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Seriously.....can you remember an election cycle when there were so many primary debates? Last night it was sponsored by the GOP-owned teevee network....Fox News. Transcript is here.
BAIER: I’d like to ask a question about keeping money for all of the candidates down the line. What is the highest federal income tax any American should have to pay? We are looking for a number.
PERRY: Seven 7 percent flat tax. Simple. Keep it simple.
BAIER: Senator Santorum?
SANTORUM: Well, my plan has two rates, 10 and 28 percent, which is the highest rate under Ronald Reagan when he cut taxes.
BAIER: Governor Romney.
ROMNEY: I would like 25 percent, but right now it’s at 35, so people better pay what is legally required. But ultimately let’s get it down to as low as we possibly can, if it’s 20, if it’s 25 but paying more than 25 percent, I think, is taking too much out of our pockets.
BAIER: So the highest you had was 35?
ROMNEY: Well, that’s what the law is right now, but 25 is where I would like to see us go.
BAIER: Speaker Gingrich.
GINGRICH: I would like to see it be a flat tax at 15 percent and I would like to see us reduce government to meet the revenue, not raise revenue to meet the government.
BAIER: Congressman Paul.
PAUL: Well, we should have the lowest tax that we’ve ever had, and up until 1913 it was 0 percent. What’s so bad about that?
In other parts of the debate, the GOP candidates repeated the only other idea that Republicans have....I mean other than lowering taxes on the already wealthy. The only other idea that Republicans have is to cut government spending. The reason Republicans want to cut government spending is....wait for it....so they can reduce taxes on the already wealthy.
All the talk in last night's "debate" about shuttering federal departments and cutting back on the number of weeks the unemployed receive checks, etc, etc,.....was for the purpose, the objective, of lowering government spending IN ORDER TO cut taxes further on America's already wealthy.
Notice in Brett Boy's question that he didn't ask what middle class tax rates should be, did he? Brett Boy only asked what should the highest tax rate be? Inherent in the question was the deep and sincere concern that Republicans, and those who shill for Republicans, have for America's wealthy....at best, the top 2%.
Santorum's suggestion was the smallest decrease for the already-rich. Paul's was the biggest. Ron Paul, if words mean anything, wants to eliminate the income tax altogether. But the frontrunner and soon-to-be GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, would lower income tax rates on the already-rich to 25%. That would reflect a reduction of 10 percentage points....which means that Mitt Romney would cut the income taxes of the already-rich by about one third.
The already-rich in America are paying income tax rates...right now...that are at 60 year national lows. At the same time, income disparity in the United States has never been so gapped in favor of those already-rich. What that all means to GOP hopefuls is that tax rates on the already-rich are too high....and, apparently, the income disparity gap is still too small. Don't ask me, I can't understand it either.
The corollary of Republican's deep, heartfelt desire to lower income tax rates on the already-rich is the entirely bogus belief that the already-rich in America are our nation's jaaabbb creators. The notion being that the already-rich can't create any new jaaabs if they don't see a reduction in their 60 year low tax rates.
And that's where the GOP hopefuls' heartfelt care and concern for the already-rich hits the harsh shores of reality.
The last GOP administration lowered income tax rates. The already-rich benefited the most from those tax cuts. To boot, the last administration also lowered capital gains and dividend tax rates down to 15%, affecting primarily the already-rich,.....making it possible for people like Warren Buffett...and Mitt Romney....to pay taxes at a lower rate than millions of middle class workers. (Note: that's the reason Romney is refusing to release his tax returns....he's paying at the 15% rate, which is a lower rate than the janitor pays who Newt wants to fire and replace with students.)
And yet, with those deep tax cuts on the already-rich firmly in place for 10 years now......and after a GOP administration which oversaw the most meager job creation over 8 years in modern U.S. history....GOP presidential hopefuls for 2012, like dogs back to their own vomit, are recommending more and deeper tax cuts on those already-rich.
America, as I have repeated umpteen times....is in the middle of a jobs recession because demand for goods and services is too low. Almost 70% of our economic activity is created by consumer demand. When Americans do not have jobs they cannot stimulate demand as we're used to in better times. No matter how far income tax rates are lowered on the already-rich......demand will not be affected. If income tax rates on the already-rich are lowered to zero......demand for goods and services will still not be affected. Those alleged jaaabb creators will still have no reason to hire new workers. They will just have larger bank accounts and trust funds....that's it.
So, in summary.....I don't know who Romney and the Gang are representing when they argue for even lower tax rates on the already-wildly-rich. Tax cuts on the wealthy NEVER result in more jobs being created. The reason? It isn't the rich that stimulates and maintains demand in our economy...it is all the rest of us...the 99%. It is the millions of average workers in America who create market demand.....and for GOP presidential hopefuls to offer even lower income tax rates on the already-rich as some kind of magical cure for our national economy...is one of the biggest disconnects the GOP has with reality.