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Sun Dec 2, 2012, 05:41 PM

It would be nice if we called the fiscal cliff what it really is:

Sacrifice

That is now such a dirty word in America. At one time it was an American value. But not anymore.




What's expiring includes some $500 billion in tax cuts.

Higher tax brackets: The lowest 10% bracket would disappear, and the highest would rise from 35% to 39.6%.

Higher payroll taxes: The "payroll tax holiday" of the past two years will expire, raising workers' Social Security contributions to 6.2% of their paychecks from the current 4.2%.

Higher rates on capital gains (from a current 15% maximum to a 20% maximum) and dividends (from a current 15% to as high as 43.4%).

Significantly lower child and dependent care tax credits.

The return of the so-called marriage penalty.

The end of temporary fixes that keep nearly 30 million families from having to pay the dreaded alternative minimum tax.

Dramatically lower gift and estate tax exemptions (the limits will plunge from $5.12 million to $1 million) and higher tax rates on transfers in excess of those limits (from a maximum 35% to a maximum 55%).

Across-the-board spending cuts ("sequestration") to most discretionary programs as directed by the Budget Control Act of 2011

Expiration of measures delaying the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate from going into effect (the "doc fix"), as extended by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (MCTRJCA)

Expiration of federal unemployment benefits, as extended by MCTRJCA and

The Tax Policy Center estimates that the end of virtually every tax cut enacted since 2001 would boost taxes an average $3,500 per household. Middle-income families would see an average annual tax increase of almost $2,000, the center said.


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Reply It would be nice if we called the fiscal cliff what it really is: (Original post)
RB TexLa Dec 2012 OP
Loge23 Dec 2012 #1
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #3
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #2
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #6
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #8
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #10
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #11
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #12
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #13
murray hill farm Dec 2012 #4
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #5
Gidney N Cloyd Dec 2012 #7
salin Dec 2012 #9
dionysus Dec 2012 #14

Response to RB TexLa (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:03 PM

1. It's more than that in reality

Yes, tax reform is needed. But the bigger picture for this debate is the goddamn republicans, who have plundered this country and shoveled an inordinate amount of wealth to their benefactors now holding all of us hostage for the rest.
After stealing the country's wealth, they now have the goddamn nerve to try and blame it on the only real good thing that the government has ever done for it's people: share it.
No one in this country should be on the fence anymore about just who really represents them. The republicans, in an intelligent nation, would be run out with torches and picks. They are the absolute worst enemy this country has ever faced.

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Response to Loge23 (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:05 PM

3. Tar and Feathers too!

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Response to RB TexLa (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:04 PM

2. The proper name is

The Austerity Trap....and believe me if we fall into it we will all be sacrificing lots...except for the 1% that is, they will just pay their tax attorneys a bit more to find new ways to avoid paying.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:27 PM

6. This ^^^ right here.

 

Buying into the false narrative being pushed by the entire DC lie factory is going to make you wish you had payed attention for years and years to come.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:48 PM

8. Sorry,

I don't know what ^^^ symbolizes. The entire point of calling it an austerity trap is to deny that false narrative.

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/robert_reich_explains_the_austerity_trap_20120508/


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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:48 PM

10. The caret (^) is just an arrow pointing up to your post.

 

And the false narrative is that this Big Lie will do significant harm to anything other than the egos of the politicians and the budget illusions they create.

The cuts are not going to "shrink the economy" to any measurable degree and each and every program that will be reduced can be brought up for debate to restore funding. His primary point in that 40 second explanation was that the economy must be grown prior to instituting fiscal reductions.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:50 AM

11. The name of the big lie is

The Austerity Trap. I guess I didn't make my point clearly enough...the Austerity Trap will do much more damage to ordinary people than the mythical fiscal cliff ever could.

I couldn't care less about shrinking the economy. I wouldn't mind watching Wall St go broke, except that it will be the middle class and the poor who pay the price, as usual. I do care that the sequestration will raise taxes for people who are just barely hanging on now, that some people will lose their unemployment benefits etc. Perhaps you have never lived paycheck- to- paycheck but I have known plenty of people who have and many of those people were driven even further down the tubes by taking out those damned payday loans. Those short term loans frequently have long term consequences.

I don't want the president to compromise on the tax cuts, and if we don't have an agreement that raises those upper level taxes, I will continue to support him. But I am also mindful of the fact that some people are living with a lot of extra stress right now, worrying about the issues I mentioned. I find it a bit cavalier to blithely say "each and every program that will be reduced can be brought up for debate to restore funding" as if that can happen within the blink of an eye. Or that the landlord will be willing to wait until the debate is over. It would seem that even here, the poor have no voice.

I would not want to be the president right now...caught between the rock of knowing what is right for the long term and the hard place of knowing just how much the poor will suffer in the short term. The Republicans are betting that his basic humanity will win the internal debate. I don't know that their analysis is incorrect.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:17 AM

12. I understand what and why you are concerned. I have lived payday to payday for almost a decade now.

 

But, the fact is that we on the bottom are going to be screwed no matter what. There's just no (politically acceptable) way around it.

However, what is far more relevant and therefore rarely mentioned, is that the dreaded sequestration will result in, not just the often mentioned minor tax increases for all of us suckers that work for a living, but in a 5% increase in the capital gains tax and a return of the 55% inheritance tax, both of which are primary concerns of the economic royalists. In the current political climate, and even more so in the coming wave of popular dissatisfaction, more tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires will be virtually suicidal to even propose and that's why were all being whipped up into a frenzy over what is really only the next traditional budgetary battle.

The new Congress will have to deal with the fallout of the automatic cuts if nothing is done, and that is also something that they would rather avoid, but no deal is far better than a bad deal in both the short and medium terms.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:36 AM

13. I understand your point of view

and I don't disagree with it. The very first time I heard someone say "let's jump off the cliff" I thought it was a great idea. I simply find myself conflicted about the short term effects on people like yourself or those even more strapped, and I suspect the prez is as well. This is one of those rare times that I hope his, dare I say it, male ego trumps his humanity.

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Response to RB TexLa (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:59 PM

4. On the Stephanie Miller show last week,

They were calling it the fiscal bluff...which is so many ways it is just that..a bluff!

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Response to murray hill farm (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:11 PM

5. It's a fraud. Congress enacted a law saying if Congress didn't cut things by Jan 1st, things

 

would automatically be cut.

Then the politicians go to the people & say "OMG!!! We have to cut things by Jan 1 or things will be cut!!"


It's a problem completely of their own making, & the aim was to stampede the population into letting them push through cuts quickly without proper discussion & oversight.

It's just fraud. They could just repeal the stupid law they themselves passed.

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Response to murray hill farm (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:29 PM

7. That's great in so many ways! Kudos to whoever came up with it.

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Response to RB TexLa (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:38 PM

9. the old GBW budget predictions that promised zero deficits in "ten years"

all used calculations that assumed the W tax cuts disappeared.

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Response to RB TexLa (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:18 AM

14. i do not austerity with you.

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