Diary

Morning Briefing for August 13, 2009

REDSTATE MORNING BRIEFING
FOR AUGUST 13, 2009

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HEALTH CARE BILL FACT OF THE DAY

Creating the Highest Federal Tax Rates in 20 Years

The “Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009? imposes a “surtax,” or income tax increase, on all Americans making $280,000 a year or more.

Under the bill, those making $280,000 ($350,000 for couples) will have their taxes increased by 1 percentage point, those making $400,000 ($500,000 for couples) by 1.5 percentage points, and those making more than $800,000 ($1 million for couples) by 5.4 percentage points.

This would make the top marginal federal tax rate 40.4% – the highest it has been since the Clinton years. If President Obama keeps his promise to let the Bush tax cuts expire (which he reiterated at a Portsmouth, NH town hall on Tuesday) that top marginal rate will increase to 45% – the highest it has been since the Reagan tax cuts of 1986.

If a review in 2013 by the Congressional Budget Office determines the health care overhaul has failed to save at least $175 billion, the bill provides for an automatic doubling of the tax increases on the lower two of those three incomes.

Further, with state income taxes rising across the country, this surtax and automatic 2013 increase would put the top combined federal-state income tax rates in over half of all states at 50% or more.

Source: HR 3200 §59C

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1. OBAMA IS HITLER!!!!

2. The Federal Government Should Clean Up its own Medicare Mess Before Taking on the Entire Health Care System

3. ‘In Congress, we have to multi-task.’

4. Obamacare and the Ghost of Terri Schiavo

5. WARNING: Organizing for America is *NOT* permitted to set up Congressional appointments!

6. A Brief Interlude of Non-Obamacare, Cap and Tax Upliftenment

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HEALTH CARE BILL FACT OF THE DAY

Creating the Highest Federal Tax Rates in 20 Years

The “Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009? imposes a “surtax,” or income tax increase, on all Americans making $280,000 a year or more.

Under the bill, those making $280,000 ($350,000 for couples) will have their taxes increased by 1 percentage point, those making $400,000 ($500,000 for couples) by 1.5 percentage points, and those making more than $800,000 ($1 million for couples) by 5.4 percentage points.

This would make the top marginal federal tax rate 40.4% – the highest it has been since the Clinton years. If President Obama keeps his promise to let the Bush tax cuts expire (which he reiterated at a Portsmouth, NH town hall on Tuesday) that top marginal rate will increase to 45% – the highest it has been since the Reagan tax cuts of 1986.

If a review in 2013 by the Congressional Budget Office determines the health care overhaul has failed to save at least $175 billion, the bill provides for an automatic doubling of the tax increases on the lower two of those three incomes.

Further, with state income taxes rising across the country, this surtax and automatic 2013 increase would put the top combined federal-state income tax rates in over half of all states at 50% or more.

Source: HR 3200 §59C

Please click here for the rest of the post.

1. OBAMA IS HITLER!!!!

If you believe Nancy Pelosi, Rep. John Dingell, little girls totally not planted at Obama town halls, and “reporters” asking Gibbs “questions” at today’s White House “briefing,” then you are probably certain that there are scores of hood-clad Klansmen with guns storming the town halls on health care waving swastikas and, incongruously, accusing Obama of being Hitler. Yep, the mob is apparently experiencing a little hate-confusion.

Also, they are actually paid to be there, they are wearing Brooks Brothers suits, and they are elite rich poor white racist trash who’ve never heard of Hawaii, trade stocks by day, clean stocks by night, belong in stocks by right, and above all else, are un-American. Got that?

Yes we are a sordid, motley mob of natty dressers. But most of all, above everything else, we are mean. Mean mean mean. We’re shouting, you see. And putting Hitler mustaches on Obama. Right?

Right?

Heh.

Well … not as such, no. As George Claghorn noted yesterday, Steve Gutowski uncovered the origin of that now ubiquitous Obama-Hitler sign from the Dingell town hall, and it isn’t quite what the media reported.

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2. The Federal Government Should Clean Up its own Medicare Mess Before Taking on the Entire Health Care System

“Medicare is… a government-run health care plan that people are very happy with,” said President Obama, at a late July town hall meeting in an effort to defend Medicare as a popular and successful example of government health care at its best.

A simple look at the numbers is enough to rebuff Obama’s claim that the program is an example of the federal government being a good steward of American health care dollars and coverage, while also serving to demonstrate the government’s inability to accurately predict the future costs of its programs (a very important fact to keep in mind in light of Congress’ claims that a health care overhaul can be undertaken without costing future generations trillions).

At its inception in 1966, Medicare carried an annual price tag of $3 billion. Its Congressional founders predicted that cost would rise to $12 billion a year by 1990 – a figure that accounted for inflation.

The true cost of Medicare is stunning.

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3. ‘In Congress, we have to multi-task.’

That was Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-TX) pathetic explanation for her reprehensible behavior in front of her voting constituents, via the Houston Chronicle, “Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee assured a sometimes raucous crowd at a town hall forum Tuesday that she is listening to their concerns about health care reform legislation.”

At the town hall, Congresswoman Jackson Lee chose to talk on her cell phone while being asked a question by a constituent.

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4. Obamacare and the Ghost of Terri Schiavo

Indelible images are hard to shake. During the last election, Obama ran ads criticizing John McCain for opposing federal funding for stem cell research and being an anti-immigrant hardliner. These were blatant lies, of course – the polar opposites of McCain’s actual positions, laughably in the case of the immigration ads given that McCain had risked his political career over his support for the comprehensive immigration bill – but Obama obviously assumed that the ads would be effective because the audience would identify McCain with his party’s reputation on those issues and would be unaware of his actual record.

Which brings us to Terri Schiavo.

As Jake Tapper put it, “[I]f the president finds himself at a town hall meeting telling the American people that he does not want to set up a panel to kill their grandparents … perhaps, at some point, the president has lost control of the message.”

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5. WARNING: Organizing for America is *NOT* permitted to set up Congressional appointments!

Some of you may have gotten a version of an email from Organizing For America, offering to help you sign up for a meeting at your local member of Congress’ office. The problem is that the follow-up email is – according to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein – causing people to believe that they have a confirmed meeting with their Representative or Senator.

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6. A Brief Interlude of Non-Obamacare, Cap and Tax Upliftenment

Last week, President Obama received a letter from ten Senators, most of them liberals and all of them Democrats, who are looking for reassurance that the Cap and Trade legislation pending in the Senate contains language “to ensure that manufacturers do not bear the brunt of our climate change policy.”

That’s interesting. We’ve been reassured that Cap and Trade has been designed by the Smartest People in the World to avoid penalizing domestic manufacturers in terms of global competitiveness, but here we have Democratic Senators from states like Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia who are less than sanguine with all the sweet talk.

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