We want to introduce a new feature that we’re launching on AmericansForTaxFairness.org, and that is the daily news roundup. Every day, between 5:00 PM and 6:30PM ET we’ll be posting our favorite news stories and editorials of the day, with minimal commentary – so you can see what’s what in the realm of tax fairness. In today’s edition, we hear from the elder President Bush on Grover Norquist, Fox News is caught making things up again, and President Obama continues to rally around tax cuts for the middle class.
So without further ado:
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush says he doesn’t like holding political candidates’ feet to the fire with pledges.
While president, Bush, 88, found himself breaking his pre-election promise of “no new taxes” and now conservative activist Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, has gotten most Republican congressmen to sign his “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”
“The rigidity of those pledges is something that I don’t like,” Bush said in an interview published Sunday by Parade magazine. “You know, the circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s — who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?”
Former first lady Barbara Bush chimed in that she thinks Norquist “ought to go back to Alaska,” reminiscent of a comment she made about Sarah Palin in a 2010 interview when she said, “I think she’s very happy in — Alaska — and I hope she’ll stay there.”
Media Matters for America blog, Emily Arrowood and Remington Shepard, 7/13/2012
Fox News’ chief national correspondent Jim Angle attacked President Obama’s call for a fairer tax code, claiming that the wealthiest Americans shoulder most of the federal tax burden, while the rest pay very little. However, the rich pay a larger portion of federal taxes because their income has ballooned in recent years, increasing the total amount they pay. Additionally virtually all Americans pay some kind of tax.
The richest Americans are paying more of the taxes now than they were in 1980 because they are now making that much more of the nation’s income. The rising share of taxes paid by the top 1 percent in the past three decades is not evidence that the rich are now overtaxed; it’s evidence of rising inequality.
ABC News OTUS blog, 7/14/2012
On Jan. 1 the tax cuts first enacted during the Bush administration will expire, and Republicans and Democrats have largely agreed that individuals making less than $200,000 and families less than $250,000 should see an extension. While not a new subject for the president, on Tuesday he used a White House event to bring the issue back into the spotlight.
“Let’s at least agree to do what we all agree on,” he called on Republican rivals. “That’s what compromise is all about. Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy.”
The president calls partisan posturing over the issue “unnecessary drama,” and asks for politicians to “just do the right thing.”