It’s becoming increasing obvious that there are severe fractures within the Republican Party. It started with the Primaries, went through the election; then the wailing and hand wringing; then some sober reflection; then the mutiny against Grover Norquist’s ‘No Tax Increases’ Pledge. And now Bruce Bartlett, Republican adviser to Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Ron Paul, to name a few, calls the Tea Party ‘No Tax’ radicals ‘crazies’.
As he states it very simply, spending is not the only issue, revenue is also the – perhaps bigger – issue. Our problem is that revenue has not kept up with spending and the Right Wing Republican plan that if you cut all the spending, revenues will somehow magically rise is absurd. There are without doubt many programs that can be trimmed, but the Government still has to operate, and with the Baby Boom generation retiring, Medicare expenses and Social Security are going to bear the brunt.
The real truth is that the Bush Tax Cuts – that began in 2001 – have cost the country more than the auto bailout, two wars, the TARP bailouts, the economic downturn and the Fanny and Freddie debacle, combined. By cutting revenue and continuing to spend on the things we needed to, Bush managed to virtually bankrupt the country. Now I know that there are going to be a whole bunch of Republicans going crazy right about now, but there is not just one side to the story. John Boehner and his magic chart just showed spending, it did not show the massive decrease in revenue created by the Bush Tax Cuts that has driven the debt through the roof. Tax cuts have not created the so-called increase in consumer spending that Republicans keep saying. It has created a huge division in this country, with the rich getting richer and the rest of the 98% getting poorer. Wages have not risen and so effectively people actually get paid less and work more hours than they did before the Bush Tax Cuts.
During the Clinton presidency, tax rates were higher, up to 35% for the top 2% and low and behold, by the time George W Bush came into office there was a massive surplus, which he happily spent, leaving the piggy bank empty and a huge debt for President Obama to clear up. Do not forget that the Bank failures and TARP discussions took place before Dubya left office.
Revenue should at the very least equal spending. It’s simple math that we as working people trying to earn a living have to adhere to in order to pay the bills. There is nothing complicated about that, so for John Boehner and the ‘No Tax Increases Ever’ brigade to keep talking about cutting spending everywhere and then being really vague about blocking loopholes in the tax code over ten years is just dumb. Didn’t they go to school and learn the simple 2+2=4?
As Bruce Bartlett put it, taxes have to rise as it is the only income available to the Government and the only way, with spending cuts, to clear the deficit (http://yhoo.it/12pJKbK).
That’s what Clinton did and what President Obama is trying to do. None of this is rocket science, but it is all about political posturing and taking care of the Billionaires who are going to finance the elections in two years, and no Republican wants to crack the Golden Egg and get fired by the billionaires as a consequence.
IMPOSTER: How George W Bush Bankrupted America and betrayed the Reagan Legacy, by Bruce Bartlett amazon.com http://amzn.to/VFseLg