The Middle Class needs a doctor stat! Obamacare lives!

I am totally disgusted with today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding Obamacare and its burdensome fines as an acceptable tax on the American people.  This is from our lawmakers and judicial branch of government who pay minimal amounts for health insurance.  We foot their bills too since our taxes allow them coverage at greatly reduced rates.  Do you smell something funny there?

Obamacare

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What part of this health care plan is supposed to be affordable?  Is it the part that has seen my coverage as a sole proprietor leap from $350 a month for excellent coverage to $600 for mediocre coverage?  Or is it the part that now costs $300 for emergency hospitalization only?  Maybe it’s the part that has seen many good doctors give up practicing medicine rather than work for the little money they receive as co-pays from insurance companies.  Oh no, I know, it’s the part that is likely to force these rates even higher in the next 18 months as the insurance companies dance on the graves of American small business owners.

Geeze, when did I start sounding like a Republican?  The Middle Class was barely breathing before today’s decision……….now its life support is barely functioning.

Westchester lawyer says tone down anti free speech rhetoric after Tucson

People under stress, suffering in grief, reacting to tragedy, all manage their emotions in different ways, which is why no one should be making any great changes in their lives at such times.

This week, a gunman opened fire in Tucson killing six people, including a little girl and a federal judge, and injuring 14 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  It was a senseless, irrational, unexplainable act which once again exemplified that bad things happen to good people.

Yet, amid the tragedy of this shooting, we are hearing from presumably intelligent people screaming about curtailing fundamental American rights, especially the right to free speech.  Can someone, anyone explain to me why when there is a tragedy many lawmakers look to blame the Bill of Rights which has withstood the test of time for more than 200 years.

Some members have Congress have called for the creation of a crime making it a federal felony to threaten a federal lawmaker. Why?  Are they more important than you and I?  I think not, as did the forefathers of these United States which guaranteed each of us a right to free speech. 

All words have power and no one knows that more than a writer or journalist; it is how we make our living.  However, deleting our ability to use words as we desire will not modify the irrational behavior of a mentally ill person.  Modifying our right to free speech will not eradicate  the pervasiveness of evil which blackens every society.

While it is true that words give rise to action, the US Constitution assures each of us the absolute right to free speech and prohibits Congress from making any such modification which would limit that liberty:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 Instead of turning up the rhetoric about laws that will never come to pass, why not just focus on the emotions of the day……recognize that it made no sense and pray for the shooter and the victims because anything more is just an irrational knee-jerk rant.

What can small business owners expect in 2011?

It’s a game of “Push me-Pull you” when it comes to blaming each other on Capitol Hill.  The Bush tax cuts are set to expire in a big way in 2011 and the Obama camp has been playing with health care for so long that they forgot to look at the taxing situation, if you pardon the pun.  What’s left is a middle American in a desperate situation with a Congress that is extremely divided.

You have Republicans saying Democrats like to tax and spend and you have Democrats saying Republicans only give tax breaks to the wealthy.  Neither is totally right nor wrong, but Americans now are paying for a war against religious fundamentalists and a mortgage crisis that exploded into the stratosphere, not to mention numerous government bailouts, which have all cost us dearly.

 

Small Business costs expected to rise for 2011 / Image: Francesco Marino - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Come January 1, 2011 the middle class is in a heap of trouble when the Bush tax cuts expire:

The top income tax rate returns to 39.6%;

The max long-term capital gains tax returns to 20%, while those in a lower tax bracket will resume paying taxes on long term gains;

The child tax credit is cut in half to $500; and

The partial credit for payroll taxes is eliminated.

The Obama Administration did manage to pass The Small Business Jobs Act , which was signed into law back in September.  It actually provides a few breaks for small business owners:

There is a larger cap for small business Section 179 deductions – that’s the deduction you can take for qualified business property – it has been increased to $500,000 for 2010 and 2011 but will drop back to $25,000 in 2012;

You will also get a break on self-employment tax which will be reduced by the amount you pay for health care insurance on your own premiums (not those of your employees);

Eliminations of capital gains tax for small business investors who hold their investments for five years;

A doubling of the start-up cost deduction for small entrepreneurs from $5,000 to $10,000; and simplified Cell Phone deductions among others.

I am no financial genius, nor tax attorney, but I’m thinking we should get rid of most of Congress and the IRS and go back to simpler times.  Everyone pays a flat tax rate of 20% with only deductions for health care and mortgages.  As for capital gains, if you are earning any then you should also pay 20% on long term and 25% on short term and losses can be carried forward until they’re absorbed.  It’s easy, simple and can be managed without a PhD in international finance.  Who’s with me?