Monday, September 13, 2010

Tax Hikes!

I love the semantics. Repealing the Bush tax cuts on the very top earners is raising taxes during a recession! Yessir. Of course one could also call it repealing the tax cuts.

But it looks like we can't repeal those tax cuts, not even for individuals in the top two or three percent of all earners:

But for now, the top issue is whether to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, set to expire on Dec. 31. In fact, the two parties are not far apart. Both Republicans and Democrats back extending tax cuts for some 97 percent of taxpayers. The catch is the last 3 percent, representing individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000.

The cost of extending tax cuts to this top income group would be $700 billion over the next 10 years.

"The Democratic agenda has been disastrous for the economy – 2.5 million jobs lost, $2.5 trillion more in debt – and now they want to drive another nail in the coffin: a massive tax hike on the very people who can dig us out of this recession," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in a floor speech after the Senate convened Monday afternoon.

Remind me again about the financial value of those Bush tax cuts. How much did they lower the taxes for earners with different incomes? Who gained the most from them?

I would also like to see a really good study on exactly how those two-to-three percent of earners can dig us out of this recession if they get to keep an extra $700 billion dollars. Will all of that be spent on hiring workers? Hiring workers in this country? Investing in this country? Spent on consumption in this country? Or what, exactly?