Obama accepts Bush tax cuts

President Obama has agreed with Congressional Republicans to extend all of the  Bush-era tax cuts in exchange for extending unemployment benefits.  The package includes some other interesting details:

President Obama and congressional Republicans have reached a tentative accord on a far-reaching economic package that would preserve George W. Bush administration tax breaks for families at all income levels for two years, extend emergency jobless benefits through 2011 and cut payroll taxes by 2 percent for every American worker through the end of next year.

The scope of the agreement, announced by the White House late Monday, was far broader than lawmakers in either party had been expecting. The deal would extend a college tuition tax credit and other breaks for middle-class families that were due to expire New Year’s Eve. And it would revive the inheritance tax after a year-long lapse, imposing a 35 percent rate on estates worth more than $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples.

The package would add more than $700 billion to the rising national debt, said congressional sources who were briefed on the deal. But with the unemployment rate at 9.8 percent, the White House was focused on winning a compromise that could boost the fragile recovery while preventing the economic damage that could result from letting the expiring tax breaks affect paychecks next month.

The payroll tax holiday, in particular, is striking for its universal application. Unlike most tax breaks, it would be available to taxpayers at every income level, letting consumers keep an extra $120 billion in their pockets next year. For a couple making $70,000 a year, the holiday would provide a tax savings of $1,400.

via Obama and GOP strike tax accord.

This description of the payroll tax, which goes for Social Security, is unclear.  It doesn’t cut them by a measly 2%, which would hardly mean anything.  Rather, it cuts the tax rate from 6% of the paycheck to 4%, so that all workers will get to keep a third of what they used to pay.  That’s a pretty significant raise.

Now all the President has to do is persuade the Democrats, many of whom are reportedly livid at the deal, which keeps the tax cuts even for those who make $250,000 and up.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    From Obama’s “Tax Holiday”: A Poison Pill for Social Security

    “Flash-forward to 2012: The ‘holiday’ is set to end. Republicans aren’t likely to acknowledge that this was a temporary program, any more than they did with the Bush cuts. Any attempt to let the 2% cut expire will be spun as an ‘Obama tax hike’ on the middle class. In order to believe this ‘holiday’ is really temporary, you have to believe that Obama and other Democrats will be willing to take that kind of heat, under enormous pressure in an election year. Any takers?”

    “Can’t you see the campaign ads now? ‘Democrats want to increase your payroll taxes by fifty percent!’”

  • Tom Hering

    From Obama’s “Tax Holiday”: A Poison Pill for Social Security

    “Flash-forward to 2012: The ‘holiday’ is set to end. Republicans aren’t likely to acknowledge that this was a temporary program, any more than they did with the Bush cuts. Any attempt to let the 2% cut expire will be spun as an ‘Obama tax hike’ on the middle class. In order to believe this ‘holiday’ is really temporary, you have to believe that Obama and other Democrats will be willing to take that kind of heat, under enormous pressure in an election year. Any takers?”

    “Can’t you see the campaign ads now? ‘Democrats want to increase your payroll taxes by fifty percent!’”

  • http://www.sportsfantreasures.com/ Mark Collin

    I dunno, it seems to be simple calculus to me. Democrats were always in favor of middle class tax cuts, so that aside what is the extra cost in a two year extension of millionaire tax cuts? 140 billion. For that they got 56 billion of unemployment extensions and reduction of payroll tax. All in all not a bad deal considering the alternative of doing nothing at all. Politically, the Republicans have a problem in forcing this issue.

  • http://www.sportsfantreasures.com/ Mark Collin

    I dunno, it seems to be simple calculus to me. Democrats were always in favor of middle class tax cuts, so that aside what is the extra cost in a two year extension of millionaire tax cuts? 140 billion. For that they got 56 billion of unemployment extensions and reduction of payroll tax. All in all not a bad deal considering the alternative of doing nothing at all. Politically, the Republicans have a problem in forcing this issue.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Obama blinked.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Obama blinked.

  • WebMonk

    The difference between “two percent” and “two percentage points”. But, President Obama is correct in that people will be gaining 2% of their wages with this.

    A person making $30,000 pays $1800 in payroll taxes at 6%, and if the rate drops to 4%, they’ll only be paying $1200. That $600 difference is 2%, so yes, the person will be effectively getting a 2% raise in take-home pay.

    There are a few ways to view that – they are getting a 33% drop in that tax, but that 33% drop in the tax rate is only 2% of their total pay.

    “It doesn’t cut them by a measly 2%, which would hardly mean anything. Rather, it cuts the tax rate from 6% of the paycheck to 4%, so that all workers will get to keep a third of what they used to pay. That’s a pretty significant raise.”

    How you want to phrase it depends on the impression you want to make – that particular bit of the tax rate dropped by 33%, and that is exactly the same as saying the person is getting a 2% tax break on their income.

    Pick your phrasing. Neither one is more or less correct.

  • WebMonk

    The difference between “two percent” and “two percentage points”. But, President Obama is correct in that people will be gaining 2% of their wages with this.

    A person making $30,000 pays $1800 in payroll taxes at 6%, and if the rate drops to 4%, they’ll only be paying $1200. That $600 difference is 2%, so yes, the person will be effectively getting a 2% raise in take-home pay.

    There are a few ways to view that – they are getting a 33% drop in that tax, but that 33% drop in the tax rate is only 2% of their total pay.

    “It doesn’t cut them by a measly 2%, which would hardly mean anything. Rather, it cuts the tax rate from 6% of the paycheck to 4%, so that all workers will get to keep a third of what they used to pay. That’s a pretty significant raise.”

    How you want to phrase it depends on the impression you want to make – that particular bit of the tax rate dropped by 33%, and that is exactly the same as saying the person is getting a 2% tax break on their income.

    Pick your phrasing. Neither one is more or less correct.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    J dean @ 2

    “obama blinked” wow.

    politics IS the art or compromise. Before this, Obama had to compromise with the democratic congress. They did not see eye to eye on alot of stuff.

    Now Obama needs to compromise with the newly republican house.

    This is really not a compromise for the republicans, except for extending unemployment benefits, which they should have opposed to be consistent with their stated phil0sophy.

    But politically this is perfect, they can blame that part on Obama, and not take heat for cutting off those benefits in the next election.

    And it shows that while republicans are, truly are, serious about cutting taxes, they are not in the least demonstrably serious about cutting spending are they?

    So the republicans really are being quite consistent!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    J dean @ 2

    “obama blinked” wow.

    politics IS the art or compromise. Before this, Obama had to compromise with the democratic congress. They did not see eye to eye on alot of stuff.

    Now Obama needs to compromise with the newly republican house.

    This is really not a compromise for the republicans, except for extending unemployment benefits, which they should have opposed to be consistent with their stated phil0sophy.

    But politically this is perfect, they can blame that part on Obama, and not take heat for cutting off those benefits in the next election.

    And it shows that while republicans are, truly are, serious about cutting taxes, they are not in the least demonstrably serious about cutting spending are they?

    So the republicans really are being quite consistent!

  • SKPeterson

    Yaaay!

  • SKPeterson

    Yaaay!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    fws,

    I agree completely that Republicans need to be consistent in cutting spending. One of my biggest beefs about the Bush administration is the rampant spending that went on. It was one of the things that pushed me toward libertarianism.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    fws,

    I agree completely that Republicans need to be consistent in cutting spending. One of my biggest beefs about the Bush administration is the rampant spending that went on. It was one of the things that pushed me toward libertarianism.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    J Dean. the republicans do not need to be consistent. They ARE completely and utterly consistent.

    They are about borrow and spend while the dems are about tax and spend. I think this is a fair characterization.

    Which is worse? I will, for now, pic the Dems. at least we are not mortgaging the future of our children as much as the republicans do.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    J Dean. the republicans do not need to be consistent. They ARE completely and utterly consistent.

    They are about borrow and spend while the dems are about tax and spend. I think this is a fair characterization.

    Which is worse? I will, for now, pic the Dems. at least we are not mortgaging the future of our children as much as the republicans do.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    This may be a compromise…or not. Reducing taxes on the wealthy does three things: it grants stability to the market allowing VCists to start circulating their hoarded currency, it allows the moderately wealthy to have a bit of extra cash to presumably invest or spend, and it demonstrably increases federal revenue. All that being said, that doesn’t make it right.

    Obama knows that if the economy doesn’t turn his entire party will be shut down in two years (not saying that’s right, but that seems tobe the way Americans think). This choice will likely help the economy. Unfortunately, politicians are at the place (mostly of their own creation) where every choice is bitter. We are in massive debt.

    All that being said, I think this bill is a bad idea. We don’t need compromise and thicker than the Brooklyn phone book tax law bills. We need a hatchet and/or blowtorch.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    This may be a compromise…or not. Reducing taxes on the wealthy does three things: it grants stability to the market allowing VCists to start circulating their hoarded currency, it allows the moderately wealthy to have a bit of extra cash to presumably invest or spend, and it demonstrably increases federal revenue. All that being said, that doesn’t make it right.

    Obama knows that if the economy doesn’t turn his entire party will be shut down in two years (not saying that’s right, but that seems tobe the way Americans think). This choice will likely help the economy. Unfortunately, politicians are at the place (mostly of their own creation) where every choice is bitter. We are in massive debt.

    All that being said, I think this bill is a bad idea. We don’t need compromise and thicker than the Brooklyn phone book tax law bills. We need a hatchet and/or blowtorch.

  • S Bauer

    Some compromise. When all around can see that some serious budget balancing needs to take place and that spending needs to be cut and revenues raised, the best the politicians can come up with is reducing revenues and adding spending.

    I think fws is absolutely correct. The Dems are about tax and spend and the GOPs are about borrow and spend. I know which approach is the responsible one.

  • S Bauer

    Some compromise. When all around can see that some serious budget balancing needs to take place and that spending needs to be cut and revenues raised, the best the politicians can come up with is reducing revenues and adding spending.

    I think fws is absolutely correct. The Dems are about tax and spend and the GOPs are about borrow and spend. I know which approach is the responsible one.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    S Bauer @ 9,

    The lesser of two evils is still evil. To bankrupt one’s country is wrong. So is robbing its citizens in the name of the “common good” (whatever that means).

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    S Bauer @ 9,

    The lesser of two evils is still evil. To bankrupt one’s country is wrong. So is robbing its citizens in the name of the “common good” (whatever that means).

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    s bauer @9 and all

    could it be that raising taxes to balance the budget just may be the best leadership? It will quickly realize that government spending has a real cost that causes real pain.

    I think the republicans have painted themselves into a corner. they acknowledge by their EVERY action that even republicans don´t have the stomach for spending cutbacks…. so what should they do as leaders?

    They should raise taxes to balance current spending levels. This is what Goldwater would have done. And this is exactly what Reagan did both as governor of california and president.

    THEN and only THEN, they can and should unite with the democrats to balance the budget by only approving “revenue neutral” spending increases and by pushing to lower both spending and taxes.

    it is that simple. and Obama would be fully on board with this. So what is holding this up?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    s bauer @9 and all

    could it be that raising taxes to balance the budget just may be the best leadership? It will quickly realize that government spending has a real cost that causes real pain.

    I think the republicans have painted themselves into a corner. they acknowledge by their EVERY action that even republicans don´t have the stomach for spending cutbacks…. so what should they do as leaders?

    They should raise taxes to balance current spending levels. This is what Goldwater would have done. And this is exactly what Reagan did both as governor of california and president.

    THEN and only THEN, they can and should unite with the democrats to balance the budget by only approving “revenue neutral” spending increases and by pushing to lower both spending and taxes.

    it is that simple. and Obama would be fully on board with this. So what is holding this up?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I would say that Obama is “resigned” to extending the tax cuts, not that he accepts them. He’s clearly angry that that’s the way it is. Orwellian-like, he and his minions keep insisting that the republicans want to “give” money to the “rich.”

    Those filthy socialist republicans. They want to redistruibute the wealth to millionaires!

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I would say that Obama is “resigned” to extending the tax cuts, not that he accepts them. He’s clearly angry that that’s the way it is. Orwellian-like, he and his minions keep insisting that the republicans want to “give” money to the “rich.”

    Those filthy socialist republicans. They want to redistruibute the wealth to millionaires!

  • utahrainbow

    J. Dean @ 10
    I am not speaking for S Bauer, but I think it a rather dubious claim that taxes are evil and tantamount to theft. No one likes to pay them, but they are not evil per se. They can be unjust, and perhaps that comes in how they are administered. But they are certainly not on par with bankrupting a country.

  • utahrainbow

    J. Dean @ 10
    I am not speaking for S Bauer, but I think it a rather dubious claim that taxes are evil and tantamount to theft. No one likes to pay them, but they are not evil per se. They can be unjust, and perhaps that comes in how they are administered. But they are certainly not on par with bankrupting a country.

  • ignorant fisherman

    To borrow or to tax….that is the question
    Simple, If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it ….amazing how the government refuses to cut programs they have no money to fund
    (i.e.”no money”, operating at deficit of trillions of dollars

  • ignorant fisherman

    To borrow or to tax….that is the question
    Simple, If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it ….amazing how the government refuses to cut programs they have no money to fund
    (i.e.”no money”, operating at deficit of trillions of dollars

  • ignorant fisherman

    consider what your taxes are paying for, besides keeping civil order (3rd use of law)

  • ignorant fisherman

    consider what your taxes are paying for, besides keeping civil order (3rd use of law)

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Laffer curve, people!

    But you better remember that the curve has 2 sides -taxes that are TOO low, and taxes that are TOO high.

    The wikipedia article on the Laffer curve contains this gem:

    The Adam Smith Institute stated in a 2010 report that “The 1997 Budget in Ireland halved the rate of taxation of realized capital gains from 40% to 20%. The then Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, was heavily criticized on the grounds that this change would reduce revenues. He countered by predicting that revenues would rise substantially as a result of the lower tax rate. He was proved entirely correct. Revenues rose considerably, almost trebling in fact, and greatly exceeded official predictions.”[2] The effects of Ireland’s credit bubble have not been included in this research, though when it crashed the taxes collected have proven far from adequate to continue operating the country’s government or its economy.

    I especially refer you to the last sentence :) .

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Laffer curve, people!

    But you better remember that the curve has 2 sides -taxes that are TOO low, and taxes that are TOO high.

    The wikipedia article on the Laffer curve contains this gem:

    The Adam Smith Institute stated in a 2010 report that “The 1997 Budget in Ireland halved the rate of taxation of realized capital gains from 40% to 20%. The then Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, was heavily criticized on the grounds that this change would reduce revenues. He countered by predicting that revenues would rise substantially as a result of the lower tax rate. He was proved entirely correct. Revenues rose considerably, almost trebling in fact, and greatly exceeded official predictions.”[2] The effects of Ireland’s credit bubble have not been included in this research, though when it crashed the taxes collected have proven far from adequate to continue operating the country’s government or its economy.

    I especially refer you to the last sentence :) .

  • DonS

    “[the Republicans] are about borrow and spend while the dems are about tax and spend. I think this is a fair characterization.”

    Hmmmm. For the last 4 years, the Dems have owned Congress. For the last two years, they have owned both Congress and the presidency. You’re right about the “spend” part. But, I seem to recall that everyone for the past two years, under a certain income limitation, received tax credits or checks to “stimulate” the economy. That was a dem initiative. It also seems as if the government has added some $3 trillion in debt since 2008, which seems to be borrowing, at record levels, I might add. This is while the dems were in sole charge.

    The current initiative was rooted in the dems’ desire to ensure that tax rates did not increase on those making under $250,000, as scheduled because of the sunset of the Bush tax cuts 10 years ago. The reps said, fine, but no one’s taxes should increase during a recession. The dems said OK, but if so, then we want more spending, in the form of unprecedented unemployment benefit extensions. And we want to continue the prior tax credit stimulus with a partial one year payroll tax holiday.

    I guess I’m not seeing what you’re seeing here about those “responsible” dems.

    Please.

  • DonS

    “[the Republicans] are about borrow and spend while the dems are about tax and spend. I think this is a fair characterization.”

    Hmmmm. For the last 4 years, the Dems have owned Congress. For the last two years, they have owned both Congress and the presidency. You’re right about the “spend” part. But, I seem to recall that everyone for the past two years, under a certain income limitation, received tax credits or checks to “stimulate” the economy. That was a dem initiative. It also seems as if the government has added some $3 trillion in debt since 2008, which seems to be borrowing, at record levels, I might add. This is while the dems were in sole charge.

    The current initiative was rooted in the dems’ desire to ensure that tax rates did not increase on those making under $250,000, as scheduled because of the sunset of the Bush tax cuts 10 years ago. The reps said, fine, but no one’s taxes should increase during a recession. The dems said OK, but if so, then we want more spending, in the form of unprecedented unemployment benefit extensions. And we want to continue the prior tax credit stimulus with a partial one year payroll tax holiday.

    I guess I’m not seeing what you’re seeing here about those “responsible” dems.

    Please.

  • DonS

    Now, as to this “compromise”, it’s terrible, as usual. More social welfare spending, albeit “temporary”, is not what our children need right now. And a temporary payroll tax holiday was a good idea two years ago, instead of funding all of the pork “shovel ready” projects as stimulus, because it would have been a lot fairer and would have gotten the money injected into the economy immediately. But it’s a lousy idea now. And, as Tom pointed out above, when it comes off next year, everyone will be complaining about how their taxes went up. In an election year. Does anyone really think they won’t be extended through 2012?

    I’m all for cutting payroll taxes permanently. 15.3% is ridiculous. Especially on top of income tax rates and especially since payroll taxes are taken after other taxes are applied, so you get the privilege of paying income taxes on your payroll taxes. So nice and so fair. Of course, that used to mean that you did not have to pay income taxes on your Social Security benefits in retirement, but that is no longer true for most of us.

    However, in order to cut payroll taxes, you have to cut the programs which they fund. Which we should. But, we won’t. Not signficantly, and not until we are in a panicked crisis.

  • DonS

    Now, as to this “compromise”, it’s terrible, as usual. More social welfare spending, albeit “temporary”, is not what our children need right now. And a temporary payroll tax holiday was a good idea two years ago, instead of funding all of the pork “shovel ready” projects as stimulus, because it would have been a lot fairer and would have gotten the money injected into the economy immediately. But it’s a lousy idea now. And, as Tom pointed out above, when it comes off next year, everyone will be complaining about how their taxes went up. In an election year. Does anyone really think they won’t be extended through 2012?

    I’m all for cutting payroll taxes permanently. 15.3% is ridiculous. Especially on top of income tax rates and especially since payroll taxes are taken after other taxes are applied, so you get the privilege of paying income taxes on your payroll taxes. So nice and so fair. Of course, that used to mean that you did not have to pay income taxes on your Social Security benefits in retirement, but that is no longer true for most of us.

    However, in order to cut payroll taxes, you have to cut the programs which they fund. Which we should. But, we won’t. Not signficantly, and not until we are in a panicked crisis.

  • S Bauer

    fws @11

    I agree with you completely. I have been the kind of “Goldwater” Republican you mention my entire life. Nobody is showing Leadership…probably because the American people don’t elect Leadership.

  • S Bauer

    fws @11

    I agree with you completely. I have been the kind of “Goldwater” Republican you mention my entire life. Nobody is showing Leadership…probably because the American people don’t elect Leadership.

  • S Bauer

    DonS @17

    Hmmmm. For the last 4 years, the Dems have owned Congress. For the last two years, they have owned both Congress and the presidency. You’re right about the “spend” part. But, I seem to recall that everyone for the past two years, under a certain income limitation, received tax credits or checks to “stimulate” the economy. That was a dem initiative. It also seems as if the government has added some $3 trillion in debt since 2008, which seems to be borrowing, at record levels, I might add. This is while the dems were in sole charge.

    I think the Republicans have proven that nothing could have passed in this last Congress if they really didn’t want it to pass. Take even the Health Care bill. In spite of all the Republican complaining about the bill and talk of repeal, you can’t get one of them to say that they think the entitlements in that package should be done away with.

  • S Bauer

    DonS @17

    Hmmmm. For the last 4 years, the Dems have owned Congress. For the last two years, they have owned both Congress and the presidency. You’re right about the “spend” part. But, I seem to recall that everyone for the past two years, under a certain income limitation, received tax credits or checks to “stimulate” the economy. That was a dem initiative. It also seems as if the government has added some $3 trillion in debt since 2008, which seems to be borrowing, at record levels, I might add. This is while the dems were in sole charge.

    I think the Republicans have proven that nothing could have passed in this last Congress if they really didn’t want it to pass. Take even the Health Care bill. In spite of all the Republican complaining about the bill and talk of repeal, you can’t get one of them to say that they think the entitlements in that package should be done away with.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    utahrainbow @ 13,

    Taxation for government operations within the constitutional bounds is one thing. Taxation for unconstitutional matters is another.

    Romans 13 says that we are to be subject to government. In the United States, that includes those in positions of government, as the final authority of government here is not a person but a document.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    utahrainbow @ 13,

    Taxation for government operations within the constitutional bounds is one thing. Taxation for unconstitutional matters is another.

    Romans 13 says that we are to be subject to government. In the United States, that includes those in positions of government, as the final authority of government here is not a person but a document.

  • DonS

    S Bauer @ 20: Please understand that I am not defending Republicans. They have failed to reduce spending in the past, and they appear to be on course to be less than bold in the upcoming Congress. But I couldn’t let FWS’ statement that the Democrats are better because they raise taxes while the Republicans borrow stand without comment.

    The stimulus spending in the last Congress was a Democratic invention. It was not paid for, and most Republicans opposed it. In the current deal, the way the Democrats “compromised” regarding the Republicans demand that current tax rates remain in effect across the board was to demand more spending, in the form of extended unemployment benefits, and more targeted tax cuts, in the form of the proposed payroll tax “holiday”. Hardly the paragons of virtue FWS is crediting them as.

  • DonS

    S Bauer @ 20: Please understand that I am not defending Republicans. They have failed to reduce spending in the past, and they appear to be on course to be less than bold in the upcoming Congress. But I couldn’t let FWS’ statement that the Democrats are better because they raise taxes while the Republicans borrow stand without comment.

    The stimulus spending in the last Congress was a Democratic invention. It was not paid for, and most Republicans opposed it. In the current deal, the way the Democrats “compromised” regarding the Republicans demand that current tax rates remain in effect across the board was to demand more spending, in the form of extended unemployment benefits, and more targeted tax cuts, in the form of the proposed payroll tax “holiday”. Hardly the paragons of virtue FWS is crediting them as.

  • DonS

    S Bauer @ 20: Oops. I forgot to also say that, while it is certainly the case that the Republicans could potentially thwart legislation they really didn’t want to pass in the last Congress, I don’t recall the Democrats even proposing tax increases to cover their increased stimulus spending. Do you? Nor was it the case that the Republicans could prevent Obamacare from passing, thanks to some pretty depicable parliamentary moves by the Dems. If you are asserting that the Reps secretly wanted it to pass, I profoundly disagree. I agree with you, however, that it is unlikely to be repealed. The history of repealing entitlements, once granted, is nil. Rather, they are typically expanded.

  • DonS

    S Bauer @ 20: Oops. I forgot to also say that, while it is certainly the case that the Republicans could potentially thwart legislation they really didn’t want to pass in the last Congress, I don’t recall the Democrats even proposing tax increases to cover their increased stimulus spending. Do you? Nor was it the case that the Republicans could prevent Obamacare from passing, thanks to some pretty depicable parliamentary moves by the Dems. If you are asserting that the Reps secretly wanted it to pass, I profoundly disagree. I agree with you, however, that it is unlikely to be repealed. The history of repealing entitlements, once granted, is nil. Rather, they are typically expanded.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    i think that everyone would like to be able to increase spending and cut taxes at the same time. who would not want that??!!

    to suggest that obama is sad about cutting taxes or that the dems are is just silly. and to say that the republicans are sad about increasing spending and pork is nothing less than psychotic denial.

    if cutting programs like social security and medicare and the mortgage deduction and farm subsidies appear to be political suicide, and they DO appear to be that, then responsible republicans will not commit that suicide. they will insist on raising taxes. and then… when people feel the pain of that… and they will… they can form a coalition to balance the budget and slowly cut taxes and spending in a way that syncronizes the two,

    what is wrong with this thinking?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    i think that everyone would like to be able to increase spending and cut taxes at the same time. who would not want that??!!

    to suggest that obama is sad about cutting taxes or that the dems are is just silly. and to say that the republicans are sad about increasing spending and pork is nothing less than psychotic denial.

    if cutting programs like social security and medicare and the mortgage deduction and farm subsidies appear to be political suicide, and they DO appear to be that, then responsible republicans will not commit that suicide. they will insist on raising taxes. and then… when people feel the pain of that… and they will… they can form a coalition to balance the budget and slowly cut taxes and spending in a way that syncronizes the two,

    what is wrong with this thinking?

  • S Bauer

    I will admit it is a close call – who is being less responsible. The Republicans wouldn’t have let the Democrats pass the Stimulus if it had contained any tax increases to pay for it. The Republicans didn’t have any problems with “bailouts” and “stimulus” when they held the White House. They only “got religion” after the 2008 election.

    The real blame goes to the American electorate who won’t elect anyone who will tell them the truth about what has to be done.

  • S Bauer

    I will admit it is a close call – who is being less responsible. The Republicans wouldn’t have let the Democrats pass the Stimulus if it had contained any tax increases to pay for it. The Republicans didn’t have any problems with “bailouts” and “stimulus” when they held the White House. They only “got religion” after the 2008 election.

    The real blame goes to the American electorate who won’t elect anyone who will tell them the truth about what has to be done.

  • Rose

    Social Security is going broke, so the taxes will be reduced a third?
    Who came up with this? Can anyone explain this?
    Worth reading today: Michelle Malkin’s article on unemployment insurance: http://townhall.com/columnists/MichelleMalkin/2010/12/08/small-biz_killers_who_pays_for_jobless_benefits
    and George Will on the the Cold War arms control clerisy:
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will120210.php3

  • Rose

    Social Security is going broke, so the taxes will be reduced a third?
    Who came up with this? Can anyone explain this?
    Worth reading today: Michelle Malkin’s article on unemployment insurance: http://townhall.com/columnists/MichelleMalkin/2010/12/08/small-biz_killers_who_pays_for_jobless_benefits
    and George Will on the the Cold War arms control clerisy:
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will120210.php3

  • utahrainbow

    J Dean @ 21,
    So, then, you agree that taxes in and of themselves are not evil. Obviously, what ought to be taxed, how, and at what rate is up for debate. The constitution allows for taxes to be levied for the public welfare, so they are not considered theft by that document. I was taking issue with your use of “evil” and “robbing” in #11.

    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…”

  • utahrainbow

    J Dean @ 21,
    So, then, you agree that taxes in and of themselves are not evil. Obviously, what ought to be taxed, how, and at what rate is up for debate. The constitution allows for taxes to be levied for the public welfare, so they are not considered theft by that document. I was taking issue with your use of “evil” and “robbing” in #11.

    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…”

  • utahrainbow

    When will we, the American electorate, WANT Leadership?

  • utahrainbow

    When will we, the American electorate, WANT Leadership?

  • cattail

    “…millionaire tax cuts…”

    Since when is a working couple making $250,000 per year millionaires!

  • cattail

    “…millionaire tax cuts…”

    Since when is a working couple making $250,000 per year millionaires!

  • cattail

    Oops, when “are”!!!

  • cattail

    Oops, when “are”!!!

  • Taruna Oils

    You can’t even begin truly reducing spending until we end the military empire. It’s the single largest expenditure, it is unnecessary, is comes from the general revenues, and it is the majority of discretionary spending. It is the single greates pork barrel spending from the congress. It has to come to an end or we will go the way of all the great powers – disquietly into the night.

  • Taruna Oils

    You can’t even begin truly reducing spending until we end the military empire. It’s the single largest expenditure, it is unnecessary, is comes from the general revenues, and it is the majority of discretionary spending. It is the single greates pork barrel spending from the congress. It has to come to an end or we will go the way of all the great powers – disquietly into the night.

  • http://ilovetoronto.org/ Heather

    Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would’ve led to the next economic downturn, which would lead to the end of President Obama’s career but if the members of his own party continue to show anger over his plans the result will be the same.

  • http://ilovetoronto.org/ Heather

    Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would’ve led to the next economic downturn, which would lead to the end of President Obama’s career but if the members of his own party continue to show anger over his plans the result will be the same.

  • WebMonk

    Taruna – no, military spending is not the single largest expenditure. It comes in third. (I join Medicare and Medicaid together, if you don’t then it comes in second.)

    No it is not the majority of discretionary spending.

    No it is not the largest source of pork barrel spending. (unless you call the whole thing “pork”)

    In general I am for cutting back military spending, but let’s actually some vaguely accurate facts, shall we?

  • WebMonk

    Taruna – no, military spending is not the single largest expenditure. It comes in third. (I join Medicare and Medicaid together, if you don’t then it comes in second.)

    No it is not the majority of discretionary spending.

    No it is not the largest source of pork barrel spending. (unless you call the whole thing “pork”)

    In general I am for cutting back military spending, but let’s actually some vaguely accurate facts, shall we?

  • WebMonk

    That should be “… but let’s actually use some vaguely accurate facts….”

  • WebMonk

    That should be “… but let’s actually use some vaguely accurate facts….”


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