Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rebublicans, taxes, and manufacturing opinion

Today Republicans offered up their "Pledge to America" should they take control of the House in the upcoming elections. According to an article in The New York Times, Republicans are demanding that issues on their agenda be discussed, "including making lower tax rates for all taxpayers permanent, holding back federal spending, repealing the health-care overhaul enacted this year and reducing the federal deficit."

I find the desire to repeal the health care bill a bit odd, particularly because many of the changes it was designed to make have not yet been implemented (in fact, several points of the plan are just going into effect today). There's not much evidence to say this bill is a failure, so repeal seems premature.

Deficit spending is a problem. We should just admit that. However, during recessions and depressions, deficit spending is common and it has been argued that such practices can help economies rebound. The question is not one of should we cut spending, but when. Some feel the time is now; others think it's too soon. This debate is worth having.

This whole thing about cutting taxes and making the Bush tax cuts permanent is just odd. It seems, more than anything else, to be an attempt to placate what we perceive to be a majority view. Perceive is the key word. Consider the following from Pew reported just 3 days ago:

Most people don't feel as though they are overtaxed. This is not to say there is a call for increases, but the idea that the public is clamoring for lower taxes is a manufactured opinion. Moreover, roughly 60% of the population is for either eliminating the Bush tax cuts all together or at least eliminating them for the wealthiest among us.

The saddest -- and perhaps most dangerous -- aspect of this whole scenario is the fact that this manufactured opinion will likely shape media and political discourse during this election season. Unlike past elections which are often based on lies, this one may be based on a fabrication spun out of control, which is much more insidious.

No comments:

Post a Comment