said Lee as he got into the crux of the speech. “Up and down American society – which used to be defined and driven by what Tocqueville called our ‘yearning desire to rise’ - we find a new and unnatural stagnancy.”

“We find the underprivileged trapped in poverty, sometimes for generations,” he explained. “We find the middle class caught on a treadmill, running harder every year just to maintain the economic security and social cohesion that were once taken for granted.”


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