Both President Joe Biden and House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have stated publicly that the U.S. will not default. They are negotiating over the budget. For my part, I’ve started to wonder if the whole debt ceiling crisis isn’t about Republicans’ determination to cut taxes for the wealthy at all costs.
Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.
___Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Leaving the White House today, McCarthy told reporters that he would not entertain rolling back the 2017 Trump tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. ‘[T]he problem is not revenue,’ he insisted. ‘The problem is spending.’”
Is McCarthy (et al.) being disingenuous or is he just plain dumb? There is NO DIFFERENCE between “revenue” and “spending” when you’re talking about government. There’s even a specific term economists use for tax cuts/carve-outs/loopholes/giveaways; they’re called, “tax expenditures.” Meaning, when you give someone--an individual, perhaps, or a corporation, or any entity--a break on taxes, it’s the same as if you handed them (“spent”) money from the US government. These people are cosplaying Marie Antoinette and her famous line, “Let them eat cake.” And we all know how that ended up for here.
Regrettably, when Democrats hold the White House, Republicans, particularly since 2010, largely have viewed the debt ceiling “as a hostage worth taking.” I expect, were the country to default, the economic calamity that would ensue would be pinned on Biden. Moreover, I believe the call for savage cuts to Medicaid, to housing, to the environment, to childcare, to education, and so forth is aimed at destroying the ability of government in a democratic society to provide for its people. Accordingly, I agree with Senator Bernie Sanders who asserts Republicans want to make this country even more of a corporatist society wherein the only Americans empowered in economic decision-making are large multi-national corporates.
Currently, unless dynamics I’m unaware of are at work behind closed doors, I see no recourse but for Biden to invoke the 14th and pay the nation’s bills while litigation ensues.
"A 2020 study by Carter C. Price and Kathryn A. Edwards of the RAND Corporation showed that the changing economic distribution systems of the past forty years have moved a staggering $50 trillion upward, out of the hands of the bottom 90% of Americans."
The raison d'etre of the modern bought and paid for Republican Party. And it's not just the dramatic upswing in how financial inequality has skyrocketed; the the way "Reaganomic" financial asymmetry means that creeps such as Elon Musk gain ever more control and impact on our politics, our society and our lives, and they are no longer shy about talking about it. How close did we come, how close are we now to losing democracy entirely? Billionaires openly defy the law, and way too often get away with it.
Republicans don’t really believe in trickle-down economics. They don’t care about the poor. They care only about themselves.
The Republican Party of the Civil War and the Republican Party of today have nothing in common beyond a name. The party today is composed of the traitors and seditionists of the New Confederacy, and they should be dealt with the way we should have dealt with their traitor forebears, of which my patriot ancestors didn't kill enough of them when the opportunity presented itself.
I am pessimistic that the debt ceiling crisis will be resolved before a default occurs. The Democrats have not messaged this well--the amount of wealth transferred out of the bottom 90% to the top 1% is OBSCENE and that has not gotten out in the media. The problem is a TAX (REVENUE) problem and not a JUST A SPENDING problem as the Republicans claim.
I occasionally work in the snack bar at my kid’s school. The kids of the parents who work there get free snacks when their parents are working. The other day, I watched as my co-worker’s kid came behind the counter and grabbed snacks for not only himself but their whole friend group, including several of the coveted and scarce just baked cookies. This while a line of kids whose parents don’t or can’t work in the snack bar (or just weren’t working that day) waited in line hoping to get and then to pay for those same cookies. But if you were to ask the kids in line why they didn’t get a cookie, they would blame the kid in front of them who bought 2 cookies or the kid who cut or the kitchen staff who didn’t make enough cookies. They would never have seen the raid that was carried out while they were jockeying for position and then trying desperately to hold their position in that line. This is how privilege works.
I wish Biden had agreed to enter negotiations with McCarthy ONLY if tax increases on the wealthy and corporations remain. No discussion about any cuts of any kind without that guarantee.
The mass cruelty and mean-spiritedness in the Republican Party right now is incomprehensible.
Thank you, Dr. Richardson, for showing so clearly what's in a name. And what is not in a name.
And we can thank Gaetz for those words "our hostage".
Mobsters' language, rule by racket.
Raise taxes on the wealthy. Tax the wealthy to death, if possible. Remove the income cap on an individual's salary payments into Social Security, so Social Security is solvent forever. Increase discretionary spending. Forgive all student debt.
Superb historical retort to GOP tax-and-spend complaints, Heather. I am so grateful for your presence in my daily reading.
"Faced in 1861 with funding the Civil War, members of the Republican Party invented the U.S. income tax and graduated it to make sure that “the burdens will be more equalized on all classes of the community, more especially on those who are able to bear them,” as Senator William Pitt Fessenden (R-ME) put it."
Only one of many respects that the nominally "Republican Party" seems the antithesis of the Republican Party of Lincoln.
Same old stupid from the Republicans.
I explained the current debt crisis to my kids and wife using this analogy and they found it helpful-
The Rs and Ds are like a husband and wife who spend more than they make and their way of deciding how to agree on future spending is to not pay their upcoming bank payment.
First, folks seem not to remember that in the 50s with the Republican president Eisenhower, the economy was going strong and the government funded many infrastructure projects, i.e., bridges, roads, airports. The top federal income tax rate was 91 percent in 1950 and 1951, and between 1954 and 1959. In 1952 and 1953, the top federal income tax rate was 92 percent.
When king Ronnie was president, he pushed through tax reductions primarily for the wealthy and he pushed through an increase in the Social Security withholding tax. “We kept our promises.” We promised that we would protect the financial integrity of social security. We have. We promised that we would protect beneficiaries against any loss in current benefits. We have. And we promised to attend to the needs of those still working, not only those Americans nearing retirement but young people just entering the labor force. And we’ve done that, too…
Instead of being a proud day for America, April 20, 1983, has become a day of shame. The Social Security Amendments of 1983 laid the foundation for 30-years of federal embezzlement of Social Security money in order to use the money to pay for wars, tax cuts and other government programs. The payroll tax hike of 1983 generated a total of $2.7 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue. This surplus revenue was supposed to be saved and invested in marketable U.S. Treasury bonds that would be held in the trust fund until the baby boomers began to retire in about 2010. But not one dime of that money went to Social Security.
Addressing what is called socialism, let's look at the other side of that argument, capitalism.
"There's nothing "normal" about having a middle class. Having a middle class is a choice that a society has to make, and it's a choice we need to make again in this generation, if we want to stop the destruction of the remnants of the last generation's middle class.
Despite what you might read in the Wall Street Journal or see on Fox News, capitalism is not an economic system that produces a middle class. In fact, if left to its own devices, capitalism tends towards vast levels of inequality and monopoly. The natural and most stable state of capitalism actually looks a lot like the Victorian England depicted in Charles Dickens' novels.
At the top there is a very small class of superrich. Below them, there is a slightly larger, but still very small, "middle" class of professionals and mercantilists - doctor, lawyers, shop-owners - who help keep things running for the superrich and supply the working poor with their needs. And at the very bottom there is the great mass of people - typically over 90 percent of the population - who make up the working poor. They have no wealth - in fact they're typically in debt most of their lives - and can barely survive on what little money they make.
So, for average working people, there is no such thing as a middle class in "normal" capitalism. Wealth accumulates at the very top among the elites, not among everyday working people. Inequality is the default option."
"We learn from history that we do not learn from history."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)