Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Republicans hold working Americans hostage

Tonight, if anybody was paying attention, the Republican Party set the record straight on where it stood and whom it supported.

The GOP held President Obama hostage over extending the Bush-era tax cuts – the ones that have added $2.5 trillion to our national debt over the past decade.

Obama wanted them extended only for those making $250,000 or more.

The Republicans told him to shove it: They aimed to bail out the billionaires too, and were happy to see everybody in the country get hit with a whopping tax hike if they didn't get their way.
  • Fact 1: It proves the Republicans are not the party of the ‘working’ American. They basically dangled America’s blue-collar workers over the fire and told the Democrats “Do what we say, or we’ll let them burn.”
Extending the Bush-era tax cuts for everybody will add $3.9 trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade. President Obama’s plan – to give tax breaks only to those making under $250,000 a year – would have reduced the debt by $700 billion.
  • Fact 2: The Republicans aren’t interested in reducing the federal debt. They only rile up the ‘tea party’ to complain about federal spending when it’s the Democrats doing the spending.
The Democrats in congress were itching for a fight over this issue, and were backed by public opinion. Polls showed that two people supported culling the tax breaks for top tier American earners for every one person who said they should be extended for all. It was one of the rare recent opportunities in which Obama would have been able to face off on the right side of political opinion.

But he didn’t. Instead, he ‘compromised’ (or capitulated.) Why? Because if he didn’t, the GOP would have stymied the tax breaks and we’d have all been hit with increases from January 1. He’d have been blamed for that, even though the Republicans were the ones pulling the trigger.

What was truly astonishing to me was that even out of polled Republicans, 46% said they’d prefer the tax cuts extended only for those earning under $250,000 a year. Another 14% (the few true fiscal conservatives) argued that the tax cuts should be left to expire completely, and we should all pay more (and halve our foreign debt in less than a decade.)

So with the majority of Americans – and even the majority of their own party – supporting richer Americans paying more – why did the GOP use every political dirty trick to get these tax cuts passed?

Well, that’s where the veneer starts slipping.
  • Fact 3: The ‘Grand Ole Party’ actually represents the interests of America’s ‘grand ole’ corporations and foreign masters – not a single working American.
This is my frustration with the party. They beguile us with stories of ‘trickle down economics’ and ‘Reaganomics,’ while the cash handouts to billionaires are actually funneled into the stock market or off shore accounts.

They wile us with tales of how giving tax cuts to the rich creates new jobs and new opportunities, when in fact those jobs are outsourced to India, and workforces are downsized systematically rather than expanded.

Since the days of President Regan – when the GOP’s lunatic economic policies were first introduced – the gap between rich and poor has become a chasm. During Bush’s tenure as President, the average working American actually got poorer, even through the economy grew. The simple fact is, America has continued to grow a bigger economic pie, but the richest Americans are taking ever-larger slices of it, at the expense of everybody else.

Hey, I’m no socialist. I’m not interested in redistributing other people’s hard earned wealth. I don’t think anybody should be punished for hard work and success by being paid to pay more than their fair share…

But I do think people do need to pay that share – and in an economic recession, with 10% unemployment, falling wages and increasing poverty, I don’t see why those ‘people’ should always be the ones who can least afford to pay.

The GOP proved today that they’re the sycophantic puppets of an economic elite – of Wall Street bankers and corporate CEOs. America should encourage groups like the Tea Party to rally together and purge Washington of their self-serving ilk.
“If the American people ever allow it… …banks, and the corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
Thomas Jefferson

To show just how disconnected the GOP have become from their core constituency, check out this new blog by the Anonymous Tea Partier. He outlines a rational compromise the GOP could have taken regarding the Bush tax cuts.


paul mitchell said...

It would be impossible to be any further from the truth on this, Roland. If the Obamessiah actually cared about "working Americans" why wait until the very last 30 days before the adults take over the House again? Because his whole plan was to ram through the Obama Tax Increases of 2011 that would complete the Democrats' Depression and collapse world currency.

Wake up, dude, before it is too late.

Democrats are not evil, they are just stupid and wrong on everything because they are so stupid.

anonymousteapartier said...

You disappoint me sometimes.

Extending the Bush-era tax cuts for everybody will add $3.9 trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade. President Obama’s plan – to give tax breaks only to those making under $250,000 a year – would have reduced the debt by $700 billion.

You write that in a way that makes it seem better than it is. Democrats were supporting something that would add 3.2 trillion to the deficit. Not save 700 billion.

But, raise taxes... see tax revenue drop. It would happen, that is why this is good debt.... for now.

The Republicans are not "for the rich" or "for the working man." They are simply against a tax raise of any kind, anywhere. To make it more than that is an unfair attack.

UNRR said...

"tax cuts – the ones that have added $2.5 trillion to our national debt over the past decade."

Tax cuts have not added a single penny to our national debt. The only thing that adds to our debt is spending/borrowing. Tax cuts are a reduction in revenue; they are not "spending" of any kind, no matter how often they are portrayed as spending for political purposes.

Tom said...

Let's see:

It's pretty obvious that there was going to be a tax cut passed, either now or when the Republicans took over in a month. So there was basically no chance that there was not going to be a tax cut - why not hold out for the correct one.

I like the way you use the word "billionaires" to include people making $200,000 a year, and families making $250,000. But two-hundred-thousand-aires doesn't have the same ring to it.

The debt argument is a red herring. According to Hauser's Law, the amount of money the government takes in is, regardless of tax rate, a fixed fraction of the GDP. Changing the top marginal tax rate does nothing to change how much money the government gets.

Check out this explanation by the man himself.

If raising the top marginal tax rate isn't going to raise revenues, why do it?

Do you believe in punishing people just because they've been successful, even if it doesn't benefit you in any way?

I also take issue with the characterization of tax cuts as spending. That only makes sense if you consider all of the money the government doesn't get to be spending - an absurd position that presumes the government is entitled to all of our money.

Again, there was no chance of the tax rate rising on the middle class. The only question was if we'd also allow taxes to rise on those making more than $200k - and the Republican caucus did the right thing by deciding not to punish job creators.

Roland Hulme said...

Hi Paul - you're right. Obama should have dealt with this BEFORE the election and maybe he'd have got a better result!

Anonymous - I know you say on your blog you make GOOD money, but brushing off $700 billion in tax revenue? Wow, that's impressive. ;-)

UNRR - You have a valid point. Since we were bringing in $2.5 trillion less, we should have lessened our spending by a similar amount. It's the fact that we didn't makes those cuts 'spending' even though they're technically not.

paul mitchell said...

Tom, they are not trying to pass a tax cut at all. The Democrats are trying to increase the seven year old tax rates for the people that create jobs, in order to accelerate the economic collapse.

paul mitchell said...

And Roland, you know why Barry did not try to pass these tax increases before the elections. He would not even have the Senate now if he had done that.

Obama is a typical criminal Democrat that lies about everything. He is Rangel in a nice suit.

Tom said...

Paul, we're in the odd state that we need to pass a tax cut just to maintain the status quo.

This says something about the quality of our legislators.

(And lovely! They're going to put us in that position again in another couple of years. Hooray for compromise!)

Roland Hulme said...

Paul - Obama's suits are Hartmarx; I'm surprised nobody's given him a hard time about that. Apparently he only owns five, which is why he was surprised at being called an 'elitist' (what 'elitist' only owns five suits?)

Of course, they're each worth $1,500...

paul mitchell said...

Roland, I have never called Obama an "elitist," I have always maintained that he is a moron. A plain and simple imbecile. If anyone read his ridiculous books, that is easily discovered. That is, IF you assume that he can even read and write.

Of course, there is an alternate theory. He is mentally retarded.

I am still searching for anything that Obama can do competently. Since my studies just started in October of 2005, it might take me another eight thousand years to discover what he can actually do without screwing up.

Simply put, Barry Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like a genius.

anonymousteapartier said...

Wow, the comments on this thread are genius.

UNNR... BINGO! Cutting taxes is not spending money we don't have.

Paul, awesome. Yep, they pass a tax raise before the elections and we do have the Senate.

Yes, Obama is a moron. His speech today was insulting and the sound bites from it will give us a Republican president in 2012, even if we do put Palin up there. He is making himself unelectable.

Excitement wins elections. Bush had it in 04, Obama in 08, and conservatives in 12. It won't even be close

anonymousteapartier said...

Roland... I see your little note linking to my blog post.

Read my post very clearly. Between the options, I fully support the Republican position on this. They are not that far off from being aligned with me.

Roland Hulme said...

"Between the two options, I side with the Republicans. Though there was a third option I would have likely supported."

Between the two options, maybe - but even you didn't 'fully' support the Republicans, otherwise you wouldn't have suggested a much more sensible compromise.

You're one of the LEAST compromising people I know, so if you're will to meet the Dems half way, the Republicans are WAY off base.

One Salient Oversight said...

It's amazing to see how much Supply Side economics has been reduced to the inane and entirely incorrect notion that "Tax Cuts = more revenue".

It's about as logical as someone saying "If my bosses pay me less for my work, I will get more money".

Populist tax cutters are amazing, if not predictable:

Is the economy growing? Cut taxes!

Is the economy shrinking? Cut taxes!

Is unemployment high? Cut taxes!

Is unemployment low? Cut taxes!

Even Reagan had to backpedal on his tax cuts by passing a tax increase, such were the concerns then about the federal deficit - the "Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982".

Tom said...

Hauser's law points out that government revenue remains constant (as a share of GDP) regardless of the top marginal tax rate. Raise it, lower it - the revenue stays the same.

The only thing that changes tax revenue is GDP growth - and it's tough to argue that the GDP will grow when you raise taxes.

Since that's the case - the right approach is to lower taxes, at least until it becomes obvious that Hauser's Law no longer applies. It makes sense, because:

- When the economy is growing, we want to grow the GDP.
- When the economy is shrinking, we want to grow the GDP.
- When unemployment is low, we want to grow the GDP.
- When unemploment is high, we want to grow the GDP.

The relevant situation is more like one where you're a salesperson, who pays the government a percentage of your sales. By lowering the percent it takes, you'll be willing to work harder, and hence both you and the government will make more money.

paul mitchell said...

Tom, you are wasting your characters with OSO.

The thing that socialists never consider with any government policy is the reality of what human beings do.

For example, when you extend unemployment benefits, people are going to stay unemployed longer. When you start a program designed for retirement, people are going to stop planning for their own. When you give free lunches and breakfast to school kids, your education budget is going to explode. When you give free food to people, they are going to get fat.

And when you soak the working people with taxes, they are going to stop producing.

anonymousteapartier said...

Who is holding the middle class hostage now?

paul mitchell said...

The very same party that ALWAYS holds the working people hostage. If you have a job and want to keep what you earn, never vote for a Democrat. EVER.