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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?

Eric writes:
If he extends them, they become the "Obama tax cuts" and he loses any chance to attack them and politically he is known as a flip-flopper. If he lets them lapse, the economy suffers, but his base is happy and he is consistent with the campaign.

Politics trumps economics, and everyone loses. He won't renew them.

Sue writes:
Let them expire ASAP! Deficits and tax cuts for the wealthy are mutually exclusive. Hey, where are all the jobs created by the Bush tax cuts? The only thing most of us gained from the Bush tax cuts is the Bush Recession!

Kent in New Jersey writes:
Obama needs to raise the top tax rate to 90% like we had during the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations. We have a $65 trillion national debt when you count the Medicare and Social Security IOUs. It is time for Obama to declare a fiscal emergency… What is happening in Greece is a joke compared to what is in store for America.

Mark writes:
The tax breaks should not have been done in the first place. It was done by Bush to satisfy his neo-con cronies. I have to admit even though I am an Obama supporter, my opinion of him might be altered if he supports continuing them.

Janelle in Kansas writes:
Even if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, the people they affect will have much more discretionary income left over than most Americans. I think it will be fair to let the rest of us catch up a little.

Angie in California writes:
Here's an idea: Take the tax cuts away from companies who hire non-citizens and give it to companies who hire only U.S. citizens. Take the tax cuts away from companies who took jobs out of the U.S. and give those tax cuts to companies who bring jobs to the U.S. That ought to help a lot right there.

Vera writes:
What's wrong, Jack? Afraid you may pay a little more in taxes?

soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Simple math, we're broke and the rich are still getting richer. Can the cuts and use the money to pay off some of the debt. Don't let Congress or the President give it to Wall Street, the Auto Industry or anyone else.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  2. Jan from NC

    Leave them be !

    May 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  3. francap

    They never should have been enacted. Let them die.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  4. Paul Austin, Texas

    The President should extend them due to the current U. S. and world situation. New taxes or reinstating old ones is not the way to help the little guy. All taxes on big business are passed on down to us the consumers. Again a reason for an across the board flat tax for all big business included. Tax fair not tax as much as you can.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  5. Melissa

    EVERTHING from Bush, by Bush, or because of Bush should be repealed. The man destroyed the country. He deserves no sympathy and neither do his cronies.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  6. Asher Phipps

    Never speak of them again, leave them in the trash with his presidency

    May 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  7. Bertina

    Let them expire.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  8. Ekow

    President Obama should let the Bush Tax cut expire and move on!!!!

    May 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  9. Ryan in Galesburg, IL

    It would be nice if the President could go back in time, and preempt the tax-cuts for the rich from ever taking place. Then we wouldn't be in the hole that Dub-ya left us in.

    Barring that, bring taxes back to pre-Reagan levels, which made a lot more sense for our fiscal wellbeing.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, they should be eliminated and a crackdown, long overdue, by the IRS should be enacted to make all those who underpay or never pay to make them pay..their fair share. It's a main reason the Greek Government is in the situation they're in...In conjunction, we need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and greatly reduce the grossly inflated spending on defense. We spend 1,000% more than China on our defense, about the same as we spend to incarcerate 25% of the world's prison population. Do you see a little disparity there?

    May 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Diogenes

    Let them stay and add a VAT so everyone pays equally.
    Also this $250k/year needs to be location adjusted as it may be rich in a small town but not in big expensive cities.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  12. Jon F

    You can't sustain the level of federal spending if you don't bring in some more revenue. The repeal of the tax cuts only for the wealthy does not bring in enough money. It's also not fair to hit one segment with more taxes and not another. Contrary to common belief – many families earning $250K or more pay a great deal of taxes right now. It's time for others to share this burden.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  13. John from Alabama

    Jack: President Obama stated many times they would expire at the end of this year. I believe this is a wise decision. I think many people have made tons of money over the past 10 years off the backs of the lower and middle income people in this nation. They need to pay the percentage of taxes the rich pay during the Clinton Administration. The unemployed people today are the lower and middle income bracketts, and the not those who made over $250,000.00 last year.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  14. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    What is Obama going to do about curbing government spending? Also, is it fair to extend tax cuts for some, and take them away from others? What about getting rid of the loop holes that allow the extremely rich to avoid paying taxes on what they earn? How about increasing the number of people who pay taxes by getting back the jobs American citizens lost to illegal immigrants and/or companies that shipped jobs overseas? When will government realize you can't spend money you don't have?

    May 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  15. Rob in NC

    I really need that extra tax money, but I would be willing to let them raise my taxes if I actually thought they would pay down the debt with it. What do you think the odds are of that happening? Rob in NC

    May 6, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  16. Tim in Texas

    Those folks who think that it makes sense for one guy to make four billion dollars in one year and only have to pay 15% in taxes are crazy. Yes, roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. In addition, create at least 3 new tax brackets, one at 5 million, one at 500 million, one at a billion. Tax any companies that ship jobs overseas out the wazoo. Let the middle class make a little more money and earned income tax credits won't be necessary.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  17. Rae

    Let the tax cuts for the top 2% expire!

    The middle class has carried the load for the upper class too long. Our backs hurt and some are broken. They need to carry their own tax burden.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  18. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Jack, we must not only extend tax cuts but decrease corporate tax and capital gains rate further. I was never hired by a poor, broke person.

    On the other side, we must cut government spending drastically.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  19. Joe CE

    Eliminate them, they were not justified and severed only to move toward a society of exrteme rich and poor. Very disapponting that this was not done a year ago.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  20. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Wasn't he telling us in the State of the Union about sticking to the pay-go plan? Tell me one thing he has signed that has been paid for and not borrowed. Why does anyone take Obama's promises seriously? He'll extend the cuts because he wants to remain popular, hopefully avoid his party being cleaned out in November, and then he'll promise to commit to being fiscally repsonsible in the future. Then, he will seize the opportunity tp steal more money from people who devoted their lives to working hard and sacrificed to achieve financial success. Without spending cuts, Jack, it is fiscal irresponsiblity. Washington loves pointing fingers at Wall St, and "Fat Cats", but it is they who are breaching their fiduciary duty to the taxpayers as they lead us down this path to economic collapse.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  21. Chris, Bronx, NY

    The tax rates, would rise back to Bill Clinton tax rates......Which actually contrast w/ the wealthy on T.V., including you Jack, that moan and whine of strangling tax hikes.......the two are not mutually connected.
    In times where people have paid their fair share of taxes, we built the US interstate highways, took care of our soldiers w/ the GI bill, and in recent memeory added a budget surplus to America. All this and unemployment stayed low. We can do it again.
    I say tax the wealthy, and those making 200k and up.......I say this with clear vision, knowing that in 4-6 more years, we (the middle class) you know us making 35k – 75k, must and will pay our fair share eventually also.
    I welcome this. It's called being responsible.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  22. Byron, Atlanta

    I'd like to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, and let them expire for wealthy, just as the President would like.

    But if the Republicans decide to obstruct Congress again and prevent extending tax cuts for those in the middle class unless they're also extended for the wealthy, I'd be OK with letting them expire for everyone.

    Those of us in the middle class didn't get much in the way of tax cuts anyway, so we won't be giving up much.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  23. Ron Lambert

    Jack,
    Its very simple, Let the cuts expire. We have no choice in this. If we keep the cuts it is irresponsible. Keeping the cuts is the same as spending money. And WE NEED to cut back on what we are spending.
    The Aamerican public should see the tax cuts expiring as one of the best options out there. It was a nice ride for a while, But now its over, To me that seems like the least politically unwise move the administration make. Ending excessive cuts now that we are in trouble is not hard to understand, Even if you are Republican.

    I for one prefer to let the cuts expire than to add more taxes and keep those cuts in place by cutting other programs, and raising taxes in other areas, making food and utilities more expensive. I would rather receive a slightly smaller tax return check than have every other aspect of cost for living increase.!!

    Ron
    Miami FL

    May 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  24. Burbank

    It all boils down to overpopulation, both here and in Greece and anywhere else in the world where there are not enough food, resources or jobs to go around. We have all been guilty of unsustainable population growth for decades and country by country are beginning to have to pay the piper. The solution doesn't lie with government, the solution is in the bedroom. With modern technology there is no excuse for unplanned and/or unwanted pregancies. Religious beliefs are not an excuse either, there is always abstinence.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  25. mark from tx.

    bush tax cuts was for the rich people only..let them expire...we the common working people need the tax breaks,, we dont send jobs over seas to increase profits. we send help overseas to aid others.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  26. Jasmine in Germany

    Higher income people should not object to paying higher taxes if it is in the best interest of the nation.. Anyone who objects may move to Greece.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  27. Maria

    Obama may have to let some specified tax cuts expire. But he will have to come back right back and increase them, even if they figure out a more palatable name for them. We have got to get our debt down, for now people are willing to be taxed a little more, so act now and don't wait until tax increases are totally unacceptable and and a ton of sugar won't make the medicine go down.

    Then we'll see havoc in this country like most of us have never even read about in history books...just what the GOP is hoping for, of course.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    May 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  28. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Leave the tax cuts in place. Even with the so called tax cuts more than 50% of what I earn goes to the government in the form of taxes and fees...all because I am a responsible middle class citizen. The problem is extremely poor management of money collected, the solution isn't to take more out of my pocket. Perhaps the 47% of Americans who pay NO income tax should start paying their fair share. Even if the government took all the wealth from the wealthy, it still wouldn't be enough.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  29. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    President Obama should leave Bush tax cuts expire. They favored the higher income who can easily afford not having them without having to skip a meal. We need to get serious about our national debt. Then let us get serious. The money we save from leaving the tax cuts expire should be used towards paying on the national debt.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  30. David

    I disagree with the critics that raising taxes on the wealthy will hurt small business. The increase in tax rates will happen. I would disagree with the president on raising the rates on capital gains and dividends.More important than the above is what to do about Social Security. This is a subject both the politicans and the media have buried. Why should the wealthy who make hundreds of thousands or millions like those in the entertainment, sports, media, execs of company's only pay into Social security the $105,000 max that those earning up to the max pay. They should pay on their full earnings just like they do on Medicare. If they did it would strengthen SS and probably keep it solvent into the next century.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  31. Tony from Southport

    STOP THE SPENDING. It's too late for health care reform to be stopped, but there are other idiotic proposals from the zombies in Washington that need to be stopped. After November perhaps some of these monumental failures can be repaired or repealed, but until then....STOP THE SPENDING!!!! Cut taxes so businesses can hire people and other people can start buying things. STOP THE SPENDING!!!! Cut taxes. Period.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  32. Jim

    Jack,

    Obama inherited a mess from Bush, and right now he's trapped. He can't allow the tax cuts to expire for the middle class. That could plunge us into a depression. He also has very little maneuvering room on cutting spending. He's trying to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as he can, but he can't just cut and run. Nor did he have any choice on bailing out the huge financial institutions, a policy initiated by Bush. The hard truth, as you call it, is that spending is going to continue at present levels until the wars are finished up and the economy gets back on its feet, including employment. Until then, the debt is going to increase and the rich are going to have to pay a little more. Given enough time, Obama will get us out of this mess just like Clinton got us out of the Reagan debt mess.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    May 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  33. Mark..from Lake, MI

    Too bad you didn't ask, how could Bush cut taxes, with two wars going on, and no way to pay for it?...But it now falls on this President to do the right thing..and that would appear to be the elimination of tax cuts for the very wealthy, and to begin cutting spending, or..perhaps ..quit giving tax breaks to companies that out source their American labor!

    May 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  34. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Let it expire, we need the money to help pay of the debt.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  35. Meg from Troy

    Jack–
    The whole tax system is a mess–these cuts must go if we're to start balancing our federal budget. I would like to see a complete revamping of the way we tax in America–but the chances of that happening are miniscule. Too much work for Congress.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  36. Becky

    Tax cuts are just as dangerous to our economy as spending....For the vast majority of people an extra $50 in their pockets is not worth losing Firefighters, Police, teachers, updated roads.....Need I really go on?

    The rich should pay for the priviledge to live in a country where they do not need body guards, helicopters or machine guns to travel safely through....Which if the rich are the only ones who keep getting richer and we loose the middle class....that is the future of our country.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  37. LIP

    Leave the tax cuts alone and do what the rest of American businesses have been doing for years...Continuous Improvement. This is so we can remain competitive in an increasingly competitive world. Tighten the belt, cut foolish spending, forget about needing to appease your constituents and the 'lobbyists' and do what is right for your country. Adding taxes will just give those cooked Senators and Representatives more incentive to spend, spend, spend.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  38. Bob in Tampa, Fl

    Transfer them to the people that need it.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  39. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    What should President Obama do about the Bush tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year?

    Make them permanent, unchanged, as they are and cut expenditures in entitlements to pay for them.

    The people of this country are already over-taxed. Effectively raising their taxes by letting the cuts expire, especially when a lot of people and small businesses are feeling a lot of economic crunch at the moment, would be be a job-killer and slow or ruin any economic recovery going on right now.

    As to entitlements, if working, tax-paying, Americans are being hurt by the current economy, I see no reason the welfare bums shouldn't share their pain.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  40. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Let the tax cut expire or we will end up like Greece! You ask twice how President Obama will pay for them if they are extended, but why didn't anybody ask Bush before he ran the National Debt past $10 trillion?

    May 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  41. K.

    Raise the Social Security Age, let the tax cuts expire for couples making over $250,000 and let it go back to 39% which it was in the '90s and yes cut government spending, this so-called joint defecit panel needs to get together, and get out of Iraq now!!! not 2011.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  42. Greg Turman

    President Obama and all other rich democrats should give back that Bush tax cut for the wealthy. This alone should just about solve the deficit problem.

    Greg Turman
    Dallas, Texas

    May 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  43. Mark

    Obama has done enough to drag the economy down further.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  44. cliff plasters

    What was wrong with the taxes under President Clinton that the republicans tried to take credit for-I believe the working people were paying 28% and the tax on dividends and capital gains was around 28%-then they went down to 15% and the working people are still paying 28%. All the money the wealthy made was supposed to create jobs but it just went to investments and this helped bring down the economy-too much cash in the hands of crooks on wall street.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  45. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Leave the tax cuts for the middle class and those making under $200,000 alone but definitely stop the inheritance tax cuts for the wealthy. When my Father-in-law passed away in the early '90s our family paid dearly for the taxes on our inheritances. Then,when Bush got in he drastically reduced the amount of inheritance tax that needed to be paid. That's not fair. We paid more than our fair share. Since our country survived very nicley with taxes being higher for the wealthy years ago then it will again now. If Obama keeps these tax cuts for the wealthy then adjust the amount of taxes our family paid previously and give us a large some of money back!

    May 6, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  46. san jose Ca

    We need a straight, across the board tax structure. A percentage of income that is the same for everyone, no deductions. Everyone would be paying the same amount based on income and the rich will not be able to deduct their fair share down to nothing. Middle and low income producers would pay the same percentage based on their lower income. We could dismantle the huge IRS machine and save another several billion a year.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  47. kent, nj

    Obama needs to raise the top tax rate to 90% like we had during the roosevelt, truman and eisenhower administrations. We have a 65 trillion dollar national debt when you count the medicare and social security iou's. It is time for obama to declare a fiscal emergency and shut down the free money supply the federal reserve gives to the wall street and bank gamblers. This country is flat broke and nobody including the media and average voter seems to care. What is happening in Greece is a joke compared to what is in store for america is obama does not act like a man on fire.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  48. david

    Jack
    It's time to end the free lunch. The middle class tax cuts were reasonable and mostly made the tax code fairer for married couples.
    But the Bush tax giveaways to the rich on dividends and capital gains were ludicrous. On top of that, for the past ten years we have financed the war on terror instead of paying for it. Well, it's time to put an end to these giveaways and do what is necessary to recoup the taxes that should have been collected to pay for the war on terror. And the Pentagon will just have to do with less. Maybe mothball a few warships and other extra equipment for future uses and replacements. The rich need to fess up and start putting their money where their politics are. They want a strong military and to fight 2 wars, then they should pay for it.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  49. Anthony T - Phoenix

    Obama should take time and regroup. He has overextended his political clout and is now bordering being "persona non grata" and is being held responsible for the massive spending that the government has embarked on.

    Mr. Obama has a lot to learn. Being president is very different from being a community organizer. Spending trillions of dollars can only result in disaster in the long term. He has to grow into his role as a leader and stop governing the country like if it was a bigger vesion of ACORN.

    On a smaller scale Greece is showing us what is to come.
    Mr. Obama needs to stop spending money and cut back on government programs which are subsidizing big companies. Let them fail and the market will take care of the rest.
    We need massive tax breaks to energize the economy. Time to stop being a left wing radical and to act like a president, not an amateur.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  50. Annie, Atlanta

    Let them expire. And while he's at it, take away the cut he just gave the rest of us. Better yet, go back to the progressive tax under Eisenhower, and start making corporations pay taxes. We'd be debt free in no time. Are you, by chance, one of this trickle down theorists?

    May 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  51. Darrell

    Let them all expire and put back in place the original tax laws we had in the 1960's, BEFORE the neo-cons took over and ruined this country.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  52. John from San Antonio

    it really doesn't matter what he does about the tax cuts. The only way we can meet our obligations is with the printing presses and we are expert at that.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  53. Sue

    He should get rid of all tax cuts to anyone making more than $100,000.00 a year, period.
    They all need to know how it is to live like the poor and middle class does. It sure "ain't no" fun.
    The companies might not make as much profit, but so be it. Learn to get by on less.
    Redistribute the wealth.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  54. Scott Stodden

    I say let the tax cuts expire and raise taxes on anyone making $250,000 or more a year! This was supported by not only President Obama but Hillary Clinton as well, by letting the tax cuts expire your saving alot of money that isn't needed to be spent and the rich making $250,000 or more a year should always pay more!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    May 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  55. Doug - Dallas

    Let them expire, period.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  56. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, he should let them expire unless he can pay for them. He WILL extend them for everyone making less than $150,000/$200,000 per year, everyone else will get hit with the redistribution taxes. Those increased taxes will be passed down the economic lines to consumers because of the impact to business owners, and the recovery will be further slowed, providing the recovery doesn't die before Dec. from the overwhelming debt that Obama/Congress are piling up.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  57. Jeff in Minnesota

    You have Warren Buffet saying he and others of his ilk are not paying enough in taxes. So let's ask Warren where the line in the sand should be drawn on this subject. He apparently has an idea and I'd like to rely on his wisdom.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  58. Gigi Oregon

    Raise taxes on the rich, corporate America. Tax goods coming in from overseas from American companies and when they pass it on to us refuse to purchase. Buy second hand till they learn not to be so greedy, and learn they have the bigger responsibility to support the American dream.

    Actually this would be a powerful time to introduce a flat/fair tax to
    begin in January 2012. Most of us know that the IRS is the 800 pound elephant in the government. Also how much would we save if lobbyist became illegal and we didn't have to support all this stuff they are selling.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  59. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    Our system of capitalisim is, by nature, a participatory sport. If the vast majority of workers (consumers) can't afford to buy the products they produce, then eventually (sooner than you think) we become a nation of minimum wage workers capable of buying nothing but the very cheapest of bare neccessities. Sounds a lot like the old USSR to me. At that point taxes are the least of our worries, and freedom from the tyranny of a corrupt government becomes only a hazy dream of what was once a reallity.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  60. Michael in Phoneix

    It seems like the rich are the ones complaining about these tax cuts expiring. Let them expire and lets see what happens.

    If they elect to continue them, perhaps congress could take a 10% pay cut to pay for it.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  61. Chirs

    Mr. Obama should repeal the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, hedge fund managers, and large companies, especially big banks. If these critics say it would hurt small busniesses and the middle class, they are wrong jack. In the 1990's middle class wages and incomes grew by $7,500 as a result of the middle class tax cut by bill clinton. In the 2000's middle class wages and income fell by $2,200 as a result of the bush tax cut for the wealthy.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  62. DEBORAH BALLWEG

    Leave the tax cuts alone. Taxes will not save us. Spending cuts will.Taxing the "rich" is stupid. Where do you think the most investments come from? They don't use more services, why should they have to pay more? While you are at it, discontinure ANY inheritance tax. That effects more people than you know and not just the "rich". Why do Democrats hate people who make money anyway?

    May 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  63. Jason, Koloa HI

    Tax the top 1% at a 90% rate like we did back when we had a gov't that made sense. Why isn't anybody questioning the fact that the reason that Obama doesn't want to offend any of the mega-wealthy is that immediately after he does he catches a bullet and gets martyred like JFK? Obama campaigned on change, but unlike other giant movements in history the Obama movement is lead by a guy who is afraid to die. He is like Nelson Mandela lite, very lite and the only real change that was made is that he has been invited into the club instead of fighting for the rest of us.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  64. csbtampa

    Think about this for a minute. If you don't have a revenue source coming into your "bank account", you can not help your family. There is not enough revenue by way of taxes coming into the federal government to take care of things.

    But there are some that say the "10th Amendment" doesn't cover such things as the funding of the needs of people. Let's see . . . the 10th Amendment doesn't cover: Taxes, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, FEMA, FDIC, Roads & Bridges, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Food Safety, Consumer Safety, Social Programs, Schools, Kindergarten, US Forces (Army, Navy, Airforce, etc), Homeland Security, Police, Judges, Supreme Court, Congress, Senate, FBI, CIA, etc.

    Hey Guys, if you don't pay taxes of any type you can't pay for the things you like in your lives. I betcha those on the Florida and Louisiana coasts are eagerly awaiting those "un-American, 10th Amendment" dollars to help bail them out, or should they ask their neighbors for help?

    Think about it folks! The tax-cuts have done nothing but enriched the pockets of those who didn't need it in the first place and have left everyone with nothing. DO YA FEEL RICH YET?

    May 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  65. John, Fort Collins, CO

    What he should do versus what he will do are polar opposites. Barack W. Bush will handle tax cuts in the same way he ended the war in Iraq: maintain the status quo in preparation for the next election.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  66. Sue

    Let them expire ASAP! Deficits and tax cuts for the wealthy are mutually exclusive. Hey, where are all the jobs created by the Bush tax cuts? The only thing most of us gained from the Bush tax cuts is the Bush Recession!

    May 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  67. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    The rich need to pay their own way. I'm a generous guy and I have been contributing to all the corporate subsidies my entire life, but right now we can no longer afford to give the rich a free ride. No more millions in corporate grants, and no more tax loopholes.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  68. frankie

    Those tax cuts need to expire. Didn't you just ask what lessons the U.S. should take away from Greece?

    May 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  69. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    For starters he can stop taking so long to make decision's and as far as playing Robin Hood it worked for Sharewood Forest

    May 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  70. Don (Belleville, Ontario)

    I have come to the horrific conclusion that President Obama only wants votes for his Democratic party.
    He will lose votes if he acts with fiscal responsibility. Common sense demands that the tax cuts should ALL be allowed to expire. He prefers to garner the votes by making unaffordable gifts to the middle and lower class. Ditto with his empty promises about immigration reform.
    Obama is looking like a bigger disaster for America than George W. Bush was. That is an incredible accomplishment.
    Canada should seal its border with the USA. I see nothing but trouble happening down your way, trouble we don't want up here.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  71. Nick

    To allow this economy to get back on track, we must allow all the tax cuts to expire. The Robin Hood idea is a good one, but just because the 250K citizens tax money will go to the middle class doesn't mean we'll see them invest their money back into the economy anytime soon. The tendency at this point is to save any extra money that we make. Redistribute the wealth to America with help from us as a whole, not just based on class.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  72. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    Let the tax cuts expire! Before Bush and the Republicans started tinkering with our economy we were boasting a record surplus. The rich still invested and kept getting richer, it was just more equitable and provided funding that our nation needs to run right. Let's face it, the rich benefit most from government anyway regardless the snow job you give us about entitlements like social security.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  73. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money!" M. Thatcher.

    It's the Robin Hood method of redistrubition of wealth...Take from the rich to give to the poor, however there isn't an unlimited number of rich people to take from!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  74. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack it really does not make any difference now that we are 12 trillion dollars in debt. We and the next 3 generations are screwed no mater what Obama does. Personally i plan on moving out of the country while i still have a few dollars left. There is no future staying in a country governed by fools and idiots.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  75. Andrew Amherst NY

    Jack why was "rich person" under Clinton $1 million dollars but under Obama it's only $200K? Ever try to live a middle class life in Boston, LA, NYC, or Chicago on $200K a year?

    May 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  76. Christopher Garry

    I think the goverment spending needs to be cut because eventually the rich that we keep increasing taxes on. Will be the poor of the future. This vicious cycle needs to stop now.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  77. Jamie

    Let the cuts expire. We have been redistributing the wealth up to the top 10% for decades. It's time to send it back down again before the middle class becomes exetinct

    May 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  78. Paula from Florida

    Let them expire for couples making more than $250,000 – or individuals making more than $200,000.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  79. Dave

    Sure, let's continue to pander to the fat cats by extending the TRILLION dollar tax cuts to these thieves. You know, these are the same cats that have driven middle class jobs overseas, chasing cheap labor in developing countries. Trickle down? Don't count on it! Support the middle class, Jack. Obama is right on!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  80. Mark Allen

    The tax breaks should not have been done in the first place. It was done by Bush to satisfy his neo-con cronies. I have to admit even though I am an Obama supporter, my opinion of him might be altered if he supports continuing them.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  81. James Ray

    Obama should tax the wealthy more and give tux cuts to the middle class... Let's be real Jack the weathly small business owners are not increasing wages they puting more int there pockets... The wealthy have better schools, parks, streets and to enjoy those they need to pay more taxes... Poor areas have horrible schools, parks, and streets so the should pay less... Makes sense to me.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  82. Hunter Rose

    Jack,

    Obama should do EXACTLY what he is proposing to do – which is EXACTLY what he said he would do when he campaigned.

    I'm sorry if this means you will have to pay more in taxes, but the Bush cuts were a pretty sweet deal for the wealthiest Americans and they shouldn't complain about their tax rates RETURNING TO WHAT THEY USED TO BE.

    Actually, to think about it, I'm NOT SORRY.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  83. John

    Absolutely nothing. The British are going to be faced with increased taxes to pay for their debt and deficit, and we should do the same. Fiscal irresponsibility should have died with the Bush Administration. But sadly, it hasn't.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  84. don

    Extend the tax cuts and then RETIRE!
    Get out of Washington and find employment somewhere where he can not foul up the lives of this and future generations!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  85. David

    Do what he said he was going to do let them expire.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  86. Lisa (Schaumburg)

    He should let them expire PERIOD. This country is falling apart because of rich greedy people.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  87. David A.

    If Obama let's all the tax cuts expire the Repubs will way he raised taxes, if he leaves them as is completely he increases the debt. His solution is the only moderate solution possible.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  88. Nancy Ivy

    Obama's got plenty of private funds. Let HIM redistribute HIS wealth, not ours!!
    - a "middle class" housewife

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  89. Janelle Lazzo

    Even if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, the people they affect will hafe much more discretionary income left over than most
    Americans. I think it will be fair to let the rest of us catch up a little.

    Roeland Park KS

    May 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  90. Dream

    Sebd them back to Bush. Let him pay for them!!!!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  91. scott w

    We got in this huge debt because of tax cuts and non-paid for programs. Let the tax cuts expire and make them pay some back they kept! Save the country not the millionaire!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  92. Jeff

    Split the difference; that way, both sides will enjoy bragging rights. It is, after all, the "bipartisan" approach.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  93. Steven Hatchell

    Jack these tax cuts should of been illegal to begin with. According to Dave Walker CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, formely a financial advisor during GWB's administration. These tax cuts had more money going out than in. This is totally irresponsible. The democrats balance the budget, and the republicans get in office and spend it all over again.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  94. Angie

    Here's an idea:

    Take the tax cuts away from companies who hire non-citizens of the US and give it to companies who hire only citizens of the US.

    Take the tax cuts away from companies who took jobs out of the US and give those tax cuts to companies who bring jobs to the US.

    That ought to help a lot right there.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  95. Steven from Taos N.M.

    It's about time for the government to wake and realize that tax cuts for the wealthy, de-regulation of wall street, an economic free trade policy that has murdered the working and middle class, and legislation by the highest bidder ..... just hasn't worked ! You think what's happening in Greece is bad ????? It will happen here unless The President and Congress wake up !! End the tax cuts , regulate wall street to end profit before patriotism , set fair trade standards that protect industry, and ban all political contributions except those that come from a citizen and limit that amount to something like $2500.oo.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  96. Eric

    Obama should extend the tax cuts. What Congress is doing right now redistribution of wealth is morally wrong, and that is stealing. The Bush tax cuts mean the people get to keep the money they worked for.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  97. Stu

    Let the Bush tax cuts expire.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  98. steve- virginia beach

    Replace them with a fairer tax policy. Computer-calculate everyone's tax based on "yes" votes by their representative and senators to spend money. No charge for "no" votes. Payable every April 15. This would not only be fairer to those of us who don't want excessive spending, it would also help us to determine whether to re-elect our congressmen.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  99. Alan in Maine

    Let them expire Jack. The rich got a tax break for 8 years, it's not like they will go back to the Eisenhower level of 90%.

    This will put a small dent in the red ink gushing from Washington.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  100. Terry

    Jack,

    We need to let these cuts expire, start paying the bills and quit whining like a nation of spoiled brats. And this goes for the Democrats too.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  101. Gil Felan

    Obama should do exactly what he proposes.

    Jack, you seem to not get it. What does a non-wealthy person do with extra money? THEY SPEND IT! and What happens when money is spent? The owners of production benefit!

    This is exactly why the 1/3 of the stimulus money that went toward less payroll tax deduction did a major boost to our economy. That money get spent.... and I don't hear too many rich folks crying in their sleep with the stock market rebound, etc.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  102. Joe Hayes--Missouri

    LET THEM EXPIRE!!.. This is the bullet that killed Clinton's plan to balance the budget (remember shutting the government down) and pay down the deficit. It was working! As much as I need money, I can forgo
    my fair share of taxes to help eliminate the deficit. Government has to get a handle on spending and stop the excesses. Let's start by taking away the congressional perks. The poor little rich people that spend more on entertainment than I make in a year, can pay their fair share too.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  103. mike

    Maybe hedge fund managers, money pushers and public gamblers could actually pay the high end income tax rate? Seems to me rich guy who makes nothing and employees few could probably pay more than the capital gains rate. But that wouldn't be good for "trickle down economics"...you know, the warm and yellow economic policy for the middle class.

    Mn

    May 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  104. Kathryn

    Letting the cuts expire for the well-to-do isn't so much unfair to the rich as it is a return to the idea of the graduated income tax. This doesn't seem new or radical so much as it seems a return to a previous way of doing business, and it didn't hurt the U.S. economy for the decades when personal and corporate income taxes were higher than they are now. I had expected a return to the pre-Bush tax rates...can't see how Bush's tax policies helped anyone but the wealthiest, and those groups have made out like bandits in recent years.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  105. dave in nash

    Tax cuts or not, the federal government needs to slash and burn entire divisions such as education and energy which are a huge unnecessary burden.
    Another idea would be to sell some assets like Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone to a private operator. It's a start.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  106. Gillian Bradshaw-Smith

    Let the Bush Tax cuts expire as soon as possible. Make sure the taxes raised on dividends etc are the same as income tax, not less.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  107. Adam

    President Obama should let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that wiped out the surplus we had at the start of the decade expire. Those tax cuts were irresponsible to begin with and, along with many other actions by the Bush administration like the Iraq war and the Medicare prescription drug benefit that weren't paid for, they are a big reason for the fiscal situation we now found ourselves in.

    Adam
    Denton, TX

    May 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  108. Glenn

    I am someone affected by capital gains taxes. I want them to raise them. Particularly short term capital gains. I was also affected by the higher tax rates of the Clinton years. I paid them and I didn't bitch about them. I have little tolerance for millionaires whining about paying taxes. I do think the tax increase amounts should be tied to cost of living indices. Someone making 200,000 in Omaha Nebraska is very different from someone making 200,000 in New York City.

    Glenn
    Haymarket, VA

    May 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  109. Jonathan, Orlando, FL

    Obama shouldn't let the tax cuts expire. The right calls him fiscally irresponsible, and if he begins to tax people during this still recovering economy, he'll lose even more support. But he should stop the tax cuts for the rich. They have money and can handle a progressive tax while the middle class and the poor cannot. Do what you have to do, Obama.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  110. Ed Fertik

    He should cut taxes in every way possible. When people have money in their paycheck to keep they will buy things and perhaps pay off their bills too ! Taxing people to death has a name. It's called Socialsim Jack and it doesn't work. All Obama needs to do is figure out what America did right for about two hundred years to become the most democratic, most powerful and most economically successful nation in the world and continue doing that. Instead he launched his so called change which is killing us all. Why would you want to change a great country like this?

    May 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  111. Spencer Jordan

    When comparing President Obama to FDR (something I am sure he does every day in the mirror), there is one key difference in their respective approaches to taxing: FDR used excise taxes. The United States does, of course, use excise taxes, but mainly they are "sin" taxes that do not generate large amounts of revenue, as in the days of the New Deal. If policy makers wish to extend President Bush's tax cuts, there has to be something to take its place. That something is the excise tax.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  112. Barry in San Diego

    Asking rich americans to shoulder more of the burden for wars, rich man bailouts and oil spill clean up is now called "redistribute the wealth". You and Sarah Palin are starting to think as one.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  113. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Not only should Pres. Obama let the tax cuts on the rich expire, he should make the rich pay 90% of their money in taxes as it was in the Eisenhower years. Those were the days when the USA had the best economy for the most people–Okay, that dates me, but that's how I feel.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  114. susan

    President Obama should let the tax cuts for the Rich (those making over $250,000 ) should be allowed to expire!
    The Middle class tax cuts should ONLY be extended, if they are paid for. The Middle class are suffering the most in this recession, so they should have their tax cuts extended – only if it can be paid for.

    The fact is, we need to pay for the 2 wars we are fighting, we have to pay for veterans benefits, we have to pay for programs for our seniors, like Medicare, and Social Security.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  115. Ken in NC

    When one of our co-workers is about to retire, we have a retirement party for them. Since we didn’t have such a party for Former President Bush we can do a “two for”. We can retire George Bush and his tax cuts and send them both down to Texas to live with “Good Ole” Gov. Perry.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  116. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Let's do the math – under the Bush tax cuts, Warren Buffet's secretary pays a higher income tax rate than does Warren Buffet. The deficits we suffer are the result of tax cuts for the wealthy, starting with the Reagan Administration , which cut taxes but not spending and increased the nation debt by 66% over eight years with no major war or recession. In the "good old days", the 1950s, marginal tax rates on the wealthy peaked at 91% of the last million dollars. Contrary to Republican hype,m taxes here are too low, especially at the higher end of our economy. All crap aside, it is a Christian requirement, per Jesus of Nazareth, to take money from the rich to care for the poor. There is waste, fraud, and abuse, but it is not that benefits are in f=general too hig, it is that taxes on the rich ar e WAY TOO LOW!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  117. Sandy

    Jack:

    I am a Tax Professional and feel the best thing for President Obama to do is propose a "Tax Fix" to the Bush Tax Cuts where the inequalities of those tax cuts are fixed and fair to working people, i.e. who actually pay higher tax rates than the wealthy and high income people. Tax Law Regulations that will fix inequalities and fill in gaps, etc. of the Bush Tax Cuts that President Obama discussed while he was campaigning.

    Sandy
    Shorewood, IL

    May 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  118. dave in nash

    Federal, state and local employees pay levels should mirror those paid by non-profit entities, and there should never be a bonus paid for being a "public servant".

    May 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  119. DAVID LAMBERT

    OBAMA does not have a choice this year. Next year he can increase taxes for all, but mostly progressive.

    Regan economic policies were a disaster that still continues here and in many European countries, e.g. Greek conservatives decided that reducing taxes on rich and corporations would work to increase revenue and economy. The myth was a Greek tragedy that the new government inherited. Obama got the same inheritance from Bush.
    Alice would want to leave the mad hatter.
    Beam me up Scotty, I need a break from insane conservatives and TEA idiots.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  120. Brian Smith Ph.D.

    “take from the well-off and give to the not-as-well-off.” ….. Wait… where is it written that if someone is successful, (i.e. makes some great money), he or she is obligated to “redistribute” his or her wealth. That amounts the being penalized for being successful. Where is the “American way” in that?

    San Diego CA

    May 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  121. Bob Spad

    Oh come on, President Bush's tax policy was the greatest redistribution of wealth in our history! Time to reverse those brain dead policies before they continue to destroy us. If you notice, only the stupid European countries with stupid policies are having trouble in Europe, the rest (most) are doing fine, and, THEY are still far more socialist than we are. They even have FULL cradle to grave healthcare for ALL their citizens. We are in massive debt because of Republican fiscal policies NOT Democrat. You need to have more faith in what President Obama is doing and certainly give him TIME to carry out his plans before you panic.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  122. Sly, Alpena, Michigan

    He still should eliminate the Bush tax cut, but, still raise taxes for couples earning more than $250,000. and individuals earning more than $200,000. and start taking the lead as the government should and start living within their means.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  123. Jim Blevins

    As usual, Obama has it right. There is a lot more money available for taxes above his threshold than below. You tax lower income people and consumer spending goes down. You tax upper income people and they need more deductions - say hiring someone. What more is needed is to get the deductions right. If the rich keep money for themselves, it is taxed. If they want to avoid the tax, they need to invest it in something that increases production and therefore jobs.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  124. Penny Larmore

    I think Obama should maintain higher taxes on the wealthy and reduce taxes on single people who do not necessarily choose to be single yet are penalized on their taxes. I think Obama should eliminate taxes on social security for people earning $30,000 or less. They can use the money and in the long run will be less of a burden on society is they have a bit more money for meds, transportantion, food, and ultility bills.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  125. Robert Cademy

    Jack –
    There's a more important question about these tax cuts that you folks in the press have not been asking. That is: why did the Republican House, Republican Senate, and Republican President originally pass these tax cuts so they expired? If my memory is correct (which it may not be) they were part of a package so the Republicans at the time could say their tax-cuts were paid for.
    Now they want a Democratic House, Senate and President to make them permanent otherwise they'll accuse them of "raising" taxes.
    The sad thing is that the Democrats are going along with this game.
    No, I'm wrong – the really sad thing is that the press which is supposed to be our check and balance on government isn't calling any of them out on this game.
    But I'm so glad the rich will get richer (sarcastic.)

    –Robert
    San Diego, CA

    May 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  126. Yusuf

    I think president Obama should let the Bush's tax cuts expire. President Bush cut -taxes, took us to two wars without paying for it and i think that was irresponsible. However, president obama should be responsible and cut-taxes for the midde class and raise taxes on the rich to pay for it. You can call it distribution of wealth, but at atleast that is the way to pay for it without getting us deeper into debt. Thank you.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  127. William

    Being a middle class tax payer in the private sector I love the idea of exteding the tax cuts indefinatly, but non the less the buy now and pay later policy is irresponsible to say the least. Here's an idea, why doesn't the public sector take a pay cut that matches the national unemployed percentage. That should help.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  128. Melanie & Petr

    are you kidding? Redistribution of wealth? Are you a right wing nut? Rich people should pay more and rich corporations should pay more-the reason we are in this mess is they have been living off the backs of the middle class for too long. Let the tax cuts die and institute taxes for the things people want and start the learning process in amercia of you get what you pay for: you dont want to pay for it than delete SS and medicare and just look at the riots that will start!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  129. Tommy from Santa Monica

    People making $200,000 or even $250,000 should not be considered rich. There are pro athletes and CEO's making multi-millions. Go after them! As for the rest of us, a flat tax of 17% or whatever works, will be enough, but stop tinkering around with the tax system. Oh yes, I used to be a Democrat, but not anymore. We all suspected that electing Obama would mean more attacks on the middle class and rich and look, he's doing just that. Sounds a lot like Karl Marx, doesn't it?

    May 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  130. george Granger

    Jack,we are in trouble because of all the wars we have engaged in that we have never paid for.Vietnam is still unfunded and Iraq is still unfunded.Both strategic blunders...betweeen the corporations and the pentagon we will be working our asses off forever!The amount of tax cheating and tax asvoidance also is a big hole.If we could just get the corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and get rid of all the loopholes and tax avoidance shcemes we would be fine.Alos only go to war when necessary.Just refer to Ikes speech on the military industrial complex.Brown and Root,, Dow chemical,Haliburton,Goldman Sachs.The American public is just a big smorgasboard for all these idiots who waant us to foot the bill for everything from military adventures that only help corporations and their interest to Social Security.The corporations want Joe public to foot the bill for everything,Oh yea,bailouts toooooo!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  131. Michael Catalanello

    President Obama should extend the tax cuts, while cutting government spending to pay for them. That means cutting spending on the sacred cows of defense and social security, very unpopular, but it's clearly the right thing to do.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  132. John in East Syracuse, New York

    Jack, the Bush tax cuts were designed to redistribute wealth upward and to cramp the federal budget process. Both of these immoral goals were achieved with great success. To recover from the mess brought by this insane policy, the Bush tax cuts must be allowed to expire, at least at the upper levels. It's a no-brainer.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  133. William Leino

    Being a middle class tax payer in the private sector I love the idea of exteding the tax cuts indefinatly, but non the less the buy now and pay later policy is irresponsible to say the least. Here's an idea, why doesn't the public sector take a pay cut that matches the national unemployed percentage. That should help.

    Portland, Or.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  134. andrew in aberdeen, nc

    The tax cuts should be kept in effect for those who have incomes less than $250,000 dollars. They are the ones who are suffering from the economic situation. Allowing the taxes to drop for those who earn more than $250,000 will have a negative impact on the economy, but less impact than an increased tax on the less wealthy. Maybe we should have a special tax on all elected officials. Base it on their votes. A vote to increase spending would increase the tax on the official. A vote to reduce spending would reduce the tax on the official. Maybe they would get the message.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  135. RobertPotts

    Instead of just increasingtaxes on the lower wealthy, which can hurt small business. We should increase taxes on large business. Including a tax penelty for large companys that outsource employment, and labor acording to their gross income.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  136. ~BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa~

    Jack,
    I'm confused by all this, (some things seem contradictory), & haven't heard anything about it yet.

    What I do know, is that everyone who is able to, should have a certain percentage of their income deducted for taxes. Personally, I think that the percentage should increase slightly, corresponding to increases in salaries.

    Whatever happens, I know that the President will do the right thing.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  137. AJ, Potsdam, NY

    Jack,

    That's a no-brainer. Those tax cuts, like the man who pushed them through, were a mistake; they should be allowed to expire. A society's bills have to be paid, and since the money does not fall from the sky, it comes largely from taxes. The graduated income tax id THE fairest for the greatest number; those who squeal the loudest are the ones who make the most. For myself, I've gotten rather use to clean water, a working sewer system, drivable roads and safe bridges (well, the ones we use to have). Our infrastructure has been woefully under-maintained as it is. Mr O. might have taken a couple of pages from FDR's playbook; instead, he followed advisors who had the best interest of entities other than us Americans at heart – and still do.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  138. Michael Catalanello

    President Obama should extend the tax cuts, while cutting government spending to pay for them. That means cutting spending on the sacred cows of defense and social security, very unpopular, but it's clearly the right thing to do.

    Michael Catalanello
    Ponchatoula, LA

    May 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  139. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Let's do the math – under the Bush tax cuts, Warren Buffet's secretary pays a higher income tax rate than does Warren Buffet. The deficits we suffer are the result of tax cuts for the wealthy, starting with the Reagan Administration , which cut taxes but not spending and increased the national debt by 66% over eight years with no major war or recession driving it, like we have had the last few years. In the "good old days", the 1950s, marginal tax rates on the wealthy peaked at 91% of the last million dollars. Contrary to Republican hype, taxes here are too low, especially at the higher end of our economy, for the interest we have to pay on our debt and the costs we have to pay for the general welfare of our population. It is a Christian requirement, per Jesus of Nazareth, to take money from the rich to care for the poor. There is, of course, some waste, fraud, and abuse, but it is not that benefits are in general too high, it is that taxes on the rich are WAY TOO LOW! Not only should the Bush tax cuts be revoked, so should the Reagan tax cuts, if we want a solvent Treasury instead of going the way of Greece! The argument that great wealth is good for the economy is a lie – see what Wall Street did with a lot of numbers to play with and nothing of real value going on! If they invested in jobs, here, that would be one thing, but this is something else – conspicuous consumption for its own sake, at a 29% tax rate, half that for six-month "capital gains." The rich game the system, the Republicans lie, and the country goes broke. I for one am fed up – a capital gain is supposed to be for a real investment, in the means of production (and employment) not just speculation in a commodity market. The hype is false, the facts are otherwise, and the public is being swindled.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  140. calvin

    any time the democrats can bash bush they will. any time the republicans can beat up on obama they will. The best thing we can do is vote them all out.lets get 100 more in one house and all of the congress out. also bar the supreme court fom washington D C. stop protecting the crooks . clean up the goverment and try to be US people.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  141. Penny

    Taxes have supported our wars, roads, schools, and so on for a very long time. If we do not tax the rich, then who can we tax? This seems obvious to me. It's not distributing wealth, but taxing the most to those who have the most available to be taxed. The slight increase does not cause any damage to people with lots of money. Besides, the wealthier people have more and/or bigger houses, highway use, land use, and they more than anyone expect good paved roads and scenic surroundings provided by their TAXES.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  142. Alex W.

    President Obama needs to stop pandering to big business, corporations, and the rich, and allow the Bush Tax Cuts to expire. They have not been paid for and will further increase the deficit and our debt over the next decade, which I, as well as future generations, will have to foot the bill for. Stop playing politics with the republicans, be the bigger person, and do what you have promised: REDUCE THE DEFICIT AND DEBT!

    Sacramento, California

    May 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  143. William Leino

    Being a middle class tax payer in the private sector I love the idea of extending the tax cuts indefinatly, but non the less the buy now and pay later policy is irresponsible to say the least. Here's an idea, why doesn't the public sector take a pay cut that matches the national unemployed percentage. That should help pay for it.

    Portland, Or.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  144. Yusuf

    I think president Obama should let the Bush's tax cuts expire. President Bush cut -taxes, took us to two wars without paying for it and i think that was irresponsible. However, president obama should be responsible and cut-taxes for the midde class that are hurting and raise taxes on the rich to pay for it. You can call it distribution of wealth, but at atleast that is the way to pay for it without getting us deeper into debt.

    -Abdi Yusuf
    Chicago, IL

    May 6, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  145. Alvi Mana

    The tax cuts to the rich, and those who can afford lobbyists, should be allowed to expire. Enough of bailing out rich cats at the expense of the middle class, who have to pay for everything and everyone else. Weren't the large bonuses and bailouts enough for them? It is less about "redistributing the wealth" (a far right talking point), and more about preserving the social security benefits that we boomers have been contributing to all our lives. I have been paying taxes since I was 18 years old and will be retiring this year at 66. I'm sure members of Congress will be getting a nice pension in addition to Soc. Sec. benefits, at taxpayers' expense, of course.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  146. Ann Marie Osaki

    Jack,

    LET THEM LAPSE. That's what he should do. Are you suggesting that giving a tax break for the last 10 years to the wealthier among us under Bush's tax policy was not a redistribution of wealth-upward? The back bone of this country is the middle class, which is generally accepted as families of 4 making between $48,561 to $70,354. That is less than half of the $200,000 to $250,000 that will be affected by a lapse of the Bush tax cuts. I benefited from the tax cuts, but I believe those who are struggling to live on the amount above deserve a break. Businesses have all kinds of write offs as do those with the money to hire tax lawyers and accountants to squeeze every penny possible from paying their fair share. I am sick and tired of listening to well the heeled whine a bout their tax burden while enjoying the benefits of a government that the majority pays a larger percentage of their income to sustain.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  147. ann perry

    I think he should cut Bush's TAX cuts,and people making over 250,000.00 pay more.That goes for Bush,Chaney,Carl Rove,Dick Armey,Sarah Palin,Mit Romney,Rush Limbough,Glen Beck,Chris Wallace to name a few.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  148. AJ

    The tax cuts should be extended for the majority, and allowed to elapse for the rich. Come on Jack... unclench that wealthy curmudgeon's fist of yours. Didn't your mommy teach you to share? : )

    May 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  149. E.R. Pomer

    Why shouldn't the wealthier help subsidize those more in need? It's not socialism; rather it's called being humane. Let Bush get HIS tax cut but as a doctor I'll give mine to patients who come to see me and have no insurance.

    Dr. E Pomer
    Alabama

    May 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  150. floyd cornelius

    Remember john sutten the famous bank robber.He was asked why do you rob banks and he said because thats where the money is . I believe our government should do the same thing go where the money is at and tax the rich and the congress who got us into the mess our country is in. We need a steady as she goes economy one that is built on a firm foundation and that can come only if our leaders steer clear of icebergs

    May 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  151. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    Let the tax cuts expire. the idea of giving fat cats tax breaks in expectation of job creation has been proven false in every instance. What we should do is give a tax break for every job that is actually created. That way the money won't be pocketed, and small businesses will have incentive to hire.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  152. ~BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa~

    Just noticed the words "for most Americans". I do know about that, since he mentioned it so much during his campaign.

    It's yet another campaign promise that he's made good on. Every American, except for the obscenely wealthy, is now enjoying a tax cut – just the opposite of when Republicans are in power. Vive la difference! Vive Obama!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  153. Pete from Georgia

    Taxes equal unemployment, decline of personal spending, and overall shrinkage of America's economy. We are now the most over taxed country on the planet. This idiotic pattern must stop.
    Extending any and all tax cuts are baby steps but it sends a message of hope for the future.
    This country was built on hope. With it comes prosperity and personal freedom.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  154. Don (Belleville, Ontario)

    I suspect that President Obama has his eye on only one prize: VOTES FOR HIS DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
    He appears fully willing to toss aside the fiscal viability of America to obtain those votes.
    I feel I must say these dreadful words. Obama has accomplished the seemingly impossible. He is proving to be worse than the previous fiscal disaster named George W. Bush.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  155. Richard (US citizen in Toronto)

    They should be left to expire. Haven't we learned trickle-down is a myth? More important is closing loopholes; if the uber-wealthy can establish a record of paying even the taxes they owe, then we might consider rewarding those socially responsible few with cuts. In general they should pay through the teeth for the privilege of living in a society that offers the opportunity to become obscenely wealthy!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  156. csbtampa

    Those that have want to keep, and those that don't want what they don't have. Just like healthcare non-debate people are gonna yell, "you're gonna kill granny!", if you let the tax law expire you have more money. The rich doesn't spend money at Walmart, they don't spend money at all. Oh, they setup a fund to help starving children for a minute, but you hear nothing from them afterward.

    The problem with massive tax cuts directed to the rich is that you are giving the wealthy what they want and the people that can not benefit from the tax cuts what they don't need. Look a little deeper folks the Bush Tax Cuts only benefited him, people like him, corporations (ala Haliburton), tricky Dick Chaney and his friends and family. Do you feel rich yet because of "Trickle Down Economics?"

    May 6, 2010 at 6:48 pm |