Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich Explained

Austan Goolsbee (Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House) does a great job here explaining the difference between the Democratic and Republican tax plans:

I would have liked him to go more into detail, or mention that extending the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans is estimated to cost close to 700 billion in the first decade alone, and more after that. But still, this is very well done. It's brief, accurate and clear. The White House and the congressional Dem leadership should do much, much more of this, especially on economic and fiscal issues.

(Incidentally, the YouTube comments are pretty frightening. The internet factor undoubtedly increases the crackpot factor. But while there have always been zealots and idiots who feel that progressive taxation is theft, and even bigger crazies who feel that all taxation is theft, it's disturbing to hear such opinions so often, and with so little pushback.)

C&L has a little more, and The Washington Post provided the same information in this chart:

I've gone over most of this stuff in more depth in my plutocracy post, but let's not forget the massive increase in income inequity over the past 30 years, nor the bad faith and rank hypocrisy of conservative deficit hawks.

All this is why it's unconscionable that the Democrats chose to adjourn without taking a vote on the middle class tax cuts. Despite it being good policy, and good politics, they didn't. I can only conclude it was a mix of gutlessness and corruption. Currently, we have one party, the Republicans, who are unabashedly, recklessly, nihilistically plutocratic, and another party, the Democrats, who are partially so. However, while the Democrats are disappointing, we've seen the dire effects of Reaganomics over the past 30 years, and the reckless Reaganomics of the Bush era created "the worst [decade] for the U.S. economy in modern times."

Apart from a few apostates, Republican politicians split into two camps. Camp One believes in funneling money to the rich, railing against spending and the deficit in Washington, and hypocritically taking credit for government largesse in their home states. Camp Two believes in funneling money to the rich, railing against spending and the deficit in Washington, but also actually believes in destroying the social safety net and other essential government programs. In other words, they're all plutocrats (or plutocrat suck-ups), and they're all reckless and nihilistic. However, they vary somewhat in their level of evil and crazy. Eric Cantor and most of the GOP leadership falls in Camp One, while dishonest Randian zealot Paul Ryan falls in Camp Two. The tea party rank and file, most of whom aren't that bright or honest, mostly fall into Camp One. They say they want to slash government programs, but they don't really want the ones that benefit them touched. The tea party political candidates and master puppeteers (Dick Armey and the rest) mostly fall into Camp Two. The candidates are primarily sincerely crazy zealots, while Armey and his fellow wealthy "men of the people" are pure, conniving, I'll-screw-my-country-over-for-a-buck evil.

Bernie Sanders and some other members of the Democratic caucus understand all this. It's ridiculous that all of them don't, and aren't fighting back against it – but then, it's utterly disgraceful that the conservatives (the Blue Dogs and the entire Republican Party) favor policies that screw over 80% of their own constituents. I've said it before, but if both parties merely competitively pandered to the middle class, America would be in immensely better shape.

In any case, I hope Goolsbee and the White House continue with these videos. They should have started months or years ago, frankly. The Democrats have essentially ceded the ground on these economic issues for decades (as Digby's often noted), and accepted the dangerous lie that Reaganomics have benefited America as a whole. But well done on this video. This sort of thing is much needed, so keep them coming.


1 comment:

watchdog said...

believes in scientists creating mice with human brains

So she thinks Pinky and the Brain are real?