2012 Tuesday: Obama gives ‘tax the rich’ one more heave

We learned a few things yesterday with President Obama’s announcement that he wants to extend the current individual income tax rates for one more year, but only for those making less than $250,000 a year:

  • The current rates — commonly described as the “Bush tax cuts” even though they have been in full force for nine years, two years of which required Obama’s signature — apply to more than just “the rich.” Otherwise, how could they be extended for everyone who isn’t rich?
  • Even Obama understands that the economy is still too weak to withstand a major tax hike during the next presidential administration (his second, or Mitt Romney’s first). That is a pretty strong, if tacit, admission that his entire first term has failed to see a middle-class recovery of any consequence, just a stop to the bleeding — at most. Once upon a time, he theorized that such a result would lead to a “one-term proposition” for himself.
  • This move has nothing to do with being serious about the deficit, because the vast majority of the budgetary effects relate to the rates for sub-$250,000 earners, and always have.
  • If Obama were serious about the deficit, he would join other notable Democrats — and Republicans — in embracing the proposals of the Bowles-Simpson report he commissioned. Among other things, this would mean lowering rates across the board, while broadening the tax code to eliminate loopholes, carve-outs and subsidies/spending disguised as tax breaks.
  • If it doesn’t have anything to do with the deficit, it’s plainly about politics. But it’s the same “eat the rich” politics that Obama and the Democrats tried in 2010 — and which cost them spectacularly in the midterm elections. Maybe he thinks it will play better this time because his opponent is (like him) a rich guy, but I suspect most Americans still care more about what each candidate’s policies mean for their own wallets than those of other people.
  • Even other top Democrats think $250,000 is too low of a threshold: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer previously argued for keeping rates steady for anyone earning up to $1 million. Obama is out of step with his own party’s leadership and trying to lead Democrats even further to the left on this issue.
  • This president still doesn’t have any new ideas. Tax the rich, borrow and spend more money, make government bigger with proposals that in some cases have been around for decades — these are the same things he’s been trotting out for four years, with the result of mediocre approval ratings and an electorate sour on the direction the nation is taking.
  • There is an enormous opportunity for Romney to talk about the need to avoid the path on which Obama would take us — to explain the benefits of free enterprise and the fairness of rewarding people for the work they do and the risks they take. But he must make that case, and not count on a strategy of criticizing Obama’s class-warfare rhetoric.

The basic campaign messages of each side so far amount to:

Romney: Obama has failed!

Obama: Never mind that; Romney is an evil, rich capitalist!

Of the two, Romney’s message has the better chance of resonating with American voters. But he must pair it with a vision of what success would look like and how he would lead us there. Obama is giving him yet another opportunity to do that. He has to start acting on those opportunities.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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335 comments Add your comment

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 10th, 2012
4:07 pm

“You know, including the part where he marched with MLK.”

Where he said HIS FATHER marched with MLK. Can’t you get ANYTHING right? (the new rules prevent me from calling you what you really are)

Please do us all a favor, Gravy Train – DON’T VOTE.

You diminish all the rest of us when you do.

Steve

July 10th, 2012
4:09 pm

Every trend I’m seeing shows that Obama will win this. It’s always close – every freaking election as people are set in their views, but the tide is turning and old/rich/greedy/racist/white people are on the way out.

Jefferson

July 10th, 2012
4:10 pm

Romney is the least likeable, and as other republicans have said “The worse republican to run against the President.

True as hot.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 10th, 2012
4:12 pm

Trends don’t mean a thing in July, Steve.

td

July 10th, 2012
4:12 pm

Steve

July 10th, 2012
4:09 pm

What about these two little “trends”:

1: GWB is the only President to ever win with an approval rating of less then 50%.

2: The candidate to raise the most money has won every election?

Steve

July 10th, 2012
4:12 pm

If any of the other candidates were running against Obama right now, Obama would have a clear lead. Romney is easy on the eyes and doesn’t stand for anything, so he garnishes more support from those who don’t have a clue (which are most voters).

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

July 10th, 2012
4:15 pm

The Mormons I’ve known have all been very industrious, hard working, generous folks. Contrast that with Obozo, who has one year of real work experience; all the rest of his time has been a waste of oxygen–rabble rousing and ginning up fear and hatred per “Rules for Radicals”.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

July 10th, 2012
4:20 pm

Steve: old/rich/greedy/racist/white people are on the way out.
——–

Not much hate there.

Let us hope that your “thought” process is what’s on the way out in America.

Gravy Train

July 10th, 2012
4:24 pm

He initially said he was there with his father. His tax hikes while governor of Massachusetts are now described as “fees.” The healthcare reform he signed into law is now “bad legislation” even though the program enjoys broad support there. If he were a Democrat there would be a week long tirade on Fox News on his “tax and spend” method, instead of “fees” or how he is trying to “socialize” America. Bill O’Riley would find some people who really did march with MLK to come on his show and refute Romney’s claims. They could be called “Former Marchers for Justice.” They would then form a Super PAC and launch a series of commercials that paint Romney what he really is, a spineless phony that leans on his cult when it’s in his best interest, otherwise it’s “off limits.” If he were a Democrat, you can bet there would’ve already been a barrage of “reports” about the dangers of his cult membership. How many flip flops will he do this week? But, unfortunately, all that you see is the (R), so none of it really matters. I feel sorry for you.

Darwin

July 10th, 2012
4:24 pm

Sorry Tiberius – your bias is showing. Look at W for example. Two unpaid wars, biggest expansion in the history of Medicare, nothing on immigration or health care, Wall Street unregulated. And you guys consider those the good old days.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 10th, 2012
4:31 pm

Darwin, in case you’ve missed it (and of course, you did) I have been consistent in my opposition to both Afghan and Iraq wars from day one and the expansion of Medicare, and as far as Wall St unregulated is concerned, I have also been consistent in calling for ONE simple regulation to be put back in place – Glass-Steagall. Would have stopped most of the negative inertia in the investing industry, but not the housing or mortgage industries.

But you would have to have been paying attention instead of assuming things you don’t bother to actually read or investigate.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 10th, 2012
4:33 pm

Nice to see that Gravy Train is supplementing his bigotry with lies now.

Hillbilly D

July 10th, 2012
4:35 pm

but the tide is turning and old/rich/greedy/racist/white people are on the way out.

If that’s the case, they’ll just be replace by old, rich, greedy people of some other stripe. Old, rich, greedy people always run the world.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 10th, 2012
4:42 pm

“Old, rich, greedy people always run the world.”

And yell at you to get off their lawn! :D

Gravy Train

July 10th, 2012
4:47 pm

Show me the lie. Show me the bigotry. I’ve got nothing but facts. Go do some real research about your savior “Mitt” and the history of Mormonism and get back to me. That would require some work, effort and independent thought, so I won’t hold my breath.

JMH

July 10th, 2012
4:47 pm

Amvet,

Not looking for bumper sticker slogan but a way to get the country on the right track. I can’t understand and don’t understand why people want to punish someone else to make themselves feel better. It’s always easy to say yeah i support raising taxes on the other guy, the rich guy and make him pay for it. Why? Don’t you think everyone should pay their “fair share”? Is earning income and not only not paying federal taxes but getting a refund “fair”? If you can explain that to me with facts i’ll take your side; don’ t think you’ll be able to though!

What is your answer to income inequality? Is taking from one and giving to another your only answer?

As far as the unemployment rate goes; what is it for college educated people? Much lower?
Yes! Why?

How about getting your facts straight!

Gravy Train

July 10th, 2012
4:49 pm

md

July 10th, 2012
4:52 pm

“Seriously dude, just look at the factual history of the LDS cult, the life and death of Joseph Smith, Utah, and their previous attempts to impact national politics. If you can make it through the whole thing without noticing the hypocrisy and holes, then God bless you. And the Mormons will have a space saved for you on Sunday.”

Seriously dude…..just look in the mirror. Who is to say who is right and who is wrong? You?

Seriously!!

Ej Moosa

July 10th, 2012
4:52 pm

“Although the US still hosts the lion’s share of Global 500 corporations, no country has lost more companies during the last decade. There are 132 US-headquartered businesses on this year’s list, down from 197 a decade ago,” the US business magazine said.
=====================================================

If you think what we have is working, you need to read the above carefully.

We are doing something to drive US corporations away. And it’s certainly not the corporate welfare you think they are receiving.

Gravy Train

July 10th, 2012
4:56 pm

In 1978, Willard claimed that he and his father marched with MLK. Fact. Mormonism is a cult by every measure of the definition. Fact. Please do your own research so I don’t have to clog this thing up with links that disprove your position. You are wrong. Be a man and admit it and move on.

md

July 10th, 2012
4:56 pm

“so he garnishes more support from those who don’t have a clue”

Steve…..just to make sure you have a clue, can you tell us how many of the new taxes in the hc bill will be affecting you??? Let’s see how clueless you aren’t.

Junior Samples

July 10th, 2012
4:59 pm

Girls, Girls, your both pretty.

I’ll say this, at least Mitt isn’t a Scientologist

md

July 10th, 2012
5:01 pm

“We are doing something to drive US corporations away.”

One can start with the trillions being held offshore because uncle sugar wants a big cut to bring it home……so those corps have found it to be just as easy to set up subsidiaries around the globe and use it there……..the dems are too ignorant to understand that even if it came home untaxed it would then be in our system generating other taxes and much needed capital…..instead, they sit on their hands hoping that one day they may (operative word…equivalent to one in the hand vs 2 in the bush) get their hands on 1/3 of it.

Gravy Train

July 10th, 2012
5:04 pm

md- I can only go by what is provided. The Bible. Historical documents, artifacts (or lack there of) and eye witness accounts that were entered into record. It’s all there on the web for you to see. I’m not claiming to be right, just stating facts. I know when something feels wrong, and I suspect you do too, you just don’t want to admit to it and diminish Willard.

md

July 10th, 2012
5:05 pm

“at least Mitt isn’t a Scientologist”

And who’s to say they are wrong??

Come on folks, get with the program……the possibility exists that we are all wrong….or some right….or only the guy down in his basement praying to his own deity that may be right……

The un-cluless should get the picture…….faith and beliefs do not necessarily equate to facts.

md

July 10th, 2012
5:09 pm

Gravy train…..and every religion on the planet can produce some form of recorded history, some kind of artifact, and some kind of recorded observation…….and guess what…..they ALL think they are right.

Billions upon billions of people that don’t believe the same thing………guess what, somebodies wrong……and the possibility exists they everybody is wrong…………start from there.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 10th, 2012
5:16 pm

So much fun watching Gravy Train did a deeper and deeper hole for himself.

Kinda like watching Jay Carney trying to defend his boss . . . :D

Gravy Train

July 10th, 2012
5:24 pm

That’s just it, md. Mormons cannot provide artifacts or genetic links. Oh, they try to claim the ruins in Central America could be from the people talked about in the “Book of Mormon” except that scientific and historical data prove otherwise. To be a Mormon, you have to recognize Joseph Smith as a prophet, martyr and diety. You have to take his word for it because that’s all there is. Maybe everybody is wrong. But I know there is God. I know that Jesus walked the Earth. I know there were 12 Apostles that started Christianity. I know that Joseph Smith is not one of them and that he lived his life like a power hungry adulterer. He even shot and killed two people before he was killed. Hardly the behavior of a true “prophet from God.” Willard is part of this movement and he is considered a priest in the organization. That means he gets his marching orders from the president of the organization who has been bestowed the title of “modern day prophet.” His name is Thomas S. Monson. He was granted that title by other Mormons in a secret ceremony, not by God. So there, if you are cool with this clown having influence on the highest office in the world, have at it. Just ask yourself, would you be willing to swallow this if it were Obama that was linked to the cult?

Hillbilly D

July 10th, 2012
5:24 pm

On the subject of religion, of course I think mine is right. If I didn’t I’d be of a different one.

That being said, other folks choose to believe otherwise. Them and God can sort that out, come Judgement Day. I imagine I’ll have my hands full.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 10th, 2012
5:25 pm

Let’s see the liberals bad mouth this “religion-”

According to several reports in the Arabic media, prominent Muslim clerics have begun to call for the demolition of Egypt’s Great Pyramids—or, in the words of Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi‘i, those “symbols of paganism,” which Egypt’s Salafi party has long planned to cover with wax.

They won’t because they’re kowards.

Back to your regularly scheduled Mormon bashing.

Kyle Wingfield

July 10th, 2012
5:27 pm

@@ @ 3:49: To be clear, what I mean is that if you previously posted as Joe Smith but now use @@, other commenters should address you as @@, not Joe Smith.

As silly as this sounds, it has been a source of too many headaches for me.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 10th, 2012
5:29 pm

Hard to take Obama seriously when he proposes anything with a potential economic effect – he seems so totally oblivious to the consequences of everything he has done.

snoqualmiefalls

July 10th, 2012
5:39 pm

Lets take a look at Mittens tax returns for the last 10 years…not copies but the originals, long forms, signed by his CPA’s and a return receipt from the IRS. Since so many people claimed our President was not properly vetted I say do it right this time, we can use Mitt’s father’s standard when he ran. If it was good enough for George it’s good enough for Mitt… no deflection here, just using Tea people tactics which seems to have gone over very well in the last 4 years.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward--Again)

July 10th, 2012
5:40 pm

It’s also hard to take Obozo seriously when his “jobs plan” consists entirely of stoking hatred of people who are more successful than his voters.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 10th, 2012
5:45 pm

“Lets take a look at Mittens tax returns for the last 10 years…”

Why? DO you need even MORE deflections from Obama’s failures, sno?

Tell you what. I’ll go along with your suggestion just as soon as Obama releases his college transcripts and medical records, OK?

Otherwise, what is in a blind trust is no business of yours.

Michael H. Smith

July 10th, 2012
5:48 pm

Just ask yourself, would you be willing to swallow this if it were Obama that was linked to the cult?

Um… Considering Rev Wright – Obama’s spiritual father – and the links to “black liberation theology” how willingly do you swallow all of that my friend?

Uh… Considering Obama’s parents, close associates throughout various periods of his life and even appointees as President that were either Marxist or tied to Marxist, Socialist or out right declared Communist, how easy is all of this to swallow?

Oh, and we’re not even talking what if…

Hillbilly D

July 10th, 2012
5:49 pm

Why don’t we release all of it for both of them? Tax returns, college transcripts, medical records, the whole kit and kaboodle. You want the gig; there’ll be no secrets.

Michael H. Smith

July 10th, 2012
5:52 pm

Don’t count on that happening HD

Kyle Wingfield

July 10th, 2012
5:52 pm

As it happens, the CBO today released its annual look at how much U.S. households earn and pay in taxes — not just income taxes, but also social insurance taxes, corporate taxes and excise taxes. Here’s the upshot from 2009, the most recent year the CBO has examined:

Top 1%: Earned 13.4% of pretax income, paid 22.3% of all federal taxes
Top 10%: Earned 36% of pretax income, paid 51.8% of all federal taxes

Top Quintile (i.e., percentiles 81-100): Earned 50.8% of pretax income, paid 67.9% of all federal taxes
Second Quintile (61-80): Earned 21.1% of pretax income, paid 18.3% of all federal taxes
Middle Quintile (41-60): Earned 14.7% of pretax income, paid 9.4% of all federal taxes
Fourth Quintile (21-40): Earned 9.8% of pretax income, paid 3.8% of all federal taxes
Bottom Quintile (1-20): Earned 5.1% of pretax income, paid 0.3% of all federal taxes

So, the picture changes somewhat when FICA taxes, etc. are counted, but the story is still the same: Our tax code is already very progressive. One-fifth of the taxpayers foot two-thirds of the bill.

The question progressives never want to answer is, how much more progressive do they think it should be?

AmVet

July 10th, 2012
5:53 pm

Lets take a look at Mittens tax returns for the last 10 years…

Actually his dad – a man of some courage, unlike his son – released 12 years of returns.

We all know why Flip doesn’t want to. It would be a HUGE embarrassment.

Talk about your welfare king and uber-parasite right there in black and white!

Maybe it would confirm what most people suspect. He pays a lower effective tax rate than Warren Buffett’s secretary!

HUGE LOL at you trickle downers…

JDW

July 10th, 2012
5:54 pm

@td…”A few facts for you libs on taxes:”

You forgot some facts there td…fact Income Taxes only account for around 40% of revenues. In fact when you look at the entire federal tax burden you find a far far different story…

“Who pays how much

To put it in numbers, according to the analysis, the top 1 percent of earners account for 20.3 percent of total personal income in the United States and pay 21.5 percent of all federal and state taxes. The middle 20 percent of households earn 11.6 percent of US income and pay 10.3 percent of taxes. The lowest 20 percent account for just 3.5 percent of income, and pay 2 percent of all taxes.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0415/Taxes-and-the-rich-How-much-do-they-pay-now

Fact is under our system today EVERYONE carries about the same overall burden relative to the income they make.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

July 10th, 2012
5:54 pm

This would considered an “Oooooh, SNAP!” moment for those of the fiscal conservative persuasion, Kyle.

AmVet

July 10th, 2012
5:55 pm

One-fifth of the taxpayers foot two-thirds of the bill.

Considering that they have 80% of the wealth, sounds like a pretty good deal for them…

Hillbilly D

July 10th, 2012
5:56 pm

Don’t count on that happening HD

I’d be ducking flying hogs, if it did.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward--Again)

July 10th, 2012
5:56 pm

More evidence that Democrats pay nothing, while enjoying full Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward--Again)

July 10th, 2012
5:59 pm

AmVet, that might be interesting except for one little fact you omit. We don’t tax wealth.

The productive class (loosely defined as the top 20%) are paying their way and most of yours.

JDW

July 10th, 2012
6:01 pm

@Kyle…my guess is that the difference in the numbers the CBO put out the ones I cite are Corporate taxes and the way the segments are split….don’t know and don’t have time to chase it now.

AmVet

July 10th, 2012
6:01 pm

AmVet, that might be interesting except for one little fact you omit. We don’t tax wealth.

No Shiite, Sherlock.

We tax wealth relatively little and we heavily tax human labor instead.

Now get busy you human laborer!

You need to pay for Mitt!

Michael H. Smith

July 10th, 2012
6:05 pm

Billions upon billions of people that don’t believe the same thing………guess what, somebodies wrong……and the possibility exists they everybody is wrong…………start from there.

That is basically what is done when one under goes any serious theological training in a seminary or Bible college.

Many differing views – as they are called – are presented including the ones that many say are cults, including the views of Atheist, Gnostic, Agnostics, etc. etc. Noting the usual institutional bias including that of the professor, nevertheless the poor divinity student is left to form their own opinions and choices as to which is from God and what is doctrinally sound.

ld

July 10th, 2012
6:06 pm

The positions staked out by both the Democrats and the Republicans on this issue is purely political. The problem is that the Democrats don’t want to compromise enough and the Republicans will not compromise at all.

I, for one, hope they ALL expire. Then Congress can start from scratch.