Monday, February 07, 2011

Chain Emails We Get Chain Emails

Every once in awhile my cousin, who lives in Azizona – yes, THAT Arizona – gets chain emails from her Teabagger acquaintances who are not aware that she is secretly an Independent voter who actually voted for President Obama in 2008.

Apparently, right wing radicals in Arizona are unaware that there are those among them who would disagree with their extremist viewpoints.

This is just grist for my mill though, as I have a permanent request in to her to forward to me any and all of those wild chain emails that you hear about from time to time. The one she sent to me today is a real doozy.

Did you know that Barack Obama is going to levy a 3.8% real estate tax on the sale of your home in order to finance “Obamacare?” Yep, someone pulled something right out of their … eh ... rectum on this one.

Here is the email:
"Will you ever sell your house?”

“Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it? That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home etc. “

“When did this happen? It's in the health care bill. Just thought you should know."

“SALES TAX TO GO INTO EFFECT 2013 (Part of HC Bill)  Why 2013? Could it be to come to light AFTER the 2012 Elections?”


“So, this is ‘change you can believe in’?   Under the new health care bill - did you know that all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax? The bulk of these new taxes don't kick in until 2013.  If you sell your $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax.  This bill is set to screw the retiring generation who often downsize their homes. Does this information make your November and 2012 vote more important? “

“Oh, you weren't aware this was in the obamacare bill? Guess what, you aren't alone. There are more than a few members of Congress that aren't aware of it either.  Click on this to verify: ”
And  the link takes you to a blog post at that was put up last April, essentially spelling out the same lies and misconceptions.

Politifact, the ground-truthing website that takes all of these wild rumors and debunks them is all over this one. They have been for awhile but according to this entry, they have been so inundated by so many inquiries about these wild claims that they thought it was appropriate to reiterate on their earlier ruling.

“Both the chain e-mail and the blog post are deceptive, and here's why:”

“Instead of being a sales tax on all real estate transactions, the 3.8 percent tax is actually a tax on investment income for the wealthy. It applies only to the investment income of single taxpayers who make more than $200,000 or couples who make more than $250,000. (We looked it up in Section 1402 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, titled "Unearned income Medicare contribution.")”

“Still, maybe empty-nesters are scared they'll be hit with this tax if they sell their homes for more than $250,000. But that's not a likely scenario for most tax payers, because there's a
long-standing tax exemption on the profits from home sales.”
But here is the real truth: truth doesn’t really matter to these people. If a lie will bring more people to the polls out of fear that they are going to be taxed tens of thousands of dollars if they don’t, then a lie will do very nicely. A lie, after all, is only a means to an end and in the end, the goal is not to govern, the goal is to “take back their country.” Take back their country at any cost, including feeding on the fears and ignorance of American voters.

But Thomas Jefferson had it exact in his observations on Americans, the vote and education. Jefferson placed at the very foundation of a free democracy the requirement that the electorate be educated. He said it several different ways, but this is the way I think it is said best:
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
True then as now.

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