November 24th, 2008
02:44 PM ET

Should Obama hold off raising taxes on wealthy?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are stimulus packages and there are stimulus packages. Remember the one President Bush, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid collaborated on a while back? It was $168 billion and resulted in a few hundred dollars in most people's pockets. It did it's job, gave a short term jolt to the economy, but it's effects are long since gone. And the economy is a whole lot worse now than it was then.

Watch: Cafferty: Obama wait on taxes?

Stand by for "Stimulus Two!" Congressional Democrats say they will have a stimulus package ready for Barack Obama to sign the day he is inaugurated. New York Senator Chuck Schumer told ABC's "This Week," this time the stimulus package could total $700 billion. Gee, another $700 billion. And that's a pretty round number in Washington these days. After all, $700 billion you may remember is what Congress committed last month to bailout troubled financial institutions. It's also an amount slightly higher than what the nation has spent on the war in Iraq over the last 6 years. But it doesn't matter, does it? It's money we don't have anyway, just add it to the national debt.

David Axelrod, Obama's chief political adviser, said Sunday that the cost of Obama's economic rescue plan would be pricey. He also hinted that the president-elect may hold off on raising taxes for the wealthy and instead just allow the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010. Despite Obama's campaign promise to immediately roll back the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,000, conventional wisdom says it's never a good idea to raise taxes during an economic slowdown.

Here’s my question to you: Should President-Elect Obama hold off raising taxes on the wealthy for two years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Victor from Venice, Florida writes:
No. One of the best things that Obama could do right away is to take steps to reduce the obscene income gap between the rich and the rest of us. The "fat cats" had it way too good for the last eight years. Let them share in the sacrifice. We need to get our economy back in shape.

R.W. writes:
He should not do anything with taxes probably within the first year. The economy is so unstable, that if he were to raise taxes within a certain tax bracket, that could trigger less buying of expensive items that these people usually buy: high end cars, multi-million dollar homes, yachts, planes, etc. This would have further detrimental affects on the already fragile economy.

Pedro writes:
Obama's admission that raising taxes on the top 5% would further slow economic growth and hurt job creation during a downturn begs the question, "When is it a good idea to raise taxes and hurt the economy?"

George writes:
How many middle class people do you know who have tax loopholes, or offshore accounts? How many people do you know who make $400,000,000, who fly around in private jets asking for handouts, and how many of these so called good Americans pay their share of taxes without taking loopholes? The answer to your question is, if he had the power, to do it right now.

Lucy from Illinois writes:
No, they have had the gravy train long enough. They won't put any money back into the economy anyway. They would just put it in offshore banks. Give it to the people that need it, and will spend it.

Joe writes:
Yes. Two years should be ample time for the "rich" to figure out how to shelter their income from the proposed tax hike.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Taxes
soundoff (368 Responses)
  1. Johnny from SC

    No... However; I think he has to be selective and have a plan to coincide price increases due to higher taxes. For instance If he immediately increases taxes on oil companies then they should not be allowed to raise oil prices to make up for their loses. The big oil companies have enjoyed record profits over the last few years at the expense of hard working American's. They have to regulated in order for the tax increases to make a difference in the economy.


    November 24, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  2. Nick B from Watertown SD

    NO! Someone has to pay for the bailout, it might as well be those who got all the breaks under Bush.

    November 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  3. Jenna Wade

    Should President-Elect Obama hold off raising taxes on the wealthy for two years?

    Yes. Let the rich prove how much they contribute to our economy by all those jobs they claim to be creating for us..

    Let the tax credit expire in 2010..

    Obama has got bigger fish to fy here thanks to Bush..

    Roseville CA

    November 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Katiec Pekin, IL

    That is up to Barack Obama and his advisors. Have total faith
    in their making the right decisions on what is best for our country.
    We arm chair referees do not have a clue on how to resolve
    these complicated issues.

    November 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm |
  5. Marie Canada

    Absolutely not the people who received the Bush tax decreases should have them restored immediately.

    There is no sensible justification for a lower tax on the people who can and should pay according to their ability as they will still be very very wealthy.

    The 95% of the people who have to spend the money they have to exist need the extra disposable income and when it's spent in America the country will benefit.

    November 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  6. JD in NH

    I don't see why he should change his plans. The wealthy will still be wealthy even after they pay a little extra in taxes. I'm sick to death of the constant carping about raising taxes. We've got to stop using the Chinese credit card and the only way to do that is pay the bills via taxation. If we want to reduce the bills, we will have to decide what we want to give up. Education? Health care? Our military? Food for the poor? Police? Roads? It's not all bridges to nowhere.

    November 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  7. April - Hoboken, NJ

    You're kidding right? Meanwhile, come next year I'm going to get hammered in taxes because I work two jobs – and I'm not remotely close to wealthy.

    November 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm |
  8. Engels Ferrer (Philadelphia)

    Jack, the wealthy can afford to pay more taxes. If Obama hold off raising taxes for the wealthy for the next two years, it means that the middle class will be paying taxes and not get a tax cut. Besides, if he does that, it also means that he would hold off his promises.

    November 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  9. Cori from Colorado

    No one wants to pay higher taxes, not even the wealthy. In our current financial crisis, Obama may not have a choice and will most likely have to act very quickly and tax the rich to bail out the U.S.

    November 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  10. Marva (Oklahoma)

    No. Corporate America has sufficient loopholes to protect it. The CEOs, however, have reaped the rewards of Bush's tax breaks – on the backs of the workers viz-a-viz taxpayers/consumers. They "manage" their company into bankruptcy, lay off thousands of workers and retirement pensions are lost.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:01 pm |
  11. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    No, he should keep his promise. The only persons who will be affected will be those who have over $250,000 in taxable income. Those in that income bracket spend primarly for "luxury goods". I doubt if a small increase in taxes will prevent them from paying the light bill or getting groceries.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  12. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Absolutely not! The longer we wait to draw down our unfathomable debt the farther down the generation chain our progeny will be paying debt service to keep us poor and them rich. The wealthy have had it too good for too long – time to make them pay.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  13. Lois, Ont., Canada

    Absolutely NOT! Many of them are inactive, food-a-holics. That is like asking if they are entitled for extra free food!!!

    November 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  14. karen-phoenix

    NO!!! He's rolling back the BUSH tax cut to the wealthy!!! They paid it in the 90's and a lot of them are the reason we are in this economic mess!!

    November 24, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  15. Greg in Cabot AR

    Jack, I don’t know, if Obama raises taxes on the rich, they might have to lay-off the maid, the gardener, the butler, the nanny, the dog walker, the pool cleaner, the chauffer, the cook or the interior decorator.
    We surely don't want them to add any more people to the ranks of the unemployed.
    They could still keep their personal fitness trainer and their aroma therapist around to complain to about the raw deal they are getting because their taxes are going up.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  16. Mike S.,New Orleans

    I'm not sure what benefit would result from Obama waiting to undo the massive damage done by the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. We've seen the failure, and hopefully the end, of trickle down economics. The sooner Obama signals the end of this mess, the better.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  17. Inri from Cambridge, MA

    No. Let the Bush tax cuts expire. We're in such bad debt that we should actually put the tax hikes ahead of the next administration. Say what you want about Reagan and Bush Sr., at least they realized that when you're hemorrhaging money, you need to raise taxes. We can't keep borrowing from our future. The buck has to stop somewhere, and sooner rather than later.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  18. ajks

    According to the pundits, we are not going to get a say in this. Obama is going to have to leave the tax increase alone to get economic things passed in Congress. Wish it were not so! Those two years of increased taxes could help with our deficit.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  19. Dave from Orlando

    Lesson in trickle down vs. ground up:

    If you give 1,000 middle class people $1,000 dollars each, They will spend it at the big box stores, put it in the bank or make down payment on a car. In any event all of it will be in the hands of big business by the end of the week. Everyone benefits.

    If you give General Motors that same $1,000,000 they will buy a robot and fire the 12 people it replaces. Only the owner of the robot company benefits and GM has a dozen fewer salaries to pay. Only two people benefit.

    Which makes more sense?

    I say tax the businesses and give back to the rest of us – we all make out that way.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  20. Jim/NC

    Please don't be deceived. With the appointments thus far in Obama's cabinet (Clintonites), you can bet your rear ends that there will be tax increases on all of us that make $40,000 per year and above. With the money the government is tossing around, we all will pay, and dearly, within the first two years of the Obama administration. Obama wants all of us to participate...taxes will be our ultimate sacrifice. I hope I am wrong!!

    November 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  21. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Thought he was going to lower taxes anyway. As for raising taxes, he will most likely have to wait and see what the economy is going to do. Of course he could just raise Joe the Plumber's taxes since Joe thought it was socialism to lower taxes and spread the wealth around...

    November 24, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  22. Dakota Don from Akra

    Heck no, They never should have gotten the cuts in the first place. This shouldn't even be at issue. Obama said he was going to return their taxes to what they were in the Clinton years and there will political hell to pay if he doesn't act to do so upon taking office.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  23. Conor in Chicago

    Why? So they can contribute more to the Republican party? So they can get that 3rd yacht? This notion that raising taxes on the wealthy is going to destroy our economy is nonsense. The economy is already destroyed and I don't see how not raising taxes on the rich does anything accept help the rich when they don't need it.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  24. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    As an avid Obama supporter, I think this is a good idea. Let the Bush-era tax cuts expire and start fresh with a new plan. From a political standpoint and due to the economic crisis that we're facing; Obama would be better off avoiding a probable costly political fight with the GOP. By making a concession on tax cuts to the GOP he may just get some much needed bipartisan support for the economic policies that he wants to implement.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  25. Corinna

    No, the extremely well off will still be able to buy houses, cars, send their kids to school, have a retirement plan and pretty much live the American Dream if they pay their taxes. We just might be able to prevent generations of middle class hard working people from becoming serfs.

    Bisbee, Arizona

    November 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  26. LaTreetha E. Sharpley

    He should let the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010, if at all possible he should resend them before that time. The econony is in such terrible shape I doubt he will be able to do anything before 2010. We as a nation are in terrible condition, and it will take some time before we are sound again. President-elect Obama, showed today that he is well capable of being President and surrounding himself with intelligent, thinking and knowledgable people.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  27. Tom Ft Lauderdale


    My understanding is His buget would not take affect for another year. We may not be here next year.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  28. Chad N., Fresno California

    It doesnt make any difference right now Jack. If he raises taxes, the pool is smaller so he will end up getting less in teh long run anyway. If he doesnt raise taxes then nobody can pay for all the money that washington is frivilously spending right now. Probably the most important thing that Obama can do right now is to figure out a way to create jobs, not keep the current ones, but create new ones. At least that way there will people that actually have a bit of money to tax.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  29. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    NO. During the entire length of the Bush Administration people in the upper 20% of our nation have had a field day making money and ignoring the Middle Class and the Working Poor. This would not be a Tax Increase, but a reduction in a selective Tax Break that favored the most welthy of the US.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  30. Vinny Connecticut

    Of course Obama should hold off on raising ANYONE'S taxes! In these economic times, raising taxes will cause the economy to sink more rather than get it back up. Obama and his advisors have already basically said that they're not going to raise taxes on anyone, at least until 2010. Raising taxes would be just plain DUMB and Obama knows it.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  31. Larry in Florida

    It depends. I think he needs to go ahead and raise taxes for the millionaires and Billionaires but hold off on the $250,000 line. Needs to raise that bar for now. Small businesses need to be left to create jobs and raising their taxes at this time would be a desaster on the road to getting this crisis behind us. So I guess my answer is yes to the really wealthy and no for the small businesses.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  32. Karen

    I'm willing to wait. What I'd really like is to see them plug the loopholes, such as money being stashed in overseas banks and the income not declared. I'd also like to see the government collect back taxes owed, including John McCain's "friend" Joe the Plumber's.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  33. John

    Jack: Either repeal the Bush tax cuts or let them expire in 2009. The top 5% of income earners have not paid their fair share for 2 wars, Katrina, and all the other disasters of the past 8 years. In the game of tag, it's the rich old boys turn to pay.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  34. Brad Mahoney

    On the rich? Hell, no - raise them now! I know tax cuts on middle class folks may have to wait because of the depth of the chasm Bush and other conservative lunatics have driven us into. But make those rich people who are doing just fine pay more taxes so as to reduce the injury to our economy. The lower and middle classes need the economy fixed to restore their ability to earn a living wage.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  35. Ed, Oakville, On, Canada

    Obama should cancel the tax cuts to the wealthy immediately after inaugration. The wealthy will take the tax savings and sock it away into a bank or put it under their mattress. The wealthy have no reason to invest under current market conditions or need the money to pay for essential goods and services. The wealthy have sufficient income to continue to livie comfortably. In retrospect the "Joe the Plumber" class needs every penny to survive and will spend the money on good and services, thereby stinulating the economy.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  36. Christine, Upstate NY

    Hell no! You'd be pretty hard-pressed to find any rich American who can't trace their wealth to the blood and sweat of those who never made it higher than the middle class. A tax hike to the rich is ultimately painless to those of wealth, but it might just help the rest of us. It's hardly an injustice to the rich, who will just keep getting richer off the rest of us anyway.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  37. Julie in LA

    This year has been Bush redistributing the wealth of this country from the middle class to his millionaire (and billionaire) cronies in the oil and financial sectors.

    CEOs, bankers and fund managers who are getting rich from bilking the taxpayer (and robbing us of retirement options) should DEFINITELY be paying taxes at a much higher rate this year.

    With all our money in -their- accounts now, they can surely afford to pay 3% more.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  38. Neatha from Kansas City

    I believe that CNN reported that the wealthly seemed to vote for Obama as well. Adam Smith, the father of the free market, believed that those that benefit most from a community should pay a higher tax rate than those that are struggling, making it a better community for all. So how can you argue with that? To continue to allow these tax cuts is just stupid. You don't cut your income when your spending is out of control.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  39. Jeff in Connecticut

    No way Jack! The W tax giveaways should be recinded immediately. If I was making a quarter million a year it wouldn't kill me to pay the extra 3%. Nor would doing so put anyone out of a job as the opponents tell us. Nor would it affect "Joe the almost plumber". Does anybody really believe that those who benefit the most from America shouldn't pay a bit more?

    November 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  40. Marieth, Chicago

    I don't know. However, I trust his judgement. I would like a tax cut right now since I don't make more than $250 million, but if it is not feesible at this time, I will have to wait. That is why I voted for him. Judgement.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  41. Troy

    Oxford, MS

    Now isn't the time to be raising anyone's taxes. Obama should start cutting as many taxes for as many people as he can asap. there is no such thing as a bad tax cut.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  42. chuck

    No,why should he? The rich people had their turn and now it's time to pay back the dealer.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  43. David, Tampa, Fl

    When Bush made these tax cuts, he sold it to us by saying it free up money that could be used to create new jobs. This it did. New fast food jobs new Wal-Mart jobs but we lost maufacturing and machinist jobs. You know those that pay more than a minimum wage. Now because of irresponsible governance and greedy executive behavior those jobs are on the decline. Our economic nobility reaped the wind in the 90's and the early part of this century, now, let them reap the whirlwind. Obama should raise their taxes to help pay themselves and their buddies because of this bailout mess.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  44. Jackie in Dallas

    Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    During the President Elect's campaign, he repeatedly said he would let the tax cuts for the rich ($250,000 and above) expire and might raise them, make sure that corporations would stop getting tax incentives to not produce here in the States, and would lower the taxes on the middle class. As a member of that middle class, I would even be willing to see a slight increase in my own taxes if I saw that the rich were actually paying their fair share instead of sending their money and jobs offshore!

    November 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  45. Bo supporter

    Jack: NO! He should keep his word. Raise their taxes, they have had the free road for too long! This is why the country is in such dire straits, the wealthy will not pay their way or help the country out where we need it. Creating minimum wage paying jobs while the wealthy lives LARGE does not help anyone.


    November 24, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  46. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    NO!!! Stick to the CEO`s

    November 24, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  47. Jane (Minnesota)

    He should allow the Bush tax cuts to expire & get the tax structure corrected ASAP.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  48. don Calgary,Alberta

    stop lowering the fed rate maybe a better idea!

    November 24, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  49. Jim, Kansas

    The day the rich and will-connected pay their fair share of taxes won't
    come soon enough for me.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  50. Pietro from NYC

    Yes, if only so he cannot be accused by the far right of cliff diving when the economy completely runs out of gas. He is smart to hold off in hopes of giving everyone and everything a chance to work the magic. But who is going to pay for all these corporate giveaways (now including Citibank, soon to include every other bank plus the Big Three in Detroit plus...) and when are they/we gonna pay it because someone sometime is going to pay, no?

    November 24, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  51. Craig in Illinois

    They got a bailout what more do they want?
    Who else receives tax breaks for destroying the economy?

    November 24, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  52. Venia PA

    No, they've had a vacation for the last eight. It's time to pay fairly.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  53. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: No. Let tax cuts for wealthy Americans expire on schedule rather than be repealed. The economy is likely to get worse before it gets better. Full recovery won't happen immediately. These are extraordinary stresses on our financial system and require extraordinary policies in response. It is absolutely necessary to get our economy back on track, that those who are in a position to pay a little bit more do so for the good of the country.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  54. Will from San Jose

    He shouldn't wait, we need to slash programs and raise additional revenue to get the governments deficit spending under control. Otherwise we run the risk of runaway inflation. Keeping my money doesn't matter, if it isn't worth anything.

    November 24, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  55. Beau (Nebraska)

    Yes, but only on the wealthiest Americans. They've had a free ride on the backs of the middle class for entirely too long.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  56. Gretchen from Denver

    No! Haven't the rich proved that they do not create new jobs with their wealth...they create new swimming pools, closets filled with designer clothing, garages filled with gas guzlers, and other manifestations of conspicous consumption that most of us can not even imagin.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  57. Lauren Carthan

    Jack seriously if we had jobs like the Republicans think only the rich create, I would be inclined to want to put off raising taxes on the wealthiest. Since we have lost 1.3 million jobs this year, I believe they are just greedy and have no desire to create anything other than lies. I have 3 words "Tax Baby Tax".

    November 24, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  58. Anna

    He should let the bush tax cuts expire in 2010 or sooner. If those fat cats want to be bailed out then they should pay for this in higher taxes.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  59. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    He should allow the tax cuts to expire in exchange for bipartisan support for a massive middle class jobs / stimulas package which will give us a chance to turn the economy around. We saw that trickle down won't work because banks hord all the money. Why is that? Because they know what their assets are really worth? Let's stimulate the middle class- at least they won't hord the money. They will pay loans, tuition, buy food, even cars. Why didn't we try this first?

    November 24, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  60. Mike

    No, not when they have enjoyed the SPECIAL treatment for eight years.
    Welcome to our world.
    Mike Ca

    November 24, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  61. Randy in New York

    For the time being, yes!

    It's not a good idea to raise anyones taxes right now.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  62. Michael watching from Canada

    No. How did the economy perform when there were no tax cuts for the wealthy during the Clinton presidency? Are the wealthy concerned about putting food on their table, paying for next month's rent, filling their tank with gas or how they are going to buy Christmas presents?

    November 24, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  63. andy

    Obama should use executive privilege to suspend all Bush taxes cuts. Its ironic on how the wealth complain about taxes when they are the ones who made this economic depression. Obama should raise their taxes to 50% and let them pay for it.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  64. rwhite

    He should not do anything with taxes probably within the first year. The economy is so unstable, that if he were to raise taxes within a certain tax bracket, that could trigger less buying of expensive items that these people usually buy, high end cars, multi-million dollar homes, yachts, planes, etc. This would have further detrimental affects on the already fragile economy.

    What he needs to work on is a fair tax for the rest of the nation. Tax brackets penalize hard work. I had to pay $9000.00 extra last year because I stepped over into another tax bracket. All that hard work for nothing. There should be a flat percentage for al people up to $250,000.00. Then a "slightly" higher percentage up to $500,000.00. And so on. Not these massive jumps.

    This was all put in place by Democrats many years ago and now the American people are suffering because of it. This needs to be one his first focuses when he gets in office. Fix the tax bracket penalty, then a year from now, penalize the wealthy for obtaining the American dream.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  65. John / Chicago

    He cannot raise taxes at this time and point with the current state of the economy. People seem so fast to say let's take money from the Rich like the Rich people did not earn their money. Remember one thing Obama promoted, the "American Dream", but yet he wants to penalize these people in his tax plan for going for and achieving the "American Dream". I think he needs to let the current tax cuts expire in 2010 and than see where the economy is at and act accordingly.

    For some to think the Rich should get taxed more is ridiculous. The majority of them worked very hard to get to where they are at and for the govenment to penalize them and give their money to people sitting on the couch waiting for a hand out is ludicrous.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  66. Maggie from peterborough

    The Bush tax cuts to the wealthy need to be rescinded immediately and all tax loop holes for corporations need to be eliminated so everyone pays their share according to their ability to pay in line with their income.

    Obama's idea of tax breaks for corporations manufacturing in the U.S. and heavier taxes imposed on those shipping jobs overseas is another long over due concept for the welfare of your society.

    It all needs to be done on january 20th 2009 for the good of the country.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  67. John in Arizona

    The lowering of taxes for the nation's richest taxpayers was a centerpiece of Bush's failed economic policy. A progressive tax policy, one that asks every citizen to pay only their fair share, has been an historic hallmark of our tax policy. Obama is only proposing returning to that, while providing tax reductions to those who are the least able to simply get by.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  68. Sherrol in Canada

    Regardless of whatever else Pres-elect Obama does about taxes, eventually taxes will have to be raised on the 95% that he says will soon get a tax cut. The sooner we realize that the trillions in national debt (and soon to be trillions more) has to be paid and that taxes will contribute to this, the better.

    It's going to be a hard road ahead for Obama and his cabinet. Here's to hoping his supporters stand by him and the tough decisions he'll have no other choice but to make.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  69. Joann

    No. thanks to Henry Paulson.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  70. Bruce St Paul MN

    No The Bush tax cuts were a gift, not a birthright. A very costly gift at a time when we are running huge deficits. Bush calling his tax cuts an economic stimulus falls somewhere between a lie and propoganda. If you think that the tax cuts have led to investment in America or job creation, then I've got some WMD I'd like to sell you.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  71. william fitzwater

    If i am wealthy yes. If I am poor no .

    November 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  72. Alexandra in the urban Northeast


    Absolutely NOT!! The executives just continue to line their own pockets with the extra tax cuts they were given under Bush. They have no conscience and they don't care how many people they put out of work in order to make sure their own bed is feathered.

    Oh... and if these executives insist on the argument that they need all this money in order to attract and retain executive talent, then where is this so-called talent and what is this talent doing to responsibly get their companies out of this mess that they caused themselves??

    And, finally... please park the jets. That is obscene to be rubbing middle America's nose in the mess while they continue to flaunt their wealth. Simply outrageous and immoral.

    Alexandra in Philadelphia

    November 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  73. Gina in Racine, Wi

    Why Jack? The rich have had it made since Bush has been in office.

    I bet that raising taxes on the rich won't mean that they have to decide between groceries or a prescription .....or if they can send their kids to college or not.

    They have had a free ride for 8 years and the middle class is becoming extinct. Lets not look at it as raising their taxes.....lets look at it as damage control.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  74. Jackie in Dallas

    Well, considering most of them haven’t paid their fair share in 20 years, my short answer would be NO. If my middle class income is being taxed to the breaking point to pay for AIG corporate bigwigs to party, the least they could do is pay their share of taxes!

    November 24, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  75. Jim, from Las Vegas

    If he doesn't rescend the Bush tax cuts then he either lied to us about what he was going to do, or he didn't know as much about economics as he led us to believe. If in fact there are sound fiscal reasons to NOT take action for 2 years, then there are some serious questions that need to be asked of him and his advisors from during his campaign.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  76. Hubert Bertrand

    why do wealth people think they are better than the rest of us.We should all pay taxes.If every body paid the same amount.Maybe we wouldn't be fighting.Let's all pay our fair share and forget about it.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  77. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    No! If they invested the money they made off of the Bush administration over the last 7+ years then they can afford an increase now and help out our country and be glad they can do it.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  78. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, let the Bush tax cuts expire. Cut taxes on small business and give tax credits to anyone not sending jobs overseas. Keep the campaign promise of tax cuts for middle class individuals and for God’s sake, yank the troops out of Iraq.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  79. Scott - Kansas

    Sure. I don't care, because he's a Democrat, and I'll be lumped into the "upper class" demographic just because I happen to make a little bit more than the average American. Nevermind that it's far below that "$250,000 threshold" he's always talking about...

    November 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  80. John Illinois

    No Jack! In fact triple all bank and car C.E.O.'s taxes!

    November 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  81. Allene --Leawood, Kansas

    Absolutely not. Tax cuts for the wealthy are a major reason we are in this crisis. People are going hungry and there is talk of allowing those who have, two more years to get more. Is this not madness? Stop it now.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  82. Vinnie Vino


    He should let the unjust Bush tax cuts for the wealhiest Americans sunset and not do anything else with the country's tax codes until our economic house is stable...

    C.I., New York

    November 24, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  83. perry jones

    As a person that voted for the other guy I would like mr obama go ahead with his plans as they were before nov. 4th
    Perry Jones

    November 24, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  84. Mark from Spring Hill Tennessee

    Absolutely. positively NOT! The wealthy will not even notice the increase and that money is needed to fund the programs necessary to bring about the change for which we all voted. We won't lose the creation of one job as a result of this increase.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  85. me46

    The depth of the economic crisis is immeasurable and it has impacted people at all socio-economic levels. The amount of lost wealth is unimaginable and no one class is in a position to recue the economy. Tax increases on the rich would be ill-advised at this time, but if the U.S. government is unable to fund a recovery, there may be no alternative.
    Las Vegas
    Human Rights Advocate

    November 24, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  86. tim lakeland florida

    He will have no choice,there wont be anybody else left to pay taxes but the wealthy .I guess they could take taxes out of welfare checks and tax the panhandlers ,there will be alot more of those the way it's going. The taxes taken out on unemployment checks will not get it done that's for sure, so who's left.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  87. Lynn, CA

    Personally I think he should just not renew the Bush tax cuts for over 250k and see how that goes – but I think he is smart enough to listen to the experts.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  88. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    The wealthy need to start paying their fair share right now, not two years from now. Time to start "trickling down".

    November 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  89. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    It appears that Obama is going to let the existing tax breaks for the wealthy expire in "11". I can't help but wonder why we all aren't required to pay more taxes. Our economy is is trouble, everyone is aware of it, but almost no one expects or wants to pay more taxes. It just doesn't seem reasonable to me.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  90. Dave in Saint Louis

    Yes...Hold off forever! That so called wealthy number shrinks everyday!

    November 24, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  91. Richard, Enoch, Utah

    Absolutely Yes! I think the whole tax system needs to be changed to take away some of the tax cuts that are in place for the wealthy and big buisnesses. I know that sonner or later the middle class will have to pay more taxes. But I hope it is after the tax code is looked at and the tax cuts for the wealthy and big buisness is gone.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  92. Jim


    There's no good reason to hold off. The wealthy aren't going to be affected in the least bit by the little more they'll have to pay, and it will help keep the treasury afloat.

    Reno, Nevada

    November 24, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  93. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Since the country is broke, the money has to come from somewhere. The wealthy are in the best position to take a tax hit at present, then we can all share the burden when the presses are cranked up and inflated dollars eat away at whatever is left of our savings.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  94. Atlanta Charlie

    Let me see Jack – The national debt is in the trillions and growing by the minute! We just approved $750 billion that we don’t have for a financial bailout that hasn’t made an impact! We are spending billions every month in Iraq! Our trade deficit is at an all time high! Our Social Security system is running out of funds because we borrowed from it and never paid it back! Our national infrastructure is falling apart!

    Now I ask you, Jack, how else are we going to pay for it all?

    November 24, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  95. Roland

    Jack, now is the time for President Obama to reach out across the aisle and show his bi-partisanship by talking to Governor Mike Huckabee about his Fair Tax plan (essentially Flat Tax). I believe that flat tax combined with a national sales tax is the way to go. We also need to start charging more taxes on tourism as a source of revenue. Every other country does this and it does not hurt their tourism industry one bit. It costs money to flush toilets and maintain sidewalks/roads, etc. and tourists use those facilities too. Charging them a reasonable entry/exit tax is perfectly fair, in my opinion, and I think most foreign travelers woul agree, since they know that their country conveniently charges us when we visit them.

    St. George, UT

    November 24, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  96. jim tucker

    Well jack how about the american people take charge of there own tax dollars and boycott the government. I mean it is our money. why should we the american worker be responsible for the bigdog bailout?

    November 24, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  97. Mike, Syracuse NY

    So how would this work JacK? We raise taxes on the wealthy. They in turn get raises from their big corporations to compensate. The corporations in turn get bailouts to pay the higher salaries. The bailouts are funded by the extra tax dollars taken from the wealthy. Have I got that right?

    November 24, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  98. Ted O. (Canada)

    No he shouldn't wait 2 years, these people can afford it now. Why? Is it going to take these people 2 years to get over the shock of the announcement? Giving them an extra 2 years, will only allow them to find further loopholes in the tax system, with tax shelters, to evade having to pay their share.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  99. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Obama should resign. The mess being left behind by bush and his cronies is beyond fixing.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  100. Brian - Trinidad

    Absolutely not! If he does,it proves what many believe,that he is an empty-headed celebrity politician.That tax break was supposed to spark the economy,but look what happened!And it shouldn't be surprising.What do the wealthy do with extra cash?Spend it on luxuries,like exclusive resort vacations,fancy cars,fur,jewellry etc.Give it to the middle class and they'll spend it on consumable goods and services,like home furnishings,regular cars,appliances,etc.That drives the economy!Did you guys elect another George Bush?

    November 24, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  101. jim tucker arizona

    The rich and famous got us into this mess well take the money back and get us out of it. It is our money taxe us once twice three times a charm! now theres enough for the bailouts!!

    November 24, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  102. ingrid, new york

    the rich do not need a break. they are going to spend money no matter what tax break they get or don't get. trickle down is in fact voodoo economics.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  103. marti thompson

    Why not ?? He's going to back peddle on all the other promises too !!

    November 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  104. Brooklyn Girl

    No. He should continue with his plan. The wealthiest Americans are the ones who got us into this mess, and they should pay their fair share.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  105. Karl from SF, CA

    After eight years of the Bush tax breaks, the wealthy should be able to give a little back. They are the ones that profited in this financial disaster. I'm tired hearing it will cost jobs and companies will go overseas. Executive "talent" is way over rated and over paid. Do they realize that eliminating jobs cost them customers to buy their products. Wake up an smell the coffee.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  106. Pugas-AZ

    He better be careful. He is playing with fire. Any tax adjustments should be gradual or our house of cards will completely fall apart.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  107. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    We must raise the taxes of the wealthy! As soon as possible. The way they live is obscene and they have contributed more than thier share,due to greed, to this nations dilemma. Hence they should pay more than their
    share of taxes. We can,t afford anymore and still eat.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  108. George

    How many middle class people do you know who have tax loopholes, or off shore accounts? How many people do you know that make $400,000,000, that fly around in private jets asking for handouts, and how many of these so called good Americans pay their share of taxes without taking loopholes? The answer to your question is, if he had the power, to do it right now. This country has been, and is going down the tubes, and it looks like the color of money is going to be the only thing to stop it, and who control the most of that. The rich of course, so don't be lobbying to get them off the hook for their part. if they are unhappy because they have to pay a little more, then I will be happy to change place with any one of them.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  109. Mark in OKC

    Taxing the wealthy will just keep the few people who are spending money to tighten their grip on their purse strings and we really will see an economic disaster.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  110. Andrew

    roll back the tax cuts now and we can all pay our fair share. Those of us who get the prime cuts of beef should have to pay for it.

    November 24, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  111. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va


    If letting them keep their precious class warfare tax breaks will keep them from whining about health care reform, education reform, ending 10 billion a month in Iraq, and alternative fuel development – then let them have them......for two more years!

    November 24, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  112. KarenB, Florida

    What difference does it make? now or later. we'll all be affected at some point.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  113. Roy - Chicago IL

    For the last 8 years there HAS been a 'Redistribution of Wealth' to the wealthy due to the Bush tax policies. Obama should NOT hold off on correcting this gross injustice, and he SHOULD remove these tax breaks on the wealthy and on businesses making windfall profits.
    The Bush years have proved that making the rich even richer does NOT add jobs or create wealth for the rest of the people.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  114. Marge in New Port Richey, Florida

    Heck no, Jack! The wealthy in this country have it so good...they'll never miss a dime by paying a bit more in taxes and their lives won't change one iota. Their attitudes might, but who cares about that? Why should Obama give them a break from what he promised was coming for them? It's not like they looked at the bigger picture and realized that many less fortunate than them needed a break. If they did, they would've voted for him and we know that most of them didn't because they only think of themselves. It's called greed.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  115. Billy G in Las Vegas

    the tax increases should NOT be delayed. it's about time the ultra rich, many with inherited money they never had to work for, payed their fair share.

    in fact, I would be in favor of a 50% tax on any income OVER one million dollars and the elimination of any half baked "deductions" for the expense of their limousines, gulfstreams and other household expenses they hide under "corporations".

    November 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  116. Lesley, Lighthouse Point

    I think he should do whatever it takes to get us out of this mess. He is obviously putting together an amazing group of staff, advisors and cabinet leaders. The American people need to give these brilliant minds the support they need to be successful. May people are suffering. I will do whatever it takes to restore this nation.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  117. Nuwan

    No. I think those who has a lot of money still can afford to pay a little more taxes without feeling any pain. That will be the right thing to do for the common good of the country. Unless, we device a method to bring back the consuming and working middle class back in action, those wealthy people will have a very hard time keeping that wealth in long run.

    – Nuwan from Houston, TX

    November 24, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  118. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    No he should not! I have always thought those tax cuts were Dubyas way of lining the pockets of his buddies with taxpayer dollars. Hopefully Obama will abolish those cuts in the first year. I don't care if we (the middle class) get a tax cut, but I sure care about my husbands job and our retirement money. President elect Obama has a great deal on his plate right now, I am sure this is one of the major issues being discussed.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  119. David in Granville, Ohio

    Conventional economic wisdom is that you do not raise taxes in a recession, as every $ is needed to stimulate the economy.

    However what is lost in all this is that we are only talking about a very small percentage increase – from 36% to 39% of any earnings over $250,000. That is still low by international and historic standards and really should not cause the wealthy any real hardships.

    The problem is getting people with power and influence to actually PAY the increase. We want them focusing their attention on how to get us out of this mess – not talking endless hours with their tax advisors finding ever more creative ways of not paying what they owe.

    I am glad I am not the person who has to make this decision!

    November 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  120. ATB

    How about we just round them all up and force them to live like the common folk for a few months. I guarantee you, by the time it's over with, they'll run screaming from the house throwing money at you as they run home to their luxurious digs.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  121. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I'm hoping that he only cuts taxes for the middle class first, and then when things settle a few years later, maybe in his second term, to increase taxes for the wealthy, but no more than Clinton did in the 90's.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  122. Dennis in Albuquerque

    Jack, I think the president should let the tax rates for the wealthiest expire in 2010. So I agree that two years would be about right.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  123. Annie Florida

    Yes. the wealthy made enough money and helped bankrupt us all with their hedge funds, speculation, greed. Corporate america helped ..let them all pay more....the middle class sure does not have it so that is where it will have to come from.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  124. Mike C. - Wethersfield CT

    It’s not raising their taxes; it’s putting their taxes back to normal. They should look at this as getting a bonus every year for the past seven years from President (who needs federal regulations) Bush.

    Mike Cashman
    Wethersfield, CT

    November 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  125. Christina

    No, he should immediately rescind Bush' tax for the wealthy and re-institute Clinton's tax rate or higher for the wealthy. Everyone knows that you should not increase taxes during a Recession – but the entire saying is that – – Everyone knows that you should not increase taxes during a Recession across the board. Thus a tax hike just the wealthiest of American will help the economy not hurt it. It has been along time since Rich American have gotten away with not paying their fair share – The Time is Now to Start. Any wealthy American should want to help out this nation by giving more of what they will not missed.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  126. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Only until he gets the legislation passed through Congress that he needs. Compromise and make the ceiling $1,000,000.00 instead of $250,000.00. Anyone making a million dollars annually should pay more money than their present taxes. If Obama does not reverse the Bush tax cuts it may cost him a second term. It was a campaign promise that he should keep. What about the tax cuts for the little guy?

    November 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  127. ATB

    If Barack Obama wants to be elected for another term, don't give the Republicans fuel for the fire by going back on his word. Stick to what he said he would do (always keeping the best interest of main street in mind of course) and he'll do fine.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  128. Len of Colfax, WI

    No! While the wealthy are not the only ones that caused us to be in this financial mess, they are better able to provide some of the funds needed to help. I think the wealthy individuals and corporations (especially those corporations recording excessive profits) need to realize that failure to provide some financial help, in the way of higher taxes, will probably yield greater problems for this country today as well as long term problems for future generations.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  129. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    November 24, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  130. douglas gengler

    no the wealthy received an 8 year break on taxes from bush so they cant complain if their taxes go up to the existing tax rate of 8 years ago.
    doug in arkansas

    November 24, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  131. Tony in Michigan

    No, the wealthy have not cared about us in recent history, so why should we care about their tax rates?

    November 24, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  132. Gordon from Roanoke, Virginia

    No! Raise taxes on the wealthy right away. Don't wait two years! Don't even wait two days for that matter! Just make em' pay.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  133. Jeff from Sturgis, MI

    Raise their taxes, Jack. I don't exactly feel bad for them.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  134. Bob, Woodstock, NY

    Tax cuts for the rich is exactly what got us into this mess to begin with, so my answer is NO. And the arguement that raising taxes reduces jobs is nonsense. Obama's plan gives incentives for new job creation.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  135. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    NO WAY.... the wealthiest folks of this country have not paid their fair share since Bush has been in office. While the rest of us work our tails off just to make ends meet, they buy another trophy home in Aspen. The "trickle down theory" is really a "cash flow up" theory, the biggest transfer of wealth ever from the, once, middle class to the wealthiest. While they run off laughing to their next cocktail party, the rest of us drink the dregs. And they haven't a clue about what is really going on, evidenced by the shameless display the big three auto maker CEOs exhibited in front of congress. Puhleeese give me a break.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  136. Grace, Florida

    No. Obama should follow through with his campaign promise. The wealthy are well able to afford an increase and should bear that burden if it is necessary to provide recovery in this market and with the important programs and initiatives that are critical to implement.

    It is very reasonable to take the tax rate to the pre-Bush era without having a negative effect on individuals who can afford it.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  137. Jolly Potter, NY

    Yes – with pre-conditions ! that they use the money to create job opportunities in America Corporations. What is the point of giving tax breaks if the money is not re-invested to benefit the economy ?
    I think Obama stated in the Campaign he would reward Companies that created jobs in the USA and punish those that shipped jobs overseas. Let's put that to the test first. If all else fails then tax them.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  138. Diane in Nebraska

    Jack, how do you define wealthy? President-elect Obama defined it this way: a family who makes $250,000 or more will see their tax bill increase. He ran on that pledge, and he won with that pledge.

    It's worth noting that most of these families aren't creating *or* destroying jobs, nor are most of them running their businesses into the ground (ejecting with their golden parachutes just before impact).

    They are, however, better off than 98.5% of American households, and should pay fair taxes on their income. That means rescinding the Bush tax cuts. I voted for Barack Obama, and I will be very disappointed if he doesn't keep his word on this issue.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  139. Jay in Texas

    No, Obama should not wait to raise taxes on the rich ! In my opinion, he should really sock it to them. They can afford it. How about a 90% tax rate on all annual income above $200,000 instead of his proposed 38% rate above $250,000. I say tax them until every disabled and elderly person, on SSI and Social Security, is able to live at least slightly above the poverty level.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 24, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  140. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    Again, this is where the FairTax ammendment would solve this issue. I don't understand why people are afraid of such a simple solution that would benefit everyone.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  141. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    President-Elect Obama should delay raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans during this downturn until he can resuscitate the economy. He should not delay tax relief for the middle class.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  142. Lynn, Boise, Idaho

    I think he should just let the Bush tax cuts expire when they are supposed to and then pass his middle-class tax cut package effective the following day.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  143. Bill Davis

    Hold off? Heck no! The free-riding wealthy are at the heart of our economic problems. Maybe not each and every one of them, but they've all benefited from our years of imaginary wealth. Now it's time for them to pay up. The rest of us have been doing our part.

    Bill Davis
    Champaign, IL

    November 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm |

    NO, they have rode the gravy train long enough. They don't spend the money, they put their money off shore, so they don't have to pay taxes on it. Give the breaks to the middle class, we keep the country going.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  145. Chris from Buffalo, N.Y.

    The fact that Obama has stated publicly that he's even considering not immediatly raising taxes on the richest Americans despite his campaign promies speaks volumes for what he actually beleives or possibly what his advisors are telling him; there will be an economic harm done to the nation if he does raise taxes on anyone, especially those who create most of the jobs.

    This begs the question, if he's hesitant to raise taxes in poor economic times because it may deepend the recession, why would he raise taxes even in good economic times? Wouldn't that just have the result of making the good times "less good?"

    November 24, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  146. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    of course he should hold off. id hate to see cadillac, the Lear jet companies, expensive resorts, big fancy steak houses need bale out packages....my adding machines smoking trying to keep up with all the requests....

    November 24, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  147. Liz in Towson, MD

    Jack, my mom has always said that "it's a privilege to pay taxes." Well, aren't the wealthy the so-called "privileged class?"

    November 24, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  148. Dee in Florida

    NO. The rich and corporations making "record profits" can afford higher taxes. The rest of us can't afford a loaf of bread!

    November 24, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  149. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    If he starts backing off on his promises now I hope he enjoys his one term in office.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  150. Steve , NY

    Remember what Abe Lincoln said:

    1) You can't help the poor by destroying the rich

    2) You can't strengthen the the weak by weakening the strong

    3) You can't lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down

    This kind of speaks for itself.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  151. Ron Minnesota

    How about some sort of flat tax or something like that. If you make up to $20,000.00 you pay 10%, $20,000.00 to $40,000.00 you pay 15%, $40,000.00 to $60,000.00 you pay 20% and over 60 grand you pay 25%.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  152. Rose in Az

    I think he should do what he said he was going to do during his campaign. He is already changing his mind on many things he said he would do and those are the statements that got him elected. All eyes are on him and now he is changing his mind. I got so tired of hearing him say a third Bush term and look at him, he is a third Clinton term.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  153. Sarah

    He should just do it straight away. 3% extra tax on earnings over $250k a year isn't going to affect anything negatively and it would get it out of the way during his 'honeymoon' period. If he leaves it until a later date when things settle back down it might become a major issue to get the tax change through, not to mention the lost revenue between now and then.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  154. Alex

    Raising taxes on the only people who are spending will make the economy worse... for everyone. Even if everyone were spending, why would you want to raise taxes on someone just because they're wealthy? They work hard for the money and should be entitled to keep their money if they wish to do so. I know people will make the argument someone needs to pay for government spending, but if government spending were cut where possible, taxes could be low for everyone.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  155. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    No, Obama should roll back the tax cuts that were earlier given to the wealthy. It was these tax cuts that contributed to the economic crisis we are in today. Cutting taxes in a time of war was a big mistake, it had never been done, and it didn't work. Roll back the tax cuts. That should be the first step to repair the error. It really isn't a tax hike. It's a return to sane policy.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  156. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Taxing the wealthy should be an option at the moment, not yet to be carved into stone.

    The variables of how to grow the economy must be looked at and then decided upon. There will be adjustments along the way in order to continuously improve the plan with the ultimate fantasy of no personal income taxes for anyone. Isn't that the panacea of democracy married with capitalism?

    November 24, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  157. Patty From Elko

    Why wait when they can afford it.Its the rich who has the money to help in this crisis and yet no one has offered to help.And as for the big 3 why can't they take their own money out of their pockets and help?They have their own jets and yet they don't want to fork out any money either.Thats Greed

    November 24, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  158. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Probably! That way the Republicans can't complain too much! They've paid a pretty high price for the Bush mistakes already!

    November 24, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  159. roland jenkins

    I never undrstood how you could fight two wars and cut taxes and tell americans to just go shop, President Elect Obama at some time make tax adjustments in about eightteen months, the trickel down no rain for those who do the work and the dieing and they need a downpour.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  160. Jake, Oregon

    To begn with, all he ever said was to let the tax breaks expire as planned. That's about 2 years out anyway. Hopefully by then, the national financial picture will look better, provided people knock off the speculation and second guessing and dead wrong recollecions of his initial plans. I think people got too used to Bushonomics which caused all this failure in the first place.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  161. ED in NK,RI

    The government needs the extra money now. Give the upper self elite time to scamper, and the extra revenues will be gone. Just look at the "play money" being printed & loaned (with interest) to the government, by the Fed. They have us, just where they want us.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  162. LUCY - PEKIN

    I think the wealthy have had the tax cuts long enough. It is about time that we get to pass go and collect more money. Monoply is what it has been for eight years for the rich. Do they pass it on, NO!!

    November 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  163. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    "Everybody making more that $250,000.00 a year, get out your wallets." That's what Obama said, and that's what he should do.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  164. Tino

    Absolutely not. The reasons given to do so come from people who listen to wealthy lobbyists and probably receive some sort of monetary support from them as well. NO, do not hold off on raising taxes on the wealthy.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  165. Gord Kavanagh

    Having lived in both the US and Canada I realize that if the US wants healthcare then everyone's taxes have to be raised to pay for it. The good news no health insurance premiums, the bad news less money in your pocket if your employer was paying it for you. This is a debate that we have not had in the US.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  166. Lorelei Scarbro

    Let's be clear. What Obama plans to do is to let the Bush tax cuts on his wealthy buddies expire. This would put their rate back to where it was under Clinton. This is not the same thing as raising taxes.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  167. Lindell

    They've had them this long, Jack. I guess two more years really won't make much of a difference. We just have way too many financial issues going on. If stripping the wealthy of their tax breaks would really make a significant change to our economy, then by all means do it. But right now it's about stimulating the economy and taking away those tax breaks wouldn't change much of anything. In my opinion.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  168. Moses from Lake City, Florida

    Absolutely not! The sooner the better. The wealthiest people have been getting by for decades with a Marie Antionette view, and even if they were to run out of money, good old Uncle Sam is going to be there to bail them out. Its time for them to pony up and kick in.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  169. Carol Weyle

    NO! At least 10%. and what about Haliburton, who moved headquarters to Dubai?
    Colorado Mom

    November 24, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  170. richard a. winkler

    Absolutely not. They have had a free ride for too long already.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  171. Ken - Hudson Florida

    Since the top 1% received all of the benefits of the Bush administration, and are now receiveing the benefits of the Bailout while the rest of America sinks lower, unable to pay our bills, or feed our children, then it should be the top 1% that helps pay for the bailout that we did not want in the first place.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  172. Kevin, Punxsutawney

    Are you kidding me? Not only did they receive the greatest reduction under the Bush administration, but IRS reports that this group is the worst offender of under-reporting of income/taxes. Presumably, this group reaps the greatest rewards and greatest percentage of disposable income, and still criminally avoids paying its fair share of taxes. Brother, can you spare a dime?

    November 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  173. tj TAMPA

    Sure this way we get to see trickle down economics at it's best.. If they don't creat the millions of jobs promised then sock it to them and let the tax cuts expire.. The only answer the Republicans have is tax cut and that has gotten old an lame like there party..

    November 24, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  174. James in TN

    It's a four year term his plan ain't gonna be active in the first hundred days in office. Everybody wants Obama to do something but, get a grip, he ain't even in office yet. It's so bad people will judge Obama before hes sworn and ruign the next four yeaars.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  175. Larry in Texas

    Jack –

    I would be more than happy to have such a "Burden" of paying Taxes
    on $250,000.00

    I am sure you would Love to have that "Burden" Jack, wouldn't you ?

    And that goes for most of the average person in the U.S. today.
    Can you imagine having that "Burden" ??
    Most would not fathom what that would be like.

    Larry Coury
    Houston Texas

    November 24, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  176. Deb n Texas

    No Jack, because they have had 8 years of grace. He needs to set that in play yesterday.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  177. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Obama should do what he needs to do to get our issues fixed. If that means delaying the tax increases for those earning over $250K for 2 more years, so be it. This is the time to be pragmatic, not partisan. This is not pay-back time, it's time to unite and make the best decisions so that we can all get out of the Bush debacle that we're facing.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  178. Willow, Iowa

    They taxes on the rich should be raised Jan 21. As I understand it, Obama's tax plan is based on the tax base in the Reagan years. and Reagan lowered taxes for the rich, they were much higher before. they need to go back to PreBush tax amounts. And soon.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  179. K Lucas

    No, he should put his tax plan in place when he gets in office. The rich can afford to pay more in taxes; don't worry, they will still have enough for another automobile (probably foreign), more expensive clothes, and more mansions.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  180. Chryssa

    Absolutely not. They're the one group that continues to spend like nothing has changed over the past 5 years. While we've seen our lifestyles change dramatically, they're still living like it's 2002.

    Boise, ID

    November 24, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  181. Mickie

    I would not keep the tax cuts, but I trust Obama and his financial adviors to know more than I do. But I certainly would not keep them once they are scheduled to run out.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  182. Dennis North Carolina

    yes, He should work on removing all the loop holes?

    November 24, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  183. Ron from SF

    No, It's the common man who spends the greatest amount of discretionary income anyway. The Rich aren't going to stop spending what extra taxes they would pay, as that would just wind up in Swiss Banks Accounts, obscenely expensive Art or on Cars produced in Europe. Even if I had to pay Clinton level taxes, I wouldn't mind, as on noon January 20, 2009, I no longer pay taxes to a government that I hate with every fiber of my being.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  184. Blackbutterflyz/ Bklyn NY

    Yes, he can do that. He can just wait until it expires.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  185. Chuck

    Jack, We are taxed to death now and to what purpose. We are bailing out the big boys but what are we doing for the average Joe....Obviously, nothing. It is all about Citi Group, General Motors, Ford, etc.. I have not seen an average citizen petitioning Washington for help. But they are the ones that need it.... I think Washington is forgetting that the average citizen is what makes the country run, with out him or her, it does not happen....

    November 24, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  186. C from Georgia

    The decision needs to be made by Obama and team as a part of the whole. If it makes sense to boost the economy to hold back the raise for a year – do it. If it makes sense to repeal the Bush gifts to the rich on Jan. 21 do it. If it makes sense to raise the $250K to $300K – do it.

    It's time to DO SOMETHING USEFUL to get the economy under control. We don't have enough information to know what that should be. Hopefully Obama and his team do...

    November 24, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  187. Richard Green


    All I can say is that if he doesn't retire those Bush tax cuts pronto, I'll feel robbed of my vote. Throughout the campaign we heard from Obama what a disaster the Bush tax cuts for the rich have been, how they've starved our treasury, caused the national debt to rise, how they have short changed every subsequent budget, how they have utterly failed to produce the trickle down bonanza Bush promised; and how much more money will be available once the cuts are rolled back to insure our children, help workers afford health care, fund infrastructure improvements, and bring a hint of justice to our tax policies. If he doesn't roll back the tax cuts for the rich, not only do they keep the cuts and the bailout money, but that means that Bush and McCain were right on with their tax policy. Good God!! I've fallen down a freakin' rabbit hole......

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  188. Michael, Toronto, CANADA

    If Obama plans on raising my taxes, then I will be forced to reduce the hours of my employees. For every action, there is a re-action. Now before all those people who make less than 250K cry that I don't get taxed enough, I will ask them if they are certain their employers won't reduce their hours when faced with higher taxes. .

    November 24, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  189. don in naples, florida

    Job losses are skyrocketing, inflation is soaring, the stock market is collapsing, people's retirements are dwindling, wages are stagnant, and the american dollar is almost worthless. So, lets see, why not let the tax cuts expire, could it get any worse for the working class person??

    November 24, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  190. Joe, Yankee Lake, N.Y.

    No He made this the nexus of his campaign. He should do what he says. We just had 8 years of being lied to.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  191. Sue

    Obama should leave the rich alone. What he should do is DECREASE government to live within the tax income it receives. Of course, that would mean oops there goes government controlled stealing from the rich to give to the lazy or to the young who think they should have everything now rather than paying for it like the rest of us have done - this was the cornerstone of his candidacy.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  192. Elvis Alonzo from Mesa, Az

    He better NOT back pedal on the wealhty taxes now. Its well overdue and incredible that he would even consider holding off on that. We need OUR money back now NOT later.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  193. Don Lamprecht

    One of the reasons Obama got elected was that he promised to soak the wealthy. He needs to follow through with that promise. How can our economy get any better until the income levels are made more equal?

    November 24, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  194. Lewie in Cleveland, OH

    Absolutely not, Jack. They don't need help because they are rich, and they are already getting nearly $1 trillion of taxpayers' money. This isn't "Trickle-down"; it's "Vacuum-up."

    November 24, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  195. Randy - Denver

    Unfortunately yes he should.

    President Elect Obama made a good point the other day when he said, and I paraphrase, it is more important to resolve the current fiscal crisis than it is to worry about our debt. Right now we need an infusion of cash into the economy to get it rolling more than we need to worry about the long term. Within a year he should (I hope) have the economy moving in the right direction again and at that time we will need to shift our emphasis from starting the economy to controlling the economy.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  196. Brian, Buffalo, NY

    If I believed that the rich would voluntarily spread their good fortune more readily, I would say no to further taxation. But, it is not the rich I see donating to Food Banks or supporting local Shelters for the homeless, giving their time to those in need. Their priority is to choose the next yacht or seventh home in a different State. Their money goes around but mainly within the luxury market or overseas. So, YES, they can afford more taxation because hell will freeze over before they ever feel hungry or destitute like an increasing number of deserving citizens.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  197. ejmounsey Granville Ohio

    No. The Bush tax cut should be repealed immediately. And any planned or unplanned bonuses should be cancelled for any bank or group receiving taxpayer money. EJM Granville Ohio

    November 24, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  198. Charm, San Diego

    While I believe a tax increase is long over due for the wealthiest in the U.S., I don't think in our current economic crisis it would be prudent for Obama to implement an increase immediately. Let the markets recover first and then gradually put a tax increase into place.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  199. Bev, Los Angeles

    Who cares. The most important thing is to give those of us who work a break for a change. I would however like to see the compensation between the leadership of corporations and the workers in those same corporations be more equitable. 25 or 30% more is fair. 367% is outrageous.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  200. D. Roberts


    The tax issue will not help in the short term. We need assistance IMMEDIATELY. I would like to see the banks offer a mortgage waver for December and January allowing mortgage holders to wave their payments without penalty, tacking on the payments to the end of their mortgage. Many years ago as a single mother I looked forward to that extra cash for the holidays. This is an option that can happen NOW and put about $100 billion dollars into the economy without the interference of Congress.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  201. Mary from Houston, tx

    No Jack, and PE Obama should also impose windfall profits to the bush/cheney cronies in big oil/energy.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  202. Irv Lilley

    Jack, NO !!!!!!!!

    November 24, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  203. gerry

    Well after seeing who Obama rolled out as economic advisers, I think I'll leave the decision up to them. Clearly they know what's best to do with the economy.

    Different isn't it Jack, having a President and advisors who are trust worthly, knowledgeable and intelligent?

    November 24, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  204. Dennis, Cleveland ,Ohio


    November 24, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  205. Ryan

    Umm....no if the rich had already been taxed higher we not be in a crisis. Obama needs to be a modern day Robin Hood, if he isn't then he has no chance of re-election in 2012.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  206. Daniel, Indiana

    I'm not sure about this, but I really don't think so. All other policies of the "trickle down" crowd have driven us into a deep recession, so it would seem to make sense that the tax cuts are assisting in this collapse, as well. I realize that many in this country believe in lower taxes for the rich and the corporations, but that hasn't helped with out economic picture. Low Federal taxes have caused most all of the states to become hurt economically by cutting services payments from the Federal government. Unfortunately, these monies must be maintained by the states somehow. We have a dire need for infrastructure in this country and shorting them by cutting taxes isn't an intelligent thing to do.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  207. Marnie

    Why should he roll back taxes for the wealthy? I'd love to make $250K annually and wouldn't mind paying taxes on that amount.
    Try $23,500 per annum. Taxes on that puny amount are a bummer.

    Lancaster PA

    November 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  208. John


    I say leave the tax code in place until it expires. At that point once we start looking at how to pay for the numerous bailouts to get us out of this financial mess, we will see who and how much will have to pay for it. I think the first is to look at spending then taxes. I hope he avoids raising capital gains for anyone. After this financial mess we will need people to invest and raising the capital gains taxes is not the way to do it.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  209. Jeffrey from LA, California

    I am a firm believer in Obama doing what he and his economic team feel is best for the economy at this point in time. If they feel that for the short term it would be beneficial to not cut taxes on the wealthy, then so be it.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  210. Jill, California

    The middle class and lower class have been carrying the weight of the upperclass long enough. If another 3% – 5% increase in their taxes makes it easier for a family to send their child(ren) to college, or heck, keep food, clothes, and roof over their heads, then so be it. If we're suppose to all be in this together, then let them "eat cake" for a while. It's the least the wealthy can do considering how much they've had handed to them over the past eight years.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  211. Denise D. (Montréal)

    Hi Jack!

    Of course not!!! The living standards of those guys will be the same with or without tax cuts. And please don't fool me with the jobs it won't create...Bush's 71/2 years has proven the innacuracy of this economic doctrine. Jobs have been ship overseas! Tax cuts only for companies committed to keep jobs in United States with higher quality standards. That's it.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  212. Mertis


    No. These folks made and got to keep hugh fortunes during the past 8 years while the middle class and working poor's lives got worse and worse.

    Bush was their president and everything was done in this country to favor them. Enough is enough...

    Mertis in Atlanta

    November 24, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  213. Steve Santucci


    Why give them more money? They have had it good for the last 8 years. Isn't it time to give something back? This country is in the position because of tax cuts and greed that needs to stop. Every American should pay their fair share of pre-taxes and not have special treatment. After all they are making all that money off of the middle class, they can help out! Warren Buffet said percentage wise, he pay's less tax than his secretary and say’s he should pay more. Bill Gates said he doesn’t pay enough tax. The country needs tax relief not the wealthy!

    Webster NY

    November 24, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  214. Cal from Norwalk, Ohio

    No, Jack. For years and years the middle-class have worked and
    worked to keep this country going! For 8 years "Dubya" and cronies
    have given tax breaks for the rich that have gotten them richer and
    richer! ENOUGH! Now, let these people who have gotten break
    after break on their taxes begin to pay and take the tax burden off
    us! I hope and pray Obama and his team can turn this country
    around and help the REAL people (middle-class and poor) who are
    taxed beyond reason!

    November 24, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  215. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, it is just too risky in this economy to immediately jump in and raise taxes. The market is so volitile anyway, and in such bad shape these days, that a jolt like that might just send it down another 1,000 or more points.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  216. Bill from Maine


    The unspoken idea behind trickle down economics is, take care of the wealthy business-class, and they'll take care of you. That's not really true but the Republicans have been trumpeting it for years. I understand its probably not a good idea to raise taxes during an economic downturn, but the odds are pretty likely the wealthy aren't going to take their tax savings and invest it in my future. They're going to invest it in their retirement or an offshore account. Since someone has to pay for the economic bailout and they're in a better position than I am, I'd say go ahead and raise those taxes. UNLESS I'm a complete economic dummy (which is highly possible) and everything I'm saying is overruled by better minds like Obama is recruiting.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  217. ananymous

    No. He should in fact give a bigger tax break to the middle class so that the money that goes in to the middle class get circulated through their spending. The tax break for rich will end up in their banks over seas or will for the spending over seas. If you want any proof of that as the AIG executives who went on a luxury trip to London (or Paris or where ever i cant remember but it was some where out of US) on the bailout credit card they were given by the GOV.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  218. FreeNLovIt

    They have had 8 years of tax cuts under W, why are they fearing a tax cut? We all claim to put country first and to love America, yet, nobody wants to pay higher taxes. You see, I love America and if the government can show me a plan to help America out of debt and secure freedom, I'm willing to pay more taxes. I guess money is money and it is never enough for those that have it. That's one evil way to live your life.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  219. Sonny in SC

    If he doesn`t stop the tax cuts he will not get my vote for another 4 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  220. Charles from Maryland

    I think that he should. Coming from a family that makes a total of well over 250,000 dollars a year we know we will be taxed. But my family all voted for Barack Obama and we know that our taxes our neccesary to get this country out of the whole its in.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  221. Laurieann Petker-Huffman Willits, CA

    Absolutely Not...we need to redistribute the wealth. The wealthy have robbed the middle class for so long, I fear that there is no longer a middle class...there are wealthy and there are poor, That's it!

    November 24, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  222. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Hard to say. They say it takes money to make money (whoever "they" are). FDR raised taxes on the rich in 1937 and the economy went downhill again until WW11. Personally, I think it's justice that they pay their fair share. It's not like they can't afford it. European Socialism–bring it on, even if it's only temporarily. We need help out here in the trenches.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  223. Geoffrey in Lowell, MA

    Heck no. I think that taxes should be increased for the wealthy.

    First "trickle down" is a myth in a global economy. It dribbles off the plate and out of the country.

    Second, who do you think has all the cash that the banks don't have?

    Until we are out of this mess, the wealthy should be taxed until they are not so wealthy. I know that John McCain didn't agree but I do think that would be the patriotic thing for the wealthy to do. Oh yeah, send their sons and daughters to Afghanistan to get Obama too.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  224. Diana NJ

    I thought Obama was repealing the tax break given by Bush... you know the one Bill Clinton thanked him for during the 2004 convention .. said the rich did not need it, but thanks anyway George.... I seem to remember that. being said..

    I believe he was putting it back when things were good financially for most Americans... why are the rich the victiums in all this..

    November 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  225. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    We cannot and will not balance the budget on the back of the wealthy, even though I agree they should pay higher taxes, now is not the time. The wealthy are losing money in investments and to raise taxes on them now would further slow down the economy.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  226. Jay-San Antonio

    Yes; yes; yes. He should simply let them expire. He should also rather than solely do a $700 billion dollar stimulus package he should do the tax cuts for the middle class and also create incentives for small and large employers to hire by using tax credits.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  227. boered1

    NO!! bush has clearly shown us that "trickle down" does not work.. simply put the big oil companies have posted record profits (after paying for everything!) AND cut work force. By the "trickle down" theory they should have been hiring not laying off.. but then conservatives understand the "theory" of ecoomics almost as well as they understand the "theory" of evolution... in both cases they have made up theeir own "theory" (creationism and trickle down) that does not stand up to review but will be forced down our throats anyway!

    November 24, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  228. Ken in Maryland

    As someone who fits the category directly affected by the tax increases, I say that Obama should definitely NOT hold off on the rollback. The Bush administration has catered to the wealthy for 8 years, and it's time the little guy got to reap some of the benefits. As others here have said, he made this a staple in his campaign, he should not go back on it now.

    I make enough money to be in the top 5% of wage earners, and I am happy to pay a little more in taxes if it will mean helping those not as fortunate as I. I think that's part of what makes me a Democrat.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  229. Sean

    If you look at history, the economy does better when the wealthy have to pay high taxes. This is because instead of trying to generate a profit to cash out, the wealthy instead keep their money "in play" to avoid having to pay taxes. The result is worrying more about the long-term health of a company than today's stock price, which translates in to stronger companies, more jobs, and a much improved economy.

    In short, raising taxes on the wealthy should be the first thing on his list in improving the economy.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  230. Darko in New Orleans, La

    Bush's tax cuts actually created a net positive increase in tax revenues but don't let facts spoil your fun.

    Why raise taxes on anyone when we have so much needless spending that should be cut instead? Obama's inauguration for starters...

    November 24, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  231. clark

    No ... he should keep his promises on track and tax those he considers rich ....

    but I would like to make a suggestion ....

    since $250,000 per year is a number that has been "accepted" as being the threshhold for defining "rich" ... lets start there and

    tax at a rate of 100% all income (no loopholes allowed) above $250,000 per year on every individual within America and/or earning money within America .... this way nobody will have more than what they need.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  232. Ralph Nelson

    The rich do not drive the economy. Look at all the massive tax cuts George W. Bush passed for the rich. Look at the economy. This should not happen given the massive size of the tax cut to the rich. It was money just wasted. The American economy is a "machine". You put money in at the bottom and it gets multiplied approximately seven times when it comes out at the top (the rich). You must than recycle the money down to the bottom again and it goes up and multiples again. Everybody gets rich. Putting money in at the top (the rich) short-circuits the whole system (little bang for the buck). In the short run? No. Raise them when the economy recovers. But spend, spend, spend! If you don't it Depression. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  233. Ty from MI

    True Americans who make more than 250k a year don't mind paying their fair share. The ones who do mind are exactly the ones who got us here. If Warren Buffet doesn't mind paying his fair share, no one else should either! Let the Bush buddy tax cuts expire!

    Abolish the Fed and all our taxes wont go to paying interest for borrowing money that they print for us! How retarded is that and what dumb rich person thought of it? Oh that's right, the ancestors of the ones receiving all the bailouts! Go figure!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  234. Michael M, Sayreville NJ

    Remove the Bush tax cuts. Only around 5% of the country is super wealthy. Nobody wants the American dream to fade away in a wave of socialism, but the rich need to be accountable to the masses as well.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  235. Charles in Atlanta

    No. The over $250,000 per year crowd has had a break for almost 8 years, so it is not time for them to be taxed at the same rate they were during the Clinton Administration. They will still have more than enough to get by. This will help pay for the middle class tax break so the less well off will be able to better care for their familes. The extra money middle families receive will help boost the economy because it will be quickly spent for things businesses sell.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  236. Valarie in Castro Valley,California

    No, they are willing to pay more and we need to start getting out of this mess. However, the stimulus package did not work because in most states they took the money from the consumers before they even had a chance to get the money. Which is probably what will happen with this new stimulus package. So this is no solution it just adds to the deficit.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  237. Alex, Co

    If not now then when? We always talk about raising taxes on the rich, but then we never seem to get around to it. I honestly don't see how he could accomplish what he wants without a tax hike on some group. Except for, you know, stopping the war....!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  238. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Sure, go ahead, soak the rich. It won't cost you anything... except your job.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  239. Tom Erdmann

    Yes, definitely. The trickle down theory has never worked. Rich folks need to pay their share of disposable income. The rest of us don't have any.

    We need to minimize the debt as soon and as much as possible.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  240. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Nah, get "em quick. The conventional wisdom has been wrong since 1980 – trickle down hasn't worked - free trade isn't free - more isn't better - massive greed hasn't solved a single problem. Do something logical instead of political for a change.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  241. Rick J Bryant

    Take the tax break from the wealthy...First day, first hour, first minute!!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  242. Simone


    November 24, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  243. Joe from Georgia

    The correct answer and the only corret answer is "Let me see the balance sheet first".

    November 24, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  244. Linda Swint

    I think we should get the money from Bush and Cheney. They're the ones that took it in the first place. Where has the money gone? We'll probably never know!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  245. Patrick

    No, he should roll back those tax cuts immediately. The rich people who it will affect aren't doing anything to help this economy. They won't miss this money, however, every dime we borrow from China is bad for us all. Let's make wealthy Americans pitch in a bit more to protect our country and pay our debt.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  246. Susan

    No we should not hold off on taxes for the wealthy. The middle class consumers will drive the economy out of a hole, not the small percentage of upper crust.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  247. Mike from Philadelphia PA

    No, they are unwilling to share the gains, so let them share some of the pains.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  248. TimG

    The economy was still doing badly when Obama was saying he would take back the tax cuts. There is no reason for him to go back out. The people hurting then are still hurting now, and it isn't those making over 250k a year.

    What's next he Obama says Iraq is a dangerous place and we can't pull out anymore brigades for a while?

    November 24, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  249. Keith in AZ

    Since it is a tax on Income and not wealth, the tax will change year to year on who it effects. 2009 may not have as many "'weathy" people paying the highest rate. Still go do it. The people who do best in the system should payback the most to keep the system running...even if democracy brings needed change.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  250. Becky Cederholm

    The US has an aging population. Plenty of jobs will be needed and should be created to assist the health needs of the elderly and of everyone. That is where the economy can grow.

    Scholarships and loans should be given to students who wish to become doctors, nurses, and other trained personnel in the health field. Then, those individuals can work in the areas of the country most needed to pay back loans. This is a win-win situation.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  251. Mark

    Hold up on taxing the rich...hmmm why? They got the big breaks and can afford to lose the Bush tax cut. Just let it (the Bush tax cut) expire.

    What about the $11 T debt?! The war we didn't pay for? The out of control spending? The bail outs for the big banks?

    November 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  252. Nicky

    President Obama should roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy as soon as he takes office. Bush made it easy on the wealthy over the past 8 years. Its time for the fat cats to pay their fair share. Roll back the tax cuts for the wealthy and redirect that money to the people who really need it - the struggling middle class and 20-somethings like me who can't find a job in this economy.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  253. Dawn Atlanta, GA

    It will depend on what President (elect) Obama finds when he takes office in January. I was never under the delusion that he would (absolutely) be able to do everything he promised during the campaign, but that this was his "wish" list. I trust his judgment or I would not have voted for him. We need to give him a change to get past the "in' box.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  254. Nick D. Neighbour

    In short; NO!
    Nick D. Neighbour.
    Pasadena. CA.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  255. Katie Kennedy

    NO, NO, and NO! Someone has to pay for all these bailouts; it might as well be the corporate CEOs who benefited from their ridulous salaries (24 million a year???) and golden parachutes. Obama promised middle class tax relief and higher taxes on the wealthy, and he should definitely follow through on it.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  256. Al Raleigh

    My concern with Obama not rolling back tax cuts on the rich is what impact it will have on poor Joe the Plumber. He won't be able to run around spreading concern about socialism for the next two year – oh no!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  257. Jamie

    No way Jack. With another $700 billion on our tab to China and failing infrastructure here at home its time to start asking who is going to pick up the tab? Its got to be everyone and not just the shrinking middle class. Also jack, these 2.5 million new jobs Obama promises, who will pay their salaries? I'm pretty sure the current budget wont stand for that.... maybe we could ask China?

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  258. Diane Memphis

    No. And knowing what serious crisis the United States is facing, it would be almost unpatriotic for one so blessed in life to feel a resentment to come to its aid. As long as the work force continues to shrink, which will shrink tax collection as well as the increase cost for unemployment benefits, problems will continue to grow.

    From a daughter of a retired janitor, I have always thought that no one gets so high up in status, without that janitor who cleaned their toilet.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  259. Jeff from Minnesota

    Pardon me?! From what I last read, the wealthy had seen a compound annual rate of double digits over the last 25 years. As I recall, my 401(k) and other investments didn't do that well. The wealthy can afford to pay a lot more in taxes. After almost 30 years of 'trickle down', I haven't seen my wealthy increase at the rate theirs has and I certainly have not been a recipient of any of the 'trickle'.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  260. Darrel Falske

    It seems to me that the reason for the tax increase on the wealthy was more to give the middle class in this country a tax reduction. I think we should state the facts that we want the wealthy to get tax breaks so we the middle class can foot the bill.

    Thanks, Darrel
    Central Point, Oregon

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  261. Bonnie Parker-Duke

    Jack, I think we should stop second-guessing our president elect, creating more doubt and fear. I think we should let him do what he thinks is right to take us the direction in which we all want to go. There will be plenty of time to share our own opinions later whether things go right or wrong.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  262. Ron Knight

    No, he has already faulted on what he promised in the basis of his campaign promises and why he was elected.. A tax increase is something you should not ever do in economic problems such as the one now upon us. I am not sure why he was elected if he is not going to be able to come through with his promises.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  263. Jane_Canuck

    Remove the cuts, because the adage is wrong here.

    In a down economy, the families making 250K or so are going to save, locking capital down. Capital needs to be free and liquid to kick this sucker over.

    Also, those same people are going to be more often on the direct receiving end of the bailouts, in terms of their portfolios. Those with 250K are likely to have a hand in the market – mutual funds, stocks, other holdings which are being propped up by bailout money. They can help pay for that.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  264. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    This is NOT a "chicken or the egg" dilemma. Jobs aren't manna from heaven. They are crops, grown from the seeds of investment. Without the investment, there can be no crop to meet consumer demand. Punish those with the seeds of capital and we'll all go hungry.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  265. Pedro Luis

    Obama's admission that raising taxes on the top 5% would further slow economic growth and hurt job creation during a downturn begs the question, "When is it a good idea to raise taxes and hurt the economy?"

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  266. Rob Murphy Amarillo TX

    Dear Jack,

    To borrow Ted Stevens' phrase....."NO!" This admin kept telling us that the economy was fundamentally sound all the way up until September, and then sprang the market crash on us.

    The rich think that they've got another 2 years until they have to start paying their fair share, I say repeal the tax cuts on January 21st, 2009.

    Rob Murphy
    Amarillo TX

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  267. Bruce Marshall

    Jack yes Obama should hold off raising taxes on the wealthy for two years? If the numbers you gave us is right. 700 billion divided by the number who got checks last time is a check in the area of 200,000. That would jolt the country, they could not keep up with the orders for goods. People could pay off their homes or buy one. The big 3 would have to call everyone back to meet demand for cars. I think it is right. the last check they sent out was a joke it didn't even pay for 1/2 tank of heating oil.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  268. Lilly

    Jack, I don't think this economy crisis will effect those who have enough wealth to survive for next 100 000 years, they pay less taxes for last 8 years and here we are... so let them pay back to economy..

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  269. John

    Why portray this as a retreat from Obama's position? I don't recall him saying he would "immediately" increase taxes on the most affluent. All he has suggested now is possibly choosing when to do it. You probably slammed him during the campaign for saying he would do it at all.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  270. Victor in Venice, Florida

    One of the best things that Obama could do right away is to take steps to reduce the obscene income gap between the rich and the rest of us. The "fat cats" had it way too good for the last eight years. Let them share in the sacrifice we need to get our economy back in shape.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  271. Jim; Woodbury, MN

    No. It's high time we start spreading the wealth to the Middle and Lower Class. Also, why don't we change the Balil Out Packages to 777 Billion instead of a mere 700 Bilion. Maybe our luck will change from worst to bad.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  272. J East

    Jack, my fedex driver said today that the truckers were ready to wild cat in protest to the government reducing the capital gains tax. My driver said that if the rich does not pay income tax for capital gains then the working man does not have to pay tax for there hard labor. I must agree with my driver. Jim in Florida

    November 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  273. Ilana and Vanessa

    Obama should absolutely NOT wait to tax the wealthy. Aside from the fact that he made promises he should keep, it is crucial that we stop this widening gap between the wealthy and the poor/ diminishing middle class. Even if the wealthy get taxed more, they'll still be living better here than anywhere else in the world. It's time to stand up to greed and do there right thing for this country.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  274. Barbara

    I trust President elect Barack Obama to make the right decision on this matter. It is evidenced that he has our best interest at heart, and will make the right decision. I trust him explicitely!!!!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  275. George B.

    Obama needs to make a decision that is best for the country. If he said he was going to tax the weathy but due to the economic situation he is not going to tax them for now so be it. You cannot raise taxes in this economic hard times anyway.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  276. Roger

    This country has already been spent into a hole thanks to Bush's failed (economic and political) policies. What's another 700 billion?

    November 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  277. Joe

    YES!! Two years should be ample time for the "rich" to figure out how to shelter their income from the proposed tax hike. LOL

    November 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  278. Karen

    When Wall Street banks had financial troubles, they were given billions of dollars aimed at freeing up credit and increasing the flow of capital for the general financial industry. Instead, they used that money to safe guard their own futures, pad the pockets of their executives and take advantage of the failures of other companies buying them at cents on the dollar.

    What would make us think that keeping tax credits for those making over $250,000 would result in spreading of wealth or creation of jobs? Absolutely nothing! The only thing that those who have money are good at is keeping and growing their wealth. This is a time when tax rates should reflect the undue burden and hardships of those in the lower and middle classes and should no longer safe-harbor those with excess income.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  279. Vincent OBrien

    If Obama begins to break his campaign promises before he even is sworn in what else can we expect ? We put our trust in him, we need to bite the bullet and try to bring the budget into a reasonable level. Someone has to be realistic about taxing and spending. We have to stop the exponential consuming at some point, or Mother Nature will!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  280. Clint Kleinsorge

    Instead of trying to figure out how much do we give banks, mortgage companies, car manufacturer and everyone else, why don't we just give everyone making under $200,000 a year a $50,000 stimulas check so they can do with it what they want: The people with mortgage problems can pay on their mortgages; the people with credit card problems can pay off their credit cards, people that need a car can buy a new car. Other people can buy big ticket items, etc. Under this plan the people (taxpayers) will get to direct where the money ends up: the mortgage company, the banks, the car manufacturer, etc.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  281. Oscar Gomez

    Yes. Who cares what he promised in the campaign. We live in a world of chronic volatility and decisions have to be made under current conditions, not conditions from 3 months ago. Besides, 50% of all private sector employees are employed by small firms, whose owners need the tax cuts to continue to employ workers and invest in new jobs.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  282. John

    No they should be repealed immediately! If they have to pay more taxes, they will spend the money on things they can deduct from their profits like research and development which creates more jobs. If they don't have to pay taxes, that money will be used to make their own bank account richer.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  283. Marie Martin, MI

    No!!! The wealthy have flourished during the Bush years; now it's time for THEM to tighten their belts a little. While these fat cats begin complaining about their taxes going up, the average citizen is struggling to put food on the table, pay their mortgages, and pray that their kids don't get sick because their employers have dropped their health insurance as well as their wages.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  284. Wm Reid

    Obama should honor his pledge to negate the Bush tax benefits to the wealthy.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  285. Matthew

    YES! The economy needs more positive investment and raising taxes on the people with the most money will cause them to hold onto what they have. The people who we would be taxing more are the people we are relying on to fuel our economic comeback.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  286. Javier H.

    No Obama should not wait two years for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. We call these individuals wealthy for a reason, they are not the ones suffering in this economy. We did not elect a Republican this year because we do not need another administration looking out for the small percentage of Americans who do not need any government assistance. What we need is a president willing to stand up for the middle class, and the middle class needs a tax cut now. I say Obama and congress should repeal the tax cuts on inauguration day.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  287. Jon Bennett

    TAX THE HIGH INCOME RICH.... the more I earn, the more I am taxed !
    Why should they be any different ?

    November 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  288. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, in a word, NO. They took more than their "fair" share with Bush in office. It's time to pay the piper. The middle class has more than carried the burden over 8 yrs. Now it's their turn. The sooner the better.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  289. Carroll

    No President Elect Obama should not raise taxes on the wealthy as they all ready provide the largest % of taxes in the nation. the notion that the 'working people' are the only ones entitled to government breaks raises the hair on the back of my neck I know few 'working people' that are as committed to hard work them my family. give us a break as well.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  290. Cindy Arnold


    If you are making upwards of $250,000 you are doing a whole lot better than most of us. These tax breaks should never have been initiated. Middle class Americans are barely hanging on. The rich have had way too many avenues to avoid paying their fair share.

    I think Obama should do what he promised and stop the tax breaks for the wealthy. Their tax rate should simply be restored to the percentage they paid during the Clinton admin. My average annual salary was under $70,000 and I have paid close to 37% for years. Enough already.

    Cindy from Whidbey Island, WA

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  291. len...a view from Canada

    No, No, No. They wont'f feel it!
    95% of the (below $250k) earners in the country are already feeling it now, or will be soon. Obama must do what he must do.
    Desperate times call for desperate measures...the time is now!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  292. Kevin (Texas)

    America, welcome to American politics.......where there is no change!!!
    You get what you vote for............I promise.


    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  293. John L. CT

    Absolutely – a promise made is a promise to be kept- it is a measure of integrity. The rich paying less than their fair share of taxes wil not improve the economy.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  294. Ruth Deussen

    I voted for Barack Obama because he has demonstrated a coolness and intellect not seen in a politician in quite a while. I trust his informed decsions, and believe that when he changes his mind, it is with the best interest of the country in mind.

    Fruitland Park, FL

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  295. Karen

    When Wall Street banks had financial troubles, they were given billions of dollars aimed at freeing up credit and increasing the flow of capital for the general financial industry. Instead, they used that money to safe guard their own futures, pad the pockets of their executives and take advantage of the failures of other companies buying them at cents on the dollar.

    What would make us think that keeping tax credits for those making over $250,000 would result in spreading of wealth or creation of jobs? Absolutely nothing! The only thing that those who have money are good at is keeping and growing their wealth. This is a time when tax rates should reflect the undue burden and hardships of those in the lower and middle classes and should no longer safe-harbor those with excess income.

    Karen of Philadelphia, PA

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  296. Mike out West

    "Read my lips, no new taxes." With the economy circling the drain, now is not the time to put the pinch on people – any people.

    As for the petroleum companies, let them start by paying what they currently owe the U.S. government, and we can start looking at their record profits.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  297. Warren, Minden

    Jack, The country runs on taxes. The middle class, the rich and most companies. The U.S. tax structure is currently not only archaic and needs restructuring but also favors the rich. I've never seen so many millionaires who paid no tax for 2007. Yes, President-elect Obama should immediately revamp the tax system including the rich the same way the middle class are taxed making it retro-active for the year ending 2008.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  298. Larry Hansen

    We can't afford to wait to increase taxes on the wealthy. The country needs the money to accomplish all that needs to be done (creating jobs, becoming energy independent, overhauling the health care system, and on and on).

    November 24, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  299. Fred May Sr. WA.

    Jack, With all the give aways being spread over the economy its about time a new tax schedule should be developed. To many people making to much money should pay more money. Cut out some of the tax deductions. Where is the money going to come from if Uncle Sam starts to give away Health Care to every body. The old saying you can't get blood from a Turnip, Well you can't spend money you don.t have.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  300. James W. Blevins

    No. Despite what the republicans would have you think, hiring people is a good way to deal with increased taxes. You don't pay taxes on money spent for salaries, you just increase the value of the company.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 24, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  301. John Nernoff

    What's the big deal? If someone is making $500,000 a year, surely his taxes can be raised 5% 10% or slightly more. So he won't be able to buy that Rolls and have to settle for a Mercedes. The country ismore important. Please!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  302. Wes


    realistically, the nation needs to increase taxes on ALL Americans and reduce our spending. We must pay down our debt. Every president since 1969 has increased the national debt – lets change the trend.

    Alexandria, VA

    November 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  303. D Larkl

    the republicans will claim the higher tax rates caused the continued economic meltdown
    and the situation is going to get worse
    Obama is dammed if he does or dammed if he doses'nt


    November 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  304. Russell Racey

    Negative. The wealthy are the only ones with any cash. Bush borrowed heavily to lavish tax cuts on the rich, amassing the current $10 Trillion tab, which he mistakenly thought the middle class and working poor could finance. It broke them. So, the rich should have realized Bush's tax cuts were just a LOAN that they would eventually have to pay back – with interest.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  305. tom

    8 years of corp. charity is enough. The time is running out for those of us that bought into trickle down. Move as fast as they did and possibly we can survive better than Poland and the other enconomies that have been destroryed by corp greed!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  306. Jan coester

    Of course Obama should tax the wealthy. How are we going to pay for all these bailouts and programs? They should also institute a 1% sales tax on stocks, bonds, options etc. This would generate $300 billion a year that could be used to finance all these bailouts and would be paid for by those who can afford it and profited during the past years of deregulation.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  307. Josh

    I really don't think we should wait. If we roll back the tax cuts as soon as congress reconvenes, the new administration will be better able to calculate how much the stimulus amount will need to be to help the target population.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  308. jennifer Michelson

    I understand that it would be a good move politically to just let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire. But if we need the money, perhaps the bar could be raised for those making more than 1 million a year.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  309. Kelly Cohen

    I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough in economics to have a credible opinion. My first response would be to say not to hold off with the tax increase on the ultra-wealthy, being the dire situation we are in and their ability to contribute more to to the country (without bringing their quality of life down to the level of the upper middle class or even lower, to that of our dwindling middle class). So, my first response would be that he should not put it off. However, I really don't know how much the ultra wealthy support the economy and what true benefits their wealth bestows upon the nation as a whole. If those in the know (and unbiased) were, as a group, to say the nation would be better off delaying the tax increase, I would support it and not fault Obama for "changing his mind," because changing circumstances mean there is a need for flexibility.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  310. Barbara

    Obama should do as proposed – that is if he wants his supporters to trust him.

    Oh yeah!!!! The wealthy tax cut will provide jobs? How long do we have to wait for that? It's already been 8 years?

    Oh – and great for our economy? The weathy have this big penchance for buying European made over American made, (of course the rest of us have been forced into buying Chinese made by these wealthy investors).

    November 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  311. Bob from Delaware

    No, the economic crisis is a result of the failing housing market not high taxes and besides if Bush supports something there is a 99% chance its a bad idea

    November 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  312. Jennifer - Raleigh, NC

    Obama shouldn't hold off raising taxes on the wealthy, but he might consider changing the tax bracket where the increases initially begin. Start next year with those making more than half a million annually and see what affect that has before folding the rest into the mix. For all we know, many of those making $250k now might be out of a job in the next year or so.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  313. Edee Cheseman

    Our country was poorly handle by Bush and his cabinet. He, (Mr. Bush) should have been impeached for what he did to this country. He wanted to play soldier and wasted our money on a personnel vendetta. His whole cabinet should be sued including him for what he did to this country. They were not watchful. They were not watchful.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  314. David

    The plan was always to let the unfair Bush tax break for those who earn over $250k yearly expire in 2011. Along with removing the corporate tax break for outsourcings jobs, etc immediately. So yes, trickle down does not work and never has worked. It's a fact that the salaries and bonuses of the owners and directors were all that increased, there was never a job increase or employee salary increase tied to the business tax break associated with a trickle down model. What does trickle down mean?? That would be those with the wealth actually sharing the wealth down line, which has been made very clear that they would never support that concept. I think they called that socialism. You can't have it both ways.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  315. Michele

    Yes! It is unfair to excessively tax those of us who have worked extremely hard to finally get ourselves into the "wealthy" category!

    We have somehow managed to work, budget and conserve our money so we are able to invest in opportunities which have provided us a nice income. We started from ZERO. If you continue to tax us excessively, my husband, who is self-employed, will need to fire people who work for him so we can continue to pay out-of-pocket for all our medical expenses (being self employed we do not have company medical insurance of any kind for our family of 6). We do not drive expensive cars- my husband drives a Prius, I shop at TJ Maxx– we do not live the instant gratification lifestyle that I even see many unemployed people living!!! Go ahead and tax the heck out of us....... and hold on for a long depression.

    Newport Beach, CA

    November 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  316. jean verite

    I think president elect obama should should hold off raising taxes on the wealthy due to economic conditions. But once the economy revives he should proceed his original agenda. Economic pundits say a recession could last 2-3 years, so mr. obama might in fact have to further bushes tax proposals, if not then actually deduct taxes on the rich tame this economic beast!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  317. George Grattp

    No Delay!! In fact, make the increases retroactive to 1981!!! Eat the rich!!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  318. jmur2000@yahoo.com

    if we are being asked to bail out the auto industry we should insist they convert their production line to hydrogen/electric vehicles and do away with all gas consuming engines.

    We should also as a pre-condition install an oversight team at each company with the power to replace any management or directors that delay or iwould interfere with this transition.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  319. Rita in Texas


    The U.S. economy is fragile and teetering on a precipice. It is my understanding that President-Elect Obama still plans to deliver his pledged tax cut to the middle-class, eventhough he may not raise taxes on those making more than $250K. As you stated, it is common knowledge that doing so would be detrimental in today's economic conditions. Any idiot should understand that President-Elect Obama is not going back on a campaign pledge. He is doing what is best for the country under drastically different economic conditions than were in play BEFORE the mid-September downturn.

    I can live with letting the Bush Tax Cuts ride until economic conditions drastically improve and become stable over a significant period of time or letting them expire in 2010. It is nice to have a thinking, competent man in the White House for a change. After the last eight years, the fact that the repeal of the tax cuts may have wait is something I can live with!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  320. R.W Graytown Ohio

    Tax 'em, or bring a straight 15% for everyone. But Obama better close up any loop holes in the process first.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  321. Mike

    No. Those Bush administration tax breaks were "welfare for the well-to do".
    Keep your campaign promise , please, Mr. Obama.
    St. Simons Island, GA.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  322. Marie Martin, MI

    No. While the fat cats are complaining about their taxes going up, the rest of us are struggling to put food on the table, pay our mortgage, make our car payments, and pray that our kids don’t get sick because our employers have been forced to drop our health insurance.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  323. Ann from Atlanta, TX

    I have complete faith in Obama and his team to do what is right.
    I'm sure they are capable in making the decision that is best in this economic mess we are in.

    George Bush and the republicans have got us in a big MESS! It took them eight year to get us to where we are. I hope everyone realizes that Obama can't solve our problems overnight. We all need to give him a chance, give him time to turn things around and pray for him.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  324. joe

    Pres-elect Obama should definitely hold off on raising taxes. I have no problem with raising them in the long run (and I would be paying more), but not in the current economic climate. His willingness to even consider waiting shows all of us that he will do what is best for the economy and listen to his highly capable advisors. Do stick to a campaign pledge just to get it done (like many politicians would do) and ignore the grave situation the economy is in would be foolish. I believe the cabinet choices and advisors he is surrounding himself with proves that he is anything but that.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  325. Walt

    People's knowledge and views on this matter are ridiculously out of whack with reality. Bush rolled back taxes for all taxpaying Americans. Middle class people with kids got the biggest tax breaks of all, and 40% of Americans pay no income taxes at all. Those who want to keep their Bush tax breaks but raise taxes on those making over $250K are just taking the selfish attitude "I got mine, but I don't want you to have yours." I say, roll back ALL the Bush tax cuts, especially the child tax credit.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  326. Damien L

    Absolutely not. I have yet to see any proof of tax breaks for the rich being a benefit to the majority of Americans. It makes me wonder how anyone who is not "rich" believes it.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  327. Stan Lehto

    Yes he should on the 21st of January. they have been enjoying a free ride now for 7 years and that is long enough. Go back to the tax rates of Regan and Clinton. End of story !!!!!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  328. Jennifer - Raleigh, NC

    Obama shouldn't hold off raising taxes on the wealthy, but he might consider changing the tax bracket where the increases initially begin. Start next year with those making more than half a million annually and see what effect that has before folding the rest into the mix. For all we know, many of those making $250k now might be out of a job in the next year or so.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  329. Taphne Dolley

    No he shouldn't wait to increase taxes on the wealthy. They can afford to pay a little more to help the economy. Alot of them are so selfish just like the "Big Rigs" at GM, Ford, and Chrysler. They were asked to give up their income for one year and one of them said he was fine where he was. Some of us who work will never see a million in our lifetime of working so tax them up! The 90% unwealthy need the help!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  330. lizpim

    Yes, Obama should hold off raising taxes on the wealthy. The nation shouldn't act in haste. Sure, the wealthy should pay higher taxes because it is the wealthy who is asking the government (a.k.a. taxpayers) to bail them out. However, with the trickle-down effect, for the government to raise taxes, it may cause businesses to raise costs even more. The American economy cannot afford to raise costs on any matter–our economy is suffering. We need to relax and deflate. Find a solution, fix the problem, re-start the economy. Create jobs, find new technology, and find a way to lower the national budget deficit. I am glad to hear Citigroup proposed a plan for their bailout request.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  331. lefty fagan

    take a guess.....

    November 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  332. Andrew Catuccio

    He should not hold off. These individuals have had the pleasure of these tax breaks for eight years while the rest of us have been fallling farther and farther into financial hardship. He needs to at least return their tax rates to the level of the Reagan reforms and I for one think he needs to raise them higher in the spirit of " those who reap the benefits should pay a bigger share" As Lee Iaccoca once stated " my taxes have been at the 90% level for most of my working life ...raising my tax to help others..not a problem.
    Also , 700 billion dollars, the amount we send to Saudi Arabia each year for oil imports,...we need a green revolution

    November 24, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  333. E CANADA / Johns Creek, GA

    It's a win, win situation for everyone. The wealthy individuals would get their money back, when the mid-class go out and start spending again. Plus the wealthy is buying up everything now...because they know it will pay big dividends in the future. So go a head and raise their taxes.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  334. Delia

    No, Obama should raise taxes on the wealthy now! Afterall, they are part of the reason we're in this economic crisis. Everyone became a bit too greedy and didn't care how the risky mortgage loans or "reducing expenses" (aka lay-offs) would effect the overall economy. All things considered, they should be happy to help out their cronies in the banking and financial institutions!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  335. Ryan: Aurora, IL

    The experts said that you shouldn't lower taxes during war time, but the Bushies ignored that rule. I think it's time to start paying down some of this debt, and get back to the to the fiscal responsibity of our parents and grand parents. How many more designer bags or vacation homes do the top 2% need anyway?

    November 24, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  336. Bill

    The President does not write the tax code.
    Congress writes the laws.
    The 111th Congress, headed by Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid, will surely tinker with the tax code to punish and/or reward those they deem worthy.
    Obama will sign it & take credit if it works, or will be blamed if it doesnt.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  337. Doug Miller

    I think the prudent path to take is to make the tax cuts promised during the campaign as part of a stimulus package and wait on the tax increases for people making over $250,000 until the smoke clears.

    A comprehensive tax plan can be conceived once the economy is moving forward that will address or stimulate new growth in alternative energy, job creation in the private sector, trade deficits, health care, and education.

    An investment tax credit would an alternative for people making over $250,000, or anyone for that matter that invests in new tools or equipment for business expansion, business sponsored scholarships, or investments regarding research and development in areas of alternative energy, health care, and transportation. The goal is to keep us competitive and regain our economic health. Of course, these credits are for investments made in the United States preferably for tools and equipment originating in the United States. We simply must keep these new jobs at home.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  338. Steve Graziani

    I want a president that has a solid view of the big picture but makes decisions upon the changing needs that evolve verses a pre-determined agenda or their political image; that’s a true leader. Obama has the sensibilities to do this regardless of the media’s need to find controversy. Once he is in please let the man lead.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  339. Kristin

    A gianormous NO. The Bush administration is succeeding in looting the US treasury and the tax-payers' security with all these "bailouts". It is simply criminal how those in power have literally begun to "take the money and run". The dishonesty & greed are astonishing!!!
    Not only should the wealthy pay a REAL fair share of taxes but they should be held to contribute to social security in proportion to their amassed wealth! It's so disheartening that this injustice is the US norm. Ghandi reminds of a deadly sin: Wealth without Work.
    Chicago, IL

    November 24, 2008 at 5:40 pm |

    jack no dont raise any taxes .control gov spending first . like the big three our gov should be held responsible too.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  341. Juan

    No. The Bush Tax Cuts cost the government way too much money. The amount of money coming into the governent went way down and forced Bush to raise taxes on the rest of us to pay for his tax cuts to the rich and Iraq War. Rasiing Taxes on big corporations and the rich will help pay off the national debt within a few years and getting out of Iraq will probably balance the budget in first year anyway. Once the rich get taxed at higher rates they have to work harder to make their money anyway. I am so tired of lazy fat cats sitting around weating lobster while the working class gets the shaft. I wish they would make a law saying you can only own 1 house at a time. These rich people liek to think they're so much better than all of us, but they'll get whats coming soon.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  342. Lou from CT

    I am a bit torn about it, but Obama is in a no-win situation considering the state of the economy. Postpone raising taxes – he'd be seen as kowtowing to the rich. Keep his promise and riase the taxes – insensitive to those people in light of a hurting economy (they'll say they are affected too).
    I think he should not waver – raise the taxes as he promised.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  343. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Yes, raise the taxes on the rich. They are hoarding their money in the banks and in off shore accounts!

    And get rid of all of the corporate jets and also first class. If the bigwigs had to fly on regular planes in coach like us poor folk do then the airlines would put in bigger seats and spend less time sitting on the runways 😉

    November 24, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  344. Dylan

    Don't waiver...keep on track. The rich can afford it. Boo hoo if they can't afford another yacht or extra luxury car.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  345. Mark Meinersmann

    Yes, the man should do what he said he would do after he was elected, now that would be a change.

    Mark M

    November 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  346. Robert in Galveston

    NO!!! The AIG, CITI, GM, FORD, CHRYSLER (ad nasium) CEO's have made more money in the last 8 years and now are picking our pockets via "the bailouts". They should start paying taxes like the rest of us. Tax cuts create jobs, what a joke.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  347. Larry, San Diego

    In a word, No.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  348. aligwekwe m

    If we are going to offset the huge deficit we have in national debt, If we are looking foward to finance the deficit spending we are anticipating to help jumpstart the economy, some how those at the top of the 'haves' should make some sacrifice to ballance up. We should also bear in mind that the deficit spending is a huge part of the stimulus programe in new investment in renewable energy, repair and construction of new infracstructures as well as tax breaks and incentives to midlle class and small scales businesses.
    All these are investments and services that must be paid for. We have to invest in America so that America will invest in us and together we will all grow and be happy in one America.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  349. Lynn N

    A resounding NO! One of the main promises of the campaign was that the wealthy will FINALLY pay their fair share, after riding on the backs of the middle class for tooooo long!

    November 24, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  350. Brad In CA

    To drive the economy, spending needs to increase. Rich folks spend only a fraction of their income, socking the rest away in the stock market to make yet more money. Poor and middle income folks spend most (sometimes even more than all) of their income.

    Thus the only sensible thing to do is cut taxes for the poor and middle income, where it will actually help improve the economy, and raise taxes for the rich, which will slightly slow down investment but not help turning the economy around at all.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  351. Jeff from Ann Arbor, MI

    No, it seems like the conventional wisdom is in this case wrong. Since the taxes in question are upon the incomes of wealthy people who would probably just put that money into banks rather than spend it, raising taxes immediately would do little or no damage to the economy.

    That being said, I am very confidant that Obama's team knows what they are doing. So if they do end up putting off the tax cuts until 2010, perhaps it'll be for the better. I would be disappointed, though.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  352. Kelly Cohen

    Whoever wrote that the rich will use the two years to figure out how to stow the money away offshore and avoid taxes hit on the head a serious consideration that I hadn't thought of.

    Hear this Obama? Something to consider when making the decision. Enough is stowed away offshore already (including jobs!).

    November 24, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  353. JimD Palatine

    Not only no, but how about another target. I would start looking at these "professor" who promulgate the means to success. Listening to some of these people who "taught" our business leaders, it's no wonder we are in this mess. The same economic philosphies are taught across the nation, with only one real goal, how "I" can become one of the rich.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  354. Stan

    I have never heard a credible explanation as to how raising taxes on the wealthy back to the levels they were paying under President Clinton would hurt our economy. On the other hand, the extra revenue that the tax increases would bring in are necessary to deal with the huge deficits. I admire Obama's pledge to seek out input from the Republicans, but he cannot let them coerce him into continuing the failed policies of the past eight years.

    November 24, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  355. John in Denver

    No Jack. President Obama should hit the Rich and hit them hard, especially Corporations. All, I repeat all, business deductions should be phased out within 4 years period. Thay constitute the largest welfare system ever undertaken by a nation. This must stop. Taxes on Layoffs should become so expensive that business cease to line their pockets on the backs of American workers. The FBI, SEC, EPA and other Federal and State law enforcement offices should launch multi-billion dollar investigations of businesses and business leaders. Mandatory sentences and fines that confiscate funds especially those squirreled away in off-shore banks should be enacted. Mandatory 20 year sentences without possibility of parole should be imposed at hard labor in Maximum-security prisons convictions of business corruption. Americans have lost over a $ Trillion in their 401Ks and pensions. Businesses especially banks have been bankrupted. Strict laws on executive compensation should be enacted that limit it and any perks to no more than 50 times the minimum wage.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  356. Gloria

    Close the loopholes and then raise taxes!

    November 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  357. Karen

    Maybe there could be an adjustment made to separate those earning $250000, from those in the multi- million dollar range. Let the tax cuts expire on the latter, but allow the lower-end high earners some relief. Many of those earners particularly city dwellers are merely those who pay full tuition at colleges, pay for homes that cost more than in other parts of the country, etc.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  358. Al Sanchez

    He should tax the wealthy right away. In addition, I think he should consider changing raising taxes on small business to $500,000 or $1,000,000 instead of $250,000. The reason being is that it would allow small business to grow rapidly. Small businesses are different than individual incomes. Small businesses need that extra income to function.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  359. John

    Yes and no, I don't think he should really raise taxes at all. Just close the loop holes and kill the tax shelters that the wealthy tend to abuse. Not only would it probably bring in more money but it would make taxes more streamlined and easier to understand. Heck, they might save money just cutting back on the paperwork. Of course, that's more congress's jurisdiction than the president's.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  360. Larry

    Absolutely. Unless, of course, we really want a long deep recession. There is nothing more inclined to bring about that result than to take money from businesses and individuals who would invest it. Kennedy got it right; when he inherited a recession at the end of the Eisenhower boom, he nipped it in the bud by pro-investment tax policies: Lower marginal rates in the top bracket, reduced capital gains taxes and (especially) a temporary investment tax credit of 11-13%. We need something like that now - deferring the expiration of the Bush cuts is essential, but probably not be sufficient.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  361. P L Cowger

    Absolutely not! We have proved that tax breaks to the rich have very little if any effect on the economy. Note that even with deficits at around one-half billion dollars/year, the economy was only slightly stimulated. When the poor people ran out of money, it screeched to a halt. The trickle-down theory does not work! Rich people don't make investment decisions based on how much money they have, but rather how much profit can they think they can make.
    If you want to see a boost to the economy put the money in the hands of the people who don't have any. They have to spend it.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  362. Surafel Sacramento, CA

    For a year or two its better if he hold raising tax for wealth.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  363. Nestor, Austin, TX

    Yes. I've never been hired by a poor man. This class warfare needs to stop. The wealthy already pay more than their fair share in taxes, and if you tax them more, they will eat out less, shop less and hire less employees, if they don't even lay people off. You don't help the poor, by hurting the rich. You help the poor by encouraging achievement and success, not discouraging it.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  364. Ms. G

    I am confident in the team Obama. If they find it necessary to do, they will. Our country has been, for a long time starving for an intelligent leader. Now that we have one, let us savor it.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  365. Sarah

    All these comments about “fat cats” and the “rich” are driving me crazy. My husband and I make $250K per year so we are included in this tax bracket that everyone is talking about but we are far from “rich”. We are living in San Jose, CA where we pay an outrageous amount in rent. We are trying to save for a home for our family but balk at the prices of homes here that have not plummeted like the rest of the nation. A home without bars on the windows and a few upgrades will cost us $800k and we pay a sunshine tax for almost every consumer item from gas to eggs too. We don’t have an offshore account and don’t have a vast savings or retirement. We certainly don’t have private jets; we can’t even afford first class! We have made good decisions so we are not in debt as most people are today but I wish people would take a look at the whole picture, not just our income.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  366. Ron

    Raise their taxes NOW, and get rid of the loopholes that only the wealthy can take advantage of. The quicker you can get the cash flow back into the hands of the masses of this nation, the quicker the cash flow will get injected back into the economy, and confidence be retored to the people who really keep the economy healthy by buying goods and services. The wealthy do not buy the kinds of goods that, or enough goods to substain a healthy economy. Besides, its the wealthy who have keep wages and benefits down on Main Street while their greed has run rampant at the top.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  367. Rog

    I think President-elect Obama should make the tax cuts permanent, like President Bush has been lobbying for the past few months. Just look how they have stimulated the economy and brought us to the current prosperous economic situation.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  368. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Taxes on the wealthy should be increased as quickly as possible. We can either borrow from overseas (which will lead to the further movement of American jobs to China), borrow from the wealthy or tax the wealthy. As a parent, to me the answer is a no brainer.

    Saying that taxing the wealthy discourages success is a canard. No one choses to be poor because they dislike paying taxes. People are poor because they lack education and basic skills. Borrowing from China or the rich won't change that. The last time I checked, wages paid to others were deductible, so the argument that taxing the wealthy discourages business growth is also a blatant falsehood put in place to shelter rich Republican donors from taxes.

    November 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm |