Tax Hikes

Taxes could cause Phil Mickelson to “go Galt”

Phil Mickelson

Since beginning his run for president in 2007, Barack Obama has endlessly complained that higher-income earners aren’t paying their “fair share” of taxes, despite IRS statistics showing that the top 20% of income earners pay nearly 70% of all income taxes.

All signs are than President Obama will push for even more tax revenue increases in his second term. Much like a bank robber, President Obama and his acolytes in Congress feel that they can keep going back to the wealthy because, after all, that’s where the money is.

But what if those being targeted by these tax hikes decide to give up and walk away? Based on comments he made this weekend, that thought seems to have crossed the mind of golfer Phil Mickelson:

On the day President Obama was sworn in for his second term, Mickelson sent shock waves through the Humana Challenge when he said the political landscape in the United States was causing him to seriously contemplate his future in golf. Mickelson, who will turn 43 in June, has 40 PGA Tour victories, including four majors, and was inducted last year into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

House Republicans: No Budget, No Pay

John Boehner

As we noted last week, House Republicans have decided to throw in the towel on the debt ceiling. But despite giving in on this particular battle, they are pushing an angle that would prevent members of Congress from getting paid until they actually do their duty by passing a budget:

House Republican leaders said Friday that they will schedule a vote next week on a plan to extend the nation’s debt ceiling for three months, but that it would also require the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass by a budget by April 15 for the first time in four years or see senators’ pay withheld.
Under the GOP plan, House members would continue to be paid even if the Senate did not pass a budget because Republicans who control that chamber will certainly pass one, explained a senior House Republican aide. The base pay for both House members and senators is $174,000 a year.

The strategy was announced at the conclusion of the House GOP’s private three-day issues and strategy session here.

“We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government’s spending problem. The principle is simple: No budget, no pay,” House Speaker John Boehner said in remarks he made to the Republicans at the conclusion of their retreat on Friday, according to excerpts released by his office.

Based on a Review of Studies Looking at the Impact of Taxes on Growth, Academic Research Gives Obama a Record of 0-23-3

Written by Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

How do you define a terrible team? No, this isn’t going to be a joke about Notre Dame foolishly thinking it could match up against a team from the Southeastern Conference in college football’s national title game (though the Irish win the contest for prettiest make-believe girlfriends).

I’m asking the question because a winless record is usually a good indication of a team that doesn’t know what it’s doing and is in over its head.

With that in mind, and given the White House’s position that class warfare taxation is good fiscal policy, how should we interpret a recent publication from the Tax Foundation, which reviews the academic research on taxes and growth and doesn’t find a single study supporting the notion that higher tax rates are good for prosperity.

None. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Twenty-three studies found a negative relationship between taxes and growth, by contrast, while three studies didn’t find any relationship.

For those keeping score at home, that’s a score of 0-23-3 for the view espoused by the Obama Administration.

Do Higher Tax Rates Hurt Growth?

Written by Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

Because of Obama’s class-warfare tax hike and additional tax increases by kleptocrats at the state level, many successful taxpayers will now lose more than 50 percent of any additional income they generate for the American economy.

I discuss the implications of this punitive tax policy in this CNBC interview.

Normally, this is the section where I highlight certain points I made, or bemoan the fact that I failed to mention an important fact or overlooked a key argument. Today, though, I want to address the do-taxes-impact-growth issue raised by Robert Frank.

Obama slams Republicans over debt ceiling debate

Barack Obama

Earlier today, President Barack Obama held the final White House press conference of his first term, using the opportunity to slam Republicans over the debt ceiling while making yet another call for more tax revenue — despite getting high tax rates on the wealthy in the “fiscal cliff” deal passed at the beginning over the year:

President Obama at a Monday press conference demanded that Congress raise the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt ceiling, saying the country is “not a deadbeat nation.”

Obama said Congress should pay the bills government has already rung up, arguing would be disastrous for the economy — which he said is showing signs of lifting off — to not raise the debt limit.

“It would be a self-inflicted wound on the economy,” he said. “To even entertain the idea of this happening … is irresponsible. It’s absurd.”

The president has insisted he will not negotiate with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling, and gave no sign of wavering on that position. Republicans are demanding steep spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit.

“They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy,” Obama said Monday of Republicans.
“We can’t finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone,” he said. While open to “modest adjustments” to entitlement programs, Obama said, “we need more revenue through tax reform.”

John Boehner: Panem et Circenses

John Boehner

In March of 2009, at a Georgia GOP county convention, Sen. Johnny Isakson gave a stump speech in which he pleaded for the help of the faithful grassroots in returning him and other Republicans to power because, as he told the assembled crowd, we had to defeat the Democrats and Barack Obama to stop the reckless, runaway spending in Washington, D.C. I turned to my wife in abject shock and asked if he’d really just said that.

Afterward, I went to him and respectfully but pointedly reminded the Senator that, when Georgia W. Bush was president and spending money like he had a golden goose, as our senator he’d voted for every one of those pork-filled, bloated budgets. Yes, Obama and the Democrats were on a drunken spending binge, but the Republicans had only been better by degree. I told him that the Republicans will never regain the trust of the American people unless they governed in a way that mirrored their conservative campaign rhetoric. I also told him the surest sign I’d seen that they had not yet learned their lesson was the fact that the Senate Republicans had re-elected the porkmeister, Mitch McConnell, as Senate Minority Leader. It is hard to take seriously a party which talks about fiscal responsibility and then elects as their leader of the upper house a man who campaigned on the amount of pork he’d brought back to Kentucky.

And now we have the re-election of John Boehner, the eternally weeping love child of George Hamilton and the Great Pumpkin, as Speaker of the House. The ONE branch of the federal government controlled by the Republicans and they re-elect the man who received the MVP Award from Team Obama; a man whose chief negotiating tactic is to fold faster than a card table in a hurricane.

Democrats shocked that their taxes are going up

Barack Obama

This is hilarious. Some Democrats apparently took to a prominent leftist website last week to complain about their paychecks being smaller than usual, which happened due to their taxes going up under the “fiscal cliff” deal. Take a gander at the irony, folks:

With President Obama back in office and his life-saving “fiscal cliff” bill jammed through Congress, the new year has brought a surprising turn of events for his sycophantic supporters.

“What happened that my Social Security withholding’s in my paycheck just went up?” a poster wrote on the liberal site “My paycheck just went down by an amount that I don’t feel comfortable with. I guarantee this decrease is gonna’ hurt me more than the increase in income taxes will hurt those making over 400 grand. What happened?”

Shocker. Democrats who supported the president’s re-election just had NO idea that his steadfast pledge to raise taxes meant that he was really going to raise taxes. They thought he planned to just hit those filthy “1 percenters,” you know, the ones who earned fortunes through their inventiveness and hard work. They thought the free ride would continue forever.

So this week, as taxes went up for millions of Americans — which Republicans predicted throughout the campaign would happen — it was fun to watch the agoggery of the left.

“I know to expect between $93 and $94 less in my paycheck on the 15th,” wrote the ironically named “RomneyLies.”

“My boyfriend has had a lot of expenses and is feeling squeezed right now, and having his paycheck shrink really didn’t help,” wrote “DemocratToTheEnd.”

Saxby Chambliss is more like a poodle when it comes to fighting spending


Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), facing heat for his less than fiscally conservative record, is trying his best to appease the Republican base. During a conference call with reporters last week, Chambliss echoed a familiar line that we’ve heard from Republicans since they rolled over during the “fiscal cliff” debate:

Obama has promised not to get entangled in protracted negotiations during March’s vote on raising the federal debt limit and the extension of the spending authorization like those that dragged on for weeks before the “fiscal cliff” of sweeping spending cuts and tax increases that triggered automatically at midnight Monday.

The Georgia Republican dismissed that promise.

“My message to you, Mr. President, is you’d better strap on your chin strap very tight because this junkyard dog is going to address spending cuts and entitlement reform in the debt-ceiling debate, and that’s going to be a line in the sand for us Republicans and conservatives,” Chambliss said.


Pelosi begins the push for even more tax hikes

Nancy Pelosi

Last week, Politico ran a story noting that Democrats may finally be “done hiking tax rates” after scoring a victory through raising taxes on higher-income earners in the “fiscal cliff” deal. The story quoted a couple of House Democrats, including House Ways and Means Chair Sander Levin, who said that the issue seemed to be settled for now.

But according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the push for higher taxes isn’t over. During an interview with Bob Schieffer yesterday on Face the Nation, Pelosi said that more revenues are needed, presumably as part of any debt ceiling deal that Republicans hope to make:

Pushing back against the Republicans’ deficit-reduction strategy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this weekend that more tax revenues – not just spending cuts – must be a part of Congress’s effort to rein in deficits.

Pelosi said the tax hikes in the recent “fiscal-cliff” deal are a start, but don’t go far enough to generate the revenues the government needs to run the country effectively.

“In this legislation we had $620 billion, very significant … changing the high-end tax rate to 39.6 percent. But that is not enough on the revenue side,” Pelosi told CBS’s Bob Schieffer in an interview taped Friday.

Without offering many specifics, the California Democrat said she wants to scour the tax code for unnecessary loopholes and “unfair” benefits that help those – either companies or individuals – who don’t need it.

Tax hikes expected to slow job growth

The White House and many members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike — are patting themselves on the back this week as they averted the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Only in Washington, DC could making nothing in the way of substantive spending and raising taxes on 77% of American households be considered as some sort of victory.

President Obama claimed that the ”fiscal cliff” deal “protects 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners from a middle class tax hike” and that he would “continue to fight every day on behalf of the middle class.”

Of course, this isn’t reality. What the middle class needs are jobs, and the “fiscal cliff” deal, which includes higher taxes on small businesses, is expected to keep the economy from living up to its full potential:

The tax deal is also expected to result in hiring growth at last year’s pace, meaning the creation of 150,000 to 160,000 payroll jobs a month, according to Michael Gapen, senior United States economist and asset allocation strategist at Barclays.

Without the tax increases, employers would probably be adding more than 200,000 jobs a month.

Altogether, that means the economy will “create 600,000 fewer jobs in 2013 — leaving the unemployment rate 0.4 percentage point higher — than it would have if the 2012 tax policies had been kept in place,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.


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