By Joshua Sager
In recent years, the Republican Party has become afflicted with an insanity that manifests in the form of a compulsive cutting of taxes for all rich and corporate entities. Historically the Republicans have held a regressive economic view as well as a policy of lower taxes coupled with fewer government services (except in defense) but in recent years, the rhetoric has become infinitely more extreme. In my opinion, the intensification of the rhetoric benefiting the rich is purely a function of the increase of money in politics. The rich and corporate interests are essentially buying the elections through campaign "donations", and are being paid back for their support through tax breaks (among other things). As the Republicans would have you believe it, corporations just love to give money to candidates with NO strings attached, and Justice Thomas simply decides for the side of his donors every time by simple luck; these assertions would be laughable if they weren't so dangerous for all of us.
- In order to justify the cutting of tax breaks for the wealthiest entities and individuals in society the right wing has given several rationalizations.
· Tax breaks for the rich always create jobs and prosperity "trickles down" to the rest of us.
Bush tried a strategy of massive upper-income tax cuts to improve the economy and it worked about as well as trying to fly a cinder-block blimp. As with trying to fly a brick, things go downhill fast and hit bottom hard: The country goes from a surplus to a defect, millions of jobs are lost, and the rich have ever more of the wealth of the country (Something that is a complete surprise to the right wing, I'm sure.). The only conclusions are that this rationalization is demonstrably false and anybody who argues otherwise is either willfully ignorant or lacks a simple understanding of cause and effect. It isn’t that tax breaks for the rich never create jobs, but in a situation where taxes on the rich are at an all-time low, additional cuts are simply handouts to the rich.
- Tax breaks actually increase revenue.
I have no clue who originally propagated this right wing meme, but they obviously need to attend an entry level economics course. While some targeted tax breaks will increase the economy and have feedback effects (EX. Reducing the taxes on the middle/lower classes during an economic downturn in order to increase buying power of consumers in the market), simply cutting taxes on the rich at a time of record outsourcing and globalization is simply ineffective. Money either pools at the top or is sent to China where labor is far less expensive. For a party that is supposed to be good at business strategy, and has access to a wealth of data on the economic effects of policy in the last decade, the Republicans must know that this assertion is, at best, a way to donate money to the poor workers in China.
- By lowering base tax rates on corporations, we can get them to pay more taxes because they won't use loopholes.
Corporations and the rich often don't pay their full tax burden, as dictated by their base tax rate, due to large numbers of tax credits, loopholes, and exemptions. Republicans will say that by reducing base tax rates as a percent, we can decrease the use of loopholes by the rich/corporations. People fail to see that the right wing is essentially saying: "Not only do corporations not pay their share, which we have been quickly reducing, but we should try to get them to pay what they should through the reduction of what they are expected to pay." Those unfortunate corporations, which are apparently only barely scraping by, need to have the tax burdens reduced on them so they will be enticed to pay their fair share. Can you imagine what would happen if the police said "Why don't we just legalize theft of property under a certain value because it would lower the crime rate."? You don't entice corporations to pay their share by reducing the amount of money they are expected to pay, just as you don't reduce crime by lowering the bar on what is socially acceptable behavior. This argument is so ridiculous on its face that it reveals the true mindset of the Republicans: They don't want the rich and corporations to pay taxes; rather they want the poor to shoulder the burden.
Even with its blatant errors and logical fallacies, I'm certain that the "pro job creator" stances of the Republicans can be explained by sound logic; not the fact that the "job creators" happen to give them massive amounts of money. I mean come on, most politicians are simply public servants who work to help their constituents, not enrich themselves and the rich donors who support them.
The Sarcastic Liberal