Updated: Questions to ask Obama and Biden

I’ll keep adding more economics questions to the list as I have time. But will someone ask Obama and Biden at least one of these?

  1. My wife and I are lucky enough to be near the top 10 percent of wage earners. 2006 tax year data from the IRS shows that those in the top 10 percent contribute about 75 percent of the federal income taxes collected. Since you want more, can you let us know what our burden will be during your administration? 80 percent? 85 percent? 90 percent?
  2. You say that if we’re making less than $250,000 per year, our taxes may actually go down, and you say that you want to provide tax breaks to 95 percent, and are asking the top 5 percent to spread the wealth around since it would be good for them. IRS data shows you need to make $155,000 to be in the top 5 percent. So where is your cut off? The $250,000 or $155,000?
  3. Senator, even the top 3 percent of wage earners contribute well more than 55 percent of the federal income taxes. Obviously you think that is not enough, what should be their fair share?

Quick update for you, there has been some question about the $250,000 figure and the 95 percent thing. Other numbers like $150,000 are being tossed around too.

Some say if you make over $250,000 your taxes go up, and if you make between $150k and $250k they stay the same. But Obama on a few occasions has said tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans which would be for those who make less than $155k.

Hot Air has more this afternoon.

What’s the deal? From what I can tell, this is a case of Team Barry being characteristically slippery in getting out their message. The One likes to emphasize how only people making more than $250K will have their taxes raised, but that doesn’t mean that everyone making less than that will have their taxes cut. There’s a middle segment, between $150K and $200K for individuals and $200K and $250K for families (as I understand it and as NBC understands it), whose taxes will stay the same, which means Biden is technically correct in the clip. Obama actually mentioned the $150,000 figure back in June in an interview with Fox News, but he prefers to throw around the number $250,000 doubtless because casual observers will assume that’s the threshold for tax cuts. It isn’t. It’s the threshold for tax hikes, and only for families, not individuals. Or so I deduce.

Have The One and his surrogates in fact lied about the tax hike/tax cut distinction in his plan? Saith the RNC’s oppo research team, you betcha…

9 replies
  1. dario bollacasa
    dario bollacasa says:

    I have questions for Mr. McCain:
    1. you want to keep the tax breaks to the wealthy, isn't that redistribution?
    2. you want to take the haelth care deductions from businesses and give a credit to the "people", isn't that redistribution?

    Ant time you take something from somebody and give it somebody else, you are "guilty" of redistribution, wether you are a Democrat or a Republican or, God forbid, a Conservative.

    Now spin this around and waffle/doublespeak etc.

  2. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    @Dario: Thanks for your comments, maybe someone will ask McCain those questions, but remember, he is not a conservative.

    How about if we agree on a Fair Tax or a Flat Tax? No redistribution at all. No entitlement programs at all. The federal government is only responsible for specific spending as defined in the Constitution. (Preserve, protect and defend the people… all that).

    Follow the 10th Amendment.

    No spin or double speak right?

  3. dario bollacasa
    dario bollacasa says:

    Steve M,
    Fair enough, I would be with you if it were feasible/possible. But, I believe it's wishful thinking. Changing the tax laws on the books is as difficult as to ask for a Constitutional Convention to change the Constitution (that would be an interesting exercise).
    Think of the pushback from all who make a living from the current tax code!
    One of the "problems" I have with Conservatives is their thought that we can roll back to the 18th century, 10th Amendment and all. Sorry we're in the 21st.

  4. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    @Dario. So it's the right thing to do, but it's too hard so we should not do it. Wishful thinking, the page has turned, no going back… I've heard all the excuses before.

    Changing the tax laws is easy, Congress and state legislatures do it all the time.

    In no way do I suggest that we go back to the 18th century, that is a totally false argument.

    Push back from CPAs? Sure, they have their own interest in mind, but think about all of the opportunities that they would have to provide good financial advice? That's thinking forward.

    Added – remember, that I want the feds out of the businesses that they are in. That means that the people – the states/state legislatures and local towns/cities – can make the choice to provide entitlements as they wish. I just want the feds out of it totally.

  5. dario bollacasa
    dario bollacasa says:

    Steve, this is boring: it ain't going to happen. Changing the tax laws the way you want is easy? You want the feds to be out of …….. etc. What planet are you from?
    BTW, the Republicans/Conservatives compassionate or not, had their chance for 8 eight years and blew it.
    Personally I have better ways to expend my energy than on a Sisyphus type quest.

  6. dario bollacasa
    dario bollacasa says:

    Being an ideologue (see Conservative w/ looking back to the 18th century) is easy: just invoke dogma and hope for the resurrection of Ronald Reagan. Being me is hard: trying to figure out what the world around me is doing and decide on the basis of what is good for the country, not just for the individual (who is out to "shaft" his neighbor, that is me too).
    Labeling me a liberal was a gratuitous "slam", who don't know me, so how would you know? And patronizing me does not work on me either.
    If you wish for a dialogue drop the labels (by the way you labeled yourself).

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