Tax cuts

December 6, 2010 1:51:59 PM PST
President Obama is getting hammered by the left today, as some of his former campaign workers and volunteers are taking him to task for considering a compromise on extending the Bush tax cuts for peeps making more than $250,000 a year.

New York's senior U.S. senator Chuck Schumer has already proposed lifting the floor to $1 million a year, given that New York City remains far and away the most expensive city in the country. We've talked before in this space about how Manhattan, especially, should have some sort of asterisk for the income floor; that while $250,000 is a lot of money, it's a fraction of what it is in most U.S. cities and towns because of the higher income tax here and because of the exorbitant cost of living. But I don't think there's much shot at this getting passed.

There is great resentment these days to higher income taxpayers, who have benefited from the Bush tax cuts in disproportionate numbers. Conservatives will say that's because the wealthy pay more taxes; liberals will say it's because the progressive income tax structure was regressive during the Bush years.

It's a fundamental difference in philosophy, to be sure. But during a recession there is more concensus among all parties that raising taxes on anyone may not be the best policy. That, at least, is what might induce and convince Pres. Obama to compromise on what was one of the fundamentals of his campaign for the White House.

This afternoon, Mr. Obama is meeting with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, before negotiating with Republicans. The compromise extending the tax cuts for two years, until the next Presidential election would also reportedly include an extension of unemployment benefits, which expired last week.

We're keeping tabs on any developments for our 11 p.m. newscast. It appears a deal is imminent.

And as if there weren't enough money problems these days, turns out that the new $100 bill coming out is beset with problems. Printing problems. All 1.1 billion of the new $100 bills have been quarantined before their delivery to the Federal Reserve. The snafu is sporadic creasing of the paper a process they discovered during printing that was "not apparent during extensive pre-production testing."

So how to solve this problem? We'll have the latest, at 11.

Also at 11, with the help of Consumer Reports, we're looking at one of the top complaints these days sky-high cell phone bills.

Tonight we look at which companies offer the best services and the best money-savers.

And finally, sad news from North Carolina news that was inevitable but that, given all that has happened since Elizabeth Edwards was first diagnosed with breast cancer, most people expected. The former wife of Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards says that her doctors have advised her that further treatment would be "unproductive." And so now she's resting at home with family and friends.

Mrs. Edwards posted this message on her Facebook page:

"You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces ? my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know."

Very sad.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Jeff Smith (in for Lee Goldberg) with his AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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