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May 6th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

What should Pres. Obama do about Bush tax cuts?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

They're known as the "Bush tax cuts"... but pretty soon they'll be a part of President Obama's legacy too.

That's because Mr. Obama wants the tax cuts - introduced in 2001 and 2003 - to be extended indefinitely for most Americans. They're set to expire at the end of this year though, which means lawmakers must act before then.

These tax cuts lowered income and investment tax rates, increased the child credit and reduced the real estate tax and inequalities for married taxpayers.

And then there's this: Despite the $12 trillion national debt, Pres. Obama isn't calling on Congress to pay for the cost of extending these tax cuts. We're talking about spending more than $2 trillion on his predecessor's tax policy.

But the president does want to raise taxes on the rich. He's proposing letting the tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000 - or individuals making more than $200,000.

Critics say that increasing taxes on the rich will hurt small businesses, job growth and the stock market. But Democrats say the plan is fair because middle class Americans are struggling more than the wealthy. So their solution is to take from the well-off and give to the not-as-well-off. You know, redistribute the wealth.

Meanwhile it's not clear when Congress will take up the issue. It might happen before their summer break so they can go home and brag to their constituents about what they've done ahead of the midterm elections.

But the hard truth is this: Extending those tax cuts without paying for them... perhaps by, say, cutting government spending, is just irresponsible.

Here’s my question to you: What should President Obama do about the Bush tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

May 6th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

What lessons should U.S. take away from Greece?

ALT TEXT

A youth spray paints "I will burn you" in Greek on the ground near a line of riot police in Athens. (PHOTO CREDIT: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If the fires and riots in Greece don't get Washington's attention, my guess is a 1,000-point drop in the stock market this afternoon might.

In less than an hour, the Dow Jones industrial average went from down a couple of hundred - to down almost 1,000 points - before rebounding.

The panic was triggered in part by Greece.

Greece is a world-class welfare state… People retire in their 50s and are accustomed to government handouts at every turn. Now the Greek government says "we're going to have to cut back," and people go crazy.

Here in the U.S. we have a growing welfare state: Food stamps, aid to dependent children, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, rent subsidies, welfare and millions of illegal aliens.

We have a $12 trillion debt that we're unable to pay. And while it ain't gonna happen tomorrow… at some point, we're going to be faced with the realization that we can't do it this way anymore. Something's gotta give.

When that day comes there will be cuts. Drastic, Draconian cuts.

Whether it leads to the kind of things we're seeing in Greece is probably a stretch. And we don't know that yet, but suffice it to say that when they start cutting… it's gonna make a lot of people unhappy.

The real tragedy is it's preventable. But no one in Washington has the guts to confront this issue head on.

It's the ultimate act of selfishness and betrayal: We are literally destroying the lives of Americans who haven't been born yet. Our children, our grandchildren and generations to come will suffer the effects of our irresponsible fiscal policy.

Look at Athens. Look at Washington. Do the math.

Here’s my question to you: What lessons should the U.S. take away from what’s happening in Greece?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Greece • United States