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Nothing But Down-side to Top-Two Primaries

There was a strong push in the last Arizona election cycle to disenfranchise political parties by turning the Arizona Primary election into a “round one general election” in which there would be a single ballot with all candidates listed on it without regard to party affiliation, but only the top two vote-getters from the Primary would be on the General Election ballot.  Some very good political thinkers were involved at least in conceptualizing this ballot proposition.  The proposition failed by a two to one margin

military voting

The main thing the proposition was designed to do was to give independents (voters not affiliated with any party) a greater say in the primary.  There are certain good things about today’s party system; it allows people with common political views to identify their positions on issues (platform) and to select candidates who will run for office in the general election.  The founding fathers were not fond of political parties; but parties in their times were specific special interest factions such as merchants, or lawyers, or veterans, or bankers, or planters.  The political parties spoken of by Washington and his contemporaries were what we would now call lobbyists or political action committees (PACs).

Today’s parties are made up of voters with diverse professions, economic stations, races, educational levels, and lifestyle, and serve primarily as a vetting process for candidate selection. party) more say in Primary elections.  To me that alone doesn’t make any sense because primary elections are elections in which political parties nominate their candidates.  Independents are independents because they don’t support party politics.  Arizona already does something that I think is very bad in that they allow independents to vote in one primary of any party they wish. To me nobody except party members should have a say in who the party nominates..  I’m glad it did because I think it was a very bad idea.

Even minor parties have played a significant role in shaping our politics.  By presenting their views to the public they have caused the two major parties to adjust to attract those voters.  Two examples are the Socialist Party who originated the idea of vast social programs and redistribution of wealth, and the Libertarian Party who has pushed for a more stringent compliance with the constitution and lest government involvement in the lives of citizens.  Both of these minor parties have never reached the number of supporters needed to enact their policies, but the Democrats have adapted many of the aims of the Socialist Party, and the Republicans have adjusted to the right in response to the ideas of the Libertarian Party.

One problem with a top two primary is that it does not give the voter more choices but limits them to only two in the general election.  A second problem is that in a district in which one party dominates, no other party has a chance to make it on the ballot, both general candidates could be from the same party.  It would virtually illuminate all minor party candidates from ever getting on a general ballot.

Many independents say there is no difference between the two parties; however, even the most cursory review of their stand on issues reveals that as false. The main causes of independent discontent with the two major parties can be categorized as: 1) They are all professional politicians who are mostly concerned with feathering their own nest and being reelected, and 2) They can’t work together to get anything done.

I think Item one is partly true; I do believe that many people in congress have a genuine desire to do what’s right, but their view may differ from that of many of their voters.  They have elevated themselves to a special class that is paid much more than the average voter, has amazing perks and benefits, and gives them special exceptions to things the rest of us live with every day.  When congress was first given an annual salary in 1855 it was $3000; comparing the consumer price index of 1855 to 2012, that equates to under $12,000 per year in today’s dollar.  Then, being in Congress was a part time job, they spent a couple of months a year mostly approving a budget.

This brings us to item two.  As the founders intended, the federal government dealt with relatively few departments and programs, they didn’t enact many new laws every year, they took care of business and got back their farm, store, law officer, parsonage, etc.  For the last 80 years congress has gotten along too well, they have passed way to many laws, creating way too much government, and spending way too much public revenue.  Any congress that refuses to raise expenditures or increase taxes is a good congress.  Democrats want to keep using the public revenue to buy votes, and Republics want to reverse that process.  In a nutshell that is the difference between the two parties.  I will vote for the senator or representative who refuses to go along with government programs, trillion dollar deficits, and forever increasing taxes.  A “do-nothing” congress is better than a “do-something” congress unless the something being done is cutting spending, cutting government, and cutting taxes.

So since the main accusation is that Democrats and Republicans are the same, you better look again.  And if you want to save the country you better hope the “do-nothings” outnumber the “do-everythings”.

10 Things Conservatives Got Right About Obama

More Taxes1. Tax Increases ~ It came as quite a shock and surprise when President Obama raised payroll taxes on 77% of taxpayers. Many Democrats exploded on Twitter that they had been “duped.” But the Democrat Party is just warming up — it’s seeking another $1 trillion by the end of the year.

2. Debt & Deficit Spending ~ After the election, the deficit, debts and spending will only go up. The just-inked fiscal cliff deal meant that there would be $41 in new spending for every $1 in cuts. In effect, that means taxes and unemployment will continue to go up. Elections have consequences, and so does bad economic policy.

3. Out-of-Control Spending ~ Another thing conservatives were pointing out before the election is that Barack Obama has no interest in cutting spending. American taxpayers were warned about this, even as the president harped about his supposed “balanced approach.” The president recently said flat-out that “we don’t have a spending problem.”

4. Unemployment and Jobs ~ All hail to the chief — we have a 7.8% unemployment rate. But that declining number is due to people dropping out of the labor force — futility and despair helping the Obama unemployment rate. By the way, the stimulus bill’s projections had the unemployment rate at 5.0% right now. And about those new jobs that were created? As of December, 73% of them were financed by government with taxpayer money.

5. Green Jobs & Environmental Policy ~ The president promised to commit $15 billion a year to create 5 million green energy jobs over a decade. Obama was unable to get cap-and-trade through first time around, but the clock is still ticking on this promise to create a bunch of green jobs through central planning. But a word of warning: America is pursuing the same failed green jobs strategy that killed current EU basketcase Spain. But let’s not learn from mistakes — that would be so un-Obamalike.

6. Social Issues & Campaign Distractions ~ Conservatives warned during the campaign that Obama was hiding his poor record with distractions like social issues. Turns out they were right. Social issues were campaign bait to engage sensitive youth voters and women. The president overwhelmingly favors men in cabinet appointments and women in his administration tend to make less than men.

7. Slashing the Military ~ The right-wing was abuzz with alarm when the president whispered on hot mic to former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” in his second term. It looks like they were right about what that meant. The president’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary signals that he is going through with his cut of military spending by almost a third by 2019 — from 4.3% to 3%.

8. Civil Rights ~ The libertarian wing of the Republican Party tried to alert voters that President Obama continued or even made worse some of the Bush war and terrorism policies. After critics on both right and left blasted the president for signing the NDAA, the president did not learn a single thing: he renewed the legislation after his election.

9. Gun Rights ~ Although the president had not initiated legislation to enact or decree sweeping gun laws during his first term, there were suggestions after such massacres as the Gabby Giffords tragedy and the Aurora theater massacre. Conservatives aware of the president’s radical positions against gun ownership in Illinois, however, knew that the president would seize on any crisis to bring back calls for tighter gun control laws. After all, this is the administration that gave us the deadly Fast & Furious scandal.

10. Blame Game Continues ~ The President would continue to blame others for the predictably disastrous results of his policies. This self-evidently become the case as “Blame Bush” turned into “Blame Boehner.” Maybe we should feel sorry for President Obama. After all, he did inherit another failed administration.
Yes, liberals. Conservatives told you

so.http://www.ijreview.com/2013/01/28889-top-10-things-conservatives-were-right-about-obama/2/
10 Things Conservatives Got Right About Obama
www.ijreview.com
Yes, liberals. Conservatives told you so.

13 Tax Increases in 2013

Tax increaseThe deal that Congress and President Obama struck that finally—but only partially—avoided the fiscal cliff resulted in seven tax increases.
Those hikes combined with six tax increases from Obamacare that also began on New Year’s Day.
13 Tax Increases That Started January 1, 2013
Tax increases the fiscal cliff deal allowed:
1. Payroll tax: increase in the Social Security portion of the payroll tax from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent for workers. This hits 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” will 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.
Each of these 13 tax increases will slow the economy, meaning that businesses will create fewer jobs. Fewer jobs will make it even more difficult to land a job than it already is for the more than 12 million Americans looking for work.
President Obama demanded these higher taxes. Obama’s tax increases, in Obamacare and through the fiscal cliff deal, will not curb deficits and debt, because growing spending is driving America’s budget crisis. Congress needs to immediately turn its attention to 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 has achieved the tax increase portion of that approach. Now Congress needs to force him to follow through on the spending cuts portion.

Workers making $30,000 will take a bigger hit on their pay than those earning $500,000 under new fiscal deal

by Harley Peterson

Middle-class workers will take a bigger hit to their income proportionately than those earning between $200,000 and $500,000 under the new fiscal cliff deal, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Earners in the latter group will pay an average 1.3 percent more – or an additional $2,711 – in taxes this year, while workers making between $30,000 and $200,000 will see their paychecks shrink by as much as 1.7 percent – or up to $1,784 – the D.C.-based think tank reported.
Overall, nearly 80 percent of households will pay more money to the federal government as a result of the fiscal cliff deal.
article-2256972-16B87846000005DC-468_634x642
Tax GraphNearly 80 percent of households will pay more money to the federal government as a result of the fiscal cliff deal
‘The economy needs a stimulus, but under the agreement, taxes will go up in 2013 relative to 2012 – not only on high-income households, as widely discussed, but also on every working man and woman in the country, via the end of the payroll tax cut,’ said William G. Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center.
‘For most households, the payroll tax takes a far bigger bite than the income tax does, and the payroll tax cut therefore – as [the Congressional Budget Office] and others have shown – was a more effective stimulus than income tax cuts were, because the payroll tax cuts hit lower in the income distribution and hence were more likely to be spent,’ he added.

When the deal was passed by Congress late Tuesday, President Obama said it prevented ‘a middle class take hike that could have sent the economy back into recession’ and have a ‘severe impact’ on American families.

‘Under this law, more than 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up,’ he said.
To the contrary, the Tax Policy Center says roughly 70 percent of Americans will see their income taxes rise as a result of the deal. They won’t rise as much as they would have if no deal had been reached and the fiscal cliff was triggered, but they will go up nonetheless.
Federal Tax rateWhile the lower brackets will take a bigger hit to their paychecks than those in the $200,000 to $500,000 bucket, their overall federal tax rate will remain smaller
The average increase in tax bills for all earners will be about $1,257.
While the lower brackets will take a bigger hit to their paychecks than those in the $200,000 to $500,000 bucket, their overall federal tax rate will remain smaller. And the biggest hit of all will still be felt by the nation’s top income earners.
Obama made a tax hike on the nation’s wealthiest central to his campaign for re-election.
Workers making more than $1 million will pay an average 7.8 percent more – or an additional $170,341 – under the new law.
The federal tax rate will be roughly 39 percent for that group, compared to 26 percent for those earning between $200,000 and $500,000 and 14 percent for those making between $40,000 and $50,000.
Ave Dollar change
Tax rate changeWorkers making more than $1 million will pay an average 7.8 percent more – or an additional $170,341 – under the new law

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2256972/Middle-earners-hit-hardest-revealed-workers-making-30-000-bigger-hit-earning-500-000-new-fiscal-deal.html#ixzz2H7C41ESx
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Deal or No Deal: A Tax Hike for Every Working American

by Daniel HalperForward2

Payroll Tax HikeDeal or no deal, taxes are increasing for every single working American. And it appears no “fiscal cliff” proposal or provision being offered by the White House, Democrats, or Republicans will alter this fact.

The tax every working American will be hit with? The payroll tax increase.

“That means that the paychecks for more than 160 million Americans will be 2 percent smaller starting in January, as the payroll tax will jump from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. And a huge number of those hit will be middle class or working poor (Two-thirds of those in the bottom 20 percent would be affected by a payroll tax hike.),” describes the Washington Post.

The deal the Senate passed in late hours last night does not address the payroll tax hike. And no House member who has objected to the “fiscal cliff” bill has done so on the grounds of the payroll tax increase (instead, the objections are all based on how little the Senate bill cuts the bloated budget). The White House supports the already-passed Senate bill”So whether this particular deal passes or not, it’s basically a given that the payroll tax holiday is going away, which means a $115 billion fiscal contraction this year directly from the pocketbooks of ordinary Americans,” reports the Post. “To put that in perspective, the sequester cuts that are so dreaded would cut about $110 billion this year — more or less the same amount. While the fiscal cliff deal will save middle-class families an extra $2,000 in tax pain by extending the Bush tax cuts, anyone who earns $50,000 a year will still be hit with a $1,000 higher payroll tax burden.”

Over a month ago, the boss urged Congress to consider the payroll tax.

“The payroll tax, remember that?” the boss said on TV. “That was cut to 12% from 10% two years ago. It’s been 10% the last two years. And I gather the Republicans have no problem — I don’t know if Grover Norquist has a problem — with letting working class and middle class Americans have a 2% tax increase, and, that is not currently the Republican position that the payroll tax cut should be extended. And the administration is quietly happy to let that go, because God forbid they should actually cut entitlements from wealthy seniors or for others who benefit from corporate capitalism and big government.”

Regardless of Fiscal Cliff: Five More Obamacare Taxes Hitting on January 1

There are five major Obamacare taxes taking effect on January 1, 2013 — saddling the economy with a $268 billion tax increase:
The Obamacare Medical Device Tax – a $20 billion tax increase: Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will increase the cost of your health care – making everything from pacemakers to prosthetics more expensive.
The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” – a $13 billion tax increase: The 30-35 million Americans who use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2,500 (currently the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap).
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 several million 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. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.
The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income – a $123 billion tax increase: This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:

Capital Gains
Dividends
Other*
2012
15%
15%
35%
2013+ (current law)
23.8%
43.4%
43.4%
The table above also incorporates the scheduled hike in the capital gains rate from 15 to 20 percent, and the scheduled hike in dividends rate from 15 to 39.6 percent.
The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions – a $15.2 billion tax increase: Currently, those Americans facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). This tax increase imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. By limiting this deduction, Obamacare widens the net of taxable income for the sickest Americans. This tax provision will most harm near retirees and those with modest incomes but high medical bills.
The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike — an $86.8 billion tax increase: The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and self-employment profits. Under this tax hike, wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent rate instead. This is a direct marginal income tax hike on small business owners, who are liable for self-employment tax in most cases. The table below compares current law vs. the Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike:

First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee
All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee
Current Law
1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
Obamacare Tax Hike
1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

Read more: http://atr.org/regardless-fiscal-cliff-five-more-obamacare-a7362#ixzz2DcFOoNev
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