Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tons of New Taxes in House Health Bill for All Americans

Thanks to the Americans for Tax Reform for getting this information out so we the people can read it and see all the wonderful new taxes that we were promised not to get. And we thought this year was bad for the economy?


Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single
employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent($670,000-$750,000).

Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.

Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324): Non-prescription medications would no longer be able to be
purchased from health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), or health
reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Insulin excepted.

Cap on FSAs (Page 325): FSAs would face an annual cap of $2500 (currently uncapped).
Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326): Non-qualified
distributions from HSAs would face an additional tax of 20 percent (current law is 10 percent). This disadvantages HSAs relative to other tax-free accounts (e.g. IRAs, 401(k)s, 529 plans, etc.)

Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page
327): This would further erode private sector participation in delivery of Medicare services.

Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336): Imposes an income surtax of 5.4 percent on MAGI over $500,000 ($1 million married filing jointly). MAGI adds back in the itemized deduction for margin loan interest. This would raise the top marginal tax rate in 2011 from 39.6 percent under current law to 45 percent—a new effective top rate.

Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339): Imposes a new excise tax on medical device manufacturers equal to 2.5 percent of the wholesale price. It excludes retail sales and unspecified medical devices sold to the general public.

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344): Requires that 1099-MISC forms be issued to corporations as well as persons for trade or business payments. Current law limits to just persons for small business compliance complexity reasons. Also expands reporting to exchanges of property.

Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345): Delays for nine years the worldwide allocation of interest, a corporate tax relief provision from the American Jobs Creation Act

Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346): Increases taxes on U.S.
employers with overseas operations looking to avoid double taxation of earnings.

Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349): Empowers the IRS to disallow a
perfectly legal tax deduction or other tax relief merely because the IRS deems that the motive of the taxpayer was not primarily business-related.

Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357): Publicly-traded partnerships and
corporations with annual gross receipts in excess of $100 million have raised standards on penalties. If there is a tax underpayment by these taxpayers, they must be able to prove that the estimated tax paidwould have more likely than not been sufficient to cover final tax liability.

10/29/09 For more information, contact ATR Tax Policy Director Ryan Ellis at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Are States Starting to Stand Up for States Rights?

States rights. What a concept. If I recall, history has shown that disagreements over states rights can lead to unrest. Remember the states rights which were fought over in the War Between the States? History has shown us in Union and Confederate blood that states really don't like being told what and how to do it by those who aren't walking in their proverbial shoes.

Thought you'd be interested in this story as some states are beginning to flex their rights against mandated federal government healthcare.

Nineteen States Move to Defend Individual Health Care Choice
By Susan Jones, Senior Editor

Regardless of what the U.S. Congress decides about health care reform, a growing number of states are standing up for individuals’ freedom of choice when it comes to purchasing – or not purchasing – health insurance.

Several Kansas Republicans have introduced a state constitutional amendment that would protect the right of Kansas residents to make their own health care choices. That makes Kansas the 19th state.....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

National Emergency Defined

It's all over the news. President Barack Obama has now declared a national state of emergency due to the H1N1 flu outbreak. It is being reported it is for the benefit of hospitals as they try to treat the population who needs it. Really?

The very definition of a national emergency allows for the government to suspend citizens' normal lives, and as a result of this, can allow the government to suspend civil liberties. The government has the power under a national emergency to confiscate property, order martial law, control all communication and restrict travel, among other powers.

The question is why is the outbreak of a flu during flu season considered a national emergency. According to the CDC, around 100 children have died in America since the first onset of the H1N1 flu in the spring of 2009 with about half of them dying in September and October. The CDC continues to call the flu a pandemic. The government ordered doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine are slow in being delivered to the states.

So why the National Emergency? What is the real agenda? Just wondering.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Czar or Master? It's Not the Name that is the Question

I enjoyed the comment by Chris regarding my last post about the power of the czars. Chris is so right when he stated the Keith Feinberg is the Special Master for Executive Compensation and it is his job to keep the bailed out bank executives in line. And Chris is so right when he says I wouldn't want bailout companies to place taxpayer money in the executive pockets. Agreed.

However, the term czar is used by mainstream media in referring to Mr. Feinberg and the presidential advisors. So, yes, they are commonly known as czars. Actually, Mr. Feingberg is quoted in an October 20, 2009 article and refers to himself as "pay czar", although he made it clear he doesn't like the term.

So, my question remains for czars in general. How many of them are supposed to be just advisors? To my knowledge, less than half of the advisors or czars were confirmed by Congress. How much power are they wielding? And why is it that these czars are now in the center of the executive branch and in the news? It seems to me that in the past, when they were talked about in the news, they were described as "presidential advisors" - no matter who the President was at the time.

Is it because I watch the news more now? Or is it because so many of them have pasts that appear, well, appear not so sunny? Just wondering...

Where Does Any Czar get the Power Over the People?

Here a czar, there a czar, and now they have the power? The power to what? The power from whom? Under what Constitutional section?

I just don't understand how a czar appointed by Obama can appear to do just what he pleases with no oversight by anyone-- including the President.

This story clearly demonstrates how bizarre our land of the free has become.....

Unbelievable! Pay Czar cut executives’ compensation without White House approval

From Fox News:
White House pay czar Kenneth Feinberg was the driving force behind the move to order steep pay cuts from bailed-out executives, and did not even seek the president’s approval before making his decision.

The Treasury Department is expected to formally announce in the next few days a plan to slash annual salaries by about 90 percent.....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remember the First Amendment? Looks Like it Could be Just a Memory

Saw this and wondered why there has been minimal buzz on the subject. You remember the first amendment with freedom of speech and freedom of religion?.....

Just say no to blasphemy laws

Perhaps in an effort to rehabilitate the United States’ image in the Muslim world, the Obama administration has joined a U.N. effort to restrict religious speech. This country should never sacrifice freedom of expression on the altar of religion.

By Jonathan Turley

Around the world, free speech is being sacrificed on the altar of religion. Whether defined as hate speech, discrimination or simple blasphemy, governments are declaring unlimited free speech as the enemy of freedom of religion. This growing movement has reached the United Nations, where religiously conservative countries received a boost in their campaign to pass an international blasphemy law. It came from the most unlikely of places: the United States.

While attracting surprisingly little attention, the Obama administration....

Will Wind Power Plant Kill Endangered Species?

Guess it was a matter of time before the green vs. green battle started in the court system. A lawsuit has been filed saying that wind turbines on a wind farm will kill an already endangered species. Here's more to read.....

Environmentalists divided over wind farm, endangered bats
by Maria Glod

Workers atop mountain ridges are putting together 389-foot windmills with massive blades that will turn Appalachian breezes into energy. Retiree David Cowan is fighting to stop them.

Because of the bats....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Congratulations America! Senate Finance Health Care Bill Raises Taxes in January

Are you ready for this little nugget of gold found in the Senate Finance Committee Health Care Bill? If I am reading this correctly with all of the "ands" and the mention of the IRS......

According to Section 6002, page 1435, Taxable income will be revised to include employer sponsored coverage. And it takes effect after December 31, 2009.

So, for all of you who really want the health care bill to pass, get ready for the feds to tax you on your current benefits. So nice of you to be so very happy and supportive of higher taxes.

And for those of us who are against mandated health care, get ready to grimace as we have to determine how to make less money go farther everyday.

Yep, it's a nugget. Just kind of depends on which side of the equation you are on as to how to define nugget-- gold or not.

Finally, a Health Care Bill We the People can Read Online

The Senate Finance Committee has released their 1500 page version of Health Care Reform. It's going to take a while to read it all. At first glance, I saw lots of subsections which I must read to see if I can determine what they really mean.

Have fun reading it. Have more fun trying to understand it all.

Maybe we'll have ample oppportunity to read it before the vote happens. Maybe our elected officials will also read the bill. Oh, sorry. I must be dreaming.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not Fly the American Flag in America?

What's wrong with this? How could anyone, especially in America, be told not to fly the American Flag? I'm stunned--

American flag seen as offensive
by: Robert McIntosh

This is absolutely absurd. An the Oaks Apartments complex in Albany Oregan has told its residents that they cannot fly or display the American flag on its premises.....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Will You Tell Obama What He Should Do?

VWV Note: Saw this today and just knew you all would want to let the President know exactly what he should do. Think someone will suggest showing his birth certificate or supporting the military or missile defense? I wonder if this group will post all ideas- whether or not they agree with the President's agenda...... Engages Community to Submit Constructive Ideas to the President

/PRNewswire/ -- Debuting this week, is being launched with the purpose of re-engaging disillusioned citizens into the political process. The grass roots movement's premise is based primarily on the historic mobilization of Barack Obama's presidential campaign through the use of technology and interaction.

By leveraging a social media strategy as a means for ongoing engagement, anyone can post suggestions and ideas by tweeting #obamashould or posting ideas directly to the website --

"ObamaShould's purpose is not to advance a particular agenda, but to make our democracy better," said the site's founder, Edo Segal. "In this activity America leads the world through example as our democracy evolves.

" is a site for people to voice their opinions regardless of political affiliation. We've taken an approach that has worked for companies like Dell and others to collect and self-organize people's ideas into useful information without the need for an army of staffers. It is not a way to govern, but a way to effectively filter ideas." was built by a group of volunteers as a public service and an open source project that anyone can use, regardless of political affiliation.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Safety Tips Reminder

Tis the season to be safe. So take a few minutes and review these safety tips. The first set of tips came via email. Nothing new is said, but sometimes, a reminder is good to think about.

-------Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

Everyone should take 5 minutes to read this. It may save your life or love one's life

In daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation...

This is for you and for you to share with your wife, your children, everyone you know. After reading these 10 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do:

The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide:

If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM.
Toss it away from you. Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse.

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.
The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit(doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DON'T DO THIS!

The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.


If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door.

Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle,
and the passenger side... If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. (This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

8. Most women, are sympathetic: STOP! It may get you raped, or killed.

Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point:
Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door..' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

10. Water scam!
If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full ball so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.

Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbors!

This should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby Theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.

------Don't Let Yourself Get Hooked by Phishing Sites

(NAPSI)-Many people know that phishing, or luring Internet users to illegitimate Web sites in an attempt to obtain personal information, is becoming more widespread and more sophisticated. Learning how to identify these scams and phishing Web sites may keep you from becoming a victim.

Statistics from a recent survey commissioned by VeriSign reveal that 88 percent of U.S. Web surfers are unable to identify various forms of phishing Web sites from authentic sites they emulate in a side-by-side comparison. The survey, which was also conducted in Germany, Sweden, Australia, India, Denmark and the United Kingdom, shows that U.S. Internet users were least likely to identify the telltale signs of a phishing site.

Internet users who cannot identify phishing sites may be more likely to give up personal and financial information online, making them extremely vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.

"Whether you are shopping online or using a social networking site, it is important to protect yourself on the Internet," said Tim Callan of VeriSign. "There are simple measures that will secure your financial and personal data from phishing scams and online fraud."

Consumer education is crucial in combating this nationwide issue. Luckily, there are easy-to-spot indicators that can help consumers identify phishing sites and stay safe online. Internet users should watch for the following when banking, shopping and interacting online:

https:// in the URL: The "s" in https:// means the site is encrypted, so the information you enter is secured. While some phishing sites do have a secured Web address, many do not. Therefore, site visitors should be on the lookout for missing security on sites that should have it.

Trust marks: Simple visual cues in the form of popular logos can show that a Web site is authenticated and secured, and that a company is reputable.

The Web address: Be suspicious of any site with an unknown domain that contains the name of a well-known site in the latter part of the Web address.

Green address bar: This signifies that a site has undergone extensive identity authentication so that you can be confident it is the site it claims to be.

Internet users can apply the above tips and test their knowledge by taking the "Phish or No Phish Challenge" at

For more information about how to stay secure online, visit

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Granny for Sell? I'll Take 10

Have you seen the story out this morning about the young girl who decided to sell her grandma because she was annoying? Arrgg.

If Grandma is for sell, I'll take 10 of them. What could be better than to have those loving arms surround you in times of pain or in happiness? What could be better than to have someone tell stories of their life in earlier times? What could be better than having someone spoil the children just because they can? What could be better than having that sweet smile admire your drawings even if they are on the wall? What could be better than having someone sneak you a cookie to share with her? What could be better?

Just wondering...