Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Republican Lies

Exceptional information from Fred Hiatt today. He knows that the right wing is lying. It must be possible he's begun to read the news section of WaPo and has noticed his pets are losing the public. Wouldn't it be lovely if the war, unconstitutional government, subversion of public interest had made that happen? But no, it's taking money directly out of their pockets that makes the difference.

Having started with the premise that it might make sense to raise taxes on the rich -(now that you've recovered from your fainting spell and back to the text) - and in making that point, has to present this DFH information.

...as the costs of war mount, it's worth considering the arguments against paying for even a piece of them. Harmful to jobs and economic growth? Those who are lucky enough to have been asked to pay this extra tax constitute a minuscule fraction of American taxpayers, three-tenths of 1 percent. They would have had to ante up, on average, an additional $8,770 in taxes, according to calculations by Citizens for Tax Justice. As a result of the Bush tax cuts, this group has reaped an average savings of $126,690. Hard to see how asking these folks to give just a smidgen of that back, to finance the educations of those who might otherwise have no way of joining their ranks, would cripple the economy.

One particularly specious argument against this provision was that it would hammer small businesses that are the engine of economic growth, since many small businesses pay taxes at the individual income tax rate. House Republicans, inveighing against the measure, contended that it was a massive tax increase on small businesses because 82 percent of returns in this bracket contain small-business income.

As the Brookings Institution's William G. Gale showed in dispensing with this claim several years ago, only 1.3 percent of taxpayers with small-business income fell into the group taxed at the top marginal rate of 35 percent, which applies to incomes of more than $357,700. Furthermore, small-business earnings accounted for only one-third of income for taxpayers in that bracket. Especially at the highest income levels, these are not necessarily small-business owners but wealthy individuals who may do some consulting or real estate investing on the side.

These sorts of ad hoc tax hikes to finance ad hoc costs are not the optimal way to construct tax policy.

As usual, comments are derisive because all of us who knew how wrong the editorial section of WaPo was in supporting the right wing, and especially the war criminals, have known this and more - some of it by reading the news section.

E.g., this comment:

lensch wrote:
Sweden has alomost double the tax rate of the US and in 1995 - 2005 they had a higher per capita GDP growth. Spain has a 50% higher tax rate and 50% higher growth. Japan has a lower tax rate than the US and their growth was less tha half ours. The notion that higher tax inhibit growth is a myth.
5/27/2008 8:22:07 AM

and a little farther on (earlier):

wanderer3764 wrote:
Holy Smokes! Fed Hiatt just wrote that specious, ludicrous arguments are central to the rethuglican position on taxes!

Who knows, maybe he will come to understand that specious, ludicrous arguments are central to rethuglacan and WaPo arguments for why we are now in Iraq and why we must stay!
5/27/2008 6:49:38 AM

And of course, mine:

jocabel wrote:
The lowering of taxes on the rich has produced a dreadful economy, so arguing that increasing them would mean an end to healthy economy is not rational. Businesses and the wealthiest avoid taxes by many devices like depreciation on their purchases and personal use of business 'equipment' such as vehicles. That we can pay for the war that is creating huge profits for war profiteers by taxing some of those profits is kind of cute, but avoids the question of why not stop making idiots of ourselves and end the Pentagon's giveaway programs, and the biggest of those is the war.
5/27/2008 5:59:49 AM

Nice gesture, Fred Hiatt, you're beginning to see the light. I suspect, though, that having seen the voters rejecting the party of war criminals even in 'solidly Republican' districts, this gesture is appeasement. We all know that appeasement isn't tough, and will never win.

Facts have a liberal bias, and sometimes even the most resolutely ignorant have to admit to them, for whatever the reason.

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