What tax deal could mean for you
December 7th, 2010
12:07 PM ET

What tax deal could mean for you

The White House is working to get Democrats to support a last-minute deal on taxes that President Barack Obama hammered out with Republican leaders.

The compromise would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two more years, keeping income tax rates at their current levels for everyone, as Republicans insisted. Obama and other Democrats wanted tax rates to rise only for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and for families making $250,000 or more a year.

If the deal goes through, here's what it will mean for you:

Payroll taxes – Wage earners will have extra money in their paychecks with the lowering of the payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2%. Someone earning $50,000 a year would pay $1,000 less in Social Security contributions next year. Someone earning $100,000 would pay $2,000 less. The payroll tax rate would go back up to 6.2% in 2012.

Income taxes - Not much to see here - at least in terms of your wallet. The compromise would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two more years, which basically means the income tax rates will remain exactly the same for the next two years at their current levels for everyone.

White House fact sheet on agreement

Individual tax breaks - Low- and middle-income tax filers will see an increased value in credits for two years if they file for an earned income tax credit, the child credit or a revamped tax credit for college costs.

Unemployment benefits - The package would leave in place for 13 months the option to file for extended federal unemployment benefits. In some states, especially where job loss is extremely high, it can be up to 99 weeks.

Estate taxes - The estate tax exemption, which lapsed this year, would be would be set at $5 million and the top rate would be set at 35%.

CNNMoney.com: Tax cut deal and surprise stimulus - the cost

If a deal can't be reached:

Taxes will go up for everyone, since the current rates set under President George W. Bush expire automatically at the end of 2010. Democrats control both houses of Congress, but the Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives in January, and the Democratic majority in the Senate will be smaller than it is now.

The estate tax would return in 2011 with a $1 million exemption level and a top rate of 55%.

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Filed under: Finance • Taxes
soundoff (596 Responses)
  1. disgusted

    joe..please...mccain would have not done any better! she would of had that dimwit palin trying to be president and doing, saying stupid garbage

    I'm disgusted with our President! whom i voted for! no balls! and for the republicans, it's the same ol garbage from them i don't want to waste my time describing what everyone already knows about these idiots.

    we need better political officials from BOTH sides!

    December 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Obama is weak

    Obama has been very weak president. I have been supportive of Democrats last election by donating and spending time to defend them. I will no longer do that. Our household pay a lot of taxes and any tax break would help us, but in a long run, we must leave this place better for our kids and grand kids than what we got from our parents generation. We all need to sacrifice. We are in two wars. We have threat from Iran and North Korea. We have China that may surpass us into global economy.

    Obama has fed us to the wolves in healthcare, environment, immigration, and now cut taxes for the rich in the expense of our kids and grand kids. He is not going to get a vote from republicans when he runs in 2012. They hate him, put it simply. If he keeps alienating us, we demand, primary challenge for 2012 or independent candidate if he gets into the ballot.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nancy

    Why are people so angry with the wealthy making more money? It is the wealthy that usually provide the jobs for the middle class and lower income. If the wealthy isn't making money, then nobody will be making money. Common sense folks.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MARC


    December 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TranscendHumanity

    What I really love about everyone here, each and every one, is that we can't just talk about the nuts and bolts economics. We can't just say something is wrong and needs fixing. We can't just say that we all need to get together behind this.

    Instead, we have to point fingers and talk about political agendas. Is this because of our system? Or is this just some sad social experiment that proves we all like to pass the buck? Get over being Democrat or Republican and do some actual THINKING. I know it's hard, but perhaps this is a time in our country that we all need to forgot party lines and work together for solutions?

    I'm so sick of reading these comments. No matter what the story, we all just want to pass the blame. Both parties. It's the same gawrsh darn argument on every story.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. zookz

    PRIMARY Obama.
    All hat, no cattle.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Handsomeandhairy

    Tax cuts for the wealthy is rediculous. by failing to lead Obo is hurting the middle class int he long run.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Awful

    So, many here feel that only the rich should pay for the streets, fire and police service that we all enjoy? I thought it took a village.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The_Mick

    It's not that Obama changed his tune, it's that he recognizes he'll get absolutely nothing done unless he compromises with the GOP. It's noteworthy that the GOP said it would let 1 out of every 30 Americans fall into distress during the holiday season because the unemployment extension wasn't paid for. But as soon as Obama said it's ok for the wealthy to continue averaging a 19.6% tax rate vs 22.3% for the Middle Class, the extra deficit is no problem.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jkenney1973

      Which party was it that passed Pay-Go? Don't get me wrong, it was the right thing to do. Now stick with it.

      December 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JohnRJ08

    THIS IS NOT OVER! The Republicans are NOT going to accept this compromise. They will undoubtedly ask for another concession from Obama in order to make sure it looks like a complete failure of the administration. Then, in 2012, they will air countless political ads saying that Obama added nearly a trillion dollars to the deficit because he couldn't come up with a better plan. Mitch McConnell has achieved his objective.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. James Friel

    This tax deal is an outrage. This gives millionares a tax break when
    our debt grows. Just last week Obama froze the pay of all Federal workers who are just being used as a political whipping boy. He even bragged about freezing Federal pay when giving a speech to the troops
    in Afganistan, telling the troops their pay will not be frozen.
    Now we see him giving away billions to the Rich that will cost this country dearly. Trust me this is one Federal Worker that will not vote for another term for Obama. I am really disappointed in this action.
    So really how important is the Deficit to Republicans or Democrats?
    But they want to raise retirement age to 68 and cut your Medicare, and Federal pensions. While in the meantime noone pays their fair taxes?

    December 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rico

      He's not the one that is wanting to give tax breaks to the rich. Its the Republicans, which have said would stall everything in the government till they got what they wanted. Yes he caved to them, but if he had not done so everyones taxes will have went up.

      December 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • h46av8r

      Your failure to grasp the big picture is breath taking. The problem is not that tax receipts are too low. The issue is that federal spending is too high. The majority of people making below $50K pay no income tax. Is it your contention that it is a good thing that the federal government take $0.35 of every dollar made by people making over $250K – really? The existing tax system is already incredibly progressive and has been so for decades.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • h46av8r

      And oh by the way – care to guess what my 401(k) and retirement plan are worth from the Navy after ten years of service as an officer and pilot? Jack and poop. Only the military gets screwed this way. Could you imagine your postal worker (who expects tips this time of year) getting that deal?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      giving away? have we all forgot whose money it is in the first place? not the governments. by them playing with taxes they are essentially saying we know how to spend your money better than you.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aspen35064

      Are you saying that you are so outraged with the President because he had to decide between tax hikes for all or tax cuts for all because the Republican party refused to allow any action, that you are going to vote for the party responsible for this action.

      Think about it, you're saying that you will not vote for someone because of their reaction to an action, but you will vote for the party responsible for the reaction because of their action.

      Sounds like p*ssing in the wind to me.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anothermuse

      It's not a tax break because they haven't been paying this for years. It's a tax increase. And if they are all so evil, why can't you realize that if you take $10,000 from them, they will simply take that same money out of the economy. Cut a workers hours back, put off a high end purchase for a bit etc. And this isn't about the millionaires. It's about the $250K level who runs the small business, is putting kids through school etc. Why must they pay so sooooo many others won't have to. All or nothing was the right stance here.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Millionaires Club

      Why should people that work hard to make money be taxed more? Most people that make more than $200K a year work very hard for their money...why should they have to be penalized by paying hire taxes so that people who choose not to work as hard can continue to be lazy?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • joewilson

      qq harder spoiled government worker. maybe you should have gotten a real job and gone through college like those "outrageous millionaires".

      a fellow american who is happy to watch his bush tax cuts extended

      December 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • SDVoice

      The debt should be burdened by everyone across the board. Tax cuts or tax increases should apply to everyone, across the board.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mjinmd

      Rico is right. He was over a barrel with the party of NO. Don't you people realize that if the ones on control say NO the answer is NO. And they have all written a letter saying they would vote no on everything until the new regime takes over. I'm beginning to be very disappointed in my governent. They are failing all of us for their own personal gain. Of course the Republicans will vote NO–it's to their advantage and they don't give a rats azz about us little guys.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • tricia824@bex.net

      James," Now we see him giving away billions to the Rich that will cost this country dearly. " how is TOTUS giving away billions, when it is the individual's OWN money???No one should have a right to stick their hand in my pocket to pay for their ideas. This idea of the left about punishing the "rich" for being successful will only assure no one succeeds!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Griff

      I'm sick of hearing "we had to do what the Republicans wanted because time was running out" they knew this was coming and they waited until the last moment to vote on it. why not vote BEFORE the election and show Americans who truly favors the rich. getting harder and harder to defend Obama

      December 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacques

      Your ire is justified however aimed at the wrong person. In order to get anything done the President has had to compromise his wishes to suit the republicans who swore nothing would pass the house until the richest 1% also received an extension on tax cuts. There was no choice unless we wished to sit stagnant as a government and country. This is not what Obama wanted and if any of you complaining about this voted GOP in November you are merely getting what the repubs. promised that they would do. I suspect that there is a fair bit more of this type of thing to follow thanks to our republican friends.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Opinions

      James Friel I saw an article over the weekend that compared Government paid salaries to private sector salaries for the same occupation and the gov workers were paid quite a bit more...so cry me a river. The troops are risking their lives, you are not, and they are paid peanuts for it. The rich (of which I am not) are already paying about 35% of the overall taxes for the entire country they also spend the money they get. So I'm for everyone getting to keep those tax cuts. But if it wasnt for the Repub majority this wouldnt be happening, dont blame all on Obama (even though I did not vote for him and will not come the next election). America has spoken, they are tired of the current admin be they repub or democrat and if they dont start making better choices they will be voted out the next go around. Also, I am all for gov salaries being lowered to meet private sector so as to make it fair since private sector has taken a beating.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mmr

      My yard guy owns his business – he makes $420K a year in revenue – because he has 10 guys working for him. (he averages about 42K a head in yard cutting fees – including his own cutting). He has to pay 2/3 of that back to his men, and hold reserves back for equipment maintenance of 1/10 of the income. The Democrats want to raise his taxes – because he is WEALTHY... Really? Do the math on what his real take home is. You democrats are whining about less than 1% of the people in this country who are rich – many of whom are not even citizens who would pay our income taxes – all the while you are pushing to scr*w the yard man trying to build a business.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      I understand your feelings. I too am disappointed with the tax cuts, but when I consider the alternative, I see that his back was against the wall. If he did not allow this plan then millions of Americans would see unknown poverty and suffering when they had no unemployment benefits and no way to feed their children. Sometimes people end up in very difficult situations and have to do the best they can with the choices available to him. President Obama did not have 2 good choices. As you contemplate another vote in 2012, just imagine what things will be like if there is a Republican president. The wealth for the currently wealthy will likely skyrocket. At least the current president is doing all (in his control) to take care of the average Joe.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mmr

      To opinions – you are wrong on a few things – the wealthy – upper 5% are paying over 70% of taxes in the country. The top 1% pay approx 50% of the taxes. 50% of the people in the US pay no income tax. 30% of those that pay nothing – we actually give a tax rebate to – go figure.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • AceRyder

      James F, I have news for you – most people in non-government America either faced massive layoffs or pay freezes for the past year, maybe two, while government workers got raises and no layoffs.

      Working for the government, are you exempt from suffering along with the rest of the country in hard times? Just make the "rich" pay for your annual raise? Most company's scale back expenses when revenues are low. The government has a totally elastic product and simply raises revenues (=tax rates) and its "customers" can do NOTHING about it. Can't shop elsewhere, can't hold off the "purchase" until next year, go without. We must pay the tax by law.

      Government spending is out of control and this is a step toward reigning it it. The answer isn't status quo and just force people to pay more to sustain the government's spending.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mmr

      um – there are democrats that voted for extending this plan as well – not just obummer – I am assuming you are going after all of them with pitchforks too?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gabriel Pierre

      CNN, SHM NN, your network is losing credibility on daily basis, your so called "neutral position" is everyday tainted with partisan or ideological comments. CNN is no better than FOX or MSNBC simply more confusing and at times a lot more discusting. If you are so against everything OBAMA does maybe your network should run for office in the next election.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good Citizen

      I hope everyone realizes, Obama is trying. However, this is not about republicans and democrats. It is the rich against the poor. Those in power that want to leave the tax breaks for everyone tell us this will help stimulate the economy. This is a lie. The rich will take the money they are saving from not paying taxes and do the following. First, they will spend their money in countries where people work for $100 a month. Then sell us the goods for 100 times that. Second, they will take advantage of those hard working Americans loosing their homes to foreclosures, buy the properties that have lost value by over 80%, since they are rich and can hold out and will wait several years and sell the homes again to the another middle class person that has been fortunate enough to have a job, that of course, when that guys turns 68, he will have to sell because he will need the money to survive, because Social Security will either be gone or privatized and he will somehow lose out. It is a vicious cycle.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I understand people are outraged because it may not comport with their own opinions or with their personal situations, but I am curious why we believe any person should be required to pay a different tax just because they are successful? Why should "rich" folks be required to prop-up or pay for social programs if they don't want to? Are they being punished because they've been successful? Are they contributing more to the national debt than those who would benefit from the tax cuts? I am just curious. I agree that we have a deficit issue – no doubt about it. And it calls for creative solutions. But the last I heard, we are supposed to be considered equal in all other terms. In fact that is the most common refrain you hear from the disenfranchised or marginalized (socially or financially) – everyone should get the "same" opportunities. And so some have, for any number of reasons (some in their control and some not, admittedly), capitalized more on those opportunities. Why do they have to pay more to fix the country's problems? I have trouble reconciling the duality. Tax the rich more because they're, well, rich. Is that equitable? I can get on-board with giving breaks to those who need it- the government helping the needy and donwtrodden – but, somehow going the other direction (taxing rich people more to help those people just because they are so) doesn't seem to me to be what our country is about.....

      December 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      I don't really care much about this one way or the other but It's funny to read "Obama's giving away billions to the rich" are people not just being allowed to keep more of the money they earned through their own efforts? The truth is the rich are being allowed to keep more of their own money as are all other wage earners. The government is allowing people to keep money that belongs to them in the first place. What's wrong with this picture?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I for one am fine with this compromise. I make about $50,000 a year and for the last few years, not only did I not pay taxes, but the Federal Government actually paid me to live. I paid nothign in (I am self-employed) and I got a "refund." I actually wised I paid a little more of my share rather than allowing those wealthiest Americans to pay it all. What is so wrong about allowing them to keep more of their money and for me not to get money.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • IMHO

      Seems to me it's the best deal he could get from a Republican Senate holding an unemployment insurance payment extension hostage in order to garner the tax cut extension largesse for their millionaire puppet-masters.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Romo

      OBAMA DID NOT WANT THE EXTENSIONS FOR THE WEALTHY. He was forced to concede this part of the package because the pro-wealthy Republican GOP punks were not willing to give ANYONE extensions unless the RICH GOT THEM TOO. Obama is doing the right thing for Middle Class Americans by allowing the extensions to go through for everyone at the cost of not getting added taxes from the rich (those who can easily afford them). The Republicans are to blame for this one, for forcing the Dems hand when it came to the extensions. Good job voting them into power, fools. There will be an estimated 75 Billion NOT coming into the tax coffers now because the Republicans want to make the RICH EVEN MORE RICHER NOW.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • F Hoefle

      That's right, Mr. Friel, blame it all on Obama – are you possibly a tea party Republican? The Dems will not have a majority in the House. How can Obama do what you (and he) wants re upper class taxes, etc. without a cooperative Congress? The R's will try to get us attacking ourselves – it's old hat. but it always works, and we'll vote for some R bozo who ha no fundamental knowledge of economics, and no loyalty to anything except his party. In 2012, you can go to the tea party – just don't vote.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good Citizen

      I am a state employee and I have not received a raise in 3 years. So I am confused where some people posting are getting the stats about government employees getting raises. Regarding govenrnment, you know what we need to do. I read somewhere that most senators and representatives are very well off millionaires. For those that are, why are they getting salaries. We should only pay for their expenses(spell out clearly what these means, or they will abuse this too). That would save at least 1 billion. Just an idea. Maybe I will run for office. This way I can commit crimes and take kickbacks that benefit me. Just kidding, I am not an evil politician/lawyer elitist.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConcernedNetizen

      I hate when they use this format for article posting, it makes it hard to reply/comment to people who lobby hard for tax breaks on rich people. someone said how unfair it is that people making under 50k/yr pay amount no tax (WHAT?!?!) while if you make a million dollars you only take home a paltry $600,000 to the wife and one kid.. Geez gimme a break, $50k/yr and a mortgage/kid is the new poverty line. How many people making a million dollars a year have a mortgage to pay versus how many making 50k/yr ?!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Mr. Friel,
      You are still getting your tax break. When you say no one is paying their fair share of taxes, I hope you are including yourself in that statement. Frankly, they should do away with all tax breaks, strip out the tax code and cut federal spending. That is the only way this country can pull out of the nose dive we are in. But the politicians will continue to pander to their voter base and our economy will continue to decline.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aspen35064

      How do you know so much about your yard man's income? How do you know so much about your yard man's income and not know that a tax increase is for any amount of personal income that he makes over 200/250k? How do you know so much about your yard man's income and not know that the money he spends on equipment and upkeep is a tax write-off?
      It sounds like the yardman gave you his sob story so that he could justify the increase you are about to pay for your lawn service.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • sickandtired

      For all of you complaining about the current tax rate getting extended, why don’t you take more of your own income and give it directly to the government. I work hard for the middle class wage I get and my employer worked hard to create the business he has and the ability to hire individuals to work there. If you don’t like the low amount you all are paying, by all means please do pay more directly to the government. Also you cannot tell me that these individuals who have to have 99 weeks of unemployment cannot find some sort of job. It is called why should I work if I am getting paid to sit and do nothing.
      Oh and the poor whining Federal Worker who has to take a paycut like those of us in the Private Sector had to two years ago and still haven’t got one. If it was just the millionaires getting the tax rate put back to Clinton levels that is fine, but since when are those who make $250,000 considered rich. Small business owners and others are counting on those tax rates staying the same, so they can afford equipment, salaries and other types of items for their businesses. Some also have tens of thousands in student loans to pay off, so they don’t make as much as you think. Like I stated you want to give away your money fine, but the government can keep its hands off mine.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adrian1812

      I cannot say for sure that I will vote for Obama in the next election. This President has refused to fight for tax cuts for only the middle class. He should Veto any bill that comes to him giving away money to the rich.. Im tired of this nonsense.... I dont care if tax cuts expire for everyone including me.. Have some backbone Mr. President.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Please, my fiancee and I fall into the $250k+ segment and are more than willing to take the tax hike. The tax break for the "rich" goes into their pocket and stays. Why do you think that 80% of the personal income growth for the past 8 years occurred for the top 1% of earners? Even during times of economic prosperity the gap between the "rich" and middle class grew.

      The Gov't needs to review it's spending DRAMATICALLY, AND tax distribution and laws needs a complete overhaul.


      December 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack S.

      I get so weary of hearing the whiners and crybabies of American society as they snivel that the "rich" are fair targets for higher taxes simply because they happened to be lucky in life financially.

      Ask those whiners and crybabies to define "rich" and they never can. Or, if they try, its always some arbitrary figure that they dreamed up to satisfy their own hateful thought process. Usually, they're merely angry people who were never taught to accept everyone around them as fellow humans. They're almost always from a dysfunctional family and hate anyone who seems to have a better life than they did.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jjh

      Obama has caved in and realizes that Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the Republicans are in charge. The jobs are gone and soon, so will be the New Deal. This is the world the TEAparty has wrought. Enjoy the consequences.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry Harris

      This past election was supposed to have sent a message to the ones left in office thart they have to do the right thing for america. I guess none of them were listening. I'm a republican and even I don't agree that the tax cuts should given the the high income earners. We (the nation) can not afford it. This is much larger than the stimulist package that they fought so hard against. How can they ( republicans) keep saying that we can not keep spending money we don't have and be on board with this?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • sane

      @mmr – You are either particularly inarticulate in expressing your thoughts or totally misinformed about our tax codes. If your yard guy receives $420K in gross revenues and pays his workers 2/3 of that, his net revenues on which he would be taxed would be $140K and therefore the tax rate increase for those making over $200K would not apply to him. His taxable revenue would further be reduced for other business related costs.

      The fact that guys like you are eligible to vote explains the results from the last election.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really? I mean, Really?!!

      I love the argument, "It's not that taxes are too low, it's that federal spending is too high." Really? Where were you for the last 10 years that you have no idea where all of our federal dollars have gone? You voted for Bush. Twice. You support the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the draining of our national *surplus* to fund the killing of thousands of people in the name of WMDs and terrorist threats from third-world guerrillas. And now you're going to complain about the taxes on you to pay for it? Really?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • SpecialPlace

      First of all, it's not OUR debt...It's THEIR debt. THEY spent OUR money into debt, it was by NO means our choice to spend all that money. Some of us are better than that, it's as simple as that.
      Second of all, I can neither believe nor understand what people are thinking these days. You say "They are giving Millionaires a tax break" as if the government somehow favors the wealthy. Well, this is FAR from the case.
      Whatever happened to the notion that government should be treating everyone equally? Why isn't EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN in this country being treated equally? We can't even come CLOSE to saying we treat everyone equally. The wealthy citizens are chastized, even though they are the ones who nearly single-handedly keep our government running with THEIR MONEY. These guys pay SO MUCH MORE than everyone else, and you people are upset about the fact that EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN GETS A TAX BREAK (minus the 40% or so who don't even PAY TAXES)??
      You people who think it's "Fair and just" to ONLY give tax breaks to the poor, you have no idea what the term EQUALITY means. You only know what ADJUSTMENT means. Get a CLUE. It's people like you who are turning this country inside out....The government should NEVER be treating certain citizens one way and other citizens another SIMPLY BASED ON STATUS.
      This is ridiculous....Where in time did this shift take place....where all of a sudden poor people get special treatment, the rich are forced to pay more money than many of us make in a lifetime....And the rich are looked at as greedy beasts when the government decides to TREAT EVERYONE EQUALLY with a tax cut??? Where is the Equality in all of this???

      December 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Michael

      Your an idiot! He isn't giving tax "breaks" to anyone he is extending what is already in place the tax rate stays the same for everyone. How is it going to help you if he "takes" money from the "rich". Your taxes still stay the same he isn't giving a dime in tax breaks to the middle class. The majority of the "rich" you are talking about are samll business owners who will just pass this cost onto middle class employees by either laying them off or lowering their pay. Our debt grows not because of the "rich" they are not the ones borrowing trillions that is our government borrowing to pay for their socialist agenda's. The "rich" are the ones working, contributing, creating jobs and paying taxes. Have you ever heard of the fall of Rome look it up. Get a clue!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hmmmm2

      @mmr, I don't think your yard guy would get hit. What he pays his workers is a qualified business deduction so his income would stay below the 200/250 thresholds. In any event, thank God for the repubs finally drawing a line in the sand and blocking this. I do fall into that top 1-2% and had already planned to pass on the extra costs to (1) employees and (2) consumers. I've worked pretty hard through 8 years of college, 10 years as an employee (doing about 10-12 hour days), and another 10 years as a small business owner with cosniderable stress, long hours, and (although you won't believe it) dedication to my employees with good benefits and pay. I don't feel one bit guilty for what I make.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • 99'er

      h46av8r said: "The majority of people making below $50K pay no income tax." Where does he/she get this idea? I've been unemployed for about 2 years and I'm sure my job applications are not even looked at because:
      1. I'm currently unemployed
      2. I'm 57 years old
      3. I'm overqualified for jobs that I'm desperate to take just to be employed again

      BTW, I received only unemployment income last year and I can't afford to pay my state and federal income taxes on it (about $500 each)!


      December 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • kasm

      AceRyder and all you other people who don't know anything about Federal Wages...I suggest going to opm.gov to see our pay salary before taxes.

      The only people who make the assumed Federal wages are: politicians, their aides, and government civilian contractors...NOT FEDERAL WORKERS!

      So go cry your own rivers...."WAH! I DIDN'T GET MY 7% RAISE THIS YEAR! WAH"

      SHUT UP!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Felix

      I agree with Rico, Obama had no choice...plus it makes the Republicans look bad when Obama is cornered into a decision just to protect the middle class. The GOP constantly says they are trying to represent the average American, yet they were willing to risk tax cuts for the average American just to save money for the richest 1% of Americans, who more than likely supply their campaign funds. In order to keep up with the rest of the world, we cannot just simply "cut spending," otherwise we'll fall behind even more in education and technology. People complain about us hiring foreign workers, but American workers are either not interested in "dirty" jobs or aren't educated enough for the higher paying ones. In terms of education, we need to invest more in our own country. This will benefit everyone and can only be done through re-prioritizing or increasing spending to certain areas. This money can only come from us...it is our country.

      And then if you think it would be unfair to not offer tax cuts to the upperclass citizens, watch what Senator Bernie Sanders and John Kerry had to say about it. Since 1980 all the way until 2005, 80% of all new income went to the top 1%...now I highly doubt that the explanation for that would be because that top 1% worked harder than the entire middle class. Most of the time, these individuals are able to obtain this wealth through the hard work of their employees (the middle class citizens) yet they are insisting they need tax cuts when the middle class is struggling...is that fair?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • kelly

      James-Keep this in mind...those rich people you speak of...they pay 50% of what the government takes in in tax revenue. I think they pay their fair share. It's spending we have to get under control. i don't know about you but if i don't have the money for something....I don't buy it. The government should operate the same way..then we wouldn't be in this kind of debt. And finally....what I'd like to see is for congress to start drinking their own poison and live by the same laws they make us live under.

      December 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • sickandtired

      What is it with you people who want to demonize those who make money? I am lower middle class and am happy for the so called rich as they are the ones who provide me with a job. These individuals pay more than their fair share, while those who make less than 50K per year pay nothing. I am sorry, but the more money you take away the government just spends double of what they bring in. Why should we allow them to take more money from people who know how to invest and grow and economy and give it to a government who likes to spend it on nonsense? Why do you think charitable contributions have dropped dramatically the past couple of years? The government is trying to tax to death the individuals who actually give to charity and create jobs.

      December 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan S.

      48% of households filing income tax in 2009 paid $0 in income tax or actually made money by filing their taxes through tax credits! If anything seems wrong, this seems wrong to me! These people use the same roads, have the same defense, etc... as those "rich" evil people (according to progressives) making over $250,000/yr. How is this fair? The country has started to become engrossed in an endemic of jealousy and class warfare that is propagated by the progressives and is extremely damaging to the country. When did it become reprehensible to be successful and noble to be receiving handouts!?! Furthermore, to lump someone making $250k/yr in the same category as billionaires is irresponsible and contrived or completely ignorant. Do you people complaining about the "rich" tell your children to show no effort and take hand outs from those who are successful? This is insane and a fool can see that if the country doesn't change it's collective thought process we are doomed!

      December 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ErrolnDC

    For you all of you out there saying the President has no balls, or is a coward, you clearly missed class the days that they went over the forming of our government... Our political system doesn't just request participation and compromise, it DEMANDS it... It seems like you would rather both parties sit on there side, not give an inch, and absolutely NOTHING gets done... What happened between Obama and the Republicans is how things should work... each give up something to get something... No side gets everything or nothing.. A man with no balls would have stubornly stuck to his side and not tried to work to get something accomplished.. That's not courage... That's stupidity...

    December 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Someone

      The thing is, Republican will attack him during reelection if he doesn't do it for the rich. Just wait till Obama gets reelected and then does everything he want. He is trying to prevent another 4 years of Republican "No".

      December 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      this would make sense except for the fact that Republicans do what you describe ALL THE TIME. If they don't get their way nothing gets done, it's their MO in Washington. They need a does of their own medicine, not to get their way once again.

      December 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • PitRick

      Finally a reasonable and sound response on here! I'm so tired of reading comments from these people who claim to know everything and their best response is calling everyone else a derogatory name. Your statement should be copied into the comment sections of most of these news stories....

      December 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Obama made a commitment to the American public during the campaign. He didn't even fight for this. Just simply gave in. A true leader is a fighter and when they have a vision will take every means to accomplish it.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      ErroinDC–I must confess..when I first heard of this deal I was deeply disappointed in the President! HOWEVER–as I began to think about it–I came to the same conclusion as you–someone MUST compromise. There are still many without jobs and at the very least–the President was looking out for the little guy.I only hope that we find a way to tighten our belts in other areas such as doing away with earmarks (small but helpful) AND that these god-forsaken tax cuts truly do expire in two years so that we can get rid of this deficit!!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • UHhello

      I disagree, the president has stated over and over that he would end this charity for the rich. He has repeatedly reached out to the GOP and they have slapped his hand away while smiling and saying they want to cooperate. This country does demand compromise but it demands if from both sides. The American people should be ashamed of the Republican parties methods of holding the poor and unemployed as hostages for theiir charity for the rich. Basically my president has told the GOP he will do what they want because they won't compromise and he is trying to be the bigger man. Well he is bigger but he just sold the Democratic party down the drain for the second time the first time being the health insurance changes. He should never have taken single payer (the single largest cost savings part) option off the table. I for one will not vote for another democrat or republican neither deserve the respect of the American people. BTW I consider the Tea Party the extremist side of the Republican party so NO VOTE for you either.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      And what did the Republicans "give up"? They don't compromise – they just refuse to play unless they get their way. Obama is a coward and I am sorry I voted for him. Change? We might as well have McCain in office.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • DB

      The problem is that so many of our citizens know so little about how the government is supposed to function. The reason why it takes so much time to pass legislation is because our founding fathers did not want an instant fix to every problem. That's why legislation must go through both houses, be debated, and is often altered before it reaches the desk of the POTUS. Sometimes, when people compromise, they must make tough decisions. When you buy a car, you may have to give up a feature to meet your budget. Life is full of compromise.
      Our system was designed to be a slow process to prevent us from making rash decisions. Dictatorships are far more efficient because you have one person who lords over all and makes decisions unilaterally. Would you really want to live in that environment?
      As for the Republicans being called the "party of no", sometimes no is the best answer. Do you ever tell your children no when they ask to do something you know is not good for them?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ShockedinDC

      The part you seem to misunderstand about compromise.
      The Republicans were not giving any,were not planning on giving any and have not shown one inch of compromise since Obama was elected. Heck I haven't seen this much outright "Anger" and "Hatred" thrown at an elected official for no other reason then being elected. This has been happening since day one.
      Don't get me wrong. Reagan and Kennedy are my two favorite presidents so its not a Rebublican/Democrat mindgame that almost everyone is caught up in.
      The extended umemployment benefits were going to pass anyway. (which I do not agree with either) But just like the republicans said; They were going to hold all legislation hostage until they got what they wanted dam the people!!!!
      As you said our political system is structured for participation and compromise. But it does not demand that you should pass legislation based off a popularity contest or whats in in the best interests of certain senators campaign contributors.
      Obama has gotten bullied by the republicans "just say no" campaign since day one. Sad to say I believe he has learned that the modern political process is moved by the will of the money and not the will of the people.
      He had promised to come in and not do politics as usual. Thats exactly what happened and none of it was for the good of the people.
      Whats stupid is to go against a campaign promise that got you elected in the first place.... He has allowed himself to be bullied from both sides of the aisle..... Dems and Rep.....broke his word....turned his back on the dream... played "Their" game...... and has slowly been assimilated into the "political process" that is run by the money.
      That was the last straw and I can guarentee you that the republicans and the racist americans (not saying they are one and the same) got what they wanted.... Obama will not be re-elected in 2012..

      December 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mame

      Bill Clinton did the stupid thing and stood up to the Republicans in 1995. The Republicans wanted to slash services and held the budget hostage if Clinton didn't do what they wanted. Well Clinton stood his ground. He said he would not give into bad policies and if that meant the government shutdown then it was on the Republicans who wouldn't negotiate. Guess what Clinton won, got another 4 years and we had the biggest surplus in our history when he was done.
      Obama should take a page from the Clinton playbook. If the Republicans want the wealthy to keep their tax cuts, (oh and by the way, the rich don't pay taxes, they pay lawyers who shelter their money to avoid them), then let them go home to their districts this Christmas and explain their motives to the unemployed why they aren't as important as the big spenders (to their campaigns). I voted for this President because he repeatedly said he would work to undo the bad policy decisions of the previous administration. I have yet to seem him truly do this. We didn't leave the middle east. Our healthcare policy is so full of loop poles the insurance companies are already abusing it and now the middle class must once again kowtow to the rich in order to stay afloat. THE MIDDLE CLASS HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE ENGINE OF THIS ECONOMY!! NOT THE RICH! So if anybody should be getting tax breaks, stimulus checks and better care all around it should be US!!! The Republicans may be the Party of No but at least they are consistant. The next election is going to be so hard since I can't vote for the Republicans and I it will take a miracle for me to vote for Obama again

      December 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. QS

    Those who are trying to blame Obama for this need to remember that the "villain" in this story is not Obama, it's the right.

    I'm not overly excited that the rich, as usual, get everything and the rest get table scraps. I would much rather see the tax cuts expire for everybody personally. Do you realize that the amount in tax breaks that these rich people get, JUST the amount that they save from tax breaks, is still more than I make in actual income for a year?!

    I'm thoroughly disgusted with how this scenario has played out (although most of us could see it coming), but I'm not such a knee-jerk reactionary to instantly believe that this all falls on President Obama.

    And for all of you saying you will not vote for Obama in 2012 because of this, you honestly believe that a vote for the same people holding the country hostage to help the rich is the answer!? If you do, then there's even less hope for this country than I thought.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      You are clearly jelous, If rich pay more than you gross maybe they are paying your way.

      December 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • RM

      Quit your whinning! If you want to make more, then do it!! What I think is funny that all the middle class peope want their tax rates extended but just because someone makes more, you want theirs to go up! Absolutely selfish. Everyone has the opportunity to make millions! I am in the middle class and feel like the rich already pay the majority of taxes. Your sure not collecting tax on the millions out of work who have been on unemployment beniftis for 2-3 years. Again, whoever takes 3 years to find a job is not looking very hard. People, stop being selfish and claiming you have the right to determine someone elses tax rate just because YOU think they can afford it. Sad state currently in the United States.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Try voting Independent part at the polls. There is more than just Black and White, Demo and Repub. Don't let the media brainwash you, don't be forced into voting for the lesser of two evils. There are more than two parties in the elections people!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • RT

      >Do you realize that the amount in tax breaks that these rich people get, JUST the amount that they save from tax >breaks, is still more than I make in actual income for a year?!

      Do YOU realize that this implies the amount they pay in taxes is JUST four times what you make in actual income for a year?! Fair share? When will you pay yours?

      December 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • NJ Frank

      The top 5% of taxpayers (the Rich) pay approximately 60% of all personal income taxes. The top 10% pay approximately 70% of all personal income taxes. The bottom 50% pay approximately 2.7%. It's not "the rich" who are not carrying their weight. Do the math...90% of the population is paying 30% of the taxes.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill


      December 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • UHhello

      @ Steve go back to your trailor your beer is getting cold!!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • UHhello

      If you make over 250K in America you should be proud to pay a bit more exactly because this country is great and has given YOU the opportunites to be thankful for. Paying a little extra in taxes that prevent the really rich folks (over 500K per year) from investing in yet another piece of stock to make more money shouldnt' phase them unless they have greed in their heart. The poor go off and fight the wars that get the rich richer, the poor lift the heavy objects and unload the trucks that move the rich peoples profits. Why shouldn't the rich give a little more to the country that protects and serves them well? Greed is a sin and all I read from the right is B.S. justifications of supporting that deadly sin. The rich give more in charity but as a percentage of there income they give far less than the poor. The rich pay more in federal income tax in dollars but as a percentage of there gross earnings and holdings it is FAR less than the poor and middle class. Stop defending the rich, that only care about themselves. The poor give plenty and need plenty but the rich give less and need less they have health insurance, access to goods and services many neighborhoods don't have. they have the time to pay lobbyists to support their financial agenda.....the poor and middle class do not have this option.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • DB

      I'm so sick of the "rich people are evil" mantra. All you are looking at is their gross income. Do you know what their bills are? Are they paying employee salaries from that? How do you know they are not supporting aging parents? Maybe they have a sick child in need of special care. For all you know, they could be sending a hefty sum to charity. But, then again, it really doesn't matter WHAT they spend their money on. As long as they've earned it legally, it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Are you willing to open your bank account ledger for us to peruse? There are probably people who think you are rich and that you should pay more in taxes.
      I have a friend who grew up dirt poor in a large family. He has started his own business and is doing well. He owns a modest 1500 sq ft home and spends a lot of his cash on others. I don't know how much money he has in the bank and I would never ask him. He earned it fair and square and I don't hate him for it. I admire him.
      As for the middle class, my husband and I are still trying to dig out and rebuild our savings because of two years of heavy taxes. You see, I did something stupid by getting my Master's and going back to work when the kids grew up. Because of our sudden jump in income, we owed. Yet, I've met people who paid little to no taxes and yet got hefty refunds. Perhaps I'd have been better off to stay at home and wait for a check from Uncle Sam.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me Too

      QS, I am of the same thoughts.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaysunstar

      To those that think EVERYONE has the same opportunity to make millions, you are delusional. Our economy is not built so everyone can become rich. That is not how it works. America has always relied on a strong middle class. Name 1 country where EVERYONE is rich. It doesn't happen. However there are some countries that give the middle class a higher standard of living and those are socialist type governments such as Denmark or Norway. Wealthy people would NEVER be wealthy without the help of considerably poorer people working underneath them. It's a pyramid. So it is designed for few to be on top. And I know plenty of working class Americans that work just as hard doing something actually meaningful with there lives for a modest salary. This is more than I can say for those wall street people that play the stock market or bankers that rake in the cash. Sure these people work hard, but what exactly do that work hard at? Making money. That's it. It is a greedy selfish way to live and has no use to humanity. So NO I don't think the rich deserve a tax break. Most of them are spoiled, selfish and egotistical. One thing I learned from traveling the world being in the company of the elite as an entertainer is that the rich people act even more childish than poor people. There is more jealousy and pettiness and they will never see the light of day. I realized very quickly that I was the lucky one to come from a good working class family rather than to be around miserable upper class. Most of them have the emotional maturity of a 10 year old. I count my blessings every day that I am not like them.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Looking for answers

      >The top 5% of taxpayers (the Rich) pay approximately 60% of all personal income taxes. The top 10% pay >approximately 70% of all personal income taxes. The bottom 50% pay approximately 2.7%. It's not "the rich" who are >not carrying their weight. Do the math...90% of the population is paying 30% of the taxes.

      Good point bro; strange though, that even though the rich pay so much of the taxes, they are still able to live beyond comfortably, while the people who pay the least amount struggle to make a living. It's appauling to me to hear people give arguments that the extemely rich deserve all their money; did you know back in the 60s the top percentages were taxed 90% and still managed to live lives of luxury and spoil? I also don't understand the thinking that somehow the rich worked really hard for their money; a lot of it is inhereted, and the rest of it is stolen from the less fortunate (I'm looking at you CEOs). If you don't want to pay just taxes, and you don't want the public services that they provide, seriously, just get out of the country.

      December 7, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. johnp1

    those who think what obama did was wrong and republicans hold them hostages should write to obama that let all the bush tax run out and we all pay higher taxes. Debt is too much anyway.

    There is a limit of being stupid..and Dem r just that beyong stupid.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Common Sense

    Miserable day to be a liberal.

    If going the past two years and seeing Keynesian economics fall flat on its face wasn't bad enough, liberals now have to face the fact that Pres. Obama, champion of the left, is abandoning his campaign rhetoric and taking a huge, giant step to the right (i.e., the political center).

    Christmas is always a depressing time for many Americans - I have a feeling for many Democrats this will be a particularly bad one.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • GDB

      It wasn't Keynesian economics that failed, it was the lack of them. Keynes believed free markets cannot self-regulate, and that was ultimately the problem. Greedy & dishonest big businesses that took advantage of the lack of oversight. In any case, either the current generation sucks up the debt it created, or we punt to our children & theirs.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      Common–don't give up. In a perfect world all of Obama's plans are fabulous–everything from green technology to doing away with the tax cuts. But it's not a perfect world and in a world with a crumbling economy and–I'm gonna say it–self-centered teapartiers–compromises must be made. Maybe we've only taken baby steps so far but we WILL ultimately get there!

      December 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      Not enought Keynesian economics?

      What about all those bailouts and the Stimulus Package? (Pretty sure those were all out of Keynes "playbook").

      December 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      No! Great Day to be a liberal, less is coming in and more is going out... No wonder the Chinese are overtaking us at global scale.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff, an Independent

      "It wasn't Keynesian economics that failed, it was the lack of them."
      787 BILLION Dollars to "Stimulate" the economy. Keynes is a fruitcake and failure.

      December 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
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