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Monday, July 19, 2004

Battle Tax Cuts - Iron Blogger Republican - Opening Statements

Battle Tax Cuts!
 
Sounds mighty impressive.
 
Of course, a few decades ago, this would be the last thing anyone would ever debate. A few decades ago, proposing a Battle: Tax Cuts would be akin to a Battle: Earth is Round or Battle: Killing Nuns is Bad.
 
Back before liberals became more enamored with winning back the White House than using common sense, anyone in the country, if offered a tax break, would cheer and vote yes immediately.
 
When I was a kid, it was the taxes that were killing us. “The governor do take his share, don’t he?” was my dad’s favorite quote from Dickens, and the man knew his Dickens. Both sides of the political world agreed that it was pretty much political suicide to try to sell the idea of a tax hike. 

Taxes are a necessary evil. I’m down with taxes. It costs a lot to run a country like this. There is a limit, though, and raising taxes isn’t the answer whenever you want to try on some new programs.
 
Will Rogers said things like “If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don't get wet you can keep” and Vanya Cohen said “When there's a single thief, it's robbery.  When there are a thousand thieves, it's taxation.” We laughed because it was true. It made sense.
 
Then, one day, Republicans got control of the White House and the Congress. That was the day that anything the President proposed, sensible or not, even something so obviously sensible as returning to the American public that which they themselves earned, became necessarily evil in the eyes of Democrats.
 
The question my beloved chairman is asking, I believe, is not whether the economy is recovering or not, which of course it is. That would be Battle: Recovering Economy.
 
Heavens, other than on perennially biased blogs, the issue isn’t whether we’ve recovered but rather who is responsible for the recovery.

No, the question for us is whether or not the Bush tax cuts in particular are a positive force in our recovering economy.
 
And so we come to consider HOW we go about judging objectively whether or not tax cuts are a positive or negative force. By “we,” I don’t mean Democrats, of course.
 
Democrats are blinded by love for raising taxes. Mondale (sorry to bring Walter “I won Minnesota!” Mondale back into your mind) based his whole wildly unsuccessful campaign on raising taxes. When we were at peace, Democrats wanted to raise taxes. Now that we’re at war, they want to raise taxes. John Kerry has voted over 350 times for higher taxes in his years as a senator and is chomping at the bit to do so again, this time with a more powerful vote. 
 
Oh, how the Democrats love raising taxes! We have a surplus? Raise taxes. We have a deficit? Raise taxes. Your nose itches? Raise taxes. We just raised taxes? Raise taxes.
 
Of course, the real reason Democrats are against the Bush tax cuts is the word at the beginning of the phrase: “Bush.” The Democrats these days are reduced to mere contrariness. Their plan to win the White House? Vote for “anyone but Bush.”
 
When you’re that contrary, any good news leads to pessimism by definition. So a Republican can no longer win the White House; he can only steal the election. We can’t defend our friends anymore; we can only become occupying forces. And you can’t give everyone a tax break; you can only take all the poor man’s money and give it to the rich man.
 
Last year, after paying my taxes (no, I’m not a multimillionaire or a huge corporation – I’m a church pastor of the lower middle class persuasion), I was pleasantly surprised to receive an additional check for $600 in return. Liberals are shocked and appalled by this. They would have me believe that in handing over a check for $600, the Republicans were trying to destroy me and destroy America. That idiot Bush let me pay my overdue electric bill, take my wife out to eat and catch up on my tithe. Evil incarnate, that!
 
So we have to discount Democrats from rational discussion of how to judge whether a tax cut is a positive or negative thing. After all, following the “anyone but Bush” rationale, George W. could announce sweeping tax increases, usually an orgasmic concept to Democrats, and the Left would bleat “Cut taxes! Anyone but Bush! Cut taxes! Baaaa!”
 
How DO we judge then?
 
The easiest way to judge is to ask whether the cuts are helping. Do the tax cuts help the poor, or (as my liberal friends love to chant) are the tax cuts merely subterfuge to help the rich get richer?
 
You can hear the liberal drums calling for yet more class warfare. Liberals don’t get the idea that you can take action that helps everybody, not just a favored few. It has to be hard being a liberal multi-millionaire and basing your entire run for power on hating it when good things happen for the rich.
 
So, do the tax cuts help the lower and middle classes?
 
First of all, and most obviously, there’s the whole getting-more-money thing. I personally was poor, and then I got $600 back. It didn’t bump me up any tax brackets but it made survival a lot easier for a while. Sounds simple, yes?
 
Of course, to the contrarians, simple and sensible are little more than opportunities to attack, so let us be more clear.
 
How do the Bush tax cuts impact the poor?
Under the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003, 91 million taxpayers will receive, on average, a tax cut of $1,126 this year.
 
*68 million women will see their taxes decline, on average, by $1,338.
*45 million married couples will receive average tax cuts of $1,786.
*34 million families with children will benefit from an average tax cut of $1,549.
*6 million single women with children will receive an average tax cut of $558.
*12 million elderly taxpayers will receive an average tax cut of $1,401.
*23 million small business owners will receive tax cuts averaging $2,209.
*3 million individuals and families will have their income tax liability completely eliminated by the Act.

“The largest percentage cuts go to those making less: the average American family earning $50,000 would receive at least a $1,600 cut - at least a 50% reduction. And a family of four making $35,000 would get a 100% tax cut. One in five taxpaying families with children would no longer pay any taxes at all. Clearly low-income Americans are the biggest winners under the President's plan.”


The tax rate on low-income families with two children will fall by over 40%. The tax rate for low-income families with one child will fall by nearly 50%. A family of four making $35,000 would get a 100% tax cut. We’re not talking about Donald Trump, Bill Gates and John Kerry, here. 

Let’s see. Single women, the elderly, poor families and small business owners. Hardly the super-rich.

Don’t get me wrong, the rich will save more money than the poor thanks to the tax cuts. This is called “arithmetic,” and it’s a topic my liberal friends like to avoid, or at least obscure.

If you make $100 and I make $10 and we both get a 10 percent bonus, you get $10 more and I get $1 more. You gain a larger bonus by $9 because you’re richer than I. This is not unfair. This is not biased. This is math.

The rich will save more money because they PAY MORE TAXES. According to the IRS, the top 1% of wage earners, who bring in 21% of all income, pay 37% of the federal tax burden. (Under a truly "fair" system, they would pay 21%.)

And, from the same source:

“If you think I'm exaggerating, read what Senate Minority Leader Tom Dascle had to say in a radio address on January 4. In trying to bait the American people, Dascle claims that such a tax cut would be ‘the wrong idea at the wrong time to help the wrong people,’ and that ‘those who make more than $1 million a year would get a tax break of $24,000, while those who make between $40,000 and $50,000 a year would get a break of $76.’
What Mr. Dascle didn't say was that the top 1% (those who earn at least $313,000) also pay an average tax rate of 27.45%. This means that those who make more than $1 million a year are also paying at least $274,500 in taxes. That's a whopping sum of money to have taxed out of your paycheck.”

Not to mention that Bush’s tax cuts help folks across the board.

If everyone who pays taxes gets a break, then the people the liberals seem to be defending are those who don’t pay their taxes. Curious, that.

The drought of common sense among liberals has gotten so bad that even John Kerry has been forced to promote tax cuts, although he hides his cuts in “New Jobs Tax Credit” and “Tax Holiday” rhetoric, because fellow liberals would flay him alive if they figured it out. Somehow, when Kerry cuts taxes for a few people, 10 million jobs magically appear, but when Bush cuts taxes across the board, the economy steers toward apocalypse.

Let me ask it this way: would you be better off today if I gave you another several hundred dollars for free? Or, more accurately, if I didn’t take away several hundred of your dollars? The liberals have to think this one over.

Another way to judge whether the tax cuts are beneficial is to ask: will the economy grow more quickly with the tax cuts in place? Well, more liberal pessimism aside, the economy is in better shape now than it was before the cuts were up and running.

However, and this I say by way of concession, it IS too soon to tell. Despite what Bush-lovers would have you think, it’s too early in the game to see if we’re headed for an economic boom. On the other hand, despite what the Bush-bashers would have you think, the inklings of growth in the economy aren’t some sort of harbingers of doom, either. We need to know if the cuts will speed up the economy, but economies on this scale are best judged in years, even decades -  not weeks or months.

The good news is that tax cuts are a fine idea “independent of the current growth of the economy.” Putting money that belongs to the people, that they EARNED, back in their hands is always a good idea.

See, what it comes down to is that taxes are like abortion. And no, not just because they’re both grotesque procedures supported by Democrats. They are alike because you’re either for them or against them.

You either want people to keep more of their own money or you want to take it from them for your own purposes.

Listen to the liberal rhetoric. We can’t “afford” tax cuts, they say, as if cutting taxes were something we were spending money on. It’s not, of course, it’s just reducing the amount of money the government has to play with.

Certainly the liberals don’t want you to have your own money. They need it for government programs designed to elect the most liberal man on Capital Hill and bailing out the DNC Convention in Boston. Liberals have the moral authority to do this, of course, because taking our money from us is “for our own good.”

God only knows what we’d do with our money if we ever got our hands on it. 
  


Submitted with the deepest respect,

Dan Champion, IB Republican 
 






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