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Monday, October 24, 2016

There is more to the “fiscal cliff” deal than the breaking of Grover Norquist’s iron grip on the GOP through his insane no-tax pledge, as congressional Republicans voted for higher taxes on the wealthy for the first time in 20 years.

But enough about fiscal cliff losers like Norquist; the American Taxpayers Relief Act of 2012, which passed with the votes of 85 House Republicans and 40 Senate Republicans, helps boost biofuels and other domestic industries. Tax breaks for renewable energy, railroads, Hollywood and other American industries benefited from the new law.

Let’s take a look at some of the big winners.

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  • bcarreiro

    did the 2% pay their fairshare of 2% this week…………………half way crooks.

    • The top 1% already satisfied their FICA contributions for the year! If our elected officials are truly interested in solving the fiscal problems that afflict our social programs the first thing they should do is raise the Social Security contribution cap from $106K to $250K. That would generate enough revenue to keep the program solvent for generations to come, and it would not represent a huge burden for the top 1%, most of whom would meet the new threshold by the second week in January!

      • stcroixcarp

        The second thing that should be done to shore up Social Security and medicare is to put a 1% tax on all capital gain and interest over $250,000 to go exclusively to Social Security and Medicare.

        • dtgraham

          Exactly. I could scarcely believe it when the President was apparently going to agree to reduce Social Security through chained CPI changes. I don’t agree with reductions to medicare or medicaid either because you can find waste and savings in other ways, and he has been. At least an argument can be made tying reductions of those “entitlements” to deficit control if you’re hard hearted, but what connection does SS have to the debt? The fixes to SS are so easy too.

      • Replying to Dominick Vila –

        I disagree. The contribution should have no upper limit. The tax has been used for decades to “BALANCE” budgets and allow for tax breaks that amount to WELFARE FOR THE WEALTHY.

        It should also be applied to Capital Gains income. After all, Capital Gains are taxed at a much lower rate than actual labor. (Particularly when compared to total taxes, including Social Security and Medicare taxes.)

        Even if the limit were raised to the $450,000 that is the cut off for the GWB tax breaks, at least it would level the playing field a little more for the secretaries, office workers, blue collar workers, middle managers, and the rest of the 98% who work for the Millionaires and Billionaires.

        There is no justification why the poorest workers among us should shoulder this regressive tax on 100% of their income, while those who earn Millions only pay the tax on a small portion of their income.

        I disagree. The contribution should have no upper limit. The tax has been used for decades to “BALANCE” budgets and allow for tax breaks that amount to WELFARE FOR THE WEALTHY.

        It should also be applied to Capital Gains income. After all, Capital Gains are taxed at a much lower rate than actual labor. (Particularly when compared to total taxes, including Social Security and Medicare taxes.)

        Even if the limit were raised to the $450,000 that is the cut off for the GWB tax breaks, at least it would level the playing field a little more for the secretaries, office workers, blue collar workers, middle managers, and the rest of the 98% who work for the Millionaires and Billionaires.

        There is no justification why the poorest workers among us should shoulder this regressive tax on 100% of their income, while those who earn Millions only pay the tax on a small portion of their income.

        Once the Social Security “Trust Fund” is fully capitalized, and Medicare is fully funded, then, and only then, should discussions be entered to scale back those taxes.

  • In particular I’m please to see the wind energy and the rest of the renewable package extended. Jobs are the most important aspect of the economy that still needs more attention. This may be a small measure, but it is a start. Too bad the GOP fought so hard against doing anything to help the working men and women these past four years. Imagine where the economy would be now if they helped just a little?

    • Hi Lynda, give the GOP some credit. They fought hard to make sure the Koch brother’s TransCanada Keystone pipeline is built across the USA to transport highly corrosive shale oil via our country for export to China from the Gulf Coast. Interestingly, the reason that pipeline was not buit to cross Canada to its West Coast is because Canadians rejected it on environmental grounds!

      • rl

        Sure give them credit for finally showing the United States where we all stand in their eyes. They LOST again, and how much money did they spend this time.

        • I guess my attempt at sarcasm was not obvious enough…

        • rl

          It wasn’t lost, I did understand it, and on that I guess mine was lost also. Que Sera’

        • The amount they spent was spittle to them.They bathe themselves in luxury to the point where they have nothing better to do than to amass more and watch millions suffer as a result of ther “philosopy”.

      • Dean311

        The Koch Brothers are a couple wealthy losers who lost their asses bigtime sinking all their dirty money into Romney’s clown campaign…Mitt the Moron even adMITTed he didn’t want to be President in the first place! His idiot wife talked him into it.Just like Karl Rove losing his shorts to the tune of about 300,000,000 samoles, The Koch (Kock) Bros took the pipeline right up their asses…served ’em right. They all should board a rocket ship to Kolob!!!!!

        • Romney thought he was the “prophet” for his cause, be it the GOP or the Mormon Church. Gratefully for the rest of us, he was outed, just as his ancestors were when Smith tried to spin his tale of BS back in Illinois. His “church” is a sham as is he.

      • Of course! Why didn’t the rest of us think there was some underlying reason here? Thanks, Dom, for your insight!

  • Renewable energy, and investment in general, is the best way to stimulate the economy, grow, and achieve sustainable economic prosperity. The last thing we need at a time when our economy is still trying to recover is an austerity program. Our economy needs investment and since the private sector remains reluctant to invest, it is up to the public sector to get the ball rolling until the economy is strong enough to sustain deep cuts in spending.
    The main difference between the Republican and the Democratic approach when it comes to economic solutions is that the GOP relies entirely on austerity as the best approach to balance the budget and reduce the national debt; most Democrats believe revenues must increase, investment is the key to sustained prosperity, and benign spending reductions must take place while the economy remains weak before more aggressive spending reductions are implemented.
    Moreover, the GOP remains steadfast on raising taxes, preferring to enjoy the benefits of having the best military in the world, excellent intelligence agencies, an outstanding diplomatic corps, the best air control system, the CDC, NASA, NOAA, food and drug inspectors, and many other services we rely upon to guarantee our national security and enjoy our standard of living without paying for it. Most Democrats understand we must pay for the things we get and benefit from. In that respect, Democrats are the true fiscal conservatives, and the Republicans are fiscal libertines on steroids.

    • Well written, you hit the nail right on the head! I am forwarding your post to others!

    • As usual Dominick, well thought out point. Spot on.

  • nobsartist

    The best way to stimulate the economy is thru job creation. I did not see that on the list of President Obama’s list of 5 things he wants to accomplish this term.

    The attempt to create jobs in this country is disgusting at best. republiCONs figure they will make government “smaller” by forcing the elimination of many jobs that they themselves created during the failed bush years. I find it ironic that since America discovered that the AWOL coke heads jobs program of invading other countries didnt work, the attempt to move as many manufacturing jobs to china for a profit has ruined our tax base and that the elimination of government jobs is not good for our economy, there are still many that think the “tea baggers” claim of excessive deficit spending is what is hurting our country the most.

    Mr. Obama should have put JOB CREATION as his most important endeavor the next 4 years but it does not even make the list.

    One big LOSER of the fake “fiscal cliff” deal is JOB CREATION.

    We have been waiting since 2007 for a solution to the jobs crisis that started in 2001.

    When is it going to be a priority?

  • atc333

    Wind energy is fine, but why not consider using tidal flows for energy? It would not create the hazards to navigation, would not be intrusive on the horizon, and would probably produce more energy per installation, as water pressure on a turning blade would be much higher.

  • Philip Weigel

    I don’t like how Hollywood got over a billion dollars in tax breaks.

    They made over 2 billion last year alone, but they’re still losing money?

    Why are we propping up an industry (MPAA and RIAA) that does nothing but hinder new technologies and slow progress down?

    If anything, we should stop giving them tax breaks and let them fend for themselves. We can start by rolling back copyright from Lifetime+70 years or 120 years (whichever comes first) back to the original 14 years + a one time extension of 14 years if the author/creator decides to renew.

    After all, when Congress uses copyright to pull stuff out of the public domain, you know something’s wrong.

    • Sand_Cat

      To your point, the oil industry made far more, and they aren’t losing money, and industrial ag did, too. If we’re stupid enough to continue subsidizing these two massive obstacles to new technologies and progress, why not at least try to make our lives more entertaining? ;-}

  • RodgerMitchell

    The 1% got exactly what it wanted: A widening of the gap between them and the 99%.

    The 1% doesn’t care about that piddling, little rate increase on the highest tax level. They won’t pay it, anyway. Ask Warren Buffet.

    But they are overjoyed at the crushing tax increase on the lower salaried people, with the 2% increase in FICA. You see, all the 1% wants is a bigger income gap. It’s the gap that makes them rich.

    If there were no gap, no one would be rich. But increasing the gap, makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.

    Mission accomplished.

  • atc333

    Considering transportation, how is it that China now has a long, very high speed rail line, and we do not? Wouldn’t high speed rail be an effective alternative to air travel, assuming the cost, and time involved came down? Considering how gas will continue to rise in price, as the buying power of minimum wage will continue to drop, (now75% of what it was years ago) public transportation is a real necessity. Consider Gov. Scott’s actions in Florida, who refused Federal Funding for high speed rail, just to make his “fiscal responsibility” point to Florida citizens. To further demonstrate his intense commitment to the GOP, he continued on with with his voter suppression legislation, then following the elections, demands an investigation into why voters had to stand in line for up to 6 hours, and then demanded an inquiry into how to fix it.

    • China is not the only country with a good high speed rail system. Japan and several European countries had them for a long time, and they are, indeed, an inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternative to air and motor vehicle travel. Our public transportation system is in desperate need of improvement/development. We must also reconsider the concept of suburbia which, by necessity, requires motor vehicle commuting to do everything we need.
      Unfortunately, changes like these require time and investment. We have neglected this issue for far too long, in part because of the brain washing by the oil and automotive industries, but also because cultural habits are hard to break. Reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels would reduce our huge trade deficits and would allow us to invest at home in things critical to our future.

      • karinursula

        You right of course. Germany has a great railroad system, a cheap alternate to their high Gas Prices. It also stops in small towns so it is easy to ride the train.

  • RR3

    it’s avery small step….but….is in the right direction….still a long way to go….still the GOP doesn’t know, and care to know, anything about running this country efficiently….they only are focused…once again…to make President Obama fail….therefore carrying the bad news to Sec Hillary Clinton potential Presidential campaigns in 2016….don’t believe it??…get out of your 1700’s bubble and look around….CA is going to do great!!….

  • I too am pleased to see the continuing incentives for alternative fuels. Let’s continue to invest in these methods just as we did in our early development of fossil fuels. All schools, government buildings and anyone using federal funds should be required to retrofit all their vehicles and buildings to use these more efficient forms of energy. We should also require producers who benefit from sales to consumers have a program in place that can safely dispose of their products’ waste after use. Give them an incentive to do so.

  • Norquist is a fool. Norquist is a BIG FOOL. He is a misguided 1/2 citizen of the USA. Norquist is one of the brightest fools ever produced by Harvard. Damit!
    God bless the Commander In Chief!
    God bless America1

    • lana ward

      Omuslim doesn’t believe in God in the Bible, so he can’t bless him. Omuslim is doing satans’ work- it is satan who blesses Omuslim

      • As spoken by a believer in the largest anti-Christian organization in America – the GOP. Nothing, absolutely nothing, the GOP stands for is Christian!! Not it’s love of Money!! Not its love of judging people!! Not it’s love of it’s all about ME!! If you’re talking about Satan – then you’re simply doing nothing but describing just what the GOP is – Devil worshippers!!!

        • lana ward

          It’s the dems taking God out of everything, not the Republicans. Taking God out of everything and satan in his place

          • Sand_Cat

            Obviously, they must have been really successful: no god any sane person would adore or worship lives in your heart!

          • lana ward

            Why are the dems taking God out of everything?

          • jointerjohn

            First of all bean-brain, a truly omnipotent god cannot be taken out of anywhere by the works of any man. Second, simply keeping our public places free from religious indoctrination is the democrats’ service to keep us from turning into another Iran or Afghanistan. In case you may have forgotten the attack of 9/11/2001 was indeed a “faith-based initiative”.

          • lana ward

            The dems are taking God out of everything, they’re even going after Christmas. Christians are having their rights taken away. Christ and Christians are being persecuted here in America! Bean-brain

          • Lana, you’ve apparently forgotten what America is all about – it’s about everyone being able to worship in the way they believe. And Despite what the GOP seems to think, the only religion in America is not Christian. And even inspite of that, you and the vast majority of the GOP, including it’s candidates for President seem to conveniently forget one very meaningful thing Jesus taught, DO YOUR ALMS IN SECRET. DO NOT LIKE THE PUBLICANS AND PRAY OUTWARDLY IN PUBLIC. In other words, your faith only means something to GOD if it’s done in the secret place – not as a spectacle as so many want to do at Christmas and on the stage in front of millions of people as the asinine GOP presidential hopefuls did so many times during the presidential campaign. Just another example that they are not true Christians – just fakes!!!

          • lana ward

            Like I said, God is being taken out of everything. Anything goe’s accept Christianity

          • jointerjohn

            It seems clear Independent1 you and I have been suckered into a duel of wits with a totally unarmed person

      • Reddiaperbaby

        Your ignorance is terrifying…still harping on that Muslim thing? You are such a pathetic moron, do us all a favor and go post your garbage on one the many wing-nut sites.

        • lana ward

          Omuslim has the muslim brotherhood in all departments in the WH. He IS a muslim and he hates America

          • Sand_Cat

            I know the other guy said you are terrifying, and as a symptom of a rather widespread problem, you are, but I can’t help but laugh at your complete ignorance, with a large added dose of fanaticism, racism, religious bigotry, malice, and just plain willful stupidity. But then, ignorance, particularly the willful kind, is almost a prerequisite for all the others.

            You and Obozo are the clowns who keep us all entertained. By all means keep up the delusional, incoherent ravings; we all need a laugh in our day.

            Oh, and if you want to uncover who hates America and all it stands for (not much, anymore) far more than anyone you’ve named, try looking in your mirror.

          • lana ward

            Do you aprove of the terrorist muslim brotherhood being in our WH? Have you read the 1972 newspaper article by Valerie Jarretts’ father-in-law that reveals the start of muslim purchase of the US Presidency??Smartness??

          • karinursula

            Well if startet in 1972 then I suppose the Bushe’s where also bought by these imaginary Muslims?

          • lana ward

            All you people know is how to be smartasses. Try looking something up once in a while, you’ll learn something!!

          • Don’t waste too much time on the idiots from the Tea Party.

            Their main contribution to society is the gut-splitting, roll on the floor, laughter that we all appreciate.

            Of course, if you spent all day listening to Glenn, Rush, Ann and Faux News, you would actually believe this insanity also.

          • RIGHT ON!!!

          • And where do you get your facts??? MORON

          • lana ward

            I found them, look and you will too! MORON!!

      • OMG another one is loose. The country indeed has mental health issue to deal with as some posts expose.

        • lana ward

          Omuslim believes in Allah, not God, so calm down

          • FYI..You ignorant fool, Jews, Christians, Muslims
            ALL worship the SAME God the God of Abraham. In whose name rivers of blood have flowed through out his history

          • lana ward

            You ignorant fool!! Allah IS NOT the God of the Bible!!

          • faxt42

            don’t waste your time to respond to the super fool….

      • Replying to lana ward –

        It is interesting that you know what is in the heart of President Obama.

        It reminds me of George the Second making the comment that he looked into the eyes of Putin, and could see that in his heart, Putin was a kind man.

        • lana ward

          GWB wanted to believe in the best in people, that’s the kind of person he is. Omuslim does believe in Allah-that is his god. How can he believe in God, then take him out of everything. He doesn’t stand up for Christians, he belittles them and is now forcing them to do what is against their beliefs. Did you know that members of the muslim brotherhood are working in the WH

          • karinursula

            Lana, I think you should worry about yourself right now, you need to see a Shrink, you probably also hear voices.

          • lana ward

            Why is Obama and the dems taking God out of everything?

          • GWB wanted to believe in the best of people?? Is that why he approved of torture? Is that why he intentionally did nothing to prevent 9/11 from happening that killed 3,000 Americans after he’d been warned about it 3 times? Is that why he started an unwarranted war in Iraq based on lies knowing full well many American soldiers would lose their lives? Is that why he passed two tax cuts while we were at war, knowing full well he’d have to cut subsidies to the states for programs that supported those in a trillion/year? Is that why he deliberately did nothing when the country was running amok during his second term ending up in 14 million people losing their jobs and hundreds of companies going bankrupt?? What an asinine comment – there’s never been such an absolutely terrible president and worthless human being.

          • lana ward

            George Bush is a gentle man. Waterboarding is NOt torture. Bill Clinton had 3 chances to have OBL and he refused. He was to busy with Monicia to worry about the country. Everyone in Washington thought there WMD’s(there were- they were moved to Siria) And this mess the country is in is because of the dems policies!!And Bush was blamed for it!! And that traitor, communist muslim in the WH isn’t even trying to make things better! He is purposely making things worse. 4 years and we’re in worse shape than we were when he took office!!! Omuslim hates America! He is one evil piece of bla**

          • somehow a little phrase in my response got deleted:

            It should read: knowing full well that he’d have to cut subsidies to the states for programs that supported thos in need and the elderly just to keep his spending each year under 1/2 a trillion/year.

          • lana ward

            Omuslim has the terrorist muslim brotherhood working in the WH. He is arming Egypt with F-16 fighter jets. He is not a friend of America or Israel, he is a muslim and they know him as leader. Allah! Allah!!

      • lana ward

        Omuslim believes in Allah, not God, so calm down!!

      • Give me a break you ignorant fool!!!

        • lana ward

          Omuslim believes in Allah, you ignorant fool! He doesn’t believe in the God of the Bible

  • elw

    All very good news.

  • greghilbert

    More Obama-Dem loyalist propaganda. The 1% retained TWO THIRDS of the huge tax cut they got from Reagan and company. The already-outrageous disparity in income and wealth will now continue to widen, and ever more Americans will be impoverished.

    • When you’re faced with an opposition party that is determined to say NO to everything, and will use every dirty trick availbable to them that allows the minority to stymie whatever the majority would really like to do (like the cloture and filibuster rules in the Senate), you take what victories you can get. Many of us are not happy with the outcome but given the atmosphere that the GOP has created in the nation, pushing things to the limit, which would have meant that the new year would begin with great uncertainty, was not a very good prospect for the 2013 economy.

  • howa4x

    The deficit is the made up of years of a borrow and spend policy that let the wealthiest Americans pay a tax rate that was lower than the middle class. The part of the defict that is attirbuted to Obama stems from an unfinished war in Afganistan that the republicans put on a credit card, and trying to stem the tide of unemployment from the economic crash crash that was created by republican policies. The republican plan was to let the middle class clean it up, and the Democratic one was to make the rich pay their fair share.Finally we are getting a bill that moves this country in the right direction toward a sustainable energy future and starts to bend the curve on climae change while helping out the urban commuters. This is why we elected a democratic president and why the republican party lost touch with the people.

    • Keep in mind that since WWII, every GOP president but Ike has increased the deficit while Every Dem president has been faced with cutting deficit spending and has reduced it. Unfortunately, Americans have been foolish in their voting and have not kept a Dem presidency in office over the past 30 years in order to actually reduce our debt – keeping in mind also that, when Reagan took office our total deficit was 800 billion dollars. What few realize is, that Reagan actually increased spending more than any president after him; averaging increasing his budgets more than 8%/year; Bush jr. was just behind him at at still over 8% /year. So far, Obama has managed the budget better than any president since WWII – he actually has a negative percent; aside from his 1st year in office, the other 3 have been downward. Obama has actually reduced deficit spending faster than any president since WWII and he’s reduced spending for 3 years in a row for the 1st time since Truman did that in the 1940s after WWII.

      • howa4x

        very true. The republicans are better at painting the dems than the other way around, so the tax and spend label is hard to shake especially when the tax part is to clean up the republican mess

  • Charvi3

    First of all…I called the White House…and asks the young man that answered the phone..if he took shorthand…and let him know to tell the President to get a Constitutional Lawyer to represent the Amendment 16th to the Constitution where it says that the rich should pay taxes as well as the middle class…and the republicans want to repeal it…I can see why…but, when the Constitutional Lawyer creates a case…if any of the republicans are interferring with the Budget…so, to speak…and or the Congress interferes..with the the President wants to lay out…according to the 16th Amendment…if any are found guilty…they can be removed from office…would that be awesome…we would get rid of the republicans a lot faster…I e-mailed him also…explaining this to him…or he could have pleaded the 14th Amendment in the mean time…thos republicans think that the American People are stupid…I have always said that whatever is hidden will come out to the light..and I am giving them plenty of rope to hang themselves…all their drama is going to go to pot….I am going to e-mail that man the speaker of the house..and clue him in too…they better stop interferring with what the President wants to do for the middle class and the poor…and the rich should pay taxes on their estates…and all that they own too…they want the 16th Amendment changed to suit them…not with a Constitutional Lawyer creating a case against what they want to do…trying to budget everything themselves…I cannot wait till The President “Gives Them Hell” as Harry S. Truman said once before…they need to be stopped.