American Morning

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November 15th, 2010
06:45 AM ET

Freshman lawmakers make Capitol Hill debut

Newly elected legislators made their way to Washington this weekend for new member orientation. For many of the nearly 100 new faces, elected office is a very new job. This incoming class of legislators has the largest number of newly elected members without prior experience in elective office.

Two of those newcomers talk to AM’s John Roberts this morning.

Terri Sewell, Representative-Elect, D, Ala., is the only freshman Democrat who has never been elected to office before, and the first African-American woman from Alabama elected to Congress.

Reid Ribble, Representative-Elect, R, Wis., is a retired roofing company owner. He has never been elected to an office before and defeated Rep. Steve Kagan.

Sewell and Ribble talk priorities, earmarks and Washington gridlock with AM.

Filed under: Capitol Hill • Politics
November 15th, 2010
05:53 AM ET

Bush-era tax cuts: What's really at stake?

Those tax cuts – should they expire for everyone? Or just the rich? And if that's the case - is that fair? It depends on your perspective.

What if you're married, with two kids and make $70,000 a year? Right now you pay $2,300 dollars in taxes. If the Bush tax cuts expire, you'll pay $4,900 dollars. That's $2,600 dollars more per year...or $7 a day. Put another way: That's roughly three gallons of gas.

Salary: $70,350
You Pay = $2,300
Expire You Pay = $4,900
$2,600 More Annually = $7 a day = 3 gal. of Gas

If you're married, with two kids and make $325,000 a year, you now pay $63,000 in taxes. If the tax cuts expire, you pay $71,000 - that's $7,400 extra. Or $20 a day. Two movie tickets and a small popcorn.

Salary: $325,000
You Pay = $63,600
Expire You Pay = $71,000
$7,400 More Annually = $20.00 a day = 2 movie tickets & Small Popcorn

If you make $5 million? You pay $1.3 million in taxes right now. If the tax cuts expire you'll pay $1.6 million. That's $276,000 more or $757 dollars a day. Or a 32-gig IPad with WI-FI.

Salary: $5 Million
You Pay = $1,320,200
Expire you pay – $1,596,600
$276,400 More Annually = $757 a day = 32 gig IPad with WI-FI

The information comes from Deloitte Development. They put this together using a “composite tax payer” based on IRS data for 2010. These figures are based on a married couple with two kids and includes wages, capital gains, dividend income, and common deductions.

We want to hear from you. After seeing a breakdown of these figures, what do you think should happen with the Bush-era tax cuts?

Should President Obama...
* let them expire across the board?
* extend them only for the wealthy?
* extend them for a year and reevaluate?

Sound off in the comments section below.

Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama • Tax cuts
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