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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Tea party leaders miffed at Chambliss comment

Georgia's senior senator reached across the aisle months ago to try to find a compromise to the nation's deficit problems, working with the so-called Gang of Six.

Now, with politicians and officials predicting a "fiscal cliff" by January with the expiration of tax cuts and scheduled steep cuts to defense spending, among others, Saxby Chambliss's willingness to work with Democrats has many Republican Party faithful crying foul.

This week, Atlanta Tea Party Patriots leaders said they were disappointed in Chambliss' recent statement about times changing since he made a 20-year-old pledge to never raise taxes to Grover Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform.

"This is not about Grover Norquist. The pledge was to the citizens of Georgia and we strongly encourage him to continue to honor it and a commitment to a smaller federal government," said Julianne Thompson and Debbie Dooley in a statement.

"We understand the dire situation we are facing as a nation, but we did not get into this economic crisis by giving tax deductions, or by cutting the tax rate," the Gwinnett women said. "We are in this situation because of a bloated federal government spending out of control. And now, instead of concentrating on solving the problems that got us into this situation, many in Washington want to punish the American people with higher tax rates instead of taking responsibility for what got us here in the first place."

After a big hubub, Chambliss said he stands by the comments, but that isn't the entire story. He is looking for compromise.

"I stand by my previous comments about the Americans for Tax Reform pledge -- I care more about my country than any pledge to a special interest. However, this does not mean that I am in favor of raising taxes," Chambliss said Wednesday. "I have consistently stated that, due to my conservative principles, I am not in favor of tax increases. Further, I will continue to seek significant tax reform that lowers tax rates and generates additional revenues. I believe those reforms should be on the table in this debt and deficit debate. However, this would only be acceptable in return for entitlement reforms from the other side that truly fix our long-term spending problem."

Thompson and Dooley said they want to talk with Chambliss about the situation.

"We thank him for the great leadership he is showing with regard to the Benghazi investigation and hearings, and we encourage him to continue to work for the people of Georgia with the same strong leadership regarding our economic crisis by not raising our taxes, and by realizing we are not taxed to little, we are spending too much," the statement reads.Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.

Comments

Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

10 billion of the national debt came from three republican presidents.....Reagan and the two Bushes thru bloated defense spending, two wars, and tax reductions that were never paid for as well as the prescription drug program that was put on a credit card. All of a sudden, they act like none of it appeared until Obama arrived in the White House. Clinton left office with a budget surplus and a path to substantially pay down the debt. Like Reagan said, "the deficit is big enough to take care of itself," and Cheney's famous words.."deficits don't matter."

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R 1 year, 4 months ago

Whynot If those planes had hit you or yours, would still consider our overseas contingency operation a BLOATED waste?

Self-editted - its a family friendly website/paper...

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

We had no business in Iraq to begin with.....thank you George Bush.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Amen - nary a WMD in sight, and still the Mission has not been Accomplished!

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jack 1 year, 4 months ago

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." --President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998
"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..." -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Who cares who said what - we invaded for two reasons: WMD's (chief inspector Hans Blix beseeched Bush to let him finish - nothing there, nothing ever found), and the presence of al Qaeda (palace records noted Saddam rejected his offer to collaborate). Saddam was bankrupt and kept Iran busy after the first war. All of Bush Senior's warnings about removing Saddam came true afterward - instability in the region, insurgence, Iran free to do as they wished, etc.). Americans died.

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jack 1 year, 4 months ago

The point is that "Bush's War" had accomplices on both sides of the aisle...... something those blinded by political ideology tend to quickly forget or ignore. America will only have a chance when folks come to realize neither political party cares about their interests.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Intensely well stated. We have way too many corpses to show for bad politics all the way around. I'm a proud frequent target of partisan politics, having worked exclusively for Republican campaigns for nearly 30 years, mainly because we're a one-party system around this area. If the last election clearly showed us anything, it's that there are lots of others showing up at the table that WILL be heard, like them or not.

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kevin 1 year, 4 months ago

And then along came Obama, who added double that debt and in only 4 years, not over 3 GOP Presidents, if your facts are even correct. I don't see all Americans ever being pulled out of the Middle East as long as Obama is President either. I'll take your bet on that!

Clinton did leave office with a surplus, only because we had a GOP controlled Congress. Want to deny that also?

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

Obama hasn't doubled the debt....do your research.

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Mack711 1 year, 4 months ago

We have to cut some of our social 'give away' programs , close the borders, get the illegals out, and cut our overseas aid programs to countries that vote against us. It is time for us to get the manufacturing back in the USA and stop the cheap imports from coming in. Raising taxes on the rich or the middle class is not the answer, cutting spending,except in the defense area, and assisting small business to become suscessful. When you have a president who tells a small business man that " you did not build that someone else did" then why open a business. In other words get the government out of our lives, It is only going to get worse if this line of thinking continues about raising taxes. Look for unemployment to be near 10% by summer.

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

Come on....get real. You re using Fox talking points concerning the "you didn't build that" comment

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Here's the quote - makes a heckuva lot of sense: "If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something. There are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Lest you've not heard, unemployment is declining - just sayin'. As much as some would like for America to fail, looks like it's not quite time.

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Sandykin 1 year, 4 months ago

Yeah, you're right. I'm employed once again - but at half the pay I used to be. Do I demonstrate unemployment is decreasing? You betcha. Am I better off than I was 4 years ago? Not by a long shot. Just sayin'.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Glass half empty or half full? Better off than when unemployed? Who shall we blame?

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Jan 1 year, 4 months ago

And once again the Tea Party demonstrates that they are a major part of the problem. Chambliss represents the people of Georgia, not Grover Norquist. Only a fool would believe that taxes can be lowered but never raised. With the top 5% controlling over 50% of the wealth and paying about 5% less in taxes than the middle class (not counting the funds kept off shore to avoid taxation), it would be stupid not to ask them to pay a more reasonable amount. For those that prefer arguing with idiotic insults let me point out that I have looked at the way the proposed Obama tax plan would effect my taxes and, if enacted, it will significantly increase my taxes. I don't like higher taxes, I just understand that it is a necessity to pay for the war and taking care of our wounded vets.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Same here, Jan, and I salute you. The ultimate conservative value is taking responsibility, like paying the tab for our wars. The BALANCED approach (cutting spending and increasing revenue) is the only rational route (same one Reagan took). I never expected to get a dime from Social Security - get rid of it! Can't pay your credit card bill by just spending less. Let's see - lobbyist Norquist and lobbyist Tea Partyers (see leader Dick Armey - also worked for DLA Piper, promoting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, on our State Department’s terrorist watch list) dislike the honesty and patriotism of Chambliss - hmmmmmm.....

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gwinnettresident1 1 year, 4 months ago

Obama wants the wounded vets to pay their own way....He thought that was the least they could do....He said they knew the risk when they signed up and took the job....I am a wounded Viet Vet and drafted...I didnt ask for the job and was taken from a wonderful job that i had so i could go to Nam and get shot. Not once but twice. Shouldnt the VA help me at little or no cost....Obama dosent think so...Neither did the idiots the day i Got off the return flight and landed in New Jersey...Thanks Folks

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R 1 year, 4 months ago

If you don't fix the spending problem you can RAISE taxes to better than 120 percent on EVERYONE (using a curve like everything else) and STILL grow the debt!!!

There's no pledge to anyone but the voters of GA to STOP wasting our money FIRST... Then and only then discuss revenue enhancements.

HOW much more government do we REALLY need? Should each household incorporate as its very own a city state? Then at least if the mayor MOM wants to ban drink sizes greater than 16 oz, it would be easier to enforce...

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kevin 1 year, 4 months ago

Chambliss can vote however he wants to. I look for him to get voted out of Congress the next election if he caves in to the Liberals. You can bank that remark. Liberals forget that it was the last 4 years that added $15 billion on debt, not the GOP, who never voted for any of that waste. Fix that and then work on income. Can't you all get it through your thick skulls that the government wants to expand into your lives and distribute more and more money to buy supporters. If someone promised to send you a couple of grand for free every month, wouldn't you vote for that person again? You will have become like the 50% of this country thinks. Who cares about the good of the country. You vote for what is best for you only.The hell with the country you say. And to think Americans are stupid enough to fall for this concept and re-elect such people. It's past time to split the country into a north and south. The liberals can all live in the north, everyone else in the south. In 10 yrs. we will see who is still alive and happy. I dare you all to accept this.

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

The debt was 10 trillion in 2009....it is 16 trillion now....facts again.

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

The majority of the debt was put there by the GOP....if you can prove me wrong go for it.

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gwinnettresident1 1 year, 4 months ago

With Obama spending more than 6 trillion dollars how do you even think that most of the debt was put there by gop. You are blind how do you type, You must have got one of the clunkers for cash awards...That was a great program....Gees and making the banks reduce mortgages on home loans that people purchased and could not afford..Now tax payers are paying the mortgage.

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

It was 10 trillion when Obama got there crazy....

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

I can break it down for you if you are too challenged to use the internet to find it......

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

I prefer staying where it's warm...you can pack your bags.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Lest you've not noticed, most of the red states are the "Takers" - Georgia is second only to Mississippi in lowest percentage of those paying taxes, and near the top in taking more in than we send to DC. Most of the blue states are the ones supporting the red ones. Hmmmm - red ones are also generally near the bottom in edjukashun.

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JV 1 year, 4 months ago

No matter who is at fault, Obama and the democrats own it now.

A November 2012 study released by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute says two decades of economic progress by lower- and middle-class Georgians disappeared. The median annual wage in Georgia dropped more than $2,500 between 2010 and 2011, the nonprofit reports, a steeper decline than in any other state. The wage loss helps explain Georgia’s ranking as the fifth poorest state in the country.

Nearly one in five Georgians lives in poverty - below $22,891 a year for a family of four, according to a federal definition — the institute reports. Only four other states are poorer.

The recession killed eight percent, or 338,500, jobs in Georgia, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state has since regained about 130,000, and the unemployment rate is at 8.7 percent after peaking above 10 percent.

In 2010, the percentage of employed Georgians ages of 25 and 54 was at its lowest since 1979, at 73 percent. Median household income, hit a peak of $55,000 prior to the recession. A year ago, it had dipped to $45,973 – about the same level as 1990 with inflation factored in.

http://gbpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/state-of-working-georgia-2012-11202012-web-FINAL.pdf

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

You're great at selective fact-finding, so how about some solutions?

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JV 1 year, 4 months ago

Here is a great solution!

Report: Obama in Hawaii as Nation Goes Over the Cliff

http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2012/11/29/obama-slated-hawaii-cliff/

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

The record-holder for vacations during disasters was a Mr. Bush - your point? Ummmm - compromises have long been on the table, awaiting the GOP. Again, get real and share your profound ideas, please.

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news2me 1 year, 4 months ago

Taking a 3 week vacay in Hawaii on the taxpayers dime at luxury accomodations / dining looks "out of touch" with the economic crisis at hand.

Bush may have spent more time on vacation, but Obama is not done yet! Bush traveled to his family homes in Texas and Maine, much cheaper in comparison than Hawaii and Martha's Vineyard, etc. that are not his own. Why can't he go to Chicago and vacation at his personal property there?

And lets not forget the lavish trips the Obama women have taken. Would you like me to post the many examples?

Timing is everything...

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

That visual works just as good for the conservatives as well as you can tell from the nasty posts on here......

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Sandykin 1 year, 4 months ago

My finances are headed toward a fiscal cliff. I don't want to reign in my spending to slow my progress toward the cliff because what I spend my money on is too important to my self survival, so I can't possibly cut any of my spending. So here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to take money out of your wallet, because you're not facing a fiscal cliff - no you're not. I'm telling you, you're rich and can afford to pay for me. So you just hand over the money to cover all my spending and I'll just keep spending the way I need to for my self survival. This is what Republicans hear when Democrats talk. If Democrats expect compromise from the Republicans, they need to express the willingness to compromise as well.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

That's why the proposals have been called "balanced" since day one - spending cuts AND revenue increases. The last time the GOP left the table, insisting upon only half of the equation, assuming that they would win the WH. OK, spending cuts - eliminate Social Security, cut defense in half. Let the tax cuts expire, and we'll still be at rates approximating their lowest point in the mi 1950's. Problem solved.

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BuzzG 1 year, 4 months ago

Since 2008 federal revenues have gone down 2 percent while federal spending has gone up 27 percent.

But the press will glorify any politician who wants to increase taxes while it will demonize anyone who wants to decrease spending.

The US press is an enemy of the people.

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

That is a common misquote. It's actually: "if we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy."

Well, the 60% of us (that included Ronald Reagan) that agree that the top 1% should at least pay their fair rate would appreciate them, anyway. The US press always speaks highly of you, surely it will be offended. Step away from the crack pipe!

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Ooooo – one more – I assume that you mean THIS press:

“Living in the Fox News cocoon, most Republicans had no clue that they were losing or that their ideas were both stupid and politically unpopular.”

Bruce Bartlett from The American Conservative:

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FactChecker 1 year, 4 months ago

I just crunched the numbers. Why_not is correct that the GOP is responsible for the majority of the debt. Beginning and including Jimmy Carter, when the debt was $450 billion, the GOP has added $10.8 trillion and the Dems have only added $4.8 trillion. If we go back to 1950, the numbers are GOP $11 trillion Dems $4.8 trillion.

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Cleanupguy 1 year, 4 months ago

Thank you - saved me some time there - excellent! Incidentally, the Congressional Research Service was contracted by the GOP to independently evaluate the correlation between top tax rates and economic growth prior to the last election (surely the timing was just coincidental). When it was concluded that there is no correlation between tax rates of the wealthy and economic growth, in September the report was quashed by the GOP that had commissioned it. Ya just can’t even make up stuff any more condemning of the problem than that.

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Why_not 1 year, 4 months ago

They will swear its all lies.....haha

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FactChecker 1 year, 4 months ago

Cleanupguy is correct, there is no correlation between low tax rates on the wealthy and job creation. When the wealthy get more money, they don't up their spending or job creating investments. Job creation is a response to a need. This need is fed my consumerism. Get more money into the hands of the lower income. Their spending increases, creating more demand and then jobs are created to help fill this demand.

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news2me 1 year, 4 months ago

Consumerism through entitlements? That kind of consumerism is not enough, the basics of life plus a little more is not going to help drive the economy. The wealthy are going to sit on their wealth as long as Obama is President, the powers that really run this country economically will be constrained for the next 4 years.

I personally know of two families that have been strategically working their job situations so that the total household income is below $250K. Less in taxes more take home to save, svae, save - not spend! And since Obama has been elected, yet again, more saving for the future when life is more normal and stable.

But yet the liberals have all the answers and are never wrong on these matters ...

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Jan 1 year, 4 months ago

False propaganda is definitely winning the argument among Republicans. When I read things claiming people make an effort to earn less money so they can pay less taxes, I realize how out of touch with reality these people are. If your family's net income goes from $250,000 to $260,00, your taxes increase by only $3,300 leaving an extra $6,700 after taxes. I suggest a course in basic math for anyone that does not understand this concept. One of the fiascoes of the Bush administration was the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. It tried a one time payment of, up to $1200 per couple to boost spending. Of course this did not significantly help because people knew it was a one time thing and used it primarily to pay off debts and put in savings. Among the things that will decrease unemployment is an increase in minimum wage. This has been very successful in the past. With lower income levels, many have a full time job and a part time job. If the minimum wage is pushed up, it will have a ripple effect to increase salaries above the minimum wage and many of these with two jobs will no longer feel the need to work that second job. Increased opening will decrease unemployment. Social Security and Medicare should never be reduced. People paid into these and to now say "sorry but we have to steal your benefits to pay for Bush's wars" is the wrong approach. Currently, FICA is only collected on the first $110,100. Make that the first $220,200 and you have solved the problem. Better yet, why not lower the rate to 4% employee/employer matching funds, take off the top limit and require people to pay FICA on capital gains. This puts more money in the pockets of the spenders as well. Win-win!!

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news2me 1 year, 4 months ago

It is very plain to see that you have never had to deal with that much income coming into your household. Households that make $250K are not wealthy - they are producers and not takers. Most are typically free of debt, have savings, investments, well funded retirement accounts, and have money to spend for their children's education. They buy the goods and services that really drive the economy. Most of that money that the government steals from these families goes to people like you. You won't know alternative minimum taxes in your lifetime, so why bother listening to your delusions. That is precisely the reason why so many back the uber wealthy into keeping their money and not giving it to the government to spend like drunken pirates.

The false propaganda is that you are trying to convince others they can't be wealthy. The point is there will always be ways around your ilk trying to steal from the so-called rich in our soceity. Congratulations at winning the election and keeping the entitlements alive and your wages artifically low. Bets are you will not like the outcome even if it goes the liberal way. Redistribution is the false propaganda. ;)

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Jan 1 year, 4 months ago

Please read my statements again. You obviously do not understand them. No where in my statements do I suggest redistribution. You have been listening to to much republican propaganda. Most of the redistribution is to the wealthy and corporations in the form of special tax breaks, low interest guaranteed loans, federal assistance cleaning up messes left behind through corporate negligence. Governments even build stadiums for professional sports teams at tax payer expense. Oil companies get drilling rights on public land well below market. Drug companies get research money. I could go on but even you should understand this now. Low minimum wage creates a slave labor class. America should not become a third world country so the wealthy can have more profits. When hostess went bankrupt, workers lost their livelihood and benefits but the some how the executives are walking away with millions in bonuses. I guess you think people should be rewarded for pushing a company into bankruptcy. As to your erroneous assumptions of my financial status, I am retired. I planned for the future and I am not dependent on Social Security or Medicare, have no debts and have never taken any other government assistance. With Obama's proposed tax changes, I will pay more taxes. I like my loopholes but I do recognize that it is unfair for me to get these perks from the government when others must strain to pay their taxes. Somehow you have been convinced that people willing to climb up the corporate ladder on other peoples backs need to be further rewarded with special tax breaks. You should do some research on bankruptcy. A system designed to help the wealthy skirt financial responsibility but difficult for those in real need to execute. Donald Trump has bankrupted companies and walked away with millions while costing the government millions in things such as unemployment payments and guaranteed pension plan payouts. The false propaganda is that redistribution goes primarily to the poor.

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news2me 1 year, 4 months ago

You have been listening to to much republican propaganda. ..........................................................................................................

You have been listening to too many of the liberal lies (propaganda). People are not "straining" to pay their taxes, that money was already taken from them. Actually, there are far too many that strain themselves not to pay taxes. So you are saying you get massive refunds from your loopholes? Funny how your guilt lets your fingers slip... Sure bets are time is ticking when you are going to have to dig into your SS and medicare, maybe you should'nt have "retired" so early. I bet you also will get your hands further in that honey pot. I laugh, so very hard, at your delusions of wealthy business owners forcing you to live a 3rd World existence. That is the price you pay for your love of Illegals and entitlements.

Done trying to correct your warped and suffering mind. Tis the season to be jolly, grateful and give back to those that really need it - even more so than we evil people do on a year around basis.

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Jan 1 year, 4 months ago

Obviously, you are more interested in throwing out ridiculous insults than learning. You prefer making false conclusions instead of reading what I say. For instance, I don't get massive refunds because I have the intelligence to adjust tax withholding to more accurately reflect that which will be due. I don't love illegals, legals, entitlements. I do believe in the Golden Rule, which you either don't or don't understand.

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jack 1 year, 4 months ago

"He who has the most gold, rules."

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news2me 1 year, 4 months ago

Learning what? To be brainwashed like Jan? Say_that_again?

"Tis the season to be jolly, grateful and give back to those that really need it - even more so than we evil people do on a year around basis" ... you didn't bother reading my truth, so why should I bother with your fiction.

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