By Robert Borosage – OutFuture.org
Conservatives say they are prepared to blow up the economy by not lifting the debt limit if that is what it takes to avoid raising taxes on the rich – even to avoid closing loopholes that have hedge fund billionaires paying a lower tax rate than their chauffeurs.
“Everything is on the table,” says House Speaker John Boehner, but tax hikes are “off the table” because they would “wreak havoc on the economy” and further cripple job creation.
Nonsense. First, neither tax hikes nor spending cuts should take place until the economy gets going. The president has suggested delaying tax hikes until 2013. Second, the “job creators” that Boehner doesn’t want to tax aren’t in fact creating jobs. Big corporations are reaping record profits, sitting on literally trillions in cash, and shipping jobs abroad. Small businesses are lacking not in confidence but in customers. The rich keep getting richer, without generating jobs. We’d be better off taxing them and spending the money rebuilding the country and putting people to work.
Finally, this basic conservative article of faith is simply not supported by evidence. As the chart below shows, when taxes were raised under the Bill Clinton, private investment took off. The job creators created record numbers of jobs. When taxes were cut under George Bush, private investment, and job growth were disappointing. But conservatives will not let the facts get in the way of their gospel.