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Opinion: Republicans Are Lying About Tax Hikes Killing Jobs And Prosperity

There are a few identifying features of the Republican movement, and topping the list is opposition to taxing corporations and the rich and then lying about its effects. The typical mendacious argument against ever taxing corporations or the wealthy is that it will kill jobs and devastate the economy. Of course those assertions are patently false.

There is a Republican-created economic myth that corporations and big businesses, and the wealthy  people that own them, are the sole creators of prosperity, and conversely, that taxation is the death knell for prosperity. They claim that less taxation automatically means greater prosperity. And with prosperity comes jobs. That is simply not true; especially when taxes are levied to pay for spending on infrastructure that benefits all Americans. 

The truth is that without taxpayer-funded education, transportation improvements, housing, healthcare and necessary infrastructure like the electrical grid and yes, the Internet, big business would be unable to function effectively. Big businesses, small businesses, and Republicans alike all know this is a basic economic fact. It was true during the Great Depression and after World War II just like it is true today.

Take, for example, the trio of Nordic countries Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Those three nations employ the “highest and most progressive tax regimes in the world,” but they are also the most prosperous and successful societies on Earth. During the 2008 Bush Administration financial crisis, Sweden increased taxes to 60 percent and besides a robust increase in prosperity, Swedes were happy to pay higher taxes. Why? Because they are not ignorant of the fact that progressive taxation never stalls economic performance and always leads to prosperity; even for big business and corporations.

Sadly, because many Americans are in thrall of any and every lie uttered by Republicans, many believe that any tax hike on the rich and their corporations is an economic death sentence. Republicans are well aware of this sad fact and are busy lying about President Biden’s plan to tax the rich and corporations to pay for much needed infrastructure improvements. 

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves regurgitated a typical conservative lie about tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations. Reeves said:

Although the Biden administration is calling it an infrastructure plan, it looks more like a $2 trillion tax hike plan to me. That’s going to lead to significant challenges in our economy. It’s going to lead to a slowing GDP, and it’s going to lead to Americans losing a significant numbers of jobs.”

That simply hasn’t been the case in the past and it is not true now, and Reeves knows it’s not the case. But to maintain his Republican bona fides, and corporate campaign donations, he just has to lie to frighten the stupid cohort in the population. The tax cut Republicans and Trump passed in 2017 only produced more wealth for the rich and their corporations which is the only reason Republicans ever cut taxes.

Another Republican from Mississippi, Senator Roger Wicker parroted Mr. Reeves’ lie saying:

When you talk about big businesses and you say we should raise their tax rate from 21% corporate rate to 28%, let me just tell you that’s going to cut job creation in the United States of America, and it’s the very reason we lowered those tax rates in 2017,”

Wicker’s statement is typically Republican and false just like Governor Reeves’ remark. After Republicans and Trump enacted a $2.3 trillion tax cut in 2017, job creation began a three-year slowdown compared to the last three years of the Obama Presidency and before the corporate tax cut. And it is worth noting that the Trump jobs slowdown began three years before he unleashed a deadly plague on the nation that killed over a half-a-million Americans and decimated jobs, thousands of small businesses and the economy.

What Republicans won’t say is the proposed tax cuts on the rich and corporations will pay for infrastructure improvements that will put millions of Americans to work, and Republicans know it. But they can never admit that spending about $2 trillion to improve America will go directly to businesses and the work force. No matter how or where the money is invested, or what kind of projects it creates, real Americans will be doing the work and real American businesses will supply and transport the materials.

Many Republicans are critical of the Biden infrastructure plan because it includes funding for more than just roads and bridges. Even after World War II when Dwight D. Eisenhower raised taxes on the rich and big business, infrastructure improvements paid for housing, mass transit, education, communications, and healthcare. Even in the 1950s, infrastructure did not mean just roads and bridges. As White House economic adviser Cecilia Rouse said:

It’s important we upgrade our definition of our infrastructure. One that meets the needs of a 21st century economy, and that means we need to be funding and incentivizing those structures that allow us to maximize our economic activity.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg echoed that reality saying:

Traditionally the internet wasn’t considered infrastructure because in the Eisenhower years of course it didn’t exist, but infrastructure investment has to include looking to the future.”

It is worth noting that everything included in the infrastructure bill will be as beneficial to big business as it will regular Americans, but Republicans will never admit that fact. And because they have been successful convincing the ignorant class of Americans that taxing corporations and the people who own them will cost them their jobs, America has not improved its infrastructure significantly since World War II.

It is tragic, but if Republicans had their way, America would continue falling behind the rest of the civilized world just so corporations and the filthy rich could become richer. The only reason Republicans are lying that raising taxes on corporations will kill jobs is because they hate the idea of helping regular Americans as much as they love cutting taxes to make corporations and billionaires richer.

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