Republicans want to raise taxes on the poor, lower taxes on the rich

I really wish we lived  in a world where both political parties had convictions and fought for them. That way, even when you would disagree with someone, you still knew that your disagreement was simply the result of philosophical differences. You’d still be able to rest comfortably knowing that both parties wanted what was best for the country. Obviously, this is not the state of American politics today.

Republicans are the party of low taxes, right?? Well, no more. Republicans have come out opposed to a proposed payroll tax cut. This tax cut would affect almost every working American and would be one of the best ways to stimulate the economy. So what’s the problem, GOP? The problem is that President Obama supports this tax cut. So, throw all of your pre-conceived notions about the GOP out the window. The Republican Party cares nothing for the good of the country (or even for one of their party’s central tenets!) if it means they have to agree with President Obama.

Ezra Klein tackles this Republican hypocrisy, thoroughly dissecting 3 possible explanations for why the GOP is suddenly against tax cuts, here are the excerpts:

One possible answer is that (1)a large tax increase in an election year is good for them because it’s bad for President Obama and the economy. But that’s a pretty cynical explanation. Another is that (2)they care more about tax rates on the rich than they do about tax rates on the poor. But they resist that argument. The real answer, Republicans says, is that (3)they just don’t like temporary tax cuts.

But that claim does not stand up to scrutiny, as he concludes:

…In other words, Republicans have frequently fought for temporary tax cuts. When offered the choice between a larger temporary tax cut and a smaller permanent tax cut, as happened in 2001 and 2003 and 2010, they have opted for the temporary tax cut. Now that Obama has come to endorse a temporary tax cut, they have stopped supporting it — a pattern we’ve seen on many other issues, as well. But the idea that the party has had some steady, policy-based objection to temporary tax cuts just doesn’t fit the record.

So, with explanation 3 completely debunked, we  are right back at examining explanations 1 and 2. Ezra tends to lean toward explanation 1, that Republicans want to increase payroll taxes because raising taxes on the poor and middle class will hurt the economy and thus hurt Obama’s chances of winning the election in 2012. There’s a very good chance he is right, but I also think there’s something to explanation 2: that Republicans just don’t care taxes on the poor and middle class so much as they care about taxes on the rich.

The thing about the payroll tax cut is that most of the money would go to the working poor and the middle class, not the rich. Republicans don’t really care so much about taxes on the poor (see: The Bush tax cuts or this article) but love tax cuts for the rich. I think that Republicans would jump on a chance to massively lower taxes on the rich, even if it was Obama who offered them that chance. To be sure, it would be a tough choice for them, if that situation ever arose. The two most important things to Republicans are destroying President Obama and lowering taxes on the rich, country be damned.

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    • Matches
    • January 24th, 2012

    This is right on point they would sink the ship rather than keep the captain. The worse thing in all this is if it succeeds they are laying the blue print for democrats to do the exact same thing. Don’t reward them for this we will all be hurt vote them out and show them pandering to the rich and blocking everything gets you defeated not rewarded.

  1. August 31st, 2011

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