Tuesday, April 10, 2012

George W. Bush Still Lying About Tax Cuts

I think you'll enjoy this video I made...

In 2001 most Americans were stupid idiots. Now eleven years later, many of us are much smarter. But George W. Bush still thinks we're all stupid idiots, and today was telling us the same old crap he's told us before.

A study published in the journal Psychological Science showed that children who score low on intelligence tests gravitate toward "socially conservative" political views in adulthood -- perhaps because conservative ideologies make it easier to understand a complicated world.

Now there's the new study out from the University of Arkansas by psychologist Dr. Scott Eidelman linking conservative ideologies to "low-effort" thinking.

That might help explain why George W. Bush could say "raising taxes would only take money out of consumer's pockets", and that the current Republican base might believe him. But it's total B.S.

April 10, 2012 (New York) - Speaking at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s conference on Tax Policies For 4% Growth, former President George W. Bush voiced opposition to raising taxes on the rich in a rare public policy speech.

Bush claims that "most small businesses pay taxes at the individual income tax level,” adding that 70 percent of new jobs in America are created by small businesses. "Therefore, if you raise taxes on the so-called rich, you're really raising taxes on the job creators.”

That is a total and absolute lie. Bush is claiming that 70% of all small businesses owners are rich and earn over $1 million a year, and pays taxes on that income at the individual income tax level (currently at 35%) -- and that all of these "small businesses" actually hire employees.

Most CEOs of the largest American-based multi-national corporations, commercial and investment banks, and managers of hedge funds and private equity firms like the Vanguard Group (or Bain Capital) earn $1 million a year. And even then, most of their executive compensation is over and beyond their base cash salary (wages), but are paid by other means, such as stock options and bonuses as "pay for performance". And they are only taxed at 15% for capital gains, not at the statutory rate of 35% that most small business owners would have to pay if they paid themselves a million-dollar annual salary.

And even if what Bush said was true, then small business owners who pay taxes at the individual income tax level (and not on capital gains), and if they really did earn over $1 million a year, then they would have their income taxes REDUCED, from the top marginal rate of 35% to 30%, as Obama proposes.

Obama is determined to make his plan to raises taxes on the rich the centerpiece of his campaign. It's true that 72% of those surveyed in a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll support the idea of raising taxes on the rich (but not on mom-and-pop business owners who might gross $1 million a year in sales, as Bush suggests). The current Senate proposal would only require that taxpayers with personal annual incomes above $1 million pay a tax rate of at least 30%...who now mostly escape the higher rate of 35% by using loop holes like capital gains, and only pays 15% in taxes.

Maybe most people in the Tea Party and the Republican base doesn't understand this, because it's "a complicated world".

George W. Bush told us that lowering taxes would stimulate growth, but after his tax cuts we lost 52,000 factories and millions of jobs -- and most are still unemployed today, all while his tax cuts still remain in effect until the end of 2012.

It's also true that Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, which Romney supports, would give the biggest tax breaks to those same millionaires, and a relatively paltry percentage cuts to the middle class, just like with the Bush tax cuts. "Throw the peasants a bone, and they'll be happy."

For Bush, and most Republicans, it's really about escalating and preserving family wealth. They have all kinds of provisions and loop holes for estates. Tax preparation services like Blue State Estate specializes in this, and boasts that they have over 20 years of experience disputing and lowering overall estimated Estate and Gift tax liabilities. In some cases, they find no tax liability at all.

"We can go back and appraise the estate’s value during the tax year, and file an amended return with the revised, reduced values. Blue Tax Estate has been able to retrieve millions!"

These are the only people Obama wants to tax, not you. Not small business owners, not consumers. Just those in the top 1% of the top 1% -- those who earns millions of dollars a year, year after year, like Mitt Romney -- and who only hires and under-pays Hispanic maids. They're NOT real "job creators" at all, they just create wealth for themselves.

The Republicans, based on a paper by the conservative advocacy group the Heritage Foundation, reported that half of Americans don't pay any federal income taxes at all - - and thereby, misleading the public into thinking that half of all "working" Americans don't pay any income taxes.

Of course, children who aren't working and may still be in high school aren't paying income taxes. But the Heritage Foundation counted all 310 million in the U.S., not just the 150 million in the workforce. So yes, half of ALL Americans don't pay any income taxes. And they don't get a refund check from the IRS after the end of the year either.

But it really doesn't matter that the rich pay more in income taxes than poor people. That's not the true argument. What matters more is that the rich pay at least the same percentage (tax rate) of their personal annual incomes in federal income taxes as the poor and middle-class are obligated to do. It only makes sense that those who earn more will also pay more.

If I drove a Hummer, I'd also use more gasoline than someone else driving a VW bug....so what's the point? The tax rate on a gallon of gasoline is the same for both drivers. Should the owner of a Hummer pay less in taxes for gasoline just because they can afford to buy more?

The Democrats have also been questioning Mitt Romney's secret Swiss bank account. Senator Dick Durbin asked billionaire Warren Buffett, "Have you ever had a Swiss bank account?" Warren replied, "No, there are plenty of good banks in the United States."

Small business people and average working people don't have or need a Swiss bank account. As it was noted, unless the Swiss Franc is worth substantially more than a U.S. dollar, or someone has something to hide, there's no other reason to keep money in a Swiss bank account unless you're dodging income taxes.

Democrats and the White House are also gearing up for a fight to close the "carried interest" loophole. What makes it a real hot-button issue is that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is this particular loophole's poster child.

Under current tax law, certain kinds of financiers, including private equity investors and some managers of hedge funds, are allowed to treat bonuses like long-term investment income, called "carried interest", taxable at the maximum 15% capital gains rate. Others have to pay up to 35% in taxes on their income (just like most small business owners do in the form of wages). The cost of this one loop hole to the U.S. Treasury is more than $1 billion a year.

Romney's tax plan doesn't address this, and keeps capital gains taxes at the same low rate, while also lowering the top marginal rate even more (20% more). Romney only paid 13.9 percent in taxes on his $21.7 million income in 2010, and he hasn't disclosed details from his previous tax years.

And even though it's not necessary, Obama's tax plan also reduces the "statutory" corporate tax rate, even though numerous studies have shown that on average, those in the Fortune 500 have actually been paying half that rate for decades, paying an "effective" tax rate closer to 18%. The much ballyhooed "statutory" rate may be almost the world's highest, but most of the largest corporations don't actually pay this. Small un-incorporate businesses pay a higher tax rate, and don't get the benefit of "limited liability" for any wrong-doing like the big corporations do.

The lower the corporate tax rate, the more cash can be funneled into executive salaries, which are then taxed as capital gains. Many make the false claim that this is "double taxation", although money is always taxed in every transaction (except stock trades). I made the argument that if CEOs didn't want to pay corporate taxes, they could just "un-incorporate" and do what most small business owners do, and pay taxes on that income at the individual income tax level.

George W. Bush, Mitt Romney (and all the Republicans and tea partiers) say lowering taxes will stimulate the economy and create jobs. We've been waiting 11 years since the Bush tax cuts, so where are the jobs? We heard this same exact argument 90 years ago.

The history of capital gains taxes: Near the end of the first Gilded Age in 1921, the Republican Secretary of the Treasury and big banker Andrew Mellon argued that significant tax reduction was necessary in order to spur economic expansion and restore prosperity. Mellon obtained a repeal of the wartime excess profits tax. The top marginal rate on individuals was reduced from 73% to 58%. But the biggest tax break came when the preferential treatment for capital gains was first introduced at a rate of 12.5%. Then eight years later we had the Great Depression.

Five years after George W. Bush cut taxes on capital gains, we had the Great Recession. Why doesn't Bush or Romney ever mention any of this?

A vote for Obama's tax plan is a vote against four more years of George W. Bush and his tax cuts for the rich. George W. Bush lied in 2001 and 2003 about his tax cuts, and 11 years later he's still lying...he's nothing but a damn liar. Which makes me wonder, what else has he lied about to the American people?

Oh yeah, now I remember..."It was Iran you stupid idiot, not Iraq!"

More here on the Bush Tax Cut Years

2 comments:

  1. Awesome post, once again! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bud, when I bother to watch Fox (for a laugh), the idiots keep on with the same old song: only half of Americans pay income tax so the other half should pay something. Of course, this is a despicable distortion of the truth. If you are talking about the working age population, of course half the people pay no federal taxes, they are TOO POOR! Thanks to the greedy corporations who moved all the good-paying jobs offshore, these people are barely getting by. The other factor that is ignored is that poor people pay Payroll Tax, Sales Tax and Property Taxes. All of these taxes are regressive and hit the poorest the hardest. When are Americans going to wake up to the fact that Republicans don't care about them, only the very wealthy. Good post, again, Bud.

    ReplyDelete