Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lance Cpl. Shane R. Martin, KIA, 1st LAR

Lance Cpl. Shane Robert Martin, 23, of Spring, Texas, killed in action July 29 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.


Lindsay Wise Houston Chronicle:In 2007, Shane Robert Martin decided to quit art school and join the Marine Corps.

He called from Afghanistan last week and asked his parents to send him some of his old art supplies. He said the stark beauty of the central Asian country had inspired him to draw again.

"The irony is, here you have a kid who was as tough as anything, who was a Reconnaissance Marine, but he could stop for a moment and see the beauty of the people and the land around him, and there's something so poignant about that," said his aunt, Amanda Brock. "You know, he lost his life in that beauty."

The 23-year-old Marine lance corporal from Spring died during combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province on Thursday. He was assigned to the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Marine officials said Martin was driving a light armored vehicle on patrol when a roadside bomb exploded and the vehicle flipped. Martin died of head trauma. read

RIP LCPL. SHANE R. MARTIN War on Terror blog
GOOD SOLDIERS fallen heroes blog

Wife eulogizes Spring resident who was killed in Afghanistan


Aug. 10, 2010, 1:47PM

On Monday, hundreds of mourners attended a funeral Mass for Martin at the Catholic church in the 19200 block of Tomball Parkway. After the service, Patriot Guard Riders and law enforcement officials escorted the Marine's casket to Houston National Cemetery for burial.

"Shane was my greatest love and my best friend," Lauren said in a eulogy she delivered Monday morning. Her voice broke, but she fought through tears to get the words out. "He is my soulmate," she said. "He was my protector and always wanted me to have what made me happy."

Lauren never felt anything bad could happen to her while her husband was with her.

"Now he will have to watch over me from a distance," she said.

She promised her husband to live her life as fully as she can.

"I am so proud of you," Lauren said. "I love you, handsome. Wait for me."

The Marine's sister, 14-year-old Diane Wallace, also spoke during the service. The teenager said she knows that her big brother, protective by nature, will continue looking out for her from heaven.

"It's like he is my own personal guardian angel," she said.

In the days since her brother's death, Diane said, vivid memories of growing up together on the family's ranch keep flashing through her mind.

"I just want to press pause and hold onto those moments forever," she said.

Diane said she misses her brother's voice, his reassuring presence, and his crushing bear hugs.

"I want to give people hugs like Shane did, because he made people feel special, and I want to do that, too," she said.

"It's as if he had his own magnetic field," she added. "Everyone wanted to be around him."

Martin was born in Durban, South Africa, on Sept. 9, 1986. His family moved to a ranch in Burton when he was 12 and later to Spring, where he met his future wife in an architectural graphics class at Klein Collins. The couple graduated in 2005, and Martin attended The Art Institute of Houston before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 2007. He became an American citizen during his first combat tour in Iraq from December 2008 to April 2009.

The Marine's close-knit family in Houston last saw him three months ago, when Martin came home to visit before deploying to Afghanistan in May. He had expected to return to the U.S. around Thanksgiving.

Tanya Cooper-Jane Wayne Day

Tanya Cooper, the six for Lance Cpl. Jacob Cooper, fires off rounds from his M4 service carbine April 9 during 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion’s Jane Wayne Day at Combat Center Range 500.
photo LCpl. M.C. Nerl

2nd Lt. Richard K. Sala, C1LAR

2nd Lt. Richard K. Sala, commander 3rd Platoon, C Company,
1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion somewhere near
Sinjar Airfield 11.13.2008.

Photo Cpl. Dean Davis

Friday, July 30, 2010

A1LAR in AFGN--Date Taken: 07.26.2010

Date Taken: 07.26.2010----A Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion on patrol southern Afghanistan gathering intell and wish lists on how to improve the life/living conditions with various projects. Includes footage of LAR Marines in villages and meet/greet locals. Produced by Marine Sgt. Dean Davis. Includes a soundbite from Marine Cpl. Patrick Fields, 3rd Civil Affairs Group

In Memory of Lance Cpl. Christian Vasquez, C1LAR, KIA 08.02.2007

Cpl. Moses Cardenas, Rifleman, and Lance Cpl. Francisco J. Valles, Mortarman, C Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 5/6/2008, with Memorial Sword for Lance Cpl. Christian Vasquez, killed in action while serving as a scout with 1st LAR Al Anbar Province, Iraq, Aug. 2, 2007. photo Cpl. Dean Davis

Lance Cpl. Kevin Webb, D4thLAR

Lance Cpl. Kevin Webb, D4thLAR , New York City, Fleet Week, 1/1/2004
photo Sgt. John Hoellwarth

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lance Cpl. Lucas S. Morgan. H&S 1LAR

Lance Cpl. Lucas S. Morgan, a motor transport operator with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Korean Village, Iraq 9/29/2008.
photo Cpl. Dean Davis

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Col. John K. Love, and 3LAR Marines, Iraq

Col. John K. Love, commander Regimental Combat Team 8, talks to 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Marines during patrol in the Nineveh province of Iraq, May 12, 2009.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lance Cpl. Christopher E. Ford, WAR PIG Scout

Lance Cpl. Christopher E. Ford, scout Delta Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, holds a min-American flag and a stainless steel cross that he carries on every patrol for good luck at Camp Korean Village, Iraq, June 7. 2008.
Photo ByLine: Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson

Monday, July 26, 2010

Adam Smith-1775 and Journolist

Adam Smith and his book The Wealth of Nations might have saved Ezra Klein some heart burn had he read this old book and, shoot, make no doubt this book is as old as our nation. Of course, I bought the book in college and like everyone else tried to read it but tossed it aside and crammed other books that would help me get through the semester finals.

Until I owned my construction business, that is. Hitting a hard spell of feast or famine dought, I thought to divert myself by reading W of N. At about the same time, some friends of mine, in another state, were up before the state DA for price fixing in the construction business. Heh. Hell yead, just about the same time I was reading chapter X page 145 paragraph 27:

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the publick, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

SJG! Yead, I like drop out my chair and read and reread that sucker. Sorta makes you suck in your breath and go WTH! Yead buddy, now that's all kinds of right. The shock of finding the predicament my friends, in the year 2000 were in, facing years of prison time, just brought out all kinds of respect for that book written way back in 1775 or so.

Men as they are not they ought to be.

Third LAR-Sahl Sinjar, Iraq

Locked-Cocked-Ready to Rock. Third LAR Marines saddle up for operations north of Sahl Sinjar, Iraq, Aug. 4, 2009.
Photo ByLine:
Lance Cpl. Jason Hernandez


Delta 4thLAR 3/2/2005 on a WAR PIG run out of Quantico, Va.
wind chill set for ugh. Oh, yead.
Photo ByLine: Cpl. Enrique Saenz

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Remembered; Lance Corporal Gregory Edward Macdonald

Lance Cpl. Gregory E. MacDonald. June 25, 2003, 29 years old,
Bravo Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Frederick, Md.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Los Zetas Seize Two American Ranches In Laredo Texas

UPDATE: NEVER MIND-nobody knows nothing. Laredo Morning Times "
But officials with the Laredo Police Department, Webb County Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol said they knew nothing about such an incident, while Erik Vasys, an FBI spokesman in San Antonio, said the agency does not comment on rumors.

The report, which spread like wildfire among blogs Saturday afternoon, appears to have initially been posted on a blog called Diggers Realm."
July 24, 2010 5:38 PM CDT

This is going to throw a monkey wrench into our Ruling Puppet Masters mantra that Arizona is the problem.

Houston Examiner:"Two sources inside the Laredo Police Department confirmed the incident is unfolding and they would continue to coordinate with U.S. Border Patrol today. “We consider this an act of war,” said one police officer on the ground near the scene. There is a news blackout of this incident at this time and the sources inside Laredo PD spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Cortez and Garcia, A3LAR

Pfc. Ibrahim A. Garcia, light armored vehicle driver and Lance Cpl. Jessie V. Cortez, 2nd Platoon, A Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Mojave Desert trek 1/11/2005.
Photo : Pfc. Michael S. Cifuentes

More Gratuitous War Pig Porn-Now with Credit Info

Favorite shot of WAR PIGs was taken by Cpl. Adam Johnston 11/30/2007 during Operation Rat Hunt out of COP TIMBERWOLF, Iraq. These are Marines of BRAVO THREE LAR. The 20-day op captured three suspicious live rats, multiple weapons cache finds and three IED's. (Posted shot before but could not find the credit to info)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lance Cpl. Daniel K. Brown, C FIRST LAR

Lance Cpl. Daniel K. Brownfield, radio operator Company C, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion secures a ridge overlooking caves west of Mosul. Caves, located inside wadis of the Sinjar Mountains, are used to hide egg sucking enemy fighters and weapons moving into Iraq from Syria.
(future note: make me happy and hunker down on the sky line)

Photo by Cpl. Dean Davis

Corporal Daniel Hickey, SILVER STAR

Lance Cpl. Daniel Hickey, a machine gunner with 1st platoon, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment was awarded the Silver Star during a ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey Gray Field, July 16. Hickey demonstrated great heroism during combat when his patrol came under attack by medium machine gun fire and rocket propelled grenades during an ambush. link
photo Cpl. Andrew S. Avitt,

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Lance Cpl. Albert D. Garcia Jr. D3LAR

Lance Cpl. Albert D. Garcia Jr., Corpus Christ, Texas., on patrol through the neighborhoods of Habbaniyah, Iraq, 06/07/2006. Photo Cpl. Graham A. Paulsgrove

Cpl. Luther Sackett, LAR

Lance Cpl. Luther Sackett, QAID RANGE, Djibouti., live-fire exercise 1/29/2010. Photo Sgt. Scott Biscuiti,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gunnery Sgt. Melvin L. Venable, CFIRSTLAR

On War Pig reconnaissance near Sinjar Airfield west of Mosul of Mosul, Iraq, 11.13.2008.
Photo Cpl. Dean Davis

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I had a dream....dream time in Obama Time

Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia on her duties as a Yankee government executive administrating the standards of race and class distinctions.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today. Martin Luther King

Monday, July 19, 2010

Black Top War Pig

Alpha Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaisance (LAR) Battalion patrols the Black Top training area during COMBINED ARMS Exercise (CAX)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

First Lieutenant Michael Diamond, Platoon Cmdr, 3LAR

First Lieutenant Michael Diamond , Platoon Commander, C/Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Exercise KERNEL BLITZ 2001.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2nd Platoon, Alpha Company FIRST LAR

Patrol through a deserted bazaar near Combat Outpost Castle,
July 14, 2010.

Photo Cpl. Eugenio Montanez

Corpsmen Kyle Coughlin, Ryan Palma FIRST LAR

COMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Afghanistan – In late afternoon July 9, the sun setting when alarming news reached the corpsman at the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion’s Basic Aid Station.

“A messenger came in and notified us that there were two [girls] that showed up at the south gate,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Coughlin, senior corpsman with the Police Mentoring Team, 1st LAR Bn, from Mesa, Ariz.

The corpsmen went to the south gate to help. They learned that the girls fell in the river and weren’t breathing.

“So, I ran up with another corpsman and started assessing the girls. The younger girl wasn’t responding,” said Coughlin, 22.

The corpsmen had to move quickly if the girls were to have any chance of surviving.

“We took the older one and cleared her airway and got some of the water out, but she still wouldn’t respond unless when administrated pain to keep her awake,” Coughlin said.

The corpsmen then purged the water from her lungs to stabilize her.

“At that point she was able to breath on her own,” Coughlin said.

The younger girl still wasn’t breathing. Twenty minutes had passed, but the corpsmen weren’t ready to quit. The sailors called in a medical evacuation helicopter to take them to a larger medical facility.

“I could tell she still had some fight in her. She wasn’t ready to give up, and I wasn’t willing to give up on her,” Coughlin said.

“It’s all about helping the patient and focusing on what I can do to the best of my capabilities to bring them back,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Palma, a corpsman with the PMT, 1st LAR Bn., from Dededo, Guam.

The corpsmen did everything in their power to save the girls.

“They both left the BAS alive and with hope they would survive this incident, but unfortunately only one made it back,” Coughlin said.

“I know that my corpsmen did well that day and I am confident that everything that could be done, was done.”

Although the corpsmen weren’t able to save both the girls, they remain hopeful that the family knows they did their best.

“I hope that when people see what we’re doing, they realize that we’re here for them,” Coughlin said. “We’re here to protect them from the insurgents and help is available to anyone that asks for it. We want to help them in any way that we can.”

First Lieutenant Mathew Newman, XO Alpha FIRST LAR

First Lieutenant Mathew Newman, walks with an Afghan boy during a patrol near Combat Outpost Castle, July 14. Corpsmen with 1st LAR Bn. treated two Afghan girls, who fell into a nearby river. The girls were treated at 1st LAR’s Basic Aid Station then sent to a larger medical facility. Photo Cpl. Eugenio Montanez

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tok Sok Ri War Pigs

US NAVY Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), off loads WAR PIGS AKA Light Armored Vehicles (LAV),on the beach at Tok Sok Ri, Korea. FOAL EGALE 2000 exercise. Two months of hitting beaches on and off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, Sasebo, Japan, Pohang, Korea, and Hong Kong, China. photo

General Anthony Zini CIC USCC, and FIRST LAR

General Anthony Zini, Commander-in-Chief, US Central Command inspects troops from First LAR (Light Armored Reconnaissance) Wolfpack Platoon, Brightstar in Egypt.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Electronic WAR PIG Pix


  • Two-way communications
  • Data collection
  • Locating and positioning of enemy forces
  • Jamming and intercepting enemy communications
  • Mobility equal to supported units
  • Electronic Jamming System (AN/ULQ19):

  • log periodic antenna and whip antennae
  • 37 ft. telescopic mast - 360° rotatable
  • mast control system w/BITE


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Alpha TWO LAR--somewhere in the Middle East--

WAR PIG with Alpha TWO LAR, somewhere in the Middle East, location unknown, at a gunnery range, June 25, 2010, working out their seven-month deployment aboard USS Nassau.
photo Gunnery Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl

Gratutious Electronic War Pig Porn!

Tks and Tip of the Hat to Tim Dillon (whose son is C.O. of a MEWSS) for today's shot of an Electronic War Pig. MEWSS stands for - Mobile Electronic Warfare Support System. Bottom line these WAR PIGS can make earth quakes, let poison arrows fall from the sky and the pillars of Heaven shake AKA also known as "surgical electronic attack". Sweet.

According to Global Security:
MEWSS is the U.S. Marine Corps' ground component of the Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS) system. It uses the same subsystems as the Army's Ground Based Common Sensor-Light and Heavy( GBCS-L &GBCS-H), and the Advanced Quickfix ( AQF). The MEWSS uses the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) as its platform. The MEWSS is capable of intercept and location. It is also capable of conducting surgical electronic attack against designated targets.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Alpha Two LAR Salah Ad Din

1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Light Armor Reconnaissance, Task Force Mech, patrol the deserts of the Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq, May 16, 2008, Operation Iraqi Freedom.
photo Sgt. Rome M. Lazarus

Marines Train With Cops On LA Streets

LAPD Cops on their beat are teaching Afghan bound Marines the ropes of protecting and serving on the streets of Los Angeles:
The Marines hope that learning to work like a cop on a beat will help them better track the Taliban, build relationships with Afghans leery of foreign troops and make them better teachers as they try to professionalize an Afghan police force beset by corruption.

"Their role is to win the hearts and minds of the community and that's what they did," said Marine Staff Sgt. Brendan Flynn, who also works as a Los Angeles police officer and will be deployed to help train Afghan police.

The weeklong exercise -- unbeknownst to the public -- involved Marines dressed in jeans and T-shirts observing drugs busts, witnessing prostitution arrests and even following a murder case. It was the largest group of Marines to embed with the city's officers. NBCLA

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lance Corporal Beauman-TWO LAR

Lance Corporal Beauman, Charlie Company, Weapons Platoon, 2ND LAR, and M-220 E/4 Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided missile (TOW 2) Re-qualification (LAR-REQUALEX) '98, Fort Pickett, 03/30/1998. Photo


Saturday, July 10, 2010


Lance Cpl. Matthew Benskin,

Lance Cpl. Matthew Benskin, team leader 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, M-4 carbine with attached M-203 grenade launcher, squad-assault training- Small Arms Combat Range - Camp Fuji, Japan, April 9, 2010. photo Lance Cpl. Kelsey J. Green

Friday, July 09, 2010

Sgt. Brandon Didde, Third LAR

Sgt. Brandon Didde, vehicle commander 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion,
M-67 training grenade/squad-assault training- Small Arms Combat Range-
Camp Fuji, Japan, April 9, 2010.

Lt. Col. Scott Leonard, FIRST LAR, Brief

Lt. Col. Scott Leonard, right, commanding officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, briefs British Army Lt. Gen. Chris Brown, deputy commanding general, Multi-National Force-Iraq, Sahl Sinjar Airfield in the Ninawa province of Iraq Feb. 24, 2009
photo Cpl. Meg Murray

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Lance Cpl. Anthony Sgarlata, D-3LAR

Lance Cpl. Anthony Sgarlata, mortarman, D Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Range 410 June 9, 2010 basic platoon attack tactics. Photo Lance Cpl. Michael Nerl


Marine Corps Times:Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commander of 1st Marine Division (Fwd):

First Reconnaissance Battalion, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., will assist conventional infantry forces in Marjah this summer, covering the Sistani Desert to the west, Nad Ali to the east, and other nearby areas that 1/6 and 3/6 don’t have enough manpower to control, Osterman said. The Taliban use these and other spots around Marjah to launch ambushes, frequently using beat-up motorcycles to make their getaway.

In southern Helmand, Pendleton’s 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion continues to patrol sprawling desert areas that lead to the Pakistan border. The speed and firepower of its light armored vehicles allow Marines there to hinder insurgent movement.

“That’s perfect open hunting ground for those guys,” Osterman said. “They’re capable of highly mobile dispersed operations, which is exactly what that area requires.”

Bustin' Narcos In the 'Stan--First and Fourth LAR

Marines from 4th and 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions seized $134 million in opium, hashish, morphine and heroin illicit narcotics from drug traffickers located in southern Afghanistan.

These drugs, combined with another large seizure earlier this week, brought the total amount of illicit narcotics destroyed in Helmand province in the past five days to more than 13,000 kilograms.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Cpl. Moses Cardenas, 1stLAR, 4th July Bash

Cpl. Moses Cardenas, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance, Fullerton, Calif., enjoys the ocean waves at the July 4th Ken Grody Beach Bash at Del Mar Beach, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Hundreds of service members, families and Department of Defense employees enjoyed live entertainment, a variety of food, water activities and a fireworks show during the 4th July celebration of our country's independence day. Photo by Cpl. Jacob A. Singsank

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

First Platoon, Third LAR-Rawah

Feb. 1, 2008, Marines with 1st Platoon, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, search the desert for weapon caches with a War Pig aka Light Armored Vehicle outside Combat Outpost Rawah, Iraq. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Cpl. Tyler Hill)

Cpl. Victor Mayanes, Three LAR

Cpl. Victor Mayanes,1st Platoon, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, outside Combat Outpost Rawah, Iraq, 02.01.2008 (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Cpl. Tyler Hill)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Cpl. Matthew Delacruz, Alpha2LAR

Cpl. Matthew Delacruz, 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Operation Defeat Al Qaida in the North (DAN) Al Anbar province, Iraq, May 12. 2008
(U.S. Marine Corps photo/Cpl. Tyler Hill)

War Pig Team

Al QATRANAH, Jordan, (Aug. 19, 2008) -- Scouts with the Light Armored Vehicle platoon, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit take cover behind an LAV prior to beginning a trench assault in Jordanian desert during "Operation Infinite Moonlight." photo by Cpl. Stephen Holt

Sunday, July 04, 2010

July 4th 2010-Independence Day 234

John Adams had written to his wife Abigail: The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. Wikipedia

Friday, July 02, 2010

Capt. Pete Hegseth: Kagan Intellectually Dishonest

Cpl. Daniel Wendling, A4thLAR

Cpl. Daniel Wendling, Headquarters Platoon, Alpha Company,
4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, tracking and cutting course Sept. 10, 2009, Twentynine Palms
photo Chief Warrant Officer 2 Keith A. Stevenson

Obama Tan Tax On Indoor Tanning Services July 1

G'Morning America! The ObamaCare Tax Train makes it's first stop today at “indoor tanning services” and that perk will now cost you, KA-CHING — an extra 10 percent federal excise tax on the retail price of your golden tan.

From Americans for Tax Reform--what the rest of the Tax Tsunami looks like:

New Health Law Raises Taxes on Working Families By Over $500 Billion

Individual Mandate Excise Tax (Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

1 Adult
2 Adults
3+ Adults
1% AGI/$95
1% AGI/$190
1% AGI/$285
2% AGI/$325
2% AGI/$650
2% AGI/$975
2016 +
2.5% AGI/$695
2% AGI/$1390
2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS)

Employer Mandate Tax (Jan 2014): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013): Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income

Capital Gains
2011-2012 (current law)
2011-2012 (Obama budget)
2013+ (current law)
2013+ (Obama budget)

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations. It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income. It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans ($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed.

Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax ($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:

First $200,000 ($250,000 Married) Employer/Employee All Remaining Wages Employer/Employee
Current Law 1.45% / 1.45% 2.9% self-employed 1.45% / 1.45% self-employed
Obamacare Tax Hike 1.45% / 1.45% 2.9% self-employed 1.45% / 1.45% self-employed

Medicine Cabinet Tax ($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike ($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” ($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited). Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers ($20 bil/Jan 2010): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax. Exempts items retailing for <$100.

Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI ($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

Tax on Indoor Tanning Services ($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons

Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D ($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike ($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services

Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS

Tax on Innovator Drug Companies ($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year.

Tax on Health Insurers ($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. Phases in gradually until 2018. Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits

$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives ($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)

Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Min$/Jan 2011): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting ($17.1 bil/Jan 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers

“Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion). This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.

Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion). This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.

Read more:

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lance Cpl. Russell L. Pope, DFirstLAR

Lance Cpl. Russell L. Pope, Delta Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, live fire range 407A Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 18, 2009