Archive for the ‘tax cuts’ Tag

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“Wouldn’t the fundamentalist Christians you know really want to vote for Jesus Christ for president? Who wouldn’t want to vote for an American president who was a peaceful radical nonviolent revolutionary guy who hung out with lepers, hookers and criminals, who never spoke English — was not an American citizen. A guy who was anti-wealth, anti-possessions, anti-self defense, anti-greed, anti-death penalty completely, anti-public prayer (Matthew 6:5 — he was) but never once anti-gay, never mentioned abortion, never really mentioned premarital sex, never justified torture, never called the poor lazy, never asked a leper for a copay, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, and was a long-haired, brown-skinned — it’s in Revelation, I didn’t write it — brown-skinned, homeless, community organizing, pro-womens’ rights, Middle Eastern outrageously liberal reformer Jew.” — John Fugelsang

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Ezra Klein “Think back to July 2011. The problem was simple. Republicans wouldn’t agree to raise the debt ceiling without trillions of dollars in deficit reduction. Democrats wouldn’t agree to trillions of dollars in deficit reduction if it didn’t include significant tax increases. Republicans wouldn’t agree to significant tax increases. The political system was at an impasse, and in a few short days, that impasse would create a global financial crisis.

The sequester was a punt. The point was to give both sides a face-saving way to raise the debt ceiling even though the tax issue was stopping them from agreeing to a deficit deal. The hope was that sometime between the day the sequester was signed into law (Aug. 2, 2011) and the day it was set to go into effect (Jan. 1, 2013), something would…change.

There were two candidates to drive that change. The first and least likely was the supercommittee. If they came to a deal that both sides accepted, they could replace the sequester. They failed.

The second was the 2012 election. If Republicans won, then that would pretty much settle it: No tax increases. If President Obama won, then that, too, would pretty much settle it: The American people would’ve voted for the guy who wants to cut the deficit by increasing taxes.

The American people voted for the guy who wants to cut the deficit by increasing taxes.

In fact, they went even further than that. They also voted for a Senate that would cut the deficit by increasing taxes. And then they voted for a House that would cut the deficit by increasing taxes, though due to the quirks of congressional districts, they didn’t get one.

Here in DC, we can get a bit buried in Beltway minutia. The ongoing blame game over who concocted the sequester is an excellent example. But it’s worth remembering that the goalposts in American politics aren’t set in backroom deals between politicians. They’re set in elections. And in the 2012 election, the American people were very clear on where they wanted the goalposts moved to.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/23/on-the-sequester-the-american-people-moved-the-goalposts/

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John Fugelsang:

Every year on Ronald Reagan’s birthday there’s always so much pressure about how to best celebrate.

Should I declare ketchup is a vegetable for all those overfunded public school kids or shut down all those defunded mental hospitals so those nice folks can get some fresh air? Or just never mention AIDS? Oh, too late, I just mentioned AIDS. Well, maybe I should just bake a big expensive cake that most Americans will never get a piece of and then make your grandkids pay for it.

The point is, there are so many ways to honor Reagan’s achievements.

Achievements like vetoing any sanctions against South African apartheid while talking a lot about freedom. Or union-busting the air traffic controllers even though he used to run a union and all. Or signing California’s Therapeutic Abortion Act of 1967 into law. Just Google that. He really did that.

How about running for president promising to never negotiate with terrorists, then secretly selling arms and weapons to the same Iranian terrorists who helped kill our Marines in Beirut while already arming the Iraqis that they’re at war with — arming both sides in the same war — using that money to illegally fund the contras in Central America after Congress passed a stuffy old law saying he couldn’t, lying about the size and amount of shipments, saying he forgot he did all that stuff, and then helping his VP become president, who then pardoned everyone convicted so they could all walk away clean?

Pretty impressive when you consider Bill Clinton couldn’t even pull off one lousy Hummer.

Now, some of our conservative brothers and sisters might think this is mean, my reciting several actual things Reagan actually, really did. But Reagan always seemed like a nice guy. I don’t want want to be mean to him. If I was gonna be mean, I’d mention how he tried really hard to keep Martin Luther King Day from ever becoming a national holiday — because he did.

So what about the positives?

Like raising the debt limit 17 times. Or raising taxes 11 times because the economy needed it. Giving amnesty to 10 million undocumented immigrants. Obama’s only offered the Dream Act, which makes them actually work for it.

Reagan talked to our enemies, dreamed of a world with no nukes, he grew government by 61,000 jobs — he did, Department of Veterans Affairs. Ronald Reagan banned all torture and did all kinds of other stuff Fox News really wants you to forget. Reagan even defunded the public school system, which wasn’t a good thing, but it probably led directly to MTV picking up “Jersey Shore.”

Look, I’m gonna celebrate by remembering the young president of my union, the Screen Actors Guild, the young Ronald Reagan who once said, “One of the most elemental human rights is the right to belong to a free trade union.”

And I’m gonna wish peace on his soul, and I’m gonna support an assault weapons ban — just like gun violence victim President Ronald Reagan did in 1994.

http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/john-fugelsang-celebrates-reagans-birthday-by-remembering-what-fox-news-wants-you-to-forget/

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Ezra Klein “Democrats do want to raise taxes on families making more than $250,000. You sometimes hear Democrats say they just want to “restore the Clinton-era rates” for these folks, but that’s misleading. In addition to letting the Bush tax cuts expire, the White House wants to add about $700 billion in further tax increases on these taxpayers. And that’s in addition to the high-income taxes passed in the health-care law. Under Obama’s plan, taxes on the richest Americans would be much higher than under the Clinton tax code.

So yes, Democrats want to raise some taxes. But so do Republicans. They want to let the payroll tax cut and the various stimulus tax credits (notably the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit) expire. Those are the tax cuts that primarily help poor and middle-class Americans. In fact, 87.8 percent of the payroll tax cut’s benefits go to taxpayers making less than $200,000 and 99.9 percent of the stimulus tax credits’ benefits go to taxpayers making less than $200,000.

And those tax cuts help many, many Americans. Pretty much everyone who works benefits from the payroll tax cut. Pretty much everyone who works in a low-wage job benefits from the stimulus credits. Whereas the tax cuts for income over $250,000 help about 4 percent of taxpayers, these cuts and credits help almost every taxpayer. Letting them expire will thus raise taxes on many, many more people than letting the high-income Bush tax cuts expire.

(It’s worth noting here that support for the payroll tax cut isn’t universal among congressional Democrats. Some worry that it appears to undermine Social Security’s finances, even though the law says that the revenue removed from Social Security will be replaced by revenue from the general fund. These Democrats would happily sign onto a replacement for the payroll tax cut, but Republicans haven’t been open to that, either.)

Republicans argue that these policies weren’t really tax cuts, that they were temporary stimulus measures designed to be tax cuts. And it’s true that their primary purpose was stimulus. But the Bush tax cuts were also designed to be temporary and they were sold as stimulus once the 2001 recession began. “By ensuring that Americans have more to spend, to save, and to invest, this legislation is adding fuel to an economic recovery,” President Bush said in 2003, upon signing the second set of his tax cuts.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/27/hey-america-republicans-want-to-raise-your-taxes/

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST  “We’re now in the general election campaign in the United States, the point at which the candidates are meant to pivot from the primary voters to the general election voters, most of who now are registered Independents.

But this isn’t really happening. The Obama campaign started with its attack ads about Bain Capital, which presented a simplistic picture of a complicated reality. Although some private-equity firms have engaged in some bad practices, on the whole the industry has grown so large because it performs a useful function.

Then came Mitt Romney’s first major ad which told us that on his first day in office, he would introduce tax cuts. Now, the one idea that is almost certain not to jump-start this economy is a tax cut. After all, that’s what we’ve been doing for the past three years. For those who think President Obama’s policies have done little to produce growth, keep in mind that the single largest piece of his policies, in dollar terms, has been tax cuts. It actually began before Obama, with the tax cut passed under the George W. Bush administration in response to the financial crisis in 2008.

Then came the stimulus bill, of which tax cuts were the largest chunk by far, one-third of the total. Then, the payroll tax cut, the small business tax cut, the extension of the payroll tax cut, and so on.

The president’s Twitter feed boasted that, “President Obama has signed 21 tax cuts to support middle class families.” And how has that worked out? The “Wall Street Journal” explained this away saying that the problem is all these tax cuts are temporary. If only we had across-the-board cuts in rates, except that these were tried as well.

The 2001 Bush tax cuts were designed precisely along those lines. They were, in dollar terms, the largest tax cuts in U.S. history. And the economy got worse, not better. In fact, the years 2000 to 2007 were the period of weakest job growth in the United States since the Great Depression.

Now, look, tax cuts can stimulate growth, especially when you go from say 70 percent rates to 30 percent rates as Ronald Reagan did, but a cut of a few percent from a reasonably moderate base or a temporary waiver of some small tax provisions, is highly unlikely to unleash lasting growth.”

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1206/17/fzgps.01.html

 

Posted June 18, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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