Action on Obama's tax proposals unlikely
The president has proposed raising taxes on the wealthy and rewarding firms that bring jobs home before, but he got nowhere then.
What are the chances that President Barack Obama will persuade Congress to raise taxes on the rich and reward corporations who bring jobs home in an election year?
He'll be lucky to push through an agreement on the payroll tax cut, which is set to expire Feb. 29 unless Congress agrees to extend it. That makes substantive tax reform unlikely.
Changing the tax code is likely to be a years-long process, and even the members of Congress who would like to see changes are unlikely to push for reform this year. As Reuters notes:
Most of these ideas have stalled for years in Congress -- even some Democrats say they can wait for a complete overhaul of the tax code.
Obama has been trying since his 2008 election to change the tax laws that reward companies that take jobs overseas, but has gotten nowhere, Jonathan Weisman wrote in The New York Times.
The president proposed raising taxes on the rich last fall. In Tuesday's speech, he framed the issue as one of fairness. "You can call this class warfare all you want," Obama said in his address. "But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense."
Voters are split on the issue, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll released Tuesday. That poll found that a majority of Republicans approve of taxing investment income at a lower rate, while a majority of Democrats and Independents believe it's not fair to tax capital gains at a lower rate than wages are taxed.
Here are some comments on Obama's tax proposals:
- Norm Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute: "Tempted as they may be by more tax cuts, anything that smacks of a deal with Obama, or a victory for Obama, especially one that undercuts their theme -- however detached from the reality -- that Obama is a tax-increaser, will be reflexively resisted by Republicans in both houses."
- National Journal: "The upper class and middle class receive the bulk of the tax breaks in the current code: from mortgage tax deductions to child tax credits to deductions for state and local taxes. If the president is serious about reducing the deficit and making the tax code simpler, he’ll have to ask the middle class to take a hit financially and give up some or all of these politically popular deductions. And, taxing the middle class was certainly not a theme in Tuesday night’s message."
- GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney: "He's really trying to divide America. . . . The question is whether we're going to eliminate the capital gains tax break. "So if you say we're going to raise that dramatically, you're going to choke off a lot of the capital that goes into creating new enterprises and creating jobs. It's the wrong way to go."
- GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich: "It would lead to a dramatic decline in the stock market, which would affect every pension fund in the United States. It would affect every person who has a 401k. It would drive capital out of the United States. It would be the most anti-job step we could take."
- Financier Warren Buffett: "The question is what is fair when you have to raise multi-trillions to fund the United States of America. (Raising taxes) will not change my behavior. I have paid all different kinds of rates and I’ve always been interested in making money. I believe this should be a defining issue. Debbie (Bosanek, his secretary) works just as hard as I do and she pays twice the rate I do."
- Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona: "I think that's where the American people are, and we would be foolish not to run where the president's running."
More from MSN Money:
- Dems decry Romney's tax 'loophole'
- Gingrich ploy skirts Medicare taxes
- Dueling tax plans: Romney vs. Gingrich
- Romney's GOP rivals want to cut his taxes
- Payroll tax cut: Where's the revenue?
- Obama: Give tax breaks for US jobs
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Let's talk about fair. Is it really fair that almost 50% of the citizens of this country pay no income taxes? Do those citizens not benefit at least as much as the 1% (as some like to call them) from the constitutional services that our Government provides? Currently they are benefiting a great deal more, considering the Food Stamps, Welfare, EIC, School Lunch Programs and the like.
When you are really ready to talk about fair then we can talk.
Personally I don't want my Capital Gains taxed at a higher rate. Warren Buffet may be able to afford it but I can't. And as we all know our government is not capable of making distinctions such as this.
If we really wanted to increase revenue we could tax campaign contributions at a 50% rate. That would be a good start.
It's very unlikely Obama will allow the construction of a pipeline, either. As long as what's good for America is fodder for the Congressional wars, neither side is likely to give on anything.
If a free cure for cancer came along, it's unlikely to get past Congress unless somebody profits from it.
Warren Buffett - ""The question is what is fair when you have to raise multi-trillions to fund the United States of America. (Raising taxes) will not change my behavior. I have paid all different kinds of rates and I’ve always been interested in making money. I believe this should be a defining issue. Debbie (Bosanek, his secretary) works just as hard as I do and she pays twice the rate I do.""
So Warren Buffett pays an effective rate of 15%.... apparently his secretary pays an effective rate of about 30%. I would tend to argue, that when Obama goes after the "millionaires and billionaires" (i.e. everyone making over $250,000), he will end up hitting her as well.
Gerrrr53 is a pinhead!!
His idea of Liberty is stealing from one group to give to another group. He would also lead you to believe that a family of 4 making 50k cannot pay any net federal taxes!!
I say country first!!!! Then the cell phone, ipod, computer, flat screen TV, cable tv, etc, etc.
Liberals are an infestation on this country!! I want, I want, I want, somebody else to pay my way.
Grrrr53 and PO Carl,
It may help you to reserch some facts from the IRS. There are 147 million tax filers, the top 10% pay 70% of revenues taken in by the government(I fall in this range), the bottom 50% pay 2.25% , the bottom 47% pay ZERO net federal taxes. The median pay is 50k per filer.
I find it interesting just because someone pays state taxes and maybe property taxes, fuel taxes, and many other state and local taxes they feel they don't need to pay net federal taxes.
Take a little closer look at who actually pays net federal taxes, we have paid 93k in the last 5 years. And Democrats would have us pay even more???
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