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I happened to catch part of NPR's Friday All Things Considered political commentary segment, this week putting Michelle Bernard up with E. J. Dionne.

Ms. Bernard got to her programmed talking point right away: If a rich guy suddenly has to pay more taxes if the Bush Tax Cuts for the Fabulously Wealthy (TM) expire, some poor slob at the low end of the totem pole will get axed. She made that point twice, just in case some old fashioned static distracted you from the fear bait.

That is her basic argument: Keep the tax cuts in place or some poor slob will lose his job.

Of course E. J. was too busy with his own talking points to actually counter this bunk.

I have my own counter argument, in case you are interested...

So, lets say you are a big bidnessman, getting a really big taxable personal income for all of your 'work', and the tax cuts DO expire. Are you going to:

(1) Keep the same personal income, but let Obama take a lot more of it to pay for his evil socialist plan?
Your gross income has not changed, so the company you 'work' for has not been affected.

(2) Raise your income (or profit taking) (gross it up), so you have the same take home pay, because Obama is taking so much more for his evil socialist plan. Your company willingly does this (it has to, you own it), but now has less money to pay the 'little guy', so he has to go. This might hurt the company just a little bit, but since he does so much less 'work' than you do (confirmed by your whopping income), he will hardly be missed. Possible side benefit: He joins a Tea Party because he is so pissed off about losing a job just because Obama needs more money for his evil socialist plan.

(3) Lower your take home income, making sure that Obama does not get any more money for his evil socialist plan than he does now, since there will be a higher tax rate on proportionally less money. (Sorry Sarah P, I just used a mathematical equation with TWO variables. I know how much that hurts the ol' noggin'.) This is known as 'starving the beast'. Now your company has more money to spend on little guys, so you actually hire another one (or ten), make more product, make more profits, make more money in the long run. Wow! That sounds really SOCIALIST!

I have to sort of wonder whether Ms. Bernard, if she took the time to think about it, would think that option (1) is most probable. But that one does not cause the company to change employment, so it is not SCARY enough to frighten people into voting Republican.

Ms. Bernard works for the "Independent Women's Forum". (Independent of what? Reality?).

This cute little "forum" has "scholar directors" like Lynne (my husband really is human) Cheney, Lawrence (Mr. Supply Side) Kudlow (he is a Distinguished Scholar, ya know), and Wendy Lee Gramm (Ronald Reagan called her his favorite economist). I'm guessing there might be some kind of agenda going on here.

OK, I am not scared that taxing really rich people is going to cost poor peeps their jobs. You?

Originally posted to FightersFate on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 07:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "salary" is not the issue for the small business (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk

    owner. He keeps the net income from his business after expenses. He gets less income if he has to pay more taxes so to keep that income the same he will reduce other expenses (e.g., his labor costs).

    •  You're missing the point, I think. (6+ / 0-)

      The taxes that are expiring are on PERSONAL income, not business income.

      •  And for many small business owners (5+ / 0-)

        they are one and the same.

        •  The real reason (4+ / 0-)

          that these tax cuts don't create jobs, but just create wealthier rich people.

          The president is not a king. I'm glad Obama is not acting like one.

          by tarminian on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 07:28:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Experiment is Over! (21+ / 0-)

            The real facts and numbers relating to the Bush Tax Cuts for multi-millionaires and billionaires are already in. With the Bush Tax cuts - from 2001 until 2009 - just a measly 3 million new jobs were created - and those filthy tax cuts also gave us our current severe recession as well a doubling of our national debt all the way back to 1793 . On the other hand, under Bill Clinton, new job creation surpassed the 23 million figure; and this occurred after Clinton actually raised taxes and gave us a budget surplus.

            Yet we're still going to hear from the Republicans that none of this is true, and we're still going to have a substantial number of ill-informed and apathetic Americans buying into this great prevarication. Thus, we must do far better in getting the truth out; and there's no time like the present.  

            •  The truth is that we have been scammed since (11+ / 0-)

              the 70's.  Once Ronnie Raygun was in office it began in earnest, busting unions, driving middle-management people out, driving down wages, it has been going on for THIRTY YEARS; and, yet, we hear the same old refrain.

              Cutting taxes on corporations and rich individuals hasn't created ANY JOBS.  What it has done is allowed the rich and the corporations to drive down the real wages of individuals and to salt away more and more of the nation's wealth into their own pockets.

              I want just one person on MSM to stand up and say, that if cutting taxes led to jobs, WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY AND WHY DON'T THEY PAY A LIVING WAGE?

              End of argument.

              •  Bingo, you nailed it (6+ / 0-)

                and the way they did it was increasing the taxes on payrolls. Saint Ronnie raised taxes nine time while in office, seven of which were raises in payroll withholding taxes which are the most regressive of all federal taxes. In the years since this trend continued until more federal revenues come from payroll taxes than any other source including income taxes. I think it's time to reform the entire tax structure. We need to divorce taxes from payrolls completely to remove the tool kit that the rethugs use to drive down labor costs across America.

                Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                by RMForbes on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:46:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, the largest income tax revision was in (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                importer

                1986, under George H.W. Bush.  It was actually good for everyone, business owner or not.

                As far as Dubya's tax cuts are concerned, let them expire...all of them.  The difference will be miniscule to the majority of Americans.

                I believe, however, that the Dems will some how fuck this up by giving concessions for the tax cuts they want to keep, allowing the uber-wealthy to get some sort of tax relief that will, in the long term, screw up and budget balancing.

                "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." - Joseph Stalin

                by Taxmancometh on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 10:59:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Well, they shouldn't be (0+ / 0-)

          sounds like, if that's the case, the business owner really should hire a competent accountant . . .

        •  Then small business owners (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Major Tom

          should lobby their legislators to change the tax code and exempt them from being in the same category as Big Oil and Big Finance, etc., so they're taxed at the same rate as the rest of the middle class, who've been struggling for the last 30-plus years to pay for the $250K-and-above's share of the tax burden, btw.

          Change the language in a debate, and you change the reality.

          •  uh no - they don't want to be subject (0+ / 0-)

            to corporate income taxes - that's why they are organized as they are.

            •  I meant that the small business (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alba, Eric Nelson

              owners who are complaining about losing the taxpayer-funded subsidy (that's what it really amounts to, btw) b/c they're in the same tax bracket ($250K-plus personal income) as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, should lobby their legislators to assign them to the tax bracket for those who make $50K.

              I believe the Cheney/Bush Tax Subsidies for the Rich are for personal income, not for the actual business.  Warren Buffet himself has said he thinks the inequities in the current tax brackets need to be addressed -- he's taxed the same rate (35%) as the guy who makes $50K-a-year, thanks to Cheney/Bush.  And that's not right.

        •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

          1918 gets it.

          Small business, as Obama keeps pointing, out is the engine of our economy.

          If taxes goes up on small business, employment goes down.

          Small business owners will find a way to maintain their current profit gain. And small businesses will do this by cutting employee wages, laying people off, cutting vacation time, having employees sign health care waivers so the business doesn't have to provide medical coverage (My wife had to do that to get a job this week) and finally increase prices for products or services.

          People just don't seem to undestand this.

          and what people also don't understand is that business, big or small, is all about profit, both for the business and for the owners and investers.

          I agree people who are rich can pay more in taxes, but in the current job market look at all the economic variables.

          Compulsory Health Care Coverage = hits the financial book.

          Financial reform bill = trying to figure out how it is going to hit the financial book.

          Increased taxes = hitting the financial book

          this makes for an unstable job market and uneasiness for businesses to hire people on. With the bills coming out, businesses are being hit 3 ways from Sunday and still wondering what changes EPA and or a bill in congress is going to do to their company.

          So now small and big business is being hit 4 ways.

          If you had all this happening to you or your business, what would you do? Hire on a bunch of people (think of the Health Care costs [compulsory by law now remember] and payroll taxes [that just went up]).

          I had to close my small business because of all this happening.

          It is reform people wanted.. Yes, but the WRONG time to pass and enact it, especially during a recession/depression.

          If we had a good economy currently, then these programs would most probably be welcome (minus the Compulsory language in the HCR).

          But under our current economic standing, these programs only hurt businesses and people looking or trying to keep their jobs.

          •  So, you had to close your small business (11+ / 0-)

            due to taxes that haven't yet changed and health care costs that have not been phased in yet?

            What about the asteroid that hasn't yet hit Earth destroying all life on it?  Did that kill you sacred cow?

            Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

            by nsfbr on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:31:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh ye of little comprehension (0+ / 0-)

              I had to close my business because of Compulsory health insurance foverage.

              •  NO compulsory health insurance requirement (7+ / 0-)

                exists as a result of the recently passed health insurance reform, nor will it until 2014.  After that it won't impact businesses under 50 people.

                So you are lying, stupid or both.  Which is it?

                Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

                by nsfbr on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:05:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How is this relavent (0+ / 0-)

                  to what Obama keep stating?

                  Doesn't Obama keep stating that our economy is driven by small business?

                  Do the current policies or talking points in congress help small businesses stay open and keep the money they earn so that they can grow?

                  If so, explain how?

                  Compulsory Health Care Coverage = hits the financial book.

                  Financial reform bill = trying to figure out how it is going to hit the financial book.

                  Increased taxes = hitting the financial book

                  EPA regulations = hits financial books of businesses already created.

                  So again how does this HELP Small businesses stay open? How does this give confidence for small businesses to hire people?

                  I really what a comprehensive bread down of how these policies help the businesses that provide jobs.

                  Now mind you I am talking Small Businesses and Mom and Pop places, not mega money Health Insurance Companies that just got a bailout from the Government with the compulsory language.

                  •  Nice way to totally avoid answering (5+ / 0-)

                    nsfbr's question.  So the most reasonable assumption is that you are making it all up. If corporations are being hit in the "books", why are some making record profits, as pointed out in an NYT article yesterday?

                    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

                    by orrg1 on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:23:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So if I am avoiding (0+ / 0-)

                      nsfbr's question, why are you ingoring his statements as well?

                      I really what a comprehensive bread down of how these policies help the businesses that provide jobs when the policies actually take effect.

                      I didn't make up about having to shut down my business.. I shut down so I would not be hit with the policiy changes when they take effect.. add to that, if the Tax issue doesn't get resolved prior to Jan. 2011, then I would have been hit by taxes.

                      I only cut my losses before they happened.

                      but again

                      I really what a comprehensive bread down of how these policies help the businesses that provide jobs when the policies actually take effect.

          •  Not smart to optimize the wrong variable (9+ / 0-)

            "Small business owners will find a way to maintain their current profit gain."

            Gain over what time frame?

            If you are making an obscene amount of money, it seems  to me that you have a lot of flexibility to invest for the long term and make even more money.

            If your only choice is to bleed the business to maintain a gigantic income right now, you are not really planning to stay in business.

            On the other hand, if the business is barely making it, how are the tax cuts on people making $1M+ even an issue to you personally?
            They are not.

            The threat of job losses is just a bogus talking point.

            The only winning move is not to play. - Joshua

            by FightersFate on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:33:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  see my comment below (7+ / 0-)

            you are sadly confused about how small business works.  The business itself is not going to pay more taxes, the owner will pay more taxes on his PERSONAL salary.  

            Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

            by whoknu on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:36:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nonsense. (8+ / 0-)

            Taxes aren't going up on small businesses.

            Health care costs for businesses will go down as a result of the health care bill.

            RW talking points may go over well at Red State. This isn't Red State.

            On Sara Palin: "That woman...is an Idiot." -- Keith Olbermann

            by allergywoman on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:42:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why didn't you apply for the tax credits (7+ / 0-)

            your health insurance costs will have actually decreased under the new HCR bill.

            I work for a POS software company and it's my job to setup accounting software for hundreds of small businesses. The HCR bill relieves much of the burden felt by many businesses from the double digit increases in premiums imposed by the health insurance industry in the last few years. While I agree it should have gone farther by offering a public option, the new HCR does reduce the costs of offering health insurance for small businesses specifically.

            Now if we could just remove taxes from payroll then we could really generate some jobs in America.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 10:02:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  exactly /nt (5+ / 0-)

        The only winning move is not to play. - Joshua

        by FightersFate on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 07:43:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  uhhh??????? most small businesses are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RMForbes

        organized as pass-through entities (in order to avoid double taxation) so the expiring taxes would affect them . .

        •  Yes, taxes assessed on businesses become indirect (0+ / 0-)

          taxes because the cost of the tax is passed to another. Direct taxes upon the citizens of America are specifically prohibited under Article 1 Section 9 of the U S Constitution. All federal taxes must be indirect taxes which can be avoided by choice or passed on through the price of a product or service.

          It's kind of interesting how we ended up with our current income tax structure and payroll withholding in light of this explicit prohibition in the constitution.

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 10:14:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm missing the point?????? Hardly . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LynneK
    •  To keep the same income (16+ / 0-)

      you have to manage the business well, which includes keeping employees needed to make money. The Bush tax cuts were for the benefit of the EXTREMELY wealthy. If your business profits are so close to being marginal that you are choosing between employing a valuable worker or taking money home for yourself, then I doubt that you are in the bracket affected by the tax cuts.

      E. J. Dione at least made that point.

      The only winning move is not to play. - Joshua

      by FightersFate on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 07:58:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One would hope (11+ / 0-)

      Instead of putting herself into a higher tax bracket, she might decide to reinvest the money in her business.  

      It's a symptom of my syphilitic mind.

      by otto on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:00:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, the rest of us should continue to subsidize (6+ / 0-)

      the business community, small or Big, in the US, just so that particular class doesn't have to pay their share of the tax burden?

      You realize, of course, that in order to do so, we'll have to borrow the money from China, don't you?  That will either be added on to the deficit or passed along to the next generations to pay.  Is that OK with you?

      Someone has proposed a payroll tax holiday, which would provide much needed relief to both employees and employers and not add a penny to the deficit.  Why not do that instead?

      •  that's not what I said at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitsap River

        I was simply pointing out that the diarist starts from an erroneous predicate when he assumed that the owner's "salary" was the issue. I would go at it a different way, which would be to use job-related tax credits and the like to incentivize hiring and retention. Lower tax rates for business owners would, in many cases, just mean enhanced profits for owners as there is nothing that precludes them from just pocketing the extra money . .

      •  But that's the way it should be (0+ / 0-)

        The costs of all taxes remitted or paid by any business are passed along as part of the price paid by their customers. These are indirect taxes. The average American is not taxed directly, that would be unconstitutional under Article 1 Section 9 which expressly prohibits any direct taxation unless apportioned to the States.  

        What we need to stop is the taxes on payroll withholding and income taxes on wages/salaries because those of us that sell our labor cannot pass the costs of those taxes along. They are actually direct taxes which double tax the wage earner. Since the wage earner cannot pass along the costs of these taxes they are the lowest point in the tax food chain and end up paying the costs of all taxes, they are always the ultimate taxpayer.

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 10:29:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I believe last year (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitsap River, RMForbes

          Big Oil paid $0 in US taxes, while receiving something like $38 billion in taxpayer funded subsidies, mostly for jobs overseas.  They did pay taxes they owed to foreign governments, tho.

          Big Healthcare got $42 billion in taxpayer subsidies last year.  The list goes on and on -- that's my point -- we need to stop this.  Why are we doing it, anyway?  It doesn't lead to job creation here, in fact, just the opposite, and it stifles real competition by tipping the scales in favor of the very same businesses who need the least help when it comes to tax relief.

          I whole-heartedly agree w/your idea about payroll taxes and withholding -- Congress has been sneaking increases in these kinds of taxes for a couple of decades, now.  I always found it ironic that while Cheney/Bush were giving out those paltry tax cuts we got back in 2003, Congress was reaching in our pockets to take it all back thru increases in payroll taxes, etc.

          I wish Nancy Pelosi or Alan Grayson or SOMEBODY in the Democratic Party would talk about reducing payroll taxes or a payroll tax holiday or something, if they're going to cave on the Cheney/Bush Tax Subsidies for the Rich, like it seems.

          •  I'm calling for a reform of the entire tax system (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bluezen

            We need a truly progressive tax system.

            The costs of payroll withholding taxes alone should be shifted to all businesses gross receipts which would require a much lower rate (between 3-5%) to realize the same amount of government revenues. Wage earners have been taxed on their gross earnings for decades and they cannot pass the costs of their taxes along to their customers like businesses always defer their costs. Shifting the costs to the businesses gross earnings spreads the cost over a much larger base and reduces the costs to each individual. This would actually increase government revenues while reducing the tax rates. Divorcing taxation from payroll entirely would greatly relieve downward pressure holding down pay rates and discouraging adding additional employees.

            We need to simplify the federal income and really make it truly progressive. I would suggest raising the minimum taxable income from the current $400 to $75,000. Begin the progressive income tax at $75,001 without any deductions, credits and loopholes on all income no matter the source.

            To be clear everyone shouldn't pay income taxes. In fact, wages/salaries were not considered taxable income until the reporting rules were changed in 1945 with the victory tax which was to be temporary until the debt from WWII was retired. The income tax was always intended to be assessed only on those that already received economic benefit from government. It's the business community that benefit from government action.  The businesses benefit from the government taking responsiblity for their workers health and retirement costs through Medicare and Social Security. Government provides a literate workforce through public education. Goverment provides the infrastucture that provides reliable transportion to move products and protection under the laws. They should not avoid their taxes they should embrace them for all they provide to them.

            Besides the costs of all taxes are worked into the price of the product or service the business sells. These costs are passed from vendor and supplier to retailer and then finally to those that sell their labor for they cannot pass their costs on to anyone else. The wage earner is the lowest point of the tax food chain, they always end up being the ultimate taxpayer.

            Both of these reforms together would allow around 25% more payroll dollars to stay circulating in local economies even longer than they linger today. This would drive up demand for more products and services which would create more jobs and generate even more tax revenues and reduce demand for government services than the current tax system.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 11:51:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Another point (5+ / 0-)

      When the owner pays himself a salary, he actually gets to write it off as a business expense.  He is then only taxed on the amount as personal income.  The net profit (after all business expense is deducted) is usually left in the business and is called retained earnings which isn't taxed until the owner/shareholder takes it as a dividend.  The dividend is then taxed at the capital gains rate of 15%.  

      If I am wrong, feel free to point it out.

      Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

      by whoknu on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:33:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  comment is correct, for some business structures (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JSCram3254, Calamity Jean, palantir

        True for corporations.

        Not for a general partnership or sole proprietorship.
        For these all profits are taxed as personal income.
        You can of course, make sound investments of value to the business, deduct them, and defer the income tax.

        No matter what form of business, if you choose to extract more income to maintain the same net when faced with more taxes on your exorbitant income (the only income level at issue here), then your business is not so close to the edge that you will have to fire people.

        The only winning move is not to play. - Joshua

        by FightersFate on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:47:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  most small buisness are LLC's or (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl

          sole proprietorships or Subchapter S's, all of which are pass through entities.

        •  We tried both business models. (6+ / 0-)

          Our business is my husband and I.  You have to be really stupid to maintain a business that is bringing in big bucks, as a sole proprietorship.  We had bad accounting advice for years.  We paid so much in taxes we were unable to invest properly in our business to make it grow:  which is the purpose of incorporation.  

          Having been the recipient of good and bad advice, I have no sympathy (and that include my husband and me) for individuals, family farms, doctors' practices, etc. not taking advantage of incorporation to be able to keep more money in their corporations and defend your business from personal liability.  No sympathy at all.  

      •  business onwers usually like to minimize (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        57andFemale

        their salaries because they like to avoid the payroll tax. The write off would be of no economic value as he would be fully subject to the income tax on his salary.

        Earnings would be taxed to the owner every year unless the business is incorporated (i.e., if it is a sole proprietorship or an LLC). Even then the earnings would be subject to the corporate income tax.

    •  It's the incremental rate that will go up. (7+ / 0-)

      The business owner won't pay the higher tax on all of his income, but only on that income which is over $250,000 (or $500,000 if he's lucky enough to be married).  In addition, his business expenses reduce his taxable income, which most likely make it so that he is not going to be impacted by the tax increase at all.  And, frankly, if you've managed to put together a business that leaves you with over $250,000 in taxable income by the end of the year, you're not going to get a whole lot of sympathy around here for having to pay a few extra cents on every dollar over that $250,000.  You can afford it, and you're still getting a bargain for all the government services you're using to run your business.

      There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? -Robert F. Kennedy

      by JSCram3254 on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:50:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you know the difference..... (6+ / 0-)

      .....between individual taxable income and business profit?  

      Aren't we talking about individuals making $200,000 a year?  Which is what this alleged small business owner would be able to pay himself, after everything else?  Some "small business".  That's a hell of a successful small business.  

      BEFORE he even gets to that amount of money, he has expensed his business, his car, his supplies, his entertainment expenses and business trips, paid employees, benefits (hopefully), all of his health care expenses, and God knows what else.  Let's say after that he has in net-net profit, $400,000.  Half of that is business "profit" at 15%.  He has to pay himself $200,000.  Or actually, $200,001.  He would have to pay this exorbitant tax rate on a buck.  

      He has a business making a profit of almost a half a millions bucks a year.  Poor guy.

      Let's say he's profiting a whole lot more than that.  He is going to use before tax dollars to improve his business before he's going to pay a dime more to Obama for his evil socialist plan.  

      Or maybe he's knuckle-dragging stupid and is running this business big enough to make a profit of a half a million bucks a year, as a sole proprietorship.  He's hired his brother-in-law's cousin as his accountant who never heard of incorporation and everything is run like an individual.  

      Then by all means, he should pay all of the tax we can squeeze out of this idiot.  

      •  Do you?????? The diarist cast this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl

        discussion in terms of the business owner's "salary," which is hardly the relevant issue. The business owner only cares about how much he gets to take out of the business every year, most of which will be in the form of profits.

        •  which is taxed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yella dawg

          at a different (read ==> LOWER) rate than income.  

          Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

          by whoknu on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:45:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ah no it's not - unless the business is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            burrow owl, testvet6778

            incorporated. No tax applies to a business which is organized as a sole proprietorship or an LLC (the two business forms favored by most small businesses these days). All the income and deductions are passed through to the individual who owns the business and taxed at his or her personal income tax rates.

      •  Maybe, maybe not. (0+ / 0-)

        He is going to use before tax dollars to improve his business before he's going to pay a dime more to Obama for his evil socialist plan.  

        A tax hike decreases the value of investment.  He may be more inclined to let his capital sit unused rather than invest it, which is an inefficient use of capital.

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        Then by all means, he should pay all of the tax we can squeeze out of this idiot

        ROFL

        Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

        by whoknu on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:44:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You miss the point. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yella dawg, FightersFate, whoknu, sjterrid

      Small business owners are not affected by the Bush tax cuts. They could expire tomorrow and most small businesses wouldn't notice.

      On Sara Palin: "That woman...is an Idiot." -- Keith Olbermann

      by allergywoman on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:41:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's hard to listen to NPR much anymore. (9+ / 0-)

    Their viewpoint has shifted so far to the right. They are giving air time to such nuts.

    I haven't seen data on their listener donations, relative to 20 and 30 years ago, but I'm hoping commentary by the likes of Cokie "Stupid" Roberts is hitting them in the pocket book...

  •  Why the 'scare quotes'? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl

    Rich people do not 'work'?

  •  One effect, I'd think, will be to add even (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SherriG, whoknu

    more incentive to structure investment as debt rather than equity.  That's a bad thing; an overhaul to the tax code to correct that is long overdue.

  •  two errors on Cheney (8+ / 0-)

    her first name is Lynne with an E

    and she is -Lord Voldemart's'  VP Cheney's wife, not his daughter.  His two daughters are Mary, who is gay, and Elizabeth (Liz), who is obnoxious.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 07:38:15 AM PDT

  •  Give the rich tax cuts or they'll leave!!! (12+ / 0-)

    Take that America!
    How oh how will HAMMACHER SCHLEMMER ever survive?
    If all the really cool important people decamp to Dubai?

  •  The problem with #1 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rgjdmls, yella dawg, FightersFate

    is it isn't a long term solution.  Sure greedy Mr. Big Bidness may see that as an option, but following it will eventually starve the business, therefore himself unless...

    *He finds workers willing to work for less because they are desperate, or cuts the salary of those he already employs because they are too scared to protest.

    *He then asks those same workers to do more work

    *He cuts out benefits like Healthcare, retirement and insurance.

    That's what my Employer (Big Bidness guy) did.  Now he finds himself needing to add workers because he scooped up business from other companies that couldn't make the cut in the downturn.  Sure he hired a few temps ('cause they're cheap) but is not able to cover the increase in business so he is now getting sued for breach of contract.

    But hey, his bonus is paid regular, like clockwork and the lawyer bills are an expense he can write off!

    Karma's a bitch.
     

    (nit-pick ~ you mean lose, not loose)

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:15:28 AM PDT

    •  option (1) does not affect the business (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whoknu

      the owner just pays more tax on the same income because the tax rate went up.

      And nit-pick fixed.

      The only winning move is not to play. - Joshua

      by FightersFate on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:21:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yella dawg, vahana

        but perception is reality.  I work for a medium sized company and do their financials.  They earned $100 million in 2007 with 100 employees.  When things started to look bad they cut everyone's salaries, including their own.  Cut benefits and expenses and laid off some workers.  Now I think they had good reason to batten down the hatches because we are in the auto industry and it looked bleak.  But throughout the whole 2 years they have never lost money.  Sure, the net profit went down about 35% but they never missed a quarterly bonus for the shareholders.  Year over Year they have maintained the same value and did actually raise our salary back to pre-2008 levels. (though the benefits are probably gone for good)

        The problem is these guys never stopped taking their vacations, buying new cars, or getting season tickets to the football games, etc.  It's not excessive, but they live well.  Other than the salary cut they said they took, they did not really change their lifestyle as compared to me.  With my salary and benefit cuts I had to scramble to realign my finances so I wasn't spending more than I took in.  I had to cut out a lot of stuff and it was touch and go there for a while.  I give them props for at least recognizing that preserving the company was also preserving my job.  However, in the end they made sure that they did not suffer much, while I am further behind than I would have been.  I suffered more to preserve their business than they did.  But hey, I should be happy, I have a job.  Those that got laid off to preserve their status quo weren't so lucky.

        Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

        by whoknu on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:54:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What people unfailingly miss is that (8+ / 0-)

    what is being talked about is marginal tax rates on income above $250k.  

    Otherwise known as disposable income.

    The reason that raising or lowering taxes on the wealthiest among us has limited direct impact on the economy is that by definition this is excess income to them (and myself as I will be impacted by these taxes and quite happy about it).  If you reduce the amount of excess income I have, I will accrue wealth more slowly.  Only if I am concerned about the rate of increase in my wealth would I spend less in the economy.  

    A more likely impact is that I might pursue a higher return on my wealth and therefore change my portfolio to accept more risk for higher return.  This stimulates the economy.

    A second aspect of this is that at the moment, we are seeing just how ludicrous supply side economics is.  The economy is stagnant NOT because of a lack of wealth by those who could invest in the economy but rather because of a lack of demand.  The ONLY way to get the economy moving is to create demand and the only way to create demand is to put the millions of people laid off back to work.  The ONLY way to do this is to either force those with the capital to seek higher risk and return (increasing their taxes would be one way, offering tax credits for clean job creation would be another) or direct government spending.  

    As for me, I've said it before, I'll say it again, we need more upper income tax brackets at higher rates.  I see no reason why there aren't 40%, 50% and even higher brackets at income levels upwards of 10 or 20 times the median income level.  Couple them with exclusions for investment in development areas that promote the long term health of our economy and environment and we have an ideal situation.

    Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

    by nsfbr on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:49:01 AM PDT

    •  sounds reasonable to me (0+ / 0-)

      targeted taxes to reward good behavior and penalize bad is a good idea.

      Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

      by whoknu on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 08:56:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So raise taxes on those who stay in school (0+ / 0-)

        and work hard to become doctors, lawyers and CPA's and lower taxes on those who dropped out of HS and work at McDonald's?

        Because we want to penalize those who stay in school and reward those who drop out?

        •  I think you missed the point (0+ / 0-)

          it's investment income we are talking about.

          Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

          by whoknu on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 10:56:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You are missing the point. (0+ / 0-)

          The question is really whether or not it makes sense to tax disposable income more than income required to sustain a basic, or even comfortable lifestyle.

          To put it another way, there are some in this country who benefit more from the society we have fashioned than others.  Doctors, lawyers and CPAs (no apostrophe required, thank you very much) benefit much more than minimum wage earners.  There is no question that these people should be rewarded from their hard work.  However, in their lives they receive orders of magnitude more benefit than do those who did not have the ability, or did not work hard enough, or had their circumstances forced upon them.  

          So in my view it is a twofold thing.  First, disposable income should be taxed at a higher rate (as opposed to lower, which is the effect of the income limit on FICA tax.)  Second, higher taxes to go along with greater overall benefit received.  We make a mistake when we view taxes as punishment.  They pay for the institutions that tie us together as a society.

          Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

          by nsfbr on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 04:17:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  OK, I took out the word 'salary' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sjterrid

    since that seemed to be confusilating some people.

    And I don't know were the snark tag came from, but thanks. It belongs there.

    The only winning move is not to play. - Joshua

    by FightersFate on Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 09:10:11 AM PDT

  •  I cannot believe the media is falling for this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yella dawg, FightersFate

    framing.  Just can't believe it.

    I guess it's true what they say.  It is easier to tell a lie than to refute it.

  •  Of course what NOBODY is saying..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Snud, yella dawg, FightersFate, sjterrid

    including the media is this is one of Obama's campaign promises.  He said it over and over again during his election campaign.  So now he is going to make good on that promise and what does the media talk about.  Not that of course because it is not controversial.  No, they discuss endlessly the horsesheit merits of the Repuke BS talking points.  Even though ecomonists and anyone with any credibility can easily refute.  Both with hard real numbers AND with historical evidence.

    But no.....let's not talk about that.  Let's talk about if it's "bad for the country to get rid of tax cuts for the rich"

    Pfffft.......the media is dumber than a sack of hammers and they fall for this Repuke BS ever single time.

  •  this is driven by the DC bubble-heads. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sjterrid
  •  Reagan's "Trickle Down" Bullshit Was a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    too many people, sjterrid

    blatant lie perpetrated to convince programmable idiots into voting against their own interests and to give the richest Americans tax cuts.

  •  You make it sound like it's up to the owner (0+ / 0-)

    to expand or contract the business based purely on a whim. In reality, it's not the case most of the time. Most businesses are expanded as much as possible with determining factor usually being the ability to find customers or to maintain the business model. Right now the problem for most businesses is lack of customers willing to buy their products. Extending tax cuts for rich will do little to add new customers as most of this extra money will be saved and not spent.

  •  If Rich People have more money they don't consume (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74

    much more.  If poor people have more money they tend to spend every penny.  It is a no-brainer - tax the rich and spare the poor- ,if you care about the economy.  The money will even trickle-up to the rich, generating yet more tax income with no suffering.

    On the other hand, a huge global depression may be the best plan for the planet, so I feel torn in supporting the economy by taxing the rich.

    •  Rich people fund irrational bubbles. (0+ / 0-)

      Along with buying vacation homes, cocaine, guzzler-SUVs, extravagant vacations, and the accoutrements of slave-fucking.

      $3,000,000 weddings ???

      What else ?

      Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 06:53:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How's about a Wealth Tax ??? (0+ / 0-)

    Takes a constitutional amendment.

    Similar to the income tax.

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    -- # 16

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on wealth, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    Keep it small, maxxing at 1%, and limit it to wealth above $10,000,000. Exclude primary residences. Include private foundations despite extensive whining about their charity functions.

    Over time, this is the best alternative to cut back excessive concentrations of wealth.

    Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 at 06:48:16 AM PDT

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