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The Tax Cut Fight Returns

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: 99%, GOP Greed, Obama, Taxes, Terrorism )

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TomCat S (128)
Monday July 9, 2012, 11:36 am
On October 20, 2010, I sat in the Portland Convention Center and listenede to Barack Obama promise not to renew the Bush Tax Cuts for people earning over $250,000. When he caved in, I felt thoroughly disheartened. I understand that Republicans were using terrorist tactics holding the needs of millions of Americans hostage in several areas to allow them to protect 1% greed. I realize that Obama’s motives for caving-in were good ones. Nevertheless, I believe his decision was a mistake, because giving into terrorism just instigates mere terrorism. Here we go again!

Carol H (229)
Monday July 9, 2012, 12:00 pm
I would also like to see my tax cuts expire to avoid the rich getting their tax cuts extended!! thanks Tom, noted

Seth E (81)
Monday July 9, 2012, 12:41 pm
I think this is one of a number of areas where Obama is being criticized from both sides, and it's getting to be troubling.

From the right, they seem to think that all will be solved by cutting all spending, but there's only so far you can cut. The only way to eliminate the deficits and pay down debt is a combination of cuts on unnecessary and unproductive spending, along with raising revenue through taxation, and because this has unfairly targeted the 99%, it needs to be balanced with some more taxation from the 1%.

In the meantime, those on the far left need to start thinking more reasonably and intelligently and stop blaming Obama for having to concede some things to the right in order to get even some small measures of progress.

It's been especially troubling hearing the cries from the Occupy crowd about Obama's broken promises.

He can't make all these changes by himself because he's not a dictator (no matter what the cons would have us believe), and it's not for lack of trying but for lack of cooperation from the right.

If they really want things to be changed for the better, they should stop hating on Obama and start making efforts to help the Democrats hold and reinforce their control of the Senate and to regain the House.

Things will go much more smoothly then.

Lynn Squance (235)
Monday July 9, 2012, 3:01 pm
When you look at the pie chart and realise that the top 20% of the population (using income as the marker) received 74.7% of the Bush tax cuts, you realise just how obscene these cuts were.

And there is just no way that Jabber Jowls McConnell is going to let this pass. He is one of many bought and paid for political whores for the 1%! McConnell may make a counter proposal, but guaranteed it will be a death knell to the middle and poor classes if it passes. Democrats must do everything possible to push this forward, but if that is impossible, then let the tax cuts die and let the Republican/Teabaggers take the heat. Unfortunately, there will be heat all around but the truth has to get out.


David C (129)
Monday July 9, 2012, 3:41 pm
Republican tax program....the poor should pay all the taxes and the non-job creators should send their money to overseas banks and not pay any taxes anywhere....

Seth E (81)
Monday July 9, 2012, 5:05 pm
By the way, next time a Republican tries using the argument that if the 1% pays higher taxes, it will stifle investment from the private sector that can create jobs, they should be slapped and asked to explain where all that job creation has been the last several years at their current tax rate, especially when their higher taxes could give the government more revenue to invest in stimulus programs that could create public sector jobs, which would then increase consumer spending power that would, in turn, stimulate creation of jobs from the private sector by way of demand (the way jobs are actually created, as opposed to the fallacy by the right that jobs are created for no specific reason other than some mythical spontaneous combustion when rich people have extra money in their pockets).

Past Member (0)
Monday July 9, 2012, 5:08 pm
Noted. Thanks.

Billie C (2)
Monday July 9, 2012, 6:48 pm
if obama wants to cut taxes why not get rid of all those new ones in obamacare? there is plenty there.
don't sell your house unless you are ready to pay a brand new sales tax on it. it's all a game to try and make him look better. how about getting rid of the 11 new taxes he's put in place?

Seth E (81)
Monday July 9, 2012, 7:31 pm
Billie, Those taxes, most of which are relatively inconsequential to most people and only apply in certain situations, such as the tanning bed tax, are needed to help pay for what is a rather strong package of reforms, but when you jump right to using the slur "Obamacare" to refer to it, I can tell you probably oppose those reforms, and I doubt you even fully understand the changes they make and how they could help you.

Also, the fact that you even made that comment shows that you apparently don't understand the topic of this article, either.

This isn't about taxes President Obama is trying to cut as much as it's about Republicans trying to avoid expiration of the Bush tax cuts on those making more than $250,000 while not caring what tax cuts expire for those making less than that threshold or what new taxes are levied against us so that we pay more than our share for the services the government can offer us, and the wealthy get richer at our expense.

P.S.: I can't help being suspicious of someone with a hidden profile and no profile picture, even after being a member of Care2 since 1999.

Robert B (60)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 7:59 am
No, John Gregoire, Billie C. (the not profile troll) IS NOT RIGHT!
What don't you understand that the Affordable Health Care Act will not cost us more and that the !% SHOULD pay their damn share of the taxes. I''m tired of WEALTH CARE!

JL A (281)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 8:09 am
Given how much information is now available on the actual damage done by the tax cuts transferring wealth to the top and cost of government towards the bottom incomes, one hopes the GOP's talking points won't gain as much popular support this time around

Seth E (81)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 11:02 am
John, It's not an unfunded mandate if it's got funding, and do you know the source of that funding? The revenue from the taxes created to pay for it.

You can't get something for nothing, so there has to be money to pay for these things, and that requires taxes. The key is who is taxed, and more often than not, the right pushes for those taxes to disproportionately affect the 99% while the 1% gets away with paying relatively lower taxes, and therefore, less than their fair share for the services received.

Those "across the board" reductions could actually be avoided, if we had the funding to pay for them, and we've tried getting it by way of taxes on the 1%, but the Republicans consistently block these efforts.

As far as the Bush tax cuts, they should be allowed to expire for those in higher tax brackets because we can't afford to lose even more revenue at a delicate time like this, but they must be continued for those in lower tax brackets because we are already economically stifled, and losing more money that we, the 99%, can't afford will push us into a depression.

In fact, if those below $250,000. $500,000, or $1 million could get even more tax cuts, it would free up more money for consumer spending that could create demand that should stimulate job creation in the private sector, but the Republicans also would not likely agree to tax cuts that aren't for the rich.

John B (185)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 1:00 pm
Thanks TomCat for the post. I would like for the President's proposal to keep the cuts for the middle class but if it comes right down to it let them all expire. Every day I become more of a progressive socialist as I continue to be sickened by listening to the mantra of the ultra-right Repubs. Capitalism with compassion I can tolerate but when motivated by just plain greed it will do nothing but destroy this nation which is what I truly believe the 1% and their Republican lackeys want to do. Read and Noted.

Gene J (290)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 3:03 pm
I copied a graph from Rachel Maddow's show last night, I get her daily digest which is actually kind of cool since it has the show video's and such, so I can watch clips that interest me without commercials. Last night I missed but watched the clip on the Romney Hampton fund raisers, it was hilarious, I posted a rather long comment on that on the story wherever else it is on this site the stories actually are. I couldn't resist taking a swipe at that woman who said "we" just didn't get it, her college age kid didn't get it, the nails ladies didn't get it". That the system works she meant. For her and people like her who can pay $50000 for a dinner with Mitt. Gawd. Anyway, one of the things Rachel had on her mailing was this chart which I converted to Excel, I hope the formatting holds.

Income Old Rates Bush Rates
$0-17K 15% 10% The rates
$17-59K 15% 15% between
$59-71K 28% 15% 0 and 241K
$71-143K 28% 25% stay the
$143-218K 31% 28% same for
$218-241K 36% 33% all
$241-390K 36% 33% These
$390K + 39.6% 35% revert

He has a new campaign ad out, which she showed, in which he says, Mitt will fight for tax cuts for the wealthy, he will fight for the middle class. Staking out pretty clear ground, so I suspect this is going to be a central part of his campaign. There are a lot more voters in the lower and middle class than in the 1%, no matter how many of us they purge between now and November, we'll still outnumber them. :^)

Nancy L (141)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 3:53 pm
They either need to expire or make them permanent. It is being used as a political football by ALL politicians. Actually, we need to totally revamp the tax system. EVERYONE should pay the same %


Nancy L (141)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 3:54 pm
Your chart doesn't show the true picture. Nearly half of Americans pay ZERO income tax

Seth E (81)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 4:09 pm
Gene, That illustrates this issue very well.

Those in the lower brackets far outnumber the ones in the higher ones, but they're disproportionately impacted.

For example, if someone makes $500,000 a year, their taxes would only increase 4.6%, which would be another $23,000 in taxes, but the 39.6% would still leave them with a net of $302,000, which is more than enough to afford to live comfortably, with money left over to sock away, thus taking it out of economic circulation.

If someone makes $60,000, their taxes would be nearly doubled, taking them from a net of $51,000 to only $43,200, so they'd be losing nearly $10,000 a year of income. Sure, that's less than the $23,000 difference for the one earning $500,000 a year, but it's a far larger share of their total income.

Even worse, for someone whose income is only $10,000 a year, their increase, from 10% to 15% is 50% more than their current rate. This would reduce their net income from $9000 to only $8500, and again, while this is only $500 less, that could mean being unable to afford groceries, rent, utilities, or other needs. Someone this poor needs every cent they can get just to get by, and they are not likely to have anything they can afford to save, unlike the wealthy.

Keep in mind, also, that those reductions at the lower income levels would be money that would likely be spent by those earners, so this would also have a huge impact on consumer spending, and this could cause businesses to downsize or close, because of the reduced demand after people can no longer afford those goods and services.

That would mean even less money would be collected in tax revenue, and more spending for social programs to help the unemployed, increasing the deficit and debt even further.

Seth E (81)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 4:27 pm
Nan, Thanks for your ignorant right-wing input.

I can actually even address it with my last comment.

A flat tax is also disproportionately balanced against lower incomes, as can be seen with those same income examples I gave in that comment.

For example, if the tax rate is 10%, the $500,000 earner would have $450,000 left, which would be far less than they even pay now and would allow them to take more money out of the economy to keep.

The $60,000 earner would be left with $54,000, and this would seem somewhat fair, but it would ultimately deprive the government of much-needed revenue.

The $10,000 earner, however, would still have just $9000 left to cover all their living expenses, and they'll likely have to go without many things they need.

As far as the 'half of Americans paying 0%', this is a common argument from the right, but I have yet to see any evidence {hint: you won't find any because it's not true}, and most of the distortion is not because some people pay no income tax but rather that they may qualify for some tax credits that offset their taxes, leaving them with a net tax paid of 0%.

However, they do still pay some federal taxes, such as those for Medicare and Social Security, and not everyone qualifies for these credits. Also, because most states, counties, and even some cities have sales taxes, as well as other taxes, such as those on property, even if someone ends up not having to pay any income tax, they do still have taxes that reduce their income, leaving them with less money to spend.

Dianna M (16)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 6:02 pm
Paul Krugman, in an OpEd published in the New York Times on June 28, 2012, wrote: "But what about the cost? Put it this way: the budget office’s estimate of the cost over the next decade of Obamacare’s “coverage provisions” — basically, the subsidies needed to make insurance affordable for all — is about only a third of the cost of the tax cuts, overwhelmingly favoring the wealthy, that Mitt Romney is proposing over the same period. True, Mr. Romney says that he would offset that cost, but he has failed to provide any plausible explanation of how he’d do that. The Affordable Care Act, by contrast, is fully paid for, with an explicit combination of tax increases and spending cuts elsewhere.

So the law that the Supreme Court upheld is an act of human decency that is also fiscally responsible."

Paul Krugman, in case you don't know, is a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

IN ADDITION: Obamacare won't let an insurance company deny you coverage because of pre-existing conditions. And that includes children with pre-existing conditions.

Also, insurance companies will have to spend 80% of what they take from you, the consumer, on actual health care, instead of packing it into CEO wages and bonuses--or ads on how "caring" that particular company is.

Yes, I support Obamacare. (Or, "Obama" "cares")

Lois Jordan (63)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 6:33 pm
Noted. I agree that a flat tax only hurts the 99%. When Obama "compromised" previously with the Repukes and allowed the Wealthfare to continue, he nearly lost my next vote...and he did it 2ce already. If I lose my tax cuts, so be it--as long as the wealthy pay, too. It's UNpatriotic for them not to pay their fair share. Enough is enough.

Susanne R (235)
Tuesday July 10, 2012, 9:45 pm
I'm with Tom on this one. I'd rather pay more in taxes than see an extension of the Bush tax cuts for people earning over $250,000.

Great article and chart, Tom! Thanks for posting them!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Wednesday July 11, 2012, 12:31 am
Shi S. Tuesday July 10, 2012, 6:51 pm
And Niu Q. and Chu Xian -- the names are as phoney as the products!

PLEASE click on "flag as inappropriate". It just takes a moment!
Care2 staff is being awfully slow in responding these days.
Nevertheless, we MUST keep on clicking on "flag as inappropriate" so that they KNOW!
No use talking to them -- but, FLAG THEM ON EVERY THREAD YOU SEE THEM ON!

Gene J (290)
Wednesday July 11, 2012, 1:19 am
"Your chart doesn't show the true picture. Nearly half of Americans pay ZERO income tax."

That's true Nan, but that is because they don't make enough money to register on the tax scales. I'm surprised you don't see that as a problem. That so many don't have a chance at living the American Dream because they can't make a living wage in this country of the free. Were we to enable them to earn enough to be in the group privileged to pay taxes, we'd all be a lot better off wouldn't we? And reliance on entitlement programs or welfare would certainly decrease. That would be a good thing, even in republican eyes I'd think. Of course, it would mean you'd have to pay living wages to your nail ladies and your household servants, but we'd all benefit in the long run from that wouldn't you think? Raising everyone but seniors, the permanently disabled and those to sick to work into the middle class would be a boon to our economy. Surely you support that idea? It does require investments in education but that only makes sense too since making education affordable and available to anyone who wishes it benefits the economy as well and I don't necessarily mean just college, there are many who have no wish to go to college but who do wish education to allow them to earn enough money to have families, a home, a measure of security and full participation in American society. The return on investment for that is very high, even a republican should see that. Some things are good for some people, but those things that are good for all of us, are the business of all of us. It requires foresight, but we're all capable of that too if we just think about a future where all have the opportunity to make a living wage as a place we wish to be as a society. Who wouldn't want that? And why?

TomCat S (128)
Wednesday July 11, 2012, 7:33 am
Thanks to most for excellent comments. Major kudos to Seth and Gene for debunking the parroted Republican Party line.

May there be an extra crispy part of hell for SPAMMERS!

Nancy L (141)
Wednesday July 11, 2012, 8:27 am
Yes one should invest in a good education. But the government should not pay for it. Government didn't pay for my education nor that of my children. We worked our tails of for our educations. With no student loans.

Robin snackers (20)
Wednesday July 11, 2012, 10:23 am

Seth E (81)
Wednesday July 11, 2012, 11:56 am
Thank YOU, Tom!

Why shouldn't the government pay for it, Nan? Are you referring to ALL education, or just college?

Working one's way through college sounds admirable, but not everyone is in a position to do so, especially when youth unemployment is running very high, as it is currently.

Also, what's wrong with public education? Public universities and not-for-profit private universities have a higher graduation rate than for-profit private universities, too, so this is no different from the rest of corporatized society in that it's becoming increasingly exclusionary to those of lesser means, so it's getting to be like some people are just doomed to fail at life, and that's not how it should be.

That aside, it's not like all education is paid for by the government anyway, so your statement that "the government should not pay for it" doesn't make all that much sense.

TomCat S (128)
Thursday July 12, 2012, 8:56 am
Thanks Robin.

Kudos again Seth.

For Democrats the purpose of government is to do those things that private enterprise cannot do as well.

For Republicans the purpose of government is to move wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich.

Thursday July 12, 2012, 11:57 am
If Obama wins you will not see the Bush taxes keep going. He did not want to do in 2010 but he was the president and had to think about everyone. Sure it was not alot maybe just a few $. I believe it does made a difference in someones life. And with how we already going thru a recession. It made sense to me. But now it time to rebuild and we all must but that extra dollar in the pot to help. And even the poor will put that 10 cents in. It's the trop % who would rather not. And if Romney and his side kick money take the White House the Bush tax cuts will live for ever. And our country will just fall apart. The rich will get richer the poor will get poorer and the middle class will become no more.

Of Course the GOP/Tea Party will not do anythiing to help the middle class or poor. But Obama call them out. We have a choice which way we go. Forward or Backward I believe the democrats have best reason to get out and vote. I also believe Obama/Biden will win. Nothing in life is easy but if you stay and fight the rewards will be great.

Robin snackers (20)
Sunday July 15, 2012, 3:24 am
signed and noted
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