David Atkins has an article over at digby’s place that praises the Democratic plan which would not only extend the payroll tax cut but which would increase it from 2% to 3.1% and would extend it to employers as well. It would be “paid for” by taxing incomes over $1 million at 3.25% and would therefore be “revenue neutral.”
We are so in love with this “tax the rich” that we don’t even want to pay for our own retirement. We want “the rich” to put up the money that we will live on after we become too old to work for a living.
In any case, when you are deep in debt and there are no jobs available, taking money out of your left pocket and putting into your right pocket does nothing to help you. Lowering taxes on one group while raising taxes on another is not policy, it is pandering to get votes, because it doesn’t alter the economics of government one iota.
President Obama campaigned on criticism of Republicans for their policy of tax cuts, and the first major legislation he pressed for once in office was a “stimulus” which consisted in large part of tax cuts. Tax cuts as economic stimulus has been embraced by Republicans for decades and rejected by Democrats, economists, and most people of sanity, but Obama touted the tax cuts in the "stimulus” as some sort of major victory.
Since then he has continued to criticize Bush for cutting taxes, while at the same time extending the Bush tax cuts of which he is so critical and adding so many tax cuts of his own that I have lost count of them. In one speech he even bragged that he had made more tax cuts for more people than any president in history, and in that same speech referred to the Republicans “driving the car into the ditch” with tax cuts and spending.
Now, after more than a full year of bleating about “fiscal restraint” and “living within our means,” he wants to add yet more tax cuts. Why? Because it is reelection campaign time, and tax cuts will get him votes. It will get him votes because Americans don’t want good governance, they want tax cuts and they want to punish the rich.
Is this a great country, or what? American exceptionalism.