What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 21, 2011

Hardly Surprising, Isn't It?

From Talkingpointsmemo, yesterday:
One reason you can expect unanimous Republican opposition to Senate Democrats' latest jobs bill Friday is because it includes a tax -- a 0.5 percent surtax on income above $1 million starting in January 2013.

That would raise enough money over the next 10 years to cover the $35 billion cost of hiring and retaining about 400,000 teachers and emergency responders next year -- but for Republicans, it's not worth it.
But what does this "0.5 percent surtax on income above $1 million" mean, exactly?

The Vice President explains it so that even Pat Toomey can understand:
You have a one-half of one-percent surtax on the 1,000,0001th dollar -- in other words it doesn't affect anybody who makes $999,000, it doesn't affect anybody making $999,999 -- and if you want to find the guy who make $1,000,0001, it only affects that $1. That's the only thing the rate goes up on.
If you make $1.1 million, and god-willing this passes, you would pay next year, $500 more in taxes.
So of course, it was blocked:
Senate Republicans, joined by three conservative members of the Democratic caucus, blocked a floor debate on a key portion of President Obama's jobs bill, which would have provided states $35 billion to hire or retain teachers and emergency responders.

The final tally on the late Thursday vote was 50-50, with Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Ben Nelson (D-NE) voting with the entire Republican caucus to support the filibuster.
Here's the roll call.

Here's the text of the legislation.

Perhaps the next time Senator Toomey's Pittsburgh office is filled with constituents seeking information on his voting plans, they'll ask him (paraphrasing the Vice President):
Why didn't you vote to put 400,000 school teachers back in classrooms; 18,000 cops back on the street, and 7,000 firefighters back into firehouses? Why did you, instead vote to save people with average income over $1 million a one-half of one-percent increase in tax on every dollar they make over a million?
But we already know the answer to that.


EdHeath said...

You know, no one (on the left) is pretending that taxing millionaires is a panacea, although it won't hurt anything and will help a little at least a little bit. Whether the money is used to pay teachers/emergency responders or to fill up the unemployment compensation coffers, it would be appreciated.

It's pretty amazing to me that conservatives can ask (demand) poor people die in Iraq and Afghanistan, but think that asking the rich to pony up an additional one half of one percent on their millions is unpatriotic, especially since the country is teetering on the edge of another great depression.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Why is it the Federal Government's responsibility to fund teachers, police and fire fighters? Those jobs and funding are and should be the responisbility of local or State governments.

You want more or better teachers in your School District? Raise local taxes to pay for them.

You want more police? Raise your local taxes to pay for them. Same for firefighters.

Why is it those on the left always are saying "teachers, police and fire fighters" jobs need "saved"? It's because the leftists want to (a) scare everyone and (b) reward their Union supporters.

If teacher, police and fire fighter jobs are at risk, then why don't local governments eliminate bureacratic pencil pushers so as to fund teachers, police and fire fighters?

The issue right now is that the $787B stimulus funded a certain number of teacher, police, fire fighter jobs for 2 years and.. the money has run out! Local and state governments need their "fix", just like a junkie does.

Doesn't matter about the amount of the proposed millionaire's surtax. I'm against the bills because, trust me, if these tax packages pass (their is no JOBS bill or bills), we'll be in the same position 12 months from now as the funding for teachers, police and fire fighters is only for 1 year.

The States and local governments gladly accepted the $787B stimulus cash and delayed the day of reckoning. Too bad. Now there should be no more "fix". All State and local governments now need to start living within their means.. raise taxes on their own taxpayers.. although I prefer all State and local governments cut unneccesary personnel and programs.

I'm afraid we're almost to the point of no return. The massive expansion in Federal government over that past 5+ years may be difficult, if not impossible to contract. (Yes, I'm including the last 2 years of the Bush Presidency because he was a 'go-along to get-along' guy with a Democrat-controlled Senate and House that knew no bounds.)

EdHeath said...

You know, CM, from January 2003 to December 2006, the Republicans controlled House, Senate and and White House. Y'all could have spent less or headed off the financial collapse by reinstating Glass Steagall or policing the mortgage backed security issuances. But that's OK, the rich got richer and the poor got further screwed.

I assume you know that Senate Republicans keep setting records, starting in January 2007, for filibusters. But you are willing to re-write history and suggest that all the spending took place after 2006, and Democrats did not want to regulate Wall Street at that point (as opposed to being blocked by Republicans, which continues still today).

You are aware that all tax revenues (federal, state and local) dropped in 2008, and have not yet recovered. The $787B stimulus plan included a third tax cuts (which you conservatives consistently and conveniently ignore/forget). It also kept state and local government employees in their jobs so they would keep spending their paychecks in their local communities. The CBO says that stimulus saved and/or created between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs, but apparently you would rather see these people out of work. The stimulus was too small (a concession to ungrateful Republicans) to do more than keep the economy from falling off the cliff, but at least you could acknowledge reality instead of lying about it. And the "massive expansion in Federal government", at least during the Obama years, has more to do with the not surprising increase in unemployment compensation and also to some extent medicaid as unemployed people have lost their health insurance.

You (ironically) order us to trust you and then use bad grammar to rename the Jobs bills with no evidence of any sort: "trust me, if these tax packages pass (their is no JOBS bill or bills)". You essentially throw the unemployed under the bus, and for what? To save multimillionaires one half of one percent of their income over a million dollars. And in reference to trusting you, I am surprised you did not make a "typo" and tell us how the new tax would take 100% of millionaires income.

Obama and his administration are entirely too cozy with Wall Street and the financial administration. But that is eymptomatic of the current situation of too much money (essentially from the rich) in American politics today. Which is something Republicans have worked hardest for for decades (Democrats have come only lately to that game).

Tell me, do you support killing Americans with lung problems to make millionaires even richer?