In his July 4th column, Stephen Fletcher is guilty of perpetrating a common myth about the new health care legislation. He states "Obamacare adds a new 3.8% tax on every house sold..." This is incorrect. It does not apply to all real estate transactions. Rather, it is a tax on investment income, real estate or otherwise, and it is only imposed on people who earn above $200,000 (individuals) or $250,000 (couples). This excludes about 97% of all households. The tax will not be applied to all home sales, only to those that produce profits over the capital gains threshold of $250,000 (individuals) or $500,000 (couples). If you make more than these figures in profits, you would then be assessed the 3.8%, a far cry from every house sold. Only about 3% of all U.S. households will be affected.
This sort of misinformation should not be coming from a newspaper columnist who, I assume, wants to be seen as a reputable journalist seeking to work within the framework of facts. Most people already realize that the Alpena News is quite a biased paper, and that, in itself, is a measure of less than ideal journalism. Nevertheless, opinions need to at least be backed up by the correct facts. A newspaper's responsibility is to inform the public accurately concerning issues that impact their lives as well as their vote. Please, Mr. Fletcher, do your research before you put forth any more "facts."