Mr. Carville and the Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg went further in their criticism in a polling memo over the weekend, writing that Mr. Obama was too focused on the wrong underlying argument. They say he could help win over undecided voters with a promise to change Washington on behalf of the middle class and to oppose Republicans who support tax breaks for big companies that export jobs.
[W]here does the government get the money to fund all these immensely useful programs? According to a Fox News poll earlier this year, 65 per cent of Americans understand that the government gets its money from taxpayers, but 24 per cent think the government has "plenty of its own money without using taxpayer dollars." You can hardly blame them for getting that impression in an age in which there is almost nothing the state won't pay for.
President Obama today welcomed small business owners to the White House and urged Congress to enact tax incentives and loan programs to help them. "This shouldn't be an issue of big government versus small government," said Obama. " This is an issue of putting our government on the side of the small business owners who create most of the jobs in this country."
"About half of taxpayers paid no federal income tax last year. It does not mean they paid no tax at all," writes tax blogger Howard Gleckman. "Many shelled out Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. In fact, only 14 percent of Americans didn't pay either income or payroll taxes. Some paid property taxes and, it is fair to say, just about all of them paid sales taxes of one kind or another. So to say they pay no taxes is flat wrong. So who are these folks who pay no federal income taxes? Mostly, they are people who don't make very much money. Many are elderly: Think a widow living only on Social Security benefits. Others are parents earning less than $20,000. Only about 5 percent are non-elderly households making more than $20,000."
Every year, the Gallup Poll asks people how they feel about paying federal income taxes. This year, 48 percent of respondents said they pay too much, while 45 percent said the amount of federal income tax they pay is about right. Ha! I thought. No surprise there! This year around 47 percent of households won't pay any income tax at all. So, I figured, that accounts for the 45 percent who think their tax bill is "about right." Oddly, though, the responses don't break down that way at all. Rather, whether a person thinks his taxes are too high has virtually no correlation with his income, and therefore virtually no correlation with whether he is paying any income taxes at all. On the average, upper-income taxpayers pay around twice their fair share in federal income taxes. Thus, just about every member of that group would be justified in saying his tax bill is too high. In fact, however, only 48 percent say their income taxes are too high, while 49 percent say they are about right. On the other hand, people earning less than $20,000 generally aren't paying any federal income taxes at all. On the contrary, many of them are getting checks from the federal government representing fictitious "tax credits." Astonishingly, however, this group is more convinced than upper-income Americans that they are paying too much: 44 percent say their income taxes are too high, while only 39 percent say their tax levy--zero!--is about right. I deduce from this that people's feelings about taxes relate almost entirely to ideology, and hardly at all to economic reality. Still, doesn't it take a certain amount of nerve to claim that your federal income taxes are too high when you don't pay any?
As Scott notes below, President Obama seems poised to introduce a Value Added Tax (VAT) probably after the November election. But didn't Obama promise during the campaign that under his presidency, families making less than $250,000 per year would not experience an increase in their taxes? And doesn't the VAT add to the tax burden of every American family? The answer to both questions is: yes. However, Obama now characterizes his tax pledge as applying only to income taxes. Thus, in his weekly radio address of April 10, 2010, Obama said: "And one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000; that's another promise we've kept." But Obama's claim about what he promised is false. Speaking in Dover, New Hampshire on September 12, 2008, Obama said this: I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes. Thus, as Robert Gibbs later admitted, Obama's tax pledge "didn't come with caveats." But it does seem to have come with an undisclosed expiration date. Here is the video of Obama taking his bogus pledge in New Hampshire. VIa Americans for Tax Reform.
Illinois stuck in a historic, epic budget crisis - chicagotribune.com From the comments: You know what the solution to a 13.6 billion shortfall is because the politicians are beginning to tell you — a big income and other tax increase. There are, per IL state statistics 4.6 million households. 13.6 billion divided by $4.6 million is an [...]
Beginning around 40 years ago, the federal government implemented one of the wisest domestic policy initiatives of modern times. In an effort to equalize the tax treatment of employees and self-employed individuals, a series of statutes permitted self-employed persons to save pre-tax money for retirement and to accumulate funds in retirement accounts that are not taxed until money is withdrawn post-retirement. Those programs have been broadened over the years to include employees, as well as the self-employed, in 401K accounts. Over the last four decades, Americans have saved hundreds of billions of dollars in such retirement accounts. I haven't seen figures lately, but the total of such savings is most likely in the trillions. Now we have an improvident federal government that has spent itself into a state of near-bankruptcy. It can survive only by selling Treasury bills to Americans and foreigners, but as the government's debts accumulate, international demand for T-bills slackens. So the Democrats are looking for money. They can't help noticing that Americans have saved many billions of dollars--private property, theoretically, but under contemporary constitutional jurisprudence, subject to pretty much any whim that may come out of Washington. Argentina showed the way in 2008, as we noted here, by nationalizing private retirement funds on the ground that "the private system never achieved what was needed." Now, the Democrats may be poised to imitate Argentina's theft. Investor's Business Daily reports: You did the responsible thing. You saved in your IRA or 401(k) to support your retirement, when you could have spent that money on another vacation, or an upscale car, or fancier clothes and jewelry. But now Washington i