Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republicans are Enemies of Middle Class

I’ve known for a long time that Republicans are the party of the rich. But today’s Republicans go further than any previous Republicans in that not only do they favor the rich, they don’t give a damn about the rest of us. Today’s Republicans are enemies of the middle class.

As everybody knows by now, the Bush tax cuts are due to expire at the end of the year. The reason they are expiring is that 10 years ago Bush could not get the legislation passed unless the tax cuts were made temporary. Now, after we were hit by the biggest recession since the Great Depression, it has become obvious that tax cuts do not make an economy grow.

And tax cuts definitely do not reduce the deficit; they increase it. At the same time that Republicans shout daily in all the media that they want to reduce the deficit in order to "live within our means," they shout just as loudly that we must continue the Bush tax cuts.

President Barack Obama realizes that for a long time, since long before the advent of today's recession, the income of members of the middle class has been deteriorating while the income of top earners has been zooming. So, during his campaign he promised to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class and get rid of the tax cuts for the wealthy.

Recently, Rep. Steny Hoyer announced that he would introduce a bill in the House that will maintain the tax cuts for the middle class only. Immediately Boehner and Cantor pounced. John Boehner, who is expected to be the new Speaker, said:

The last thing our economy needs right now is a massive tax hike on families and small businesses — and that’s what the House Democratic leaders’ plan would mean. We will oppose their job-killing tax hike and do everything we can to stop it. Republicans made a pledge to America to permanently stop all of the tax hikes scheduled for January 1st, and that’s what we’re going to fight for. Extending all of the current tax rates, and making them permanent, will reduce the uncertainty in our economy and help small businesses create jobs again.

TRANSLATION: We will not vote for tax cuts for the middle class unless you include tax cuts for the rich.

Rep Cantor said essentially the same thing.

Today's Republican leaders use the middle class as hostages to fight for privileges for the rich. They don't give a damn about anyone else. Tax cuts for millionaires will do nothing to increase jobs, help those with foreclosed homes or help the poverty stricken. Tax cuts for millionaires help only the rich. Everyone else must fend for himself.

Today's Republicans are enemies of the middle class.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 19, 2010 8:29 PM
Comments
Comment #313547

And, Democrats aren’t helping either. For two years the Administration has been kicking the progressive base in the teeth, along with the D.I.N.O.’s and the blue dogs. And now they wonder why they lost the House. And they’re going to continue to wonder why they’re going to lose the Senate and the White House in 2012.
The meaningless, but fun, ritual of voting was done on my part so I could send the sample ballot to the D.N.C., showing votes for Brown, Boxer and the Libertarian running in the 29th. I would have preferred Peace and Freedom. Adam Schiff had no challengers in the primary.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at November 19, 2010 9:00 PM
Comment #313549

“Republicans are Enemies of Middle Class”

So Paul, haven’t heard from you in a while, and this is the best you can do? You better go back to the drawing board.

Posted by: Beretta9 at November 19, 2010 9:43 PM
Comment #313550

Paul, it seems the democrats are in turmoil over this one:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A44K020101119

Obama’s Democrats in disarray over expiring tax cuts

By Thomas Ferraro and Kim Dixon
WASHINGTON | Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:38pm EST
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats in the U.S. Congress, many upset with him for election losses, are in disarray over what to do about tax cuts for millions of Americans that are set to expire on December 31.
With time running out and high political and economic stakes, Obama is pushing Democratic leaders to determine if they can win an acceptable extension of the cuts, which he could sign into law.
Resurgent Republicans are demanding that all the tax cuts be renewed, including those for wealthier Americans — individuals making more than $200,000 and families above$250,000.
Obama favors renewing the tax cuts only for those at or below those level, saying the nation cannot afford to renew them for wealthier Americans
Despite a number of options — including renewing all tax cuts or only those for the middle class or tying any extension to a renewal of jobless benefits — there is no indication a consensus is near.
“How the hell should we know when we will figure this out?” said a senior Senate Democratic aide. “This is the Democratic Party,” long known for internal struggles and diverse views.
“It seems like no one is on the same page,” said Chris Krueger of MF Global, a private firm that tracks Washington for investors. “It has the potential to be a train wreck.”
With some Democrats blaming Obama for their loss of control of the House in the November 2 elections, Obama’s ability to rally his troops is being tested on the expiring tax cuts, which were signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush.
“A lot of our guys, the progressives, don’t want to extend these tax cuts for anyone,” said a senior House Democratic aide. “They never liked them in the first place.”
The aide said some Democrats are now wary of Obama, who convinced them to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system — a landmark achievement that backfired and hurt them with voters.
“Our guys aren’t sure what comes next. Will Obama help them in 2012, or will just be focused on getting himself re-elected?” the aide said.
OPEN TO COMPROMISE
Obama and some Democrats have made clear since the election that they are open to compromise. Options include raising the thresholds to $500,000 or even $1 million or extending the tax breaks for only a year or two before a permanent agreement can be put in place.
House and Senate Democratic leaders plan to hold votes in December on extending the tax cuts and — barring any deal — it will be only for middle-income Americans.
However, such a move does not now have the votes to pass the Senate where Democrats would need Republican support to clear procedural hurdles in the 100-member chamber.
“There is a reality here that while it might be best to continue the middle-class tax cuts and raise taxes on higher income people, the votes are not there to do that,” said Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent who normally votes with the Democrats.
Republicans are more united than the Democrats, arguing that tax hikes, even for the wealthy, will hurt job creation. The party also has the benefit of knowing it will be in the majority in the House of Representatives as of January following this month’s election results.
Liberals say Democrats are understating their negotiating power, citing polls that show most Americans favor their position.
“In general the Democrats should have the upper hand in this debate,” said Jim Kessler, vice president of Third Way, a moderate Democratic think tank.
“The president ultimately is the person who will decide what he will and will not sign and that is a very strong leverage point.” Kessler said.
“At the same time, Republicans have a completely unified position and, from what I can read, there are six different Democratic positions.”

Posted by: TomT at November 19, 2010 10:01 PM
Comment #313553

First, an income of $250,000 does not make one “rich” or a millionaire.

Second, your translation should read:
“We will not vote to extend the current tax rates for the middle class unless you extend the current tax rates for everybody.”
There are no “cuts”

Third,
The Democrats don’t give a damn about us either.
Democrats see the middle class as a piggy bank to pay for their Big Government experiments which serve to enrich and empower themselves and promote dependency on government by everyone else. They cannot possibly pay for all of their largesse simply by taxing the rich. If you taxed every millionaire at 100%, it would only fund the federal goverment for a very short period of time.

The share of income taxes paid by the bottom 95% of taxpayers has decreased since 1987 from over 55% to less than 40%. The share paid by the top 1% has increased from 25% to over 40%. I believe the middle class is part of that 95%.

I am sick to death of the attitude that somehow “the rich” have not earned their income and the idea that all wealth belongs to government which then gets to decide how much it can afford to let the income earner keep. Why are deficits always a matter of too little revenue and never a matter of too much spending? You just want them to pay their fair share, right? How much is “fair share”? No one can define that for me.

And by the way, I myself am far from rich and would personally benefit either way. I think we should thank the top ten percent of rich Americans for paying 70% of the income tax burden as it is rather than demonize them for being successful.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 19, 2010 10:38 PM
Comment #313556

Skeptical Boomer,

If you can turn a salary of $250,000 per annum into a million dollars in fairly short order, you are a spendthrift, or at least, making way to many trips to Vegas with a dozen hookers.

Maybe it’s the Boomer effect, or senility is setting in, but Bush did indeed cut tax rates and the issue is extending these cuts beyond their intended sunset. It’s english 101.

Good use of statistics to twist an issue. Noblis Oblige. Those who benefit the most from society should carry the largest burden of it. To do otherwise would be regressive. Look at real tax rates. Our tax code is regressive. That the “rich” pay the largest portion is proportionate to their wealth. Of course, it isn’t actually proportionate, they underpay.

Each year from 2005 to 2007, the top 1 percent’s constantly growing share of income earned and taxes paid set a record. That trend reversed in 2008. In fact, the income share for the top 1 percent of tax returns was lower in 2008 than in 2000, largely due to differences in capital gains.

Another indicator of this reversal in the income and tax shares of the top 1 percent is that during 2007, the top 1 percent had actually paid more in federal income tax than the bottom 95 percent, a comparison that was much remarked on a year ago. But the diminished income of the top 1 percent in 2008 means that the comparison no longer holds. During 2008, the bottom 95 percent (AGI under $159,619) paid 41.3 percent of the total collected, a larger share than the 38.0 percent paid by the top 1 percent (AGI over $380,354).

The top-earning 5 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $159,619), however, still paid far more than the bottom 95 percent. The top 5 percent earned 34.7 percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income, but paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes.

For the past few years, the IRS has also been presenting data on a small subset of the top 1 percent, the top 0.1 percent (the top 10 percent of the top 1 percent). In 2008, this top 0.1 percent filed 140,000 tax returns, reporting nearly 10 percent of all adjusted gross income earned and paying approximately 18.5 percent of the nation’s federal individual income taxes. The average income for a tax return in the top 0.1 percent was $6.0 million in 2008, while the average amount of income tax paid was $1.36 million, indicating an average effective individual income tax rate of 22.7 percent. Both the income figures and tax figures for this group in 2008 were down significantly from 2007 levels.

[Note: This very top income group actually has a lower average effective income tax rate than the rest of the top 1 percent of returns because these extremely high-income returns are more likely to have income from capital gains and dividends, which are typically taxed at lower rates. It’s worth pointing out that in the case of capital gains and dividends, usually the income has already been taxed once by the corporate income tax, which is not included here, meaning the average effective tax rate numbers can be somewhat misleading.]

Overall, these data on high-income tax returns appear to confirm that the recent recession had the same diminishing effect on income inequality that most recessions have, and that it occurred for the same reason, a sharp decline in income at the high end. This appears to contradict recent reports based upon Census data suggesting the opposite, that this recession had actually increased income inequality. This inconsistency between IRS data and Census data is explained by a number of factors such as: (1) Census doesn’t break down data for the extremely high income tax returns (typically stops at the 5 percent threshold), (2) Census income measures do not account for capital gains realizations, and (3) Census data gathered from household surveys are less reliable for income information at the high end of the income spectrum than IRS data


Posted by: gergle at November 19, 2010 10:59 PM
Comment #313557

err, that should be “can’t turn a salary”. I hate when I do that.

Posted by: gergle at November 19, 2010 11:02 PM
Comment #313558

gergle,

My first point was that Paul argued that the Republicans want to give tax cuts to millionaires. Obama wants to limit the extension to those making under $250,000 per year and allow a tax increase on those above $250,000. I was simply pointing out that $250,000 per year does not make one a millionaire.

You still don’t answer the question. How much is enough and who decides. Who are you to say they underpay when you can’t tell me how much is enough and at what point are you simply punishing someone for being talented and successful and making more money than you feel is necessary.We are almost at the point where over 50% of the population pays no income tax. At the point where 51% or more pay no income tax, they will have the political power to simply vote themselves an ever increasing share of the wealth of the minority and there will be no shortage of politicians willing to encourage them. I don’t happen to believe that fairness consists of having more than half the population pay nothing for the government benefits they receive.

You said:

“Those who benefit the most from society should carry the largest burden of it. “

They do, but you fail to consider the other benefits they provide to society. Bill Gates is a very wealthy man but how many people in this country are employed and earn a good living in the personal computer and all related industries from components to retail. Is his sole obligation to society paying confiscatory income taxes?

Reading the statistics you cite shows that the reason the share paid by the wealthy dropped in 2008 after increasing steadily for 20 years, was that their income dropped substantially. The information you provide does not refute the fact that the rich still pay the largest share of income taxes.

Posted by: skeptical Boomer at November 19, 2010 11:46 PM
Comment #313559

gergle

Regarding that 250k. It really depends on where you live and what your family circumstances are. A family of four in New York or California is not rich at $250k annually.

Posted by: skeptical boomer at November 19, 2010 11:58 PM
Comment #313566

Paul,
The republicans today are not in favor of the Rich because if they were the question of ending the Bush Rax Cuts would not even be on the table. No, out “Pure Greed” or “Pure Ignorance” it seems that a few fools would rather make President Obama look bad than face the fact that the so-called Rich in America is about to get royally screwed.

For example; let the tax rate stay the same and add billions to the debt every year so what happens to the value of the dollar and more important to the access to credit? More vebt equals less credit which equals less sales which rquals less profit which means more unemployment which means higher taxes and a higher Prime Interest Rate. All IMHO in time for the next President in 2012.

Yes, the republicans might think they can buy their way out of the mess caused by them doing nothing; however, they cannot and do not have the political power needed to change the fact no amount of budget cutting will save the “Rich” from the Bankers increasing the rates, stop loaning to the middle class and small business owners, and putting a halt to creating jobs. For why there is all this money setting on the side lines, unless Ameri9ca can reduce her debt or increase the wages of Labor and Management within the next two years who will purchase the products produced by the Rich?

So Congress can extend the Bush Tax Cuts every year which will only lead to more debt or President Obama and the Democratic Party can have the guts to allow the tax cuts to expire and immediately reduce the National Debt which in turn should open up more credit and produce more profit for the so-called Rich as the Muddle Class and Small Business Owners will have more money to borrow.

Not ideal, but given the alternative of making the Bush Tax Cuts perminent. I could think of at least a dozen more ways Members of Congress could use the the same funds over the next 2-4 years to put Americans back to work, provide better health care, and not pass the burden of $70 trillion dollars plus to the next generation. However, I’m about solving Americas’ Issues today instead of seeing if I can keep President Obama from getting reelected in 2012.

For simple put, who wants to be the next President faced with double digit interest rates and umemployment?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 20, 2010 7:56 AM
Comment #313571

If lowering taxes does not help the economy or produce jobs, as the left consistantly declares, then why is there such debate among democrat lawmakers on whether to let the bush tax cuts expire or not? If tax cuts do not produce jobs, why are democrat lawmakers saying, “a recession is no time to be raising taxes?”

I agree with Sleptical; setting income brackets is nothing more than pitting one class of people against another. I am not rich, but I have no problem with those who are. The thing that has made America the desire of the rest of the world is the idea that even the most uneducated and common person has the ability to be successful in America. The democrats want to punish success; but it’s more than that, they hate success, unless it is a liberal who is successful.

I would hate to be a liberal; they must be the most miserable people on the earth. Everything that brings success to the American people, and every freedom given to us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights brings them misery.

Posted by: TomT at November 20, 2010 8:48 AM
Comment #313573

skeptical boomer,

If you make $250,000 You are in the top 2% of Americans. You make more than 98% of the people. That isn’t rich? Then what is rich to you? It is also likely that you earn capital gains in addition to that personal income, which are taxed at a lower rate than what most Americans pay in income tax.

The argument that living in NY or Calif makes that a smaller amount is ridiculous. You are simply using real estate values to attempt to make it appear smaller. No one is forced to live in Manhatten or Malibu. You are making a nonsense argument.

C&J ran an article recently (I think that’s where I read it)
stating that making about 70,000 brings financial security and happiness. Beyond that amount doesn’t increase one’s happiness. That is the point where your needs are met, you can build a retirement, and still have disposible income.

If you earn more than $250,000 per year, if you aren’t a millionaire in a few years, you are likely an idiot, and probably are being way overpaid. It just isn’t realistic to state that people earning over $250,000 per year aren’t millionaires. Name one. I seriously doubt they just started earning $250,000 right after earning $30,000. If they are small business owners, they likely had a mass of money to invest in their business.

My point is you are making a false case. You want to pretend that $250,000 is an insignificant figure. It isn’t.

How much is enough? It is enough when the wealthy actually pay higher rates than their secretaries. Ask Warren Buffet. His tax rate is lower than his secretary, but because of the massive amount of money he pulls down, he pays much more in dollars, but at a lower rate than she pays.

When we have a progressive rather than regressive tax system, then it is enough. No one is penalizing the rich. I just want to stop their free ride.

My question is why do you want special privilege for the wealthy? BTW, Bill Gates didn’t start development of computers. While it is true there was a point in which he help standardize technology, thus expanding computer use, but it is likely he now hinders it. There would likely be more jobs in technology if he was not a monopolistic enterprise.

Why should Americans support your defense of the rich, when you fabricate falsehoods about their tax rates?

Posted by: gergle at November 20, 2010 9:18 AM
Comment #313576
I would hate to be a liberal

I bet you would. That would require developing ideas through diverse reading and serious consideration of various approaches. Lots of people don’t like to think.

Being a thinking conservative requires the same amount of work, however.

Being a knee jerk, ranting polemicist is easy.

Posted by: gergle at November 20, 2010 9:29 AM
Comment #313578

Well, Mr. (developing ideas through diverse reading and serious consideration of various approaches);

Small business owners who’s companies earn and $250k plus; even though the company makes the money, it is considered personal income and they are going to be devastated by these tax hikes.

My son is in this predicament, and he is going to have to cut an employee (a union employee).

This will hurt employment…

Posted by: TomT at November 20, 2010 9:52 AM
Comment #313581

Latest poll, 63 % of small business will not hire in the next 6 months as a result of uncertainty of tax cuts. This proves my point. Who wants to hire in a time of uncertainty. Obamacare and the uncertainty of what it does, plus tax hikes equals uncertainty, which equals no new jobs.

Posted by: TomT at November 20, 2010 10:22 AM
Comment #313582

Psst! If you’re a small business owner making over $250k, and you’re worried about Obama’s tax increase on personal income earners earning more than $250k, there’s a perfectly legal way for you to avoid getting hit with higher taxes: incorporate or organize as a limited liability company and elect for your business to be taxed as a corporation. Then, since they are taxed as corporate income, not personal income, viola, no higher tax liabilty.

From the Associated Press:

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 10:22 AM
Comment #313583

The gop the party of smoke and mirrors and bumper sticker slogans.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 10:24 AM
Comment #313585

So basically, there’s actually tax cuts for small businesses in President Obama’s budget. Most small businesses will see no income tax increases, and simple business tax planning by incorporating or becoming a limited liability company (LLC)that elects to be tax as a corporation is a pretty easy way for small businesses to legally avoid being hit by Obama’s changes to the personal income tax rates. If your small business is doing that well in this economy, you should incorporate or form an LLC to also limit your exposure to personal liability anyways.

It’s Republicans trying to disguise their class welfare. It has nothing to do with protecting small business. Nothing.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 10:28 AM
Comment #313587

chirp..chirp..chirp..

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 10:49 AM
Comment #313589

I am certainly not a tax expert, but I am sure there are advantages to not becoming a Corporation or LLC. My son’s accountant, to the best of my knowledge, has never suggested it. But, from what I do understand; if a Corporation or LLC is not a partnership and is owned by an individual, it does not affect the tax rates. Hence, the tax rates would be the same for an individual making over $250k as it would for a corporation. If this is true; then it is the cause of 63% of small businesses not hiring in the next 6 months as a result of the current tax insecurities. In any case, we are loosing jobs because congress failed to renew the tax cuts.

Posted by: TomT at November 20, 2010 10:58 AM
Comment #313590

Jeff, perhaps you could show proof of your statement that Obama is cutting taxes for small business?

Posted by: TomT at November 20, 2010 11:00 AM
Comment #313591

Try the internets I found the above info in about .02 seconds From the Associated Press.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 11:03 AM
Comment #313593

Which means, you don’t have proof, and you just pulled that info from the fantacyland.com.

Posted by: TomT at November 20, 2010 11:11 AM
Comment #313595

Look if you don’t have the intelligence to look for the truth there is no amount of information that I can provide that can help. You can just fall back on the talking points that the right has scripted for those who wish not to think for themselves.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 11:20 AM
Comment #313596

I stand by my statement:

“Which means, you don’t have proof, and you just pulled that info from fantacyland.com.”

I’m just asking for proof, it’s not as if you guys on the left don’t ask for proof (links).

Posted by: TomT at November 20, 2010 11:24 AM
Comment #313598

And where is your proof that taxes will go up I assume that you referenced the above mentioned site.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 11:30 AM
Comment #313606

Jeff, it is pointless trying to conduct a logical debate with TomT. He is his own authority as to what is true and empirically verifiable. He is a tautology. Which is another way of saying trying to persuade TomT of anything with fact and empiricism, is like using a sieve of water bowl. Knowledge passes through him as if never introduced in the first place. For TomT, the tautology is, “Either I am right, or, the rest of the World is wrong.” And TomT is his own authority on what is right and wrong.

For the rest of us, we retain a healthy skepticism of whether what we think we know, is true or not, and remain open to new information which might invalidate what we thought we knew. To hold such a tentative view of what we think we know, is a very, very frightening venture for some, and moreover, requires a lot more seeking and validation effort than they would ever want to expend.

TomT’s comments reflect fear and laziness, to be blunt. Persuading the fearful and lazy is an exercise in futility - since self-authoritative tautology, which comes natural to every 8 year old, is a maturation stage some folks never grow beyond for any number of reasons ranging from genetic to organic to environmental.

Still, there is great value in exposing their modus operandi in public venues, so that others are less likely influenced by such tautological authorities.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 20, 2010 12:31 PM
Comment #313608

Paul Siegel,

I need to distinguish here between Republican voters and Republican elected officials in federal government. My comments here refer to Republican elected officials. They are not enemies of the middle class, only, they are enemies of America and her future. For Republicans, an historical minority, due entirely to their ideology premised on what is good for the wealthiest will trickle down to the non-wealthy, their top priority is no longer governance, but, political victory at the election polls.

They are wealthy, or aspire to be wealthy, and represent the wealthiest. Their fear is that the non-wealthy, if given control of government, will deprive them of their wealth, or, their opportunity to become wealthy through regulation and oversight. The modern day Republicans, as evidenced by Sen. McConnell’s statement a few weeks ago, have but one mission and reason for existence, to acquire and keep majority control of government, and all their effort and energy and increasing amounts of their wealth, is being poured into that one singular mission.

There are exceptions of course. Sen. Richard Lugar acknowledged the validity of what I am saying here this week in denouncing his fellow Republicans for refusing to move on the new START treaty, a major national security issue, due to their commitment to McConnell’s stated priority of insuring that Obama has no legislative successes with which to win a 2nd term in office. But, Sen. Richard Lugar is not finding very many of his comrades awaking to the wisdom and patriotic loyalty to America which Lugar himself has taken a stand on.

So, in reality, the GOP in federal government has abandoned any priority for good governance or protecting and defending this nation and her future, in exchange for the priority of political warfare against Obama and Democrats. There is no escaping this read of the GOP in federal government as evidenced by the commentary coming from these polar opposites in Congress, Sen. McConnell and Sen. Lugar. Sen. McConnell’s view is winning the day amongst Republicans in Congress. And that fact, makes Republicans in Congress demonstrably enemies of America and her future, denying any and all solutions proposed by Obama or Democrats regardless of merit, and good for the nation, in the name of political warfare.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 20, 2010 12:49 PM
Comment #313609

Tom T,

Small business owners who’s companies earn and $250k plus; even though the company makes the money, it is considered personal income and they are going to be devastated by these tax hikes.

Huh? So the tax code considers if they are to be devastated?

WTF are you talking about?

Do you actually understand anything about corporations or taxes? Just because some employers claim “uncertainty” about taxes doesn’t make those statements true. I’ve run small businesses, and am well aware that taxes are a consideration, but most important is whether you can make a profit with your investment. If you can make more elsewhere you invest there, but no business man that wasn’t nuts didn’t invest if he had potential to profit, regardless of the taxes involved. Taxes are simply a cost of doing business. If you can lobby to reduce them, that’s certainly something done at the corporate level.

If your son’s shop employs union labor and the company profits are counted as personal income, then your son needs to see a tax accountant. Your statement just doesn’t make any sense.

Posted by: gergle at November 20, 2010 12:55 PM
Comment #313610

Paul Siegel, as a follow up, and I refer here to federal Democratic elected officials only, they are deeply divided between taking a stand on issues, win or lose, that will be sound for the nation’s future, or compromising what the nation’s future requires, in order to achieve some political record of achievement upon which to run in 2012.

The Progressive movement argues that taking a principled stand in defense of what will work to save the nation’s future, (Public Option for example), may cost Democrats the rhetorical war in the short run, but, vindicate Democratic policies in the eyes of the public in the long run, while solving the debt crisis, when the Public Option does pass, being created by health care cost inflation and rising Medicare/Medicaid deficits.

The political pragmatists, of which Obama is one, are not committed to solving the nation’s crises as their first priority, viewing instead, the political divide and policy gridlock as their first priority, resulting in repeated attempts at compromise with Republicans. What they don’t seem to yet recognize however, is that every time they move to the center with Republicans, the Republicans move the center further to the Right, refusing to agree and saying Democrats have gone far enough. Reminds me very much of Lucy (Republicans) moving the football every time Charlie Brown (Democrats) goes to kick it.

This disunity in the Democratic Party on priority is of course giving Republicans the advantage at the polls. Democrats have focused so intently in resolving our crises, that they neglected to engage and overcome the political tactics and strategy of the Republicans, which have, to a large degree, been effective in the short term at the polls.

I am not proffering a solution here. To do that, I would have to address the hyperpartisan divide that now exists in America, and that would take a book or two to effectively deal with. But, your point, that Republicans are the enemies of the Middle Class, misses the mark. The reality is far more complex than that and pervades our entire nation, culture, media, and public dialogue. That is the point I wanted to make.

Calling Republicans the enemy of the Middle Class only fuels the hyperpartisan divide without understanding of the underlying causes, and offers nothing in the way of a solution going forward.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 20, 2010 1:11 PM
Comment #313611

business income and personal income are separate unless you are an owner operator…my father-in-law as an example he is an electrical/plumbing contractor, he has no employees and is not incorporated. all the company income is counted as his own.

that is the only way for Tom T’s theory to work.

i work for a multi-million dollar company, the owner a very good friend, incorporated it and draws a salary from the company, his salary is his personal income, as well as PROFITS of the company. if his salary and profits exceed 250,000 then that would apply to him. not the income of the company.


if i am wrong please someone with business/tax background correct me. that would exclude Tom sorry.

Posted by: john in napa at November 20, 2010 1:22 PM
Comment #313612

This seem’s confusing, Was is not the democrats that prevented the Republicans from reforming Sally Mae and Freddie Mac? Did not the democrats change the law that allowed banks to set up and invest in these failed investment schemes that collapsed our economy? Was it not the democrats in charge of the house and congress that passed the bank bailouts with out over-site that allowed huge payouts to the bank employees, and screwed the main street homeowner? Is it not the democrats that attempted to pass the fake science cap and tax legislation that would have affected millions of middle class Americans with higher taxes, utility cost increases and business killing regulation? I don’t see how democrat tax and tax and more tax agenda is supposed to be pro middle class. Perhaps you should review your facts before typing.

Posted by: Darkitec at November 20, 2010 1:37 PM
Comment #313613

Darkitec.. Thats easy your entire post is just an opinion nothing more PLEASE use the Internet to explore and find answers using nonpartisan facts. Both Dem’s and reps are responsible for the mess we are in where we differ is who is trying to bring us back from the brink of disaster without hurting those that need the most help.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 1:59 PM
Comment #313616

Government solvency 101 is all about equaling tax revenue with spending. For years politicians (both parties) have been spending more than the tax revenue required to pay for it.

To balance our budget simply requires more tax revenue, less spending, or a combination of both. Conservatives advocate less spending and taxes at the current level and liberals advocate more tax and continued or increased spending. Both parties maintain their policy will cure our financial and employment ills.

Obviously, both sides can not be satisfied in full as the pain would be just too great. And, it appears, neither side is willing to give an inch primarily for political reasons.

So, what’s a country to do? If liberals are honest they would admit that spending must be reigned in and cause pain for some of their political supporters. If conservatives are honest, they would admit that spending cuts, unless extremely severe and unpopular, will not do the job alone.

So, we are left with trying an approach that mixes spending cuts with some tax increases. I maintain that we could and should do both causing minor pain to all.

I have some ideas on cutting spending and increasing taxes. But, it would be a waste of time to discuss those ideas without a consensus to do both.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 2:42 PM
Comment #313618

RF you are right except the little dig on Dem’s. We are for both with out hurting the middle class the unemployed seniors the poor. Lets go back to the tax rates under the exalted one Reagan.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 3:07 PM
Comment #313619

Royal
Agreed we need both tax increases and less spending if we are to get the national debt down. But honest repubs and dems in Congress will be the trick. They are the best money can buy and has bought.


here is an interesting article


http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Issues/Health-Care/2010/11/19/Why-Republicans-Arent-Serious-About-the-Deficit.aspx

Posted by: j2t2 at November 20, 2010 3:18 PM
Comment #313620

Jeff wrote; “RF you are right except the little dig on Dem’s.”

If there was a dig at Dem’s Jeff it was unintended.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 3:19 PM
Comment #313622

Jeff wrote; “Lets go back to the tax rates under the exalted one Reagan.”

OK Jeff, that is one idea. Now, please share your ideas on cutting spending. And, please explain why you came up with those tax rates as being a compromise likely to attract bipartisian support.

j2t2, glad you agree in the joint approach. However, you won’t attract much agreement by linking to such an obvious attempt to inflame those who wish to cooperate.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 3:34 PM
Comment #313623

There is no bipartisan support in Washington for anything and I don’t expect any in the near future. One example is the start treaty something that is in our national interest I will leave it to others as to why.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 3:44 PM
Comment #313624

OK Jeff…I can understand why you feel there will be no bipartisan support in DC and simply give up.

I believe the last election was, among other things, to put politicians on notice that they are expected to work in a bipartisan manner on legislation to the benefit of all in a reasonable manner.

The majority of American’s feel this way as do I. I will not give up and will do my best to persuade my conservative legislators to compromise for the good of the nation. We don’t need conservative or liberal victory, we need national healing and victory.

If we here on WB can’t come to some kind of compromise it hurts no one. If the nation can’t, it is catastrophic.

Let us begin a new day without the political baggage of yesterday and find solutions for tomorrow.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 4:02 PM
Comment #313625

RF May god smile on you and your efforts I shall do my best as well.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 4:06 PM
Comment #313626

Thank you Jeff…God’s blessing on you as well. If just two people can begin to compromise here on WB perhaps it can grow. It’s a start.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 4:10 PM
Comment #313627

From what I have read it sounds like there may be some consensus between the parties and the president on curtailing earmarks. If so, that would be a great start in reducing spending that could be shared by the nation in common.

A good place to start on increasing taxes would be to eliminate “most” subsidies for all who now receive them. I see little national harm in that.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 4:20 PM
Comment #313629

Earmarks have been used mostly to inflame. They have never been a major part of the budget. It may be a good place to start, as perhaps some of the fire will be extinguished, but it will actually do little to help deficit or debt.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 20, 2010 4:55 PM
Comment #313630

Here in Mo. we have the two extremes Sen.Bond is Mr. earmark Sen.McCaskill very few.

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 5:02 PM
Comment #313631

John of Napa; thank you for understanding what I was saying. My son’s business is exactly like your father-in-law. The failure to extend the tax cuts puts him in limbo and the $250k and above will hit him hard.

My statement to jeff was, “I am certainly not a tax expert, but I am sure there are advantages to not becoming a Corporation or LLC.”

gergle’s response was, “Do you actually understand anything about corporations or taxes?”

Duh, I said I didn’t know. Is it ever possible for liberals to actually answer a question instead of attacking? So, gergle, since you want to get into the conversation I will ask you, is there a benefit to not incorporating or becoming an LLC?

And of course, we can always count on Mr. Remer to throw in his 2 cents worth. In Comment #313606, he answers no question, but he does spend the whole post doing what he does best: belittling someone else. Mr. Remer is an angry (old, I assume) man who spends his time trying to make everyone else look stupid. He was angry before the elections, but he seems to have gone off the deep end since the democrats to a shellacking. Mr. Remer, I would prefer you did not make any comments to me. I find you insulting and rude. So just pretend you don’t read anything I post. I’ll make a deal with you; I don’t speak to you and you don’t respond to me.

Posted by: TomT at November 20, 2010 5:20 PM
Comment #313632

WOW TALK ABOUT ANGER!!!

Posted by: Jeff at November 20, 2010 5:27 PM
Comment #313633

Marysdude wrote; “Earmarks have been used mostly to inflame.”

Perhaps, but I believe the bigger purpose is to bring the bacon home to the voters in hopes of currying their continued favor come election time.

If no one has any bacon to bring home it does, in some ways, level the playing field. And, with no pork going to anyone the pain, if any, is shared by all.

Of equal importance, the elimination of pork as a tool to influence the passing of legislation that would otherwise fail is a good thing. If legislation is so weak or unpopular that only pork buying can align the necessary votes then the legislation probably should not be passed.

The common practice, used by both parties, of attaching earmarks to essential bills, as a way of forcing pork approval, will also be eliminated. Essential bills will not be encumbered by jockying for pork and passed on merits of the bill not the pork involved.

Many modern day presidents, including Mr. Obama, have expressed a desire for the line-item veto as a way to sign bills and eliminate unnecessary pork.

The entire nation would benefit from agreeing to “no pork” at least until we get our nation’s finances in order.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 5:32 PM
Comment #313634

I think that many on WB believe that it is “crunch” time for the United States. We are simply running out of options. For those that don’t believe a time of cooperation is the only thing that can right our house I would welcome their reasoning as to how we can continue in the same old way and not fail.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 5:46 PM
Comment #313635

I did not proffer a value on earmarks, merely that they are a poor selection as a priority for budging the budget. Some earmarks are very good indeed, and to the degree a ‘no earmarks’ legislation curtails them, it would be a net negative. Some of them are a far cry from beneficial, and stopping them would be very good indeed. But, my point was that either way, it will be the smallest of steps toward fixing the budget mess. If everything earmarks are used for has to come up for separate deliberation, and separate vote, so much time will be used in that process, that very little real work can be done. After all, just stopping earmarks does not stop a desire to be reelected.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 20, 2010 6:09 PM
Comment #313636

Royal, it’s too late. We are doomed to fail. We have a socialist President, who is apologetic for America. We have a Democratic Party that has been hyjacked by left wing liberals. Sorry for being negative, but China, Russia, N. Korea, and Muslim nations have no fear of us. The Europeans, who have been Socialist for decades and now believe America is too far to the left. We are almost 14 trillion in debt (realistic is much higher). 40% of Americans are on some kind of government subsidy. 10% unemployment, but really about 17%. Taxes going up, spending going up, small business failing, inflation going thru the roof (but food and fuel don’t count toward inflation), and corrupt politicians getting slapped on the wrist. What could possibly cause me to believe we are going to succeed?

Posted by: Conservativethinker at November 20, 2010 6:11 PM
Comment #313637

RF,

Many of us on WB thought that the period after the crash was a crucial time, and believed that cooperation and a spirit of compromise was beneficial to our nation. We were not received lightly.

Stephen has been saying all along that it may be too late for that. Some in high places and some media, and some blocs of true believers have painted such a bleak picture, they may not be able to back out without making their previous positions indefensible.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 20, 2010 6:14 PM
Comment #313640

And, then there are those like, Conservativethinker, who feel that civil war is the only answer.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 20, 2010 6:20 PM
Comment #313641

“However, you won’t attract much agreement by linking to such an obvious attempt to inflame those who wish to cooperate.
Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 03:34 PM”

Royal that link was a repub on repubs, I was just the messenger. No intent to inflame in any negative way, however now that we have a bunch of new repubs in Congress perhaps the time to deal with these issues has come.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 20, 2010 6:35 PM
Comment #313642

Conservativethinker and Marysdude thank you for your comments. Granted, there is much to disparage in politics and I believe we can rise above all the disunity in a time of crisis. I am a young 70 years old and recall dire times and great challenges to our union. If I lost everything I had today I would still consider myself blessed to live in this land and would start over.

We have much to be thankful for in this great and blessed land. Our geography, unlike much of the world offers us much protection, mostly agreeable climate and two great oceans and the gulf, along with great rivers for commerce. We are a land of great natural resources, timber, water, soil, fossil fuels, minerals and much more.

We lead the world in individual freedom of our people and enjoy a judicial system most countries envy. Our educational system has endowed most of our citizens with the ability to think, reason, and work. We have been and are now still the most innovative nation on earth.

The United States has an abundance of good roads and rail. We produce a huge surplus of food with much of our land idle. Our people are mostly religious, peaceful and charitable to others, even those foreign nations in time of trouble.

It is unimaginable to me that any country, so blessed, can not continue to flourish and succeed. Can we really be finished as a country because of political squabbles? Can not our people come together for the common good?

If we stupidly bankrupt our nation all the resources I named, and more, remain to begin over again.

I am optimistic. The American people are now wide awake and ready to do what is necessary to survive. If we fail we will all start over.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 6:45 PM
Comment #313645

RF,

We can come together. That is not the question. The real question is do we want to, and do we have the nerve to accept our recent past and all the negativity that was in it. I seem to remember that you had a good deal to do with that animosity, as have I. Each of us in turn would have to admit we were just being hyperbolic and mean spirited, and that that is not the way forward. It will not be easy for those who have spoken the most harshly about the other to be convincing in our repentance. I believe, as likely you believe that others threw the stones that started the WB wars. I, for one, remember when civility was used by all bur a random troll. I have never seen DRR as condemning as he has become. I have never seen Stephen as harsh and defensive as he has become. I, myself, have found a ‘show no mercy’ attitude. We can only try, but I think if it can be done, it can only be successful if we totally ignore all who would break that bond. Just not respond to troll like entries, because to respond even once, will start the cascade all over again.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 20, 2010 7:15 PM
Comment #313646

Well said Marysdude and I am with you on this. I aim to agree with comments, remain silent, or offer suggestions of improvement only. If it can be accomplished here on WB, a most contentious lot, there is hope for the congress and the nation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 20, 2010 7:28 PM
Comment #313652

There are hundreds of agencies, bureaus, commissions, departments, etc. that should not exist at the federal level. These should be put out of business. The savings alone of several hundred outfits would help a little bit.

As far as pork goes, the problem is a moral issue. If a conresssperson has a project that is under federal obligation then a bill with the item in question should be the only subjuect of the bill. All legislation should be done the same way. That is one way of the good ole boys and girls slapping each other on the back while greasing the palm of same person. It is highly immoral to sneak legislation thru by packaging it into something not even relevent to the sneak. The sneaky item most of the time cannot stand on its own merit.

Tax rates sould be the same for all persons on their reported salary and no hiding the salary to not pay the fair share. There should be no exemptions or deductions. Just a straight percentage for all people. The only bending to be done there is for those that are truly in a poverty situation. This should be examined very carefully.

Posted by: tom humes at November 20, 2010 8:38 PM
Comment #313656

How will we be able to come together when people like Conservativethinker paints the opposition as basically evil. Who wants to compromise with evil?

Hannity, Limbaugh, and Beck can take their full share of the blame for helping to create a divide so wide that most current conservatives must face dealing with the devil or admit that their stance has been somewhat hyperbolic.

Posted by: LibRick at November 20, 2010 8:50 PM
Comment #313660

TomT,

I will ask you, is there a benefit to not incorporating or becoming an LLC?

Why ask me? I don’t know your son’s situation. I am not a tax expert. I simply pointed out that using your son’s situation as an example made no sense because of the way you described it. If you don’t understand your son’s situation why use it as an example to base your argument on?
The fact that your son complains of paying a tax is not a reason to call it unfair or a reason to believe it is a cause of unemployment.

Posted by: gergle at November 20, 2010 9:16 PM
Comment #313661

librick you fail to mention Schultz, Olberman and Maddow who also help create the divide and go along with what you said about Hannity, Limbaugh and Beck both sides of the media can admit that their stance has been somewhat hyperbolic and both claim each other as evil.
Dude and Flush I agree more civility is needed here.

Posted by: KAP at November 20, 2010 9:19 PM
Comment #313667

>How will we be able to come together when people like Conservativethinker paints the opposition as basically evil. Who wants to compromise with evil?

LibRick,

No one. That is why it would be so important to ignore such saber rattling. Troll like entries should not receive even one response from someone who is serious about helping us out of this maze we’ve found ourselves in. When a punchline does not contribute to the discussion, just don’t see it.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 20, 2010 10:33 PM
Comment #313670

tom humes wrote: “Tax rates sould be the same for all persons on their reported salary and no hiding the salary to not pay the fair share. There should be no exemptions or deductions. Just a straight percentage for all people. The only bending to be done there is for those that are truly in a poverty situation. This should be examined very carefully.”

I agree that if this were to be implemented absolutely, we would have a more fair tax system than we have now. No more tax breaks on home mortgages, yachts, and other deductions for which lower middle class and poor don’t get to take advantage. Closing these subsidies for the wealthy would make up for the level tax rates.

Additionally, end all subsidies for businesses and farmers. Also, make states pay for their own roadways. Why are Tennesseans, New Yorkers, etc. paying for roads in Wyoming, S.Dakota, Montana, etc. Some of those western red states might turn blue if the propositions they tout are actually implemented.

Posted by: LibRick at November 20, 2010 11:12 PM
Comment #313681

Yom T,
Although I am no Tax Lawyer or Business Accountant the following information is something that you will find it hard for them to explain to you and your son. For if he is making over $250,000 (actually $30,000) in profits than he does need to incorporate in a state such as Neveda or Delaware. Because not only do these states offer better deals for corporations, but the ability of a corporation to paying the owner a salary, provide a dewlling for their CEO, and create a Retirement Plan (Stocks in Business, etc)can easily eat up any profit.

Yes, tax cuts for small business do exist inder President Obama as one can find by simply googling “Small Business Taxes 2010” and doing ones’ homework. And if your son is still worried about being put into a higher tax bracket due to his income than hiring a person or investing in a piece of equippment for any amount over the $249,999.00 would eliminate all problems and might even get him a few tax credits. So tell him to go talk to a Tax Lawyer and a Business Accountant about the current status of his business. In fact, it is a good idea to do it every few years or when a single contract increases his profits by more than 10%.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 21, 2010 8:28 AM
Comment #313683

David,
I have to smile at your comments about the Democratic and Repiblocan Elected Officials; however, I would extend those comments to include the extremes of each party. And why no means is it intended to be cruel, but given their comments during this last election I can make the case.

For why it is easy to think just because Bill Gates has become a Billionarie designing computor programming that every American should be able to do the same; however, what kind of profits woulf Bill Hates be making if everyone owned their own operating system? So why Trickledown Economics would actually work if done proper, the idea that every Human can just do what I do to become wealthy can be proven wrong simply by looking at the stock market for the last 10-20 years and the problems bubbles have created.

And for the idea that you stand on Principle or work to “Agree to Diagree” (compromise) has not worked in the last 40 years. So IMHO the Dems and Repubs only have one way to go if America is not going to become a haven for “The Society Crook” since I am certian that the Youth of Today would love nothing more than to debate the Youth of the 60’s on why Institutions of Man have to be the way they are “Just Because.”

Marysdude and RF,
Although I believe all the Bush Tax Cuts should be allowed to expire and replaced with a Tax Bill which would allow Americans to buy into building a Green Sustianable Economy I would bend in keeping their Bush Tax Cuts for those making $60,000.00/yr or less provided that something was done in Congress to help those citizens be able to invest in the future instead of letting them blow the money on Bling Bling.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 21, 2010 8:51 AM
Comment #313687

Henry wants the bling bling small businesses to let their workers go and close their doors.

Posted by: LibRick at November 21, 2010 9:21 AM
Comment #313688

You want to put the hurt on millions of small businesses in America. Cut out SS, SSI, and state support payments.

Yes, it would be better if they would work, but some people are old, some are mentally ill, and the others will need tickets to Third World countries… or they could just wait till we become a Third World nation ourselves.

If the current trend of ownership of wealth continues as is, we’ll be Third World in a few years. No more need for the ‘driving forces’ of our economy to send work overseas.

Posted by: LibRick at November 21, 2010 9:28 AM
Comment #313694

The single worst thing about capitalism…wealth tends to concentrate to the hands of those who deem wealth desirable. That means it can only keep restricting itself into less and less hands. It is the way original monarchies were established and the way most despotic regimes have flourished. It is why we are headed down that road to third world status. Socialism is no better. America needs to continue the mix it had been using right up until the eighties, when it became, once again, appropriate to fault Ssocial programs for all our ills, when in fact those ills were generated just as much from Capitalism as from Socialism.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 21, 2010 11:51 AM
Comment #313695

I think it was Texas Governor, Rick Perry, who said recently, “Social Security is just a big Ponzi Scheme”. He fails to mention that Capitalism is, “nothing more than a big Ponzi Scheme”, as well, only bigger.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 21, 2010 11:56 AM
Comment #313718

TomT,

I came late to this discusion, but I find it hard to believe that your son would have to lay off a “union” employee of his small business because his personal “pass through” income (profits) of his business that exceed $250,000.00 would be taxed at a rate slightly higher. Remember, it is only the amount his of personal income from the business above $250,000.00 that is going to be taxed at the higher rate. He would have to be making an enormous profit above $250,000.00 from the business to require an employee layoff to compensate for his income lost to tax increase.

Posted by: Rich at November 21, 2010 5:38 PM
Comment #313723

Rich,

And wasn’t even that snippet of profits going to be subject to just 3% more?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 21, 2010 7:23 PM
Comment #313729

Marysdude,

Yes, the additional tax on income above $250,000.00 to approximately $375,000.00 would be 3%. Go figure!

Posted by: Rich at November 21, 2010 8:06 PM
Comment #313732

Warren Buffett thinks letting the tax cuts for the wealthy is the right thing to do.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/21/warren-buffett-paying-more-taxes_n_786516.html

Posted by: j2t2 at November 21, 2010 8:30 PM
Comment #313735

Any wealthy person who can think beyond the next dollar, has to see the end result of our present course. There are a finite number of dollars…when they all belong to the few at the top, the game is over. At that point, there are no more dollars, and no one has won. What the hell good is any game if there are no winners? Buffet is one, there are several others. It is not necessarily the wealthy who create so much fuss about taxes, but rather the politicians who can’t think beyond the next ballot box.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 21, 2010 8:54 PM
Comment #313738

Rich, when hiring Union employees, their pay and benefit package can be as high as $40 an hour; add to that Federal, State, and local fees, it is very hard to compete against non-union companies. It requires a profit to be made on labor and materials. The slightest increase in man hours on a bid job, the cost of commodities rising, or tax increases, no matter how small, can mean the difference between succeeding and failure. I know that my son lives in a constant state of pressure, even though he has a very successful business and a solid base of clientele. Many of his friends who owned the same type of company, have failed and gone bankrupt. He has employees depending upon him to provide them with a paycheck. The problem with most politicians is that they have never owned a business, created a job, or met a payroll. The attack on business, by the left does not distinguish between small companies or large corporations. Obama is the most anti-business president we have ever seen. He is doing nothing to help small business.

When it comes to surviving or closing the doors, it all boils down to letting employees go. I know that my son, who has been in this line of business for 25 years, is struggling just as other small businesses. The worse thing is, not knowing what the future brings. It’s almost as if Obama lives on a day by day basis with no long term plans for anyone. It’s easy for you on the left to ridicule and make fun, but I know what is happening in the real world. If we do not have a government who will support business, we will never have jobs.

Posted by: TomT at November 21, 2010 9:48 PM
Comment #313744

TomT,

I can almost Guarantee that your son is not suffering from over taxation as much as he is lack of customers. If he has to let someone go it is not because taxation is leveling the playing field, ie, making up for lost revenues because of the meltdown, it is an eroding customer base that has him in the firing mood.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 21, 2010 10:34 PM
Comment #313760

TomT,

Contrary to your argument, the Obama administration has been very friendly to small business passing a serious of tax cuts, incentives, etc. designed to assist small businesses with hiring and expansion.

However, as Marysdude points out, the issue truly facing small businesses today is demand not onerous taxes or regulation. Pure and simple. Our economy has a large demand-output gap. Not enough customers to fill the capacity of our businesses to provide services and goods.

The best argument for extending the tax cuts on the amount of personal income over $250,000.00 is that it will act as a form of fiscal Keynesian stimulus or more appropriately to avoid the withdrawal of such fiscal stimulus. It addresses the demand issue.
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/09/07/small-business-to-obama-tax-cuts-wont-work/

The question on the tax issue for income over $250,000.00 seems to me to boil down to whether the economy is better served by keeping that money in the private sector spurring demand or using it reduce the federal deficit or allow it to spent back into the economy in a more efficient manner by the government.

Posted by: Rich at November 22, 2010 7:23 AM
Comment #313761

Tom T,.
With the cost of material already growing and the unwillimgness of business owners to increase wages it is only a matter of time before the number of potential costumers decline. Than not only will the profits of the business owner will decline, but their ability to keep employees will also cause them to lose more money.

In fact, talk to your son about Henry Ford and why he paid his employees enough to purchase the products they were making. For why he may suffer making $100,000.00 for a couple of years, in the long run he could be looking at tripling his profits. To bad the political party of business does not understand Capitalism and Trickledown Economics.

LibRick,
It is not the Bling Bling of Small Business that I want to do away with, but how many TVs, DVDs, and the junk made in the 20th Century do you have to have when Commerce could build products that can do the same thing and cost less to operate. For example; why buy a car that burns gas costing #3.00/gal. at a rate of 10 mpg when you can purchase a car that cost nothing in fuel?

However, that is using Common Sense Business to solve problems instead of waiting for the Jones to set the trend.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 22, 2010 7:35 AM
Comment #313764

Rich, can you honestly tell me, with a straight face; government can spend money more efficiently? Thais statement proves to me, you know nothing about economics.

Henry, the wages and benefits my son pays to his employees is based upon union contracts. He is already paying them double the amount non-union employees earn, doing the same work.

It is evident, that most of you have no idea how construction jobs work. I, personally, have seen employers, who have the licenses and permits arrive with a crew of Mexicans and pay them cash, no questions asked. Many times they arrive on the job site on a Friday evening and finish by Sunday evening. Would anyone want to guess why they do their work on a weekend? It doesn’t matter if they are framers, concrete workers, plumbers, electricians, or roofers. The only one who needs to be licensed and bonded is the one who pulls the permit.

The point is, my son tries to use union employees, but with the uncertainty of obama’s future plans, he is between a rock and a hard place. My I also add, he has cut no taxes and has done nothing to help small business. You people are simply quoting the talking points of obama’s liberal government. I might suggest you talk to some small business owners.

Posted by: TomT at November 22, 2010 9:10 AM
Comment #313766

TomT,

The issue is what happens to the money saved by the high income groups if the tax cuts are extended. If the money is circulated through the economy in a manner benefiting the overall economy, then there is a good argument that continuing the tax cuts would be beneficial in a Keynesian fiscal stimulus sense. However, if the money is being invested in a manner that doesn’t benefit the US economy (overseas investment leakage or parked in non-productive enterprises) then a good argument can be made that it could be better used to offset the deficit or provide the government the ability to spend it back into the US economy to reduce the demand-output gap. I am not suggesting that government is the most efficient spender. But, if the private sector isn’t spending then the government becomes the spender and investor of last resort.

Posted by: Rich at November 22, 2010 10:15 AM
Comment #313768

“The point is, my son tries to use union employees, but with the uncertainty of obama’s future plans, he is between a rock and a hard place.”

What your son and you are concerned about is future economic uncertainty. That is a shared feeling regardless of political persuasion. Where we disagree is the degree to which we attribute that uncertainty to Obama. I would suggest that there are very significant structural problems with the economy that are not going to be magically fixed by presidential fiat. There was an enormous economic crash. The effects and causes of that crash have not been fully resolved (excessive private sector debt, continuing foreclosures, lack of business capital investment, etc.). Until the private sector fully deleverages from its balance sheet insolvency, there will be continuing problems with tepid consumer demand and continued unemployment due to excess capacity. You can blame it on Obama if you want. But, in my opinion, you are ignoring the elephant in the room.

Posted by: Rich at November 22, 2010 10:39 AM
Comment #313769

Rich,

A goodly amount of the float money that shows up in the economy, but which has not translated into growth and jobs, is in Wall Street. We did not learn much from the recent real estate bubble burst, now we must be concerned with the bubble forming on Wall Street. Money is shooting around the exchanges like crazy. That money is not performing in a productive way, so it is forming a bubble of growing income for speculators. As soon as the speculators find out the upward spiral they are riding will be as worthless as those bundles of mortgage loans were two years ago, that bubble will also burst. It won’t cause the damage the other one did, but Wall Street will never be the same again either.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 22, 2010 10:40 AM
Comment #313771

Marysdude,

Yes, Wall Street is booming again. You would think that someone would be a bit curious about why the financial sector has recovered so splendidly while the rest of the economy is stagnating in high unemployment. The disconnect between main street and wall street is disturbing. It is like there are two parallel economic systems operating. The concept that the purpose of wall street is to serve the investment and financial needs of the general economy seems like a quaint relic of a bygone era.

Posted by: Rich at November 22, 2010 11:07 AM
Comment #313776

Rich,

It is the current formation of another bubble. First savings & loans, then Energy, then electronics, then finance houses…now Wall Street. High minded Capitalists cannot help themselves from filling those bubbles with hot wanton air.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 22, 2010 11:56 AM
Comment #313837

Tom T.,
Long before the last three presidents took office America has been friven by the idea we could inflate our way out of the problem; however, the problem we face today cannot be done the same way and is why IMHO the Democrats and Republicans are fighting each other so hard.

For why one would like to think all America has to do is produce more and spend less. The truth is no amount of construction or manufacturing will work until America breaks its dependence on oil as its primary source of energy. And while that means changing the mindset of every business person and consumer in America. I do believe the political will on Wall Street and Washington is waiting for Main Street to take the lead.

For example; What equippment can your son replace today to lower his overhead? Would high milage vehiles or hybrids reduce fuel bills? What about making the buildings more energy efficient and perhaps “Greener” which will require a better trained workforce. Yes, it is easy to claim nothing has been done by President Obama; however, how much gas been done by the Republicans to help small business in the last 10-15 years? So before you cry Liberal you might want to look at the last time any Member of Congress stood up for the Small Business Owner without giving more of an advantage to Big Business.

Marysdude,
It is not forming another bubble that is the problem, but the fact that raising prices in raw resources will only drive the problem of high unemployment and foreclosers. For at what price of gasoline will the avrage worker realize that work does not pay the bills?

And after all is’nt that a Core Belief in America?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 23, 2010 1:35 AM
Comment #313847

Henry,

It IS a bubble forming on Wall Street. And, the bubble is much like the previous ones that did us so much harm. Trading is going crazy in an economy that cannot afford it, ie, there is not enough being produced or serviced or bought/sold to warrant such activity. Almost all the trading is in valueless speculation. All it will take is one major actor to withdraw after figuring out he’s buying nothing with his dollars, and the whole house will come down. What Wall Street does is mimicked around the world, so it will likely cause that secondary recession we’ve been looking for since the meltdown. Any time it becomes impossible to set a monetary value on a product or commodity, prices inflate and create just such a bubble. Right now Wall Street is trading in stocks, etc., that cannot possibly meet the demands set for them by the prices asked.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2010 6:20 AM
Comment #313848

PS:

Wall Stree is trading because it FEELS good. Much the same as finance houses, three to eight years ago, were selling bundles of valueless toxic mortgages, ‘because it FELT good’.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2010 6:25 AM
Comment #313849

PPS:

Instant gratification…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2010 6:26 AM
Comment #313975

Mary’s,

You said, “…There are a finite number of dollars…”

How many are there?

Posted by: Rob at November 24, 2010 7:41 PM
Comment #313984

Rob,

I’ve got twenty…that’s pretty finite.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 24, 2010 10:24 PM
Comment #330721

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