…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
» And he only paid 17.4% in taxes: Buffett, whose monetary gains are the subject of scrutiny because of the fact that he’s the inspiration for Obama’s “Buffett Rule” (a notable part of the president’s jobs plan), released the earnings after being prodded by Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, a Republican. Of note: Just $39,814,784 of his earnings were taxable, with the rest going to deductions and exemptions (like, say, his fairly robust charitable givings). And in case you’re wondering, Warren’s tax rate is low largely because he makes most of his income through investing. In the end, how much did he pay in taxes? A paltry $7 million (or a mere nine percent in taxes on adjusted gross income).
Class warfare … may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.Rep. Paul Ryan • Coming out, guns blazing, against Obama’s plan to raise the tax rate for the super-rich. Ryan, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,”also claimed that the tax would be in effect a “double tax” on investments, and would discourage investors from putting their money into the economy. “If you tax something more, you get less of it,” Ryan said. “If you tax job creators more, you get less job creation. If you tax their investment more, you get less investment.” Mitch McConnell, speaking on “Meet the Press,” had similar concerns about the “Buffett Rule,” which we found out about last night. source (via • follow)
I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.Warren Buffett • Arguing in an editorial for the New York Times (titled, fittingly, “Stop coddling the super-rich”) that Congress needs to raise his taxes and those of people with incomes topping $1 million. “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress,” he writes. “It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.” Wait … a super-rich guy offering more money up in taxes? Be still our hearts. And don’t tell the Koch brothers … they might disagree with this stance. source (via • follow)
» About those tax increases: They would extend a series of temporary tax increase implemented in 2009, which are set to expire in July. Californians are set to vote on the increases in June. And other changes are recommended too – certain services could be transferred from state local governments (such as prisons), and services for the poor are among the ones getting cut the most. However, K-12 schools will be protected from cuts (and just about nothing else).