The insanity of tax cuts for billionaires by a government heavily in debt with high unemployment

December 7, 2010 | By | 9 Replies More

Senator Bernie Sanders understands what’s going on.  Why is there no outrage from most of us?

“For a Democratic president, Democratic House, Democratic Senate, to be following the Bush economic philosophy of tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires is absolutely wrong public policy, absolutely wrong politically, and I gotta tell you, I will do whatever I can to see that 60 votes are not acquired to pass this legislation,” Sanders said on on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” before telling host Ed Schultz that he might go as far as to filibuster the legislation.

“Millionaires and billionaires do not need huge tax deductions, that’s the simple truth,” Sanders continued.

Think Progress quantifies the insanity:

Despite Republican wrangling over the past two years about deficit spending and debt, the New York Times reports that the entire package “would cost about $900 billion over the next two years, to be financed entirely by adding to the national debt.”

I think we should settle this immediately with a national referendum. Allow the citizens to go to the voting both and check YES or NO: “Should we give big tax cuts to people who don’t need the money, where the effect is to plunge this country more deeply into debt?”


Category: Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (9)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    "I think the president made a huge mistake in supporting any extension of tax cuts," said Steve Hildebrand, the deputy national director of Obama's presidential campaign and a strategist who has long grown sour on Washington. "We can't afford it as a country, and we should recognize that. We need his leadership and bipartisan congressional leadership on it. And the whole idea of negotiating with Republicans who won't negotiate in good faith, it is not the direction the president should be taking."

  2. What needs to be understood here is that this is a distortion of a basic concept of American self-identity—the notion of egalitarian fairness.

    (I hasten to say here that I think this is a cracked view, but this is what is informing this on the most basic level.)

    Basically that we are ALL THE SAME. That poor billionaire is no different from the couple on the fixed income and to treat the billionaire differently is fundamentally unAmerican. To say he/she doesn't need the money is beside the point—by taxing them for being wealthy is to de facto create a class for them and put them in it, separate from all the rest of us.

    Now. Clearly, on the ground, dealing with the actualities of the circumstances we finds ourselves in, this is nuts. But—attempt to legally define a just reason why making 250,000 a year is different in kind from making less the 25,000 a year, for purposes of defending an increased tax burden.

    We do come perilously close to defining into existence legal classes, which we're not supposed to do here.

    It's frustrating—you know it's b.s. I know it's b.s. but according to our cherished national myths we aren't supposed to treat people differently according to anything that smacks of class. If you're gonna raise taxes on one, you have to on all. If you're gonna cut taxes on some, you have to cut them for all.

    The Republicans have been playing open court basketball with that popular myth for decades now. But it is conceptually a thorny problem, because—and this is the 800 lb ape in the corner—it is based on the erroneous idea that here, in America, ANYONE can rise to the level of making that quarter mill per anum. We have to admit finally that this is not true, that the promise of the American Dream is a false hope, and that a lot of people are stuck with only so much and no more. Once we get past that little bit of self-delusion, maybe we can get some popular traction on this matter.

  3. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    We are all equal. Some of us are simply more equal than others.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    "Wealthiest .0000001% Hail Tax Deal" is Andy Borowitz' headline at Huffpo.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Mass emailing I received from Senator Bernie Sanders today:

    President Obama is right about one thing — Republicans in Congress are holding the middle class hostage.

    We have a $13.8 trillion national debt, a collapsing middle class and the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country. With all this in mind, Republicans in Congress say they will block tax cuts to the middle class and block unemployment benefits to more than two million families unless the President gives huge tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.

    Their behavior is morally bankrupt. It is reprehensible.

    But instead of challenging the Republicans for their absurd demands and their outrageous tactics, the President gave them virtually everything they wanted.

    I cannot and will not support this deal. I will do everything I can to uphold the promise made to the American people to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

    Join me and my friends at Democracy for America today and sign our pledge calling on Congress to reject this deal.

    One of the most underreported parts of this deal is a cut to the Social Security payroll tax. In just one year, over $120 billion of revenue will be cut from Social Security under the President's compromise plan, weakening the program and virtually guaranteeing benefit cuts in the future.

    Make no mistake about it. Social Security has not added one dime to the national debt and this cut will only embolden Republican attempts to privatize the program and increase the age of retirement. Social Security is a vital safety net for all Americans and a cornerstone of our commitment to protect the middle class.

    We are not alone in standing against this compromise. Republicans are holding the middle class hostage and the American people know it. I come from a small state and yesterday my office received more than 1,000 calls on this issue, with over 90% of them in opposition to this deal.

    Last night, thousands of DFA members joined me on DFA Live where we had a lively discussion on this issue. One thing was clear to me during that call — DFA members nationwide want Democrats to stop this deal and fight for the middle class, working people, senior citizens and the unemployed while making sure that millionaires and billionaires are not given massive tax breaks.

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    "Then, on Monday, President Obama announced a deal with Republican Senate leaders that's full of massive tax cuts and modest increases in spending. It would require about $700 billion more borrowing, not less, and includes an $120 billion gift for the country's millionaires and billionaires."

  7. Erich Vieth says:

    Bernie Sanders is a one-man quasi-filibuster. He's going on 8.5 hours straight so far, and he's telling it the way it is. Apparently, he's one of the few people still in Congress with any integrity.

    "A Sanders spokesman told HuffPost's Arthur Delaney that Sanders will talk 'as long as he can' and that the 69-year-old senator has not taken a break since morning or had anything but water. The spokesman could not predict when the speechifying would stop. 'He doesn't have an end time.'"

  8. Erich Vieth says:

    If Obama gets his way, and if the tax cuts for the rich are not ever repealed, look what he will get, and look what the Republicans will get (see the chart).

  9. Erich Vieth says:

    Quote on

    Text from my republican friend: "You told me if I voted for McCain it would mean more war and continued tax cuts for the rich. Looks like you were right ;)"

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