11/29/07

The GOP Debate and a Tax History Lesson
By: Mark W Adams


When Romney (Net Worth $190-250+ Million) said he wanted to throw something at the TV when John Edwards (NW "only" $29.5 Mil, a couple of million more than George W. Bush) talks of 2 Americas, this pompous ass who was born to unfathomable wealth states that Edwards, who earned every dime, and the rest of the Democrats are trying to divide America when in actuality Edwards' goal is to bridge the divide that already exists. Romney would have you believe there is no divide, and that he is a man of the people, just regular folk who happen to be among the elite 1% of the filthy rich.

And people are buying this?

At least Edwards admits that it's a lot different for people with Tens of millions in the bank than the average citizen who has a net worth less than six figures. Romney wants you to believe that someone with Hundreds of Millions, most of which was handed to him, is no different than you or I in their perspective and priorities.

Hogwash. The game is rigged. Edwards is pointing out the obvious, and Romney is either deluded or trying to delude you. If you buy that BS, shame on you.

Tickle-down economics and the attitude that deficits don't matter are at the core of the doublespeak enshrined in the Republican mantra. These are lies.

When asked about the trouble social security might be in due to the trillion of dollars the government has taken from the fund, the GOP candidates, all of them, cry about the entitlements of social security and medicare and cutting waste here and earmarks there. What they never, ever, ever address (except Ron Paul) is that just the interest on the colossal debt -- the "third" entitlement -- will overtake both of those successful and otherwise fully funded social programs in short order. Yet it's Hillary they attack, who can rightfully be associated with the first surplus since Andrew Jackson, the first chance to reduce the debt's principle. Outrageous!

And their solution? Cut taxes even more, during war, two wars, while the dollar itself is systematically deflated. Wow, just wow.

Since Ronald Reagan took his last nap in the White House Situation Room, we've been fighting over a marginal difference in tax rates of about 12 points, give or take. That's all. Twelve lousy percentage point are the cause of all the demonization and hyperbole that warrant the GOP calling Democrats commies and us self-righteous liberals justify painting conservatives as heartless fascists. (Okay, there are other reasons they are a bunch of hate-mongering thieves, but let's stick to taxes for now.)

Back in Eisenhower's day the top bracket paid 90 frickin per-cent! Now the top pays what? 35%? Less since that rate doesn't apply to the first $175,000 you earn. Hedge fund managers paying only 15% are fighting to keep that loophole alive, and they want even more tax cuts. Puh-Leeze.

Bush the Elder agreed to raise the top bracket a measly 2%, but more than doubled the amount you could make before you paid the highest amount, which sounds fair -- and you would've thought the world ended. Clinton raised the top bracket another 8.6% and we've never heard the end of it. But you could make a quarter mill before that kicked in. Shrubster cut the Clinton hike in half, and the high bracket threshold by a hundred grand, but they want more cuts -- while a war's going on for Pete's sake.

When we're talking about rolling back the Bush tax cuts, we're only talking about charging people making over $250,000/year an extra 4.6% of their additional income ABOVE that quarter of a million greenbacks. These GOPers want you to think that's highway robbery, and the Democrats have you believing that they're Robin Hood. Folks, it's a nickel extra on those extra dollars, that's all.

Yet According to Hillary, and all the Republicans (except Ron Paul, as usual) we're in some kind of existential struggle that rivals the threats we withstood from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. But back then, when WWI started for us, we raised taxes on people making over TWO Million bucks a year from 15% to 67, eventually taxing mere Millionaires 77% by the war's end. Taxes on income above and beyond 100 grand were down to 24% by 1929, and we know how that worked out. FDR got us out of The Depression by taking 63% of income earned above a million dollars and raised it to 80% if you made over 5 million (and back in the Forties, $5 million was real money).

We paid for WWII, funded Social Security's upstart and created the GI Bill, which allowed the Greatest Generation to become the Greatest Parents by lowering the high bracket down to $200,000 and raising the rate to 91% -- which is admittedly ridiculous. The high bracket doubled to 400K by the time Everybody Liked Ike, who left the 91% rate alone. That's high folks. Really high. Especially for a Republican.

Happy Days!

Then came that great Tax and Spender, LBJ presided over drop in the rate to the mid 70%'s which Nixon dropped a couple more points. Between a depleted revenue stream and the cost of the Vietnam war coming due, no wonder Ford and Carter had such trouble with the economy, neither of whom touched the tax rates. That happens when you cut taxes during a war. The next administration inherits a cluster-phuque.

Reagan of course pulled the rug out from under the tax code, dropping the top rate to 50%, then to 38%, and 28% in his last year -- while RAISING the marginal rate by two points on the POOREST tax payers from 11% to 15%. Dickhead! but to the Grover Norquists of the world, he's a god for cutting the top rate by more than half. The mega rich hadn't had it so good since Hoover.

And yes, spending is just as big a problem as wingnut "wealthfare," but the ultimate sacred cow, the one thing they never, ever, ever even contemplate is cutting the military, the single biggest budget item of all, and they won't even consider doing anything but make it even bigger. The waste, fraud, corruption, no-bid, lost and unaccounted Billions the black-hole of the Pentagon has flushed down their ten thousand dollar toilets is beyond redemption.

Why aren't any of the Congressional GOP leaders or the GOP presidential candidates agreeing with Pat Buchanan (of all people) who ask why we still have so many thousands of service men and women in Europe 60 years after WWII and the Cold War a memory of another decade? Europe is bigger and more wealthy than us, and doesn't face a Soviet enemy any more. Why are we borrowing money from the Europeans to pay for their protection? WTF? We're deploying multi-Billion Dollar missile defense systems, deploying them as if they actually work. WTF? We got 30,000 soldiers guarding S.Korea, who certainly are well off enough to hire Blackwater if necessary, from a country half it's size, a fraction of it's worth, that is starving. WTF? Have our guys guard our own border, not theirs.

3 Comments:

SensorG said...

Wow - Great commentary!

shep said...

How self-professed, little-guy "fiscal conservatives" still support Republicans will be the stuff of musical-comedy in the future...assuming there is one.

BTW, did you see the kos poll where Edwards stomped the Democratic field..?!

Mark W Adams said...

Which one Shep? He's won every KOS poll since last December.

Did you catch Olbermann tonight? Best Countdown ever! Trashing Rudy, Edwards as a guest, Naomi Klein explains disaster capitalism, McCain makes the worst person list for calling Ron Paul a Hitler enabler. All good.