Maybe a Conservative Can Explain Those Tax Cuts For the Rich to Me

by jhwygirl

Call me crazy, but extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich…the top 2% of income earners in the U.S. while adding an additional $700 billion to the deficit and not extending unemployment benefits is the sheer definition of lack of common sense, no?


The Bush Tax Cuts didn’t create jobs and added to the deficit, and even the Senators and Representatives that voted for them in the first place knew this, which is why there was a termination on them because of the deficit it was known that they’d create.

The Washington Post has an nifty graphic to show the Obama v. Republican proposal:

Unemployed people – and the national figure is something like 9.6% (Montana’s is 7.3) – spend pretty much everything they get in unemployment, right? 100% of what they spend goes right back into the economy?

The cost of extending unemployment benefits? $65 billion.

The economic impact of that $65 billion? $80 billion.

Compare that figure to the $700 billion cost of extending benefits to singles making more than $250,000 and couples making more than $500,000 and then factor in that Republicans want the unemployment benefits paid for by spending reductions while they have said no quid pro quo deal on tax cuts for the rich.

I come up with “huh?”

Struggle as I may, I can not for the life of me figure out the logic behind a talking head – and there are plenty of ’em with this position – that would stand there and defend the current GOP position on these tax cuts for the rich. How do these people reconcile the unavoidable dichotomy of the situation? I mean – does it really work to avoid reality? In government?

Cause it’s slapping me along with a whole hell of a lot of others of us down here around.

So explain to me – anyone.

Anyone that understands this GOP mindset.


  1. Ingemar Johansson

    This explains it. We need to expand the GDI.

    • lizard19

      this lovely tutorial with the spray-tanned college grad is hilarious. i especially like the part where she says it’s probably not smart to take your retirement and finance a trip to Vegas.

      funny, considering that’s what wall street did. but not with their own retirements, no no no.

      then she gets in to the wouldn’t it be great if we expanded national income bit, lumping in employe compensation and small business income with corporate profit.

      as i’ve tried to point out to the idiot right-wing talking points crowd, corporate profit IS EXPANDING, and at a faster rate hitting record levels, while employee compensation is stagnant, and in some case falling, and small businesses still can’t access the easy low interest rate credit the big banks are enjoying.

      for you talking-points automatons, let me put it in simple terms so maybe you’ll finally get it.

      there was once a dude who made cars. last name, Ford. and this smart business guy had a funny notion that he wanted to pay his workers enough money so that they could afford to purchase the cars they were laboring to make. this was good for workers, and good for business. what some would call a “win-win.”

      but then came globalization, and the forces of greed were unleashed in search of new resources to extract and markets to exploit. domestically, this greed whittled away at regulations, and snipped incessantly at the New Deal concessions that were made after the Great Depression and WWII.

      now we seem to have moved into uncharted territory. the dollar as reserve currency is being tested, with just recently china and russia agreeing to abandon the dollar for their bilateral dealings, which those who follow paul craig roberts would know.

      sorry, that got a little complicated just then. maybe i should go search YouTube for some jersey girl to break it down in simpler terms. stay tuned.

    • Matt Singer

      Wow. This is the worst strawman description of Keynesian economics I’ve think I’ve ever watched. It also just offers a string of policy solutions ostensibly aimed at increasing GDI, some of which are actually Keynesian prescriptions, some of which are not.

      Regardless, the Keynesian analysis of the macroeconomy has held up fairly well over the years. The basic problem right now, according to a Keynesian analysis, is that there is insufficient consumer demand. You can tell that both by some hard data and by simply asking business owners. A lack of sales is the main problem for business.

      Hence the Keynesian solution: prime the pump. Keep people employed, so that they spend money (this also helps GDI — since those government employees and contractors receive wages and the businesses contracting make profits, etc.) and cut taxes of people who will spend money (again, also helping GDI).

      Why do we cut taxes first on low-income people and try to get money first to low-income people? Because by all evidence, they are most likely to spend it and restoring consumer spending in a recession is the way we restore sales, which encourages investment and hiring to flow again.

      Honestly, that AEI video is just worthless. If you’re going to look to right-wing economics, at least find something that makes sense.

  2. i’ve said it before and i will say it again. i really think that big swede is a progressive who posts here to make the right look bad. i mean come on. this video doesn’t begin to meet even the shabbiest standards of the lowest tier of rightdom.

    i think beck would be embarrassed to show it as exhibit A in an argument to fill the snuff boxes of the aristocratic elite with frankincense

  3. well, once again, (remember health care reform?) democrats have a shiny package all tied up in a bow and delivered to them on a silver platter by recalcitrant and greed blinded republicans. but they refuse to open it!

    this vote on the bush tax cuts is a golden opportunity to separate themselves from 1% of the population and earn the adulation and admiration of 99% of the rest of america by stating up front and courageously that they will be absolutely committed to allowing the bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest americans.

    some backbone on the part of democratic leadership would force the republicans into a position of stubbornly refusing to extend tax cuts to the 99% of the country that needs the tax cuts badly. whether it worked or whether it didn’t- one thing would be assured; by forcing republicans to screw 99% of the country to protect their 1%….this would most assuredly and quickly turn the tables of popular opinion against republicans. BUT NOOOOO!!!!!

    instead these brain trust democrats are managing (just like the big giveaway health care bill written by the insurance companies) to piss off the entire country by acting like a bunch of cowards. how, you ask?

    why by extending baucus’s quivering olive branch to the republicans in the senate and giving in to the demands of a greedy bunch of pigs who are already filling themselves to vomit stage with the prosperity of the top 1% during a recession that is devastating the rest of us.

    i consider myself pretty inventive when it comes to fiction, but never in my wildest imaginings could i ever envision a political party garroting itself, cremating itself and delivering themselves over to their sworn enemies in a nice prettily packaged box all tied up with a bow.

    the alacrity with which the democratic party leaders miss signals and zig when they should zag is fascinating and should be taught in political science classes for the next hundred generations as the most bumbling lot of morons ever introduced to the history of the earth.

  4. TheTaxMan

    Surely you have seen this simple explanation before.

    Let’s put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this.

    The first four men — the poorest — would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1, the sixth would pay $3, the seventh $7, the eighth $12, the ninth $18, and the tenth man — the richest — would pay $59.

    That’s what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant everyday and seemed quite happy with the arrangement — until one day, the owner threw them a curve (in tax language a tax cut).

    Since you are all such good customers, he said, I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20. So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.00. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six — the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 wind fall so that everyone would get his fair share?

    The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would end up being PAID to eat their meal. So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59. Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.

    But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. I only got a dollar out of the $20, declared the sixth man, but he, pointing to the tenth, but he got $7! Yeah, that’s right, exclaimed the fifth man, I only saved a dollar, too, ……..It’s unfair that he got
    seven times more than me!

    That’s true! shouted the seventh man, why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks! Wait a minute, yelled the first four men in unison, we didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered, a little late what was very important. They were FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS short of paying the bill!

    Imagine that!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy,
    and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

    Where would that leave the rest? Unfortunately, most taxing authorities cannot seem to grasp this rather straight-forward logic!

    • JC

      “Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.”

      That would be fine. They can all leave the U.S.and go live in their tax havens for all i care. And take all their money with them. And we could then pass a law in COngress forbidding them to spend any of their “foreign” money in U.S. elections.

      And the rest of us would benefit immense ways. The Congress would be returned as voice of the people, and not the voice of the wealthy plutocracy running this country. America could quit defending their wealth through our military presence in over 700 bases across the globe.

      I like your analogy TaxMan. It would be a “soft” revolution. No shots would have to be fired, and the wealthy plutocrats and their corrupt corporations would be gone without whimper.

      What you didn’t mention above in your simpleton analogy above is that the guys who ate for free? They were getting hamburgers made out of ground round. The rich guy? He was getting ground NY Steak. The drinks? Those poor guys were getting Bud, but the rich guy? He was getting Glen Livet.

      The poor guys didn’t complain because they were getting something for nothing. The rich guy? He liked having some friends around, and felt guilty that he couldn’t go out with them because they couldn’t afford it. So he was happy to buy them the cheapest meal he could so that he wouldn’t have to feel guilty going out alone, or only with all his rich friends, who he really didn’t like spending much time with, because they were… boring.

      Of course in the morning, when everybody got up and went to work at the factory that the rich guy owned, and the two other guys who were managers, and the poor guys were the laborers, everybody (except three unemployed brother of the poor guys, who stayed home to take care of the kids (because the poor guys couldn’t afford day care), and keep looking for jobs) showed up at 8am. And they all worked till lunch, where they poor guys pulled out their baloney sandwiches and cokes. Well, those managers? They went back to the same restaurant for lunch, and talked about how lucky they were they didn’t have to eat baloney sandwiches for lunch. The rich guy? He left in his limo, and went off to the country club where he had prime rib for lunch, and then played a round of golf with his buddies, chuckling about how if it weren’t for those poor shmucks laboring away, he wouldn’t be able to live his life of luxury. After he got done playing golf, he went home a grabbed his wife and went out to the opera, and then went out for a $500 dinner with lobster and shrimp and a bunch of fancy stuff none of the poor guys could pronounce. And when they went home to the gated community and their 10 million dollar house, they passed the tenements where the poor guys lived. The rich guy made a mental note to call his senator to remind him that he gave his PAC $10,000 the week before, and really wanted to see the new industrial park development come in and replace the eyesore tenements that were in dire need of repair. And then he made another mental note to send off another contribution to the private school where he was sending his kids, so they didn’t have to go to the same public school that the snot nosed brats belonging to his laborers and managers did–because well, those teachers were just filling the kids heads with socialist nonsense and science and stuff.

      You think those poor guys would really care if the rich guy got upset if his taxes went up? They don’t care about how the rich guy–a guy who is driven around in a limo, who lives in a gated community, who has no financial worries in the world, and who controls the destiny of their homes, their jobs, their families, what they eat, and how their families survive–might be inconvenienced a bit by having to pay a bit more for his cushy place in society. And you know, they only went out to dinner with the guy once in a while because they felt that if they didn’t, they might lose their job. They felt sorry for the rich dude, because, well, he hadn’t had to work to get what he had–he had inherited it when his rich industrialist grandpa died. They really couldn’t stand his guts, and knew that he was cheating them at their monthly dinner with the owner. But they came anyways, even when their wives grumbled about being left at home with the kids, and just some hamburger helper left till payday.

      No, America is the land of opportunity. If all those rich people felt they were being taxed too much and decided to leave the country en masse, we would be much better off for it. We would find a new way to coexist and build a new economy and government that was just and equitable.

      Raise the tax rates back up a few percent to where they were under Clinton? Nah, let’s go back to the 91% that was existent back after the Great Depression. And if they don’t like it, they can just leave. Fuck ’em.

  5. Banned in Beantown

    Appears to me that the “GOP position” will also turn out to be the “Democratic position”, and we’ll be alone again, naturally.

  6. I’m a conservative, and I will explain it for you;

    (1) We’re not talking about a new tax cut, we’re talking about a scheduled Tax HIKE, which takes place in a month.

    (2) The ‘Hope & Change’ economy cannot endure raising taxes for anybody right now.

    That’s it, and it’s pretty simple.

    • JC

      !) It is not a “scheduled tax hike”. It is an expiring tax cut. And the tax cut was not paid for when Bush and republicans enacted it. They knew it was going to expire this month. And the reason they knew it was going to expire was precisely because it wasn’t paid for.

      So you want another tax cut Coobs? Figure out how you are going to pay for it. I’m willing to have all but the cuts for the wealthy be deficit spending for a while–those people will spend the money and it will stimulate the economy. I’m not willing to borrow another 700 billion dollars for the wealthy to get another tax cut. That’s money my kids will have to pay back, and I’m not willing to leave them with pay the debt for rich people’s tax breaks.

      2) And yes, the economy can endure raising taxes for the wealthy. In fact, the higher those taxes go, the less money the rich will have to invest in Congressmen and Senators. That’s a good thing.

      • ayn rand

        Geez………a raise in taxes is a raise in taxes. I don’t care what motel it lives in. The pimping of the english language proves nothing. If your taxes go up……it’s an increase. If they stay the same….it’s a status quo ( a term you far left liberals like). Good lord, go back to school, no belay that, you lefties will want me to pay for it.

        • JC

          I’m tired of borrowing money from my kids to pay for rich people’s tax breaks.

          Phrase it however you want. I’m willing to raise taxes for the rich so my kids don’t have to pay for them years down the road, and all of the interest on them in the meantime.

          You rich people want to maintain your tax rate, figure out how you’re going to pay for it. Because I sure the hell don’t want to.

    • Potatoes Potatoes, Eric on #1 – regardless it isn’t paid for. Isn’t all this stuff supposed to be paid for? Or at least attempted?

      Why do we allow $700 billion in tax cuts fly while saying that a $65 billion dollar extension of unemployment/boondoggle/subsidy/whatever-in-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it benefits that’ll create $80 billion in economic activity needs to be paid for?

      Where. Is. The. Sense. In. That.

      It’s a pretty basic question – you can’t ignore the facts.

      Your premise (1+2) ignores the entire question and the facts of the situation. Running government isn’t that simple.

      As an aside, it’s disappointing to not see some attempt at trying to legitimize this conservative point of view. Can’t someone even try and drunk-logic something up?

  7. Chuck

    Hey JC….the good news is if our kids end up living and working in Missoula they won’t ever make enough money to pay a single penny of income tax!!!

  8. both parties are already losing people at this point. and the further each party goes in their prospective trajectories…. repubs siding with billionaires and obviously lying about wanting to solve the deficit…. and dems using repubs as an excuse to keep on courting wealthy corporations and benefactors while they ignore the fact that they have broken their word to the american people since 06 by failing to even try to get us out of two wars, or enact a real health care reform bill, or make any attempt to level the playing field in this country for working people.

    i predict that independents will make huge inroads in the 2012 election cycle.

    it will be the beginning of the end for both parties. and good riddance to both of them.

  9. I saw no evidence of a third-party push in last months election results problembear.

    If you were correct, we would have seen independent candidates and libertarians pulling higher numbers.

    How did Mike Fellows do?

    6.82% in Yellowstone County.

    And it looks like it was mostly Dems voting for him, judging by the results of the other races.

    So other than wishful thinking, how do you come up with that?

    • oh i don’t know eric…. let’s just call it a hunch that the next two years won’t exactly shine for republicans when it comes to making things better for working folks who are growing increasingly impatient with both parties.

      the tea party is old news now and when people realize that was just astroturfing by the koch bros et al and the rhetoric about lowering the deficit was just a smokescreen to continue shoveling gratuities to corporate backers, we shall see what we shall see. i believe people are slowly getting fed up with the corruption of both parties in washington.

      and your contention that only liberals are going independent is off by a mile.

      • Well problembear – if Denny’s voter were voting for Mike Fellows, he wouldn’t have ended up where he did.

        I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

        • an independent candidate of the tiny caliber of someone like mike fellows is hardly what dems and repubs will be facing in 2012 if we get two more years of clown circus eric.

          this revolt will be unprecedented.

        • Eric – What has changed with the GOP poised to take the helm?

          They were all “no earmarks” but not 24 hours after the election, Denny Rehberg was saying that we needed to “figure out what is a real earmark.”

          He wasn’t the only one.

          So we’re still at the same place – both parties ineffective and more focused re-election numbers than the real numbers that matter.

  10. Name: Mark

    They should extend all tax cuts, but create a suggested contribution page where all the rich liberals who think taxes should be raised can give at a higher rate in exchange for a commemorative Obama plate set from The Franklin Mint with a certificate of authenticity signed by Chocolate Jesus himself. Everybody wins!

    • just when i believed that bs came up with the shallowest and most greedy argument for extending tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires …. i stand corrected.

    • The Polish Wolf

      I wouldn’t say I’m a wealthy liberal, but I’ll volunteer to pay higher taxes to free our country from fiscal obligations to the world’s most powerful undemocratic nation. How about the patriots and freedom lovers on the right?

    • I think ya’all are just a bunch of uneducated ignorant haters with a weak stomach and no guts.

      You probably pulled the legs off of insects when you were little.

  1. 1 Tax Cuts for Wealthy’s Legacy: “It’s for the Children…” « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] to Big Swede Ingy, we have the theme for the upcoming battle over the Bush tax cuts. If you need a primer on this […]

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