Archive for November, 2007

Good article on why liberalism fails. Excerpts:

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. “Isn’t sharing wonderful?” say the teachers.

They miss the point.

Because of sharing, the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn’t happen.

The failure of Soviet communism is only the latest demonstration that freedom and property rights, not sharing, are essential to prosperity. The earliest European settlers in America had a dramatic demonstration of that lesson, but few people today know it.

When the Pilgrims first settled the Plymouth Colony, they organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share everything equally, work and produce.

They nearly all starved.

Why? When people can get the same return with a small amount of effort as with a large amount, most people will make little effort. Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. Some ate rats, dogs, horses and cats. This went on for two years.

When action is divorced from consequences, no one is happy with the ultimate outcome. If individuals can take from a common pot regardless of how much they put in it, each person has an incentive to be a free rider, to do as little as possible and take as much as possible because what one fails to take will be taken by someone else. Soon, the pot is empty and will not be refilled — a bad situation even for the earlier takers.

I added the bold, because the liberal Democrats are in their “promising something for nothing” mode for the 2008 election. It just doesn’t work.

This Thanksgiving weekend, we should all give thanks that we live in a country that gives us the individual right and opportunity to succeed.


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Democrats Raise Taxes on Kids

Democrats say one thing, but do another. Here is how they’ve increased taxes on children via the “Kiddie Tax:”

Income-shifting is one of several tax planning tools families have used to lower their tax bill. Historically, parents could save a bundle by transferring highly appreciated investments to their children who are in lower tax brackets. However, this year, Congress has made income-shifting a dream of the past, trapping more kids in the dreaded “kiddie tax.” Beginning January 1, 2008, children under 24 will owe taxes on unearned income at their parents’ higher tax rates.

The “kiddie tax,” or so it has been affectionately named, is a tax on children’s unearned investment income or capital gains. Instead of taxing income and capital gains based on the child’s tax bracket, the kiddie tax requires unearned income to be taxed at the parents’ income and capital gains rates.

The expanded kiddie tax law now makes UGMA and UTMA a poor choice for college savings. Instead, 529 college savings accounts provide tax-free growth on contributions, allowing families to reduce their exposure to income and capital gains taxes. Qualified expenses such as college tuition, books, room and board can be withdrawn tax-free. And unlike UGMA and UTMA accounts, the college savings accounts are owned by the parent.

This also means that the Democrats have changed the rules in the middle of the game. Families that have planned are being penalized. What’s next? Are the Democrats going to come after your Roth IRA or introduce an annual tax on assets?

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Why do the liberals think that every issue (even make-believe ones) can be solved with raising taxes? The latest is raising taxes to fight global warming.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg plans to announce today his support for a national carbon tax. In what his aides are calling one of the most significant policy addresses of his second and final term, the mayor will argue that directly taxing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change will slow global warming, promote economic growth and stimulate technological innovation — even if it results in higher gasoline prices in the short term.

Making you pay more at the pump stimulates economic growth? If that’s true, why not make you pay more at the grocery store, shopping malls, and restaurants? Wait – they’d like to do that…

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Daily Kos blogger “Meteor Blades” announces that he and his wife are going to “personally defund” the Iraq war.

We won’t wait anymore. Since Congress, particularly the congressional leadership, refuses to do so, my wife and I are personally defunding the war and occupation of Iraq. We refuse for the foreseeable future to surrender the portion of our taxes that pays for U.S. imperialism and the militarization which backs it up.

We take this action reluctantly, fully aware of the potential consequences. But Congress leaves us no choice.

Uh-huh. Good luck with the IRS on that, MB.

If you enclose a letter to the IRS with your tax return, by all means include this line from your blog entry:

With the Cheney-Bush cabal openly defying the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles, the U.N. Charter and the U.S. Constitution…

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Comments on Charles Rangel’s “Mother of all tax hikes” proposal, via Tax Foundation’s blog entry to Kevin Hassett’s column at the American Enterprise institute:

In terms of revenue, Rangel’s reform would be the biggest tax increase in history. Compared to a baseline where President George W. Bush’s tax cuts are extended and the dreaded alternative minimum tax isn’t allowed to swallow millions of taxpayers whole, the bill raises taxes by a whopping $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years, according to the office of Representative Jim McCrery of Louisiana, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.

To put that in perspective, that’s about $2 trillion more than the 10-year cost of the Bush tax cuts enacted back in 2001.

But the revenue grab isn’t the scariest part. That honor belongs to the increase in marginal tax rates, which is almost unfathomable in its scale. Rangel’s main objective is to repeal the alternative minimum tax, which was originally designed to capture taxes from wealthy individuals but over the years has taken in more and more middle-income families.

To accomplish that, and still collect the AMT revenue, he would enact a surtax on the adjusted gross incomes of wealthy taxpayers. If your family’s income is above $200,000, then your surtax is 4 percent. If it’s above $500,000, it’s 4.6 percent.

But the tax increase on the wealthy doesn’t stop there. When the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010, the top marginal rate goes back to 39.6 percent. In addition, Rangel would restore the phase-out of itemized deductions and personal exemptions that was repealed in Bush’s 2001 bill.

Adding it all up, and adjusting for the tax rate on Medicare, the Rangel bill would raise the federal marginal tax rate on incomes above $500,000 to close to 48 percent.

To put that tax rate in perspective, after adjusting for state and local income taxes, it would be about 13 percentage points higher than the average of U.S. trading partners in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. And it would give the U.S. the fourth-highest combined top marginal tax rate in the OECD, behind only Denmark, Sweden and France.

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The Democrats want to create a universal health care system where everyone has health care. 40 million people are without health care. The Democrats want you to pay for their health care. Health care would be paid for additional fees or premiums by employers and employees. But all those costs eventually end up taking money out of your wallet.

In addition, the Democrats are also talking up the doctor and nursing shortage. Gee, if there aren’t enough medical professionals and we throw 40 million new patients at the system, how will that affect prices? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

From the Nursing Blog:

John Edwards brought up the pressing issue of the nursing shortage during the Presidential Debate that was broadcasted on MSNBC this week. He talked about nurses being an important part of the healthcare system – and that the shortage would only get worse in the coming years.

From Medical News Today (August!):

John Edwards says he will take on pharmaceutical and insurance companies in his quest for universal health care. Not only will his plan focus on primary care and the pro-active management of chronic diseases, but also on prevention. He says he needs 100,000 extra nurses over the next five years to make sure his plan works – he will try to get more RNs who have left to come back, as well as upping the numbers who graduate each year.

Uh, John? How are you going to force those who have left to come back or force kids to pick nursing as a career? My guess is that “higher wages” is an answer from The Left on that one; but, I doubt they add that cost to their universal health care projections.

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From the Hutch Report:

In my opinion, Hillary Clinton is over coached by her campaign and maybe even her husband on what to say and how to say it when she appears on television interview shows and on stage at the various democratic candidate debates.

To me, the biggest mistake Hillary Clinton made in last weeks democratic presidential debate was to make completely different statements when answering the same question.

Sounds like we need a “Hillary vs. Hillary” thread.

I think that if the only position one has is “I want to be elected,” then one will say whatever is inline with the latest polling data.

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