Let’s be honest. Life for the wealthy was a living hell under Clinton/Gore, when income above $250,000 was taxed at 39.6%. Equally hellish under Reagan/Bush, when capital gains above $250,000 were taxed at 28%. Not to speak of the Fifties and Sixties and Seventies, when income above $250,000 was taxed even more heavily. In truth, life for the entire second half of the Twentieth Century was a living hell for top earners.
But that’s not why we should preserve today’s record-low Bush tax rates.
We should preserve them because in those 50 confiscatory 20th Century years no new jobs were created (except the tens of millions that were).
We should keep them in place because in those 50 confiscatory years no new businesses were started (except Apple, Google, Intel, Cisco, Fed Ex, Starbucks, Staples and hundreds of thousands more).
Only when George W. Bush cut rates to today’s levels did the economy soar, the deficit shrivel, and unemployment hit record lows (except the opposite happened).
I raise all this because, with the election behind us and the Bush tax cuts about to expire, the debate begins anew.
STAND UP FOR HEROES
You could have paid a great deal of money last night to hear Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd), Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, and others raise money for damaged Iraq War veterans — the better seats went for $2,500 apiece — and you could have raised your hand when the bidding topped out at $110,000 for the Boss’s guitar and harmonica . . . or you can watch the musical portion of it here, now, free (and still have the opportunity to donate, if not acquire the guitar, as the speech of the cheerful disfigured young soldier who’s had 55 operations thus far might well move you to do).