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Fight Over Future of Bush Tax Cuts

Posted on Jul 25, 2010
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President George W. Bush passed tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that are set to expire at the end of this year.

The Bush suite of fat-cat tax cuts is set to expire Dec. 31, though many in Washington, including some Democrats, are poised to fight to maintain those reductions for the wealthy.

Critics of the cuts, including the Democratic leadership and President Barack Obama, would continue the lower rates for those described as “middle class”—individuals earning less than $200,000, or households earning less than $250,000. —JCL (Item revised)

The New York Times:

An epic fight is brewing over what Congress and President Obama should do about the expiring Bush tax cuts, with such substantial economic and political consequences that it could shape the fall elections and fiscal policy for years to come.

Democratic leaders, including Mr. Obama, say they are intent on letting the tax cuts for the wealthy expire as scheduled at the end of this year. But they have pledged to continue the lower tax rates for individuals earning less than $200,000 and families earning less than $250,000 — what Democrats call the middle class.

Most Republicans want to extend the tax cuts for everyone, and some Democrats agree, saying it would be unwise to raise taxes on anyone while the economy remains weak. If no action is taken, taxes on income, dividends, capital gains and estates would all rise.

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, August 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

On Meet the Press this morning, according to the Republican Minority Leader, Congressman John Boehner speaking for the leadership of the Republican Party of “NO” with “NO” ideas other than more tax cuts for the wealthy on borrowed money as a remedy to fix their own “borrow and spend governance” based upon tax cuts for the wealthy made on borrowed money from the time of Nixon through Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II that continues by the Republican Party into the present, is the solution to fixing the American economy; —— This is what Republicans call an Adult Conversation;——Doesn’t this sound like a childish conversation to you? —— because, this sounds like a childish conversation to me—— the polar opposite of an Adult Conversation.  Watch it for yourself at the following website—it’s after the Carol Browner interview:

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By SteveL, August 8, 2010 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

If the Bush tax breaks were such a great idea where are the jobs they were supposed to create for the past 10 years?

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By purplewolf, July 27, 2010 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

Originally the income tax was to be paid by corporations that make a profit, you know like BP, big Pharma, the insurance industries and that the common people, like the majority of us were no pay NO income taxes what so ever. Then the rich decided that they are privileged and should not have to pay taxes, that taxes were for the little people, and it came to pass even though never legally so in this country, that the richest less than 2% got off scoot free or fairly close to it.

Even the IRS cannot show when the laws were legally changed to tax the people instead of the corporations that make a profit in their tax code rule books. That’s because it never happened legally. People have been taken to court by the IRS in this country for not paying their taxes, which are illegal in the first place to tax the people and all they asked in court was for the IRS to show where and when in their tax code books it was legally changed to tax the people rather than the corps and the IRS could not or refused to show, in a court of law, when and if these tax rules were ever changed, which they were not, to make the common people pay income taxes. If it were legal to do so, they would gladly show proof thereof, since the IRS refuses, we know it is illegal.

The majority of big corps pay very little to NO TAXES what so ever now. Time for them to pay up, with interest and penalty and no more subsidies or corporate welfare for these over bloated with money companies as we have had in the past. Time for the corporations to pay up as they were originally meant to do. No more favoritism for the rich on the backs of the middle and poor classes. If these people(as the s.c. decided corporations can now be counted the same as people)paid what they should have been paying all along, we woulf have a surplus and this country would be in much better shape.

THANK YOU BUSH, you ran America into bankruptcy just as you did every other business you ran.

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By SteveL, July 26, 2010 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

The right wing will do their best to keep everyone focused on income tax rates.  Remember in the meantime the inheritance tax is at zero this year.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Here is an Alex Jones Interview that makes you certain that the Bush Tax Cuts need not be reinstated, because the Conservative Movement of elite capitalists are ripping the populace of our country off in no uncertain terms and the prognosis is that the populace will be in slavery for at least 1,000 years:

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By samosamo, July 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment


By Fat Freddy, July 26 at 7:07 am

Well, that comment and idea actually came from another poster
who suggested that the Treasury Department stamped out coins
with the fed not involved. It is ridiculous to think of using coins
over paper towels because of the sheer weight and even the
nickels don’t have nickel in them nor the dimes, quarters, half
dollars and ‘silver’ dollars not have silver, or does the silver
dollar have silver”. Wikipedia does indicate that nickel is used
and copper of 91.67% and nickel of 8.33% makes a quarter.

Well the fed does control the coins because the stupid as shit
u.s. stamps them out and sells them to the fed who will in turn
put them into the economy as needed just like the toilet paper
that print 24/7. At least that is what wikipedia says. Always learn
something new.

Still reason to repeal the fed res act of 1913 because the u.s. is
not in control of its economy much less anything else.

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By wildflower, July 26, 2010 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Steve Benen has a good post on Bush’s tax cuts - they didn’t work:

WASHINGTON MONTHLY - “By any sensible measure, the Bush tax cuts failed as an economic policy. When approved by Republicans, we were assured they would create robust economic growth—which never materialized. We were supposed to see millions of new jobs—which were never created. When passed nearly a decade ago, we were told the tax breaks would keep the budget in balance—which actually turned into massive deficits.

While some Dems are wavering in the face of Republican demands, the Obama administration’s line is the right one. .  .  .

.  .  .  In appearances on two television programs, Mr. Geithner said that letting tax cuts expire for those who make $250,000 a year or more would affect 2 percent to 3 percent of all Americans. He dismissed concerns that the move could push a teetering economy back into recession and argued that it would
demonstrate America’s commitment to addressing its trillion-dollar budget deficit.”

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, July 26, 2010 at 3:07 am Link to this comment

I wonder if using coins, you know, the old penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar and the silver dollar, would be a better way to side step the fed,

No. Cut a penny in half, and see what’s inside. It isn’t copper. Coins stopped being pure a long time ago.

Federal agents on Thursday [November 17, 2007] raided the Evansville, Ind., headquarters of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and Internal Revenue Code (Norfed), an organization of “sound money” advocates that for the past decade has been selling a private currency it calls “Liberty Dollars.” The company says it has put into circulation more than $20 million in Liberty Dollars, coins and paper certificates it contends are backed by silver and gold stored in Idaho, are far more reliable than a U.S. dollar and are accepted for use by a nationwide underground economy.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

The Bush Tax Cuts must be allowed to expire as they only add more money to the already money bulging wealthy and have nothing what so ever to do with the populace who need all kinds of help from their government because all their jobs were taken away by the Republicans.

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By wildflower, July 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Re Senator Orrin G. Hatch . . . lambasted Democrats. “They can talk about the wealthy all they want, but this is about stopping a job-killing tax hike on small businesses during tough economic times, ” he said.

Huh? If Senator Hatch is so interested in job creation, why did he and his fellow Republicans oppose all of President Obama’s stimulus measures.  And what about the deficit and future generations?  Isn’t this why the Republicans opposed the extension for unemployment insurance?

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, July 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

My mother always told me that life is not fair….neither are taxes.

This whole preternatural battle over taxing the “rich” is an easy battle to fight if you’re working class:

Demand that the wealthy pay WAY MORE IN TAXES….WAY, WAY, WAY MORE. It has NOTHING to do with FAIR. It’s about winning an economic war against the creeps that have co-opted a once-great middle class society. Now we’re just a banana republic of knuckle-heads who want the rich to be even richer by voting in THEIR best interests.

Could be be more pathetic?

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By SteveL, July 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

Note to those who want to let the tax cuts expire.  To extend the tax cuts legislation has to be proposed.  The Republicans and right wing Democrats have given everyone lessons on how to block legislation.  Let’s see if you have paid attention and learned anything.

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By samosamo, July 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment


By felicity, July 25 at 1:03 pm #
The Tax Code, all 50,000 pages (I’m making that up)
of it is a compendium of years of lobbying by
powerful interest groups, individual lobbying (think
Ross Perot)...For instance, why is the income of
hedge funders taxed at 15%?

Yeah, I don’t know how big or what the obfuscation ‘tax code’ is
other than it is a piece of shit perks for those who found it
easier to get rich by stealing the huge pools of taxpayer’s
money. But one thing is a sure fire certainty and that is such a
huge ‘tax code’ is intentionally huge and complex to create the
loop holes and favors for those crooks who derive their income
from nefarious means.

But we elected these people, well, except for the lobbyists who
really or most likely drafted the ‘tax code’ as they always do for
the legislation they want passed so’s the dreamy eyed elected
people or government employees can take that money paid to
them to NOT read any legislation and go have a good time, and
we are the ones who, supposedly, can de-elect these recalcitrant

And anyone should know that these days, with the ‘influence
peddling’ sanctioned by the scotus, means the people we elect
or employed by the u.s. government are NOT supposed to read
newly drafted bills by outsiders but just vote on them when it is
sent into congress.

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By purplewolf, July 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

This is not a tax increase on the rich. It is the return from their reprieve of paying their former taxes and was to be a temporary break. It was claimed by Bush II that it would create jobs, he just didn’t say it would not be in America. These tax breaks helped put us in deeper debt, especially with Bush’s unfunded ego trip known as WAR ON TERROR, made the rich richer as they didn’t pay as much in taxes that would have helped pay for Bush’s war, wasn’t spend creating jobs here, except for the people who could not find work except for becoming cannon fodder, helped the rich move their businesses and money out of the country, leaving those left behind scrambling for a dwindling job market here in America.

Even if the rich were to go back to their prior tax rate, it would not make any difference to the majority of the less than 2% of the population affected by this bill expiring. They have so much already that it would not even be petty cash to them. For example, Mitt Romney, estimated worth 15 billion, yes billion and not million dollars, and don’t forget the McCains either. How can anyone with that kind of worth even begin to know how hard it is to live on less than $10 thousand a year or maybe even 25 thousand if you are lucky, as for the middle class being counted from $200-250 thousand per year, that is in the class of the rich, not middle class.

These people who come up with these amounts are not grounded in the reality of what everyday people actually live on, especially when in the last 2 weeks one of the Repugs wanted to return waitstaff personal to less than $2 per hour as it is a tip job. Well people who usually go out to a place that pays their waitstaff just over $2 an hour are not in the highest income bracket themselves for the most part and it is often hard for them to even afford to go out and tipping may be less as their income goes down also, but it is the lower income people who do the spending in this country more so than the rich. So return them back to their former income tax levels-


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By digginter, July 25, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Thank for your tax information.

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By wildflower, July 25, 2010 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Here we go again . . . what blantant double standards these Republicans have when it comes to money and policies that involve “we the people.”

When it came to the throwing money and human lives away toward the grand “WMD Lie” spewed out by Bush/Cheney, it was YES, YES, YES .  .  . so what if innocent lives are lost and future generations will suffer.

When it came to throwing money at the banking, Wall Street, and Ponzi schemers, it was YES, YES, YES .  .  . so what if future generations suffer.

BUT when it involves money to extend unemployment benefits to assist the victims of the banking, Wall Street, and Ponzi schemers its NO, NO, NO .  .  . we must think of future generations. 

AND when the Democrats suggest discontinuing the tax cuts for fat-cats and the wealthy banking, Wall Street schemer, it’s back to NO, NO, NO . . . so what if future generations will suffer.

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By felicity, July 25, 2010 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

The Tax Code, all 50,000 pages (I’m making that up)
of it is a compendium of years of lobbying by
powerful interest groups, individual lobbying (think
Ross Perot)...For instance, why is the income of
hedge funders taxed at 15%?  One such enjoyed an
income of $2 plus billion in a one year plus one
month period. What’s my tax rate?  What’s your tax
rate?  Why was he taxed at 15%?

And why doesn’t some Legislator or Senator point out
that the constant Republican barrage that “small
businesses” will be irreparably harmed if their taxes
are increased given that most small businesses enjoy
a taxable income of over $250,000/year is pure
bullshit. ‘Most’ is actually about 1-5% of small

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By samosamo, July 25, 2010 at 7:27 am Link to this comment


“”...though many in Washington, including some Democrats, are
poised to fight to maintain those cuts for the wealthy, and even
extend them to the rest of the population.”“

Reasonably sound financial fiscal policy, just have the federal
reserve build more printing press and print more money.

I wonder if using coins, you know, the old penny, nickel, dime,
quarter, half dollar and the silver dollar, would be a better way to
side step the fed, might make walking around a bit awkward but
hey, use a belt and suspenders and women get bigger hand bags
which in need can be used as a weapon to deter purse snatchers.

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By Dana, July 25, 2010 at 5:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You wrote:

The Bush suite of fat-cat tax cuts are set to expire on December 31st of 2010, though many in Washington, including some Democrats, are poised to fight to maintain those cuts for the wealthy, and even extend them to the rest of the population.

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts already include tax cuts for “the rest of the population.” 

Using tax years 2000 and 2004 Forms 1040 (picked because 2000 was the last year under the pre-tax cut numbers, and 2004, because it had all of the 2003 tax cuts figured in) and an adjusted gross income of $60,000 for a family of four, with two children under 17 at the end of the tax year, and using the standard deduction, a family with a $60,000 AGI in 2000 would have paid $5,214 in federal income taxes, while in 2004, only $2,974 in federal income taxes, for a savings of $2,240. Perhaps that’s just chump change to you, but it works out to $186.66 a month.

Now, what’s $186.66 a month to a family of four? Well, it might be a whole week’s worth of groceries, or perhaps it’s their electric and water bills for the month. Maybe it’s a car payment, so they can get to work. If we assume that the $60,000 is jointly and evenly earned by two people, working full-time jobs, you’re looking at an hourly wage of $14.42 an hour; $2,240 = 155.34 hours of work for them, or just shy of four weeks of full time work! Under the 2000 tax rates, each of those two people would be working two more weeks out of the year for the federal government . . . and two weeks less for themselves.

Perhaps if you had actually looked at the facts, perhaps you’d see that they were a big boon to working Americans.

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