Don't Tax Me, Bro

By Tyler Grimm

Do only 5 percent of Americans drink soda, smoke cigarettes, go tanning or get cosmetic surgery? That appears to be the delusional impression  the Obama administration is under. On the campaign trail, the president promised—in nearly every stump speech and debate—that the 95 percent of Americans making less than $200,000 a year would not see their taxes increase "by a single dime." Yet, taxing soda, tobacco, tanning and plastic surgery are only a few of the ways the White House and Democrats on CaCapitol Hill have sought to get their hands on your money.

So why have many of these tax proposals gone as unnoticed as party crashers at a state dinner?

Despite a campaign meant to appeal to fiscal moderates (recall the president touting "middle-class tax cuts" and "transparency" ad nauseam), they have been able to use a lack of transparency to push for tax increases. In previous eras, it was abundantly clear when taxes went up. Who could forget George H. W. Bush breaking his "read my lips, no new taxes" promise?

Recently, however, increases have been tucked into big pieces of legislation and never referred to as "taxes"—they are discussed as "revenue enhancers" or "fees." For instance, Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington, D.C., calculated that there were 13 different taxes in the House of Representatives’ version of the health care bill. Many of these include changing how deductions are calculated or how health savings accounts work. Don’t be fooled by the complexity, these are taxes.

Likewise, the Obama administration’s 2011 budget also calls for the repeal of many tax credits for energy companies. The tax increases won’t be borne by the energy companies though—they will pass them off to customers in the form of higher prices.

But can you blame politicians? With a $1.6 trillion deficit and a never-ending liberal wish list, Washington’s imagination for new taxes knows no bounds. Even Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined the fun last year, proposing to tax the amount of miles Americans drive, saying that he was "thinking outside the box on how we fund our infrastructure in America."

Here is a quick rundown of a few of the more straightforward tax increases that have already passed or been given serious consideration since President Obama took office:

- Raise the cigarette tax by 62 cents per pack

- Raise beer taxes by 48 cents a six-pack

- Raise wine taxes by 49 cents per bottle

- A new tax on soda at 3 cents per 12-ounce serving

- A new 10 percent tax on visits to indoor tanning beds

- A new 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery

- Raise the death tax from 0 percent this year to 45 percent permanently

- Raise the 33 percent income tax rate (applied to families making between $209,250 and $373,650) to 36 percent

- Raise the 35 percent income tax rate (applied to families making over $373,650) to 39.6 percent n Raise the capital gains tax rate from 15 to 20 percent

The last three tax hikes listed above result from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. This is eminently convenient for the Obama administration—they will increase taxes without having to sign any legislation.

A sensible, pro-growth approach would be to extend, or make permanent, the tax cuts. President Obama’s inaction is the equivalent of not side stepping an oncoming train.

Allowing these tax cuts to expire means increasing taxes for 3.2 million small businesses and high-income Americans. This is certainly no way to treat an economy recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression.

As for the "middle class tax cuts" that the president so vehemently campaigned for: If he were serious about helping the middle class, he would fix the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT was instituted in 1969 to hit 155 high-income earners who had gotten out of paying taxes. Because it wasn’t adjusted for inflation, the tax now affects 27 million Americans (mostly middle class) and has to be "patched" every year by Congress. Permanently reforming the AMT would be a good place to start when it comes to middle class tax relief.

In terms of future tax increases, the recently launched Deficit Commission will almost certainly recommend a Value-Added Tax at the end of the year. This would be a disaster. Harvard economist Greg Mankiw recently wrote, "It would raise consumer prices, lower real wages, discourage work and depress economic growth."

Tax policy is complex, and Washington uses that to its advantage. The simple truth of the matter is that, any time the government taxes, it pulls money out of the private sector—the efficient part of the economy responsible for producing goods and services—and puts it into the inefficient hands of government.

The real problem the country faces is not how to tax money out of Americans’ pockets; it’s how to keep money out of the hands of politicians.



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Glenn Beck: Here's how YOU can fix the Great Reset's housing crisis

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How's the housing market looking these days? Because under Build Back Better (aka the Great Reset), investors are grabbing up homes at a record pace.

On "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn discussed a recent Redfin News report, which shows that almost one in five homes sold in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2021 was purchased by an investment firm, and many are paying tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price.

"Think of that, one in every five homes that are sold are going to a big investment firm," Glenn said. "Investors bought more than 90,000 homes, totaling more than $63 billion, representing 18% of all homes sold in the quarter. The numbers broke all records."

"The same factors have pushed more Americans to rent, which also creates opportunities for investors, because investors typically turn the homes they purchase into rentals," he continued. "And now they can charge higher rents. Rent for single-family homes surged by more than 10% in the 12 months, through September. The fastest annual rent inflation in 16 years."

"And nearly 77% purchased were bought in an all-cash transaction," Glenn added. "That's not your average person. These investment firms, like BlackRock, are going in and buying entire neighborhoods. They are the people that come in, and say, 'I'll give you $70,000 over the asking price.' ... Now, why would investment firms think they will just be able to make money paying $70,000 over the asking price? What is it that they know, that you don't know? Could they know, as the Great Reset states, that by 2030, you will own nothing and you'll like it?"

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn offer his thoughts on how you can solve the Great Reset's housing crisis:


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On "Glenn TV" Wednesday, Glenn Beck exposes the radical plan to flip the United States from capitalism to socialism and into a lawless nation. It's an old strategy that mirrors a communist Cold War playbook. The goal now, as it was then, is this: How do they get a revolution without all that civil war stuff? It’s a five-step plan, and we're deep into several of the main steps RIGHT NOW.

Our justice system has been infiltrated by woke leftists, and something called "the progressive prosecutor movement" is methodically transforming Main Street USA into Main Street Gotham City. We can see it all over the country in places like San Francisco, with the Waukesha massacre as a terrifying glimpse into more of what's coming. And the media? They're currently running interference in one of the largest misinformation operations in history.

It’s happening at the city, state, AND federal levels. And President Trump might be one of the biggest victims of them all, a fact that even Trump critic Joe Rogan has realized on the Russia collusion hoax: “No one is being held accountable!” That ends now, as Glenn calls on Americans to push back on the lies that keep us divided in a cold civil war.

Watch the full episode below:

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A "one-world government" is being formed right now and it’s called the Great Reset, Glenn Beck said on the radio program Monday. And now, rebuild plans for the fire-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral hint at the formation of a global church, too.

In this clip, Glenn detailed plans for the iconic, 850-year-old church’s "woke" renovations that sound more like a 'politically correct Disneyland' complete with a "discovery trail," "emotional spaces," and 14 themed chapels.

"Notre Dame is now being built back better as a 'woke theme park' dedicated to environmentalism and social justice," Glenn explained.

"There will be several different chapels within, [for example] a chapel for social justice, and then chapel for environmental justice," he continued. "Which leads me to this point. The 'one-world government' is being formed, right now. One-world government. It is being formed and it's called The Great Reset."

Glenn went on to predict that one of the first steps in the direction of a one-world government will be a push for a global religion.

"I think we're seeing the first church now being dedicated to the new global religion — and it is social justice, environmental justice, and all this gobbledygook. We all know, it's not just wrong, it is dangerous. That's the first church, the cathedral of Notre Dame, in France, is the first global church. Mark my words. Christian, Jews, Muslims ... this global church will bring darkness unlike you've ever seen."

Watch the video clip from "The Glenn Beck Program" below:

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The Omicron COVID-19 variant: Should we ACTUALLY panic?

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

As the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus approaches, it seems like those in power want everyone to be terrified, Glenn Beck argued on the radio program Monday.

The chair of the World Medical Association's Council, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, is already comparing the variant to Ebola and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has declared a state of emergency, despite the doctor who announced its discovery describing the new variant's symptoms as "unusual, but mild." So, should we really be worried or not?

In this clip, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere reviewed what we know about the Omicron variant so far and gave a few reasons why we should wait for more information before succumbing to panic.

Note: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-related questions & concerns.

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