This is how the Obama administration is going to raise your taxes without actually increasing the tax rates — they’re going to kill you with a thousand little tax bills.
The latest? If you use your company cell phone to make personal calls, the IRS will consider it a taxable fringe benefit.
The Internal Revenue Service proposed employers assign 25% of an employee’s annual phone expenses as a taxable benefit. Under that scenario, a worker in the 28% tax bracket, whose wireless device costs the company $1,500 a year, could see $105 in additional federal income tax. The IRS, in a notice issued this week, said employees could avoid tax liability if they showed proof they used personal cellphones for nonbusiness calls during work hours. The agency also could decide on a set number of phone minutes as “minimal personal use” that would be untaxed.
The burden is on you to show the IRS that you use a personal cell phone to make your personal phone calls. The law has actually been on the books since 1989 — put there by Democrats — but the IRS has never actually enforced it until now.
This is exactly what Obama is going to do — find rarely or never enforced provisions under the existing nebulous tax code and stick it to people who have jobs, while then turning around and funneling workers’ money to non-workers.
Last year, two federal courts ordered the State of Georgia to implement a system to verify the citizenship of registered voters. This arose after Karen Handel, Georgia’s Secretary of State, sent letters to 4,771 voter registration applicants whose records at the Georgia Department of Driver Services indicated they were not U.S. citizens.
Federal law requires the Secretary of State to make sure the information is accurate. Nonetheless, several groups filed a lawsuit over the letters, but two separate federal courts ordered the Secretary of State to continue verifying citizenship. The procedure the Secretary of State established was put together with the help of the U.S. Department of Justice.
In the November General Election, 230 voters had their ballots rejected because there was no proof they were U.S. citizens.
Here’s where it gets tricky.
Though the U.S. Department of Justice helped craft the verification procedure, the procedure had to be pre-cleared by the DOJ pursuant to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
As the pre-clearance review was going forward, the Presidential administrations changed. And now Barack Obama has denied pre-clearance. In other words, if the Georgia Secretary of State wishes to make sure people voting are citizens of the United States, she is going to have to sue the federal government.
Georgia’s Inspector General is presently investigation 30 different cases of non-citizens casting ballots in 2008′s federal elections in Georgia.
The verification process has raised flags on the attempts of 2,100 different people trying to register to vote in Georgia.
Secretary of State Karen Handel, in a statement released by her office, noted:
“DOJ has thrown open the door for activist organizations such as ACORN to register non-citizens to vote in Georgia’s elections, and the state has no ability to verify an applicant’s citizenship status or whether the individual even exists. DOJ completely disregarded Georgia’s obvious and direct interest in preventing non-citizens from voting, instead siding with the ACLU and MALDEF. Clearly, politics took priority over common sense and good public policy.”
Secretary Handel will talk about this and related matters at RedState’s August 1st gathering in Atlanta.
Yes, it is important to bring them to justice.
He live blogs Road improvements meetings at the County Courthouse, naturally.
Seriously, this is a trial run. I hope to be able to do this as an elected official. The newspaper and television stations can only do so much. I’m there and have to be, I might as well live blog so people who can’t be can still tune in and check out what’s going on.
I realize your mileage may vary as to the sarcasm and comments, but you’ll just have to get used to it. My thoughts are my own. You don’t like it, don’t vote for me.
You’ve probably heard a lot about the “Jena 6,” but I bet you haven’t heard the whole story.
I had dinner with Clarence Thomas tonight. What an amazing guy. And he has a great sense of humor. We laughed about George football.
Someone asked him what he thought about Joe Biden saying that after 16 years Biden was still glad he voted against Clarence Thomas. Thomas replied, “Make that two of us.”
He also said that he told Vice President Quayle at the time that Thomas expected a 50-50 tie with the VP casting the deciding vote. Quayle replied, “But you never came to lobby me.”
Justice Thomas had a lot of great stories and really spoke highly of the other Justices on the bench with him. He said he gets along with all of them and they regularly eat together at Sandra Day O’Connor’s insistence.
Also, his new book My Grandfather’s Son is a terrific read — and I really mean it. He wrote it himself. Unlike Greenspan, Justice Thomas said, he wrote the whole thing, not just the first and last draft.
I don’t even really know how to write this post. I didn’t get this way before Evelyn was born, but this had just about brought both Christy and me to tears several times. Our initial gut reaction was “fry her” and now not. What do you do.
A lady went to work at Coliseum Medical Center here in Macon last week and left her baby, her 6 month old, in the car. She was suppose to have taken her child to daycare — a center on the same grounds as her office. The baby was quiet. Asleep and silent and out of sight in the back seat and in the morning rush and yawns and recollections of collections of things to do, simply forgotten. The baby was found that afternoon dead in her car seat. What do you do. Not a question really, just a reaction to helplessness. What do you do.
The initial reaction is to blame the mother and string her up right then and there.
The problem is that this was a careless act, but it was not intentional. The mother only realized something was wrong when a friend who was suppose to pick her baby up from daycare called to say the baby wasn’t there. The mother got upset quick that something had happened to her child. Only when the police took her to her car did she collapse into convulsions, throwing up, laying in her vomit. Realizing what she had done to her own child.
It’s hard to write this. To imagine this. To think that this could be me or my wife. Don’t say it would not be you. Don’t say it would never happen to you. I can see myself, tired, overwhelmed, distracted, thinking about the day, doing something careless. I live petrified by the notion of unintentionally harming anyone, especially my child. It is a burden I could not bear.
So now what to do? The real question here. Justice and the law cry out for punishment – for deterrence. There is a victim, dead at that. There is a careless, negligent act. They’ve charged her with cruelty to children and felony murder.
The charges are, I think, necessary. Guilt is necessary. Guilt is obvious. But what of punishment?
That’s where my law and order sense of justice fails me in this revolting moment. She murdered her child. She clearly, I don’t think it will be disputed, she clearly did not mean to. Part of me thinks the greatest punishment is to spare her life and ensure she is unable to take it in the quiet time after all have forgiven her except herself.
I cannot imagine even the bare hint of a desire to live had I done such a thing. I pray I never have to. I pray for this lady, her family, and her child.
Surely Jesus wept when day turned to night.
This past Wednesday in the Telegraph, I believe David Corr, a local Libertarian, referenced me in a letter to the editor, in which he wrote, “Despite the claim of a City Council candidate that employees of the spas are sex slaves, no evidence or charges of slavery were made in the raids.” He’s right that there, to date, is no direct evidence that the women working at the spas in questions were slaves; nor have I ever made such an accusation. And it may very well be that there was nothing going on at these spas other than garden-variety prostitution, but Mr. Corr’s defense of free-market principles displays willfull naiveté to the overwhelming evidence that many of the women “participating” in the marketplace are not doing so voluntarily. Incidentally, when I wrote here that “people who make the libertarian argument” should “rethink their position,” it was precisely Mr. Corr’s name that first popped in my head.
Here again are facts worth considering. The U. S. Department of State reports that 17,500 human trafficking victims are brought into the United States each year, typically as part of the sex trade. The U.S. Department of Justice’s 2001 report entitled “Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States” states that the “U.S. military bases, especially in the South, replicate the sexual rest and recreation areas that proliferate near military bases abroad. This infrastructure of . . . massage parlors has been recreated here, with inordinate numbers of Asian women especially trafficked and exploited in the sex industries.” [Emphasis added]
The report, which identifies domestic human sex trafficking as a growing problem, goes on to show that one of the standard patterns and practices in the human trafficking industry is to smuggle women from Asia to the United States and force them to work in self styled spas and massage parlors. Likewise, the women, who are generally abused, are told horror stories that should they confess, they’ll be thrown into an American jail with conditions far worse than their present conditions.
Clayton County, Georgia, Atlanta, New York, Topeka, San Francisco, New Orleans, Orlando, and dozens of other cities and counties have broken up human trafficking rings that have a shared profile of Asian themed massage parlors and spas consistent with the Department of Justice’s profile.
We must consider the pattern and practice revealed by the Department of Justice and the Department of State, and the repeated breakups of human sex trafficking rings throughout this country, including here in Georgia. Recognizing that these criminal acts share many common factors — factors we see here in Macon — the least we should do in Macon, Georgia, 142 years after the legal abolition of slavery, is make sure this vile practice has not returned to our city. And I hope Mr. Corr will agree with me that if this is the case, we are morally obligated to pursue and prosecute with extreme prejudice those who traffic in the despair and pain of others for monetary gain.
I don’t know when this topic started interesting me. It really began sometime around June 2004, when my wife and I noticed the proliferation of Asian Spas in Macon. I blogged about it and rather promptly got threatened with a lawsuit for daring to suggest prostitution went on in any of these places.
Then I discovered my email friend Marlene Gaskill who went on a crusade in Gwinnett County against all the little spas that had cropped up. She had approached one and the proprietor would not let her in, telling her it was for men only. From there she got active and Gwinnett passed an ordinance requiring national certification for people who work in spas. A subsequent crackdown drove them out.
And they still proliferate in Macon. Every week there is a new billboard or a new business cropping up. Some may be legitimate, but people who make the libertarian argument that we should leave these places alone because they aren’t harming anyone really should rethink their position. Read more