Sunday, December 05, 2010

Democrats must stand firm on taxes

Among the greatest lies told by the Republican Party is their deliberately dishonest campaign to cut the taxes of millionaires and billionaires. Republicans successfully spun the debate, as they always do, to make a lie a truth: They said that if the Bush tax cuts weren’t renewed in their entirety, it would mean a “massive tax increase” and they declared that President Obama was going to “raise people’s taxes”.

The truth, of course, is that under the Democratic plan, ALL AMERICANS will get a tax cut on the first $200,000 (or $250,000 for a married couple) in income. But the rich and super rich won’t get additional tax cuts on their high incomes.

The Republican lie worked in the last election campaign, and they were able to regain control of the US House and some state legislatures based on their mantra of “fiscal conservatism”. Yeah, right, like Republicans know anything about that.

The Republican Patron Saint™ is Ronald Reagan, who the party constantly holds up as an idol to be worshiped. Yet he and his economic policies—“Reagonomics”—did more to damage America, more to rip out its economic heart, than anything I can think of. Reagan increased the deficit by 186% and widened the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans to the largest gap since 1947 when such records were first kept.

And what did Reaganomics do for America? Nothing, unless you mean the richest Americans, because they were the only ones who benefited at all. Because of Reagan’s tax cuts, the richest 1% of Americans saw their income soar by 80% during the Reaganomics years. Average Americans, however, saw their incomes rise by a mere 3%—flat, in other words. And the poorest Americans saw their incomes DROP 4% because of Reaganomics. Millions of jobs were lost and average wages declined. Some legacy.

All the data—historic and contemporary—is clear: Cutting taxes for the rich and super rich will get the country nothing but more debt, more jobs lost, falling average wages and greater income inequality. That’s what happened when Reagan pursued “trickle down economics” (“voodoo economics”, as the first President Bush famously called it). Cutting the taxes of ordinary Americans, on the other hand, as Democrats want to do, has been proven to stimulate the economy, something the Republicans claim they want to do.

Enough is enough: It’s time to stand up to the Republicans and their lies. Congress must allow the Bush cuts for the rich and super rich to expire. If they don’t, and pass a bill with tax cuts for the rich, then President Obama must veto the bill.

The illustration accompanying this post is intended to remind Democrats of what they need. We’ll soon see how many actually have one.


Roger Owen Green said...

You used "Democrats" and "stand firm" in the same headline. Silly Arthur, these are 21st Century Democrats, not the type you might remember before you moved to NZ.

epilonious said...

I liked Reagan because he stood up the the air traffic controllers union. I also happen to really really hate the UAW and consider them 45% of the responsibility for the need for a bailout of American auto companies... and am wary of the eventual day when they decide to start sticking it to Ford (the only ones they will be able to pick on since GM and Chrysler still have government interest and the government struck a "lay the frack off" deal).

epilonious said...

The above being said... I think the tax cuts should definitely expire, the rich should be hammered, but at the same time, old people and poor people are going to have to get less free stuff. It's the only way to balance the budget, and I am pretty much going to be happy with any candidate who likes austerity.