Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No, and cut taxes.

Here's a fun quiz!

You are a Republican. What solutions do you propose for the following problems?
  1. The economy is pulling out of recession, but growth is sluggish. Some fear that another recession is possible. 
  2. The federal budget deficit is soaring. 
  3. Health care costs are skyrocketing, and many people are uninsured. 
  4. Many suspect that the goal of Iran's nuclear program is the production of nuclear weapons. 
  5. While considered by many to be physically attractive, your vice-presidential candidate appears to be no more intelligent than your average college sorority member. 
  6. It seems that you just can't get rid of the crabgrass in your yard, no matter what you do. 
  7. The older you get, the more difficult it becomes for you to to achieve an erection. 
  8. You're out of ideas. 
If your answer to (1) through (8) was "Cut taxes," you win! 

If your answer was, "Say 'no,'" you also win! 

What are Republicans going to run on in the Fall? According to The Daily Caller, a Republican advocacy group, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, will release an agenda today "made up mostly of things they think Republicans should oppose or eliminate." 

Among other things, Crossroads GPS "calls on the GOP to 'stop' the Bush tax [cuts] from expiring at the end of the year." 

According to Think Progress, Mike Pence was on Fox "News" recently, and when asked "what, besides tax cuts, he would do to turn the economy around, Pence at first dodged, but then said tax cuts for the rich would be the way to go." Besides tax cuts, then, tax cuts are needed to stimulate the economy. 

President Obama and many Democrats would like to extend the Bush tax cuts on the middle class and allow the Bush tax cuts on those with household incomes exceeding $250,000 to expire. Over the weekend, John Boehner said, "If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, I'll vote for them." 

Other Republicans begged to differ. According to NPR, Jon Kyl of Arizona "accused Democrats of 'pitting Americans against each other.'" Kyl said that "We don't want to punish anyone for being successful — that class warfare went out of style when the Cold War ended. I don't think it has a part in our debates." 

Let's look at Kyl's statement a bit more closely. Kyl claims that raising taxes on the wealthy is punishing them for their success. Is Kyl suggesting that it would be more appropriate to tax the middle class for their lack of success? Assuming that revenue is constant, any taxes not paid by the wealthy will have to be paid by everyone else. So, if wealth is a measure of success, then the middle class have failed, and they should be punished for that failure by being required to pay higher taxes. Who, exactly, is waging class warfare here? 

Republicans, you have been bitching and moaning about the deficit ever since Obama was inaugurated. If you suddenly want to balance the Federal budget, rather than offer us vague proposals like ending "wasteful 'stimulus' spending and pork-barrel earmarks," tell us exactly what you're going to cut, and run on that this November. Oh, and stop saying that tax cuts need not be offset by budget cuts

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson