Remember the Republicant’s “Pledge to America?” Apparently, neither do they.
The GOP claims they’ve inflicted untold misery, obstructed all attempts to help Americans, and done everything possible to slow down or prevent our economic recovery to reduce the federal deficit. Yet these lying hypocrites have voted for tax cuts — mostly for corporations and for the wealthy — that will add nearly $1 trillion to our national debt over the next decade!
Luckily for the American people, these tax cuts expired in 2013 and are unlikely to make it past the Senate or President Barack Obama’s veto pen.
The Washington Times reminds us of why the Republicans set out to kick our nation while we were down:
Armed with a ‘Pledge to America,’ Republicans won majority control of the House in 2010. The pledge spelled out the party’s governing principles and included a vow to ‘balance the budget and pay down the debt.’
To keep the promise, Republicans have demanded that spending increases, including for disaster relief and other crises, be funded or offset in the budget.
That’s right. No borrowing to keep our roads and bridge repaired, help victims of Hurricane Sandy, feed hungry children, provide healthcare fund our schools, or get Americans back to work. But these same parsimonious GOP grinches with the clenched sphincters have no problem with handing out $1 trillion in tax breaks to their zillionaire corporate masters.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told the Times;
“I’m not going to apologize because Republicans believe in low taxes and less regulation. I think that’s why God made Republicans.”
And guess what, Tom Cole? God also made blood sucking leeches — like the bloated plutocrats you serve — so just because God made something doesn’t make it right.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sharply disagreed via email, shortly after the GOP refused Obama’s $3.7 billion request for addressing the border crisis:
“Republicans hypocritically and unfairly refuse to offset any of their tax giveaways — yet they demand full offsets on key investments and priorities for the American people.”
We’ve tried to do things their way…
We’ve tried to do things the conservatives’ way for over three decades, since conservative icon Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980 by a landslide. This disastrous experiment has destroyed America’s middle class and proven conclusively that tax breaks for the rich, trickle-down, deregulation, and supply-side economics simply do not create jobs, make society more efficient, or make America more prosperous.
Anyone who’s gone through the past recession and still clings to these failed ideas is either deluded, paid off by the Koch brothers and their cronies, deliberately out to screw the American people, or all of the above.
There’s no reason why eliminating the national debt should be more important than everything else, and in any case, Republicant’s do not deserve their reputation for fiscal responsibility.
The following chart from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) clearly illustrates President George W. Bush and his neoconservative administration drove our federal deficit to record highs. You’d never guess that President Bill Clinton — a Democrat — left Bush with a surplus.
The Washington Times and the New Republic report that the tax breaks supported by the GOP include $534 billion in corporate tax break extensions, and over $187 billion tax cuts for upper-income families. In addition, members of both parties approximately $168 billion in expenses, even though they have not been offset
$534 billion for corporate tax break extensions.
These dubious corporate tax breaks — which haven’t done squat for boosting the economy — were supposed to expire in 2013
- $2 billion deduction for food donations: Gee, maybe if these businesses stopped moving jobs overseas and paid better wages, our local food banks wouldn’t need all these donations.
- $287 billion to corporations for “bonus depreciations“: This isn’t as bad as it sounds (CEOs don’t get to write off their fat bonuses), but it’s still pretty bad. The cut lets companies write off an extra 50 percent for the costs of their equipment and other purchases.
- $155 million R&D tax credit: In this textbook case of socialized risk, privatized profits, companies get to write off a huge chunk of their their research and development costs. Encouraging innovation sounds good on the surface, except that we had plenty of publicly funded research, development and innovation going on, until the GOP gutted funding for universities and scientific research programs.
In 2011, US News also reported on a few lesser-known corporate tax breaks the GOP-led house seeks to make permanent.
- ‘Deferral of income’ from foreign companies controlled by shareholders in the U.S.: Corporations owning these stocks pay no taxes unless they receive dividends or other compensation. Cost: $212.8 billion from 2012-2016.
- Deductions for “production activities”: Yep, companies also get write-offs for keeping production here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. This tax write-off could actually help Americans, but unfortunately, corporations don’t need to hire us because they’ve got robots to make our stuff. Cost: $62.4 billion from 2012-2016.
- Tax-exempt interest on bonds: When businesses buy bonds issued by state and local governments to build, maintain, or repair public infrastructure, they pay no taxes on the interest they earn. Cost: $73.1 billion from 2012-2016. Oh, and add another $8.5 billion for tax-free interest income from hospital construction bonds.
- Low-income housing credits: Companies who build low-income housing get hefty tax breaks in exchange for their charging lower-than-market rents — a whopping 70 percent. They also get 30 percent for fixing up existing homes. Given the appalling lack of Section 8 housing — or any housing most Americans can afford — this tax break doesn’t seem to work very well. Cost: $34.3 billion from 2012-2016.
- Lower corporate income rates: Thanks to some bizarre fiscal sleight of hand that surely has Milton Friedman, the evil inventor of supply side economics, grinning from the fiery depths of Hell, “graduated corporation income tax rates” help U.S. corporations avoid paying their fair share. Cost: $17.8 billion from 2012-2016.
- Life insurance interest exclusions: Corporations who earn income from investing in life insurance contracts (WHAT?!?) don’t pay any taxes until the people holding the policies die. You’d think these companies would be doing more to help us live longer. Cost: $9.2 billion from 2012-2016.
Over $187 billion in tax cuts for upper-middle class and wealthy families.
While the GOP brutally slashes funding for food stamps and other programs that help low-income folks — including children, seniors, full-time students, and the working poor — they hand out hefty tax credits to people who don’t need the help.
- $90 billion in child tax credits — for upper income families: Actually, some upper-income families who live in expensive areas might need the help. Having children is now the number one predictor of whether a person will file bankruptcy at some point in their lives. But why not expand child tax credits and/or welfare benefits for all families with children?
- $97 billion in tax credits for college expenses: Once again, tax breaks for higher education mainly benefits upper-income folks, because so many lower-income families can no longer afford college for their children. It would be better if
Oh, and Market Watch reports on a slew of other tax goodies that mainly help the well-off, including the home sale exclusion, and the investment interest expense deduction,
A few expenses we can support.
Republicans also join Democrats in supporting approximately $168 billion in expenses that have not been offset.
- $20 billion for doctors who faced drastic cuts for their Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.
- $8 billion to help with the Highway Trust Fund’s pension costs (the least we can do since Wall Street looted the pension funds).
- $144 billion to shore up the Veterans Administration (partially offset by $4 billion) Those Republicans wouldn’t dare vote “no” on this.
h/t Liberal Land.