Two top Republicans bailed on talks Thursday aimed at raising the nation’s debt-ceiling in exchange for deficit-reduction measures. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) backed out of talks with Vice President Biden, furious at Democrats’ demands that some tax increases be paired with spending cuts. The talks center on Washington’s need to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. The nation’s legal borrowing limit will be exceeded in early August, and without a deal, the U.S. will default on its debts. The Democrats s have argued that if Republicans want to close the gaping annual deficit with spending cuts, they have to concede some tax increases, too. Cantor said in a statement that the Republican-dominated House won’t support any tax hikes – and that he’d pull out of Thursday’s meeting.
The Bush tax cuts never stimulated the economy. There is no reason NOT to raise taxes on the rich – at a minimum to the levels they were at under President Clinton. President Clinton’s tax increase on the top earners in 1993 led to an era of unparalleled prosperity, budget surpluses and a start at reducing the national debt. None of the Republicans at the time voted for the tax hikes and predicted all kinds of disaster. How nice it would be to have the same “disaster” currently instead of the mess we face.
Apparently Cantor and the GOP will never learn. They sink the economy with tax cuts for the rich (mostly), deregulation, and increased spending on wars and prescription health programs and now that the debt is out of control- the solution? MORE tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. It seems whatever the problem is, tax cuts are the solution. We have a surplus? Give it back! We have a deficit? No fear, tax cuts will fix it! A recession you say? Tax cuts! Economic boom? Keep it going with more tax cuts! The GOP’s approach to our economy- no matter what the situation – is that tax cuts are the way to go! Not just any tax cuts, “trickle-down” supply side economics is the focus – larger tax cuts for the top earners is what’s needed. Because let’s face it- THEY are masses who go out and spend most of their paycheck on food and clothes. Not to mention, why in the world would we increase the tax rate on the very same people on Wall Street risk who were part of the reason the economy collapsed in the first place. .
While it is true that the rich pay more in absolute terms than other income earners, they have also reaped the greatest benefits from the recent bubbles, The richest Americans have increasing their share of wealth to record levels as the poor have gotten poorer according to the most recent gap. So instead of giving away tax money to the top earners (at least 1/3 of which went straight into savings if the last tax cut in 2001 is an indicator) would it not be of better use to invest in public sector job programs? Putting unemployed poor and middle class Americans back to work improving roads, hospitals and schools while at the same time the government spurs economic growth through purchases of industrial materials, equipment, uniforms, etc. Putting these same citizens back to work who are the ones who will go out and spend most of their salary on clothes, health care supplies, and food – hence, stimulating business growth and the economy.
What a novel idea. The economy improves, the poorest Americans get a job, and we get better schools, hospitals, parks, roads, etc. Instead, we we have is the GOP and Eric Cantor who at the mere mention of “shared sacrifice” go running for the hills.