It is mind numbing to watch the Republicans and Democrats argue over who should continue to receive the Bush tax cuts. The Republicans believe that everyone should continue to pay less than their share to a bankrupt Uncle Sam.
Democrats feel that only those making under $250,000 should benefit. They state that the tax cuts should only go to working Americans, apparently in their mind those out there who make more than $250,000 are not working for it.
It is disappointing (but not surprising) that neither party points out that the country can not afford these tax cuts. We are going broke people and the politicos in Washington are ignoring that at the peril of all of us. The fact that the tax cuts were put in place by Bush should be a tip-off that they were fiscally irresponsible in the first place.
After all, this is a man who once stated, “You cut taxes and the tax revenues increase.” By that skewed logic I guess the tax rate should be reduced to zero and the money will start gushing into Treasury’s coffers. I wish reduced rates did lead to increased revenues. But you can’t argue with simple math. Having less of something really does lead to having less of it.
Remember when Bush was touted as the first MBA president? And a Harvard MBA no less. Initially I thought this meant that he understood finance and economics. Sadly I was wrong. I remember watching his speech at the Republican convention in 2000. He talked about the surpluses that had been run up in the latter years of the Clinton administration. Bush stated,” Americans have overpaid and now they are due a refund.” That’s when it first hit me that Bush just didn’t get it. (His fuzzy math comments came later.)
Just like Bush didn’t know the difference between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, he also had no idea that there was a difference between the annual deficit and the long-term debt. Sure there were surpluses during the late 1990s. But those surpluses were being used to pay down the long-term national debt. That’s a good thing.
Instead Bush and his Republican cohorts in Congress went on a reckless spending spree that they combined with a tax cut. How has that turned out for us? Remember when they said that tax cuts would starve the beast of government so spending would have to go down? Well guess what, it just resulted in larger deficits. It is a truism in Washington that spending never goes down, no matter which party is in charge.
Now we have had two years of Obama and a Democratic congress. I understand the need for stimulus but trillion dollar deficits!?! That is fiscally insane. What is even more insane is how the concept of annual deficits that now measure over a trillion dollars isn’t even cause for alarm.
So back to reality. It doesn’t matter which party is in charge. They each spend money they don’t have. At this rate the future of this country is bleak indeed; so to argue which group should get the benefit of continuing tax cuts that were ill-conceived from the get go is absurd. This country needs to get its fiscal house in order. Now. The longer we wait the worse it will be. For everyone.