The Presidents Opening Bid on a Grand Bargain: Aim High<quoted text>
Well, I don't know you that well. Now the first time I would not fire them. It would be a verbal warning. Second offence would be a written reprimand and the third, well there would be no way a teachers union would allow me to fire any teachers who had bashed a Democrat. Not sure about if he had bashed a Republican
By Robert Reich / November 12, 2012 / http://tinyurl.com/aevft55
I hope the President starts negotiations over a grand bargain for deficit reduction by aiming high. After all, he won the election. And if the past four years has proven anything its that the White House should not begin with a compromise.
Assuming the goal is $4 trillion of deficit reduction over the next decade (thats the consensus of the Simpson-Bowles commission, the Congressional Budget Office, and most independent analysts), heres what the President should propose:
First, raise taxes on the rich and by more than the highest marginal rate under Bill Clinton or even a 30 percent (so-called Buffett Rule) minimum rate on millionaires. Remember: Americas top earners are now wealthier than theyve ever been, and theyre taking home a larger share of total income and wealth than top earners have received in over 80 years.
Why not go back sixty years when Americans earning over $1 million in todays dollars paid 55.2 percent of it in income taxes, after taking all deductions and credits? If they were taxed at that rate now, theyd pay at least $80 billion more annually which would reduce the budget deficit by about $1 trillion over the next decade. Thats a quarter of the $4 trillion in deficit reduction right there.
A 2% surtax on the wealth of the richest one-half of 1 percent would bring in another $750 billion over the decade. A one-half of 1 percent tax on financial transactions would bring in an additional $250 billion.
Add this up and we get $2 trillion over ten years half of the deficit-reduction goal.
Raise the capital gains rate to match the rate on ordinary income and cap the mortgage interest deduction at $12,000 a year, and thats another $1 trillion over ten years. So now were up to $3 trillion in additional revenue.
Eliminate special tax preferences for oil and gas, price supports for big agriculture, tax breaks and research subsidies for Big Pharma, unnecessary weapons systems for military contractors, and indirect subsidies to the biggest banks on Wall Street, and were nearly there.
End the Bush tax cuts on incomes between $250,000 and $1 million, and bingo we made it:$4 trillion over 10 years.
And we havent had to raise taxes on Americas beleaguered middle class, cut Social Security or Medicare and Medicaid, reduce spending on education or infrastructure, or cut programs for the poor.
Mr. President, Id recommend this as your opening bid. With enough luck and pluck, maybe even your closing bid. And if enough Americans are behind you, it could even be the final deal./ http://robertreich.org/post/35591032374
Sanders: Going Over 'Fiscal Cliff' Better than Bad Tax Deal
Senator says new Congress could recover 'in the first month or two'
November 12, 2012 / http://tinyurl.com/a4vxhsj
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Monday that if the lame-duck Congress can't agree on a tax deal by the end of the year, briefly going over the "fiscal cliff" is preferable to accepting a bad deal.
Is it better to deal with this issue in the next session rather than accept a bad agreement in this session? Sanders said during a press conference at his Burlington office. "Yes, it is./ http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/...