Campaigning on Tax Increases II The Republicans.
Kevin Drum writes
“The GOP leadership has released “Tread Boldly,” a guidebook for Republican members of congress during the summer recess, and it includes a whole section called “Spending Restraint Solutions for Discussion.” Finally, we’ll get some details! So here they are:
‘Canceling unspent “stimulus” funds, saving up to $266 billion …’
Being hep and up to date with the interwebs, the Republicans posted a pdf.
My point is that they just declared their willingness to increase the taxes paid by over 95% of working US families. There is no way they can get “up to $266 billion” by cancelling other parts of the stimulus and not cancelling the tax cuts.
Notably “of the $787 billion in the Recovery Act, about 94% is either in tax cuts, payments, or projects under contract. “ Are the Republicans proposing that the Federal Government violate signed contracts ? Wouldn’t that be a seizure ?
The payments include extended unemployment insurance (I’m not sure that’s the only payment). Total additional government consumption (the standard word for government investment too) was $ 265 billion, so one can’t save $266 billion by cutting the un-contracted funds (about $ 50 billion).
Of course the Republicans would like nothing less than to have to explain that the ARRA included tax cuts for over 95% of working families in the USA and to explain that they want to eliminate those cuts (as all currently Republican legislators not from Maine voted against those tax cuts).
See Dean Baker on heartless and selective cognizance of the deficit hawks. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/that-joke-about-intergene_b_677323.html
The republicans have credibility as tax cutters. 41 lost it and 43 got it back. Right now the democrats have credibility as spenders, especially if you’re in one of their favored groups such as government employees and labor Unions. if you want them to spend more on people not you (for the most of us) then you ought to vote democrat.
If the democrats want to sell us on a paternalistic Obama vision for the economy and social services then they our to present us with a fair choice that includes the increased cost for the average American. If they think the Bush tax cuts should recinded for those earning over $250,000 the why not ask those earning $100,000 for a few extra percent of their income each year too. Afterall, if the democrats offer of extra protection is worth something ought to cost something.
But that is not always the case. The new $26 billion bill requires many states to increase spending to get teh money, and this may push up taxes. Those increased state taxes will take from some to give to others, and people will notice that. Here in Maryland our taxes are going up to support union pay increases, and pensions. So governmnet employees see a pay increase, while the tax increase is essentially a pay cut for me and others. Further, they cut the actual services we use. For example, the street sweeper gets paid to do nothing, and costs are cut by not sweeping the streets by saving on gas etc….
IMO, both parties suck in epic proportions, and have no clue on what to do policy-wise during this downturn. Not sure how badly teh Democrats will get creamed in November, but it is their own fault. They simply have implemented policy willy/nilly – not that the Republicans have any answers.