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Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:03 PM

The tax cuts for the rich expire in 22 days.

Last edited Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:34 AM - Edit history (1)

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Congress Must Extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts

Hello, everybody. Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about deadlines we’re facing on jobs and taxes and investments. But with so much noise and so many opinions flying around, it can be easy to lose sight of what this debate is really about. It’s not about which political party comes out on top, or who wins or loses in Washington. It’s about making smart decisions that will have a real impact on your lives and the lives of Americans all across the country.

Right now, middle-class tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. Time is running out. And there are two things that can happen.

First, if Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January 1st. A typical middle-class family of four would get a $2,200 tax hike. That would be bad for families, it would be bad for businesses, and it would drag down our entire economy.

Now, Congress can avoid all this by passing a law that prevents a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. That means 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up by a single dime. Even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. And families everywhere would enjoy some peace of mind.

The Senate has already done their part. Now we’re just waiting for Republicans in the House to do the same thing. But so far, they’ve put forward an unbalanced plan that actually lowers rates for the wealthiest Americans. If we want to protect the middle class, then the math just doesn’t work.

We can and should do more than just extend middle class tax cuts. I stand ready to work with Republicans on a plan that spurs economic growth, creates jobs and reduces our deficit – a plan that gives both sides some of what they want. I’m willing to find ways to bring down the cost of health care without hurting seniors and other Americans who depend on it. And I’m willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the $1 trillion dollars in cuts I signed into law last year.

But if we’re serious about reducing our deficit while still investing in things like education and research that are important to growing our economy – and if we’re serious about protecting middle-class families – then we’re also going to have to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates. That’s one principle I won’t compromise on

After all, this was a central question in the election. A clear majority of Americans – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – agreed with a balanced approach that asks something from everyone, but a little more from those who can most afford it. It’s the only way to put our economy on a sustainable path without asking even more from the middle class. And it’s the only kind of plan I’m willing to sign.

Everyone agrees we need to bring down our deficit and strengthen our economy for the long-term. The question is whether we can do it in a responsible way that allows us to keep investing in the things that have always made America strong. I’m convinced we can. And if both sides are willing to compromise, I believe we can give businesses and families a sense of security going into the New Year.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/08/weekly-address-congress-must-extend-middle-class-tax-cuts


Since the President mentioned that the Senate passed a bill, let's look at Boehner's three choices:

1) Accept the President's proposal with "dividends to be taxed as ordinary income" and the "estate tax to be levied at 45 percent on inheritances over $3.5 million."

2) Pass the Senate bill, "which currently taxes inheritances over $5 million at 35 percent," but excludes Obama's dividend proposal.

3) Go over the cliff when "the estate tax is scheduled to rise to 55 percent beginning with inheritances exceeding $1 million."

In each case, the tax cuts for the rich end.

G.O.P. Balks at White House Plan on Fiscal Crisis
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/us/politics/fiscal-talks-in-congress-seem-to-reach-impasse.html

Krugman: What Defines A Serious Deficit Proposal?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021914963

John Boehner nervously eyes the clock
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021941791

Reid: We Agree On How To Resolve 97-98 Percent Of Fiscal Cliff

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) offered his take on the fiscal cliff in a floor speech Tuesday, calling on the House to take up the Senate-passed bill to avert tax hikes on middle incomes.

An excerpt from Reid's speech:

"In fact, we could avert the fiscal cliff for 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses today. The House must only consider the Senate-passed bill freezing tax rates for those making less than $250,000 a year.

"This Congress is but one vote away from avoiding the fiscal cliff for middle class families and small businesses.

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/reid-we-agree-on-how-to-resolve-97


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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply The tax cuts for the rich expire in 22 days. (Original post)
ProSense Dec 2012 OP
Warpy Dec 2012 #1
ProSense Dec 2012 #2
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #3
ProSense Dec 2012 #4
bigtree Dec 2012 #6
ProSense Dec 2012 #5
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #7
kentuck Dec 2012 #8
ProSense Dec 2012 #9
bigtree Dec 2012 #10
ProSense Dec 2012 #11
jsr Dec 2012 #12

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:10 PM

1. I don't expect a better deal than allowing them all to expire

on December 31. We will be lucky to see tax relief for labor by the end of 2013, if we see it at all with the clowns still in the House.

This might not be a bad thing. It might be the best way to take over the House from all the intransigent Kochbots. Short term, a lot of marginal workers are going to be hurting. If you're in a position to donate to food pantries, thrift shops, and the like, it's time to donate a little extra because people out there will need it.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:22 PM

2. Yup, and

"This might not be a bad thing. It might be the best way to take over the House from all the intransigent Kochbots."

...they're already trying to find a way out of the corner they painted themselves into.

Rand Paul To House Republicans: Allow Tax Cuts For Rich To Expire By Voting ‘Present’
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/12/08/1305531/rand-paul-to-house-republicans-allow-tax-cuts-for-rich-to-expire-by-voting-present/



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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:44 PM

3. Here's the problem

In addition to the tax cuts expiring in 23 days, emergency unemployment benefits expire January 2. I think I read that 2 million workers will be cut off if Congress does nothing.

Also, if no action is taken, 2% will be cut from Medicare as part of the sequester, other important social programs will be cut, the payroll tax holiday will expire, and many middle class families will get hit hard with the AMT if no patch is passed.

Most alarming, if no doc fix is passed, doctors will face a 40% cut in the reimbursement rates from Medicare, which will drive a lot of doctors to stop accepting Medicare if there is no fix. That may not happen right away but it's a big problem.

Oh yeah, and there's the debt ceiling fight coming up in February.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 07:54 PM

4. That's not a problem,

"In addition to the tax cuts expiring in 23 days, emergency unemployment benefits expire January 2. I think I read that 2 million workers will be cut off if Congress does nothing. "

...it's an opportunity to deal with a situation free and clear of tax cuts for the rich.

The Medicare cuts are savings. Also not a problem.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:44 AM

6. Democrats want jobless benefits in 'cliff' deal

"This is the real cliff," said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. He's been leading the effort to include another extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed in any deal to avert looming tax increases and massive spending cuts in January.

"Many of these people are struggling to pay mortgages, to provide education for their children," Reed said last week as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, rejected each other's opening offers for a deficit deal.

White House officials have assured Democrats that Obama is committed to extending them another year, at a cost of about $30 billion, as part of an agreement for sidestepping the fiscal cliff and reducing the size of annual increases in the federal debt.

"The White House has made it clear that it wants an extension," said Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.


http://www.thonline.com/news/national_world/article_211dfd20-d567-5c6c-aab8-2e9e8fe479de.html

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:34 AM

5. Kick! n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:02 AM

7. Emphatic K&R! Thanks for posting! - n/t

 

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:18 AM

8. We've seen this movie before.

Why should we think it is going to be different this time??

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Response to kentuck (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:23 AM

9. Because

"Why should we think it is going to be different this time??"

...the President supports the bill already passed by the Senate. The WH and Senate can stay put and do nothing.

The ball is in Boehner's court.

He's trapped.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:23 AM

10. no impending election to threaten the President or party politically

. . . a defining one just ending with the President's victory . . . among other things.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:05 AM

11. Exactly, but

it's far easier to pretend that Republicans aren't cornered.

I mean, what's the point of ignoring that Republicans are tripping all over themselves trying to save face? Even Senate Republicans are trying to help Boehner find a way out.

Rand Paul To House Republicans: Allow Tax Cuts For Rich To Expire By Voting ‘Present’
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/12/08/1305531/rand-paul-to-house-republicans-allow-tax-cuts-for-rich-to-expire-by-voting-present/

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:14 AM

12. Just let the Bush tax cuts expire for good.

Kill them dead.

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