Bush: "the really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway"

I’m trying to get this straight in my head. Kerry wants to roll back the tax cuts that were given to the rich, and, he says, use that money for health care and education.

President Bush seems to be saying that the roll backs won’t get any extra money because the rich have the knowledge and means to avoid paying their fair share of taxes anyway.

Could someone explain to me,

  1. why these tax-dodging rich people needed a tax cut to begin with?

  2. is the president glorifying shortchanging the government?

  3. why the president would seemingly smear his own base?

  4. why anyone still supports this man?

Ok, never mind that last one. That’s Pit territory. I am curious about the others though.

The Leader is a rough-hewn man of the people, born in the modest, rural gated community of Midland, Texas. As such, he is ill suited to the atmosphere of sophisticated irony of Washington, DC. He yearns to return to his ranch, been in the family for months. Yearns to don his leather gloves and clear brush, the simple, honest work, clearing brush. The man Shrub is a brush-clearing mother…(Shut your mouth!)…but I’m talking about Bush!..(well, we can dig it!)

Hell, you can’t buy brush around Waco any more, all been cleared.
Thing is, the product Bush is being packaged to sell at K-Mart, Target and Wal-Mart. So the product Bush is not a pampered scion of a family in the top 5% of the ruling class for generations. He’s a plain-talking, look you right in the eye, son of…the soil.

So when he talks about how rich folks get away with stuff, he’s talking about how its you and him against them. Those rich folks. Those rich folks will get away with it, they always do, and only fuzzy thinking liberals like Kerry imagine that it will ever change. We know that. You, me and him. We.

(Kerry’s rich, you know. Wife’s got a lot of…his second wife, drove the first one crazy…a lot of money, which she gives away to people who run down America…hairy leg lesbians and flagburners…)

Its like he’s channeling Evil Will Rogers.

So there really are still people who equate disagreeing with the President with a desire to live somewhere else, preferably under some totalitarian regime? And those people firmly believe that a Brit couldn’t dress up funny and make fun of Tony Blair?

Nah! I thought those guys were all dead by now, or thoroughly locked in nursing homes by embarassed family members. :frowning:

This was a pretty stupid thing to say. Not so much because it’s untrue (and I’m not sure it is), but it’s just stoooopid, politically. And it just begs the question: So, why don’t you get rid of the tax loopholes???

I think it’s pretty self-evident that the higher the tax rates go, the more people will look to shelter their income from taxes. How that plays out quantitatively wrt the recent tax cuts, I don’t know. I don’t even know if we have the data to figure it out. And it’s also probably true that it’s much easier, politically, to cut tax rates than it is to close loopholes.

So, while I can sort of see where Bush is coming from, that was not not one of his smarter moments…

From my understanding, the bulk of the tax cuts that Kerry wants to repeal are ones that haven’t actually gone into effect yet. The tax cuts, especially those that effected people in higher tax brackets, were being phased in over 10 years. Thus its not like taxes are going to shoot up under a Kerry admin., forcing rich people to find loop holes to keep their earnings closer to what they are now. If the amount of taxes they have to pay are truly what drive tax evasion then, the amount of tax income lost to loop holes under Kerry’s plan would be about equal to the amount lost to them currently.

Many people believe that taxes are too high. The rich pay the vast majority of the taxes in the US, so their taxes should be cut just like everyone elses. Also, by cutting the taxes of rich people, you stimulate the economy and ultimately everyone is better off.

No. I read it as him bemoaning the overly complicated, loophole filled tax structure that we have in this country. Again, MHO.

People making over 200K a year make up a tiny few percentage points of perspective voters. They are hardly Bush’s ‘base’.

There are those who have different beliefs than you do.

Has anyone noticed that people who speak of liberals being lucky to not live anywhere else, or worse yet, should in fact move somewhere else due to our beliefs, are actually the ones that would fit in best in those places they think we belong?

It reminds me of the old “America, Love it or Leave it” bumperstickers. I always thought that attitude was the exact opposite of what we’re supposed to love about America.

Well, if Bush were right, the tax cuts wouldn’t have cut into revenue so much. But to give him credit, he is trying hard to make it easier for the rich (and for corporations) to evade taxes.

Here is an interesting study. Some highlights:

He may have grown the government in many ways, but he’s shrunk the IRS real good.

I got to give him points for consistency. If you go on and on about how taxes are so terrible, it makes sense to cut the people who try to enforce the fair and equitable collection of taxes.

It is ever dangerous to try to parse W, but here are two possible explanations: “A lot (but not all) of rich people dodge taxes anyway, so raising the marginal rate only affects that portion that do pay their fair share”


“Those making just over 200k are small business owners and I support keeping their rates as they are now; there is a second group the ‘really rich’ (bracket undefined) who I was talking about as dodging taxes.”
Just guessin’

Okay, I’m going to try to explain what I THINK Bush is trying to communicate here… this doesn’t mean I think any of this is true, mind you, but I think I’ve figured out what impression he’d like people to have. Much of my understanding is gleaned from RTFirefly’s quotes in this pit thread.

The people who would be receiving the benefits of the tax cuts are (well, ok, theoretically) small business owners, ranchers, and farmers, rather than the monocle-and-caviar crowd. These groups don’t have a lot of disposable wealth, are seen as hardworking, everyday people that voters may find it easy to empathize with, represent American values or traditions in some way, and may create jobs in a fairly obvious way. “Lower taxes on the rich” is not something the non-rich usually support and changing people’s ideas of who those taxes are applied to is probably essential to gaining widespread support for such cuts.

Nah. He just seems to be playing to or reinforcing the idea that the very rich manage to weasel out of most rules that apply to us normal folk and that there’s nothing we can do about it. And that is certainly true for most people. Most people aren’t the president of the United States, but hey.

The very rich tend to be fairly pragmatic, politically, in my experience. They care about how a candidate’s policies will affect them economically, not who is more religious or has a better military service record or a cleaner personal life. They know Bush’s policies are likely to be better for them, economically, than Kerry’s. They couldn’t care less if Mary Louise from Wisconsin thinks they’re all a bunch of tax dodgers.

It is always nice to have a Head of State like the freaking Oracle of Delphi, who had to have her rambling, fume induced, hallucinated and addled utterances interpreted. Maybe the President can sit on a tripod over volcanic fumaroles to make public statements. Than you furt, for your alternate interpretations of the President’s cryptic comment. Maybe you could get a job with the White House speech writers to stand off to the side and render the President’s policy statements into coherent thought. Maybe we could have two or three such interpreters so that we have a choice of the possible meanings of the President’s pronouncements.

Didn’t Clinton raise taxes on the rich. Does anyone remember this leading to a smaller increase in revenue then expected due to the Scrooge McDucks of the world hiding their money in loopholes. I’m sure this happens to a certain extent but I think we would have heard more about it during the 90’s if it made a serious dent in revenue.

An interesting claim that most of the people making over 200K a year are small business owners. Doesnt seem outside the realm of possibilities, but does anybody have a cite that breaks down income by where that income originates from.

And I agree with the general consensus that he’s being foolish by pointing out his own impotence in dealing with tax-dodging, especially when he doesnt actually seem to be attempting to fix the problem.

I was thinking more like a very optimistic Cassandra:

“We are in grave and ever-present danger, but we are much safer than we were”.

“A staggering deficit used to be a big hairy-ass deal, but not anymore, and we’ve turned the corner anyway”

“We are fervent believers in the Christian ideals of rugged self-reliance and entrepreneurship.”

…that the members of the Kennedy family are rich (and are avid tax avoiders)! Notice, I said avoiders, not evaders. Tax evasion is a crime avoidance is not!
Take the matter of the late Rose Kennedy (matriarch of the clan). When she died, Ted kennedy filed her estate in Florida, a state with limited inheritance taxes. This was allowed, even though she hadn’t lived in Florida for over 30 years (she was a resident of Massachusetts). Because of this legal maneuver, the state of Massachusetts was bilked out of about $355,000 in inheritance/estate taxes! This was done by one of the great liberals in congress, Senator Ted Kennedy. Why did he doit? One would have thoiught that he would be eager to saher some of the familie’s wealth (much of which was generated by bootlegging and other illegal activities. I just cannot understand this! :eek:

Gasp! I gnash my teeth, I weep with dismay! Me golden idol is tarnished!

I only hope I can see clearly enough through the tears to fill out this Republican voter registration form.

Thanks, Ralph!. Praise the Leader!

[QUOTE=ralph124cWhy did he doit?[/QUOTE]

Because he was allowed to by law. This is the problem some of us have with the current tax legislation and its loopholes. We’d like to stop that from taken advantage of, by both the Kennedy clan on those on the other side of the fence, including even those sitting on it.

Mods, feel free to fix my coding screwups at your leisure. :slight_smile:

By the way, while I excuse Kennedy for actually using the loopholes that exist, if he fights laws that would require him to pay his share of the taxes that are required to support the government, including the social programs he likes, THEN I will have a problem.

Are you implying that since liberals want social programs, that the rich among them should pay more taxes than the equally rich conservatives? If that’s the case, can I pay less since I don’t support the size of our current military nor the size of our current government?

Thanks to everyone for their input. I admire people who understand the tax system, because I don’t, which is why I’m trying to understand what Kerry’s position is, and what Bush meant, in tiny baby steps.

Btw, I wouldn’t defend any tax avoiders/dodgers, Republican or Democrat.

Nice. Is this the point where someone comes in and mentions Prescott Bush’s ties to the Nazis?

No point in squirming, Equi, he’s got us. Ted Kennedy was our Anointed One, the sole source of liberal thought. Once he revealed the feet of clay, we are undone. Finished. All is lost.

I agree with this interpretation, but I don’t think it’s among his dumber, either. It’s not like this is in his State of the Union address, it’s a semi-laugh line to supporters at rallies.

I think what he’s trying to do is distinguish between really really rich people (like, say, all four candidates!), with whom potential supporters can’t really identify (even if they believe taxes on them should be lower) and the vast numerical majority of the beneficiaries of tax cuts – wage earners. A guy making, say, $300 K a year and maybe gets a decent-sized option or profit-sharing payout from time to time is someone an upwardwardly mobile voter can identify with, even hoping to be that guy some day. And that guy got the same tax cut everyone else did, it was just larger on account of he was paying more in the first place. That’s different from (to pick an example from each party) a guy who can structure his long-term compensation however he chooses and time options exercises, margin loans and stock sales to match his tax goals or who can choose to take his compensation as dividends rather than regular income to avoid payroll taxes.

Despite his tax plans’ reductions on lower income taxpayers – creation of the 10% bracket, increases to the child tax credit, the two-earner deduction, etc., he’s been successfully boxed in politically against being for “the little guy” because most of the money from the tax cuts went to the people who were paying most of the money in the first place. So he’s saying, basically, “hey, these tax cuts are about you and the you you might be if you get lucky – the filthy stinkin’ rich have their own deal and always have.”

Of course, some of those people might be pretty surprised to the downside if they actually get to that level and discover the alternative minimum tax – I’d advise the president not to use this speech in states with high local taxes. :wink: But since neither candidate is talking about AMT reform, whatcha gonna do?