Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Call me "adaptable"

Okay, so I've discovered that I am quite incapable of just keeping my mouth shut about politics. For those of you who don't enjoy my political posts, I'm terribly sorry. But, as was mentioned in a comment from Cassie, if we were friends IRL (in real life) odds are good we'd be talking about this face to face so why would it be wrong to "talk" about it in Blogland? However...in the interest of maintaining variety, I'll make an effort to throw in some stuff other than politics, too. After all, it's not like I sit around IRL, talking about politics 24/7. Okay, so maybe I do, but variety is the spice of life, right?, so I'll work on spicing things up a bit. I'll start with this post and we'll call it "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".
Here's "the Good"... my 3rd child's senior pictures:
Isn't he adorable? This is Kaleb, my most kind-hearted child. Don't worry - I'm not showing favoritism. I think even his siblings would agree with that characterization. Kaleb is so kind-hearted, he can't even bear to kill a spider. He tends to "set them free", something that I, his arachnophobia afflicted mother, totally disagree with. In most areas of life, he's such a mature kid - I take that for granted sometimes. Like the day he had his senior pictures taken, for instance. I told him to wear the black dress shirt (he looks good in it, no?). I assumed that would be the extent of the wardrobe advice needed from me. I was wrong. I was a bit...taken aback when we got the proofs in and I saw that Kaleb had added the hat and the fingerless gloves and hadn't bothered to button the shirt. I knew I should have gone with him that day. But, even though this is not what I would have chosen for him to wear, I think the pictures themselves came out pretty darn good. We're going to have more pictures taken when he receives his letterman jacket. (I think I'll attend that photo shoot and make sure those gloves don't put in another appearance.)
Now for "the Bad": I was watching TV the other day when an advertisement came on for some new diet cookies.

Before any cookie company lawyers start preparing a lawsuit against me, let me make clear that I am not commenting on the effectiveness of this product. Their commercial cracked me up, though. Not for their claim that these cookies can help you lose weight...no, no, no. The funny thing to me was when they said "Many clients comment that they have actually saved money on our program by eliminating the need to purchase food." When I heard that claim, I thought "Geez! Now even these diet places are appealing to our economic fears!". Ummmm, don't most all nutritionists say that we should eat a balanced diet for optimal health? Eliminating food seems like an awfully drastic diet plan to me. lol

Now for "the Ugly"...Barack Obama's Tax plan. I've been doing some research on this tax plan. I've found points from the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institute. Who are they, you ask? The more conservative American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation, along with the more liberal leaning Brookings Institute, are generally considered the three most influential policy institutes in the U.S. Here's what they have to say about Obama's tax plan. This chart is from the American Enterprise Institute and it shows the effective Marginal Tax Rates of Obama's plan compared with the current tax law:See how Obama's plan can actually raise taxes for us "middle class people"? By the way, wondering what "Marginal Tax" means? Yeah, me too. Here's the definition for you:

Marginal Tax Rate
The amount of tax paid on an additional dollar of income. As income rises, so does the tax rate.
Notes:Many believe this discourages business investment because you are taking away the incentive to work harder.

Uh, huh. Really clear, isn't it? I'm not an economist, I don't get the tax code all that well, and a lot of this is gibberish to me (hey, I'm being honest here! The only math I'm really good at is figuring out how much an item will cost me if it's on sale. You give me the starting price and tell me the percentage off, I can tell you PDQ just exactly how much that item will cost in the end. lol). However, you can go to the wikipedia link here for a better explanation. (Maybe. Depends on your aptitude to decipher economic talk, I guess.) Anyway, while I don't have a firm grasp on this subject, I think I understand what the basic gist is. And I don't think it's as good for us "middle Americans" as we've been led to believe.

Now here's what The Heritage Foundation had to say about Obama's tax plan:

Among the more prominent elements of his tax proposal, Senator Obama would end the Bush tax cuts and allow the top two tax rates to return to 36 and 39.6 percent. He also would allow personal exemptions and deductions to be phased out for those with income over $250,000. The real kicker, though, is that Senator Obama would end the Social Security payroll tax cap for those over $250,000 in earnings. (The cap is currently set at $102,000.) These individuals will then face a tax rate of 15.65 percent from payroll taxes and the top income tax rate of 39.6 percent for a combined top rate of over 56 percent on each additional dollar earned.
High-income individuals will be forced to pay even more if they live in cities or states with high taxes such as New York City, California, or Maryland. These unlucky people would pay over two-thirds of each new dollar in earnings to the federal government.

Wow! Are we simply out to punish success in this country? You know, I'm not happy about those Wall Street CEOs and their outrageous pay packets, either. In fact, I think it's absolutely ludicrous what these people have been paid in salaries and bonuses. Heck, I'm just as outraged about the huge sums of money actors and athletes get paid in this country. It's crazy! But make no mistake, people. We're not talking about those "ultra rich" people here. These are people who make over a quarter of a million dollars a year. Yeah, it's a lot of money, but it's not an outrageous sum of money. To tax those people at such a rate should bother each and every one of us. These people are not the greedy bastards that ran Wall Street into the ground...they are people who managed to excel in America, something this country has always advocated for. Punishing them for that is not the American way, nor should it be. Here's more from The Heritage Foundation:
Historically, Senator Obama's tax rate would be the highest individual tax rate since the Jimmy Carter days. Tax shelters and tax avoidance strategies were common when the top marginal rate was 70 percent or higher. This new top tax rate will again encourage these gimmicks, reducing investment and economic growth as resources are squandered in an attempt to avoid punitive taxation.

As to the effect on our work force, The Heritage Foundation says this:

These high tax rates could also have a large impact on the labor force. Many workers could choose to reduce their hours or simply retire in the face of such high taxation. Economists usually argue a great deal about what effect minor changes in the tax code will have on incentives to work. However, the Obama plan calls for a tax increase so large that economists will be focusing on the harm to the overall economy rather than just the isolated effects on labor and on capital.

You can read the entire article from The Heritage Foundation by clicking on this link.

Okay, so you think these are just the views of conservatives. Fine. They are. They make sense, but I can see where a liberal would find them suspect. So here's the breakdown from The Brookings Institute as outlined in the Washington Post (click to enlarge):

Looks like Obama is really sticking it to the rich, eh? And what's wrong with that, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Many of those rich people are the ones who own the companies that employ Americans. You start punishing them for their success and you'll soon find them taking those jobs elsewhere (to a place more friendly to their bottom line) or downsizing their success (and therefore OUR success) in an effort to escape the burden of those outrageous taxes. You'll probably see an increase in the demand for CPA's, though. Everybody and their dog will be hiring them to navigate the way through the tax code in search of each and every loophole available. Also, many of those rich people are the ones who make the biggest contributions to charities. You start taxing them senseless and soon those charitable donations will begin to dry up. I guess that won't matter too much with the Obama doctrine, though. He seems to want the government to provide everything to every citizen. As Obama said, he wants "to spread the wealth around". Sure it's quite a romantic concept, isn't it? I mean heck, America fell in love with this idea back when Errol Flynn slipped on a pair of tights and took on the Sheriff of Nottingham. But do you know what this concept truly is, ladies and gentlemen? It's called SOCIALISM. The definition of socialism?
so·cial·ism (sō'shə-lĭz'əm) n.
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

Honestly, people. Look at that chart, the one from The Brookings Institute. It shows you that Obama is taking from the richest and giving to the poorest. Many of you think that's okay. It's not. I'm all for eliminating poverty, but this isn't the way to do it. This is America. We're supposed to strive for success, not aim for mediocrity. Why can't some of you see that's what Obama's plan is geared towards? When did you confuse Wall Street's greed with Main Street's hard work? If socialism is the abhorrence to you that it is to me, you'd better start spreading the word so that your friends and neighbors will feel the need to look into this themselves. As always, don't take my word for anything. Do the research yourself. And decide for yourself which way you want this country to go...


  1. And there I was, thinking we're going to get through another day and Obama's name won't rear it's ugly head...and WHAM, there it is...lol...I'm thinking that news people should not mention his name from now till the election and lets see how far he gets without their support...but nobody's listening to me...except our neighbors...they are now supporting the Big J...woohoo!
    Hope you'll get by my place and read my egg story...then you'll know why I'm crazy lol
    Aunt Sandi

  2. Excellent blog. People really need to think about the "Socialist" theory. Miss ya!!! Randey

  3. Great photos, he's really a good-looking kid!

    And, I hear ya on the tax issues - you are preaching to the choir, here.

  4. Here is another example of our not being able to trust everything that we read, no matter where it comes from.
    Social Security payroll tax cap for those over $250,000 in earnings. (The cap is currently set at $102,000.) These individuals will then face a tax rate of 15.65 percent from payroll taxes and the top income tax rate of 39.6 percent for a combined top rate of over 56 percent on each additional dollar earned.

    from is the key word here. 15.65 % will not be deducted from payroll taxes. 7.65% would be deducted from the wage earner and 7.65% is the employers contribution. The total contributed to social security and medicare is 15.30%. About the only true fact in that part of the paragraph might be about raising the limits on income that could be taxed for SS. Also, only 6.2% of the fica deduction actually has an income cap. The medicare portion of the fica tax, 1.45% has never had an income cap.
    The only people who would pay the full 15.30% would be the self-employed. And that's another whole subject cause you just can't imagine how many ways there are to avoid paying taxes when you're self-employed.

  5. P.S. Your son's senior pictures are Awesome!!

  6. Great pictures! Amanda just had hers taken too, and when I read about your son's pics I immediately thought about Bailey... only 14, but we have huge disagreements about clothes already. He's in that "I only want to wear t-shirts (preferably black band shirts while I hide them and put all the hollister and AF t's on top in the drawer...) and levis. I hope by the time he is a senior we can agree about some dress up clothes. Your son is a cutie pie though!

  7. Wow, what a handsome young man! But he's got good looking parents, so it shouldn't be a surprise, lol.

    Thanks for the 'tax talk'. I just said to a close friend a few days ago that if Obama is elected and these tax changes take place, be prepared to see charitable donations go WAY DOWN. It's unfortunate to say, but I think that's what will happen.

  8. You're going to laugh, Kari. I voted for Jimmy Carter...the biggest mistake I ever made in the political realm. I learned soon enough the error of my ways when we couldn't buy a home or oil or gasoline. It's staggering to think that there are those who could do it all over again by voting for Barack Obama. I want to yell "Wake Up" as loudly as I can. Anyway, is it no wonder why President Reagan was so beloved? He brought us back from a precipice and that prosperity lasted until just two years ago when the Democrats landed in control.

    BTW, your darling boy is just as handsome as he can be. What do you suppose he'll think of his wardrobe choices in twenty years? ;D (About the same thing that the rest of us think about our own, I imagine.)

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  10. I love Kaleb's photos. This is the sort of thing Xanti would do! He's his own man and I love his since of style!

    Another fabulous post, Kari!

  11. what a great kid !! stellar stuff. I can't stand the O any more How will I live if he wins??

  12. Thank you for writing a wonderful post. Waking up America is going to have to be the job of the few, but together we are stronger.

    I do not want a socialist America! I like the things I've worked hard for. I don't believe Joe down the street deserves my money just because I have more. Joe can get off his butt and get his own, but he doesn't want to and Barack Hussein Obama dosen't want him to either. I am so mad.

  13. oh sorry, I had to laugh out loud when I read Vee say we were a prosperous country until the democrats took over 2 years ago LOLOL!! You women are hilarious and I sure as H*L* don't know where you been livin!!!

  14. Kari, I have to admit like Vee that I voted for Carter--what a diasterous, weak president. American prestige in the world took a nose dive -it is what will happen IF a Obama person wins (I HOPE not)!!! If the American people elect Obama, they will get what they deserve. I'm only afraid that we who did not support him will suffer along with them. He will NOT stand up to aggressors, he will try to "understand" them-- VB

  15. An excellent post and I applaud you once again. Like you, I have studied and discovered that Obama's plan is to let the Bush tax cuts expire, and then do his reduction. The net result is that everyone's taxes will go up. Also, the class warfare propaganda has got to stop. We already have a minority supporting a majority, and it would get much worse with Obama's implementation of socialism. And, the Great Depression was extended because taxes were raised by the government as part of the recovery plan. Big mistake.

    Your son is adorable, BTW!

  16. Kaleb's pictures look GREAT! Can't wait to see the others with his Letterman jacket.

  17. Great post Kari. You have done an excellent job in breaking everything down. Also Kaleb's pictures are wonderful. He's a good looking young man.

  18. you mean to tell me American prestige hasn't dropped in the past 8 years?? Come now you conservative women, you must see how we are hated around the world, and it will remain the same with McCain. We must use diplomacy like the Clinton admin. its the only way to earn our respect back!!

  19. I still can't get over those gloves and that hat!! But his face does look great in the pics. I love all your research. Hopefully it will get some people thinking.


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