Archive for Monday, July 26, 2010

Case to end tax cuts for wealthy made

Treasury secretary would extend benefit for middle class

July 26, 2010


— As the White House geared up for a fight to end controversial tax cuts of the last administration, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday that allowing the expiration of those targeted at wealthy Americans was “the responsible thing to do” and would not deter economic growth.

The president’s plan would end tax cuts for only 2 percent or 3 percent of the highest-earning Americans, Geithner said, while sending an important message to the world about commitment to fiscal austerity.

“We think that’s the responsible thing to do,” Geithner said, speaking to Jake Tapper on ABC’s “This Week.” “We need to make sure we can show the world that we’re willing as a country now to start to make some progress bringing down our long-term deficits.”

But Republicans and even some Democrats are unsure about the wisdom of raising taxes at this point in the economic recovery. Among those affected by the increases would be business owners, bracing for the tax hit at exactly the moment when economic recovery depends heavily on whether or not they decide to create new jobs.

Enacted under President George W. Bush, the tax cuts will expire next year if Congress and the president don’t act to extend them. Republicans and some Democrats favor continuing them all, at a cost of adding at least $2 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years.

Obama has supported continuing only those for lower-income and middle-class workers, which would cost slightly less. He has suggested keeping the cuts in place for individuals making less than $200,000 a year and for families earning less than $250,000.

The brewing fight is stoked by the fact that every member of the House and a third of the Senate are on the campaign trail right now. Republicans are hoping to take over control of one or both chambers from Democrats in the November elections, at the midpoint of Obama’s first term. The party in control of the White House historically loses several seats at the midterm.

On Sunday, Geithner took the administration’s argument to both the ABC show and to NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He said he doesn’t think that ending the tax cuts would negatively affect the economic recovery.

“Just letting those tax cuts that only go to 2 percent to 3 percent of Americans, the highest-earning Americans in the country, expire, I do not believe it will have a negative effect on growth,” Geithner said on ABC.

In addition, Geithner said the administration was pushing Congress to pass a series of tax measures to benefit small businesses and help them get credit so they can expand their operations. He said he expected the administration push for this would “absolutely” come before the midterm elections in November.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = tax increases for the middleclass.

If tax cuts were the magic wand to creating new jobs every able bodied citizen could have 3 jobs apiece after 30 years of tax cuts for the upper 1%. Obviously this did not work so well. INSTEAD millions upon millions upon million of jobs and the USA industrial base is supporting the Chinese communist government. Leaving USA blue and white collar workers high and dry. AND the USA economy in the dump.

There are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy more middle class people in the USA that actually support the economy and pay the bills. When millions upon millions upon millions of middle class USA blue and white collar workers are forced out of work by white collar Wall Street types the USA has no money.

Tax cuts have NOT created new industry nor new jobs. The bottom line.

pooter 7 years, 5 months ago

Tax increases have NOT created new industry nor (other than maybe at the IRS) new jobs either. The bottom line.


gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 5 months ago

Person who can not be named but seems to be an expert on economics despite mowing lawns for a living: I challenge you to post your tax bill for 2009. I'm curious to find out how much you actually pay since you are clearly an expert on how much people should pay. Your move.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

It has been determined that shipping USA industry and USA jobs to the Communist Chinese government has not worked well for the USA economy. Receives Grade F !

The combination of supporting the Communist Chinese Government(Wal -Mart for example) and activities listed below have destroyed or will finish off the USA economy forever.

The New World Order Global Economy and Reagnomics are absolute failures for the USA!!!

This is what I mean:

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist "There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and were part of the Bush Jr. administration. Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this was about one quarter of our national debt").

  2. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers "And, yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities."

  3. Only 3 major Financial Institutions Were at Risk In Spite of What Were Told ? "There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America, Citigroup, those three were clearly in very weakened form. So, many of the other big banks were not.

  4. Privatizing Social Security Would Place the Nations Economy at Risk "Social Security privatization will raise the size of the government's deficit to nearly $700 billion per year for the next 20 years, almost tripling the size of the national debt. Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk--it would likely put the entire economy at risk."

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 5 months ago

Replacing a "Communist Chinese Government" with a socialist American government - that you support - is not the answer. You are just to ignorant to realize it.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 5 months ago

You caught me. Out of the hundreds of posts I've made, I have made a few typos. This was one of them.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

Elizabeth Warren should be the top contender to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Hey folks it's time for Pres Obama to support this person and time for all us to get educated about our financial welfare!

It's no mystery why the corporate/big business crowd opposes her. The effectiveness of the financial reform bill depends entirely on the regulators—it cedes them new power, but it doesn't mandate systemic change. So the bankers and lobbyists want to diminish regulation as much as they can, which means opposing a determined and smart Warren.

Rather than sabotaging Warren's prospects, Dodd and the administration, especially President Obama, should be touting the fact that Warren has been one of the leading activists and thinkers about what the bureau could get done, and that her stewardship led to it being one of the things we can celebrate in the final bill.

In her folksy, plainspoken way, Warren—who hails from Oklahoma and is a former Methodist Sunday school teacher—has articulated how the agency could help ordinary people, providing a small amount of power in a system that's weighted against them. She has such an honest, fair, decent and clear way of talking about what government can do to serve the common good.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 5 months ago

Reagan's "trickle down" economics has never worked for middle and low income folks. Let the tax breaks expire.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow! Haven't seen that set of links in at least a day! Way to go, merrill. Everybody will read all that stuff this time for sure!

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

Why don't you try addressing the issues he raises? Can't?

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

I never, ever read Merrill's posts. I don't respect his posts because all he can do is copy and paste.

whats_going_on 7 years, 5 months ago

I respect the fact that he takes the time to look it all up at least, rather than just insulting other's.

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

Exactly---well said, tomatogrower. Merrill's post above is completely on the mark. Argue with what he said if you will, but the silly name calling is just that---silly and childish.

Elizabeth Warren for the head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She'll kick some #$%^&.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

"while sending an important message to the world about commitment to fiscal austerity"

Raising taxes to spend more equals "fiscal austerity".

Uh huh.

And there's this bridge in New York for sale ...

seriouscat 7 years, 5 months ago

75% of the "rich" that will see the Bush tax cuts go away are small businesses, and Geithner doesn't think that ending the tax cuts will undermine whatever economic recovery we have limping down the pike. Is this guy for realz?

This on top of the new health care, new medicare taxes and uncertainties galore about the regulatory atmosphere.

Better extend the jobless benefits for another ten + years then, because that's what it's going to take for our economy to recover if we keep sticking to small business cough cough I mean those evil rich people.

geekyhost 7 years, 5 months ago

Oops, did you say 75%? I think you actually meant 1.9% And that figure also includes investors who earn income from investing in small businesses but are not themselves actual small business owners.

seriouscat 7 years, 5 months ago

Ack! I had typed out a long and thorough response and then when I went to post it, it disappeared! So here is my second, and much more hurried response:

It all depends on who you listen to. I’m not an expert on finance. When people start talking percentages and posting graphs, my eyes glaze over and I start to wonder if my next Netflix is in the mailbox yet. So for me, analysis by a reliable source is essential. I got my 75% figure from a weekly newsletter by John Mauldin, a finance and investment expert who does a really good job of approaching policy issues evenhandedly.

I read that whole paper that you posted and it’s clear that it is a very shallow take on this issue. They included three different tax issues that might be related ideologically, but as for the reality, they are totally different. I actually agree with what they paper says regarding hedge fund managers. But focusing on the Bush tax cuts, I don’t and here’s why; in their argument for how broad the definition of small business is, they purposely use loaded words and references like: Bush, Cheny, corporate CEOs, large corporation, doctors and lawyers (who everyone knows are all rich greedy white men) etc. The specific paragraph that you references is the real deal breaker though.

“In fact, only 1.9 percent of filers with any small-business income are projected to face either of the top two income tax rates in 2009. By contrast, more than 14 percent of filers with small-business income claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income workers. Thus, strengthening the EITC could help more than seven times as many small businesses as reducing the top income tax rates.”

That 1.9 percent of filers are a huge source of investment money for businesses that are currently facing the worst economy and the tightest credit market we’ve had in decades. This is what I think Mauldin is talking about and what actually matters. When deep pocket investors face higher taxes on their investments, they just pay their tax guys to find other places elsewhere where their dollars make more money for them. It doesn’t “even things out” it just makes those people change their behavior. Sometime they just take their money and leave…as is happening in California right now with Richy Rich moving to place like Arizona and Nevada in droves.

Also, how can they claim, with a straight face, that the businesses themselves are helped by the EITC? This credit goes directly to the employees, not the business. It is essentially a subsidy for paying what is rightfully deemed ‘low income’ wages. In my mind this is about as helpful as Walmart enjoying the fact that most of its employees qualify for Medicaid. They get to keep healthy productive employees while the public pays for their health care. It certainly is NOT income that goes back to the employer in form that can be used for growing the business and hiring more people, which is what we really, really need right now.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

The correct term is tax relief, not tax breaks. "Tax break" suggests that someone is somehow getting a special deal.

In reality, relief from immorally high taxes (that's right - taxes can be so high as to be immoral) is a concept we should embrace during a severe economic downturn.

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

No doubt. Anyone gotten on to a .gov site lately? Check out the jobs available and the salaries offered. It's amazing. At I saw one job last week that was under 40k; virtually everything else was over 60k with the majority over 100k. Government work is where it's at these days I guess. There are 1500 'agencies' that deal w/ homeland security and tens of thousands of the President's "new jobs" are in the IRS. Ladies and gentlemen, with these things coupled with the further expansion due to the healthcare reform, our federal government has been ballooned to monstrous size and scope; this is not a good thing.

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely; I don't expect these hires to be recent grads or anything. My point is that there are a wide range of positions the government advertises and the salaries are all fit for the Ladders. Not that we want mediocre talent running the country, but it's disconcerting to see our feds running the most affluent corporation in the world and then griping about deficits and debt as if the mere size they've taken on isn't a huge part of the problem.

N_Trenched 7 years, 5 months ago

You are absolutely correct Tom. Now we find out that the three richest counties in the U.S. are those surrounding D.C. and it all becomes clear. Big government means less for you and I. I'm sure this is what our founders sought as a future for the nation.

KSManimal 7 years, 5 months ago

$250,000 is about what a beginning school teacher earns - every seven years.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

Pretty much without exception, for any of the "productive" members of society you want to worship require the work of many others who are paid much, much less to produce the wealth they enjoy.

Does that mean everyone should get paid the same? Not at all, but fairy tales about how the wealthy get there simply because they're smarter, harder working and better looking doesn't explain reality. A progressive tax is just one way to level the playing field ever so slightly-- if the tax cuts for the rich are allowed to expire, they'll still be quite wealthy even after paying those taxes.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

In 1950, the ratio between executive pay/average worker pay was about 30/1. Since 2000, it's been 300-500/1.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

I'd say it's unlikely that they're doing anything that warrants such a huge disparity.

They deserve it because?

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, leaving aside for a moment the question of whether the capitalist free market system is a good one to determine fairness, CEO salaries are, in fact, NOT determined by that system.

They are determined by a board of directors.

I would say that any rational analysis of contribution/compensation would not arrive at a 300-500/1 ratio.

They don't work 300-500 times as long or as hard, and their activities don't contribute 300-500 times as much value to the company.

In fact, an interesting article I read recently concluded that the better CEO's actually do less - when CEO's try to change things they often hurt the company rather than help it.

Part of the problem there is that compensation is not tied to results, although I'd say it should be.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

And yet you defend this idiotic, insane and counterproductive system.

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

What? We have a capitalist free market? Certainly not according to the libertarians who comment here.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 5 months ago

The wealthy benefit from far greater levels of service from our government, so this notion of the poor abused wealthy is ridiculous. Those who demand more services should pay a greater share.

Also, these specific tax cuts NEVER produced the job growth and prosperity promised when enacted. If they didn't produce the promised results, why are we supposed to believe their ending will have ANY effect?

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Oh, yeah, scottie. 'Cause the rich are the ones getting food stamps, riding buses, sending their kids off to public school, getting Medicaid - why, they're using up ALL those government services!!!

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

"Those who demand more services should pay a greater share. "

Herein lies the fallacy. Demand more services? Does the ambulance get to their door 50 times faster? The police? But they pay far more than 50x the average tax levy, sooo.... These people you're talking about are able and willing to pay their fair share AND the fair share of how many of their fellow citizens? The percentages don't lie. And you can keep spouting that these people don't produce the job growth and prosperity.......except they do. Where this administration is taking us sure ain't goinna do that, 'cuz that's not what the government does or is supposed to do. You think somehow that taking the money from the ones who hire so that the government can dole it out is going to magically produce jobs? Then you must also believe in Jack and this beanstalk idea he's got in the works.

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

Jobs first, then tax cuts. Reagan and Bush decided to trust it to work the other way around, but they were too trusting. Give them great tax cuts, but only after they have created the jobs.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

Your mindset that the government "gives" tax cuts is, quite frankly, toxic. You seem to believe that government owns it all and that any money the citizens are allowed to keep has been given to us.

Tax relief isn't a gift from government, and the government shouldn't decide who gets to keep their income. We, the citizens, empower government - not the other way around, tomato. You seem to believe the government owns it all and we're simply at the mercy of what government decides to leave us with. In your case, you'd leave us with the scraps.

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

I realize you and the rich do not feel any responsibility or loyalty to strengthen the US economy, as long as you can keep making lots of money, and still pay cheap labor for your food, clothing, cars, gas, etc. But eventually a bad economy is even going to catch up to the rich. Or the people they pay to make all the things their money buys, wash their cars, clean their houses, check their groceries, in other words, those who work hard to make the rich people's lives comfortable and possible, are going to get fed up when they don't have enough money to send their kids to college, pay the rent, afford medical care. Then you'll have a real rebellion on your hands, not this namby, pamby tea party. Just what is your solution for job creation in the United States? Tax cuts haven't worked. Or do you even care about the US economy? Do you just care about your own bottom line, and to H with your neighbor? Real Christian of you.

Shane Garrett 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow, I think you just proved RockChalk1977 thesis.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

The Christian faith is not lived out through government programs. There's a big, big difference between a Christian choosing to give through a charitable spirit and a Christian being forced to support someone else's charity by handing over their wealth.

Unless you're interested in the government taking on all the responsibilities of the church, including sharing the Gospel and making disciples of men and women, it is inadvisable to pick and choose the Christian virtues you want government to assume.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 5 months ago

Clinton raised taxes, and our economy still roared, Bush lowered taxes, and out economy if not tanked, at least stayed still, so don't start the taxes kill small business garbage. I hope the Republicans can agree to the tax hike, they are the ones more concerned about the debt, and they have to realize Obama will not cut spending.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 5 months ago

I'd really like to know more about these small businesses that in the upper 2% in wealth.

How many are in Kansas?

Can somebody explain to me where these 75% of small businesses are going to take the hit?

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 5 months ago

Taxes are lower now than at any point since 1950.

There is no "allowing" tax relief to expire. This administration and congress are simply following the law passed by the previous administration and two previous congresses. To argue differently is like arguing that Obama "allowed" the sun to come up this morning.

Which he did, by the way, but that's a different subject.

Both the previous administration and previous congresses had several years to make this tax relieve "permanent." They chose not to do so.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

The plan is clear - allow tax relief to expire for some and continue for others. Therefore, there is no "following the law passed by the previous administration and two previous congresses." The plan is to make a distinct change. The plan is to maintain tax relief for millions of Americans but to also allow taxes to increase for others. Therefore, the majority will enjoy continued tax relief while the minority see there taxes increase by $2 trillion.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 5 months ago

Therefore, the majority will enjoy continued tax relief while the minority see there taxes increase by $2 trillion.

OMG, that sounds horrible.

The tax relief you speak of won't be "maintained," it will be re-enacted. You are 100% correct, it will be a distinct change, hence to not re-enact other tax cuts is to allow them to expire as was envisioned by the previous administration.

I'm glad we agree on this.

somedude20 7 years, 5 months ago

I thought the repugs would not fund unemployment for the working class unless it was paid for some how (no new debt they said) so what is going to pay for the rich to get richer (keeping the cuts)? That is right, this is for mid-terms so the repugs can get re-elected ( fatten their campaign contributions)

Victor Dawson 7 years, 5 months ago

I keep hearing you argument that Obama is leading us down this destructive economic path because he is in charge. It took us eight years as a country, under GW, to get into this mess. It will take a while to dig out from under all the bs! I think, once again, you are not taking your meds because your thoughs don't make any sense! Have a beautiful day!

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 5 months ago

Clinton enjoyed the windfall from the tax cuts of a 1-term president??? Try this, Clinton enjoyed a great big ol deficit from a 1-term president who also fought a war in that 1 term and cut taxes thereby losing revenue and growing the deficit. So Clinton had 8 years to turn around the HW Bushed years and left office with a giant surplus.

Nice revisionist history, Moocher.

gphawk89 7 years, 5 months ago

"continuing all of the tax cuts at a cost of adding at least $2 trillion to the federal deficit" Isn't it government spending that adds to the federal deficit?

...and does anyone understand the lag between raising/lowering taxes and the effects that that action has on the economy?

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 5 months ago

Here, gphawk, maybe you can understand this little rhyme:

"a toll is a toll and a roll is a roll, and if we don't get no toll, we don't get no roll."

taxes pay for programs and services, so if we don't collect enough taxes to pay for spending, then the deficit grows.

and letting tax cuts expire is different from raising taxes, we are just letting the tax rates return to their original level. remember the 2000 campaign when candidates knew they were inheriting a budget surplus and were asked what they would do with it? this was bush2's idea for "returning the surplus to the people" - giving it to richest of the rich. that was supposed to somehow lead to economic growth and jobs...but all it lead to was a giant windfall for the richest, a huge deficit, bank bailout, and massive, historic job losses. great policy there, dubbya!

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

In all seriousness, who do you think pays the vast majority of taxes?

Do you think it's poor? Not a chance.

The middle class? The middle class definitely pays too much in taxes, but as a percentage of income, there's another group that pays much, much more.

How about the wealthy? Bingo. The wealthiest 10% pay over 50% of what the government rakes in. Therefore, the economic class that should benefit most from tax relief proposals is the group that is most heavily burdened by taxes.

And for the record, I'm in the middle class. I just want everyone to pay their fair share - and the wealthy pay way more than their fair share.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, since the top 10% own 50% of our national income,...

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

That's irrelevant. What right does anyone have to take from those who've earned and give it to those who haven't??

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

It's not irrelevant.

You think that the fact that the top 10% pay 50% of taxes is wrong somehow.

I think if they own 50% of the income, why shouldn"t they pay 50% of the taxes?

The deeper question of whether any taxation is just is hard to determine.

think_about_it 7 years, 5 months ago

From your argument it looks as if you believe that all of the wealth and income in this country is somehow limited to a set dollar amount. This is not true. There is no limit to the amount of income a person can make if they set their mind to it and do what it takes to achieve it.

Just because some person has an income of 3 million dollars a year does not limit your ability to earn that or even more.

One factor that does limit ones ability to achieve this level of income is desire. At some point the amount of taxes that are confiscated from you are not worth the long hours, investment of resources, and the possibility of losing it all.

This is the main argument against raising taxes on the "rich man". At some point he will decide that it is just not worth the hassle anymore and suddenly 100's if not 1000's of his employees are now added to the new 99 week welfare program.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 5 months ago

And when he gives up, someone else will be their to strive for a better life, so I am not too worried about the idle wealthy who decide to take their ball and go home because they no longer likes playing the game. Someone willing to work hard and get ahead will be there to improve our society.

think_about_it 7 years, 5 months ago

If that were the case why don't they do that now? Why would that successful person have to quit before the other one can move in? That is what the underlying problem is now. Not enough people willing to put their necks on the line just to be punished by the government and vilified by the ungrateful slackers like you.

Yes there are "idle wealthy" as you call them but the vast majority of the so-called rich run highly competitive and successful businesses that already run on thin margins. Taxing them at higher and higher rates will not achieve the Utopian results that you think. It will only result in fewer producers and more dependents on the almighty government.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, when Clinton raised the marginal tax rates on the top group, the economy did splendidly.

And, your notion that these businesses are run on slim margins is entertaining.

These guys are laughing all the way to the bank while the middle class disappears.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

At any given moment, there is a finite amount of money in circulation.

And, at any moment, there is a finite amount of revenue for a given company.

My contention is that we'd have a better economy and society as a whole if CEO's made a more reasonable multiple of average workers.

It worked quite well in the 1950's - many families were able to live on one income and raise children, companies offered good retirement benefits, employees were loyal to the company, etc.

Now many have trouble on two incomes, companies are continually cutting benefits, employer/employee loyalty is gone, etc.

And, I'm pretty sure that CEO's can manage to live quite well on $1 million/year instead of $7million.

think_about_it 7 years, 5 months ago

Envy of what another person makes is wrong. If you can't make enough for your family to live at whatever comfort level that you desire then do something about it. Don't take it from someone who has. It is not your business.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

I have no envy - my family is doing quite well.

It's interesting that whenever people try to shine some light on the inequities of the system, they're accused of envy.

My basic moral sense is what compels me to look at these things - I have a sense that it is inherently unfair for CEO's to make 300-500 times an average worker.

You know, there are actually people who care about others, not just themselves.

think_about_it 7 years, 5 months ago

Life is not fair. Why don't you start your own business and see what it is like? You could pay all of your employees 1 million a year and everyone would love you. As it stands now you are just a whiny little online blogger who is jealous that someone else makes more than them.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

You're ridiculous.

And continue to avoid dealing with substantive arguments in my post in favor of ad hominem attacks.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

So you'd advocate for no taxes at all, then, I guess.

independant1 7 years, 5 months ago

"And for the record, I'm in the middle class. I just want everyone to pay their fair share"

Unhappily, fairplay is a radical idea these days.

meggers 7 years, 5 months ago

"His only goal is to destroy America. "

You make statements like this and you expect people to take you seriously? Really???

Danimal 7 years, 5 months ago

What we really need to do is cut some spending. Increasing tax revenues is a good start, but when you're adding more to the national debt EACH YEAR than the US did for the entirety of WWII it won't matter unless they cut spending.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

The debt from WWII was paid off because the top tax rate was 90% (and it's what turned Ronnie Rayguns from an FDR Democrat into a shill for millionaires and their corporations.)

In contrast, BushCo started two wars, and then cut taxes for the wealthy to the bone. Is there really any mystery why we are running such high deficits?

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

You're correct about the wars.

However, our country runs high deficits because government spending is too high, not because taxes are too low.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

Good points.

The American public fears runaway government spending now more than ever because there is no plan on the table - none whatsoever - to get us out of this mess.

I've long advocated reducing the size of our military by 20% in the near term, and NASA could continue operating on half of what it consumes now.

We should also allow for a partial privatization of Social Security so that younger investors can take more control over their retirement future and have the option of relying less on government handouts as they grow older.

Elimination of the Department of Education would not only return education funding to the local level but it would reduce the bureaucracy of federal government involvement.

A moratorium on programs like Cash for Clunkers and serious curbs on the cash we dole out in the form of foreign aid would go a long way.

There are solutions, but fiscal restraint requires courage and leadership. It also requires that we divorce ourselves from the mindset that government is the answer and that we can continue taxing job-providers with impunity.

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for a reasoned, nonpartisan comment. Would that we had more like this that actually confront the issues.

independant1 7 years, 5 months ago

It must be nice to belong to some legislative body and just pick money out of the air. (Will Rogers)

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes! Let the president and your congress people know that you support her.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 5 months ago

"But the Top 5 percent in income earners — those households earning $210,000 or more — account for about one-third of consumer outlays, including spending on goods and services, interest payments on consumer debt and cash gifts, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by Moody’s Analytics. That means the purchasing decisions of the rich have an outsize effect on economic data. According to Gallup, spending by upper-income consumers — defined as those earning $90,000 or more — surged to an average of $145 a day in May, up 33 percent from a year earlier."

Keep that in mind when you punish successful people. If you want to hurt the grindingly slow recovery, increase taxes...

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Shane Garrett 7 years, 5 months ago

Just remember folks of the so called poor 60%, from CNN last nights report on the poor, are single mothers. So, if we want to be socially responsible for the future....we should snip all the boys. And do the same for dead beat dads and perhaps a double snip if they have produced offspring with more than one woman.

Blessed4x 7 years, 5 months ago

This tax situation a HUGE concern for me and my family. The failure to extend the child tax credit at it's current $1000 level coupled with the return of the marriage tax penalty will hit us VERY hard and we don't make 1/4th of the mythical $250,000 limit that was suppose to see no increases in the taxes we pay. I guess letting a tax reduction expire and raising a tax are two different things in the government's eye, but they are certainly the same in mine.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 5 months ago

So if Congress were to re-enact a tax reduction, would they get credit for cutting taxes?

independant1 7 years, 5 months ago

i got a triple wide on two acre lot, eat your heart out. Life is good!

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

Then why don't the rich bring back the jobs? Why? Because they have no sense of responsibility to our country. If they earned 20 million last year, they need to earn 30 million this year, at any cost, including non productive things like downsizing. Take the jobs to desperate people in other countries, getting rid of jobs that gave US people ways to make a decent living. Reagan probably really thought that if he gave these corporations tax cuts they would invest and create jobs. I don't think he understood the greed. The problem is that the anything that is too top heavy will fall easily. So that's what is now happening to our economy. You all accuse Obama for not creating more jobs, but he can't. It's the businesses that must create jobs, and they aren't going to do it. Why? Small businesses can only create so many jobs. When are we going to produce things in the US again? Only the corporations have the money to invest in opening a factory to make clothes or toys without poison, but are they going to do it? No, because then they would only earn 20 million, instead of the 30 million.

Corey Williams 7 years, 5 months ago

Yep. They rely on the stupidity of the buying public to keep shopping for all those things made in China.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 5 months ago

Another fun quote from "Dr." Rogers:

"I believe slavery is a much maligned institution; if we had slavery today, we would not have this welfare mess."

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

The context of the quote was not about slavery in the U.S., but Roman slavery as it appears in the New Testament. That type of slavery was more of an indentured servitude rather than a race-based oppression. Not a great quote, nevertheless, but context does make a difference.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 5 months ago

OK, fair enough. Still well outside the mainstream of American thought and downright scary if you think about it though.

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, it depends on how you look at the context of what he was saying, which of course I can only speculate on. But to me, his comment is in regards to paying for what one owes and not having a governing body giving welfare for pre-determined debts.
You're right though in it's being 'scary', but that's in regard to how we see things today and the way 'civilization' has 'evolved' ( those two words in OUR context scares me :>); our 'mainstream' was not his. Indentured servitude was a win-win for a number of peoples and generations, but it still lies in the context.

beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

"... if we had slavery today ..."

How does anyone saying "today" mean "Roman slavery" back in the day?

Sure looks like he was talking about "today" to me, otherwise he would have used a more fitting term -- like, "back in the days of the Romans."

He might have been discussing the Romans, but he brought it up to date with the statement Scott quoted.

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

Brilliant, bea. So, in your mind, anyone that talks about slavery "today" must automatically be talking about the American history of slavery? Do some homework before opining on matters you know nothing about. Rogers was a theologian and minister, and the quote came from a question over the New Testament and Roman slavery. Period. Geez, you need help.

beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

No, I didn't say he was talking about America. Not sure where you pulled that out of your ... um ... hat. I said he brought his anology into the present by saying "today." By saying "today" he clearly wasn't speaking about "yesterday." Clearly. He just wasn't. Question is, why does that bother you so?

Oh, and telling people they need help -- that is just stupid. I know you don't like it when people don't agree with you, but suggesting they are mentally unstable is just weak. Find a better line of argument. Your posts are going down hill right along with notajayhawk. Sad attempts at insulting people is apparently all you have.

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

For the love......whatever. Your semantic argument is pointless, much like most of your posts. To the last: pot calling kettle, come in kettle. Much like your defection above, don't know why you'd automatically assume 'help' meant mental therapy, but if the shoe fits. As you've demonstrated on a couple strings recently, 'help' could aptly be a remedial english tutuor.
And sorry, bea, but you troll this site regularly merely for the sake of insulting others. People in glass houses, dear.

jaywalker 7 years, 5 months ago

deflection; tutor. Forgot the 'l', added an 'o'

emaw 7 years, 5 months ago

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Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 5 months ago

hey glockowner, you realize that your comments were just in support of letting the tax cuts expire.

it shows that the rich behave just like anyone else when the economy is down, they save their money. and those stats from the article are all from while the tax cut is still in effect. so if the effect is null, then how is letting the tax cut expire going to hurt anything?

they weren't spending money before and it appears as if spending won't increase until the economy improves.

feeble 7 years, 5 months ago

The little lie getting repeat here is that the Bush tax cuts stimulated job growth. This is false:

I'm not a fan of WaPo, but the graphic linked above does a good job of showing how weak our net job growth was as nation between 2000 and 2009. Setting aside the dip between 2008-2009, job growth was quite stagnant compared to previous decades and had pretty much stalled out by the end of 2007. Indeed, only three years show overall growth, 2005-2007, largely because of the housing bubble.

Previous tax cuts may have stimulated job growth, but the data does not seem to support the assertion that the Bush Tax cuts created jobs.

independant1 7 years, 5 months ago

The good old days with most of us was when we didn’t earn enough to pay an income tax. (Will Rogers)

beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

From the article: "Republicans and some Democrats favor continuing them all, at a cost of adding at least $2 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years."

$2 trillion to the federal deficit. Hello, Tea Party? Hello?

The lack of Tea Party support in favor of the expiration of this tax break is telling.

Regarding Bush's redistribution of wealth to benefit the wealthy (during a time of war, no less!) that is now coming to an end I want to know the following: Why didn't Bush ask for his tax cuts to last for a longer period of time to begin with? Was it because even he saw it as just a temporary gift (payback) to his wealthy supporters?

When the expiration date on a temporary tax cut is reached, this isn't the same thing as raising taxes. It means the tax break, the extra advantage being enjoyed has come to an end. There is a difference.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

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beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

"blue-haird head ... sweetie ... ignorant": Nice to see your same level of intelligent discussion is at play nota.

And how much of "my" money did Bush take -- well, seeing as how there was a deficit under Bush and you cry constantly that you will have to pay for Obama's deficits, then I guess it is plenty.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

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jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

And you are/were a doctor who works in the mental health field?

You continually appear to be operating at a third-grade level.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Care to point out a single time where I ever claimed to be a doctor, jafs?

I'll wait.

verity 7 years, 5 months ago

You have just been added to my list of people whose comments I do not read. Your sexist name calling is never OK.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

As I have repeatedly explained to bea, there is no being on this earth that I think of less in sexual terms than herself. Those terms are meant as pure condescension, exactly what her class-jealous whining and monumental sense of entitlement deserves.

But poow widdle bea was offended.

Okay, bea, you got the posts removed. So I'll repeat the question: Where, in any of my posts, did I complain about the Obama deficits?

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

"Case to end tax cuts for wealthy made"

The only 'case' being made here:

"Waaaaaaaaaah! They have more than I do! Waaaaaaaaah!"

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

If it's a caricature, tange, perhaps you'd like to offer some other justification for taxing people who already pay the share of 30+ people even more? By every objective measure, in real dollars or percentage-wise, the rich already pay far more than their share. The only justification being used to defend taking MORE of their money is that 1) they have more left over than the rest of us and 2) there are more non-rich people than rich people. The graduated tax is founded in nothing more than class jealousy - and yes, I meant jealousy, not envy, as dear old bea's post demonstrates so nicely - and when half the people in this country pay no income tax at all and they demand we take even MORE from the few who have more, that's not a caricature, that's nothing more than greedy entitlement.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

The difference, tange, is that the rich aren't asking the government to take money from the poor to give it to them.

Just what makes you - or anyone - somehow entitled to take something from someone - anyone - else, just because they have more?

"Excessive", tange? You really want to go down that road? Given the pyramidal nature of wealth distribution, it's a safe bet there are an awful lot of people who have even less than you. And someday they're going to think what YOU have is "excessive".

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, the top 10% have the top 50% of income.

If they pay about 50% of income taxes, that would be fair/proportional, wouldn't it?

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

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notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Gee, isn't the site staff touchy these days. Now it's not allowable to say someone is NOT moronic?


jafs, oh noble and respected fellow member of the LJW message boards, the top 10% pays over 71% of the tax burden. That is a figure, incidentally, which increased steadily during the Bush years. And the very nature of a graduated tax ensures that those making 50% (less than 5% of the top taxpayers) of the money are going to pay more than 50% of the taxes.

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, inserted that segment in parentheses in the wrong spot; less than 5% of the taxpayers pay 50% of the taxes.

beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

Again, I will ask, if Bush and Republicans wanted them to last longer, why didn't they put an expiration date on the tax cuts that benefited what he called his "base"? Why blame the Democrats for something the Republicans set in motion?

Or can you only be upset at one party for doing something that effects people who aren't even you?

Finally, are you even capable of giving a real response, or are your sad little attempts at sexist responses all you have going for you these days? Is petty the best you can do?

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

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notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

As you wear your inferiority well.

Point out one post in support of ending the tax "break" that doesn't amount to 'Gimme', gimme', gimme', they have more than I do". Point out one rational justification.

Well? What have YOU got?

notajayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

So, beatrice, noble and respected fellow member of the LJW message boards, you are evidently in favor of ending the child tax credit, which also wasn't made permanent?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

Tax abatements,Tax Increment Financing(TIF), Tax breaks for the wealthy means revenue will far short and somehow that short fall will need to be covered.

So who wants to have fees,sales taxes or other forms taxing increased to cover the short fall?

Our real estate industry/builders/developers should take their money making ideas to the bank not come asking for local big government hand outs from the taxpayers. Many times the spokes people will come appealing to our weakness aka our children. When in fact it is more about selling houses for a sweet profit.

Our real estate industry/builders/developers need to spend their own resources to build their $25 - $60 million enhancements rather than come to the the taxpayers thinking OUR local big government tax dollars are THEIR entitlements.

independant1 7 years, 5 months ago

One novel feature of the 2001 tax cut compared to most large tax bills is that it was almost devoid of business tax provisions.

found at

beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

I find it humorous the number of people who point out anything about the massive tax cuts given to the wealthiest individuals in our country during a time of massive deficits and while we are waging a war on two fronts is somehow class envy. Even funnier still is that this line of argument is most often made not by the wealthy, but by the wanna-be wealthy. They have been told by the Republican party that this is what they are supposed to say and think, and they have completely fallen for it.

Yes, the tax cuts for the wealthy should not be extended. This isn't a raise in taxes, it just stops the tax gifts given by the Republicans when they were in charge.

emaw 7 years, 5 months ago

So will you still think this is a good idea when the business owners have to either A) cut jobs to pay for the taxes....or B) raise prices to pay for the taxes? Because that is what happens when expenses go up for a business.

beatrice 7 years, 5 months ago

If the business owners are in the top 2 or 3 percent of income earners, then no, I don't have a problem with it. We aren't talking about what they earn prior to paying salaries and other business expenses that lower their net earnings, but about what they take home at the end of the day. No, it wouldn't bother me if the guy who owns a bank and takes home millions a year has to pay more once the tax breaks come to an end. I feel the tax breaks should never have been passed in the first place.

Would you have a problem if those in the top 2 or 3 percent who are business owners were told they didn't have to pay any more taxes? None whatsoever. I mean, trickle down economics is oh, so effective, right?

Duffman 7 years, 5 months ago

This is one of the most intelligent observations regarding this issue.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 5 months ago

It is amusing to watch the parade of celebrity rich people warning us of the dire consequences of allowing an ill conceived tax cut to expire.

The well of greed and BS has no bottom.

Most of the deficit we have seen piling up has been the result of this tax cut which was poorly timed, unnecessary and made for poltical reasons only by the Bush/Cheney wrecking ball.

It is time to get serious about the deficit and quit playing politics with our money.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

end the break and while we are at it add or six or seven more brackets to make the take really progressive. maybe we should do the same here in kansas?

camper 7 years, 5 months ago

The tax increase is graduated, so only the "net" income earned over 250k will be taxed at the higher rate of 39% (up from 36%). Here is the additional taxes you are subject to if your income minus all deductions is:

$300,000 Taxable Income $1,500 additional taxes $500,000 Taxable Income $7,500 additional taxes $750,000 Taxable Income $15,000 additional taxes $1,000,000 Taxable Income $22,500 additional taxes

To me, if you are making this kind of money, the tax increase is a good problem to have. If you were making 1m bucks the additional taxes equals about one full-time employee at $11 an hour.

But in principal, you should not raise taxes in a recessionary time. But the tax cuts to those making under 250k could actually be calculated as a net tax decrease.

Regardless, no politician who wants to get re-elected will support tax hikes in good times. We seem to have a political structure that encourages the wrong prescription at the wrong time. This is why we are where we are at. In general, this is what should be done:

In good times-Raise taxes. Lower Government stimulus and benefits. In bad times- Lower taxes. Increase stimulus and benefits.

If this rule were followed, we may not even be having this debate, because more often than not the economy would be healthy.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

While I really would like to see taxes lower and governments role more focused, I am really after tax equity - not necessairly revenue.

If we go from 10% (or less) to 25% in 100K of income than we should increase 15% per hundred K the rest of the way up. That is equity -the marginal rate increses uniformly.

Yes, people at the top pay a lot - if they pay on salary and not capital gains. However, people at the top hold about the same percentage of the wealth as the percent of tax they pay - not progressive.

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