While the Unemployed Suffer: The Immorality of The Bush Tax Cuts

As the battle rages over extending the Bush-era tax cuts and Republicans continue to argue that 2% of the wealthiest Americans should have permanent tax cuts, it is becoming more evident that this issue is moral as well as economical. Democrats want to extend the tax cuts for all Americans except the rich, and Republicans are holding firm that the wealthy’s tax cuts are necessary to create jobs and help stimulate the economy. The Republican argument is wrong.

During the 8 years George Bush was president and the wealthy had their taxes lowered, the number of jobs created was a one million net increase. According to Republican rhetoric, if the wealthiest 2% is allowed to keep their tax cuts, they will create more jobs and spur economic growth.

When Bill Clinton was president, the wealthy paid a higher tax rate, and in 8 years of Clinton’s Administration, there were 22 million jobs created, and there was a budget surplus that Bush squandered with corporate and wealthy tax cuts plus two protracted wars. The argument that jobs will be created if Bush-era tax cuts are extended permanently is utter nonsense, and if the tax cuts are extended, the most Americans can hope for is 1 million new jobs over 8 years.

The job creation meme aside; there is another economic downside to extending the cuts beyond $250,000 for the richest people in America. For every dollar given to the 2% of Americans who earn over $250,000, only 30 cents is returned to the economy. That is hardly a decent return on investment, especially when only 2% of Americans earn over $250,000 a year. When one considers that the $250,000 figure is taxable income, it works out to much more in real income before deductions. It seems reasonable to give tax cuts to 98% of Americans unless you are a Republican with a twisted sense of fiscal responsibility. They continue to advocate for the wealthiest Americans instead of the majority because they have to protect their donors and the corporations their donors own.

Republicans are refusing to extend unemployment benefits because they claim it is too costly, and that the unemployed will keep the money and not spend it. According to budget analysts and economists, for every dollar an unemployed worker receives, it works out to $1.60 infused into the economy because the money is spent on life’s necessities like food and a place to live. It is good economic policy and a good investment. In fact, the investment not only will spur economic growth, but it will save unemployed workers’ homes and keep them from living on the street.

Besides the economic advantage to extending unemployment benefits, there is the moral policy that says it is good to take care of citizens who have worked 20, 30, 40 years and lost their jobs to outsourcing and the recession that Republican policies caused. The financial industry benefited from lax or no regulations for 8 years, and without oversight, they damaged the world economy as well as set America’s economic stability back a decade if not more.

Some unemployed Americans worked their entire adult lives, paid taxes and bought homes only to lose them because of greedy bankers and corporations that outsourced jobs with Republican support. In the past couple of months. Republicans blocked job creation legislation and legislation to take away the tax incentives for companies that move jobs out of the country. Unemployment insurance is just that; insurance against losing a job, and the money was paid in for years of a working life only to be halted because Republicans are greedy for their corporate donors and 3% of the richest Americans.

People who are unemployed are not lazy, and they wouldn’t get any unemployment benefits if they had never worked. In some cases, Americans who worked for 30 – 40 years had money contributed by their employers for unemployment insurance, and like most insurance, when it’s time to pay up they balk, and Republicans are happy to fight for them.

It is morally and economically reprehensible that Republicans consider giving tax breaks to rich people who return 30 cents on every dollar to the economy, but refuse to extend unemployment benefits to hardworking Americans who will return $1.60 for every dollar they get. It is not difficult to understand the moral and economic ramifications unless you are a Republican. They are still pushing the trickle-down theory that has never worked, and they are putting Americans on the street. Besides not having living expenses, unemployed Americans are losing their homes, and one would think that banks would be concerned about losing revenue, but they have been making obscene profits off of mortgage foreclosures and Republicans are thrilled.

America is sliding closer to insolvency because of economic malfeasance at the hands of Republicans, and while corporations are getting richer, thousands of Americans are falling into poverty every day. Republicans claim that Democrats are waging class war against the wealthy, but when the facts are made manifest, the only war is the slaughter of the middle class by the Republican Party. It is economically and morally wrong, but that is what Republicans do best; wrong the American people.

Image Credit: White Rabbit Cult Political Blog

9 Replies to “While the Unemployed Suffer: The Immorality of The Bush Tax Cuts”

  1. Great post – minor quibble: You say “Democrats want to extend the tax cuts for all Americans except the rich…” No, Americans want to extend the tax cuts for all Americans up to $250,000. Everyone gets the Dems’ tax cut – Bill Gates and the homeless guy – just up to $250K. Then it goes back to what it was in the ’90s for income over $250. Yes, the 90s when the US economy created 22 million jobs – over 10 times the number created after these tax cuts went into effect.

  2. @logokopp Good catch. Thanks, the post has been updated to reflect your correct and accurate point. Too many of us have unknowingly been gotten caught up in the all or nothing battle over this cut. The truth is that everyone gets a cut up to $250,000. The fight is over whether any additional income above that is eligible.

  3. This rape of the Middle Class and the unemployed in particular, makes me want to just lay down and cry. It is SICKENING. How do these PIGS expect people to survive? Forget Christmas – how are people going to EAT, PAY UTILITIES, PAY CAR PAYMENTS, RENT or MORTGAGE, much less celebrate the Holidays.

    For the Repigs to call themselves Xtians is abhorrent – they could care less about Middle America – I heard a Dem congress critter say yesterday or Thursday that they would get the UI extensions passed by December 18th – in time for Christmas – they don’t understand it takes two to three weeks to receive a check AFTER they pass the extensions – WELL past the first of the month, past the 15th of the month, 20th of the month – people have BILLS DUE on a continuous basis and need to EAT daily.

    How anyone could think this is okay in America is totally beyond comprehension. I have never felt so helpless in my life.

    WHY will the MSM not CALL OUT these TERRORISTS on America?

  4. Eykis

    I feel the same way. When reading msm headlines and stories they never talk about how Republican ans are obstructing. Its all blame Democrats and the potus. BS!

  5. I agree with anyone who calls the Republicans terrorists. In 2008 49% of the people in the United States live from paycheck to paycheck. Today it’s 61%. And if the Republicans have anything to say about it it will be 90%.

    For all of the Republican’s rhetoric about the middle class and the deficit, not of their actions back up what they say. As far as I’m concerned recalls must be started. There cannot be as many people who oppose the recall and can stop it. Remembering that the people have the votes, recalls can be accomplished.

  6. Logokopp, You are absolutely right. I failed to put that in there and I know better. I prepare income tax returns for some of my friends businesses. Unexcusable mistake. Thanks and I’m sorry!

  7. thanks Jason. I prepare taxes and should have recalled that. See what happens when anger takes precedence over reason? It was a good call by logokopp.

  8. These heartless cretins deserve to be recalled. It’s beyond me how they can sleep at night, knowing that their policies are drastically adding to the misery index in this country. It’s all about political power for them, and Americans be damned. It’s a cynical game they play with people’s lives, by tying extension of unemployment benefits to tax cuts for anything over $250K. Then they have their enablers, who add insult to injury by labeling the unemployed as lazy, in spite of the fact that many worked all their adult lives and paid their share of taxes. Some of them have posted on this very forum, saying the government’s job is not to be what they call a “nanny state.”

    They have been able to be elected not only because of people who willingly vote against their own economic interests, but also because of others who fail to see the importance of each and every election. While it’s also true that most of the big money that influenced elections benefited Republicans this year, that was not the case in every election. In elections in places like Delaware, no amount of money could get Christine O’Donnell elected. With all the help Sharron Angle received in Nevada, and in spite of Harry Reid’s unpopularity, enough people turned out to prevent the fiasco that would have resulted from electing a nutcase like her.

    While I am fond of quoting a Washington Pos columnist named Courtland Milloy, who said homegrown ignorance is a greater danger to this country than terrorist attacks, I feel it’s important to add that the threat stems both from the ignorance he cites and the people who cynically exploit it. That goes to prove that national security is as much a matter of a well-informed population voting for their economic interests as it is a matter of military readiness.

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