We don’t have a revenue problem; we have a Republican problem
Let’s remind ourselves what happened on January 1, 2013. The Bush tax breaks expired and taxes went up on every American who pays income tax. That was the only reason Republicans were willing to “compromise” and vote to end some of the tax breaks for the richest 1 percent.
Now Republicans are insisting that we need more deficit cuts, even though the deficit is falling at an unprecedented rate and our biggest risk of recession (which would explode the deficit again) is cutting the deficit too fast.
In Marco Rubio’s response to the president’s State of the Union, the big news is the Senator took the most “ill-advised drink of liquid since Socrates,” according to The Daily Beast‘s Michael Tomasky. But it was also notable that Rubio tried to reframe what Republicans are doing as not protecting the rich but protecting his neighbors, who by most standards are still pretty rich.
Are your neighbors protected by the “carried interest deductions” that lets hedge fund managers and quarter-billionaires pay lower rates than their garbage man because they have the right lobby?
Are your neighbors protected because many large corporations who can afford to have the tax code tailored to their needs pay no taxes at all?
Subsidies for incredibly profitable oil companies helping anyone on your block?
How about topping off a recovery that gives 93 percent of all the gains to the richest 1 percent with sudden and unnecessary cuts that will cost 600,000 Americans their jobs?
That’s what will happen if the sequestration goes into effect in March. And it will if Republicans are unwilling to accept any new revenues. Ending tax breaks for the rich and powerful might slow the economy but they will hurt far less than the cuts directly to the middle class the GOP is now content to let happen.
The sequester will “destroy” our recovery and the GOP is willing to let that happen. Why?
Republicans are in the business of helping their neighbors, as long as their neighbors are the Koch brothers.
[Photo by Chris Savage]