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The Bush tax plan vs. the Obama tax plan in one chart

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Source.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 12, 2010; 10:56 AM ET
Categories:  Charts and Graphs , Taxes  
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Comments

They're letting Bush propose a tax plan?

Posted by: bgmma50 | August 12, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

If your going to do this chart, you should also show what the amount of taxes each bracket pays. After all, people making under 10,000.00 a year only get a $53 dollar tax cut, but how much do they typically pay in taxes? Think of it this way, if the highest tax bracket was 90%, and a the democrats wanted to drop it to 85% that chart would look the same as your republican's chart?

Posted by: JohnE1 | August 12, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

This is so incredibly disingenuous. It doesn't show percent of income, and it doesn't show the amount of taxes currently paid at each income bracket.

Posted by: TheThinkingMansMan | August 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Seems like the Republican side would lead to a lot more economic growth, no? I mean, the guys at the top that are being soaked by Dems are the ones who own businesses and work at the tops of large companies, right? I've never been hired to work for a guy making $30K after all.

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

bgmma50, the Bush tax cuts from 2001 were passed using the reconciliation process, and in order to get around the Byrd Rule on increasing deficits, they expire after 10 years. Therefore, the Bush tax plan is very much up for debate this fall, since they can either be renewed as is, changed, or allowed to expire.

Posted by: vvf2 | August 12, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

But what about the deficit? Isn't that the big problem?

Also do you really think the people making millions are going to "create" more jobs just because they have more money or will jobs result from the people making $30K BUYING stuff?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes Ezra, please show how ludicrously rich the richest Americans are. Please make the point that $100,000 is less than 1% of their salary, that it's basically nothing to these people. That giving them $100,000 is like giving me a penny and we should all be totally cool with it! It means nothing to them. its utterly inconsequential. Well, unless you try to take it away, then it goes from "a trivial amount...less than 1% of income" to cries of Marxism and class warfare.

I am sure people making $40k a year would like it clearly explained to them how handing out $100,000 to rich is no biggie. I urge you to make this point.

Don't you know that some of these rich people pay like $30 million in taxes! That's huge! How will they ever survive on the $250,000,000.00 they keep?! Its so unfair. If you made hundreds of millions of dollars a year you'd also be pissed if the government took so much away that you only got to keep hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Seriously, there are people that make $380 million a year and have an effective tax rate of 17%. That's $64 million a year in taxes. That sounds like a lot, but that still leaves them with $316 million a year.

Does the GOP really expect sympathy for people that have to survive on ONLY $316 million a year because the mean ol' gov't takes so much away?

Posted by: nylund | August 12, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

cmccauley60: The deficit will be less of a problem if we reduce spending and grow economically. The way to do that is to free up as much private capital as possible and remove the uncertainty in the marketplace caused by government overreach and intrusion. For instance, Obamacare is instilling a huge amount of uncertainty. How can a business owner hire on new people when they have no idea what kind of mandates they are going to be shackled with when it finally comes to fruition? How can they hire when they don't know what their tax burdens will be in 6-months let alone two, three, five years down the road? Also, yes, when a small business owner's taxes are reduced by $100,000, he will almost certainly invest a great deal of it back into his business, which will have a larger impact on the economy than a guy making $30K super-sizing his big mac meal.

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Mwmillertime:

"Seems like the Republican side would lead to a lot more economic growth, no?"

Great question. And seeing as the Bush tax cuts have been in effect for almost 10 years, why hasn't this great economic growth happened yet?

Supply side economics has been tested in reality and it failed. The rich just pocket the extra money, or take to the Wall Street casino and gamble it, but either way the magical expected growth in the real economy doesn't happen.

Posted by: Scientician | August 12, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

That's a bunch of hogwash.

You're telling me that "repeal and replace" creates certainty, right?

And what small business owners do you know that are making over a million dollars a year in PROFIT?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

RE Nylund: "I am sure people making $40k a year would like it clearly explained to them how handing out $100,000 to rich is no biggie. I urge you to make this point."

I make $41K a year, sir, and I don't need any handouts from the "rich" or your corrupt government. BTW, HANDING OUT? Are you Serious? It's that persons money. They earned it, they chipped in their fair percentage of income and the rest is theirs to keep -- not the governments. Nobody "handed out" anything -- excpet the rich guy who handed out $65 million to a government that will just waste it anyway.

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"For instance, Obamacare is instilling a huge amount of uncertainty. How can a business owner hire on new people when they have no idea what kind of mandates they are going to be shackled with when it finally comes to fruition?"

How do you know any of this? Is there a poll you're reading of business owners and corporate decision makers? Or (more likely) are you just tendeniciously making up what you believe to be the view of these people based on your opinions of these policies?

Posted by: Scientician | August 12, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

For greater market certainty, all Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents should just withdraw and concede the 2010 election. Once assured of continuing Democratic majorities in Congress, Business will feel assured of the policy direction and not fear the uncertainty of a divided government battling over budgets, a possible impeachment of the president and a Federal government shut down like the last time Republicans took congress during a Democratic presidency.

Posted by: Scientician | August 12, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Aw, cmon Scientician, you know that Fox provided this info to Mr. Miller in one of its fair and balanced news reports.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Scientician: "And seeing as the Bush tax cuts have been in effect for almost 10 years, why hasn't this great economic growth happened yet?

Are you aware of the record economic growth that occurred from 2003-2008? Wouldn't you love to see 4% unemployment and 3-4% economic growth right now? And, if you ignore 25 years of history before 2009, then I could see how you would think supply side failed. However, the real cause of the economic collapse was governments intervention in the housing markets and banks. The banks and lenders knew the Gov. would bail them out and that's why they took so many risks. Without the Gov's involvement, Business wouldn't have taken these risks.

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

nylund: A tax cut isn't a "hand out" from the government.

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the Bush years were a veritable economic bonanza!

Particularly compared to the Clinton years, right?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, nylund, no one should be forced to pay taxes!!

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

scientician: "For instance, Obamacare is instilling a huge amount of uncertainty. How can a business owner hire on new people when they have no idea what kind of mandates they are going to be shackled with when it finally comes to fruition?"

How do you know any of this? Is there a poll you're reading of business owners and corporate decision makers? Or (more likely) are you just tendeniciously making up what you believe to be the view of these people based on your opinions of these policies?"
---------------
Thanks for asking. The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Washington Post and even the NY Times have discussed it quite a bit. You can see a few examples here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/president-obama-touts-auto-industry-amid-economic-uncertainty/story?id=11293236

http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052748704629804575325233508651458.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/22/AR2010062205279.html

One more: The Verizon CEO, who voted for Obama, BTW, says:
"In our judgment, we have reached a point where the negative effects of these policies are simply too significant to ignore," Seidenberg said in a lunchtime speech to the Economic Club of Washington. "By reaching into virtually every sector of economic life, government is injecting uncertainty into the marketplace and making it harder to raise capital and create new businesses."

Any other questions?
Also: Polling data is here:
http://www.benzinga.com/10/08/408421/wells-fargogallup-small-biz-poll-looking-good-billy-ray

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"bgmma50, the Bush tax cuts from 2001 were passed using the reconciliation process, and in order to get around the Byrd Rule on increasing deficits, they expire after 10 years. Therefore, the Bush tax plan is very much up for debate this fall, since they can either be renewed as is, changed, or allowed to expire."

Posted by: vvf2

vvf2, the Bush tax plan expires in January. Whatever happens after that will either be known as the Obama tax increase or the Obama deficit increase.

Posted by: bgmma50 | August 12, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

mwmillertime:

Even before the 2008 crash, the record of supply side economics was weaker at its best than the Keynesian era of 1946-1980.

Bush lost jobs for his whole first term, and created the fewest jobs of any president since Hoover. And the jobs created were largely crappy McJobs and/or military industrial complex.

If this is a supply side success, don't think we even need to talk about its failures.

Posted by: Scientician | August 12, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Which would you prefer, bgmma?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Why can't you guys just destroy your states and leave the rest of us alone? My philosophy is to leave you guys to do what ever you want in your life without my interference. Why do you have to attempt to control others and force idiotic mandates and social experiments down my throat? I'm not interested in funding your unions or legions of Dem voters. Just keep your noses out of my family's health care and private life and we'll extend the same courtesy to you.

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@mwmillertime
Where is the growth now? If these policies were so effective, then why is the economy in peril? Oh, the government did it huh, and I guess your plan would be to get the government out of the way and let a totally unregulated free market make way, which of course is an insane notice that market forces will somehow force companies to self regulate. It's a fallacy, and an argument that does nothing but empower big business. So, how does it feel to be a unwitting shill for wall street?

Posted by: smokestacker | August 12, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Good job parroting talking points, mwmillertime, and not bothering to actually verify them. Growth under Bush was anemic, for the decade median family income actually fell and unemployment never went below 4%. The first Bush wasn't much better and Reagan still wasn't the economic miracle Republicans would have you believe.

Government intervention in the housing market was not that important. Mortgage-backed securities originated by the government-affiliated institutions were dwarfed in number by those of the private banks.

The only point I can give you is moral hazard in the banking sector, but there is no evidence that Republicans would prove any better on that point.

Posted by: awcarr | August 12, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

mwmillertime: "Are you aware of the record economic growth that occurred from 2003-2008?"

What "record"? Cite? It was really better than the growth under the Clinton tax rates of the 1990s? (Certainly not in terms of job creation, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/job-creation/)

Are you aware that median household income barely budged? And that two-thirds of the nation's income growth from 2002-2007 was captured by the top 1% of income earners? http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=2908

Businesses are sitting on huge amounts of money. They're not hiring. The problem is on the demand side, not the supply side. Uncertainty is their excuse; when have businesses ever welcomed new government rules? http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6722NO20100803 If I'm not hiring due to a lack of demand, why would allowing me to keep more money induce me to hire when there's still no more additional people buying my stuff?

If the economy were so sensitive to a couple of percentage points change in income taxes, why aren't the southern states blowing away everyone else economically? Why aren't they the centers of innovation and development?

When H.W. Bush and Clinton raised taxes, conservatives said it would crash the delicate recovery. Instead, we had substantial growth (even excluding the tech bubble) that helped at all income levels. Advocates of W's tax cuts said they'd lead to even more prosperity. We did have some economic growth during the Bush years, but it was anemic for an economy that was supposedly coming out of a recession and helped mainly the wealthy.

How many times to we have to try trickle-down to see it doesn't work? Does actual evidence ever matter?

Posted by: dasimon | August 12, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

RE: "So, how does it feel to be a unwitting shill for wall street?"
-----------------
Better than being an unwitting shill for the corrupt U.S. Congress.

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

You guys are boring me. Go back to sucking on the Gov. tit and being shills for the man. I've got a life to live and money to make!

I'll leave you with this, which, I noticed NOBODY responded to:

Why can't you guys just destroy your own states and leave the rest of us alone? My philosophy is to leave you guys to do what ever you want in your life without my interference. Why do you have to attempt to control others and force idiotic mandates and social experiments down my throat? I'm not interested in funding your unions or legions of Dem voters. Just keep your noses out of my family's health care and private life and we'll extend the same courtesy to you.

Posted by: mwmillertime | August 12, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Which would you prefer, bgmma?"

Posted by: cmccauley60

Oh, I'd prefer to let the Bush tax cuts expire in their entirety. The Obama half a**ed plan isn't going to do enough about our debt, not with Miz Nancy and company spending it faster than tax increases can bring it in.


Posted by: bgmma50 | August 12, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

mwmillertime, aside from the opinion of some AEI hack economist, your "source" is a business lobby group of plutocrats, and the WaPo tells us what they are unhappy about:

"In recent months, however, that relationship has begun to fray. First, Democrats included a provision in the health-care bill -- over the Roundtable's objection -- that reduced corporate subsidies for drug coverage to retirees, a move that could cost big companies millions of dollars. Then the EPA unveiled rules to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions even without climate-change legislation, creating uncertainty about the future cost of energy.

The final straw, said Roundtable president John Castellani, was the introduction of two pieces of legislation, now pending in Congress, that the group views as particularly bad for business. One, a provision of the administration's financial regulation overhaul, would make it easier for shareholders to nominate corporate board members. The other would raise taxes on multinational corporations."

four issues:
1) they lost a *subsidy* which is an intervention by the govenrnment went away, boo hoo for the big productive Galtian supermen losing their free hand out

2) Action on climate change. As if climate change doesn't intruduce "uncertainty" on its own, because the prospects of wars for water, droughts and famines and endless fires is much better for business than putting a cost for carbon emissions. Which didn't even actually happen, and probably won't.

3) an increase in shareholder control over companies. Oh heaven forfend the actual owners have some say in the running of the companies.

4) making multinational corps pay taxes.

They can go f*** themselves if they're getting any sympathy over this list of whining. I'm a liberal who's pretty unhappy with Obama and this makes me like him again a little.

Anyway none of it has to do with "obamacare" except for losing a subsidy.

The poll of small business doesn't prove anything. The economy sucks, they're unhappy. No surprise there, but that doesn't mean it's over "obamacare" or any particular Democratic policy. The banks still aren't lending to small business, maybe that's what they're unhappy about. How do you know?

Posted by: Scientician | August 12, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Why can't you guys just destroy your states and leave the rest of us alone?"

Ah, because states haven't been destroyed. In fact, the states with the lowest standards of living and least educational achievement are...where exactly? Not Massachusetts, or New York, or....

"My philosophy is to leave you guys to do what ever you want in your life without my interference. Why do you have to attempt to control others and force idiotic mandates and social experiments down my throat?"

Idiotic mandates like Social Security? Do you have any idea what elderly poverty was like before that program? Or idiotic mandates like paying for public schools that helped propel this nation to economic success?

And your choices don't leave others alone. If people opt-out, it leaves others at risk. Anyone can get sick. Unless there is government intervention, these people will not be able to get affordable insurance on the private market, and some of them will die. (Indeed, some already have.) No other nation has figured out how to provide such insurance without a mandate. If you believe we should live in a society where people die because they can't get insurance, fine. But if you don't, then mandatory participation seems necessary.

"Just keep your noses out of my family's health care and private life and we'll extend the same courtesy to you."

Fine. Promise me that you and your family will avail yourselves of absolutely no medical services (including the ER) receiving any government funding for the next 5 or 6 years, and I'd be glad to exempt you from a mandate. Perhaps that should include any elderly relatives on Medicare too.

Posted by: dasimon | August 12, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

mwmillertime, just remember that sticks and stones can break your bones but the hurling of democratic memes can never hurt you.

Posted by: bgmma50 | August 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's remember to thank 'mwmillertime' for his multiple blog clicks today in support of Ezra's continued success...

Blog clicks don't care that you can't make a point...

Posted by: JkR- | August 12, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

mwmillertime: "You guys are boring me. Go back to sucking on the Gov. tit and being shills for the man. I've got a life to live and money to make!"

That was a substantive response? It would be nice if you responded to people's factual assertions.

"I'll leave you with this, which, I noticed NOBODY responded to"

I just did. It takes a little bit of time to compose a thoughtful response, if you're really interested in one. You posted the above statement initially at 12:42, then complained that no one had responded at 12:52. You yourself say you actually have things to do. And at the same time you think people should be scanning this blog every 10 minutes to come up with a rapid reply to one of your posts?

If you want to engage in real, fact-based debate, I'm all for it. If there's no openness to looking at conflicting evidence or changing one's mind, I'm not going to bother.

Posted by: dasimon | August 12, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Shorter mwmiller:

I got mine, the rest of you can go eff off.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave: Obamacare

Posted by: Zcat | August 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave: Obamacare

Posted by: Zcat | August 12, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh well you repubs.. time to foot the bill for the years of war under bush.

EXPIRE EXPIRE EXPIRE!

Posted by: smokestacker | August 12, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Zcat: yes, your list is mostly correct (though isn't the 3.8% increase at the end part of "Obamacare" you cite as the second wave? No double counting!). But it's not what Obama or most Democrats are proposing.

As I'm sure you know, they support extending the cuts for individuals making under $200k and households making under $250k. Most Democrats also support increasing the exemption from the estate tax to around $3.5 million and having a rate of around 45% above that amount.

The statement that people "could easily leave behind a death tax bill" is terribly misleading, since going above the exempted amount by $1 would leave a "bill" of far less than $1. It doesn't tell us how significant that bill would be, and only a small fraction of people would be subjected to the revised amounts above.

What's keeping most of these rates from being extended is not the Democrats who would like to extend them but Republicans who insist on extending all of them. Why some people find going back to Clinton-era rates on only the highest earners so objectionable is a mystery to me--especially since these are also people who are supposedly so concerned about our long-term deficit.

Posted by: dasimon | August 12, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

But isn't that how Pres Bush and the GOP Congress planned it back in 2001, zcat?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 12, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Most of the people here defending Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy are the same people shedding crocodile tears over the national debt. They can't even fathom the hypocrisy if you sat down with them patiently and calmly explained the problem.

I think things have gotten so bad under GOP rule, and their supporters so bad, that we should declare martial law and strip voting rights from all Republicans. If we don't do that, America is destined for the trash heap of history as a viable, well-functioning country.

You can see proof here in Florida, where that crazy Rick Scott, whose companies defrauded the US of billions, is leading polls as he promises everything from drug-testing people down on their luck to eliminating most state government jobs during a severe economic crisis.

GOP voters are simply crazy and there's not much we can do about them other than identify them and strip their voting rights for their extreme and frequent displays of unintelligent and anti-social behavior. Do it now before it's too late.

Posted by: lauren2010 | August 12, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

At least Ezra figured out that a chart is not a paragraph.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskjold | August 12, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about the rest of the bloggers here, but it clearly shows that the ultra-rich who have gained upon the working class suffering and job cuts, will finally have to pay as they go....about time!

Posted by: bigisle | August 12, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I love smug right-wing reminders about tax cuts not being "hand outs". Don't be so satisfied with yourselves. Progressive tax rates are not evidence of communist, command-economy sympathies.

Only the brainwashed would argue in favor of a system that taxed someone making $45k @ 20% and someone making $450k @ 15% (for instance). Under that tax structure the government would be punishing people for making less money, effectively pursuing a policy that perpetuates and increases income inequality. Whose economic position is more secure, someone making $45k or someone making $450k? Clearly someone making $450k. Yet you right wingers would pursue a tax policy that favors Mr. Very Upper Middle Class and punishes Mr. Middle Class by chipping away at his income for nickles and dimes that are financially meaningless to someone making $450k. And then wrap yourselves in something-doo economics to justify it.

Posted by: dollarwatcher | August 12, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Class warfare is fun!

Forget about stimulating the economy...

Posted by: marteen | August 12, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@ mwmillertime

If that was true then how come the last 8 years of Bushes tax cuts for the wealthy DIDNT prevent us from being in the situation we are in now. What many folks fail to look at is that these are the current tax cuts for the wealthy. They have been there for 8 years. They are not making it so that the rich can create jobs or we wouldn't need jobs now.

Posted by: augusteighteenth | August 12, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"I think things have gotten so bad under GOP rule, and their supporters so bad, that we should declare martial law and strip voting rights from all Republicans. If we don't do that, America is destined for the trash heap of history as a viable, well-functioning country... GOP voters are simply crazy."

Lauren, just because people don't agree with your point of view doesn't mean you can just strip them of their rights.

GOP voters don't like taxes or social spending. Meanwhile, you advocate a one party state and martial law. And you claim the GOP voters are the ones who are dangerous?

I agree GOP politicians are often terrible, but unfortunately that's not a good enough reason to disenfranchise those who vote for them.

Posted by: justin84 | August 12, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't reward failure.
Tax cuts as a response to a revenue surplus? Check!
Tax cuts as a response to economic slow down? Check!
Extending the Bush tax cuts would be rewarding Republican failure.
Let's keep conservative moral hazard to a minimum, OK.

Posted by: karenfink | August 12, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Comrade Lauren,

Will felons and illegal immigrants be permitted to vote under The Regime, provided they vote the way you tell them to?

Posted by: bgmma50 | August 12, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Without the Gov's involvement, Business wouldn't have taken these risks."

LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL...LOL...LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL... LOL...

:) Sorry, couldn't stop laughing - that was awesome satire... keep 'em coming!

Posted by: tillyman72 | August 12, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Your two dimensional optical illusion completely blinded my numeric sense!

By the raw power of your use of linear perspective, you made me forget that nothing you say adds up!

Posted by: gorak | August 12, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Conservative policies destroyed our economy. We've had 30 years of supply-side economics, and all they've given us is a dying middle class, wage stagnation, enormous amounts of consumer debt, a market collapse and a financial crisis, all while paving the way to a plutocracy.

And yet, we are still supposed to listen to them.

Of course, they'll tell you it's not their fault. "Don't blame us -- it's the minorities and Fannie Mae that did it, even though we were in power almost all of that time!"

Right.

Posted by: naveenmallik | August 12, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

A free market is a beautiful thing, but when the players cheat, lie and steal from their customers it is no longer a free market, it is a manipulated market working against main street interests so the big owners can make billions of dollars.The average American has an underlying presumption that business is going to play fairly. Unfortunately this is not the case when lying can increase profit by leaps and bounds.Self-regulation rarely works in any industry. When you write the standards for yourself, the tendency is to make it easy for yourself. After all who makes their own life more difficult? Who limits what profit their business can make by self-imposing strict values that support the customer over themselves as the seller?History is the proof that strict self regulation is nearly a myth, business does not operate that way and never will. That does not mean there are no ethical businesses, just that they are rare.The key to this is regulation and oversight. That directly translates to larger needs for government and government expenditure. Nothing is free and if we demand protection from predatory business practices we must bear the cost of the ongoing oversight and regulation. Does that mean business should be micromanaged by Government? NO, what it means is that our legislators need to be prevented from being bought by industry lobbyists, that the fraudulent idea of a corporation as having "individual rights" needs to be reversed. Corporations are NOT individuals, they are collectives of investors, executives and employees who goal is to MAKE MONEY! Which is inherently different than a biological human who works to pay bills.

Posted by: BobSBO | August 12, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: lillypurce12 | August 13, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

"The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

Who was the "radical progressive/Communist/Marxist/class warrior" who penned that quote? Marx? Lenin? FDR? Obama?

Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

The answer: Adam Smith, father of modern capitalism.

Posted by: thenomadicmind | August 13, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, I agree with a few others here that it would really help to see a similar graph comparing the two tax plans in terms of percent of income rather than dollar amount taxed. Would it be possible to publish that in a future column? Thanks, and keep up the great work.

Posted by: crdenny | August 13, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

mwmillertime - Also, yes, when a small business owner's taxes are reduced by $100,000, he will almost certainly invest a great deal of it back into his business, which will have a larger impact on the economy than a guy making $30K super-sizing his big mac meal.

----

This statement completely discredits any authority you thought you had in explaining economic policy. The buying power of the vast majority of Americans *is* the American economy. People making $30K, $40K, $50K a year purchasing things like ice cream, tube socks, televisions, and big mac meals has by far the greater impact on the economy than the spending of a far fewer number of millionaires. It's called volume, and Wal-Mart has built the world's largest retailing operation on it. If a person doesn't understand this basic concept, they shouldn't be allowed to comment on articles pertaining to economic policy.

Posted by: junipero | August 13, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I like how so many Republican commentators on this page totally miss the point on what tax cuts for the rich do.
If you are someone who is making over $1 Million in income, you do not require extra tax cuts, because you already have disposable income and that income will not go back into circulation to help improve the economy, it will stay in your little piggy bank.
If you are someone who is making around $30,000 a year, you will be spending most of your money on things like bills, groceries, and rent which will help immediately stimulate the economy.
It really is that simple.

Posted by: deviant24x | August 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

So what's your point? Now take those numbers and invest, say 1/2, in good, growth stock mutual funds with a solid 10+ year track record and see how much they contribute to economic growth. Then apply capital gains taxes on the growth, say 15% tax rate on 10% of the annual growth (not the total - remember taxes have already been paid on the principal). Compare the results of the Obama tax "reductions" to the Bush tax rate cuts. After seeing the mammoth increase in tax revenues(read as "benefit" - moochers understand "benefits"), feel free to complain. Your whining will fall on deaf ears. Make the Bush era tax cuts permanent, or perish at the polls.

Successful people do not use piggy banks - their savings go into investments which benefit all of us.

Posted by: stwoodworth | August 13, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

You would think after consistent, economic crisis from the expansionary, phony, policies of Republicans that many of these impoverished, dog whistle, brigaders, would stop trotting out the same old, failed, half-a@@ arguments. Nope. They still feed the Limbaugh echo-chamber.

Has anyone done a study of the internal demographics of those supporting the Republicans? Seems like the gap is larger than ever between the impoverished, dog-whistle, brigade and those few taking as much value both from government spending and the brigade's discretionary income as possible.

Posted by: mikeVA1 | August 13, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how brainwashed some people are by right wing economic rhetoric. Let's look at some facts: The number one cause of our ballooning national debt are the Bush tax cuts. If those tax cuts stimulated the economy the way they theoretically are said to do so, where are the jobs? 69% of the wealthiest Americans inherit their wealth, about 4% marry into it, and only about 27% actually earn it, although that percentage includes those who profit from criminal activity such as drugs, lottery winners, professional athletes, and rock stars among others. Very few of the latter category actually "work" for it over an extended period of their lifetime. Many of the first generation richest Americans actually attain their wealth in a relative short period of time, usually less than a decade.
Less than 3% of all "small" business make a profit of over $250,000.
Besides facts, it is only right that those who benefit the most from society, i.e. the richest Americans, should pay the highest percentage of income in taxes.
Does anyone think Albert Haynesworth, Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Bret Michaels, etc..., should get a tax cut? I doubt the richest Americans would really suffer if they are made to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.

Posted by: fishman2 | August 13, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how brainwashed some people are by right wing economic rhetoric. Let's look at some facts: The number one cause of our ballooning national debt are the Bush tax cuts. If those tax cuts stimulated the economy the way they theoretically are said to do so, where are the jobs? 69% of the wealthiest Americans inherit their wealth, about 4% marry into it, and only about 27% actually earn it, although that percentage includes those who profit from criminal activity such as drugs, lottery winners, professional athletes, and rock stars among others. Very few of the latter category actually "work" for it over an extended period of their lifetime. Many of the first generation richest Americans actually attain their wealth in a relative short period of time, usually less than a decade.
Less than 3% of all "small" business make a profit of over $250,000.
Besides facts, it is only right that those who benefit the most from society, i.e. the richest Americans, should pay the highest percentage of income in taxes.
Does anyone think Albert Haynesworth, Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Bret Michaels, etc..., should get a tax cut? I doubt the richest Americans would really suffer if they are made to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.

Posted by: fishman2 | August 13, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how brainwashed some people are by right wing economic rhetoric. Let's look at some facts: The number one cause of our ballooning national debt are the Bush tax cuts. If those tax cuts stimulated the economy the way they theoretically are said to do so, where are the jobs? 69% of the wealthiest Americans inherit their wealth, about 4% marry into it, and only about 27% actually earn it, although that percentage includes those who profit from criminal activity such as drugs, lottery winners, professional athletes, and rock stars among others. Very few of the latter category actually "work" for it over an extended period of their lifetime. Many of the first generation richest Americans actually attain their wealth in a relative short period of time, usually less than a decade.
Less than 3% of all "small" business make a profit of over $250,000.
Besides facts, it is only right that those who benefit the most from society, i.e. the richest Americans, should pay the highest percentage of income in taxes.
Does anyone think Albert Haynesworth, Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Bret Michaels, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama, George W. Bush etc..., should get a tax cut? I doubt the richest Americans would really suffer if they are made to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.

Posted by: fishman2 | August 13, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Republican candidates have become the weakest in history. They can't even present a new fiscal policy. They want the failed one.

Scheme after scheme, from the private prisons in Arizona, ripping USD100M+ from the public and pushing a code for Hispanics for the local Republican boss to corral people into the for-profit camp, to using places like Chile and Argentina for policy ideas. Wow. Just wow.

-snip-
LAS VEGAS — Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle says the nation's Social Security system needs to be privatized, and she says it was done before in Chile.
-snip-

Posted by: mikeVA1 | August 13, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I sent this to "Contact the White House" 8-9-10 at 8:30 A.M.

Mr. President,

I challenge you and the Senate to show some guts on the "Bush Tax Cuts".

Announce your intention to get your way and how you are going to do it.
1. We are going to let all the cuts expire.
2. We will immediately either (a) extend the stimulus cuts for the 95% OR (b) introduce new legislation to cut taxes for the middle class.

You know you are going to get burned by the Repugs no matter what you do. Force them to show their hand. Force them to block a tax cut for the serfs.

If you can't figure out how to spin that, hire Carl Rove. He can spin anything.

Your supporter,
Mike Elzey

Posted by: elzoid | August 13, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Nice Ezra. So I guess this is the latest leftist economic propaganda going around on Journolist2.0. I agree with TheThinkingMansMan - This is so incredibly disingenuous. If this is what passes for economic thinking at the Washington Post, then it's completely understandable why you guys are losing readership left and right. First, the bottom 50% pays no federal income tax. Many of these same people receive welfare disguised as a tax return (earned income credit). Second, there's no such thing as a Democrat tax cut. Net taxes always go up under socialists Democrats either by increased direct taxation or indirectly by increased regulation which increases costs for business. Fourth, you cannot argue with reality. California, Michigan, New York, and New Jersey(hope with Christie) are economic basket cases run into the ground by leftist, socialist Democrats and their greedy union friends. The top performing economic states are all run by free market conservatives. Fifth, the rich(small business) never pay taxes. It's all passed on in the end to the little guy through higher costs for goods and services and fewer jobs. So folks, don't be fooled. The Democrats and their media propagandists like Ezra don't give a rat's behind about your economic condition or economic results. They only care about gaining power over you and your life so you can be a slave to serve the elite masters who think they are so much smarter than all you hicks.

Posted by: raemu8 | August 13, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't quite get the concept of trying to stimulate the economy by giving the wealthy more of their money.

If they don't need the money they have, and yet are not spending it or investing it and so stimulating the economy, what is the theory that says their having more money is somehow going to help.

While you're at it, get someone to explain the theory that a person that has enough money to invest it and make money without working contributes more to the economy than the person that money actually pays to work, justifying their paying half the capital gains tax as the people that actually y'know, made something paid in income tax.

Posted by: Jonnan | August 13, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that if the Republicans get their way, they'll enact their tax plan, but if Obama gets his way, he'll agree to the Republican tax plan.

Posted by: mymark | August 13, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Oops! On second thought, since Obama expanded the Bush wars, expanded the Bush defense budget, and expanded the Bush bailouts, if he gets his way he'll probably EXPAND the Bush tax.

Posted by: mymark | August 13, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who views this and takes the bait is willfully ignorant. It is socialist propaganda, pure and simple.

Post a chart showing the relative amount of money CONTRIBUTED via taxation by each income bracket, and you'll see that Obama's plan disproportionately targets the wealthy more than the rest of us. The current "progressive" tax code isn't fair or equitable, it's plundering the most-productive sector of our economy to benefit the less-productive sector. It's
Robin Hood economics, and it's an "Obam-ination" (read abomination).

Posted by: antifederalist1 | August 15, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

One thing that keeps getting ignored by the everyone is that the Wealthy can avoid taxes. If you increase the taxes on what they withdraw from their businesses, they will find other ways to avoid paying income taxes.

The most effective way for the Wealthy to avoid income taxes is to leave their money in their companies and use that money for short term tax deductible expenses... That would expand businesses and create jobs.

Warren Buffet understands this. He's always kept his income low and kept him wealth in his companies. And he's made it known that that the tax rates should be increased. If ALL wealthy people kept there wealth in their businesses rather than taking it as income and running with it, this would infuse huge amounts of money into our economy and with the additional jobs would create a bigger tax base.

Problem is, this is too complicated to explain to the below IQ voters... And the Republicans just love a simple election cycle message to the voters like "The Dems want to raise your taxes."

Bottom line ... Higher tax rates to the wealthy would jump start this economy.

Posted by: unity2 | August 16, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The Bush Tax cuts are the reason for this recession along with the trillion dollars worth of war. The Bush Tax Cuts are projected to finally expire this year and I say good riddance to them. It wasn't too long for me to remember watching that bit of irresponsible government budgeting lead to the mess our country now finds itself in. These tax cuts soon after quickly evaporated the budget surpluses that Clinton's policy of balanced budgets had produced. Bush ruthlessly and irresponsibly enacted over 500 billion in tax cuts with the aiding and abetting of a Congress and Senate that also deserves a good part of the blame. I recall being furious at the time and still am that these country wrecking tax cuts were enacted during a war, which I was raised to understand as the worse kind of treason. What was the war time sacrifice demanded of patriotic Americans with these tax cuts? Perhaps the intended sacrafice is the infrastructure, and domestic side or our country. These treasonous tax cuts were obviously designed to cause predictable economic meltdown leading to the bankruptcy of the country. How is that not treason? These tax cuts were the beginning of restricted federal revenues to the states resulting in today's nation-wide state budget shortfalls where budgets MUST be paid for. The media doesn't even seem to want to draw that obvious line between deficit-ballooning, unpaid for tax cuts and state budget shortfalls. Also, by the way, the promised economic growth didn't really show up either. All that for a tax cut to the richest 1% of the nation. I remember one of the richest men in the world, Warran Buffet, saying "thanks but I don't need a tax cut." These days there is a group of people who make more than $200,000 a year who have signed on for a push to get these Bush Tax cuts repealed as scheduled at the end of this year. The group is called Wealth for the Common Good. Their .org website states, "We, the undersigned, call on Congress and President Obama to allow the Bush-era tax cuts for those of us with taxable incomes over $235,000 to expire on Dec. 31, 2010. The increased revenue, an estimated $43 billion, should go toward making long overdue investments in education, health, transportation, infrastructure, and green energy systems." Rich people who make more than $200,000 a year should do their patriotic duty, support our troops during wartime, and pay their taxes.

Posted by: Davol | August 16, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

this is easy practically everyone pays 35 percent tax rate. When you make over 1 million you only pay 15 percent tax rate. Go figure.

Posted by: rede_7 | August 17, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"Why can't you guys just destroy your own states and leave the rest of us alone? My philosophy is to leave you guys to do what ever you want in your life without my interference. Why do you have to attempt to control others and force idiotic mandates and social experiments down my throat? I'm not interested in funding your unions or legions of Dem voters. Just keep your noses out of my family's health care and private life and we'll extend the same courtesy to you."

Would you please? Because the Republicans/right wing are so good at staying out of others' private life. Bush proposed amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. A definition that is in the Republican platform. Also, abortion choice. Over 35 years of trying to tell women what they can do with their bodies.

No. Don't mess with your money, but you should tell me what to do with my life. Isn't THAT the Republican's non-interference/small government in reality? Also, decades of corporate welfare, but don't give some single-mother with 3 kids any 'handouts' so they can eat and sleep indoors.

As for the argument that a small-business owner could do so much good with an additional $100,000...Small business owners don't make $1M + annually as personal income. I know small business owners. If they're in that tax bracket, it is NOT a SMALL business, it is a large one. A 'small business' is one or two stores, not the company that owns half the grocery stores in a major metropolitan area. Most small business owners would be overjoyed if they got into the $100-200k range.

Posted by: PsychMajor | August 18, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Yo Yo OK OK lets talk Turkey Mrs Lincoln. 10- 15% marginal rate hike, divendend tax 15-29%, less deduction per dependant, marriage pentalty, Death Tax, oooooops Payroll tax increases, Healthcare premiums on the rise and (forced to rise), SOCIAL security unfunded and in the red, and ohhh so more.........HOW WAS THE REST OF THE PLAY?

Posted by: gantnermatt | August 18, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

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