Blog: A View from Left Field -- Over the Fiscal Cliff, a Christmas Gift to America from the Tea Party

Bring back a fair and progressive tax structure to accelerate the nation's recovery from the recession.

As Congress’ version of the Rapture approaches, the Republicans have defied reason and are again lollygagging in the Land of Oz.   Didn’t they learn from the 2012 presidential election, that a solid majority of Americans strongly favor the “uber-rich” coughing up their fair share of taxes?   Since Ronald Reagan, the top two per centers have had their taxes cut disproportionate to the rest of us. Now it’s time for them to pony up.  

Thanks to the Tea Party, progress for the Republicans in specific and the country in general has been reined back to suit the desires of a selfish group of hard right zealots affiliated with Grover Norquist’s No New Taxes School.  So it’s over the Fiscal Cliff we go and at Christmas time no less.  In fairness to the Republicans, some of them have begun breathing fresh air.  There’s a slow but steady ground swell emanating from their midst acknowledging that their responsibility to the country and their constituency supersedes their pledge to Grover.  Let’s hope enough of them come to their senses in time.

The United States has been slowly recovering from the nation’s second greatest economic downturn, since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  It needs money to pump prime the economy.  Primarily, we need to build back the national tax base which our legislators allowed to erode away. 

In 2012, we seem on the march.  The real estate slump has begun to right itself. Unemployment has dropped below 8% for the first time in recent memory.  Manufacturing jobs are coming back home again and the U.S. automotive industry had it best year in close to a decade.  Can you imagine if we had left them to belly up?  We would have faced millions more jobs lost, and lived through a depression instead of a recession.

Stop and think who represents your interests.  The Republicans want to cut entitlement programs with a major focus on Social Security and Medicare and Education while the Democrats want to minimize the tax advantages of the extreme wealthy.  Which choice best serves the needs of the entire nation?

The Christmas Season is upon us.  Will the Republicans continue to roadblock economic growth with the gift of legislative intransigence that sends us over the Fiscal Cliff or not?  Time’s a wasting.  January will bring us either continued recovery or a double dose of the painful recession we are beginning to tunnel beyond.  Write your Congressional leaders, especially the Republicans, and urge them to think of us for a change!

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Leigh Datzker December 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Gary, The tax policies have been skewed against us since the Kennedy years. The Alternative Minimum Tax is one example. The economy is suffering because the progenators of the problem remain the problem, which are the banks. The biggest scandal affecting 30 Trillion Dollars of loans is the LIBOR rate rigging which has affected milllions of ARM's. The tax structure needs to be balanced out but with incentives to invest, such as lowering the cap gain rates to promote investment and to do away with the death taxes. Unfortunately Congress does not have the cajones to envision substantial tax reform without poking at programs we have been paying for with our earnings for 50 years.
Gary Miller December 12, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Leigh, I agree with much of what you said about the Alternative Minimum Tax and the LIBOR rate. Each need better controls and substantially more oversight. Also, no one has been brought to account for the bank debacle early on in the century and the problem continues, business as usual. That’s a shame. However, lowering the capital gains tax might be an investment incentive, but it wouldn’t necessarily create jobs. Likely, it will give impetus to speculators to increase their personal fortunes because they have more money to play with. While the Death Tax minimizes the dollars that accrue to heirs, dropping it wouldn’t invigorate the economy. In fact, the windfall to the government that supports programs for the multitudes, makes better use of it. Bush II lowered tax rates and unemployment virtually doubled under his watch. We don't want that again. President Obama started his tour of duty with an economy so lame that it bordered on depression. Reagan faulted the government by claiming "it's the problem, not the solution." Pure poppycock! The government can be useful, particularly when it partners with or assists private industry in creating or keeping jobs. General Motors, Chrysler and AIG would be reposing in the dust bins of history had it not been for the government. Additionally, our government funds R&D projects that put many useful products into the commercial pipeline.


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