Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thanks... much like respect has to be earned Mr President

April 20, 2010
Colorado, USA

To: American Patriots
CC: President Obama, Obama Administration, Congress, Bill Clinton

Dissident Daughter Greetings and Dissent,

My Mom taught me to be polite. My Dad taught me to be respectful. Both stressed the importance of those values especially when addressing elders and certain authority figures. Both encouraged me to become a person hopefully others could appreciate and respect. They also taught me to abhor deceit and to not place trust in those who deal in any form of falsehood.

I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes. -- Obama, 2008

Yes, my folks taught me real manners, humility and to be a law-abiding citizen, to be kind and considerate of others, true to my words, accountable for my actions and responsible for my own happiness.

They also taught me love of this country and appreciation for the freedoms citizens of the USA enjoy. Somewhere along the way, I learned that the liberty to make my own way was provided by freedoms set forth by the wise men who set us on the course of a republic. I learned not to take that liberty for granted. In fact, I learned that considerable effort to guard that liberty is required.

I mourn the fact that men such as our founders do not appear to be in our midst these days. I learned not to call people names or to presume to know a person beyond the reality of the actual relationship. To assume you know another person's mind well enough to speak on it is a perilous game. This is a game the Obama administration engages in on a near daily basis.

Growing up with such excellent parenting, the reality of an adult ME is: I do not hesitate to demand a person earn my respect, no matter how high their station. Respect is directly related to how well a person can quantify their words and actions with truth.

So, last week when I heard the President suggest in his usual condescendingly snide manner that We the People, specifically Tea Party Patriots should be thanking him... and then I heard Bill Clinton draw a vague line between Tea Party Patriots and the disturbed people who blew up the OKC Federal building... and then I read Joe Klein of the Times thinks anyone who speaks out against the Obama administration is practicing sedition -- well, let's just say Mom would not have approved of the language or the name-calling in my head, although I suspect my Dad would have tried to hide a grin.

In all, we passed 25 different tax cuts last year. And one thing we haven't done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year -- another promise that we kept.

So I've been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes, taxes. You would think they would be saying thank you. That's what you'd think. -- Obama in Florida, on the campaign trail - again.

I think the President may suffer a bit from ADD. The rallies he refers to in such an off hand manner were not necessarily about taxes even though they were scheduled on Tax Day - I mean what else can a tax-paying individual afford to do after writing a check to the man? It seems perfectly reasonable to hang out on the court house steps and bitch about it. So what? You think that wasn't happening at water coolers and cafes all across the land? Unfortunately, like so many other times the White House jumps on a key word without clarification. TAX. I challenge anyone in DC to prove that Americans have nothing to worry about in regard to taxes. The rallies and the Tea Party Patriots are about so much more than taxes. The President knows it and still he disrespects them.

First of all, the much touted tax cut for 95% of Americans that showed up in paychecks (for those who actually still had a job at the time) was broadcast widely as about $13 if you earn at the top of the pay scale that qualified. Most people realized between $7 and $10. I didn't do the math, so I'm not sure how much came back in our paycheck since sadly, another $13 or $10 or $9 is hardly noticeable given increases in the price of milk, bread, eggs, gasoline, utilities, vehicle registration, clothing, rent, insurance, and other consumer goods/services. Plus, I have to ask, did it escape the attention of all politicians who presented this tax cut from behind snake oil salesman smiles that the increase in taxable income per paycheck is still taxable at the end of the year? The IRS is a pay now or pay later system. Tax cuts/credits are generally not tax exempt folks.

We saw zero raises on our paychecks last year - not one cent. We did not get a year end bonus even though the company made money. The reason given belied the facts, financial hard times... We did not complain, being grateful to still have a job. Absolutely NO thanks to you Mr President. You cannot take credit for this job saved - it was not your doing.

We did not qualify for a single one of those allegedly amazing 25 tax credits (see list at the end of this post). We made too much money I guess or not enough. We did not owe enough or need credits for various items on the list. We did not grab up a mortgage we could not pay on a house we cannot afford with square footage we do not need. We did not trade in our gas-guzzling vehicles for a new car we did not need. Our clunkers are paid for in full. We like it that way. We did not charge our credit cards to the max and whine about it. We decided a long time ago not to have more children than we could properly feed, clothe and educate. We took a hit on our tiny investments, but it was not big enough for a stimulus bail out. We dipped into our savings more than once and have struggled to put those dollars back ever since. I guess we were penalized because we choose not to live outside our means. We were penalized because we can balance our checkbook and know the difference between red and black ink. I guess we were penalized because we did not need or want the government's help to pay our bills. We did not ask for Obama-money. We do not want Obama-money. We know it is not Obama-money. We prefer to make it on our own. We prefer that everyone else with two legs, two arms and at least a couple of brain cells do the same.

Living within our means is getting harder and harder to do. We have had to tighten our belts, saving is all but impossible, investing is impossible. We allow ourselves one amusement - we ride our Harley-Davidson. Holding on to a job, that Harley and maintaining our meager lifestyle is about the best we can do. Still, it is our work and we would like to be free to go about that work without government interference. We would like to reap the rewards of that work. We will gladly share what we can spare with those we think deserve it. We will take care of our own.

This is me being polite... So, pardon us for being mostly ungrateful Mr President. We were doing pretty well until you came along... until politicians and czars and those other nefarious individuals with whom you associate decided they know better what is good for us came along. We look down the road to our senior years now and realize our best years (economically speaking) are behind us.

So, pardon us for being not the least bit appreciative of the fact that we can afford to eat on the $1 menu at McDonald's once in a while and maybe squeeze in a tank of gas for the Harley - all thanks to those wonderful payroll tax credits (that were not your idea).

So, pardon us for consorting with the likes of Tea Party Patriots, for identifying with people of a like mind, for daring to use our first amendment right to free speech and the right to peaceably assemble and speak out against government policies that have done us more harm than good.

Second, the Tea Party I attended on the 15th was not so much about taxes as about a big and ever growing government that is out of touch and out of control. It was about off the charts national debt, monumental, unsustainable entitlement programs like Obama-Care, an escalating threat to jobs and the loss of personal liberties. But mostly, it was about values. Core American values. Personal Responsibility. Limited Government. Adherence to the Law of the Land. Sure, taxes came up - those taxes that loom on the horizon in the next decade (if we are lucky enough to put them off that long). For certain, your name Mr President came up, along with a few other select politicians and bureaucrats. We talked a good bit about non-representing representatives and how to rid ourselves of the rascals. When a speaker at our rally asked for a show of hands to indicate how many people present thought we should not pay any taxes - only about a half dozen raised their hands. There are always a few who believe we should not pay any taxes and it is my guess those few were very young and probably do not even pay taxes. The vast majority of Americans realize we are taxed for a reason and taxation is OK -- within reason.

Personally speaking, I will not complain about taxation in theory. I have problems with a growing government trend that implements taxation without representation. I have a problem with redistribution of wealth (your words - not mine) through theftby taxation. I have a bigger problem with the fact that we are paying politicians from the top seat down to do a job badly. I believe Congress should be paid on a purely discretionary basis commensurate to the performance of their duties and in proportion to how well those duties are executed in the eyes of the people who employ them. That would be WE the PEOPLE. Now, who's ordering from the $1 menu?

This President says not to get distracted by polls and pundits... at least he says that when they do not serve his purpose. A recent Rasmussen survey reported that 66% of Americans believe the nation is over-taxed. Hmmm...

Those 25 tax credits... will be offset. According to a summary released by the House Ways and Means Committee Republicans - 25 tax increases signed into law by President Obama so far total $670 billion over the next 10 years. These include 14 tax hikes that break Obama's solemn 2008 campaign pledge never to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year. Those tax hikes include an annual tax on every insurance policy and brand-name drugs.

A Rasmussen poll in late March found three-quarters of Americans believe that no one should pay more than 20% of their income in taxes. We pay well over that. How about you?

According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, nearly 80 percent of Americans say they can't trust Washington. Public confidence in the federal government is at one of the lowest points in a half-century.

Third, I resent being labeled in derogatory terms because of my association with Tea Party Patriots, Conservatives or any other American with "seditious" thoughts. We are called seditious but, this is the new label for honest dissent.

I am an American citizen, a law-abiding, tax-paying, citizen with rights and liberties and freedoms granted by the law of the land. The laws this administration and others have all but trampled into the ground.

I am not a racist. I am not a terrorist. I am not a hate-monger. I am not anti-tax. I am not an anarchist. I am not a cultist. I am not a seditionist. I am not a bitter-clinger. I am not over-educated. I am not under-educated. I am not anti-Democrat or anti-Liberal. I am not a Repulican or a right-winger or an ultra-Conservative. I am not a zealot. I am not anti-government.

Tea Party Patriots and those who associate or identify with the movement make up 24% of American voters... and we are not amused. I am an American. I know what that means and I am sharing that knowledge. I am an Independent in more ways than one and I will use my voice to enlighten the undecided, the unsure, the uninformed. I believe in the greatness of this country, the founding principles, the rule of law, and the strength of will that sits resident in the heart of every true Patriot.

Bill Clinton - This Tea Party movement can be a healthy thing if they're making us justify every penny of taxes we raised and every dollar of public money we spend... But when you get mad, sometimes you wind up producing exactly the reverse result of what you say you are for.

Words have consequences as much as actions do, and what we advocate, commensurate with our position and responsibility, we have to take responsibility for.

Ahem! The last person in the world who should presume to lecture anyone on the weight and consequences of their words is a known liar and a cheat. Sorry folks. Clinton is a clever man. He would not have stayed so near the top so long if he were not so clever. But the terms I used above do appropriately apply and so his credibility in this regard comes gravely into question.

I did a little bit of research just before this show - it is on this little napkin here. I looked up the definition of sedition which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up close to being seditious. -- Joe Klein, Time columnist, The Chris Matthews Show, NBC, April 18. 2010

Finally, those of us who have chosen to speak up for our country, it's laws, the constitution... those of us who happily practice dissent (bordering on sedition) every day are not going to sit down and shut up. You do not yet have the power to silence the People. You do not yet rule supreme.

FYI: The inflammatory language on my Tea Party sign read: Silence is the most insidious form of consent. I believe it.

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. -- Samuel Adams
OK - asking pardon from my Mom, this is me being snide... just call it a parting shot --- What you've got to focus on is that true North, that lodestar, which is, are the things we're doing over the long term going to help not just this generation but the next generation? Is this going to make America stronger? -- Obama

NO. America is not stronger nor does the path you've set us on reveal anything other than utter devastation for generations to come... I would cry !!the sky is falling!! for your amusement Mr President, but I am not in the mood.

Forget the lodestar. We have abandoned space exploration - remember? Get real or get on that imaginary rocket ride to Mars.

In other words, you are hereby officially notified of our [We the People] intent to evict you and others from the seats of power in this country. Consider this your pink slip. How's that for sedition-talk, Klein?

Source: CBS News, Obama: Tea Partiers Should Thank Me for Tax Breaks Source: Wall Street Journal.com, Why Republicans Are Winning on the Tax Issue Source: Fox News.com, Obama's Mockery of Tea Party Stirs Tax Debate Source: Fox News.com, Taxpayer Calculator -- The Votes Are In Source: Fox News.com, Bill Clinton Warns Tea Party Anger Could Incite Right-Wing Extremism Source: Fox News.com Poll: Trust in Big Government Near Historic Low Source: Red State.com, Yes Mr. President, Words DO Matter Source: Sense of Events Blog, Joe Kleins seditious hyperbole

25 Tax Cuts Source: Politifact.com, Axelrod claims Democrats passed 25 tax cuts last year without the help of Republicans
Individual Tax Cuts:

1. "Making Work Pay" Tax Credit (Sec. 1001, Page 195). In tax years 2009 and 2010, the Making Work Pay provision will provide a refundable tax credit of 6.2 percent of earned income up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

2. Increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (Sec. 1002, Page 198). Go to the stimulus bill for all the details, but it essentially expands this benefit for the working poor.

3. Increased Eligibility for the Refundable Portion of Child Credit (Sec. 1003, Page 199). In 2009 and 2010, families who don’t earn enough to pay income tax would be eligible to claim the $1,000 child credit.

4. "American Opportunity" Education Tax Credit (Sec. 1004, Page 199). Increases the Hope Scholarship Credit to $2,500.

5. Refundable First-time Home Buyer Credit. (Sec. 1006, Page 202). This extended and increased the first-time home buyer tax credit from $7,500 to $8,000.

6. Temporary Suspension of Taxation of Unemployment Benefits (Sec. 1007, Page 203). This exempts from taxable gross income the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits.

7. Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Improvements to Existing Homes (Sec. 1121, Page 208). This provides up to a $1,500 tax credit for qualified energy efficiency improvements.

8. Sales Tax Deduction for Vehicle Purchases (Sec. 1008, Page 203). This allows people to write off state and local sales taxes related to the purchase of a new vehicle costing up to $49,500.

9. Premium Credits for COBRA Continuation Coverage for Unemployed Workers (Sec. 6432, Page 348)

10. Economic Recovery Credits to Recipients of Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement and Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits (Sec. 2201, Page 336). This was a $250 payment for senior citizens, disabled veterans and disabled people living on Social Security benefits.

11. Computers as Qualified Education Expenses in 529 Education Plans (Sec. 1005, Page 202). This allows college students to write off the expense of computers and software, provided it's for educational purpose and not for games.

12. Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit (Sec. 1141, Page 212). Allows purchasers of plug-in electric vehicles to write off up to $5,000 of their purchase (depending on the power of the battery).

13. Tax Parity for Transit Benefits (sec. 1151, Page 219). This relates to an increased exclusion amount for commuter transit benefits and transit passes.

14. Health Coverage Tax Credit Expansion (Sec. 1899, Page 309).

Small Business Tax Cuts:

1. Extension of Enhanced Small Business Expensing (Sec. 1202, Page 221). This is a temporary increase in limitations on expensing some depreciable business assets.

2. 5-Year Carryback of Net Operating Losses for Small Businesses (Sec. 1211, Page 221).

3. Extension of Bonus Depreciation (Sec. 1201, Page 220). This extends by a year election to accelerate the AMT and Research Credits in lieu of bonus depreciation.

4. Exclusion of 75% of Small Business Capital Gains from Taxes (Sec. 1241, Page 228).

5. Temporary Small Business Estimated Tax Payment Relief (Sec. 1212, Page 222).

6. Temporary Reduction of S Corporation Built-In Gains Holding Period from 10 Years to 7 Years (Sec. 1251, Page 228).

Other Business Tax Cuts:

1. Advanced Energy Investment Credit (Sec. 1302, Page 231). This relates to properties designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as those that produce
energy from the sun, wind, geothermal deposits, fuel cells, microturbines, or an energy storage system for use with electric or hybrid-electric vehicles.

2. Tax Credits for Alternative Refueling Property (Sec. 1123, Page 211). This is a temporary increase for alternative fuel vehicle refueling businesses.

3. Work Opportunity Tax Credits for Hiring Unemployed Veterans and Disconnected Youth (Sec. 1221, Page 223). This is a tax credit to provide incentive to businesses to hire unemployed veterans and "disconnected youth." That latter term is defined, in part, as young adults "not readily employable by reason of lacking a sufficient number of basic skills."

4. Delayed Recognition of Certain Cancellation of Debt Income (Sec. 1231, Page 224).

5. Election to Accelerate Recognition of Historic AMT/R&D Credits (Sec. 1201, Page 220).

Grand total: 25 Obamacredits = zero deductions on out 1040.

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