November 1, 2010

Clermont County Commissioner’s Race: The Croswell-Kasich Mailer (Pics and County GOP Chairman’s Reactions)

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:10 pm

Note: The previous five items on this topic (here, here, here, here, and here) were posted by Rose. This one has been prepared by Tom, with mailer pics supplied by Rose. Update, Nov. 1, Noon: — Clermont County GOP Chairman has issued an additional statement as seen in the update after the jump.

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Well, I don’t know if you can get any more blatant than this in trying to convince people that the GOP’s Republican gubernatorial candidate has endorsed you — when he hasn’t:

(Click on “more” if you are on the home page to see the actual flyer, Clermont
County GOP Chairman Tim Rudd’s press release, and my overall reax, and Rudd’s Nov. 1 statement)

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AP’s Taylor Tries To Minimize Impact of Impending 2011 Tax Increases

One of the more egregious results of the Democrat-controlled Congress skipping town without passing a budget, thus failing to address the issue of whether scheduled income tax increases will really go into effect for everyone, the highest income-earners, or no one at all, is that the Internal Revenue Service and employers have been left in the lurch with no idea of how to prepare for next year. As I understand it, at a minimum this is the first time in a very long time that something like this has occurred, and it may be unprecedented.

The issue is getting a half-decent amount of play in the business press, but as a general news item, it’s going almost nowhere, even though some employers are already telling employees they will have to withhold more starting on January 1, 2011 if no action is taken in Washington.

At the Associated Press’s main web site, the one story about the withholding issue written by Andrew Taylor that went up early this morning plays a shady game of “Y’know, it really won’t be all that bad if the increases are only in effect during the early part of next year.” See if you can detect what I’m referring to in the following excerpt:

Regardless of how the battle turns out this fall, the Bush tax cuts will be in effect for purposes of next year’s filing season. If the tax cuts expire as scheduled on Dec. 31 but are renewed early next year, workers might see smaller paychecks for only a while, assuming the Internal Revenue Service issues withholding tables that reflect a return to pre-Bush tax rates.

That could mean about $50 less spending money each week for the household earning $50,000 and almost $90 less per week for the family making $100,000.

The game Taylor is playing is to compare weekly tax increases (most people aren’t even paid once a week any more) to annual earnings. Unfortunately in our often numerically-challenged culture, that makes the tax increases not seem so bad to some who can’t or won’t do the math.

Taylor does make up for it to an extent in a later paragraph (“If the tax cuts were allowed to expire indefinitely, a typical family of four with a household income of $50,000 a year would face $2,900 more in taxes in 2011, according to Deloitte Tax LLP, a tax consulting firm. The same family making $100,000 a year would see its taxes rise by $4,500″), but he could have (and should have) combined it all into one paragraph. Instead, his report comes off as telling readers, “Hey it won’t hurt that much if it only lasts a little while.”

Nice try, guy. Tell that to your example families.

What’s really relevant to the typical family is the hit on net pay (i.e., what people are used to living on), and not gross pay. The two families involved will be out roughly $200 and $360 a month, respectively ($50 x 4 and $90 x 4), until the president and Congress get their act together. In both cases the hits will be in the neighborhood of 7% or so of typical net pay. The percentage of the tax increase itself (i.e., taxes withheld with the increase vs. before the increase) will be well into double digits. It’s hard to see why Taylor seems so cavalier about this eventuality, which will grow greater with each passing day after November 2 and will be painful, even if (big if) the IRS makes up for it by changing the withholding tables to recoup the excess funds withheld during the remainder of the year once (or if) Congress acts and the President signs the related legislation.

But I suppose if you’re the ever further to the left “Essential Global News Network,” it wouldn’t be a good idea to tell a large plurality if not the majority of readers/voters that they’re going to get a double-digit increase in the taxes they pay starting on January 1 — at least not until Wednesday.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

ISM Manufacturing: ‘Go Figure’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:37 am

Zero Hedge doesn’t get it, and neither do I:

ISM Surges, Prints At 56.9, Beats Expectations of 54, As Inventories Supposedly Decline Despite Contribution To Q3 …

Major beat … coming at 56.9, on expectations of 54, compared to 54.4 previous, and the highest since May 2010. Yet not all is rosy, as the majority of respondents still find conditions deteriorating … Exports contribute substantially to resounding beat as somehow every country is now seeing surging exports to everyone else, and nobody admits to actually importing. Lastly, inventories, the key contributor to the Q3 preliminary GDP beat declined. Go figure.

Key ISM Components, all better than prior:
- New Orders: 58.9 vs. Prev. 51.1
- Employment: 57.7 vs. Prev. 56.5
- Prices Paid: 71 vs. Exp. 70.5 (Prev. 70.5)

I think the strength in the employment component is suspect. It has been very positive for several months.

The trouble is, seasonally adjusted (SA) or not seasonally adjusted (NSA), that doesn’t track with what’s been coming from the government:
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John Husted Taxes Our Patience, And Will Not Get My Vote

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:52 am

There are at least 50 posts I wish I could have addressed during the final months of the midterm campaigns, and I may find the time to list them at some point today. If not, I want to make darn sure I get the following off of my hope-to-do list.

The campaign of Democrat Maryellen O’Shaughnessy sent out an e-mail on September 29, an evening during which a debate with GOP opponent Jon Husted was to have occurred (Husted announced that he would not do the debate several weeks earlier for reasons that don’t seem to pass the stench test, let alone the smell test). I’m linking to Glass City Jungle’s carriage of the first and third paragraphs of that e-mail:

O’Shaughnessy Wins Debate, Husted Speechless

Today, in what was originally scheduled to be a lively debate between Maryellen O’Shaughnessy and Jon Husted, Maryellen unveiled her ten point plan for the Secretary of State’s office. Highlights of the plan include partnering with all 88 county Boards of Elections, creating jobs through the business services division and running for reelection in 2014. The full plan can be viewed here.

“Today I’m releasing the last 4 years of my tax returns and am calling on Jon Husted to do the same. Ohioans deserve to know if he has improperly been taking a federal tax cut available to legislators who live more than 50 miles from the capital. It’s about Jon Husted receiving taxpayer funded benefits, to the tune of thousands of dollars, for travel he was not making. Are these the ethical standards Ohioans expect from their Secretary of State?

Let’s walk the history through. First, the background (click on “more” if you are on the home page to read the rest of the post):

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Reality From Rasmussen: ‘A Vote Against Dems, Not for the GOP’

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:05 am

In short form, what Scott Rasmussen is saying in the Wall Street Journal this morning is that voters want liberty, and not tyranny, whatever its source:

Voters don’t want to be governed from the left, right or center. They want Washington to recognize that Americans want to govern themselves.

… This isn’t a wave, it’s a tidal shift—and we’ve seen it coming for a long time. Remarkably, there have been plenty of warning signs over the past two years, but Democratic leaders ignored them. At least the captain of the Titanic tried to miss the iceberg. Congressional Democrats aimed right for it.

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Positivity: California woman has family connection to new saint

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From San Marcos, California:

Oct 31, 2010 / 01:04 pm

San Marcos resident Aurora Albright remembers spending lazy, berry-picking summers at her grandparents’ two-story farmhouse in AuSable Forks, N.Y.

Each season, she would help feed the chickens and pigs and try not to eat more berries than she picked. Since she lived in the city, the summers spent with her “Ma-mere” and “Pa-pere” opened her eyes to the nonstop labor involved in living on a farm.

Her hardworking grandparents didn’t own a washing machine and had no indoor plumbing. Her grandfather, Frederick Akey, always “walked funny” and her grandmother, Laura Akey, had a rosary or a missal in her hand at all times, Albright remembered. The religious couple raised 10 children in the rural town near the Canadian border.

Each adolescent summer before Albright moved to California at age 18, she would listen to stories that her grandfather would tell about Brother Andre Bessette and how he healed her very own “Pa-pere.”

When you’re a kid, stories about adults don’t hold much meaning, especially when they are retold time and time again, Albright emphasized. But today, she is a great-grandmother at 82, and gets visibly emotional when she recounts the story of her grandfather and his week-long healing encounter with Brother Andre in 1913.
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