And Water is Wet and Salt is Salty

It’s depressing that we actually needed a study for this, but here you go anyway:

The tax reform plan that House Republicans have advanced would sharply cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and could leave middle-class households facing much larger tax bills, according to a new analysis set to be released Wednesday.

***

So although households earning $100,000 to $200,000 a year would save about $7,000 from the lower tax rates in the GOP plan, those savings would be swamped by eliminating major deductions, according to the report by the Democratically controlled congressional Joint Economic Committee.

The net result: Married couples in that income range would pay an additional $2,700 annually to the Internal Revenue Service, on top of the tax increases that are scheduled to hit every American household when the George W. Bush-era cuts expire at the end of the year.

Households earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.

“According to this report, while millionaires will receive a huge tax break, earners making under $200,000 will see their taxes rise significantly,” said Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), who chairs the Joint Economic Committee.

“Ryan seems to want to have his cake and eat it, too, and this report shows that you can’t,” added Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who requested the analysis. “If you want to cut taxes on the rich and not raise the deficit, you’re going to have to basically clobber the middle class.”

I mean, I guess I am glad they conducted a study, but the wingnuts will just ignore it because it doesn’t say what they want to hear and because facts and figures have a liberal bias, and the media lightweights get all confused when numbers are involved. Not to mention, if they do report this, they’ll give the facts, then turn the cameras to Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan who’ll lie about something, the media will ignore the lie and treat both sides as if they have valid arguments. BALANCE!

But back to the point. You didn’t need a study to tell you this. Anyone with an ounce of common sense could (and many of us did) look at the “very serious” Ryan plan for five minutes and say “So you are going to cut taxes by five trillion for the rich, allegedly close some loopholes, and this is going to reduce the deficit? Someone is going to get very, very screwed in this deal, and it isn’t going to be the Koch brothers.”






89 replies
  1. 1
    MattF says:

    You distrust someone with bluuuue eyes? Shameful.

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    Anyone with an ounce of common sense

    This disqualifies every Republican, Liberterian and a third of the Democrats.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    Yes, because tax cuts for the rich have made unemployment a worry from the past, and have secured SS, Medicare and Medicaid, for generations to come, we have no deficits, and we are living in the greatest era of prosperity in mankind’s history, since even the very few poor people in the country have microwaves, TV’s, cell-phones, and are fat!

    WTF did I just write?

    Jeez, these acid flashbacks are a bitch!

  4. 4
    The Dangerman says:

    Can’t overtax the job creators (soon to evolve to can’t tax the job creators, followed by must give job creators a negative tax rate, followed by …)

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    And who will the middle class blame for their higher taxes? The poor, of course. Americans are excruciatingly meek and submissive when it comes to their dealings with their overlords, whose ranks they feel they will eventually join if they just roll over and pee on themselves.

    The elimination of the mortgage deduction will drive down house prices further, which will ultimately benefit the rentier class. But it’s all good because maybe they will toss coins at us from their balconies.

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    but the wingnuts will just ignore it because it doesn’t say what they want to hear says exactly what they want to do.

    Corrected.

    They want to drive us all into serfdom, but they don’t want it talked about.

    Because then we might get ideas that involve mounting their heads on spiked poles.

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Magic underwear gnomes.

  8. 8
    lacp says:

    Who cares? As Reagan noted, “facts are stupid things.”

  9. 9
    Mark S. says:

    From the article:

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he would preserve the lower rates for the wealthy and eliminate taxes on investment income for the middle class.

    I admit this wouldn’t be terribly surprising, but I’d like to see a link.

    As for the main point, any pundit who trots out Paul Ryan as a matter of serious discussion is an idiot.

  10. 10
    Brachiator says:

    This is the opening feint in a larger battle. From tax and accounting sites:

    <blockquote>Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said on June 19 that a temporary extension of the Bush-era tax cuts is one option that he would consider in order to avoid falling off a fiscal cliff at the end of 2012 when the cuts are set to expire. The senior tax-writer suggested that a deal is possible if done in conjunction with an overhaul of the tax code, despite President Obama’s repeated demand that the tax cuts be allowed to expire for those earning over $1-million per year.
    __
    Seven other Senate Democrats were also reported to have not ruled out a temporary extension, according to a Capitol Hill newspaper. The 2001, 2003 and 2009 tax cuts, the patch on the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and other key tax provisions are set to expire at the end of 2012. Baucus’s comment followed a committee hearing on confronting the looming fiscal crisis where members heard details of a comprehensive debt-reduction plan offered by former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Alice Rivlin, his co-chair on the Debt Reduction Task Force at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
    __
    In addition, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently warned that allowing the tax breaks to expire could lead the economy back into recession. “Sitting back and letting all of this happen would mean disaster for our economy,” said Baucus. “We need a comprehensive debt-reduction plan that does not shock the system with deep, immediate cuts. Instead, we need a practical, responsible plan that gives confidence to the markets and the country.” Baucus said the Rivlin-Domenici plan is balanced and fair as it requires both revenue increases and spending cuts, although he believes that many of the tax-related changes are “politically challenging.”We may need the Avengers to save us.

  11. 11
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Seven other Senate Democrats were also reported to have not ruled out a temporary extension…

    Baucus, and those seven senators, or their simulacra, are why you got the stimulus you did, why the PPACA has the shape it does…

    Filibuster-proof majority my ass. It’s not just 60, it’s who’s in the 60.

  12. 12
    ericblair says:

    @beltane:

    The elimination of the mortgage deduction will drive down house prices further, which will ultimately benefit the rentier class. But it’s all good because maybe they will toss coins at us from their balconies.

    The rich fucks don’t care about it since it maxes out at the $1M mortgage level, if I remember correctly. The whole mortgage interest deduction doesn’t make much sense from a real economic incentive standpoint, but cutting it would certainly piss off most middle class homeowners who are used to it.

    I guess they’re trying the Reagan “tax cut”, where you reduce rates but eliminate deductions until Joe Schmo is actually paying more taxes after his tax cut than before. Pointing this out just shows your lack of faith in The Cause.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @ericblair:

    I guess they’re trying the Reagan “tax cut”, where you reduce rates but eliminate deductions until Joe Schmo is actually paying more taxes after his tax cut than before. Pointing this out just shows your lack of faith in The Cause.

    That’s where you have to bring in the welfare queens in their Cadillacs and the young bucks buying T-bone steaks with the white mans’ money. Also, too.

  14. 14
    jl says:

    @Brachiator:

    My simple commie Keynesian (but in this recession, only successful tool for accurately forecasting the future) reply to problem of recessionary impact of repealing Bush tax cuts:

    balanced budget multiplier. Repeal Bush tax cuts and increase federal spending to achieve desired mix of deficits and stimulus spending. With interest rates low, now is time when such a policy most likely to work.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011
    The Balanced Budget Multiplier: Job Creation without Increasing the Deficit

    http://economistsview.typepad......ficit.html

  15. 15
    jl says:

    More on balanced budget multiplier from Thoma’s Economist’s View blog with link to Robert Shiller piece on BBM:

    Edit: forgot title:
    Sunday, July 24, 2011
    Shiller: The Balanced Budget Multiplier

    http://economistsview.typepad......plier.html

  16. 16
    geg6 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Not to mention 100% of the msm. Krugthulu excepted, of course.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: From now on I will assume the sites trolls are wearing magic undies.

  18. 18
    Nylund says:

    Indeed. When you publicly state that you’re going to cut taxes for the rich and that your plan will be “revenue neutral” that means the taxes of the non-rich must go up.

  19. 19
    Ash Can says:

    I don’t think the fact that a study was done is depressing at all. Specifically, I’m glad it was done because it’s induced the WaPo to mention it and discuss it. Which means that word is getting out about this fraud. As always, far too few people will see it and believe it for our liking, but, you know, drip drip.

  20. 20
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Well, sure. Here’s how it works:

    cut taxes on the super-wealthy by $5,999,999,987.63, everyone else by $12.37 divided among 300M people.

    raise taxes on ONE poor homeless black guy in LA by $6T. Just hand him the tax due notice: “pay UP, sucka!”

    in the best Enron tradition, book $6T in income to balance the budget.

    Crow about how the median taxpayer got a tax cut and you balanced the budget. Media resorts with their usual “math is hard” non-analysis.

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    @Nylund: Tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves.

  22. 22
    wrb says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Can’t overtax the job creators (soon to evolve to can’t tax the job creators, followed by must give job creators a negative tax rate, followed by …)

    We must pay the job creators, for why else would would they deign to
    create us a job?

    It is obvious if you think right.

  23. 23
    Punchy says:

    I smell a roll-over on tax hikes and expected military spending cuts. Dems are nothing if not consistent on clutching pearls when the Republicans take to the airwaves.

  24. 24
    Culture of Truth says:

    Thomas Friedman
    (New York Times) — Watching this campaign unfold reaffirms how much it would have benefitted from a serious, centrist third-party challenger.

  25. 25
    jl says:

    Final link on BBM, this one showing that neoclassically based macroeconomic models, that Very Serious People and pundits should love, also show BBM would work in this environment.

    Saturday, April 28, 2012
    “A Case for Balanced-Budget Stimulus”

    http://economistsview.typepad......mulus.html

    Pro-tip on macro: Keynesian and neoclassical equilibrium models tend to be observationally equivalent when used to estimate past and you use formal hypothesis testing framework, calibration and other tricky dicky numbers tricks to judge. It all depends on assumptions of stuff that is kind of hard to understand, define and observe, like flexibility of household labor supply on formal labor markets, flexibility of prices over short and medium term, and significance of observed cross sectional correlations between sectors of the economy.

    Then gosh golly, as Mitt might say, how can we ever know the truth? Probably only way is second to last refuge of numbers scoundrels (or honest test only the bravest will venture, depending on your point of view): out of sample prediction and forecasting.

    On the out of sample prediction and forecasting, Keynes wins I think. See Krugman and Mark Thoma, DeLong for details. You can also read reviews of the carnage reality has done to the neoclassical models, written by honest neoclassical economists, such as Ohanian.

    Who knows, maybe time will explain what went wrong with the neoclassical macro models, and why, or not. I am not being snarky here, there are times when neoclassical models have done as well or maybe slightly better than Keynes/Hicks etc. models. But now is not one of those times.

    I think clear that good old fashioned curve bending models you see at Kthung, and neoclassical models tricked up to act like Keynes/Hicks doing much better now, and more consistent with data on one very important crucial issue: how expensive is it for governments that print their own currencies to borrow over next five to ten years.

  26. 26
    Ash Can says:

    @Culture of Truth: Did he really say that? That’ s hilarious.

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    @Culture of Truth: Cool, let’s add that to the libretto of the Tom Friedman opera.

  28. 28

    I don’t know about how far this lying is going to go, but it sure seemed this morning that it’s OK to lie to the American people, but when you lie and embarrass a reporter and an entire network, they get cranky.

    I was just barely listening this morning, but it sounded like ABCNews and the reporter who ‘broke’ the Rubio story were pissed that Romney came out with his lame-ass-lie last night refuting it. They came thisclose to saying “liar, liar, pants afire.”

  29. 29
    amk says:

    @TenguPhule: That’s about 70% of ‘murka. Scary.

  30. 30
    Mark S. says:

    @ericblair:

    The whole mortgage interest deduction doesn’t make much sense from a real economic incentive standpoint

    I’m not sure about that. A home isn’t the same as an stock investment, since you’re living in your home and not in your investment portfolio.

    It’s a complicated problem. As guys like Atrios and Matt Y argue, we need our metropolitan area to be denser, but all of the sudden eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would fuck over a large swath of people.

    This would be an interesting debate we could have if one of our parties weren’t batshit insane.

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    Must use the Sully response: “Become rich, stat!

  32. 32
    jl says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Well there you go. Rmoney people give bad tire swing. If their tire swing is bad enough, and press is pissed enough, there may be consequences.

    I think the press is corrupted by money and desire for shallow perception of influence and power, and popularity.

    I think that means corporate friendly forces are defended at almost all costs. But there is one cast at which they will not be defended: and that is if they make the media celebrities look patently ridiculous and contemptible to audience.

    That means bad news for ratings, popularity, and then, ad bucks, news about which comes in at very frequent intervals.

    Hey, call me cynical.

    One would think that the Romney people would have thought about that, and looked at how press deserted McCain at critical times last election despite superlative tire swing.

    But some constraints are very hard. And maybe certain ‘tudes in the Romney camp are hard constraints that they will discover sadly too late in the campaign. One hopes so for the sake of the country.

  33. 33
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Davis X. Machina: You mean suboptimal policy isn’t an elaborate, well-coordinated spiteful prank concocted by The Democrats, with everyone from Franken to Harkin to Hagan to Manchin in on it? That doesn’t harmonize with my extensive reading of the blogosphere.

  34. 34
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jl: How fun could it possibly be to hang around Romney functionaries? It has to be like going to your in-laws’ church.

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @jl:

    balanced budget multiplier. Repeal Bush tax cuts and increase federal spending to achieve desired mix of deficits and stimulus spending. With interest rates low, now is time when such a policy most likely to work.

    Again, the problem is that everyone wants to play macro economist and simplistically focus on the Bush tax cuts vs the magical stimulus spending fairy.

    But the battle is looming on a much more pragmatic level. The Congress is going to say, “You want to keep the Child Tax Credit at $1,000? Keep the Bush Tax Cuts.”

    “You want to extend education credits? Keep the Bush Tax Cuts.”

    If the Democrats were able to get a reliable, solid majority in both houses of Congress, it would be a different issue.

    But that ain’t what we got, or are likely to get.

    So, as has been the case for the entire Obama Administration, the devil is going to be in the details of a nasty compromise.

    Unless you want to shock the system and screw the middle class and lower income taxpayers even more than they already have been.

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Thomas Friedman (New York Times)—Watching this campaign unfold reaffirms how much it would have benefitted from a serious, centrist third-party challenger.

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha! HAHAHAHAhahahahahahaha!!

  37. 37
    Svensker says:

    @Mark S.:

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he would preserve the lower rates for the wealthy and eliminate taxes on investment income for the middle class.

    Because tax on investment income is such a problem for us middle class folks!

    With those kinds of savings I’ll soon be able to afford a second cup of coffee!

  38. 38
    RedKitten says:

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he would preserve the lower rates for the wealthy and eliminate taxes on investment income for the middle class.

    Which is ridiculous, really. I know that “middle class” covers a pretty broad range of income, but I really know VERY few middle-class, or even upper-middle-class people who have enough investment income that taxes would even be a factor.

  39. 39
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I smell a roll-over on tax hikes and expected military spending cuts.

    @Punchy: There were never going to be any military spending cuts. Everyone knew that going into the charade.

    Tax hikes? I think Obama will go there. Not Romney.

  40. 40
    jl says:

    @Brachiator:

    If you and other people here want to spend your time gaming out PR spin in your heads, fine with me.

    I do not see what is so hard or complicated for more than ten second sound bitey about saying

    “Repeal Bush tax cuts and use the money to pay for more public safety and teachers. The effects cancel out with some left over for more stimulus AND lower deficit. Problem solved.”

    Say it over and over and over again. Same tactic as GOP/wingnut with added advantage that what you are selling happens to work and what you say happens to be true.

    Sounds like a win win to me.

  41. 41
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator: “allowing the tax breaks to expire could lead the economy back into recession”
    … or it could lead to an invasion of flying pigs.

    Assumes facts not in evidence. This was the same thing they said about the Clinton tax increases – they will destroy the economy. Did not happen. It is the constant refrain. Just like, no matter the economic situation, the answer always turns out to be tax cuts for the rich.

    It is not complicated: if you increase marginal tax rates, deductible business expenses – in particular hiring people – becomes less relatively expensive. Job creators indeed.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    Cole: I double D DEMAND a standing header on Balloon Juice with links and short explanation of balanced budget multiplier on BJ blog.

    See how much traffic and attention it brings to this blog (that SHOULD be paying for itself).

    Or, does Cole not want to save his country?

    I don’t know. I just comment, you decide.

    /semisnark

  43. 43
    Mino says:

    @jl: Can you explain to me why we are not refinancing the public debt with 30 yr Treasuries?

  44. 44
    Turgidson says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I mean, it realy has to be just a matter of time before someone who’s aware of how full of shit he is (and at least a little angry about it) sees him on the street and just beats him to a bloody pulp, right? What a fucking tool that guy is.

  45. 45
    RedKitten says:

    @Svensker: Jinx. :)

  46. 46
    Culture of Truth says:

    Friedman:

    “What the president should have done is follow the advice of the Princeton University economist and former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder, namely lay out a specific ‘three step rehab program for our nation’s fiscal policy.’ Call
    it the Obama Plan”

  47. 47
    Corner Stone says:

    Speaking of somebody taking a screwing:
    Food Stamp Vote In Senate Blocks Bid To Restore $4.5 Billion In Aid
    Looks like Lil Debbie Stabenow climbed up on her high horse to protect some private industry profits.

  48. 48
    Culture of Truth says:

    Friedman:
    “I’d bet anything that if the president staked out such an Obama Plan, Buffett and a lot of other business leaders would endorse it. It would give the G.O.P. a real problem.”

  49. 49
    Culture of Truth says:

    “And the morning after that happens — when Warren Buffett endorses the Obama Plan, not just the Buffett Gimmick — the president will have his mojo back.”

  50. 50
    geg6 says:

    @RedKitten:

    I deal with middle class income information every day, up to and including any savings and investments. As far as I can see, no one with an income under $300,000/yr. has a penny of savings or investment other than their shitty 401Ks. Which aren’t taxed until retirement, at which point they are income.

  51. 51
    Liberty60 says:

    Its even worse than the survey.

    While income taxes may go up or down depending on your bracket, what is invisible to most folks is how sharp the increases are for the OTHER things that govt used to handle:
    College tuition- used to be covered, now not so much; the resulting money comes out of the middle class pocket; its not a “tax increase” but its money out of pocket nonetheless.

    Smaller items like driver’s ed; used to be free in high school; no more; so its a couple hundred bucks out of pocket for the middle class.

    Miscellaneous items like park fees, libraries, toll roads; all things that were either free or greatly subsidized, and are now sharply increased out of pocket costs for the middle class.

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    none of this is shocking to me. stupid study

  53. 53
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jl: There are dozens of Democratic office-holders and candidates who would hear what you proposed as “BILLIONZ IN NU TAKSES ZOMG.” It doesn’t matter how stupid that is, what they fear more than anything is that ad about how they voted to raise taxes by some astronomical amount. You can give them something else to say, but they won’t trust it. It’s taken decades even to get them to use a phrase like “ask millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.”

  54. 54
    geg6 says:

    @Liberty60:

    College tuition- used to be covered, now not so much; the resulting money comes out of the middle class pocket; its not a “tax increase” but its money out of pocket nonetheless.

    I tell parents this every day. Every. Single. Fucking. Day. Along with a little lesson on federal student loan interest rates, which the GOPers are happy to see double. I don’t mention any particular party or politician, but I do place the blame squarely where it belongs…on the majorities in the state legislature and in Congress. They can figure out who that is on their own.

  55. 55
    catclub says:

    @geg6: “no one with an income under $300,000/yr. has a penny of savings or investment other than their shitty 401Ks”

    If by no one you mean very few. I am nowhere near $300k/yr
    but I do have non-zero assets.

    … Now income from those assets is essentially zero compared with earned income. But it is still non-zero.

    Fed 401K == TSP is ok, and where the bulk of assets are going.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @geg6: I hadn’t thought about it that way before: public university tuition as a kind of co-pay gone horribly awry.

  57. 57
    jl says:

    @Mino:

    I will have to look that up. I do not know what current policy of Treasury is regarding long versus short term financing tactics.

    Do you have some links on current Treasury operations and tactics? Or explain what you think they are doing now?

  58. 58
    catclub says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The lesson learned by Dem. officeholders from the 1994 tax increase is not: US balanced its budget, plus the economy boomed. It is: we got shellacked in the elections.

  59. 59
    Randy P says:

    I think somebody up there has an open “bold” tag or something. Most of the page is in boldface for me.

  60. 60
    jl says:

    I do not understand why there are people who complain that the GOP wins by relentlessly repeating lies and then talk themselves out of even trying to win by relentlessly repeating truths.

  61. 61
    Mino says:

    @geg6: Maybe Repulican’s definition of “middle class” is as elastic as their definition of “small business”

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @catclub: Yup. It’s going to take a long time for Democrats to unlearn the lessons they think they learned in the Clinton years about what it takes to win as a Democrat.

  63. 63
    Brachiator says:

    @jl:

    “Repeal Bush tax cuts and use the money to pay for more public safety and teachers. The effects cancel out with some left over for more stimulus AND lower deficit. Problem solved.”

    Doesn’t quite work that way. And misses the point entirely. There is no way that Obama can simply let the Bush tax cuts expire (there is nothing to repeal) and also let middle class tax credits expire.

    But thanks for trying.

    @catclub:

    Assumes facts not in evidence. This was the same thing they said about the Clinton tax increases – they will destroy the economy. Did not happen. It is the constant refrain. Just like, no matter the economic situation, the answer always turns out to be tax cuts for the rich.

    But the point here is that there are Congressional Democrats already going for the “compromise.”

    It is not complicated: if you increase marginal tax rates, deductible business expenses – in particular hiring people – becomes less relatively expensive

    This is not necessarily the case. And the larger problem is that all of the huge tax breaks given to businesses under both Bush and Obama, including targeted jobs credits, have failed to significantly increase hiring.

  64. 64
    Randy P says:

    Let’s see if that fixes the boldface issue.

  65. 65
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Unless you want to shock the system and screw the middle class and lower income taxpayers even more than they already have been.

    @Brachiator: Feature not bug, amirite?

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jl: It’s not that it’s not a fine idea, it’s just that there’s no fucking way they’ll ever do it. Too many of them are THAT fearful of the language of tax increases. Some of them have overcome that fear, in a fairly recent development that probably has to do with deficit hawkishness. But it’s just pervasive. Look how even Boxer and Feingold were chicken about the idea of having two separate votes on middle-income and high-income tax rates before the 2010 election.

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    @jl: remember the secret study on the effects of zero national debt on the bond market?

    If the US only issued 30 year T-bills, the market for short term T-bills would go all wonky. So I suspect they change that balance only after long study.

  68. 68
    Mino says:

    @jl:

    http://articles.businessinside.....bt-ceiling

    From the article:
    Right now, the policy goal of the Fed is to lower long-term rates to help people refinance debt, and theoretically to force holders of US Treasuries into riskier assets.

    In other words, they are propping up the market, it seems to me.

  69. 69
    Mike E says:

    @Mino: Or, their definition of “people”, my friend.

  70. 70
    geg6 says:

    @catclub:

    Well, it might be a slight exaggeration on my part, but not by much. Perhaps 5% of the people I see with incomes below $300,000 have non-zero assets. But that is a very small percentage of people in the middle class. I, too, have non-zero assets. But the $1000 in my savings account and the $800/yr. I have from an investment may as well be zero.

  71. 71
    RedKitten says:

    @geg6: Pretty much. And to me, that just shows (yet again, ad infinitum) that Romney just has no fucking clue about what average Americans need. You suggest a tax break on investment income to your average middle-class couple, and they’ll laugh and say, “WHAT investment income?”

    What’s next, he’s going to offer a tax break on brand-new automobiles to people making less than $15K a year?

  72. 72
    catclub says:

    @RedKitten: “What’s next, he’s going to offer a tax break on brand-new automobiles to people making less than $15K a year?”

    You do know that one was in the 2009 stimulus, right?

    Of course, it was available but that does not mean many with incomes under $15k took advantage of it. A kind of ‘law, in its majestic equality’ kind of tax break.

  73. 73
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RedKitten: To curry favor with the common person, he’s going to promise a tax credit for personal submersible submarines.

  74. 74
    RedKitten says:

    @catclub: No, I didn’t know that. And as part of an overall stimulus, that’s fine. But knowing Romney, he would make something like this the centerpiece of how he’s “helping” the working class, when in reality, it only helps a very precious few.

  75. 75

    @catclub:
    I remember Greenspan doing away with the 30Yr for awhile during the GWB years.

    I wonder if this was why.

  76. 76
    The Moar You Know says:

    And the larger problem is that all of the huge tax breaks given to businesses under both Bush and Obama, including targeted jobs credits, have failed to significantly increase hiring.

    @Brachiator: The hilarious thing? I employ people. I have since 2003. I have not seen any sign of these magical tax cuts. At all.

  77. 77
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    It’s not too late!! Run Tommy run!

  78. 78
    Mino says:

    @The Moar You Know: Not big enought to qualify as “small business”?

    Or do you use 1099’ers?

  79. 79
    catclub says:

    @FlipYrWhig: “personal submersible submarines”

    Hoagies from WaWa!

  80. 80
    Skippy-san says:

    Until these worthless specimens are made to experience some consequences from their bad ideas-be that financial pain or physical pain-they will continue to propose these awful ideas.

    I vote for option two-beating them with a baseball bat.

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catclub:

    You mean Cash for Clunkers? That wasn’t a tax break — that was actual cash that went towards the purchase of a more fuel-efficient car.

    If there was a different program that was a tax break, then I’m not familiar with it. I remember that the Bushies gave a tax break to businesses that bought Hummers and other expensive cars, but that wasn’t continued under Obama.

  82. 82
    PurpleGirl says:

    Bush (among others) used to tout the ownership of investments by the middle class. However, I knew that most of that was 401(k) and 403(b) accounts which weren’t taxed until you took out the money after retirement. It wasn’t the kind of investment that the ordinary person could sell for whatever reason. Any number of the board members of the non-profit I worked for settled their yearly donation either by selling stock or giving us the stock to sell. How many people can let go of $10,000 worth of Coca-Cola to pay a pledge?

  83. 83
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You mean Cash for Clunkers? That wasn’t a tax break—that was actual cash that went towards the purchase of a more fuel-efficient car.

    This was an individual, not a business tax break.

    @The Moar You Know:

    The hilarious thing? I employ people. I have since 2003. I have not seen any sign of these magical tax cuts. At all.

    Some of the breaks might have helped a business, but would not provide an incentive to do new hiring. Fer xample, acclerated NOL deductions, bonus depreciation, some business energy credits, etc.

  84. 84
    Chris T. says:

    @geg6: I do (have investments and investment income, and a regular income below $300k/yr), but (a) I’m a statistical outlier and (b) I’d much rather pay Clinton tax rates on actual gains than continue enjoying my Bush (non-)tax rates on the losses I’m slowly (3k/yr, plus offsets to gains that are really a product of previous losses) using up…

  85. 85
    geg6 says:

    @Chris T.:

    Oh, I get that there are people like you (and me, in a very, very small way). But out of the over 1,000 or so people who I deal with every year, I could count on one hand the number who have any assets to speak of other than a 401K. And usually, several of them are widows or widowers who only have those assets due to a life insurance payout from the deceased spouse.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: Nope, not cash for clunkers. There was also a program that rebated/tax-credit your state sales tax on cars purchased by date X. It was just stimulus to help new car dealers. No old trade-in required.
    I qualified for it.

  87. 87
    gene108 says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Getting those tax cuts (I’m not familiar with the Federal ones, but I’ve run across stuff by the state) really isn’t much of an incentive to hire people.

    If you hire someone for let’s say $1000/month the government will let you recover $50/month or $600/year of his cost to you in the form of a tax credit.

    You still need to have the demand/profits to justify hiring someone for $950/month.

    They are very ineffective methods to stimulate hiring. If a business wants to hire someone, they will because they have a need to hire someone. Shaving a few bucks off in tax credits isn’t going to influence that decision, unless the government is basically to underwrite the salary of the new hire, which government is not nor should be willing to do.

  88. 88
    burnspbesq says:

    @Nylund:

    “Indeed. When you publicly state that you’re going to cut taxes for the rich and that your plan will be “revenue neutral” that means the taxes of the non-rich must go up.”

    Only if you accept the rules of third grade arithmetic, which everybody knows are a Commie plot.

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catclub:

    Ah, okay. I don’t really have a huge problem with tax breaks that go to individuals for doing/buying certain things, though. I worry more about the across-the-board changes for estate taxes or capital gains taxes.

    If you give someone an extra tax break for buying something (ie generating economic activity), I think that’s much more stimulative than a general tax cut.

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