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Details of Obama's Budget: A Tax and Don't Spend Democrat?

Details of Obama's Budget: A Tax and Don't Spend Democrat?

Putting yourself on a budget isn't the most exciting thing to do, but when it comes to President Obama's first federal budget the details inspire hot debate. The final outline is yet to come, but Obama plans on cutting the federal deficit in half by the end of his term. The money will come from higher taxes on businesses and wealthy Americans, and much of it won't be spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the president plans to slash spending on the wars.

This year, the gap between federal spending and income could reach $2 trillion, more than 8 percent of the overall US economy. How does Obama plan to scale that number back? Here are some of the details:

  • The budget keeps the Bush tax cuts for middle-income families, but rolls them back for those making over $250,000. The top tax rate would jump from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.
  • The capital gains tax would rise to 20 percent from 15 percent for the wealthy.
  • The estate tax on estates over $3.5 million would remain at 45 percent.
  • There would be an aggressive effort on tax enforcement, targeting corporate loopholes.
  • The plan would kick off healthcare reform, by reducing spending on some health programs so Obama would have money to devote to new, expanded programs.
  • Less money would be spent on the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The budget includes the cost for the war in Iraq and domestic disasters, something Bush excluded to make the deficit look smaller.

While critics argue against raising taxes in a recession, Obama aide David Axelrod says this is the plan that won the election. Do you agree?


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sandmansouth sandmansouth 8 years
Stock market is at 12 year lows, so of course it makes perfect sense to raise the capital gains tax rate. How about cutting capital gains to 0?! How else are you going to encourage folks to take on long-term risk or get them to invest? Tax & spend liberal is the bottom line here. Discourage investment, encourage consumption & blow out the budget deficit, funding it by printing money. Under these circumstances buying gold & burying it in the back yard makes the most sense to me. Cutting back on work or doing whatever I have to do to cut my income below $200K, so I don't blow my tax advantages also seems like a good idea. In fact, these notions really seem like no-brainers. Is the US well-served by the "wealthiest" doing things like this?
stephley stephley 8 years
And I thanked Mich for it and I thank her again.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Libertarians are nutjobs. Aren't those the people who want to privatize the sky?
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Steph has even said in her own words, we only correct people because we "value accuracy"
Michelann Michelann 8 years
The way in which she phrased it made it unclear. That's why I asked. I think another depression (certainly not only the second) is inevitable, but I think another depression on the scale of the Great Depression is still avoidable.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Mich is right there are many depressions we have been through. "At this point in our history, when we may be on the verge of a second depression" depression is a decline in real GDP exceeding 10% or a recession lasting 3 years or more. She was simply asking what she meant. And just because you know what you grandparents mean when they say the depression doesn't mean a thing. You know that you grandparents have been through the great depression. Commentors on here (well maybe not gpa) have not been through the great depression, so it is proper to ask her to clarify.
T-S T-S 8 years
I am all for precision in language, but really? When I say something about "back in the 80s" do you think I need to say the 1980s, since we've had so many other 80s decades before? My grandparents always says "during the depression" and I know what they mean.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I just think it's an important distinction to make. We've had many, many depressions, but only one "Great" depression. I think most people would agree there's a danger of another depression, but whether or not it's on the same scale has a great deal to do with what actions the government takes. Now that libertarian vs. liberal vs. whatever other political ideology debate is a pretty important part of what steps will be taken. I'm not really sure why being on the verge of another depression ('Great' or not) would make you less interested in discussing economic realities...
stephley stephley 8 years
Sorry Mich, I didn't realize that if I didn't use the full proper title someone might be confused by which one I meant. Good catch! :thumbsup:
Michelann Michelann 8 years
A second depression? Do you mean a second Great Depression?
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
How, though, is it useless to discuss an ongoing, everchanging issue?
stephley stephley 8 years
I'm not trying to justify the tax hikes by claiming the rich use more resources, I was offsetting the claim that because they create jobs they should be treated to cuts. At this point in our history, when we may be on the verge of a second depression, I'm not real interested in re-hashing arguments about an "overall historical inequality" -as a libertarian and a liberal, we are so basically at odds over the truth of that statement that further discussion in that direction is useless.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
"And I'm saying no one's being extorted - they're losing discounts that they've enjoyed for a couple of decades." How can you call it a discount when half of the people in the United States don't pay income taxes at all? It's not a discount, just a slight dent in the overall historical inequality. What Obama seeks to do is re-increase the inequality of a fundamentally unfair tax law.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Steph, you claim that because rich people use more resources, it is valid to raise their taxes. This train of thought does not justify a graduated tax system, in which you only raise the taxes on one group of people.
stephley stephley 8 years
"Stephley, I don't think anyone is suggesting that the wealthy pay the exact same dollar amount in taxes as the poor" Sorry, I don't understand where this comment is coming from.
stephley stephley 8 years
And I'm saying no one's being extorted - they're losing discounts that they've enjoyed for a couple of decades. And they're not all 'successful' some just have a lot of money. Since you "dislike lazy people who think they are entitled to what other people have" maybe we should have a special Haus Tax on people who are just waiting for relatives to die so they'll inherit. I've got a couple names I could give the government for that ;)
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Stephley, I don't think anyone is suggesting that the wealthy pay the exact same dollar amount in taxes as the poor. Merely that they be taxed at the same rate. Ergo, the argument that they should pay more because they use more is already settled. If you make more, you will pay more with a flat rate system. That's how percentages work. You're arguing against a straw man.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Who puts rich people on a pedastal? I'm just suggesting that they not be extorted for being successful.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
Well clearly they use more resources. They tend to have bigger and more homes, bigger and more cars, a business uses more resources than a single employee does. But they also pay more taxes. And even when they pay ten times as much, the fire department doesn't come to their house ten times as fast.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
I would absolutely love to hear any evidence you have that the wealthy utilize more public services (fire, police, roads, etc,) proportionally, than the poor.
stephley stephley 8 years
I don't dislike rich people, but I don't put them on a pedestal either. They've had decades of tax cuts, now that stops. In many ways, rich people do use public utilities more than the rest of us - roads, mail, land use, water. I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out who is worthy and who isn't. The fact is, the country's in an economic mess and one way to help improve the situation is to raise charges on people who have been getting discounts in recent years.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Actually scratch that, I dislike lazy people who think they are entitled to what other people have.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I dislike lazy people in general. :) I don't really care how much they make.
T-S T-S 8 years
It seems to me that you two are on equal footing: one thinks a lot of rich people did nothing to deserve their wealth, and one thinks a lot of poor people are lazy and get what they deserve. You both have contempt for a group of people based on how much money they have, just one dislikes the undeserving wealthy and one dislikes the lazy poor.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
As someone mentioned before, 60% of taxes are paid by who? And you don't think some of that will go towards the rebates, welfare, and other social programs? There is no justification to stealing. Rich people don't use the roads more, or use the fire department more, why should they be relied upon to provide more than half of the money? You aren't suggesting they pay more because they use more, you are suggesting they pay more because they EARN more. You are punishing them for what they earn and that is it. That is the bottom line. It's not right. And it is no different then me stealing your breakfast and dinner to feed myself.
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