New Taxes in 2014

I got this information from The Heritage Foundation about various new taxes starting in 2014 – getting tough to keep up with all the new fees and taxes.

12/31/2013

It’s about time for us to uncover our eyes and take a hard look at what 2013 did to our finances.

Did you feel the pinch of the 13 tax hikes that hit Americans this year?

Before you review the list below, put these two on your watch list for 2014:

  • Obamacare’s individual mandate. Beginning in 2014, it’s mandatory to purchase health insurance. If you don’t, you’ll pay a penalty that dramatically increases overtime. It starts at $95 or 1 percent of your income (whichever is greater). It rises to $325 or 2 percent of income in 2015, and $695 or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.
  • Obamacare tax on insurance companies. If you liked seeing your premiums go up, you’ll love this new tax on health insurers—which they are most likely to pass on to you.

As you start reviewing your tax information for 2013, here’s what you’re contending with. 

The 13 Tax Increases of 2013 

1. Payroll Tax: increase in the Social Security portion of the payroll tax from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent for workers. This hit all Americans earning a paycheck—not just the “wealthy.” For example, The Wall Street Journal calculated that the “typical U.S. family earning $50,000 a year” would lose “an annual income boost of $1,000.”

2. Top marginal tax rate: increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

3. Phase out of personal exemptions for adjusted gross income (AGI) over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

4. Phase down of itemized deductions for AGI over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

5. Tax rates on investment: increase in the rate on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

6. Death tax: increase in the rate (on estates larger than $5 million) from 35 percent to 40 percent.

7. Taxes on business investment: expiration of full expensing—the immediate deduction of capital purchases by businesses.

Obamacare tax increases that took effect:

8. Another investment tax increase: 3.8 percent surtax on investment income for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $250,000 ($200,000 for singles).

9. Another payroll tax hike: 0.9 percent increase in the Hospital Insurance portion of the payroll tax for incomes over $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers).

10. Medical device tax: 2.3 percent excise tax paid by medical device manufacturers and importers on all their sales.

11. Reducing the income tax deduction for individuals’ medical expenses.

12. Elimination of the corporate income tax deduction for expenses related to the Medicare Part D subsidy.

13. Limitation of the corporate income tax deduction for compensation that health insurance companies pay to their executives.

President Obama demanded these higher taxes, but they did nothing to address the actual cause of our deficit and debt problem: too much spending. The proper way to address this problem is through reforms to entitlement programs.

President Obama promised the American people a “balanced approach” of tax increases and spending cuts to reduce deficits and debt. He achieved the tax increase portion of that approach. Now Congress needs to force him to follow through on the spending cuts.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

 

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Chubby Women Have Brains, Too!

Image I’m going to veer away from politics and other bothersome headlines and express some disdain for Fox News.  Oh, I truly enjoy listening to their reports, and I have faith in what they share, but I have to ask…what is it that most of the women on Fox have in common?  If you look at the picture, you’ll see, if you haven’t already figured it out.  Does there have to be a ‘leggy’ good looking broad on screen in order for some to absorb the news.  To me, the presence of only trim, slim, and mostly blonde women on the network smacks to me of half-naked women splaying themselves across the hood of an automobile on most car magazine overs.  Can’t men read about vehicles unless they see a babe in a bathing suit?  Now most of them have tatoos.

Do I sound bitter? I suppose I am.  For once, I’d like to see a chubby woman reporting the news or claiming to be on a diet.  Tonight I noticed that the face of one of the gals on the five didn’t even move above her lips.  Suppose she’s had botox?  I want to identify with those who report the news  I want to see some dimply legs, a belly roll, or some skin tags.  I think the ladies on Fox do a wonderful job…I just resent their looks…all except Greta.  BTW, how do you suppose she got the job?

Give Ted Cruz Credit

Often when you try to do the right thing or take the right action in government, for that matter in business as well, it may be the right thing to do, but it will be very unpopular. Way too many in Washington these days always pick the politically correct decision over the right course of action. Tough decisions in life are necessary, never easy and a lot of the time unpopular. We need more people in Congress to join Ted Cruz and do the right thing. We need more people with the courage to make tough decisions. We have over 17 trillion dollars of debt and growing with no end in sight. It appears not enough of these politicians in Washington will join Ted Cruz until such time there is no choice in the matter. Sometimes doing the right thing comes too late and from all indications that will be the case when it comes to our national debt as well. At that time it will be the people that can least afford to be hurt that will be hurt the most.

Harvey Levin on Duck Dynasty Debacle

I was really impressed with Harvey Levin’s remarks about the situation with Duck Dynasty and A & E — Watch the full clip, its less than 10 minutes and he makes some really good points…

Watch the latest video here

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2956658630001/duck-dynasty-controversy-an-attack-on-christian-values/

I’m not going to make a judgment on homosexuality, but I do want to include some quotes from scriptures – and I feel this is what Phil was saying and he was using actual scriptures to back up his beliefs. He worded it harshly, but listen to him, that how he talks when its something he is passionate about – and beliefs are something most people are passionate about.

Scriptural References to Homosexual Acts – check the wording, it is very close to the words he used in his interview with GQ….

Leviticus 18:22 ESV

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:26-28 ESV

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

Leviticus 20:13 ESV

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

ACA Hardship Exemptions and Catastrophic Plans

I want to put this on paper and see where I’m going wrong —

Let me see if I understand this — 5-6 million Americans had insurance they researched, purchased and used, the the Obama administration decided it wasn’t “good enough” so the policies were cancelled.

NOW – in another half baked attempt to boost their “enrollment” numbers, they are going to “allow” people with “hardships” to buy a catastrophic policy which likely provides little to no benefits these people need – but will bring money into the ever hunger and empty Obamacare coffers…. did I miss something???

Sounds like another Obamacare band-aid. The ACA (and the name has truly become a joke) needs more patching up than a mummy —–

I blogged about the option of catastrophic plans through Obamacare earlier – you can read more here https://aretheykidding.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/obamacare-catastrophic-policies/

Is anyone else curious what in the world the administration did for 3 1/2 years to prepare for the launch of Obamacare?? It seems that the main thing they did was pat themselves on the back for shoving this law down the throats of the American people – they certainly didn’t spend the time planning to actual make it work. Seems like a clear indication to me that people who have no clue how to setup, manager and keep a business within budget – should NOT be in charge of anything in our government. The private sector understands the inherent limitations when you are running a business – the people behind the ACA do not have a clue or they have no concern for well being of the American people… I’ll let you speculate on what the problem is with them.

A Compelling Argument to Impeach Obama

This is the most detailed and articulate call for the impeachment of Obama that I’ve read – I was only going to share some excerpts, but there wasn’t anything I was willing to skip. A link to the original post is at the bottom of the post –

Forbes flat-out calls for Obama’s impeachment, and their argument is very compelling

Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he has changed it five times. Most notably, he suspended the employer mandate last summer. This is widely known, but almost no one seems to have grasped its significance.

The Constitution authorizes the President to propose and veto legislation. It does not authorize him to change existing laws. The changes Mr. Obama ordered in Obamacare, therefore, are unconstitutional. This means that he does not accept some of the limitations that the Constitution places on his actions. We cannot know at this point what limitations, if any, he does accept.

By changing the law based solely on his wish, Mr. Obama acted on the principle that the President can rewrite laws and—since this is a principle—not just this law, but any law. After the crash of Obamacare, many Congressmen have implored the President to change the individual mandate the same way he had changed the employer mandate, that is, to violate the Constitution again.

The main responsibility the Constitution assigns to the President is to faithfully execute the Laws. If the President rejects this job, if instead he decides he can change or ignore laws he does not like, then what?

The time will come when Congress passes a law and the President ignores it. Or he may choose to enforce some parts and ignore others (as Mr. Obama is doing now). Or he may not wait for Congress and issue a decree (something Mr. Obama has done and has threatened to do again).

Mr. Obama has not been shy about pointing out his path. He has repeatedly made clear that he intends to act on his own authority. “I have the power and I will use it in defense of the middle class,” he has said. “We’re going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress.” There are a number of names for the system Mr. Obama envisions, but representative government is not one of them.

If the President can ignore the laws passed by Congress, of what use is Congress? The President can do whatever he chooses. Congress can stand by and observe. Perhaps they might applaud or jeer. But in terms of political power, Congress will be irrelevant. Probably, it will become a kind of rubber-stamp or debating society. There are many such faux congresses in tyrannies throughout history and around the globe.

Mr. Obama has equal contempt for the Supreme Court. In an act of overbearing hubris, he excoriated Supreme Court Justices sitting helplessly before him during the 2010 State of the Union address—Justices who had not expected to be denounced and who were prevented by the occasion from defending themselves. Mr. Obama condemned them for restoring freedom of speech to corporations and unions.

Ignoring two centuries of practice, President Obama made four recess appointments in January 2012, when the Senate was not in recess. Three courts have found that his appointments were unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case. If the Supreme Court finds against him, what will Mr. Obama do?

We can get a hint by looking at how other parts of his Administration have dealt with Court decisions they did not like.

The Attorney General’s Office is the branch of government charged with enforcing federal laws. After the Supreme Court struck down the key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Attorney General Holder announced that he would use other provisions of the act to get around the Court’s decision.

The Supreme Court has defined the standard for sexual harassment as “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” behavior to a “reasonable person.” In open defiance of that ruling, the Obama Department of Education has declared a new definition of sexual harassment for colleges, that is, “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including “verbal conduct,” even if it is not objectively offensive—thus reinforcing the reign of terror over sex on college campuses. If a young man’s request for a date turns out to be unwelcome, he is guilty of sexual harassment by definition.

The lack of respect for the Supreme Court by the Obama administration is manifest. They feel bound by the Court’s decisions only if they agree with them. If they disagree, it is deuces wild; they will embrace any fiction that nullifies the Court’s decision.

The direction in which Mr. Obama is taking us would make possible the following scenario. A Republican Congress is elected and repeals Obamacare over a Democratic President’s veto. The President refuses to enforce the repeal. The Supreme Court rules that the President’s refusal is unconstitutional. The President denounces that ruling and refuses to be bound by it.

If the President persists in rejecting all authority other than his own, the denouement would depend on the side taken by the Armed Forces. Whatever side that was, our national self-esteem would be unlikely to recover from the blow of finding that we are living in a banana republic.

The shocking fact is that our whole system of representative government depends on it being led by an individual who believes in it; who thinks it is valuable; who believes that a government dedicated to the protection of individual rights is a noble ideal. What if he does not?

Mr. Obama is moving our government away from its traditional system of checks and balances and toward the one-man-rule that dominates third world countries. He has said that he wants a fair country—implying that, as it stands, the United States is not a fair country—an unprecedented calumny committed against a country by its own leader.

What country does he think is more fair than the United States? He has three long years left in which to turn us into a fair country. Where does he intend to take us?

Mr. Obama got his conception of a fair country from his teachers. A fair country is an unfree country because it is regimented to prevent anyone from rising too high. Their ideal is egalitarianism, the notion that no one should be any better, higher, or richer than anyone else. Combined with a dollop of totalitarianism, egalitarianism has replaced communism as the dominant ideal in our most prestigious universities. Mr. Obama and his colleagues are the product of those universities, and they have their marching orders.

The most important point is that Mr. Obama does not consider himself bound by the Constitution. He could not have made that more clear. He has drawn a line in the concrete and we cannot ignore it.

Those who currently hold political office, and who want to keep our system of government, need to act now. Surely, rejection of the Constitution is grounds for impeachment and charges should be filed. In addition, there are many other actions that Congressmen can and should take—actions that will tell Mr. Obama that we have seen where he is going and we will not let our country go without a fight.

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked what form of government had been created. “A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.”

We are losing it. If Mr. Obama’s reach for unprecedented power is not stopped, that will be the end. Everyone who values his life and liberty should find some way to say “No!” “Not now!” “Not yet!” “Not ever!”

http://youngcons.com/forbes-flat-out-calls-for-obamas-impeachment-and-their-argument-is-very-compelling/

I Am the Flag

A friend posted on his Facebook profile and a flag burning and several comments were posted by people who were upset that the flag was being burned. A variety of other comments were made – and I was searching for an explanation of what the flag stands for and I found this. I think the readers of this blog will enjoy it – and especially if they haven’t heard it before. Feel free to share your comments below –

I am the Flag

by Ruth Apperson Rous

I am the flag of the United States of America.

I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia.

There the Continental Congress adopted my stars and stripes as the national flag.

My thirteen stripes alternating red and white, with a union of thirteen white stars in a field of blue, represented a new constellation, a new nation dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of mankind.

Today fifty stars signal from my union, one for each of the fifty sovereign states in the greatest constitutional republic the world has ever known.

My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country.

My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity of American men and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers and daughters.

My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all.

My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.

I represent these eternal principles: liberty, justice, and humanity.

I embody American freedom: freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press, and the sanctity of the home.

I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to my land by Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers – the Pilgrims, Puritans, settlers at James town and Plymouth.

I am as old as my nation.

I am a living symbol of my nation’s law: the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

I voice Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy: “A government of the people, by the people,for the people.”

I stand guard over my nation’s schools, the seedbed of good citizenship and true patriotism.

I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my nation; every schoolyard has a flag pole for my display.

Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge their allegiance to me and my country.

I have my own law—Public Law 829, “The Flag Code” – which definitely states my correct use and display for all occasions and situations.

I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set aside to honor my birth.

Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow.

I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in trust for posterity.

If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if I am nullified and destroyed, you and your children will become slaves to dictators and despots.

Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.

As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country, remind yourself that I am the flag of your country, that I stand for what you are – no more, no less.

Guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the earth.

Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a battle for human liberty.

God grant that I may spend eternity in my “land of the free and the home of the brave” and that I shall ever be known as “Old Glory,” the flag of the United States of America.

http://www.usflag.org/iamtheflag.html