*The Republican Party has clearly established itself as the political tool of the rich. Its leaders forced a tax deal on President Obama Monday which will primarily benefit the top two percent of wealthiest families in America. Everyone else in the nation will get modest benefits or nothing at all.
The tax package will cost the nation nearly $900 billion over the next two years. The lion’s share of that money will go to families making $250,000 a year or more with those getting the most being families already earning at least $1 million annually.
How will the $900 billion be financed? Well, it will simply be added to the federal budget deficit! And, ultimately, who pays off the federal budget deficit? That’s right: Average tax payers like you and me. We will pay for the billions being given to the rich.
Thus, conservative Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu was right when she labeled the extension of Bush-era tax cuts for the rich “borderline immoral.” Landrieu explained, “We’re going to borrow $46 billion from the poor, from the middle class, from businesses of all sizes basically to give a tax cut to families in America, that despite the recession, are making over a million dollars.”
One can understand the Republicans. They are simply delivering to the wealthy patrons who financed their recent election victories. But why did a liberal President Obama go along with this deal?
First of all, he was backed into a corner. Senator Mitch McConnell had threatened that Republicans would block all other legislation, including an extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed, if the tax cuts for the rich were not extended. But instead of taking the Republican threat as a challenge, President Obama came out of the corner, not swinging, but caving in.
Yes, the deal included a few benefits for the middle class like the one-year reduction in the social security payroll tax and a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits but overall what took place Monday was a victory for the rich and their Republican representatives in the Senate.
Progressive Democrats are outraged. And they should be. We can only hope they succeed in blocking the deal. It is time we put an end to this myth concocted by the wealthy and the greedy that the only way the American economy can be stimulated is by giving the rich more money.
Political strategist Robert Cramer has written an excellent article which shows that tax cuts for the rich do not help the rest of us. He concludes: “Just because you repeat something over and over doesn’t make it true. In fact, there is a body of empirical, historical evidence that proves clearly that tax cuts for the rich not only do nothing to spur economic growth — they actually do substantial damage to the prospects for economic growth.” [See: Economic History Shows Clearly That Tax Cuts for Rich Hurt the Economy ]
Despite President Obama’s assurances, the deal he reached with the Republicans will not stimulate the economy. It will only make the rich richer and put the rest of us deeper in debt.
There will be shame on the Republicans for pushing a proposal which only benefits the wealthy and the greedy and shame on President Obama for not having courage to fight it.