Playing with our money

Letting Bush tax cuts expire would bring hammer down on families

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How badly have this Congress and this president mangled the nation's financial picture?

It's so bad that the Democrats in charge of Congress didn't even attempt to write a budget this year.

One gets the impression they didn't want the bad press before the election. For that, anyway.

You have to wonder, though: If the federal government can't balance the budget -- and it can't -- what is to blame? Is the government not taking in enough money? Or is it spending too much?

Mr. Obama and his friends in Congress won't even consider the second possibility. All they want to do is take more of our money.

The big issue right now is whether to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.

For months and months, Democrats have resisted the notion of extending the tax cuts, which actually affect most families. The Associated Press reported last week -- belatedly, but finally -- that a family of four earning $50,000 a year will pay $2,900 more in taxes next year if the Bush tax cuts expire. A similar family earning $100,000 would be forced to cough up another $4,500.

Unless something changes, that's a done deal.

Now that the election is nigh, however, Democrats are changing their tune. The Democratic leadership says it wants to extend the Bush tax cuts affecting those earning $250,000 and less. The massive $800 billion federal "stimulus" did next to nothing, and unemployment is flirting with 10 percent -- though the real number is north of 15 percent when you count the chronically unemployed. So Democrats are resorting to class warfare: tax cuts that look good politically, but which wouldn't get the economy going again.

A growing number of Democrats are finally admitting it publicly, too: A group of 31 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to their leaders imploring them to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, even the so-called rich.

"While those in the highest income brackets comprise only 2 to 3 percent of American taxpayers, economists estimate that they are responsible for 25 percent of national consumer spending," they wrote. "As 70 percent of our economy is driven by consumer spending, this is not the time to jeopardize further growth. It is also estimated that up to one-third of high income tax payers are small business owners, our nation's job creators and the backbone of our economic recovery."

This, from Democrats, mind you.

They're right -- as is Mr. Obama's former budget director, Peter Orszag, who wrote an op-ed recently saying it would be deleterious to raise taxes right now.

It's nice that Democrats and the mainstream media are finally beginning to question the wisdom of sucking $4 trillion in taxes out of the economy in the midst of the worst economic times since the Great Depression; better late than never. Yet, where were these people the past two years, as the economy continued to sputter and shed jobs? Now, just before the election, they're worried about raising taxes?

And what about the threshold question they never seem to get to: Is the federal government not getting enough revenues, or is it just spending too much? We think most Americans know the answer. But why is that not the central question of the debate?

Answer: Because it's largely someone else's money they're playing with.

Well, the owners of that money are watching -- perhaps more closely than they ever have.

Comments (161) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/19/10 - 11:47 pm
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The Democrats are doing the

The Democrats are doing the right thing if they keep the Bush taxcuts. President Obama is a good speaker and leader. If he adopts conservative policies we may even decide to keep him after the Republcans take control of Congress.

Keep learning, Mr. President, and coming around to our side. Afterall, you now recognize Michelle should be able to keep all the vegetables she raises in the back yard without the government getting its share.

OJP
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OJP 09/20/10 - 09:35 am
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This episode is founded on an

This episode is founded on an unusually high level of contradiction, even for the Right.

How can we reduce the deficit AND give the top 2% a tax break? And rich people don't create jobs, DEMAND does. Give the vast majority of the country, including the entire middle class, a tax break. They'll actually spend the extra cash.

sjgraci
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sjgraci 09/20/10 - 04:12 am
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More bull from the chronicle.

More bull from the chronicle. If ALL the tax cuts go back to what they were under President Clinton you can thank the republican party of NO for obstructing the bills passage. Then you and they can claim that it was the Democrats that raised taxes.

Truth is, that family of four making $50,000 is part of the 50% who are not paying taxes. Half the country the chronicle and radical right love to rile against for sponging off the system and not contributing like the rich. President Obama and the Democrats have repeatedly said that ALL the tax cuts and credits they and 98% of everyone else in the country currently have will continue. If the legislation is not passed you can thank the party of NO republicans.

Even the rich 2% will see the same tax cuts and credits that family of four makes on 4 of their lower income levels. That is fair. It is their upper income levels that will be taxed at a higher rate. That can be as little as 3 cents! Cry me a river rich folks!

You can't have it both ways chronicle. You scream that 50% of the country doesn't pay taxes. Now you try to scare that group into falsely believing their taxes will go up just like the "death panel" lie. More outrageously, for the past year, you and the tea partiers screamed about deficits. Now, when there is an opportunity to lower the deficit $700 Billion by returning the top two tax brackets to what they were previously (tax cuts that the country could not afford and only the rich have benefited from), you scream Class Warfare! You are hypocrites. And you and the party of NO have NO solutions.

Tigger__The_Tiger
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Tigger__The_Tiger 09/20/10 - 04:31 am
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OJP.....you can reduce the

OJP.....you can reduce the deficit AND cut taxes by cutting unnecessary spending. How very Democrat of you to not even consider that. And I don't think I've ever heard of someone named "demand" offering a job?

sjgraci.....party of no? Here's just ONE of the plans you claim they don't have, but as usual, I doubt you will read and acknowledge it.

http://republicanwhip.house.gov/Jobs/

Tigger__The_Tiger
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Tigger__The_Tiger 09/20/10 - 04:33 am
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sjgraci...the upper 2% pay

sjgraci...the upper 2% pay over 50% of the taxes....that's fair? No......that's your wealth envy showing through clear.

Tigger__The_Tiger
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Tigger__The_Tiger 09/20/10 - 04:39 am
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OJP...did you not know that

OJP...did you not know that the Bush tax cuts gave EVERYONE a tax break?

Tigger__The_Tiger
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Tigger__The_Tiger 09/20/10 - 04:49 am
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If the Bush tax cuts expire,

If the Bush tax cuts expire, EVERYONE's taxes go up. That is a fact.....not a scare tactic like sjgraci seems to want you to believe.

I must be rich since I benefited from the tax cuts AND the $1000 child deduction.

Hmmmmm...if they will only pay 3 cents, how on Earth do you intend to raise $700 billion? The math don't add up.

carcraft
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carcraft 09/20/10 - 05:33 am
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In the stimulus package :

In the stimulus package : $800,000.00 to teach African men to wash their privates, millions to build windmills in China and Spain, money for archeological digs around the world. $5,000,000.00 per job created in California..I think we can cut spending. The Laffer curve gives a representation of decreasing tax rate and increases in revenue because the rich tax payers are responsible for 20% of spending! OH I THOUGHT BUSH'S TAX CUTS WENT ONLY TO THE WEALTHY SO WHY DO THE DEMOCRATES HAVE THEIR BOXERS IN A BUNCH IF THE TAX CUTS EXPIRE SINCE THEY ONLY WENT TO THE WEALTHY? You mean the Democrates lied? LOL

carcraft
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carcraft 09/20/10 - 05:37 am
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OH SJGracie-Your arguement is

OH SJGracie-Your arguement is now with Democrates and Republicans + Obama's X budget director Orszag!

carcraft
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carcraft 09/20/10 - 05:39 am
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OJP-The rich consume and are

OJP-The rich consume and are responsible of 20% of spending that creats the demand!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/20/10 - 05:39 am
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Capitalism is the best

Capitalism is the best economic system the world has ever known, but the free market aspect of the system causes cyclical ups and downs. These swings will self correct quickly if left alone and won’t be as severe if the price or demand of the component is not artificially propped up by government. Taking more in taxes from the profits of capitalism and using it hold off the inevitable actually prolongs and worsens the effects of the corrections.

Whether it is housing or jobs, the government only interferes with the free market supply and demand and worsens the correction which HAS to eventually come. The fact is these cycles are even good for the poor and middle class because they correct problems such as the price of houses.

In some areas even small houses were going for exorbitant amounts and middle class people couldn’t afford the American dream. The market is attempting to bring the costs down and correct that aspect if the government will leave it alone.

overburdened_taxpayer
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overburdened_taxpayer 09/20/10 - 05:49 am
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Obama is willing to give

Obama is willing to give Mexico $1 billion to drill in the Gulf while he puts a moratorium on US drilling in the same Gulf. If he cares more about Mexican jobs than he does US jobs what makes you think he cares if you middle class workers have to pay more taxes if he eliminates the Bush tax cuts?

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 09/20/10 - 07:30 am
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Well, if you CUT spending and

Well, if you CUT spending and and taxes maybe that would cause private sector growth and create jobs on REAL dollars, not paper money generated by the Fed.

Call me crazy, but if you cut spending and increase your intake at some point (through an expanded tax base due to reeduced taxes and regulations placed on business hence allowing growth) there will be balance.

Brad

KSL
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KSL 09/20/10 - 06:16 am
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o_tax, I wish the Obama

o_tax, I wish the Obama supporters would justify that for us. Unbelievable.

Rhetor
978
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Rhetor 09/20/10 - 06:16 am
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Tax cuts for the "so-called

Tax cuts for the "so-called rich?" Does the ACES not believe that we have rich people? Really?

OJP
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OJP 09/20/10 - 06:22 am
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Tigger - The GOP had its

Tigger - The GOP had its chance to cut spending and the deficit but instead cut taxes for rich folks, expanded Medicare (gasp! Socialism!), and started two wars.

Trickle down was given its shot and failed miserably. Restore the tax brackets of the 1950s, i.e., the Republican good old days, and rebuild the American middle class. The rich will be fine, don't fret about them...

And find me one competent business owner who hires people when low demand means it will just hurt the business' bottom line. Demand creates jobs, not kind-hearted rich people.

So crates
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So crates 09/20/10 - 06:24 am
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I don't understand the

I don't understand the difference between a stimulus, where government directs the flow of money, and keeping the tax cuts, where financiers and industry control the flow of money. Either way, America are borrowing nearly $700 billion. And by the way, AC, it is hardly this President who mangled the economy, even though I'm as sick of hearing it as anyone else.

OJP
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OJP 09/20/10 - 06:31 am
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carcraft - That may or may

carcraft - That may or may not be true but a recent study by Moody's showed that giving tax cuts to the rich only makes them save more, not spend more.

www.businessweek.com/news/2010-09-14/america-s-wealthy-save-tax-cuts-rat...

Getting so many non-rich to vote against their own economic interests and against the economic interests of this great country is the GOP's greatest achievement.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/20/10 - 06:32 am
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Both parties have been at

Both parties have been at fault, but the important thing is to recognize government causes problems with our economic system. Whether it is the S and L crisis or the toxic home loans, government guarantees make private enterprise behave in uncapitalistic ways. I honestly believe the Obama administration is BEGINNING to see this problem.

We talk about tax cuts for the wealthy as if we are giving them something. Keep in mind, this is THEIR money to begin with. What they've took risks and invested for in order to make profits.

KSL
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KSL 09/20/10 - 06:38 am
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OJP, whatever the rich did

OJP, whatever the rich did with their tax savings, the economy improved.

So the Bush tax cuts led to the rich saving. Now they weren't exactly burying that money in cans in the backyard or stuffing it under the mattress, were they? You catch my drift??

OJP
6171
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OJP 09/20/10 - 09:38 am
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Riverman1 - No one prints

Riverman1 - No one prints their own cash (minus the Fed). The rich folks who earned their wealth and didn't simply inherit it owe that to our economic system and consumption by our great middle class.

Repeal the Bush tax cuts for the rich and we'll save $4 trillion over ten years. Repeal Medicare Part D, close corporate tax loopholes, and bring our soldiers home.

Or do nothing but complain about deficits and allow the rich to pocket more cash...

OJP
6171
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OJP 09/20/10 - 06:44 am
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KSL - In what economy have

KSL - In what economy have you lived in in the last decade?

nofanofobama
6801
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nofanofobama 09/20/10 - 06:52 am
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for years the dims have told

for years the dims have told us that the rich only recieved tax cuts from bush...now the dims are falling all over themselves to extend the cuts and take credit for it...obama and his cohorts are such liars...and how do you tax the the job producers and not effect the unemployment rate....look at the actual irs in take of revenue for the years after tax cuts they usually goe up and SO DOES SPENDING this is the problem.

KSL
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KSL 09/20/10 - 06:55 am
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OJP, after 9/11 what would

OJP, after 9/11 what would you have done in response to the attack that killed thousands of Americans? If you don't declare some sort of war, you can't just be going willy nilly after little enclaves in a foreign country, can you?

Granted, I was quite bothered by the declaration of war against Iraq. But then I am just a reasonably intelligent, educated American citizen not privy to intelligence gathering, who relied on the powers that be. Much like many do today.

However, after this experiment with Obama, I'm definitely not going to be so trusting in the future.

Oh, and to your 6:42, why did you leave out the wasteful entitlements provided to the do nothing but reproduce and commit crimes class. How about a little savings putting them on the street or back in their dysfunctional family homes where the parent has to take care of their offspring and the offspring's offspring?

If momma has to share her welfare benefits with daughter and daughter's child, momma just might lay down the law.

KSL
124790
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KSL 09/20/10 - 06:57 am
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In an economy that has more

In an economy that has more recently been tough on self-employed.

Now a question for you. Where did you get your education?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/20/10 - 06:58 am
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OJP said, "The rich folks who

OJP said, "The rich folks who earned their wealth and didn't simply inherit it owe that to our economic system and consumption by our great middle class."

So you are saying our economic system is a good thing. I agree, don't mess with it. But, actually, many wealthy in the last few years have not made their money in this country. They have made it in emerging markets.

One last point, about corporate taxes. Realize a corporation is a legal entity of people banded together to own a company. Each of these individuals pays taxes on the profits they receive from the company. Making the corporation pay too is double taxation. Doesn't seem fair.

OJP
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OJP 09/20/10 - 07:07 am
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Riverman1 - Remove limited

Riverman1 - Remove limited liability for corporate shareholders and I won't argue about double taxation.

wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 09/20/10 - 07:12 am
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hussein and the dems are

hussein and the dems are about to sell GM to china.now THAT is the best thing that could happen.we need to sell ALL American corps. to china.next we will be selling our nuclear fuel plants to iran.

chascush
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chascush 09/20/10 - 07:14 am
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OJP, ‘And rich people don't

OJP, ‘And rich people don't create jobs, DEMAND does.’
Most of the so called rich people are businesses.

Riverman1
81356
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Riverman1 09/20/10 - 07:15 am
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OJP, what does that have to

OJP, what does that have to do with double taxation? If a company is sued and loses the share holders will lose money.

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