Good or Bad for the Jews

"Good or Bad for the Jews"

Many years ago, and for many years, I would travel to Morocco to visit uncles, cousins, and my paternal grandmother. Some lived in Tangiers;...

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Consequence of November 6

One of the benefits of belonging to the Foreign Service consisted of getting my insurance and credit cards through USAA, one of the best-run companies in the US, and which gives great customer service. They recruit genuinely decent and competent people who answer the phones, seem pleased you called, and try to help with whatever problem you might have. Every company should run like USAA.

After that little uncompensated advert, I get  to the subject of this post.

Earlier today while listlessly checking my credit card and other financial info on USAA's website, I noticed a little piece titled "8 Tax Changes That Could Affect You in 2013." I generally don't read those things, but for some reason I did this time. Written as a simple, neutral guide to USAA members for dealing with taxes in 2013, it provides a scathing indictment of what Obama voters wrought last November 6.
"If President Obama and the House and Senate don't collaborate to extend expiring tax rate provisions by Dec. 31, Americans face a $500 billion tax increase in 2013, according to the Tax Foundation. <...>
Today, capital gains and dividends are taxed at a maximum rate of 15%. Without intervention by Congress, the top rate on capital gains will rise to 20%, while dividends will be taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Also, due to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect Jan. 1, taxpayers with income exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) would pay even higher effective rates, with a new 3.8% Medicare tax on certain net investment income stacked on top of the higher income tax. <...>
Barring intervention, a lower $1 million estate tax exemption (down from more than $5 million for 2012) will expose many more families to the tax, and the maximum rate will soar from 35% to 55%. <...>
Individuals' share of their Social Security taxes would jump from the temporary 4.2% to 6.2%; the FICA portion of the self-employment tax rate would rise from 10.4% to 12.4%. <...>
Deductions for state and local sales taxes, higher education and teachers' classroom supplies would vanish. <...>"
And on and on and on, describing a government poised to reach ever deeper into your pocket. To what end? Nobody can say. This will have no positive effect on the deficit or the debt, and likely will negatively affect the economy.

Lost in all the discussion is the growing "right" of the government to claim our incomes and wealth as the government's piggy bank, even as its property. The Constitution provides one major task to the government, defense of the nation. Almost all the rest of the functions assumed by the government are, at best, "optional." They result from the growing divide between voters and taxpayers, between takers and makers.

Got to stop blogging now, I see the exit sign for Greece coming up on the left . . .


  1. Yep. That's the way it is now, doncha know. What we "earn" isn't ours anymore, it belongs to Big Government and what we "get to keep" is getting smaller and smaller. You ain't seen nothin' yet.


  2. Well. You could take the right exit for Cyprus.


  3. I dunno 'bout the rest of y'all, but after the disgraceful conduct of the unions in Michigan, we do not intend to buy another UAW-built vehicle EVER (I drive an F-150; SwampMan's truck is a Chevrolet).

    As a one-family protest against the administration, we will not buy anything new that will be taxed for the duration. We've gone on a personal tax strike, you see. We've decided that we're taxed waaay too much right now, and we're going to work to actively minimize our taxes in the future. Our shopping will be done on Craigslist, garage sales, and thrift stores. We're going to deal with tradesmen and proprietors who give discounts for cash. We're cutting down to one income. Our entertainment budget will be gutted, but we'll have more time for gardening, hobbies, and just sitting on the back porch in a rocking chair sipping sweet tea.

    1. Amen, sister. You are not alone.

  4. Obama's taxing is chump change compared to Bernanke's money printing.

  5. Interestingly enough, a lot of folks don't understand the "Bush" tax cuts. What was passed a couple years ago, were definitely not the true Bush cuts. They reduced the employee's contribution into their Social Security fund by 2%. However, they increased the amount of withholding tax by as much. Subsequently, "joe worker" didn't notice any difference in their net paycheck; and the government had a little more money to play with during the year.
    So what happens when those folks retire? Is the government going to make up that 2% difference? Geez, this is so scary.
    It will be an interesting tax season when the mandatory health insurance kicks in and all these folks see how it affects their refunds/taxes. I don't think those voting kids realize that you will have to have health insurance. Period.


    1. Lowering the social security tax and raising income taxes by an offsetting ammount will raise income to the government. However revenue will remain unchanged, since all social security taxes that are not used to pay current benefits are invested in T-bills, and the money then goes into the general fund. What it does do is defund social security's trust fund. Between that and the zero interest rate pollicy the social security "lock box" is under a coordinated assault.


  6. It's the Spending, Stupid
    10/7/09 - Real Clear Politics By John Stossel
    === ===
    [edited]  The late Nobel Prize economist Milton Friedman said "The true burden of government is not the tax level but the spending level. Taxation, borrowing, and inflation are all burdens on the people. The best way to lighten the tax burden is to lessen the spending burden. If government spends less, it takes less, and the tax system will weigh less heavily on us all.

    Adam Smith wrote, "Little else is required to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice. All the rest is brought about by the natural course of things."
    === ===

    The real, current tax burden is government spending. Government borrowing is a delayed tax, or worse, later inflation or default. Government spending directs current, real resources into wasteful projects and denies a flow of resources to businesses which produce more value than they consume.

    Businesses create profits and desired products, things unknown to government.

    1. "Businesses create profits and desired products, things unknown to government."

      Soon those things will be unknown to us all.

  7. "Two years of condemnations and criticism prompted Charles Koch to break his silence about politics. In his most extensive interview in 15 years, Charles Koch, along with his family and friends, talked..."

    Read more here:




  9. Well, the various levels of government take nearly half of the few thousand I make translating, since I'm supposedly an evil, blood-sucking, capitalist fat-cat parasite, due to the "self-employed" character of that work.

    I do not welcome how my wife and I will be hit by the oncoming fiscal cliff. We will definitely be hurt, even if we are both, at this point in our lives, teachers. However, I see a silver lining in this cloud.

    Sooner or later, Americans need to learn that there is no such thing as a free lunch. When I engage in my own professional swindle of the young (oops, teaching social studies in a public high school), one of the first lessons I give is to ask if anyone's been told he's getting a free education. A lot of hands go up, and I gently tell them they've been lied to. Their "free" education is being paid for by every property owner in the county, including their own parents, if they're homeowners. That sometimes helps them to get serious about their learning.

    Going over the Fiscal Cliff may awaken a lot of Americans out of their blissful ignorance about how the "free" stuff actually costs a lot of people something. At least, as a praying man, I pray that God in his mercy might let that happen, if the fiscal cliff is indeed what we'll face.

    Yes, maybe we'll have instead rioters whining about losing their entitlements while raping and looting and the Communists getting a new and wholly undeserved lease on life by getting the casual violators of Commandment Numbers 8,9, and 10 to eat the rich (everyone in a tax bracket higher than mine). Yes, maybe these United States deserve such a fate (does God now owe an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah?). But I am still ready to pray for God's tender mercies to our land.