Letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich lapse won't affect jobs.
The Bush tax cuts are about to lapse. The GOP would like to see them extended; the DFL would like to continue those for the middle class, but they will probably agree to a short extension so as not to worsen the recovery.
Republicans have pretty much convinced the general public that increasing taxes on the rich will decrease the amount of jobs. Well, business is not in the business of creating jobs in the first place. They want to cut their overhead as much as possible, which is why they’re anti-union, anti-minimum wage etc. If you’ve talked to a computer tech lately, you know about the outsourcing thing. They would rather drive their customers crazy than hire an American for a few cents more. How much difference can there be? Much of what these MBAs do is counterproductive. Why lay people off at the first sign of recession? What you’re doing is laying off your own customers. Automobile workers who were making thirty dollars an hour were spending that money on new cars, homes, clothes and other consumer goods. Part of the reason America was booming was because of well-paying jobs in the auto industry. Before you lay off your customers, you might want to cut dividends, cut executive pay, bonuses, do away with golden parachutes etc. Especially cut those dividends.
The GOP insists the stimulus package isn’t working, but at least sixteen new companies making batteries for electric cars are hiring in Michigan. If electric cars take off, we’ve got another boom on our hands, and we’ve also got a lesser impact on the environment. Meanwhile unemployment lags at 9.5% because corporations are not hiring, preferring to modernize machinery instead. Is this the nineteenth century? Luddites destroyed machines because they were afraid they'd take their jobs. Is GMC now making a profit because they cut their work force and got rid of expensive union contracts, pensions and health insurance or are they actually selling cars? Somehow I doubt it. Where will the customers come from?
We’re also talking international companies that the GOP wants to give a tax break. Their loyalty is to the company, not the country. When a company like Enron cheats, do you really believe they’re the only ones? And how did Halliburton get that no-bid contract in Iraq? Somebody should be watching Dick Cheney’s bank account and his stock portfolio.
Just exactly how much tax do the rich pay anyway? They hire people like tax lawyer Michelle Bachmann, 6th District Congresswoman and Fox News commentator from Minnesota, to make sure they pay as little tax as possible. Most of us can’t afford a lawyer; most of can’t even afford a CPA. Why not just pay your taxes rather than give it to a land shark like Bachmann?
Then there’s the matter of infrastructure, schools, a good work force, and health care facilities. Those things are just as important to business as low taxes, if not more. Smart CEOs look just as closely at those matters as they do taxes.
I’m retired now, but when I was working I never looked at how much money was deducted from my pay check for taxes. I was only interested in how much I had to spend. Besides, I was going to get some of it back again in the form of a refund anyway. I always loved to see that refund check. Essentially they were saving my money for me. Besides, now that I’m sixty-five I have a nice pension and pretty darn good health insurance, thanks to some of those taxes.
Come on, people. The GOP is selling you a bill of goods. There’s no evidence that lower taxes for the rich provide jobs. Does Paris Hilton provide jobs? Does the Wal-Mart heiress who hired another girl to write her college papers deserve a tax break? Well, she gets one too, you know, and I’ll bet she’s not giving half of her money away like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
One last thing. I live in Minnesota, home of the illustrious Tim Pawlenty (son of a union truck driver), and several years ago Jim Pohlad, owner of the Twins, and two hundred other businessmen published a full-page ad asking that their taxes be raised. Jim is the son of Carl Pohlad, who was pretty close with a nickel, and if his son says he’s not paying enough taxes, I’d listen, wouldn’t you? Not Pawlenty. His response was, “I’ll take your check.”
The United States pays very little in taxes. There are only a few industrialized countries with lower taxes than ours. If you live near a mega mall,you know how much foreigners love the absence of taxes on clothes in this country. The income tax is the fairest; property taxes probably the least fair. Well, the GOP has been on a cutting spree. They’ve been cutting aid to the cities, which means raising property taxes. Also less money for police, firemen, and schools.
Like Jim Pohlad and his 200 buddies, the rich should want to pay higher taxes, and they should let Republican governors know, rather than giving money to MoveBackward, the new Republican slush fund for corporate campaign money. The money to reduce the deficit has to come from someplace. The GOP says their plan for the economy will be published in September. Want to bet it includes cutting taxes? Part of the deficit includes that two trillion dollar loan the GOP put on the Chinese credit card instead of raising taxes to pay for the war in Iraq. And they've got the gall to criticize extending unemployment compensation without paying for it?
Dave Schwinghammer's published novel, SOLDIER'S GAP, is available at Amazon.com. Please, please, please read the reviews.