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Obama won't yield on tax hike for wealthiest

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Obama should lower the taxes for the middle and lower classes and rise taxes for the wealthiest in America. He should not provide any tax credits for anyone that does business outside from America. But will he do thin?? I don`t think so because if he did that, it would probably be a political death for him.

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to give tax cuts to every American making $250,000 or less

No way! Tax the middle class as much as possible and leave me enjoying my fortune! You communist...

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Good.

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Obama should lower the taxes for the middle and lower classes and rise taxes for the wealthiest in America

The wealthy already pay a huge amount of taxes, why do they need to be taxed more?

Obama should try balancing a budget before seeking out new revenue streams.

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The debate over the Bush tax cuts is an unwelcome one for dozens of vulnerable Democratic incumbents just weeks before Election Day. Already, a handful of Democrats in conservative or swing districts, such as Reps. Gerry Connolly in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, and Bobby Bright in southeastern Alabama, have come out publicly for extending all the cuts - at least temporarily.

...at least temporarily until they get re-elected...

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The three things you don't want to do as president are aggravate the National Rifle Association, the Oil Lobby and the wealthiest 2 percent of the population, who own the country. Besides, US voters expect to be bribed by their politicians (and dangling a tax as a political reward is certainly a form of bribery). The 2012 election is officially a tossup.

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The tax increase the wealthy will pay is not as much as it's made out to be. A couple earning $300,000 will pay about $4000 more. $500,000-about $6300.

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Sounds like China and the USA are switching, an even playing field where everyone is the same is communism.

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Right now, Obama is raising taxes on every single American. The question is, will he agree not to raise taxes, or he just going to raise taxes on some people?

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The wealthy already pay a huge amount of taxes, why do they need to be taxed more?

I think it is because about 30 years ago only 10% of American income went to the top 1% of income earners. These days it is about 25% of American income that goes to the top 1%. Since so much money goes to the ultra-rich, it makes sense that they pay more of Americas bills.

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Really how so? This is the first actual tax hike. Everything else has been tax cuts. Facts please :)

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Obama should try balancing a budget before seeking out new revenue streams.

@Pestronika : That is his plan for balancing the budget! Tax the dirty rotten stinkin' filthy rich, who have robbed everyone, with their success. Tax them, and their businesses. Then, try to create jobs. It would be funny if the result weren't so serious.

The tax increase the wealthy will pay is not as much as it's made out to be. A couple earning $300,000 will pay about $4000 more. $500,000-about $6300.

@paulinusa : To someone who earned that money, it is significant.

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That's what, about a 1.3% increase.

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Way to maintain your position on this one, President Obama.

The tax cuts were due to expire from the very outset. Those who received the vast majority of the benefits from them never did anything close to what was promised with those benefits to create jobs. Time to return to the act of shifting those resources to more productive purposes.

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Yes, it means you have to find another deduction or business expense to offset this increase. Well that's the reality anyway :|

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this is a surprise? We know Obama hates capitalism. He promised all along to punish the wealthy, and his followers elected him for it.

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why should rich people pay more for the same governmental services? in fact, rich people are less likely to use governmental services. get rid of the IRS, institute a reasonable system of flat tax on income and value added tax on luxuries and get rid of all the loopholes. of course the politicians will never go for it cause it takes away their power to pass out favors...

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Tax them all! Make them all broke!

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I think it is because about 30 years ago only 10% of American income went to the top 1% of income earners. These days it is about 25% of American income that goes to the top 1%. Since so much money goes to the ultra-rich, it makes sense that they pay more of Americas bills.

You don't actually mean the "ultra-rich" do you. It would be more accurate to say, the high income earners. They aren't necessarily ultra-rich. This is after all an income tax, not a wealth tax. Last year I might have been making 30k, this year, I could have gotten a job, that pays me 250k. Suddenly I'm ultra-rich? I don't think so. Regardless of terminology though, its class warfare. Its punishing success. There is very little more vile and contemptible in society, then to look at anothers success and demand it be taken away.

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Actually there is a wealth tax too: estate or gift tax. Mind you there are plenty of ways to get around this, too.

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Considering the wealthiests wealth has been provided by the middle class and they don`t like to share that wealth by providing better salaries and benefits, taxem hard.

It`s not class warfare at all. Share the wealth that has been created by the majority.

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Molenir,

Excessive wealth is unjust.

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Pestronika You can't balance the budget having to borrow the money from China The money we're borrowing should be tax dollars and not loan dollars.

Hey Republicans you knew the tax credits were ending at the end of 8 or 10 years. We've borrowed $$Billions$$ to make up what you didn't pay in.

Molenir I didn't ask for a tax credit. I didn't want a tax credit and I'm not looking to continue tax credit for me or the rich.

fds Even after the return to the tax rates during the Clinton Administration and the normal tax credits, the rich only pay 18% as taxes. < :-)

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Excessive wealth is unjust.

2 questions here. How much is excessive, and why is it unjust? Because they worked hard, got a bit lucky, and managed to get a high paying job? Or as is the case often is, decided to start a small business, and make a decent living. What so many people fail to understand, is that its not just bankers you are punishing here. Its people who own small businesses. What do you think happens when you raise taxes on a sole proprietorship that takes in a bunch of money? They employ less people, and frequently have to lay people off. So what you are saying really, is you think that its a good idea to raise taxes on the job creators, in the middle of a recession.

Molenir I didn't ask for a tax credit. I didn't want a tax credit and I'm not looking to continue tax credit for me or the rich.

Hey aday, feel free to give the government more. No one is stopping you from giving the government more of your money. Or you could do something good with it, like giving to charity. I know a homeless shelter thats always needing donations. Actually, now that I think of it, giving the money to the government is rather like giving it to charity. Though a horrible and inefficient charity that helps very few people. For me, I'd rather donate to a church, or a soup kitchen or some other good charitable cause.

Speaking of charities, the sad thing is, if these taxes go up, I'm going to give less. I simply won't be able to afford it. I'm far from the only one as well.

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The GOP would love to keep their rich buddies on the payroll....

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Matter of fact Molenir, I never saw an increase in my refund before or after the tax credits. I think skipthesong discussed this in depth after the bill was signed and became effective.

Like I mentioned earlier, after credits and deductions the rich only pay 18% as it is. If you're not doing that well, you need a new tax guy. < :-)

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I'm curious what the wealthy did with all the tax breaks loaded in the stimulus package. They didn't seem to use it to hire people... I'm also curious as to why companies aren't using the governments stimulus efforts aimed in their direction to increase hiring....

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It`s not class warfare at all. Share the wealth that has been created by the majority.

That's class warfare, not to mention a communist cliche.

Excessive wealth is unjust.

Says who? Why?

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I'm curious what the wealthy did with all the tax breaks loaded in the stimulus package.

Then you really didn't read about the stimulus at all. It was roundly and soundly criticized and doing nothing to create wealth or economic recovery.

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Taking money from someone who works hard and giving to someone who doesn't is unjust.

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I'm a US CPA and my specialty is tax. I know the stimulus package in detail. Along with all the parts of the bush tax cuts.

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Junnama - good! In have yet to meet a CPA who really knows what he's doing.

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Junnama - good! I have yet to meet a CPA who really knows what he's doing.

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mfm:

Taking money from someone who works hard and giving to someone who doesn't is unjust.

Are you implying that only the wealthy work hard?

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Are you implying that only the wealthy work hard?

Are you implying that the wealthy don't? Or that all of the poor do?

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That's a sad story, you should get out more... Can you tell me what were the bonus depreciation rules in the stimulus package? How much it cost and what affect it has on business decisions?

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Also, what changes did they make to the loss carryback rules, which of course are very useful to small businesses? See I just have this compulsion about facts...

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But the subject of this thread is tax. It's not my fault you took the rhetoric around the stimulus bill as fact without actually checking the details.

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junnama - go through the list of where the "stimulus" money went to, and show me how all of it went to create jobs in the US within 2 years of it passing. :-)

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Always good to consult an expert.,,

Just not a CPA. If you have questions, the IRS is infinitely more helpful and accurate.

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Polls have shown a steady slippage in Obama’s approval ratings and an accompanying rise in Republican prospects for winning House and Senate seats in November.

That's usually how it goes.

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I know school teachers who work second jobs to support their families. I dare say they work far harder than some spoiled millionaire brat like Paris Hilton or George W.

If the wealthy (and I mean anyone making more than a million dollars) paid their fair share of taxes without hiding money or taking hinky deductions, we might never have tax problems again.

And it's severely disingenuous to imply that these very wealthy are all self-made. The least they can do to say thank you for their privileged lives is to give some of their wealth back.

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I found a beautiful graph 450 billion in tax relief and 225 billion in state relief (de facto tax relief). Wow those are big figures.

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Nope misread it, 300 and 150... 450 in total tax relief

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I know school teachers who work second jobs to support their families. I dare say they work far harder than some spoiled millionaire brat like Paris Hilton or George W.

Great! I know career unemployed who have no intention looking for a job. I also know of welfare mothers who call the ambulance to take them to the hospital so they can get out and go shopping on the strip next to the hospital. They never do see the doctor.

I also know millionaires who work their butts off to run successful companies and employ many middle-class with nice salaries.

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without hiding money or taking hinky deductions

The flat tax keeps getting rejected by Demos and Repubs in congress. Blame the CPAs, they would be out of a job. :-)

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Just not a CPA. If you have questions, the IRS is infinitely more helpful and accurate.

oh sure, call the IRS. Just don't give your real name or you'll be on the audit list.

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All comes down to being reasonable. But the rich want power and if they have it they can step on everyone.

A communist cliche? irrelevant. Seems like democracy isnt so great either because it isnt what it should be. Capitalism is the same. Too many corrupt folk taking advantage of others. The rich got richer again again this year off the middle class. Yet it`s the middle class losing work. If people want a better world they had better sort out the money gaps.

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The reason all these taxes are framed as "taxes on the wealthy" is so many average to below average income people have this ideas that wealthy people, in general, are more lucky than skilled and hard working. They speak of the wealthy "giving some back" as if there was lottery drawing fifty years ago, and the "winners" somehow must share with the losers.

People are wealthy because they work hard, make tough choices, take risks, and know how to manage their money. Read the Millionaire Next Door if you doubt this.

Yet socialists like Obama know there will always be a large percent of the population that will buy into the "tax the wealthy" myth and sit around and expect to be paid for little work. As if some "Noble" professions like teaching should be automatically rewarded with a high salary.

No matter how you slice it, market forces will always determine who gets paid, and who doesn't. It's really not that hard, or risky, or particularly difficult to become a "noble" teacher, for example.

The truth is that if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire (which they will come Jan 1st if something isn't done) this will most assuredly destroy any chance of an economic recovery, as will drastically reduce a significant amount of personal income.

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oh sure, call the IRS. Just don't give your real name or you'll be on the audit list.

Hey, it worked for me, they were extremely helpful. Especially after 3 CPAs couldn't figure it out. Of course, I could have asked junnama for a 4th opinion!

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Certainly no quagmires in the Democrats' War on Prosperity.

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Please post the details, I'd be interested to hear the problem!

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People are wealthy because they work hard, make tough choices, take risks, and know how to manage their money

Some are, yes. Others are wealthy because Daddy was wealthy. Confucius he say, To make large fortune first start with small fortune. Even Daddies who aren't filthy rich but who can afford better-than-average education will give their kids a huge advantage over kids with poor Daddies.

Then there are people - like my Dad - who spent their whole life working hard, making tough choices, taking risks, being careful with money and ended up actually much better off then when they started; but because they started so far down the pile (down the pit at 14, with no education) 'success' meant beating down the door of the lower-lower-middle class, somehow managing to send all the kids to university, and dying of a heart attack at 63.

It isn't a level playing field. Not all the wealthy are wealthy from their own virtuous efforts. Not all the poor are worthless career unemployed.

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At least many of America's wealthiest are generous with their money like the Gates, Warren Buffett, and many of the titans of the early 19th century. I don't think we can say the same for wealthy people in other countries, especially Japan where they hold on to every yen until the bitter end and the government takes most of it...

And to those who whine about life not being fair; its not, so buck up and get used to it. The difference between those who suceed and those that fail isn't what they have -- it's what they choose to see and do with their resources, time and their experience of life.

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Not all the poor are worthless career unemployed.

Everyone is throwing around these types of generalizations, but that is worthless. The point is, for better or for worse, do you believe in the right of the people to earn and keep what they have, or do you believe it's up to the government to decide what is good for people.

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Please post the details, I'd be interested to hear the problem!

Actually, maybe I should have asked you. You might have helped me better than they did.

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The reason all these taxes are framed as "taxes on the wealthy" is so many average to below average income people have this ideas that wealthy people, in general, are more lucky than skilled and hard working

Wherever could they have got this idea. (Hint: Bailout of the financial sector. Heads I win, tails you lose.)

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The point is, for better or for worse, do you believe in the right of the people to earn and keep what they have

I believe in the right to a reasonably level playing-field. If you've been fortunate enough to have had the benefit of a decent education, good health (and health care) and a stable home, there's nothing wrong in paying a bit back to provide the same for others who do not have the advantages you benefitted from. I think that's a far cry from the hackneyed stereotype of the government snatching hard-earned cash from the virtuous rich and giving it to the undeserving welfare mothers. (Ie, make sure that the kids of the welfare mothers have enough of an education to be able to earn a decent living)

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Some people seem to run on a "winner take all" sort of mentality. They would push the economy back to feudal times. In fact, there is already too much wealth pooling at the top, and its not because the bottom and middle are not working. Some people just don't want to accept the fact that massive wealth is not generated through hard work; its generated through ownership and the people who own can just sit there. Or, do you honestly believe someone like Bill Gates or any fat CEO works 1000s of times harder than a floor worker, and that is why he gets 1000 times more money??? Come on, you are not that dumb, and neither are we if you are just trying to fool us.

Them that has, gets. Its all about ownership. The wealth has to be redistributed somehow, or it all goes feudal.

But yeah that leaves us with the big problem of what if a guy raking in 10 million a year were taxed at 40 percent and left with a mere 6 million to live of. What is he going to eat? How will he pay his bills? Why, he might sell his stock in the company just to get out of that tax bracket and become an English teacher in Japan like me! Being busted down to 6 million is about enough to make anyone throw in the towel! (puke on this pity for the rich).

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Obama has Marxist tendencies, so I am not surprised by his desire to tax the wealthiest. The one good thing is that he will also have to tax himself.

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And another thing: America is up to its eyeballs in debt to the Chinese if you haven't noticed. We are not going to pay off even the interest by taxing the poor, not even if we tax them into homelessness. And I will tell you this too, it was not the poor that were the movers and shakers that got us this far into debt! No no. It was rich people that did that. It was rich people that could have prevented that. And its rich people with far more wealth than they need who can pay off the debts THEY generated for us.

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Or, do you honestly believe someone like Bill Gates or any fat CEO works 1000s of times harder than a floor worker, and that is why he gets 1000 times more money???

Bill Gates started in a garage and had a weird idea that he create some software operating idea for a computer called 'windows'...The one your using right now, I'd think he has earned 1000's times myself.

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Obama is an unmitigated disaster.

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Bill Gates was born into an upper-middle class family; he went to an exclusive prep school, followed by Harvard. Anyone who says he had the same chances as the malnourished child of someone on minimum wage who was forced to leave school half-literate and barely educated in order to earn a living - or even your average lower-middle class kid leaving university with a massive student loan debt hanging round his neck - is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Not saying that Gates didn't make the most of his chances, or wasn't a bright young man, or doesn't have entrepreneurial flare. He has all that (though he doesn't make very good software, and I don't have the patience to use his OS) and is a philanthropist, which is commendable. But he did not start on the same starting blocks as the people at the bottom of the pile.

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sailwind said: I'd think he has earned 1000's times myself.

You have a lot of trouble thinking outside the box. In no way, shape or form has Bill Gates truly earned his once estimated wealth of 100 BILLION dollars. He has worked smart, using systems of ownership and business to the hilt, including stabbing people in the back, but legally. His wealth puts him on par with entire countries, but, no, I cannot say my ideas of what it means to "earn" something can put one man on par with so many, even if all the people just dug holes in the ground all their lives. But I don't think you have half a concept of the sort of numbers we are talking about here.

Further, to suggest he is entitled to so much is to suggest that one man can utilize that wealth in a responsible way. May as well go back to having kings, because as the wealth continues to pool at the top, either we will or we will have revolutions.

But I suspect your image of Robin Hood is just a common crook.

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US income tax is a PROGRESSIVE tax system, in which taxes increase as income and wealth go up, the idea being that the country's economy and population benefit by a fairer distribution of revenues. You may have heard the phrase money makes money. The wealthy pay more/the poor pay less. The opposite is a REGRESSIVE sytem. The Bush tax cuts benefited the wealthy disproportionately and therefore moved too much in the regressive direction and that's why they are being asked to give back.

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Them that has, gets. Its all about ownership. The wealth has to be redistributed somehow, or it all goes feudal.

What a load of crap. Yes, perhaps it is all about ownership, but you seem to assume that those that have were all just handed this wealth without lifting nary a finger. And so what if 'daddy' made all the money; it was still earned by him now wasn't it.

Look, we live in a constitutional democracy that's based on free enterprise and capitalism. Yes, we all have the right to life, liberty and happiness - but when this was penned I think it was assumed that the meaning was you have the right to these things based on your willingness to strive for them, not that they should be handed to you as a guarantee. You have the freedom and right to achieve and do, not the right to what others achieve and do if you are unable.

I'm middle class; right now barely making ends meet, but improving as my wife just got her Masters. By the way, she came from a family who had very little and without handout worked her @ss off to get her undergraduate and graduate degree. She was expected to work in the factory like her siblings. I'm middle class because I made a choice. I could have participated in more clubs in school, studied harder, gone to a better university with a more prestigious degree. I could have worked 12 or 14 hour days instead of 8 - and not wanting to even do that. In short, I could have put in the time to be more successful, could have had that drive or ambition - but I did not.

We all make choices, and these choices affect what we do in life, how far we go and ultimately how much we make. If you skipped school to smoke cigs with your buds, just like the old man, you probably work in a factory or manual labor. To assume that all of those that you consider wealthy were either born with a silver spoon in their mouth, or somehow won the lottery or became rich by stealing or cheating, then you're horrible naive. Take a look at your High School chums; some might be construction workers, some doctors and lawyers, some unemployed, some dead. You all have the same educational background. And don't feed the line about who gets to go to school as student aid is always an option.

So some people work hard and make a lot of money, or get lucky and make a lot of money. Why on earth would you suppose their wealth should be 'shared' with those who did not? If you truly believe this, then in my mind you're not a capitalist nor belong in the democracy we have created, but rather need to investigate one of the 'isms'. There is no shame there, just a different outlook on wealth. But to assume that we should alter the Constitutional Democracy that was founded here and promotes free enterprise and freedom to succeed based on your belief that those who are unwilling to achieve deserve what those that are willing have is plain wrong. Now that that have not due to issues beyond their control, that's another matter. But that's where social systems come in. While I realize these funds have to come from somewhere, I would question why it has to come solely from those who choose to achieve.

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sailwind, it seems you're making my point for me....Gates senior was given chances (eg benefiting from the post-war GI Bill to get a university education) that allowed him to give his own children a head start.

Interesting that Gates sr is co-author of the book Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, a defense of the policies promoted by the estate tax. At least he seems to understand that the buildup of more and more wealth in the hands of a few is Not a Good Idea.

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Should be interesting to see if they only repeal the cuts for the wealthiest. A lot of middle class people benefitted, especially with the increase in the child tax credit. Obama says the tax cuts should stay for the middle class but at the end of the day I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Tax credits of a few hundred dollars benefits nobody. How about 50 grand?

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usaexpat: Believe me the middle class cuts will survive because of practical and political considerations. Here is the latest political gossip: After the Nov. elections a compromise will be reached, the middle class tax cuts will be extended long term or indefinitely and the high income tax cuts will be extended for one year. The purpose for this separation is so that when the time for renewal of the high income tax cuts comes around they will have to stand on their own. Vote yes or vote no.

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MistWizard: I would say that Gates has used his wealth quite responsibly, ever hear of the Gates foundation? I think his philanthropy does more good than taxing his money and turning it over to the incompetent US government. There is not one program that isn't busting with waste, fraud and pork. While we're talking about wealth and salaries lets talk about the US Senate for a minute. A US senator makes $174,000 per year and draws an average of $60,000 a year in retirement. 1/4 of US senators are milionaires. Instead of rasing taxes on the middle class which is most certainly what will happen, how about the senate and house members donate their salaries back to the government? I don't trust the government to spend my money anymore than I trust some CEO has my best interests at heart. Please don't be so naive as to think the system isn't rotten, the people don't have the power, never had and never will.

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If the wealthy (and I mean anyone making more than a million dollars) paid their fair share of taxes without hiding money or taking hinky deductions, we might never have tax problems again.

The "wealthy" are already paying more in taxes, a higher percentage of their income then anyone else. Not only that, their income is taxed, multiple times. Through various double taxation schemes, designed to take more of their money. So I ask you. When are the wealthy paying their "fair share"? How much is enough? How big a percentage should they have to pay? And if we raise it to that level, will some scumbag like yourself, who thinks they are somehow entitled to someone elses money, by dint of being alive, come around and say... If the "Wealthy" would only pay their "fair share"...

This legal theft, is not only disgusting, its immoral as well. Steal from those who have, who have for the most part earned their money. Give to those who haven't, who dont, and who won't. Thats what this is all about. You are looking at someone else, and saying, well, he has enough, I'll just go ahead and take what he has, and give it to someone else? Well, what gives you the right? The fact that you have the power to do so? Very well. Allow me to do the same thing to you. I look at you. You have a nice house, fancy dress, nice computer there. How bout I just come in and take it. What, you feel violated afterwards? Why? Because I don't work for the government? Because its not legal theft? How is it really any different. Its just redistribution done slightly different.

Class warfare is vile and disgusting, anyway you look at it. Stoking the fires of envy, for power and gain, well theres no other way to say it. Its simply evil.

So some people work hard and make a lot of money, or get lucky and make a lot of money. Why on earth would you suppose their wealth should be 'shared' with those who did not? If you truly believe this, then in my mind you're not a capitalist nor belong in the democracy we have created, but rather need to investigate one of the 'isms'.

Indeed. Please move to Soviet Russia. Or since that has collapsed, North Korea. I'm sure they'll be happy to have you in that workers paradise. Don't try to take my country and make it into one.

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Two words, "flat tax". Makes life so much easier.

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Flat tax is regressive. The wealthy will pay less proportionately than the lower and middle income.

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The wealthy will pay less proportionately than the lower and middle income.

If everyone were to pay, I dunno, 15% on their income taxes (with no exemptions or cuts) how can that possibly be disproportionate? Everyone gets taxed at the same rate. If you make 30,000 a year you would pay 4,500 in taxes, if you made 300,000 a year you would pay 45,000. How is that unfair in any way?

Progressive taxation systems are divisive and effectively punish successful business owners. Many of the people I prepare statements for have kept their businesses small and kept their income just below the next bracket and have done so for years to prevent the costly transition from 28% to 33% (because making 165,000 and paying 46,200 in taxes out is better than making 175,000 and paying out 57,750) one can actually make more by making less. While most of them are saving up money so that when they do expand their business it will be worth their while several are too freaked out by the market to even think about expanding. The joke among the guys in financials that the moment you understand the tax code is the day you should check yourself into a psych ward.

a defense of the policies promoted by the estate tax.

The estate tax is about as close to truely evil as you can get in addition to the horrific job of ensuring compliance.

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because making 165,000 and paying 46,200 in taxes out is better than making 175,000 and paying out 57,750)

That isn't how tax brackets works, you can't make more by earning less.

If your clients make 175,000 they would only pay 33% on 3150 (175,000-171,850). Tax brackets work like this; the first 8375 is 10%, the next 25,625 at 15% (35,000-8375) and so on. You'll always make more, but you just earn 5% less of the next dollar over 171,850. Business owners keep their income tax low, because their companies pay less in taxes. If planned properly you can defer paying personal taxes on the income earned your company, by keeping it with your company until better tax advantages present themselves. (write-offs, children, tax credits, etc.)

The joke among the guys in financials that the moment you understand the tax code is the day you should check yourself into a psych ward.

If they can't understand the basics of how tax brackets work, the joke is on them.

Part of my earnings are taxed at the highest tax bracket (I'm not a business owner) and I personally don't mind paying my proportional "fair" share but then that's just me.

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That isn't how tax brackets works, you can't make more by earning less.

But wait, Good Jorb, The Question says he prepares tax statements for people. He certainly must know that as soon as you make $175,000 you pay 33% on the entire amount!! (LOL!!)

If everyone were to pay, I dunno, 15% on their income taxes (with no exemptions or cuts) how can that possibly be disproportionate?

Well, coming from someone who doesn't know the very basics about how taxes work, this is an appropriate question.

So taking 15% from someone who can just barely feed himself is the same as taking it from a millionaire? That doesn't give the first person much in the way of working capital to use to get himself out of his situation.

A much, much better idea is to leave an amount up to the poverty line taxed not at all, and then use progressive rates on all amounts that exceed that. It would look a lot like the current system.

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If they can't understand the basics of how tax brackets work, the joke is on them.

Too funny!

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yabits: I was inelegant in my statement. You hit the nail on the head. The proportional tax rate is the same but the poor get hit harder. If let's say the rate was 15%, someone who made $1 million would be left with $850,000 and someone who made $10,000 would be left with $8,500. But who would value the money left over more? $850k could pay for college educations, cars, homes. That $1500 taken away from the low income family would hurt much more.

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Spread the wealth! Only problem is, because of Democrat policies, there isn't as much wealth to spread around.

Obama would be perfect to play Robin Hood.

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usaexpat said: I would say that Gates has used his wealth quite responsibly, ever hear of the Gates foundation?

Okay. The man has enough money to be his own country and you point to ONE charity foundation??? Just one? The guy could own entire cities and all you got to prove how responsible he is is a charity org??

I think his philanthropy does more good than taxing his money and turning it over to the incompetent US government.

Like it or not, they are the ones charged with paying the national debt.

There is not one program that isn't busting with waste, fraud and pork.

Granted. But letting billionaires keep all their money is not the answer to those problems.

While we're talking about wealth and salaries lets talk about the US Senate for a minute.

Or lets not. Again, you are talking about peanuts. I am talking about a country-wide economy, and Senate salaries don't mean jack.

Please don't be so naive as to think the system isn't rotten, the people don't have the power, never had and never will.

Then maybe you could suggest a different system? Maybe we could redistribute the wealth of Gates to his employees in the form of significantly higher wages? After all, they did one hell of a lot more work than Gates, but I bet if they pooled everything they got they would not get to 10 billion much less 100 billion.

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That isn't how tax brackets works, you can't make more by earning less.

As for the brackets, meh, I condense and lie to make my point from time to time. But in every good lie there does exist a grain of truth and between the credits and the exemptions that exist through the hedges it is possible for a person earning less to come out ahead of someone who earns more pending the lesser earner has somebody really good sifting through the code.

If they can't understand the basics of how tax brackets work, the joke is on them.

It's not the brackets that are confusing. Ever been to a tax code seminar? It’s a yearly event that consists of listening to about 8 hours of new information they've added this year. If you can make sense of the 17000 page monster, hats off to you I just send it off to a specialist.

Part of my earnings are taxed at the highest tax bracket (I'm not a business owner) and I personally don't mind paying my proportional "fair" share but then that's just me.

Fair is subjective. A flat percentage is not. If you'd like to contribute I know of a few fine organizations that could use the money but that your choice. As for myself, I'd rather be treated like everyone else and have everybody else treated like me.

The Question says he prepares tax statements for people.

I said I prepare statements, I didn't say anything about what statements. I stick to my department and I'd rather die than move over taxes and records.

Well, coming from someone who doesn't know the very basics about how taxes work, this is an appropriate question.

Like I said, I condense. I've been doing my own for years and considering I've never been audited or fined I'd say it's fairly safe to say that I have a fairly decent grasp of basic tax preparation.

So taking 15% from someone who can just barely feed himself is the same as taking it from a millionaire?

Yes. Although I've never met anybody that could barely feed themselves in the U.S. I've volunteered in soup kitchens and I've delivered dinner and gift packages for my church but I've never come across an emaciated form while in this country unless it was the victim of intentional neglect or sever illness. I see homeless all the time but most of them look like they eat better than I do.

That doesn't give the first person much in the way of working capital to use to get himself out of his situation.

My family made ground fall on Stock Island in 1971, were only able to speak broken English, and had nothing yet all of my uncles now live on Miami beach in condo's, my parents are enjoying retirement in New Port Richey, and I worked my way through college as a janitor at the Fox theatre in Detroit. If a person is dead set on making something of themselves than nothing will stop them, if they aren't than they deserve nothing.

A much, much better idea is to leave an amount up to the poverty line taxed not at all, and then use progressive rates on all amounts that exceed that.

The poverty line is a division between those who wish to rise to greater things and those who are content to waste away in squalor. I received nothing and I want nothing handed to me, it worked out quite well.

It would look a lot like the current system.

The current system is broken and hemorrhages money like nobody's business. Find the right paths and you can get out of paying taxes altogether through credits, exemptions, and deductions.

The man has enough money to be his own country and you point to ONE charity foundation??? Just one?

The fact that he elected to set up his one foundation is still fantastic. He could have just not done anything. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world and donates too many good causes.

Granted. But letting billionaires keep all their money is not the answer to those problems.

So...a man finds a market, sells a product, and earns money but he shouldn't be able to keep it. If you can't keep the money why look for a market or make a product?

Then maybe you could suggest a different system?

Flat tax.

Maybe we could redistribute the wealth of Gates to his employees in the form of significantly higher wages?

So the people who didn't find the market, didn't come up with the product, and didn't risk their own money to make it a success.

After all, they did one hell of a lot more work than Gates

How so? They didn't create the company, they didn't invest in the company (unless part of their pay is in the form of stock), and all they do is work for it. A person goes into business to make money, not to pay employees.

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Oh boy, let's not let rhetoric get in the way of reality. The wealthy can afford good people to sift through the code and find good strategy. Their tax world is entirety different, but there are no shortage of strategies.

Someone here said they pay 18% of taxes. I don't know if that's true, but if it is how far can that be off the suggested 15%.

Don't get me started on small business owners. Their taxes are pure fiction. They can largely decide how much they want to pay. What do they have to complain about?

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You really have to ask yourself - - What made independents and old-fashioned Democrats - like the ones who supported tax cuts when JFK called for them - ever believe that a committed socialist like Obama would cut taxes for society's producers ?

BHO was always about redistributing wealth. He is the first president in our history with either no understanding of American exceptionalism, or rather, a radical disdain for it.

All one has to do is examine property rights in the US since the Reid/Pelosi Congress took power and Obama was inaugurated.

China, Gambia, And Jordan now have better and stronger property rights than do US citizens under Obama. And that is according to the World Economic Forum, not Neal Cavuto and friends...

And let us not forget, property rights are at the heart of the American free market and the Federalist vision of a "republic of laws - NOT MEN".

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Oh another thought on flat tax. If 40% of the population pays no tax, won't they be a little opposed to a 15% tax increase? Can't see that one going through...

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Don't get me started on small business owners. Their taxes are pure fiction. They can largely decide how much they want to pay. What do they have to complain about?

Up to and until they get audited. I speak from personal experience here. If you're a CPA you should know very well what I'm talking about here.

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I do know very well how the IRS operates. That's why I said what I said. CPA expense are a business expense you know. Are you going schedule c or 1165?

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Oh could be k1 and sched e...

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Flat tax would be great, but not a consumption tax.

Boehner is trying to talk democrats into a temporary extension of the bush tax breaks. He'd do anything for a tax break.

Let the tax breaks run out, just like the republicans agreed on years ago. < :-)

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As usual, the Bananarepublicans and their cheerleaders show that they have zero understanding of how money, economics, and the financial system actually work in the real world, as opposed to in the world of fake economic theory and the Randian fantasyland.

The people who the Bush tax cuts apply to are not rich because they are the "productive" members of society. They might be productive but that is irrelevant. They are rich because they have been in a position to collect a disproportionate share of an artificially and fraudulently inflated money/debt supply. If that money is not redistributed in some way, the system will eventually collapse into a deflationary spiral as the money is not circulating and the debts can not be repaid. Nothing socialist about it, it is just how the system is engineered.

Economic suicide is not painless. The taxes will be paid one way or another. The rich got hosed in the last Depression, and this time will not be any different.

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Unfortunately history is not on the side of those who think the wealthy have no obligation to redistribute their wealth to those worse off, regardless whether you think it's right or wrong. Income distribution in the US is skewed more now towards the wealthy than at any time since just before the Great Depression, the US has the highest income inequality in the rich world, and the inequality is only expected to increase. The precedent for this trend is not encouraging.

If it keeps going this way, I think the US will either become a banana republic or the less well off will take from the rich.

Which reminds me, can someone please show me where it says in the US constitution that the US is a capitalist country, or the part where it says capitalism trumps majority rule? I seem to remember something about representative democracy, but not the part about capitalism.

If the population of the US decides against becoming a banana republic, and the less well off outnumber the rich (which they still do by a comfortable margin the last time I checked), then it seems to me they can use their voting power to redistribute the wealth of the rich and there isn't a whole lot the rich can do about it, except maybe leave the country and take their money with them. It doesn't have anything to do with whether income redistribution is wrong or right, it has to do with what the majority wants to do. That's the American way.

The only question is, how long will it be before the wealthy start redistributing their wealth, and how will actually happen? At the point of a gun, or the stroke of a pen?

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@ "History is not on the side of those who think the wealthy have no obligation to redistribute their wealth to those worse off..."

I would be most curious to read a few examples of what you are saying here.

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Well the French revolution comes to mind for me....

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If you don't make a lot of money, then you're taxed on all of it. Now I know that there are deductions, minimums and credits, but it still very little money left over to us after taxes.

Then I hear a commercial on the radio today talking to those who have money and how to invest and then how to receive at least $100,000.00 of untaxed money deposited into your checking account each year. "Untaxed"

So if you don't have money, you can't have untaxed money, but if you're rich you can have untaxed money.

Then we hear about the rich needing these tax breaks. What for? You got money to invest and want more untaxed money. To hell with you. < :-)

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Then we hear about the rich needing these tax breaks. What for? You got money to invest and want more untaxed money. To hell with you. < :-)

somebody's got a complex. If you make money, you should keep your money, regardless of your income bracket.

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@TimRussert:

Income distribution is associated with the perceived "fairness" of a society, and some mischievous types can use the anger created by perceived unfairness to start revolutions and otherwise cause lots of trouble.

This includes the French Revolution as mentioned above, I believe the Bolsheviks fall into this category, peasant revolts in Europe, popular uprisings in the Americas.

There are some exceptions, but it seems the very poorest and most unstable countries also have the worst income distributions, where income is distributed at all. I'm not saying income distribution caused them to be poor, but it might be something to worry about when your country starts heading that way.

Whether or not one thinks the wealthy should redistribute their income, the exploitation of anger caused by perceived unfairness may result in problems for the wealthy later on.

These are some examples of what I was talking about.

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Lower taxes, deregulate more, don't give any bailout, borrow more from China and finally bankrupt the US once and for all. Haiti will look in better shape.

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@TumbleDry- I believe you just summed things up in two short sentences. Good work.

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manfromamerica, I don't have a complex. I finally achieved an income status I never believed I'd attain when I was younger. However, I still have the mentality of when I was broke, too. I don't care for those who hide money, send it to off shore accounts.

That's why I want a "flat tax" not a "consumption tax". < :-)

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I don't have a complex. I finally achieved an income status I never believed I'd attain when I was younger. However, I still have the mentality of when I was broke, too. I don't care for those who hide money, send it to off shore accounts.

Wait, aday, that means you're "rich". You have to pay your "fair share" now that you're rich. Remember, your "fair share" is everything you have. Otherwise you're a greedy, heartless, bastard. If you give everything you have to charity, you're still a greedy, heartless bastard. We know this cause your "rich".

Don't you love the circular logic here.

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I pay my fair share. I don't hide money and I want the bush tax cuts to expire. < :-)

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"I want the bush tax cuts to expire"

You're in the minority, adaydream, most Americans want the Bush tax cuts to be made permanent.

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You're in the minority, adaydream, most Americans want the Bush tax cuts to be made permanent.

Instead of taxes, Bush paid for things with debt, that's why he almost double the US national debt.

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"Instead of taxes, Bush paid for things with debt, that's why he almost double(d) the US national debt"

Go check out how much the national debt increased during the 8 years of Bush, and how much it's increased during the 19 months of Obama.

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Remember, your "fair share" is everything you have.

Since when?

It always amazes me when on any thread where people feel in the least bit threatened, everything suddenly becomes absolutes and the sky is about to fall. A progressive system of taxation does not mean taking 'everything' from the rich. 65% (It appears the top income tax bracket in the US is 35%) of an awful lot of money is still an awful lot of money. If paying your taxes means having to wait till next month to gold-plate all your bathroom fittings and buy your third holiday home, well boo-hoo.

http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm

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Go check out how much the national debt increased during the 8 years of Bush, and how much it's increased during the 19 months of Obama.

Bush increased the Debt by 89% in 8 years, especially when he signed off on TARP, Obama seems to have continued Bush's spending habits, accept to release that at some point someone is going to have pay back that debt(taxes). Ever since Reagan/Bush Sr. era debt especially in relationship to the GDP has been out of control, both democrats and republicans have been the direct cause of it. Just like an indebted individual, eventually you have to pay the piper, either by going broke or by paying back your debt (I.E. Higher taxes). Really though the fault lies with the voting public, for electing idiots for 30+ years and it is coming back to bite them and it will be the legacy left by the baby boomers.

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Sarge

You're in the minority, adaydream, most Americans want the Bush tax cuts to be made permanent.

Most of the people that "you" talk to. Not the ones I talk to. Show me your link.

Oh quit blaming Reagan/Bush and baby bush. They can't help it. It's in their blood to take from the poor, what little they have and give it to the richest in tax cuts. They are the anti-Robin Hoods. < :-)

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You're in the minority, adaydream, most Americans want the Bush tax cuts to be made permanent.

I believe most Americans support letting the tax cuts expire on those whose incomes exceed $250k.

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Go check out how much the national debt increased during the 8 years of Bush

It grew by 300% under Reagan-Daddy Bush. Under Clinton the growth slowed to a stop by the end of his second term.

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Since when?

Cleo, come on, can't you tell sarcasm when you read it? Heres the reality though. 40% of Americans don't pay any tax at all. So when people are talking about having the 1% of the population, who already pay much more of the taxes then most, pay even more, because even though it was their "fair share" for the past 8 years, now it isn't. Now their "fair share" should be much higher, well sorry for not being convinced. That "fair share" seems to migrate about quite a bit. My question before was real. At what point, are the rich paying their "fair share"? When is it enough? Admittedly, I was joking in creating the circular logic in my recent post on the subject, though it does sometimes feel real, what with the constant class warfare attacks.

It grew by 300% under Reagan-Daddy Bush. Under Clinton the growth slowed to a stop by the end of his second term.

One thing I find amusing, is that Obama has spent more money then did all the US Presidents, from Washington through Reagan, combined. Bush was bad, but Obama, in less then 2 years, has spent more then Bush did in 8. So yea, keep preaching about how horrible Bush was. Obama is making you look like a chump, everytime you open your mouth.

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What's funny is I never saw any increase in my tax refunds. I was making pretty good money then and also remarried to a person making good money. Where was my big refunds? Oh we didn't make over $250K. < :-)

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@Molenir:

At what point, are the rich paying their "fair share"? When is it enough?

To give a perspective on a possible answer to that question, I took a look at historical tax rates in the US. The highest tax brackets for selected years follows:

World War II: The marginal tax rate was 81% on $5,000,000 or more in 1941, 88% on $200,000 or more in 1942 and 1943, and 94% on 200,000 or more in 1944 and 1945.

The Korean War: About 91% on 200,000 or more from 1950-1953

The Vietnam War: The marginal tax rate was 91% on 200,000 or more at the beginning of the war in 1955, and 70% on 200,000 or more when the war ended in 1975.

Wow! Scary stuff! These are the brackets on the very highest incomes, and they are pretty high rates! I think it does show that historically the US is no stranger to high taxes.

I'm not saying these are "fair" rates, but it does show what is possible.

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Come on everyone Obama needs more money so he should take from the rich. There are more useless programs he wants to spend on and the Chinese wont lend him anymore and he has to pay for printing all of this new money. Dont worry people CHANGE IS HERE.

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adaydream- I know you already know everything but this is a friendly tip for you. If you set up your paycheck withdraws correctly then you shouldnt be getting a refund except a little one and you should not owe anything either. And if you say you didnt get that tax cut check then you are a LIAR. because you would have noted that in your tax form the next year cause you had to and they would have sent you a Check, unless your one of group of Americans that dont pay taxes.

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One thing I find amusing, is that Obama has spent more money then did all the US Presidents, from Washington through Reagan, combined.

You seem to always amuse yourself with falsehoods. In real dollars and in spending relative to GDP, the United States spent far more under FDR to fight WWII than any single time in its history. What the US plowed into WWII would equate to over 30 trillion in today's dollars.

And somehow, the US recovered from all of that -- and in relatively short order. The massive growth of the middle class made sure of it.

Obama is making you look like a chump, everytime you open your mouth.

You do a wonderful job of making a chump out of yourself with each post.

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Wow! Scary stuff! These are the brackets on the very highest incomes, and they are pretty high rates! I think it does show that historically the US is no stranger to high taxes.

You are right about those historical brackets. However you failed to note, that at the time, there were tons of loopholes, that allowed people to may hardly anything. They didn't close those loopholes until after they brought those tax brackets down.

You seem to always amuse yourself with falsehoods. In real dollars and in spending relative to GDP, the United States spent far more under FDR to fight WWII than any single time in its history. What the US plowed into WWII would equate to over 30 trillion in today's dollars.

Not what I said is it. When you're adjusting for inflation, for the changes from the gold and silver standards etc... Sure, things change. However the total debt created by Obama, is still more, then all the Presidents from Washington to Reagan combined.

And somehow, the US recovered from all of that -- and in relatively short order. The massive growth of the middle class made sure of it.

Any comments on what precisely brought that growth about?

You do a wonderful job of making a chump out of yourself with each post.

lol, pathetic comeback. You got nothing, so you just try an insult. I've heard better from a 1st grader. Sad, truly sad.

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There are more useless programs he wants to spend on and the Chinese wont lend him anymore and he has to pay for printing all of this new money. Dont worry people CHANGE IS HERE.

If you mean useless as revamping highways, water plants, and basic infrastructure, I can only describe you as a republican. They HATE improvements and probably want the USA to be like Santo Domingo or some third world hell-hole. Can't ever remember a time that Repigs actually improved infrastructure in the USA. The repigs only spend money on the rich and on wars. That is about it. But if we don't get off of this flippin free trade garbage, then nothing will ever happen. YOu can not have job growth when all of the factories are in China. When a lot of stimulus money ends up in China, because you need some machines to do some work, then you have to realize there is a serious problem. Plus the trade deficit, the lack of savings, and the endless consumption is all unsustainable. Obama is just treading water. Better than the repig plan--to send another million jobs overseas. An actual quote from their minority leader. As for me, if you need money, you have to get it from only the people who HAVE it. Otherwise, it is bankruptcy time. Yeh, my heart bleeds for them. They might have to settle for 200 dollar a bottle wine instead of 400 dollar bottle of wine. Those poor people! Class warfare it is!!!!

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CrazyAmerican, what tax cut check? < :-)

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Hey CrazyAmerican, you talking about that advance refund check? That wasn't a tax cut, that was an advance on the next year's refund. If you didn't normally get refunds and normally pay at the end of the year, then you had to pay that back to because it was a refund you don't get. < :-)

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pay your bills Americans. Then you will not only suffer less, but not take everyone down with you

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If you mean useless as revamping highways, water plants, and basic infrastructure, I can only describe you as a republican. They HATE improvements and probably want the USA to be like Santo Domingo or some third world hell-hole.

Wow right off to the generalizing between parties, but your right The roads are being fixed and the water plants or NO THEY ARE NOT. Where is all of the massive infrastructure revamp that you are talking about. I remember that bill that was supposed to but MILLIONs of Americans back to work was full of over 250 Pet projects from both sides. AND LOOK AT THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE I think it is fair to say that your Infrastructure rebuilding is not happening ALthough I wish it was. Sorry to burst your bubble but I am not a republican or a Democrat, I basically think that all politicians are liars because they are.

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@Molenir:

You are right about those historical brackets. However you failed to note, that at the time, there were tons of loopholes, that allowed people to may hardly anything. They didn't close those loopholes until after they brought those tax brackets down.

OK, so according to these historical tax rates, high taxes really began around 1918 (about 77% marginal tax rate for the top brackets), and pretty much stayed above 70% until 1981, when they dropped to 50% and were subsequently lowered again in 1986.

If there were tons of loopholes that allowed people to pay hardly anything, who better to find and exploit them than the rich? After all, they could afford the accountants and attorneys to get out of paying taxes. The rich were notorious for doing just this sort of thing.

So apparently, from about 1918 to 1981, the rich paid almost no taxes, right? I guess it's hardly any wonder they are rich, or that they can stay that way.

It seems to me if I was a non-rich US citizen I would want to nail the rich for all the taxes I could get them for, and who could blame me? Between the recent bailouts and the way they dodged taxes for most of the history of income tax, I might be inclined to feel it's time for them to really start feeling the pinch.

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40% of American's don't pay taxes!?!? FORTY PERCENT??? WHERE do you get this garbage???

Which is more morally right: taking a few thousand out of a millionaire's paycheck so that he can't afford to remodel the kitchen in his/her vacation home, or taking $20 out of a working class family's paycheck so that they can't afford to buy as many fresh fruits and vegetables?

Sounds like a lot of this pro-Bush-tax-cut sentiment stems from the disbelief that there are honest poor people in America. Hard to believe, but it's true. It's 2010 and many families still struggle to put food on the table. And NOT ALL of these are slugs who just want to scam the government for free money via welfare.

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The democrats are going to have a hard time selling this to taxpayers when 41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes.

RR

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Who cares what happens in the US anyway?

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EAT THE RICH! If he pulls this through congress and passes it, he is a working class hero.

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Love to see all the blue collar folks protesting taxes on the rich... god bless america!

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Love to see all the blue collar folks protesting taxes on the rich... god bless america!

Yay! It is as if John Edwards won :(

Hard to believe, but it's true. It's 2010 and many families still struggle to put food on the table. And NOT ALL of these are slugs who just want to scam the government for free money via welfare.

They have welfare in America? LoL You must be kidding :)

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