Category Archives: Point of Order

Republicans Own the Shutdown. Next Question?

Never been a president who won’t negotiate the debt ceiling? Never been a president who had to.

Let the record show that, as usual, Pres. Obama and the Democrats are telling the truth. This government shutdown is 100 percent on the shoulders of the Republicans, and it could end as soon as Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh) allows the House of Representatives to vote on it. Period.

And as far as his assertion, in the “Breaking News” section shown, that there has never been a president who won’t negotiate with Congress to pay the bills it authorized, please further note that there’s never been a president who had to.

Busted: Charles Krauthammer Is 100% Wrong about When the Churchill Bust Was Loaned to the Bush White House – It Was in July 2001, Not after 9/11

Screenshot from the Bush White House website showing George Bush accepting the bust of Winston Churchill on July 16, 2001.
Screenshot from the Bush White House website showing George Bush accepting the bust of Winston Churchill on July 16, 2001.

Pres. Obama recently remarked that politics can sometimes seem small. A prime example of this smallness is the controversy Republicans have been stoking for three-plus years now over the disposition of a bust of Winston Churchill that was loaned to the Bush White House in 2001. The latest stoke came yesterday from the right-wing Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, in an article titled, “Busted: Mr. Pfeiffer and the White House blog“:

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Point of Order: Obama Wants to Give Everyone a Tax Break

PointofOrder

Whether ignorance or deliberate spin is to blame, we keep hearing that Pres. Obama wants to end the Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 annually. This is true. And false, false, false.

The president is proposing, as he has since he took office and knew Bush’s tax cuts would expire during his first term, to end the tax breaks on family incomes above $250,000.

That means everyone pays at the lower rate on the first $250,000 they earn. So if your family earns $220,000, you continue to pay at the Bush rate on your entire income. If you earn $280,000, then you continue to pay at the Bush rate on $250,000 and pay at the higher, Clinton-era rate on $30,000.

As Daily Finance’s Bruce Watson explains:

When discussing the tax code, most analysts and pundits — not to mention average citizens — focus on the highest rate that an individual pays. One rarely hears about the fact that everybody pays only 10% tax on their first $8,700, 15% on everything between $8,701 and $35,350, and so forth. In other words, a millionaire pays the exact same amount in taxes on that piece of their income as someone who makes $35,350 per year…or $85,000, or $150,000. (Before deductions, of course.)

It’s not hard to see why tax issues are drawn along wealth lines — after all, creating barriers between the rich and the middle class makes for good headlines and hot political battles. In truth, though, the line isn’t between cutting taxes for the rich and cutting them for the middle class; it’s between cutting taxes for the rich, and cutting taxes for the rich more.

Emphasis added

Update: The misstatement bothers Robert Reich too.