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Old 07-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
we should rightly call them the "BHO tax cuts" if we must assign them to a president.
One cannot help to be curious about people making this an important "one minor point". Are you saying that the tax cuts themselves are good or bad in your opinion? Also, do you consider tax cuts to be bad in a severe recession? Are they good or bad in periods of growth? I seriously have been scratching my head over what people mean when they switch the credit from the originator to the inheritor. Does this mean Obama "cut taxes" and GWB only borrowed tax cuts from the back to the future? If so, why do so many people chant "Obama wants to raise your taxes"?

Another question: Where can I find the legislation that enables a president to unilaterally determine tax policy? From what I have read BHO tax cuts would restore tax levels only for people over $250,000. I disagree since I think all the tax cuts should be allowed to expire. But I think that I would consider them the Obama tax cuts if the top level had expired over $250,000. Obama made a huge political mistake by negotiating this issue rather than getting voted down on the issue. He was unwilling to let the lower brackets expire with the economy so bad.

And I agree that Obama is responsible for Obama policy. I don't think this changes a thing about the impact of policies of the history that preceded him. I think people refer to the GWB tax cuts in order to single out the time in history of the original cuts and differentiate them from the additional cuts made during Obama's watch, most of which I am not at all fond of at all.

For example, we usually refer to the current Social Security taxes as a point in history when the current level was set. So the Greenspan Commission was during Reagan and the legislation and current policy is referenced back to that time. So, if the current payroll tax holiday stuff is made permanent, I and others will think of this as the Obama changes in SS.

I know that I would like to see elected officials take ownership more definitively. Obama has been real weak in this area preferring to set up cover from studies and commissions and spreading the responsibility through meetings and negotiations rather than acting. For example, I would have liked to see him risk his future for the good of the country by ignoring the debt ceiling and just letting the ambiguous issue hit the courts.

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Old 07-17-2011, 08:08 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
One cannot help to be curious about people making this an important "one minor point" . . .
It's minor, not important. There was a law that set tax rates. That law was approved by Congress and signed by President Bush, and the rates under that legislation expired in 2010. They were not "permanent." A new Congress approved new legislation that extended those rates for two years, until the end of 2012. President Obama signed that new law, and the rates we have now are the "BHO tax cuts" as surely as the earlier rates were the "GWB tax cuts."

It's a minor point. We should either put responsibility where it belongs (with the person who signed the legislation in question) or maybe take emotion out of it and recognize the collaborative nature of the process by referring to the legislation by date.

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Old 07-17-2011, 08:28 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by FD View Post
I would say that:

1) we have a long term debt problem, not a short term one. So it is unnecessary to cut spending by 40+% before August 2nd. It can and should be done over time. About 20% of all US household income now comes from government safety net programs and millions of Americans depend directly or indirectly on government spending for their paycheck. What would happen to the economy if we decided to cut government spending by 40+% tomorrow?

2) we don't have to pay off the debt. We just have to keep it at a manageable level (anywhere below 60% of GDP would be considered healthy I believe).

3) we don't need to operate with budget surpluses. We can have small deficits and decrease our debt-to-GDP ratio at he same time. We just need to keep our GDP growing.
Excellent sayings. I am just saying....
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:24 AM   #24
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