08-01-12, 11:30 AM #281
08-01-12, 01:59 PM #282
Romney and Taxes—Yours, Not His
Romney and Taxes—Yours, Not His
The numbers in Steve Benen's chart above come from the Urban Institute/Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. Benen explains what you're seeing:
A new independent analysis (pdf) of Mitt Romney's tax plan should, in theory, dramatically change the nature of the election-year debate over tax policy. In short, Romney's proposal is built around a middle-class tax hike, the proceeds of which would go to give wealthy "job creators" a very generous tax cut ....
.... This isn't a hack-job published using worst-case scenarios; it's the opposite. The Brookings Institution and Tax Policy Center made every assumption in Romney's favor, giving him the benefit of the doubt as much as possible.
I put together the above chart by income group—on the far left, we see those in the bottom 20%, then those in the next highest quintile, and so on. Notice that everyone's tax burden go up under Romney's vision, except those in the top 5%, who see get a generous windfall.
And here's the kicker: I had to leave off the top 0.1% of earners, because it made the chart unreadable. If you're in the bottom 80%, your tax increase under Romney would range from $128 to $1,880, but if you're in the top 0.1%, your tax break would be worth nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
We've seen charts rendered unreadable by the top 0.1% tax segment before, in the case of Herman Cain's "9-9-9" plan. But Benen, being part of the TRMS spectre that frightens some conservatives into denying facts simply becomes it comes from Rachel Maddow and her cohorts, isn't necessarily the best one to explain the issue; he's just the guy with the chart.
In their report, Samuel Brown, William Gale, and Adam Looney explain:
Absent any base broadening, the proposed reductions in individual and estate taxes specified in Governor Romney’s plan would decrease federal tax revenues by $360 billion in 2015. These tax cuts predominantly favor upper-income taxpayers: Taxpayers with incomes over $1 million would see their after-tax income increased by 8.3 percent (an average tax cut of about $175,000), taxpayers with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 would see somewhat smaller increases of about 2.4 percent (an average tax cut of $1,800), while the after-tax income of taxpayers earning less than $30,000 would actually decrease by about 0.9 percent (an average tax increase of about $130) due to the expiration of the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2009 and extended at the end of 2010.
In their conclusion, they assert to have demonstrated ...
... that given the proposed tax rates and proscription against reducing tax expenditures aimed at saving and investment, cutting tax expenditures will result in a net tax cut for high-income taxpayers and a net tax increase for lower- and/or middle-income taxpayers—even if individual income tax expenditures could be eliminated in a way designed to make the resulting tax system as progressive as possible.
Or, to put it mildly, there's nothing new here. It's exactly what you'd expect of Mitt Romney: Underwrite the wealthy at the expense of the labor classes.
Benen, Steve. "Romney's middle-class tax hike". The Maddow Blog. August 1, 2012. MaddowBlog.MSNBC.com. August 1, 2012. http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/20...class-tax-hike
Brown, Samuel, William Gale, and Adam Looney. "On the Distributional Effects of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform". Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. August 1, 2012. TaxPolicyCenter.org. August 1, 2012. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/Uploa...Tax-Reform.pdf
08-01-12, 04:32 PM #283
08-01-12, 04:47 PM #284
We seem to be past the point of seriously regarding this stuff as a genuine difference of opinion on the best tax and spending policies to advance the national interest as such. It looks to me like the only end the GOP is interested in advancing is reduction in taxes for the rich, for its own sake. The whole producerist, trickle-down nonsense is merely a fig leaf, and not much of one at that.
08-01-12, 06:03 PM #285
/* The Israeli Arabs are largely Muslim too, and I have no idea if his statement was meant to include them. Israeli Arabs have greater economic opportunity than the Palestinians, suggesting that Islam in and of itself is not the problem (or at most only one factor). That said, it is possible, though not definite, that Romney intended it as an indictment of Islam without every considering the the economic status of the Israeli Arabs (or Saudis or American Muslims) as a potential counterpoint. That would have required him to miss the fact that there are muslims who live within Israeli culture, which I don't necessarily assume he somehow missed.
I find Romney's statement to be a bit obtuse, so it is hard to really credit it as a true indictment of Islam in any event. Economic development for the Palestinians seems to be more likely gated as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Israelis, and it would be bizarre to say that those restrictions are a product of Israel responding to Palestinian culture. (If one were to say that lack of economic opportunity is "cultural" insofar as it is the cultural hostility of the Palestinians towards Israel caused Israel to impose the restrictions on the West Bank and Gaza, then the causal link between the poverty and the culture seems too tenuous to worry about. The restrictions themselves are clearly the proximate cause of the poverty, and Israel's independent agency makes any deeper inquiry unnecessary.)
That Romney, imo, completely missed the obvious factor that really explains (and certainly has a great impact on) Palestinian poverty doesn't make him intolerant (whether that intolerance be expressed as racism, anti-Islamic stances, or otherwise. I view the frenzy over this comment as therefore misplaced. It suggests a lack of deep thought bout the causes of poverty in the West Bank and Gaza far more strongly than it does evidence of invidious bias.
IMO the journey from Romney's comment to "he's racist" is roughly equivalent to the journey from Obama's saying he wants to "spread the wealth" to "he's a socialist." The shorter, more sensible journey is from Romney's comment to "He sounds a bit thick to have ignored more obvious factors."
08-01-12, 06:23 PM #286
Go an check again, but the link regarding the liberals and their relative difficulty in accurately mimicking the positions of their opponents accurately was to Barking up the Wrong tree, which is (loosely) a psychology blog, not a political blog. Also, far from being "unsupportable," the claim itself is the conclusion of an actual study of more than 2,000 people conducted by Jonathan Haidt, Jesse Graham and Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia (though Haidt is now at NYU) and USC. If you do not like my citing a blog, here is their paper:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...act_id=2027266 (N.B., from the abstract "Liberals were least accurate about both groups.")
One relevant finding was that liberals were the least able to accurately mimic (and thus the least able to accurately describe) the positions of their opposition. The cite to the blog was to show a quite from Haidt's subsequent book about the polarizing effect of politics on reasoning (on both sides of the divide), and his description in that book of their paper linked to above.
One study does not establish the proposition as ironclad fact, of course, so perhaps it will be refuted in subsequent studies, but it still stands as, at least, "supportable" and in fact "supported" had you actually read the link.
Hate me if you like (for whatever reason), but Barking up the wrong tree is definitely not a partisan blog, at least not a politically partisan one. This is the only political issue I ever recall seeing on the blog at all. So quit being a weirdo.
08-01-12, 06:52 PM #287
Leaving aside the misuse of "socialist" to imply Soviet Communism or whatever, of course.
Not to mention he started out the foreign tour in question with a staffer asserting that he understood and valued the "shared Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the US and UK better than Obama.
Let's not tie ourselves in any knots avoiding the obvious racial chauvinism on display. Romney says he'll get along better with Britain because he's white and values white culture - and, by implication, Obama is not and does not - and that Palestine is destitute because they are culturally inferior to Israel.
08-01-12, 06:55 PM #288
Nobody can honestly relate to Romney. While both Obama and Romney serve to protect bourgeois interests, Obama is, at least, more likeable.
08-01-12, 07:41 PM #289
I understand that you disagree, and that you (likely) do not share my view that you (and others in many quarters) are merely starting with the premise that he is racist, and then reading racist intent into his comments. That is (if I am correct) very different than than taking the words and then disinterestedly determining his intent from them. In effect (again, if I am right) you are allowing your pre-judgment of the man to control your interpretation of his words, and then declaring the words to be proof that your pre-judgment was correct. From my perspective, that seems to be what is occurring, at least with respect to the Palestinian comment (I have not heard anything regarding the Anglo-Saxon comment, so can't speak to that at any length.)
Two possible clarifications that could alleviate this seeming incongruity spring to mine. One, suggested by spidergoat, is that posters here don't really mean "racist" but rather something more akin to "prejudiced against Islam" and that "culture" is a code for not "race" but "religion."
A second is that he actually meant "culture" when he said "culture." It is clear that the Palestinians and Israelis do have decided cultural differences.
A third, I suppose, if that he assumes the jews are by and large Ashkenazim (ie, basically of northern European descent) and therefore more distinct from Arabs than they actually are, taken as a whole, when you consider the Sephardim and (especially) Misrahim.
08-07-12, 05:45 AM #290
08-08-12, 09:47 AM #291
The word is Romney will be naming his VP within the next few days. I am hoping for a Palin II. It will at least be entertaining. But it would appear most folk think he will select a boring and safe VP.
08-08-12, 01:05 PM #292
That is not the word, that is just logical. The Congress is less than 3 weeks away.
Intrade.com (betting site) says it will be Rob Portman, his Wikipedia entry has been edited like crazy in the last few days...
08-08-12, 01:38 PM #293
I think Portman is the most likely VP selection. But Palin would be more entertaining. It looks like Palin is not on their convention speaking list. What will she do? Will she hold her own press conferences and compete with the Republican Party for airtime?
I noticed George Jr. and Deficits Don't Matter Cheney will not be in attendance. I guess they don't want to remind people.
08-08-12, 10:29 PM #294
Many Republicans are very upset with Romney’s spokeswoman for being quite honest during an interview on Fox News.
Romney’s spokesperson was responding to questions related to an attack ad aired by a pro Obama advocacy group in which a man relates the story of his wife’s death and inability to get healthcare. Romney’s spokesperson states that the woman in question could have received healthcare if she lived in Massachusetts due to Romneycare – the basis for Obamacare. Oops, the very Obamacare Romney has pledged to repeal should he be elected.
Do Republicans think Americans would not notice the inconsistencies in their ideology?
“But on Fox News this morning, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul went "off-script," and amid a larger declaration about the ad being despicable and some pushback on the facts of the ad, she offered this statement in Romney's defense: "To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney's health care plan, they would have had health care."
After that came the deluge of conservatives savaging Saul for getting lost on the road to Damascus, essentially accusing her of giving away the election.
The thing is, though, Saul's logic in citing Romney's creation and implementation of CommonwealthCare in Massachusetts is impeccable. Her baseline argument: If you are going to hit Romney with the Bain practices that allegedly led to this woman losing her health insurance, you surely must credit him for his legislative accomplishments, which enabled thousands of uninsured people to obtain life-saving care. That is, for the most part, pristine reasoning.
The only problem, of course, is that this wasn't offered in 2008, when it would have been hailed as a brilliant defense. We've once again come face to face with the perplexing weirdness at the center of Romney's entire presidential effort: in 2012, Romney is not allowed to run on the singular achievement of his career -- Massachusetts health care -- that earned him a spot in the world of GOP presidential contenders in the first place.” – Huffington Post
08-09-12, 02:24 AM #295
The Price: What Republicans are LosingOriginally Posted by Joepistole
This comment thread on National Review's Corner blog has become my favorite comment thread of the day. It's just full of beautiful gems of disappointment:
She should be fired for mentioning Romneycare.
Romney hired this idiot. He also hired Eric Fehrnstrom. That says a lot about his management skills.
As long as these two clowns are with this campaign, I think Romney loses in the fall. Just utterly hopeless.
Ya' ever have one of those days you feel like hooking up jumper cables to your ears and connecting it to an electric fence...
(Thanks to slog tipper Dan. Many more choice comments are after the jump.)
Andrea Saul is apparently a holdover from Landslide McCain's 2008 Campaign.
And people wonder why so many of us have doubts whenever Romney claims that he will actaully work hard to repeal ObamaCare.
Look back at the choices — Gingrich, Perry, Santorum, Paul, Bachmann, ... .
Spokeswoman had to be an Obama plant.
A Juan McCain retread. Lovely.
If I wanted a leftist pushing socialized medicine, I'd just vote for Obama. RIP, Romney Candidacy, August 8, 2012. He'll have plenty of time to jetski and shop for Levi's. Is this the best we can do? Bring on decline. Might as well find a way to enjoy rather than fighting it.
Wow, just wow.
Sigh... Again, the GOP brings a tickle feather to a gunfight during the Presidential General Election. Most of us, excepting trolls, would have answered that question with a howitzer.
This is what happens when you vote for "experience" or "electability" and not your conscience.
Still, though, Joe Gandelman reminds, "One teeny-weenie bit of advice: don't count Romney out yet."
Constant, Paul. "Romney Aide Mentions Romneycare in an Approving Way, Republicans Go Apeshit". Slog. August 8, 2012. Slog.TheStranger.com. August 9, 2012. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...ans-go-apeshit
Gandelman, Joe. "Don't Count Out Mitt". The Cagle Post. August 8, 2012. Cagle.com. August 9, 2012. http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/dont-count-out-mitt/
08-09-12, 08:25 PM #296
My bet is that unless a war erupts or the economy fails, Obama wins by 8-12 points...
08-09-12, 09:48 PM #297
08-11-12, 12:25 AM #298
Romney is going to announce his VP pick TOMMOROW morning. The buzz is it's going to be Ryan. If so, it's a bold choice as Romney would essentially be officially signing on to Ryan's budget plan which the Democrates would, no doubt, love to demagogue with more ads about throwing grandma off a cliff.
Regardless, we'll know soon enough....
08-11-12, 12:43 AM #299
Democrats won’t have to demagogue Ryan’s budget. Ryan’s budget, like Romney’s, speaks for itself. The ad you referenced pointed out that under the Ryan plan healthcare costs would be shifted from Medicare to the Medicare beneficiaries, making medical treatment and insurance unaffordable for them, thereby effectively denying them healthcare at a time in their lives when they need it most.
08-11-12, 01:21 AM #300
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