Republicans Don’t Learn/Bush Tax Cuts

The Bush Tax Cuts are set to expire this year, and Republicans think they should be extended, permanently. Even though the last 9 years since they have been implemented has done nothing but contribute to the Recession and widen the gap between the wealthy and the working class. Republicans have had 9 years to see if those tax cuts would work, and they have not worked, and the Republicans are not willing to admit that they failed. Not only will they not admit that they have failed, they actually praise them as being successful. Let me repeat that for you, so we’re clear; Republicans think that Bush’s economic policies were successful, and should be continued permanently. Looking at the chart above you can see what the Bush Tax Cuts did for the wealthiest of Americans, after they were enacted in 2001. The income for the top 1% of wealthiest Americans increased about 180%.

Newsmax.com today posted an article (http://www.moneynews.com/StreetTalk/alan-greenspan-tax-cuts-bush/2010/08/02/id/366291) critical of Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman, calling him a hypocrite because in 2001 he testified before Congress in favor of the Bush Tax Cuts. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Though Greenspan suggested tax cuts are not the best way to immediately jump-start an economy, he strongly favored the Bush tax cuts and suggested they would add, not deduct, revenues to the federal coffers.

In his 2001 testimony, Greenspan said he concurred with Bush administration revenue projections based on the implementation of the tax cuts.”

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OK, I’m having trouble understanding what about this is unclear to them. Greenspan testified that tax cuts were not the best way to immediately jump-start the economy. He said that 9 years ago. 9 years ago he was given revenue projections from the Bush administration that he thought were plausible. He’s had 9 years to watch and see whether or not those tax cuts were effective.

And what does he have to say 9 years later? According to the same article:

“[Greenspan] now has become a deficit hawk and says tax cuts ‘don’t work'”

So, because of this statement, the Republicans are now calling him a “flip-flopper”. According the Republicans, if you change your opinion on an issue after empirical evidence shows that your original position was incorrect, you’re a “flip-flopper”. The Republican supposition is that if you change your view, because you learn something new, that that is unacceptable and you are now a “flip-flopper”.

The Republicans claim that they care about the deficits, yet when former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill told Dick Cheney, in 2002 in regards to Bush’s tax cuts, that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion that fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy, Cheney cut him off “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: “We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.” A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.

(Source: [X-ref O’Neill] Adam Entous, Reuters, on AOL News Jan 11, 2004)

In 2002 Cheney said that “deficits don’t matter” in order to push the Bush Tax Cuts. In 2010 the Republican leadership hasn’t changed much, the only difference is now they claim to care about the deficit AND they want to keep the tax cuts. Even though allowing the Bush Tax Cuts is estimated to reduce the National Debt by 1.3 Trillion dollars over the next 10 years.

The Republicans recently tried to block a bill extending unemployment benefits, and they succeeded in blocking a bill that would have provided health insurance to 9/11 first responders who got sick from working at Ground Zero. Their reasoning was that both bills were “unfunded mandates”. When asked if the Bush Tax Cuts, the REAL unfunded mandates, should be funded from another source, the Republicans don’t think so. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) called unemployment benefits — a federal insurance system paid for by employers — a “necessary evil” and said that tax cuts should not need to be offset, but benefits extensions should. During an interview, in response to this statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said “That’s been the majority Republican view for some time,” he continued “That there’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. So I think what Senator Kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every Republican on that subject.”

During Bush’s Administration the economy only grew by 375,000 jobs per year, on average. That’s the lowest number of jobs created out of any of the last 12 Presidents. George W. Bush’s policies caused the worst recession since the Great Depression, widened the gap between the wealthy and the poor, and doubled the National Debt from 5.6 Trillion to 10 Trillion. And the Republicans want to continue his failed economic policies?

Republicans don’t learn. But if you do, they’ll just call you a “flip-flopper”.