Chain emails have become the hip new way to spread lies and disinformation to voters. They are typically inspired by carefully constructed stories quietly published, and spread quickly from the naive to trusting friends and relatives. A recent chain I heard of describes a devastating tax imposed by ObamaCare on “middle class families” that is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013. The excise tax on unearned income amounts to 3.8% and does take effect on January 1, 2013. Below is what House Republicans said about this tax on their website.
Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income of “high-income” taxpayers which could apply to proceeds from the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income, depending on your individual circumstances and any capital gains tax exclusions. Importantly, the “high income” thresholds are not indexed for inflation so will reach increasing numbers of middle-class taxpayers over time.
In February 2010, 5.02 million homes were sold, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). On any given day, the sale of a house, townhome, condominium, co-op, or income from a rental property could slam middle-income families with a new tax they can’t afford.
This new ObamaCare tax is the first time the government will apply a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income. This new tax on home sales and unearned income and other Medicare taxes raise taxes more than $210 billion to pay for ObamaCare. The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income “destructive” and “ill-advised” and warned it would hurt job creation.
The missive contains the preferred key words that conservatives have taken to using when trying to smear anything; middle class, middle-income families, and “hurt job creation”. Especially irritating are the quotation marks around “high income”, as if folks earning more than $200,000 per year are not, in fact, high income earners. In the fantasy world of the conservative hierarchy, folks making that kind of cheddar are “normal” and “productive”. Apparently, judging by their policy proposals, the GOP believes that couples earning $60,000 per year (like a cop and a schoolteacher, or a roofer and a clerk) are “unproductive” because they aren’t “job-creators”.
To reinforce their fantasy, the notice is carefully and deliberately constructed to mislead working class folks about who speaks for their interests, but it does do the world a favor by perfectly illustrating why conservatism is so bad for the United States:
In what world do you live in, Mr. or Mrs. John Q. Conservative, that you believe that a family earning $250,000 (or an individual earning $200,000) is in the “middle class”?
How many of you know people that earn those incomes? Your doctor might earn that kind of money, as might an attorney, and even the occasional high end engineer. These are the classes of jobs that are likely to face higher taxes under our current president, but it is unlikely that any of the proposed or enacted tax hikes would, in the parlance of the House Republicans, “slam (any) families…”
Thankfully, the National Association of Realtors have crafted an honest assessment and explanation of the tax to ensure that its membership are well-informed. This document, which I have linked here, explains the technical realty of the tax in plain English, as well as displaying several easy to follow examples of how the tax would affect real people…wealthy or otherwise.
We all see chain emails, hear internet rumors, are struck by random and shocking Facebook postings, and are subject to inflammatory television ads on an hourly basis. The Rational Middle thinks it vital to the future of this democracy that citizens automatically assume the information shared is questionable, and do their level best to seek the true facts. But most of us don’t have time, so if you see or hear something that raises your antennae, let The RM know on Facebook or by commenting directly on the site. We will do our level best to find the information relevant to the story, and share the facts (whatever they are). As always, The RM tries to avoid other blogs and news services whenever possible, and go directly to source.
The Rational Middle is listening…