Tag Archive | "Washington Post"

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To Sur, With Love

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-07-28 17:17:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

by Rick SincereRickSincere
RickSincereThoughts
July 16, 2009

As part of the gargantuan (1,000-page-plus) health care “reform” package introduced by members of the Democratic majority in Congress, the Obama administration proposes to raise taxes through a “surtax” on Americans who earn the most money.

The Washington Post explained this “soak the rich” policy in a front-page article on July 15:

The surtax would start at 1 percent and rise to 5.4 percent on income exceeding $1 million. Combined with the expiration next year of tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration, the surtax would drive the top federal tax rate to 45 percent, the highest level since lawmakers rewrote the tax code in 1986.

The Washington Times, for its part, points out that this raises U.S. marginal tax rates to their highest levels since the 1980s:

A new surtax of 5.4 percent in the health care bill, which would apply to married couples’ income above $1 million, would bring the top federal income tax rate to 45 percent.

After consideration of state and local income taxes and the Medicare payroll tax, which applies to all wage and salary income, taxpayers in 39 states would face a top marginal income tax rate of more than 50 percent, according to a study by the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax research group based in the District.

“That means government would be taking more than half of every additional dollar from high-income taxpayers,” said Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge. “The lowest tax rate would be 47 percent – and that’s in the nine states that don’t tax wages.”

Businesses say the surtax would hurt the economy.

“The intention of this plan is to tax high-income households, but the real victims would be America’s small-business owners,” said Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Placing a big tax burden on the small-business community would rob them of the resources they need to create the jobs that will lead us out of the recession.”

President Obama would be wise to look to history to see what happened the last time a president made a surtax the centerpiece of his economic program. (Some might object that this is a “health care” program. That’s true, up to a point. The fact that the bill has been referred to the Finance Committee in the House suggests that this is really a revenue bill.)

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In Yanek Mieczkowski’s 2005 book, Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s, the Dowling College historian relates what happened when Ford proposed a 5 percent surtax on all incomes above $15,000 (more than it sounds like; remember, these were 1974 dollars) in his first major economic legislative package:

As what he termed “the acid test of our joint determination to whip inflation in America,” Ford pronounced the cornerstone of his new economic program, a one-year, 5 percent surcharge on corporate and personal incomes. The surtax was directed at individuals with yearly earnings of $15,000 or more for married taxpayers and $7,500 for the unmarried. (Taxpayers would have to figure out what they normally owed the government, then add the 5 percent surtax to it.) The advantages of the surtax were that it would be mildly progressive, since the rich would pay more, and temporary, lasting only the calendar year 1975. Nor was it onerous. For example, a single person earning $15,000 would pay a federal income tax of $2,549; the surcharge would add $78. (p. 121)

Despite its modest appearance, Ford’s proposal was met with strong opposition, especially from the Democrats who held a majority in Congress (a majority that would grow substantially after the midterm elections a few weeks after his proposal was announced). Republicans were not too fond of it, either.

Ford took a political risk by proposing a surtax less than a month before congressional elections. Unveiling a tax increase at such a time was like unleashing a skunk at a picnic; representatives and senators ran in the opposite direction, refusing to embrace or even come close to it. Officeholders facing difficult reelection battles, such as GOP senators Bob Dole of Kansas and Marlow Cook of Kentucky, deserted their president rather than support the proposal….

The program itself was a political bomb. The jumble of proposals gave the whole thing an eclectic feel, and the centerpiece — a tax increase — fell flat. One poll showed that Americans opposed the surtax, 58 to 34 percent. Members of Congress resisted it. Just two days after the speech, William Baroody warned Ford that it was “in serious trouble on the Hill and very unpopular politically” and that Congress was in no mood to reduce spending. Two weeks before the election [William] Seidman publicly acknowledged that the surtax faced an uphill struggle on Capitol Hill and called its prospects “uncertain.” The overwhelming Republican repudiation in the ensuing elections turned “uncertain” to “doomed.” Ford’s policy making was off to a rocky start. (p. 124; footnotes omitted)

In one of the more significant parenthetical partial paragraphs of any work of recent history, however, Mieczkowski writes:

(One economist’s skepticism about the surtax generated what later became a mainstay of Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” economics. Arthur Laffer doubted that the 5 percent surtax would generate much revenue, and while dining at a restaurant with Ford administration members Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, he drew a graph on a napkin to illustrate his belief that tax cuts — rather than increases — would raise more revenue because of increased business activity. His illustration became known as the “Laffer Curve.”) (p. 122)

Apparently other economists caught on, even if they hadn’t seen the napkin. Yanek Mieczkowski writes on page 130:

By November, many economists, realizing that Ford had miscalculated, urged him to drop the surtax proposal and switch his focus to fighting the recession. The president stuck by the surtax and still urged budget cuts.

In the end, the surtax proposal crashed and burned. Mieczkowski notes on page 131:

A political science axiom says that “the president proposes, Congress disposes.” Congress certainly disposed of Ford’s surtax, and quickly. Although he developed a fiscally balanced program incorporating many recommendations from the economic summit conferences, it was also like a multipronged barb that Congress could not swallow. And it soon became incongruous. The deteriorating economy, coupled with the inherent unpopularity of a tax increase, doomed Ford’s first major economic initiative. But that failure was fortunate; as events played out, a surtax would have aggravated the downturn. (emphasis added)

History teaches us, and not just in this example from the mid-1970s, that raising taxes during a recession is a bad idea.

Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have not absorbed this lesson of history and economics. Should they succeed in raising taxes to finance their ambitious program to socialize medicine, they — or, rather, we — will live to regret it.

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Rick Sincere is the editor of RickSincereThoughts

Article has been published with permission

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bin Laden is Laughing

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2010-07-19 16:41:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

by Nancy Morgan
July 19, 2010


Terrorists the world over are laughing into their turbans and praising Allah five times a day for the naive Americans who were responsible for electing Barack Hussein Obama as president of the U.S. And they’re giving a special thanks to the American media, specifically, the Washington Post, for giving them all the information they need to target the security agencies created in response to 9-11.

bin Laden is laughing because America’s political and media elites are doing his job for him. The Washington Post just gave bin Laden all the intelligence he needs to effectively counter any remaining efforts to combat Islamic terrorism.

Of course, the media and the Obama administration don’t identify it as such. Islam has been removed from official documents so as not to offend Muslims adherents of "the religion of peace." Instead, the war on terror has been dubbed an "overseas contingency operation." Hey, that even makes me laugh.

The Washington Post article detailing the number and locations of the government organizations and private companies whose business it is to defeat terrorism is merely a blatant continuation of terrorist-friendly policies the Obama administration and a complaisant media have put in place since Obama’s ascension to the highest office in the world.

Increasingly bizarre policies are being implemented that favor the rights of terrorists over the security of American citizens and the lives of our brave soldiers. Case in point: The recent proposal to award medals to American soldiers for "courageous restraint."

This proposed medal send the clear message not to kill terrorists. Exercise restraint – even if it kills you. And by the way, make sure you don’t have a round in the chamber when you’re patrolling in Afghanistan. You just might end up shooting someone.

Ignoring reality, history and common sense, Obama and friends have decided that world peace is a possibility, if we can just convince those Islamic jihadists that we Americans are sensitive guys with good intentions. Feelings have replaced military might as the foundation of the war on terror. Oops, I meant the "overseas contingency plan."

Politicians are busy bestowing civil rights, including access to America’s court system, for enemy combatants (terrorists) – while at the same time, pushing for investigations into atrocities allegedly perpetrated by American soldiers. Meanwhile in Iraq, a suicide bomber targeting army soldiers and members of a government-backed militia lining up to receive their paychecks just yesterday killed at least 43 people and wounded 46.

In Afghanistan, Taliban guerrillas are outright ignoring America’s moral posturing and Obama’s sensitive outreach. They just staged a series of raids in western Afghanistan Sunday, blowing up the gate of a jail and freeing 23 insurgent prisoners. I bet that really hurt Obama’s feelings. Those jihadists must not have gotten the word that there is no more war on terror.

Another plank in our "overseas contingency plan" is a push to build the self esteem of terrorists. If only we can convince these murderers that they have worth, well, they’ll lay down their arms and join Obama in a rousing chorus of kumbaya. Once they’re done laughing.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said last month NASA’s new priority is "to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering."

Here’s a newsflash. Arabs haven’t contributed anything of worth to the field of science since the seventh century. In fact, many devout Muslims view science and reason as diametrically at odds with their faith.

And in case you missed it, the self-esteem movement practiced for the last couple decades in America has bred two generations of idiots who think the world owes them a living. But Obama apparently believes that we can win the "overseas contingency plan" by bestowing self-esteem on our sworn enemies.

As Islamists breed generations of child warriors, versed in hatred, jihad and the killing of infidels, Americans raise their boys to be sensitive metrosexuals. As terrorists successfully recruit in our prisons, our officials are busy implementing bingo and "life-style" classes for the terrorists confined to Club Gitmo.

Now that our enemy has a roadmap, thank-you, Washington Post, to the locations of the main American infidels, all that remains is safe conduct to the target site. Not to worry, Obama and friends are busy making it easy for them. After tapping a supporter of "sanctuary cities" as immigration chief, Obama further enabled terrorists by deciding to sue Arizona for daring to enforce the law against illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants that include among their ranks un-politically correct killing machines, formerly known as Islamic terrorists.

Our current administration continues to believe that terrorists can be swayed by the word soup and mushy sentiments emanating from D.C. – completely ignoring the fact that Islamists, throughout history, view kindness, appeasement or "reaching out" as a sign of weakness.

Winston Churchill understood the true nature of Islam. "Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world." America, led by Obama, is ignoring the reality of Islamic terrorism, replacing it with an unrealistic version of how it should be. If only the world were a perfect place.

Writer Andrew McCarthy wrote in National Review, "In the U.S., political correctness has stifled inquiry into Muslim doctrine, we’ve conjured up a trendy, modern Islam: one fit for seamless assimilation into Western society." This wishful thinking has now become official policy.

Official American policy and a traitorous media have given bin Laden and friends free rein to continue and accelerate the war on terror. Inquiring minds are starting to ask "Just whose side are they on?"



Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for conservative news site RightBias.com
She lives in South Carolina. Article posted with the author’s permission.

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