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  • Sophie's Choice - and Washington's

    Would you vote to cut taxes only for the middle class, if that were your only choice?

    The furor over the answer from House Republican Leader John Boehner (R–OH) obscures the fact that it’s a tough question—one for which all politicians should have a response ready before it’s asked.

    Reporters want to push them onto the horns of a supposed dilemma: either disavow across-the-board tax cuts or be labeled a toady for the rich. Or dodge the question and get depicted as a weasel.

    The better approach is to challenge the very premise of the question. Who is trying to force a decision between bad alternatives? It’s known as a “Sophie’s Choice”—from the Meryl Streep portrayal of a mother cruelly forced by Nazis to choose only one of her children to save from a death camp.

    America’s economy is hurting, but must President Obama and his team of class warriors insist that some can be saved from January’s automatic tax hikes but others must not be?

    Examples abound that Obama’s selective approach hurts the very group that creates the jobs we need: the entrepreneurs who are holding back from expanding and creating jobs due to Obama’s impending higher taxes and heavier regulations; the 5 percent who are credited with 37 percent of consumer spending. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “According to new research from Moody’s Analytics, the top 5% of Americans by income account for 37% of all consumer outlays.”

    Like it or not, those who can spend more freely provide a wealth of jobs for everyone else. Punishing them ends up punishing blue-collar people. The classic example was the 1990 luxury tax imposed on jewelry, yachts, private planes, and more. Congress repealed it after thousands of layoffs occurred in those industries and the added unemployment benefits exceeded the luxury tax revenue.

    Pick the metaphor of your choice, but responses to the Sophie’s Choice question on taxes should reject the premise that some must be left behind: To save the economy, we need lifeboats for everyone. When the economic house is burning, don’t tell us we can rescue only some who live in it.

    A full economic recovery requires a full, across-the-board extension of the lower taxes that boosted our economy before and now can boost it again.

    A number of Democrats recognize that Obama is trying to force Congress into a bad decision and are speaking out for lower taxes for all who pay income taxes. They include key Senators like Kent Conrad (D–ND), Ben Nelson (D–Neb), Jim Webb (D–VA) and House members like Gerry Connelly (D–VA), Jim Matheson (D–UT), and Melissa Bean (D–IL).

    Responsibility for bad choices rests with those who refuse to permit good options. And it’s not just Obama.

    Many believe that a bipartisan majority would approve the across-the-board approach if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) would permit a vote. It ought to come quickly—before the November elections—so voters will know where everyone stands. And our economy would get some much-needed good news.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Sophie's Choice - and Washington's

    1. TJS, FL says:

      The basic problem is that we now have Europe-sized government, 63% of the economy, according to Americans for Tax Reform. That's 44% of GDP in direct government spending, and another 19% of GDP in the cost of government regulation. We will have a Europe-like economy, with slow growth and high unemployment, unless we cut government back to size.

      I suggest we cut all government spending and regulations in half. That would double our own disposable income. How's that for an economic stimulus? Such improvements require constitutional amendments at both the federal and state levels. Governments have proven conclusively they cannot be trusted to be responsible, so we need to handcuff them.

    2. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      In my Sci Fi book, Captain Trubo says "I would shoot the guy who says I have to make the choice!" Now, if there is a real Vote then we have a beautiful metaphor, and we can Vote the rascals out of Office. However, if there is to be no free and fair Election here in America (like it has been recently) then our brilliant Founders plan for peaceful transition will be lost. Don't kid yourself, Americans will not march peacefully to the Death Camps. I am already astonished how restrained our Countrymen have been. Obama has been warned not to push us any further.

      The TEA Party means the Sleeping Giant is awake. Another fake election will fill him with a terrible resolve. Of course, that is exactly what the Progressives plan to do. History is not their strong suit. If it was they might have recognized Obama for what he is. Vote them all out of Office or experience a rebellion. That's the true choice, and it is more horrible than taxes.

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