Here’s an example of conservative logic: “Too much salt is bad for you. It will raise your blood pressure and eventually kill you. Here, eat this ten pound bag of salt, you’ll die without it.”
Now, replace “salt” with “deficit” and “ten pound bag” with “$700 Billion (that’s with a “B”)” and you have the current ridiculous and self-refuting idiocy that conservatives pass off as “good ol’ common sense”.
This is not a terribly complicated concept we’re dealing with here. The top 2% of earners in the country are being asked to give up a tax cut that was unnecessary at the time of its inception and has done nothing to help the economy in the ten years since. Conservatives have decided that this is an onerous burden to be placed on these decent, hard working Americans and “small businesses”. Republicans cry “class warfare!” whenever a microphone is nearby, as if asking the top 2% to sacrifice a little extra for the good of the country is a plot to slaughter them in their sleep and steal all the wealth for the lazy and poor.
Why is that exactly?
We already know that Supply Side, or “Trickle Down”, economics do not work. This is not a case of opposing economic theories; this is based on thirty years of empirical reality. Reagan tried it and it didn’t work. He had to raise taxes. Bush Sr. (the far more intelligent of the two Bush Presidents) tried it. He had to raise taxes. Bush Jr. tried it in spades and the economy crashed in a spectacular fashion that will be written about for centuries. So we know, at the very least, that massive tax cuts coupled with conservative policies is like mixing water and sodium (Youtube it, it’s cool as hell), fun for the person doing the mixing (the rich), really bad for the people in the water (everyone else).
You’ll notice this is not a prevailing argument. Complaining that rich people need that money to buy more stuff is a good way to get politically lynched these days. Instead, the NEW Supply Side is “uncertainty”.
What uncertainty are Republicans and conservative pundits referring to? The “uncertainty” that is paralyzing “small” businesses and keeping them from hiring all those lazy out of work people. After all, how can I, the small business owner, hire more people if I don’t know how much in taxes I’ll be paying next year? What if I hire three illegals low cost workers and suddenly find I have to pay an extra $20,000 in taxes?! I’ll be ruined! What if I, the big business owner, hire a thousand more workers and suddenly find my taxes are…oh wait, my corporate “headquarters” are located in a PO box in the Cayman Islands, I don’t pay taxes! Never mind.
Either way, this is quite possibly the stupidest argument for massive tax breaks I have ever heard, and they’re all pretty stupid. There are two answers to this, one snarky, one not. The snarky first. If your company is can’t afford the extra taxes on income earned OVER $250,000 (because that’s when the higher tax rates kick in, the first $250k is taxed the same as always) without going bankrupt, your business sucks and you should find something else to do. Now for the non-snarky. What does recent history tell us a business, any business, will do when presented with a situation in which they cannot afford their payroll? Answer: Reduce payroll through any means necessary, whether it be pay cuts, reduced benefits or downsizing. This is not a new and innovative way to save money. It’s a hard reality that we all have to live with (we, that is, in the lower 98%).
So, if it’s not Supply Side and it’s not “uncertainty”, why, oh why, are conservatives so hell bent on giving tax breaks to those who do not need them in any way, shape or form? I’ll answer that in my next vile liberal screed: ”Ayn Rand and the Sociopathic Society” or “How I learned to stop loving my neighbor and despise them instead.”