"Wyden is the anti-Rove"

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Over at RedState.org (one of the leading national right-wing Kos-clones), they've gone completely insane about Senator Wyden's progressive tax reform plan.

Under the headline "Wyden is the anti-Rove", there's quite a few choice bits in their anti-progressive screed:

The poisoned arrow in the Wyden plan is to restore the dreadful double taxation rate on investments. ...it is ruinous politics and guaranteed market thrasher to take away what has been the supply-side blessing - the blessing - of the Bush admin, which is to reduce the cap gains/dividend rate to 15%.

The GOP is now handed the talking point for the mid-term elections. The investor class listens keenly, votes its pocket, and remembers forever who likes growth and who believes in plundering.

Wyden is the anti-Rove; or is he just good old Jackass Pirate of the Potomac?

Arrr.... Avast me hearties!

[Disclosure: I built Senator Wyden's campaign website, and was an intern in his office twelve years ago.]

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    They're right about one thing: the investor class will invest in campaign contributions to profit in revenue legislation that cuts their taxes. This is what Republican politics is all about, and Republican activists are sufficiently lacking in common decency to boast about it.

    They're wrong about any general benefit to shifting tax load from "the investor class" to the rest of us. Research Dispels Bush Claims That Tax Cuts Create Jobs

    [Disclosure: I have investments, but will not stoop to robbing from the poor and destroying my nation's infrastructure in order to maximize the return form those investments.]

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Here is the press release from United for a Fair Economy and a link to the report: No Correlation Between Bush Tax Cuts and Job Creation

  • Chris Andersen (unverified)

    As I said previously, Wyden's plan is a direct assault on the class warfare as perpetrated by the Republicans. The comment about "the investor class" confirms this.

    Americans take pride in our country being classless (or at least, we consider it an ideal we should strive for). The Republicans believe in giving benefits to "the investor class" over and above the working class. They consider the value produced by "the investor class" to be more worthy of government encouragement then they do teh value produced by the working class.

    The GOP is the part of the investor class. With Wyden's plan, the Democrats could become the party of Americans!

    Go ahead, let the "investor class" rebel against the Dems on this proposal. How much power does that class actually have? They are, what, 5% of Americans?

    Did you know the Democrats are now overwhelming moving away from dependency on contributions from that same "investor class"? We don't need to be afraid of them coming out against us. In fact, we should relish that possibility. Nothing would highlight the class warfare of the GOP better then such an assault.

  • Michael the LIB (unverified)

    Gee I always thought that the concept of equality should extend to the tax code as well, so let's lower everything to 15%. Then bring home all the troops. Not just the ones in Iraq, but they should be first. Abolish Corporate welfare, Stop subsidizing farmers. And end the Drug War. That's just for starters. Michael the LIB

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    Chris Anderson wrote: "Americans take pride in our country being classless (or at least, we consider it an ideal we should strive for)"

    Some Americans may be striving for a classless society, but there is no justification for any to take pride in something that doesn't exist. After Katrina and the publicity attached to the lower economic classes in New Orleans some commentators said this exposed this nation has a class problem. Wrong. This nation's class problem has been exposed repeatedly. Katrina was just another in a long chain of reminders.

    Some of us that have spent time in Europe have learned that the consequences of class-ridden societies can persist for generations. Not enough Americans have learned that lesson so many contribute to an evolving class structure. Among the opposites of New Orleans' 9th Ward are gated communities and private clubs based on social status. The blind loyalty of uninformed citizens to the likes of the Bush Administration and the corporations that are in league with them is another example of this nation's class-ridden society.

  • (Show?)

    I'll consider that a strong endorsement that they hate it.

    What they say, however, is a fair criticism. It no doubt takes money out of the capital market, and probably does depress short term capital investment. But that's true of any revenue-generating subset of the tax code. All tax plans that change what we have now, have payoff to some groups, and pain to others. So to focus on the particular group that are pained, and declare on that basis that the reform is bad, dodges the question: does the reform create a fairer, better system?

    If you let the GOP argue this as a "taking your money" discussion, you will lose. The discussion is about fairness: is it right that taxes on money you directly earned as the result of going out every day and doing your job, are potentially less than half as much as on money you make because you already had extra money? Is it fair that people who go to work and try to raise families should bear more of the tax burden than corporations who hew inexorably to the bottom line, thus leaving social costs unpaid that the people must pick up?

    If you really feel you have to go toe to toe with a supply sider on this, though--remind them that the only part of the whole tax plan that seemed to have a direct effect on the economy was giving households a check to go spend. Consumer spending (mostly on houses, true) kept the post-9/11 economy from totally tanking. This tax plan would flood the consumer market with additional money at tax time, every year. If they're worried about stimulation, talk about the stimulation thirty thousand in standard deduction would provide.

    To make a long story less long, please tell RedState to bring that conversation on. I think progressives in the last two weeks have decided that shrinking in the face of vituperative bullshit is cowardly and a failure to defend principles we believe are just. Making the investor pony up like the worker is fair and just. Making the company pony up like the family is fair and just. Be proud of those principles.

  • (Show?)

    D'oh--that should be "potentially twice as much," not half as much. Investment tax is 15%; some high wage earners get dinged at over 30%.

  • djk (unverified)

    If any income is to get "preferential" treatment in the tax code it should be earned income -- the income that you actually have to work for. Yes, there's a lot of social good from people investing any extra money they have after they've paid for housing, food, clothes, electricity and so forth. But when you invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, whatever, you're really using your extra money to buy yourself an income stream. That's money that comes to you year in, year out without you lifting a finger for it. You can work your butt off or stay home, sleep in and watch TV every day, and your investment income will keep on coming.

    As for capital gains, you buy something, you sell it later, you make a profit from holding onto it. If you get huge gains, it's probably because you got lucky: you bought stock in a company that took off, you bought real estate in a rising market -- but the company's success and/or the rising market had nothing to do with you or your efforts.

    Good luck is fantastic. I wish I had more if it myself. But I don't think it entitles you to a preferential tax rate.

    I freely admit a certain class-based prejudice here. I believe a strong work ethic is a virtue. I believe we should reward work, not punish it. I believe that people who work for a living shouldn't pay higher taxes than people who live off automatic income -- the rents, interest, dividends and capital gains that come flowing in while they kick back by the pool.

  • geno (unverified)

    djk, I couldnt agree more nor have stated it better. In addition, the estate tax should be retained with the unified credit increased to about 2.5 million. Repeal as the rich and righteous advocate perpetuates the leisure class rewarding those by virtue of their birthright and not any contribution to humanity.

  • Karl (unverified)

    The economy benefits most when money goes to people who spend it. When they spend it locally, we all get some of it.

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