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View Diary: House Republicans will vote against tax cut for the middle class today (89 comments)

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  •  Please clarify figures. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soros

    You say 5% to 8%. Another commenter said $50 billion to $80 billion a year, which is about 2% to 5% of this year's deficit, not of this year's revenues, certainly not of this year's spending.

    While I'm all for a more progressive tax system, we do the public no favors by pretending this particular fight is going to make a huge difference in our overall budget picture.

    What's the deal?

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 12:56:19 PM PDT

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    •  If by this: (0+ / 0-)
      we do the public no favors by pretending this particular fight is going to make a huge difference in our overall budget picture.
      you mean me, then I think you misread my comments and the context of this thread.

      Why are some people pretending $50 billion per year of revenue gain by mostly taxing the wealthy doesn't matter at all ?  Why are people ignoring that this staging is also designed to set up bills later this year and in early 2013?

      "Which is why this is all theater"
      Why don't you give a link for figures, because I'm not really happy with the few I found.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 01:11:07 PM PDT

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      •  Re (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soros
        Why are some people pretending $50 billion per year of revenue gain by mostly taxing the wealthy doesn't matter at all ?
        Because our deficit is $1400 billion per year against a total debt of around $15000 billion. $50 billion is a joke. This bill does close to zero to fix anything and may even be harmful.

        Additionally, if you want to raise taxes on the rich again, this bill is going to hamstring you. "We already did that a year ago. Don't you Dems have any other ideas than that?"

        Again, it's not that I necessarily oppose this bill, it's more that I wonder why you bother to support it.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:21:54 PM PDT

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        •  I'm going back to the (0+ / 0-)

          top of the thread that prompted me to comment.  There is actually a lot going on with that vote, so I'm going to take one last shot to unpack it a bit.

          1)  First, let's get clear on one thing.  EVERYTHING they do in Congress is political posturing whether or not it accomplishes something immediately or not.  That's what they do.  They're politicians.

          They pursue policies but it is not always possible to obtain them, especially at a time when our division-of-powers arrangement has hit a crisis due to extremist tactics by Republicans.  Republicans are ignoring rules and precedent and actively sabotaging government to the detriment of the country.  Congress is a political institution that requires compromise to operate.  It has become the prime requirement of GOP candidates to never compromise.

          The Dems put together a bill to differentiate the Dem brand from the Republican one (via their bill).  Based on polls it's a winner, but it still took some fortitude to do it because they took a position even though they knew it would fail - at least for now.

          Dems can't depend on the corporate press to get facts straight.  The Dems went ahead to show that they listened to the American public and were willing take the wealthiest off of some of the Bush tax breaks they have been receiving.  It's good positioning that is in sync with Obama's main message right now and the vote will likely get some attention from some voters.

          So I think it is pretty obvious that the bill was designed to show Americans that the Dems take the much dreaded fiscal cliff seriously but they also have an eye in wealth/income inequality and the deficit.  This is also obviously targeted for 2012 voter consumption.

          Now about important background on the numbers:

          2) I don't know where you get 1.4 trillion per year (from 2009?) but the OMB and CBO has estimated that 2012 deficit will be 1.2 trillion.  (The 2012 fiscal year ends in 2 months.)  Obama is projecting 900 billion deficit for 2013.

          3)  One reason the deficits have grown so much in the last few years is that revenue has dropped.  In actual dollars we're taking in $300 billion less than we did in 2008.  Returning to fuller employment should restore most of that and take it off the deficit.  Also some expenses like unemployment insurance and other safety net programs will be reduced.

          When it suits their narrative, Repubs like to get people hyper fixated on the deficit alone.  They need to get off their asses because if they passed some reasonable stimulus measures Obama has asked for $300 billion of that deficit would go away due to economic growth.  IF the economy was healthy now, if the Repubs had not put their party ahead of the nation for the last 4 years, this years deficit could have been in the $900 billion range.

          4) Of course this bill would not have fixed the deficit.  But it was never intended to.  In the context however, a 5% savings is good (albeit small) news.

          5)  There is more political posturing to come.   The election, the lame duck period as the parties jostle for how to mitigate effects of the "fiscal cliff".  And in theory tax reform will get taken up.  

          The action of this bill by the Dems does nothing to hurt future action IMHO and will only help.  I think it pushes the base of future negotiations to a new starting place.  I don't think that a bunch of whiny millionaires and Repubs is going to get additional political traction from voters.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 09:16:26 AM PDT

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          •  Very well said. (0+ / 0-)

            I get angry at the comments above, it's only 50 billion!

            So let's take it out of our Grandfathers SS check, that will work a lot better.

            You can't take the sky from me!

            by wrights on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 03:22:49 PM PDT

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