Taxes

 
 

Debate Over Solar Panels Rages


Comment For Obama’s clean air act!
08-09-2013

Environmentalist want Clean Air, Wind Power, and Solar Power, but yet they won’t let them bury wires under ground to get concerted to the grid, and now they are complaining about how to install them.

Come-on people, you either want clean air or you want power to live in comfort, Dams and Steam Power can cover more homes than windmills covering many acres or miles of land, just drive around and see how much land is for these wind mills, a lot of this land to be used for other things.

Another thing, you put Solar Panels on your roof, and later on down the road you get a leak in your roof, what is the cost to remove and reinstall them because your roof leaked, did any one ever think about that.

People pushing them and people selling them don’t tell you that there is a cost to remove and install them after fixing their roof.

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Debate over solar panels rages on in Kirkland

By Jeff Burnside
Published: Aug 9, 2013

KIRKLAND, Wash. — A group of Kirkland residents say the solar panels in their neighborhood are an eyesore, and they want the city to do something about it.

The residents say the problem stems from a lack of clear laws and permits for solar panels, which are different in every city and county.

Troy Carpenter said a solar panel installed next door reaches across his property line and reflects sunlight right at his house.

“There’s lots of good ways to do solar projects and we’re very pro solar. But there’s also bad ways to do solar projects. This is a great example,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter’s neighbor got permits for the panels, but the code is vague.

“There’s concern that we really ought to change our regulations,” said Kirkand Planning Director Eric Shields.

The city of Kenmore is also dealing with some backlash related to its solar panel laws.

Patrick O’Brien used to have 20 solar panels mounted on a sturdy frame next to his Kenmore house, but those panels are now stacked in his backyard.

“On a day like this, it ‘d be a perfect day to be making lots of electricity,” he said.

The city claims he didn’t follow the rules and recently ordered him to remove the panels or pay $200 a day in fines.

“This, this is a crime. This is a crime. This is administrative crime. It could have been totally averted if the city has just done what they told me were the rules at the beginning,” O’Brien said.

Experts say there’s enough sun in the northwest to make solar panels financially and environmentally worthwhile, but the complex permits required to install the panels are slowing growth.

“Why not combine all of those into one single permit that gives everybody all the information they need at once? Pretty straight forward, pretty simple,” said Mike Nelson, a leading expert in solar energy.

Unifying those rules would require action in the state legislature, but Nelson said there’s nothing currently in the works.

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Categories: America, Democrats, Freedom, Governments, GREED, Money, News, Obama, People, Republicans, Taxes, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Let’s Give a BIG Hand to California Again!


Comment for Bigots
July 11th 2013

Have you ever noticed that all laws of this Country come out of California, and from the Democrats, examples (cars, power, cigarettes, farming), and that you, the American Citizen have to abide by, and after they got these laws passed in California, they moved to other states and wanted them to follow these same laws every where they went, if these laws were so great than why did they move out of that great state, I know I know, after they were passed, just like every thing else in California, they could no longer afford to live there, and now they are doing the same thing to all the States where they are moving to.

If you want to live with California Laws and Taxes, MOVE back, and leave the other states alone and stop Bankrupting them with your greed and Laws.

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It Only Took About 20 Years for the U.S. to Turn Smokers into Pariahs

Emily Badger, The Atlantic Cities      Health
07-10-2013

The public smoking ban is a relatively recent invention. The first outdoor ban identified by the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation was put in place in 1975 in Yolo County, Calif., which outlawed smoking in all public parks. The idea didn’t exactly take off. Another two decades would go by before the policy — in public parks, on beaches, in children’s playgrounds — would spread around California and then throughout the U.S., rapidly transforming a once-acceptable social norm into something hazardous to your kids, your lungs and the environment.

RELATED: It’s Time to Lay Off the Morning Cigarette

In the late ’90s, communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island created the first beach smoking bans. By 2006, seven more states had them as well. By 2011, 23 states did. The rise of the park smoking ban has been even more dramatic: By June of 2011, municipalities in all 50 states had them.

RELATED: A Few New Yorkers Will Go to Great Lengths to Keep Smoking

But despite this impressive trajectory – and the abrupt shift in public perception that has accompanied it – public-health researchers argue that there’s actually not a lot of scientific evidence backing up popular justifications for smoking bans. In the July issue of the journal Health Affairs, Columbia University’s Ronald Bayer and Kathleen E. Bachynski pick apart three of the most common arguments: Public bans reduce second-hand smoke that endangers non-smokers. They reduce cigarette-butt litter that’s toxic to the environment. And they take cigarettes out of the public view of impressionable children.

RELATED: Gallup: Americans Now Favor Banning Smoking From All Public Places

In reality, smoking bans probably do more to protect smokers themselves than the people around them. But it sounds less paternalistic to implement these policies in the name of shielding children. The short history of how these alternate arguments have become conventional wisdom reveals, Bayer and Bachynski write, “the complex relationships among scientific evidence, real-world health risks, and politics in the public policy process of denormalization.”

RELATED: Smoking Offers at Least One Health Benefit

In their own analysis of a national database maintained by the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, Bayer and Bachynski count 843 park bans and 150 beach bans imposed in the U.S. between 1993-2011. The largest share came from California, then Minnesota and New Jersey.

The scientific community, meanwhile, either hasn’t kept pace with research on the effects of such bans, or hasn’t found conclusive evidence of connections between second-hand smoke and some health impacts, like breast cancer. In fact, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society have all shied away from supporting such bans, in favor of public-health policies they believe would be more effective, like higher cigarette taxes, or tighter restrictions of tobacco ad campaigns.

In an interview with the researchers, one official with the American Lung Association put it this way: “I don’t think we should be making claims that are not supported by the data. If you try to tie it [banning smoking on beaches or in parks] to a health outcome, that’s where you get in trouble.”

The litter argument is more compelling, although it stretches farther than science has gone with the notion that cigarette butts do real damage to ecosystems (or to animals and children thought to frequently ingest them). As for the societal influence of smokers on children – research says they primarily take their cues from their parents, not strangers they see on the beach.

Of course, there’s a strong if politically unpalatable argument for enacting these policies: Over time, smoking bans have helped turn cigarette butts into something disgusting, and smokers themselves into pariahs. Smoking bans help change smoking norms. And polls suggest that the shift in public opinion has been swift. Gallup began asking people in 2001 if they supported making smoking illegal in public spaces. Then, only 39 percent of people did. As of 2011, for the first time, a majority did, at 59 percent.

“Denormalization,” Bayer and Bachynski write, is the sanitized term for policies that actively seek to stigmatize smoking. Depending on your view of the lengths we should go to cut down on the known health consequences of tobacco, you may be OK with this. But Bayer and Bachynski warn that it’s a “perilous strategy” to mask that goal with weak arguments about protecting the children from bad influence, or their parents from second-hand smoke.

Categories: America, Democrats, Freedom Lost, Governments, GREED, Health, Obama, People, personal freedom, Republicans, Taxes, Unemployed, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Kennedy leads fight against pot legalization


Comment:  Ask Recovering Addicts, Not Ones Who Want to become an Addict
June 23rd 2013

Who would know more about the Dangers of Drugs and Alcohol and what it leads to, than recovering Addicts.

1: How many people have died from Drug  and Alcohol use every year?
2: How many kids will die every year from Drugs and Alcohol use?
3: And what is it going to take to get Drug and Alcohol use under control?
4: And to get enforcement tougher on Drug Use, Selling, and Trafficking, and making them pay for their own Treatment?
5: If it was so healthy as they want you to believe, then why have they spent so much money on drug treatment, if it is not a health problem? That money could have been used for real health problems.

They talk about Cigarettes being a health risk and what it will cost to treat illness from them, then you look at all the money that has been spent on drug treatment of Addicts, and then they have the gall to say that Marijuana (a drug) is not as bad as Cigarettes as a health hazard, this shows what Politicians will do to get Elected, whether it is legal or safe.

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The Olympian

Kennedy leads fight against pot legalization

ROB HOTAKAINEN | Staff writer
Published June 23, 2013

WASHINGTON — Stung by momentum to legalize marijuana, opponents are fighting back with an unlikely leader: a recovering drug addict and liberal ex-congressman from Rhode Island named Patrick Kennedy, a member of the famous political clan.

“I cannot be silent, and I don’t imagine anyone else could be silent if they knew the facts as I know the facts — and all I’m trying to do is get those facts to the broader public,” said Kennedy, son of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Spreading the word, Kennedy is traveling the country as chairman of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which he formed in January and which now has affiliates in five states. Kennedy will announce new affiliates July 1 in San Diego and July 10 in Seattle.

No stranger to substance abuse, Kennedy long ago made public his battle with depression and alcohol and drug abuse, including an addiction to the pain reliever OxyContin. In 2006, he fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed his car into a barrier near the U.S. Capitol. His problems forced him to retire from the House of Representatives.

In an interview, Kennedy said he has smoked marijuana, but not much.

“In spite of the fact that I’m also an asthmatic, I did try and experiment with marijuana, but I quickly migrated to other drugs and alcohol,” he said.

He also once backed using marijuana as medicine. “I now stand corrected by the science,” said the 45-year-old Kennedy.

After making a mark in Congress promoting mental health, Kennedy said he wasn’t surprised by the legalization votes in Washington state and Colorado in 2012, or by polls showing increased acceptance of marijuana.

“They’re votes and they’re polls that reflect my early opinions and viewpoints, which were uneducated,” Kennedy said. “When you don’t have the facts and when you don’t have the public policy experts, then what you have is a vacuum where anecdote and opinion become public policy and reality. And that’s dangerous.”

Kennedy said he’s partly to blame for the rush to legalize because he didn’t speak out sooner. But he said he didn’t understand the big picture until he began working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Research now makes it clear that marijuana is a gateway drug that can induce psychosis and cause teens to lose IQ points they’ll never recover, creating “devastating health consequences,” he said.

Mason Tvert, spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, called Kennedy a hypocrite.

“His family made millions off the sale of alcohol, and we hope that he and his organization recognize that marijuana is far less harmful and that adults should not face penalties just for using it,” said Tvert, adding that Kennedy wants to force marijuana users into “education camps.”

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, another pro-legalization group, said Kennedy is relying on arguments from a past generation: “Most of the stuff he’s saying is about 20 to 30 years old.”

“Over a 40-year period, there have been dozens to hundreds of anti-marijuana groups — most of them don’t really last very long and they don’t have much success,” St. Pierre said. “We have to see in a year or two or three if Project SAM is going to be around, or is it just a flash in the pan?”

Kennedy said he understands the shots.

“We’re a truth-telling organization,” he said. “Their biggest threat is that people will find out the truth. So it’s not Patrick Kennedy they need to be worried about — it’s the truth.”

Kennedy called the legalization effort “a knee-jerk reaction” and said it will lead to more teens smoking pot, making more of them susceptible to addiction. And with marijuana use surpassing tobacco use among teens, Kennedy said they face a greater risk because of the rising potency of the drug.

“This isn’t your Woodstock weed,” he said. “This is genetically modified marijuana that is more closer to hashish. And its impact on brain development, especially if teenagers are using it, is profound and permanent.”

In February, Kennedy asked Attorney General Eric Holder to enforce federal law and not allow Colorado and Washington to sell and tax marijuana.

“I woke up after the last election and saw there’s kind of a wrinkle in the whole environment dealing with mental health and addiction. … It was hard to ignore that we’re moving in the opposite direction,” Kennedy said.
Rob Hotakainen: 202-383-0009 rhotakainen@mcclatchydc.com

Categories: Abuse, Children, Democrats, Education, Governments, GREED, Health, Money, People, Politics, Republicans, School Kids, Taxes, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

NSA Spying On Americans, Or is it a D N A Test Against Americans


Comment For Gullible Americans who believe in Government cover ups!
07-13-2013

Government Spying on their own people shows no respect for them and the laws, and there is some thing wrong. From what I can see with this is, that it is no different then the Government taking a D N A test from you and saying their won’t use it, but then use it to cover up a crime, and using you as the patsy, and if so you don’t have any recourse to prove that it was not you, once the Government does this you will never get out of it unless some one comes forward and tells the truth.

If you have not noticed, any Government will do any thing they want and get away with it, unless the American people start getting a back bone  and stop believing all the lies, and stand up against their corrupt ways and take control, and get rid of people who want to bring down our Country, if not, you will be under control of a Dictator Government very shortly, and never see a freedom again.

Associated Press: [In response, NSA spokeswoman Vines stressed that the agency is not  “unlawfully listening in on, or reading emails of, U.S. citizens.”]  

They don’t care about the law that it is Illegal to wire tap without a court order, or monitor calls with out telling people that they are being recorded.

Associated Press: [NSA officials have said the agency chose the Bluffdale location over 37  others because electricity is cheaper here, and land more easily available. The  center will constantly use 65 megawatts of power — enough to power 33,000  houses.]

NSA being a Government Agency is also a polluter to produce power for this, and is wasting energy with taxpayers money, and who is going to pay the carbon tax on the waste of this power-hungry facility, and how long do you think the Electricity will remain cheap, wake up people and get your head out of Governments A  , and stop believing every thing they say.    

If you are an American and believe our Government, then you are really Gullible in believing how trust worthy our Government really is today, if you have not noticed, they don’t care about you, only your money, just like the rich, that’s right they are also rich.

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Utah home to NSA’s new mega-warehouse for data

Associated Press
By BRADY McCOMBS | Associated Press
June 13th 2013

http://news.yahoo.com/utah-home-nsas-mega-warehouse-data-080502716.html

(AP) — The nation’s new billion-dollar epicenter for fighting global cyberthreats sits just south of Salt Lake City, tucked away on a National Guard base at the foot of snow-capped mountains. The long, squat buildings span 1.5 million square feet, and are filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of information gathered secretly from phone calls and emails.

Two small, weathered signs in the sagebrush greet interlopers to this place with a stark warning: “Military reservation. No trespassing.” But there is no visible marker bearing the facility’s name and operator: The Utah Data Center, brought to you courtesy of the National Security Agency.

When it opens this fall, the facility will be the NSA’s largest data storage center in the U.S. Just don’t ask Utah officials, and certainly not the residents of tiny Bluffdale, just north of the new center, to tell you exactly what will go on inside. They either don’t know, or aren’t saying. And the NSA is famously tight-lipped.

“We know it’s a spy center. But who are they spying on?” said Connie Robbins, an upholstery shop owner who lives in Bluffdale, a community of 8,000 some 25 miles south of Salt Lake City that is known for its rodeo and annual Old West Days.

The dearth of information has perpetuated a mystery that has spawned dozens of theories and a spoof website that even includes a phony code name for the facility: “Bumblehive,” a play on Utah’s nickname of the “Beehive State.”

Last week’s revelation that the NSA is collecting millions of U.S. phone records along with digital communications stored by nine major Internet providers illustrates how aggressively personal information is being congregated and analyzed — and shines a brighter light on what will be going on in secret at the Utah facility, scheduled to open in October.

NSA officials say the center will play a key role in the nation’s effort to protect national security networks, and allow U.S. authorities to monitor for potential cyberthreats. In an email, agency spokeswoman Vanee Vines said that “many unfounded allegations have been made about the planned activities” of the center.

“NSA would like to confirm, on the record, that the Utah Data Center is a state-of-the-art data facility designed to support the U.S. intelligence community’s efforts to further strengthen and protect the nation. Its operations will be lawfully conducted in accordance with U.S. laws and policies,” Vines wrote.

She provided no additional details, however.

Richard “Dickie” George, who retired from the NSA in 2011 after 40 years, said the facility isn’t nearly as interesting or mysterious as some think. He calls it little more than a giant storeroom. Inundated with increasing volumes of secretly taped phone calls, intercepted emails and poached records of online purchases, the NSA needed a mega-warehouse to put it all, he said.

“It’s just a big file cabinet out in the Western area,” said George, once a senior technical leader at the agency. “There is no spying going on there.”

NSA agents elsewhere will comb through the data stored in Utah as the agency attempts to understand how terrorist groups operate and who plays what roles, George said. Emails, articles, websites and videos on the Internet may hold clues about such activities, he said.

James Bamford, the author of several books on the NSA who last year wrote about the Utah center in Wired magazine, asserts that the facility will serve as the central depository for everything the NSA intercepts, functioning as the agency’s “cloud.” Analysts at NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., and other agency sites will be able to access the information by way of secure, fiber-optic cables, he said.

The mammoth center, which cost some $1.7 billion, will allow the agency to store more and, perhaps more importantly, keep information for much longer. Bamford theorizes the facility will be able to hold a so-called yottabyte of information, the largest measurement computer scientists have. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text, said Bamford, who believes the Utah center will store those phone records NSA gathered from Verizon Communications.

“Every day you pick up a telephone and call your grandmother or call your sons and daughters and mothers and fathers and whoever, records of those calls will be all kept in there — and may be kept in there forever. Who knows?” Bamford said.

In response, NSA spokeswoman Vines stressed that the agency is not “unlawfully listening in on, or reading emails of, U.S. citizens.”

NSA officials have said the agency chose the Bluffdale location over 37 others because electricity is cheaper here, and land more easily available. The center will constantly use 65 megawatts of power — enough to power 33,000 houses.

The secrecy and security surrounding the facility are necessary because the center will store classified information, and the code-breaking and spying activities of its staff are also highly classified and a target for foreign spies, said a former U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the program publicly.

The official said the Salt Lake City area is ideal because of a high concentration of Mormons who have served overseas missions and learned foreign languages. The NSA relies on non-English speakers to translate communications from around the world, and Utah provides a pool of employees that meets this need, said the official.

There is another facility in Utah where the NSA has analysts who translate intercepted communications, but there will be no such analysts at the Bluffdale center, the agency said. Most of the 150 to 200 workers instead will be technicians charged with keeping the power on and the computers chilled and working.

George said the agency probably doesn’t need to be as hyper-secretive as it is but said such precautions are meant to avoid letting slip any insight that could tip off terrorist organizations and those who may wish harm upon the United States.

“It’s just not in your best interest to be talking about what you are doing,” he said.

It’s that air of uncertainty that has unnerved residents who live and work near the facility, located on the Camp Williams National Guard base. Some worry the center could become a target of terrorists if it holds so much valuable information.

“Say they were collecting data somebody didn’t want, say a terrorist,” said Shannon Neilson, a convenience store manager whose house is just miles from the center. “What if that’s a target for a plane hitting that, destroying everything?”

Late last month, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the center to mark work being finished on the exterior. The celebration, however, was closed to the public — an exclusive, invitation-only gathering that barred even the mayor of Bluffdale. The NSA also rejected a request by city officials to take a group of visiting Utah mayors on a bus tour of the outside of the facility. The agency said all tours — even of the exterior — are prohibited.

At the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, educators are creating a certificate program that they hope will produce students ready to work at big data centers such as the Bluffdale facility. The NSA helped reviewed the curriculum, offering suggestions, and plans to offer internships to students, said Valerio Pascucci, director of the Center for Extreme Data, Management, Analysis and Visualization.

The program is designed primarily for undergraduate students studying mechanical or electrical engineering and computer science. So far, the Utah Data Center has yet to post jobs, Valerio said. “We are building a new expertise that obviously is going to be in growing demand in the future,” he said.

Bluffdale City Manager Mark Reid said he hopes the NSA center serves as a magnet for other, privately run data centers to the area. Unlike the NSA facility, those would be required to pay property taxes. Reid will travel to a data center conference in Washington, D.C., this month to promote Utah’s cheap power and ideal workforce. But if attendees ask about the new NSA facility, he’ll be short on answers.

“I know very little,” Reid said. “We just deliver the water.”

__

Associated Press Intelligence Writer Kimberly Dozier contributed from Washington, D.C.

Categories: Abuse, America, Corruption, Democrats, Financial Crisis, Freedom Lost, Governments, GREED, Money, Obama, Olympia, People, Politics, Republicans, Rich, Taxes, Unions, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

College Sticker Shock, WHY?


Comment by Bob L.
05-20-2013

Sticker Shock for colleges? Ask the GREEDY Professors and Administrators.

I read an article here the other day and it made the comment that they have to raise them to keep their Professors, start there, if you want to stop it, boycott these Colleges, plus you could probably get a better Education by going to local Community college. 

Is it that by going to a Big Name College, you can Party and walk around with your nose up in the air Bragging that you went to Blah Blah  College and not really getting the Education that you deserve, which is, go to a party School, or a go to a  less expensive College and get an Education.

As you read this article you will see a lot of double talk to why the cost is so high, basically it all stems to GREED, Public Schools are having the same problem.

=================================================================

The Lookout

Sticker shock: New college graduates, here is why your education cost so much money

By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News The Lookout
05-20-2013

When high school senior Jenny Bonilla got her college acceptance letter in March, she felt shock and heartbreak rather than joy. That’s because the letter from Goucher College, a private liberal arts school in Baltimore, also brought news that she would owe an unaffordable $20,000 a year in tuition and board, even with a scholarship the college was offering.

Bonilla had been in the running for a full ride to Goucher but eventually lost out because her parents’ combined income of $57,000 a year was deemed too high.

“That was heartbreaking,” she said.

Bonilla’s experience is all too familiar to many students and their parents contemplating college, as higher education price increases have far outpaced the growth in middle-class wages over the past three decades.

The average tuition and fees at a public, four-year university rose to $8,655 in 2012-13, not counting the costs of room and board, according to the College Board. That’s 250 percent more than it would have cost in 1982, when a year of college would have set the average student back just $2,423 in today’s dollars.

The tuition at private colleges has increased at a slightly lower rate over the same period: the average four-year private institution costs $29,056, not counting room and board. It would have cost $10,901 in 2012 dollars back in 1982.

The pricey degree comes with big returns, on average: College educated workers earned 79 percent more than high-school educated workers in 2012, and were much less likely to be unemployed.

The pain of the price hikes has been partially offset by an increase in federal grants and tax breaks for college, as well as by private schools offering deeply discounted tuition rates to lower-income students. But even with that help, some students like Bonilla are finding themselves locked out of the system.

Why is college so much more expensive now than it was 30 years ago? Economists fall into two main schools of thought in explaining the trend.

One theory, referred to as “Bowen’s Rule,” says that the decisions made by many colleges and universities—such as how many administrators to hire and how to spend its cash—primarily drive the cost.

A competing theory, called “Baumol’s cost disease,” posits that higher education is expensive because of outside macroeconomic factors that affect other businesses, like the cost of hiring highly educated workers.

In other words, it’s either the colleges’ fault, or it isn’t.

In their book, “Why Does College Cost So Much?” Robert Archibald and David Feldman, economists at The College of William & Mary, are firmly in the Baumol camp. They argue that a college’s hefty price tag isn’t actually surprising at all, given that it depends on the performance of its workforce—highly educated professors and teachers who provide a face-to-face service, not a material good.

Larger economic trends have jacked up the salaries of highly educated workers across the board in recent decades, while the cost of face-to-face services has also remained high, since technological advances do not necessarily make these services cheaper.

Feldman used the example of the cost of a haircut, which has also outpaced inflation in the past 30 years.

While technology has made factories vastly more efficient at producing goods for less money, technological advances have not been able to make the time a haircut takes shorter or replace the skilled person who has to give the haircut. College is like a haircut on steroids, since the barbers have PhDs.

“Higher education is an industry where there’s not a whole lot of productivity growth and not a whole of scope for productivity growth,” Feldman said.

The vast majority of most colleges’ budgets go to personnel, and that cost is unlikely to come down any time soon.

Benjamin Ginsburg, a political science professor at John Hopkins University, takes the Bowen view.

In his book, “The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters,” Ginsburg argues that a significant increase in administrative employees is in part responsible for college’s runaway pricing.

He writes that between 1975 and 2005, the faculty to student ratio has remained fairly constant at universities, while the student-to-professional staffer (such as an admissions officer) ratio increased from one to 50 to 1 to 24.

“As colleges and universities have had more money to spend, they have not chosen to spend it on expanding their instructional resources—that is, on paying faculty,” Ginsburg writes. “They have chosen, instead, to enhance their administrative and staff resources.”

Feldman discounts this argument. He points out that students demand a broader bundle of services from college now than they did 50 years ago, and that the price reflects that. Students want staffers to plan student life activities, career counselors, fancy dorms, nice gyms and up to date technology.

The economy as a whole, not just higher education, has also shifted to include more administrative positions in the past decades, he argues.

Some argue that colleges have had no choice but to hire more administrative staff, in part because they are so thoroughly regulated by both state and federal governments. Colleges are required to report to the government all gifts accepted from foreign governments, supply information about the salaries of coaches, and prove they commemorated Constitution Day every September 17, among other rules. Complying with the regulations requires staff.

“Externally imposed regulations increase the cost of doing business and that cost is passed on to consumers,” Terry Hartle, one of the chief lobbyists for the higher education industry, said.

State budget woes have also hiked the cost of many colleges. Sandy Baum, an economist and independent policy analyst for the College Board, says the price increases at public institutions have been driven by declining support from states, which have cut higher education in order to balance their budgets.

“It’s not actually that the colleges are spending more money on the students, it’s that they’re getting … much less money per student from the state government,” Baum said.

That means students aren’t necessarily getting more for their money, especially at public institutions.

Advances in technology might help colleges cut costs in the future, either by allowing them to have fewer in-person classes as more people take classes online or by streamlining some library costs, among other possibilities. But higher education experts say there’s no silver bullet.

“Colleges are looking at how to save money and they need to look harder because it’s just so expensive,” said Baum. She mentioned increasing technology, streamlining government regulations and cutting back on administrators as some possible things to help costs. “There’s no miracles there,” she said.

Jenny Bonilla didn’t have time to wait for a miracle. Bonilla’s father lost his job just days after she received her letter from Goucher, reducing the family’s annual income to $40,000.

Bonilla’s parents didn’t want her to take on $60,000 in debt, and knew they couldn’t come up with the money to help her on their own. They decided she should enroll in nearby Prince George Community College for two years and then try to transfer to a four-year public school from there.

“I applied to so many schools and then for me to end up at community college is kind of devastating,” Bonilla says.

Categories: America, Children, Democrats, Education, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, Republicans, School Kids, Taxes, Unions, White House | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Dictator and Chief Looking for Permanent Position In Whitehouse


Comment: Dictator Coming Your Way
04-03-2013

If the American people don’t stop this money wasting President, you will never get rid of him. And if he gets the Democrats back in control, you might just as well kiss the U.S. Constitution and your freedom good-by, because he will have full control of this Country, it will be just like Hitler, and Castro where his followers will turn any one in for trying to stand up against him, and THAT could EVEN be your NEIGHBOR.

Look at every one who has tried to run against or has said some thing that he does not like, he or some one else does what ever they can to turn people against them, even start a rumor, he does not want any one to get in his way.

Here is a good example, the News Media does what ever he wants, have you heard any thing about all the taxes coming your way that the news media is not talking about, you can go on to what is not being said that you should know, it is just like the countries where the news is Censored.

Here is a little some thing that you are paying for every time one of his three planes leave the ground.    One Hundred Eighty Thousand Dollars an Hour  Air Force One and Two, then add his Entourage of more planes, Lady Obama One, and Biden One, and then you have to add the other private Government planes that are always on the move. But he wants the American people to tighten their belts and give to the poor around the world (not here), but the problem is, the American workers are now the poor. Like they say the RICH get Richer and the POOR get Poorer.

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Obama launches fund-raising blitz to help Democrats in Congress

By Steve Holland | Reuters
04-03-2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will launch a fund-raising drive for the 2014 U.S. mid-term elections on Wednesday with addresses to deep-pocketed donors in California, hoping the Democratic Party can defy the odds and gain congressional seats in the polls.

The party in power in the White House usually loses seats in election years in which the presidency is not up for grabs. This means Democrats have their work cut out for them in trying to win a majority in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and add to their majority in the Senate.

“An off-year is always tough for the party in power,” said Democratic strategist Bud Jackson. “But never say never, and I think it’s possible that you could swing some seats. At the very least you make the attempted grab.”

The president has an interest in making the effort, because without a significant change in the make-up of Congress, he faces possible paralysis for many of the initiatives laid out in his inaugural address and State of the Union speech.

His second term, won decisively in the election last November over Republican Mitt Romney, has opened with a repeat of the partisan tensions that marked his first term and with an unrelenting stalemate over taxes and spending.

A bid to tighten gun regulations, which Obama will address at a stop in Denver on Wednesday, is in danger as pro-gun groups pressure lawmakers who for decades have been reluctant to take on the powerful gun lobby. Only an immigration overhaul looks promising as Republicans smarting over Hispanic vote losses in 2012 need a victory on it as much as Obama does.

This does not mean Obama is abandoning his priorities until after the mid-terms. His team in general sees the need for action as soon as possible before the country’s attention turns to the 2014 and 2016 elections.

OBAMA MAY TEMPER MESSAGE

As a result, Obama may offer a more restrained message when he speaks at fund-raising events in San Francisco, talking up his party’s agenda without antagonizing political opponents.

Some Republican senators told Obama when he visited Capitol Hill in March that it did not help their fiscal negotiations with him when he traveled around the country criticizing them.

Obama aides said Obama can both support his own party’s campaign apparatus while still seeking compromise with Republicans.

“There’s plenty of work to do here in Washington D.C. before we turn our attention to the midterm elections,” said White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest.

Obama’s San Francisco stop will kick off 14 events he intends to stage this year to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, its Senate counterpart or the Democratic National Committee. The party is still trying to pay off its debts from the last election.

In San Francisco, Obama has two evening events planned to help House Democratic campaigns. California Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, the top House Democrat who was dethroned as speaker in 2010, is expected to attend.

Democrats need to win 17 seats in 2014 to win control of the House.

“The confidence that the president is showing by dedicating his efforts to our efforts is a shot in the arm for House Democrats,” said Jesse Ferguson, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The first event – a cocktail reception priced at $5,000 a person – is at the home of billionaire former asset manager Tom Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor. After that, a $32,500-per-person dinner will be held at the home of billionaires Ann and Gordon Getty.

The next day Obama will attend two DNC fundraisers.

Obama’s trip is all the more important because of the need to pay off debt hanging over party organizations since the 2012 election. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee owed $10.8 million as of the end of February, according to Federal Election Committee disclosure forms, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee owed $15 million.

Republicans note that Obama’s electoral sway is not so powerful when his name is not on the ballot. Democrats lost 63 seats and control of the House in 2010 midterms, as well as six Senate seats.

“There’s something to his appeal when he’s on the ballot. I’m not sure they can deliver the same vote when he’s not,” said Republican strategist Charlie Black.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Marilyn W. Thompson and David Brunnstrom)

Categories: America, Democrats, Freedom Lost, GREED, Obama, People, Rich, Taxes, Unemployed, White House | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Senate narrowly passes first budget in four years


Comment For:  Senate narrowly passes first budget in four years
03-23-2013

How about that the Senate finally got off their butts and finally passed a budget in four years, Now Wait a Minute, they did not do it for the Country, they did it for them selves, because of elections coming up in 2014 and are afraid for their job, this shows that they don’t care about this Country one red cent, and shows that they only got elected for the money, not the people who elected them.

Did these people ever go to School? I can not see how you can pay off your debt by spending more money, I guess what I learned in school was just waisted time when I could have continued working full-time then go to school, but what I learned in school was that if you spent more than you make, you have to pay it back or you go in to debt, but I guess that was wrong according to the way our Government looks at how debt works, lets see if you, lets say you make $10.00 dollars an hour and spend $20.00 dollars of that $10.00 dollars, over time you won’t have a debt to pay back?, from the way I see it, this is how the Government thinks, 2+2= 40 Two Dollars in taxes, put that Two Dollars in to the General Fund means Forty Dollars can be spent, that is Government Math. (Lack of, or over Education)

Every time Government talks about Entitlements they go against the people who will get hurt the most, but I have not seen or heard about the Entitlements that the Government and other organisations receives every year, they always go after the ones that will get hurt the most so they will pass more taxes so they can spend more on trash, junk, or other Countries, but not in this Country where it is needed. 

A Canadian said it right in the 70’s, http://youtu.be/oJ_okAgAUGE     and Americans have let it go on, they have become lazy, and not caring about the Country they live in (greed has taken control), they have let the Government take over their lives and every thing they do, they have not stood up against Government when they are told that their vote does not count, and the same thing when the Courts side with what Government wants, and let them get away with it, it is time that Americans get a Back Bone and stand up to the Government, Environmentalist, Special Interest Groups, and Religion Haters, and take OUR Country back, other wise, you get what you ask for, NOTHING,  but A Corrupt out of control Dictator Government.

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Senate narrowly passes first budget in four years

By David Lawder | Reuters
03-23-2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate on Saturday narrowly passed its first federal budget in four years, a move that will usher in a relative lull in Washington’s fiscal wars until an anticipated summer showdown over raising the debt ceiling.

The budget plan was passed by a 50-49 vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber. Four Democratic senators facing tough re-election campaigns in 2014 joined all the Senate Republicans in opposing the measure, which seeks to raise nearly $1 trillion in new tax revenues by closing some tax breaks for the wealthy.

The Senate budget, which reflects Democratic priorities of boosting near-term job growth and preserving social safety net programs, will square off in coming months against a Republican-focused budget passed by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

Neither of the non-binding blueprints has a chance of passage in the opposing chamber, leaving Congress no closer to resolving deep differences over how to shrink U.S. deficits and grow the economy. But they give each party a platform from which to tout their respective fiscal visions.

The Democrats’ plan from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray aims to reduce deficits by $1.85 trillion over 10 years through an equal mix of tax increases and spending cuts.

The Republican plan from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan seeks $4.6 trillion in savings over the same period without raising new taxes. It aims to reach a small surplus by 2023 through deep cuts to health care and social programs that aid the poor.

Murray said after the vote that she would try to work with Ryan on a path toward compromise.

“While it is clear that the policies, values, and priorities of the Senate budget are very different than those articulated in the House budget, I know the American people are expecting us to work together to end the gridlock and find common ground, and I plan to continue doing exactly that.”

SHUTDOWN THREAT

Passage of a stop-gap government funding measure on Thursday lowered the temperature in the budget debate by eliminating the threat of a government shutdown next week.

“We’re going to get a breather here. Congress will let things cool off a bit and there’ll be other issues that come to the forefront in the spring,” said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group, a firm that advises institutional investors on Washington politics.

These issues include legislation on gun control, immigration reform and initial work on simplifying the tax code, which is particularly important to Republicans.

Joining Republicans in opposing the Democratic budget were Democratic senators from conservative-leaning states: Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Voting for a budget that raises tax revenues could increase their vulnerability in congressional elections next year and put Democrats’ thin majority at risk.

In the lead-up to the Senate vote early on Saturday morning, the body considered more than 100 largely symbolic, non-binding amendments to the budget aimed at scoring political points and staking out positions.

Among notable amendments, the Senate signaled strong support for allowing states more authority to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases [ID:nL1N0CEERE], for approval of the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline [ID:nL1N0CEE57] and for repealing a tax on medical devices imposed by President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.

The Senate also voted 99-0 to end policies that subsidized large banks considered “too big to fail” but came out against imposing taxes on industrial carbon emissions.

Ryan’s plan aims to reach a small surplus with no tax increases by 2023 through deep cuts to social safety net programs. This enables Republicans to claim that they are more responsible by balancing the budget.

“The House budget changes our debt course, while the Senate budget does not,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

BATTLE OVER “BALANCE”

In a taste of the ideological debates to come, Murray claimed that the Senate budget was more “balanced” because it emphasized job growth and offered an equal amount of revenue increases and spending cuts.

The Senate had not passed a budget resolution since 2009 because of fiscal policy disputes with House Republicans that forced Congress to turn to numerous stop-gap spending measures to avoid government shutdowns.

To protect their thin Senate majority, Democrats avoided exposing their members to potentially damaging votes to raise taxes ahead of 2012 elections, arguing that a 2011 budget deal set spending levels for several years and made the non-binding budget legislation unnecessary.

But this year, under the February debt limit increase law, members of both the House and Senate faced pay suspensions if their chamber had failed to pass a budget by April 15.

Although lawmakers in both parties have called for a return to normal budgeting procedures after years of stop-gap spending bills and high-pressure deadlines, there is little chance that they can work out differences between the two budgets.

“The idea of conferencing them is kind of a joke. You would expect that if there were a chance of success, they wouldn’t have planted flags on completely different planets,” said Sean West, U.S. policy director at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy.

Ultimately, it may take another 11th-hour deal between Obama and congressional Republicans to set a fiscal path forward as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, he said. The Treasury is expected to exhaust its borrowing capacity around late July or early August.

In 2011, a similar fight over the debt limit shook financial markets and cost the United States its top-tier credit rating.

(Editing by Pravin Char)

Categories: America, Corruption, Democrats, Financial Crisis, Governments, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, Politics, Taxes, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

What Does it Take for these Government Nitwits To Learn it has to STOP NOW


Comment For Nitwits
02-14-2013

If our Government keep going the way they are I am going dunce-cap-hatto start a dunce award scale, 1 to 5, and the article coming up I give this one a  FIVE 5

When are these nitwits going to under stand that they are the problems in this Country, just because people pay taxes that they are end less and can not sustain continual spending without consequences. Pay Raises and taxes need to stop now or we will be back into a Depression you will never get out of no matter what you do, and this Obama Administration has this Country headed in that direction on a fast track by telling you what to do, and if you have not noticed you better look harder, because you are blind.

Just look at what they are doing to this Country, they are putting people on the street with no place to go but an early grave, not all the people can not continue to pay for the people who can not live with what they have, BUT NO, they must have Fancy Streets, Fancy Buildings, these are the people who have to have something better than every one else, better Pay, better Benefits, and the Fancies Homes and Cars, well this all ends up costing every one else money they can not afford to continually pay.

Who said that College Education would teach you to be smarter than a High School Education, well who ever said it did not learn any thing in College, look at all these Politicians that brag about going to College and having a good education have come out being the Dummies people on earth, they don’t know the differences from a Penny to a Dollar, just like workers are a dime a dozen, but it is the knowledge of the job not the Education, you can have all the education in the world, but if you do not have the knowledge you know nothing, and our Government shows that.

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Should You Renounce Your Citizenship?

By Caroline Kim | Yahoo! Finance
Wed, Feb 13, 2013

Would you renounce your U.S. citizenship if it meant you’d be sending less of your hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam?

As Americans face higher taxes and stricter enforcement, a growing number of them are, indeed, deciding to turn in their US passports. As of 2013, 77% of Americans will pay higher federal tax rates because the cuts in Social Security payroll taxes expired when Congress passed its tax package on New Year’s Day.

But the wealthiest households face the highest tax increases. From 2009 to 2011, the number of expatriates, or those who renounced their U.S. citizenship, doubled to 1,781.

Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, which provides financial services for expatriates, said that since the start of this year, 48% more of his clients in January than in a typical month inquired about moving funds abroad and the possible tax implications of changing citizenship.

The income tax rate rose this year to 39.6% from 35% for individuals earning more than $400,000 a year and married couples earning more than $450,000.

The Tax Policy Center estimated that those who earn more than $1 million would pay an average of  $170,341 more in taxes.

Green said there’s a tipping point for most people with regard to tax issues affecting their choice of location and citizenship. “If there’s only 10% tax [on income], no one would be leaving. But if there’s 90%, then most people would leave,” he said.

Federal taxes aren’t the only issue, though. Increases in state income tax rates factor into these decisions as well. Recently, California enacted Proposition 30, which raised state income tax rates to 10.3% from 9.3% for individuals making at least $250,000 and 13.3% from 10.3% for those earning at least $1 million. Golfer Phil Mickelson publicly voiced his concern over the tax increases and threatened to leave California because of the higher rates.

Famous Faces
In the first three quarters of 2012, more than 1,100 people left the United States, according to the Federal Register, which tracks Americans who renounce their citizenship. (The Federal Register doesn’t make note of why these people give up their citizenships; we can only guess there are financial considerations in many situations.) Among them, one of the most high-profile examples was Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who filed to relinquish his U.S. citizenship in September 2011; Facebook had its initial public offering in May 2012. Saverin, a Brazil native, had already been living in Singapore for three years after emigrating to the U.S. in 1998. He could reportedly save as much as $100 million in taxes because Singapore does not tax capital gains.

Saverin isn’t the only famous renunciation. Singer and socialite Denise Rich also gave up her citizenship last year under her maiden name, Denise Eisenberg. She is well-known as the ex-wife of former international fugitive Marc Rich, a commodities trader who was indicted on 50 counts of wire fraud, tax evasion, racketeering and other charges. But on his last day in office in 2001, former president Bill Clinton pardoned Rich. Reports claimed that Eisenberg gave up her citizenship to be closer to her long-time partner, an Austrian citizen. Austria also has tax benefits for nationals who live abroad for more than half the year.

Chinese kung fu star and actor Jet Li held American and Chinese citizenships, but dropped both in 2009 in order to be a citizen in Singapore. (Singapore prohibits dual citizenship.) In interviews Li indicated that he chose Singapore because it was free from paparazzi and provided language opportunities for his children.

Most recently, actor Gerard Depardieu made headlines for renouncing his French citizenship to become a Russian citizen in order to avoid France’s proposed 75% tax on earned income above $1.4 million. Russia has a flat 13% tax rate.

Ready to Tear Up Your Passport?
According to a 2012 study published by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics that examined the mobility of billionaires over the past two decades, “70% [of those billionaires] have migrated from higher to lower capital gains tax country … One-third of the billionaires that moved went to small countries defined as ‘tax havens,’” including Switzerland, Bahamas and Singapore.

If you want to join the pack, the process to renounce your citizenship isn’t very difficult.

The U.S. Department of State says that in order to do so, one must “appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer, in a foreign country (typically at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and sign an oath of renunciation.”

But before you take the plunge, be aware that if you forego your U.S. citizenship, there’s no turning back. The U.S. government won’t reinstate it if you change your mind later — so think it over carefully.

In 1965, movie star Elizabeth Taylor attempted to expatriate to keep her European income from being subject to American tax law. But she did not get approval from the State Department because she refused to disavow “all allegiance to the United States of America.”

And you might be saving money in the long run, but you still have to pay an “exit” tax, according to the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act passed in 2008. This applies to those whose net worth is $2 million or more, or whose annual income tax average for the past five years is $145,000 or more (as of 2008 and adjusted annually for inflation each year). One exception applies to people who were born with dual citizenships. For the exit tax, a 15% tax applies to capital gains above $651,000, and tax on other assets like a retirement account, would be at the normal income rate up to 39.6%. These assets are taxed as if the individual were selling or withdrawing their monetary funds from the accounts on the last day of their American citizenship.

Already Living Abroad?

So is giving up your rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen worth it? If you live and conduct business mostly in the U.S., it may not be the best decision. Renouncing your citizenship isn’t just about taxes— it also means no more protection from the U.S. government; possible issues with travel visas, including traveling and staying in the U.S. for long periods of time.

But it may be worth it if you already live in a foreign country. The U.S. is one of the few nations that taxes its citizens regardless of where you live in the world. As long as you remain a U.S. citizen, you will be taxed on your income even if you’re living abroad. But if you aren’t a citizen and live in a foreign country, you don’t need to pay any income tax.

“[Renunciation] seems to be more pronounced with Americans, and that’s more with Americans currently living abroad,” Green said. “It’s easier if you’ve already left the country. There are less factors involved [in changing citizenships].”

In the case of Saverin, he was already living in Singapore and did not have deep ties to the U.S. because he hadn’t been here very long. In his case, the financial benefits were clear: he would’ve paid a 35% federal tax rate in the U.S. in addition to 15% on capital gains, while in Singapore his tax rate would be  20% at most and no capital gains tax.

So how would your tax burden stack up? If you earn $1 million a year, that’s almost $396,000 you’re keeping in your pocket (based on the top 39.6% income tax rate) if you said goodbye to the U.S. and took up residency in a place like Monaco, which doesn’t tax income at all. If you were to earn the median household income of $50,054, according to the Census Bureau, then you’d be saving $12,500 (based on a 25% federal tax bracket).

Categories: America, Children, Democrats, Financial Crisis, Freedom Lost, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, personal freedom, Republicans, Rich, Taxes, White House, Yuppies | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Is the Obama and Democrats Bank Swipe Tax in Your Future


Comment: Where did it all start, Can you Hear Obama & Democrats NOW
01-30-2013

78281926-jpg_001814Obama’s Protecting the middle and low-income people just got even better and more expensive, thanks to Obama and his Democrats with their Dodd | Frank control of the banking system on how to protect Americans with bank regulations, that the Democrats pasted because of banks greed and how they ripped off Americans, they call it Credit Card swipe Tax.

America Just keeps getting better and better every day.

Say goodbye to more bank branches  and job loses

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Credit card checkout fee taking effect

CNN Money
By Emily Jane Fox | CNN Money
01-29-2013

You might want to think twice before whipping out your credit card. As of Sunday, stores in most states could start charging you a “checkout fee” when you pay for something with plastic.

The new fees stem from a multi-billion dollar settlement announced in July between credit card issuers and millions of merchants.

Visa, MasterCard and nine major banks agreed to a $7.25 billion deal to settle charges that they were fixing credit card processing fees. As part of the settlement, credit card issuers said they would reduce these “swipe fees” — fees paid by merchants to issuers when cards are used — but only for eight months

In addition, the settlement also gave retailers the option to tack on a surcharge if a customer uses a credit card. The retailer can only charge enough to cover the processing costs, which is about 1.5 percent to 3 percent of the total purchase, according to watchdog group Consumer Action.

This fee doesn’t apply to purchases made using debit cards. And it will still be illegal to charge the new fee in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Many big players in the retail industry have been up in arms about the settlement. Stores from the nation’s largest retailer down to small businesses have lamented the agreement, claiming that it transferred the wrongdoings of credit card issuers to the consumer.

In November, the National Retail Federation and more than a dozen retailers asked a judge to reject the proposed settlement. In a brief submitted to a U.S. District Court judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., the trade organization wrote that the new fees threaten a merchant’s ability to keep prices low for customers.

Wal-Mart, Macy’s, JCPenney, Limited Brands, Gap Inc. and The Neiman Marcus Group were among those who joined the NRF in claiming that “raising consumer prices by adding an ‘interchange tax’ is no remedy for Visa’s and MasterCard’s continuing monopoly abuse.”

In a separate statement, Wal-Mart said that it wasn’t interested in adding the surcharge to allow credit card companies to continue charging unfair fees. Target called the agreement “bad for both retailers and consumers.”

Merchants have a choice as to whether to implement the surcharge, but it poses quite a dilemma for them: Either get stuck footing the bill for the swipe fees, or risk transferring the cost to customers in an already competitive environment.

Last summer, Target said it had no interest in charging customers who use credit cards more “in order to allow Visa and MasterCard to continue charging unfair fees.”

Smaller merchants echoed these concerns over the deal, saying it doesn’t go far enough.
MasterCard said it doesn’t expect most merchants to put the surcharge into effect, since stores won’t want to drive away business.

“We anticipate that they will not impose checkout fees, particularly because the value merchants derive from card acceptance far exceeds their costs,” the credit card company said in a statement.

Categories: Abuse, America, Democrats, Financial Crisis, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, Taxes, White House | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

Obamacare Just Keeps Getting Better


Comment: Obamacare WOW
01-25-2013

Does this catch go for States that allow people to break the law, Federal and State law by allowing them to Smoke Marijuana in Violation of smoking in public places, and get cheep insurance, in other words it seems that Marijuana by State standers is not dangerous to where as smoking a cigarette is.

Come on you blooming Idiots, clean out your brains and show that you are smarter than a Politician who let this law be passed, Oh, I for got, they have a hole burning in their Capitals to make more money for what they have lost by people who quit smoking at their push for higher TAXES, or was that for health reasons for medical costs to the States insurance fund.

208382_334907706613555_1057883061_nAll these states have created their own problems for taxes being lost due to GREED for money and not commend since on how to spend money wisely, and throw it at their pet projects which does nothing for the good of the people.

What can you expect the RICH run the Government, and the RICH are in the Government Offices.

Obama’s IRS Threatens Employers Over Obamacare (independentsentinel.com) So you want Obamacare, Now your Jobs are in jeopardy if you don’t do what Obama wants. Ha Ha Ha Haaaaa

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Penalty could keep smokers out of health overhaul

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR | Associated Press
01-24-2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.

The Affordable Care Act — “Obamacare” to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.

For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

Younger smokers could be charged lower penalties under rules proposed last fall by the Obama administration. But older smokers could face a heavy hit on their household budgets at a time in life when smoking-related illnesses tend to emerge.

Workers covered on the job would be able to avoid tobacco penalties by joining smoking cessation programs, because employer plans operate under different rules. But experts say that option is not guaranteed to smokers trying to purchase coverage individually.

Nearly one of every five U.S. adults smokes. That share is higher among lower-income people, who also are more likely to work in jobs that don’t come with health insurance and would therefore depend on the new federal health care law. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, lung problems and cancer, contributing to nearly 450,000 deaths a year.

Insurers won’t be allowed to charge more under the overhaul for people who are overweight, or have a health condition like a bad back or a heart that skips beats — but they can charge more if a person smokes.

Starting next Jan. 1, the federal health care law will make it possible for people who can’t get coverage now to buy private policies, providing tax credits to keep the premiums affordable. Although the law prohibits insurance companies from turning away the sick, the penalties for smokers could have the same effect in many cases, keeping out potentially costly patients.

“We don’t want to create barriers for people to get health care coverage,” said California state Assemblyman Richard Pan, who is working on a law in his state that would limit insurers’ ability to charge smokers more. The federal law allows states to limit or change the smoking penalty.

“We want people who are smoking to get smoking cessation treatment,” added Pan, a pediatrician who represents the Sacramento area.

Obama administration officials declined to be interviewed for this article, but a former consumer protection regulator for the government is raising questions.

“If you are an insurer and there is a group of smokers you don’t want in your pool, the ones you really don’t want are the ones who have been smoking for 20 or 30 years,” said Karen Pollitz, an expert on individual health insurance markets with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “You would have the flexibility to discourage them.”

Several provisions in the federal health care law work together to leave older smokers with a bleak set of financial options, said Pollitz, formerly deputy director of the Office of Consumer Support in the federal Health and Human Services Department.

First, the law allows insurers to charge older adults up to three times as much as their youngest customers.

Second, the law allows insurers to levy the full 50 percent penalty on older smokers while charging less to younger ones.

And finally, government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers.

Here’s how the math would work:

Take a hypothetical 60-year-old smoker making $35,000 a year. Estimated premiums for coverage in the new private health insurance markets under Obama’s law would total $10,172. That person would be eligible for a tax credit that brings the cost down to $3,325.

But the smoking penalty could add $5,086 to the cost. And since federal tax credits can’t be used to offset the penalty, the smoker’s total cost for health insurance would be $8,411, or 24 percent of income. That’s considered unaffordable under the federal law. The numbers were estimated using the online Kaiser Health Reform Subsidy Calculator.

“The effect of the smoking (penalty) allowed under the law would be that lower-income smokers could not afford health insurance,” said Richard Curtis, president of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions, a nonpartisan research group that called attention to the issue with a study about the potential impact in California.

In today’s world, insurers can simply turn down a smoker. Under Obama’s overhaul, would they actually charge the full 50 percent? After all, workplace anti-smoking programs that use penalties usually charge far less, maybe $75 or $100 a month.

Robert Laszewski, a consultant who previously worked in the insurance industry, says there’s a good reason to charge the maximum.

“If you don’t charge the 50 percent, your competitor is going to do it, and you are going to get a disproportionate share of the less-healthy older smokers,” said Laszewski. “They are going to have to play defense.”

Categories: Abuse, America, Corruption, Democrats, GREED, Health, Money, Obama, People, Profiling, Republicans, Rich, Taxes, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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