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As we continue to listen to the Republican drumbeat about how higher marginal tax rates on the wealthy will ruin economic growth (which, as Meteor Blades points out, was wrong then and wrong now), one should keep in mind the following editorial that appeared in last week's Los Angeles Times--penned by wealthy entrepreneur Garrett Gruener. To quote the key conclusion (emphasis added):

No one particularly enjoys paying taxes, but one lesson we should have learned by now is that for the good of the country, we need to tax people like me more. At a minimum, we need to return to the tax rates of the Clinton era, when the economy performed far better. Simply taxing the wealthiest 2% of Americans at the same rates they were taxed before the Bush tax cuts could reduce the national deficit by $700 billion over the next 10 years. Remember, paying slightly more in personal income taxes won't change my investment choices at all, and I don't think a higher tax rate will change the investment decisions of most other high earners.

What will change my investment decisions is if I see an economy doing better, one in which there is demand for the goods and services my investments produce. I am far more likely to invest if I see a country laying the foundation for future growth. In order to get there, we first need to let the Bush-era tax cuts for the upper 2% lapse. It is time to tax me more.

Given the fact that the higher marginal rates under Clinton didn't stop record job creation, and the fact that very low marginal rates under Bush didn't really pick up an anemic job creation climate, the least one can say is that the higher marginal rates under Clinton certainly weren't an impediment to record growth, and a return to those marginal rates for the wealthiest two percent of income earners would reduce the deficit by $700 billion over ten years.

The conclusion that higher marginal rates on the wealthy is smart policy is self-obvious to anyone who is sincerely interested in promoting the general welfare. But Republicans aren't interested in that. Instead, they seem far more interested in creating a neo-feudal society where the hyper-wealthy elite have so much money that they can insulate themselves from the huddled masses who weren't "Galt" enough to do the same.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I sincerely hope people like Garrett Gruener (12+ / 0-)

    and Ken Buck are the first of a growing movement of true patriots.  Time to remember what's good for this country, and turn away from the More For Me and Who Cares About The Rest Of You meme.
    If the Repubs lose greed, what do they have left?  There's always Hate, I guess, but even that seems to be losing some of its appeal.  
    The problems are too large and too urgent for that crowd to fog everyone's minds.

    •  Maybe they had a sense that the greed was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle, Calamity Jean

      slipping away and thus now cling to those who cling to hate.

      Give me the chance and I'll do the rest. --John J. "Buck" O'Neil

      by conlakappa on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:45:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're losing both. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Virginia mom, conlakappa

        The hatin' on gays thing is slipping away from them.  Majority now looks with favor on repeal of DADT.  Gay marriage gaining support.  
        And this nation did indeed vote for a black man to be their president, no matter how hard they try to deny it.  That terrible screeching sound you hear is the sound of doomed dinosaurs.  

    •  more high profile opinions like that on taxation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle

      would help citizens to come around to a more progressive view; That segment of the population who feel the wealthy "know better" and who aspire to be "like" them some day. I hope more high profile endorsements of a progressive agenda are touted by the Democrats in the weeks to come. That, plus that convincing bar chart of job creation: i.e. the red downhill bars and the blue uphill one since Obama took office. Not the whole story, but visceral, simple.

  •  This isn't about these kinds of guys (3+ / 0-)

    This is about the rich seeing that it's a wise investment to buy Congress to lower their taxes.

    I figure the Blue Dogs and Steny must be intimidated by the Kochs and Rove threatening to mount campaigns against them if they don't cave.

    I'm a fucking retard.

    by Helpless on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:05:38 AM PDT

  •  Right on! I don't know why the republican rich (9+ / 0-)

    can't understand that if the country fails, they fail.  If we get rid of the working class, then there is nothing left to prop up the rich-unless they truly want us to go back to serfdom.

    A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

    by marleycat on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:06:17 AM PDT

    •  They think they can outsource everything. (10+ / 0-)

      ....And have serfs do the work at home, yes. There is that.

      •  change of investment goals (0+ / 0-)

        'What will change my investment decisions is if I see an economy doing better'

        That is to say, he will invest domestically and increase American employment instead of making more jobs in China.  If, and only if, the return is greater, not to denigrate his patriotic instincts, which seem to coincide with ours.  But business, after all, is business.  I say this as a net exporter to China.

        Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. Stupidity is a condition; ignorance is a choice.

        by triplepoint on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:42:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle, marleycat

      really rich don't care.  They can go anywhere.  They don't have to worry about investments or market behavior.

      The CEOs and boards of international corporations don't care, either, because they aren't counting on US markets, anyway: they're more interested in emerging markets, like India and China.

      So they don't have to care if they don't want to.  The really rich who do care are patriots.

    •  Simple. It is not enough to succeed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marleycat

      Others must fail. (Gore Vidal)

      As explained in Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class. Nothing in American (or any other) economics, politics, or society in general makes sense without understanding the imperative to appear richer, more powerful, more important, and therefore wiser and more moral than others.

      Except to the extent that this is not the case, for example here, where we are told that two-thirds of the super-rich want higher tax rates for the good of the country. Although not bad enough to spend the kind of money the Koch brothers put into getting lower tax rates and corporate welfare.

      That's an enthusiasm gap you don't hear much about.

      Busting the Dog Whistle code.

      by Mokurai on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 12:44:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You hit the nail on the head with this: (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing in American (or any other) economics, politics, or society in general makes sense without understanding the imperative to appear richer, more powerful, more important, and therefore wiser and more moral than others.

        A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

        by marleycat on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 01:56:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  To give credit where credit is due, (14+ / 0-)

    The small number of greedy SOB billionaires who want tax cuts on top of tax cuts, regardless of their effects on the wider economy, made a very wise investment: they purchased one of our two major political parties lock, stock and barrel, and have a significant stake in the other.

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:07:12 AM PDT

  •  Facts and their liberal bias (14+ / 0-)

    And now we see that most people who are in the upper income brackets want to be taxed to make America more financially secure.

    Look at the richest Americans:

    1. Bill Gates - earned his money. Supports higher taxes.
    1. Warren Buffet - earned his money. Supports higher taxes.
    1. Larry Ellison - earned his money. Position unknown to me.

    4-7) The Walton kids. Inherited their money. Against higher taxes.
    8-9) The Koch brothers. Inherited their money. Against higher taxes.

    People who created jobs and wealth are willing to pay for a country where the next generation can do the same.

    People who inherited their wealth think of themselves as superior and think only of how to retain their gains.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:07:43 AM PDT

    •  Ellison (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      http://sfist.com/...

      $3 Million Tax Cut for Poor Larry Ellison

      Encourage others to register! Deadlines coming up fast! http://tinyurl.com/2ck77p http://tinyurl.com/28sykel

      by shpilk on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:41:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's interesting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle, koNko

        But it does appear that Ellison took quite the bath on his mansion. $200M spent, worth $65M - even for Larry Ellison, $135M has got to hurt.

        It also doesn't really say what his politics are.

        Open Secrets says his donations are largely to Democrats:

        Reid, Boxer, Howard Berman, Eshoo.

        On the other hand $14k to the RNSC.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:46:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You forgot Steve Jobs (0+ / 0-)
      Cheap Bastard.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:28:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Proof (0+ / 0-)
        In case anyone wants to argue, is here.

        Jobs is famously cheap when it comes to charities and progressive (or any) causes, think about that the next time you buy an iWhatever.

        Dude needs to retire, bolt some friggin license plates on his Mercedes, stop sending his private police force to harrass bloggers, stop pulling strings at the D.A.'s office and donate a few bucks to a good cause.

        Steve, your karma sucks.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:45:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Damn, I almost forgot. (0+ / 0-)
      Q: What's the difference between Larry Ellison and GOD?

      A: GOD doesn't think he's Larry.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:30:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  a trifecta! (7+ / 0-)

    gruener, the poll cited by mcjoan below and linda mcgibney.

    guess it's just the waltons, after all.

    Die with your boots on. Gonna try? Well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

    by Cedwyn on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:07:54 AM PDT

    •  See my comment (9+ / 0-)

      Those who inherit their wealth feel entitlement.

      Those who worked to create their wealth don't.

      Spoiled brats crying "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH"! That's the Walton's and Koch's contribution to American politics.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:10:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ironic that those who claim (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn

        "I made it, it's mine and I wanna keep it"...actually didn't make it.

        But then again, my views on taxes is that taxes are what we chip in to be part of a group that agrees to common rules. If you have shit, your taxes keep other people from hitting you with a stick and taking your shit. If you don't want to chip in your share to the group, then don't be surprised when someone hits you with a stick and takes your shit.

        I 'ship Obama/America. OTP

        by athenap on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 06:44:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No brainer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    x, Judge Moonbox, Calamity Jean

    the only practical legitimate issue raised by those who argue for extending the cuts is the uncertainty.  Yes investors and business owners want an idea of what to expect, tax wise, as they raise or deploy capital.

    So, let's have a vote, end the uncertainty, support Obama's plan for preserving the tax cuts for under earners under $250K

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:08:53 AM PDT

    •  make it higher even.. say $500k (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333, Eiron

      or even a million.

      One could legitimately argue that a business owner making $250k is right at the margin of needing all the cash he can have to properly run his business.  (I'm not sure how many fall into that category, but thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) is not unreasonable.)

      But when an individual who owns a business and is making over $500k in profit decides to run an S-Corp business to avoid corporate taxes, well tuff shit.  

      Make the cut-off higher and you avoid the bogus arguments.  Or.. even better.. make the rates higher only on income over those cut-offs.

      There's gotta be a compromise there.. but no one is dealing.  And, it seems to me, for all their caterwauling, the Dems really don't want those taxes raised.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:26:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Net income? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eiron, Skeptical Bastard

        I'm assuming that the $250K is AFTER all expenses, salaries, and so forth.  That does make a difference.  But I get your point.

        And I believe those rates ARE marginal, so that the higher tax rates would apply only to income above $250K or whatever.  

        •  whatever the proper terminology is.. (0+ / 0-)

          As I understand it.. With partnerships and S-Corps, any profit left unspent on expenses, costs of doing business, etc.. at the end of the year is considered personal income... it passes through.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:43:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  asdffddsf (0+ / 0-)

        Or.. even better.. make the rates higher only on income over those cut-offs.

        We already have marginal rates, meaning that's what happens now!

        Say you're at $250,010. You pay whatever the taxes would be on the $250,000 then you're taxed at the "high" rate only for that last $10 so raising that tax rate by 3% would only result in 30cents more in taxes. Further more if this page is right tweaks to the lower brackets would mean that the amount paid on the first $250,000 would actually go down meaning that up to $270,533 they'd actually see a decrease.

    •  I don't get the uncertainty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      There was a guy on NPR friday making the same complaint, a "small business" owner with a 200+ location restaurant franchise. He said that until the tax issue was resolved he did not want to open any new restaurants but it seems pretty simple to me, if the new restaurant is going to increase your profit you open it and the only thing that changes is amount of said profit  you get after taxes not whether it is profitable or not. Now let's say I'm wrong and that 3% income tax somehow effects if a restaurant is profitable or not, the asshole can still do calcs on the higher rate and make his decision on that instead of being oh so dreadfully paralyzed then if he gets his take break it's free bonus money! I see his uncertainty talk as more of a way to punish the little people for even daring to think about raising his taxes, "don't even discuss a tax raise because us poor little businessmen won't be able to function with that mean and nasty uncertainty so we'll have to just shut everything down"

  •  Clearly Mr. Gruener is a DFH welfare state (5+ / 0-)

    supporter who doesn't fully understand that trickle down economics will cure all that ails this floundering country of ours.

    Politics determines who has the power, not who has the truth. - Paul Krugman

    by blueyescryinintherain on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:10:06 AM PDT

  •  I'm not rich, but I'm willing to pay more taxes (13+ / 0-)

    if it meant better services all the way around for education, health care and infrastructure.

    When I went to Canada over the summer and saw their transportation system, clean cities and bi-lingual highly educated citizens who are healthy because of good health care provided...I would be willing to pay a lot more than I do now.

    Just stopping the damn wars though— along with the defense budget...and we could have a whole lot more here.

    As it is, we are almost third world.

    "The Public Option = Peace of Mind for all Citizens."      -- R.L.

    by Canaryinthecoalmine on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:11:18 AM PDT

  •  Lower taxes are not the solution... (8+ / 0-)

    ...to our problems, lower taxes are the problem.

    We are so used to the Laffer Curve argument, echoed by the media and wingnut sources, that no one questions the validity of the argument.

    Fortunately, we are now beginning to see a bunch of rich folks say that they see higher taxes as a solution, not a problem.

    •  Supply Siders ignore the Laffer Curve. (5+ / 0-)

      In the early days of the Reagan era, Supply Side economists argued that there was a point where further tax increases burdened the economy so much that tax revenues actually fell. I can be persuaded that the Reagan tax cuts brought about the 1980s prosperity, although I think it was more due to the stimulus of the ultra-Keynesian deficit and the de-monopolization of the economy.

      After George Aitch Bush and Bill Clinton raised taxes, the economy grew for 10 straigh years.

      Supply Siders should have found a way to demonstrate that the economy was still overtaxed, or admit that it wasn't. Instead, they took the absurd position that ANY tax cut will increase government revenues, as if abolishing all taxes will make so much money just drift into the government's nets that we won't know what to do with it.

      Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

      by Judge Moonbox on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:34:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Prosperity in the 80s? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox

        Middle class incomes were flat.  Interest rates were insane (my brother's first mortgage was at 18%).  Payroll taxes increased.  True that we came out of the stagflation of the 70s, but I think a lot of us were better off going into that decade than coming out of it.

        •  Illusion beats reality. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marc in KS

          Middle class incomes were flat.  Interest rates were insane (my brother's first mortgage was at 18%).  Payroll taxes increased.  True that we came out of the stagflation of the 70s, but I think a lot of us were better off going into that decade than coming out of it.

          All valid points, but the Reaganites were able to spin it in ways that convinced people that things really were better.

          Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

          by Judge Moonbox on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:13:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This was incredible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, sherlyle, conlakappa

    Conservatives want to make the ceiling as high as possible, Liberals want to make the floor as high as possible. - Andrew Hunt

    by paddykraska on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:15:19 AM PDT

  •  After a Lifetime of Striving (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, Marc in KS, sherlyle, conlakappa

    Now within sight of retirement in just a few more years, our household has finally clawed its way past that $250000 threshold. When the cut for the top marginal rate expires, a few percent of our income will be taxed slightly more.  It will have virtually no effect on us.  If we were making more it would take a larger bite, of course, but, practically speaking, would probably have less effect on our actual daily lives.

    But if all the Bush tax cuts expire, we'll feel a much bigger bite, along with everyone else.

    "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you." Billy Wilder 1906 - 2002

    by LeftOfYou on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:15:41 AM PDT

    •  We ARE feeling a bigger bite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333

      and will increasingly feel it over time, if we don't find a sensible and moral way to close the deficit. One way or another, we're going to have to pay for those unsustainable tax cuts, be it in higher taxes, lower government services, or a permanently depressed economy. When potholes remain unrepaired and schools are shut down, costing people more in car repair bills and transportation expenses, how is that--not to mention the quality of life cost--less of a "bite" than paying higher taxes?

      Nothing is free. We're all going to pay, one way or another. Only wingnuts believe in magic.

      "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

      by kovie on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:22:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you make over $250K a year, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle, Virginia mom, conlakappa

      the increase in taxes is on the order of *$300 for every $10,000 over that $250K*.

      Imagine, three hundred dollars out of ten thousand. Who couldn't easily pay that, if one is already making $250K/yr?

      Encourage others to register! Deadlines coming up fast! http://tinyurl.com/2ck77p http://tinyurl.com/28sykel

      by shpilk on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:39:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what I wish more people understood: (0+ / 0-)

      the increased marginal tax rate means that you only pay increased taxes on the part of your income over $250k (and that's after deductions).  

      This is not going to hurt people except those who have the majority of their income above $250k: the very rich, not folks like you.

      Good comment.

  •  Warren Buffet was (9+ / 0-)

    quoted recently as saying that, "there is indeed class warfare in this country, and my class (the very wealthy) is winning."  He supports letting the Bush tax cuts expire!!

    Reporting from Tea Bagger occupied America

    by DrJohnB on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:16:31 AM PDT

    •  He has also limited his kids inheritance (0+ / 0-)

      And pushed them to work for a living. Not that they live in poverty, but his values seem to be pretty sensible.

      BTW, Buffet and Gates are on a trip to China to meet with a group of Chinese millionaires to donate 1/3 of their income to charities and probably stand a good chance to convince quite a few because they are very well-respected here.

      Gates is actually kind of a folk hero for young entrepenurs here.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 10:15:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To have a secure, prosperous and free society (7+ / 0-)

    --which I think nearly every American across the ideological spectrum agrees we should have--we need government to do various things to make it possible. We can disagree on what these things should be, and how they're done, but that we need them is beyond reasonable debate. E.g. a military to protect our borders and legitimate interests, a justice system to protect us from criminals, a social safety net to not only protect people from misfortune (or their own foolishness) but to protect society itself from the unfortunate (or foolish), etc. And to do these things, government needs MONEY. And to get this money, government needs to TAX people and companies, sufficiently to cover its expenses. And since the rich have the most money, it's the rich who should be taxed more.

    Why is this such a hard concept for people to wrap their heads around, especially seeing as that the theory of tax cuts that pay for themselves has been repeatedly shown to be bunk, except in certain specific situations which do not apply at present?

    The rich should be taxed more because they make and have more, and disproportionately benefit from what government does (or do those roads build and maintain themselves and those shipping lanes stay safe and passable all by themselves?).

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:17:04 AM PDT

  •  One of the easiest things to do... (4+ / 0-)

    ...is to say "tax me more" when your basic needs and desires would still be met a billion times over.

    "Don't do vibrato. It'll come naturally when you're old and shakey." - Miles Davis (from his music teacher)

    by dov12348 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:20:25 AM PDT

  •  My last (latest) diary (3+ / 0-)

    Dear Madame Speaker: Please raise my taxes ... talking about how lucky circumstances might (MIGHT) push my household above that $250k level and, well, if so, we should pay our fair share to support our society.

    It is time to end the Bush Tax Increases on the Unborn. (Which is the right title rather than "Bush Tax Cuts" -- it was just shifting the burden to others.) Or, well, we could call these the Bush Wealthy Subsidy Tax Increases on Working Americans.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:22:06 AM PDT

  •  The Days of Reagan Voodoo Economics are over (8+ / 0-)

    The media (and DC politicians especially) need to wake up to that fact. Reaganomics was based on smoke, mirrors, and wishful thinking. Sound economic policy it is not. Tax cuts on wealth does not spur job growth, it does not spur economic growth of any kind.

    Henry Ford knew how to grow his business: through innovation and fair labor practices. He knew that the money he put in the hands of his worker bees would come back to him eventually, and it did.

    It's sad to think about... one of the most forward-thinking businessman in America died decades ago. Now we're left with people like the Waltons, who nickel and dime their employees every chance they get, and who bully their suppliers into bankruptcy (or China).

    No more handouts for the rich, they don't need any!! If you give any handouts, give it to the poor and the working class. Because they'll turn right around spend it on things they need! A new washer or dryer... new shoes for the kids... whatever! That's what moves the economy!

    I'm no economist, but it's still plain as day to me! How can so many so-called smart people miss it? Are they out-thinking themselves?

    •  Better tell this to President Obama, who (0+ / 0-)

      still claims to admire Reagan and whose policies still embrace Reagan's fraudulent supply-side economics. For example, Obama's stimulus was thirty-three percent tax breaks for businesses and zero percent direct government hiring of the unemployed, as the WPA was. Our biggest problem, as it always has been, is politicians like Barack Obama who take bribe money from the bad guys and then do their dirty work for them at our expense.

      As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

      by Wom Bat on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:37:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was certainly naive of the Obama admin. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Virginia mom

        to make concessions to the recalcitrant Republican bloc to get some votes... votes that, regardless of the concessions, never materialized.

        But let's not lose sight of the fact that many of the shortcomings of the stimulus bill were concessions, not Obama's original plans.

        •  Obama keeps making (0+ / 0-)

          "concessions" to Republicans that look more to me like excuses for his conservative policies. The WH team can't possibly believe Goopers will ever cooperate with Obama, regardless of what he does.

          As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

          by Wom Bat on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:12:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Republican Party is a party of subversives (5+ / 0-)

    caring not a wit for the public good. Fear, hatred and bigotry rule their world. Any claim to the contrary is bunk.

    •  Their idea of the 'public good' is (4+ / 0-)

      that what's best for the corporations and those who have power is best for all.

      Individuals who happen to be crushed in process of this paradigm do not matter.

      The 'fear, hatred and bigotry' part are the necessary inducements to make the hoi polloi vote against their own best interests.

      Encourage others to register! Deadlines coming up fast! http://tinyurl.com/2ck77p http://tinyurl.com/28sykel

      by shpilk on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:35:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Garrett Gruener has it right! (4+ / 0-)

    Glad to see this! We've forgotten the old saying "no man is an island." We're all better off with a functioning economy and with a nation that has good infrastructure. Things can only improve if we get rid of the dog-eat-dog attitude and realize we're all in this together.

    As for the previous post - 2/3rds of those making over $250,000 don't want to extend the Bush tax cuts for themselves? Wow. Just goes to show you that the people screaming the loudest are not necessarily representative of the people they claim to represent.

    http://www.SincereJobs.com

    by Lynnehs on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:31:00 AM PDT

  •  What the bigger discussion is (3+ / 0-)

    the tension between who is better situated to make decisions about the future: government or corporations.

    Reagan's mantra that 'government is the problem', and those nine most terrifying words

    'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

    set the distinction between Democrats and Republicans, more generically between 'socialists' and 'libertarians' ..

    Who is better suited to make decisions about the future?

    People who are elected to office by the votes of people in a democratic society, or Star Chambers of rich powerful corporate lobbyists, insiders and wranglers?

    Sure, there are Democrats who side with the Star Chamber: we call the worst of them DINOs and Blue Dogs. But generally, there's a dividing line between the two parties now that truly is at the core socialism - government by and for the people, and libertarianism, which is rule by the rich, the oligarchy.

    Encourage others to register! Deadlines coming up fast! http://tinyurl.com/2ck77p http://tinyurl.com/28sykel

    by shpilk on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:33:01 AM PDT

  •  This is the time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle

    to put trickle down out of our misery.

    Taxes are the price we pay for modernity. Even rich people benefit from better infrastructure and a thriving middle class.

    What the Ayn Randians missed in the equation is the possibility of the working class "going Galt." What happens if we cancel Cable TV & stop buying crap we don't need? We can dry up their cash flow to a trickle.

    I am tired of them. They bore me. Let them hump their money. They won't get another dime of mine if I can help it.

    There is a New Generation rising, & things are gonna change.

    And kudos to the rich folks who get it. I'm really glad to see them speaking up.

    These are remarks that verge upon the personal. via James Wolcott

    by x on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:37:31 AM PDT

  •  Bill Gates has also jumped on the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle
    "Tax Me More" bandwagon according to HuffPo.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com

    Indict, convict, imprison. "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

    by incognita on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:40:34 AM PDT

  •  Paying higher taxes is self-interest... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, Calamity Jean

    This is what I try to explain to some of these weird libertarians, who typically have incomes in the $30K-$80K a year range, or less :p

    Of course evading taxes is ultimately in a given individual's self interest, i.e. becoming a free-loader, but if you disregard the freeloaders, and the fact that reaping the benefits that other people pay for while not paying yourself is obviously the most self-interested thing to do, it is ultimately in the self-interest of the wealthy to pay higher taxes.

    This is quite easy to demonstrate.

    Let's say that we all paid lower taxes, and as a result the government went bankrupt. Who would stand the most to lose? Clearly the wealthy. The homeless guy is still going to be homeless, he loses nothing. The poor don't have far to fall. The richer you are the more you have at stake.

    Let's say that we just cut spending, and don't raise taxes. In order to balance the budget we'd have to cut so much that again, the wealthy would be hurt the most. We'd have to cut basically more than 25% of the budget to balance without raising taxes.

    The reality is that the wealthy benefit greatly from government and the stability it provides. With the decline of America the wealthy of the wealthy would decline rapidly, and if mass poverty took hold, revolution would be on the march and its always the rich that lose their heads.

    Th wealthy receive by far the most benefits from society, obviously. Just take a billionaire and put him/her on a desert island by himself and that's what he/she would be like without society. Clearly, the wealthier you are, the more you benefit from society. The poorer you are, the closer you are to your existence as an individual on a desert island without society.

    The wealthy receive the greatest benefits and thus deserve to pay the most. Not only do they deserve t pay the most, but its actually in their best interest to do so.

    The wealthy may remain relatively more wealthy without contributing, but in absolute terms they would be less wealthy. In other words, without contributing they may have 100,000,000 more wealth than the average person, and with contributing they may have only 100,000 more wealth than the average person, but in a society where the average is high, the people at the top are better off in real terms, i.e. a king 1,000 years may have been more wealthy compared to his countrymen than a billionaire today, but he surely had a lower standard of living.

  •  Economy Did Well Under Clinton Because ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle

    the world community saw that we were willing to make the hard choices to keep the government somewhat solvent. Government fiscal responsibility and stability resulted in increased consumer confidence which let to job growth, investment, etc.

    It was so effing simple and straightforward that only Republicans could not grasp it.  

  •  I'm Not Rich, Tax Me More (0+ / 0-)

    My wife and I live a comfortable life.  We do not meet the $250,000 cut-off for rich which has been set in this debate.  However, we want our children to do better than we have done, or at least as well as we have done.  We have provided them with a good upbringing and no debt from college.  What we need to provide them with now is an economy that allows them to earn their way to the comfortable life that my wife and I have.  We cannot do that with the crushing debt that the national government now has.  Count both me and my wife in the 15% who thinks that all the tax cuts need to expire to get this country back on the right track.  We can afford the $3,000 per year that our taxes would go up.  It means we will go to Hawaii every four years rather than every to years.  It's just the right thing for all of us in the baby boom generation to do.  Please Democratic Congress, let the tax cuts and let the estate tax stay where it is.  All you have to do to accomplish the thing that will cut the defecit the most is do nothing.  Please, do nothing.

  •  The only VALID criticism of taxing the rich... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333

    is that we're defining 'rich' as over $250,000, the same definition as it was in 1996 -- even though, $250,000 isn't as much as it was in 1996.

    Today, two married professional civil servants can earn over $250,000 and surely aren't rich.  It's plain wrong to consider two married professional civil servants in the same category as millionaires.

    I think the case for more tax brackets is due but may be a fight worth fighting another day.

    Jan 20, 2009 -- I got my country back.

    by jpeskoff on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:46:35 AM PDT

    •  Yes they are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chimes of Freedom

      My wife and I make around $200,000 per year.  We're rich.  Really, trust me, an extra $3,000 hasn't made a difference in our lives over the past ten years and it won't make a difference if we don't have it for the rest of our lives.  On that salary, we live in one of the 200 richest communities in the nation, we drive new, nice cars (though they are a Subaru and a Hyundai) we sent both of our daughters to private colleges where they graduated with no debt and for which we have no debt.  We are lucky enought to have my wife's employer who provides us excellent insurance, as would two civil servants.  We've vacationed in Hawaii a number of times and this year are able to attend three family weddings in Pa., NC and Fla.  Our retirement is well set out.  When our mortgage is paid off and we are able to retire, we will basically have the same income that we now have.  Our only debt is the mortgage.  We live well, but not extravagantly.  So can two civil servants earning $250,000 or more if they plan right.  If they've blown their money, well they deserve what they get.  This return to sane tax levels (and if you read above you will know that I think the Democrats should let all the tax cuts expire, even for me)is the one thing we can do for our children which will help them more than any amount of money we could leave them in our estate (which by the way we don't plan to do).

  •  rates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, Chimes of Freedom

    Given the fact that the higher marginal rates under Clinton didn't stop record job creation,

    Actually, the rates under Clinton were still very low.  High rates--in my mind, appropriate rates, were last seen under Ike--91%--and that didn't seem to hinder growth.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:46:44 AM PDT

    •  Yes, but... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melvynny, milton333, talismanlangley

      the 91% was also for those making over $250,000.  $250,000 in 1960 was indeed rich.  Not so, in 2010.

      Having a bracket that starts at $250K and goes on unchanged to infinity is a bad tax-code.  There should be more gradations.

      Jan 20, 2009 -- I got my country back.

      by jpeskoff on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:50:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        We should also eliminate the hedge fund manager's sweet treatment--the destructive bastards need to pay a higher bracket, not a lower one.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:03:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely!!! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, talismanlangley

          It's unconscionable that the billionaire pays 15% while his driver pays 36%.  

          Worse, is people who are supposed to be on our side, like Chuck Shummer, who scuttled fixing this loop hole.

          Jan 20, 2009 -- I got my country back.

          by jpeskoff on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:07:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  money (0+ / 0-)

            I'm guessing that Schumer gets rewarded by his fellow New Yorkers.  Both sides are whores-- not good.

            Apres Bush, le deluge.

            by melvynny on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:12:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Stop the Hyperbole (0+ / 0-)

            His driver doesn't pay 36% in Federal Taxes, even if he works in NYC.  The top rate is 35% and you don't get there until you make over $372,950.  Unless the driver makes more than $67,900 he pays the same rate as his boss, 15%.  Not that I think the boss shouldn't pay more.  I think he should.  But let's get the facts right and not stoopthe the hyperbole of the right.

            •  W. Buffett disagrees: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              milton333

              Buffett blasts system that lets him pay less tax than secretary

              Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion (£26 billion), said: "The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent."

              Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent.

              Jan 20, 2009 -- I got my country back.

              by jpeskoff on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:31:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  don't have to be a hedge fund manager (0+ / 0-)
          to get that "sweet treatment."  Taxpayers in a multitude of industries take advantage of "carried interests", but you usually don't hear about it because the dollars aren't as large.
            Nor does being a hedge fund manager guarantee you'll get "sweet treatment."  One doesn't just wave a magic wand to get that just because they're a hedge fund manager.

          My Karma just ran over your Dogma

          by FoundingFatherDAR on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 10:13:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  There are basically two types of rich people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle

    Those that have the insight to see how their good fortune can enhance the society in its entirety. (I know, how Karl Marx of them).

    The others are the greedy bastards, that echo the conservative mantra... I HAVE MINE SO SCREW YOU !!!!

    Each of these values were learned in kindergarten. Remember the kids that wouldn't share??

    "Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical criminal" -- Logical Song -- Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson

    by Over50Lib on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 08:50:10 AM PDT

  •  WATB Stein gets his ass (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric0125, talismanlangley

    These are remarks that verge upon the personal. via James Wolcott

    by x on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:01:01 AM PDT

  •  Really give them something to fear (0+ / 0-)

    Raise the capital gains tax to 30% and for income tax, an over a million bracket of 50%, and over 10 million of 75%.
    If we raised the inheritance tax to 50% over 2 million and 95% for stocks and nonproductive real estate (nonfarm) held at time of death in excess of a value of 10 million dollars, we would force their heirs to become more productive members of society.
    With that money we could guarantee free higher education, comfortable retirement, health care and work with a living wage for all.
    Fascist Capitalism is floundering and sure to fail as sure as Fascist Communism did. But they sure want the rest of us to suffer for their defeat.

    Nationalize America! End Privatization!

    He-he-heh, Straw Man wants to put the fear of Straw Men in them.

    •  We can't afford to lower Estate Taxes (0+ / 0-)

      As your proposal would do.  Next year, there is a one million dollar exemption at death.  The excess gets taxed at 50% and if they want to do gerenration skips (Leave money to their grandchildren) there's an additional tax of 45% on the 50% left.  Why not just do nothing and let it stay there?  Why would we want to raise the exemption?  All the Dems have to do is nothing.

  •  sorry but, the "not fair" argument works (0+ / 0-)

    if you make 19000 a year and pay 10%, you pay 1900

    if you make 190000 a year and pay 10%, you pay 19000.

    so the person making 190000 a year pays more tax, so it's not fair to lower the rate on the 19k without lowering on the 190k.

    this argument gets a lot of traction.  I personally have talked to people who think what I've outlined is exactly right.

    never mind that you can't live on 19k a year, it's "not fair".

    really, this argument holds water for people not making 190k.

    big badda boom : GRB 080913

    by squarewheel on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 09:59:12 AM PDT

  •  I hate the top 2% meme (0+ / 0-)
    If you're a household making $250k AGI, you shouldn't be in the same tax bracket as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and Paris Hilton, etc.  $250k in income is a dual professional income household, and usually results from years of education and training (and is often diminished by significant student loan payments).  

    Maybe you're making the rhetorical point at $500k.  Maybe $1 million.  But it seems ridiculous to put two dentists into the same income category as billionaires.  It always strikes me as counterproductive to our message on progressive taxation.

    Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

    by milton333 on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 10:32:19 AM PDT

  •  This seems like a good time and place (0+ / 0-)

    to illustrate the concept of ability to pay. Let's look at exactly what is being proposed for the federal income tax rate structure. For the sake of brevity I will limit this to married couples filing jointly.

    The two tax cuts passed during George W Bush's first term, in 2001 and 2003, created the following tax brackets:

    10.0% on taxable income from $0 to $14,000        
    15.0% on taxable income from $14,000 to $56,800  
    25.0% on taxable income from $56,800 to $114,650  
    28.0% on taxable income from $114,650 to $174,700
    33.0% on taxable income from $174,700 to $311,950
    35.0% on taxable income over $311,950

    Prior to 2001, the brackets looked like this:

    15.0% on taxable income from $0 to $43,850      
    28.0% on taxable income from $43,850 to $105,950
    31.0% on taxable income from $105,950 to $161,450
    36.0% on taxable income from $161,450 to $288,350
    39.6% on taxable income over $288,350  

    Keep in mind that the income cut-offs themselves are indexed, and therefore they creep upward a little bit every year. The brackets for 2010 are these:

    10.0% on taxable income from $0 to $16,750      
    15.0% on taxable income from $16,750 to $68,000  
    25.0% on taxable income from $68,000 to $137,300
    28.0% on taxable income from $137,300 to $209,250
    33.0% on taxable income from $209,250 to $373,650
    35.0% on taxable income over $373,650        

    What we're talking about doing here is letting that top marginal rate of 35% return to the Clinton-era rate of 39.6% (still quite low, historically speaking). If all other values remain constant, the effect on a couple earning, for example, $500,000 per year would be as follows:

    the difference between $500,000 and $373,650 = $126,350
    current top marginal rate: 35% on $126,350 = $44,222.50
    proposed top marginal rate: 39.6% on $126,350 = $50,034.60
    for a net increase of $5,812.10

    We're talking, in this example, about having a couple with half a million of taxable income pay additional tax of $5,812.10. That's 1.16% of their taxable income.

    To raise an additional $5,812.10 in tax revenue, somebody has to pay more tax. Who can best afford to pay that additional tax? The answer would appear to be self-evident. Who has benefited the most financially from living and working in this society? Who has gained the most from their use of the Commons? Again, self-evident.

    Tax bracket data are from The Tax Foundation - http://www.taxfoundation.org

    workers of the world, unite
    -8.75, -7.03

    by Chimes of Freedom on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 11:36:13 AM PDT

  •  I said this 4 weeks ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    If you refer to my comment. In brief, I am among those who make >250k per year. A sense of patriotism, fair play and the knowledge that significant government intervention got me to this level compels me to the following sentiment: I don't need the goddamn Bush era tax cuts. It's bad enough that the government subsidizes my energy consuming McMansion. Plus, any decrease in federal tax tends to show up on my local and state tax bill anyway.
      And in response to the poster who doesn't like the '2%' meme, I think it has something to recommend it: Unless the person who makes more than 250,000.00 per year is a wasteful spender, there is something that I do share with Bill gates and Warren Buffet: I am not worried about funding my retirement, mortgage or child's education; and I have more than enough cash reserves to tide me over during emergencies. I think that separates me from the majority of those who are 'middle class' and who do have such worries. In fact, that is about as good a definition of 'rich' as I can come up with: shielded from the ordinary financial worries of the non-rich. It thus seems to me completely logical that we pay a little more to improve the lot of those around us, my strong libertarian leanings to the contrary notwithstanding.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 11:50:30 AM PDT

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