With all the head fakes and misdirection going on out there in Republican land, one has to wonder if they think we are really that stupid. Well we have been in electing George Bush for eight years. And if you are buying any of the stuff they are shoveling now, we are that stupid: Barack is a terrorist. Barack is un-American. Barack is a socialist. Barack is an elite intellectual. The Republican Party is appealing to anti-intellectualism, jingoism, racism, elitism, and of course, the bottom line, fear. But where are the issues? It’s the economy so let’s examine what it is they are saying:
- Barack is a socialist because he wants to raise taxes on the rich. Warren Buffet doesn’t have a problem with that and all he is proposing is to return them to the Clinton era rates. If you look at economic data for the last 60 years under any measure, the economy has grown more and the middle class did better under Democratic leadership than under Republican administrations (New York Times). By the way I heard a great comeback when Pat Buchanan was ranting about socialist taking over the world: Look in your wallet Pat. You are a card caring socialist. If you will take our and throw away your Medicare card and renounce all benefits then you are really not a socialist. Socialism it would appear is in the eye of the beholder.
- Joe the Plumber is suppose to represent in the Republican mind the small businessman that would be hurt by Barack’s tax policies. Okay so Joe isn’t a plumber, doesn’t make anywhere near the amount of money to be subject to higher taxes, and the low taxes he is subject to, he hasn’t paid, but let’s forget Joe and look at the principal. A small business person, of which I am one, would have to make over $250 grand to be subject to that increased tax. Now understand that is a net amount meaning after all taxes, salaries, and expenses, you put $250,000 into your pocket. What percentage of the population makes that amount of money? That’s 2% of households according to the IRS (FactCheck.org) Those are not the people suffering out there.
- McCain is claiming that we have the highest business tax rate in the world and that is a true statement. But what is the effective rate, that rate they really pay after all the tax breaks are figured in? Well just consider this: The GAO said that 94% paid less than 5% and over two-thirds of all large business (both American and foreign operating here) don’t pay any taxes at all. They can’t get any lower than that and our economy is still suffering. How do tax rates for corporations compare to other nation is almost impossible to tell because of the ways income and taxes are sliced and diced, but if you think there is an easy answer here, don’t ever trade in your Republican buttons.
- John McCain promises to cut spending across the board once he is elected. Most economists will tell you that is exactly the wrong thing to do. We may have started to solve the banking/credit crisis, but we have done nothing about a slumping economy. It is a slumping economy, by the way, while we have had continued tax cuts, low regulation, and little government interference. What we need are jobs, decent wages, and stopping defaults in the housing market. This means that the second part of stimulating the economy is a government spending program, especially in benefits to states for the really desperate, investment in alternate energy, and an infrastructure program. Just how are you going to pay for this with an across the board spending cuts?
- What should really scare you is that these fundamentalist conservatives will try to resurrect their failed conservatism by instituting a plan to balance the budget quickly. Their assumption is that the only way they went wrong was to lose their way and grew government and spending and now like an ex smoker, they will kill us with their zealousness to reform. John McCain says he will do it in his first term. As noted above this is exactly the wrong approach. Most economists will now tell you that for the short term forget about the deficit. Eventually if we can re-stimulate our economy and get our financial markets back in control, we can start working on it, but first we must get the economy going and cutting government spending is a recipe for disaster.
- Finally, tax rebates don’t stimulate the economy or increase revenues, and if the next plan to stimulate the economy includes another hand out, it will be wasted money. Instead of handing out money that last time, most was either saved or spent on foreign products, government spending should be focused on infrastructure or other home grown projects that give people jobs and gives the entire nation something when the money is spent. (Economic Policy Institute)
You have to ask if we want what we want, how are we going to pay for it. Well we could look around at the rest of the world. Hanging more taxes on our already overburdened income tax is madness. But why don’t we institute a consumption tax. Income is irrelevant, only spending. Oh but that is what the rest of the world does and it works, so why or why would we want to try that? It would be anti-American. Maybe that is why we have secret ballots: So we can not tell the real Americans from those anti-American socialists.
Actually with all this mis-direction and name calling it is really getting to be fun. The fun is watching how frantic these Republicans are getting as their little scam to rob from the poor and give and give to the rich may be coming to an end. Notice that tax cuts for the rich is not socialism, but tax cuts for the poor and middle class is. Oh this is fun.