Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ObamaCare Tax Set for January 1, 2013

I am a small business owner/sole proprietor who one day hopes to achieve the $250,000 income marker that would make me considered rich. Ha. Get a good laugh on that one. 

Anyway, even if I do reach that milestone, I will immediately need to pay the government its bonus of $2,500 to fund one component of Obamacare, the Additional Hospital Insurance Tax on High-Income Taxpayers (aka the "Medicare Surtax). This of course is in addition to the $2500 or so I will already have paid. 

Like I said, I'm not close to that, but it would be nice to grow my business to that level. That employee I'd like to hire will just have to wait for their bonus - gotta pay Uncle Sam/Uncle Obama first. How pathetic.

Here's the letter I received from my payroll service provider ADP alerting me to this tax:

Dear JOE,

As a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, effective January 1, 2013, employers will be required to withhold a 0.9% Additional Hospital Insurance Tax on High-Income Taxpayers (a.k.a., “Medicare Surtax”). 

High-Income Taxpayers are defined as those with an annual income of $200,000 for individuals, $250,000 for joint filers, and $125,000 for married individuals filing separately. The increase applies only to the employee portion of the Medicare tax, though the employer is responsible for withholding and reporting.

Employers should be mindful that the law requires an employer to withhold the Additional Medicare Tax on wages or compensation it pays to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year.

Reconciliation of over or under withholding for joint filers or married individuals filing separately, is accomplished when the employee files his/her income tax return.  An employee has the option to have additional Federal Income Tax withheld on Form W-4 in anticipation of meeting the wage threshold for the additional Medicare Surtax.*

ADP’s payroll application has been updated and your company payroll should reflect the new Medicare Surtax requirements as applicable, beginning in calendar year 2013.

For more information about the Additional Medicare Tax, you can access the following links:
     • Details can also be found on the ADP website at

We appreciate the opportunity to serve your payroll and tax filing needs.

Sincerely yours,
Your ADP Service Team

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Is There a Way Out of This Present Darkness?

Update 8/11/2012: Red text added and some original text marked thru.
I began composing this post as an email message on Thursday night two weeks ago, just a few hours before the horrific shooting in Aurora, Colorado began.  Twenty-four hours later I sent the original email to Central Texas Republican Assembly members and friends.  With the equally horrific murderous acts this morning against Sikh worshiper at their temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Wisconsin I feel that America is on the brink of a looming darkness and that the message I sent out via email is worth adapting to share with the wider audience of the readers of The Travis Monitor.

As I wrote the day after Aurora, we don't yet know for certain the motive of the man who shot 70 people in crowded theaters after midnight on July 20th.  Nor do we know the motive of the man who reportedly shot and killed at least 6 people in Oak Creek this morning, and subsequently was shot and killed by police (Update 8/11/2012: We know now that he turned the gun on himself).  It appears that the Aurora killer had assumed the identity of The Joker in the Batman movie, The Dark Knight and with malice of forethought planned every murderous detail (over at least a three month period) to act out this assumed identity, including the booby trapping of his own residence to kill and maim even more people remotely after the shooting (inspired perhaps by The Joker's acts and diabolical plans depicted in the fictional film).

We may never know what motivated the man who perpetrated this morning's violence against humanity, since the murderer was killed by police from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after being shot in the stomach by a police officer who responded to the scene—a necessary act to prevent further injury and loss of life.  That said, what is clear to me from these two acts of violence (and not discounting other killings going on in the world, such as abortion-on-demand in America and genocide in countries like the Sudan and Syria) is the truth of the admonition of Scripture, "Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (I Peter 1:8)

The fact is, we need not wait to learn the motives of these murderers to ascertain that of the ultimate person behind their evil acts; for that person is our enemy, the devil.  And that means that some sense can be made out of these horrific events.  Evil exists! The devil (Satan) is the penultimate personification of that evil, and each human being has inherited the sinful/evil heart of Adam, even though we have been made in the image of God.  As Jeremiah lamented, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

The World, the Flesh and Satan (with his horde of demons) cultivate and promulgate this sinfulness/evil (James 3:15).  But, praise be to God that the blood of Jesus Christ has the power to overcome evil.  We all need Christ's blood to cover and overpower the evil inside of us.  We all need to put our trust in Him and accept His free (to us) gift, not only of Salvation (in the future sense) but of the Holy Spirit in the present (Romans 3:25; 2 Timothy 1:14).

It is painfully clear to me that Satan is very active in our society, especially in luring away our children.  He takes pleasure in their suffering and in ours and has an insatiable appetite to kill, steal and destroy God's image bearers (John 10:10).  The flesh is weak.  Addiction and mental illness can be as destructive as any of Satan's schemes, being inspired by him.  This world is a fallen place inhabited by fallen angles and fallen people, a place where bad company corrupts good character/morals (1 Corinthians 15:33).  The murderous Satan cares not how he kills—whether it be by homicide, suicide, sickness, war or "accident;" our destruction, especially our spiritual destruction, beings him pleasure, much like the pleasure The Joker displayed in the Batman series as he killed people and destroyed property, tempting the "good guy" to give up his "good way" and embrace The Joker's (Satan's) evil philosophy.  Even Heath Ledger, the actor who played The Joker in The Dark Knight, did not escape Satan's scheme but rather succumbed to a lethal drug overdose before the film's release, apparently in an attempt to deal with sleeping difficulties he had while playing his role as The Joker for the big screen.
The motivation for my first composition was to bring attention to the problem of drugs and suicide (no, I am not aiming at guns).  This is still my motivation; and so with all this in mind, please support my friend Karen Austin's fund raising team, "Carry on For Nathan" to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Teens are especially at risk today and I believe Obama's "hope and change" with it's great sucking sound of job loss and loss of prospects for a hopeful future, from a societal perspective, has discouraged and demoralized them.  Also, I have come to learn that greedy and enabling adults are enticing our children with drugs and do-what-feels-good philosophy.  All this, I believe, will result in more teen suicide if we do not turn our country around (that is, personally and nationally repent of the way we are heading and turn back to The Creator).

This attack on young people has come far too close to home for me and my family.  Rebellion and drugs are threatening to take another of our four sons (we lost our 3 year old son, Daniel in an accident in November of 2005).  Our 18 year old has left home to "live with friends."  He has not yet graduated from high school and at the time he left home (originally on July 5th) had no job, no money (that we know of), no driver's license and virtually no possessions.  We hope and pray he will return to to the Lord and to us, but of course have no guarantees.  Our son has very flawed parents and siblings and is himself a fallen and broken young man.  I pray that we will all repent and be reconciled.  We grieve with Karen Austin and her family as they continue to deal with the pain of the loss of Nathan even as we are broken hearted over our son's decision to leave our home and apparently cut ties with his family.

Please pray for America's children and families, and especially right now for the survivors of the evil that raised its dark and demonic head in Theater Number 9, in Aurora, Colorado early on Friday, July 20th and again this morning in and near the Sikh Temple of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing at least 7 image bearers, counting the shooter.

Please support Karen Austin per her request copied below and please pray that Americans will find the way out of this present darkness.
Dear Friend,

I will be joining with thousands of people nationwide to walk in AFSP's Out of the Darkness Community Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

My personal fundraising goal is $155. I would appreciate any support that you give me for this worthwhile cause.

I started a "team" called "Carry on For Nathan" for the Out of the Darkness walk in Austin on November 4, 2012. This team honors my 18-year old son who passed away on April 2, 2012. The team website is Please consider joining the team, contributing financially, and/or walking with us.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at the forefront of research, education and prevention initiatives designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. With more than 36,000 lives lost each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide, the importance of AFSP's mission has never been greater, nor our work more urgent.

Donating online is safe and easy! To make an online donation please search for my name on and the click "support this participant". If you would rather donate by check please make the check out to AFSP and mail it in with the offline donation form.

Thank you for considering this request for your support. If you have any questions about the Out of the Darkness Community Walks or AFSP do not hesitate to contact me or visit

Karen Austin

Support me!

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