Taxing Issues

The Hill reports that Democrats in Washington may go after the “carried interest” tax loophole that gives preferential tax treatment to private equity executives. Some of them are even planning to push for a “Buffett rule” that anyone making seven figures a year pay at least 30 percent in taxes.

A recent CBS News/New York Times poll says 55 percent of Americans think the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes, and 52 percent think capital gains and investment income ought to be taxed at the same rate as wages. This is fruit ripe for plucking, one might say.

For years, the dominant argument on tax reform involved lowering marginal rates and closing loopholes. But the “loopholes” most likely to be targeted, Dems realized, are credits and deductions that benefit the middle class. (Oddly, after decades of alleged loophole cutting, GM still didn’t pay taxes last year. Funny how that works.)

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of this year, so you know this is going to become a big campaign issue. For too long Republicans have gotten away with demagoguing the tax issue. But now recent events and public opinion favor Democrats. They’re coming to bat with the bases loaded, so to speak.

From the far reaches of the Crazy Land Fringe, Grover Norquist says that if the Bush tax cuts expire, President Obama could be impeached.

NORQUIST We’re focused on the fact that there is this Damocles sword hanging over people’s head. What you don’t know is who will be in charge when all of this will happen. I think when we get through this election cycle, we’ll have a Republican majority, [though] not necessarily a strong majority in the Senate, and a majority in the House. The majority in the House will continue to be a Reagan majority, a conservative majority. Boehner never has to talk his delegation going further to the right.

If the Republicans have the House, Senate, and the presidency, I’m told that they could do an early budget vote—a reconciliation vote where you extend the Bush tax cuts out for a decade or five years. You take all of those issues off the table, and then say, “What do you want to do for tax reform?”

Then, the question is: “OK, what do we do about repatriation and all of the interesting stuff?” And, if you have a Republican president to go with a Republican House and Senate, then they pass the [Paul] Ryan plan [on Medicare].

NJ What if the Democrats still have control? What’s your scenario then?

NORQUIST Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach. The last year, he’s gone into this huddle where he does everything by executive order. He’s made no effort to work with Congress.

Overlooking the technicality that the House impeaches, not the Senate — the time has come to round up all of Grover Norquist’s whackjob ideas and drown them in a bathtub. He wants to make 2012 about tax cuts? Bring it on.

13 thoughts on “Taxing Issues

  1. Sounds like Grover got his math lessons from Professor Rove.

    And, can’t we just drown HIM?

    I’d just throw him in a lake and be done with it, but the grease-ring from this sleazebag will be a hazard to fish and wildlife, so maybe we need a chubby-tub to drown his fat ass in.

  2. On and off, Grover has proposed an end to income tax, period. Like the Representative in Congress who recently said why not pay the doctor with a chicken, Grover would have us return to pre-income tax days when the government collected revenue from import levies and the selling off of government land. (That great ‘socialist,’ Abe Lincoln, is responsible for the enactment of the income tax law – to pay for the Civil War.)

    Grover makes his living off of speeches he delivers to disgruntled tax payers. They love him – and pay him accordingly. IF income taxes were eliminated altogether, Grover would be suddenly redundant – which, of course, he’s been for too many tiresome years.

  3. It’s amazing how much money the 1% are willing to spend on lobbyists to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

  4. tom B – Wow, I never thought of that and that is AMAZING. We had a friend years ago who bought income property and never rented it out, arguing that renting it out would have increased his income and thus his income taxes. We pointed out to him that in the end he’d come out ahead income-wise. No matter. It was all about not paying more in taxes. Your comment made me think of good-ole-Bill.

  5. Most Republican politicians agree with Grover Norquist. What more evidence do Americans need that Republicans are the party of the 1%? Republicans are fighting tooth and nail (and million dollar checks) against the Democrats who at least, most of the time, represent the 99%.

  6. I dearly wish a democrat PAC would push the fact that under Newt’s tax plan, Mitt’s would pay taxes at a rate approaching 0%.. Zero! So who do YOU think will be paying for essential services if the only ‘serious’ GOP candidatez agree to exempt the rich and well-connected corporations from taxes?

    (Here’s a hint. If your TV had eyes, it would be looking at the idiot who’s gonna pick up the tab for that fraction of the top 1% who is pulling the strings.)

  7. They’d need 67 senators to vote for the conviction in the Senate. Not anywhere in Republican wet dreams is that going to happen. So the impeachment will be just another House sideshow. Why not do it? It worked so well for them before. What will be the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ this time? Being black while president, I believe it’s called.

  8. buckeyblue,
    I hate to say this, but it worked well enough to get Little Boots close enough so that his Daddy’s and Uncle Ronny’s SCOTUS could put him in the Oval Office.

    ‘Nuff said.

  9. I’m sorry, but I see no impeachable offenses here! Just saying that the President should be impeached carries no legal weight whatsoever.

  10. Impeachment is a political process, not a legal process. So yes of course any party could start proceedings at any time for any reason. It hasn’t been done much ’til lately, but that could change.

    And I’m not entirely against it. Impeachment is symbolic assassination, and this country needs more symbolic assassinations and fewer real ones. Bush and Cheney, for instance, certainly deserved impeachment, on multiple charges.

    If I were ever President (they’d have to draft me), then I’d start impeachment proceedings against myself right after taking the oath of office. I’d add a charge condemning every policy initiative I’d take; especially those stepping on powerful people’s toes. A safety valve, you see. Some of my ideas might make certain people want to get rid of me.

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