Some Interesting Insights Into Facebook

**For some of the backstory about my thoughts on facebook click here.

From day one I have been anti social networking, even before I found out Zuckerberg was a jew who stole the idea of facebook. If you think those are just claims then just listen to some of Zuckerbergs speeches, the specific one that comes to mind is the one he gave at Stanford which can be found on Itunes U. He is so vague about the creation of facebook, and doesn’t really seem to have a good grasp on the site or the business. When you listen to speeches of other founders of various companies they are very detailed and meticulous since their very life is so tightly woven into a startup.

I had heard about his dismal performance Zuckerberg gave at the D8 conference this year, but only today did I see part of the video. For those that aren’t familiar D8 is a conference where various tech figures are interviewed by a jew and a dyke, the draw of course is that they have very popular people on to interview so even though the jew is obnoxious and constantly interrupts and talks over people, people still want to watch just for the interviewee.

Watch in the video as Zuckerberg gives an incoherent answer when asked about privacy issues but also make note at the end where you see what is inside the facebooks company jackets.

Did you notice it? The so called Star of David? Here are a few pictures in case you missed it.

So as you can see facebook is clearly a very jew centric company. What other company has the star of david on their company clothes? I’ll leave you with this video and you can begin to see the real purpose of facebook.

There Are No Heroes In Illegal And Immoral Wars

By Robert Jensen

August 24, 2010 “Information Clearing House” — When the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division rolled out of Iraq last week, the colonel commanding the brigade told a reporter that his soldiers were “leaving as heroes.”

While we can understand the pride of professional soldiers and the emotion behind that statement, it’s time for Americans — military and civilian — to face a difficult reality: In seven years of the deceptively named “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and nine years of “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan, no member of the U.S. has been a hero.

This is not an attack on soldiers, sailors, and Marines. Military personnel may act heroically in specific situations, showing courage and compassion, but for them to be heroes in the truest sense they must be engaged in a legal and morally justifiable conflict. That is not the case with the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq or Afghanistan, and the social pressure on us to use the language of heroism — or risk being labeled callous or traitors — undermines our ability to evaluate the politics and ethics of wars in a historical framework.

The legal case is straightforward: Neither invasion had the necessary approval of the United Nations Security Council, and neither was a response to an imminent attack. In both cases, U.S. officials pretended to engage in diplomacy but demanded war. Under international law and the U.S. Constitution (Article 6 is clear that “all Treaties made,” such as the UN Charter, are “the supreme Law of the Land”), both invasions were illegal.

The moral case is also clear: U.S. officials’ claims that the invasions were necessary to protect us from terrorism or locate weapons of mass destruction were never plausible and have been exposed as lies. The world is a more dangerous place today than it was in 2001, when sensible changes in U.S. foreign policy and vigorous law enforcement in collaboration with other nations could have made us safer.

The people who bear the greatest legal and moral responsibility for these crimes are the politicians who send the military to war and the generals who plan the actions, and it may seem unfair to deny the front-line service personnel the label of “hero” when they did their duty as they understood it. But this talk of heroism is part of the way we avoid politics and deny the unpleasant fact that these are imperial wars. U.S. military forces are in the Middle East and Central Asia not to bring freedom but to extend and deepen U.S. power in a region home to the world’s most important energy resources. The nation exercising control there increases its influence over the global economy, and despite all the U.S. propaganda, the world realizes we have tens of thousands of troops on the ground because of those oil and gas reserves.

Individuals can act with courage and compassion serving in imperial armies. There no doubt were soldiers among the British forces in colonial India who acted heroically, and Soviet soldiers stationed in Eastern Europe were capable of bravery. But they were serving in imperial armies engaged in indefensible attempts to dominate and control. They were fighting not for freedom but to advance the interests of elites in their home countries.

I recognize the complexity of the choices the men and women serving in our military face. I am aware that economic realities and the false promises of recruiters lure many of them into service. I am not judging or condemning them. Judgments and condemnations should be aimed at the powerful, who typically avoid their responsibility. For example, a journalist recently asked Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, to reflect on U.S. culpability for the current state of Iraqi politics. Crocker was reluctant to go there, and then refused even to consider the United States’ moral responsibility: “You can ask the question, was the whole bloody thing a mistake?” he said. “I don’t spend a lot of time on that.”

It’s not surprising U.S. policymakers don’t want to reflect on the invasions, but the public must. Until we can tell the truth about U.S. foreign policy, and how the military is used to advance that policy in illegal and immoral ways, we will remain easy marks for the politicians and their propagandists.

Part of that propaganda campaign is suggesting that critics of the war don’t support the troops, don’t recognize their sacrifices, don’t appreciate their heroism. We escape the propaganda by not playing that game, by telling the truth even when it is painful.

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center in Austin. He is the author of All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice, (Soft Skull Press, 2009); Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity (South End Press, 2007)
Jensen can be reached at [email protected] and his articles can be found online at http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/index.html. To join an email list to receive articles by Jensen, go to http://www.thirdcoastactivist.org/jensenupdates-info.html.

Some Thoughts To Consider About Higher Education

by DC

School begins for many this week, and there are some hard truths about higher education that few wish to explore, let alone acknowledge.

1. Not everyone should go to college. Getting a higher education can be a marvelous experience, but it’s just not for everyone.

I know of no country that attempts to educate everyone at this level. College was originally designed for students who are at least a standard deviation in academic aptitude above the mean. That eliminates all but about 16 percent of the population, and then a lot of those folks are wasting their time and money at a university.

John is a brighter than average high school student, but is not at the top of his class. He is good with his hands and understands how things work. His parents send him to college to become a lawyer.

He is in the bottom 20 percent of his law class. He graduates with an immense debt load and is considered to be a poor lawyer. He doesn’t get much respect.

Suppose instead that John goes to a trade school to become a repairman. He is in the top 20 percent of this group. John the Repairman is highly respected. He has almost no debt, and he makes more money than John the Lawyer.

As an added bonus, society is in need of good repair persons, but we have no need for more bad lawyers.

2. Getting a college degree doesn’t mean that you know anything. Modern universities don’t require that students be knowledgeable to graduate. This sounds odd and administrators and teachers would claim that it is not true, but ask a simple question: What does a student need to know from a university to be allowed to graduate?

The answer is “nothing.”

Students are required to complete a number of tasks. There is a long list of requirements. If they check each one off, they graduate. Students will work hard for grades; they will not necessarily work hard to know something. Modern schools have disassociated the two. Students memorize material, regurgitate it on an exam, and go their way.

Many students graduate knowing next to nothing. Don’t take my word for it. I have been challenging my colleagues to test their students for years. I would love to be wrong on this, but …

3. Grades don’t reflect reality. There are entire areas of universities that give an automatic A to everyone unless they do poorly, and then they are given an A-minus. Much of this results from the improper use of student evaluations of teaching. Having students rate teachers is not a bad idea in itself, but it has evolved into a counter-productive travesty.

Imagine that at your workplace, several times every year, people you associate with are asked to fill out a questionnaire about you. They will remain anonymous and can say anything they wish. Management admits that it doesn’t know what the surveys actually measure, but you will be denied merit pay, and perhaps even fired if your scores are low.

That in a nutshell is how universities use student evaluations.

Critics, and some supporters, maintain that the only reason that this system is maintained is administrative sloth and student crowd control.

Universities are essentially demanding that professors be well-liked by their students or they will be punished. Students are students because they don’t know what they should know. The bottom line is that the evaluation system has resulted in grade inflation and a corresponding reduction in what students actually know.

Research over the last 10 years from all across the U.S. has consistently shown that teachers who get higher student evaluations produce students who tend to do more poorly in subsequent classes.

4. Like the housing market bubble, we may be approaching an education bubble. Paying a lot for an education makes sense if the returns are greater, but the cost of education is rising faster than the benefits. This has serious implications, which I will address in a forthcoming column.

US Military “Overwhelmed” By Mental Health Problems Of Soldiers

By Gregg Zoroya

August 24, 2010 “USA Today” — FORT HOOD, Texas – Nine months after an Army psychiatrist was charged with fatally shooting 13 soldiers and wounding 30, the nation’s largest Army post can measure the toll of war in the more than 10,000 mental health evaluations, referrals or therapy sessions held every month.

About every fourth soldier here, where 48,000 troops and their families are based, has been in counseling during the past year, according to the service’s medical statistics. And the number of soldiers seeking help for combat stress, substance abuse, broken marriages or other emotional problems keeps increasing.

A common refrain by the Army’s vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, is that far more soldiers suffer mental health issues than the Army anticipated. Nowhere is this more evident than at Fort Hood, where emotional problems among the soldiers threaten to overwhelm the system in place to help them.

Counselors are booked. The 12-bed inpatient psychiatric ward is full more often than not. Overflow patient-soldiers are sent to private local clinics that stay open for 10 hours a day, six days a week to meet the demand.

“We are full to the brim,” says Col. Steve Braverman, commander of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center on the post.

That doesn’t even count those soldiers reluctant to seek care because they are ashamed to admit they need help or the hundreds who find therapy outside the Army medical system, Braverman and other medical officials say.

Officials worry the problems may worsen – for the military and the country.

“If Fort Hood is representative of the Army – and 10% of the Army is assigned to Fort Hood – then if you follow the logic, our numbers should be scalable to any other post in the country,” says acting base commander Maj. Gen. William Grimsley.

“I worry that if we don’t see this through the right way over the long haul … we’re going to grow a generation of people 10 or 15 years from now who are going to be a burden on our own society,” he says. “And that’s not a good thing for the Army. That’s not a good thing for the United States.”

Statistics provided to USA TODAY by Fort Hood commanders show the explosion of mental health issues here:

Fort Hood counselors meet with more than 4,000 mental health patients a month.
Last year, 2,445 soldiers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), up from 310 in 2004.
Every month, an average of 585 soldiers are sent to nearby private clinics contracted through the Pentagon’s TRICARE health system because Army counselors cannot handle more patients. That is up from 15 per month in 2004.
Hundreds more see therapists “off the network” because they want their psychological problems kept secret from the Army. A free clinic in Killeen offering total discretion treated 2,000 soldiers or family members this year, many of them officers.
Last year, 6,000 soldiers here were on anti-depressant medications and an additional 1,400 received anti-psychotic drugs.

“I don’t think we fully understand the total effect of nine years of continuous conflict on a force this size,” Chiarelli says, reacting to those statistics.

“Those numbers are pretty staggering,” says Kathy Beasley, a health care executive with the Military Officers Association of America. She wonders what will happen when those soldiers leave the military. “Do we have the supply and the people in our systems to take care of that?”

Every time more counselors are hired here, their schedules immediately fill up with patients. “It’s almost like a Field of Dreams,” Braverman says, referring to the famous line from the 1989 film about a baseball field on an Iowa farm that spontaneously draws crowds. “If you build it, they will come.”

‘Life can slowly slip away’

Staff Sgt. Josh Rivera came back from his third tour in Iraq this year eager to save his marriage.

“When a soldier is constantly gone and actually fighting, not just deploying and sitting in an office, life can slowly slip away,” says Rivera, 32, a native of the Bronx, N.Y.

Thirty-nine cumulative months of war had left him distant from his family and confused about his role in their lives, Rivera says. All that made sense was the infantry, which he loves. Rivera resisted seeing a counselor until his marriage was in real trouble, he says.

The Army therapist who met with Rivera and his wife, Julie, gently guided them back to basics – what brought them together 10 years before, why each mattered to the other and what they wanted out of life, the couple say.

Chaplains provide marriage counseling, but for soldiers who want to see a licensed marriage counselor, the base’s social work department has two, each with a caseload of 60 couples, says Lt. Col. Nancy Ruffin, department director.

She has to refer some troubled marriages to private clinics, and not all the soldiers are willing to do that, Ruffin says.

The demand for other types of counseling also far exceeds supply. There are not enough social workers to treat soldiers suffering the emotional effect of sexual assault. Ruffin says she has one social worker, who is handling 50 cases.

Fort Hood has an intensive, three-week therapy program, followed by eight weeks of group therapy, for soldiers suffering stress-related issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder. It has a waiting list of 80 soldiers.

The child and adolescent psychiatric services at Fort Hood handle more than 1,000 visits, assessments or counseling sessions with military children each month, up from about 800 in 2004. It refers about 30 overflow cases off base each month, up from zero in 2004, the base statistics show.

Fort Hood has one of the most robust mental health programs in the Army. It has 171 behavioral health providers and 28 new hires are on the way, says Lt. Col. B. Kirk Phillips, a psychiatrist and director of mental health care at the Darnall medical center. This is up from about 50 mental health workers in 2004.

Because of war and deployments, not only are there more soldiers suffering emotional problems, they are sicker than ever and require more counseling sessions, Phillips says. Even after the latest round of hiring, Phillips says, a recent internal analysis showed the mental health staff will need an additional 58 counselors to meet the demand.

Suicides outpacing 2009

Despite the increase in mental health resources, there have been 14 confirmed or suspected suicides among Fort Hood soldiers this year. That figure outpaces 2009 and matched each of the three worst years for suicides in recent base history, 2006-2008. In June, the Army recorded 32 suicides overall, the highest monthly total since it began keeping records.

Army Sgt. Douglas Hale Jr., 26, was one of the most recent Fort Hood suicides.

On July, 6, Glenda Moss received this text message from Hale, her son: “i love u mom im so sorry i hope u and the family and god can forgive me.”

Her son had tried to kill himself in May. She feared he might try again. She immediately called the Army and then drove the 90 minutes from her home in King, Texas, to the base.

It was too late. Hale had walked into a restaurant across Highway 190 from Fort Hood, asked to use the bathroom, locked the door and shot himself in the head with a newly purchased handgun, according to a police report. He was removed from life support a few days later.

Moss knew her son was very troubled. When his second combat tour to Iraq ended in 2007 after 15 months, he was diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression, began drinking heavily, saw his marriage disintegrate and, finally, left the base without permission last year.

He was brought back to Fort Hood in May after being taken into custody by police in King for being absent without leave, his mother said. He attempted suicide in his barracks that month.

The Army sent him to a psychiatric hospital in Denton, Texas. Army doctors told him “we don’t have enough people here (at Fort Hood) to help you,” his mother recalls.

A statement released by Fort Hood in response to questions about Hale’s case says, “Space and staff shortages prevent us from treating all our patients on post. While it is our intent to treat patients within our facilities, the reality is we cannot at the present time.”

Base officials declined to discuss the specifics of Hale’s case while an Army investigation continues.

Moss says her son seemed to be in good spirits after leaving the Denton hospital following a month of treatment in June. He spent the July 4th weekend at his mother’s home before she drove him back to Fort Hood on July 5.

Moss says the Army can do more to watch over troubled soldiers like her son. “They need to do as much as they can to stop this, because if they don’t, the Army’s going to be responsible for a lot more (suicides),” she says. “I don’t want another family to have to deal with what I went through.

‘Stigma was still a problem’

After the mass killings in November, Fort Hood launched a campaign to gauge the psychological health in the community. The goal was to see how many people needed help, whether they were getting it and how many counselors were needed. Part of the effort was an online, confidential survey in February to get soldiers’ views. Troops were offered incentives such as a day off from work to participate. More than 5,000 responded.

One in four said they would be viewed as weak, treated differently or harm their careers if they admitted suffering emotional issues, says Col. William Rabena, who led the campaign. The attitude was particularly strong among majors, lieutenant colonels and full colonels.

“Stigma was still a problem,” Rabena says.

For those soldiers afraid to seek help, who decline to go to Army therapists or private clinics that contract with the military, there are alternatives.

A Pentagon program offers soldiers a limited number of counseling sessions with private therapists that will remain off their medical records. The program is called Military OneSource, and it provides up to 12 free and confidential therapy sessions when soldiers call a toll-free hotline. From May 2009 to May 2010, there was a 72% increase in sessions provided by the program in the Fort Hood area, from 822 to 1,412, says Air Force Maj. April Cunningham, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Another option for Fort Hood soldiers who want to keep their psychological problems secret from the Army is a free clinic in Killeen called Scott & White Military Homefront Services. The therapy provided at this clinic does not show up as a mental health diagnosis on a soldier’s medical record.

The five therapists at the project are booked solid, says the director, Maxine Trent, a psychotherapist and the wife of a retired Navy SEAL.

The clinic has seen 7,117 soldiers, spouses and their children since it opened in 2008, says Matthew Wright, a director with Scott & White Healthcare of Temple, Texas, which operates the project.

Soldiers, many of them officers, come into the clinic seeking therapy for the first time in their careers, Trent says.

“Generally, you have the parade rest,” she says, demonstrating how they sit with backs straight, arms outstretched and palms on knees. The tension in their bodies, she says, is palpable.

“Those who have been back-to-back deployed vibrate. … There’s different energy. There’s hyper-vigilance that you won’t see anywhere else,” Trent says. “They walk in here not sleeping. They walk in here having mood disruptions, angry driving, explosions at wife and/or husband and kids.”

When her offices opened, Trent canvassed the wives of Fort Hood commanders to get a sense of what she was facing. “They told us basically, ‘We know everything we need to know about deployment. Please don’t set up any programs to teach us about deployment,’ ” Trent recalls. ” ‘What we don’t know how to do is to keep doing it (deployments). We’re tired. We’re exhausted.’ “

Even this program struggles to cope with all those needing help and getting the money to pay for it.

A $750,000 grant from the Dallas Foundation and the Association of the U.S. Army for the project is nearly gone and officials are trying to secure more funding, Wright says.

Adam Borah, who runs the outpatient psychiatric clinic at Fort Hood, sees progress in the many soldiers stepping forward to seek help. “The bad news is that there are a lot of people out there who need behavioral heath care,” he says.

Braverman worries that if the number of patients keeps climbing, soldiers will give up waiting to see someone and avoid seeking help. Private clinics that contract with the military to handle overflow patients are overworked, says Chuck Lauer, a senior administrator at Darnall Hospital. “These guys (local private therapists) are putting in six days a week. Some of them have their practices open 10 hours a day,” Lauer says.

Staff Sgt. Rivera, who got the marital help, worries for the soldiers. “The military needs to know that they are losing very good soldiers and squads and platoons to multiple deployments,” he says. “The amount of help needed is actually overwhelming.”
© 2010 USA Today

Marxist Unions Continue To Rape California

By PETER SCHEER—For public employee unions–those representing police, firefighters, teachers, prison guards and agency workers of all kinds at the state and local level–these are the worst of times.

Despite record high membership and dues, and years of unparalleled clout in state capitols, public sector unions find themselves on the defensive, desperately trying to hold on to past gains in the face of a skeptical press and angry voters. So far has the zeitgeist shifted against them that, on one recent weekend, government employees were the butt of a Saturday Night Live skit, followed, the next day, by a New York Times magazine cover article proclaiming the “Teachers’ Unions’ Last Stand.”

Public unions’ traditional strength–the ability to finance their members’ rising pay and benefits through tax increases–has become a liability. Although private sector unions always have had to worry that consumers will resist rising prices for their goods, public sector unions have benefited from the fact that taxpayers can’t choose–they are, in effect, “captive consumers.”

At some point, however, voters turn resentful as they sense that: (1) they are underwriting, through their taxes, a level of salary and benefits for government employment that is better than what they and their families have; and (2) government services, from schools to the DMV, are not good enough—not for the citizen individually nor the public generally—to justify the high and escalating cost.

We are at that point.

In California, government sector unions, once among the most entrenched and powerful labor groups in the country, mainly have themselves to blame. For most of the post-war period, they were a force for progressive change, prospering by winning over public support for their agenda.

In the 1970s and 80s they backed laws like the Public Records Act and Brown Act to make state and local government more transparent. Because unions enjoyed broad-based political support, efforts to enhance government accountability and responsiveness to voters were seen–correctly–as benefiting the unions and their members.The public interest and public employees’ interests were aligned.

But the unions switched strategies. Although the change was gradual, by the 1990s California’s government unions had decided that, rather than cultivate voter support for their objectives, they could exert more influence in the Legislature, and in the political process generally, by lavishing campaign contributions on lawmakers. Adopting the tactics of other special interest groups, government unions paid lip service to democratic principles while excelling at the fundamentally anti-democratic strategy of writing checks to legislators, their election committees and PACs.

While not illegal (in fact, such contributions are constitutionally protected), the unions’ aggressive spending on candidates puts them on the same moral low ground as casino-owning tribes, insurance companies and other special interests that have concluded that the best way to influence the legislative process is to, well, buy it.

Public unions in California turned distrustful of voters and ambivalent about government transparency. In the mid-1990s unions backed improvements to the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, but also inserted a provision assuring that the public would have no access to collective bargaining agreements negotiated by cities and counties—often representing 70 percent or more of their total operating budgets—until after the agreements are signed.

What happens when voters and the press have no opportunity to question elected officials about how they propose to pay for a lower retirement age, healthcare for retirees’ dependents, richer pension formulas and the like? The officials make contractual promises that are unaffordable, unsustainable (and, in general, don’t come due until after those elected officials have left office). In the case of Vallejo, in northern California, this veil of secrecy, and the symbiotic relationship it fosters, has led to municipal bankruptcy.

The biggest blow to unions’ public support has come from revelations about jaw-dropping compensation and pension benefits. Police have received unwelcome attention for budget-busting overtime and the manipulation of eligibility rules for “disability pensions,” which provide higher benefits and tax advantages. Other government employees, particularly managers, have been called out for “pension-spiking:” Using vacation time, sick pay and the like to boost income in the last years of employment, which are the basis for calculating retirement benefits.

Such gaming of the system boosts starting pensions to levels that can approach, and even exceed, employees’ salaries. Some examples from the reporting of the Contra Costa Times’ Daniel Borenstein: A retired northern California fire chief whose $185,000 salary morphed into a $241,000 annual pension; a county administrator whose $240,000 starting pension was 98 percent of final salary; and a sanitary district manager who qualified for a $217,000 pension on a salary of $234,000. At a time when most Californians anticipate an austere retirement (if they can afford to retire at all), government pensions are a source of real voter anger.

The harm to the credibility of public employee unions from these excesses is made far worse by the unions’ attempts to hide them. The revelations about pay and pension abuses have surfaced only as a result of lawsuits. (Disclosure: The First Amendment Coalition has been a plaintiff in several of these cases.) Public employee unions, rather than taking the lead to stop abusive compensation practices, have vigorously opposed disclosure of individual employees’ salaries and pension amounts.

Public employee unions need to reboot. The old strategy of cynically buying political influence and excluding the public from decision-making has run its course. Unions can rebuild public support by recommitting to an agenda of open government in the public interest. If they don’t, they will be further marginalized.

Peter Scheer, a lawyer and journalist, is executive director of the First Amendment Coalition.

Is Wikileaks Tied To The CIA Or Mossad?

Up until recently I have been an outspoken supporter of wikileaks, their founder Julian Assange and their stated mission online. As things sometimes do some information has begun to circulate that wikileaks is funded by George Soros and has ties to the Mossad and or the CIA. Now I can’t confirm any of these allegations but I do consider them noteworthy.

One of the biggest red flags for me is Assange’s statement that he is “annoyed” by 911 Truth stating that there are “actual conspiracies” out there. Now anyone who has honestly taken the time to investigate 911 knows at least 1 thing for certain, we aren’t getting all the facts on 911, so for someone like Assange to try and divert attention from it is very suspicious.

Many people have made up their minds about Assange and wikileaks but I am not one of them, not yet. I most certainly will proceed with caution from this point but I’m not going to condemn them now, I see no reason to rush to judgement.

The following links provide a balance to the very favorable coverage I have given them in the past. Take these for what they’re worth.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is ‘annoyed’ by 9/11 truth

Is the latest Wikileaks release serving the military industrial complex?

GORDON DUFF: WIKI-LEAKS IS ISRAEL, LIKE WE ALL DIDN’T KNOW

WIKILEAKS WORKS FOR THE CIA AND MOSSAD?

Anne Frank Tree Topples

I think this is a fitting symbol since no matter what they do or how hard they try, the lid is off the Holocaust™ myth. They have thrown people in prison for daring to have an opinion contrary to what the jews media says.

Even against severe penalty though the Truth surges forward with all the money and power in the world they can’t stop it, which is quite reassuring.  The greatest friend of Truth is time.

Story

Prepare The Lube

From Americans for Tax Reform
8-23-10

In just six months, on January 1, 2011, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect.

They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves.

On January 1, 2011, here’s what happens… (read it to the end, so you see all three waves)…

First Wave

Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families. These will all expire on January 1, 2011.

Personal Income Tax Rates Will Rise

The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed).

The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.

All the rates in between will also rise.

Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as highermarginal tax rates.

The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

The 10%
bracket rises to an expanded 15%

The 25%
bracket rises to 28%

The 28%
bracket rises to 31%

The 33%
bracket rises to 36%

The 35%
bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher Taxes On Marriage And Family

The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income.

The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child.

The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level.

The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The Return Of The Death Tax

This year only, there is no death tax. (It’s a quirk!) For those dying on or after January 1, 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes, a business, a retirement account, could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones. Think of the farmers who don’t make much money, but their land, which they purchased years ago with after-tax dollars, is now worth a lot of money. Their children will have to sell the farm, which may be their livelihood, just to pay the estate tax if they don’t have the cash sitting around to pay the tax.

Think about your own family’s assets. Maybe your family owns real estate, or a business that doesn’t make much money, but the building and equipment are worth $1 million. Upon their death, you can inherit the $1 million business tax free, but if they own a home, stock, cash worth $500K on top of the $1 million business, then you will owe the government $275,000 cash! That’s 55% of the value of the assets over $1 million! Do you have that kind of cash sitting around waiting to pay the estate tax?

Higher Tax Rates On Savers And Investors

The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011.

The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011.

These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

The Second Wave
Obamacare

There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:

The “Medicine Cabinet Tax”

Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The “Special Needs Kids Tax”

This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.

There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States , and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.

Tuitiion rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington , D.C. ( National Child Research Center ) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.

Under tax rules, FSA dollars can not be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA (Health Savings Account) Withdrawal Tax Hike.

This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 0 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAsand other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

The Third Wave

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise-the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.

The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year.

According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center , Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families-rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business ‘expensing’ will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear.

Small businesses can normally ‘expense’ (deduct) rather than slowly-deduct or ‘depreciate’ equipment purchases up to $250,000.

The traditional $250,000 figure will be cut all the way down to $25,000!

Larger businesses can currently expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, ALL of it will have to be “depreciated.” (The depreciation period over which a business must write off a major expense is often THIRTY YEARS.)

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses

There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced

Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut.

Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed.

The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed

Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA.

This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.

PDF Version Read more:

And Worse Yet?

Now, your insurance will be INCOME on your W2’s!

One of the surprises we’ll find come next year, is what follows – – a little “surprise” that 99% of us had no idea was included in the “new and improved” healthcare legislation . . . the dupes, er, dopes, who backed this administration will be astonished!

Starting in 2011, (next year folks), your W-2 tax form sent by your employer will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance you are given by the company. It does not matter if that’s a private concern or governmental body of some sort.

If you’re retired? So what… your gross will go up by the amount of insurance you get.

You will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that you have never seen. Take your tax form you just finished and see what $15,000 or $20,000 additional gross does to your tax debt. That’s what you’ll pay next year.

For many, it also puts you into a new higher bracket so it’s even worse.

This is how the government is going to buy insurance for the15% that don’t have insurance and it’s only part of the tax increases.

Not believing this??? Here is a research of the summaries…..

On page 25 of 29: TITLE IX REVENUE PROVISIONS- SUBTITLE A: REVENUE OFFSET PROVISIONS-(sec. 9001, as modified by sec. 10901) Sec.9002 “requires employers to include in the W-2 form of each employee the aggregate cost of applicable employer sponsored group health coverage that is excludable from the employees gross income.”

___________

Joan Pryde is the senior tax editor for the Kiplinger letters.

Go to Kiplingers and read about 13 tax changes that could affect you. Number 3 is what is above.