Monday, July 12, 2010

The GOP Says Deficits Don't Matter if Helping the Wealthy

Senate Republican Jon Kyl (R-AZ) says that Congress should extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans regardless of their impact on the deficit. Meanwhile, he and other Republicans are blocking unemployment insurance extensions over deficit concerns! We've been at this rodeo before. The unpaid for tax cuts for the rich at the expense of working people is the same backwards policy Republicans used to put the nation in this hole, and it's the same policy they promise to return to if put in a position of power again. As exasperating as the Democrats can be, we can not let Republicans back into power.

In an election year, you'd think the framing of this argument couldn't be more advantageous for Democrats.  However are Democrats going to act like Democrats always have and cut a deal in which getting unemployment benefits extended will come at the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts as well or will they finally show some backbone and say not this time?!

Rachel Maddow made several great points yesterday on Meet the Press while debating both former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie and former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (who seemed shocked she took on the other "Dem" at the table) when they sang the praises of tax cuts.
"When Republicans have had the reins, this is what they've done: two wars not paid for, prescription drug benefit not paid for, two tax cuts that mostly benefited the rich not paid for." They put all that stuff on the deficit, $1.3 trillion sitting there as--in a deficit when Obama took over, after the previous Democratic president had handed him a surplus. If you talk about--if Republicans want to run as this fiscally responsible party, it's neat, but it's novel. It's not how they've actually governed."
Several moments of back and forth with Gillespie and New York Times columnist David Brooks beating their chests on how conservative policies are awesome and drooling over new New Jersey, Governor Christie (R) and how he is taking on the government employee unions there. Funny how they didn't mention how Christie handed out $1 billion in tax cuts to families who earn more than $400,000, the richest two percent and cut that same amount from education spending ($800+M) and other social programs which help the middle class and the poor.  I wish Rachel had brought it up because David "Bushy" Gregory sure wouldn't.  Then she continued...
"I think that most Americans also, though, understand the basic arithmetic that when you're talking about pushing tax cuts that do mostly benefit the wealthy and you're simultaneously talking about getting tough on the deficit, you're talking about a world in which math doesn't work the way most people think it works. If you're going to talk about tax cuts--I mean, Harold, you, as a Democrat, proposed some very significant tax cuts when you were thinking about running for Senate in, in New York, a huge corporate tax cut, a big payroll tax holiday, and then said simultaneously, And we got to get serious about the deficit."
"Tax cuts hurt the deficit."

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