‘Cut it or Shut it!’: Tea Party Says No to Budget Compromise at DC Rally Today

Jenny Beth Martin looked out on the rain-dampened crowd along Constitution Avenue and pointed over her shoulder at the Capitol.

“They heard us, but they’re not listening!” Martin, a tea party leader, told members of the movement that helped put Republicans in charge of the House last November.

The crowd booed.

Four months after the historic election, the populist force that helped drive Republicans to power is finding that its clout on Capitol Hill isn’t automatic.

What brings you out today, one tea party member was asked. “Saving our country, obviously.”

Sensitive talks over how many billions of dollars to cut from this year‘s federal budget have strayed far below the Republicans’ campaign promise to slash $100 billion. Rather than standing firm and allowing parts of the government to shut down until enough lawmakers came around, House Speaker John Boehner was doing exactly what the tea partiers thought they had elected Republicans to avoid: negotiating with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats over spending cuts.

“Cut it or shut it!” chanted the crowd outside the Capitol on Thursday.

“I’m not talking about $5 billion or $6 billion or $10 billion. I’m talking about $100 billion,” said one tea party activist (seen in the picture above), speaking of the budget cuts. According to the AP, $10 billion has been cut so far.

Among those not balking were some of the 87 freshmen Republicans, who more than anyone in the House owe their seats to the tea party juggernaut.

Read more here.

Mobile America

As we learn more and more about our current population, thanks to the Census Bureau, we are also getting a glimpse into the American psyche – Americans are driven to seek places where there are less taxes, less government spending and less union influence. Michael Barone has a few highlights for us.

* The lesson is that high taxes and strong public employee unions tend to stifle growth and produce a two-tier society like coastal California’s.

* The eight states with no state income tax grew 18 percent in the last decade. The other states (including the District of Columbia) grew just 8 percent.

* The 22 states with right-to-work laws grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew just 6 percent.

* The 16 states where collective bargaining with public employees is not required grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew 7 percent.

* The most rapid growth in 2000-10, 21 percent, was in the Rocky Mountain states and in Texas. The Rocky Mountain states tend to have low taxes, weak unions and light regulation. Texas has no state income tax, no public employee union bargaining and light regulation.

The fact is that many of these states believe that the more taxes you impose, particularly on the rich, the more money they will get in order to fund their bigger-government scheme and wealth distribution plans. But that is entirely not the case. Fostering a friendly economic climate with low taxes, low spending and right-to-work are ultimately what drives people to a state, thereby increasing potential tax revenue and economic gain. Meanwhile, as these high-tax, high-spending states continue to lose revenue, they continue to raise taxes. In California, for example, “Nearly half of California’s income taxes before the recession came from the top 1% of earners: households that took in more than $490,000 a year.” But it’s state saw less growth compared to lower tax states, and it is also in a gigantic financial hole .. considering that the top 1% of earners are also the most volatile income group to rely upon. The Wall Street Journal also points out, “New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois–states that are the most heavily reliant on the taxes of the wealthy–are now among those with the biggest budget holes.”

It’s not rocket surgery, unless you are a liberal who cannot understand why people would want less government in their lives.

HIGHER TAXES MEANS HIGHER SPENDING

“Everything is on the table.” Sounds familiar, right? That is what we’ve been told when it comes to PrezBo’s deficit reduction commission. But if you are a Democrat, “everything” principally applies to tax increases on the evil, disgusting, crooked, undeserving filthy rich, and perhaps even a tax increase in the form of a VAT tax (which will be billed as a “deficit reduction sales tax”).

What is another line that sounds familiar? How about, “We can’t afford tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.” How many times have we heard THAT line over the past few weeks. Some Democrats think that line is working so well they’ve even edited it to leave out the “millionaires” part and are limiting it to “billionaires.” They’ve further modified their class warfare script to include the idea that it’s not just a tax cut, it’s “$100,000 checks for billionaires.” Democrats will go to any length to step up class envy and class warfare in this country. This is because they know that most people who are envious of or hate those with considerably more money than they have will most certainly vote Democrat. But when it comes to “affording” these tax cuts, remember that we are really talking about tax INCREASES on the rich. Democrats want to increase taxes. Got it?

We’re told that increasing these taxes will lead us on a path toward eliminating our deficit. That’s the Democrat argument. How many of you actually believe that? And just how many of you actually believe that if we increase taxes, thereby increasing the amount of money that the federal government collects, we will then use that money to apply it toward deficit reduction?

Before you answer that, perhaps I can share a little nugget of information with you. I’ll try to make this semi-interesting .. In the late 1980s, some economists at Ohio University got together to do a little study for the congressional Joint Economic Committee. They wanted to know what happens when the government increases taxes and therefore collects more money for its coffers. Did government spending grow or did our debts shrink? These bean counters worked and slaved over their research and calculators and came up with something that is now known as the $1.58 study. This is what they found: “Every new dollar of new taxes led to more than one dollar of new spending by Congress. Subsequent revisions of the study over the next decade found similar results.”

Let’s review: Higher tax collections have never resulted in less spending by Congress. Do you understand that word? NEVER! And you think this time it would be different? Under Obama? At some point you really have to try to start thinking more clearly. It’s not painful, really. The only pain is the embarrassment you feel over having been conned for so long.

Don’t be fooled by the Democrat rhetoric; and don’t expect the ObamaMedia to tell you the facts behind tax increases. Increasing taxes on the rich has nothing to do with reducing our deficit. It has everything to do with pandering to the wealth envy crowd. When presented with the information that increasing capital gains taxes resulted in less revenue for the government, our own president said that he would still increase taxes “for the purposes of fairness.” How can you even debate such logic?

Freedom Before All Else….

Many conservative groups have sprouted up over the past year. The Tea Party Patriots, the whole Tea Party movement, the 9-12 project and Americans For Prosperity are just a few. These groups have great heart and a good purpose. In all honesty, these groups have become an easy target for those against freedom to label certain groups and ideas. They, in and among themselves, have been a way for our enemies to destroy us. However, many are also becoming splintered because of certain ideas and groups within the larger movement. Some individuals in these groups are promoting single issues before what is most important. In all truth, there are two things most important that we, as Americans, must stand behind and fight for, as one group, one citizenry and one people. Those two things are simply, the Constitution of the United States of America and Freedom!

If we do not stand for these two ideas and the way of life they represent, what else actually matters? Without Freedom, we lose who we are as individuals, we lose our souls. Right now, we can see ourselves losing more and more Freedom each and every day. Our government says we need more security, more legislation, more rules, that all risks must be taken away. They seem to be trying to create sameness, misery if you will. Please, do not underestimate this regime. They know exactly what they are doing, and many of Americans continue to let them move us into a totalitarian country.

There is a great line from Mel Gibson in “Braveheart” where he says, on the battlefield, “They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!” What will our lives to be without Freedom? What will our lives be worth, especially considering that a government official will be making healthcare decisions for us where all individualism loses worth and governmental money prevails?

Americans throughout the past have always done what is right. We have stood for individualism, Freedom and the rights given to man by our creator. However, most of the world has fought against these things, starting many years before this great country was born. Those who have fought against these ideas have always failed. Unfortunately, totalitarian regimes have always lost, only because of violent uprisings from the people. This is where the people of America have a great opportunity before us. We can halt this attempt to socialize America through non-violence-only because of the people, only because of each and every one of you.

The ideals and beliefs of the people of this country is what has made America what is has always been, the shining city on the hill. Once again we find ourselves at a crossroad, although, maybe one of much more importance than ever before. We have the people, the ideas, the heart to do what is necessary to return this country back to the people. I ask this though: do the people of this country have the will to put government back into their place? As a necessary evil only and not a regime that tries to control the decisions and lives of the people it is supposed to protect.

Freedom and individuality along with personal responsibility has for too long, been eroded away and put into hindsight. Now we must put them into the forefront as we march behind them down the road of revitalizing America. Do we need a revolution, or just a revitalization? We have everything we need to bring this country back to prosperity. Those things are in our Constitution and in our hearts and minds. Now is the time for people to get motivated; not under many ideas, but just one. That one idea is Freedom. With it, we can do wonders and live extraordinary lives; without it, everything is futile.

We have a long road ahead of us in this country. The choice is ours, the time is now.

We do, in fact, live in a strange time here in America. We know man can be inherently evil, however, our politicians are even more so. Our own government calls the ones defending and staning for the Constitution of the United States extremists, while allowing Islam to march all over our free speech and threaten American citizens with death. If we are the extremists, what are those who are in the process of destroying our Constitution, our freedom, and our way of life?

I have many more questions than answers at this point. I do, however, understand these evil men who lead our government must be stopped before they bring death and destruction to the United States just as Socialism has done throughout the history of the world.

Six Months to Go Until The Largest Tax Hikes in History

From Ryan Ellis

In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families. These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

– The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
– The 25% bracket rises to 28%
– The 28% bracket rises to 31%
– The 33% bracket rises to 36%
– The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave: Obamacare

There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:

The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The “Special Needs Kids Tax” This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired. The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear. Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or “depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000. This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, all of it will have to be “depreciated.”

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.

Spending will kill, not save, our recovery

Voters are right to think our addiction to federal deficit spending is killing our economy. A thorough new study from Carmen Reinhart of the University of Maryland and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University takes a look at the relationships among rising debt, inflation and economic growth for 44 developed and developing countries. The findings bode poorly for a spending-crazy Washington.

From 1946 through 2009, growth of developed countries (including the United States) stood at an annual rate of just shy of 4 percent when debt was no greater than 30 percent of gross domestic product. The picture gets bleaker for those countries holding debt above 30 but below 90 percent — economic growth slowed down but still hovered around 3 percent to 3.5 percent per year. When debt rose to over 90 percent of GDP, average growth went negative. Reinhart and Rogoff found that when this worst-case scenario occurs in the U.S., economic growth rates go negative and the inflation rate goes to above 5.5 percent. According to the Heritage Foundation’s Bill Beach, the International Monetary Fund and the Congressional Budget Office both predict U.S. sovereign debt is fast approaching 100 percent of GDP.

There’s never been a better time for President Obama to put an end to the idea that he may be the next President Carter. He can head off inflation by taming federal spending and working with Congress to cut programs. And once that’s done, he can cut taxes to stimulate the economy. Sadly, he won’t. Obama sent a letter last week to leaders of the G-20, airing concerns over the decision of European leaders to start imposing austerity measures: “We should reaffirm our unity of purpose to provide the policy support necessary to keep economic growth strong.”

Unity of purpose is the problem. For Greece and Spain to face financial disaster, politicians first had to give monopolistic unions lavish pensions and a hearty social welfare state. Austerity measures were the hard-bought, politically unpopular solution, so much so that protests against the measures turned to riots.

Congress passed rules earlier this year to prevent itself from spending money it doesn’t have. But the same majority Democrats who voted for Pay-Go simply override those rules whenever they have to pass an actual spending bill. And on Saturday, Obama ripped opponents of his second stimulus, saying that they are endangering the jobs and unemployment benefits of millions of Americans. It’s time to face reality and start cutting spending.

Tarp Jr.

by Brian Darling

Remember all of those bold statements that the so called “Troubled Assets Relief Program” (TARP), the Bailout of Wall Street Bill, was a one time deal and our federal government should and will never do it again. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner testified in January of this year before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:

Many Americans look at what happened with AIG, and the rest of the financial rescue, and simply ask: Why was it necessary? Why was it fair for the government to take taxpayer money and put it into an institution that had mismanaged itself to the edge of collapse? The answer is that it was not fair, and it was not something our government should ever have to do. But those Americans, those families and business owners who played by the rules and played no role in giving rise to this recession, should understand that if the government had failed to act, that failure would have unleashed substantially greater damage upon them.

If TARP “was not fair” and not “something our government should ever have to do,” then why is Congress trying to impose the TARP model on small business? Congress will consider legislation this week to establish TARP, Jr. for small businesses to be administered and run by none other than Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner. The House is considering H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act that provides “temporary authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to make capital investments to eligible institutions in order to increase the availability of credit for small businesses.”

The legislation creates a federally run new bureaucracy called the “Small Business Lending Fund. ” To qualify a financial institution has to have less than $10 billion in assets and the new creation would have up to $30 billion in new investment authority. This allegedly temporary program is set up “without further appropriation of fiscal year limitation,” i.e. not temporary, to purchase “preferred stock and other financial instruments” from small business as a means to infuse money into local banks with the condition that they lend to failing small business. Local banks will be lending in exchange for equity small business, therefore these banks will be using federal monies to buy equity in companies. This is an idea born from socialism and one that will harm the free market for small business, because failure will be rewarded by federal subsidies while success will be punished.

The bill also creates a “Small Business Credit Initiative” with $2 billion of your tax dollars to be given to states that have created programs to provide funds to banks to bailout small businesses in trouble. This would provide an incentive for states to adopt the crony capitalism programs of the federal government exemplified by the federal takeover of General Motors and the activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Setting up a system with private profits, yet socialized losses, will diminish capitalism and the American free market system. This legislation, TARP, Jr., extends the failed and free market offensive TARP model to small business. Considering that the original TARP program was “not fair, and it was not something our government should ever have to do,” Congress might want to heed the advice of Secretary Geithner of January 2010 and pause before creeping a few more steps toward American socialism.