The Memory of an Elephant

Something Obama can’t profess to own.  Seems he’s gotten a little forgetful.  Recall that in his pre-Super Bowl TV interview, he observed that “I didn’t raise taxes once.  I lowered taxes over the last two years.”

Oh really?  What about some of those goodies in last year’s health care “reform measure,” including:

  • The $27 billion “fee” on drug companies
  • The $20 billion levy on medical device manufacturers
  • The 0.9% increase in Medicare taxes which hits individuals in 2013
  • The 3.8% Medicare surtax on unearned income of individuals also coming in 2013

Maybe Barack needs some Ginkgo to get his recollection refreshed.

Not to mention his more recent tax increase efforts – why just this week, Mr.

President revealed a plan to help out beleaguered state unemployment funds.  In yet another “just charge ’em a little more” plan, Obama would increase (starting in 2014) the wage base on which companies pay unemployment taxes – to $15,000 (more than doubling the present base which has been around since 1983).

Meanwhile, as the Dems keep coming up with tax increase proposals, their minions in the IRS keep dreaming up new ways to collect yesteryear’s revenues.  Take f’rinstance the recent revelation from IRS Commish Shulman that a new deadline has been established (August 31, 2011) in connection with the latest “voluntary disclosure program” becoming available to folks with offshore financial accounts.

“If we find you, you face harsher penalties and the possibility of jail time,” quoth Shulman.  “If you come in voluntarily, you pay a steep price but avoid going to jail.”

Nice.

Since the last such program was so successful (producing some $400 million in revenues in 2009), why not try again?  Under the latest proposal, folks who fess up would pay back taxes, interest, and penalties for as many as the past eight years, plus an additional whack of up to 25% of the highest annual amount in the foreign account(s) from 2003 through 2010.

Shulman notes that the IRS expected some 1,000 folks to fess up in connection with the 2009 program.  The actual number was closer to 15,000!

And as we head toward Presidents’ Day (formerly known as the respective birthdays of Washington and Lincoln) we offer the following in the interest of providing some equal time in reference to other luminaries whose birthdays annually consume an inordinate amount of attention, in our view.

One author labeled George Washington “a Man of Monuments.”  From

Mount Rushmore to the majestic obelisk in our nation’s capital, he is

honored by so many markers that no actual count of them exists.  And

monuments are the least of it.  The face on the dollar bill, paintings and

prints without number, buildings where he slept, books too numerous for

any one person to read, places and people named for him–the list of

tributes to George Washington is endless.

(George Washington and Benedict Arnold – A Tale of Two Patriots, by

Dave R. Palmer)

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR – This article contains general information about various tax matters.  You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation.

Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno.  He is also a contributor to the recently published 14th edition of Tax Savvy for Small Business, published by Nolo.  He can be reached at 831-7288, and welcomes comments below.