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Cap & Trade, Taxes & COLA's
Old 10-18-2009, 08:20 AM   #1
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Cap & Trade, Taxes & COLA's

I wonder what the impact of Cap & Trade and all the new taxes (which will not hit anyone making less than $250K) will be on SS COLA's and pensions which have COLA's. Iwonder if SSA has figured these in yet (which I doubt they can before the are on the books)?

I know that for me, my utility costs are the largest fixed budget expense item other than the house payment. When I add in the projected 100% increase in utilities and potentially 100% plus on gasoline as well as say a 20% increase on spending to pay for the increased costs of the transportation & energy at my grocery store and pharmacy we are talking really big bucks.

The impacts on SS and pensions will be enormous. The impact to the subsidized housing allowances will have to rise as will the financial aid which is income based. Our communities will have increased energy expenses and will be looking to increase property taxes, as well as our institutions of higher learning increasing tuition.

It may well be the snowball from hell and forcing many across the nation to seek public assistance for the 1st time in their life.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:37 AM   #2
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(which will not hit anyone making less than $250K)
Actually, I think it's $200k for a single filer. The $250k applies to a married couple filing a joint return and is their combined income so two IT professionals each making $110k and with a portfolio throwing off $30.001k of taxable income would find themselves paying the increased tax rates.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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What's a few billions SS $ when it comes to catering to senior citizens that tend to vote? I doubt that we will hear not a peep of protest from any of our elected members of Congress (R or D).

After all, there's plenty money in the SS "trust fund" isn't there?
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:57 PM   #4
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(which will not hit anyone making less than $250K)
Luckily, only the very rich smoke cigarettes. Otherwise the 159% increase in cigarette taxes would hit other income levels.

I suspect the VAT that President Obama would like to implement would also hit the non-rich, although it would be a little less regressive. And I think that if it is implemented, it will have at least as much impact as the direct hits on SS and pensions. If it happens, the only thing I can think of to do is to hunker down, buy less, minimize your taxable income, and see what the environment is like when things settle down a bit. Either that or immigrate to Costa Rica.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
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I ran across a very good list of tax laws that will expire in 2009 and 2010. Hope this is useful for tax planning purposes.

Tax Credits for Auto, College, Home Buyers and Retirements Scheduled to Sunset - Thomson Reuters
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:54 AM   #6
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I wonder what the impact of Cap & Trade and all the new taxes (which will not hit anyone making less than $250K) will be on SS COLA's and pensions which have COLA's. Iwonder if SSA has figured these in yet (which I doubt they can before the are on the books)?

I know that for me, my utility costs are the largest fixed budget expense item other than the house payment. When I add in the projected 100% increase in utilities and potentially 100% plus on gasoline .....
I'm not sure where you got the "projected 100% increase ...." The US spends about $1 billion per day on electricity, and another $1 billion per day on gasoline/diesel/jet fuel. That's $730 billion per year. So that's also what a 100% tax would generate as federal revenue. I don't think we'd find those numbers in any budget forecasts.

Last I heard, the House was planning to give away virtually all the CO2 permits. For my planning, I'm assuming that the price of energy is going to go up due to supply/demand factors as the world economy improves. The the current cap-and-trade plans are small in comparison.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:00 PM   #7
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Last I heard, the House was planning to give away virtually all the CO2 permits.
Yup. Giving away 85% in the House bill and 75% in the Senate bill. Most of those give aways are targeted toward offsetting the cost impact of utility customers.

Besides, wouldn't price increases get factored in to a COLA (a.k.a. Cost of Living Adjustment)?
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:53 PM   #8
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Most consumers have a lot of savings available to them in simple energy efficiency. Where now-a-days many people won't go to the trouble of simple fixes, if energy costs more, they will.
I am prepared for a 50% increase in energy bills, but I am not expecting any over the next 3-7 years (beyond inflation)
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