- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
Rangel and tax increases
If Democrats gain 15 seats in the House in the midterm congressional elections, New York Rep. Charlie Rangel will become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, making him the principal gatekeeper for tax legislation in Congress.
In various interviews recently, Mr. Rangel has sent different messages. On Sept. 20, he told Bloomberg News that he “cannot think of one” of the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush that merits renewal. Nearly all of those cuts expire at the end of 2010. When asked whether as chairman he would consider tax increases across the table, Mr. Rangel replied, “No question about it,” according to the Sept. 26 edition of CongressDaily PM. But on the same day, Mr. Rangel told Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto that “a retroactive increase in taxes” was “definitely not on the table,” adding that he “would not roll back” any tax cuts that have been legislated to remain in effect through 2010. To clarify things, the Democratic staff of the Ways and Means Committee pointed to Mr. Rangel’s interview with MarketWatch. Citing Mr. Rangel, MarketWatch reported on Tuesday that “a Democratic-controlled Ways and Means Committee wouldn’t attempt to pull the plug on any of the first-term Bush tax cuts before they expire in 2010.”
Mr. Rangel, of course, voted against the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts; he voted against the 2006 measure that extended the 2003 cuts from the end of 2008 to the end of 2010; and he has vociferously opposed making the 2001 and 2003 cuts permanent. Nevertheless, his repeated pledge not to pursue any “roll back” through 2010 is noteworthy.
To be sure, even if a “rollback” effort were undertaken during the next Congress (2007-2008), it is safe to say that it would never achieve the two-thirds majority in both chambers that would be necessary to override the inevitable veto from Mr. Bush. In the absence of Mr. Rangel’s commitment not to pursue rollbacks, it is easy to imagine a scenario in which Democrats could muster majorities in both chambers in 2009 to ram through a reconciliation bill replete with rollbacks (reconciliation measures are not subject to filibuster in the Senate) that would be gladly signed by, say, President Hillary Clinton, who joined Mr. Rangel in voting against the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
Thus, Mr. Rangel’s promise of “no rollbacks” means the top individual income-tax rate would remain 35 percent through 2010. President Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised the top rate from 31 percent to 39.6 percent in 1993 after President George H.W. Bush had increased it from 28 percent to 31 percent in 1990. Enacted in 1997, the $500 child tax credit was increased to $1,000 in the 2001 and 2003 tax bills, and will remain in effect. As high as 70 percent as recently as 1980, the top tax rate for dividend income was lowered in 2003 from 38.6 percent to 15 percent, where it would remain through the end of this decade. The top tax rate on capital gains, which had been reduced from 28 percent to 20 percent in 1997 and then to 15 percent in 2003, will remain at that level through 2010. Marriage-penalty relief, the 10 percent income-tax bracket and reduced marginal rates for middle-income workers will also stay in effect for the next four years if Mr. Rangel chairs Ways and Means, regardless of who is elected president in 2008.
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014