Senator Hatch Lies, Calls Obama Proposal ‘A Classic Bait-And-Switch’

Republicans are feigning shock that Obama is proposing to implement the very same policies that Americans voted for in November. In the Weekly Republican Address, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, demagogues the so-called “fiscal cliff” and falsely claims that the Obama administration proposal to raise taxes on the rich (slightly, by allowing the Bush tax cuts on the top bracket to expire) is “a classic bait and switch.”

President Obama ran for re-election explicitly on the proposal he is advocating now. Much of President Obama’s current proposal appeared in his 20-page plan, released back in October. Polls indicate 60 percent of Americans support Obama’s tax plan.

Senator Hatch says the answer is to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, lower tax rates for the rich, and achieve “comprehensive tax reform,” whatever that is. Where is the Republican plan? We’re still waiting.

Oh, and by the way there is no such thing as a “death tax.” This term is the creation of Republican pollster Frank Luntz. It’s actually called the estate tax, and only applies to inherited wealth of more than $5 million (which is taxed at a 35 percent rate). Estates pass automatically without taxes to a spouse.

UPDATES:
Paul Krugman predicts the next two years will be “one long Republican tantrum.” “Republicans are signaling that they don’t intend to make any specific proposals, they’re just going to yell and stamp their feet until Obama soothes them somehow.”

Steve Benen explains why the GOP has no proposal: “Under the rules Boehner and McConnell drew up last year, Republicans are supposed to tell the president, “Make us happy,” and Obama is supposed to keep offering conservative ideas in the hopes of guessing what they’ll find satisfactory.”

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on December 3, 2012 - 2:48 pm

    Nobody would lie while wearing a flag lapel pin, right?

    I’m getting so tired of hearing “fiscal cliff” every time I turn on the radio or television. It’s the same old tactic as the endless WMD’s barrage, or the “tax and spend liberals”. When are the Republicans going to start helping it’s fellow citizens as opposed to driving them crazy with slogans?

    I want to hurt someone whenever a politician tells us what the American people want, when what they really want is the exact opposite.

    And to think that we have to put up with this liar for another term. Uhg.

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on December 3, 2012 - 3:33 pm

    The great Krugman is back with another column today and mentions Orrin’s fireside talk.

    I would say the last 40 years have been one long republican tantrum, but I loved Krugman putting like that. It’s SO true!

  3. #3 by Larry Bergan on December 3, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    I love the title of this article: About Time: Obama Finally Gets Tough.

    If Obama hangs tough and the budget briefly goes “over the cliff” in the form of automatic tax increases for everyone and mandated indiscriminate spending cuts that risk sending the economy back into recession, the Republicans are at last set up to take the blame that they richly deserve.

    It will be great to see the Republlicans with their pants down again, as when they shut the government down under Clinton. Full steam ahead, assholes!

  4. #4 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    Over the weekend Howard Dean was on MSNBC, and I’m pretty sure he said the best thing to do is go over the so-called “fiscal cliff” — all the way, even if it brings another recession.

    So there are three options:
    (1) Play let’s make a deal with Republicans;
    (2) Go over the cliff and then make adjustments, assuming the Republicans will go along;
    (3) Go over the cliff and let the chips fall where they may (the full “Thelma and Louise”).

    Do you think Senator Hatch remembers that movie was filmed in Utah?

  5. #5 by Larry Bergan on December 3, 2012 - 4:43 pm

    We went over the cliff the day George W. stole the election in 2000. There’s no where to go but up from here.

    The Republicans are going to chicken out:

    We should endlessly chide them for it!

  6. #6 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2012 - 4:52 pm

    Now the Republicans are talking about their so-called “Doomsday Plan” to let House Dems pass the extension of the Bush tax cuts for all but the top tax bracket without any GOP votes. It has already passed the Senate.

  7. #7 by cav on December 3, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    It’ll be good for repuglics. Of that there is no doubt.

  8. #8 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 8:45 am

    That’s what they are calling it. Don’t ask me.

    IMHO there is too much drama and hyperbole surrounding the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Let’s recall they were originally supposed to be a temporary measure to solve what Republicans regarded as the “problem” of the Clinton budget surplus.

  9. #9 by Droner in Chief on December 4, 2012 - 9:00 am

    Spend us further into oblivion, be sure the hole is so deep, when we finally fall into it, it will be to our good fortune to die instantly as linger

  10. #10 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 9:22 am

    I will support a plan which has the same revenue amounts and same spending amounts as under Clinton. 18%

  11. #11 by cav on December 4, 2012 - 9:58 am

    We’re Doooooooomed if we don’t, Damned if we do.

  12. #12 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 10:34 am

  13. #13 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 11:03 am

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds that working taxpayers with income below 450 percent of federal poverty guidelines (commonly known as the federal poverty level, so abbreviated as FPL) face a marginal tax rate of 30 percent, on average, under the provisions of law in effect in 2012.

    Source: Congressional Budget Office, November 2012: Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low- and Moderate-Income Workers (PDF)

    So working Americans pay double Willard (“Mitt”) Romney’s effective tax rate of 15 percent.

  14. #14 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 11:53 am

    You are confusing “marginal” rates in your chart above with “effective” rates in your link.

    Quite different.

    Get a clue.

  15. #15 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 11:59 am

    In addition,
    Those are not marginal tax rates alone. They also include the effect of SNAP (food stamps) benefits. So if you earn to much money then you don’t qualify for SNAP which they call a “tax” in this calculation.

  16. #16 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 12:15 pm

    The CBO measured “effective marginal tax rates” for low and moderate-income workers.

  17. #17 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 1:20 pm

    Yes, which is entirely different than effective tax rate.

    Do you need my help explaining it to you?

  18. #18 by cav on December 4, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    I’ll say this: I’ll never use my analyst as my tax adviser…or vs versa.

    Too much ‘expertise’ for me to be involved in.

    It’s frightening to think so much brain-power – and always correct, always spot on, never arrogant – can be imbued in one individual.

  19. #19 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 1:32 pm

    I certainly don’t buy the Tax Foundation theory that 40 percent of Americans have a negative tax rate. Can you explain that?

  20. #20 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 1:45 pm

    Yes.

    If you pay no income taxes at all, but you receive an earned income tax credit, then you have a negative income tax.

    Get it?

  21. #21 by cav on December 4, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    That’s part of the equation – even up to a person who pays, say $1600.oo in self employment taxes, but may still get $1601.oo in earned Income and other tax credit. This, scenario might also be found in the upper income reaches, when, after write-offs of $XXX.oo, and resultant credits of $XXX.o1, we begin reflecting on that part of the 40% spoken of by the Tax Foundation that are not incapable of paying taxes – they just do not. It goes UP from there.

  22. #22 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    This is a typical dodge right-wingers use.

    If your federal income tax rate is negative, you still don’t necessarily have an overall negative effective tax rate. If you qualify for an earned income tax credit, that means you have a job (the EITC is actually a subsidy for employers who are too cheap to pay a living wage). That means you pay payroll taxes, state and local income taxes, federal excise taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, property taxes (either directly or through your landlord), etc. True, lots of people don’t have jobs, but most of them are retired, disabled, or students.

    From the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

    Most of the people who pay neither federal income tax nor payroll taxes are low-income people who are elderly, unable to work due to a serious disability, or students, most of whom subsequently become taxpayers.

    There is no moocher class. Willard (“Mitt”) Romney is wrong.

  23. #23 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 3:06 pm

    As you have said many times, Social Security taxes pay for Social Security benefits only. Medicare taxes pay for Medicare benefits only. (Well, 1/3rd of benefits). Someone who pays no Federal Income Tax probably doesn’t pay any state and local income taxes either. They probably do pay sales taxes and property taxes, either directly or indirectly. However, residential property taxes do not come close to paying for all the services that residents enjoy. Property taxes on commercial property account for a good chunk of total local property tax revenue, so residents don’t actually pay for their own whole share. So, someone who pays no Federal income tax, no state income tax, no local income tax, receives the EITC, but does pay some sales tax and some property tax is definitely not paying their own fare.

    It’s arithmetic.

  24. #24 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 3:12 pm

    In my experience, the hardest jobs in this country are the least well paid. So you can be the one to tell somebody in a low-paying job that Republicans want to raise their taxes, while giving the rich another round of tax cuts!

  25. #25 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 3:45 pm

    Thank you for the completely unrelated and off topic point. I take that as a concession.

  26. #26 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    brewski–

    I know you deny any connection between your comments and standard right-wing propaganda, but you can’t get away with implying that Romney’s 47% moocher class actually exists. It does not.

  27. #27 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    I look to data and arithmetic for my answers, not people like Mark Schmitt who it appears has never held a real job in his life.

  28. #28 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 5:26 pm

    Total government spending in 2012:
    $6,331,960,000,000

    Total US population:
    314,123,000,000

    Spending per person:
    $20,157.58

    So if any given family of 4 isn’t paying $80,000 in taxes, then they aren’t paying their load.

    Arithmetic

  29. #29 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 5:34 pm

    The data show that there is no permanent underclass of “takers” in America, despite what Faux News says.

  30. #30 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 5:46 pm

    Arithmetic

  31. #31 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    Better recheck your arithmetic. I don’t think there are 314 billion Americans, because the world population is approximately 7 billion.

  32. #32 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2012 - 6:07 pm

    Anyway, the relevant point is that non-rich students, retirees and disabled workers need the social safety net. Working people pay for it. There is no permanent “moocher” class the way Willard and Faux News envision it.

    Those trying to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and student loan programs in order to give tax cuts to the rich are making both a political and an economic mistake of the highest magnitude.

  33. #33 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 6:12 pm

    I know, I saw that I typed three too many 0’s.

    But I got the answer correct.

    I’ve consistently argued for a 150% increase in taxes on the very richest. I don’t know why you keep ignoring that.

  34. #34 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 4, 2012 - 6:13 pm

    “Those trying to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid”

    Read Obama’s Budget.

  35. #35 by cav on December 4, 2012 - 7:07 pm

    Anyway, despite my total Math FAIL, the relevant point is…

    You’re so full of it. But keep up the ‘good’ work.

  36. #36 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 6, 2012 - 6:18 pm

  37. #37 by Richard Warnick on December 6, 2012 - 6:36 pm

    I guess I need to quit my job and go on welfare, if that graph is correct. Moochers rule! ;-)

  38. #38 by Larry Bergan on December 6, 2012 - 6:55 pm

    It’s a wonder the rich haven’t gone on welfare. They always describe it as some kind of haven.

    Oh…

    They have taken corporate welfare, but that doesn’t involve having your dignity questioned when you go to the store to get food. Doesn’t seem fair to me.

  39. #39 by cav on December 6, 2012 - 7:21 pm

    Not clicking. I’m up to here with BS.

  40. #40 by Cav's psychoanalyst on December 6, 2012 - 8:30 pm

    You can’t handle the truth!

  41. #41 by cav on December 6, 2012 - 8:55 pm

    ‘Authoritative’ speculation is not to be confused with knowing or having a handle on the ‘truth’. How I view your pretty colored chart, or don’t, has no reflection on my relationship with what is true. It is only that after many many exchanges with you, I have come to doubt that your are a purveyor of it at all.

    More BS, that is all. Live with it. I’m beyond your reach in that I actually prefer the truth.

    Now go stare into Orrin’s eyes.

  42. #42 by cav on December 6, 2012 - 10:03 pm

    Some truth I do find disturbing .

    For example: In the recent WI legislative election – gerrymandering was so blatant that the GOP won a 60/39 advantage in the Assembly even though they LOST the overall vote count by 174,000!

  43. #43 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 6, 2012 - 10:17 pm

    It’s my chart. It is the State of Pennsylvania’s chart. If you just want to cover your ears every time someone doesn’t parrot back to you your preconceived conclusions, then that is your problem and not mine. The truth is what it is. It isn’t the upisdownism you want it to be, no matter how much you want it to be.

  44. #44 by Cav's psychoanalyst on December 6, 2012 - 10:19 pm

    It’s not my chart. It is the State of Pennsylvania’s chart. If you just want to cover your ears every time someone doesn’t parrot back to you your preconceived conclusions, then that is your problem and not mine. The truth is what it is. It isn’t the upisdownism you want it to be, no matter how much you want it to be.

  45. #45 by Larry Bergan on December 6, 2012 - 10:21 pm

    Gerrymandering won the federal house too. The popular vote was overcome; hell, Mia Love almost beat Jimbo.

  46. #46 by Larry Bergan on December 6, 2012 - 10:25 pm

    Upisdownism?

    Somebody’s – and I do mean somebody – is typing too fast.

    Oh! I was thinking Upsidedownism. I’m not the expert on that. Somebody is.

  47. #47 by cav on December 6, 2012 - 10:36 pm

    It isn’t the upisdownism I want it to be at all. It’s the upisdownism that seems to be that which passes for truth among your ilk.

    It’s all you’ve got, and it simply is not enough. Get back with me when your rate$ drop to a level commensurate with your real abilities. I know the simple shock to your ego will probably make that some time from now, but from my perspective – so much the better.

  48. #48 by Larry Bergan on December 6, 2012 - 10:47 pm

    Let’s try to stay on subject…

    Oh, we ARE on subject: Orrin Hatch.

    Upsidewhatever is his forte’

  49. #49 by cav on December 6, 2012 - 11:01 pm

    Orrin: Past tense.

  50. #50 by Larry Bergan on December 6, 2012 - 11:21 pm

    Old white men: past tense.

    Wish I weren’t.

    They can’t say I never fought for the peoples right to vote on paper ballots which were counted in public.

    They can say many things about me, but they can’t say that.

    PLUS: I didn’t get paid.

  51. #51 by cav on December 7, 2012 - 9:55 am

    It does look as though we’re all going to be swept over the fiscal time-stamp despite our efforts to grapple with the Mayan Calendarocolypse. But now, I gotta go shop.

    First things first.

  52. #52 by Richard Warnick on December 7, 2012 - 10:29 am

    “Up-is-downism” is a term used to describe otherwise indescribable counter-factual Republican ideology. TPM’s Josh Marshall is credited with originating it during the Bush administration.

  53. #53 by Richard's Fact Checker on December 7, 2012 - 12:03 pm

    The State of Pennsylvania publishes factual data. Lefties ignore it since it doesn’t fit their counterfactual ideology. That is upisdownism.

  54. #54 by cav on December 7, 2012 - 1:38 pm

    Well, that depends on what your definition of ‘up’ is. Wouldn’t you say?

    You may be entitled to your own facts, but definitions, not so much.

  55. #55 by Richard Warnick on December 7, 2012 - 1:45 pm

    I can’t ignore the State of Pennsylvania. I have relatives there. Then again, I’m right-handed. ;-)

  56. #56 by cav on December 8, 2012 - 1:09 pm

    ?

  57. #57 by Richard Warnick on December 8, 2012 - 1:33 pm

    I have to explain a joke to cav?

  58. #58 by cav on December 8, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    I’m getting on in years Richard. Some of this just goes right over my head.

    And I sort of remember misplacing a question mark sometime ago. Found!

  59. #59 by cav on December 8, 2012 - 6:19 pm

    In a lame-duck session, the Congresscritters who don’t have to answer to voters any more are free to just answer to their next employers – the 1%ers who bankroll their careers. The press, of course, interprets the fact that they don’t have to answer to voters as independence and hails their votes as doing what’s best for the country rather than what they really are – obsequious efforts to secure their next jobs.

  60. #60 by Richard Warnick on December 9, 2012 - 11:13 am

    Just replying to the brewski non sequitur referring to Pennsylvania. I’m not a “lefty” and I don’t ignore that state. It’s a mystery what he was trying to say.

  61. #61 by brewski on December 9, 2012 - 12:41 pm

    The State of Pennsylvania said, not me, that in some cases you are better off making $29,000 per year than $69,000 per year. That is what they said.

  62. #62 by Larry Bergan on December 9, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    brewski:

    Could you see a scenario where a man who makes two hundred and forty nine and ninety nine thousand dollars would stop there these days?

    My math may be bad, and probably is, but it’s close.

  63. #63 by Richard Warnick on December 9, 2012 - 1:45 pm

    Was this in the news? Link, please.

  64. #64 by brewski on December 9, 2012 - 1:50 pm

    Yes.
    I did link it several times and it was deleted by Big Brother.

  65. #65 by Richard Warnick on December 9, 2012 - 1:51 pm

    OK, found it. AEI propaganda. Read the comments: “It’s a shame simple people take this garbage seriously.”

  66. #66 by brewski on December 9, 2012 - 1:54 pm

    The State of Pennsylvania is the AEI?

  67. #67 by brewski on December 9, 2012 - 2:10 pm

    So you are calling the Secretary of Public Welfare as being a sham and as evidence you point to some commenter living in his mother’s basement?

    Thanks for the laugh.

  68. #68 by Richard Warnick on December 9, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    Gary Alexander is a hack. He is not “The State of Pennsylvania” as you well know.

  69. #69 by brewski on December 9, 2012 - 3:58 pm

    http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/dpworganization/secretaryofpublicwelfare/index.htm

    Gee, that was convincing…..NOT! Any more names to call and commenters living in their mother’s basement to source?

  70. #70 by cav on December 9, 2012 - 5:23 pm

    He’s as credible as Gary Herbert then. Is that your profession?

  71. #71 by brewski on December 9, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    Hack:

    Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander oversees a department that provides services and supports to more than 2.1 million low-income, elderly and disabled Pennsylvanians. He is widely recognized as a health care and program innovator, welfare reformer and management specialist.

    Prior to being nominated as DPW secretary by Gov. Tom Corbett on January 18, 2011, Alexander served as the Rhode Island Secretary of Health and Human Services. In that role, he transformed health and human services into a value-oriented and performance-driven system focused on the needs of the consumer. He is the architect of the landmark Rhode Island Global Consumer Choice Compact Medicaid Waiver. The Rhode Island waiver redesigned the entire system of healthcare to focus on quality, choice and independence for consumers, while saving millions of dollars for the taxpayers.

    He also reformed the state’s cash assistance program to focus on “work first” and engage clients in employment. These efforts resulted in a 30 percent reduction in Rhode Island’s welfare population over the past two years.

    Other positions he has held include serving as policy director for Rhode Island’s lieutenant governor and as a healthcare budget analyst for the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

    A Boston native, Alexander received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Northeastern University and his J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law, both in Boston.

    What evidence do you have that he is a hack? Or do you just call named of people when you have nothing else to say?

  72. #72 by Richard Warnick on December 9, 2012 - 5:59 pm

    (1) Alexander serves a Republican administration, the same one that tried to prevent poor people and minorities from voting in the last election.

    (2) His bio describes him as a “welfare reformer.” This means he’s not on the side of the people he’s supposed to help.

    (3) The graph he presented at AEI ignores the fact that safety-net programs are time-limited. Nobody, no matter how needy, gets more than temporary help from TANF, SNAP and other federal/state programs. TANF only last 5 years max.

    (4) The process of qualifying and applying for help from the government is complicated, humiliating and designed to discourage people who are already discouraged. No one who can get a $69,000 a year job is going to subject themselves to that.

    Now perhaps brewski can explain why AEI and other right-wing propaganda outlets constantly put out this “let ‘em eat cake” nonsense. There is no permanent moocher class in America. Our government assistance programs are NOT generous, they are incredibly stingy by the standards of other developed nations.

  73. #73 by cav on December 9, 2012 - 6:13 pm

    “There is no permanent moocher class in America”.

    Au contraire, we’re just looking at the wrong end of the spectrum.

  74. #74 by Richard Warnick on December 9, 2012 - 9:53 pm

    Something like that. The entitled 1 Percent have already turned around the term “entitlements,” as if the meager social safety net we paid for out of our paychecks is somehow comparable to their government-subsidized lifestyle.

  75. #75 by Carter Braxton on December 10, 2012 - 11:44 am

    Certainly confirms my suspicions about the anti democratic instincts of some.

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