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They Are Not Entitlements, Damn It!

Earned BenefitsThe Right (Republicans) are all sounding out the cries of the alarm that the rationale for their electoral drubbing this year is all related to the idea that Democrats are Santa Claus and everyone knows that you can’t beat Santa Claus. As Mitt so in-eloquently stated “There are 47 percent of the people…..  who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.” The clear and unambiguous implication here is that the nation has become a bunch of leechers or in the philosophy of Ayn Rand  the nation is now made up  of “makers” subsidizing society’s “takers.” With this philosophy as the foundation of Republicon party, the right has found some extremely misplaced solace in the idea that their philosophies are not wrong; it’s just that America is made up of lazy bums that lavish at the teet of Big Gommerment “government”. You know “That that’s entitlement”, as Millard famously said!

Entitlement is what the Right “Republicons and Libertarians” call Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance. This elitist reference to our “social safety-net” needs to be halted and rewritten in all halls of our political debates. Merriam-Webster dictionary online defines an “entitlement” as belief that one is deserving or entitled to certain privileges and neither Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid  or unemployment fall under this umbrella. All of the so-called “entitlement programs” are funded by the very same Americans that receive them. They are all forms of social insurance that we collectively pay for and  therefore should collectively receive. The Republicon party and their great wordsmiths has stolen the essential visage of these programs to the point that even Democrats are referring to them as entitlements. They are not entitlements, DAMN IT! Read more…

Fiscal Cliff: effects on taxation and revenues!!

November 26, 2012 4 comments

The more one learns about the “Fiscal Cliff” (The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act) the more we know and that is an empowering educational tool for the voting populace. Now let’s look at why Republicons are so afraid of the fiscal cliff and the accompanying expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Once America understands the fundamental underpinnings of the fiscal cliff in terms of taxation the more un-cliff’like they may find it. Fiscally it is appealing in many aspects seeing that a lot of it impacts the rich and dividend investors and furthermore increases revenue.

The scariest aspect of the fiscal cliff for Republicons is, dare WE say, returning the top marginal tax rat to 39.6% (which is the rate under Clinton, you know the president that gave us a surplus) from the current 35%, but wait there’s more. Not only will the top marginal rate return to reasonable level, but it will also raise capital gains tax rates to 20% from the ridiculous maximum rate of 15%. In my humble opinion, the top marginal income tax rate should have never been lower than 50%, for reasons that I will address in another blog. I even dare to contest the special treatment of capital gains; I think that capital gains should be taxed as normal income, period (again, I will address that in another blog). Another revenue increasing result of the fiscal cliff would be that stock dividend income would be taxed as regular income and that would be a beautiful thing and I would call it “a start towards fiscal sanity”!

The beauty, in my estimation, or the danger, in the estimation of the rich and the Republicon party, in the fiscal cliff kicking in is that there will be more cuts to loop-holes and tax breaks which primarily benefit the rich. For example, Estate taxation, or the death tax as conservatives call them, would go up by changing the estate tax that currently only applies to those inheriting over 5.1 million to anyone inheriting one million dollars or more,  (boo hoo). This would mean anyone inheriting over 1 million dollars would have to pay a 35% estate tax. Another topper would be that the AMT (alternative minimum tax) would also change in aspect of who would be subjected to it. So far, the changes that could take effect does not make 99% of the United States populace worry or fearful of this cliff that everyone is talking about; although I could be just fiscally naive. The so-called fiscal cliff has some bearing on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Apparently there is a 3.8% medicare surtax that will be implemented on wage earners making over $200,00 and families making over $250,000 annually. Read more…

Fiscal Cliff?? Slogan, Warning, or What?

November 26, 2012 1 comment

Thank you Occupy Philly for the satire on the Fiscal Cliff.

When listening to the pundits constantly echoing of the phrase “fiscal cliff” with the added implication of dread in their voice; I could not resist my wonk urge to get a clear definition of what the fiscal cliff is and its implications in a sterile (non-partisan) fiscal way. right, as if that is possible!

After much exhausting research on the “Google” I have come to understand that it means as much as Alan Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” and that’s not saying much. Irrational exuberance was a phrase coined by Greenspan to warn us that investors were over-weighing the market without actually saying that they were over-weighing the market (some say that Greenspan was warning of an impending fiscal bubble  but I am not sure he was that astute). It is an illusive way to warn about a possible fiscal disaster without warning about a possible fiscal disaster, but leaving yourself cover to be able to say “I WARNED YOU”. You know, “having your cake and eating it too” or as a  friend of mine often said “It’s my SAVE ASS move!”.

The name “fiscal cliff” is a classic political misnomer seeing that there’s no major impact on the economy with its onset; anyone would infer different from its title, fiscal cliff. Any use of the word “cliff” typically means immediate and life-ending descent from a high distance which does not apply in this case. Ever since Bernanke used the phrase “fiscal cliff” at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in February of this year, the term has been used for a multiplicity of partisan needs. Well let’s get an understanding of what Ben Bernanke meant when he said it, so let’s go to the way-back machine to get the jest of it. To quote Bernanke “I hope that Congress will look at [the spending cuts and revenue increases] and figure out ways to achieve the same long-run fiscal improvement without having it all happen at one date,”. Read more…

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