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Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Expense

The Nimrods Never Cease to Amaze Me
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/9/22 19:40:00 (2746 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowCongressman Michael Burgess (R, Lewisville) is not stupid; he just hopes his voters are. In an official email blast sent today to constituents, Burgess plays at a classic Republican game: Misrepresent the other side and offer a false choice. Burgess writes to ostensibly ask his constituents to complete a one-question "survey" to see whether they want to extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts.

But before giving the link to the "survey", Burgess drops a bunch of statistics from right-wing organizations like the Heritage Foundation, spelling out the doom and gloom scenario if the tax cuts are not extended, citing "average" amounts of tax increase. Averages are not useful when skewed with data from millionaires and billionaires.

The survey, once you click through, allows only two choices:

- I favor allowing the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire.

- I support an extension of the current tax rates

Burgess, in his zeal to protect his REAL constituents - the doctors and executives who donate to his campaign, conveniently leaves out the third option, which is the option favored by the Democratic majority:

- Extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, and let them expire for those earning over $250,000 per year.

Instead, Burgess and the rest of the Republicans are going to hold your tax cuts hostage in order to help the wealthy, so they won't have to bear the burden of a marginal tax rate going from 35% to 39.6% in the top bracket. Republicans like Burgess don't actually care if YOUR tax cuts expire. They're betting they can kill any Democratically led extension of the tax cuts for the middle class, and make it look like Democrats are against extending them.

If Republicans really cared about the middle class, they could pass an extension right now by cooperating with Democrats to do what is right for the country. Republicans enjoy the Tea Party railing on deficits now - something Republicans liked to say "don't matter" when they were in control. But when it comes down to it, and they have the chance to keep the deficit from growing, it takes a back seat to satisfying their true base, the Plutocracy. The Republican plan would double the nation's deficit in just 10 years.

The question for you, voter, is this: Are you stupid enough to believe him? Do you really think he gives a shit about you? If he did, why would he insult your intelligence with such an intellectually dishonest "survey"?

Here's the full text of Burgess' bullshit:

As you may know, the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. I'm interested in knowing what you think on this issue, but first I'd like to explain my stance on the tax cuts.

I strongly support making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, because if this tax increase is allowed to take effect, it will be the largest tax hike in American history. In this time of financial strain, I believe that reducing taxes for Americans can help our country get back on its feet. I don’t believe there is ever a good time to raise taxes, and any tax cuts should be offset by spending cuts.

According to the Tax Foundation, a failure to act will result in an increase of $4,301 in federal income taxes per year for the average middle-class Texas family. According to the Heritage Foundation, the average household disposable income in Texas' 26th Congressional District will decrease by $755 in 2011, $886 in 2012, and $923 by 2013. In 2011 alone, the district will lose 700 jobs, and that will rise to 1675 in 2012 and 2,087 in 2013. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, 75 percent of small businesses will experience a tax increase if the tax cuts are allowed to expire.

On the other hand, extending the current policy will save each family in the district $1,593 per year. At unemployment nearing 10%, Congress should not raise taxes on the working class. Allowing Texas families to keep more of their hard-earned income will encourage investment and the entrepreneurial spirit that is the driving force behind our economy. After all, it is your money.

Now I'd like to hear from you - Do you favor allowing the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire, or do you support an extension of the current tax rates?

Click here to take my survey.


As long as you keep empowering this kind of bullshit with your vote, Republicans will continue to pick your pockets and transfer your wealth to the wealthy.

It's time to stop the bullshit and elect a Congressman who will fight for the other 95% of us.

This November, I'm voting for Neil Durrance, and I hope you will too. In fact, I'm just insulted enough by Michael Burgess that I feel like sending Durrance a few bucks for his campaign.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 2010/9/22 20:17  Updated: 2010/9/22 21:33
 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
I did take the Burgess survey earlier today then called his lewisville office to let him know how i felt about it since the survey did not have a place for comments. already donated to Durrance campaign and Durrance will be getting my vote this November.
you can donate on Act Blue
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Anonymous
Posted: 2010/9/22 22:43  Updated: 2010/9/23 7:50
 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
What a "hoked up" survey! He doesn't really want to know what his "constituents" think, as you said, because he doesn't give the third and obvious choice of leaving them for the middle class and letting them expire for the wealthy! VOTE THIS MAN OUT OF OFFICE and put someone in that will represent the majority!
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iSeeker
Posted: 2010/9/23 10:21  Updated: 2010/9/23 10:21
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Posts: 18
 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
I like how you disparage what you deem "right-wing organizations" that Burgess quotes for his stats but then you hit people over the head with a blog put out by the White House Communications Director. Methinks the White House might have their own political agenda by saying that the republican plan would "double the national deficit in 10 years".

There was a good article in the Dallas Morning News yesterday (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedconte ... ate.Edition1.4596ee6.html) that was put out by an AP writer. Here is what he had to say:

"Making all the tax cuts permanent would add about $3.9 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. Obama's plan would cost a little more than $3 trillion over the next decade, about $700 billion less than the Republican plan."

So the truth is, the republican view and the democratic view are really not all that different since both sides want to keep most of the tax cuts going.

Thus the real issue then is whether or not you believe that raising taxes in a down economy on those making more than $200k (if single) or $250k (if married) will help or hurt the economy. In a vacuum, the answer is easy: it will help because it will raise revenue and we need that since we are running such a huge deficit. Of course, we don't live in a vacuum. So, the real real question is: can the government do a better job using the taxes to stimulate the economy than leaving the money in the hands of the "high-wage earners"?

I really don't know that answer, but that is how I would frame it. I'm not necessarily against a progressive tax structure, which is what we have already, but intrinsicly I don't like percentage rate tax increases. Since we use %'s, individuals real tax bill already goes up in the good times, and goes down in the bad times. People, even those high wage earners, are making less now, than they did before. I would rather see government tighten its spending, yes, even provide less services, than keep the spending the same when revenues decline. Maybe they should even think about putting dollars away in the good so they have some money when things go bad. Isn't that what we all try to do?
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iSeeker
Posted: 2010/9/23 10:23  Updated: 2010/9/23 10:23
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
I also think it would help to know what the increase does to the marginal taxes rates of those affected.
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Anonymous
Posted: 2010/9/24 0:02  Updated: 2010/9/24 0:04
 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
Me thinks that $700 billion is alot of $$ and we could "put that away" for when things go bad! Of course, that could buy alot of "happy toys" for the rich if we continue the Bush tax cuts for all.
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Anonymous
Posted: 2010/9/24 10:26  Updated: 2010/9/24 10:33
 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
Anyone that has followed the Tax Cut Issue details will find that, even though the upper bracket goes from 35% to 39.6%, it does not cover the major of income from the wealthy.

Most of these people acquire income from investments, ETC., that does not qualify FOR THE STANDARD THREE IRS INCOME TAX BRACKETS. Most of this income type IS STILL IN the tax rate category of 15%.
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bullbuster
Posted: 2010/9/27 1:44  Updated: 2010/9/27 1:44
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
For some reason I receive numerous survey forms from several different Republican groups and committees. With every one of them the questions are worded in such a way that no matter how they are answered the answer can be used to apparently support the Republican position. They are always devious and deceitful, never straightforward. Why expect anything different from Burgess? It's just a values thing I guess. Some folks have em, some don't.
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WhosPlayin
Posted: 2010/9/27 8:15  Updated: 2010/9/27 8:15
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
The 15% rate needs to be changed. We need to have low rates to encourage investment, but not all capital gains are investments. Much of it is speculation and bubble-building masquerading as investment.
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PKelly
Posted: 2010/9/28 11:22  Updated: 2010/9/28 11:22
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
Is this pandering to constituents? Surely. Do all politicians do it? Absolutely. It does not excuse it, but the inference (at least the one I got) is that this tactic is somehow uniquely Republican. Before I start, let me say at this point I do not fall into the ‘greater than $250k’ bucket currently…

There also seems to be more of a “stick it to ‘em – they deserve it those greedy so-and-sos” feel from many of the supporters of the tax increase. That’s a terrible reason for anything. This is followed closely by “if we don’t tax ‘em more the nation will go bankrupt”. Is putting the burden of a nation on the backs of a small percentage of Americans fair? Then, finally, I hear on rare occasions the only argument attempted to be rooted in reason– “the more money you make the more government resources you use”. Not sure I buy into this, but let’s pretend I do. Does this mean that people who don’t pay income taxes use no government resources? If the logic is sound then let’s apply it universally to all income brackets.
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WhosPlayin
Posted: 2010/9/29 8:59  Updated: 2010/9/29 8:59
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
I'm not saying that lying is a uniquely Republican tactic, or that you have to lie to be a Republican. But these days, if someone is telling a whopper, or just misleading people, it's very likely a Republican. It seems there is almost no shame anymore in just flat out making shit up, or selling a false narrative.

I know there are those who view the tax system as "punitive". I don't. That's not the point of taxes. Although I believe in a progressive tax system, I strongly believe that everyone needs to pay a share and take some ownership.

As far as paying based on resources one uses - maybe that's not the best way to look at it. Without a strong, stable, functioning government and all of the services it provides to keep society functioning, the net wealth of the country would be tiny. So to achieve wealth here may not necessarily rely on direct government services, but is enabled by the stability and education and affluence of society at large, which has progressed because of the shared values we manifest through our government. So, I think it's fair to have a bit of a spread so that those who can afford it more pay a larger share.

Again, it's not punishment, and we don't need to go back to the old confiscatory rates. But it's more than reasonable to look back and see where the rates as they were set back in the Clinton years, when everyone was making money and we had a budget surplus to pay down debt, and think that we went wrong.

Being a believer in Keynes, I think it's good (at the Federal level only) to pile up reserves during good times, then spend down in hard times. You need tax rates a bit higher during good times when people can afford it, so that you can afford to lower them as stimulus during bad times. The problem is that for Republicans, they don't follow through on raising them back up to meet the need. Even Democrats rarely have the courage to say "now is the time". So there we were, having cut taxes to an unsustainable level in the middle of two wars, and we find ourselves facing the deepest recession since the great depression, and we have no reserves - only debt. We have no wiggle room in the tax rates, because they were already at unsustainable low levels.

Now conservatives rightly seek spending cuts. I'm all for continuing to seek efficiencies and cut waste, but even the Republicans can't find enough to cut to balance the budget - and I don't trust them not to cut safety-net expenses I consider vital.

That leaves us with the only real option, which is to raise taxes.

Given that tax cuts for the wealthy are poor stimulus, and tax increases for the middle class are chilling, I only see the one option in the short term - raise taxes for those who can afford them now, then come back in a year or two when unemployment has come down, and raise the lower levels.

Of course, the chance of that happening in today's political climate is nil, I think.
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Anonymous
Posted: 2010/9/29 22:15  Updated: 2010/9/29 22:48
 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
You cannot have a linear conversation about taxes, there are too many variables. There are many different tax rates on different types of income. For example capital gains are considered income in the year they are taken, but they are at much higher rate than wage income. Capital gains and inheritance are taxed at different rates too. Often that is money that has already been taxed once. If you are retired or unemployed and you are living off interest or investment income should that be taxed? I say not.. the principal of that money was already taxed when it was earned in the first place.

I hope you see my point. There is no linear discussion on taxes unless we go to a flat tax with no deductions. Everyone pays the same percentage of income. The more you make, the more you pay.
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iSeeker
Posted: 2010/9/30 9:28  Updated: 2010/9/30 9:28
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
"But these days, if someone is telling a whopper, or just misleading people, it's very likely a Republican."

Ridiculous. What you are really saying is "I vote for Democrats". You view the world through that paradigm. Which is fine. I lean the other way and thus see less truth in what democrats try to spin. Bottom line though is that both sides "spin" the issue to suit them.

"That leaves us with the only real option, which is to raise taxes."

For me the fallacy, in this argument is that if we raise taxes, they will use the money to reduce the debt. I think if we raise taxes, they will find more ways to spend it. What happens when you receive a raise at work (I know it has been a long time for all of us)? You don't stick it in the bank. Typically, you spend more. You raise, as you see it, your quality of life. Better cable package, gymnastics for Susy or whatever.

I think the only way to get this under control is to cut spending and this would be painful. Cut services.

I would be open to cutting spending and raising taxes, if they really put the money towards the deficit; but, the spending cuts need to happen first.

In Flower Mound, they recently changed the rate for going to the dump. You used to get 1 free visit per month. Now you pay $6.75 per cu. yard. I applaud that king of change (cutting services) if it means that taxes do not increase.
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Anonymous
Posted: 2010/10/1 11:28  Updated: 2010/10/1 12:55
 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
You'll applaud the dump change until you see people dumping illegally because they don't want to pay the new fee. Look at Dallas and surrounding cities and cities all across the country that struggle with illegal dumping. For some people, it is much easier to find a dead end street and dump their load or dump it in a business' dumpster than pay for this service. Everything has consequences, some of which are not desired.
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bullbuster
Posted: 2010/9/30 1:33  Updated: 2010/9/30 1:33
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
Regarding PKelly's wondering if it is fair to put the burden of a nation on the backs of a small percentage of the population. According to Wednesday's Dallas Morning News, one-half the nation's wealth is held by 20% of the population, most of it by the top 5%. It seems perfectly fair that this 20% should be taxed at a higher rate thn the other 80%. If wealth were based purely on merit perhaps this would not be true, but if wealth were based purely on merit a lot of it would likely be found in other hands.
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iSeeker
Posted: 2010/9/30 9:14  Updated: 2010/9/30 9:14
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
"It seems perfectly fair that this 20% should be taxed at a higher rate thn the other 80%."

It already is that way. What is being discussed here is a higher-higher rate. And by the way, they are already paying more in taxes even at the same % tax rate...b/c they earn more.
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Anonymous
Posted: 2010/9/30 10:46  Updated: 2010/9/30 17:36
 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
Remember when the country used to create wealth, instead of just fight each other for it? Ah, the good ol' days.
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PKelly
Posted: 2010/10/1 9:04  Updated: 2010/10/1 9:04
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 Re: Michael Burgess Misleads Constituents at Taxpayer Exp...
Great conversation so far. I’m really enjoying it at least.

Just as we should not paint everyone who takes more from the system than they contribute with a broad brush, we should not make broad assumptions that people in the higher tax brackets did not earn that money through hard work, dedication, and delayed gratification.

Most the people I know at the $250k mark or above have achieved this goal through hard work, sacrifice, and planning – probably a little luck thrown in. This planning started back in high school at least. Good grades were attained to get into a good college. In college degrees were selected based on income potential as much as what would be fun to do. Once working, long hours and dedication lead to promotions. Things like vacations, kids, new cars, clubbing, are put off until they could be afforded. Yes, there are some people who are naturally gifted and were able to do it all, but that’s the exception that proves the rule.

But, even if they inherited money, so what? If I strive, risk, and work and make a fortune I should be able to do as I please with that money. That includes leaving it to heirs.

Now, this line of reasoning can be twisted into ‘Patrick thinks there should be no taxes.’ That’s as ridiculous as saying if you are for more government involvement through taxes you think we should only have 1 breakfast cereal manufactured by the government. I think we all pretty much agree some taxes are needed to provide essential services. Where the disagreements arise is the definition of essential services.
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