Stinky Senate Bill Now Sweet Masterpiece?

While earlier in the debate most liberals vastly preferred the House version of ObamaCare to the Senate debacle, suddenly everything is rosy now that something has actually passed. New Republic senior editor Jonathan Chait goes so far as to call it a “masterfully crafted piece of legislation.” Sadly the internet has a longer memory than last night… Let’s look at how liberals viewed the Senate bill back in December.

Markos Moulitsas founder and publisher of the Daily Kos (self proclaimed “the largest progressive community blog in the United States”) tweeted:

Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate.

Howard Dean the liberal former DNC Chairman said:

This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.

Representative Louise Slaughter of the now infamous “Slaughter Solution” wrote at CNN:

Senate bill isn’t health reform

The Senate health care bill is not worthy of the historic vote that the House took a month ago.

Even though the House version is far from perfect, it at least represents a step toward our goal of giving 36 million Americans decent health coverage.

But under the Senate plan, millions of Americans will be forced into private insurance company plans, which will be subsidized by taxpayers. That alternative will do almost nothing to reform health care but will be a windfall for insurance companies. Is it any surprise that stock prices for some of those insurers are up recently?

…Supporters of the weak Senate bill say “just pass it — any bill is better than no bill.”

I strongly disagree — a conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills.

It’s time that we draw the line on this weak bill and ask the Senate to go back to the drawing board. The American people deserve at least that.

David Broder of the Washington Post had to hold his nose over the Senate ObamaCare bill:

The health-care reform bill coming out of the Senate presents a real dilemma for spectators: How do you applaud while holding your nose?

…The taint has rubbed off on the bill.

…Liberal Democrats do not like the independent commission in the Senate bill having power to enforce savings in Medicare and the private health system. And labor does not accept the Senate plan to tax high-end insurance plans.

Financial Analyst Predicts 50-60% Income Taxes With ObamaCare

Jim Cramer of CNBC’s Mad Money, co-founder of (provider of financial commentary, analysis and news) and the “Bottom Line” columnist for New York magazine made a prediction on MSNBC’s Morning Joe recently: steep tax increases because ObamaCare will “break the budget”.  Not only will income taxes as much as double, capital gains tax will sky rocket from 5-15% currently to 50-60%.

Remember capital gains is not just a tax on the rich but anyone with an investment account such as Baby Boomers scrambling to save for retirement or little old ladies living off their invested life savings.

He goes on to mention that since he pays state income tax as well, that ObamaCare will mean he get to live off of 35% of what he makes and the government will get 65%.  That’s fair – right?

Cramer also recently had a nice segment on how the spirit and the tax code has always historically supported Tax Avoidance (recently called unpatriotic) it is Tax Evasion that is both illegal and possibly immoral.  An important difference apparently lost on some simple minded elected officials.

Give Where?

Free Money Finance has a great post on Where Christians Should Give that is an excerpt from a new book called Dollars & Doctrine.  Check it out, excerpt of the excerpt below. ;)

By now you have seen why you are called to give and how to go about giving, but one question has yet to be answered: where am I to give? In one sense there is a simple answer to this question–in another sense it is much more complex. The Old Testament gave specific instructions as to where one’s contributions were to go, who was to receive them, and how much was to be given, but the New Testament is much more vague in its instructions of who should receive our giving…

Work 2X As Hard For 20% More Money?

Would you work twice as hard for 20% more money? This is why steeply progressive tax systems fail.  Incentive dies. High earners go away.  Tax burden has to shift lower and lower.

Eighteen months after being laid off, Judith Lederman, a 50-year-old divorcee who lives in Scarsdale, N.Y., is ready to consider jobs paying half the $120,000 she earned as a publicity manager at Lord & Taylor. That’s mostly because she’s desperate, but it also makes sense when you consider how this country punishes work effort. While the first $60,000 of her income would be lightly taxed, the next $60,000 would be hit with what is in effect a 79% tax rate. Given a choice between a part-time or easy job paying $60,000 and a demanding, stress-ridden job paying $120,000, Lederman would be wise to take the former. In the tougher job she would be contributing twice as much to the economy. But she wouldn’t be doing herself much good. It would make more sense to take it easy and spend more time with her high school senior daughter, Casey.

How did a middle-class single mom wind up with a 79% marginal tax rate? At $120,000 she would pay $16,500 a year more in federal and state taxes, wouldn’t qualify for the five-year $12,000-a-year cut in her mortgage payments she’s applying for and would be eligible for $19,000 a year less in need-based college financial aid.

For decades there has been debate about how to help the poor without discouraging work, saving or marriage. Yet with almost no notice just such disincentives have crept up the income ladder, observes economist C. Eugene Steuerle, a former Treasury official and expert on the taxation of families. At first blush it would be hard to argue with anything that might help Lederman get back on her feet. Mortgage relief? The voters clamored for it. Scholarships for less-prosperous students? Everyone wants poor kids to get the same chances in life as rich ones. Add up all these good intentions, though, and you get some perverse incentives.

Work isn’t the only middle-class virtue that is getting punished. The system penalizes savings, too–not just through taxes, but also through programs that reward debtors, the profligate and college families that show up at the financial aid office with empty pockets. Yet another series of tax and benefit rules penalizes marriage. – Forbes

The Recovery That Wasn’t

 Instead of trying to convince everyone that the economy is recovering – you know – with out new jobs or increased spending… why do we just admit we ain’t recovering!

WASHINGTON – Even with an economic revival, many U.S. jobs lost during the recession may be gone forever and a weak employment market could linger for years.

That could add up to a “new normal” of higher joblessness and lower standards of living for many Americans, some economists are suggesting. – MSNBC