Friday, April 26, 2013

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

So it seems that our Congressional leaders are engaged in private discussions to exempt themselves from Obamacare. Seems that the cost of this obamination has some on Capital Hill worried that it will be so expensive it will force many lower and mid-level staffers to leave and look for higher paying jobs so they can afford the healthcare premiums. The ability of Congressional staffers to leave and go to higher paying  jobs where they can more readily absorb the steeply rising cost of healthcare coverage is a boon for them, but what about most of us that cannot transition our job or career so easily? Many families are going to see their healthcare premiums rise 25-50% with the full implementation of Obamacare and they will have no choice but to absorb the cost increase. Democrats have foisted this piece of crap health plan on this country, and they should be made to suffer under the increased cost and reduced service as all of us will have to do. The underlying principal that is in play here, though, is the fact that our elected leaders deem themselves above the laws and regulations that they implement and under which we have to operate. This divergence is dangerous and leads to disasters like Obamacare. It is time to hold our elected leaders accountable and force them to live with the same laws- and their accompanying costs- as all of us have to do.

I went shopping at a general store, but they wouldn't let me buy anything specifically.

Congress is debating an immigration bill that has focused our attention on amnesty and the path to citizenship for those that are in our country illegally. There is no doubt that our immigration laws are dysfunctional and need reform, and the entire immigration system and process needs to be made more functional and efficient. I don't think this bill accomplishes that. And the proposed immigration bill that is under debate has some staggering costs associated with it. Section 212(a)(4) of the U.S. Code says that no immigrant that is at risk of becoming a "public charge" can get a green card. How is that working out for our country? Over half of the holders of green cards currently have incomes below 138% of the federal poverty line and are uninsured and are receiving some form of public assistance. To increase immigration under the provisions of this proposed bill would cost the American taxpayers and additional $100 billion over the next decade to pay for their benefits, according to Betsy McCaughey, former Lt. Governor of New York. Illegal immigrants, under the proposed new bill would be granted provisional status and on their path to citizenship and would not be allowed to collect public assistance. Oh, with these few exceptions: unemployed; in job training; getting a high school or GED diploma; taking care of a child; younger than 21 or older than 60; or going to college. In other words, virtually every illegal immigrant that is given a provisional green card will qualify for some of your income via the transfer tax under this bill. The lunacy of the Rubio-McCain bill is beyond words and should it should be stopped immediately.

If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt.

Congress is considering a bill that would allow each state to collect taxes on Internet purchases made by the residents of that state. As more of us purchase an ever expanding array of goods over the Internet, states have been losing sales tax revenue that they would have collected if the purchases had been made at store with a physical location within their borders. Merchants with a physical presence have decried the lack of tax collection, saying it creates an uneven playing field between them and on-line sellers. States bemoan the lost revenue. so the bill before Congress seems like it will even things up, right? Know that we are talking some serious money here. According to the Commerce Department, Internet sales totaled $226 billion in the U.S. in 2012, up 16% from the previous year. What this bill does, however, is make most on-line retailers tax (on-line retailers with annual sales of less than $1 million are exempted under the proposal) tax collectors for the various states. Further, a company headquartered in one state with no physical representation in another state is still subject to the tax laws and changes that may be enacted, and they have no representation. Now imagine if you are an on-line retailer and you now have to comply with 50 different tax jurisdictions and their particular laws and regulations. Think your cost of doing business is going up? And when it does, those companies will slow their expansion. And pass those increased costs on to you and me. This little glimpse into the complexity of our tax system in this country points out the desperate need for reform and simplicity in the tax code.

I have always wanted to be the last man on earth just to see if all those women were lying to me.

And that, my friends, is my view.

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