Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Maybe tax cuts will work one of these years

The Creed still has power: Raising taxes on the wealthy kills private-sector jobs. Cutting taxes on the wealthy spurs private-sector jobs.

Nobody – certainly not the mainstream news media – bothers to ask after a decade of reduced taxes, Well, where are the jobs? Instead, Republicans just keep mouthing the Creed. To keep taxes from being raised on the rich, House Republicans are even willing to block the United States from paying its bills – a move that promises to throw the nation into financial chaos.

President George W. Bush took a big bite out of taxes for the rich. So the number of private-sector jobs soared, right? Wrong. In fact, the Bush presidency saw a drop in such jobs – from 111,634,000 to 110,981,000 – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(Public-sector jobs rose, by 1.7 million. But the Creed holds that cutting taxes boosts private-sector jobs and that government jobs are a net negative for the economy.)

History has no relevancy to Republicans. Bosh to facts! Their belief is in things unseen. Tax cuts are their religion – their salvation.  Thus, they put intense pressure on Obama to keep Bush’s tax cuts. And against his better judgement he did. Now, Republicans characterize Obama’s fiscal policies as a failure. They thus implicitly acknowledge that the extension of the tax cuts flopped.

Yet, they fight raising taxes to help close the federal deficit and, instead, propose to take from the needy to give to the greedy, as is their wont. Confronted by the rare journalist who points to the long history of tax cuts that didn’t yield jobs, they speak louder and in a more indignant tone. The problem is not that taxes are too low; the problem is that spending is too high. Yeah, yeah.

Actually, the problem is their belief that, if they keep doing the same thing again and again, they will one of these years see a different result.

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