Skip to content

Any Difference That Makes No Difference…

© Jerry Holbert

Everybody knows that taxes are things that only Democrats do! If a Republican does it, then it must be a penalty.



  1. Jeff wrote:

    Republicans are swallowing this stuff hook, line, and sinker, though. Obama recently stated that he wanted to preserve the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class while allowing them to expire for the wealthy. The Huffington Post called it a tax cut extension. Fox News called it a tax hike on the middle class. The Blaze (Glenn Beck’s news site) called it class warfare. None of them recognize that the tax cuts were supposed to be temporary, and have just been extended over and over so no one had to be stuck raising rates and looking bad.

    If Republicans think this through, they may come to the conclusion that allowing Obama to move forward is a good option. After all, it would look as if Obama was raising taxes on the wealthy, which is not popular with the GOP base. If they stop it, they have to explain to independent voters why they blocked a measure that’s popular with anyone who doesn’t have an “R” next to their name.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink
  2. Jeff wrote:

    * Tax hike on “Job Creators”. Sorry about that.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink
  3. TJ wrote:

    Oh, I still get angry every time they use the term “job creators” and don’t get called out for it. The personal income tax rate on wealthy Americans has nothing to do with job creation whatsoever. All it determines is how much money ends up in their possession. Wealthy people do not create jobs – businesses do. Personal income tax rates do not effect businesses. And it’s a stretch to say the stock investments of wealthy Americans create jobs – demand creates jobs, not investment capital. And I would argue no one with that much money has passed up on a good investment opportunity because they’re worried they might have a small percentage less money if the tax law changed. I’m sure they consider things like tax implications, but they’re not passing on opportunities because they might get to keep only 75% of the earnings instead of 80%.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink
  4. Scott wrote:

    Still say the rule should be: “You call yourselves Job Creators. OK, create jobs and keep your Bush-era tax cuts. Keep stashing those gains and pay taxes on them at the same rate as if you’d actually WORKED for the money.”

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Pragmatically speaking I don’t think tax increses on anybody will make any difference. At best increasing the federal tax rate on the wealthiest 2% raises 75 billion per year. Our governmment spends that much per week. Our annual deficit is has beenrunning around 1.3 trillion, so subtract the 71 billion and you get 1.23 trillion deficit. It does nothing to solve any problem other then scoring a political point. What next after that or whats the next step? There is none that I’ve heard.
    If we want to increase revenue we need to end corporate subsidies, all subsidies and additionally close loopholes. I hear all the time that under Eisenhower the effective tax rate for wealthy was 90% and under Carter it was 70%. Does anybody really think a single wealthy American actually paid 90% or even 70% in taxes. It would be ludicrous and silly at least. No one would do that and continue to live hear. It was all smoke and mirrors to make the little guy feel better and meanwhile loopholes and subsidies grew.
    So forget about the tax rate increase for the wealthy it means nothing and will do nothing (and actually in some parts of the country 250k yr family income is not wealthy at all). The tax code itself must be redone, or thrown out so we can start over. End all sudsidies and most loopholes and we’ll solve our problems. Yes it will be painful for all, because we all have benefitted in some way from these including alot of jobs. But please, don’t try to blame the nations woes on 71 bill yr in revenues.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  6. ThatGuy wrote:

    I think the tax increases on the wealthy are more of a single step in the right direction rather than an end point. I haven’t seen anyone suggesting this is a silver bullet to end our budgetary woes.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink
  7. ThatGuy wrote:

    Bah, I’ve fallen into GOP rhetoric! Replace “tax increases on the” with “expiry of tax cuts for”.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  8. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Well THATGUY, that goes on both sides I suppose. Since the “Bush Tax Cuts” have been in place for so long I guess the correct terminology would be to say “keep the tax rates for the 98% the same, while raising them for the wealthy”. I don’t think anyone refers to tax increases or reductions from the past otherwise we’d all be confused.

    I understand your point, I just disagree. I’ve never heard of any additional steps/plans on the Obama side at least not lately. I think it’s just to paint Romney into a box as a protector of the rich, which is not a bad political move, but just not one that will have any positive effect on the economy or budget. It adds no benefit to the economy, but has some slight potential downside. It won’t fix any fiscal woes in and of itself so I don’t see the point except as a political tool. I’m in no way saying republicans have a good plan either. It seems to me neither side has any great fix-all approach. They are both hoping economic activity picks up and solves all their problems IMO. Just kicking the can down the road, yet again.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  9. Don in Waco wrote:

    If Obama is re-elected he should let the Bush tax cuts expire. Its about time the country paid for the wars. Time to eat beans and rice for a while. Its also about time for political courage and nothing happens in Congress without incentive. Yeah that costs me, too, and I’d be hard pressed right now to scrape up $2000 extra for anything. But I could adjust.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink
  10. PatriotSGT wrote:

    @ Don in Waco – I’d be willing to do the same Don if I thought they would actually use it to pay down the debt or lower the deficit. I hope some grown-up takes charge some day.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink
  11. Iron Knee wrote:

    PatriotSgt, can you give a reference for your claim that letting the Bush tax cuts expire on the wealthy would only raise $70 billion a year?

    Although we agree — the biggest problem is federal tax breaks and subsidies. For example, the huge tax breaks that we give to oil companies (which Obama tried to stop, but was filibustered by the GOP).

    And I’m not sure why you think Obama is not a grown-up (especially compared to the GOP). Case in point: Bush and GOP pass Medicare Part D, which has no provisions to pay for itself and drives up the deficit. Obama and the Dems pass the ACA, which has built-in provisions to raise revenue and actually lowers the deficit (and the GOP goes nuts attacking it). Who are the grown-ups?

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink
  12. Arthanyel wrote:

    IK – PSgt’s number are correct, possibly even optimistic – the estimates for “millionaires and above” was 48B per year.

    That said, I would rather let those cuts expire and raise the $70B and NOT CUT FOOD STAMPS by 12B, for example. Letting the tax cuts expire only on the rich will not solve the deficit problem, but every little bit helps and they DONT NEED THEM.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  13. Don in Waco wrote:

    @PSGt, I’m good with that. Let’s start by cutting defense budgets. We can save even more by decriminalizing marijuana and ending corporate welfare. Like that’s ever going to happen.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  14. Iron Knee wrote:

    Arthanyel, I would even claim that tax cuts for the rich makes things worse for everyone. It leads to too much money looking for places to invest, which (as a natural consequence of supply and demand) leads to price bubbles (like the dot-com bubble and housing bubble, oil price bubble, and now the food bubble, and eventually the fresh water bubble).

    Bubbles increase costs dramatically for the poor and middle class. If you lower demand by taxing the rich more, then this will reduce prices. It probably doesn’t work in all cases, but excess dollars looking for investments seems to have been a major driving force of the ongoing bubbles.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  15. Arthanyel wrote:

    IK – good point. “The devil finds work for idle dollars”. And I agree with you on unnecessarily low taxes on the wealthy and the bubble impacts. I don’t think it’s demand related, however, as much as it is related to forcing artificial growth when no natural growth is available. And those that have a lot of money sitting around try to create new ways to grow it – and not by starting a new company, or investing in a new industry, but by creating financial instruments and driving boom-bust cycles.

    Most people forget that prior to Depression we had a steady cyclical boom-bust economy, because those with money can fuel the booms, pull their money out and create the bust, and then re-invest at the bottom. Nice wealth building when you can manipulate the economy to do it. That’s why things like Glass-Steagall were put in place – to kill the forced boom-bust system. And Republicans have re-introduced it.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink