A Peek at the Upcoming “Stimulus” Plan

As you may have heard, Washington is all abuzz about a “stimulus plan” to try to keep the economy from making this a less comfortable .

The plan isn’t final yet, but it looks to be coalescing in that dangerously bipartisan way. One of the elements of the plan may prove to be very interesting to low-income tax resisters:

In , taxes would be cut from 10 percent to zero percent on the first $6,000 dollars of taxable income for individual taxpayers and the first $12,000 of taxable income for couples.

In order to get the stimulus off-the-ground quickly, the government won’t be encouraging everyone to modestly adjust their W-4 withholding to take advantage of this, or to wait until to get a nice refund — instead, they’ll be sending out “prefunds.” These will be based on the income and the number of children you indicated in your tax return for last year.

(I’m guessing here, but I think you’ll then need to subtract the total of this prefund from whatever the IRS owes you in , or add it to whatever you owe them then.)

If this plan goes through as described, low-income tax resisters will be able to earn much more, even without having to do any fancy stuff like putting money in tax-deferred accounts. For instance, a single person with no kids could earn $14,950 in Adjusted Gross Income this year without owing any income tax — without having to qualify for any tax credits at all.

I’ll have to do the math, but this may make the plan I’ve followed for the last five years — lowering my Adjusted Gross Income to around $15,000 with various deductions and applying for the Retirement Savings Tax Credit — superfluous.

Paul Craig Roberts at AntiWar.com found a doozie of a quote that may be the “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” of our era.

It comes from a report to NATO by several heavyweights:

General John Shalikashvili, the former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff and Nato’s ex-supreme commander in Europe, General Klaus Naumann, Germany’s former top soldier and ex-chairman of Nato’s military committee, General Henk van den Breemen, a former Dutch chief of staff, Admiral Jacques Lanxade, a former French chief of staff, and Lord Inge, field marshal and ex-chief of the general staff and the defence staff in the UK

The report urges NATO to change the rules to make it easier for the organization to launch military strikes, without having to pay attention to the United Nations or the European Union, or even having to achieve consensus within NATO itself. This because the world is full of terrible new threats — like the possible spread of weapons of mass destruction — that make all the old restraints obsolete and yadda yadda yadda.

Here’s the quote:

“The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

If only these guys had been on the job when we were trying to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq! We wouldn’t have to worry about pacifying Baghdad today, that’s for sure.