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Obama: Rich must pay fair share of deficit cuts

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“This is not class warfare, it is math,”

This is exactly it. The problem is that the only math Boehner and friends can be bothered to do concerns their own personal fortune. They don't bother with the math of the nation. You really want to let rich tightwads, who have been enjoying special tax breaks for years, can be troubled to go back to previous tax levels?

So many of you supported the expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and could not be bothered to pay in blood, and you certainly don't have the cash to pay, because so much of the money you helped create went higher up. War supporters should be paying that share, and so should war profiteers. But only the rich, like those war profiteers actually have the cash to do it. Thems the breaks kid. But they still get to go home to mansions, gardens, maids, butlers and limosines. They will make it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"There is class warfare all right, but it's my class -- the rich class -- that's making war, and we're winning." -- Warren Buffett

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The republicans were a bunch of thieves and tax evaders, that party should be banned and criminalrized! Their patriotisms is meaningless when that matter their money!

4 ( +7 / -2 )

Obama: "those who have done well, including me"

Obama hasn't done well, in fact he has been a disaster.

Obama: "Middle class taxpayers shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires"

Um, they aren't. Obama is hopelessly clueless.

-6 ( +1 / -6 )

yay! 75% Americans and 53% Republicans agreed with you. Mr. President.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If President Obama and Buffet truly believed all of this talk about dividing the country by class and envy towards the successful, then they - as successful people - would have either been sending 80%+ of their considerable wealth to the US Treasury every year or they would have been donating that much to charity. The fact that they don't tells you a lot about their motives. They simply believe in socialism as the best way to organize a society. I disagree because more than a hundred years of history has proven in many different nations and cultures that this economic philosophy doesn't work. Even in countries with a relatively homogenous culture such as Japan, socialist government is doomed to failure. The result of such failure is a lot more poverty and despair for everyone. Socialism simply improves the lives of people today at the expense of their children and grandchildren. Sure, it's a nice idea and the motivation for providing for all is sincere. However, it is a philosophy that is incompatible with human nature.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Americans were warned...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Wolfpack:

would have either been sending 80%+ of their considerable wealth to the US Treasury every year or they would have been donating that much to charity. The fact that they don't tells you a lot about their motives.

Look this up in the NYT:

Warren E. Buffett's gift of about $37.4 billion vaults him into the top tier of charitable giving....

Some people are rich and don't give a sh!t. Some are rich and care. Buffett is the latter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

However, it is a philosophy that is incompatible with human nature.

@Walfpack, our human nature does not like cheaters.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Make taxes 100% and watch what happens.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

True riches are not defined how much they have in bank accounts. Rather they are defined how to spend right and big. Warren Buffett is a true role model of Capitalism in my opinion. He still lives in humble home in Omaha and drives a regular sedan. He does not have to prove it to anyone. When poeple have too much, often times, they become true liberal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Make taxes 100% and watch what happens.

Any country that make taxes 100% would also have to provide for the needs of it's people. Hey that sounds almost like something that has been tried and failed in a number of countries, doesn't it?

For those that does not want to go there, a balance has to be found. And America being on the other end of the scale, probably needs to move slightly towards the center of the scale.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Make taxes 100% and watch what happens.

@JapanGal, USA is not a communist country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Most countries in the world have higher personal taxes than the US and the people are happier. You get what you pay for or not. Ever think why US is No. 1 on spending on health care and have outcomes that are no where near the top ten. If I remember right it's more like the results of a third world country. France is the closest in spending at 1/2 and they cover everyone. Capitalism works because it is based on being a selfish B***d. That why it only works with REGULATIONS to make thing fair. BTW, did you know that most CEOs have the profile of a psychopath and US CEO usually get paid more than their company pays in taxes whether or not the company lost or made money. For centuries business men were looked on as evil and even in the US since it went against christian teachings.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is math. Plus fundamental fairness. Why should capital gains be taxed at a lower rate than income from labor?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Why should capital gains be taxed at a lower rate than income from labor?

@Fredrick, agreed. Riches can have two pots; a personal income pot and an investment pot. The investment pot (capital gain) is only taxed max. of 15%. Most people do not understand what Bush *W" did for riches since he took office.

In addition to that Bush took us to two wars with credit cards we have not even made a single payment yet. The debt went up by 200% since 12 yrs ago. What a mess........

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Heck, I've been saying everybody should pay their fair share for years. Flat tax, boom. You can cut a few failed departments while you're at it. Drop the Department of Education, split Homeland Security back into customs and immigration, reduce the burden on energy producers, remove troops from Iraq and Afghanistan but leave a few drone bases, raise the SS age to 70, put a reasonable lifetime cap on aid programs, offer opt outs to federal assistance programs, and sell off money wasting programs like Amtrak so that private investors can either re-vamp it or sell it for scrap.

Most countries in the world have higher personal taxes than the US and the people are happier.

That has more to do with the culture in which they live in and less to do with their systems of taxation and economics. There are several third world countries that are far happier than the average American, you tend to find that homogenous countries like Sweden and Norway have been consistently happier than Americans even when taxation and services were comparable earlier in this century.

BTW, did you know that most CEOs have the profile of a psychopath

So instead of making townsfolk 'disappear' around parks and forests they instead focus on making money, I fail to see how that's a problem especially when they employ thousands of people. I worked for a regional director with schizophrenia but he knew what he was doing, but then I judge people by actions rather than perceptions.

For centuries business men were looked on as evil and even in the US since it went against christian teachings.

Ah yes, promoting industry, revolutionizing modern living, pioneering virtually all of the medical technologies we have today, providing employment, and getting human being from horses to self-parking cars in a mere century...they truly are fiends.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Serrano,

um, they are. Warren Buffett's NYT op-ed said as much - his maid pays a higher percentage of income tax than he does.

Did you know that back in the 1940s, the good old days so many conservatives are hoplessly trying to preserve, corporations and the rich paid for the vast majority of the national budget?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Heck, I've been saying everybody should pay their fair share for years. Flat tax, boom.

Nice idea. Have you ever run that idea through a calculator a couple times? Taking into account the bills must be paid and poor people must eat and have shelter? I think even Karl Marx might have actually done some calculations before putting forth his philosophy. And while he might not have had the most practical of ideas, a former superpower used them and survived for decades and put the fear of God in the west. So how about you? Any actual calculations?

And what rate would you suggest? And that will pay the tremendous debt around what year?

promoting industry, revolutionizing modern living, pioneering virtually all of the medical technologies we have today, providing employment, and getting human being from horses to self-parking cars in a mere century...they truly are fiends.

You seem to be confusing investors with inventors. There is some overlap, but not that much.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is a much needed conversation and belated wake-up call to the US. Yet, I'm sure this government will not accomplish anything near what Obama is asking. Fairness is not in the legalese vocab for the opposing party. I expect attacks from the media and right and right-wing media. Taxation on the rich that controls the media and industry spells disaster for the Dems.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

President Obama,the academician,is trying to remake himself as the populist.This too will fail.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

President Obama,the academician,is trying to remake himself as the populist.This too will fail

RossBardJapan, 75% Americans and 53% REPUBLICANS are strongly supporting his proposal as of today. He got a majority of people behind. That's power.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Billionaire Warren Buffet pays himself 100,000 dollars a year.Investment income,in Buffet's case,is held not by him but by his company,Berkshire Hathaway.I hope that anyone here applauding his actions is aware of this.Never forget that Buffet is a billionaire and it was not altruism that got him there.If he actually believes in Obama and an ever-larger federal government why does he not give his millions directly to the US government rather than making multi-million dollar donations to private charities such as The Gates Foundation?Finally,why should I trust a man who publicly discloses what his employees pay in taxes?As their employee he knows how much is withheld but not how much they actually pay.

I recall President Clinton devised a similar tax on the super rich back in the 1990's and we saw the rise of stock options as a new and special perk for executives - since they were seeing their salaries capped at one million dollars.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Please note the correction for my previous post:

Finally,why should I trust a man who publicly discloses what his employees pay in taxes?As their employer he knows how much is withheld but not how much they actually pay.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Mark Cuban, multi-billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, had this to say:

So be Patriotic. Go out there and get rich. Get so obnoxiously rich that when that tax bill comes , your first thought will be to choke on how big a check you have to write. Your 2nd thought will be “what a great problem to have”, and your 3rd should be a recognition that in paying your taxes you are helping to support millions of Americans that are not as fortunate as you.

I'd never have expected that of him: Seems like patriotic rich people are crawling out of the woodwork. Good words, Mark - even as an Angelino and die-hard Lakers supporter, I commend you on this!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Super Rich?? Yes, Obama, tax them. As a matter of fact, tax them twice, by all means. Confiscate at will.

Take Jay Leno. Love the guy. Car collection, ridiculous. It's all private too. It's not like he's running a museum. John Travolta, private jet and house at the end of the airfield. That's sick!!

Tax all of them.

It's funny that American's don't realize that the few sold out the many. Leeched the country dry and then live here among us. Seriously, TAX them. TAX them till we trim off all the fat on their backs.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You seem to be confusing investors with inventors. There is some overlap, but not that much.

The right hand washes the left. If there are no investors the inventors lack the supplies and capital needed to produce their inventions. If there are no new inventions then investors lack the competitive edge to attain greater access to material and capital. Plus, without investors to promote and produce the inventions how would they reach the consumers?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

TheQuestion,

So where do all those research universities that drive much of American innovation get their money from?

Oh, right. The gub'mint.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So where do all those research universities that drive much of American innovation get their money from? Oh, right. The gub'mint

It is the government's money only after they have taken from American citizens or paid themselves in advance with fiat currency.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Charles Schumer is a senator representing New York State.He is in the same party as President Obama.

"$250,000 makes you really rich in Mississippi but it doesn't make you rich at all in New York and there ought to be some kind of scale based on the cost of living on how much you pay."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

RossBard,

Tell that to the folks in Brooklyn or Queens. Think everybody in New York is pulling in 250 Gs a year? No.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So where do all those research universities that drive much of American innovation get their money from?

Oh, right. The gub'mint.

Most get their research money from private non-profit foundations such as The Pew Institute, The Gates Foundation and way to many others to mention. Google foundations research grants. The very non-profits and charitable organizations the wealthy support in the first place.

Who's gonna get hurt after they get can no longer itemize or claim the deductions on their tax bill? Oh, right the students and the research they actually now support voluntarily.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Tell that to the folks in Brooklyn or Queens. Think everybody in New York is pulling in 250 Gs a year? No.

The upset in the recent special election in New York City (to determine who would take the seat of disgraced congressman Anthony Wiener - D ) has the senator worried that Obama is dragging him down as well.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Not so fast.

From Berkley's website:

"Who pays for science? Today, we all do. Most scientific research is funded by government grants (e.g., from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, etc.), companies doing research and development, and non-profit foundations (e.g., the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, etc.). As a society, we reap the rewards from this science in the form of technological innovations and advanced knowledge, but we also help pay for it. You indirectly support science everyday through taxes you pay, products and services you purchase from companies, and donations you make to charities."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So where do all those research universities that drive much of American innovation get their money from?

Public funding for anything has been largely selective and, in many cases, ineffectual. Government funded programs normally take the form of pet projects that appeal to a politicians voter base and not the economic or social realities of the world they exist in. They do it so they can point at whatever they paid for and say, "Look what I did, that's what our party is about" The recent flop of the solar panel company that the current administration touted is one example, Bush had his, and Clinton before him. None of the projects are particularly viable because the government doesn't care about viability of a product, they want bragging rights.

The result is a solar company wasting government money, GE making turbine engines we never plan on using, and electric dams that do more harm than good. Investors make good and bad decisions, the difference is that when an investor makes a bad decision he only wastes his own money. If a politician makes a bad investment he's wasted YOUR money.

And a general rule of thumb, if nobody else wants to invest in it. You aren't obligated to do so in their stead. Some ideas are underfunded because of a lack of publicity, which is a shame, but some projects are underfunded because they are fundamentally bad investments. Governments have a hard time distinguishing between the two.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Capitalism and Patriotism should be separate issues.

Capitalism - Non-government controlled open market that welcomes entrepreneurship and rewards it (at times) Patriotism - You recognize the country you live in and respect it enough to be taxed fairly to maintain it's stability.

Those RICH individuals who don't want to pay their fair share of the taxes don't deserve to live in America and should not be allowed to profit from our system of Capitalism.

When people start talking about America's prison system they always seem to assume that everybody in there is a naughty boy or girl.

There are Americans IN JAIL cause they are poor. Yes, being poor in America and not being able to pay your taxes could land you in jail. Then it takes more tax money to support those in jail. It's a vicious cycle.

It's about time these super rich folks land on Income Tax and Luxury Tax. No more of this $200, better to audit them. Tax people like Kim Kardashian. She flaunts her money and fame like a terrible towel. She's not doing anything for the country that she leeches off. Tax em all.

Steve Jobs - Tax him. NBA Players with 6 Bentleys - Tax em Halliburton - Tax em BP - Tax them too

The economic divide and the ultra rich's sense of apathy towards the people who got them where they are today is killing America. The World is watching and they lowered America's credit rating.

We don't even have a space program anymore. America's deep pockets won't pay their taxes. Rich folks: "We pay our taxes!!! What are you talking about?" No fools, we American's paid your taxes. You could never be that rich on your own. So contribute to this nation.

They look for every angle not to. Should give those people the American boot. Let em see if they can get rich like they are now in any other country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It was the Bush administration that got the ball rolling on Solyndra, but I digress.

You make a point, but that doesn't change the fact that innovation is still driven in large part by public money. You can't just flip the switch on that and expect investors to fill the gap. Even if that were possible, it's also ludicrous to think that people would stop investing just because of higher tax rates on the rich.

As you pointed out yourself, " If there are no new inventions then investors lack the competitive edge to attain greater access to material and capital." I don't think anybody is going to suddenly give up on that just because it costs them a few extra bucks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, being poor in America and not being able to pay your taxes could land you in jail.

I have never heard of this and frankly I doubt the author of that post has any examples to offer this forum.Tax evasion might land you in jail, but offenders would by definition have to be in the 53 percent of American workers who pay taxes.The bottom 47 percent pay none.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, RossBard, that's the whole thing. You wouldn't know it's happening cause you're a little too high up on the totem pole. It's not the kind of thing that gets reported on the 6 o'clock news.

You see, they owe taxes. Government, State, Local, etc. Those that can't pay, get interest stacked on top of what they can't afford. Then more interest. The interest gets out of control. The government keeps stacking it on like Epic Meal time. Prosecutors change the context of the situation and make them out to be irresponsible people and intent to avoid payment. They get locked up for all kinds of reasons other than just saying they're poor.

You'd be kidding yourself if you thought being poor couldn't get you in jail at some point in your life. If you're too high to know then maybe you are in the bracket of people that need to be taxed more.

Of course I hope I'm wrong about you and you'll do this one simple thing. Discover for yourself. New York Times website: Debtors Prison Have a look. It's not always about tax but if your wages can be garnished you have no control of your life. One thing leads to another and before you know it, people find themselves behind bars, shacked up with REAL convicts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tax is theft.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

I think there should be a flat tax - X% across the board.

But that's just me.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not so fast.

From Berkley's website:

"Who pays for science? Today, we all do. Most scientific research is funded by government grants (e.g., from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, etc.), companies doing research and development, and non-profit foundations (e.g., the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, etc.). As a society, we reap the rewards from this science in the form of technological innovations and advanced knowledge, but we also help pay for it. You indirectly support science everyday through taxes you pay, products and services you purchase from companies, and donations you make to charities."

Not so fast 2,

Who does a better job funding the research and towards things that actually improve our lives? Companies doing research or non-profit foundations that rely on donations (from the wealthy) or the Gub-mint? Who do want to encourage to keep doing this the private sector, or just hand it all over to Gub-mint in highe Taxes on the wealthy so they can fund the research that they choose that is important and produces electric cars nobody wants.

Let's make this easy. GM gets a Gub-mint bail-out and now produces the Chevy Volt that sold a whole whopping 125 units last month. Ford did not want or request a bail-out is doing quite nicely in the sales and on the R&D front but we are going to raise taxes on the CEO of Ford because he did a good job keeping his company healthy and didn't go to Govt teat for a handout courtesy of the taxpayer.

Your call

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tax the rich is one of the oldest ploys in the book for politicians. Problem is, even if you taxed the "rich" at a hundred percent, there still wouldn't be nearly enough to pay for the bloated government spending. Especially when nearly half of Americans are paying ZERO income tax.

This is a last ditch effort by Obama to gain some popularity before election season goes into full swing. It's also clearly a gimmick, since he knows this won't get passed.

He's merely positioning himself to say "I tried to tax the rich, but the rich, out of touch republicans wouldn't let me. They're the reason why the deficit is so big..."

But, the blind sheep will likely follow Obama on this, because nothing works better than the old "All your problems are because of somebody else.." line from a politician.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Problem is, even if you taxed the "rich" at a hundred percent, there still wouldn't be nearly enough to pay for the bloated government spending.

Who says we have to pay in one year? Who says we can only tax income?

But, the blind sheep will likely follow Obama on this, because nothing works better than the old "All your problems are because of somebody else.." line from a politician.

As I said above, current and previous war supporters have themselves to blame for a large chunk of the debt. But you are just being philosophical if you think that means the poor and middle class should pay the whole debt, or that the rich should pay a like percentage toward the debt. The math simply does not work out. If the debt is not paid or brought to reasonable levels, it will be because the rich did not pay, as only they have the means. About the only way you can blame the poor and middle class would be for failing to put nails in baseball bats and make the rich pay!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oh yehh... that is what Islam says .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Tax at 100% what? Neh?

For pete's sake the issue is the uber-rich in the US that are paying less of a percentage of tax than your average gal/guy...

No wonder even many Repubs are in support finally.

In my humble opinion this is the issue that will re-elect Mr Obama. The repubs are going to commit political suicide opposing tax hikes on the super-rich in the midst of a chronic depression.

What makes me laugh the most is that I would estimate nearly all those party faithfull following the NO to raising taxes through blind, dumbass partisanship probably don't have a pot to piss in, let alone be in the million bucks a year bracket.

The party's over.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

More jaw-boning and grandstanding and demagoguery from Obama.I worry repubs will just ignore him on this. The US tax code is far too complicated.(That, by the way, makes 99 percent of non-American input on this issue kinda laughable. )The number crunchers and loophole experts the wealthy can hire are much brighter than the ones who work for the IRS.But taking your money and punishing small businesses well that gets a crony capitalist like Obama fired up like nothing else can.So he will use this topic as the cudgel.Quite a contrast from great Democratic leaders of the past..Think of JFK, calling for tax breaks to stimulate the economy.Clinton:"the era of big government is over."

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Adverts,

The wealthy are paying a lower tax rate by using tax shelters and other advantages in the tax code to avoid high tax rates in the first place. Raising tax rates on them will only drive their financial decisions to pour even more money into the shelters and do nothing to help the economy or the deficit to the avoid even higher tax rates. This is not a class thing this is basic Human nature. You want to get their accumulated wealth back into the economy? Start with getting with getting rid of tax policy decisions that drove their money into tax shelters in the first place.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm sorry Sailwind, but I live in a European nanny state where tax, and more importantly social charges cripple us small businesses and impede almost absolutely our growth, let alone employment As it stands today, I have work coming out of my eyeballs, but I can't hire because whatever I declare paying an employee, I will have to give at least the same amount back to the state. And this is to pay all the millions of people who do not work, and have no intentions of doing so.

Terrifying, isn't it?

I've always held the US in high regard for realizing the small entrepeneur as being the back-bone of the economy and for allowing such people to climb up the ladder, if they're willing to work their ass for it as I do, instead of keeping people small as they do here - whist the uber-rich are left alone.

Something has to be done to address the debt. I hope that more true patriots, like the football club owner cited earlier, will come out and say "hey, I'm perhaps paying more taxes but I'm a good earner and my country needs me".

The current stance of protecting corporations from tax should they up sticks and leave? Disgraceful.

At this point in time, tantamount to treason.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Most super wealthy people, contrary to popular belief, are also super STINGY! The movie about old Scrooge and the Ghost of Past Christmas etc..only makes all the filthy rich people around the world look not so bad, I mean old Scrooge, compared to take XXXXXX country, from the USA, to India, to China, to Mexico to almost anywhere in this world, the rich do not give a hoot about the poor and the working poor etc..So once in a while you get strikes like the workers now at the Suzuki plant out in India and also few and far between you get a revolution like over in Cuba, Vietnam, Venezuela etc..but sadly enough the filthy rich control this world with all of their $$$$, power, connections, and we poor folk here get to talk about it on blogs like this, so I do hope President Obama can undo much of the evil and stupidity of old Bush and his cronies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What's needed isn't a higher tax rate, but fewer loopholes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I found this very interesting from the supposedly fiscal conservative tea party:

Tea party Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) used himself as an example Monday while arguing against President Barack Obama's plan to make sure millionaires pay about the same tax rate as the people that work for them.

"In my own case, I own LLCs," Fleming told MSNBC's Chris Jansing. "The income flows to my personal tax return and whatever is left over after taxes are paid, I feed my family on the one hand and on the other hand, I reinvest in my business."

"With all due respect, The Wall Street Journal estimated that your businesses, which I believe are Subway sandwich shops and UPS stores -- very successful -- brought you last year, over $6 million," Jansing noted.

"Yeah, that's before you pay 500 employees, you pay rent, you pay equipment and food," Fleming agreed. "Since my net income -- and again, that's the individual rate that I told you about -- the amount that I have to reinvest in my business and feed my family is more like $600,000 of that $6.3 million. And so by the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over to invest in new locations, upgrade my locations, buy more equipment."

"You do understand, Congressman, the average person out there making 40, 50, $60,000 a year, when they hear that you have $400,000 left over, it's not exactly a sympathetic position?" Jansing asked.

"Again, class warfares never created a job," Fleming replied.

This guy is claiming class warfare. He's making $200,000 a year and claiming class warfare.

Could you be more out of touch?

Taka

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"53% od Republicans are strongly supporting his proposal"

It must be a bad proposal then, as the Republicans are the ones who got the country into this financial mess, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WolfpackSEP. 20, 2011 - 08:56AM JST If President Obama and Buffet truly believed all of this talk about dividing the country by class and envy towards the successful, then they - as successful people - would have either been sending 80%+ of their considerable wealth to the US Treasury every year or they would have been donating that much to charity. The fact that they don't tells you a lot about their motives. They simply believe in socialism as the best way to organize a society. I disagree because more than a hundred years of history has proven in many different nations and cultures that this economic philosophy doesn't work. Even in countries with a relatively homogenous culture such as Japan, socialist government is doomed to failure. The result of such failure is a lot more poverty and despair for everyone. Socialism simply improves the lives of people today at the expense of their children and grandchildren. Sure, it's a nice idea and the motivation for providing for all is sincere. However, it is a philosophy that is incompatible with human nature.

** Right, tell that to China or Japan or Germany or Singapore or any other major industrial countries which are socialist by your definition. Or look at the US at its peak in the 50s when taxes were at 90% on the top earners. Thats your socialism for you. You wind up republicans have no idea what you are talking about at all, no sense of history, no understanding of the USA either. The model you support is a banana republic where one percent owns 99% of wealth. That is what 30 years of republican rule has pushed the USA toward today. You deluded tea party types think one way you will be one of those 1 percent. News flash, you are more likely to be living out of you car as the rich screw the middle class over again and again and again. Hence stagnant wages for the middle class since Ronny Reagun started the looting of the middle class. Hence the huge increase in American poverty. Hence the near collapse of the US economy in 2008 under Bush that only a massive bailout, Oh how socialist can that be, by the US government saved the country from full on depression.

These are the facts, not the miserable fiction that uniformed Ayn Rand clones tell themselves over and over again convincing no one but themselves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm sorry Sailwind, but I live in a European nanny state where tax, and more importantly social charges cripple us small businesses and impede almost absolutely our growth, let alone employment As it stands today, I have work coming out of my eyeballs, but I can't hire because whatever I declare paying an employee, I will have to give at least the same amount back to the state. And this is to pay all the millions of people who do not work, and have no intentions of doing so.

Terrifying, isn't it?

You've just describe Obama's Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and its effect on America perfectly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"You've just describe Obama's Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and its effect on America perfectly."

Nope. You''ve taken my post, ignored the content and taken one point which you have twisted to suit your radical agenda.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You make a point, but that doesn't change the fact that innovation is still driven in large part by public money. You can't just flip the switch on that and expect investors to fill the gap.

While public investments are significant, those areas in which the public invests tend to have the lowest returns and produce the least impact in the quality of life. It's a cliché but public investment is the sledgehammer to private investments scalpel, unfortunately western economies have been beaten half to death already and now there's more scar tissue than actual healing going on. I'm not doctor but I'd say it's time to put the hammer away...unless you want to put the poor thing out of it's misery.

Even if that were possible, it's also ludicrous to think that people would stop investing just because of higher tax rates on the rich.

Stop? No, I never said anything like that. It does make the model significantly more inefficient however. Private investments are made with certain expectations of reasonable return proportionate to the risk involved. Projects involving public donations rarely have those expectations and are routinely over budget and the end product suffers from underperformance. GE's turbine engine is case in point. The U.S government already has an engine for the new fighter jets it's making but is spending billions (that’s billions with a B) on two other engine models that are still in the testing stage and have already proven to offer less performance than the engine they've settled on.

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Umm... all this talk about "tax is stealing" and other such nonsense seems to miss the point entirely. Our taxes pay for common infrastructure and institutions that are vital for the smooth running of the country. Rather than argue for smaller government and a reduction of these essential services, we should be arguing for the cost to be spread fairly across all income brackets and for the streamlining of these services to make them as efficient as possible.

Some services we can privatize and get them out of the public sphere, but others are simply not profitable in the financial sense, but essential in the benefit they give to society (for example, police and fire services). Efficiency should be the buzz word on everyone's lips, but you hardly ever hear it mentioned. Instead, people seem to talk about cutting this or that. If we remove our essential institutions and infrastructure, we're sowing the seeds of our own downfall.

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All this talk about Warren Buffet - I'd rather know what Jimmy Buffet has been up to.

I take one example of a friend of mine. His father is a millionaire - not obscenely rich, but rich enough that he owns a yacht and private jet. I can tell you that he paid more in taxes on simply buying that private jet than I pay in probably five years or more. Let's look at that a moment. Yes, the rich buy their toys that we can't afford; the indignation comes easily. But with the aircraft example they pay sales taxes, they pay fuel taxes, they likely pay personal property taxes (depending where they live). They help employ the people that make these aircraft, they help employee the people that work at the facilities that store and maintain these aircraft, they help employee the people that fuel the aircraft. So one rich person pays more in taxes on a single 'rich boy's toy' sorry, rich person's toy - let's not be sexist - and services than most of us do in a lifetime. Contrary to what the liberals would have you believe, this does help the economy.

Okay, so if my mother decides to market and sell her home-made pies for a living, she might become the next 'Mrs. Smith', but more likely at the most she might get enough investment to have a small local bakery. Cool, but likely only generates less than a dozen jobs. Joe Wealthy decides to open a microchip business, he has the capital and backing to open a large plant. He gets tax breaks that allows money for growth, opens several plants and employs thousands. Which example is best for the economy?

There seems to be a dangerous tendency to lump all 'wealthy' folks into one large group. The hate for the large corporate giants gets misplaced on those who are not small businesses by any means, but rather large companies employing a lot of people. There are tax breaks designed to grow business, wiping them all out en mass strike me as hugely destructive. The President simply shouting 'everyone must pay their fair share' seems ridiculous to me.

I would strongly agree with someone else above who mentioned the fact that the capitalist west has progressed rapidly from horse to Lamborghini in just under a century due to the desire to make money through innovation. While it might be argued that the inventor's goal might be the product of the invention, it was capitalism that saw it reach true potential. Yes, as evil as some apparently thing that it is - capitalism is an empire builder. Kill it and you get eastern Europe today.

And the things that so many of you liberals want - such as a green environment; alternate, clean, green energy sources are more likely to be developed by a well-funded (but yes, well-meaning hopefully) corporation. And yes, their end motivation might be making money, but if we all benefit in the end, so much the better.

Obviously there are major flaws with the economic strategies we've employed in the past leading up to the current mess. Learn from these mistakes. But they've happened before (remember something called the 'great depression'?) and we recovered. It's happening now - but well recover (despite the news networks constant insistence that civilization has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel). It will happen again very likely. Sure, weed out the corruption, restructure and rebuild the economy. But the old 'tax the rich' cry is counter-intuitive and counter productive to what our system was based upon and continues to be. Good or bad, it's better than most. People were in bread lines and roaming in masses during the 1930's - we got through it. There are better ideas out there than taxing the bejeezus out of everyone - the liberal way. I don't know what they are - I'm just some jackass typing on my computer at an utra-boring job. That's what the economists are for. Neither party seems to be able to find any (economists) that know sh*t from shinola. Hmm - maybe if they put more effort into math classes and less effort into diversity education in our schools perhaps we could produce a few.

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self-correction: should be self-employ not employee. Perhaps if I were rich I could afford an editor

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I can tell you that he paid more in taxes on simply buying that private jet than I pay in probably five years or more.

In absolute numbers, yes. As a percentage of total income? As a percentage of available cash after basic essentials have been paid for?

(remember something called the 'great depression'?) and we recovered.

They got out of the great depression via a world war. I hope that option's off the table this time round.

There are better ideas out there than taxing the bejeezus out of everyone

Indeed there are. And taxing the bejeezus out of those on low incomes while allowing the rich to wallow in their riches undisturbed is not one of them.

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The embarrassment continues. Obama's claim that the rich don't pay their fair share was so transparently false that the Associated Press, who are thankfully usually easy on this president, took the lead in setting the picture straight. Factcheck also corrected the president. The unforced errors like this are killing the hopes of other Democrats I can see why the New York Times is talking about a challenger in the primaries.

yahoo finance

"This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank."

"Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 percent of their income in federal taxes"

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TheQuestion,

Nice to have someone with some sense weigh in on the topic, but I think in your GE example, you're describing the work of lobbyists, who typically represent private interests. To get too deep into it is going off topic and risking moderator wrath, but I'm sure you'll agree who pays how much in taxes is a pretty small part of the equation. Closing tax loopholes, forcing government and politicians to disclose who pays them, and enervating lobbyist power would force government and corporations alike to allocate money more responsibly.

Obama knows full well that this proposal will not pass, and that taxes have relatively little impact on the economy anyway.

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Lieberman,

Good try but your stats are misleading. Those in the 50-75,000 range pay 15% in income tax, but they pay far more when you include all types of tax.

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The top 1% of income earners pay about 40% of all income tax, and the top 5% pay around 70%.

Is making them pay even more going to fix the government's financial problems and help revitalize the economy?

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Oh, that tea party congressman I mentioned earlier (and yes, he's a tea PARTIER not anything else that will offend the delicate sensibilities of those in the tea party as they howl whatever insult they like on these threads without being edited), that 200,000 he was whining about having to live on...yeah, that's AFTER his congressional salary of $147,000.

This guy was complaining to Congress that he ONLY had $347,000 a year to live on and that's class warfare.

It is class warfare. The thing is this stupid bastard doesn't even realize he's won!

Taka

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I think in your GE example, you're describing the work of lobbyists, who typically represent private interests.

To a certain extent but it all boils down to the politician looking good to their voter base. A representative with a constituency of lower income people will likely vote for wealth redistribution measures such as higher taxes on those with more perceived wealth regardless of whether the measure is constitutional or even fiscally sound because his voting bloc tells him to.

Closing tax loopholes, forcing government and politicians to disclose who pays them, and enervating lobbyist power would force government and corporations alike to allocate money more responsibly.

I always feel the need to point this out, there is no such thing as a tax loop hole. The government offers tax credits based on certain activities that the government declares to be 'good' such as mortgage interest deduction (the government wants you to own a home), itemized healthcare expense deductions (the government wants you to have insurance and pay for medical expenses), and a variety of credits for businesses that encourage certain practices and discourage others. Some of these make a certain degree of sense but many of them scream 'moral police state' almost as loudly as the 'sin tax' on alcohol and tobacco. But I digress.

I don't believe raising taxes on anybody is sound fiscal policy. I advocate using a flat tax model because it puts government spending in a neat little box and forces them to work within its confines. I fail to see why any taxpayer should be subject to the changing whims of a political body that can't keep its own house in order. It does very little good and it makes for an incredibly uncertain business environment which everybody seems to agree is the driving factor behind the recent volatility in both the stock market and within small businesses. Uncertainty is a silent killer in any economy.

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Me - I can tell you that he paid more in taxes on simply buying that private jet than I pay in probably five years or more.

Cleo - In absolute numbers, yes. As a percentage of total income? As a percentage of available cash after basic essentials have been paid for?

No to both, but so what? Your gripe is that the rich do not pay enough in taxes. My rebuttal is that the taxes they pay in the rich man's crap that they buy and the industries to support it outweigh by a great margin the amount the average middle and lower classes pay in taxes. Whether it is gained through base or income percentage is irrelevant in the sense that the government benefits from the spending abilities of the wealthy class. By argument you would likely conclude then that they should be taxed more at the front end, then the government gets more of a share. That's where our ideas and ideals diverge. When does 'fair share' become tyrannical? When does taxing a person for hard work and success become oppressive and tyrannical, contrary to a constitutional democracy based upon capitalism? It's a double-edges sword at the very least. The more you tax the less they can buy, and the less goes into the coffers from sales taxes, property taxes, licensing fees, etc. Wonder if a study has ever been attempted to which course brings less yield?

They got out of the great depression via a world war. I hope that option's off the table this time round.

Not all economists agree that the Second World War was the main cause of bringing the world out of the depression. Certainly it was a real factor. But many nations had begun recovery in the mid and latter 1930's, prior to the outbreak of war. But yes, let's hope that's not the case this time around.

Indeed there are. And taxing the bejeezus out of those on low incomes while allowing the rich to wallow in their riches undisturbed is not one of them.

I don't think those of low income are necessarily being taxed to an oppressive degree at the present, at least no more than the majority of the population. Again, you take the examples of the corrupt corporate elite and run with them. Yes, the super wealthy can hire attorneys that can find a loophole in anything and avoid paying taxes. But to conclude that all of the wealthy do this is unfair at best. And I think you would find it a very bi-partisan trait of the wealthy in trying to hang onto all of their wealth. The great majority pay taxes, and they pay a hell of a lot more than you or I.

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I don't think those of low income are necessarily being taxed to an oppressive degree at the present, at least no more than the majority of the population.

I totally agree. They aren't having to pay extreme amounts on their $22,000 and under a year salaries(poverty level for a family of four). Good point. Maybe they could pay a little more in taxes. Pull their weight. Put a little skin in the game, as they say. Don't worry about the kids. They'll get fed at school....during the school year...during school days.

The poor rich. I pity them and their predicament so. It just must be awful to have to pay all those taxes. There ought to be a law.

Taka

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A flat tax would be devestating. The bottom 50% would be forced even further into economic uncertainty and would be forced to tighten their belts even more, and since the middle and lower class are the people who actually buy anything, the economy would pretty much grind to a halt. The bottom line is, the economy is in shambles now because no one has any money; there's no demand for anything.

The rich sit on their money, it's the middle and lower classes that actually spend. If they don't have the cash to buy a few luxuries once in a while, the economy will stay as it is.

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bottom 50% would be forced even further into economic uncertainty and would be forced to tighten their belts even more, and since the middle and lower class are the people who actually buy anything, the economy would pretty much grind to a halt.

How exactly does a solid, set in stone flat tax rate create uncertainty? Frankly it would be nice to know that I'm going to be paying the same rate twenty years from now that I am today, I could budget better, and it would certainly help me on my tax preparation and financial planning.

People should tighten their belts, they should save and make sound investments in mutual funds and other easily managed plans. They should rent and save until they can actually afford houses, they shouldn't rely on credit cards, they should budget and prioritize expenses, they should shop around for affordable insurance (because despite the rhetoric it's fairly easy to obtain at any income level), and behave responsibly.

The bottom line is, the economy is in shambles now because no one has any money; there's no demand for anything.

Contrary to popular belief tax cuts and government spending do not stimulate tangible long term growth. Despite the excessive spending and relief programs in the U.S and Europe things have only gotten worse because nobody has any idea what's going on. A flat tax coupled with a hands-off economic policy and reasonable safety net with rational limits is what's necessary right now. We need actual sustainable growth, not temporary artificial market manipulations.

The rich sit on their money,

I would too. Between the inconsistent policies, insane regulations, and lack of long term certainty I would stick my money in something to keep a step ahead of inflation and see what happens. It's their money after all.

it's the middle and lower classes that actually spend. If they don't have the cash to buy a few luxuries once in a while, the economy will stay as it is.

Fine. We wait, we save, we rethink our priorities, and we chart a new path. We need real growth, not another series of bubbles.

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Well, right now the bottom 50% are exempt from income taxes. My assumption is that the flat tax you'd favor affects them too - that's how it would create more economic uncertainty. And if they had to pay sales tax, gas tax, etc. on top of all that, the poor would be decimated by a flat tax, the middle class would be squeezed by it, and the rich would hardly even feel it.

By the way, corporations enjoy some of the lowest tax rates in history, and the top companies are raking in historic amounts of money while still laying off hundreds of thousands. Aren't they supposed to be the "job creators"?

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Well, right now the bottom 50% are exempt from income taxes.

So those that receive the most benefit pay the least and those that pay the most receive the least. You'd make a terrible business man.

My assumption is that the flat tax you'd favor affects them too - that's how it would create more economic uncertainty.

Oh, it would be certain. The way I see it if you're an citizen you pay x% of your earnings and you're good. That should apply to everybody.

By the way, corporations enjoy some of the lowest tax rates in history, and the top companies are raking in historic amounts of money while still laying off hundreds of thousands.

I don't believe in corporate taxation. For starters it makes my job harder, and double taxation is terribly annoying. The governments of the U.S and Europe have clearly demonstrated they can't balance a budget on their own, I fail to see why they should be able ratchet up taxes to cover their failures. A flat tax would force them to operate within the confines of a defined budget you know....like what sane people are supposed to do.

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I totally agree. They aren't having to pay extreme amounts on their $22,000 and under a year salaries(poverty level for a family of four). Good point. Maybe they could pay a little more in taxes. Pull their weight. Put a little skin in the game, as they say. Don't worry about the kids. They'll get fed at school....during the school year...during school days.

The poor rich. I pity them and their predicament so. It just must be awful to have to pay all those taxes. There ought to be a law.

I appreciate the sarcasm Taka - but you argue a point that goes against the current Presidents diatribe of 'everyone must pay their fair share'. I'm certainly not insinuating that the poor should pay more, just that the rich should pay their share according to their income at the same rate, and not a special rate that seemingly punishes them for being successful. I think a tax increase on anyone right now is not a great option.

Hey, I'm not playing the 'poor ole rich folks' card. I've found a great many wealthy people to be pompous a-holes and carry no banner for their cause. But I'm not hypocritical enough to know that if I became wealthy then I would be less than pleased to have Uncle Sam's hands deeper in my pocket simply because I was smart, tenacious, hard-working or sometimes just damned lucky enough to become rich. I'm certain that you like to think you would be some super philanthropist type who would feed the world's poor if you became rich and had the means. Yeah, right.

What makes you or anyone else think they have a right to someone else's money just because they have more than you do? A moral imperative is one thing, a forced economic levy is quite another.

Or perhaps it's just time to admit that the liberal method, and particularly that of the current President is one more closely allied with socialism rather than a democracy based upon a system of capitalism. It's okay if that's what you believe, just fess up. It's proven not to work in the past, but hey if that's what you believe 'man up' and grasp onto it.

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I'm certainly not insinuating that the poor should pay more, just that the rich should pay their share according to their income at the same rate, and not a special rate that seemingly punishes them for being successful. I think a tax increase on anyone right now is not a great option.

The thing is, the rich didn't get rich by themselves. They had help from society to get there. Most of them were educated on our dime. Most of them drive on our roads. They hire employees we educated. They are safe in their houses because of the fire and police services paid for by us. SOCIETY. You're saying they got some extra, I'm saying they had help getting it and should offer that help to the next generation.

You don't see that thinking a lot in the rich. They pretty much look at it from a "me" angle. Not an "us" angle when it took all of us took get them where they are.

Taka

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And by the way Tigermoth, I don't see it as socialism. I see it as Christian charity. Funny how a "nation under God" can forget all of God's son's teachings.

But feel free to call me names all you like. I'm used to it here. I get called names all the time. Never gets moderated for some reason. But, unlike others here, I wear big boy pants. I can handle it. So fire away.

Taka

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Tax is theft.

@RossBartJapan, this is absurd. If you believe so, then you need to hire your own policemen, firemen, no interstate road access and all other public infrastructures supported by tax payers. I have no problem with someone like you. Just make sure you understand you have NO PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURES ACCESS IN USA. Thank you.

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I guess the issues here are those of privilege and fairness.But as a registered Democrat I am incensed that the rich execs at Solyndra got more stimulus money than 35 of our states got for roads and infrastructure repair. And they got that money simply because they had a company that was 'green.' The company was never competitive and they admitted that each sale was at a loss,with the taxpayer taking the hit.

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Obama might have a wee bit more credibility on inequality and that we all have to sacrifice if the First Lady wasn't showing up and being photograaphed at fundraisers wearing 42 thousand dollar diamond bracelets. It was on Drudge's Report and the Huff ngton Po.

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The thing is, the rich didn't get rich by themselves. They had help from society to get there.

I'm not sure that I agree with that statement. I'm assuming by that you mean they (the rich) worked their way up by taking advantage of the common working class. Or perhaps that they exploited low income labor to get to that certain point. Again, I think this is the liberal-promoted idea that all wealthy Americans are amoral scum who would shoot their own grandmothers in the back to 'get ahead'. That might be true of oil execs, or on bad Hollywood soap operas, but there are just as many cases out there of individuals who achieved wealth through their own hard work and perseverance, or ingenuity or talent. The crux of any society is that there are going to be those that possess the skills, talents, ideas etc that bring with them wealth and success. Just as there are those that do not possess these traits and become workers. There is no shame in that - I am the latter. Most of us are. But personally I'm glad there are rich folks out here making the products I want, inventing the things that make make our lives better and more enjoyable. That's life.

Most of them were educated on our dime. Most of them drive on our roads. They hire employees we educated. They are safe in their houses because of the fire and police services paid for by us. SOCIETY. You're saying they got some extra, I'm saying they had help getting it and should offer that help to the next generation.

Anyone who went to a public school, or got student aid in college was 'educated on our dime' rich or poor - so what? Certainly I would agree that those who achieve wealth should put something back into the community. A great many of them do. Some don't - again, so what? Many of us don't 'give a dollar to help the children's hospital' when asked at the cash register, even though we likely have a dollar and just spent much more buying junk. That does not make us evil people (per say).

Many of the rich might look at things in the 'me angle' as you state - but don't we all to a large degree? Perhaps they do give begrudgingly and more often for appearance and tax write-offs - but charity is charity. Isn't it thinking of oneself to a degree to think the wealthy should share what they earned with those who did not?

And by the way Tigermoth, I don't see it as socialism. I see it as Christian charity. Funny how a "nation under God" can forget all of God's son's teachings.

I'm by and large and atheist (or at least my god doesn't fit into the man-made organized crapola/nightmare our organized religions have created) so I don't know about the Christian part of your charity. But to your point, in my mind charity is giving of your own free will because you are a good person. Robbery is the government taking your money because they think they know how to spend it better than you (and they've proven themselves wrong time and time again). Socialism is not a bad thing in theory, it's just in practice that it has proven not so great. And it's also not the form of government chosen by the USA, at least last time I checked. Give in your church, give to your schools, give in your community - but taking and giving are not the same.

But feel free to call me names all you like. I'm used to it here. I get called names all the time. Never gets moderated for some reason. But, unlike others here, I wear big boy pants. I can handle it. So fire away.

I'm quite distressed that you get called names all the time as no one deserves such treatment (well, except like Hitler and that Casey Anthony chick). But unless you can enlighten me otherwise I fail to see where I called you a name. I used the term liberal and socialist - well, I guess I did call you a bad name then. I am profoundly sorry.

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The Question,

The bottom 50% are exempt from income taxes because they can't afford them. They still pay gas taxes and sales taxes and every other tax, which amounts to a significant chunk of their income. Good luck running a business with a full 50% of the country unable to buy your goods.

The fact of the matter is, it's the bottom 50% that are giving both money and labor and relying relatively little on the system. Corporations, small business owners and other rich people, on the other hand, rely on society to power their business at every turn. The bottom 50% use roads to get to and from work. Corporations use roads to literally power their entire business. Think P&G would be very successful nowadays if they couldn't transport their goods?

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Dick Durbin is saying today that the presiident can't muster enough votes from within his own party on this one. The angry rhetoric made a splash in the media and on silly peoples' facebook pages but in the end just more from this president.Maybe Charles Krauthammer is right. There is no evidence that his abilities match the rhetoric comin off the teleprompter.

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I'm afraid it just gets worse for this president. Warren Buffet was on TV yesterday saying he does not support the so-called "Buffet Tax."

"Interviewed on CNBC Friday morning, Buffett said he would prefer to raise taxes on only the richest of the rich. The president has proposed to raise taxes on those earning $250,000 or more annually.

Buffet’s statement marks another odd moment in Obama’s odyssey to enact his jobs bill into law, since proponents of the plan touted Buffett’s early support. Odder still, Buffett seems to have back-tracked on his own statements calling for higher tax rates."

Read more: http://dailycaller.com

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