President Barack Obama and the Democrats are not being reasonable are not being committed to doing what is right on the "avoiding the fiscal cliff" negotiations. The Democrats insistence on raising tax rates on the wealthy is completely unreasonable what the hell does it matter to them if the Republicans get the wealthy to pay a little bit more in taxes by way of closing loopholes and changing other tax treatments as opposed to raising income rates on the wealthy. To most Americans they wouldn't care if you taxed golf course and golf membership fees of the wealthy to raise the targeted revenue as long as it is raised. Stemming out of this fixation of the Democrats on raising the rates of the wealthy, they say that Republicans cannot possibly raise $800 billion of tax revenue over ten years from the wealthy without raising income tax rates. This assertion is baloney commentators have offered many revenue raising options involving the tax code to meet this target. For instance (assuming all the Bush tax cuts as they exist today were made permanent), $650 billion over ten years could be raised by limiting itemized deductions (excluding charitable contributions) to $35,000/yr for the wealthy pursuant to a Wall Street Journal article - this tax change got a lot of receptivity during the past election season. If capital gains and stock dividend income for the wealthy were raised just 5% to 20% this would raise approximately $100 billion dollars over ten years if it were raised to 25% this would raise an additional $100 billion over ten years (CBO reports would seem to indicate) - a 25% tax rate here is a very fair tax rate it leaves a lot profit income for the taxpayer and it is a rate that America has held in the past. Getting rid of the 33% tax bracket for the wealthy and having that income fall into the 35% tax bracket would raise $60 billion over ten years. If the investment income generated in whole life insurance policies and annuities was required to be treated as taxable income for wealthy American this change would raise $50 to $75 billion over ten years, if carried interest income for hedge fund managers and private equity fund managers was treated as ordinary earned income as opposed to the current capital gains income this would raise $20 billion over ten years and stopping the 401k retirement fund contributions for wealthy Americans from being excluded from Federal income taxes would probably at least raise $10 billion over ten years. Democrats super intense insistence on raising tax revenue from the wealthy by absolutely having an increase in the tax rate on the wealthy "raises suspicion" that after this fiscal cliff bill is enacted into law the Democrats are going to come back later looking to reduce the tax deductions and lower the taxable income exemptions on wealthy Americans to get more federal government tax revenue they can spend. This is not what main stream America wants, they want the wealthy to pay a little bit more in taxes they want this group to pay what they paid during the Clinton Presidency but they don't want this group taken advantage of and treated like a money bag that can be raided to satisfy Democrats desire for spending programs; as a matter of fact Barack Obama spoke during this past election season as if this is what he believed was right, it would now be nice if he currently walked like he talked back then! The Democrats are completely wrong with their insistence that the Federal Government raise its top tax rate from 35% to 39.6%. First, this will lead to unjust taxation of many wealthy American; Washington cannot just consider how changes to the federal income tax rates will affect these Americans they can't just use this tunnel vision analysis Washington has to consider all the Federal, state and local income tax rates these Americans are subject to. Besides the 39.6% tax rate these taxpayers will be subject to the Federal Medicare tax rate which in many cases will be 3.8% starting in 2013 and if one consider state income rates this will result in the wealthy in sixteen states paying income taxes over fifty percent of their income and if one considers local income tax rates this increases to twenty-three the number of states where the wealthy will be paying over a fifty percent income tax rate. This is just plain unjust if one can't keep at least half of what one earns from one's hard work and skill such people are not being treated fairly! Secondly, if the Democrats go through with this income tax rate change for the wealthy they are going to be saddling America with an humongously screwed-up tax system by this it is meant the following. Today, a very large number of businesses in America pay taxes on their income under the individual income tax provisions of the tax code as opposed to the corporate income tax provisions it is believed that half of the business income generated in America is treated this way. Now both political parties have agreed that America has to close the loopholes in its corporate tax provisions and use the savings to lower America's corporate tax rates which are not competitive rates compared to other countries throughout the world; the Democrats hope to lower the rate to 28% from the current 35% and the Republicans hope to lower it to 25%. For sake of argument let's say Washington is only able to lower the corporate rate to 28% and this Democrat obsession with a 39.6% income tax rate for the wealthy goes through and becomes law, what do you think the vast majority of these business who are currently paying individual income tax rates are going to do, you think their going to pay an additional 11.6% tax on some of their income when they can shield it; this raising income rates on the wealthy will just result in many businesses changing their business structure to a corporation and paying taxes on their income as a corporation and leaving income in their business to shield it from federal individual income taxes - way to go Democrats! Third, the Republicans are right raising individual income tax rates to Clinton era levels will hurt job growth, hurt worker wage growth and hurt business growth for small businesses because they will have less money for such things because their federal tax bill will have increased with these changes; this is a foolish choice for America when their is other ways to raise the needed tax revenue and avoid these negative repercussions which is by closing loop holes and reducing exemptions, etc.. The American public has been hearing often now from supposedly smart people that what they see transpiring is a fiscal cliff deal where a small portion of the deficit reductions that were reached in the deal go into effect immediately and the bulk of the deficit reduction will be left for Congressional taxation committees and entitlement committees to work through by their normal legislative processes, this ain't happening Washington you're not putting the American people and the American business community through another six to nine months of this agonizing ordeal we are currently going through! First, such a plan is practically impossible it is going to take extraordinary character for members of Congress to hold the line against businesses in their district and the armies of lobbyist which are going to be advocating to not close the loop holes and benefits in the tax code which have to be done to lower rates and you want to at the same time have these Congressional members hold the line on changing the individual income tax code to raise a trillion dollars of revenue over ten years from the wealthy and at the same time conduct a drawn out process to change entitlement programs which has a lobby which is a juggernaut that crushes and steamrolls its opponents, such a deal is a deal which displays no intelligence whatsoever was utilized in its making. Such a deal also begs the question that if Washington politicians don't have the will to come to agreement on specific issues now what is to make them think they will in six to nine months when the heavy cost for their votes will have been pounded into them countless times. Frankly, it does not seem like a viable option that such a kooky deal would pass unless caucus leaders have learned how to do magic why would rank and file members take a vote that will cause them reelection problems when the justification for the bill isn't guaranteed putting it another way you think that all the members of Congress that voted in favor of the 2011 debt ceiling bill would do it again? What the party leaders need to do is come to a deal on the specific policy issues for tax revenue raising and federal spending cuts with significant entitlement cuts, once you have such deals your staffs can draw up the provisions in two weeks and have a passable bill in that time frame probably less time if some of your staffs' past performance level is repeated. You mean to tell me that on the revenue raising side if agreement on the revenue raising issues like those specified above was reached a passable bill couldn't be put together for this Congress to pass you mean to tell me that if agreement was reached on many of the entitlement change issues that the Congressional Budget Office has studied and written reports on over the years this Congress couldn't put these agreements in a bill form that could be passed by this Congress in its remaining days it's hogwash, it's nonsense and just not true! The only thing necessary for this Congress and this President to enact a law during this Congress's term which avoids America going off the fiscal cliff, resolves extension of the Bush tax cuts, repeals the sequestration cuts and cuts the federal deficit enough to save the Countries AAA credit rating is the "will" to do so by elected officials in Washington!