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The tax fight

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
July 9, 2012 12:40:38 PM PDT
Just when you thought it was safe to think about people getting along in Washington - here we go again! The nasty tax debate begins. Again.

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

Pres. Obama wants to continue the Bush-era tax cuts for anyone making less than $250,000 a year, and there's hardly any opposition to that. Where it gets politically grungy is ending the cuts for those making more than that.

We'll have the latest on the big debate - which will likely not be resolved before the election, no shocker - tonight at 11.

But in the meantime, we'd like to know what you think?

The Repubs say don't raise taxes on anyone, especially in tough economic times. The Dems say tax the wealthy, because they made out very well under these Bush tax cuts.

There is the middle road, which multi-billionaire Warren Buffett proposed - and no it is not what the President is saying in his proposals, although he quickly embraced the title as the "Buffett Rule." The proposal is to make the capital gains and dividend taxes the same as ordinary income. That, says Buffett, would ensure that he pays a bigger tax rate than his secretary. Right now, capital gains is taxed at 15 percent.

And, no, that doesn't mean people are taxed twice. If you have $100 in your bank account from working, yes you've been taxed already. But if you invest that $100 and double the money in an investment that you've held onto for more than a year, you're not taxed on the original $100, only the profit of $100. That amount has never been taxed. So the question is whether you should get a 15 percent capital gains tax on that second $100, which is the current law, or should it be ordinary income, and be taxed at your overall rate?

There are many who believe - but not enough to actually win the argument - that taxes on unearned income should increase, but no increases in earned income. Let people work and keep more of their money and spend it - thereby helping the economy.

Again - what do you think? Let us know. Click here to send a comment.

Also at 11, talk about a quickie divorce - how fast was the settlement between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? Fast than a speeding Scientology bullet, that's how fast. There are many today who are saying, good riddance to this story - and they're grateful that this celebrity break-up won't be taking up valuable court time and air time.

We're also following the latest in two controversial proposals in New York City. The first is to increase fares for taxi cabs - up an average 17 percent. The vote is set for Thursday.

And there's a big rally late this afternoon at City Hall - with what they're calling, tongue in cheek, "Million Big Gulp March" - to protest Mayor Bloomberg's crackdown on super-sized sugared drinks (anything more than 16 ounces.)

And if you're headed to the nation's capital anytime soon, you won't be able to tour the Washington Monument for a while longer. And by a while longer, we mean another 18 months. The Monument was damaged last August during a rare earthquake. Turns out, damage was more extensive than they thought, so now there's a repair plan - to the tune of about $15 million.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports, including word that Reggie Jackson has been told to stay away from the Yankees after the former Yank made disparaging remarks about Alex Rodriguez and his use of steroids. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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