Thursday, February 26, 2009

Republicans and Tax Cuts (Obama's first budget)

Well, Obama's 2010 budget has been announced and, as usual, Republicans are apoplectic about the tax increase on the rich which will cause small businesses to fail all over the country, kill entrepreneurship, etc.. And how big is this tax increase? 3.9%. The top marginal tax rate for people earning over $250,000/year will increase from 36% to 39.6% - which won't kick in until 2011. Now, I know that COLs vary a lot around the country and I believe that, once we're out of the recession, we should all pay more for the government services we want. But this knee-jerk Republican hissy fit should be shown up for what it is. And if the reduced tax rates on dividends and capital gains remain in effect, this increase will, practically speaking, probably have even less impact.

Once upon a time, the top marginal tax rate in this country was 94%!* Now, the Republicans think 39.6% is too much. Indeed, during the battle over the stimulus package they wanted a 5% across-the-board cut. Tax cuts are the Republican answer to good times and bad times. It is, indeed, the only government action they approve of (except for defense and legislating morality, of course).

Republicans won't even raise taxes to pay for the one government function, defense, of which they approve - which is why Obama inherited a trillion-dollar deficit. The truth is that Republicans don't believe in government. They want to kill social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare, the NEA & NEH, the CDC, the NIH, the NSF, the FDA, etc. Indeed, if they could, they would kill every non-defense agency. And they figure the way to do this is to starve the government of money. But they know that if they tell the American public this is their objective, they couldn't get elected dog-catcher. They know Americans don't like to pay taxes (who does) but,while Americans differ on which government programs they approve of, all Americans use or want some government services. So Republicans talk about "waste, fraud, abuse" (of which there is nowhere near enough to end the deficit and at least one of which exists in every household in the U.S.). They talk about earmarks (which don't add money to the budget but direct it to pet projects). They talk about individual responsibility. They don't talk about the government programs they want to kill. And our ineffective media let them.

I have a challenge for you tax-cutting Republicans. Give me a tax rate, any tax rate (flat or progressive), which will satisfy you. 20%? 15%? 5%? 0%? And then tell me what government agencies you will shut down to balance the budget.

*Here are three web sites with historical tax rate information:
1.Top tax rates 1913-2003
2.Highest marginal tax rates 1913-2009.
3. Historical bottom and top tax brackets 1913-2000.

1 comment:

malinse said...

When you can make an intelligent comment about the state of our country in regards to bloated government, then I might take you serious. It's not the role of the government to hand feed you with all their alphabet bureaucracies. The government only knows how to grow when it is not controlled by reasonable represtatives of the people, which the democrats are bankrupt of.
Before and after Kennedy, (including FDR lunacy) the democrats have desired to add layer upon layer of wasteful social programs and all the non-productive marxists say is; the 'mean ol' republicans want to throw people out in the streets. It's because of divisive fear mongerers like you that people remain ignorant. Is this the political mob boss Raht Emanuel?
Grow up, be an adult, and get off the government teat.