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Lynne, I can't believe you actually wrote: "The small business owner, by the way, is truly the only group of Americans who have a real health insurance problem." Are you that detached from your fellow Americans? Have you ever even talked to one of the millions of Americans WITHOUT health insurance at all? Jeez, it seems a bit insulting to me when you claim you're the worst off when many people can't even get treatment.
Let's stay on that subject, shall we? Do you know that John McCain wants to tax your insurance premiums? Right now, the health care premiums an employer pays are tax deductible. For example: Let's say a company employs 10 people, and all of them are insured. The average health insurance for a family is $12,000 a year, so the employer pays $120,000 for their health insurance. Since the McCain camp claims that all small business have profits of more than $250K because they would be hurt by the Obama tax plan, let's assume the company marginal tax rate is 35%, so the employer pays $120,000, but gets a $42,000 tax break.
Fast forward to a McCain presidency: The employer tax deduction disappears (i.e., the premiums are now taxed). This small employer suddenly pays $42,000 a year more for the employee health insurance. To counteract, the employees get a $5,000 tax credit. What is going to happen? The employer (with some justification) says: No, they get $5,000 from the government, and I have to pay more? That's BS. No more health insurance for my employees.
Next thing you see is 10 people trying to find health insurance on their own with $5,000 in their pockets. What do you think will happen if they find out that it costs them $12,000 to buy health insurance. meantime the employer enjoys an additional profit of $70,000 or so because he does not have to pay for health insurance anymore.
John McCain's health care policy is not only worse for employees, it will also hurt employers. Before McCain, Employer pays $120K for premiums and a tax deduction of $42K. Net cost to employer $78K. Net cost to employee: 0.
After McCain: the $120K are considered income for the employees and the employer must withhold employment taxes, 15.3%. Half of that will be paid by employer, half by the employee. 15.3% of $120K is about $18,360. Since the employer pays half of that, the McCain plan makes health insurance about $9K more expensive for the employer.
Conclusion: If health care costs are indeed a problem for your small business, Lynne, the problem will be exacerbated by McCain's health care plan.
I agree with CB. Costs will not be passed on. First of all, Amendment 58 would pull the severance tax in Colorado in line with the other energy states (Wyoming and New Mexico currently have higher severance tax rates than CO). If a Colorado company wants to raise their prices like Amendment 58 opposition contends, they could not compete with other companies in the west. The fact is prices on oil are set by OPEC and prices on natural gas are set on the national commodities market. This was proven when Wyoming increased it severance tax. Oil and gas companies most definitely did not flee the state.
Time for the oil and gas industry to play on a level playing field. Yes on 58.
I officially stand corrected, cforevereyz. Thanks for pointing that out. But that's the only point in my post that invalid. (And I will still bet that this November even Moffat County votes less Republican than in any other recent elections).
We still have someone in the fossil fuel industry that's voting for this "evil environmentalist" Udall. Rural Coloradoans on the Western Slope are voting for Salazars and Udalls. Don't you think that's a testament to the GOP needing to change their tactics? Isn't the fact that Republicans are losing ground in the west evidence that many rural westerners have soured on the Republican party?
I completely understand if Udall's views aren't in sync with your own. But just realize that it sure looks like your views aren't in sync with many rural Americans in the west.
Whoa. Mr. Lehmann is a man who makes his living off fossil fuels. I'm not sure, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I would bet he's not a registered Democrat. Thanks for your honesty, Mark.
Stand aside neocon dinosaurs. Even Moffat County folks get it. Republicans are looking at catastrophic losses in a couple weeks. The party better retool, and quickly. I actually feel sorry for many Republicans. They voted for the moderate McCain and instead got the same Rove campaign and the same old fear and smear. If party "leaders" don't get a major message this November, they're completely blind. The GOP needs to return to its roots.
Claudia, $18 billion in earmarks IS small potatoes--less than 1% of our total budget. How is this a strategy to reverse a trillion dollar deficit? We spend that much in Iraq in less than two months. $18 billion a year in earmarks and $120 billion a year in Iraq. I find it truly funny that you push cutting less than 1% of our total budget as a solution for out of control spending. Sounds like you're falling for a distraction to me.
So McCain is proposing to cut a measly $18 billion, and has said several times that he doesn't think anyone should pay more taxes. Excuse me? What fantasy land do McCain and the Republicans live in where taxes aren't a necessary part of running a government? Guess he just plans on borrowing more money from China, which is exactly how Bush is paying for his hobbies. I'd rather hear an honest assessment of what we need to do in order pay for our own expenses instead of contending a government doesn't need tax dollars and continuing to pretend we can make everyone happy.
Hey bigrred1576, how are you proposing that the State of Colorado pay for thousands of miles of 8' elk fence? Are you offering as a taxpayer to pay for that endeavor?
Patrick: I'm not saying environmentalists don't hold up timber harvests, and I'm not even saying I agree with them. I think harvest is warranted in some situations. What I am saying is that your point is off base pinning the beetle problem on lack of harvest. I would agree that a clear-cut forest won't have any bark beetles, and that the dead timber should be used in some situations. However, forests have been healthy before humans starting cutting a lot of trees. There's no logic to your radical argument. There are many other more important factors (Hint: It starts with "F" and has an "I" and "R" and "E" in it. You might have heard of it even though your letters never mention it except for that it's used by hippies to light a bong.)
Still waiting for your response about how high energy prices are Dem's fault. This is the theme of every one of your letters. Can you flesh that out for us? Also very curious about what you think about the supply and demand issues I raised. You continually contend that our problems will go away (or at least get better) with more domestic drilling. Can you use some factual information to show how that will happen?
I appreciate your opinions and like that people are thinking about these issues. If you want to frame a legitimate argument, you shouldn't just repeat what you hear without providing some critical thought and analysis.
Patrick, I'll dance with you any time. However, let's base our arguments on some factual information, shall we? You make several statements just in this short letter that are not supported by logic or facts.
1) You claim that:
"I didn't hear any liberals complaining about bio fuel and all the water that it used."
I think maybe you do too much writing and not enough reading, Patrick. I know of several articles off the top of my head written by "liberal environmentalists" that denounce corn ethanol. Check these out:
When even High Country News is on record against ethanol, you know your statement is way off base.
2) You claim that:
"We didn't hear about the pine beetles killing all the trees because of massive over-growth from lack of harvesting."
The way I read this, you are inferring that the cause of the pine beetle outbreak is lack of harvesting. Am I correct? If so, please answer this question: How in the heck did our forests get by before humans were around the cut them? Why didn't they all die off due to bark beetles before we started cutting down forests in the west in the 1900s?
3) You claim that:
"In fact, after gas prices have passed $4 a gallon because of heavy restrictions and regulations on drilling, you're out of credibility."
Answer me this: What heavy restrictions and regulations are you referring to? The COGCC rulemaking JUST passed last week. Gas has gone up DESPITE NO CORRESPONDING INCREASE IN RESTRICTIONS. Republicans like to place the blame on "liberal environmentalists" for rising gas prices, but this is nothing more than Rove/Limbaugh talking points with no factual evidence to back it up. This assertion is completely unfounded. Tell me when liberal environmentalists have had any political power besides the last few years.
Additionally, areas available for oil and gas development have INCREASED in the last few years in Colorado, not decreased. The Roan Plateau is now open, and the Vermillion Basin soon will be also. What areas have been put off limits since gas prices have gone up?
After you address those points, address this whopper: There are more drill rigs running now in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, etc than EVER BEFORE. Colorado broke a record in 2007 for most Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) than any other year, and we're on track to break that record in 2008. So again Patrick, if domestic supply is increasing, WHY AREN'T PRICES DECREASING?
I do have answers/opinions to these questions, but I'd like you to take a shot first. Then we can start on your other letters. Thanks for dancing. Your turn to lead.
Easy, bro. Don't bust a nut just thinking about Lolo. You must be single in Craig. Don't lick the TV, my man.
George: You're not related to Patrick Germond, are you? Long lost brother or something like that? You two should tag team a letter next Saturday.
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