Where DO Non-taxpayers Live?

Mostly in red states. The Atlantic:

Click for story

Infographic: Extending Tax Cuts

The White House makes the case:

(click to enlarge)

A Rehberg Tax Reminder

…from The Montana Democrats:

Rep. Denny Rehberg (MT)

Image by republicanconference via Flickr

Congressman Dennis Rehberg again turned to his trusted talking points, telling Montana businesses (yesterday) what they want to hear.  But Rehberg’s record as a 11-year Congressman tells a much different story.

In a speech to the Montana Chamber of Commerce, Rehberg said businesses need more certainty and fewer regulations. Yet less than a month ago, Rehberg voted for more uncertainty when he voted against a payroll tax extension and against the Keystone XL Pipeline.

“In just the last year, Dennis Rehberg voted to raise taxes on middle-class families, he voted to shut down our government twice, and he voted to default our nation’s economy,” said Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Ted Dick.  “That’s one of the worst things that could have happened for business certainty.  Congressman Rehberg ought to know that Montana businesses want real solutions, not partisanship in Congress.”

Rehberg criticized regulations that hurt small businesses, but in 2010, he voted against the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Senator Jon Tester, a Montana farmer, successfully amended the law to ensure that family farmers and food producers were protected from federal regulations they don’t need and can’t afford.

“Congressman Dennis Rehberg has a long record of irresponsible decisions that have hurt Montana businesses and helped his fellow millionaires,” Dick said.  “After a career in politics that stretches back to 1977, Dennis Rehberg has lost touch with Montana.”

Here’s a quick look at Rehberg’s record of hurting Montana’s businesses and helping himself:

  • In his first year in Congress, Rehberg squandered a $236 billion surplus
  • During his 11 years in Congress, Rehberg has given himself FIVE pay raises while voting to raise the debt ceiling TEN times.
  • Rehberg was named the Tea Party Caucus‘ top earmarker
  • Rehberg voted against an extension of the payroll tax holiday and against the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Rehberg voted for a three-percent tax on contractors
In December 2010, Rehberg voted for the largest tax increase in history on Montana families and businesses.

MT Democrats: Rehberg’s Standing Against Jobs And Tax Relief

From The Montana Democratic Party press release:

Ted Dick, the executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, released this statement following news that despite an earlier agreement, the U.S. House of Representatives now plans to vote against a bipartisan payroll tax holiday extension.

“This week, as Montanans look forward to time with their families and hope for the future, they will wonder why Congressman Dennis Rehberg continues to be an out-of-touch Grinch who refuses to stand with Montana.  Instead of working together to create Montana jobs and provide tax relief for middle-class families, Congressman Rehberg is choosing to stand on the side of his party bosses in Washington–against the Keystone Pipeline, against creating jobs and against middle-class tax relief.”

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan payroll tax holiday Saturday with a vote of 89-10.  The measure includes specific language by Montana’s two U.S. Senators to require a quicker decision on the future of the Keystone XL pipeline–while protecting private property rights.  The Keystone Pipeline will create thousands of jobs.

Barack Obama, Tax Cutting Champion Of The Modern Era

Here’s a fistful of facts to throw out when the myth of Obama The Taxer rears its ugly head.
From The Daily Kos:

The Center for American Progress crunched the numbers and discovered:With the huge Recovery Act tax cuts and the enormous December 2010 tax cuts combined, President Obama has already signed into law tax cuts amounting to more than $900 billion from 2009 through 2012. Even after accounting for legislation that the president signed that increased revenue during that period, President Obama has cut taxes by more than $850 billion in his first term, or approximately 1.5 percent of GDP.That is compared to the $474 billion in tax cuts enacted by George W. Bush in his first term. If the latest tax cuts included in President Obama’s American Jobs Act are passed, he will be the biggest tax cutter of the modern era. Bigger than Reagan. Bigger than Bush. That’s saying something!

Yet, despite this fact, we’ve seen poll after poll indicate that people still believe President Obama has raised their taxes.

Two things:

1. The idea that tax cuts bring economic growth should be thoroughly debunked by now. But it isn’t.

2. It has to be political injustice of the worst order to be the biggest tax cutter ever and not get any credit. (emphasis mine)

And there’s even a fun graphic for the spatially minded:

Taxing The (Willing) Rich

I was brought up with a sense of social justice that still shapes my life. It’s a complicated sense, shaped by Catholicism, rural sensibility and an awareness of the world from the perspective of a kid who was bullied. My social justice sense says, in part, “depriving one for the excesses of another is unjust.”

It seems some “Enlightened Rich” agree. The New York Times:

Some of the world’s wealthiest people are calling for higher taxes on the rich. They seem to recognize that the burden of the economic downturn cannot be borne entirely by the poor and middle class.

After the American billionaire investor Warren Buffett urged Congress last month to raise taxes on millionaires, the call echoed across Europe. Sixteen of France’s wealthiest individualsurged the government to raise their taxes. The Italian Formula One magnate Luca di Montezemolo publicly backed Mr. Buffett’s idea “for reasons of fairness and solidarity.” About 50 of Germany’s richest people have been campaigning for a higher top tax rate since 2009.

The suggestion is motivated, no doubt, by a sense of justice — that the very rich, who have survived the financial crisis very well, should contribute more to shrinking public coffers to reduce the spending cuts that would hurt the most vulnerable.

And yet, there are those who are resisting, no doubt motivated by fear- and quite possibly prejudice. But the results could be disastrous:

Americans have been historically less inclined than Europeans to explosions of social rage, despite suffering more poverty than most other wealthy democracies. But with unemployment above 9 percent, rising poverty rates and declining family incomes, the no-taxes, all-cuts agenda that has gripped Congressional Republicans will fray our social fabric and squander human capital here as well.

My sense of social justice also says, “If I make more money than others, I have a greater responsibility to maintain the fabric of my society”. But it’s obviously not what everyone believes.

Full story here.

Wake Up Call- Or Not?

Depends on who you ask.

Moody’s Investor’s Service issued a warning that The U.S. credit rating could be in jeopardy if the debt ceiling is not raised, according to the NYT. And still, Republicans and Democrats can’t seem to reach a deal. Excerpt:

The treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, met on Capitol Hill with House freshmen, including Republicans who have suggested that they see little or no risk in a showdown over the debt limit. Citing the Moody’s statement, Mr. Geithner urged them to support raising it or risk an economic crisis.

“We didn’t create this mess,” one Republican told Mr. Geithner, according to a person in the room.

Independent analyses have shown that more than half of the $14.3 trillion debt is from policies enacted during the past decade when Republicans controlled both the White House and Congress, and much of the rest from lost revenues and stimulus spending and tax cuts since Mr. Obama took office at the height of the financial crisis and recession. (empases mine)

So… they did create this mess. And they have refused to learn the lesson, just keep digging in the same deep hole. Another Republican out-of-touch story.

Read the full article here.