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Dear Dems: You can win the argument over Bush tax cuts

With more and more Beltway types predicting that Dems may put off the vote over the Bush tax cuts until after the election, I thought it would be useful to pull together all the polling that shows this is an argument Dems have a rather good shot at, you know, winning if they decide to go for it.

* A new National Journal poll finds that 56 percent support ending either all the Bush tax cuts or just the ones for the wealthy, while barely more than a third want to keep them all.

* The new Gallup poll shows that 59 percent of Americans -- and a majority of independents -- supports either ending all the Bush tax cuts or just the ones for the wealthy.

Indeed, Gallup finds that Obama's proposal -- ending the tax cuts for the wealthy but not for everyone else -- has the support of 44 percent, more than any other solution.

* A CNN poll in late August found that a majority, 51 percent, favors ending the tax cuts for the rich, and another 18 percent favor ending them all.

It also found that among independents, 44 percent favor ending the tax cuts for the rich, while another 21 percent favor ending them all. Letting the tax cuts for the rich expire has majority support in all regions of the country except the south.

* A recent CBS poll also found a sizable majority, 56 percent, think the tax cuts for the wealthy should expire.

Yet for all this polling, there are increasing signs that some Dems are not gung-ho for this fight. As best as I can tell, the worry is that if Republicans hammer marginal Dems for favoring a tax hike in the middle of a bad economy, Dems will not be able to cut through the noise and get across the point that the Obama proposal only ends the tax cuts for the rich, while extending them for everyone else.

As Politico put it today, "some worry that the nuance could get lost in the heated rhetoric over raising taxes in the middle of a slumping economy." Also: It seems some Dems think this is a good issue to use to put some distance between themselves and the White House and Dem Congressional leadership.

But here's the point: Amid a sea of bad polling news, here is an issue where the public is clearly on Dems' side. And the above polling suggests that the public already has a pretty firm grasp on the "nuance" of this debate. This, of all things, is not an issue where Dems should conclude in advance -- as they often do -- that once Republicans go on the attack, it's game over and Dems can't possibly win the argument.

UPDATE, 11:09 a.m.: Here's another one: A recent Newsweek poll found 52 percent support letting the tax cuts for the rich expire, while only 38 percent support keeping them in place.

By Greg Sargent  |  September 10, 2010; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Next: Did Obama hint he's going to appoint Elizabeth Warren?

Comments

Nice post Greg.

And just like the issue of tax cuts is a winner for the Dems, so is the small business package that Voinovich has signed onto.

"""In an interview, Voinovich said he could no longer support Republican efforts to delay the measure in hopes of winning the right to offer additional amendments. Most of the proposed GOP amendments "didn't have anything to do with the bill" anyway, Voinovich said, and amounted merely to partisan "messaging."

"We don't have time for messaging," Voinovich said. "We don't have time anymore. This country is really hurting."

[...]

The small-business bill is a priority for Obama, who has called repeatedly on Senate Republicans to drop their "blockade" of the measure. He mentioned it again during a speech Wednesday in Cleveland, arguing that delaying the bill's passage is leading small-business owners to put off hiring.

The package of tax breaks and other incentives includes a new loan fund that would encourage community banks to provide up to $30 billion to small businesses, improving access to credit - a problem hurting businesses owners in Ohio, Voinovich said. He cited the case of a constituent who was turned down for a loan by 42 banks. "I happen to believe these small-business people can't get money to save their souls," he said."""

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/09/AR2010090903599.html

It's time to HELP SMALL BIZS!

It's time to END THE GAMES!

It's time to BREAK THE REPUBLICAN STRANGLE-HOLD ON OUR ECONOMY!

Once. And. For. All.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 10, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Wonder why the Dems don't grab this one by the reigns ala Republican style with arguments like "The American people have spoken and we are here to represent the will of the people. Republicans want to ram Chinese debt down the throat of 99% of Americans for 1% of Americans and let our children and grandchildren deal with their ill conceived ideological ways."

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Greg -

In addition, if NOTHING happens, all of the tax cuts expire. So if Congressional Dems introduce a bill which only extends middle class tax cuts, the GOP would either have to go along and vote for the tax cuts for the middle class without tax cuts for the wealthy, or obstruct and block the tax cuts for the middle class. This is a win/win for Dems, but I think it is imperative to get a bill together and to the floor so the terms of the debate are set and members are forced to go on record as being for the bill or against the bill.

Posted by: beenjammin | September 10, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

This still another worthless national poll.

How does it poll in the 48 congressional districts, that McCain/Palin carried, where Democrats are up for reelection? Those are the races that will determine which party will win control of the House.

It makes no difference what the national polls show, if the majority of voters in those 48 districts are for keeping the Bush Tax cuts.

You need to drop your national perspective, until after the elections. This is a midterms year, so all the contests are local.

The Blue Dogs can not win, by running on a platform that plays well in less conservative districts. They have to win in their home districts.

That is why it would be foolish to have President Obama draw a line in the sand now, because it would hand the opponents of those Blue Dogs a weapon to beat them over their heads with.

Let us first work on retaining the House, and if we pull that off, then we can focus on how to deal with the expiring tax cuts.

Why show your hand, before the dealing is done? So; people need to stop demanding that President Obama show his hand, at this premature date.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 10, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

It's a foregone conclusion that any bill that let's the tax cuts "for the rich" expire will be filibustered. So that argument is moot.

The real choice for Dems is whether to, in effect, increase taxes on everyone, or extend lower rates for all. Greg seems to be proposing that the Dems should let them all expire and that this won't hurt them?

Posted by: sbj3 | September 10, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

For those people who keep saying that President Obama should follow what the polls are saying, when it comes to what stance he should take on the NY Muslim Center location:

You want the President to take orders from Poll results, rather than upholding the Constitution; is that what you are calling for?

If it is, then I dare you to be consistent, and also call for him to fully pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately, since the polls also claim, that the majority of Americans no longer support those foreign military adventures.

Also; how come you were not calling for President Bush to get out of Iraq immediately, after the support for his Iraq Occupation evaporated? Instead you were arguing the exact opposite. You were saying; ignore the polls, and stay the course.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 10, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I agree with everything Greg wrote re: public opinion and tax cuts. Those who criticize the suggestion that Obama boldly issue a veto threat are missing the point entirely. That declaration will give Obama political clout, something he is sorely lacking. Obama desperately needs the wasta. Threatening a veto will be a winner both on policy and politics. So why hasn't it happened yet? When someone explains that they will explain much of what has gone wrong so far in Obama's presidency.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 10, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

So, sbj is fine with holding the rest of America hostage for the 1% that would see their rates rise.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Liam, that's a fair point, but I've addressed it before. As I wrote yesterday, I simply don't know how this issue is playing in individual districts. What I'm hoping is that readers will send in evidence one way or the other.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 10, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Liam, we're talking about taxes, not the Constitution.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Greg, you can be right economically and wrong politically. That's where we are today. The President and his advisors (especially the hapless Christina Romer) have been on the wrong side of everything this summer. They have lost so much clout debating like college professors over unimportant issues.

Obama has to start positioning himself to make sure the Dems don't get slughtered. Because he is not up for election he has provided scant little cover for those in his party who are. The mosque and burning Koran debates are just the most recent and obvious areas where he has unnecessarily argued points of constitutional law while ignoring pulblic opinion.

I'm a Democrat, who voted for the President, but I find his lack of executive leadership appalling. From the start he has failed to exercise power in a manner beneficial to his party, allowing the loathesome Reid and Pelosi to become the public face of Democratic legislation that he should have taken the lead on.

I fear November very much.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@mike: "So, sbj is fine with holding the rest of America hostage for the 1% that would see their rates rise."

Some Dems are! And that's the real point - the GOP will have cover provided by Dems. There is bipartisan support to extend the current rates for all. Obama promised he would not raise rates on the middle class. If a Dem-controlled congress lets those rates expire Obama will have a Bush I moment and he can kiss a second term goodbye. Why do you think he wouldn't promise to veto an extension for all? Folks won't blame the GOP for raising their rates - they'll accuse Obama of breaking a promise in the middle of a recession.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 10, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Liam, that's a fair point, but I've addressed it before. As I wrote yesterday, I simply don't know how this issue is playing in individual districts. What I'm hoping is that readers will send in evidence one way or the other.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 10, 2010 11:13 AM

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

Greg,

You can not call for all Democrats to go full bore on let the Bush Tax cuts for fat cats expire, until you know how that is playing in all those Blue Dog districts which McCain/Palin carried, because if we lose those seats, we lose control of the House.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 10, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

54465446, the public was for burning of the Koran?

Heck even Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were against burning the Koran.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

So once again, sbj3 is displaying how the Republicans will hold 99% of the population hostage because 1% of the population doesn't get its way and will be the Republicans overwhelmingly that are increasing the burden on the middle class.

That's always been the Republican way.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@mike: "So once again, sbj3 is displaying how the Republicans will hold 99% of the population hostage..."

But it won't be the GOP. There is *bipartisan* support to extend the current rates for all. If the Dems refuse to introduce such a bill then it will be the Dem-controlled congress that held "99% of the population hostage."

Posted by: sbj3 | September 10, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

For the record:

I love Nancy Pelosi,

and;

while I am not wild about Harry, I would prefer to keep him in charge, rather than making either Schumer or Durbin majority leader. I like Durbin, but I think he does not have the steel that it takes, to herd cats.

And of course, Harry any day, over Mitch Kevorkian McConnell.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 10, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

So in other words, sbj3 is fine with passing the Chinese borrowed debt onto our children and grandchildren so 1% of the country can have more money.

Gotcha.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Saying that unless you do as I demand, I will burn your holy book, is a threat and a form of extortion, no matter what our resident Fantasy Toon Town Lawyer claims it is.

Terry Jones is free to say he will burn Korans. He is not free to say that someone else must surrender their freedom of religion and expression, or he will burn their holy book.

That is extortion, and Terry Jones should be arrested and charged now.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 10, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Stuck between a rock and a hard place are Obama and his congressional cronies.

Raising taxes will probably dampen the economy even more than it is. That is a bad thing for sure.

Obama is an ideological hardhead so he will raise taxes. It will feel good to him but not the American economy.

Posted by: battleground51 | September 10, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@mike: If we keep the current rates for only the middle class - as Obama would prefer - does that not also pass "the Chinese borrowed debt onto our children and grandchildren?"

Posted by: sbj3 | September 10, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

After the elections are over, if Democrats retain control of the House and Senate; then you let the Bush tax cuts expire. You keep your mouths shut about that, until the elections are over.

Once they have expired, then you introduce middle class tax cuts, and if the Republicans choose to filibuster those tax cuts, in order to insist on getting tax cuts for Fat Cats, that would be a fight that we Democrats would welcome.

I would love to go to the country, leading into 2012, with the message that Republicans refuse to cut taxes for working class people, because they care only about their Fat Cat Puppet Masters.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 10, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

sbj3 thinks policy that affects only 1% of the population is the same as policy that affects 99% of the population.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

a diarist has several postings on the "reverand" Terry Jones

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/9/9/2526/16323


Jones reminds me of Pat Robertson (diamond mines)

Posted by: jeeze56 | September 10, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

oh really
==================

Saying that unless you do as I demand, I will burn your holy book, is a threat and a form of extortion, no matter what our resident Fantasy Toon Town Lawyer claims it is.

Terry Jones is free to say he will burn Korans. He is not free to say that someone else must surrender their freedom of religion and expression, or he will burn their holy book.

That is extortion, and Terry Jones should be arrested and charged now.


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

Just exactly how is this different from Muslims saying "If you publish political cartoons we don't like we will kill people"

Or "If the mosque isn't built exactly where Rauf wants it, muslims will Kill"

Or " if you say or do anything that some muslims find offense, they will kill."

It is just extortion. While I'm no fan of a Koran burning, I do enjoy the irony of the muslim reaction. Once again the American people get a glimpse of a ghastly culture that produces mass murderers fairly frequently.

And then that culture threatens the rest of the world with those mass murderers all the while demanding that the world recognize the "moderates". Yeah, right. Its a shakedown, pure and simple. It always was and absent some reformation, I believe it always will be.

My personal theory is that the thin skin of the muslims is a function of a sense of inferiority. If their religion was indeed the right way to go, and they have practiced devoutly, why do so many of them live in grinding poverty in third world dictatorships?

How many in America have items in their house that are proudly stamped "Made in Syria" or "Made in Egypt" or "Made in (insert name of muslim dominated country here)"

Has the social structure that Islam imposes really lead to benefit for the faithful?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 10, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

mikefromarlington wrote:

"54465446, the public was for burning of the Koran?

Heck even Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were against burning the Koran."

No, if I left that impression that is not what I meant. The public, to the extent that any of us considered it all, realized it was a non-issue. However it did reinforce the general perception that the President is weak, and that he is very thin-skinned where Islam is concerned. The whole orchestration of comments by top officials was embarassing and pusillanimous. What will we say the next time an American is killed, that we didn't stop Jones soon enough? The participation of Eric Holder was especially disturbing. Depending of what actually took place in Florida, his department may have actually had to consider legal action, so his public comments were an outrageous breach of his duty.

The involvement of Beck and Palin etc. is easy to explain. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal , one of the principal owners of Fox, is certainly not opposed to allowing a little mosque baiting in Manhattan if it is good for ratings. However I'm sure that he sent word down that Koran burning was over the line.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Letting the tax cuts for the rich expire has majority support in all regions of the country except the south."

Poor dumb Southerners still want to die for their upper class that despises them.

Meanwhile they continue to rail against "elitists".
Hey, Southern dummies: What you hate is smart people. Smart people aren't elitists. The elitists are your upper class that controls your brains.

No wonder they're way ahead of you - they send their kids to fancy Northern schools.

Posted by: bourassa1 | September 10, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"The involvement of Beck and Palin etc. is easy to explain. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal , one of the principal owners of Fox, is certainly not opposed to allowing a little mosque baiting in Manhattan if it is good for ratings. However I'm sure that he sent word down that Koran burning was over the line."

Now that is some serious inside knowledge you got there. Got a source? This would be huge news if it were true.

And, I'm not so certain our heads of state speaking out on behalf of outrage that might entice even moderates to begin to form a negative view of America and also to minimize sympathy to our enemies abroad is such a bad thing.

Or maybe you think Petrayus is a pandering coward?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@SkipSailing

"Just exactly how is this different from Muslims saying "If you publish political cartoons we don't like we will kill people"

Or "If the mosque isn't built exactly where Rauf wants it, muslims will Kill"

Or " if you say or do anything that some muslims find offense, they will kill.""

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

Aren't you talking about Muslims in other lands?

Or do you have some evidence that you can link to, that shows Americans making those threats?

Or do you now want to let the activities and behaviour of people in foreign lands, determine how we administer our own domestic laws?

That would be a big switch for the Right Wing that has always wet their beds over the very thought of letting foreign laws and ideas, color our own behavior.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"The involvement of Beck and Palin etc. is easy to explain. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal , one of the principal owners of Fox, is certainly not opposed to allowing a little mosque baiting in Manhattan if it is good for ratings. However I'm sure that he sent word down that Koran burning was over the line."

Now that is some serious inside knowledge you got there. Got a source? This would be huge news if it were true."


What is so "inside" about it? You do know he is the number 2 owner of Fox, don't you? Why would such a thing even be a surprise? Please tell me that you don't really believe in that "fair and balanced" crap!

Nice! Nowhere did I say anything about Petraeus being a coward, but it's good of you to put up your own straw man to knock down. Generals take their orders from Presidents, and usually it only has to be a request not an order. What is so hard to understand?

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Watching this press conference reminds me of how arrogant reporters are.

What a bunch of pricks for the most part. No wonder stupid meme's pick up steam in this country. Reporters are so busy stroking their own ego's they can't get serious about issues. They would rather speak of the political aspects of decisions rather than the how the decisions themselves would be made or the impact.

It's all about perception with them and they know they hold the key to that perception.

For instance, reporters ask questions about the impact globally of still having Guantanimo Bay open as a means of recruitment but then have the nerve to ask why it's still open.

If they were doing their f'in jobs and pinning down these Republican clowns and right wing idiots that turned the discussion on its head rather than chasing the polls then maybe it would be closed.

Press fails.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The tax cuts - it is NOT an issue of winning an argument.


It is a question of what is best for the economy.


The democrats have politicized way too many issues - including national security policy.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 10, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Is it not possible Petrayus came to the President regarding the Koran burning asking him to chime in but the President decided it would hold more weight with the public if he spoke up first?

But no, I don't think Fox is fair and balanced. It's a propaganda network. The only reason they came out supporting it was because Petrayus chimed in before the President. If he hadn't, those same individuals would have no doubt called the President an appeasing coward.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"It is a question of what is best for the economy."

The teaparty and Republican leadership are concerned about the national debt and secondly the economy it seems like. If the debt is a problem then someone has to take a cut and the only people who can afford it is the highest tax bracket. They aren't spending now anyways.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Awesome rundown, Greg!

The Dems have no excuse for backing down on this.

Posted by: associate20 | September 10, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to come into the current thread, instead of back-posting on a previous thread.


I can not believe that liberal media - specifically Chris Matthews and Mika Brezenski appear to be VISIBLY ANGRY over the linkage between the Florida Pastor and the Ground Zero mosque.

Why is the liberal media so PERSONALLY INVESTED in the mosque in New York?


Is it because the liberals have found a new way to call people bigots - "Islamaphobia"

The liberal media should not be getting angry on-the-air.


The liberal media is caught - they KNOW the two issues have a moral equivalency -


Both the issues involve Freedoms which beg exceptions to be taken


Both issues involve a degree of RESTRAINT -


But WHY do the liberals want the Pastor in Florida to restrain himself - and are NOT calling for the Imam in New York to exercise RESTRAINT.

The liberals have been caught in their own hypocrisy again.


America does NOT want to bow to muslims anymore - we have done enough - American has been kind ENOUGH to muslims over the past 9 years -


AT this point, the Imam should show some RESPECT and take his mosque elsewhere.

The line has been drawn - and Obama is on the WRONG side of the line.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

It's cause we are all secret Muslim's at heart SaveTheRainforst.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh please.... PLEASE!... promise to raise taxes on the American people.

See you in November.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | September 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

OT, GOP stim-pocracy knows no bounds:

Blunt Releases Ad Attacking ‘Failed Stimulus,’ But Took Credit For Many Successful Local Stimulus Programs

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) not only voted against President Obama’s economic stimulus plan (the American Recovery Reinvestment Act), but he also rallied opposition to the bill within his caucus. As soon as the stimulus passed, Blunt went on a tour decrying the bill as an “absolute outrage.” Now as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Blunt is trying to smear his opponent, Democrat Robin Carnahan, for supporting the stimulus. A campaign ad released yesterday by Blunt accuses Carnahan of being a “rubber stamp on Obama’s job-killing agenda.” As the narrator reads the script, the text “CARNAHAN SUPPORTS $814 BILLION FAILED STIMULUS” flashes on the screen.

But like nearly every other member of the Republican caucus, Blunt is trying to have it both ways. Despite Blunt’s assertion that the the stimulus is a complete failure, he has attended multiple groundbreaking ceremonies for stimulus-funded projects. Local Missouri papers have praised Blunt’s role in securing the projects, without noting his efforts to kill their funding. In other cases, he has sent out press releases claiming credit for stimulus-funded programs

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/10/roy-blunt-stimulus/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, it could be important re Elizabeth Warren:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 10, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: "It's a foregone conclusion that any bill that let's the tax cuts "for the rich" expire will be filibustered."

But no bill's necessary - they will automatically expire on their own, so how do they plan to filibuster?

If you are implying that the Repubs are prepared to filibuster a bill that extends the tax cuts only for those that are making <250k, well, if the Dems were politically smart (and it's pretty safe to say that they aren't) - they should be praying for that scenario.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 10, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

KaddafiDelendaEst, fighting for the top 1% of earners every day of his life.

I bet the millionaires are laughing their behinds off whilst looking down upon you while they drink their fine champagnes and smoke their illegally imported Havanas.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama is going to look horrible if he tries to "win" an argument over the taxes.


I sense that there is an emotional aspect to this issue for democrats - hard-core partisans don't like Bush and his tax cuts - and there is a "red-meat" aspect to getting rid of something that Bush did.

HOWEVER, the rest of the country does NOT feel that way. The rest of the country does NOT have that emotional reaction.

Obama and the democrats should be EXTREMELY CAREFUL HERE -


Because the issue is not "winning" - what if they jam something through Congress that the partisan democrats like - that is a "win" ???

IT is not about that kind of "win." It is about the PERCEPTIONS FOR THE ELECTION.


Number One is the economy - if the Republicans can land the argument that it is the small business owners who are getting hit with the higher tax rates - and that is a DRAG ON HIRING -


IN that case, Obama can "win" all he wants on votes in Congress, but lose in the electorate -

Obama can lose in the perception of his handling of the economy.

Again - Obama has the candy in front of him - he can jam something through Congress but be perceived as working AGAINST the American People.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 10, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama extending taxes for 99% of the population is not a loosing position, no matter how you cut it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 10, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@ Rainforest (above)

"America has been kind ENOUGH to Muslims over the past 9 years".

I'd laugh at the absurdity of this if it weren't so utterly pathetic.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 10, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The other aspect of the Bush tax cuts - which the democrats are not considering.


If Obama goes out there - and tries a "class warfare" approach - doesn't that simply re-enforce the perception of Obama-as-a-Socialist ???


Obama is playing right into the storyline.

And this time, it's Obama's fault.

You know - Great - define jamming through Congress a "win" - but if it DRAGS DOWN HIRING - AND DRAGS DOWN OBAMA'S NUMBERS, what good is it ???

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 10, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

when in doubt act like you've missed the point:
==================
Aren't you talking about Muslims in other lands?

Or do you have some evidence that you can link to, that shows Americans making those threats?

Or do you now want to let the activities and behaviour of people in foreign lands, determine how we administer our own domestic laws?

That would be a big switch for the Right Wing that has always wet their beds over the very thought of letting foreign laws and ideas, color our own behavior.

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

This is a non response. Just a total non sequitar.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 10, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat, who voted for the President, but I find his lack of executive leadership appalling. From the start he has failed to exercise power in a manner beneficial to his party, allowing the loathesome Reid and Pelosi to become the public face of Democratic legislation that he should have taken the lead on.

I fear November very much.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 11:18 AM
------

This post is worth a repost. I didn't vote for Obama, but I'm not one who has been pulling for him to go down in flames. We're all in this together.

But his lack of executive experience going into the job has been telling. 54464546 is exactly correct that he has too often turned the keys over to Reid and Pelosi and let them drive the bus.

So many people claim Republicans have been united in trying to destroy Obama's presidency by refusing to give him any support whatsoever that it's become folklore. You can produce quotes from individuals that may leave this impression, but political parties are not THAT united. Obama's instincts were correct at the outset. He WANTED to achieve some measure of bipartisanship. He was more than willing to let Republicans help produce the failed stimulus package. It was Reid and Pelosi, with their "we won the election, we'll do it ourselves" attitude, that destroyed any chance of cooperation. It was Reid who botched HCR in the Senate. If Obama had gone in with GWB's executive experience, he may not have gotten a lot of bipartisan support, but he would have gotten some.

The battle on extending or ending the tax cuts will have to wait until after the election, as Liam says. It's too late to get any cooperation this close to the election so why should Blue Dogs walk the plank for nothing?

Greg's reference to polls don't tell me much. We're not talking about Social Security, Medicare, property taxes or sales taxes. We're talking about federal income tax. How many of the 56% who want ALL of the tax cuts ended are among those who don't pay ANY federal income taxes? I'd bet a majority. That's what people mean by class warfare. How patriotic for people to want others to pay higher federal income taxes when they don't pay any at all.

Posted by: Brigade | September 10, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I agree that the Dems CAN win the fight on tax cuts. However, its become clear it's a fight they don't want to have. When you have D's saying things like $250,000/year is not a lot of money, you can see they don't want this fight.

They can't really engage in "class" warfare because they would in effect be arguing against themselves. One of the problems is that those in Congress have become so completely detached from the financial difficulties average Americans' face.

We've evolved from a democracy to a plutocracy. At times one party or the other pays lip service to the rest of us, but only when they need to for election purposes.

Posted by: raincntry | September 10, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the "new Republicans" and their commitment to decreasing the deficit? Allowing millionaires a little more change in their pockets will add $800 billion to the deficit. We can't afford any job bills in the middle of a deep recession, but we can afford the $800 billion hit to the taxpayers. The Republicans have some strange priorities.

Putting Republicans in charge of decreasing the deficit is like putting a wino as watchman over a wine cellar. Republicans always run up the deficit. That's what they do.

Posted by: Beeliever | September 10, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for the liberals here:'

What are the moral and ethical underpinnings of the steeply progressive tax rates that the left finds so attractive?

What gives anyone the right to take X from one person and X+N from another?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 10, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

bourassa1 wrote,
"Poor dumb Southerners still want to die for their upper class that despises them"
------

Who? You mean the African-Americans who voted for their favorite Klansman, Robert Byrd. Or those Southerners who voted for Fulbright's protege, Bill Clinton?

Posted by: Brigade | September 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@catgirl: "If you are implying that the Repubs are prepared to filibuster a bill that extends the tax cuts only for those that are making <250k, well, if the Dems were politically smart (and it's pretty safe to say that they aren't) - they should be praying for that scenario."

That's exactly what I am implying. The problem for Dems is that it won't be only the GOP filibustering - this would be a bipartisan filibuster - plenty of cover for Repubs. Then the question would be - are you going to put up a bill that extends all cuts or are you gonna let them all expire? If congress lets them all expire, then Obama will have broken a central promise of his campaign.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse


The other aspect of the Bush tax cuts - which the democrats are not considering.


If Obama goes out there - and tries a "class warfare" approach - doesn't that simply re-enforce the perception of Obama-as-a-Socialist ???


Obama is playing right into the storyline.


And this time, it's Obama's fault.


You know - Great - define jamming through Congress a "win" - but if it DRAGS DOWN HIRING - AND DRAGS DOWN OBAMA'S NUMBERS, what good is it ???


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest
_________________________
how is agreeing with McCain that Bush's tax cuts were a little too generous for the very rich, socialist? extending the Bush rates for 99% of the population and letting them go back to pre-cut rates for the remaining 1% is essentially proposing that rates be where McCain would have preferred that Bush cut them to. Tax cuts are to brackets, so the rich still get the cut as to income under $250,000.

no socialism that I can find. there's nothing sacrosanct about any particular rate or progressivity slope.

Posted by: JoeT1 | September 10, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Making Bush tax cuts permanent: Not going to happen. Period. End of story. The rest is just positioning.

Posted by: CalD | September 10, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Posturing is probably a better word...

Posted by: CalD | September 10, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

But like nearly every other member of the Republican caucus, Blunt is trying to have it both ways. Despite Blunt’s assertion that the the stimulus is a complete failure, he has attended multiple groundbreaking ceremonies for stimulus-funded projects. Local Missouri papers have praised Blunt’s role in securing the projects, without noting his efforts to kill their funding. In other cases, he has sent out press releases claiming credit for stimulus-funded programs

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 10, 2010 12:41 PM
-------

Maybe this won't be too nuanced for you. Two battles take place in the quest for funding. First is the fight on whether or not to appropriate the funds. If the bill passes and money is appropriated, the fight is on for who gets what piece of the pie for their own state or district. Even though an individual Senator or Representative votes against a particular spending bill, that doesn't mean he isn't going to fight for his share of the spoils once the bill passes. Your criticism of Blunt would be justified only if by passing on stimulus money for Missouri, he could relieve Missourians of having to pay any of the taxes that will fund the stimulus. Of course you must already know this, so you're being a bit disingenuous.

Posted by: Brigade | September 10, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead Dems, vote to end the tax cuts. It will be your last vote. Write your own political obit.

Posted by: delusional1 | September 10, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

mikefromarlington wrote:

"Is it not possible Petrayus came to the President regarding the Koran burning asking him to chime in but the President decided it would hold more weight with the public if he spoke up first?

But no, I don't think Fox is fair and balanced. It's a propaganda network. The only reason they came out supporting it was because Petrayus chimed in before the President. If he hadn't, those same individuals would have no doubt called the President an appeasing coward."

Here's why I don't think that it happened that way. If you check the internet, you will find numerous small stories where Americans, both civilian and military have "desecrated" the Koran overseas in the last 8 years. It happened under Petraeus, as well as the other theater commanders. So this was nothing new, either to him, or to the people of that region. The "new" aspect was the involvement of the administration. I can't show you a blazing gun obviously, but it's the most likely scenario.

Also, aren't you at least a little outraged by Holder's conduct?

I find it amusing anytime Fox commentators speak out on military matters, since they do not have even one single on-air personality that has ever served in the military. I always say that it's easier to find a church or a synagogue in Saudi Arabia than a veteran at Fox!

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If Republicans have a plan to pay for the tax cuts for the wealthy then I'd like to hear it. But they never should have given tax cuts to the wealthy that ran up the deficit, especially during two wars. Even Greenspan says the tax cuts cannot continue.

Posted by: Beeliever | September 10, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

When's the last time the Democrats won an argument on anything of significance?

Don't say health care because that's a laugh. Nope, not really anything since November 2008. (Granted, a fairly big one then.)

Pretty unlikely they'll win any between now and this November.

But go ahead with this, by all means. See where it gets you.

"Ignore Greg Sargent" really should and may actually be at the top of the list of any Democratic campaign strategy. (Well, that and "Avoid the President like the plague").

Posted by: etpietro | September 10, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"We've evolved from a democracy to a plutocracy."

First, we were never a democracy, and, second, were is Ethan to assert that our duly elected officials cannot, by definition, ever be a plutocracy.

Ethan, are all these liberals claiming we live under plutocracy (apparently evolving from Bush fascism) . . . what was it you said . . . "certifiably insane," or do they just "hate democracy"?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 10, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

How about one more poll - how about how many favor everyone pay federal taxes regardless of salary as a percentage vs where almost 50% pay nothing? Do they not use the same services - roads ,etc....Now go look up the tax rates and what income brackets pay them.

I'm an average Joe who pays my fair share of taxes.....the tax as established is progressive enough....the true answer is that it is time to stop feeding the beast called 'government'. All of them have me the worst stewards of our tax dollars and until they learn how to manage a budget like we the citizens do in our every day lives - they should not be afforded another penny.

Lastly - it was reported today that a multitude of individuals within Obama's administration owe back taxes - its also reported that government employees owe something to the tune in the billions in back taxes..my thoughts as a Fed employee - get caught up or get fired...it's absolute madness....and Nobama wants more? Clean your house first.

Posted by: short1 | September 10, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This is a non response. Just a total non sequitar.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 10, 2010 12:54 PM.

Yes indeed; what you wrote was indeed just that. Your argument boils down to claiming that we are allowed to behave just like the worst scumbags, anywhere in the world behave.

Let me put it another way for you; you are arguing that because some psychopaths are serial killers, that allows you to also become one.

I guess that is why you Wing Nuts supported torturing captives. You want to behave just as badly as the terrorists. That makes you no better than them.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 10, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, @skipsailing, I'll go, I'll go!

Try this: I am a person who earns a good amount of money. Really more than I or my family need. Of course, I don't feel like that on a day-to-day basis - who does? - but really, in the grand scheme of things, I have a very comfortable life.

Now, if I got that way just because I'm special and brilliant and awesome, it would be perfectly moral and justifiable for me to keep it all to myself. I mean, I earned it, right? And that, I think, is pretty much how conservatives view the world. Especially the kind who inherited their money, for some reason.

However... I didn't get that way because I'm special and brilliant and awesome, at least not JUST for those reasons. Not really. I went to public schools. I use public roads (and not just me, but pretty much all of the goods I buy and people I care about... mostly without paying a dime for them!). I live in a safe community where I don't have to spend much on personal security (not that that stops a lot of my Republican neighbors from buying security systems, on the 1 in 1000 chance that their home gets broken into and they're the victim of the 1 murder in 15 years in our suburban middle-class town). I have highly subsidized drinking water, so I never had to worry about getting a diarrheal disease and dying as a child. I have electricity, a working sewer system, and a telecommunications infrastructure, etc. We have good emergency response services. I have publicly provided health insurance. HA! Got you there... no, seriously, we pay a crapload for health insurance with worse results than other countries, but fortunately I grew up affluent enough to buy that on the private market.

All of these things cost money, and in my society, we've worked out a way to pay for them (well, except health care) that involves cooperating with one another. Since my affluence would not be possible without this context, I can pay a bit more than somebody who is less affluent. In fact, I think it's in MY INTEREST to do so: My society would be less safe and less pleasant if people who can barely pay for their necessities had to also pay a large tax burden. With any luck, we can eliminate poverty and this would be a moot point.

The mechanism for paying for all this stuff is called "government", and in my society, everybody gets a vote (that part is called "democracy"). Since there's a lot to track, we elect people to take care of the details (that's called "representative democracy"). They're not always perfect, but it's a pretty good way of organizing things most of the time.

Does that make sense?

Being a Muslim-hating, and nominally Christian, conservative, I would think you would also know a simpler answer for justifying why the rich should help the poor... I think the Bible may have something about that.

Posted by: nonbelievable | September 10, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

We'll now see whether the GOP will continue to be the stupid party and let D's eat their political lunch, or whether someone will stand up and "punch them back harder." They need to say:

Why are President Obama and his party holding permanent middle class tax cuts hostage to their mania to raise taxes on people they call the wealthiest Americans, who supposedly "don't need" it?

President Obama disparages these people as "millionaires and billionaires," but they are the small and medium sized businesses that hire people. The vast majority of businesses and families whose taxes he wants to raise are not remotely "millionairs and billionaires." They are hard working Americans who take risks and make investments that drive our economy and employ others.

You can't create more jobs by raising taxes on job creation, and that is exactly what this Administration is insisting on doing, while holding the middle class hostage.

We agree with the President on reducing taxes on middle and lower income payers. We don't see why he won't agree with us to do that without raising taxes on the people who employ them. It makes no sense, and our economic history shows he is just plain wrong.

President Obama has accused us of acting for political gain rather than principle. I'm here to tell you we aren't going to listen to these attacks any more without setting the record straight.

This President wants to raise taxes on the very people he says he wants to create more jobs, and we say that doesn't make any sense. It won't do anything but hurt our economy and keep more people out of work. If he is serious about cutting our deficits, then he needs to get serious about cutting the size of government instead of adding trillions -- that is trillions -- of new spending.

It's time for the President to stop playing poltics with our future and pretending he can spend all the money he wants and send the bill to America's small businesses and employers. Enough is enough, Mr. President. Let's do what is right for America and make these tax reductions permanent.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 10, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

" would think you would also know a simpler answer for justifying why the rich should help the poor... I think the Bible may have something about that."

He didn't ask that.

He asked what justifies the government "helping" the poor with other people's money. Why are liberals blind to the difference?

And your answer makes you a supporter of basing government policy on the Bible.

You might want to think about how that fits with your conception of the Establishment Clause.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 10, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Greg, regarding your post about Elizabeth Warren:

She's good very good, but that's not the right job for her. This new agency won't carry much clout. It will mostly be headline grabbing. Warren is as articulate as Geithner is inarticulate. She needa more a visible spot. In an administration where most members of the cabinet possess no charisma whatsoever; if you're going to give her a spot, make it a good one.

Being a financial news junkie, many days I saw both she and Christina Romer on in the same day. The difference between the hapless Romer and the knowledgeable Warren was light years. I would move Holder out of the AG's job, where he has become a partisan advocate into the Consumer Agency and make Warren the AG. God knows she would be the smartest most articulate person to occupy that office in years!

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

QB1,

Your comments today are just fantastic. Sharp, coherent and biting. Mikeinarlington and Ethan2010 may never recover from the rhetorical lashing they have received today. 

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 10, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

BTW, just running through this thread, and man, the wingnut crazies are out in force. Thanks, SaveTheRainforest and Skipsailing28 (I assume 1 through 27 were taken? Or is that your graduation year?) for giving me my annual supply of dumb.

The idea that there is a parallel between building an interfaith community center in Manhattan a few blocks from Ground Zero and burning another faith's holy texts is completely insane. Try this: Ask a liberal if they would be upset if Imam Rauf was threatening to have a Bible burning instead of building a mosque? Because... um... YES, everybody would be pretty freaking upset about that! See how there's a difference there?

Another exercise that will be good for your brains: You can tell the difference between the crazy pastor in Florida or the Hutaree Militia - "right-wing nuts" if there ever were any - and mainstream Christians or conservatives, who maybe believe in Christian teachings without making the (quantum) leap to shooting police officers or burning Korans... right? (Dear God, please say yes. If you can't, we're in more trouble than I thought.)

Right. So, why is it so hard to believe that there is a difference between terrorists and regular old Muslims, tens of millions of whom have been living peacably among Americans and Europeans for a very long time? Seriously, please answer if you're still around. I'm dying to understand this.

(Also, bonus points for elaborating on the remark about the dirt-poor Muslim countries and their inferiority. Ever been to Central America? Where is Jesus when these people need him? They must all be secret Muslims like Obama!)

Posted by: nonbelievable | September 10, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the expiration of tax cuts for 'the rich', I think there should be many levels other than $250,000/ year and up. As one of the families who barely make the cut to be included in this category, I can tell you we are NOT rich. I think it is patently unfair and ridiculous that everyone who makes this amount is lumped in together. I am sure if I lived in podunk Iowa versus San Francisco or a northern VA suburb (where I live), I would feel rich. Here in northern VA where home prices are high, county taxes keep climbing and the schools are increasing fees and adding new ones each year, it is difficult for a 2 income family to pay the bills and have much left over. Even when the government pay scale comes out each year there is a 'locality pay' added because they recognize that some areas of the country have a higher cost of living. If that is the case, how is it fair for all of us to be taxed the same merely because we are over a randomly drawn line in the sand that puts us in with Donald Trump?!

Posted by: squidwrd2002 | September 10, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1 - my comments do NOT make me a supporter of basing policy on the Bible. The Wingnut asked for a moral justification, and I gave one. Since he probably didn't understand it, I also pointed him to similar ideas in the Bible, which I assume is a source of moral guidance for him, at least in theory.

I do take your point about the government versus "people in general". This is where we probably do actually have a substantive disagreement. I believe that the government is our tool, as a society, for ensuring that things run the way they should. Conservatives believe, I guess, that government is an agent of some other party (who I'm not exactly sure), "taking" from some and "giving" to others. I get it, I guess. I don't agree, and I think it's a byproduct of having a very limited perspective in life, but I do understand.

Nice try, though. Keep 'em coming!

Posted by: nonbelievable | September 10, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

Thanks much! Not sure it's deserved, but thanks. I'm glad to have some more quality company here in the liberal echo chamber.

Sadly, though, I think you'll find Ethan impervious to rational thought. In fact, logic he can't grasp or refute is what drives him maddest.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 10, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The democrats won't win any arguments for a long long time.

After all they are the party who had complete control of the government for the last two years and haven't gotten anything done legally.

They did put the country into a recession boardering on a depression, crashed the finalcial markets (thanks Barney Frank), killed the housing market (again thanks Barney Frank), pushed the unemployment rate north of 15 percent if you count the people who have given up looking for jobs (thanks obama), and they also rammed that health care bill through (thanks again obama), but that was done illegally and against the will of the people. Happily it will be repealed once the republicans take over and clean up the mess that the dems made.

What a complete mess the democrats have made. NOBODY is even listening to anything they say anymore.

Real change is coming starting this November - Brought to you by the American people (the one's who work and believe in the country and aren't looking to make it a third world failed socialist state).

Posted by: SayWhat5 | September 10, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

America has had her Marxist president - and her Marxist economics lesson - and she’s had enough.

“Sixty-eight percent of U.S. voters prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes to a more active one that offers more services and higher taxes.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/america_s_best_days

It no longer matters what the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time, MSNBC, CNN or even Clueless Comrade Barry himself has to say about anything. The voters have seen how this president operates and now they know it’s not working and it’s not going to work.

They watched the Clueless One take over anything he could get his hands on, borrow as much money from the Chinese as they would lend him, pay off every deadbeat Democrat that would line up for a handout, suck up to every anti-American despot who would give him an audience, call everyone who disagreed with any portion of his agenda a racist, clown with every TV talk show host and pose for every Magazine cover that would have him all the while throwing nightly dance parties at the White House as if a newly minted rap star had been anointed President-for- a-Day... all this, of course, when he wasn’t taking his entourage on yet another Air Force One-hosted vacation.

There is no resurrecting Clueless Comrade Barry.

Americans have taken a good hard look at Comrade Barry and are now firmly convinced this fool has no business running anything they have a stake in much less holding court in the Oval Office.

You can put a fork in him. Clueless Comrade Barry is done. The only thing left for the Marxist Democrats to do is start their rewrite of history… it really wasn’t our fault… it would have worked out if…

Sic semper tyrannis!

Posted by: PauvrePapillon | September 10, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
10 September 2010

Not many Americans are fully aware of the fact that those Bush tax cuts to America's wealthiest 1 percent have deflated the U.S. Treasury by the mind-boggling amount of $700 billion over the last nine years!

If they did, they would be clamoring for Republicans to stop telling them that America would benefit from extending them for another two years.

The reason many Senators and Representatives--most Republicans and some Democrats--are refusing to sunset those Bush tax cuts now is that many of them are multi-millionaires or millionaires themselves--and of course understandably cannot be expected to shoot themselves on the foot.

President Barack Obama is doing right by America by insisting that those Bush tax cuts to the wealthy should be made to expire now--and especially now that America is struggling through an Economic Crisis.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | September 10, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

saywhat5 wrote:

They did put the country into a recession boardering on a depression, crashed the finalcial markets (thanks Barney Frank), killed the housing market (again thanks Barney Frank), pushed the unemployment rate north of 15 percent if you count the people who have given up looking for jobs (thanks obama), and they also rammed that health care bill through (thanks again obama), but that was done illegally and against the will of the people. Happily it will be repealed once the republicans take over and clean up the mess that the dems made."

Nope, you're not even close. You and most Americans have absolutely no idea what caused the financial crunch. I'll give you a clue though; it wasn't either Obama or Bush. No one person, or even a small group is really responsible, but if you were to single out one to name in your article that person would be ex-Senator Phil Gramm, and I'm sure you have no idea why.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

pauvrePavillion wrote:

“Sixty-eight percent of U.S. voters prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes to a more active one that offers more services and higher taxes.”

While no doubt that is the result of the poll, in real life it is nonsense. Voters only prefer a smaller government and fewer services to SOMEONE ELSE, not THEIR services. It would be fascinating to ask people what services that THEY currently receive which they would be willing to go without.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Pauvre, that is awesome. Seriously? Dance parties and taking his entourage on Air Force One? But no, you're totally not a racist, right?

Whew. Hard to argue with a post that long and completely free of facts of any kind. Who knows, if you had spent more time studying and less time hating elitists in high school, you might know what Marxism is/was. Because it sure ain't a 3% marginal tax increase!

Posted by: nonbelievable | September 10, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

There is an old saying "The proof is in the pudding". Based upon the action by Obama and the Democrats no one in their right mind would believe the Snake Oil salesmen in the Democratic party on any thing.

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | September 10, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

Btw, not that it is that great or that you or Scott couldn't do the same, but that little response to Obama took me only as much time write as it took to type it -- stream of conscious -- and it saddens me to think the GOP probably won't come up with anything better.

They'll probaby end up tongue tied and flopping around in a defensive mode, again.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 10, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

End the tax cuts. We were better off before the tax cuts than we are now.

Not just better off because of the recession/depression but because the tax cuts did not produce more jobs, a better economy. There was no trickle down, just a roaring fire hydrant push of wealth up the ladder. Wealth became more concentrated, jobs continued to be lost overseas, the middle class stagnated, productivity improvements meant more for those at the top and did not translate into more opportunity for anyone else.

We will only get more of the same if those tax cuts are left in place.

Posted by: amelia45 | September 10, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats won't support because they are or will be rich and they don't want to pay the additional taxes.

The American public, no matter what their position, in general doesn't have a clue what the existing and proposed "tax cuts" really constitute. They just hear "tax cuts". The majority, especially on the Democratic side, just blindly follow what their noble comrades and good party members tell them.

Posted by: staterighter | September 10, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The chairman of the Business Roundtable, an association of top corporate executives that has been President Obama's closest ally in the business community, accused the president and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday of creating an "increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation."

Ivan G. Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon Communications, said that Democrats in Washington are pursuing tax increases, policy changes and regulatory actions that together threaten to dampen economic growth and "harm our ability . . . to grow private-sector jobs in the U.S."

Posted by: panola60 | September 10, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

get a bill to the floor to extend ONLY the middle class cut and call the GOP bluff. They either vote for it or let them all expire - which is the right move anyway IMHO. time for the Dems to grow a pair.

Posted by: sux123 | September 10, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

well this is more liberal denial:
============
you were to single out one to name in your article that person would be ex-Senator Phil Gramm, and I'm sure you have no idea why.
========================

yeah, yeah, yeah. More misdirection from the left. It is as if guys like you think we've never heard this particular lie before.

Tell me, pal, which president signed the glass stegal repeal into law? If you GUESSED clinton why you're a winner!

Now prove that this repeal lead to the catsasstrophe.

And if I had to pick a few names they would be Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, but hey, that's just me and, you know, um, like, reality.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 10, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

if the doubt lingers, mischaracterize the position of your opponent in the debate:
================
Yes indeed; what you wrote was indeed just that. Your argument boils down to claiming that we are allowed to behave just like the worst scumbags, anywhere in the world behave.

Let me put it another way for you; you are arguing that because some psychopaths are serial killers, that allows you to also become one.

I guess that is why you Wing Nuts supported torturing captives. You want to behave just as badly as the terrorists. That makes you no better than them.

========

Oh, and engage in some good, old fashioned name calling too. That just bolsters your argument, right?

what nonsense.

Frankly every one on this comment board is less informed because of your replies to my, quite clear, position.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 10, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

wonder who is going to invest in the market when taxes on cap gains go up 58% and taxes on dividends go up 150%. i know i won't. say "dead money" to your IRA's and 401K's after 1/1/2011. but then most of you democrat posters probably wouldn't know a 401K if it came up and bit you on the ankle.

Posted by: jibe | September 10, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

wonder who is going to invest in the market when taxes on cap gains go up 58% and taxes on dividends go up 150%. i know i won't. say "dead money" to your IRA's and 401K's after 1/1/2011. but then most of you democrat posters probably wouldn't know a 401K if it came up and bit you on the ankle.

Posted by: jibe | September 10, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Only a communist sympathizer, like most of those Republicants, wants more tax giveaways to the ultra-rich.

Face it, give a man a dollar and he'll spend it in America.

Give one of the ultra-rich a dollar and they'll invest it with their comrades in Red China, and then whine about taxes while America is fighting two foreign civil wars of Republicant adventure.

Posted by: WillSeattle | September 10, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Pelosi/Reid have ignored the will of the majority on virtually every piece of legislation so far...but this time they probably will, citing "the will of the people has spoken." In for a penny, in for a pound, Barry.

Posted by: ddnfla | September 10, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

actually, will, the "man" will probably go to Best Buy for an HD with led screen made in south korea or china or else send those walmart dollars to the chinese navy. best solution would be to lower taxes on investment, both corporate and individual, to create new industries and jobs. or do you think our little man in the white house can pick winners and losers. i don't think he's that smart.

Posted by: jibe | September 10, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

jibe wrote:

"actually, will, the "man" will probably go to Best Buy for an HD with led screen made in south korea or china or else send those walmart dollars to the chinese navy. best solution would be to lower taxes on investment, both corporate and individual, to create new industries and jobs. or do you think our little man in the white house can pick winners and losers. i don't think he's that smart."

Manufacturing goes where labor costs are cheapest. Neither Bush nor Obama caused that, nor will any kind of a tax scheme change that short of an all out trade war tariff.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 10, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Force the Filibuster!

Literally.

Just stop allowing them to pretend to filibuster and MAKE THEM DO IT PHYSICALLY.

Those old white guys in the Senate won't last two days.

Posted by: WillSeattle | September 10, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

squidwrd2002 wrote:

"It is difficult for a 2 income family to pay the bills and have much left over," living in northern VA and earning $250,000, that is. Well, I live in DC and certainly understand the cost of living around here. However, there are members of my work staff who live in Montgomery or Fairfax County, most likely have household income around $125k-175k, and manage okay financially even with a houseful of kids. (I oversee payroll and know what the spouses do for a living.) I suspect you're living large and don't even acknowledge it.

As for the unfairness of you and me being in a higher tax bracket because we are paid more as allowance for the higher cost of living? Well, that does kinda suck, but that's just the way it is. It is more than offset by our being able to live in a prosperous, lively and endlessly interesting metro area.

Posted by: wildpotato | September 10, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

re: "Dear Dems: You can win the argument over Bush tax cuts"

Though probably not if you mimic (the usually far more astute) Greg in continuing the repeated, astonishingly tone-deaf references to "extending the Bush tax cuts" instead of "passing the OBAMA/DEM TAX CUTS" that rescind portions of the scheduled "BUSH/GOP TAX HIKE" [on taxpayers earning <$250K].

Got that?

Fix the "Bush/GOP-Passed $1.8 Trillion Tax Hike on January 1, 2011" (CBO projection over next decade) by passing, separately, the "Middle-Class Tax Relief and Economic Recovery Act" that would RESCIND that BUSH/GOP-LEGISLATED TAX HIKE for earners of <$250k.

"Can't anybody here play this game?" -- Casey Stengel

Not, it would seem, establishment Dems or their professional consultant class!

Posted by: oaguabonita | September 10, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I find it odd that the Democrats now want to extend the Bush Tax Cuts including keeping the 10% tax bracket it created and the credits.

They have belly-ached over these tax-cuts since they passed. So why do they want to keep any of them?

I say don't extend any of the tax cuts given the Economy, Deficit and Debt.

However, extending them for all would only cost the Gov. approx 700 billion more than just extending them for 98% many of whom owe no tax anyway.

They have wasted 700 billion, 3 times over since taken over the Congress in Jan. 2007.

Whats another 700 billion to help unincoporated small businesses? Earning a family income of $250,000.00 is much different then those earning a Million+ and likely living off their capital investments.

Fair is fair.

The Dems are hypocrits if they extend the Bush Tax Cuts. Period. And the Republicans should vote against the Small Business Package as it won't help the real Small Businesses, the mom and pops, anyway. Those of us who currently pay 100% of our employees health premiums won't benefit from this package and many of us can't don't have Capital Investments as we can't afford them. So who is this legislation actually helping anyway?

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | September 11, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"That is extortion, and Terry Jones should be arrested and charged now. Posted by: Liam-still"

No, he made an offer: I have the right to express my opinions. These are my books to do with as I feel. You find that unacceptable. You CAN simply choose another place to put your Cultural Center. Putting it where you propose is unacceptable to most Americans. I'll give up doing what I propose if you give up doing what YOU propose.

All things considered, Jones wins this exchange hands down. HE has shown willingness to act in consideration of the feelings of American Muslims provided they reciprocate.

Ruaf, however, CAN'T reciprocate, because that would be being seen as giving in to Infidels. Both men have right on their side, and both men are dead set on being dead right. Jones, at last, is flexible.

This round goes to the American Fanatic.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 11, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"Greg - In addition, if NOTHING happens, all of the tax cuts expire. So if Congressional Dems introduce a bill which only extends middle class tax cuts, the GOP would either have to go along and vote for the tax cuts for the middle class without tax cuts for the wealthy, or obstruct and block the tax cuts for the middle class. This is a win/win for Dems, but I think it is imperative to get a bill together and to the floor so the terms of the debate are set and members are forced to go on record as being for the bill or against the bill. Posted by: beenjammin"

This is a matter of tactics, and the alternative, move slowly and make the Republicans panic and propose their own bill seems to be as good an idea. When the D's do nothing, the tax cuts die, in toto, and the money returned to the IRS goes up more than a trifling amount. The Dems can run on weasel words and win: I would love to get that tax break for the real middle class, but those NO NO Republicans won't let me. Followed, where applicable, by We got back %&00+ billion in revenues we really need over the next ten years.

The Republicans have to run on Those Dems hate the rich so much that they would rather keep you from keeping your tax break that let them have their fair share of tax breaks.

But either tactic is a winner, just which one is a bigger winner?

Posted by: ceflynline | September 11, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

"Raising taxes will probably dampen the economy even more than it is. That is a bad thing for sure. Posted by: battleground51"

History says that, in fact, it probably WON'T dampen the economy. It didn't dampen the economy when Bush broke his now new taxes promise, and it didn't when Clinton got his increase in taxes.

On the other hand, NO such tax cut since 1970 has had any effect on economies in the doldrums except, possibly, to extend the doldrums or make the economy worse.

You don't want a tax increase, so you guess that a tax increase will do something nasty, although you can't actually say what. Must be damage the economy.

Lowering the deficit will certainly help with a failing economy, right?

Raising taxes does at least lower the deficit.

Must be a good thing.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 11, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"After the elections are over, if Democrats retain control of the House and Senate; then you let the Bush tax cuts expire. You keep your mouths shut about that, until the elections are over. Posted by: Liam-still"

Since the Dems are in a Majority 'til Congress adjourns, whenever that is, The retain control long enough for the tax cuts to expire, period. Staying silent and letting it happen is tactic 3, and it has a lot of good reasons to recommend it, too.

One way or the other or the other; Run out the clock, or give the R's the ball and watch them push too hard and give it back, or go for a touchdown you don't need to win but which looks good on TV, the D's will win on this thing, as long as they don't panic and let the R's keep the whole tax cut.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 11, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"I have a question for the liberals here:' What are the moral and ethical underpinnings of the steeply progressive tax rates that the left finds so attractive? What gives anyone the right to take X from one person and X+N from another? Posted by: skipsailing28 "

Well, for starters, it is like the death penalty. Supposedly it deters men like Michael Miiiken and Ken Lay and Ivan Boesky from runningb their scams, because, when they have to turn over 95 cents of every dollar they work so hard to steal, they decide it isn't worth it.

On the practical side, it keeps thye Michael Millkens and Ivan Boeskys from sequestering large quantities of wealth that, in the hands of the middle class, produces lots of jobs and real prosperity for the bulk of the populace, instead of leaving prosperity to the top 1% of the population.

Incomes of over 1000 times the annual minimum wage don't seem to do anybody any real good, even though they permit a few tasteless Nuveau Riche to buy remarkably ugly and tasteless McMansions.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 11, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

The additional cost of extending all the Bush Cuts is a drop in the bucket given wasteful spending that has produced no results by the Democratic Majority that took over both houses in Jan. 2007.

Now they plan to make up to $50,000.00 loans, interest free, unsecured; to homeowners facing foreclosure due to unemployment or illness. Yes! they basically are not obligated to pay it back if they don't regain gainful employment in two years from the date of the loan.

Our tax dollars are lending this money. Don't know about you, but I don't like the terms.

Facts: over a Trillion to extend tax cuts to 98% of taxpayers, many who will owe no tax. or One Trillion 700 Billion to extend them all which will include unicorporated small, mon and pop, businesses. I pick the later.

Although, I technically think no cuts should be extended given the state of our economy and u.s. debt.

But neither Party has offered that option. Have they. Not the Democrats who totally opposed the Bush Cuts or the Republicans that vow to cut the Federal Deficit.

The both stink. They both are playing political games at our expense.

Elect Moderate Conservatives, Centrist in November.

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | September 11, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The additional cost of extending all the Bush Cuts is a drop in the bucket given wasteful spending that has produced no results by the Democratic Majority that took over both houses in Jan. 2007.

Now they plan to make up to $50,000.00 loans, interest free, unsecured; to homeowners facing foreclosure due to unemployment or illness. Yes! they basically are not obligated to pay it back if they don't regain gainful employment in two years from the date of the loan.

Our tax dollars are lending this money. Don't know about you, but I don't like the terms.

Facts: over a Trillion to extend tax cuts to 98% of taxpayers, many who will owe no tax. or One Trillion 700 Billion to extend them all which will include unicorporated small, mon and pop, businesses. I pick the later.

Although, I technically think no cuts should be extended given the state of our economy and u.s. debt.

But neither Party has offered that option. Have they. Not the Democrats who totally opposed the Bush Cuts or the Republicans that vow to cut the Federal Deficit.

They both stink. They both are playing political games at our expense.

Elect Moderate Conservatives, Centrist in November.

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | September 11, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope that they repeal the tax cut for the rich. The more taxes the more money for the people.

Even though the benefits of the health care bill have not gone into effect yet, I think it is great that I can get finally get free health care. Of course, there is a lot of other basic stuff I need and I am trying to work the system to get it.

The rich already have so many nice things. I am not greedy; I just want my rent paid for and some spending cash like any American.

I don't understand why the Republican hate us ordinary Americans so much and want to protect rich people. I know the Democrats are working hard to get me a little piece of the pie, and I will always support and vote for them.

PS. I am not jealous that the Democratic leaders have nice things and live like rich people, because anybody that gives me Section 8 housing and free health care deserves it.

Posted by: Themistocles | September 12, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The left spent years telling us that ONLY the rich benefits from the Bush tax cuts. Now they are re-labeling them as the Obama tax cuts for the middle class.

The only nice thing about the truth as defined by Journolist is that it will eventually change whether you like it or not.

Posted by: TECWRITE | September 13, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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