Boehner and GOP talking about tax increases again

I have a hunch my newsreader feed will once again be populated with posts about this afternoon’s Washington Post story referencing House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) refreshed openness to accepting new revenue. Oh joy.

First a message. I absolutely need your help. Writing a post like this can easily take an hour or two to research and put together. I’m not asking for donations or for you to click on an advertiser’s link (although that would be nice). I’m asking you to send this post to a Democrat. A liberal. Someone who voted for President Obama. Share it on Facebook. I want my posts to start a discussion … share among those who you agree with, but more importantly those you don’t agree with. You must work outside of your comfort zone and explain why conservative ideals work, and why “taxing the rich” is a joke. Onward.

From the Post.

Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue” to tame the soaring national debt and avert an ugly battle over the approaching “fiscal cliff,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday in a speech that offered a potential path to compromise in year-end budget negotiations.

With President Obama reelected and Republicans returned to a slightly smaller majority in the House, Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday’s election amounted to a plea from voters for the parties to lay down their weapons of the past two years and “do what’s best for our country.”

As a reminder, Boehner actually went to the opposition leadership and the Obama administration offering higher taxes…

… during the 2011 debt-limit battle. At that time, Boehner had tentatively agreed to support $800 billion in additional revenue over the next decade in exchange for Obama’s commitment to let the top tax rate fall below the current 35 percent.

That was a compromise. And the Democrats outright rejected it.

Obama and other Democrats have long insisted that the George W. Bush-era tax cuts should be permitted to expire for the nation’s top earners, raising the top rate to 39.4 percent.

To provide more detail, Obama wants to leave the lower three tax brackets – those including income of less than $217,450 (married couple filing jointly) – in place with the highest marginal rate of 28 percent. For those in the top two brackets which include families making more than $217,450, he wants to increase the marginal rates by 3 percent and 4.6 percent respectively.

So how much revenue will this generate?

The IRS does not provide a table broken up by tax brackets, so why don’t we just take a look at the number of returns and taxable income of those who made more than $200,000 in the most recent year we have for data – 2009 (Excel, 59KB). To keep the math simple, we’ll enhance the Obama plan to the point where every single dollar of taxable income over $200,000 is taxed at 39.6 percent instead of the current 33 percent and 35 percent. In other words, I’m totally stacking the deck in Obama’s favor, and ignoring the fact taxable income is less than it was in 2009.

The total taxable income for those making $200k + was $1.626 trillion from a total of 3.913 million returns. Subtract out the first $200k earned (taxed at a lower marginal rate) and you come up with $843.4 billion (1.626 trillion – $782.6 billion) in income that would be taxed at the new, higher rate.

35 percent of $843.4 billion is a revenue stream of $295 billion.

39.6 percent of $843.4 billion is a “new, Obama-approved” revenue stream of $334 billion. That’s a whopping extra $40 billion dollars. The federal government spent $71.5 billon a week in 2010, so the tax increase would cover a few days of federal spending if all things remained the same, and they would not.

  • More people will look for legal tax shelters and manage their money more carefully to reduce their tax burden … including Warren Buffet.
  • Tax revenue and income are down in 2011 and 2012 as compared to 2009.
  • I totally stacked the deck in Obama’s favor with the numbers.

There are simply not enough people that earn money in Obama’s targeted bracket to make any sort of difference. It’s a rounding error when it comes to the size of the federal budget.

Please share this post any and every way you can and discuss below or among yourselves.



Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Gary J on November 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    none of our elected officials regardless of party will ever stop spending. Their only job as elected officials is to go to Washington and figure out “what else ” they can spend more on than i9s already being spent.? Important things like National defense and big bird as well as studies on the length of women’s noses. Heaven forbid we had a few years with no new spending or increases.

  2. Gary J on November 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    In the end ,take the I,D or R away from the name and one is the same as the rest.

  3. Gary J on November 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Oh I just thought of a way to beat them at this game. Spend more . Be better socialists. Take all but 10% of the money and property from the rich give it to the poor to reverse the tables. Then the following year reverse it once again

  4. Dimsdale on November 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Apparently, Clinton’s preaching about the inability of Republicans to do simple math was more Democrat projection.

  5. ricbee on November 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I want Bonehead to be silenced & replaced.

  6. Tim-in-Alabama on November 8, 2012 at 4:42 am

    These fiscal cliff issues are irrelevant in light of global warming, gay marriage, undocumented citizens and free contraception and abortion. I fail to understand why you so-called conservatives obsess over trivial matters.

  7. JBS on November 8, 2012 at 7:56 am

    House Speaker John A. Boehner has to make a show of talking with the Democrats. I am suspicious of the “accept new revenue streams” comment. By definition, that is the result of a tax (increase). Or, closing loopholes and slashing exemptions.
    I have a theory that Obama wants the “fiscal cliff” to happen. In the middle of winter, with senses diminished with the cold, Obama wants drama. Politicians thrive on drama; it makes them seem more important than they really are. It will give Obama the chance to exercise his executive leadership (a first!).
    France has set the tax bar at 75%? The rich are fleeing the Republic! Obama has a target and a precedent. Do remember that French President Francois Holland is an avowed Socialist.
    When Boehner and HarryReid start talking tax increases, Look Out! This is the prelude to raising taxes on everyone.

  8. Don Lombardo on November 8, 2012 at 11:51 am


    • Murphy on November 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm


  9. dennis on November 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Let them increase the taxes on the top 1% for 1 year and use that increase to reduce the deficit. (satire)? Show the result to the American people and “hope” they get it.? My serious suggestion is to keep submitting budget plans to the Senate and let them reject them or not vote on them, that way we stay status quo and when we run out of money and creditors and the takers don’t get their redistribution money maybe they will wake up.? Move over Greece here comes the “United States of Europe”. This is how THE ONE will fundamentally change America. Destroy it, Bankrupt It and then he can rebuild it with out a constitution to get in his way. We are truely a dumbed down nation to have elected this man twice.

  10. ctyank20 on November 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I listened to Pastor Will this AM fill in for Jim. He came up with what some might believe to be a radical idea, to let the economy “go off the cliff”. I think he may be right. If we don’t do something different and maybe somewhat radical things will not get any better. The debt will continue to rise. Democrats will not address entitlements with anything other than taxes. The people have forgotten about what good the Bush tax cuts did. Let them see what happens when they are gone. The people should be allowed to see what happens when taxes go up and expenses are cut by a trillion dollars. If we don’t bite the bullet now it will only be worse when we are forced to face the outcome. Even if we don’t actually go through with the whole thing, if the Democrats believe we may allow it to happen they may agree to some realistic compromises. The Republicans will be blamed for any negitive effects anyway regardless of what it done.

  11. stinkfoot on November 11, 2012 at 1:17 am

    The demagogue won.? It is clear to me that a message of fiscal responsibility is falling on deaf ears of people who are convinced that they aren’t going to be asked to bear any of the burden… which they are convinced will be borne by straw man millionaires and billionaires.? Maybe 20 or 30% unemployment will get their attention.

    • JBS on November 11, 2012 at 8:39 am

      That is the coming depression.

  12. sammy22 on November 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Just a reminder: if Congress does not act before Dec. 31, all manners of tax cuts will expire. That will be a lot of “fun”. Even the millionaires and billionaires will pay up, but mostly the middle class (however much of it is left).


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