Archive for tax breaks

Senators promise colleagues 50 years of secrecy in exchange for suggestions on tax reform, "making secrecy a priority"

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what's the big secret

You know, the one thing I've been wishing for is more secrecy from our elected officials, because gee, who really needs transparency anyway? Especially when it comes to tax reform and being aware of which U.S. Senator supports which policies.

Yes, by all means, the more secrecy the better. America first!

weeee smaller

The Hill:

The Senate's top tax writers have promised their colleagues 50 years worth of secrecy in exchange for suggestions on what deductions and credits to protect in tax reform.

Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), have assured lawmakers that any submission they receive will not be released by either the committee or the National Archives before the end of 2064.

Deeming the submissions confidential, the Senate’s top tax writers have said only certain staff members will get access to a senator’s written suggestions. Each submission will also be given its own ID number and be kept on both password-protected servers, with printed versions kept in a locked safe.

The promise of confidentiality was revealed just two days before the deadline for senators to participate in the Finance Committee’s “blank slate” process, which puts the onus on lawmakers to argue for what credits and deductions should be preserved in a streamlined tax code.

The piece goes on to say that Baucus and Hatch were "trying to prove to colleagues that they were making secrecy a priority."

A priority. Of course. Forget about allowing the rest of us in on what you're up to.

Keeping the submissions confidential for a half century, the aide added, was “standard operating procedure for sensitive materials including investigation materials.”

Okay, I get that their motivation was to get all the senators engaged, but providing fifty years of secrecy doesn't do much to instill confidence in the honesty and intentions of our Congress members. And as The Hill noted, "blowback from interest groups and businesses" is a concern.

How about ignoring the lobbyists, just this once? How about showing some spine and concern by unambiguously standing up for the welfare of all Americans? Rhetorical, and yes, I know, I know, totally unrealistic. But sometimes that pesky wishful thinking just slips out.

wishful thinking fingers crossed smaller

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Report: Majority of WI GOP-backed income tax cuts would go to those making over $100K

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walker world

Day after day, post after post, it becomes more and more obvious that Republican have no intention of "reinventing" themselves, only their superficial, fake "image." The party may think nobody's noticing what's behind the curtain, but apparently young voters (among others) are. They see the GOP as “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned,” and not “open-minded, caring, or co-operative.”

Here's something else they are: Perpetually devoted to the wealthiest people and corporations at the expense of regular working people. Wisconsin Republicans have made that perfectly clear.

Via The Journal Times:

A Republican lawmaker’s proposal to expand income tax cuts beyond those initially proposed by Gov. Scott Walker would mostly benefit taxpayers making more than $100,000, a nonpartisan analysis released Monday found.

The average tax cut for 2015 under the proposal would be nearly $300, compared to the $83 average for an average taxpayer under Walker’s plan, according to the analysis. [...]

The report came as Republicans who control the Legislature wrangled over major budget items in closed door meetings, negotiating last-minute deals on cutting income taxes, expanding private voucher school programs, funding public schools and rejecting a federally funded Medicaid expansion.

So what else is new, right?

Please proceed.

same old

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Bonus Cartoon of the Day- IRS Picking On Conservatives?

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irspick

Monte Wolverton

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Gov. Bobby Jindal’s 2016 resume goes down in flames, an "ominous sign for national Republicans"

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way to go stars high five

I love that headline, shamelessly stolen from a TPM post. We've already seen Bobby Jindal’s approvals take a dive in Louisiana; nearly half give him a failing grade due to voter dissatisfaction with state fiscal and education policies, according to this poll.

He's in meltdown mode because of his now-pulled his tax plan, the one that would have replaced the income and corporate tax with a new sales tax. As TPM notes, he made the tax proposal a centerpiece of his second term agenda.

More from TPM, including a reminder that Paul Ryan's/the House GOP budget is a losing proposition:

Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), considered a leading presidential contender in 2016, is suffering a political meltdown in his home state... In an ominous sign for national Republicans, the immediate cause is a sweeping economic agenda with strong parallels to the House GOP’s latest budget. [...]

His retreat was a concession to the reality that the [tax] proposal was headed towards a humiliating defeat — and taking Jindal down with it along the way... [His] plans generated complaints from economists that they would require regressive tax increases on the poor and middle class to secure lower taxes for the wealthy.

He's going down in flames because of "his political style, his travel out of state, his budget cuts, additional talk of more budget cuts, and of course the tax plan," per pollster Bernie Pinsonat.

It doesn’t help that Jindal refuses to take federal money from the Affordable Care Act to expand the state’s Medicaid system.

How's that austerity thing workin'  for ya, GOP? And of course, their spiffy little Republican Renovation isn't exactly a rousing success, either.

keep up the good work

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

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

Pelosi:

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.

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"Romney sees people who work as 'suckers.' He can't go away quickly enough."

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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Romney blames loss on Obama ‘gifts,' ” Nov. 15

Will somebody please let Mitt Romney know that the election is over and he lost? He had many, many months to present his vision for the future, and America (which he might not realize includes women, minorities and young people) rejected it. He should have let his eloquent concession speech serve as his final words.

Instead, he spewed a fictitious, bigoted and condescending view of why he lost: It wasn't because he was poised to roll back women's healthcare rights, give tax breaks to the rich or dismiss 47% of the country as takers; it was because young people, minorities and the working class were bribed with gifts and blindly made their decision based on free stuff.

In reality, the only gift they received was not getting stuck with a president who thinks access to healthcare, control over your own body and reproductive choices, and the chance at an affordable college education are handouts.

Eric Cook
Redondo Beach

***

I guess I'm one of the “takers” Romney was talking about.

And he was right; I do want “stuff.” I want stuff like affordable healthcare for my family, affordable college loans for my children, a Social Security system that won't be privatized and a Medicare system that won't be “voucher-ized.”

I want stuff like a woman's right to choose what happens to her body, and a country that rewards hardworking immigrants rather than punishes them. Those are the reasons I voted for President Obama.

Eric Gardner
Redondo Beach

***

Romney's conclusion that people voted for Obama because he was giving them gifts only demonstrates how completely out of touch he is with the American electorate.

If anyone was offering gifts, it was Romney, who promised his wealthy donors and supporters that they would receive yet another tax cut.

I would have personally profited from a reduction in capital gains, but I am more interested in saving the country from becoming an oligarchy.

The gift Obama is giving to me is his intellect, his good judgment and his support of the middle class, who built this nation. That's quite enough for me.

Barbara H. Bergen
Los Angeles

***

To Romney: If you really want to see political gifts in action, please remember your support of multibillion-dollar Big Oil tax credits, tax breaks for wealthy Americans on capital gains/ordinary income, and deregulation of Wall Street after it brought the world economy to its knees in 2008.

Don Mackay
Torrance

***

I'm neither young nor unemployed. I get no gifts from Obama. I do work 60 hours a week to annually earn less than 5% of what Romney makes without working at all.

Yet for 2011, I paid a greater percentage of my income in taxes to the federal government than Romney.

Romney sees people who work as “suckers.” He can't go away quickly enough.

Bill Serantoni
Thousand Oaks

***

Would Romney have us believe that the Koch brothers and businessman Sheldon Adelson were total altruists who didn't expect multimillion-dollar tax breaks and other gifts in return for their multi-figure donations to his campaign?

The wonder isn't that Romney lost but that he got as many votes as he did.

David Riley
Laguna Woods

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

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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.”

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