Archive for obama tax cuts

VIDEO: President Obama's press conference on "fiscal cliff," plans to curb gun violence


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As President Obama noted, we can't end all gun violence, but we can reduce it. Making an effort to save lives makes sense, doing nothing doesn't. Seeing the president speak out and demand action is a step forward, but it's also up to us to pressure our representatives to follow through and do something about all the weapons of war used against our loved ones, among other common sense steps.

Obama also answered questions on The Boehner's Plan BS and the so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations.


VIDEO-- Nancy Pelosi: No deal without ending Bush tax cuts for the wealthy


Martha Raddatz asked if a deal without including an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy was acceptable.


Well, no, I mean, the president made it very clear in his campaign that there is not enough — there are not enough resources.  What you just described is a formula and a blueprint for hampering our future. You cannot go forward — you have to cut some investments. If you cut too many, you’re hampering growth, you’re hampering education, our investments for the future. If it’s going to bring in revenue, the president has been very clear that the higher income people have to pay their fair share.

As you can see, Martha Raddatz's interview with Nancy Pelosi was on ABC's “This Week,” and Pelosi flatly stated that without ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, by simply closing loopholes and capping tax deductions, there would be no deal on the "fiscal cliff" aka fiscal curb, fiscal slope, fiscal speed bump, etc.

John Boehner would disagree. ABC:

Pelosi’s position puts her directly at odds with GOP House Speaker John Boehner, who said tax rate hikes would be ”unacceptable” during an interview with ”World News” anchor Diane Sawyer earlier this month. Boehner has said he is open to rewriting the tax code and closing loopholes, which would result in additional revenue for the federal government, but has ruled out rate hikes for the wealthy.

Pelosi made it clear that she also doesn't want to go over that fiscal speed bump:

 "The spirit at the table was one of everybody wants to make the best effort to get this done. Hopefully that is possible; hopefully it is possible by the middle of December so the confidence of the markets and most importantly the confidence of the consumers returns to infuse our economy with demand, which creates jobs."

She made a good point: It's consumers who are the job creators.


Nancy Pelosi seeks at least $4 trillion cut to deficit as GOP moves toward Obama on taxes in talks


Okay, first things first: That so-called “fiscal cliff” is more like a “fiscal slope” or “fiscal curb." Or speed bump.

That said, Roll Call is reporting that the GOP is bending on taxes as fiscal speed bump talks begin, and that the impending fake-doomy, scary, catastrophic, omg the world is going to end Cliffageddon can be averted. Apparently, Congressional leaders don't like the looks of the stock market these days, and you know what that means... magically breaking gridlock... sort of:

The four top leaders in Congress all expressed confidence that they could avert the fiscal cliff after Speaker John A. Boehner offered up revenue and Democrats agreed to pursue spending cuts during an hourlong meeting Friday at the White House.

The Ohio Republican told reporters that he proposed a framework for dealing with the cliff that would tie revenue to spending cuts “consistent with the president’s call for a balanced approach.”

Luckily, the "Democratic leader opposes cutting Medicare benefits to strike a deal," meaning Nancy Pelosi is against compromising at the expense of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

Many of us Dems have been very concerned about ideas being floated such as raising the Medicare eligibility age above 65, a policy that is included in Paul Ryan’s Kill Medicare Budget plan. Here's Nancy:

Pelosi hopes the negotiations will yield at least $4 trillion in deficit reduction, although she said she wasn't speaking for everyone. Here's more of what she told reporters after meeting with President Obama and congressional leaders, via The Hill:

"Even if we didn't come out of the room with a solution … we came out with a plan of action, an understanding of what we wanted to achieve, a timetable for how to get it done [and] what would spring from those discussions... Each of us had some idea about how we can get this done in a way that instills confidence even as we proceed down the path."

MSNBC is reporting that Republicans are still very resistant to letting tax cuts for the very rich expire, and that Democrats will still have to make "tough compromises."

So will the tax break number move from those making $250,000 and over to a million and over? And what about Medicare and Medicaid? I'm not feeling as optimistic as I'd like.

And just for good measure, let's remember what GOP idol Ronald Reagan said: “Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.”


VIDEO: That so-called "fiscal cliff" is more like a "fiscal slope" or "fiscal curb"


The media is working itself into yet another frenzy, this time about the so-called "fiscal cliff" clock that's ticking away. They must need another ratings boost now that the Big Election Week has come and gone.

So it's all Fiscal Cliff all the time. If no tax deal is made by the January deadline, we're all gonna die! We'll have another Great Depression! We'll all go bald and break out in welts and never eat pie again! Help meeeee!

But no. That won't happen. Okay, some of us will go bald at some point, but we won't die and there may be a temporary dip unless Congress does nothing, which won't happen. They'll snap to attention and legislate retroactively. No one other than the top 2% will have their taxes go up.

As Chris Hayes points out, Ben Bernanke coined the phrase "fiscal cliff" to "kick Congress's butt to do something stimulative, and you CAN go off it. It's a little driveway!"

A slope. A curb. A little driveway. A situation that, should it occur, would be immediately rectified. 'Nuff said.

Well, except saying that the GOP has "no vision for the future."


If the GOP Ran the World


Steve Weinstein, my old Twitter pal and writer extraordinaire, has offered to guest post and came up with this splendid piece of satire. And by splendid, I mean incredibly well executed, smart, and darkly funny.


I went to the mechanic because my car wouldn’t start. He looked under the hood and told me I needed a TAX CUT. But the battery, I said. I think it’s shot. Nope, TAX CUT, he repeated as he slammed the garage door in my face.

I went to the doctor, my split lip dripping blood. He dabbed it with gauze, poked and pinched and then prescribed a TAX CUT. Tax Cut? I pleaded, swallowing another mouthful of blood. But I am cut. Don’t I need stitches? Just a TAX CUT, he insisted.

I went to my bank to report a slew of unauthorized electronic withdrawals. Someone is stealing my money, I protested. The bank manager peered at her monitor and concluded, TAX CUT. What? I exclaimed. I need my account closed and my money returned. All I can do is a TAX CUT, she said. I wonder if class action lawyers work on a tax cut retainer, I mumbled as I pushed out the door.

I went to my kid’s school to seek advice on bolstering his lackadaisical study habits. I can’t get him away from the dang Wii, I complained, but he never seems to have any schoolbooks or assignments from you. Schoolbooks, the principal scoffed. I wish we had books. But all we’ve been authorized to teach is that someday our pupils will enjoy a gigantic TAX CUT too.

I went to the Unemployment Office to figure out why my benefits had dried up so quickly. We’re just giving TAX CUTS, the bureaucrat informed me. I’m sure you received one. Tax cut? I replied. But I have no job, no income. A tax cut on nothing is nothing. Hmmm, the bureaucrat said. Well, we do have a few more of these. She handed me a limited edition Sarah Palin autographed Halibut Bat. Please feel free to use this gift to club for your own food.

I went to my kitchen to experiment with yet another fancy way to prepare Spam for the family and ignited a grease fire, which swiftly leaped to the cabinets, curtains and walls. I called 911. The recorded voice stated that thanks to a glorious assortment of TAX CUTS, emergency personnel might be able to arrive sometime between noon and 5 p.m. tomorrow. Or perhaps the next day. Tomorrow? I shrieked to no one in particular. The entire block will be toast by then. I frantically pressed 0 and then every button on the phone. The dedicated staff at Emergency & TAX CUT Services suggests, a new voice finally chirped, that you use our latest TAX CUT to pay for a night or two in a nearby hotel. Be sure to mention this message at check in to receive an additional TAX CUT by the next full moon.

Steve Weinstein (Twitter:@steveweinstein ) is a writer in Los Angeles and author of the book, “A Wish Can Change Your Life.”