POLITICAL observations & opinions

Warren Buffett … my friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice … LMW: Every Republican candidate in Iowa on Saturday promised to vote against any deficit reduction package in which there were ANY tax increases, including on the very wealthy. There will be only one candidate in 2012 who hasn’t taken that insane pledge, and his name is Barack Obama.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 15, 2011

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Republican "candidates for the wealthy" in Iowa

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Warren Buffett writes in the NYT (8/15/11) …

  • While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. 
  • Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack.
  • I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.
  • And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.
  • I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.
  • But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains.
  • And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.
  • My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

read the entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html?hp

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NPR’s Frank James reported …

  • One of the more memorable moments from the Republican debate in Ames, Iowa, was when the eight candidates were asked if they would accept a deficit-reduction deal overwhelmingly tilted toward spending cuts over tax revenue increases by a ratio of 10 to 1.
  • They were asked to raise their hands if they would find such a deal unacceptable because it included tax increases.
  • Every candidate raised his or her hand.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/08/12/139580923/romneys-raised-hand-on-debate-deficit-question-a-read-my-lips-moment

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LMW COMMENT …

Refusing to return tax rates for the wealthy to 1980 levels has nothing to do with job creating investment, and those in Congress who say it does are simply ignoring the facts, or just outright lying. It has everything to do with campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans, and it will not stop until we have reformed campaign finance laws.

Every Republican candidate in Iowa on Saturday promised to vote against any deficit reduction package in there were ANY tax increases. There will be only one candidate in 2012 who hasn’t taken that insane pledge, and his name is Barack Obama.

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