Archive for the ‘tax breaks’ tag
Just how out of touch is John Boehner anyway?
Last year, he nearly caused the United States to default on its debt, and this year, he’s whistling the same tune, refusing to raise the debt ceiling and calling for spending cuts.
We shouldn’t dread the debt limit. As a matter of fact, I think we should welcome it. It’s an action-forcing event in a town that has become infamous for inaction.
A town “infamous for inaction?” Doesn’t he means a party infamous for inaction?
The GOP unanimously said “no” to the health care reform bill. “No” to the $787 billion stimulus package, which, by the way, is responsible for many job-creating infrastructural improvements across the nation, and “no” to nearly everything else Obama has put on the table.
The GOP has languished in Washington the last four years and has been little more than dead weight, unceasingly complaining about Obama, yet accomplishing next to nothing, unless pushing the party even further to the right, “symbolically” passing votes and “symbolically” reading the Constitution counts for accomplishing something.
And at a time when we can clearly witness austerity cuts in Europe failing miserably, Boehner is calling for — wait for it — more austerity cuts. Lucid as ever, Fareed Zakaria identifies the problem with spending cuts in already sagging economy:
The problem is that as these governments cut spending in very depressed economies, it has caused growth to slow even further — you see government workers who have been fired tend to buy fewer goods and services, for example — and all this means falling tax receipts and thus even bigger deficits.
Spending cuts don’t just affect government workers. That’s just one obvious example. If the government starts hacking away at services that improve people’s lives, their quality of life diminishes, thus, not only are they less happy, more apathetic and more likely to hoard what little savings they do have, but they are less likely to turn around and invigorate the economy with new consumer-side spending.
I’m reminded of two memorable lines from Tony Benn, who was interviewed for the 2007 movie, “Sicko:”
Keeping people hopeless and pessimistic – see I think there are two ways in which people are controlled — first of all frighten people and secondly demoralize them.
An educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to govern.
So, let’s look at the other side. What about people that make more than $250,000 per year? When government hands them tax breaks, do they help stimulate the economy? Not so much. Sure, they spend some, but I would wager that rich people are not primarily concerned with consumer spending, but with saving and investing. After all, there is a reason some people are able to accumulate mass amounts of wealth. They happen to be good with managing money and have some smart investment sense. Good for them. But that doesn’t help the national economy or the American public.