Here's my take on the best move now for Republicans in Congress (since I did so well with my "best move for Obama" a while back). Patience... I'll get to in further down in this post.In Obama's press conference, he said "But when it comes to the top 2 percent, what I’m not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don’t need it, which would cost close to a trillion dollars." It's an interesting comment, because according to the IRS's latest data, the top 5% paid about one-half trillion dollars in total income taxes (the IRS apparently doesn't do a top-2% breakdown, or at least no one quotes it). So even if you cut not just the top 2%'s tax rate, but the top 5%'s, and even if you cut that tax rate down to ZERO it would, based on past experience, only reduce Federal revenue by half a trillion dollars. Be that as it may...President Obama also stressed the need for Republicans and Democrats to come together, under a canopy of rainbows and unicorns, to compromise and get things done (actually, I made up the rainbows and unicorns part). His plan for compromising is this: you take What Needs To Be Done and split it into two parts, which I'll call Part A and Part B. For Part A, you just go right now with exactly what the Democrats want, and call that a "given". No discussion allowed. We can all agree on that, right? Then later, for Part B, the Republicans should be willing to comprise and give Democrats just a part of what they want: specifically, Part B. Now that's compromise.In fact, Part A is: "The only question now is are we going to hold the middle class hostage in order to go ahead and let that ["making sure that the wealthiest Americans pay a little bit more "] happen? Or can we all step back and say, here’s something we agree on -- we don’t want middle-class taxes to go up. Let’s go ahead and lock that in. That will be good for the economy. It will be good for consumers. It will be good for businesses."It's interesting here that tax cuts for the middle class will boost the economy (both for consumers and businesses), whereas tax cuts for the top 2% somehow... won't. Or at least it isn't worth mentioning.But enough digression. Let's cut to the chase. Obama wants "the rich" to "pay their fair share". Now: here's my "best move" advice for Republicans in Congress. Republican leaders (say, the Speaker of the House for example) should announce that before discussions on the "fiscal cliff" can begin, they'd like to hear from the Democratic leaders exactly what the rich's fair share is. That is, as a specific number. According to the IRS's latest data, of the $7,825 billion adjusted gross income reported by all taxpayers, the top 1% reported $1,326 billion of that, or less than 17%. So, Democrats, what exactly is their fair share? Is it, say, 17% of the total tax paid (since they made 17% of the total income)? 20%? 25%? 30%? Let's have a number. Then we can start talking. The Democrats say that "the rich" don't pay "their fair share". OK, stop being so vague. Exactly what is their fair share? Is that so much to ask?Hint: that top 1% already pays almost 37% of the Federal income taxes paid.By the way, I got this idea largely by seeing Sean Hannity do this to liberal guests on his show, and to liberals when Hannity appears as a guest on other shows. He just asks them to name a specific number, as to what is fair (in the question he gives what constitutes "rich" and what units the answer should be in). Usually, the liberal refuses to answer. When they do answer, in every instance I've seen, they name a number less than what "the rich" already pay (which of course Hannity points out).Phil
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