Why Wait to Repeal Tax Cuts for the Rich? By ROBERT H. FRANK

“ON the campaign trail, Barack Obama said he wanted to eliminate the Bush tax cuts for top earners upon taking office in January. Now he seems to favor letting those cuts expire as scheduled, at the end of 2010.

His apparent concern is that raising anyone’s taxes immediately might worsen the economic crisis. As Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, said when asked on Fox News about the delay, “The main thing right now is to get this economic recovery package on the road, to get money in the pockets of the middle class, to get these projects going, to get America working again, and that’s where we’re going to be focused in January.”


Full article

(thanks to BevnTempe for suggesting this article)

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120 Comments

Filed under BevnTempe

120 responses to “Why Wait to Repeal Tax Cuts for the Rich? By ROBERT H. FRANK

  1. Good read Bev, thanks for bringing this article to our attention. To borrow a phrase from Hipster, this is the 10% where I don’t agree with the prez, these people have been getting a “free ride” for far too long and the sooner it comes to an end the better it will be for all of us, them too.

    One of this thing that occurs to me as this tax debate has been going on is, that so many of Hollywood liberal elite who’s patriotism I hear the right so frequently question, when they are talk shows and the issue comes up they all seem more than willing to pay more for the betterment of all. It’s seems it’s the right and only right who have troulbe paying thier fair share for the common good. Not very patriotic if you ask me.

  2. Heartbreaking Footage: Dateline Follows Police Evicting Families From Their Homes

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/15/heartbreaking-footage-dat_n_175150.html

  3. dog's eye view

    Brian: when I was in midstate NY earlier this year, met a deputy sheriff who told me his dept had carried out 37 evictions that day. Older community, semi-rural, in the Hudson Valley.

    It was middle of January. 8 degrees. Snow falling (very prettily) as we spoke. The Hudson was iced over and covered with snow.

    I wondered why they could not let the people pay what they could and stay a month or two later, until the weather was less brutal.

    Of course you could and should evict someone who was negligent or destroying your property.

    Falling behind on rent, though, during the beginning of a depression. (And people are beginning to call it that.)

    I don’t think those landlords had new tenants lined up, ready to move in. Maybe a few, but not many.

  4. dog's eye view

    RIP Ron Silver.

    A courageous man. You may not believe in his political views — and they were complicated — but he certainly had the right to change his outlook in the wake of new information and express himself. It’s sad that he found Hollywood less welcoming upon doing so.

    Wonder how Hollywood would be dealing with Mel Gibson, if he had not had the drunk driving anti-Semite incident. So convenient for many to be able to dismiss him outright after that.

    Everyone is allowed their inner contradictions and complications.

    Hadn’t known of Silver’s activism on behalf of creative efforts. Good for him!

    He had a Master’s in Asian studies.

    NYTimes story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/movies/16silver.html?_r=1&hp

  5. Interesting article , thank you Bev.

    Could there be more behind the non-decision to let the bill expire rather than repealing the tax cuts right away?……maybe it is some political play or maneuvering …. timing?

    Time will tell. I haven’t read where Obama has ruled out an earlier repeal.

    btw …top of the a.m. to all!

  6. dog's eye view

    With Dog as My Co-Pilot

    A beagle accompanies on a cross country road trip.

    You KNOW I liked this story.

    How many beagles do you know named Darwin? This is about 3 or 4 for me….

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/13/AR2009031301235.html?hpid=smartliving

  7. dnd

    Prof. Frank has an interesting argument. But it might have a flaw or two, predicated on the notion that removing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy could provide an opportunity to cut taxes for the middle and lower income earners, resulting in more spending.

    First, lower wage earners don’t pay much if any income tax. They do pay the regressive FICA tax.

    Second, middle income earners would probably use any tax break to pay down debt and save because they’re in fear of losing their jobs. It’s Keynes “paradox of thrift.” He contradicts his position in his cogent argument as to why the views expressed during the campaign would impact small business hiring, stating that business hires when it will increase profits, not because they have extra cash. He then goes on to say the reason business’ aren’t hiring is because people aren’t buying. Q.E.D.

    I do think he is spot-on with the current tax structure is disproportionately unfair, benefiting higher income earners. It is a myth that they use their extra wealth to either spend more or hire.

    It’s also a myth that higher tax rates discourage people from trying to earn more, a.k.a the Laffer curve. People try to make as much as possible, no matter what the tax structure is.

    Off the soapbox 😉

  8. horsedooty

    “It’s also a myth that higher tax rates discourage people from trying to earn more, a.k.a the Laffer curve. People try to make as much as possible, no matter what the tax structure is.”

    years ago when $50,000 was a giant amount of income, my dad would say, “I would like to have tax problems like that.” Later in his life he did have those problems and he was able to solve them without too much problem.

  9. horsedooty

    http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=356997&GT1=28103

    “Don Imus says he’s battling stage two prostate cancer.

    The 68-year-old shock jock made the surprise announcement on his morning radio show, which airs from New York.”

  10. BevnTempe

    dnd – I like it when you’re on a soap box!

  11. Morning peeps.

    Regarding the Imus news, I’ve decided not to make any brain surgery jokes.

  12. dnd

    Bev,
    I’m always available to rant 😉

  13. dnd

    Ironic that Imus has cancer. He runs a ranch for kids with cancer, and his wife works with environmental issues with pediatric oncology.

  14. Austrian on Trial for Rape and Murder

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/03/16/world/international-us-austria-incest.html?_r=1

    Could someone explain to me why this monster is bothering covering his face? First of all his picture has been plastered all the internet and second does he really believe there is is even the slightest chance he’s not going to spend the rest of his life in jail?

  15. Sweden’s Choice

    Why the Obama administration should look to Europe for a school voucher program that works.

    http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/03/15/opinion/1194838660912/sweden-s-choice.html?8ty&emc=ty

  16. dog's eye view

    I am so glad Obama and Geithner are pushing back at the AIG bonuses. Unconscionable.

    Further: these are retention bonuses? In this market!

    Saw a comment somewhere in the blogosphere about looking at legality of paying bonuses for this year, last and a few years back, based on whether the financial institution was even solvent at the time.

    Hope to see a lot of clawing back of ill-gotten gains, distributed based on cooked books.

  17. nannymm

    Thanks for that article, Bev. It was a good read. I think that most low wage earners and middle income workers would spend any additional money they received through taxes cuts. It is the upper middle class who might be more inclined to save the money. But, any money the government were to realize through tax cuts for the wealthy can and should be used to help those lower down on the economic scale, whether through tax cuts and/or credits to those earners or through unemployment benefits, food stamps, and housing aid. The rich have had a free or nearly free ride for far too long. Enough is enough! It is time to make them pay their fair share so that others can get a chance.

  18. nannymm

    These people at AIG, Morgan Stanley, etc have no shame. They, through their sheer greed and devil may care attitude, created this mess. They ought to be scrambling to do whatever is necessary to clean it up. Collecting bonuses when you have run your company and the nation’s economy into the ground is dishonorable at best. IMO, they should all receive major cuts in their compensation and benefits until such time as their companies and the economy in general recover. In some cultures, they would have died of the shame. But not here. These guys continue on in their arrogance and belief that they are deserving of special consideration. We should all treat them as the shameless pariahs they are.

  19. dog's eye view

    Obama’s statement on AIG bonuses, via NY Times Caucus blog.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/obamas-statement-on-aig/?ref=politics

    Obama will be on Leno’s Tonight show this evening.

  20. nannymm

    Good point about those bonuses being for retention, Dog’s Eye. Why the hell should any company, particularly one receiving tax payer monies, WANT to retain those people? They should all be fired and replaced with people who will work their asses off to right these companies and the economy and who will do so for a reasonable wage. Who cares if they have less experience? As far as I’m concerned, we would all be better off if companies were led by people who had no experience in screwing us all out of money. We’ve had more than enough of that kind of experience, thank you very much!

  21. nannymm

    Thanks for the Leno Show info, Dog. I want to see that.

  22. dog's eye view

    Agreed!

  23. Hey gang, just added doots profile to the “Who are these people” page, he sent along some really nice examples of his work, definitely worth the look!

  24. dog's eye view

    Yep, it’s Thursday for The Tonight Show.

    He’s in Orange County, CA Weds.

    Sorry to have misinformed.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=awhO3a3ouvfw&refer=us

  25. nannymm

    Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York on Monday sent a letter to the American International Group, demanding more information about the employees who are set to receive about $165 million in bonus payments.
    The rationale that Mr. Cuomo gave in demanding the bonus information is not unlike the argument he is advancing in an investigation of payments made by Merrill Lynch. The attorney general is questioning whether any of the bonus recipients helped contribute to the troubles at A.I.G. Financial Products and whether the payments would constitute “fraudulent conveyance” under New York State law.

    Mr. Cuomo said if his 4 p.m. deadline is not met, he will issue subpoenas and potentially seek court enforcement.
    http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/cuomo-seeks-aig-bonus-information/?hp

  26. nannymm

    Thanks for the correction re: Obama on Leno.

  27. The blog poll. On today’s poll I voted to repeal the Bush tax cuts immediately. I’m curious as to why anyone who voted for them to expire thinks that’s the best choice. Funny no one voted to keep em!

  28. nannymm

    I voted to repeal them immediately so I can’t help you there, Brian.

  29. dnd

    I think the argument for letting them expire is that removing them immediately would give the right an opportunity for political distraction, using a bogus claim that this is absolutely the worst possible thing to do in this economic downturn.

  30. nannymm

    This just confirms what we all knew anyway. The International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a secret report that the Bush administration’s treatment of al-Qaeda captives “constituted torture,” a finding that strongly implied that CIA interrogation methods violated international law, according to newly published excerpts from the long-concealed 2007 document. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/15/AR2009031502724.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter

    And here is the link to the full story in “The New York review of Books.”
    US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites
    By Mark Danner
    ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen “High Value Detainees” in CIA Custody
    by the International Committee of the Red Cross
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22530

  31. nannymm

    You’re probably right there, dnd. It’s the only explanation that makes any sense.

  32. Agreed dnd, I think it’s a political decision, probably at the expense of economics.

  33. horsedooty

    I voted to repeal them immediately if not sooner.

  34. horsedooty

    hey we got our own little symbol on the bookmarks page cool

  35. yep, and in the address bar too!

  36. Ok, I’m pissed off about this entire AIG issue and not for the reason everyone else is. The bonuses are wrong, plain and simple. But no one is talking about what the real issue, and that is IMO they systematic dismantling of the barriers that existed between finical institutions of different types. There is sound reason why insurance companies shouldn’t be in the banking business. There is sound reason why banks shouldn’t be brokerage firms.

    Deregulation became the golden calf of the Reagan era, and I feel part of the reason repugs are fighting so hard to keep the status quo is to do anything else will force them to have to admit Ronnie was wrong!

  37. giveitupfolks

    Eight whole humans talking to yourselves. what a joke.

  38. nannymm

    Hi, GIUF! Good to see you. What do you think about this whole AIG situation?

  39. Damn, is it troll time already, boy this day really got away from me. Sup Nick, hows it hanging dude?

  40. giveitupfolks

    be careful, nannym, or the psychotic know-nothing will run his jihad on you just like he did sheila

  41. Steve

    Troll! Troll!!!

    Yes…

  42. Steve

    I think the troll is talking about Brian. I didn’t think Jews had jihads. I thought that was a Muslim thing.

    Christians have crusades.

    Jews….intifadas?

  43. giveitupfolks

    care to explain what happened to sheila, mr. brian?

  44. Steve

    Go back to Craig’s place dogcatcher. The pathetic 7 of us would like to be alone.

  45. giveitupfolks

    ok steve, i will, but ask Mr. Brian why he took a shot at sheila in his last post. and ask yourselves who’s next.

  46. Steve

    Me, Brian! Pick me…let’s go, you and me…Jihaaaaddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. giveitupfolks

    I’d be careful talking to Mr. Brian in confidence if I were you, lest he use it against you in a future post, once he decides you are not towing the party line.

  48. Steve

    Thanks for your advice. I will carry it with me for the rest of my life. Gotta run…I have to go read Brian’s “Little Red Book,” which I carry with me in my pocket.

  49. Sheila? Nothing has happened to sheila, we spoke on Saturday before she went on her weekend trip.

  50. You’re looking for issues where none exist, sorry Nick.

  51. giveitupfolks

    Consider how Brian has treated Sheila, a fine person who tried her best to make this place a pleasant place for all. Ask him to explain why he now treats her like shit. You will learn a lot about what he is all about, and what you’ve signed on to by participating in this site.

  52. giveitupfolks

    oh yeah, Brian? so what did this mean in your last thread:

    Brian In NYC
    March 15, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Sheila who?

  53. You never did get my sense of humor.

  54. giveitupfolks

    and we all know you were referring to Sheila without her permission with this comment in your last post: “I used to have a friend who was a regular attendee of a mega church, when I asked if her if she wore her Obama for President button when attending church she told me no. For the life of me I could never imagine leaving my political beliefs in the parking lot upon entering a synagogue (rarely as that happens).”

    let that be a lesson people. you are dealing with someone who will stop at nothing for vengeance against people who meant well. be warned

  55. hmmmm, I never thought about being in your pocket Steve.

  56. Wow, you memorized my post, I’m touched! I’ll be posting a new thread later tonight. I hope you like it, but now I think I’ll take a nap. Later nick.

  57. giveitupfolks

    case closed, take your nap asshole
    (nick I fixed your typo, you left the y off your)

  58. giveitupfolks

    why don’t you people get rid of this jerk and run a blog that’s worthy of you?

  59. Hi GiveItUpFolks,
    You never answered me about American University?

  60. DB Cooper

    Hey troll they have drugs and therapy for anger. Get some!

  61. Anyway,
    I am wondering if the only way to play the stock market is active trading, frequently taking smaller profits? The long term hold seems to be a sure way to loose and profits along the way…..

  62. and = any

    Someday I will learn to type

  63. nannymm

    Short term is risky, Burrito. And the short term capital gains tax is alot higher.

  64. Hey folks, I just put up UB’s profile on the “Who Are The People” page. Great pic, UB! Clear is your favorite color, too funny!

  65. Sup DB, hows it hanging? Answer quick, I really do need that nap!

  66. Rezdog

    Nice Photo UB. . From all I know (very little) nannymm’s right, day trading, short selling or whatever is like gambling.

  67. Rezdog

    Hey Brian go take a nap 🙂

  68. Thank for the input Nanny, I really am just a small playa’……lol….just curious as to what people think…Thanks for your answer. 🙂

  69. Rezzzzz…how are you? I was at the park again and no Bonnie, I don’t think she has moved….Her dog’s name is Stitch….because it has had so many surgeries….isn’t that cute.

    You know I love to gamble….lol….obviously, I may have a slight issue there…. 🙂

  70. nannymm

    Be careful, UB. I know a bit about it and it is very risky. I know people who have lost everything they invested. The odds are really against making a profit on day trading.

  71. We never say the word “problem” anymore, at home or at work….lol…..part of that “keep it positive” movement….. We now have issues and challenges…nothing is too great to overcome.

    “Houston, we have an issue?”

    Can you imagine…lol

  72. nannymm

    Hi Rez and BD. Good to see you both.

  73. stepping out for a bit……..bbl

  74. Good to see you both, LOL. Ok, nap time.

  75. Rezdog

    Hi nannymm, is that you in SH, MA? Wow, If so, that’s way up north from Boston on the coast, right?

    Boston’s one of my most fave cities. I would visit every year if a had the extra bucks and time, being on the opposite side here outside Seattle

  76. giveitupfolks

    Why ignore what he’s done to Sheila?

  77. giveitupfolks

    Do the rest of you condone how he’s treated Sheila?

  78. nannymm

    That’s not me, Rez. I’m in Northern NY. But like you, I adore Boston. It’s a great city with lots to do.

  79. giveitupfolks

    How convenient that he takes naps when tough questions are asked.

  80. Rezdog

    sorry..lol, upstate NY is where the x lives..so I stay away..j/k. I thought you were up there in the east somewhere.

  81. nannymm

    Nah! He takes naps a lot, GIUF. I think he must work too hard.

  82. nannymm

    I’m all the way up on the Canadian border. We call it the North Country.

  83. Rezdog

    Well the only possibility I see is Malone. That’s a bigger Wow..I’ve been (through) there several times. My old college roommate lives on the rez in Hogansburg.

  84. giveitupfolks

    Nanny, do you think he was right to say, “Sheila Who?” Are you on board with that?

  85. giveitupfolks

    yeah right, it must be tiring figuring out ways to screw over former friends

  86. GIUF,
    You give new meaning to the term “give it up.”

    At least you have the extra time to spare, so many people have lives with no extra time….good for you!

  87. nannymm

    You’re right, Rez. My hubby buys his smokes at a shop in Akwesasne/Hogansburg. And my son has quite a few friends on the rez there. I go through there fairly often on my way to Massena. Next time you’re up here, give me a heads up and maybe we can get together.

  88. giveitupfolks

    nice dodge, unlikely. so i take it you agree with him shitting on sheila?

  89. Rezdog

    Nmm,

    Of course this was all many many moons ago.

    I recall being at a bar, think Ft Cov/Dundee area, where they had a big line painted on the floor down the middle. One side was US the other CA. What a trip..I think when the NY side closed , everyone just moved to the other side and continued partying. Young and foolish.

    I got several good tales from there . .from those days.

    Driving over the frozen river at Sny. the Roosevelt Hotel etc.

  90. nannymm

    GIUF, You lost me. Sheila isn’t a FORMER friend. Unless you know something about our friendship with her that we don’t know. But I seriously doubt that since I heard from Sheila today and everything was fine. You obviously need a new source of info because your current source is feeding you a load of bull.

  91. I do not see it that way, GIUF. And actually Shelia didn’t tell it to me that way, so I’d rather believe what Shelia said herself, than stoop to listening to a person hiding behind an anon spewing crap.

    I hope you understand that. 🙂

  92. Rez – ignore the sideshow if you can….it’s temporary
    🙂

  93. Rezdog

    NP. been doing so. He’s a creep!

  94. nannymm

    Ya think? And here I thought he was just some poor misguided soul. 😉

  95. yep….in kind of a “odd” creepy way …

    I can’t believe you know so many people, if only once removed and all…it’s seem you have an incredibly tight community….I really hope you get some relief from the Obama admin….

    I mean, since I know very little, but what I have heard is enough to know some things have to change.

  96. nannymm

    UB, check your email, please.

  97. I also agree with your comment about the election time…..verses the “in office” time….

    So this is uncharted waters for me as well….I still find it interesting, but it requires a sharper attention….& somedays I just don’t have that.

  98. giveitupfolks

    OK fine, ask Brian who he was referring to here:

    ” I used to have a friend who was a regular attendee of a mega church, when I asked if her if she wore her Obama for President button when attending church she told me no. For the life of me I could never imagine leaving my political beliefs in the parking lot upon entering a synagogue (rarely as that happens).”

    And ask Brian what he meant by this:

    Brian In NYC
    March 15, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Sheila who?

  99. nannymm

    Lighten up, GIUF! That “Sheila who?” comment was just a joke.

  100. GIUF…..if you make only one more post tonight…please, for the love of God, make some freaking sense.

    It would be appreciated, as welcoming as we are, we can’t read your mind.

  101. nannymm

    Well good night, everyone. Play nice. 😀

  102. nannymm

    Before I go, let me nominated Burrito for the best suggestion of the day. 😉

  103. Good evening gang of 7…

    Well I see that Brian has a new fan and we have our own troll now.

    Yep AIG sure screwed the pooch didn’t they? Maybe its about time to find public photo’s of all those thieves and publish them on the internet so everyone knows what they look like.

    Public shame just like in the time of the pilgrims.

    On another note I took the progressive test linked from TM and my score was 327\400 and it said I was extremely progressive, who would have thought that.

    Also I had a email inviting me to join a international blog from overseas. They must have found my site and read it as the person who represents the blog said it was well done on the posts I have done.

    They said they would like to use some of them and give me full credit of course and I’m not sure if I’m up to it.

    The republicans have kind of burned me out with all the crimes they have committed in Our Name.

    Anyway I’ll be around for a short time tonight than I have to hit the sack since 4:30am comes mighty early around here.

    Catch you later and …

    God Bless.

  104. nannymm

    Hi Anon-P. I was just about to leave for the night but had to say hi to you.

    I like your idea of posting the pics of all those incompetent lying thieves on the internet. Protesting outside their offices and homes would be nice, too. They need to be shamed since they have no decency or humility.

  105. AnonP,

    I think that’s wonderful about the international blog, and you should do it……you put a lot of thought into your posts, and actually I don’t think enough people have told you how interesting they are.

    We kind of take it for granted, because we get used to them (your insightful posts) showing up ….. congrats!

  106. giveitupfolks

    ok, nanny, let’s see if sheila thinks it was a “joke” — where is she?

  107. And another thing AnonP, I was looking into international blogs just the other day, do you realize how time consuming it is just to find a decent one?

    All I can say is, way to go! Be happy!

  108. Rezdog

    UB,

    My wife has a passion for both the election-times (she got me going when I didn’t give a damn) and for the day to day politics of governing. I just haven’t made that leap. My ex- wife was about as apathetic as me and all we did from McGovern up until Clinton was just vote. Democratic btw 🙂

    I’ve always been involved in day to day tribal (Indian) politics at home and nationally since the 70s. I finally realized how the various admins. affected the tribes about the time I met my wife. And we’ve been active in both worlds (politically) ever since. I try to keep current and also catch up on the historical aspects. It’s a job.

  109. nannymm

    UB is absolutely right, Anon-P. We love your posts. I’m sure others would derive as much benefit from them as we do.

  110. Hi nannymm and U.B….

    I do try to read some sites everyday, however the older I get the more tired I feel everyday.

    Public humiliation is what is needed today when abuse of power takes the place of common sense and hurts everyone by ones actions.

    But then remember that the Dark Lord isn’t bothered by public humiliation or even cares that he has killed more man than many because of his greed.

    I may agree to let them use some of my material but I don’t know if I have the time or energy right now to keep up with all the damage done over the last eight years and put it into words.

    Nor even trying to write what I see that our new President is trying to do with the overwhelming odds against him by the republicans and now even some democrats.

    Only time will tell if I decide to do any more political writing, but right now I can’t do it.

    Well off to bed now see you another day, another place and another time.

    Take care and …

    God Bless.

  111. That’s interesting Rez,

    I think so much of what we do depends on who we are with…….that’s something you don’t think about in the “dating ” stage, that’s for sure.

    I am heading out as, it’s almost that crazy Irish day….and I need some good sleep before I hear bag pipes at the crack of dawn….

    ~peace to all -sleep well

  112. Oh, I almost forgot that its been suggested that the next time I show up on TM and use the word Fascist that I should be shot.

    At least metaphorically speaking that is. Oh well I guess that if you took a piece of this and a piece of that from all forms of Fascism you could definitely say that the Republican Party today is a Fascist Party run by a lot of Fascists.

    They all incorporate many of the same ideas.

    Racism, bigotry, unregulated markets or businesses, homosexuality and several other things. To bad that some do not see the big picture, but only see the small picture in front of them.

    Maybe I will do another political post on Cheney’s Executive Assassination Military Team. Remember that Ranger Pat Tillman was shot three times in the head in a tightly grouped pattern.

    At least IIRC that was stated by the autopsy.

    Anyway good night now and…

    God Bless.

  113. *stretches and yawns*

    What did I miss?

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