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BLITZER'S BLOG: When is a tax increase not a tax increase?
June 24th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: When is a tax increase not a tax increase?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised that Vice President Joe Biden’s efforts to work out a deficit reduction deal with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl collapsed over the issue of raising taxes on the wealthy.

Republicans are firmly opposed to raising taxes on anyone. Democrats want to see those families making more than $250,000 a year pay more income tax.

Now, President Obama is going to have to take over the negotiations with the House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The stakes are enormous.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says there’s an August 2 deadline to increase the nation’s current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Otherwise, he warns, there will be economic disaster. America’s creditworthiness will be questioned. The value of the dollar will decline. Interest rates will go up. And all of that could trigger a double-dip recession.

I understand that increasing tax rates for wealthy Americans from the current 35% to the 39.6% that existed during the Clinton administration represents a tax increase. Everyone understands that.

But it becomes murkier when we discuss basic tax reform.

For example, what about removing tax subsidies for hugely profitable oil companies like Exxon Mobil and BP? Is that a tax increase?

And what about closing corporate loopholes that enable companies to avoid paying any federal income tax?

We’ve heard a lot in recent months about General Electric making a world-wide 2010 profit of $14 billion ($5 billion of which is in the United States) and paying zero in federal income tax.

Would reforming the federal tax structure to ensure a minimal tax payment also be seen as a tax increase?

I suspect those will be some of the issues the President and the Congressional leadership will discuss over the next month.

Post by:
Filed under: Deficit • Taxes • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Simasiku

    Cynthia ZhengSales tax seems to be the best since buying and linlesg goods or services must be taxed, it raises sufficient funds for the government. Since more than one party is involved in the transaction, there is less of a chance for individuals to sneak around paying the tax unlike things like income tax where you report your income. It is also equitable since all those that buy and sell must pay this particular tax whereas other taxes such as capital gain is mainly for large assets such as real estate or bonds which most average people do not possess. Since sales tax are collected fairly by the government, it can go towards maximizing social benefits such as providing various public goods that society needs to function properly.

    March 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  2. 2012 Blue Cross Medicare

    Well, we can all just hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

    August 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  3. Filling income tax

    It seems to be very amazing that tax increase means no increase in tax.
    Filling income tax is the need of the hour for the developing countries. I pay the tax every year in the stipulated time.

    July 21, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  4. David Martin

    Stop unfair trade! raise taxes on the companies and rich and if they move tax the crap out of their product to come into the country! ya they will come here and build again they need us!! think Pakistan is buying toasters and tv's? no they need us to buy their crap. if you tax them 90 % over 10 million the will not make more then 10 million they will re invest pay their employes better. hire more people. Were the USA we belong on top! oh and bring the troops home and put them on our borders.

    June 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  5. wallybob

    the "Party of No" won't be victorious until the tax burden has been transferred from the banksters and trust-funders to the working poor and homeless. the koch brothers endorse economic anarchy and the silly teabaggers are the cheerleaders of the final assault on middle class. everything liberal or progressive is seen as a "tax"...social security, medicare, collective bargaining, environmental regulations, NPR, Amtrak, WIC, abortion rights, etc. they won't be happy until the whole system is privatized and thier no-benifits grunt labor works for $1.25 and hour.

    June 26, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  6. craig

    This whole debate is smoke and mirrors. Answer just one question, and then proceed.

    If cutting taxes provides jobs, and we've had the "Bush tax cuts" for ten years now, exactly where are the jobs those cuts created?

    Obviously, it doesn't work that way, and now the those tax cuts on the wealthy are the single most significant cause of our deficit issues. Taxes on the "rich" are at historic lows, the divided between the richest 1% and the rest of us has never been higher, and yet Republicans still want no discussion of taxation! It's easy to see what's wrong, if you bother to look.

    June 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  7. Jennifer

    1) To those claiming higher taxes will mean higher business investment....are you people drunk? Businesses will look to put as much of their money as possible in tax shelters – and tax shelters don't encourage "investment" or "growth".

    2) Regardless of whether or not you believe my first point...they want to raise taxes on everyone making over 250k a year. That includes a vast majority of the small businesses around the country – the ones who hire. The ones who won't hire if their taxes get jacked up. These days, most small businesses funnel their business taxes back through their personal taxes – this is an option that wasn't available the last time corporate taxes were ruinous in this country. Raise taxes now on these so-called "super rich" who aren't rich at all, and you'll see the abject failure of small businesses across the country.

    3) If all these ultra rich people are so gung-ho to pay more in taxes – why aren't they paying more in taxes? There's nothing to stop them from sending a check to Uncle Sam, he'll gladly take their money.

    4) Do any of you HONESTLY believe that, if taxes are raised, that money will actually go towards the deficit? History shows us that, when the government gets more money, it doesn't pay down debt, it simply finds new things to spend the money on.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  8. Marge

    Goodness gracious me of course republicans don't want to raise taxes on the rich...THEY'RE THE ONES WHO WOULD BE EFFECTED. Can you imagine them do the right thing and raising their taxes. golly double gee whiz the rich hardly pay any taxes and we the little serfs can't expect them to foot their fair share.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  9. Scott T. Collins WA St

    This comment is short and sweet just to see if I receive the message, "comment is awaiting moderation." I may be using too many characters but this system doesn't say how many can be used.....

    June 25, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  10. analyster

    I don't think there is any question that the Obama administration and GE management are in bed. Nonetheless, in GE's defense, what the media continually fails to disclose is exactly why GE did not pay income taxes on their $14 billion profit. As a result of the Great Recession, GE like most companies experienced taxable losses. The losses can be carried forward to offset taxable income for 20 years. So GEs tax losses over the past few years offset taxable income in the current year resulting in no tax liability – pretty basic corporate tax knowledge.

    Now, GE's book income is $14 billion – this does not mean that their taxable income is $14 billion. There are many tax deductions (expenses) which are not book expenses and which are available to all companies, not just to GE. So, the $14 billion profit number does not represent GE's taxable income; the $14 billion just helps create the sensation the media (i.e., idiots like Blitzer) is always after to convince not-so-informed voters that company's like GE are bad and are cheating on their taxes.

    June 25, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  11. M.K.

    Come on Blitzer, you are just saying what CNN wants you to say. Why dont you tell it like it is. The free riding, millionaire, repuklican business folks and manufacturers have every repukilican member of congress on their pay roll. They like to be called entrepreneurs, but that is just a sly way of saying crook. If this country survives another ten years with all of our jobs going to China, Bangladesh, and all over Asia, and our so called entrepreneurs setting up off shore companies to cheat the government out of the taxes they owe it will be a miracle to compare with parting of the red sea. Do the Repuklicans think they will be immune if this country does belly up? I have lived through every president since Roosevelt, and I have never seen anything to compare with the way the Repuklicans are killing this great country.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  12. Steve Lyons

    When the democrats start to VOLUNTARILY send 90% or their net worth to repay the nation for all the future debt they piled on my children and myself, I "might" begin to be interested in their plans. But not until they (the enemies of the free market) do this.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  13. db

    25 % tax flat rate with no deduction across the board for everyone.

    June 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  14. Henry Miller

    Dems are vindictive, greedy, parasites.

    June 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  15. David Martin

    do you know!!! in the 1950's if you made over 2 million dollars a year all money over that amount was taxed 90%. and things were good! I know it was the 50's but lets find a # they only make this amount of money because of this country and we are this country. write to congress get mad! http://www.congress.com

    June 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  16. Pierre Angiel

    I cannot believe the lack of understanding about taxation. Can you help?

    Higher taxes create jobs. Lower taxes lose jobs. It is exactly the opposite of what the Republicans, since Reagan, have been saying.

    If we would bring taxation (for the wealthy and for corporations) back up to 90% or more, the amount of business investments here would increase geometrically. Corporations would be falling all over themselves to find legal business write offs to fit their needs. And unemployment would go to zero. So might the deficit and the debt without cutting anything from the poor.

    What is even equally interesting is that the wealthy and corporations had found a way to make acceptable investments utilizing borrowed money in order to make their incomes tax free. It was a great bargain. We got the benefits of their money and borrowing power and they got the business write offs. Factories were rising all over the place.

    FDR, Truman and IKE all had taxes very, very high and the country was vibrant and strong. We were the envy of the planet.

    Other laws would have to change too. for instance, investments overseas would have to be dis-allowed for write offs. And free trade laws would have to be changed. They're killing us. In order to have free trade a country would have to show that their currency was properly valued. They would also have to show that their businesses were not subsidized by the government. In short, the footing would have to be the same or their would be No fair trade.

    Pierre Angiel
    Miami, Fl

    June 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Steve Lyons

      Didi you get your lying degree from the University of Lucifer? Or is it from the Orwellian School of doublespeak?

      June 24, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • IBAMALIAR

      If a tax is needed everyone should be taxed and taxed equally. No more rich guy PAY FOR ILLEGALS AND THE PORCH SITTERS. HAVE COMMUNITY SERVICE JOBS LINED UP TO ASSIGN OUT IF YOU HAVE PEOPLE COME IN TO HUMAN RESOURSES APPLYING FOR FOOD STAMPS, WELFARE, AND MEDICAID TO PAY THEIR HEALTH COST. ONLY THE MEDICALLY UNFIT SHOULD BE OMITTED. GET SOMETHING BACK FOR WHAT IS PAID OUT. I AM SO TIRED OF THESE PORCH MONKEES SITTING ON THEIR PORCH SMOKING MJ AND DRINKING WINE ON SOMEONE ELSE'S DOLLAR WHILE THEY DO NOTHING BUT LAUGH IN YOUR FACE AND CALL PEOPLE FOUR LETTER WORDS LIKE THEY DO PALIN THAT CNN WILL NOT EVEN MODERATE. SICKENING. BUT YOU CAN COUNT ON IT MY COMMENT WILL GET ONE. IF THEY DRAW WELFARE AND CONTRIBUTE NOTHING TO THEIR EXISTENCE THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE RIGHTS. NO VOTING OR ANYTHING ELSE. THE ILLEGALS QUALIFY FOR NOTHING. THIS IS THE BIGGEST ATROSITY EVER HAPPENED TO THE U.S TO HAVE THESE FOLKS RUN UP OUR DEFICIT AND NOT PAY ONE DAMN THING TO RECEIVE IT.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Matt

      Your an idiot. Buisness will be fumbeling all over itself to find writeoffs? No, they will stop hiring, stop producing and LEAVE. Higher tax equals unemployement.

      Matt

      June 25, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Matt

      Sorry I didn't even read your entire post because of how stupid the first sentence was, but then I noticed something. FDR = low unemployment? At no time during his 4 terms as president was unemployment under 15%. IDIOT.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • analyster

      I'm completely amazed by your lack of understanding of income taxes! Your argument that "higher taxes create jobs and lower taxes lose jobs" is absolutely ridiculous and is rejected by basic economic theory.

      Also, you argue that if marginal tax rates on corporations and wealthy individuals were to be raised to 90%, business investments would significantly increase. Are you joking? You must be absolutely clueless. Income taxes represent an expense to a corporation...thus the higher the taxes, the lower the return on investment. So maybe you should try to explain why you think there is an incentive to increase investments when the financial return is significantly lower. In fact, the truth is just the opposite...you increase taxes domestically and investments will go abroad. It's idiots like you who continue to elect corrupt democrats into office, drive the economy into despair, and continue to push jobs and investments overseas!

      June 25, 2011 at 8:32 am |
      • David Martin

        you did live through the Bush years right? they ran this country into this ditch. I'm a independent but Obama gets my vote.

        June 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  17. Robert Read

    Why are you complaining about prostitution in Washington, Dc and has the gall to state you didn't know about it. What rock do you live under?? Many Many years ago a author wrote a book about it. Believe it was titled – Washington Confidential.
    By the way, Why does CNN allow a person on their staff who was involved in prostitution but was not charged with the Mann Act. WHY?? Why is CNN afraid to report on legal and judicial corruption in the State of North Carolina? Double Set of Standards don't cut it. CNN "just don't get it."

    June 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  18. Rebecca

    For the rich to be averse to paying taxes proportionate to their wealth is both treasonous and sinful.

    June 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • IBAMALIAR

      Why should they have to pay and you nothing? Answer that you mucher off the tax paying people. Every tax payer I know pay their fair share, but at the end of the year they don't get back thousands of IRS money in return. Hell some of these munchers even get back more than their salary was. This is simply because these people will not work they think they are owed just for being them. This must change and a new tax system installed in the United States. I say put a tax on everything that is bought in the U.S. To go with the other taxes using it as an employment tax. For most of these people are living off the rich people. If they're on human resources then have them a community service job to earn what they receive. ILLEGALS GET NOTHING SO NO USE IN APPLYING. LET'S GO AMERICANS LET'S TAKE BACK AMERICA.

      June 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • analyster

      Rebecca – I am a fiscally conservative Republican and yet I agree with your comment. Both Republican and Democratic bases have it wrong on income taxes and I just wrote a blog post on this yesterday: armedelephant.wordpress.com.

      June 25, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Marge

      And of course the rich that don't want their taxes raised to proportion to what the middle class pays are those little old republican lawmakers themselves.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Rapierpoint

      Rebecca, the "rich" are already paying more than proportional taxes. A flat tax would be a proportional tax. Or did you not learn what proportional means in school?

      June 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  19. Grant Burr

    Can't we put the question as to whether tax cuts increase jobs or tax increases cost jobs to rest. If we remove the politics from the debate I believe the historical / empirical record will clearly provide the correct answer. The politicians will always be selective in what set of facts they choose to use to support their political point of view. Where is Bill Bradley and his flat tax!

    June 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  20. David Martin

    Please ask the question. George Bush 10 years ago gave the rich a tax break to create jobs, 10 years and the only jobs Bush created is military jobs when he sent our troops to the wrong country looking for a guy that Obama got in 2 1/2 of his 1st term. when Bush finally left office unemployment was at 7% it's got worse yet the rich still receive this tax break to create jobs.....My question is, where are these jobs?we know they are getting the tax money but they are not making new jobs! I have wrote to every congress man no one will give me a answer. you can do this!!!
    thank you.

    June 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Rapierpoint

      David, it was more than just the rich that got the Bush tax cuts. Everyone did. So why aren't you out there preaching for all the tax breaks to be done away with? Guess that's because you're not "rich" and so you want someone else to pay more taxes and leave the tax cuts you are receiving alone.

      June 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • David Martin

        no your wrong I'm disabled collecting off the system, I lust see when food, gas and every other product goes up in price I find that to be a major tax on the poor and middle class. where as rich people still get to eat and drive where the poor have to choose whats more important.

        June 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  21. secedingfromTexas

    @goodlord – Just because "you can't handle the truth", or most likely are unable to understand what Wolf is
    saying, doesn't mean you have to defend your ignorance with name calling. That is a typical TeaParty/
    Republican answer to everything. Just say no, and call everybody names, because we don't know what the
    hell we are doing.

    June 24, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Steve Lyons

      "NO" is a legitimate answer when a tax hike is proposed. Tea Party and Republicans were elected on a pledge to CUT SPENDING to balance the budget and to hold firm against ANY and ALL forms of tax hikes.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  22. Ben Metz

    Wolf, Hey, we like you, but talking over two guests (Rep&Dem) on tonight's CNN made the conversation confusing. Be a little polite and let your guests speak their mind; Only Then give your opinion, but don't talk over them. You're a big guy. You can do this. We turned to another news program. Ben

    June 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  23. Martin

    Mr. Blitzes why is it that increasing my taxes is always on the to-do list for government hacks while extending my unemployment benefits when I need them most (which I paid into) is always last (if at all) on that same list. No one is addressing benefits in view of the recent jobless numbers. Why is that???

    June 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Cedric

      dude, you are an idiot! if you are collecting unemployment, you probably are lower middle class to begin with. furthermore, obviously you don't make over $250,000...so this whole '...my taxes are going up' is bullwinkle. if democrats wanna raise taxes on rich people, who i have no doubt find the necessary loopholes, go right ahead. paris hilton and oprah can pay a little bit more.

      June 25, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  24. Aleph

    Those two morons you just had on your show demonstrated EVERYTHING that is wrong with America. Neither one would listen to the other. They tossed insults and intentional misinterpretations at one another. And nothing was accomplished. All you did was give them a forum from which to show their ignorance and to repeat the same old bipartisan crap we've been hearing for years. You permitted each man to assault the other, and your audience, with the BS that's destroying the country. You didn't say, "No...the Republicans don't want to eradicate Medicare" or "No, the Democrats don't want to raise taxes on everyone." You did nothing to further discussion. So, what's your purpose, man?

    June 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  25. JACK

    WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND THINKS THAT IF THE CORPORATE TAX BREAKS WERE ELIMINTED THAT THE COMPANIES WOULD NOT JUST RAISE THE COST OF THEIR PRODUCT

    June 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • TomNPITT

      I don't believe they would raise their prices. Not if we do what we do now and shop for the best price for our budget. These companies have had their Government Subsidies through lower taxes, for nine years. For nine years un-employment has slowly risen to where it is today. Extending those cuts mean doing the same thing, that hasn't worked for the last nine years. If you want to take spending back to 2000, then let's take the taxes back there too. We had a strong economy, and a surplus. We need a surplus for a while in order to pay down our debts. I don't like it eaither, but it's what we've got to do. Not cut the spending to the levels of Ireland. Speaking of Ireland – don't they have the lowest Corporate Taxes in the world? Why are they bankrupt?

      June 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • KatR

      The price of a product rises only when the supply of that product is low. And the supply is diminished where there is increased demand for that product. This supply and demand exchange has been the bedrock principle of a free market since time began. As the article states....raising taxes on corporations will have them scrambling for ways to invest their money to avoid paying those higher taxes. And investing that money will create jobs. Understand now?

      June 25, 2011 at 9:19 am |
      • Christy

        Answers:1.) Depends, if you are a dependent than yes, if not, no. You will lrboabpy ask Am I a dependent? If you live with your parents/going to college/parents pay for a lot of your stuff than you are lrboabpy a dependent. Email me with details if you are still unsure.2.) If you had withholding (they took money out for federal or state) it's a REALLY good idea to file/do your taxes. You can get most, if not all, of your taxes withheld back. You don't want to give a free gift to Uncle Sam do ya?3.) They are one and the same4.) Go online, better yet, go turbo tax or something like that. It walks you through step-by-step. Definitely better to have a friend who knows this stuff look it over or answer a few of your questions. It can be daunting the first time. 5.) Depends. If you are organized it's pretty easy. If not, it's a nightmare. You also have to have some tax knowledge to know what receipts are applicable for deductions. At your income level forget it. You will NOT see any tax benefit. If you think you'll make a lot of money/pay property taxes/have a LOT of medical bills, keep your receipts. If you end up having to do this it's not that hard either, turbo tax can still help. And good for your to file your taxes!

        March 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  26. Sasha

    "Democrats want to see those families making more than $250,000 a year pay more income tax."

    Not quite. Democrats want *taxable income above $250,000* to pay a couple of percentage points more. That's a rather distinct and important difference.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Steve Lyons

      IF all income below $250.000 is exempt, and the tax rate is flat above that, maybe we can talk. But I' want to abolish all forms of wealth redistribution. And every agency that cannot quantitatively prove it provides a service better than the same private sector equivalent, then it to should be eliminated.

      June 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Marge

      I think if the paid what the owed in the first place instead of ducking out with ridiculous shelters they wouldn't need to complain and their taxes wouldn't need to be raised on those riches......who did pay their fair share

      June 25, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  27. SoSad

    Reince Priebus, please let us know when your coming out of the closet? Tea Baggers of America

    June 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  28. ceaserslist

    taxes are not mandatory and it never was! the govt needs to stop deceiving americans!!! its a farce!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • ceaserslist

      before 1934 americans were not paying taxes!

      June 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  29. Dan J

    Economics 101: Do Not raise taxes on ANYONE during a recession. PERIOD. This is a tried and true statement that has repeatedly been proven over and over without exception. Sure, it makes the democrats look like the good guys, but how much longer can they blame Bush and not themselves?

    June 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • James

      Dan,
      I took Economics 101. and 102. and 201, and 202, and 3xx, and 4xx, and so on and lo and behold one day I walked out with a shiny economics degree.
      Anyways, no where in any of my studies do I recall seeing this. Alot of what I recall in my studies is how average American citizens don't understand economics at all.
      Your statement has no value. Never does one factor make all the difference. The solution to this in the short run is a drop in middle class taxes (a dramatic one) and an increase in taxes on the wealthy. This puts disposable income in the hands of the middle class, who as history shows are the ones who spend money. They will by the products manufactured by the wealthy and like magic even with a tax increase, the wealthy will make money too, omg its like sorcery. The middle class is your economy. Shrink your middle class with trickle down theory, you create a feudal system, not an economy. The last 30 years of economic data supports this wholeheartedly. The Republican economic stance is stubborn, unethical, and dangerous.

      June 24, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  30. Dan J

    Economics 101: Do Not raise taxes on ANYONE. PERIOD. This is a tried and true statement that has repeatedly been proven over and over without exception. Sure, it makes the democrats look like the good guys, but how much longer can they blame Bush and not themselves?

    June 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • TomNPITT

      It doesn't matter how many times you say it – it's still not true! It doesn't even make sense. It only makes sense if what you're saying is you don't want the government to spend any money. There's a lot of people and businesses out there who are sucking on the teet of the federal government, and they're not all un-employed, drinking wine on the street corner, smoking crack. IE: General Electric, Exxon, KBR, Lockheed . . .

      June 24, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Larry L

      Conversely, Bush lowered taxes and caused a recession. Trickle-down economics is myth supported by the right-wing. It never works. Do you actually believe anybody or anything could have quickly corrected the economic situation President Obama was handed from Bush? Could he fix anything with the Senate shut-down with 79 filibusters – even on initiatives they themselves crafted in committee? Take responsibility and then compromise can begin.

      June 25, 2011 at 7:21 am |
  31. hank

    I agree with this totally people need to understand the dems dont want to raise the tax rate just want to cut subsidies

    June 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • rob

      Not true. The Dems want to raise the rates on people making more than 250K per year. They have made this arguement the Holy Grail of their campaign for 2012 but this tax increase represents a projection of about 2 trillion in revenues over 10 years. President Obama proposed a budget for 2012 in January that would add 1.6 trillion to the debt IN ONE YEAR !!!!! For those of you who can't do math, 1.6 trillion per year over 10 years is 16 TRILLION IN NEW DEBT.

      We need to dramitically reduce spending by reforming entitlements and re working the tax codes like the Republicans have proposed. There should be negotiations about how the whole package would be structured but anything less than this will lead to a disaster that no one disagrees with. As Wolf said so ridiculously, "Now, President Obama is going to have to take over the negotiations" as if the big gun is going to ride the heard to the promised land. I hope the president will be seroius about this and finally lead.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  32. Kevin Collins

    Goodlord,

    Hmmmmm, you call Blitzer a hack yet haven't taken apart any of the valid arguments he made. I guess you think these mega-rich companies actually give a hoot about the non-rich, right? Dream on. Once again, GOPers just love welfare as long as it's *corporate* welfare!

    June 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  33. Randy, San Francisco

    GOP/Tea Party interpretation of a tax increase and deficit reduction: It is a tax increase if you take away subsidies for big oil companies. However, it is deficit reduction, a good thing, if you take away subsidies for the poor, blind, disabled, sick, hungry, old, and homeless.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • dwech

      Randy my man, you just hit the proverbial nail ON THE HEAD. Well put.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  34. Adama

    Why doesn't the issue of the Medicare tax ever come up? Everyone making less that $106,800 a year is paying 6% of their paychecks to fund Medicare, but after that cutoff, any additional income isn't being taxed. So if someone is making $250,000, that's $143,000 of their income not being taxed fairly. Just make that law fair, and then we won't have to have discussions about the solvency of Medicare, more than likely. Or, just treat income from dividends and bonds the same as a salary, instead of a 15% tax rate, or 0% for some of the bonds.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • mfb

      there is no income ceiling for Medicare tax, it applies to all regular income. you are confusing it with FICA (social security) which has an income ceiling of $106,000 for FICA taxation – and, there is a FICA celing because benfits are capped at a maximum amount unlike medicare benefits.

      June 24, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • George Morris

      The 6% is for Social Security. It's cut off at $106,300, and so is the calculation of what those folks will be paid from social security. Medicare is 1.5% and there is not income cutoff for the medicare tax.

      June 25, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  35. slim32

    General Electric is a special situation. They actually support (or their CEO Jeffrey Immelt) 0bama, therefore they are not subject to taxation. Especially since most of their profit was from the government for windmills.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • dwech

      Gosh, I voted for Obama, and yet I have to pay taxes.... but you're saying if I support the president, I don't have to. Hmm... something smells funny about that argument.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  36. GOP Tea Party Say NO to Killing Terrorist Ghadaffi But Say YES to Killing Grandma Medicare and Social Security

    What about closing corporate loopholes that enable companies to OUTSOURCE jobs overseas to China and India?

    It's time to stop ALL CORPORATE TAX LOOPHOLES and TAX DEDUCTIONS!....G W Bush TAX CUTS did NOT create a single JOB!!! – It's the ONLY reason why our GOVT is BROKE and in a DEEP RECESSION!!!

    END ALL TAX CUTS NOW!!!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  37. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Wolf most people do not even know who owns Americas debt or how much America is paying in interest. Let me clear some of this up for those that do not know. By October this year America will have paid in $275,335,099,276.99 in interest on it's outstanding debt for just 2011. That is just the interest and no principal. First off our national debt is a combination of things like Savings Bonds, Treasury Notes or Treasury Bills. Many here and abroad own this debt. We owe this debt because we spend way more then we had and America in the past found a solution to the problem by printing money like it was going out of style and to the point that that money has become almost worthless. If America defaults on this debt on August 2nd many people will suffer. Those holding the debt will suffer but so will Social Security, life insurance companies, retirement funds, banks, states and county governments and foreign governments just to name a few. This debt must be paid and is owed by us the people not the government. Yes the government approved the debt but the people are on the hook for it no mater how irresponsibly our government has acted. The people elected the government to act for the people. Directly there is no one but the people to blame for who they put in charge of those assets. Thus America at this juncture has no choice but to raise the debt ceiling or face the consequences and the effects globally if it defaults. It is not a mater of if the government will raise the debt ceiling and taxes because they have absolutely no choice. They must raise it or default. It is only a mater of how much and when.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  38. John Thomas

    And another thing about the budget... Congress has been debating the ethanol subsidy this past week? If there shouldn't be any subsidy for the ethanol industry why does the oil industry need a subsidy? I've always thought subsidies are for newer, struggling businesses to help them get rolling. The ethanol industry fits that description. But the oil industry – with companies reporting billions in profits – is not a struggling industry.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  39. BADWOLF

    You need to retire goodlord. You have become nothing more than a conservative political hack!

    June 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  40. John Thomas

    When discussing the budget issue why isn't anyone talking about cutting spending for defense? Is it the elephant in the middle of the room everybody is trying to ignore? Defense should be on the table for cuts just like everything else. With a budget in the hundreds of billions of dollars there have to be plenty of areas to cut without minimizing our defense posture. And what about outgoing Secretary Robert Gates' comments a year or so back that there are too many layers of bureaucracy in the Pentagon? The media should be asking these questions.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  41. Larry Spencer

    in Minot Flood...what happened to the ICBM cilows...

    June 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  42. Eric

    Republicans are following their policy of "starving the beast" point by point. They lowered taxes under Bush, and then went into deficit spending (two wars and tax cuts). Remember "deficits don't matter"?

    Now with the economic fallout they are using this as an excuse to end entitlements.

    We need to end the corporate welfare and loophole too. So when republicans say they are against raising taxes in this instance they are talking about keeping corporate tax loopholes.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  43. Larry Spencer

    REGARDING THE MINOT FLOOD...what has happened to the ICMB rocket cillows...did they flood also...

    June 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  44. w l jones

    They doctors the economy before houses burst time give back through tax increase.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  45. Cee.La.

    I want to know what those who think spending cuts are the beat all, end all of our financial crisis , are sniffing... I am sure that if someone gave me the eraser, I could rub out lots of goodies, and save some tax payer money.....but spending cuts alone.... will not erase the deficit.......for those who say different, you are living in a parallel universe.....and as long as we have these lying partisans in Congress... we will continue to sink...... these people we elect are only interested in their own self importance......

    June 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  46. PAPilot

    A Tax Increase is never not a tax increase.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • TomNPITT

      And when is a tax cut not an additional expense or an increase to the debt?

      June 24, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  47. Tannim

    Wolf, it's so simple you miss it.

    You can't tax your way out of a recession, and government can't spend its way out of one, either. Keynesian eek-onomics is a colossal failure to everyone who knows anything about economics, which excludes most of the pundits and fools inside the Beltway.

    End the corporate welfare subsidies and tax breaks and revolving doors between executive agencies and corporations such as exists between Monsanto and the FDA/USDA. Let these businesses succeed or fail on their own merits, and eliminate their custom-written regulations that prevent small business competition. Then raise interest rates, as should have been done in 2007, give the people a 1-year interest-free debt vacation to let them catch up or pay off, with homes being automatically modified and unsecured debt rates cut to 3% at the end, and watch the economy explode. Cut government spending by 40% by eliminating the personal income tax, and end the wars, too.

    It's people that make the economy go, not the corporations, and certainly not government taking the people's money. It really is that simple, but nobody in DC save the Pauls have the brains or guts to understand it or implement it properly.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  48. George Guadiane

    America(ns) MUST get politically active. We need to tell the current Congress that they cannot kick the can down the road.
    BUT, BEFORE we take away welfare, unemployment, Medicaid and/or Medicare, we MUST demand that the wealthy (who will not suffer if they pay higher taxes) pay more taxes on ANY earned income. We need to close loopholes, end tax breaks, subsidies and grants to profitable Corporations. We also need to end any financial support to companies who hire illegal aliens and/or who ship jobs offshore.

    History PROVES that the financially rich have used their tax breaks to no noticeable help in creating jobs for the working class, and they won't, even if we let them keep more of what they earn.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  49. Mac

    Things are going to get ugly in the next few weeks. Maybe I should think about cashing out my coin collection.
    I may need some cash on hand. Then again the dollar is likely to be worth nothing. Never mind. I will just keep
    the coins and barter.

    PEOPLE WE ARE IN DEEP DO-DO.

    June 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • TomNPITT

      Hang on to the coin collections. The metal's value will be worth more than the denominations.

      June 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  50. ceegee

    @goodlord,
    Yeah right!
    Blitzer is and will continue to be someone I listen to and respect. The truth only hurts to those that tell and spread lies!!!!
    NOt an increase,this is a give away to rich that do not need nor deserve it!!!!

    June 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  51. logicinLA

    First of all – it's never going to be an tax increase. That would imply that taxation started at a lower level than proposed. there have been tax CUTS, thus bringing taxes back to higher levels will still be a CUT from former rates.
    And what is wrong with Americans that they can't see we need income to pay for everything? Especially those extra unemployment benefits they wanted, those roads they want to drive on and those bridges they want to cross. Is seems that every disaster that has hit in the past decade has affected a red state, and while they complain about taxes, they are the first to say why isn't there more government help? The why people is YOU keep saying CUT taxes!

    June 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  52. Rich McKinney, Texas

    A tax increase is inevitable. The hard part is deciding who to get that increase from. Right now big business in America pays roughly 35 percent in taxation each year. Now that sounds like a whole lot of money but with all the loop holes it drops down to around 10 percent. 45 percent of people in America will pay absolutely no federal income tax this year or get what they pay in back. That leaves about 55 percent of the people in America footing the bill for everyone else. Why should 55 percent of the people pay for everyone else? That needs to change. Everyone should pay some amount of federal income tax each year because we all use the federal highways and governmental services in one form or another. If America would do away with the IRS and switch to a federal users tax where you pay tax on what you use at the time you purchase it then it would be fair for everyone. The more you use the more you pay. The less you use the less you pay. If we increase taxation on business and the wealthy they can afford to leave and they can also afford to take their businesses and jobs with them. That is why our economy is so bad right now with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. It is cheaper for business to build things outside of America where labor is cheaper, government regulation is less stringent and taxation is not as high.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  53. Matt

    We need higher taxes in the United States. Currently the federal taxes are at the lowest levels since the 1950's. Then for politicians to say that taxes are to high is concerning. The American people want the federal government to provide many services such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense and many services. But the people in this country do not want to pay higher taxes that are necessary to fund these programs. We need a surplus in this country to start lowering the national debt. We need higher taxes for all the income brackets.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  54. Tyler Durden

    Cantor's POLITICAL THEATRICS are putting our entire nation at risk. Democrats must BE AGRESSIVE and make sure the electorate is INFORMED AND AWARE of these cheap tricks. That is the only way to put a stop to them.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  55. Richard Carpenter

    The only thing that will save this country is a tax increase on the wealthiest 3%. We must get back to where we share the nations wealth. If you love America you would support raising taxes.

    June 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  56. goodlord

    You need to retire Blitzer. You have become nothing more than a liberal political hack!

    June 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • jasper

      goodlord, you're a moron. move to another country.

      June 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm |

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