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Can we all just agree that it would be far better to go over the cliff, roll the dice on surviving the bright lights of the blame game for a few weeks (odds looking good), and then come out the other side with the "Bush tax cuts" dead and gone, once and for all??

I don't pretend to know every tiny detail of the austerity bomb/fiscal cliff/slope whatever it is that's coming, but I certainly know this: after midnight on December 31, if we do nothing, the infernal Bush Tax Cuts will be no more.  They will expire, as they were always designed to do, and be replaced with Clinton-era tax rates across the board.  Whether or not we then replace those with something else (and one assumes we would, at least those for the middle class), the "Bush" part will be dead forever.

I would certainly LOVE to be able to stop saying the word "Bush" in reference to something that we as a country ostensibly like and value.  It's a travesty that it's gone on this long.  I'd be fine letting more rates than just the upper brackets return to Clinton-era.  But whatever -- the pols will duke it out, the pundits will have their say, pollsters will weigh in, various negotiators will get the best they can for their side, and the matter will be settled one way or another.  

I'm just voting for a cliff dive to rid us of the Bush reference.  Whatever new rates exist in 2013, they'll be the work of President Barack Obama -- a Democrat -- along with a Democratic Senate and deeply divided House (led by, one expects, Democratically whipped votes courtesy of Nancy Pelosi).  Let them be exactly the same if they need to be.  Fine.  But let's try to make the cosmetic change of referring to them as the "Obama Tax Cuts" from that day forward.  That's what they'll be, and Democrats will deserve the credit for them.

* * * * * * * * * * *

One more thing: for those much smarter than me, are there tweaks that could be made to the tax rates that would further differentiate them from their Bush predecessors?  Another expiration date?  Permanence?  Changes in distribution, etc.?  Anything else to guarantee that commentators don't just lazily refer to them as another "extension of the Bush tax cuts" for another X years?  Just curious.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    I know it sounds like I'm in denial but I'm not.

    by Save the clock tower on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:01:28 AM PST

  •  I'm not sure if they're included, but I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg

    something will happen to the capital gains tax and the estate tax. I'm sure someone will correct me.

  •  The "Bush Tax Cuts" expired in 2010, as mandated (0+ / 0-)

    by the law that passed them. Whereupon a new tax law was passed and signed that, by design, contained the same tax provisions as the previous BTC law. If one is into naming laws, it was technically the "New Obama Tax Law".

    The BTC name was retained, however, for partisan reasons. The Democrats wanted to continue using it as a political club to blame it for the recession, and the Republicans wanted to keep their reputation for cutting taxes up front.

    I agree, the BTC appellation ought to be retired with passage of the next tax law.

  •  Suggested additional tax code changes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Save the clock tower

    First, we need to be sure that our tax code is truly progressive. Wonkblog has a useful chart here if you would like more information which shows that the top 1% pay less of their income in taxes than the rest of the top 20% and probably less than many in the 60-80% quintile.  If we want to have the wealthiest pay their fair share then we need to address the provisions that have some of the wealthiest (i.e. Buffet) paying significantly less in taxes than others in the top 1%. We also need to to address the “carried-interest loophole”, which allows investment professionals (such as Mitt Romney) to pay capital gains rates on ordinary income as well as other preferences that give favorable treatment to corporate executives.   To that end, and to address the thousands in the upper end who do not pay taxes, I would like to see expanded phase out of preferential tax benefits for the top 2% of taxpayers. If this is successful, then the AMT should be repealed as unnecessary and overly complex.   I am working on a diary with more details but it needs more research.  Any useful links, such as details on the top taxpayers' returns (I found 2007) or  a graph with backup data showing the curve of Federal taxes paid as a percent of income within the top taxpayers, would be appreciated.  

    Dedicated to recapturing the American Dream by changing the framework of the debate to focus on: Growth, Efficiency, Community, Sustainability and Economic Fairness. Improve constantly and drive out fear - Dr. W. Edwards Deming

    by Paradigm Change on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:07:31 AM PST

  •  Take that 10% CLinton rate and make it 8% (0+ / 0-)

    Otherwise 10% might be the Clinton rate not the Obama rate, if thats what your concerned about. I'm not. Because even if the working class rate is 10%, and the top rate is 39.6%, it wont be enough to solve our problems.

    Remember - you have to go back to 1940 to see a bottom bracket that was below 10%, when it was 4%.

    In fact thru the 50's, 60's and 70's the bottom rate was 14% to 20%. Of course there were lots of jobs back then.

    S.hort of repealing the Reagan Tx cuts and the 1986 TRA..... this might remind some of the Peoples Budget...

    And Add 6 more brackets on the top

    2mil -41%
    4mil  42%
    6mil  43%
    12mil  44%
    24mil  45%
    48mil  46%

    Now thats the way to do it, that actually would look like a curve with a geometric progression.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:05:03 PM PST

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