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Poll: Your Thoughts on the State of the Union Address

President says everyone must play by the same rules. What did you think of the speech?

In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama laid out a vision of America in which everybody – including "the wealthy" – plays by the same rules and gets a fair shot.

"Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans?" he asked. "Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else, like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we're serious about paying down our debt, we can't do both."

The bottom line, he said, is America was built on the promise that hard work will allow you to raise a family, own a home, afford college and save money for retirement.

"The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive," said the president. "No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important."

If you missed the speech, you can watch it on Huffington Post and see commentary from both sides of the aisle there as well.

Neil Quinn January 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM
President Obama uses the class warfare tactic to imply that if only the rich paid "their fair share" then we would have a secured Social Security and medicare system, we would be able to rebuild our infrastructure, extend unemployment benefits and offer American's all kinds of other goodies.. According to Forbes magazine the grand total of the combined net worth of every single one of America’s 400 billionaires is roughly $1.3 trillion. (that includes people like Gates, Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, George Soros, Trump etc). It does indeed sound like a “ton of cash” until one considers that the 2011 deficit alone was $1.6 trillion. So, if the government were to simply confiscate the entire net worth of all of America’s billionaires, we’d still be $300 billion short of making up that year’s deficit. So if we tax all the wealth of these people we still would not have an extra dime to expand any existing program or to create a new one. Once these 400 are left with no wealth, then who do we go after to "pay their fair share" in subsequent years when the deficit is projected to top 1.3 trillion. What if we just tax income only and have the Bush tax cuts expire for those making over 250K. The treasury would get an additional $70 billion a year..less than 6% of this years projected deficit, meaning the government would still be borrowing $1.230 trillion this year alone. No President Obama, it's not that we are taxed too little, its that the government spends too much
M OKeef January 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM
+1 above Agree with President that tax rules should be "fair and applied equally". BUT To me that means EVERYONE should pay some federal income tax. Am ok with progressive rate but when 51% pay no - $0 - federal income tax, how can that be considered fair? No one needs a tax cut in the current economy. The Republicans are fools to pursue that canard. Sure ask the uber wealthy to may some more. But everyone should have "skin in the payment " game to be fair.
John Lee January 25, 2012 at 01:59 PM
the "51%" who pay no taxes are primarily children, the aged, and the disabled; plus the Duggars
Neil Quinn January 25, 2012 at 02:57 PM
no, has nothing to do with children disabled etc..actually its 47% of adult wage earners who do not pay any income tax..they pay social security and medicare tax but no income tax..the top 1% of wage earners pay 38% of all income tax and the top 10% pay 70%. by the way the top 10% earn 58% of all earnings...
Concerned January 25, 2012 at 03:00 PM
It was not a State of The Union address. It was a campaign speech and a poor one at that. Where were all these ideas like developing our natural gas reserves is his first three years? Very little on foreign policy and the threats we face. I could go on but its rather futile.
Stuart Weissman January 25, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Fighting for the crumbs. We are all sheep to the ruling class. But keep supporting both parties. They are playing us like fools.
Carolyn Most January 25, 2012 at 03:56 PM
yes and the top 1% of wage earners have seen their incomes rise 200+% over the last 30 years while everyone else has essentially had their wages stagnate. In the 60's when there was money for everything in this county - education, introduction, SS, etc. - the wealthy and corporations paid an average of 47% and 41% income tax respectively. Now these averages are about 17% and 11%. And you wonder why we have no money and so much debt? Yes, the wealthy need to pay more. Not because that it is all it will take to solve our fiscal problems, bit because it is a good start AND because it is fair AND because if the US starts to look like a second world country EVERYONE WILL SUFFER, including the rich folks.
Neil Quinn January 25, 2012 at 04:31 PM
here are the facts about who is shouldering the tax burden versus 30 years ago • Wall Street Journal: "In 1980, when the top income tax rate was 70%, the richest 1% paid only 19% of all income taxes; now, with a top rate of 35%, they pay more than double that share. (38%):"..its not the rate that is important, it is the share of the total tax paid by different income groups .This class warfare is a tactic to divert attention away from the Government's unsustainable spending spree..by the way corporations dont pay taxes, they collect taxes..as tax rates increase, they increase their prices to consumers to compensate ..
chris January 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM
As to Carolyn's question -- "And you wonder why we have no money and so much debt?" We have no money not because we have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem! And if you give the insatiable government more money they won't spend it more wisely, they will continue to waste. Making the rich "less rich" will in no way help the poor. The fact is there will be winners and losers in a capitalistic society, but Obama;s vision for a perfect America will never recognize and accept that fact. Not everyone is going to be rich, not everyone is going to own a home! But, the people who aren't at the top are going to live a heck of a lot better than they would anywhere else in the world AND they will have a permanent chance of bettering their lot. Herman Cain is a perfect example of what anyone is capable of in this country if they put their mind, their talents, and hard work into it. Libs are going to argue the other side, but this IS what this country is founded upon and what makes this country unlike any other. It's worth fighting for.
DS January 26, 2012 at 06:08 PM
For the life of me, I can't understand why they couldn't put in place the "Gang of Six" proposals from last spring - Obama even gave credit to Tom Coburn (who with Mark Warner led the gang of six) - Summary of their plan: 3 tax levels with highest at 26%, national sales tax of 10-12% (excluding major capital purchases like a house), removal of most deductions and a full repeal of the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax), plus plug all corporate loopholes and change the carried interest (Romney tax) to a regular tax. IF they simply did that they average person making $75,000 a year would have an extra $9,000 a year to spend.... and the consumption tax plus the eliminated deductions would create the needed revenue balance and simplify the tax code...YES, IT is that simple - and would reduce the annual deficit by between $400 and $600 million per year to start...
Nick Muson January 26, 2012 at 06:36 PM
"President Obama uses the class warfare tactic to imply that if only the rich paid "their fair share" then we would have a secured Social Security and medicare system, we would be able to rebuild our infrastructure, extend unemployment benefits and offer American's all kinds of other goodies." This is a strawman argument, Neil, and you know it by your use of the word "imply". No one is saying our financial problems will disappear if the rich get taxed more. Your little math word problem has no meaning.
Concerned January 26, 2012 at 07:11 PM
DS, you are so right. I am sure the VAT is too broad based and that is the political objection. The proposals are balanced and correct!

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