Saturday, September 11, 2010

Voting Republican this fall is voting against America

9.5% unemployment. That's in an economy in which the total Gross Domestic Product is 70% Consumption and about 20% more is in investment. Investment does not occur if there is no predicted market to sell the goods or services the money is invested in. So expenditures of investment money which would put workers back to work are not going to happen as long as unemployment remains high and the markets for products and services is reduced.

The Republicans are suggesting (demanding) tax cuts to increase investment as the solution to unemployment. But where are the markets that the investors will invest in? If they exist they are outside the United States. Any additional employment that results from tax cuts that give the wealthy more money to invest will occur outside the U.S. Where the returns are predictable and sizable. They won't happen here in the U.S.

Here is what the New York Times has to say.

Published: September 10, 2010

With Congressional midterm elections looming, the financial debate in Washington this fall will probably be consumed by one incendiary and expensive issue: whether, and how, to extend the multitrillion-dollar Bush tax cuts.

President Obama is advocating a mixed bag of tax proposals. He wants to extend the cuts for all but the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans and offer businesses hundreds of billions in breaks and write-offs intended to encourage investment and hiring.

Republicans, and a few Democrats, assert that the Bush tax cuts should be extended for everyone, warning that a tax increase right now, even if limited to the highest income bracket, would hurt small businesses and choke off an economic recovery that is already gasping.

Given the economy’s persistent weakness and an unemployment rate hovering above 9.5 percent, those arguments have gained traction. And because another round of government stimulus spending is considered politically unviable even if it were warranted, the debate over the tax cuts will be laced with promises to spur economic activity and reduce unemployment. The concept of lower taxes is so appealing to voters that many embrace them as an economic cure-all.

But economic research suggests that tax cuts, though difficult for politicians to resist in election season, have limited ability to bolster the flagging economy because they are essentially a supply-side remedy for a problem caused by lack of demand.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this year analyzed the short-term effects of 11 policy options and found that extending the tax cuts would be the least effective way to spur the economy and reduce unemployment. The report added that tax cuts for high earners would have the smallest “bang for the buck,” because wealthy Americans were more likely to save their money than spend it.

The office gave higher marks to the proposal, now embraced by President Obama, to allow small businesses to write off 100 percent of their investment costs.

Neither of those options, though, would do as much to stimulate the economy as offering direct payments to the unemployed and Social Security recipients or reducing the payroll taxes of workers, the study found. But those proposals — as well as aid to states and municipalities — are considered politically untenable with many elected officials reluctant to even utter the word “stimulus” after the $787 billion stimulus.

So while the decision on whether to extend the tax cuts will have a lasting impact on the deficit and on how the nation’s tax burden is distributed, economists and tax experts say it is unlikely to offer much immediate relief for high unemployment and sluggish growth.

“It may have some small impact along the margins, but firms don’t hire based on tax breaks; they hire based on demand,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. “So a lot of the tax breaks are likely to be rewarding people and companies for that they were going to do anyway.”

When they were signed into law in 2001 and 2003, the huge package of income and capital gains tax reductions that became known as the Bush tax cuts were hailed as a way distribute the government surplus and promote long-term economic growth. Mr. Bush was so confident in their power to generate business growth and revenue that he predicted they would enable the government to pay down $1 trillion in debt in just four years.

Those surpluses have now become crushing deficits because of a combination of factors, including the recession, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and the $1.7 trillion in forgone revenue from the tax cuts themselves.

The specter of a ballooning national debt has led even some of the early supporters of the cuts, including the former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, to advocate letting them expire.
The Republicans are being paid off by the wealthy to push for tax cuts because that benefits the wealthy. But the Obama administration is pushing for aid to small businesses. Small businesses are where all new employment occurs. The Republicans are fighting against that proposal because it will succeed in improving the economy and that will make Obama harder to defeat in 2012.

Anyone who votes for Republicans This November is voting against America's economic success and for the Republican Party regaining power. It's really that simple.

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