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Open Thread

Last night, I watched both Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteran. As I watched, I took notes of some of the figures that Hannity and guests cited, including the following.

As I listened to the programs last night, I took notes on the income, investment, and Obamacare tax increases. Here are some of the disturbing figures: Income tax increases for those earning over $400,000 — including small businesses — will go up from 35% to 39.6%. Also, anyone who earns over $200,000 per year will be slammed with a new “Obamacare” tax of 38%.

I jotted down some of Hannity’s more memorable remarks: “America is in a deep financial hole.” The bill passed by Congress, in Hannity’s view, is “short-term, incoherent, and put together at the last minute.” As I noted yesterday, Barack Obama is vacationing in Hawaii while the rest of us Americans are shaking our heads in disbelief at Congress’s makeshift law that must be redone within two months.

How can small businesses manage to keep up with these new taxes? They will surely be forced to lay off employees, and may even have to close their doors. Here is Sean Hannity explaining some of the details:

I visited the Tax Policy Center and found this graphic, “Toppling Off the Fiscal Cliff: Whose Taxes Rise and How Much?.”

CAPTION: The looming fiscal cliff threatens to boost taxes by more than $500 billion in 2013 when many temporary tax provisions are scheduled to expire. Nearly 90 percent of Americans would pay more tax.

Below, please find Greta Van Susteran’s discussion of Congress’s “dereliction of duty”:

America: Quickly becoming Greece’s fiscal twin?

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you were just quoted in that video saying that we’re on a path to becoming like Greece, Greece, which I might add, has a 26 percent unemployment rate, and if it defaults on its next round, it’s going to end up getting kicked out of the eurozone.

Why do you say we’re on the path to Greece?

ISSA: Well, because the people in Greece continue to reject any kind of real reform because they’ve been so long denying reality that they think they can do it forever.

The Americans are not that far from when we had a balanced budget. We’re not that far from when we paid for what we consumed. But we’ve got to get back to it pretty soon because after 12 years, you’re beginning to build a generation of citizens and even more, a generation of politicians who think this can go on forever.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is going to happen with the debt ceiling? I mean, it’s sort of — people didn’t really notice, but last week, Secretary — or Geithner sent a letter to Capitol Hill saying we have hit the fiscal — the debt ceiling. He can now do some sort of, you know, maneuvering with the money so that we at least have some cash for about two months, but we’re about to get — to run out of cash and we’re going to have this big fight over the debt ceiling. What’s going to happen?

ISSA: Well, first of all, Tim Geithner, bless his heart, he’s a little disingenuous in one sense. He…
VAN SUSTEREN: How can you be a little disingenuous?

ISSA: OK. Here’s the — here’s the bottom line…

VAN SUSTEREN: He’s real disingenuous or a little disingenuous?

ISSA: There’s an incredible cash flow that’s going to come in because, in fact, people cashed out all kinds of capital gains. Fourth quarter was about a lot of people taking gains on which they’re going to pay taxes. And in the first part of this year, the government’s going to be flush. And through about April 15th, they’re going to have the ability to cash flow.

Please read more of Greta’s conversation with Rep. Issa at Greta Van Susteran’s site.

For you “wonks” out there, the American Taxpayer Center has an extensive list of all of the legislation passed at “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) as Passed by the Senate.”