-I heard Forbes’ Joel Kotkin on NPR tonight talking to Robert Siegel about two-percenters who favor tax hikes for households earning over $250,000. Seems that most of those who would be affected live in areas of the country that tend to vote Democratic. Kotkin’s article is titled “Blue State Suicide Pact.”
“I think they're basically saying, in order to carry out, you know, the sort of agenda of saying taxing the rich, we're going to actually tax people who are actually in many cases are not very rich. You know, a family of four with an income of 250 living in Brooklyn, New York, is probably not what you would consider rich. You very high rent. You have high taxes. You have high utility bills. It just gets to be very, very expensive but they are being tagged as the rich.
“And I think we're going to see, I think, some of the representatives from the Democratic Party beginning to say, well, maybe the level should be a little bit higher because I've got an awful lot of constituents who will be hit pretty hard by this.
“You know, is there some tipping point where some of these people who may be very well intentioned and essentially liberal certainly on social issues, where they will say, you know what, I don't want to pay 50 percent of my income. This is, by the way, the most recent analysis I've seen is we are now, in the state of California, between state and the federal, approaching a 50 percent tax rate over 250,000.”
This is a complete turnaround from the way Reagan Democrats used to vote against their own interests. Just goes to show that there are no easy answers. Kotkin speaks of uncertainty among small business owners. Good one: these aren’t some Wall Street chiselers or trust fund babies paying the capital gains rate, the IRS is liable to look at their whole cash flow as taxable income. For all the happy talk about ‘Main Street,’ there hasn’t been much help for these ‘little guys.’ What we’re more liable to hear are proposals for tax holidays to repatriate offshore profits, or calls to abolish the inheritance tax. Our best hope, I think is to bend the curves and work for something more sustainable, and not be trying to squeeze all the air into one side of the balloon. That’s just more phony cost-shifting like has been going on forever in the healthcare economy.
While we’re having compassion for struggling people in the tony zipcodes, let’s remember that half the folks in this country are trying to get by on ten or twenty percent of that income. And that we spend twice as much on corporate welfare than we do helping poor Americans. Again, the key word is sustainable. We’re never going to have the world by the balls again like we did at the end of the Second World War, when we had a muscular infrastructure and industrial base competing with a world of rubble. But we are still blessed with resources, ingenuity and productivity that are the envy of the world. May we find a path to a prosperity available to all, not just the endowed and the predacious, and a security that does not depend on spending two billion dollars a day meddling around the globe.
-Maureen Dowd’s latest column as much as laughs at the Romney campaign’s recent announcement that they raised $85 million in the last weeks of the race, “making its fundraising effort the most successful in Republican Party history.”
“The Mayans were right, as it turns out, when they predicted the world would end in 2012. It was just a select world: the GOP universe of arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys.
“Outside the Republican walled kingdom of denial and delusion, everyone else could see that the once clever and ruthless party was behaving in an obtuse and outmoded way that spelled doom.
“The GOP put up a candidate that no one liked or understood and ran a campaign that no one liked or understood -- a campaign animated by the idea that indolent, grasping serfs must be kept down, even if it meant creating barriers to letting them vote.
would ever have thought blacks would get out and support the first black
president? Who would ever have thought women would shy away from the party of
transvaginal probes? Who would ever have thought gays would work against a
party that treated them as immoral and subhuman? Who would have ever thought
young people would desert a party that ignored science and hectored on social
issues? Who would ever have thought Latinos would scorn a party that expected
them to finish up their chores and self-deport?”