Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shouldn't Pretty Pictures make me feel better?


Take a look a the graph on the left and then in your best TalkingHead voice repeat after me: "Obama and the Democrats in Congress are bankrupting our nation with out of control spending."
Now giggle. There, feel better? No? How about if I tell you that the projections in the chart don't take into account the additional expenses of the new Medicare Prescription Drug Program (part D) enacted in 2003, because some of it's estimated 880 billion dollar cost is offset by savings elsewhere.
Still don't feel better?
It's stupid, and if you didn't laugh you'd cry. After 8 years of hearing how everything from 9-11 to the economy was Clinton's fault, then when Wall Street collapsed the Talking Heads on the Right had to go back to 1977 and blame Jimmy Carter for the housing crisis, suddenly the current budget crisis is the fault of the guy with less than 24 months in office. The guy that took office in the middle of the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression.
I'm not exempting Obama or the soon-to-be-defunct 111th Congress from blame. They punted on the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts all Summer, when they could have forced the Republican hand, in a vain attempt to save their majority in the House. It was a calculated bit of political cowardice that backfired, and led directly, IMHO, to the current budget-busting extension awaiting approval by Congress.
I know, I know it's a "stimulus" bill. Parts of it certainly are, but not the estate tax provision. Don't take my word for it, hear (or read) it straight from the horse's mouth.
Lower taxes on estates, capital gains, and dividends "mean they (the wealthy) won't have to invest so aggressively, or risk as much - or create so many jobs."
Higher taxes on the wealthy mean less money to leave their heirs unless they invest aggressively and grow the estate. Lower taxes means the super-rich can park their money in safe, low-yield vehicles like Municipal Bonds and still leave a never-work-a-day-in-your-life fortune to their children and grandchildren.
Guess which of these two scenarios creates jobs and encourages the kind of investment that drives the economy?
So all that rhetoric about cutting taxes so the "job creators" can "create jobs"? Hooey. Taxing the rich forces them to put their money to work, which puts Americans to work.

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