State of the Union

Obama's Empty Tax Hike Populism

|

Whitehouse.gov

Over the weekend, the White House revealed that President Obama would propose $320 billion in additional taxes during tonight's State of the Union address.

Rest assured they're not going to happen—not while Republicans control Congress. This is about political signaling more than it's about policy; it's a tax-hike wish list put forth by a president who wants people to know that he favors higher taxes, not a genuine attempt at concocting an overhaul of the tax code that could actually pass. It's game day, and President Obama wants to show everyone to know which side he's rooting for, so he's showing up early in a jersey that says Team Tax Hikes.

The White House fact sheet makes it clear that Obama is rooting for a particular kind of tax hike populism. The opening line declares that "middle class families today bear too much of the tax burden because of unfair loopholes that are only available to the wealthy and big corporations." The rest of the document reads much the same way. But Obama's populist tax hike rhetoric doesn't always capture the full reality of the tax hikes he's proposing.

For example, Obama will propose ending the "stepped-up" basis "loophole" in the capital gains tax. According to the fact sheet, President Obama will propose closing "the trust fund loophole—the single largest capital gains tax loophole—to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share on inherited assets."

That's one way of putting it. Another way of putting it is that it is essentially a brand new tax on inheritance. It's a proposal that either doesn't understand or doesn't care about the primary reason the tax code employs the stepped-up basis calculation. As Ryan Ellis of American for Tax Reform explains:

Under current law, when you inherit an asset your basis in the asset is the higher of the fair market value at the time of death or the decedent's original basis. Almost always, the fair market value is higher.

Under the Obama proposal, when you inherit an asset your basis will simply be the decedent's original basis.

Imagine buying a piece of property in 1980 for $100,000. It's worth a $400,000 now. If you sell that piece of property before you die, you'll pay capital gains on $300,000—the difference between the two. But if you pass that on to your daughter, the value of that property will be "stepped up" to $400,000. The way it works today, if she sells the property for $440,000, she'll pay capital gains on $40,000—the amount it appreciated while in her possession. Under Obama's proposal, she'd be liable for capital gains on $340,000. (The Wall Street Journal has more on how this works in practice.)

As Ellis argues, it basically amounts to a "second death tax."

There are exemptions for most households, but this misses the larger point: the whole reason we have step up in basis is because we have a death tax. If you are going to hold an estate liable for tax, you can't then hold the estate liable for tax again when the inheritor sells it. This adds yet another redundant layer of tax on savings and investment. It's a huge tax hike on family farms and small businesses.  

Another provision outlined in the White House fact sheet would "roll back expanded tax cuts for 529 education savings plans that were enacted in 2001 for new contributions." Those 529 education plans are college savings plans geared toward the broad middle class—the folks his tax plan is supposedly intended to boost—the value of which was dramatically expanded by a 2001 tweak that stopped taxing those plans as ordinary income once withdrawn.

As Ellis notes in a separate post, the amount of money families put in those college funds following the 2001 reform doubled over a year, and then continued to grow rapidly. As Ellis writes, Obama's plan would undermine the value of those plans:

The Obama plan aims to turn back the clock, once again taxing earnings growth in 529 plans as ordinary income. This is a direct and clear tax increase on middle class families sacrificing to save for college, and it's likely to result in a mass divestment from this type of savings.

The White House proposal also calls for raising the capital gains rate from its current rate of 23.8 percent (including a 3.8 percent surtax built into Obamacare) to 28 percent. The White House describes this as a plan to "raise the top capital gains and dividend rate back to the rate under President Reagan." It's true that in 1986 Reagan supported a law raising the capital gains rate to 28 percent. But that was in the context of a bipartisan deal to significantly overhaul (though not completely wipe out) the tax code, one that the Reagan White House worked on diligently for years.  

Similarly, Obama's fact sheet declines to mention is that it was a Democratic president who lowered the capital gains rate back down to its current level: Bill Clinton signed the reduction into law as part of a package of tax cuts in 1997. That too was passed on a bipartisan basis as part of a broader package of federal tax reforms.

That's obviously not what's going on here. Obama isn't after plausible reforms that could pass on with support of the opposition party. He's not after anything that could pass, or even lead to a compromise that could pass—at least not while he's in office. Which means that, despite the populist rhetoric, he's not actually looking for ways to reduce the tax burden the middle class. He's looking to make a speech, not do the hard work of negotiating real reforms. 

NEXT: No personal jurisdiction in CA arising from allegedly defamatory Facebook postings targeting CA residents (Herein of Post's Second Law of Judicial Decision-Making)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Reposting for when Tony gets here:

    OT: DID BILL MAHER JUST ARGUE IN GOOD FAITH AND MAKE AN INTELLECTUALLY HONEST NON-TEAM STATEMENT?!?!?

    “Yeah, liberals hate bullying alright but they’re not opposed to using it when they casually throw out words like bigot and racist,” Maher said.

    “It does cower people into avoiding this debate. And if you’re doing that, you don’t get to wear the “Je suis Charlie” button; the button you wear is ‘Je suis party of the problem.’ And that goes for everybody,” he added.

    Maher criticized Catholic League president Bill Donahue for blaming the publisher of Charlie Hebo for not understanding “the role he played in his tragic death. Maher says that’s essentially blaming a woman for rape because she was wearing clothes that were too provocative.

    Holy shit you could knock me over with a feather. I totally agree with something that Bill Maher said. Bring it home, Armageddon…

    1. Maher is uniformly nasty about all religion. To his credit, he is no South Park atheist who thinks it is fun to go after religion so long as doing so doesn’t cause the religion’s followers to come and behead you. Maher doesn’t and never has to my knowledge pulled any punches when it comes to Islam.

      Maher is a socialist asshole. But he is at least on this subject, not the typical western Prog coward.

      1. Uh, John, the South Park guys specifically went and put Mohammed in an episode to say they wouldn’t be cowed. It was Comedy Central, not them, who blacked out the image during the broadcast. So I’m not really sure what “South Park atheist who thinks it is fun to go after religion so long as doing so doesn’t cause the religion’s followers to come and behead you” means to you.

        1. And when Comedy Central refused to show it, Parker and Stone rolled over. They could have taken their show to another network. Not like networks wouldn’t have happily taken them. But they didn’t. They just let South Park pull the show and do the dirty work.

          And they went after Muhammad before the Islamics went nuts and started making a big deal about it. They wouldn’t do a show like that today, even if Comedy Central asked them to.

          Sorry Parker and Stone are exactly what I am talking about. Just because they are sometimes funny and often right, doesn’t mean they were any less cowardly over this.

          1. So, they were threatened and they responded by specifically defying those threatening them, but their bosses refused to show it, and they’re to blame because they didn’t break and go to another network and because you imagine they wouldn’t make such a show now if they could?

            You’re delightful, John.

            1. If they wanted it shown, they should have gone to a network that would show it. Since they didn’t do that, they didn’t want it shown or least were not too bothered by it not being shown. And the show was old. it was made and shown. It was only later that the threats started. Since the threats, they have done nothing like that. So, they don’t get credit for making the first show, since they had no reason to believe showing Muhammad in an episode would be a problem.

              And stay off the thread. Epsiarch is an adult and I would like to hear what he has to say rather than you fucking up the thread with various non sequiturs and faux smugness.

              1. That’s such a logical mess, but this is particularly delightful: “they had no reason to believe showing Muhammad in an episode would be a problem.”

                Double down, John.

                You really don’t know a thing about what went on then, do you?

                1. John has certain…blind spots. It’s not worth trying to correct them.

              2. If they wanted it shown, they should have gone to a network that would show it.

                I doubt that they would have found one.

              3. John, this doesn’t really make sense to me.

                You say they are unwilling to poke fun at a religion because a follower might come and behead them. But they showed in that episode and in followup stories about how much they tried to get the image aired that they were unwilling to take that risk.

                At most you can say they are unwilling to poke fun at Muslims because they are afraid of being sued for breach of contract with CC and possibly ruin their show which is about so much more than this one issue. That is a very different characterization.

                And by the way, the original South Park episode in question aired back in 2006. Since then they have done at least 3 more episodes confronting this topic and poking fun not just at the Muslims, but also at Comedy Central for forcing them to censor these sorts of things.

                1. But they showed in that episode and in followup stories about how much they tried to get the image aired that they were unwilling to take that risk.

                  Not true. They made the show before the threats. It was only after the show was made that they threats happened. Remember, the whole “we will kill you for even showing Muhammad” was a new thing. No one thought doing that was going to cause trouble when they originally made the show.

                  And by the way, the original South Park episode in question aired back in 2006. Since then they have done at least 3 more episodes confronting this topic and poking fun not just at the Muslims, but also at Comedy Central for forcing them to censor these sorts of things.

                  Really? Considering that Muslims have made a habit of murdering people for making fun of Muhammad and I have not heard of even so much as a threat against Parker and Stone, I find it hard to believe that those episodes did much satire of Islam or did anything that pissed off Muslims very much. Think how benign the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were. So, I am sorry, I am not buying those later episodes being very courageous.

              4. “If they wanted it shown, they should have gone to a network that would show it.”

                I’d guess they were in a contract. thus unable to just up and leave.

          2. There’s taking a stand and then there’s setting fire to your entire enterprise to take a stand. I’m not sure I can fault them for not soaking their show in gasoline and lighting it up.

          3. So Parker and Stone didn’t pull any punches like you claim you respect, but when they got censored, you call them cowards for not fucking up their livelihoods by going to another network (all of whom probably would have refused to air their bit as well). Even though they honestly tried to show Mohammed.

            You sure seem to want to hate Parker and Stone and are determined to find a way that they are “atheist cowards”, even if you have to completely fabricate your reasons why. KULTUR WAR sure makes people stupid.

            1. I don’t hate Parker and Stone. I like them and think they are largely funny. I just think they were cowards over this issue.

              And it is perfectly wihtint their right to roll over to Comedy Central. They don’t owe the world their livelyhood. And they don’t owe the world risking their life to fuck with Muslims. I don’t hold what they did against them.

              That being said, it doesn’t make them less of cowards. If they want to back down, that is their right. But once they did that, they forfeited any claim to being anything but cynical and entertainers. That is all there is to it.

              Parker and Stone are funnier than Maher and right about more things. But Maher, whatever his faults, has a lot more balls than Parker and Stone do. That is just the way it is. I don’t like Maher at all and like Parker and Stone a lot more all things being equal. But that doesn’t change the fact that Maher has a lot more guts and integrity about this issue than they do.

              1. They pushed Comedy Central on this, John. They said they were making the episode and that was that, and Comedy Central decided at the last minute to censor it. They can’t go to another network in any kind of reality; I believe Comedy Central “owns” South Park the show/concept (I might be wrong about this) and even if they don’t, it’s not exactly easy to up and move a show that’s been on for (then about 15 years) a long time to another network.

                They basically did what they could within the framework they inhabited. I’m not sure how you can call them cowards for that. It’s sure as hell vastly more than so many other people did.

                1. They were contracted to deliver an episode. They did the one they wanted, specifically defiant to the threats. They turned it over to the people who contracted for it. Those people decided not to use it. That’s not their problem.

                  It would be like if an artists contracted to deliver a painting to a buyer, and third parties told him not to paint this or that, and he went ahead and did. If upon delivering it to the client the client decides not to hang it up that’s not the artist’s fault.

                2. I don’t think they did. Call me cynical but I think they were happy Comedy Central pulled that show. And if they were not happy, why didn’t they do something else outside of comedy central? They could have done another project that satirized Islam just to make a point. But they didn’t do that. Instead they went through the motions of protesting and that was it.

                  I can’t read their minds. Maybe they really wanted to run it. But I don’t think they did.

                  1. “I can’t read their minds. Maybe they really wanted to run it. But I don’t think they did.”

                    And with this sturdy foundation you call them cowards…

                  2. Here’s the thing, John. It would have been courageous to go out and thumb their noses at Islam like they have done with various other religions. I have no idea if they wanted to but CC told them not to or if they decided it was too scary or what. But in any case, I don’t think not doing that makes them cowards. I admire people who are willing to risk pissing of violent assholes who would silence them. But I don’t think failing to do so makes you a coward.

                    1. But in any case, I don’t think not doing that makes them cowards.

                      I am willing to make statements about anyone as long as doing so makes me money and doesn’t require my taking any real risk. Okay. If that doesn’t make me a coward, what does it make me? It doesn’t make me courageous that is for sure.

                      It would be different if Parker and Stone wrote the Big Bang Theory or something that had nothing to do with current events or politics. But they don’t. They do a show that is build entirely on satirizing current events and society at large. So they are going to do a show like that but then back off from doing it to Islam, which is kind of a big deal these days.

                      If they don’t want to take on Islam fine, they should go do a regular romantic sitcom or whatever. But they ought to get out of the business of political satire, because they lack the courage necessary to do it really well. It sucks that doing political satire requires risking your life these days, but that is how it is.

                    2. “I am willing to make statements about anyone as long as doing so makes me money and doesn’t require my taking any real risk.”

                      But they specifically made a statement that required taking a risk in this instance, and delivered the statement thinking it would be shown by their client.

                    3. There is a lot of room in between being courageous enough to risk your life or safety and cowardice.

                  3. Comedy Central did not pull the episode, I don’t know why people are saying that, unless they (and you) don’t know what you’re talking about. Did you watch the episode (actually I think it was a two-parter)? I did. Comedy Central put a black rectangle over Mohammed when he shows up to give Peter Griffin (yes they were making fun of Family Guy too) a salmon. From what I understand, Matt and Trey were unaware that Comedy Central was going to do that and were very surprised and pissed off. Hell, I was surprised and at first was wondering if they were doing some kind of meta-joke.

                    So again, it doesn’t sound like you’re properly informed on what happened and are forming your opinions based on partial knowledge. You might not want to do that, especially when it causes you to call Matt and Trey cowards when they are anything but.

                    1. And also, since this time they have done more episodes poking fun at Muslims and at people who would censor to avoid Muslim wrath. So they continue to push the issue in the framework available to them.

                  4. why didn’t they do something else outside of comedy central?

                    this may no more complicated than contractual obligations, as in their deal with Comedy Central precludes producing a competing vehicle for another network. They made the episode; not sure how fair it is to expect them to do anything more.

                    1. Wareagle,

                      I cannot imagine it would have created contractual problems. Moreover, why on earth would Comedy Central want to pick that fight? It wouldn’t be on their network, so they wouldn’t be involved. And they make a lot of money from that show. They are not going to go after the golden goose because of some side project.

                    2. John, multiple statements you have made about the making and airing of that episode have been flat out wrong. You’ve just proven to all here that you are forming your opinion based on incorrect knowledge about what went on. Are you going to address that? Because you seem to have your own, private version of events that allows you to call them cowards when the actual events don’t support that.

                    3. Episiarch, they censored the episode. I don’t see where that matters. The fact is Parker and Stone backed down and haven’t made an episode like that since. They lampoon all religions but Islam. Maher goes after all religions including Islam. That is why he is no “South Park athiest”.

                      I hate Maher and like Parker and Stone. But that doesn’t change the facts. Maher is more consistent and more courageous on this issue. He just is.

                    4. “I cannot imagine it would have created contractual problems.”

                      “”I can’t read their minds. Maybe they really wanted to run it. But I don’t think they did.””

                      So, you don’t know but are going to stick with calling them cowards even though your premises are mired in ignorance of what they were thinking, what they expected, what their contractual obligations actually were, etc. Wow.

                    5. John,
                      the contract likely prohibits them from producing programming similar to South Park for a competing network. It’s why you don’t see the same actor in different shows on competing networks. Occasionally, there is someone who is on different shows on the same network, but not different ones. Their deal with Comedy Central likely means they cannot produce shows similar to SP for someone else.

                  5. Have you ever seen Team America: World Police?

                    1. A good question. They didn’t seem to shy away from making fun of Muslims and more or less equating terrorism and Islam in that one.

                    2. That movie is ten years old and was made before the Muhammad controversy. They were all about going after Islam until they realized doing so might be dangerous.

                      They backed down. That is my entire point.

                  6. John, just admit you were wrong on this. Like, completely fucking wrong. Most of what you’ve said about them taking their show to another network is just not true, nor is what you’ve said about their actions. Now you’re down to saying they were “secretly happy” that CC pulled the show even though every one of their actions suggest otherwise. Stop.

                    1. Heterro,

                      Why don’t you just admit that Parker and Stone are a sacred cow on this board and thus get judged by a different standard and get a pass here where they otherwise wouldn’t?

                      Just admit it. You like them and you don’t like Maher, so you can’t stand it being pointed out that Maher has more balls and integrity on this issue. That is all that is going on here. I gored a sacred cow and you guys don’t like it.

                    2. John,

                      It strikes me that you’re not very familiar with South Park. South Park lampoons religions, but also lampoons atheists who are utterly full of themselves. See the “Go God Go” episodes.

                      They also seem to have a soft spot for some aspects of religion. See the end of the Mormon episode, when the Mormon kid tells Stan to go fuck himself.

                      In short, you don’t seem particularly familiar with the show, you got your facts wrong on the Muhammad episodes, and now you’re digging in. Not a good look.

                    3. I am very familiar with the show. And yes, they do lampoon people of any strip who are full of themselves. Why that would not apply to Muslims, particularly radical ones, I am not seeing.

                      I don’t know why you guys have such a hard time admitting that Maher is more consistent on this stuff that they are? It doesn’t mean Maher is right. It is just admitting the truth.

                      As I said, i can’t stand Maher and like them. But the fact remains, they love to lampoon people right up until it gets hard. Maher in contrast is making himself persona non grata among his own group, liberals because he won’t back down. Like him or not, that is a huge contrast to anything Parker and Stone have ever done.

                    4. Also worth noting that they had already aired an episode with a depiction of Muhammed that no one cared about before all of this stupid shitstorm happened (“Super Best Friends”).
                      Fake skandulz…

                    5. Thank you. I was afraid I was misremembering that since no one else had brought it up.

          4. You know what else would be funny? Watching you stick your head in a hornets nest, but I bet you wouldn’t do it. Guess that makes you a coward. Why would they even consider going to a different network? Just to provoke a bunch of bloodthrsty lunatics? Doesn’t really seem worth it. Probbaly not to them either.

            1. You know what, some day I may half to. It will suck to be me but life is like that.

              A Cuban dissident once said that the worst thing about living in a totalitarian country is that every single day you must exhibit the most incredible courage imaginable just to achieve basic human decency.

              Fortuneately, neither I nor you live in such a world. But there is nothing to say that we might some day be stuck in such circumstances. It sucks that satirist have to face the prospect of risking their lives to criticize Islam. But the choice is either censor yourself such that you don’t touch religion at all, go after every religion but Islam and then yield its claim to specialness or stand up and take the risk. That sucks but that is life. Anyone who chooses to do satire in this day and age is faced with that choice. And the proper thing to do is stand up. And yes that requires courage, just like the day I ever have to go after the hornets nest because circumstances demand it will require courage.

              1. someday I might half to

                Awesome. Never change, John!

            2. You know what else would be funny? Watching you stick your head in a hornets nest, but I bet you wouldn’t do it.

              do you realize you are essentially saying that Muslims are no more rational than wild animals, insects in this case? Hornets react; they don’t think about it, they don’t ponder ramifications, they react instinctively to outside threats. Muslims are humans, meaning the capacity for logic is there, a capacity your statement says they do not have.

          5. They could have taken their show to another network.

            Sure. All they had to do was break their contract. No prob.

            Those kinds of contracts never have language in that clears the way for a court to enjoin you, never have language hitting you with liquidated damages. Nope.

            They were free as birds to take their show anywhere, I’m sure.

            1. No contract lasts forever. And shows are under contract from a year to year basis. You can always walk away and stop doing your show at the end of the season. If Parker and Stone had said “okay don’t run it, but at the end of this season we are done and will go do a show elsewhere”, Comedy Central would have been under a lot of pressure to cave. And my guess is that they would have. Parker and Stone just didn’t do that. They said the right things but ultimately were not too bothered by Comedy Central’s actions.

              Think of it this way, what if consistent with the contract Comedy Central started really censoring the show, such that every single episode was screwed with beyond recognition. Do you think Parker and Stone would stand for that? No way they would walk.

              If they can walk over that, why not over this?

              1. You are pretty cavalier about Matt and Trey ending a relationship they had had with Comedy Central for something like 15 years. Comedy Central gave them a chance and the opportunity to become famous. And as I said above, the censoring came, as far as I know, as a surprise to them too.

                Yeah, they could walk over it. But there’s a lot more to their relationship with Comedy Central than just that one episode. Would you divorce your wife over a single incident such as her wrapping your car around a telephone pole (and not getting hurt, obviously)?

                1. Yeah, they could walk over it. But there’s a lot more to their relationship with Comedy Central than just that one episode.

                  Let me ask you my hypothetica again. Suppose Comedy Central started screwin with every episode. Don’t you think they would walk then? Why would they? Because getting what they want on the screen is important to them.

                  They didn’t walk over this. And they didn’t go outside of Comedy Central and produce something else just to prove the point. So ultimately, they just didn’t consider it that big of a deal. And that is their right to think that way.

                  But, Maher stands in contrast to that. Maher does think such things are a big deal and goes after Islam just as hard as he does other religion. This is why Maher is “no South Park Atheist”.

                  It is just the truth.

                  1. “Suppose Comedy Central started screwin with every episode. Don’t you think they would walk then?”

                    Episarch’s point was about why walk over this one time difference, so you pointing to hypothetical pattern is truly inapt.

                    “Would you divorce your wife over a single incident…”

                    1. Episarch’s point was about why walk over this one time difference, so you pointing to hypothetical pattern is truly inapt.

                      Yes. They didn’t walk over this difference. That is my entire point. They were not bothered by it and didn’t think it was worth really standing up for. Maher, in contrast does. That is why he is not a “South Park Atheist”.

                      You clearly are not bright enough to understand the point. But give it a try anyway.

              2. shows are under contract from a year to year basis.

                not necessarily true. It is not uncommon for producers of popular properties to be locked up for several years, if only to prevent a sleeper show that hits big from being moved to a competing network. It’s a bit like sports; you don’t sign a QB to a one year deal, you do multi-year contracts that usually have some escape or buyout clause, but still.

          6. Yeah, I think you are going off the rails here a bit, John.
            Parker and Stone are entertainers. They like to take jabs at everyone’s sacred cows and maintain the independence to do whatever they want. But they do it because it is funny and makes them money. They aren’t like Jon Stewart going around acting like they are important parts of the political discourse. I don’t see how anything obliges them to give up the pretty good deal they have with Comedy Central. I doubt that many other networks with the money to pay them would give them much more freedom than CC does to produce the show the way they want to.

            1. Yes, they are entertainers. They take jabs at “sacred cows” so long as doing so is safe to do. Thus my saying that Maher, who doesn’t do that but goes after everyone, is not a “south park atheist” is perfectly appropriate.

              You are right Zeb. They are entertainers and not particularly brave ones. That is my entire point.

              1. I just think calling them cowards when they have more balls than the vast majority of the entertainment industry is not very fair. They have never pretended to be anything other than what they are. Other people assign importance to them for various reasons, but they are pretty consistent in saying that they do what they do because they can make lots of money doing what they like to do and they think it is funny.

              2. You said something stupid, John. Just stop trying to defend it.

                1. No I didn’t. Maher has a lot more courage and integrity on this issue than Stone and Parker. He does. I don’t even like Maher. i think he is a dick and an ignorant socialist. But that doesn’t change the truth about this.

                  Maher lampoons all religion and is willing to do so about Islam. Paker and Stone lampoon all religions but Islam because they lack the courage to do so.

                  Maher is no South Park Atheist. All of that is true. You just don’t like it because you like Parker and Stone and don’t like Maher. Well, I like them and don’t like Maher too. I am just honest enough to admit that truth.

                  Ever occur to you guys that you have sacred cows too? Would you be arguing this point if Parker and Stone were Progs and did the same thing? No fucking way.

              3. John, you’re normally quite insightful. But, you have gone off the rails on this one. Your argument comes down to a claim that Parker and Stone were insufficiently aggressive in pursuing their critique of Islam. But, they’re not in the business of critiquing religions. They’re in the business of producing a comedy that occasionally makes some worthwhile observations. And their religious critiques are generally means to that end.

                1. But, they’re not in the business of critiquing religions.

                  They most certainly are. The whole point of the show is to lampoon religion, mass culture and pretty much everything else about society. That is why it is such a good show. Religion is the subject of at least a quarter of the episodes. They make fun of Kyle’s family being Jewish in practically every episode and Jesus is a recurring character. They are totally in the business of lampooning religion.

                  Moreover, they made an entire Broadway show lampooning Mormonism. Bill, you act like they make romantic comedies or something.

            2. Yeah, I think you are going off the rails here a bit, John.

              He gets like that when people don’t stand up on principle enough to suit his liking.

              1. I think an atheist must have pooped in his oatmeal this morning or something.

                1. Maher is an atheist too Zeb, and a particularly loathsome one. AND I am defending him here.

                  You guys just can’t call it like it is if it involves someone like Parker and Stone that you like. That is all there is to it. Maher is a crap weasel, but you can’t deny he has more balls that Parker and Stone do.

          7. They could have taken their show to another network.

            They probably had a contract with Comedy Central. And I’m not sure how many other networks out there would allow them to do half the other shit they get away with on CC. Maybe HBO or other premium networks, but I can’t see anyone else on basic cable letting them have the level of creative freedom CC does in most other cases.

            In fact the Muhammed episode and a re-airing of Trapped in the Closet where they busted on Tom Cruise and Scientology are the only examples I know of CC doing anything to “censor” them.

      2. My understanding was that it was Comedy Central that censored the shit out of some SP episodes that made fun of Mohammad. But that’s neither here nor there.

        1. Viacom made a rational choice as a conglomerate. It’s easier for an individual to be bold than a corporation.

        2. They did. But Parker and Stone happily let them. If it bothered Parker and Stone, why didn’t they threaten to take their show to another network?

          1. Don’t you work for the US government? And yet a lot of what they do bothers you. Why don’t you leave them in protest? You not doing so shows you’re just as responsible for all their misdeeds.

            1. Why don’t I? If you want to claim I lack integrity for doing that, go right ahead. You would not be entirely wrong. We all sell out in our own ways. That doesn’t make it any less of a sell out.

          2. If it bothered Parker and Stone, why didn’t they threaten to take their show to another network cut off their nose to spite their face?

            ftfy

          3. Aren’t Parker and Stone under a contractual obligation to produce South Park episodes for Comedy Central? And, I assume, this contract won’t just allow Parker and Stone to take the contracted product and carry over to another network when Comedy Central cuts out a scene in it.

            1. Or, what RC Dean said.

            2. But it doesn’t require them to produce the next year. TV contracts are season to season. Parker and Stone would have had to finish out the season. But they could have then gone to another network or just refused to make more South Park episodes until Comedy Central showed the Muhammad one in its entirety.

              It would have been hard but not impossible and certainly something they could have done if they cared enough.

              1. you keep saying show deals are season to season and that is simply not true. Successful shows usually mean multi-year deals, precisely to keep the program from being moved from one network to another.

                1. Wareagle,

                  You can’t get specific performance on labor contracts. If Stone and Parker decided to retire tomorrow, they would not be in violation of their contract with Comedy Central. It would just be the end of the show and the contract.

                  And no one wants these contracts to be for multiple years with no escape clause. The network doesn’t want to pay for a show if the ratings suck, the talent wants to be able to leave if they get a better offer and the network doesn’t want people working on a show who don’t want to be t here. So, the shows go from year to year.

                  1. when shoes do well, the networks carrying them tend to negotiate multi-year deals to keep the program on their air. Sorry, I have lived this one. The number of times that someone can cite for a successful show switching networks is very small.

                    Like any other business, tv likes continuity and the ability to plan ahead. I didn’t say there are no escape clauses, just that you can’t up and go to a competitor on a whim. If you could, just think of the bidding wars that would have occurred for any number of popular shows over the years.

                    1. shoes = shows.

                    2. Additionally, it is likely the case that Comedy Central owns the rights to South Park. You cannot just take IP from the company that financed its development and give it to someone else.

                  2. Damages might be available, and possibly injunctions on working elsewhere.

      3. “To his credit, he is no South Park atheist who thinks it is fun to go after religion so long as doing so doesn’t cause the religion’s followers to come and behead you.”

        What’s funny is that John seems wonderfully ignorant that Parker and Stone actually lampooned those who would mock Jesus and such but not with religions they were scared of.

        1. That doesn’t even make rational sense Bo. Rethink that post and try again.

          1. In the episode you’re talking about they actually make the point you’re trying to make, that people who would mock ‘safe’ religions but not ‘dangerous’ ones are hypocrites.

    2. Hey, I just froze over.

    3. As a straight, white male, I wish I was skilled enough to engage people in discussions about these topics.

      Most of the time, after running out of counter arguments(which is usually 2 or 3 since they’re just repeating progressive talking points), people I’m talking with go for the “you just think that because your privileged.”

      At that point, I have to give up because I know I have to debunk their entire worldview before I have a chance to getting any idea across to them.

      1. And let me guess, the person calling you “privileged” has never wanted for anything or been told anything other than how wonderful they are in their entire lives? The people who most throw out the term “privileged” as some kind of debate ender are college students. I can’t think of a more privileged group of people on earth than students at elite American colleges. Can you?

        1. Congressional Democrats?

        2. Well sure. And they happily admit that they don’t understand either. They’re just letting you know what side they’re on. As has been said a million times, it’s all about signaling.

        3. She definitely wasn’t in the 1% or anything, but she didn’t live a life of hardship.

          Her parents were Polish immigrants. Her dad was a machinist and we got along great. He liked Ron Paul “because he packed a lunch to take to work every day.”

          She just got brainwashed by public schools and a liberal college education. I don’t think she realizes that it’s not just about being given opportunites (I was given a lot). It takes a hell of a lot of hard work to capitalize on them.

          1. That is just it. Since “privileged” is a relative term, we are all “privileged”, especially if you live in a nice Western country. I don’t care how bad you have it, someone out there has it worse. It has to be the dumbest term ever invented by man.

            1. Assuming that I am privileged, the first question that comes to mind is “ok, so what’s the socially acceptable way for me to act?”

              Anything I do, except for sacrificing myself on their alter of victimhood, is exercising my privilege. It reminds me of that NPR piece that someone posted a few weeks ago about the play where the characters parodied what society thought a white person should act like. The conclusion was that white people should “sit down and shut up.”

              1. it is socially acceptable to speak your peace in a rational and sane manner, absent of the usual ad hominems, straw men, and other things progtardism relies on. Some will always disagree with you, others make the political personal and won’t want to be friends with you, which is hardly a loss since they tend to be insufferable anyway.

            2. I think “privilege” means something different from having it better than some people. And it is not a completely useless term. It means that someone gets special treatment that others don’t. The political class is definitely privileged in that way. They get away with shit that normals don’t.

              Of course, the people using “privilege” to shut down arguments are misusing the notion. The problem isn’t that white males have privilege (though some do), it is that women and non-whites were specifically discriminated against for a long time, leading to the unequal situation you see today when comparing different groups.

              If anyone has privilege, it is the supposedly marginalized people who get to shut down arguments and think that they are the only ones qualified to talk about racism or sexism or whatever their victim class entitles them to.

        4. The people who most throw out the term “privileged” as some kind of debate ender are college students. I can’t think of a more privileged group of people on earth than students at elite American colleges.

          Actually, I think it goes a little beyond just college students. When you look underneath the hood, you find, more often than not, the SJW brigades spouting this crap tend to be the most affluent of this demographic. People from poor backgrounds generally aren’t going to college to major in Women’s Studies or Critical Theory. They really can’t afford to. And, if they’re getting help from home, they’re pretty much under pressure to make their degree count for something.

      2. Maybe you just need to stop throwing your white privileged heteronormativity around, jerk. You don’t understand and you never will understand and you’ll always be hated because you can’t understand.

      3. “”you just think that because your privileged.””

        Do people actually say that to you in person? Do you live at Oberlin College, because few people I know would ever talk like that, even those who likely believe such nonsense.

        1. I rarely talk to people in person, but all across the Internet this is used to shut down debate. It’s kinda why I rarely talk to people in person.

          1. It’s hard for me to imagine someone using such a stilted, arrogant and assuming way of talking to a person’s face. I’m not doubting it happened, after all as you say people write such nonsense all across the web, but thankfully I’ve yet to run into people who would talk so foolishly in a face to face conversation.

            1. You’ve probably never met my sister, or a friend’s sister.

        2. Yep. It’s happened twice. I let it slide the first time. The second time they were a lot more aggressive about it. We haven’t talked in about 5 months.

          Not Oberlin, but a pretty liberal area, politically.

          I think people are perfectly fine talking about privilege in the abstract, as something academic. But it gets really ugly when you start applying it to people you know personally.

        1. Yup.

          But to them, you can’t make a symbolic stand omelet without breaking many actual people’s livelihoods, and hey, it’s time for some eggs!

  2. Also: DOUBLE TAXATION IS DOUBLEPLUSGOOD!!!!

    1. Its triple taxation. You pay taxes on the money to buy it, death tax when you will it to your daughter and capital gains when your daughter sells it.

      1. If it’s property, then both you and your daughter also pay property taxes on it every year.

        1. Quadrupole taxes for the win!!

      2. Between the estate tax and the capital gains that may come out to +100% total tax on any given asset.

    2. Calling a basis step-up a loophole really bothers the fuck out of me.

  3. He’s looking to make a speech, not do the hard work of negotiating real reforms.

    When has Obama ever been interested in hard work or negotiating? His entire career in the federal government has been buoyed by the myth of his “transformative speeches” and perhaps he even believes his own hype. But the fact is that when it comes to the knife-work of politics and legislating, Obama is not even a neophyte, but something worse: he is an observer, not much different from John Q. Public. He doesn’t get legislation passed, he waits for someone else to do it. He’s not an LBJ with a gift for political skullduggery or an FDR who uses the bully pulpit to beat his opponents into submission. Obama was, is, and will ever be, that adjunct ConLaw lecturer, going through the motions, collecting the check, and giving not a fuck whether or not you’ve taken anything from the nonsense he spews into the empty air.

    1. Present!

    2. Screw legislation, he couldn’t even get a budget passed when his team controlled the Senate.

    3. Q: How many times did Obama vote ‘present’ as a state senator?

      A: He did so 129 times,

      At least he wasn’t on the golf course!

    4. I have had the distinct displeasure of watching him since he was an IL legislator and then IL senator…that is a quite accurate description of his M.O. I always wanted his supporters to show a law he drafted, a bill he persuaded and compromised and worked on…instead, I got fluff pieces from the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune going after his US Senate opponent’s marriage records, etc.
      Where are his long term friends, the people he worked with back then, to tell us how much effort he put in, etc?

      and 6 years into this macabe joke, this is what we are left with. Bah.

  4. That’s an unfair loophole available only to the wealthy and big corporations? In which alternate universe? It’s bad enough that capital-gains tax is in large part a fee for the privilege of using devalued currency.

    1. That “loophole” such as it is, doesn’t benefit the wealthy. The really wealthy put their assets in trusts that their various idiot children can borrow against and never pay taxes. It is why the idiot children are called “Trustafarians” and not “Inheritafarians”. They have trusts.

      This tax is designed to go right after the middle class. Obama hates most people. But the people he hates the most are the uppity white people who have the nerve to work hard and make a little money rather than inherit it like they are supposed to. Everything he does is done for the purpose of robbing those people and giving their money to the rich and to the poor.

      I mean, most of those middle class people didn’t vote for Obama and never will. So why should he give a fuck about them? They are mostly just a bunch of typical white people or worse.

      1. …just a bunch of typical white people…

        Like his grandmother.

  5. “middle class families today bear too much of the tax burden because of unfair loopholes that are only available to the wealthy and big corporations.”

    Obama, fan of a flat tax! Whodathunkit!

    1. Yeah. Flat tax – of 90 percent.

  6. Loophole: proof that a law was poorly written because corporations can still make money.

    I believe this is the definition being used in DC these days.

    1. loophole, n. any aspect of a law that allows an outcome that I don’t like

    2. Loophole: see, also, compliance.

    3. loophole — synonym: remaining freedom

    4. loophole, n. an aspect of a law that takes into account that Congress and other politicians don’t like to pay taxes either.

  7. Re: 529s. Sometime ago, when investigating saving for my two kids college, I thought long and hard about what tax strategy I would use. What I came up with was since I already have a work sponsored 401(k), I’d use Roth IRAs, under my wife’s and mine names. The advantages here (until they change the “rules”) are a few.
    1) Doesn’t appear as assets for college applications financial considerations.
    2) It is always in our control – if the kids turnout to be fuck ups, it is still ours.
    3) Tax-free/Penalty free withdrawals for education.
    4) 5k per year contributions in each account allowed.

    1. Huh. Makes sense to me. I need to start learning about this kind of thing. I have a 401(k) but that’s about it.

  8. I was watching the morning news the other day, and one of those “StartupNY” ads came on (I think that’s

    1. Yeah, no taxes for 10 years, then they really soak you when it would cost you more to leave.

  9. “Soak the rich” is so yesterday. Hey Obama, your fellow socialist Hollande in France just CUT taxes on the rich! Do you think we didn’t notice?

  10. Actually, the thing that strikes me is that the elimination of stepped up basis is particularly designed to hit the middle class. Remember, the first $5.34 million is exempt from inheritance tax. The change in basis won’t be hugely meaningful for large inheritances. But, all of a sudden it will ptu those inheritances below the minimum in play.

  11. How the fuck did that happen? Let’s try again:

    I was watching the morning news the other day, and one of those “StartupNY” ads came on (I think that’s what they call it), and it occurred to me that this is exactly the sort of evil unwholesome tax arbitrage which leads to the dreaded international tax inversion gambit.

    Why hasn’t the Chastiser-in-Chief gone to Congress and asked them to make state to state relocations illegal? At the very least, they could force corporations to remit to their previous state of residence an estimated tax payment based on what they *would have* owed.

    FAIRNESS NOW!

  12. The fact that rich people are rich is all the evidence we need to show that they don’t pay their fair share!

    If they paid their fair share then they wouldn’t be rich!

    Power to the people!

    1. Yes, and rich is anyone with a dollar they didn’t mooch off the government.

  13. This adds yet another redundant layer of tax on savings and investment.

    Disincentive to saving?

    Feature, not bug.

  14. I think its awesome that Obama is teeing up the Democratic party’s 2016 platform as, “TAKIN MOAR OF UR SHIT = CUZ FAIRNESS

    Between the “let’s give mexicans passports and free money” and this, new and improved, “I want everyone to work 15 years longer so you wont need to bother with retirement savings! Also = don’t try leaving anything to your children!”…. what the fuck is the DNC thinking?

    Steal Libertarian? Anti-Christ? *Koch Plant*?

    1. Nah. He’s teeing up the Dems’ platform as Evul ol’ Republicans – party of the rich.

  15. I’m truly beginning to believe the “economists” guiding White House economic policy WANT to see Americans rushing around desperately trying to offload wheelbarrows of cash.

    “The Weimar Republic had the most awesomest GDP numbers EVAR!!!!”

  16. I think it’s time to rename the Democratic Party. I mean, mob rule is just a means to an end, which is totalitarian power and a communist economy. I used to think they were just pushing for a weak socialism in the U.S., left of where we were, but not to European levels, but that’s clearly not the case. They’ve left the mask off far too long not to see major threads of authoritarianism and, frankly, total redistribution.

    1. The Democrat Party has been for this kind of thing for a loooong time, no?

      1. Not as openly, and not as broadly. They used to have to deal with fairly large segments of their own voters who were unwilling to completely toss capitalism and limited government (for often different reasons). This seemed to start changing at some level in the 90s, with it becoming the major theme in the Aughts.

        1. I don’t know, weren’t tax rates on the upper brackets even higher in the past? I imagine Democrat administrations played no small part in putting that into practice. And Clinton didn’t mind talking about making ‘the rich’ pay ‘more of the tax’ share. Increasing taxes on ‘the rich’ is kind of a staple of the Democrat Party since Wilson I’d say.

          1. That was all window-dressing (the high tax rates), because nobody paid that high. We’ve had various dances with socialism in the past, of course, and class warfare is hardly new. It’s all a matter of degree.

        2. PL is right. The Dems used to be a somewhat diverse lot, ranging from the loony left to more moderate types to rather conservative people from the South or out West. The party used to have actual hawks in its ranks, too, along with a few who liked cutting taxes. Those people are no longer welcome in the tent.

          1. Look at how different Al Gore is from him Senate days.

    2. The National Socialist American Workers’ Party?

    3. I don’t think that the party as a whole is anywhere near that coherent.

      1. It’s like Nazism without Mein Kampf or Communism without The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital.

  17. He’s looking to make a speech, not do the hard work of negotiating real reforms.

    Like that incompetent buffoon EVER exhibited any interest in the substantive aspects of his job title.

  18. this macab[r]e joke

    Concise, and brutally accurate.

    Very nice.

  19. He’s looking to make a speech, not do the hard work of negotiating real reforms.

    Exactly. He knows that anything he proposes will have to go through a GOP congress. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to grand stand about all the wonderful, feel-goody progressive policies you would love to enact, except for those pesky GOP obstructionists who get in the way.

    So, of course, he would love to stick it to the rich, eliminate CO2 emissions, give everyone a free pony, etc, but the damn republicans won’t let him, so please remember that in 2016. In other words, a long list of shit that they don’t really mean; policies that somehow slipped their minds when they controlled both the legislative and executive branches of government. Because they’d much rather pose than take responsibility for anything.

    1. He’s looking to make a speech, not do the hard work of negotiating real reforms.

      Yup. He just wants to make the Republicans look bad come 2016. Given the bitch slap the voters gave them last November, what else do the Dems have?

  20. Why are unpopular tax hike proposals still called “populist”? Isn’t “populist” stuff that lots of people want?

    1. “Isn’t “populist” stuff that lots of people want?”
      Well, lots of people want that guy over there to pay more taxes so they can get free shit.

    2. Even people earning hourly wages aren’t fooled into thinking that ‘inheritance tax’ is somehow a Universal Good. They instinctively understand it to be robbing people’s graves.

      My point above… i don’t know what the fuck he’s thinking teeing up “moar taxes” as the ‘ideas’ he wants his party to be associated with. You’d think if they had an ounce of brains in his corner (between valerie jarret and susan rice, i’m in doubt), they’d propose something *clever* that Republicans would be forced to reject.

      Like citizen review/oversight of police forces.

      1. But are higher taxes (on “rich people”) unpopular?

        Or least 50%+1 popular?

      2. Why should people earning an hourly wage worry about an inheritance tax they’ll never pay?

  21. Why are unpopular tax hike proposals still called “populist”?

    Most people only year “TAX THE RICH!”

    They never bother to turn the rock over and see what scuttles out.

  22. and the campaign continues.

    1. Well that’s pretty much all he’s ever done his whole professional life.

  23. He’s looking to make a speech, not do the hard work of negotiating real reforms.

    Pretty much sums up his entire presidency.

  24. Gotta love him because if nothing he is consistent. He knows his chances of getting anything through Congress are zero so instead opts to toss out the tried and true, all be it exhausted,democratic strategy of attacking the rich. When all else fails, pull out the old “pay their fair share” BS as a way to fund programs the country can never actually afford to support. Democrats are baffled why the lost the mid terms yet out of the gate they, led by his majesty, want to try and sell more spending, more debt and more government control in our lives…

  25. The progs always argue that they’re trying to help out the middle class. Pfah. They fucking hate the middle class.

    The income tax itself was supposedly never going to be applied to the middle class; it was only going to be applied to the rich. So how did that work out?

  26. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  27. “He’s looking to make a speech, not do the hard work of negotiating real reforms.”

    So, it’s the responsibility of a president elected by a solid majority of citizens to propose legislation that can realistically pass a legislature composed of right-wing radicals? Why?

    Peter, in your musings about 529 plans you neglected to mention that existing plans are grandfathered in and any kind of mention of the AOTC. Are the bigger exemptions, decreased tax rates on the middle class, and Expanded EITC provisions part of the broad Obama austerity program that I’ve been hearing about from a few commenters? If so, shouldn’t we get behind this? Maybe Obama just needs market his proposals to fiscal scolds and other apologists for plutocrats?

    1. So, it’s the responsibility of a president elected by a solid majority of citizens to propose legislation that can realistically pass a legislature composed of right-wing radicals? Why?

      It’s not so much a responsibility. Rather, proposing any legislation that has no hope of seeing the light of day in the legislature elected by the electorate is just empty masturbation. If you enjoy a good stroke, then I guess he’s not responsible for anything more.

      1. Yes, right, Obama gives a speech outlining proposals that he’s been talking about for six years. Right-wing extremists control the legislative branch and need to protect the interests of the monied elite that pays them off so fuck that. Ergo, the problem isn’t right-wing extremism, money in politics… No, it’s grandstanding by Obama. You guys are such victims.

        1. If Obama wanted them for six years, why didn’t he just pass them when the Dems held both Houses’of Congress?

        2. Ergo, the problem isn’t right-wing extremism, money in politics… No, it’s grandstanding by Obama. You guys are such victims.

          You’re arguing with the libertarians that live inside your head again.

          When you feel ready to join the real world, perhaps respond with something other than sarcastic strawman? I mean, I know you’re sad that the strawman didn’t show up himself, and you have to sarcasm him into existence, but, if you actually want your communication to have some actual purpose, try responding to what’s actually there, instead of what’s inside your head only.

  28. If libertarians are so against taxes why are they opposed to so many of the tax cuts present in obama’s SOTU?

    I’m pretty happy that I’ll pay less in taxes under obama’s tax plan, but that’s just because I don’t have a sufficient grasp of the contributions made by the 1% of the 1%. I guess I need to brush up on my Ayn rand and contemplate the majesty of bill gates’ Windows Me operating system.

    1. What a coincidence: they bring up a tax cut for the middle class in a manner such that it’s politically impossible.

      It’s almost as if he doesn’t really mean it. Shocking.

      So, how’s that democrat cock tasting? Hmmm, good to you?

      1. What makes you think they don’t mean it? When Obama and Democrats came into office in 2009 they gave middle class workers a $400 per person tax credit. Why do you think Obama isn’t serious about giving middle class taxpayers a tax cut now? Does sucking cock mean that I vote for politicians that lower my taxes and don’t vote for politicians that waste my tax dollars fighting bullshit wars against Iraqi nationalists? Yeah, I’m pretty shameless about that. Mmm, Mmm tastes good. When are you guys going to stop swallowing Republican cum?

        1. american socialist:

          When Obama and Democrats came into office in 2009 they gave middle class workers a $400 per person tax credit. Why do you think Obama isn’t serious about giving middle class taxpayers a tax cut now?

          Unless you think $400 is a lot of money, then I think you just answered your own question.

          1. Yeah, I’m pretty shameless about that. Mmm, Mmm tastes good. When are you guys going to stop swallowing Republican cum?

            Please point out where I was singing the praises of wonderful Republican executive or legislative action, similar to the way you come prepared with democrat talking points, ready to explain to us all about the tax-powering ambitions of democrats?

            If you want to claim equivalency, then show your work. Otherwise, you just come across as a concern troll “libertarian socialist” democrat. Really, it’s so intellectually inspiring, the way you wrap your lips around the cocks of democrats. You can just admit it. No need to pretend that a “libertarian socialist” means anything other than “closet democrat.”

          2. Also, they let that $400 credit expire in 2010. Because they’re so serious about lowering middle class taxes.

          3. Yeah Brian, it is a lot of money. There you go again with your contempt for those that are less fortunate. You really sound like a fucking petulant prig. I hope someone smashes your nose in the next time you talk like that.

            1. Awww, I can feel the butt-hurt.

              I should be ashamed of myself, shouldn’t I?

              Why, for an average income of $50,000, a $400 tax credit is like, wow!, almost 1% of their income! And, what fun that the tax credit only lasted until 2010! I mean, who could expect such amazing savings to last forever? Act now, before it’s too late!

              Yeah, democrats really expressed their desire to ease the tax burden on the middle class with that one. And I’m just a dick who needs to get punched in the face for not realizing just how awesome $400 is.

              So much butt-hurt. You know they make a cream for that, right?

              1. Actually Obama wanted to extend the credit, but your right-wing buddies wanted a different kind of tax cut– for the usual suspects

                http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes…..ax-credit/

                1. For an independent, libertarian socialist, you sure do a great job imitating a democrat cock sucker.

                  I would think a real libertarian socialist would see the obvious ways that the democrat party swings too far to the right for your taste. In terms of the current issue (i.e., taxes), it’s not like the current tax structure hasn’t been influenced by the democrat party, arguably the oldest and most influential political party in the US for, oh, 150 years or so. Isn’t one of the benefits of being such an independent, libertarian socialist that you’re not beholden to either political party? It’s one of my primary motivations for being a libertarian: how much I disagree with both parties.

                  Instead, you seem to come out swinging whenever anyone criticizes a democrat, while simultaneously delivering counter-criticisms targeted at republicans. Apparently, democrats really are serious about middle class tax breaks, and we’d surely be living in a socialtopia funded solely by the rich and no one else, if it weren’t for those meddlesome republicans who’ve been screwing everything up. And this is signaled by a one time $400 tax credit? You do know that more permanent, effective tax changes are required to achieve your stated goal, yes?

                  In short, after listening to you, I can’t tell the difference between a libertarian socialist and a cock sucking, closet democrat concern troll. I’d be embarrassed to go on and on on behalf of republicans the way you do for democrats.

  29. Except for periods in the 1950s and 1960s and possibly the 1990s when tax rates on the rich just happened to be high enough to prevent overinvestment, the economy has generally suffered from periodic overinvestment cycles.
    It is not just a coincidence that tax cuts for the rich have preceded both the 1929 and 2007 depressions. The Revenue acts of 1926 and 1928 worked exactly as the Republican Congresses that pushed them through promised. The dramatic reductions in taxes on the upper income brackets and estates of the wealthy did indeed result in increased savings and investment. However, overinvestment (by 1929 there were over 600 automobile manufacturing companies in the USA) caused the depression that made the rich, and most everyone else, ultimately much poorer.
    Since 1969 there has been a tremendous shift in the tax burdens away from the rich and onto the middle class. Corporate income tax receipts, whose incidence falls entirely on the owners of corporations, were 4% of GDP then and are now less than 1%. During that same period, payroll tax rates as percent of GDP have increased dramatically. The overinvestment problem caused by the reduction in taxes on the wealthy is exacerbated by the increased tax burden on the middle class. While overinvestment creates more factories, housing and shopping centers; higher payroll taxes reduces the purchasing power of middle-class consumers?”
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1543642

  30. If you are going to hold an estate liable for tax, you can’t then hold the estate liable for tax again when the inheritor sells it.

    Of course you can.

    “Tax and tax and tax some more, until the rich are rich no more”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.