Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2279, November 28th, 2012

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This week the buzz in Washington is about the fiscal cliff and where we are going to f8ind the money to balance the budget. A budget that need I remind you the GOP blew through in one administration. With President Obama set to clean up the mess created by the neo cons, here are some ideas from economist Steve Ratner that was in Sunday's New York Times.

More Chips For Tax Reform 

Almost lost in the tug of war over whether the top income tax rate should be 35 percent or 39.6 percent is another consequential tax issue: the proper rate for capital gains and dividends. It was the absurdly low rate on those forms of income — just 15 percent — that yielded Mitt Romney’s embarrassingly small tax payments. And that’s what also led to Warren E. Buffett’s lament that his tax rate was lower than his secretary’s. So as we scurry around looking for new revenue to help address the yawning budget deficit, let’s zero in on this special preference. President Obama has proposed much of the needed adjustment, including eliminating the special treatment of dividends and raising the tax on capital gains to 20 percent for the rich. Personally, I would go further and raise the capital gains rate to 28 percent, right where it was during the strong recovery of Bill Clinton’s first term, and grab hold of a total of $300 billion of new revenues over the next decade. Inevitably, a chorus of outrage would greet any such increase. Capital investment would be severely impaired! Some of the wealthy might decamp from America! With a new 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income about to take effect, this would exacerbate the disincentives for investment! Put me down as skeptical about such dire forecasts. During my 30 years on Wall Street, taxes on “unearned income” have bounced up and down with regularity, and I’ve never detected any change in the appetite for hard work and accumulating wealth on the part of myself or any of my fellow capitalists. Remember also that corporate leaders have pretty much convinced policy makers of both parties that business taxes should be reformed to allow them to compete more effectively around the globe. Providing this relief makes sense, but since the benefits would flow to shareholders, this is yet another argument for higher taxes on dividends. Increased revenues, meaning higher taxes, will be a central element of any successful long-term budget plan, and President Obama is right to insist that the wealthy — the slice of America that has come through the recession in by far the best financial health — should provide those funds. Here’s the math: We need at least $4 trillion of long-term deficit reduction, with a substantial portion — on the order of $1.2 trillion — coming from new revenues. That means other veins belonging to the wealthy will need to be tapped. Raising the tax rates for American households with incomes above $250,000 per year, as President Obama has proposed, would certainly be a productive and welcome step. But viable alternative measures are available. At a minimum, we need to implement the “Buffett Rule,” the concept that Americans making more than $1 million a year should pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. This wouldn’t raise a huge amount of money — between $47 billion and $160 billion depending on what else is done to rates — but it would reinforce the responsibility of the wealthy to pay their fair share. 
Steve Ratner was a former advisor to President Obama and is a commentator on MSNBC TV.



The issue of the action that Plymouth Borough Council took against one of their own still is talked about locally. Peter Gagliardi wrote a story about this for, and urged a pardon from the President for Bill Dixon. We are prohibited from reprinting it but here's the link: 
Peter Gagliardi is a former federal employee, ran for Wilkes Barre City Council and is a contributing writer to various websites and newspapers.


At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Good Morning Students,

As one of you noted, Gov. Romney will be dining today with the President at the White House. I had not as yet been disappointed in Mr. Romney until now. Why this fine man is allowing the President to exploit him for a photo op strains my credulity. And make no mistakes, class, this is what today’s luncheon is. Does anyone truly believe that Barack Hussein Obama has any intention of taking any advice that a well-seasoned and successful businessman and former Governor can give???? Absolutely not!!

If I could speak with the Governor I would advise him to cancel the luncheon. I would tell him that all the President wants is the credibility that he can provide after a divisive and some would say “shady” election. I have never seen such a display of character assassination as that which was leveled at this decent and good family man this election year. All you need do is look at his wonderful (and brave) wife and their five upstanding sons (not to mention beautiful wives and children) to see what a success as President this man would have been.

Yes, Governor, you are being exploited. If I were you I would ask that the President NOT allow for any photographic record of the event. Let it remain completely private much the way the luncheons between President Clinton and Richard Nixon were. Not a single photograph of Bill Clinton and the former President exists because Nixon knew better than to allow his coattails to be used for the wrong reasons. I suggest the Governor keep both eyes open this afternoon.

Now, per the debt—aka fiscal cliff negotiations. I think that even you future food stamp recipients can understand that the majority of the spending in Washington is on entitlements. Equally, if you taxed the top 2% 100%, the government could operate under its present manner for only 30-35 days!!!! What a fallacy. Taxing the wealthy at a different rate than the rest of the country reeks of class warfare, is unfair and as I said, futile in its goal. The real revenue must come from gutting the entitlements. Social Security and Medicare are the true fiscal monster in this horror film. And the sooner we realize it the sooner we can restore our backbone. Yet, if a heavy tax is leveled on the job creators, the fledgling economy will collapse into recession or , dare I say, depression. I would suggest to all the liberal politicians and pundits who are advocating this fiasco of a move to heed the advice of one of your own, Bill Clinton…..”It’s called ARITHMETIC”.

Something to think about this morning………….
Class Dismissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny thing, how we didn't hear anything about the Fiscal Cliff BEFORE the election.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Dixon needs to stay on Council. He was pardoned by the governor, it happpened ages and ages ago, get over it people. His opposition, who want to remove him from Council, who I don't believe can remove him because it seems as though there wasn't any wrongdoing done on Mr. Dixon's part in the attaining of a local public office that he was eligible to run for and win, appear to have their opposition rooted in racism and stereotype.

The people voted for him. He won. Get over it. If you want to remove him, you can try when his term is up.

Until then, shut your mouths, and realize that this isn't the UN General Assembly we're talking about here. It's the Plymouth Borough Council.

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only people who don't see the folly of raising the capital gains taxes are those with no skin in the game.

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A daily Dose of the Prof! Is he a featured columnist now? Time on his hands and pontification on his mind.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you have a criminal conviction on your record, and you hold a job in public office, you cannot hold that office and job under law

bill dixon is a convicted criminal

i think a lot of people who live in plymouth have sympathy for the situation and while we need people who have convictions to do a good job, we must hold elected officials to a higher standard

the law does not make the exception for bill dixon or anyone else who holds a criminal conviction

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough of that bloated windbag, "The Professor!"

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Aggie95 said...

so we should allow the 3.6 % obama tax cuts to expire ( obama was the last guy to approve them so their his ) and you want to raise the earned income tax ...well pretty much you want to double it and the the 3.8 % on unearned income ....all those taxes on the evil rich and we bring in about what yonk 150 billion a year ..... hmmmm ..... if its a good year might get us under a 1 trillion yearly deficit ......LOL ....meanwhile the increase in welfare spending under obama just ate right through all of that and then some


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