H/t: Daily Kos
“While the top 1 percent of taxpayers will bear the biggest burden, many other families, affluent and poor, will pay more as well,” wrote Wall Street Journalreporter Laura Saunders in a story about the effect the “fiscal cliff” agreement would have on taxpayers.
However, a graphic that accompanied the story might help explain the conservative mindset about cutting taxes for the rich. Despite writing about the effect tax inceases will have for the poor, apparently no one in their Wall Street Journal’s world makes under $100,000 a year.
I especially feel bad for the poor, single parent struggling to get by on the measly $260,000 she earns a year. After all, how’s she going to afford paying an extra $280 a month in taxes when she’s only bringing in $21,666 a month?
At least the retired couple that barely squeaks by with $180,000 a year of income in retirement won’t have to pay more taxes (although, wearing a sweater tied around your neck like Carlton Banks is a requirement).
I would remind the editors of the Wall Street Journal that the median income in the United States is right around $50,000 a year, and less than 5 percent of households in the country earn more than $166,000 a year.
The Obama campaign’s latest web video features ordinary citizens testing out the campaign’s tax calculator which allows people to compare their tax burden under President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s tax plans. The tool was created last week and is based on the Tax Policy Center’s assessment of Romney’s plan.
“We’re still saving a ton of taxes under Obama,” says one woman, looking at the calculator. “And we are going to be…really screwed under Romney.”
The good news is that Rick Perry’s plan may never come to fruition, thanks in part to his stumbling and bumbling over key issues in this year’s campaign season. Adios amigo!
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), in his quest to win the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, has released a so-called flat tax plan that would institute a 20 percent income tax rate on everyone (minus a few deductions), while completely eliminating all taxes on investment income.
This, of course, would mean a huge tax increase for those Americans who pay less than 20 percent now, and an immense tax cut for those at the top of the income scale. In fact, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, Perry’s plan would cut taxes for millionaires by nearly $500,000 every year. Meanwhile, a family making $10,000-$20,000 would pay $215 more under the plan, while a family making $20,000-$30,000 would pay nearly $500 more.
During an interview yesterday with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register, Perry essentially admitted that this analysis is correct, affirming that a low-income person with no deductions would pay the full 20 percent while someone living entirely off of investments could conceivably pay nothing:
Q: For somebody who has a home and investments and all that, an income level to have all of that, gets those deductions, but a family that doesn’t then still pays 20 percent on their total income? And I’m describing a low-income family.
PERRY: Right. That is correct. [...]
Q: Talk about the difference in where people’s income comes from. The person who works, you know, punches the time clock, they would pay the 20 percent.The person who has the big nest egg from dad or grandpa, whose income derives from capital gains or dividends, would pay nothing?
PERRY: I have a hard time with nothing. I’m sure you could go find an individual or some small number of individuals that meet that characteristic. But again, I don’t think anybody’s going to be able to create a tax system that does not have somewhere an inequity.
When asked if his plan would give millions in tax breaks to the rich, Perry callously replied, “I don’t care about that.” A ThinkProgress analysis found that billionaire investor Warren Buffett could pay as little as 0.2 percent under Perry’s plan. At the same time, Perry not only wants to raise income taxes on lower- and middle-income families, but has come out against extending the expiring payroll tax cut, walloping working families with another $1,000 tax increase next year.
Despite their stated opposition to tax increases, Republican lawmakers have been largely cool or even hostile to a proposed extension of the temporary payroll tax cut, pushed by President Obama and Democrats. Finally, this week, Republicans seemed to relent as GOP congressional leaders publicly urged their caucuses to vote for an extension of the plan. “The fact is that Republicans are doing everything we can to allow American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn,” Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said this morning of efforts to whip GOP lawmakers to support an extension.
But in private, Boehner seems to hold a different view. Politico reports that in a closed-door GOP meeting this morning, Boehner referred to an extension of the payroll tax holiday as “chicken-shit,” saying he wanted to tack on unrelated legislation favored by Republicans to make it palatable:
GOP leadership told its membership at a closed-door meeting Friday morning it would couple with the expiring tax provisions an easing of environmental regulations on boilers, selling broadband spectrum and paving the way for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. [...]
Speaker John Boehner referred to the package he’s putting forward as turning “chicken-sh — into chicken salad,” according to people attending the meeting in the Capitol basement Friday morning.
Translated, he’s going to pass President Barack Obama’s preferred tax cut, but he wants some skin from Democrats for it.
So which is it? Does Boehner actually believe in extending the payroll tax holiday for the middle class, or is that “chicken-shit”? An extension of the payroll tax holiday would help 95 percent of working families, but would disproportionately benefit working and middle-class people, as there’s a cap that prevents wealthy people from being taxed on anything they make over about $100,000.