Posts Tagged ‘Bush Tax Cuts’
Senate Tea Party Caucus members have put together a plan to balance the budget in five years, which they presented Thursday. The proposal, “A Platform to Revitalize America,” would cut government spending by almost $11 trillion from President Barack Obama’s budget, The Hill reports. A $111 billion surplus would result by fiscal year 2017 under the plan.
The plan’s authors weren’t afraid to go after sacred cows, urging a restructuring of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to cut costs. They want to shift Medicare to a premium support plan that would offer seniors the same healthcare plan that congressmen receive. That change would save an estimated $1 trillion over 10 years, the plan says, according to The Hill.
The tea partyers realize that their package won’t be passed by a Democratic-controlled Senate. “The whole point here is to show we can reasonably balance the budget within a five-year period,” Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., one of the proposal’s sponsors, told The Hill.
“This idea that we have to look 30 years out to balance the budget is not only unnecessary, but it’s improbable. We cannot continue to spend at our current rate for 10 more years, much less 20 or 30 more years. This is an urgent matter.”
Other key backers of the plan include Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.
Read more on Newsmax.com: Senate Tea Party Caucus Wants $11 Trillion in Budget Cuts
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Capitol Hill Bureau Chief
The House voted 277 to 148 Thursday to temporarily extend the Bush tax cuts, continue unemployment benefits for 13 months and approve a series of smaller tax credits, cuts and extensions.
Because the Senate passed the identical measure on Wednesday, the legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature Friday.
The bill’s passage marks a significant victory for Obama, who struck out on his own last week to forge a compromise with Senate Republican leaders that he believed could pass before the end of the year.
But it is has also created a wedge of distrust between the president and liberals in the House, who had pinned their hopes for a progressive agenda and feel that he has stopped fighting for their dream.
House leaders felt the fury of the liberal opposition to the package Thursday as they stumbled going into votes setting the parameters of the debate and realized they did not have enough support to get past the procedural hurdles. The leadership regrouped in the afternoon to devise a process that liberal Democrats could support. After the caucus meeting, which Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) called “raucous,” the House resumed debating the bill until its passage just before midnight.
The bill will extend the expiring Bush tax cuts for all income levels for the next two years. Specifically, it will continue the 10 percent tax bracket and keep the brackets of 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent, instead of reverting to 28 percent, 31 percent, 36 percent and 39.6 percent. It will also continue to tax capital gains and dividends at 0 percent and 15 percent, depending on income, instead of letting the rates go back to 10 percent and 20 percent for capital gains and marginal tax rates for dividends.
The legislation also temporarily cuts the 6.2 percent payroll tax for all workers to 4.2 percent and extends unemployment benefits for 13 months for Americans out of work up to 99 weeks.
The bill continues dozens of tax breaks and credits for people from the bottom of the income spectrum to the top. It patches the Alternative Minimum Tax for two years; extends the college tuition tax credit, child tax credit and Earned Income Tax Credit for two years; allows businesses to deduct 100 percent of certain investments in the first year; and provides a buffet of tax credits to businesses and industries from filmmakers to rum producers to coal miners and railroad operators.
Particularly galling to liberal Democrats, the bill also sets the estate tax at 35 percent for estates valued at more than $5 million, well below the 45 percent rate on estates over $3.5 million that most Democrats had been pushing for.
Some Republicans who supported the measure did so with reservations.
“I don’t like this bill that’s before us, but I like even less the idea of increasing the tax burden on working Americans,” said Rep. David Drier, the top Republican on the Rules Committee, who voted for the bill.
But Drier’s Republican colleague, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, rose to say he would oppose it because the extensions did not go far enough.
“It’s a bad deal for taxpayers; it will do little to create jobs and I cannot support it,” Pence said. “This is a tough call. No Republican in this Congress wants to see taxes raised on any American, but uncertainty is the enemy of prosperity.”
In an unusual twist, Pence found himself on the same side of the issue as dozens of liberal Democrats, who objected to several parts of the bill.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said the overall package would not help working people enough, while it would help the wealthy more than they needed.
“This is not about fighting against someone who has a few more dollars than the next person,” she said. “It is to do what we’re sent here to do, which is to make sure that this capitalistic system works for everybody, including those who are not employed.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) warned that the president’s compromise with Republicans was about much more than tax cuts — it was part of a long-term plan to change the role of government in Americans’ lives.
“It would be the culmination of a 30-year Republican effort to starve the beast to deliberately create huge deficits in order to provide the political cover for reducing expenditures for education housing, Social Security, and Medicare.”
The price tag for the two-year tax cut bonanza has been estimated at $860 billion, a cost that several Democrats, including Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), said was too high.
“Every other major industrial nation on Earth is talking about buckling down a little bit and austerity measures and having a sustained recovery. But no, not here!” he yelled on the House floor just before the vote. “We got out the credit card. And guess what? Our kids and grand kids are going to be paying that bill for 30 years.”
In a July statement to the House Financial Services Committee, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed support for extending some of the Bush tax cuts set to expire at the beginning of 2011. Predictably, liberal pundits and politicians became apoplectic at the thought of some people being allowed to keep a little bit of their own hard-earned money.
Much has happened since then. The American people returned the GOP to majority status in the House, and significantly reduced the Democrat’s stranglehold on the Senate.
President Obama cut a deal with Republicans, then took to the teleprompter to compare the GOP to terrorist hostage-takers, and Democratic heads are exploding all over the country over the prospect that some people might get to keep some of their own money – a concept Democrats call “giveaways”.
Liberal Democrats seem to think that all money is theirs, and all jobs are created by government programs, and the media is all to happy to push that bit of propaganda. After all, they see the American people as stupid sheep, so why not?
But with unemployment hovering around ten percent and the economy in a sustained downturn, tax cuts are the only real way to stimulate the economy and provide jobs.
To understand this, one must first realize who it is that pays taxes in this country. According to the National Taxpayers Union, in 2007 the top one percent – that is, those who earn $410,096 or more – paid over forty percent of all personal federal income taxes. In the same year the bottom fifty percent – those who made less than $32,879 – paid less than three percent of all personal federal income taxes.
So, what happens when people get to keep more of their own money? They spend it; they invest in companies; they buy things like cars, houses and computers; they start their own companies and hire people. This provides the stimulus our economy needs, and has the added benefit of providing more revenue to the government.
Historically, every time taxes have been cut, the economy improves. This benefits everyone, naturally, as people have more disposable income and are able to purchase things or start businesses. When taxes were cut in the 1920’s revenue to the government increased by over 60 percent, and the same thing happened when President Kennedy cut the top marginal rate to 70 percent. President Reagan’s tax cuts caused revenues to increase by over 50 percent.
In order to be truly effective in reducing the national debt, tax cuts have to be balanced with spending cuts. Congress needs to learn to live within its own means, just like every family and business in the country. Unfortunately, our current political class – aided and abetted by a sycophantic lapdog media – has rejected the lessons of history. They would rather peddle bumper-sticker slogans to get re-elected than deal with reality.
Winston Churchill once noted that, “A nation trying to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to pull himself up by the handles.” The next time a liberal politician sheds crocodile tears over “tax cuts for the rich”, tell him or her, “you bet!” Let’s cut taxes on those who pay the lion’s share of the bill and who provide jobs for average Americans. While we’re at it, let’s cut taxes for everyone else. After all, it’s our money.
President Barak Obama faced the nation as a born again Bush Booster as he reversed years of personal commitment and regurgitated rhetoric presenting the extension of the Bush tax cuts as his plan for recovery.
Lurking beneath the über partisan vitriol in President Obama’s announcement and serial defense of his post-partisan compromise with the Republican leadership he admitted that raising taxes is counterproductive when growing the economy is your goal.
Does it make anyone else wonder why when the bubble burst we didn’t cut taxes and get out of the way? For approximately the same cost of the TARP slush fund, which was used to pay for everything except toxic assets or the non-stimulating stimulus slush fund, every working American could have been given a one-year tax holiday. Just think about it, if you were getting the gross instead of the net every week do you think you would have spent any more money? Do you think the economy would still be in the doldrums a year and a half after the Great Recession is “over”? Come to think, of it why don’t the unemployed just go out and get one of those shovel-ready jobs? Oh, that’s right two years after the razzle-dazzle sales pitch the pitchman learned they never existed. Then we learned he knew it all along.
Don’t be fooled as the Democratic Progressives race the Republican Progressives to the microphones complaining they were rolled in Mr. Obama’s Great Compromise. What they’re really arguing about is how much of the money we earn they can afford to let us keep. If either side was really ready for the heady wine of liberty they’d talk about eliminating taxes not just about letting us keep the pittance George II agreed to let us hold for a few years.
Three generations ago, back at the dawn of the 20th century before the Creature from Jekyll Island and its mad creator, the Congress that devoured a nation began their present reign as the Central Bank and the Central Planning Board most of the taxes that Americans presently bear were nonexistent. Was the Federal Government broke? Were millions starving to death because food stamps hadn’t been invented? Were our citizens wallowing in ignorance because the Education Department hadn’t been created? Were the States declaring bankruptcy because they didn’t receive grants, bail-outs, or subsidies?
No. Before the creation of the Federal Reserve, which was supposed to safe guard the value of the dollar and end the boom and bust of the business cycle, America was the most prosperous, innovative, and growing nation on earth. Before the Progressives managed to shackle the capitalist engine of growth, dumb down the best informed public, and make dependent the most independent population the world had ever known America was the can-do capital and the go-to place.
We have witnessed our erstwhile messiah and media darling turn into a whining, complaining prima donna who after spending two years saying Bush’s tax cuts were the cause of the Great Recession now he says if we let them expire it will make the economy worse. This would give smoke and mirrors a bad name. After two years vilifying his predecessor instead of ever once taking responsibility for anything the best President Obama can come up with is, “Let George do it”? We need to impeach his teleprompter for inconsistency and incompetence.
It’s time to ignore the stewards trying to calm the soon-to-expire passengers by convincing them that the configuration of the deck chairs makes a difference. It’s time to tell the captain, the navigator, and the helmsmen we need to turn our ship-of-state before it hits the iceberg of insolvency. It’s time to take our eyes off the riveting debate between the Democrat whiners, and Weiners, the Republican Snow-jobs and Cantors, and realize these people are more interested in perpetuating the current progressive pyramid of power than in resuscitating our Republic.
The American system doesn’t need bureaucrats tinkering with the tax code. We need bold patriots ready to make hard choices. We don’t need gimmicks like cutting the Social Security tax for a short period to make people feel like they’ve received relief from crushing taxation. We need to admit Clinton’s mythical lock-box and every other band aide our federal masters have used for the last two generations doesn’t change the fact that the Social Security scam has always been a ponzi scheme that makes Madoff look like a piker.
If our generation is to step up we’re going to have to turn off the game, put down the adult beverage, and become profiles in courage if we’re to be the conscious of a conservative for a nation lost in the lunacy of liberalism. None dare to call it treason, but the fact of the matter is we’ve been and are being sold a bill of goods. The money is gone: squandered on vote buying social engineering programs that have debilitated our population.
If generations of central planning to safeguard the dollar have turned it into wallpaper, if 100 years of regulating the economy to eliminate the business cycle has produced numerous recessions, a Great Depression, and now the Great Recession what have we gained? What have we lost?
We gained an increasingly intrusive central government which has subdued the States in contravention to the Tenth Amendment and is regimenting the populace in contravention to the Declaration of Independence. We gained a judicial system that thinks it can legislate from the bench, a legislature which has all but abdicated their responsibility to a bureaucratic nomenclature, and an imperial presidency filled by executives who start wars without declarations, issue signing statements that reverse the meaning of laws, and refuse to secure our borders, our markets, or even the communication of our diplomats. We gained a burdensome tax system that even the people who write it can’t understand. We gained a regulated economy unable to compete with communist countries that strangely seem to be more capitalist than we do.
We lost a free society and a limited government based upon a written Constitution and traditions of individual liberty and responsibility. We lost a free economy where each citizen contributed and each citizen had the opportunity to fail forward into all that they could be. We lost ourselves and stand in wonder watching leaders who just don’t get it work feverishly to turn us into someone else.
Don’t buy the hype. This latest compromise isn’t about putting America on track to revival it is a stealth stimulus pouring money into the economy so both sides of the Progressive bandwagon can roll it to the polls one more time. In addition, who knows what other surprises are hidden in the unread pages of this omnibus Frankenstein. Don’t drink the Kool-Aide; instead demand the heady wine of freedom and the re-birth of limited government which is the mother’s milk of liberty!
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. Get the latest dispatches from the History of the Future and find books by Dr. Owens @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2010 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.
Two plans aimed at extending the Bush tax cuts for low and middle income workers failed in the Senate on Saturday. The plans were put forward by Democrats as a way to paint Republicans as the party of the rich.
CBS News reported earlier:
“For a proposal to extend all expiring tax cuts on individuals with incomes of less than $200,000 a year and married couples making less than $250,000, the vote was 53-36.
“On a plan to renew tax cuts for all filers with incomes of less than $1 million, the vote was 53-37″
Both measures required a 60 vote margin to break a GOP filibuster.
CBS News Capitol Hill correspondent Bob Fuss said “…Democrats want to make a political point: Republicans are so determined to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy, they’ll block them for everyone else.”
But Republicans argue that with unemployment now at 9.8 percent, extending the tax cuts are necessary to stimulate job growth.
Speaking from the floor of the Senate, Mitch McConnell said:
“According to the strange the logic of Democratic leaders in Congress, the best way to show middle class Americans that they care about creating jobs is to slam some of America’s top job creators with a massive tax hike…Today’s vote was an affront to the millions of Americans who are struggling to find work and a clear signal that Democrats in Congress still haven’t got the message from the November elections.”
Some Democrats, however, feel that unemployment checks are more beneficial to the economy than extending tax cuts to the businesses that create jobs.
In a bit of Orwellian Newspeak, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said:
What does it do to create jobs? What does it do to reduce the deficit? Unemployment insurance, the economists tell us, return $2 for every $1 that is put out there for unemployment insurance. People need the money they spend it immediately, for necessities. It injects demand into the economy; it creates jobs to help reduce the deficit.
Giving 700 billion dollars to the wealthiest people in America, does add 700 billion dollars to the deficit. And the record in history shows it does not create jobs, it does not create jobs.
By this logic, one could argue that if 9.8 percent unemployment is good, then 98 percent would be ten times better for the economy.
But many Americans have a different view. A Rasmussen poll shows that nearly half disagree with Speaker Pelosi’s assessment.
Democrats, however, appear tone-deaf to the message sent by voters in November.
Americans do not want more government spending, nor do they want never-ending unemployment checks.
But as Democrats continue to demagogue the issue, Republicans like newly sworn Mark Kirk of Illinios are standing firm.
Delivering the Republican address, Kirk said voters in the midterm elections demonstrated their distaste for any tax increases.
“The current leaders of Congress should not move forward with plans that were just rejected by the American people,” he said. “These leaders should not raise taxes and risk another recession. Instead, Congress should reduce spending and prevent another tax hike on American taxpayers.”
by Ross Mackenzie
Up In his marvelous book “Decision Points,” former President George W. Bush cites the comment of a general during a review of flagging American policy in Iraq. Bush quotes the general as saying, “Don’t get stuck on stupid.” U.S. strategy there, he said, needed changing to something different and more successful.
The Democratic Congress is now embarked on a lame-duck session that ought to be history’s last.
This is the same Congress that gave the nation a program of socialized medicine it doesn’t want and various “stimulus” measures that haven’t worked — spending measures that hardly have nudged the needle on unemployment or economic recovery.
It is the same feckless Congress, boasting lopsided Democratic margins, that during the regular session failed to pass a single appropriation bill for the fiscal year that began more than two months ago.
And it is the same Democratic Congress that declined to address the expiring Bush tax cuts before the November 2 electoral firestorm because its leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, explained, the fate of the Bush tax cuts could be resolved more easily in the elections’ aftermath.
Polls on election day and throughout November have been unequivocal: If there were national referendums, ObamaCare would be (in the words of one poll) “repealed and replaced” and the Bush tax cuts would be extended for all income brackets. But President Obama and the tin-eared congressional lame-duckers are already stuck on stupid.
Here, for instance, is The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel:
“According to (Nevadan Harry Reid), Senate Democrats are going to confirm judges, rewrite immigration law, extend unemployment insurance, fix the issue of gays in the military, reorganize the FDA, forestall tax hikes, re-fund the government, and ratify a nuclear arms treaty — all in two, maybe three, weeks. This is the same institution that needs a month to rename a post office.”
And if the Democrats cannot get their game together and extend the Bush tax cuts (in both houses they have ample majorities to do so), nearly 100 taxes will rise come January 1.
A MONTH ago, the nation’s voters did not cast their ballots the way they did because (as the president said the day after) they were victims confused by Obamian rhetoric falling short of Ronald Reagan’s “Great Communicator” model. Rather, they were angry about a federal administration taxing too much, spending too much, and too much an intruder in their lives.
That’s angry. They understood his and the Democratic Congress’ policies only too well. Less than a year after putting a Republican in the Kennedy Senate seat in Massachusetts, they put a Republican in Obama’s Senate seat in Illinois.
If Obama was not on any ballot, public sentiment toward his policies definitely was. The voters gave a massive, emphatic thumbs-down. And in appraising the results, if Obama is not a good communicator, he is not a good listener, either. Or maybe he just doesn’t get it.
He and Nancy and Harry are pressing on with making the Republicans’ day. Let’s see how the Democrats — most notably Obama himself — fare in 2012 campaigning on (a) higher taxes, (b) anti-growth tax policies, (c) even less stable exchange rates, (d) a $5 trillion annual budget $1 trillion in deficit, (e) open homosexuals in the military, and (f) an ObamaCare not kinder and gentler but meaner and tougher.
The Democratic lame-duckers ought to pass their appropriation bills and extend the Bush tax cuts across the board — and get out of town.
Come January and the new year, when California and Illinois (etc.) may well follow Greece and Ireland (etc.) into bankruptcy, the augmented Republican cohort in Congress — with a majority in the House — will have its opportunity.
The Republicans might build on their anti-earmarks stance by regaining the public trust with pledges to — e.g.: limited government, balanced budgets, capitalism and free markets, lower (and more understandable) taxes, term limits, an undiminished military, victory over islamofascism, secure borders, a stable dollar, and family first.
Republicans also might commit to measures requiring (1) that members of Congress be subject to every law now on the books or to every new law they pass. (2) That they may not participate in programs unavailable to the populace at large, such as the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan. And (3) that they may not exempt themselves from any federal program covering the general citizenry — such as Social Security and Medicare.
Oh, and — to prevent the next Congress from going lame and getting stuck on stupid — as author and New York state’s former lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey suggests:
When John Boehner (becomes) speaker…in January, he should introduce a bill providing that Congress will not meet between the November 2012 election and January 3, 2013. That simple change in the law will put the voters back where they always belong: in charge.