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Breaking News Forum Obama's plan to raise taxes on wealthy meets fierce opposition at News Forum - AP - President Barack Obama's call to raise taxes on high earners and greenhouse gas polluters met fierce opposition Tuesday ...

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Old 03-03-2009, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Obama's plan to raise taxes on wealthy meets fierce opposition

AP - President Barack Obama's call to raise taxes on high earners and greenhouse gas polluters met fierce opposition Tuesday from congressional Republicans and also a few Democrats. "I would never want to adversely affect anything that is charitable or good," Rep.




Obama's plan to raise taxes on wealthy meets fierce opposition
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:23 AM   #2
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Granny says, "Dat's right - tax the schlitz outta `em, dey can afford it...

23 Million Americans Hit by a Tax Hike, But They May Not Know It Yet
Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - - Almost 23 million American households have already had their federal taxes raised by an average of $3,900 this year, but they may not know it yet.
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They could get a big surprise when they prepare their tax returns next year. Among those subject to this already-in-place tax increase are some families making less than $50,000 per year, and virtually all married couples earning between $100,000 and $500,000 a year, according to data published by the Congressional Budget Office.

This insidious tax hike is contrary to President Barack Obama's repeated promise not to increase taxes on any individual earning less than $200,000 a year or on any household earning less than $250,000. This tax increase on almost 23 million people will happen if Congress does not quickly pass legislation that temporarily increases the amount of income exempt from the Alternative Minimum Tax. The temporary reprieve passed by Congress for each of the past nine years expired on Dec. 31, 2009, and so far, Congress has not extended the AMT "fix" for 2010.

According to the CBO, an estimated 4.5 million American households were subject to the AMT in 2009, and 27.2 million are now liable to pay the AMT for the 2010 tax year unless Congress acts before Dec. 31. Under current law, at least 22.7 million American households that did not have to pay the AMT last year will have to pay it on the income they have been earning since Jan. 1 of this year. Repealing the AMT completely and permanently would add $626 billion to the federal debt over the next ten years, according to CBO.

More 23 Million Americans Hit by a Tax Hike, But They May Not Know It Yet | CNSnews.com
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:57 AM   #3
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Granny says, "Dat's right...

... dat's whats wrong with dis country...

... dem rich folks ain't payin' their fair share o' taxes."

Warren Buffett: Stop Coddling the Super-Rich
August 14, 2011 - OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.
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While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors. These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent. If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine — most likely by a lot.

To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation. Since 1992, the I.R.S. has compiled data from the returns of the 400 Americans reporting the largest income. In 1992, the top 400 had aggregate taxable income of $16.9 billion and paid federal taxes of 29.2 percent on that sum. In 2008, the aggregate income of the highest 400 had soared to $90.9 billion — a staggering $227.4 million on average — but the rate paid had fallen to 21.5 percent.

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Old 08-15-2011, 11:00 PM   #4
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Granny says lissen to him - ol' Warren tellin' it like it is...

Decoding Buffett's tax plan
August 15, 2011: Warren Buffett is once again begging Congress to tax him more.
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"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice," the founder of holding company Berkshire Hathaway wrote in a New York Times opinion piece on Monday. Unlike President Obama, who wants to raise the top two tax rates on individuals making more than $200,000, Buffett wants income and investment tax rates raised only on those making more than $1 million in taxable income. In 2009, they represented just 0.2% of tax returns -- as opposed to the 2% to 3% who would be affected by Obama's proposal.

In Buffett's view, the very rich don't pay enough in taxes. And he doesn't think asking them to pay more will discourage investment or job creation. Some people will disagree with him on one or both those points. But here's a breakout on what he is talking about. Why Buffett only pays 17.4% of his income in federal taxes: "Last year my federal tax bill ... was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income -- and that's actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent."

Unlike most Americans, Buffett and the country's wealthiest taxpayers make much of their income from investments. The capital gains and dividends those investments generate are taxed at a much lower rate than wages. Long-term capital gains and dividends are currently taxed at 15% -- well below the 35% top income tax rate. Managers of hedge funds and other investment partnerships, meanwhile, enjoy that same rate on the portion of their pay known as carried interest. In addition, the wealthiest only pay a very small percentage of total payroll taxes, which support Medicare and Social Security. That's primarily because the payroll tax only applies to wage income, not investment income. Come 2013, however, a Medicare tax will be added to a portion of the wealthiest Americans' investment income to help pay for health reform.

How much money could be raised by hiking taxes on the super rich? Without specifics, it's hard to say. But it's possible to get a ballpark idea if one assumes nothing else changes about the current tax structure. If lawmakers added a new 50% tax rate to taxable income over $1 million, that could raise an additional $34 billion, according to the Tax Policy Center. So adding that new top rate might raise at least an additional $340 billion over 10 years. And if lawmakers opt to tax carried interest as ordinary income, the change could raise an additional $21 billion over 10 years, according to Joint Committee on Taxation estimates.

What about tax rates on capital gains and dividends? If they were raised to 20% for individuals making more than $200,000 (and couples making more than $250,000) that could raise roughly $107 billion over a decade, the Treasury Department estimated last year. The rate increase would raise less if it were limited to just those making more than $1 million. All told, if one combines the three changes -- setting aside the economic effects if they were all implemented -- it's possible that Treasury could pull in more than $450 billion over a decade. In the context of deficit reduction, $450 billion is less than 5% of the new debt the country is on track to accrue over the next decade. But it's a lot of money in terms of potentially valuable government programs that might otherwise need to be slashed absent additional revenue.

Higher rates won't discourage investment:
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:49 PM   #5
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What's old is new again...

Obama: Campaigning Like It's 1936
10/28/2011 - While Republican presidential candidates are looking forward by proposing variations of a flat income tax, President Barack Obama’s tax-the-rich campaign strategy is looking backward—to Franklin Roosevelt’s 1936 reelection campaign. FDR won his reelection, but the American people lost: Roosevelt’s new taxes on business and the “economic royalists” gave us the “Roosevelt recession” of 1937-38.
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By August of 1935, Roosevelt had achieved some of his signature pieces of legislation: a new entitlement program known as Social Security, banking reform, pro-union reform, infrastructure expansion and massive transfers of wealth to the poor and middle classes. Sound familiar? FDR also ran up federal spending significantly: from 6 percent to 9 percent of the economy. However, FDR needed more revenue to support his big-government schemes. More importantly, he needed a villain to explain why, given the passage of his New Deal legislation, government spending and regulations, the economy was still struggling.

So he proposed raising taxes on the rich, which he dubbed a “Wealth Tax.” As he explained to Congress in June 1935, “Our revenue laws have operated in many ways to the unfair advantage of the few, and they have done little to prevent the unjust concentration of wealth and economic power. … Social unrest and a deepening sense of unfairness are dangers to our national life which we must minimize by rigorous methods.” President Obama couldn’t have said it better himself. There were several components to FDR’s plan. First he wanted very high taxes on the rich—up to 79 percent—and to lower the thresholds so that more high-income earners paid more taxes. He also wanted to increase the estate tax. As for business, he wanted to close the “loopholes,” a graduated corporate income tax and a tax on intercorporate dividends.

But the bill that actually passed the Democratically controlled Congress in 1935 would not raise much money—estimated at about $250 million, which initially seemed like enough to cover budgetary shortfalls. FDR’s associates acknowledged at the time that the Wealth Tax was more about politics than policy, or as Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau put it, “it was more or less a campaign document.” However, by 1936 Roosevelt needed yet more revenue and had apparently grown to relish his new class warfare and railing against “organized money.” So he proposed another business tax: an undistributed profits tax.

Like Obama, FDR faced what he saw as a big problem: Businesses had a lot of cash on hand but weren’t spending it. “Regime uncertainty,” the reluctance of business to hire and invest when faced with a growing onslaught of new taxes and regulations, suppressed capital spending. No one knew what the future held so businesses held on to their cash hoping to survive. Again, sound familiar? Roosevelt believed that forcing businesses to spend that money would create jobs. So he proposed, and got, his undistributed profits tax. If the government were going to tax idle money anyway, maybe businesses would put it to work.

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