Should the Bush Tax Cuts Be Extended?

Today President Obama called for a one-year extension on the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. In contrast, he wants to raise the top two income tax rates from 33% and 35% to 36% and 39.6%, respectively. These higher rates would affect those making more than $250,000 a year.

So here’s the big question of the day–should we (1) leave rates alone, (2) increase just the two top rates as Obama has proposed, (3) expire all of the Bush tax cuts, including those for the middle class, or (4) take some other approach?

I’m looking for your feedback in the comments below. To help the discussion, let’s make sure we have all the facts.

Facts about the Bush Tax cuts

  1. It was multiple tax cuts, not just one. There were a series of tax cuts enacted from 2001 to 2006. When most speak of the “Bush Tax Cuts,” they are referring to the 2001 and 2003 bills that lowered income tax rates and accelerated the implementation of these new rates. But the tax cuts affect a lot more than just our tax brackets.
  2. The tax cuts lowered income taxes for everybody–
      The 15% tax bracket was reduced to 10%
      The 28% tax rate was reduced to 25%
      The 31% tax rate was reduced to 28%
      The 36% tax rate was reduced to 33%
      The 39.6% tax rate was reduced to 35%

    You’ll find a great chart showing all of the changes here.

  3. As noted above, the tax cuts affected a lot more than tax brackets. The child tax credit was increased from $500 to $1,000. The tax rate on long-term capital gains earned by middle- and upper-income people was reduced from 20% to 15%. And the tax rate on qualified dividends earned by middle- and upper-income people was reduced from ordinary income tax rates to 15%. There were other tax cuts as well
  4. The cost of the Bush tax cuts is unclear. Part of the difficulty comes when you try to calculate the revenue-producing affect of tax cuts. The liberal Citizens for Tax Justice calculated the cost of the cuts at 2.5 trillion, which included interest on the lost revenue. But it did not account for how the cuts changed behavior (e.g., increased consumer spending) that would offset some portion of the lost revenue. The tax foundation put the actual cost at between $1 trillion and $1.7 trillion.
  5. The tax cuts were temporary because Republicans couldn’t get the support they needed in the Senate unless they conceded this point. They wanted the cuts to be permanent.
  6. How much revenue would expiring the tax cuts generate? This is perhaps one of the most important questions. It’s difficult to answer. For starters, when taxes go up, people change their behavior. Perhaps they spend less or work more (or less if jobs become even more scarce). So the net affect of a tax increase of this magnitude is difficult to gage. But the CBO has made its best estimate. If we let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire, it will increase tax revenues by about $678 billion over 10 years. If we let all of the Bush tax cuts expire, we’ll generate a total of about $3.7 trillion in additional revenue over the next decade.

My Take

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again–our government should not take another nickel from any of us, rich or poor, unless it is part of a comprehensive plan to address our fiscal mess. That would include addressing medicare, social security, our deficit and debt, and unemployment. Simpson-Bowles would be a great place to start.

The rhetoric about raising taxes on the “rich” is dividing our country. The wealthy certainly need to pay their fair share. By many measures, they are. But we could argue over fairness all day long. The more important question is how our we going to implement sustainable solutions to our fiscal challenges. Increased taxes may be part of a reasonable solution, but only a part. Why do we only hear about raising taxes on the rich? What about all the other tough choices that must be made? I think we need politicians who care more about our future than theirs.

Unlike many conservatives, I’m not opposed to modest tax increases. But any tax increase should be part of a solution, not populist drivel designed to win another election. (The Buffett Tax fits nicely into this drivel category.) And yes, I feel the same way about Romney’s ridiculous proposal to cut tax rates by 20 percent. Pure silliness. It almost makes you wish for the return of President Clinton.

That’s my view. What’s yours?

Published or Updated: July 17, 2012
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Bill says:

    I’ve never believed that tax cuts “cost” anything. I pay a lot more in taxes every year that I dreamed (as a teenager,) I would ever earn. I don’t mind paying taxes, but I get really ill when I feel like my tax dollars are wasted. I have felt that way a lot since I hit middle age, (which was a long time ago.)

    Every dollar I pay in taxes is a dollar I can’t spend in my community for locally produced goods and services..

    • Rob Drury says:

      You are correct; they don’t. EVERY time taxes have been cut, especially on higher incomes, the effect has been an increase in revenue if the plan was given sufficient time to work.

      • Dave C says:

        Rob, I would be interested in hearing about any studies that have proven the increase in revenue following a tax cut on higher incomes. I have yet to find a reliable study that proves or disproves the trickle down theory.

        • Jon says:

          Let’s put this in perspective, Rob’s website is ChristianFinancial…I too would LOVE to see any evidence of data to back up his claims. Not projections. Real. Data.

  2. Ralph says:

    The myth that the tax rate for the rich should be lower since they will use that extra money to start businesses and allow it to trickle down to the middle class has been debunked. We know that business, especially big business not only does not use lower taxes to create job, it houses money off shore to ensure that they don’t pay ANY tax and that the burden falls squarely on the shoulders of the former middle class. I think that the tax rates for rich individuals and especially corporate tax rates should be not higher, just collected! There are certainly enough stories going in the news about members of the middle class going to jail for tax evasion or failing to file, but if anyone needs to do the perp walk, it is the Wall St. guys and top execs at GE et al.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Ralph, can you point us to any studies that have debunked the trickle down theory. I’ve always thought there was some truth to it, but probably not as much as many believe. Of course, our corporate tax rates are already among the highest in the world.

      • rmcm2284 says:

        Historical data shows the greatest growth to be when the rich were taxed at 72, 90 and 95%. The two largest tax increases in the history of the US resulted in large growth (Reagan 1983 and Clinton 1993). Cutting taxes does not increase revenue (the Reagan myth). Oil dropping from $85 to $18 a barrel (Reagan years) does cause growth (disposable income increases). The rhetoric about raising taxes on the “poor” is dividing us. I here that 53% of the people do not pay taxes (they don’t pay income taxes but FICA, sales taxes, etc). My son paid a higher percentage of total taxes with $5000 income (college student) then Romney with $40M. My son spent every penny of his money with sales taxes and payroll taxes with no income tax (21%). Romney did not pay payroll taxes. He would not of paid for income over $105k. He saved most of his money and did not spend it to be charged sales taxes. His income tax bill was <15%. (I am ignoring property taxes) That means he probably paid less than 20% on all of his income.

        We are paying the lowest taxes in 60 years. Did you notice the growth it created?

        The US has the highest corporate tax rate but pays less than the majority of countries (deductions). Exon (I am a shareholder) paid no US taxes but $26 billion in foreign taxes last year.

        • Dave says:

          RMCM2284. You are talking about a time when America was the only player in the game. Sure you can tax the rich at 95% when we are manufacturing 90% of all product in the world. The consumer has no choice but to buy American if everything is made here. Now we have to compete in a global economy. If you raise the cost of producing goods here at home and manufacturers have to increase the cost of their products the consume will just buy cheaper products. Thats good for the consumer but bad for American jobs.

  3. Erick says:

    Yes, they should be extended. I’m a business owner – raise my taxes and I raise the price of my products. That means lower income folks will be impacted by increased taxes, even if indirectly. They should focus on cutting spending and managing wasteful spending and abuse of the system, instead.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Erick, that’s my general feeling as well. I’d be more open to modest increases if they were part of an actual solution. Let’s assume the Republicans gave in and agreed to all of President Obama’s proposed tax increases. Our deficit next year would still reach nearly $900 billion. We wouldn’t have addressed social security or medicare. And unemployment would still be at 8.2% or higher. I wonder what Obama’s plan would be to address those issues.

    • Eddie says:

      “I’m a business owner – raise my taxes and I raise the price of my products. That means lower income folks will be impacted by increased taxes, even if indirectly.”

      Doesn’t this in turn mean less product sales for you as a business owner. Aren’t you loosing too? And when people can’t afford it “luxury”spending is the first to go in a household. Wouldn’t that close business doors?

    • John says:

      Erick, you are a business owner…..you will raise your prices to whatever degree the market will let you regardless of the tax rate. I am to believe that you simply keep your prices lower because you have the exact amount of income you want but any tax increase on the income over 250k and whoooaaa boy prices are going up. Not a reasonable suggestion. Not to mention go right ahead….if you are raising prices due to tax on your profits that leaves room for the creative destruction of your company as someone with a little less greed steps in and sells at your old price for the net 3% net income difference. Long live the free market!

      • Dave says:

        John Erick has to raise cost to compensate for the higher break even point of his product. Do you suppose he would stay in business very long if he operated at a loss. You are right though raising costs could make him lose his business. He would be replaced with a big box store that sells products cheaper because they are made in China or some other country that pays poultry labor costs. American consumers would buy these products because the tax increases would also lower their purchasing power.

  4. Fred Gerle says:

    I think that the employee’s share of the Social Security tax should be restored. How we can whine about the else of Social Security and cut the contribution was beyond my understanding! @Erick: when the tax CUTS came into effect, did you LOWER your prices?

    • Rob Berger says:

      Fred, interesting question on prices. I’m not sure that changes in tax rates really do affect prices, but it would be interesting to see if there are any published studies on the subject.

      • Rob Drury says:

        No studies necessary; the proof is in the books of any properly run consumer business. Companies do not pay taxes; their customers do – period. Quit griping about Exxon, etc. not paying income taxes. One of the best possible steps to improve our economy and encourage consumer participation is to elimate corporate taxation altogether.

        • Trixie says:

          I’m looking at my tax returns for my business least year. I own a retail business and in my state, there is no sales tax collected on clothing ( what I sell) so my customers did not pay a tax to shop in my store. However, I paid payroll taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, property tax and corporate taxes. Heck, I even had to pay a fee to pay/ file my taxes – electronically!! Let’s not forget that because the tax code is so complicated, I had to hire a CPA to prepare my tax returns! Plus I pay taxes onthe supplies i buy to run my stores. So,I’m not sure where you get the notion that companies don’t pay taxes?!

          • Derek says:

            If you are not charging your customer enough to cover all your costs, expenses, and taxes, then you will surely go out of business. Otherwise, you are transferring your costs, including your taxes, to the customer. Hence, the customer is paying your taxes. Raise your taxes and you’ll have to raise your prices to continue to make a profit. I think that was Rob’s point.

          • Trixie says:

            No, I wouldn’t raise my prices. I would cut back my expenses, starting with the highest one; payroll. I would let go of a couple employees.

  5. Fred Gerle says:

    *funding of Social Security* Don’t know where “else” came from! LOL!

  6. Don Martin says:

    How about running the country in a business like manner with a little bit of common sense. Get rid of all the polititians get some people that care and will do something for all of the people. They should quit talking about just the Rich and the Middle Class there are a lot of other folks out there that need to be concidered. A lot of the use to be middle class are now poor and that never seems to be mentioned. All they talking about is taxes and more taxes and thats not going to solve anything. Pretty soon there won’t be anyone to pay any taxes.

    • rmcm2284 says:

      Business “common sense” says you under fund the pension program, send jobs to the area with the lowest paid employees, reduce benefits and focus on profits. I was reading business case studies. One showed how the company moved the location of the manufacturing to another state. They relocated the employees, only to shut down that facility. This allowed them to terminate the employees without any benefits. The real debate is do we as a nation care about ALL of our people.

      • Derek says:

        To me, raising taxes and growing government is what is harming our people. Care for ALL of our people does not come from the government… it comes from churches, communities, neighbors, and families. Raising taxes is an attempt to fund the government and continue the vicious cycle that we are currently in. We need to reduce the burden of taxes on our people and quit funding worthless bureaucratic programs that are just hurting our people.

  7. Rob says:

    I think people ought to be taxed on their wealth and not their income. That being said it is about time wealthier Americans pay their fair share and more since they benefit the most from living in this country. The system has been rigged by those with money and they should be held to account. My tax burden is less under Obama than it was under Bush. Time to tell the truth on this site and others like it.

    • Derek says:

      Why should the Americans that work hard and earn more have to pay a higher percentage of their income (or wealth) just to make up for those that don’t work hard or earn as much? We all benefit from living in this country because we all have the opportunity to become wealthy and make more money. The fairest tax is one that treats every person equally and allows American businesses to thrive, a national sales tax. We can eliminate all income taxes while generating the same tax revenue as the current three-million-word-plus word tax code with a sales tax. The wealthy will buy luxury items and end up paying more in taxes, but at the same percentage… the fairest way to tax our people.

      • Rob says:

        If 1% of the population owns 90% of the wealth in this country then they ought to be paying 90% of the taxes. That’s fairness. And you think that people who earn less don’t work as hard as a high earner? Are you serious?

        According to the IRS, which recently released 2009 data from the 400 richest individual income tax returns, the real runaway growth in wealth has come from capital gains. In the last years of the bubble, the “Fortunate 400″ made nearly half their income from capital gains (a.k.a.: profit from the rising value of an investment, such as stocks or property) and less than 10% of their income from old-fashioned wages.

        The average income of a top-400 earner grew by 650% between 1992 and 2007 to a whopping $344 million. Over that time, the average salary didn’t even double. But the average capital gains haul increased by 1,200%. So how do the richest get richer? Not from their wages. From their investments.

        Sitting around the pool collecting dividends doesn’t exactly sound like “hard work” to me. Our system is rigged to benefit the wealthy who have purchased our politicians to ensure things go their way.

        • Rob Berger says:

          We hear a lot today that the wealthy should pay their “fair share.” But what is that and aren’t they already paying their “fair share.” When the Bush tax cuts were put into law in 2001 and 2003, they benefited everybody. Nobody then complained that the wealthy weren’t paying their fair share. Now, the call is to revert back to the old tax brackets, but only for the rich. Why? What has happened that suddenly the rich aren’t paying their “fair share?”

    • carolyn says:

      Are you kidding me, Rob? The wealthy “benefit most from living in this country?” Have you ever left the USA? The poor in this country live lives many middle class people around the world would envy (air conditioning, car, TV, cable, smart phones, food, and on and on and on). The wealthy do well in any society – Africa, Middle East, Russia, China, US; but this is one of the only countries in the world where the poor have enough to survive, and then some.

      I am personally very familiar with Africa and China – just take a trip over there, visit a few countries, look around a little, then head right back here and thank God you were born an American.

    • Gungie says:

      A little jealous of those achievers Rob? Worried about what others have. How about not whining and do the things successful people do. Take it from those rich evil people and give it to me. you sound like a loser.

    • Gungie says:

      A little jealous of those achievers Rob? Worried about what others have. How about not whining and do the things successful people do. Take it from those rich evil people and give it to me. you sound like a loser.

  8. Money Beagle says:

    I used to be ultra-conservative and have moved quite a it over (though I still consider myself conservative). I guess I have no problem with letting those cuts for the rich expire, and here’s my reasoning: It used to be that the rich would get richer by doing things that made them money, but a byproduct of this was that they also helped others make money. They’d hire for their companies, they’d buy things that required production, all things that created jobs. This allowed for our middle class to be created and to thrive. I feel that nowadays the rich take the money from their tax cuts and do not provide those same benefits. If anything, nowadays do they not only not hire, they take the money from the tax cuts and put it into investments that only they have access to that allows them and them only to make money. In short, I would have no problem with the rich keeping their tax cuts if they didn’t come at the expense of the middle class, and unfortunately, that’s the situation I see us in, so I say Let Them Expire (for the rich)

    • Rob Berger says:

      The cuts, if the expire, will expire for folks making $250,000 or more. It seems to me that the people you are describing are those making millions each year.

  9. Marc says:

    Excellent article, and I agree that we need to do something. I disagree with any tax increase, partly because any money the government gets, it has prove time after time that it is completely inept at spending our money wisely.

    I think the main behavior changes when taxes are raised are not consumer spending but capital investment, more business ventures started. While some of that turns into consumer spending, some does not. The less people are encouraged to invest, the less funding businesses have to fund their ventures.

  10. Trixie says:

    I agree that a moderate tax increas will probably be necessary but only if it’s part of a long term plan to control spending. I need clarification- if the bush tax cuts expire for income over 250k, it still won’t generate enough revenue to pay for Obamacare, correct? in order to really get the economy back on track, we need job growth, right? The stimulus package didnt work, the payroll tax holiday didn’t work, so how does increasing the taxes on 2% of the counry create jobs?

  11. Dan Heitz says:

    Instead of talking tax rates, I would like to see us establish five numbers every 20 years.

    1) First, the size of the budget as a % of GDP. This is the pie.
    2) What % of our total balanced budget should be funded by the poor
    (income less than $70K and yes they should pay something),
    3) What % should be funded by the middle class ($50K to $500K),
    4) What % should be funded by the wealthy (over $500K) and
    5) What % should be funded by corporations.

    Establish these (5) numbers and leave them alone for 20 years. You can adjust your tax rates and loop holes all you want but your budget must be balanced and revenue collected to these percentages. If you over tax in one given year you must lower your rate the next year, if you under collect you can must raise rates or close loop holes.

    The $70K number sounds high for the “poor” but it won’t in 20 years. Likewise the $500K number is hardly middle class today but it will be in 20 years.

    Just my opinion…

    • Rob Berger says:

      Dan, that’s a very interesting approach. I wonder if a think tank has calculated these numbers.

  12. Evan says:

    I think my main problem is what is considered “rich” I live on the north shore of Long Island $250K is just not rich. I think President Obama would have had his plan sail through Congress and the public if he started the bar at $1mil+ or even $750K/yr.

    • Rob says:

      As a former Islander turned Arizonan I would tend to agree with you Evan especially in an election year. If President Obama raises that bar to millionaire status it would seemingly be politically unwise for Republicans to start defending millionaires (not that that would stop them). It would sure show the American people where their loyalties lie which isn’t with nor never has been with the shrinking middle class. Some say the President is dividing us but I say that division began with Ronald Reagan and his trickle down policies. A clever phrase that actually has proven to mean trickle up. Beware clever phrases.

  13. PT says:

    The issue isn’t rich v middle class. The expiration of the tax cuts across the board would return the rates to the Clinton era rates, a period of economic growth while maintaining surpluses. Ultimately for this country to get on the right track the parties are going to have to work together again to come up with meaningful changes. The republicans assert we’re approaching this financial cliff with mounting debt and tax hikes, but the answer can’t be cut spending by 500 billion and taxes by 1 trillion. This leaves us 500 billion worse off than we started. The answer is responsible tax policy with cuts to spending. Social Security can take care of itself by eliminating the income cap. Simplification of the tax code eliminating loopholes, including the capital gains tax. There is no argument that justifies taxing capital gains at a lower rate than income. Who has capital gains, the super wealthy, they use this to pay a lower tax than the majority of wealthy people. For instance, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, other CEO’s, they take a nominal salary (famously $1 for Jobs) and the rest in investment income, therefore if the stocks go up, their investment goes up, their income goes up while they pay low taxes. This only benefits the rich who can afford a nominal salary. Cut these stupid benefits out. Why should these investment profits be taxed at a lower rate when my savings account goes down as general income. Money made is income period.

    The bottom line here is that until the debt is paid off income is income (thus capital gains will be taxed as income). Once the debt is paid off (no more cliff to go over), a law requiring a balanced budget should be passed. As long as the government can run on a balanced budget they can cut taxes and spending all they want. The issue will then be how do they do this and provide services within the budget to continue to get re-elected. But we’re far too far away to get into that. For now it has to be both measures, otherwise we’re going down the same path as Europe which evidences in the end all pay up, might as well control those payments now by belt tightening. Expiring all the tax cuts cuts the deficit to nearly 500 billion. When combined with the other tax changes (capital gains), and the fact that social security will fund itself again (Reagan fixed by increasing to affect 90% of all income making solvent for 30 years, time is up and the tax currently only affects 83% of all income), the necessary spending cuts are manageable without causing massive shock and can result in a gradual cutback on government size if that is the direction to go.

    Problem is neither party will be reasonable, but both preach about addressing the debt problem. Republicans are all over Ryan’s plan which calls for 30 years of additional deficit spending. So much for that imminent cliff we’re going over especially with interest on the debt payments set to double by 2015 making the interest payments alone on the debt 1 trillion dollars. Romney’s vague at best plan can only be evaluated utilizing speculation as to what his intentions are other than he wants a balanced budget, 20% tax cuts, increased defense budget and cap on government spending. This would result in massive government cuts (including to medicaid, medicare where they are flinging poo at each other at rates that make monkeys envious) that are simply unrealistic. The Democrats plan doesn’t do enough. We need to start paying the debt off now, prior to 2015 when the interest is set to double. This means everyone across the board has to pay their share. Tax cuts in this environment simply isn’t feasibly if we’re being totally responsible. On top of this the government has to manage a recovery that is nonexistent, but it may remain nonexistent if we don’t get the debt under control.

    Finally discussion of the trickle down theory is ridiculous. If it worked the disparity between the classes wouldn’t be growing at record rates and companies wouldn’t have record amounts of cash horded. The current analysis is that we are on another course for a great depression as the disparity and cash control mirrors that before the great depression. Why do we have to repeat history in order to learn something. Fix the problem now and avoid a repeat of history later, even if we go through another recession in the short term.

  14. PT says:

    The issue isn’t rich v middle class. The expiration of the tax cuts across the board would return the rates to the Clinton era rates, a period of economic growth while maintaining surpluses. Ultimately for this country to get on the right track the parties are going to have to work together again to come up with meaningful changes. The republicans assert we’re approaching this financial cliff with mounting debt and tax hikes, but the answer can’t be cut spending by 500 billion and taxes by 1 trillion. This leaves us 500 billion worse off than we started. The answer is responsible tax policy with cuts to spending. Social Security can take care of itself by eliminating the income cap. Simplification of the tax code eliminating loopholes, including the capital gains tax. There is no argument that justifies taxing capital gains at a lower rate than income. Who has capital gains, the super wealthy, they use this to pay a lower tax than the majority of wealthy people. For instance, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, other CEO’s, they take a nominal salary (famously $1 for Jobs) and the rest in investment income, therefore if the stocks go up, their investment goes up, their income goes up while they pay low taxes. This only benefits the rich who can afford a nominal salary. Cut these stupid benefits out. Why should these investment profits be taxed at a lower rate when my savings account goes down as general income. Money made is income period.

    The bottom line here is that until the debt is paid off income is income (thus capital gains will be taxed as income). Once the debt is paid off (no more cliff to go over), a law requiring a balanced budget should be passed. As long as the government can run on a balanced budget they can cut taxes and spending all they want. The issue will then be how do they do this and provide services within the budget to continue to get re-elected. But we’re far too far away to get into that. For now it has to be both measures, otherwise we’re going down the same path as Europe which evidences in the end all pay up, might as well control those payments now by belt tightening. Expiring all the tax cuts cuts the deficit to nearly 500 billion. When combined with the other tax changes (capital gains), and the fact that social security will fund itself again (Reagan fixed by increasing to affect 90% of all income making solvent for 30 years, time is up and the tax currently only affects 83% of all income), the necessary spending cuts are manageable without causing massive shock and can result in a gradual cutback on government size if that is the direction to go.

    Problem is neither party will be reasonable, but both preach about addressing the debt problem. Republicans are all over Ryan’s plan which calls for 30 years of additional deficit spending. So much for that imminent cliff we’re going over especially with interest on the debt payments set to double by 2015 making the interest payments alone on the debt 1 trillion dollars. Romney’s vague at best plan can only be evaluated utilizing speculation as to what his intentions are other than he wants a balanced budget, 20% tax cuts, increased defense budget and cap on government spending. This would result in massive government cuts (including to medicaid, medicare where they are flinging poo at each other at rates that make monkeys envious) that are simply unrealistic. The Democrats plan doesn’t do enough. We need to start paying the debt off now, prior to 2015 when the interest is set to double. This means everyone across the board has to pay their share. Tax cuts in this environment simply isn’t feasibly if we’re being totally responsible. On top of this the government has to manage a recovery that is nonexistent, but it may remain nonexistent if we don’t get the debt under control.

    Finally discussion of the trickle down theory is ridiculous. If it worked the disparity between the classes wouldn’t be growing at record rates and companies wouldn’t have record amounts of cash horded. The current analysis is that we are on another course for a great depression as the disparity and cash control mirrors that before the great depression. Why do we have to repeat history in order to learn something. Fix the problem now and avoid a repeat of history later, even if we go through another recession in the short term.

  15. linda says:

    i am willing to pay the 3% higher taxes if it is dedicated to the debt. i have read the simpson bowles plan and i agree they need to start there. This nation is in such bad shape due to the inability of our elected congress to work toward a solution! i would rather let the tax expire totally than let the republican house put in a “poisen pill” amendment and nothing gets done. i am a retired nurse,living on small pension and social security . People, i believe it is time to bite the bullet. Our economy took the first shock when gas went to four dollars/gal. wages are stagnant and were even four years before i retired. Lets start with the jones act. thank you for letting me vent.

  16. Walter says:

    Granted that if no one paid Taxes – at all – revenue NEEDED to run a country as large as the USA would be notoriously lacking. Government must not be seen as if it’s just a business. A Business’s primary objective is to make profits for the entrepreneur so that he can get to reward himself for the dicey risks he’s boldly taken.That being said the role of government would be to make it possible for all sorts of activities to be undertaken for the general benefit of all and sundry present primarily within the region of its jurisdiction. In a rapidly globalizing environment the trading function of a governments foreign policy is more and more encouraging it to be mindful of the national objectives of partners alongside its own. Therein within and without the countries arises the concept of negotiation, where winning is not absolute and losing is not un-bearable ! The ideological inflexibility that permanently grid-locks our two major political parties in the USA – that have come to view ‘tax’ as a bad word – can only be legitimized if the huge majority of the American Middle class now institute a strong national political party of specifically its own membership / financing so that the ratio of the tax burden between it as the majority and the minority “non-Middle-class others” can commence to be decreased..The present horrendous inequalities of income could only thus get to be reduced to non-enviable levels. That would then tend to give “taxation”a good rather than a bad name

  17. Robert Baker says:

    Last fiscal year the federal government over spent by 1.1 Trillion dollars. Over 10 years that is 11 Trillion dollars. The President continually says ‘balance’ and ‘fairness’ so lets have both and allow everything to expire. Elections have consequences and we all need to share in the pain of the over spending. Further, if our economy stalls then so be it. Those idiots that claimed they were Republicans but just could not find the effort to go and vote can look in the mirror everyday for the next 4 years and know they are responsible for all those who loose their jobs, get handouts from the governments, and live with a health system that will strangle individualism while promoting collectivism. Thank you for your lack of effort. In the end, with taxes up for everyone, the government will collect an extra 3.7 Trillion dollars of revenue unless the dreaded ‘Psychology of Taxation’ occurs, then that number will be allot lower and GDP will shrink. But I said four years ago and I will say it now, we have entered a twenty year period of mediocrity and shrinkage just like Japan. I might be wrong, when all the shenanigans blow up in the governments face, we might be in a race to the bottom much sooner.

  18. Robert Baker says:

    Last fiscal year the federal government over spent by 1.1 Trillion dollars. Over 10 years that is 11 Trillion dollars. The President continually says ‘balance’ and ‘fairness’ so lets have both and allow everything to expire. Elections have consequences and we all need to share in the pain of the over spending. Further, if our economy stalls then so be it. Those idiots that claimed they were Republicans but just could not find the effort to go and vote can look in the mirror everyday for the next 4 years and know they are responsible for all those who loose their jobs, get handouts from the governments, and live with a health system that will strangle individualism while promoting collectivism. Thank you for your lack of effort. In the end, with taxes up for everyone, the government will collect an extra 3.7 Trillion dollars of revenue unless the dreaded ‘Psychology of Taxation’ occurs, then that number will be allot lower and GDP will shrink. But I said four years ago and I will say it now, we have entered a twenty year period of mediocrity and shrinkage just like Japan. I might be wrong, when all the shenanigans blow up in the governments face, we might be in a race to the bottom much sooner.

  19. Duane says:

    I am a liberal and all for letting the cuts expires for the top 2% but corporate taxes do not make much sense. They make our products less competitive globally. Removing corporate taxes would increase dividends (that need to be taxed like income) and salaries that would generate taxes to replace the lost revenue. It would level the playing field for those competing with the GE/Exon non-payers. Want an example of how taxes are skewed? In my county, if you leave one of your grandkids a $2 million house and the other a $2 million piece of land, the house owner will owe $20,000 property taxes, every year and the land owner will owe $200. This is not uncommon, check your area.

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