Diary

Oh yeah, about those tax breaks...

God bless the tireless journalists at the AP. Taking a break from their endless, but vital, Palin-bashing, they’ve now discovered that those tax breaks we’ve heard so much about really aren’t that big of a deal to about 84% of the population. You can read about it here:

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jye2lJN2jj4Bi5rooDwdJhZ4bsPAD94DFVF00

My favorite part of the article is the quote from this guy:”I don’t think it’s going to work in this instance,” said Ryan Anderson, 31, a Democrat from Bloomington, Minn., who thinks tax reductions would have little impact on most families’ budgets. “That’s kind of like shooting a BB gun at a freight train.”

“Ehh, tax breaks, shmacks breaks. Who really cares?” said Harry Johnson, if that is his real name, from Minnesota, who apparently doesn’t understand that if the government takes less money from you that you have more money to use in your family budgeting. “What I want to know is will the Vikings be able to win the NFC North this year? Oh and I want socialized medicine, too.” Wow. What a difference a week makes. I thought the number one issue the past few months was how the Republicans had spent 8 years hooking up their evil, rich CEO friends and that now they would be made to pay their fair share of taxes again while the middle class would be swimming in money. Suddenly, the AP has discovered that’s not at all the case. I mean, people still want their tax breaks, but only after we’ve taken care of a few minor issues first. Namely we’d like the economy to be improved, more jobs created, the budget deficit reduced, all financial institutions stabilized, troops removed from Iraq, problems of poor people dealt with, health care nationalized, the environment protected, and offshore drilling for oil allowed. Then, and only then, will 84% of this nation accept any sort of tax cut.

I find this poll odd because after listening to Obama it sounded like the tax cuts had to happen first before any of the other things could happen. Granted, this poll is a little skewed since around 1/3 of the population doesn’t pay any federal income tax anyway, so I guess pretty much anything else would be more important than cutting taxes that they don’t even pay, but still. I wonder if it’s a case of people not understanding that we really need these tax cuts like Obama says or if we understand that it would be better for us, but selfish at the same time. Instead we are standing up and saying, “Thank you, Mr. President-Elect, but we are willing to make this sacrifice to help you do your job successfully. Please hold off on your promised tax cuts until we live in utopia. It will be like the cherry on top of the most delicious ice cream sundae ever.” Perhaps we’ve finally gotten the message that Obama has been trying to send us; that individual salvation depends on collective salvation?

The tax cuts were a huge item on his economic agenda before it was removed from existence last Saturday. In fact, they were #2 on his “Plan to Revitalize the Economy”. And I quote:

“Provide a Tax Cut for Working Families: Obama and Biden will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million workers the tax relief they need. Obama and Biden will create a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. The “Making Work Pay” tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans.”

My question is, if providing tax cuts is the second most important step towards revitalizing the economy (after a brand new $50 billion in spending, of course) and revitalizing the economy is the number one thing on our minds, why are said tax cuts now at the bottom of the list of things that we care about? I suppose as a caveat you could also ask what the magic formula is that explains why the economy is strengthened when you cut taxes for those making under $250k but once you hit that threshold you actually need to raise taxes or things get worse. Perhaps it’s a form of relativistic gamma, much like the way your mass becomes larger as you approach the speed of light. If your mass represents the economy, speed represents tax cuts along income levels, and $250k represents the speed of light, you can clearly surmise that infinite harm would come to the economy should tax cuts ever be granted to those making $250k or more annually. I think I may be on to something here, but that’s another discussion entirely.

So will Obama insist that we take the tax cuts? “I appreciate the gesture, middle class, but you people have suffered too much under George Bush. I promised you these tax cuts and you will get them!” or will he say, “My fellow Americans, I was going to give you these tax cuts, but if you insist I will hold off until we’ve solved every single other problem in the country. I thank you for your selfless patriotism. I have heard the will of the American people and I will act accordingly!” We’ll just have to wait and find out. As for my own personal opinion, I’d like to leave you with the words of this person:

“Look at his story,” said Juthlande Anastase, 34, a real estate agent and Republican from Wellington, Fla. “Out of nowhere he’s president. If he can do that, anything is possible.”

Yes, Juthlande…yes it is.