Exaggerated for effect, but this really is how it works. (Click the cartoon to make it bigger.)

It’s a Tom Tomorrow “occasional look at the ways in which really terrible ideas infect mainstream political discourse.” (I’ve got an idea! Why don’t we break the unions, cut taxes for the rich even MORE, end the minimum wage, and bring back child labor!)


How is it conceivable that Apple and Fed Ex and Starbucks were founded – and created all those jobs – when tax rates were high?

Why did Steve Jobs and the others even bother?

Why would anyone start a new business, or hire a new worker, knowing that a slice of every additional $1 million in profits will get taxed away? What’s the point? Why even get up in the morning?

It defies everything the Republicans insist is true.

Did anyone work or start a new business or hire anyone in the Fifties, when the top tax bracket was 90%? In the Sixties and Seventies when it was 70%?

How is it conceivable that 22 million jobs were added even as Bill Clinton was raising taxes on the wealthy?

Not a single Republican voted for those tax hikes, because, they told us, taxing the wealthy would kill the economy and cause unemployment.

They were spectacularly wrong; the Bush years totally sucked; the Clinton years brought unprecedented prosperity at all income levels.

And yet the Republicans just keep coming. The way to cut our deficit, they say, is to tax the wealthy even more lightly than Bush did – Bush, who racked up trillions of dollars in new debt and handed Obama a baked-in $1.5 trillion budget deficit.

Let me tell you what will happen if Congressman Paul Ryan succeeds in cutting my taxes $50,000: I will pay $50,000 less in taxes. (It’s not rocket science.)

So a further $50,000 will be added to our National Debt. (Alternatively, $50,000 in benefits to the worst off will be cut, so I can grow richer while they struggle even more desperately; or $50,000 will be cut from our budget to secure loose nukes or our budget to keep our bridges from collapsing or our budget to keep our food supply safe.)

I will not be hiring a new worker with that $50,000. What I might do with it is buy U.S. Treasury bonds – namely, the U.S. debt that giving-me-my-tax-cut created. (Well, somebody’s got to finance it.) So my balance sheet will be yet $50,000 more happily in the black, and Uncle Sam’s will be yet $50,000 more miserably in the red.

Why would anyone listen to the Republicans when it comes to cutting taxes for the wealthy? It was a good idea when the top rate was 90% or 70% or even 50%, but they have long since overshot the mark, jumped the shark, shrunk the middle class, crippled our nation.


See Tom Tomorrow’s cartoon, referenced above.


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