On yesterday’s Your World, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) spoke about taxes and spending. It didn’t take long for Cavuto to become argumentative over the thought of taxing the rich – and not the poor – more. Clyburn did a great job holding his ground and even managed to reframe the argument so as to put Cavuto on the defensive over Mitt Romney’s finances.
“We should also get serious about big revenue raisers… Our tax code is crying out for reform. Let’s reform this tax code. Let’s make sure that everybody has the same benefit, everybody’s playing by their same rules,” Rep. Clyburn said.
Cavuto responded, “So does that include, Sir, the nearly half of all households that pay no income tax right now? Would it be fair that they put some skin in the game?”
Clyburn answered, “If you don’t pay income tax, that means you’re aren’t making any income.”
”No, that’s actually not true,” Cavuto argued, “…Now a lot of these people are paying Social Security, Meidcare, what have you, but I can understand a few percent being not able to pay anything, and that’s fine, but 46%?”
”That’s why Richard Nixon… gave us the Earned Income Tax Credit,” Clyburn said.
”I know but we’re up to 46% not paying any income tax,” Cavuto said.
Clyburn had a great answer. “So what?”
”So what? That’s a big deal!” Cavuto said. But not a big deal that such a large percentage of the country doesn’t have a high enough income to pay.
”They’re contributing to the economic growth in the country,” Clyburn said.
Cavuto said, “Yeah, but they have no skin in the game when it comes to correcting our tax code… I understand what you’re saying about fairness, Sir, maybe the rich paying more, maybe you’re right. But I wonder about the other half paying no income taxes at all. Is that fair?”
Yes, it is, Clyburn countered. “It is fair if they don’t have sufficient income to pay taxes. Why should we say to people who’re making almost no income, got children to feed, making $20,000 a year.”
Cavuto interrupted. “Well they’re not, you have a lot of earners making $15,000. I’m not saying they’re all sponging off the system.”
Clyburn had another great answer. “Yes you are.”
”No I’m not,” Cavuto said, on the defensive now. He mentioned “pointing fingers at the rich,” and added, “You are only further heightening this – I don’t know - this angst between the classes right?”
”Let’s stop denigrating poor people,” Clyburn told him.
”I’m not denigrating poor people, but at 46%, they can’t all be poor people,” Cavuto said.
That’s when Clyburn got in his dig at Romney. “I don’t mind paying a little more on their behalf. I think that the people who make $20 million a year and paying no income tax or pay 14% as is happening with one presidential candidate who made $21 million doing no work at all.”
Cavuto fell for it. “There’s a capital gains rate, and he’s paying that capital gains rate. It’s not as if he’s dodging the tax man, right?”
”He’s got the money off in the Cayman Islands and other places outside of the country and won’t let us see it... Let’s see it, he may be dodging,” Clyburn said.
Now, when I go to file my Federal Tax return (which I’ll be getting around to doing in the next few weeks), I’ll list my income (the “gross pay” minus the amounts on my “tax-free” things like health insurance and retirement premiums), then subtract the allowed deduction (in my case, about $9500 since I’m single and not anyone else’s “deduction”) and enter that on the “taxable income” line. I’ll then list the total of money that my employer withheld (as my “tax payment”). I’ll then go the the fun little tax tables and check to see where my “taxable income” lies. Now, if my employer has done their job properly, I won’t have to pay ADDITIONAL federal taxes—but, at the same time, I won’t get a refund either. Unfortunately, in most years, I’ve had silly things like “pay raises” or “COLAs” or even “overtime pay” come along and screw things up so that I’ve ended up paying extra federal taxes (one year, it was almost $400) and this year, my preliminary estimate shows my having to pay about $25 or $50 extra.
But, the simple fact is that even those people who, according to you, aren’t paying taxes ARE, in fact, having money withheld from each paycheck to cover their tax burden. And I’m reasonably sure they’d rather have their $400 a week paycheck lessened by $50 rather than the alternative: Once they’ve filled out their tax return on their $20,800 annual income that they have to turn around and write out a check to the US Treasury for an amount of $1500-2000. Mr Cavuto, I’m sure that writing out such a check means little to nothing to you but, conversely, I doubt you’re faced with living on $20,800 a year.
I do wish some progressive lawmaker would get these right-wingers to understand exactly how “the poor” do pay taxes. Just because you’re not having to write out a check for hundreds or thousands of dollars to cover your tax burden does NOT mean you don’t pay taxes. If you get a paycheck, you’re paying taxes. (And in many states, even an unemployment check qualifies as “taxable income.” So do lottery winnings and getting money by dealing drugs. Just because you make your money by selling crack to schoolkids doesn’t allow you to not pay your fair share of taxes. Of course, we know that corporations manage to not pay their fair share of taxes; unlike crack dealers, though, the corporate CEOs don’t usually go to jail because they’ve got accountants finding loopholes and paying off GOP politicians.)
( R ) money
A concidence? I think not! Romney is clearly the work of Satan! Alert the media! :D