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April 18, 2014

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Harry Reid: ‘Millionaire job creators are like unicorns’

Harry Reid

Harry Reid

As lawmakers dig in for another week of payroll tax-cut wrangling, Sen. Harry Reid is summoning his best imaginary to argue that the Republicans are in the wrong in opposing the Democrat's plan.

“Millionaire job creators are like unicorns,” Reid said Monday. “They’re impossible to find, and they don’t exist.”

Reid was complaining about the GOP’s stand against his efforts to pay for an extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut — levied on the first $106,800 of income — with a 1.9 percent surtax on incomes over a million dollars.

“They call our plan, time after time, a tax on job creators. And I say so-called job creators...every shred of evidence contradicts this red herring,” Reid said. “Only a tiny fraction of people making more than a million dollars, probably less than 1 percent, are small business owners. And only a tiny fraction of that tiny fraction are traditional job creators...Most of these businesses are hedge fund managers or wealthy lawyers. They don’t do much hiring and they don’t need tax breaks.

“It’s often said that what’s good for business is good for America...what is good for America is also good for business,” Reid said.

But Republicans are returning the Democrats’ challenge: If they are going to get all high-and-mighty about job creation, Sen. Mitch McConnell argued, they ought to be lining up to support the House Republicans’ payroll tax proposal, which would re-start the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Dozens of House Democrats have supported the Keystone initiative in the past, when it was presented independently.

“I have yet to hear anyone on the other side offer a single good reason for opposing it,” McConnell said of the combo bill. “They’d vote for these things separately but not together? That makes no sense...you’re either for this pipeline project or you’re not.

“Give Americans the certainty and the jobs they deserve,” McConnell said.

Democrats also are not huge fans of the effort to rewrite the eligibility rules on unemployment insurance.

Congress isn’t making much headway in resolving this standoff, as the holidays draw closer. President Barack Obama and Reid already promised to hold lawmakers past the holidays if they can’t reach a resolution and pass a payroll tax cut plan; House Speaker John Boehner has made no similar promise though members of the House GOP have said they’d be willing to stick around to see it get done.

The House sets up its bill for a vote Tuesday, and while it’s expected to pass, the vote count will be a test in its own right. According to Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei, Boehner told his caucus “I don’t want 218 votes, I want 242.” A count of 218 is a simple majority in the House; 242 would represent all Republicans on board.

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  1. Thank you for standing up Harry! We should not sacrifice the environment with a pipeline that will have EXTREME consequences for generations for short term tax cut.

    Seriously all the republicans who scream NO TAXES NEVER EVER how thrilled are you with your congress who want to stick it to you and give their contributors big breaks!

  2. Harry is totally out of touch if he thinks most millionaires are hedge fund managers and lawyers. This is the dumbest thing he has said yet! Actually these people create jobs thru the money they spend, planes, boats, travel, etc. The payroll tax cuts really does little for the people who pay them so why mess with their long term entitlement plans? Unemployment has to be paid for a period, but has to stop as well. There are jobs for those who want to work, maybe not what they made before, maybe not in the same state, but jobs are out there. Unemployment was to allow you to find your best job so if that has not happened time to man up.

  3. So Americans should wait around until the wealthy feel like taking trips on their private planes, trains, and luxury automobiles?

    When an American gets their unemployment check or a break on their taxes that money goes to employ other Americans.

    Kardashian types are somehow more noble in their spending for luxury goods than the parents in our society who fork over all their earnings on basic necessities. Working families put more people to work than luxury goods ever do. How many workers are in the Walmarts, Kmarts, grocery stores versus boutiques!

    Why does the GOP try to sell us that the jobs working class Americans pay for with their dollars are less virtuous or economically stimulating than those of the discretionary dollar from the wealthy.

    Where are the living wage jobs for those who want to work? Our country was not built on a race to the bottom. It is time to accept that when we all do our fair share - pay our fair share - we all do better as a country.

    Man up? That is exactly what I have to say to ANYONE who believes Warren Buffet should a lower rate in taxes than his secretary.

    No one got rich on their own. They do it on our taxpayer paid roads, our taxpayer educated workers, and our taxpayer funded police keep them from getting robbed. Man Up and pay your fair share.

  4. Atlas is about to shrug.

  5. Then tell us Harry, who actually does create jobs?

  6. Hey Noindex: "Then tell us Harry, who actually does create jobs?"

    It's people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who were middle or lower middle class Americans without even a Bachelor's degree. Not only did they create millions of jobs, but changed the world in the process.

    Sam Walton was a WWII Vet who barely had enough money to start one store in Arkansas. It was his genius, not his millionaire status that created jobs.

    Millionaires mostly buy up companies started by intellects, then make their money by squeezing the life blood out of the employees, letting them go one by one. The great majority of millionaires, and there are always the 1% exception, make money by trading humanity for utter greed.

    Once they are relaxing at the stern of their cruise ships in the Marina, they forget all about the unemployed loosing their houses.

    They rationalize this attitude with the thoughts, that God chose them to be rich because they are special. Their status is chosen by God and should they help others in need, then they would be working against God by helping those who were chosen to suffer...because of some past life time no doubt.

    Helping the poor works against the actions of their God, because the poor were meant to suffer for their sins, just as the rich were chosen to be happy for their deeds.

    So they sit on the back of their cruisers in the Marina and are thankful for the bounty they have received. The rich don't create jobs, they reap the rewards of their greatness on Earth, and give us The Law, so that we should know Who to Obey.

  7. Do The Small-Business Owners The GOP Claims To Listen To Even Exist? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/10...

    Read down to the small business owners reasons for hiring. One I liked "Jody Gorran, chairman of Aquatherm Industries: "This mantra that every dollar in tax increases is a dollar away from job creation -- give me a break. ... It's not taxes that affects job creation, it's demand."

  8. DAVEAQ1955, You may be right. "It" may be coming. But those of you who seek 2nd amendment solutions to political problems should ask yourselves the following: "Am I, and my fellow travelers, the only Americans with 2nd amendment rights?"

  9. Re: Mr. Freeman's recommended web sites: "American Thinker" is just another right wing propaganda sheet for the GOP agenda. The address budget.house.gov will take you to another brain dead screed by GOP budget hatchet man Paul Ryan. Just sayin'.

  10. What is clear, is that this recession, the biggest in 70 years, was created by deregulation in the banking and finance world. Those that run that world are multimillionaires and up.

    This recession was caused by pure greed without any concern of what it would do to the country or the vast majority of America's citizens. The Republican party wants to keep deregulation in place because it promotes the greatest wealth accumulation at the top.

    Jobs, careers, retirement plans of wage earning people are all destroyed by unregulated financial system of the wealthy, and Newt Gingrich wants to give them the biggest tax break yet, estimated at $1.3 Trillion the first year.

    Newt is a multimillionaire of course. He has never created any jobs, or products, or industries but destroyed a tremendous number of them. Newt is in politics to get himself a big fat tax break, which is one of the ways to make money in this world - stop paying taxes!

    Give Newt the White House and he will start building up the military using no bid contracts for his friends, like Haliburton. Newt's supporters will make billions off new military contracts and the retired, middle and lesser privileged classes will pay for them by cutting 'entitlements'.

  11. All Reid was stating is the obvious. There's nothing political about it.

  12. Tommy asks who the job creators are and the answer is staring back at him from the mirror. All of us spending into the market create demand that, if not for the hoarding by the wealthy, would create jobs. The problem for conservatives who believe the nonsense about the wealthy being (warning...propaganda term to follow) "job creators" is how much wealth is being sat on and how much goes overseas to create jobs elsewhere. I guess these conservatives don't believe in buy American for THOSE people!

  13. The decision for a company to hire has everything to do with the demand for their products and the growth of their product's market and nothing to do with the CEO's marginal tax rate.

    If you cut a millionaire's taxes by a few percent, his/her spending habits don't change much. Most of that money will be saved. Money that sits around and is not spent results in economic stagnation.

    If you cut the average american's taxes by a few percent, they will likely spend every extra penny they have. Spending drives economic growth.

    TO PUT THIS VERY PLAINLY

    Apple doesn't hire when Tim Cook gets a tax break. They hire when people buy iPhones.

    Apple isn't going to stop hiring when Tom Cook's marginal tax rate goes up. They will stop hiring when iPhone sales slow down.

  14. VegasEngineer hits it on it's head. This has everything to do with consumer spending and demand, not investment.

    If the demand isn't there, most businesses will be investing themselves into bankruptcy. Consumer spending accounts for nearly 70$ of GDP.

    The Wall Street Journal polled 53 economists and the vast majority concluded that the lack of demand in the marketplace was causing high unemployment, not "burdensome" regulations or a lack of investment.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

  15. "Apple doesn't hire when Tim Cook gets a tax break. They hire when people buy iPhones." - VegasEngineer

    VegasEngineer is correct, as far as he goes. But he fails to state that Apple is hiring in China to build those products that Americans buy.

    The problem is not so much a lack of demand in general, but a lack of demand for American products, and hence a lack of demand for American labor.

  16. As a millionaire "job creator" I can tell you first hand, VegasEngineer has it right. I am going to hire more people only when I NEED to hire more people. Most rich people I know, including myself, are very frugal when it comes to money. In addition, the very rich number so few they don't really count when it comes to demand for consumer goods. Only when the middle class and working poor have the money and confidents to buy more of my product will I create jobs. Right now the only thing I am doing with that extra money the tax cuts have provided me is speculation in the stock market and real-estate.

  17. rusty: "Things were pretty good until Harry and the Dims took over the senate in 2007 declaring "the iraqi war is lost" and promoting class warfare."

    Things were really good until GWB and his rubber stamp GOP congress took over government in 2001. Some in the GOP now want a balanced budget amendment; you do realize the GOP repealed the Pay Go rules (balanced budget) in 2002 in order to pass there enormous, budget-busting, tax cuts for the uber wealthy. They cut taxes AND expanded government, the recipe for the disaster left for Obama to clean up.

    The American people put Democrats in the majority simply because the GOP failed miserably.

  18. Rusty & Jim Reid: You both seem to be products of the least informed amongst us, Fox News viewers, in which two separate studies have proven Fox viewer to be the least informed.

    I realize reading may be over your head, so click on this link and study the picture, it clearly shows the Bush legacy Obama inherited: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=...

    Obama has done a fair job, not excellent by any means, of cleaning up a 10 year mess in 3 years. But, if you think intellectual people will vote to go backwards to the Bush years, you need to quit smoking that medical stuff. Dr. Paul is the only GOP candidate that would get my vote; otherwise it's the lesser of two evils, Obama.

  19. rusty: "Maybe someone can connect the dots and figure out why the economy remains so sluggish."

    You could start with Mitch Mcconnell (Republican senate leader) announced that the Republicans priority was denying Obama a second term http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-A09a_gH... . Not job creation, not an environment for job growth, only one thing: Obstruction. The Republicans in the senate have broken all records with their use of the filibuster. Nearly every piece of legislation has been filibustered. We are not talking edging a new record, were talking the Republican abuse of the filibuster is more than double any other congress in history. I believe in the filibusters use, but their abuse of it is disgusting.

    rusty: "When will the obstructionist Dims allow the job creators to create some pipeline jobs?"

    Probably for the same reason Senator Reid has blocked the jobs to build the Yucca Mountain Project. Those whose lives will be impacted by the pipeline don't want it. That's the beauty of American government, minority interests are protected with due process. Personally I'm for the pipeline, but I respect those who are against it.

  20. Jim Reid: "I was an early contributor to the Huffington Post but they finally got tired of dealing with me. One of my great accomplishments. I have a close relationship with several editors and my letters are printed regularly."

    Your self-aggrandizing (look it up) explains a lot of why you are usually on the factually wrong side of arguments. I have yet to see you support your arguments.

    I challenge you to specifically state what is worse under Obama and how Obama made it worse.

  21. Big business employs less employees per capital then small business. And since the Republican party has been so successful in creating a big business monopolizing environment the high unemployment rate will continue until we vote the Republicans out of office.

  22. Jim Reid: "To start, the NATIONAL DEBT"

    Wrong, I already gave you link negating that argument. Here it is again http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=...

    "the government takeover of private enterprise using extra legal
    means. GM."

    How is GM making things worse? I would think most logical people would consider saving millions of automotive jobs has not made things worse.

    "making loans to underserving companies. Solyndra." Guess you didn't realize Solyndra is a Bush legacy that Obama inherited. Yes it's a bad loan, and ADDITIONAL (on top of the Bush loan approvals to Solyndra) loans should not have been made. But how did Obama make it a bad loan? I expect problems of this nature in every administration, the key is how they deal with the problem---and guess what it usually means more regulations, which leads to your next failed statement.

    "The over 2000 new regulations that are a burden to business and add to the problem of ending the recession." Name some of these so-called new regulations that are making things worse? Hard to argue with your unsupported 'talking points'.

    You failed again Jim, try again.

  23. Jim, Read this WSJ article on President Obama's executive order and efforts to REDUCE regulations:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

  24. Jim,
    I see you concede defeat rather than have a debate on your mythological right-wing talking points. You have claimed Obama has made things worse; you have failed to connect Obama to making things worse.

    Thank you President Obama, my IRA and 401k has doubled during your presidency. Thank you President Obama for saving GM, my new American made Cadillac is a dream. Thank you President Obama for ordering a risky raid to capture America's most wanted, Osama Bin Laden. See I can give facts on how things are better.

    If anything was done against the rule of law, don't you think the courts would strike it down. The courts approved the expedited bankruptcy of GM caused by the Bush economic collapse in 2008. You must have been absent when the 3 equal branches of government were taught.

    The only thing pathetic is your constant parroting of talking points and being unable to back them up with facts. What's even more pathetic is someone who would spend every day trolling an out of town newspaper's comment section with 1000's of inflammatory posts (how's the weather in the most taxed and regulated state in the nation, California). It's been fun playing rope-a-dope with you, you have proven, without any doubt, you're just another right-wing ditto head.

  25. Jim Reid

    I have to admit it I enjoyed reading Lynn destroying your argument. But do you know what would be even better. Jim Reid keeping his big nose out of everyone's business if you could perhaps find another hobby or focus on your own state of California's problems. Your constant carping, complaining, insults, lies and your condescending smug attitude are not welcome here. And Jim OBAMA GOT OSAMA not bush the lesser.

  26. Jim Reid

    Is that what you call coming from you. wisdom? Most people would call what comes out of your mouth lies, deceit, and attempted insults. You are one of two things. #1 a bitter lonely miserable old man looking to bring others into your sorry state of mind. #2 you are a paid commentater.

    So Jim can you honestly answer why you keep sticking your nose in Nevada's business?

  27. Jimmy,
    Don't take this personally but your last comment about Mike was utter nonsense.

  28. Jim Reid

    Ahh! I have correctly deduced you are both a bitter, angry, hateful lonely old man and that makes you a perfect candidate for the right wing to employ you as a paid commentator. Otherwise you would not be spending a majority of your time trolling the internet and posting in papers outside of your state. Apparently you are a closeted fascist so tell me do you also aspire to be a modern day Joseph geobels?

  29. Jimmy,
    Help came when the country was smart enough to not elect a Republican in 2008 and instead chose the calm, mature adult to be president. It is a shame he has to deal with the children throwing temper tantrums on the political right and thinking that juvenile sarcasm somehow replaces thought.

  30. Jim Reid

    Do you think that the four billion dollars spent by the likes of the Koch brother and other special interest groups on the last congressional election was well spent? Of course the #1 target of the right wing Harry Reid still won his election quite handily but what has the Republican house accomplished for that four billion dollar investment? Besides lowering our credit ratings they have absolutely nothing to show for it.

    And Jim people like the Koch brothers will not keep funding the tea party with a no accomplishment track record bad for you.

  31. Jimmy claims the country voted for "change they didn't understand". From what perch of knowledge does this little bird dropping of wisdom fall? Why the same that allows nonsense to be pushed with every post received from gossip radio and Faux News. I guess it beats thinking!

    As for George Soros, this just shows that Jimmy is another conspiracy theory aficionado.