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Amy Walter: Tax Cuts, Lame Ducks, Wikileaks

Monday, December 06, 2010

ABC News political editor Amy Walter talks about recent political news, including the Senate's weekend lame duck session and the possible compromise over Bush-era tax cuts.

Guests:

Amy Walter
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
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Comments [55]

Ben k from Ft Greene

LET ALL THE TAX CUTS EXPIRE!! Then later on with the new congress, tea partiers and all push for a new bill that would give tax breaks to the middle class. Separate the two issues. The republicans would have to vote for that bill or be branded hypocrites on taxes.

Dec. 07 2010 12:43 PM
REAL Democrats should FILIBUSTER cuts for Rich. from Govt By the Rich For the Rich


REAL Democrats (and any Republicans,
Tea Partiers or Independents who care
about the Deficit) should FILIBUSTER
extending the profligate Bush cuts to the wealthy.

Congress is mostly just SELF DEALING!

That's right, most of THEM - unlike most
of US - will DIRECTLY gain tens of thousands of dollars EACH YEAR from
extending the cuts and from other measures like estate tax cuts.

THIS may be why everyone on the Hill
seems SO eager to "compromise" -
the only suckers here are US - the vast majority of Americans!

Dec. 06 2010 08:35 PM
Senator gets $25000 if a Bill Passes : ETHICS? from Brian Please Discuss!

A Senator gets $25000 if a Bill Passes : Is this a potential ETHICS Violation ? (Re: Bush Tax Cut Extn)

A Senator knows he will get $25000 if a Bill Passes.
He won't get the money if the bill doesn't pass.
He supports and votes for the Bill.

Is this a potential ETHICS Violation ?

According to the NY Times, the average ANNUAL benefit to people
earning over 250,000 for extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy
is $25,000.

Most Americans do not benefit.

Is supporting this bill a potential
Ethics Violation for a wealthy Senator or Congressperson ?

Should they recuse themselves ?
Should they give back any personal
gains if it passes ?

Hmmm....

Dec. 06 2010 08:29 PM
oscar from earth

this makes no sense to me?? i listen to news and they're all going in a million directions, i don't know what the heck is going on, so i simplify..the nicest house i can live on cost?..say 1 million and there's this? i think that the whole world should should lower their prices on stuff and help those that are in need, if you dont believe in this your vain and evil.

Dec. 06 2010 07:39 PM
Ron from NYC-Manhattan

The Pubs have said that the Democrats do not take into consideration the "small" businesses that are the predominant ones in needof a "tax break" in our country. Besides Obama having a stronger back and not compromising our needs away, without getting anything of value in return' I feel that I have a deal that will shut those Pubs up.

Have all the businesses that make up to $250,000 "sign a form that guarantees that if they make more than the max. amount during the next two years, they will still get the same tax break that they were originally entitled to.

Dec. 06 2010 03:46 PM
Lisa from Long Island

Let all the tax cuts expire across the board. I earn under $250,000. I'm tired of supporting the rich and I'm tired of being sold down the river by elected democrats. Mostly I would like the President and the democrats to put on their big boy pants and fight for us.

Dec. 06 2010 02:37 PM
Irene from New Jersey

Not everyone earning 250K is "wealthy." Family of 4, 2 kids(not many with different partners) in college (paying cash, no grants, loans etc.), worked and studied hard, bought a house they could afford (not one they would need to be bailed out from), always paid their taxes (didn't try to "cheat" via all kinds of creative options available), financially helping elderly parents. You may not recognize this family but they are referred to typically as "super rich" and the ones who need to "pay more."It seems doing the "right" thing is wrong. It's all about behaving badly and then being entitled to rewards.It would be wise to change to bloated tax structure so that cheaters are no longer successful, at any income level. A sane flat tax makes sense but accountants, lawyers and the huge IRS would never permit that so we simply continue "acceptably"
to discriminate against and sneer at the group who achieved the "American dream." (something it is currently wrong to strive for.) It is undemocratic to draw a line and pick a group (about whom you know little about) and punish and demean them???

Dec. 06 2010 11:55 AM
JMS

Let them expire!! If they do it will be in the main because of Republican (and Lieberman) intransigence. So, Obama's commitment to not raise taxes on those earning under 250,000 will not have been broken because of him. In any case, there is a point where compromise becomes akin to folding like a cheap suit...it's time to stop this. If we have to pay a bit more in taxes because Republicans care only about retaking the White House in 2012 (because that's what this is all about, isn't it?) then so be it. Let them expire...I'm a middle class (WAY under 250,000 per) but, it's time to stop pretending that we're "working together" with our Republican "colleagues." I'll pay the difference...and maybe I can start believing in the "change" we were all hoping for again.

Dec. 06 2010 11:04 AM
Dr Andrew Conn from Mount Vernon , NY

Three cheers for the Mat asking for a moral stance at 10.15 am today on your show . Like him I am so fed up with supporting the Democrats and seeing them so spineless. Tax cuts for the very rich...ridiculous...and I earn more than $250,000

WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP AND MORAL STANCES. Lets see the democrats as a body having more backbone. I am disgusted

Dec. 06 2010 10:55 AM
al from New York

I hope Obama does not compromise with GOP; many think that he does not have a spine ...it remains to be seen; that he was bought by GS can we prove? it would be critical to know; in other hand what did GOP do in last eight years when they enjoyed tax cuts and a lot of power in DC; They caused a financial meltdown (Greenspan apologized for his error? dear God ...) , massive unemployment, huge deficits, GOP won large contracts for their friends to service two ultra expensive wars ...what else did they do? promoted Palin those are the GOP achievements ...now some are trying to say that there will be no hiring if taxes go up. In reality we have a bail out of GOP and his friends, everybody else is a hostage to their game.

Dec. 06 2010 10:53 AM
ML

We also worked for Obama's election, thinking he would use his great intellect to lead through these devisive times. Unfortunately, leadership does not seem to be one of his strengths.
WHEN DOES COMPROMISE TURN INTO BLACKMAIL?
Obama must develop strength in standing up to the unreasonableness of the Republicans. Better than caving into Republican demands, eliminate the tax cuts for all, if necessary. Then work on unemployment benefits in a separate bill. These two issues should never have been tied together to begin with.
Otherwise, some of us who campaigned and voted for him two years ago will have to look elsewhere for their leader.

Dec. 06 2010 10:45 AM
BF from Astoria

When will the temporary extension of tax cuts for the top expire next? Right before the 2012 election? Will Obama fight to end them then? Right after, when who knows what the outcomes will be?

I'm so disappointed that Obama once again is not fighting - at least publicly - and speaking about this with the candor and common sense that drew me to him during the 2008 campaign. Instead of calling attention to Republican's logical flaws - extension of unemployment benefits in return for an extension of Bush tax cuts to all salary levels... isn't the Republican's big concern the deficit? - he's again allowing their spin drive the debate.

At the VERY least I'd expect to see him demand much more from Republicans in return for an extension of the Bush tax cuts. Not just the unemployment benefits, but cooperation on other key issues that Republicans are blocking. Sadly, I don't expect that to happen. I think the only compromise on the table is the one that's been obvious all along, which makes it not much of a compromise.

I hate to say it... but I hope Democrats in Congress will vote against that "compromise."

Dec. 06 2010 10:40 AM
Chris from Amityville

Revenue is maximized at 18.5%. Above that, tax avoidance kicks in. Revenue is flat to 28%. Above 28%, revenue is lost. Tax rates of 36% on income, 45% on corporations, 55% on death, cost revenue. They make sense only if you are already rich, and don't want to compete in the market with those who are trying to get rich.

Dec. 06 2010 10:39 AM
Calls'em as I Sees'em from Here, there & everywhere.

Just a quick follow-up. Almost every doctor, dentist, lawyer and small business owner that I know will be laying someone off if their taxes go up. Most of these folks make in the $250 - 500K range. Just the way it is, folks. Not everyone gets a check from the state.

There are family farms and businesses that have large grosses, but have small nets and are already pushed to the wall. They may not be starving, but under 0bumer they aren't flourishing, either. No one is except his friends among the super-rich. He hasn't abandoned his base - his base was Goldman Sachs & GE, Warren, Bill & Oprah. Lol. He is such a failure, all the way around.

Dec. 06 2010 10:37 AM
Jim Malone from Long Island

The poor to lower middle class get hurt by elimination or reduction odf individual income tax credits and deductions expecially if they have childen young or in college much more so than is being reported. Most of these credits are phased out based upon AGI so not available to wealthy.

Dec. 06 2010 10:34 AM
NJCarl from New Jersey

Let ALL the tax rates go back to what they were -- as planned all along. There is no 'deal' needed. The alleged 'uncertainty' that so paralyzes all the republican business peole is eliminated and we ALL share in the deficit reduction.
OR, the president should pull a "Palin' -- resign and go to cable TV, so the Republicans can completely take over (they think they have altready, so make it official).

Dec. 06 2010 10:31 AM
Dennis

If they compromise with the Repubicans and give tax cuts to the top 2%, I am SO out of the Democratic Party.

Dec. 06 2010 10:31 AM
Tony from Downtown Brooklyn

"I'm going to sit the next election out" is exactly what we DON'T need. We don't live in a utopian society. We often have to choose from two very flawed choices. The democratic party is the least flawed of the choices on things like deficit reduction, equality of human rights(DADT, marriage for all, Lily Ledbetter legislation, etc.), THE SUPREME COURT, and national security(Bush/Cheney's folly in Iraq, GOP obstruction of Start).
To not vote and risk making the congress more republican is irresponsible. The only message you send is "I give up. Obstructionism works." I understand your frustration. But we really need to work within the system we have for change or change the system we have.

Dec. 06 2010 10:31 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Ha ha.........."disappointed in Obama"......."he's not showing leadership".........."this isn't what we voted for".........yada, yada.

You didn't know anything about this guy and his character to begin with, because the elitist media and shows like BL never held this guy up to any scrutiny when he ran as an unknown and inexperienced state senator (plus 146 days on the Senate floor). They didn't want to appear to be racist, he was historic, he was "one of us", blah, blah, blah.

You got what you deserved.....an empty suit with a teleprompter.

Dec. 06 2010 10:29 AM
Left of Dem from New York, New York

If the tax breaks are extended two years, they will be extended forever.

Obama is laying the perfect trap for the Democratic party. I advise them to defy him if they care about the country, their party, themselves, and-yes, least and last always- citizens and whatever hope they will have in the future.

Dec. 06 2010 10:29 AM
Jeanne Corvan from Connecticut

Would someone please call a convention to form a progressive "tea party"

That is ithe only hope we have. No one in Washington can help us.

Dec. 06 2010 10:28 AM
Fred from Brooklyn

Frank Rich got it right - Obama should say to the GOP: OK, you want to forgo $700 billion by extending tax cuts to the rich, fine. How will you pay for it, specifically?? Obama said he would say that to the Republicans, but he didn't!!!!

Dec. 06 2010 10:28 AM
RLewis from the Bowery

Compromise Now! Make the tax cuts for those under $250K permanent. Extend tax cuts for the wealthy by one year (then they can expire without being tide to the other tax cuts). Agree to these tax cuts in exchange for an extention of Unemployment Insurance, passage of DADT, and the Dream Act.

Dec. 06 2010 10:27 AM
Em

I'm sick of Obama supporters who now winge about his compromising. They themselves refused to support the only honest candidate in the primaries - Kucinich - because they thought it wasn't a good strategic move. What did they expect from this guy? He ran on the same agenda as Clinton, started off as Lieberman's protege in the Senate and was Goldman Sach's man in the election. Grow up.

Dec. 06 2010 10:26 AM
Mark

Tea Partiers and NRA gunslingers love to say the old "When the people fear the government you have tyranny, when the government fears the people you have liberty"...Well, every western pundit loves to say in China the CCP is "scared of losing power" or revolt, protest, riots...and notice they are managing their country and bringing prosperity to their people. If they fail and fall from power their heads will roll. Here the government fears nothing except a banking crisis where Wall St. has to "get a haircut". What's the worst that could happen to the leaders? Lose an election and you have to go be lobbyist instead? Oh no! Democracy is getting embarrassed.

Dec. 06 2010 10:25 AM
RJ

Unfortunately, the other girl on the train tracks that the Reps are tieing down, in addition to the middle class, is the long-term unemployed. Isn't part of the deal extending the unemplolyment benefits?

Dec. 06 2010 10:25 AM
Calls'em as I Sees'em from Here, there & everywhere.

Joke of the Day!

If the Bama starts taxing folks who make over $250K per year... wait for it...UNEMPLOYMENT WILL BE GOING UP!!!

Many of these folks are small businesses and professionals who... wait for it... EMPLOY PEOPLE!!!

If NPR & WNYC gave you folks fair and balanced news coverage you would know that.

Dec. 06 2010 10:24 AM
Yuhuda Joo from Long island

Bye Bye OBAMA you need to be a professor not a LEADER

Dec. 06 2010 10:24 AM

you keep sitting out; see how that helps!

people sat out in 2000 because it was said bush and gore were the same. boy how they were wrong!

Dec. 06 2010 10:24 AM
Matt

@Don. That was Charles Schumer's plan. Unfortunately "reasonable" doesn't go over well these days.

p.s. can everyone in the media please refrain from using the word "narrative" anymore?

Dec. 06 2010 10:23 AM
The Truth from Becky

Caller Frank...that would make you part of the problem and not the solution....next time don't call into the radio station to complain either!

Dec. 06 2010 10:23 AM
IC from New York

For all the false words in the 2008 election.....we only got ourselves another all talk but no balls 'leader', no wonder the US is lagging so far behind in every way. Shame on Obama! Yes, get a back bone!

Dec. 06 2010 10:22 AM
Carolita from NYC

I'd like to know what theses people who say Obama should "get a backbone" think he can do? We are talking about a democratic process here, not a dictatorship. Theres a limit to what a president can do within the constraints of democracy -- do want Obama to be as underhanded and abusive as Bush was? Do. They want him to resort to corruption?

Dec. 06 2010 10:22 AM
Stan

Tax rates to apply to unemployed people if they go up.

Unemployment benefits are taxable by the federal government.

Last year the first $2400 of unemployement benefits were not taxed. This year it all is.

Dec. 06 2010 10:21 AM
James

This is really a compromise to allow the continuation of both the wealthiest and the unemployed pigging out at the expense of the rest of us. Continuing unemployment just allows people to remain stagnant and not look for a job at any cost. So you're Internet marketing job disappeared, find something else. And to continue to borrow money from other countries just to fund a tax cut for the top 1 percent is ridiculous. When our credit rating drops and our cost of borrowing goes up, the real pain will start.

Dec. 06 2010 10:20 AM
Sylvia from New Jersey

I am really tired of hearing about the "people's mandate" handed to the government in this recent midterm election. What about the PEOPLE"S mandate in 2008. Where is the leader we voted for? Bob Menedez is right and courageous for calling this childish, dangerous game the republicans are playing with the lives of good Americans something comparable to terrorism.
When will we realize that what is happening in Washington has nothing to do with you and I everything to do with power and greed?
We need courageous statemen and women to bring our nation forward rather than reverting to a two class society where the "haves" use the "have nots" in order to maintain their power.
Where is the Barak Obama I campaigned for?????

Dec. 06 2010 10:20 AM
Jack Hughs from nyc

OBAMA the compromissing LEADER....

You are not going to be around in 2012 get a BACK BONE

Dec. 06 2010 10:20 AM
nora herting from Brooklyn

I completely agree with the last caller. I am also disappointed in the failure of Obama's leadership. As a liberal democrat who elected Obama, I am not interested in compromising with the Republican agenda.

Dec. 06 2010 10:20 AM
Kathy from NY

LET THEM EXPIRE!!

Dec. 06 2010 10:20 AM
Rick from Connecticut Coast

After this tax give away to the wealthiest people on earth, I realized how time flies- we are almost in the 3rd year of the McCain-Palin administration.

Dec. 06 2010 10:19 AM

If the DEMS want to keep their jobs in 2012 et seq., they will vote against this dumb compromise.

The voters don't like it because they lose. It's just another giveaway to the rich that's been in effect for the past 30+ years.

If they finally have the spine to stand up for their constituents, maybe POTUS will get the messages he's been ignoring from his supporters.

If they show some leadership & vote for NO Compromise.

Letting all the tax cuts expire is preferable to this disastrous "compromise."

It's time for the Dems to fight tooth & nail now.

Dec. 06 2010 10:18 AM
RLewis from the Bowery

The telephone caller is saying that - now is the time to stand up. ??? No sir, the time to stand up was Nov. 2nd and not enough folks stood up. It's too late to yak like that now. please.

Dec. 06 2010 10:18 AM
The Truth from Becky

are you serious lady? bargain in the stronger position? the President has been in the stronger position up to the midterm elections...does not matter when you have the repubs opposing every issue placed before them.

Dec. 06 2010 10:17 AM
Lloyd from Manhattan

We now see, in a Times article today, that the extension of the millionaries' tax cut is unleashing a flood of multi-million dollar Wall Street bonuses. Now we know why the Republicans insist on it. Their Wall Street masters are holding them to it.

Dec. 06 2010 10:16 AM
galit from Manhattan

Why do the democrats stay silent ? It is maddening. We should deal with one thing at a time. First unemployment, then tax cuts. I feel that these tax cuts need to be left alone to expire. I voted for Obama and all this bending to Republicans is driving me crazy. Stop bending and start leading like you promised!!!

Dec. 06 2010 10:16 AM
Carolita from NYC

I don't like it, but then nobody likes a compromise. No, I do not think the dems should show Obama up with a "rebuke" when it comes to the vote. They need to support him. The republicans are ruining the country, we can't let them ruin our President and the democratic party too.

Dec. 06 2010 10:15 AM
Bobby G from East Village

I strongly agree with Paul Krugman, Just say no to blackmail. Does anyone think that Republicans are acting in the best interest of our country?

Dec. 06 2010 10:13 AM

Martin
funny
Democrats suddenly concerned about the deficit ARE THE HYPOCRITES. that's a good one

Dec. 06 2010 10:13 AM
Edward from NJ

Could the Senate use reconciliation to put this through?

Dec. 06 2010 10:13 AM
Don

If this deal goes through, the Democrats win because they get extended unemployment benefits, the Republicans win because they get tax cuts for the wealthy, and the taxpayers lose because we have to pay for both.

Couldn't they have split the difference on both issues instead, ended the tax cuts for people earning over a million and reducing, but not eliminating, the unemployment benefits? That seems reasonable.

Dec. 06 2010 10:11 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

If all these Democrats are now suddenly so concerned about the deficit, what were these clowns thinking when they passed all those spending bills in the past 2 years?

What hypocrites.

Dec. 06 2010 10:09 AM
pam from ny

The un-americans who've called for the prosecution of the founder of Wiklileaks have, apparently, never heard of the constitution's guarantee of freedom of the press. Would they call for the prosecution the editors of the NYT and of all the other press organs who feel that publication of the leaked documents is justified?

Dec. 06 2010 10:06 AM

the president is showing the american people he knows how to compromise. now, will he find a partner on the right moving forward?

Dec. 06 2010 09:49 AM
John from nyc

Once again OBAMA is showing what an ineffective president he is...

Cant even get a unnecessary tax cut to expire..

Could not fix WALLSTREET... put the burden on the back of the average tax payers... the bankers are ok now, so they told him to take a hike....

Could not get good health reform legislation.. gave in to the Doctors and insurance companies instead of thier customers... again the average person will pay more.

WEAK, UNFOCUSED UNINSPIRING..
What does this man stand for???????

Dec. 06 2010 09:38 AM
Emma from Ann Arbor, Michigan - formerly from Greenpoint

I volunteered for and donated to the Obama campaign in 2008, I have never missed an opportunity to vote - even in local elections on school budgets, and I will not vote for Obama in 2012 if he signs an extension of the Bush tax cuts. Does anyone really believe that if we extend them for 2 years, the republicans will let them expire then? If saying no to this compromise means that Obama loses in 2012, so be it. He will lose anyway because his base will stay home.

Dec. 06 2010 09:13 AM

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