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Millionaire's tax divides Senate hopefuls along party lines

By Derrick DePledge


With growing public discontent over income inequality, a proposed federal surtax on millionaires could be one of the issues that help define political candidates in the 2012 elections.

The millionaire's tax would apply to a small fraction of the nation's wealthiest taxpayers — about 700 in Hawaii. President Barack Obama and many Democrats in Congress have described the surtax as a matter of fairness, because income for the wealthy has grown at substantially higher rates than the middle class, and have used the proposal to mark Republican opponents as defenders of the rich.

In the U.S. Senate campaign in Hawaii, U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case, the Democratic candidates, favor a millionaire's tax and ending the tax cuts for the wealthy that were approved under President George W. Bush. Former Gov. Linda Lingle, the campaign's leading Republican, opposes a millionaire's tax and says the debates over both the surtax and the Bush-era tax cuts are about political gamesmanship.

Senate Democrats had proposed a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires to bring in about $450 billion over a decade to finance Obama's job-creation initiatives. A lower 1.9 percent surtax on millionaires has been floated by Democrats to help finance an extension of a Social Security payroll tax break for workers set to expire at the end of the year.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, using 2007 tax data, estimates that 0.2 percent of taxpayers — about 392,000 nationally and 700 in Hawaii — have adjusted gross incomes above $1 million.

Income inequality has helped fuel the Occupy Wall Street movement on the political left, but polls show there is also dissatisfaction across a broader segment of the public still drained from the recession. A Congressional Budget Office study in October found that the top 1 percent had household income growth of 275 percent over the past three decades, while the 60 percent in the middle class saw household income grow by less than 40 percent.

Hirono asked her supporters in September to sign an open letter urging U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to schedule a stand-alone vote on a millionaire's tax. More recently, the congresswoman has advocated the surtax to pay for an extention of the payroll tax break.

"I would like to see the money go to the middle-class people in our country," she said by telephone from Washington, D.C.

Hirono said she would also end the Bush-era tax cuts as part of a larger effort to ensure that millionaires pay their fair share.

"When you talk about inequality, I think that when you have tax policies that favor the richest people in our country over the vast 98 percent of other taxpayers, that's inequality," she said. "And we also know that the income disparity in our country has been growing. And you can't have a strong country and a strong economy without a strong middle class."

Case said he heard public frustration during two dozen talk-story sessions held recently across the islands. He said he does not believe the disappointment is confined to the middle class.

"So I don't buy this class warfare stuff at all," he said. "I think it's a broad concern. I don't think it's limited to an income level. I don't think it's limited to a party, geographic level, nothing.

"I think that over the last 10 years-plus we have seen an erosion of national policy to favor too few at the expense of too many. And so there has been — I wouldn't call it an income inequality, although that's part of it — I would call it a broader sense of inequality, a broader sense of unfairly shared benefits and burdens.

"I think that's what's going on."

The former congressman said he supports a millionaire's tax to cover a short-term extension of the payroll tax break. For the long term, he would end the Bush-era tax cuts in a larger deficit-reduction package that would include budget-neutral tax and spending policies, a cap on discretionary spending, and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in federal programs. He also endorses a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Conservatives have been successful at pressuring Republicans in Congress — and a few Democrats — not to agree to any tax increases. Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington-based interest group founded by conservative activist Grover Norquist, has persuaded 238 members of the House — a majority — and 41 members of the Senate to sign a pledge promising not to raise taxes. The group offers the pledge to all new candidates.

Hirono and Case will not sign the pledge.

Lingle will not sign, either. As governor, Lingle opposed most new tax increases. She did support higher state taxes on tobacco products to curb smoking and allowed a bill that gave Oahu the right to impose a rail surcharge to become law without her signature.

In written statements, she said "simplistic sound-bite proposals" would not solve the nation's deficit crisis. "Neither the ‘millionaire's tax' nor the extension of the ‘Bush-era tax cuts' will solve the deep fiscal hole our state and nation face today. What's worse, these narrow solutions have become a battle cry for political gamesmanship. Our country needs real, comprehensive, bipartisan solutions to meet this crisis," she said.

Lingle said she would simplify the federal tax code, eliminate special-interest tax loopholes, broaden the tax base and lower the tax burden for all taxpayers. While a millionaire's tax would cover only about 700 taxpayers in Hawaii, she said some would be small-business owners who report business income as personal income for tax purposes.

"Increasing taxes on small-business owners, who are the main job creators, runs counter to what our economy needs today," she said. "We need consumers and businesses in Hawaii and around the country to be able to save and invest more of their own money, which is what the payroll tax holiday extension now being debated in Congress seeks to do."

John Carroll, an attorney and former state lawmaker running against Lingle in the GOP primary, opposes a millionaire's tax and ending the Bush-era tax cuts. According to a spokesman, Carroll would sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge against new taxes.

David Chang, chairman of the state GOP, said a millionaire's tax, even if it applies to relatively few Hawaii taxpayers, could hit small-business owners struggling to make payroll and meet expenses. The Hawaii-born Obama has said the millionaire's tax is about the nation's welfare, not class warfare on the wealthy, but Chang said he believes Democrats are using the surtax as a wedge issue to divide voters.

"We have to step back, look at the big picture, and see that it's not as simple as it looks," he said.

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kuewa wrote:
This is NOT a "millionaire's tax." It is a tax on people who make a million or more a year. Most millionaires do not make a million a year. And not everyone who makes a million a year is a millionaire after expenses. The media needs to correct their verbiage. In addition, this not really a new tax. As Hirono points out, it is related to allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. The Bush tax cuts were a bad idea in the first place (cutting revenue while waging 2 wars) and contributed to the economic mess we are in now.
on December 11,2011 | 01:12AM
1local wrote:
Obama and Hirono ARE millionaires. Hirono lives in Kahala. Hanabusa owns a home in Koolina. Who are the democrats trying to fool?
on December 11,2011 | 07:39AM
HD36 wrote:
So are most Senators and high ranking government beuarocrats.
on December 11,2011 | 10:29AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Hawaii voters?
on December 11,2011 | 12:00PM
opaekaa wrote:
Kuewa is right. Are the 700 millionaire number based on gross revenue, or revenue after expenses? A small business could gross 1 million/year, but after expenses, the actual taxable income would be a fraction of this, thus zero tax increase. I doubt the number is even at 700. Increasing taxes for less than 700 in Hawaii isn't going to help Hawaii's economy. Yet the idea that tax cuts create jobs is ludicrous, which is evident by the lack of jobs borne from 12 years of Bush tax cuts. Both sides need to get their act together and work to fix the problem, not play games. The only one actually trying in my opinion is Obama.
on December 11,2011 | 07:39AM
wiliki wrote:
I disagree. When the Congressional Budget Office makes an estimate on a proposed bill, it doesn't make mistakes. If there are 700 taxpayers in Hawaii who will pay the tax, then that is based on their past tax returns and NOT on guessing. If the CBO says that there are about $480 billion that will be collected, then that is reliable enough to base new programs to help pay for new spending and cover the payroll tax cut as well. Note that Democrats, unlike Republicans, PAY for the temporary tax cuts that they initiate to help the economy. Most of the money from the $1000 tax cut last year went into more spending that helped the economy.
on December 11,2011 | 12:12PM
Toneyuki wrote:
When the Congressional Budget Office makes an estimate on a proposed bill, it doesn't make mistakes.


on December 11,2011 | 03:50PM
wiliki wrote:
This is why Republicans look like fools for ignoring CBO estimates. Ryan's plans are really really bad.
on December 11,2011 | 04:03PM
Toneyuki wrote:
Who said anything about ignoring CBO estimates? You are the one that made a blanket statement that they don't make mistakes. When medicare was first proposed and the CBO scored it, they underestimated it's cost by a factor of 10. The CBO estimates that they will collect about 480B over 10 years. That is based on the people making the exact same amount of money over the next 10 years. Static. Unfortunately the economy is anything but static. Any estimate over 2 years is nothing more than a guess.
on December 11,2011 | 06:26PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
wiliki what are you smoking?
on December 11,2011 | 05:38PM
tinapa wrote:
The surtax of 1.9 percent proposed by the Democrats to help pay for extending the payroll tax cut would apply to ADJUSTED gross income in excess of 1 million, which means that if your adjusted gross income is 2 million, the surtax would apply to the next 1 million only which is 19,000 dollars. This amount does not even put a small dent on the total income of millionaires/billionaires. Further, the Democrats have offered to reduce the employer's share of the payroll tax to offset the surtax but the Republicans have steadfastly refused to budge. The Republicans are not sincere, they are only interested in political theatrics. Adjusted gross income, by the way, is before deducting standard or itemized deductions and personal exemptions.
on December 11,2011 | 01:58PM
ISCREAM wrote:
The reduction in payroll tax is a ruse. It has already been stated and planned by the progressives to shift the burden of Social Security to 100% employer pay. They realize that SS is bankrupt and the way to save it is to quietly shift the load to employers...this will eventually happen to health care and medicare.
on December 11,2011 | 08:16PM
Toneyuki wrote:
Yah, cuz that unemployment rate of less than 5% under republicans and Bush was horrible. (sarc) 12 years? Liberal math is amazing. No wonder we have so many problems. The Democrats have increased spending dramatically over the last 4 years and now they are looking to blame other for their mistake. The Bush cuts ended 2 years ago.
on December 11,2011 | 03:49PM
Highinthesierras wrote:
WHATEVER, remember the nasty Alternative Minimum Tax which complicates millions of tax returns, was started to catch about 35 millionaires. SO, beware of any tax, even if it does not get you today, it will one day.
on December 11,2011 | 01:03PM
hiloboy wrote:
Correct. Many people have a million or more in assets, but do not make a million a year. How many small business owners make a mioolin a year?
on December 11,2011 | 01:11PM
Makaha_guy wrote:
Ah, that did not take long for Linda "Furlough" Lingle to show her disdain for the middle class in favor of her 700 political cronies who want their fortunes protected. Mahalo for showing us so early in the campaign whose interest you REALLY have in mind!
on December 11,2011 | 05:19AM
mitt_grund wrote:
I don't believe Ms. Lingle has ever disclosed her personal wealth, total annual income, or sources of that income. When Cayetano ran against her, he referred to her as having a silver spoon in her mouth. I am curious if as a member of the Cutter family, does she draw upon Cutter auto enterprises as a source of income? I would also be curious if State and Maui County truck and car fleet contracts went to Cutter during her tenure as governor and mayor. You may be right in associating her with the very rich. She may very well be amongst the 700 qualifying "millionaires" in Hawaii.
on December 11,2011 | 05:42AM
MKZhawaii wrote:
Every federal candidate has to submit a financial disclosure. I haven't read it either, but from I heard over the years about the struggles her family had, their ain't no silver spoon. (You did read/hear about that when she spoke openly during the mental illness debate several years ago, right?) Moreover, as eight years as Mayor of Maui and same number as Governor, I am resonably sure there was no income from her family. Finally, to my knowledge all car fleets were bidded out and I read that CUTTER never bid. C'mon man!
on December 11,2011 | 08:25AM
1local wrote:
Hirono on her public finance statement disclosed over $1million in income and a home in Kahala. Lingle should have made Union and democrats happy by laying off Union members and initiating a 5 - 10% cut in pay and eliminate freebies to Governement retirees. Lingle should have given a last and final offer and crammed it down the Unions throats like Abercrombie...
on December 11,2011 | 07:43AM
wiliki wrote:
Everyone who owns a home in Manoa has at least a million dollars in assets. But they don't all have over a million in income each year. Only 700 people in the state have that distinction.
on December 11,2011 | 12:16PM
soundofreason wrote:
Typical one-sided view. A million dollar asset that ALSO has a million dollar mortgage = nothing. Have to look at BOTH sides of the equation. It's commonly referred to as NET worth.
on December 11,2011 | 05:55PM
MKZhawaii wrote:
Furloughs were the unions idea. Furloughs were done to supposedly save money, but the unions made them a political tool. OH, if you read a bit more, you would know furloughs are going on today, only by a different name. Didn't Mama ever tell you to think before you talk?
on December 11,2011 | 08:21AM
ISCREAM wrote:
Just remember that President Obama has increased his wealth during his Presidency by 300% to over $10 million...how does he do that on $400K per year...insider trading?
on December 11,2011 | 08:19PM
kainalu wrote:
No amount of litigation will change my perception, otherwise, my reality that the GOP represent the filthy rich ... over the rest of us ... over our country.
on December 11,2011 | 06:06AM
EastOahu wrote:
I guess all those etertainment types are GOP. You don't need any litigation to figure that out.
on December 11,2011 | 07:04AM
Charliegrunt wrote:
Why is it that the focus is only on taxing the rich and NOT on CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES? Of the two, the latter is the bigger problem. They allow the rich to pay tax lawyers millions to escape from paying taxes. Why not close the tax loopholes and set a FAIR tax rate on the rich. If the far left becomes unreasonable, they will do as the rich did in the UK a few decades ago, and corporations are doing now - moving with their operations to other countries like Switzerland and Ireland where tax rates are 1/2 to 1/4 of our corporate tax rates. Better yet, demand that Congress pass a law forbidding any gifts, funds or perks from lobbyists and making it a felony for the lobbyists giving and the politicians accepting them. Yeah, I know, fat chance, but it's worth mentioning so that the politicians know that even though we may not be able to get it done, we're not stupid enough not to know. By the way, why is no one mentioning the loss of jobs and income by the Free Trade Agreements?
on December 11,2011 | 06:11AM
wiliki wrote:
Closing loop holes is not going to happen. The Republicans have a conflict of interest. Their promises to do so are no good. It would be similar to their promises to do something about too big to fail and then failing to make the critical appointment to enable that legislation.
on December 11,2011 | 12:21PM
Changalang wrote:
Bankers are OUR friends; right Guv?
on December 11,2011 | 06:29AM
dashadow wrote:
You have any collateral? Changalang the sound of a cow bell.
on December 11,2011 | 11:23AM
ehrhornp wrote:
For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would vote republican. It is not like they have been correct on much. First of all they opposed Clinton's tax increase and predicted that they would result in an economic meltdown. It didn't but rather led to economic growth until he left office. Then they predicted that Bush's tax cuts would stimulate the economy and keep the recently balanced federal budget balanced. It didn't but instead lead to huge deficits and eventually an economic meltdown. As for Ed Case, well Ed, we don't need a balanced budget amendment. We just need politicians who won't just keep voting for the military and prison industrial complexes. Fiscal responsibility was not shown when GW budgets were approved without budgeting for illegal wars. At least if you are going to have an illegal war, put it in the federal budget instead of financing it off budget!
on December 11,2011 | 06:40AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 11,2011 | 08:01AM
wiliki wrote:
Hopefully this Republican fantasy about austerity bringing out the confidence fairy to fix things will become passe when the Wall Street Journal starts to recognize what mainstream Keynesian economists have been saying since day one. You see this viewpoint in the New York Times, but not in the WSJ. Well recently, the WSJ finally started getting it about the European crisis. Even if Murdoch owns the Journal, he may NOT want to defend the British govt that seems to want put him and his son in jail for the telephone wire tapping scandal in Britain. PM Cameron's austerity is damaging the British economy and his govt will be brought down when the public realizes that austerity is a really really stupid policy. Here's the link http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/09/slow-learners/
on December 11,2011 | 12:30PM
bigman50 wrote:
For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would vote Democrat. Well actually I can. The people who don't want to work, collect welfare, protest in the streets instead of looking for jobs, those envious of those who have worked hard and made money while they did drugs, drank and partied. The lawyers who rely on countless confusing laws passed by our legislators so they can stay in business and make a living. The ultra-rich who inherited their money instead of working for it and now feel guilty because they are living in luxury and have made no contribution to society. Government contractors who charge exorbitant fees and get jobs because they are politically connected. Politicians who think they are smarter than us and can better decide how to spend our money while enriching themselves. People who come to this country so they can take of advantage of welfare system and free emergency care. Criminals who know they won't be punished too harshly for their crimes because of liberal judges who believe the criminals are victims of our unjust society and can't be blamed for their actions. Terrorists because they don't want our border security to be increased or our intelligence agencies spying on them.
on December 11,2011 | 12:20PM
can wrote:
bigman50, you put a smile on my face. So much truth in your statement that it hurts the dishonest, hostile, brain dead lefties. Thanks.
on December 11,2011 | 04:00PM
Toneyuki wrote:
What illegal wars? Are you talking about Libya? Pakistan? What? Oh you're referring to Iraq and Afghanistan? Too bad they weren't illegal. the IN OKed military action and so did congress. Nothing illegal about it.
on December 11,2011 | 07:18PM
Toneyuki wrote:
The UN.
on December 11,2011 | 07:59PM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 11,2011 | 11:29PM
Toneyuki wrote:
Nice reply, obviously you can't contest the truth in my post.
on December 12,2011 | 12:30PM
dashadow wrote:
Only google tells the truth. You just plagiarise.
on December 14,2011 | 11:30AM
Pacej001 wrote:
The millionaires tax mentioned in this article would bring in $45million a year. That would be a whopping 3% of our current year deficit. If applied to our national debt it would lower the total by .3%. Of course, the democrats propose to spend this revenue, not use it to lower the debt/deficit. My point is that the amount of revenue from taxing the evil rich will have no significant impact. It is a poitical gimmick aimed at stoking resentment and envy for the 2012 election, period. Given the failure of the democrats policies over the last three years, I guess this class warfare thing is the best they can do, since the facts that unemployment is still near 9%,the democrat Senate hasn't even offered a budget for debate in approx. 1,000 days (and will not before the 2012 election, and that your party has no plan to effectively address our future debt and deficit problems which will be primarily driven by exploding entitlement costs.
on December 11,2011 | 06:55AM
EastOahu wrote:
And if you don't think this is political drama ask about the pipeline portion of the bill that would bring tens of thousands of jobs to the midwest but would be cause for a veto. Wouldn't want to hurt the green vote for next year. When will they start working for the nation instead of themselves.
on December 11,2011 | 07:07AM
Pacej001 wrote:
The dems can't run on their record of the last three years. Their only choice is to trump up BS like the millionaires tax, the 99% vs 1%, or worse, such as the scheme to have higher earners taxed to pay for the SS tax cut, knowing full well that the supplemtal tax will have no bearing on the viability of Social Security.-------------- They're out of airspeed and out of ideas other than raising taxes and spending more money than we don't have on stimulus pipe dreams that have no chance of working. Little men and women with tiny little ideas, running their political survival games while our fiscal nightmare builds for the not too distant future. Disgusting.
on December 11,2011 | 07:26AM
opaekaa wrote:
And what bright ideas have the republicans come up with? More tax cuts and de-regulation? Like that helped us the last 12 years with Bush's tax cuts? Oh yeah, and deregulating wall street was another really bright idea, huh? Give me a break! I see nothing on the republican side that does anything to increase jobs, and we all know now that tax cuts do NOT result in job growth. We also know that job creators are NOT the rich but the middle class. Without any demand, there would be no sales and without sales there would be no jobs! Keep in mind also that about half the stimulus was TAX CUTS at republican insistence. People seem to forget that little tidbit.
on December 11,2011 | 07:45AM
Pacej001 wrote:
There are 27 Republican-generated jobs bills stuck in the senate, by the senate democrat leadership. What else have Republican's proposed? For one thing, a national budget and Rep. Ryan's roadmap for cutting spending and raising tax revenue to avoid the financial disaster we are facing. The Senate democrats have refused to discuss either the House proposed budget or Ryan's road map and they have offered nothing meaningful of their own.-----Tax cuts and deregulation? Tax revenues during Bush's terms far exceeded those of Clinton. "From 2004 to 2007, federal tax revenues increased by $785 billion, the largest four-year increase in American history. " Washington Times. It was Bush's spending that was the problem, not tax cuts. Right now a sane corporate tax structure (lower rates) would probably do more to spur economic growth than any of Obama's half-baked mini-stimulus ideas. Job creaters are the middle class? Joking? How? Who? Small and medium sized businesses create new jobs, not people in the middle class who work for a salary. Agree with you to an extent about demand, but busineses, before they add employees (and pay middle class wages), have to get over the cost or regulatory barriers against hiring/expanding, barriers that the democrats have spent the last three years raising rather than lowering. Keystone pipeline, energy exploration, extra-legislative environmental initiatives, cost-ineffective green energy subsidies, the ridiculous new healthcare legislation, continued uncontrolled deficit spending, an out and out campaign to vilify all business, and, the real confidence wrecker, no mid or long term plan to get government spending under control. So give ME a break. The democrats and Obama couldn't have done a better job at thwarting an economic recovery if they had stated that as the express purpose for their policies.
on December 11,2011 | 10:17AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 11,2011 | 11:46AM
wiliki wrote:
And it's the unemployment that's the real problem. If we continue to stimulate the economy unemployment will go down. Hopefully to 8%. Isn't that the figure that Obama promised. What this proves that it takes a LONG time to undo YEARS of Bush negligence. If Americans want the pace of growth to pick up, then they will have to kick out the Republicans who have been standing in the way of progress for the past three years.
on December 11,2011 | 12:37PM
Toneyuki wrote:
The cuts were for everyone. The lowest bracket was cut by 50%. The rich got the smallest tax cut at less than 10%. Letting them expire would hurt everybody. The problem isn't taxes, the problem is spending. The Democrats have spent Trillions of dollars to try and "recover" from a mess that they helped create. Where is the recovery? Unemployment above 9% for how many months? Inflation about to go crazy. Obama's approval ratings are lower than Carters. That should tell you something.
on December 11,2011 | 04:04PM
Toneyuki wrote:
What year are you living in? 12 years ago Clinton was the president. The tax cuts have only been in effect for about 8 years. And the economy was doing pretty well under them until about 8 months after dems took over congress.
on December 11,2011 | 04:00PM
opaekaa wrote:
Of course they'd spend it. What is it for? Payroll TAX CUTS! It's not meant to lower the debt. Instead it's meant to pay for an extension of TAX CUTS! Your whole argument is ridiculous.
on December 11,2011 | 07:53AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Taking money from one class of taxpayer and giving it to another to spend makes no sense. Especially, when the lower earning taxpayer, up to his neck in debt, will most likely use a substantial part of that money to pay off that debt. This is probably the reason the first stimulus was a bust. We're in a debt driven recession, so this feed the chickens Keynsian stimulus approach failed and wasted about a trillion bucks. Also, the evil millionaire whose wealth is being distributed might have very well spent the money himself or invested it in expanding his business and hiring more employees. Overall, the net economic gain will be nil. Note the Obama administration hasn't even bothered this time to explain why this mini-stimulus should work, nor have they bothered to explain why, if the first larger stimulus didn't work, we should expect another, smaller one to do so. The bottom line of this SS payroll tax cut is that it is aimed at buying democrat votes for the 2012 election, nothing more.
on December 11,2011 | 10:30AM
wiliki wrote:
Here you reinforce the idea of taxing the rich. The 99% will pay off debts and SPEND the money and demand will pick up. The 1% will just bank the money so it will NOT go to increase demand. With the 1% paying less than their fair share of taxes (in fact, many pay a smaller percentage than their secretaries), it about time to raise their taxes not only for the moral reason but also for the good our country's economy..
on December 11,2011 | 12:42PM
Toneyuki wrote:
The 99% will pay off debts and spend the money. And since they got the money to do so without having to work for it means they will learn that they can live above their means. They don't have to be responsible for the debt they incur. What happens next? They go into debt again, and then expect the govmint to bail them out. This is the main thought that got us in the mess we are in NOW. The govmint thought that it was a good idea to put people in homes cuz they're Americans and that is the American dream. They didn't take into account the unintended consequences of people not being able to afford it. It was pushed on such a grand scale that it collapsed and now we are feeling the pain.

It is an absolute lie that the 1 % pay less in taxes than everyone else. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part the "rich" pay more than their fair share. It doesn't matter how you look at it, if you include every single little tax and fee from sales tax on cat food, to gas tax to property tax to income tax to payroll tax. The top 20% and top 1% pay more than everyone else as a % of their income. On average between 30 and 35%. Where as the other 80% of income earners pay between 13%(poor) and 28%. There are always exceptions, but that doesn't make it true for every one.

on December 11,2011 | 06:38PM
NITRO08 wrote:
on December 11,2011 | 02:10PM
Toneyuki wrote:
You should get your keyboard looked at, the caplocks stay broke.
on December 11,2011 | 06:39PM
dashadow wrote:
You mouth never closes, it stay broke.
on December 14,2011 | 11:32AM
soundofreason wrote:
"because income for the wealthy has grown at substantially higher rates than the middle class">>> and yet...it's not the rich who are "renting to own" their furniture instead of buying garage sales - and yet it's not the rich who are filling up the lobbies of tattoo parlors - and yet its not the rich who are CHOOSING to have babies they can't support. It is not the rich who continue to make decisions to keep the poor.......poor. The rich cost us NOTHING and PROVIDE jobs.
on December 11,2011 | 08:04AM
MKZhawaii wrote:
This is not a "yes or no" answer as it is presented. You're for it or against it? Seriously? What I'm reading is that Case and Hirono are singing from the DEM song sheet. Match their answers to other Democrat candidates in the country. From the article, it appears Linda Lingle gave a thoughtful answer simply stating that nice sounding proposals won't get in done in the current financial crisis we are facing. My goodness, are we going to send rubber stamps back to Washington or an independent leader who will think through each and every issue to ensure,"we" the people benefit? It's an easy answer. The parties are working at odds in DC. and we a Senator with Executive experience who will pull the parties together. (And, before all you guys start writing in about the same old things that occurred years ago, remember before you write, the other side can do this as well...it's a waste of precious time and energy) This election is about the HERE AND NOW, and what happens TOMORROW!
on December 11,2011 | 08:19AM
wiliki wrote:
It's not the same. Case supports a really really stupid idea: the balanced budget amendment. At least, Hirono can recognize that because of her legislative experience. Case still doesn't get it.
on December 11,2011 | 12:44PM
entrkn wrote:
Call me old fashioned but I think that everyone with a gross income above $200,000 should be not be getting any tax breaks and should be paying significantly higher taxes... enough of this tip-toeing token nonsense.
on December 11,2011 | 08:51AM
soundofreason wrote:
Paying more? Just cause you want them to? Do they use the freeways more than you? Can they die more times from military attach than you? Medicare? Do YOU offer to pay more for YOUR groceries/rent than those that make less than you? Why is it just accepted by you than taxes should be any different? Just cause it's "OPM"......other people's money.
on December 11,2011 | 08:55AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 11,2011 | 09:02AM
soundofreason wrote:
Not talking about serving - we're talking about tax PAYING. Stay on point. and the military attack was referring to CITIZENS being attacked on US soil. Rich or poor we all die once - so why should the rich pay more for the very same protection.
on December 11,2011 | 09:24AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 11,2011 | 09:30AM
soundofreason wrote:
Sign back on when your ritalin kicks in and you can stay on subject.
on December 11,2011 | 11:46AM
wiliki wrote:
The rich have more to protect, so they should pay more.
on December 11,2011 | 12:47PM
AtomicMonkey wrote:
If you called it a "Socialist's penalty tax against the successful and prosperous" it would get even less support.
on December 11,2011 | 08:59AM
soundofreason wrote:
and yet it would be more accurate. I can hear the slogan now ..."Aspire to mediocrity". Why do more if you just have to give it away? If a kid gets an "A" on his test, should he forfeit some points to to the "D" kids so they can get a higher grade? Why is it that we think this is right in the business world then?
on December 11,2011 | 09:28AM
dashadow wrote:
Eating fermented bananas can get a monkey high. 1% are supported by the 99%. I think in China you would be executed for being the Sick Man of the West.
on December 11,2011 | 11:24AM
soundofreason wrote:
So, you have logical no answer to my schoolgrade analogy. Just say that.
on December 11,2011 | 11:50AM
dashadow wrote:
Was I talking to you? Seems you need to practice what you preach.

"Sign back on when your ritalin kicks in and you can stay on subject."

on December 11,2011 | 11:54AM
wiliki wrote:
It's not really a zero-sum game. Everyone should be paying their fair share. That's the real moral argument.
on December 11,2011 | 12:50PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Let's turn this on it's ear and give a Million dollars cash to every tax payer who filed an income tax form last year then stand back and see what happens? Will the $ go into the mattress or into the bank/credit union or pay off bills or try to get ahead?.
on December 11,2011 | 02:54PM
wiliki wrote:
Why speculate? People have already studies spending of million dollars earners and on the average most of them do NOT spend the whole amount. A lot of that money goes in the bank or other forms of saving.
on December 11,2011 | 03:56PM
dashadow wrote:
Find a way to tax the 1% out of their "offshore accounts".
on December 11,2011 | 03:43PM
wiliki wrote:
They already have a good tax break on their offshore accounts. Many of them just pay the 15% on their dividends. Reason is that they want to spend that money in this country than in the other country. There more motivation for paying corporate taxes.
on December 11,2011 | 04:00PM
HD36 wrote:
Savings and investment are exactly what this country needs more of. In your world you think we can spend our way to prosperity. The country has already spend the last 20 years over consuming and over spending. Are you still wainting for Ben Bernacke to drop dollars from a helecopter?
on December 11,2011 | 06:11PM
dashadow wrote:
@HD36. By you commenting is just a wastes of 2 cents.
on December 14,2011 | 11:34AM
AtomicMonkey wrote:
That is what would be expected from a Communist regime...they don't exactly encourage free speech.
on December 11,2011 | 12:05PM
dashadow wrote:
Was that a "Made in China" reply?

If this was China you would be the Sick Man of the West.

on December 11,2011 | 03:38PM
Tony91 wrote:
This argument about a “millionaire tax” is bogus. Most millionaires (those with annual income over $1mil/year) do not earn this money with ordinary income such as salaries. They earn in ways such as capital gains, dividends, etc... This is how folks like Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs and the like pay far less than highest income (35%) tax rate on all earnings. In fact, Steve Jobs famously was paid $1 per year. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would not have raised the amount of taxes he paid one single penny! In fact, raising the income bracket would have resulted in more people structuring their income to be derived not as salary but in other ways that result in lower taxes. Raising marginal tax rates on ordinary income will not do a thing except hurt businesses formed as S-Corporations where total business income is reported on the owner’s personal tax return and don’t have the tools of billionaires to convert their income into other means that are taxed lower. The millionaire tax that is proposed will have ZERO impact other than to score political points. The only way to really address fairness in the tax code is tax reform. Eliminate interest deductions, increase capital gains taxes, depreciation, and many other deductions and loopholes first. If someone is earning hundreds of millions per year, they should be taxed at 35% and not be able to structure their income to be partially derived as capital gains or dividends. The "millionaire tax” that Hirono is supporting is nothing more than a feel good red herring from a vacuous politician who is not smart enough to know better.
on December 11,2011 | 09:07AM
puuwai wrote:
you are so right. I feel like the super rich need to be taxed more, but not through an income tax. Raising income tax will only hurt working professionals and small business owners while the "1 percent" will just shift assets so that they make more money from capital gains. Unfortunately such an issue is far too complicated for most voters to understand.
on December 11,2011 | 12:32PM
mitt_grund wrote:
I believe this point was made by Buffet. It's the way they get their income that results in lower taxes. If all sources of income were treated the same, then they would pay more taxes. However, that same line of thinking would lead to Abercrombie justifying taxing retirement pay and social security by the state, getting rid of the exemption on retirement pay.. But perhaps that's where Lowell Kalapa's thinking would cut in. He is the head of the City's Commission that is reevaluating property tax exemptions. In his rationale, removing exemptions from property taxes would allow for a reduction in the tax rate, thus reducing the burden to all across the board. Revenue-neutral is the term he used. But that presupposes that our city council and the mayor see fit to reduce the property tax rates. We could wager $10,000 ala Romney that they will reduce the rates.
on December 11,2011 | 05:23PM
Toneyuki wrote:
Dividend taxes are double taxation. I will explain. A person has a million dollars (that they have already earned and paid taxes on) and they decide to invest it in the Acme bread company. Let's say he owns half the company. Over the coarse of 1 month, ABC makes a profit of $30,000. This is after all it' expenses, purchases, labor, utilities, etc... Now out of that 30,000 35% goes straight to taxes. Now that leaves 19,500. Since the person owns half the company stocks, they receive $9,750, this is their dividend. They then must pay tax on it again at the 15% rate. Now the person gets $8,287. The government has actually gotten 45% of the profits in taxes.
on December 11,2011 | 06:53PM
AtomicMonkey wrote:
Lingle had previously signed the "no new tax pledge," and then reneged on it. She allowed the half percent excise tax surcharge to become law, one of the largest tax increases in recent Hawaii history.
on December 11,2011 | 09:10AM
AtomicMonkey wrote:
Do you really want the Federal government "adjusting" personal income levels to administrate "fairness." If you do, democracy is already dead.
on December 11,2011 | 09:13AM
AtomicMonkey wrote:
I previous submitted a comment pointing out that our previous governor (L.L) had signed the "no new tax" pledge and reneged on it. by allowing the half percent excise tax to become law. The comment was automatically flagged to be reviewed by the editor rather than posted. Is that part of what you get for the $10,000 a month Web ad on this site?
on December 11,2011 | 09:18AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 11,2011 | 09:32AM
AtomicMonkey wrote:
People who take liberty for granted will soon be relieved of it.
on December 11,2011 | 09:36AM
Changalang wrote:
Too late for us who dwell in 808.
on December 11,2011 | 09:48AM
dashadow wrote:
In 808? You live in an area code? I seem to dwell on an Island.
on December 11,2011 | 11:27AM
dashadow wrote:
Here's a banana for you.
on December 11,2011 | 10:03AM
dashadow wrote:
People who cry wolf and take liberty for granted, find it is not worth dying for others and will soon be relieved of it.

Happens when people think of only themselves ..

on December 11,2011 | 03:46PM
HD36 wrote:
Patriot Act ... going down a slippery slope to erradicate the fourth ammendment.
on December 11,2011 | 06:07PM
WesleySMori wrote:
AtomicMonkey, "Just Curious" But What Web AD are you Posting on this Web site that You are PAYING $10,000 For??? "GOD BLESS HAWAII & AMERICA"!!!!
on December 11,2011 | 10:02AM
AtomicMonkey wrote:
I'm not. The Lingle ad, located in the top left of this page costs $10k per month. My implication is that she may get a little editorial support in return.
on December 11,2011 | 12:10PM
dashadow wrote:
SA is a republican run newspaper. They are doing it for free as a "donation" to the 1% since they favor lingle as a "Medusa".
on December 11,2011 | 03:40PM
dashadow wrote:
The 1% are paying the ad and SA is a family of 1%.
on December 11,2011 | 03:47PM
dashadow wrote:
Another banana for you.
on December 11,2011 | 10:04AM
Ronin006 wrote:
There is one reason only for Obama's ongoing attack on people who work hard, save their money, take risks by investing their money and become successful and wealthy. It is VOTES. He and his fellow Democrats want to take millionaires' their hard earned money so they can continue and expand entitlement programs (welfare) for the almost 50% of Americans who do not work or pay taxes because people who get handouts from the government make very obedient Democrats. Instead of attacking success, Obama should be using the wealthy as examples of what the 99% of Americans can become if they try.
on December 11,2011 | 09:40AM
HD36 wrote:
It's no coincidence that more people are moving out of this country than ever before. Mostly the so called rich, who are already paying, in some cases 50% of their income to state and federal taxes. Raise it up more and at some point there gonna say, why work anymore when the government takes 70% of every dollar. Better to take my money and retire in Singapore. Government needs to cut spending.
on December 11,2011 | 10:20AM
dashadow wrote:
If anyone has noticed that 1 party has several candidates and they are spending millions per campaign. lingle can raise millions donated by the 1% and for this is reason she is opposed to raising taxes for the 1%. she herself is a millionaire.
on December 11,2011 | 11:01AM
stanislous wrote:
What's this about having to "pay" for any tax cut? Why not just spend less. (spending cuts?) Can't see why all the Democrats are for taxing the evil rich. Why would you want to raise your own taxes? LOL LOL LOL
on December 11,2011 | 11:44AM
soundofreason wrote:
That's kind of the BIG picture here - as I read through these comments. We're all being played. Rich being flung to fight with the poor and the poor being directed to fight against the rich. It's called divide and conquer. If the govt can keep us busy pointing at each other, then nobody looking at........the govt....and THEIR spending. THEY win - WE quibble.
on December 11,2011 | 06:04PM
Toneyuki wrote:
We all pay taxes. But to say that the working poor pay more of a percentage of their income in taxes than the wealthy is ANOTHER LIE propagated by the left. Including ALL taxes, property, GET, sales, state, payroll, etc.. Those in the bottom quintile pay about 13% in taxes. while the next quintile pay about 23%, next the mid quintile pay about 28%, fourth quintile pay 31% and the top 20% pay over 34%.

The lower quintiles also receive a much larger piece of the government pie. For every tax dollar the "poor" pay they receive $14 back. Compared to the richest 20% that get less than 60 cents on the dollar in benefits for their share of the tax burden.

Sources. page 24 http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/wp1.pdf


this one is great, it shows the state tax distribution by state and quintile. On the state level it's about even, but add in the huge federal tax rate that the successful pay, and they pay much more than the rest of us.

on December 11,2011 | 07:07PM
Toneyuki wrote:
on December 11,2011 | 07:07PM
akanno wrote:
Thank you for the one post with the facts and the sources to back it up.
on December 11,2011 | 07:29PM
ISCREAM wrote:
see opensecrets.org
on December 11,2011 | 08:20PM
ISCREAM wrote:
GET increase is coming! BOHICA
on December 11,2011 | 08:21PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Statistics can be manipulated and used to deceive and misinform. Take the following statistics - "A Congressional Budget Office study in October found that the top 1 percent had household income growth of 275 percent over the past three decades, while the 60 percent in the middle class saw household income grow by less than 40 percent." This statistic is deceptive and is misinformation simply because it does not take into account the effect of financial environment between the wealthy and the middle class. Unlike the middleclass whose income mostly come from working, the income of the wealthy do not come from work but from investment. Income from work come from wages and salaries. The growth of investment income is usually a lot greater than growth of wages or salaries. For example, those who invested in apple stocks 30 years ago may have seen their investment multiplied 12 times. Anyone here with a wage of $25 per hour 30 years ago seen their wage rise to $75 per hour today? Of course not. To even think that wages and salaries can increase by 275% is absurd.
on December 11,2011 | 08:50PM
dashadow wrote:
The Fat Lady Sings the last comment.
on December 12,2011 | 08:05AM
dashadow wrote:
The Fat Lady Sings the last comment.
on December 12,2011 | 08:06AM
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