Taxes and Rhetoric

                With the release this week of the November job’s report, it was no surprise to find the topic of this morning’s political talk shows focused mainly on the economy, and specifically, the “extension of the Bush-era tax cuts”. Senator Kyl (R-AZ), appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” correctly refused to call them “tax cuts” while pointing out the fact that the so called “tax cuts” have been law for nearly 10 years. Senator Durbin (D-IL), appearing on the same show, meagerly attempted to frame them as “tax cuts for the wealthy”, and possible “tax increases for middle-class”.


While it is not surprising to hear a Democrat attempt to cast this issue as “tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires”, and “tax increases for the middle-class”, it is surprising to see the logic in the argument get lost in political rhetoric.


For one thing, the “Bush tax cuts” have honestly been law for almost 10 years, and calling them “Bush tax cuts” is incorrect, as the President has no authority to increase or decrease taxes. It would be more correct to call them the “tax cuts of 107th Congress”, which carried a split majority (Republican control in the house, and Democratic control in the senate).


Secondly, one large fact continues to be ignored, and that is the lack of a baseline for taxes. It would be one thing, for example, if the Constitution stated that taxes are set at a certain rate, and any deviation from that rate is a decrease or an increase. Obviously, no such baseline exists and therefore, a more appropriate statement is that taxes were lowered in 2001 from whatever their previous rates had been.


Fast forward to present time, and now the debate is whether or not to allow certain taxes to increase on specific persons, or the country as a whole, or continue to keep the tax rates where they have been since 2001.


Don’t allow political rhetoric to shape your opinion of this issue. Ignore the Democrats call to allow the “Bush tax cuts” to expire for the wealthiest Americans. Ignore the Democrats as they attempt to frame this as a possible tax increase on the middle-class if Republicans refuse to cooperate, and only pay attention to the facts:


1)      No baseline for taxes exists

2)      The current tax rates have been in place since 2001

3)      Not extending the current tax rates amounts to a tax INCREASE


Simply put, the Democrats want to INCREASE taxes, while the Republicans want to keep taxes where they currently are!