Patterico's Pontifications

1/17/2015

Just So You Know…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:39 pm



[guest post by Dana]

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Here’s some more detail on that, from the Wall Street Journal:

President Barack Obama will call on the new Republican-led Congress to raise taxes on investments and inherited property and to create or expand a range of tax breaks for middle-income families, laying out an opening position in a debate over taxation that both parties see as a potential area of compromise.

Mr. Obama will outline the measures in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. He will propose using revenue generated from the tax increases—which would fall mainly on high-income households—to pay for a raft of new breaks aimed at boosting stagnant incomes for low- and middle-income households.

Those initiatives include tripling the child-care tax credit and creating a new credit for families in which both spouses work, senior administration officials said on Saturday.

I already wasn’t going to watch the speech. This cements that decision.

UPDATE BY DANA: Veronique de Rugy points out the sad truth:

“Whether he announces proposals during the speech or in the two weeks preceding the speech, the bulk of what the president wants to do is give stuff away for “free”:

Two “free” years of community college for Americans who are “willing to work for it.” This is obviously not free because taxpayers would be footing the bill. It’s also a bad idea since it wouldn’t even accomplish its intended goal.

“Free” paid sick days and paid family leave. It won’t be free for the employers who would have to shoulder the cost, or the employees who would suffer from the unintended consequences of a policy that would make hiring more expensive, cuts workers’ wages, and make employment contracts more rigid.

If Congress doesn’t pass the president’s paid sick days and paid family leave plan, he’ll encourage state and local governments to act. That too would be “free” . . . except for taxpayers who get stuck paying for a proposed $2.2 billion plan to help states study paid leave.

Universal access to broadband and high-speed Internet. That will come “free” by having the FCC trample on state laws that restrict municipalities from building their own networks. The language he’s using to sell this plan (“clear away the red tape” and “help communities succeed in our digital economy”) makes it sound free, right? It won’t be. My colleague Brent Skorup notes that the government has “spent billions on broadband.” As Skorup explains in a piece that I highly recommend, federally funded public broadband networks aren’t just costly – they’re also unwise and unhelpful in terms of getting people access to fast Internet.

101 Responses to “Just So You Know…”

  1. Just lovely.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. TFG and his “free” stuff. How about provide an economic environment where folks can pull themselves up? I know, I know…

    Gazzer (c44509)

  3. The amount of his proposed tax credit for families in which two spouses work is $500. That sounds like it is mostly symbolic.

    He hopes tripling the child tax credit is popular and that no Republican, even Rick Santorum will dare to match it. Especially since it probably will be refundable (provided, of course,that IRS doesn’t seize all or part of your tax refund because you didn’t have health insurance and apply it to the Obamacare penalty.)

    What Santorum proposed doing in 2012 was tripling the personal exemption for dependent children.

    http://www.taxcreditsforworkingfamilies.org/2012/01/setting-record-straight-santorum-child-tax-credit/

    Obama’s proposed tax increase is also to fund 2 years of community college. They’ve already said that because many people get Pell grants and the formula for that will not be changed, this wold actually be cash in the pocket for many college students, but they also say: People attending college also have living expenses!

    What he wants to do with inherited assets is not step up the basis for capital gains. The Administration is calling this the single biggest loophole in the entire individual tax code.
    This doesn’t sound like it has any shortcut for figuring out the basis. They just pretend people know it or should know it or maybe they will have to assign a value of $0.

    The assets would, I guess, still be subject the estate tax unless they’re talking about doing this only with assets that escape the estate tax.

    The article says: Bequests and gifts would also be taxed. Which ones that are not now taxed?

    Personal goods other than expensive art and collectibles would be tax-exempt. (no need to evaluate furniture or pictures, and they won’t audit too much usually)

    A closely held business would have the option to pay the tax over 15 years. Capital gains of up to $200,000 per couple still could be bequeathed free of tax, and couples would have an additional $500,000 exemption for personal residences.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  4. In fairness the bulk of the increases on capital gains would fall on people making over $500K in income.That’s a pretty small cross section of people. Would say that might even be a good idea if you coupled it with lower corporate tax rates and repatriation of income breaks. Give The One credit for cunning by making the GOP defend lower tax rates for people making serious higher income.

    As to the “loophole” it’s a bad idea unless you also means test it along the lines of something like a $500K threshold. The stepped up basis means if you inherit your dad’s house, you get the date of death value as your taxable basis rather than what he paid for it a long time ago.Typically when people sell such a house they escape any capital gains and get the value of the asset tax free. You would probably push a lot of people into a higher tax bracket for the year they got the money. Even there is an unfairness to such a change; that money was already taxed before the decedent invested it, and for most people that’s a once in a lifetime windfall that probably creates a lot of big economic activity-investments, houses, cars, vacations. Why would we cutting that back to give more to the feds?

    Which is the bigger point to all this-why does the government insist on a bigger cut instead of letting people keep it, invest it,spend it. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Obama’s presumption is the government should wet it’s beak rather than letting people keep it.

    Bugg (f0dbc7)

  5. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

    Yup.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. I am going to email Michelle and have her ask her husband for a one penny tax per ten calories for food nationally at the point of sale. It will solve both the obesity epidemic and the deficit. What do you guys think?

    nk (dbc370)

  7. To paraphrase a tourism/economic development slogan from NJ of decades ago (under Brendan Byrne), “Democrats and taxes. Perfect together.”

    Roger B (4e8f79)

  8. last season of Justified starts on Tuesday, much more entertaining, and logical,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  9. Sammy-

    There is already a $500K exemption for capital gains on sale of primary residences. Obama wouldn’t be doing anyone a great favor by merely restating something that is already law.

    Bugg (f0dbc7)

  10. I’m afraid that the only one President Obama is interested in doing favors for is himself. Isn’t the amount to be gained if one seized everything those making >=$500,000 made be a drop in the bucket of the problem? It’s all theatrics, there is no land of wealthy people with disposable income that rots in the ground and would be better used by the feds. And if there was, the states of CA and NY would have already taken most of it.

    Is Joe Wilson still in Congress? Maybe people will start to listen to him.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  11. it’s like he crammed on Piketty, and no one filled him in,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  12. The only thing he has ever crammed was a part of Reggie Love…

    Gazzer (c44509)

  13. and no one filled him in. Ha!

    Gazzer (c44509)

  14. it’s Vizzini all the way down,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  15. I can’t believe the President is advocating for tax loopholes for the middle class that he may oppose in a year.

    Dejectedhead (1048d4)

  16. they’re also unwise and unhelpful in terms of getting people access to fast Internet.

    So? It should be clear by now that delivering services to the public is not a primary goal of the bureaucracy.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  17. To those that see no point in a GOP Congress, I submit Exhibit A.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  18. Bugg–

    There are lots of people who work for years for one big cap gains year. Ten years at a startup, large risk of getting nothing, but if things work out, you get several year’s pay all at once. It is many people’s only chance of changing their lives.

    For the most part the only people who cash in capital gains are the people who need to cash in, not the already-rich people you want to tax.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  19. If the elder Bush lost an election on the basis of raising taxes, what do you think the GOP Congress is going to do with this? Obama knows that, and he is cynically proposing sound-bite programs that will never pass. Then his folks can campaign on those mean Republicans who don’t want Jose to learn to read.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  20. Ernest Borgnine RIP. Or maybe taps for LtCdr. McHale

    (anyhow I’m temping for Icy today)

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  21. It’s only ever about income redistribution. Either from the rich to the poor, but most likely to his cohorts and enablers. Those same children, from the other thread, who aren’t allowed to go anywhere won’t be able to afford to anyway. It’s baked in. I feel bad for them, but they don’t know any better. We used to call it the mushroom treatment.

    Gazzer (c44509)

  22. What’s the difference. Weeping Lil Johnny Cougar Mellencamp Boehner, will bend over and let Obama butt rape him and US. SSDD.

    Gus (7cc192)

  23. 4. …Give The One credit for cunning by making the GOP defend lower tax rates for people making serious higher income…

    Bugg (f0dbc7) — 1/17/2015 @ 7:15 pm

    Cunning? What cunning? We’ve had six years of this administration’s class warfare claims that the GOP is only for “tax breaks for the rich.” And the script Prom Queen is using is a lot older than his administration.

    Instead, marvel at the GOP, constantly getting sucker punched by the fact the sun rises in the East. Every single day.

    Steve57 (2baf2d)

  24. Remember this from the 2008 debate?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4iy2OfScQE

    Obama’s Capital Gains Tax “Fairness”

    Uploaded on Jul 7, 2008

    Obama isn’t interested in increasing government revenue, he is interested in punishment and income redistribution under the guise of “fairness”.

    Yeah, nobody could have seen this 2015 capital gains tax demand coming.

    Steve57 (2baf2d)

  25. “TFG” ??
    I believe it was during Bush the Senior that the Congressional leaders declared his budget proposals as D.O.A. the day after each of the proposals. If I don’t hear the same from the speaker of the house and senate leader than we are beyond hope.

    The capital gains proposal is obviously not for raising revenue, but for income redistribution.
    The 2 year junior college for free is obviously nuts and if they really wanted to id they could do by adjusting the Pell Grants (cut the amount for Ivy League and all the others with endowments over 1 billion).

    Why is access to broadband a civil or civic right? This has nothing to do with fairness but another boondoggle like the Obama Phone.

    seeRpea (3cc998)

  26. We are a pathetic group, allowing this dink to ruin this country.

    mg (31009b)

  27. tripling the child-care tax credit

    This is not only an income redistribution within the US, but, also enables obama to redistribute US income to mexico.

    Jim (84e66d)

  28. There is a very clear reason for all of the things Obama wants to make “free.” With federal money comes federal control.

    Stephen Macklin (dc12e1)

  29. More redistribution to those with children, at the expense of childless couples then. Same old, same old.

    the other rob (2a3663)

  30. Bugg (f0dbc7) — 1/17/2015 @ 7:32 pm

    There is already a $500K exemption for capital gains on sale of primary residences. Obama wouldn’t be doing anyone a great favor by merely restating something that is already law.

    That’s actually from the Wall Street Journal linkedin the original post.

    They probably put it into the article to make the proposed new state pf the law clear – that that wouldn’t change. It would have bene better to mention that that is current law.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  31. Dejectedhead (1048d4) — 1/17/2015 @ 8:40 pm

    I can’t believe the President is advocating for tax loopholes for the middle class that he may oppose in a year.

    No, these are not tax loopholes – these are tax expenditures.

    There are special reasons assigned to them.

    What he may agree to, but oppose in a year, is any reduction of basic rates.

    Tax reform is predicated on that, but you can see, it’s only a matter of time and not so long a time, till there are proposals to raise them again. That’s what happened with some of the 1986 tax rate reductions.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  32. Kevin M (25bbee) — 1/17/2015 @ 9:30 pm

    For the most part the only people who cash in capital gains are the people who need to cash in, not the already-rich people you want to tax.

    Well, it could be said, that’s because of the step-up in basis at death.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  33. seeRpea (3cc998) — 1/18/2015 @ 1:40 am

    I believe it was during Bush the Senior that the Congressional leaders declared his budget proposals as D.O.A. the day after each of the proposals. If I don’t hear the same from the speaker of the house and senate leader than we are beyond hope.

    They don’t need to make a show of it. The only reason the Democrats did it in that time, was to discourage anyone from lobbying or writing letters to members of Congress supporting it.

    The capital gains proposal is obviously not for raising revenue, but for income redistribution.

    This is always scored as raising revenue. Most of the projected revenue gain would be many years in the future. But that’s the way budget projections work. This nonsense s ingrained in Washington.

    In the meantime, innovative changes in tax laws, may be scored as losing money when they won’t.

    That’s why I say get rid of the budget, or get rid of scoring and estimating revenues and expenditures. Tie everything to a source of funding, which could include borrowing, and let the only test be reality.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  34. The 2 year junior college for free is obviously nuts and if they really wanted to id they could do by adjusting the Pell Grants (cut the amount for Ivy League and all the others with endowments over 1 billion).

    If they really wanted to save money, and let people get college credit, and not just fund the education industry, they would simply pay the fees for any and all CLEP tests and other credit by examination, and give anyone who took a test X number of dollars to buy books and other material; donate books and other things to free libraries, and maybe even a laptop (but you can get some second hand or for free); and encourage people to enroll in massive free online courses. Or even give some money for tutoring, although there would have to be some controls to prevent outright scams.

    And all that would cost far less. But it would make the colleges very unhappy.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  35. Why is access to broadband a civil or civic right? This has nothing to do with fairness but another boondoggle like the Obama Phone.

    Well, that’s the idea of universal service and that people need something to get started.

    The Obama phone had nothing to do with Obama, even though apparently in some places Democrats claimed so. It came into general use just about the time Obama was elected.

    This was an extension of very low cost landline. That was first put in when de-regulation threatened to raise local telephone rates. This is called Lifeline.

    It was extended in the Bush II Administration- although there was something going back to 1996 – to cellphones, but there’s a big problem with doing this with cellphones, even though it’s a lot cheaper. They have to get everybody to swear that there are not two such phones in the same household.

    The phones themselves, of course, are the type that nowadays could sell for $10 – it’s the almost free service that costs a little money.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  36. The Democratic Party is almost like what was said about the Bourbons in France after napoleon.

    “They have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.”

    Well, maybe they learned some new bits of nonsense.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  37. 29. There is a very clear reason for all of the things Obama wants to make “free.” With federal money comes federal control.

    Stephen Macklin (dc12e1) — 1/18/2015 @ 5:28 am

    By the same token there’s a very clear reason why Obama wants to tax capital gains (and inheritances) at confiscatory rates.

    Because people who don’t have to depend on government largesse to live aren’t forced to be clients of big government. Someone who has something besides SS to look forward to doesn’t need the nanny state. Take that away, and they’ll have no choice but to become supplicants begging for larger government.

    Steve57 (2baf2d)

  38. I believe it was during Bush the Senior that the Congressional leaders declared his budget proposals as D.O.A. the day after each of the proposals

    It was Reagan and that is why he never got spending down. They spent the money and blamed him for deficits.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  39. The Republicans could propose middle class tax cuts, especially with Obamacare. How about making it voluntary ? Leave the option of traditional health insurance, not prepaid care like HMOs but real underwritten insurance. He would veto it, of course, but keep passing it. 2016 is coming.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  40. I don’t understand what the hand wringing is about. Democrats have been demogogueing about income inequality forever and it has only gotten worse under Obama. Median incomes have declined under Obama. If there are fingers to be pointed they go straight to Obama and his policies.

    Republicans merely need to say they are not going to address tax law changes piecemeal but in the context of a comprehensive overhaul of both corporate and individual tax laws. Obama can suck it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. He will propose using revenue generated from the tax increases—which would fall mainly on high-income households—to pay for a raft of new breaks aimed at boosting stagnant incomes for low- and middle-income households.

    Is there any liberal out there (paging Warren Buffett, paging Warren Buffett) who’s less bothered about the idea of the wealthy paying too little in taxes instead of the idea of the moderate- to modest-income person paying too much? If there are, I’ve yet to run into or hear from any of them. IOW, invariably, any complaints from people of the left about taxes — whether they deem them as too low or too high — revolve not around John Q Public paying too much in “gifts” to the government, but in the well-to-do not paying more of their fair share.

    So, yep, another irony that has a knack for often hovering over the heads of liberals is that people like tycoon Warren Buffett complain about their supposedly middle-class workers (ie, Buffett’s secretary) paying too much in income taxes, while the 1% like himself don’t pay more. Yet the IRS says Buffett’s investment company owes hundreds of millions of dollars of back taxes to the feds.

    Pfftt to both the IRS and the Buffetts (and, of course, their buddies like Obama) of the world.

    Mark (c160ec)

  42. There is a very clear reason for all of the things Obama wants to make “free.” With federal money comes federal control.
    Stephen Macklin

    Like the emails I got at the college where I worked asking…demanding that I answer the federal survey on my ethnicity because otherwise the feds would take away all their money.

    And the inheritance tax thing is so unclear, but I know a couple of limousine liberals who are probably very worried right now.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  43. We should all be taxed the same. There should be no tax credits for anything, there should be no government incentives or disincentives, nothing. Federal taxes should be simple:

    1. How much did you make?
    2. How much did it cost you to make it?
    3. Subtract line 2 from line 1.
    4. Multiply line 3 by 0.10; this is your tax.

    Of course, what we really ought to have is an individual tax: our host and nk and Bill Gates and I ought to owe exactly the same dollar amount, because we are all equally citizens. Non citizen residents ought to owe thrice what citizens must pay, encouraging them to either become naturalized citizens or get the Hell out.

    The taxpayer Dana (1b79fa)

  44. i don’t take food stamp very seriously anymore on economic matters

    he’s mostly good at helping iran develop nukes for so they can wipe israel off the map

    plus he’s really good at golf

    happyfeet (831175)

  45. Mr feet, I don’t know how good he is at golf, but I would like to see him practice it more and more and more. I want him out on the golf course every day for the next two years, because the less that he’s in the office, supposedly doing his job, the less harm he can do to us.

    The snarky Dana (1b79fa)

  46. daley @41, I agree. The problem is while the Dems have been demagogueing this issue forever, whenever they do the Republicans respond with a deer in the headlights look on their faces.

    What they need to say in response I don’t expect them to be capable of saying. They never have been before.

    They don’t need to go on about the “job creators.” Because all the people who Obama is deliberately screwing under the guise of helping them (President “If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor” knows he wouldn’t get very far if he was honest with the people he has contempt for as bitter clingers) aren’t job creators.

    They need to tell college students and the middle class that the reasons why they’re respectively in debt up to their eyeballs, can’t find jobs, and if they do they’re part-time or low-paying jobs, and their household incomes have fallen is precisely because of all the “help” Obama has given them in the past. And now he’s promising to “help” them longer, harder, and with the entire gloved Obamacare fist instead of merely one or two fingers.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/03/06/5-shocking-facts-about-student-loan-debt

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/five-things/student-loan-debt/12028/

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/10/news/economy/college-grads-jobs/index.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/student-loan-debt_n_3274377.html

    http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/04/24/what-it-means-to-be-middle-class-today

    The middle class are the new poor according to the last article. And none of the articles ever connect the dots between Obama’s policies and all the “shocking facts” they talk about. They never learned the connection either. Something college economics professors never teach their students, so that like Jonathon Gruber they can get rich taking advantage of their economic ignorance, is all that debt they’re piling on their backs means credit that isn’t available to create the jobs that would allow them to pay it back.

    I realized when I read the section in Obama’s 2008 platform about what he’d do to help small business meant he wanted to help put me out of business. The Republicans need to make that clear to the people who Obama’s populist message is intended to appeal to is that they’re going to be hurt, not helped. And like Gruber Obama thinks they’re stupid enough to fall for it.

    More nicely than I’ve put it, of course.

    Then they have to tell them what they’re going to do instead that will actually help them. But I’m confident they’re not capable of it.

    Steve57 (2baf2d)

  47. I am still amazed, astounded, and appalled, that a majority of the American voters were so fornicating stupid as to vote for Barack Hussein Obama, and do it twice!

    Two years and two days until that cretin is gone.

    The Dana who is still amazed (1b79fa)

  48. he’s just throwing out idiotic crap for hillary and her historic old lady boobies to run on

    he has no intention of any of this actually passing

    that’s pretty much all he’ll do for the next two years

    except for that Iran nuke thing he promised Valerie

    happyfeet (831175)

  49. It’s not break even:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/us/president-obama-will-seek-to-reduce-taxes-for-middle-class.html?_r=0

    The president’s plan would raise $320 billion over the next decade, while adding new provisions cutting taxes by $175 billion over the same period.

    And Republicans, or some Republicans, have, at least quietly, indicated it is dead on arrival:

    The proposal faces long odds in the Republican-controlled Congress, led by lawmakers who have long opposed raising taxes and who argue that doing so would hamper economic growth at a time the country cannot afford it. And it was quickly dismissed by leading Republicans as a nonstarter.

    There’s also a special tax on BIG banks. (banks with assets over $50 billion)

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  50. Obama says he will veto new sanctions on Iran because it could lead to the failure of negotiations (I think Iran told him so.)

    He says that in that case there might be military conflict – and it’ll all be the fault of Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  51. food stamp doesn’t like to take responsibility Mr. F

    no matter *what* happens it’ll be someone else’s fault

    happyfeet (831175)

  52. The new sanctions wold actually only kick in, if I understood Senator Marco Rubio on Face the nation correctly, if the negotiations fail.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  53. if failure means Iran gets to make jew-killer nukes, then the negotiations are doomed already

    this is what Obama understands, and this is what Rubio fails to grasp

    happyfeet (831175)

  54. Iran’s aim in negotiations is to try to see what is the least they can do to get rid of as many sanctions as they can.

    If this was real, Iran’s goal would be to find out what can they do to convince the United States and the rest of the world, including Israel, that they are not interested in a nuclear bomb.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  55. 53. One comment on TV was that maybe Obama just wanted to shift the blame for the failure pf negotiations.

    But he could only do that if he didn’t veto an Iran sanctions bill.

    Obama has got to know that there’s very little chance of avoiding Plan B or C on Iran.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  56. it’s like vulcan chess

    except for it ends in genocide

    happyfeet (831175)

  57. The taxpayer Dana (1b79fa) — 1/18/2015 @ 9:34 am

    Federal taxes should be simple:
    1. How much did you make?
    2. How much did it cost you to make it?
    3. Subtract line 2 from line 1.
    4. Multiply line 3 by 0.10; this is your tax.

    That is anything but simple.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  58. Mr. Feets, even liberals are waking up to the fact that Obama’s foreign policies are a train wreck. It’s amusing to watch them offer advice that they think will turn things around.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/gelb-makes-obama-a-gelding.php

    …More serious is the Daily Beast article out yesterday from Leslie Gelb, who doesn’t come any more Establishmenty than a Harvard-trained Rockefeller. Gelb, notable for chiefly being boring, is the kind of Establishment figure who usually tut-tuts Republican presidents for being too bellicose. But he thinks Obama is circling the drain on foreign policy:

    …Gelb goes on to say Obama should fire everyone—including Rasputin Valerie Jarrett—and replace them with—Republicans. To be sure, Establishment Republicans like Tom Pickering, etc. But right now they look pretty darn good next to Obama’s clown show.

    Beyond the specifics, if someone like Gelb is saying this publicly, my bet is that a lot of the liberal establishment is saying worse privately. And what about the man at the top?

    What a lot of people haven’t woken up to, including Gelb and apparently Steven Hayward who wrote the Powerline piece, is that the only reason Obama wanted to be Preezy is just so he could wreck the train.

    Steve57 (2baf2d)

  59. given all the rather on target comments made in this thread,
    i still have the feeling this is just an echo chamber.
    The Presidents poll numbers are quite good, especially on the amnesty track.
    given the present GOP hierarchy , do people here really think they will buck the polls and go fight for the principles involved?

    seeRpea (3cc998)

  60. seeRpea (3cc998) — 1/18/2015 @ 10:24 am

    given all the rather on target comments made in this thread,

    i still have the feeling this is just an echo chamber.

    Maybe getting close to it, but I think it patently obvious this is not going anywhere, and that it’s contrived.

    I don’t know anywhere that anybody maybe has endorsed this. Thsis thinbg iis going to get eother criticism or indifference.

    Some people might like the tripling of the child tax credit, the $500 credit on the first $500 of a second spouse’s (earned) income, and the proposal to pay for community college, but it’s not real anyway

    New York’s Governor Cuomo has got a plan now too, to pay the first two years of a college graduate’s student loans (but not someone who flunks out or dropped out) provided they are also enrolled in the federal “pay as you go program” which caps payments at 10% of income, and that their total income that year was less than $50,000. Starting with 2015 graduates.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  61. it’s puzzling to me why Hillary would want a third term of this risible nonsense

    clotty-headed hoo
    why do you
    want to be his third term

    if we could count on you
    clotty hoo
    there’d be less drang and less sturm

    happyfeet (831175)

  62. Mr. F it mostly just looks like president food stamp has elizabeth warren penis envy

    happyfeet (831175)

  63. The Presidents poll numbers are quite good, especially on the amnesty track.

    Amnesty is about the only issue where Obama has good poll numbers.

    http://nypost.com/2015/01/17/obama-loves-trolling-the-gop-even-when-it-hurts-dems/

    Back in November, in this paper, Jonah Goldberg asked the question: “Maybe President Obama is just trolling?” Two months later, the question seems to have been answered in the affirmative.

    Obama and his team have clearly decided that one of the metrics by which they will measure their success is by just how wild he drives his Republican opposition in Washington and conservatives across the country….

    …he has doubled down on presidential unilateralism and executive authority.

    He has done this because it’s what he likes and wants to do. It has long been a conscious choice of this White House to pursue what David Plouffe, a key Obama adviser, called the “stray voltage theory.” ….

    …But this stray voltage has done nothing for any of his allies on Capitol Hill and has hardly advanced the liberal Democratic agenda….

    ….The only real data point in the president’s favor — and it is a significant one — came out in polling from CBS News late last week.

    Support for his immigration plan is startlingly high; 62% favor while only 34% oppose. Democrats are overwhelmingly on his side (79% to 18%), while Republicans oppose it but with less force (57% against and 37% for). Most important, independents back it, 63% to 32%.

    What this means is that when it comes to immigration the president is not engaging in “stray voltage” behavior. Rather, he is closer to the center of American public opinion than Republicans are.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  64. given the present GOP hierarchy , do people here really think they will buck the polls and go fight for the principles involved?

    Unfortunately, yes.

    It will be very hard to let go of the issue.

    Funding for all of Homeland Security, except issuing papers, may be held up – which means anti-terrorism will be working without pay.

    Obama’s heart isn’t really in this thing – but there must be others hoping to use it to split the Republican Party.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  65. happyfeet (831175) — 1/18/2015 @ 10:39 am

    Mr. F it mostly just looks like president food stamp has elizabeth warren penis envy

    Well, it could be that he doesn’t really want Hillary Clinton to succeed him.

    But this is hopeless.

    Elizabeth Warren isn’t going to run, because she knows that if she does, Hillary’s Clinton’s campaign machine will destroy her.

    I would say even that Hillary’s people are trying to encourage the idea of Elizabeth Warren running, so that nobody else who might gather some support does.

    The situation is such that just about anybody who runs, a 2016 version of Eugene McCarthy – could come close to defeating Hillar Clinton in a primary election.

    Even not winning this might encourage somebody else to jump in, except it’s very hard now given the campaign finance reforms of the 1970s.

    Governor Moonbeam might, you know. Even though he’s so old.

    But anyway of course the thing for Hillary is to have no other candidates in the New Hampshire primary except for Joe Biden, or some other person guaranteed to lose. Maybe an already dropped-out Joe Biden.

    Obama seems to be semi-covertly trying to help a challenger to Hillary Clinton. That may be why he’s adopting an agenda that looks a little bit like what Elizabeth Warren might like.

    But Fauxahontas can’t run.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  66. happyfeet (831175) — 1/18/2015 @ 10:35 am

    it’s puzzling to me why Hillary would want a third term of this risible nonsense

    Isn’t that obvious?

    To stop people from writing tell-all books about the William Jefferson Clinton Administration.

    And worse.

    There’s criminal liability too.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  67. Well, it could be said, that’s because of the step-up in basis at death.

    For all those rich guys without a family trust. Last count: zero.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  68. They want to close what they call the “trust fund” loophole.

    The WSJ did not give further details.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  69. When’s the last time you called someone you don’t know, answering an ad, and the person answered the phone?
    Everybody in the state is hiding, screening their calls, terrified that the bills they have been juggling will come due.

    Strong indicator to me.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  70. “it’s puzzling to me why Hillary would want a third term of this risible nonsense”

    It’s because Hillary and Bill and Diane Feinstein and many others have made a good thing of government. A very good thing.

    On the day the new Congress convened this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband’s real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms.

    Mrs. Feinstein’s intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn’t a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments – not direct federal dollars.

    I hope you weren’t thinking that they care about us.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  71. Old Diane Feinstein deserve to be in jail. I’d get Martha Stewart to be in charge of her rehabilitation/therapy/counseling whatever.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  72. The most expensive thing you can accept is something that is ‘free’.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  73. Diane and Richard need to be taken on a tour of her Mojave National Monument….
    What do you mean maps?
    We don’t need no stinkin’ maps.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  74. 69. papertiger (c2d6da) — 1/18/2015 @ 12:20 pm

    Everybody in the state is hiding, screening their calls, terrified that the bills they have been juggling will come due.

    Don’t they know how to juggle bills, without ever missing a due date?

    I mean, unless they are really in bad shape.

    There may be a real need for Workflowy.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  75. i found a ball cap in the mojave national monument i still wear it sometimes

    there was no litter or nothing anywheres just some motorbike tracks and this ball cap

    i was just out walking it was late fall this year and i walked much much further tham i had meant to

    that desert pulls you in and in it’s very easy to walk and very beautiful

    but if you can’t see your car that means your car can’t see you which means you can get lost and die like in that movie with that guy who married the black eyed pea lady

    happyfeet (831175)

  76. **SPOILERS**

    happyfeet (831175)

  77. *than* i had meant to i mean

    and i guess i mean it was late fall *last* year

    happyfeet (831175)

  78. All I am saying is I’m a buyer looking for moving boxes, some passable tires for a used car I’m trying to sell, a hand truck. Whatever.
    Nobody answers their phone.
    Putting 2 and 2 together ….

    Am I coming up with six? Is there another explanation? Playoff games calling for special focus or something, even though I’m not calling Wisconson or Seattle?

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  79. Serious question: Does anyone know a middle class family that believes Obama is serious about helping them?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  80. –He says that in that case there might be military conflict – and it’ll all be the fault of Congress.

    Nothing is TFG’s fault.

    red (2f19f1)

  81. I believe he is serious about helping leftist ideologues, and leftist interest groups.

    JD (86a5eb)

  82. Dear DRJ: it all depends on the definition of “middle class.”

    Simon Jester (dd0c72)

  83. Hang on Packers.

    mg (31009b)

  84. Mr Finkelman wrote:

    That is anything but simple.

    Four lines, with only two mathematical calculations? Seems a heck of a lot simpler than the 1040, or even the 1040 EZ!

    The mathematician Dana (1b79fa)

  85. DRJ wrote:

    Serious question: Does anyone know a middle class family that believes Obama is serious about helping them?

    I don’t know anybody that stupid.

    The very snarky Dana (1b79fa)

  86. Simon Jester,

    I’m wondering about people who think of themselves as middle class, however they define it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  87. The reason I’m wondering about this is that the Democrats overwhelmingly lost the middle class in the November 2014 elections. I simply can’t accept that Obama thinks some of them will come back to him because of this rhetoric — not after 6 years of class warfare that has left the middle class reeling — but maybe I’m misjudging how people will respond.

    Maybe some will believe Obama has finally “learned his lesson” but I think this is more class warfare. Obama has to know the Republican leaders aren’t going to agree to tax increases, at least I hope they won’t. If they do, they are even more clueless than I think they are, and that’s saying something. So that makes this Obama playing to his base — the so-called 47% — and frankly I think he’s using Romney’s rumored campaign as a way to rekindle the idea that Republicans are their enemy.

    Plus, who knows? You never win if you don’t score, and the Democrats have a much better chance of succeeding if the debate is about tax increases than about shrinking government. And this week, the debate is about tax increases.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  88. Mathematical Dana, you are forgetting how much fun Congress would have defining lines 1 and 2 of your formula.

    Even a person trying to keep things as simple as possible woulf need to leave complexities in.
    For example, a person who uses their car for both work and family/pleasure…how do you decide what expenses for fuel, maintainance, and even buying a new vehicle, is business, hiw much non business, and what evidence does the taxpayer need to have on hand to prove his claim is valid?

    kishnevi (3719b7)

  89. Is there a limit on the number of links one can put in a single comment? Because @9:48 I had five links in my comment and didn’t quote from any of them. They were just there to support various points I was making about what the Republicans should say to various groups Obama claims to want to help. It’s still in moderation.

    But as I wrote in that invisible comment, in 2008 Obama had a section in his platform he had a section about he was going to help small business. His “help” would put me out of business if I was stupid enough to take advantage of it.

    Anyhow, DRJ, in 2008 53% if Americans thought of themselves as middle class. As of 2014, thanks to Obama’s special kind of help, only 44% of Americans thought of themselves as middle class. They didn’t join the ranks of the rich. The number of Americans who think of themselves as poor or lower middle class (apparently that’s one category) has shot up from 25% to 40% over the same period.

    One interesting thing I ran across is that in 2013 the average wage of college grads was $16.60/hr, down from $18.14/hr in 2000. Meanwhile last November San Francisco (and Seattle) voted to raise the minimum wage to $15.00/hr by 2018. So if the wage trend continues, and they will because for various reasons Obama’s “help” which consists of a cavalcade of expensive and credit destroying “free” stuff guarantees it, and if the country follows SF’s and Seattle’s lead college grads will be able to look forward to a pay raise to the new national minimum wage shortly after Obama leaves office.

    I really don’t think it should be too hard to argue against Obama’s ideas. But somehow I don’t think the GOP will be able to do it.

    Steve57 (2baf2d)

  90. Norquist’s tax group has releaed this:

    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 descendant’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 descendant’s original basis.

    Example: Dad buys a house for $10,000. He dies and leaves it to you. The fair market value on the date of death is $100,000. You sell it for $120,000. Under current law, you have a capital gain of $20,000 (sales price of $120,000, less step up in basis of $100,000). Under the Obama plan, you have a capital gain of $110,000 (sales price of $120,000, less original basis of $10,000).

    There are exemptions for most households, but this misses the larger point: The whole reason we have a 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.

    It’s like a second death tax (the first one has a top tax rate of 40% and a standard deduction of $5.3 million/$10.6 million for surviving spouses). Conceivably, an accumulated capital gain could face a 40% death tax levy and then a 28% capital gains tax on what is left. Do the math, and that’s an integrated federal tax of just under 60% on inherited capital gains.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/norquist-obamas-plan-imposes-a-second-death-tax/article/2558841

    elissa (dc39ef)

  91. DRJ wrote:

    The reason I’m wondering about this is that the Democrats overwhelmingly lost the middle class in the November 2014 elections. I simply can’t accept that Obama thinks some of them will come back to him because of this rhetoric — not after 6 years of class warfare that has left the middle class reeling — but maybe I’m misjudging how people will respond.

    ‘Tisn’t just the middle class; they’ve lost, pretty overwhelmingly, working class whites. In 2009, 76 Democrats represented primarily white working-class congressional districts. Just 15 of them are still in the House today.

    The Democrats used to be the party of the working man, but they have transformed themselves into the party of the non-working man, and they can’t be both, because those groups have diametrically opposed interests. Only the stubborn adherence of blacks to the Democrats has kept the black working class in the fold.

    The Democrats have divided the country by race, and can only hope that enough white voters will continue to somehow think that it’s raaaaacist to vote for Republicans for them to win anything. If that silly concept ever vanishes, the Democrats are toast.

    The blogger Dana (1b79fa)

  92. doing the math is racist

    happyfeet (831175)

  93. Mr 57 wrote:

    Is there a limit on the number of links one can put in a single comment? Because @9:48 I had five links in my comment and didn’t quote from any of them. They were just there to support various points I was making about what the Republicans should say to various groups Obama claims to want to help. It’s still in moderation.

    I don’t know what number our host has set as the maximum, but WordPress normally defaults to a maximum of two; individual sites can change the setting.

    The blogger Dana (1b79fa)

  94. Elissa, it has been quite a while since I looked at tax law, but I think the stepped up basis is linked to estate tax valuations, so no stepped up basis would mean paying estate tax only on the purchase price.
    I may however be very wrong on that.

    snarky kishnevi (a5d1b9)

  95. Some of this info is redundant given elissa’s find in the Washington Examiner.

    But one of Obama’s tax increases shows he really does think as long as he keeps saying he’s helping the middle class he can continue screwing them at will.

    How does he plan to pay for “free” community college for all? Here’s how (via Weasel Zippers):

    Under current law, 529 plans work like Roth IRAs: you put money in, and the money grows tax-free for college. Distributions are tax-free provided they are to pay for college.

    Under the Obama plan, earnings growth in a 529 plan would no longer be tax-free. Instead, earnings would face taxation upon withdrawal, even if the withdrawal is to pay for college. This was the law prior to 2001.

    Read more: http://www.atr.org/obama-calls-320-billion-new-taxes#ixzz3PE9THcRl
    Follow us: @taxreformer on Twitter

    By increasing taxes on Middle Class families saving to send their kids to college.

    Steve57 (2baf2d)

  96. 96. snarky kishnevi (a5d1b9) — 1/18/2015 @ 5:32 pm

    but I think the stepped up basis is linked to estate tax valuations, so no stepped up basis would mean paying estate tax only on the purchase price.

    Those were the choices in 2010, but the washington Examiner thinks maybe it will be taxed twice.

    Obama hasn’t actually submitted the proposal yet – there’s no legislative language or detailed economic analysis (which would tell you how the tax revenue gains are calculated which would then tell you what he proposes to do), so we don’t know.

    I’m not sure what that means about the tax rate being that of the giver, not the recipient. That would have to be gifts, I think.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  97. Steve57 (2baf2d) — 1/18/2015 @ 5:04 pm

    Meanwhile last November San Francisco (and Seattle) voted to raise the minimum wage to $15.00/hr by 2018.

    New York’s Governor Cuomo is proposing to raise the minimum wage in New York State to $10 an hour outside New York City, and $11 an hour within the city. Undr current law, it is scheduled to rise to $9.00 an hour on December 31, 2015. It just went up from $8.00 an hour (since dec 31, 2013) to $8.75 an hour December 31, 2014.)

    The Republicans don’t have imaginative ideas, like encouraging people to get other work if their wge is too low – by, for instance limiting low wages to people paid very soon. Which avoids trapping people in low paying jobs.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  98. The mathematician Dana (1b79fa) — 1/18/2015 @ 3:23 pm

    Four lines, with only two mathematical calculations? Seems a heck of a lot simpler than the 1040, or even the 1040 EZ!

    The real complexity is in calculating income and deductions.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  99. A step forward for Liberty

    askeptic (efcf22)


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