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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Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a transgender activist called for a "Supreme Court Assassination Challenge" on Twitter, according to screenshots captured of the now-deleted tweet.

Activist Eli Erlick, a founding member of Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) and creator of the controversial "gender identity" teaching tool for children called the "Gender Unicorn," tweeted and later deleted the disturbing remark on Friday, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) also caught a screenshot of the tweet before it was deleted.

"The unhinged radical left is calling for the assassination of our Supreme Court Justices. That's not the way to disagree with a decision in America. It is unacceptable, and Biden’s DOJ must immediately act," Blackburn responded on Twitter.

Erlich then tried to play off her call to assassinate Supreme Court justices as a hilarious joke only Gen Z and Millennials would understand, apparently not understanding the seriousness of the attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just three weeks ago.

Erlick isn't the only Left-winger to make incendiary calls since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. Here are just a few examples:

  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called on people to “defy" the Supreme Court.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for people to get “into the streets” alongside radical communist leader who wants to 'overthrow' the American system.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) yelled "F*** Clarence Thomas" on a public stage for all to see and hear.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh lied to Congress.
  • And of course, "TheView" host Whoopi Goldberg issued a disgusting racist threat toward Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program, BlazeTV hosts Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere took a look at these and other stunning examples of leftist lunacy over the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Many members of the far-left already are calling for a ‘Night of Rage’ after the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the White House has been discussing plans to defy the ruling too. In fact, one idea floated by Biden Administration officials, according to the New York Times, includes providing abortions on military bases. So, will America experience another summer of riots? Are YOUR taxpayer dollars at risk? And what does this mean for deep-blue states? Josh Hammer, legal expert and opinion editor for Newsweek, joins Glenn to discuss what may come next...

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Josh Hammer, he's the opinion editor of Newsweek. He's the host of the Josh Hammer show. He is really quite brilliant. One of the leading minds in the conservative movement, I think. Josh Hammer joins us now.

To tell us, what did you find in this decision?

JOSH: Glenn, great to be back with you, on such a momentous, and really such an emotional day, honestly. So, you know, look, as you said, this dropped recently. Funny enough, I was in the middle of getting a guest lecture from an organization on the advisory board as to when it drops. So I barely had any time to kind of skim through, let alone guess the concerning dissenting opinions. But it looks like this looks very similar, to the draft opinion that was leaked, by the Politico story, a month and a half ago, in early May. And I think those of us who were praying that the five justices from this leaked draft opinion, would have the fortitude to stiffen their spines against this unprecedented assault. Now knows that our prayers were answered, Glenn. That's really my takeaway right now.

This looks a lot like the leaked opinion. Justice Thomas and Justice Kavanaugh have some reconcurring opinions.

But unbelievable. And really just holding aside the constitutional law stuff for a second hear. Just speaking as pro-lifers, on a day like today, I think we really just need to pause. And I tweeted this out earlier. We need to just be grateful for our half century of pro-life activist forbearers. You know, this -- Glenn, this issue could have gone away after 1973. That was a long time ago. 1973. I mean, this issue could have just gone away. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the pro-life moral activist. Political activist. And, of course, yes. Legal activist. Who fought day in and day out, that makes sure this great injustice stayed front and center of our national, political conscience. And in many days, the culmination of a half century of fighting for truth and justice. But in many ways, it's also a new beginning for the pro-life fight as well, interestingly.

STU: How do you mean a new beginning for the fight? I just it's going to turn, I think we're going to see abortion turn even darker in those states that allow it. Is that -- is that what you're meaning by this?

JOSH: Well, look, for a half century now, Roe vs. Wade, and its project any, specifically, the Planned Parenthood versus Casey case of 1992.

They took away from the states obviously. They arrogated authority away from the states, the ability to attempt to nationally codify one view of the morality of abortion.

It happened to be a profoundly immoral view. So these -- the fight now shifts to the states. And the pro-life activists. And all the 50 states. Especially, obviously in red states. Purple states. I mean, admittedly some blue states like New York and California, probably won't be able to touch them there.

But we have to make sure that our side is well positioned in the state Capitols for every red, purplish, probably even light blue state, to make sure we fight for successful, cogent, and morally consistent pro-life legislation. The state of Oklahoma, actually, just north of Texas. Right where you are now, Glenn. They have been leading on this actually. Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law, a fantastic pro-life bill there in Oklahoma. A few weeks ago. Maybe a month ago or so at this point, that basically just bans abortion straightforward from conception. And there are some -- you know, obviously, likable the mother. So forth. But we really need to start thinking about trying to craft legislation now, at the state level. But to your point, I do fear that the blue states will only double down in their radicalism. Unfortunately within that will only lead to an ever greater divide, in our country, that we have today. But obviously, at the end of the day. We're going to save at the end of the day, millions and millions of unborn children. We are going to save human beings who can grow up to cure cancer, who can win Nobel prices.

I mean, this is just a tremendous win for the human species. I don't know how to say it other than that.

GLENN: I will tell you, I saw the stat, that I think it was last year or the year before. 20 percent of all pregnancies ended in abortion. 20 percent.

JOSH: Wow.

GLENN: That is -- that is a shocking number. And we do have our -- our work cut out for us. Because I -- I think that these states are going to double down. But I think, you know -- God doesn't waste anything. You know, there is no waste with God. Even the -- even the worst things that could possibly happen, turn out to be something good. You know what I mean? You're like, holy cow, how did that just happen.

And I think that evil is going to fully come unmasked. I'm telling you, Josh. I don't know how you feel about this. I think this could be the day of America's Kristallnacht. I can see these pro-life centers being burned to the ground today. They're calling for a night of rage around the country. I think evil is going to show itself. And that will scare the American people, hopefully.

JOSH: You know, I've been thinking about this a lot this week, actually. Because I've been bracing for a new kind of George Floyd summer of love, happening this summer. Coming to a city or suburb near you. Unfortunately, myself. Look, I live in Florida. I know, Glenn, you live in Texas. It is in moments like this, where I do think that where you live matters. And who your mayor is. Who your governor is, matters.

Because law and order and rioting and anarchy is not really a federal issue. It is to a limited extent. June 2020, Tom Cotton wrote this op-ed that was pretty controversial at the time.

I happen to agree with it. Where he said, quote, unquote, send in the troops. And there is some federal legislation from the reconstruction era that would justify that.

But most kind of quelling and quashing of anarchy does happen. Constitutionally speaking, at the state and local level. So at a moment like this, where I fear that you're probably not wrong. I take some solace. That Governor DeSantis is my governor. I think Texans should take some solace, that they are represented by -- by a Republican governor. The legislature there as well. So I -- I fear that you are right. I pray obviously, that no one -- it's hard.

I fear that it's something -- that something bad is happening. At the end of the day, of course. It does not mean that justices cannot do what they are supposed to do. So thank God they did that.

GLENN: So, Josh, have you looked into what the White House has been saying? The White House yesterday. In fact, do we have a clip of -- of this?

What the White House said yesterday, about the guns. And then they were turned to the -- the Scott us ruling, for Roe vs. Wade. Do we have that, please?

JOSH: Will the president accept this decision, even if he disagrees with it?

VOICE: I think it's going to come from the Supreme Court. So it's a decision we certainly are going to respond to. I'll leave it at that. Just like any other Supreme Court decision. Just like the one they did today on guns.

GLENN: So the White House won't say that they're going to accept it.

Which I don't think they will. They're talking now about taking doctors and moving them into places like Oklahoma or Texas, where abortions will be outlawed. And putting doctors on our military bases to perform abortions.

I mean, where does this go, when you have a government, that is in defiance of -- of one branch of the government?

JOSH: So there's a lot to unpack here. So we should start from first principles. The idea of judicial supremacy, and this is a peculiar thing, to say on a day like today, where such a pro-life victory has happened in Italy. But if we're going to be consistent here, the idea of judicial supremacy. The idea that the justices, have the sole and exclusive ability to interpret the Constitution for themselves. And no other Constitutional actor, in article one or article two, let alone the state. Has the ability to tentatively interpret it. That is erroneous. In fact, actually it was really Abraham Lincoln actually, who in the Dred Scott case, famously opposed judicial supremacy and flouted the Dred Scott ruling, at least as it pertains to everybody other than Dred Scott himself. I have actually argued, a former legal scholarship, in a law review article actually, that the Laconian view of how each branch of government should interpret the Constitution for itself, is correct.

Having said that. Having said that, there is a thing called prudence. And there is a thing called comedy. And in a moment like today, when it really does look like -- and I agree with you, that we are now bracing for riots through the streets. When the political rhetoric is at DEFCON one. When people are trying to assassinate Supreme Court justices. I think it would be -- at its bare minimum, a profoundly imprudent act. For the Biden administration, to try to undermine this ruling.

Now, what they might do, is they might try to kind of issue some kind of executive orders, or issue some regulations, that might try to kind of undermine it, at the edges here. But at the end of the day, the idea that this returns to the state. There's not really a whole lot they can do about that. Basically, at this point, throughout the country. Kentucky within West Virginia. Kansas. Whatever. If they want to go ahead and ban abortion, what can the Biden administration literally do about that? I mean, short of sending in the National Guard, to protect Planned Parenthood, if the state legislature of Kentucky goes ahead and bans it. There's not a whole lot they can do. And it's very difficult to envision a world, in which the Biden administration literally sends in troops to red states, to protect Planned Parenthood, if that state legislature goes ahead and bans it. So for practically speaking. This is a lot of tough talk and rhetoric. Obviously the campaign here in 2022. There's not really a whole lot that practically speaking, they can do to actually prevent red and purple states from enacting pro-life legislation.

GLENN: I'm glad to -- I'm glad to hear that. I know that they have been working on things. I mean, he has said, you know, there's executive orders, that I can employ. There are things that I can do. He's talked about a national public health emergency. Which I think is just -- is crazy. But I would hope, that the president would come out and say, we strongly disagree with this. And you're right. The court is not the end all. But the court did not end abortion. It just said, the people should decide. I think that's the best kind of court ruling, on any of it. The people should decide what this is. And send it back to the states. Josh, I thank you very much. Appreciate your time. Was there -- there was another ruling, that came out today. Was it important?

JOSH: Oh, no. In comparison to this. A total nothing burger. A 5-4 decision on Medicare reimbursement related. So nothing, honestly.

GLENN: Great. Thank you very much. Appreciate it, Josh. Josh Hammer, opinion editor for Newsweek. And the host of the Josh Hammer show.

GLENN: There are two things trending on twitter right now.

Number one is praise God.

Number two trend is Night of Rage.

Good verses evil.

Build up or tear down.

'Lord, we are SORRY it has taken us this long': BlazeTV hosts react to historic Roe v. Wade decision

Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Supreme Court of the United States officially overturned Roe V. Wade, and the debate over abortion rights has been given back to the states. On this historic day, BlazeTV hosts celebrate the Supreme Court's incredible decision and take a look at some of the insane reactions as the left comes completely undone.

Jason Whitlock: Today will forever stand as a pivotal moment in our nation’s history

The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade. The decision and the reaction to it have already revealed a lot about our people and politics. Pro-life groups celebrate, pro-choice groups call for “a night of rage,” and Nancy Pelosi just seems completely confused by the United States Constitution.

Glenn Beck reacts LIVE to Roe v. Wade ruling: 'Lord, we are SORRY it has taken us this long'

I never thought that in my lifetime, I would see Roe v. Wade be overturned. But today, that day has come. The Supreme Court has voted 6 to 3 to return decisions about abortion to the states. But this fight isn't over. We are about to see good versus evil side by side. Many states will stand with the unborn. But others will become abortion mills. It's your turn to choose now, America!

Allie Beth Stuckey: 'Praise God, Roe v. Wade is overturned!'

I don't know about you, but I just had the most euphoric feelings. It almost seems too good to be true. I didn't think there was any way that this would actually happen, especially with all the backlash, intimidation, and violence toward the Supreme Court justices. And yet, here we are. Roe v. Wade has been overturned. This is an amazing day!

Dave Rubin: Big disagreement on what happens next now that Roe v. Wade is overturned

Dave Rubin, Libby Emmons, Jeffrey A. Tucker, and David Reaboi debate what will happen in the wake of the Supreme Court’s breaking decision on Roe v. Wade. Now that abortion rights have been pushed back to the states, will there be a summer of massive riots or not? Will the Roe v. Wade ruling make America’s political polarization significantly worse?

Stu Burguiere: Here are the reasons SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade

I never thought this would happen. I never thought I would see this day. I just never ever ever ever never ever believed that Roe v. Wade would actually be overturned. I really didn't. But let's take a look at the reasons this day has finally come ...

The Rick & Bubba Show: 'This is history! Unfortunately we're 60 million lives too late'

We were live on the air when news broke of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.