Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher Taxes is Patriotic

Finally someone says it.  If you can die for your country out of patriotism, maybe paying taxes is part of the deal.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday that paying more in taxes is the patriotic thing to do for wealthier Americans. The Republican campaign for president calls the tax increases their Democratic opponents propose "painful" instead of patriotic.


"We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people," Biden said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Noting that wealthier Americans would indeed pay more, Biden said: "It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut."

For too long, many wealthy people have selfishly asked working folks to die for America, but refused to do their part.  No more.

Tags: joe biden (all tags)



Tips for Joe Biden

telling the truth.

by TomP 2008-09-18 07:24AM | 0 recs

If the McCain campaign thinks they can win this year by campaigning on a purely ideological stance of "no tax raises for wealthy", they're wrong. The amounts in question are negligible for higher incomes, gigantic for lower incomes.

As for job creation, I don't believe this will actually affect that one way or the other. I really, really don't. You don't build jobs by handing over money to the already wealthy, you build jobs by tying all tax breaks to companies to job creation.

It's called TRICKLE for a reason, it's SLOWWWWWW even when it would be working! This is not the time for gradual actions that work over long periods of time. And frankly, unless you're going to put a freeze on investment in foreign economies, you've got no reason to suspect that the money would be spent here anyway. From a purely practical standpoint, if you had money to invest, it would be in growing economies.

But just from a general standpoint, what the fuck happened in this country? When did we start losing community as a patriotic value? When did the idea of a government that provides for its citizens become evil? Look, I can completely relate to people who are suspicious of government handouts, but is there a better means of getting money into the hands of working citizens? No, aside from just throwing it in the streets.

Ugh... I can't talk about this stuff. It gets my blood boiling that after 8 years of proof that tax cuts don't trickle down to our own citizens when the world is flat, we still have people who don't fucking get it. But knowing McCain and the company he keeps, it's not surprising.

by vcalzone 2008-09-18 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

The Government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.

--George Bernard Shaw

When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.


He who has the base necessities of life should pay nothing; taxation on him who has a surplus may, if need be; extend to everything beyond necessities.

--Jean Jacques Rousseau

Taxes are paid in the sweat of every man who labors.

--Franklin D. Roosevelt

by fogiv 2008-09-18 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -
Winston Churchill

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward. - John Maynard Keynes

The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets. - Will Rogers

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him. - Robert A. Heinlein

We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.
Ronald Reagan

by JimR 2008-09-18 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

Reagan?  Really?

by fogiv 2008-09-18 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

I always liked Reagan. I eventually forgave him for becoming a Republican... after I forgave him for being a Democrat.


by JimR 2008-09-18 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes thank you

Well, Rogers is the exception, saying that "I don't belong to any organized party. I'm a Democrat." :)

by BlueEngineerInOhio 2008-09-18 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

You're quoting Ronald Reagan and Heinlein on a democratic site???  You've come to the wrong place, the wingnut and Milton Friedman fansites are what you're looking for.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-09-18 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

ah yes RAH, loved his books hated his politics. Him, Niven and to a much lesser degree Pournelle (such a whiner!,)the PNAC/Randian nutjobs of SciFi.

by zerosumgame 2008-09-18 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

I have no idea what you or the professor are talking about. (That's why I don't post here much I guess.)

We can't even agree that "we spend too much"???

You know Ronald Reagan was a Democrat first.

by JimR 2008-09-18 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

sadly I was pretty sure you were just spouting anything that seemed to agree with you without any depth of knowledge behind it...

by zerosumgame 2008-09-18 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

Should I spout quotes that I don't agree with? Or don't agree with me???

I did read Stranger in a Strange Land many years ago but I must admit my ignorance of his politics.

by JimR 2008-09-18 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

for a change, why not quotes you actually understand? FYI the disaster our economy is sliding intoi is Rummy Ronnies fault.

by zerosumgame 2008-09-19 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

How much spending is "just enough"?  And what would you cut?

by username 2008-09-19 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

The thing I never can get is why Republicans seem to think that higher taxes for those who make more is unjust.  The premise seems to be that somehow the high earners are in exactly the same boat as the low earners.  However, businesses and corporations benefit disproportionately from our system.  They are provided with a trained work force from our schools and universities, that allow them to excel.  They are given patents to new technologies and drugs that are the product of government and university research.  They are provided with a top rate infrastructure that allows for their commerce and communication.  They benefit from a military that protects their interests abroad and helps to maintain stability in the world.  And finally laws disproportionately benefit their interests.  The massive profits and expansion of these businesses would not be possible without these things, and therefore big money earners have a greater debt to the public.

I would also like to know where all these small companies are that are supposedly the backbone of our economy.  As far as I can tell the backbone of our economy lies in massive corporations, banks, and mortgage companies, not small businesses.  You really think it's reasonable to give these companies tax breaks when they don't create jobs here but outsource them elsewhere to maximize productivity and profit?

by Philoguy 2008-09-18 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden

Thanks for the Plato quote -- I didn't know they even had income taxes back then.  It's good to see that nothing has changed in the last 2000 years.

by username 2008-09-19 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden
All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.
Benjamin Franklin, letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783
by Skex 2008-09-19 08:37AM | 0 recs
Just watched McCain-Palin in IA

They are hammering it (while mischaracterizing it as "Biden thinks raising taxes is patriotic")

by magster 2008-09-18 08:56AM | 0 recs
It was a stupid thing to say IMO.

by JimR 2008-09-18 09:25AM | 0 recs
Of course you think that.

You're a Republican--the party of sunshine patriotism.  Biden is right: real patriots make sacrifices for their country, monetarily and otherwise.  False patriots like the Republicans, on the other hand, praise others' sacrifices while offering nothing themselves.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it awhile.

by Elsinora 2008-09-18 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course you think that.

I am registered as unaffiliated.

In the last 4 elections I voted Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, although I admit that I had to hold my nose on that last one.

I'm a Vietnam veteran.

Last year I paid 48% of every dollar I made in federal taxes.

My question is... how much more patriotic does Joe Biden want me to be?

by JimR 2008-09-18 11:02AM | 0 recs
Correction... 38%.

Still too much.

by JimR 2008-09-18 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

Do you make over 250,000?  If you do, suck it up and give back to the nation that has given you the opportunities and freedoms to become rich.  Or, at least very middle class, in McCain's world.  

If you don't make over 250,000, you are likely going to get a tax cut under Obama's plan, one bigger than the one you'd get under McCain's plan.  See, since he wants to give tax cuts to billionaires, his plan can't give back as much to those waitresses, real hockey moms, steel workers, nurses, teachers, etc.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-09-18 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

There is no 38% bracket, so you didn't pay that much.  Even then, you don't pay 35% except on the amount of taxable income that exceeds 350,000.  

Now, even if you paid taxes in that 35% bracket, I don't feel sorry for you.  You have benefitted the most from what society has to offer, so you should give back.

Personally, I'm in the next bracket down from there, and I don't begrudge paying the taxes.  I just begrudge the current government for wasting the money on stupid wars rather than using it for good purposes like affordable health care, housing assistance for the working class and poor, etc.

by slynch 2008-09-18 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

Doesn't FICA count as taxes to Democrats?

I'm self employed so I have the privilege of paying both the employee and employer portions, which last year amounted to 15.3% of $98k (a number Obama wants to raise significantly) or about $15k. My actual income tax was closer to 33%.

You want to talk about health care? I pay 50% of my employees premiums (individual and family). How much does the government that you would like me to give more money to pay?

I also match up to 3% of the income they save through our Simple IRA plan. Again, how much does the government you'd like me to give more money to match?

My employees pay the government (which I collect and account for for them) roughly $250k per year in taxes. What happens to these types of workers when people like me decide that it's not worth risking your life savings and your home to try and be a business owner?

by JimR 2008-09-18 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

Yes, FICA counts as a tax, of course, but two things.  First, you said "federal income tax."  FICA isn't that.  Second, you will get all of your FICA contributions and then some back.  The average retiree collects every penny they contributed to FICA within 5 years of retirement (at 62, now 65).

As for the rest of this, I don't know what this has to do with anything we were talking about.  But, if you want to talk about health care and retirement contributions, I'm happy to do that.  Health care costs are a function of having a relatively unregulated health care "system coupled with having a "system" that doesn't cover everyone.  Instead, you and I are paying for those who can't afford insurance and turn up in the emergency room and don't pay.  The only way to cut costs in the system would be (1) to have a single payer universal system, and (2) to impose restrictions on charged costs.  A "free market" health system simply doesn't work.  To be blunt, I'm an expert on health policy, and there simply isn't any credible alternative to a single payer universal system if you want to improve health and cut costs.

As for your contribution to retirement accounts for your employees, good for you.  Personally, I don't think retirement benefits are the responsibility of an employer.  That's something that, through an improved social security system and individual retirement savings, could be adequately handled without employer contributions.  Historically, pension plans were offered as a fringe benefit to entice folks to accept employment at one place over another.  It would be nice if we could get back to such an economy where workers were competed for.

by slynch 2008-09-18 10:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

I just searched this thread for the words "federal income tax" and your post was the only one to come up.

by JimR 2008-09-19 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

You said federal tax FICA is not a tax it's insurance. So you are wrong on both counts. The top marginal federal TAX RATE is 35% you only pay that on income over 350,000 therefor your claim is false on its face and shows that you don't understand the tax system. Further FICA is only levied on incomes up to $102,000 so assuming you made enough income to actually hit the top marginal rate you actually got 248,000 or more completely free of any FICA with holdings.

Now you may have paid 48% or more in taxes when one includes sales taxes state income taxes property taxes however you get something in return for those taxes you get roads and police and emergency services you get a legal system which protects your property rights, You get a military that protects all those systems that secure your life liberty and property. So to complain about your taxes is to ask for something for free.

With out the systems and structures provided by the government that these taxes fund you would not have the income to be taxed in the first place.

by Skex 2008-09-19 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

Check out s.html

The government calls it a tax.

If you include my state tax I paid 43% of my income to the federal and state government. And you think I should pay more.

People who pay much less of a percentage get the same roads, police protection, and all the other benefits you mentioned. It seems to me that they're the ones getting something for free.

by JimR 2008-09-19 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

Them having access to those same roads is what allows you to make your income.

The reality is that that you enjoy the benefits of our society to a larger degree it is only fitting that you should have to pay a bigger share.

This concept goes back to the very foundation of our country.

With out the structure that those revenues provide you would have none of it. So it is only fair that a share of your larges be returned to the public trust since it was the publics investment in you that created that wealth in the first place.

So stop whining and pony up.

by Skex 2008-09-19 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

"This concept goes back to the very foundation of our country."

On that note I'll end this discussion the way I started it... with a quote.

America is a land of taxation that was founded to avoid taxation.

Dr. Laurence J. Peter

by JimR 2008-09-19 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

I'll defer to someone who actually had some hand in the founding of this country thank you.

"All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it."
Benjamin Franklin, letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783

Hell the Boston Tea party wasn't so much about the tax on tea but the fact that the East India Tea Company was given a waiver to said tax. So the truth is that the revolution was started over a TAX CUT.

by Skex 2008-09-20 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Correction... 38%.

Here's what you said:

"Last year I paid 48% of every dollar I made in federal taxes."

Anyone who looks at this statement, I think, would think you are talking about the federal income tax.  FICA is a separate matter.

But whatever.  

by slynch 2008-09-19 09:04AM | 0 recs
Are you in the top 1% of earners?


Then the answer is "not at all--in fact, under the Obama/Biden policy, you would be allowed to be less patriotic than under McCain's."

So much for that.

by Elsinora 2008-09-18 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Are you in the top 1% of earners?

Is he going to let the tax cuts expire?

Is he going to raise the FICA tax base?

by JimR 2008-09-18 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Are you in the top 1% of earners?

You haven't answered the question . . . do you make over $250,000 (top 1% of the income bracket in US)?  

by ProfessorReo 2008-09-18 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Are you in the top 1% of earners?

that's actually about the top 2% of all earners

by slynch 2008-09-18 01:15PM | 0 recs
Let me ask you a question

Who has more control of Government policy..especially the last 20 years..the wealthy or middle class and poor. I know the answer is wealthy, therefore they have driven us into immense debt, exported our jobs, have done financially very nicely under Bush & Co while the rest of their peers have suffered horribly. Until we pay off our debt and quit increasing it...we must pay more and more the saying does not grow on trees.

If you are ever so pissed that you have to pay a higher tax due to the fact you must live in surplus...please feel free to swap places with any person in another bracket...I am very sure they would be quite happy to swap with you and I am sure they would not be bitching about paying more, in fact we can get your taxes real does 15% sound to you?  The only catch is that you have to work for minimum wage...are you game?

by netgui68 2008-09-18 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Let me ask you a question

Your argument is fallacious and silly.  It discounts hard work and ambition and lets ONLY the unsuccessful off-the-hook.  You are saying that only the hard working and successful have responsibility.  Sorry, that is just not true in theory or reality.

Many, many lower and middle class people work hard for their income and do without certain things that their taxes provide free to those who just won't take responsibility for themselves.  Stop falling into playing the Republicans cartoonish characterization of "Democratic" beliefs.  There are people who skimp on things like medical and dental for their family while they work every day and have money torn from their income that goes to others who won't work get free medical and dental.

We need to take better care of those in trouble, but that should not mean relieving them of the same responsibility we have.

by OurYear2008 2008-09-18 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course you think that.

STOP IT!  You play into Republican hands when you react this way and say these things.  Obama is trying to change the BS "tax and spend" reputation we have been battling for years.

Not one of those quotes is wrong and not one flies in the face of the beliefs of Democrats and liberals.

We have all been trying for years to find a fair tax system and I don't beleive any intelligent person claims we are there.  Obama is trying to find a better way, that's all.

Besides, if you really believe this silly Biden quote then tell me this:  How much EXTRA money that you didn't owe have YOU sent in over the years?

The truth:  sorry, the economy is a mess and our gov't needs more money.  What do the Republicans propose?  Just letting the gov't go broke?

Quotes are fine and easy:  but actual practice is hard.  To our quote-man who may or may not be a Republican (why does the slightest difference in thought on here always bring a tirade of attacks, we don't all think exactly the same?)my question is:  Thanks for the quotes, but what does all that mean we should do RIGHT NOW?

by OurYear2008 2008-09-18 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course you think that.

Please specify which "quote man" you pose your question.  I was the first.  Shall I respond?

by fogiv 2008-09-18 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course you think that.

Anyone can respond.  I'm not arguing with you.  Those quotes are fine, they don't disagree with Obama's tax position.  He has said over that he doesn't want high taxes.  Sometimes more revenue has to come in, do those quotes mean we shouldn't bring more in?

by OurYear2008 2008-09-18 02:28PM | 0 recs
Money is never the issue in this country.
The United States government does not need more money.  It is the allocation of that money which should be at issue and almost never is, even on Democratic blogs, as we see here in this thread.  The military industrial complex, the limitless corporate welfare and the freeloading millionaires and billionaires are the problem, same as it ever was in the days of the kings and the cardinals.
   You don't see the French or the Germans or the Swedes or the Danish giving away vast sums of money to fund every insane weapons system these souless greedy warmongers can devise, do you?  Only in this benighted shithole of a country do the idiot volk sit numbly on their couches watching American Idol, stuffing their fat greasy faces with ice cream and potato chips while their pockets are being picked by criminals in tailored suits.  
by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-09-19 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Money is never the issue in this country.

This site is very, very disappointing when they allow a post to stand that calls our country a "shithole".  Fuck you.  If I knew where you were I'd kick your ass just for fun.

YOU and YOUR POST are why people are always claiming liberals hate America.  I love America, I would die for it and almost did.  Fuck you!!  And fuck anyone who thinks this post is anything but ignorant and that this guy isn't a troll trying to make Democrats and liberals look bad.

by OurYear2008 2008-09-19 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Money is never the issue in this country.

Newbie gets hide rated for demonstrating why 51 percent of Americans deserve what they've got... a mess.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-09-19 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher Taxes is Patrio

Well, I like what he had to say about it, which means that it probably isn't good for us overall...

I'm not sure if it was a gaffe, though...  At this time, more than any, populist rhetoric will work... every article (even Fox News) has the scary headline, but then explains that the Obama tax plan is actually more beneficial to most Americans...

ABC news normally tries to slam Obama every chance they can, but even they are kind of downplaing the story...

This "gaffe" actually can turn into an opportunity for us, really...  But, what do I know.... I'm just a silly democrat...

by LordMike 2008-09-18 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher Taxes is Patrio

Personally, I liked it. I think it kind of puts republicans in a bind. Are they going to actually say that "not paying taxes makes you patriotic?"

by johnrarch 2008-09-18 03:50PM | 0 recs
pay more for getting more

I don't know why candidates can't speak about what we pay for. the ultra rich have a government that promotes the ability to make money. There have to be trained workers, consumers with enough cash to buy crap, a society that is worth living in that is safe and has culture and beauty. the rich get more from the government in the first place, and it's the citizens who subsidize their wealth.  Of course they should pay more, they get more.  

by anna shane 2008-09-18 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying...

I appreciate Biden saying this, and it's time to stop allowing the meme that Democrats see the rich as a source of income and nothing else.  

Why do we never talk about the betterment not just of those in financial straits but of society?  If a rich man is asked to pay for someone else's healthcare, why should he?  Well, healthcare is the number one cause of poverty, and poverty is the number one cause of crime.  If we allow Republicans to phrase it as making one person pay for another, of course we'll lose.  So you have to change the debate.  It's not about whether it's better to keep money with the rich or pay for the poor's's about the benefits TO the rich (and everyone) that come from a healthier, less impoverished, and less crime ridden society.

by freedom78 2008-09-18 10:25AM | 0 recs

It's enlightened self-interest.

by KTinOhio 2008-09-18 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Exactly...
Would that we had more "enlightened" republicans.
I've never met such selfish people in my life.
by skohayes 2008-09-18 03:03PM | 0 recs
My problem with it

is that it undercuts the message that Barack is for LOWER taxes. It sounds like a justification.

by Neef 2008-09-18 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher Taxes

The traditional media (and the wingers) are going to jump all over this, but you know what?  This is actually a winning issue.  There are a LOT more working class and middle class voters in this country than the rich who are going to be paying the taxes they were before Bush got in.  So OMG he said he's going to raise taxes on the rich, let's see how the voters feel about that.

by Skaje 2008-09-18 11:34AM | 0 recs
I agree with you

Personally I am not ticked off that I pay more taxes than the poor 28% verses 15%..but the people who make much more than me seem to be greedy as hell...they do not seem to have any notion of fair play and really they piss me off...they act like a bunch of spoiled brats...not all of them but a hell of a lot of them.

by netgui68 2008-09-18 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher Taxes

If the voters see it that way -- simply just taxing the rich -- many will reject it as they have in the past.  The voters tend to be fair.  Our tax system has been screwed up for years, I think everyone agrees with that.

Obama's plan is about RIGHT NOW, we can discuss tax reform, but gee... we have some bills to pay so sorry, some taxes are going to have to go up.

I'm a proud liberal, and I believe in a fair tax system.  Taxes are a actually the consumer end of a business relationship.  Our gov't provides us services -- defense, roads, etc. -- and we pay for those services just like services we buy privately (lawn care, electricity, etc.).  We need to follow a more sensible and fair method and I believe that Obama wants to do that also.

A progressive tax system IS unfair and probably wrong.  It means that two customers buy the same product but one has to pay more because of their higher income.  Huh?  Should a loaf of bread be priced according to income?  Of course not.  The problem is we have a progressive system and it is what is in place NOW.  Obama wants to stabilize the gov't and the economy and then seek out NEW solutions.

by OurYear2008 2008-09-18 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher Taxes

The loaf of bread example is a false analogy.  The reason the wealthy pay more is because they benefit disproportionately from our government and all the services the government provides.  Their profits wouldn't be possible without all of those services, law, infrastructure, and military.  Ergo, they owe more.

by Philoguy 2008-09-18 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher Taxes

The loaf of bread analogy is spot on.  Your claim that one should pay for services proportionate to benefit is insanity.  So a malnourished poorly fed person should pay more for food and vitamins while they return to health because their benefit is greater than the healthy guy standing next to him?

Poor people should pay more for police services because they live in crime-ridden areas?  

A thirsty, dehyrated person should pay more for a bottle of water than a properly hydrated person because their benefit would be greater?

About HALF of America pays zero in income taxes and that is UNFAIR and INSANE.  I love that this argument has gone from "Paying taxes is patriotic" to your position that "Paying taxes is only patriotic when you make the rich pay."

Every one should pay taxes and everyone should pay the same percentage (meaning the rich pay more) in a fair and patriotic society.

by OurYear2008 2008-09-19 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher Taxes

What Obama said about his paing taxes on Fox was more on topic.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-09-18 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden:

I also think it was a stupid thing to say.  The problem is that Democrats don't do a great job of articulating who we think are "the wealthy."  I think a lot of middle-class folks in states with a high cost of living have the sense that Democratic politicians view them as "wealthy" even though they don't feel that way.  Saying shit like this reinforces the Republican meme.

And you know what?  I'm anti-tax too.  Why?  Because year after year my taxes go to fund a massive, bloated military that we employ to bomb poor people in third world nations.  

Sure, my taxes also go to pay for the social welfare of other people in this country, but should that make me feel better?  I'm not interested in forced charity.  Call that the Republican position if you want, but you're sadly mistaken if you think all (or even most) Democrats are in favor of higher taxes.

by XoFalconXo 2008-09-18 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden:

actually, you are mistaken.  Recent studies have shown that the majority of the population is in favor of higher taxes if it meant universal health care for everyone.  So, you are in very poor company (with some stingy Republicans) if you are flatly opposed to higher taxes.

And, frankly, your attitude stinks like a Republican's.  Forced charity?  How about the fact that YOU benefit from the taxes yourself via driving on roads, eating (relatively) safe food, breathing clean air, etc. etc.

Besides, even if it were exclusively for the less fortunate, what kind of person begrudges being forced to help the less fortunate.  In my view, that's an immoral position.

by slynch 2008-09-18 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden:

Its only an immoral position if you're in favor of wealth redistribution.  I certainly benefit from driving on roads, eating safe food, breathing clean air, etc.  I'm not opposed to taxes, in general, to the extent those tax dollars benefit everyone.  

I am opposed, however, to wealth redistribution (e.g., lets tax upper middle class X to provide benefits to lower middle class Y).  That IS forced charity.  You can call it a moral issue if you want.  But I find it highly suspect when someone who wants my money is telling me I'm immoral if I don't give it to him.  

by XoFalconXo 2008-09-19 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden:

...and I find it highly suspect when a person comes on a liberal blog and complains about wealth redistribution.

In fact, in every major religion, neglecting the poor is immoral.  And, if you're not particularly religious, there are plenty of philosophical perspectives out there that argue the same thing.  So, it isn't just my 'choice' to call your position immoral.

Only selfishness and greed would lead one to reject taxes on the basis of it being "forced charity."  If you would rather align yourself on that side of the equation, then you don't really belong on this blog--I think red state or other equivalent blogs would be more appropriate.

Hell, it is ultimately in YOUR best interest to see wealth redistribution happen.  When it doesn't, you end-up with economic crises (of capital) like the one we're experiencing, or worse.

by slynch 2008-09-20 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Biden and Taxes

TWO Problems with Biden'statement:  It invites "tax and spend" claims.  And two, in framing and debate Biden can be made to look foolish.

What confusing ramble and mumbling would poor Biden have done if someone said, "Okay, Joe, no one is stopping you, SEND MORE MONEY IN.  How often and how much more money have you sent in over the years when you felt patriotic?"


"Okay, Joe, something somewhere around half of voters will vote for you and Obama.  Why not just instruct all those people who at least seemingly agree with to you send in extra money and then those who don't want to pay higher taxes don't have to?"

The problem with what he said is it is WAY off Obama's plan that does NOT increase taxes for 95% of the public and it just sounds like he is justifying higher taxes.

I would really prefer that Obama and Biden just stay away from taxes as an issue as much as possible.  Obama's plan really makes no sense...sorry.  I love the guy, I'll be voting for him, but his "plan" is embarrassing when it comes to taxes and if we draw too much attention to what his plan is and how he described it we could be in trouble.

Remember what he said at his convention speech?  He said he is only raising taxes on the 5% of the richest and actually giving a tax cut to everyone else.  Then he said, he was going to pay for this and his proposed new programs by "taxing business".  DING DING DING!  The political BS alarm just went off!

It's simple Economics 101:  businesses do not PAY taxes they simply collect them.  A businesses' prices are a reflection of their costs plus their mark-up for profit.  If one of their costs -- in this case taxes -- goes up, their prices go up. And all of us pay it. People aren't stupid and if this gets emphasized it could be a problem, because it is just silly shell-game nonsense.  Gee, my taxes will be cut but everything I buy will go up in price?  Stop doing me favors.

Now, sadly, his approach is unavoidable.  The country needs more revenue and it has to be brought in.  But, if he in a Mondale-like way just says "I am going to raise your taxes" he loses the election.

Bottom line:  Obama has so many strengths, Biden shouldn't be emphasizing one of his weaknesses.

by OurYear2008 2008-09-18 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden and Taxes

Actually, is it really true that no one pays more taxes than the minimum they can get away with?  Do you personally try to find and take advantage of every loophole?

I think most middle-class people take the tax breaks (deductions, exemptions) etc. that has been deemed to be fairly due to them, and pay the resulting tax.  Only a few go around setting up dummy businesses so they can charge their vacations, cars etc. as "business expenses" and claim deductions for "business losses".

The right frame is exactly one of "how much taxes is fair"?  Progressive taxation is justified by the fact that the rich get far more from the services than the poor e.g. defense benefits the rich (who have more to lose) far more than the poor, roads etc. are consumed more by the rich and so on.

Given how much the rich benefit from societal infrastructure than the poor, a case can reasonably be made that the poor subsidize the rich.  If there were no infrastructure, what would the relative value of their contributions to society be?

It is unclear if it is a losing issue: it is drawing more attention to the difference in tax policy between the campaigns.  For all we know, it may have been preplanned.

by swaminathan 2008-09-18 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden and Taxes

I don't think I've ever read such nonsense in my life.  The rich benefit more from defense because they have more to lose?  Why not just have a flat tax then and have the rich pay a greater amount (in total)?  The rich use the roads more?  HUH?  Are we talking solely about the ultra-poor who can't afford cars?  And if so, what about the many government programs that are set up solely to benefit the poor?

If you're going to make the argument that improvements in infracture benefit the wealthy disproportionately, you're going to have to defend that position better than that.  You're also going to have to show why the wealthy should not only have to pay more total money in taxes, but also a higher tax rate.

by XoFalconXo 2008-09-19 09:19PM | 0 recs
Are some people more patriotic than others

I don't think the government should take away all classes patriotic pride.  Everyone should be the same %.  It is the only way government will stop deploying divide and conquere schemes.

by Classical Liberal 2008-09-18 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Are some people more patriotic than others

EXACTLY!  I agree with you 100% and  I suspect Obama does too.

by OurYear2008 2008-09-18 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Are some people more patriotic than others

OK, let us see what is fair.

Would you like a "pay-per-use" approach to tax?  Imagine that you pay every time you use a road, every time you buy food (for FDA regulations), every time you invest (for laws, regulations, network infrastructure etc.), full cost for your education (no subsidy from research grants, public schooling, knowledge distribution infrastructure etc), full cost for your defense, in proportion to your wealth and desire for safety (richer people have higher value for safety; people in poor neighborhoods are more worried about safety from gangs than from terrorists), full cost every time you used any part of society's knowledge base (a shared resource that rich people take advantage of every time they run businesses) and so on.

If everyone in society paid like this, do you think the rich would end up paying a larger or smaller fraction than the poor?  Realize that the cost of use of society's shared infrastructure is pyramidal - every time you employ a college-trained worker, use a business process etc. you are using multiple iterations of that shared resource - that is what is getting you the profits.   Now who subsidizes whom?

The fact is, in a pure "earn for your actual contributions, not for what the system chooses to give you as reward" and "pay for how you are actually benefiting from society's infrastructure" system, the rich would obviously suffer a lot.  The only reason they are rich in the first place is that society has a built-in reinforcement loop dynamics where the rich get richer.

And yes, I am one of those highly educated rich people, who does not mind paying taxes, and who thinks I am paying back far less to society than I have received from it.

by swaminathan 2008-09-18 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Are some people more patriotic than others

Then send more money IN.  If you really think you should pay more...uh... PAY MORE!

by OurYear2008 2008-09-19 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Are some people more patriotic than others

AND, MOST of our taxes are "pay per use".  Sales taxes, license plate and vehicle registrations fees (every 18-wheeler pays thousands of dollars a year in road use fees), industry specific fees and taxes, etc. etc.

Where have you been hiding?

by OurYear2008 2008-09-19 12:51PM | 0 recs
The View From 40s Disney
Even Donald Duck Agrees. Tax paying is for patriots.
by Nikto 2008-09-18 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Biden: Wealthy Paying Higher

Hey, somebody has to pay for all the no bid contracts Bush and Cheney's buddies got.

By running massive deficits we are selling our children and grandchildren to the Chinese and the OPEC folks.

Any republicans wanna tell me how that is patriotic?  

by tired of dynasties 2008-09-18 08:54PM | 0 recs
So much for Country First

What they meant to say was...

by demwords 2008-09-19 10:26AM | 0 recs
Paying Higher Taxes is Patriotic

I agree that paying taxes is patriotic thing to do.  Let's look at a few facts:

1.  Here is a comparison of % of federal income tax paid by each group showing the top 1% vs. the bottom 50% of 1981 vs. 2006:

Top 1%     1981 - 17.58%  2006 - 39.89%
Bottom 50% 1981 -  7.45%  2006 -  2.99% 408.html

2.  In 2005, 32.58% of tax filers paid no taxes. 248.html

Yes, indeed, paying taxes is a patriotic duty.  I'm glad that you agree that those of the bottom 50% of taxpayers and those who pay no taxes should be much more patriotic than they are.

by LesGovt 2008-09-19 12:00PM | 0 recs
Go back to McCainland, troll.

Your kind will feel justice soon.

McCain is a dishonorable coward.

by TomP 2008-09-19 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: My Kind?

My kind?  Hmmmm.  What kind is that?  Would that be the kind who provide facts?  Is it your contention that facts come from trolls?

Please look at the facts that I presented and please try to address them.  Thanks.

by LesGovt 2008-09-19 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: My Kind?

Here here.  Not all Democrats are in favor of wealth redistribution.  There are many on this site that would have us return to the 70s-style welfare-state liberalism that so disgusted the American populace that it gave birth to 30 years of right-wing rule.

I've got news for you.  Middle-class and upper-middle class people are those that vote in the highest numbers.  And they generally don't like having Uncle Sam take their hard-earned money to pay for social programs for others.  Thank goodness Democratic politicians have mostly figured this out.  Many a blogger have not, however.

by XoFalconXo 2008-09-19 09:29PM | 0 recs


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