Because success should be punished, comrades!
(Politico) Tax rate increases aren’t the only way in which Democrats are aiming to collect more tax dollars from the rich — they’re also looking to resurrect a dormant pair of oddly named laws that targeted the wealthy for decades.
Some call them gimmicks, some call them a step toward a more progressive tax system — and now Democrats want to use them to solve $12 billion worth of the looming fiscal cliff.
Known as PEP and Pease, they’re a little bit like the original “Buffett rule.”
The Personal Exemption Phase-out, or PEP, and the “Pease” deduction cap — named for the late Rep. Don Pease (D-Ohio) — were introduced in the 1990s to try to help balance the budget by getting the rich to chip in more. PEP reduced the value of exemptions for high-income earners by as much as 2 percent for every $2,500 earned over a set amount. Pease limited itemized deductions for the wealthy.
Seriously, Team Obama and The Donkeys can’t find a measly $12 billion in cuts somewhere? Is there anything that they are willing to cut? Well, the military, of course. Not programs that involve drone strikes: Obama really seems to like the ability to personally pick which Islamist will get a wake up call from one.
The two provisions were a persistent thorn in the side of doctors, lawyers and upper middle-class families of all stripes until they were gradually put out to pasture as part of the 2001 Bush-era tax cuts.
Wait, wait, “upper middle class”? So, all this talk of starting at $200k/$250k means that middle class people are going to get a tax hike? And this notion of reinstating PEP and Pease will hurt them more? And doctors will get nailed? Wow, great plan!
Democrats say the plan would allow taxpayers to ease into the new restrictions and increase revenue without the rate-raising that Republicans vehemently oppose. Viewed as a way to increase taxes on the wealthy that could achieve similar goals with less opposition, the two programs are becoming a more frequent part of the number-crunching going on behind the scenes on the Hill.
What we see is that the entire “fiscal cliff” plan from Obama and the Democrats is focused solely on “new revenue”, ie, taxes, and spending it. There seems to be virtually no debt/deficit reduction involved. The GOP made a $2.2 trillion debt reduction offer Monday, which Obama dismissed out of hand. Obama has no plan (take that with both meanings) to reduce the debt or the deficit. Any new revenue will be spent. The debt will continue to balloon. The brokeyest broke nation in history will continue to get broker. And the economy will continue to stagnate.