bush tax cuts

Ed Schultz: Democrats Should Make The Rich Pay Higher Than Clinton Tax Rates

(Photo credit: Flickr user Steve Rhodes)

In a radio interview with MSNBC's Ed Schultz, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green argued that Democrats should go on offense and use smart leverage in fiscal talks. Schultz agreed, and then proposed that Democrats ask for higher than Clinton tax rates on the rich. He then tweeted out the idea:

On Schultz's radio show, Green elaborated -- saying such a plan to raise taxes on the super-wealthy exists in the House, and should be talked about more more in fiscal talks. Progressive Rep. Jan Schakowksy (D-IL) has proposed a "millionaire's tax" that creates special tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires that range between 45 and 49 percent. According to economist Dean Baker, using numbers from Citizens for Tax Justice, this tax plan would raise as much as $1 trillion over a decade. Here's a how much the plan would raise in billions of dollars each year (the presumed starting year when this study was performed was 2011):

The public supports a higher tax rate on the rich. We polled voters in Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Montana, and Minnesota on the question of whether they would support Schakowsky's millionaire tax idea. Here are the results, which show that voters are overwhelmingly supportive of this idea:

QUESTION: Would you support or oppose a proposal that said personal income above $1,000,000 would be taxed at 45%, income above $20,000,000 dollars would be taxed at 47%, and income above $1,000,000,000 would be taxed at 49%?

Ohio
62% support
29% oppose

Missouri
56% support
30% oppose

Montana
56% support
33% oppose

Minnesota
61% support
29% oppose

Virginia
60% support
27% oppose

Illinois
67% support
23% oppose

As Schultz pointed out, yesterday the president said, "[We've got to] ...

Senator Tom Harkin Says Any 'Balanced' Fiscal Deal Must Include 1-To-1 Ratio Of Cuts To Revenue

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

As Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate over the contours of a fiscal deal, many Democrats have propositioned the idea that any agreement should include a ratio of cuts-to-revenue of 2-to-1. This is a model that President Obama chose for his most recent budget request, for example.

But 2-to-1 isn't balanced. Balanced means at least equal parts cuts and revenue. Progressive Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) has stepped up to the plate and unveiled a new petition to Obama that not only calls on him to reject damaging cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits, but also assure a 1-to-1 ratio of cuts to revenue in any deal:

Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has a credible approach to dealing with the deficit over the long term that lays out specific cuts to wasteful spending as well as making the rich pay their fair share in taxes.

Here's her alternative, truly "balanced approach" to tackling the deficit. During a campaign debate, she laid out a popular vision for dealing with the debt: cut back on wasteful military and agriculture subsidy spending, and make the rich pay their fair share with higher tax rates. Watch Warren explain:

Show your support for Warren’s "balanced approach" by clicking here to add your name as a citizen supporter of her vision.

In 1993, Republicans Said Clinton Tax Increase On Rich Would Lead To A 'Recession' - The Economy Boomed Instead

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that the Clinton tax plan was "idiotic" in 1993. Yet it resulted in a budget surplus and did not stop great economic growth.

Republicans are doing everything they can to protect the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. They claim that they are doing this because ending these tax cuts would harm the economy.

But this claim isn't new. In fact, it's exactly what they said in the 1990's, when Bill Clinton first increased taxes on the wealthy. Here's some of the fear-mongering they engaged in then:

THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Heritage, the go-to think tank for the Republican Party, argued that the tax increase would somehow lead to "higher deficits" and that it served as a "recipe for a recession." The organization also predicted that the tax increase would "destroy jobs" and "undermine America's international competitiveness."

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): "The problem in not that we do not tax enough, it is that Government spends too much. The President has reverted to true form, that of a tax and spend, old-time Democrat. He has abandoned tens of millions of middle-class voters that trusted him. Raising taxes on the middle class is not patriotic, it is idiotic." (From the Congressional Record on February 17th, 1993)

SENATOR ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): "Mr. President, taxpayers will adjust to these new taxes by shifting investments into ones that generate fewer taxes by working less and by taking fewer risks. The consequences will punish far more than just the wealthy. Economic growth will slow and fewer jobs will be created."  (From the Congressional Record on August 6th, 1993)

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): This package contains the largest tax increase in history, and promises deficit reduction. This package will not reduce the Federal debt, or even balance one annual budget for that matter. (From the Congressional Record on August ...

Republican Congressman Charlie Bass Thinks The Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich Are Too Small

Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH)

Lowering taxes on the wealthy does little to nothing to spur economic growth. We know this because we have a great example: the Bush tax cuts. Bush's presidency saw a dismal lack of job growth, and growth has actually been more robust under presidents with higher taxes.

Don't tell that to Republican congressman Charlie Bass (NH). In an interview with a local television host this week, Bass explained that he thinks that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are actually too small. He advocates for dropping tax rates to between 20 and 30 percent:

BASS: We can raise some taxes, lower some taxes, simplify, get the tax rate in the 20 to 30 percent range across the board, and obviously for lower-income americans around 10 to 15 percent which is what they pay today, the result would be a lot more economic activity.

Watch it:

It's difficult to understand which taxes Bass thinks should be raised if he is wanting taxes to be leveled out between 20 and 30 percent. The top tax rate right now is 35 percent, which means dropping the bracket to at most 30 percent would amount to a gargantuan tax cut for the richest Americans (remember that Bush dropped the rate from 39 to 35 percent, which is actually a smaller cut than Bass is proposing). If Bass supported dropping the rate to 28 percent, like his party's presidential nominee Mitt Romney, it would amount to an average tax cut of $250,535 for Americans who make a million dollars or more per year.

Americans know that the rich don't need an even bigger tax cut. Chip in $3 to his bold progressive opponent, Annie Kuster.

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