Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Truth About Taxes

As always CRAFT does not endorse any candidates. However readers by now know where I (Cathy) stands on the candidates. The following two stories below are to aid our readers in making educated decisions before voting.

The first story appears in the Boston Herald

The truth about taxes

Editorial, Boston Herald
October 24, 2008

As the economy continues to give working Americans the shivers, it’s time to take a serious look at presidential nominee Barack Obama’s tax plan.

Obama’s Joe the Plumber moment exposed the flaw in the candidate’s plans to increase the income tax rate for “the wealthy” - including small business owners - all the while giving refundable tax credits to those who might not even be paying federal income taxes. Yes, it’s blatant income redistribution, but there’s more.

If you liked the Clinton era taxes, you’re gonna love an Obama administration. Obama’s Web site spells it out: “The top two income tax brackets would return to their 1990s levels of 36 percent and 39.6 percent.” The capital gains tax on those same families would increase from 15 percent to 20 percent. The same goes for taxes on dividends.

You think the credit market is tight now? Well, just wait for these tax “reforms” to further dry up capital.

The Obama tax plan also has a list of domestic tax “loophole” closings. Those of us who have seen similar proposals offered here by a Republican and then a Democratic governor know that “loopholes” are often in the eye of the beholder. And when corporate “loopholes” are closed, those higher costs are invariably passed along to consumers.

This candidate who says he wants to increase incentives to make this nation less dependent on foreign oil also wants to eliminate “special tax breaks for oil and gas companies,” including “manufacturing deductions for oil and gas firms.” Yep, that will encourage domestic production!

Whatever tax hike Obama hasn’t thought about, congressional Democrats surely will. Our own Rep. Barney Frank was quoted in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal as saying that after an immediate “increase in spending” by Congress to stimulate the economy, “I believe later on there should be tax increase.”

So there you have it - the unvarnished and rather costly truth.

The second story appears in the Wall Street Journal.

Obama and the Tax Tipping Point
How long before taxpayers are pushed too far?

What happens when the voter in the exact middle of the earnings spectrum receives more in benefits from Washington than he pays in taxes? Economists Allan Meltzer and Scott Richard posed this question 27 years ago. We may soon enough know the answer.

Barack Obama is offering voters strong incentives to support higher taxes and bigger government. This could be the magic income-redistribution formula Democrats have long sought.

Sen. Obama is promising $500 and $1,000 gift-wrapped packets of money in the form of refundable tax credits. These will shift the tax demographics to the tipping point where half of all voters will receive a cash windfall from Washington and an overwhelming majority will gain from tax hikes and more government spending.

In 2006, the latest year for which we have Census data, 220 million Americans were eligible to vote and 89 million -- 40% -- paid no income taxes. According to the Tax Policy Center (a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute), this will jump to 49% when Mr. Obama's cash credits remove 18 million more voters from the tax rolls. What's more, there are an additional 24 million taxpayers (11% of the electorate) who will pay a minimal amount of income taxes -- less than 5% of their income and less than $1,000 annually.

In all, three out of every five voters will pay little or nothing in income taxes under Mr. Obama's plans and gain when taxes rise on the 40% that already pays 95% of income tax revenues.

The plunder that the Democrats plan to extract from the "very rich" -- the 5% that earn more than $250,000 and who already pay 60% of the federal income tax bill -- will never stretch to cover the expansive programs Mr. Obama promises.

What next? A core group of Obama enthusiasts -- those educated professionals who applaud the "fairness" of their candidate's tax plans -- will soon see their $100,000-$150,000 incomes targeted. As entitlements expand and a self-interested majority votes, the higher tax brackets will kick in at lower levels down the ladder, all the way to households with a $75,000 income.

Calculating how far society's top earners can be pushed before they stop (or cut back on) producing is difficult. But the incentives are easy to see. Voters who benefit from government programs will push for higher tax rates on higher earners -- at least until those who power the economy and create jobs and wealth stop working, stop investing, or move out of the country.

Other nations have tried the ideology of fairness in the place of incentives and found that reward without work is a recipe for decline. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher took on the unions and slashed taxes to restore growth and jobs in Great Britain. In Germany a few years ago, Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder defied his party's dogma and loosened labor's grip on the economy to end stagnation. And more recently in France, Nicolas Sarkozy was swept to power on a platform of restoring flexibility to the economy.

The sequence is always the same. High-tax, big-spending policies force the economy to lose momentum. Then growth in government spending outstrips revenues. Fiscal and trade deficits soar. Public debt, excessive taxation and unemployment follow. The central bank tries to solve the problem by printing money. International competitiveness is lost and the currency depreciates. The system stagnates. And then a frightened electorate returns conservatives to power.

The economic tides will not stand still while Washington experiments with European-type social democracy, even though the dollar's role as the global reserve currency will buy some time. Our trademark competitive advantage will be lost, and once lost, it will be hard to regain. There are too many emerging economies focused on prosperity and not redistribution for the U.S. to easily recapture its role of global economic leader.

Tomorrow's children may come to question why their parents sold their birthright for a mess of "fairness" -- whatever that will signify when jobs are scarce and American opportunity is no longer the envy of the world.

Mr. Lerrick is a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Corrected typo 10/25.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Obama Represents The Middle Class?

Thomas Sowell had a recent column about Obama supporters and how you just can not challenge them about Obama because they like him and that is that. I find it frighting beyond belief that people take the right to vote so lightly. I spent numerous hours this election season making sure I will make an educated vote come November 4th. I would also hope our readers make an educated vote as well.

Barack says he is working for the middle class people, in such a tough economy I find it amazing that he is able to raise 600 million dollars for the election my guess is that this money is not all from the middle class and in fact we are finding it is not all from US citizens. He is not representing middle class people that I know, he is not representing me or my family.

Below I have another story that gives me yet another reason to vote against Barack Obama. The BLOG post is titled Who is John Galt? John Galt is a character in Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged. By the way this is my favorite fiction book of all time. I would love this to be a required reading for all high schoolers unfortunately I am sure this is a book that the NEA does not approve of, further today's high schoolers probably do not have the reading skills to read such a book.

Hat tip to Powerline



We've previously noted the gusher of illegal campaign contributions flowing into the Obama campaign from contributors such as "Doodad Pro" and "Good Will." More recently, incidents have been reported in which people have seen credit card charges surface suggesting they donated to Barack Obama when they did not. Matthew Mosk and Sarah Cohen noted one such incident earlier this week:

Now comes the story of Mary T. Biskup, of Manchester, Missouri. Biskup got a call recently from the Obama campaign, which was trying to figure out why she donated $174,800 to the campaign -- well over the contribution limit of $2,300.

The answer she gave them was simple. "That's an error."

Is the Obama campaign knowingly receiving illegal contributions? Yesterday one of our readers reported the results of an experiment he conducted:

I've read recent reports of the Obama campaign receiving donations from dubious names and foreign locales and it got me wondering: How is this possible?

I run a small Internet business and when I process credit cards I'm required to make sure the name on the card exactly matches the name of the customer making the purchase. Also, the purchaser's address must match that of the cardholders. If these don't match, then the payment isn't approved. Period. So how is it possible that the Obama campaign could receive donations from fictional people and places? Well, I decided to do a little experiment. I went to the Obama campaign website and entered the following:

Name: John Galt
Address: 1957 Ayn Rand Lane
City: Galts Gulch
State: CO
Zip: 99999

Then I checked the box next to $15 and entered my actual credit card number and expiration date (it didn't ask for the 3-didgit code on the back of the card) and it took me to the next page and... "Your donation has been processed. Thank you for your generous gift."

This simply should not, and could not, happen in any business or any campaign that is honestly trying to vet it's donors. Also, I don't see how this could possibly happen without the collusion of the credit card companies. They simply wouldn't allow any business to process, potentially, hundreds of millions in credit card transactions where the name on the card doesn't match the purchasers name.

In short, with the system set up as it is by the Obama camp, an individual could donate unlimited amounts of money by simply making up fake names and addresses. And Obama is doing his best to facilitate this fraud. This is truly scandalous.

Our reader was not yet done. He tried the experiment on the McCain site: "I tried the exact same thing at the McCain site and it didn't allow the transaction." He then repeated the experiment at the Obama site:

I went back to the Obama site and made three additional donations using the names Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Bill Ayers, all with different addresses. All the transactions went through using the same credit card. I saved screenshots of the transactions.

Our reader reports, incidentally, that he was using his MasterCard for the contributions. We submit this report in the spirit of inquiry and would especially appreciate hearing from readers who can illuminate how credit card procedures might (or might not) allow this to happen.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Newport School Board Meeting.

There was a Newport School Board meeting tonight.

As Jim was walking in the building he ran across an Obama sign in a classroom window that can easily be seen from the hallway. Newport is failing at teaching math but it looks like indoctrination is underway. Like how the sign is kind of leaning against the window so they can use the excuse they were not intentionally posting the Obama sign?

For six years Newport has been failing it's students when it comes to math. At the school board meeting tonight Jim raised the question is it because the material is too easy and the students aren't prepared for the math on the standardized tests or is the material too hard and the students are being passed on to the next grade anyway? Of course a teacher piped up with the usual line "Oh no, the students have poor learning skills." It always amazes me how teachers never accept responsibility for the failing of students and yet refuse to allow school choice.

Why does Newport continue to ship it's students to Sunapee to learn calculus? Because a teachers job comes before the students needs. If a high school math teacher is incapable of teaching Calculus they should no longer be employed, math teachers that can teach calculus should be hired to replace said teachers.

Jim's primary reason for attending tonight was to focus on the issue of full day kindergarten vs half day kindergarten. You can find research stating the case for both. The source of funding for said research tends to skew the results in the direction of the desired outcome. The fact of the matter is, it is the quality of the educational material, practices and the quality of the teacher that are the biggest factors in educational outcomes. If teachers are failing at teaching math and reading why spend money on full day kindergarten which provide questionable results at best and the have no cost benefits when compared to half day kindergarten?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our McCain Sign Was Stolen

Our McCain sign was stolen two days after we put it up. I hope the culprit at least got a free pizza. Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin.

We lived here in Croydon for less than two years and have already been robbed twice, I thought Croydon was such a nice little town. The last town we lived in had 8000 people we were not robbed in the four years that we lived there and the 12 years that Jim lived in the house.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Case Against Obama

When did it become okay to punish people for working hard? "Spread the wealth" is a platform of Obama. I was born in 1964 my mother was a product of the depression. Growing up my mother told me never be ashamed of working hard no matter what the job. I grow up in a lower middle class family. There were five children in our family and four out of the five put themselves through college. I started working when I was 14 put myself through college and graduate school. When I finished college I could not find a job right away so I worked at a camp for handicap children and as a waitress until I could get a job.

If Obama's tax plan is as he says, our family will not get a tax increase. But I still do not think it is right to punish those making over $250,000 a year to give us money. They have worked hard for their money and should keep it. If they choose to donate to those in need they should give freely not by force.

When did it become okay not to take care of yourself. Someone said they saw two pins on a backpack. One was an Obama pin and the other said "I hate work." That speaks volumes of the character of this person.

I have said it time and time again. We are not recommending one candidate over another but I do want people to make an informed decision if they are supporting Obama.

I have been sent a ton of information for and against both candidates. I am not happy with either candidate. Typically CRAFT has stayed focus on taxes and education issues but this election taxes will play a big role.

Our Country was founded over it's fight against taxes from England it is amazing that this election may be one over people wanting to tax people.

Here is some information to help you make and informed decision.


The Forgotten Man and Election 2008

Commentary: Sam Donaldson on Economic Socialism

O’Reilly: Obama Was Close to Ayers

The Clear Case Against Obama

The "comprehensive" argument against Barack Obama - Unchecked Unions

What is next for the economy.

Never Find Out


Arguments Against Idiots

The American Spectator: Batman and Rush: Why McCain Will Win

Monday, October 20, 2008

Taxpayers voting for a Democrat is like....

a chicken voting for Col. Sanders.

Not so funny...Funny of the Day.

I forgot to post this yesterday. Hattip to McHenry County Blog for finding this sign. Edited 10/21/2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Beauty

Our world in the United States is changing in ways I am sure our Founding Fathers would have never anticipated. Sometimes you need to take a breath and look at the beauty around us.

I took the above picture driving home from the Sarah Palin rally. The picture was taken in Croydon, NH.