Tax cuts, small businesses, and the $250k line
November 15, 2010
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During the long drawn out battle regarding the Bush Tax cuts. Democrats have drawn the line at $200k/yr for individuals and $250k/yr for families as the dividing line between those who should get permanent tax cuts and those who shouldn’t. The main argument is that the $700 billion in lost revenue over the next 10 years is unaffordable. Republicans counter that not only should there be no tax increases in these economic times, lots of small businesses will be negatively affected. Of course, the truth (as I see it, of course) is somewhere in the middle.
A logical approach would be to extend them all temporarily (give it a year or 2), then let them expire. Now, people are right now saying I’m crazy. But if we’re going to be for real about getting the deficit under control, that should be option 1 on the table. Republicans like to say “no tax increases” but there has to be a middle ground where folks aren’t overtaxed and the government is getting more revenue. If anything, add a new bracket for folks making a million per year or more. Either way, its illogical to completely remove the idea of a tax increase of some kind to combat spending.
Democrats, on the other hand, have established $250k as the line in the sand. Mind you, no one has any idea why this number is the magic number. But as Dems often do, it becomes an emotional issue. That approach started from the beginning, when the tax cuts were enacted. Despite the easily researchable facts that the cuts actually removed a number of lower income taxpayers from the tax rolls, reduced the lowest tax rate, and shifted the overall tax burden to the highest income levels (look it up), the cuts have often been referred to as “tax cuts for the rich” simply based on the sheer amount that an upper income earner got to keep (not “was given to them” as is often used as yet another argument). What’s often heard is that folks making that much money either “don’t need a cut” or “won’t spend it.” Or, that they cost too much. I usually wonder how it can be said that the estimated $700 billion over 10 years is considered unaffordable, when the rest of the cuts are estimated to cost over $2 billion over the same time. This is why if anything should be done, ALL should be rolled back.
I predict that the White House will give in to all cuts being renewed for 2 years in order to avoid all of them expiring on 12/31/10, which would be a political disaster.