Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guess who gave this speech?

Who gave this speech:

You go into these small towns in the Palestinian Territories, and, like a lot of small towns in the Middle East, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Rabin administration, and the Netanyahu administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-Israeli sentiment or anti-Jewish sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Kristi Yamaguchi endorses Mitt Romney

Kristi Yamaguchi endorses Mitt Romney, liberals throw a hissy fit...

Kristi Yamaguchi: 'Mitt Romney brought a huge sense of hope' skygrid.me/OEJNea. Mitt got things done. Obama gets nothing done.

  1. News for Kristi Yamaguchi endorses Mitt Romney

    1. Kristi Yamaguchi Touts Romney's Olympic Achievement in Ad

      ABC News (blog)‎ - 21 hours ago
      Former Polish President Lech Walesa Endorses Mitt Romney ... In an ad released Monday, Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi commends...
  2. Kristi Yamaguchi endorses Romney; liberals hardest hit | Twitchy

    11 hours ago – Kristi Yamaguchi endorses Romney; liberals hardest hit. Posted at 9:14 pm on ... Kristi Yamaguchi: 'Mitt Romney brought a huge sense of hope' ...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fed budget breakdown

The Numbers

Here is the federal government's budgetary breakdown for a recent fiscal year:

What percentage of this is devoted to education, transportation, public safety, and creating the Internet (i.e. basic research)?

I'm going to be as generous as possible to the progressive position and include ALL of defense spending in their column, since defense aids both basic research and public safety. Highways and roads are covered by the Department of Transportation. The Department of Education covers, well, education. And various other smaller departments — Department of Justice, National Science Foundation, etc. — contribute in varying degrees to public safety, research, and so forth.

Ready? Here we go:

Below is a list of all government expenditures, with Obama's and Warren's "public benefit" programs highlighted:

Social Security 19.63%
Department of Defense 18.74%
Unemployment/welfare/other mandatory spending 16.13%
Medicare 12.79%
Medicaid and SCHIP 8.19%
Interest on the national debt 4.63%
Health and Human Services 2.22%
Department of Transportation 2.05%
Department of Veteran's Affairs 1.48%
Department of State 1.46%
Department of Housing and Urban Development 1.34%
Department of Education 1.32%
Other on-budget discretionary spending (1.8%): $149.67
Other off-budget discretionary spending (1.3%): $108.10
Department of Homeland Security 1.21%
Department of Energy 0.74%
Department of Agriculture 0.73%
Department of Justice 0.67%
NASA 0.53%
Department of Commerce 0.39%
Department of Labor 0.38%
Department of Treasury 0.38%
Department of the Interior 0.34%
EPA 0.30%
Social Security Administration 0.27%
National Science Foundation 0.20%
Corps of Engineers 0.14%
National Infrastructure Bank 0.14%
Corporation for National and Community Service 0.03%
Small Business Administration 0.02%
General Services Administration 0.02%
Other agencies 0.56%
Other off-budget discretionary spending 2.97%

So, let's clear away the irrelevant government expenditures and list just the ones noted by Obama and Warren:

Department of Defense 18.74%
Department of Transportation 2.05%
Department of Education 1.32%
Department of Homeland Security 1.21%
Department of Justice 0.67%
National Science Foundation 0.20%

TOTAL: 23.4%

And that, of course, is being absurdly generous to the Obama position, since in reality huge portions of the defense budget, the Department of Education budget, and so on, have basically nothing to do with promoting public safety or educating workers. And let's be even more generous and round that 23.4% up to 25%, or one-fourth of the budget.

So what Obama and Warren are really stating is this:

Only one-fourth of your federal tax dollars go to projects and programs that benefit the general public and entrepreneurs; the other three-fourths are essentially a complete waste, or are at best optional.

Which of course is exactly what fiscal conservatives have been arguing all along.

So yeah, I agree with Obama: Let's slash the federal budget by 75%, and only fund services and programs that directly serve the public good.

The first leg of their argument has snapped, and the stool has toppled over. Since the essential programs aiding "the commons" are only a small percentage of an overall bloated budget, we don't need to raise taxes to fund them.

And now for the second leg.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


"The Teleprompter didn't get invented on its own. Government research
created the Teleprompter so that all the politicians could make money
off their constituents."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The speech

My name is Mitt Romney, and I'm asking for the job of President of the United States of America. The reason I'm asking is that I fully realize that the President of the United States works for you…..you don't work for him!

You have now spent over half a year working for the government at all levels. Only now until the end of the year are the fruits of your labor your own! This country was not founded on the principal that you should spend half your life working to support government, but that you should endeavor to work for your own betterment and for the benefit of your family.

We all have a vital decision to make this November, probably the most important political decision we have ever had to make. We have to decide what kind of country we want to live in.

Make no mistake about it, this election is NOT about what happened at a private equity firm in 1999, nor is it about taxes, tax returns, or even our abysmal economy! There is much more at stake!

This election is really about guiding philosophy! What system of government do we want? Do we want a government of the people, for the people and by the people or do we want a nation where some people work to support the government, and the rest don't work at all?

This great nation was founded on the principal that all persons are entitled to the fruits of their labor. That if they work hard and use their God given talents, they can expect to reap rewards, and those rewards will accrue to them! It was founded on the principal that government should be severely limited, and should only do those few things that can be done more efficiently by a united group of several states, than those states could do by themselves. A government of the people, for the people and run by the people. A government that serves the will of the people, not one that dictates to them!

That is the system I envision. We have wandered far from the path of the governmental limits set forth in our constitution. I know some say that is a really old document, and maybe is not pertinent today. But the United States I remember, The United States I learned about in history class, The United States I hope to preserve is one in which each of it's citizens feels a sense of pride and dignity borne of their own accomplishments! It is one in which each person has the opportunity to rise to whatever level of accomplishment their intellect and sweat can lead them! One in which success at whatever level is not punished, but admired and aspired to by others! It is a country in which it's individuals have accomplished more in 200 + years than in all the millennium that have gone before; where the entrepreneurial spirit is second to none. This is the America men like Jefferson, Washington and Henry envisioned, and it is the one I envision!

If you want a government that is a nanny state, a government that robs self esteem by punishing success and rewarding failure; if you want a government run by dictatorial fiat, where you are told what you can eat, how big a soda you can buy, where you can work, who your neighbor will be, and what you can and cannot do inside your own home, then you should vote for Barrack Obama, for that is HIS vision of America. He sees us all as ignorant children, who must be cared for and dictated to by a benevolent all powerful Government. If you want a country where more people collect food stamps than open businesses, where the standard of living steadily declines until all but the politically elite are equally poor, then vote for Barrack Obama, he is your man!

If on the other hand, you want to live in a country that applauds your ability, if you want a President who has faith in you, who knows the entrepreneurial spirit engendered by you can once again make our economy the strongest in the world, if you want to go to sleep at night knowing we are working to reduce our debt so our children will not be saddled with the burdens of our excesses, then hire me, I can do the job! If you want a country that lives by the rule of law, where justice applies equally to all if you want to live in a stable environment where business planning is not a guessing game due to ever shifting tax and regulatory issues, then I am your man.

Time and time again Barrack Obama has defied the will of your elected representatives, and they have not responded. He has refused to uphold our laws, he has neglected to secure our borders, he has defied lawful subpoenas, and he has given trillions of our dollars to support his friends! He has ignored our constitution and has encouraged others to defy our laws. He has encouraged turmoil among our enemies and he has offended our friends. If this is the kind of government you want, by all means re-elect Barrack Obama.

But make no mistake! My vision for America is a return to the dignity, the freedom and the liberty our forefathers fought for us to have. I have a plan to take us there, but I need your help! I believe in you and I know that together we can again live in a land where our children aren't born owing their government $43,000 before they take their first breath! We can live in a land where freedom is universal and prosperity is available to all who are willing to take responsibility for themselves, and put in the honest effort. We can again live in a country where integrity is of paramount value and every campaign ad is not accompanied by "Pinocchios". I have a vision of an America that works, where everyone who wants to work can find a job, and anyone can make a future for themselves and their families. Where words like integrity, honesty, prudence and virtue mean something once again!

My name is Mitt Romney and I want to work … for you!

The Speech Mitt Romney SHOULD Make

I'm sharing because I think Obama is out of touch

I Am Offended by Obama's 'You Didn't Build That Business' Comment

Shortly before the November election, I will celebrate the completion of 10 years in business as the President and Owner of an Insurance Agency. One that my wife and I have built with our own sweat and long, hard hours chained to a desk with almost no time off.

In July of 2002, almost exactly 10 years ago today, I was notified while on vacation in Orlando Florida that I was being laid off, a victim of the total collapse of the tech sector.

I have spent most of my time after leaving the Navy working on and learning computers and both voice and data communications. I have always taken pride in the fact that I was able to make a living doing something that was also my hobby. Few people are actually able to say that.

9/11 had something to do with the loss of my job, but I believe the most devastating blow was also the most profitable aspect of the technical sector. Y2K. Remember the "bug" that had everyone afraid that ATM's would quit working and planes would fall from the sky?

Well, every company and individual upgraded everything they owned with a plug in the last couple of years of the 1990′s. So on January 1, 2000 everybody just stopped buying. Boom. Totally flat.

Real Estate did well as did some other aspects of the economy. But everything from Digital Stores to Dot Coms all went belly up.

I managed to hold on for a bit over a year and a half, but it was obvious that it would be a while before people were ready to buy new computers. They already updated everything.

I got a severance package, but that was only going to last a few months. I had to find something fast.

After a month or so, it became painfully obvious that I was not going to find anything very quickly and decided to take things into my own hands. I decided to open an Insurance Agency. I had no experience in insurance in my life prior to that time, but it was an opportunity I believed I could handle.

Between the end of August, 2002 and November 2002, I had to learn insurance, pass the test – which is no easy task – and somehow find a location, furnish it and make money. And money was something that was in short supply, being unemployed and all.

No problem, right? There is plenty of assistance for people wanting to start up a business isn't there? Obama said so!

Well, no. The Small Business Association was not interested. My bank was not interested and the dozen or so other banks I spoke with were not interested in helping me get off the ground.

In the end, I had to do what almost every other entrepreneur is forced to do. I had to get an equity line on my house to open a business that would, hopefully, not only pay back my equity but provide enough income to support me, my wife and our two kids.

The government was absolutely no help. In fact, the biggest obstacle I had to overcome was the government. Federal, State and Local government folks all came by with their hand out. Insurance licenses, business licenses, inspections, rules, regulations, and hurdle after hurdle.

I can honestly say that I do not owe one drop of gratitude to the government Obama believes is responsible for my success. I have done something most new businesses don't do – survived for 10 years – even under this horrific Obama economy.

There is one thing that I am sure of, though. If I was forced to start this process all over today, I would not be willing to risk my house in the economy that Obama has built and I would have been afraid to hire a single employee.

I am still the president of the agency, but my wife, who has every bit as much invested in this venture as I do, maybe more, is running the office day to day. I begin every day at 5:00 AM and spend at least 90 minutes doing the preparatory work for the day, and I give my wife a break on Saturdays and work that one day per week. But each morning after I do the prep work for the agency, I head out to my IT job that I have had for the last 5 years.

You see, the government did not help with my health insurance (I sell mostly Auto Insurance) and I had to pay a lot to keep coverage. And it was very hard to make those payments every month.

But I didn't go whining to the government and demand that someone else pay for my medical care. I found a job that provides health insurance and also happens to be the type of job I love.

No, Mr. Obama. I don't own my success to you or to the government. I owe my success to an attitude that I can do for myself. I don't need government to help me and neither did most of the small business owners across America today. My story is not unique, it is the norm for entrepreneurs.

At least it used to be.

I have survived unemployment, I survived the lack of anyone willing to loan me the money I needed to start my business and I managed to overcome the roadblocks that were in place to slow my progress.

But I am one of those "old school" people who were taught that hard work pays off. That depending on government or the kindness of others is a losing bet.

My wife and I both put in at least 80 house every week between the two businesses and I still find time to do everything I can to get you and your lazy "America is Unfair" attitude out of our White House.

I would love to expand my insurance business. I would love to hire more people. But as long as the best you can do is tell me I should be thankful for the government that built my business, I will continue to do everything I possible can to elect someone to the White House that understands work ethic. Someone who believes in the American people and not in the American government.

I don't want a handout from the government. I want the government to get the hell out of my way so I can prosper.

Sometimes I feel like I am trying to make a difficult three point shot to win and you are the point guard in my face doing everything you can to make me miss.

It is so painfully obvious you are not on my team and not on the team of businesses.

And the really sad thing is, if you would either work with us, or better yet, get out of the way, the economy would recover and unemployment would drop like a stone.

No, Mr. Obama. You are due no gratitude for my business. You wouldn't make it a week doing what I do.

You are too dependent on others.

Hilarity ensued...

No Joke: Obama Says His "Proudest Achievement" Is The . . . Economy

Via CBS:

[W]hen asked about his proudest achievement, interestingly, Mr. Obama didn't cite the passage of his health care law, which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court.

"You know, my proudest achievement is actually stabilizing the economy to avert a great depression," he said. "Because if I don't do that, nothing else matters."

"Now we're not where we need to be. And you're right, the unemployment rate is way too high," he said. "But the fact of the matter is that we were able to stop a hemorrhaging of jobs, get the economy growing again, add 4.4 million jobs, 500,000 manufacturing jobs, save the auto industry. All those things provide us at least a base from which now to grow," he said.

  1. dba...vagabond trader says:

    Of course, if your goal is to destroy it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Libertarianism is hot

There is no denying it. Libertarianism is hot. This has a lot of people on both the left and right nervous. Some of the territory liberals and conservatives believed they had staked out long ago is being taken over by a new center — one that seems to borrow from aspects of each of the dominant partisan tribes. But libertarianism has its own elegant symmetry, as we'll see.

The two tribes' anxiety toward libertarianism rears its head in a number of ways. Most critics stitch together libertarian voodoo dolls from scraps of hearsay and Newsweek articles, then needle the dolls to get a reaction. Others say libertarianism is passé — a mere echo of discredited Enlightenment thinking. Still others claim libertarianism is a dogma that could never exist in the "real world."

This article is intended as a general antidote to these criticisms. But more than that, it's an invitation. So feel free to bookmark it. Whenever one of your social network "friends" starts in on some rant, you can save time and simply link to this piece.

1. Myth: Libertarianism is about blind faith in market processes.

Libertarianism starts with skepticism about government power, not faith in markets. Because markets are just an abstraction, what we're really talking about is decentralized people power. We do have faith in people because people can and do solve problems. Governments are people, too, of course. So the most basic question is: which form of organization does a better job of solving problems and making the world a better place — centralized organization or decentralized? In other words, why do libertarians prefer market processes to government power in most areas? Libertarians are skeptical of government power not merely because of Lord Acton's admonition about "absolute power." We also think voluntary association is pro-social.

When people work together voluntarily, they:

1) Have better incentives to achieve their goals — both private and common;
2) Don't coerce each other, they convince each other (and persuasion is better than power);
3) Are the stuff of real economies and real communities, not some political contrivance;
4) Can more easily exit a group or a set of rules in order to try something new;
5) Tend to pay closer attention to those around them — like their family, neighbors and community.

2. Myth: Libertarians think there should be no government.

Some libertarians engage in philosophical debates about the possibility of no government. But most libertarians believe government should be restricted to certain basic things — namely those things that protect you and your neighbor's life, liberty and property. So what are those things? Courts to settle disputes, enforce contracts and administer justice. A solid national defense should resist adventurism. A police force should protect us, but with limited powers and responsibilities. Any other purported responsibilities of government — like building roads and bridges — should at least be pushed down to the most local level possible. Big plans fail big. Small experiments fail small. Successful small experiments can be replicated after a process of trial and error.

Continued on Page 2 >>

FactCheck calls Obama a liar

With good reason, because he is, on several measures.

The biggest whopper of all is the use of the word 'Spend'

Spending is what government does with our tax money (with much of that spending wasteful).

Taxing is the word he should be using. Government does not spend when it taxes, that's revenue.
He's got it backwards, government does not give us the money, it takes money FROM us.
If we are to believe he's a smart guy, well then it's simply a Lie!
A lie in time to save his political career.

As it stands now, EVERYONE's federal tax rates are scheduled to go UP in 2013, not just the so-called rich.
That makes him a big-government-tax-increase-president.
Darn those stubborn facts...

 The FactCheck Wire • Obama's Trillion-Dollar Exaggeration
Obama's Trillion-Dollar Exaggeration
Posted on February 15, 2012

President Obama has repeatedly and falsely claimed that "right now, we're scheduled to spend nearly $1 trillion more" in tax cuts for the "wealthiest 2 percent of Americans." That's simply not true. The Bush tax cuts — which Obama and Congress extended for two years — expire at the end of this year, so any plans to "spend" beyond Dec. 31, 2012, would require Congress to act again.

The White House told us that the president is referring to the $968 billion that "we save" over 10 years by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled for high-income wage earners and returning the estate tax rate to 2009 levels. But that's money "saved" compared with extending the expiring cuts, not compared with current law. The fact is that the U.S. is not "scheduled to spend" that money and can't spend it without changes to current law.

On the day he released his fiscal year 2013 budget, Obama visited Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., to discuss his budget proposals. He talked about "shared responsibility" — referring to his belief that the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire, as planned, at the end of 2012 for the families making more than $250,000 a year and individuals earning more than $200,000.

    Obama, Feb. 13: Right now, we're scheduled to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was intended to be a temporary tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. We've already spent about that much. Now we're scheduled to spend another trillion.

This has become a standard line in the president's stump speech as he begins to campaign for reelection in earnest. He made a similar statement in his Jan. 24 State of the Union address and again and again in a string of follow-up speeches in Arizona, Michigan and Iowa.

    Obama, State of the Union, Jan. 24: Right now, we're poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

The president often refers to families earning more than $250,000 a year (and individuals earning more than $200,000) as "the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans." He did it throughout the debate in the final months of 2010, when he failed to convince Congress to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled on Dec. 31, 2010, for "the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans," and keep them for those earning less than that. We figured — correctly — that the president was referring to the temporary income tax cuts enacted by Bush in 2001 and 2003 and extended by Obama in 2010.

But we were puzzled by Obama's repeated claim that the U.S. "right now" is "poised" to spend "nearly $1 trillion more" on the Bush tax cuts. The fact is that when Obama and Congress negotiated a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimated it would cost $363.5 billion through Dec. 31, 2012. That's not close to "nearly $1 trillion" and that was the cost for all taxpayers, not just the wealthy.

We asked the White House to explain the president's claim. In an email exchange with us, the White House pointed us to Table S-9 on page 236 of the budget summary tables. The White House said that the federal government would realize a "combined savings" of $968 billion by allowing the income tax cuts to expire for high-income taxpayers and returning the estate tax to 2009 rates.

But saving money is not the same thing as spending money if the payments are automatically scheduled to stop. By the president's logic, a car owner is scheduled to spend $36,000 in car payments over the next 10 years, even though the $300 monthly car payments are due to end on Dec. 31, 2012. Unless, of course, the car owner goes out and buys a new car. Likewise, the only way the tax cut can be extended beyond 2012 is if Obama signs a law extending it, or if Congress overrides his veto — or if Obama loses reelection and the next president retroactively reinstates the tax cut.

It's true that Republicans would like to extend the Bush tax cuts, and there is legislation that proposes to make them permanent. But right now the Bush tax cuts are due to expire, so claiming the U.S. is "scheduled" or "poised" to pay "another trillion" is just wrong.

In delivering his $1 trillion talking point in Michigan, the president was interrupted by a member of the audience, who shouted out, "That's not fair!" The president agreed. "That's not fair," he said. To which, we would add: It's also not true.

It would be true, however, if the president said it would cost the U.S. nearly $1 trillion in lost tax revenue to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans for another 10 years and return to the 2009 estate tax rates.

Now, Obama also said that "we've already spent" about a trillion dollars on the Bush tax cuts. It wasn't clear whether he was talking about lost revenue from just the wealthy or all taxpayers. The tax cuts cost the federal government $1 trillion in lost revenue over 10 years from all taxpayers, according to a December 2010 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. And, as we said earlier, the two-year extension cost an additional $363.5 billion in lost revenue. Other partisan groups have put the figure much higher. Citizens for Tax Justice puts the total at more than $2 trillion over 10 years. The Tax Foundation says that "there is no definitive answer" for how much the Bush tax cuts cost in lost revenue.

– Eugene Kiely

    Posted by Eugene Kiely on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm Filed under The FactCheck Wire. tagged with budget, Bush tax cuts, President Obama.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Obamacare IRS enforcer

Ok, I'm sorry, It's a penalty, not a tax. I won't say it's a tax ever
again........ Take my money and please don't shoot....

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mitt Wants Apology for 'Felony' Remark...

Obama has gone off the deep end -- calling Romney a criminal.
I think he's losing it (pun intended).

Mitt Wants Apology for 'Felony' Remark...

Bill Clinton joins fray...




via Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion by William A. Jacobson on 7/12/12

I think today has been clarifying.  Whatever pretense of civility existed in the Obama campaign is gone.

It's okay, perfectly okay with the President for his campaign staff to call Mitt Romney a liar and potential criminal:

"No," Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt said in response to a question from POLITICO about whether the president would apologize.

Name calling is okay.

It's the official policy of the President of the United States.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Obama’s misleading tweet on Romney’s taxes

Question: When the Washington Post assigns Obama's latest tweet 3 Pinocchio's (out of 4), does that mean they are calling him a liar?

3 Ponocchio's, according to their site, represents: "Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions."

"FACT: In 2010 and 2011, Romney paid less than 15% in taxes on $42.5 million in income—much less than what many middle-class families pay."

— Tweet by @BarackObama, July 3, 2012

We are avid readers of tweets by @BarackObama, though of course it is not the president himself but his campaign team that posts them. We are also very curious when politicians claim they have uttered "a fact."

 So, is it really true that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who is very wealthy, pays a tax rate "much less" than "many" middle-class families?


The Facts

 Romney released his 2010 tax return and an estimate of his 2011 return earlier this year. He earned a little more than $20 million each year, a good chunk of it in capital gains and dividends, which are taxed at a preferential rate as low as 15 percent.

But that's not the only reason why Romney's tax rate is at that level. He also donates about 14 percent of his income to charity, which gives him a pretty big tax deduction. (As we have noted, President Obama in 2010 also gave about 14 percent of his income to charity.)

Indeed, Romney gives about as much to charity — $3 million — as he pays in taxes. Those itemized deductions are counted against income that would ordinarily be taxed at a 35-percent rate. We figure that without those donations to charity, his effective tax rate would be at least 19 percent.

(For more information, see the nifty interactive graphic by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center showing how Romney's and Obama's tax returns match up against a typical middle-class family. You can see that Obama's itemized deductions also lowered his effective tax rate, compared to the rate for Vice President Biden, who had fewer deductions.)

 Nevertheless, the Obama campaign is correct that the former Massachusetts governor paid about 15 percent of his gross adjusted income (that's line 37 on the tax return) in taxes. But is that "much less" than what many middle-class families pay?

 First of all, most of Romney's taxes are federal income taxes. He pays relatively little in payroll taxes because the 6.2 percent Social Security tax maxes out once you earn a certain amount — $110,100 in 2012. Romney in effect earns that much by Jan. 3.

 But for most Americans, payroll taxes are the biggest tax item. (And that's not even including the share paid by employers. Most economists say employers pay for payroll taxes by cutting their employees' wages.)

 People often confuse marginal tax rates with effective tax rates. Marginal rates are what you pay on each additional dollar of income, so that can be as high as 35 percent. The effective tax rate is the percentage of taxes you pay after deductions, adjustments and the like.

 The Congressional Budget Office and Internal Revenue Service have produced estimates for effective tax rates, but the data are relatively old — 2008 and 2009, respectively. Both also have limitations. The IRS data rely on information from actual returns, but thus miss people who don't file tax returns; the CBO tries to compensate by using estimates of income from untaxed sources and for people who don't file tax returns. There are also issues concerning what types of income to include in the definition.

To keep things simple, we are going to rely on a chart of effective federal tax rates produced by the Tax Policy Center. The chart shows the effective tax rate as a percentage of AGI, divided into quintiles, with the values based on a concept known as cash income. (Here's a definition.) Cash income is not quite the same as adjusted gross income, but Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center said the AGI numbers in the charts would provide the closest apples-to-apples comparison to Romney's tax return.

Using the Tax Policy Center analysis, we will present the data two ways — without and with the employer-paid share of payroll taxes.  The income figures are rounded. The first method is the closest equivalent to Romney's tax return.

Effective Tax Rates (taxes paid on tax return)

Bottom 20 percent (0-$17,000):         -5.8 percent

Second 20 Percent ($17,000-$33,500):  1.3 percent

Middle 20 percent ($33,500-59,500):  9.2 percent

Fourth 20 Percent ($59,000-$103,500): 12.9 percent

Top 20 Percent ($103,500+):  20.6 percent


Effective Tax Rates (also including payroll tax paid by employer)

Bottom 20 percent (0-$17,000):         1 percent

Second 20 Percent ($17,000-$33,500): 7.8 percent

Middle 20 percent ($33,500-59,500): 15.5 percent

Fourth 20 Percent ($59,000-$103,500): 18.7 percent

Top 20 Percent ($103,500+):  24.3 percent


 First, one can see that for all the rhetoric about high taxes in the United States, most Americans pay a relatively small percentage of their income in taxes. Second, Romney had an effective rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.4 percent in 2011, which gives him a higher rate than 80 percent of taxpayers in the first method and puts him just about in the middle of all taxpayers in the second method.

No matter how you slice it, his tax rate is not significantly lower than the tax rate paid by middle-class Americans.

 The Obama campaign countered our analysis by pointing out that the tweet used the phrase "many," not "most," and by providing a dictionary definition showing that "many" means "a large amount." The campaign also noted that a White House report showed that while the median tax rate for Americans with income between $50,000 and $100,000 is 13 percent, some 3 million face effective tax rates above 21 percent.

Under the campaign's logic, this translates into Romney paying a rate "much less" than "many" Americans, though with the same data, one could say that many more pay a lower rate than Romney.

It is not our job to determine whether that is a good or bad thing. The U.S. tax system is designed to be progressive, meaning the rich are generally expected to pay higher taxes than the less wealthy. Politically it may not be smart for Romney, with an annual income topping $20 million, to end up with a tax rate so similar to middle-class tax rates. But we are also reminded of Judge Learned Hard's observation in 1935:

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the Treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands."


The Pinocchio Test 

The Obama campaign's tweet relies on a very slippery "fact."

Romney, by receiving much of his income in capital gains and dividends and giving millions of dollars to charity, is certainly able to keep his effective tax rate relatively low, especially compared to a wealthy person who earns much of his or her income in salary. But, even so, Romney still pays an effective tax rate that is higher than the tax rate paid by most Americans.


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Read my lips... No new #BOTax

Read my lips... No new

Forward Comrades!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How's that Hopey Changey thing working out?

Middle-class income has dropped by more than $4,600 since President Obama took office:

Monday, July 09, 2012

Betting, with our money

At a campaign stop in Ohio on Friday, Obama actually said we're still
"heading in the right direction." Is he kidding? As a stagnant GDP
drops below 2 percent, employment falters, retail sales decline, and
the ISM index for manufacturing drops below 50 (signaling
contraction), no objective observer can deny that the economy is
headed in the wrong direction.

I don't like playing the pessimist, but the numbers are the numbers.
This is exactly what former Clinton advisers James Carville, Doug
Schoen, and Stanley Greenberg have been warning Obama about. People
just don't believe the economy is getting better. So he's gotta change
his message.


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Want jobs, elect a Republican


In 2010, influenced by the Tea Party and its focus on fiscal issues, 17 states elected Republican governors. And, according to an Examiner.com analysis, every one of those states saw a drop in their unemployment rates since January of 2011. Furthermore, the average drop in the unemployment rate in these states was 1.35%, compared to the national decline of .9%, which means, according to the analysis, that the job market in these Republican states is improving 50% faster than the national rate. 

Since January of 2011, here is how much the unemployment rate declined in each of the 17 states that elected Republican governors in 2010, according to the Examiner: 

Kansas - 6.9% to 6.1% = a decline of 0.8%

Maine - 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%

Michigan - 10.9% to 8.5% = a decline of 2.4%

New Mexico - 7.7% to 6.7% = a decline of 1.0%

Oklahoma - 6.2% to 4.8% = a decline of 1.4%

Pennsylvania - 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%

Tennessee - 9.5% to 7.9% = a decline of 1.6%

Wisconsin - 7.7% to 6.8% = a decline of 0.9%

Wyoming - 6.3% to 5.2% = a decline of 1.1%

Alabama - 9.3% to 7.4% = a decline of 1.9%

Georgia - 10.1% to 8.9% = a decline of 1.2%

South Carolina - 10.6% to 9.1% = a decline of 1.5%

South Dakota - 5.0% to 4.3% = a decline of 0.7%

Florida - 10.9% to 8.6% = a decline of 2.3%

Nevada - 13.8% to 11.6% = a decline of 2.2%

Iowa - 6.1% to 5.1% = a decline of 1.0%

Ohio - 9.0% to 7.3% = a decline of 1.7%

On the other hand, the unemployment rate in states that elected Democrats in 2010 dropped, on average, as much as the national rate decline and, in some states such as New York, the unemployment rate has risen since January of 2011. 

This is yet another example of how the so-called "blue state" model is not working. 

Friday, July 06, 2012


It's a tax, plain and simple, so says the Supreme Court of the United States...

In an interview with Jan Crawford of CBS News, Mr. Romney said: "While I agreed with the dissent, that's taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said it's a tax, and therefore it is a tax. They have spoken."

"They concluded it was a tax. That's what it is, and the American people know that President Obama has broken the pledge he made," he added. "He  said he wouldn't raise taxes on middle-income Americans. Not only did he raise the $500 billion that was already in the bill, it's now clear that his mandate as described by the Supreme Court is a tax."