Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Advisory Committee Supports Change to Sex-Ed Curriculum

Last night the MCPS Citizens Advisory Committee for Family Life and Human Development voted to make some minor changes to the sex-ed curriculum. These changes were actually recommended by a previous citizens advisory committee and rejected by the district in 2007, and now a new committee has asked the Superintendent again to recommend to the Board that they modify the curriculum.

Last year the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics sent a letter to the Montogmery County Public Schools noting that some statements that had been recommended for inclusion in the curriculum were rejected, and urged the Board of Education to consider adding the material. The letter was partly a reaction to an anti-gay fake pediatric group contacting the school district. The statements are:
  • Homosexuality is not a disease or a mental illness (teachers currently can only say this in response to a question)
  • Sexual orientation is not a choice and the American Medical Association opposes "therapies" that seek to change sexual orienation that are premised on the assumption that people can or should change their sexual orientation
  • Children raised by same-sex couples do just as well as those raised by heterosexuals, and are no more likely to be homosexual
  • Children who have fleeting same-sex attractions may assume incorrectly that they are gay or lesbian. Mere fleeting attraction does not prove orientation.
  • Homosexuals can live happy, successful lives; they can be successful parents

The citizens advisory committee voted 9 to 3 yesterday to add these recommendations to the curriculum, removing the words "can or" from the second item.

Several things have changed since the wording was first proposed more than four years ago. The membership of the committee is almost entirely different. The make-up of the school board is very different. And most importantly, the county has had a chance to see that the new sex-ed curriculum is not controversial or harmful in any way. It's what the people here wanted, and since implementation it has not created any uproar or complaining, nor has it adversely affected any students.

This past week we saw the conclusion of a state legislative session where two bills that were important to establishing fair treatment of LGBT citizens were rejected by politicians who were afraid of controversy. Montgomery County is the bluest of the blue, the people who live here are fair-minded and progressive and proud of our school district, which consistently places in the top rankings of schools nationwide. MCPS weathered an onslaught by national anti-gay groups and moved forward to implement a curriculum that was strong and forward-looking, but balked at inclusion of statements by major medical and scientific organizations. It is time to correct that error.

We are talking about statements by the big professional organizations of doctors, psychologists, and researchers: the AMA, AAP, APA. These are people who have ridden the educational system to its ultimate endpoint, and there should be nothing controversial about quoting them in a schoolroom.

I expect that the Citizens for Responsible Whatever will send out newsletters with huge, red, bolded fonts, rallying the troops to fight against this liberal conspiracy to turn all our kids gay. But really, it's only some standard wording that doctors and scientists put out, there is nothing controversial, political, religious, or ideological here. They have done the research, they have come to their conclusions, and it is the responsibility of the school district to properly educate our county's children by delivering to them the highest quality of information that is available. There's nothing to argue about here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah -- nothing to argue about -- ho ho!

Nothing to argue about but the truth!

April 14, 2011 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, these will never legally fly!
Notice how the gays leave out the trans issue!

April 14, 2011 12:18 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Never legally fly? CRC/PFOX/FLN argued in court in 2007 that MCPS could not use conclusions of mainstream medical and mental health professional associations regarding sexual orientation. They lost, and lost so badly that they did not appeal. See

There was nothing about transgender issues last night because the current curriculum already does a very good job with the issue.

Sorry, Anon.

April 14, 2011 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the county has had a chance to see that the new sex-ed curriculum is not controversial or harmful in any way. It's what the people here wanted,"

then why do gay advocacy groups always oppose putting such things up for a vote?

this was pushed by the teachers's union, more than anyone else

there weren't a lot of parents looking to have their children propagandized

"and since implementation it has not created any uproar or complaining, nor has it adversely affected any students"

everyone knows complaining is useless but the effect it has had on students is debatable

if students are convinced by the curriculum that homosexuality is normal, some might seek oportunities to experiment with the behavior- with devastating consequences

"conclusions of mainstream medical and mental health professional associations regarding sexual orientation"

the reason the school board didn't include such statements is because they weren't based on scientific evidence but on the political and social viccitudes that association are commonly subject too

citing those organizations gives the false impression that the conclusions are scientifically based

a false impression, btw, that TTFers would love for students to get

why not just quote the position of the Screen Actors's Guild?

here's some examples of why these statements aren't objectively viable:

"Homosexuality is not a disease or a mental illness"

depends on what you consider healthy

"Sexual orientation is not a choice"

an age-old philosophical debate on whether are desires and choices are freely made or determined

"and the American Medical Association opposes "therapies" that seek to change sexual orienation that are premised on the assumption that people can or should change their sexual orientation"

"should" is not a scientific term but depends on what outcome you desire

"Children raised by same-sex couples do just as well as those raised by heterosexuals,"

completely a matter of opinion

"Children who have fleeting same-sex attractions may assume incorrectly that they are gay or lesbian."

implies that there is a category of individuals who don't have a choice- see above

"Mere fleeting attraction does not prove orientation."

neither does a more lasting fixation- this statement implies that true "orientation" can be proven

"Homosexuals can live happy, successful lives; they can be successful parents"

a matter of opinion, not fact

April 14, 2011 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David what are you talking about? The school's lawyers looked at these statements once and rejected them.
Where are the quotation marks?

April 14, 2011 4:20 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


Just read the 2008 decision, particularly at pp. 8-9. See link at

You tell me how PFOX would get around that decision if MCPS includes these recommendations from the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

April 14, 2011 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

most of the stuff that is being suggested to add is not "recommendations" but value judgments

by choosing these organizations to provide these value judgments, gay advocates are disingenuously implying they have a scientific basis

doctors don't have any better grasp on philosophy, ethics, values, morals or any kind of metaphysics than the rest of us

I don't even need to mention psychologists

April 14, 2011 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PHOENIX - The Arizona Legislature gave final approval late Thursday night to a proposal that would require President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they are U.S. citizens before their names can appear on the state's ballot.

Arizona would become the first state to require such proof if Gov. Jan Brewer signs the measure into law.

Republican Rep. Carl Seel of Phoenix, the author of the bill, said "This bill is about the integrity of our elections."

The bill won final approval from the state House in a 40-16 vote.

So-called "birthers" contend since the last presidential election that Obama is ineligible to hold the nation's highest elected office because, they argue, he was actually born in Kenya, his father's homeland. The Constitution said a person must be a "natural-born citizen" to be eligible for the presidency.

The Arizona proposal would require political parties and presidential candidates to hand in affidavits stating a candidate's citizenship and age and to provide the candidate's birth certificate and a sworn statement saying where the candidate has lived for 14 years.

If candidates don't have a copy of their birth certificates, they could meet the requirement by providing baptismal or circumcision certificates, hospital birth records and other documents.

If it can't be determined whether candidates who provided documents in place of their birth certificates are eligible to appear on the ballot, the secretary of state would be able to set up a committee to help determine whether the requirements have been met.

The names of candidates can be kept off the ballot if the secretary of state doesn't believe the candidates met the citizenship requirement.

April 15, 2011 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"by choosing these organizations to provide these value judgments, gay advocates are disingenuously implying they have a scientific basis"

Who are these "gay advocates" you are blathering about? The letter was sent to MCPS by "the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics," an organization of 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Whether you're looking for general child health information or for more specific guidelines concerning a pediatric issue, you've come to the right place. Here, you'll find information regarding the Academy's many programs and activities…our policies and guidelines…our publications and other child health resources…and much, much more. Best of all, you can rest assured that the information comes from the nation's leading child health experts and that we have scientific research supporting our recommendations.

You must be the same nut who keeps posting the birther stuff. Please keep it up! I agree with President Obama "there's been an effort to go at me in a way that is politically expedient in the short-term for Republicans. But creates, I think a problem for them when they want to actually run in a general election where most people feel pretty confident the President was born where he says he was, in Hawaii. (LAUGHS)" and appreciate your willingness to regularly remind everyone of the extreme right wing fringe.

Even Bill O'Reilly sounds saner than you:

"O'Reilly said his show had looked into the claims about Obama's birth certificate. Once they found the two Honolulu newspapers which announced his birth, he said he "put [the issue] to bed," since "that is impossible to make happen" if Obama was not born in a Honolulu hospital. O'Reilly labeled Obama's mother a "hippie," and scoffed at the notion that there was a "sophisticated conspiracy" to smuggle Obama into the U.S. and forge his identity."

And Glenn Beck too:

"I personally think he’s a citizen. I think he was born here. I don’t think he was a Manchurian Candidate from birth. But, if you want to, great. You’re out of your mind if you think that is a winning argument for the next election."

April 15, 2011 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best of all, you can rest assured that the information comes from the nation's leading child health experts and that we have scientific research supporting our recommendations.

Not good enough to say it, produce the research supporting the statements. If there are no quotes then how will the public know if the statements have not been changed?
That is what you are dealing with.

April 15, 2011 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bea, I think the chances that Obama are a citizen are about 90%

but 10% is too high a chance he's not

so many unanswered questions have been raised and, in our society, the leader is not beyond questioning

"President Obama's approval rating has dipped to a five-month low in Gallup's daily tracking poll, reverting to post-midterm election lows.

The survey, a three-day rolling average conducted April 11-13, pegs Obama's approval at 42%, the lowest since Nov. 10-12. For the first time since late October, his disapproval rating has reached 50%.

Since the self-described "shellacking" of his party last November, Obama's numbers have zig-zagged within a 9-point range, from the low of 42% to a high of 51%. He enjoyed a sustained upward trend after agreeing to cut taxes for the very wealthy in December's lame duck session of Congress.

The White House routinely dismisses polling data. But it's a troublesome footnote as the president kicks off his re-election effort Thursday.

The new numbers suggest that gains Obama had recorded after conceding to the Republicans in the productive lame duck session of Congress last December have been wiped out. Obama's approval rating registered at 50% by the end of the lame duck session, when Obama accomodated Republican demands on taxes and other major legislation.

"There's a lot going on in the political environment right now, including the (budget) agreement reached last Friday and the wrangling this week over his speech," Newport said. "The economy is perceived as bad, economic confidence data is bad, gas prices are up – so there are a number of proximate causes" for the downturn.

April 15, 2011 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Anon went with Gallup instead of the usual Rasmussen because Gallup is the outlier this time.

Facts and figures are not your forte, Anon. You remind me of Senator Kyl (Sen. Kyl mocked for making up numbers in abortion debate) with your 90/10 split.

April 15, 2011 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, I went with Gallup because it was the story being highlighted up by the media today

if you think Obama is doing well in public opinion, by all means, please relax and let the election unfold our way

I'll stick with the 90/10 on the natural-born issue

sounds like most people, outside the political intelligentsia in East Coast megalopolis, agree with me

April 15, 2011 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do have to wonder why Obama has now spent $2 million to avoid releasing his birth certificate.

Things that make you go "hmmmmm."

April 15, 2011 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"While the $2 million figure has now been invoked thousands of times around the Web, it appears to have originated on WorldNetDaily, a right-wing news website that conducts original (and often unreliable) reporting on a variety of conspiracy theories.

I asked Orly Taitz, the leading California-based birther attorney and dentist, where the $2 million figure comes from. "There was an article in WorldNetDaily a while ago," she said. "I believe Trump is correct."

Bill Keller, a Florida evangelical pastor who starred in the first birther infomercial, has also invoked the $2 million figure. I asked Keller his source for the number. "WorldNetDaily has done tons of reporting on this issue," he wrote in an email.

Specifically, WND's Chelsea Schilling wrote a series of articles on the legal bills in 2009. See here, here and here. According to the WND articles, the Obama campaign paid $1.7 million in fees to the law firm Perkins Coie between October 2008 and October 2009.

Perkins Coie's Bob Bauer, who is now White House counsel, represented Obama in at least one birther lawsuit that WND has also written about. In 2009, Bauer fired off a brief letter to an attorney who brought a case questioning Obama's eligibility to be president. Bauer warned the attorney that the case was frivolous and asked him to stop pursuing it. (The case is called Hollister v. Soetoro -- with Soetoro referring to the name President Obama supposedly used as a child in Indonesia. It was recently appealed to the Supreme Court, which turned it down.)

The implication of the WND stories -- though not explicitly stated -- is that because Perkins Coie worked on a birther suit, and because the Obama campaign paid Perkins Coie $1.7 million, therefore the campaign paid $1.7 million fighting birther suits. That's an obvious logical fallacy.

Indeed, just last month Roll Call published a look at the Obama campaign's post-election legal spending -- now totaling $2.8 million, most of it to Perkins Coie. DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan told the paper: "The campaign has incurred ordinary legal expenses related to the wind-down of its operations and other legal services which all campaigns incur and which are proportional to the unprecedented size of this campaign." Roll Call continued:

"Legal costs for presidential campaigns can balloon following Election Day as these organizations face compliance issues and sometimes court cases stemming from the campaign season.

Sevugan said some legal fees were needed to defend the campaign against "unmeritorious" suits, including one challenging Obama’s citizenship."

So, yes, it's clear that the Obama campaign has spent some money fighting so-called eligibility lawsuits. But the $2 million figure is baseless."

April 16, 2011 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's a contribution to the debate Theresa and Bea were recently having about taxes

"Politicians have built entire careers on blurring the line between tax rates and tax revenues. The tax rate is, of course, the percentage at which, say, an income is taxed, while the tax revenueis the total amount of money the government collects. Just as lower prices in a discount store can paradoxically generate higher total profits for a retailer, lower tax rates often generate higher tax revenues. The converse is equally true, with higher prices and higher tax rates yielding lesser benefits.

Throughout time, class-warfare politicians have learned this critical distinction between tax rates and tax revenues the hard way.

When Maryland passed a higher tax rate on people earning $1 million a year or more, which took effect in 2008, the number of millionaires living in Maryland fell from nearly 8,000 to fewer than 6,000. Although it had been projected that the additional tax revenue collected from the rich in Maryland would rise by $106 million, instead those revenues fell by $257 million.

It has become increasingly obvious that to balance America’s national budget, we must cut spending and optimize tax revenues. The challenge is to find the tax rate that will best yield the necessary revenue. Consider these obvious scenarios: A tax rate of zero percent would yield zero in revenues, while a tax rate of 100 percent would also yield zero in revenues because no one would work for nothing. Americans aren’t stupid. Clearly, then, simply increasing tax rates will not always increase revenues.

This economic reality spares no political party. When Democratic President Kennedy and Republican Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush reduced income tax rates, total tax revenues coming into the Treasury increased because, as JFK explained, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” When Democratic Presidents Carter and Clinton and Republican President George H.W. Bush raised income tax rates, total tax revenues fell. The same holds true for other types of taxes. Reagan’s capital-gains tax increase reduced revenues, while tax-rate reductions instated by Mr. Carter, Mr. Clinton and George W. Bush yielded increased revenues.

Economics 101 students have long understood this concept. In fact, even John Maynard Keynes himself, the Democrats’ high economic priest of big government, acknowledged that “taxation may be so high as to defeat its object.” In a 2008 presidential debate, when candidate Barack Obama was presented with these undeniable facts and asked why he would possibly still favor nearly doubling the capital gains tax rate, he replied, “… for purposes of fairness.”

It’s chilling to hear any politician, let alone a soon-to-be president, openly declare that he would sacrifice America’s fiscal well-being in order to impose his will. Sure enough, President Obama unveiled what his true notions of “fairness” really are with what health care economist David Catron calls his “dispensations”: Obamacare waivers for union friends and stimulus funds for cronies; in short, the unholy practice of government picking and choosing winners and losers among Americans."

April 16, 2011 9:07 AM  
Anonymous how left and low can he go? said...

moving to the left doesn't seem to be working for Barry

he should try getting behind tax cuts for rich people again

looks like he's losing a point off his approval rating a day:

"PRINCETON, NJ - The latest Gallup Daily tracking three-day average shows 41% of Americans approving of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. That ties his low as president, which he registered three times previously -- twice in August 2010 and once in October 2010.

The current 41% approval rating from April 12-14 polling includes interviews conducted before and after Obama announced his plan for deficit reduction on Wednesday. It also comes in the same week Congress is voting on the 2011 budget deal reached last Friday. The deal did not seem to have an immediate effect on the way Americans viewed Obama, given his 44% approval rating in the three days prior to the agreement.

The economy is likely also a factor in Obama's declining ratings. Though unemployment is improving according to government estimates, the economic recovery remains slow and is being challenged by rising fuel prices. Presidents' approval ratings have historically suffered in times of high gas prices.

The current three-day average finds 50% of Americans disapproving of Obama.

Obama's approval rating in April 12-14 polling is down most among independents. Currently, only 35% of independents approve of the president."

April 16, 2011 12:35 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

just saw Atlas shrugged.

What would happen if the top 1% of earners took their money and left ?

Or stopped producing so that others could not work and live on the hand-outs of the government....

What would happen if all the producers said enough already and just went on strike ?

Who is John Gault ?

April 16, 2011 4:45 PM  
Anonymous how left and low can he go? said...

it's happening slowly here in the Blue State:

"When Maryland passed a higher tax rate on people earning $1 million a year or more, which took effect in 2008, the number of millionaires living in Maryland fell from nearly 8,000 to fewer than 6,000. Although it had been projected that the additional tax revenue collected from the rich in Maryland would rise by $106 million, instead those revenues fell by $257 million."

let's hope we can stop it before we go the way of our big blue sisters, California and Massachusetts

April 16, 2011 8:00 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

If you believe in the rewards of hard work and individual achievement; if you believe that you should be the judge of what's best for you; if you believe that every man is given reason as the tool for providing for himself; if you believe that providing for yourself and your own is not only not a "sin," but both noble and beneficial to society as a whole; if you believe that you've already "paid" society, with work, for every dollar you've earned -- if you believe all of this, then don't stop at one movie. Buy and read Atlas Shrugged -- a book that could change your life. Don't think of it as a big book -- think of it as a small investment in yourself.

And Bea, you still haven't answered my question. How much did you pay in taxes ?

April 16, 2011 10:40 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


So you want evidence? Good. In fact, the links supporting the doctors' recommedations were provided to the Committee.

Most of the points are discussed in the 2004 Report in Pediatrics, the main journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: Sexual Orientation and Adolescents 2004 (see pp. 1828, 1830-31 of PDF version, available at this link)) This document was part of the discussion in 2004 and 2005, and later in 2006 and 2007, before the Citizens Advisory Committee.

Much of the discussion at the Wednesday Committee meeting centered around that "reparative therapy" issue. Here is what the direct American Medical Association says about it: The AMA "opposes the use of ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation." (AMA Policy Number H-160.991 Health Care Needs of the Homosexual Population, available at

April 17, 2011 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I'm sorry Theresa, but unlike you I don't expose my naked body to ladies in the sauna at upscale health clubs in Bethesda, nor do I go around airing my family's squabbles and the taxes we pay in public.

I will answer yet another of your nosy questions into my personal business, but this is the last time. Our family's small business with gross revenues AKA sales of $101.3K in 2009 paid more in US income taxes than GE paid on its $157 billion in sales and than ExxonMobile paid on its $311 billion in sales and than Bank of America paid on its $120 billion in sales. (2009 corporate figures are from Forbes Magazine.)

And if Mr. Ryan has his way, Uncle Beau and I and our business will pay even more in taxes as VAT is added and deductions are disallowed. I only hope GE, ExxonMobile, Bank of America and all the rest will pay more in taxes too, but with all their high powered highly paid lobbyists, I have a feeling I know where the first new deductions and exemptions in the Ryan tax code will appear -- they won't be at our income level.

I'm relieved Uncle Beau and I are old enough that we won't be among the 33 seniors on Medicare who will have to pay $6,000 more for their health care so one millionaire can get his/her annual Ryan tax cut. And I'm relieved that you, Theresa, believe in "providing for yourself " and are able to do so. That means you will avoid being subject to that $6,000 annual increase in Medicare patients' health care costs and won't be shopping for private insurance with only a Medicare voucher to pay for it. Maybe you'll even be in a high enough tax bracket that you'll get a share of what seniors on Medicare will sacrifice for you. You go girl!

April 17, 2011 9:40 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Over or under 10K in taxes Bea ?
The reason I keep pressing this is because I believe I probably paid 10 times the taxes you did on about 2.5 times the income.

The tax code is already extremely fair to those who are not at higher income levels (regardles of whether those lower income levels are a result of the 3300 loopholes or not).

Why is that liberals always resort to personal insults when they can't win on rational arguments.....

I know, because you are trying to get folks to shut up when you can't win the argument on facts. Doesn't work with me, sorry ! Have I insulted you Bea ? See I don't think I have.....

April 17, 2011 10:21 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Why is the govt letting me keep my own money that I have worked my entire life for asking seniors to sacrifice for me ?

It's my money. I chose not to quit and to keep my kids were little. I chose a double major in engineering in college. I chose to apply for the higher paying sales job even though it was more stress and more hours than the engineering job I had been doing previously.

Because of those choices, I make more money today than any of my siblings do. Who were presented with the same opportuntities and lucky enough to have parents that picked up their college tab.

My husband chose to put himself through college while working a couple of jobs to pay for college. His siblings could have made the same choice he did. They didn't. As a result, he makes more money than his siblings.

Your fiscal health is usually a result of the choices you made during your lifetime. The exception to this is folks with true medical disabilites. How much you choose to work, how much you saved.

In every person connected with my life, I have seen this is true. Including folks who came here with nothing and worked 3 or 4 jobs, put themselves through med school or college/medical training, and now are making 150K+ (my babysitter).

So I am sorry Bea, though I will agree with you that we should help folks who can't help themselves.... we shouldn't be continually taking from folks who choose to work hard and chose to succeed to give it to those who choose NOT TO.

And now I am going to do my own yard work, mow my own yard, and mulch my own hedge, and plant my garden (which I grew from seeds).

The money I save by doing my own yard work I can use to pay for an upscale health club in Bethesda...

which is a total of 100 a month since you keep bringing it up Bea. hey I would bet you kind find a way to write that off your small business deductions if you try ! You can bring guests there in a lot of cases at no charge. Call it a business expense and have at it.


April 17, 2011 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON -- As millions of procrastinators scramble to meet Monday's tax filing deadline, ponder this: Nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all.

The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent.

The average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers is 9.3 percent.

The top income tax rate is 35 percent, so how can people who make so much pay so little in taxes? The nation's tax laws are packed with breaks for people at every income level. There are breaks for having children, paying a mortgage, going to college, and even for paying other taxes. Plus, the top rate on capital gains is only 15 percent.

There are so many breaks that 45 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax for 2010, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

The sheer volume of credits, deductions and exemptions has both Democrats and Republicans calling for tax laws to be overhauled. House Republicans want to eliminate breaks to pay for lower overall rates, reducing the top tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. Republicans oppose raising taxes, but they argue that a more efficient tax code would increase economic activity, generating additional tax revenue.

In all, the tax code is filled with a total of $1.1 trillion in credits, deductions and exemptions, an average of about $8,000 per taxpayer, according to an analysis by the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent watchdog within the IRS.

More than half of the nation's tax revenue came from the top 10 percent of earners in 2007. More than 44 percent came from the top 5 percent.

The law is packed with tax breaks that help narrow special interests. But many of the biggest tax breaks benefit millions of American families at just about every income level, making them difficult for politicians to touch.

The vast majority of those who escape federal income taxes have low and medium incomes, and most of them pay other taxes, including Social Security and Medicare taxes, property taxes and retail sales taxes.

The share of people paying no federal income tax has dropped slightly the past two years. It was 47 percent for 2009. The main difference for 2010 was the expiration of a tax break that exempted the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits from taxation, Williams said.

In 2009, nearly 35 million taxpayers got a tax break for paying interest on their home mortgages, and nearly 36 million taxpayers took the $1,000-per-child tax credit. About 41 million households reduced their federal income taxes by deducting state and local income and sales taxes from their taxable income.

About 36 million families cut their taxes by nearly $35 billion by deducting charitable donations, and 28 million taxpayers saved a total of $24 billion because their income from Social Security and railroad pensions was untaxed.

April 18, 2011 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as you pay your taxes today, consider this:

2.3 million people are jailed in the U.S., at an expense of 70 billion a year to the taxpayers of America

25% for drug violations, serving mandatory sentences

legalize drug use and let 'em go

save on prison costs and start collecting sales tax on the drug trade

April 18, 2011 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Value-Added Taxes are a plan for displacing the tax burden from higher-income earners onto those who make less.

April 18, 2011 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

You have all kinds of "beliefs" that turn out wrong, Theresa. Maybe you forgot that you're the one who brought up your sauna activities in Bethesda because you "believed" men in dresses would come in there and peep at all the naked ladies. Tell us Theresa, since gender identity was added to the MoCo law, how many men in dresses have been a problem in your sauna? Do you still believe men in dresses are coming to peep?

I don't feel insulted by your prying questions into my business. I'm simply more guarded than you appear to be about exposing private things about myself and my loved ones in public and that's why I'm done answering your questions.

The point to be made about the taxes my small $101.3K grossing corporation pays is that my corporation paid more in US income taxes in 2009 than GE, ExxonMobile, and Bank of America combined. If you think that's the way it should be, I wholeheartedly disagree.

I'm glad to pay my corporate and personal US income taxes, which are at the lowest rates across the board than they have been in years. But I am so sad that Ryan's machete may eliminate the Department of Labor's Senior Community Service Employment Program, which employs 58,000 poor elderly citizens, who may end up homeless if the Heritage Foundation gets its way and cuts the program entirely, that I'd be willing to pay a higher tax rate to save it and other programs like it. Of course I hope huge corporations like GE, ExxonMobile, and BOA would be at least as willing as I am to help out poor elderly people.

You've made it clear how you feel about this idea when you said "It's my money."

Poll for Anon: PPP: "Bad news for Congressional Republicans":

...after a little more than 3 months in charge House Republicans have fallen so far out of favor with the American public that it's entirely possible Democrats could take control of the House back next year.

43% of voters think that House Republicans are doing a worse job now than the Democrats did, compared to only 36% who think the GOP has brought an improvement. 19% think things are about the same. 62% of voters thinking that the Republicans have either made things worse or brought no improvement to an already unpopular Congress does not bode particularly well for the party.

46% of voters say that if there was an election for Congress today they would vote Democratic, compared to only 41% who would vote Republican. That five point advantage for Democrats is only a hair below the margin Republicans won by in the national popular vote last year...

The key to this strong movement back toward the Democrats right now is the same as the key to the strong movement away from the Democrats last year- fickle independents quickly growing unhappy with the party in power. Exit polls showed independents supporting the GOP by a 19 point margin last year at 56-37. Now only 30% of those voters think that the Republican controlled House is moving things in the right direction, compared to 44% who think things were better with the Democrats. Given those numbers it's not much of a surprise that independents now say they'd vote Democratic for the House by a 42-33 margin if these was an election today, representing a 28 point reversal in a span of just five months...

April 18, 2011 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're a riot, Bea

as I've said, if you think this country is "moving strongly" to Democratic positions, relax and ride out your good fortune

we won't complain if you don't participate in the election debate

remember about a year before the 2010 election when Biden made headlines by telling a reporter that Dems would probably lose the House?

you may be amused to know he made the same statement about the Senate last week

"the taxes my small $101.3K grossing corporation pays is more in US income taxes in 2009 than GE, ExxonMobile, and Bank of America combined"

hate to state the obvious but maybe they lost more money than you

they certainly made a greater contribution to our economy

also, if they distributed dividends, their stockholders paid tax on the earnings of those corporations so it's disingenuous to say they paid no taxes

"If you think that's the way it should be, I wholeheartedly disagree."

after you and Uncle Bobo paid tax on your Schedule C income, did you also pay capital gains tax on it again?

of course not

but that's what happened to the owners of GE, Exxon and BofA

why is double taxation of corporate earnings fair?

"I am so sad that Ryan's machete may eliminate the Department of Labor's Senior Community Service Employment Program, which employs 58,000 poor elderly citizens,"

if you and all the Dems feel that way, start a charitable corporation that does the same thing and give your money to it

why do you think you have a right to tell everyone else which charities they have to support?

it's a documented fact that Republicans give more to charity than Dems

what the Dems want is to take the money of the rich and control what charities it goes to

"I'd be willing to pay a higher tax rate to save it and other programs like it"

well, by all means, take that money you want Uncle Sam to handle for you and give it straight to the charity

the charitable purpose will benefit by cutting out the middle man and, as a bonus, being less constrained by regulation

"Of course I hope huge corporations like GE, ExxonMobile, and BOA would be at least as willing as I am to help out poor elderly people."

all three of those corporations gave huge grants to charitable organizations during the year

"You've made it clear how you feel about this idea when you said "It's my money.""

I think you've made it clear you believe property is theft

is it alright if we call you a Marxist?

April 18, 2011 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"it's disingenuous to say they paid no taxes"

Then go complain to the writers at Forbes Magazine because that's who published the information that GE, ExxonMobile, and BOA paid no US income taxes in 2009.

all three of those corporations gave huge grants to charitable organizations during the year

Yeah? So where are the jobs those "charitable organizations" who received "huge grants" from "all three of those corporations" created with their donations? And where are the jobs "all three of those corporations" themselves created with the huge donations of tax dollars the US government gave to them in 2009 when I paid more corporate income tax on our $101.3K in gross receipts than they did on billions of dollars in profits?

I think you've made it clear you believe property is theft

Think what you'd like but Vigilance readers know you are mistaken. I have never said such a thing -- you just made that up. How many times do I have to remind you to quit shoving words into my mouth I did not say?

is it alright if we call you a Marxist?

"We" who? You and all the writers of the opinion pieces you plagiarize?

Sure, go ahead and call me whatever you want. Show Theresa how wrong she is when she states it's only "liberals" [who] "always resort to personal insults when they can't win on rational arguments."

April 18, 2011 3:05 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Well Bea, you did challenge my statement "It's my money" and you did imply that by wanting to keep more of my money (for my kids college, specifically) I was in some way harming seniors.

You do seem to believe the "from each according to his capability to each according to his need" - which is the definition of Marxism...

But I think we are in agreement that a tax code that allows GE to pay no taxes on that much profit is a problem.

I will be the first one yelling if they try to be ANY deductions back in for large corporations. They need to wipe the whole code out and start over.

April 18, 2011 6:57 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

" new Tax Day study showed that if Washington wanted to balance the budget using tax increases alone, rates would have to more than double across the board -- including on the middle class -- to keep up with federal spending.

As Republicans often argue, the top tier already pays a greater percentage in taxes than all the rest. The government could extract hundreds of billions more by upping their rates, but without significant spending cuts would have to turn next to the middle brackets.

"Everyone would be looking at a tax hike if that's the answer here," Public Notice director Gretchen Hamel said."

So for me, upping taxes 150% would mean that I was giving 92% of my income to the govt... ie, I am now paying 37 percent total (everything counted) and increasing this 150% would mean 92%. At that point I would simply stop working. So, trying to fix this through tax hikes on the "rich" Bea simply won't work. What would you suggest we cut ?

Personally, I like Trump's idea. Stay in Irag and take the oil, at least to pay ourselves back for the cost of the war, 1.4 trillion.

Drastically change Medicare - either privatize it as Ryan suggested or go look at dollar for dollar what TriCare is doing covering their folks and compare it with Medicare.


April 18, 2011 7:29 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


Ayn Rand's philosphy disregards the ancient wisdom of John Donne:

"No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

I believe I have succeeded in life not just because I worked hard, and made good life decisions, but also because I live in a society that provided the circumstances in which my hard work could pay off. And I am also acutely aware that had I not been born into a stable family that valued hard work and education, my life outcomes could easily have been very different. Those who benefit the most from circumstances have, in my view, a moral obligation to assist those who have not been so fortunate. And there are other things that we can only do collectively, like national defense and the protection of the physical environment which enables us to live at all. We are all part of one community and we all need to pay our fair share to support it.

John Gault is a fictional character living,in my view, in a fictional moral universe.

April 19, 2011 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I never said we could get out of this hole left by Bush with tax hikes *alone* so your argument against that is meaningless. I agree, tax hikes alone will not get us out of this recession Bush's policies and world events created. I have described over and over the cuts that are coming to Medicare for folks who are not yet over 55 like Uncle Beau and I are and then I asked, "where is the shared sacrifice on the part of the wealthy?"

We're all supposed to lose the old tax deductions and pay VAT, rich and poor alike. Yet the poor, disabled, and elderly are being told they must give up tax-payer funded programs that help to keep them fed, clothed, healthy and housed while the wealthy are told they will have their income tax rate lowered even more. WHERE IS THE SHARED SACRIFICE?

I agree with President Obama that FOR EVERY THREE DOLLARS IN SPENDING CUTS, THERE SHOULD BE A ONE DOLLAR INCREASE IN REVENUE, otherwise known as another one dollar in tax collected. And like President Obama, I believe that revenue should come from reducing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy. Even Alan Greenspan recently saw the light and said on Face the Nation:

“This crisis is so imminent and so difficult that I think we have to allow the so-called Bush tax cuts all to expire. That is a very big number,”

Greenspan said in addition to cuts in spending, we should return to the tax rates across the board that were in effect during the Clinton administration when businesses created millions of jobs, we turned deficits into surpluses, and nearly paid off our national debt. I wholeheartedly agree and will gladly pay the higher taxes I paid under Clinton to help my fellow Americans who are struggling even more than we are against this horrible economic situation the Bush administration helped bring about.

A fact to consider:

Ryan voted for every deficit increasing bill Bush asked for from 2 wars, to creating the largest federal agency ever, to an unfunded Medicare prescription drug plan, to the deficit producing Bush tax cuts. And now Ryan is proposing deepening those tax cuts and acts like we're stupid enough to believe doing so will lower, not increase, our deficit.

Another fact to consider:

"While Republican lawmakers appear unified against tax increases and many Tea Party activists want existing rates rolled back, statistics consistently show that federal taxes are at a historic low.

For the past two years, a family of four earning the median income has paid less in federal income taxes than at any time since at least 1955, according to the Tax Policy Center. All federal, state and local taxes combined are a lower percentage of per-capita income than at any time since the 1960s, according to the Tax Foundation. The highest income-tax bracket is its lowest since 1992. At 35 percent, it's well below the 50 percent mark of much of the 1980s and the 70 percent bracket of the 1970s."

President Obama said Ryan's vision "says America can't afford to keep the promise we've made to care for our seniors…. It's a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit."...[It's] a vision that says even though Americans can't afford to invest in education at current levels, or clean energy, even though we can't afford to maintain our commitment on Medicare or Medicaid, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy."

I agree, and I predict the country's voters will continue to turn away from the party that favors the draconian policies in what should be called Ryan's "Plan for Prosperity for the Already Wealthy."

April 19, 2011 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Here are some facts that might help illuminate what what the GOP is saying vs. what history tells us about the Clinton tax hikes Greenspan supports we employ again now, courtesy of Salon: The decade the GOP hopes you've forgotten: It wasn't that long ago that America solved a debt crisis by (gasp) ... raising taxes on the rich

"If there's one aspect of the deficit reduction plan that President Obama outlined last week that congressional Republicans most object to, it's probably his call for higher income tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Specifically, Obama wants to let the Bush-era rates for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans expire at the end of 2012.

With a few notable (and, within their party, increasingly marginalized) exceptions, Republicans have vehemently attacked this suggestion. According to the GOP's line, to raise taxes on anyone now, even (or especially) the wealthy, would kill the recovery and cost jobs, depriving the Treasury of revenue and only making the deficit problem worse.

"We don't have deficits because Americans are taxed too little, we have deficits because Washington spends too much," is House Speaker John Boehner's standard line on the issue -- a refrain that is echoed by virtually every other Republican on the national stage.

If this anti-tax adamance -- and the dire warnings of what life in a post-tax hike America would look like -- sounds familiar, it's for good reason. Republicans issued the exact same warnings the last time a president proposed addressing exploding deficits (in part) through tax increases on the wealthy.

This was back in 1993, when Bill Clinton came to office after a campaign in which the national debt -- which had then just crossed the $4 trillion mark -- played an unusually prominent role. The '92 White House race had taken place against the backdrop of high unemployment and widespread economic anxiety and pessimism. It is under these conditions that voters can be persuaded that annual deficits and the national debt are deeply related to their suffering and must be addressed immediately. Thus, Paul Tsongas in the Democratic primaries and Ross Perot in the general election gained remarkable traction by promoting aggressive anti-deficit programs. Leaders of both parties publicly agreed that deficits should be a top national priority.

While Clinton, as a candidate, conceded that deficits were a significant problem, he didn't exactly run as a hawk on the issue. But he did call for a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans to offset a tax cut for the middle class without running up more debt. As president, though, he was quickly persuaded by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan to attack the deficit far more aggressively. This meant reneging on the middle-class tax cut pledge. Ultimately, Clinton and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill united behind a plan that would raise taxes on the top 1.2 percent of income earners and create a new 39 percent bracket for the wealthiest Americans.

The Republican reaction was identical to what we are hearing from today's GOP. For months in the spring and summer of 1993, they loudly and relentlessly decried Clinton's effort to enact "the largest tax increase in the history of the world" -- a plan that, they warned, would smother what was then a tentative economic recovery, plunge the economy back into recession, throw millions of Americans out of work, and ultimately result in a far worse deficit problem."


April 19, 2011 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"They also pointed to the budget accord that George H.W. Bush had struck with congressional Democrats in the fall of 1990, in which the president agreed to go back on his "no new taxes!" campaign pledge. Those tax hikes, the Republicans of '93 told Americans, had caused the recession of the early '90s -- and here were Clinton and the Democrats ready to make the same mistake all over again! It was a nice talking point, even if the facts weren't quite on their side. In reality, the country had already been in a recession when Bush had made his deal, and economists later determined that that recession ended in the spring of '91. But unemployment and the anxiety it produces can linger long after the end of the technical end of a recession, so to most Americans in mid-'93, the GOP line had the ring of truth. Moreover, the GOP noted that the Bush plan had been designed to fight the deficit -- and yet, the problem was now worse. Again, there was a logical explanation: The downturn of the early '90s -- like the downturn of the past few years -- had hurt the Treasury's revenue stream. Again, this was lost on most Americans.

Thus, the GOP succeeded brilliantly in driving up opposition to the Clinton plan. Fearful voters turned against it in polls as they heard about the devastating effects it would have on the economy and their own lives. The hysteria was stoked by literally every Republican on Capitol Hill; not a single GOP member of the House or Senate ended up voting for the plan.

Thanks to the magic of C-Span's video archive, it's easy to revisit the GOP's fear-mongering of '93 -- all of the warnings about the terrible things that would happen if the Clinton budget were ever signed into law. For instance, here are some of the highlights from a press conference organized by the House's top conservatives (led by Newt Gingrich, who by mid-'93 had become the House GOP's leader-in-waiting) immediately after the House approved Clinton's budget (on a 218-216 vote) in early August:

John Kasich (then a Republican congressman from Ohio, now that state's governor):

I feel bad for the people who really are the working people in this country, people in my family, who are going to get the penalties from people who don't want to invest more, take any more risks. They're going to lose their jobs, and that's the tragedy of this program


"I believe this will lead to a recession next year. This is the Democrat machine's recession. And each one of them will be held personally accountable."

Kasich, again:

"The proof will be in the pudding. We're going to come back here next year, there will be higher deficits, there will be more spending, we'll continue to have a very slow economy, people aren't going to go to work."

And on and on it went like this. Here's the full video

It's important to note that this was not an isolated event -- that Newt and his friends simply fell victim to some heat-of-the-moment hyperbole. This was the Republican Party's line for all of 1993, one repeated by senators, congressmen, talk shows hosts, activists, and state and local officials at every level of the ballot. Here, for instance, is another C-Span clip, this one from a group of conservative senators -- Malcolm Wallop, Trent Lott, Larry Craig and Paul Coverdell -- making the exact same case earlier that summer."


April 19, 2011 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"The entire video is well worth watching. Note how similar -- identical, really -- the rhetoric is to that favored by today's Republicans. Virtually any line offered by any of the Republicans from '93 -- for instance, Coverdell's statement that "[i]t's going to slow the economy. It's going to put people out work. I've been saying for the last week, the person I feel worst for in all of this is the person filling out that job application -- because it's a tight job market now, and it's going to get tighter" -- could easily be recycled and used by a Republican in 2011.

What's fun about looking back at the '93 clips, of course, is that we know how the story ended. There was no second recession in the next year. The economy didn't slow down. Jobs weren't killed. Revenue didn't shrivel up. What did happen is that the tentative recovery turned into a full-fledged recovery and economic growth eventually exploded. There are all sorts of explanations for the prosperity of the 1990s; at the very least, we can say that Clinton's budget did absolutely nothing to stop this prosperity from taking hold -- even though the GOP insisted that it would make any kind of recovery impossible. What's more, with the higher rates in place thanks to the Clinton budget (and the Bush budget, for that matter), Uncle Sam benefited from an unprecedented infusion of revenue. By 1998, the country was running surpluses and rapidly paying down the debt. When Clinton left office, America was on track to pay off its entire debt. By any measure, the Clinton tax increases had worked -- spectacularly.

And yet, there is no evidence that this powerful example has had any effect on the GOP's budget posture in 2011. What Republicans do seem to remember is the short-term political gain that their fear campaign helped them achieve. In the 1994 midterms, the Clinton budget was an enormous liability for Democrats, with even many of the 98.2 percent of Americans whose income taxes weren't raised convinced that Clinton and his party had targeted them. It may be the most enduring irony of the Clinton presidency: Perhaps his most significant achievement ended up contributing to one of the worst drubbings his party suffered in the 20th century."

April 19, 2011 10:52 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Until you tell how much you paid in taxes as a percentage of your income, I am not really interested in discussing whether or not mine should be raised....

I don't think so, because I am already paying FAR MORE than my fair share. I am contributing back, a ton, and it is extremely painful to my family the amount I pay now. Enough for 4 years of college EVERY YEAR. I have the heat off and my kids don't get Pell grants or any educational write off whatsover.


Bea, I am guessing you paid less than 10K on your 101K gross.

Until you are willing to share what your SACRIFICE was Bea.... don't ask me to give more. Because I would bet I gave 10x more than you did.

The tax code gives Pell grants and gives MONEY BACK to folks who don't make a lot of income. Half the folks (46%) last year didn't pay anything. I get no assistance for putting my kids through college, no Pell grants, no Student Aid, NADA.

I am giving FAR MORE than my "fair" share already.

How much did you give BEa, how much did you pay ? Until you are willing to share that, stop throwing stones at those of us who give an ENORMOUS amount to our federal govt already.

The only folks that are okay with taxes being raised are those who are hardly paying anything already.

That would be you, Bea.

April 19, 2011 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and once again, it is not the rates so much as the tax code.

people will simply find more ways to get out of them, with 3300 loopholes you can hide income if you try hard enough.

April 19, 2011 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ayn Rand's philosphy disregards the ancient wisdom of John Donne"

I've never thought of John Donne as "ancient" but I will agree with David that objectivism is a deviant worldview. It is not compatible with Judeo-Christianity, which says that the love of money is the root of all evil.

"I believe I have succeeded in life not just because I worked hard, and made good life decisions, but also because I live in a society that provided the circumstances in which my hard work could pay off."

But, David, everyone in our society is provided with those same circumstances. This does not explain why it is right that some people have to contribute more to society than others.

"And I am also acutely aware that had I not been born into a stable family that valued hard work and education, my life outcomes could easily have been very different."

This is only to say your wealth should belong to your family. I wouldn't disagree. But why would it belong to the government.

"Those who benefit the most from circumstances have, in my view, a moral obligation to assist those who have not been so fortunate."

Everyone has this moral obligation, not just those who have benefitted the most. Government, however, should never be the enforcer of this moral obligation. That has always led to suffering and evil.

"And there are other things that we can only do collectively, like national defense and the protection of the physical environment which enables us to live at all."

I agree. The leftists, however, think this applies to all things.

"We are all part of one community and we all need to pay our fair share to support it."

Absolutely. It's not fair that some people are expected to pay so much more than others.

Stop stealing so much money from our most productive citizens.

April 19, 2011 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a new buddy for global warmist alarmists:

"Charles Manson, the notorious cult leader, has broken his 20-year silence, and is speaking out about global warming.

Manson, now 76 years old, was accused of brainwashing members of his commune known as “The Manson Family." He was jailed 40 years ago for orchestrating the murders of eight people -- carried out at his instruction -- including Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife, Sharon Tate.

The Telegraph reports that during a recent interview with Spain’s Vanity Fair magazine, Manson warned of a danger that he thinks is greater than himself -- global warming.

Manson said, "Everyone's God and if we don't wake up to that there's going to be no weather because our polar caps are melting because we're doing bad things to the atmosphere… The automobiles and fossil fuels are destroying the atmosphere and we won't have air to breathe.”

Manson added, 'If we don’t change that as rapidly as I’m speaking to you now, if we don’t put the green back on the planet and put the trees back that we’ve butchered, if we don’t go to war against the problem...'

According to The Daily Mail, Manson is also a founder of ATWA (Air Trees Water Animals or All The Way Alive). The mission statement warns of the planet’s destruction from pollution."

April 19, 2011 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

"Everyone in our society is provided with those same circumstances"

Where do you live? Are you kidding?

April 20, 2011 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David was talking about general societal benefits that everyone has access to and, thus, everyone has an obligation to support. Things like constitutional rights, police protection, a judicial system, et al

Right, David?

April 20, 2011 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The only folks that are okay with taxes being raised are those who are hardly paying anything already.

Apparently some people have memory problems. I hear it's among the first to go as we age.

In March I taught some facts about a group called the Responsible Wealth Project which states:

"Responsible Wealth is a network of over 700 business leaders and wealthy individuals in the top five percent of income and/or wealth in the U.S. As beneficiaries of economic policies tilted in their favor, these individuals advocate for fair taxes and corporate accountability. Their message is simple, and surprising to some: we can afford to pay more; we don’t need any more tax breaks."

You are clearly mistaken about your belief that it's only poor folks like me who want to raise taxes on the wealthy. You continue to choose to ignore the fact that there are hundreds of millionaires who would gladly pay higher taxes.

In addition, I have pointed out repeatedly a recent NBC/WSJ poll, which found raising taxes on the wealthy is very popular. Eighty-one percent of adults polled thought it was totally or mostly acceptable to place a surtax on people earning over $1 million a year.

Further, the CBO has warned:

"For 2011, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that if current laws remain unchanged, the federal budget will show a deficit of close to $1.5 trillion, or 9.8 percent of GDP (see Summary Table 1). The deficits in CBO’s baseline projections drop markedly over the next few years as a share of output and average 3.1 percent of GDP from 2014 to 2021. Those projections, however, are based on the assumption that tax and spending policies unfold as specified in current law. Consequently, they understate the budget deficits that would occur if many policies currently in place were continued, rather than allowed to expire as scheduled under current law."

Two-hundred and thirty five Republicans are now on record having voted to extend those deficit deepening tax cuts for the wealthy and to make up some of that cost by charging granny more for things previously covered by social programs like food stamps and medicare and by cutting back on offering poor kids educational programs like Head Start and Pell Grants.

You like putting these types of questions to the popular vote, don't you, Theresa, so you should be pleased when we go to the Presidential polls in 2012, and the voters will decide which vision for America will prevail.

Will we sock it to granny and poor kids so millionaires can get even bigger tax cuts or will we sock it to millionaires so poor kids can get some academic help and granny might make the rent without resorting to eating cat food and halving her medications.

I'll be voting for the poor kids and granny.

April 20, 2011 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If there are hundreds of millionaires who want to pay more taxes, then why don't they just go ahead and pay them?

Why do they have to wait for everyone else to be forced to pay them?

They could write a check to the government tomorrow. Why aren't they doing this?!

Problem solved and no law is needed!

April 20, 2011 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's because a surtax on millionaires really wouldn't raise a significant sum and these people know it so why throw away money

better to donate it to private charities which can give scholarships to poor kids and rent assistance to the elderly without all the red tape

why do we need the government involved?

April 20, 2011 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Will we sock it to granny and poor kids so millionaires can get even bigger tax cuts"

Republicans aren't proposing to cut taxes. The rate would go down by eliminating deductions and credits. The revenue effect to the wealthy would be neutral.

Right now, we are providing these services through inefficient government agencies. We borrow money from a communist dictatorship to do it.

That won't end well unless we turn things around. Raising taxes on anybody will hinder growth and be counterproductive.

Better to let people give their charitable dollars to private charities.

April 20, 2011 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I provided the link to their website, Theresa.

(Reminder it's Responsible Wealth Project)

I suggest you go ask them your question yourself. My income level, obviously, does not qualify me for membership in that organization. I cannot answer for them.

Oh and here are the words of another wealthy American citizen willing to pay more taxes:

"...this is my vision for America -- a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future; where everyone makes sacrifices but no one bears all the burden; where we provide a basic measure of security for our citizens and we provide rising opportunity for our children.

There will be those who vigorously disagree with my approach. I can guarantee that as well. (Laughter.) Some will argue we should not even consider ever -- ever -- raising taxes, even if only on the wealthiest Americans. It’s just an article of faith to them. I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more. I don’t need another tax cut. Warren Buffett doesn’t need another tax cut. Not if we have to pay for it by making seniors pay more for Medicare. Or by cutting kids from Head Start. Or by taking away college scholarships that I wouldn’t be here without and that some of you would not be here without.

And here’s the thing: I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me. They want to give back to their country, a country that’s done so much for them. It’s just Washington hasn’t asked them to. ..."

Well some rich folks feel that way. Others feel Taxed Enough Already, even with taxes at this historic low, right Theresa?

April 20, 2011 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why don't you sell your computer and give the money to a homeless child?

April 20, 2011 10:48 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

I don't consider myself rich.

I am struggling to pay the bills, the mortgage, and put my kids through school.

After giving the govt close to 100K, I don't have any more to give them !

You are right, I am taxed enough already.

Do you think I want to keep my money to use it for a yacht ? No, I am trying to pay for my kids school.

EVERYONE should have to pay federal taxes, I don't care if you made 10 dollars or 10 million dollars. And no one should get out of taxes completely by utilizing the myriad of loopholes.

If the folks making 10 dollars don't pay, they are clamoring for rates to be raised all the time. Because double a rate of zero is STILL zero. Everyone should have to pay some federal taxes.

Our tax code is broken. I think that is one point we can agree on.

April 20, 2011 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don’t need another tax cut. Warren Buffett doesn’t need another tax cut."

well, no one is planning to give you one, Mr Liar-in-Chief. The plan is to lower rates while eliminating a lot of deductions

"And here’s the thing: I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me. They want to give back to their country, a country that’s done so much for them. It’s just Washington hasn’t asked them to. ..."

OK, there was some confusion. These wealthy people simply had no idea we had a huge deficit.

Now that you've spoken to them, Barry, have they sent in a check yet?

Or were they just full of crap?

April 20, 2011 12:58 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

"U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.

Households received $2.3 trillion in some kind of government support in 2010. That includes expanded unemployment benefits, as well as payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and stimulus spending, among other things.

But that’s more than the $2.2 trillion households paid in taxes, an amount that has slumped largely due to the recession, according to an analysis by the Fiscal Times."

And the reason Bea won't oppose this is because I would bet her business declares so little in income that she gets money back.

So of course she want taxes raised on those of us who are paying them....

April 20, 2011 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

the reason Bea won't oppose this is because I would bet her business declares so little in income that she gets money back.

You just can't stand not knowing the details of my tax payments can you? I have news for you, if that's what you believe, you are wrong again, Theresa, as usual. In 2010, thousands of dollars in taxes came out of that $101.3K in gross receipts, some corporate tax and some personal tax as both Beau and my salaries came from those same gross receipts. That's being double taxed! Uncle Beau, who is collecting SSI now that he's old enough, continues to pay into too, without incessantly whining about it like poor Miss We Earn Nearly Five Thousand A Week And Still Can't Make Ends Meet.

Did you see you Mister Ryan's town hall meeting in his home state of Wisconsin the other day? It would seem his constituents do not like being trickled down on while they lose needed assistance. They booed him loudly for working to keep tax cuts for the rich while cutting services to the poor in his plan. Watch it here and turn the volume up loud because the sound track is weak.

And then read about the latest McClatchy-Marist poll which "On tackling the deficit, voters by a margin of 2-to-1 support raising taxes on incomes above $250,000, with 64 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed.

Independents supported higher taxes on the wealthy by 63-34 percent; Democrats by 83-15 percent; and Republicans opposed by 43-54 percent.

Support for higher taxes rose by 5 percentage points after Obama called for that as one element of his deficit-reduction strategy last week. Opposition dropped by 6 points. The poll was conducted before and after the speech.

Americans clearly don't want the government to cut Medicare, the government health program for the elderly, or Medicaid, the program for the poor. Republicans in the House of Representatives voted last week to drastically restructure and reduce those programs, while Obama calls for trimming their costs but leaving them essentially intact.

Voters oppose cuts to those programs by 80-18 percent. Even among conservatives, only 29 percent supported cuts, and 68 percent opposed them."

And yesterday's WaPo/ABC News poll reports

- 69% of Americans strongly or somewhat oppose cutting Medicaid in order to reduce the national debt.

-78% of Americans strongly or somewhat oppose cutting Medicare in order to reduce the national debt.

-72% of Americans strongly or somewhat support raising taxes on Americans with incomes over 250-thousand dollars a year

April 21, 2011 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In 2010, thousands of dollars in taxes came out of that $101.3K in gross receipts, some corporate tax and some personal tax as both Beau and my salaries came from those same gross receipts. That's being double taxed!"

not to pry, Bea, but this doesn't make any sense

if your business is filing an 1120, your salaries would have been a deduction so there would be no double taxation

you'd be taxable on any dividends paid out though, which would be double taxation

are you incorporated or are you filing a Schedule C or what?

April 21, 2011 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bea -- It looks like you need to get yourself an accountant, or, if you don't have one, get one.

April 21, 2011 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"-72% of Americans strongly or somewhat support raising taxes on Americans with incomes over 250-thousand dollars a year"

did you know that more than 72% of americans make less than 250K?

it's true!

amazing how they think someone else should pay for their government services

if you took a poll, I wonder what other personal expenses people think someone else should pay for them

April 21, 2011 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I hate to say it, but it's hard to have sympathy for someone who pays more in income taxes that the gross pay of the average US family of 4. Such complaints are IMHO not a great way to win friends and influence voters.

April 22, 2011 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I meant twice the gross income of a family of four.

April 22, 2011 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Is that pork I smell? said...

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., introduced a bill to overturn an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that has broader implications for the mining industry, one of his political patrons -- West Virginia being mining country, after all. The bill would also help a campaign contributor, Arch Coal.

Freshman Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, who received $200,000 in donations from the oil and gas industry, "co-sponsored a measure that would place tight deadlines on the Department of Interior's process for granting offshore oil drilling permits -- and allow some companies denied permits to seek repayment from the government for money spent on buying leasing rights. That could amount to billions for major oil companies.

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, "introduced a bill that would prevent the Office of Surface Mining from rewriting a Bush administration regulation that allows mining companies to dump debris in intermittent streams, those that fill up in rainy seasons but go dry at other times."

The mining industry was the largest industry donor to Johnson, providing $25,146 to his campaign.

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., introduced a measure that would block EPA from using tougher clean water guidelines in the mountaintop mining permitting process.

The mining sector was Griffith's top industry supporter, giving $40,450 to his campaign.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, sponsored two bills that would block the administration from creating a registry of greenhouse gas emitters and a catalog of consumer complaints about unsafe products.

These bills were "opposed by Koch Industries, whose employees and PAC gave nearly $80,000 into Pompeo’s campaign."

And perhaps most disturbing: "Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) introduced a measure to deny food stamps to families who have a member on strike. Scott's candidacy was boosted by more than $117,000 in independent ads and mailers aired by Club for Growth, which has staked out staunchly anti-union positions."

Note, not a single job will be created by any of these bills.

April 22, 2011 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so robert, do you think it is fair that 47% of the US pays NO income tax at all ?

April 22, 2011 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I hate to say it, but it's hard to have sympathy for someone who pays more in income taxes that the gross pay of the average US family of 4"

the resentment and dehumanizing of anyone more fortunate than yourself is pathetic and dangerous

you were probably one of those kids who, when finding he was losing a chess game, knocked over the board and pouted

April 22, 2011 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Don't be snippy, dear.

April 23, 2011 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, has criticized the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaner.

Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion, said: “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”

Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent.

What American businesspeople know, and have known since Henry Ford insisted that his employees be able to afford to buy the cars they made, is that a thriving economy doesn’t just need investors; it needs people who can buy the goods and services businesses create.

April 23, 2011 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buffett's right

his secretary should pay less tax

but we don't need the government to take more of his money to cover it

the goverment needs to stop subsidizing operas and talk shows and condom give-aways

and Buffett could also voluntarily make a contribution to the US Tresury and he could also offer to pay the secretary's tax

or he could just give the woman a raise and deduct on his tax

why does he need Uncle Sam to tell him what to do and why does think he needs to tell others what to do?

April 23, 2011 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, it is not just the tax rate it is the tax revenue collected.

GE made billions, declared zero income, and paid no taxes...

sure, go ahead and raise the rates. those of us who do file and do pay taxes will just have to sink more time into figuring out how to get out of them, and less time being productive and creating jobs.

great idea.

April 23, 2011 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

before we raise rates, let's just see how low we can reduce the cost of government

right now we spend like we have money to burn

April 23, 2011 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh good idea, anon, we will be proud to have the cheapest government possible, that's smart!

April 23, 2011 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that would be optimal

April 23, 2011 4:11 PM  

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