Effect of tax cuts
A lot has been made of the cost to hiring if the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 expires. If a person making $1 million a year were to lose that break, how much more in taxes would they pay? Seems to me if their increased tax liability is a few thousand dollars, even $10,000, the cost to jobs is a smokescreen since that amount of money isn't going to save a job.
President Obama is calling for an end to the tax breaks for married couples making $250,000 or more a year and for singles making $200,000 or more a year. Experts say that's people in the top 2 to 3 percent earnings bracket in the United States.
The tax on those earners now maxes out at 35 percent. If the tax breaks enacted under President George W. Bush are removed, the highest tax rate would go up to 39.6 percent.
It's hard to give a specific number on how much in taxes someone earning a million dollars a year would pay, because each situation is different.
But if there was someone making a million a year with no deductions of any sort, her tax right now would be somewhat less than $350,000 because she would fall in the 35 percent tax bracket. If the tax break ended, she would pay somewhat less than $396,000, since the highest tax rate would revert to the what it was before the tax breaks began, which was 39.6 percent.
Obama estimates that not increasing the tax rate would force the government to borrow $700 billion more in the next 10 years.
The Congressional Budget Office and U.S. Treasury Department forecast that permanently extending the tax cuts could boost U.S. economic growth by 0.5 to 1.4 percent in 2011. The agencies also estimate that extending the cuts for everyone except those wealthiest 2 to 3 percent would result in 2011 economic growth in the range of 0.4 percent to 1.1 percent.
Republicans argue that no one should have their taxes raised in this kind of economy, and that the people Obama wants to raise taxes on include business owners who create jobs. "We aren't going to get our economy moving unless we stop the tax hikes and cut government spending," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for incoming House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Others agree with a recent Obama statement: "I believe it is a mistake for us to borrow $700 billion to make tax cuts permanent for millionaires and billionaires. It won't significantly boost the economy, and it's hugely expensive. So we can't afford it."
Muslims among 9/11 victims
Were there any Muslims among the 3,000 people killed in the 9/11 disaster?
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, at least 32 Muslims died on Sept. 11, 2001. That includes 29 individuals at the World Trade Center and three on the two hijacked planes. This total includes the victims of the attack, not the hijackers, according to the council.