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trickle-down scamming

Cornered by realities they can’t accept
Republicans are back to hostage-taking

No GOPHouse Speaker John Boehner and most Republicans in Congress know very well that cutting taxes won’t create jobs. Businesses won’t hire people to stand around waiting to take care of customers who aren’t showing up to spend their money, even if the businesses have some more money because of tax cuts.

Businesses hire more people when those new hires are needed to take care of customers and make the businesses more money, period.

Boehner and the rest of the Republicans are solely interested in politics, not in governing responsibly. What’s more, they’re in the position of being forced to acknowledge their cherished trickle-down cover story is nothing but a political meme. They really don’t want to do that.

Tax revenues from rate increases on those who can well afford to pay more would enable increased government stimulus spending without running up the deficit. Increased demand thus created would lead to more hiring and more government revenues with which to reduce the deficit — without cutting essential programs along the way.

That formula for restoring economic growth and prosperity is eminently doable. It would yield a payoff for all Americans, the wealthiest included, greatly outweighing any short-run discomfort and risk involved.

Oh wait; that was a bit of an overstatement. That formula would benefit all Americans except Republican politicians and doctrinaire radical conservatives. It’s not hard to understand why.

The relatively simple, well-established formula for economic turnaround we described would really whipsaw Republicans politically. Its success would show their trickle-down meme for the con job it’s always been while verifying that we can’t budget-cut our way to prosperity. Quite the opposite, in fact.

This is Republicans’ dilemma. It’s the sole reason they won’t take Obama’s initial deal.

What’s required of Republicans means a worst-nightmare scenario for them. Because they’re thoroughly selfish and irresponsible, solely concerned with their own political fortunes, and because they have just enough power left to stand in the way, they’re holding the whole country hostage.



Note: This post is a modified version of the comment we left yesterday to a good post at the TAO Speaks blog.


Unlike GOP’s traveling clowns, Biden tells it like it is

joe bidenVice President Joe Biden entered the election-year campaign fray last Thursday, telling a senior-citizens audience at Wynmoor Village in Coconut Creek, Fla., key differences between what President Obama and Democrats offer, and what Republican/Tea Party opponents want to do.

In a refreshing change from the hard-sell snark, lies and distortions Republican president wannabes have been dishing out for months, Biden spoke with quiet confidence and in terms respectful of the intelligence of his listeners.

We especially like this portion of Biden’s remarks.

Last year with the help of my two colleagues, we cut spending by $1 trillion. We also made a deal — we also made a deal with our Republican friends to cut it by another $1.2 trillion and set up that super committee, remember? What did they come up with? Nothing.

And we were on our way, on the cusp of negotiating — I was doing most of the negotiation for an agreement that would have cut the overall deficit by $4 trillion. But the Republicans, they walked away from it. Why? Because they wanted to maintain every major tax cut for the very wealthiest and have them move in perpetuity.

Look, they wanted an additional trillion dollars in tax cuts. And I want to explain to you — when you say that, it’s like, a trillion, that doesn’t — I mean a trillion, I can’t even — you can’t even calculate that.

Let me put it this way, of that trillion dollars, $813 million of that trillion dollar tax cut will go to households making over $1 million a year. Three hundred and fifty — 315,000 of the wealthiest families in America, average income $3.1 million a year, would get a $100,000 tax break per year for the next 10 years through that.

Look, we’re not asking anybody very wealthy to change their standard of living. We’re not — no serious. We’re not asking them to do anything they can’t do now. On $3.1 million, you don’t need another $100,000 to maintain your home, to drive the vehicle you drive, to vacation where you want to vacation. But when we ask you to take a 20 percent cut or a 30 percent cut in your Medicare or your Social Security or your children, that changes the standard of living.

Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t think it’s fair, and we don’t think it’s right. And more importantly, we don’t think it’s in the interest of the economic growth of this country. Folks, it’s simple math, either preserve Medicare and fix Social Security and draw down the deficit, or you spend another trillion dollars on tax cuts for the wealthiest. You can’t do both of these things. You can’t do both, and we refuse — we refuse to shift the burden and responsibility of putting America’s fiscal house in order on the backs of those who will have to change their standard of living, who have played by the rules, who have worked hard all their life and have earned the retirement benefits they’re getting.


We mentioned Republican candidates’ lies and distortions. For more on that, we turn to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who last Wednesday cited GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney for outperforming at lying in a field of tough competitors for the title of Most Dishonest Republican Candidate Ever. This segment from Maddow’s March 21st show deserves an Emmy for telling it like it is.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Maddow is quick to say she’s not a journalist. We’re just as quick to say she’s doing a better job of reporting solid political news than many who say they are journalists.