December 14th, 2007
02:32 PM ET

Taxing the rich?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Democratic presidential contenders are calling for higher taxes on the richest Americans and on big corporations.

At yesterday's debate, Hillary Clinton said she wants to keep the "middle class tax cuts" that Congress passed under President Bush, but favors raising taxes for the wealthiest.

John Edwards agreed, saying that our tax policy "Has been established by the big corporations and the wealthiest Americans." He says the U.S. should get rid of those tax breaks.

And Barack Obama weighed in saying, "We need to put those tax breaks and tax loopholes back into the pockets of hardworking Americans."

The Democrats also agreed that the idea of balancing the federal budget would have to wait, with Obama saying we won't be able "to dig ourselves out" of the Bush era deficits in the next year or two. Only Bill Richardson said balancing the budget would be a high priority, noting that as New Mexico governor, that's what he's required to do.

All this, of course a far cry from what we heard from the Republican candidates the day before. They called repeatedly for the elimination of the estate tax and reduction in the income tax on corporations.

Here’s my question to you: Is calling for higher taxes on the rich a good strategy for the Democratic presidential candidates?

Frank writes:
I don’t know if raising the taxes for corporations and richer people will actually be good for lower class people. As we all know, if you fine a company or raise their taxes, they'll take it out on us workers with smaller incomes by bringing up prices to cover those raised expenses! Vicious circle, don’t you think?

Greg from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania writes:
Only an idiot would call what they plan to do a tax increase. That plays right into the hands of the Republicans. What the Democrats really should call it is a "restructuring of the tax code to make it more fair for all Americans." Which is really what it is.

Rich from Texas writes:
No it isn't. There are two kinds of people who pay taxes in America, the middle class and the rich. The poor pay either nothing or next to nothing in taxes. If it were not for the rich, who own businesses and employ the middle class, who works in them, there would be no taxes to pay for either the government or income for the poor. Those are cold hard facts and the Democrats who pander for the votes of the poor do not seem to understand that concept.

Beth from Maine writes:
Yes! We have got to pay for what we need somehow. Who better to pay for it than those who can best/most afford it!? If I paid half my income in taxes, I'd feel fortunate to be so wealthy!

Tyler from North Carolina writes:
Personally, I think it's the right tactic as long as it does not affect my middle class wallet.

Corinne writes:
It's the only strategy to get us out of the situation that 8 years of Republican reign always puts us in, recession and putting it to the little guy in this country. Does no one have a memory?

Maybe Jack will read yours Monday.

Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Taxes
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. David Cissner,San Bernardino,CA.

    Jack,The Rich and the corporate elite have been getting richer while the rest of us have been getting screwed. Companies like Halliburton,Blackwater,General Electric and all the oil oligarch's have been making record profits and setting government policy while paying little or no taxes. While raising their taxes is a good idea,It ain't gonna happen!

    December 14, 2007 at 2:53 pm |
  2. Terry O'Flaherty

    I believe its an excellent strategy, however if the democratic presidential canidates use this tactic who will continue to support these expensive campaigns ? The so called middle class, if there are any left cant afford to send contributions and the rich will be upset about the proposed tax increase.

    December 14, 2007 at 3:01 pm |
  3. Scott Emily

    it's time for a reality check to everyone, including the rich ones, if we dont pay off this deficit, were guilty of treason, our children and grand children did not vote bush in it was our mistake and its our responsibility to pay for it. and the fact that tax's will need to be raised is an inevitability. the republican are war mongers who have betrayed the middle class and our military, shame on them for being so all fired high and mighty, all hail king George. die for my oil rich friends, is his policy.
    the money he has spent on this war on terror would have more than built the refinery's and distribution of as well as changed every government building and vehicle over to a fuel that we could reproduce ourselves, if a backwards third world country like Brazile can become independent of oil in ten years, shame on everyone in washington. we understand that democrats invest in oil stock also, the whole process is corupt. so heck yes charge them there fair share.

    December 14, 2007 at 3:07 pm |
  4. Patricia

    If you're talking about taxing the CEO of Exxon who recieved $480Million when he retired, then yes, he should be taxed at a higher rate. If you're talking about Big Companies who took Middle Class Jobs & sent them to China, then yes, they should be taxed at a higher rate. If you're talking about Halliburton, who has raped our country & Iraq & are moving their corporate offices to the U.A.E. then hell yes!!!!, TAX "Dead Eye" Dick Cheney BIG TIME!!!! If you're talking about Black Water, who has murdered innocent Iraqi's, Hell Yes!!!!, TAX THEM BIG TIME!!!!
    If you're talking about a family of 4 who earns $125,000 a year, then No, I don't think they should be taxed at a higher rate.

    December 14, 2007 at 3:12 pm |
  5. Bill

    Jack, I think it is a good strategy for any candidate. When you have a man like Warren Buffett [ the second richest man in the world ] saying his secretary pays more taxes than he does. I think going on the campaign trail and telling voters you would change that if you became president, is not only a smart thing to do but also the right thing to do.
    Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    December 14, 2007 at 3:14 pm |
  6. W B in Las Vegas


    I think the average American is sick and tired of the top 2% and corporations, esp the oil companies making record profits, of NOT paying their FAIR SHARE. WHY should oil companies get "tax incentives" that were put in place when oil was $10 a barrel when it's now almost $100? WHY should hedge fund managers only be taxed at 15% for short term trading when the average day trader is taxed at up to 38%? WHY should manufacturing corporations be given tax incentives to move their production to Mexico or China? even Warren Buffet believes the tax code is way out of wack.

    CLOSE the LOOPHOLES and use the increase in revenue to start paying down the debt that the Bush administration has saddled this country with. maybe THEN the dollar will not continue to become WORTHLESS.

    oh, and Grover Norquist and the so called "Club for Growth", which is more like a club to beat working Americans over the head with, BE DAMNED!!!

    December 14, 2007 at 3:23 pm |
  7. douglas gengler knoxville arkansas

    yes... were in a war and the middle class is paying for it. it is time they pay their fair share. most of the rich people got where they are off the sore backs of the middle class, and they reward us by selling the companies or outsourcing and we lose our jobs. i beleive if the wealth is not redistributed in this country we will end up in a depression if not a revolution between the rich and the poor cause their is no middle class anymore.

    December 14, 2007 at 3:31 pm |
  8. Jayne

    The Republicans tell us that cutting taxes to the wealthy brings in more tax dollars. If that's the case, why are we putting the cost of a war on the Chinese Visa card? That old "tax and spend Democrats" mantra doesn't work when the alternative is "charge and spend Republicans." In any case, the working classes are going down the tubes in favor of the investor class and we need a break. Vote Democratic.

    December 14, 2007 at 3:48 pm |
  9. David Weakly

    Of course tax loopholes should be closed, but will they be. Duh! Harry Reid is letting the communications companies off the hook after the people spoke on the issue. Doesn't that tell you what the chances of change really are?

    December 14, 2007 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Don

    the mill politician who takes money from Washington lobbyists. If Clinton machine is voted in don't expect much change from our current situation.

    Since Clinton in office has sold out to special interest groups like her husband did and should not be permitted to continue giving away this country.
    can we expect ther richest man in the world like Buffet endorsement clinton?
    No bush clinton impire anymore running what coorporation greed teld them.

    December 14, 2007 at 3:54 pm |
  11. Rich, McKinney Texas

    No it isn't. There are two kinds of people that pay taxes in America. One is the middle class the other is the Rich. The poor pay either nothing or next to nothing in taxes. If it were not for the Rich that own businesses and employ the middle class that work in them there would be no taxes to pay for either the government or income for the poor. Those are cold hard facts and the democrats who pander for the votes of the poor do not seem to understand that concept. Without the Rich there would be no poor.

    December 14, 2007 at 3:58 pm |
  12. Tyler, NC

    Personally, it's the right tactic as long as it does not effect my middle class wallet.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:08 pm |
  13. daniel roumm

    clinton had a higher tax rate on the top incomes-it helped, not damaged the economy-if we are ever to make up what the moron in the bighouse has done , lets start with following warren buffet,s advice-RAISE HIGHER INCOME TAXES!

    December 14, 2007 at 4:12 pm |
  14. Teresa


    Of course it is a good strategy, especially if they want to be as populist and as anti-Bush as our 'buddy" Hugo Chavez!
    Next thing you know, they will be selling cheap oil to their base.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:13 pm |
  15. Corinne

    It's the only strategy to get us out of the situation that 8 years of republican reign always puts us in, recession and putting it to the little guy in this country. Does no one have a memory? It happens every time.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  16. john, miami

    It's a great strategy Jack, especially since the rich know they won't actually do it!

    December 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  17. Mischa

    Yes, it's a good idea and about time. The rich have gotten a free ride for the last 8 years. It's about time to return to reality. These huge tax breaks are not having any positive impact on our economy!

    December 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  18. Sam Thornton

    Jack, restoring the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans and corporations is a no-brainer, whether it's a "good" strategy or not.

    A progressive income tax is part of the social compact, allowing the most wealthy in our society to contribute a portion of the benefits they've reaped to the common good. It's beyond question the wealthy have reaped the most benefits. Now it's time for them to pay something back for the largess they've enjoyed.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Rick

    It's a good idea if you are a democrat. Unfortunately it really doesn't matter. Corporate America runs the country. The two party system is a ruse the real leaders use to placate the masses.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  20. Kristen McCabe

    YES! I think people are sick and tired of the insanely excessive executive compensation – i.e Andrew Mozilo of Countrywide – is he going to personally assist the people his unethical company put into foreclosure with his billions of dollars? Who is supposed to feel sorry for Countrywide's losses when the CEO makes more than some small countries. The cost of healthcare to the average American is rising astronomically..so however is the compensation for these companies CEO's..

    I am middle class. My (high school educated mom and grade school educated father) parents busted their butts to get me through college only to see the rate of my federal loan skkyrocket.

    Where is the trickle? The middle class is disappearing fast! These tax cuts for these companies need to go away. Why should Warren Buffet's secretary pay a higher tax rate than he does?

    Also – why not a war tax? The Republicans support this war so much right? Let's see if they are willing to pay for it...they certainly are not sending their children so let us see if they will be willing to pay for it.

    Oh – so frustrated with this country and I am only 24.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  21. Billy Campebll

    Let's be realistic here, comments on taxing the rich is not a good strategy for any presidential hopeful. However, it is sometimes necessary to say what is right. The flat tax would be nothing less than a step in the wrong direction for the people who are the backbone of this county. Taxing the rich is fair and is something everyone can live with.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  22. tom young

    It really dose not matter it the democrats want to tax the rich or the republicans want to give the rich a break.. I'm in the middle of this debate. I'm too rich to be a democrat and to poor to be republican. So no matter what they decide to do I'll be the one that ends up being screwed.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  23. Jonathan Cremin

    One must first consider that most of revenue from federal income tax does is not spent on infrastructure, health care, or any other projects you can think of. Every dime spent by our government is borrowed – mainly from the banks. Tax dollars go partially to paying back the principle of these loans but mainly to paying the interest.
    So, increasing taxes only serves to make these banks, the one's who profit from our out of control spending, richer. Its time to put control of our money back in the hands of the government. Its what the constitution requires.


    December 14, 2007 at 4:20 pm |
  24. jim

    It would be a great post election strategy. Learn from the Republicans, tell people what they want to hear to get elected, then do the opposite. You know, "I'm a uniter not a divider", "I am not into nation building" and the best one, " I'll bring integrity back to the White House".

    December 14, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  25. Ted Minnard

    Let's put it this way...There are a lot more lower and middle class voters than rich voters. So if they campaign on that issue, they will have support of most voters. Ironically, our money sponge representatives mostly fall into the richer class. Never before has there been a slate of canditates so filled with millionaires. They got that way through strict party loyalty and special interest bribery and payoffs...and its killing our Republic.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  26. gary saari

    Of course it is. The rich, especially corporations, who now have their own "human identity" have been in charge of our government too long. As they say this is the best govenrment that money can buy. The so called "supply and demand" theory has been influenced by the corporations for too long. It's time they paid their dues for all the suffering they created around the world. Hopefully, the Democrats can give our government back to the real people instead of the robotic corporation entities that obviously are motivated by greed which is one of the worst human frailties. Unfortunately, Democrats and Republicans are only human even if they pervey themselves to answer only to a higher power. I respect any politician who will try to answer to the majority of the American people instead of their human frailties.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  27. Nedia

    Are we serious do really need to ask such a question or do we need to wait until the depression hit. Come on America what needs to happen before we realize what is going on is not working for the people. This goverment is suppose to be for the people by the people what happen to that . How much longer will we let the companies run this country. Let us take back what is our and let the rich realize we made them and we can break them.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  28. Preston, New Jersey

    In theory yes, The corporate elite and rich of our country should pay more in taxes absolutely. Whether that would be a good strategy for the democrats I`m not so certain this would promote themselves to those very people. They are already behind in the polls. The american people especially the middle class and poor I am sure would enjoy this strategy and in all probability profit from it in that it would ease the pressure on them.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:23 pm |
  29. John

    Cutting taxes was always a poular ploy by conservatives because the middle class has always carried the federal government on its back. They've used that fact to get tax reforms passed by promising lower taxes to those who needed them most; when in fact they achieved even lower tax rates for the wealthiest. Consequently services and infrastructure suffer more and more every year.
    No, I don't think promises of tax increases for the rich can win the election. There are too many who are still skeptical of politicians and their motivations.
    Its too bad all americans aren't willing to do their part to make our a stronger, more secure, more socially responsible nation.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:24 pm |
  30. Patrick Johns

    Either tax everybody at the same rate, or don't tax anybody.

    That seems pretty basic to me. Why can't we do that?

    December 14, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  31. GR, Atlanta, GA

    Why not? Everyone knows that under the Bush adminstration the size of government has significantly increased. George W. Bush spends taxpayer dollars as though he is holding his parents Black Card from American Express. We have a war against an idealism, not a nation. There is clearly no end in sight. We have new government bureacracies, like the borderline useless Department of Homeland Security. Americans are going to have to learn that someone has to pay for it. If the Democrats do not suggest taxing someone our government is going to bankrupt our country. The rich generally vote Republicans. Why not tax the people who regularly vote against you? Jack, that will teach them for voting Republican.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  32. Turley Hayes

    Sure it makes sense to raise the taxes on the rich and corporations. There are a hell of a lot more of us peons that are being taxed blind by the Republicans. As Harry Truman once said: "If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democratic.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  33. Michael Wilkerson

    Yes. They say it takes money to make money, and now that but a relatively few in this country have most of the money, they will leaverage their way to get even more. The rest of us can be poorly paid worker bees struggling to make the mortgage, while the rich can ponder where to build thier third home or moor their second yacht. Or maybe we'll all just be poor.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  34. William

    Yes, it illustrates further what's wrong with the policies of the Bush administration. More pointedly, Jack, the $450 billion Iraq war took back my $300 refund and gave Exxon record profits while its executives have enjoyed Bush's top 1% taxbreak. A little parity would be nice.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  35. John Brkich

    I am, to most standards a 'wealthy" individual. I accomplished this level of success by building two successful businesses which employ up to 600 people. I, they, and my two companies have paid a lot in taxes in the past and continue to do so.
    I think we have paid our "fair share" and continue to do so. I do not feel I should be punished further by tax increases. I would vote for any politician who would pass a flat tax rate (percent to be determined) payable by everyone with no exceptions.

    John Brkich, Punta Gorda and Calgary Alberta

    December 14, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  36. Jarod from Los Angeles

    Of course this is a good plan, we already tried it the other way around and it didn’t work. Am I the only one who remembers the “trickle-down effect” proposed by Republicans a few years back? Somebody tell George Bush that middle-class America is still waiting for the money to trickle-down.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  37. Bob White

    More talk about a fair or consumption tax would garner more attention. This way the middle class would be more excited about voting for the next President. instead of simply voting against the party of torturers and criminals.
    The only way that President Moron could not have done more damage to the Republican Party is getting caught with a dead hooker or a live boy.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  38. Patrick

    Remember when the trickle down theory was born. Welcome to the Gushing up era!

    December 14, 2007 at 4:27 pm |
  39. Suzi

    Yes! It's a great strategy, if they actually do it. I'm sick of paying my hard-earned dollars to line the pockets of CEO's and stock holders of the Defense Industry. It's currently a huge money flow going from the middle class funnelling up to the .05% of the very richest Americans. The whole purpose of this administration was to funnel tax dollars to the very richest, as Bush calls them, his base...

    December 14, 2007 at 4:27 pm |
  40. Jeff Miller

    Taxing the so-called rich is not addressing the issue. Corporations made this country great not government. I'm considered wealthy with today's definifition and my total tax bill is at 36.9% of total income. The middle income bracket is taxed at 22% under the Bush Plan. The Clinton era tax rate for the middle class was 31%.

    When are politicians going to start addressing government waste and the ineffeciences of their policies, they always come to the well for more money when in fact it is not theirs to take. The government takes no risks in investing capital or starting a business but is always there if a person makes it! Where are they if a person fails? They are no where to be seen. Government employees have healthcare and pay no social security taxes where is the even playing field?

    Warren Buffet pays tax on carried interest, he does not take regular payroll, if he did he would be taxed at a higher rate with all of the rest of us. Hey warren, take a 50,000,000 payroll debit...you will be paying higher taxes.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:27 pm |
  41. Jeff

    Its nice for someone to say it, but it won't happen. Who pays the tab for politicians both dems and rebups. Special interests groups, not middle income Americans. I believe Lou Dobbs, don't register as a dem or repub, but as an independent. Lets change the dynamic of DC.


    December 14, 2007 at 4:28 pm |
  42. john mapes

    Taxing the successful to give to the less successful is wrong! There should be a flat federal tax on all income (federal) over $30,000 15%. Corporations Also. All other taxes eliminated!! Get read of the social engining programs and 15% is all that is needed. I would like to say more, but I am not writing a book.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:29 pm |
  43. James

    Raising taxes for the wealthy is not the Democrat strategy. Nor is it the strategy of the Republicans. The simple approach both parties seem to be applying is, "Tell em what they want to hear." But then that hasn't changed for far to long. Maybe one day we'll see the Cafferty & Dobbs campaign show these frauds how it's done.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:30 pm |
  44. john

    No it’s a losing strategy. Except for the simple, math challenged and those already on "the dole" getting a transfer payment, most of us know Democrats define the “rich” as those who have something the democrats want for nothing

    December 14, 2007 at 4:30 pm |
  45. Martin

    The strategy is good, but the implementation isweak. Either the candidates do not understand the tax law or they do not wish to lose large campaign contributors. Of all the lies of George W. Bush, saying he and the Republican Party cuts taxes take a high position. If he wre to say that he cuts taxes on those, who he has been refering to as his base at a fund raiser, "the haves and the have more", he would be telling the truth. Another part of the lie is that the large reduction of the tax rate to the wealthiest in this country helps the economy is also untrue. If you were to examine what the largest corporation in this country did with the reduction of their taxes, which by the way allowed them to record reord earnings, you would find that they invested in foreign investments. This enables them to not only enhance the economy of foreign countries but also earn profits on which they do not have to pay any taxes except if they were to bring the funds back into our Country. This brings up another point. During the last budget , the Bush administration crowed that the large increase in tax revenues was brought about by his tax reduction plan. He neglected to mention that he had signed a directive allowing the corporation a tax reduction beyond the their normal tax breaks from 35% to 5.25% on any profits earned abroad that they brought into this period during before December 31 of the year used to formulate the budget. Another lie or deception during his quest to fool the public regarding his disasterous tax program was his statement during the campaign was that Alan Greenspan was in favor of his tax program. Weren't our congressman listening? Henry Greenspan was on record before Congress that he favored reducing taxea. but only if the Government was operating with a SURPLUS.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:31 pm |
  46. bobby

    Why do the top 1-2% of Americans and elitists pay less than 10% in taxes,compared to a family of four making less than 60k? Americans in the top fifth by income receive half the total U.S. income and while those in the bottom fifth receive LESS than a TWENTIENTH (1/20)!!. THIS IS UNFAIRNESS AND INEQUALITIY AT IT'S BEST! Mortgage deductions for vacation homes for the rich need to be abolished as well. Also people that make over 95k in America do not pay Social Security tax on anything over 95k ! This is an outrage. Every dollar made regardless of income should be taxed, and Social Security taxes should be taken out of each dollar earned as well. This would pay for Social Security's solvency, a National Healthcare for all legal U.S. citizens, and will balance the budget, do our children and grandchildren wouldn't have to.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:33 pm |
  47. Rich, McKinney Texas

    Even the wealthiest businesses if they are run correctly do not leave a lot of room for profit margin. If you raise taxes on the Rich they will close less profitable but stable businesses costing the middle class by loss of jobs. They will be forced to outsource jobs to countries that pay less for labor making poorer quality products so when even the poor and middle class buy these cheap products that don't last. This is a vicious cycle and will cause massive unemployment in this country. With less workers paying taxes the government makes less money. Once again, poor unemployed people do not pay income tax they become burdens and take from government income. I would not recommend this tactic at all. I would cut government expenditure first doing away with programs that are obsolete or worthless.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:33 pm |
  48. craig gray, halifax nova scotia

    why does a government have to be against a group of citizens? why should the
    people allow an increasing tax base when clearly the existing base is enough if
    used in a reasonable fashion? canadians and americans have a head start on the rest of the world in living standards but at the current rate for how long? in nova scotia history we had a leader named joseph howe. his statue is in our provinces capital. his battle cry was "responsible government" . i wonder when we will see it . time for common sense to prevail over nonsense. i would like to see elected govnts have some kind of spending parameters set. ie spend less than is taken in. if the rich didnt do this at some point, they would never have become the rich.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:36 pm |
  49. McDonald

    Everybody wake up we all will pay more taxes.No matter who is President.But it will be more with the democrat President..

    December 14, 2007 at 4:36 pm |
  50. michael selensky

    From the 1950s to the 1980s We built the interstate highways, Fought the cold war Won the nuclear arms race. We went to the moon and financed the space program We paid for social programs and never blinked We paid for the war in Vietnam and the Peace Corp We built schools ,roads and most of the infrastructure thats now crumbling. We did this because the rich and corporations paid their fair share Along came Reagan Tax cuts for the rich and corporations put the country in debt, We had to borrow to keep the government running. We issue bonds to raise money. The rich and corporations buy those bonds getting paid again, Conservative Republican policy is nothing more than a wealth redistribution program for the rich. Yet you have the nerve to ask should the Democrats pursue a strategy that favors tax increases for the rich. Hell Yes!!! It is time the so called liberal media just tell the truth, the rich and corporations don't pay enough taxes , The middle class and poor pay to much

    December 14, 2007 at 4:37 pm |
  51. chavone seaward

    A good strategy for the Democratic contenders, who cares? A fair strategy for America? Yes, The poor and middle class i.e. the majority in this country have allowed years of pillaging by the corporate friends of this administration. No doubt this steady flow of tax dollars reaches the friends of the friends of Bush and the friends of their friends.
    These higher taxes would be a only a fraction of a percentage point on the interest accrued from all our stolen tax dollars. No hearings, No charges, just taxes!

    December 14, 2007 at 4:38 pm |
  52. Robert Miller

    Talking about "Taxing the Rich" will have a negative impact for Democratic Candidates - It just feeds those on the other side who get big leverage when they associate all Democrats with "High Taxes" "Tax and Spend" and any other negative label available to confuse the real issue...

    The real issue is, we need a fair tax system that will close loopholes favoring the super-rich; as well as recovering our industrial base so that employed people earn enough to afford paying taxes. None of this is likely to happen, of course. Our nation seems to have lost any sense of concensus, reason, statesmanship, altruism, cooperation, understanding the "greater good" - even where the Pacific Ocean is located...

    Hence, we are screwed.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:39 pm |
  53. I.

    Yes – that's what the Democratic voters like myself want to hear. But more than being good strategy, it's true. Those bridges and roads and schools don't build themselves. Fixing our dismal education system, addressing the very real fact that people die in this country because they either don't have health insurance or their health insurance won't cover their costs, closing those borders you're always ranting about Jack – that all takes money. During the Bush administration, domestic programs in every area of the budget have been slashed. All the federal programs that benefit the poor and the middle class keep being cut and yet the poor and the middle class increasingly shoulder a larger tax burden. Why should someone making under $96,000 pay a larger percentage of their income in social security tax? If the only reason is because sugggestions by Dem candidates for tax equity across the income pool gets hyped up in political ads and the media as tax hikes, then that's no good reason at all!

    December 14, 2007 at 4:45 pm |
  54. John Kelley

    The election of 2008 is probably the most crucial election in the history of the United States. Our country is at a cross roads. If Republicans win in November, 2008, it will be the end of many important programs like Social Security, pensions, medicare and other economic legislation passed by Democrats in New Deal days through LBJ, because Republicans will not only decrease taxes on the rich, with a few crumbs to the middle class, they will attempt put Supreme Court justices in power to undue the economic and social reforms of the 20th century.
    What is happening is this: For 7 years, the wealthy and corporations have been getting away with murder on what their incredibly small tax liability is. The middle class has been taking one hit after the other. If it isn't losing jobs here in the United States that have good pay and benefits, it is losing the plants and factories that are going overseas.
    And why it is crucial is this: if the Republicans win in November, they will control the Supreme Court to the extent that the Conservatives called "Originialist" of the Federalist Society will roll back law that supports these important reforms of the 20th century. It will make serfs out of the middle class for the multi-national corporations. The Conservatives on the Supreme Court will back up greater tax relief for the rich and powerful.
    Any one who makes less than 150,000 a year is crazy to vote Republican, because they are voting against their economic interests. It's time that they realize
    how insecure the middle class is under Republcans.
    It's time that the Democrats gain the White House to free the Supreme Court from the economic conservatives who want to turn the clock back to the 19th century.
    But, it also means that Americans should be aware how the media supports the big corporations and how the media works to under the idea of taking the rich as they should be taxed.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:45 pm |
  55. dj LA.

    Until we are rid of lobbyist purchasing the vote until we get rid of the big corporations paying for the campaigns until the overwhelming greed has no place in our halls of government its makes very little difference what is said by whom, nothing will change. Someone may get shot if they were able to get real reform at any level of government that takes from the "HAVES".

    December 14, 2007 at 4:47 pm |
  56. David Rodriguez

    Most definitly. There should be a very simple tax structure, a percentage of income, with no deductions. Think what we could save by getting rid of most of the I.R.S. We need to go back to an excessive profits tax on all corporations. I think it's obscene, the amount of profit reported by the oil companies. They and their cronies keep getting richer, while the middle class and poor keep getting poorer.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:47 pm |
  57. chavone seaward

    A good strategy for the Democratic contenders, who cares? A fair strategy for America? Yes, The poor and middle class i.e. the majority in this country have allowed years of pillaging by the corporate friends of this administration. No doubt this steady flow of our tax dollars reaches not only the friends of Bush but the friends of their friends and the friends of their friends and so on.
    Higher taxes would be a only a fraction of a percentage point on the interest accrued from all our stolen tax dollars. No hearings, No charges, just taxes!

    December 14, 2007 at 4:50 pm |
  58. Annie


    Most definitely. When one of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett, goes up to Capitol Hill to testify that it's unfair he's paying 18% income tax to his receptionist's 33%, we have a problem.

    December 14, 2007 at 4:50 pm |
  59. John Kelley

    It is an important strategy for Democrats to advocate increase taxes upon Corporations and the rich, because they are not paying their fair share. And this strategy is gaining adherents as more good jobs are lost to companies who take their businesses over seas. With what appears to be a recession based upon upon Loan corporations going wild lending money to make a quick buck, the steady tax paying middle class takes it on the chin again and again and again.
    it is time for Democrats to regain the White House to insure that taxes on the rich and the powerful corporations are increased to help rebuild our country. if Warren Buffet says that the Wealthy and the Corporations are getting away with murder that's enough evidence for me to see justice done by election the Democrats in 2008.
    That is why it is so crucial for Democrats to win in 2008 – Having the Democrats in the White House will also prevent the economic conservatives from dominating the Supreme Court. If they gain power on the Supreme Court, they can undermined the whole concept of social security and medicare.
    That's what the "Originalist" are advocating – those in the Federalist Society, that why corporations put all the money on getting George Bush elected in 2000. Just how far did they go? Did they stuff ballots? Will they do it again in 2008.
    Will they have support of the media?
    Everything hangs in the balance – So save our country and vote Democratic

    December 14, 2007 at 4:58 pm |
  60. Joe

    I just got through reading some posts on your old blog about how politicians never tell the truth. If the Democrats plan to raise taxes, shouldn't they say so and then define how and on whom? That's more honest than running a war where all the billions of dollars of expenses of "off budget" and then you say your trying to cut spending and budget deficits by vetoing other kinds of government action.

    December 14, 2007 at 5:03 pm |
  61. Abhinav

    The lower 50% income group in the US pays less than 3.3% of the total taxes and yet they cant seem to see why their taxes should go up. The problem is that there is a large pool of people in this country who live with a false sense of entitlement. If the rich are just "fortunate" to be rich, perhaps the "little guy" in this country should remember how much more "fortunate" he is compared to people of similar or much higher ability in other nations. By the way, this is from someone who makes less than $17500 a year (have two masters degrees, btw)


    December 14, 2007 at 5:08 pm |
  62. jack

    If they start with people making $250k/year fantastic. But it needs to be a strict percentage not something that tax writeoffs can get rid of. I mean a tax that causes Warren Buffett, Teresa Heinz Kerrey, and the head of Exxon and Tom Crusie

    December 14, 2007 at 5:16 pm |
  63. Thom


    Let us treat all americans equally. One rate for all no matter how much you earn. Do away with all the exemptions. Most people don't realize that Charitable organizations do want the law to change because they feel that if your donations weren't deductible you wouldn't donate. They would still benefit because we would all have more money.

    NOTHING will ever get done in Washington no matter WHO is president until we start making Congress pass legislation setting term limits. Take the House and limit them to no more than 3 consecutive 4 year terms for a total of 12 years with 1/2 of them running every two years. The Senate should be allowed to only have two six year terms with 1/3 of them running every two years as they do now. The only way they can go beyond the limits is if they have broken time.

    The old addage of if it isn't broken don't fix it applies here. It's broken and now it's time to fix it!!!!!!

    December 14, 2007 at 5:17 pm |
  64. Dave Brodeur

    Taxing those who can afford to pay them should be done. After all "..where more is given, more is expected" Whatever tax changes that will be made should not be done to placate to the poor and middle classes, but it should be fair to everyone. Simplification of the existing code is needed or go to a fair tax system.

    Inheritance taxes should not be used as many of these taxes work against the farmers who are struggling to keep their farms. Farming is the backbone of America.

    December 14, 2007 at 5:37 pm |
  65. Carry Anymore

    I prefer if everyone just let me know what my share of what needs to get done around the world and I can allot perhaps 10% of my waking hours to do it as long as they had a plan to bring it to 5%.

    December 14, 2007 at 6:11 pm |
  66. Max Van Gilder

    We are not raising taxes on the rich. (I may qualify, but I don't feel it.) The rich were given welfare by the Republicans. They got tax breaks when the rest of the taxpayers did not. President Clinton cut back on welfare for poor people and it worked to their benefit. We need to cut back the welfare program for rich people. It will help them just like it helped poor people. Having too much money is not good for you.

    December 14, 2007 at 6:36 pm |
  67. jack

    The flat tax will not work. Lobbyists fund the congress. One of Congress's greatest powers is the tax code. If the tax were flat just think of hte power voters would have. Congress would give us the cost of war and national health care and and how much our taxes would be raised instantly.

    December 14, 2007 at 6:59 pm |
  68. Paul McGowan

    Absolutely Jack! So what if the tax cuts have meant a surge in revenues since that dunce Bush got into office. It's not about the additional money coming in any way. It's about control. Let's raise taxes and make sure America can see what us liberals (you and me ) really believe in....redistribution of wealth and socialism! Let's finally admit who we are and not be ashamed of it .

    December 15, 2007 at 6:49 am |
  69. George Jordan, Prince Edward Island, Canada

    You can't tax the rich, they will only lay off their workers...

    December 15, 2007 at 10:29 am |
  70. Jim Green

    Sorry Jack, but I can’t get into the media’s hue and cry about “enhancement” drugs, re athletes…..it is our hypocrisy and veiled racism that makes me a cynic. For instance, who is to say that tipping the bottle didn’t loosen up Babe Ruth, so he could create his home run record? And what about injections football players are given so they can stay in the game-this is only a difference in degree, not kind, from ingesting steroids-or for that matter injections given to horses to enhance their racing? And look who is under attack…a Black female shamed into giving up her Olympic medals, and it is a Black baseball player who is indicted—when, in fact, this “self-medicating” to enhance athletic performance–is insidious, and cuts across all color lines. This is not to say that we should not monitor athletes—in the interest of their own health—Mickey Mantel almost killed himself with some of the junk out there—let’s knock off the “Oh, for shame, for shame” or make it some kind of headline story—probably no matter what we do will totally control it—so go enjoy the game, and sit down and shut up!

    Football Nut (and white guy)

    Jim Green
    Seguin, TX

    December 15, 2007 at 11:06 am |
  71. dave olshanski

    There is no need to raise taxes to solve the deficit problem. Simply cut all government budgets by 30%. This can be done with no reduction in government services. How can this be? Simple. There is at least that much fat, waste corruption, laziness etc. in all budgets. If 20% of the people do 80% of the work, it will be easy to make those cuts. Just look at the tremendous waste in the military budget alone. Helicopters that won't fly, night vision googles that don't work etc. Or look at the waste that went on during Katrina. 1,000 trailers sitting in Arkansas, unusable due to mold. Thousands of people who filed and got $2,000 who had never even been to New Orleans. "Great job Brownie!" No one in our government is held accountable! For anything! Let's cut the budget, not raise taxes.

    December 15, 2007 at 12:21 pm |
  72. John Werth

    It doesn't matter what happens with the tax code. The U.S. economy has been gradually restructured into one that is not compatible with the existence of a middle class. Wages are flat against inflation, benefits are down, job security is a thing of the past. Free trade was sold as an inconvenience, requiring only that Americans get retrained for better jobs. But the route to that – college – is now priced beyond the reach of many if not most, and the vaunted American social mobility is fading fast. "Any kid can grow up to be President" was never really true, but now our society is in danger of becoming class-based. Not to mention that the "better jobs" are now being outsourced, too. The conservative movement has been trying to head us in this direction for decades. (Note to skeptics: don't take my word for this, feel free to look it up. They haven't been shy. Start with Grover Norquist.) Now we're here. Tax cuts won't help the poor at all and the middle class very little. Meanwhile, the people running our government are trying to destroy it (again, go look it up), so giving them more money won't help. We're at the point of a paradigm shift: what kind of America do we want? A country with some sense of community and shared civil society, or the dog-eat-dog, every-man-for-himself free market oligarchy we're becoming? Pick a side, the middle ground is going fast.

    December 15, 2007 at 1:27 pm |
  73. FedUp

    Just a few thoughts on tax cuts, the wealthy and class warfare

    The top 5% of income earners in this country earn (yes, earn) approx 33% of the money and pay 55% of the taxes. (See http://throwallthebumsout.org/?p=14)

    The bottom 50% (yes, that's one-half of ALL taxpayers) earned 13% of all income and paid 3.3% of all taxes.

    It should come as no surprise to anyone with even fleeting acquaintance with mathematics that tax cuts will accrue to those who actually pay them!

    and yes, raising taxes on corporations will hurt that 50% the most.
    They have the least income aand can therefore least afford th einevitable price increases that result for increasing corporate taxes.


    December 15, 2007 at 3:16 pm |
  74. R W Johnson

    I agree with the Republican Candidates, we can pay for this war only with higher federal income. So, instead of raising taxes, let us cut taxes and money will pour into the treasury. Worked before, should work again, only the government needs so much, taxes should be reduced to zero.

    December 15, 2007 at 3:53 pm |
  75. Ben

    If any of our so called leaders had any intestinal fortitude they would get rid of all the problems with who should pay and how much by going to the flat tax.

    December 15, 2007 at 3:59 pm |
  76. Strykr

    The SPENDACRATS need to stop this Robin Hood mentality of taxing the "rich" scheme! Folks remember like it or not.. The UNITED STATES isn't a socialist goverment where can they justify taxing almost half a person's income to supposedly pay down "debt". I mean how much more of an increase do the Democratic moneysuckers want to anyway?!?! Charles Rangel during a recent interview was specifically asked how much more of a percentage the goverment wants or needs to tax?!?! Looking the fool, he wouldn't answer the question!! Come on folks.. don't buy this Democratic BS that even if they did get a tax increase, they would pay down debt. The current crop of Democratic "leaders" would just piss it all away on increasing the size of goverment, on more entitlements such as that critically important Woodstock Museum or more giveaways to the illegals they so treasure!!

    December 16, 2007 at 12:47 am |
  77. Kenneth Thompson

    I am, as usual, appalled at the liberal approach of placing a 'higher percentage' tax on those of us who make more money. I started with NOTHING and on my own worked my way up into the highest tax bracket, with no help from social welfare programs etc. But those of the liberal (read socialist) mindset feel that I should pay 35% of what I now make vs only 15% tax for someone who makes less. Admit it, it's a socialist mindset. If one person wants to work hard and perservere and get a 4.0 avg in school, should he 'share' his gradepoint average with the person who did not work hard and put in the effort...NO, it is not fair or just. You penalize someone who works harder only to then make him give even more than his fair share to those who may not have worked so hard. Think about it, an individual pays 20%tax on $20,000 income thats $4,000...now 20% tax on $200,000 would equal $40,000!!! The well to do individual is paying $36,000 MORE than the other...but that's not good enough for the socialist thugs who say he should instead pay closer to $70,000. The liberals are taking one from the Karl Marx playbook!

    December 16, 2007 at 2:42 pm |
  78. Ralph

    No. You lose potential votes and turned those with money to run negative ads against you. The people are not stupid, they known 80% of the Bush tax cuts went to the rich and that's what doubled the national debt. We have a demand-side economy with the people demanding goods. To buy those goods they need money in their pockets. The tax cuts should go to them and money flows up to the rich in the form of business profits. All the rich should get are incentives to invest. Republican supply-side (read tax cuts to the rich and big business) economics is a farce. Notice how after they give the tax cuts to the rich the economy does not respond and then they follow it up with a second round of taxes aimed at the middle class to drive demand and the economy responds. Democrats.....don't talk about taxes, period.

    December 17, 2007 at 10:56 am |
  79. David Calvert

    Yes its a good strategy because the government schooled; media led; vote themselves a living American sheeple (not to mention all the illegals voting with those drivers licenses!) don't know any different!

    The real rich; Kenedy; Bush; Rockerfeller; Buffit; Bass (that's the Texas Basses) – they don't pay taxes...but little honest guys like me do....class envy always works.


    December 17, 2007 at 2:32 pm |
  80. Jeff in Connecticut

    Let's cut through the BS & spin. Let's actually tell everyone the truth. Rich folks DO NOT pay higher taxes than the rest of us working grunts. Truth is, many are getting multi-million dollar paychecks without being taxed a dime.....thanks to the current administration and the legislative scum who voted to not tax dividends on the pretense it would help poor old Aunt Molly who gets $142 a year in a dividend check. If they had been honest, they'd have put a $20 thousand cap on it. I want everyone except the poorest to pay the same percentage as I. Until that happens, the middle class is just a cash-crop for the Bush's, Cheney's, Halliburton, Exxon/Mobil, ADM, big tobacco & the like.

    December 17, 2007 at 3:53 pm |
  81. EF Phoenix, AZ

    Absolutely! Whenever we have problems, we always say let's roll up our sleeves and fix it. Tighten the belt is another proverb. Find the money somewhere is yet another. Let's face it - the rich have enough to pay slightly higher taxes - as do the corporations. The one group that cannot afford a penny more is the poor and lower middle class who are being squeezed from every angle.

    December 18, 2007 at 2:43 pm |
  82. Mardie Kemp

    I teach eighth graders at Sneed Middle School in FLorence, and I think one of them has the right idea about settling things from the war in Iraq to Illegal Alians etc. etc. in this country. Let's get Sherlock Holmes on the case. He's got to do a better job than any of our other Government leaders have so far. While we're on the subject, let him run for President. Everyone and his brother (sister) is doing it.

    December 18, 2007 at 3:41 pm |
  83. cheryl

    WHAT were the parents of the 10 year-old thinking?? Why didn't they cut the steak at home and send it in the proper container with the girl to eat at lunchtime???
    police wrong? Yes, a little too drastic, but the stupidity of the parents surpasses any measures taken by the scholl or police!

    December 18, 2007 at 5:12 pm |
  84. tonyrevo

    Daaaaa!!!! Let's see. The republicans have cut taxes on the rich practically for ever and where does that take us? Higher energy prices, food prices (do you shop Jack?) and everything under the sun costs more under this greedy environment the so called fiscally responsible party take us time and time again when elected. They tell you they will cut taxes and will create small government, don't you all see; It's always been a lie. What's worst the U. S. as a whole always falls for it, like a puppy dog that's so hungry it will forget the kicking and abuse coming from the one that's supposed to be taking care of it. So yes tax the rich, they can afford it, and yes expand the middle class to the tune of a nice (real) tax brake

    December 18, 2007 at 7:53 pm |
  85. Denise

    The billions bonus amount posted by Goldman Sachs is not reflected in any way in the salaries of the many people who are employed in the company as temps – and kept in those positions to avoid paying them decent salaries, benefits and bonuses. Greed is alive and well among the CEOs at Goldman Sachs.

    December 19, 2007 at 8:27 am |
  86. Debbie


    The mixed emotions this AM I am experiencing due to hearing about these CEO's recieving Christmas Bonus' totaling in the Billions is almost debilitating. When I remember my own personal struggles of raising 6 children (who have grown up to be decent productive adults that have never been in jail) it literally makes me physically sick. The overwhelming greed in big business that has manipulated every facet of the lives of every person in this country is astonishing. Never has the saying, "The Rich Get Richer, and the Poor Get Poorer" have more meaning than it does today. No matter how many jobs a person has, or how incredibly hard they work corporate America has devised a system of stealing a portion to embellish there profits. With Flagrant audacity award the CEO's with their "Blood Bonus'. No wonder this country is crumbling around us.

    Debbie, OH

    December 19, 2007 at 9:53 am |
  87. Robert Wooller

    I think that the rich should pay more taxes and unfortunately at the moment they are not, because Bush looks after his rich friends by giving them tax breaks. The rich have the money to pay taxes, so they should pay taxes because they can afford it. I love the new Blog, Jack, and I will continue reading it as much as I can. Keep up the great work.

    December 19, 2007 at 10:36 am |