Your voice is weakening Obama.

crumble blog

First news from the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Friday, May 03, 2013

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Obama’s job performance. Fifty-three percent (53%) now disapprove.

This is the lowest level of approval for the president since August of last year.

Today’s figures include 25% who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president and 41% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -16.

Following a government report of yet another anemic quarter of economic growth, voters give President Obama even less credit for his handling of the issues of job creation and small business.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 38% of Likely Voters rate the president’s handling of issues related to job creation as good or excellent. Forty-three percent (43%) give him a poor rating in this area.

When it comes to issues related to small business, 35% give him a good or excellent rating.  Forty-three percent (43%) think Obama’s performance in this area is poor.  (To see survey question wording,

When tracking President Obama’s job approval on a daily basis, people sometimes get so caught up in the day-to-day fluctuations that they miss the bigger picture. To look at the longer-term trends, Rasmussen Reports compiles the numbers on a full-month basis, and the results can be seen in the graphics below.

For the month of April, the president’s Total Job Approval Rating fell another two points from 52% in March to 50%.  That’s the lowest level measured since last September.

In December, it reached 56%, the highest level since May 2009. Prior to the election, that rating had remained in the narrow range of 44% to 49% for two years straight.”

( – 9.5 million Americans have left the workforce during the presidency of Barack Obama, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April, the total number of Americans counted as “not in the labor force” declined for the first time since December, but that number was still near a record high at 89,936,000.

Mario’s note:  In case you wonder why I keep speaking out:  Your voice is weakening Obama.  Whether it is through prayer, or speaking out to those you know,  it is important for you to realize the effect you are having on the national situation.  This is not just about Obama, it is about people sickening of the entire political correctness gone amok phenomenon.

You need to realize that a mood change is in the wind, the grass roots of this nation are disgusted and weary of the unending removal of rights and the celebration of immorality.  Obama’s last firewall, the media  is showing signs of erosion.  Keep praying, keep speaking out, keep believing.

Obamacare’s Tax Hike Train Wreck Just around the bend.

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Obamacare’s Tax Hike Train Wreck Just Around the Bend.

The most destructive Obamacare tax increases are just around the bend

Asked about Senator Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) recent “train wreck” comments, President Obama today said, “A huge chunk of it [Obamacare] has already been implemented.” Unmentioned was the wave of destructive Obamacare tax increases that will begin to hit Americans during the next tax filing season and beyond:

Starting in tax year 2013:

Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income:  A new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This tax hike results in the following top tax rates on investment income:

Capital Gains Dividends Other*
2013+ 23.8% 43.4% 43.4%

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. (Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93)

Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Increase:

First $200,000($250,000 Married)Employer/Employee All Remaining WagesEmployer/Employee
Pre-Obamacare 1.45%/1.45%2.9% self-employed 1.45%/1.45%2.9% self employed
Obamacare 1.45%/1.45%2.9% self-employed 1.45%/2.35%3.8% self-employed

(Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2,000-2,003; 87-93)

Obamacare Medical Device Tax:  Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year.  In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will make everything from pacemakers to artificial hips more expensive. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986)

Obamacare High Medical Bills Tax: Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  Obamacare now imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI.  Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income. According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. Almost all are middle class. The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earned just over $53,000 annually. ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 – $400 per year. To learn more about this tax, click here.  (Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995)

Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Tax:  The 30 – 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face a new Obamacare cap of $2,500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years. (Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law, though employers were allowed to set a cap.) Now, a parent looking to sock away extra money to pay for braces will find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they would have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars

Needless to say, this tax will especially impact middle class families.

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There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. Nationwide there are several million families with special needs children 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. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389)

Starting in tax year 2014:

Obamacare Individual Mandate Non-Compliance Tax:  Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services — must pay an income surtax to the IRS. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that six million American families will be liable for the tax, and as pointed out by the Associated Press:  “Most would be in the middle class.”

In addition, 100 percent of Americans filing a tax return (140 million filers) will be forced to submit paperwork to the IRS showing they either had “qualifying” health insurance for every month of the tax year or they obtained an exemption to the mandate.

Americans liable for the surtax will pay according to the following schedule

1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1%AGI/$95 1%AGI/$190 1%AGI/$285
2015 2%AGI/$325 2%AGI/$650 2%AGI/$975
2016 2.5%AGI/$695 2.5%AGI/$1390 2.5%AGI/$2085

(Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337)

Obamacare 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 $2,000 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 $3,000. 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). (Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346)

Obamacare Tax on Health Insurers:  Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.  The tax phases in gradually until 2018.  Fully imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993)

Starting in tax year 2018:

Obamacare Tax on Union Member and Early Retiree Health Insurance Plans:  Obamacare imposes a new 40 percent excise tax on high cost or “Cadillac” health insurance plans, effective in 2018. This tax increase will most directly affect union families and early retirees, who are likely to be covered by such plans. This Obamacare tax will be levied on insurance policies whose premiums exceed $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family.  Middle class union members tend to be covered by such plans in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956)

As fiscal crisis looms, taxing charitable gifts by the rich will hurt the poor the most.

As fiscal crisis looms, taxing charitable gifts by the rich will hurt the poor the most.

By Richard Stearns

Published December 27, 2012

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    Dec. 7 2012: Vonetta Hudgins puts money in the kettle as Troy Dorn rings the bell for donations for the Salvation Army in front of the Kmart in Pleasantville, NJ. (AP/The Press of Atlantic City)

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    December 10 2012: Donna Marshall prepares lunch platters at the Salvation Army building in Atlantic City, NJ, for their charity lunch program. Some nonprofit’s fear Washington will go over the so-called “fiscal cliff” next year, and take them along for the ride. (AP/The Press of Atlantic City)

For nearly two years now, we have heard about the divide between wealthy America and the rest of us. We are told that the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes. We hear that the wealthiest one percent run the country for their own benefit.

Whether you agree with this or not, there is no shortage of proposals in Washington targeted to address this sense of inequality. But my personal experience as a former corporate CEO and now as president of one of the country’s largest charities, is that many wealthy women and men are voluntarily bridging this gap through their charitable giving.

For nearly as long as the income tax has existed, the U.S. government has allowed individuals to deduct their giving from their taxes, recognizing that private organizations contribute to the common good and to economic growth. Our country does need to get its fiscal house in order, but policy makers need to be extremely careful in their zeal to find new government revenue. Raising taxes on the wealthy by taxing their giving is likely to hurt the poor the most.

Last year, Americans donated roughly $300 billion to charity. That’s larger than the budgets for the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, and Education.

Under any of the various proposals to remove or cap the charitable deduction, the government would be weakening charities and threatening to shred America’s safety net for the poor. With half of Americans either below the poverty line or considered to be “low income,” we are in a time when charities’ services are most urgently needed. Food banks are tapped out. Homeless shelters are full.

Any scheme to cap or reduce the charitable deduction will ultimately hurt our economy and those on its lowest rung. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of “Who Really Cares,” estimates that every dollar in charitable giving increases GDP by as much as $15. In addition, non-profit organizations employ 10 percent of the workforce.

It is clear that the proposals to limit the deduction will hurt giving. According to Independent Sector, a coalition of non-profits, removing the charitable deduction could cause a 36 percent decline in giving. Even the White House, which has proposed a cap on the amount the wealthy can deduct, agrees that such a move could cause a $10 billion decline in giving.

In my job as the head of a large non-profit, I have met hundreds of wealthy individuals who care deeply about the needs of those who are less fortunate.

Over dinner a few weeks ago, one of our biggest donors said to me, “Rich, if the charitable tax deduction goes away, charities are going to suffer. Say I have a million dollars I’ve set aside for my annual giving to charities. If the laws change, I can no longer give the entire million dollars to charity. At a marginal tax rate of 35 percent, only $650,000 will go to charitable work and $350,000 will now go to the government. The charities I support will have to get by on 35 percent less.”

The government can’t meet every need of society, but it can encourage individuals to step in and help a neighbor in need, train someone who needs a job, strengthen a school, or mentor a young person who is at risk.

Last year, Americans donated roughly $300 billion to charity. That’s larger than the budgets for the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, and Education. And even though international giving is just a small percentage of that, a 2012 study by the Hudson Institute found that private giving to developing countries ($39 billion) far outweighed official foreign aid ($30.4 billion).

Does it make sense to punish generosity? Does it make sense to penalize the very people who are willing to distribute their own money—beyond the taxes they already pay—to strengthen the fabric of our society by helping the poor, funding medical research and hospitals, supporting a university or caring for the disabled?  Such a policy will not only hurt those who are most in need, it will also hurt our economy.

Last month, I visited Seattle’s Bread of Life Mission, an outreach to the city’s homeless community. The Mission provides housing, substance abuse recovery, and job training to men and women who were once living on the streets. Like hundreds of thousands of other small, targeted, and effective private organizations, Bread of Life Mission uses private donations and the volunteer work of compassionate individuals to heal broken lives and to make Seattle a better place for all of its residents.

Private citizens working together to do a public good—this kind of compassion expresses the best values of our democracy. Who will replace these kinds of services when charities like Bread of Life Mission are forced to slash their budgets? Will Congress?

The charitable deduction has given America one of the most vibrant private charitable sectors in the world, serving needs at home and spreading American goodwill around the world. Our current policies have served us well through the Great Depression and World War II. Let’s not start punishing American generosity because leaders in Washington can’t balance their budgets.

Richard Stearns is president of Word Vision