Obamacare and the Markets

What will the Affordable Care Act do to the markets?  Although no one can tell you with accuracy, some sources believe Obamacare may slow the pace of growth in the US.  No matter where you look, you are likely to find contradictory views being expressed.  In his latest commentary, economist Brian Wesbury explains why national health care reforms may not bring on economic or market armageddon… so we thought you may like to listen.  To do so, click on the link below for the latest First Trust video:

Wesbury 101 – Obamacare

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The Upcoming “Employer Mandate” of Obamacare

Below is a link to a good video from the Wall Street Journal Live that may be helpful to understanding more about the “employer mandate” of Obamacare.  We’d encourage business owners to view this and let us know your thoughts.  It’s becoming clearer that small businesses could face penalties under this new healthcare provision for 2014.

WSJ Live: Small Businesses Growing Fearful of Obamacare

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Tax Increases in the New Year

 

The Heritage Foundation recently summarized a list of the 13 tax increases that started January 1, 2013.  Seven resulted from the deal that Congress and President Obama struck at the end of 2012 to help avoid the fiscal cliff, and the other six are tax increases from Obamacare that also began this year.  Here is the list summarized by Charles Dubay:

13 Tax Increases That Started January 1, 2013:

Tax increases the fiscal cliff deal allowed:

1)      Payroll tax: increase in the Social Security portion of the payroll tax from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent for workers. This hits all Americans earning a paycheck—not just the “wealthy.” For example, The Wall Street Journal calculated that the “typical U.S. family earning $50,000 a year” will lose “an annual income boost of $1,000.”

2)      Top marginal tax rate: increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

3)      Phase out of personal exemptions for adjusted gross income (AGI) over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

4)      Phase down of itemized deductions for AGI over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

5)      Tax rates on investment: increase in the rate on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

6)      Death tax: increase in the rate (on estates larger than $5 million) from 35 percent to 40 percent.

7)      Taxes on business investment: expiration of full expensing—the immediate deduction of capital purchases by businesses.

Obamacare tax increases that took effect:

8)      Another investment tax increase: 3.8 percent surtax on investment income for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $250,000 ($200,000 for singles).

9)      Another payroll tax hike: 0.9 percent increase in the Hospital Insurance portion of the payroll tax for incomes over $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers).

10)   Medical device tax: 2.3 percent excise tax paid by medical device manufacturers and importers on all their sales.

11)   Reducing the income tax deduction for individuals’ medical expenses.

12)   Elimination of the corporate income tax deduction for expenses related to the Medicare Part D subsidy.

13)   Limitation of the corporate income tax deduction for compensation that health insurance companies pay to their executives.