No Gold at the End of This Moonbeam

Predictably, California has gone from bad (Governor  Schwarzenegger, the Governator) to worse (Gerry Brown, Governor Moonbeam). Who could have predicted this?

How long will it be before California comes to Washington, hat in hand, for a bailout?

Even the NY Times can’t sugar coat this one.

LOS ANGELES — The state budget shortfall in California has increased dramatically in the last six months, forcing state officials to assemble a series of new spending cuts that are likely to mean further reductions to schools, health care and other social programs already battered by nearly five years of budget retrenchment, state officials announced on Saturday.

Gov. Gerry Brown, disclosing the development in a video posted on YouTube, said that California’s shortfall was now projected to be $16 billion, up from $9.2 billion in January. Mr. Brown said that he would propose a revised budget on Monday to deal with it.

“We are now facing a $16 billion hole, not the $9 billion we thought in January,” Mr. Brown said. “This means we will have to go much further and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year.”

Mr. Brown disclosed the news in a video that had all the trappings of a campaign announcement. In it, he aggressively accounted for the steps he said he had taken to try to scale back a $26 billion deficit he found upon taking office. And he urged viewers to back an initiative he is putting on the November ballot that would increase sales taxes by 0.25 percent and impose an income tax surcharge on wealthy Californians to try to stave off more cuts.

State officials said Mr. Brown’s proposal would include a package of immediate cuts, as well as others that would be triggered only if voters failed to approve his tax plan. The sales tax increase would expire after four years, while the income tax surcharge would last for seven years.

State officials said the shortfall was a result of disappointing revenue collections in April as California continued to struggle to pull out of the recession. “We are still recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s,” Mr. Brown said.

Still, the state controller reported that the state had exceeded spending by $2.1 billion as well, though Mr. Brown said court rulings and other actions that restricted California from making the cuts were at least partly to blame.

At the same time, the deficit projections — which have been increasing since Mr. Brown and the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved a budget last summer — suggest that the state may have been overly optimistic in estimating what kind of revenue it would take in. That has been a repeated problem in Sacramento as officials have struggled over the past five years with the state’s worst financial crisis since the Depression. Mr. Brown, in taking office last year, pledged to end what he said were the tricks lawmakers regularly used to paper over budget shortfalls.

Attgribution: NY Times

So Long to Second Amendment

The collection agency for the Federal Reserve known as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is working with legislators to gain control over the rights of Americans. Without the right to due process, the IRS can simply claim a citizen owes $50,000 dollars or more to their illegal operation. This accusation alone will give their agency the right to revoke American’s travel rights and even remove the right to own a firearm.

With the help of Representatives like Barbara Boxer of California, a bill rapidly working through Capitol Hill (passed through the Senate and is currently up for review in the House) will give the IRS power to:

  • Accuse Americans of delinquency of tax payment without due process
  • Revoke their passports and travel rights
  • Place the accused in a centralize database
  • Authorize the removal of their right to own a firearm

No formal charges are required. Simply the accusation from the IRS is sufficed to strip American citizens of their Constitutional rights.

“There is no requirement that the tax payer be guilty of or even charged with tax evasion, fraud, or any criminal offense — only that the citizen is alleged to owe the IRS back taxes of $50,000 or more,”reports the Daily Economist.

In essence, these blacklisted citizens would be remotely labeled “domestic terrorists” and treated as such.

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel bragged to the Brady Center that the ‘No Fly’ list. Emanuel proudly stated that those on the “no fly” list could not own a firearm because of their suspicious status.

Moreover, the IRS and this bill will suspend travel rights to more than “30,000 active-duty troops and a similar number of reserve-component members owe the Internal Revenue Service a collective $390 million in back taxes, according to IRS data,” reports WTLX.

And federal employees are not immune to this revoking of their rights. IRS figures show that in 2010, “98,000 federal employees owed a combined $1 billion in back taxes.” As well as a shocking amount of members of the Senate combined owe an estimated $2 million dollars in unpaid taxes.

As this move by the Federal Reserve, with support by our elected officials, empowers the IRS to bully all citizens of America into paying an unconstitutional tax, we can clearly see that the central banking cartels are in charge of the US and not any branch of US government; including their puppet Barack Obama.

This more toward suspicion without accusation is the slow and incremental tip-toe by the global Elite toward an encompassing takeover of our American Republic and transform it into a Fascist dictatorship. The Obama administration, through the NDAA, signing statements, and executive orders has continued the process started by certain previous Presidents. And this has all happened right under our noses. Without much resistance by the American public, our US Constitution is being shredded.

The time has come to stop complying with this system.

The global Elite will not stop until they have their One World Government. There is no negotiating. They demand total submission of the populations of all nations and countries.

We out number them dramatically.

We can stop them once we unilaterally stop complying with their takeover.

Attribution: Tom Tancredo

Hey, It’s Not Our Money, It’s Theirs

From Bob Livingston at Personal Liberty:

Recent news-making events demonstrate that the rot infesting the cesspool that is Washington, D.C., can no longer be contained. The rot is noxious, pervasive, knows no political party and infests all it touches.

The recent events include the scandalous excesses of the General Services Administration junkets — on which even the bureaucrats’ spouses traveled, partied, wined and dined on the taxpayers’ dimes — and the Secret Service’s drunken whoring with Colombian prostitutes.

These events contain a common thread: Federal government employees who understand that in the United States, money does indeed grow on trees (or at least in Federal Reserve computers). They view the American taxpayer as a bottomless pit. They have come to think of themselves as a privileged class and believe rules of decorum and normal conduct do not apply to them.

This is not a new thing; it has been occurring — at the GSA at least — for about 40 years. As lawmakers grilled GSA officials last week, they learned that GSA employees have repeatedly taken financial kickbacks, engaged in insider dealing and suffered from general incompetence. It’s a pattern that dates back to the 1970s.

It’s also increasingly apparent that the rot is not confined to the Federal government. More than 100 workers in the city government of Washington, D.C., received jobless benefits totaling at least $800,000 while still working for the city. Ninety-two workers implicated in the scheme were suspended (61 of those were subsequently fired), and 40 more workers who left the city’s employment before the scandal broke have been identified. Another 100 workers are being investigated.

Federal bureaucrats and elected elites owe $1 billion in back taxes for 2010. Some of them are people who set or enforce tax policy on the rest of us. Remember that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner did not pay taxes for the years 2001-2004 until the issue came up as he was being vetted for Senate confirmation. Obviously, Senators did not care.

Nor did Congress care that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) flew home and back on weekends at a cost of $120,000 per trip. That’s almost four times as much as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spends to go home to Carmel Valley nearly every weekend. They are not the only ones who have done this or are doing it. At least Panetta says he regrets the cost (not that he’s stopping the practice).

Neither the criminal political class in Congress (criminalongress?) nor President Barack Obama, the Redistributionist-In-Chief (RIC), speak of making any meaningful cuts in government spending. Under Obama’s recently introduced budget, Federal spending would increase by 55 percent from 2012 to 2021, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Under Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget, Federal spending will increase 34 percent.

In other words, when members of the political class speak of “cuts” what they’re talking about is reducing the amount of year-to-year increases. They never cut anything.

Yet bearing down on America like a Category 5 hurricane is taxmageddon. It will make landfall on Dec. 31 unless a lame duck Congress and President (whether Obama is re-elected or defeated will not matter) can reach some kind of agreement.

What is taxmageddon? It’s a combination of expiring George W. Bush-era tax cuts and the implementation of new Obamacare taxes. The marriage penalty for joint filers will return, the child credit will drop in half and the rate everyone pays on the first $8,700 of wages jumps from 10 percent to 15 percent. The Social Security payroll tax will go from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. Obamacare-mandated Medicare taxes will also rise.

There is little comfort to be found in the knowledge that the criminalongress and RIC will tackle the tax issue in a lame duck session following the November election. They will be unfettered by political considerations: Obama because regardless of November’s outcome he will never again be seeking election, and members of criminalongress because elections will be more than two years away for those who won. They will count on voters’ short memories. Those who lost will be attempting to win favor with the corporatocracy: those large fascist corporations that snatch up former lawmakers and pay them exorbitant salaries to lobby their former peers for special favors, tax breaks and government contracts.

Meanwhile, criminalongress will engage in political theater sleight of hand in an attempt to distract you from their own corruption. Criminalongress engages in insider trading, earmarks bills to benefit favored constituencies, take kickbacks in the form of campaign contributions from companies it supposedly oversees and regulates, cedes its authority to faceless and unelected bureaucrats at dozens of unConstitutional alphabet soup agencies, and dishonors the oath to “support and defend” the Constitution by allowing the Imperial President to wage unConstitutional war and set spending policy without Congressional approval.

Other than that, we are in great shape.



Mike Brownfield

Mike Brownfield at Heritage

Brace yourself. In a mere 271 days, you and your fellow Americans will be hit with a tax hike the likes of which this country has never seen. The Washington Post aptly called the unprecedented $494 billion tax hike “Taxmageddon”, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke described it as a “massive fiscal cliff.” Whatever your preferred imagery, it’s a really big deal.

Despite all the warnings, President Barack Obama has kept his silence while Congress has made no apparent effort to prevent this impending calamity to families and the economy. The prevailing wisdom is that “something will get done” in a lame duck session of Congress after the election. But why wait? And why after the election?

Here’s why you should be worried. For starters, remember that this is the same President who in 2009 promised, “if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime.” That’s a vow he’s broken, and in 2013, things are going to get even worse if this year Obama doesn’t lead and Congress doesn’t act. Katy, bar the door, there’s big trouble in store.

The tax man won’t draw his billions from the American taxpayer with just one big needle — the massive tax increase will be the product of tax policies expiring in seven different categories, on top of five new Obamacare tax hikes taking effect. In a new paper, Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013, Heritage’s Curtis Dubay details the tax hikes that will occur if President Obama and Congress do not act before the end of the year:

Almost 34 percent of the tax increase from Taxmageddon comes from the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. These cuts are best known for reducing marginal income tax rates, but they also reduced the marriage penalty, increased the Child Tax Credit and the adoption credit, and increased tax breaks for education costs and dependent care costs.

Another 25 percent of Taxmageddon comes from the expiration of the once-temporary payroll tax cut. The expiration of the patch on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) — which would raise the income threshold over which families qualify for the AMT to prevent middle-income families from paying this tax that is only supposed to impact “the rich” — accounts for 24 percent of the total potential 2013 tax increase.

The balance of the tax hikes comes in part from new taxes under Obamacare, the expiration of tax cuts in the 2009 stimulus, the expiration of a group of policies known as “tax extenders,” changes in the current policy on the death tax (in 2013, it will rise from 35 percent today to 55 percent and the exemption will fall from $5 million to $3.5 million), and the expiration of businesses’ ability to fully expense new capital investments.

This $494 billion in higher taxes will certainly hit families and business hard in 2013, but their effects are already being felt. Dubay explains that Americans must plan for tomorrow, and the tremendous uncertainty about tax policy makes the future much more uncertain, thus discouraging the investments and other actions needed to spur the economy to create jobs faster today.

So while the President and Congress appear content to put off ’til the 11th hour what they can and should do today, those who will have to pay the higher tax burden are waiting to see what the future holds. Dubay says that this is “slowing job creation and stopping many of the millions of unemployed Americans from going back to work.”

Early on in his presidency, Barack Obama said he knew about the impact of taxes. Back in 2009, on a visit to Elkhart, Indiana, Obama emphatically stated his belief that raising taxes in a recession is a bad idea. Though America is not in recession today, it still struggles with very high unemployment, and so the President’s logic applies with equal force — raising taxes is a drag on job creation. Unfortunately, in a speech in Washington on Tuesday, President Obama unabashedly revealed that preventing tax hikes is not his priority. In fact, he wants to see even more taxes imposed on the American people and on job creators all in the name of “fairness” — may of which are in his budget. That’s a political doctrine, not an economic policy, and it’s a proven recipe for economic disaster.

If the President doesn’t work with Congress to take action soon to prevent a 2013 Taxmageddon, his brand of “fairness” will result in the biggest tax increase in the nation’s history. And that storm will wreak even more damage on America’s already fragile economy. Congress shouldn’t wait for Obama to take the lead in preventing a policy nightmare he might actually favor. Instead, it should act now to prevent these tax hikes from crushing America’s families and our economy.