Republicans Support Tax Cuts Because They DON’T Help Most Americans

Creating jobs — especially good jobs — for the middle- and working class and providing economic relief for unemployed, debt-strapped, falling-into-poverty Americans is the last thing Republicans want to do. That’s why every single one of them voted against the House version of Pres. Obama’s economic stimulus package because only a third of it was tax cuts rather than all of it. That’s why Republicans are so gung-ho about tax cuts being the way to stimulate the economy and create jobs in the first place — because they aren’t.

Here is the reason for Republicans’ love affair with tax cuts:

The average tax rate paid by the richest 400 Americans fell by a third to 17.2 percent through the first six years of the Bush administration and their average income doubled to $263.3 million, new IRS data show.

The 17.2 percent tax rate in 2006 was the lowest since the IRS began tracking the 400 largest taxpayers in 1992, although the richest 400 Americans paid more tax on an inflation-adjusted basis than any year since 2000.

The drop from 2001’s tax rate of 22.9 percent was due largely to ex-President George W. Bush’s push to cut tax rates on most capital gains to 15 percent in 2003.

Capital gains made up 63 percent of the richest 400 Americans’ adjusted gross income in 2006, or a combined $66.1 billion, according to the data. In all, the 400 wealthiest Americans reported a combined $105.3 billion of adjusted gross income in 2006, the most recent year for which the IRS has data.

“The big explosion in income for this group is clearly on the capital gains side, although there are also sharp increases in dividend and interest income,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research in Washington.

In addition, “they are realizing more of their gains due to the lower tax rate,” Baker said.

What is harder to explain is the rank-and-file Republicans who support tax cuts even though they don’t benefit from them, and even more, become enraged when it is pointed out to them that the wealthy and the wealthier and the wealthiest are the ones who do benefit most from tax cuts:

I know a man, a man of a conservative bent, who gets downright irate anytime you use some variation or another of “tax cuts for the rich” in conversation. He can’t be taking it personally, I don’t suppose, since he isn’t rich and, as far as I can tell, he has no prospects for getting that way unless he happens to trip over a winning PowerBall ticket. So I guess you’d say he’s like Joe the Plumber and many millions more Americans who have very little, but want to make damned sure that they look after the interests of those who have everything.

People like this man are the reason I always giggle when I encounter political and economic theories that hinge on things like “rationality” and “informed self-interest.”

[…]

This man, best I can tell, regards “tax cuts for the rich” as some sort of evil liberal meme, no doubt crafted in a Satanic sex ceremony involving Jane Fonda in George Soros’ basement. So just to be clear, let’s snip some key facts – yes Virginia, there is such a thing as a fact – from the [Bloomberg] story:

  • “The average tax rate paid by the richest 400 Americans fell by a third to 17.2 percent through the first six years of the Bush administration”
  • “their average income doubled to $263.3 million”
  • Source: IRS data
  • “The 17.2 percent tax rate in 2006 was the lowest since the IRS began tracking the 400 largest taxpayers in 1992?
  • “The drop from 2001’s tax rate of 22.9 percent was due largely to ex-President George W. Bush’s push to cut tax rates on most capital gains to 15 percent in 2003?
  • “Capital gains made up 63 percent of the richest 400 Americans’ adjusted gross income in 2006, or a combined $66.1 billion”

If this man I know is reading, I’m sure he’s angry. And why not. As noted conservative TV pundit Stephen Colbert has noted, facts, reality, and even information itself have a well-known liberal bias.

And yes, I did read What’s the Matter With Kansas? But I still don’t get it.

3 Responses to “Republicans Support Tax Cuts Because They DON’T Help Most Americans”

  1. gcotharn says:

    Here, right or wrong, is what there is to understand:

    The Right believe the on-the-ground, hustling-for-profits private sector creates jobs far more effectively than a distant and not so hustling government. The Right believes in allowing middle and the top end taxpayers to keep more of their money and to get busy using that money to create more money. Jobs will be created, and thus new taxpayers will be created. Tax revenues will increase. Rightly or wrongly, the Right argues this is exactly what happened under JFK, Reagan, and GWB.

    Bonesparkle’s speculation that his “man of conservative bent” is interested “protecting those who have everything” misses the point. The conservative man, rightly or wrongly, believes tax cuts will help himself, his neighbors, and his nation. He believes tax cuts will alleviate human misery.

    It’s fair to say the Right has stupid policy opinions, and then to give reasons for believing this. It’s unfair to say, as many on the Left reflexively do say: the Right is motivated by meanness/greed/selfishness/sexism/racism/low IQ. Further, such reflexive accusations dull the Left’s ability to make effective argument in favor of their preferred policies.

    The Right have reasons for believing their policies are more compassionate and more effective than the Left’s policies. The Right believe democracy and free enterprise are the greatest systems yet invented for alleviating human misery.

  2. Kathy says:

    The Right believe the on-the-ground, hustling-for-profits private sector creates jobs far more effectively than a distant and not so hustling government.

    Actually, I know what the right believes. The point is, their beliefs are incorrect.

    The Right believes in allowing middle and the top end taxpayers to keep more of their money and to get busy using that money to create more money.

    But they don’t. And when they don’t, they aren’t asked to give the tax cuts back.

    Jobs will be created, and thus new taxpayers will be created. Tax revenues will increase. Rightly or wrongly, the Right argues this is exactly what happened under JFK, Reagan, and GWB.

    Again, I know what the right argues. I know the right thinks that jobs were created under Reagan and GWB. They are wrong.

    Point of fact: JFK was a Democrat, not a Republican.

    The Right have reasons for believing their policies are more compassionate and more effective than the Left’s policies.

    Yes, of course they have reasons. Their compassion is directed toward the wealthiest Americans, and tax cuts *are* very effective at making wealthy Americans even wealthier. They are not good at creating jobs, because wealthy Americans and corporations are not interested in creating jobs. They are interested in increasing their own wealth.

    The Right believe democracy and free enterprise are the greatest systems yet invented for alleviating human misery.

    Democracy is a political system. Free enterprise is an economic system. The two are not synonymous. Democracy can exist under more than one economic system. So, although i agree that democracy is a great system for alleviating human misery (when it’s a healthy democracy), that does not imply that free enterprise is the greatest system yet invented for alleviating human misery. And, as a matter of fact, when a free enterprise system is unregulated and not balanced with government action to correct its worst excesses, it adds to human misery rather than alleviating human misery.

  3. opit says:

    What, not having any truck with ‘Talking Points’ today ? Damned inconvenient that you won’t be bamboozled and brainwashed with bullshit. Aren’t you ashamed to be so inconsiderate ?
    BTW WTF is a ‘Leftist’ ? Think they really want people to know there are people in the world with opinions like this lady ?
    http://mollymew.blogspot.com/
    Who are the ubiquitous ‘they’ ? Sharp point that. I found one idea.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy
    Ah well. One opinionated feminist had a good chew on the spewers.
    http://pandagon.blogsome.com/2007/04/03/well-paid-assholes-with-opinions-versus-poorly-paid-assholes-with-opinions/

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