Thursday, July 14, 2011

The New Creationism

"Job creators." It's the latest fabricated, tested, packaged and presented message, pronounced and announced, sucked and plucked, read and spread by the credulous. Unquestioned by the actual media (were there any) and repeated and mistreated by the hacks of the hacker.

"In a recession, you don't tax the job-creators," said John Boehner.

Once again, R policy fits nicely on a bumper sticker, and is neither questioned nor countered effectively; partly, because the refutation won't fit on a bumper sticker, partly because no one wants to hear it, partly because the so-called media don't care. So it lingers, like a fart in an air-tight room.

How interesting it would be, were anyone to ask the speaker to explicate. How does it work, exactly, sir? You lower taxes on businesses and they hire workers? To do what? Will they hire workers to produce stuff that people aren't buying? If people are buying, will "job creators" not want to hire and make a profit because they'd have to pay taxes? If this latest form of creationism is true, wouldn't the above chart be accompanied by another that showed spectacular (or even mildly noteworthy) job growth ever since George of the jumble?

I don't have a problem with the idea that successful businesses create jobs; it's certainly true. Nor would I argue with the proposition that there's a point at which tax rates can be stifling. But where's the evidence that hiring has to do with tax rates? It's bass-ackwards, as I've said. How does Boehner intend to show that our current employment problems have anything to do with the historically low rates now in effect?

Once again, what's really at stake is who we are. What's at the center of the so-called debate is choosing between very different visions of our future. Ironically, it's the party that claims we are a Christian nation whose view is the more unchristian -- you know: camels, eyes of needles, love your neighbor. Commie shit like that.

It's more than unchristian, of course: it's unamerican, coming from the party of patriots. It's willingness to throw everyone but the very wealthy overboard to maintain indefensible tax rates. And they don't even hide it. Here's Mitch McConnell, admitting it:

WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), under siege from conservatives over his opt-out proposal for the debt ceiling debate, defended the idea in crassly political terms during an interview on Wednesday morning.

The Kentucky Republican, appearing on Laura Ingraham's program, repeatedly pointed to the political toil that congressional Republicans endured during the mid-'90s when they squared off against then-President Bill Clinton over government spending.

"[W]e knew shutting down the government in 1995 was not going to work for us. It helped Bill Clinton get reelected. I refuse to help Barack Obama get reelected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy," McConnell said. "It didn't work in 1995. What will happen is the administration will send out to 80 million Social Security recipients and to military families and they will all start attacking members of Congress. That is not a useful place to take us. And the president will have the bully pulpit to blame Republicans for all this disruption."

The reference, of course, is to his too-clever-by-two-thirds ploy to let Obama raise the debt limit without any Rs having to vote for it. We know what's right, he says; we're just not gonna do it, because it could help Obama. Screw the country? Who cares? And what about his implication that the bad economy has nothing to do with Republican policies of the past ten years? Who'd buy that, other than the RWS™, the propagandists of Fox "news," and every teabagger in the country? Or, how about this: after their threats and refusals, after President Obama has more than compromised on every aspect of budget "negotiations," they've resorted to claiming it's Obama who's doing the hostage-taking.

Bad economics. Stupidity. Lies. Blatant partisanship over the needs of the country. No wonder the teabaggers love the Republicans.

Lazy journalists. Ineffective Democrats. Magical thinking by a deliberately dumbified public. No wonder their crap sells.


Anonymous said...

Could you please provide a link that explains why the "effective" tax rate for the wealthy has steadily decreased when the true rate hasn't changed all that much?

Here is a counter to that graph that states Obama wants to take the "effective" tax rates on the wealthiest to 62%:

Precordial Thump

Sid Schwab said...

Here's one. Here's another. And another.

It's not hard. There's this thing called the google...

As to your link: Following WSJ form, and Stephen Moore's in particular, it's full of assertions, without data, of some rumors about some Dems' non-existent (so far) maybe I heard it said plans.

It's the pigs/wings/fly sort of thing, until and unless such proposals are actually out there and taken seriously by the President; who, so far, is pretty much proposing very right-of-center ideas, formerly espoused by Rs and now rejected, presumably only because Obama now agrees.

As I've said, I agree that raising taxes too high could be stifling; but the Clinton rates were clearly not too high. It's a matter of choosing between rates that prevent us from doing necessary things, and those that allow some hope for a future, however grim it's likely to be.

Anonymous said...

Did you even read the links you found on "the google"?

The politifact article says that income tax rates are progressive, just as they are supposed to be. it also mentions that the top 1% pay slightly lower %'s than those slightly less wealthy than them. In other words, the point of yoour graph is typical class warfare nonsense. i've posted here multiple times that stealing 100% of the riches income wont even come close to balancing the budget. fine, fix the tax code so the top 1% pay higher tax rates than the rest of the top 10%. thats fair. we still have the same debt & entitlement spending issues to deal with.

Your 2nd article says that many corporations pay 0% or less in taxes. i'm going to ignore the fact that raising taxes on corps just equals the increased costs being passed on to consumers and instead focus on the corp that benefits most from the current tax system; GE paid a -61.3% tax rate from 2008-2010.

Guess who is heading Obama's economic recovery panel? Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE.

Seriously, Dr. Sid? Do you really think those two are going to come up with any plans that increase GE's tax rate by 97%? Keep dreamin!


Sid Schwab said...

You present so many straw men, PT, that I fear for a fire at your place. There are all sorts of possible ideas, I suppose; and people can make up anything they want. But the fact is that Obama has proposed enormous spending cuts, enough that many liberals are outraged. And the taxes he proposes are, at most, what they were during the Clinton boom when even the wealthy -- especially the wealthy -- were doing damn well.

Taxing 100% of whom? Who has ever proposed that? Who has ever said that tax increases alone will fix the problem? To raise that point (repeatedly, as you've said) is to admit you have no real argument. It's entirely off-point.

Time was, you made reasonable arguments, and I engaged them reasonably. I think you're suffering from "backfire effect," about which I've written: as you find the facts are more and more against you, you dig in even more and become even less attached to reality.

But don't despair. You're in plenty of company: the entire teabagger nation.

Anonymous said...

Factual enough for you?
BHO spends too much money, plain and simple.

Bye bye,

Sid Schwab said...

It's neither plain nor simple, PT. We're in a very serious economic quandary right now, and it requires a great deal more common sense than either side is offering; although there's no doubt the Ds have been much more willing to budge. The problem is exactly as one can deduce from your comment: you and all the teabaggers think it's simple. And it's absolutely not.

You'll be missed. The old you, that is.

Bonnie said...

I had a thought that it would be interesting to identify the "job-makers" who don't want to be taxed and see exactly what kind of jobs they create. It seems to me that a lot of high income earners don't oversee making things - we're a service economy and they make money with machines and consumers. The jobs of the past that increased with greater production are mostly gone. More Facebook users doesn't mean more workers - just more computers and consumers doing their own account servicing. Or increases in jobs where the labor is cheapest. Not a very complete thought but one I haven't seen explored.

Sid Schwab said...

It's a really good subject, Bonnie. I've seen a few things on it. Here. Here. And here's one that mentions Facebook. Maybe I'll write something more specific than this post...

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