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President Obama’s Complete Twitter Q and A Session

A really big town hall
Politics • Views: 17,867

From the The White House on Twitter, here’s the complete question/answer session from today, as the President took questions from Twitter users on the fiscal cliff.

Introduction:

On entitlement reform:

On the benefits of letting high end tax cuts expire:

On how the cuts benefit students and recent graduates:

On deductions instead of high end rate raise:

On reducing spending:

On home-owner’s deductions:

On a “minimum ratio” of spending cuts to revenue increases:

On da Bears:

The wrap-up:

And an amusing postscript:

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36 comments

1 ReamWorks SKG  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 12:45:15pm
As a home owner, I worry deductions for home owners are at risk. Is that the case? #My2k

What greedy Americans! "Don't Raise my taxes!"

I asked "Why don't let all the Bush tax cuts expire and raise everyone's taxes? Aren't we all in this together?"

Oh well.

2 erik_t  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 12:50:15pm

re: #1 ReamWorks SKG

What greedy Americans! "Don't Raise my taxes!"

I asked "Why don't let all the Bush tax cuts expire and raise everyone's taxes? Aren't we all in this together?"

Oh well.

This presupposes that being 'all in this together' (at an implied 1:1 ratio) is desirable on its own.

The same logic could be used to deduce that a flat tax (in percent or dollar amount, take your pick) is reasonable and appropriate.

Circular logic is circular.

3 ReamWorks SKG  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 12:51:29pm

re: #2 erik_t

Now you're just being silly! I'm not a flat taxer.

We had a progressive tax system before the Bush tax cuts. They were supposed to be temporary. Now it's time for them to end.

End them. All.

Here's what they were:

a new 10% bracket was created for single filers with taxable income up to $6,000, joint filers up to $12,000, and heads of households up to $10,000.

the 15% bracket's lower threshold was indexed to the new 10% bracket

the 28% bracket would be lowered to 25% by 2006.

the 31% bracket would be lowered to 28% by 2006

the 36% bracket would be lowered to 33% by 2006

the 39.6% bracket would be lowered to 35% by 2006

4 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 12:51:55pm

Oh Mandi!

5 erik_t  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 12:53:20pm

re: #3 ReamWorks SKG

We had a progressive tax system before the Bush tax cuts. They were supposed to be temporary. Now it's time for them to end.

End them. All.

We should end them because they were supposed to be temporary, regardless of what effect that would have on the economy. Because we knew better ten years ago what the current economy would look like than we do now.

That, too, is a silly argument.

Would you like to try for a third?

6 Charles Johnson  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 12:53:34pm

re: #1 ReamWorks SKG

Because keeping the middle class tax cuts will help stimulate the economy, by letting people in the middle-lower brackets keep and spend more of their money. And because the people at the high end will feel almost nothing from having their rates go up, while middle and lower bracket families will suffer greatly.

7 ReamWorks SKG  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 12:56:23pm

re: #5 erik_t

You called me a "flat taxer." That was what was silly.

8 erik_t  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 12:59:58pm

re: #7 ReamWorks SKG

You called me a "flat taxer." That was what was silly.

No, I said your argument was equally applicable to a flat tax. Plain as day, for all the world to see.

Which it is. One can justify many stupid things with an appeal to simple-minded fairness.

9 HappyWarrior  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:00:07pm

I like how Obama can talk sports and policy intelligently. Having a nice time helping out coach basketball, POTUS's and my Dad's favorite sport of choice this winter.

10 darthstar  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:01:07pm

Let everything expire, then do the following:
1. Create a tax cut for the middle class as they need it.
2. Bump the Capital Gains tax and taxes based on interest income back up to 35%.
3. Tax off-shore holdings at 45%.
4. End oil subsidies.
5. Put a two year moratorium on the Farm Bill.
6. Extend Medicare benefits to everyone.
7. Someone, get me a beer...I'm writing policy here.

11 erik_t  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:02:45pm

re: #10 darthstar

You finally got me fully on board at #7.

12 Alexzander  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:03:28pm

This might be the beginning of a big story:

13 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:03:37pm

re: #6 Charles Johnson

Because keeping the middle class tax cuts will help stimulate the economy, by letting people in the middle-lower brackets keep and spend more of their money. And because the people at the high end will feel almost nothing from having their rates go up, while middle and lower bracket families will suffer greatly.

It's really bad out there. I don't think that is really understood.

Two parents working full-time minimium wage jobs cannot raise a child in Chicagoland without assistance. Adding to their tax burden would only make them more reliant on government help.

Someone earning $200K PER MONTH can afford higher taxes.

Someone earning $2K PER MONTH cannot.

The idea that increasing taxes on those in the higher brackets will somehow slow the economy is just plain stupid. I'm so tired of hearing this.

14 HappyWarrior  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:03:55pm

re: #11 erik_t

You finally got me fully on board at #7.

Yes, I'd be in favor in some good old beer socialism.

15 TedStriker  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:05:50pm

re: #12 Alexzander

This might be the beginning of a big story:

[Embedded content]

The TPGOP's own version of the Night of the Long Knives, with "fiscal conservatives" playing the role of the SA leadership.

If this is true...

16 Targetpractice  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:06:31pm

re: #12 Alexzander

This might be the beginning of a big story:

[Embedded content]

Yeah, that's a bit hard to swallow considering Paul Ryan was the only committee chairman to get a waiver to go over the party's six-year limit on chairmanships.

17 TedStriker  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:07:36pm

...

18 Killgore Trout  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:08:58pm

READ: Boehner’s new counterproposal

House Republicans have submitted a new fiscal cliff proposal to the White House. Here’s the basic outline of the proposal, with some additional details from Speaker Boehner’s letter today to Obama and my colleagues at the Post:

19 Targetpractice  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:10:12pm

re: #18 Killgore Trout

READ: Boehner’s new counterproposal

Yeah, it's a non-starter.

20 erik_t  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:10:15pm

re: #18 Killgore Trout

READ: Boehner’s new counterproposal

More revenue via lower tax rates. Again.

Pull the other one, John.

21 Killgore Trout  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:13:22pm

re: #19 Targetpractice

Yeah, it's a non-starter.

My understanding is that the proposal is based on Simpson/Bowles so I'm not instantly opposed. MSM reporting so far is just AP articles with basic talking points and outlines. Not much analysis from reputable sources yet.

22 Targetpractice  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:16:32pm

re: #21 Killgore Trout

My understanding is that the proposal is based on Simpson/Bowles so I'm not instantly opposed. MSM reporting so far is just AP articles with basic talking points and outlines. Not much analysis from reputable sources yet.

Yeah, let's go ahead and get the myth out of the way, there was never a Simpson/Bowles proposal, let alone one that had any measure of real support. This proposal is not new, it's the one Bowles put forth last November, which means it's been sitting for over a year now without the GOP finding any reason to support it. That Boehner's now offering it as though its A) new and B) something he'd accept is weapons-grade BS.

And even if you accepted that it might be grounds for negotiations, it goes nowhere because it still relies upon the myth that tax cuts create higher revenues, something that Obama's said he won't support. So either the GOP bites the bullet and accepts higher rates for the rich or we go over the "cliff" and the rates jump anyway.

23 blueraven  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:20:29pm

re: #21 Killgore Trout

My understanding is that the proposal is based on Simpson/Bowles so I'm not instantly opposed. MSM reporting so far is just AP articles with basic talking points and outlines. Not much analysis from reputable sources yet.

Simpson Bowles pre-supposed the end of the Bush Tax cuts.

24 Eventual Carrion  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:21:01pm

Rich will always be able to buy what they need/want whenever they need/want it. A tax cut doesn't change that, it only gives them more money to put into offshore/hidden accounts.

Tax cuts for middle/poor Americans give them more money which they use to pay bills/buy a TV/get the kid(s) a bike/etc...

Which one looks like it would grow the economy.

Then a wingnut actually said to me, "They will only use it to buy drugs!". To which I replied, "Then the drug dealer will pay his mules/take his wife-GF to dinner and maybe a movie/buy a big screen TV/etc...

Which is better for the economy? Leaving morals/legality out of it, it is still stimulus for our economy.

25 Killgore Trout  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:22:39pm

re: #22 Targetpractice

And even if you accepted that it might be grounds for negotiations, it goes nowhere because it still relies upon the myth that tax cuts create higher revenues, something that Obama's said he won't support.

I don't think that's accurate. Here's a Bloomberg article

House Republicans Propose $2.2 Trillion Fiscal-Cliff Plan

In the past, many Republican calls for additional revenue through a rewrite of the tax code have meant the money would come from higher economic growth spurred by the overhaul. Obama and the Congressional Budget Office won’t accept so-called dynamic scoring.
Conventional Scoring

Republican aides said the $800 billion would come from conventional scoring, which means there would be a tax increase.

I interpret this to mean that Republicans aren't using speculative scoring based on possible economic preditions for the savings. It's coming from real revenue increases.

26 Eventual Carrion  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:27:28pm

re: #25 Killgore Trout

I don't think that's accurate. Here's a Bloomberg article

House Republicans Propose $2.2 Trillion Fiscal-Cliff Plan

I interpret this to mean that Republicans aren't using speculative scoring based on possible economic preditions for the savings. It's coming from real revenue increases.

Yep, probably the Bush tax cuts for the rich ending. Without ending those cuts (raising the taxes) which the plan is predicated on to work, makes the proposal unworkable.

So fighting ending those cuts, AND pushing this proposal that depends on those cuts ending is pure BS. No?

27 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:28:16pm

Xiaozi

Xiaozi (Chinese: 小资; pinyin: xiǎozī), is a Chinese cultural term describing a lifestyle chasing modern taste, living standards, and arts. Originally the term was a Chinese translation of petite bourgeoisie. After the economic reform in the People's Republic of China, some urban Chinese who had been immersed in Marxist ideas of class conflict found they were not as poor as the proletariat but not as rich as the bourgeoisie. They regarded themselves as petite bourgeoisie to distinguish themselves from ordinary city dwellers.

This is where I think a lot of Conservatives see themselves and they are scared as shit of losing their place. Remember: to them Proletariat is translated to Afrikan-American.

They are afraid of "slave riots" and are stock piling guns and using "big man" speech to intimidate anyone who they feel threatens their place just above the Proletariat and their opportunity to widen the gap between themselves and the lowest classes.

Even the obvious facts the Occupy movement tried to highlight--that there is only the Very Rich (1%) and Everyone Else (99%) isn't enough to jar them from their belief that they are not "lowly workers".

They will grab onto any shred of hope that their World View is correct --including aligning themselves with the racists, the ignorant, and those who are blatantly using them to promote their own grab at perceived power.

Thus spouting trickle-down economic ideas makes them feel they are doing the right thing --preserving their place in the strange world of male hierarchy.

28 stabby  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:28:30pm
@mstevesmithjr OH MY GOD THE PRESIDENT ANSWERED ME! And he likes the purple hair I had a few years ago. I AM SHAKING.

Awww

29 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:29:54pm

re: #18 Killgore Trout

READ: Boehner’s new counterproposal

But we have only given trickle down a single decade with these tax cuts to show it works! The reason it hasn't yet is because the cuts for the well off just aren't big enough yet! If you raise taxes now you destroy the work of an entire decade in getting the trickle down job "pump" primed and ready to flow!

Any day now the wealthy will stop investing their money overseas and use it to create jobs here at home, any second now it could happen! If we just cut their taxes another 20% everything will suddenly change, everything, it will be a sea change to a whole new job and business market in this country. Trust us, we just need larger tax cuts and to wait a bit longer (two or three more decades at most) then everything will get better, it will be just like the early 50s again!

///

30 Targetpractice  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:30:37pm

re: #25 Killgore Trout

I don't think that's accurate. Here's a Bloomberg article

House Republicans Propose $2.2 Trillion Fiscal-Cliff Plan

I interpret this to mean that Republicans aren't using speculative scoring based on possible economic preditions for the savings. It's coming from real revenue increases.

Yeah, I think we already had this discussion numerous times during the Romney campaign, there's no real way to cut the tax rates and still find enough deductions that would fall strictly on the rich that wouldn't result in a larger deficit. The GOP's selling you a pig in a poke.

31 blueraven  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:31:09pm

re: #25 Killgore Trout

I don't think that's accurate. Here's a Bloomberg article

House Republicans Propose $2.2 Trillion Fiscal-Cliff Plan

I interpret this to mean that Republicans aren't using speculative scoring based on possible economic preditions for the savings. It's coming from real revenue increases.

So where is the revenue coming from KT?

Boehner’s letter said the additional $800 billion would come through “pro-growth tax reform that closes special- interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.” He didn’t lay out specific proposals for curbing tax breaks and didn’t offer additional revenue for 2013.

Didn't we just have this very same debate between Obama and Romney. Obama won.

32 Spocomptonite  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:31:48pm

re: #10 darthstar

Let everything expire, then do the following:
1. Create a tax cut for the middle class as they need it.
2. Bump the Capital Gains tax and taxes based on interest income back up to 35%.
3. Tax off-shore holdings at 45%.
4. End oil subsidies.
5. Put a two year moratorium on the Farm Bill.
6. Extend Medicare benefits to everyone.
7. Someone, get me a beer...I'm writing policy here.

I think Capital Gains taxes should be in brackets corresponding to the income tax brackets, but at slightly lower rates than income tax. That way, micro-investors and lower-to-middle class people are encouraged to invest their money because of lower tax rates than their income rate, and mega-investor hedge fund managers don't get a loophole that gets them a tax rate full-time employees at McDonald's don't even get, while still giving them incentive for investment because it's lower than regular income taxes. No matter how much they'd complain that higher rates on their investments would destroy the world.

33 Holidays are Family Fun Time  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:31:58pm

re: #31 blueraven

So where is the revenue coming from KT?

Didn't we just have this very same debate between Obama and Romney. Obama won.

Magnets

34 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:37:54pm

re: #31 blueraven

So where is the revenue coming from KT?

Didn't we just have this very same debate between Obama and Romney. Obama won.

If we slash tax rates on the wealthy there will be a huge economic surge so large that even though each person will pay a lower percentage of tax on their income, the total amount they will be paying on will increase so much that they are actually paying MORE!

Seriously, this is their plan.

Then Boehner woke up...

35 blueraven  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:42:25pm

re: #34 watching you tiny alien kittens are

If we slash tax rates on the wealthy there will be a huge economic surge so large that even though each person will pay a lower percentage of tax on their income, the total amount they will be paying on will increase so much that they are actually paying MORE!

Seriously, this is their plan.

Then Boehner woke up...

Yes, the republicans have had this collective wet dream for decades now. For the rest of us, it has been a nightmare.

36 Patricia Kayden  Mon, Dec 3, 2012 4:30:10pm

Awww to the purple-haired girl's reaction. Adorable!


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