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Archive for March 30th, 2009

Joint Committee on Taxation scores Obama tax proposal

Posted by Charles II on March 30, 2009

The link is here.

The proposal adds $3T to the debt. Here are the big items, as I interpret them:

$447B…. index the Alternative Minimum Tax to inflation
$225B…. keep taxes on capital gains and dividends low
$578B…. keep middle class income taxes from rising
$472B…. keep upper class income taxes from rising on all but wealthiest
$543B…. tax subsidies for marriage and children
$537B…. tax subsidies for the working poor
ca. $200B… business tax cuts

There’s also a hefty little tax subsidy for those hard-working people who got their money the old-fashioned way: they inherited it.

My guess is that the Congress will take back most of the tax goodies for the working poor, some of them for marriage and children, and some of them for the middle class.

Posted in budget, taxes | Comments Off on Joint Committee on Taxation scores Obama tax proposal

Pension insurance fund has been looted

Posted by Charles II on March 30, 2009

Ok, this is serious. [Via Talking Points Memo and Atrios]. Michael Kranish, The Boston Globe:

Just months before the start of last year’s stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.

Switching from a heavy reliance on bonds, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation decided to pour billions of dollars into speculative investments such as stocks in emerging foreign markets, real estate, and private equity funds.

Emerging market stocks?? High yield corporate debt??? WTF!!!???

Atrios thinks that the Powers-That-Be were using this to prop up the market.

Posted in financial crisis, Republicans as cancer | 3 Comments »

Conservatives, ConservaDems block middle class tax cut and honest budgets

Posted by Charles II on March 30, 2009

Bernie Horn of the Campaign for America’s future has a worthwhile article on what the budget battle is really about.

They’d like us to continue to lie about the true costs of government rather than have an honest budget, so they’ll scream about deficits.

They want to block a middle class tax cut while preserving tax cuts for the rich, so they’ll scream about how this hurts small business (like they ever did anything for small business).

They want to protect the profits of the insurance companies while letting 16,000 Americans die every year from lack of health insurance, so they’ll scream about socialism.

They want to let coal companies continue to profit from pollution, so they’ll block the woefully inadequate cap-and-trade proposal.

In short, they are a disgrace and need to be removed from office. But all things in due time. Right now, they need letters and phone calls from you.

Posted in Blue Dogs, global warming, Republicans as cancer, taxes | Comments Off on Conservatives, ConservaDems block middle class tax cut and honest budgets

Sauce For The Goose, Sauce For The Gander

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 30, 2009

If our alleged Majority “Leader” wasn’t a guy from a shaky seat in a red state, this would have already happened by now:

Republicans are in a tizzy because Democrats are threatening to use the budgetary procedure known as reconciliation — it reconciles policy with fiscal guidelines — to overhaul the health care system, possibly enact climate change legislation and rewrite education policy.

They have good reason to fret: If Democrats successfully invoke reconciliation, such major bills could pass by a simple majority vote, denying Republicans the filibuster, their sole remaining weapon to influence federal policy given the Democratic grip on government.

“It stinks,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said as he pondered the prospect of Democrats pulling the trigger on reconciliation.

But there are a couple of problems for Republicans as they push back furiously against the idea, chief of which is the fact that they used the process themselves on several occasions, notably when enacting more than $1 trillion in tax cuts in 2001.

That means critics can have a field day lampooning Republicans and asking them — as Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, did repeatedly the other day — why reconciliation was such a good idea when it came to giving tax cuts to millionaires but such a bad one when it comes to trying to provide health care to average Americans.

The record is also replete with past statements by Republicans such as Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the party’s leader on budget issues, praising the logic of reconciliation.

“We are using the rules of the Senate here,” Mr. Gregg said in 2005 as he fought off Democratic complaints that reconciliation was wrongly being employed to block filibusters against opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. “Is there something wrong with majority rules? I don’t think so.”

Time to lower the boom on these clowns.

Posted in 111th Congress, budget, Congress, GOP bullying, hypocrites, IOKIYAR | 1 Comment »

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