It’s clear that President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats will continue to push tax hikes on hard-working Americans. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is throwing coldwater on their plans.
President Obama managed to get higher taxes rates on Americans earning more than $400,000 per year, which hit many small businesses. But in an interview with FreeEnterprise.com, the official blog of the United States Chamber of Commerce, McConnell stated very pointedly that there will be no more votes on tax hikes in the Senate.
“[At] the end of [last] year, and unfortunately, a lot of small businesses already got a tax increase,” McConnell noted to FreeEnterprise.com. “S-Corps and LLCs were hit with a tax increase from 35% to 39.5%. That’s more than enough. They shouldn’t have gotten that in the first place, and we’re not going to be voting for anymore tax increases.”
McConnell also noted that the Obama Administration is trying to “create a nanny state” with ObamaCare. Noting the 7-foot tall, 20,000-page stack of regulations that have come with the healthcare law, McConnell said, “It’s no wonder we’re having a tepid growth-rate, the government itself is responsible for this slow recovery we’ve had after a big recession.
In his latest budget, President Barack Obama called for the elimination of tax deductions for oil and gas companies. This industry has been a constant target of the administration over the last four-plus years, so it’s not surprising that the White House would, once again, resort to the same old attacks.
While Americans may not understand the economics of this particular proposal and the impact it would have on them at the gas pump, showing how susceptible they are to the rhetoric of President Obama, they are clearly opposed to raising the gas tax at the state-level.
Maryland recently passed an increase in its gas tax, which will hit drivers with anywhere from a 13- to 20-cent increase in gas prices over the next three years. Other state legislatures may eventually try to pass increases of their own.
But according to a new Gallup poll, Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to gas tax increases in their states that could be used to finance road projects and expand mass transit options:
Two-thirds of Americans would oppose a law in their state that would increase the gas tax to help pay for road and bridge repairs, according to a new national poll.
Before passing its first budget in nearly four years, the Senate overwhelmingly approved an amendment that would allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers that don’t have a physical presence within their borders. With the negotiators unlikely to resolve the differences between their respective budgets, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to bring up the online sales tax bill — the so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act” — once again, perhaps as early as today:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to move an online sales tax bill directly to the Senate floor, skipping the committee process.
He filed a motion on Tuesday night to begin the process of putting the bill, the Marketplace Fairness Act, on the Senate calendar. The bill could come up for a vote as early as next week.
Under current law, states can only collect sales taxes from retailers that have a physical presence in their state. People who order items online from another state are supposed to declare the purchases on their tax forms, but few do.
The Marketplace Fairness Act would empower states to tax online purchases but would exempt small businesses that earn less than $1 million annually from out-of-state sales.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) had some choice words for Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the man who both wrote and voted for ObamaCare.
During the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Baucus pressed DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Obama Administration’s implementation of the law and education efforts directed toward businesses and individuals. Baucus warned that this could become a “train wreck” and gave the administration a “failing grade” in its efforts.
The spectacle was one with which conservatives can agree. However, for Baucus, who is up for re-election in 2014, it may be too little too late.
In a letter made available yesterday on his House website, Pompeo expressed indignation toward Baucus, noting that “[n]o one in the country bears more responsibility for the complexity of this law” than Montana’s senior Senator.
“I was stunned, and also saddened, to read of your complaint that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is doing an insufficient job informing the public about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare,” wrote Pompeo to Baucus. “My shock wasn’t because I disagreed: You’re right to say this legislation has led to great uncertainty for hard-working Americans, small business owners, and families.”
Happy Tax Day! Well, not really. Let’s not kid ourselves — we all dread April 15th. What is usually a lovely spring day has turned into a huge inconvenience as we all rush to get our taxes filed to keep the Internal Revenue Service off our backs.
The tax code is complicated. Americans spend 6.6 billion hours each year filing out tax forms and $163 billion in compliance costs. Unfortunately, the tax code has been made more complicated by politicians and bureaucrats who meddle with it on a daily basis. That’s not an exaggeration either. According to recent report from Bloomberg, the tax code has been altered 4,680 times since 2001 — more than once a day:
It started as 30 words. One hundred years later, it’s almost 4 million.
The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which created the federal income tax, and the millions of words in the tax code today provide symbolic data points marking the evolution of a simple concept into a convoluted reality.
The statistics on the burden imposed by the byzantine tax code get wide circulation every year at this time:
Americans spend more than 6.1 billion hours and $168 billion complying with the tax code;
Most Americans hire a professional (60 percent) or use tax- preparation software (30 percent);
The tax code has had 4,680 changes since 2001, more than one a day.
Written by Ryan Ellis, Tax Policy Director at Americans for Tax Reform. Posted with permission from Americans for Tax Reform.
What are the top ten tax hikes in President Obama’s new budget?
There are literally dozens of new tax increases in the FY 2014 Obama budget. In total, they increase taxes by nearly $1 trillion over the next decade. They would permanently bring the federal tax burden to 20 percent of economic output, a level only reached in one year since World War II (FY 2000, when the economy was roaring and tax revenues were pouring into Washington as a result).
Below are the top ten tax increases in President Obama’s budget (all numbers are over a decade):
1. Chained CPI. The budget would change the definition of inflation for all federal budget purposes, including federal tax provisions. Because tax brackets and other tax items are indexed to inflation, slowing down their growth is an income tax increase. This is a tax increase for all Americans who pay income tax, including middle class Americans. In the past, Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that enacted “chained CPI” would be a $100 billion tax increase
The new narrative being pushed by the media is that President Barack Obama’s new budget is an olive branch of sorts to congressional Republicans. Politico ran with the headline, “President Obama’s risky ‘goodwill’ gambit,” which highlighted some of the proposed changes to Social Security.
The Associated Press noted the frustration from some on the Left in its piece, “Liberals balk at Obama’s 2nd term overtures to GOP,” which also focused on the proposed cuts to entitlement programs.
While it’s true that the only real measure of good news from the the White House’s budget is the changes to Social Security, there is absolutely nothing here in terms of compromise or reform. The White House has made that much clear by telling Politico — in a separate article from the one mentioned above, of course — that Republicans can take the Social Security changes in exchange for more $1 trillion in tax hikes or leave it:
And Gene Sperling, the director Obama’s National Economic Council, on Wednesday afternoon emphasized that the proposal is ”not an à la carte menu” for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and congressional Republicans to choose what they like and discard the rest.
“You can’t decide to only pick out the concessions the president has made and not include the concessions from the Republican side that need to be part of a bipartisan deal that can pass both houses,” Sperling said.
After a two-month delay and missing a legally-required deadline, President Barack Obama finally unveiled his budget for FY 2014. The spending plan is, unfortunately, just more of the same from this president:
President Obama’s 2014 budget calls for a trillion dollars in new taxes, almost twice as much as previously thought, The Washington Examiner has learned.
“Of the more than $1 trillion in new taxes, about $800 billion is raised through the individual income tax system, about $125 billion comes from new excise taxes — including new taxes on tobacco and financial companies,” a source familiar with the president’s budget explained. “The remainder comes from reverting back to the 2009 estate tax parameters and other miscellaneous tax increases.”
Despite the talk of deficit reduction, President Obama’s budget doesn’t substantially reduce spending and will never balance. The only constant in is the same, old class warfare rhetoric.
Written by John Kartch and Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform. Posted with permission from Americans for Tax Reform.
White House spokesman Jay Carney “not disputing” Obama budget would “raise taxes on middle class Americans.”
During a Friday, April 5 White House press briefing, spokesman Jay Carney replied “I’m not disputing that” when asked if a particular Obama budget proposal would raise income taxes on the middle class.
The proposal in question is known as “Chained CPI.” The term is a Beltway euphemism for measuring inflation at a different, slower pace. Many tax and budget items are indexed to inflation, so slowing inflation’s measured rate of growth has both spending cut and tax increase implications.
On the tax side, all income tax brackets are subject to inflation. Slowing down the inflation rate slows down the annual rate of growth in all income tax brackets.
This means the Obama budget contains a tax increase on 100 percent of middle class taxpayers—anyone who pays the federal income tax.
Many other tax provisions—the standard deduction, the personal exemption, PEP and Pease, IRA and 401(k) contribution limits, and many others—are also tied to how CPI is measured.
Chained CPI as a stand-alone measure (that is, not paired with tax relief of equal or greater size) is a tax increase and a Taxpayer Protection Pledge violation. Various reports peg the tax increase amount as exceeding $100 billion over the next decade.
The White House has finally rolled out its budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. While there has been a lot about the proposed cuts to entitlement programs, President Obama’s budget unsurprisingly pushes tax hikes, including proposed changes to retirement accounts, as Politico noted last week:
The budget will also show how we can provide targeted tax relief to strengthen the economy, help middle class families and small businesses and pay for it by eliminating tax loopholes and make the tax system more fair. The budget will include a new proposal that prohibits individuals from accumulating over $3 million in IRAs and other tax-preferred retirement accounts. Under current rules, some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving. The budget would limit an individual’s total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million in 2013. This proposal would raise $9 billion over 10 years.
With Social Security anything but guaranteed given its unfunded liabilities, many Americans are relying on their private retirement accounts to help get them through their golden years. This is, after all, part of the American Dream. But it apparently doesn’t fit the America that President Obama has been trying so hard to re-create since taking office in 2009.