As the Presidential election draws ever closer, talk concerning how to deal with the economy has intensified. Last week’s 2nd Presidential Debate gave voters the clearest distinction yet between President Obama’s pragmatic plan for economic growth and GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s preposterous ‘vision’ embracing Reagan’s failed trickle down economics.
Political observers on the left rightly point out that President Obama still has a great deal of work to do to remedy the mess the created by 8 years of George W. Bush. But on the flip side what is the GOP offering as a cure? Tax cuts for the rich, a return to the failed trickle down economics that didn’t work 30 years ago. Those on the right proclaiming we need to cut taxes on the richest in order for trickle down economics to boost the economy need a reality check. When the rich get richer they don’t create new jobs out of the goodness of their heart; they reinvest their money to make more. The second presidential debate was the perfect platform for Romney to clearly define exactly what his tax cut plan is. Why didn’t he do it? Simply because he knows it doesn’t add up. Teresa Tritch’s article in the New York Times highlights this undeniable fact in a clear and concise manner.
GOP talk about cutting taxes has been going on for decades. What is surprising is that the GOP can still manage to get poor, lower-income conservatives to buy into this even though it clearly doesn’t make their standard of living any better. Appealing to the lowest common denominator is the one thing the GOP does well, how they do it by masquerading trickle down economics as ‘helping the middle class’ to their base core of voters when they are really promoting the interests of the rich is simply astounding. In brief they do this by blaming the left, unions, and ‘burdensome regulation’- both financial and environmental.
In spite of the fact that many conservatives talk about how important balancing the budget is, they remain against increasing revenues from those who benefit most from the current system. Republicans have derided and denounced the Buffet Rule, despite the fact that estimates from Think Progress show that it could generate over $170 billion in revenue. This is despite the fact that President Obama has stated on numerous occasions, most recently during the second presidential debate, that he would be willing to leave the Bush era tax cuts in place in order to help the middle class. This simply goes to show that Republicans are far more interested in demonizing the President than they are in offering a genuine remedy for the economy.
Changing taxation laws to ensure that the richest among us pay their fair share will go a long way to putting our debt to rest and ensuring that government safety nets are funded. While people on the right talk about enterprise and how companies are people, they forget all of the people who are struggling to make ends meet. Taking away money from Medicare and making welfare more difficult to receive will only extend people’s suffering. For our economy to recover, we need to start helping people who are on the bottom and are suffering the most, not letting the rich keep getting richer.