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Obama: Paying More Taxes is “Patriotic”

President Obama today said it was “patriotic” of “well-to-do Americans” to pay higher taxes.

Obama, who spoke at the White House, indicated the money would be used not just for paying down the deficit, but for broad new spending plans, which he termed “investments” in “things like” education:

Instead of the middle class paying more, we should ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more, a modest amount, so that we can reduce our deficit and still make investments in things like education that help our economy grow . . . And here’s the thing — there are a lot of well-to-do Americans, patriotic Americans, who understand this and are willing to do the right thing, willing to do their part to make this country strong.

Obama made the remarks during a short speech in which he called on Congress not to extend the Bush tax cuts for higher earners. A video of the appearance is below.

Paying more income taxes and having your money spent by the government is not normally associated with patriotism. Actually, Americans managed to show their patriotism without hardly paying income taxes at all until 1894, when the first permanent income tax was enacted.

Some people have another term for individuals who want to pay more taxes to a government that currently is spending at the highest share of GDP since World War II: Suckers.

Obama Says Tax on Wealthy is Really a Penalty

In an exclusive interview with White House Dossier early this morning at the White House, President Obama denied that he was proposing raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 per year, terming the idea a “penalty on success” instead.

“Isn’t that what conservatives call it?” Obama snickered. “So, there you go.”

Obama, who was found by White House Dossier ducking behind a tomato bush with a cigarette in the first lady’s vegetable garden, agreed to participate in a brief interview on the condition that White House Dossier not reveal that he was smoking.

The president, who was also sipping a milk shake, said people who make over $250,000 a year were abusing others and neglecting their responsibilities.

“Nobody claws their way to the top without stepping on some corpses,” Obama said. “By taking so much time to earn large salaries, these folks are either grabbing money that others could have or taking time away from their obligations to perform social work and prevent Japanese whaling. So a penalty is clearly in order.”

Obama argued that people who make more money had inherent advantages over those who do not.

“Just because someone was born with a willingness to work hard doesn’t mean he should prosper while someone who had the misfortune of being born lazy should not,” Obama said.

“I would argue that lazy people are in particular need of big screen TVs,” he continued. “My proposal would allocate some of the new cash the government receives to allow lazy people to purchase big screen TVs. And of course, remote controls.”

Obama insisted that the “penalty” would actually help small businesses people who incur it.

“People who run small businesses work too much, neglecting their families, their health, and their golf,” Obama said. “If I can tax them out of business, they can start working eight hours a day at a convenience store and lead happier lives.”

Obama denied that making his plan to penalize the rich a central portion of his campaign amounted to class warfare.

“Was it class warfare when Marx said, ‘Workers of the world unite?’ Or when Lenin lopped off the heads of the Kulaks? I don’t think so.”

It was at this point that White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew interrupted us.

“Mr. President, your shrimp cocktail is waiting for you in the Oval Office.”

Obama nodded. “Well, Keith, I’ve got to go. I have to take care of some of the nation’s important business during a meeting with my shrimp cocktail, and then I’m off to campaign.”

With that, he was gone. The president is spending the rest of the day on the campaign trail in Virginia.

CNN: Obama Tax Plan Will Cut GDP by One Percent

CNN is reporting that President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on the highest earning Americans could take a one percent bite out of GDP.

Interestingly, the reporter, Erin Burnett, is a former leading reporter for CNBC and one of the few news anchors who actually understands economics.

Soaking the rich will harm the poor. With government spending at hits highest proportion of GDP since World War II, it says a lot about an Obama second term that his major focus is to raise taxes.

Biden Considers his $379K Income Middle Class

Vice President Biden thinks he’s in the middle class, even though his income far exceeds the $250,000 threshold President Obama set for raising income taxes on the rich.

According to his 2011 tax returns, Biden and his wife Jill had an adjusted gross income of $379,000 last year. And that, Biden siggested Tuesday in remarks to the National Council of La Raza in Las Vegas, puts him squarely in the middle class:

For middle class folks like me and most of you, owning a home is maybe the single most consequential element of our existence to be able to provide for our families.

Here’s some video of Biden’s remarkable claim, in which he suggested rich guys like Romney don’t understand common men like him who are only making close to $400,000 a year:

If Biden feels he is middle class, it may be due to his apparent inability to manage his finances.

According to a Dec. 1, 2011 report by the Center for Responsive Politics, Biden actually has a negative net worth.

On the other end of the Obama administration’s net worth spectrum are Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Both had enough liabilities to place their estimated worth in the negative.

Biden’s low estimated net worth is a result of relatively small income from assets and six liabilities which totaled  an average of $337,000. These include mortgages and home equity loans with a bank in his home state of Delaware, two lines of credit and a loan borrowed from his life insurance policy.

But if Biden considers himself middle class, Obama certainly does not. Obama’s proposal to jettison the Bush tax cuts for “the rich” pertains to those making more than $250,000 per year – whether they have somehow lost all their money or not.

Obama Tax Hike Would Slam 620,000 Small Businesses

At least 620,000 small businesses would see their taxes go up if President Obama’s plan to to raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 goes into effect, according to statistics based on the White House’s own estimates.

President Obama is hoping to minimize the PR fallout from his proposal to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for high earners, noting in remarks Monday that some 97 percent of small businesses – many of which file under the individual tax code – would not be affected.

Obama Monday suggested that the number of small businesses affected was trivial and consistent with his intent not to raise taxes on small business:

Most people agree that we should not raise taxes on middle-class families or small businesses — not when so many folks are just trying to get by . . . The proposal I make today would extend these tax cuts for 97 percent of all small business owners in America.  In other words, 97 percent of small businesses fall under the $250,000 threshold.  (Applause.)  So this isn’t about taxing job creators, this is about helping job creators.  I want to give them relief.  I want to give those 97 percent a sense of permanence.

What this obscures is that more than 99 percent of all businesses in America qualify as small businesses, so even a minor percentage is a huge number.

The White House later released information stating that 2.7 percent of small businesses would take a hit on their taxes. According to the Small Business Administration, there are 23 million small businesses in the United States, so 2.7 percent would amount to 621,000 of them.

This is if you accept Obama’s math. Republicans are suggesting that some 940,000 small businesses would be affected by Obama’s tax proposals.

Obama Announces He’s to the Left of Pelosi

Updated at 12:37 pm ET

There’s not much room over there, but President Obama found it.

President Obama today announced that he supports a one-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for those making under $250,000, a plan that puts him at odds with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), each of whom back extending the tax cuts for people making up to $1 million.

Obama’s plan will sock the country with a huge tax increase even as the economy continues to stagger.

It’s bad economics, but the Obama people have calculated that it’s good politics for a politician waging class warfare. Obama will be able to sock Republicans and Mitt Romney for backing tax cuts “for the rich” and “holding hostage” his populist proposal for a “middle class tax cut.”

As if to underline the political nature of the move, the president will hit the campaign trail Tuesday, traveling to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to tout his proposal. There, he’ll visit the home of a family that would see its taxes rise if none of the Bush tax cuts were extended.

Obama’s Huge Tax Bill Victory

House Democrats stopped flailing against the tax bill long enough Thursday night to pass it, sending the measure to President Obama for a signing ceremony today that should be preceded by a victory dance at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater.

President Clinton and Dick Morris sent telegrams to the president early Friday morning congratulating him on his first significant success at triangulating his fellow Democrats.

Obama is gambling that he can win back the independents who deserted him during the 2010 midterms while keeping the left enthusiastic enough to win in 2012.

The new strategy is being thrown into relief by the planned White House overuse of one word: compromise. It’s a word independents love to hear. It’s what they are about.

After ramming bills down the GOP’s throat during his first two years, Obama now uses his shiny new word every chance he gets. Here he was Monday:

I recognize that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are unhappy with certain parts of the package, and I understand those concerns.  I share some of them.  But that’s the nature of compromise — sacrificing something that each of us cares about to move forward on what matters to all of us.

David Axelrod, senior adviser and message guru, went on a bunch of the talk shows last Sunday and used the word “compromise” about 87 times. The Sunday shows, less ideological than much of what’s out there, are the perfect place to get your message across to independents.

You will hear so much about compromise during the next two years, that you may become hypnotized, and start compromising with your children, even the pets. Video games, dog biscuits, and catnip toys may start piling up around the house. You will accept a smaller salary increase and fewer personal days.

When Obama entered office in 2009, love was in the air, as the candidate of change professed his fondness for the GOP. But that was all bullshit.

By now, the love is gone forever. But today, compromise is in the air. It’s essential for Obama’s reelection. It’s for real.

Republicans face a perilous path. They were sent by their base on a mission to destroy Obama. But if they overdo the obstruction, the risk handing Obama the independents.

Republicans, like Obama, need to show they can get something done while also demonstrating they can block the spread of Obamaism.

But the bar for moderation is lower for GOP. Just elected, their base if fired up, and everyone expects them to behave like Republicans. They can’t shut down the government, but they their main imperative is not to sell out conservative voters.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell led the way last night by blocking the pork-rich omnibus spending bill after stiffening the spines of a group of Republicans tempted to support it. This, not the tax bill – which is necessary for the economy – was the test of whether Republicans heard their base. They passed.

House Dems Will Allow Obama-GOP Tax Deal

As I said they would last week, House Democrats are now bowing to reality and are preparing to swallow the Obama-GOP deal to extend all the Bush tax cuts, even for greedy rich people.

Forcing taxes to rise on everyone as a 2010 Christmas present to the country would have resulted in Republican majority status until the year 2135, experts predicted.

Anyway, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a member of the House Democratic leadership, told Fox News yesterday that the deal abides. “We’re not going to hold this thing up at the end of the day,” he said.

The Dems will pull some stunts during the day, before we get to the end of the day, but the agreement will change basically not at all.

And yes, that was a Big Lebowski reference.

Also a good piece today in POLITICO related to Obama’s growing triangulation strategy, featuring personal calls by Obama to incoming House committee chairmen and meetings for the newly powerful Republicans with Biden and others.

Albany PTA Chairwoman Backs Tax Cut Deal

In one of the oddest pressure tactic campaigns I’ve seen in Washington, the White House is releasing dozens of statements of support from local officials praising the agreement with Republicans to temporarily maintain the Bush tax cuts. Here’s the latest mayor to hop aboard, in a statement released at 5:00 pm: Des Moines Mayor Backs… Continue Reading

House Dems Reject Obama Deal With GOP

The House Democratic Caucus has voted to reject President Obama’s deal with Republicans on extending the Bush tax cuts, throwing the issue and Obama’s vacation into uncertainty. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not put the agreement on the floor until it is changed in some unspecified manner. Speaking this afternoon to reporters, White House Press… Continue Reading