Saturday, July 22, 2017

Think Spicy Had It Tough? (Videos)

Some today say the press is too tough on Spicy and Trump. Some even suggest ending the White House press briefings. BOO HOO, it's always been a tough job. For decades other administrations withstood the onslaught of the media. It goes with the job. Anybody not up to the challenge needs to resign. It's how we roll.

New York Times Exposed Top CIA Official

For weeks conservatives have blasted the 'New York Times'. Here's their response.

Why We Published the Name of a Covert C.I.A. Official
"Before the article was published, one of the reporters who worked on it informed the C.I.A. that it would include Mr. D’Andrea’s name — a routine check for comment that Times reporters make for the sake of fairness. The C.I.A. asked The Times not to publish his name, arguing that Mr. D’Andrea was under cover.

In this case, editors decided to publish the name because Mr. D’Andrea is a senior official who runs operations from the agency’s headquarters outside Washington, not in the field. He is also the architect of the C.I.A.’s program to use drones to kill high-ranking militants, one of the government’s most significant paramilitary programs. We believe that the American public has a right to know who is making life-or-death decisions in its name."

Agree or disagree with the decision?

Early Look At The Republican Tax Plan

Talking Points Memo
Republicans Embrace Tax Hikes Targeting Democratic States
"WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans aren’t usually big on raising taxes, but they’re really eager to eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes. Why? A look at the states that benefit the most from the tax break helps explain it – they are all Democratic strongholds. New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and California top the list of states where taxpayers get the biggest deductions. Not a single Republican-leaning state ranks in the top 10."

We're hearing the bullshit argument about 'tax & spend' Democrats. Truth be told all members in congress love to tax and spend. One side favors spending on the military The other on social programs. One thing is for sure no matter who we put in office we all should be picking up a jar of Vasoline on the way home from the voting booth.

Let's Review An Example How This Would Play Out In Allentown, Pennsylvania
Currently Pennsylvania personal income tax is 3.07%. Allentown's EIT is 1.35%. Both state and local EIT combined are 4.42% alone. To list a few of the others which could be impacted. Pennsylvania Inheritance tax is 12% for siblings. 15% to other heirs. Motor Vehicle Lease Tax 3% of the total lease price. All of which would no longer be deductible.

Although the current plan still would allow mortgage interest deductions IT WOULD NO LONGER ALLOW deductions for property taxes. Instead the proposal doubles the standard deduction for a married couple to $24,000.

Doing The Math
Suppose a married couple were earning a combined income of $70,000 a year. Eliminating the 4.42% EIT deduction would raise taxable earnings by $3,094. Assuming the same couple was paying $6,000 a year in property taxes, this would then raise their income by $9,094. Previously their tax rate would have been 13.56% when deductions were allowed. Being the proposed standard deduction would be raised by $12,000 this would lower their gross to $58,000. The IRS rate on that income is 13.17%. In other words only a .39% reduction. Nearly back to where they were but no longer being allowed to deduct those prior expenses I mentioned and others

Baiting The Trap
Think about this. There's no way in hell state and local taxes aren't going up. The Republican plan locks up the $12,000 increased deduction without accounting for future state and local tax increases. In other words in a year or two this couple will be paying more then they would have before. Yeah we'll give ya an extra $12,000 gross deduction but it won't mean diddly sqat in a year or two if one can't take greater deductions as their state and local taxes increase or if someone's income changes one year due some unforeseen windfall the state already hammered the taxpayer with.

This is nothing more then a backdoor tax increase over the next few years

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mood Of The Day- Political Bullshit (Videos)

I'm gonna warn you right now...
if you're adverse to foul language don't look at any of the following videos.

Forks Township Considering A Fire Tax

Lehigh Valley
Forks Township eyes possible fire tax to pay for fire trucks
"Supervisors discussed adding a specific fire tax that would designate money into a fund that could only be used for fire department needs."

A Tax Is Still A Tax
Wonder where all this could lead. Why not a separate swimming pool tax? Park maintenance tax? Snow plow/street cleaning tax? Municipal pensions tax? Street lighting tax? Police Tax? EMS tax? Municipal vehicles tax?

You get the idea. If we're going to starting breaking down budgets into dozens of separate additional taxes the list could be endless.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Healthcare Battles Rage On

Published on May 11, 2017

Published on Jan 6, 2017

I will forever fail to understand why this is so complicated. Simply extend 'Medicare' to everyone. The system is already in place. All it needs is a few tweaks to cover dependents. Doing this would enable the current system to negotiate with pharmaceuticals as well as to providers what reasonable charges would be allowed. As it now stands 'Medicare' pays 80%. Those desiring more coverage (just as they are now allowed) could purchase additional coverage if they so desired from private insurance plans.

Even if this required 10% in payroll deductions it still would be far less expensive monthly then any of the plans out there (including Obamacare).

How about this... Congress writes a proposal and runs it past the CBO. It's never been done, so why not. If it doesn't pan out so-be-it. But hell we'll never know unless we give it a shot.

For those naysayers who fear a government run healthcare plan I have this to say. Which would you rather. A government run healthcare plan which taxpayers can put pressure on their representatives on what coverage is provided OR insurance companies where payers have no say whatsoever in what they will provide or refuse to provide.

Did Russian Mob Money Help Donald Trump?

Donald Trump Warns Robert Mueller Not To Go After His Finances

Published on July 19, 2017

"Bloomberg" is reporting...

"FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said."

In other Trump related news "The Daily Beast" reports...

"Under Secretary Tom Price’s stewardship, HHS has filmed and produced a series of testimonial videos featuring individuals claiming to have been harmed by Obamacare... To date, it has released 23 videos. A source familiar with the video production says that there have been nearly 30 interviews conducted in total, from which more than 130 videos have been produced.

... Funding for those videos would come from the Department’s “consumer information and outreach” budget, which was previously used for the purposes of advertising the ACA and encouraging enrollment. The Trump administration has requested $574 million for this specific budget item... "