"Stimulus" Bill Now Tops $900 Billion

Congress is sapping any possibility of US productivity for generations to come. Only a fraction of this so-called “stimulus” bill actually stimulates the economy. The vast majority of it is increased government oversight and additional government programs. By taking such a whopping amount from the American people, the US government is stifling productivity of the American people and small business where any chance of economic recovery must begin. By printing such a whopping amount of money to cover the spending that cannot be sold overseas as IOUs, the government will cause massive inflation for years and years to come.

The best and simple economic “stimulus” plan I’ve seen is to simly refund all individual taxes collected in 2008. It costs about the same and gives all the people’s money back to the people who would happily spend such a windfall.

Please, Congress, stop helping us now. Just put the checkbook down and back away.

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Early Voting

I’m off to the polls this evening to vote early. Here is the sample ballot for Harris County.

Just in case you wonder, I’m almost voting straight Republican. In most cases, I don’t have a choice since the Republican nominee is running unopposed. For Governor, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Rick Perry, then go home and wash my hands. For Lt. Governor, there’s not enough soap for me to vote for David Dewhurst, so I’m just going to sit that one out.

I’m also going to sit out the State Representative District 136. Beverly Woolley voted against appraisal caps and then passed that horrendous small business tax. She might as well be a Democrat.

Proposition A‎ means more road construction. Haven’t we had enough road construction? It’s everywhere already. I’m voting against.

Proposition B‎ means more police and fire. I’ll support that. Somebody needs to arrest the Katrina hoodlums.

Proposition C‎ means more parks, and I’ll vote for that. If I don’t, they might as well pave the rest of Houston and just make it one big slab of concrete.

Proposition D‎ is “general improvement,” whatever that is. And as much as I would like to be generally improved, I’m voting against.

Proposition E‎ is for libraries. Why do we still have libraries? I’m voting against.

Proposition F‎ is for affordable housing. City-sponsored slums? I think not.

Proposition G‎ allows the city to raise taxes higher than cloud 9. I think not. This another of Mayor Bill White’s devious schemes to get around the limits on taxes we voted for last year when Proposition 2 passed.

Proposition H‎ is a trick question. It says, “Shall the City of Houston be authorized to collect and spend ‎$‎90 ‎million for increased police‎, ‎fire and emergency medical services without raising the property tax rate‎?‎” The *rate* hasn’t changed in years because they won’t pass appraisal caps. Liars, cheats, politicians. I vote no.

Sneaky Texas Legislature and Taxes

So, if the state has collected too much money, maybe as high as $10 billion, do you think those sneaky dogs in Austin ought to –

a) refund the money because citizens are complaining about property taxes, or
b) tax businesses too! Yeehaw!

If you answered (b), you can be a Texas legislator, too!

Those sneaky dogs are trying to quickly pass a tax on small businesses and hope opposition can’t organize fast enough to stop it. C.L.O.U.T. has the details.

Action Alert – Call you State Rep Right Now at the Capitol Office!
Find your State Representative and their Austin Phone number at this website Immediately!

http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/welcome.php

Tell Your State Rep to VOTE NO on House Bill 3 – the Sharp/Perry Tax plan. Taxing small and medium businesses is BAD for the Texas economy and for job growth. The Texas House of Representativs votes Monday morning on this plan for the first time. Tell your Representative that taxing Texas is bad for Texas – and the State has a $8.2 Billion Surplus – why tax more Texans when you are sitting on a pile of extra money? Use the surplus to Buy Down the School Tax Rate and then GO HOME!

Your State Rep will have a letter on their desk tomorrow morning from local tax activist Norman Adams. CLOUT support Norman Adams position:

The Sharp Business Tax will discourage business owners from locating in Texas.

I have compiled a list of eight companies located in the Greater Houston area. Please take a look at the Franchise vs. Sharp spreadsheet. I believe these companies represent typical small business owners in Texas. Most of these businesses will not get substantial property tax relief therefore I have not included it.

Paul Bettencourt, Dan Patrick and I furnished a completed schedule “B” (Sharp Tax form) to Governor Perry’s office Friday, on each of these businesses. One of the questions his staff asked, was “Why didn’t you bring this to our attention sooner?” My answer was, because I personally became aware of the details of this proposal only two weeks ago!

The majority of small business owners do not realize what the Sharp Tax Plan is about. They are leaving it up to you, their elected representatives. When they find out about it, they will hold you responsible!

The spreadsheet will show you what the Sharp Business Tax will do to these business owners! These folks will average nearly a 400% increase!

Currently, the Texas Constitution protects non corporate entities from an income tax. According to the Sharp “experts” less than one out of ten Texas businesses are subject to the Franchise tax.

The Franchise tax collected for 2005 was $1.7 Billion. In 2006, it will exceed $2 Billion!

If the Sharp plan is adopted, we will not only increase the tax our corporations are paying now, by adding the LLPs, we will multiply the tax rolls by at least ten fold. This new tax may produce twenty times our current revenue! NO ONE KNOWS!

I pray God will move you to review the attached Franchise / Sharp comparison. If you will actually review it, you will agree the Sharp Tax is bad for Texas.

May God bless you as you consider the future of our great state.

Stand strong, do what you know is right.

Norman E. Adams, CIC

Adams Insurance Service, Inc.

Call your State Representative – TAXING TEXAS WILL MOVE JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH OUTSIDE OF TEXAS.

YOUR STATE REP’S VOTE IS ON THE RECORD – THEY MUST VOTE FOR TEXAS – NOT FOR TAXES!!

Edd C. Hendee

Executive Director – CLOUT

Inviting the Illegal Aliens

At Sand in the Gears, Tony first opined that enforcing immigration laws is not a Christian thing to do. After taking some heat for that statement, he addressed their comments and challenged Christians to rethink their position on illegal immigration. On his latter post I took the position that although I agreed with his sentiment, I disagreed with his conclusion.

Christians have a fundamental calling, and that is to find our lost brothers and sisters. We will not conquer this world for Jesus, and frankly, he doesn’t need our help. We will not stop gay marriage and institute a God-approved (the Republican version, of course) tax rate. We will not keep people from philandering, gambling, masturbating, and wearing clothes that fit too tight, and if you think Christ wants you to fix these problems, then you are dreadfully, soul-shakingly mistaken.

“Tend my lambs.” Not “stop people from being naughty.” No “get the government off the back of the small businessman.” Not a hint of “protect gun rights and the death penalty.”

And certainly not “keep out the immigrants.”

Tony’s chief concern seems to be – and I don’t mean to put words in his mouth, so go read him for yourself – that the illegal immigration problem is not clearly a Christian problem, so Christ should not be invoked when taking a position on the issue. Instead, Christ was far more likely to tend to the aliens needs than close the gates and keep the aliens out.

Can’t argue with that logic, yet I still think our borders ought to be better patrolled, for many reasons: safety, overloading our healthcare systems, loss of jobs, etc. I think it’s because if we as a society give free welfare to illegal immigrants, it a) does nothing to share the gospel of Christ to those that are breaking the law, and b) denies the individual the ability to determine how his funds are to be spent on the needy.

What do you think?

American Jobs Creation Act

Good news for American taxpayers and small business owners!. The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 passed yesterday.

As a Texan, I like it because it just put 1000 bucks or so back in my pocket. See, in states that have an income tax, those people can deduct the state income tax off of their federal tax. Texans don’t have an income tax, we have higher sales taxes instead. Now Texans can deduct that off of our taxes. You can either save all of your receipts (yuck) or there’s a new table that just assumes how much you spent, and then you can just save your receipts for big items like a car or a boat (yay).

The bill also cuts taxes on manufacturing plants by 9%. You know, to spur growth, increase manufacturing jobs, makes US manufacturing more competitive overseas, etc. Tax incentives are in there for small businesses, too. Go Bush!

John Kerry and John Edwards didn’t bother showing up to vote.

Yet Another Reason to Vote Republican

The Drudge Report says that Republicans will push for the elimination of the IRS at the RNC Convention.

A domestic centerpiece of the Bush/GOP agenda for a second Bush term is getting rid of the Internal Revenue Service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Ah, now there’s a dream come true. I spend at least 2 days doing my own taxes every year, and I dread it every time. When I ran a small business, I had to guess at what the tax code meant, and my business wasn’t even a complicated one. When I was overseas, I finally had to break down and hire a tax attorney because it was so complicated. Last year, I helped my maid and her neighbor with their tax return – even the EZ form was complex for them.

Now multiply that by 350 million Americans.

The biggest impact we’d see is the cost of many things would go up 20% or so because of the sales tax. Offsetting that would be the complete elimination of the income tax and the bizarre complicated forms.

“I do not whine for lower taxes. I do not petition for more tax breaks, I ask only for instructions an ordinary Ph.D. in economics can follow.”
— Alan S. Blinder, Ph.D. Economics

If this is true, it’s one more reason to vote for Bush this November. All Kerry will be able to do is a) oppose it or b) complain Bush didn’t do it fast enough.

Trial Lawyers and Tort Reform

From Overlawyered.com and Point of Law, there are ample reasons to consider that tort reform in America is desparately needed.

Manufacturers are wary of the Legal-Lotto system in the US that can spur class-action lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs that may not have suffered any ill effects or are ever likely to do so, but they’re included in the class action suit anyway. When a settlement is reached, these “plaintiffs” get pennies, the lawyers get millions. Better products are never even introduced because of a fear of lawsuits. Our Civil Court system has demanded a new barometer for products: 100% Perfect Safety under All Intended and Unintended Uses.

In 2002, class action lawsuits siphoned off $233 billion out of the hands of manufacturers and small business, or 2% of the US GDP. This amounts to $809 for every citizen of the US. In 1970, costs amounted to only 1.3%, and in 1950, only 0.5%. The costs are skyrocketing.

Here are some examples of products not currently available in the US but are available elsewhere in the world:

  • Integrated child booster seat in Volvo cars.
  • Silicon coatings on hypodermic needles from Japan that would reduce the pain of injections.
  • A “safe, biodegradable, and effective reinforcing phosphate fiber” as a substitue for asbestos from Monsanto.
  • A portable, suitcase sized dialysis machine from Union Carbide.
  • An alarm for hot tubs that would warn if the cover was lifted from Sunstar.

The costs of asbestos litigation is now expected to reach $200 billion. More than the Northridge, CA earthquake, Hurricane Andrew, and the September 11 terrorist attacks combined. Medical malpractice insurance premiums are causing doctors to quit their practice across the country. Obstetricians seem especially hard hit – at the average of 100 babies a year and a malpractice premium of $200,000 annually, each woman / employer / insurance company / government must pay $2000 just for the insurance alone.

The American Trial Lawyers Association maintain that there is no crisis.

The entire article at the Manhattan Institute is fascinating, morbid reading.

This just in: John Edwards and Ralph Nader made their fortunes as class-action lawyers.