May 19, 2006

Here We Go Again - Republicans Whoring Themsleves With Tax Cuts

I suppose I should expect this from the Republicans in our government. It happens with each election cycle, and I probably should be used to it by now, but I'm not. I can't accept in all good conscience, politicians who cut taxes for rich people, at the expense of our economy and our future, in an underhanded, backdoor, sleazy effort to get re-elected.

I turn on the news and hear it all the time from the right-wingnuts.... that tax cuts have bolstered our economy! Yes, our economic recovery... it's all due to tax cuts! I guess it doesn't matter that our deficit is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars. I guess it doesn't matter that our debt is measured in trillions of dollars (soon to be measured in tens of trillions of dollars).

This is the lie that we're continually being sold... that tax cuts (which is basically the act of giving donations to rich people) are directly or indirectly causing our economy to be strong. In fact, the first lie is that our economy actually IS strong. Unfortunately, many millions of people actually believe that bullcrap, and that's why they blindly vote Republican. Sure, everyone hates to pay taxes, and they ignorantly think that under Republican rule, they'll be able to keep more of their hard-earned money.

So let's revisit (i.e. Let's not let the Conservatives re-write history)...

Following the devastating recession of 2001-2002, after George W. Bush took office and started deregulating every industry, paving the way for an unprecedented plethora of corporate corruption & scandal, our economy had no where to go but up. The US economy, and all its economic indicators are cyclical in nature. It's going to have its 'ups' and 'downs' and tax breaks for rich people is not the best 'stimulus' to bringing the economy up. T
hat's not to say that tax cuts don't have any effect whatsoever. ANY action which pumps money into the economy will stimulate it somewhat, but at what long-term cost given the size of our deficit & debt?

By the way, is there any doubt that the top 1% of the wealthiest people are the real beneficiaries of tax cuts? Obviously, they pay more taxes, so they're going to benefit more from tax cuts. Don't forget though... much of the Bush tax cut initiatives are centric on ownership income, as opposed to wage income. Working people do not sincerely benefit from tax cuts...

  • Capital Gains tax cuts benefit those who own (and sell) capital, such as stocks. Working people, who live paycheck-to-paycheck, who have to tighten their belts because they're getting squeezed by the price of gas, don't sincerely benefit from Capital Gains tax cuts.
  • Estate tax cuts benefit those who stand to inherit many millions of dollars from dead relatives. Working people, who don't come from a long bloodline of wealth, don't sincerely benefit from Estate tax cuts.

If you're going to pump money into our economy to stimulate it, certainly pumping it into the bottom or middle would stimulate it faster and healthier than pumping it into the top. Rich people simply don't need the money nearly as much as those who are less wealthy. Therefore, it only stands to reason that if the money were pumped into the bottom and middle, it would be spent faster.

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not advocating that we should give tax cuts to poor people instead of rich people. What I AM advocating however, is that programs which help the needier populace become productive, thriving, and contributing members of society, yield a far better return than giving donations to rich people. Programs such as job training to help unemployed and lower-skilled workers get back into the workplace. Programs like child care subsidies for single mothers so they can... yes... get back into the workplace. Programs like a Universal Health Care system, which would help everyone live healthier lives, so they can... you got it... stay in the workplace.

But we must also not forget our obligations to care for people, even if they're not able to be productive workers in our society (and don't get me started on Bush's "Compassionate Conservatism" bullcrap). Some people are never going to return to the workplace, such as the (very) elderly and disabled.

What effects does tax cuts have?

The Republican's "Trickle-Down" economic theory (thank you, Ronald Reagan) assumes that cutting rich people's taxes will spur investment, which will create jobs. Then they look at the job creation/unemployment statistics and think that their tax cutting initiatives are working. This is an absolute farce.

  • First of all, you can't look at the quantity of jobs being created in the United States if you totally ignore the quality of those jobs. In-depth analysis of jobs creation statistics have consistently found that new jobs are overwhelmingly service oriented and not manufacturing. That means we're not creating and exporting products, which has a significant impact on our trade-deficit.

    At the same time, the higher-paying jobs continue to be exported to countries where businesses can pay considerably less wages. There is NO effort by our government to help keep the jobs domestically or even 'level the playing field' to help American businesses compete in the global market.

  • Secondly, the unemployment rates never reflect those who have lopped off the other side of the unemployment grid and can no longer collect benefits. Nor do those numbers reflect the masses who have gone back into the workforce at lower paying (c'est moi), and often career-changing (and not for the better) opportunities. Through the bulk of the George W. Bush presidency, we've been working harder, earning less, and paying more (and don't even think about blaming that on Clinton).

  • Thirdly, tax cuts directly add to our already overblown deficit, and therefore balloon our debt, the burden of which will have to be shouldered by future generations. Try to imagine a pie chart of our national budget in the years to come. You see that huuuuge chunk that dwarfs the other slices? That's called 'Debt Servicing'. We have to pay that back, ya know! And the interest!

  • Fourthly, the cutting of taxes, which theoretically reduces the national budget, must be accompanied by a reduction in spending. Otherwise, the deficit would be even larger than it already is. Who suffers when budgets are cut? We all do. Sure, I could go on-and-on about the various categories of needy like the poor, elderly, veterans, hurricane-stricken, underprivileged, sick, out-of-work, etc. But, what about the rest of us? Did it ever occur to you that the reason you're paying more & higher fees for various things, all starts from tax breaks for rich people? By the way, whatever happened to that after-school arts (or sports) program?


Tax cuts for rich people, at a time of war, at a time of gargantuan deficits & debt, is completely, absolutely, and utterly irresponsible. These people are looking at minute short-term economic gains (if any) as well as re-election rewards, at the expense of long-term solvency (i.e. our future).

Any politicians who vote for tax cuts should be thrown out on their asses. They certainly do not have our country's best interests at heart.


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