Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: Republican (page 2 of 3)

A Little Truth Goes A Long Way.

Who tells the truth the most often?  Who gets it right?  Check out the image below.

Ryan and Romney – We’re not telling

Paul Ryan announced that he and Mitt Romney will wait until they’re elected to tell us just what tax loopholes they plan on closing.  (See story here)  Really?

That’s like going to buy a car and having the dealer say, “This is a great car with a lot of features, but I’m not showing you any of them until you sign on the dotted line.”

Mitt Romney “was overheard telling supporters at a private fundraiser in Florida over the weekend that he might seek to limit tax deductions for mortgages”. (See story here)  Naturally, his campaign made him back away from this remark.

But, what exactly would Romney and Ryan cut to make up for the “$5 trillion in forgone revenue“.

Cheryl and I all ready pay thousand dollars in taxes higher than a couple is allowed to legally marry.  So, take away my mortgage deduction and I can kiss a lot more of my hard earned money to go up in smoke.  And, why should I vote for someone who won’t even tell me to my face that, yes, I’m taking away your largest deduction, so I can cut taxes on the ultra-rich?

I know a lot of people who are planning to vote for Romney and they’re going to be bitching if he runs and passes a radical tax law.

But, they will tell you a lot about their Medicare system.  Romney gave some details to reporters in Miami:

“My plan for Medicare is very similar to his plan for Medicare. My plan, like his, really expands Medicare Advantage. It says, let’s give people more opportunity to take advantage of not just the standard Medicare, but also the [private insurance] policies that are available in the market place.”

Get it? They want to privatize more Medicare, but they don’t want to tell you what tax deductions they’re ending. And, they send out their main man (John Sununu) to keep repeating the lie of the $716 billion Obama “gutted” from Medicare”.

Affordable Care Act & Scott Walker

Fact:  By 2014, all 50 states have to have their health care exchanges up and running.  If they don’t, the Federal Government will step in and take control.

Fact: By 1/1/2013, all 50 states have to have a plan in place on just how they’re going to create these exchanges.

Fact: Scott Walker doesn’t like Federal Government Control and yet, he is putting off beginning the work on the exchanges until after the November election.  He’s probably thinking that Romney will win and he’ll never have to put it in place.

Opinion: Scott Walker is a dofus who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.  It’s too bad the man kept his throne in the Wisconsin State House, because he’s going to screw us like he is the Marquis De Sade.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek (August 13 – 26, 2012),  “only 18 states had even started putting in place the …health benefit exchanges.”  That’s one eight, people.  One of those states is Wisconsin.  The article states: “The Republican governors of six states are simply refusing to create the exchanges…”  And, our Governor is one of them.

Apparently, Scott Walker wants to wait until the outcome of the November election (see article here) to act on creating an exchange.  He also ” turned down $38 million in federal money that could have gone to implementing the federal health care law in Wisconsin.”

Does he even have a clue about what setting up a health exchange will entail?  First, you need an interface that end users (that’s us) can interact with to pick out the insurance, actually, that would be second.  First, you need the list of insurance companies, plans and rates that will be sold.  Then, an end user interface.  Then, you need for this software, database, etc. to interact with Medicare and Medicaid.  You need an interface for the insurance companies.  You need an interface for the government employees that will have to assist people signing up for insurance.  You need all of this to speak to the Federal Government’s computers.

And, you need money to create it, run it and maintain it.  So you really shouldn’t turn down $38 million from the Federal Government earmarked to help you do just that.

You need Business Analysts who can talk with all the parties to see how this can be put together – that can’t be done in a day.

And, Walker thinks he can wait until after November to do it.

The man is doesn’t understand the value of making it easier for people to purchase insurance.  And, he doesn’t understand the value of getting this project off the ground.  He doesn’t see the big picture.

Our state is still losing jobs and Scott Walker wants to put this off as long as he can.  Let me explain the big picture:

Setting up a healthcare exchange requires (at the very least) the following:

1. Business Analysts

2. Project Managers

3. Quality Assurance Testers

4. Database Administrators

5. Data Analysts

6.  Web Designers

7. Network Engineers

8. Web Services Programmers

9. Computer Programmers

10. Managers

11. Administrative Assistants

12. Technical Writers

When your state leads the nation in job losses, a project like this can put a lot of people to work, which in turn creates demand in the economy.  Think about it, when one person is working their money (i.e., wages) spreads through their community.  They pay their rent or mortgage – rent is better, as the money goes to a landlord, who then spreads it out.  But, a mortgage payment means a bank has money to lend (in a very simplistic view).  They purchase gas at their local station.  They buy groceries at their local market.  They take their family out to dinner.  They purchase new clothes and, this is personal, they purchase new programming books.  (I’ve never started a new project without purchasing a book.)  $10 here, $20 over there and pretty soon demand is up again.

But, Scott Walker is sitting on his hands, ignoring the Federal Government Mandate and hoping it just goes away.  He has to have the plan in place by January 1,2013.  Walker’s hoping that 1/20/2013 will bring in a new President and he won’t have to follow the law.  Romney’s not going to win, our country can’t be that full of stupid people.  But, even if he does win, the Affordable Care Act won’t disappear that face and Scott Walker will be breaking the law.  Oh – one more little item – Walker proclaims that he doesn’t want Federal Government interference, but the Feds will take this over if he doesn’t comply.  Why would you want to give up control of something so momentousness?  Could it be that Scott Walker is out of his realm?  That he cannot get this job done, because he is an uneducated man who doesn’t know how to run a project?

Thanks, Governor Walker.  I cannot tell you how much I hang my head in shame that my fellow Wisconsinites voted for you not once, but twice.  God help us all.

 

The Abortion Lie

Let me start this by telling you about my neighbor.  My neighbor is a Republican and she’s on disability (which I think shouldn’t happen, but there it is).  She’s a good Christian woman, who suffered through an intolerable childhood and never married.  She worked, before her illness, in the Health Care field.  She offers advice, even when you don’t need it or want it.  My neighbor knows every thing that goes on in our neighborhood and I mean every thing.  I’ll be she’ll know about this post before I finish writing it and before I even post it.  Even when she was working, she knew every thing.

In the old days, we would call her – unkindly – the neighborhood gossip or busy buddy.  And, perhaps, that’s what she is.  But, she’s always kind, very giving and the kind of neighbor you can call when you need help.  For example, when we were having our biggest trouble with Oliver, she would take him every single day.  She helped train him and I think he’s more well-adjusted now than he would’ve been without her daily care.  Only her illness stopped her from continuing to watch him, but she’s never stopped loving him.

Over the weekend, she stopped with her little dog for a visit.  We had a nice time, even though I have no manners and forgot to offer her a drink or something.  Anyway, she told me that she was going to vote for Romney in the  Presidential election.  When I asked her why, since it is clear she doesn’t like Romney, her answer was abortion.  Republicans are against abortion.  She’s against abortion, so she’s going to vote for Romney.

And, that is why I’m writing this.  The anti-abortion stance in the Republican Party is a lie.  Mark my words:  There will NEVER be a Federal Anti-abortion – I mean make it back like it was – law EVER.  It doesn’t matter if the Republicans hold Congress, Senate and the White House.  It didn’t happen during Bush’s eight years (where they had all three for more than 4 years) and it will never happen.

Why?

Because abortion is an issue that keeps voters voting Republican.  A Federal Ban would mean that the voters would have to look for something else.  There are plenty of voters, like my neighbor, who is a one issue voters.  She doesn’t want abortion to be legal.  She doesn’t realize that the Republicans don’t really want to outlaw it because maybe she might start looking at their other issues.

So, if you’re a single issue voter and abortion is your issue and that’s why you’re voting for Romney – you might want to think again.  And, you might want to see what else Romney has in his bag of issues.

Politics as Usual

I posted the picture from my blog about corporate taxes on Facebook.  I, then, shared a lot of feel good pictures.  Not so amazingly, the feel good pictures went on to be shared by my friends, while the picture of the widening gap between  Corporate taxes and Individual taxes went pretty much ignored.

I’ve created another picture and I hope that it gets passed around.

Moving on…

Included in the sad state of affairs, I posted on Twitter the following:

Republican: One who doesn’t want the government mandating that citizens buy health insurance, but sees no problem in deciding who can marry.

This posted to my Facebook account, as the two are linked. In response, I received this:

Democrat: one who does not care who or what you marry. As long as you are distracted enough for them to steal all your money and give it to someone who didn’t earn it.

Sad, isn’t it?

The idea that being a Democrat means you want to steal someone else’s money and give it away is the fallacy that the Republican Party promotes.  They’ve called earned programs, such as Social Security, entitlements.  They have distorted the Affordable Health Care Act so much that people don’t recognize the good things within it – such as mandating that health insurance companies spend at least 85% of premiums on health care and eliminating the pre-existing conditions.

 

Cain’s Tax Plan Again

When I’m wrong, I’ll admit that I am wrong. Apparently, I was wrong in my assumption regarding Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan. There are some items that I overlooked – one of which was the fact that I would no longer pay Payroll taxes of 7.65%. This was pointed out by Bob – thanks, Bob. I dug a little further and discovered I would no longer have any deductions, except charitable and, since I don’t live in the inner city, I don’t receive a tax credit for that.

When I did my original comparison, I just took my salary – what I earn from my employer – and used those figures. I only used the standard deduction and the personal exemption for the current figures. For my spending, I went through the checkbook and took out all of my spending for the month of September.

Here’s what I did this time.

I’m used September’s figures for spending. I’m added in the Payroll taxes for both the current plan. I used my actual deductions – divided out by 12 – from my last year’s income tax return. Since Cain’s plan allows for charitable deductions, I subtracted my charitable deductions from his plan.

This time it worked out that I currently pay $2,890 more in taxes now than I would under Herman Cain’s plan. Since the only criteria I was using for this plan was how it would affect me – and only me – then I have to say, it is a good plan.

Sorry, but I do.

However; here’s what I wrote the last time:

Here’s what I recommend – don’t take my word on whether or not you like the Cain Plan. Do the math for yourself. Figure out exactly how much more or how much less you’ll pay in taxes. Come to your own conclusion. That’s what we should really be doing anyway. Checking out the plans and weighing our options.

I stand by that recommendation. You should figure out whether or not this is a good plan for you.  But, actually do the math and figure it out – don’t just guess or believe what someone else writes.  Too many people will believe whatever someone emails them.  Somedays, I wonder if laziness is the real reason we’re in this mess.

Now, that I have said that, a consideration should be made for whether or not this is a good plan for the country. I’m not sure that it is. Cain has stated that the country will gain more in revenue from this plan than we do currently. I just don’t see how that is possible. If I’m saving nearly $3,000 per year, shouldn’t everyone in my situation be saving that amount? Will we really gain enough on those people who will pay more to make up the difference for those who will pay less? It’s just a thought.

Republican Jobs Plan

Is it me?  Because I just don’t get it.  I don’t understand how the Republicans can keep coming back to the same old / same old and think that it will work.  Yes, Ronald Reagan cut taxes in 1981, but he raised government spending (and I’m really simplifying because monetary policy had a lot to do with the recovery).  The idea that the country can get our citizens back to work via lower tax rates and the reduction of government regulations is a one that is not based on any facts.

Here’s what drives companies to hire people – it’s simple, but true:  DEMAND.  That’s it, demand for a company’s good has to be high enough for the company to hire more people.  PERIOD.  If we’re not out purchasing Ding Dongs, the Ding Dong factory up the road is not going to hire more people.  It doesn’t matter how low a company’s taxes go, they’re NOT going to hire anyone they don’t actually need.

I don’t understand why it is that the Republicans in the Senate (led by John McCain) and the majority of the Republican Candidates for President do not understand the basics of economics.  And, actually, I do understand why Michele Bachmann doesn’t – the woman doesn’t know that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a founding father and that Elvis is dead.  I understand why Rick Perry doesn’t get it – he’s a politician. But, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain are businessmen – Romney hasn’t been one for quite a while, but Cain did an impressive job turning around the Godfather’s Pizza business.

How can either one of them say, in all honesty, that they would hire someone they don’t need in a company just because taxes are low?

Why would anyone?

The truth is that consumers are tapped out.  I’m tapped out, you’re tapped out.  We’ve pretty much purchased everything we wanted in the last, say, twenty years.  I have a house.  I purchased two cars – one new, one used – within the past two years.  Other than buying some Christmas presents and a new cell phone, quite honestly, I’m done.  Finished.  There’s no more spending coming from my house.  It is time – and this is probably anti-Patriotic of me – to do some saving.

There’s a lot of people out there who are just like me.

So, how does the economy improve?

By the government spending, spending and spending some more.  I don’t like the concept, I don’t like the idea, but that’s what has to happen.  We can’t lay off 15,000 government workers in one state and expect that state’s economy to make any improvements.

We have been neglecting our infrastructure in this country for years.  Now is the time to fix the bridges, the roadways, the levees, our schools and whatever else needs fixing.  Now is the time for the government to spend.

There’s a balance that has to be met.  We can’t have too much government money pumped into the economy or it will push out private investment.  We need to find that balance.

But, we are not going to improve the economy by cutting more taxes and reducing even more regulations.  The Republicans need to start singing a new tune, because the economy can’t march to the one they’ve been singing.

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan

When it comes to taxes and being told what’s going to cost me more money and what’s going to save me money, I generally don’t believe the Press, or the person touting the plan.  What I do believe is taking what I pay in taxes now and comparing that to the new plan.

This is what I did when comparing the “savings” Paul Ryan’s plan touted.  This is what I have done with Herman Cain’s plan.

Now, there is something I’d like to add.  Mr. Cain has not made public a lot of details about his plan.  It is possible that I am making incorrect assumptions.  I am listing the assumptions that I have made before the comparison – if anyone knows for a fact that the Cain plan doesn’t do any one of these, please leave a comment and I will make adjustments.

  • No deductions: personal exemption, neither Medical nor the Standard Deduction.
  • Taxes on everything: food, gas, clothing and bills such as electric and cable.
  • Even though when I purchase my next home or car – and only if Cain’s plan passes – I would pay a 9% sales tax on the home or car, I did not include this in my car payments, nor in my mortgage payments.  I made the assumption that the 9% tax would not be retroactive.  Therefore; in my total spending, I did not include my mortgage nor car payments.

I picked last month for my spending.  I figured September is a typical month for me.  Some months I might spend more and some months, I spend less.  For comparison purposes, I included Paul Ryan’s plan in my chart.

 

Current

Ryan’s Plan

Cain’s Plan

Salary

$5,416.67

$5,416.67

$5,416.67

Insurance Deduction

$253.44

$0.00

$0.00

Personal Exemption

$291.67

$316.67

$0.00

Standard Deduction

$483.33

$1,041.67

$0.00

Taxable Income

$4,388.23

$4,058.33

$5,416.67

Federal Income Tax

$784.18

$1,014.58

$487.50

National Sales Tax

$0.00

$0.00

$399.09

Total Tax

$784.18

$1,014.58

$886.59

%

17.87%

25.00%

9.00%

This is based on one month’s salary and all the spending for the household.  In the month of September between bills (cable, electric, cell phone, etc.), food, household items and misc. items (books, software), I spent $4,434.30.

As you can see, I currently pay – each month – $787.18 in Federal Income Tax (after deductions, which really aren’t taken out until the end of the year, but I wanted this to be a fair comparison – apples to apples).  Under the Cain Plan, I will only have $487.50 taken out of my paycheck for Federal Taxes.  That’s a savings of $299.68.  That sounds pretty good.

But, wait – there’s more…

Once the addition of the sales tax on $4,434.30 of goods and services is paid, my federal tax bill is raised by $399.09 – almost $100 more than the initial savings.  This brings my total taxes under Herman Cain’s plan up to $886.59!  Clearly, the Cain Plan is not a winner for me.

Let’s deal with the critics on this.  I’m sure some people are saying, “Just spend less.”  Hmmm, nice idea, but then what’s the point?  If, in order to save taxes, I slow down my spending, then for what am I working?  What’s my motivation for earning more money?  What do I get and how does the economy get rolling along if I cut my spending in half?

Let’s say I only spend the essentials – cut out the extras, like eating out or my passion for books – what happens then?

Well, I would save $52.80 in taxes each month.  And, sure, I could sock the extra money away in savings, but who wants to live like that?  I don’t drive up to Brookfield every single day to not enjoy the money I spend.  I sock away savings and money for retirement, but then I enjoy life.

And, how will I pay for that next car?  Sure, I could use my savings, but when the average car price is around $20,000 an extra 9.0% in sales tax is really going to make a huge difference.  That adds – without any other taxes or licensing fees – and extra $1,800 to the price of my new car.

Perhaps, Cain’s plan won’t take food or, maybe, cars will be exempt.  Wouldn’t that be subsidizing certain industries and isn’t that one of the ways we ended up in this mess in the first place?

Here’s what I recommend – don’t take my word on whether or not you like the Cain Plan.  Do the math for yourself.  Figure out exactly how much more or how much less you’ll pay in taxes.  Come to your own conclusion.  That’s what we should really be doing anyway.  Checking out the plans and weighing our options.

Happy Calculating!

Warren Buffet’s Tax Rate…

Warren Buffet released his 2010 taxes for Congress’s review.  He wanted to prove his point that the rich do not pay their fair share in taxes and that they can afford to pay more.  After comparing his tax return to my tax return, I so agree with him.  I earned .10% of what Mr. Buffet earned last year.  That means, for those of you who are math challenged, he earned 1,000 times as much as I did.

Now, if all is fair, then he should’ve paid 1,000 times more than I did in taxes.

Except, he didn’t.  Everything being equal, he should’ve paid $8 million in taxes.  He didn’t, he paid just under $7 million.  I can hear the argument now, that’s more than you paid.  If you don’t like it, why don’t you go get rich.  (Usually, these arguments come from people who make half as much as I do.)

How can a man who make 1,000 times more than me pay a tax rate that is only 2% higher than mine?  How is that fair?

Well, I have to go to work, where 1/3 of my paycheck goes to taxes and insurance before I even come home.

Supporters

Okay, pay attention, because this doesn’t happen very often. I am going to admit that I was wrong and, no, it doesn’t make me feel any better. But, here’s the thing, yesterday I was on Huffington Post and I saw a comment that said:

These posters are amazing. With Michele Bachmann you have a well-educa­ted and accomplish­ed woman who happens to be conservati­ve. Because she does not fall into the liberal profile, posters demonize and disparage her. Amazing and disgusting at the same time.

I know I shouldn’t have responded the way that I did, but I wrote:

You think Michele Bachmann is a well-educa­ted and accomplish­ed woman? You’ve been spending too much time paying attention to Sarah Palin.

Let’s face it – it was a cheap shot. I don’t agree with Bachmann’s politics, but comparing her to Palin really isn’t fair. So, after the commenter responded with his/her own cheap shot about how I must only watch left leaning media (why does it always come down to the media in these types of discussions?), I responded with:

Well, it just goes to show that whenever someone on the right doesn’t have a valid response, they blame the media. Oh, and it is lopsided – not lop-sided. I’d like to hear about an acomplishm­ent. She says that she’s been a fighter in Congress, but all 38 bills that she sponsored never left the committee. She’s serving on the House Intelligen­ce since Jan. I guess that would be an accomplish­ment. I read her interviews and she’s always spouting off about how she’s fighting for the American family, but she never says how. I’ve never once heard or read anything that says, “I fought for this bill and we passed it.”

A little mean, I think, but still, I’m asking for the person defending Bachmann to post an accomplishment. Give me something with which to work. Maybe, if you open a dialogue, we could have a discussion about Bachmann’s abilities. Admittedly, I’m still not going to vote for her, but maybe I could come to respect her. Wouldn’t a Bachmann supporter want that? Uh, no. Apparently, not. Because this is the response:

As a quote from another article said, “Michele is 50 times smarter than the people who say she is stupid.” That says it all.

Well, great, now you’ve pissed me off. Rather than spend two minutes researching Bachmann’s accomplishments, you’ve decided that insulting me is the way to go. Granted, I probably deserved it to an extent, but give me a break. At least come up with a witty, original response. So, being the smart ass that I am, I wrote this:

Well, thanks for the laugh and the oh so helpful debate. I cannot tell you how much you witty comebacks have changed my mind about Congresswo­man Bachmann! It is clear to me that you clearly have a grasp on the issues facing the nation, as well as a desire to have a debate. NOT!

It’s good to know that while I’m wondering about Bachmann’s “many” accomplish­ments, you decided to use your time wisely to look up someone else’s insult. You’ve just blown me away with your lack of ability to speak on your own. Why don’t you try this (and I’ll type it slow, so you can understand­): List just one of Bachmann’s many Congressio­nal accomplish­ments. But, don’t list her being on the Intelligen­ce Commitee, as I know about that. If she’s so accomplish­ed and has done so much – Prove it. It should be easy for you.

What? Too mean? Did I go overboard? Apparently, for the Bachmann supporter, it was.

That dialogue will get us nowhere & shame on you. Have a great day.

I consider this a battle won. Obviously, I have more wit than the poster, but I consider this a war lost. It doesn’t matter that the poster was a Bachmann supporter, this is happening on both sides of the aisle.  We need to start discussions.  I should’ve started with list Bachmann’s accomplishments instead of taking the low road.  I was wrong and just because the poster was wrong, doesn’t make me right.

Our country is in a terrible mess and we can point fingers of blame all over the place.  But, if we don’t start actually having dialogues, we’re not going to get anywhere and it is only going to get worse.

So, for any Bachmann supporter out there, please list an accomplishment.  I’d really like to know why I should throw away my future with a vote for her.

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