Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A different angle

Most of the attention given to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R, WI) budget proposal has been focused on his plan to turn Medicare into yet another subsidy for health insurers.  (Why are Rebuplicans so sure that Americans like health insurers more than gummint bureaucrats?  Seems to me that if there is one group below bureaucrats in the popularity scale, it's health-insurance people.)

I'd like to focus on another aspect of the proposal:  Ryan wants to reduce the top corporate and personal income tax rates to 25%.  That's because, as we all know, the rich and powerful don't get enough reward for what they do.  Remember, these are The Folks Who Brought You the Great Recession.

What's really interesting is that Ryan and his ilk reason that slashing the top rates will encourage economic activity and so there will be no net loss of tax revenue (although even more of it will come from people at the bottom end of the income curve).  In fact, they argue that net tax revenues will actually increase.

Think of the implications:  Slash the top tax rate to zero and what would we have?  So much tax revenue that we'd be able to pay for every imaginable government program (well, at least for huge DOD cost overruns, subsidies for corporate farmers and other assorted boondoggles).  Indeed, the government would be taking in so much money that we'd have to RAISE taxes to CUT government revenues, before government has ALL the money!

As you no doubt recall (those of you over 30 anyway), this is the same crock that the supply-siders sold in the 1980's.  It was discredited then and it's still dreck.  Yet the Republicans, shameless as ever, go on peddling it.  Clearly, we need not only to slay this idea--and all of the junk that the Rebuplicans are trying to put over on us--but to drive a huge wooden stake through its heart.

Now, what are we going to have to do to get what passes for mainstream media to see this?


Christopher Gagnon said...

Instead of asking Paul Ryan how credulous he thinks the American people are, the corporate media has lauded him during interviews as some type of intellectual visionary. You are correct, sir, in calling this atrocity out for what it so clearly is: an attempted extension of the neoliberal economic policies that would have us believe the (now) conventional wisdom that tax cuts increase revenue. This policy, despite the famous “evidence” provided by Arthur Laffer in the eighties, has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster for all but the most wealthy, and has contributed to the now almost historical class inequality we are experiencing.

More of the same is not visionary, intellectual, nor courageous. Supply-side is crackpot economics - twice completely discredited - and is the antithesis of anything Adam Smith alluded to in either his “Wealth of Nations” or his “Theory of Moral Sentiments” (the book conservatives routinely ignore).

Despite the continual media assault of Frank Luntz talking points, we DO have a revenue problem; no matter how many times these conservabots try to tell us we do not.

What would I love to hear in an interview with Ryan? “So, Mr. Ryan, how stupid do you think the American people would have to be to nod their heads like sheep in agreement with your overtly moronic budget scheme?” Or, “So when you completely suck the lower- and middle-class dry to stuff the pockets of the already fabulously wealthy, where will you get even more money to feed your seemingly insatiable appetite?”

The $13+ trillion TARP wasn’t enough. So how much is?

The Old New Englander said...

you know, I really hate comments from people who are smarter than I am