Common Sense

Post Trial Verdict

Okay so the President has injected himself in the Martin/Zimmerman case and the media has new life to cover the story as a racial one. From what I see now the narrative is the jury was wrong. The stand your ground law must be repealed. We must stop profiling. America is racist. The President said this “could have been him 35 years ago”. So let’s look at this.

First Mr. President what were you doing 35 years ago? Are those stories of drug use and being stoned out all through college true? If you were walking the streets in a haze, you may have done something to make people wonder as you approached their open doors causing them to lock them.

Next Mr. President, I grew up in Brooklyn. I can recall twice being stopped by police in the schoolyard across from my house. Once was because someone had broken into the school and here I came motoring through the school yard. The second time was a drug crackdown in the yard. I can tell you now in neither case did I consider it wrong, challenge the police, or yell profiling. In fact as funny as this must sound I was actually happy the police were doing their job. I had done nothing wrong and was hoping they would find those who were. I was always for the law abiding citizen and protecting the innocent. I wonder if you understand me.

Now the case in Sanford. It is tragic that a young man died. Tragic that his family has to go through this. It is tragic that the Zimmerman family cannot live their lives. If everyone really wants to solve the issue let’s get to the real cause. It was not Stand Your Ground, the defense wasn’t even used in this case. It is a smoke screen. Go back to the cause. Why was a neighborhood watch necessary? 

Aren’t hard working law abiding citizens entitled to live their years in peace and safety? There was a watch set up because this became an issue. People were afraid to walk their streets, go shopping and stay in their homes. Criminals were taking away their safety and making them feel threatened. The fact that the criminals appeared to be young and hid under hoodies led to this tragedy. How about identifying the root cause and solving that issue, Martin would be alive and the Zimmermans living their formerly productive lives. 

One last thing on the post verdict. Mr President you are President of the whole country and responsible for our laws and system. We had a more than fair trail and a jury spoke. They spoke quickly and unanimously. In fact until you got involved the first time there wasn’t even going to be a trial. Your job is to support our system and advance our nation not raise doubts over it. This outcome of this case was never really in doubt. 

As for the main stream media. What a joke. From NBC changing the tapes to make Zimmerman appear racist to labeling him white and not knowing how to backtrack that is just a travesty. A man who registered himself “hispanic” then became a “white hispanic” because clearly according to the MSM only a white person could be racist. Doesn’t that make them racist?

How many former productive lives have been ruined since you, Mr President, forced the DOJ to get involved? From Sanford police and government workers, to the Zimemrmans themselves, how many good law abiding citizens have been impacted? Why? Because young hoodlums were terrifying a neighborhood and good citizens tried to protect themselves. 

Sequester Straight Talk

So what is all this “Sequester” talk and what does it mean. Here are some simple facts.

The sequester came about because before the election both sides could not agree on how to attack the deficit.

Rather than deal with the issue then (Rep “no tax increases”, Dem “Raise taxes on the rich”) they agreed to automatic cuts if by Jan 1 they did not resolve.

On Jan 1 as you may recall there was no agreement and Republicans gave in to the pressure of rescinding the Bush cuts on those earning $400,000 and above

The cuts were delayed until March 1 so they could agree.

Here we are on March 1 and no agreement. Obama wants another $680 billion tax increase and the Republicans are saying “you got the taxes in Jan this is about the cuts”. With no agreement the automatic cuts kick in.

So that’s how we got here. Now let’s define “cuts”.

Cuts in Washington does not mean spending less than last year. It means a reduction in the increased spending planned.

Let me say that one more time clearly. Government spending is going up, this cut (2.4%) is in the increase, it is not a reduction from last year.

The administration has claimed planes won’t fly, ships won’t sail, jobs will be lost, prisoners will be freed, etc etc etc. All that on on a 2% cut in a $3.55 Trillion Dollar Budget.

Now think about this. Every working American was hit with a 2% tax increase January 1 — every. You figured it out in your personal budget didn’t you? Now don’t you expect your government to figure it out too — especially since your cut was real and this is off a larger increase?

Pretty simple isn’t it? We have a $16.7 trillion budget deficit that we are paying interest on. We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. We need to get the budget under control. Is 2.4% off the increased budget too much to ask?

Nancy Pelosi speaking for the Democrats said we “don’t have a spending problem”. Do you agree?

Do you think the answer is to raise more taxes? On January 1 we raised every working American by 2%. We took the Bush tax cuts away from “the rich” and we added a 3.8% healthcare tax “to the rich”. Do you want to add more taxes or is a 2.4% spending cut okay now?

Your choice, our country and our children’t future. In my opinion we would never borrow money in our personal lives to leave our children to pay later. Yet that is what the government is doing with 40 cents on every dollar they spend. I worry about what we doing to their futures.

Governor Christie

So Governor Christie and the Press take off on the Republicans and congress because they did not pass the hurricane Sandy relief bill. Why did they hold off? How come the media never covers that part? The answer is they want to help the Sandy victims but the bill has Billions added to it for non related things. Does anyone say that or cover it? Does anyone realize we passed a tax increase this week and ADDED to the debt? What you say? Yes we added to it because the bill had MORE SPENDING THAN THE TAX INCREASE THAT WAS IN IT. Does the President, his supporters and the press know we have a 16.5 trillion dollar debt that we are adding a trillion a year to? The federal government borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends and when some try to curb spending they are attacked. That is the road to Greece. It is exactly how Greece got to where it is. They refused to stop anything and added more until their currency was worth nothing. Is that the legacy we want to pass to our children? In the pursuit of giving you everything and not denying ourselves anything we bankrupted your future. Great job.

Here is a partial list what was added to the 62 billion Sandy relief bill. You tell me how this helps those impacted by the storm.


Here are some of the items included in the Hurricane Sandy aid package that critics object to. Supporters say many of the appropriations are necessary to respond to disasters, though some are unrelated to the storm:

 $150 million for fisheries in Alaska.

 $2 million to fix museum roofs in Washington.

 $20 million for watershed restoration in response to wildfires in Colorado.

 $1 million for the Legal Services Corporation.

 $56.8 million for tsunami marine debris remediation.

 $5 million for Corps of Engineers investigations unrelated to the hurricane.

 $499 million in Corps of Engineers construction funds for disasters occurring before the storm.

$578 million for flood-control mitigation projects by the corps unrelated to the storm.

$28 million for watershed protection activities unrelated to the storm.

$4 million to the F.B.I. to replace vehicles, office equipment and furniture.

$1 million for the Drug Enforcement Administration to replace 15 vehicles and equipment.

$230,000 to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to replace three vehicles and furniture.

$15 million for construction at NASA facilities, including restoration of sand berms.

$855,000 to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to replace vehicles.

$300,000 for the Secret Service to replace vehicles and communications equipment.

$50 million for National Park Service historic preservation activities.

$150 million for the Interior Department to create a fund that may be used for restoration at national parks and refuges affected by disasters.

$2 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds reserved exclusively for activities related to the mitigation of future disasters.



The Day After

A resounding night for the Democrats and a clear victory. The electoral count which was always the issue was as wide as anyone predicated. They picked up seats  in the senate and it’s only the house that provides a dissenting voice. We end up where we started, a Democratic President and Senate and Republican House. So now what?

Time for the Republicans to get the message and decide what they stand for. Are they going to stick to the issues that are driving them down or adjust to the knowledge the face of America tomorrow looks different. Here’s my free advice:

John Boehner, Paul Ryan and the house, stop issuing budgets. For three years you have put budgets up for a house vote that the President and Senate took apart as cruel. You lost. The President owes the country a budget. Shut up and let him and Harry Reid define their budget. The President’s budget was voted down 98-0 the last two years, but more people know about your “cruel Budget cuts” than that. You can’t lead from the house and the people have spoken. Let’s see the President’s budget. Let him put it out and you share it with the people and react to it.

On moral issues, we’re done. We now stand for personal morals but we are not passing our beliefs to others. We believe abortion should be rare and we would not do it, but each person makes their own decision. We believe personally that marriage is between a man and a woman but we do not stop others who have different views. If the churches (especially the Catholic Church) has an issue with that — too bad. We stood for your values but as a church you did not stand with us. You do your job and we’ll do ours.

The implications of last night:

Obamacare is here to stay. Watch closely as it unfolds. I think many companies will drop coverage and pay the fine. Companies are about saving money and the fines are less expensive. Watch as millions are added to the system how it effects care. Watch reactions as taxes begin to hit.

The fiscal cliff. Taxes rise in January and I assume the Democrats will want more. How much will they propose? Will they offer any cuts? Where is the budget deficit going to go? If we don’t address this in four years we will be Greece. Mr President this needs leadership now, our future is at stake.

The Supreme Court: My guess is conservative judges will try to hold on. Any openings will turn the court a sharp left.

Chris Christie is toast to me. I was a fan and wanted him to run, but he is forever done with me. He sold out at the convention and didn’t deliver the keynote that he was supposed to. His actions with the President last week were shocking. When 16% of the people say Hurricane Sandy effected their vote (FoxNews Poll), it tells you all you need to know. Christie played the speech and hurricane to show how he was bi-partisan. Well for me at least he played himself out of my support forever. He bet the Democrats would appreciate what he did, well I have news Governor. They are not voting for you in 2014. They will vote you out and you alienated your base. Think about your next career.

Tom Akin in Missouri, you are not only dumb for what you said, but selfish. Your political career is done and your selfishness took away a key seat.

Mitt Romney, thank you. You were gracious and represented us well. I believe you would have been a great President and this country would have benefited from your leadership. I am sorry our system is so unbalanced that people can get away with attacking your successful business career, try to say you caused a women’s death, had no principles and called you more names than a decent God loving man should have to endure. Know that there are many like me who appreciate who you are, what you have accomplished and how well you handled yourself.

The Main Stream Media is a disgrace. In the months ahead as we face fiscal challenges, the Libya review, and entitlement decisions it will be interesting to watch your spin. You should know that Americans like me place no value or credibility in anything you say. Your bias is incredible and I think you know it.

We are now the loyal opposition. Others were chosen to lead. We look forward to seeing you do so and to stop blaming Bush and attacking us. Lead, make our country respected again globally, great at home and bring us together. Do what you promised.

Election Day

So here we go, what should we watch for early tonight?

The key southern battleground states have to go to Romney or you can turn the lights out. If Florida goes Obama the race is over and that will deflate turnout in the west and hurt Republican congressional candiates.

A Romney win there and in North Carolina which I expect means it is about Virginia in the south. Both can win without Virginia, but it is much harder for Romney. Let’s give him Virginia and here’s what his electoral count looks like:

191 to start, + 29 Fla., + 15 NC, + 13 Va. = 248

The road to 270 from there.

I see Colorado going Romney. Add 9 that is 257.

Now it gets dicey. Ohio with 18 does it. I think the odds in Ohio are not good. You have to say that every poll is wrong and they don’t know what they are doing. A chance but slim.

That means he needs Wisconsin (10) plus either Iowa (6) or New Hampshire (4).   A tough haul to win all three since the final polls show Obama slightly ahead.

I don’t think Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Minnesota are really in play. So the keys for the night are the early returns from New Hampshire, Va. Fla. and NC. If all four break Romney brew some coffee and settle in. If the later three do, keep the pot warm. If Obama wins Virginia get ready to turn the lights out when Ohio is decided. If all four and Ohio break Romney, watch for a landslide.

That’s it for the Presidential race. The House will stay Republican. The Democrats will hold the senate 51 – 48. The Republicans blew it here.  So no matter who wins the Presidency the congress will be divided.

What to watch during the day? Turnout. Is there a big turnout and where is it? Is it conservative areas or inner city liberal? Turnout decides this election.


Early Thoughts Debate 3

Here are some early thoughts on the debate last night. President Obama did not get the knockout he needed. Foreign Policy was his major advantage and he needed to regain the ground lost from debate one here. He tried, but Romney came to play it safe and appear presidential. He played defense and concentrated on reassuring woman he was safe and not a threat. Why women? They are the place he is still closing the gap and more women were watching then men. There was Monday night football and a game seven of the national league championship on at the same time.

So Obama does well. Romney does not make a mistake and appears like a man that can be president. They both win.

Only two things can change this tomorrow. One is the fact checking. Did someone make a big mistake? Who was right on the bankruptcy? That one they argued and said the other was wrong. The second thing is the media. What does the main stream media do today? They are biased and sometimes don’t even realize how much. They are scared Obama could lose. What do they do today? Pay close attention.


After Last Night

Last night was the best Presidential Debate I have ever witnessed and I have seen them all. The candidates stood their ground and went at it. The end result is this. If you are an Obama supporter you loved him and he raised your spirits from the first debate. If you are a Romney supporter you were happy with his performance and ability to lay the case out against him. So both sides were reinforced.

Where this leaves us is here. The polls will stabilize. The Romney gains will cease, and Obama may edge back but only slightly. What that means is this election is dead even and whoever wins will get only 50 to 52% (at the highest) of the vote.

Romney’s advantage is a more motivated voter who is committed to voting. Obama’s edge is in his dollars and get out the vote effort. There will be a massive drive to assure people vote. So post debate we are close to a 48-48 polling result, with one big caveat. Obama has the electoral edge.

The big question is how this Libya issue plays out. Obama saying he declared it a terrorist act on day one may have won the night but might not win the war. The Republicans can play tapes of Obama at the U.N. fourteen days later saying the video led to the attack. They can play tapes of his saying similar things continuously and then ask the American people to decide. If he declared and knew it was terrorism on day one why did he blame the video? Why did Secretary Rice go on the four Sunday shows and blame the video?

Now the last thing that change it all. The old October surprise. The Obama administration tries to change the conversation. Today they announce they have identified who was behind the terrorist strike. That adds a new dimension to the conversation today and moves the focus off the last night a little. Then watch for a strike against the perpetrators before the election. It will be a move to show toughness and action. It could change everything.

A Tax Table To Help

Here’s a easy to see and view tax table that illustrates the 2012 tax rate, what 2013 will be and what Obama and Romney are referring tonight in the debate. It includes three areas:

Income tax rates

Capital Gains (The reason Romney paid 14% see earlier post)

Estate Taxes

It does not include the two medicare taxes that go into effect January 1, 2013.


Things To Listen For Tonight

Here are a few things to listen for in the debate tonight.

Trickle down.

Obama will refer more than once to Romney’s trickle down tax cuts. What that means is Romney wants to cut taxes on all and believes the ensuing consumer spending will drive the economy.

Romney will refer to Trickle Down Government, meaning Obama wants to raise taxes so the government can spend the money.

The question is do you believe people should spend their own money, or should the government do it for you? Whoever presents their position better goes a long way to winning the debate.


Obama will refer to tax cuts for the rich, “who don’t need it”. He is referring to Romney’s plan for cuts across the board. He will say he is for the middle class.

Romney will counter that yes he wants to lower rates but he is going to take away deductions from the higher income to assure their share of taxes remains constant. He will say he wants to help the middle class because they need it the most.

So why would Romney want to lower rates but lower deductions too? The answer is when you lower rates you put money in people’s hands that they spend. The deductions cuts only show up at tax time.

The question for you is do you want to raise taxes on the “rich” (family income over $250,000) or have them remain constant? If Obama can paint Romney for the rich he wins. If Romney can convince people he is for the middle class and the weathly won’t profit he wins.

Are we on our way to recovery or not ….

Obama will say over and over we are on the right path. Jobs are coming back, housing is recovering, he saved the auto industry and that he inherited a mess so bad it took this long to get us here.

Romney will say this is not what a recovery looks like when you come out of a down period. He will ask the question wasn’t it the President who said if we elect him unemployment will never reach 8%, that it would under 6% today and that he would cut the deficit in half?

The question to answer: Is this recovery and do you want to stay on the same track or do we need a new approach? If Obama paints the picture that the economy is back he wins. If Romney illustrates that Obama has failed and has no plan for the future he wins.

Back to the future

Obama will claim that Romney’s policies are back to Bush’s and how we got into the mess.

Romney has to explain why his approach is different and call Obama out on it.

This will go a long way to deciding who shines tonight. Can Obama corner Romney as old school? Can Romney paint Obama as out of ideas?


Obama will highlight that Hillary took the blame today. He didn’t know they asked for more support. He will try and cut Romney’s attack off by saying the buck stops with him. He will I predict take responsibility. He will then act tough and mention Bin Laden is dead and that he will hunt down those responsible. (BTW, this may well be an October surpise as the U.S. strikes back).

Romney will challenge him here. It’s your administration and why did you walk around for weeks blaming a video when this was clearly a terrorist attack on 9/11.

Obama will try and emphasis all he has done “got Bid Laden, ended two wars” to show toughness and leadership. Romney will try and show his vulnerability.  Your approach has not worked, you tried to sell the attack as a video reaction, the Arab spring is really an Arab Winter.

This will be a key segment as Obama’s strength at the outset of the campaign was foreign policy. Romney must dent him here.

What would Romney do different with Foreign Policy?

Ryan had trouble answering this and it’s a tough question. Obama might challenge Romney on it. What would you have done different in Iraq or Afghanistan? What would you do different in Iran, go to war? Romney needs a response.

Keep your eyes and ears open. The stakes are so high. Romney needs a strong performance to continue moving forward. He cannot stall now because as we pointed yesterday he may lead in the polls but he trails in electoral count. Obama needs to at least break even. If he loses here he may for the first time truly be in trouble.

The Election The Day Before Debate Two

With debate number two scheduled for tomorrow between Obama and Romney where does this election stand? Here’s a quick look and what’s at stake:

Since Presidential debate one the momentum has been all Romney. He closed the gap and nationally he has this race dead even.

Dead even is not good for incumbents. The undecided vote breaks for the challenger. So an incumbent  below 50% going into election day has real concerns.

Romney’s edge is he has momentum and the national race is even. He needs to maintain that surge.

Now here is where Obama has an edge. Though the national polls are even, it is the electoral college where the election is decided. Obama leads there:

He has these nine states with 142 electoral votes locked. (270 needed to win)

California (55), Delaware (3), Dist. of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New York (29), Rhode Island (4), and Vermont (3)

Romney has these 13 states locked but only 76 votes.

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Nebraska (5), Oklahoma (7), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), Wyoming (3)

  Add the following seven states leaning Obama that total 59 additional electoral votes and he has 201.

Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington

Romney can add ten more states with a total of 115 electoral votes giving him 191. The ten are:

Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

So that means 11 states will decide the election no matter the national poll numbers. You keep hearing Ohio and how Romney can’t get there without it. Well it’s Florida that he has to win with it’s 29 electoral votes or he has no chance. He has taken the lead there but it is very close. Here are the eleven and where they stand today:

Colorado (9) – Romney leads by one point

Florida (29) –  Romney leads by 2-3 points

Iowa (6) –        Dead even

Michigan (16) – Obama leads by 5

Nevada (6) –     Obama leads by 2

New Hampshire (4) – Dead even

North Carolina (15)- Romney edging ahead by 2-3

Ohio (18) —      Obama leads by 3-4

Pennsylvania (20) —  Obama leads by 5

Virginia (13) — Romney leads by 1-2

Wisconsin (10) Obama leads by 5

If you add the states where they have slight edges to their totals then Romney adds to 257 and Obama would have 271, one more than needed with New Hampshire and Iowa not counted.

So there you have the stakes tomorrow night. Romney needs a strong performance to maintain his gains and add to them. He has closed the gap and can see a path, but he needs a dominant performance. President Obama needs to hold his own and stabilize the ship. If he can do that he has electoral college edge even if the national polls show a Romney edge. Romney if can flip Ohio can win. Without it he needs to add the states he is leading now (Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia) and add the two dead even states New Hampshire and Iowa while flipping Nevada. If not that he needs to flip a big one like Michigan or Pennsylvania, which is not likely.

The stakes are high for both men tomorrow night,


With last night’s VP debate behind us both sides emerge in tact and it’s on to a big one next Tuesday as Obama and Romney square off again. VP Biden played to his base and they loved his performance. Congressman Ryan did enough to satisfy his base. The spin today will be interesting. The Democrats will be delighted someone fought back and say Biden dominated. The Republicans will blast Biden for interruptions and bad behavior and say Ryan brought substance. Often in these debates the day after makes the difference. The fact checkers will play a big part. I have a feeling the biggest one will be about Libya. Who had the facts right?  Here are a few questions I would spin today:

If that is the real Joe Biden as his people are claiming do you want him representing our country with foreign leaders? Does that style work?

In two debates what is one new idea that this administration has for a second term? I haven’t heard it.

Since the presidential debate I have seen more commercials calling Romney a liar than anything. Are the Democrats going to continue wasting their money on that? Romney and Ryan have stood toe to toe, cut the liar commercials.

Big Bird didn’t come up. Paul Ryan should have brought it up. He should have asked Biden why all the commercials knocking the PBS comment. Mr Biden don’t you think Sesame Street would have its own channel and make all kind of money? Don’t you think they would survive very well without our taxpayer $300,000 million dollars? Do you really think they can’t survive without the government? Do you really not believe in free enterprise? Do you think with the trillion dollar debt that saving $300 million here and there doesn’t matter?

Ryan’s other miss was on the budget. We have not had a budget in this country for three years. Why? The Presidents budget was voted down 98-0 when submitted. You can’t produce a budget that one Democrat would vote for and you are going to solve the debt problem? Really?

Onto to Tuesday and the stakes are high for President Obama. He needs a win. A draw doesn’t help. He has spent millions painting Romney as everything bad. He got beat the first time. If he doesn’t win here this race tightens even more and credibility begins to come into question. It may actually do so before on the Libya issue.

The Morning After

Romney took it to the President last night and now comes the morning after, so what happens? The Democrats were devastated after the debate. They really didn’t know what to do. They were late to the spin room, shell shocked and seeking a message. The debate was that overwhelming. This AM they need to regroup. They will have their talking points and it will be like this. Romney misspoke. He didn’t give details. He was too general. They will try and corner Romney on lack of specifics. They are in damage control and the best way to do it is try and turn this back to focus on “Romney’s faults”.

The Republicans will be upbeat. Romney fund raising will have a record day. He lifted the spirit and they believe again. There will polls that report who won. As each comes out the numbers saying Romney won will grow as people become confident enough to say it. The general polls will show over the weekend a tightening and that this is a race again.

The keys to watch are Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. Florida was showing a slight Obama lead. I suspect the way Romney clearly articulated medicare and Obama’s failure to answer the charge he proposed cuts in it will be big. I would not surprised to see Romney take a slight edge in Florida. In Virginia and Colorado the race was almost dead even. I suspect here that Romney presenting himself so presidential will ease the way for undecided voters to move slightly. Look for Romney here to gain some. Ohio is a different animal. I don’t think this debate moves much there as Romney needs to address the auto industry bailout better.

Bottom line I see a tightening slightly but still an electoral college edge for Obama. However, Romney regained his footing and is moving again. Messaging now and the two additional debates make it possible for him. Next up, Biden versus Ryan. That should be a real slugfest as Biden knows he needs to attack and Ryan is tough and unafraid. Buckle up next Thursday night.

While on the subject of taxes…….

While we have been discussing taxes (Fair Share and Interest Income) the past few days let’s do one more thing prior to the debate. Let’s take a look at the taxes now set to go into effect for 2013 and see if the candidates are asked to address this. We won’t touch healthcare taxes here, only payroll.

First off believe it or not the government reduced the social security tax taken from your paycheck the past two years to 4.2% from 6.2%. It was done to try and get money into people’s hands to spend in the marketplace. Think about the fact that the government decided to cut social security revenue into the system at a time the program is going bankrupt. That is another issue. For now understand that on Jan 1, the rate reverts to 6.2%. What does that mean in real dollars for you

– If you earn $35,000 your tax bill is going up by $700.00

– If you earn $110,000 it is going up by $2,202.00

This is a given so get ready.

Part two is the Bush Tax cuts. Let’s put this in perspective. In 2001 President Bush wanted to spur the economy so they reduced rates. The Democrats fought back and didn’t want the reduction. So the sides agreed on a ten year period for the rates. When the period was up they bickered but President Obama decided to extend it until Jan 1, 2013. Why? Well it was hard to think about raising rates in the economic conditions we were in and Jan 1, 2013 is two months after the election. Pretty simple. Here are the rates scheduled to expired and what you are scheduled to pay.

Tax Brackets (2012 Dollar Amounts) Marginal Rate
Unmarried Filers Married Joint Filers
Over But Not Over Over But Not Over 2012 2013
$0 $8,700 $0 $17,400 10% 15%
8,700 35,350 17,400 70,700* 15% 15%
35,350 85,650 70,700* 142,700 25% 28%
85,650 178,650 142,700 217,450 28% 31%
178,650 388,350 217,450 388,350 33% 36%
388,350 388,350 35% 39.6%

The average increase is 3% for most filers with the highest income bracket going up 4.6%.

Yes this is scheduled in addition to the 2% increase on social security. So the average person faces a 5% increase.

Now follow this argument for a second.

The Democrats say this is fair share and not an increase. That the rates were a 10 year cut only and time is up.

The Republicans say it should have been permanent and that for 12 years people have paid these rates and this is an increase.

That’s not sll. On Januaary 1 the Capital Gains (Bank and Stock interest/dividends) we discussed on Friday is also going up. Here is that table:

Maximum Rates 2012 2013  
Long-Term Capital Gain 15% 20%  

So we face a 5% Long Term (held one year or longer account or stock) increase.

Since all of the above is in place and set to take effect on Jan. 1, listen to the debate see if this is addressed and how each side will handle. Then decide. Fair share or too much? Good for the economy or bad? A job creator or job elminator?



If …. Why

IF the tax rate is as we said yesterday then WHY is Romney’s rate 14%?  Here’s the answer. The tax rates I shared yesterday are on earned income, dollars we earn from working.

Once we pay those taxes some of us invest a part of the remaining dollars we have left. When that money (that we have already paid taxes on) earns money in a bank account or with stocks it is taxed again. However the government taxes it at 15% (for assets held one year or longer. Over double that for less than a year).

Mitt Romney had no work or job income last year, all his income was derived from long term investment gains. Thus a 15% tax rate. (It was reduced to 14% by virtue of the fact he had deductions for things like the fact he gave 33% of his earnings to charity).

So when you hear he paid a low rate that is true, but it is not a lower rate than anyone else with interest and dividend income only. You are not getting the whole story.

Thus when you hear people say he and others paid too low a rate think about what they are saying. What they are telling you is that if you saved money and invested you should pay a higher tax on the dollars you already paid tax on. In fact they mentioned 30% (The Buffett rule they discuss).

If you support raising the taxes on your interest and dividends to 30% (your fair share) then it’s clear you should vote Democratic and President Obama.

If you think the 15% rate on long term (over one year) investment earning is fair then vote Republican and Mitt Romney.


What is fair share?

Is 50 cents tax on what your earn and keep fair? Read today’s issue review.

One of the questions that should be asked and addressed next week at the debate is what is fair share? This has been a major issue in the campaign and today we’ll take a quick look at both campaign’s positioning on this.

Let’s start with the President’s side since the Democrats have made “fair share” a major campaign issue. The argument is simply that those that have need to pay more to help others. The President refers to “millionaires and billionaires” and classifieds them as those households with income of $250,000 and above.  The first question you have to decide is if that household income meets your criteria of people who need to pay more.

The Romney campaign position on taxes is that they want to lower rates on every income level. To assure that high income individuals do not gain from this they propose cutting deductions from higher income levels to “assure their contributions do not reduce”. What deductions? That is unclear.

Okay so what is fair share tax levels on people? Here are the current rates:

Tax Bracket Married Filing Jointly Single
10% Bracket $0 – $17,400 $0 – $8,700
15% Bracket $17,400 – $70,700 $8,700 – $35,350
25% Bracket $70,700 – $142,700 $35,350 – $85,650
28% Bracket $142,700 – $217,450 $85,650 – $178,650
33% Bracket $217,450 – $388,350 $178,650 – $388,350
35% Bracket Over $388,350 Over $388,350

So a household earning $250,000 is in the 33% federal tax bracket. That means 33 cents of every dollar is paid to the federal government at that level.

Now you must add state taxes. So if you live as an example in California the income tax rate is 9.3%

So before you consider FICA or medicare taxes you can see income taxes are 42 cents on a dollar for “millionaires and billionaires” earning $250,000. Your vote should decide if that is fair or not.

One more thing you should know about who pays taxes is this.

The top 10 percent of income earners paid 71 percent of all federal income taxes though they earned only 43 percent of all income. The bottom 50 percent paid 2 percent of income taxes but earned 13 percent of total income. As we are all aware now almost half of tax filers paid no federal income tax at all.

So here’s my questions:

Is 33 cents federal tax on each dollar fair? (It does raise to 35 cents at $388,000)

Is 43 cents income tax fair when you add state tax like California?

What does each candidate consider fair on your earned income? What do you consider fair?

One last point. No one ever mentions the other taxes you pay on the money you keep. Did you ever see your phone bill tax? Cable bill tax? Federal and state gas tax? Sales tax? When you add all the taxes up on the dollar you earn and what you keep it is over 50 cents. What is fair?


Messaging: One Week To First Debate

With one week to the first debate the election has taken a turn. The past month has not been kind to Mitt Romney. The Obama campaign has pounced on every opportunity and positioned Romney as for the rich, a man who cares little about others and unqualified to lead on foreign affairs. Their relentless attack both in message and ads have hurt Romney badly, especially in the swing states. They have also influenced the main stream media stories to the point where Romney gets nothing but negatives on their newscasts and shows. When you combine their normal tendency to support liberal candidates with the feed and message from the Obama camp, they have put Romney on the defensive. He did himself little good with his inarticulate 47% comment that was a private conversation released to the press. Add to the inability of his campaign to make an issue of President Obama’s gaffes and you have a major problem.

Why isn’t the tape of President Obama saying he favored “redistribution” getting more play? Why isn’t the President saying the situation in the middle east is a “bump in the road” bigger? Why isn’t the words of our U.N. ambassador, the President and his entire staff that the movie trailer caused the unrest in the middle east a bigger issue?  We had a terrorist attack on September 11th that killed our ambassador, two Navy Seals, and another American. The President of Libya said it was a pre planned terrorist attack and yet this administration won’t say it. Why?

A bigger why is this. Why is Romney’s misstatements getting hours of coverage and the President’s none? It’s a combination of campaign organization and a biased media. 

Conventions End

Today we will be short. Both conventions are now over and you got two differing views of where we are as a nation. In the Republican convention it was we are in trouble, there are no jobs, the economy is not growing, the debt is overwhelming us and we need new direction.

In the Democratic convention it was not quite “Morning In America” but the dawn is coming over the horizon. It was look at all we did and the jobs we saved. Give us four more years and all will be well. Their message was we saved you from Bush’s failed presidency, trust us the next four years.

Now the campaign settles into a 60 day period of intense activity. President Obama enters clearly ahead with the electoral votes on his side. When you have Califorina and New York uncompetitve you enter the race with 84 of the 270 electoral votes needed. Add Illinois with its 20 and the President has 104 locked in from just three states. Romney will likely win at least half the states but it’s electoral votes that matter. He has a hard road to get there.

So the campaign comes down to the three Presidential and one VP debate. The first debate will be the most watched event yet of the campaign and will go a long way to determining competitiveness. In most years a challenger needs only to stand next the President and hold their own to gain. The reason is people see them do that and know they can handle the role. Romney may need to do a little more than that. He has to explain his program.

Every thing between now and then will be argued. Today the new employment numbers were announced. Both sides will play on them. Democrats will tout the drop to 8.1% the unemployment per cent. Republicans will point out only 96,000 jobs were created and the only reason the number dropped out is hundreds of thousands have dropped out of the work force. Both will have their supporters backing them. One argument no one can deny is that in a booming economy we would be creating 200,000+ jobs a month.

The economy will be the big issue and foreign policy will take a back seat. Jobs will be front and center. Taxes, Medicare and Healthcare overall will be the big three you will hear about.

We’ll keep you updated and address the issues you asked in the weeks ahead. They include explaining, Trickle Down, GNP and Fair Share.


Government or Individual Responsbility

Yesterday we discussed the $16 Trillion debt being reached and what that meant to our children and Grandchildren. It certainly received some news play and let’s hope over the next 60 days this get addressed. We cannot continue adding $5 Trillion in debt the next fours as we have the past and we cannot continue paying $230 billion in interest each year.

Let’s discuss an issue that will have great play tonight at the Democratic convention. Sandra Fluke will be a feature speaker. Sandra is a 31 year old attorney and came to national attention this year when she testified before the House on the importance of insurance and others covering birth control for students. (Let’s put aside she was at Georgetown, a Catholic University). If you remember she was emphatic about the costs and the need for someone to pay the bill.

To make this short today here’s the question for you:
If you agree that we should be paying for contraceptives for her and others then vote Obama and the Democrats

If you think individuals are responsible for their own actions and birth control vote Romney and the Republicans.

This election is that simple. If you think the government is responsible for individuals and their costs you are a liberal and should vote Democratic. If you believe in individual responsibility vote Republican.

Election Issues: The Federal Debt

Today the U.S. debt will reach $16 Trillion dollars. So what does this $16 trillion mean?
In 2011 the interest we paid on the debt was $230 billion dollars. That’s $230 billion of our taxes that did nothing but pay interest. The money we are borrowing is a debt passed to our children and grandchildren.

Has this always been the case?
Twelve years ago, before the election of George Bush, the debt stood at $5.6 trillion. That’s 232 years of our history.

Eight years later when when President Obama took office, the debt was almost $10 trillion. As it passes $16 Trillion today it is fact that one third of the total debt of the U.S. has been incurred under Barack Obama. Each day, the debt grows by roughly $3.5 billion, or about $2 million per minute.

President Obama said this in the 2008 election campagin: “The problem is that the way Bush has done it in the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion from the first 42 presidents. No. 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome. So we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. $30,000 for every man woman and child. That’s irresponsible, that’s unpatriotic,” he said.

Here are Senator Obama’s thoughts on the debt limit in 2006, when he voted against increasing the ceiling:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

In 2007 and in 2008, when the Senate voted to increase the limit by $850 billion and $800 billion respectively, Obama did not vote

Your Choice and Question
If you think adding more to the debt and continuing this path doesn’t matter then Vote Obama and the Democrats.

If you think Bush and Obama have failed on the debt and passing on this on to the kids is wrong vote for change with Romney and Ryan.