July 6th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Huge tax increase coming in January: What should Congress do?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In 2008, President Obama said no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.

Well, unless something is done in the next six months, that won't be true.

What Americans for Tax Reform calls "The largest tax hikes in the history of America" will go into effect in January of next year when the Bush tax cuts are set to start expiring.

Here's a sample of what's in store for all of us:

Personal income tax rates are set to raise across the board with the highest rate going from 35 percent to 39.5 percent and the lowest rate going from 10 percent to 15 percent.

All the rates in between will rise as well. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out. The marriage penalty returns on the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from one thousand to five hundred dollars per child. The death tax returns with a top rate of 55 percent on estates over one million dollars. Capital gains taxes will rise from 15 percent to 20 percent and taxes on dividends will go from 15 percent to a maximum 39.6 percent.

There are over 20 new or higher taxes in the new health care law and several go into effect on January 1 of next year. The alternative minimum tax will ensnare 28 million families, up from four million families this year, and taxes are set to go up on all types of businesses.

Congress of course knows all this... but they're on vacation and haven't said what they plan to do if anything.

Here’s my question to you: A huge tax increase is coming next January. What should Congress do?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Congress • Congressional Spending • Taxes
July 6th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

When do problems blamed on Bush transfer to Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Finger pointing is an age-old past time in Washington. But at some point when you get the job, you also get to own the problems that come with it.

When President Obama took office almost 18 months ago, he had a lot to blame on his predecessor, George W. Bush - the economy was on life support, and the country was fighting two wars half a world away and the country was spiraling ever more deeply into debt. The general mood in this country wasn't so cheery. But a year and a half later, not a whole lot has changed. The economy isn't much better, the wars continue, and the debt has gotten a lot worse.

President Obama is still reminding Americans though that he "inherited" a lot of his problems. Last week, he told attendees at a Wisconsin town hall meeting that the economic woes many are facing are not his fault.

Granted there is still a lot of animosity when it comes to the Bush presidency, but at some point he becomes history and the country must confront the here and now.

Our friends over on CNN.com point out that 41 percent of Americans say Republicans are responsible for our current economic problems. 28 percent point a finger at Democrats, and 26 percent said both parties are to blame, even though in the last two years of the Bush Administration, Democrats controlled Congress.

The debate over whose fault everything is could take on added importance when it comes to the midterm elections in November. Will the voters continue to give the Democrats a pass?

Here’s my question to you: At what point does ownership of problems blamed on George Bush transfer to President Obama?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.