Saturday, June 30, 2012

Twenty-one New Obamataxes--Count em

We have already considered the 0.9% payroll tax that will be implemented to fund Obamacare.  And the additional 3.8% tax on dividends, capital gains and investment income for those Americans earning over $200,000 (single)/250,000 (married)--the selfish rich as the president and Nancy Pelosi refer to them.  We also reviewed the cadillac tax on high cost health care plans.  The cadillac tax that the unions have been exempted from but the average American will pay to obtain good health care.  It apparently pays to cozy up to bureaucrats in this Administration.  

These taxes are just the tip of Obamatax iceberg.  The excise tax on medical  device manufacturers means that anyone needing a medical device of any sort (and the definition is sweepingly broad as only the government can sweep)  will pay an additional 2.3%--at the very least--to obtain the device.  Projected to raise $20B in 2010, the current estimate from the House Ways and Means Committee is $34.2B.  If there is one thing we know about government estimates, they are usually low and routinely revised upward.  Look no further than the weekly jobs/unemployment report which is revised upward week after week.    

In addition to the annual tax on health insurance providers (this is in addition to the cadillac tax)--estimated at over $100B--which will undoubtedly raise the premiums dramatically for all those who remain in private plans, the most ridiculous Obamatax is the 10 percent tax on tanning services.  True to Washington form: find the group with the weakest lobbyist presence and tax it.

 The House currently estimates that gross tax increase from Obamacare will exceed $800 billion over the next decade. My humble assumption is that the total will be revised dramatically upward just as the cost for Obamacare has been revised up from the original estimate of $900B to close to $3 trillion by the CBO.  

You can check out the numbers yourself by copying the link below.  The Ways and Means Committee has produced a handy table of the 21 Obamataxes.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Taxorama is Just Getting Started

Undoubtedly you will recall when former Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (who was second in the presidential line of succession) so famously and embarrassingly said: We have to pass the (health-care) bill so we can find out what's in it.  Incomprehensible from the get-go, Ms. Pelosi was merely telegraphing to the entire country that we were not alone.  She, the chief lawmaker in the House,  had no idea what was in it either.   In fact, Justice Scalia quipped during oral arguments that reading the entire 2,700 page law was akin to "cruel and unusual punishment."

Clever line.  But I, for one, am not laughing.

One thing is clear: taxes will skyrocket and service will decline. We have no further to look than Canada or the UK to understand the way the Act will eventually play out.  But,  let's take a look at a few of the TWENTY-ONE NEW TAXES that are associated with the "Affordable Care Act".

From today's The Washington Times we learn that the so-called "Cadillac tax" on high-end health-care plans was originally estimated to raise $32 billion when the bill was first being marketed to the American people in 2010.  The June 2012 estimate from the House Ways and Means Committee is now $111 billion.  This tax is designed to penalize fortunate American's whose employer or union (although many of the unions have been exempted from the tax) provides a robust health care package by assessing a hefty tax on the benefit.

Or take the new payroll tax of 0.9% on wages and the new 3.8% tax on dividends, capital gains and other investment income for taxpayers making over $200,000 (individuals) and $250,000 (married).  The original estimate is that the two taxes would raise $210.2 billion, yet, the current estimate is now $317.7 billion.  In other words, in addition to the Bush tax cuts that will sunset on December 31st of 2012, the "Affordable Care Act" will add another nearly 5% in taxes on wages and investments.

And we're just getting started.  Perhaps, Justice Scalia would have been more accurate had he suggested that American's living under the 2700 page "Affordable Care Act" will be subjected to  "cruel and unusual punishment."  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

At Least We Know He Cares...

Mr. Bloomberg is a man of many talents.  He's a billionaire after all. And although we aren't supposed to like rich people anymore we can certainly infer from his wealth that he is smart, right?  Plus, he was clever enough to secure a third term as mayor in a city with a two term limit.  Wow.

So when he added Gothem's top nanny to his notable achievements I took notice.  His most recent ban on sixteen ounce sugary soft drinks and coffee was declared, Mr. Bloomberg assures us, because he is very concerned about obesity and its growing affects on New Yorkers.  (That the ban was announced the day before the mayor celebrated National Donut Day was a rich irony not lost on those of us who reside outside the Big Apple.)  This on the heels of Mr. Bloomberg's salt and trans fat bans which led to a ban on food donations to homeless shelters because the salt and trans fat levels of donated food couldn't be measured.  Talk about unintended consequences.

Now the good Nanny has endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of marijuana.  In small amounts, of course.  This presumably will free up law enforcement to monitor those New Yorkers who try to skirt the sugary drink ban by buying two eight ounce cups.  And it will silence the critics who declare the marijuana arrests made by New York's finest are racially biased because "most of those stopped are black or Hispanic"  (New York Times).

I like this upside down world.  It's like a daily romp with Alice and the Mad Hatter.  I never know quite where I am but I'm always happy to discover that I'm not there.  And that's something isn't it?