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13 Feb 2012 10:02


Politics: Three things you should know about Obama’s forthcoming budget plan

  • cuts While still leaning on the “Buffett Rule” that he’s been pushing for months and planning to end the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich, Obama’s plan would also cut $2.50 for each dollar raised from tax proposals affecting high income-earners.
  • jobs With the GOP blocking much of Obama’s job plan last year, he’s taking another try at it, offering up $350 billion in job-growth spending, which includes $50 billion to improve infrastructure and $60 billion to modernize schools.
  • defense Echoing the words of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the budget proposal would cut non-war spending. However, automatic cuts set to kick in next year will likely get replaced by a “balanced deficit-reduction package.” source

09 Nov 2011 13:54


Politics: OWS members start trek to Washington DC

  • 240 mile march by Occupy Wall Street, from NYC to DC source
  • » Hitting the road: A group of OWS protesters have embarked on this lengthy walk, expecting to arrive in Washington DC on November 23rd, the congressional committee deadline on whether to keep the Bush-era tax cuts extensions President Obama agreed to last year. The Occupy movement, obviously, would like to see these cuts expire; while this would raise the tax burden of middle-income Americans to a remote extent, it would also cause a very large influx of revenue from the class most buoyed by the Bush tax policy — that vaunted 1%. The march consists of a mere dozen or so protesters right now, but they expect (we suspect rightly) to gain large numbers as they work their way towards the capitol.

09 Oct 2011 22:45


Biz: Some among upper-middle class don’t pay income taxes, either

  • 4,025 number of people among the $75,000-$100,000 tax bracket who didn’t pay income taxes in 1996
  • 476,624 number of people among the same tax bracket who didn’t pay income taxes in 2009 … wait a second source
  • » Beyond numbers, into percentages: Now, if you break this down by percentages among tax brackets, it’s still a fairly small number — 1 percent of the total number, versus 76 percent of people who made less than $25,000. But there’s a difference here — the people making between $75,000 and $100,000 can generally afford to pay taxes, and they’re the largest-growing group of the bunch. Now, what’s the reason for all this? Well, between 1996 and 2009, a couple of presidents (whom you might know as Bush and Obama) enacted a series of changes to the tax code which effectively made it possible for more people to receive tax cuts that whittled the amount owed down to nothing. They most likely pay taxes in other ways — payroll and sales tax, for example — however. Force them to pay, you take money out of the pockets of the poor. So, what’s the balance?

25 Jul 2011 23:09


Politics: A little perspective on this whole deficit mess

  • This graph, courtesy of the New York Times, has been making the rounds today, and it’s worth examining. Note that health care reform, much-maligned by the right as deficit-killer, cost less than even the most inexpensive of George W. Bush’s policies (that policy being Medicare Part D). Note also that the Bush tax cuts alone added more to the deficit than all of President Obama’s new policies combined — and that’s including projected spending over the course of a theoretical second term.  source

13 Jul 2011 22:34


Politics: Talk about drawing a line in the sand

  • I’ve reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this.
  • President Obama • Toward the end of a budget meeting with Republicans. It’s not clear what policy he won’t yield on, but from the texture of the debate thus far, we’re guessing it’s the inclusion of revenue increases in the deal to raise the debt-ceiling.source

15 Jun 2011 22:15


Politics: Pawlenty’s extreme tax proposal

  • 73% Pawlenty’s tax cut for the 400 richest Americans source
  • » During his time as Minnesota’s governor, Tim Pawlenty staked out a few moderate stances. This is understandable, as Minnesota is a moderate state. But moderation doesn’t fly in the current incantation of the Republican party (just ask Mike Castle or Bob Bennett). It especially doesn’t fly for Republicans who want to be President, and perhaps no position is as sacrosanct to the modern Republican party as that of low taxes. Still, Pawlenty’s proposed tax plan is really extreme, even by supply-sider standards; for example, he proposes that millionaires alone receive a 41% tax cut. So, while it’s understandable that T-Paw wants quell the concerts of Republican primary voters by tacking to the right, we wonder if he really needed to adopt a tax plan that, in the words of Ezra Klein, “makes George W. Bush look like Robin Hood.”

06 Apr 2011 23:26


Politics: Paul Ryan: Tax the rich? Nah, just cut services for the poor

  • 67% of Paul Ryan’s spending cuts hit poor Americans source
  • » But don’t worry, not everyone gets the shaft under Ryan’s proposal. Although 2/3 of the savings derived from his plan come by cutting services for poor people, his budget does firmly protect–surprise!–George Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. In all fairness, letting those cuts expire would increase tax rates for the highest earners by an appalling 4%, but it would also save the country an additional $1 trillion over the next ten years. So let’s get this straight: Ryan wants to cut services for the poor and retain absurdly-low tax rates for billionaires. Wasn’t this guy supposed to be the new face of the Republican party?

03 Jan 2011 20:45


Politics: Poll: Start cutting the deficit by raising rich people’s taxes

  • 61% of respondents would prefer that taxes increase for the rich to help cut the deficit
  • 20% of respondents say that defense spending would be a better first choice to hack away at
  • 4% of respondents would prefer instead that we took the scalpel to Medicare source

17 Dec 2010 00:27


U.S.: Obama gets his tax compromise, pulls off triangulation hat trick

  • Alright guys. Time to rock and roll. Obama got his tax compromise, even after House Democrats got all uncomfortable about it towards the end there. The process was a little tense, but eventually the House passed it as-is, 277 to 148. Obama learned the art of triangulation well from Master Sensei Bill Clinton, and will now be in the good graces of the GOP for approximately ten minutes. Savor them, Barack, because you’ve earned them. You only had to sell out the estate tax and a number of your people in your own party to do it. But sometimes, to Get Things Done, you have to do some selling out. This is why Superdrag isn’t on the radio anymore and Weezer is still going strong. Weezer Got Things Done. source

17 Dec 2010 00:02


Politics, U.S.: GOP divide: 2012 contenders disagree on tax cut legislation

  • five potential GOP candidates support the tax cut deal: Mike Huckabee, John Thune, Newt Gingrich, Mitch Daniels and Tim “T-Paw” Palenty
  • four potential GOP candidates oppose it: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Pence, and Rick “The Rock” Santorum source