Monday, February 11, 2013

Wheels coming off... ObamaCare policies will cost more, cover far fewer than promised!

New York Post ^ | February 10, 2013 | BETSY MCCAUGHEY

The Affordable Care Act is looking less and less affordable.
Start with the IRS’s new estimate for what the cheapest family plan will cost by 2016: $20,000 a year to cover two adults and three kids. And that will only cover 60 percent of medical bills, so add hefty out-of-pocket costs, too.
The next surprise is for parents who thought their kids would be covered by an employer. Sloppy wording in the law left that unclear until last week, when the IRS ruled that kids won’t be covered.
Starting in 2014, the law will require employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer coverage or pay a penalty. “Affordable” coverage, that is — meaning the employee can’t be told to contribute more than 9.5 percent of his salary. For example, a worker earning $40,000 a year cannot be required to pay more than $3.800.
But the law doesn’t specifically mandate family coverage — and now the administration says that won’t be required.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...


I think you might laugh after reading this,it is funny,but only to the people reading it.

This is even funnier when you realize it's real!

Next time you have a bad day at work think of this guy.

Bob is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers in Louisiana

He performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs.

Below is an E-mail he sent to his sister.

She then sent it to radio station 103 .5 on FM dial in
Indiana, who was sponsoring a worst job experience contest.

Needless to say, she won.

Read his letter below...

~Hi Sue,

Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother.
Last week I had a bad day at the office.

I know you've been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would
share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so bad after all.
Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a
few technicalities of my job.
As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to
the office.

It's a wet suit.

This time of year the water is quite cool.

So what we do to keep warm is this: We have a diesel powered industrial
water heater.

This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the sea.

It heats it to a delightful temperature.

It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is
taped to the air hose.

Now this sounds like a darn good plan, and I've used it several times
with no complaints.

What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is take the hose
and stuff it down the back of my wet suit.

This floods my whole suit with warm water.

It's like working in a Jacuzzi.

Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to

So, of course, I scratched it.

This only made things worse.

Within a few seconds my ass started to burn.

I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done.

In agony I realized what had happened.

The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my

Now, since I don't have any hair on my back, the jellyfish couldn't
stick to it, however, the crack of my ass was not as fortunate.

When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding
the jellyfish into the crack of my ass.

I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communicator.

His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, along with five
other divers, were all laughing hysterically.

Needless to say, I aborted the dive.

I was instructed to make three agonizing in-water decompression stops
totaling thirty-five minutes before I could reach the surface to begin my
chamber dry decompression.

When I arrived at the surface, I was wearing nothing but my brass

As I climbed out of the water, the medic, with tears of laughter
running down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to rub it on my
butt as soon as I got in the chamber.

The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't shit for two days because my
ass was swollen shut.
So, next time you're having a bad day at work, think about how much
worse it would be if you had a jellyfish shoved up your ass.

Now repeat to yourself, 'I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.'

Whenever you have a bad day, ask yourself, is this a jellyfish bad day?

May you NEVER have a jellyfish bad day! !!!!

The Amazing Grace restored to America by Dr. Ben Carson!

Canada Free Press ^ | February 9, 2013 | Judy McLeod

A phenomenon we all needed came into our view at National Prayer Breakfast 2013, and it couldn’t have come along at a better time.
The phenomenon in the person of Dr. Ben Carson didn’t just upstage President Barack Obama when he spoke at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, he restored amazing grace to a loudly-lauded event.
How can we take to heart an event touted as “inspirational” and beneficial to federal government officials when they piously break breakfast bread before returning to careers duking it out in House and Senate?
How sincere can proclaimed Christianity be in an atmosphere where the Ave Maria is sung at a 3,500-attendee gathering presided over by a president who champions partial birth abortion?
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Organized labor pushes for policies to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants!

The Washington Beacon ^ | February 9, 2013 | Bill McMorris

Some of the nation’s most influential labor leaders have heaped praise on comprehensive immigration plans that will help grant citizenship to many of the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.
The AFL-CIO, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, kicked off a 14-city rally backing the president’s plan on Wednesday.
“This is a top priority for America’s unions because a roadmap to citizenship for those who are American in every way except on paper is critical for all working people” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. “We understand that solidarity means standing together with predominantly immigrant workforces to improve wages and workplace safety.”
Some labor and immigration experts say Big Labor’s enthusiasm for legalization efforts stems from solidifying political support for the Democratic Party, as well as declining union membership.
“Organized labor is a wing of the Democratic Party now, even tighter than it was in the past, and Democrats are heavily invested in open immigration,” said Vincent Cannato, professor at University of Massachusetts Boston. “Organized labor is hoping that this creates a strong Democratic Party, which will play into their own interests.”
The vast majority of illegal immigrants who would be amnestied are Hispanic; Obama won between 70 and 75 percent of Hispanic voters according to 2012 exit polls. That voting bloc is even more reliably Democratic than unions; AFL-CIO exit polls showed that 65 percent of union members cast ballots for the president’s reelection.
Peter List, a former union member turned anti-labor activist, said that if Democrats retain that level of support from illegal immigrants, it could secure even more union influence on labor policy. Hoped-for future initiatives include controversial proposals such as doing away with secret ballots in union elections.
“The unions are doing it to shore up their political base,” he said. “They’re trying to make conservatives a permanent minority because they need to get these labor reforms through.”
Illegal immigrants could also help reverse sagging union rates. If the nation’s resident aliens unionize at the same rate as citizens—11.3 percent—labor groups stand to add more than 1.2 million people to its membership rolls. The gains could be even higher because of the trades that employ illegal immigrants, according to Cannato.
“Unions see their future growth in organizing service industries—Wal-Mart, janitors, restaurants—jobs that are largely held by immigrants,” he said.
The blue collar manufacturing jobs that have traditionally served as organized labor’s base has disappeared over the last 30 years thanks to technological innovation and outsourcing.
The Heritage Foundation found that nearly 80 percent of union manufacturing jobs vanished between 1975 and 2010, while nonunion manufacturing held steady at 11.8 million workers. Organizing service workers recognizes the realities of a globalized economy, according to List.
“[Unions] recognize that structural changes to the economy have made blue collar union manufacturing jobs go away, so they’ve had to adapt,” List said. “Service sector jobs can’t be outsourced, that’s the unions’ target group and it’s made up mostly of immigrants.”
Fewer than 10 percent of Hispanics belonged to unions in 2012. That accounts for the second lowest unionization rate among ethnic groups, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Legalization would take down a major barrier to Hispanic entry into unions, according to Peter Skerry, professor at Boston College.
“Elements of labor union movement, especially service workers, have been championing illegal immigrants and organizing them,” Skerry said. “But it’s not a very feasible task when illegal immigrants are very unstable, very transient, and not planning on sticking around let alone bothering to join a union.”
“There are a lot of barriers to joining, but I think this will make it easier.”
For more than a century labor leaders have been among the most ardent supporters of restrictions on both legal and illegal immigrants “because they were supportive of the idea that immigration was bad for unskilled workers,” said Cannato.
Members are holding the line on opposition while union bosses like Trumka may have allied themselves to the president’s agenda. The majority of union members oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants, according to a January survey from Rasmussen Reports.
“[The bosses are] not representing 100 percent of their members on this, but it is tactical,” Cannato said. “They’re trying to organize service workers, not miners or steel workers. This is their way of reaching out.”

A Temporary Majority - The problem Democrats can’t solve.

Weekly Standard ^ | February 18, 2013 | Jay Cost

A tradition after each national election, presidential or midterm, is for the pundit class to pontificate on whether and how the results point to a realignment. This exercise dates back at least to the publication of The Emerging Republican Majority by Kevin Phillips in 1969, and it continues to this day. Now, of course, the hot topic is the so-called emerging Democratic majority, dominated by young people, nonwhites, and upscale social liberals. Pundits across the political spectrum are offering free advice to the Republican party on how to change its ways lest it face extinction at the hands of this “coalition of the ascendant.”
In 2012’s Lost Majority, Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics ably deflates the logic behind realignment theories, arguing that they are a poor way to understand the ebb and flow of electoral politics. More often than not, the game is to highlight evidence that happens to support our theory while overlooking inconvenient data that cut against it.
The conventional view of American political history divides it into periods of partisan dominance: The GOP dominated electoral politics from about 1865 to 1932, the Democrats from 1932 to 1968, and the Republicans again from 1968 to about 2006. This, however, is simplistic. In fact, the periods of genuine dominance have been much briefer: Republicans dominated from about 1894 to 1910, then again from 1918 to 1928; Democrats dominated from 1930 to about 1946, then again from 1960 to 1968.
And even during these briefer periods, caveats abound. The Republicans of the early 20th century were divided along ideological lines, as conservatives battled progressives. The drubbing the GOP took in the 1922 midterm was one of the worst blowouts in history, and hardly consistent with a theory of party dominance. As for the New Deal coalition, it began to fracture as early as 1938, giving way to a “conservative coalition” of Republicans and Southern Democrats who held the balance of power for most of the next generation. And during the Republican majority that was supposed to “emerge” after 1968, it was the Democrats, not the GOP, holding the House of Representatives for the next quarter-century.
And sure enough, the Republican party of 2013 holds more House seats, governorships, and state legislatures combined than it has controlled in a very long time. That is hardly a recipe for irrelevance.
The biggest problem with realignment theories is that they often fail to extend their analysis much beyond demographic characteristics, and so implicitly assume that people vote, robot-like, according to the color of their skin, age, geography, or religion. They thus fail to anticipate change. A demographic-based theory of electoral alignment formulated in 1961 (after John F. Kennedy won more than 70 percent of the Catholic vote) would have had no capacity to anticipate the sea-change among Catholics that began as early as 1968 and continues to this day.
When we look beyond demographic characteristics, we discover that majority coalitions inevitably depend on how well the party they empower governs. If that party does a good job, it will hold the coalition together, at least for a while. If it governs poorly, the other party is in prime position to poach a critical mass of voters. And since the 1830s, no issue has mattered more to the question of “Who governs?” than the performance of the economy.
Each of the past periods of party dominance, such as it was, began because the other party had failed to govern, and ended when the new majority party could govern effectively no more. The economy was central in each instance. The Panic of 1893 ushered in the GOP, and the Panic of 1907—combined with rampant corruption and inability to enact sensible tariff laws—ushered it out starting in 1910. The social and economic tumult after World War I brought the Republicans back to power, and the Great Depression swept them out once again. The Great Depression ushered the Democrats into a majority, and the postwar labor strikes ended their grip on power.
The central question for any majority party is can it govern well, especially on the economy? From this perspective, it is clear that neither party has the edge moving forward. Over the last 12 years, economic growth has been stagnant, and neither party has proven itself capable of turning things around.
For the 55 years following World War II, the American economy grew like gangbusters. Real GDP growth averaged 3.6 percent per year, and it was this fantastic expansion that created the modern middle class. However, since the recession of 2001, the economy has been in stall speed, more or less. Growth has averaged just 1.6 percent since then, and real incomes have stagnated as paychecks have not kept pace with the rising cost of health care, education, and energy.
This state of affairs shows no signs of change. Indeed, the most recent GDP number is inconsistent with where the economy should be at this point in the business cycle. We should be hitting 3 percent growth or higher, not saddled with a modest contraction. And let us not forget the second-order effects that such weak growth has on our politics. Without growth, there is no way for the United States to meet its social welfare obligations, which has in turn sparked the extremely divisive and unpredictable battle over the budget deficit.
If the Democratic party cannot bring about improvement in the economic numbers, it will not retain control of political power. It is as simple as that. No enduring majority coalition has been able to hang on to power for very long amid such widespread disappointment over the economy. And the warning signs are already there for the Democrats, if they care to look: The historically small numbers of Democrats in the House of Representatives, governorships, and state legislatures, plus the fact President Obama won fewer votes in 2012 than he did in 2008, are all signals that public patience with the party has its limits.
What’s more, the Democratic coalition is bound to have trouble doing what is necessary to grow the economy. The party of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s was a party of farmers and industrial laborers who depended on private-sector economic growth, so the Democrats of that era focused their efforts accordingly. But today’s Democratic party has many powerful constituents within it who are isolated from the ebbs and flows of the private economy. Upscale social liberals in the Northeast and Pacific Coast are so well off that they are basically recession-proof. And, what’s more, the position of the farmer-industrial working class has been usurped by unionized government workers and far-left gray-collar labor unions like the SEIU, which are more interested in expanding government than the economy.
All of this raises the key question: Can the Democrats keep these groups happy and grow the economy? The evidence to date suggests the answer is no. Witness the Democratic opposition to opening up domestic energy production, which would have been a no-brainer 50 years ago. Witness the party’s stimulus bill of 2009, which focused more on political patronage than economic growth. Witness the party’s continued efforts to push for a cap and trade system, which would kneecap economic growth. And above all, witness Obamacare, a vast regulatory system that saddles businesses with even more burdens. The Democrats have proposed all of these things since 2009, when they were voted into office to jump-start the economy.
Looking back over the last decade, it is hard to conclude that American politics looks as it did in the first decade of the 1900s or the 1930s, when one party had a decisive advantage. Instead, it looks much more like the period from 1876 to 1894, or 1966 to 1982. These were times of great social and economic tumult. The public responded back then much as it has recently, changing the partisan composition of government time and again in the hope of finding some combination of leaders who can manage the affairs of state.
As long as so many in the country are so deeply dissatisfied with the state of the union, neither party’s position is secure. And it is an open question whether the Democrats of 2013 even have the capacity to address our most pressing problem, continued economic weakness.

Jay Cost is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard.

Barack Obama Has Earned 'Great Divider' Award!

The Daily Oklahoman ^ | 2-10-13 | The Daily Oklahoman

WHEN the annals of presidential nicknames are updated a few years hence, it will be obvious that Barack Obama began earning a certain designation virtually from the day he took office in 2009.

The Great Divider.

This will be an appendix to a list that includes The Great Emancipator (Lincoln), The American Cincinnatus (Washington), The Apostle of Democracy (Jefferson) and The Great Communicator (Reagan). These are flattering descriptions. They are also earned descriptions — unlike irreverent and partisan monikers such as Martin Van Ruin (Van Buren) and The Human Iceberg (Benjamin Harrison).

The Great Divider is an apt choice for Obama. He has earned it. The sobriquet isn't overtly partisan: Much of the man's political success owes to his penchant for dividing people into camps and appealing to one group by diminishing the other. This has been good for his career. But it has not been good for the United States of America.

In 2008, the president sold himself as a uniter. Voters weary of 16 straight years of divisiveness surrounding the White House rallied around this unity flagpole. Obama has failed to salute his own unity flag, however. He hasn't even flown it.

Obama solicited ideas from diverse coalitions — on health care, deficit reduction, business growth — but refused to listen. He pushed through a health care package with zero Republican support. He ignored his own deficit commission. He formed and then ignored and then disbanded a council of advisers drawn from the business sector.

The essential thing we've learned about Barack Obama is his belief that his way is the only way, dividing the populace into the Enlightened Ones who agree with him and the Less-Than-Worthy who don't. Syndicated columnist Michael Gerson calls this “the invincible assumption of his own rightness.”

This is not how it's supposed to work in a democratic republic. Obama's frequent riffs that he won the election and is therefore entitled to prevail in policy debates ignore two key facts: The Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives and 48.98 percent of voters last year did not support this president. Do their views count for nothing?

The Great Divider has displayed the arrogance of an FDR packing the Supreme Court because of their pesky insistence on keeping to the Constitution, yet Roosevelt brought Americans together in tough times. In his second inaugural address, Obama divided the country into those who care (he and his ardent supporters) and those who don't (Republicans, unhappy taxpayers).

Columnist Paul Greenberg said it was the kind of speech that divides, not unites: “Its principal connection to the American past seemed to be one of hurt, not pride.” Instead of rising to the level of a Reagan, Greenberg wrote, Obama lowered himself to the level of a Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He divided Americans into the “shrinking few” who prosper and the “growing many” who barely make it.

The Great Communicator, by contrast, promoted prosperity for all Americans rather than a transfer of wealth from the few to the many. Reagan championed merit and individual effort rather than perpetually pitting the greedy against the needy.

A unity president would embrace sensible entitlement reform. He would use his pulpit to convince Americans that hard choices must be made to protect future generations — especially the needy — from crushing debt. A unity president would not rail against a mythical “war on women” or the unproven assumption that recent fires, droughts and powerful storms are due to human-induced global warming.

The Great Divider sorts people into those who can't seem to survive without another government program and those who want to safeguard their assets against another unsustainable tax grab. He divides energy into the good green stuff he champions and the bad black stuff that powers the presidential jet between endless campaign appearances. The latter brings in billions of dollars in taxes; the former requires taxpayer subsidies.

America cannot, he said, “treat name-calling as reasoned debate.” This came in a speech with thinly veiled name-calling throughout, a theme we expect him to repeat during Tuesday's State of the Union address. To paraphrase Reagan, is this country more divided than it was four years ago? Of course it is. And Obama is a prime reason.

We need reasoned debate. We need a reasonable president. We need a uniter.

What we have instead is unearned, unwarranted, unrelenting scorn from The Great Divider.

Deport all illegal foreigners (Delicious Irony)

The Saudi Gazette ^ | February 10, 2013 | Abdullah Omar Khayyat, Okaz newspaper

The increasing number of foreigners, whether legal or illegal, in the Kingdom is one of the most important economic issues facing our country. Expatriates occupy jobs that could be otherwise filled by unemployed Saudis and they even crowd our streets with old, polluting cars unfit for the road.
To make matters worse, a large number of foreigners are illegally staying in our country and they have brought many vices, including theft, drug trafficking and prostitution with them.
To resolve the problem, the Shoura Council recommended to the supreme authorities that a committee, comprising representatives of four ministries, be formed so it can figure out a way to put an end to the number of illegal foreigners in our country once and for all.
The deputy chairman of the Shoura Council’s foreign affairs committee, Saddaqa Fadil, told Al-Sharq newspaper some of the recommendations made included the deportation of all illegal foreigners and taking necessary measures to prevent a recurrence of the problem in the future. Furthermore, the committee asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to coordinate its efforts with countries whose citizens overstay in the Kingdom so preventive measures can be taken in this regard.
Fadil said the report prepared by the Shoura Council’s foreign affairs committee put the number of illegal foreigners in the Kingdom at five million. He noted that overstayers are mostly concentrated in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, Taif, Yanbu, Riyadh, the Eastern Province, Asir, Najran and Jazan and said the illegal residents were responsible for about 60 percent of crimes committed in the Kingdom...
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Gun Control and the Constitution

Wall Street Journal ^ | February 10, 2013 | DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. And ANDREW M. GROSSMAN

The courts would no more allow government to undermine the Second Amendment than the First.
Could there be a better illustration of the cultural divide over firearms than the White House photograph of our skeet-shooting president? Clay pigeons are launched into the air, but the president's smoking shotgun is level with the ground. This is not a man who is comfortable around guns. And that goes a long way toward explaining his gun-control agenda.
Lack of informed presidential leadership aside, there is a gulf between those Americans who view guns as invaluable tools for self-defense, both against private wrongdoers and a potentially tyrannical government, and those who regard that concept as hopelessly archaic and even subversive. For them, hunting is the only possible legitimate use of firearms, and gun ownership should be restricted to weapons suited to that purpose.
But while the level of the policy discourse leaves much to be desired, its constitutional dimensions are even more dimly recognized, much less seriously engaged. Yet the debate over guns, as is the case with many other contentious issues in American history, cannot be intelligently pursued without recognizing its constitutional dimensions. The Supreme Court's 2008 decision in Heller v. District of Columbia confirmed that the Second Amendment means what it says: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
After Heller and its follow-on case, McDonald v. Chicago, which applied the Second Amendment rights to the states, what government cannot do is deny the individual interest in self-defense. As a legal matter, that debate is settled.
The president and his allies seem to have missed the message, as demonstrated by his continued insistence that most of the American people, including many hunters, support his proposed gun-control measures. Even if that claim were true, constitutionally protected...
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Annual health screening: does it do more harm than good?

Telegraph (UK) ^ | October 17th, 2012 | Andrew M Brown

Do you have an annual health check? Plenty of people do. Health screening – general checks on people who don’t have any symptoms – is widely promoted by private doctors and health insurance companies – and popular. Successful executives, who are used to being in control, understandably think of their health as another area where, if they take prudent precautions, they can minimise risks.

And they are not suggesting that doctors shouldn’t screen or test patients when they suspect something is going on. They approve of targeted interventions for specific conditions.

More worrying, though, is the fact that there are the many possible undesirable effects of general checks. Stephanie Thompson and Marcello Tonelli of the Cochrane Library note that “the potential for harm is likely to exceed the potential for benefit when screening is implemented in a population where the overall risk of an unfavorable outcome is low”. You may get over-diagnosis, where the tests pick up a disease that, if it hadn’t been detected, would not have affected the quality or length of your life. Abnormal test results can also lead to the need for more tests, which means more risk, worry, lost income due to work absences, problems getting health insurance, and potentially increased healthcare costs.

The health checks studied weren’t completely useless. Some of them picked up cases of high blood pressure and raised cholesterol levels...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Two Sides

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Political Scientist

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Give me your guns!

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Border Guns

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The 100th Anniversary of U.S. Income Taxes ^ | February 10, 2013 | Political Calculations

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which made it legal for the U.S. federal government to impose taxes upon the income earned by Americans. Since income tax season in the United States has officially begun, we thought we'd mark the occasion by revisiting our original Form 1040 tool, where you can find out how much of the money you earned last year would have been taken from you by Uncle Sam back in 1913!
Back then, of course, you would only have had until the first of March to pay up - but then, income taxes were a lot less complicated back then, which is one reason why the federal government now gives you until the 15th of April each year to pay up, or else....
IRS Form 1040, Circa 1913
Return of Net Income Received or Accrued During the Year Ended December 31, 191_
1. Gross Income (see page 2, line 12)
2. General Deductions (see page 3, line 7)
3. Net Income
Deductions and exemptions allowed in computing income subject to the normal tax of 1 per cent.
4. Dividends and net earnings received or accrued, of corporations, etc., subject to like tax. (See page 2, line 11)
5. Amount of income on which the normal tax has been deducted and withheld at the source. (See page 2, line 9, column A)
6. Specific exemption of $3000 or $4000, as the case may be. (See Instructions 3 and 19)
Total deductions and exemptions (Items 4, 5, and 6)
7. Taxable Income on which the normal tax of 1 per cent is to be calculated. (See Instruction 3)
8. When the net income shown above on line 3 exceeds $20,000, the additional tax thereon must be calculated as per schedule below:
1 per cent on amount over $20,000 and not exceeding $50,000
2 per cent on amount over $50,000 and not exceeding $75,000
3 per cent on amount over $75,000 and not exceeding $100,000
4 per cent on amount over $100,000 and not exceeding $250,000
5 per cent on amount over $250,000 and not exceeding $500,000
6 per cent on amount over $500,000
Total additional or super tax
Total normal tax (1 per cent of amount entered on line 7)
Total tax liability

Excerpts from the Instructions

3. The normal tax of 1 per cent shall be assessed on the total net income less the specific excemption of $3,000 or $4,000 as the case may be. (For the year 1913, the specific exemption allowable is $2,500, or $3,333.33, as the case may be.) If, however, the normal tax has been deducted and withheld on any part of the income at the source, or if any part of the income is received as dividends upon the stock or from the net earnings of any corporation, etc., which is taxable upon its net income, such income shall be deducted from the individual's total net income for the purpose of calculating the amount of income on which the individual is liable for the normal tax of 1 per cent by virtue of this return.
19. An unmarried individual or a married individual not living with wife or husband shall be allowed an exemption of $3,000. When husband and wife live together they shall be allowed jointly a total exemption of only $4,000 on their aggregate income. They may make a joint return, both subscribing thereto, or if they have separate incomes, they may make separate returns; but in no case shall they jointly claim more than $4,000 exemption on their aggregate income.


Speaking of complexity, if we go by the CCH Standard Federal Tax Reporter, it takes 73,954 regular 8-1/2" x 11" pages in 2013 to explain the U.S. federal tax code.
Meanwhile, the mortgage interest deduction has always been with us! And so has the itemized deduction for all state and local taxes paid by taxpayers, but not the deduction for charitable contributions, which was added to the tax code in 1917 - just as income tax rates were being jacked up to pay for World War I.
Finally, the people least likely to be paying their fair share of income taxes in the United States live in households with incomes below $67,530. Coincidentally, that's where over half of the income available to be taxed is to be found in the United States. Just in case you ever wondered why President Obama was so happy to let his emergency 2% payroll tax cut expire on New Years Day of 2013....


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