Monday, September 13, 2010

Should Anyone Really Be Getting A Tax Cut Right Now?!?

Among the typical cultural battles being waged in advance of the November elections, an undercurrent of class warfare has also emerged in the form of whether or not to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Obama, after months of ambiguous statements, seems to have made the final decision to let the Bush cuts lax for those making $250k and up, while keeping them in place for most of the rest of us. Naturally, the GOP, intent on defending their rich donors, thinks everyone should get a tax cut. And I'm wondering what's the real point of keeping anyone's taxes low right now.

Think about it this way: If we're really in as dire a deficit/debt situation as everyone intent on scaring us seems to indicate, we prolly need to do something now. Tax cuts, obviously, cost money. Their stimulative effect on the economy is always a point of contention. Obama's already pushing a freeze on non-military discretionary spending (why the military's always exempt is beyond me) and that'll make a small dent. But shaving $4 Trillion (!) off the national deficit over the next decade would make a huge dent. Of course, nobody's interested in doing this, because raising taxes is evil, and might I add, a very poor political strategy.

For all the handwringing about Obama's spending spree thus far in office, the effect of a decade of Bush's unnecessary tax cuts was far more devastating. At least we're seeing some tangible return on the Wall Street and Auto bailouts. That money, slowly but surely, is coming back with interest. Need I remind you just how effective Bush's tax cuts were in reviving the economy? The 00's were considered a lost decade. Check your 401k statement if you don't believe me. Flat. And BTW, Conservative Jesus himself, Ronald Reagan, repeatedly raised taxes during a recession. The result was 17M new jobs over his 8 years in office. Clinton did the same, resulting in 23M new gigs. Bush's 8 years in office lost us a total of 8M jobs.

I'm just sayin'.

Basic math says raising taxes on income over $250k/year by a mere 4% isn't gonna kill anyone. Theoretically, if you make $350k a year, the $100k overage is now going to be taxed at a 39% clip, rather than 35%. Which means you'll pay a mere $4,000 extra. Call me nutty, but if you're rakin' in a cool 1/3 of a million a year, you prolly drop four stacks on trivial sh*t all the time. This isn't putting you in the poor house with the rest of us. If it is then maybe you're too dumb to deserve your annual salary. Tighten the belt, make wiser decisions on spending, and rough it out like the rest of us.[1] It's a recession, ya' know.

While I obviously agree with the Democrats on this one, since the $700B the rich pay in taxes pales in comparison to the $3T+ going to the rest of us, this is hard to see as anything other than "Us vs Them" style politicking. As the the Republicans, could they be any more blatant in their desire to protect the caviar and Cristal lifestyles of those least vulnerable in the current economic climate? It's sorta sickening. Not everyone who earns over $250k a year is "a small business owner", and even those who own small businesses (and probably take a fixed salary) aren't exactly going to be "taxed into oblivion" if they're asked to pay a few thousand extra in taxes each year. Please, kill the nonsense.

One way or another, because I'm not rich, I'll probably get my tax cut next year, which is obviously a good thing. It goes without saying that I hardly think rich people need even more tax breaks and assorted loopholes, so I'm cool with this. But if we're serious about not leaving crushing debt to "out children's children", we might all need to take one for the team.

Question: Does anyone really need a tax cut if the deficit is as staggering an issue as said? Does it make sense raise taxes on the rich, but not everyone else?

Five myths about the Bush tax cuts [WashPost]

[1] Alhough I will be coppin' that new iPod Touch.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.