Fiscal Cliff and Sandy Pork

Political Pork

That rancid smell in the air isn’t your bacon burning, it’s the odor emanating from the halls of Congress.

You see, that so-called “Fiscal Cliff” legislation that raised taxes on American’s making over $400K ($450 for married couples) was only the tip of the lies our politicians managed to tell us on New Year Day 2013. With no time to read the bill which was presented to the Senate 3 minutes prior to the vote the Senators from both parties had ample time to attach earmarks, er pork, to the bill that would save the Republic and forever provide the revenue needed to spend our way into total and unequivocal tyranny.

Irresponsible is one keyword for our so-called representatives in Washington DC but the fact that so many Republicans like Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Pat Toomey (R-PA who won their Senate seats promising fiscal responsibility and no tax pledges voted for this monstrosity taxes, pork and all.

Here is what the average citizen got from DC:

  • Rum producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands received a total of $480 million in aid for rum production.
  • Drivers of two- and three-wheel plug-in electric vehicles get a 10 percent tax break up to $2,500 in tax credits to individuals who purchase plug-in wheels.
  • Race track owners such as NASCAR will be allowed to deduct a total of more than $40 billion a year for their tracks, bleachers and concession stands.
  • Extention of  $59 million in tax credits for algae growers, who are trying to find a way to produce a biofuel from the plant.
  • Asparagus producers got an extension of their market loss assistance payment, which compensates farmers who for lost revenues because of a spike in foreign asparagus imports.
  • Got Milk? A $1 billion hit to taxpayers for milk subsidies. Under the claim this would prevent milk prices from sky rocketing but 80 percent of the 1/2 trillion dollar earmark is going to foodstamps over five years.
  • $430 million for Hollywood through “special expensing rules” to encourage TV and film production in the United States.  Producers can expense up to $15 million of costs for their projects.
  • $331 million for railroads by allowing short-line and regional operators to claim a tax credit up to 50 percent of the cost to maintain tracks that they own or lease.
  • Check out Section 322 of the bill. Under the provision, financial services firms and manufacturers can defer U.S. taxes on overseas income from a type of financial transaction known as “active financing” will cost taxpayers $9 billion. Citi, Goldman Sachs, Caterpillar, JP Morgan, General Electric and Citigroup are among some who will benefit from this pork.
  • Sec. 307 and Sec. 316 offer tax incentives for miners to buy safety equipment and train their employees on mine safety.
  • Sec. 328 extends “tax exempt financing for  York Liberty Zone,” which was a program to provide post-9/11 recovery funds.
  • A subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Corp. Goldman got $1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds.

This pork didn’t just appear suddenly on the morning of the vote. Lobbyists and politicians have been working on these deals since at least last summer. It took a vote at the very last moment to avoid this fraud known as the “fiscal cliff” because the crooks, takers, looters and cheaters were busy getting their bacon sandwich with all the trimmings.

All working Americans, not just “the wealthy,” will see their income decrease due to $600 billion in tax increases inside the bill.

  • Americans making less than $10,000/yr will see a 1.3% decrease in income, and those making $10,000-$20,000/yr will see a 1% decrease.
  • Payroll tax cuts are ending, which means a typical family making $50,000/yr will have $1,000 less annually.
  • Those making more than $400,000/yr or $450,000/yr per couple will see steep tax increases. This will drastically affect small business owners, who provide most of American jobs. Small businesses will end up with a whopping 55% marginal tax rate when taxes such as state taxes are included.
  • Top capital gains and dividends rates are increased to 20 percent, which will cripple investment.

But wait, there’s more!

There is a big debate on why Speaker of the House John Boehner pulled the Hurricane Sandy aid package from a floor vote. How could anyone be so callous, refusing aid to victims of a natural disaster.

Does anyone care about the facts of this?

The estimate of insured losses from Sandy comes in around $20 billion—but the total aid package proposed is three times that amount. Roughly $28 billion of the request is marked for future disaster-mitigation projects.

Some funding is for Head Start programs but not all of that money is going toward those programs affected by Sandy. There’s also money for fisheries in Alaska, free money for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and repairs to the Smithsonian. Another $3 billion would go toward repairing or replacing federal assets, such as buildings and vehicles, damaged during the storm. This is not urgently needed aid to Sandy’s victims, and should not be tacked on to the supplemental.

There is also a dubious $10.7 billion in emergency spending for public transportation projects. $17 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Of this amount, $2 billion to mitigate future risks, not existing damage.

Bottom line – Your so-called public servants are busy serving themselves and paying for votes into the future.

Fiscal Cliff? Yes. Emergency? Yes. Did Congress solve the problem? NO! The only thing that will save the Republic is drastic spending cuts, tax cuts to small business owners and banning earmarks and other legislation developed to secure campaign donations the taxpayers pay for.

Solution? Fire your Senator or Representative who voted for the “Fiscal Cliff Bill”

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