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While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

Posted on: June 8, 2009 5:44 pm
 
I have been quiet for too long....

Folks, I hate to be the one to say I told you so, but I told you so. Many people tried to tell you so, but you would not listen. Obama is going to raise your taxes. All of you are about to feel a tax increase that will hit us all hard. More to the point the folks in the less than $75K range will be crushed by the tax increase. Heck under $30 K will see a $2000 tax increase! All this to pay for ObamaCare, the national healthcare plan. These are the bread and butter folks that support Obama. Will they stand for being lied too?

People are going to flip out, folks. The Unions are going to flip out and turn on him. Average Americans are going to flip out and turn on him. 62% of Americans do not support this tax increase to pay for ObamaCare. This is the same proposal made by McCain during the campaign that was shredded by Obama as unAmerican, taxing your employer healthcare benefits, how dare you! Yet that is just what he and his Democrats in power are proposing.

And it appears the quality of our coverage, read that to mean the quality of your healthcare will reduce to a minimum standard as put forth by the GOVERNMENT, not your doctors. Read the attached article below and please tell me how you feel. If you voted for Obama, I want to hear you explain this. Please, I am all ears.

First he said he was going to undo Bush policies on torture, apply civil due process for detainees (can't call them terrorists) and war prosecution in the MidEast and Afganistan, yet Obama has continued or intensified the Bush policies in all cases! Anyone tired of being lied to?



The Article from MSNBC June 8

As part of a health insurance reform package now before Congress, some of the 164 million Americans who are covered by employer-provided health plans could be asked to give up at least part of the longstanding tax exemption granted to such compensation.

It’s an idea likely to be met with howls of opposition if it makes it into the final version of health insurance legislation that President Barack Obama is pushing.

The idea of limiting the tax break for employer-provided insurance gained momentum last week, when Obama told senators that he’d consider it as one ingredient of the  health insurance reform bill he wants Congress to pass by early August, when the Senate starts a one-month recess.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who conveyed Obama’s willingness to consider the idea after a White House meeting Tuesday, has said the tax treatment of employer-provided health insurance ought to be made "fairer and more equitable for everyone."

Will you end up with more taxable income?

While details of such an approach are still sketchy, it would likely involve employees paying tax on a percentage of their employer-provided health benefits. So if Congress decided that all such premiums in excess of $11,000 for family plans would be taxable income, and your company paid premiums worth $16,000 for your coverage, you’d have to pay taxes on $5,000. 

Obama’s new openness to the idea stands in contrast to what he said six months ago as a presidential candidate, when he harshly criticized his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, for proposing that employer-provided benefits should be taxed.

Scolding McCain in their debate on Oct. 15, Obama said, "This is your plan, John. For the first time in history, you will be taxing people's health-care benefits." Obama also pledged last year not to raise taxes for families making less than $250,000, and a health benefits tax, depending on how it was structured, could run afoul of that promise.

The tax exemption on employer-provided health insurance, which dates to 1943, has already survived one attempt to limit it.

An echo of Ronald Reagan

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan floated the idea of requiring workers to pay taxes on employer contributions to their health insurance exceeding $2,100 a year. A Washington Post editorial the following year called the proposal "surprisingly lucrative yet eminently fair," and speculated that "(it) might have helped hold down health care costs in the bargain." But opposition, especially from labor unions, scuttled the proposal.

 

Folks with an adjusted gross income of less than $10 grand would pay an average of $635 more in taxes a year, generating $3.6B.

Folks with an adjusted gross income of $10-30k would pay an average of $1952 more in taxes a year, generating $34.4B.

$30-50K would pay $2,457 morea year and generate $42.7 Billion.

$50-75K would pay $3,095 more a year and generate $46B.

$75-100K would pay $3,900 more a year and generate $37B.

$100-199K would pay $4,481 more a year and generate $48B.

$200-500K would pay $4,728 more a year and generate $11.6B.

Folks making over $500K would pay $4,467 more a year and generate $2.7B for the Federal Healthcare program.

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Ouch!!!

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Obama’s new receptivity to the tax springs from the massive sums of money needed to pay for expanding health coverage to the uninsured.

Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors last week cited a figure of about $125 billion a year to insure the uninsured. But the president aims to do more than that. He also wants to subsidize the cost of coverage for lower-income people, subsidize COBRA coverage for those who lost their jobs and make other changes. MIT economist Jonathan Gruber told the Finance Committee last month that curbing the health insurance tax break was "both the most natural source of financing for health care reform" and "one of the few that is clearly large enough to finance the subsidies needed for reform."

According to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the Treasury misses out on $226 billion a year because employer spending on health insurance isn’t counted as taxable income.

That figure dwarfs any other potential health-related revenue sources that have been identified as possibilities to help fund the health care expansion. Among them are a 3-cent-per-can tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would raise about $50 billion over 10 years, or increasing taxes on beer, wine and distilled liquor which, under one CBO scenario, would raise $60 billion over 10 years.

According to an analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation, curbing the tax break for employer-provided health insurance would primarily affect the wealthy, who "receive the greatest tax benefit from the exclusion from income." According to Gruber, "about three-quarters of these dollars go to the top half of the income distribution."

But opposition to the proposal may be as big a problem for Obama as it was for Reagan.

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey in April that asked whether workers "with the most generous health care benefits" should be required to pay taxes on their coverage found 52 percent of respondents opposed to the idea. Of those who currently have employer-sponsored health insurance, 62 percent opposed it. (The poll of 1,203 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.)

Will Americans bridle at loss of tax break?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned Baucus in a letter last month that workers view employer-provided insurance "as duly-earned income" that should be "protected from the tax collector. This perception perhaps explains why the president was so successful in campaigning against Senator McCain’s health reform proposal — Americans generally do not support tax increases."

The American Benefits Council, which represents principally Fortune 500 companies, is also opposed to the idea of limiting the tax break for employer-provided insurance.

"It is likely to lead to higher deductibles or co-pays, so there’s higher cost sharing" by workers, said the group’s health care spokesman, Paul Dennett. If Congress were to set the threshold for taxation of benefits at $13,000 for a family coverage plan, then employers "in order to help workers not face taxation, may offer coverage below that threshold. This is a course employers say they would likely take."

Reduction in health benefits?

Economist Elise Gould at the liberal think-tank the Economic Policy Institute gave a similar assessment. Employers would see the threshold for taxation as what the government deemed the target level for health benefits, she said. "Employers will respond by reducing the comprehensiveness of benefits. They’ll likely target premiums to fall below the (threshold) value or just at that value, so employees don’t have to pay those additional taxes." Corporate America also fears that a limit on the tax break for health insurance would create an administrative nightmare, especially for large firms with employees in different states who face widely varying health care costs. And opposition also remains strong among labor unions, which were big Obama backers in last year’s election.

Barbara Coufal, the assistant director of legislation at American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, said, "We don’t think we need to look inside the health care system to seek all the revenues we need for health care reform. Over the last 10 years, there have been a lot of tax breaks that have been given to the wealthy and to businesses. We maybe ought to look there and restore some equity." With momentum growing to enact some limit on the tax break for health benefits, increasing energy is being devoted to develop a workable taxation scheme.

Target upper-income Americans?

Gruber suggested the possibility of having a baseline so that only families with incomes above $125,000 per year would pay tax on their benefits. Gruber said this would still raise a lot of revenue: more than $40 billion a year if the cap were indexed to increases in the Consumer Price Index. But in its letter to Baucus, the Chamber of Commerce said that such a proposal might "foster class warfare by (repealing the exclusion) … for certain income earners and not affecting others." Baucus, a 30-year Senate veteran, knows the politics of this issue are delicate. Limiting the tax break for employer-provided health benefits has "got to be done in a very sensitive way, to make sure the limits are high enough," he was quoted as saying last Thursday by the Capitol Hill publication CQ Today. Yet if Congress changes the law so that the tax bite ends up hitting only the wealthy, it might not raise enough revenue to help pay for health insurance overhaul. "That’s the real dilemma," said Dennett, of the American Benefits Council. "The lower the threshold is set, then the lower the revenue gain — and the scramble would be on to find other revenue sources."


I feel better now.  Thanks.
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Comments

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2009 11:59 am
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

I will tell you one thing I would support...stopping the $787 B stimulus with only 5% spent.  Why not?  Unemployment is beginning its turn around -  a true sign of a recession ending (see all other recessions since Great Depression).  Why bloat the monetary supply at this point and risk hyperinflation and stagnation (also seen in the Great Depression)?  Also we do not want to have a recession in a recession/depression asa result of stifling economic policy. Take the money back -  and Obama will be looked at far better by the fiscal conservatives.

BTW- any notice that the Fed made $2.7 Billion from AIG and other TARP banks?  Where did that money go?  To pay down the debt? Oh wait, it just gets respent.

If you are in debt as an idividual by say $20 grand and you get an unexpected bonus from work for doing hard work above and beyond, should you spend it? or should you pay down your debt?  The answer is clear.

As to your comment about being the efficiency consultant/reaper... you may be jaded because the only people you meet are those who are innefficent businesses.  I work for a very efficient company.  We are profitable in spite of our interactions with the FDA (government) and find that only that part of our work is inefficient.  My point is, there are many well run companies that never need the services you provide.  I can tell you our profit will be 10 figures - in a recession!  Is that too much?  No, the market will pay it or else the price lowers - ECON 101.  Do the Democrats covet our assets/profits through taxation and further regulation - you bet.  But don't think for a minute our stockholders, who represent all walks of life, want to see that.  I know  the have nots want their "FAIR" share.  Come on.  Capitalism built this country, not socialism.

Robin of Locksely is a myth.




Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2009 10:45 am
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

BTW Smorgie...your last post.....is spot on in the way I think about politcs...believe it or not we do share very similar views...

But when it comes to what Obama should or should not be doing ....or things we have bantered about like theAuto makers....well..

As far as Obama....I asked you to provide a solution...now I will give you my take...to be honest...and I think I am pretty educated on business practices...I really don't know...I am not sure if any of hte people around him know...you read articles from arm chair QB's from Harvard or UC think tanks...they are not sure....we have never seen these type of ecomic conditions in our life time...we had teh Gret Depression...but the circumstances by which they were caused is completely different...


I mentioned toyou I am a consultant...an operation efficency consultant...i.e I am the Grimm Reaper...

What I have witnessed over the last two years has nothing to do with the government....it has to do with the operators or owners ofthe buisnesses themselves....The govenment becomes the fall guy being in a reactive position to assist the economy in most cases...

No one wants a bailout or stimulus package...but no one wants to see companies like the Auto makers godown becuase of jobs being lost....truly what do you do??......Obama has a job that I would not want in a million years right now..



Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2009 8:32 am
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

The Republicans moved to the center with McCain.  They got whipped.  They may want to re-think that strategy. Maybe it is that hard core, wacko right-winger in me, but I don't think the GOP can gain anything by moving center.  I believe they are better off sticking to their values, and actually living by them, not being hypocrites.  It is my belief that that would drive home more election victories.

I don't agree or disagree....as far as values and principles of the party they have substantial merit....but where it goes sideways these days is the blurring of the lines with the religous right sprinkled in there...that I have a big time issue with...


Don't know  if you read the article in GQ but they had an interseting piece on Donald Rumsfeld in it....talk about one scary individual along with his friend Dick Cheney.....


As Americans we have been told over and over again that the factions we are fighting in the middle east beleive they are fighting a Jihad a holy war....reading this article it elludes to Rumsfeld and Bush beleiving we  are fighting a holy war as well...Christianity vs Islam...Not Democracy vs Tyranny...as we are led to beleive..



Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2009 7:51 am
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

The Republicans moved to the center with McCain.  They got whipped.  They may want to re-think that strategy. Maybe it is that hard core, wacko right-winger in me, but I don't think the GOP can gain anything by moving center.  I believe they are better off sticking to their values, and actually living by them, not being hypocrites.  It is my belief that that would drive home more election victories.



Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: June 11, 2009 8:24 pm
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

So why do Republicans have to move toward the center?  Shouldn't both sides move toward the center?  That is a rational arguement.They both need to....I think the things you mention about the Dem's....I think of Nancy Pelosi and her posse...they are just as bad...

I agree with your view on the way the government should operate from a fiscal responsiblity position...totally on board with it..

The loop holes that runs rampant in the liberal spending programs is insane...but are there programs that are necassary ...certainly...are there programs that could be percieved as Socialism..absolutely....and we pay for those without any benefit of a write off.......a black hole that can never be filled....

Which brings us full cicle to your post...I am OK to a point in a tax hike.and I mentioned above about a write off....if we need to raise taxes then it should be a loan back to the government whether you get to write it off or have an option to purchase a bond...like the good ol days..but  the hike needs to have a  purpose...not to fund liberal programs...but one that brings our debt back from oblivion...one that may save jobs and tax payer monies in the future...but it would need to have limits....not like for example you build a new road..say you are going to pay for it by putting a toll plaza up until it is paid and then you plan to take it down....except ...it never comes down...



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2009 2:39 pm
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

Democrats need to find some middle ground as well Slaton.

This is a good point you bring up.

Republicans believe in some assemblence of order as follows:

  • Anti-abortion
  • Fiscal conservativism, earn your way
  • Strong National defense - the big stick principle, havy handed at times
  • Religion
  • Constitution
  • No science which could change the human genome or against stem-cell research, et al
  • Right to bear arms
  • Economy over environment

Democrats believe in some assemblence of order as follows"

  • Pro-choice, they are not pro-abortion, no one is, I hope
  • Tax the rich and give to the poor
  • social liberalism - take care of everyone, empathy
  • Appeasement, cooperation among states, peace keepers, playing nice with others
  • Rewriting the Constitution and changing the rule of law to always make things fair
  • Gun control
  • Environment over economy


The Constitution has a provision to change it.  The Amendment System is well documented.  If it needs changed, then change it.  If you get the super majority to agree then it will be made so.  So I ask myself this.  What is the likelihood we would get an amendment to pass for any of the above issues.  When you look at it that way several of the Republican and Democrat planks fall away.  Specifically on abortion.  There wil
l likely never be enough votes to make it illegal via Amendment.  Those are the cold hard facts a thinking Conservative has to come to grips with. 

Same is true for gun control.  Not going to happen.  Democrats get over it.  Why don't you address the root cause of the problem which is to say a disrespect for human life.  The cowboy, high noon image of America needs to go away.  Places like Switzerland have violent video games and movies, dark music, and machine guns.  Yet they don't gun people down in the streets.  They have a drug culture too.  So why don't they have shootouts at the OK Corral?

Now that you boil it down there are only a few issues:

1. Fiscal liberalism or conservatism
2. Strong individual foreign policy or group think, appeasement diplomacy
3. Power of the individual vs power of the group
4. Environment

For me it is simple, I am about limited government with low taxes.  I believe in the big stick policy. I think the individual is king - that is freedom to me. And I am for the environment.  I am 3 votes Repub and 1 vote Democrat.  I am already a conservative moderate.  For crying out loud, I am bisexual.  Some Republicans have no tolerance for me because of their morals.  That's fine by me. I do support gay marriage.  Because let's be clear, marriage has long since become a financial or privacy arrangement insead of a religious one.  Let's not kid ourselves.  How many of you get married in a church but do not attend?  Point clear? 

So why do Republicans have to move toward the center?  Shouldn't both sides move toward the center?  That is a rational arguement.




Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: June 11, 2009 1:19 pm
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

?????????

I think you got lost in the post.
I don't think so......


I made a singular point of reference to a larer picture....Smorgie eluded to the First Amendment....I took it a step further....

The Republicans come h#ll or high water support verbatum the constitution of the United States ....at any cost...which over time has led to some unique interpretations of what it means or says...

In reality it was a starting point put together by extremely very smart individuals who created the blueprint for our fundemental values going forward...

I am certain that if they had any idea that bearing  arms would mean 200 hundred years later that kids would be gunning down each other on the streets with assaut rifles or uzzies...they may have reconsidered their positon or made it a bit more clear of what it means to bear arms....

 
Which led me to my other example  ....about Free Speech and being able to munipulating that ability through a  medium which is borderline slander at times.... You take a look at our history and I mean recent going back to say the 60's and move forward from that...some of the ugliest moments some of the worst tragedy's where dictated by persons who had access to airwaves and were able to poor gasoline on the fires....Tele -Evanglists....Left Wing and Right Wing spokes persons...and now the internet...don't beleive me...just google some neo nazi sites or what supremicist sites...its scary...but they are all protected under the First Amendment..

Or that radio Stations as I mentioned before can play songs encouraging COP KILLING or RAPE...or gang violence.


So its these things ....that guys like Rush Limbaugh  gloss over when bad things happen all for the sake of protecting the constitution of this country...if there is collateral damage..so be it....

Republicans have got to find some middle ground...the one major ideology that has always escaped me is that the fundamental principle of the conservative view is Pro Life....absolutely no problem with that .....but to be anti stem cell research is arse backwards...Abortion is bad....but watching a kid ...maybe your kid wheel chair bound for the rest of life is OK??..when stem cell research could provide a cure?..

Again...I heard Rush talk about being Anti Stem Cell.....its what the party beleives in...if you are a parapelegic..you are collateral damage..all to keep the fundemental core together for the conservative/religous right together...aren't we supposed to be moving forward as a species??



It looks like Smorgie got it...



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2009 12:33 pm
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

I listen to Limbaugh a lot because I find him funny, witty and he will make you think.  I do not categorically agree with him.  I don't recall any case where he called for murder or anything illegal for that matter.  I will check that against his archives to be fair. 

I agree with you, it is never acceptable to preach about radical change (Reverend Wright) or to use your 'Bully pulpit' to further your agenda.

And I actually agree the warnings were long overdue and do not limit in any way free speech.



Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: June 11, 2009 12:28 pm
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

are you so far to the Right and stand behind the First Amendment so strongly that it is OK for Radio stations to play music like COP KILLER or songs that suggest RAPE  on it over and over again is OK??

If the answer is YES...the Republican party needs to take two steps back and realize why its so screwed up....

On one hand they are Pro -LIfe supporters...but its OK to  send out across the airwaves that it is OK to KILL COPS or commit crimes like RAPE  because its a First Amendment right to braodcast that if you want to......good greif...


?????????

I think you got lost in the post.



Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: June 11, 2009 10:56 am
 

While Obama picked his brackets the media slept

So you suggest we censor Mr. Limbaugh, is that right Slaton?  I find the mere suggestion that Mr. Limbaugh can make a statement about anything and it would result it some blind obedience from his loyal, radical listeners morally repugnant.  I am not saying that all...I guess I should have been more specific...If you a person uses a medium for the purpose of slander..I consider that dangerous...

If you are abdecating that is a First Amendment right...I would challenge that...



As far as your reference to the Music industry Tipper and Co had a point to make...they did it porly...but if you donot think there point was not valid then tell me ...are you so far to the Right and stand behind the First Amendment so strongly that it is OK for Radio stations to play music like COP KILLER or songs that suggest RAPE  on it over and over again is OK??

If the answer is YES...the Republican party needs to take two steps back and realize why its so screwed up....

On one hand they are Pro -LIfe supporters...but its OK to  send out across the airwaves that it is OK to KILL COPS or commit crimes like RAPE  because its a First Amendment right to braodcast that if you want to......good greif...


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com