Chronicle · July 11, 2012
"Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands." --Thomas Jefferson
"So the 2013 tax cliff is a big enough economic problem that President Obama now wants to postpone it for some taxpayers. But it isn't so big that he's willing to curb his desire to raise taxes on tens of thousands of job-creating businesses. \
That's the essence of Mr. Obama's announcement Monday that he wants Congress to extend current tax rates for a year, but only for those making less than $200,000 a year. This is a political gambit designed to protect Democrats who are starting to feel queasy about opposing GOP plans to extend all of the Bush rates as the economy weakens again. ...
If the Bush tax rates expire as scheduled on December 31, rates on the top two income brackets will jump to 39.6% from 35%, and 36% from 33%. Add the scheduled return of income phaseouts for exemptions and deductions, and the rates go up another two-percentage points -- to at least 41% and 35%.
Mr. Obama claims this will merely return rates to what 'we were paying under Bill Clinton,' but that's not true either. It ignores his ObamaCare tax increase of 0.9% on top of the current 2.9% Medicare tax, plus a new 2.9% surcharge on investment income, including interest income. That's an additional 3.8% surcharge on investment income, and added to the Bush expirations would take the capital gains rate to 23.8% from 15% today, and the dividend tax rate to about 45% from 15%. ...
Congress's Joint Tax Committee -- not a conservative outfit -- estimates that in 2013 about 940,000 taxpayers will have enough business income to meet Mr. Obama's tax increase threshold. And of the roughly $1.3 trillion in net business income, about 53% will get hit with the higher tax rates.
This is because millions of businesses report their income as sole proprietors and subchapter S corporations that file under the individual tax code. So Mr. Obama wants these businesses to pay higher tax rates than the giant likes of General Electric or J.P. Morgan. Does that qualify as 'tax fairness'? ...
Republicans can win this debate by stressing growth over fairness and jobs over income redistribution." --The Wall Street Journal
How does small business paying a higher tax rate than GE and J.P. Morgan equal 'tax fairness'?
"Remember in August 2009, when Obama supported extending the Bush tax cuts because, as he then put it, 'The last thing we want to do is raise taxes during a recession'?
Well, here we are with 8.2% unemployment (we haven't been below 8% for 3-1/2 years), meager 1.9% average GDP growth with a very real threat of recession on the horizon, trillion-dollar deficits extending as far as the eye can see, and this is a good time to raise taxes?
Doubly confusing is the fact that Obama and his Democrat allies are on the record as saying that the Bush tax cuts did not work. Yet he wants to extend them for the middle class, but only for a year. Please tell us, Mr. President, why extend tax cuts you don't believe worked?"
"This continues to be the longest streak -- 41 months -- of unemployment of 8% or higher since the Great Depression. And recall that back in 2009, Team Obama predicted that if Congress passed its $800 billion stimulus plan, the unemployment rate would be around 5.6% today. ... And there are few signs the rest of the year will be any better. And given a) how the eurocrisis is AGAIN flaring up, and b) China continues to slow, it sure seems like 2% growth and 8% unemployment is a best-case scenario with plenty of downside risk -- for the economy and the Obama campaign." --American Enterprise Institute columnist James Pethokoukis.
"Barack Obama believes that politics is a knife fight, and the only rule is that he must win. His conduct reflects the unholy mix of a messiah complex with the muscle of The Chicago Way. His goal, he tells us, is to 'transform' America, not fix it.
This culture clash explains a presidential campaign operating in parallel universes. Romney is making a broad pitch to the nation as a whole, assuming jobs, the debt, deficit and a strong military are what people care about because they should. Obama knows that's no longer true for a big slice of the country. He gives lip service to those issues, but they concern him only to the extent they could be his undoing." --columnist Michael Goodwin.
"Both employers and consumers are convinced that these are uncertain times, when money is better hoarded and protected rather than risked, given the uncertainty of administration policy and the certainty that profit-making is looked upon as suspicious. And just as many believe there will be no let up until the end of 2012, so, too, they trust that after that date, the long-term outlook -- energy-wise, tax-wise, technology-wise -- is pretty good, suggesting that they should weather the current storm to be poised for its passing soon. We are now at an impasse: The nation is shrugging, and will the president try to coax it to start lifting again, or in petulance, add more weight?" --historian Victor Davis Hanson
"The purpose of education is to make the choices clear to people, not to make the choices for people." --American writer Peter McWilliams (1949-2000)
"There should be a tax on every man that wanted to get a government appointment, or be elected to office. In two years that tax alone would pay our national debt." --humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935)
The BIG Lie: "[T]hese tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are also the tax cuts that are least likely to promote growth." --Barack Obama
Blame game: "Instead of creating more jobs, we had the slowest job growth in half a century, and instead of widespread prosperity, the typical family saw its income fall." --Barack Obama blaming the Bush tax cuts for the economy
Class warfare: "So we don't need more top-down economics. We've tried that theory. We've seen what happens. We can't afford to go back to it." --Barack Obama
"So I'm not proposing anything radical. I just believe that anybody making over $250,000 a year should go back to the income tax rates we were paying under Bill Clinton. Back when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and plenty of millionaires to boot. ... At the same time, 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. " --Barack Obama
"Millionaires are just as patriotic as poor people. The very wealthy are just as noble and patriotic as the middle class. But nothing has been asked of them in this horrendous recession. And it's time we just ask." --Joe Biden
Slip of the tongue: "We need to have a tax code where secretaries aren't paying a lower tax rate than their bosses." --Barack Obama getting his own argument about the Buffet Rule backwards.
On partisan bickering: "I suspect that most people ... would acknowledge that I've tried real hard, and we just haven't gotten the kind of willingness on the part of Republicans to engage on a whole range of issues that I wish had happened. Part of what I think needs to happen in this election is the voters once again have to send a message, 'We want common-sense ideas. We don't folks who are just sayin' no to everything.'" --Barack Obama explaining that it's all Republicans fault that he hasn't reached across the aisle
Unbelievable chutzpah: "What's important if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are and what you've done and that you're an open book." --Barack Obama calling on Mitt Romney to release various documents
Say what? "Republicans have changed the law so you get arrested if you do vote. ... No more compassionate conservatism, no more health care for everyone. ... They're saying exactly what they believe, and they mean it." --Joe Biden on Voter ID laws