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.
July 29, 2010; 8:56 AM ET
Categories: Taxes | Tags: Democrats, Economy, Republicans, Social Justice, Taxes
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