Point by Point

Sometimes you just gotta do it, line by line.

Tax cuts benefit economy is a recent example right-wing propaganda piece put out by their think tanks, and published in USA Today. It says it’s “by” Grover Norquist. You gotta know who this guy is – and USA Today doesn’t provide the info.

“Because of bizarre budget rules, the 2001 tax cut is good for only 10 years.”

Actually, they did this because holding it to 10 years masked the real long-terms costs. It was a trick to win support.

“The reduction in the unfair marriage-penalty tax will evaporate unless Congress acts. Lower marginal tax rates will shoot back upward to Bill Clinton levels.”

Gotta get that Clinton lie in there. Clinton did raise taxes on the very rich, but lowered them at the bottom. The middle class got a tax cut toward the end of his term.

“And while Congress abolished the ”death tax,” it comes back in 2011. Congress should follow the president’s lead and put a stake through the heart of this destructive and unfair tax on money already taxed.”

“Money already taxed.” What the hell does that even mean? ALL money is “already taxed.” When you pay your plumber you pay with money that you made and paid taxes on. But is SOUNDS GOOD, and their focus groups show that it helps trick people into supporting repealing this tax, even though it funds programs that benefit them.

“The death tax breaks up small businesses, family farms and benefits only a handful of expensive probate lawyers.”

This is an established lie. Do I have to go into this? It is NOT a death tax, it is a tax on income that is inherited. NO family farms have been broken up. NO small businesses. This is an INCOME tax on the recipients of income from the deaths of approx. 13,000 extremely, extremely rich people. Why should the kids of rich people be the only people who DON’T pay taxes on their incomes?

“There are several good ideas now before the president. One is legislation introduced by Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to strengthen IRAs and 401(k)s so that more Americans can save tax-free for their retirement and have greater freedom on how and when to withdraw funds from their portable pension accounts.”

This is just another benefit for the rich. In the last few days I’ve been writing (here, here and here) about the 401K scam and who benefits and who doesn’t.

”Someday, when we reform Social Security, every single American will have the opportunity to save in a portable personal pension account. Bush wants all Americans to have that choice.”

He’s talking about privatization of Social Security. Is privatization back? Actually Republicans have been denying they ever even thought about this. Oh wait, the election is over, they can go back to this, after denying to the voters that they want to do this. This scam has all the disadvantages of the 401Ks – including the need to save much more because the money is not pooled – but it also is incredibly costly to the government, promises reduced benefits, and so many other problems… They tried to foist it on us, the public was upset so they lied and said they never wanted to change Social Security. Now it’s back again.

”Another good idea is to end the double taxation of dividend income. Today, when you invest in a business — as 70% of voters do — the government takes a chunk out of your investment in corporate income taxes and then taxes dividends that are paid out to you as an investor. That dividend is taxed twice — once at the corporate level and once at the individual level. The stock market would shoot upward if that unfairness ended.”

Here’s that old “taxed twice” argument again. This would be another huge benefit to the top few rich people who own most of the stock, while draining the treasury of funds to pay for programs that benefit the rest of us. And the stock market shooting up, when the S&P Core Earnings PE ratio is around 50? Shooting up smack maybe.

”Congress should move quickly to reduce taxes and strengthen the economy.”

Tell me again how huge deficits, leading us to have to pay interest of more than $300 billion per year helps the economy? It sure helps the people who are receiving that $300 billion each year.