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Stupid economic tricks and taxes

Columnist E.J. Dionne has set off a heartfelt debate among our Readers Who Comment with his assertion today that our nation's "internal politics have become incorrigibly stupid." He cites as examples our habit of spending borrowed money and not raising taxes and the Senate's totally undemocratic rules.

Readers split about evenly between those who think Dionne is right and those who think he's crazy. Some of the more than 300 who have commented at this hour complain about "bloated government" and find tax increases appalling. Others look at what they see as the country's responsibilities and disagree. Several say we have become so comfortable that we're unable both to see the pain of others and accept the duty to address it.

As Dionne writes, "Democrats will be fools if they don't try to turn the Republicans' refusal to raise taxes on families earning more than $250,000 a year into an election issue. If Democrats go into a headlong retreat on this, they will have no standing to govern. The simple truth is that the wealthy in the United States -- the people who have made almost all the income gains in recent years -- are undertaxed compared with everyone else."

We'll start with mike85, who wrote, "Dionne. You are a journalism professor who apparently hasn't done his homework. In 1937 the depression was near its end and things in the US were returning to normal. Then, FDR increased personal and corporate income taxes, and plunged the economy into the deepest depression in America's history. Obama's decision to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire will have the same chilling effect on the American economy..."

ButZino said, "Bravo, E.J.... but stupidity is so fundamental to the political system, especially the big, bad conservatives, I will believe change can occur only after I've seen it."

greg3 wrote, "America should cut all benefits to our deadbeat underclass which contributes little to the economy and takes shamelessly from society."

Butjpost1 said, "Class warfare is the last refuge of the intellectually challenged, not to mention being a symptom of more deep-rooted psychological illness."

robfield wrote, "All great empires have fallen not from outside forces but from bickering and corruption within. The United States is sowing the seeds of its own demise."

joseph19 said, "...The problem with the stimulus is not that it was not big enough, it is that much of it went down the rat hole of local govt bailouts. These workers make a questionable contribution to the economy yet have lovely union salary and pension deals that will bankrupt local govts. We need to get a handle on the real costs of govet and decide what we need and can afford. Those parts of the stimulus will just evaporate, since they do not provide jobs of substance..."

donnolo wrote, "What is taxed is as important as the tax rate. There are so many deductions, credits, allowances, and set-asides available to the wealthy that the portion of their income that gets taxed is much less than their real income."

bgahearn complained that "I get lost when the Republican commenters state that the Bush tax cuts helped the economy. Essential no jobs were created under Bush. The majority of small businesses make a very small profit and their incomes are well under $250,000. Noted today that incomes of the top 1% grew 281% since 1979. Politics anyone?"

blert said, "I have no problem with Republicans fighting to preserve these tax cuts, provided that they make the requisite budget cuts to pass a balanced budget. But since the Republicans had these cuts on the books for years and never managed to make any spending cuts, and since Democrats didn't make any cuts either, and since Democrats now want to raise the taxes back up while also raising spending even more, I'm of the mind to toss them all out on the street and get some people in office who know how to balance their checkbooks. Members of Congress certainly never have done so."

herberq wrote, "Wrong, Wrong. Wrong... we have created a Frankenstein's monster called the Federal Reserve that can and will bail out everyone and everything in the name of keeping the music playing and not allowing the great game of musical chairs to come to an end. As long as our money is fiat paper garbage this will go on and on until the world get sufficiently sick of us to stop buying our debt..."

Chops2 said, "This 'Americans are overtaxed' thing is a fantasy. It sounds good but its tripe. Dionne is right. you cant just cut taxes, its not a solution. And you cut company taxes and look what happens - they just ship jobs overseas. Lose lose really..."

LETFREEDOMRING2 wrote, "The simple truth is that the wealthy in the United States pay most of the taxes and create the jobs that provide most of the taxes that support this bloated, wastrel government that is undermining our security and our very continued existence by their outrageous spending."

moran1 said, "...I can comprehend the mentality of the rich, who have gotten themselves into a way of living so that they cannot even understand the plight of the desperately poor. This, I fear, no, I know, is the position of our legislators, who with their advantaged health care and the perks that go with their exalted positions, actually have no clue whatsoever as to what faces those real-life citizens who struggle to pay the g.d. daily bills..."

MPatalinjug wrote, "The wealthy in America are the so-called "Establishment"--and that includes most politicians who have the power either to raise or cut taxes, or just do nothing about them. All to their benefit--and not the country's...
Raising taxes will mean that they and their fat friends will have to lift part of the burden. And to them, that's anathema."

We'll close with jmangan1, who wrote, "We have the government we deserve."

All comments on this column are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  July 29, 2010; 8:56 AM ET
Categories:  Taxes  | Tags: Democrats, Economy, Republicans, Social Justice, Taxes  
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Next: Rep. Ryan attacks debt, scares GOP

Comments

If I was a shareholder in a company ,I would encourage congress to give that company bailouts, and tax cuts. Everyone likes a little pork on the side now and then.

Posted by: raholden2004 | July 31, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Chucky, I couldn't have said it better myself. But don't expect facts to sway those who cannot think for themselves.

Posted by: Fate1 | July 29, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

And the Democrats can't be self-serving? How then, do you explain William "$900K in the freezer" Jefferson, using an Army National Guard helicopter during a natural disaster to retrieve it, no less? How do you explain Charlie Rangel, who now finds himself hoist by his own petard? John Murtha, he of the multi-million-dollar airport with fewer than five flights a day? Robert Byrd, the grand poobah of pork? Certainly, they served their own constituencies, bringing home the pork out of all proportion to the size of their states and districts. Don't think for a moment, however, they didn't ensure a "lil bit" for themselves. To do so otherwise is pure partisan ignorance.

Re Bill Clinton: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The government has the responsibility not to run a deficit, BUT it does not have the right to run surplus. Surpluses mean that excessive taxes are being taken, at the metaphorical "point of a gun." Government creates no wealth, it only consumes wealth.

Posted by: srpinpgh | July 29, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

America's National Debt - where did it come from?

Ronald Reagan's Tax Cuts for the RICH. Reagan cut the top tax rate for HIMSELF and his RICH buddies from 70% to 28%. Despicable example of Republicans putting personal gain over doing what is best for the American people.

Ronald Reagan, known as the Father of America's Debt, created more debt than the 40 presidents before him in over 200 years. Reagan set America on the course of financial disaster by instituting a policy of permanent deficit spending with his Tax Cuts mostly for the Rich that went directly to Debt for our children to pay.

Democrat Bill Clinton balanced the Budget.

Republican GW Bush reinstituted deficit spending with more Tax Cuts for the RICH that went to Debt. Bush re-doubled the National Debt during his presidency, creating more Debt than the 42 presidents before him in over 200 years. Of course, Bush also destroyed the world economy with no regulation and de-regulation, then created the $700 billion TARP Fund to bail out his RICH buddies on Wall Street.

Republicans have been fundamentally dishonest for blaming Obama for the Debt they created, whining about the ruination of the nation because of Debt.

Yet today Republicans don't care about the Debt. All they care about is extending THEIR Tax Cuts for the RICH, (those making over $200,000 per year).

Facts and numbers are unforgiving. The Reagan, Bush, and Bush legacy of Tax Cuts for the RICH led to unrestrained deficit spending and the creation of over 80% of the National Debt. Reagan, Bush, and Bush created $11 trillion of America's $13 trillion Debt with their Tax Cuts for the RICH.

Vote all these Dishonest, Self Serving Republicans out of office in November.

Posted by: chucky-el | July 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

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