• "The EITC is one of the government’s single most effective antipoverty instruments, providing needed cash to poor and low-income workers. Congress originally approved it in 1975 in part to offset the burden of payroll taxes and as an incentive to work. And it has worked very well indeed."

    Worked well indeed? LOL. It is rife with fraud and corruption. I've heard of people with four bedroom homes driving sports cars getting the EITC. There is little if any oversight, regulation or enforcement of this program. Am I surprised it has been singled out - naw, not really.

    November 11, 2010 at 11:25 a.m.

  • In keeping with a five year tradition of mine; I will not engage in back and forth bickering on days such as " Veterans Day" and other holidays. That is just a moratorium I placed on myself; I will be back Monday with replies.

    I have recently made some corrections and replies to yesterday's blog but those are my last posts until Monday.

    It is not intended to be a snub, but of more of respect for the holidays.... It Is just MY "cease-fire"...

    Happy Veteran's Day to the many veterans and their families.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:48 a.m.

  • Rand Paul would probably be wise to watch quietly for awhile.

    Earmark seems to mean different things to different people. Wasteful spending is one thing. But an expensive attachment to a bill that could not have made it on its own is what some seem to perceive earmarks to be.

    As far as keeping tax cuts, I don't think temporary will make much difference to business owners. But I am for trying whatever will work for keeping us heading toward a better job market.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:32 a.m.

  • Ok, it didn't take long for me to get an answer:

    The White House's debt commission co-chairs were not planning on publicly releasing their preliminary recommendations, at least not in such a hurried fashion. But the commissioners' reactions to their eye-popping proposals weren't exactly positive. And so, concerned about potential leaks and negative press, the co-chairs decided to unveil it and get ahead of the spin, according to a source with knowledge of the proceedings.
    In that regard, this afternoon's briefing was a bid to keep the commission and its work from unraveling precipitously -- to lay out their discussion document publicly, as a starting point from which members will have to work

    There is a lot of work to be done between now and December 1st; the first draft by Bowels and Simpson was not worth the PowerPoint presentation.... I don't know why Alan Simpson is even on the commission; he been a foe of Social Security since day one.... You can't bring down the debt on the backs of the middle class and the poor.

    November 11, 2010 at 9:36 a.m.

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    November 11, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.

  • The draft had a "feel good" effort to eliminate pork...... As I've said before " pork is not necessarily bad.".... I don't often agree with senators Mitch McConnell and Jim Inhofe (probably never) they are right; if the republicans don't apply for government "pork" the president's commission will decide where the funds will go... Pork is less than 1% of the budget.

    Let's just say that the pentagon decided to use an existing airport to train helicopter pilots some tactical maneuvers they could be using in the Middle East...Again, let's just say, they will consider the ones in Oklahoma, Texas, and California... If republicans didn't submit their bids; presidents Obama's commission just might choose California.... That's politics.
    Rand Paul is either talking to the press too much or he just can't make up his mind because now he is one of a handful of republican senators against earmarks... For those that don't know; he campaigned against earmarks; changed his mind a few days ago; and now he has gone the other way.

    November 11, 2010 at 9:17 a.m.

  • I don't know why this draft was submitted to the public prior to the expected date of December 1, 2010 and while the president was 7000 miles away in South Korea... This was the draft of Erskine Bowels and Alan Simpson; it was not the full committee's report... 14 of the 18 members on that committee will have to approve of any report they will submit... It is highly unlikely that the recommendations will see the light of day.

    VBB... Don't get your hopes up but this is where I got the elimination of EITC... I can't make heads or tails out of that chart in the PDF draft but I agree with your analysis.

    Among the “tax expenditures” that would be eliminated in order for the chairmen’s tax plan to bring the top individual income tax bracket down to 23 percent are the EITC, or Earned Income Tax Credit, and the child tax credit.

    The EITC is one of the government’s single most effective antipoverty instruments, providing needed cash to poor and low-income workers. Congress originally approved it in 1975 in part to offset the burden of payroll taxes and as an incentive to work. And it has worked very well indeed.

    I am disappointed because seems like the White House will cave to the republicans once again by extending all of the Bush tax cuts and possibly moving the withdrawal date in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2014.... The White House said it was inevitable that the GOP would submit legislation next to reinstate the Bush tax cuts to the top 2%... They justified it by saying is not an argument they want to have, next year,even though exit polls shows that the American people overwhelmingly oppose the tax cut to that group.... We will probably never know the reason they're caving; could be a deal to slow down investigations, soften the efforts to go after the health care bill, or votes for a deal on a alternative energy bill.

    November 11, 2010 at 9:03 a.m.

  • Well it is a start. These are some brainstorm ideas, some better than others. Not an end product.

    I think in this day and time, people are living longer and can work longer. This does not help the shortage of jobs, but who knows. When it comes time for this to take full effect, we may not have a job shortage. The only other problem I see is that some people are not as healthy in the mid to late 60's, may not be able to do the job they are doing. Maybe we can have some medical partial social security for those, and let them get jobs part time that do not require the physical condition.

    To take away the mortgage deduction might hurt the housing even more, so that one may or may not be a good idea.

    The important thing is to continue working toward things that would help. I am not against a temporary tax to bring in some money for a specific purpose.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:20 a.m.

  • I can't argue with anything in the link provided Mike.

    Things I noticed...

    Stabilize and cut the deficit.
    Reform the tax system.
    Eliminate red tape and make government more efficient.
    Reform or eliminate antiquated entitlement programs.
    Reduce tax rates.
    Add 76 years to SS viability.
    Ect. ect.

    Seems to me like a plan that every politician can embrace.
    It will be hard for some of them to support some parts, because it will hurt there voters.

    But over all, even with just being a draft, it seems to satisfy both sides of the aisle.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:56 p.m.

  • Regarding the new tax regulations being considered... I have one question. I didn't read it, but did catch a little info on it. If they do away with deductions, how will businesses figure their taxes? If a contractor builds a house, for example, will he just pay that set percent on his profit? What about operating expenses? I guess on net income?

    November 10, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

  • Oh Mike, you tease....I read your link & I saw 3 seperate lines that said "keep child tax credit + EITC" with 3 different versions on the mortgage, Health & retirement taxable amt....please tell me I am reading it wrong!!! Thanks for the link...very interesting reading!

    November 10, 2010 at 6:21 p.m.

  • Mike.

    Thank you for seeing my point.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:08 p.m.

  • OK, that is unique it supports your stances as a hybrid Democrat... I can respect that.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:04 p.m.

  • As for myself, I consider myself a radical moderate in the mold of the Modern Whig Party and the Freedom Democrats.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:50 p.m.

  • Perhaps off topic but Wow, the deficit panel took their job seriously... They're recommending a lot of cuts like eliminating the EITC , mortgage interest, and cuts in Medicare and Social Security and defense...Ouch. This is the most detailed craft I could find.

    What do you think.?.... A lot of sacred cows will be hit if the new Congress accepts the recommendations.

    There is going to be a lot of chatter in Washington.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.

  • Lol....I love self-deprecating humor but if I use it; people would use it against me...Saying " see, he knows he is ignorant."

    Have a good one

    November 10, 2010 at 3:04 p.m.

  • That's sweet, Mike, thanks. I need to tell myself that if I am prefacing a comment with "I'm ignorant and I don't know anything" maybe that's a sign that I don't need to be involved in the discussion. =D

    November 10, 2010 at 2:54 p.m.

  • Rebecca

    You are a credible blogger and I take your points of view seriously.

    You are the voice of reason and at times you provide a calming effect with your humor. That important time out , we need now and then.

    My opinion may not matter much but I think your thoughts are important.

    If I wrote something to upset you..I sincerely apologize because that will never be my intent.


    November 10, 2010 at 2:41 p.m.

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    November 10, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.

  • Instead of apologizing for venting on your blog, I just deleted the comments. I decided that it doesn't matter what I think.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:26 p.m.

  • LOL....Rebecca, You deleted your posts, making my response look a little silly.:-)

    Did you change your mind? If you did I will delete my post.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:15 p.m.

  • Rebecca
    I'm not quite sure what you mean that lefties in righties wanting to change society through government policies.... We are a civilized nation; with that comes a constitution, government, a judicial, legislative, and executive branches that pretty much decide what steps we take in forming our domestic and foreign policies.

    I think all of the ideologies have been demonized in one way or the other throughout the years

    A lot of the monetary policies we have been arguing about, probably get their base from ideology but they are decisions that we have to make.

    I'm not sure if you're talking about Roe V Wade, the 14th amendment, the 1st amendment or Brown vs. the Board of Education but all those issues have been decided. Those are some heavy arguments; they will take about three of four more blogs ;with each argument having their own space.
    I think everyone agrees that government cannot legislate morality.

    Short story: about three years ago the most popular thread was the " Victoria city ordinance against smoking in public places."... Libertarians dominated the forum against this ordinance and they let their feelings known, but the actual people that voted on this ordinance was in the low teens. ... Several cities have a "no smoking policy." .... Have you noticed, that hardly anyone smokes anymore? Did the government overstep their bounds? Were the people right for rebelling and then complying? Did the end justify the means?

    November 10, 2010 at 2:10 p.m.

  • KyleC

    You're absolutely right, many times I slap myself upside my head and because I get involved in the tit- for- tat name calling, instead of sticking to the Point I was trying to make.

    During my working days, I tried an old trick that seem to work... Whenever I got involved in a discussion with a conservative; I would tell them " yes, I am a socialists,Marxist, a communist or any label of their choice but will you allow me to state my point?".. After I was given a chance to prove my point, they always said " you're not a Socialist or a Marxist."... My point, I know what I am but why waste all my time proving what I'm not.

    I agree we always seem to divide ourselves like the rank and file from supervision,by gender, different religions, sports teams,Coke or Pepsi,Bud or Miller, country or rock, and that's before we even use politics, ideology, or race.

    November 10, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.

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    November 10, 2010 at 12:29 p.m.

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    November 10, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.

  • I had a quick laugh to myself when I googled "liberal" and noted Google had captured some Wikipedia hackers definition in the search results:

    Labeling is the epitome of mental laziness and yet almost all of us have been guilty of it at some point. Any time we use the words "us and them" in any given sentence we're usually engaging in such things and part of it stems from pure biology - the brains need to classify information.

    I find it difficult to define myself with a single word such as liberal because my sense of the word, as you discuss, is probably different from others - including other 'liberals". I personally try hard to stay away from labels and simply debate the issues of the day as I see them without recourse to broad generalizations.

    November 10, 2010 at 11:34 a.m.