Republicans like tax cuts, probably because the vast majority of tax cuts go to rich people, most of whom are Republicans. Of course, they can’t admit that this is the reason why they like tax cuts so, instead, they declare that tax cuts will “stimulate the economy.” Simultaneously, they condemn Democrats, whom they criticize for supporting “wasteful government spending.” To see the hidden lie in this Republican argument, consider the following thought experiment.
Imagine you are a doctor paying an income tax of $500,000 per year. Imagine that Republicans write budget legislation that will give you a 10% tax cut, equal to $50,000 per year. Republicans declare that this tax cut is a wonderful idea for the country because it will “stimulate the economy.” Meanwhile, Democrats also draft budget legislation, but their plan provides nation-wide healthcare coverage for all Americans. Coincidentally, this healthcare coverage will also pay you $50,000 per year, but you will need to earn this money by providing medical care to poor people. Although the amount of money you receive is the same under both budget plans and, thus, the amount of government spending is the same under both budget plans, Republicans will condemn the Democrat’s proposed legislation as “wasteful government spending that will cripple the American economy.”
Do you see the lie?
Now, let’s revise our thought experiment. Instead of imagining that you are a doctor, imagine you are a construction worker, and imagine that Republicans want to give you a $5,000 tax cut, while Democrats want to hire you to build part of a new bridge that would also pay you $5,000. Although the government spending is the same, and although the Democrats’ plan would result in a bridge being built while the Republican plan would not, Republicans would again condemn the Democrats’ plan as wasteful.
You can repeat this thought experiment as many times as you wish. Pick whatever type of job you want, imagine that a Democrat budget plan would give you a government contract to do it and that a Republican budget plan would give you a tax cut to not do it, and then explain why the Republican plan would “stimulate the economy” while the Democrat plan would be a “crippling economic disaster.” Better yet, ask a Republican you know to explain it.