Ladies and gentlemen, the second in command of the United States Senate:
Holding up a plastic debit card on the Senate floor this afternoon, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., had some advice for Bank of America customers angry about the new $5 monthly fee: leave.
“Bank of America customers, vote with your feet, get the heck out of that bank,” Durbin said on the Senate floor. “Find yourself a bank or credit union that won’t gouge you for $5 a month and still will give you a debit card that you can use every single day. What Bank of America has done is an outrage.”
Durbin said consumers are rightfully outraged about last week’s announcement.
“It is hard to believe that a bank would impose such a fee on loyal customers who simply are trying to access their own money on deposit at Bank of America,” he said. “Especially when Bank of America for years has been encouraging their customers to use debit cards as much as possible.”
Most basic checking accounts at Bank of America will see a 40 percent jump in monthly costs and the bank says the debit fee will be waived for customers who upgrade to “premium” accounts that require higher minimum balances.
The Dodd-Frank financial law this month lowers “interchange fees” that banks can charge retailers for debit transactions. Fees for retailers will shrink from 44 cents to a cap of 24 cents, which has led some debit card issuers to seek other ways to make up that lost revenue. Some people have blamed Durbin for his amendment, which capped the so-called swipe fees that banks can charge retailers.
You read that correctly. Senator Durbin is encouraging a run on the largest holder of cash deposits in the country. Am I the only one that finds this disturbing? This, in addition to the fact that Dick Durbin is entirely to blame for the amendment to the Dodd-Frank monstrosity which forced the bank’s hand in the first place?
Is anyone surprised? This is class warfare–pitting one group of citizens against another. But then again, it’s part of the weaponry there at the Democrat party.
So much for the “rich don’t pay taxes” meme:
The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.
This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.
Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.
Facts are difficult for the left to embrace.
This is either scraping the bottom of the ideas barrel or the president is light years ahead of the rest of us, and knows something we don’t:
Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.
Mr. Obama will not specify a rate or other details, and it is unclear how much revenue his plan would raise. But his idea of a millionaires’ minimum tax will be prominent in the broad plan for long-term deficit reduction that he will outline at the White House on Monday.
So for the second time in a month, President Transparency proposes a literal blank slate of legislation, and is encouragin its passage. Kings have had harder times in mandating edicts.
What is this nonsense if it isn’t class warfare, and a desperate attempt to start discord among Republicans? After a disastrous few weeks for Obama and the Democrats, this is most definitely be his desired goal. The president knows that the proposed tax is dead on arrival in the House. He knows this. And anyone with a brain knows that this does nothing to create jobs, and is a drop in the bucket with regards to deficit reduction.
But Republicans will have to defend not endorsing it, and the administration, along with Democratic congressional leaders, will go on the offensive. But as the weeks drag on, and the government continues to pump out report after dismal report on the state of the economy (the September NFP report is out in a little over two weeks), it might not make a difference for the administration.
Stanley Kurtz writes over at the Corner:
[...] Obama’s long-term hope is to divide America along class lines (roughly speaking, tax payers versus tax beneficiaries). Obama’s attack on the Supreme Court at his 2010 State of the Union address, his offensive against the Chamber of Commerce, his exhortation to Hispanics to punish their enemies, and several similar moves were all efforts to jump-start a populist movement of the left.
Like his socialist organizing mentors, Obama believes that a country polarized along class lines will eventually realign American politics sharply to the left. Yet the entire strategy is based on the need for an activated, populist movement of the left. So far, Obama has failed to create such a movement. His expensive economic agenda has provoked a populist counter-movement of the right instead: Obama’s nightmare. [...]
Neither side can pull back, because the financial crunch is going to have to be resolved one way or another. We either scale back government and the power of public employee unions, or we move toward a structurally higher tax burden and a permanently enlarged welfare state. The very nature of the American system is now at stake. The emerging populist movements on both the right and left recognize this, and so cannot turn back from further confrontation.