Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Republicans Say No to Largest Tax Cut in History

Republicans not only voted against creating jobs when they voted no on the stimulus plan, they also voted against one of the biggest tax cuts in history. Robert Schlesinger at US News gives us the lowdown.
Steven Waldman, a former U.S. News editor (well before I wandered these halls), makes an interesting case that the coming tax cut will indeed be the biggest ever.
The compromise stimulus plan includes $282 billion in tax cuts over two years.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bush's first two years of tax cuts amounted to $174 billion. A second batch in 2004 and 2005 cost $231. And those were thought to be bigger than the tax cuts offered by Reagan, Kennedy, or others.

But wait, you say, wasn't Bush's 2001 tax cut, at $1.35 trillion (funny how the GOP didn't mind draining one trillion dollars from the government coffers then), the largest in history?
Yes, over the full 10 years of its existence. But over the first two years, as Waldman points out above, the price tag was much smaller. So the Obama stimulus tax cut would be the biggest ever for the first two years.
It's common knowledge that Republicans love tax cuts, so what motivated them to vote against these? I think Steve Benen nails it with this remark:
George W. Bush's tax cuts were long-term income-tax rate cuts, which amounted to a generous break for those at the top, since the wealthy pay most income taxes. Obama's tax cuts, meanwhile, are short-term refunds paid directly to working and middle class families (some of which Republicans have denounced as "welfare").
We can't have money trickling down to the masses. That would ruin their plans to redistribute even more money up to the already wealthy.

By the way, with this stimulus bill, Obama kept his campaign promise to deliver tax cuts, and he's only been in office one month. Meanwhile, we're still waiting for Republicans to deliver on some of that compassionate conservatism they said we'd be seeing.


Johnny C said...

The same people that gave Bush the credit card and told him he can do whatever he wants with it are now concern about spending? The Republicans must think we're like their supporters we're all that just plain stupid.

K. said...

The tax cut gave them perfect cover to vote for the recovery act in the spirit of compromise. But they'd rather brag on youtube (at least until their violation of copyright protection is exposed) that they all voted no no no no no. They can throw a political tantrum -- so what? That's supposed to make us trust in their leadership?

Kathy said...

JohnnyC, I thought this exposed the class-warfare of Republicans. They said they cared about creating jobs and helping "average" Americans, but claimed spending wouldn't accomplish that, only tax cuts. Yet they also voted against the very tax cuts they insisted on having. Why? Because they didn't help the rich enough.

What more proof do people need that they don't care about anyone except the rich?

K, I read Aerosmith didn't give them permission to use their song and they wanted them to stop immediately. What crooks. McCain pulled that crap during his campaign several times too.

What irks me about Republicans is that they insisted of having the tax cuts inserted in the stimulus plan - in spite of experts opinions that tax cuts give us less bang for the buck - and then they turned around and voted no anyway. They weakened the effectiveness of the stimulus package and showed where their true loyalties lie - with the upper class.

Kvatch said...

Guilliani said as much when he called tax cuts for the poor and middle class 'welfare' while characterizing tax cuts for the rich and for businesses as 'stimulus'.

Kathy said...

Kvatch, Guiliani is a typical, wealthy Republican. As long as they benefit from tax cuts, it's okay, but God forbid a poor person should get a few crumbs.