Contributors

Showing posts with label Tax cut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tax cut. Show all posts

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lame Ducks (In Every Sense of the Word)

The lame duck Congress reconvenes this week and the Democrats will have their curtain call. Anyone out there think they will do anything worthwhile?

I don't.

In fact, I think they will do their usual pussy dance and cower in fear of the now much further right GOP. They could repeal "Don't ask, don't tell" but they won't because people like John McCain, who said we would repeal the law if the generals gave the OK, has now gone back on that because he wants to stay in good graces with the anti gay crowd on the right. The Democrats will follow suit and, even though 70 percent of the country favors repeal, give in (once again) to the very vocal and VERY bigoted minority. (side rant: This would be a classic example of how the minority wins time and again for those of you who have wondered. It's related to spinal muscular atrophy.) The Democrats could do something on immigration or energy. But they won't. Again, their complete lack of spine will send them cowering in fear in the face of the likes of the Koch brothers. But these issues aren't even the worst transgression. That trophy belongs to the Bush tax cuts.

I think we can all agree that making all the tax cuts (save for the top 2 percent of nation's earners) permanent is a good thing. It is my view that the middle class drives this economy and letting their tax cuts expire in a recession is a monumentally stupid thing.

But the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of this country should expire. Why? First, they aren't going to end up paying those taxes anyway because they will move their money around and pay less due to the simple fact that they can afford teams of lawyers and accountants. Second, the MYTH that the less the rich are taxed the more they invest in the economy has been completely torpedoed. They don't invest in shit except derivatives and hedge funds that simply make them more money. Third, they will make the deficit much worse. Cry all you want about spending but until you show me where you are going to stand up and make cuts, we are going to need more revenue. We'll need it anyway.

Finally, they should pay more because they are wealthy.

Now, I know all of you charity-to-the-wealthy lovers just had an epileptic seizure and began to foam at the mouth about redistribution of wealth/socialism/guns/statism blah blah blah. And I know how offensive it is to ask criminals, who risk our money-not theirs, to part with their ill gotten millions. But one of the men that you tout as being an authority on how markets should be run has said as much. That man's name is Adam Smith.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Mr. Smith, he wrote a masterpiece on free market economics called The Wealth of Nations (1776). The basic gist of his treatise is that there should be as little government interference in the market and "the invisible hand" should be allowed to work its magic. This invisible hand is roughly defined as men acting in their own self interest will unknowingly serve the interests of other, less fortunate members of society.

Setting aside the fact (which many libertarians and right wingers conveniently ignore) that the terms "economics" and "capitalism" weren't in use at the time of his writing, those who tout Smith completely fail to point out this line from the piece.

The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.

Or this one.

The rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

Or this one (especially dedicated to those of you who howl at me about your money being taken by the butt of a gun)

Every tax, however, is, to the person who pays it, a badge, not of slavery, but of liberty. It denotes that he is the subject of government;,indeed but that, as he has some property, he cannot himself be the property of a master.

In other words, progressive taxes are fair, honest, and what work best. Bear in mind that Smith saw all this from a society that was a dominated by feudalism. I wonder what he would think of out little plutonomy today given the similarities....hmmm....

Anyway, the Democrats, in light of these obvious truths, should draw a line in the sand (like the right always does and invariably succeeds) and tell the minority for the next 6 weeks to pound salt up their ass. Bring a vote to the floor for the middle class tax cuts only and, if the GOP has an eight year old boy temper tantrum, let them try to explain to the American people, upon taking over in January 2011, how they let all the tax cuts expire. In other words, play HARDBALL like the right does all the time. Democrats should send a two word message to the GOP in this lame duck session.

"Fuck" and "Off."