Archive for the ‘Federal Income’ Category

What Whoopi Said: ‘Back Off Me!’

March 11, 2009

An anti-tax rant from the mouth of actress and talk-show hostess Whoopi Goldberg:

“I don’t mind payin’ a little more tax ’cause I make a good living. But I don’t wanna get it comin’ and goin’. I don’t wanna get the federal raised, and then the state raised, and then the phone tax raised, and then the television tax raised, and then the city tax. Back off me!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Hat tip to the National Taxpayers Union)

Obama’s Tax-And-Spend Plans

July 8, 2008

From “The Morning Bell,” an e-mail newsletter of the Heritage Foundation:

According to the nonpartisan Annenberg Political Fact Check, Sen. Barack Obama’s tax plan would increase gross tax receipts by $103.3 billion in 2011 alone. That number by itself would make it the largest single-year tax increase in American history since World War II, and measured as a percentage of gross national product, it would be the fifth-largest tax increase since 1943.

Even with these record-breaking levels of taxing, Obama still would not be able to cover all of his promised increases in domestic spending. Commenting on Obama’s tax and spending plans, Clinton-era Office of Management and Budget official Idabel Sawhill tells the Los Angeles Times: “I don’t think it all adds up.”

Absorb all of that while you watch this great anti-tax spoof of an anti-war ad by MoveOn.org:

A Rush Of New Taxes For Limbaugh

July 3, 2008

Jealous liberal journalists who long to be richer than Rush Limbaugh have been falling all over themselves to criticize their conservative nemesis and the undisputed champion of talk radio the past couple of days.

Why? Because he just negotiated a contract renewal with Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Radio, that reportedly will net him $400 million over eight years, including a nine-figure signing bonus.

Why that’s a problem is beyond me. If Premiere didn’t think Limbaugh was worth it based on past performance, the company wouldn’t have made the deal. It’s the free market at work, and every liberal who is whining about the deal would take all that money and then some if offered it for doing their jobs.

Besides, every liberal should be celebrating the rush of taxes that will flow into government coffers thanks to Limbaugh.

The numbers are staggering any way you look at it. I asked Peter Sepp, vice president for policy and communications at the National Taxpayers Union, to guesstimate Limbaugh’s tax bite from his new contract. With the obvious caveat that “there are a whole lot of variables both in the structure of his compensation package and the strategies he employs that would affect the actual tax burden,” Sepp predicted that Limbaugh will pay anywhere from one-third to 40 percent of his compensation to the government in taxes.

I’ll do the math for you: That’s $132 million to $160 million in taxes! And Sepp said the bite would be far worse if Limbaugh lived somewhere other than Florida, which has no state income tax and light business taxes. If he lived in California, the Golden Treasury State, he would have added up to 10 percent more ($40 million) to the tax tab.

That’s not counting all of the sales, property, gas and other taxes Limbaugh will be paying every time he spends a million dimes. And his penchant for cigars and other “sins” means he’ll be on the hook for even more.

Here’s the way all the liberals in the media and government should be looking at Limbaugh’s contract: He’s a one-man economic stimulus machine. Just imagine how many more pork projects will be funded over the next eight years because Rush Limbaugh got a hefty raise.

Stimulating Ideas

May 7, 2008

Our family hasn’t yet received the political boondoggle that is the federal tax rebate enacted as part of an economic stimulus plan. But other folks have, and they’re telling the world how they spent the money.

Check the list at the new blog How I Spent My Stimulus. It’s full of ideas that range from responsible and political to entertaining and downright wacky.

Somehow I don’t think this dude’s wife will be impressed with the scary likeness of her now emblazoned forever on his arm. Then again, she married the guy, so she probably knew he was capable of pulling a bizarre stunt like that one day.

A Century Of Tax Mischief

May 5, 2008

My Dad forwarded to me an e-mail that included this gem about all of the taxes conceived in the minds of politicians over the past century (the impact of several of them on just our family has been chronicled on this blog):

Accounts receivable tax
Building permit tax
CDL license tax
Cigarette tax
Corporate income tax
Dog license tax
Federal income tax
Federal unemployment tax
Fishing license tax
Food license tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline tax
Hunting license tax
Inheritance tax
Inventory tax
IRS interest charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor tax
Luxury tax
Marriage license tax
Medicare tax
Property tax
Real-estate tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security tax
Road usage tax (truckers)
Sales taxes
Recreational vehicle tax
School tax
State income tax
State unemployment tax
Telephone taxes
— Federal excise
— Universal service fee
— Federal, state and local surcharges
— Minimum-usage surcharge
— Taxes on recurring and non-recurring phone charges
— State and local phone taxes
— Telephone-usage charge tax
Utility tax
Vehicle registration tax
Vehicle sales tax
Watercraft registration tax
Well permit tax
Workers compensation tax

The kicker to the e-mail: “Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?'”

Election-Year Tax Gimmicks

May 5, 2008

President Bush and the Democratic Congress already have given Americans a tax rebate touted as an economic stimulant that isn’t likely to stimulate anything. Now politicians are tripping over themselves to offer more tax gimmicks as gasoline prices rise in this election year.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain was the first to propose a holiday from the federal gas tax (currently 18.4 cents a gallon) for the summer, and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has embraced a similar idea, with the twist of adding a “windfall profits tax” on oil companies to cover the lost revenue from the tax break. Barack Obama, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, has criticized those plans but countered with a call for a middle-class tax cut.

If only we voters could get a summer holiday from this kind of pandering!

Happy Income-Tax Day!

April 15, 2008

Don’t forget to mail your returns by midnight — and when you do, give some serious thought to the flaws of our current income-tax system.

This video, which makes the case for either a flat income tax or a national sales tax, is a good place to start. It’s now the featured video on Eyeblast TV, where I serve as the executive producer.

The Tax Check Is In The Mail

April 7, 2008

I finalized our state and federal income-tax forms over the weekend. The paperwork weighed enough that Kimberly had to put them on the scales at the post office before we mailed them to Uncle Sam and Aunt Virginia.

That $2.15 in postage is being recorded here both because the U.S. Postal Service is kinda like Uncle Sam’s ugly stepchild and because the $2.15 is a direct result of Uncle Sam and Aunt Virginia taxing my family.

Before There Were Income Taxes …

April 3, 2008

… there were tariffs. That’s how Uncle Sam fed the beast way back when. The government still collects taxes even with the income tax. Surprised? I didn’t think so.

Hat tip to The Club For Growth, which also points to a bizarre interview where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid argues that America’s tax system is voluntary.

I’m pretty sure Reid, D-Nev., went to the Bill Clinton School Of Parsing — and failed.

Tax Day Is Just Around The Corner

March 22, 2008

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the bureaucrats of the IRS and the Virginia Taxation Department force average Dans like me to spend hours upon hours completing tax form after tax form.

I worked through some of the forms earlier this year to estimate our bill or refund. But after realizing that we’ll actually owe a small amount of money to the IRS, I delayed the final run-through until yesterday. It took me four-and-a-half hours to complete all of the forms! Every time I thought I was making progress, I hit a line that directed me to a new form.

Part of that is because we are able to claim the adoption tax credit. The paperwork to get that credit, and the related “additional child tax credit,” is particularly egregious and mind-boggling. I’ve always been tempted to hire an accountant and save myself the headaches, but I suffer through it to save a few hundred bucks.

I also have to complete a bunch of extra forms because I registered one of my blogs, AirCongress, as a limited liability corporation. I hired an accountant to complete those forms for me last year, but this year I saved a little money by doing the work myself, with the forms from last year as a guide.

My work on income taxes this year won’t be included as part of the 2008 annual tally for this blog because it was for the tax year 2007. But here are the totals, in case you’re curious: $404 in federal income taxes (almost non-existent because of the adoption credit and our mortgage interest and other itemized write-offs) and $2,915 in state income taxes.

Uncle Sam would have taken $5,161 from us if not for the adoption credit. We’ve now exhausted that benefit from our 2005 adoption of Catie and will have to pay the full federal tax amount minus itemized deductions for 2008. That’s actually a good thing for purposes of this blog because it will result in a more accurate picture of the federal tax bite.

Stimulate Now, Get Less Later

February 13, 2008

President Bush today signed a misguided economic “stimulus” bill that will send hundreds of dollars in tax rebates to American families. But remember, America, that just means your tax refund for 2008 will be less than you expected come next year.

Lay Off The Layoff Taxes

February 6, 2008

There’s a good reason that I have a new job: I lost my old one as the editor of National Journal’s Technology Daily in a layoff. My last day was Jan. 31.

I was blessed enough to find gainful employment quickly, but not everyone is so fortunate. Sadly, our tax system can make life much harder for people who lose jobs.

The severance check I received to day drove that point home for me. The deductions from it for federal income taxes, state income taxes, and Social Security and Medicare would have been enough to pay the mortgage for two extra months had our family been forced to live on the generous severance.

I’m not exaggerating — and the tax bite on us was much smaller than it could have been. The federal government forces companies to treat such lump-sum severance payments like bonuses, which means the tax rate is 25 percent. The rate was significantly less for me because we have so many itemized deductions.

Governments should not be allowed to tax severance. It makes absolutely no sense to rob families of money that would help them buy food, pay the rent and live day to day while seeking new employment, and then turn around and give them food stamps and unemployment benefits that aren’t enough to pay the bills.

That’s bureaucratic logic for you. Lay off the layoff taxes, Uncle Sam and Aunt Virginia.

What’s All This Stimulus Nonsense?

January 30, 2008

Congress is rushing headlong toward passage of a cynical, election-year tax rebate for Joe and Jane America, ostensibly to salvage a sinking economy. The idea is that we’ll all run out and spend our rebates and thus achieve the desired “stimulus.”

Not gonna happen, my friends. If our family gets a rebate, we’ll be sinking it into paying down debt, not engaging in more conspicuous consumption.

It sounds like plenty of folks are thinking the same way, too. Here are some quotes from people interviewed by The Washington Post:

— “I would pay down what’s left on the credit card from Christmas and see what is left on the college bill. With all the brainpower in D.C., they can’t come up with a better stimulus idea?”

— “I would save it. It will not stimulate the economy. It’s the dumbest idea I have heard. They need to feed the money to businesses. Not to individuals, because individuals will just save. People, generally when times are tough, they will save their money.”

— “It’s like trying to put a band-aid on a gunshot wound. There is nothing carrying the economy.”

— “Taxes gone up. Groceries gone up. No raise. You have your bills. You can barely cope. Three-hundred dollars — how long can that last? That can’t even buy groceries.” Plus this similar comment: “How quickly can you blow $300? That wouldn’t last two weeks in gas money in my truck.”

— “It’s a rip-off. This is all a shadow and a dream. They give you the illusion you are getting something, but you are losing something.”

Wanna Pay More Taxes? Send A Check

January 29, 2008

President Bush had plenty to say about tax policy last night in his final State of the Union address. He even injected this dose of tax humor into the speech:

Some in Washington argue that letting tax relief expire is not a tax increase. Try explaining that to 116 million American taxpayers who would see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800.

Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I’m pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders.

‘Abolish The IRS’ — I Like The Idea

January 25, 2008

It’s an idea espoused by Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in his latest campaign ad: “I wanna be the president who nails the going-out-of-business sign on the door of the IRS. … I’ll lead the fight to abolish the IRS, and we’ll keep our jobs and paychecks.”

Huckabee supports the FairTax proposal to eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes — personal, corporate, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare and self-employment. A “consumption tax,” fancy lingo for a sales tax, would be imposed instead, and poor people would receive rebates for taxes they pay.

I don’t like any taxes, but a plan to kill a tax code that forces average folks to labor for hours over tax forms or hire accountants definitely interests to me — and a consumption tax encourages savings because if you don’t spend it, you aren’t taxed. Another appealing option is a flat tax on income to make filing easier.