America has a history of being known as a bastion of economic development and innovation. We have been known for what we produce, and the pride that we take in producing it. But we have veered away from being known as a producer and have instead become a nation of consumers — especially in regards to the one product that we depend on most, our energy.
The primary cause of our increasing dependence on foreign nations to meet U.S. energy demands is our own government policies. It is largely the shifts in tax code, the burdensome regulations, and the government red tape that have made it more difficult to develop our energy resources in a way that will allow us to lessen our dependency on our adversaries abroad.
Constant changes and increases in energy tax policy like the recent proposals to change the application of tax code Section 199 and the elimination of the dual capacity tax credit for members of the American energy industry are prime examples of what is making it so difficult to achieve energy independence.
Section 199 of the tax code allows businesses to utilize tax deductions for business expenses. A wide range of businesses in the United States benefit from this deduction, but the Obama administration is seeking to exclude American energy producers from benefiting from this provision. By doing this, President Obama is not only undermining one of the largest and most economically productive industries in the United States but is creating the very same high energy prices for which he attempts to blame our American energy producers.
Yet another punitive tax measure facing American energy companies is the elimination of the dual capacity tax credit. This specific credit allows American-based businesses that earn income overseas to pay taxes once, rather than having to pay taxes to both the nation where the income was earned as well as to the U.S. In short, it ensures that American companies are not double-taxed.
Taking away the ability of U.S. energy producers to utilize the dual capacity credit would not only cost an estimated 637,000 U.S. jobs, but would increase America’s reliance on foreign nations to meet our increasing energy needs. The dual capacity tax credit is a means of preserving a level playing field for American companies’ when competing with their international counterparts. By eliminating the dual capacity tax credit, President Obama would be giving our foreign competitors the upper hand in the global energy market.
Passing these measures will increase the tax burden on American energy companies, create greater unemployment, and will prolong economic recovery. The repeal of the dual capacity tax credit alone would cost the American economy 637,000 jobs (American Energy Alliance) and over the next 10 years will decrease household earnings by nearly $35 billion.
The bottom line is that if we want our economy to recover, if we want to once again be known as the bastion on economic development, and it we want to create jobs, we cannot continue to allow President Obama and his allies in Congress to continue to tie down American producers and job creators in red tape and tax increases.
Rep. Doug Kary
Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:18
I was saddened when I heard that Andy Griffith died. I never used to miss his show when I was a kid. He was a REAL role model for many young people like myself.
Now, the TV shows are about sex, violence, homosexuality, liberalism, anti-Americanism, anti-Christianism, pro-abortionism, etc. Everything except something wholesome and decent for kids to emulate.
They insult your intelligence with shows that say something stupid, and play the laugh machine as if something was funny. I can’t stand to watch this garbage. I usually watch the news, which although it’s controlled by the Democratic party, is informative – if you watch it objectively. And, keep in mind it’s mostly liberal propaganda.
I wish the kids today had a good decent wholesome TV show to watch, like the “Andy Grifffith Show.” I don’t know of one. That is sad.
Andy, may you rest in peace. But, we need you now more than ever.
“Conservative Bill” Ackerley
Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:17
Oh, the things we read or hear. In the Quarterly Medical Review, May 17 Outpost, it seems dirt may be good for you. We all know farmers and gardeners love playing in dirt and get some relaxation and health benefits from it.
In the early 1960s, several farmers had dairy cows, sold cream butter and sometimes milk to meet monthly expenses. Those who milked cows were immune to one of the poxes — either chicken or small — cannot remember which. They were exposed to cow pox in the hand milking process, producing an immunity. In the 1970s, “Organic Gardening” had articles against the processing of raw vegetables as they lose nutrients in cooking.
Heard on the radio recently, a study found children in Europe raised on farms had fewer allergies than their town neighbors. Another study found rice RNA in some Asian patients’ livers that attached itself to cancer cells.
Cows lick their noses to get bacteria that help the enzymes digest food in their stomach(s). In our sterile, germ-free environments, are we not creating more problems?
Babies need the bacteria in breast milk. We build up immunity by getting vaccinations or shots of virus, flu and all the childhood bugs. Yet, we can’t be exposed to nature’s enzymes, microbes, bacteria or germs.
I would love to get my hands on raw whole milk, real cream and raw fruits and vegetables.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 23:14
I just received a rebate check in the mail. Why?
Because the 80/20 rule in the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, requires that health insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of their premiums on health care services. Since my insurance company spent only 77 percent in 2011, it must rebate 3 percent of its $26 million of collected premiums back to its customers. The headline for this pleasant surprise should be “Act Already Actually Acting!”
This 80/20 “Medical Loss Ratio” rule is one component of many in the health reform law that earns a high public approval rating. The more that people learn about this legislation, the higher the approval ratings go. A friend just received a preventative care procedure at next to no cost. A neighbor’s daughter, a recent college graduate, can stay on her parents’ plan for a few more years. People with preexisting conditions cannot be turned away, and insurance companies cannot arbitrarily set upper limits on coverage. Millions of people are getting help with their prescription drug expenses. The list goes on.
Eight times as much money was spent demonizing the ACA than was spent promoting it. However, now that we are getting past “death panels,” “socialism,” and “unconstitutional” nonsense, the poll numbers are shifting dramatically. Dennis Rehberg’s claim that the ACA is a threat to Medicare is absurd! His claim is a ruse to deceive senior citizens. Indeed, if he and his ilk had their way, Medicare, Social Security, and every progressive advance of the past two centuries would be compromised – if not eliminated – along with the ACA.
The individual mandate aspect of the ACA was originally a conservative think-tank idea designed to promote personal responsibility. It is the centerpiece of Romneycare in Massachusetts. Now conservatives are railing against it as “a massive tax hike on the middle class.” What hypocrisy!
First of all, the tax is not massive. Second, it’s a payment for which people will receive decent health care coverage. Third, very few citizens will have to pay the so-called tax at all. Finally, tax credits and federal assistance will offset the cost of coverage for those who desperately need help.
The Republican slogan to “repeal and replace” is hollow. THE GOP has no replacement plan. Never did. Never will. Without the ACA, the costs to provide many millions of uninsured with medical treatment would just continue to trickle down to everyone else. So, I’ll toss this bone to the GOP: YOUR TRICKLE-DOWN THEORY DOES WORK – IN THIS CASE.
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 23:13
Still fresh on everybody’s mind, I would like to extend a big thank you to the Billings community, the many volunteers we had, and the crew that helped us load, unload and assist our 97 veterans on the inaugural Big Sky Honor Flight.
It was a quick two-day trip, but the excitement and many stories I heard from the World War II veterans were priceless! This was truly a trip of a lifetime for these veterans who have waited so long to be thanked for a job well done in WWII.
As I mentioned, our helpers, escorts and medical staff did so much to make the trip wonderful. From loading and unloading 60 wheelchairs at every stop, checking oxygen and taking care of all that was needed, the assistance was tremendous. Also, Tom Binford, airport staff and the Traffic Safety Administration did an exceptional job in seeing that everything went smoothly.
Last, but not least, I want to thank the board members who, since October of last year, have attended meeting after meeting to line up our first Big Sky Honor Flight, job well done!
But our job is not done yet. We still have two, three, four and possibly five flights to take all eligible WWII veterans and terminally ill veterans from all wars back to Washington, D.C., to see the WWII Memorial.
Once again I’m asking for your help. We have raised just over $100,000 for the second flight and will be able to make reservations for a plane, but still need help. If you would like to donate, have a fund-raiser, or help in any other way, please contact us at www.bigskyhonorflight.org. We would love to talk to your group and are doing everything we can to let people know how important this is to our veterans.
Feel free to contact me or members of the BSHF Board. Once again, thanks everyone for your prayers and support!
Yellowstone County Commissioner
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 23:12
Now that the Supremes have decreed Obamacare legal, Nancy Pelosi’s words are never more relevant – “Pass the [2,900 page] bill so you can find out what’s in it.” So, what IS in it?
1. One of the largest tax increases in history – 21 separate tax increases and new taxes, 75 percent of which hit the middle class and $500 billion in total tax hikes. Examples: the individual mandate (2.5 percent times gross income); employer mandate ($3,000 per employee); investment income surtax (3.8 percent); Medicare payroll tax hike; medical device sales tax; tax on high-end health plans; insurance premiums tax.
These tax increases when the private sector is already struggling are reason alone for Americans to reject Obamacare. But the tax hikes are only one class of multiple problems with Obamacare.
2. Reduced choices in the variety of insurance coverage available. Leftwing, politically correct mandated coverages based on what D.C. bureaucrats feel must be included in YOUR insurance. Another bureaucrat panel tells doctors what types of care won’t be allowable.
3. Higher cost because of all the new coverages mandated into every policy. Slanted news coverage mentions only trivial objectionable mandates like birth control, but some estimates indicate all mandates combined could double insurance costs. How is this controlling health care costs?
4. Complete loss of economic freedom by forcing you to participate in this snake oil scam – you MUST buy this pork-laden insurance at a pork-laden price.
5. To pay for Obamacare, $500 billion stolen from a Medicare system that’s already broken. Many seniors will see Medicare premiums increase substantially to keep Medicare solvent.
6. A whole new class of serfs – co-dependents on the government dole; receiving government subsidies to help pay these monstrous insurance bills. With the phased-in cutoff at 400 percent of the poverty level ($92,200), most Montanans are now on the government dole. Government won’t pay all the cost of your health insurance – just enough to make you subservient, and quiet, and compliant.
7. One of the biggest government spending programs in history, $1.2 trillion, when we’re already on the verge of bankrupting our children’s future. Including all unfunded liabilities, total federal debt is now $135 trillion. that’s $1.2 million per taxpayer in the entire country.
8. As government-run, economically socialized countries continue to collapse and face financial crisis worldwide, D.C. geniuses have just converted one-sixth of the U.S. economy from the free market system (which produced the greatest medical advances in human history) over to government command-and-control, which punishes productive, healthy people to subsidize those who produce less and consume more on the government dole.
Result – less productivity. America will be one-sixth less productive than it was, and our children and grandchildren will be one-sixth poorer for our stupidity. To quote the genius-in-chief, “We live in the greatest nation in the history of the world … . I hope you’ll join with me, as we change it.”
How did we get here? Insurance companies cut a deal with the D.C. devil. They got government to guarantee them customers through compulsory insurance laws, and they traded off your freedom of choice.
You paid for all sides of this insurance company-big government windfall. Your politicians and new government healthcare provider have just committed political malpractice on a catastrophic scale.
Last Updated on Friday, 20 July 2012 10:11