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Unread 2010-12-05, 06:14 AM   #26
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Tax votes fail in the senate.

Went right on party lines.

Dems proposed to put a 200k limit on the "renewed tax cuts" that failed, then they proposed a 1 million limit on them and that failed too.

IMO it failed on principle because there isnt a need to raise taxes on ANYONE right now. The Dems did the 1 million limit just so they can have a "look the GOP only cares about the rich" bullet point on the shit they will put out in the coming week.

The percentages are already so screwed up anyways. There is no reason ANYONE in this country should have to give up half of their paycheck to the govt. Someone who works hard in their life to become a successful then they get their money taken from them just for that reason.

The progressive tax system needs to be closer together. I do agree that the poor dont need much taken from them, but i dont agree that the rich deserve to have a very large chunk taken from them.

A flat tax would also work, 25% across the board means that the rich are still putting in WAY more money than anyone else. Yet they also get to keep more of their hard earned money as well.


Then again with all this said, i think we should get rid of income tax altogether and force the federal govt to fix their completely ridiculous budget and not have to steal the money from the people just to fund some of the most ridiculous lines in the budget.
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Unread 2010-12-06, 10:30 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by FOACAD View Post
The Dems did the 1 million limit just so they can have a "look the GOP only cares about the rich" bullet point on the shit they will put out in the coming week.
calling a spade a spade shouldn't be looked down upon. the GOP, for better or worse, doesn't have a particular affinity for the less fortunate or even really the 'middle class' of this country (outside of the middle class' votes)... they believe that what is good for the rich and for big business is good for everyone.

if they actually gave a shit they could vote for the up to $1M and still get ~99% of people taken care of. then use next year to get a retroactive tax reduction for $1M+... but they know that it makes for terrible press and no real upside with voters so they are holding 99% of people hostage for the 1%.


even if you disagree with that (don't see logically how but then again I have trouble seeing Republican talking points sometimes) are you going to pretend that Republicans don't/wouldn't do the exact same thing?
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Unread 2010-12-06, 10:50 AM   #28
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Being equitable is bad?

I dont see anywhere the pubs saying they only want to take care of the rich, just saying that the tax cuts should be universal. And I dont think they honestly think its going to be permanent for everyone, just have to play the negotiating game. That way when they move to the middle its an extension. And they will likely move on the EXTENDED benefits for unemployment. I feel I need to point that out since everyone in the media seems to be marketing it as a cancellation of benefits instead of extending the extension of the old benefits system.
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Unread 2010-12-06, 01:11 PM   #29
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Being equitable is bad?

I dont see anywhere the pubs saying they only want to take care of the rich, just saying that the tax cuts should be universal.
you won't ever see anyone, anywhere saying they only want to take care of the rich... it will never happen.

as to the negotiations with unemployment benefits, I think you're right. I just think its amazingly hypocritical that $4T in tax cuts can continue to go unfunded, unchecked on the gov't balance sheets but things like the 1099 repeal (Dems trying to remove a reporting requirement for small businesses under the ACA), extensions of unemployment benefits, the TANF bill (making people work for benefits), etc all go away because they "aren't paid for"... maybe they should pass, maybe they shouldn't but they aren't even on the table for discussion in most cases because they aren't offset.

the extension of rates for incomes over $1M will 'cost' the federal balance sheet $60B/year for the two year extension that is being discussed... and no 'fiscal conservative' has piped up to mention that its completely unfunded? ideological consistency is severely lacking on the Hill these days.
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Unread 2010-12-06, 08:33 PM   #30
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http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezr...-that-bad.html

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The White House and the Republicans are pretty close to a final deal on the Bush tax cuts. Here are the specifics, though it's worth saying that as near as this is to completion, it's still not done, and so it could change:

1) The Bush tax cuts get extended for two years -- with one ugly surprise: For the next two years, estates up to $5,000,000 will be protected from the estate tax, and the tax rate for the few estates that are taxed will be 35 percent. That's worse than the 2009 estate tax ($3.5 million exemption, 45 percent rate), though better than this year's "no estate tax at all." The difference in expected revenue between the 2009 levels and the compromise levels is $10 billion or so.

2) The refundable tax credits are extended: The Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit were all pumped up in the stimulus, but set to expire this year. All of them will be extended. Price tag? $40 billion or so.

3) Unemployment insurance gets extended for 13 months: Most observers -- myself included -- thought the federal boost to unemployment insurance (which allowed jobless workers in states with high levels of unemployment to collect insurance for up to 99 weeks) would lapse. At best, there'd be another two- or three-month extension. In perhaps the most important part of the deal, there's going to be a 13-month extension at a cost of $56 billion.

4) A 2 percent cut in the payroll taxes paid by employees: This is perhaps the most unexpected part of the compromise. Rather than extending the administration's Making Work Pay tax credit for two years, which would've been worth about $60 billion a year, they've agreed to a one-year cut in the payroll taxes paid by employees, which'll raise $120 billion in 2011. That's a much stronger boost over the next year, and of course these tax cuts have a tendency to get extended ...

5) Business expensing: Remember back in September, when the White House announced a proposal to give businesses two years in which they could deduct 100 percent of the cost of new investments? That's in the deal, too. The cost of this is a bit complicated -- it's $30 billion over 10 years, but it works by offering huge tax cuts in the next two years and then paying that back over the next eight. So we're basically trying to shift business investment forward to 2011 and 2012. Over those two years, the tax breaks should be around $200 billion, though because it's a shift rather than a cut, it will have less than $200 billion in impact.

So is this a good deal? It's a lot better than I would've told you the White House was going to get if you'd asked me a week ago. There's some new stimulus in the form of the payroll-tax cut and the expensing proposals. The older stimulus programs that are getting extended -- notably the unemployment insurance and the tax credits -- probably would've expired outside of this deal. The tax cuts for income over $250,000 are a bad way to spend $100 billion or so, and the estate tax deal is really noxious.

It's bad news for the deficit, though the White House and Congress are right to make the deficit less of a priority than economic recovery. And speaking of that economic recovery? This isn't enough, and it's not well targeted. The deal amounts to the White House throwing some bad money after good. But the end result is between $200 and $300 billion more in tax breaks, tax credits and unemployment insurance than there would've been if not for this deal (I say $200-$300 billion because of the uncertainty over what would've been extended in the absence of this package). That's better than nothing -- or to be more specific, better than backsliding.

Most of the money just keeps programs that are currently in effect from expiring, so in some ways, it would be more accurate to say that this money is anti-contractionary rather than stimulative. It's important that the White House doesn't repeat the mistake it made in the original stimulus and overpromise how much this will do for the economy. What you can say about this policy is that, for the moment, it doesn't make things much worse, and it probably makes them a bit better. This is not the government making a major new commitment to the recovery. It's the government not getting in the way, and maybe doing a bit to help, the horribly slow recovery that's happening anyway.

It also, importantly, holds the extensions to two years. The tax cuts for income over $250,000 and the new estate tax rates will expire in 2012. The White House thinks that this'll be a good election issue for them, as it combines a popular, populist stance on taxes with a deficit-reduction message. Whether they're right -- and whether they'll fight in 2012 in the way people hoped they'd fight in 2010 -- remains to be seen. But on a policy level, two-year extensions of bad tax cuts are much preferable to 10-year extensions of bad tax cuts.

And finally, it's something of a hopeful sign: The White House sat in a room with Republicans and Democrats and managed to negotiate an actual compromise. The final deal includes some things that Democrats will like and some things they won't like, and it includes some things Republicans will like and some things they won't like. But it's a deal, and a better one than many -- myself included -- thought they'd reach. These tax cuts were a bit of a special legislative case, as their scheduled expiration forced action, but if you want to be optimistic, this process suggests that the next two years might be a bit more productive than some of us have been predicting.
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Unread 2010-12-06, 08:43 PM   #31
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Jesus. I'm not sure that writer even tried to hide his bias. Especially about the estate tax. And, he's wrong about the payroll tax cuts. It's two percentage points, not two percent. Big difference.
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Unread 2010-12-06, 08:48 PM   #32
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Jesus. I'm not sure that writer even tried to hide his bias. Especially about the estate tax. And, he's wrong about the payroll tax cuts. It's two percentage points, not two percent. Big difference.
Good catch re: percentage points. And it's WaPo, so it's likely skewed anyway.
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Unread 2010-12-06, 08:53 PM   #33
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Good catch re: percentage points. And it's WaPo, so it's likely skewed anyway.
I saw that too. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised and it's an editorial blog post so he really doesn't need to hide his bias.

But, at least now I know that the HSA I set up to pay for my laser eye surgery is barely going to affect my paycheck.
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Unread 2010-12-06, 09:51 PM   #34
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I say let them all expire.

The nation's credit card bill is finally coming due, and it's time to start paying bitches.
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Unread 2010-12-06, 09:59 PM   #35
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I say let them all expire.

The nation's credit card bill is finally coming due, and it's time to start paying bitches.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 01:58 PM   #36
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101207/...ge/us_tax_cuts
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"The president's commitment to bipartisanship should not mean leaving principles behind," MoveOn said.
LOL. They want what they want, that is fine. But its a bit bullshit to say "bi-partisanship is fine, but stick to your principals" and then make up a bunch of shit about the opposition when they stick to their principals.

Its how negotiations work, nobody is 100% happy with what they got. Party is over guys.
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Last edited by Ryan Stewart; 2010-12-07 at 02:02 PM..
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Unread 2010-12-07, 02:36 PM   #37
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I can't stomach how anybody can be okay with Estate Tax... it's my single biggest complaint with how ridiculous and out of control our government is.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 02:55 PM   #38
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I can't stomach how anybody can be okay with Estate Tax... it's my single biggest complaint with how ridiculous and out of control our government is.
I have to agree with you 100% on this. It doesnt "hit" the masses so the common joe blow doesnt care about it enough to get the ball rolling to remove it.

Overall happy about the extensions
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Unread 2010-12-07, 03:11 PM   #39
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2 year extension to tax cuts on ALL income levels.

No one in American needs a tax increase right now. no matter what you make, bottom to top. That is the GOPs point in all this. Cut spending, fix the leaky faucet and stop taking more and more out of the people's pockets to try and cover for the out of control spending.

The dems are trying to make this a "GOP doesnt care about poor people" issue and its just simply absurd. The GOP just doesnt want to raise taxes on ANYONE let alone the already highest taxed people.


This is going to be a HUGE deal in 2012 imo. Probably gonna be one of the biggest "issues" for the election then.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 03:37 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by FOACAD View Post
No one in American needs a tax increase right now. no matter what you make, bottom to top. That is the GOPs point in all this. Cut spending, fix the leaky faucet and stop taking more and more out of the people's pockets to try and cover for the out of control spending.
This is what we should do... it's what YOU and I want... however, I'm betting it's not what the GOP wants.

The GOP is just as bad as the dems... they won't ever voluntarily surrender their out of control spending ability. Either side.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 03:47 PM   #41
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i should have hit enter before my "cut spending...." line started because i know that the GOP is just as bad about ridiculous spending.

Thats why i want a president that will set forth an agenda based on MASSIVE cuts.

Thats why i keep saying Romney's name. He did it in Mass. and he'd push as hard as possible to do it for the country. He did a spending cut across the board in Mass. Then he put things back in slowly as the state could actually AFFORD those things.

The GOP in the house and senate wont just voluntarily cut spending on a large scale unless they are being pressured from the top. Just as Obama pressured to get the things done that he got done in his first two years.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 04:08 PM   #42
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i should have hit enter before my "cut spending...." line started because i know that the GOP is just as bad about ridiculous spending.

Thats why i want a president that will set forth an agenda based on MASSIVE cuts.

Thats why i keep saying Romney's name. He did it in Mass. and he'd push as hard as possible to do it for the country. He did a spending cut across the board in Mass. Then he put things back in slowly as the state could actually AFFORD those things.

The GOP in the house and senate wont just voluntarily cut spending on a large scale unless they are being pressured from the top. Just as Obama pressured to get the things done that he got done in his first two years.
I think Romney would have had a chance to win the election last time if they would have ran him. Hopefully the republicans pull their heads out of their asses next time.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 04:40 PM   #43
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2 year extension to tax cuts on ALL income levels.

No one in American needs a tax increase right now. no matter what you make, bottom to top. That is the GOPs point in all this. Cut spending, fix the leaky faucet and stop taking more and more out of the people's pockets to try and cover for the out of control spending.

The dems are trying to make this a "GOP doesnt care about poor people" issue and its just simply absurd. The GOP just doesnt want to raise taxes on ANYONE let alone the already highest taxed people.


This is going to be a HUGE deal in 2012 imo. Probably gonna be one of the biggest "issues" for the election then.
Here is the big problem. The tax cuts/extension (whatever you want to call them) are going to cost about $450,000,000 over the next two years. And there was no call by those supporting the cuts/extension for spending to be cut elsewhere to cover them. (this extension was NOT priced into the budget/deficit projections we've all been seeing up to this point).

I find it incredibly disingenuous that many republicans were demanding spending cuts to cover the $56B extension of unemployment benefits, but yet seemed perfectly ok with putting $450B of tax cuts on the credit card. Why weren't they pushing for spending cuts to finance the tax cuts?

Upping you spending without earning more is no different than keeping you spending the same and earning less. Both are fucking stupid.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 05:31 PM   #44
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I find it incredibly disingenuous that many republicans were demanding spending cuts to cover the $56B extension of unemployment benefits, but yet seemed perfectly ok with putting $450B of tax cuts on the credit card. Why weren't they pushing for spending cuts to finance the tax cuts?
I don't see an issue...

For the UE extension we're discussing giving away money to people who aren't working (PAST the time frame they were already scheduled to get money).

For the tax extension we're discussing not TAKING MORE MONEY from some of the hardest workers in our country that keep this country running.

Just at a basic level I get why they're not calling for cuts to cover that.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 06:05 PM   #45
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For the tax extension we're discussing not TAKING MORE MONEY from some of the hardest workers in our country that keep this country running.

Just at a basic level I get why they're not calling for cuts to cover that.
millionaires work harder than coal miners? some maybe, but not as a rule. athletes keep this country running in a greater capacity than air traffic controllers? semi-drivers?

you can talk about their role in driving private investment etc but here is an evidentiary look at what tax cuts for high income earners does to the economy:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-0...dy-s-says.html



if they want to pretend that they care about the deficit in any cohesive fashion, you have to talk about what is going to be cut/not spent in order to handle the huge dent in revenue outlays that the 'cuts' meant.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 06:21 PM   #46
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Perhaps someone can shed some light on this:

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/20...nfrastructure/

Quote:
Though the tax deal negotiated by President Obama and Congressional Democrats includes an extension of a handful of Recovery Act provisions, like the expanded Earned Income and Child Tax credits, one potential for inclusion that was ultimately left on the sidelines was an extension of the expiring Build America Bonds (BABs) program.

This program has the federal government pay 35 percent of the interest on bonds that states issue to fund transportation, infrastructure, and school construction projects, allowing them to initiate projects (and create jobs) that they otherwise wouldn’t have, given their budget woes. Last month, BABs issues surpassed $150 billion, as governors from both parties took advantage of the program.

But as Reuters reported today, Congressional Republicans are ready to bring it to a halt:

Quote:
Congressional Republicans will block any inclusion of Build America Bonds, a taxable bond program popular with states, cities and other muni issuers, in the tax deal they clinched with President Barack Obama, a Republican aide said on Tuesday. “We have a very firm line on BABs — we are not going to allow them to be included,” a congressional Republican aide said.
Today, New Jersey is using the BABs program to raise money for work on the New Jersey Turnpike. In all, 1,912 bond issues have been made by state and local governments, funding everything from school construction and water projects to roadwork. “Build America Bonds have provided crucial support for state and local governments at a time when they faced unprecedented stress raising funds,” wrote Princeton economics Professor Alan Kruegar. “State and local governments have used BABs savings to create jobs and reduce taxes.”

“Once we emerge from these difficult times, investments made with Build America Bonds will be one reason that communities that are now suffering will once again be thriving,” added Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA). “Extending the life of this innovative bonding program will ensure that growth continues and that our country will remain competitive.”

As The American Prospect’s Tim Fernholz explained, Build America Bonds “is one of the most successful programs of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, spurring productive investment, job creation, and creating a more progressive and democratic method of local finance.” CAP’s Seth Hanlon, Jordan Eizenga, and James Hairston noted that the bonds also save taxpayer dollars, make the government more efficient, and are “far more transparent than tax-exempt municipal bonds.”

Reuters’ James Pethokoukis predicted today that allowing BABs to expire is part of a GOP strategy to push troubled states into bankruptcy and cripple public employees unions.

UPDATE Hanlon and Eizenga also noted today that allowing BABs to expire would force states to rely on tax-exempt bonds, creating a back-door tax cut for wealthy investors:
Quote:
The Treasury Department estimates that before Build America Bonds were established in 2009, 20 percent of the federal subsidy intended for states and localities was captured by the wealthiest bond investors...Removing Build America Bonds from the market would force states and localities to rely only on tax-exempt bonds, as they did prior to 2009. Estimates indicate that this glut in supply of tax-exempt bonds will increase interest rates on tax-exempt bonds by 12 to 25 basis points. Higher interest rates on tax-exempt bonds mean more opportunities for high-income investors to shield their income from federal taxes. The expiration of the Build America Bonds program would therefore result in a backdoor tax cut for top-bracket investors.
This is the first I've really heard of the BABs, but why are they vilified by the Republicans except as a means to deny investors a tax shelter for massive private funds?

EDIT: I get the Republicans want to cut back on spending, but if anything, this is the kind of government spending they should support. It's a relatively low percent of the bonds' interest the federal government is responsible for covering, and if you do spread it out over all the states and their projects, then yeah, it requires spending; but, apparently it's also contributing to growth and employment which is a scenario Republicans are rabid about. I'll see what else I can find about this later. Back to finals studying.

Last edited by tau; 2010-12-07 at 06:29 PM..
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Unread 2010-12-07, 06:55 PM   #47
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Yeah not understanding the BAB thing...

I deal fairly closely with bonds... and tax-free muni's are selling like crazy as always and the rates are still fairly high (especially when compared with anything else).

There's definitely got to be something more to this story.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 07:06 PM   #48
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Just read a small article on the BAB's...

It appears some view it as a redistribution of wealth/coverage, from higher net worth investors like regular muni's, to a broader base of investors (ie more people, less net worth, but also foreign markets).

I can see a minor rub there... to be honest most of this discussion will probably be over my head, lol.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 07:09 PM   #49
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Link? It's perplexing at the very least and I'd like to see more on it.
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Unread 2010-12-07, 07:10 PM   #50
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http://www.bnet.com/blog/business-ec...en-buffett/584
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