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Even if we disagree on the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, we all agree that no American should pay more taxes on the first $250,000 of their income. So let’s at least agree to do what we all agree on. That’s what compromise is all about. Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy. Let’s skip the unnecessary drama, the needless delays and all the partisan posturing and let’s just do the right thing for the people who sent us here to serve.


This morning President Barack Obama directly took on Mitt Romney and his party's beloved "trickle down" economics in his weekly address, pushing hard for extension of middle-class tax cuts and roundly criticizing the idea of letting the so-called "job creators" off the hook.

We’re still paying for trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefitted the wealthiest Americans more than anyone else; tax cuts that didn’t lead to the rise in wages and middle class jobs that we were promised; and that helped take us from record surpluses to record deficits.

The last thing we need right now is more top-down economics.

Decision time is coming, he said, and the two different approaches are on a collision course. Let the wealthy off the hook—or let the middle class have some relief while still funding necessary programs?
Under my plan, 98% of American families won’t see their income taxes go up at all. But the other 2% of Americans will have to pay a little more in taxes on anything they make over $250,000. In other words, the wealthiest few Americans will go back to the income tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton. And if you remember, that was when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and millionaires were doing pretty well.
Then he brought up the deficit boogeyman, saying "boo!" to the "fiscally conservative" party: "The only place we disagree is whether we keep giving tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Republicans in Washington want more of those tax cuts. With the deficit we have, I don’t think we can afford them."

The full transcript can be found beneath the fold and on the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
July 14, 2012

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been talking with folks across the country about how we’re going to rebuild an economy where if you work hard, you and your family can get ahead.

And right now, there’s a big debate going on in Washington over two fundamentally different paths we can take as a country to do that.

One path – pushed by Republicans in Congress and their nominee for President – says that the best way to create prosperity is to let it trickle down from the top. They believe that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthy, it’ll somehow create jobs – even if we have to pay for it by gutting education and training and by raising middle-class taxes.

I think they’re wrong. We already tried it that way for most of the last decade, and it didn’t work. We’re still paying for trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefitted the wealthiest Americans more than anyone else; tax cuts that didn’t lead to the rise in wages and middle class jobs that we were promised; and that helped take us from record surpluses to record deficits.

The last thing we need right now is more top-down economics. What we need are policies that will grow and strengthen the middle class; that will help create jobs, make education and training more affordable, and encourage businesses to start up and stay right here in the United States.

Soon, we’ll face a choice between these two different approaches. On January 1st, taxes are set to go up for tens of millions of Americans. I think that would be a huge financial hit for middle-class families. That’s why I’ve cut middle-class taxes every year that I’ve been President – by $3,600 for the typical family. And that’s why, this week, I called on Congress to immediately stop the January 1st tax hike from hitting any American on the first $250,000 of their income.

Under my plan, 98% of American families won’t see their income taxes go up at all. But the other 2% of Americans will have to pay a little more in taxes on anything they make over $250,000. In other words, the wealthiest few Americans will go back to the income tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton. And if you remember, that was when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and millionaires were doing pretty well.

The folks in Congress and on the campaign trail who oppose this plan warn that it would somehow hurt small businesses and job creators. Well, they’re completely ignoring the facts.

Under my plan, 97% of small business owners would avoid getting hit with any income tax hike whatsoever. In fact, I’ve cut taxes for small businesses eighteen times since I’ve been President. And just this week, I ordered a series of new steps to help our small businesses grow and hire.

The only place we disagree is whether we keep giving tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Republicans in Washington want more of those tax cuts. With the deficit we have, I don’t think we can afford them.

But even if we disagree on the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, we all agree that no American should pay more taxes on the first $250,000 of their income. So let’s at least agree to do what we all agree on. That’s what compromise is all about. Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy. Let’s skip the unnecessary drama, the needless delays and all the partisan posturing and let’s just do the right thing for the people who sent us here to serve.

And I’m going to keep fighting to make sure we rebuild an economy that rewards work, grows the middle class, and gives new opportunity to those trying to earn their way into the middle class.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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Comment Preferences

  •  its about time to get message straight (5+ / 0-)

    Thom Hartman makes a better case for democrats than the party does

    both parties are beholden to the 1%

    why can't the democrats hand the republicans out to dry for so many issues?

    the filibuster in the senate has cost at least a million jobs

    the republican party is going all out to get rid of Obama and get someone even more supportive of the 1%

    finally as Obama is in trouble, he is making the case

    •  Correcton: "hang out to dry - Republicans" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      palantir

      my post had "hand out to dry"

      sorry

      short summary - All the Republicans have is anti tax and beat Obama

      make that crystal clear

    •  you are right--the Dems have the wrong message. (5+ / 0-)

      Keynesian economics works.  We KNOW it works because it has already worked in the past.

      "The deficit" is just a red herring, thrown around by anti-government zealots who think all government is communistic and who want to eliminate all government spending, whether there is a deficit or a surplus or whatever. When the "solution" to every "problem" is "less government !!!", then the "solution" is not really intended to meet any particular end--it IS the end in and of itself. The Birchers want to cut government spending because they want to eliminate government. Period.

      We should not be playing their game by their rules. Progressives should be the party of INCREASED government spending and INCREASED Keynesian stimulus, not the party of cutting taxes and cutting government spending. Instead, the Democratic Party (and yes, I do realize that the Democratic Party is NOT progressive and hasn't been for decades now) is just mouthing the same basic anti-keynesian economic policy as the Repugs are. We're now the Reagan party of "lower taxes and less government". We're just kinder and gentler about it than the Birchers are.

      •  We used to care about the deficit (0+ / 0-)

        during the Bush administration. What happened with that?

        I still do care about the deficit, but it's one of many pressing problems, and I think it needs to take a back seat to stimulating the economy.

        We still need to deal with it as soon as we can, though.

      •  Lots of Democrats are behind Keynesian (0+ / 0-)

        stimulus. They voted for it in 2009. They still favor it, but have made the political calculation that they can't call it that. Instead, we talk about rebuilding the Middle Class, investing in our future (infrastructure, education, and so on) and fairness.

        Democrats have begin to discover how to talk in language that resonates with people, not in terms that would work in an honest academic debate. The Affordable Care Act is our current best example. The ACA scares Republicans to death, because it shows that government is good for people, and in particular that Democrats are better for people than Republicans are. Democrats are actually running on the ACA, and taking the Republican epithet Obamacare as a badge of pride (even if the NAACP rightly booed Romney for using it as a studied insult to the President and to them).

        We have hard data on this. The public splits 47%-47% on the dreaded Obamacare meme, but supports specific provisions in the law by as much as 80% in some cases. We are now telling the public about people whose lives have been saved by some of those provisions, and about real money being saved by requiring refunds of excessive insurance premiums, by closing the Donut Hole, and by other measures included in the law.

        Republicans claim that the ACA bill was too big. Not, as they claimed, that it had too many pages in it, but too many goodies for the public. In addition to those I mentioned, it supports states in enacting and implementing Single Payer, which Vermont has just done. This is the beginning of the end for the anti-American Right.

        Hands off my ObamaCare[TM] http://www.healthcare.gov

        by Mokurai on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:16:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not true. The President isn't finally just making (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terri, elmo, thomask, SBandini, BarackStarObama

      the case. He has always talked against top down economics. He  has spoken about the Republicans policy of catering to the super wealthy many many many many times. Not because, what you described as, he being in trouble.

  •  Not all of us agree with the $250,000 number (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nailbender, ferg, maryabein

    Most notably the OMB under Peter Orszag  did not, which is a big reason he's no longer there.

    The politics here far outweighs the economics.

    •  nothings going to actually happen with the GOP (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, wsexson

      in charge of the house-- it's all for optics (which isn't a bad idea, as far as it goes)

      •  More than optics: the House GOP is do-nothing ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare

        Not the President.

        He's making a case for doing something everyone can agree on and the public opinion polls support. Is $250,000 a magic number? Not necessarily. Let the GOP come forth with evidence of which job-creating small businesses (which is the constituency they use as a cover for preferring the wealthy) lie in the $250,000 to, say, $500,000 category, and what the impact would be in terms of, gee, creating real jobs in the US ... and we can talk.

        Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:24:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There will be no legislation no matter what (0+ / 0-)

          the GOP house will let anything that might let Obama look good happen, nor will they do anything that might improve the country, because neither of these things are in their self-interest. They literally hate Amaerica.

          And since nothing will happen, and Obama surely knows this, it's optics (unless I've been using that word incorrectly). He's making them look bad, and rightfully so.

        •  $999 a day? (0+ / 0-)

          $999 a day is NOT the middle class.  $250,000.00 a year is WAY too high.  We'll never balance the budget until everyone who can afford it gets back to paying their fare share of taxes.

          We need to let the tax cuts for anyone making more than $50,000 expire.  Period.

          Green is more than an ad slogan. Live Green, vote Green.

          by green in brooklyn on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:25:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  agreed. I think it should be more like $150k. nt (6+ / 0-)

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:26:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dear Mitt & Company, This is policy, not politics. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Janet 707, Icicle68

    We have a deficit, you remind us regularly. One of the ways to help address it is to increase revenues. But the middle class does not deserve higher taxes. The wealthiest, on the other hand, probably won't regard an increase as much more than pocket change.

    The President's proposal is a bona fide attempt to deal with problems - a financial debacle of world-shaking proportions and a huge banking bailout (designed by Mr. Paulson, remember the name?), a moribund economy, two unfunded wars and two huge tax cuts, also unaccounted for - that began with you and your predecessors.

    You prove trickle-down economics whenever you can get around to it and then maybe we can talk about your solutions!

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:09:43 AM PDT

  •  Are these things even viewed by many people? (0+ / 0-)

    Are they still played on AM radio or is it just these web vids? Because last weeks was only viewed 22K times.  

    •  His weekly message sets an agenda for the next (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, Janet 707, cocinero, bewareofme

      ... cycle. These theme(s) get into speeches, sidebar commentaries, talking points for others.

      What's better? No weekly four-plus minutes? I respect a President who actually tries to communicate with the public and does so with substance, rather than shibboleths, generalities and code phrases. (And 80 page books of very little useful detail.)

      Obama isn't the one who's been off signing financial forms as major stockholder, CEO, principal, Chairman of the Board, Chief Whatever ... but not - NOT! Not EVER! - admitting to being a functional Executive with any responsibilities for anything that was done the moment after he said he left office. Come to think of it, isn't that sort of how the whole GOP is now regarding George W. Bush, when he left office - George Who?

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:17:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Saw Madeline Stowe on Ed Show last night...... (8+ / 0-)

    apparently lots of Virginians think that Cantor is a dick......here's to hoping it catches on.

    •  Not just Virginians around the state, who don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      get to vote for or against Cantor, but Virginians in the Seventh District, who do.

      Exclusive Poll: Women’s Health Issues Create Surprising Vulnerability For Eric Cantor’s Reelection Bid

      Think Progress reported yesterday that Eric Cantor is vulnerable in Virginia’s 7th District. According to a new poll, 43 percent of voters would replace Cantor compared to just 41 percent who would re-elect him. His approval rating is a mere 37%. The poll also showed that voters in the District would support a pro-choice candidate over a pro-life candidate by a large margin, 68% to 23%.
      Harrison Hickman conducted the poll.
      Eric Cantor has a 100% rating from the National Right To Life Committee.

      The poll also calls into question Republicans’ scorched earth policy when it comes to working with the Obama administration. Fifty nine percent of voters say they would support a candidate who works with President Obama some of the time compared to just 32 percent of respondents who say they would vote for the candidate who opposes virtually everything proposed by the White House, as Cantor and the rest of the GOP have insisted upon for much of Obama’s first term.

      And asked about Cantor specifically, voters disapprove of his handling of government spending, health care and reigning in the budget deficit, three key issues that Cantor and House Republicans have campaigned heavily on since 2008.

      While Cantor is not among Republicans who are considered at risk by political prognosticators, 43 percent of voters would replace Cantor compared to just 41 percent who would reelect him. Cantor is running against Democratic Wayne Powell, a 30-year army veteran and moderate Democrat who is still relatively unknown in the district.

      Cantor's opponent is Wayne "Not for Sale!" Powell. His campaign strategist, Mudcat Saunders, was on Rachel Maddow recently.

      Hands off my ObamaCare[TM] http://www.healthcare.gov

      by Mokurai on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:26:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Taxes on the very rich (0+ / 0-)

        When has a very rich CEO ever hired a worker with money from his own pocket?  The Republicans call the very rich 'Job Creators', but the very rich don't hire people out of their own pockets.  They hire people with their company's money, when their company needs the extra help when their employees aren't productive enough.  
    The economy has to grow to enable companies to hire more workers, but giving more money to the very rich only takes money out of the economy.  
         Company employeees have made great strides in improving worker productivity, but the actual workers haven't been sufficiently rewarded for their increased productivity.   Their incomes have stagnated while the very rich owners have siphoned off the money that comes with higher productivity.
         Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged hero -- John Galt -- was an ordinary worker with a huge idea for increasing productivity.  Galt knew he wouldn't be rewarded for the idea, so he dropped out and encouraged others to deny the greedy rich owners the fruits of their labor.  Maybe today's workers should take back some of the productivity gains they gave the rich corporate owners.

    •  They ARE job creators... (0+ / 0-)

      maids to clean their homes
      nursemaids for their kids
      gardeners for their lawns
      maybe a chauffeur
        etc.

    •  Supply-side economics denies the foundation of (0+ / 0-)

      economic theory—the law of Supply and Demand. It pretends that we can all become rich by giving the already rich even greater riches, without providing any income to the 99% to buy any of the products of the corporations. No new customers = no new jobs.

      Henry Ford started out paying above-market wages to his engineers and assembly-line workers, for two reasons: Better talent results in better, less expensive product, and workers paid enough to buy the company's product are better than any sales or marketing force. Far too few have ever learned from his example.

      Of course, I am not talking about the later virulently anti-union and anti-Semitic Henry Ford. It is not difficult for a technical and business genius to be a moral idiot. Mitt, of course, is merely a financial typhoon (Thank you, Tommy Smothers) and moral idiot.

      Hands off my ObamaCare[TM] http://www.healthcare.gov

      by Mokurai on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:35:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For the Millions of Americans Who (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stewarjt, wsexson, divineorder

    are UNemployed or underemployed, what good is a tax break??

    I get what you're doing, but you're overlooking the obvious. yes, the tax break (if passed by the deadbeats in congress) applies when you do happen to get a new position, but first things first: MORE JOBS. a tax break is irrelevant if you're about to lose your home

    second: "the GOP aids the wealthy".

    this is news?

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:18:54 AM PDT

    •  The Dems are the party of 'free lunches' as per (0+ / 0-)

      Mitt The Magnificent.

    •  jobs come from customers, not from (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TRPChicago, cocinero, Icicle68

      "job creators."  Ordinary people spend what they have, they don't sock it away in investment income.  If we take more money out of the pockets of people who spend what they have, there will be less business, and even fewer jobs.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

      by SottoVoce on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:34:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Middle Class Customers are "Job Creators" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Icicle68

        When Middle Class Families have disposable income, companies are F_O_R_C_E_D to hire more employees to handle the demands of the consumers.  That is the only time that corporations ever respond to demands of consumers by adding new employees.

        Consumption by the Middle Class drives Employment!

        "As long as Corporations control Government, there is no reason for Government to regulate Corporations!" John Roberts, Citizens United (SNARK)

        by NM Ray on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:02:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yep, that's the part few seem to understand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mokurai

        Even the titans of industry who happily slash the wages of the few employees that they can't automate or outsource do not seem to realize the end result of this.

        The point is best illustrated by a story, perhaps apocryphal, that is told about former UAW union president Walter Reuther.  one day, it is said, Henry Ford took Walter to tour a new prototype Ford factory that was completely automated and had replaced all its workers with robot machines.  As they walked along the rows of whirring and clacking robots, Ford turned to Reuther and triumphantly asked, "Well, Walter, how do you intend to take these robots out on strike?" And Reuther shot back, "Well, Henry, how do YOU intend to get these robots to buy Fords?"

      •  Or send it to the Cayman Islands for safe keeping (0+ / 0-)
      •  The problem about quotations on the Internet (0+ / 0-)

        is that you can't tell who really said them.—Abraham Lincoln. ^_^

        According to Wikiquote, your sig quote is actually from The Peter Principle (1969), p. 69, by Laurence F. Peter and Raymond Hull. Peter attributes the quote to a student of his named Innocente.

        The phrase "putting us on" is not 19th-century or even early 20th-century English or American.

        See also

        One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid. He was renowned for being amazingly clever and quite clearly was so—but not all the time, which obviously worried him, hence the act. He preferred people to be puzzled rather than contemptuous. This above all appeared to Trillian to be genuinely stupid, but she could no longer be bothered to argue about it.
        HHGTTG, Douglas Adams

        Hands off my ObamaCare[TM] http://www.healthcare.gov

        by Mokurai on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:47:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama has jobs proposals on the table. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NM Ray, Terri, elmo

      I wouldn't fault him for not being able to maneuver the Republican-dominated House and the filiblusterated US Senate into dealing with jobs and the economy. He's not overlooking anything.

      Since the GOP's chief policy answers at the Federal level seem to be (1) reduce taxes, (2) reduce regulations, (3) minimize government, (4) pass anti-abortion legislation, (5) repeal health care reform and (6) block darn near anything Barack Obama wants, I think a "tax break" that explicitly increases revenues is not a bad proposal.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:37:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? Please re-read my Post (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        where did I fault Obama??

        sorry, I didn't realize I was directly addressing our POTUS

        if you read my posts, I am constantly pointing out the general uselessness of our so called congress.

        but best not to solely discuss the "repuglican dominated house", since (for now) the democrats have the majority in the senate, and can't seem to get anything done. can't wait to see what happens after Nov., if the dems lose their majority

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:46:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry. I was mis-lead by your comment ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, Superpole

          ... posted under the diary as a whole, that said "... I get what you're doing, but you're overlooking the obvious." The diary was entirely about the President's speech, so I assumed he was the object of your comment.

          I respectfully disagree with you about the Republican-dominated House." It is. They have a Tea-Prty blockage, which their leadership and moderate GOPers can't buck. It is the problem. As for the Senate, it too is stopped almost cold by the GOP.

          The Democrats are locked up in the Senate because the Republicans use the filibuster and related rules to block a great deal of legislation. So, I want to stress the Republicans in the Congress just as Harry Truman did when he won re-election against huge odds, the pundits and publican opinion polls, and criss-crossed the country pointing our the "Good-for-Nothing, Do-Nothing" Republican Congress.

          (Sure we have our issues with some Democrats, too, but let's keep the emphasis where it belongs in an election year!)

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:00:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No Problem (0+ / 0-)

            regarding the teabagger caucus in the House, the answer is some sort of dem unity/caucuses.

            I don't see this and have not for some time.  convenient excuses don't cut it when we're in the middle of a huge crisis

            progressives covering for corporate lackeys in congress is getting us nowhere. I don't distinguish between lackeys like Feinstein and those on the "other side". time to admit Nader is correct

            why didn't Reid do something about the filibuster when he had the chance?

            thanks for your take

            "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

            by Superpole on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:46:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The public sector jobs are paid for by taxes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero
    •  well, several things come to mind (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xanthippe2

      first, for every one underemployed, there are still 5 or so employed - so a middle class tax break is a big deal for a lot of people even if not everyone plays in it directly

      second, it leads directly to a better economy - more money in circulation buying  more goods and services - and thus more jobs

      third, of course - the tax cut is in place now, so what's really at issue is whether we let taxes go up for everyone in 2013 or not - so reverse the logic above.  We don't extend the middle class tax cuts and 1) 5 out of 6 people lose income and 2) the economy gets worse and unemployment rises

      Still, even with the above - I agree with Obama - let them all expire if that's the price of a tax increase on the wealthy.  Whoever wins in November can then start over with a clean slate in 2013 and get tax reform back on the table - either the Dems can reinstate the middle class cuts or the GOP can screw us all to help the 1% even more.

      why I'm a Democrat - Isaiah 58:6-12, Matthew 25:31-46

      by marking time on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:07:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I say let them all expire (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, Superpole

        The middle class did just fine during the Clinton years with the higher income tax and after the election Republicans won't have any reason to continue to obstruct the economy.  And institute the drastic spending cuts too in 2013.

        •  The middle class was doing fine during the Clinton (0+ / 0-)

          years because the economy was doing fine. When times are good, a higher tax rate is not a problem.

          That's not the case now, though. If we return to prosperity, we can let those middle class tax breaks expire, but not now, not yet.

          •  I don't buy it that argument (0+ / 0-)

            "If we return to prosperity"

            Reductions in the deficit should offset any drop in demand through reduced income.  More tax revenues means more funding for public sector goods and services.

            By saying only some people should pay up, you give Republicans the opportunity to say no one should pay up.

            The American people endorsed George Bush's invasion of Iraq and we all need to share in the sacrifice of paying it off.

            Get rid of the tax breaks and let's see what happens.  It couldn't be any worse than the death spiral of 2008.  If it goes badly then reinstate it.

            •  Uhh. Correction (0+ / 0-)
              The American people endorsed George Bush's invasion of Iraq and we all need to share in the sacrifice of paying it off.
              Wrong. I did not endorse Dumbya's invasion/occupation of Iraq. You can't make that statement

              numerous dumb, warmongering democrats in congress clearly did vote to authorise the AUMF, along with their compadres across the aisle.

              LET THEM figure out how to pay the tab w/o slashing the social safety net and stomping on the workers

              "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

              by Superpole on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:13:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  There is a notion in play that going off the cliff (0+ / 0-)

        by letting all of the Bush tax cuts expire will give cover to enough Republicans to agree to restore some of the tax cuts afterwards. Then they can say that they went to the mat with the evil Democrat leadership and got as much as they could.

        Of course, there will be some Mad Tea Partiers who will try to indict them for insufficient ideological purity if they do so, but the thinking is that even by Republican standards that is just too much.

        Let the circus continue!

        Hands off my ObamaCare[TM] http://www.healthcare.gov

        by Mokurai on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:55:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I Get it But (0+ / 0-)

        per my earlier point, some here are making a big deal of this tax cut, when the priority is getting MORE people back to work.

        if growing our economy is NOT a priority, then we may as well fold up the tables and go home. watch sports and guzzle beer.

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:09:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Everybody gets a Tax Break! (8+ / 0-)

    If Congress passes President Obama's Tax Plan, everybody in America will receive a Tax Break.  The only dollar that you earn that will be taxed at a higher rate is the first dollar after your $250,000th dollar.   I would love to pay a 40% tax rate on my $250,001st dollar this year, next year or any year.  

    I would love to pay an even higher rate on the Millionth Dollar that I earn.

    "As long as Corporations control Government, there is no reason for Government to regulate Corporations!" John Roberts, Citizens United (SNARK)

    by NM Ray on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:21:40 AM PDT

  •  This might have a chance (0+ / 0-)

    if the proposal was to make them permanent instead of yet another one year extension.  Now that would really put the Repugs in a bind.

    Somebody said Party! I got excited. I love Parties! Especially Parties with exclamation marks! Now I'm sad because there's not a Party! h/t AnnetteK ;-)

    by EdMass on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:31:26 AM PDT

    •  I think the strategy is to break the linkage ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, elmo

      ... between cuts for the top and for everyone else. The Republicans demand this linkage so as to keep their bennies, without talking the mechanics with the public.

      A year extension at the lower end - but not the higher - breaks the link, puts the burden of explaining it explicitly on the GOP and gets us beyond the election. The GOP - and, I suspect, some additional Democrats - will oppose the permanent fix and nothing is sure to happen. That would be worse than taking the best shot and standing for something real people can understand, even if that, too, doesn't happen because the GOP prevented it for the rest of us.  (The worst the GOP could do is point out that a handful of Democrats didn't agree with Obama's $250K threshhold.)

      If the President's proposal doesn't pass, it'll be clear who raised taxes on the American public on January 1st.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:48:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you agree that this is a strategy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        and not actually a real proposal?

        If you can see through it, why not the electorate?

        Somebody said Party! I got excited. I love Parties! Especially Parties with exclamation marks! Now I'm sad because there's not a Party! h/t AnnetteK ;-)

        by EdMass on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:52:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. It's a real proposal with political strategy. (0+ / 0-)

          Political strategy is, after all, how almost everything gets passed in any legislature any time under any administration. And strategy especially essential to get anything going in the GOP-controlled House and the GOP-debilitated Senate of 2012.

          But if it doesn't get through, is it bad because it was good political-campaign strategy, too?

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:07:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP Is Not About Rebuilding... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TRPChicago, Zinman

    The GOP will continue to swing their ideological wrecking ball.
    They firmly believe that if they need to destroy the country in order to remove Obama from office that is what they will do.
    For a long time the concern has ceased to be about the welfare of the American people.
    It is all about having power.
    This may sound simplistic(naive to some), but it's about the power they wish to have and has very little, if anything, to do with concerns for the country.
    Much in the same way Romney had no concerns for the companies he was buying up and destroying.
    It's about the wealth and power.  

  •  A little basic accounting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthippe2

    might help:  Adding an employee is a business expense. That reduces taxes on a business no matter how it is organized.  A reduction in taxes on net income has little impact on hiring.   I know this kind of education is almost fruitless, but I've heard at least of couple of reports, even from NPR, that seem ignorant of this basic principle.

    •  the stimulus effect is not on the business, but (0+ / 0-)

      on the consumer.

      Basically, the global economy is in a demand crunch. That means that nobody has enough money to buy all the things the producers want to sell, so the producers stop producing.

      The ONLY way out of a demand crunch is to increase demand, by getting more money to consumers so they can once again buy the things the producers want to sell.  Payroll tax cuts do that by leaving a little bit more money in the consumer's hands. (And remember by "consumers" we mean "wage-earners"--the economy is not fueled by a handful of billionnaires buying yachts and second mansions, it is fueled by millions of little nobodies buying all their mundane necessities of life.)

      A payroll tax cut stimulus is only a small step and, by itself, nowhere near enough. But in the current political atmosphere it is virtually the only Keynesian stimulus that is possible to pass. (There is actually another Keynesian stimulus available--one that worked remarkably well for both FDR and Ronald Reagan---increasing the military budget to massive levels results in a large increase in consumer demand without a corresponding increase in consumer-goods supply, thereby easing the demand crunch.)

      •  This is all true (0+ / 0-)

        and I've been telling anyone who will listen that we will be at war with Iran within the year of a Romney presidency.  These people, despite what we prefer to think, are not stupid and realize that the only option for them after promising to cut everything the government does except war, it to start one.

  •  Let the cuts expire (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, ferg, wsexson, divineorder

    I expect we'll see safety net cuts in December to pay for the tax cuts for the professional class.  

    •  What "safety net" cuts? And who will propose them? (0+ / 0-)

      And what is your "professional class?" The $250,000 threshold covers teachers, firefighters, two-income families, a lot of blue-collar and white-collar middle class employees.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:51:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  simpson-bowles is popular in DC (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, wsexson, divineorder

        The professional class is the $75k to $250k that Obama's tax cut is primarily aimed at.

        •  A two-income family in Chicago, both public ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... employees will clear more than $75,000 a year, probably a good deal more if they take advantage (as many do) of overtime.

          Without wanting a debate about the need for both to work and work hard -  a separate, but important issue in this economy - a two-earner family at this level need not be "professionals." Teachers, police, fire fighters, streets and sanitation workers are all in this category. (On second thought, several of those categories are professionals, I give you that!)  I grant you, Chicago is a big city and reflects big city pay scales.

          Yes, $250,000 is considerably more than any in the categories I mentioned. You can drop the threshold lower, but I'm thinking that gets more and more unlikely of passage.

          As for Simpson-Bowles, it didn't work. It wasn't acceptable. The inside-the-beltway class - which, on average, would blow the lid off that $250,000 threshold! - may love it, but they are pretty removed from the rest of the world, and unrealistic.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:38:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sequestration takes effect in the lame duck (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, divineorder

        session.  Look for "modification" of social security, medicare and medicaid.  Look for cuts to the military in terms of veterans' programs and the VA rather than arms budgets, the various wars and black ops.  All this in the guise of the deficit, while we kick the can down the road and have another extension of part or all the "temporary" tax cuts.  There is no political will to hammer out hard decisions in Washington, D.C.  There will be plenty of blame to go around as both parties will sign on.

        •  You could be right, and certainly are on deferring (0+ / 0-)

          ... problems. It's "the solution" practiced by most legislatures. The more serious the problem, the more it gets obfuscated, fudged with, re-defined, ignored.

          I think the decision will be to delay and Democrats and Republicans - weary and unable to make meaningful decisions after a very tough election - will both approve. But ... you may be right, I may be crazy. I've been stranded (before) in the combat zone!

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:29:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not where I live. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder
        The $250,000 threshold covers teachers, firefighters, two-income families, a lot of blue-collar and white-collar middle class employees.
        Nationally, fewer than 2% of households have more than $250K gross income. Significantly fewer would have taxable income over $250K, certainly no two-income teacher couples in schools in my state. The highest paid teachers earn less than $75K.
        •  Yes, of course, the threshold was $250K, ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... and the current rates cover people making $75,000 or less, too. That is what we're talking about here, maintaining the current rates under $250K for another year and most important, delinking them from the rates for the wealthiest brackets.

          You can argue that the threshold should have been lower, but the possibilities of passage - especially with some Democrats likely to defect even on a $250K threshold - get pretty small.

          There's the choice: a proposal (increases on, say, $75K and up) that isn't on the table and is not likely to be, with a minimal chance vs. a proposal that stands a chance - not a large chance, but a chance - of getting through. I pick the latter ... and will fight the taxed-enough-already Tea Party crowd on other grounds.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:00:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  no it doesnt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, wsexson, divineorder
        The $250,000 threshold covers teachers, firefighters, two-income families, a lot of blue-collar and white-collar middle class employees.
        Fewer than 10% of US households make more than $125,000/year.  Fewer than 4% make more than $250,000 a year.

        The whole "this is middle class !!!" argument is utter baloney. Anyone who makes more money than 95% of the population is not "middle class" by any rational definition.

        I'd be all in favor of dropping the threshold down to $80,000 or so (that would cover about 33% of all households).

        As for "who will propose entitlement cuts?"---we already have. We've been talking about Social Security and medicare "reform" for years now.

        •  Yes, Lenny, but the point was entitlement cuts in (0+ / 0-)

          ... December. The statement I was responding to was:  "I expect we'll see safety net cuts in December to pay for the tax cuts for the professional class." That's why I asked who would propose it ... and why?

          If Obama isn't re-elected, do you think he would? Why? If he is re-elected, why would he try to jam entitlement cuts through the lame duck Congressional session?

          As for cuts in Social Security, I agree they aren't necessary. SS funding is a non-problem, an issue so far down the road that it shouldn't even get a mention in our very tough economy of 2012.

          Medicare funding, however, is a real and increasingly urgent problem. I think ACA will help down the road. And perhaps that's enough. But a lot of people who are not wild-thinking Republican zealots are concerned ... and should be. Sure, we can make a conscious decision not to deal with the bundle of issues that are health care reform in America today. And to take Medicare off the table as an unthinkable policy matter is to not deal with one fairly important part of the problem.

          In any event, hell no, I wouldn't think of cutting SS and Medicare in the 2012 lame duck session, whoever the lame ducks are!

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:22:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Romney would be a GWB-style president: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    Looking at his last Bain experience: officially on the job for 3 years, but not really there (1999-2002).

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:49:21 AM PDT

  •  When Clinton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, divineorder

    raised tax rates on the wealthy and took away many of their tax deductions, every Republican in Congress railed against this policy, which was, they said, certain to throw the economy into an immediate and severe recession.

    They were wrong then and they're wrong now. Why does anyone even listen to these people?

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 07:56:48 AM PDT

  •  Here is a slogan: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Icicle68, divineorder, Mokurai

    Here is a slogan that should be in every Democratic ad, repeated by every Democratic candidate, and drummed into every voter's earhole from now until election day:

    Republicans want to raise your taxes!

    It goes right along with:

    Republicans have created massive federal debt with their deficit budgets.

    Republicans have cratered the economy, and destroyed millions of private sector jobs and thousands of small businesses.

    Republicans have abused and damaged the military and our soldiers.  If you support the troops, vote Democratic.

    Republicans believe in welfare, but only if you are wealthy already.  We now really do have "welfare queens."  They are called investment bankers.

    Republicans believe in taking away our freedoms, and giving them to their corporate sponsors.

    Republicans are against states' rights to make their own laws (see SCOTUS decision on Montana's election law).

    Trouble is, all these true statements are the opposite of the slogans that Republicans have drummed into the culture for forty years.  And Democrats are too timid and weak and -- one has to say it -- also in the pockets of the corporations to stand up and say them.

    In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

    by Noziglia on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:26:07 AM PDT

  •  but wait! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein

    all those tax cuts were supposed to result in a gazillion dollars in additional tax revenues, wiping out both the deficit and the national debt! of course, that's what ronald reagan said, as he tripled our national debt in the 80's.

    we really are a stupid bunch of people, that this should even be an issue for serious discussion, with other than filthy rich people.

  •  Reaganomics 101 (0+ / 0-)

    Tax breaks for uber-millionaires so that they can buy a couple more imported luxury cars or extend their European vacation by a couple of weeks? Good for America.

    Tax breaks for middle class families so that they can pay the mortgage, gas up the car, and/or send their kids to college? Bad for America.

    Reality check -- It's not about whether or not to generate additional tax revenue. It's all about which subset of Americans can provide the extra revenue with the least detrimental impact on their essential needs.

    Congressional Republicans continually promote the fallacy that tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy will stimulate job growth. However, this is simply their cover, their disingenuous talking point designed to try to sell their Reaganomic bill of goods to the public.
    Ultra-wealthy Americans made a major investment in the Republican Party during the 2010 mid-term elections. The GOP is simply carrying out the job for which they have been duly paid.

    Don't pee on my shoe and call it "trickle-down economics".

    Let us pause now for a moment of SCIENCE

    by labman57 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:58:04 AM PDT

  •  $999/day? (0+ / 0-)

    Since when are people who make $999 a day in the middle class?  

    Seriously, extending tax cuts on those who can most afford to pay them will mean more cuts in teachers, nurses, and first responders.

    Green is more than an ad slogan. Live Green, vote Green.

    by green in brooklyn on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:23:06 PM PDT

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