News

Obama tackles jobs questions at forum

President's town hall meeting at LinkedIn draws a range of queries on economy

In Mountain View on Monday morning (Sept. 26), President Obama aimed to convince viewers of his town hall meeting hosted by LinkedIn that he can lead the country through its myriad economic problems.

A crowd of several hundred was assembled by LinkedIn at the Computer History Museum near Google, including some LinkedIn users who had been flown in from around the country. Air Force One landed at Moffett Field Sunday evening, where Mayor Jac Siegel met Obama as he came off the plane. He attended two fundraisers on Sunday evening, one at the Woodside home of Symantec chairman John Thompson and another at Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's Atherton home.

Obama's message focused on the benefits of investing in infrastructure and schools to create jobs with the American Jobs Act. He made a case for increasing taxes on wealthier individuals to maintain the public institutions that made the country great.

"If we don't improve our education system, we will all fall behind," Obama said. In math and science, "we are slipping behind other developing countries."

"Are you going to have enough engineers?" in Silicon Valley, he asked.

The tax reform issue is also an issue of fairness, the president said.

"Somebody who is making $50,000 a year as a teacher shouldn't be paying a higher effective tax rate than somebody like myself or Jeff," Obama said, referring to Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, who hosted the event.

Obama's been accused of engaging in "class warfare" with his proposals to tax the rich, but during Monday's talk he stressed a pro-businesses stance.

"No part of the country better represents the essence of America than here," Obama said of Silicon Valley. "What you see is entrepreneurship and dynamism, an optimism, a belief that if you've got a good idea and you're willing to put in the sweat and blood and tears to make it happen, that not only can you succeed for yourself but grow the economy for everybody."

Some audience members who asked questions were unemployed because of unfortunate circumstances but one said he was unemployed by choice, able to retire early after having been an early employee of a successful startup search engine "down the street" -- Google.

"Would you please raise my taxes?" said the man, later identified as Doug Edwards, former director of consumer marketing and brand management. "I would very much like the country to continue to invest in things like Pell Grants and infrastructure and job training programs that made it possible for me to get where I am. It kills me to see Congress not supporting the expiration of the tax cuts" on wealthy Americans.

"As you just pointed out, we're successful because somebody invested in our education," Obama said. He referenced his wife, Michelle, whose father was an engineer at a local water company and had never attended college but was able to send Michelle to Princeton University.

"The most important thing we can do right now is pass this jobs bill," Obama said, adding that it would increase gross domestic product by 2 percent and add $1.9 million jobs in the U.S. in teaching, construction and public safety, creating "ripple effects" in the economy. There are up to 27 million unemployed in the U.S. if the marginally employed and long-term unemployed are included.

Throughout the talk, Obama referenced one audience member's recently unemployed 65-year-old mother, a food service worker in Ohio.

"She wants to know, when can she get a job, and what's going to happen to Social Security and Medicare?" the woman asked.

"You can tell your mom that Medicare and Social Security will be there for her, guaranteed," Obama said. "There are no proposals out there that would affect folks about to get Social Security and Medicare." He said that reforms would be necessary to pay for both programs in the future and proposed the removal of a $100,000 cap on the amount of taxes wealthier individuals pay for Social Security. He said that would contribute significantly to keeping the program afloat as fewer workers are paying in to keep more seniors out of poverty.

"Your mom is going to be more likely to be hired" under the American Jobs Act, Obama said. The resulting increase in employment would mean more customers for other businesses, including the food industry. And when explaining why wealthy Americans should have higher tax rates, he said, "If people like myself aren't paying a little more in taxes, then the only way you balance the budget is on the backs of folks like your mom, who end up paying a lot more for Medicare and they can't afford it."

Part of Obama's jobs bill, which would cost $447 billion and be funded through tax hikes on the nation's wealthiest, would help military veterans obtain jobs.

Obama spoke about meeting a former U.S. Army medic who worked "under the most extreme circumstances" with wounded soldiers in Iraq. But "when he went back to nursing school, had to start as if he had never been involved in medicine at all. He had to take all the same classes and take the same debt burdens from taking those classes."

Obama proposed policies that would allow such veterans to use their skills from the military "right away" in new jobs. "Let's give them a certification; let's give them a credential that helps them do that," he said.

A question submitted through LinkedIn's website from Marla Hughes, a Florida business owner, asked what Obama would do about "onerous" regulations and taxes, which are the "worst enemies" of a small business.

"We've actually cut taxes on small businesses 16 times since I went into office," Obama said, adding that there are "tax breaks for hiring, tax breaks for investment in capital and no capital gains taxes on startups."

He said that while some regulations of businesses may no longer be necessary, he would not compromise on safety and environmental regulations, or on regulations to prevent another financial crisis. Regulations should make sure "your water is clean, your food is safe to eat and the peanut butter you feed your kids is not going to be contaminated," he said.

Obama departed from Moffett Field aboard Air Force One at 12:23 p.m., and headed to southern California for fundraising appearances later today. The president was set to speak at three campaign events -- one in San Diego and two in Los Angeles.

Before boarding the plane, Obama stopped to greet the family of a retiring Air Force One crew member and pose for a photo. He shook the hands of the crew member, his wife and three children.

Afterward, the wife, who declined to give her full name but said her husband is based out of Fresno, said she was nervous to meet the president.

"He's a very nice man," she said. "Very proud of him as our president, and I told him that."

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Members of the audience were selected by LinkedIn? Some were flown in from around the country? So, this was a stacked audience?


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Na "So, this was a stacked audience? "

IF so, they learned well from Bush/Rove and the loyalty oaths taken by those to attend a Bush town hall.

Reality is that it was a corporate event, of course they were invited. if I was VP of marketing for LinkedIn, I'd darn sure stack it with the folks who will help me do my job and meet my goals!!


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Thanks Corporate.

I didn't ask about Bush though. I watched this live on television, and the audience seemed to ask questions that were fed to the president beforehand (with the exception of the "will you please raise my taxes" question). It was just...strange.

I have been to one town hall meeting (featuring Hillary Clinton), and there were plenty of hard questions asked. She demonstrated herself to be apt at answering the tough questions too.

I just didn't know if this was the new norm for "town halls."


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Of course you didn't ask about Bush, it didn't come to your mind, so I told you.

Since Bush/Rove did it to great effect (or really a great NEGATIVE effect re: free speech) it wouldn't surprise me if others do it. Remember, those holding pens they restricted protesters to, miles away from the GOP convention, was called a "free speech" zone. I know the Tea Party was really unhappy about our civil rights being violated.

But since you asked about this one, I don't think they would have a Bush-type loyalty oath at a corporate event.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Hi Corporate World,

I think that you misunderstood me. I wasn't saying that a stacked audience was right or wrong. I didn't ask about the former president or the town halls that he attended. Bush & Co. didn't have anything to do with THIS particular town hall. I was just surprised that it was a stacked audience at an Obama event...or that members of the audience were flown in for it.

And, of course, I wasn't sure if this is the norm. If Bush stacked audiences, well, I guess that Bush and Obama have yet another thing in common.

The Hillary Clinton town hall meeting that I attended was open to those who stood in line...and we were given index cards to ask questions too. There were some people who weren't fans of her, but she was personable and answered their questions (or addressed their statements) quite well.


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Again, you're assuming or implying that this was a "stacked" audience like Bush did all the time. I don't think you have any evidence of that, do you?

Just: "A crowd of several hundred was assembled by LinkedIn"

I just read some of your other posts. It seems you really enjoy impugning a certain politician, frequently without any real evidence or facts. Over and over you assume a position of moderate who just can't quit figure out, or not quite understand, or just don't care for a certain policy of the President, but are otherwise normal in your mind.

I haven't yet found one where you went after a different politician.

It was a corporate event, not a Bush town hall. Blame Obama for something he's really responsible for.

I too adore Hillary and am very happy seeing her serve her country in a role to which she is so well suited. I'd love to see her on the Court.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

@ Corporate World:

Wow...you really do have me pegged incorrectly. I don't enjoy "impugning" any politicians, although I do have my own political views (like you and everyone else).

I'm not sure about your accusation or reference to "my mind" though. You may have read me question the rationale used by some to change the subject during such conversations...or question their need to attack other politicians as a defense for policies or political decisions by another politician.

Of course, I am not "blaming Obama" for anything. It was merely a question about an observation that I made after reading this article and actually watching what was called a "town hall" on television.

There is no need to get defensive for the President when I wasn't attacking him. He doesn't have my political support, but he does have my civility.


Like this comment
Posted by whiners
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm

The party of no will whine about anything. If they want to find the real cause of the country's economic problems, they just have to look in the mirror. Haven't they figured out yet that trying to ruin Obama is also ruining the country?


Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm



The key issue is that the banks refuse to lend money--they make more profit with no risk without lending to business.

Unfortunately this is a one term Presidency for domestic and ME foreign policy reasons--Obama will not confront the bankers and he will not confront the current regime in Israel.

Why ?


Like this comment
Posted by Confused
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Sep 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Well, the party of whine, constantly whining about how much worse things really are now than they appeared to be in 2008 and constantly whining about how the elected congress just doesn't do exactly what they're told by the president, has just started trying to ruin Obama. So they haven't been able to see if it helps them or hurts them yet.


Like this comment
Posted by Svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm

What does israel have to do with the linked in event? Why bring it up on this thread, sharon? I think we know why.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Bob
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 6:28 am

Obama didn't come here for a town hall. Obama came for a town haul--hauling away cash for his failed presidency.


Like this comment
Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:59 am

Very proud of our first intelligent president in over 10 years.
In his first year in office, Obama's administration killed more terrorists in Afghanistan than George W. Bush did in eight years.

He's also done more to improve the economy after the havoc wreaked by the Bush presidency on housing and an unnecessary, massively expensive war in Iraq.

Thank God for a smart president, and for one who has the guts to stand up to the hijacking of our foreign policy by Israel and AIPAC.


Like this comment
Posted by Way to go, David
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:12 am

David, I haven't seen such a well-wrought bit of sarcasm in a while. Good job.


Like this comment
Posted by Good job, David
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:14 am

BTW, what do you guys think of the price tag of $200,000 per job "created" ( assuming you believe that this will happen)...

Truly, all I can do is laugh. I swear, we really couldn't make this up. I keep waiting for Saturday Night Live to take the material handed to them in this Admin and run with it...


Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:53 am

> What does israel have to do with the linked in event?

With Palestinian statehood being discussed at the UN this week, and the President in charge of Foreign Policy, it would be difficult not to introduce this topic at a town hall meeting where the President is the guest and lots of people in the local communities show a lot of interest in the topic.

Anything involving the President should be open for discussion, don't you agree?


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

Failed presidency?

What do you call the last president then? If Obama's a "failure" then Bush was a "pure unmitigated disaster of biblical proportions."

Bush took a budget surplus and made a trillion dollar deficit.

Bush took over an economy that created 21 million jobs and left office with monthly job losses at 700,000-800,000 jobs lost.

In light of that, Obama is successful in stemming the job losses, getting Osama Bin Laden, a health care bill that keeps insurance companies from kicking me off when I get sick, and more. Obama fought the GOP passe Ryan budget that turned Medicare into a coupon system.

Obama wanted a $4+ trillion deficit reduction package in July, but was denied by the Republicans who took a smaller set of cuts instead that effected the poor and middle class.

All in face of an opposition party whose announced goal is to stop everything he's trying to do to improve the economy, just so they can have a better chance at beating him.

Failure? No. Handed a failed economy and stuck with the Party of No, Obama's doing better than could be expected.

Republicans just want to cut spending when someone else is in power, not when they are in power. With Reagan Bush and Bush, it was spend, spend, spend.

When a Democrat is in power, then the GOP policy is: "bring austerity to America!"

After they ruin the economy. After they take a surplus and turn it into a trillion dollar deficit.

Hypocrites.

"bring austerity to America!" Republicans should be ashamed.


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 9:59 am

"BTW, what do you guys think of the price tag of $200,000 per job "created" "

Clinton created 20 million jobs and left a surplus.

Bush took the surplus, ran a trillion deficit, and lost jobs at the end of his term at a 700,000 job loss per month clip.

Do the math on how much Bush cost us.

Doubled the debt from 5 to 10 trillion and job losses of 700,000 a month.

"BTW, what do you guys think of the price tag of $200,000 per job "created" "


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

@ "whiners:"

No offense, but you seem to have selective memory. If I am remembering correctly, Obama spent two years campaigning where he denounced the "failed policies of George W. Bush" at nearly every campaign stop.

He said that unemployment figures of 5.6% were proof that the economy was a mess...and the rebuilding effort in Afghanistan was a "lost cause" (when the freshman senator didn't support any surge in troops or supplies).

Now, this article doesn't have anything to do with George W. Bush or the Barney Frank/Christopher Dodd manufactured crisis. It is funny how some people bring up the previous administration three years later...even after Obama promised rapid "hope and change" for before the election nearly three years ago. If memory serves, the Obama Administration promised in early 2009 that unemployment wouldn't reach 8% if Obama's proposals were passed. Yet, unemployment actually went up.

For the last two years, unemployment has been steady between 9-10%. All the while, we were promised TWO "recovery summers" where the Administration boasted about jobs that were "saved or created" (at a cost of $200,000+ each) while millions of other Americans lost their jobs.

Obama has my sympathy. He inherited a bad situation. However, he has proven that he was incapable of fixing it, despite all of the ambiguous "hope and change" campaign rhetoric or attempts to sling mud at any viable alternative.

It always makes me wonder what would have happened had the media not abandoned Hillary Clinton in favor of an inexperienced freshman senator from Chicago.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 10:14 am

@ Corporate World:

Right or wrong, Obama has spent FIVE YEARS (two during his campaign and three as president) shifting blame to Bush for the current state of the union. At some point, he will need to take some personal responsibility for his own lack of effectiveness at improving things.


Like this comment
Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 10:23 am

Way to go,

Wow. Nice try, but it was genuine, not sarcastic.
I feel sorry for you if you took it that way.

I'm an Obama fan.

David


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

>> "If we don't improve our education system, we will all fall behind," Obama said. In math and science, "we are slipping behind other developing countries."

That is not really true, but it is at the heart of what is killing this country ... we have been dominated by the very rich and corporations to the point where they think it is normal and right for them NOT to have any interest in the people who live here.

When they can take their money and invest it in slave labor concerns around the world where the environment does not matter, what do they care about Americans.

This toxic view of capitalism is not going to help anyone - it's no better for people abroad than it is for Americans.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

> I watched this live on television, and the audience seemed to ask questions that were fed to the president beforehand

Of course .... [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language] No one is going to take live, unknown and possible embarrassing, rude, overly long, irrelevant or stupid question on live TV.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

I am really disappointed in the constant bickering and BS that instantly appears in any political discussion. A really intelligent person interested in politics would have to read half the page before anything relevant is said here.

Are Americans, or Palo Altans really stupid enough to think this is the way politics or democracy works?

It would make sense that since the title of the event was "LinkedIn townhall: President Obama talks jobs (Live Video)" that Israel would not be on the agenda except for those that want to support the Palestinians. So taking my time that I have to read that irrelvant comment that makes no sense except as an underhanded attempt to attack Israel is irritating.

On the other subject, yes it costs money to create jobs. That seems to be something the rest of the world has come to terms with, and seems quite a huge part of how China does business and has taken over all the world's commerce, but sucking up low profit to build ... aka INVEST in their country for future growth.

It is something everyone but the US seems to understand and engage in, and for only purposes of ideology and maintaining the power status quo the US is quite willing to sell out and disenfranchise most of its people so that its capitalist elite can invest overseas and suck up the bargains at home ... and then they complain about socialism or the "entitlement" society.

Why does every single political discussion on every message board on the Internet have to be skewed toward noise and misinformation by the know-nothing extremists on both sides?


Like this comment
Posted by Innovation is too slow
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:23 am

We don't need new jobs creation - we need jobs brought back from China and India.


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

"He said that unemployment figures of 5.6% were proof that the economy was a mess"

No. He said Bush's economy and job losses were "a mess."

That was said even before Bush had all those months in a row losing 500,000 to 800,000 jobs per MONTH.

Thanks for pointing out how correct the President was in that statement.


Like this comment
Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Ref: Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park:

Completely agree with all you said. Also, regarding "that Israel would not be on the agenda except for those that want to support the Palestinians", I would add: "and those who are are jingoistic about Israel".


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm

@ Anon:

That is the problem with ideologues. They think that they are right and no one else "deserves to have or express a point of view." Moreover, any disagreement with the President is viewed as an "attack." In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

@ Corporate World:

So, it was okay for Obama to constantly criticize Bush's handling of the economy but it is not okay to use the same level of criticism regarding Obama's handling of the economy...or the promise by the Obama Administration in early 2009 that unemployment would never reach 8%?

BTW, it is just as incorrect to call it "Bush's economy" as it would be ridiculous to call this "Obama's economy." Despite all of the rhetoric and spin, neither President actually "created" the mess (and most sensible people would acknowledge that). It is public dissatisfaction with the way they dealt with the cards.

That is why Bush's approval rating sank between 2007 and the 2008 election...and why Obama's approval rating has fallen to around 38-42% currently.


Like this comment
Posted by Raise-Everyone's Taxes!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Maybe it's time to get serious about taxes for the rich. Obama should be bold. Suppose he start with a base income tax of 50% for all those making over $1M, and a 10% asset tax for all assets. All exemptions should be rescinded, making the IRS nothing more than a collection agency.

Obama should propose a 2.5% yearly increase of the income tax, and a 1% yearly increase for the asset tax. These new dollars would provide lots of money for new spending that Obama no doubt would love to see initiated during his presidency.

Yeah! Tax me more!


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm

America is SERIOUS about raising taxes, even after Obama gave us the largest middle class tax cut ever with the Stimulus program.

Public Policy Polling - SEIU. 9/15-18 . Registered voters. MoE ±3.1%:

" Q: Do you support or oppose ensuring that people who make over a million dollars a year pay the same percentage of taxes or more on their total income as those who make less than a million dollars a year?

Support: 73
Oppose: 16
Not sure: 11
"


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

nayali "That is why Bush's approval rating sank between 2007 and the 2008 election...and why Obama's approval rating has fallen to around 38-42% currently." Show the poll link.

You whine about how it's not about Bush and then bring him right back in. Compare Obama's numbers with Bush in his last two years, using the same polling outfit, anyone except Rasmussen or the online polling guy.

Compare Obama with Congress. Even better, compare Obama to either the blue side of Congress, and the red side of Congress.

- - - - - -

"He said that unemployment figures of 5.6% were proof that the economy was a mess"

No. He said Bush's economy and job losses were "a mess."

That was said even before Bush had all those months in a row losing 500,000 to 800,000 jobs per MONTH.

Thanks for pointing out how correct the President was in that statement.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

@ Corporate World:

I didn't bring Bush up...and he isn't relevant to a discussion about current dissatisfaction with Obama's job performance or policies. However, I do have a right to address the statements that you made to me about him. Oddly, it seems that any criticism of Obama is met with a chorus of names, including Bush, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Cheney or Karl Rove. Yet those names have nothing to do with current approval rating of Barack Obama.

As for the comparison that you brought up: The flaw in your claim is that you are comparing the last two years of Bush's SECOND term. His last two years of his first term were (right or wrong) apparently good enough to get him reelected. And, of course, I am not using Rasmussen as the sole polling indicator. Gallup and a slew of other pollsters -- including internal polls from Democrats -- all have Obama's popularity around the same number.

And, why are we comparing presidents anyway? Bush, Congress (Democrats and Republicans), and my neighbors stray cat have nothing to do with Obama's job performance. Like it or not, Obama is the new status quo...and it is his job performance that is currently under scrutiny.

Now, I don't envy any president for such scrutiny. Bush endured years of blame, name-calling and bashing. Obama is now experiencing the same. Much of the personal criticism is unwarranted. However, job performance is a different animal altogether. It is the perception by voters regarding how well a sitting president is handling the job at hand...or when the promises of 2008 are compared with the reality of today.

I guarantee you that if Obama had come into office with unemployment at 6.2% and it remained at that same % level (or lower), he wouldn't be criticized for the jobless crisis that this country is experiencing or how the prospect of raising taxes could hurt the prospect of hiring workers. And, of course, if Obama's 2009 economic advisers (most of whom have now resigned) shouldn't have made a public promise that unemployment would never rise to 8% if Obama's economic plan was passed.

And, yes, Obama complained (or, as you say, "whined") about Bush's handling of the economy for YEARS. Years. In fact, I still have those ambiguous "failed policies of George W. Bush" spin words still ringing in my ears after having been said and replayed on the news and in newspapers throughout the 2007-2008 campaign season.

Don't get me wrong. While I disapprove of some of Obama's specific policies, I am still rooting for an economic recovery for this nation. For this, we are all on the same side even if we differ on what we think it will take to get there.

I am, however, still waiting for some significant "hope" and "change" in the economy that actually HELPS this country. So far, so bad.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

@ Corporate World:

The flaw in that poll is in the wording. It pretends that all (or most) millionaires do not pay at the same rate or higher as non-millionaires.

Currently, 43% of the nation has ZERO tax liability. Those are NOT millionaires. Those are mostly people who are low-to-middle class...and some actually PROFIT (get back more than contributed) through earned income, number of children and other tax credits.

Even Warren Buffet's own claims have been scrutinized. While his federal rates were worked in a way to reduce his liability (which was still significant), other forms of taxation (such as capital gains taxes, etc...) affected his most significant sources of income. Even at the lowest possibly levels, when all tax liabilities are added up, Warren Buffet still paid at TWICE the rate of his secretary.


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm

"Gallup and a slew of other pollsters -- including internal polls from Democrats -- all have Obama's popularity around the same number. " Again - links to 38% you claimed?

You again mentioned Bush's 2nd term. For comparison purposes it's relevant in two ways:
- Bush allowed 9/11 in his first year; he got a huge polling jump that was artificial; also Bush was gliding on Clinton's economy early on
- Bush allowed, and even accelerated his recession with a number of bad decisions, Obama inherited his trillion deficits and 3/4 million job loss per month. Absurd to compare that to the economy in 2003 before Bush's job losses accelerated into historic levels.

"And, yes, Obama complained about Bush's handling of the economy for YEARS. Years. In fact, I still have those ambiguous "failed policies of George W. Bush" spin words still ringing in my ears after having been said and replayed on the news and in newspapers throughout the 2007-2008 campaign season. "

They WERE failed policies, weren't they? America agreed from 2005 on. Trillion dollar deficits when he was handed a surplus. half million to 3/4 million job losses per month.

Obama wasn't alone talking about how we would have to dig out from the Bush mess - all politicians were talking about it.

Except McCain, who thought the economy was fine. And said so. That's why Obama won in a landslide.


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

"Warren Buffet still paid at TWICE the rate of his secretary." Then show the link that proves it. Not a link to a talking point blog.

"Currently, 43% of the nation has ZERO tax liability." Wrong. Prove it. (or are you hiding behind the word "liability" after taxes are taken from each paycheck?)




Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

>> So, it was okay for Obama to constantly criticize Bush's handling of the economy but it is not okay to use the same level of criticism regarding Obama's handling of the economy

Well, the problem with that statement is that Bush's handling of the economy was derelict and the results were catastrophic. Obama's strategies can be criticized and disagreed with, but most of the criticism of Obama is based on trying to unseat him politically whereas Greenspan was saying before the 2008 election that taxes were too low deficits were too high. I am not giving authority to Greenspan here, but meaning to try to point out where responsible criticism differs from tit for tat nastiness.

Cheney said deficits do not matter, and the Republican strategy was to up the deficit to the point where it would cut off Democrats ability to spend money (spoken form the Republican point of view) and in that poltical battle Repubicans took the whole country down, and most of the world. Sure, Republicans could not do it without some Democratic cooperation, but the country was snowe by 911 into going along with everything the Republicans wanted for a long long time.

The point is in looking to the future, deficits do matter, and tax cuts do not breed growth, they breed mroe and stronger political and economic control by Republicans, and that is Republican's ulterior motive for always hyping tax cuts.

There is no shortage of investment money, interest rates are at an almost all time low and much as we do not like the drop in the stock market, almost all stocks have been over-valued trading at multiple PTE ratios for decades now.

Getting back to reality and stability is not just defined as doing whatever the "adult" Republicans want to do. That is and was the condescending attitude the new Neo-Con, radical conservative Republicans who took over the party have been trying to brainwash us into for 30 years now - and Americans are not buying it and we are feeling the pain of the incompetence from running things in that way.

So, criticize Obama based on the facts, but do not be unhappy that there is still way more criticism that is valid on the backs of George W. Bush, no matter how you try to re-write history or spin events.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

BY THE WAY ... as far as Obama's class warfare and taxing the rich THAT IS SPIN AS WELL ... the tax rates that Obama is talking about are still LESS than the pre-Bush tax cut rates that would resume when the Bush tax cuts expire ... if they ever do.

Obama is lying, the Republicans are lying, and the people are not getting any good or relevant information from the media either ... THIS COUNTRY IS FAILING.

If there was one "dream act" that could do anything about fixing things I would think it would be a one-time removal of all public and private high-level officers that have had any significant role in making or carrying our policies for our government or large corporations in the last 20 years ... just retire them all and claw back as much of their "compensation" as possible. Since that is not about to happen any time soon, or ever, we will just continue to slide towards looking and acting like Russia.

How outrageous and unacceptable!


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Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Anon of Crescent Park:

I think you have it right. It's not about Democrats or Republicans.
The system is really screwed up right now. The rich hate taxes but then pour millions into political campaigns. Somehow tax has become a dirty word. If government were motivated to spend efficiently, to ensure that every dollar of tax we put in returned more than a dollar in public benefit, I'd be fine paying more taxes. The problem is it's not. People make statements like "Government is the problem" [Reagan] or "drown it in a bathtub" [Norquist].

In fact that's overly simplistic. If government is the problem, and we're the government, we're the problem. The fact is, we don't hold our elected representatives accountable enough. And we have a right wing Supreme Court that legalized electoral corruption [Citizens United].

There's such a hullabaloo today about Solyndra. Anyone remember Blackwater (now Xe) or Halliburton? Or Cheney's secret Energy Task Force meetings? There's corruption for ya. It's interesting how people can apply different standards to the same behavior from different political parties. And the Republicans are not alone in that hypocrisy.

Obama isn't perfect, but at least he doesn't go taking vacation instead of minding the country against terrorists. And he doesn't insult our intelligence by saying "Mission Accomplished." He just gets the job done (killing the terrorists). And he could tell the difference between Osama and Saddam! That, in itself, is progress!


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Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm

And check out Wikipedia's entries for:
- Halliburton
- Bunny Greenhouse
Enough to make your skin crawl!


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm

@ Corporate World:

You wrote: >>>>> >>>>> "You again mentioned Bush's 2nd term. For comparison purposes it's relevant in two ways:

- Bush allowed 9/11 in his first year; he got a huge polling jump that was artificial; also Bush was gliding on Clinton's economy early on" <<<<< <<<<<

Wow -- aren't you just full of propaganda?

First of all, Bush didn't "allow" 9/11 to happen. It happened because of a madman terrorist wanted to harm this nation. So, he and his evil cohorts spent YEARS and a lot of $$$ to perpetrate those acts. To point the finger at one person and accuse him is just plain wrong and demonstrates an unbelievable amount of prejudice.

Secondly, there wasn't an "artificial" bump in polls. People at that time were satisfied with the way Bush handled the country AT THAT TIME. Things changed over the next seven years...but to call it "artificial" is yet another demonstration of prejudice.

Finally, it is as wrong to give Bill Clinton ALL of the credit for the prosperity of the 1990s as it is to give Bush all of the credit for the economic downturn of 2007-2008. Clinton enjoyed a "perfect storm" of the end of the Cold War, resultant decreases in defense spending, subsequent closures of military bases, and the Republican Congress's reform of the welfare system. All of those things combined (and a few others) led to great prosperity. Clinton certainly deserves credit for not impeding it, but to give him sole credit again demonstrates unbelievable prejudice and nearsightedness.

You wrote: >>>>> >>>>> "- Bush allowed, and even accelerated his recession with a number of bad decisions, Obama inherited his trillion deficits and 3/4 million job loss per month. Absurd to compare that to the economy in 2003 before Bush's job losses accelerated into historic levels." <<<<< <<<<<

Wow...so more unsubstantiated spin? You can lay all of the blame for the economy at the foot of Bush (and he certainly deserves some of it). However, it is ridiculous to make it seem like the housing crisis was HIS fault -- and his alone. The Democratic Congress passed a series of legislative items that helped create the crisis (Thanks Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd). Bush certainly didn't impede it...and deserves the criticism too.

And, of course, Obama inherited a bad situation. However, that situation has grown WORSE under Obama's watch. After being promised in 2009 by the Obama Administration that unemployment wouldn't reach 8%, it shot up to nearly 10% and has stayed between 9-10% ever since.

If you want to look at DEFICIT SPENDING, then you really need to consider spending over the last 2.75 years! Obama has OUTSPENT eight years of Bush in less than three years! Of course, that is for comparison's sake.

Of course, the big difference too is that Obama promised to fix things with all of that ambiguous "hope and change" that is currently biting him in the rear end.

You wrote: >>>>> >>>>> "They WERE failed policies, weren't they? America agreed from 2005 on. Trillion dollar deficits when he was handed a surplus. half million to 3/4 million job losses per month." <<<<< <<<<<

Well, if we are going to use that sort of silly rhetoric, then we can talk about the "FAILED POLICIES OF BARACK OBAMA." You shouldn't complain about "whining" or "divisiveness" or "destroying the presidency" if people simply use EXACTLY the same rhetoric that Obama constantly used with every campaign speech between 2007-2008 -- especially since things are worse now than they were then. And, of course, wait until people voice how tired they are of the administration and its cult of followers blaming the previous Administration for all of the problems on 2009-2012 or its ineffectiveness in dealing with those problems effectively (even when it controlled BOTH houses of Congress).

You wrote: >>>>> >>>>> ""Warren Buffet still paid at TWICE the rate of his secretary." Then show the link that proves it. Not a link to a talking point blog." <<<<< <<<<<

As if you don't use talking point quotes? Hehe. But since you can't google "Warren Buffet Tax Rate Truth," there here are a couple of articles to get you started:

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

And, of course, the spin lay in the fact that Buffett isn't being completely open about ALL of his taxes. A capital gains tax is not the same as Federal Withholding...but it is a hefty tax nonetheless.

You wrote: >>>>> >>>>> ""Currently, 43% of the nation has ZERO tax liability." Wrong. Prove it. (or are you hiding behind the word "liability" after taxes are taken from each paycheck?)" <<<<< <<<<<

You're right...it isn't 43%. It is 47% OF AMERICANS WHO HAVE ZERO FEDERAL TAX LIABILITY.

Web Link

Web Link

Happy reading!

;-)


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Take a deep breath, calm down. This discussion has become irrational.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm

"First of all, Bush didn't "allow" 9/11 to happen." He most certainly did.

He received a Presidential Daily Briefing on August 6th titled "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" and 50 other warnings. And stayed on vacation in Crawford - you going to blame Clinton for that?

Web Link

Buffett: You wrote "Warren Buffet still paid at TWICE the rate of his secretary."

I said that's wrong - prove it, and you posted two links that disprove your statement!!

"Buffett wrote that although he paid an average of 17.4 percent on his income, other people in his office had tax burdens that “ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.” "

from your other link:

"So when it comes to Buffett's statement, there are two categories: the rich and the really rich. And the evidence tends to point to the conclusion that the really rich pay less in taxes as a percentage of income then their merely well-to-do counterparts -- if their income comes primarily from investments. Overall, we rate Buffett's statement True. "

Good lord - do you even read the links you post?!?!?!

Your specious statement: "Well, if we are going to use that sort of silly rhetoric..."

I posted facts and you call it "silly rhetoric" - well done!!!

The statement stands: Bush ran "Trillion dollar deficits when he was handed a surplus. half million to 3/4 million job losses per month."


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Dude - you scream a lot: "It is 47% OF AMERICANS WHO HAVE ZERO FEDERAL TAX LIABILITY. "

I still say wrong - as you wrote it. You probably meant to say something on the order of "It is 4X% OF AMERICANS WHO pay ZERO FEDERAL *income* TAX. "

Which is closer to accurate, but still doesn't take into account other taxes that they pay - SSI, sales, child deductions, etc..

Part of that group would be retirees, families below the poverty line, the unemployed who's UI ran out, etc..

Are you saying you want a family below the poverty line to pay a minimum 25% or some such number? Or even Buffett's 17%


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm



Obama should increase the -- sin tax--on tobacco--spirits and beer

We should also end the handouts to Egypt and Israel--that alone will save us $ 10 Billion per year.

We need to focus upon fundamental American interests and end these foreign entanglements.

They are a waste of taxpayers money and bring us nothing in return


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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I was overjoyed to hear that Doug Edwards really wants Obama to raise his taxes. Since Obama will be very busy these next few weeks raising obscene campaign donations from Doug's rich former colleagues at Google so that he can outspend his rivals & be re-elected through effective use of offline & online media - further distancing the nation's highest office from the democratic process - I thought it might be helpful to Doug if I provided him a link to the Pay.gov website where Doug can *immediately* make his contribution to paying down our country's debt:

Web Link

Assuming Doug made ~$10M in Google equity during his time there, I think a modest 6-figure contribution sounds about right.

I am heartened by my fellow Silicon Valley colleagues' progressive attitude and willingness to put their money where their mouth is by *immediately* taking matters into their own hands and paying down their small part of the U.S. debt.

Doug is a good man, and I commend him for following up on his statement yesterday with an immediate, healthy contribution via Pay.gov! #:^)


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Posted by Agree with Chris
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 6:23 am

Chris, that is always my first thought. There is nothing stopping someone from paying more to our Feds if they wish.

Nothing.

Go for it, Doug..Buffet..and anyone else who wishes to give a drink to a drunk!

(BTW, Doug and Buffet and anyone else who wishes to pay more taxes, why do you hire tax consultants to make sure you take advantage of every loophole there is? Buffet, why are you still in court fighting the IRS over a Billion dollar tax bill? Pay it already!!)


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Posted by Profile-During-Time-Of-War
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

> "First of all, Bush didn't "allow" 9/11 to happen."
> He most certainly did.

> He received a Presidential Daily Briefing on
> August 6th titled "Bin Laden determined to strike
> in US" and 50 other warnings. And stayed on vacation in Crawford

Anyone who would post gobbledygook like this certainly should be nominated for the "Troll of the Week" award.

Of course ..

---
Web Link

On September 21, 2001, Mineta sent a letter to all U.S. airlines forbidding them from practicing racial profiling; or subjecting Middle Eastern or Muslim passengers to a heightened degree of pre-flight scrutiny. He stated that it was illegal for the airlines to discriminate against passengers based on their race, color, national or ethnic origin or religion
---

Mineta was Bush's Transportation Secretary, so Bush could have told Mineta to rescind this directive .. and it's quite likely that the 9/11 hijackers would have been caught at the gate prior to boarding the planes.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

"who would post gobbledygook"

I posted a link to the PDB Web Link

Care to define "gobbledygook" or what you actually mean?

and "and it's quite likely that the 9/11 hijackers would have been caught"

Again, want to tell us what you actually mean? You're talking about an order 10 days after the event.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 10:05 am

Nayali - another poll for you to moan about: "The flaw in that poll is in the wording."

"A Gallup poll released today provides the latest data point in this regard. According to the survey, 66 percent of all Americans favor the idea of raising taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000 in order to pay for the president’s jobs plan, while only 32 percent oppose the idea.

By an even larger margin (70-26), Americans favor eliminating tax deductions for some corporations, thus raising their taxes. " Web Link


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Posted by Profile-During-Time-Of-War
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

> Care to define "gobbledygook" or what you actually mean?

Gobbledygook-- in this case, let's define it to be: "meaningless drivel" ..


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Posted by Profile-During-Time-Of-War
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm


---
Web Link

About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.
---

> 66 percent of all Americans favor the idea of raising
> taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 and families
> making more than $250,000 in order to pay for the president’s
> jobs plan, while only 32 percent oppose the idea.

Given that most of this 66% is not paying Federal income tax, or very little, or actually getting money back from the government--of course they support having other people's money taken from them via the punishment of additional taxation.

Now .. ask these same people the following questions:

How many people can be hired at $200,000/job (or more) by these higher taxes on the "rich"?

Should my taxes be lowered, since the "rich" are now paying more?

Why do I oppose a "flat tax"?

Let's ask some questions that actually challenge those being polled, so that we can find out if they know what they are talking about?



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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

profile: If you define as "meaningless drivel" one of the worst terrorist attacks against the US, worse than Cole, worse than the Beirut attack on our Marines, then I don't understand.

Or are you saying a President receiving 50 warnings, including the Aug 6 PDB "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" and then stayed on vacation in Crawford is meaningless?

Or are you objecting to historical fact? Web Link

In any of those cases, you are as out there as any of the conspiracy theory fringe.

This was brought into the thread by the Nayali fella, claiming the artificial polling bump Bush received after he failed us on 9/11 "wasn't an "artificial" bump "

Really? In a country where you can't get 80% of folks to agree the sun rises in the east, he had this: "In contrast, a Gallup poll in late November of 2001, less than three months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, put Bush's favorable rating at 87%..."

Odd for a guy who read My Pet Goat (upside-down!)for 7 minutes AFTER being informed the country was under attack. Web Link Nonetheless, Americans rallied around him for a brief period. Artificially. Without 9/11 his numbers never would have been that high.


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Posted by Profile-During-Time-Of-War
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

> then I don't understand.

You are correct.. you don't understand. The comment that you posted claiming that ""First of all, Bush didn't "allow" 9/11 to happen." is gobbledygook ..

> Or are you saying a President receiving 50 warnings

These were all vague, non-specific warnings. There were no dates, or locations, specified. Unless you would care to share some information that you possess about these "warnings" that show that 9/11, Manhattan , World Trade Building, was the target. So .. are you going to post the text, and source, of these warnings containing specific dates, times, and locations?


> "wasn't an "artificial" bump "

As our boy Bill Clinton said: .. "It all depends on how you define .."

Yes .. you are certainly going to get a lot of votes for the "Troll of the Week" Award, this week.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm

"These were all vague, non-specific warnings. "

Web Link Read it this time.

Would YOU stay on vacation for a couple weeks after getting that warning?

And 50 other "vague, non-specific warnings"?

You like Clinton, probably because when he got warnings about the millennium threats, he had his staff in bunkers all night, having done their preparation, yet still taking it all most seriously.

Clinton didn't go on vacation.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Some of your "vague, non-specific warnings."

"January 20-September 10, 2001: President Bush Briefed on Al-Qaeda over 40 Times

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice later testifies to the 9/11 Commission that in the first eight months of Bush’s presidency before 9/11, “the president receive[s] at these [Presidential Daily Briefings] more than 40 briefing items on al-Qaeda, and 13 of those [are] in response to questions he or his top advisers posed.” [Washington Post, 4/8/2004] The content of the warnings in these briefings are unknown. However, CIA Director George Tenet claims that none of the warnings specifically indicates terrorists plan to fly hijacked commercial aircraft into buildings in the US. [New York Times, 4/4/2004] Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will later emphasize, “Tenet on 40 occasions in… morning meetings mentioned al-Qaeda to the president. Forty times, many of them in a very alarmed way, about a pending attack.” [Vanity Fair, 11/2004] These briefings are normally given in person by CIA Director George Tenet, and are usually attended by Vice President Cheney and National Security Adviser Rice. In the Clinton administration, up to 25 officials received the PDB. But in the Bush administration before 9/11, this was sharply reduced to only six people (see After January 20, 2001). Other top officials have to make due with an Senior Executive Intelligence Brief generally released one day later, which is similar to the PDB but often contains less information (see August 7, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 256,"

"May 30, 2001: FBI Is Warned of Major Al-Qaeda Operation in the US Involving Hijackings, Explosives, and/or New York City"


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

"August 4-30, 2001: Bush Nearly Sets Record for Longest Presidential Vacation

President Bush spends most of August 2001 at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, nearly setting a record for the longest presidential vacation. While it is billed a “working vacation,” news organizations report that Bush is doing “nothing much” aside from his regular daily intelligence briefings. [ABC News, 8/3/2001; Washington Post, 8/7/2001; Salon, 8/29/2001]
One such unusually long briefing at the start of his trip is a warning that bin Laden is planning to attack in the US (see August 6, 2001), but Bush spends the rest of that day fishing.

By the end of his trip, Bush has spent 42 percent of his presidency at vacation spots or en route. [Washington Post, 8/7/2001] At the time, a poll shows that 55 percent of Americans say Bush is taking too much time off. [USA Today, 8/7/2001]
Vice President Cheney also spends the entire month in a remote location in Wyoming. [Jackson Hole News and Guide, 8/15/2001] "


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm

"One such unusually long briefing at the start of his trip is a warning that bin Laden is planning to attack in the US (see August 6, 2001), but Bush spends the rest of that day fishing. "

Bush spends the rest of that day fishing.

My God.

Remember the images of people jumping from the Towers?

Fishing.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm

@ Corporate World:

The polls are skewed by the very question that is asked.

In polls where it is clear that people understand that the wealthy pay the HIGHEST tax rates in the nation (including Federal, State and "special" taxes)...and that the top 10% of earners in this nation PAY 71% OF TAXES -- and that 47% have NO FEDERAL TAX LIABILITY -- then they are less likely to ask for the wealthy to pay even more.

But, of course, you are still stuck on the conspiracy theory that Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

@ Corporate World:

Speaking of "conspiracy theories..."

Do you have any idea what documents Sandy Berger stole from the National Archives? It seems like the only one who knows for sure is, well, Sandy Berger.

:-P

Then again, maybe it would help you if you spent some time speaking with Dr. Condi Rice. Maybe she could educate you factually and adequately...or at least provide a nice set of "rolling eyes."


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm

"In polls where it is clear that people understand that the wealthy pay the HIGHEST tax rates in the nation..."

Show us a link to such a poll.

We already destroyed your claim of " highest tax rate in the nation":

"Buffett: You wrote "Warren Buffet still paid at TWICE the rate of his secretary."

I said that's wrong - prove it, and you posted two links that disprove your statement!!

"Buffett wrote that although he paid an average of 17.4 percent on his income, other people in his office had tax burdens that “ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.” "

from your other link:

"So when it comes to Buffett's statement, there are two categories: the rich and the really rich. And the evidence tends to point to the conclusion that the really rich pay less in taxes as a percentage of income then their merely well-to-do counterparts -- if their income comes primarily from investments. Overall, we rate Buffett's statement True. "

Good lord - do you even read the links you post?!?!?!"


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Condi? The Condi in that famous tape testifying about the Aug 6 PDB? The one that was arguably the worst NSA ever? That had 9/11 happen on her watch?

That Condi?

She plays a heckuva piano, knows a lot about Russia, but she stunk at protecting America.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Did Condi ever apologize for letting 9/11 happen on her watch?


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm

@ Corporate World:

¡Ay Dios mio!

Keep it up! The more you type these wild conspiracy theories, the more people realize just how extreme your views are. The funniest thing is that you treat those who disagree with you or who have somewhat different opinions like "radicals."

I suspect that all of that bias has clouded your views. You may want to sit in one of her classes one day and discuss your biased "assumptions."


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2011 at 6:13 pm

@ Corporate World:

As for the polls, I have already proven you wrong...and provided links too. Try reading them.

Or, you can Google the actual tax rates for Americans and read them from websites OTHER THAN some prejudicial rebuttal to the facts.


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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Wow, you guys...let the poor corporate world fella live in his fantasy world. It might hurt for him to see reality.

As for taxes, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.
The earliest known appearance of this quote was December 9, 1951, in what appears to be an op-ed by Elmer Peterson

Or, to put it more simply, Democracy dies when 2 tigers and a sheep vote on dinner plans. A Republic thrives when the right to life and liberty of both the tigers and sheep are ensured.

Or, lastly, your rights end when they infringe on mine. Stealing from me is not your right. Nor is my stealing from you a right of mine.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm

@ Perspective:

Good point. Sadly, the political rhetoric now being expressed in this nation states that successful individuals, families or businesses have only done so at the expense of the poor or unsuccessful. So, people feel "entitled" to take more of what they did not work for because they WANT to believe that they are "victims of capitalism."

While there are certainly some shady rich people in the world, this free nations exists in its present form because people endeavored to succeed. A free market spurs ingenuity. When you penalize people who work hard to succeed in order to prop up those who do not (or, unfortunately, those who refuse to exert the effort), then you are left with a philosophy that, at worst, imploded the Soviet Union or, at best, diminished some nation's status as influential world powers (such as certain European nations).

People like Warren Buffett can mislead people by dishonestly claiming that their secretaries pay higher taxes (they typically do not). However, the truth is indisputable that the top 10% of earners in this nation pay 72% of the taxes. In other words, the top 10% of earners are funding 72% of what the government takes.

Conversely, 47% of Americans have ZERO federal tax liability (or even have a negative liability...getting back MORE than what they put into the system). That means that the other 43% (100% total - top 10% + 47% with zero liability) pay for the other 28% (100% total - 72% paid for by the top 10% of earners) of government revenue.

Of course, there are plenty of OTHER taxes that we end up paying. When adding up Federal, States, Local taxes, gasoline taxes, utility taxes, phone taxes, sales taxes, and many other creative taxes, fees and tolls -- Americans have NEVER been taxed as much as we are right now. And where does that money go? Much of it goes to programs that do not work as they were designed...or are against the will of the people.

It truly is a broken system.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

Nayalii: "People like Warren Buffett can mislead people by dishonestly claiming that their secretaries pay higher taxes (they typically do not). "

Again: prove it. The last link you claimed as proof had this to say:

"So when it comes to Buffett's statement, there are two categories: the rich and the really rich. And the evidence tends to point to the conclusion that the really rich pay less in taxes as a percentage of income then their merely well-to-do counterparts -- if their income comes primarily from investments.

Overall, we rate Buffett's statement True. "

Good lord - do you even read the links you post?!?!?!


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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

Nayeli: I found a great report..dated from 2004, but nonetheless informative.

Web Link

Nice graphics in general

1) on TOTAL paid in Fed, State and Local taxes per 20%ile group ( ie: American divided into 5 groups, each in a 20th percentile of the other in income).

2) Total received back per income group.

For those not good thinking in numbers, but thinking in pictures works well, look at the graphs and you will clearly see how progressively taxed/benefited we are as a nation.

BTW, I heard, but have not yet found a citation for it, that Americans pay almost 6 Trillion per year in taxes between Fed, State, Local and sales taxes...Wow..Where does it all go? If I didn't lose track of the zeros somewhere, that means $20/every man, woman and child in the USA every year.

Just think, our feds could collect an extra $20/year from every man, woman and child in the nation, for a total of 6 Trillion per year ..and pay off our national debt in less than 3 years! That doesn't sound like too much to ask, does it? But it would truly have to be everyone chipping in, not "just the rich".

Or, we can keep arguing about "taxing the rich" ..heck why don't we take the entire net worth of the top 400 richest Americans, totaling approximately 1 Trillion dollars..oh..wait, our debt is 16 times that, it won't work. Then, of course, they would flee our nation and start businesses in friendlier countries..and raise THEIR employment and wealth rates.

Ok, count me out for confiscating from the rich. Let's all chip in $20 bucks per person, man woman and child, in each house, send a check to our govt and pay off the debt from the last 2.5 years..rinse and repeat a couple times and we are debt free.

We don't scare away the wealth creators, those of us who have jobs keep 'em, and we pay off our debt fairly and easily.







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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:04 am

"the truth is indisputable that the top 10% of earners in this nation pay 72% of the taxes"

What percentage of the total income does the top 10% earn that they pay the "72%" on? More or less than 72% of total income?

That's the missing number in this equation.

Remember, the top 400 taxpayers AVERAGE $270 million a YEAR in income. Web Link

Average tax rate on an annual income of $270 million per YEAR?

Average around 17% over the last 5 years.

Isn't it funny, Nayali, that's about what Buffett paid.

What's the average teacher or plumber pay? 25%? 30%?


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm

@ Corporate World:

It doesn't matter -- because the top 10% of wage earners pay 72% of taxes in this nation! You can argue about specificities regarding those numbers...but those are figures are a FACT. In fact, millionaire earners in this nation paid AN AVERAGE of 29.1% of their income for Federal withholding. Of course, this doesn't count the other taxes that are levied against them to take more of what they earned.

Besides, there were just 237,000 people in this nation who earned a million dollars last year. Their income tax rate tops out at 35% -- but, again, they paid an average of 29.1% of their earnings to Federal withholding.

Moreover, 47% of Americans (nearly 100 Million adults) have ZERO federal tax liability! They either get it all back come tax time...or MAKE EVEN MORE through earned income, household or other credits!

So, that leaves the other 43% to fund the other 28% of taxes.

As far as Warren Buffett is concerned: He is being disingenuous with his figures. He is selectively counting his rate but neglecting other federal income taxes that he pays. He is also focusing upon his INVESTMENT INCOME rather than a regular federal withholding income -- which taxes high earners at the highest rate in the nation (roughly twice the rate of the upper middle class tax rate).

You asked about the average teacher tax rate? I have been a public school teacher for more than six years. I have ALWAYS received a hefty tax refund.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

"millionaire earners in this nation paid AN AVERAGE of 29.1% of their income for Federal withholding"

Proof, please. That clearly flies in the face of the post and link about the top 400 earners - which directly relates to Buffett. From the IRS: Web Link

And why are you talking "withholding" instead of INCOME? All income.

"It doesn't matter -- because the top 10% of wage earners pay 72% of taxes in this nation!" Wrong.

Yes, it DOES matter - if they made 72% of the income, then it's not an impressive amount of tax paid, is it?

"As far as Warren Buffett is concerned: He is being disingenuous with his figures." Wrong, again. your links prove it.

And look at the rates on the top 400 provided by the IRS, they confirm many at the same rates he has - Web Link

"I have ALWAYS received a hefty tax refund." Geez, I didn't ask about your refund, I asked about tax rate paid. "What's the average teacher or plumber pay? 25%? 30%?"

Wow.

You quote a LOT of numbers without any evidence to back it up. Perspective's last post was all "if memory serves" and odd math with unsubstantiated numbers. Again, I ask:

If "the truth is indisputable that the top 10% of earners in this nation pay 72% of the taxes" If so, what percentage of the total income does the top 10% earn that they pay the "72%" on? More or less than 72% of total income?"


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

@ Corporate World:

I already provided you the links for this. You can look it up for yourself. And, remember, Google is your friend.

;-)

Besides, so what if someone earns more of the income. Just because they earn more through hard work, education, ingenuity and effort doesn't mean that they should surrender ALL of their income just so a few out-of-touch politicians so that they can spend it on programs for people who promise to vote for them.

Hard work, ingenuity, innovation, education and effort should be rewarded accordingly.

After all, we aren't socialists or communists.


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Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm

So you give up?

The few links you posted actually DIS-proved your point about Buffett as outlined numerous times above.

The IRS data I posted proved that the top 400 earners pay similar rates to Buffett, so it also back up his statements,as well as the returns he showed on TV a couple months ago.

Yes, it was google that found this link that destroyed your claims: Web Link

Hey, if someone earns a lot, more power to them (literally, fwiw.) Your claim was they paid a disproportionate amount - and you can't back up that claim!

72% of taxes paid sounds like a lot, but not if they accounted for 80 of income earned.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

@ Corporate World:

Yes, I give up trying to reason with you because you are, well, unreasonable. It is almost as if you are TRYING to believe the myth that the wealthy aren't paying the most taxes (in terms of rates and collective total) in this nation.

Thankfully, when people see through the propaganda and spin, they realize that tax extremists are never satisfied. They just take and take...and few ever give.

So, enjoy your, uh, taxation. Due to your love of taxation with little representation, I wish you only the highest rate of taxation in the nation!


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

@ Corporate World:

Of course, I will not respond to your next vain attempt at a "witty" response or any more misleading talking points taken from Capitalism: A Love Story.


Like this comment
Posted by Corporate World
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Nayali:

The links I posted are to the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, not some story.

Web Link

Pretty funny though! Most folks, when they lose, just skulk away. Not you.

Had a good time. Let's do it again some time, perhaps on a subject where you have a better grasp of Fox's talking points. Thanks...


Like this comment
Posted by Kyle
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm

nayali, don't mind these guys. Anyone with a search engine knows how dishonest these people are with taxation figures. I quickly found the figures that u quoted. If u ask, some might even admit that they are socialists or quasi-socialists. We need more reasonable people like u in Palo Alto. The same loud people have tried to control thought 4 too long.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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