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Let them eat (less) cake August 2, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Economy, Greed, Politics.
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We all should brace for a bigtime spittle eruption from the folks down in D.C. who view their job as an elected official as little more than to pose as a guardian of privilege. On deck is a fight over whether to extend a whole bunch of tax cuts enacted back in the good old days circa 2001 and 2003.

The Privilege Party will go to bat against the President’s plan to retain most of the reductions, but allow rate cuts to expire for people with incomes in excess of $200,000 or families making more than $250,000 a year. I found this Washington Post primer to be quite helpful, particularly as it addresses some of the myths the Privilege Party will soon begin to trot out. And the PP includes folks Red and Blue. Here’s the nut of what Obama and others of both stripes are targeting as a middle road:

The cuts lowered tax rates across the board on income, dividends and capital gains; eventually eliminated the estate tax; further lowered burdens on married couples, parents and the working poor; and increased tax credits for education and retirement savings. Obama’s proposal would extend most of these reductions, allowing only those for individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000 to expire.

I urge you to read through the whole thing and then wander around and try to vet any factual statements you wonder about and then tune in to some of the discussions going on out there on this question.

Because this is the first big choice on the table if you really want to start to whittle down that federal budget deficit. There is spending to trim, of course, much of it wheedled into the tax code and other repositories to subsidize folks like the oil industry by keeping the real costs of fossil fuels artificially low.

A thought I hope you keep in mind: These lower tax rates for capital gains, massive estates and the top 2 percent of wage earners have done nothing in the last 18 months to trigger lending to small business by the banks we bailed out, motivate investment, hiring or innovation by corporations now back in business with 20%-25% margins built on huge productivity gains squeezed out of a fearful labor force, or any type of  economy-building activity that I can see.

Perhaps a higher tax bill for the occupants of the Gravy Train right now would provide for our esteemed “private-sector leadership” what appears to be a very much needed kick in the ass.

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