Who needs a gift this holiday season? Multinational corporations. After all, they’re people, too. That’s the logic behind the unlikely marriage of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) and New York’s own senior senator, Chuck Schumer (D), who are jointly leading the charge to grant American corporations a “tax holiday.” And their effort is “gaining momentum,” according to Roll Call, with 73 congressional co-sponsors. (I feel like all I do these days is bash New York Democrats.)
So, the tax/infrastructure deal. Some good, a lot bad- it all depends on how you define the baseline. On taxes: In order to judge the tax component of this legislation, let’s analyze each baseline scenario. If the baseline is that the “old millionaires’ tax,” a tax of 7.85 percent on income from $200,000 to $500,000 and 8.97 percent on income over $500,000, was only a 3-year measure that was supposed to expire in 2012, then this legislation is technically an … Read More
Capt. Willard: “They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.” Col. Kurtz: “…Because it’s judgment that defeats us.” – John Milius & Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now. In the run up to a debt ceiling debate last summer, I wrote this on my wall: In the battle between the Tea Party and Wall Street I’m betting on Wall Street. How naïve I was back then. How much faith I put, wishfully, into Republicans’ … Read More
Several months ago, I extolled the virtues of a tax “to raise the price of” energy use, one that would “capture the cost of the social harm and deter its casual infliction.” To make it politically palatable, the taxes collected could be rebated to all Americans equally so that there would be no “net tax” — it would simply reward the energy-frugal and punish the energy-gluttonous.
When to resist and when to compromise: it’s a painful question. But it’s one that will increasingly resonate as the GOP takes control of the House and flexes its muscles in the Senate, blocking everything from medical care for September 11th first responders to citizenship for even the most patriotic and high-achieving kids of undocumented immigrants. For the moment, at least, President Obama’s recent tax compromise seems to have been smart politics. A December 17-19 CNN poll indicates that roughly … Read More
On Friday, Bernie Sanders, the 69-year-old junior Senator from Vermont, delivered a rousing eight-and-a-half hour speech on the Senate floor in opposition to the Obama-GOP tax “deal.” Armed with charts to illustrate the Nation’s rapidly growing income inequality and letters from constituents to drive the point home, he explained how the “compromise” extends the disasterous economic policies of the Bush years, and encourages Republicans to continue their hostage-taking advocacy on behalf of millionaires and billionaires. (You can see highlights from … Read More
President Obama recently announced a “deal” brokered with the Republican minority to extend massive, unwise and unaffordable tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. The President soberly claimed he had been forced to “negotiate with hostage-takers,” and lamented much of the agreement. Indeed, Republicans had threatened to block all other legislation if they didn’t get their way on tax cuts for the rich.
This situation is unacceptable, and so is this deal. The President says it’s the best he can do. We think we can do better. Read More