Thursday, September 4

Obama and Your Taxes

What is the difference between misleading and lying?

According to Sarah Palin last night, if you vote for Obama your taxes will go up.
"The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business - like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up?"
The truth is, if you make over $250,000 your taxes will go up. I guess if you're making over 250k per year, by all means don't vote for Obama. If you make less than that (most of America), you will see a tax cuts up to 5% by 2012... Well, we'll see if that one comes true. Also, if anyone knows, isn't that personal income Obama would be taxing? How would that affect a business?

In fact, under Obama the middle class will pay less than under McCain, (5% vs. 3%). So lets leave the "Obama is going to raise my taxes" complaint to the rich. Well, 250k is rich for me. So is 100, or 200. Should this number be higher or lower?

There will be more half-truths to come, from both sides I'm sure.


  1. President Clinton promised the same thing, and then reneged when in office a short time. Of course, the first President Bush lost reelection largely for the same thing.

    I have serious doubts that an Obama administration coupled with a Democratic Congress will be lowering anyone's taxes.

  2. Seriously, what is 2%? Business income can often be taxed as personal income due to anything that is an LLP or LP, etc. The majority of businesses in America are self-employers and/or these Partnerships where all the income is taxed as personal not corporate. Also, Obama does propose to raise the capital gains tax, which I'm also ok with, even though that is my retirement fund. I'm willing to pay upwards of 50% of total taxes if we get a decent healthcare system, a world class education system, and other social norms that most of the rest of the Western world enjoys. But as usual, I know I am in the minority on this!

  3. Truth is Cameron -- W has run us into debt more than any president in the last fifty years. This while the oil companies have enjoyed record profits and revenue. Sure glad when those suckers got elected I bought Chevron, Exxon and Haliburton.

    I have not figured out what to buy when Obama takes office. Maybe something green, alternate energy companies of some sort.

    A final question, is it a trillion dollars a year going to the Middle East for our oil addiction? Think of the jobs and benefits to America if that money stayed here?

  4. Not quite a trillion, no, but it is substantial. And I'm all for keeping that money here.

    Because if American oil companies are making that money rather than state owned foreign oil companies, we get tax revenue.

    Which is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that US federal tax revenues are almost exclusively paid by the wealthy. Thanks to President Bush.

  5. Adam, You know there is more than one kind of tax- and they will all go up- death tax (taxing the dead who already paid taxes I'll never understand) and capital gains for two- that affect people of all incomes.

    You may think capital gains is a tax on the rich, but my husband and I make far below the 250k mark and we're going to get slammed. I bought a condo in college with a cheap FHA loan, and over the years have put more blood sweat and tears into that thing than it's worth. When I owned it was was poor, I even lived out of my car at one point while making payments on the condo (it was rented out) but I, the starving college student is going to get taxed to hell for working hard, living off mac & cheese and trying to be financially sound. But I better sell it now before next year, or the govetrnment is going to get over 35% of my hard work.

  6. "my husband and I make far below the 250k mark and we're going to get slammed."

    I appreciate your personal insight here. Obviously I have a lot to learn about taxes (sincerely).

  7. Cameron there are the direct costs and the 'hidden' costs of importing middle eastern oil. In 2003 a Virginia think tank the National Defense Council Foundation (NDCF), completed its year-long analysis of the “hidden cost” of imported oil. The NDCF project represents the most comprehensive investigation of the military and economic penalty our undue dependence on imported oil exacts from the U.S. economy. Included in this economic toll are:
    Almost $49.1 billion in annual defense outlays to maintain the capability to defend the flow of Persian Gulf Oil – the equivalent of adding $1.17 to the price of a gallon of gasoline;
    The loss of 828,400 jobs in the U.S. economy;
    The loss of $159.9 billion in GNP annually;
    The loss of $13.4 billion in federal and state revenues annually;
    Total economic penalties of from $297.2 to $304.9 billion annually.

    Consider this was prior to the Gulf War and the price of a barrel of crude oil has tripled. So, Cameron in today's real and hidden costs America is probably paying a trillion dollars a year for our oil addiction.

    Germany we should point out gets 30% of their domestic energy from solar and is renewable. What's wrong with America? I will tell you it has been Bush and Cheney. McCain will give four more years of Republican failures. We cannot afford it, neither our children or grandchildren.

  8. "America is probably paying a trillion dollars a year for our [foreign] oil addiction".

    And I've already wholeheartedly agreed with you George. I just think you should include the all important "foreign" when you talk about oil addiction.

    Bush & Cheney tried to upgrade our domestic energy production, including billions of dollars for alternative sources, in 2001, 2002, 2003. The NY Times reported that it was Democrats in Congress who wouldn't allow it to pass.

  9. Maybe Cameron if the Dems in Congress couldn't fill up their black Escalade SUV's they would be more agreeable to off shore drilling. Renewable energy is the path we must go and we have wasted 8 years. Nothing has been done except look for more oil. That is not a solution. I think the Democrats wanted more renewable energy sources and they also wanted to eliminate the tax breaks big oil gets. It is a little more complicated than just blaming my party for inaction.

  10. "John McCain Has a Tax Plan To Create Jobs"

    ... versus ...

    "Is History Siding With Obama’s Economic Plan?"

  11. In response to your question about what is lying and what is misleading, this sort of rhetoric I tend to not pay much attention to. She was definitely exaggerating Obama's policies, but he is guilt of the same when he's compared his current job experience to her former experience. It's politics, and as much as I wish there was a candidate who had the guts to actually get out there and explain their own policies, why they work, and not worry about mud slinging, I have yet to see anyone on any side really do that. Frankly, watching both conventions just gave me a headache, and didn't really convince me that either candidate is good for our country.

    In regards to taxes... I don't know. I'm concerned that Obama (or McCain) really doesn't understand the full effects of them. Raising taxes leads to higher government revenues is not always true, except in the short run. What is not often realized is that taxes also put downward pressure on revenues in the form of disincentives to produce. That is, taxing business profits means businesses don't feel the need to make as many profits, and taxing consumers (rich or poor) means they don't feel the need to earn as much. Research suggests that the higher the tax percentage, the more this downward pressure on revenues is significant. At current tax levels, any increase will increase revenues for a couple of years and tank revenues several years after that. At least according to the numbers I have looked at.

    Taxing the rich sounds to feed the poor sounds great, but as far as I can tell, in the long run it is not actually economically viable, and will just make everyone less wealthy by taking money, and the incentive to earn, from those who have it, while giving it to those who don't, and thereby convincing them that they do not need to go and earn it on their own.

    These are general principles, of course. And there will always be exceptions for those who are unable to hold a job for reasons out of their control.

  12. Thanks for the comment Steve. You are really good at talking about this stuff dispassionately. If I were president you would be my advisor on the economy. :)

    "thereby convincing them that they do not need to go and earn it on their own"
    I have seen this first hand. I can see why conservatives and republicans like to call social programs "entitlement" because many people do become lazier and act like they are deserving of what they get... I don't know, it's such a tough issue for me, especially in the mental health field. There is not enough money to go around, and some people, in order to fulfill "the American Dream" as Glenn Beck would like them to, need really good therapy for an extended period of time. That costs a lot, obviously. There are no easy answers, are there.


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