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Starve the Beast (that’s us)

November 23, 2011

From a Feb 9, 2011 article in Rolling Stone by political correspondence Tim Dickinson.

“We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share,” he thunders to a crowd in Georgia. Such tax loopholes, he adds, “sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary – and that’s crazy.”  President Ronald Reagan, 1985.

“[Republicans thought] if it bankrupts the country, that’s OK because it’s going to lead to greater spending cuts later on. So if you don’t like the nature of what government does — you don’t like that it funds a social safety net, you don’t like Medicare, you don’t like Social Security — it’s actually a good strategy to leave the government in a perilous fiscal situation, because energies will be directed into cutting spending and paring back these programs.”

“During the Bush administration, there was an argument …[from] Dick Cheney that ‘deficits don’t matter,’ that you can run up these tax cuts on essentially the national credit card, that you can pay for these tax cuts to the wealthiest by borrowing money from China if you need to. But today there’s this argument with Obama as president that deficits do matter — in fact, they’re the most important thing of all. But there’s this strange caveat to this. You can still push through new tax cuts for the wealthy even if those are paid for with deficit spending. It’s a very puzzling line of argument that doesn’t get challenged very often. But you look at the lame duck deal in December of last year that extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest — and this was a deficit finance package that had other components to it — but the net effect was to raise the national debt by a greater amount than the stimulus package that the Republicans fought so bitterly against as wasteful deficit spending.”


From → American Greed

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