Obama: Don’t Leave Middle Class Americans Caught in the “Political Crossfire” on Tax Cuts

December 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: In his weekly address President Obama urges members of both parties to pass the compromised tax plan, saying that American people should not suffer by being caught in the “political crossfire” of Washington. “People want…



Email this Article
Add to Twitter
Add to Facebook
Add to digg
Add to Reddit
Add to StumbleUpon




Political Punch

Poll: Blame to share if tax cuts fail

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

(CNN) – Who will be blamed if tax cuts expire on December 31st? According to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll, it depends on how you slice it.

The political furor surrounding President Barack Obama’s deal with Republicans in Congress gives few hints about whether the proposal will succeed or fail. If the measure which includes an extension of Bush-era tax cuts for two years for all Americans, an extension of unemployment benefits for 13 months for the long term unemployed, and lowers the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year, fails and tax cuts are allowed to expire, a new poll says that there will be blame enough to go around.

When asked who would be at fault if the current Congress and the president fail to reach an agreement and let the Bush era tax cuts expire on December 31st, exactly one-third of the nation said Republicans in Congress would be most to blame.

President Obama, who drew criticism among his base for not consulting Democrats prior to brokering the deal with Republicans, receives 19 percent of blame in the poll.

About 3 in 10 Americans said they’d blame Democrats, who voted on Thursday to reject the deal brokered between Obama and the GOP.

Combining the values for liberals in Congress and the president reveals that almost half the nation would place the blame on Democrats for failing to reach a compromise with the GOP. One in ten said all parties would be at fault.

The White House has been actively engaged in drumming up support for the tax deal, which also includes a 35% estate tax on inheritances worth more than $ 5 million dollars.

The McClatchy-Marist poll was conducted among 873 registered voters from December 2-8, 2010 via telephone. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percentage points.

Check out CNN’s new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.


CNN Political Ticker

LET THE BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE IN ORDER TO FORCE COMPREHENSIVE TAX REFORM

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Perhaps lame-duck Democrats in the U.S. House have finally found their collective “Cojones” by emphatically saying “NO” to the lousy compromise tax package negotiated between the Obama Administration and the Congressional Republicans. Though they have no alternative proposals that could possibly pass both the House and Senate by the end of this year or anytime during the next two years, maybe just being the new party of perpetual “NO” might be a better alternative to minority Democrats for the foreseeable future. It worked wonders for the Republicans over the past two years.

TAX COMPROMISE PROPOSAL DIDN’T SOLVE MUCH OF ANYTHING

By killing the Obama-Republican tax compromise, unemployment benefits will probably not be extended. Throwing millions of economically vulnerable individuals and families under the bus is economically and ethically indefensible, but that’s life in an oligarchy. If we have to give huge tax breaks to the top 1% just to provide out-of-work individuals an average of $ 300 per week to prevent homelessness and starvation, we really have sociopaths and sadists running our government.

DADT, the Dream Act, the Start treaty, and a number of other bills will go no where this year or for the foreseeable future. Unless a super-majority in the Senate can agree upon any bill, nothing happens. Even a clear 57% majority is simply ineffective. We’ve had rule by minority for decades in Washington and it will continue for another 2 years. The most important minority in the nation is its wealthiest 1 percent who has bribed both parties to represent its interests over those of the vast majority of citizens. These non-tax-related bills will fail simply because we have undemocratic and unconstitutional rules governing the U.S. Senate that again preserve power to a minority. Perhaps Democrats in the House are finally waking up to this sad reality and trying to do something about it before they go into retirement and liberalism is completely discredited.

SOCIAL SECURITY AND PAYROLL TAXES

Cutting the payroll tax for social security is not a viable economic stimulus measure and it will not create any new jobs. It merely underfunds the program so Republicans can gut it later because it isn’t paying for itself. Instead, the only two worthwhile permanent solutions to social security is to (1) gradually raise the age at which full benefits kick in and (2) eliminate the $ 106,800 cap on wages upon which the payroll tax is imposed so all earned income is subject to the tax. All high earners – who fully share in its benefits and live the longest – should pay their full and fair share towards this national inter-generational contract for economic security for seniors no longer able to work.

LET’S GET SERIOUS ABOUT CUTTING FEDERAL DEFICITS

If we are serious about getting our nation’s fiscal house in order, we have to all contribute more in taxes – starting in 2011. That’s why the best short and long-term fiscal solution to many of our problems is to permit all the Bush tax cuts to expire. We would merely return to the tax structure we had during the Clinton years – a period when we had the best job growth (and the only time we amassed a few budget surpluses) during the past 30 years. Our government does not exist to shovel more wealth up the oligarchy why impoverishing the rest of the nation and the government itself. Those who support tax cuts in the past, now, or in the future are simply delusional, financially irresponsible, and willfully ignorant of economics.

There are a number of Federal programs that merit strict scrutiny, shrinkage or transfer to the states. We really need to honestly discuss the nation’s 21st Century defense, security and economic competitiveness goals. Other programs might be worthy of increases if they directly reduce unemployment or rebuild our transportation infrastructures. However we must realize that cutting waste, fraud, earmarks and foreign aid will only decrease federal spending by 2 or 3 percent annually and they pale in comparison that we must borrow over 30 percent of our total Federal spending and interest payments alone on accumulated debt are over $ 500 billion annually.

A NEW FEDERAL TAX SYSTEM

As I mentioned in my prior TMV post, perhaps the expiration of all the Bush tax cuts may force Republicans and Democrats to seriously consider a comprehensive reform of our entire tax system during the next 2 years. With divided political power in Washington, both parties would have no other viable alternatives – except to do nothing – to achieve any of their political and economic goals.

A new tax system should encourage savings at all income levels (not just by the rich) and decrease our economy’s excessive dependence upon mindless consumer spending. It should radically simplify the entire tax code, eliminating all existing tax deductions, credits, exclusions, subsidies and special treatments for particular groups and industries. It should tax gross income from all passive and active sources at the same modest marginal tax rates. Wages earned from active work should be taxed the same as income from interest, rents, royalties, capital gains and dividends.

What individuals, households, businesses and corporations do with their gross income after paying income taxes should not be the concern of the government. How businesses spend and borrow money should not influence the taxes they owe on their gross sales and receipts. Net profits are such manipulated creations by most enterprises as to be meaningless except to reward inefficient businesses over more efficient ones.

Business tax rates (for all types of corporate entities) should be the same as individual rates. All cash retained by a business would be subject to a 10% excise tax at the end of its fiscal or calendar year. This would encourage its productive investment or distribution to shareholders.

4 NEW MARGINAL RATES ON ALL GROSS INCOME

A new tax system should contain some modest progressivity but it should be limited to around 4 marginal income tax brackets. Tax rates should not vary based upon a person’s marital status, age, sex, number of children, or any other factors.

Individuals with gross incomes under $ 15,000 a year would be exempt from all income and payroll taxes. Those who make between $ 15,000 and $ 150,000 should be in the lowest marginal income tax bracket of 10%. Gross incomes for individuals between $ 150,000 and $ 500,000 would be in the 15% marginal tax bracket. And finally, gross incomes over $ 500,000 a year would be taxed at the rate of 20%. These lower rates would only be possible if the entire tax code were simplified by eliminating all deductions and credits, and all passive and active types of income were included in taxable gross income.

An income tax system should principally raise revenues to adequately fund public sector programs that only government is able to provide to the general public. It should not be used as another form of economic policy or social engineering to influence business and personal decisions.

ESTATE TAXES

Estate taxes should be equalized and consolidated at the Federal and State levels, and imposed upon estates over $ 3 million in total assets so the 20% individual tax rates would apply. Such a simplified system would also allocate total estate taxes between all states claiming a significant interest in the estate. Estates could reduce their taxable assets by giving them to qualified 501(c)3 charitable organizations, tax-exempt foundations, or directly to any governmental entity.

UNIVERSAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (USA)

A tax-free universal savings account (USA) should be enacted to replace all public and private pensions and the various tax-free retirement and savings accounts. It would consolidate all 401K plans, IRAs, Keoghs, SEPs, Roth IRAs, and Health and College savings plans.

USAs could be managed by a variety of financial organizations with fees limited by law. The owner could transfer the account without charge and at any time between trustees and managers. (A special annual fee would be paid by all USAs to insure against losses due to the bankruptcy of or fraudulent activities by USA managers and trustees.)

The individual holder of the USA and his/her employer could make tax-free annual contributions to the account (reducing taxable annual income) up to a certain statutory limit and after-tax contributions to another stated limited. Individuals could not borrow against or completely liquidate a USA until after they turn 65.

Tax-free withdraws would be limited to no more than 20% of the total assets of the USA during any calendar year for a limited number of permissible reasons, including to pay for education, medical expenses, to purchase a primary residence, or to start a business. After 65, the tax-free withdraws could be for any reason. USAs would be exempt from personal creditors and bankruptcy and they could not be pledged as collateral for any types of loans.

Balances remaining in USAs when the owner dies would pass tax-free to named beneficiaries on the account and outside the imposition of any estate taxes. All public entities and private corporations could transfer the present value of their existing pension plans into individual USAs in order to free government and businesses from the direct cost of their employees’ pensions.

NATIONAL SALES (TRANSACTION) TAX

There should also be a national sales (transaction) tax of 10% imposed with revenues being divided between federal, state and local governments. It should apply to all goods, services and transactions and include those conducted over the Internet. (A higher transaction tax rate could be instituted if the new tax also replaced all the separate state sales and use taxes.) Some transactions (such as prescription drug purchases, transfers of funds between related people and entities, and a limited list of other exempt transactions) could be excluded. A VAT tax is a far too regressive and hidden tax for this nation, and it would likely distort many business and consumer decisions and transactions across the economy.

NATIONAL GASOLINE (FUEL) TAX

The gasoline (fuel) excise tax should be set nationally (replacing the separate state fuel taxes ranging from around 15 to 35 cents per gallon, and the 18.3 cent/gallon Federal excise tax). It should be set initially and universally at sixty (60) cents per gallon. It would slowly increase one (1) cent/gallon per month until it reaches $ 1 per gallon over a period of about 4 years.)

The revenues generated by this tax would be used solely for transportation infrastructure needs. More than likely such annual expenditures may have to be supplemented out of general revenues at the federal and state levels or by other dedicated federal and state taxes. It will collect less revenues as people eventually use more fuel-efficient vehicles, drive less, and use more public transit. Some or most of its revenues could also be allocated to an independent National Infrastructure Bank.

Most (90%) of the funds generated by the national gasoline (fuel) excise tax should revert back to the states to be spent as each state desires with a limited number of federal requirements. The 10% retained by the Federal government would be used to fund the U.S. Department of Transportation and permit Congress to allocate funds to some large multi-state projects. The state-by-state distribution would be principally based upon their total populations and on a few other factors such as the total size of their existing road, rail, mass transit, air and water infrastructures.

We have to cut off our huge and expensive dependence upon foreign oil for over 60% of our current needs. We also have to stop funding various terrorist organizations which indirectly obtain some of our oil payments. Only by setting existing fuel taxes high enough will we encourage alternate fuel sources.

SUMMARY

Unfortunately, tax reform is probably only a dream. Our political system is just too polarized, partisan, ideological, illogical, angry, fearful, impotent, paralyzed and gridlocked to tackle any of our major national challenges. More likely, with the death of the current tax compromise, Republicans will shut down the government when it is necessary to raise the debt limit in 2011. This time (unlike in 1995) the shutdown could last for months and it would likely cause a global financial and economic melt-down. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

Perhaps the sooner the bankrupt U.S. Empire (and its utterly corrupt crony capitalist system and central government collapse) the better. It would hurt hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. and around the globe. However we would finally be forced to reorganize our economic, social, and political systems to truly create sustainable ways of living both locally and globally.

Submitted on 12/10/10 by Marc Pascal from sunny and warm Phoenix, AZ.


The Moderate Voice

No Immediate Vote In U.S. House On Obama Tax Deal; Democrats Balking At Extending Tax Cuts For The Rich

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

There will be no immediate vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the controversial tax compromise that was crafted by President Barack Obama and Republicans.

Democrats in the House are balking at a vote.

Stay tuned as Congress tries to get out of town before Christmas.

Capitol Watch

Tax Cuts, Social Security and Health Care

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

In episode 40 of our podcast, we tell you about President Obama’s false assertion about Social Security, wrong claims about the Bush tax cuts from both parties and yet another Internet rumor about the health care law.
[podcast]http://factcheck.org/Images/image/radio/FactCheckRadio_episode40.mp3[/podcast]
For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Obama’s Social Security Stumble  Dec. …
FactCheck.org

Tax Cuts, Social Security and Health Care

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

In episode 40 of our podcast, we tell you about President Obama’s false assertion about Social Security, wrong claims about the Bush tax cuts from both parties and yet another Internet rumor about the health care law.
[podcast]http://factcheck.org/Images/image/radio/FactCheckRadio_episode40.mp3[/podcast]
For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Obama’s Social Security Stumble  Dec. …
FactCheck.org

DeMint Wants Tax Deal To Reduce The Deficit And Permanently Extend The Bush Tax Cuts

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

While most Republicans on Capitol Hill have signaled support for the tax cut deal that their leadership brokered this week with President Obama, a small minority are opposed. Tea Party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said he is against the deal because it includes a provision to extend unemployment benefits for 13 months. “We can’t just keep paying people to stay at home,” he said.

Last night on Fox News, DeMint expounded on his concerns about the deal. “This is a perfect example of how we got 14 trillion in debt as a nation,” he said. But then his reasoning quickly turned contradictory. “Republicans have something we know is good for the country, such as extending these tax rates.” Later in the interview, DeMint solidified his inconsistency. He said the measure should not increase the deficit; but, in his very next breath, he added that the deal should make the tax cuts permanent:

DEMINT: Rather than support something that is a bad deal, I think I would put my bets on a republican house fixing this thing the second week in January, when we are back in session. But I’d like to get the deal done now. But it should, in my mind not increase the deficit. And we should at least have a vote on making these rates permanent. If we do that, I think it will really help the economy the way it is structured now, I think it could actually hurt the economy by expanding the deficit. So, you know, I’ve heard countless times since I’ve been in Congress, this is the best deal we can make but frankly, with $ 14 trillion in debt, this is not what we need to do. We need to fight a little bit harder before we let this thing go.

Watch it:

DeMint did not say that there should be spending cuts to offset the federal revenues lost from the tax cuts, which for the wealthy alone, account for more than $ 800 billion over the next 10 years. Cutting taxes will increase the deficit; they are mutually constitutive. Yet, DeMint thinks the tax deal should decrease the deficit and make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent.

While the President’s priorities in the deal would help about 150 million more Americans than the GOP’s priorities would (and at less cost per person), the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation said that the tax deal would cost the government $ 801.3 billion over 10 years. While the 13 month unemployment benefit extension would cost $ 56 billion, the JCT said the two year extension of the tax cuts would cost more than $ 400 billion.

This feels more than a bit surreal,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, about the tax deal’s cost. “On the heels of the work of the White House Fiscal Commission last week on how to get control of the national debt, the White House and Members of Congress choose to engage in a negotiation that involves adding increasingly larger amounts to the debt? It’s utterly exasperating.”

ThinkProgress

Kaine: Obama’s brilliantly made tax cuts for the rich the 2012 issue, or something

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Rerun.


Because that strategy worked so well in November … right?  DNC chair Tim Kaine seems to forget that Democrats refused to take action on the tax rates while Congress was in session in September so that they could frame the Republicans as the party of the rich fat cats who care nothing for the middle […]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Obama: Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich Won’t Create ‘One Single Job’

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

This week, the White House has been aggressively selling its tax deal with congressional Republicans, lobbying lawmakers, and blasting out press releases touting endorsements of the plan, even those from obscure mayors. Progressive activist and lawmakers have been upset by the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy for two years in exchange for extending unemployment benefits, correctly arguing that the cuts for the rich will do little to stimulate the economy while adding billions to the deficit.

And in an interview on NPR this morning with Morning Edition host Steve Inkseep, President Obama reflected this point of view, agreeing that the tax cuts for the wealthy will not create “one single job“:

INSKEEP: Let me ask you about something that we heard from one of our listeners. … The question that we got was: “Please ask him how keeping the tax rate for the richest the same as it has been for a decade creates one single job.”

OBAMA: It doesn’t, which is why I was opposed to it — and I’m still opposed to it.

The issue here is not whether I think that the tax cuts for the wealthy are a good or smart thing to do. I’ve said repeatedly that I think they’re not a smart thing to do, particularly because we’ve got to borrow money, essentially, to pay for them.

The problem is, is that this is the single issue that the Republicans are willing to scotch the entire deal for. And in that circumstances — in that circumstance, we’ve got, basically, a very simple choice: Either I allow 2 million people who are currently getting unemployment insurance not to get it, either I allow the recovery that we’re on to be endangered or we make a compromise now.

Listen here:

Of course, Obama is correct. As the Center for American Progress’ Michael Linden and Michael Ettlinger noted, “The economy did not add a single new job” in the first three years after the Bush tax cuts were enacted. And as the Washington Post noted early this year, despite 9 years of Bush tax cuts, “There has been zero net job creation” over the past decade. “[O]n jobs, on growth, on middle-class income, on investment,” the Bush tax cuts “simply did not work,” Linden and Ettlinger conclude.

But Obama’s comments seems to be at odds with the message that the White House has been pushing in trying to sell its tax deal, touting that it will create millions of jobs. On Wednesday, White House economic advisor Larry Summers even warned that not passing the tax deal, “would materially increase the risk the economy would stall out and we would have a double dip [recession].” Cribbing a talking point from conservatives while appearing on MSNBC yesterday afternoon, White House economic advisor Austan Goolsbee explained, “I think the president’s judgment on why extend the Bush tax cuts was ordinary people need to have some certainty that when they wake up January 1st, we haven’t fumbled around and now their taxes are going to go up by several thousand dollars.”

ThinkProgress

DEM Rep Blames Speaker Pelosi For Holding Tax Cuts Hostage (Video)

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Will the real hostage taker please stand up.

Democratic Representative Dan Boren (D-OK) blamed democrats, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi by name, for holding the tax cuts hostage and not bringing the bipartisan package to the House floor for a vote.

That was gutsy. Speaker Pelosi won’t like to hear that. She won’t like it one bit.
Boren better bring a bodyguard to the next caucus meeting.

Via On the Record:


Greta Van Susteren: Why isn’t it being brought to the floor? Who’s not bringing it to the floor?

Rep. Boren: The Speaker.

The Speaker agreed. There was a motion by one of the members of the caucus today to say let’s put this off. Let’s not do this package that the White House and senate Republicans came up with. Let’s come up with our own package. Well, we had that vote last week and guess what? It failed.


Big Government

Bachmann Insists Billions in Tax Cuts For Multimillionaires Is A Tax Increase

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

While much of the focus regarding President Obama’s tax deal has been on the discontent in the Democratic caucus, a slew of House Republicans have also voiced their opposition, on the grounds that the package includes too few tax breaks and too much help for the jobless. Today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on CNN, and explained that she is against the tax deal because it not only extends unemployment benefits, which she has continually characterized as “massive new spending,” but because, in her mind, it increases taxes.

When a perplexed John King asked her what she was talking about, Bachmann replied that the estate tax cut Obama and the Republicans included is actually a tax increase, because a Bush-era budget gimmick set the estate tax at zero this year. Under current law, the estate tax will go to 55 percent next year, with a $ 1 million exemption, but under the tax deal, it will be set at 35 percent with a $ 5 million exemption.
This cut costs about $ 25 billion, and benefits only those in the wealthiest 0.25 percent of households in the country.

During the interview, Bachmann insisted at least five times that this constitutes a “tax increase.” Watch a compilation:

Not only is Bachmann framing a tax cut as a tax increase, but the bill is laden with a whole slew of tax cuts: tax cuts for rich, tax cuts for the middle class, tax cuts for workers, tax cuts for those with children, ethanol tax credits, and on and on.

But later in the segment, Bachmann turned right around and railed against the tax deal for its impact on the deficit, while simultaneously claiming that deficit impact of the income tax cuts in the bill shouldn’t be considered. “I don’t think letting people keep their own money should be considered a deficit,” she said. Watch it:

All told, the tax deal costs about $ 950 billion over the next two years, $ 480 billion of which goes to maintain the Bush tax cuts. But Republicans have magicked themselves into a fantasy land where the things they like in the bill are free, but the things Obama wants cost money. On a final note, The Wonk Room pointed out that there is a legitimate problem in the bill that could result in a tax increase for the working poor and public employees.

Wonk Room

Tax Cuts for the Wealthy About Jobs? Really?

December 10, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Weighing in on that well-trod question, I think not. I join the fray after shouting at the radio last night as Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee was speaking on All Things Considered. He is the third ranking Republican leader in the Senate. Melissa Block asks him directly:

How do you justify that a quarter of the tax savings in this deal go to the wealthiest one percent of the population? Help us understand why that’s fair.

Sen. ALEXANDER: Well, the goal is to create jobs. And if you raise taxes in the middle of an economic downturn on anybody, especially the job creators, you make it harder to create jobs.

So he doesn’t even bother addressing the “fair” part and provides no evidence whatsoever to buttress his assertion that higher taxes on “the wealthiest one percent” make it harder to create jobs. It’s just Republican common sense.

Block goes on:

BLOCK: And if you look at the proportions, though, of the top, top sector of earners in this country getting the bulk of the benefits, why does that help?

Sen. ALEXANDER: Well, if you’re a small business person in Tennessee, what this means is that you won’t be paying tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps more, in taxes and you can use that to create a job. It also means that your employees who work there will get a one-third reduction in their payroll tax payments every two weeks. And maybe they’ll spend some more money creating more jobs. So it’s a combination of policies that all together are focused on jobs.

With that he lumps small business owners in with the wealthiest one percent of the population. While I quibble with the definition of “small business” — here in the U.S. it’s under 500 employees, in parts of Europe it’s under 15 — I think we can all agree that if its owners are in the top one percent of earners they should use more of those earnings to create jobs and become big business.

Beyond that Alexander doesn’t address the question, moving on instead to elements of the compromise that have nothing to do with job creation. Block wonders if he wants the tax cuts for the wealthiest earners extended permanently:

Sen. ALEXANDER: [T]hey’re not cuts, they’re tax increases. It’s the largest tax increase in history that’s automatically set [by Republican President George W. Bush] to go up January 1st. I believe that those tax rates ought to stay the same permanently. Our taxes aren’t too low, our spending is too high. That’s another debate we’re going to be having. But right now, our whole goal is to make it easier and cheaper to create private sector jobs. Raising taxes on anybody doesn’t do that.

BLOCK: So you would want a permanent extension, then. Curious, then, how that can be justified with the widespread fear about ballooning deficits and the talk about the future that we’re leaving for our grandchildren. How do you justify a package of tax cuts that adds $ 900 billion to the deficit?

Sen. ALEXANDER: You keep calling them tax cuts and I have to respectfully disagree with you. You don’t cut taxes when you leave tax rates at the same level they are. This is a big tax increase that will happen January 1st. The debt is the second big problem we have. Jobs is the first, debt is the second.

For the record, I fully support the tax compromise. The reality in America today is that policies aimed at benefiting the vast majority of us and at boosting the economy are held hostage to wasteful tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent. The Wonk Room:

Obama’s components of the tax deal (extended unemployment benefits, the payroll tax cut, and the extended credits) will cost $ 214 billion to aid 156 million people. The Republicans priorities (extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and cutting the estate tax), meanwhile, will cost $ 133 billion, but only benefit roughly 4.8 million people.

Still, the deal is a net plus for Democrats:

The GOP got around $ 95 billion in tax cuts for wealthy Americans and $ 30 billion in estate tax cuts. Democrats got $ 120 billion in payroll-tax cuts, $ 40 billion in refundable tax credits (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and education tax credits), $ 56 billion in unemployment insurance, and, depending on how you count it, about $ 180 billion (two-year cost) or $ 30 billion (10-year cost) in new tax incentives for businesses to invest.

I am persuaded by the rest of Klein’s analysis as well.


The Moderate Voice

Peace in our time: Obama, House Dems strike bargain on tax cuts deal?

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

That was fast.


Does this mean … no impeachment? Because I’ve got to tell you, after this morning’s unpleasantness, my expectations were sky high. The AP’s vague on the precise terms — and cost — of the bargain, but it sounds like that righteous liberal rage over the new estate tax rate magically dissipated after it was sprinkled […]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Video: British students attack Prince Charles’s car over tuition cuts

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

It’s come to this.


Riveting stuff, not only as a portent of European unrest in the age of austerity — note the guy shouting “off with their heads” in the second clip — but as an unlikely confrontation between two verrry different symbols of entitlement. The Daily Mail has a report and, as always, phenomenal photos: One protester who […]

View the video »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Oh my: House Dem drops F-bomb on Obama at caucus meeting on tax cuts

December 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Rage.


I join with Ace in condemning this shocking example of extremist hatemongering incivility. Seriously, though, look at it this way: If we had a parliamentary system, The One would be packing his bags by now. The frustration with President Barack Obama over his tax cut compromise was palpable and even profane at Thursday’s House Democratic […]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Next Page »

  • TriCityNewBalance.com
  • Jennifer Taylor Bedding At BathAndBed.com
  • Nokia Inc.
  • Laptop ac adapters, keyboards, batteries, inverters, LCD screens at LaptopZ.com