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Chart showing results of ABC Washington Post poll
Langer Research for ABC News/Washington Post (PDF). American adults. 11/21-25. ±3.5%.
Overall, do you support or oppose...

...raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 a year:
Support: 60
Oppose: 37

...reducing deductions people can claim on their federal income taxes:
Support: 44
Oppose: 49

...raising the age for Medicare coverage from 65 to 67:
Support: 30
Oppose: 67

These numbers once again show that the path forward is abundantly clear: let the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000 expire, keep major cuts to Medicare benefits off the table, and don't use tax reform as an excuse to take away middle-class tax benefits. In other words, Americans support President Obama's approach—not Mitt Romney's and certainly not the Republican Party's. Given that President Obama won the election, that's not exactly a shock.

The key thing to remember is that Congress doesn't need to do anything in order for Bush's upper-income tax cuts to expire—under current law, they end on December 31, 2012. The question is whether House Republicans will extend tax cuts on all income below $250,000 or whether they'll hold those those tax cuts hostage as punishment for the expiration of the high-income cuts. Given that 60 percent of Americans—and four in ten Republicans—support ending the high-income tax cuts, it's hard to imagine Republicans will ultimately choose to go down that path. If they do, it would be political suicide, but even if they don't, they still need to deal with the fact that their other ideas—especially proposing major cuts to Medicare—aren't exactly popular either.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But, we CAN'T do what the people want! (7+ / 0-)

    That would be ... democracy. {{{Gasp}}}

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:31:57 AM PST

  •  Medicare reforms are already coming (13+ / 0-)

    My group is starting a massive re-engineering of how we care for patients, to move to a Coordinated Care model.  It offers better, cheaper care than current fee-for-service medicine.  Local hospital owners are unhappy, since we'll be keeping our patients out of their hospitals more, but everybody else loves the idea.

    Medicare is pushing this model, and expects to save substantial money in future from its wide adoption over the next 5 years or so.  Part of it comes in the Obamacare bill, other parts are in regulations written by the government.

    Drug price negotiation needs to happen too, and I'd love to see the administration put that on the table.  Republicans will oppose it, of course, but it'd be fun to see them tie themselves in knots to do so.

    So don't let Republicans' whining about no entitlement reforms fool you.  They're already in the pipeline.

    Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

    by Dallasdoc on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:34:45 AM PST

    •  My local docs are wising up too... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC, Miggles, tb mare, Dallasdoc, W T F

      They're all moving to a medical group that centralizes administration functions. Rather than having 4 staffers for every doctor in a private practice just to process claims, they are joining regional consortium and pay into a common administrative function. Its common sense for reducing costs.

    •  This is such a sensible plan, Doc! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, tb mare, Ellen Leemann, Dallasdoc

      So much money is wasted in the Medicare system, and no "reforms" proposed by the right, such as benefit cuts, vouchers, or increases in eligibility age address that fundamental problem.

      Frankly, I've always believed that Medicare was almost the worst possible model: a publicly-funded program that is trapped within the greed and corruption of a privately-run care delivery system. When I see multibillion-dollar-per-year corporations that exist solely to function as middlemen - such as McKesson, skimming its unnecessary cut of Medicare funds as it "distributes" pharmaceuticals to hospitals and nursing homes - I quiver with rage.

      Thank you for doing your part to become part of a real solution!

      "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

      by blue in NC on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:48:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dallasdoc could you give us some references on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC

      coordinated care.  I think many would be interested on becoming educated on this important subject.

      •  Like maybe a diary hint hint nudge nudge ;-) or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        a link if you've already written one?

        I'm a total layman and I'd love to know more!

        "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

        by blue in NC on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:00:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cuts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, blue in NC

      Let's not forget that drug price negotiations were on the table a few years back and the lobbyists infected the Dems and killed it while they were negotiating for the ACA. That's another reason I see it as an imperfect bill that would have had more success if Dems would just stand up for what they believe in. I never understood why they negotiate against themselves every time to find the mythical Narnia of bipartisanship. They've got a better chance of finding it riding a unicorn through a field of four leaf clovers.

    •  I agree with your comments... (0+ / 0-)

      and agree that Medicare must be reformed.

      One critical Medicare reform no one is talking about: lowering the enrollment age to 60.

      I'm serious.

      Any good business person faced with a low margin business (a way to think about today's Medicare) would seek customers that offer the potential for higher margins. In Medicare's case that would mean adding healthier folks.

      Where do we find healthier folks? Younger people.

      This is so common sense that it shocks me that no one is seriously considering this option.

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, tb mare

    I understand that Gallup polled the same questions and that their LIKELY VOTER model indicated a tie on all 3. :D

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:35:52 AM PST

  •  Chuck Todd asks......Where does the GOP go from (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Miggles, tb mare, a2nite

    here?........Dunno Chuck.....but it's gonna be fun.

  •  If people truly understood the kabuki theater (4+ / 0-)

    taking place, they wouldn't support either the GOP plan or Obama's plan.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:39:01 AM PST

  •  "deal with the fact that" (4+ / 0-)


    I'd like to see a republican deal with a fact. Any fact.

    I'm not holding my breath.

    And it doesn't matter what We the People want. They don't work for us.

  •  Why not cap deductions? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, OldDragon, conniptionfit

    Cap individual deductions at $100,000 and be done with it. That is a tax plan that doesn't hit any middle-class individuals, but stops the Mitt Romney's of the world from earning tens of millions and paying no taxes because of "donations" to "apolitical" organizations like the LDS.

    •  It's a negotiating tactic. (4+ / 0-)

      Republicans are desperately trying to get some minor loopholes closed so that they can point to that and avoid raising the marginal tax rate on the top.  Closing loopholes IS a necessary thing, but it's a matter of AND, not INSTEAD OF.  First raise the top tax rate, THEN close some loopholes.  Or the rate will never get raised.

    •  Mitt's biggest two Tax Escape Ploys are NOT ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, a2nite

      ... deductions. Yes, he gives generously to LDS, but why eviscerate contributions to churches and other deductions in the name of tax reform?

      I would not be willing to do a cap only and "be done with it" thereby foregoing bracket increases above $250K. The rate issue was a major point of difference in the campaign. Giving that up betrays a majority of American voters last month. Besides, are you comfortable with the revenues that would result from doing just the $100K cap you propose. (I don't know how much that would be. I assume you do.)

      Mitt's two biggest ploys are both legal as hell now:

      1. the "carried interest" treatment of gains from venture capital labor as if they were investments, not income, thereby taxing them at substantially lower rates than the income the rest of us laborers have to pay, and

      2. the 15% capital gains rate.

      As I understand the current bargaining, President Obama has proposed to raise the capital gains rate from 15% to 20%. That would bring in substantial amounts of revenue (I don't have reliable estimates handy). By itself - without considering changes in the higher brackets - that LTCG increase to 20% would significantly raise income tax payments for those wealthy enough to have capital gains in the first place. (Remember, capital gains is the rate paid on things like the sale of someone's residence held for more than a year, so it isn't just "the wealthy" who'll be hit by LTCG increases.)

      And raising it to 20% rather than all the way up to whatever bracket would apply to the taxpayer's entire income is a principled way to say that although we're increasing the rate, it's still much than the old 28% and reflects the argument (Yes, it's only an "argument") that higher taxes of investment gains would penalize investment.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

      by TRPChicago on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:44:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember - very few people are seeing (0+ / 0-)

        any gains on homes they're selling today if they bought them later than 2005.

        Also remember that you can flip primary residences every five years and make up to 250K profit without paying a dime in taxes.

        The bottom 95% of us haven't a thing to fear from going back to reasonable 28% capital gains.

        "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

        by JesseCW on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:57:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True. I forgot the $250K. But as for ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... a 28% rate on CG, I'd start there in bargaining. But I think it's more realistic that the LTCG rate - while it should increase - is a way to move toward greater tax equity and higher revenues whilst acknowledging the long-held belief - on both sides of the aisle - that investment gains are entitled to favorable treatment.

          Progressives will disagree on this, I understand. But we don't have the rocketry - Yet! - to get to the moon in one shot.

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

          by TRPChicago on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:08:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gambling winnings are not "entitled" to be (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            taxed at a rate lower than the one that applies to income earned by honest sweat.

            This is not a "Progressive" position.

            This was Ronald Reagans position.

            "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

            by JesseCW on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:40:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're calling investment not honest & "gambling"? (0+ / 0-)

              Do you really believe long term investing in stocks and bonds is dishonest and gambling? I believe it's a form of savings that produces returns - over time - historically likely to exceed the returns on savings accounts - a form of investment - managed by banks and credit unions. So do a great many institutions in America and elsewhere, with "investments" that help keep modern economies moving.

              I do agree that short term turnaround trading can be a form of gambling, but in a free enterprise economy, painting all investment with that broad a brush is an extreme position.

              Like you, apparently, I don't buy the rationale for taxing returns on investment at a lower rate than income from other sources, most obviously labor. But the idea that we can go all the way at once and now - in this political world - is a misguiding illusion. I prefer progress to loggerheads, no matter who is the loggerhead du jour.

              However much we might wish it, Democrats - particularly Progressive Democrats - don't run the table. If we expect the other side(s) to compromise their long-held principles, so we must be willing, too. That's realism in governance.

              2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

              by TRPChicago on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 09:37:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  When did I say gambling was dishonest???? (0+ / 0-)

                You can bet on the stocks or bet on the ponies - I don't care.

                You can bet on gold to rise or fall - I don't care.

                As long as the means by which you aquire your money is legal, the Tax Code isn't the place to decide if it's ethical.

                The entire reason an investment brings a return is that risk is involved.  The more risk, the more return.

                That's GAMBLING.  You can call me and FDR and Will Rogers a pack of wild-eyed commies if you like, but let's get one thing clear -

                You're doing it from inside the wrong tent.

                "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

                by JesseCW on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 09:57:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Didn't you say it when you equated investing ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... to "gambling" and contrasted that with "honest labor"? (When you wrote: "Gambling winnings are not 'entitled' to be taxed at a rate lower than the one that applies to income earned by honest sweat"? I'll take your word that you didn't mean to suggest that investing was less honest than labor.)

                  But now, you're equating investment and "risk" with "gambling." I agree that all gambling is risk ... but not all risk is gambling. Same with investment. Acknowledging that investment involves risk - and it certainly does, in varying degrees - does not make it "gambling." (For that matter, the only reason "savings" don't have much risk is that they're insured ... up to a point. After all, banks do "invest" the money they get from our savings.)

                  To consider conflating investment with gambling, check out I think it teaches both of us that clear bright lines are hard to come by.

                  You must be fair to me: nothing I wrote even remotely referred to you, FDR or Will Rogers as "Commies". As for Will Rogers? Well, the great Oklahoma humorist said a lot of things, not all of them entirely seriously, although I grant you, he said he was a Democrat and he sure sounded Progressive. As for FDR ...

                  Yes, speculation was rampant in the late 20's and FDR did, indeed, rail against investment ills, concentrated financial power and "speculation with other peoples money". Significant corrective legislation and regulation of investing occurred early in his presidency. And FDR did use the phrase "stock gambling" in contrast to what people do with their "savings" but I don't believe he equated gambling with investment generally. I'll certainly defer if you can refer me to such a broad statement by FDR.

                  2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

                  by TRPChicago on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:50:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not honest labor. It's pitch and toss. (0+ / 0-)

                    To the extent that it's transparent, it's not dishonest.

                    But it is never labor.  It's a game played by people who detest the idea of sullying themselves with productive work.  

                    People I do not want to know, and people who have spent two hundreds years doing all they can to harm me and mine.

                    Will Rogers was as clear as could be that there was no difference between The Market and The Track.

                    You're just making bets, and hoping they'll pay off.

                    Now, in my view, if someone wants to be a prostitute, or a stock broker, it's not the business of the IRS.  

                    I don't believe that people ought to be taxed on the basis of the revulsion that hardworking decent people feel towards them.

                    "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

                    by JesseCW on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:37:46 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Balance. (5+ / 0-)

    The 1% have been shoveling cash into their own pockets and lightening working people's pockets for thirty years, all while constantly jiggering the legal system in their favor. The scales are way out of whack; one side is heavy with wealth, the other side light with penury. You don't balance out-of-balance scales by taking equal amounts out of both sides. That merely perpetuates the unbalance, and the poll shows that most of us understand that.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:40:00 AM PST

    •  ^This^ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psnyder, kbroers

      The wealthy just got done throwing themselves a 12-year-long party. Now it's time to pay for it, and all the jerks with the biggest megaphones say it's the hoi polloi who have to pay for it.

      Will the Democrats realize what the people who JUST ELECTED THEM want? Or will they once again give it away in the eternal quest for bipartisanship so that the Ghost of David Broder will smile on them?

      John Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted last time he engineered this hostage situation. Will he get the last 2%, or do the Democrats govern as they were elected to?

  •  Here's my issue: I have long believed that ALL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conniptionfit, greenbell

    tax rates - including mine, and my AGI is in the $32,000 range - were too low after the "temporary" Bush tax cuts and should be restored to Clinton levels.

    Where could this sort of tax policy fit into an overall responsible tax overhaul? Let the "over-$250,000" rates go baxk to their Clinton levels immediately, and let all rates gradually go back to those levels over a 3-year period?

    We can't run a country such as ours and provide the amenities that 90% of the public want and need at the current artificially-low levels of taxation, IMO.

    "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

    by blue in NC on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:41:24 AM PST

    •  Yes. But not yet. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC

      We can't even begin to talk about raising middle class rates until unemployment is much lower, and wages are up to living wage standard.  Otherwise you risk 1937 all over again.  It would send the economy right back over the cliff.

      •  No, you're right. Unfortunately, the cuts should (0+ / 0-)

        never have been enacted in the first place, but they were, and we're stuck with them, and middle-class consumers have by necessity adjusted their spending around those rates.

        I just hope that President Obama and congressional Democrats will get to work selling a phase-in of the restoration of the Clinton-era rates. I also agree that wages must get "up to a living wage standard"; I don't know how to accomplish that, especially with the dysfunctional rightwing teabag house, but another minimum wage increase would be a good idea after unemployment starts to drop.

        I'm just tired of virtually nobody acknowledging that tax rates are, overall, too low in this country. Having said that, I do understand why my fellow liberals would be skeptical of any middle-class tax increases if they'll all go simply to fund status-quo things such as more Defense Department bloat. Middle-class tax increases should fund the sort of domestic benefits that help nearly everybody: universal health care, expanded public transit, education, local infrastructure repair and maintenance, parks, conservation, and alternative energy production. :-)

        "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

        by blue in NC on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:56:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. We can. (0+ / 0-)

        The middle class is not overtaxed.  They would not be overtaxed under Clinton rates.

        The People do not need tax cuts.  

        The People need the employer of last resort to hire.

        "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

        by JesseCW on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:59:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a little confused about the (0+ / 0-)

    last "question" that was asked in the poll above:

    ...raising the age for Medicare coverage from 65 to 67:
    Support: 30
    Oppose: 67

    I was born in 1962 and so my age group has already gone up to 67.  Soc Sec sent me a letter a few years ago alerting me to that monstrosity. So, I'm not clear who that would affect...

  •  The key thing to remember (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, OldDragon

    Is that in the run up to the ACA polls were running 70% plus in favor of a public option.  What can we do different this year?  Have you called or written your Senator/ Representative?  Have you called/ written Congresscritters not in your district/state?   Where/when are the demonstrations?  What ELSE can we do to convince congress that we won't stand still for cuts to the most vulnerable amoung us?

  •  If what the American People wanted was all that (8+ / 0-)

    important, we'd have been out of Afghanistan three years ago, we'd have a public option, and two million young people would be employed by a new CCC.

    They don't give a flying fuck what opinions we voice about the issues - they care only about what will or will not cause us to vote, volunteer, and donate in two years.

    "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

    by JesseCW on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:44:10 AM PST

  •  Obama is NOT fighting for the working class (4+ / 0-)

    Not only is the "fiscal cliff" a phony, manufactured issue, there is fundamental agreement between the White House and Republicans in Congress on how this game should end: with entitlements in tatters. "Austerity is the common language and goal of the talks."

    Obama and GOP Play Tag Team on Entitlements

    This is not a fight between the two parties; it is a choreographed beat-down of the American majority by corporate Democratic and Republican thugs, aided by shrieking corporate media banshees screaming, Watch out for the cliff, Watch out for the cliff!.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:47:21 AM PST

    •  More truth from the above linked commentary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smiley7, DSPS owl
      "Robert Reich, the liberal former Labor Secretary in President Bill Clinton’s administration, says that Obama is not behaving like a president who is serious about facing down the Republicans. If he were, Obama would let the Bush tax cuts die at the end of this year, and then have Democrats introduce new tax cuts for the middle class. The president could dare the Republicans to hold middle class to tax cuts hostage to cuts for the rich. In that kind of facedown, Obama would likely win.

      But Obama is not trying to outmaneuver Republicans; he and the GOP have teamed up to stampede the public – the suckers in this game – into giving up their entitlements. As David Swanson puts it, we are not witnessing the making of a grand bargain, but a “grand catastrophe.”

      Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison, the Black co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, says he and the other 75 members 'are not going to allow the most vulnerable Americans to shoulder the burden of this fiscal problem.' But the left wing of the Democratic Party can only stop the forces arrayed against entitlements by actively opposing their own president, who is playing austerity tag team with the Republicans. And the so-called progressives don’t have it in them."

      “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

      by Sagebrush Bob on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:51:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what keeps me up at night (0+ / 0-)

      I'm hoping that what we are currently hearing from the administration is a negotiation tactic ... not their actual policy.  

      I've heard recently about "lowering rates but increasing revenues by limiting deductions" for high income earners.

      wtf ... that's the Romney plan!   Like high income folks won't have teams of lawyers figuring out how to get around any new loopholes.

      •  Exactly!! If I Had Wanted Romney's Tax Plan, I (0+ / 0-)

        would have voted for him. I voted for Obama thinking that he had a tax plan that did NOT lower taxes for the wealthy. NOW HEAR THIS PRESIDENT OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS - I DO NOT WANT LOWER TAXES FOR MILLIONAIRES, I WANT THEIR TAXES TO GO UP (ON INCOME, CAPITAL GAINS, DIVIDENDS, CARRIED INTEREST, INHERITANCES, etc.) GET IT?? If you limit high earners' deductions but lower their rates - IT'S REVENUE NEUTRAL AND YOU WILL HAVE TO CUT SOMEWHERE ELSE TO PAY DOWN THE DEBT.  Obama and the Democrats better understand it - if not, the midterm 2014 elections are just around the corner, and they will get no help from me.

  •  Someone needs to unskew this poll! (3+ / 0-)
  •  A shame they didn't ask about 1 specific (0+ / 0-)

    deduction: the one for home mortgage interest.

    I would love to see that one go away -- but only in exchange for tax rates adjusted to make the change revenue-neutral.

    Not only would it make it easier for renters to save for a house, it would make mortgage-shoppers more interest rate sensitive.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:51:40 AM PST

    •  And possibly throw current (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate, Pescadero Bill

      Middleclass homeowners into foreclosure.  

      •  Nah, at least not the ones who aren't already (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        That's why the revenue-neutral aspect.
        You can't eliminate the deduction if you don't adjust the taxes.

        The tax adjustment, admittedly, would likely be something less than the deduction for most homeowners because the adjustment would apply to everybody, not just homeowners, but...

        now, while interest rates are very low is a good time to institute something like that -- maybe even boost the FHA a bit to help people stuck in crap mortgages move to something better.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:54:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We can phase it out. Start by limiting it to (0+ / 0-)

          15k a year.  Reduce it 500 a year until it's nothing.  

          Very very few except the very wealthy would feel a pinch.

          "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

          by JesseCW on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:01:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  15k a year? Top or bottom? (0+ / 0-)

            If it's bottom line, that would be nearly $46,000 a year in mortgage interest for folks in the 33% bracket, or more than $3700 month.  Add in principle, insurance, real estate taxes, etc, and that's easily a $5,000 house payment.  I would hope those folks have some discretionary income to shift around.

            If it's top line, that would work out to $4,200 a year for somebody in the 28% bracket, or $350 a month. As we posit that the tax rates would be adjusted for revenue neutrality, let's assume that taxes go down $200 (remembering that renters would get the breaks as well), leaving a $150 per month shortfall.  Folks int he 28% aren't exactly rich, but, for couples, it starts at more than $142,000, so that seems unlikely to throw many people into foreclosure.

            As you go to lower and lower incomes, the hit goes down:

            15k at 25% = 312.50 per month, or, using the same adjustment percentage, $178.57

            15k at 15% -- though it's hard to imagine somebody having a 15k annual mortgage in the 15% bracket -- = 187.50, adjusted to 107.14.

            Let's see, the top joint income for 15% is 70K.  Assuming somebody can get a 200K mortgage at 5%, that would take the adjusted hit to $53 if the deduction were eliminated.

            The ceiling could be substantially less than 15K without causing any real pain.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:24:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Umm, I think he meant (0+ / 0-)

              That the itemized deduction for mortgage interest should be topped out at 15k.

              I paid 10k in interest this year, so I wouldn't get hit by it.

              I'm not sure what you have delved into.

              •  Oh -- let me explain. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The important thing about any tax deduction is not how big the deduction is, but how much it saves you in taxes.


                I took that 15k deduction,

                1. Applied it to different tax rates,

                2. Assumed that overall taxes would be adjusted to give back a little more than half of the deduction (not all of it, because it would now be spread across renters as well as home-owners)

                3. Calculated a monthly income difference based on the change that represents the extend to which homeowners would be hurt with all else being equal.  All else doesn't stay equal, of course, but that's way beyond my poor primitive ability to analyze.

                I also did one that would be more realistic for somebody in the 15% bracket, as a $70k income isn't going to qualify you for  a $500k home.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 10:55:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Disagree - Until Congress Gets Rid Of Truly (0+ / 0-)

      ridiculous tax deductions (like deductions for corporate jets and owning race horses), the mortgage interest deduction shouldn't even be discussed. In Massachusetts, renters get a state tax "renters" deduction of up to $3000 per year off their income, to compensate for the fact that they do not receive a mortgage interest tax deduction.  I would be for a Federal tax deduction similar to what Massachusetts has, so renters aren't getting shafted.

      •  So here's the problem with that. (0+ / 0-)

        If renters get a deduction to make things fair, the lost revenue has to come from somewhere, which generally means raising taxes.

        What is the practical benefit of raising taxes and offering another deduction as opposed to lowering taxes and eliminating a deduction?

        Simpler seems better to me, and not having to mess with deductions is simpler.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 09:50:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not against a deductions cap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    or closing loopholes as a part of tax reform.

    But I dont know how you do that in less than a month.

    Interestingly, Rep Tom Cole says that the GOP should accept Obama's position on the tax rates, and work on tax reform next year.

  •  Which is precisely why Obama should stand up to (6+ / 0-)

    the extreme far-left radical purists in his party who want him to do something as crazy as respect the will of the majority of Americans, and agree to major cuts to entitlement programs--including Social Security, which of course is going broke even though it really isn't--and extending the Bush tax cuts, including for the rich, while not touching the defense budget because you never know when Putin might rear his head and all. That will prove that Obama is a Very Serious Person who can rise above the partisan noise (meaning his party's left wing and the public).

    Hey, if Tom Friedman's for it, what's not to like?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:57:01 AM PST

    •  It's just like when you want to both grow and (0+ / 0-)

      not grow grenades on the olive tree that is and is not in the Lexus you do and do not drive.

      "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

      by JesseCW on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:02:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Go over the cliff (4+ / 0-)

    If Democrats waver and 'go big' like Alan Simpson wants, cutting social programs of any kind including SS, Medicare, Medicaid, the Democrats will look like idiots and set themselves up for failure for years to come.

    Push the raising the taxes over 250 as passed in the Senate first, negotiate whatever may be needed in the next congress.
    Get on TV and take Air Force One across the country also explaining that unemployment is and always has been, since Galbraith designed it, a win for the community and a win for workers, paying back a return of much more than the investment.

    This is not 2010 or the Summer of 2011, circumstance have dramatically changed and as the polls show the people are behind progressive Democratic ideas.

    Congress people ask this question, "Are you supporting the United States of Wall Street or the United States of human beings?

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:03:36 AM PST

  •  GOP reps don't need public support- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pescadero Bill

    i heard bernie sanders on thom hartman saying the obvious - americans need to let their reps hear from them now. pres obama is doing the same.

    but all the GOP needs, same as usual for the last 20 years, are a few well coordinated, loud, and ignored carnival barkers at their backs, shouting over millions of the 99%.

    a few coordinated blowhards on 1000 stations determine what a huge segment of US conventional wisdom is through sheer unchallenged volume.

    20 years of think tanks creating and motivating made-to-order constituencies for any issue they want.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:27:47 AM PST

  •  Sick of Medicare and SS being a moving target (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Perhaps if someone would eliminate the tax breaks for those who own and race horses I might agree to some deductions being eliminated. The elimination or reduction of a home mortgage credit is counter productive and will negatively affect an already crippled home market. Issue tax credits for those who keep their money in this country and not off shore. Increase tax incentives to companies and individuals who maintain workforces however small.

    I have waited long enough to get medicare even if the drug companies created that shitty dounut hole. I am totally sick and tired of Medicare and SS set as a moving target. Place legislation to fix these age of attainmett rules. Introduce legislation to outlaw any one raiding the SS or Medicare trust funds to prosecute illegal wars or other covert actions.

    All the money that the pseudo job creators saved during heir Bush's tax cuts went to off shore accounts,Swiss bank accounts and wasted trying to get RoMoney elected. If you are true patriots as you constantly rail then why don't you use this money to create employment and not hate and devisivness. Besides Satan Chaney claims that deficets don't matter; unless a Democrat is in the White House.

  •  Let's Cut the Deficit (0+ / 0-)

    Let's cut the deficit that matters: the trade deficit. Until Congress eliminates our trade deficit I'm not interested in hearing about the federal one. It's just a reflection of how badly we've run the economy, and I put congressional Republicans squarely to blame for that. For years they've promoted bad economic policies, including free trade, and they're still out there talking about that failed policy.

    Want to know how to fix the federal deficit? Fix the trade deficit and let wages rise to where they should be. End of problem.

  •  Do you get mortgage deductions on second homes? (0+ / 0-)

    If you do, I'd eliminate them on any home you're not actually living in.  You should be able to deduct only the home in which you actually reside most of the time...

  •  Here is more political suicide... (0+ / 0-)

    Walk over the cliff on Medicare age increases...because...the punditry that will never use it tells you to...

    Don't do it Dems...find the real ways to address Medicare cost increases...

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:39:14 AM PST

  •  The Republican mania about (0+ / 0-)

    upper bracket tax rates seems akin to the past wing nut concern about "precious bodily fluids". It's just as irrational.

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