Tag Archives: Bush Tax Cuts

My people might do the right thing for the wrong reason

FOX News reports (yeah, I know) that Pelosi has said she might let all the Bush tax cuts expire if the House Republicans don’t agree to the Obama plan. They say that in the Senate, Democrat Patty Murphy has suggested the same thing.

Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress only want to pass that partial, one-year extension. Republicans only want to pass an extension that continues those rates for everyone. Each side is accusing the other of threatening to trigger tax hikes in 2013.

Right now, both parties want to do the wrong thing. So let’s allow the tick-tocking clock to make the decision for us. Let the damn things expire.

I dearly hope this happens. Letting those cuts expire for everyone – even us little guys – is the best way to bring the deficit under control. We can deal with the tax code and the social security cap later, but for now, letting the taxes revert to 2001 levels might be the least painful way to address our debt.

Now, just to be annoying, Let me add that I actually also believe we should be investing right now in infrastructure – borrowing for that is as cheap as it will ever be.

Let the economists explain if that’s contradictory or not. Borrowing cheaper money today and paying off yesterday’s more expensive debt, which continues compounding at a higher rate, seems to be a good idea.

Meanwhile, let the tax cuts expire. Please.

A dime’s worth of difference?

POSTED BY ORHAN

So Obama offers a debt deal to the Republicans: he’ll cut Social Security and Medicare. In exchange, the Republicans will, maybe, allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Or hike some other taxes; whatever.

Now the Republicans are saying no deal, they’ll only accept spending cuts; they’ll cut Social Security and Medicare, plus keep the Bush cuts, but deep-six the tax hikes.

So, let’s see, that means if Option 1, the Democratic plan, had been accepted, the rich would have been back to where they were under Clinton, and the poor and middle would have been worse off. But if Option 2, the Republican plan, is enacted, the rich will keep what they got from Bush, and the poor and middle will be worse off.

What can we say about America’s future from the horns of this little dilemma? If it plays out the way the health care farce did, we can make a few predictions:

The Tea Party will be left swinging in the breeze. The folks who screamed, “Keep your hands off my Medicare!” are about to have their Social Security and Medicare seriously FUBARed. Even the most hardcore non-rich Tea Partier will realize sooner or later there’s nothing here but, as the song says, the promise of an early death.

The Democratic base will be left swinging in the breeze, after having its veins opened, its throat slit, and a dagger slipped between its ribs. The new default “far left” bargaining position will start with Social Security and Medicare cuts. Obama will initiate his trademark “compromising” from there. Predicting which once-sacrosanct progressive program he’ll negotiate away next will be all the rage in DC.

Mainstream middle and working class Republicans will be left swinging in the breeze; it’ll just take them a while to figure it out. Sooner or later the most diehard trickle-down true believer will realize the upcoming corporate cash infusion (via “amnesty” or any other method) isn’t going to create any jobs for Americans, other than the corner-office and lobbying jobs for the politicians who sold us all down the river; but CEOs will no doubt receive some kickass bonuses over the next few years.

Life is about to get one hell of a lot harder for most Americans. Thanks to Democrats. And Republicans.

The Bush tax cuts, the bubble, the collapse, the $2.5 trillion: what might have been instead

The Bush tax cuts were signed 10 years ago today. We gave the wealthiest among us $2.5 TRILLION dollars. That worked out well. Here’s some stuff we might have done instead with that revenue.  But all these things would have done of course is educate and employ people.

  • Provide 43.1 Million Students With Pell Grants Worth $5,500 Every Year For Ten Years
  • Provide 31.5 Million Head Start Slots For Children Every Year For Ten Years
  • Provide VA Care For 30.7 Million Military Veterans Every Year For Ten Years
  • Provide 30.4 Million Scholarships For University Students Every Year For Ten Years
  • Hire 4.19 Million Firefighters Every Year For Ten Years
  • Hire 3.67 Million Elementary School Teachers Every Year For Ten Years
  • Hire 3.6 Million Police Officers Every Year For Ten Years
  • Retrofit 144.6 Million Households For Wind Power Every Year For Ten Years
  • Retrofit 54.2 Million Households For Solar Photovoltaic Energy Every Year For Ten Years

The tradeoffs paint a stark picture. For the same price as the Bush tax cuts, which did little to help the economy, we could’ve sent tens of millions of students to college, retrofitted every household in America with the capacity to generate alternative energy, and hired millions of firefighters and police officers.

UPDATE: Drat! Kay posted this too. She gets up earlier.

The GOP is the “cut taxes, borrow money and spend it all” party and don’t let them pretend otherwise. Oh, and Democrats create the jobs.

Job growth by President - trust the trend

Expect excessive linkie-linkie to my local daily for a while. I just re-subscribed (after a year of thinking there was life after a daily newspaper and being wrong) to the Herald-Tribune, a fine paper that is about half of what it was just a few years ago. But even in this world of smaller and smaller papers, the Trib managed to grab another Pulitzer Prize this year for an exhaustive investigative report on Florida’s property insurance system – which legislators have refused to address (multi-part story here). Like I said, a fine paper.

I want to share a Letter to the Editor from today’s paper. The writer says it well.

Bad economic ‘solutions’

In the 1920s, the Republicans ran the country and we had the Great Depression. In the 1990s, President Clinton raised taxes to reduce the deficit and not one Republican voted for this program, but lots of them predicted an economic catastrophe. Instead we got unparalleled growth.

Then came Bush and, without any concern for long-term solvency of Medicare, Social Security, etc., those in power cut taxes, especially on upper incomes. And even after incurring huge wartime expenses, they never made any effort to roll back the tax cuts. The Republicans in Congress went along with every bit of this deficit spending, and we got the great recession.

These same “experts” now want to hold the country hostage to a refusal to raise any taxes. They tell us that raising taxes on the rich will slow job growth, but never acknowledge that job growth was far better when that tax rate was higher. Nor do they accept study after study showing that these tax cuts have the least stimulative effect on the economy. Cutting spending only to balance the budget will be a disaster, leaving us less educated and less healthy. Yet this is what these economic illiterates propose. The question isn’t only why their solutions are harmful, not helpful, but, why, given their record, anyone listens to them.

That’s about right. I will add that the bald-faced lie that extending the Bush tax cuts will lead to  jobs creation, is just that. A bald-faced, evidence supported, lie. After the were signed into law, all we did was lose jobs.  But let’s not let facts get in the way.

I wanted to take a nap . . .

. . . but then I saw this.  At McClatchy.

WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans want the Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.