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Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013


Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013

    Of the twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare,  below are the five worst that will be foisted upon Americans for the first time  on January 1, 2013.

Of the twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare, below are the five worst  that will be foisted upon Americans for the first time on January 1, 2013:

The Obamacare Medical Device Tax – a $20 billion tax  increase:  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 increase the cost of your health care – making  everything from pacemakers to prosthetics more expensive.

The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” – a $13 billion tax  increase:  The 30-35 million Americans who use a Flexible Spending  Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a  new government cap of $2,500 (currently the accounts are unlimited under federal  law, though employers are allowed to set a cap).

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 several  million 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. (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.

The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income – a $123 billion tax  increase:  This is a new, 3.8 percentage  point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least  $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax  rates on investment income:

Capital Gains







2013+ (current law)




The table above also incorporates the scheduled hike in the capital gains  rate from 15 to 20 percent, and the scheduled hike in dividends rate from 15 to  39.6 percent.

The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions – a $15.2  billion tax increase: Currently, those Americans facing high medical  expenses are allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5  percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  This tax increase imposes a  threshold of 10 percent of AGI. By limiting this deduction, Obamacare widens the  net of taxable income for the sickest Americans.  This tax provision will  most harm near retirees and those with modest incomes but high medical  bills.

The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike -- an $86.8 billion tax  increase: The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on  all wages and self-employment profits.  Under this tax hike, wages and  profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a  3.8 percent rate instead. This is a direct marginal income tax hike on small  business owners, who are liable for self-employment tax in most cases. The table  below compares current law vs. the Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike:

First $200,000 ($250,000 Married) Employer/Employee

All Remaining Wages Employer/Employee

Current Law

1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed

1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

1.45%/1.45% 2.9% self-employed

1.45%/2.35% 3.8% self-employed


Click  here to view PDF form.

Read more: http://atr.org/five-worst-obamacare-taxes-coming-a7217#ixzz27pe0FIrU

Entry #100


CajunWin4Comment by CajunWin4 - September 29, 2012, 1:04 am

Clinton offers $45 million to Syrian rebels, who want more support

Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton | Olivier Douliery/MCT

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By Hannah Allam | McClatchy Newspapers

NEW YORK — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday announced $45 million in additional aid for Syrian opposition activists, the latest U.S. push for influence in a civil war that’s raged beyond the international community’s control.

Clinton announced the new aid package before meeting with visiting Syrian dissidents on the margins of this week’s U.N. General Assembly, where world leaders sounded bleaker than ever about the prospects for a negotiated political resolution to the 18-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

U.S. humanitarian aid for Syria now will total more than $132 million this year, though Syrian rebels are more interested in weapons and military training than in the American promises of more “nonlethal assistance.” Of the $45 million pledged Friday, $30 million is earmarked for humanitarian assistance and $15 million for radios, training and other technical support for opposition activists.

The U.S. government has refused to directly arm or fund the so-called Free Syrian Army, a loose confederation of rebel militias, largely out of fear that the assistance would make its way to Islamist extremist groups that have joined the battle to unseat Assad.

U.S. policy is in a “really tough spot,” said Joseph Holliday, a Washington-based researcher at the Institute for the Study of War who specializes in the Syrian conflict. While the administration’s instincts to withhold direct aid from rebel fighters is understandable, he said, that strategy is backfiring.

“The irony of our fear of supplying Islamist groups is that the others who are arming the opposition – the Saudis, the Qataris, the Turks – are doing just that, providing weapons and ammunition to Islamists,” Holliday said. “Our lack of giving support is actually leading to the Islamicization of the opposition.”

Despite the resignation at the U.N. now to a drawn-out, increasingly bloody conflict, the Obama administration remains focused on courting remnants of the peaceful protest movement, whom analysts say don’t enjoy the same street credibility as the armed opposition forces confronting Assad’s military.

The United States is helping to train and organize nonviolent actors in hopes they’ll take the lead in an eventual post-Assad transition, though deep ideological and other divisions have so far prevented the Syrian activists from coalescing into a government-in-waiting, such as the one Libyans formed in the months before the fall of strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Analysts describe the U.S. gamble on one segment of the opposition as part of a continued lack of U.S. strategy for Syria that’s left the administration with no real inroads to either the Assad regime or the rebel militias – the two sides to the civil war that’s already spilling beyond Syria’s borders.

Only recently, analysts say, did the government back off from the Syrian National Council, a collection of exiles and technocrats the U.S. government had tried in vain to whip into a viable transitional body.

“For a long time, we’d said they needed to move past the SNC because they were not the answer. Now they’re trying to identify credible opposition groups that are active on the ground,” Holliday said.

The State Department’s new focus is on more grassroots activists, such as members of municipal and provincial revolutionary councils. In a preview briefing before Friday’s meeting, a senior State Department official told journalists that the opposition delegation would include activists who run field hospitals and supply bakeries.

Providing those kinds of basic services to civilians trapped in open-ended warfare will give the unarmed opposition “a leg up when ultimately the regime goes and is replaced by something else,” said the State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity per diplomatic protocol.

“People with guns who don’t know how to have bread baked are quickly going to lose credibility on the street. People with guns who can’t make the lights come back on are going to quickly lose credibility on the street,” the official said.

However, the meeting with the nonviolent activists doesn’t seem to have gone smoothly. After journalists were cleared out, Syrian delegates were each given three minutes to describe the conditions on the ground in Syria and to make requests or recommendations to Clinton and the other high-ranking diplomats.

After that, delegates said, they were summarily asked to leave so that Clinton could speak privately to the assembled foreign ministers – a surprise move that offended the delegates, including some who’d made risky trips out of the war zone for what amounted to a few minutes of face time with the leaders.

The disgruntled Syrians filed out, complaining that the State Department had handpicked the delegation, had excluded them from talks with the foreign ministers, and had failed to move policy to more direct military aid for their cause. Even France and Turkey, delegates said, had become more vocal in calling for humanitarian intervention such as imposing a no-fly zone or creating a safe corridor.

“Unfortunately, expectations are low after this meeting because there’s no shift in the U.S. position on Syria,” said Syrian delegate Radwan Ziadeh, spokesman for the opposition Coalition for a Democratic Syria. “Unfortunately, the White House is waiting until after the (U.S. presidential) election before touching this. We ask for support and training for the Free Syrian Army and they tell us, blah blah blah, nonlethal assistance.”

Email: hallam@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @HannahAllam

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CajunWin4Comment by CajunWin4 - September 29, 2012, 1:06 am
U.S. Move to Give Egypt $450 Million in Aid Meets Resistance


Published: September 28, 2012 230 Comments


The Obama administration notified Congress on Friday that it would provide Egypt’s new government an emergency cash infusion of $450 million, but the aid immediately encountered resistance from a prominent lawmaker wary of foreign aid and Egypt’s new course under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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The aid is part of the $1 billion in assistance that the Obama administration has pledged to Egypt to bolster its transition to democracy after the overthrow last year of the former president, Hosni Mubarak. Its fate, however, was clouded by concerns over the new government’s policies and, more recently, the protests that damaged the American Embassy in Cairo.

The United States Agency for International Development notified Congress of the cash infusion on Friday morning during the pre-election recess, promptly igniting a smoldering debate over foreign aid and the administration’s handling of crises in the Islamic world.

An influential Republican lawmaker, Representative Kay Granger of Texas, immediately announced that she would use her position as chairwoman of the House appropriations subcommittee overseeing foreign aid to block the distribution of the money. She said the American relationship with Egypt “has never been under more scrutiny” than it is in the wake of the election of President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“I am not convinced of the urgent need for this assistance and I cannot support it at this time,” Ms. Granger said in a statement that her office issued even before the administration announced the package.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at a meeting of the Group of 8 nations in New York, said on Friday that the world needed to do more to support the governments that have emerged from the Arab Spring uprisings, including those in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

“The recent riots and protests throughout the region have brought the challenge of transition into sharp relief,” Mrs. Clinton said, without mentioning the assistance to Egypt specifically. “Extremists are clearly determined to hijack these wars and revolutions to further their agendas and ideology, so our partnership must empower those who would see their nations emerge as true democracies.”

The debate comes as the issue of foreign aid in general made an unexpected appearance in the presidential campaign.

In a speech in New York on Tuesday, Mr. Obama’s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, called for revamping assistance to focus more on investments in the private sector than on direct aid — a shift administration officials have said is under way.

While Mr. Romney did not address aid to Egypt directly, he cited Mr. Morsi’s membership in the Muslim Brotherhood as one of the alarming developments in the Middle East, along with the war in Syria, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the killing of the American ambassador to Libya.

“A temporary aid package can jolt an economy,” he said. “It can fund some projects. It can pay some bills. It can employ some people some of the time. But it can’t sustain an economy — not for long. It can’t pull the whole cart, because at some point the money runs out.”

The $1 billion in aid, announced by Mr. Obama in May 2011, was initially intended to relieve Egypt’s debts to the United States, though negotiations stalled during the country’s turbulent transition from military rule to the election of Mr. Morsi this summer.

In recent weeks, negotiations over the assistance picked up pace, and the administration decided to provide $450 million instead, including $190 million immediately, because the country’s economic crisis has become acute, with an estimated budget shortfall of $12 billion.

The assistance outlined in letters to Congress on Friday would be contingent on Egypt’s setting in motion economic and budgetary changes that the International Monetary Fund is now negotiating as part of a $4.8 billion loan.

The administration has also thrown its support behind that loan, and officials said they hoped it would be completed before the end of the year. A $260 million infusion would come when the much larger loan is completed, according to officials familiar with the package. By law, all assistance to Egypt is contingent on the country’s meeting certain requirements, including adherence to basic democratic values and the Camp David peace treaty with Israel.

The protests over an anti-Muslim video and the storming of the American Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11 came even as senior White House and State Department officials led a large business delegation to promote economic assistance and trade in Egypt.

Mr. Morsi’s slow response to the protests raised concerns in Washington, although administration officials later cited improved cooperation over the embassy’s security.

The $1 billion in assistance has been cobbled together from funds already appropriated by Congress, but the administration is required to notify lawmakers of its intention to release any of the funds. Ms. Granger presumably can put a hold on that release and pursue legislation to reverse the appropriation.

Mrs. Clinton lobbied lawmakers last week during closed-door briefings that focused on the tumult across the region, including the attack at the American diplomatic mission in Libya that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

In addition to the $1 billion in assistance, the administration is working with Egypt to provide $375 million in financing and loan guarantees for American financiers who invest in Egypt and a $60 million investment fund for Egyptian businesses. All of that comes on top of $1.3 billion in military aid that the United States provides Egypt each year.

A senior State Department official said that the administration would consult with members of Congress in the days ahead “to make the case that this budget support is firmly in U.S. interests in seeing peace, stability and democracy in Egypt and the wider neighborhood.”

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