Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Fiscal Policy: Many voters are looking forward to 2011, hoping a new Congress will put the country back on the right track. But unless something's done soon, the new year will also come with a raft of tax hikes — including a return of the death tax — that will be real killers.
Through the end of this year, the federal estate tax rate is zero — thanks to the package of broad-based tax cuts that President Bush pushed through to get the economy going earlier in the decade.
But as of midnight Dec. 31, the death tax returns — at a rate of 55% on estates of $1 million or more. The effect this will have on hospital life-support systems is already a matter of conjecture.
Resurrection of the death tax, however, isn't the only tax problem that will be ushered in Jan. 1. Many other cuts from the Bush administration are set to disappear and a new set of taxes will materialize. And it's not just the rich who will pay.
The lowest bracket for the personal income tax, for instance, moves up 50% — to 15% from 10%. The next lowest bracket — 25% — will rise to 28%, and the old 28% bracket will be 31%. At the higher end, the 33% bracket is pushed to 36% and the 35% bracket becomes 39.6%.
But the damage doesn't stop there.
The marriage penalty also makes a comeback, and the capital gains tax will jump 33% — to 20% from 15%. The tax on dividends will go all the way from 15% to 39.6% — a 164% increase.
Both the cap-gains and dividend taxes will go up further in 2013 as the health care reform adds a 3.8% Medicare levy for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and joint filers making more than $250,000. Other tax hikes include: halving the child tax credit to $500 from $1,000 and fixing the standard deduction for couples at the same level as it is for single filers.
Letting the Bush cuts expire will cost taxpayers $115 billion next year alone, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and $2.6 trillion through 2020.
But even more tax headaches lie ahead. This "second wave" of hikes, as Americans for Tax Reform puts it, are designed to pay for ObamaCare and include:
The Medicine Cabinet Tax
The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. "This provision of ObamaCare," according to ATR, "increases the additional tax on nonmedical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10% to 20%, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10%."
Brand Name Drug Tax. Makers and importers of brand-name drugs will be liable for a tax of $2.5 billion in 2011. The tax goes to $3 billion a year from 2012 to 2016, then $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018. Beginning in 2019 it falls to $2.8 billion and stays there. And who pays the new drug tax? Patients, in the form of higher prices.
Economic Substance Doctrine. ATR reports that "The IRS is now empowered to disallow perfectly legal tax deductions and maneuvers merely because it judges that the deduction or action lacks 'economic substance.'"
A third and final (for now) wave, says ATR, consists of the alternative minimum tax's widening net, tax hikes on employers and the loss of deductions for tuition:
• The Tax Policy Center, no right-wing group, says that the failure to index the AMT will subject 28.5 million families to the tax when they file next year, up from 4 million this year.
• "Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly deduct, or 'depreciate') equipment purchases up to $250,000," says ATR. "This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, all of it will have to be 'depreciated.'"
• According to ATR, there are "literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place," plus the loss of some tax credits. The research and experimentation tax credit will be the biggest loss, "but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs."
• The deduction for tuition and fees will no longer be available and there will be limits placed on education tax credits. Teachers won't be able to deduct their classroom expenses and employer-provided educational aid will be restricted. Thousands of families will no longer be allowed to deduct student loan interest.
Then there's the tax on Americans who decline to buy health care insurance (the tax the administration initially said wasn't a tax but now argues in court that it is) plus a 3.8% Medicare tax beginning in 2013 on profits made in real estate transactions by wealthier Americans.
Not all Americans may fully realize what's in store come Jan. 1. But they should have a pretty good idea by the mid-term elections, and members of Congress might take note of our latest IBD/TIPP Poll (summarized above).
Fifty-one percent of respondents favored making the Bush cuts permanent vs. 28% who didn't. Republicans were more than 4 to 1 and Independents more than 2 to 1 in favor. Only Democrats were opposed, but only by 40%-38%.
The cuts also proved popular among all income groups — despite the Democrats' oft-heard assertion that Bush merely provided "tax breaks for the wealthy." Fact is, Bush cut taxes for everyone who paid them, and the cuts helped the nation recover from a recession and the worst stock-market crash since 1929.
Maybe, just maybe, Americans remember that — and will not forget come Nov. 2.
Friday, July 23, 2010
THAI HAS BEEN ADOPTED!!!!!!
Yes folks that headline is correct- The Thai Master is no longer a foster dachshund. As of 6 August 2010, his 14th birthday, Thai is an official older brother and pack leader to Ginger and Chip!!!!!!! Mom and Dad had a long talk last night, after the Thai Master's spa vacation plans were finalized. Since His Majesty has been in foster care for almost two and a half years, and with his advancing age and health issues, Mom and Dad decided to make it official. Instead of waiting another six months for someone to adopt him as a sanctuary dog from DRNA, and putting him through that trauma of yet another move to a new family, Mom and Dad decided that his medical expenses can be handled and a cart will be found for him when that time comes.
So, when he returns from his spa vacation, all rested and feistier than ever, the paperwork will be completed and Thai now has a furrever home. (Just as Frankie Furter and so many other blog friends predicted)
Overheard at bedtime was the comment that Mom folded just like a cheap suit, which was the plan all along!!!
As July has been designated "The Month of Puddles", so shall the month of August be designated "The Month of Thai". So shall it be written, so shall it be done.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Next week, the DWM, minus the Thai Master, break out the moveable thrones to descend upon Frankenmuth, MI. (The Thai Master is headed to an ultra secret spa for some extended diet and therapy- lots of exercise and massage fo Mom's tough guy) No blogging from Monday thru Wednesday, as they will be conquering Michigan. Also, Mom's BFF and her daughter Rachel arrive for a week tomorrow, so regular blogging will also be light!!!!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Mom promises to post photos from the Dachsie picnic and other important photos. She is such a goof, but we love her anyway
And, Thai can have his crate rest in his moving throne!!! He can see better and be part of the family. In his crate, even though it is the family room, he was basically to one side and was not in the midst ofthings, the way he likes to be. With the Throne, he can be and he seems happier.
Dr. Sternecker also liked Mom's idea of swimming for The Thai Master. He told her of a client who had purchased a large, almost room sized horse water trough (the galvanized metal ones) for his dachshund- Now, Mom is diligently searching for one for us!!!! (You just know that we will rip a hole in the blow up one Mom bought at WalMart) Any ideas? :)
day, July 20, 2010
He started losing control of his rear left leg over the weekend. Yesterday afternoon to early evening, he could not stand at all, even with help. Mom had to help him at bedtime with his "deposit"- she had to hold him up so he could go. At least he has that really cool camouflage cart- he slept in it during tv time and seems to really like it- he only fusses when he has to GO.
This morning, Mom carried him outside to the lawn, where he was able to walk on the grass until he pee'd, and then his right leg went down.
Mom and Dad are thinking of redoing part of the porch in order to accomodate his cart- take down a section of the railing and install two gates and a ramp- One gate for the mailman to use, and the other gate at the head of the ramp for Thai's personal use.
Please keep him in your prayers- he turns 14 August 6th.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
First, we went to the dog park yesterday with Mom and Dad. Wow- lots of dogs were there!!!
Taz went to the VET today and had his dental and his "operation". He is now home and sleeping, having first had a feast of string beans, since Mom was obviously trying to starve him to death by refusing him food and water this morning.
Now, for the IMPORTANT NEWS!!!!!! TAZ HAS A FURREVER HOME!!!!!!! Yes, Mr. T, Taz the Magnificent, Taz the Great will be leaving his castle in Ohio for Lancaster, PA!!!!! He will be moving and joining his new entourage sometime in August. Apparently, a severe case of lack-of- dachsie- itis was discovered and Taz is the only cure. He will be joining Mr. Archibold Bean, another dachshund, in properly training a pair of two leggers who are waiting to close on their new home, which has a fence!!!!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Dona and Pat, Thai's massage therapist, and even Thai's first foster parents too!!!
Mom did behave but we didn't see anyone we knew from the blog world- definitey going next year.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
It’s Day 74 and President Barack Obama is laser-focused — spending every waking moment — on the Gulf oil spill. Uhm, plus comprehensive immigration reform. And firing general officers who insult his battered image. Oh, and regulating CO2 emissions, too.
Although Obama appears to have ordered a media blackout of the Gulf disaster, a relative few shocking photos have leaked out thanks to enterprising area residents. You won’t be seeing these in your local paper, that’s for sure.
Maybe after Key West, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale are coated in oil, the President will begin paying attention.
Update: Spill continues to pump oil into Gulf, but White House successfully plugs leaks — of information on websites, from journalists, and local officials
Monday, July 5, 2010
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Thai is doing better, but his legs still slide out from behind when he is tired. He gets his accupressure massage every other day and has started to enjoy it. Mom also does the massage on the rest of her pack of babies.
Chip turns 9 tomorrow!!!!! We don't know what Mom and Dad are planning, but something is in the works!!!!
Ginger is enjoying being the only girl in the pack- she and Tazzle (one of Mom's nicknames for Mr. T) spend the mornings wrestling and chasing each other around the house, while Thai naps in his crate and Chip just ignores them both.
YESTERDAY Mom took us to the DOG PARK!!!!! It was Taz's first time, and everyone had a blast. Thai walked in the grass for most of the visit, while Taz ran along the perimeter fence when he wasn't chasing and being chased by the other dogs present (First time at the dog park when other dogs were there). There were a family of WEst Highland terriers (3), a poodle mix, a larger collie mix and a couple of other dogs. Then there were the huge dogs in the part of the park reserved for them. Ginger wandered around a little but spent the rest of the visit defending Mom. Chip rolled in the mud and grass and tried to stay away from the bigger dog. Everyone had a great time and Mom promises to post the pictures and movies later. She did post them to our shutterfly website.
Also, Dad started a garden for us on Saturday- he bought these very large orange buckets, a couple of bags of rocks and three of organic soil. We have four buckets of green bean seeds- a bucket for each one of us!!! He also planted two buckets with tomato plants and one with snow peas (tanks for the idea Frankie) Our garden is just seven large orange Home Depot buckets, but it is ours!!!! Pictures coming soon! We helped Dad plant and water all the buckets!!!!