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View Diary: Weekly address: Looking forward (61 comments)

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  •  No bargaining on the debt ceiling, AND ... (9+ / 0-)

    ... significant tax reform?

    But spending cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code. The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.
    Look at the standard the President has set. Set that against the Romney/GOP approach that any revenue raised from the wealthy in tax reform should/must be reflected in tax rates [for the wealthy].

    What a year this could be!

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:05:14 AM PST

    •  They could actually do some good things with (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, DRo, Sharon Wraight, freelunch, rebel ga

      the tax code.  I'm not holding my breath though.

      Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

      by lighttheway on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:14:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, they could...but I'm betting Congress won't. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, RainyDay, squarewheel

        In a darker day and long ago, I had something to do with tax matters and the Hill.

        Every provision - every provision in the huge tax code and the attendant regs, the opinion letters of the IRS and Tax Policy learning in the Treasury department - has a beneficiary, usually several, and often they are legion.

        The idea that the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee ultimately will approve significant, substantial, game-changing tax reform has the most dismal odds of anything I can think of in DC today. Yes, including the debt ceiling and the sequester.

        Why, you might ask? Because the very devils are in those provisions. Each affects its beneficiary taxpayer(s) in a very important way, so much so that it is quite unlikely that rates could change enough to compensate for the loss of My Particular Bennie. It's just that simple.

        There are provisions in the code that not even the sponsor remembers which constituent he/she put it in for. (One arcane provision benefited one taxpayer; the first letters of the paragraphs spelled the taxpayer's name.) Does anyone check on these? Yeah, they try, but in the press of the last minute legislative fracas, no way can even the Joint Tax Committee Staff (the most professional government group, in my judgment, in Washington, DC) vet anything but the language. Policy? - you gotta be kidding. Like earmarks used to be (and - shhh - still are!), who needs policy if passage depends on securing the vote of the Congressman from Boonesville.

        Even where a provision is very broad-based policy, there are groups who will passionately protect it and that interest group will frame the debate, not the interests of The Average Voter. For example:

        - mortgage deduction. The realtors will protect this with every fibre of their out-sized profits.

        - dividend rates. The GOP and the business world embraces this as preventing double taxation. That is all they will need to repeat and repeat and ...

        - carried interest treatment as capital gain, not income. The big contributors and some small town insurance salesmen protect this one as if killing it would imperil their way of life. (Which, for some, it might. After all, it was one of Mitt's favorite havens.)

        It's a grand idea our President has there ... but do not count on results or added revenues until the bill gets through conference and hits the President's desk. Before that, make no promises, no threats. In fact, this briar patch is best left completely alone for Congress, who caused most of it, to deal with.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:40:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  At least I haven't heard him talk about (0+ / 0-)

      "broadening the tax base." We all know what that means.

      Every time a Republican says that phrase, I want to hit something.

      Maybe the President considers the raise in payroll taxes to be enough of a tax hike on the 99%. If so, I'm more than willing to accept that hike, though its existence makes me even angrier about the Bush estate taxes and Bush corporate taxes and other shit like that being made permanent.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:52:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was surprised the payroll tax cut was killed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        Foregoing it lost lots of revenue, to be sure, but in the past, President Obama defended maintaining the cut because of the adverse impact that raising the tax would have on struggling families. He was right before and not enough has changed to change that view.

        As far as Obama's overall approach to tax reform, the full phrase he used in today's weekly message was:

        "The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans."
        Think about that. It announces a sweeping negation of business tax breaks, very intentionally crafted into the laws over along period of time. It would seem to include accelerated depreciation on machinery and equipment, the investment tax credit, contributions to worker pensions and all manner of "tax expenditures" that favor particular types of businesses and business activities. Every single one of which has vigorous adherents.

        If the President really knows what he said - and I, for one, think he does - the business community's lobbyists will be on the gravy train express should Congress dare to take up reform this wholesale!

        It would be much easier to phase out the effect of business deductions, credits, preferences, etc., so that businesses pay a minimum tax of, say, 20% even if they have preferences that exceed that threshold.

        Pass the popcorn, folks, there's entertainment ahead.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:18:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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