Archive for January 1st, 2013

The fiscal cliff deal that isn’t a solution at all

- January 1st, 2013

Think the sniping and deal making over America’s “fiscal cliff” is all over? Think again.

The “cliff” bill may have passed the House 257 to 167 with mostly Democratic support but this fight is far from over.

Despite headlines that claim this bill will avert certain doom and that taxes will go up on the rich, disaster still looms and taxes will go up for most households.

“The budget deal passed by the U.S. Senate today would raise taxes on 77.1 percent of U.S. households, mostly because of the expiration of a payroll tax cut, according to preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington.”

The deal also doesn’t cut spending but instead adds $4 trillion in spending over the next decade according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Don’t worry though, everyone is doing their fair share. Hollywood is getting an extension on their tax breaks, so is NASCAR and algae growers, rum producers and electronic motorcycle manufacturers also get a break.

This deal also will see $41 in tax hikes for every $1 in spending cuts, and of course the spending cuts are outpaced by all that new spending in the bill, some $330 billion in new spending.

tax increase vs spending

If anyone doubts that America has a spending problem then they need to look at the image below which comes from the business website Zero Hedge. The red line is the annual deficit which currently stands at more than $1 trillion while the green line stands for the just over $62 billion in expected new tax revenue each year. Click through on the link to get the full perspective.

Over the next few weeks we will see more arguments about what more needs to be done. The automatic spending cuts known as “sequestration” have been put off for two months and so we will see a return to brinksmanship once the new Congress is sworn in.

John Boehner, the House Speaker, had offered President Barack Obama a deal that would have generated more tax income simply by closing loopholes and special tax deals. Obama rejected that insisting that tax rates had to go up.

Why would Obama say tax rates had to go up?

To Obama higher tax rates are a matter of fairness, even when increasing those rates might mean less money for the government. He has said it more than once including during a debate moderated by ABC’s Charlie Gibson. In questioning Obama, Gibson pointed out that the government has taken in more revenue from capital gains taxes when the tax rates have been cut as compared to when they were raised.

“Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness,” Obama said.

Obama is an ideologue who sees high taxes and high spending as morally sound, it is central to his agenda and his identity. If you listen to the rest of his answer to Gibson back in 2008, Obama said that you don’t increase spending without finding cuts elsewhere to pay for them.

He didn’t do that here and he won’t do that when the next deal comes.

America is in a sorry state today.

 

Catching wild pigs with free stuff

- January 1st, 2013

wild pigsSeveral people have sent this to me in the past few weeks. While this fable speaks of America, the lesson applies equally to Canada.

There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class.  One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.   He asked: “Do you know how to catchwild pigs?”  The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.

The young man said that it was no joke. “You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn.

“When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence.

“They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again.  You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

“Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America.   The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc., while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

VIDEO: Brian Lilley with Minister Jason Kenney on immigration reform

- January 1st, 2013

COLUMN: Goldstein – Ding dong Kyoto is dead

- January 1st, 2013

Kyoto good as dead…and Harper was right to kill it

by Lorrie Goldstein

As of today, the Kyoto protocol is a zombie treaty.

It’s a corpse that keeps moving, but it’s dead.

Kyoto died Monday at midnight when the greenhouse gas cuts it set for 37 industrialized nations between 2008 and 2012 expired. Read more…