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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Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu is now warning that his nation is preparing for war with China after Beijing flew a record number of warplanes over Taiwanese territory. Wu reached out to another country for help, but it wasn't the United States.

In a video, Wu urged Australia to help prepare for a possible invasion, but gave the U.S. no mention.

"The defense of Taiwan is in our own hands, and we are absolutely committed to that. And if China is going to launch a war against Taiwan, we will fight until the end. And that is our commitment. And, of course, during this period of time, we would like to exchange with other countries for security cooperation," Wu said on ABC News In-depth's China Tonight program. "We would like to engage in security or intelligence exchanges with other like-minded partners, Australia included, so that Taiwan is better prepared to deal with the war situation. And so far, our relations with Australia is very good. And that is what we appreciate it for."

On "The Glenn Beck Program," Glenn, Pat Gray, and Stu Burguiere discussed whether or not America would do anything during such a conflict — because it sure seems like President Joe Biden is more focused on working with China to fight climate change. Plus, why did China just cut off all cryptocurrency?

Watch the video clip below to catch the conversation:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On "Glenn TV" tonight, Glenn Beck heads to the chalkboard to reveal how the fundamental transformation of America has already begun by turning the Declaration of Independence upside down.

If Donald Trump was a dictator, then what do we call President Biden? In Biden's first nine months in office, he has already issued 64 executive orders – that's more than Trump, Obama, W. Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan each issued in their entire first years in office.

You never hear the Left talk about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights any more, unless it's to "reimagine" the Constitution or slap a "harmful content" warning on our founding documents. Seriously. The National Archives said while its website label wasn't targeting the Constitution specifically, "some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions." The Left finds basic, guaranteed rights so offensive they now spend all of their time on workarounds to deal with America's annoying founding documents.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below to see Glenn outline the aggressive unconstitutional abuses "King Biden" is jamming down our throats and teaches Americans how we can defend against presidential tyranny.

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn explained why he wouldn't be surprised to see our supply chain collapse and empty shelves in America in the near future. Shortages are already wrecking our economy, China (where many of our goods are still made) is facing an energy shortage, and the Biden administration sure seems to be doing everything it can to make things worse.

Glenn noted a serious warning from American CEO Mike Beckham: "There's a major storm brewing in the supply chain," Beckham wrote on Twitter.

Thanks to China's centrally planned system, electricity shortages are causing huge delays in product manufacturing. In fact, some items are facing a 33 percent cut in production. "It could dramatically impact every [American's] life next year. But almost no one knows about it yet," Beckham warned.

Glenn went on to explain exactly what this means for you — and what you can do to prepare.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn break it down:


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Every decision made by President Joe Biden has ended in "disaster," Bill O'Reilly told Glenn Beck.

O'Reilly joined the radio program to explain why he thinks there's only one "mechanism" Americans can use stop the Biden administration's mess.

"Give me one thing that [Biden] has done, just one, that's improved this nation. Everything that he has been involved with is a disaster. Everything from the COVID mandates, to the energy policies, to the economic policies, to the inflation, to Afghanistan, to the collapsing southern border, to the social woke business, to the denial of due process. Right across-the-board, there isn't anything this man has done, or stood for, that's improved America," O'Reilly said.

"But there is no mechanism to do anything about it until a year from this November: the midterm elections. That's the only mechanism that we have, under the Constitution. We elected this guy and he's there for four years. You neutralize him next November [2022], with the Republicans taking back the House and Senate, then he's done. [He] can't do anymore damage because you've got him in a hole. And he's not going to be proactive with executive orders. He's just going to stay there in his jammies for two more years. OK? So that's the only mechanism."

O'Reilly also tore into the corporate media for using its power to defend Gen. Mark Milley after news of his China calls broke. Is there any deterrence in American society anymore to keep our leaders and media in check?

"What does this say to the United States of America when you have two of the most powerful information agencies in the world — NBC, Comcast, and AT&T, CNN — actively deceiving you?" O'Reilly said. "They know what they're doing. And yet there is absolutely no way for anyone to hold them accountable other than not watching them, which has, of course, happened. You know they have no audience. But just the corruption level of the information flow to the American people is at an all-time high. We have never had a worse media in the history of this republic."

Watch the clip below to hear O'Reilly break it all down:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.