Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Compromise rulings on The Obameter

Increase the capital gains and dividends taxes for higher-income taxpayers

Increase capital gains and dividends taxes from 15 to 20 percent for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)

Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups

"Barack Obama understands that small businesses are the engines of our economy, and he will eliminate all capital gains taxes on investments in small and start-up firms."

Expand the earned income tax credit

Expand the earned income tax credit for workers without children and taxpayers with more than three children. Equalize threshholds for married filers and head of household filers.

Double funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program that encourages manufacturing efficiency

"The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with manufacturers across the country to improve efficiency, implement new technology and strengthen company growth. This highly-successful program has engaged in more than 350,000 projects across the country and in 2006 alone, helped create and protect over 50,000 jobs. But despite this success, funding for MEP has been slashed by the Bush administration. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double funding for the MEP so its training centers can continue to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers."

Include environmental and labor standards in trade agreements

"He will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world"

Make permanent the Research & Development tax credit

The Research & Development tax credit and the renewable energy production tax credit are intended to spur innovation in the private sector, but the tax credits have expiration dates under current law. Obama would make them permanent.

Establish a small business initiative for rural America

"Will support entrepreneurship and spur job growth by establishing a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America. The program will provide training and technical assistance for rural small business, and provide a 20 percent tax credit on up to $50,000 of investment in small owner-operated businesses. This initiative will put the full support of the nation's economic policies behind rural entrepreneurship."

Create a tax credit of $500 for workers

Enact a Making Work Pay tax credit that would equal 6.2 percent of up to $8,100 of earnings (yielding a maximum credit of approximately $500). Indexed for inflation.

Enforce pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules

"Obama believes that a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue."

Create more public-private business incubators for poor communities

"Obama and Biden will invest $250 million per year to increase the number and size of incubators in disadvantaged communities throughout the country."

Repeal the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes

Repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)

Freeze the 2009 estate tax law

Freeze the 2009 estate tax law, which exempts the first $3.5 million and has a top rate of 45 percent.

Create a National Health Insurance Exchange

Create a "National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans and businesses purchase private health insurance."

Create a small business tax credit to help with health premiums

"Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to provide small businesses with a refundable tax credit of up to 50 percent on premiums paid by small businesses on behalf of their employees. To be eligible for the credit, small businesses will have to offer a quality health plan to all of their employees and cover a meaningful share of the cost of employee health premiums."

Invest in electronic health information systems

"Invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records."

Require that health plans utilize disease management programs

"Require that plans that participate in the new public plan, Medicare or the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) utilize disease management programs to improve efficiency and lower costs."

Require providers to report measures of health care costs and quality

"Require hospitals and providers to collect and publicly report measures of health care costs and quality, including data on preventable medical errors, nurse staffing ratios, hospital-acquired infections, and disparities in care and costs."

Require health care providers to report preventable medical errors

"Require providers to report preventable medical errors, and support hospital and physician practice improvement to prevent future errors."

Hold hospitals and health plans accountable for disparities in care

"Require hospitals and health plans to collect, analyze and report health care quality for disparity populations and holding them accountable for any differences found. … Diversify the workforce to ensure culturally effective care."

Strengthen antitrust laws to prevent overcharging for malpractice insurance

"Strengthen antitrust laws to prevent insurers from overcharging physicians for their malpractice insurance."