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It’s deja vu all over again. Sorta. UPDATE: Video added

As I watched Fox News Sunday this past weekend, I almost fell off my chair during the “Is labor losing its clout?” segment, wherein Chris Wallace interviewed two representatives of public workers unions, Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association, and Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff of the AFL-CIO. Read more

Romney “parks millions” in offshore Cayman Island accounts – So what?

Class warfare 101 as expressed by the main stream media. As someone who has actually owned an offshore bank account, I’m offended by the biased attack tossed at Gov. Mitt Romney concerning his own bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. (That is what it is all about right … being offended.) ABC News followed the normal attack line: rich people hide money in offshore accounts to reduce their tax burden and screw the Treasury.

Never mind their article is pure hogwash. The headline reads Romney Parks Millions in Cayman Islands, and that’s all most liberals and class-warfare clones will read right? The headline sets the tone and reinforces the narrative. Done deal. Not so fast … read on.

Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.

A spokesperson for the Romney campaign says Romney follows all tax laws and he would pay the same in taxes regardless of where the funds are based.

It’s not apparent? He’s hiding it! And of course a spokesperson for Romney will say he follows the law!

“His personal finances are a poster child of what’s wrong with the American tax system,” said Jack Blum, a Washington lawyer who is an authority on tax enforcement and offshore banking.

Ahhh … an expert! Who points out the tax system is screwed up … and therefore Romney is screwed up because he follows the law.

On Tuesday, Romney disclosed that he has been paying a far lower percentage in taxes than most Americans, around 15 percent of his annual earnings.

Oh. My. God! Why is he paying a “far lower percentage” than most Americans? That rich bastard thief! Of course, nowhere in the article does Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross (surprise!) or Megan Chuchmach mention Romney paid the full rate at the time he first earned that money, that either equaled or exceeded the rate other Americans pay.

It’s the law, everyone pays 15 percent on capital gains. But that’s not fitting the narrative for ABC mouthpieces Mosk, Ross and Chuchmach, so they make up the following line.

In addition to paying the lower tax rate on his investment income…

Paying the lower rate? There is only one rate for investment income, and it’s 15 percent … exactly what Romney is paying. Liars … bull shit artists… Don’t trust any of them. These tax vehicles are created by Washington, D.C. insiders simply because we give them the power to do so. Then, when those Americans follow the law and pay their fair share – as completely and totally defined by the federal government – those same politicians who make the rules attack not only politician on the other side, but private citizens as well.

Romney campaign officials and those at Bain Capital tell ABC News that the purpose of setting up those accounts in the Cayman Islands is to help attract money from foreign investors, and that the accounts provide no tax advantage to American investors like Romney. Romney, the campaign said, has paid all U.S. taxes on income derived from those investments. …

Tax experts agree that Romney remains subject to American taxes.

So why even write the damn story?

Take back the power from the federal government. They are screwing everything up.

More class warfare rhetoric from Obama during Labor Day speech

Let’s think back and compare speeches from all previous presidents and national leaders and compare them to President Obama. I agree with Daniel Henniger from the Wall Street Journal, this president is the “most embittered American president” evah.

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Banana In The Tailpipe

I read this story about the protest in front of AIG. Here is a link. As I view the images of the people in the street and the employees looking down at the crowd I am overcome with a feeling of sadness. I am struck with the notion that we have all been duped. We have all fallen for the “banana in the tailpipe.”

As a nation we have collectively experienced something called inattentional blindness. Inattentional blindness is the concept that you are not able to see what is actually there. You are so focused on one thing that you fail to see what is going on around you. Here is an example.

Everyone has been manipulated to focus your attention on these bonuses and to vilify the people that are accepting these bonuses. Put away your anger for a second and look what is happening to our country.

  1. We are creating class warfare: Look at the picture of the AIG employees staring down at the protesters in the street. The angry mob has arrived. Most of Congress and the President are feigning outrage over these bonuses, fueling this firestorm of anger directed toward employees of a “private company.”  From “tax the rich”, to “greedy Wall Street” this is just the latest in a series of attacks on the evil, wealthy, producers.  
  2. Punitive Taxation: As Dave and Jim note a bill has been passed in the House that would tax bonuses paid to AIG as well as a host of other banking executives, at a rate of 90 to 100 percent.  The government is selecting a tiny sub-set of our population and deciding to impose an exorbitant tax on them. Surely, the constitutionality of this is at least in question, but, think about what our founding fathers might say about this. Ironically, it’s likely that some of the same protesters in front of AIG today are people that support the growing list of grass roots tea parties. And yet the Boston Tea Party was a protest of the punitive tax and tariffs that the British Crown had placed on tea. It was a protest against government taxation, not an angry mob seeking revenge against its fellow citizens. And consider this: what if Congress decides at some point to tax all persons that drive foreign cars at 90%? Don’t laugh. If the car companies are nationalized (not entirely unlikely), it could very well be next move by an overreaching government and would be equally insane.

How many more wrongs will it take Congress to make this right? If Washington never bailed out AIG we would not be talking about bonuses, and we would not be talking about the money that AIG has contractually paid to foreign banks. Instead they bail out AIG and three bad laws later we are looking at imposing a 100% tax on less than 200 people.

Stop directing your attention at these executives. It is useless. Start directing your attention toward the politicians that HAVE CREATED ALL OF THIS. Stop marching in front of AIG and Goldman, start marching in Washington. Start marching in front of the office of your representatives.

We’re already spreading the wealth around

Barak Obama had an impromptu conversation with Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Ohio. Wurzelbacher is living the American dream. He’s paying more and more taxes and he’s not happy about it. He asked Obama about his tax plan, “your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it”? Well of course Obama proclaimed. “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Author note: While I’m away from the computer, I’m republishing my top 20 posts from 2008 each afternoon. -Steve

So the government takes money from Joe plumber, redistributes that cash to other people so they have money to hire Joe plumber to do work, and the people end up paying Joe plumber a higher price for the work. That’s not trickle up, it’s trickle back.

Plenty of discussion about this exchange on the Internet the past few days. Scott Johnson over at Powerline (cool new look at their site) has a good post today.

Obama is speaking of the trickle up theory of the American left. They think that if you collect additional taxes from the rich (legalized theft) and redistribute it to the “less fortunate” in life, those who are less fortunate will have more money to spend with, in this case, a plumber named Joe from Ohio.

There are unintended consequences when “the rich” are ripped off, especially when they know they are paying more than their fair share in federal taxes already.

By raising taxes on Joe plumber, Jo plumber needs to make some choices. One solution is for Joe to raise prices to cover the excess taxes he has to pay. He may also lay off workers, cut benefits and/or slow expansion.

Is that clear?

Many Americans are already paying much more than their fair share of federal income taxes. Johnson mentions the most recent tax data released by the IRS and I’ve cleaned up the IRS spreadsheet and put it into terms that are more manageable to understand.

Just how rich are you?

Many people have no idea how rich – or how poor – they are as compared to other American families. The following data is from the 2006 tax year and was derived from IRS data located here. The tax collected – just more than $1.02 trillion dollars – was only from individual federal returns and does not include business taxes. If you have a small business and fill out a Schedule C, my guess is that those tax dollars are included in this 2006 report.

 

What group do you fall into? To sum up the statistics…

  • If your family makes under $30k, you’re in the bottom half of wage earners, and that group pays 2.53% of federal income taxes collected.
  • If your family makes more than $30k, you’re in the top half of wage earners, and that group pays 97.47% of federal income taxes collected.
  • If your family makes more than $41k, you’re in the top 41% of all wage earners, and that group pays 94.8% of federal income taxes collected.
  • If your family makes more than $50k, you’re in the top third of all wage earners, and that group pays 91.62% of federal income taxes collected.
  • If your family makes more than $75k, you’re in the top 20% of wage earners, and that group pays 82.4% of federal income taxes collected.
  • If your family makes more than $100k, you’re in the top 12% of wage earners, and that group pays 73.61% of federal income taxes collected.
  • If your family makes more than $200k, you’re in the top 3% of wage earners, and that group pays 53.16% of federal income taxes collected.
  • If your family makes more than $500k, you’re in the top 1% of wage earners, and that group pays 35.87% of federal income taxes collected.

There are a couple of things to consider here. First, many working couples in New York City or Hartford, Connecticut could easily be in the top 10 percent of wage earners if – as an example – one was a nurse and the other a cop.

Second, less than 3 percent of the returns filed fall into the category of making $250,000 or more (Obama’s targeted group). Less than 4 million returns (families) – out of more than 138 million returns – are picking up more than 53 percent of the federal income taxes collected.

What it comes down to is the top wage earners are already paying much more than their fair share, and it seems tax payers like Joe the plumber are catching on. Are you?

Data

Others watching Obama try to explain his trickle up theory include Malkin, Hot Air and Vicevich.

Update: Ari Fleischer (on April 12) says everyone should pay income taxes – hat tip to Ed at Hot Air.

Hah! Check out WealthSpreadTM. I can’t believe it’s not earned. Low in transfats, high in taxes. Low-Effort! Butter it up with Wealth and spread it around like you earned it! Made with 100% pure American taxpayer sweat. Endorsed by the cook fringe of the Democrat party. Patented blend to help improve standing in the polls.

 

Are families and individuals moving into higher income brackets?

In my post from Nov. 1, A close look at the federal tax burden of corporations and individuals, I provide details about the large increase in federal income and corporate tax revenue after the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. The piece also displays how the federal tax burden moved from corporations, to individuals and back to corporations between 1995, 2001 and 2007 respectively.

One of my readers mentioned the population increase between 1995 and 2007. An increase in population alone could result in these changes. More people working and companies doing better – both very good things – could explain the increase. We could be pessimistic and say the rich got way richer and the poor and middle class were left behind.

After a review of additional IRS tax data, it’s clear there was a shift. Most everyone improved their status.

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We’re already spreading the wealth around

Barak Obama had an impromptu conversation with Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Ohio. Wurzelbacher is living the American dream. He’s paying more and more taxes and he’s not happy about it. He asked Obama about his tax plan, “your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it”? Well of course Obama proclaimed. “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

So the government takes money from Joe plumber, redistributes that cash to other people so they have money to hire Joe plumber to do work, and the people end up paying Joe plumber a higher price for the work. That’s not trickle up, it’s trickle back.

Read more