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Sixth national poll shows majority support for ending tax cuts for rich

The other day I noted that five national polls revealed solid majority support for ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

We now have a sixth poll: The National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center, finds the same.

The numbers: Twenty nine percent support ending only the tax cuts for the rich, and 28 percent ending all the tax cuts -- meaning a total of 57 percent support letting the tax cuts for the rich expire. Only 29 percent, or less than a third, support the GOP position of keeping all the tax cuts in place.

Support also runs strong among independents, with 28 percent supporting ending the tax cuts for the rich, and 31 percent supporting an end to them all -- a total of 59 percent.

A quick word about all these numbers. A number of you have pointed out that national polls don't matter as much as how this issue polls in the marginal districts across the country that will decide who controls the House of Representatives. And no question, that's key.

But right now Dem leaders are engaged in intense debate over how -- and how aggressively -- to take a stand on this issue. And this is a national battle in the sense that in a nationalized election, such a fight could clearly define the differences between the two parties. Whatever is going on in individual districts, such nationalized messaging would presumably trickle down and impact these races.

If you aren't going to take a stand on an issue where half dozen national polls are on your side, what issue will you take a stand on?

By Greg Sargent  |  September 14, 2010; 11:19 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Comments

Yes, Greg, but like Bill Clinton said: Democrats are impervious to evidence. Or was that Republicans? Either way, it's all the Liberals' fault.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 14, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Cut taxes for the Middle Class.

Let the tax cuts for the Rich expire.

Cut wasteful govt spending and tax breaks for Big Ag, Big Oil/Energy, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex.

Balance the budget.

While we're young. hehe

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Democrats should stop talking about letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Instead, they should just introduce a brand new line of Tax Cuts, for the middle class. Detach it from the Bush tax cuts, completely.

Just introduce a clean bill, that cuts taxes for the middle class.
Say nothing about renewing any of the Bush tax cuts. Those were something that Republicans set an expiration date on. Democrats have no fingerprints on that decisio, so just stay away from them.

Now you will have the best of both worlds, for all Democrats, because they will be voting for tax cuts, period. Let the Republicans try to amend the bill to give more tax cuts to the Super Rich. See what I mean. A win win for all Democrats.

I say that is how Democrats should now frame the debate.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Greg

It doesn't matter what the polls say on the narrow issue of tax cuts.


What matters is Obama's overall approval rating on the economy - and whether Obama has a priority on sound economic growth policies.


Every minute the American Public hear Obama bickering about taxes for the rich, it hurts Obama on the major issue. The American People do not want to hear this dispute.


Obama is off again on some socialist-sounding class-warfare crap - when the overall economy suffers.

The polls on the narrow issue are not going to help ONE democrat get ONE vote in any election in the country. I shouldn't even be saying this because it helps Obama clean up his act.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 14, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"If you aren't going to take a stand on an issue where half dozen national polls are on your side, what issue will you take a stand on?"

Ummm ... remember the "Public Option" RIP - supported by up to 70% of the public?

I'm not confident that the likes of Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln and the other Conservadems (not to mention Joe Lieberman) who killed the Public Option will let this one through either. Why? Despite being supported by a large majority of the people who elected them, it doesn't fit into the agenda of their corporate masters.

Again, Democrats are their own worst enemies.

Posted by: adsdan | September 14, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I'd still like to know why the Dems waited two years for this debate. Is it because they were hoping to let the cuts expire? Or is it simply because they wanted to cynically use the debate for political advantage? Either way - this whole discussion hurts the Dems a helluva lot more than it hurts the GOP.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 14, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Liam -- dems are doing that. they are rebranding the extension of the tax cuts for the middle class as...

"The Obama tax cuts for the middle class."

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 14, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

sbj3:

I finally found something to agree with you on ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

While I'm not going to say that you should stop posting more evidence of why this is a no-brainer for Dems...I'm wondering if you could try and do more actual reporting on the subject.

You keep rhetorically asking why Dems are still up in the air about this...and I think all of us would be equally interested in the actual answer.

So how about you ASK THEM. Start calling congressional offices and ask every representative/senator/spokesmen you can get a hold of, and ask:

"In light of a half dozen national polls that show strong majority support for ending the tax cuts on the rich, on top of a vast majority of economists saying it would not hurt the recovery, why are (you/some Dems) still wavering on this issue?"

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 14, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

""The Obama tax cuts for the middle class."

I giggle every time I read that. It's ludicrous.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 14, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"A group of centrist House Democrats will call for a short-term extension of tax cuts for upper-income Americans, adding to growing pressure on Democratic leaders on the issue."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703376504575491672007503074.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Posted by: wbgonne | September 14, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Ds want to provide permanent tax cuts ACROSS THE BOARD, to your first $255,000 in earnings.
Those earning over $255,000 will still get permanent tax cuts and any minimal increase will only be applied to their marginal rates.
Rs on the other hand are willing to increase the US deficit by $700 Billion but refuse to tell us how they will pay for it. That is the political frame that Ds should be telling.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 14, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"If you aren't going to take a stand on an issue where half dozen national polls are on your side, what issue will you take a stand on?"
---------------------------------------------

Doesn't taking a stand usually entail doing something unpopular? Anyway I do happen to agree with you pretty completely on this one. I'm not actually arguing that Blue Dogs are right to oppose letting the Republican tax increase happen on schedule for the top income brackets, only that the nervousness a lot of them are probably feeling about it may not be completely misplaced and you might want to consider cutting them a teeny bit of a break. In many parts of the country, communicating their case effectively on this could be very tricky and those happen to be the same parts where a lot of house and sentate seats are at the highest risk. Just because something is generally popular doesn't necessarily mean Democrats don't still have to try an thread the needle on it.

Posted by: CalD | September 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I support temporary extension of the tax cuts, unfortunately there are two problems with that strategy:
1. Rs insist on the extension until 2012. Guess what happens in 2012?
2. There is absolutely no reason to believe that Rs will not once again demagoguge and misrepresent the tax cuts for the top 3% in 2012 and once again insist that we blow $700 billion to extend all tax cuts. Why should anyone trust that Rs will not once again play that card in 2012; especially if it is done in a POTUS election year.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 14, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Liam -- dems are doing that. they are rebranding the extension of the tax cuts for the middle class as...

"The Obama tax cuts for the middle class."

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 14, 2010 11:40 AM

..................

Greg, where did you get that from? Is that the actual name of the bill?

The Bill should be called: Tax Cuts To Restore Our Middle Class.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

If Obama makes the tax cuts for the middle class permanent it would be his signing of the law making them his tax cuts.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 14, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse


I'd still like to know why the Dems waited two years for this debate. Is it because they were hoping to let the cuts expire? Or is it simply because they wanted to cynically use the debate for political advantage? Either way - this whole discussion hurts the Dems a helluva lot more than it hurts the GOP.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 14, 2010 11:40 AM

.....................

Now I understand why you keep sending checks to Sharron Obtuse Angle, and it is not because Greg posts threads about her. It is because you are just as big an ignoramus as she is.

Bush was still in the White House, "two years ago", and the Bush Tax cuts were still in effect, for a full two more years.

Now go cut another check for that liked minded imbecile Teabagger Candidate.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Liam - I've been saying that for almost a week now. As to Greg's question: "If you aren't going to take a stand on an issue where half dozen national polls are on your side, what issue will you take a stand on?"...

...when's the last time the Dems took much of a stand on anything? Their specialty is taking winning issues and turning them into liabilities.

They ultimately serve the same masters the Republicans do but try to do it on the down-low, using the Republicans' blatant slavish servility to wealth cover for their own. When the ball is in their court, the mask comes off.


Posted by: JennOfArk | September 14, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@sbj

If you believe that the framing of the GOP holding middle class tax cut extentions hostage at the tune of $700 billion over 10 years to the richest 3% of the population is helpful to the GOP...then you really are off your rocker.

And make no mistake - if Dems put forth a package that has extentions for the middle class only and the GOP filibusters it...that line of attack is 100% factually accurate.

"It's ludicrous."

It's not ludicrous at all, it's political spin. It's political spin that's closer to the truth than most of the things that come out of the GOP these days...so I have to wonder if you're willing to state that a vast majority of GOP arguements are also ludicrous. Probably not.

The Bush tax cuts are ending. They are scheduled to end, and they will end. A new bill has to be introduced to cut taxes from the rated scheduled to take effect next year...so it's perfectly valid to call them a new tax cut. If a new tax cut under Bush was "the Bush tax cuts" then a new tax cut under Obama being called "the Obama tax cuts" is equally allowed.

That said, political-rhetorical spin games I don't really like coming from either side. I'd rather we have a straight up honest discussion about policy. However, I will point out that this particular spin is not dishonest, and certainly not "ludicrous".

I will also point out that you're ability to only find this stuff "ludircous" when it comes from Dems is a really clear indication of the blatent idealogical hypocracy you happily adhere to in nearly all your posts.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 14, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"I'd still like to know why the Dems waited two years for this debate."

Really?

We should have had a political debate over tax cuts -- which were already in place -- instead of fixing our near-Depression economy that was in catastrophic free-fall or fixing our out-of-control for-profit health care system?

Honestly SBJ, what's wrong with you?

Shoot, even if we DID have that debate somewhere over the previous two years YOU would be blaming Dems for politicizing the tax cuts issue during times of global economic peril. I'm sure you would have said that it was the Dems cynically using the debate for political advantage. "Class warfare" and all that.

Whatta joke, SBJ. Give it up.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Democrats/Obama have spent more in less than 2 years than the Iraq War cost
over 7 years!!
Now Democrats want to Raise Taxes to pay for the irresponsible spending and bailouts.
Democrats are bailing out when there's no reason to bail-out either, either, when you have board of education saying "we don't know how we'll spend the money yet"
that's pretty good clue they didn't need it in the first place.

Posted by: ohioan | September 14, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

mikeinArlington:

That's assuming, of course, that Obama is legally President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

ohioan,

Which Board of Education are you talking about? They are all run locally, by townships, and states.

What next, you will be blaming President Obama for the nights becoming longer?!

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama could put an end to all of this just by announcing that he's not going to sign ANY bill that's an "extension" of tax cuts, but will sign a bill for middle class and low income tax cuts to take effect Jan. 1.

That would remove the whole "extension" thing from the table, and put the onus on the Blue Dogs to get with the program or accept certain defeat in the upcoming elections.

No Blue Dog is going to go down in defeat for voting FOR tax cuts, though some of them are going down no matter what they do. There's no need to allow them to take a winning issue away from the rest of the caucus AND increase deficits when it's not going to stave off electoral defeat anyway (are you listening, Blanche?).

Then it's up to the Republicans to decide whether or not they want to thumb their noses at 98% of the voting public by filibustering or obstructing the new tax cuts. Personally, I don't think they'd dare, though I'd love it if they did - that would give a club to the entire party - "return us to the majority and we'll get these tax cuts done. The Republicans won't, because the president has already said "no" to tax cuts for millionaires that add to the deficit."

I sure wouldn't want to run against that. But maybe our elected Dems just suffer from an over-abundance of compassion for their Republican opponents and don't want to make victory too difficult for them.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 14, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

If The Democrats let the Bush Tax Cuts for the Very Wealthy expire, and it ends up causing even one Distressed Billionaire to think twice about purchasing a Professional Sports Team, or marrying another Trophy Wife, then the American People will never forgive The Democrats.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

JennOfArk:

That's assuming, of course, that Obama is legally President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Do Democrats realize that 3% of small business = 750,000 businesses?!
Do you Really think we can afford to Raise Taxes on 750,000 businesses?
Do Democrats Really think this will help the economy???
Its too bad that Democrats spent more in less than 2 years-- than the entire Iraq War cost over 7 years.
But you can't Raise Taxes on 750,000 small
businesses to pay for it!

Posted by: ohioan | September 14, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ohioan, I guess all spending is equal then right?

Iraq War spending was a disastrous counter-productive waste of time, blood, treasure.

Obama/Dem spending saved the economy from the brink of annihilation and has now produced private sector job growth for 9 straight months; and has laid the groundwork for expansion in MANY domestic growth industries like renewable energy, energy efficiency, manufacturing, health care and much more.

So really, cut the cr@p with your bogus partisan assertions and WAKE UP TO REALITY.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Palin/D'Souza 2012!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

ohion - an increase in the marginal personal income tax rate is not "a tax on business." It's a tax on personal income.

Secondly, TARP wasn't an Obama initiative, so subtract that out from your figures. Also keep in mind that the main purpose of TARP was to keep rich folks from going belly-up, which it did succeed in doing. It cost what, almost $800 billion? Well, time to pay the bill - and the beneficiaries SHOULD be the ones picking up the tab. Even so, they're getting a sweetheart deal - being asked only to repay $660 billion over the course of a decade. If they didn't think it was worth it to save their fortunes when the financial system was about to melt down, we sure didn't hear from them then.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 14, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Ohioan,

"Do you Really think we can afford to Raise Taxes on 750,000 businesses?"

Yes.

Cut the cr@p.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

As pointed out over at TPM, there is no one proposing to let let the tax cuts for the rich expire since:

If you understand how marginal tax rates work, it's really pretty straightforward. The Democrats are saying they want to extend the 2001 tax cuts for all income up to $250,000 per year. That does apply to everyone. Let's be clear: that does apply to everyone. Bill Gates gets a tax cut with that; so does Jay-Z. Everybody in the country gets a cut in their tax rates for all the money they make up to $250,000 of taxable income.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/09/one_point_to_clarify.php#more?ref=fpblg

I think you need to adjust your reporting (and certainly this headline), Greg.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 14, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

President Obama does not have to say another word about the Bush Tax cuts.
Those were Republicans Tax Cuts, and they were the ones that set an expiration date on them. If they did not wish to have them expire, then they should not have put an expiration date on them, and Bush should not have signed the bill, with the expiration date on it. Let the bill run it's course, just like The Republicans designed it to do.

Now we should just focus on a brand new bill.

Call it: Tax Cuts To Restore The Middle Class.

Democrats were not elected to renew what Republicans decided to let expire, so forget about the Bush Tax cuts. Republicans set the date, that the death penalty would be carried out on them, so let that law take it's course.

Democrats. Just shut up about The Bush Tax Cuts.

Frame the debate now;

Tax Cuts To Restore Our Middle Class. It has a nice ring to it.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

It is becoming all too obvious that the Obstructionist Republican Party of No is determined to kill progress and relief for struggling families yet again here. The Republicans will fight for their HUGE tax cuts for the wealthy and end up sabotaging the tax cuts for the average middle class American when these cuts expire all together due to rampant Republican greed.

Posted by: Hillary08 | September 14, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010:

Iraq War spending prevented another (couple?) terrorist attack equivalent to 9/11, or worse.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse


Palin/D'Souza 2012!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:22 PM .

.....................

At last we have found the poster child for the TeaBagger Imbeciles movement.

JakeD2 first questioned If President Obama is legal, because JakeD2 is one of those Birther Mopes.

Then he calls for having a guy who was born in India, to be the Republican VP candidate in 2012.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

JennOfArk:

SENATOR Obama voted for TARP.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2 - so what? It's Bush's Tar Baby.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 14, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

It's Warren, says Kurtz at TPM

Posted by: bernielatham | September 14, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still:

If someone born in Kenya can be elected President, why not someone from India?!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Democrats are vacillating on this issue because they don't want to tax the rich.

At some point, we have got to recognize that Democrats do not represent progressive interests on issues that really matter. This is one of those issues. If they don't support progressive taxation, then that's pretty much the ball game.

Our 234-odd year experiment was fun while it lasted. Onward (backward) to feudalism!

Posted by: terraformer5 | September 14, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"It's Warren, says Kurtz at TPM"

YEAH BABY!!!

Score one for the American Consumer!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

JennOfArk:

YOU claimed (at 12:27 PM, just ten minutes ago): "TARP wasn't an Obama initiative, so subtract that out from your figures." I couldn't care what the main purpose of TARP was, SENATOR Obama should have voted NO.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

The Economy was doing great before the Tax Cuts. Clinton added 22 million jobs, and left an annual budget surplus. That was all done, without the Bush Tax Cuts, so yes indeed; small business can thrive without them, because they already did.

The very wealthy became very wealthy, before they got the Bush Tax Cuts, and the economy has tanked while all those tax cuts have been in place.

They did more harm, than good, so it would be insane to repeat the same stupid mistake, and keep hoping for a different result. Case closed. They did not work, so let them expire, like The Republicans planned for them to do.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Palin/D'Souza 2012!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:22 PM .
................

This Birther Mope, now calls for having a guy born and raised in India, on the Republican ticket in 2012

Clearly this guy must be Dick Armey's favorite ball boy.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2 - you don't care about the purpose because you're not a rational person.

TARP remains a Bush initiative. Happened on his watch and he pimped it aggressively both through and alongside Paulson. TARP was necessary, though as we've seen, the unreasonably friendly terms extended to the banks at the insistence of Bush and Paulson have caused a number of problems - such as, no one can track how much, if any of the money was actually loaned out as it was supposed to be. That action, right there, was far more harmful to the "small businesses" you folks have suddenly decided to embrace than any piddling 3 - 5% increase in the marginal income tax rate for personal income that a very few small businesses owners will have to pay.

As always, swallowing camels and straining at gnats - it's the right wing way!

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 14, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still:

As I already asked: "If someone born in Kenya can be elected President, why not someone from India?"

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"meaning a total of 57 percent support letting the tax cuts for the rich expire."

Incorrect. Only 28% do.

The answers are not cumulative, as you suggest. You are making a freshman error in reading the poll results.

Certain poll questions do lend themselves to an "at least" analysis. For example, a question with responses such as "strongly opposed", "somewhat opposed", "somewhat in favor", and "strongly in favor" would allow one to add the "strongly" and "somewhat" answers together and say that X% are "at least" somewhat opposed/in favor. This is precisely the type of conclusion you are trying to apply to this poll, but it does not lend itself to such a conclusion.

It would be incorrect to conclude that those opposed to any extensions for anyone are "at least" opposed to taxcutsfortherich. It is quite plausible that someone opposed to any extension would actually be in favor of tax cuts for everyone if the only choice offered was tax cuts for everyone and tax cuts for only a certain demographic.

The only conclusion the poll data allows is that 28% favor ending taxcutsfortherich, 29% favor keeping all cuts, and 29% favor ending all tax cuts. Full stop.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 14, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, Fox News agrees to run that Media Matters ad tonight attacking News Corp for its $1 million donation to Republicans:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/fox_relents_will_run_ad_about.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 14, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Joke,

Where's Sarah Palin's long form birth certificate?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

That's not true, JennOfArk, as I was very critical of Bush and Paulson at the time too.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The correct stance and policy is simple and straightforward: Introduce a bill that will set the tax rate for those making less than $250,000 at the current levels. Let the Republicans argue against it if they want.

Note: The current tax law will expire as the Republicans have planned all along. After all, they are the ones who put it in place.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 14, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "Perhaps Democrats should stop talking about letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Instead, they should just introduce a brand new line of Tax Cuts, for the middle class. Detach it from the Bush tax cuts, completely."

As I said when recommending this very thing: it's called politics. Hello! Bueller? Push through a policy of "permanent" (i.e., non-expiring--nothing is permanent when it comes to tax rates") tax cuts for folks making under $150k or so, completely detached from the Bush tax cuts, and make the Republicans fight against tax cuts for the middle class.

Critical: they can't be caveated or "targeted" or overly-wonked. They need to be blanket: you middle class? Then you get a tax cut! No gotchas, no provisos. And have the Republicans try and fight that. I would recommend a tax cut that's a little less than the Bush tax cuts. Just to drive the point home.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 14, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010:

Too bad you refused to answer my question to you on that prior thread, or I'd be more than happy to answer your question to me ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

President Bush sent his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, up to the Senate, to get down on his knees, and plead for to have the TARP bill passed. Paulson told the Congress, that if the TARP bill was not passed, immediately, that the economy would collapse, and unemployment would soar to 25% level, before the end of 2008.

Of course Senator Obama was not going to vote, to put 25% of all Americans out of work, and have the economy destroyed for decades to come. He took the word of President Bush, and his Treasury Secretary, that their TARP was the only thing that would prevent another Republican Great Depression.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: "Iraq War spending prevented another (couple?) terrorist attack equivalent to 9/11, or worse."

As with Obama's gazillion jobs created or saved, I'd argue that you can't prove a negative.

There have also been no terrorist attacks since I stopped working at a certain company. Therefore, my working elsewhere has prevented additional terrorist attacks. :)

Although I'm sure the Obama administration would gladly tell us that if Bush hadn't have done it, things would be much worse. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 14, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@JennofArk: "JakeD2 - so what? It's Bush's Tar Baby."

So we're agreement, though, on the principal that TARP was a bad idea and a waste of the tax payers money, then, right?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 14, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I see Jake the birthertorney is back to his old games. Old old games.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | September 14, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis:

There are plenty of ways to "prove a negative" (did you watch Rudy Giuliani on "Meet the Press" Sunday?).

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Obama knocking off militants left and right in FATA/AfPak:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/09/14/pakistan.drone.attack/index.html

OT:

Despite Electoral Landscape, GOP Proposals Not Popular

The results suggest Republicans could struggle to pass legislation advancing many of the smaller-government themes that have dominated their campaigns in the midterm elections, even if the party wins control of one or both houses of Congress in November.

In particular, the party appears to risk a backlash from senior citizens, a critical voting bloc that harbors deep skepticism about tinkering with entitlement programs.

[...]

...the poll offered little to suggest that the surge in voter support for Republican candidates, whom analysts project to win major gains this fall, carries over to support for policies championed this fall by Republican leaders in Washington and on the campaign trail.

http://congressionalconnection.nationaljournal.com/2010/09/despite-electoral-landscape-go.php

Gotta watch out for that senior backlash, GOP.

When they discover you want to privatize SS just like Bush wanted to, and that the GOP has elected Rick Scott -- a corporate fraud artist who scammed MEDICARE out of millions upon millions of dollars -- to be the GOP nominee for Gov in Florida (tons of seniors), you're gonna be on the outs with your party's only remaining key demographic.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse


@JakeD2: "Iraq War spending prevented another (couple?) terrorist attack equivalent to 9/11, or worse."

As with Obama's gazillion jobs created or saved, I'd argue that you can't prove a negative.

There have also been no terrorist attacks since I stopped working at a certain company. Therefore, my working elsewhere has prevented additional terrorist attacks. :)

Although I'm sure the Obama administration would gladly tell us that if Bush hadn't have done it, things would be much worse. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 14, 2010 12:56 PM |

................

It is funny how JakeD2 evaluates the loss of American lives.

I guess, in his world, those 4,400 American Troops that were killed in Iraq, or the 25,000 or more that suffered life altering wounds, are not to be factored in to the equation.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Hi, bearclaw1. You are correct that I've been asking the same question for a long, long time now. If Obama would simply consent to the release of his LONG FORM birth certificate, I would quit asking any questions about his eligibility to be President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still:

As soon as you answer my question to you (this will be the third and final time I ask), I will be more than happy to address your latest post to me: "If someone born in Kenya can be elected President, why not someone from India?"

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Palin/D'Souza 2012!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 12:22 PM .
................

This Birther Mope, now calls for having a guy born and raised in India, on the Republican ticket in 2012

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

It is disgusting how JakeD2 evaluates the loss of American lives.

I guess, in his world, those 4,400 American Troops that were killed in Iraq, or the 25,000 or more that suffered life altering wounds, are not to be factored in to the equation.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 14, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jake - the answer to your question is - they can't.

Now, please quit asking that stupid question.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 14, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

cmccauley60:

The only "stupid" question in the one not asked. If Obama was, in fact, born in Kenya, then your answer is obviously wrong.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I think I see the problem, Jake.

Only a stupid person would wonder if Obama was "in fact, born in Kenya."

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 14, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The only "stupid" question in the one not asked. If Obama was, in fact, born in Kenya, then your answer is obviously wrong.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 1:20 PM


Prove that he was born in Kenya.

Posted by: wiccan | September 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@jen: Only a stupid person would wonder if Obama was "in fact, born in Kenya."

Not necessarily. JD2 despite his incredibly uninformed, deliberately obfuscating, or just plain wrong assertions, is not a stupid person, he just wants to stir up the birther nonsense for the unpteenth time to threadjack and divert the discussion from how to structure tax policy going forward.

My idea is a variation on the theme of tax policy. Let the tax cuts expire and then propose a payroll tax holiday for 2 years. This automatically caps the benefits at the payroll tax ceiling of about 107K. Its a tax break for everyone, no one is excluded! The Obama tax cuts....

Posted by: srw3 | September 14, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

wiccan:

It's not MY "burden of proof" in this case; for instance, look up QUO WARRANTO where the purported elected official must prove that he (or she) is qualified.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The problem with a tax holiday is that it ultimately expires. If we grant a payroll tax holiday now, and then rescind that holiday later, what happens to the jobs that were created via that holiday?

It is same problem I have with the stimulus. If the states fund themselves this year with federal dollars (that are 40% borrowed btw) what happens to their budgets next year when there is no stimulus.

The issue here is structural and permanent. The vision of Obama is, IMHO, a form of european social democracy. As we know countries such as France routinely experience 10% unemployment. So the question is this: will we settle for that, knowing that the folks who are working will pay for the folks who aren't? or will we insist on a return to some form of rugged individualism.

In the rob peter to pay paul model that the liberals propose, they will NEVER have a problem with paul. But us peters, the folks who will see our hard earned money confiscated, we have to take a stand.

Now is a great time to do that.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 14, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"what happens to their budgets next year when there is no stimulus."

Next year the economy will be greatly improved, thanks to the stimulus.

With an upswing in tax revenues from a significantly improved economy, states won't need federal stimulus.

That is... ahem... the WHOLE IDEA of emergency stimulus, as we have been debating/discussing for two years now.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

So, let me be sure I'm getting this right Ethan. Prudent managers are supposed to gamble on a dramatically improved budget and spend the stimulus dollars now, right?

What proof can you offer that my state, Ohio, will have a "significantly improved economy"? We certainly haven't seen that yet and the budget deficit that is looming is nothing short of huge.

so, as a simple request, provide some proof that the stimulus will work then, given that it hasn't work now.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 14, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Additionally, the proponents of stimuli also have to prove that the economic activity so stimulated will carry on, even after the federal funding is withdrawn.

so, for example, let's assume that the stimulus funding is used to build an extensive highway interchange in a urban area. The city and state are paying the workers via federal funds. Catering trucks, the local carhart outlet and various other businesses see an upswing in sales. Then the project is completed, the funding is exhausted. Now what? How did this artificial stimulus result in permanent growth?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 14, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"Prudent managers are supposed to gamble on a dramatically improved budget and spend the stimulus dollars now, right?"

No.

They spend the stimulus dollars now SO THAT the economy improves in your state.

Are you familiar with the concept of investing?

Usually you put in money and get more out. If I buy stock at $1/share and sell it at $3/share, I pocket $2/share. Same concept, just with business budgeting. For example. Spend $1M of stimulus money for new machinery to manufacture Widgets in your factory. Sales of those Widgets earns you $2M. You pay taxes on that $2M to the state and federal govt which they then use to pay down debt or fund services.

Got it?

"What proof can you offer that my state, Ohio, will have a "significantly improved economy"?"

There's no proof. That's why investing must be done in a smart fashion. For example, the stimulus didn't include money for the manufacture of Model-T Fords. It contained money for manufacture of the Next Gen battery technology. By flooding the market with great new batteries, the price for these batteries goes down and people buy them. Increased demand from people wanting efficient plug-in hybrid cars with the new batteries means the production of more batteries. In that way you have economic stimulus helping to create a sustainable business for employers, leading to steady employment for local workers, and thus increased tax revenue for the state and federal govt to pay down debt.

"provide some proof that the stimulus will work then, given that it hasn't work now."

It is working.

As we speak.

Arguably there could have been more stimulus, likely for construction projects -- bridges, roads, tunnels. They may only be temporary jobs, but the increased productivity due to improved local infrastructure results in, yet again, improved business for local employers and an increase in tax revenues for state/fed.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"Catering trucks, the local carhart outlet and various other businesses see an upswing in sales. Then the project is completed, the funding is exhausted. Now what? How did this artificial stimulus result in permanent growth?"

Ah, I see.

You're missing out on the INTEGRAL PURPOSE of infrastructure improvement.

That being, improved productivity due to the improved infrastructure.

It's not just direct economic activity from the workers working on the project... It is the IMPROVED economic activity in the region once the infrastructure improvements are in place.

Hypothetical example:

You commute to work. It takes an hour because there is a toll over the bridge that slows traffic to bumper-to-bumper gridlock.

Stimulus funds allow your state to invest in an electronic toll system that allows cars to drive through at 5mph instead of every car having to stop and pay the toll.

Traffic is loosened up considerably at the bridge. Your commute is cut in half to 30 mins each direction, saving you one whole hour each day.

Now multiply that by the Million people in the area who have the same commute. That is 1 Million hours every single day that people in the area can spend doing something OTHER than sitting in a car. Working at work. Stopping for groceries. Meeting friends for a beer after work. Etc.

See?

The entire economy benefits. And thus, the state budget benefits.

All this from the singular INVESTMENT of improving the toll booth.

It's a hypothetical example, but this is exactly the point of economic stimulus and investment into our economy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the comment that Democrats should let ALL the BUSH tax cuts expire because "Democrats have no fingerprints on that decision, so just stay away from them..." they should then introduce a new bill proposing tax cuts ONLY for the middle class and see how the party of NO will react to that. Will they filibuster? Will they allow a vote and vote against?
Since the overwhelming majority (97 percent) of taxpayers earn less than 250 thousand, that means this section of the population will receive tax cuts tailored to their needs, and would they vote for those who want to deny them? Assuming they are rational people, of course.

Posted by: ananair | September 14, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I had NO idea if toll road improvement was in the stimulus...

It was.

* Delaware moving to break toll booth bottleneck with open road tolling on I-95 *

At last Delaware is moving to break the worst traffic bottleneck on the east coast - the Newark DE toll plaza on the I-95 Turnpike. Regularly the present Newark DE toll plaza causes ten and 20 mile backups and delays of an hour or more, making it the worst source of congestion in the New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington DC corridor.

Plans for improving throughput here go back to about 1990.

A $50m stimulus grant from the Obama administration has allowed the previously unfunded project to move ahead.

...with federal money flowing freely and permitting and planning long since done, the project is suddenly a 'go.'

[...]

By our calculation this will increase the one directional capacity about 30% from 5200 to 6800/hour.

http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4445

Can you imagine?

I've been through that toll a number of times. The traffic because of that booth is always NUTS. I've spent over an hour in traffic at that booth on more than one occasion.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's another Skip:

* End is near for obsolete Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll booths *

“Removing these outdated, deteriorating structures that have not been used since 1986, when one-way tolling was instituted, will significantly improve traffic flow through the plaza and onto the bridge,” Ferrara said.

“This is one part of a major transportation initiative funded with stimulus funding to a great extent that represents some of the most serious transportation investments in my memory,” Cappelli said.

“I am pleased that the MTA has moved this project forward along with these federally funded improvements in an effort to facilitate the eastbound traffic for Staten Island commuters,” said Rep. Michael McMahon.

Assemblyman Lou Tobacco hailed the news as the beginning of a series of improvements that will reduce traffic congestion and improve a frequently arduous commute for Islanders.

“A quicker commute, less pollution and our construction workers back at work; this is a victory for Staten Island,” said state Sen. Diane Savino

http://www.silive.com/eastshore/index.ssf/2010/01/end_is_near_for_obsolete_verra.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting that despite all these polls showing the public supports ending the upper-income tax cuts, few stories in the media about the fight in Congress between Republicans and Democrats mention any of the polls. It seems that polls don't get mentioned unless they support the Republicans (e.g., Obama's approval ratings now that they're low, or the polls about the NYC mosque showing a majority think it should be moved farther from "Ground Zero.").

The polls showing a majority of people supporting the public option in health care reform was another poll that seldom got mentioned in "impartial" media reports when that was ahot issue.

One of the rules of propaganda is that what is not reported is as important as what is.

Posted by: Spacer | September 14, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

but ethan, building bridges or bailing out state pension funds isn't "investment" it is expense. What rate of return will a government get on a new highway bypass? Zero.

And your toll booth example is ludicrous at best. The Ohio turnpike invested heavily in this. They raised rates to induce people to move to their system. 10% did so. Wow, what a savings!

Next, tell me how having an extra hour a day generates more money for myself or my family? Am I to take a second job, if I could find one?

This makes no sense. Further, I have the insight of the various prudent managers in America to support my contention. Surely you read the NYT article about how the new gift to the teacher's union isn't being used the way that Obama wanted, right? Administrators are socking it away because they know that once the stimulus money is gone, so is the additional revenue.

And to say that the stimulus is working now is to express faint hope in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

Where are the jobs Ethan? No where to be seen. They're not coming back because those that would normally hire won't do it.

This is from the Cincinatti Enquirer:
"The fear is for small business owners who include business income with personal income, a common arrangement that would push them over the tax ceiling.

"There's no incentive for me to grow," says Loveland restaurateur Howard Shokler, who owns and operates five Penn Station subway shops, including one he took over last December. His five restaurants do less than $2 million in annual revenue, and his income puts him close to the $250,000 ceiling - dampening any urge to open another shop. He employs 112 full- and part-time workers.

"Everybody in the business world is scared about what taxes are going to do," Shokler says.

Local tax experts say even the smallest businesses could be affected.

"When you stack the income from a business with the salary from the business that gets you into the highest rates very quickly," says Scott Golan, a partner in the tax group with BKD accounting firm downtown."

The tax the rich liberal scheme, coupled with the idiotic mandates of obama care has stifled growth in America. We are watching the signal failure of the liberal nostrums. These are scary times for many Americans, but on the bright side, liberalism is being repudiated. Thank the good Lord for that.


Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 14, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Jake,

There isn't a long from birth certificate for Obama. It doesn' exist.

AKA Obama COLB Filed But Never Accepted - Click Image For Full View

http://thesteadydrip.blogspot.com/2010/05/aka-obama-colb-filed-but-never-accepted.html

Posted by: AristotleTheHun | September 14, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"building bridges ... isn't "investment""

Jeez Skip.

YES, it is.

I explained it to you in simple terms.

If you don't get it -- as is clearly the case -- that's not my fault.

"Where are the jobs Ethan?"

9 straight months of private sector job growth and you're STILL asking "where are the jobs"?

Honestly, I'm sorry to say, but at this point there's no other explanation other than to say that you're being willfully ignorant.

It's troubling that you seem so passionate about America but you also seem to suffer an inability to understand these concepts. I wish I could help you understand, I obviously cannot. But don't say I never tried.

"His five restaurants do less than $2 million in annual revenue, and his income puts him close to the $250,000 ceiling - dampening any urge to open another shop. He employs 112 full- and part-time workers."

Okay, so that's just insane.

His first $250k in income is taxed at the $250k and BELOW bracket. Any income OVER that and he pays the higher tax bracket FOR THOSE EARNINGS.

Let's say he earns $250k for 2010.

He pays the under-$250k bracket rate for $250k.

He THEN pays the over-$250k bracket rate for only $5k of his income, NOT the whole $255k.

I don't know the rates, but let's say they are 10% and 25%.

Let's say he earns $255k.

He pays $26,250 in taxes

$250k x 10% = $25k
$5k x 25% = $1250
---------------------
$26,250

Okay?

If he had to pay 25% on the whole thing it would be $255k x 25% = $63,750.

See?

It's NOT 25% for the WHOLE INCOME.

That's a BIG BIG difference!

Almost $30,000 difference.

And even then, if the tax rate was increased to 28% instead of 25%, he would still pay 10% for the first 250k and then 28% for any amount above that.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 14, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

AristotleTheHun:

That would definitely prove our case against Obama!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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