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Why are the tea parties protesting?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Bob26003, Apr 17, 2010.

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  1. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    according to polls, only 2% of teabaggers realize that Obama has actually cut taxes!

    Death Panels?



    What world are these ppl living in?


    "We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families."

    Barack Obama on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 in a State of the Union speech
    Tax cut for 95 percent? The stimulus made it so
    Bookmark this story:
    Buzz up!

    President Barack Obama talked a lot about economic recovery during his State of the Union address on Jan. 27, 2010, including the benefits of the economic stimulus bill passed last year.

    The stimulus, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, included tax cuts for many Americans, Obama said.

    "We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses," Obama said. "We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college."

    Democrats applauded, while Republicans were silent for the most part. In one of the unscripted moments of the night, Obama looked at the Republican side of the room, smiled and said, "I thought I'd get some applause on that one."

    Here, we wanted to check Obama's statement that he cut taxes for 95 percent of working families.

    The key word in his statement is "working." Obama's claim is based on a tax cut intended to offset payroll taxes. Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009.

    The tax cut was part of Obama's campaign promises. During the campaign, Obama said he wanted $500 for each worker and $1,000 for working couples. Since the final number was a bit less than he promised, we rated his promise a Compromise on our Obameter, where we rate Obama's campaign promises for fulfillment.

    During the campaign, the independent Tax Policy Center researched how Obama's tax proposals would affect workers. It concluded 94.3 percent of workers would receive a tax cut under Obama's plan based on the tax credit to offset payroll taxes. According to the analysis, the people who wouldn't get a tax cut are those who make more than $250,000 for couples or $200,000 for a single person. Obama said he intended to raise taxes on those high earners, a promise he reiterated during the State of the Union, and that revenue would offset the stimulus tax cut.

    Because the stimulus act did give that broad-based tax cut
    to workers, we rate Obama's statement True.



    On Tuesday, a wave of protesters, upset with overly-burdensome taxation by the federal government, are set to descend on the nation's capital to express their displeasure.

    But does their anger reflect the truth about today's tax rates?

    After all, neutral economists insist that, under the Obama administration, the overwhelming likelihood is that your tax burden has gone down, not up. Even conservative economic analysts acknowledge that there really is no basis for middle- and working-class Americans to believe that they're suddenly paying more.

    "The only tax I think that has been put in place so far is an increase in the federal cigarette tax. I can't think of another Obama tax that has gone in place so far," said Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies at the conservative Cato Institute. "I would say that people are angry because big taxes are coming down the road because of the gigantic deficit built up under Bush and continued under Obama."

    And yet, Thursday is expected to bring a range of hotly-charged rhetoric over the damage this 'tax-and-spend' president has done to the general public's bottom line.

    A look at the numbers tells a different story. For starters: the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reported on Wednesday that "Middle-income Americans are now paying federal taxes at or near historically low levels." How low? The average family of four right now is paying 4.6 percent of its income in federal income taxes -- the second lowest percentage in 50 years.

    A report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers, meanwhile, asserts that the president's economic stimulus package has sent more than $200 billion in tax relief and other benefits to mainly middle- and lower-income families since its passage.
    Story continues below

    Citizens for Tax Justice, a self-described non-partisan organization, released a report on Tuesday that read: "The 2009 economic stimulus bill actually reduced federal income taxes for tax year 2009 for 98 percent of all working families and individuals." This total includes the 95 percent of working families that will or have received tax credits in the range of $400 to $800.

    The health care bill passed by the administration, meanwhile, includes a tax credit that could cover up to 35 percent of the premiums a small business pays to insure its workers. The Recovery Act, meanwhile, included such tax breaks as a $1,500 credit for home energy improvements, and an $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers.

    It has been a buffet of tax breaks and credits offered by this administration (occasionally to the chagrin of progressive economists, who want more focus on stimulative federal spending).

    Yet polling numbers indicate that Americans are barely aware of these developments. Indeed, a good chunk of the country believes it has been saddled by this administration with tax hikes. Back in mid-February, a full 24 percent of respondents to a CBS News/New York Times poll said that their taxes had increased under Obama. Fifty-three percent said they had stayed the same. Only 12 percent thought their taxes had gone down.

    "Belief is triumphing over reality," explained Bob McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice. "Part of it is they watch the wrong television shows and believe it. Part of it is the tax cut that went to almost everybody, the making work pay credit, was dribbled out... people didn't get a check. They paid lower taxes and might not have noticed it.

    "It is like arguing whether Jesus rose from the dead," McIntyre concluded. "If you believe it, you believe it."

    On Thursday, those who don't believe it will be making their voices heard. At least four separate demonstrations are being planned around the capital in honor of tax day, including two protests next to Congress, an online broadcast "tax revolt" and another rally at the Washington Monument. They will, however, be countered by a start-up group called "The Other 95%," which will descend on D.C. on Thursday to protest "right across from Tea Party rally." It should be an interesting, if not occasionally wonky, show-down.

    "Obama passed 25 separate tax cuts," Sheryl Stein, founding member of "The Other 95%" said in a statement announcing the group's plans, "including $300 billion in middle class tax cuts -- one of the largest in history - as part of the stimulus package. Unlike President Bush's 2001 tax cuts, which went to the wealthiest 2.2%, President Obama's tax cuts overwhelmingly benefit working and middle class families -- in fact, 95% of all Americans."

    And there is some indication that Americans are satisfied, generally speaking, with the current trade-off between their tax burden and the benefits that government provides. "Just ahead of Tax Day, a new New York Times/CBS News poll finds that most Americans regard the income taxes that they will have to pay this year as fair, regardless of political partisanship, ideology or income level," the Times reported.
    Perhaps even more surprising, though, is that even among the 18 percent of Americans who say they support the Tea Party movement, more than half call their own income tax fair. Sentiment turns more sour, however, among the smaller group of Tea Party supporters who are active in the movement. Most of them, 55 percent, regard the income tax they have to pay as unfair. Thousands of Tea Party supporters gathered in Boston today for a rally near the original site of the Boston Tea Party.

  2. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    lol. i guess you forgot about all the bailouts? obamacare?
  3. empty101

    empty101 Well-Known Member

    Well as a person who is in the process of graduating from a 4 year economics program I feel I must throw in some opinion here (I'm also a Canadian, so I guess that makes me a neutral economist? /shrug).

    Keynesian economics 101.
    During a recession the government should lower T and increase G (T = Taxes G = gov't spending). Obama successfully did this. The problem: during a recovery/peak phase of an economic cycle the government should increase T and decrease G.

    What happens if the government doesn't match it's deficit in a time of a recession with a surplus in a time of recovery? Government debt. What does more government debt mean? The government will have to spend more G in the future (to pay off the interest, and hopefully one day the principal. Where does that G come from? T, or taxes. The US government already has a massive amount of debt.

    The real problem
    : the government will never be able to raise taxes when the economy is recovering. The people will not be happy, so the politicians will avoid it. Governments turn to economists during recessions and then ignore them when things are going well but the politicians have to consider the long run.

    A conclusion: More taxes today (well, tomorrow, as the economic recovery takes off a bit more) are needed. Either this, or massive government spending cuts. However, spending cuts never go any better than tax increases. People are generally unaware of the economics behind taxes and government spending yet they seem to form strong opinions on such topics, and these opinions matter because they have a vote. People aren't aware the amount of taxes that go to paying off interest on the governments debt. The problem is amplified as American debt increases again and again.

    The last time the American government ran a surplus was 1969.

    My hope: Decades of government surpluses are on the way to make up for decades of deficits. This is not realistic. I don't want my southern neighbour's economic strength to diminish any time soon. I believe in universal healthcare, heck, anyone with universal healthcare does. However, I don't know if the specific bill the US is passing is the right thing. Those bankers really messed up your economy. Hopefully the problems I mentioned here do not have as big impact on the wealth of your nation as many predict they will.
  4. empty101

    empty101 Well-Known Member

    I accidentally gave this thread one star :(
  5. friendless

    friendless Well-Known Member

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