taxes

Mitt Romney Warns That Taxing Billionaires Will Force Them To Buy More Ranches, Paintings, Unicorns

Poor job creators, how will they even live?

Democrats are looking for ways to fund President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda now that Senator Kyrsten Sinema from Sinema-Land opposes rolling back the huge Trump tax cuts for the wealthy that she voted against four years ago. It's hard to find a spare trillion these days, but Democrats think they can shake down the marginalized billionaire class.

The New York Times reports:

Billionaires could be taxed on unrealized capital gains on their liquid assets, Democratic officials said yesterday. It would affect people with $1 billion in assets or those who have reported at least $100 million in income for three consecutive years, according to news reports. That would ensnare perhaps 700 taxpayers — or the wealthiest 0.0002 percent — but Democrats hope it would generate at least $200 billion in revenue over a decade.

It's unclear why the Times used the verb “ensnare," like Democrats are setting up bear traps for these poor billionaires. This seems like a solid plan, but there are no longer any billionaires on Wonkette's staff so what do we know? Let's consult with almost-billionaire Mitt Romney, who's forced to work past retirement age to provide car elevators for his family. The senator from Utah explained on Fox News yesterday why taxing billionaires is a terrible idea.

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Congress

Oh Good, Now We Know What Joe Manchin Wants, Maybe. And It's AWFUL.

Dok is Mad About A Thing.

One of the recurring mysteries getting in the way of progress on the Build Back Better reconciliation bill is that nobody really knows what exactly the the two Democratic holdouts, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, are holding out for. They've both been extremely coy about not saying in public what top-line amount of spending they could vote for, other than "Not $3.5 trillion over 10 years."

Now, last night, Manchin did release that screed about the "fiscal insanity" of spending lots of money on social programs while raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for it, but even that wasn't terribly specific about changes he might want to make to the reconciliation package beyond insisting Congress should wait and see whether poor people stop being poor, and also we should means-test any new benefits to make sure the middle class won't support the bill since it's frozen out of getting any help.

As for Sinema, she's been even less clear. Asked whether the rest of the Democratic caucus knows where she is, she hilariously said "I'm clearly right in front of the elevator" because she's the second coming of goddamn John "turn left at Greenland" Lennon.

Today, however, Politico reports it has dredged up a copy of a July 28 document that it says Manchin has been handing to Senate colleagues who want to know what his own position on reconciliation might be, if he'd be so kind. It's a brief outline of some fairly radical changes he'd like to make to Biden's first-term agenda, like slashing most of it. Look at this shit, would you just LOOK AT IT:

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polls

Democrats Can Head Off Debt Ceiling Armageddon RIGHT NOW, So ... They Should Do That!

Trying to get 'Republican obstructionist' points is irrelevant when everyone blames Dems anyway.

Americans sometimes believe some weird things, like thinking the moon landings were faked, that a malaria drug can cure COVID-19, or even that you can sit in a bathtub as the water goes out and not be sucked down the drain, a pernicious myth that has led to countless tragedies. So it shouldn't be too surprising that a new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that if the US were to default on its national debt, more Americans say they would blame Democrats than would blame Republicans.

The poll, taken between September 18 to 20, asked respondents, "If the United States were to default on the national debt, would you tend to blame the Democratic party more, the Republican party more, or both parties equally?" Thirty-three percent said they would blame Democrats, and only 16 percent would blame Republicans. Irritatingly, a whopping 42 percent said they'd blame both parties equally.

That's just kind of maddening to people who've been paying even the least bit of attention. Mitch McConnell, after four years of routinely suspending the debt ceiling to add some $8 trillion in debt for Donald Trump, has instructed Senate Republicans not to agree to any increase in the debt limit now that a Democrat is in office. It's a cynical political move that merely threatens to throw the US economy back into recession, probably taking the rest of the world with it. So this is absolutely not in any sense a "both sides" thing.

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Congress

House Dems Just Passing Tax Increases On Rich F*ckwads, Redistributing Income Right And Left!

Go on, House Dems, take another bite.

The House Ways and Means Committee passed a package of tax increases on the rich and tax benefits to help working families and renewable energy; the bill will now go to the Budget Committee, where it will be incorporated into the $3.5 trillion (over 10 years) Build Back Better reconciliation bill that Democrats hope to pass by the end of the month. There's some good stuff in here! As we noted yesterday, the tax increases could be more aggressive, especially in taxing the most nauseatingly wealthy Americans, but there's still hope that the tax increases can be toughened up as the bill moves forward.

The tax package passed out of committee on a nearly straight party-line vote of 24-19, with one Democrat, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, voting against it because she thinks the reconciliation package is too expensive overall. Murphy said she supports much of what's likely to be in the final bill, but that she's "optimistic" the final bill will be more "fiscally responsible," so there's her eventual reelection ad we guess.

Let's take a look at what's in this puppy, and what isn't but should be!

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