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Friday, September 30, 2016

Instead of establishing a fair baseline for rich taxpayers, House Republicans want to let the rich chip in whatever they want.

Last October, President Obama introduced the so-called “Buffett Rule,” a tax provision that would require multimillionaires to pay a minimum 30 percent effective tax rate. It was named for the Oracle of Omaha himself, Warren Buffett, who famously complained about paying a lower tax rate than his own secretary. The idea garnered a great deal of public support, with one CNN poll from April 2012 finding as many as 76 percent of Americans in favor. Last week, bowing to popular demand, House Republicans passed the Buffett Rule Act of 2012, which naturally has nothing to do with any of that. Instead of establishing a baseline of fairness, it encapsulates the conservative notion that wealthy Americans shouldn’t be asked to contribute any more to society than they’re willing to volunteer.

The Republicans’ version of the Buffett Rule, which is not actually a “rule” in the sense that you or I or Webster’s Dictionary might understand the word, would allow taxpayers to check a box on their tax forms if they want to contribute more than they owe in order to help pay down the deficit. But, you may ask, can’t taxpayers already choose to pay more than they owe? Why yes, they’re free to send a check to the Treasury Department. So what does this bill actually do? Well, it would add a box they can check to send it to the IRS instead! The Joint Committee on Taxation projects that this bold innovation would help raise $122 million in additional revenue over the next 10 years. That’s slightly less than the $47 billion that Barack Obama’s version of the Buffett Rule would raise, but combined with more tax cuts for the rich and corporations, it puts the hard-nosed deficit hawks in the GOP on track to balance the budget some time around the heat death of the universe.

There’s a fundamental ideological divide between progressives and the modern conservative movement, and it concerns how much they buy into the concept of the social contract. That divide is reflected in the GOP’s fallback response to President Obama’s Buffett Rule proposal: “If Warren Buffett thinks he doesn’t pay enough taxes, why doesn’t he just volunteer to pay more?” Mike Konczal effectively dismantles this pseudo-logic here, and on a rhetorical level, it’s on par with “If you love the government so much, why don’t you marry it?” On the other hand, it makes a certain amount of sense if you think of society as something we can choose to opt out of once it’s outlived its use to us instead of an ongoing support system that we’ve all bought into. If you see the rich as the people who have benefited the most from our tax-funded social structure, it only seems fair to ask them to give back more in tough times. But if you think the rich are noble martyrs who are doing the rest of us a favor by choosing not to “go Galt” and withdraw from society, it’s clearly unjust to ask any more of them unless they volunteer it out of the goodness of their hearts.

  • daniel bostdorf

    To the fascists that are gearing up a response….

    Let’s focus on this….otherwise, you are playing a Karl Rove playbook propaganda plan.

    Price states:

    “Case in point: during last week’s Friday news dump, Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns, which showed that he had overpaid his taxes to avoid dropping below a 13 percent effective rate. At first blush this might seem like an example of the Republican Buffett Rule in action: look at this guy, giving until it hurts! Never mind the fact that he once said anyone who did that was some kind of moron who didn’t deserve to be president. But this was pure campaign strategy, not altruism. Having made $13.7 million last year, he paid only a 14.1 percent effective tax rate even after fixing the numbers. The problem is, he’d previously said he’d never paid less than a 13 percent rate in the last 10 years, and if he had taken all the deductions he was entitled to this year, he might have wound up paying as little as 9 percent. To put it another way, if Romney had taken full advantage of the breaks offered to him by the current tax code, he would have paid so little as to embarrass himself. And he’s not alone. …….According to the Congressional Research Service, one quarter of millionaires pay an effective tax rate of less than 26.5 percent, while 10 million middle-class Americans pay a higher rate……..If we want the services we’ve determined government can most effectively provide, and if Republicans are serious about wanting to rein in the budget deficit, we need to set rules that establish a steady stream of revenue, not hope that Bill Gates is in an especially good mood when he fills out his 1040.”

    The only way to “set rules that establish a steady stream of revenue” is to bring economic parity to the poor and middle class…the 47% Romney despises.

    It’s about poverty. It’s about economic justice.
    I really don’t have time to quote Martin Luther King. He said it all.

    We need to destroy the economics that Eisenhower warned us about: the “military industrial complex.” That was the late 1950’s….

    it’s now 2012…we are making same mistakes he warned us about.

    Not only in the USA but globally.

    halliburton mean anything to you folks?

    ~~~~~~~~~next related subject about taxes~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In revolutionary France, they took the rich to the guillotine.
    Guillotine: ” a device designed for carrying out executions by decapitation.”

    We need to cut off the head of the snake of the rich and powerful fascist millionaires and billionaires who enslave. Who feel entitled. Who care less about anyone but themselves.

    “Let them eat cake.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~17th century England~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Remember, remember
    The fifth of November
    The gunpowder treason and plot.
    I know of no reason
    Why the gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot.”

    But what of the man?

    I know his name was Guy Fawkes, and I know that, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the houses of Parliament.

    But who was he really? What was he like?
    We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught. He can be killed and forgotten.

    But four hundred years later an idea can still change the world.

    I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of ideas.
    I’ve seen people kill in the name of them; and die defending them.

    But you cannot kill an idea, cannot touch it or hold it.

    Ideas do not bleed, it cannot feel pain, and it does not love.
    And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man.

    A man who made me remember the fifth of November.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~2012 globally~~~~~~~~~~~

    The poor and middle class and those educated enough need to take back this planet and the USA….now.

    We need an American/Global Spring metaphoric Guy Fawkes as a nation speaking with one voice.

    Do not vote for the neo-fascists Romney/Ryan.

    The next United States presidential election is to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

    Ok-it’s not the 5th…. 🙂

    • Having a lower tax rate while making millions of dollars in investment income is not something anyone should brag about; and don’t forget that the money he paid taxes on is only what he earned in the USA. His tax free overseas investments and the money he hid in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland remain untouched by Uncle Sam.

  • Everyone that becomes a repulicans think they become rich, it is a false view.

  • When it comes to paying taxes and national responsibility the GOP position can be narrowed to a word: Don’t. The truth about those who continuously wrap themselves in the flag and want to take our country back to a time that belongs in history, is that they only care about themselves, their personal wealth, the preservation of the values and prejudices that are important to them, and their ability to buy whatever they want while their fellow Americans are struggling to make ends meet and our country is threatened by economic woes and high unemployment as a result of their policies. What we should fear the most is not big government, Muslims, or foreign competitors, but the enemy from within.

    • 1bythebrooks2

      Dominick, I so appreciate your well thought out and researched comments, Also, that you are so polite at explaining them without being crass. Well done, and I will continue to enjoy your comments!

  • TSB

    When there exists a huge deficit/debt because of wars or infrastructure repairs, the public should be willing to help pay for the costs, rich or poor. Obviously the rich are in a much better position to pay. Do the rich benefit more from these endeavors or the poor? At any rate if a flat tax on ALL income, no exemptions, no deductions on everything over the cost of living, was imposed at a rate of 30% until these debts were satisfied wouldn’t it be a grand life?

  • DEAR TIM, YOU ARE COMPLETELY FULL OF SHIT. YOU LIE LIKE A DOG JUST LIKE THE GUY IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • awakenaustin

      Gee, Lester how thoughtful. Your shift key is stuck. Can we expect more of these reasoned responses to those with whom you disagree. I can hardly wait for your next installment.

      • Awake’s response is typical of the right wings replies that I have seen on thios website. Nasty, ignorant but gratefully usually short and never backed up by facts. I guess that’s why they like Pinocchio Romney.

        • Sand_Cat

          Huh?

    • jebediah123

      Don’t blame Lester for his comment—-He’s just another dumb ass parrot mimicking the golden rhetoric of Limbaugh, Hannity or Beck.

      • jebediah123

        OOPS—Somehow my comment appeared twice and I meant to reply to Lester—but in one version I used the name “TIM”–SORRY!

    • xphild

      Hey Lester you should do a little research before you speak too fondly of the *A**H**O**L**E** who screwed up the state I live in MA. He creted Romney Care and it was the only intelligent thing he has done in his limited time in public office. It haas brought down costs and somewhat stabilized them here. The rest of what he tried to do was a disaster though. If I were you I would stop and then back up very carefully so you can safely remove you head from “Little Mitty’s” & his partner in crime”Paul Ryan’s” **a**s**s**e**s. If you are a member of the middle class you will get screwed along with the rest of us. If you are however part of the elite 1% then you need to do your part and “MAN UP” like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and others who have more class than the phony “Little Mitty” can ever have.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Lester….your are a right wing propagandist for the Rove/Limbaugh/FoxFAUXnew mindset. Lies, distortions, profanity and distractions….

      Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels said it best:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” (likeFox FAUX News, Limbaugh, Beck and Rove believe)

      or as Adolph Hitler stated:

      “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

      Lester — go post somewhere else ok?

    • Joseph Hemphill

      Mo Lester, get a grip, your man goin’ down….

  • OKAY!!! I can go along with the flat tax, but with a few “small” tweaks.
    FIRST, HAVE A $10,000 DEDUCTION PER ADULT, AND AN $8,000 DEDUCTION PER CHILD. THIS WILL APPLY FOR ALL GROSS INCOME, WETHER IT IS EARNED BY WORK OR BY INVESTMENT INCOME.
    THE TOTAL PERSONAL GROSS INCOME WILL NOT BE GIVEN ANY SPECIAL INTEREST DEDUCTIONS AT ALL. NO MORTGAGE DEDUCTION, NO BUSINESS EXPENSES, ETC.
    As for business, all income will be taxed at the same rate as individuals.
    Only the “hard costs” of doing business, such as materials, labor, loan interest, etc., PLUS A CREDIT FOR ACTUAL JOB CREATION WILL BE DEDUCTED FROM GROSS INCOME.
    A PENALTO FOR SHIPPING JOBS OFFSHORE, COMPUTED AT DOUBLE THE CREDIT FOR ACTUAL NEW JOB CREATION WILL BE IMPOSED. THIS PENALTY WILL CONTINUE EVERY YEAR AFTER THAT UNTIL THE OFFSHORE JOBS ARE REPLACED BY AMERICAN JOBS.
    The tax revenue should be adjusted upward to be slightly more than “revenue neutral. ” As an example, increase the gross tax receipts, (based on calculations of anticipated tax revenue under our present tax structure), by one percent during the first and second year, two percent the third and forth year, and three percent thereafter. These small gains in revenue should at least slow down the increase in the National Debt until it stabilizes.
    Any legislation that increases expenditures MUST be offset by spending cuts that are specifically defined before the new expenditures can be enacted.
    Does this give the “flat tax” a different flavor than that proposed by the so called “Conservatives?”
    If so, would the majority of Americans be more inclined to accept this as an alternative to the “progressive” nature of our current income tax structure?
    I think they would, and in the process, it would actually give business a major incentive to create jobs for Americans, and also create a reason to stop outsourcing jobs that should be kept in America.
    Of course, I expect the Tea Party members to blast this as a Progressive attack on everything American. But as far as I am concerned, I couldn’t care less what the Tea Party members think of me.
    TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT!!!

  • OKAY!!! I can go along with the flat tax, but with a few “small” tweaks.
    FIRST, HAVE A $10,000 DEDUCTION PER ADULT, AND AN $8,000 DEDUCTION PER CHILD. THIS WILL APPLY FOR ALL GROSS INCOME, WETHER IT IS EARNED BY WORK OR BY INVESTMENT INCOME.
    THE TOTAL PERSONAL GROSS INCOME WILL NOT BE GIVEN ANY SPECIAL INTEREST DEDUCTIONS AT ALL. NO MORTGAGE DEDUCTION, NO BUSINESS EXPENSES, ETC.
    As for business, all income will be taxed at the same rate as individuals.
    Only the “hard costs” of doing business, such as materials, labor, loan interest, etc., PLUS A CREDIT FOR ACTUAL JOB CREATION WILL BE DEDUCTED FROM GROSS INCOME.
    A PENALTY FOR SHIPPING JOBS OFFSHORE, COMPUTED AT DOUBLE THE CREDIT FOR ACTUAL NEW JOB CREATION WILL BE IMPOSED. THIS PENALTY WILL CONTINUE EVERY YEAR AFTER THAT UNTIL THE OFFSHORE JOBS ARE REPLACED BY AMERICAN JOBS.
    The tax revenue should be adjusted upward to be slightly more than “revenue neutral. ” As an example, increase the gross tax receipts, (based on calculations of anticipated tax revenue under our present tax structure), by one percent during the first and second year, two percent the third and forth year, and three percent thereafter. These small gains in revenue should at least slow down the increase in the National Debt until it stabilizes.
    Any legislation that increases expenditures MUST be offset by spending cuts that are specifically defined before the new expenditures can be enacted.
    Does this give the “flat tax” a different flavor than that proposed by the so called “Conservatives?”
    If so, would the majority of Americans be more inclined to accept this as an alternative to the “progressive” nature of our current income tax structure?
    I think they would, and in the process, it would actually give business a major incentive to create jobs for Americans, and also create a reason to stop outsourcing jobs that should be kept in America.
    Of course, I expect the Tea Party members to blast this as a Progressive attack on everything American. But as far as I am concerned, I couldn’t care less what the Tea Party members think of me.
    TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT!!!

  • sleeprn01

    Our government really only asks the public to pay income tax to pay for the services that the government provides for us. The government does not even require that we spend any time in the military. The only thing that we need to do as citizens is to pay our taxes; it is our patriotic duty to due that much for a country that provides us with so much. Remember, it takes money to buy guns, bullets, bombs, interstate highways, air traffic controllers, beautiful parks and museums, etc., etc., etc.

    P.S. Please don’t stay awake at nights worrying about Mr. Romney paying his “fair” share of taxes. He has up to three (3) years in which to file an amended return to get his “over payment” back from the government!!!!

  • The Republicans sure have a knack for naming things. They passed the very popular Buffet rule – except they did not. They passed a jobs bill – it created no jobs it just gave pollutors a free pass, I could go on and on with their creativity.

    The only way Republicans win is if the electorate is stupid or not paying attention. They are so frightened of our IQ they must turn to disenfranchisement. yeah us!

  • daniel bostdorf

    Price states:

    “Case in point: during last week’s Friday news dump, Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns, which showed that he had overpaid his taxes to avoid dropping below a 13 percent effective rate. At first blush this might seem like an example of the Republican Buffett Rule in action: look at this guy, giving until it hurts! Never mind the fact that he once said anyone who did that was some kind of moron who didn’t deserve to be president. But this was pure campaign strategy, not altruism. Having made $13.7 million last year, he paid only a 14.1 percent effective tax rate even after fixing the numbers. The problem is, he’d previously said he’d never paid less than a 13 percent rate in the last 10 years, and if he had taken all the deductions he was entitled to this year, he might have wound up paying as little as 9 percent. To put it another way, if Romney had taken full advantage of the breaks offered to him by the current tax code, he would have paid so little as to embarrass himself. And he’s not alone. …….According to the Congressional Research Service, one quarter of millionaires pay an effective tax rate of less than 26.5 percent, while 10 million middle-class Americans pay a higher rate……..If we want the services we’ve determined government can most effectively provide, and if Republicans are serious about wanting to rein in the budget deficit, we need to set rules that establish a steady stream of revenue, not hope that Bill Gates is in an especially good mood when he fills out his 1040.”

    The only way to “set rules that establish a steady stream of revenue” is to bring economic parity to the poor and middle class…the 47% Romney despises.

    It’s about poverty. It’s about economic justice.