GUEST COMMENTARY: The Law of the Sea treaty will sink America’s economy.


The Law of the Sea treaty will sink America’s economy.

Guest Commentary By: Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator John Cornyn

 

Americans despise taxes.  After all, one of the key issues that paved the way for the American Revolution was the unfair taxation that King George III levied against the Colonies.

Now some in the US Senate want to say yes to an international tax.  It would be the first time in history that an international organization would possess taxing authority, and it would amount to billions of American dollars being transferred out of the US Treasury.

The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, or the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is the vehicle through which such taxes would be imposed on U.S.-based commercial enterprises.

The treaty that Reagan refused to sign in 1982 is reappearing once again in the Senate.  The truth is, LOST contains numerous provisions that hurt the U.S. economy at a time when we need more jobs – not fewer.

Under the guise of being for “the good of mankind, ” LOST would obligate the United States to share information and technology in what amounts to global taxes and technology transfer requirements that are really nothing more than an attempt to redistribute U.S. wealth to the Third World.

At the center of these taxes and transfers is the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a Kingston, Jamaica based supra-national governing body established by the treaty for the purpose of redistributing cash and technology from the “developed world” to the “developing world.”

Ceding authority to the ISA would mean that the sovereignty currently held by the U.S. over the natural resources located on large parts of the continental shelf would be lost.  That loss would mean lost revenue for the US government in the form of lost royalties that the U.S. government collects from the production of those resources. According to the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, which is currently mapping the continental shelf, the resources there “may be worth billions if not trillions” of dollars.

In case proponents of LOST have not noticed, the US is over $15 trillion in debt, and we still have more than 20 million Americans who can’t find a job. The last thing we need to do redistribute funds from our country to our economic and strategic competitors.

To make matters worse, the US would have no control over how or to whom the taxes and technology would be redistributed.

Undoubtedly funds that rightfully belong to the American taxpayer would be sent to corrupt governmental regimes, make dictators wealthier, and could even be used for activities directed against the United States and our interests.

Under the treaty, the transfer of these funds does not end with nation states.  These royalty revenues would even be extended to “peoples who have not attained full independence or other self-governing status.”  That means groups like the Palestinian Authority and potentially other groups with terrorist ties.

Proponents of the treaty will claim that the technology transfer portion of the treaty has been significantly changed.  In truth, nations with mining and resource recovery technologies like the United States will be obligated to share those technologies with Third World competitors, and that is one of the many issues, which trouble those of us opposed to the treaty.

In other words, US companies would be forced to give away the very types of innovation that historically have made our nation a world leader while fueling our economic engine.

Under the best of US economic circumstances, the Senate should say no to such an egregious breach of the trust Americans have placed in us. Our current economic struggles are all the more reason to say no to a treaty that is all cost and no benefit.

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch is the ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn is a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee.

In deficit reduction talks, Senate Democrats derail and insist on increasing spending & taxes.


In today’s deficit cutting talks with Vice President Joe Biden; Democrat representatives stated that they felt the way to fix the problem was to increase spending and subsequently increase taxes.

Does anybody else see the conundrum that the Republicans are having to deal with?

We are $14.3 trillion+ in debt that needs to be agreed upon by August 2 (less than a month away) or at we risk defaulting on our debts.

If we do not make some serious cutting, start creating jobs and selling more exports; we are going to have a serious problem balancing the budget.

It is at this point that we need to be CUTTING; not INCREASING spending.

Is Vice President Biden and his debt group really that oblivious to the will of the American people?

Are the Democrats really surprised that the Republicans walked out of deficit cutting talks?

How can you argue a concept of cutting spending when the other side wants to spend more money?

Its a waste of time and unbelievable that the Democrats would adopt this line of thought.

Even though, it is not technically “his job” Obama, as President, should get involved considering the severity of our situation.

According to my sources on Capitol Hill; the only involvement Obama is doing is “looking for a meeting room”.  Literally.

The game plan was to have deficit reduction talks completed by the end of June. That’s only 7 days from now.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a Republican leader, also agrees that President Obama needs to get directly involved.

“It’s clear that these were non-serious negotiations and the only time it’s going to get serious is when the president of the United States becomes thoroughly engaged,” Cornyn said. “There’s not going to be a deal without his direct involvement.”

Flashback to the 2011 Compromised Budget talk delays. The only time serious progress was made was when Obama was involved so he could push the Democrats to be reasonable.  It is obvious that Obama is needed in this case.

Deja vu seem to fall upon my ears as I heard Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell ask of Obama once again, “Where is he?” What does he propose? What is he willing to do to reduce the debt and to avoid this crisis that’s building on his watch? He’s the one in charge. I think most Americans think it’s about time he started acting like it.”

Raising the Debt Ceiling and increasing spending; Contradictory?

It is imperative that we cut trillions of dollars from our $14.3+ trillion debt and NOT increase spending.

You cannot spend your way out of a recession.

The Democrats fail to understand the generic cutting mindset as the “Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases,” said Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, in a statement announcing his decision. “There is not support in the House for a tax increase.”

The tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue,” Cantor said. “Given this impasse, I will not be participating in today’s meeting and I believe it is time for the president to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue. Once the tax issue is resolved, we have a blueprint to move forward to trillions of spending cuts and binding mechanisms to change the way things are done around here.”

Note to the Democrats: Your constituents want you to cut spending.  You have to come to the deficit reduction talks in the mindset of “what are we cutting, today?” because if you are looking at things from an increased spending point of view; the discussion is going to be pointless and a waste of everyone’s time.

It is imperative that you understand that we cannot spend, and most certainly cannot freeze, our way out of a recession. We have less than one week until Congress is needed to make a decision on whether or not we are going to raise the debt ceiling and to determine if the US will start defaulting on our debtors. Our SP index rating already dropped to negative; let’s not fall even further into the economic hole.

Note to the Republicans:  Eliminating the subsidies and tax breaks for big oil is NOT increasing taxes. If we eliminated a lot of the money we give big oil (they are doing just fine on their own); we could give that money back to the people and small businesses through price relief at the gas pump and help jumpstart our economy.

Also, please not give in to a  payroll tax deduction as that directly drains the Social Security funds and we are already short on Social Security funds as it is.

Copyright (c) June 23, 2011. All rights reserved.

2012 Presidential Contender hopeful, Newt Gringrich, wants to extend Bush tax cuts.



House Republicans should pass a permanent extension of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts this year, former Speaker Newt Gingrich said this week, keeping the issue of taxes at the forefront of the 2012 presidential campaign.

In a thinly veiled pitch toward potential Republican presidential primary voters, Gingrich pushed GOP lawmakers to act to extend the cuts beyond 2012.

“Tthis year the House Republican majority should pass a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts,” Gingrich wrote in an op ed in The Wall Street Journal. 

Congress acted last December on a compromise proposal by President Obama that resulted in a 2 yr extension, across all income brackets, of the expiring 2001 tax cuts passed by President Bush.

The tax-cut deal installed by lawmakers in December would expire at the end of 2012, putting the debate over the Bush tax cuts squarely before voters as they decide between Obama and his eventual Republican competitor.

Democrats, led by Obama, argue that extending the tax cuts permanently would blow a huge hole in the deficit — to the tune of over $700 billion in the next decade for extending the tax cuts for top earners alone.

Republicans argue that during this recessive time, it would be detrimental to our economy to let the tax cuts expire which would then subsequently add a tax onto the average American who is struggling to make ends meet.

Yet the compromise of extending the Bush tax cuts for 2  years as long as a $56 billion extension in unemployment benefits (which was not offset by other cuts) is splitting many of the possible Republican presidential candidates, some of whom urged Republicans in Congress to vote down the plan precisely because it only extended tax cuts for two years and because it was attached to a $56 billion extension in unemployment benefits, spending for which was not offset by other cuts.

Gingrich at the time said he supported the deal, and was joined in his support by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. They, like congressional GOP leaders, defended the deal as the best attainable option.

I predict that the Bush tax cuts extension will be at the forefront of the 2012 Presidential election and I know I will be watching  it closely as I would rather work on finding and eliminating abusive and wasteful procedures than take away  the tax cuts which have been proven to provide short term relief to many struggling families in a desperate time of need.

Copyright (c) March 16, 2011. All rights reserved.

Tax Increase Index


PREDICTION: Value Added Tax coming to a city near you.

“Read my lips, no new taxes”

Throwing the BS flag on Obama’s Superbowl Interview.

Published in: on February 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Throwing the BS flag on Obama’s Superbowl Interview.


In an interview on Super Bowl Sunday, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asked President Barack Obama to react to a Wall Street Journal editorial that accused Obama of being “a determined man of the left whose goal is to redistribute much larger levels of income across society.”

“Do you deny that you are a man who wants to redistribute wealth?” O’Reilly asked.

Obama first noted the conservatism of the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page, then denied the charge “absolutely.”

“I didn’t raise taxes once. I lowered taxes over the last two years,” Obama said.

Whoa; Pump the breaks. Obama straight out lied.

Obama signed legislation raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products in 2009 as well as 14 other taxes that were incorporated into his pet child, the health care law.

To find out more about the taxes incorporated into the the new health care law, please visit: https://theheartofamerica.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/read-my-lips-no-new-taxes/

It is true that Obama did not raise income taxes. However, if he would have had his way- he would have eliminated Bush’s tax cuts when they were set to expire last year.

If the tax breaks would have expired, then we would have been required to pay on those additional taxes which would essentially be a  tax increase.

Not to mention that with Obama’s proposed 2011 budget- he proposes broader unemployment taxes from businesses.

Obama’s proposal would attempt to replenish strained state unemployment-insurance trust funds by raising the amount of wages on which companies must pay unemployment taxes to $15,000, more than double the $7,000 in place since 1983.

The plan, which would take effect in 2014, could increase payroll taxes by as much as $100 billion over a decade, according to a person involved in its construction.

The plan is expected to be included in Mr. Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal 2012, to be released Monday.

While I understand and appreciate Obama’s attempt to help raise States provide jobless benefits, the fact still remains that this is yet another tax that Obama is pushing forth.

So, how can Obama state that he “never raised taxes?” Plain and simple, he cant. Anything mentioned to that sort is a flat out lie.

Unfortunately for President Obama, citizens are engaged in politics now a days and cross reference notes on recent undertakings of the Obama Administration and are not afraid to call him out for lying directly to the American People.

Dont worry, Mr. President-  We will remember all of your shenanigans and your pathetic attempt at insulting our intelligence come November 2012 and respond accordingly.

Copyright (c) February 9, 2011. All rights reserved.

PREDICTION: Value Added Tax coming to a city near you.


Talk about tax reform: A Senate Budget Committee hearing on Wednesday featured a fair amount of discussion about the merits of a value added tax.

Lawrence Lindsey, a former chief economic adviser to President George W. Bush, said the current income tax system is too complicated and noted that China’s value added tax accounted for a third of its revenues.

“So having an income-based system, while most other countries in the world, including in Europe and Canada, are moving away from an income-based system and toward value added taxation or indirect taxation puts us at a competitive disadvantage,” Lindsey said.

“All roads are going to lead to a VAT,” Lindsey said later in the hearing.

A value added tax, generally speaking, is charged on goods at every stage of production. The VAT has been discussed in recent years as a potential weapon against the deficit, including in a 2009 Washington Post article where Sen. Kent Conrad, the Budget Committee chairman, said it was something that needed to be on the table.

Tax reform is an area that has been discussed as a possible area of bipartisan cooperation in the particular Congress. The witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing – who also included Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institue; Donald Marron of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center; and Rosanne Altshuler of Rutgers University – all said the American tax system was in dire need of fixing.

Many people are not talking about the VAT but I feel that it is a real possibility. The government is going to need our money to fund health care and this is the only viable way for them to do it.

Whether they are argue that it is better than the current system, is irrelevant.  I predict the VAT tax WILL be pushed on us and even if it is coated with sugar- it will still be a bitter pill to swallow.

Copyright (c) February 3, 2011. All rights reserved.

“Read my lips, no new taxes”


Amongst numerous other reasons to oppose the new healthcare reform law, a sharp tax increase can be added to the list.

Yet, I thought Obama stated time and time again, that there would be no new taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year? Perhaps he never read the 2000+ health care bill, wouldn’t surprise me- a majority of our Representatives who supported it did not read it either.

Let’s take a closer look into the bill and see what type of new taxes or elimination of current taxes (which, by default, would raise our taxes) which will households that fall well under the $250,00 mark.

1. Individual Mandate Excise Tax
Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax ranging from $95-1390 or 2.5% AGI.

2. Employer Mandate Tax

If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.

If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).

3. Surtax on Investment Income

This increase involves the creation of a new 3.8% surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).

3. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans

Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family).  CPI +1 percentage point indexed.

4. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax

1.45% raised to 2.35% and for self employed-  the tax increases from 2.9% to 3.8%.

5. Medicine Cabinet Tax.

Americans will be no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

6. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike

Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

7. Flexible Spending Account Cap (aka Speak Needs Kids Tax)

Imposes cap of $2500 (Indexed to inflation after 2013) on FSAs (now unlimited). . There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

8. Tax on Medical Device Manufactuers

Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exemptions include items retailing for less than $100.

9. Raise Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI.

Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI; it is waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

9. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services.

10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons.

10. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement prescription drug coverage.

11. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals.

$50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance,” and “billing and collection” rules set by HHS.

12. Corporate 1099 Information Reporting.

Requires businesses to send 1099 forms to IRS any work you that exceed $600 which will result in a multitude of paperwork hurting small businesses.

13. “Black liquor” tax hike.

This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.

14. Real Estate Tax

3.8% tax on the sale of real estate  starting in 2013.

14. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”.

This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.

The Good news is, according to the Tax Payer Protection Pledge, we should be able to count on at least 41 Senators voting to repeal this health care law. That is, if Senatory Harry Reid doesnt buck the voice of the American people and prohibit the repeal from being discussed on the Senate  floor.

Copyright (c) January 20, 2011. All rights reserved.