While it may be a little late to wish you a Happy New Year, we here at 60 Plus nonetheless hope you and your family are off to a great 2015. With a new GOP majority on Capitol Hill, this next year will be critical in determining whether our nation changes course from the disastrous and reckless policies of the White House.

Important issues on energy, taxes, healthcare and budget priorities will occupy headlines throughout the year. We at 60 Plus, with the help of great supporters like you, will remain in the middle of these battles, to help America return to strength and prosperity, and remember and renew the principles of the U.S. Constitution we so dearly honor and cherish.

In this issue:

  • Obama Announces Taxes Too Low, Government Too Small
  • The Answer Ain’t Blowin’ in the Wind
  • Sony Hack Raises Importance of Cyber Security for Seniors
  • Obama Wants to Double the Death Tax
  • Pat Boone Strikes Again

 

Obama Announces Taxes Too Low, Government Too Small

Fewer and fewer people are tuning in each year to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address, with viewership of the event now at a 15 year low. Perhaps Americans have adopted a New Year’s resolution to not waste their time or be insulted. Obama has abused the annual address to the nation by repeatedly ignoring the immense damage his policies have inflicted on the country, taking credit for policies which he opposed, and making an art of condemning behavior he and his Administration have mastered.

This year was, of course, no different. Obama trumpeted a great economy, ignoring the historically low work force rate, falling wages and rampant financial insecurity. He took credit for lower gas prices putting hundreds of dollars back in Americans’ pockets, even though he has actively opposed drilling and openly praised higher gas prices in the past. He crowed about lower deficits, as he remains on track to add more to the national debt than all 43 of his predecessors combined. And he lectured America on civility, speaking to a Congress he routinely vilifies. And that was just an appetizer.

And despite the fact that the government tax revenues have never been higher, he called for massive tax increases to fund child care programs, free college education and extended paid leave. Said 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin, “The bottom line of the State of the Union is Obama believes that taxes are too low and government is too small!

Continued Martin, “It’s understandable that the President would want to give himself a pat on the back. After what happened to his party and his policies last November, he certainly needs some encouragement. But America has already rejected his prescriptions of bigger government, more taxes and more meddling in the private sector and with state prerogatives.

“After six years Obama presides over a record low labor force, more Americans living inpoverty, stagnant wages, record Americans on food stamps, and the weakest recovery in history. He somehow managed to call this ‘a good thing,’ so it’s no surprise his vision continues to consist of higher taxes and more government, even as revenue flowing to the U.S. Treasury has never been higher. And despite his spin on Obamacare, a vast majority of Americans still wish for its repeal.

“Americans time and again have rejected Obama’s big-government solutions, which far from aiding our recovery have only prolonged stagnation. Thankfully, Americans had better things to do than tune in this year to be lied to and have their intelligence insulted.”

The Answer Ain’t Blowin’ in the Wind

Many years ago Bob Dylan famously sang “the answer is blowing in the wind,” but it’s a safe bet the question wasn’t about the best way to power an electric guitar. Electricity derived from wind turbines remains to this day immensely inefficient, unreliable and expensive, but far-left environmentalists love it, as do wealthy investors who use them for tax breaks.

For years fiscally minded lawmakers have fought a losing battle against wind subsidies, renewed every five years or so through something called the Protection Tax Credit (PTC), funded by the overworked American taxpayer.

Wind energy has already received $18 billion in subsidies from Washington, and if lobbyists are successful in having the PTC re-enacted, billions more of our tax dollars will find their way into the pockets of Washington’s political cronies, leaving the rest of us to pay the tab.

Said 60 Plus President Amy Frederick, “Taxpayer subsidies for wind energy, frankly, make little sense to support. After 20 years of subsidies and promotion from Washington, wind energy is still extremely expensive, and unfeasible for the vast majority of Americans. Meanwhile, it plays a significant role in increasing electric bills for residents of states with wind as part of their energy mix, as consumers are essentially forced to purchase it once Washington funds it. For states forced to use wind energy, electric bills have increased four times higher than those without.”

But it does provide a nice source of income for lobbyists and wealthy investors. As billionaire Warren Buffet said, “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

That’s the story of wind energy in a nutshell: average working Americans are having billions of their tax dollars siphoned by Washington for the privilege of seeing their electric bills skyrocket, all so people with private jets can get a tax break from Uncle Sam. No wonder lawmakers do their best to hide this issue from the public.

Sony Hack Raises Importance of Cyber Security for Seniors

The attack on Sony, courtesy of North Korean-sponsored computer terrorists, was one of the biggest media stories to end 2014. Salacious information pulled from private emails was leaked to the press, who dutifully reported the embarrassing details of individuals’ private correspondence, not to mention various trade secrets, business plans and valuable intellectual property.

This was extremely disappointing, not just because the media aided and abetted a serious crime against an American business, but also for the journalistically negligent act of burying the lead. Last year saw a series of massive data breaches to JP Morgan, Target and Home Depot, to name a few of the more prominent victims. Indeed, the most recent victim was none other than the U.S. Central Command, which had its social media accounts compromised, as well as some internal documents.

Said 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin, “Media reports on these crimes should focus on the very real dangers Americans face, and the pressing need for solutions to thwart cybercriminals.”

While the Internet remains the new frontier of the information age, with regard to the law, in many ways it’s still the wild, wild West. There seems to be little commitment to respecting and protecting basic rights. The new reality is that clicking a button from the comfort of your living room chair can be the virtual equivalent of stepping into a dark alley.

Americans, including millions of seniors, are beginning to hesitate to walk down that alley. Even before malicious and sophisticated cyber cells targeted companies like Sony and our U.S. military, the Internet presented enough dangers to older Americans. One wrong click could turn into a nightmare of computer viruses, malware, connectivity issues — or worse. Indeed, seniors we represent have purchased and used counterfeit prescription drugs from sites that appear legitimate in every way, with reported deaths as a result.

For advocacy groups like 60 Plus, the Internet is the primary form of communication with our supporters. Most of the work we do focuses on enhancing the quality of seniors’ lives and keeping them safe. That said, it is deeply troubling that the online experience for seniors can be so fraught with danger, as online criminals routinely steal their usernames, passwords, bank and credit card information, invade their privacy, and even steal their entire identity.

To protect American competitiveness and citizens, and to preserve a vibrant economy, free markets, free speech and the innovation that have made America the world’s greatest success story, things have to change, and fast. Congress and President Obama must put aside their differences and work with all stakeholders in the digital ecosystem to make stories like the Sony hack and our military’s embarrassing exposure on social media a thing of the past. Only then can our nation continue to move confidently into the future and fulfill the promise the Internet holds for all of us.

Obama Wants to Double the Death Tax

Finding bi-partisan consensus in Washington isn’t that hard, if you just know where to look. While Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on most issues, repeal of the federal death tax has always enjoyed bi-partisan support, and is favored by nearly 70% of all Americans. Economists from both left and right agree the death tax should go, since it kills jobs, raises little revenue, and serves to do nothing but hollow out the middle class.

This bi-partisan agreement is shared even on the state level, where lowering or eliminating the death tax has recently been achieved in blue states like Maine, New York and Maryland, as well as red states such as Indiana and North Carolina.

President Obama’s call for more cooperation in Washington has a ready candidate in death tax repeal, but Obama not only opposes repeal, but actually favors raising it by up to 50%, from 40% of a deceased’s estate to upwards of 60% in some cases. Just remember that whenever you hear the President falsely attacking Congress as unwilling to compromise with him.

Said 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin, “The death tax needs to be repealed, not doubled. Mr. Obama’s stubborn commitment to continued tax hikes in the face of record government revenue cements his position as the biggest enemy to the middle-class and seniors on fixed incomes.”

Indeed, raising taxes doesn’t help the middle class, or seniors on fixed incomes. The death tax has been proven repeatedly from both liberal and conservative economists to be a job killer, a loser for the economy, and a destroyer of the American dream. It puts a bulls eye directly on the middle class who are trying to build wealth and security. The millionaires and billionaires who are the backbone of Mr. Obama’s fundraising machine don’t pay it, they pay lawyers and accountants to duck out of its way.

Economists across the spectrum, from conservatives like Douglas Holtz-Eakin, to liberal Ed McCaffrey, oppose the death tax, because they know it kills jobs, doesn’t contribute to the U.S. Treasury, and hurts family businesses, especially minority-owned businesses.

Concluded Martin, “Mr. Obama, Americans want to create inter-generational prosperity, but you offer inter-generational debt. Your plan to hike the death tax, like your own economic recovery, is going nowhere.”

Pat Boone Strikes Again

60 Plus national spokesperson and legendary entertainer Pat Boone has been on somewhat of a hot streak lately. Heavily in demand by news outlets during last year’s election season, he never backed down or wavered in the slightest over his strong assertion that November 2014 would be an absolute disaster for the Democrats, and cost them the U.S. Senate.

With Obama now in the 4th quarter of his presidency, Boone is returning to the airwaves to underscore the President’s agenda of higher taxes and more reckless government spending. This month he returned to the Fox Business Network to join host Stuart Varney to discuss the Obama tax agenda. You can watch this lively and informative exchange here.

See you next month!