Thursday, December 9, 2010

End the Tax Cuts for Everyone

In my post "Obama is Pathetic" I didn't mention what I think should happen with the Bush tax cuts: I think they should be allowed to expire for everyone. Of course this is unthinkable politically, but it is what makes sense. I remember "Shrub," by the late Molly Ivins, about George W. Bush's tenure as governor of Texas. Bush pushed through tax cuts that, in Ivins words, gave enough money to the average person to buy a hamburger, but in the aggregate impoverished Texas's public institutions. Texas ranks among the worst states in terms of education, health care coverage, and pollution. In return for an extra hamburger per week the people of Texas destroyed their public institutions.

When you look at the graph I mentioned in that post, and look at what retaining Bush's federal tax cuts would put into the average person's pocket, we're talking similar amounts. The median income in this country is somewhere around $50,000. A person making $50,000 would get a $1,000 a year tax break, which works out to $20 a week.

But the cost to that average person from these tax breaks in the aggregate--$3.1 trillion over 10 years--is going to hurt far more than the loss of that $20. We will do to our federal institutions what Texas did to theirs. In order to have that paltry extra sum our politicians will say they've been "forced" to cut Social Security, Medicare, education programs, health and human services, oversight of pollution and food safety, etc. We'll be poorer, sicker, and less educated. We'll continue to speed down the declining-empire-path that the election of George W. Bush set us on.

Of course blaming President Obama is foolish. Why didn't the Democrats handle this issue before the election when they had more power? Because they are beholden to the rich, just like the Republicans.

It's time for a revolution in this country. We need to throw off the stranglehold the two political parties have on our political system.

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