the Morning Briefing every morning at no charge.
A lot of the media and all of the Democrats seem to forget one simple fact about the Bush tax cuts: they were passed in response to a recession occurring as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney entered office. Moe Lane wrote an excellent post about the impact of the Democrats not extending the Bush tax cuts, but what about what they actually did. We should not forget that. The 2001 Economic Growth and Recovery Tax Act was George Bush’s version of Barack Obama’s stimulus plan. However, instead of creating a bunch of temporary government jobs and subsidizing the expansion of government, it cut tax rates, increased the child tax credit, increased the standard deduction for married couples, and increasing contribution caps for a variety of savings programs. The result? The recession ended in November of 2001. (Source) But, September 11, 2001, happened as the economy was recovering and throughout 2002, the economy grew at an anemic rate. The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 revved up the 2001 tax cut package and cut taxes again on dividends and capital gains. The result? Under George W. Bush’s “tax cuts for the rich” the rich paid more in taxes in 2005 than any time in the prior 20 years. In fact, as the Wall Street Journal noted, thanks to George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, the richest one percent went from paying 25% of all income taxes in 1990 to 39% in 2005. The richest 5% went from paying 44% of all income taxes in 1990 to paying 60% of all income taxes in 2005. Please click here for the rest of the post.
The basic situation? The Democratic party is facing a dilemma of more or less its own doing with the looming end of Bush-era tax cuts. The party generally ran on a program of repealing them for the ‘rich,’ which was rhetorically useful (if not fiscally so); and some Democratic legislators are beginning to worry about the political effects of that. The problem – which the Right has been saying all along – is that raising taxes on the top two tax brackets will affect an indeterminate number of small businesses. Democratic legislators apparently plan to solve this problem by demonizing the Republican party’s position on tax relief while simultaneously coming as close to it as they dare. While the battle lines at first glance seem straightforward enough, what the NYT carefully did not mention in its article above is that at least some small businesses will see a tax increase (one of almost 5%) under this system; a lot of businesses report their earnings – perfectly legally and openly – as individual income. The effects of changing this? The Wall Street Journal reports ‘doom.’ Please click here for the rest of the post.
For those who don’t know – lucky you – “Trig Troofers” are people who believe that former Governor Sarah Palin did not actually give birth to her son Trig Palin; they instead believe that the child is Bristol Palin’s, despite the fact that Ms. Palin herself had a child at about the same time*. This has thus become a particularly bizarre conspiracy theory, on the level of the ‘we faked the Apollo moon landing:’ it will elevate (or descend) to the level of 9/11 conspiracy theorizing once the Online Left figures out how Sarah Palin’s uterus relates to the International Zionist Conspiracy. I mention all of this because I wanted to make it clear that people who believe this nonsense are crazy. And apparently some of them are riddled through the ranks of the leading liberal magazine The American Prospect. Which means that there are people at TAP who are crazy. The Daily Caller has released the contents of a Journolist thread involving Sarah Palin’s uterus that took place between August 30th and September 1st, 2008. Now, let me be clear: most people involved in that particular thread thought that believing this nonsense was crazy – and even many of the ones who didn’t still thought that such a discussion was beyond the pale, for a variety of reasons. We will let those people pass on by, with only a cheerful suggestion that they never, ever take a Trig Troofer seriously in public again if they wish to avoid being raked over the coals for their silence to date. I think that’s fair: don’t you? But then there are the crazy people. Please click here for the rest of the post.
Charlie Cook is bearish on the thought of the GOP retaking the Senate this year – which, I should note, is a large step up from, say January 2009: back then they were talking about how the Democrats might increase their existing majority in 2010. Charlie sets up the current situation as follows . . . Please click here for the rest of the post.