CNHI News Service

Opinion

January 7, 2013

Lesson learned on the cliff: Never cut taxes



There is only one lesson to take away from the GOP-manufactured
mess called the “fiscal cliff”: Never reduce taxes. Just don’t do it
because when it comes the inevitable time to pay the piper, the shock is
too great for the middle class. Plus, it’s unnecessary to put people
through that.

All of the tax-cut madness that arose when conservatives took over Washington in 2000 put the country on the road to ruin. From rich to poor, everyone got a little something back in two rounds of George W. Bush tax cuts. But they were mostly tailor made to the rich who have just gotten richer in the last decade while the poor and middle class have needlessly suffered.

While making these tax cuts, Bush and the neocons kept up spending. They
embarked on a two-front war and borrowed money to pay for it.

Keep in mind that President Clinton had the nation in great fiscal shape. Tax rates were nominal but still higher than the Reagan-Bush years, business was booming and the federal government had a surplus. Since it is commandment number one for conservatives to cut taxes, they did so under Bush to deliberately defund the government and its ability to promote the general welfare of its citizens. It was the conservatives’ dogma that it’s good to give Americans back their money.

After all, a flat-screen TV for one is better than food for the hungry.


Also, low tax rates, conservatives claim, lead to more jobs. If that was  the case, we would’ve been up our ears in jobs during the Bush years but hiring was moderate because the rich took all their newfound largesse and spent it on themselves.

Because of the obtuse GOP and Democratic spinelessness, we walked up to a
fiscal cliff. This time, however, President Obama stiffened when tea-party
rage forced Speaker John Boehner to act in the best interests of the tea
party and not the nation. Boehner’s eventual capitulation and the hurling
of oaths, a la Dick Cheney, toward Harry Reid was poll driven. The GOP was
going to take a public beating if it let the government go off the cliff.

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