Friday, April 11, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

Get ready to pay some taxes. Especially you poor people! Excerpt and graph from Tuesday's Opinion page of the WSJ - "The Coming Tax Bomb" by John F. Cogan and R. Glenn Hubbard:

The tax code changes enacted in 2001 and 2003 are scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. If they do, statutory marginal tax rates will rise across the board; ranging from a 13% increase for the highest income households to a 50% increase in tax rates faced by lower-income households. The marriage penalty will be reimposed and the child credit cut by $500 per child. The long-term capital gains tax rate will rise by one-third (to 20% from 15%) and the top tax rate on dividends will nearly triple (to 39.6% from 15%). The estate tax will roar back from extinction at the same time, with a top rate of 55% and an exempt amount of only $600,000. Finally, the Alternative Minimum Tax will reach far deeper into the middle class, ensnaring 25 million tax filers in its web.

What will President Obama say in his 2012 re-election campaign? Will he blame Bush for not extending the tax cuts further? Will he tell the burdened tax payers to have more hope? Will he explain that these taxes make it possible for the 15-month wait for a taxpayer-paid hip replacement? Or will he convey the tried-and-true commie line: "just a few more years of sacrifice and we'll have the Utopia we've dreamed of!"? Pay a high tax rate? Yes we can!

Michael Yon says "Let's 'Surge' Some More" in his WSJ opinion article today:

As the outrages of Abu Ghraib faded in memory – and paled in comparison to al Qaeda's brutalities – and our soldiers under the Petraeus strategy got off their big bases and out of their tanks and deeper into the neighborhoods, American values began to win the war.

Iraqis came to respect American soldiers as warriors who would protect them from terror gangs. But Iraqis also discovered that these great warriors are even happier helping rebuild a clinic, school or a neighborhood. They learned that the American soldier is not only the most dangerous enemy in the world, but one of the best friends a neighborhood can have.
Precisely because we have made so much political progress in the past year, rather than talking about force reduction, Congress should be figuring ways and means to increase troop levels. For all our successes, we still do not have enough troops. This makes the fight longer and more lethal for the troops who are fighting.

Our thoughts exactly! The US wins every time it takes the fight to the enemy. Should we accept the premise from the other enemy - the Democrats - that the only options are to retain troop strength, or reduce?

Speaking of the 'other' enemy, Michael Reagan responds to the latest Petraeus visit to congress in his Townhall article, "Congressional Democrats: The Other Insurgents":

There must have been times when Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker thought they were back in embattled Sadr City when they faced Democrats on Capitol Hill this week -- no Iraqi insurgents or al Sadr militiamen could have been more hostile.

No wonder. The goals of the Democrats and both al Qaeda and al Sadr insurgents are the same: the defeat of the United States in the war in Iraq.
If we had listened to the defeatist Democrats there wouldn't be 175,000 trained Iraqi soldiers, 379,000 trained Iraqi police, 90,000 trained Sons of Iraq, and you wouldn't have Maliki, a Shia leader, sending his military into Basra to fight Shia militias.

Instead, al Sadr would be running Iraq with the help of Iran, and bin Laden would be using Iraq as a training base for al Qaeda.