Things that make you go… Hmmmmmm……..

 

“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” — Ronald Reagan

I have finally figured out the strategy being employed by the administration – if we do 50 insane things at once, they won’t be able to stop them all!

Here are a few examples of the strategy in action: 

Cash for Clunkers 

As if we haven’t done enough for the auto companies already there is a bill headed out of committee in the House to “jump start new car sales”.

This $4 billion program would provide federal vouchers of up to $4,500 for people to trade in their vehicles for new ones that get better mileage. 

How does the program work: The government would send up to $4,500 to the selling dealer on your behalf, if you: 

1. Trade in a car that — this is a key point — has been registered and in use for at least a year, and has a federal combined city/highway fuel-economy rating of 18 or fewer miles per gallon.

2. Buy a new car, priced at $45,000 or less and rated at least 4 mpg better than the old one (gets a $3,500 voucher). If the new one gets at least 10 mpg better, you get the full $4,500. 

Example: Trade that well-worn 1985 Chevrolet Impala V-8 police special, rated 14 mpg, for a 2009 Impala V-8 rated 19 mpg and the government will kick in $3,500. Downsize to Chevy Cobalt (27 mpg) or even a larger Honda Accord (24 mpg) and get $4,500. (source: USA Today) 

The bill also requires destruction of the trade in vehicles to keep them off the road. The money would be pulled from funds allocated to the Dept of Energy in the stimulus bill. Mileage ratings back to 1985 are available @ : http://www.fueleconomy.gov

President Obama is urging Congress to create consumer incentives for new car purchases but critics say this is an artificial attempt to boost car sales. 

“It’s defying the laws of economics and saying we can manufacture enough of a demand to keep the auto industry afloat,” said Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. 

Seriously, how many more “problems” can the government solve by stepping in and footing the bill. Oh, wait the taxpayers will foot the bill. In the long run, you can’t keep spending money you don’t have unless you raise taxes!  Good thing they didn’t think of this type of program sooner. If they had, instead of those crappy digital converter boxes, everyone without cable could have gotten $500 towards a new flat screen and a voucher for Direct TV. To read more go to: 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31183767/ 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2009-05-11-chrysler-gm-cash-clunkers_N.htm 

Business cell phones and laptops are an “employee benefit” and therefore, that’s right TAXABLE! 

In the 80’s the IRS treated cell phones like company cars requiring users to separate their personal use from business use so they could tax it like income. This was to prevent expensive personal cell phones from being written off as business expenses. (Phones were about$2,000 and air time was $2/minute) 

“The rationale behind this policy perhaps made sense in the 1980s, but it doesn’t reflect how people live their lives and the ubiquitous nature of cell phones,” Sprint Nextel spokesman John Taylor told The Washington Post

Under the proposed rule the IRS is asking companies to charge 25% of cell phone use as personal and treat it as taxable income. They are also looking at extending these rules to texting, email, the internet and use of a company laptop. This makes the rope that ties you to your job 24/7 a benefit! 

The alternative to the flat 25% tax approach would be to pay only for actual usage by creating a log to create a record of actual use. 

“Do we really want employees to, instead of being productive, spend their day logging every e-mail they send, every Web site they browse and every time they use GPS?” asked Howard Woolley, senior vice president of Verizon Wireless. 

For hard working Americans everywhere, this is another slap in the face. For most employees that carry a company phone or laptop it is not a choice – it is a requirement. Where will this end? This is just another clever attempt to raise money through taxes to fund all the programs we can’t afford but are implementing anyway. To read more, go to:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061203897.html 

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/business/The-Tax-Man-Comes-Calling—-on-Your-Cell-Phone.html 

Soda you think we should tax pop? 

Speaking of things that we can’t afford to pay for what about healthcare reform – with an estimated price tag of $1.2 trillion, we will need to find some new sources of revenue. 

Fear not, the Senate has an idea. Presenting the “soda” tax. The plan is to place an excise tax on regular soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. Diet drinks would be exempt. The proposed tax at 3 cents per 12 oz. can would raise an estimated $6 billion annually. 

The logic is that these drinks are bad for you and therefore taxing you for their consumption is a good way to help fund healthcare. Supporters of the tax point to research indicating that consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks can result in obesity and diabetes. The tax theoretically would save medical costs by lowering consumption which would reduce health problems. 

Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is pushing the idea, said in his testimony. “Soft drinks are nutritionally worthless…[and] are directly related to weight gain, partly because beverages are more conducive to weight gain than solid foods.” (source: CBS News)

So what’s next?  Alcohol is already foregone conclusion. Butw atch out ice cream, cookies, cakes and pies could be next. This might not be as far fetched as it seems. In our new environment of “change” nothing has proven to be off limits. 

This just another example of the new “nanny state” approach to government, you know where the government decides what is best for us in every aspect of our lives. For more details, go to: 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124208505896608647.html 

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/05/12/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5009316.shtml 

President to propose new government power to seize key businesses 

The Obama administration this week will propose the most significant new regulation of the financial industry since the Great Depression, including a new watchdog agency to look out for consumers’ interests.

Under the plan, expected to be released Wednesday, the government would have new powers to seize key companies — such as insurance giant American International Group Inc. — whose failure jeopardizes the financial system. Currently, the government’s authority to seize companies is mostly limited to banks. (source: L.A.Times) 

The Federal Reserve, already arguably the most powerful agency in the U.S. government, will get sweeping new authority to regulate any company whose failure could endanger the U.S. economy and markets under the Obama administration’s regulatory overhaul plan. (source: The Washington Post) 

Here we go again – sweeping change to SEIZE private businesses and more authority for the Federal Reserve the one “government agency” that can hide behind banker privileges and not be compelled to answer questions by Congress. More government power, more government oversight…. This looks less and less like America all the time! What is it going to take to scare people into fighting back? Read more at: 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/16/plan-gives-fed-sweeping-power-over-companies/?feat=home_headlines 

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-financial-regs16-2009jun16,0,4262249.story 

Today’s Cool Quote: 

Liberals believe that men–left to their own devices–are not to be trusted. They also believe in the goodness of government; a government composed of men. This paradox may help explain why many liberals are angry much of the time.” –RE Bierce

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” 
James Madison 

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