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Happiness statistics may be most valuable in smaller, local discussions. Understanding how different sorts of programs affect the well-being of citizens would be enormously helpful to a mayor choosing between building a new bridge or offering a tax cut.
Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to promote policies that produce jobs and economic growth, and to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
What we're discussing privately and publicly, is a budget which is a blueprint for the future which creates jobs, which educates our children, which provides healthcare for all Americans, which takes our deficit down, which gives a tax cut for 95% of the American people.
'Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars.' Guess what? Yes, we do in one regard: We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut expire so the middle class doesn't have to bear the burden of all that money going to the super-wealthy. That's not a tax raise. That's called fairness where I come from.
A tax cut to compensate for a tax increase is not a cut - it's a con.
There are some Republicans who say that any time you raise new revenue, you have to have a tax cut to match it. I am not one of those Republicans.
Not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase.
Giving someone a one-time stimulus check, or a one-time tax cut that expires doesn't allow the predictability that business needs.
All those predictions about how much economic growth will be created by this, all of those new jobs, would be created by the things we wanted - the extension of unemployment insurance and middle class tax cuts. An estate tax for millionaires adds exactly zero jobs. A tax cut for billionaires - virtually none.
We're going to have a tax cut. Today's American family is overtaxed at all levels.
I think the tax cut is ridiculous but so am I.
Let's restore sanity and fairness to the tax cut conversation. We simply cannot afford to hand over the bank vault to our nation's millionaires and billionaires while the middle class picks up spare change.
My healthcare plan puts more money into average families' pockets than the Bush tax cuts... He's got a lousy tax cut. It's only good for the super wealthy. I've got a tax cut that will help ordinary people.
We can have tax cuts, but when we have tax cuts and do not have a surplus, the amount of the tax cut goes straight to the bottom line, adds to the deficit, and the deficit adds to the national debt, and sooner or later, the debt has to be paid.
When people see the budget, they're going to say, 'Oh, my God, I wanted a tax cut, but I didn't know what you were going to do to health care and to Medicare and national defense.'
Unfortunately the Republican tax cut will deny important revenues to many states facing their own deficits. This will create greater pressure for higher state and local taxes.
The NRA was one of the items that we pointed to when we added money to the labor, health and Education appropriations bill by reducing the size of the tax cut.
Look, only in Washington is not raising taxes considered a tax cut. Nobody's getting a tax cut here. We're not cutting taxes. We're preventing tax increases from occurring.
There are more people at Obama's table offering ideas than there were five years ago, but when it came to facing up to the Republicans' threat to force a double-dip recession if they didn't get their millionaires' tax cut, they still amounted to nothing. And therein lies our fundamental problem.
Contrary to the myth that Mr. Bush cut taxes only for the wealthy, the 2001 tax cut reduced taxes for every income-tax payer in the country.
I don't know how anyone can keep a straight face and say they are for deficit reduction while they insist on a permanent tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, completely unpaid for.
I say I don't need a tax cut. It will not do me any more good. I can't buy more, I can't eat more, I can't do more, and I want it distributed among the ordinary people who work every day.
I think that for the next short period of time, our No. 1 priority is Congress needs to do its work and extend the payroll tax cut.
Why would we want to keep a tax cut that's failed? Why would we not want to go back to the Clinton tax code? And why would we not want to help every family more with a health-care plan like mine? Let's help average people. Let's be Democrats.
Spending and tax cut decisions must be both fiscally responsible and fair to our working families. I believe that fiscal responsibility is the way to create prosperity for America and secure the retirement of America's seniors.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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