Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Tax Deal: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

Starting in January, my paycheck will be a few dollars fatter. That will be money that’s not currently in my budget—money left over after the bills are paid. That means that for each of the twelve months next year, my husband and I will be more likely than we would have been otherwise to dine out, buy a new pair of shoes, or splurge on a few lattés. (You’re welcome, Starbucks.)

Had the tax deal not been made, my taxes would likely have gone up, reducing my paycheck for each of the next twelve months. That would mean less disposable income for my husband and I to enjoy—and less revenue for local small businesses.

Multiply that by the millions of wage earners in this country, add the money the chronically unemployed will be able to spend thanks to the extension of benefits, and it begins to look as though the president has struck a pretty good deal. This whole thing is good for people and the economy.

Liberals are up in arms because the administration didn’t hold out for the Republicans to “cave” and agree not to continue to give the wealthiest Americans the very sweet deal that GW arranged for them. If these people thought the current GOP leadership was going to cave on anything—especially tax breaks for the rich—then I have just one question for them: Where have you been for the past two years?

See, here’s the difference between liberals and progressives: liberals are likely to stand on principle, whereas progressives are most interested in getting things done.

Both liberals and progressives tend to see government as an agency for serving and benefiting real, flesh-and-blood human beings—not for bowing to business interests in order to simply make the rich richer. So we tend to agree on many things.

In the final analysis, however, we progressives (however few of us there may be) really appreciate a pragmatic president—you know—one who actually gets things done.


Idna said...

How exactly will your paycheck be fatter in January? Your tax rate is not changing. You will have the same tax rate as the one George Bush gave you. The question before Obama & Congress was whether to raise your taxes.

The other 2 things in Obama's plan (which, by the way, is not law yet) is the 13-month unemployment extension and the 2% reduction in payroll tax. That 2% is the only "fattening" your paycheck may see.

I was happy to see that you agree that letting people keep more of their own money is a good thing. Good for them, the economy, local small business, ALL business, etc.... basically good for the country.

Then you had to go and fall back into the old class-warfare talking points ... "continue to give the wealthiest Americans the very sweet deal that GW arranged for them."

What sweet deal? The top 5% of wage earners pay 60% of all taxes. The "evil rich" currently hand over 35% of the money they earn. The question was whether to up that and take away 39.6% of their earnings. Seems to me it's the rest of the population who are getting the "sweet deal."

And, Jane, if you believe it's a good thing for people in your tax bracket to keep more of what you earn because the economy will benefit, why is it not the same for high income groups? If a "rich" person spends some more of his money that the government is not confiscating from him, wouldn't that benefit local small businesses, large businesses and eventually the country's economy?

I just don't understand this breakdown in logic and the vicious, envious emotions toward those who have been financially successful.

Anonymous said...

Because the rich major corporations and Wall Street executives don't spend what they save shoes, lattes, or an extra meal out. They invest the money (or gamble with it, as in the case of the sub-prime mortgage debacle). They don't need the money, don't spend it, and don't stimulate the economy. said...

Personally I'm a little disgusted at this so-called "deal". How is it beneficial? Okay, it extends unemployment benefits. But would the GOP really have had the chutzpah to deny unemployment to all those unemployed and angry white citizens? I don't think so.

I don't have anything against bipartisanship and negotiations in Congress. Many people forget that this country was actually created BY a compromise.

I just don't think Obama and his team did any negotiating so much as capitulating.

Did anyone catch his analogy about hostages? Last time I checked we don't negotiate with hostage takers!