Thursday, January 3, 2013

The New Tax Deal Just Dents Debt

The so-called fiscal cliff avoidance federal tax deal is done, and both parties caved on long-standing positions.  After almost a decade of claiming the Bush-era temporary tax cuts were responsible for all things bad, budgetarily speaking, Democrats supported a deal that made those cuts permanent for over 98% of taxpayers.  That’s right – just as with the “fierce moral urgency” when GW Bush was president to closing the Guantanamo terrorist prison and stopping renditions, which is still open and still going on, respectively, after four years of Obama – the Democrats were just posturing. 

The new tax scheme will raise revenues a relatively small amount compared to what is needed to reduce and pay off the debt, which is growing every day.  The federal government could confiscate all of the wealth of the top 1% of Americans and most of the problem would still be there.

As an aside, Billionaire Warren Buffet has debased the debate, which should be about reforming spending, to claim that the rich were not paying their “fair share” and using half-truths to spin a lie.  In fact, as one can simple ascertain from official government data (link), the top 1% of earners take in 20% of all income but pay 38% of all taxes, and the top 10% of earners take in 46% of all but pay 70% of all taxes.  How’s that for tax-paying fairness right now in the Warren Buffet top 1% cohort – earn 20% of all income but pay 38% of all taxes.  Now, Buffet may want the top 1% to pay, say, 50% rather than 38% of all taxes, but he lies, and he knows he lies, when he says the top 1% of earners are not paying their fair share, because paying anything above a flat rate for everyone is already their “fair share”.  And again, confiscating all of the wealth of the top 1% still leaves most of the debt problem unsolved.  Buffett prefers to stoke the flames of raw envy for his own moral preening and to ingratiate himself with regulation-happy Democrats so he can get special treatment from them, and get pretty, young CNBC TV hosts to travel to Omaha to fawn all over him.         

From the liberal Politico (link):  “The staggering national debt — up about 60 percent from the $10 trillion Obama inherited when he took office in January 2009 — is the single biggest blemish on Obama’s record, even if the rapid descent into red began under President George W. Bush. 

Well, even that stern statement from a liberal about Obama’s culpability is a half-truth amounting to a lie.  Budget deficits were actually "rapidly undescending" in Bush’s second term until the Democrats took over Congress. 

As Glenn Reynolds writes (link), “You can blame Bush all you want, and Obama likes to talk about ‘two wars on the credit card,’ but this chart [above on his blog page] illustrates that things were actually improving until we got a Democratic Congress in 2007, and got worse when we elected Obama."  Actually much worse.

John M Greco

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