I’ve really tried to avoid broaching politics on this blog throughout most of this stupidity, but it’s hard to just completely ignore it. If you rightly don’t care about this whole clusterfuck of inanity because you, again rightly, understand that this whole mess is about the political parties trying to get (or keep) their man in office and not about helping the nation recover from its economic woes, then I completely understand if you just want to scroll on past this post.
I don’t want to write it.
But it’s bugging the shit out of me, so I have to get it out, like exorcising a demon. A demon of stupidity.
Let’s establish some facts:
Fact #1. The Obama proposal would increase taxes for .3% of ‘wage earners’, those making $1 million plus. The Republicans are right in saying that it won’t make a huge dent in the deficit. But why take it off the table? Add it in with other proposals for decreasing spending and it’s just one more tool in the toolbox.
Fact #2. The Obama proposal is called the “Buffett rule” because Warren Buffett, the third richest man in the world, wrote an Op-Ed piece saying that he and his fellow top .3 percenters should be paying more taxes. No one can deny that Buffett is a successful business man (much more than toupée model Donald Trump). He points out the huge discrepancy between the percentage he pays in taxes (15%) and what others in his office, not in the top .3%, paid (33-41%). How is it “Class Warfare” to ask the rich to pay the same tax rate as the not-rich? Is it because the super-rich are better than the rest of us and thus shouldn’t have to be subjugated to the same standards as the ruffians? I guess that makes sense, actually.
Also, if one of the most successful businessmen in the history of the world suggests that raising taxes on the super-wealthy would not only not be bad for business but would probably help the economy, doesn’t that strike you as a more reliable voice than the Republicans who argue that any increase in taxes would send American Businesses into free fall and we would enter a new dark age?
Fact #3: Mitch McConnell, Republican Minority Leader of the Senate, said that his party’s “single most important” job was to make sure Obama is a “a one-term president.” (The original interview is hidden behind a pay wall here). Does that strike anyone as odd? The Republican party’s main objective isn’t ensuring the stability of America in troubled times. It isn’t finding a way to work with the President for bipartisan solutions to our problems. Hell, it isn’t even protecting us from dem dere Muslim Terroists! It’s making sure Obama only lasts 4 years. How is that productive politics?
Granted, you may say, “Well, Obama’s policies are bad for America so we have to get rid of him.” Okay, except, like with most presidents, the true effects of Obama’s policies won’t really be known for years. Instead of assuming an Obama failure, shouldn’t a Republican leader’s goal be to find solutions, not just make sure Obama looks bad. Keep in mind, McConnell said this in fall of 2010. Obama hadn’t even been in office 2 full years yet.
Also, if McConnell isn’t speaking for his party, how come he’s still their Senate Leader?
Fact #4: Tax Rates are friggin’ low! You’ve heard it a million times but I’m saying it again, what we pay now is nothing compared to what people paid in the past. And business in America boomed during some of the highest taxation periods. Read all about it.
You know why I don’t mind paying taxes? Because it means I have a job. And it means roads are going to get repaired and public transportation is going to run and maybe long-term projects that would ultimately benefit the country will actually get completed. Saving more money for you and your family sounds noble and honorable, but really it’s just selfish and shortsighted. Taxes are an investment in the future stability of this country that you’re suppose to love so much (and that your kids are gonna have to live in).
Yeah, sometimes tax money is misspent, sometimes it goes to projects you don’t support (or wars that I don’t support), but the best way to fix those problems is by electing officials that represent your interests and will ferret out misconduct. This notion that we need a country without centralized government is asinine. Here, tell me how you think that’s going to work out.
Fact #5: Facts don’t mean shit. The reality is, Obama is not going to win this round, which probably means he isn’t going to win re-election. I’m disappointed by that fact because I like him and I agree with his policies, but it isn’t going to break my heart. What really worries me though is that we will probably get a Republican president who has no ideas for how to fix the country because their entire party mantra for 4 years has been, “Stop Obama,” not, “Fix America.”
I hate to break it to you, but increasing taxes is an absolute must. Bush’s brilliant strategy of fighting two wars while reducing taxes helped put us in a ridiculous deficit. Surprise, surprise, Obama hasn’t been able to immediately get us out of it.
Look at this graph (from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities):
You can call me a Liberal Class Warrior if you want, but I think raising taxes on millionaires is just fine. I think raising taxes on me is just fine. If it’s going to help out the country, I’ll be okay getting a smaller tax return (because, let’s be honest, I’m pretty close to the poverty line and so I get most of my taxes back each year).
And if you don’t want to “unfairly burden” the “Job Creators,” then tie their tax exemptions to how many people they hire in a year. If a business hires and retains an employee for at least six months in any given year, then they get a tax write off. This isn’t my area of expertise, but that seems like a pretty easy way to both maintain the tax level for business and encourage job creation.
I don’t know, I’m no tax expert and certainly not a businessman. But it seems to me, stupid politics is getting in the way of smart business these days, and the only class that’s being hurt are the ones the Republicans purportedly care so much about.