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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 2, 2010 5:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was A Portland soldier in big trouble. The next post in this blog is An interview with the Wikileaks guy. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lame duck session of Congress falling apart

Good. Those bad toupees on the Hill need to call it a day. Let the Bush tax cuts expire -- for everybody -- and come back in January. Or later.

Comments (27)

I am inclined to agree with you, Jack. But only because I would like to watch the stock market drop 20% so that I could buy more on the cheap.

They're playing chicken with OUR 401(k)s.

Stock market? Not mine.

What? Republican senators are threatening to block bills? No one could have imagined such a thing.

What? Oregonians calling for tax increases? No one could have imagined such a thing.

What? The Dems still have a majority and are stymied by those weak Republicans?

What? Oregonians calling for tax increases?

Actually, it was George W. Bush and his rubber stampers in congress who mandated that these deficit-inducing taxcuts for the rich expire at the end of this year.

I dont have an issue letting the cuts for the "rich" expire. But last I checked, my taxes will go up about 3%. That comes to about $2,500. Now will that be retroactive for 2010?

Nope. 2010 is the heyday of the Bush tax cuts. But if they don't extend them, we go back to Clinton Tax World four weeks from Saturday.

As long as I don't get hit with $2,500 more for 2010, I can live with it. That money wasnt withheld. I usually owe a bit at the end of the year, but I dont want to owe like $3k.

There is absolutely no good to come of letting them expire and feeding the bloated and disfunctional federal government more to waste.

It's a grand scale version of giving TriMet the Levy money or Sam Adams the leaf fee.

Without sweeping reform the revenue will vanish into the black hole.


Jon: You say "...my taxes will go up about 3%. That comes to about $2,500."

That means you're paying around $83,000 in tax now ($83,000 * .03 = $2,490) and you don't want to owe like and additional $3k.

Yeah, I can see that.

The familiar "you shouldn't mind paying more" refrain. Still blaming Bush too. Another shocker. Those who think taxes are higher should just send in more. Every little bit will help the government spend more. It's our patriotic duty.

No, the tax bracket I am in will go from 25% to 28% (which is most middle-class folks.)
But, my numbers were off as I was basing it on my total household income (about $90k), not taxable income.

Unless I am reading things wrong. Which could be the case.

I didnt say I was happy about it. There's just not a damn thing I can do about it.

It would be fun to watch Reid either send everyone home until January or bring out the cots and force the Republicans to fillibuster. He'll do neither because it would be an actual display of leadership, but it would be nice.

Jon, if you're the plutocrat your numbers suggest, you can win big by checking out before the end of the year, when the estate tax resets.

Plutocrat? Seriously?

Those who think taxes are higher should just send in more. Every little bit will help the government spend more. It's our patriotic duty.

Gary - this argument is illogical, and I don't subscribe to it. But since you do, I'm sure you'll be declining your Social Security checks and Medicare because these programs are socialism and represent wasteful government spending ("every little bit will help").

Maybe we could take your line of thinking a step further? Whoever supports the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should pay more to fund them. They're really expensive, and a large percentage of the population disagrees with them but nevertheless is still paying the taxes that fund them.

Like I said, I disagree with this line of thinking. But it's your argument, so I'm sure you're living up to it.

There is absolutely no good to come of letting them expire and feeding the bloated and disfunctional federal government more to waste.

What waste, specifically, are you referring to? Which programs or departments would you cut, and how much would that save? Most analysis indicates "waste" makes up a tiny fraction of the deficit.

To close the deficit, entitlements (specifically Medicare) need reform, taxes will have to go up, and discretionary spending (over half of which goes just to defense) will need to be cut.

People who claim to be concerned about deficits, but then advocate cutting taxes - especially for the wealthy - simply aren't serious.

By cutting the Unemployment Benefits extension, we'll reduce the deficit by $65 billion next year.

And ... that's just about how much we'll be reducing revenues by if the tax cuts for >$250K folks are extended.


Roger - I think that's a valid discussion to have, but it's not happening.

Extending unemployment benefits and cutting taxes for the wealthy both add to the deficit. However, I take the position that extending unemployment benefits would help people pay rent/mortgages they couldn't otherwise pay, pay heating bills in winter and keep food on the table. It's also money that is largely injected immediately back into the economy. Tax cuts for people making more than $250k don't help people who need help, and have very little stimulative effect on the economy.

I wish Democrats would stand up and have this debate. It's a substantive AND political winner. Instead, they're probably going to let Republicans hold important legislation (like START, tax cuts for the middle class, etc.) hostage over tax cuts for the wealthy.

As a mature responsible adult, I favor repeal of both the Bush and the Reagan tax cuts. Both are essentially giveaways to millionaires with only token savings for the vast majority (i.e., those who would actually spend the extra cash and generate consumer demand). But complicating matters this time is the expiration of the federal emergency unemployment extension (as of Nov. 30) during the worst recession by far since the 1930s. Reluctantly, I think the lesser evil in this case is to extend the moronic tax cuts for a few years if that's what it takes to continue those benefits and keep food on the table for millions of people. It sucks to holy hell, but I don't see any other options at the moment.

What a freakin dysfunctional bunch of babies. Do what we want and do it now or we aren't going to work on any of the People's business until you do - even if we agree with the particular bill and its purpose. We teach our kids in kindergarten not to behave like this. Maybe if his highness W had understood that two wars and simultaneous tax cuts might not be such a good idea- historically speaking you know-we wouldn't find ourselves in such a stalemated pickle. How are these numbnuts ever going to seriously tackle the deficit with anything close to the commitment level necessary to avert a complete fiscal meltdown for our kids,(or sooner), especially since this debate over letting the tax cuts expire for the well to do is no more than a drop in the bucket of the national debt. Stunts like this make me wish Canada had some southern provinces.

It would be fun to watch Reid either send everyone home until January or bring out the cots and force the Republicans to fillibuster. He'll do neither because it would be an actual display of leadership, but it would be nice.

Unfortunately, the days of standing up there and reading recipe books and David Copperfield are over (insert joke about just reading aloud the bill they are actually voting on *here*). There is now a Senate rule in place where they can just declare a filibuster, they do a quick whip count to see if they have the 60 votes to break it; if they don't, everyone goes back to the cloak room for cocktails.

I think the Senate would be way better off if they did still have to stand up there and babble for hours without sitting, drinking, eating, or using the restroom. You'd see a lot less of it happening.

As an immature, irresponsible adult I want to keep as much of my hard earned money in my own pocket as possible.

I guess this would be my theme song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANGWy_b_ovY

"They're really expensive, and a large percentage of the population disagrees with them but nevertheless is still paying the taxes that fund them."

I always laugh a bit at this kind of statement, given the fact that a large percentage of the population doesn't pay any federal taxes at all. I would venture that a majority of peaceniks pay little or no federal income taxes.

That said, I'm all for the idea that everyone should be able to designate precisely what their individual tax dollars are used to pay for. It would mean a quick and nasty death for most of the bloat in the regulatory and welfare states, and good riddance.


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