Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
A big h/t to Chris Brown over at politicalbase.com for his excellent post The Republican Party Wants More "Tax Cuts"; So What Else Is New? Chris makes the point that the GOP's only answer to every question is "tax cuts!" (for the wealthy and corporations). Chris takes a look at how well this formula has worked out for the good 'ol US of A:
Republicans/Conservatives should stop pretending that their “tax cuts” are the answer to our problems. And instead of correcting their falsehoods, the corporate-owned media is all too eager to present their ideas favorably. So let's bypass the nonsense and revisit the facts.
In 2003, President George W. Bush signed his Job and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. The legislation caused considerable controversy at the time. Critics of the proposal rightfully argued that tax cuts were ineffective in spurring sufficient economic growth. But with a Republican-controlled Congress, Bush was able to pass his tax cuts and made the following remarks after its passage:
By ensuring that Americans have more to spend, to save, and to invest, this legislation is adding fuel to an economic recovery. We have taken aggressive action to strengthen the foundation of our economy so that every American who wants to work will be able to find a job.
Of course, we already know how things turned out. The Republican Party has nearly brought our entire financial system to the brink of collapse. It's indisputable that the "Bush tax cuts" did not produce strong economic growth for the U.S. economy. In April 2007, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBO) released a report saying that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts “have only modest economic effects and do not pay for themselves”.
The estimated budget deficit in July 2003 was $455 billion, a $150 billion higher than the Bush administration estimated at the start of 2003. But even with an economic decline, Republicans still pushed for more tax cuts. Here's a New York Times report from March 2003:
The federal deficit is growing much more quickly than expected, even before Congress takes up President Bush's tax-cutting proposals and without factoring in the costs of a war in Iraq, Congressional analysts have concluded. Analysts for the Republican-controlled House Budget Committee have raised their estimates of this year's budget shortfall by about $30 billion, some 15 percent beyond the forecast that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued only five weeks ago.
Nonetheless, Republicans were determined to give the wealthiest Americans and corporations billions of dollars in tax cuts. Here, in part, is the aftermath of the Republican Party tax cuts:
- According to the IRS, the 400 wealthiest Americans in 2005 saw their income grow to nearly 23% in 2006:
The top 400 paid just more than $18 billion in federal income taxes in 2006, or an average of $45 million, on a record $105 billion in total income — the lowest effective tax rate in the 15 years since the agency began releasing such data.
That compares with nearly $1 trillion paid by all other individual taxpayers in 2006.
- The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank to 3.8% last quarter, the lowest since 1982
- As of November 19, 2008, the total U.S. federal debt was $10.6 trillion
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed persons increased by 632,000 to 11.1 million in December 2008. The unemployment rate rose from 6.8% to 7.2%.
- 4.78 million jobless claims reported for the week ended January 17, 2008; the highest since the U.S. government began keeping records in 1967:
"We see no chance of this picture changing in the foreseeable future," wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for High Frequency Economics. "We expect net job losses of about 3 million through the first half of this year."Initial claims represent job destruction, while the level of continuing claims indicates how hard or easy it is for displaced workers to find new employment. The claims data show that businesses are laying off workers at a rapid pace and that finding a replacement job is proving ever harder for those who've lost work.
We’re now experiencing the worst economic recession since World War II. The economic philosophy perpetuated by Republicans over the past eight years has been disastrous, to say the least. But even today, they're still crying for more "tax cuts” to be included in President Barack Obama's economic recovery package. And they're refusing to support it unless their demands for more tax cuts are met.
But their attempt for national attention is futile. The evidence is clear; the truth unequivocal. The time for Republicans to lecture Americans on economic policy has definitely expired.