Obama Tax Deal is bogus for taxpayers

Jeff Kropf,
Americans for Prosperity Oregon Chapter

We can do better! It is time we once again take a stand for our values and principles by opposing the Obama tax deal and demand that Republicans stand firm for a better deal. With each passing moment, the current tax proposal gets worse and worse for the taxpayers as more debt, overspending, pork and immoral tax increases are loaded into it by an out-of-touch Congress. The Democrats are tearing themselves apart over this issue and if Republicans don’t cave and save the Democrats from themselves, this deal will die – as it should.

If it does die, then Republicans who take over effective control of Congress in January can drive a much harder bargain and stand up for the principles that our movement is all about. If there is one lesson that the DC political class should have learned on November 2 is that ” We the People” are sick and tired of compromising our principles to get a deal! This madness must stop and the only way that is going to happen is for AFP members to demand Republicans step away from this pork laden and immoral tax increase bill, let it die and come back after January to do it right.

Syndicated Columnist Charles Krauthammer has a great column that puts this in the proper perspective and I urge you to read it. Click on this link to read it.

So, I ask each of you to simply and easily make contact with your US Senators and your Congressman and asking that they vote “NO.”

Senator Wyden – 223 Dirksen Bldg, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-5244, FAX: (202) 228-2717
Senator Merkley – 107 Russell Bldg, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-3753, FAX: (202) 228-3997
Cong Wu – 2338 Rayburn Blvd, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-0855, FAX: (202) 225-9497
Cong Walden – 2182 Rayburn Blvd, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-6730, FAX: (202) 225-5774
Cong Blumenauer – 1502 Longworth Bldg, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-4811, FAX: (202) 225-8941
Cong DeFazio – 2134 Rayburn, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-6416
Cong Schrader – 1419 Longworth Bldg, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-5711, FAX: (202) 225-5699

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  • Anon the Conservative

    Unfortunately Jeff, your “friends” at Freedom Works are supporting and have endorsed the tax “swindle”.

    Here’s the address: https://www.freedomworks.org/publications/letter-to-senate-support-tax-deal-to-extend-2001-a

    Not another dime for Freedom Works lead by the RINO’s Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe. I’d be shocked and bitterly disappointed in Russ Walker if he also buys into this crap!

    • Jeff Kropf

      Wrong Anon. AFP does not endorse this tax deal even if FreedomWorks does. Get your facts straight for a change.

      • Anon the Conservative

        Ya know Jeff you are really lame. Where in the hell in the above post did I claim AFP endorsed the tax plan? WHERE?

        I handed you a compliment by showing that Freedom Works supports and endorses the plan without saying you did not, because that was the purpose of your post. Good lord!

        You gotta wake the hell up young man!

        • Jeff Kropf

          Hey I apologize, because I misread your email. Thanks for the compliment and sorry for the mistake.

  • Bill Post

    My only question is:
    If no deal is made now, and we wait until the new Congress, who will explain to all of the businesses caught in “limbo” on the taxes? They don’t know how much or what they will be paying.
    Krauthamer is not the best source. I remind all Tea Party members that he came out clearly against EVERY single Tea Party candidate. He is a very moderate writer who will write anything to further the most important agenda on his list: His Own Agenda. Take it with a grain of salt.
    I love Charlie’s writing but I don’t always fall for his game.
    We must have the Bush tax cuts extended NOW or face chaos in business come January.

    • Anonymous

      Krauthammer is right. This bill moves us a giant step closer to national bankruptcy. The payroll tax cut is a gargantuan mistake. The backers are either hugely endangering the country, trying to bankrupt social security and medicare, or both. In any case, it’s recklessly irresponsible. The Republicans, including the tea party types, are no better than the Democrats. They’re all hellbent on wrecking the finances of this country. There will be hell to pay.

      • Bill Post

        PS: anon. Why can’t you “anons” have any balls and put your name down?
        Secondly, wasn’t AFP FOR TARP? I seem to remember that.
        I also remember AFP being in favor of ethanol standards?
        What do you all propose? HOPE that the GOP can make a deal in January in the senate, when it’s RIGHT NOW that they have the most leverage?
        What Earmarks are in the deal? Can you point them out? If you are referring to the tax cuts that have been in place in the state for many years, those aren’t earmarks.

        C’mon guys, you gotta read up and understand things.
        Bankrupt SS and Medicare? I sure hope so. Then maybe we can put something together that will actually work by the time the rest of us retire.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe we anons don’t want to be publicly associated with cretins like yourself!

          If you don’t want to respond to anonymous posts — ha ha, anonymous post! — then don’t respond.

          But, thanks, I did manage to smoke you out. Bankrupting social security and medicare is your goal. I thought so. But it is not what most of the sane people in the country want. Including the tea party types.

          As for AFP, I don’t know what you are gibberishing about. What is AFP and what does it have to do with my post?

          Finally, who said anything about earmarks? That is not what is objectionable in this bill. It’s the huge new revenue losses/spending increases. The payroll tax holiday. The extended benefits.

          Read Krauthammer, then maybe you’ll get it.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >But it is not what most of the sane people in the country want.

            Actually it is not what most people want, very true. However support for SS is hardly a standard of sanity.

            For those currently retired – Support for SS is very sane. They get back everything they paid in in just a few short years, the rest being gravy paid for by those working now.

            For those currently working, especially younger workers, support for SS is fiscally insane. It is extremely unlikely those workers will see anything but a negative return on their money.

            I would not say someone supporting a retirement system that pays them a negative return on their investment is acting in a sane manner.

            Weenie alert – Please note use of the word “sane” as opposed to “popular”. Sane and popular are two different words. If the weenies out there are going to confuse the two and think that I am saying SS is unpopular, get out your dictionaries first.

          • Anonymous

            Speaking of sanity, you’re crazy if you think social security is a great deal for those retiring now or in the near future. It was a great deal for their grandparents — that was a long time ago. It’s an OK deal now, for some people. For people earning a good living, it’s not a good deal at all. But those people expect to get something for the decades of money they (and their employers, meaning, effectively themselves) have contributed to the system.

            And social security is not in that great a crisis. Some simple, modest adjustments over a few decades will fix the system.

            It’s radicals like yourself, out to trash the system, who want to make a crisis of it.

            For example, you’d love to truly bankrupt the system with irresponsible payroll tax cuts.

            Between the reckless people on the left and those on the right, there might not be much to choose.

            But if you look at the record, it’s actually the Republicans and radical rightwing types who have been most hellbent on wrecking the country’s finances.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Speaking of sanity, you’re crazy if you think social security is a great deal for those retiring now or in the near future.

            Would you mind if we counted you among the insane?

            I never made such a claim.

            Watcha smoking this morning Willis?

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Republicans better realize real quick that the last thing they were sent to Washington to do is to go along to get along. If they don’t get this. they can count on a speakership shorter than even Pelosi’s

    Renew current tax rates, and not just for two years.

    Eliminate any dopey stimulus spending to get a deal, I dont care who proposed it.

    If Democrats don’t like it, fine, wait until January and make the tax renewal retroactive to January 1.

    If anyone starts raising this deficit nonsense about maintaining tax rates point out that maintaining rates at current levels only adds additional deficit if you had already committed money you didn’t have from a tax increase that hadn’t yet occurred. That’s a behavioural problem, not a tax rate problem.

  • Bill Post

    To quote Jeff Mape’s story on DeFazio yesterday:
    “Well, given what I’m seeing, DeFazio’s fight against the president’s tax deal will find appeal among both many liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans. And he’s got a lot of both of them in his diverse Southwest Oregon district.”

    Here’s the problem, “Conservative Republicans” are now being lumped in with “Liberal Democrats”.
    No thank you, I don’t want to be in that group if you please.
    If “liberal democrats” are in agreement with me on something, then I better check my stance really quick!

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >If “liberal democrats” are in agreement with me on something, then I better check my stance really quick!

      Seriously?

      Im not saying that sometimes that agreement might be one of short duration, or the areas of agreement might not find coincidence because of different reasons, but you really couldn’t find a single thing you could agree with liberals on?

      Frankly I think Conservatvies have done themselves a real disservice in having a reflex action to oppose anything liberals support.

      Example – Drug legalization. If Conservastives really support limited government, it seems really odd to oppose this. Is it outlandish? Only if you consider William F Buckley to be outlandish.

      Example – GLBT issues. Why in the world to conservatives go out of their way to be needlessly antagonistic in their language here? I am not saying legalize gay marriage tomorrow with homosexuals in the military by the weekend. What I am saying is that frankly I think its a little ridiculous to want limited government, then seek to have government sanction a marriage, conventional or otherwise.

      Example – Silverton recently re-elected Stu Rasmussen as mayor. The first election conservatives went out of their way to joke about Rasmusen without ever investigating what he was all about. Did it ever occur to anyone that for a guy who wears a dress to get elected that maybe he must have some real ideas and a clear dedication to the town?

      I dont agree with liberals on very many things. Virtually all of my friends are liberal, almost half are gay and hell of a lot are transgender. I dont care if someone disagrees with me politically if they have a reasoned opinion. When they disagree out of reflex action, that demonstrates a lack of thoughtfulness. I would respectfully suggest one would want to stay away from such reflexive action.

      • valley p

        Rupert…given where this appears to be headed, do we Democrats still “own the deficit for a generation?” I believe those were your exact words no?

        Its amusing to see the tea party start coming apart at the seams before they even take power. But the inherent contradictions in the politics: don’t cut spending for geezers or the military, continue with useless tax cuts for millionaires, and rail against the deficit, constitute a very predictable set of chickens that is about to roost.

  • Anonymous

    Seems to me the more I read about this, the less I like it–and the less respect I have for the R’s who brokered it. Are they REALLY so stupid to agree to ANYTHING as long as it has the words “tax cut” somehow loosely associated with it? (This isn’t even a tax cut anyway– it keeps the rates the same.)

    For the R’s “leadership” to so quickly agree to something like this boondoggle tells me the R’s afre going to be shown the door very quickly in 2012.

    It’s time they wake up to the fact the the Prog’s and Obama in particular DO NOT HAVE THE SAME GOALS AS THEY DO. It’s about power and control, it’s not about what’s best for the country. If you start from that premise, anything they offer should be suspect.

    Bad, bad, bad, BAD start for the “leadership.” Maybe by 2014 they’ll get the idea what we want is LESS SPENDING, LESS GOVERNMENT.

    Instead of a government big enough to take everything you have, let’s try a government small enough that it barely needs anything at all from you.

  • LauraBell

    Good Lord! You wonder why Congress can’t make decisions and are always bickering. Look at this column. There comes a time when people need to come to a consensus…whether you are Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Libertarian, etc.. Right now the Bush Tax Bill needs to be extended, even if the bill isn’t necessarily the best written document. The Republicans can always change parts or all of a bill once they get in office January 1. Everyone, take a big breath and slow down.

    • Mary’s Opinion

      Finally, someone who sees how out of hand and unproductive this column often is by the gentlemen who contribute.
      I agree the current tax tables need to be extended. What concerns me is the compromise add ons between the President and the Republicans including the 13 month unemployment extension and the tax holiday which reduces the medicare tax withholding from paychecks by 2%. Obama care will suck $500 billion out of medicare to help pay for national health care and now this. To me a payroll tax holiday is a reduction of federal tax withheld not medicare. Now , if the House and Senate make more add ons, we could have another piece of legislation with hundreds of pages. Nobody is proposing specific reductions in federal spending or not adding to the debt in this compromise. Maybe the best thing to do is nothing before year end. Let the next house and senate deal with only the Bush taxes.

      • John in Oregon

        Mary, I fear you are all tooooo correct.

        As I have been watching this event I see more and more add ons and spending. A fair bit more than I documented below. But then I guess that a one page bill keeping the current rates and extending UI for 13 months just isnt possible.

  • John in Oregon

    No surprise that we have several different views of the tax monster. It’s a huge monster. The view of each person, dependent upon which particular part of the beast is at hand, tail, snout, or some less savory part.

    Yet we are told this is an emergency. Hurry’ hurry. Obama told us so. Hurry, hurry. Is it just me, or did anyone else notice the Democrats had total control of government for the last 24 months. If the Obama, Reed, and Pelosi version of tax rate increases on the rich is so critical to them, then why didn’t they take care of it?

    Step back for a moment and take an overall view of our tax system. Who has more to spend, the “minimum wage working poor” or the almost middle class family earning $60,000? Look at the table below from the Cleveland Current.

    Money earned single parent family of four … $14,500 …… $60,000
    Payroll and Federal income taxes ………….. -$1,225 ……. -$13,034
    Childcare cost ………………………………….. -$9,600 ……. -$9,600
    State income tax ………………………………. -$725 ……… -$3,000
    Earned Income Tax Credit ……………………. $5,020 …….. $0
    Food Stamps ……………………………………. $6.312 …….. $0
    National School Lunch Program ………………. $1,800 …….. $0
    Medicaid CHIP …………………………………… $16,500 …… $0
    Section 8 rent subsidy …………………………. $4,350 …….. $0
    Utility Bill Assistance …………………………… $845 ……….. $0
    Total spendable income ………………………. $37,777 …… $34,366

    Doesn’t this look more like a welfare system than it looks like a tax system? And the chart doesn’t include the Democrat 2009 $787 Billion spendulus tax credits (tax payments) to the poor such as the “making work pay” tax payment program.

    I have said in posts here repeatedly that business needs stability and predictability to expand. We are being told to stop bickering, be bipartisan, it’s the best deal the people can get and we can “fix” it later. While we need predictability, there are two things about this “deal” that are predictable.

    Its totally predictable that in only two years the political spenders will again be demonizing the rich millionaires earning $159,619 a year who don’t pay their fair share.

    It’s equally predictable that the Obama compromise package will grow pork like a snowball. Starting with keeping the present tax rates for 2 years and some $300 billion in new debt spending, the spending is growing.

    From The Hill News; Senator “Reid (D Nevada) has added an ethanol tax credit, which Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) supports, and an extension of the Section 1603 cash grant program for the renewable energy industry, which Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) favors.”

    Other new debt spending adds include “green-energy incentives that could win support among House liberals, who are disappointed the Senate failed to take up a comprehensive energy reform and climate bill this year. They include tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel; energy-efficient homes; alternative fuels; and a 30-percent investment tax credit for alternative vehicle refueling properties.”

    But the renewable energy tax provisions have failed to appease a group of Senate Democrats who want to raise taxes for families and small businesses earning over $1 million. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D Ore.) and Mary Landrieu (D La.) circulated a letter asking Reid for a vote on a tax increase amendment that would direct the resulting revenue to the Social Security trust fund. Senator Merkley, what part of going back to your original tax increase is a compromise??

    The bill now also includes an increase in tax relief for mass transit, an extension of tax benefits for property owners who set aside land for conservation, and a special tax deduction for elementary and secondary school teachers.

    In a move highly profitable to Warren Buffett, House Democrats have mulled replacing the pending estate tax provision with an alternative that would tax inheritances over $3.5 million at 45 percent, and sending the reworked package back to the Senate.

    The legislation, however, does not include an extension of the Build America Bonds program. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and a group of at least 10 Democratic senators is pushing for this spending addition. The program provides federal subsidies for the interest that state and local governments pay on bonds allowing states to increase debt spending.

    *The rich and what is a fair share?*

    Last April Robert Siegel and NPR made a shocking discovery. NPR describes the discovery thusly:

    “It turns out that nearly half of all Americans don’t have to pay any federal income tax. In 2009, 47 percent of all filers paid nothing. It’s a number that’s gone up significantly in just a couple of years. Robert Siegel talks to Roberton Williams, who’s been crunching the numbers at the Tax Policy Institute in Washington. According to Williams, millions escape filing because their incomes are too low or they’re eligible for deductions, credits and exemptions.”

    Tax Credits by the way are payments by government to the taxpayer.

    Those top 5% who don’t pay a fair share? They only pay 58.72 percent of the taxes.

    • valley p

      “Is it just me, or did anyone else notice the Democrats had total control of government for the last 24 months. ”

      Yeah…it must have been just you, because the Republicans had enough seats in the Senate to prevent about 150 bills passed by the House from even coming to a vote.

      “If the Obama, Reed, and Pelosi version of tax rate increases on the rich is so critical to them, then why didn’t they take care of it? ”

      Its spelled F-I-L-L-I-B-U-S-T-E-R (I think). Your Republican friends refused to allow an extension of tax cuts for everyone on money earned up to $250K per household from coming to a vote. Hence it was not taken care of. Hence we now have a bigger Christmas tree with shinier presents for everyone and a deeper debt than ever. Is that what your Tea Party was all about?

      As for the rest, why is it so important to you to protect the rich and tax the poor? I just don’t get this. Please explain.

      • Mary’s Opinion

        Valley, remember 47% of Americans don’t pay any tax because their incomes are so low they’re classified as poor or they have have sufficient credits and deductions to bring their tax liability to zero. So, doesn’t that just leave the middle (low to high middle class) and the rich (just barely rich to the ubber rich and powerful) to pay taxes?

        • valley p

          Hi Mary. The 47% of Americans you say don’t pay any tax actually do pay SSI and Medicare taxes on their incomes, sales taxes, gas taxes, property taxes, utility fees and a lot else. That same 47% has seen their incomes stagnate or decline even as incomes for the top 10%, and especially the top 1/10 of 1% have risen. But most of these people are not classified as “poor.” They are working class, and they struggle to pay the bills. Trickle down economics has been tried and failed.

          If you look at taxes across the board, the truly poor pay a small amount, but why would you want it to be otherwise? Should we punish people for being less successful?

          On a personal note, I’m in the upper 15% or so of income earners. I pay a lot in taxes, but have plenty left over to meet all my needs and most of my wants. So I can afford to pay more. People at the lower end can’t afford it. Its not very complicated.

  • Moe

    Everything about this guy is phony.

  • John in Oregon

    VP your comment > *Your Republican friends refused to allow an extension of tax cuts for everyone on money earned up to $250K per household from coming to a vote.*

    That utterance is just tooooo cute by half. It didn’t play any better for Senator Kerry. It’s weasel speak pure and simple. Words carefully chosen to appear to convey nobility and inclusiveness while they are truly exclusive and divisive. Intended to create discord between people who are otherwise no different from each other. An intentional deception to appear to be one thing while being altogether another. In other words, a lie.

    As bad as that is, it’s not even the worst of being too cute. That comes on Senator Kerry’s and your contempt of the listener as just too stupid to recognize the manipulation. Listen up. The BS no longer works and people are tired of it. Pay attention to the comments from LauraBell and Mary. Stop, just stop. That kind of thing may have worked back when we thought we could trust politicians. Today trust and politicians do not exist in the same place at the same time.

    > *As for the rest, why is it so important to you to protect the rich and tax the poor? I just don’t get this. Please explain.*

    I reject your premise and characterization. I reject pitting poor against rich, Christian against agnostic, I reject your class warfare.

    What I support is the principal of the right of every individual to privately own property and to use that property as that individual sees fit. What I protect is equal justice under law without regard to circumstance, rich or poor, black – brown – red – yellow or white, Christian or agnostic. There is a term for this principal.

    The rule of law and not of men.

    In contrast, Pelosi, Reed, Obama and Schumer wish to treat similar individuals differently based on some arbitrary characteristic such as “rich” or “poor”. The choice to be made on a case by case basis determined by some ever-changing and conveniently at hand criteria that seems applicable at the moment.

    In place of the rule of law, Pelosi, Reed, Obama and Schumer speak openly of the rule of men. They scaremonger that extending the current tax rates for everyone somehow takes food out of the mouths of starving middle class Americans. The truth, of course, is that keeping the “middle class” rates have always been part of the Republican proposal. The further truth is that Pelosi, Reed, Obama and Schumer want to raise taxes.

    How is it working out for the “rich”? Before the Bush, the rich one-percent paid 25.7 percent of federal taxes. As we all know, in 2003 Bush passed “the tax cuts for the rich”. How did that work out?

    By 2007 taxes paid by the rich one-percent fell from 25.7 percent to 40.4 percent of all federal taxes. Got that? The rich tax fell from 25% all the way to 40%.

    The bottom 50%? With the Bush tax cuts for the rich, the bottom 50% tax rocketed all the way up to 2.7%. But it’s the “inequality,” stupid. In the Bush era, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The solution is obvious. Tax those greedy rich people!

    “Government is already spending staggering amounts subsidizing the lower 50 percent. Usgovernmentspending.com reports $1.1 trillion for government health care last year, a trillion for government education, and $0.8 trillion for government welfare. If that hasn’t done the trick, year after trillion-dollar year, what on earth will?”

    How about this idea. Stop subsidizing failure and start subsidizing success. Stop meddling and let the poor prosper.

    > *If you look at taxes across the board, the truly poor pay a small amount, but why would you want it to be otherwise? Should we punish people for being less successful?*

    Your question is disingenuous. No one has proposed punishing the poor. The real question is why do you wish to punish the successful?

    • valley p

      “That utterance is just tooooo cute by half.”

      Is it? I thought it was factual. All money earned up to $250K by every household. The rates would revert to pre-Bush levels only for money earned over $250K. This is deceptive to whom?

      Every poll on this says Americans favor allowing the tax cuts for earnings over $250K to expire. Will of the people and all that. or is this only when it is convenient?

      “I reject pitting poor against rich”

      Good for you John, but my comment was responding to Mary, who seems to think those in the lower half are not paying enough.

      “The rule of law and not of men.”

      Ah…but who gets to make and interpret the laws? Mostly men as it turns out. Wealthy men at that. How convenient for them.

      “based on some arbitrary characteristic such as “rich” or “poor”.

      Arbitrary? Statistics are not arbitrary. 95% of American households earn less than $250K per year. Half earn less than $50K per year. Poor is defined by purchasing power. Its not arbitrary. Its data.

      “The truth, of course, is that keeping the “middle class” rates have always been part of the Republican proposal. ”

      No it hasn’t. it was Republicans who put an expiration date on the tax cuts. And now they are willing to take 95% of taxpayers hostage to make sure the other 5% keep a tax break that did the economy no good whatsoever. And with borrowed money from the Chinese. How noble of them. The inclusive party.

      “In the Bush era, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. ”

      We agree on that point, as does the data. This is in fact what happened. But even worse, the middle class dropped as well, or “got poorer.” But does this give you Republicans any pause to reconsider your policy approach? No you want to double down on the exact same policies that created the mess we are in. Its a version of insanity to think you will get different results.

      “Stop meddling and let the poor prosper. ”

      I believe Ebeneezer Scrooge offered the same advice. And if that doesn’t work we can bring back the poor farms and debtors prisons.

      “The real question is why do you wish to punish the successful? ”

      The answer is that I don’t. I want the successful to pay most of the cost of government because they can afford it. I don’t view this as punishment. I view it as the most logical and fair way to have a decent society.

      And by the way John, most of those earning over $250K voted for Obama, in spite of or because he said he would allow their tax level revert to pre-Bush rates. So apparently they also do not view paying more as punishment. They view it as a civic obligation.

      But I’m sure they appreciate your passionate concern for their welfare, the poor dears.

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