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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 31, 2013/ 28 Teves, 5774

Not getting what we pay for

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In real life when you find yourself paying more and getting less, you usually search for another product or service. With the federal government, it isn't possible to take your business elsewhere unless you are prepared to give up your citizenship, as some have done. Such a drastic step is rejected by most of us because we still believe in the ideal that once was America, though not in the direction in which the country is currently headed.

At the end of the year comes a letter from the person who prepares my taxes. He wants me to know about changes in the tax law associated with Obamacare. It is written in a way that only people with a gift for foreign languages can understand. Here are some excerpts.

"Taxpayers Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 for couples filing jointly).

"(i) Subject to a Medicare payroll tax increase of .9 percent on earned income (e.g., wages and net self-employment income) above these amounts. Employers will pay 1.45 percent and employees will pay 1.45 percent on the first $200,000 and 2.35 percent (1.45 percent + .9 percent) on the amount over $200,000 (withheld by the employer). Some of this may be returned if the employee files jointly because the threshold on a joint return is $250,000. Self-employed will pay 2.9 percent on the first $200,000 of net income and 3.8 percent on the amount over $200,000 (or $250,000 if filing jointly)."

Are you still with me, or have you turned to the sports section? There's more.



"(ii) Subject to the new Medicare surtax of 3.8 percent on the lower of (a) your net investment income or (b) the amount that MAGI exceeds the $200,000/$250,000 amounts. Example: Steve and Alice file jointly: MAGI is $390,000 ($330,000 is wages and $60,000 is net investment income). Their wages exceed the $250,000 threshold by $80,000 and their MAGI exceeds $250,000 threshold by $140,000. They are subject to the Medicare payroll tax increase in the amount of $720 (.9 percent x $80,000). They are also subject to the Medicare surtax in the amount of $2,280 (3.8 percent x $60,000); note $60,000 is the lower of 'excess' MAGI ($140,000) and net investment income ($60,000)."

There's a second page of this, but why torture readers any further? Is this the kind of stuff a free people should put up with? What kind of twisted mind comes up with language and policies that college-educated and otherwise successful people can't understand? Even some people at the IRS have been notoriously unhelpful in answering questions about this foreign language known as the U.S. tax code, but if taxpayers get something wrong, they must still pay for their mistakes with a penalty and interest.

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There are many hidden and not-so-hidden taxes in Obamacare and elsewhere. Here's one part of my tax attorney's letter I do understand: "The top tax bracket is now 39.6 percent (up from 35 percent) [and] the capital gains rate and dividend rate may be increased to 20 percent (from 15 percent) plus the additional 3.8 percent Medicare surtax discussed above."

At least the guy has an ironic sense of humor. He concludes in bold letters: "Just another simplification of the Internal Revenue Code."

Here's my own attempt at dark humor. In our just concluded Christmas season, we recalled a different kind of Magi: wise men who came to worship and bring gifts to the Christ child. Now MAGI stands for Modified Adjusted Gross Income. How appropriate with a president who was called a messiah figure by some and to whom we are being forced to bring "gifts" in increasing amounts to be misspent on bloated and dysfunctional government.

There's only one way to fix this and it comes in the next two elections.

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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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