Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Um...Who's Being Obstructionist?

I'll give you three guesses, none of which will be needed (emphasis mine):

Democrats say they'll let all the Bush-era tax cuts expire if they can't raise taxes on the rich. Apparently, economic catastrophe is a reasonable price to pay for class warfare politics.

On Monday, Sen. Patty Murray, who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said that "unless Republicans end their commitment to protecting the rich above all else, our country is going to have to face the consequences of Republican intransigence."

What she really means is Democratic intransigence.

After all, Republicans have taken the perfectly reasonable position that the last thing you want to do when the economy is barely breathing is raise taxes.

Obama himself once made that argument, at a time when the economy was doing better than it is today. And a few level-headed Senate Democrats agree.

Yet now, faced with a tough re-election and desperate to score political points, Obama says he'll veto any bill that extends all the Bush tax cuts, and Democrats, as evidenced by Murray's comments, are falling in line.

Should Obama make good on this threat, the risks to the economy would be enormous. Tax rates on everyone would climb back to Clinton-era levels, which translates into a tax hike of roughly $150 billion next year alone.

And that, in turn, will cut economic growth by as much as 3% next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and quite possibly plunge the country back into another recession.

Democrats claim this threat is worth it to make Republicans toe the line. After all, raising taxes on the rich is all about fairness and fiscal responsibility.

But in reality, it has nothing do with either.

Today, the top 1% of income earners pays 37% of all federal income taxes, far more than their 17% share of the nation's income. The bottom half, meanwhile, pays just 2% of all income taxes, although they account for 13% of the nation's income, according to IRS data.

What's more, the share paid by the rich is higher today than it was when Bush took office, when it was 34%.

How is this not fair?

And while Obama claims that the nation "can't afford" Bush's cuts for the rich, and that these "are a major driver of our deficit," that, too, is poppycock.

The most "expensive" parts of the Bush tax cut — to use the misleading Washington parlance — were those benefitting the middle class, which accounted for the vast bulk of the Bush tax package.

And raising the top two tax brackets to Clinton-era levels — as Obama proposes — will do nothing to ameliorate the nation's ongoing fiscal crisis. At best, it would trim the 10-year deficit by a mere 8%, and that's assuming the rich don't take steps to avoid the higher taxes.

What Obama's tax plan will do — by his own admission — is hit some 900,000 small businesses with a tax hike, cutting their ability to invest, grow and hire.

In other words, Obama and his Democratic allies are pointing a gun at the economy and threatening to pull the trigger unless they get a tax hike that will itself hurt economic growth. All in an attempt to portray Republicans as the party of the rich.

So much for hope and change.


In completely unrelated news, more Americans are now going on disability (i.e. yet another government welfare program) than are getting jobs.

Obamanomics in action.

PS - no, I don't think everyone who is on disability is a government leech.  It's a fine and worthy program...BUT...we need to be extremely careful of who gets on it.  I've read reports more than once suspecting (though I haven't seen it actually proven yet) that when the 99 weeks of unemployment 'insurance' runs out, government bureaucrats generally put people onto disability to keep them on the government dime even if they're not actually disabled.  That is inexcusable.

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