I have been trying to understand how this debate about the economy as it relates to spending and tax cuts. I listen to Democrats and Republicans argue about this on Sunday morning talk shows yesterday. One of the main issues seems to be the tax cuts for the wealthy that were done by President Bush. Republicans feel like having these tax cuts repealed would be bad for the economy because those are the people that create jobs in America. Democrats and some economists say we should let the cuts expire because they are not paid for so they are just as bad for the deficit as spending. That’s the basic argument without all the big technical words.
First of all, I am not one of those people who believe the rich should pay a higher percentage of their money than anyone else. You shouldn’t have to put in a higher share than anyone else because you are financially successful. I say everyone should have to pay the same percentage. Rich folks would end up giving more because they have more but it would still be the same percentage as people like me so everyone is making the same sacrifice and no one thinks the other side is getting over. I would be on board for something like that since the deficit is as bad as it is and we have two wars to pay for. Once we pay off a few of those loans from other countries and bring the troops home then we can talk about cutting everything again.
The second thing is I find it funny that so many of us want to accuse people of being less American if they think government should help people but think it’s okay that so many people have to depend on the decisions of a private citizen or corporation to determine their faith. What I get out of this debate is “If we don’t take care of the rich they will not do anything to hire you.” Unless you are the CEO or the chairman of the board you are still dependent on someone other than yourself. Every morning people get up hoping that some foreign country or computer program hasn’t shown the powers that be a way to do what you get paid to do for half of the cost. That’s why we have self checkout machines in the stores and the kids play with toys made in China. At least with the government having some say so you can keep voting and hope to get it right. If the private sector is going to decide the faith of the country with no regulation and paying no taxes at all we can’t do a damn thing if they decide to take all that money and keep it in their pocket. Let’s be honest for a minute. If someone gave the majority of us a check for ten thousand dollars and didn’t say we had to spend at least three thousand on other people would we? The answer is no so whether we give tax cuts to businesses or people, it won’t make a difference unless you put some stipulations to it.
The third thing is the one question I don’t hear anyone asking. If the tax cuts are supposed to spur economic growth, why are we in a recession now when the rich haven’t been paying these taxes since 2001? Shouldn’t unemployment be at 5% or lower if low taxes and less regulation was the key? I’m a fair minded guy and if President Obama would have taken office with a surplus, eliminated the tax cuts and things fell apart, I would be the first one to say that was a dumb ass policy but that’s not what happened. The economy finally fell apart in 2008 largely in part to the greed of the same people who weren’t paying these taxes for seven years already. How is that going to change all of a sudden? If you did the same thing with your money for this long without a positive result you would be bankrupt. That’s where we are going to be if both parties don’t start dealing with reality.