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”Shoots (News, Views and Quotes)”

– Summary of the Bush Administration’s Savings Proposals

The Bush Administration has proposed two expanded savings incentives as
part of its FY 2004 budget. The first creates Lifetime Savings Accounts
(LSAs) and Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) that will allow every
American to contribute with no limitations based on age or income
status. The second proposal creates Employer Retirement Savings Accounts
(ERSAs) to promote and vastly simplify employer sponsored retirement
plans by consolidating 401(k), SIMPLE 401(k), 403(b), and 457
employer-based defined contributions accounts into a single type of plan
that can be more easily established by any employer.

Lifetime Savings Accounts (LSAs)

Lifetime Savings Accounts (LSAs) can be used for any type of saving.
LSAs will help millions of Americans save in one tax favored account for
any purpose, including their children’s education, a new home,
healthcare needs, or to start their own business. The new LSA will allow
an individual, regardless of age or income, to contribute $7,500 a year
and make penalty free withdrawals at any time – with no holding period.
Like current law Roth IRAs, contributions will not be deductible but
earnings will accumulate tax-free, and distributions will be tax free as
well. The $7,500 contribution limit would be indexed for inflation.

Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs)

Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) can be used only for retirement
saving. The new RSA will improve and simplify savings opportunities for
all Americans by consolidating traditional IRAs, nondeductible IRAs and
Roth IRAs, each of which has a confusing and different set of rules
regarding eligibility and tax treatment, into one account with rules
similar to current law Roth IRAs. Up to $7,500 (in addition to amounts
contributed to an LSA) could be contributed to an RSA. Like current law
Roth IRAs, contributions would not be deductible but earnings will
accumulate tax free. Distributions after age 58 would be tax free. The
$7,500 contribution limit would be indexed to inflation.

Employer Retirement Savings Accounts (ERSAs)

Under the Bush proposal, Employer Retirement Savings Accounts would be
established which can be sponsored by any employer. Currently, there are
multiple tax-preferred, employer-based retirement savings accounts with
similar goals but different rules regulating eligibility, contribution
limits, tax treatment and withdrawals restrictions. 401(k), thrift,
403(b), and governmental 457 plans as well as SARSEPs and SIMPLE IRAs
would be replaced by the new ERSA account.

ERSA will follow existing rules for 401(k) plans, but these rules will
be greatly simplified. Top heavy rules will be repealed. The definition
of compensation and the minimum coverage requirement will be simplified.
Nondiscrimination requirements for ERSA contributions will be satisfied
by a single test. The amount that an employee will be able to contribute
to an ERSA will be $12,000 (increasing to $15,000 in 2006). Once an
employee reached age 50, a catch-up contribution of $2000 (increasing to
$5,000 in 2006) would be permitted.

For more information about President Bush’s savings proposals, contact
the Saving Coalition at http://www.savingscoalition.org

– Death and Taxes

Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat,
Tax his crop, tax his work,
Tax his tie, tax his shirt.

Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes are a rule,
Tax his oil, tax his gas,
Tax his notes, tax his cash;

Tax him good and let him know,
After taxes he has no dough.

If he hollers, tax him more;
Tax him ’til he’s good and sore.
Tax his coffin, tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.

Put these words upon his tomb:
“Taxes drove me to my doom.”
And after he’s gone, he can’t relax;
They’ll soon be after his Inheritance Tax!

— Anonymous

Quoted from 60 Plus Association Brochure http://www.60plus.org

”Roots (Food for thought)”

– It’s the Science, Stupid

By Charli Coon

It’s not gaining a lot of attention — the Senate wants to pass it without
so much as holding hearings — but a part of the energy legislation now
working its way through Congress would commit energy producers to
attacking a problem that almost certainly doesn’t exist.

The bill now in the Senate calls for the Department of Energy to award
“transferable credits” to energy companies that voluntarily reduce
emissions of carbon dioxide. In other words, companies that reduce
carbon dioxide emissions now will earn “credits” they can “trade in” if
Congress-as many suspect-later imposes mandatory caps on CO2 output.
Trouble is, carbon dioxide emissions don’t hurt the environment. And
government regulation-once introduced into the industry through this
initiative-figures only to become more onerous as time goes on.

At the heart of the debate is whether CO2, a byproduct of the
hydrocarbon fuels that supply 84 percent of all U.S. energy, causes
“global warming.” Many of those who claim the earth is warming and that
the activities of man are to blame, say carbon dioxide emissions from
energy plants set the chain of events into motion. They claim CO2
“traps” heat from the sun near the surface of the earth, which leads to
a warmer planet and other consequences.

One problem: Science stubbornly refuses to validate these claims. For
instance, decades have passed since use of fossil fuels expanded to the
point where they should’ve been able to affect temperatures in the
troposphere — the area one to five miles above the earth’s surface where
greenhouse gases are allegedly trapped.

But those who have studied the troposphere, such as Sallie Baliunas, an
astrophysicist who works with the Washington-based George C. Marshall
Institute and other organizations, say the temperature in the 1- to
5-mile area above the earth’s surface has not increased. Last year,
because of these findings and others that cast doubt on the notion that
man’s use of fossil fuels causes the earth to warm dangerously, 17,000
scientists from around the nation signed a document expressing their
doubts about this notion and the entire approach recommended in the
Kyoto Accords.

Carbon dioxide is a staple of life. Humans exhale CO2 with every breath.
Some scientists even suggest that the increases in carbon dioxide caused
by fossil-fuel use have contributed as much as 10 percent to increases
in farmland productivity.

In 1997, the Senate voted 95-0 against the Kyoto Accords or any other
energy agreement that forces huge reductions in so-called greenhouse
gases on Americans but requires nothing along those lines from
developing countries, such as China, India and Brazil. Over the next 15
years, these nations will become the largest generators of such gases.
Yet lawmakers now seem bent on saddling our nation with energy
regulations that sap economic power but do nothing to help the
environment. Safe, affordable, consistent energy supplies are the
bedrock for America’s economy. We depend on coal for a third of this
energy.

Because coal is the most carbon-intensive fuel, this bill would decimate
it as an energy source, cause price spikes in natural gas and other
fuels that would have to replace coal, and throw America’s energy
situation into crisis, according to Marlo Lewis Jr., a senior fellow at
the Competitive Enterprise Institute. All for a “solution” that solves
nothing.

What’s puzzling about this is that the Bush administration, which made
such a public display of disassociating itself from Kyoto soon after
assuming office, now appears ready to accept equally harmful provisions
in domestic legislation.

Worse yet, it stands ready, in effect, to endorse the claim that CO2
causes global warming, even though no proof exists that man-made
activities, such as increased dissemination of CO2, have caused this.
Sign on to this, and the Bush administration can expect not praise for
its concern for the environment but criticism for making its
requirements “voluntary”-which is true in name only-and hounding to make
even more economically devastating anti-energy concessions in the name
of further reducing so-called greenhouse gases.

Senators do feel a certain amount of pressure to pass some sort of
energy bill to provide a blueprint for America’s future. But the
pressure should be to get it right. Imposing Kyoto on ourselves-after
rightfully refusing to do it on the world stage-does not qualify as
right.

Charli Coon is an energy and environment analyst at The Heritage
Foundation (www.heritage.org), a Washington-based public policy research
institute.

Above is quoted from the Heritage Foundation http;//www.heritage.org

”Evergreen (Today’s Quotes)”

“It’s a senseless murder because of this stupid cigarette law. That’s
the reason this guy was killed.” — Tony Blake, whose brother Dana Blake
was stabbed to death trying to enforce New York City’s smoking ban at
the nightclub where he worked.

Quoted from reason express@reason.com 4/15/03.

“That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preserved
to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation,
temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to
fundamental principles.” — George Mason, Virginia Declaration of Rights
[1776]

“When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great
things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will
render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and
will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we
separated.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Charles Hammond [1821]

”’Edited by Richard O. Rowland, president of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. He can be reached at (808) 487-4959 or by email at:”’ mailto:grassroot@hawaii.rr.com ”’For more information, see its Web site at:”’ http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/

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