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There is another hidden time bomb in the ACA: if an individual or family applies for a subsidy to offset the difference between benefits paid by the ACA and their anticipated health care costs, the subsidy received is subject to review by the IRS following that tax year. If the calculated subsidy turns out to be less than the amount the family or individual has received, the excess amount must be REPAID IN FULL, not just taxed as ordinary income. It is doubtful that many recipients are aware of this irksome little detail, and will be extremely unhappy when they find out that they owe "back subsidies". Of course, this is in hindsight, as it is based on income reported for the tax year; for many people who work as contract labor or on a part-time basis, there is no way they can exactly project future income.
In response to:

Rand Paul’s Cluelessness on Cuba

TraderBill Wrote: Dec 27, 2014 11:30 AM
Humberto, thanks for a compelling and informative article. There is a lot about the embargo which Americans do not know and which justifies its staying in place.
As Margaret Thatcher once said, “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”
Keep in mind that, while this is a company listed on the S&P 500 with a market cap of slightly more than $20 billion, it is now also officially headquartered in the United Kingdom. Payback for moving offshore?
So, let's see if I understand this: For almost fifty years, the government has waged an anti-smoking campaign, telling the American public that inhaling smoke into one's lungs is a bad thing, leading to cancer, COPD, and other horrible illnesses. Now along comes "medical marijuana" (not sure how that differs from "illegal marijuana"). And the states which have permitted its sale and ingestion are telling its citizens, "Yes, it's OK to inhale smoke if you have a doctor's orders to do so." What's the difference?
In response to:

Income Inequality

TraderBill Wrote: Jan 16, 2014 10:24 AM
Income inequality, however the left defines it, is a product of "voodoo economics". There will always be inequities in earnings. I worked in sales for more than thirty years -- no guaranteed minimum, straight commission, and the income I earned was a direct result of the effort I put into my work. In many of those years, I made a very good living; other years were a struggle as the overall economy determined how much of the products or services I was selling were bought in the market place. I was college-educated, but little of that advanced learning did much for my daily work, only proving that I could sit in a lecture room chair for four years. The deception which the left continues to put forth is that the minimum wage must be raised in order to provide a "living wage" for the least skilled in our society. The question then is: why are these "least skilled" not performing better? The answer is that the great dumbing-down of America's students led to this widening inequity in income, and the left is also responsible for the lowering of the education bar. To cover that collapse, they insist on more money for those whom the education system has failed.
With the switch to more eco-friendly lighting products, I found it interesting that -- today -- I took some burned out 4-foot fluorescent lamps to my local Home Depot and was told they will NOT accept them. They'll take CFLs, but nothing else. Fortunately I live in a city where a recycling center operated by our municipal government will take them, but I wonder what happens to the folks who live in smaller towns which do not offer such services. They'll be stuck with them and, if one should break, they would still have to call a HAZMAT team -- or not tell anyone and just clean it up. Which do you think will happen? Thank you, environmental geniuses!
As a resident of Texas, but living about 200 miles west of Rep. Lee's district, I want to face east and scream at the voters in her district, "Get rid of this babbling idiot! You're making the rest of Texas look bad."
Once again, we're seeing the "establishment vs. tea party" comparison. On a recent conservative talk show, a caller accurately described the difference between the tea party and the establishment GOP as follows: Suppose you are at a major league baseball game. Down in the sun-drenched bleachers is a group of fans who can quote each player's stats, their team's standing in the league, the details of the opposing team's lineup including its strengths and weaknesses, and the rules of the game. These are the folks who go to the concession stand, buy the hot dogs, nachos, soft drinks and beer. They root unabashedly for the home team and cheerfully clean up after themselves when the game is over and they are departing the stadium. Meanwhile, another group is in the air conditioned luxury box, chatting among themselves and occasionally looking at the scoreboard to see which team is ahead. During the game, they go back to the bar to order their double martinis, willing to miss two or three at-bats for the sake of immersing themselves in the heady social atmosphere which exists there, with only the overhead TV sets providing any clue as to where they might be. This group is the establishment GOP. The tea party members are the folks in the bleachers. With whom would you rather hang out?
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