McCollum’s Platform: Rick Scott

McCollum has been bombarding the airwaves of the talk radio frequencies with his campaign ads. And I’ve been listening closely to hear what his ideas are for Florida, since he is running for governor of the State. Unfortunately for Floridians, we may never know what his platform is other than Rick Scott this and Rick Scott that.

McCollum is running the most idiotic campaign for thinking that we care what he thinks about Rick Scott. And from that, he is showing me that he’s not the right man for the job. Your mileage may vary.

I do have a suggestion for how he can best use his campaign cash. He can use it to support Dr. Farid Khavari for governor. Khavari has a platform and a plan for Florida and every citizen of the State. His ads are not about mudslinging. They are about his plan for Florida and showing the people what he can do for them. What a novel idea in today’s field of politics, don’t you think?

Link: Farid Khavari for Governor

aSide Order

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave the government the authority to tax people’s income (up to 100% of it), was sold to the public as only taxing the rich. Sound familiar?

By 1913, 36 States had ratified the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. In October, Congress passed a new income tax law with rates beginning at 1 percent and rising to 7 percent for taxpayers with income in excess of $500,000. Less than 1 percent of the population paid income tax at the time.

Number of Americans Paying Zero Federal Income Tax Grows to 43.4 Million

There is a growing number of Americans who pay zero federal income tax after taking advantage of deductions and credits. This, a result of morphing the income tax system into spending programs. Prior to The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, tax relief was generally given in the form of lower tax rates or increased deductions or exemptions. The 1997 Act really launched the modern proliferation of individual tax credits and refundable credits that are in essence spending programs operating through the tax system. This 43.4 million number is as of 2006. No doubt that number is higher now due to record unemployment and more wealth-spreading going on.

Large Number of Non-Payers Make Tax Reform Difficult

Federal tax reform requires that the base of the federal income tax be widened, so that overall tax rates can be reduced. However, because of the large number of Americans currently paying zero federal income tax, any attempt to broaden the tax base will be a difficult sell for lawmakers. The millions of Americans who have no federal income tax liability will either be indifferent about tax reform or will positively oppose it, as it would require bringing them into the federal tax base.

When more people don’t pay taxes than pay taxes under the current system, why would anyone think that these non-payers would vote for anyone who would make them pay? Similar problems are bankrupting European countries over benefits. Any reforms there means taking benefits away.

These findings raise serious questions about the future of the U.S. income tax system, and the possibility of base-broadening tax reform when the majority of the federal tax burden is borne by a shrinking pool of taxpayers. As Congress considers tax reform proposals during the coming year, this is an issue lawmakers should begin to debate.

I got your base-broadening tax reform right here. It’s called the FairTax Act of 2009. It broadens the tax base from 136 million people to every living human being within the borders of the United States. Under the FairTax, the tax base includes our population of 320 million, plus foreign tourists, diplomats, and illegal aliens. You can’t get a broader tax base nor a better stimulus for job creation, economic growth, personal economic security, national economic security, and general economic growth overall.

In the beginning there was a void. The void moveth to Washington whereupon it surroundeth itself with a sphincter muscle.

Want More? Tax Less. Tax More? Get Less.

That about sums up the one an only truism about taxation. That politicians become drunk with power once they have the ‘tax hammer’ in their hot little hand is another. But that is more of a moral issue than an economic one. I came across this publication from the U.S. Treasury called The History of the U.S. Tax System. It’s something that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should read. As Congress and the Obama administration seem to be on a mad dash to tax us into prosperity and borrow our way out of debt, this piece from the Treasury Dept. should be required reading.

Lower marginal tax rates were ‘essential to a strong economy.’ Meddling with the system with that ‘tax hammer’ can make it worse.

The economic boom following the 1982 recession convinced many political leaders of both parties that lower marginal tax rates were essential to a strong economy, while the constant changing of the law instilled in policy makers an appreciation for the complexity of the tax system. Further, the debates during this period led to a general understanding of the distortions imposed on the economy, and the lost jobs and wages, arising from the many peculiarities in the definition of the tax base.

History demonstrates, whether you want to learn from it or not, that taxing business excessively, ‘over-reaching,’ leads to collapse.

The 1986 Tax Reform Act was roughly revenue neutral, that is, it was not intended to raise or lower taxes, but it shifted some of the tax burden from individuals to businesses. Much of the increase in the tax on business was the result of an increase in the tax on business capital formation. It achieved some simplifications for individuals through the elimination of such things as income averaging, the deduction for consumer interest, and the deduction for state and local sales taxes. But in many respects the Act greatly added to the complexity of business taxation, especially in the area of international taxation. Some of the over-reaching provisions of the Act also led to a downturn in the real estate markets which played a significant role in the subsequent collapse of the Savings and Loan industry.

The power trip, aka tax hammer, became addictive for the politicos. It never occurred to them to quit increasing government spending. Only how and where and what to raise taxes on.

Between 1986 and 1990 the Federal tax burden rose as a share of GDP from 17.5 to 18 percent. Despite this increase in the overall tax burden, persistent budget deficits due to even higher levels of government spending created near constant pressure to increase taxes. Thus, in 1990 the Congress enacted a significant tax increase featuring an increase in the top tax rate to 31 percent. Shortly after his election, President Clinton insisted on and the Congress enacted a second major tax increase in 1993 in which the top tax rate was raised to 36 percent and a 10 percent surcharge was added, leaving the effective top tax rate at 39.6 percent. Clearly, the trend toward lower marginal tax rates had been reversed, but, as it turns out, only temporarily.

The tax code becomes a vehicle for spending programs. Wielding the tax hammer for social engineering increases public debt. Lesson not learned here is that money doesn’t grow on trees and, stop increasing the spending. But it’s OK if you can use the tax code to buy votes. What? This is where the class envy/class warfare tactic, as connected to the tax code, was taken to a higher level.

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 made additional changes to the tax code providing a modest tax cut. The centerpiece of the 1997 Act was a significant new tax benefit to certain families with children through the Per Child Tax credit. The truly significant feature of this tax relief, however, was that the credit was refundable for many lower-income families. That is, in many cases the family paid a “negative” income tax, or received a credit in excess of their pre-credit tax liability. Though the tax system had provided for individual tax credits before, such as the Earned Income Tax credit, the Per Child Tax credit began a new trend in federal tax policy. Previously tax relief was generally given in the form of lower tax rates or increased deductions or exemptions. The 1997 Act really launched the modern proliferation of individual tax credits and especially refundable credits that are in essence spending programs operating through the tax system.

“There’s no difference at all in terms of the effects on the federal deficit,” says Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center. “It’s perfectly equivalent. It’s just easier to say, ‘I cut your taxes’ as opposed to ‘I created a new federal program to send money to people.'”

Reducing taxes helped, not hurt, economic recovery.

The 2001 tax cut will provide additional strength to the economy in the coming years as more and more of its provisions are phased in, and indeed one argument for its enactment had always been as a form of insurance against an economic downturn. However, unbeknownst to the Bush Administration and the Congress, the economy was already in a downturn as the Act was being debated. Thankfully, the downturn was brief and shallow, but it is already clear that the tax cuts that were enacted and went into effect in 2001 played a significant role in supporting the economy, shortening the duration of the downturn, and preparing the economy for a robust recovery.

One can only hope that the next generation of political leaders will have learned something from the past and not repeat that which has failed before. Here’s hoping that the next chapter in The History of the U.S. Tax System describes unprecedented economic recovery after abolishing  the current income-based tax system and going to the consumption-based tax system called the FairTax.

Links: History of the U.S. Tax SystemThe Income Tax System Is Broken

Florida Primary Election Registration Ends Today

If you are not registered with the political party whose primary election you want to vote in, today is the last day you can register. Florida uses closed primaries. That means only registered republicans can vote in a Republican primary, democrats in Democrat primary.

There is no primary contest for NPA, No Party Affiliation, candidates. Those candidates will go straight to the ballot for the general election.

If you’re not already registered, or want to change your party affiliation in order to vote in a primary election, you can register or change your registration in person or online.

The ‘put up or shut up’ time begins now. Please, get involved.

What Happens When Bush Tax Cuts Expire?

Income taxes punish work, stifle innovation (except in ways to avoid a tax liability) and risk-taking. Coming to a network news outlet near you, in addition to all the racial stirrings provoked by the ‘post-racial’ Obama administration, prepare yourself for the next chapter in the Obama administration’s (aka Saul Alinsky) handbook; class envy/warfare.

It comes around in election seasons, which seem to never end nowadays. And it comes around whenever tax reform is discussed in the form of ‘tax cuts for the rich.’

Barring any intervening legislation, these are the numbers by income tax bracket of how the tax rates will change when ‘the Bush tax cuts’ expire.

• Up to $16,750: Rises from 10 percent to 15 percent
• From $16,751 to $58,200: Stays same at 15 percent, but entire bracket pays 5 percent additional on the first $16,750
• From $58,201 to $68,000: Rises from 15 percent to 28 percent
• From $68,001 to $137,300: Rises from 25 percent to 28 percent
• From $137,301 to $209,250: Rises from 28 percent to 31 percent
• From $209,251 to $373,650: Rises from 33 percent to 36 percent
• $373,651 and up: Rises from 35 percent to 39.6 percent

The spreadsheet below shows how much more of your income (not counting all the income credits and re-distribution schemes contained in the 75,000+ page Internal Revenue Code) you will owe Uncle Sam on every dollar you earn beginning January 1, 2011. Note the gimmick in the second tax bracket, where the poor and not as poor ‘working people’ reside. You know, the one class that Obama claims to advocate for. These brackets capture the majority of the income earning population. The tax rate remains the same, but the entire bracket pays 5 percent additional on the first $16,750. The consequence of this magic trick is putting the largest tax burden, as a percentage of income, square on the backs of the poor. The rate of increase on the next bracket, those whose income falls between $58,201 and $68,000, goes up by a massive 86.67 percent. The so-called ‘working people.’ I add ‘so-called’ to the discussion because this administration would like the dumb masses to believe that rich people don’t work. ‘Working people’ is class envy for the poor aimed at the rich, by the ‘uniter’ himself. It is a necessary function of class envy, which this administration so effortlessly employs. And so far gets away with.

From $ To $ From % To % $ Increase % Increase Increase as % of Income
$0 $16,750 10.00% 15.00% $838 50.00% 5.00%
$16,751 $58,200 15.00% 15.00% $9,568 0.00% 16.44%
$58,201 $68,000 15.00% 28.00% $8,840 86.67% 13.00%
$68,001 $137,300 25.00% 28.00% $4,119 12.00% 3.00%
$137,301 $209,250 28.00% 31.00% $6,278 10.71% 3.00%
$209,251 $373,650 33.00% 36.00% $11,210 9.09% 3.00%
$373,651 $500,000 35.00% 39.60% $23,000 13.14% 4.60%

Obama’s Tax based on his 2009 income. $5,505,409 35.00% 39.60% $253,249 13.14% 4.60%

Don’t be fooled by the tax brackets or these numbers either. They give the illusion that everybody is actually paying taxes. Everyone is not paying taxes. The truth is, for 2005, the top 1% of income earners paid 39% of all tax revenue. That’s up 2% since President Bush took office in 2000. 86% of all federal income taxes were paid by the top 25% of income earners. And 97% of all taxes paid are paid by the top 50% of income earners.

The power to use the ‘tax hammer’ to micro-manage voting, social and economic behavior is the drug the politicians must be weaned from. The FairTax takes that tax hammer away by putting the economic power where it belongs, with the people. All the people. Not Washington politicians and lobbyists. Because the FairTax is transparent, the FUD factor goes away. The Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt goes away, and citizens and entrepreneurs can make business decisions with some certainty of risk and tax consequences. 

The FairTax unleashes the potential for economic activity, innovation, job creation, personal wealth and financial security without the interference of Washington and without increasing the national debt. And as a not insignificant side effect, the class warfare game with taxation becomes a thing of the past. Allowing the elected officials to concentrate their efforts to serving their constituents instead of trying to rob them.

USA.gov En Espanol

How many of you have visited the government’s official public website USA.GOV? Drop in and check out the home page. There is a slide show of the top three items of interest to citizens. There is also a Spanish language version.

You might think that the information on the Spanish version would be the same as what you see in the English version.  If you think it is a translation of the English version, you would be wrong. And why isn’t there a version available in other languages?

Unlike the English version, the priority topic in the Spanish language version is how to get a Social Security Card, Medicare, and ways to obtain immigration status. Below is a snippet of the Spanish version translated into English.

A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services. Many other businesses, such as banks and credit companies, also ask for your number.

If you are a noncitizen living in the United States, you also may need a Social Security number. For more information, see Social Security Numbers For Noncitizens (Publication No. 05-10096). If you are temporarily in the United States to work, see Foreign Workers and Social Security Numbers (Publication No. 05-10107).

How do I get a number and card?

To apply for a Social Security number and card:

Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5); and show us original documents or copies certified by the issuing agency proving:

— U.S. citizenship or immigration status [including Department of Homeland Security (DHS) permission to work in the United States];

— Age; and

— Identity.

I couldn’t find the part where it says that those here illegally should return to their home country and apply for entrance through the legal process. I’m sure it’s there somewhere.

Liberals And Speech, Part 3, Right-Wingers, Cut Your Hand Off

While Obama was accusing Republicans of playing politics on the backs of the unemployed last week, for holding to the principle of extending the $34 billion in unemployment benefits without adding to the already unsustainable debt, I tuned in to the Mike Malloy Show to see what they were talking about.

What I heard was more of Obama’s words coming out of Malloy. And then some. He accused Republicans as just being mean and hateful for not caring about the unemployed. And, that they just don’t care about the unemployed. Upon reflecting on the possibility of Republicans regaining control of the House, Malloy opined that it would just serve Republicans right to watch them ruin the lives of future generations by all their deficit spending. Then after the country would be brought to its knees by their reckless spending, then they would be out of power for generations.

I had to laugh at the idea that he apparently believed what he was saying. What he said sounded like the Obama administration’s prescription for the economy.

This chart shows which political party is robbing future generations of Americans.

public debt chart

That Republicans are holding to the pay-go law does not seem like right-wing drivel, as Malloy calls it. I have to ask, who is it that is playing politics on the unemployed by denying them $34 billion out of the over $350 billion of the still unspent ‘emergency’ stimulus package that had to be passed immediately or else the country would fall into ruin in a matter of weeks some eighteen months ago? Never mind that that money is held by China as our debt and really isn’t in the bank. But using that ‘money’ would not increase the debt.  No. Obama insists on keeping that slush fund and increasing the debt. Nor could Congress find $34 billion to trim out of the $3.7 trillion budget. This administration is the one playing politics on the backs of the unemployed and on the backs of future generations of Americans.

Besides all that, look how wisely he used the stimulus money. He used it to grow government and the government sector, not to stimulate self-sustaining private sector business and jobs. Government employment is way up. To those capitalists out there familiar with business, none of whom are in The White House, you understand that  increasing government size is increasing the ‘overhead.’ And who in their right mind would increase their overhead at a time when business is down? Only someone hell-bent on remaking America would do that. Oh that’s right. We elected just such a person, Barack Hussein Obama, Mmm Mmm Mmm.

Enough of the background already. So I called the show and told Malloy that Republicans did want to help those 2.5 million people whose unemployment benefits had expired. But they wanted it done without increasing the debt. There are plenty of resources available to do it.

It was about that time that he hung up on me and went on to say that I was just parroting what I had heard from Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. Actually Mike, I heard it from the same place they heard it from, the floor of the House of Representatives and from the Senate. It was not ‘right-wing drivel.’ It so incensed him that he lost it, he pleaded to any other right-wingers listening out there (two or three of us?) to not call his show. We can listen if we want to but, he said, ‘please, don’t call.’

All that from a so-called radio talk show host who is even more rabid than Mike Papantonio. Malloy’s rantings makes Papantonio seem like a pussy, if you can believe that. Malloy pleaded to right-wingers . . .

Whenever you get the feeling that you really want to call this program, break your wrists or cut your hand off, or or do something to stop yourself from dialing this program.

This whole experience is instructive on a few levels about Liberals. Liberals don’t want to engage on issues. Liberal talkers really don’t want to hear a viewpoint that upsets their karma. And Mike Malloy’s talk radio show is for lemmings only.

Below is Malloy’s response to our brief dialog. It begins a little after he dropped the call, in a not very ‘Christian’ (his words) way. The show’s producer (Malloy’s wife) has not responded to requests for the audio portion of the dialog between Malloy and myself, but you can hear what happened afterward from the link below.

Related Link: Obama: My Economic Policies Are Unsustainable

Obama Administration v. Arizona v. The Constitution

The straw man argument of the year is Eric Holder’s challenge to Arizona’s law that deals with illegal immigrants which, is no different from federal law. You will recall all the hoopla by Obama and his people crying about the Arizona law being all about racial profiling, which is illegal. Apparently Eric Holder does not believe his boss’s assertion, otherwise he would have filed his suit against Arizona on that basis. He didn’t.

Holder’s case is based on the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. I’m not a lawyer, I make sandwiches, but it seems to me that you can’t prove a supremacy argument by laying down and not enforcing federal law like Eric Holder and President Obama are doing.

Besides, it’s not like this issue has not been before the Supreme Court. Ann Coulter, who is a lawyer, sums it up as only Ann can . . .

The court -– per Justice William Brennan — said that the federal government’s supremacy over immigration is strictly limited to: (1) a “determination of who should or should not be admitted into the country,” and (2) “the conditions under which a legal entrant may remain.”

So a state can’t start issuing or revoking visas, but that’s about all it can’t do.

Manifestly, a state law about illegal immigrants has nothing to do with immigrants who enter legally or the condition of their staying here. Illegal aliens have neither been “admitted into the country” nor are they “legal entrants.”

Indeed, as Brennan noted in the De Canas case, there’s even “a line of cases that upheld certain discriminatory state treatment of aliens lawfully within the United States.” (You might want to jot some of this down, Mr. Holder.)

So there’s no “field pre-emption” of state laws dealing with aliens, nor is there an explicit statement from Congress pre-empting state regulation of aliens.

Related Links:

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

A recent editorial about ‘comprehensive’ immigration reform suggested that solving the illegal immigration cancer takes more than laws. It also takes money. And money is a commodity in short supply, not only for Florida but every State except North Dakota and Utah. Here is a version of comprehensive immigration reform that is without cost and does not involve amnesty. The cornerstone of the reform is pulling up the welcome mat where illegal immigrants are concerned.

Pulling up the welcome mat to illegals does not have to cost taxpayers a dime and will reduce the incoming ‘tide’ of illegals. Illegals will self-deport. The tide will go out. Not all, but more than would go back home otherwise. No police state tactics, as the writer suggests, are required.

What’s the welcome mat? Things like employers giving them jobs and landlords (public or private) giving them housing, ‘in-state’ tuition discounts, sanctuary cities, ‘anchor’ babies, all the social, medical, and educational benefits that legal citizens get. Pull it.

Imagine the effect of a financial reform law that allows international transfer of money to legal citizens and legal tourists only? Lacking the tool to send ‘remittances’ back home would be a major ‘mat’ to pull. Pulling the mat is part of immigration reform.

Another part is getting control of the border to the extent that crossing it illegally would be difficult if not impossible. There are hundreds of miles of border control barriers not completed and just as many miles totally unprotected. Complete it. By the time these two phases are completed, the number of illegals remaining would be those who are productive and have a place to live. Then, and only then, the last phase, guest worker status with intent to assimilate into American society can begin. If they just want to use America instead of become American, then they will not meet the minimum requirement to the path to ‘citizenship.’

This is not the amnesty that Reagan tried or that Obama wants. This is getting in line behind the immigration requests filed in accordance with our laws. To do that, they must come out of the closet and register themselves as an illegal seeking to stay here under some earned legal status. It will take as long as it takes for them to get their chance to become an amnestied American citizen. However many years that may take is what it will take. And to remove the political motivation from the equation, amnestied American citizens will not have the right to vote in federal elections. After all, this is supposed to be a humanitarian issue, not a political one.

Although it is a crying shame that Mexico’s state of affairs is as bad as it is, it’s their problem to fix. Maybe the prospect of millions of illegals returning home would help them fix their corruption and economic problems once and for all?

Link: Editorial: Our problems are solved!

Khavari, Florida’s Best Chance And Choice

You are cordially invited to the 2010 Fundraiser Event in support of Dr. Khavari’s gubernatorial campaign. The event will take place on July 24, 2010 from 6pm-8pm at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport on 150 Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach, Florida. Dr. Khavari is an economist who has written nine books and various articles that address solutions to the economic situation in Florida. His economic plan—The Khavari Economic Plan, has been referred to as the most solid economic plan.

Dr. Khavari will be making a presentation at the fundraiser to discuss his plan for Florida in further detail and due to your ongoing support throughout his campaign, will be honored to have you there to support him. The presentation will include a Q&A session, and will be followed by a reception with special guests from the NFL.

If you cannot attend this event but still wish to show your support to Dr. Khavari’s campaign, you can visit http://www.khavariforgovernor.com/contribute/ to make a donation to support our campaign efforts.