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NYT’s Sorkin Hasn’t Heard of the People’s Budget

New York Times business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a piece on Sunday (5/15/11) that tried to advance the argument that $250,000 actually isn't that much money to make in a year. The complaint is that politicians who advocate raising tax rates on income above $250,000 have chosen an arbitrary dividing line—above it you're rich, and you'll be taxed accordingly.

So far, neither Democrats nor Republicans dare talk about raising the long-term capital gains tax out of fear that it would reduce crucial investments that could produce jobs.

No one talks about raising capital gains tax rates? The Congressional Progressive Caucus's blueprint, the People's Budget, offers an array of options for raising revenues, including this:

Tax capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income: This policy would eliminate the preferentially low rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends (currently 15 percent) and again tax all capital income as ordinary income under the marginal tax rate structure. The tax rate on long-term capital gains is scheduled to rise to 20 percent in 2013 and dividends are scheduled to be taxed again as ordinary income.

So someone's talking about it after all.

Part of Ross Sorkin's point is that more tax brackets would help clarify the difference between earning a mere $250,000 or, say, many millions of dollars. A fine idea—and also part of the People's Budget. If reporters gave it more attention, they might discover that the answers are staring them in the face.

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