September 20th, 2010
09:05 AM ET
11 years ago

Fact Check: Bush tax cuts

New York ( - Republicans say raising taxes on the wealthy would cause small businesses to pull back on hiring. Many leading Democrats say that's nonsense.

Who's right?

The answer isn't black and white, despite politicians' confident assertions to the contrary. It's more like multiple shades of gray.

Here's a breakdown of the debate.

Full Story:

Filed under: issues • President George W. Bush • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Snow

    You have to be totally stupid not to realize the more you tax an employer the less he is going to spend on new hires. How dumb do you have to be to not know this. Opps, my mistake, we are talking about liberals here, alot of democrats (31 in fact as of Friday) are objecting to obamas taxing small business.

    September 20, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. Orlando Patriot

    Let's be clear – this is not a "let the Bush tax cuts expire" but rather would be the BIGGEST TAX INCREASE IN RECENT HISTORY!! This is a tax – plain and simple and ANY Economics textbook in the country will tell you that raising taxes during a recession is the WORST THING YOU CAN DO!!

    When the economy gets going again (when Democrats wake up and realize that no economy will recover until businesses recover and start hiring again) then I would be more than happy to debate when it is appropriate to raise taxes again but NOW IS NOT THE TIME!! As a matter of fact when polled 60% of Economists say that not raising taxes for anyone is the BEST POLICY RIGHT NOW!!

    Of course Obama has not followed any economic theory to date and it shows with 3 TRILLION more in debt and unemployment at 9.6% (I thought it was not going above 8% if Stimulus was passed?). Of course how can we expect Obama to know how an economy and the private sector works when he has NEVER even had a job in the private sector? Community Organizer? And you voted for this incompetent fool? Are ou serious?

    September 20, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. diridi

    tax break to the rich...they robbed this nation enough....idiots, GOP is a peanut for those who make is not victimizing them, it is they helping the nation when we are in GOP thugs...who created this entire mess, with huge deficit, Iraq war..Republican Thugs...

    September 20, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Michael

    No body knows the efeect of the Bush tax cuts except the republicans. They know everything, including backing Georeg Bush's iniciatives which drove this country's economy into the ground. Why do they not mention how they supported his every wish? WHy do they not take any responsobilities for our economic debacle? Because all they want to do is blame others for their own failures. And thy want to run this counrty again only now they are being controlled by the radical Tea Party, a group of anrgy, rich racists.

    September 20, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. Ben in Texas

    No matter how they analyze and spin the Bush "Welfare for the Rich" tax cuts, the end result is the same. Bush instituted the tax cuts, lowering what the Treasury took in (same effect as massive spending), and budget deficits suddenly appeared and got worse each year. The tax cuts are a give-away to people who don' t need it.

    The right wing says that people in the top tax bracket are special and deserve to keep all their money. If this were true, then the same could be said for the British royal family. They get massive welfare checks paid for by the people of Britain. Do you believe they "earn" that money? It's the same with the rich in this country. Most of them are rich because their parents were rich. In any case, they benefit hugely from the infrastructure our taxes provide, and they should pay for that benefit.

    We need to break the cycle of wealth in this country before it destroys us.

    September 20, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. stufit

    No matter what, here is the problem. Democrats think the money is theirs, and they know how to spend our money better than we do. This is, wrong headed, dope addled thinking. It is not their money, it is ours and we should be able to determine how we spend it. I don't want mine going to support any corrupt unions (and they are all corrupt) like the first billion dollar stimulus bill did. I want to invest that money in my business and my employees (unlike the Obamacare) not a bunch of non working, dope smoking, Oprah watchers. Democrat liberals want a license to steal money, that is their who reason for being.

    September 20, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. jim

    Most of the ecnomist say we need to cut taxes for everyone so why is it dems think just the opposite.The government has been wasting our taxpayers money for years and has an unending appetite to spend more.

    September 20, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    "Trickle Down" economics was supposed to enable the rich to provide jobs, at least that was the excuse. Bush cut taxes on the wealthy twice, so where are the jobs? They didn't happen. What happened is the largest shift in wealth from the poor to the rich since the Gilded Age. We were hoodwinked. Actually the top percentage of the wealthiest are even richer now than they were then. And the middle class is nearly destroyed.

    Now the Republicans want to continue the program which will add to the debt, not create jobs, and make the rich richer? What? Do they see themselves as working only for the rich, because that's certainly pretty clear.

    A little side story. I wrote Senator Isakson last fall telling him how badly we needed health care reform – we were getting killed out here (I'm self insured – the cost is back breaking). He responded by saying he would not agree to any kind of reform because he had to protect the profits of the insurance companies. There you go.

    September 20, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    ...companies hire a new worker when they determine they'll make money off of the hire, regardless of the employee's tax burden.
    As a small business owner I can tell you this is over-simplified. Most small businesses right now are running with as few employees as we can get by with but all would like more employees to help. The reason is not that we don't believe more employees can be justified financially, it's that most of us got burned in 2009 when business slowed and we had to get rid of employees to survive. The mindset is to get our balance sheets stable and know our business will survive if there is a double dip recession. Any negative sign like increasing tax rates will make it take longer for us to get comfortable enough to hire the additional employees we would like to have.

    September 20, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia

    Okay – so if all is TRUE what I just read – then the TAX CUTS that are in place RIGHT NOW must stay in place FOREVER???????????

    Like I thought from the beginning of all this – REAL small businesses makes less than the top 3% – they will not be touched!!!

    If the RepubliCAN'Ts feel the tax cuts should stay in place for what – 1 year – 2 years – what 3 years, then how will it be paid for and how does this encourage JOB CREATION?? And if it does create jobs – how long will the increase be in effect?? Once the TAX CUTS end, will JOB CREATION still remain????

    NO ONE is hitting on this – the TAX CUTS cannot stay the way they are forever!!! When will the tax cut END????

    T'SAH from Virginia – the Liberal – approves this message!!

    September 20, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. The Other Michael in Houston

    This weekend, I heard some people having a conversation at a function that I attended. They were basically bashing the President about not extending the tax cuts. Naturally living in a state where it is dominated by Republicans, I was not surprised. All of the people in the conversation I knew very well. So as my collegue and I walked past, we both looked at them and laughed. Of course, they knew of my support for the President, so they decided to ask me what I thought, since not extending the tax cut would affect me directly. My response was, "I make enough money so it will not affect me at all but, my humor with your discussion is none of you in this group make over $150,000 so what are you mad about?" The response was, and I am not kidding, "what if we get rich, our taxes will go up". I wanted to walk away right then, but I didn't. So my response was "the more money you make, the higher taxes you pay, that is a given, Furthermore, you are basing your anger on a hypothetical scenerio. Didn't you beloved Joe the Plumber do that?" No response of course. Thought I'd share that with you folks.

    September 20, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. WhatIsTheDifference

    Interesting about the Medicare tax thingy. Investment income is currently exempt. Bonus payments to employees are taxed. That is a source of income and is taxed accordingly. Gambling winnings are reported and taxed. The argument that dividend revenue is earned as a reward for the investor's gamble in holding on to a stock should apply. Gambling is gambling right?

    September 20, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. Jim

    We shouldn't be cutting anyone's taxes right now. If you cut for the bottom 97%, that's a $3 Trillion deficit, if you cut for everyone, its a $3.7 trillion deficit. Maybe we cut them temporarily, but we need to start matching what we spend to what we take in. I would rather not see cuts in government services.

    September 20, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. CNN+corporate america=match made in hell

    That's it CNN. Keep us in the dark as much as possible, then occasionally throw out some drivel about Lady Gaga, etc. When this country goes up in the flames of civil war, it is your network heads that will hang for inciting this numbskullery.

    September 20, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Pragmatic

    Senate Republicans are rolling out a plan to permanently extend an array of expiring tax breaks that would deprive the Treasury of more than $4 trillion over the next decade,

    That nearly doubes projected deficits over that period unless dramatic spending cuts are made.!

    Republican spending cuts? What have they proposed?

    Asked how McConnell would cover the cost of his proposal, the Tax Hike Prevention Act, aides noted that he has backed a bipartisan plan to FREEZE SPENDING

    That would save an estimated $300 billion over the next decade – a drop in the bucket compared with his $4 trillion-plus plan.

    More "fuzzy math" and "only republican deficits don't matter" from the GOP! That's not leadership and that is not a plan!

    September 20, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. blue

    Let's check the facts. If the rich created jobs, we would not be in this jobless recovery.

    September 20, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. roro

    We've had tax cuts for the very wealthy for a number of years now, and we still went into a recession. Ergo, this DID NOT WORK! Keep tax cuts for everyone but the rich. They'll never miss it, and it will help reduce the deficit in the long run.

    September 20, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. jules sand-perkins

    Businesses hire those whom they need.
    There is no reason to make a job just because somebody needs and wants a job, unless that somebody is the out-of-work husband of your daughter.
    Democrats have very unrealistic concepts of what businesses are willing to do to "make jobs."
    People without jobs need to ask what they can do that businesses REALLY need.
    Unions need to find out what their members' jobs are REALLY worth and get in line with the world's labor supply.

    September 20, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |