On Taxes, In Case You're Not Following Along

| | Comments (0)

The Democrats want to increase taxes on people making over $250,000, and keep taxes level for everyone else. The Republicans want the taxes on everyone to stay the same.

What really strikes me is how blatantly dishonest the Democratic rhetoric has been. When talking about the upper incomes, they say the Republicans want "tax cuts" for the wealthy. But when they try to push keeping all the other rates level, and Republicans oppose doing it piecemeal, they say the Republicans want a "tax increase" for "average Americans."

It can't be both: either keeping taxes level is a tax cut and letting them increase is not a tax increase; or keeping taxes level is keeping taxes level and letting them increase is a tax increase. Obviously, in the reality-based community, the latter is preferable, but it's astonishing even in our politics to see them try to have it both ways at the exact same time.

The Democrats have set up their rhetoric by insisting for years that we currently enjoy a tax cut from Bush, that is due to expire, and extending that is somehow giving us a new tax cut. The extraordinarily dishonest implication is that there is a "correct" tax rate and anything less than that is a cut, rather than the obvious truth that taxes are whatever they are, and that if they go up it's an increase, and if they go down it's a decrease.

None of us will get a tax cut. The only question is whether any of us will get a tax increase.

And while I'm on the subject, Democrats have also been dishonestly asserting the straw man that "tax cuts for the wealthy won't create jobs." Whether or not that's true, the fact is that no one is talking about tax cuts for the wealthy, and we have plenty of evidence that the tax increase the Democrats are pushing for would result in a worse economy, especially during our current recession/slow recovery/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. That is, it's not about improving the economy so much as it's about not making it worse.

The Democrats' blame of the low revenues as a percentage of GDP on the tax cuts is especially laughable, considering we have had the same tax rates for several years, and it wasn't until the recession that the revenue percentage dropped: and the only tax cut we had around that time came from Obama, and excluded the higher earners.

The claim that the deficit is too big with this mythical tax cut is also disingenuous, because the same argument could be used to justify doubling taxes on higher earners. And while the Democrats in the last two years have increased spending more than at any time since WWII, and the deficit more than at any time in our history, it's hard to take them seriously on caring one whit about the deficit.

We do have problems with revenue, but those problems are all directly attributable to the poor economy, and have nothing to do with tax rates. Increasing tax rates will have a negative impact on economic activity, and won't create jobs. (Even if you're going to argue that increased spending of certain kinds creates jobs, that spending has happened without paying for it, so that's a non-factor.)

We should be cutting everyone's tax rates more than they are now, including on capital gains. This would necessarily stimulate our economy, in the short term, as it did under Bush. And after we do that, we should work to enact the majority of the unpassed deficit reduction proposal, to fix our problems in the long term. Of course, we can't get across-the-board tax cuts, but the least we can do is keep the rates level.

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on December 6, 2010 8:51 AM.

Koster/Larsen Debate was the previous entry in this site.

Hostages, Or, An English Lesson is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.