14 October 2004

3. Economic Security: Taxes, the Deficit, Outsourcing of Jobs

Kerry would reinstate the taxes on the wealthy, shut some corporate loopholes to big oil, govern with greater fiscal discipline and work harder to create jobs and keep jobs in the U.S.

Bush ranted and kept switching the subject to talk about education. This was perhaps the funniest part of the debate. According to Bush, America’s ballooning deficit, sluggish economy, and job drain will be solved by giving children a couple tests each year! Test designers, who serenditously occupy the one sector of the U.S. economy booming since the advent of No Child Left Behind, must have been jumping in glee at the thought that the entire nation’s economy hinged on their ability to make a good multiple choice exam!

Kerry cited a donkey-cart full of statistics about the sorry state of the economy. In this, the numbers are definitely on Kerry’s side. For 99% of us, the economy of the last four years was abysmal and Bush’s give-aways to the rich and the oil companies certainly didn’t help. I don’t think Kerry presented any great strategy to turn things around but we can at least find solace in the possibility that he won’t follow the Bush strategy of constantly tossing bolts into the workings of the American economic machine.

Bush tried to say that his tax-cuts really benefited the poor and middle-class. This is bullshit. American conservatives have been deceived into feeling great sympathy for the “overtaxed” wealthy. Let’s put this in perspective. All of us who worked during the last 3 decades managed to create astronomical increases in wealth. No one disputes this. If you look at U.S. productivity and the number of widgets leaving the widget factory, everything is way up. Pretty much all of this wealth that WE created has gone to the top quintile. Actually, this top quintile didn’t produce a single widget. They sat around in the Cayman Islands and the Riviera complaining about how the numbers in their bank accounts weren’t doubling fast enough. The widget-makers themselves (the other 95% of us) didn’t get even a pat on the back for our hard work. Bush, feeling sorry for these poor buggers on the beach in the Cayman Islands gave THEM a break. Things have got worse for everyone else no matter what statistic you care to look at. Health costs are sky-rocketing, pay isn’t increasing, and hours worked have been rising. Kerry’s strong point during the evening was when he hammered home the idiocy of this tax-cut for the wealthy.


delftsman3 said...

There are no many misconceptions here on how our economy funtions, I don't know where to begin!

"..govern with greater fiscal discipline and work harder to create jobs and keep jobs in the U.S."

This from a Senator to the left of Teddy Kennedy! There has never been a tax increase that he didn't vote for. Or a decrease that he opposed.

The "Tax the rich" mentality assumes that the economy is a zero sum game, it isn't. The top 1% now pay 35% of the total tax burden. The bottom 20% PAY no taxes, in fact, due to earned income credits, and child credits, they actually get paid.

Tell me Karlo, have you ever been hired by a poor man? The "rich" are the providers of the capital that starts the cycle, without them, there IS no economy. We were in the berginning of as recession when Bush took office, and the loss of the WTC imposed a HUGE hit on an already sagging economy. Those tax cuts probably ended the recession by at least two years.

The Heinze Co. is a huge outsourcer, yet you believe the husband of the major stockholder is the one to stop outsourcing?, and it's a forgotton fact that outsourceing works both ways, the US has actually had a net gain in this area over the last three years.

Bush's point on education was to introduce accountability into the system...when 35% of the minority population graduates from High School without being able to read or write a cogent sentence, they are not prepared to participate in a modern economy.

The loss of able people to work is a drag on the economy, we need to get back to the basics in education and stop the "social advancement" of students that don't perform to grade level.

EVERY time there has been a tax cut, revenue to the government has risen, EVERY time the marginal rates rise, revenue falls. It's called huuman nature, the more you can keep of what you earn, the more you will use your money for investment, the gov. collects more from a wider pool at a lower rate; the less you keep, the less you invest,and "shelter", and revenue to the gov. shrinks, because although the rate is higher, the pool is smaller.

It's basic Econ 101. too bad it isn't a required subject anymore, if it were, the class warfare tactics of the Dems wouldn't fly anymore.

Kerry payed $90,ooo in taxes last year...Bush paid over $200,ooo on a lot less gross income...so who is the "cheater"? For one who bemoans "unfairness" he sure takes advantage of it!

I have to get up in three hours to take Mama to the airport to her trip to Georgia for the Jawja Blogfest., maybe I can get the links to some stuff that will put the lie to at least half of the BS both men put out.
Kerry much more than Bush however. Most of Bush's were of omission, but Kerry's were of commission.

Karlo said...

"The "rich" are the providers of the capital that starts the cycle, without them, there IS no economy."

This is another one of those circular arguments. Our CURRENT economy demands that we subsidize a class of owners (the equivalent of the aristocracies of old). The way the current economy is structured, we "need" the large owners of capital. We could just as easily say that the people in the middle-ages "needed" kings and aristocracy to protect their business interprises or that the ancient Egyptians had to subsidize their kings since the people required the king's divine protection. One thing you don't address in all this talk is the nature of current wealth: the undisputed fact (reflected in all government figures) is that in the last 3 decades, the U.S. economy has done very well, the rich have done extremely well, and the average worker has received very little. Twelve years of the last 3 decades, which were marked by the virtual lack of growth in middle and lower class wealth, were years when Reagan and Bush (champions of the trickle-down economics you advocate) were in power. (If you want the links to the statistics on the lack of income growth among the lower and middle class, I can get them for you.) If your ideas work, why didn't the middle and lower-class workers benefit during Reagan and Bush 1's time in office? The paltry middle-class growth that was achieved in the last 3 decades is completely offset by increased working hours and the introduction of women into the workforce. Your ideas sound good on paper but the statistics clearly disprove them.

"The Heinze Co. is a huge outsourcer, yet you believe the husband of the major stockholder is the one to stop outsourcing?"

No. I don't think Kerry will stop outsourcing. Without dramatic changes in the structure of the U.S. economy, I don't think anyone will.

"Bush's point on education was to introduce accountability into the system."

This is an area I know something about. I've listened to talks given by many of the leading academics working in the field of testing. I've probably talked about the program with 10 to 15 academics and about 10 teachers and have yet to find ONE that isn't vehemently against the program. You'd think that at least the people in the testing companies would love the plan since it's meant a lot of money for them. One aspect of the plan never discussed is that No Child Left Behind wasn't created by someone who had a background in education but by a politician! That tells us something about the plan's real purposes.