Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama's SOTU and ignorance on economics and tax policy

Declaring the American dream under siege, President Barack Obama delivered a populist challenge Tuesday night to shrink the gap between rich and poor, promising to tax the wealthy more and help jobless Americans get work and hang onto their homes.

--> President, you and Congress are the ones continuing to lay the siege!
--> Faux populist; more style than substance
--> He's been shrinking the wealth gap between "rich" and "poor". That's what recessions do!
--> More taxes on the wealthy. Not good for the economy, but if you're not going to cut spending...
--> Work and homes? How are you going to do that...really?

In a signature swipe at the nation’s growing income gap, Obama called for a new minimum tax rate of at least 30 percent on anyone making more than $1 million...“Now you can call this class warfare all you want,” Obama said, responding to a frequent criticism from the GOP presidential field. “But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”...Obama calls this the “Buffett rule,” named for billionaire Warren Buffett, who has said it’s unfair that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does. Emphasizing the point, Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, attended the address in first lady Michelle Obama’s box.

--> All billionaires pay far more, in dollar terms. Most billionaires pay far more, in percentage terms.  
--> Those who do not are subject to lower capital gains tax rates (paying tax on money for a second time) or are taking advantage of loopholes. Any credible, "fair" approach to income taxation would eliminate loopholes. But most Democrats and many Republicans don't want that.
--> If you want to deal with taxes and the middle class, your first priority has to be payroll taxes-- 15.3% of eery dollar earned. Democrats should step up on this issue, but they're busy demagoguing Social Security, Medicare, and tax policy. 


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