God, I loved seeing Joe Biden put Paul Ryan over his knee and paddle him with facts.
So, what’d you think?
Here, if you didn’t watch it live, and can’t watch the above video in your cubicle, is a clip from the transcript.
MS. RADDATZ: OK, on to taxes. If your ticket is elected, who will pay more in taxes? Who will pay less? And we’re starting with Vice President Biden for two minutes.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: The middle class will pay less, and people making a million dollars or more will begin to contribute slightly more. Let me give you one concrete example: the continuation of the Bush tax cuts. We’re arguing that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. Of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, 800 million — billion dollars of that goes to people making a minimum of a million dollars. We see no justification in these economic times for those — and they’re patriotic Americans. They’re — they’re not asking for this continued tax cut; they’re not suggesting it; but my friends are insisting on it. A hundred and twenty thousand families, by continuing that tax cut, will get an additional $500 billion in tax relief in the next 10 years, and their income is an average of $8 million.
We want to extend permanently the middle-class tax cut for — permanently from the Bush middle-class tax cut. These guys won’t allow us to.
…We say let’s have a vote. Let’s have a vote on the middle-class tax cut, and let’s have a vote on the upper tax cut. Let’s go ahead and vote on it. They’re saying no. They’re holding hostage the middle-class tax cut to the super wealthy.
And on top of that, they got another tax cut coming that’s $5 trillion, that all of the studies point out will, in fact, give another $250 million dollar — yeah, $250,000 a year to those 120,000 families, and raise taxes for people who are middle-income with a child by $2,000 a year. This is unconscionable. There is no need for this. The middle class got knocked on their heels. The Great Recession crushed them. They need some help now. The last people who need help are 120,000 families for another — another $500 billion tax cut over the next 10 years.
MS. RADDATZ: Congressman.
REP. RYAN: Our entire premise of these tax reform plans is to grow the economy and create jobs. It’s a plan that’s estimated to create 7 million jobs.
Now, we think that government taking 28 percent of a family and business’ income is enough. President Obama thinks that the government ought to be able to take as much as 44.8 percent of a small business’ income.
Look, if you taxed every person in successful small business making over $250,000 at a hundred percent, it’d only run the government for 98 days. If everybody who paid income taxes last year, including successful small businesses, doubled their income taxes this year, we’d still have a $300 billion deficit.
You see, there aren’t enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending. And so the next time you hear them say, don’t worry about it, we’ll get a few wealthy people to pay their fair share, watch out, middle class. The tax bill is coming to you.
That’s why we’re saying we need fundamental tax reform.
Let’s take a look at it this way: 8-out-of-10 businesses, they file their taxes as individuals, not as corporations. And where I come from, overseas, which is Lake Superior — (chuckles) — the Canadians — they drop their tax rates to 15 percent. The average tax rate on businesses in the industrialized world is 25 percent, and the president wants the top effective tax rate on successful small businesses to go above 40 percent. Two-thirds of our jobs come from small businesses. This one tax would actually tax about 53 percent of small-business income. It’s expected that’d cost us 710,000 jobs. And you know what? It doesn’t even pay for 10 percent of their proposed deficit spending increases.
What we are saying is lower tax rates across the board and close loopholes, primarily to the higher-income people. We have three bottom lines: Don’t raise the deficit, don’t raise taxes on the middle class and don’t lower the share of income that is borne by the high-income earners. He — he’ll keep saying this $5 trillion plan, I suppose —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: (Chuckles.)
REP. RYAN: — it’s been discredited by six other studies, and even their own deputy campaign manager acknowledged that it wasn’t correct.
MS. RADDATZ: Well, let’s talk about this 20 percent.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well — (chuckles) —
MS. RADDATZ: You have refused yet again to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics, or are you still working on it, and that’s why you won’t tell voters?
REP. RYAN: Different than this administration, we actually want to have big bipartisan agreements. You see, I understand the —
MS. RADDATZ: Do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you know exactly what you’re doing?
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: That’ll be — that’d be a first for the Republican Congress.
REP. RYAN: Look — look at what Mitt — look at what Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill did. They worked together out of a framework to lower tax rates and broaden the base, and they worked together to fix that. What we’re saying is here’s our framework: Lower tax rates 20 percent — we raise about $1.2 trillion through income taxes. We forgo about 1.1 trillion (dollars) in loopholes and deductions. And so what we’re saying is deny those loopholes and deductions to higher- income taxpayers so that more of their income is taxed, which has a broader base of taxation —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Can I translate?
REP. RYAN: — so we can lower tax rates across the board.
Now, here’s why I’m saying this. What we’re saying is here’s a framework —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I hope I’m going to get time to respond to this.
REP. RYAN: We want to work with Congress —
MS. RADDATZ: I — you’ll get time.
REP. RYAN: We want to work with Congress on how best to achieve this. That means successful — look —
MS. RADDATZ: No specifics, yeah.
REP. RYAN: Mitt — what we’re saying is — (laughter) — lower tax rates 20 percent, start with the wealthy, work with Congress to do it —
MS. RADDATZ: And you guarantee this math will add up.
REP. RYAN: Absolutely. Six studies have guaranteed — six studies have verified that this math adds up, but here’s the other point —
MS. RADDATZ: Vice President Biden —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Look —
REP. RYAN: (Inaudible) — one point — (inaudible) —
MS. RADDATZ: Vice President Biden.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Let me translate. Let me have a chance to translate.
REP. RYAN: I’ll come back in a second then, right?
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: First of all, I was there when Ronald Reagan tax breaks — I mean, he gave specifics of what he was going to cut, no — number one, in terms of tax expenditures.
Number two, 97 percent of the small businesses of America pay less — make less than $250,000. Let me tell you who some of those other small businesses are: hedge funds that make 6(00 million dollars), $800 million a year. That — that’s what they count as small business because they’re passthrough.
Let’s look at how sincere they are. Ronald — I mean, excuse me, Governor Romney, on “60 Minutes,” I guess it’s about 10 days ago, was asked, Governor, you pay 14 percent on $20 million. Someone making $50,000 pays more than that. Do you think that’s fair? He said, oh, yes, that’s fair; that’s fair.
This is — and they’re going to talk — I mean, you think these guys are going to go out there and cut those loopholes? The loophole — the biggest loophole they take advantage of is the carried interest loophole and — and capital gains loophole. They exempt that.
Now, there’s not enough — the reason why the AEI study, the American Enterprise Institute study, the Tax Policy Center study, the reason they all say it’s going to — taxes will go up on the middle class, the only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for middle-class people, cut the health care deduction for middle-class people, take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college. That’s why they — (inaudible) —
MS. RADDATZ: Is he wrong about that?
REP. RYAN: He is wrong about that. There are — you can —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: How’s that?
REP. RYAN: You can cut tax rates by 20 percent and still preserve these important preferences for middle-class taxpayers —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Not mathematically possible.
REP. RYAN: It is mathematically possible. It’s been done before. It’s precisely what we’re proposing.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: (Chuckles.) It has never been done before.
REP. RYAN: It’s been done a couple of times, actually.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: It has never been done before.
REP. RYAN: Jack Kennedy lowered tax rates, increased growth. Ronald Reagan —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy.
REP. RYAN: Ronald Reagan — (laughter) — (chuckles) — Republicans and Democrats —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: This is amazing.
REP. RYAN: Republicans and Democrats have worked together on this.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: That’s right.
REP. RYAN: I understand aren’t used to doing bipartisan deals.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: But we told each other what we were going to do. When we did with Reagan, he said —
REP. RYAN: Republicans and Democrats —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — here — here are the things we’re going to cut. This is what he said.
REP. RYAN: We can agree on a framework; let’s work together to fill in the details. That’s exactly —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Fill in the details.
REP. RYAN: That’s how you get things done. You work with Congress —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: (Seriously ?).
REP. RYAN: Look, let me say it this way. Mitt Romney was governor —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: That’s coming from the Republican Congress working bipartisanly?
REP. RYAN: Mitt — Mitt Romney —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Seven percent rating? Come on.
REP. RYAN: Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, where 87 percent of the legislators he served with were Democrats. He didn’t demonize them. He didn’t demagogue them. He met with those party leaders every week.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: (Chuckles.)
REP. RYAN: He reached across the aisle. He didn’t compromise principles.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: And you (saw what happened ?).
REP. RYAN: He found common ground, and he balanced the budget.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: (You saw what ?) — if he did such a great job — if he did such a great job in Massachusetts —
MS. RADDATZ: Vice President, what —
REP. RYAN: He balanced the budget four times. He balanced the budget four times without raising taxes.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — why isn’t he even contesting Massachusetts?
REP. RYAN: (Inaudible.)
MS. RADDATZ: Vice President, what would you suggest — what would you suggest beyond raising taxes on the wealthy that would substantially reduce the long-term deficit?
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Not — just let the taxes expire like they’re supposed to on those millionaires. We don’t — we can’t afford $800 billion going to people making a minimum a million dollars. They do not need it, Martha. Those 120,000 families make $8 million a year. Middle-class people need the help. Why does my friend cut out the tuition tax credit for them? Why does he go out after the child — (inaudible)?
MS. RADDATZ: Can you declare anything off-limits —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Why do they do that?
MS. RADDATZ: Can you declare anything off limits? Home mortgages deductions —
REP. RYAN: Yeah. We’re saying close loopholes on high-interest people–
MS. RADDATZ: Home mortgage deductions —
REP. RYAN: — for higher-income people. Here —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Can you guarantee that no one —
REP. RYAN: This taxes —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — making less than $100,000 will have a mortgage —
REP. RYAN: This —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — their mortgage deduction impacted? Guarantee?
REP. RYAN: This taxes a million small businesses.
He keeps trying to make you think that it’s just some movie star or hedge fund guy or an actor–
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Ninety-seven percent of the small businesses make less than $250,000 a year —
REP. RYAN: Joe —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — would not be affected.
REP. RYAN: — you know, it hits a million — this taxes a million people, a million small businesses —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Doesn’t tax 97 percent of the American businesses — small businesses —
REP. RYAN: It — it taxes a million small businesses, who are our great job creators.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I wish I’d get it — the greatest job creators are the hedge fund guys.
REP. RYAN: (Let’s end ?)….
P.S. How fucking stupid do you need to be to come out attacking the administration for not sufficiently protecting our embassies abroad when it was your party that voted against increased funding for embassy security?
P.P.S. Or, if you don’t feel like talking about politics today, I guess we could talk about our Detroit Tigers, who just did some ass kicking of their own.