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01:38 PM on 08/12/2008
Im not sure WHAT this plan means exactly. Does it mean that the first $50,000 in income for INDIVIDUAL Seniors would be TAX EXEMPT and any income above it would be taxed at the marginal tax rate? Would this Individual $50,000 tax free income DOUBLE for MARRIED SENIORS who file joint returns?

IMPOSSIBLE to decide what I think of his plan without THE DETAILS.
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dadw5boys
Disabled Vietnam Vet
02:28 PM on 08/12/2008
True middle class income is $290,000.00 people not the $ 50,000 that Republicans push to keep low income wage earners content with their place in society. It is a mind game.
02:51 PM on 08/12/2008
By your numbers I have only know two or three middle class people then.
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psychmaj323
07:57 AM on 08/13/2008
that's not middle class, that's upper middle class.
11:19 PM on 08/12/2008
I hope it excludes people like McCain who is elderly and draws a lot of benefits like Social Security while working, plus gets all the perks of being a senator. like practically free health care and a big salary, plus has 7-10 houses and wears $520 shoes. Senators are guaranteed $200,000 when they retire and they can retire in their 50s.

The way I understand it, everyone gets the benefit of each tax bracket at this time on federal taxes. The first $15,000 of a rich man is taxed the same as a poor man. It works that way all the way to the top of the income brackets.
12:44 PM on 08/12/2008
Straight from the George Bush re-election playbook--bribe senior citizens. What's next? A promise to eliminate the donut hole in prescription drug coverage?
12:18 PM on 08/12/2008
Obama will cut social security to make sure no one makes $50K
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mosh
12:45 PM on 08/12/2008
And the world is flat and pigs can fly and McCain is ____________ (fill in the blank).
11:17 PM on 08/12/2008
Obama has said he will not cut Social Security.
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mosh
12:11 PM on 08/12/2008
Senior citizens - those deadbeats! Tax 'em 'til they drop.
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jeffp26
12:17 PM on 08/12/2008
yeah, just 'cause they're old doesn't mean.... wait a minute, I'll be old soon.
12:08 PM on 08/12/2008
Bring in the FairTax and get rid of income tax entirely. Tax purchases and everyone pays evenly...
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texastrixie
I invented the internet.
10:31 PM on 08/12/2008
We pay the standard deduction income tax. I have figured every way that they propose the "fair tax." We are regular median income middle class. In every case, under the fair tax, our taxes would DOUBLE. I bet that this would be the same for most middle income people and that's if there is some provision for a reduction based on mortgage interest. If completely "fair" - no deductions for anything, just a flat tax rate, I think the result would be a huge increase for the average family and a big reduction for the rich. Steve Forbes pushes the Fair or Flat Tax. Would he be pushing something that was good for regular people? Don't be ridiculous. As usual, trying to convert the middle class into the working poor.
11:23 PM on 08/12/2008
The UNfair tax would tax people for going to the doctor (services are taxed) and buying a new home. The wealthy do not spend a large proportion of their money, so they would get a tax break. The rest of us have to spend most of our money so we would pay more taxes.
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mediamarv
1-2-3 Is this thing working?
12:05 PM on 08/12/2008
Yea!!! I'm in!
Oh, wait, I'm unemployed so far this year.... damn, now I gotta not make more than $50K. That's a lot of pressure...
12:08 PM on 08/12/2008
In my circle of seniors, most are struggling to survive. They don't have big retirement accounts, they are helping their kids and grandkids. Some own tiny homes, some don't, some still paying off re-fied homes. They are frugal to an extreme, and rarely buy new things. Any tax break would be a welcome relief here. Some have seen the job market shrink, and now must compete with young kids for these low paying jobs. Women who stayed home to raise kids are hurt by not paying in to SS for those years, and look forward to 500 a month to live on, when they can collect. So yeah, I like Obama's plan to eliminate taxes for this group. Yay.
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dadw5boys
Disabled Vietnam Vet
02:31 PM on 08/12/2008
J. P. Morgan on the New Deal said " I don't care if you give retired people $1000.00 a month if they will spend the whole thing every month."

Talk about an economic boost .
06:53 PM on 08/12/2008
Think of all the small businesses that would start up if people were given an grand a month!
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mosh
11:57 AM on 08/12/2008
What is the definition of 'senior' I wonder? Any why assume, as this article does, that this demographic has any real assets?

If we are talking about folks well past retirement age who no longer work for a living than give them a break. Social security does not keep up with inflation by any means and medicare only covers part of a senior's medical expenses. Typically they must purchase additional coverage to be fully insured.

We are the richest nation on earth. Let's give seniors earning less than 50K a break. And btw, this whole article reeks of divide and conquer politics. Let's pit the seniors against the middle class and let them fight it out for those measly tax breaks while the rich walk away with the real loot.
11:40 PM on 08/12/2008
I agree that the taxes should be the same for the elderly and all the families All families should pay the same taxes with tax breaks for child care, etc.. Then taxing Social Security for seniors should stop for those who make below a certain income, like $50,000.
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smokeystover39
11:59 AM on 08/12/2008
As I understand the history of Social Security the original legislation of 1935 provided that SS benefits were NOT considered income and were therefore not taxable. During the reign of Saint Ronald in the 80's benefits became taxable. The GOP scam was presented as a way to "save" Social Security (sound familiar?). Forget that for a huge number of retirees these benefits constitute up to 90% of their income, BUT remember that if you earn over $102k (in 2008) you are NOT taxed (Federal Withholding) and thus stop contributing to the system. So what does this mean? Older folks who have few, if any, opportunities to expand their income keep getting banged on their benefits, while the fat cats get a holiday on all earnings over $102k. Even Saint Milton Friedman noted this scheme took from the poor for the sake of the wealthy. It's called regressive taxation.

Solution? Stop taxing ALL SS benefits as income. Establish Federal Withholding for ALL incomes over $50,000 and index both to the CPI (Consumer Price index). Prohibit states from considering SS benefits as taxable income.

Result: Relief for the worker bee retirees and a huge shot in the arm for the SS "trust" fund. Think about it. PS: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet et al get your check books out.
11:31 PM on 08/12/2008
Smokey that would be the better tax cut for the elderly. Maybe no taxes on the first $25000 and no taxes on Social Security. And they should figure it so that people like John McCain would have to pay Social Security taxes on his benefits because he is rich.
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TheJibreelaMonsters
the library is one of the best places to find me
11:53 AM on 08/12/2008
pander bear
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NewArtz
11:17 AM on 08/12/2008
Seniors get "federal help" through Social Security and Medicare? Have you ever noticed that the federal government deducts money from your paycheck to set aside your money for you to collect when you retire? If this money is now "federal" money, then even more these seniors deserve a break for this extra "tax" they've paid their working lives. The money they paid in was, is and always will be their money. If the Federal Government steals it while holding it in trust, then yes it would be federal money and it would still be appropriate to give it back.

A tax break for the less moneyed elderly is merely the gratitude billionaires ought to show to those who have worked hard over many decades to keep America's economy profitable. They should be volunteering to take up the slack for the ederly rather than spending their money to buy yet another worthless bauble to express their narcistic vanity. Do they imagine they accumulated their wealth via their own power? What spoiled brats they seem to be. To whom much is given, much should be expected.
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barriosbabe
10:59 AM on 08/12/2008
Eliminate all tax breaks and loopholes for any person or corporation that grosses over $60K per year. Duh!
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mosh
12:10 PM on 08/12/2008
That's way too progressive for Washington.
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barriosbabe
10:55 AM on 08/12/2008
DAMNATION! When will we start talking about the hurting middle class?? I'm talking college degree, job, about 36K per year, no savings, no health insurance (the employer provided health care requires $800 per month we don't have!!!), zero extravaganzes (no cable tv, no nice car, etc) money all gone on rock bottom basics before the next pay day??
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TheJibreelaMonsters
the library is one of the best places to find me
11:51 AM on 08/12/2008
were do you live and why should I pay for this?
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thegreatgiginthesky
11:57 AM on 08/12/2008
No one is asking you to pay for it. We all know that you can barely afford to keep the shirt on your back.
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mosh
12:03 PM on 08/12/2008
Why not talk about both? As I say above, this whole article reeks of divide and conquer politics - pitting seniors against the middle class to fight for crappy tax breaks while the rich walk away with the real money.
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barriosbabe
10:52 AM on 08/12/2008
Better Idea: If you are over 40 and make under 50K and don't own any property, corporation, stocks, or savings then NO taxes. Screw real estate, screw the fat cats, I'm so sick of the richies getting away with murder! Even better: struggling people put their taxes into a fund to pool for no-insurance company involved health benefits.
10:49 AM on 08/12/2008
This bit of pandering sounds good on the campaign trail and seniors do vote in much larger percentages than voters under 30. It is certainly one way to help overcome any problems white seniors might have in voting for a non-white candidate. So what happens to the low or zero tax rate on dividend income that applies in 2008? Does that go away in 2009 under the Obama plan?