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Do we pass middle class tax cuts for working families and grow the economy? Or do we allow John Boehner to hold middle class tax cuts hostage for millions of Americans so that he can deliver a tax bonus to the wealthiest 2% of Americans?

I say we Democrats fight for what's best for working families. No more political games. No more negotiating with hostage takers.

My proposal is simple:

  1. We extend tax cuts for 100% of Americans, so all income earned up to $200,000 receives a tax cut.
  1. We let the Bush tax cuts for any income earned over $200,000 expire, and avoid a $700 billion addition to the national deficit that we can't afford.

Americans have been clear all along: They don't want more tax cuts for the wealthy that will only add to our deficit, and those fighting for the Bush trickle down tax cuts know it.

John Boehner and the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party are threatening to stop tax relief for the middle class so that the wealthiest 2% of Americans can get their tax cut bonus.

They are trying to bully us into accepting a hostage agreement: If we want to pass the middle class tax cuts, we'll have to swallow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, too.

It's time to send a strong message that we won't be bullied into abandoning what's right for what's expedient.

Sign my letter to Republican leader John Boehner demanding his party stop holding the middle class tax cuts hostage. Instead he should join us, extend the middle class tax cuts, and let the Bush tax cut bonus for the wealthy finally expire.

Last week, John Boehner led House Republicans to defeat a bill to provide unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans. They claimed that we could not afford helping people struggling with unemployment because of the impact on the deficit.

Yet, they are perfectly willing to shoot a $700 billion hole in the deficit to provide a tax cut bonus for the rich.

Economists know that both unemployment benefits for those out of work, and tax cuts for the middle class, are far more likely to help working families and grow the economy than any bonus tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. Bush's trickle down economics failed -- why should we continue them?

If the Republicans are as committed to reducing the debt and protecting regular Americans as they say they are, they'll not stand in the way of this important vote.

Join me in telling John Boehner: We won't let middle class Americans be held hostage by tax cut bonuses for millionaires and billionaires. We will not negotiate with the hostage takers. Click here to cosign my letter now!

This fight will define our future. Please join me in the comments to continue the discussion on this crucial issue.

Originally posted to Jay Inslee on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 10:41 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We have always said (23+ / 0-)

    that America does not negotiate with terrorists. In this case, the hostage-taker is the incoming Speaker. Weepy McOrange should be treated like any other extremist making irrational demands.

    Thanks for all you do, Congressman Inslee. You are one of the very best. I'm glad to have helped with your inaugural campaign.

  •  Reminder - Mr. Inslee is a U.S. Representative (17+ / 0-)

    I'm fortunate to live in his district. And we're fortunate to have him here. Recommended.

    So many stupid people in the world, and me with only two fists.

    by phenry on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 10:45:36 AM PST

  •  How about you just pass the dame tax cut, Jay? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beelzebud, JeffW, msdrown

    Instead of sending Boehner a letter -- just pass the goddamned tax cut already.

  •  The problem is that the American voter has (12+ / 0-)

    not been clear.  Boehner has been clear that he only cares about the rich so if you read the tea leaves, American voters want the rich to have the tax cut.  The problem is that toddlers don't make good decisions especially when they are throwing a temper tantrum(which is what the American public did in the last election).  Let them all expire.  It is the right thing to do for the long term health of our economy.

    "New TSA slogan: can't see London, can't see France, unless we see your underpants."

    by lakehillsliberal on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 10:55:15 AM PST

  •  sounds like somebody we can get behind... (5+ / 0-)

    ...and support. He's a fighter for the working middle class Jane and Joe six packs, folks! Excerpted from his website:

    "As I have done my entire career, I will work with anyone who sincerely wants to move our nation forward. My commitment to advancing the principles that have made America a special place is undiminished by this year's election results. And those principles include creating good paying jobs; building a clean energy economy; making affordable health care a reality for everyone and keeping costs low; equality under the law; protecting the environment; opportunities for educational advancement, and supporting our military men and women and their families."

    Jay Inslee is living proof the Democratic Party is not the party of NO. I think, in Jay Inslee we have a winner! Not a whiner. Now if he can just stop John Boehner from crying his crocodile tears-filled "HELL NO, WE CAN'T" rants he's so (in)famous for. Now that he's (almost) got the Speaker gavel in his hands, maybe Jay can keep him from knocking himself out with it long enough to do the jobs they were sent to Washington to do: Fix America. Create JOBS. Did I say create JOBS?

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 10:58:41 AM PST

  •  I'll sign your letter. (9+ / 0-)

    But I really believe that this ball is in President Obama's court.

    I hope folks are sending their thoughts to the White House as well (and of course, to their own representatives).

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 10:58:58 AM PST

  •  From Jay (18+ / 0-)

    First, if my responses are a bit delayed it is because our power is down here in Seattle so we have to employ smoke signals.  We sure appreciate people's interest and commitment to this issue because it is an absolutely fundamental concern, both to the US economy and to what is happening in our society today.  Jay

  •  Reid/Pelosi need a simple strategy: first - (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, msdrown, roadbear, wordfiddler

    tax cut for the first $200k/$250k approved for all Americans.

    second - Unemployment insurance extension approved in both chambers,

    third - the Senate approves the START Treaty,

    then and only then will extending tax cuts for the wealthiest be brought to the floor for a vote (heck throw in that Dems won't filibuster since all they need is 51 votes to defeat it - they have them don't they?).

    Such a strategy would be simple and easy for my 4th grader to come up with and implement, but our elected leaders can't seem to find their our rears!

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:09:52 AM PST

  •  Let them all expire (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, elwior, Deep Texan

    That is the best policy at the moment. It will help us deal with our deficit issue and improve the international bond market's view of US Treasury securities. If we are lucky both the Dems and the repugs won't comprimise and all the tax cuts will expire.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:10:02 AM PST

    •  The international bond market (0+ / 0-)

      Seems to love US debt.  Our interest rate on long-term Treasury bills is so low that, as Atrios has noted, it's criminal we're not borrowing giant piles of money and using it on stuff that will build our economy.

      "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." RIP Senator. We miss you.

      by libdevil on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:09:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in the 1st CD, (9+ / 0-)

    and I canvass a lot. Part of the problem is that people don't understand that rescinding tax cuts for zillionairs won't punish them. "They'll come for us next!" (You might recognize this argument from a recent initiative that lost pitifully a couple of weeks ago.)

    My point is that we have to get people to understand how much these tax cuts really hurt the middle class -- tax cuts that have been supported by right wing propoganda for 30 years. John Boehner is riding on a base that is well trained to respond to anti-tax memes, and Fox is shouting reinforcement from televisions 24/7.

    We can't back down from this issue -- but we have to do something about the narrative if we're going to be successful.

    Please donate to HEAL Africa, and support HR4128.

    by rb137 on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:14:21 AM PST

    •  Narrative (10+ / 0-)

      We hear you big time when it comes to a narrative.  Here are two -

      Americans believe in the basic principle of fairness.  What I am proposing, is fair, a tax cut for 100% of Americans.  But it is patently unfair to give a millionaire's bonus that will do almost nothing to create jobs, just give an additional $30,000.  The increasing disparity of income in our country, hardly justifies such a bonus. This is not disrespectful of the entrepreneurs and genius who have done so much, and as a result have done so well.  Neither is it envy.  It is a simply recognition of two economic facts.  First tax cuts for the middle class are much more productive at increasing demand during a recession.  Second, the massive extent of the deficit demands we come to grips with it, the most obvious and inarguable fair options are not to perpetuate the millionaires bonus which had its origin in the failed policies of President Bush.  

  •  Bush Tax Plan = Failure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, JeffW, elwior

    Bush Junior's economic policies led us into the worst economy since the Great Depression.

    Why retain ANY of Junior's schemes? Dump them all and start over with rational policies that help build an equitable, strong America. The tax plan in this diary sounds exactly right.

    Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

    by Otherday on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:14:34 AM PST

  •  My concern... (9+ / 0-)

    ...here is that thanks to Blue Dogs/conservadems/fear, Dems haven't put pressure on Boehner. IOW, the only reason he's trying to hold tax cuts hostage is because every indication is that it's the right strategy for him to pursue in order to get what he wants, which is to be re-elected and cut taxes on high earners.

    If he felt that Dems were going to put pressure on him and hold him responsible for his actions, he very well might cave.

    I realize that's what you're trying to do, and given that you're my Congressman (I recently moved back to the state and live in your district), I'm glad you're fighting the fight, but you're going to need some Democratic allies both in Congress and the WH in order to win it.

    Thanks for fighting this and good luck.

    Watch political video at Daily Kos TV | Twitter: @jedlewison

    by Jed Lewison on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:17:53 AM PST

    •  We have lost our fighting Dems. (0+ / 0-)

      Where the hell are they? I want a Democrat with the fighting spirit of Harry Truman and the good sense of FDR. I'm not asking for a socialist miracle (though it'd be nice), I just want some fighting fucking Democrats.

      Instead we get stern letters and very serious discussion followed by caving and then yelling at the base for being pissed about it all.

      Shit...

      Pionta Guinness, le do thoil!

      by surfbird007 on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:45:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh yeah. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    Boehner's totally going to respond to your letter.

    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:18:11 AM PST

    •  Mr. Inslee is a real politician and a democrat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FininWA

      Which is to say, he really and truly belives this is the correct way to address the issue, and that's better than I could probably do.

      However, I seriously doubt Boehner is going to give a rat's ass about ANYTHING a Dem asks for other than tax cuts.

      If the GOP was interested in helping they'd have helped by now.

      It's not going to happen.

      it's better they were just labeled enemies of the state and treated accordingly.

      Sucking up to them is the LAST thing a human being should do.

      America legalized torture before they legalized marijuana.
      Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:04:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, THAT was just rude! n/t (0+ / 0-)

      MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

      by edrie on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 03:44:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Introduce a >$200k bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roadbear

    Representative Inslee,

    You can take away all of the Republicans pretenses by introdocing a parter bill to go along with your proposal.  Pass it in the House, pass it in the Senate, it doesn't matter because it won't make it off the President's desk.  Go ahead and let them vote for tax breaks for "All Americans" (note the quotes).  America wins when the President signs one bill and not the other.

  •  What is really frightening to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, elwior

    Boener is going to be the 3rd most powerful person in America.  Now that is real TERROR!

    " A lot of money is tainted - taint yours and taint mine." Unknown author

    by libbie on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:21:27 AM PST

    •  He is what's behind Door #3 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      That's no way to make a deal.

      America legalized torture before they legalized marijuana.
      Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:49:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        If you thought the threat to President Obama was scary before - with Boehner two heartbeats away from the Presidency...  Let's just say I've been shocked and pleasantly surprised that nobody's gotten a serious attempt on his life yet.  The Secret Service is amazing at their job - I even begin to describe how much I've come to respect them over the last couple years.  At this point, it's the one government institution in which I have the most trust.  I'm sure they'll be on top of it for the next two years also, but that doesn't stop me from worrying.

        "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." RIP Senator. We miss you.

        by libdevil on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:13:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  He'll be 3rd in line for the presidency! (0+ / 0-)

      I'd keep the President and the VP separated as much as possible!

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What to do (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, elwior, roadbear, estreya

    We took a beating on election day, and when that happens it is easy to get back on your heals and get passive.  We need to get on the balls of our feet, get active, alert our emails lists, our friends and family, and exercise our constitutional right to petition the government for a redress of our grievousness.  It would be a huge mistake if we yielded to the senselessness of Bush's economic policies at this moment. Let people know what you think!

  •  go vote (0+ / 0-)

    enough with the propaganda wars. Just fucking vote on the damn bill already.

    Don't fight global warming. Iceberg water is going to make us all rich!

    by jbou on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:36:42 AM PST

  •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, blueoregon, elwior, roadbear, estreya

    Thanks everyone for showing up.  If anyone has some good hot chocolate, a good recipe would do as well, let me know as we try to thaw out here in Seattle.  

    •  Hot Chocolate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoregon

      1.5 T Dutch processed cocoa powder
      1 T sugar
      1 T water

      Mix to a thick paste.  Add 1 cup hot (but not boiling) 2% milk, stir until dissolved.  Enjoy.

      You can adjust the sweetness or the fat content of the milk to taste, make it weaker or stronger, or cook the cocoa/sugar/water paste for a few minutes to deepen the flavors, but that's probably more of a pain than it's worth for a single cup.  If you're making a batch for friends, go nuts.  Dutch processed cocoa is a pretty important factor - you can use regular cocoa powder, but the flavor and texture will be inferior.  (Less chocolaty, more bitter, more chalky.)

      By the way, we mostly post recipes here in response to trolls.  I'm not trying to imply that Congressman Inslee is a troll by replying to his request for a recipe.

      "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." RIP Senator. We miss you.

      by libdevil on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:22:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep pushing, Jay (4+ / 0-)

    Though I have to agree with Jed, it feels like there aren't nearly enough of you with the stomach to really fight this.

  •  TSA wants to grope me (0+ / 0-)

    and I am being held hostage by an orange Boehner.

    This is one screwed up country.

    Obviously, rock and roll is to blame.

    America legalized torture before they legalized marijuana.
    Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:44:36 AM PST

  •  Yikes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, elwior

    I live in your area but we are lucky to still have power.  However, we are not lucky because we have Dave Reichert as our Rep.  Boo-hiss.

    Thank you for coming here to state your position and ask for support.  Hope your power is restored soon - in more ways than one!  We need to beat them at their own game while we still have a chance to do so.  Good luck.  

  •  Please keep up the "hostage" theme (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, elwior, msdrown

    and convince more of you colleagues to promulgate it. Republicans really do employ mobster tactics to take more power and wealth for already wealthy, powerful people. It was true of the Iraq war; it's true of most of their tactics.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 11:59:41 AM PST

  •  My proposal is better. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    Do what is both the best governing and the best politics.

    We let all the tax cuts expire, and for 23 months have every Democrat scream into every microphone s/he sees

    The Republicans raised taxes on middle class Americans because Democrats refused to ruin the economy and our future by giving the wealthy elite bigger tax breaks.

    •  Fails for 1 Very Important Reason (0+ / 0-)

      have every Democrat scream

      Ed Schultz and Alan Grayson are the only 2 who will, and they don't reach enough ears.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:17:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've been kind of surprised at (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      how many middle-Americans I hear applauding your idea.

      seriously - they would rather see those tax cuts for the wealthiest expire, even if it means losing their own.

      Personally, I don't see how it improves the economy, taking that extra several hundred bucks out of the hands of those many many families most likely to spend it.

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:18:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Several hundred bucks in the hands of those (0+ / 0-)

        many many families who most likely spend it improves the economy of China, not the United States.

        We're just spending it on a couple trips to Walmart, or paying down credit cards anyway.  The money would better serve our economy by improving our schools or building better infrastructure or really bailing out Main Street or really helping stem foreclosures or (yes, I'll dare say the 'R' word) redistributing it to the unemployed and poor.  

        •  I don't shop at Walmart. Ever. (0+ / 0-)

          Most recently, I have shopped here

          But that's a whole different topic, isn't it? If a middle-class wager earner were in the market for a new car in 2011, we can only hope s/he would shop American, new or used. We can't force it tho. Without that extra income however, a new/used car purchase will probably be tabled.

          I know people with kids who have enough difficulty just trying to provide their kids with nutritious meals. They say that food stamps bring the best return for the money. I would have to guess that grocery purchases would follow. Unfortunately fresh produce has become an extravagance for all too many families.

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 03:04:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not really how it works. (0+ / 0-)

            You have fallen into their lie.  That's simply not how micro-economic decisions are made.  And even if it is, that's a tiny portion of people.  I'd much rather the government have a chunk of change to create programs that directly help people than hoping for the 'magic hand' to spur people who probably shouldn't be buying new cars into buying new cars and saving us all.

            Putting a few hundred bucks into the hands of someone who can't afford nutritious meals isn't going to put them over the cusp of suddenly being able to afford nutritious meals.  And as an aside, tell your friends who can't afford nutritious meals that they really can't afford to NOT feed their kids nutritious meals.  Fresh food generally tends to be cheaper than packaged, less nutritious food.  

            Yes, where you shop is a different topic.  However, what is not a different topic is the fact that a  huge number of the people I think should receive a minor tax increase do in fact spend a large percentage of their expendable retail dollars at Walmart on crap made in China.

  •  With all due respect, you're lying. (0+ / 0-)

    John Boehner isn't in charge of anything right now.  The hostages have been taken by a handful of conservative Blue Dog Democrats, most of whom won't be in office in January and who hate the President and Speaker Pelosi for their own failures.  The bill would have passed under suspension (with bipartisan support) if those lame duck dogs hadn't voted against it.

    Also - make it $250k.  Why?  Not because it really makes any difference practically, but because that's what President Obama promised.  Now granted, he's not raising taxes on anybody (Pres. W. Bush and the Republican Congress passed the law that included this tax rate increase), but that won't stop the attack ads about his 'broken promise.'  Making the cut-off $50k higher is pretty meaningless, but moves those ads from the 'mostly false' to the 'pants on fire' category when fact-checked.  If you're going to break the campaign promise your President made, do the responsible thing and kill all talk of tax cuts, and put the revenue to work getting us out of this depression.  (Yeah, I know, that's never going to happen.)

    "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." RIP Senator. We miss you.

    by libdevil on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:08:31 PM PST

    •  Um, it's 200K for INDIVIDUALS, 250K for couples. (0+ / 0-)

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:20:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the plan I keep hearing (0+ / 0-)

        But it's not the plan that Rep. Inslee (or his staff) laid out in this diary.  If that's the plan, make the rhetoric match the plan.  If it's not the plan, make it the plan.

        My proposal is simple:

              1. We extend tax cuts for 100% of Americans, so all income earned up to $200,000 receives a tax cut.

              2. We let the Bush tax cuts for any income earned over $200,000 expire, and avoid a $700 billion addition to the national deficit that we can't afford.

        (Emphasis added by libdevil.)

        "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." RIP Senator. We miss you.

        by libdevil on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:29:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  70 billion a year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    so for 2 years it's 140 billion

  •  Yep. And We Haven't Seen Anything Yet (0+ / 0-)

    Most progressives are going to find next year jaw dropping, even the pessimistic ones.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:16:24 PM PST

  •  Tax INCREASE for the middle class (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster
    Thanks to John Boehner and the republicans, the middle class will pay the price in additional taxes if the republicans are able to extend the tax cuts to the wealthiest. Someone will have to make up the difference in loss of revenue or the US will have to borrow more money from China. Either way this is a terrible situation.
  •  Port Angeles here: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    I've corresponded w/ you before on behalf of the late Rev. Charlie Mays, one of your constituents.  I also sent you money on his behalf.

    Dems need to take the tax issue away from repugs in 2012:

    o  <$75k--    0 income tax <br>o  $75-125k-- 10%
    o  $125-200k--20%
    o  $200-400k  30%
    o  $400-1million  40%
    o  over 1 million  50%

    it would bring in the same revenue as revoking all bush tax cuts and give a huge pay increase to those under $250k without causing inflation.

    Also, cut the SS tax to 4% but on all earned income, and keep the medicare 1.45% tax as is [except on all income] but allow those who wish to retire at 62 to pay the old rates on both taxes and give them medicare at 62.

    The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better.

    by Zacapoet on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:54:43 PM PST

  •  I'm willing to give up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, msdrown

    ...the tax cut for people in my income bracket if it means the cuts for those over $250K are allowed to expire.

    But, what people keep missing is this; extension of cuts for people in my income bracket means this tax cut is also extended for the wealthiest, too!

    Their income below $250K is subject to a continued lower tax rate. It's only the income above $250K that will see a new, higher tax rate.

    So, "middle class tax cuts" are actually "tax cuts for all".

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalogue

    by Timbuk3 on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 01:05:28 PM PST

  •  Jay its good to have you back on D-Kos (0+ / 0-)

    This is an excerpt from an Op Ed from Citizens for Tax Justice:

    The Bush Tax Cuts and Small Business pdf

    2. Of the business owners who would pay higher taxes under Obama’s plan, those with the highest incomes cannot be called "small" business owners.

    Republicans in Congress echo NFIB’s talking points by arguing that the very wealthiest business taxpayers are the ones who truly matter in the debate over taxes.

    Former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, while testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, said that he thought the relevant figure was the amount of business income going to those few taxpayers rich enough to pay higher income taxes under the President’s plan. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) projects that next year taxpayers will report a trillion dollars of active business income, and about half of that will go to taxpayers who are in the top two brackets (the brackets for which President Obama and Democratic leaders propose to allow rates to go back up to pre-Bush levels).

    But the business taxpayers who are rich enough to pay higher taxes under Obama’s plan (3 or 5 percent, depending on which figure you use) can’t all be called "small" business owners. They are merely people whose business profits are reported on their personal income tax forms. (This distinguishes these businesses from corporations that pay the corporate income tax.) But the businesses can be huge hedge funds, law firms, newspaper companies or even best-selling authors. They’re not necessarily struggling and they are not necessarily the sort of business people who create very many jobs.

    This becomes obvious when one considers data on total receipts of these "flow-through" businesses (so-called because the income is not taxed at the corporate level but at the individual level under the personal income tax), including S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Most of the total receipts from these businesses are generated by the small minority that have more than $10 million in receipts. This is not to say that large companies are not an important consideration for policymakers. But it’s important to note those business owners who actually would pay higher taxes under the President’s proposal are not likely to be of the "mom and pop shop" variety.

    Clearly the Republicans are making a fallacious argument about tax cuts for wealthy elites helping small business owners. .

    Jay I loved your book, Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy thanks for giving it to me.

    Demand Filibuster Reform call your Senators at (202) 224-3121 -AND KEEP CALLING

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 01:09:48 PM PST

  •  Thanks Cong. Inslee. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster
    Tipped, Recced & signed.

    "Looks like we got ourselves a reader" - Bill Hicks

    by blueoregon on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 01:19:16 PM PST

  •  Here's what to do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster
    Get on the television and say, "The Republicans are going to force us to raise your taxes so that they can further enrich millionaires. If they force a tax increase on ordinary people, we promise you this: all the extra money collected from the middle classes by the Republican Tax Increase will be REFUNDED as soon as the Democratic party is able to do so. See you in 2012!"
  •  John Boehner (0+ / 0-)

    John Boehner is still the minority leader; you don't need his permission to do anything.  You just need a majority of Democratic votes in the house.  If you don't have those, well, then your biggest problem is not John Boehner.

  •  I SAY the Democrats should stop letting (0+ / 0-)

    the republicans control the message, the policy and the debate.

    Where are ALL the democrats on my local news, Philadelphia, or cable news, or op-eds in the major papers?

    Do we pass middle class tax cuts for working families and grow the economy? Or do we allow John Boehner to hold middle class tax cuts hostage for millions of Americans so that he can deliver a tax bonus to the wealthiest 2% of Americans?

    I say
    we Democrats fight for what's best for working families. No more political games. No more negotiating with hostage takers.

  •  Sorry, I won't sign any letter to Boehner. (0+ / 0-)

    Why?  Because it won't make a damn bit of difference to him.  He's gonna do what he's gonna do.  

    Time for the Democrats to STAND UP, Obama first, and do what's right.  Tell the public what we need and why we need it, what you're going to do about it and how you're going to do it.

    If you can't get it done, then tell the public why not and who's to blame.

    You do all that, then you will be amazed at the tremendous amount of support you will get.

  •  you've already lost the argument (0+ / 0-)

    as soon as you validated tax cuts as being helpful.

    you've ceded the issue to the republicans. recent studies of the bush tax cuts have shown them to not been that successful at growing our economy.

    in fact in a low interest rate environment like the one we're in now, tax cuts can cause contractions.  in laymen terms tax cuts will prolong the recovery not help us grow.  that money could be better spent, even if it probably wouldn't be in this current climate.  

  •  Congressman, please read this. (0+ / 0-)

    We both know where this stands - so does everyone here.

    The House will be able to get a bill cutting taxes on the first 200k (or 250k for couples, perhaps) of income.

    And that's as far as it will go, because Republicans in the Senate will filibuster it.  They will groan about "process" and about how "raising taxes on anyone in this economy will kill jobs" and "oh me, oh my" as they always do.

    They are willing to gamble that either the Democrats will do what's right for the economy and NOT allow the middle class rates to rise.  A family of four making $50,000 is looking at a $2,900 increase in 2011 is the cuts expire.

    Or, they are also willing to let them all expire - because that's the end of President Obama.  Their propaganda machine will work overtime in a "Read my lips!" moment to convince America that he broke his promise to not raise taxes on the middle class.

    Think about it: they've been PREDICTING a massive tax increase to pay for "all the liberal spending" for more than a year now.  They've prepared the battlefield quite well, telling their legions, "Just you wait, the huge tax increase is coming!"

    You Democrats have only two ways to play this: try to get a compromise for a temporary extension of all the cuts in exchange for decoupling the top end form the rest, or...

    Start fighting.  From the White House on down.  Pass the tax cuts and frame the message, then fight in a unified manner, with every Democrat on every show at every opportunity arguing that the Republicans are holding tax cuts for the middle class hostage for their millionaire friends.

    It's a helluva gamble, especially for President Obama, who will take a beating on this issue.

    After the taxes increase, the Democrats in House, Senate and the White House should keep putting forth proposals to cut taxes for income up to those 200/250k marks.  The only chance you have of winning this battle of public perception is if you KEEP fighting it right through the year - warning that if these tax cuts are not passed, the piper will have to be paid on April 15, 2012.  Keep introducing those bills and make them retroactive to January 1, 2011.

    Good luck.

    Bob

  •  Boehner's POWER is in Democratic inaction and fear (0+ / 0-)
    There is so much criticism of the repuglys for the fear they spread to maintain control of the american dialogue. But it works. It works because the dems in power are afraid to use the trust the american people gave them. The dems allow these bullies to command the situation, set the strategy and complete the task no matter how damaging to the country. The DEMS are afraid except for Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders.
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