Monday, December 10, 2012

Other Taxes on the Table Besides Income

The last fews days there has been a noticeable reduction in fiscal cliff coverage.  I interpret this as a sign that neogiations are being conducted in earnest.

Today Brian Knowlton and Jackie Calmes have a story about a one-on-one meeting in the White House yesterday between Boehner and Obama; also, they mention GOP Senator Bob Corker's appearance on "Fox News Sunday" where he argued that his party should publicly concede the debate over raising the top tax rates in order to shift the focus to entitlement cuts.

Jackie Calmes had a front page story in the Sunday paper yesterday on revenue arithmetic.  Raising the top tax rates only gets Obama a quarter of his desired $1.6 trillion in new revenue over 10 years:

Seldom mentioned is that Mr. Obama’s revenue total also reflects four other changes from Bush-era tax cuts: higher tax rates on investment income from capital gains and dividends, and the restoration of two other Clinton-era provisions limiting deductions and tax exemptions for affluent individuals.

Together those changes would raise $407.4 billion over a decade — nearly as much as the president’s proposal on higher rates, which would raise $441.6 billion by 2023, for a total of $849 billion. Another $119 billion would come from higher estate taxes, opposed by Republicans and some Democrats.

And both the president and Republicans are committed to raising hundreds of billions of dollars by overhauling the tax code to further limit or end the tax breaks that high-income taxpayers can claim, though they differ in how to do that.
The Counterpunch left is convinced Obama is a Manchurian Candidate for the plutocracy and that a large, painful selling out on Medicare and Social Security is coming our way.  If this proves true then I will have been wrong about Obama.  I suppose a red line for me is the eligibility age for Medicare.  If it goes up as part of the bargain to avoid the fiscal cliff then I think we've been sold down the river.

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