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Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011
The Party of Fiscal Responsibility?
And what do we already see will be the result of all these cuts? Hospitals closing, schools closing, tens of thousands out of their jobs, no funduing for public broadcasting (the Right has to LOVE that one!) and the list goes on, and on, and on.
And for all that pain? We're not even HALFWAY to a balanced budget? You gotta be fucking kidding me!
And do you know what's not on the table? RAISING TAXES. Of course. And there cannot be one person anywhere in the world with two brain cells to bounce together who thinks you can balance the budget on spending cuts alone. But... this was the Republican's plan all along! And Speaker Boehner can cry "We're broke!" all he wants, that doesn't make it true. We're not broke. That's a bald-faced lie. We're in the RED, yes. And that's not good, long-term. (Although that being the case one has to wonder why the Republicans PUT US in the red every single one of the last 20 years in a row when they held the White House!) But see... they don't want to raise taxes for two reasons and two reasons only, and neither of them has ANYTHING to do with harming the economy, or creating jobs - botho fwhich are pretty much bullshit. In fact the same economic model that gives their tax-cut multipliers? (That would be KEYNES.) Demonstrates that spending changes have a larger effect! (IOW: Those spending cuts will do more harm to the economy than the same level of tax increase. So says the model that gives them the tax-cut multiplier!) And I'm not going to debate that here, but it's a bullshit, nonsense point anyway. If you want the details, email me or take a goddamned economics course.
The two reasons they don't want to raise taxes is:
1) The American public has grown so stupid and so greedy and so so shortsighted and lacks so much perspective that we're probably to the point where the fools WOULD actually lose their jobs if they did it. Not that I care about the Republicans losing their jobs, but the bulk of America has grown so spoiled that they just have no clue. No clue at all. I'll get to what I'd do with taxes in a moment, but the Right has dumbed down America so much, that it probably IS the political reality that raisign taxes is political suicide. Even though it's needed. Kind of like... REAL LEADERHSIP.
2) (And this is the important one) Raising taxes would LITERALLY FIX EVERYTHING. Seriously. And... they don't want that! They've been trying to kill these progams for DECADES and they have finally CREATED an environment where they can claim that we have to! (In some cases, IN ORDER TO SAVE THEM! Figure THAT ONE out!) But finally, after 30+ years of crippling our governments finances, they finally have enough people fooled into believing that these things have to go. (Persoanlly, I'd say these idiotic Republicans are the ones that have to go, but the people have spoken.) The LAST thing they want at this point is a solvent federal government!
Think about it: How many times have your heard one of these fools, Democrat or Republican, claim, "We just can't afford it anymore?" I hear it almost every day. And while they're right, from a certain point of view, it's utterly shocking why no one ever asked about raising taxes back to the levels they were at when the country and its finances were doing just fine! It's not like we've had these tax rates etched in stone since time immemoriam! GEORGE W. BUSH created the current tax table, less than a decade ago! And, at least for the past two years, Obama's lowered taxes EVEN MORE! It's hardly like were tapped here, folks! It's like we're dying of thirst sitting in our kitchen, and yet refuse to turn on the tap! It's psychotic! And if they wanted to lower taxes repsonsibly, all these many long years, they'd have cut the spending FIRST thus keeping the taxes6 cuts deficit neutral. But since the American people would never go for that, they had to plunge us into debt, creating this artificial crisis in order to confuse the public and get them on board! (And despite being 30 years in the making, with 20 of those years under Reagan, Bush and Bush, somehow this is all OBAMA'S fault!)
Now, I would like to take a look at some of the tax tables of recent past administrations, just to show you how "painful" (hah!) this would be. As two examples, I'm going to use a household that makes $500,000 per year and my own (approximate) household income. I'm not going to STATE my income, but I will be honest about what it would cost or save me if we were taxed at some of these older rates. If you can calculate my income from that information? Congratulations. You pass basic Algebra. And I'm also assuming that I don't have to explain to any of you how a MARGINAL SYSTEM OF TAXATION works. So if you don't know where I'm getting my figures, try wikipedia. One last thing, you can check my tax bracket info aginst the info available at the U.S. Tax Foundation, and my inflation calculatuions HERE. One last thing: It's worth noting that, starting in 1984, the tax brackets were adjusted each year for inflation automatically. I happen think this is a good thing, and would automatically adjust ALL fixed numbers in the tax code - including all maximums and minimums - the same way. So for simplicity's sake, I'm using the last year that the given rates were in effect.
The current tax table is a legacy of the Bush'43 administration:
(Sorry, these run over. If they were any smaller, you wouldn't be able to read them!)
Now, I will admit that Boehner & Co. may have a point when it comes to tax hikes. After all, check out the table that got George "Read My Lips" Bush voted out of office in 1992:
Now this will illustrate why the whole flat tax thing (and the arguments about top-tier rates) are utter bullshit. This tax table? Would cost me another $1089 over the Clinton table. (and $2845 over the current table.) That's right: Bill Clinton LOWERED my taxes! (Hint: It was those extra brackets!) Meanwhile, in all his generosity, Bush'41would give a $13,583 CUT to that family making $500K per year as compared to the Clinton table. (And $1250 less than than what his son's table taxes them at!) Talk about "rob from the poor and give to the rich!"
But how bad was that, anyway? Why'd he get voted out over that? Well... it was replacing this absurd tax table from Reagan's second term:
OK. Under this monstrosity, I'd be paying $3004 more than I'm paying now. (And $1249 more than the Clinton table!) Wait... I though Reagan was this great tax-cutter?! Well... he was, if you were rich enough to afford him: That family of $500K? Pays $4,872 less than they do now, and $17,205 less that they would owe under Clinton! The middle class gets soaked for 3-large, so that some making $500K can have an extra 17-GRAND?! What. the. fuck? I'm liking Geroge W. Buch better all the time! At least with him there was SOMETHING in it for me! As far as I'm concerned Reagan and Bush were a bunch of working-class-people-hating cock-munchers!
There is one thing, however, about Reagan that his current cult-following will not tell you about. In his first term, he actually signed a top tier tax rate of 50% into law. It was a CUT at the time but still, let me say that again: Ronald Reagn signed a 50% tax rate into law! And it was in place until 1986. Here's what it looked like:
I mentioned that this was actually a reduction, and I've gone so far recently as to call for pre-REAGAN tax rates. This was the last table under Carter:
But just for shits and giggles, under Carter, I'd owe $4355 more than I'd owe today. ($2600 more than with the Clinton table, and $1789 more than with the earlier Reagan table.) That's... a bit much, actually. I could still swing it, without changing my budget, or my retirement investments, but... there wouldn't be ANYTHIGN left for short-term savings or emergencies. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. So... yeah, bvioulsy that would eventually impact my budget. And thus I might just have to back off from my calls of Carter-levels of taxation, even if it would squeeze an extra $117,708 out of those rich bastards down the street, over what they'd owe now. (LOL!) As much as I'd love to seem them pay that... We're getting into T.E.A. territory for me with with what I'd owe. So, yeah, I'll admit this is excessive.
I'll bet you never thought you'd here me say this: BRING BACK THE REAGAN TAX TABLES!
(Just remember: I mean the 1982-1986 tables, not the 1987-1989 tables!)
What do my libral readers think? Time to revisit Reagan's great tax policy?