by: the Common Constitutionalist
For the first time I had to switch off the Rush Limbaugh radio show. I can’t recall ever having to do that, and I’ve been listening since George H.W. Bush was president. He was positively schizophrenic.
The topic was a Politico article regarding a potential Republican victory and the impact of the establishment Republicans on the party. The piece by Alexander Burns begins with him stating: “For the Republican Party’s leadership, taking control of the U.S. Senate might not even be the sweetest part of a victory in 2014.”
And what could be sweeter than that? What could be sweeter than ousting Harry Reid? Well, blowing up the conservatives in the party. He quoted GOP Senate Whip John Cornyn: “Where we ran into problems was that small sliver of the party insisted on nominating people who could win the primary but couldn’t win the general,” Cornyn said of the past two election cycles. Of the party’s successful 2014 course correction, Cornyn said: “I promise you it’s a lesson we will not forget.”
Let’s file this one in the , “Could we get any Dumber”, category.
Much ink has been poured over the fact that 51% of tax filers paid no federal income taxes in 2009. There is less attention directed towards the more outrageous statistic; 30% of tax filers had a negative tax liability that year. In other words, they made money off the tax system.
Those who won the jackpot on tax day benefited primarily from refundable tax credits; the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Additional Child Tax Credit
(ACTC, the refundable portion of child tax credit), and the now-expired Making Work Pay Credit. In 2011, refundable credits cost the treasury about $94.4 billion. Keep in mind that this is just one small portion of the burgeoning welfare empire, approaching $1 trillion in total federal, state, and local expenditures. While it would be nice to get rid of these redistributive “tax expenditures” for everyone, we could start with illegal aliens.
Last July, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Collection released a shocking report detailing how illegal aliens are able to utilize a filing loophole to obtain billions in ACTC funds. While EITC appropriations are protected from illegals (those who don’t engage in identity theft) because they are only awarded to those who provide a valid Social Security number, the same cannot be said for the ACTC. Illegals can receive the ACTC by merely providing an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on their 1040 form, which is blithely issued by the IRS. In 2010, according to the report, illegals received $4.2 billion in ACTC payouts. That accounts for roughly 15% of all outlays for that refundable credit.
During the December imbroglio over the payroll tax cut, the House inserted a provision to require a valid Social Security number in order to collect the ACTC. Republicans planned to use the savings as part of the offset package. Now that the bill, HR 3630, is pending before the conference committee, we must ensure that the ACTC provision is part of a legitimate proposal to offset the cost of the extenders package.
Originally, the Joint Committee on Taxation scored the savings as $2.6 billion for 1 year and $9.4 billion over 10 years. However, as Joint Committee on Taxation Politico noted earlier this month, that estimate assumes the Bush tax cuts – along with the expansion of the child tax credit – will expire. If you assume a baseline in which the tax cut is extended ($1,000 per child, instead of $500), the ten-year savings can be as much as $24 billion.
Now, obviously $24 billion over 10 years is not enough to offset even the unemployment and doc fix components of the package for just 1 year (a cost of up to $70 billion for the Senate version). Nonetheless, it is a legitimate offset, and should serve as part of a broader package of spending offsets for the bill. If we can’t force the issue on refundable tax credits for illegals, we will never be able to cut one inch from the welfare empire for the broad populace.
From The Blaze:
While many elements of society seem to surely be shifting ever-further to the left of the political spectrum, a recent Gallup poll released Thursday reveals otherwise. According to the survey, conservatives continue to make up the largest political segment in the country, outnumbering liberals nearly two-to-one.
The Gallup poll shows that 40 percent of Americans consider themselves conservative; 35 percent moderate; and 21 percent view themselves as liberal. The figures are no different than they were in 2010 and conservatives have outnumbered both moderates and liberals for three years running now.
In fact, both self-identified conservatives and liberals have risen in number since the early 1990s, indicating a growing polarization in American politics.
While self-identified conservatives dominate the Republican Party, making up 71 percent, the Democratic Party is more split – 39 percent of Democrats view themselves as liberal, and 38 percent consider themselves moderates.
It might be worth noting that, per the poll’s findings, independents are mainly moderate (41 percent), but veer more towards conservatism (35 percent) than liberalism (20 percent).
The Gallup poll was conducted with 20,392 respondents and allows for a margin of error of plus or minus one.
Editorial Comment: Sorry to be a downer, but I personally am not buying any of this. If this poll is even close to accurate, how is it we keep electing and reelecting, squishy, middle of the road moderates. How is our frontrunning presidential candidate, “Thoroughly Moderate Mitt”.
Maybe it’s conservatives fear of losing that overshadows their better judgement? I don’t know what it is. All I know is that I am conservative & I am disappointed every election cycle.