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Posted at 10:57 PM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Proposed deal on Senate tax-cut debate collapses

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated 11:09 p.m.
A bipartisan plan that would have brought four competing proposals for extending the Bush-era tax cuts to the Senate floor fell through Thursday night, leaving both parties again pointing fingers at each other.

Democrats said a last-minute objection by a Republican senator scotched the deal, and they accused the GOP of opposing progress on the issue it has touted as its top priority for the lame-duck session.

Republicans countered that Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) wouldn't wait for the full caucus to sign off on the deal and that Reid's rush led to the collapse.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also blasted a process that was designed, he said, only to stage "show-votes."

"Every day spent on a political show-vote is another day that Democrats won't be able to debate items that should actually pass," McConnell said.

An agreement on the four proposals had been hammered out Thursday, lawmakers of both parties said, with two Democratic and two Republican plans for extending the cuts being brought up for debate.

The deal followed the House's passage of a bill that would extend the tax cuts for only the middle class. None of the proposals was expected to pass the Senate, but the votes would have allowed senators on each side to officially state their position on the cuts.

Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters late Thursday that, following the collapse of the deal, the Senate is now poised to file cloture on only the two Democratic proposals, with a vote slated to take place on Saturday.

"We are disappointed that we couldn't show the American public everything, but we think we can show the American people what the Democratic priorities are, and we are free to talk about what the Republican priorities are, because they told us today," Reid said.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) added that allowing all of the tax cuts to expire is "not totally off the table" now.

One of the proposals, put forth by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), would extend the cuts for income of $1 million or less. Another, from Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), would extend the cuts on income of $250,000 or less for families and $200,000 or less for individuals.

The Republicans proposed a measure that would permanently extend all of the tax cuts for all income levels and another that would extend all of the cuts for a period of five years.

Schumer said that while Democrats had thought they'd reached agreement with their Republican counterparts on the four proposals, they'll continue to push their viewpoint regardless.

"We're putting our point of view forward, which is that there should be tax cuts for everybody but the millionaires and billionaires," Schumer said, adding that no matter how things play out over the next several days, that's "going to continue to be an issue for a long time."

By Felicia Sonmez  | December 2, 2010; 10:57 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

@burt8

Is the 8 for 8 ball sidelined in a radical left pocket? Typical opinions unsupportd and based on stale facts which in and of themselves are not relevent. 2007 IRS data with no relationship to the discussion because the number of folks employed by each category of small business are not shown. Nor is inflation but this is a small issue. Do you really think the art dealer employs more than 10 and the manfacturing guy employees less than 10?

Did you take your litium this morning?

Posted by: PRRWRITER | December 4, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@PRRWriter,

I have written here that lying is a specialty of Republicans. You are yet another one of these.

Here are 2007 stats for S-corporations. Note the $ 100,000 figure for all industries.

http://smallbiztrends.com/2010/11/how-much-money-do-small-business-owners-make.html

Again, I learned Keynes from Conservative economists when I was in undergraduate school. Later, the Laffer Curve (we called it the Laughter curve because it was so foolish) was taught us by David Stockman, who now thinks that many Republican policies are hogwash.

Reagan the great and incompetent put us in this mess. If you think that acting consistent with the philosophy taught him by General Electric will get us out of this, you have got another thing coming.

Paul Volcker (look up who appointed him) got us out of a great deal of mess in the 70s and 80s. Trickle down was nonsense then and now.

Oh, and S-Corporations, except for big Doctors and Lawyers, make nothing like the sums you are quoting.

Posted by: bert8 | December 4, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Too many of the previous comments reflect a complete lack of economic knowledge. It would be a great help for an intelligent discourse if those with no economic knowledge sat on the sidelines QUIETLY and learned.
1. One does not raise taxes on those businesses which create jobs. The outcome is fewer jobs because:
a) US businesses now pay the highest taxes in the world.
b) Higher taxes will simply drive those businesses offshore and they will take their existing jobs with them.OR reduce their output by charging higher prices to maintain their level of income by selling to fewer richer customers
c) 70 to 80% of all job creation in the USA today is thru small businesses and 50% of those business elect to be taxed as Sub-chapter S corporations (ie) individual tax rates and are in the category of $250,000 plus.

The outcome of increased taxes by allowing the Bush tax rates to expire will be lower employment (business retrenching & jobs going offshore), lower tax revenues, increased unemployment, higher demand for uinemployment benefits and increased taxes and or significantly lower government services for all of us.

Please read Economics 101 because Keynesian economics for its 100 year existence has NEVER worked. The Laffer Curve RULES!

Posted by: PRRWRITER | December 3, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

this is a horrible control, and very unfair
to the democrats, and the poor people of this country!
before the midterm election, all the news media, especially channel 5, and cnn! was how bad the jobs were under
the democrats, its was jobs, jobs, jobs, and the poor people were being exploited against
their own interest, showing the world how the poor families was suffering, putting them on the tv shows, ranting and raving! now sinch the republicans won the house all that ranting about poor people, went away over night! what a
hugh pile of Bull sh-t that was, it was in your face. yes we rather have rich people
running this country, and it aint a dam thing you can do bout it, you poor suckers fall for it everytime, so dance you poor fools dance!!!

Posted by: starry99eyes2003 | December 3, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

this is a horrible control, and very unfair
to the democrats, and the poor people of this country!
before the midterm election, all the news media, especially channel 5, and cnn! was how bad the jobs were under
the democrats, its was jobs, jobs, jobs, and the poor people were being exploited against
their own interest, showing the world how the poor families was suffering, putting them on the tv shows, ranting and raving! now sinch the republicans won the house all that ranting about poor people, went away over night! what a
hugh pile of Bull sh-t that was, it was in your face. yes we rather have rich people
running this country, and it aint a dam thing you can do bout it, you poor suckers fall for it everytime, so dance you poor fools dance!!!

Posted by: starry99eyes2003 | December 3, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

this is a horrible control, and very unfair
to the democrats, and the poor people of this country!
before the midterm election, all the news media, especially channel 5, and cnn! was how bad the jobs were under
the democrats, its was jobs, jobs, jobs, and the poor people were being exploited against
their own interest, showing the world how the poor families was suffering, putting them on the tv shows, ranting and raving! now sinch the republicans won the house all that ranting about poor people, went away over night! what a
hugh pile of Bull sh-t that was, it was in your face. yes we rather have rich people
running this country, and it aint a dam thing you can do bout it, you poor suckers fall for it everytime, so dance you poor fools dance!!!

Posted by: starry99eyes2003 | December 3, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I do not envy the rich but abhor the greedy ones. Why do the wealthy want to control power but not pay their fair share of the financial responsibility? They exploited the working class for centuries and hope to continue to do so but because of our democratic process when the working class outnumber the oppressors the worm will turn.

Posted by: fasm7700 | December 3, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The rich vs. middle class and poor war is underway, and the rich are winning. I guess that is to be expected since they own the Republican Party and do what they want.

Posted by: willisforrester | December 3, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@genericrepub

Yes, the earth will fall apart if the Bush tax cuts are not re-enacted.

NONSENSE!!!!

The truth is that the Bush tax cuts were mainly for the rich, with a poison pill (or the middle class) built into their expiration that would make it difficult to disallow re-enactment.

Now we are approaching the date of the necessary re-enactment, supposedly.

What Bush W. really did was to prevent adequate funding for 2 wars and to force the economic system to become mired in class warfare.

Now we have it: The Bush Dubya fantasy writ large: Read all about it in his autobiography. The worst President in US history telling all how to live, after living an alcoholic life on Family money.

A great country and great President you Republicans can all be so proud of.

Posted by: bert8 | December 3, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

emoenergy1 |

No I don't actually believe that it "easy" for the corporations to do that - but isn't that what they ARE doing? You do realize how many of our corporations have shut down operations here and are opening them elsewhere don't you?

Go here and see the top ten corporations that have done it as of 2007.

http://www.focus.com/fyi/finance/10-big-businesses-that-have-moved-abroad/

Vale, Walt Disney and Kraft Foods have moved their headquarters to China in the past five years because of the US Federal Tax Code. We're not just talking factory workers, we're talking about Customer Service jobs for American customers that are based in India, Consulting Companies and so on.

You now want to make your argument about how "easy" it is for companies to relocate plants, headquarters and office workers? They ARE doing it already.... because the United States Federal Tax Code makes it more beneficial for them to do so.

As usual, the liberal answer is to "raise the rate". That may work to gain the Democrats votes come election time because they excel at the waging of class wars and income envy - but it will do absolutely nothing to stop the loss of jobs in this country let alone increase our tax revenues from corporations. As long as that tax code allows those corporations to pay less overall in income tax by spreading it out over several countries - they will continue to do it....

And our conversation has not been about "small businesses" so your point about YOUR decision to not hire additional employees is mute. And if you want to pay more in taxes, no one is stopping you.


Posted by: LMW6 | December 3, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Let' see the tax cuts. Do you make more than $34,000? Good, your taxes will go up next year due to the AMT. Do you have a kid in college? That deduction goes bye, bye. Do you own a home that you bought in 1985 and has appreciated above the $500,000 exemption (or $250,000) if single? Don't sell it anytime soon. The list is endless. R&D credits, gone. If this fails to pass, the unemployment rate will go up at least another 1 percent. So, your kids won't have a job, so they won't have to pay off the deficit. Outsourcing is going to really pick up now.

Posted by: genericrepub | December 3, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Let' see the tax cuts. Do you make more than $34,000? Good, your taxes will go up next year due to the AMT. Do you have a kid in college? That deduction goes bye, bye. Do you own a home that you bought in 1985 and has appreciated above the $500,000 exemption (or $250,000) if single? Don't sell it anytime soon. The list is endless. R&D credits, gone. If this fails to pass, the unemployment rate will go up at least another 1 percent. So, your kids won't have a job, so they won't have to pay off the deficit. Outsourcing is going to really pick up now.

Posted by: genericrepub | December 3, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The Republican refusal to support tax cuts only for the middle class has nothing to do with the money, and everything to do with being politically "decoupled" from the middle class and their economic plight. While the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it's important for the exploiting class to maintain the illusion we all suffering together.

ex animo
davidfarrar

Posted by: davidfarrar1 | December 3, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I'd prefer to have all GWB's tax cuts expire. I'm etired, so it makes no difference to my bottom line, but my descendents, who still have earn a living agree with me. Their taxes will increase by what, three or four percent. The taxes of those with money to invest will increase by fifteen percent and those increased tax revenues ($700 billion over the next ten years) will pay off a lot of the deficit that run of the mill government workers and seniors would otherwise have to scrimp to pay by themselves. Ultimately, if the politicians could keep their fingers out of the cookie jar, the tax rate could be reduced again at a later date, but on a more equitable basis than was engineered under the supervision of the Bush administration. The middle class would only suffer worse if they fell for the false concern for their welfare that's being shown by the conservative sector. It's Certain that if the government continues to curry favor with wealth they're going to face a popular rebellion. Americans are well known to be politically slow to anger, but formidable, even brutal when they've come to feel abused.

Posted by: jerzbil | December 3, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful! Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Let them ALL expire. They should never have been enacted in the first place.

And loudly and repetitively plant the blame on Republicans, whose SOLE FAULT it is, for the rise in middle-class taxes. It is they who not only were willing to eliminate those but to petulantly refuse to do anything else (like ratifying needed treaties and extending unemployment benefits) unless the richest of the rich keep getting their overblown cut.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 3, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

LMW6

Ireland - excellent example. now that Ireland is on the edge of bankruptcy, and many economists agree that the extremely low corporate tax rate is at least partly to blame, what will happen when Ireland has to double or triple its corporate tax rate to get out of bankruptcy? will Johnson and Johnson just move its plant back out of Ireland and to the country with the next lowest corporate tax rate? Companies like these that claim to make large decisions like this simply based on tax rates will find themselves shot in the foot later on, and the stability of the US market, even with higher tax rates, will win out.

Posted by: emoenergy1

-----------

What an empty argument you provide - ignore the real issue which is transfer pricing - where the corporations show their profits in other countries in order to take losses in the US thereby lowering the income tax revenues and make it about Ireland's corporate tax rate instead.

I used that as a real world example - and if as in your example Ireland increases its corporate income tax rate - then in the real world the corporations that are there now (employing the Irish and not Americans by the way) will simply shift their tax havens to another country with a lower corporate income tax rate as they are already doing here.

If Ireland increases it corporate income tax rate, Johnson and Johnson will simply move to Greece and its 25% corporate tax rate (how does that figure into your Ireland picture because Greece just needed a bailout from the EU too didn't it?)

Or maybe it'll move its Ireland plant (and cause Ireland to lose more jobs by the way ) to Switzerland with its 21% corporate tax rate, or the Czech Republic or to Iceland where the corporate tax rate is only 15%. (2008 numbers by the way).
___________________________________

so you honestly believe its that easy for corporations to just "pick up and move" plants from country to country following the lowest corporate tax rates? At some point the considerable expense of moving plants will be more than the potential tax savings.

I am a Small business owner. 25 employees. I am one of the people who is touted as providing 80% of the jobs in this country. I tell you, cutting my corporate rate, even 50%, wouldnt cause me to hire a single person. the only thing that will cause me to hire is higher demand for my services. Im not going to hire someone just because I have a little extra cash just to sit around.

Posted by: emoenergy1 | December 3, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

If the Party of No wants to continue to block any move to keep the tax cuts for the middle class and and to let the cuts expire for the rich, then the Democrats should just let all of the cuts expire. Time to tell the idiots of the Party of No to go to hell!

Posted by: mtrobt | December 3, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse
* * * * *

I get the sentiment, but how does this help us grow the economy - if the public at large doesn't have the money to spend, we'll surely double-dip. While I get the frustration of many posts represented by mtrobt (and I don't mean to single you out), it doesn't help in the short term - you will see less retail sales, less manufacturing, less jobs. It's not a good outcome for anyone. So, just take Schumer's "compromise," and move forward with increasing GDP, which will result in more general revenue because more people (hopefully) will be employed, and paying taxes.
Doing nothing is not an option - especially in light of today's disappointing November jobs report.

Posted by: DoubledownDC | December 3, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Republican hate for President Obama is a continuing detriment to the wellbeing of our great Nation!

An Independent

Posted by: aeaustin | December 3, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

This moment will stand out when historians look back and try to understand what happened to America.
In one part of the Capitol, a group worked on cutting $4 trillion from the federal deficit.
In another room, a group worked on adding $4 trillion to the deficit by extending the Bush tax cuts.
'It's as if they didn't have a clue,' the historians will say.

Posted by: mtpeaks | December 3, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Tax cuts for the rich are more important than national security for the GOP. That's why they are holding the START treaty hostage until they get tax cuts for their rich supporters.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 3, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

LMW6

Ireland - excellent example. now that Ireland is on the edge of bankruptcy, and many economists agree that the extremely low corporate tax rate is at least partly to blame, what will happen when Ireland has to double or triple its corporate tax rate to get out of bankruptcy? will Johnson and Johnson just move its plant back out of Ireland and to the country with the next lowest corporate tax rate? Companies like these that claim to make large decisions like this simply based on tax rates will find themselves shot in the foot later on, and the stability of the US market, even with higher tax rates, will win out.

Posted by: emoenergy1

-----------

What an empty argument you provide - ignore the real issue which is transfer pricing - where the corporations show their profits in other countries in order to take losses in the US thereby lowering the income tax revenues and make it about Ireland's corporate tax rate instead.

I used that as a real world example - and if as in your example Ireland increases its corporate income tax rate - then in the real world the corporations that are there now (employing the Irish and not Americans by the way) will simply shift their tax havens to another country with a lower corporate income tax rate as they are already doing here.

If Ireland increases it corporate income tax rate, Johnson and Johnson will simply move to Greece and its 25% corporate tax rate (how does that figure into your Ireland picture because Greece just needed a bailout from the EU too didn't it?)

Or maybe it'll move its Ireland plant (and cause Ireland to lose more jobs by the way ) to Switzerland with its 21% corporate tax rate, or the Czech Republic or to Iceland where the corporate tax rate is only 15%. (2008 numbers by the way).

So tell me again how increasing the marginal corporate tax rate in the US is going to increase tax revenues from the corporations without losing more American jobs?

And please, let us hear you argue against fixing the "loopholes" that already allow our corporations to limit their US tax liability would not be more lucrative in revenues than raising the current rate? (Bear in mind that fixing the loopholes might increase revenues but will not stop the corporation from moving more and more of their operations to the lower rated countries.)

Posted by: LMW6 | December 3, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

For the first time in my life, I'm just about ready to kick the democrats to the curb if they cave in to the Republicans on extending tax cuts we can't afford to millionares. I've come to the conclusion that the dems are just too timid and lilly-livered to represent my interests. Why be in the majority if your not going to stand your ground and fight for what's right ?

Posted by: cheese1 | December 3, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

gfafblifr

if your money should be all yours to keep - why give any of it to the government? should the tax rate just drop to 0%? I mean, it is my money!! Who is the government to take any of it? Sure, we'd have to fire all the teachers and policemen, end the military, let roads and bridges crumble and close all the prisons - but hey, at least I get more money!

Truth is, the government runs a deficit because there are certain things the federal government HAS to spend money on to support the Society we live in, and right now the money coming in isnt enough to cover all those. You may disagree about certain things the government spends money on, but everyone will agree that at least 80% of what the government spends money on shouldnt be eliminated. Therefore we need taxes. now, what is the ideal tax rates? I dont know, I just know that the people who benefit the Most for the Society we live in, should contribute the most. that would be the fabulously wealthy...

Posted by: emoenergy1 | December 3, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The stupid tax cuts were suppose to expire - stop wasting our time and let them expire already. The GOP talks about reducing the deficit - now is their big chance - stop bending over backwards for your rich CEO buddies.

Posted by: sux123 | December 3, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The stupid tax cuts were uppose to expire - stop wasting our time and let them expire already. The GOP talks about reducing the deficit - now is there chance - stop bending over backwards for your rich buddies.

Posted by: sux123 | December 3, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Too many talking points, not enough common sense. Both sides make valid points, but the fact is, we do not have enough well paying jobs to support the country anymore. American companies have gone global and left the American worker behind. We should address that while we address the tax code. Without one, there is no other.

Posted by: factorygal63 | December 3, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I make way under $250k but am willing to forgo any tax cut rather than extend for over 250k. Call the bluff, Dems! But do provide the unemployment insurance before the holidays.

Posted by: rollie2 | December 3, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats should just call their bluff.

If the Republicans can't compromise - as they promised - then let all of the tax cuts expire and be done with it.


Posted by: 8-Man2 | December 2, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Did democrats compomise when they had the super majority?

For those who advocate a lower limit of majority in the senate to stop a filibuster or force cloture should be reminded that the republicans talked about the same thing when they were in the majority due to democrat opposition. They failed in that attempt due to democrat opposition. So, why is it good when democrats have the majority in the senate but not good when the republicans are in the majority? Beware of what you wish. You might not like the unforeseen results.

Question: Since when is allowing people to keep their money by reduced taxes a deficit to the government? It's only a deficit if you are a democrat and assume that all income belongs to the government and what you are allowed to keep is at the government's whim.

For those millionaires and above who decry that the taxes aren't higher on them, they could always donate the amount they think they should pay to the government. I suppose they aren't that patriotic.

Democrats survive politically by waging a class envy war. They've done this for years. When it comes to taxes, it's the poor against the rich. I remember reading a post somewhere which talked about 49% of the people wanting increased taxes on the rich. Is that 49% the same 49% of people who pay no taxes? I'm a republican and certainly not rich and I believe that everyone should pay the same tax rate.

Posted by: gfafblifr | December 3, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@mmourges

What you earn has a great deal to do with what you inherit.

My wife just started a business that would have been impossible if her family hadn't loaned us money.

It would have been IMPOSSIBLE for a poor family to start the business my wife and I just started.

AMERICAN REPUBLICANS are LIARS in that they represent WEALTH as being unrelated to INCOME.

IT IS A COMMON AND DISGUSTING LIE!

Posted by: bert8 | December 3, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

stop tweeking the tax code.

just write a new one - from the ground up.

any carpenter can do it in 5 pages or less.

it wll take far less ink and paper.

Posted by: boblesch | December 3, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

If we leave the rates the same for the rich, it will cost $700 billion for 10 years. That is 70 billion a year. If we extend the tax rate for the middle class, it will cost $1.3 trillion over 10 years. No one has said anything about that. The proposal by the group assigned by Obama on debt reduction, should be voted on and enacted over time. We need it now. The Congress want to extend the unemployment, extend the tax cuts --- both are raising the debt. Chicken crap.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | December 3, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

LMW6

Ireland - excellent example. now that Ireland is on the edge of bankruptcy, and many economists agree that the extremely low corporate tax rate is at least partly to blame, what will happen when Ireland has to double or triple its corporate tax rate to get out of bankruptcy? will Johnson and Johnson just move its plant back out of Ireland and to the country with the next lowest corporate tax rate? Companies like these that claim to make large decisions like this simply based on tax rates will find themselves shot in the foot later on, and the stability of the US market, even with higher tax rates, will win out.

Posted by: emoenergy1 | December 3, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

James10

Everything you posted about Exxon and GE etc is true but how does raising the tax rate do anything when all the corporations will do is move MORE of their profit overseas where they will be taxed on that profit at a lower rate? Which translates to MORE jobs overseas instead of here in the US.

That is the problem with this ongoing argument between non elected liberals in favor of increasing taxes "on the rich" and conservatives on the other side of the argument - increasing taxes always has "side affects" that are passed immediately down to the middle class... in the form of "pass through" recovery (increased costs to the consumer)and job losses as the corporations find ways to avoid the taxes.

They move their operations to the countries with the lowest corporate tax rate - so why doesn't it make sense to make the United States the country with the lowest corporate tax rates? If more corporations move their profits here and their losses overseas - then our tax revenue increases...

Here's just one real world example - Johnson and Johnson bought out Vistakon (makes of contact lenses) - and opened a plant in Ireland - where corporate tax is about 12% - they immediately began to lower the inventory and subsequently the work force at the American plant = job losses to Americans. The American plant now hires most of its labor from temporary staffing houses - and does not offer benefits to those temporary workers. Hence they save on their corporate tax bill and the American worker loses.

Please explain to me how increasing the corporate tax in America will change this?

Posted by: LMW6 | December 3, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The GOP wants to sacrifice the middle and lower classes to the benefit of the wealthy and very-well off. They'll never change their spots.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 3, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I propose we eliminate the binary number system, thus, no millionaires. Perhaps then you stupid demopublicans and republicrats could focus on what is real instead of what is imagined.

I give up!

(to that end I've added to my weapons and ammunition stockpile and am investigating precious metals)

Posted by: sosueme1 | December 3, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What is wrong with Senate Democrats, not to mention that candy-a** wimp in the White House? Republicans are willing to end all legislative action unless the rich among us get to keep an ill-advised tax cut, a move that would add $700 billion to the deficit, and they can't make an issue out of that?
Part of the problem, I think, is that ending this tax give-away would mean almost all Senators' taxes would rise. Another part is that they have to deal with an overwhelming Republican media, like the Post, which continues to claim that tax cuts for the rich create jobs. (One question: those tax cuts have been in effect for nearly 10 years...where are the jobs?)
But come on guys (and gals). Act like Democrats and the people will be with you. If I want people to help the rich and corporations, I can vote for Republicans. Democrats are supposed to stand for something different. I'm looking at you, Chuck Schumer.

Posted by: kstack | December 3, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

bert8, we're having a discussion on taxes on what you earn, not what you inherit. If you want to have that discussion, I am happy to have a discussion of estate tax policy if you would wish. You do know about the expiration of the current tax treatment on that don't you? The estate exemption is going to be reduced dramatically and if nothing is done, the rate will go from 45% to 55% or more. And you know you could become rich if you try and when you do, what do you want to do with all the after tax money you have accumulated over your life? Is giving it to your children, again after paying taxes on it twice, a bad thing? Or do you want a society where we are all mediocre and have nothing to pass on? Not me.

Posted by: mmourges | December 3, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

.you do realize that that middle class family of four will lose $1000 in child tax credits if those tax cuts expire right? Because that credit which was $500.00 per child under Clinton was increased to $1000 under Bush remember?

And you do realize that that middle class family of four will pay a higher tax rate at a lower level of income if those cuts expire? Because those tax cuts to the wealthy increased the levels of income required before one stepped up to the next taxation rate.....

You do know that right? All of which means that some of those who for the last several years received all or most of what they paid in through the year to get little or nothing back in their returns because they'll actually be paying taxes for the first time in lets say - the last decade?

And no fix to that AMT again....

I'd say the compromise is Schumer's plan which at least cuts out increasing taxes on a great deal of the small businesses who make less than 1 million a year.

Posted by: LMW6

=================

That's misleading at best. There isn't anyone proposing that all tax cuts are expire. The discussion has been over tax cuts for over $250K AGI. In other words it's only the marginal rates over $250K would be affected. No mention is made for child deduction or mortgage exemption or oil depletion allowances or any other adjustment to the AGI. So, those making over $250K will still get the reduced tax benefits of those with AGI lower than $250K.

As an aside, I've never agreed with the notion of giving a tax break for people having unprotected sex/birth control. Giving people a tax break for having rug rats makes no sense. If anything these households put more burden on the infrastructure [hospital, schools, roads, parks, etc.] than people who don't have rug rats. But there's no proposal to eliminate the rug rat deduction and I'm realistic enough to expect that "the people" will insist on having a tax break for pumping out rug rats.

Posted by: James10 | December 3, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse


Surprise surprise, the Democrats have governed like crap for two years, so now we get to see another couple weeks of it!


2010 sent NO message to the Democrats, maybe they aren’t as ‘enlightened’ as they keep telling themselves.

Posted by: bcarte1 | December 3, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

@mmourges

In America, where REPUBLICANS lie all the time:

...So 69% basically inherit their wealth, 4.2% marry into it, and 26.8% make it in other ways...

http://www.jmooneyham.com/your-true-chances-of-getting-rich-reference.html

The tax increase on the middle class will be $50 per week or LESS.

The tax hike will be substantial for the RICH. That is why they lie so much. To escape paying for the great country they live in. They are ungrateful and despicable.

Posted by: bert8 | December 3, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

We wish you a Merry Christmas
“Two million to lose Unemployment Insurance”
We wish you a Merry Christmas
“Republicans to cut back on food stamps”
We wish you a Merry Christmas
“Commission to end mortgage deduction”
And a Happy New Year.
Never before has Congress ended a program of federal emergency UI benefits when jobs remain so hard to find — there are now five job seekers for every open job — and when the economy remains so weak
Good Tidings we bring
Cuts proposed to rent aid for the poor
To you and your kin
Children to lose healthcare
We wish you a merry Christmas
Social Security to be cut
And a happy New Year
Republicans hold out for big tax cut for mega-rich.

Posted by: AZdave | December 3, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey James; instead of your dem talking points, why not make a suggestion with respect to what you want to do with the rich people and last time I looked, most of them got that way by playing by the rules and working hard. Do you want to take 50%, 75% or 100% of what they make by way of taxes and then have the Fed govt distribute it in the way they want (income redistribution)? Do you want more regulations so successful people make less (wage controls)? And are you happy with the the taxes you pay and do you think the Fed govt does a good job with your money? I say no to both. And yes deficts are taxes, not unlike the $800B spent by the Obama for the failed stimulus plan and the trillion dollar deficts he plans to run up in the next few years.

Posted by: mmourges | December 3, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Please learn to read between the lines, people. The Republicans hate you. Can't you understand that?

Posted by: bert

Bert...you do realize that that middle class family of four will lose $1000 in child tax credits if those tax cuts expire right? Because that credit which was $500.00 per child under Clinton was increased to $1000 under Bush remember?

And you do realize that that middle class family of four will pay a higher tax rate at a lower level of income if those cuts expire? Because those tax cuts to the wealthy increased the levels of income required before one stepped up to the next taxation rate.....

You do know that right? All of which means that some of those who for the last several years received all or most of what they paid in through the year to get little or nothing back in their returns because they'll actually be paying taxes for the first time in lets say - the last decade?

And no fix to that AMT again....

I'd say the compromise is Schumer's plan which at least cuts out increasing taxes on a great deal of the small businesses who make less than 1 million a year.

Posted by: LMW6 | December 3, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Anyone that wants to pay more taxex to the Obama administration so they can continue to spend at RECORD amounts, go right ahead. And all you patriots on this post, send in twice the amount of the taxes you will have to pay if the Bush tax cuts expire. No one is stopping you. And lets stop calling them the rich Americans. How about calling them what they are? Successful. Maybe they should pay more taxes but without the rich, the middle class would have to pay a bunch more for the federal services they currently don't pay for. Watch out for what you wish.

Posted by: mmourges

Deficits and debt are still taxes, they're just deferred taxes that you're apparently happy to pass on to our children and grandchildren. The Republicans aren't proposing cuts to offset the taxes, which means they're just increasing the deferred taxes and increasing deficits.

Sen Kyle is holding up the START because he wants more spending on the national labs. More deficits. Mitch McConnell has already made it quite clear that an earmark moratorium won't reduce spending.

The average household income in Mississippi is $33K/year .... How much do you want to squeeze out of those people?

Meg Whitman had an extra $140M laying around to spend on the CA governor race. Was that $140M creating jobs before she decided to run? She spent $140M on ads and GOP strategists. Did that create any lasting jobs for the country? At best all she did was displace other ads that ran on TV/radio, at worse, she displaced the ads and pushed up the cost of an ad for everyone competing for the time space.

If Meg Whitman adds another 10,000 shares of Apple to her portfolio and $315/share is that going to create any jobs? Not one freaking job.

Corporations are raking in profits and revenue is dramatically increasing. Are they creating jobs. NFW. They're buying back their shares and doing mergers and acquisitions.

Exxon had $45B in profits for 2008 and didn't pay a dime in Federal Taxes. Is that too high? GE made over $11B and not only didn't pay any taxes they got a tax credit for over $1B on future taxes. Do you find that a burdensome tax rate on GE?
Google creates a subsidiary in Ireland so they can move all their profits to Ireland and only show losses in the US. No US taxes. Is that a burdensome tax rate? Hedge fund managers keep their compensation off shore and don't pay any taxes unless it's brought back in the US. Is that too burdensome a tax rate.

They're all successful and figure out how to dodge Federal tax liability and pass the tax burden off to the middle class.

The GOP plan to reduce government spending at this point is to disqualify the unemployed from unemployment benefits and make them homeless. You can't collect welfare if you're homeless since you don't have an address.

Posted by: James10 | December 3, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

@postfan1

The fact that there will be a small tax increase for the working class is a bitter pill that the Republicans are forcing us to swallow in order to even out the gross income inequity in this country.

The Republicans HATE the working class. They want to BRAINWASH the middle class into making the rich richer and liking it. The Republicans deceive the American Middle Class into believing that, every American can be rich! If only you work hard and do the 'right' thing.

This is preposterous. Not every American can be rich. Many of the rich are wealthy because their families were wealthy. They were born with a silver spoon. All of us are not born (economically) equal.

The rich disdain the poor the whole world over.

But, ONLY in AMERICA do the rich disdain the poor, and lie and cheat them, to galvanize their power.

The Rich in America are nearly uniformly REPUBLICAN. Do not fall for their lies and cheating. End the Bush tax cuts. Absorb the small tax increase. Increase (hugely) the tax on the Rich. Do not let the Republican poison pill of a small middle class tax increase prevent restoring income equity in this once great country.

The Republicans are liars and cheaters. Do not forget this.

Posted by: bert8 | December 3, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans have made themselves very clear. They are opposed to tax cuts for the poor and middle classes. Somehow i don't think you guys are mindlessly supporting them in these comments are among the rich; you are just duped.

Posted by: withersb | December 3, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans have made themselves very clear. They are opposed to tax cuts for the poor and middle classes. Somehow i don't think you guys are mindlessly supporting them in these comments are among the rich; you are just duped.

Posted by: withersb | December 3, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Why don't they just stop the posturing and let the d---d tax cuts expire.

Posted by: schumann-bonn | December 3, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Why don't they just stop the posturing and let the d---d tax cuts expire.

Posted by: schumann-bonn | December 3, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Anyone that wants to pay more taxex to the Obama administration so they can continue to spend at RECORD amounts, go right ahead. And all you patriots on this post, send in twice the amount of the taxes you will have to pay if the Bush tax cuts expire. No one is stopping you. And lets stop calling them the rich Americans. How about calling them what they are? Successful. Maybe they should pay more taxes but without the rich, the middle class would have to pay a bunch more for the federal services they currently don't pay for. Watch out for what you wish.

Posted by: mmourges | December 3, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

The Bush Tax Cuts MUST BE ALLOWED TO EXPIRE...

...Please learn to read between the lines, people. The Republicans hate you. Can't you understand that?

Posted by: bert8
------------------------------

I guess I should point out that middle class also got tax cuts under the Bush plan, which perhaps you don't want to expire.

This is just a matter of getting the Republicans to agree to the common sense position: Keep the tax cuts for the poor and middle class, and eliminate them for the wealthy.

Posted by: postfan1 | December 3, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

The Bush Tax Cuts MUST BE ALLOWED TO EXPIRE!

The Republican obstructionist talking points are dominating the debate. The Republicans are liars and cheaters. The tax increase on the middle class will not damage anyone. It will more than be made up for by the political damage to the Republican agenda of distorting the nation's wealth to favor the rich.

The very wealthy have admitted they are paying low taxes and investing abroad. They will not help America grow. We absolutely must tax them into helping America.

The Middle Class will otherwise pay for everything America does and will effectively be penalized, yet again, for Rich America's investments in China and India. Swiss bankers do not need American deposits. Off shoring American capital is not a good reason for a tax cut to the rich.

The talk radio jabber that $50 per week will unalterably hurt the American consumer (that's the middle class tax increase on a family of four making under $ 100K under this plan), is gibberish. $50 will not hurt anybody! It is just a crxp talking point for the Republicans.

Please learn to read between the lines, people. The Republicans hate you. Can't you understand that?

Posted by: bert8 | December 3, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Seems like to me they're putting forward the only two ideas that make any sense.

The Republicans should be held to account on this one.

Are they really going to hold the middle class hostage in order to get tax cuts for millionaires?

Posted by: postfan1 | December 3, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

The middle class is getting screwed harder every year as the income gap has risen to an obscene level in this country. The right is showing their true colors here. They will not sacrifice a penny to save this country, but they will applaud every effort to take the money from the poor and starving.

Posted by: creamy | December 3, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Politicians' Tax cuts promises are always like the adulter's promise of faithfulness, it never happens. If they cut taxes in one side the add it on the other. Especially with a country heavly in debt, and with fewer people in employment creating fiscal wealth for repayment, I see this going nowhere.

Posted by: Frank2811 | December 3, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Agree with poster below that as a patriotic middle class American I would rather let my own tax cuts expire completely than let the Republicans force the country to accept a ruinous permanent or EVEN TEMPORARY tax break for millionaires. This "temproary" nonsense is "chicken cr-p", since the Republicans are gambling that they will be in power in two years and be able to make them permanent. If that happens the Republicans will bankrupt the country.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | December 3, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

December 2, 2010

* Why We Need to Reform the Senate Rules
=========================================
Why We Need to Reform the Senate Rules

All 42 Senate Republicans have signed a letter this week to Majority Leader Harry Reid, announcing that they will continue to delay and filibuster every piece of Senate legislative business until….they get their way on tax cuts and the federal budget.

The Obama administration and Democratic leaders support tax cuts for 98 percent of American families – those making less than $250,000 a year. But Republicans especially want a big tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans that will add $700 billion to the budget. The Republican Senators also have specific demands on the appropriations bills that fund government operations; they’re basically saying “our way or the highway.”

Just more of the same tactics that Senate Republicans have pursued throughout the 111th Congress, making debate and discussion impossible on issues important to working and middle class families. That’s why Employee Free Choice, a bill to end the tax break for companies that offshore jobs, Paycheck Fairness and other important bills went nowhere.

This strategy of “obstruct, then delay, then obstruct again” is all too obvious.

That’s why CWA and a broad coalition of organizations are pressing for crucial reform to these rules when Senators are sworn in for the 112th Congress. Specific principles call for an end to destructive secret holds, a reasonable opportunity for all Senators to express their views and a timely “yes or no” vote on every nomination and measure.

Read more at www.fixthesenatenow.org.

Posted by: rheckler2002 | December 3, 2010 5:13 AM | Report abuse

It's way past time to revise the filibuster rule. It should be changed to 55 votes required to break. The filibuster exists in order to permit debate to be extended on issues that are considered important by minorities in the senate, so they receive a full hearing. It is not intended to be a way for a minority in the senate to rule the country. The republicans are way out of line and way out of control. They have gone rabid. The democrats currently have large majorities in the house and senate and control the white house. They have the right to pass legistlation and govern the country.

When the Democrats were using the filibuster specifically only to block confirmation of those Bush-era judicial appointees to which they strongly objected, the Republicans threatened to change the filibuster rule (which requires only a majority vote in the Senate). The democrats capitulated and allowed some of the objectionable appointees through.

Now when the shoe is on the other foot, suddenly the republicans find it appropriate to act like judicial terrorists, threatening to derail the workings of the entire legislative branch in a massive temper tantrum until they get their way with tax cuts for the rich.

The time has come for the democrats to stop being pansies and govern the country. The filibuster rule only works when the major parties in the Senate use it responsibly. Since the republicans have turned it into an atom bomb whereby they can throw temper tantrums and try to govern the country from a minority position in the senate, the rule is no longer useful and must be revised.

The democrats need to change the rule, now, to 55 needed to break a filibuster, and push through their legislation on this matter. And on all other matters that they wish to pass legislation on for the remainder of the year.

Posted by: jackblogsworth | December 3, 2010 4:57 AM | Report abuse

Extend the tax cuts for EVERYONE on income up to $250K and if the GOTP once again abuses the filibuster let them all expire and hold Republicans accountable. Then move on to the Start treaty and other pressing and popular matters and let them obstruct and call them out for standing in the way of national security and moving the country forward.

Posted by: bsteiner1 | December 3, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Extend the tax cuts for EVERYONE on income up to $250K and if the GOTP once again abuses the filibuster let them all expire and hold Republicans accountable. Then move on to the Start treaty and other pressing and popular matters and let them obstruct and call them out for standing in the way of national security and moving the country forward.

Posted by: bsteiner1 | December 3, 2010 2:50 AM | Report abuse

How do you spell compromise?

Boehner spells it this way "Chicken Crap"

Posted by: imiga | December 3, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

If the Party of No wants to continue to block any move to keep the tax cuts for the middle class and and to let the cuts expire for the rich, then the Democrats should just let all of the cuts expire. Time to tell the idiots of the Party of No to go to hell!

Posted by: mtrobt | December 3, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

I'll give up my tax cuts as a patriotic sacrifice to prevent the Republicans from busting the budget with tax cuts for the rich.

And memo to Chuck Schumer: a millionaire has $1 million in wealth, not income. Anyone with more than $1 million in income is almost certainly a mega-millionaire. Schumer should stop protecting his Wall Street buddies and try to protect the budget.

Posted by: pundito | December 3, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

This is what happens when you continue to enforce your strategies even after the people have rejected them. Pelosi is a down right fool to believe she can continue to manipulate the people and Obama is a fool for thinking he has the upper hand in all matters. We are a government of the people by the people, and not George Soro's puppets.

Posted by: sperrysphere1957 | December 2, 2010 11:19 PM

-----

I'm confused. When did Nancy Pelosi and "George Soro" become senators?

Posted by: jrokncsu | December 2, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when you continue to enforce your strategies even after the people have rejected them. Pelosi is a down right fool to believe she can continue to manipulate the people and Obama is a fool for thinking he has the upper hand in all matters. We are a government of the people by the people, and not George Soro's puppets.

Posted by: sperrysphere1957 | December 2, 2010 11:19 PM

-----

I'm confused. When did Nancy Pelosi and "George Soro" become senators?

Posted by: jrokncsu | December 2, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats should just call their bluff.

If the Republicans can't compromise - as they promised - then let all of the tax cuts expire and be done with it.

Posted by: 8-Man2 | December 2, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when you continue to enforce your strategies even after the people have rejected them. Pelosi is a down right fool to believe she can continue to manipulate the people and Obama is a fool for thinking he has the upper hand in all matters. We are a government of the people by the people, and not George Soro's puppets.

Posted by: sperrysphere1957 | December 2, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

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