Category Archives: Republicans

Paul Ryan’s Budget Bill will bankrupt our Nation – check out his Tax Reform proposal!

"'Revenue Reform' Train Stopped by 'Veste...

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The silliness continues, and I am surprised that the news media has not brought up the huge flaw in Paul Ryan‘s proposal for Tax Reform.  In his Roadmap to Prosperity , Paul Ryan is proposing the following:

  1. Keep the existing system and
  2. Add a second option of a simple choice of a Simplified Tax Calculation of 10% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) up to $50,000 and 25% of AGI over $50,000  for single tax payers and and 10% of income up to $100,000 of AGI and 25% of AGI over $100,000.

So,  if you had the choice between two systems, wouldn’t you choose the option that would allow you to pay the least amount of tax?  So Congressman Ryan shows his lack of expertise in proposing such a flawed system.  What on earth was he thinking?  Or not thinking?  Or was he out to bankrupt the United States?

This is not being talked about in the news and cannot help but wonder why this is the case.  Here is the actual text of his proposal:

      ” This  reform proposal responds in a fundamentally American way: it offers individuals a choice. Individuals can choose to pay their Federal taxes under the existing code, with all the familiar deductions and schedules; or they can move to a highly simplified income tax system. The simplified plan broadens the tax base by clearing out nearly all of the existing deductions and credits, compresses the tax schedule down to two  low rates, and retains a generous standard deduction and exemption level. The tax form for this system would fit on a postcard. The goal is a more simple, fair, and efficient tax code, the components of which are described below.”


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Filed under Federal Budget, Federal Taxes, GOP, Medicare, Politics, Republicans, Tax Reform

Republicans Favor Missouri Puppy Mills over Voters

Just watched Rachel Maddow‘s  show on MSNBC, and learned that a recent law approved by the Missouri voters has been essentially emasculated by the Republican majority in the Missouri state legislature.  The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act (Proposition B) was an effort by Missouri voters to bring about more humane conditions for the animals owned and raised by Missouri dog breeders.

Forget about what the Missouri voters wanted, the Missouri Governor is trying to negotiate a compromise – which fails to go far enough to insure humane conditions for dogs sentenced to live out their miserable lives in Missouri puppy mills.  Here is a list of some of the provisions removed from SB 161, which is being called the “Missouri Solution”. calls for larger cages, which can still be stacked, access to an exercise area and an annual physical exam.  But missing from this bill is the following:

1.  Removes the limit of breeding dogs to 50

2.  Does not require breaks between breeding cycles, so a female dog could end up spending most of her life pregnant or nursing her litter of puppies.

Looks like Republicans have the same respect for dogs and puppies that they do for our seniors in this country.

For more information, check out:

1.  Missouri Wants to Keep Puppy Mills in Business, Despite Passing Prop B

2. Puppy Mill Dogs Are Losing Big in Missouri

3. New Bill Crushes Missouri’s Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act  

Help fight for more humane conditions for dogs in Missouri by sending a letter to Governor Jay Nixon in Missouri.

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Filed under GOP, Politics, Puppy Mills, Republicans

Does Governor Scott Walker have a Smoking Gun buried in the Budget Bill?

Yesterday was an incredible day for news, and my head is still spinning. And some of the news content has given me a theory, which might explain Governor Scott Walker‘s stubbornness about refusing to  yield on the collective bargaining issue.  It is only a theory now, but if I am right – then Walker may have stepped on the proverbial bee hive.  The nuggets of information in the news content:

1. Huffington Post blogger – Zach Carter posted something interesting about the financial health of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)  and its ability to pay current and future retirement benefits.

2. Zach also referenced a report prepared by the The Pew Center on the States.

3.  The main point of the two articles, was that the Wisconsin Retirement System is very close to being 100% funded for current and future retirement benefits.

These  facts, caused me to ask “Does the Wisconsin retirement plan have excess assets that could be re-captured by the state government if they terminate the plan and replace it with a different type of retirement plan?

Time for a little history lesson. Back in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s, a lot of American companies were still providing retirement benefits for their employees with plans that provided annuity income when the employee retired. The IRS and Dept. of Labor considered this type of plan to be a safer and more valuable benefit than account balance plans. It reduced the risk to employees of fluctuations in the stock market, because retirees are guaranteed a monthly or annual income, and the retirement benefits are not affected by market losses or gains.

But, a  significant percentage of these plans were over funded back then, which made these plans targets for employers wanting to recoup the excess assets. And the recovered excess assets were significant – many times it was in the millions of dollars. The only way an employer could recover these assets was through terminating the plan, paying out the accrued benefits to the employers through lump sums distributions or purchasing deferred annuities. Once the plan had paid out the benefits accrued by employees – the remaining assets would revert to the employer (i.e. the plan sponsor) and would flow back to the corporate balance sheet. The excess assets could not go to the employees, it was prohibited because of the way these plans are legally structured.

Think Gordon Gekko and the first Wall Street movie. Most of the terminated plans were replaced with less expensive 401k plans, mostly funded through employee contributions. And the responsibility for managing the growth of the these funds were left to the employee.

I think we all know how that worked out, through the dot com bubble, 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis.

On to Page Three of Governor Walker’s Budget Bill, third paragraph from the top, there is very interesting language that leads to the very important question for Governor Walker. The paragraph mandates that a study of the existing Wisconsin Retirement System be performed and it must “specifically address establishing a defined contribution plan as an option for WRS participating employees” and the deadline for completing this study is June 30, 2012. I don’t think that Walker would be adding  retirement benefits for workers  – so I am wondering if the Republican Governors that are trying to get rid of collective bargaining of retirement benefits, so that they can terminate the existing plans and recover excess assets for their state balance sheets.

If Governor Walker’s bill passes, and collective bargaining of retirement benefits is eliminated, then next year Governor Walker can decide it is in Wisconsin’s best interests to get rid of the existing plan and replace it with something less valuable for the employees. And the employees would have no say and no one can keep Walker from raiding your  retirement savings.

Again, hard-working Americans are getting the short end of the stick. Do you think this is the American Way? We need to ask Governor Walker if he is planning to get rid of the existing Wisconsin Retirement  System and raid your retirement plan!


Filed under Attacks on Unions Collective Bargaining, Collective Bargaining, Politics, Republicans, Unions