Saturday, January 31, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Fiscal cliff, green energy issues loom

stevenson column sig 2

By
From page A9 | November 11, 2012 |

Let’s see if my writing improves since I’m using a laptop at home rather than a full-size PC at the office. It could be worse; I could be trying to write this while on Staten Island, where there’s no power whatsoever. On the other hand, if the second-time-around president – Barack Obama – has his way, we’ll all be struggling with green, or alternative, energy within a few years.

In the meantime, so-called “dirty” sources of power will be taxed at a higher rate. Did you notice the isolated expressions of joy among some environmentalists when the price of gasoline approached, or passed, $5 a gallon a few months ago?

Now for an even more serious topic: money. We know having every American pay his or her “fair share” has run in Obama’s blood ever since he began his political career. The line which Obama may or may not have regretted was, when he said in the middle of the campaign, “You didn’t build that.” The logic of that statement is intertwined with the president’s notion of paying your fair share, because, if you didn’t build the business on your own, you, of course, are not entitled to more than of your “fair share” of the profits.

What that fair share is will be up to the president and his liberal pals in Congress to decide. The fact that the House is still in control of the Republicans may slow down some of the more radical – at least in the eyes of the GOP – measures.

The tax measure that’s right in the bull’s eye has the nickname “taxmageddon” or “the fiscal cliff.” In a nutshell, lots of tax breaks will expire, including the FICA withholding. It could cost Americans tens of billions of dollars over the next few years, it seems – I say “seems,” because we’re not sure how many Democrats would like to see the whole panoply of taxes go up.

And if you’re a proponent of green energy for your transportation needs, you’ll be delighted to know that President Obama probably shares your philosophy. Has it bothered any of the greenies that Solyndra and its cohorts have gone bankrupt after getting hundreds of millions in taxpayers’ support? It may be that we’ve just seen the beginning of taxpayer support for alternative energy.

One striking clue to the president’s frame of mind is the immense rise in the number of people receiving food stamps. Even though the increase began under George Bush, most of the additional 15 million Americans – are they all Americans? – on the taxpayers’ dole were “invited by the Obama Administration.”

The argument between tax-raisers and tax-cutters is whether we can raise taxes without hurting job creation. That’s not to mention the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare, which may – or may not – raise the cost of medical care by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Certain aspects of Obamacare would only go into effect if an employer has 50 employees. Question: If you had 49 employees, would you want to raise your cost per employee by hiring that 50th worker?

Bud Stevenson, a stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]

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