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Today, we have seen positive statements about the potential of the deal being reached, without the details about exactly what that deal would involve.

But reading between the lines, I think that a potential deal may be increasing the tax rate for those making over $250,000 to something less than the 39.6% rate we had under President Bill Clinton.   An article in The Los Angeles Times states:

A shift can be heard in the rhetoric, as Republicans now say they are willing to consider increases in tax revenue, and Obama has softened his insistence that top income tax rates, now at 35%, must rise to 39.6%, the rate from the Clinton era.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fiscal-cliff-20121117,0,19628.story

So I suspect that the deal that will be presented to us will be the Republicans agreeing to raise the top tax rate to some number in between 35% and 39.6% in exchange for an agreement that this top tax rate be made permanent.

And we need to get the word out that if this is where they are headed that it is unacceptable.  

This country cannot afford any extension of the Bush tax cuts. Because of these tax cuts, we have record deficits, and are facing cuts in social security, medicare, and programs affecting the social safety net.  And despite the republican rhetoric, these tax cuts did not create a single job.  In fact, they may have cost us jobs since they decreased the amount of money the government had for stimulus.  

The Bush tax cuts need to expire in their entirety the end of the year.  Period.  No compromise on rates, timing, or income levels.

An increase in the top tax rate to something less than 39.6% will only add to the deficit and the national debt, and will result in cuts to social programs that could be avoided with the extra revenue generated by the full expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

The democrats are in the driver's seat here.  They can sit back and do nothing and let the Bush cuts expire in their entirely.  And then they can pass the extension of the middle class tax cut in January and dare the republicans to vote against it.

I simply do not get why democrats appear ready to repeat the mistake of giving into republican demands that the Bush tax cuts be continued.

We need to make sure that this does not happen by strongly and repeatedly stating in every forum possible that anything less than the full expiration of the Bush tax cuts is not acceptable.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  What the hell would be the point? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeloDramatic, MrAnon

    The midpoint difference would be so miniscule, and the potential political good from raising the top rate the full way is so high that I just cannot see an upside for the Democrats in any kind of deal like this.

    This would be "First Debate" Obama. He's no longer with us.

    "Second Debate" Obama is busy lubing up his shitkickers and preparing for war.

    •  Personally (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      night cat, Smoh

      I'd like to have "VP Debate" Biden out in the battlefield as well. Too bad the Vice President doesn't actually do anything in the Senate these days.

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 09:34:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The President believes in compromise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badlands, Smoh

      I think that his belief is genuine and he believes that democracy works better that way.

      The republicans know he feels this way, and see it as an weakness that they can exploit.  

      They lost and they know it.  They know they will need to accept tax increases.  So they are doing everything possible to minimize them.  

  •  other than the LA Times comment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginislandsguy, Quicklund, badlands

    I have seen nothing that indicates O will accept less than the full increase in tax rates, in fact, in his presser yesterday he was quit firm about it as he has been throughout his campaign.

    and sure the writer suggests O has softened but he/she offers no direct quote or one piece of information that supports that comment so I don't put much faith in it.

    no reporters were in the meeting so what the writer is doing is he/she is getting spun.

    divide and conquer but O, Reid and Pelosi are too smart for that.

    mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

    by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 09:50:32 PM PST

    •  Afraid this may be a trial balloon (0+ / 0-)

      floated by the Administration (or by republicans)

      We need to make sure that the Administration understands that we won't accept this type of compromise.

      Otherwise, I am afraid that they really may go there . . .

      •  Or it's a bad reporter (0+ / 0-)

        There is no evidence to back up that assumption. There is a lot of evidence to say it is not true. So why insist upon the no-evidence option?

        •  because we need to shoot down even the possibility (0+ / 0-)

          If they reach an agreement, all parties are going to announce it as a done deal.   At that point, we won't be able to kill it.

          The only chance of killing this possibility is for us to say now while they are in negotiations that we won't accept this.

          I really think this is where they are headed.  I don't think that the Los Angeles Times would have printed this without an anonymous source who knows that this is being floated.  

  •  Close the Capital Gains Loophole (6+ / 0-)

    I could go with a lower top rate as long as we tax Capital Gains as ordinary income.

    Republicans say they want to close loopholes. Fine. Make them justify the Capital Gains Loophole.

    It is important that we frame it like that and say it like that, "Capital Gains Loophole", or better yet, "Unearned Income Loophole".

    Even if we don't get a higher CG rate, just putting it on the table should scare Republicans into line.

    •  We need an "all of the above" approach (0+ / 0-)

      The top marginal tax rate should increase, AND we should also scuttle nonsensical loopholes such as the "unearned income bonus" and the "carried interest giveaway" for rich finance guys. In addition, we should squelch "corporate welfare for rich corporations," especially those that run counter to our national interest, e.g., dirty energy companies, and institute a tax for corporations that ship jobs to other countries for the express purpose of exploiting the desperately poor. AND, on the spending side, we should call a halt to excessive funding for the so-called defense industry. That should do it.  

      “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

      by RJDixon74135 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 03:05:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  your title is misleading..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    should be "LA Time suggests....but no corroborated evidence to support their suggestion".

    mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

    by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 09:52:02 PM PST

  •  Set the top bracket to 50% (8+ / 0-)

    Just to watch the Republicans try to explain why they're opposing the 1986 Reagan tax policy.

  •  The President set the figure of $1.6T in revenue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, sfinx

    That is double the amount he set pre-election. I do not see how doubling his opening bid is "softening" his position. So I suspect your worry isn't too likely.

    Don't dig in your heels before the President has even engaged in negotiation. There are changes to estate taxes and capital gains possibilities too. Evaluate teh entire package (when we have something to evaluate).

  •  If people aren't obligated to pay taxes on (0+ / 0-)

    their income in the first place, what difference does the rate make?
    If your car is electric, what difference does the price of a gallon of gas make to you? Yes, there may be some psychic pleasure in seeing your neighbor having to a hell out more and more dollars, but that's not nice.
    This whole kerfuffle is starting to look like the campaign finance scam in which Congress put restrictions on individual contributors and no limits on what incumbents could collect and even distribute to their cronies to insure their continuance and power in office.
    The problem we have in the U.S. and, indeed, globally is that while the use of money is increasing (more people are using it to account for their transactions) and the absolute quantity in circulation keeps going up, the rate at which the dollar travels from hand to hand has slowed from a sprint to a crawl. It's as if we were standing in a circle in kindergarten, playing "button, button, who's got the button" and one of the players had pocketed it while pretending not to know a thing about it. The game would come to a halt.
    When it comes to money, there are two significant players who can hoard the money and keep it out of circulation: the banks and the people responsible for issuing the currency to the several states--i.e. Congress.
    This raises the question why they would do that. And the answer is simple -- control. The Congress, supposedly the servants of the people, want to demonstrate their ability to make their masters miserable. Why would they do that? Because their position has been made vulnerable by universal suffrage and ever increasing citizen participation and the time-servers want to show us who's the boss.
    You'd think that firing a third of the body in the elections of 2010 and 2012 would have sent a message to the rest that business as usual can't go on. But, we should all know that one person's failure, or even 110, will not effect reform in the rest. Issa will not play nice because Lungren is gone. Besides, the recently fired get to hang around for another two months. (There are good reasons why private corporations escort the fired off the premises immediately). The "retired" members of Congress get to hang around because we assume they are people of honor. More often than not such assumptions are wrong.
    Personally, I think we should make common cause with some of the Tea Party crowd. They are upset that there is not enough money to go around, but their assumptions about the reasons for that situation are wrong. It isn't because some poor people are getting too much or even that some individuals aren't paying out enough; it's that Congress and their cronies on Wall Street are putting on the squeeze. The explanation for why they would do that is similar to the explanation for why prosecutors jigger the evidence to promote the imprisonment of innocent persons. Since prosecutors bet no personal benefit, we assume they wouldn't do such a thing. But, we are wrong. Sending an innocent person to prison actually enhances the prosecutor's self-importance and our assumptions protect him from being found out. And then, to top it all off, the tradition of absolute immunity for prosecutors let's them off the hook when they are found out. No accountability. That is the sumum bonum of the public servant's existence. Absolute power.
    And that's what some members of Congress are after.

    Why is President Obama reluctant to take on the hostage takers? Why is he negotiating with Congress? Does he have a choice? They have all the money. How is going to persuade them to let go? Which hostages can be sacrificed? How about people who don't really care how much they are taxed? How about the Warren Buffets of the world who aren't into accumulating money just for show?

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:22:20 AM PST

  •  It is the effective tax rate that is important. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2

    If they begin phasing out deductions starting at $250,000 and end deductions for the very wealthy, that will raise their effective tax rate. If you raise the tax rate but leave the deductions and other loopholes, it is not as likely to significantly raise their effective rates.

    Personally, I am more interested in what the final outcome will be on unearned income. The ACA already raises the tax on unearned income of the wealthy, but they need to do more. If they get rid of the carried interest loophole, raise capital gains to 20 or 25% and tax dividends as ordinary income, I don't care if the top marginal rate remains 35% if that is what it takes.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 04:45:19 AM PST

  •  Rate goes to 38.8% even with extension. (0+ / 0-)

    As part of PPACA (Obamacare), there is an additional 3.8% tax on investment income for over $250,000/yr households paid through IRS tax returns starting on Jan 1,2013.

    So even if current rates are extended, the top rate goes to 38.8%.  If the Bush/Obama tax cuts are not extended, the top rate will not be 39.6% but 43.4%.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:44:03 AM PST

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