GOP Hell-Bent On Tax Favors For The Rich Financed By Cuts To The Poor

Republican lawmakers are locked into an ideology of trickle-down economics. They believe giving tax breaks to the rich will result in prosperity for everyone, or at least that’s what they tell the public. It’s sometimes hard to believe grown adults advocate such nonsense, but here we are, some 30+ years into a massive experiment of wealth redistribution to the top 1%. What do we have to show for it? The free-market advocates will say taxes are still too high, there are still too many government regulations, and if we cut both we will be on the road to prosperity. But whose prosperity? Does the rest of the country buy this nonsense? Apparently a large percentage of Americans do subscribe to this bombast. It’s the only way it’s lasted (even thrived) for so long.

Take a look at the Republican budget proposal by Paul Ryan (WI-R) that recently passed the House. President Obama called it “thinly veiled social-darwinism.” I took it a step further and said there is nothing veiled about it. The budget does nothing to tackle the long-term debt and deficit in any meaningful way. Instead Ryan’s budget is a huge gift to the 1% (who Republicans call “job creators”) and they do this on the backs of the 99%. Republicans believe these “job creators” can only work their magic by gifting to them massive tax cuts. If you don’t give the super-wealthy more tax cuts they are going to take their ball and go home. On the flip side, Republicans believe the only way you can motivate the poor is with tough love. Republicans think the poor need even more hardship in order to get them off their asses and into jobs that don’t exist.

Ryan’s budget would slash over $1.7 trillion from Medicaid and in total would cut over $3 trillion from programs for lower-income Americans over the next decade. A report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) says Ryan’s budget would “immediately reduce employment and impede recovery.” So not only would Ryan’s budget cut assistance to families in need, it would also result in job losses in a still fragile economy. Right now we don’t have enough jobs in this country. Ryan’s budget would make that situation worse.

Consider Ryan’s proposed Medicaid cuts, which total $544 billion over the next five years (a period in which the economy is expected to remain below potential). Using standard macroeconomic modeling consistent with private- and public-sector projections, we estimate that these cuts would cost the economy roughly 862,000 jobs in 2014 and that annual job loss would rise to nearly 1.5 million in 2017.

Are we supposed to trust Republicans? Are we supposed to believe that massive tax cuts for the rich will result in prosperity for all? Has anybody asked Republicans to show proof that this actually works? We have 30 years of stagnant income for the 99% along with wealth redistribution to the 1% as proof it doesn’t work. So why do Republicans continue to get away with this lie? The media needs to stop playing the left/right talking points game and call out this lie or at the very least call on Republicans to explain (with verifiable facts) how their economic theory works. Republicans need to produce hard data that shows free-market economic policies actually work for everyone. If Republicans cannot produce this evidence then the news media needs to do its job and stop repeating their lies.

We know Republican economic policies work for the 1%. Now Republicans need to show proof it works for the 99%. I’m not holding my breath.


image by Occupy* Posters

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