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I've been listening to the arguments about the tax cuts extension, and I have to say that I'm being swayed. I originally thought it would be a good thing to extend them all, but now I'm having second thoughts. Perhaps the Democrats and the left are right about letting the tax cuts expire on the wealthiest.

Set aside the partisan issues for a moment. Never mind that it's the Democrats who are pushing the issue. Let's look at the reasoning, and it's amazingly persuasive.

First up, look at these charts. The top one percent of taxpayers -- who make over $380,000 a year -- are currently paying 38% of all income taxes. The top five percent (about $160,000 a year) pay about 59% of income taxes, and the top ten percent (about $114,000 a year) pony up 70% of income taxes.

These are the richest, the wealthiest among us. They can certainly afford to pony up a bit more.

Because, after all, (here's the second argument) the government needs the money. It needs even more money to spend. It's only went up about 20% from 2008 to 2009 (2.9 trillion to 3.5 trillion); that's really not that bad. And it's all for really, really important stuff.

Besides, it's just money. It's just stupid little pieces of paper. If we need more, we can just borrow or print it.

Look, principles are fine things, but only when you can afford them. And we can't afford them right now. The rich have the money, and we need it, so they gotta fork it over.

It's that simple.


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Comments (25)

You can't be serious. Or is... (Below threshold)

You can't be serious. Or is this sarcasm?

Snarky today eh?... (Below threshold)

Snarky today eh?

Jay Tea realized that he ha... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea realized that he had won the victory over himself. "He loved Big Brother".

Welcome, Comrade! Later you should write a post celebrating the glorious economic victory won by our Dear Leader...the unemployment number has been LOWERED to only 9.8%! [all talk about it going UP to 9.8% is counter-revolutionary...and must be reported!]

Wait, you forgot the part a... (Below threshold)

Wait, you forgot the part about how those who want to extend the tax cuts are just like negotiating with terrorists. If you're going to be a good Democrat, you have to liken people keeping more of the money they earned to committing an act of terrorism.

Heh, you said you don't dri... (Below threshold)

Heh, you said you don't drink but I'm betting the farm someone slipped you some Unicorn brand Coolaid when you weren't looking.

That's right!We ca... (Below threshold)
jim m:

That's right!

We can transfer money from the richest people to the poorest and eliminate poverty forever! We'll have the government bureaucracy handle the transfer (they will only take 30 cents on the dollar in overhead). That way in the end we will have no poor and everyone will have the middle class income that is the average today.

Well, except that it will be 30% LESS than that average because the government will waste in in the transfer bureaucracy. So when everyone is making 30% less than the national average there will be no difference between the rich and poor. We will all be poor.

What a wonderful world that will be.

I approve of this message!<... (Below threshold)
Teddy Kennedy:

I approve of this message!

You have been assimilated i... (Below threshold)

You have been assimilated into the evil borg and welcome to it. Though since they feel that only the rich should pay, maybe the people on the lower end should take a little less and that way we could meet in the middle somewhere. I love how only one side of the equation can solve the problem that the politicians have created, why not spend a lot less buying votes then maybe we won't have as big a financial problem as we do. Nah forget it, just tax the rich until they give up and then there won't be anymore money to spend. mpw

I don't think the Democrats... (Below threshold)

I don't think the Democrats are going far enough. After all, if we cannot "afford" to not raise taxes on the top 2%, then how can we "afford" to not raise taxes on the rest of the people?

And haven't the Democrats been telling us for the past 9 years that only the rich got any tax cuts from Bush, anyway? So there really should be nothing lost by the middle class and other workers, since the Bush tax cuts never affected them.

They have also been telling us that the country was doing so much better when there was an even higher tax rate on the rich. But if it's good to tax the rich at exorbitant rates, by that same liberal logic, then it should benefit the nation even more if we taxed all wage earners at higher rates, right? The liberal logic is impeccable.

We need higher taxes across the board! And we need it now!

The intelligence of all pro... (Below threshold)

The intelligence of all progressive wealth spreaders (such as it is) should be insulted by Harry Reid's lame attempt to use today's sham tax vote to paint Republicans as anti-middle class. Is anybody still buying into this stuff?

Hey Harry - get a new shtick.

I would like to see EVERYON... (Below threshold)

I would like to see EVERYONE pay something in taxes. I don't care if it's just $1.

I hope you didn't bite your... (Below threshold)

I hope you didn't bite your tongue as you wrote that. Remember to keep it firmly in your cheek, because sarcasm is a dangerous weapon.

But, playing along let me extend you stream of consciousness.

"We are the government, and we need your money more than you do. You clearly have more than you need, anyway. But, since we are the government, and there is so much we want, uh absolutely need to do, we will spend that and more--much more. But, don't worry. We are clever. Really. So, instead of taking more of your money immediately, we will take it from those who are one rung below you on the financial ladder. See how that works? But, we can only move so far down the ladder before we run into a fairness issue. Must be fair to the those who vote for us, uh, the unfortunate among us. So, we are not guaranteeing that we won't revisit you sometime in the future. Have a nice day."

It's possible that only 2% ... (Below threshold)

It's possible that only 2% of the population makes over $250,000 per year but 100% of the population wants to. I know that many of the people who do make more than $250K are 2 or 3 paychecks from disaster just like you. Their houses cost more, their cars cost more, the private schooling for their children costs more, all the taxes they already pay are more and so on. Just because they make that much does not mean they are living within their means any more than you.

"A More Modest Proposal". W... (Below threshold)

"A More Modest Proposal". Well done. ww

"A more modest proposal"</p... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"A more modest proposal"

What? Eat the poor?

I want to go with simple Ma... (Below threshold)

I want to go with simple Math.

Since we are all Americans I say everyone pays the same Tax rate.
When I say everyone that means the 43.4 who pay no Federal income tax should pay 18% in fact 18% should be the tax rate for every American except if you are President , Congressman or staffer. Then it should be a multiple of 3 for what an American pays. Since everyone like a progressive system every term that you serve increase your tax rate by 5%.

BTW that total comp so every perk is counted toward salary.
This to me seems more fair.

The only good thing about i... (Below threshold)
John S:

The only good thing about increasing the taxes of the "rich," is that it will hit almost every household in the half-dozen richest U.S. counties that surround Washington, D.C. And if Congress doesn't "fix" the AMT again this year, that especially onerous tax will slam the high-tax blue states the hardest. I guess, for those households, being taxed an extra $5,000 is a thank you from the Democrats for being stupid enough to vote Democrat.

Cheeky little bugger!... (Below threshold)

Cheeky little bugger!

I, also, approve this messa... (Below threshold)
Jonathan Swift:

I, also, approve this message!

how about let the tax cuts ... (Below threshold)

how about let the tax cuts expire for just the democrats?

I would like to see EVER... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

I would like to see EVERYONE pay something in taxes. I don't care if it's just $1.

Yep. And it should scale with the overall tax rate, too.

how about let the tax cuts expire for just the democrats?

No point. They don't pay taxes. Most of 'em are in the 45 or so percent that don't pay any taxes, and the others chisel the government on theirs (the Cabinet member dipsy-doodle, aka "Oh, I was silly and just forgot to pay all those taxes. My bad.") or otherwise game the system (by parking their yachts in lower tax states (and yes, John F'n Kerry, I'm looking at your sorry ass).

That's why Dems are happy to raise tax rates; the rate couldn't matter less to them personally. Who cares if they raise taxes in Bolivia? Go ahead, raise 'em to the sky, Bolivians! Nothing to us.

As mentioned, Democrats DON... (Below threshold)

As mentioned, Democrats DON'T PAY TAXES.

Just ask John Kerry.

And Charlie Rangel.<p... (Below threshold)

And Charlie Rangel.

And Timmy Geithner.

And Rose Kennedy.

The list goes on...............

Well said, Mr Tea! <p... (Below threshold)

Well said, Mr Tea!

Hear! Hear!

And the pretender's gangster "administration" could make dead horses heads on the pillow bids for all of the old Concordes, re-badge them all as, say, Boeing 7047s and give one to every member of his family and one each to Nazi Pelosi and Adolf Reid and then, at direct operating costs of around Three Hundred Thousand Bucks an hour, sonic bang their way all about the place, frightening loathsome Flyover's fearsome folks and Jellystone Park's predators.

It's a shame most federal ... (Below threshold)

It's a shame most federal legislation has to come down to the wire. If our legislators were responsible this entire issue should have been settled a long time ago. Doing things at the last minute is totally irresponsible, business doesn't run that way. It's too late now to act this year on the recommendations of theDeficit Reduction Committee's comphrensive study of deficit reduction which includes both sides of the equation ie: revenue and spending expenditure. I pray that the climate will improve in DC next year. JR






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