The economic arguments in favor of legalizing pot are no hallucination. Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight reports that Washington state could pull down nearly $2 billion in additional revenue over five years, through fees on licenses granted to pot providers. Colorado, which would manage pot sales differently, could earn about $342 million from excise taxes over five years. In a tough economy, with voters staunchly opposed to most new taxes, that’s a meaningful amount of revenue.Will Pot Be the Next Obama Stimulus Plan? (via usnews)
…the commitment he made to the people of Georgia was not to me, it was a written commitment to the people of Georgia that he would go to Washington to reduce government spending, and reform government, not raise taxes. If he wants to change his mind and become a tax increaser, so we don’t have to reform government, he needs to have that conversation with the people of Georgia.Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist • Responding to remarks we mentioned yesterday by Georgia’s Senator Saxby Chambliss. Chambliss made it clear he won’t be constrained on tax negotiations, even though he signed Norquist’s infamous pledge, to never raise taxes, decades ago. The above was Norquist’s testy response, delivered to Joe Johns on CNN. That he’d try to chasten Chambliss by reminding him of potential political risk is no surprise, considering the stakes — the GOP begins turning its back on the pledge during upcoming “fiscal cliff” negotiations could shatter the keystone of Norquist’s influence and relevance in Washington. source
I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge…I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist.Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, breaking ranks with the militant anti-tax wing of his party. 41 senators have signed Norquist’s pledge—which is essentially a promise to never, ever vote for any revenue or tax increase—but while the document used to be Republican orthodoxy, its influence is showing signs of crumbling. Chambliss’ colleagues Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Tom Coburn have all recently called for Republicans to abandon the pledge, as has former governor Jeb Bush. While Norquist is a very powerful figure in DC, he isn’t an elected official. He derives power solely from Republicans’ decision to grant him power, and if their subservience to his demands goes away, so does the bulk of his political influence. source
I think what grows the economy is that when you get that tax credit that we put in place, your kid can go to college.Barack Obama, on his support for middle-class income tax deductions. So far, both candidates have tried to appeal to the ability of parents and children to afford college, with Romney pledging to grow Pell grants near the start of the evening.
I’m gonna bring rates down across the board, but I’m gonna limit some deductions for people at the high end.Mitt Romney, continuing his pull to the center on deductions and taxation. Romney has called for a 20% tax rate across the board, and has in the past suggested that the mortgage income tax deduction might undergo some new limits.
Every few days he keeps on saying he’s going to reboot this campaign or they’re going to start explaining very specifically how this plan’s going to work, and then they don’t. They don’t say how you’d pay for $5 trillion in tax cuts that are skewed towards the wealthy without raising taxes on middle-class families. They don’t explain how you’d spend two trillion [dollars] more on military spending that our military hasn’t asked for without having you foot the bill. The math doesn’t add up.President Obama • Attacking Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, for announcing yet another campaign reboot, during his speech at rally in Hampton Roads, VA this morning. The President continued to slam the Republican presidential nominee over what he calls a lack of “economic patriotism,” a term that he debuted yesterday in a new political advertisement, and continued his push for higher taxes for millionaires. “My opponent thinks it’s fair that somebody who makes $20 million a year like him pays a lower rate than a cop or a teacher” said President Obama, adding, “I don’t think that’s fair.” source
Our platform calls for a balanced deficit reduction plan where everyone, from elected leaders to the wealthy and super-wealthy, pay their fair share. And when your country is in a costly war, with our soldiers sacrificing abroad and our nation facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn’t class warfare; its patriotism.Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker • Delivering a speech to the Democratic National Convention tonight, in an adamant and impassioned style that provoked chants of both “USA, USA!” and “CORY, CORY!” The speech drew no comparisons between the President and his GOP rival Mitt Romney, and that’s not surprising – the Cory Booker political brand, much like Obama himself while a candidate in 2008, is built on a relentless positivity. There are plenty of Democratic figures who will make pointed attacks on Romney, but that wasn’t Booker’s role. Rather, his job was to deliver an affirmative speech, and launch the convention with a little electricity. source
I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination.Harry Reid • “Doubling down,” as they say, on his allegation that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for ten years. Reid sourced this claim to an anonymous investor in Bain, Romney’s old company, and in a conference call with reporters today, said that he’s “had a number of people tell me that [Romney paid no taxes].” When asked to back up his claim, Reid replied: “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?” On the one hand, it’s easy to attribute an incendiary allegation to an anonymous source, as Reid has done. On the other hand, the only way to confirm or discredit this allegation is—you guessed it—for Romney to release his tax returns. source (via • follow)
» “According to a study by…” Here is the report in question. Now, it does look like Romney flip-flopped, but there’s a bigger take-away here. When politicians—candidates in particular—cite tax analyses, or budget reports, or academic studies, don’t just take them at their word. Learn something about the group that produced the study, because not all think tanks are created equal. (The Tax Policy Center, for example, is affiliated with the Brookings Institute, which identifies as nonpartisan but is widely—though not unanimously—considered to be center-left. Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign counter-cited a study by Ernst & Young, which is unabashedly pro-business). Also, check to see if the politician citing the study once bashed the group that produced it.