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Susan Estrich
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The Mandate To Raise Taxes on the “Rich”


Within days of winning the election, President Obama announced that his victory gave him a mandate to raise taxes on the "rich."

Come again? This was a two-and-a-half-point election. It reflected a painfully divided electorate. The only mandate I saw was to unite a divided country.

I voted for Obama. I voted for him because I know how hard it is to buy health insurance for a single person with even a minor pre-existing condition. In the case of my nanny/housekeeper/dear friend, it was gastritis. Thank God for Kaiser, which sold me the insurance that some years later saved her life when she was diagnosed with cancer. So call it what you will, but I did not want to see Obamacare repealed.

Years after I stopped worrying about unwanted pregnancies, I did not want to risk Roe v. Wade. I was appalled that contraception could even be an issue. I believe that whoever wants to marry should have a right to do so regardless of their sexual orientation. I voted for Obama because I worry about cutting back on environmental regulation. I voted for Obama because I believe local schools need help from the federal government, because I believe we are one country, and that if there is an earthquake in California, we will need as much help from our fellow states — which is to say the federal government — as New York and New Jersey do in dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I voted for Obama because he ended the war in Iraq and is committed to ending the war in Afghanistan.

I did not vote for Obama because I think I am paying too little in taxes.

Like many people I know, I am "rich" by Obama's standards. I pay more taxes, percentage wise, than Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett, because I earn virtually every penny of my income.

I work. And yes, all those deductions that allow the truly rich to not work, or at least to not work all the jobs I do, make me angry.

I am all for closing loopholes. I am all for ending deductions for things I don't even understand. But I am not for putting a low cap on deductions that would make it all but impossible for the charities I support to raise funds. I am not for putting a limit on the mortgage deduction that would mean, as a practical matter, that "middle class" (not rich) people in California would be priced out of the housing market, and the charities I support would not be able to raise what they need to survive.

And frankly, I don't think I'm alone. As a matter of fact, on this one, I don't think 51 percent of all Americans are to my "left" — if that's how you define the higher tax constituency.

Obama needs to be very careful. Yes, he was re-elected. But so were all those folks who blocked the extension of the Bush tax cuts if they excluded individuals and small businesses who make enough money to qualify as rich — but not enough to send their kids to college, or help their aging parents, or buy a home in a decent neighborhood.

We need to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. But Obama must also avoid the political cliff.

One of the amazing things about this country is that the middle class doesn't hate the rich. We are not a society divided by economic castes. Yes, there are real issues as the gap between the top and the middle, between CEOs and those in good but not great jobs, grows. But beginning a new term with what will look to many like a class war is not the way to fulfill the real mandate of this election, which is to bring us together, not turn us against each other.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



57 Comments | Post Comment
So wait, you didn't vote for Obama because he will reduce the debt? And you didn't vote for Obama because he cares about civil liberties? And you did vote for Obama because you like drone strikes as much as he does right. For every point you make, there are dozens of counterpoints. And for every point you didn't makes, there are hundreds more. Obama is a bad president for a laundry list of reasons, which no doubt my fellow commenters will get into.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:07 PM
His is so bad that there is fair chance that the nation will not survive. There could well be anarchy.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Paul
Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:51 PM
I didn't vote for Obama because I'm not innumerate. Because I understood that the Obama 'Tax the Rich' solution would only increase Federal revenues by $ 60 Billion ($200 Billion if you recind all the Bush Tax cuts) and that this is only a small percentage (~4%) of the $1500 Billion/year deficit we are running. Because I realized that to erase the deficit with taxes the government would have to confiscate ALL the earned income in this country greater than $100,000/year. From these simple facts I concluded that spending cuts were necessary to balance the budget and that Obama would never make reductions of the necessary magnitude to get the job done. From this, I concluded that Obama was not the man to fix the deficit.

I further didn't vote for Obama because I was convinced that it was imperative that we get the stalled economy moving again. Because I was certain that Obama had no plan to do that beyond deficit spending (see above).

In fact, on all the important issues regarding this countries survival, I could see a single reason to vote for Obama. Others apparently either didn't see it that way (i.e., Are innumerate) or got distracted by the Obama campaigns emphasis on small shiny objects (i.e., Abortion rights, health care) that were either chimeras (i.e weren't really in danger) or would crumble with the economy (e.g., Who will pay for the SS benefitswhen we are all broke?).

To those who voted for Obama, I say it is your mess now. He will do as well in the next 4 years as he did in the last 4 years. Deal with it. You elected him.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Old Navy
Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:16 AM
Susan voted for BHO for all the emotional reasons forgeting that the country is in a deep, deep financial mess that BHO is committed to make worse. For a smart lady she sure is ignorant!
Comment: #4
Posted by: Oldtimer
Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:52 AM
Susan, we're 16 trillion in debt. How are we supposed to pay for any of your free stuff with out raising taxes? And thats not just the rich sweetie. Your an educated woman,you should give this more consideration that free contaception to wild college girls and the perversion of gay marriage.
Comment: #5
Posted by: DL
Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:33 AM
Ms. Estrich, I wish you would have realized this before you voted for President Obama. Did you really think the man who has added $5 trillion in debt would suddenly realize he was overspending? President Obama can't see past the cheering, adoring fans, and media, who voted him back. His ego won't let him heal the division he created.
Comment: #6
Posted by: david
Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:49 AM
Well Counselor, welcome to the Republican Party.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Cowboy Jay
Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:48 PM
Re: Cowboy Jay
Comment: #8
Posted by: DL
Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:57 PM
Hi Susan, I sure hope you read these comments. I would have rather e-mailed you. For a "liberal" you have certainly disappointed me. A couple of weeks ago, after receiving a Publishers Clearing House offer that promised $5,000 a week for life to the lucky winner, I started dreaming. Wow, what would it be like to have that kind of money every week. In the end, I didn't enter the contest. I really don't believe in luck. I believe in education and hard work. Then as I thought about it, I realized that $5,000 a week was $260,000 per year. Now, this is just about the income level at which President Obama wants to let the temporary Bush tax cuts expire ($200,000 for singles, $250,000 for a married couple). Obviously, from this column you must be in this income bracket or you wouldn't be worried about paying more taxes. As I read your column, I was astonished that you thought people in this income range didn't make enough to send their kids to college, live in a decent neighborhood, or help their aging parents. REALLY!!! What must the rest of us being doing, who don't even make 25% of those figures? (My husband and I at our peak earning powers made a combined $107,000/yr and we are presently retired and make a combined $58,000, and we have been able to send our child to a good, private university, live in a decent neighborhood, and help our aging parents.) It's hard for me to understand your comment. It's like we're living on different planets. Furthermore, any of the caps on the deductions that you are complaining about are well of above anything we've ever deducted. You have my sympathy when you say you are angry that you pay more than the rich percentage wise. That should be corrected. But when I considered your situation, I get a feeling of entitlement coming from you.
When I did some calculations on how much more a couple making $260,000/yr would have to pay if the Bush tax cut expired, I came up with about $1000. My take on that is whose life is going to be more adversely affected by losing $1000 more a year (or its equivalent)? The family making 25,000 (there it probably cuts into the bare boned necesities). The family making $50,000/yr (In that case, the family must do a balancing act, cutting back here and there, postponing this and that.) The family making $100,000/yr (Here it could affect college expenses, helping aging parents, etc.) The family best equipped to lose $1000/yr? The family making $260,000.
If were going to get our deficit under control we are all going to have to make sacrifices. The sacrifices should start with the top 1%, then extend to the top 2%. Then we can go down the ladder. Surely, you would not want Medicare to be delayed by a year for middle class people (that means in many cases they're working a whole year longer) while you sacrificed nothing? Surely, you would not want Medicaid to be cut by an estimated 1/3 over ten years as envisioned in the Romney/Ryan budget, eliminating 14 million low income recepients (the savings = to $800 billion, ironically the cost of continuing the tax cut for the top 2% over 10 years) while you sacrificed nothing? And no, this expiration of the Bush tax cuts would affect very few small businesses (2.5%) according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And finally, you declare that there is no mandate to let the 2001 tax cuts expire, because the House ( and this is according to Speaker Boehner is in Republican hands.) Well, they have done a fine job of gerrymandering as my own state of Ohio exemplifies. We voted a little over 51-49 for Obama, but our House delegation is 12-4 Republican. We will be looking to change that, particularly if Republicans continue to obstruct President Obama's program.
Finally, Susan, I think you just need to broaden your horizons a little, and see how middle class America lives. Then you might be more willing to pay that little bit extra, that after all was paid throughout the nineties and everybody did just fine.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Lorna Westlake
Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:19 PM
Hi Lorna Westlake --

Please help me understand something...

Above, you write:
"If were going to get our deficit under control we are all going to have to make sacrifices."
I point out that you used the word "all" above, as in "we are *all* going to have to make sacrifices."

Subsequently, in the very next sentence, you write:

"The sacrifices should start with the top 1%, then extend to the top 2%. Then we can go down the ladder."

So to be clear here, you -- as part of the "all" above -- don't want to have to sacrifice.
But you demand that "others" sacrifice.

I see.

That is some pretzeled logic you have there. Fascinating.

Comment: #10
Posted by: Bob Barker
Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:08 AM
That Bob, is classic liberal logic.
Comment: #11
Posted by: DL
Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:08 AM
Susan, I am a Republican who greatly respects your opinion and commentaries because I believe that you are a fair-minded individual. As a pro-choice Republican, I can tell you that no candidate for office is perfect or is going to perfectly match our own ideals/opinions. I believe that if Obama and the Dems want higher taxes, then the GOP should give them much of what they're looking for such as higher taxes on attorneys, Hollywood, and Wall Street fat cats. Most of these people support Obama anyway, so quite frankly I'm tired of defending low taxes on their behalf as a matter of principal. I don't believe that these higher taxes will accomplish anything at all, but at least I get to say "I warned you."

Just wanted to say keep up the good work and I always look forward to hearing/reading what you have to say.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Joseph Clark
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:09 AM
Where was this Susan Estrich 20 years ago?
Comment: #13
Posted by: Sardondi
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:10 AM
"I did not vote for Obama because I think I am paying too little in taxes."
Why do you think that it matters to him why you voted for him? The bottom line is that you did. Why you did and what his margin was is completely immaterial to him. He lied, he bought votes and he got want he wanted. Now YOU get what he wants. That's how it works in Chicago - promise people anything once every 4 years, advance all manner of high-minded moralistic principles, pay off special interest groups and then do whatever the heck he wants.
Remember "I'll have more flexibility after the election"? Well, bend over, because you're going to have to demonstrate some flexibility yourself, now.
Comment: #14
Posted by: RonF
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:18 AM
Richard Nixon was re-elected by a margin far greater than President Obama was. But he didn't finish out his term.
Comment: #15
Posted by: RonF
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:19 AM
" I was appalled that contraception could even be an issue. "

I'm appalled that anyone considered that contraception WAS an issue. Where did any GOP candidate say that they were going to restrict access to contraception? No one proposed making it illegal. No one proposed preventing people from using it. What was at issue with contraception?

Are you seriously going to tell me that you voted against Romney because he wouldn't hand it out for free?
Comment: #16
Posted by: RonF
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:22 AM
"Come again? This was a two-and-a-half-point election. It reflected a painfully divided electorate. The only mandate I saw was to unite a divided country."

Nope. Sorry. He's yours. So here's my take, coming from someone in the evil 1%.

Let's make this hurt. Repeal the Bush tax cuts, but let's not stop there. After all, we want economic patriotism here, and paying your fair share. I propose the following:
1. No more Federal deductions of state income taxes. You live in California, or DC, or New York, with a 10% state income tax? Good for you, but you didn't build that. Pay up.
2. No more deduction for mortgages over $250,000. You have a big house, in an expensive neighborhood? How nice. Pay up.
3. You work in Hollywood? You want the rich to pay more? Good. Pay 10% excise tax on movies, CDs, DVDs, whatever. And it's a tax on the gross, not the net. We know about "Hollywood accounting." After all, medical device makers pay a 3% tax on their gross, and frankly their output is more valuable to society than yours. Pay up.
4. You're on Medicare, and you still have assets? How dare you sit on those savings? Pay up.
Comment: #17
Posted by: orthodoc
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:34 AM
Quoting you, Susan: "One of the amazing things about this country is that the middle class doesn't hate the rich"

Wow! You really believe that? Creating a schism between the rich and the rest of us has been a mantra of the Democrats for decades.

I marvel at your obtuseness.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Mr_Write
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:38 AM
"Obama needs to be very careful."

Why? What's going to happen if he isn't? Will he get impeached? Anyone who suggests it will be branded a racist and a proponent of a war on women and Hispanics. No President has been re-elected with employment and economic numbers like this outside of FDR, and he was in the middle of WWII.

"But beginning a new term with what will look to many like a class war is not the way to fulfill the real mandate of this election, which is to bring us together, not turn us against each other."

My good God, I can't believe I'm reading this. "Beginning a new term with what will look to many like a class war"? Beginning a new term? He began his LAST ELECTION with a class war, and he conducted this election with the most class-divisive rhetoric I've heard since I started paying attention to politics in the '60's. He's been waging a class war his entire Presidency, and this election was it's pinnacle. Why would you expect anything else during this upcoming term, when he no longer has to worry about re-election? Have you read any of the things he said when he was a State Senator, or in his books, or the things he says to his partisans? Oh, that's right. Romney says one inflammatory thing about "47%" to a group and it's in the headlines for weeks. Obama spouts class-conscious rhetoric for years and it's ignored.

Obama is a class warrior. Always has been. It's all about blacks and racism, Hispanics and immigration, single women and abortion/contraception, public workers and unions, young people and their college loans. It's never been about what's good for the country as a whole, it's about pandering to special interest groups and buying them off, one by one. That's how i'ts done in Illinois, and it's given us horrible schools (among the worst in the nation), roads and bridges that are falling apart, public pension debt that is 2.5 times the State's annual budget, and small businesses going OUT of business because the State is a minimum of 6 months behind in paying it's bills. But the union bosses are happy, the welfare class is promised the moon over and over, the teachers unions demand a 30% raise with a straight face, and the taxpayers pay and pay while deficits mount and services go down.

You can read all about it in Illinois now, or you can wait a few years and read about it in Washington. The only hope is that the GOP House can put a stop to it. That, of course, will be called "obstructionism". They'll be asked to compromise - funny that I never heard the left calling for that when George Bush had a majority in both houses of Congress.

Class war. They say that the GOP has become more radical and has changed. The implication is that the Democrats in contrast is now the only depository of reason. When I was 8 years old I sat in front of my TV and listened to a Democratic President state in his inaugural address, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Tell me, what Democratic politician can you imagine saying that today?
Comment: #19
Posted by: RonF
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:42 AM
Obama is a Marxist. Marxism is the ideology that motivates him. It is the prism through which he sees the world. You have your reasons for voting for him, but those are not his reasons for seeking public office. He is going to do everything he can do drag our nation into ruin over the next four years. You have been warned.

The bit about contraceptives....yeah, total media/dem spin campaign. While it is surely possible to find idiots out there who want to do away with contraceptives, they do not define nor control the Republican party. They are crazy idiots who crash the party. Actual abortion is, unfortunately, a divisive issue where there are significant numbers who wish to see it tightly restricted. Meanwhile the country is being destroyed thanks to the lunatic fiscal policy of stealing almost half of every dollar spent by government from future generations in the form of public debt, 16 trillion and counting. But then the debt isn't an emotionally evocative issue for people who don't know how to count.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Lee Reynolds
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:50 AM
What planet were you living on during the election? Raise taxes on the rich was his economic plan. He is consulting with Al Sharpton and LaRaza about the Fiscal Cliff negotiations.
You voted for him, you did build that.
Thanks a lot from those of us who didn't, our taxes will skyrocket and the economy will be in the hands of the likes of Sharpton.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Gretchen Place
Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:56 AM
It appears you voted for Obama because you like the government to assert more involvement and control in America:
-give you health insurance that companies would not give you
-more environmental control
-more control over local schools (which you conveniently call "help")
-etc etc
But then when Obama asks you to pay for all this stuff, you say you didn't vote for that? I hate to break it to you, but ending the wars comes nowhere near to paying for all of Obama's stuff, not even close. Nor does taxing the rich, there aren't enough rich people.
So yes, you did vote for higher taxes.
Comment: #22
Posted by: scf
Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:09 AM
I'm somewhat shocked that people vote for the reasons you listed while completely ignoring the fact the entire country is headed into the financial abyss. None of the stuff you listed has been paid for, or has any hope of ever being paid for.
Comment: #23
Posted by: scf
Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:13 AM
It take serious economic to think that a government which spent $5 trillion (and growing) in less than three years can be bailed-out by taxing 2% of the population or rather few billionaires/millionaires who already pay 40% of the taxes collected by a government which spent $5 trillion (and growing) .

Particularly when 48% of the population do not pay their fair share of tax.

When the economic tsunami hits that Free Conception so valued by post-menopausal women wearing pink va-jay-jay costumes will be worthless.

We are living in an Obamaworld owned by Democrat voters; it is their party now, let's wait and see how horrid the hangover will be the morning after.
Comment: #24
Posted by: syn
Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:13 AM
What's sad is that the writer believes she is being perfectly logical and reasonable.
Comment: #25
Posted by: xthred
Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:33 AM
You have got to be kidding me. Obama intentionally divided this country along lines of race, gender, religion, and wealth. Yet you voted for him to give him a mandate to unite the country? He's the one dividing it!!
Obama has been fiercly pushing taxing the wealthy for his entire four years. Yet you are shocked that Obama says that his victory gives him a mandate to do it. You're wrong. You voted for him, which means you voted to support his policies that he was very clear about imposing all along.
You voted on side issues. That was real smart. Those are what Dems go to in order to divert your attention from the other issues while they stab you in the back. It worked because you fell for it. Deal with YOUR VOTE!
Comment: #26
Posted by: kong1967
Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:47 AM
If you voted for Obama because of the mess that is the Affordable Care Act which -- while it may make it easier to buy health insurance with a preexisting condition -- only serves to INCREASE costs of insurance and does nothing to actually improve the health CARE system, especially in light of the fact that we have $16 trillion in debt & 23 million unemployed or underemployed (hint: we're not going to be able to *afford* the ACA for long) and more especially in light of the fact that the *main* thing Obama spoke about during his campaign was that we needed to raise taxes on the rich, and btw, Romney is really rich, so he's the "problem, not the solution" (actually words from an OFA ad) then you have no right to talk about what Obama's re-election mandates. You have proven yourself to be unable to draw obvious conclusions.
Comment: #27
Posted by: angienc
Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:50 AM
As my father used to say, "Some people are educated beyond their intellegence."
Comment: #28
Posted by: pammeechs
Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:52 AM
This is one of the most amazing paeans to self-deception and illogical emotionalism in voting I've ever read. Practically none of the reasons for voting for Obama make sound sense and practically all the undesired results were fully predictable prior to the election.

- "I did not want to risk Roe v. Wade." Reversal of Roe v. Wade does not, hysterical reenactments of Cassandra not withstanding, make abortion illegal. It simply returns the issue to the States.

- "I was appalled that contraception could even be an issue." It was only an issue because the Obama campaign specifically made it an issue to play upon emotionally reflexive voters with poor cognitive powers, apparently like Ms. Estrich.

- "I voted for Obama because I worry about cutting back on environmental regulation." I assume you are speaking about the regulation from the unaccountable EPA that has had great adverse impact on the recovery you also say you care about?

- "I voted for Obama because I believe local schools need help from the federal government" Of course, taking local tax dollars to filter through dozens of layers of unaccountable federal bureaucracy before returning what is left over back to local schools make so much more sense than local tax dollars going to locally accountable school boards and governments and then directly to local schools.

- "If there is an earthquake in California, we will need ... help from our fellow states — which is to say the federal government" Regardless of the fact that the vast majority of aid and assistance that has been of greatest value comes from private organizations and donations. not to mention that this was never a Romney issue but, like contraception above, an Obama campaign generated scare topic.

- "I voted for Obama because he ended the war in Iraq and is committed to ending the war in Afghanistan." ... completely on the time-table and schedule planned and put into place by GWB in 2008. (There, I fixed it for you)

On so many issues, Ms. Estrich took counsel not from anything Romney said, or even his actual record, but instead from the Obama campaign's negative caricature of Romney and his positions. You know, the same folks who have repeatedly misrepresented, dissembled, and used lawyerly wordplay to skirt the issue for the past four years. And now she acts surprised that they aren't behaving honorably after winning? Hey, lady, he got what he wanted from you, so why should he care?
Comment: #29
Posted by: submandave
Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:02 AM
Re: orthodoc
As another 1%-er (except one dumb enough to let my daughter go to Med School; THERE'S a losing proposition in a Socialist country) I gotta say that the good doc is exactly right.
Ms. Estrich might see herself as one of the "sane" Democrats (pls excuse the oxy-MO-ron), but you and your warm close personal friend Billy-Bob Clinton OWN this incompetent Chicago ward-heeler. Let the taxing begin.
The Left labors under the curious illusion that growth and economic development ("growing the pie") are done, finished, so now it's time to divvy it up. They assume that money just "happens", so additional taxes won't have any effect on output. Spawn of Lenin Paul Krugman even suggests returning to the top margin tax rate (91%) of the 1950s (without, of course, the plentiful tax shelters -Cattle Limited Partnerships, anyone?- that made those rates a sham).
Keep talking Estrich. Keep talking, Krugman; nobody with disposable income (roughly 47% of us) are listening; we're rearranging our assets, reviewing our Discretionary Trusts, and planning to drop equities like a hot potato(e) before January 1st.
Oh, and purchasing "software"; in my case, 1000 rounds of 9mm Parabellum just yesterday.
Wanna see what you idiots on the left, you "low information voters", have bequeathed the nation? Just watch the Dow between now and Xmas. Welcome back 1937.
While you're at it, you might want to review the lessons of General Pyrrhus of Epirus. Just a thought.
Comment: #30
Posted by: H.A. Reynolds
Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:10 AM
Sorry to be harsh, but you are an idiot because you voted your emotions instead of your mind. If its any consolation to you, you weren't alone. But now you've dragged the rest of us down too. People should have to pass a test to prove they are informed on the issues before they are allowed to vote.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Bill cover
Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:22 AM
Susan suddenly discovers that she is taxed enough already! Susan, don't you know how uncool and racist that is?
Comment: #32
Posted by: trinka
Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:24 AM
Susan, I hope you feel every last cent of your tax increases, and I hope it hurts.
Comment: #33
Posted by: Kensington
Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:35 AM
"I pay more taxes, percentage wise, than Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett, because I earn virtually every penny of my income"

Of course you never mention what KIND of taxes you pay versus Buffett's. How can you call your self a journalist and not mention in your article that Buffet pays Capital Gains Taxes and you pay taxes on wages? You are forwarding the same lie the MSM and the President and his administration throws around. You see us as dolts to just fill with false narratives as if we are puppets.

I can see politicians throwing these lies around, but as a journalist, you should be ashamed and embarrassed. Cap gains taxes are taxes on investment income, not wages. And how does one receive money to invest? They first earn it as a wage ,it is then taxed and then invested. If afterward, you gain a profit on said investment, the gain is taxed at the capital gains tax rate. In essence, you are taxed TWICE on the same income you earned as a wage.

Go ahead and raise the Cap Gains taxes to wage tax levels and watch me, for one, pull my equities out in a New York Minute.
Comment: #34
Posted by: Alex David
Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:41 AM
My take on this has been steady for years. Only a few liberals will tell that *their* taxes are too low. Mostly they'll tell you that their taxes are just fine, but the jerk down the street who has a cabin in Aspen *and* a yacht, he's not paying enough taxes! His taxes need to go up, not mine. Americans are trained to think of themselves as middle-class, even upper-middle-class, but never rich. So Susan doesn't think she should have to tolerate high taxes, and she voted for Pres. Obama to be reelected based on other things than tax increases.

Problem is he campaigned on tax increases for the "rich". He said he was gonna do it. What happens now if he backs off? His supporters will get very upset, because he promised them the spectacle of some rich guy jumping from a high rise after his taxes increase, some sort of bread and circuses amusement to get their minds off the fact that his economic policies will impoverish some of them for the rest of their lives. If he doesn't deliver that, there's no point in voting for him...

The fun part is going to be when he does whatever he is going to do, and it doesn't work, and the economy stalls for another 4 years. I'd like to be wrong about this, but i think that this idiot will still be blaming Karl Rove, GWBush, and the Koch brothers 8 years after he got elected.

Closing thought: there was a billboard somewhere in the upper midwest, which had a picture of President Obama with the caption: "Things could be worse. If you don't believe me, reelect me and I'll show you." We took him up on it...
Comment: #35
Posted by: David W. Nicholas
Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:45 AM
Re: Lorna Westlake If you believe in hard work and education, then those families making $30,000 to $50,000 shouldn't be "families". They should have realized that making such little money should have prevented them from having children. I only had one kid because I realized that I wouldn't be able to afford the things my kid should have if I just pumped them out like kittens. Unfortunately there are alot of people out there that know if you pump kids out like kittens the government gives you Skittles and goodies that the rest of us "responsible" folk don't get just for being irresponsible.
Comment: #36
Posted by: Jaimo
Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:23 AM
Re: RonF I guess Ms. Estrich somehow missed that the only thing Obama ever talked about during the campaign, besides demonizing Romney, was taxing "the rich." Time to pay your "fair share," Suasan. What part of Obama's hourly ranting on the subject did you not understand?
Comment: #37
Posted by: Victor Erimita
Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:35 AM
President Bush ended the war in Iraq, by signing the agreement to remove our forces. President Obama is only presiding over this withdrawal. He did not cause it.
Comment: #38
Posted by: Fred Van Soelen
Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:01 PM
Susan, hate to say it but you are awfully naive. Idealism is nice in theory, but the reality isn't playing out so well.

Obama has been waging class war for 4 years - successfully, I might add. The "ultra-rich" (many of whom are quite liberal - think Hollywood & Wall Street), have gotten richer. (Obama joined that club too - amazing what influence does, isn't?). The middle class and upper middle class have gotten poorer. The poor have gotten more dependent.

You are going to work harder than ever for less. Enjoy it. Forget about sending your kids to college, you can't afford it.

Welcome to the new America and congratulations on your victory!

Comment: #39
Posted by: TaxPayingBizman
Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:34 PM
You said: One of the amazing things about this country is that the middle class doesn't hate the rich. We are not a society divided by economic castes.
That's over. As the economy turns to service crap jobs because of global outsourcing and the global rich are more and more removed from any consequences, there absolutely is a division and people are resentful. it wasn't just a part of our national character - Americans didn't resent the rich for the practical reason of opportunity and gratitude for it.
I know it's changed for almost everyone in my family - and they're pro-choice republicans in what is considered a "rich" neighborhood: that is to say CA neighborhoods with absurdly high home values , considering a majority of the houses are still humble 1960s/1970s GI Bill Defense engineer CA tract homes,with residents surviving only via Prop 13. The only reason they still vote republican is that they know that the real rich, the global rich, will avoid taxes as always, and the middle class will be hit no matter what the politicians promise. These are true blue believers in the American Dream - but not any more. This encompasses three generations.
My Silicon Valley engineer uncle was the first off the boat as the jobs in his specialty were the first to be outsourced and or "Bained" in the 90s. Suddenly he was supporting Buchanan because of his trade/jobs stance. This was not like him. BTW, the jobs have never returned and he is close to retirement and living like a pauper. He's supersmart engineer who worked his whole life. And this is not an isolated case.
My grandmother meanwhile, though living in a nice neighborhood, cannot afford to move to a condo as she would like to do because the interest has been so low as all the rich guys get free money and do not pass it down. She actually can't afford to leave the nice neighborhood. So in her 80s and frail she still works to clean and keep the landscape up on that suburban house in that "rich" neighborhood that she can't afford to leave.
This just goes on and on. Another supersmart recent grad engineer cousin had to forego the private sector because the defense industry is all that was left. He now lives in DC adn basically gets paid a fat DoD government-related salary - which can be traced to taxes as opposed to creating value. Another young cousin could only find a crap service job and so joined the marines. Another govt paycheck that needs taxes to fund. These are both dem voters because they see Obama as providing their jobs in the current reality.
The rich are very much resented for not investing at home. It's a different world out there. The only people who don't resent the global rich are people who believe in "magical thinking" like the Secret. They literally think if they don't resent them they have a better chance of becoming one of them. The realists absolutely HAVE started to resent them.
Comment: #40
Posted by: colleen
Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:52 PM
P.S. I would be money that you didn't even read the Obamacare bill and have no idea about how it is supposed to work.
Obamacare is already destroying medical care in the U.S.
Don't worry, though, the limousine liberals and government employees will get great healthcare.
Comment: #41
Posted by: TaxPayingBizman
Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:10 PM
Re: submandave
Spot on. Unfortunately, most of the people that I know who voted for BO took the same silly tact. I like to the comment about above about being "educated beyond intelligence". The shoe fits for a whole bunch of people in this country.
Comment: #42
Posted by: TaxPayingBizman
Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:13 PM
Re: Fred Van Soelen

Thank you, Mr. Van Soelen, for reminding us of the facts behind this. Obama has taken much credit for policies and treaties that his predecessor initiated.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Prospector
Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:26 PM
I am sorry Susan. This is way too little and too late. What in Obama's past led you to think that he would govern any different. After you supported him throughout his campaign, we are stuck with him now. You fell for all his divisive rhetoric. If you have a complaint during the next four years, address it to a single woman, a black or an hispanic. They elected him.
Comment: #44
Posted by: MassJim
Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:19 PM
Re: orthodoc
Well said. I agree. But, would up you a few. 1) enact the Buffet rule - penalize any corporation which owes the government more than $1B in taxes pay a 10x penalty, due immediately. 2) don't vote to reimburse doctors for the miserly federal payments - not acting will accomplish this! We'll see how few doctors stay in business. Oh and we can blame on the Dems! They passed it in the first place. 3) Fail to pass the don't force people to pay the AMT - another great Democratic law. 4) Not only should we eliminate the charitable donations exemption (Obama tried to pass this his first month in office, just bring that up!), but let's eliminate the entire 501C concept and make all corporations pay their fair share!

Bill Whittle said it best - it sucks to be a conservative, because a conservative has to say no. But I believe we currently live in a society which looks like a divorced family. One parent has to act the adult and teach restraint to the kids. The other will shower the kids with gifts. Who do you think will win? As a conservative, I believe we should stop 'sucking' and let the other side act foolishly. When the foolishness gets too painful for the 'kids' then maybe, just maybe, the kids will start demanding restraint!
Comment: #45
Posted by: Dan Derby
Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:20 PM
TL; DR I voted for Obama, but I didn't think he would actually do what he said he would do and raise taxes on me. And the damn Republicans may just let him.
Comment: #46
Posted by: Cardin Drake
Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:15 AM
Even law professors are feeling the need to take second jobs -- including Miss Estrich now working a second "full time" job as a partner at the law firm of Quinn Emanuel.
Comment: #47
Posted by: Ex-Dem
Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:37 AM
Well I don't know why you are surprised that Obama wants to raise taxes! He has been spouting that rhetoric for years now. You voted for him now shut up and pay!
Comment: #48
Posted by: Stinker
Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:54 AM
Susan, honey, you voted for Obama because you are a died-in-the-wool leftist who would never vote for a Conservative if they were revealed to be Jesus Christ himself. Your ramblings may amuse and impress you, but you are good for a laugh - that's about it.
Comment: #49
Posted by: TheRandyGuy
Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:57 AM
Time to get a gun Susan.
Time to learn to hunt and fish.
Comment: #50
Posted by: HiPlainsDrifter
Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:38 PM
I did not vote for BH but I did learn that I am now in the Lower Class. He has polarized me into being a member of the Lower Class from the Middle Class. I can't vote for him again . . . He can't run again; however, I didn't vote for him the first and 2nd time. I am going to take-advantage of my "New Obama Classification" and take Food Stamps and other noted Subsistance.
Comment: #51
Posted by: Lerro
Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:49 AM
One thing is for certain. The "Bush Tax Cuts" will be gone forever after this negotiation between the GOP and Dems. If the GOP leaves any trace of a "Bush Tax Cut" in any deal, they are leaving a hammer on the table, which the Dems will use to once again demogogue the issue of unfair tax cuts.

The Bush Tax Cuts were applied evenly for all Americans. They should be rescinded evenly for all Americans, particularly since Mr. Obama has told us thousands of times this year how the Bush Tax Cuts didn't help anyone but the uber-wealthy. IF they didn't help anyone else, then those non uber-wealthy won't mind it when the Obama Tax Increases go into affect in January when the Bush Tax Cuts all expire.
Comment: #52
Posted by: Erica Ramon
Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:45 AM
Susan, did you not listen to Obama at all during the re-election campaign? One of his top promises was that he would let the Bush tax cut expire on the top margin. Now, you just want the social stuff he was talking about, but 'don't take my money'. Well, honey - wake up - if you can't make a go of it, can't send your kid to college, can't help out your folks, can't afford a home, on $5,000 a week (or more), maybe you should review your own budget. There are plenty of households that send their kids to college, help out their folks, afford a home, on $5,000 a month. What - does this mean you can't afford to send your kid to Stanford, maybe you should send them to CSU, can't afford to place your folks in the best senior living out there - how about a nice senior apartment with help that comes in once a day - can't afford your McMansion any more - how about a reasonably priced home that doesn't have 5,000 sq feet of living space (of which you only use 1,600 anyway).

I bet Susan would be quite content on people more wealthy than her paying that additional tax. How about something called shared - shared responsibility that we are in this mess together - that to get out of this mess we will need to do this together. We talk about the greatest generation and their trials, this is ours, we can create solutions that take a little from everyone, or we can just dig the hole a little deeper, say; "Well, I don't want to be part of the solution if it means any sort of sacrifice from me, but, you know, lets change the cut-off point for medicaid, that will help, those people making $30,000 a year - they could do with some 'sacrificing'.

You know Susan, it will be all of us paying - and we can pay less now - or a whole lot more in the future. Some will pay when government programs get cut, some will pay when the military is downsized to a reasonable level, some will pay with increases in taxes, some will pay when their SS start date is pushed back. What Susan needs to understand is that all should pay. Some will pay with methods that reduce federal spending, some will pay with increased taxes, but to think that you should fall into some 'sacred' category? What makes you so special Susan.
Comment: #53
Posted by: foxpaws
Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:24 AM
Re: Erica Ramon
Love it! Same feelings here!
Comment: #54
Posted by: Dayna Flint
Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:50 PM
Re: Lorna Westlake
an additional 3.8% in Medicare tax, repeal of Bush tax cuts for the rich, increase in Capital Gains and Dividend tax, wow Lorna sure wish our additional taxes proposed were really just $1000! I would venture a guess that most people making $250 - $300 k a year don't feel so rich. We are not "rich" enough to live on capital gains and we currently pay an effective tax rate of 46% of our income. We are not going to be so willing to work 70 hour work weeks if we do not get to keep at least half of the income! We have one in college also and there is no deduction of tuition for us and no help with grants, loans, work study etc. At some point it will not be prudent to work!
Comment: #55
Posted by: Dayna Flint
Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:06 PM
Susan, since you chose social issues instead of fiscal issues, I hope you get hosed with all the taxes. You cared more about killing unborn babies, redefining marriage , etc instead of a strong growing economy. As for your housekeeper, maybe if you paid her a living wage she may have been able to buy some higher priced insurance or be able to pay for the care outright Also until this healthcare mess there are free clinics that provided care to people who didn't have insurance. I am going to call my rep and senator and tell them to cave and make all you rich people pay your fair share.
Comment: #56
Posted by: Bonnie melcher
Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:24 AM
Re: Lorna Westlake
Are you in favor of giving whiskey to an alcoholic? Give the government more money, you'll get the same result.
Comment: #57
Posted by: Nick Stipanovich
Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:19 AM
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