There are two ways to balance our federal budget and work toward reducing our debt. One is to increase revenue and the other is to decrease spending. Increasing revenue can be accomplished by either increasing taxes or increasing the number paying taxes or a combination of both.
While corporate media pundits have obsessed for the past year about the midterm elections of 2010 being a repeat of the 1994 midterms in which Republicans regain a majority in both houses, they ignore the differences between 1994 and 2010, such as the damaged brand of Republicans and their take over by extremists. They also neglect to report on one of the most significant similarities.
The most significant similarity has to do with taxes for the wealthy. In 1993, a Democratic majority in Congress narrowly passed a tax increase for the wealthiest Americans. In 2011, the tax cuts for the wealthy championed by the Bush II Administration are set to expire. The theory is that tax cuts for the wealthy will stimulate the economy, create jobs and help decrease the deficit in the long run.
However, during the Clinton years, 22.7 million jobs were created with higher taxes for the wealthy while only 1.1 million jobs were created during the Bush II years, when taxes were lower for the wealthy, according to Politifact Ohio. During the Clinton years, we went from a budget deficit to a budget surplus, while the rich still got richer. During the Bush II years, we went from a budget surplus to a gross deficit, not to mention a near economic disaster.
What this means is, trickledown economics do not work. In a global economy, writing a blank check to the wealthy and multi-national corporations allows them to invest in get rich quick schemes that risk economic failure for all, as well as cheap labor overseas and moving corporate headquarters beyond our borders to avoid any tax liability. It does not create jobs in the USA. Building a stronger middle class, by increasing jobs that pay a decent wage makes everyone better off, including the rich.
Targeted tax cuts to the wealthy and the multi-national corporations for creating jobs in the USA, makes a lot more sense. Short term deficit spending to help put people back to work, does result in increased revenues in the long run. Just like President Clinton, President Obama has a plan to cut our deficit in half in 4 years. President Clinton made good on this pledge and better. If President Obama is given the chance, he can do the same.
Yes, President Clinton accomplished his goal with a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, or perhaps, in spite of it. But today’s Republicans are more biased and extreme and less cooperative than the Republicans of the 90’s. Senator John McCain, the former maverick from Arizona, is a clear example of someone who has abandoned his bipartisan tendencies in order to appease a largely agitated, misinformed radical right base. Governor Crist of Florida was vilified for supporting the stimulus plan and driven out of the Republican party.
So, independent voters who hold most of the swing votes in 2010, are you listening? Do you want to vote for the what history has taught us, or do you want to side with misinformed corporate media pundits? Do you want to give change a chance, or do you want to take us back to the failed policies of the Bush II era?
As for Democrats and liberals are concerned, we cannot afford to sit this one out, just because change has not gone far enough fast enough. We cannot afford to go back now.