Talking Budget

Monday, March 02, 2009

Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor of The Nation, discusses the Obama administration's budget and their ambitious first-term agenda.


Katrina vanden Heuvel

Comments [19]

Mark from Asbury Park

When I read the other Mark's comment (Mark from Manhattan), it did not sound accurate to me. I wanted to wait until I had the details before responding.

The single eaner's tax rate goes up at $200K, not $125 K as Mark claimed.


Mar. 04 2009 05:24 PM
Manuel Macarrulla from Brooklyn, New York

The president's industriousness on behalf of the economy puts me in mind of something that has been broached before on NYC's talk shows. It's been said that Mr. Obama's presidency spells doom for comedy because they won't have a president to make fun of anymore. We're so used to having a useless president that the point of comedy has become, since long ago, to show how laughable and dumb he is. Why is that the only comedy we know? In the pre-enauguration celebration actor Jamie Fox was hilarious simply by imitating the president's voice while quoting his victory speech. That was brilliant comedy. Much wonderful comedy is non-belligerent. Let's enjoy humor, even about the president, without the subject of the joke being the butt of the joke.

Mar. 02 2009 11:09 AM
Not so rich from Chappaqua

Wrong, Suzanne. Due to limitations on deductions for those of us in the AMT, you would not need an income much higher than $250,000 per year to net $250,000 per year or more.

We work 12 to 16 hour days, as do many families in the NYC area who would be "rich" under Obama's standard if the tax increase is not indexed to cost of living. We are not rich. One financial professional whom I know referred to us as "hard-working people, middle-class people who are being screwed by the tax system."

Moreover, 25% of those with incomes that net between $250-$400K live in two or three large metro areas -- NY, LA, Chicago. That's because of the huge inflation in those areas. In other words, Obama -- whom I love -- is pushing a program that would effectively place an unequal tax burden on the urban, professional middle class. We are not rich.

Mar. 02 2009 10:59 AM
Chris from NYC

I just want to add my support for Obama and his "big changes" and also thank Katrina for her wondeful performance on tv Sunday and her calm, steely replies to Carl Rove. Clearly, he was expecting her to sheepishly retreat when he challenged her to read (was it the Republican stimulus plan?). How nice when she looked him in the eye and said "I have read it" and carried on. I think he was momentarily flommoxed.

Mar. 02 2009 10:55 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Not shell shocked at all. Obama and his team are exactly right -- all of these issues must be dealt with together in the budget. They're all interconnected. Can't be done piecemeal --Clinton tried that and it didn't work. As for taxing incomes over $250,000. First that would be net not gross -- so if someone had enough deductions there probably wouldn't be an increase until a much higher income. Second, as for small business -- their biggest issue is health care. So if that can be fixed through these taxes, that would help them more than any tax break.

Mar. 02 2009 10:54 AM
Mark Mangan from Asbury Park NJ

- We elected the man to make big changes. And now when he proposes them, people are shocked? - Katrina sounds great and right on the money: we need her voice in a lot more of the national dialogue.

Mar. 02 2009 10:44 AM
Lara from Flushing

My guess would be that 80% of BLS listeners are not remotely shellshocked by Pres. Obama's proposals. The mainstream media is clearly way behind the popular sentiment, as was clear by recent coverage of the bailout package passed by congress.

Mar. 02 2009 10:44 AM
Michael from Long Island

When Katrina van Heuval says that the wealthy are not currently paying their fair share what does she mean?
86% of all federal income taxes are already paid by the top 25% of income earners. does she mean that they should only pay 25% or does she mean that they should pay 100% of all federal income taxes?
Does she also agree with president Obama reducing tax deductions for charities? this will not hurt the rich but will reduce charitable deductions to the poor.

Mar. 02 2009 10:44 AM
Mark from Manhattan

It was interesting to hear the comment "too much attention to the deficit." These are same people who screamed about Bush's deficit spending which was also wrong.

As a conservative, I enjoy seeing Obama over-spend and lean left rather than center. When the moderates realizes how this will hurt them, it will assure a one term Presidency for Obama.

P.S. Please be clear that the $250K tax bracket is for a family. For those single people like me, it's $125K which is not "wealthy" when you live in NYC.

Mar. 02 2009 10:44 AM
jim c from Brooklyn

The Republicans have used government to redirect tax money into their supporters pockets at the expense of popular programs like Medicare. They starve other programs that are popular, and then they say "see government doesn't work."

I voted for the President and I am 100% behind his budget effort. I am not shocked

Mar. 02 2009 10:43 AM
Teo from Brooklyn

Why fault Obama for predicting a strong recovery? If he gets his policies past he obviously expects that the economy would recover strongly. It would be self defeating to propose policies that are supposed to rebuild the economy then submit a budget that expects anaemic growth.

Mar. 02 2009 10:43 AM
burtnor from upper west side

Am I shell shocked? Only with relief and, dare I say, joy! These changes are what Obama promised, what we voted for, and what the country desperately needs NOW. We've been waiting 20 years. Are you suggesting we wait another 20? Go slowly in an overwhelming crisis? I'm not sure why you are even posing the question.

Mar. 02 2009 10:43 AM
Not so rich from Chappaqua

Our family campaigned for Obama. We live in Westchester, where the cost of living is 2 1/2 times the national average. Our net income is just above $250,000 net and we are not rich. I have two jobs; my husband owns a small business. We pay $25,000 per year in property taxes for an ordinary, not large, fifty year old home, and our overall tax load is already 40%. We do not have much money to save after taxes, insurance, food, heating costs, college tuition (at a state school) and commutation costs.

We are committed progressive Democrats and are very pleased with Obama's programs with one caveat; the tax increases should be indexed to cost of living. We are already in the AMT and, if a family in Houston making $100,000 per year is not rich, then neither are we.

Mar. 02 2009 10:42 AM
Chriss Williams from Montclair, NJ

Curious, the top 5% pay 60% of all taxes.

Did she just say tax fairness?

Progressive taxes are fine, but this number is glaring.

Moreover living around here on 150k is not the same as living in Ohio....

Mar. 02 2009 10:42 AM
teresa DeZazzo from long island

Brian, I am not shocked. I could not be happier with the way Obama is taking the reins and trying to redirect this country. The Bush administration left us bankrupt on every level. Obama has a big job and it is not the "shocked" voters that will stop him. It is the Koch and Limbaugh republican machines... please look at exposing their nefarious plans.

Thanks - love your show!

Mar. 02 2009 10:42 AM
Christopher Deignan from Middle Village

I love the fact that Obama is being bold and yes, redistributing wealth. Its about time. Is there any provision in there to scrap the Star Wars program? To my mind its as obscene in its own way as Guantanamo Bay, which I am delighted to see being shut down. Oh, and how irrelevant are the Republicans? The best they can do is scream "socialism". Katrina is wonderful, loved the fact that she ignored Rove's invitation to call him by his first name on ABC yesterday.

Mar. 02 2009 10:42 AM
Jon from NYC

Did I miss the memo on saving Social Security? I haven't heard anything about it recently, and the way the economic future is looking, I think I'm going to need it.

Mar. 02 2009 10:40 AM
Nick from Atlanta, GA

You know, I am a little shell shocked but not because he's making so many changes so quickly and holding up to his promises but that liberals finally get their day! I'm so used to being told I'm not a patriot or by being called "Democrat Party" or being called socialist or fascist. It's amazing how low I have felt in the past 8 years. Finally, something I can get behind. :-) That's the only shell shock I've been feeling lately.

Mar. 02 2009 10:39 AM
Leo from Queens

Thank you Katrina!! for telling Carl Rove on on his new found concerns for fiscal responsibility. You should be out there on TV more often telling these idiots and thieves to STFU!!

Mar. 02 2009 10:34 AM

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