September 8th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Mistake to raise taxes on so-called wealthy?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is making it perfectly clear. He wants the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. By his definition, "wealthy" translates as couples making more than $250,000 a year or individuals making more than $200,000.

Speaking in Cleveland earlier today - the president said the country can not afford the $700 billion price tag associated with these tax cuts over the next 10 years. He says tax rates for the wealthy should go back to what they were under President Clinton.

However, Mr. Obama does want the tax cuts to be made permanent for middle class Americans, or those making less than $250,000.

Of course, given the shaky economy and the president's sagging poll numbers - it's not clear he will get what he wants here.

Critics suggest that letting the Bush tax cuts expire, even only for the wealthy, could be "a blow to a very fragile economy." Some Republicans want a permanent extension of all the Bush tax cuts. And Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner was out today ahead of the president's speech calling for a two-year freeze of all tax rates.

So what do most Americans think? A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 51 percent of those surveyed say the tax cuts should be continued only for families making less than $250,000. 31 percent say they should be continued for all Americans, and 18 percent say the tax cuts should expire for all Americans.

Here’s my question to you: In our weakened economy, is it a mistake to raise taxes on the so-called wealthy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Terry in North Dakota writes:
I did not know 9.6 million people fit into that $250,000 category. I am one of them. My wife does not work. We have six children and I run two businesses. I've not laid off any of my staff and, in fact, have hired a couple more and given out raises the last two years. So, do you want to penalize me because I have this income... I don't live high on the hog. My house is 25 years old. I don't own any toys but I still have to look after myself and my bills. Let's freeze it for two years and see what happens.

Joe in Virginia writes:
Like it our not, the wealthy create jobs. Reduce their buying and investing power and the economy will suffer. It's popular to talk of soaking the fat cats but the reality is that $250,000 a year, while very nice, is NOT rich. Wait a while and let the economy improve and then balance up the tax situation.

Vic in New Jersey writes:
I work on Wall Street and live in New Jersey. I can tell you all about the salary excesses for those execs. Out in the suburbs of New Jersey are former farms that now are taken up by the mansions of those guys and streets laden with Porches, Ferraris, Maseratis, and the more pedestrian Mercedes and BMWs.

Do I think they need a "tax break"? HELL NO!

Earl in Houston, Texas writes:
I believe that now is not the time to increase taxes on anyone. I do believe that it is time to stop the runaway spending.

Julie in Richmond, Virginia writes:
I don't think of it as raising taxes on the wealthy. I think of it as readjusting to make things fair... Letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy seems like a good way to do this.

Larry in Springfield, Ohio writes:
Jack, It is a bad idea to raise taxes on anyone with an economy as weak as it is right now. This is only a ploy to appease and to purchase votes!

Lisa writes:
It would be a mistake not to raise taxes on the wealthy. They're the only ones with anything left.

Filed under: Tax Hike • Taxes
soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. francap

    The wealthy are not weak. They control most of the money in this country. percentage wise they do not pay their fair share of the taxes.

    The tax cuts for the middle class should stay in place. The tax cuts for the wealthy should expire as scheduled.

    September 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  2. Louise

    In our fragile economy, we don't need to raise taxes on anyone. If government wants to make cuts for the wealthy, start with politicians. Last I looked, they all seemed to be doing quite well. Pelosi, Kerry, McCain, Rangel – the list goes on and on.....

    Atlanta, GA

    September 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  3. Bob

    There is no debating provable, historical facts: cutting taxes for the rich leads to higher deficits and worsens recessions. Trickle-down economics failed Hoover and voodoo economics failed Reagan and both Bushes. Last year, the Republicans voted against a tax cut for 95% of all Americans. We got a middle-class tax cut over Republican objections, and employment is RISING. This is fact. There is no debate.

    September 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  4. Harold, Fremont, Ca

    What do u think Jack? As long as it's Obama, it can never be right....Obama is the best thing that has ever happened to America and people still have the nerves to criticize (not saying he shouldn't be criticized if need be, but it's becoming too obvious that it's all born out of personal scores) all he does. U tend to ask a lot of questions that will not help in bringing people together to get America out of the hole it is in now. This is the time for Americans to come together and forge a way forward, rather than fighting.

    September 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  5. Phil in Port St Lucie, Florida

    The "wealthy" have gotten very fat over the past decade, that would be the Republican Decade. Have to call a skunk, a skunk, and hasn't it really "smelled bad" for years?
    Those taxes are NOT being raised! The taxes are returning to pre-skunk years' per centage.

    September 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  6. Paul Round Rock Texas

    No everyone needs to pay their fair share. The numbers of the so-called wealthy are getting smaller daily. Taxes should be raised on the so-called wealthy along with all large corporations.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  7. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    The increase in taxes will be less than 4% on the destitute wealthy. It will not affect the growth of the economy regardless of what republicans say. The wealthy benefited more than any other tax group during the Bush administration as he ran up the debt, it's time to pay the bills and have the taxes rise. Perhaps the rich will afford cake.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  8. Joe R - Houston

    The very wealthy pay tax lawyers to minimize what they pay, so it really wouldn't make a significant difference. The answer to the weakened economy is to decrease spending and end the FED's ability to fund deficit spending by congress. That would increase unemployment which means employers and consumers would need more money to hire which would increase a demand for productive efforts... and that would require drastic tax cuts. The two (spending cuts and tax cuts) go hand in hand.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  9. Annie D.

    The wealthy have made out like bandits over the last decade or more and it's not a stretch to ask them to pay a few points more to try to get the country that allowed them to become so well off back in shape. The argument about "creating jobs" holds no water since the tax break has been in effect for 10 years and our job situation has only been worse during the Great Depression.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  10. MelG

    "So called wealthy"? Is that a joke or are YOU so jaded that we don't consider income of about $10MILLION a year (what the top 1% haul in yearly be it salary or investment income or both) to be wealthy.

    My little ol' $95K a year must be pocket change to you.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  11. Richard35

    Why Not? What's left of the Middle Class has been paying More than their share for years! It's time for the wealthy to Set Up To The Plate Of Fairness!

    September 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Olga

    I believe that taxes should be equitable and fair. No one should be required to pay more than their fair share.

    Austin, Texas

    September 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  13. Conor in Chicago

    No it's not a mistake because this nonsense you always here about the Investment Class being unable to to help our economy when taxes are high is dis-information. With their savings all they do is invest in the emerging BRIC economies. Despite that, they still get to keep their home and wealth within the territorial United States and then not pay for all that that entails.

    Tax them. Don't let these people skirt their responsibilty and save huge amounts of money in taxes only to open another slave labor factory in the Phillipines.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  14. Conor in Chicago

    When rich people tell you that they need a tax break because it will help you, don't believe them. It's that simple.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  15. pat in michigan

    How about an alternative Jack. 10 percent across the board tax. no deductions period.6% sales tax everywhere .No price supports.no added sin tax for smokes or boose or lap dances or politicians.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  16. JENNA

    In our weakened economy, is it a mistake to raise taxes on the so-called wealthy?

    Well since the tax breaks to the wealthy didn't produce the jobs that GW Bush claimed that it would, then NO we should notextend them.

    With that said, I would like to see the ceiling raised from 250K for married couples to 500K. Why? Simply because those who live in large metropolitan cities make 250K+ as a married couple, but they also pay more for housing, food, transportation, education, etc.. than middle America.

    What I would like to see is that we are not taxed at all in November and December to boost our paychecks so we can spend for the upcoming holidays. Just a thought.

    Roseville CA

    September 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  17. Richard, in Kansas

    It's only a mistake if you believe in trickle down economics. Tax rates for the rich are already at historic lows and from what I've seen not much trickles down. Let's return thier rates to what they were in the Clinton years and save the tax breaks for the real engine of our economy, the middle class before we become like a fuedal society of a few haves and many have nots.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  18. Bert California

    The taxes should be on companies, which have taken jobs and/or headquarters out of our country and on companies bringing products into our country, which have hurt the environment in the manufacture of their products or use un-fair labor practices . Also, taxes should be raised on companies taking resources from public land.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  19. barbara in NC

    You bought into their hateful divisive rhetoric. It is NOT raising their taxes, it's letting a TEMPORARY TAX expire.

    Why should we BORROW more money to put in their pockets while they outsource our jobs and make record profits from the slave labor.

    WHY?? Answer that one question. YOU CAN'T !!

    September 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  20. paul

    imagine a bailout that benefits the shareholders of banks and corporations that buy off our politicians and run the worlds resources into the muck of chemical toxicity getting a capital gains tax break while we have to pay at least 28% to our government so they can waste the money subisidizing shareholders who constantly hide thier money in 2 party monopoly tax havens... we have to close our libraries in seattle becuz the 4 cruise terminals we built for mickey arison of carnival,princess, holland america, and the others -royal carribean,celebrity, and genting berhad of malaysia who owns norwegian cruiselines pulled a fast one and refused to pay the port rate of $150.00 per passenger (which is the cost to retire the debt) but instead we raid our local property tax so the governor can brag our state credit rating is good and all we have to do is suffer for it. the laundered off shore u.s. currency tips the balance into second rate communities.. see how it feels " has become the slogan of obama loyalist .

    September 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  21. andy Lynn, MA

    Raise taxes, lower taxes, keep taxes the same; pshaw! Massive national debt, Congress spending money that doesn't exist, the majority party acting like a drunken sailor on shore leave, I hope I'm wrong but I do believe that their is a terrible parellel between America and Rome during its decline and fall. And the saddest part is that within two months it is highly likely that America will elect the party that has done everything possible to block progress back into office. Before you cast a ballot remember that the Repulicans created this mess.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  22. Ben Buerger

    According to IRS statistics the so called wealthy currently pay most of the federal income tax bill. Wealthy individuals have the ability to limit their taxable income if necessary. Higher rates make it less expensive to hire high priced talent to help avoid taxes. Lower rates make paying taxes cheaper. The so called rich are paying a higher percentage of the overall bill today than when rates were 70 % and above in the 60's. Seems to me that we are better off with the current rate structure.

    Ben Buerger
    Cincinnati, OH

    September 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  23. Paul P

    Everything is relative, Jack. Compared to the unemployed or those earning minimum wage (of which there are many millions) then yes, its safe to call those earning $200,000 or more rich. But you have two major dilemmas to combat, the poor economy and the deficit. Usually the best road to take is often the middle, I say raise them, but staggered over a number of years, not all at once.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  24. Paul Ernest Show, Nashville

    How can it be any wrong? They paid higher taxes during Clinton and we had prosperity. The GOP is simply protecting their major contributors. The country needs to balance its budget, rather than print more money. We should be prepared to go back to those days when gas was almost $4 dollars per gallon, when GOP was in power. Americans should be prepared to loose more of their houses, judging from what the GOP is saying, that the govt should allow the real estate market reset itself. This president has stopped they banks from bilking us $32 billion every year, from insufficient funds. What greater change can a nation expect and be appreciative? I am i total agreement of whatever policy this govt stands for because it has shown time and time again, it's not ready to be big business footmat.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    No, it is a necessary step to try to curtail the deficit, created by Obama's runaway spending.

    In truth, no one is going to create any jobs in America, UNLESS taxes are RAISED for importing products made off shore. You must force companies to bring their manufacturing back to America, or there will be no job growth, because nothing is made here.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  26. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    The problem here is that the concentration of wealth in the US has grown to obscene proportions. We are talking about raising the tax rates above $250k, when we should be talking about new tax brackets to $10 million, $50 million, $100 million and up. The country where everyone who worked hard could expect a comfortable living has been replaced by a jungle where the only goal is to amass wealth regardless of how many lives you ruin or laws you break.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  27. Johnny C (from Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    I think it is a righteous injustice to the free enterprise system. Why should a person be ransacked by taxes if they are successful?

    It is a shame that the only answers that our governments (local, state and fed) seem to come up with is tax, tax some more, and keep on taxing when they should be curbing their own bad habits.

    Perhaps the best answer is to vote out these representatives and to elect some "new-out-of-the-box" thinkers. Unless we let government know that they have accountability, they will continue to do as the desire.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  28. Marja Hartzell Oforji

    No, for if the most wealthy ones had been ready to create new jobs, why haven`t they done it already, on a large scale, I mean? And besides, according to a program on CNN, where two so called experts were interviewed, one of them told, that it`s only about 3 % of the small companies who earn more than 250.000, so none of the arguments the Republicans have is true. It was like that, that after hearing that 3 %, even the Republican who was interviewed admitted that the true number is very small.
    From Stockholm, Sweden

    September 8, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  29. Bizz Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack, I just read somewhere where the rich are getting richer and the middle class is shrinking. We need to raise taxes in order to reduce the deficit. The republicans would have you believe that the trickle down theory is the way to go. Give more tax breaks to the rich and they will trickle down the money to the people below them. This was first introduced to the American people by President Reagan back in the eighties. It took me until 1994 to feel anything. So I think taking the Bush tax cuts away from the rich is the right thing to do. They are the only people that can afford it.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  30. roya

    I think the taxes should be raised. To avoid budget deficit.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  31. whimkey

    Yes, It is the right thing to do..But not on the Middle class..they are suffering enough as it is! Thanks to the republican taliban who has cratered our economy–our housing market, our jobs market, the Healthcare industry, and given everything to the Corporations and the Street.

    Yes, raise taxes 3% on the wealthy...and give it to the business they are attempting to bankrupt! So it does not add to the deficit as the republicans had planned!

    September 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  32. bud rupert

    They should leave the tax cuts in place. That will illiminate the crying from the righties and give the President some breathing room do other things.

    Why give the opposition something ping you on when it probaly does not make a damn bit of difference if they did raise the taxes on the wealthy.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  33. Loren

    The mistake is to have an inequitable system of taxation. If the system is structured so that the so-called wealthy pay a lower percentage of their income due to ecnomic incentives, then it is not wrong to increase their taxes. If, on the other hand, they're paying more, then that's wrong and a disincentive to work harder. Fairness should be the driving factor in our system of taxation (and that means even poor people pay taxes).

    September 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  34. Jim S

    Why is it a mistake Jack? The Bush tax cuts resulted in NO and I said NO new private sector jobs, At least the Obama administration has created some new private sector jobs in a lousy economy. Secondly, are the middle class expected to pay the taxes to finance the two wars as they have been doing since the Bush mafia left the White House? I suppoe so. Continuing the Bush tax breaks will insure that that's the case. If there were any credibility to the "trickle down" philsophy espoused by Republicans, it probably would be a good idea, but that hypothesis has been brutally disproven so I say NO NO NO!

    September 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  35. John from Alabama

    Jack: No! The wealthy will always be wealthy, but this nation's deficit and borrowing from China to give the top 5% a taxcut is pure insanity. The taxcut now in effect for people making less than $250,000 helps the consumer to purchase needed items. Its the lower 95% of taxpayers who will eventually pull this economy out of the recession. This is not my idea, but rather, a notion from Allan Greenspan.

    September 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  36. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Jack,it is a bad idea to raise taxes on anyone with an economy as weak as it is right now.This is only ploy to appease and to purchase votes!

    September 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  37. bob cragg

    Raising the taxes on the rich is really just resetting the tax bracket back to where it was during the Clinton years..I don't mind paying taxes..they are a necessary evil and we can not turn our backs on the needy, working class and old and disabled..It's not Socialism, I'd call it "Americanism".

    September 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  38. Benjie from Laredo

    Hell no, let them pay their fair share! They make more, they should pay more, not less. That's what has gotten us where we are in the first place!

    September 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  39. Dick Golob

    I believe it is a great idea to raise taxes on the very highest income levels because they are the ones that invest in overseas markets; also money velosity is much less at the high income leveles vs the lower middle class who spend it within the month. Velosity of spending is very important.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  40. Gordon NJ

    Eisenhower taxed the top brackets at over 90%. Kennedy brought them down to the 70% range. Only when Reagan dropped the top rate to the 30% range did we see the rise of the Wall Street super-rich, jobs shipped to Asia, and the need for two-income families to maintain a middle class lifestyle. The point is, when you look at history, this country was usually better off when the rich were taxed the most. This country helped make them rich, let them pay more back.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  41. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    No. Obama promised that he will do this and I hope he fulfills this campaign promise. The wealthy paid higher taxes before the Bush tax cuts and they can afford to do it again now. The goverenment just can't keep taking programs away from the lower class to accommodate luxuries for the rich. When my Father-in-law died we paid very high inheritance taxes in 1990. Refund some of the money our family paid and redo us at the Bush tax cut rates. If we paid up so can others. Game day Jack ,sorry .

    September 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  42. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Some people think raising taxes on the wealthy is unfair and socialistic but I would like to toss in my two cents worth to the guy with the mansion, yacht and gardener.

    I got laid-off almost a year ago and have only managed to find a total of 6 weeks work.

    My tax deductions on that 6 weeks work amounted to 20% of the gross dollars I worked very hard to earn.

    I am NOT asking you to share YOUR WEALTH, I am asking that you try to FEEL MY PAIN, and the pain of everyone else that doesn't enjoy the nice things you have....and if that means you might have to park your private jet and scale back you European vacation to pay some taxes.......tough tacos.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  43. Marie C.

    Can somebody tell Obama to please leave my money alone? Just because he does so much unnecessary spending and doesn't know where else to go for money shouldn't mean he has to tax us some more.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  44. Pete from Georgia

    The Socialist Regime currently in power in Washington haven't a clue how free enterprise / capitalism works. Zero idea or knowledge. They will NEVER understand that the more you penalize the wealthy the worse off the economy and employment will be. Big time.
    Question : Have you ever worked for a poor person ???

    September 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  45. Paul Weller

    Not at all. The mistake being made is forgetting about Senior Citizens in the rush to satisfy the political thirsts for tax cuts. We recieved no COLA's for 2010 and the plan is the same for 2011 even though it is quite clear our costs rise just as do everyone elses. Just to make things clear, we do not get free health care. Medicare is not free. We do not get free medicine, we pay for our insurance. We pay for everything that everyone else does and we do it on a limited income. Yet our concerns are put on the back burner and we hear about these tax breaks for people earning $250,000. Don't look for my sympathy.
    Edgefield County, SC.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  46. D.M San Diego

    You know Jack... I'll bet I'm not the only one who would trade incomes and tax brackets with those unfortunate few.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  47. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    HOW is it a MISTAKE to raise the tax rate for income OVER $250k by 4 1/2 percent in order to help balance the Federal Budget? I hear the Republicans screaming about "deficits", which they DID NOT CARE about when Bush was President, BUT now want to steal seniors Social Security and Medicare, which they PAID INTO their whole lives, rather than increasing taxes on millionaires back to the Clinton era levels.

    and as I remember, this countries economy was pretty damn good during the Clinton years.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  48. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: I would think that this is not the right moment to go after the so called "wealthy"-–which really means "well-being" and not equated to money. The reasons I say is: "When did a poor person give you or offer you a job?-- Beware of those who have nothing to lose-–and
    When a fox preaches, the wealthy will take care of their geese.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  49. Dick B

    The only reason not to raise taxes on the wealthy is if you believe these people are so talented that our marketplace will suffer if they leave or receive less compensation for their contribution.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  50. Earl

    Yes, I mbeleive that now is not the time to increase taxes on anyone.

    I do beleive that it is time to stop the runaway spending.

    Houston, TX

    September 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  51. Tom (Atlanta)

    When ABC asked candidate Obama "given the fact that history demonstrates that when taxes for top wage earners is decreased, the economy is stimulated, more people are employed and government revenues increase, (and provided spending is contained, the national debt goes down), and when taxes are increased, the government expands and the opposite occurs, how do you defend your position of increasing taxes on wage earners who earn more than 250,000". Then senator Obama said "because, its fair". The President's sound bites reflect what he believes is fair. Unfortunately, he is wrong to say that this will improve the economy. He and his administration simply doesn't understand it. These people we call rich, and we all wish were too, and they employ people. What is fair is to let them do just that.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  52. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It was a mistake NOT to bail out the millions of middle class people by giving them a direct stimulus instead of giving billions to the thieving CEOs of the financial industry and morons running car companies. Give a wealthy person money and you will never see it again. Give that same money to the poor and middle class and it will be back in the economy in less than 24 hours.

    The weakened economy has no effect on the wealthy, only on the rest of us and we are the ones who need a break. But then the whole idea is to break the middle class, isn’t it.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  53. Geri

    I have been hearing that to raise taxes on the wealthy will stall economic growth. President Bush gave the wealthy all kinds of tax cuts but yet here we are in the largest economic downturn since the depression. And to make matters worse the wealthy didn't create all that many new jobs after the Clinton recession. Tax breaks for the wealthy didn't do anyone any good but the wealthy. I think it might be time for the Republicans and the economists to start singing new songs instead of the old songs that no longer hold true.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  54. Steve Stout from Concord, CA

    I don't see how that would be a huge mistake. If I were extemely wealthy, I wouldn't mind paying a little extra to help out the less fortunate. If I'm labeled a Communist, so be it. I see it more as lending a helping hand than Communism.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  55. bud rupert

    Leave the tax cuts in place. Then late next year Barak should get the leadership of both parties in a room and negotiate some kind of flat tax across the board agreement. And If that means getting the lobbyists, the Chamber of Commerce involved to seal a deal so be it.

    Illiminate the talking points of tax and spend politics and he will be re-elected in 2012 with no problem

    Why can't these guys be as smart as we are Jack? Get back to me on that will ya.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  56. Joe CE

    Overdue – no mistake. Claims that this will hurt small business are false. Our capitalistic system is the best devised but money creates economic momentum which generates more money For the past 25 years, the weathly have been skimming an ever invreasing percentage and the middle income people losing ground which, of course, means that low income people are losing ground. It is in the enlighten self-intrest of everyone, including the rich, to restore economic progress for hard work. A stable society is indespensable to maintaing wealth. Under present conditions, children will end less well off than parents for the first time in memory.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  57. Bob Kobs

    Nope. The wealthy need to pay their fair share. They use the roads, railways, airports, sewage and drainage systems too. So, why get breaks that other do not?

    Stop apologizing for the wealthy. they are harming this country through greed. They fire workers and pocket dollars...now they are holding the economy hostage, refusing to hire anyone until they get Bush's corporate welfare largesse extended. Screw them and their apologists.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  58. Leslie

    Mr President I implore you please!! Use the rest of the stimulus money and set up a program that homeowners can get a low interest stimulus loan from their local banks to be paid back to their local banks who will in turn repay the federal government. This will do a few things 1) get the local real estate markets back on track. 2) Stimulate the local economy and small banks with capitol. 3) create jobs as the local economy will see an influx of cash and capitol. We can no longer afford trickle down we need trickle up. Right now this country is of the top heavy class, we need to begin closing the enormous gaps between rich, middle and poor. We cannot do that by continuously giving money to those (big banks and big corporations) who only loan to and hire those who have a certain credit rating.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  59. chris

    no to raising taxes on anyone till we get the federal and state budgets under controla nd we get all the over spending and pork projects and cut down over paid govt officals local, state and national positions not just congress and the senate and their benefits there is billions we can cut with out hurting things like education or other things they use as a scare tactic they always ues

    September 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  60. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    It will be a greater mistake to extend them. Despite the propaganda from the conservatives, President Obama is NOT raising taxes!!! If no action is taken, the Bush tax cuts (Passed by the Republican congress using reconciliation.) will simply expire after their devastating contributions to the National Debt.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  61. Bruce, Rancho Mirage, CA.

    Hi Jack:

    The scales have always favored the 'so called wealthy'... ...it's only fair to now & then have them pay full fare...

    Best regards,

    Rancho Mirage, CA.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  62. William, CT

    No Jack, It is proper to raise taxes on the wealthy because for the last 10 years, the tax cuts and the wealthy have sent jobs and factories out of the country instead of creating jobs here. The month bush left office 750,000 American jobs were lost in bush's new world order and global economy. Also, the wealthy have more to protect so they should pay more in taxes for police, the military, govt, etc. After all, how many millions or billions will satisfy a wealthy person when Americans are starving, out of work and having homes being foreclosed on??

    September 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  63. Al

    Wealthy is when you can afford a tax accountant or tax attorney to help you avoid taxes on the wealthy. The major economic issue is helping unemployed Americans become productive again. This issue dwarfs the debate on tax cuts for the so-called wealthy and argues strongly that more efficacious government measures are key. A marginal increase in revenue from tax cuts is helpful at best and certainly not a solution.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  64. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    You apparently do not understand Reaganomics, Jack. You see, the only way we can get money is for it to trickle down to us from the rich. The more the rich have, the more will trickle down to us. It's very simple. Now, George Bush the elder, called this Voodoo economics, but what did he know.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  65. Keith - Twinsburg, Ohio

    Whoever is in favor of this idea is not very good at math. First, add the number of so-called rich. Then multipy that number by what could be expected from the increase in taxes... Jack, this is only a drop in the bucket, compared to what good these people can do with the money they are saving in taxes... These folks are many of the small business that our country cannot do without; The ones that can put more people back to work if financially allowed to do so.

    I am not one of those weathier folks at the center of the topic, but I can at least do the math... Congress is made up of lawyers, not business men, and have probably never had to RUN anything. That's why they can't....

    September 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  66. Donna Wisconsin

    Those who do are using scare tacts that say otherwise. You can't want to do something about the deficit and not raise someones taxes! The wealthy have lots of wiggle room and believe me they will always spend just want they want unlike us at the bottom who spend everything to make ends meet. Stop pandering to the Republicans, Jack. Obama is right to not make those tax cuts permanent for the top 2%. Give me a break!

    September 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  67. Al, Lawrence KS

    No, it's not a mistake. As a small business owner, I'm one of those, who in good years, would see their taxes go up, but I am far worse off today than I was 10 years ago. When the Republicans passed this tax cut, I didn't need it, and didn't ask for it. I lost far more from the economic collapse than I ever gained from reduced taxes. A little more in taxes will do very little to effect my bottom line, but it could go a long way to getting this economy going again, and that will benefit me a lot more.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  68. steve in fl

    No, Jack. No one is raising taxes. It's allowing the unneccesary and destructive tax cuts expire that had everything to do with the horrible shape we're in now, when added to the unnecessary war that was launched simultaneously. Besides, Where was this big job creation bonanza the first time they passed it? Seems to me it was all downhill from there. The only way it could even be passed was to add a 10 year expiration. If the GOP is successful in cramming this nuke down our throats, it will create by and far the largest portion of the overall deficit for decades and we'll find out first hand why the expiration clause was so critical. I know all you're bosses are crying the blues right now, but tell them to go a couple rounds with Boehner and chill for a couple years. They'll be ok either way. The rest of us won't. Period.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  69. Wade Hathaway

    It was a mistake to LOWER taxes on the rich. I think we shoud not just repeal the Bush tax cuts but roll back the Reagan tax cuts.

    The ecomony did just fine with the top tax rates in the 70% range. HIstory shows that then the top marginal tax rates have been lowered to below 50% it results in boom then bust economic situations. When the top rates are high it results in better economic growth as the wealthy invest in expanding business rather than just take the money and pay the high taxes.

    The previous administration pushed the tax rate down with an expiration date to "stimulate" growth, the results as we see were a big bubble that burst and wrecked the economic system, and did not create jobs or growth.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  70. Russ

    We really need to be honest with ourselves. It doesn't matter. The window of opportunity to painlessly repair the system as it is has passed. The government is taking on more debt with the FEDs printing press than the Dollar can sustain without something really bad happening to the markets. We need to accept the fact that our great grandparents were stupid enough to allow the FED to create a Fiat money system (Paper Monopoly money) and gave them unrestrained control of it to abuse as they wish.

    We need to End the Fed and have some fundamental financial reforms before any arguments about Taxes can be taken seriously.


    September 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  71. Ed from California

    Jack, the upper wage earners are already getting the "Bush" tax breaks along with the rest of us minions. How many jobs has that started? Tens of millions were started by this tax break, and that's true. Except, the tens of millions of jobs that were created are in China! At the end of the day it's 3% increase in taxes. Maybe your network can hold a telethon for them!

    September 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  72. Guy in Austin, Texas

    No , it is not a mistake to" raise taxes" (translation:let the Bush tax cuts expire) for those earning above $250,000, Jack.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm |

    let the cuts for the rich expire..trickle down didnt work the first time so why would it now..the only reason that the repubs want it to stay around is because they dont really care about middle class they care about big business and fat cats..not to mention if we dont let the cuts for the wealthy expire we go deeper into debt..hmmn but wait why should they care bohner,mc(con)ell,& company put us there to begin with..the middle class drive this country not the chosen few..

    September 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  74. Knick Maverick

    No, we need it. What has the Bush cuts done for us? Why are we in an economic crisis? What is happening with our jobs? This is with these cuts? So, who is actually benefiting from this & who not benefiting from this? I believe we need to do what's necessary to put us in the right track. The wealthy can't be the only benefiting tax cuts & people is middle class or lower losing jobs.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  75. steve in penscaola

    That's like asking if considering the house is only half burnt down, if it's a mistake to take the matches away from the arsonist because if you take them away, he says he won't help you put out the fire. Total insanity. Enough is enough, Jack. Can we get a little real journalism please? The typeof real reporting that gets you invited to audits and depositions, instead of corporate shindigs. And say hi to Wolf Baxter for me, or is it Ted Blitzer? I forget.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  76. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I think it is time to find an alternative to our current tax system all together. Making less then half of the people in America pay taxes for everyone else is not right. Poor people do not create jobs only people with money do. This isn't about Us ( The rich), and them ( The not Rich). This is about getting people back to work in America. If cutting taxes on the rich will get the unemployment rate down then i say do it.. What the Obama administration is doing isn't getting it done. Just ask the almost 10 percent of people still out of work and going hungry.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  77. ken, nj

    It is not a mistake to tax the top 2%, the so called rich. They have the money so why not tax them. The rich have extra money laying around so why not benefit the rest of the country with their good fortune. The whining about a 3% increase in taxes for the rich is absolutely laughable. The top tax rate should be moved back up to 65% not 39%. The 15% tax for millionaire hedge fund managers should also be raised up to 65%. If the dems can't raise the taxes up a paultry 3% for the rich who needs them.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  78. Pat Vaughn

    The "wealthy" were "expected" to provide jobs with their "tax cuts", you know the "dribble down" theory to us peasants. Instead? They bought a number of homes around the world, bought additional cars they didn't need... purchased yachts... invested in OTHER countries, especially in China and the rest of Asia.
    Truly, un-American activities AND most of them vote Republican!!! Hit them with the maximum tax... they've had their Bush years of plenty~ psv Crossville, TN

    September 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  79. richard a. winkler

    Taxes should be raised on the wealthy. The wealthy are now billionaires, and they used to be millionaires. No one needs that much money, and they should pay more tax.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  80. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    No but hell no, they won't spend that money, if they need something they have already purchased it. Any tax cut for them would simply pad their bank account and this would only apply to about one percent of the people in the United States. So the best thing to do is tax them, congress will only find another way to help them and they will probably be better off.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  81. Kevin in CA

    Nope, it's not a bad idea ... they have had a tax holiday for the last decade and they can afford it because of all the wealth they've siphoned from the middle class.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  82. Jim


    No, it's not a mistake. Preserving the Bush tax cuts for the middle class is a good investment. Preserving them for the wealthy is a bribe that they don't need and we can't afford. The President is right to allow the Bush tax bribes for the wealthy to expire.

    Reno, Nevada

    September 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  83. John, Lake Charles, LA

    Nobody deserves to make10, 20, 30 million dollars per year. they should all be paying at least 50% in taxes.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  84. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Well, the mistake is that we don't tax everyone. A uniform tax that everyone ponies up to is more realistic. Having a percentage of folks paying the lions share is outright criminal. Just ask the middle class and they'll say we area broke.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  85. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    What taxes on the wealthy? What benefit was there to lowering the taxes for the wealthy? The wealthy don't create jobs. Small businesses create jobs. Warren Buffet pointed out the injustice that his secretary paid a higher percentage of her income in taxes than he did. If the oracle of Omaha sees the wisdom of making the wealthy pay, who are we to argue against it?

    September 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  86. Vic of New York

    I work on Wall Street and live in New Jersey. I can tell you all about the salary excesses for those execs.

    Out in the suburbs of New Jersey are former farms that now are taken up by the mansions of those guys and streets laden with Porches, Ferraris, Masserrati, and the more pedestrian Mercedes and BMW.

    Do I think they need a "tax break"? - HELL NO!

    September 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  87. Iris in L.A.

    No. The rich get enough of the breaks in this country. Let them pay for a change. You need only look to see how the rich are getting richer, while us workers are getting poorer, to see the inequity of it all.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  88. Steve, NY

    The rich are paying most of the taxes. The top 5% are paying 70% of the taxes. If you raise anymore, they're going to look for ways to fxxx you.
    Remember the poor don't create jobs. The government doesn't create jobs either, they only give you incentives. Also remember that the billionaires don't keep their money under a mattress, they reinvest it to create jobs, and they do loose their investments also.
    The average citizen has this mentality that we should screw the rich.
    I'm not rich but I'm a realist and catious about screwing the rich.
    In NY State the governor raised the taxes on the multimillionaire. Guess what it backfired on him. They're all moving out, except for Bloomberg, the mayor of NY City . He's stuck for awhile.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  89. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Jack, have you ever worked in a job where your boss said, I'll pay you as soon as I cash my government assistance check? Everyone loves to say they want JOBS and small businesses create jobs, but they also want to steal the hard earned money of those who would be creating those jobs and spend it wrecklessly on poorly conceived programs. The stimulus was a catastrophic failure because we DON'T NEED more spending, we NEED jobs. We need a sustainable creation of wealth where our bucket of money can refill and be spent again. We don't need the government taking all our buckets for themselves and showering us with money. All it means is we are waiting for another shower of pennies from heaven. We are losing control of our own destinies. We are losing our individual liberty with each bill that passes and each tax they levy on people in any tax bracket.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  90. ed/al

    no its not a mistake – after the 2nd world war we filed charges of
    profiteering on many ceos- and others we raised thier
    income tax to 60% about to offset maney wrong doings.
    how much profit did many of these ceos pull in after the wall street
    mess – most of these people have tax deductions to offset any
    increase of a lower level.. so tax must be high enough to serve as
    as penalty for thier manipulating stocks etc...

    September 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  91. Kevin in CA

    It's a great idea to raise taxes on the wealthy – maybe I can get some of my money back.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  92. Thom Richer

    First off, there is no such thing as the "so called" wealthy. You are either wealthy or your not. To me, you are "wealthy" if you have enough money to live on for the rest of your life and raise your family to adulthood, complete their education, own your home outright, pay your bills, and afford health care without ever having to work another day of your life. The only reason the "wealthy" should pay more taxes than others is because of the disastrous economic state our government has led us into at this point in time. The tax sytem is unfair from just about everyone's standpoint. If ever there was blatant evidence that we must have a fair and equal form of taxation, it is our current state of economic affairs. This is proof positive that all income be taxed at a flat percentage across the board for each of us equally.
    Raising taxes on the wealthy, the middle class or the poor will not solve our problems. Instituting a fair and equal percent will.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    September 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  93. john marlton nj

    Huge mistake ....Robin Hood and his merry men inherited a 'credit crisis' and turned it into a recession. They have driven unemployement from 5.0% to 10%. If Obama's politics of envy continue it will go to 15% ....

    Increasing the tax on those emaking over $250k is minimal and won't do squat ... Allowing 100% wite-off on purchases in a low interest rate environment is like automobile rebates, just pulls the business ahead (quicker wite-off) but reduces the future write off ... yada yada ..

    Who is fooling who, Obama may have invoked Abe Lincoln today but his legacy will be that of the great divider ...


    September 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  94. Patricia in Korea

    It was a mistake to cut it in the first place. Why should we be subsidizing their savings accounts?

    September 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  95. Dennis north Carolina

    no because it will not effect their lives.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  96. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Absolutely Jack.

    Politicians cannot manage our money. Do we want to give them more from people who know how to?

    September 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  97. Joe in VA

    Like it our not, the wealthy create jobs. Reduce their buying and investing power and the economy will suffer. It's popular to talk of soaking the fat cats but the reality is that $250,000 a year, while very nice, is NOT rich. Wait a while and let the economy improve and then balance up the tax situation.

    Chatham, Va

    September 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  98. Dennis from Minneapolis, MN

    Oh the epic vocal battle of who should pay taxes, and the newest invention of economics: taxing the rich people costs us all jobs. This is a myth. Companies will have the amount of workers needed to perform its function. Higher taxes do not change that. Changing Net Income for a company doesnt hamper its operations. The economy is weak because of the low tax rates for so many years, resulting in debt. Debt draws money from other programs to pay interest. Its not imaginary, the interest costs us more than the war. Now is the point of no return. If we allow low taxes to continue, can you imagine the future ramifications? Republicans will tell you we should continue the war forever and lower taxes! Good lord. How did we so ultimately buy into the lies? Of course we have to raise taxes on the wealthy... Jack, no one else has any money! Of course it isnt fair, neither are 10 million dollar bonuses paid to people who make relatively simple decisions while trodding on the backs of people making 12 bucks an hour. If you want the rich to stop paying the most taxes, make them stop earning the most income. Its just math Jack.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  99. Steve, Clifton, VA


    There no questions raised when the unsolicited "tax cuts" for the wealthy were enacted during a period when the country was engaged in two wars. Further,most , if not all, economist agree that the tax cuts have significantly contributed to our deficit. So this is a no brain er and should not be viewed as a tax increase, but as a restoration of a tax that was cut in a irresponsible fashion several years ago. The question raised should be if the tax cuts were so appropriate and necessary, then why was an expiration date set/established on the tax cuts?

    September 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  100. Kim S. Dodge City, Ks.

    Let's not raise taxes on anybody. Adoption of the Fair Tax Ammendment is the only way to save our economy and bring jobs back home. But that would mean the loss of thousands of IRS jobs. How sad is that?

    September 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  101. page

    Tell me one person who is poor that will give someone a job...we have always depended on the wealthy for jobs..No they do not need to be over taxed..when will Oboma wake up and do what he should of done months ago...work on jobs..not health care, and spend spend spend..

    September 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  102. Ken in California

    What goes down must go up. In the face of a rapidly climbing national debt the Bush tax cuts were irresponsible, and did not create any jobs, indeed the original mistake.
    Maybe we can start fixing all this by paying for what we spend as we (the Government) go.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  103. d settle salisbury nc

    Why do the rich constantly use the term "so called wealthy"..to 80% of the nation 250,000 a year for 1 person IS wealthy and who pays a smaller recentage of thier wealth in taxes..they do..lets be fair and return the tax rate to what it was under Bill Clinton..we all know how the wealthy suffered so much in the BOOM 90 ies..

    September 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  104. Nurse Lisa

    It would be a mistake not to raise taxes on the wealthy – they're the only ones with anything left.

    I mean c'mon – Mark Hurd got 12 million dollars for leaving in disgrace while those who lost their HP jobs so he had more play money to waste are still on the unemployment lines...

    September 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  105. Harold

    Why is this even debated? A small increase in taxes on the wealthy wouldn't be noticed by them, and the increase in national revenues could either reduce the deficit or help pay for needed social programs.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  106. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    The top two percent did very well in the Clinton years. They didn't ask for a cut in their taxes. It was Bush's idea. History will find him famous for his ideas, or infamous.

    People like Warren Buffet, Bill and Melinda Gates, are donating billions for public good. They obviously don't think it is right to have so much while others have nothing.

    This deficit Bush created by cutting the taxes of the rich will crush our grandchildren if it isn't allowed to expire as the law requires.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  107. David Wise

    Well Jack,

    The money the government needs to do all of the things it claims to do (but either does them badly or not at all) has to come from somewhere, and it certainly cannot come from the people who raising their taxes would put them on the street.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  108. barbara in NC

    You bought into their hateful divisive rhetoric. It is NOT raising their taxes, it's letting a TEMPORARY TAX CUT expire.

    Why should we BORROW more money to put in their pockets while they outsource our jobs and make record profits from the slave labor.

    WHY?? Answer that one question. YOU CAN'T !!

    September 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm |

    tampa, fl how about raising taxes on illegal aliens and those that employ them instead? or are we still talking about the same people?

    September 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  110. mick

    We're not raising taxes on them, we're just putting them back to where they were before Bush cut them for all his wealthy GOP friends. The Bush tax cuts have cost the US way more than any of the social programs and stimulus packages.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  111. Rob in Brooklyn

    are you kidding ? They have been having a free ride for years. Time to start paying up . Why should the middle class be the ones footing the bill for the rich & the poor ? The middle class should get a break

    September 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  112. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    I am totally SICK of the rich griping about paying taxes!

    The "wealthy" are the ones with the MOONEY!!!

    And it is crystal clear that if the rich had their way the rest of us would (1) earn low wages and (2) have most of that taken away in taxes so they don't have to pay as much.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  113. George from SC

    No its not a mistake. The Republicans want to bring back Reagan's Voodoo economics (cutting taxes). Is this wise? I think you need to ask, do we trust the rich to produce jobs or will they the keep that extra money for themselves.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  114. Bill

    Yes, there are a great number of small businesses that file taxes as an individual. This will discourage hiring by small business as there will be less money available for hiring. You can say all you want, this is not the time to be spending a great deal of money and raising taxes.. it is a recipe for disaster.

    September 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  115. Name*Jleftenant

    When Will it ever be time to share the wealth in this country. besides most of the wealthy never earned it anyway they either stole murdered or lied to gain it.this is Americas real legacy on the wealthy Americans

    September 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  116. Bob Schroder Piedmont Quebec

    Dear Jack
    Two great questions today but you should have combined them.....What's the right age to so-call retire so the wealthy can keep their tax breaks?

    September 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  117. Julie

    I don't think of it as raising taxes on the wealthy. I think of it as readjusting to make things fair. People seem to forget that Reagan favored the wealthy in his tax breaks, and since he had to get more tax money somewhere, he picked on social security and private pensions, those at the lower end of the pay scale. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy seems like a good way to do this.
    Richmond, VA

    September 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  118. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    I guess I'm confused about what taxes are used for. I always thought of taxes as the income of the United States. When we have a surplus, which we had during the Clinton years, then I think reasonable tax cuts would be in order. However, when, as Bush and his Republican controlled Congress did in 2001, you cut taxes and then within two years start not one, but two wars, then you are cutting your own throat. All I've heard from Republicans for the past 7 years is "Cut taxes! Cut taxes!" with no mention of how to control the deficit and the debt that Bush caused with his tax cuts and two wars. So I guess what I'm saying about tax increases is, "Bring 'em on!" across the board!

    September 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  119. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    I have some questions about this:

    1.) would people with a million dollars after taxes spend less because they felt pinched?

    2.) Would Corporations like Exxon with billions in profits quite trying to make money to avoid higher taxes.

    3.) Are the small business people being taxed on expenses like payroll and investment. Or are they being taxed on the money they put into their pockets?

    If the answer is yes then there should be a debate. But if the answer is no, then there is unreasonable politics.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  120. paul westminster

    Reagan cut taxes and during his eight years the national debt almost doubled and he was the first president to spend more than every other president before him combined the do nothing party tells us they were great years. Bush cut taxes and the same thing happened. Now the do nothing party complains that our debt is to high. They should know their polices guaranteed it. The taxes should never have been cut in the first place.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  121. Independent in Wisconsin

    $250k or $200k , neither of which is "wealthy" or rich- It's class warfare. Stop punishing people for success – flat tax plus usage taxes only. That's progressive taxation at its best.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  122. Jeff In Minnesota

    Setting a limit just means that people making more than that will cut their income to make that limit and then take the rest of their income in ways that are not taxed. The British government tried this in the late 1970s and that is what happened there. People made just below the limit and then got stipends for cars, houses, etc. that were not covered under the tax laws. There were also mass exoduses of the wealthy from Britain to other countries. This is why history is so important. If you don't learn from history, you tend to make the same mistakes. The government needs to carefully raise revenue while not making things so onerous that it drives the economy underground to causes the wealthy to find other ways to invest but not in our future.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  123. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    It is ODD how Republicans, in the name of fiscal responsibility, are so anxious to cut programs intended to help the needy and invest in public education and our infrastructure, but when it comes to their rich buddies it's a give-away programs spree under the lie that the wealthy will invest our way out of recession if we just reduce their taxes. If the wealthy were going to invest in anything other than derivatives they would have done so already. Republicans must think Americans are stupid to try to pull this scam off [and we will find out this November if they are right and we are (stupid)]. These wealthiest Americans did exceedingly well under Clinton before the Bush tax cuts/welfare for the rich and they will do well regardless. You can't complain about the huge budget deficit on the one hand and then refuse to take responsibility for paying to reduce it as well as for the growing gap between the haves and have-nots. Someone must pay. The poor and unemployed have no money to pay. The middle-class and working American has already paid more than their share. It is time for those wealthiest of Americans whose income continues to grow when the rest of us suffer to put their money where their mouths are, pay their taxes and quit whining about it.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  124. Sean in Michigan

    It's not hard to figure out. Most employers make more then $250,000, and if the rich are "greedy" then they will want to make sure they don't lose money. Simply put, that means less jobs. Way to fix the problem.
    I suppose small business owners who make less then $250,000 will be able to hire a few people. Isn't the possibility of having some people working at minimum wage exciting! Poverty must be the change Obama was talking about.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  125. Miguel

    Jack, I'm a simpleton, I have no fancy degree, or prestigious family line. That said I just don't understand why people are freaking out about this tax hike on the rich? They're RICH! A millionaire isn't looked at as rich anymore.
    Cutting taxes on them would make as much sense as having a weight loss clinic for the obese where the main foods are deserts then arguing that its simply the best way to solve obesity? But hey some would believe it.
    Just as some believe raising taxes will create more issues they seem to forget we tried the tax cuts, clearly it did more to enrich the rich than it did to help America. But hey I am no economist, so I wouldn't understand how more tax money wouldn't help so I'm not trying to.
    Can you help a simple guy like me understand what are the actual figures on what these so called RICH folks will have to pay? Lets say someone making a million a year?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  126. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    Jack, let the tax cuts for wealthy individuals and couples expire. In turn, offer very attractive tax cuts and other tax incentives for small business. It does not take an PhD in economics to know that it is small business that creates the jobs that drive our economy. Oh, and Jack, remember, those wealthy people, they can always find a way to avoid a certain amount of taxes. I ought to know, I do it, and I do it legally.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  127. Annie, Atlanta

    No. Trickle down economics was this wonderful plan to cut taxes for the rich who would then be able to provide jobs. They did. For China and India. Good for them, bad for us. The top 1%, or Robber Barons, of 1915 owned 18% of the wealth. Today they own 24% of it. God we’re ignorant and gullible.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  128. Justin Smith

    You know what Jack, I think people seem to forget this isn't something that is written into law. So it wouldn't be raising the taxes on the rich, it would be more of giving them a rain check. Think about it, go into a store and demand the sale price of last weeks ad after you already took advantage of it. You ask me it's just greed, but if that's what the majority of my fellow "intelligent" U.S. citizens want, I say let them have it. Some people have to get hit by a car to know to look both ways.

    Justin Smith
    Philadelphia, Pa

    September 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  129. Jane in CA

    The economy isn't weakened for the wealthy. They have had most of the income gains for the last 30 years, and all of the income gains for the last decade. The banks are giving out bonuses like nothing ever happened. I think our country did better when the wealthy paid more. Now we have bridges collapsing and roads crumbling, or being reverted to gravel. The United States is falling behind the rest of the world, because private enterprise won't or can't match what is happening in other countries. If this country leaves development up to private enterprise, we will look like Pakistan or Bangladesh within 50 years.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  130. Anthony from NJ

    Woe to the poor wealthy that they should contribute more to this country than Joe Six-Pack. Our country should abide by the Constitution which declares every one is equal and should be treated as such. No matter that this country is awash in red ink caused by economical greed, the rich
    have rights too . It's not their duty to this country to keep it solvent. Just because they knew how to manipulate money markets and we suckers fell for it, it's unconstitutional to make laws bias to the wealthy. It's time to lawyer-up!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  131. Steve

    Giving tax breaks to the wealthy was the idea behind "trickle down economics". History has shown "trickle down economics" is really "trickle on economics".

    September 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  132. Linda in Arizona

    No. The tax cuts for the rich were a mistake to begin with.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  133. katiec Pekin, IL

    Eliminating tax cuts for the rich will have nothing to do with our economy, but will eliminate billions in deficit.
    Reagan started trickle down economics and it did not work then or is it working now. When Bush put this tax cut into place, many millionaires, billionaires questioned the intelligence of this move stating they did not need it.
    Yet, we have the republicans who are making this the only policy they support in 20 months. They voted against anything and everything for middle class, less fortunate, diasbled, veterans, small business, funding to keep teachers and fire fighters working, unemployed,.
    America, doesn't that tell you where their priorities are?
    Course, with the upcoming election and their win at any cost goals, they will continue to try to destroy any improvements, advancements.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  134. Joann Gilbert-Croteau


    Wealthy millionaire, T. Boone Pickens has it right. When his own secretary's taxes are much higher then his, something is wrong.

    Its not a mistake to raise taxes on the wealthy. If the government doesen't raise their taxes, just who do you think is going to pay their share! Us!

    If they get their tax cut, it will also add millions, if not billions to the deficit over the next ten years.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  135. Mel Seyffert - Houston

    Jack, it probably is a bad idea. That is a simple answer to a very complex situation. The problem is that we have a lot of probable bad ideas to choose from to solve this problem. If the US want to be the policeman of the world it cost a lot of money and the conundrum is that no one thinks he should have to pay taxes. Right now the Chinese are floating our boat, but; how long is that going to last. When the Chinese turn off the spigot of money that is when it really hits the fan. Because of the wide difference of wealth in this country we will be forced back to a feudal society. Is that what the Republicans want.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  136. frankie

    The wealthy will still be wealthy when these tax cuts are allowed to expire. The trickle down theory does not work. You have reported on CNN that factories are hiring temporary workers rather than pay higher wages and health insurance. This has been going on already in the years that the wealthy had the Bush tax cut. Many factories get their new hires only through temp agencies, and then keep the people as temps for as long as they can. Did you think this is something new?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  137. Phil, georgia

    Well,, they have had tax cuts for the past 10 years and it did not stop our economy from going into the tank. Also, they are still getting tax breaks at this time and still will not help out America by hiring people.
    So what is the real use for the rich to get tax breaks? There does not seem to be one.....

    September 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  138. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    First of all, billionaires' taxes aren't being raised, their tax CUTS are expiring, & the expiration date was determined by Republican'ts. The cuts were set to expire in December, & so they shall.

    Small business owners won't be affected, since they only have to do a bit of creative bookkeeping, &, legally, won't have to pay a penny in taxes.

    We can't afford more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. It will cost $700,000,000,000.00 that we don't have, & will have to be borrowed from China.

    Republican'ts didn't even want to extend unemployment benefits to help the middle class, in an emergency situation. They would NEVER agree to borrow more money from China just to extend tax cuts for people who won't even know the difference.

    Republican'ts say that they want to reduce the defecit. Tax cuts would increase the defecit enormously, ergo, the Republicans would never go for it.

    Besides the fact that we don't want to get even more deeply into debt, the Economy will grow much more slowly if so much borrowed money is paid to the wealthy, (who certainly don't need it, & didn't ask for it). Far from stimulating our economy, goving more money to them doesn't have any effect on the economy, one way or another. It has been tried, & proven ineffective. Any economist worth his/her salt, will tell you that. Even Dubbya's economists said that tax cuts for the rich were a mistake; a failed experiment.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  139. Clark from Leawood, KS

    How can we have a relevant conversation about income taxes when under the current tax code, 48% of American households pay zero income tax? Isn't it kind of ironic these same people want to raise taxes on the so called "wealthy"? My questions is, at what point does someone say, "wait a minute. This just isn't fair!"

    September 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  140. Sandra Williams

    It is a complex issue...but my parents always said that with success comes responsibilities and a bigger tax bracket was one of those. Be thankful if you make it to pay. Will taxing the so called wealthy at a higher rate prevent job creation...well, we've been taxing at a reduced rate and have lost jobs...that speaks for itself.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  141. Ann Marie from SC

    Yes, it is a mistake to raise taxes on only the wealthy. Our tax system needs overhauling, but that isn’t your question.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  142. Jason

    Jack, we have given the rich and the corporations tax cuts assuming they would create jobs in return, and they have not! They simply hoard the money and the rest of us have no benefit. With our budget in deficit, yes, the tax cuts for these folks should be allowed to expire.

    Schenectady, NY

    September 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  143. Brian

    LET THEM EXPIRE! If anything, the upper marginal tax rate has been historically higher! Over 50%! The concept of supply side economics has been a disaster for this country and the republicans only serve their corporate masters. The rich can get richer when they start innovating again instead of simply just fleecing the middle class.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  144. John from San Antonio

    Cutting taxes for the rich, who are making much of their money outside the U.S., so they can invest or spend outside the U.S. doesn't do anything for our economy. The middle class however will spend all of their money in our economy. We have to stop listening to the rich before the middle class disappears completely and with it the U. S. for our government and economy can only survive with a vibrant middle class.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  145. Mark, Oklahoma City

    High income workers, those making over $250K pay MOST of the taxes this government takes in, then the government turns around after blowing it all and give low income NON-TAX PAYERS a REFUND check after January 1st. What the hell is FAIR about that?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  146. Derrick

    No it is not a mistake, the rich do not like to create jobs- that would be like sharing money. If the rich created jobs then why didn't the tax cuts work in the first place and 'trickle down' some jobs and wealth to the rest of us?

    Derrick in FL

    September 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  147. My TDuck

    Do not raise taxes on anyone. Enough already!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  148. Sheryll

    We can't afford the Bush tax cuts. Creating them 10 years ago contributed to the economic down spiral we are in now. Give the tax cuts to the 98% of Americans who will spend the money, keeping each other employed. That 2% will only send it overseas and hoard it, which is zero help to the economy.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  149. D

    I think we should stand behind the President. Maybe he could raise the level to $300,000 and $350,000 to include a few more people, however, we need to raise money to pay for the help needed to keep the economy stable. Another solution, sell Alaska to China, settle up even Steven, stop losing jobs overseas, close the borders and start manufacturing again. lol

    September 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  150. Dolores Surprise AZ

    This is a no brainer.....cut the fat cat taxes and cut the deficit, leave them in place and race the deficit. The republicans yell, DEFICIT, DEFICIT, DEFICIT, but if they have to give up their big tax cuts, then they don't care about the deficit. I was not an Obama supporter, I was a Clinton supporter but he is the President and if he doesn't follow through on his campaign promise of getting rid of the bush tax cuts for the rich, then I won't be a supporter of anyone I guess.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  151. Barb in Las Vegas

    The fact is that the tax cuts Bush gave the "so-called wealthy" added to the deficit that existed when Pres. Obama took the helm. I don't think it's a mistake; whatever happened to the "the more you make, the more they take" maxim that I was told back when I first started working way-back-when? Back room deals gave these rich folks the breaks, President has to cut the crap on some level.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  152. Nancy, Tennessee

    For Americans living on $30,000 per year income, the tax cuts expiring for those making $250,000 sounds fair. These people have enjoyed nice tax cuts for many years and I hope they made the best of it and put away some nice nest eggs including paying their mortgages way down. Our country is in deep trouble over the economic situation and debt. Hillary Clinton thought now was a good time to remind all of us of the security threat our debt causes. We need taxes collected and spending curtailed to bring down our debt. It will be painful for all, but like during WWII Uncle Sam needs you and your taxes.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  153. chris brown fl.

    jack as far as i can see at that level there is not a weakened economy.
    their getting their labor for 8 dollars an hour, their able and are, buying the repossed homes and their eating unlike a lot of Americans. a good portion of those people are what caused this mess and lets not forget all of these jobs they have created .these people do not believe they should pay any taxes

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  154. Eve Lemon

    The rich have been getting richer and the poorer getting poorer over the last few decades. The rich use the same infrastructure as we do, postal, educational, military protection, etc. as we do, but do NOT pay their fair share. They buy the politicians and run the country. Yes, make them pay their freight too, particularly since they make the decisions over us. EVE of Texas

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  155. Nancy - Loveland CO

    Sure its a good idea. The "Wealthy" don't even know we've been in a deep recession - and are not concerned for those who have been affected. All they want is more money. There is never enough for them. I would, however support a cut-off of $500,000 income per your comments about cost of living in NYC.

    Nancy – Loveland, CO

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  156. Jim McPartland

    No, it's not a mistake. I wish I made that much and could pay the tax! The Republican are always wanting to give the rich MORE! The middle class is losing groung, we need a break before there is a revolt in this country!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  157. Gregory


    No, it is not a bad idea. Remember, the rich people who want to keep their tax break - read govt. handout - are the same ones who fought tooth and nail to deny middle class workers an extension on their unemployment benefits. WHAT HYPOCRITES!!!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  158. steve

    If I'm not mistaken, Obama would not be raising taxes on the wealthy. He would be allowing a tax cut to expire, as it was originally designed to do.

    Let's not forget, too, that the Clinton tax code seemed to work alright. He created 23 million jobs or so, compared to the 3 million George Bush created.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  159. Patricia/Georgia

    Most economists feel the rich do not spend it is the little guy that spends and contributes to the economy. The rich have their money in tax loopholes or in foreign banks were they don't pay taxes so how is that helping the economy. Imagine the income we would get if they were not allowed to do this. I feel it is time to give the little guy a break and the republicans feel it should be the rich. They have been pandering to them these last 8 yrs and look where we are. It has not worked and will not work in the future.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  160. Bill

    No! That 2% is not paying thier fair share of our progressive tax burden. The President is right.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  161. Tillie / Texas

    Let them expire and see what happens. See is believing. We will never know until it happens. Why not let them expire? Does any of you so called smart people know what is really going happen? You Cafferty? How about you Wolfe? If the smart folks knew so much, we would not be in this mess!!!!!! Where were the analysis when we need them?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  162. Marilyn in AZ

    It's not a mistake to raise taxes on the wealthy. They'll still take their cruises and vacations and buy their designer clothes.

    The middle class doesn't have any money to spend because we're paying the taxes to make up FOR the tax cuts for the wealthy!!

    Raise the taxes for the wealthy, and lower them for the people who are raising families and need the money to spend.
    THAT will stimulate the economy!!!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  163. Dave M

    I'd like to know of anyone that's gotten a job, paycheck, raise from a poor person. Get real...rich people hire people and create jobs, buy cars, take vacations, etc. Stop trying to fix our governments inability to reel in entitlements by taxing the very people that made this country a leader.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  164. bridget


    I take issue with the math that Obama keeps touting. $250k / year does not equate to 'wealthy' in the NYC suburbs.

    What's worse though is the idea that a single person making $200k doesn't get hit with additional taxes, but a couple gets hit at $250k. The only conclusion I can draw from that is a flawed assumption – that Obama assumes that somebody in a 'wealthy' couple is making a whopping $50k / year.

    My husband and I may be better off getting divorced.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  165. Tom S.


    I've paid my fair share to the tune of nearly $ one million in federal and state taxes over the past 27 years (married filing jointly) – far more than I've managed to save, I can assure you. I'd like the "wealthy" to pay their share (proportionally). Currently, they do not. It's the only fair thing to do.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  166. Larry

    Here is a little secret jack that NEVER gets reported....If anyone wants to check this out please do. Everytime in the last hundred years when tax's where increased the general wellfare in the next decade of all Americans increased mortality rates, personal income, ect,ect. When the tax rates where cut the exact opposite happened. What rocket scientist does it take to report this...??? Preety soon people are going to have to understand "it's us against them"..Have a great day jack...!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  167. Michael, Springfield VA

    It's not about who gets a tax break. It's about who pays their fair share. Let's face it, our tax system makes no sense, loopholes favor the wealthy and the tax burden of the country falls on the backs of the middle class. It is high time to apply some equality and common sense to the way this country collects taxes. How about a fair tax rate and no loop holes or breaks. Everyone pays their fair share.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  168. Jon from Illinois

    The Bush tax cuts should be left to expire to the people that didn't need the in he first place (the wealthiest 3%) and extended to the middle class.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  169. Deborah Ballweg

    I have a friend who works his ass off to support his family. He does make over 250K but is away from home most of the time. He is a trucker. It is not fair to penalize him for trying to make a better life for his family just because he works harder than other people. Tax rates should be flat. That is the only fair way. The way to pay down the deficit is to stop spending money. There is plenty coming in. Congress just does not respect other people's money.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  170. Marilyn

    Jack, It doesn't really matter. People making over $200,000 will hire their CPAs and attorneys and get out of the taxes anyway. And if they do have to pay anything, it probably won't be more than what they pay for a meal, that is when they pay for a meal and don't claim it as a deduction.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  171. Jeff

    This is not raising taxes, it is allowing a cut to expire. Taxes would just go back to the Clinton era. I think they should tax the wealthiest at the rates in effect during the 1970's.

    We've been dealing with unfunded two wars and a deep recession. Wealthy people should see this as their patriotic duty to do their part for our country.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  172. Troy

    Don't tell me that you are buying into that clap trap from the right, Jack. After all we've been through with Healthcare and other weak reforms you'd think we would all learn to automatically mistrust that kind of rhetoric. Anybody who says there's even a slice of chance the tax cuts will be extended for the rich, is a servile tool and a shill FOR the rich. Even those pundits who innocently bring it up are complicit. It is non-negotiable. The cost could be, one source said, 4.4 Trillion over the next ten years! It's not 750 billion like everyone is saying now. They are all complicit tools for the rich to not acknowledge that number and act like the lower one is real. They are all accessories in the crime of the century. Those tax cuts have cost us 1.4 Trillion over the past ten years! I don't wanna hear anymore about this. End of discussion.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  173. Otto Olson - North Dakota

    Jack, why the slam on Fargo, North Dakota? That wasn't very nice. North Dakota has one of the best economies in the country right now.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  174. Casey

    Tax the rich! Tax the rich! They've been riding on the backs of the rest of us for FAR too long. Why should my kids pay the difference when the rich don't need another Porsche. .

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  175. Stephanie

    I'm a bit confused...All I've heard from President Obama is Americans need jobs. I don't know about you, but I've never been hired by a poor person.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  176. Karen

    Yes, keep the tax for the wealthy and cut taxes for the middle class so they can contribute to the economy and make a difference The wealthy are not even going to notice a difference. Yes, I am in the minority in Oklahoma.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  177. Mike

    The vast majority of the rich in America became wealthy on the backs of the middle class and the working poor. It's high time for the rich to pay their fair share, and to cut taxes for hardworking folks.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  178. John Schilling, Chambersburg, PA

    Yes. Raising taxes on any one at this point is wrong. Many of these individuals represent small businesses. That's a sure way to kill more jobs.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  179. Steve

    We need the tax revenue, period. They can afford it. The rate should never have been cut, and I am in the affected bracket. The Republicans legislated the tax cut into effect, along with its sunset date. For them to now call the expiration of the break, which they legislated, an "Obama Tax Hike" is the typical deception we have come to expect from them. This country needed to extend medical care to those lacking it, and that's the kind of program our country should come out of pocket for.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  180. el don Rodrigo

    Not a mistake Jack but part of the the solution for the economy. You see when sitting down at a restaurant with several people at your table, you can always tell a Republican. They are always in the restroom when the check comes washing their hands of that free meal. It is about time they pay their fare share when the bill comes.

    San Jose, CA

    September 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  181. John S

    Jack this is not a complex question, stop putting money in the upper class, and start putting money in the middle class, sorry, just remembered, the Bush policies did away with the middle class, my bad!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  182. Frank

    Absolutely the tax break should be allowed to expire for the rich. The government does not sell products and raises money from taxes. These people have benefited the most from being in this country so they should be happy to pay for it not whining. Or should we just let China own us?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  183. Vince V

    Of course, raising taxes on the wealthiest is a BIG MISTAKE! They are responsible for creating half this country's jobs. Also, try convincincing someone whose married, has 2 or 3 kids, paying tuition and living in Manhattan, or LA, or some other major city that they're wealthy. I DON'T THINK SO!

    Vince Vee
    Pelham Bay, NY

    September 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  184. Barb in Las Vegas

    I love the post by one regular blogger on the Political Ticker re: this topic: The wealthy need to ask themselves: "Do you remember the French Revolution?" Truth tell, I remember best the movie "History of the World's" spoof of that event. Remember the maxim of those in power was "F#$% the poor?" Well, that's been going on for too long in this country and it's time the folks with the money to afford such treatment got a taste of that medicine.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  185. Debbie

    NO it is not a mistake to fulfill the promise of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. 1) Bush sold this bill of goods as a job creator. It did not. It was a form of Reagonomics that said: give a tax cut to the wealthy and they will hire you. Results were the increase of outsourcing of jobs. 2) The wealthy enjoy the freedoms and benefits of America without giving anything back. Basically, the wealthy are not grateful for what they have been given but are greedy and just want more. America has a deficit (mostly caused by the Iraq war and business as in banks, wall street, sub-prime loans) and it is time that business and the wealthy step up to the plate and pledge their allgiance to America vs the almighty dollar.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  186. Michael n Seattle

    No No only a stupid person would consider taking more revenue out of our treasury when we are in such debt. I have a feeling those getting the cuts now won't suffer as much as the unemployed. paying 4% more

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  187. Bob Thomson

    Why the bleeding heart for the wealthy? What do you suppose they might have done with a Bush tax cut when they got it? I'd bet they invested it or bought one or two more European luxury sedans or limos that stimulated the European economy but not ours. The Republicans will always pander to the wealthy who supply them with campaign funds.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  188. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, this tax hike is he great bogey-man of the far right. The Gee-nO-teaPartiers are spreading gloom and doom scenarios if their economic policies are followed. Those are the same economic policies that put us in this mess, by the way. Look at a few facts: Reagan cut taxes in 1981 and then turned around and raised taxes again in 1982 and our economy pulled out of the recession we were mire in and thrived. Bush I had to eat his "read my lips: no new taxes" convention speach and raise taxes in 1990; our country survived. Dubya cut taxes and nearly sent this country into bankrupcy. We have to raise taxes to survive and the rich, who have benefitted from almost 30 years of favoritism, must now pay for what that favoritism has done to this country.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  189. Jim Blevins

    I would sure like to be able to think that someone earning a 1/4 of a million a year might not be wealthy - Jack you are really out of touch with the "common people".

    A lot of the idea is to get people with money to put it into production. If you increase the tax on money that the rich keep for themselves, but insure that all money invested in production is deductible, you have exactly the right state.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  190. Carolyn

    It won't hurt the ecomomy at all to raise taxes on the richest people. They are just setting on a big wad of dough, probably in foreign bank accounts, not spending any of it to get the country out of this recession that they created. Furthermore, they should have to pay social security taxes on every dime of that income. The poorest people in the USA have to, why should they be any different.?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  191. Terry from N. Dakota

    I did not know 9.6 million people fit into that $250,000 category. I am one of them. My wife does not work. We have six children and I run two businesses. I've not laid off any of my staff and, in fact, have hired a couple more and given out raises the last two years. So, do you want to penalize me because I have this income which, in turn, will cost some of my employees their jobs. I don't live high on the hog. My house is 25 years old. I don't own any toys but I still have to look after myself and the bills that I have which include lines of credit for business purposes. Let's freeze it for two years and see what happens because I need to keep my guys working and my business not to fail because then I'll be looking for a handout to help!!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  192. Carmine Picarello

    I heard earlier today the top 1to3% of earners will feel this tax. If you're not earning millions per year, you have nothing to fear. Those that do make millions per year won't even notice the pinprick with their protected investments and loopholes.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  193. antonio

    Well if taxes are raised on those who make 250k that wouldnt do any good for the unemployment rate considering those are usually business people. It almost seems like a cache 22. Raise taxes loose or dont create work. Keep taxes the same and the rich get richer.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  194. Marty fouts

    No it's not a mistake. Just look at all the jobs they've created with their tax-cuts! ooops! they were jobs for Chine and India. I understand yacht sales are still pretty brisk. I am getting laid off from a city municipality the 17th of this month. I applied for a job today as asst. mgr. for a parking garage at the local airport. 10 bucks an hour and NObenefits.
    The working poor can't take it anymore. Put the tax rates back where they were before George W. gave all his buddies a gift!
    Marty St. Petersburg, Fl

    September 8, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  195. john in ca

    If you look at the percent of gross income the wealthy pay in taxes it is much less than the percentage everyone else pays. However, they will say they pay more, which is true in dollar value. So the wealthy pay very little in taxes and the poor do not pay any so who is paying the taxes? The middle class who is going bankrupt. It is time for the wealthy to pay their share. The funniest part of this is that the government is made up of the wealthy, so do you expect the outcome to be?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  196. Conor in Chicago

    This is class war. This country exists on the backs of the poor since the Middle Class doesn't exist anymore. 30 years of tax breaks, off shoring, and globalization, have ensured the wealthy live high on the hog while the rest of us fight for the economic scraps left over, like $9 an hour call center gigs, or $5 an our greeter positions at your local shopping mart.

    You rich people are the ones who did this to this country. You are the ones that put profit before national interest. You are the ones who bought nice cars while we watched the jobs go to China. You are the ones that helped start these wars while our sons and daughters went and fought it because there were no jobs in our towns and the only employer left was the military.

    You had your decades of good times and we've had enough. Pay your share or it is civil unrest. Period. You want class war? You're about to get it. Period.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  197. Jody Ramsay

    Raising taxes on anyone at this point will not improve the economy. The wealthy that I know earned it from the sweat of their brow, and should not be penalized for achieving the American dream. To continue to badger them to carry Obama's spending spree is robbery. Nothing more.

    If our Representatives cared about the people they would be talking pay-cuts and the end of benefits in Washington. How much would we save if our Reps. served us instead of used us to pad their savings?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  198. Dylan


    How do the Republicans get away with this? They increase spending and lower taxes... something has to give! When a Democrat comes into office, he has to be the "bad guy" charged with figuring out how to pay off the country's ballooning debt load. Somehow when the Democrats clean up the Republican mess, they end up being the goat. Over half of the people in this country either owe nothing in income taxes or get something back, lowering taxes even more is not fiscally responsible – just a populist ploy to get an uneducated vote. The tax cuts should expire – Americans had more money than ever before under Clinton, and that was without these ludicrous and impossible to justify tax cuts given to people who DON'T need them!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  199. Frank Gordon

    This is a question about complex economic policy. It's ridiculous to try and answer it as if it's a popularity contest. Who's the cutest girl in class, Miss Tax Cut or Miss Richy Rich? The answer will determine the size of our national debt, our ability to finance our defense and our ongoing wars, whether China might blackmail us into policy concessions, etc. etc. Don't forget to vote before 6th period!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  200. Christine

    isen't it about time the wealthy paid the Fair Share. With all the tax loop holes and deductions they know about they still won't pay what they could. How many people do you know personally that make $ 200,000 a year. Maybe this will start a new wave of donations and private investments, that can be deducted.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  201. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Jack, I think you should be thankful you have money and stop whining about being considered rich–you see your viewpoint betrays you. Think about people like me who only make 22,000 a year working full time–yeah that's the best I could do for a job. I wouldn't mind paying a little more out if I had another zero in the right place. I wouldn't have to worry if I could afford to heat my home in winter or get things fixed when they break. Think about other people, Jack.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  202. George in Sacramento, CA

    Jack: why are you using the phrase 'so-called wealthy'? Are you suggesting that the 250k mark (i.e. the top 2% income earners) isn't high enough? Do you have a better number?

    The truth of the matter is that we as Americans don't discuss wealth and income distribution very often or in much depth. We need to start having these discussions, and not just with respect to taxes.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  203. Manuel Sousa

    To all those fiscal conservatives who want the Bush Tax cuts to continue - you are will to add 780 billion to the deficits? If you want them to continue then you, as fiscal conservative must be willing to specify what budget cuts you are willing to make to assure that these Tax Breaks for individuals who make more than $200,000 will not effect the deficit. If raising taxes on those individuals will hurt the economy, will reducing government spending help the economy? There are too many Americans who have the attitude that I have mine to hell with you.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  204. Dan-Eustis,Florida

    The so called wealthy have had a wind fall the last eight years with the
    tax cuts funded by borrowed money from China. The so called wealthy
    will all surely burn in Hell for their perverse greed but while they are
    still breathing sock it to em ! Tax them until it hurts. They are the ones
    who benefited from the loans from China let them pay them off. We can't
    afford tax cuts. We are so far in the crapper, its time to wake up and deal
    with reality. I here all these wing nuts complaining about to much
    Government but they want better border security, better schools, better
    roads and on and on who do they think takes care of that, the boy
    scouts. People need to take off the rose colored glasses and see
    things as they really are.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  205. Mike in MN

    90% of the country makes less than $200,000 a year regardless of where they live. Add to that the fact the Bush tax cuts certainly didn't help keep us out of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, and the fact that these tax cuts on the most wealthy Americans represent almost a 3rd of our deficit, they most certainly should expire for the wealthy. If you make over $250,000 per couple or $200,000 for an individual, you should be paying more than the family of 4 who are trying to survive on $30,000 a year.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  206. Sharon Nichols

    Oh, dear and boo hoo for those who make $200,000/@250,00 who might have to pay more taxes. Try living on $30,000 a year for a couple! Something has to give and it can't be the middle class any longer.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  207. Gail, Plano TX

    Jack: The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should expire at the end if the year. Lawfully, they must as they were only good for 10 years per Bush. It is time for those who are wealthy to join the real world. I think the tax cuts for the middle class should be permanent. My son who is a schoolteacher received 2 $ 600 checks as tax cuts these last 10 years. Hardly a king's ransom. I received no cost of living increase in my social security check this year. So how about the biggest wage earners kicking some money towards the folks who could use a dollar?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  208. Craig Smith

    Leats just have a flat tax. Trickle down econmonics doesnt work that well. On the other hand, when government gets involved, you are at the mercy of some pinhead with no common sense. We will continue to fall behind emerging countries as long as we bicker among ourselcves and focus on class warfare, xenophobia, bigotry and racism. We need a leader!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  209. Leo Rael

    Lets see thats a 4% tax increase for the wealthy! That comes to $10,000 for every $250,000, that sure isn't enough to hire someone. I say tax them. We sure can't afford anoher 700 billion.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  210. Vicky

    I lived in Manhattan from 2003 to 2007 and income was 150k a year and I lived just fine. CNN you have turned republican. Why do you never say anything about the Republicans two point plan? I read the plan...it does not do nearly enough and does not look to the future at all. It's just a plan that does very little to late. Why does CNN not talk about that? Yeah, and i will also be surprised if my email is even read. Surprise me CNN. 🙂

    September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  211. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    The tax system is out of balance and out of decent proportions between rich and middle class! The tax cut to the rich will not improve the economy has they are simply hanging on to their cash in these times! Why would you give more tax cut to them when you are getting less from them; even when times are tough they do not even step up to the plate to be there for the country; which by the way these tough times were not as tough on them in comparison to the damages done to the middle class!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  212. Ron G.

    A great percentage of the highest tax payers make eight million on up. Giving these them this tax break when we are fighting two wars is insensitive.

    What ever happened to War Bonds, and the dedication Americans had during our World Wars. Today we are not connected to the sufferings of our troops, and I wonder how much those little magnetic ribbons get done for our troops.

    We have become a feel good, insensitive society.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  213. Joe in St. Louis


    Less than five percent of the U.S. population makes $250k or more per year. If you make more money than 95 percent of the people in the richest nation on the planet, I think you can be called "rich."

    September 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  214. Del in Moon Twp, Pa

    Are you kidding me? This unnecessary tax break for the wealthy has been the main reason, other than the unnecessary war in Iraq, that has brought on this great recession. Try and remember that during the Clinton years, taxes were raised and 22 million jobs were created and at the same time the annual deficit was reduced to a surplus that if not terminated by the Bush administration would have erased our National Debt to almost nothing by now. As far as living on Manhattan is concerned, if you can't afford to live there, don't. There are a million other places within commuting distance of Manhattan that our affordable.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  215. wycliffe

    Cafferty, I am serious, it is funny, if republicans got there wish for tax cuts for the rich they will still say NO. Soon they will have to start learning how to say Yes. Boehner do you want to be the next speaker? No no no...Yes

    September 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  216. Atizona7

    Jack, I disagree with wording of your question;
    "Is it a mistake to raise taxes on so-called wealthy?"

    These "cuts" were established by a Republican majority to "EXPIRE" at end of 2010.
    President is not "Raising" taxes...He is simply following format for expiration, which rates for upper top 2+/-% of wage would revert back to schedule of Clinton era when we had a BUDGET SURPLUS!!!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  217. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    The tax system is out of balance and out of decent proportions between rich and middle class! The tax cut to the rich will not improve the economy as they are simply hanging on to their cash in these times! Why would you give more tax cut to them when you are getting less from them; even when times are tough they do not even step up to the plate to be there for the country; which by the way these tough times were not as tough on them in comparison to the damages done to the middle class!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  218. Momoh Magona Kallon

    Jack, It is not a mistake to " raise taxes" on the so called wealthy. As a matter of fact Obama is not raising taxes but restoring taxes as they were during the Clinton era which we all know made our economy very strong with huge supplus.. It is all just scare tactics. If republicans are serious about reducing the deficit , I think they should embrace the retirement of the Bush Tax cuts. Republicans are just playing pulitics all the way. I hope Americans are carefully watching them

    September 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  219. Cindy

    Like so many others fortunate enough to HAVE a job, I work at a dead run, five days a week, to make far LESS than $20 thousand per year. Two hundred thousand a year IS wealthy by my standards, and likely always will be...even more so if I LOSE my job while caring for a sick family member...And by the way: Come this next election, don't insult me by saying that I don't "pay taxes"...they're called payroll deductions, and I don't get a say in THAT, either.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  220. G.L..

    Leona Helmsly said the rich don't pay taxes. It's time they started paying taxes. the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should definately expire. I'm sick and tired of the GOP pushing for the wealthy and refusing to help the middle class. American need to wake up and realize that if they vote the GOP in, we are gonna wind up with a society of the rich and the poor.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  221. jim

    Since we know that no Congressman is going to reduce spending and the people refuse to accept less services what else is there to do but let the tax cuts expire.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  222. Janice K Ward

    There are two common misconceptions to this debate. First, consumers and not businesses are the employers in our society. If I hire my neighbor to paint my house, I am clearly the employer. If I hare a painting business to paint my house, I am still the employer and the painting company is merely a contractor who organizes the labor. If we want to stimulate the economy, our best bet is to provide tax breaks that will reach all consumers, specifically by raising the standard deduction. Second, retaining the middle class tax cuts will still retain a tax cut to those making over $250K. They will still receive the same tax cuts as the rest of us on their earnings under $250K, the only rate that would change would be on earnings over $250K. Most of us would gladly change places with them even if it means a higher tax rate.

    Janice from Bellingham

    September 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  223. Griff

    "I kept telling you what would happen to the USA if Obama was elected. Now he wants to go further. Nobody invested in the USA after 2008. 2009 now 2010 you are at rock bottom for investors. No business can survive without investments."

    September 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  224. Kay Coletta

    The federal income tax was initiated for one purpose, even out the economic disparities in the USA. You might even call it the "Robinhood Philosophy." As one who has been at either end of the financial spectrum, I find that asking the rich to pitch in and help the nation's economy is fair and in the end it will bring this country back to what it should be.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  225. Buddy from Illinois


    No it won’t hurt the economy to raise taxes on the wealthy. Unlike those of us just getting by, the wealthy do not spend a large chunk of their income. Raising their taxes back to the rates under the Clinton administration will not cause them to stop spending where a tax increase on someone like me, retired military, would require me cut back on spending. If there’s someone out there making a million dollars who feels like their being persecuted if they have to pay taxes at the Clinton era rates, let’s switch places. You can live on my retirement income and not have a tax increase and I’ll gladly take your million dollar income and pay the extra taxes.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  226. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack there will be a lot of people that say, "Go ahead and tax the rich they can afford it". Those people are not rich so naturally they will say that. Ask these same people how many jobs they have been given by people that are not rich and how much insurance they get from those same people. You do not cut off the hand that feeds you.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  227. Tim Heiges

    jack in my opinion what this is about is our economy is so bad that the middle class has turned into the poor class. so now the goverment has to tax the rich. however, I don't feel it is wrong to let the tax cuts expire for the rich we all pay our fair share and I don't think it is right to give a break to the people with the most money. who ever came up with that concept is an idiot.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  228. Sally Agnone

    Not at all. The top 2%, 80% who are millionaires, consist of athletes, movie stars, doctors, bank ceo's, etc. How many jobs do they create? It's only about $100,000 for most of them. And besides, they will find the tax loopholes to get out of paying. They always do. This will not affect 97% of small businesses and hurt creation of jobs. This is the republican spin. If tax cuts for the rich help the economy, why are we in a recession.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  229. D from SC

    I can't find a job. Never in my life have I had a hard time finding work. I have so much experience that I have worked a lifetime gaining, but it is considered crap these days. Where are the rich people putting their money? They are not investing it in creating jobs. I am not even on any list of the unemployed, I had my own business and did not pay unemployment insurance on myself. Didn't think the economy was going to be destroyed by greed. Never has a recession caused cutbacks of this magnitude. So someone needs to spend some money on American made products, invest in American made products and we need to create JOBS.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  230. Dave

    No it is not a mistake. The wealthy have made enough money on the backs of American workers. It's time for them to pay more than their fair share. Their fair share will still be less of a hardship than the rest of the middle and lower class.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  231. Patsy from Kansas

    Yes, taxing the wealthy is a good idea if one can be sure they will pay their taxes. Wonder if the wealthy includes members of Congress & the White House Staff. Seems the filty rich who can afford to pay taxes will find a way to NOT pay taxes.,,.including our Secretary of Treasury and my former governer who is now Secretary of Health. The low end of the "wealthy individuals" will be the ones who will have to carry the burden of higher taxes and they are the ones we want to expand business and hire the unemployed.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  232. Jeannette/America via Canada

    If the rich are scared they should be: they took employment off shore and now they cry wolf.
    The Tax system in America, panders only to the Rich. Also, cut all the loop holes: then America might just recover from their 'Third World GOP Dictatorship,' Go after off shore banking, and return the money back to the American unemployed.
    If the Republicans and others, really want to help the American citizens, start cutting their own salaries, bonuses, and off shore companies.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  233. Bill - Upper NYS

    Why do people keep on insisting that to expire the TEMPORARY tax break for the top wealthy is a tax increase? It's not. It was a sell-out to the wealthy by the lame-duck Bush administration. Tax breaks for businesses for equipment and R&D IF done in the U.S. – absolutely! Should have been done two years ago. But the Republicans were too busy bashing our President (as if he's micromanaging the economy) instead of making helpful recommendations. But you know how it goes – tell lies enough times and people begin to believe them.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  234. Jane D

    Tax cuts for those making over $200,000. should expire. The policy of tax cuts for the wealthy has not demonstrated that the overall economy improves with these tax cuts. The tax cuts have not helped to stimulate the economy up to now, tax cuts for the wealthy have not helped create new jobs, jobs are still being outsourced outside the U.S. People are still being laid off. Therefore, if anyone needs a tax cut it would be those making less than $200,000. a year.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  235. Tim in Texas

    It's not a zero sum game. The options available are not simply one choice or the other. For instance, we could leave the tax cuts for everybody making less than $400K rather than $250K. We could as Obama has suggested let the tax cuts expire for the wealthy and instead make more targeted tax cuts that will have a better chance of creating jobs and small business growth. A permanent tax cut for research and development, or direct spending on infrastructure for instance, will do much more to grow the economy and create jobs than simply having CEO salaries go up.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  236. Quentin, New Haven, CT

    It is most certainly NOT a mistake to raise taxes on the rich at this time.

    To whom much is given, much is required. We are blessed for the purpose of blessing others; particularly the economically lesser among us. Since the lesser among us incorporates about 98 percent of the country right now, and the majority of the American people could use an economic blessing right now, I see no reason why the privileged among us (because wealth is a privilege) should not pay more in taxes. Why shouldn't they be a blessing to the country that has given them so much by way of economic opportunity? Why shouldn't they be a blessing to the hard working laborers on whose backs their wealth was built? We should ABSOLUTELY allow the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. By doing so, I believe that we do right by hard working Americans who are struggling to make ends meet and fed their families.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  237. Madhavi

    We should let the tax cuts for the "rich" expire. I may fall under the group that will end up paying higher taxes but I do believe that it would be the "morally right" thing to do at this point in this nation's economy. The "fiscally conservatives" have run us into the ground and if the President needs to revert to the tax rates that were in place 8+ years earlier, we all need to stand behind him. It is our combined responsibility to do what is right for America, not just to our individual pockets. Stop being selfish; stop being partisan. Let us get our act together or we go collectively down blazingly!

    September 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  238. Dennis R

    The Bush tax cuts resulted in the top 2% ($250,000) in the US getting 40% of the tax cuts. In other words. for every $1000 of tax cuts, two people out of a hundred received $200 each. The other 98 people got a little over $6. These "trickle down" tax cuts were patently unfair and still our economy went into to the tubes. $250,000/ year may not be a lot of money for a TV personality, but for the average earner it is still a lot of money.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  239. Jim from Austin

    Jack, As a small businessman and one of the 2% who would pay higher taxes, it is a mistake to continue letting the wealthy not pay their fair share, while continuing to widen the gap between the middle class. The wealthest 2% can much better afford this increase and the country cannot afford to keep spending without paying as we go. By the way, if my tax cut does continue I do not intend to run out and start hiring with my "tax bonus" and I doubt that many others would either.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  240. Gerald

    End the tax cuts for the rich. Some information I found from the IRS Statistics of Income just released this summer shows that income for sole proprietorships for the period 2005 to 2008 decreased for 3 years. The first time that has happened since 1988. Oh, what was happenning in the 1980's. Oh yes, tax cuts for the rich. Are not these individuals the ones Republicans are supposed to be helping with their tax cuts for the rich. Some help if incomes drops three years in a row.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  241. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    The debate on a "Yes" or "No" answer on this question is a false debate in my opinion. If the purpose of these tax cuts are to "trickle down" to create jobs, then why not give out tax cuts with a system of accountability built in to them where the tax cuts will be given as an incentive to all employers who create jobs in the United States? This system of accountability should avoid employer abuse of these tax cuts where they will be charged back for a certain amount if they cut the jobs soon after creating them.

    Mitch Dworkin
    Dallas, Texas

    September 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  242. Jay

    If the choices are between raising taxes on the wealthy echelon, or watch the country collapse under a mountain of debt I say raise away. What happened to our willingness to sacrifice for the greater good? When did we become a country of "me me me"? 65 years ago thousands upon thousands of our young people gave everything they had to save the world; and they succeeded. Now, the wealthy refuse to help save themselves. It’s a bit pathetic, really.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  243. Donna in Texas

    I'm an Independent. Have been for 30 yrs, have never belonged to either party; have voted for Democratic and Republican presidents. As my mother used to say "I'm sick and tired"...sick and tired of the Washington politics and blather. The past administration, with their favored tax cuts, deregulation, and political-buddy system put us in this mess. If you think giving more money to the bankers and 2 percenters will help this country, then you have your head buried in the sand (or another orifice). To those who proclaim to love this country, then I say "nut up or shut up".

    September 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  244. phredd

    No, it is not a mistkae. In 1932 the top tax rate changed from 25 to 63 percent. In 1936 ithe top tax rate changed to 79 percent. In 1945 the top tax rate was 91 percent. It remained at no less than 88 percent through 1963 before being lowered to 70 percent. During that time America overcame the Great Depression and experienced the greatest economic boom it has ever known. This was in conjunction with the Keynesian deficit spending.

    The top tax rate needs to be raised and corporations must be required to pay their fair share.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  245. LouisRZ

    You can't raise taxes on the wealthy simply because they pay very little if at all, with all the loop holes and selters. If all else fails they put their money in overseas account. The whole tax system is a joke to the wealthy.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  246. Marlene Amick

    Jack, I believe the wealthy should not have their taxes increased. they have earned or been given what they have and it is not right to demand that they share what they have. Most wealthy people probably share more than we will ever know. They provide most of our jobs in
    america. Don't take their incentives away or America will loose.
    Marlene Amick
    Clinton, MS

    September 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  247. James Howells- Upland, CA

    If the trickle down theory worked we would not be having this discussion right now.
    Let the tax breaks expire, and let's move on.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  248. richard

    jack: i never made more than 53 thousand in my life and have never felt over taxed. tax breaks should be given to people or companies that give jobs to Americans. gym shoes made in china sell for $120 at the mall. you can't tell me we can't put Americans to work in this country making shoes, jeans, etc if Americans are dumb enough to pay that much cash for crap made in china by a guy making $25 a week. think about this, drywall, toys, dog food their schoolchildren's buildings collapsing on them. they don't do anything right but the rich in this country go to the mall and buy $1.50 clothes and shoes etc. for hundreds of $. stupid

    September 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  249. jim

    If tax cuts work so well why not eliminate them altogther. We all know that the American people love their country so much that they would be willing to voluntarily donate when needed. I'm sure they will also volunteer their services as firemen, police, trash haulers and of course pay for their own amunition as they march off to war to save our great country.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  250. EE Wiese

    Drop/remove/cut the Bush tax cuts to the rich,We need the money and I'm too poor to be a Republican. Gene

    September 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  251. Earl

    The wealthy have robbed this country of it's factories (sold to china), of it's heart (want to get rid of Social Security for Grandma) and of it's soul (starting unnecessary wars (Iraq). They have taken so much the middle class almost does not exist. And they gain so much from this country and the taxes paid by the "little people" who actually pay taxes. Eliminating the Bush tax cuts (not raising taxes) is only fair. Let them help pay down the debt of war that they supported so strongly.

    Better yet, put the tax rates for the wealthy back to the level the one liberal they like to compare themselves to, John Kennedy. Like they tell us he lowered taxes, from 91% to 70%. 70% seems just about right.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  252. Gigi Oregon

    It is too bad we the people do no think before we vote. There is no way the U.S. can come out of this mess until taxes are collected from the so called rich and lowered for the middle class. I for one am tired of being told how the rich need a tax cut out of one side of their mouth and running of to catch a plane for their quarterly vacation. Which I haven't had in four years. I did decide to switch from a mega bank to a local credit union to store my savings in and not shopping a major department stores and using local stores. You go ahead and support big money. The power of big money is the economy problem.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  253. Broke Jimmy

    Funny thing Jack, if I could borrow $50,000 I could open a business and within a year or two employ a few people, of course the investment class do not invest in poor people.

    Its funny how those who have everything want more, and want those who have nothing to pay for it.

    Mr Bohners phylosophy fits right in there with the nationalist socialist party of the 30's...Today it is known as a corpocracy, everything for those at the very top and absolutely nothing for anybody else.

    I dont understand how any intelligent human being who works for a living could every consider voting republican ever again.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  254. Bill from Roscoe,IL

    To raise taxes on anyone let alone the top performers is another example of what is wrong in this country.Americans are working harder than ever and making more sacrifices for their jobs.To punish us by paying more for out of control spending and empty promises is an outrage.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  255. Birddog in Mississippi

    Everytime we lower taxes on the wealthy, the wealthy get wealthier and the middle class shrinks. Nothing 'trickles down', it trickles into the pockets of CEO's and hedge fund managers. As of 2007, the top 1% of the population owned 34.6% of the wealth of the country. The bottom 80% owned 15% of the country. If this trend of distribution of wealth continues, capitalism will end. You simply can not have a competitive environment if the vast majority of the country has no wealth.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  256. kim

    since the rich dont want to pay up, maybe we can get them to have a telethon to do it. they dont want to do anything that takes money out of their pockets unless its prime time. how about a save America telethon?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  257. steve

    Bush's plan: help the rich, forget the poor and middle class, deregulate everything and allow the private sector decide to do right by the people (cough, cough)

    Boeher's plan: see above

    There's a reason Warren Buffet felt guilty about paying a smaller percentage of income tax than his secretary did.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  258. Ed (visa jr)

    Cost of wars $1 billion +
    Cost of bailouts $1billion +
    Tax cuts for the wealthy $700 million +
    fooling americans into voting republican priceless

    so spend spend spend

    September 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  259. EE Wiese

    Retire when you want to.I was 67,but did part time until 78.I've been retired for 20 yrs(from my day job).and hope everyone can get social security and Medicare. Gene

    September 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  260. John- Pittsburgh, Pa

    Yes, it is a mistake to give tax breaks to the wealthy. If Bush's tax cuts are not to blame for the messed up economy, then how come the economy is not better, yet? Obvioulsy, the rich are sitting on their money and being stingy.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  261. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, the nation is borrowing money from the Chinese so that the "so-called" wealthy can get a tax break. This is what happened when G.W. Bush and his rubber-stamp Republican led Congress pushed through the tax breaks.
    Who is going to pay back what we're borrowing so that the "so-called" wealthy can have a few more thousands (or millions) to squander on things they don't need?
    Hartwell GA

    September 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  262. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    During our weakened economy the so-called wealthy gained more untaxable wealth. There should be no mistake about it, their taxes should be raised.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  263. Conor in Chicago

    It's is also important that everybody understand that there is a reason these cuts were set to expire. Why? Because keeping them in place means financial ruin for the United States, especially when you factor in two wars (thanks Bush-great idea). Bush knew this. Republicans know this. But, of course, they don't care. They go theirs, you can go to hell thank you very much.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  264. Michael Gonzales

    While I hate too give more money too the Paris Hiltons of the world it cant be helped because it also gives money too the Rich folks who give me a job and my little bit of money. Take money away from Paris and you take money away from the Rich people who give me a job. Right now is not the time too mess with our ecnomys delicate balance when jobs are on the line.

    New Mexico

    September 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  265. Broke louie

    Everybody who is no considered "wealthy" lets not go to work for a few weeks and see what the wealthy get done without us.

    Strike Strike Strike

    September 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  266. American in valpo Indiana

    So called wealthy? The make $10 an hour out here. You CNN fat cats have had it too good.

    Bush's tax cuts destroyed this country. And it started with Ronnie 'I want all my money Jack' Reagan after he made it thanks to the Union he was head up.

    Typical GOP kill the others trying to get the American dream.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  267. charlie NV

    Are these wealthy Americans business owners? $250,000 is not alot of money for a decent small business.We need to be carefull that we don't hurt small business.The business owners that i know work there butts off and put in long hours. As long as they are following the rules and treating there employees fairly we should cut them some slack.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  268. Denny from Tacoma

    To be equal everyone should be taxed the same percentage. A flat tax of 15% would be good for all.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  269. Rex

    No, taxes shouldn't be raised on the wealthy; they should be raised on EVERYONE. By raising the taxes on just a few, the president and Congress will worsen the class warfare that they have started and perpetuate the feeling among the "unwealthy", or "working class" that they can have anything they want without having to pay for it. Besides, history has demonstrated that if you increase the tax rate, you will decrease tax revenues by removing the incentive for investments by the "wealthy" and by encouraging them to shelter their money in protected tax havens; then, only the tax lawyers will benefit. While it may be hard for the uneducated "working class" to comprehend, if you punish the producers and achievers by increasing their tax burden, you will ultimately punish us all.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  270. Birddog in Mississippi

    You only pay the highest rate on the income you earn over $250K. So a family that make $300K a year, after personal deductions, will end up paying an additional 4% on $50K. That's $2000. Big whip. For a family making $300K a year, after deductions – that's one trip to the mall to buy a new lamp, one meal out, and one new pair of expensive sneakers for their three year old. Live with the old lamp for awhile, eat at home, let the kid deal with 19 pairs of tennies rather than 20. You'll be ok – really.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  271. Al

    Since the weathy have transferred all our money aboard where they
    are not taxed by us, increasing the fictious tax is meaningless.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  272. Jim - Michigan


    It would certainly be a mistake to raise taxes in this environment, especially on those we are depending on to grow the economy. What frustrates me the most is that the media never challenges politicians.

    Use a bit of deductive analysis; if the country cannot afford hte 700 billion dollars the wealthy tax breaks are costing us and we have what, a 12 or 14 trillion dollar debt, then can we afford to keep the 3 trillion dollar tax breaks for the rest of us? The same law ths encompasses? No! The president should be looking at what is best for the country, not how many votes it may cost him.

    Wold Blitzer interviewed the President's economic advisor today and allowed him to paint the 2008 budget as a Bush budget, has Wold forgot that it was a democratic congress that passed that budget, along with the 2009 and 2010? Or is it possible Wolf is not tough enough to challenge the people he interviews?

    The media needs to be the honest broker on both parties. Oh, let people know that the republican congress did pass the banking deregulation, but it was President Clinton who worked with them and signed it into law.

    Let people know the truth so that they can make intelligent decisions.

    September 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  273. Anthony Usher

    Hi Jack

    The Bush tax cut for the wealthy wealthy should expire. The only difference between India and the USA is that in India, almost everybody is poor. In the USA, 99% is poor and the rich 1% is not helping the poor. What is the difference between 99% poverty and 100% poverty? The working class in America is as poor as the working class in India. One out of every eight Americans receive food stamps and a greater number live one paycheck from homelessness and from poverty. A country that has a national debt of thirteen trillion dollars is as poor as they get. President Obama is right in not extending the tax cuts for the rich. This money could be redirected to small businesses in tax breaks. The middle class will catch a break and the economy will thrive. A healthy economy rides on the shoulders of a prosperous middle class.

    Anthony Usher

    September 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  274. Sandy


    Unfortunately most people don't understand what this actually means, they don't understand the tax code – whether to keep them or let them expire – I am a tax professional so I understand either situation however the govt should actually explain the details of the Bush Tax cuts. The most offensive part of the tax cuts is not the people making over 250k it's the Dividend Income/Investment Income rates for people who are ultra weathly living off of generations of wealth and investments – they received a more than 50% tax rate decrease while people like myself and my husband who pay taxes on our salaries are taxed at a ridiculous rate and our mortgage interest and high property taxes aren't even enough to get us into a significantly lower tax bracket. I also agree with you about the cost of living issue, we have a ridiculous cost of living in Chicago and $200k a year is not enough. With income and property taxes combined you can barely live comfortably for $200k – that is if you don't want to live in a shack!


    September 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  275. kim

    a can of tuna is 1.35 and growing and the rich is getting more wealthy as we speak. think about it America?

    September 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  276. Robert

    Jack, The so called wealthy, by all means raise their taxes . they're not hurting as bad as the rest of us. The Republican party acts like none of us so called common people can remember who got us into this mess. I used to be a proud republican,until beening witness to what I call obstructionist policies they've used in the past 18 months.Save us all a little money and have the Tea baggers (yes I said baggers ) give back all the Bush insentive checks . They never said a word when Bush and the boys were spending our grandchildrins money. Robert disinchanted Texan

    September 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm |