middle class has quite a gift welcoming them as the calendar flips
over to 2013. Their payroll taxes are going to go up, their
income taxes are going to go up, and approximately 28 million
households are going to be hit with a huge, unexpected AMT tax bill
on their 2012 earnings. So happy New Year middle class!
You are about to be ripped to shreds.
In addition to the tax
increases that I just mentioned, approximately two million unemployed
Americans will instantly lose their extended unemployment benefits
when 2013 begins, and new Obamacare tax hikes which will cost
American taxpayers about
a trillion dollars over
the next decade will start to go into effect.
If Congress is
not able to come to some sort of a deal, all middle class families in
America will be sending thousands more dollars to Uncle Sam next year
than they were previously. And considering the fact that the
middle class is already steadily
that the U.S. economy is already in an advanced
state of decline,
that is not good news.
You would think that both major
political parties would want to do something to keep the middle class
from being hit with this kind of tax sledgehammer.
Unfortunately, at this point it appears that our "leaders"
in Washington D.C. are incapable of getting anything done. So
get ready for much smaller paychecks and much larger tax bills.
What is coming is not going to be pleasant.
the tax increases only supposed to be for the wealthy?
that is what the politicians always promise, but it is always the
middle class that ends up getting hit the hardest.
this day and age, the big corporations and the ultra-wealthy are
absolute masters at avoiding taxes.
example, Facebook paid approximately $4.64
taxes on their entire foreign profits of $1.344 billion for
in mind that U.S. GDP for 2011 was only slightly above 15 trillion
the global elite have an amount of money parked in offshore banks
that is substantially larger than the total value of all goods and
services produced in the United States each year.
to one estimate, a
third of all the wealth in the entire world is
stationed in offshore banks. Our politicians are playing
checkers and the global elite are playing chess when it comes to
taxes. Our current system of taxation is irreversibly broken
and should be entirely thrown out and replaced with something else.
of course under our current system those that are poor don't pay much
in taxes because they are just trying to survive.
who always ends up getting the painful end of the hammer?
middle class does, and that really stinks.
us hope and pray that our politicians can come together and do
something for the middle class. In particular, we should all be
screaming and yelling at our politicians about the Alternative
Minimum Tax. It was originally designed as a method to "tax
the rich", but unless Congress does something the middle class
is about to be ripped to shreds by it. The following is from a
a cruel epilogue to 2012, roughly 28 million families would owe the
IRS $86 billion more than they anticipated for this year should the
country plunge off the cliff, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy
families would face the "Alternative Minimum Tax," which
was introduced in 1969 to supposedly guarantee that wealthy Americans
could not elude the taxman. But the AMT not only flopped, it was
never indexed to inflation. So with each passing year, it seeps away
from high society and into the wallets of Target and Wal-Mart
shoppers. That sets up a disaster for April 15.
how much money are we talking about?
to that same article, many families are about to be socked by tax
bills that will be absolutely huge...
the whole, 98 percent of those with incomes between $200,000 to
$500,000 would pay an additional $11,000 in AMT this year, according
to the center's estimates. About 88 percent of those with incomes of
$100,000 to $200,000 would need to fork over another $3100, and even
the majority of Americans with earnings between $75,000 and $100,000
would have an AMT liability.
of the tax increases that will be coming as a result of the fiscal
cliff will be for 2013 earnings, but the AMT tax hike will apply to
So if you end up falling under the AMT, you better get ready to write
a very large check to Uncle Sam in just a couple of months.
the AMT is only just one of the very painful tax increases that
American families will be facing. If no deal is reached in
Congress, every single middle class American taxpayer will be dealing
with significantly higher taxes.
a recent interview on
Ron Paul explained that "they pretend they are fighting up
there, but they really aren't. They are arguing over power, spin, who
looks good, who looks bad; all trying to preserve the system where
they can spend what they want, take care of their friends and print
money when they need it."
in the mainstream media are making it sound like some kind of a
"battle royal" is going on in Washington, but as Lou
the U.S. national debt is going to end up in just about the same
place no matter what happens.
to Dobbs, if we "do nothing" the U.S. national debt will be
approximately 25.8 trillion dollars in 2022.
"Obama wins", the U.S. national debt will be approximately
25.4 trillion dollars in 2022.
"Boehner wins", the U.S. national debt will be
approximately 25.2 trillion dollars in 2022.
can watch the entire analysis by Lou Dobbs right
they are putting all of us through all of this torture even though
nothing will really change in the long run no matter who wins?
Obama has just issued a new executive order that ends the pay freeze
for federal workers that had been in place.
now all federal employees will be getting a nice hefty pay raise.
example, Vice President Joe Biden brought in $225,521 this year.
year, he will make $231,900.
that our politicians really need the money. Most members of
But if they can get us to pay for it, they might as well go for it,
are now close to half a million federal employees that bring homeat
least $100,000 a year.
Plus, it is important to keep in mind that the benefits that federal
employees get are absolutely outstanding, and it is close to
impossible to actually fire a federal worker.
is good if you are working for Uncle Sam.
our politicians seem determined to keep draining more blood out of
the middle class. Even if a "deal" is reached, we
will still be hit by some categories of tax increases. Let's
just hope and pray that we don't get hit by all of the tax increases
that are scheduled to go into effect. That would be a financial
disaster for millions of families.
happy New Year middle class. Your taxes are about to go through
the roof and our politicians are too busy fighting with each other to
do anything about it.
Nobel Laureate tells us chase out the moneylenders, Named and Shamed
the 12 giant banks which feed on death, and 'hundreds' who should
join Madoff in the slammer. Seek truth from facts with Nobel
prizewinner Ed Prescott, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the world's top crisis
economist Steve Keen, legendary investor Jim Rogers, bailout
investigator Randall Wray, The Untold History of the United States
co-author Peter Kuznick, and Rep. Ron Paul.
Paul sent shock-waves throughout the financial markets in June in
what Tyler Durden called the scariest presentation ever, when Paul
predicted a complete systemic collapse of the financial system was
merely 6-9 months away.
Is the Big Reset still imminent?
world has no engine of growth with most of the G20 countries
approaching stall speed at the same time. The western world is
about to enter its second recession in an ongoing depression…
the first time since the 1930′s we are entering a recession- before
industrial production, durable goods orders, employment, and private
sector GDP have made back their previous highs. ‘
to the timing of the collapse Paul states:
2013 will usher in the end. We have about 6 months left…
Assume that no one and nothing is safe. After that, we put on
our tin helmets and hide until the new system emerges.
to what the collapse will look like:
global banking collapse and massive defaults would bring about the
biggest economic shock the world has ever seen.
No trade finance, no shipping finance, no finance for farmers, no
leasing, no bond market, no nothing…
the course of a follow-up exam today, Secretary Clinton's doctors
discovered a blood clot had formed, stemming from the concussion she
sustained several weeks ago,” State Department spokesman Philippe
Reines said in a statement on Sunday.
Reines added that
the secretary of state was being treated with anti-coagulants at New
York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she is expected to remain for the
next 48 hours so doctors can monitor her condition.
doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other
issues associated with her concussion. They will determine if any
further action is required," the spokesman pointed out.
however, did not specify where the clot was discovered.
returning from Europe earlier this month, Clinton, 65, fell ill with
a stomach virus which led to her fainting and sustaining the
Clinton will step down from her post as the
the secretary of state before US President Barack Obama officially
begins his second term in January.
Chavez has suffered "new complications" following his
cancer surgery in Cuba, his vice president said, describing the
Venezuelan leader's condition as delicate.
president Nicolas Maduro delivered a solemn televised address from
Havana, saying he had spoken with Chávez and that the president sent
greetings to his homeland. Maduro did not give details about the
complications, which he said came amid a respiratory infection.
minutes ago we were with president Chávez. We greeted each other and
he himself referred to these complications," Maduro said,
reading from a prepared statement. Maduro was seated alongside
Chávez's eldest daughter, Rosa, and son-in-law Jorge Arreaza, as
well as attorney-general Cilia Flores.
vice president's comments suggest an increasingly difficult fight for
the ailing president. The Venezuelan leader has not been seen or
heard from since undergoing his fourth cancer-related surgery on 11
December, and government officials have said he might not return in
time for his scheduled 10 January inauguration for a new six-year
president gave us precise instructions so that, after finishing the
visit, we would tell the (Venezuelan) people about his current health
condition," Maduro said. "President Chávez's state of
health continues to be delicate, with complications that are being
attended to, in a process not without risks."
held up a copy of a newspaper confirming that his message was
recorded on Sunday.
to his physical and spiritual strength, Comandante Chávez is facing
this difficult situation," Maduro said.
said he had met various times with Chávez's medical team and
relatives. He said he would remain in Havana "for the coming
hours" but didn't specify how long.
who arrived in Havana on Saturday for a sudden and unexpected trip,
is the highest ranking Venezuelan official to visit Chávez since the
Chávez left for Cuba, he acknowledged risks in the operation and
designated Maduro as his successor, telling supporters they should
vote for the vice president if a new presidential election was
said his cancer had come back despite previous surgeries,
chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He has been fighting an
undisclosed type of pelvic cancer since June 2011.
latest update differed markedly from last Monday, when he had said he
received a phone call from the president and that Chávez was up and
vice president spoke on Sunday below a picture of 19th century
independence hero Simon Bolivar, the inspiration of Chávez's leftist
Bolivarian Revolution movement.
expressed faith that Chávez's "immense will to live and the
care of the best medical specialists will help our president
successfully fight this new battle." He concluded his message
saying: "Long live Chávez."
Republicans and Democrats remain far apart in their effort to avert a
year-end combination of spending cuts and tax increases that could
trigger a new recession, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday.
still significant distance between the two sides, but negotiations
continue," Reid said as Congress held a rare Sunday session in a
bid to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. "There's still time
left to reach an agreement, and we intend to continue negotiations."
votes will be held Sunday, but Reid said there may be further
announcements when the Senate reconvenes Monday morning: "I
certainly hope so."
barely a day left to avert what economists predict will be a one-two
punch to the U.S. economy, talks hit what a Democratic source called
a "major setback" when Republicans insisted that changes to
how Social Security benefits are adjusted for inflation be included.
Republicans have dropped that demand, but "they never should
have been on the table to begin with," said Reid, D-Nevada.
what's known as "chained CPI" would change the way Social
Security benefits are adjusted for inflation, meaning that future
Social Security recipients would receive less money over time.
Democrats consider this prospect a "poison pill," the
source said, and GOP senators said later it wouldn't be included.
that is a show-stopper for the majority leader, we will take that off
the table," New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte told reporters after
coming out of a Republican caucus meeting Sunday afternoon.
the clock running down, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
appealed to Vice President Joe Biden to help "jump-start"
negotiations after complaining that he had received no response to an
offer he put on the table Saturday night.
said earlier that McConnell has shown "absolutely good faith"
in the talks, but "it's just that we are apart on some pretty
he headed home Sunday evening, Reid was asked about progress, and he
responded: "Talk to Biden and McConnell."
sources on both sides of the negotiations said talks are primarily
now in the hands of McConnell and Biden, and they are keeping Reid
and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, informed.
nothing gets done before Monday night at midnight, the expiration of
the Bush administration's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will increase tax
rates, while $110 billion in automatic cuts to domestic and military
spending -- the result of the 2011 standoff over raising the federal
debt ceiling -- will start to kick in. The nonpartisan Congressional
Budget Office predicts the combined effect could dampen economic
growth by 0.5%, possibly tipping the U.S. economy back into a
recession and driving unemployment back over 9%.
an interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press,"
President Barack Obama blamed Republicans for the stalemate that
brought lawmakers back to Capitol Hill on a weekend. Obama urged the
GOP to drop its opposition to tax increases on top earners and cut a
say that the biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the
deficit in a serious way. But the way they're behaving is that their
only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest
Americans are protected," he said. "That seems to be their
only overriding, unifying theme."
told NBC that could cost the average middle-class family about
$2,000. He said the Senate should go ahead and vote on legislation to
make sure middle-class taxes are not raised and that 2 million people
don't lose unemployment benefits.
we can get that done, that takes a big bite out of the fiscal cliff,"
he said. "It avoids the worst outcomes."
the interview, Obama said he was willing to consider using chained
CPI to adjust Social Security -- even though it was "highly
unpopular among Democrats" and opposed by the AARP, the powerful
lobby for seniors.
pursuit of strengthening Social Security for the long term, I'm
willing to make those decisions," Obama said. "What I'm not
willing to do is to have the entire burden of deficit reduction rest
on the shoulders of seniors, making students pay higher student loan
rates, ruining our capacity to invest in things like basic research
that help our economy grow. Those are the things that I'm not willing
the Democratic source, who did not want to be identified because of
the closed nature of the talks, said members understand Obama
proposed using chained CPI as an element of a larger deal that also
would change how the federal debt ceiling is adjusted -- an element
no longer included in the plans.
Democrats oppose chained CPI, but many were wiling to go along with
it as part of a larger deal, the source said.
taxes, meanwhile, Democrats are arguing that taxes should go up for
those making $250,000 or more, though some discussions have involved
the possibility of raising that figure to a $400,000 threshold.
Republicans have opposed any increase in tax rates. Boehner suffered
a political setback by offering a compromise -- a $1 million
threshold for the higher rates to kick in -- that his GOP House
colleagues refused to support.
Obama's NBC interview, Boehner said the president needs to stand up
to his own party and insisted it was the president "who has
never been able to get to 'yes.'"
am pleased Senators from both parties are currently working to find a
bipartisan solution that can finally pass that chamber," Boehner
said in a statement issued by his office. "That is the type of
leadership America needs, not what they saw from the president this
night, Boehner met with House GOP leaders and told them to sit tight
and stick together as he awaits news on whether the Senate can strike
the meeting, Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole told reporters that Boehner said:
"I've stayed out of those negotiations."
time we get involved in them, we sort of get burned, so we're going
to let the Senate work its will, see what they do and what they send
us, and we'll act accordingly," he said.
Chuck Schumer, D-New York, told ABC's "This Week" he
thought the chances of a short-term, last-minute deal brokered by
Senate leaders were better than 50-50.
been a legislator for 37 years, and I've watched how these things
work on these big, big agreements," Schumer said. "They
almost always happen at the last minute."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said the chances are
"exceedingly good" that some type of deal will be reached
by Monday night.
think, whatever we accomplish, political victory to the president,
hats off to the president. He stood his ground. He's going to get tax
rate increases, maybe not $250,000, but upper-income Americans,"
Graham said on "Fox News Sunday."
the sad news for the country is that we have accomplished little in
terms of not becoming Greece or getting out of debt."
Republicans argued Sunday that Obama's plan hasn't done enough to
president is doing nothing about the addiction that his
administration has to spending. He's the spender in chief," Sen.
John Barrasso of Wyoming said on CNN's "State of the Union."
told NBC that he has cut more than $1 trillion in spending and
offered another $1 trillion-plus in additional cuts "so that we
would have $2 of spending cuts for every $1 of increased revenue."
He said the majority of Americans have made clear they support his
calls for "a balanced approach" that would increase taxes
on the wealthy.
Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, warned that now is "exactly the wrong
time to go over this cliff."
are in the midst of an economic recovery. We are seeing new job
creation, businesses are seeing new growth, we are seeing the kind of
economic indicators we've been waiting for for years. This going over
the cliff is going to bring uncertainty to our markets, and with that
uncertainty, a pullback in consumer confidence and a reduction, I'm
afraid, of business activity and the creation of new jobs," he
former Democratic Party chairman and 2004 presidential contender
Howard Dean told ABC that heading over the cliff would not be so bad,
calling it a "fiscal curb" instead.
go back to the Clinton tax rates, and you make some significant cuts.
And you cut the Defense Department, which hasn't been cut in 30
years," said Dean, a former Vermont governor. Meanwhile, going
over the cliff gives Obama more leverage, "because then all of
sudden, middle-class people's taxes are going to rise, and that's
going to be bad for every politician in Washington."
they'll actually get something done," he said. "But I
think, at this point, at this late hour, I think almost any deal they
come up with is worse than going over the cliff."
Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, told CNN's "State of the Union"
that she expects Congress will vote to extend tax cuts for incomes
below $250,000 -- perhaps below $400,000 -- before midnight Monday. A
Senate agreement "would build momentum" for the move in the
House, she said.
think it would be horrific for the country if at this time, the final
days of this legislative session that already has reached historic
proportions of failure, that we would now culminate in failure to
extend these tax cuts," said Snowe, who is on her way out of
newly identified capacity for wind to spread it opens up a potential
route by which the viruses can spread between farms.
finding came about after Dutch researchers studied an outbreak of the
avian flu strain H7N7 in poultry on Dutch farms in 2003, which
resulted in 89 confirmed human infections including
models showed that wind patterns at the time of the outbreak explain
how different genetic variants of H7N7 ended up on different farms
of Infectious Diseases, doi.org/j3b).
is the most harmful strain of avian flu, having killed
360 of 610 infected people since it was discovered in 2003.
The fact that a related strain can travel on the wind suggests that
H5N1 can too, says Marion Koopmans of the Dutch National Institute
for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, who coordinated
the research project. "You must assume that this same potential
is there for H5N1," she says.
researchers agreed that by implication, H5N1 could spread in the same
way. "Because we don't know, we should assume the worst case –
and the worst case is that H5N1 travels on the wind as well,"
a bird flu researcher at the MRC National Institute for Medical
Research in London.
says it's well known that the virus that causes foot and mouth
disease in cattle and pigs travels many kilometres on the wind, but
it's lighter than avian flu and is produced in huge amounts by
infected animals. McCauley says the most likely scenario for bird flu
is that the virus hitches a ride on airborne particles from farms,
especially particles of infected faeces from poultry farms.
Executions of Captives, Attack on Shi'ite Pilgrims
Jason Ditz, December 30, 2012
pair of extremely ugly militant attacks on two opposite sides of
Pakistan have left at least 41 people dead, including members of the
Frontier Corps (FC) and a convoy of Shi’ite pilgrims along the
killing for the FC members caps a recent storming of a pair of bases
around Peshawar, in which a large
the soldiers were taken hostage. 21 of them were
to provincial officials. The other was critically wounded but
expected to survive.
officials claimed credit for the FC executions, saying that their
council of clerics gave the order, and that no demands for prisoner
exchanges were considered when prisoners are caught in clashes.
other incident took place in the southwest, where a car bomb targeted
a bus full of Shi’ite pilgrims heading to Iran. 20 of the pilgrims
were killed and 24 others were wounded in the attack.
Drone Strike in Pakistan Kills Five, Injures Three
identities of the people targeted are not known, as are most of the
anonymous victims of US bombs
John Glaser, December 29, 2012
drone strike on
a house in a remote area of northwest Pakistan killed five people and
injured three others on Friday, although no information was made
public about the identities of those killed and maimed.
in the Pakistani government and local tribal sources said the drone
fired four missiles on the house, destroying it completely.
A report by
researchers at the Stanford and NYU schools of law found in
September that the drone program is “terrorizing” the people of
Pakistan and that it is having “counterproductive” effects.
US drone war in Pakistan not only kills and injures civilians, the
report finds, but it
traumatizes the population and
has led people to keep their children home from school and to avoid
any large grouping of people, however innocent. It also says the
drone war has helped recruitment efforts of extremist groups like
significant rethinking of current US targeted killing and drone
strike policies is long overdue. US policy-makers, and the American
public, cannot continue to ignore evidence of the civilian harm and
counter-productive impacts of US targeted killings and drone strikes
in Pakistan,” the report said.
security officials speaking to the press said the three killed were
al-Qaeda militants, but – as The
Washington Postreported earlier
this week – the Yemeni government as a policy tries to conceal when
US drones kill civilians, so claiming the deceased are al-Qaeda
militants is merely an automated response.
stikes have been increasing in Yemen, prompting anger among the local
populations being subjected to the attacks and coinciding with a
marked increase in the estimated al-Qaeda membership.
entire village is angry at the government and the Americans,” a
Yemeni villager named Mohammed told the Post.
“If the Americans are responsible, I would have no choice but to
sympathize with al-Qaeda because al-Qaeda is fighting America.”