Himes on Tax Cuts

Monday, December 13, 2010

Read a summary of this conversation on It's A Free Country.

Jim Himes, the recently re-elected Congressman of Connecticut's 4th District, weighs in on how the lame duck session of congress is going and updates us on President Obama's compromise on the Bush tax cuts.


Jim Himes

Comments [47]

Steve J from Ojai, California

Representative Elect Himes discussion of taxes and cash flow was just 100% wrong and very disappointing. The government doesn't tax cash flow -- that would be a gross receipts tax. Our country only taxes profits, the money remaining after all expenses have been paid and depreciation taken. And if the car wash owner wants to pave his driveway or invest in new equipment, he gets a deduction and even sometimes tax credits for that work, and it even offsets his profits that would otherwise be subject to tax. The top tax rate on income won't stop him from doing so.

An increase in the top tax rate would not cause one iota of change in a businessperson's ability to invest and operate his or her business, would not affect at all the cash flow of his or her business, and if anything might encourage more spending to take advantage of the tax deduction.

The real reason a business person invests or doesn't invest is whether he (or she) thinks he is going to have customers to sell his product to and make a profit doing so. NOT whether he might have to pay 39% compared to 35% on his income (profits) over $250,000.

Dec. 16 2010 02:09 PM

Can you please find out why all these rich people haven't created all the jobs they will be creating?

Dec. 13 2010 08:03 PM
salvatore principato from manhattan

Congressman Hines really discredited himself
with his specious arguments about tax cut for the rich
& trashing social security is the way to stimulate the economy

there's nothing centrist about that view
it's just plain foolish......

Dec. 13 2010 03:00 PM
duncan from NJ

How many moderates does it take to screw in a light bulb? Three One to screw in the bulb and one each to hold the conservative and liberal down while the one does it.

Dec. 13 2010 11:58 AM

I agree with Congressman Himes that compromise is important and necessary for our democracy to work.

However—my willingness to compromise, or not compromise, on the tax issues discussed is immediately influenced by my employment status, and my ability to provide for the day-to-day cost of living during this economic recession. I have found little compromise (or compassion) from the financial institutions on the payment of mortgage obligations, or from governments entities on the payment of taxes.

I believe our overall willingness to compromise as a nation on these important issues is influenced by our ability to empathize with our neighbors.

Dec. 13 2010 11:48 AM
steve from Far Far Away

Hello, I am from Los Angeles, the Mayor's name is: Antonio Villaraigosa. Pronounced: Vee-ah-rai-go-sah.
Please get it right.

Dec. 13 2010 11:01 AM

"TARP might not have been popular but it saved 'The Economy.'"

As a Capitalist and a true believer of the resourceful, intelligent American, I for one was looking forward to tossing out "The Economy" and replacing it with a much better and more honest one!

Dec. 13 2010 10:56 AM
John from Brooklyn

At what point since the Reagan Administration have the Elites been asked to pony up anything? I'm not sure I know what exactly separates a Dem from a Republican today...
Hine's position is just like a Republican's with slightly different talking points. A stimulus for the working man - what BS. Brian will you please start calling these guys on this stuff.

Dec. 13 2010 10:55 AM
David from Long Island

I have often been disturbed by several issues regarding the recent discussion about renewing the Bush tax cuts. The first issue is the labeling of the richest of Americans as those making more than $250,000 dollars a year. As a family of 4 living in New York I feel fortunate. I am able to pay my bills and do not feel in need however, I live in a modest home on Long Island that was built in the 1960's as a middle income home. We have 1 car and live modestly. My neighbors seem to be of similar incomes and none of us are over flowing with cash.. The arguments for letting the tax cuts expire often speaks of the millionaires and billionaires that are going to be getting more money. $250,000 in New York is not in the same category as a millionaire and billionaire. The second issue I have is that the statements made state that there are better ways to spend government money than by renewing the tax cuts. Lets all remember, this is our money not the governments money. We worked and earned it. The government needs to explain why they may need more of our money, and not feel that there is a bottomless pit of funds. This concept has become a sense of government entitlement which I don't quite understand.

Dec. 13 2010 10:45 AM
Erin from Windsor Terrace


What's up with the subways in Brooklyn?

Dec. 13 2010 10:41 AM

I'm 100% with wiener on the issues, as I'm sure the President is, but wiener needs to recognize that the day Sen. Kennedy died, the Dems lost control of Congress. With the zombielike discipline of the Republican party, there was no hope to pass any economic stimulus except through a compromise like this. Brian, you need to call these guys on their dishonesty or the sham of their indignation at the President's stepping in to fix their failure of statesmanship.

Dec. 13 2010 10:38 AM
mp from NYC

The top income earners enjoyed tax cuts through Bush times and we were losing jobs; the last decade passed in enriching the riches ...and in massive job losses; so the tax cuts for the wealthy will not create quality jobs; it will deepen our deficits and increase our differences. USA is a country with the most extreme differences in wealth. We are the only developed country where we make money and lobby on people being sick; our workers are exploited alike in DIckens England is the US today; I fully agree with Congressman Weiner in Meet the Press; We need to fight for our rights, instead of being pushed to poverty by the "upper class leadership". The President need to do more for working class and for the middle class; This "deal" is nowhere near what we need. The house in order should be brought by those who benefited from the wars, from Bush tax cuts and who were bailed out many times and no one knew..
I fully agree with the caller from CT expressing anger and disappointment.Mr. Himes instead of being affirmative of the deal you need to listen more to the troubles that people are facing in this severe crisis.

Dec. 13 2010 10:37 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Mr. Himes is in out of space. The “New Republican” Party is about dictating what it wants. While the Democrats are talking about compromise. The Democratic Party is dead.

Dec. 13 2010 10:35 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

I read somewhere that if the Bush tax cuts expire, the middle class (closer to the median income) will actually do better than under its continuation -- I'm not sure whether better under the Obama Republican tax plan.

And the lowest earners are going to do worse with the ending of the $400 Make America Work plan Obama had in place, so they wouldn't do that much worse under a simple expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

And...the country would get some much needed revenue from the Uberwealthy,


Dec. 13 2010 10:35 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

My issue is that all this seems very partisan and opinion-based rather than fact-based. Noone seems quite sure of the results of the legislation, so it is not being passed based on whether it works but on whether one is a Democrat or Republican. It would certainly be nice if we could legislate based on fact.

Dec. 13 2010 10:33 AM
jacob from Brooklyn

Connecticut's 4th? Quite a few people up there in Stamford breathing a sigh of relief now.

Oh.. where is Himes district? Is there a possible connection?

Dec. 13 2010 10:33 AM
Phil from Brooklyn

Wow, the congressman has done an excellent job of articulating and defending all the standard Republican talking points. Member of the wrong party?

Dec. 13 2010 10:33 AM
rlewis from the bowery

If the flame-throwers on the Left get their way on bucking this compromise, then when the Right takes the majority in the new year, you can forget any movement on DADT, re-START, Dream Act, etc. The Right will make you eat it.

Dec. 13 2010 10:32 AM
oil monkey

This time of year I have to look at how much I made in my business and figure out what to spend to lower my tax burden- if the taxes are low, the extra money goes into my bank account. If the taxes are higher, I spend more on upgrades to my business for the write-offs. Giving me a tax break WILL NOT cause me to hire anyone else or spend any more (stimulative) money.

Dec. 13 2010 10:31 AM
Karen from Westchester

Why can't the compromise be to keep the tax rates in place for small business but return to the Clinton era tax rates for those upper income people? It seems to me we can change the law/code to benefit the business engine and still help the defecit.

Dec. 13 2010 10:31 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Where's the money to fix the energy situation is these huge tax cuts continue, EVEN HIGHER UNDER OBAMA's REPUB PLAN!, for the Uberwealthy to percent???

This Dem uses pretty words and does ugly actions.

Dec. 13 2010 10:31 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

Who is this guy? He slithered past the SS issue which the woman raised -- and Brian let him get away with it. He did, however, say it was "significant" and seems to be in favor of it. They talk and talk saying absolutely nothing.

I wish I lived in CT just so I could vote against him.

Dec. 13 2010 10:30 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Hines really believes that 25% of the tax cuts going to the top 1% -- repeat, TOP ONE PERCENT-- will be stimulative? They don't have to spend that money; they can blow economic bubbles with that money; they can invest overseas with that money.

He's twisting like a pretzel!

Coming late to the segment, I hear Hines making good sounding noises about caring for the less than Uberwealthy, but what he's also saying is Republican talking points. And those are carrying the day with him and he will vote for this sad Obama/Republican tax plan.

I think my insula response will drive me away from this corporatist Dem Party.

We need a new party. Or we take back the real Dem Party and let these corporatists form a center right portion of the Republican Party.

Right now, with guys like Hines, we have no one representing us.

Nick Clegg has kind of messed up the Liberal Democrats name, but maybe we could use until we come up with a comprehensive new party name?

Let them suck up to Big Money and Big Corporations -- we need real representatives to protect our needs and goals. We need more in the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

Still a registered Dem? Would mass changes to independent make an impression of these corporatis Dems?

Dec. 13 2010 10:29 AM
bernie from bklyn

listening to debate like this i like having my slammed into a wall, over and over again. it's so simple and until we wake up as a nation, nothing will ever change.
what is the biggest concern of this congressmen? helping his constituents? absolutely not. it's geting re-elected and the profit from that re-election. the citizens untied decsion ended any kind of democracy in this contry and the dollar rules and will until this is changed.
why would this guy support a tax cut for the wealthy people that give him the $ to get re-elected and more realistaically- enact laws that support the positions of the rich. don't vote, don't bother. and do whatever you can do to not pay taxes.

Dec. 13 2010 10:28 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Mark Zandi is full of it. Jobs saved and created by having tax cuts for the very rich? Last year the top 25 hedge fund mangers took 1 billion dollars home. Did they create thousands of jobs?
The data shows that the wealthy take their tax savings and reinvested in a bank,

Dec. 13 2010 10:28 AM

Rep. Himes contradicts himself. If he wants to stop "de-stimulative" elements in the "compromise," then his support for extension of the tax expenditures for the upper 2% of earners one of his opponents is debunked by the Congressional Budget Office.

30¢ on the $1 does not = stimulus.

The rank & file have a main gripe - no constituent service from POTUS down, no respect from Pres. Obama.

Please note that Mr. Zandi's opinion has morphed since before the November election. Whether due to new customers to his service, his opinion that such extension was not useful. In that regard, I believe that he's been contradicted by Reich, Dean Baker, John Galbraith, Madrick, Roubini, Simon Johnson, etc.

Also, the continued use of the term "compromise" rankles since GOP has maintained its usual stance/policies and has not given up any material, much less equal loss of policy, $$$ & other tax expenditures.

Dec. 13 2010 10:26 AM


Dec. 13 2010 10:24 AM

what did u want to cut?
road, schools, war?

Dec. 13 2010 10:24 AM

And besides the banks and trust funds were withholding capital from the economy until they got their tax bills cut.
Now that’s class warfare that pays a dividend

Dec. 13 2010 10:23 AM
Amy from Manhattan

1 thing (of many) that worries me is, if the tax cuts on the highest incomes are extended for 2 years, they'll expire when the Republican-controlled Congress, w/a large Tea Party component, is still in power, & what's to keep them from making those cuts permanent? I actually find myself wondering if it would be better to increase the extension to 3 years--not because I want very rich people to get more of a break but because maybe by then the political pendulum will have swung back the other way & a Democratic Congress will let the cuts expire.

Dec. 13 2010 10:22 AM

1. Mark Zandi's record on the economy is abysmal.

2. He works at Moody's, which played a pivotal role in the financial collapse.

3. Himes misrepresents what Zandi says. He absolutely does NOT claim that the tax cut for the rich will save or add 700,000+ jobs. He and others claim that the tax cut extension for the poor and middle class will have a stimulative effect.

Himes is lying lying lying.

Dec. 13 2010 10:22 AM
Ed from New York NY

Why don't we simply reduce government spending. They waste most of the tax money, anyway.

Dec. 13 2010 10:22 AM
Paul from Washington Heights

I completely agree with Congressman Heine's position. I'm just as angry about the tax cuts for the wealthy as the Democratic caucus, but their tactics at this point are wrong. Use the next two years to gear up for the fight, and make lemonade out of this lemon now.

Dec. 13 2010 10:21 AM
Gaetano Catelli from Oxford, Mississippi

Until Democrats face up to the fact that *spending*, not "communications" is the "problem", the Republicans will keep winning.

Dec. 13 2010 10:20 AM

forget fairness!
If the middle class wanted fair taxes they would show up on election day and vote for the party who supports fair taxes.

Dec. 13 2010 10:19 AM

Himes is lying again.... The first big presidential supporter of privatizing Social Security was Bill Clinton (along with Robert Rubin). Now Obama's clique of social security destroyers include Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Austan Goolsbee, Timothy Geithner.... In other words, we've had three administrations in a row dead set on privatizing social security. If they had got their way, in 2008 social security would have gone completely bankrupt -- or more accurately, the entire social security trust fund would have been transferred to Wall Street.

Dec. 13 2010 10:19 AM
rlewis from the Bowery

this woman speaking about not having a voice is laughable. Her voice was heard on Nov. 2, and it was not very lould. It was a whisper that was not heard over the republicans. Too late to squawk now.

Dec. 13 2010 10:19 AM
Giacomo_0001 from Brooklyn

Jim Himes seems to be saying that he can't vote his conscience because of the nature of Washington. He seems really, really proud of it, too. We need to get more representatives in Congress who aren't quite so snivelingly fatalistic.

Dec. 13 2010 10:17 AM
Jamison from Fort Green

That is one of the best things you ever said to a guest Brian, and for that I THANK YOU!!

Dec. 13 2010 10:17 AM
Middle Class

Why did I have to go to the gentleman's own website to find out that he's a Democrat? (CT-4) is not the traditional designation, (D-CT) would be.
Why did I need to look it up? Because I can't tell from his positions!

Dec. 13 2010 10:15 AM

Mr. Himes -- a member of _Congress_ -- needs a lesson in constitutional law. The House is not the only branch of US government. The Senate must pass and the President must sign. Just because a bunch of money-grubbing Republican slaves to American plutarchs want to transfer billions from the middle class to the wealthy doesn't mean that Democrats have to go along with it. But Himes, Obambi and company just don't get this.

Dec. 13 2010 10:14 AM
sophia from Yonkers, NY

Himes should join the other Democrats and encourage the Senate to follow with a 51 vote constitutional option.

Dec. 13 2010 10:13 AM
Jeff Pappas from Ct.



Dec. 13 2010 10:13 AM

There is no economic argument _at all_ for giving massive tax cuts to the rich. NO economist (at least no honest one) -- even conservative economists -- argue that tax cuts for the rich have any stimulative effect.

Himes is just vile liar serving a constituency that is disproportionately wealthy.

Dec. 13 2010 10:10 AM
Jeff Pappas from Ct.

Congressman Himes,
How are you going to help the millions of people like myself who are Freelancers / Self Employed / Micro Business Persons.
As an Artist who has worked one on one with clients and occasionally gets a w -2 job ( but has to have been working for more than 6 months to collect unemployment ), I have NO INCOME ! I own a home and can't get a loan or refinance due to no job. Worst of all I maxed out my Credit cards to pay my bills and mortgage, and then the Coldness of the credit rating Co's kicks in and my Credit Score goes down Just for asking for help !

Start a WPA program to repair our Crumbling Infrastructure , you can employ a wide variety of Americans, from laborers, Craftsman ,Corporations and myself as a Photographer to document it .
And the you can sell bonds to people who make more than 1 million $ per year to finance it , while taking away their tax break, I mean come on now they can afford it !

Dec. 13 2010 09:56 AM

Would any politician care as much if it weren't an election year in 2011?

Dec. 13 2010 09:43 AM

would the congressperson vote to end the farm aid bill and other corporate wellfare in order to keep some my federal taxes a bit closer to home

Dec. 13 2010 08:37 AM

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