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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:41 PM

So...how "permanent" IS "permanent"?(a taxing question)

Are they really saying that taxes can't ever be raised on the $250,000 and over crowd? Is it actually POSSIBLE to forbid a future Congress from changing tax rates?

If not, what would have to be done to move further on this in the future?

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:43 PM

1. It means permanent until sufficient political will exists to make a change

 

In otherwise, for the foreseeable future.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:07 AM

9. also interpretable as "until next time"







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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:44 PM

2. It's only 'permanent' cause they're not automatically scheduled to expire...

like the 'Bush tax cuts' were. All that would be necessary to raise taxes in the future is
to pass a normal bill to do so.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:45 PM

3. all it means is that the rates don't automatically change at some point in the future.

any future congress is free to change taxes at any point.

the shrub tax cuts were never "permanent" in the sense that the law that put them in in 2001 also had them expire in 2011.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:49 PM

4. It means there is no sunset provision and to change it, new legislation must be passed.

Temporary means there is an expiration date and permanent means there is none, that's all.

If you have the votes you can change it today.

It is hard to foresee the will to change those rates though (other than more cuts, that's pretty easy), so it is far from meaningless.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:59 PM

5. Congress can't tie the hands of future Congresses via laws

A future Congress could change the law all it wanted to.

The only way to really make things semi-permanent is to amend the Constitution, but even that can be reversed with a future amendment.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:01 PM

6. To add to others ... the Clinton tax rates were "permanent", until the Bush Congress changed them.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:15 PM

7. I don't think so.

Didn't Clinton use reconciliation to get his tax increases by the Senate? And if so, wouldn't that mean a 10 year sunset would have been imposed? That's the way it worked with the GWB tax cuts. They used reconciliation, which required a 10 year sunset.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:59 AM

8. I don't think there was an expiration date on the Clinton taxes.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:12 AM

10. "Permanent" only means that there is no explicit sunset provision

Indeed, if the Congress voted in two months to raise the income tax rate to 37.5% for those in the $250,000-$450,000 range (a provision I think Obama should demand as part of his opening proposal), then the current "permanent" rate for those people will have lasted about two months.

Now, many people upset with the deal will insist that the rates agreed upon in the New Year's deal are as permanent as permanent can be de facto, since you will never get a GOP Congress to vote for rate increases again (this is the supposed "leverage" that we gave away). But de jure, the Congress could vote tomorrow to go back to Clinton - or even Eisenhower - rates for everybody.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:23 AM

11. They could change the tax rates tomorrow - if they could pass it through

the Senate and the House. All "permanent" means is that there is no expiration date when they need to be renewed.

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