The following are two excellent article from the October 1, 2015 issue of The Progressive Populist from their Dispatches column on page 5 and I quote: “Jeb Doubles Down on W’s Tax Cuts for Rich” and “How do Bush Tax Cuts Stack Up Against Obamanomics” and I quote:
“JEB DOUBLES DOWN ON W’S TAX CUTS FOR RICH”
Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush proposes to double down on his brother’s tax cuts for the rich. Jeb outlined a tax plan (9/9) that would cut the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans almost one-third, from the current 39.6% to 28%. George W. Bush had cut the top rate to 33%.
Jeb also would eliminate the estate tax and cut the capital gains tax for those who make their money from securities from the current maximum of 23.8% to 20%. He also said he would cut taxes for all families and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps the working poor.
Jeb offered few details on how to pay for all that lost revenue. Zach Carter and Ben Walsh noted at HuffingtonPost.com (9/9) that “Mitt Romney was chastised by economists in 2012 for promising to cut the top income tax rate to 28%—the same level Jeb Bush is proposing. Economists said that under Romney’s plan, the only way to keep the deficit from ballooning would have been to raise taxes on middle- or low-income Americans.”
Greg Sargent noted at WashingtonPost.com (9/9), “We’ve had this debate again and again in recent years, and every time, events in the real world prove Republicans wrong, yet they never seem to change their tune. When Bill Clinton’s first budget passed in 1993 and raised taxes on the wealthy, Republicans said it would cause a ‘job-killing recession’; what ensued was a rather extraordinary economic boom and the first budget surpluses in decades. When George W. Bush cut taxes in 2001 and 2003, primarily for the wealthy, they said that not only would the economy rocket forward into hyperspace, but there would be little or no increase in the deficit because of all that increased economic activity. What actually happened was anemic growth and dramatically increased deficits, culminating in the economic catastrophe of 2008. When Barack Obama raised taxes, Republicans said the economy would grind to a halt; instead we’ve seen sustained job creation (despite weak income gains).”
Sargent also noted that, “with the bizarre exception of Donald Trump, all the Republican candidates put tax cuts that would benefit the wealthy at the center of the their ideas for helping the American economy. So why can’t they learn from history?”
HOW DO BUSH TAX CUTS STACK UP AGAINST OBAMANOMICS? Bill Scher noted at OurFuture.org (9/8) that the back-to-back Bush and Obama administrations allow for easy comparison of the effectiveness of liberal and conservative economic policies. President George W. Bush’s record is highlighted by tax cuts largely aimed at giving the wealthiest Americans more money with which to invest, and a looser regulatory regime on businesses. President Obama in 2009 implemented the Keynesian-style American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as “the stimulus”), repealed the heart of the Bush tax cuts, greatly expanded the federal government’s role in health care with the Affordable Care Act, and tightened regulations on several industry sectors including finance and energy.
How do their economic records compare? During the Bush administration from January 2001 to 2009, the economy lost a net 462,000 private-sector jobs. During the first six and a half years of the Obama administration, the economy generated a net 8,895,000 private-sector jobs—and that includes 12 mln jobs since the Great Recession that Bush handed Obama technically ended in July 2009. When Bush took office, the unemployment rate was 4.2%. When he left office, the unemployment rate was 7.8%. At the end of August, the jobless rate was 5.1%.
While the lower unemployment rate does not count unemployed people who have given up looking for a job, another way to gauge employment is the “employment-population ratio” to see what percent of the population is actually working. Under Bush the EPR dropped 3.8 points, from 64.4% to 60.6%. Under Obama, it fell another 2.4 points by October 2013 but since has regained half of that loss and now sits at 59.4%. Scher noted that with continued steady job gains, Obama could leave office with a net positive increase
Media household income was down 4.2% on Bush’s watch and then dropped another 4.9% during Obama’s first term, while corporate profits increased under Bush and soared under Obama. But the first year of Obama’s second term, median household income ticked up 0.3%, the first year with an increase since 2007, Scher noted.
Also, average hourly earnings of private-sector employees have risen, though slowly, up 14% during the course of Obama’s presidency.
“This could mean income declines hit bottom in 2012, and the other economic successes of the Obama administration are beginning to translate into improvements felt by the middle class. The other silver lining for the middle class is that inflation has been lower under Obama than Bush, so at least flat wages aren’t losing purchasing power,” Scher wrote.
“Still, stagnant wages have been a persistent problem both before and after the crash. According to a 2013 report from the Economic Policy Institute, by one measure wages only grew 2.4% between 2000 and 2007, under Bush yet before the crash, then have basically stayed flat since. Presuming that wages can rise enough to rescue the middle class without any new policies would be a big risk
. “A big debate awaits us on how we solve the problem of stagnant wages holding back middle-class prosperity. Considering that under Bush, corporations did worse than under Obama, household income still fell and private sector jobs were lost, perhaps conservative economic policies should not be our North Star.””
(WHEN PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH AND VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY TOOK OFFICE, THEY PROMPTLY STARTED TWO WARS, AS WELL AS LOWERING THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX FROM 39.6 PERCENT TO 33 PERCENT. PRESIDENT BUSH INHERITED A HUGE SURPLUS FROM FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON BUT THE WAY BUSH WAS SPENDING MONEY, IT DIDN’T LAST LONG. HIS COZY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BIG INVESTMENT BANKS AND THE FACT THAT HE GOT RID OF MOST ALL THE BANKING REGULATIONS SOON BROUGHT ON A BIG GROWING DEBT ONTO OUR GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS THE BIG BANKS THEMSELVES. PEOPLE LIKE ENRON’S KENNETH LAY, AS WELL AS BERNARD MADOFF, WHO GOT THEMSELVES INTO HUGE DEBT PROBLEMS AND EVENTUALLY CLIMAXED IN THE 2008 BANKRUPTCY OF LEHMAN BROTHERS AND MANY OTHER BANKS THAT COULD HAVE GONE BANKRUPT IF IT HADN’T BEEN FOR THE 2008 $700 BILLION TARP BANK BAILOUT PROGRAM, ENGINEERED BY REPUBLICAN TREASURY SECRETARY HANK PAULSON WITH HELP FROM FED CHM BEN BERNANKE AND DEMOCRAT NEW YORK FED PRESIDENT TIMOTHY GEITHNER, WHICH WAS PORTRAYED IN A GREAT EYE-OPENING MOVIE “TOO BIG TO FAIL” BASED ON ANDREW ROSS SORKIN’S BOOK. JUST EXACTLY HOW BAD THE BUSH-CHENEY GOVERNMENT WAS RUN. YOU CAN EASY UNDERSTAND WHY COUNTRIES, EVEN IN EUROPE, SAID IF BUSH-CHENEY CAME OVER THERE TO VISIT, THEY WOULD THROW THEM IN JAIL FOR LYING TO THEM. PRESIDENT OBAMA AND VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN HAVE BEEN GRADUALLY WORKING THEMSELVES OUT OF A DEFICIT BY RESTORING THE TOP INCOME TAX RATE OF 39.6 PERCENT WHEN PRESIDENT CLINTON WAS IN OFFICE, AS WELL AS TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF SOLDIERS IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ AND TRYING TO GET SOME SORT OF PEACE SETTLEMENT WITH THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL AND THE GOOD ARABS EVENTUALLY GET THE BAD ARABS, THE ISIS, UNDER CONTROL.
LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran