Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Job Creators" and the Tea Party Jihad

Latest Newspaper Column:
I usually don’t read a lot of “celebrity” news, but for some reason, a story in the online version of the British newspaper The Guardian caught my eye.


According to the Guardian story, Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg and Gwyneth Paltrow (who, as it turns out, is Spielberg’s goddaughter) recently got in a little bit of trouble when a motorboat from Spielberg’s 85-meter yacht, the Seven Seas, got a little too close to a beach in Sardinia.


Swimmers were quick to call in the Coast Guard, which slapped a fine of 172 euros (about 247 bucks) on Spielberg for violating Italy’s strict laws about beach safety.


My first thought upon reading this story was, “Heck, he ought to just rename the boat ‘Job Creator’ and come back to America. In this political environment, he could do anything he wanted: run over fishermen, crash into the docks, generally act like the Rodney Dangerfield character in ‘Caddyshack’ did when he got on his boat.”


See, thanks to the no-taxes-on-the-wealthy rhetoric that has been mandated by the fanatical wild-eyed mullahs of the Tea Party Jihad (or Teahadists, as I call them), what used to be known as “rich people” are now “job creators.” And God forbid anyone doing something that might disturb the delicate feelings of the JCs, like asking them to pay their fair share for the running of this country.


According to the speaker of the House, Cryin’ John Boehner, “The mere threat of tax hikes causes uncertainty for job creators, uncertainty that results in less risk-taking and fewer jobs.”


Hear that? Even talking about asking the JCs to pony up a few more shekels is likely to make them curl up like snails into their shells and take the jobs with them. Environmental and financial regulations? Fuhgeddaboudit. We can’t make the “job creators” angry.


This deification of the so-called “job creators” has gotten so entrenched that I’ve actually considered getting a license plate that says “JOBCREATOR” so I could drive as fast as I want and never get my car inspected. On April 15, I’ll just write “Job Creator” on my tax form, send it in, and tell the IRS to go pound sand. And if anyone dares cross me, I’ll threaten to sic John Boehner or Mitch McConnell on them.


The only problem is, the frequently repeated assertion that “if we tax the rich, it’ll kill jobs” is a crock. After all, Bush the Younger was a tax-cuttin’ fool (literally), and The Wall Street Journal (not exactly a bastion of liberalism) called his track record on jobs “the worst on record.”


According to The WSJ, “The Bush administration created about 3 million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton’s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.”


Yet the Teahadists act like Clinton-era tax rates are so heinous an example of government tyranny that they’re perfectly willing, even eager, to suicide-bomb the entire economy to stop them from ever coming back.


As so often happens, neither history nor math is kind to the Teahadist dogma. The Center for American Progress looked at the numbers and found that top income tax rates bear little or no relation to job growth.
In fact, they note, “In the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now. ... For instance, in years when the top marginal rate was more than 90 percent, the average annual growth in total payroll employment was 2 percent. In years when the top marginal rate was 35 percent or less — which it is now — employment grew by an average of just 0.4 percent.”
Further, “When the marginal tax rate was 50 percent or above, annual employment growth averaged 2.3 percent, and when the rate was under 50, growth was half that.”


Long story short, lower taxes on the wealthy don’t equal more jobs. They never have. That’s just another one of the long cons the GOP is running on people, playing on economic fear to reap more tax breaks for the same fat cats who’ll most likely use the extra cash to give themselves huge bonuses for sending jobs overseas.


Don’t fall for it.

22 comments:

CS said...

Loved this. Will definitely read your blog in the future!

Charlieopera said...

That’s just another one of the long cons the GOP is running on people, playing on economic fear to reap more tax breaks for the same fat cats who’ll most likely use the extra cash to give themselves huge bonuses for sending jobs overseas

Like Jeff Immelt, Obama's "job czar" did last week ... neither party gives a flying fuck about American workers.

LongHairedWeirdo said...

An interesting point to note.

"Small businesses" - sole-Ps and partnerships - get to deduct employee costs (salaries, benefits, etc.).

Higher personal income taxes *can't* reduce the jobs they'll create. In fact, they make the cost of those jobs *lower*.

Seriously.

If you had a hundred grand you could either pay yourself, or use to hire some workers, then:

if the tax rate is 10%, hiring people with the money costs you $90,000. If you paid it to yourself, you'd pay ten grand in taxes.

If the tax rate is 30%, hiring people costs you $70,000 - pay it to yourself, you have to pay 30k in taxes.

If the tax rate is 70%, it costs you $30,000 - you'd pay a whopping $70,000 in taxes. You'd also put together a nice pension plan for the company as a tax shelter. If you can get 40% of the benefits for you (and the partners, if any), you get more net than you'd have gotten taking it as salary!

(I used to work in pensions. If you can't get yourself 40% of the pension benefits, you just ain't trying.)

And, if you can save yourself a hundred grand by shipping jobs overseas, that 70% tax rate means that your conscience has to be worth a lousy 30 grand, rather than twice as much.

Tax policy has had a big effect on the country's overall well being.

Karen in Ohio said...

Longhairedweirdo, in theory, your posited situation works. However, it hasn't worked out that way in real life.

The top 5%, the ones who make the most money, don't actually "earn" most of it. It's unearned income, and it's only taxed at 15%, and only when it's taken as actual income. There is no "trickle down" in that scenario. Oh, sure, the pool boy and the maid get a little, but honestly, what kind of real jobs is someone like Paris Hilton creating? None. Nada. Zilch.

And she's only going to get rich faster because she doesn't have to pay as much taxes on all that lovely money as you and I do.

Job Creator, my eye.

Charlieopera said...

Until the Democratic left learns from the tea party, the party itself(Democratic party) will continue to get its collective ass kicked by extremists on the right (the tea party). The shame is the democratic left refuses to take the bold steps required to make themselves heard. Labor in this country just suffered massive setbacks while Obama looked for “comfortable shoes” ... unions have been vilified and American workers without unions have been subject to the greed of corporations that hold outsourcing forever over their heads (something any moron could have precluded before handing over $700 billion no-strings-attached dollars to bail Wall Street out). So long as the democratic left continue to act like sheep and get in line when push comes to shove, they have little to whine about. Break away and see how fast the democratic party is forced to take notice (i.e., what the tea party has done to the GOP).

Karen in Ohio said...

See, Charlie, I have the opposite take on this, and it's based on observation of actual people, not the rantings and ravings of "entertainment" media.

We have a farm in rural Kentucky, in a very red county where 70% of the residents are on some sort of public assistance, including our two renters and our neighbor. They all, to a person, reject Obama and the Democrats, because they don't want to pay more taxes. Which is patently ridiculous; they don't pay any to speak of, already. They vote Republican without any real knowledge of what that is getting them, all the time decrying about "big government", blah, blah, blah. It makes my eyes roll.

A lot of their jobs, factory work and farm work, have gone overseas. That isn't the Democrats fault. That is the fault of government, in particular. My husband saw a study recently that showed that the biggest tax gifts to corporations did not help the employees at all; it ended up in the pockets and bank accounts of the CEO's, et al. In other words, no trickle, not even down anyone's leg. Just a giant sucking sound as jobs went overseas, and ordinary citizens' lives were upturned.

The Tea Party is really irrelevant. It's funded primarily by the Koch Brothers, who don't give a fig about the average citizen, have outsourced thousands of jobs, and who--with 75,000 employees--have managed to get themselves listed as a "small business". They are billionaires, and it IS in their best interest to see personal responsibility in the way of paying taxes lessened, but it is NOT in the best interest of the average TP'er.

Yes, I said irrelevant. They've had a ridiculously huge effect on the outcome of the last election, and on the dialogue happening now, but it can't last; they're too extreme. If the Democrats had a similar group the cries of "socialist!" would be deafening. But it won't happen. Thank God.

Charlieopera said...

See, Charlie, I have the opposite take on this, and it's based on observation of actual people, not the rantings and ravings of "entertainment" media.

Those unemployed in New York (the majority) are victims of a $700 billion bailout to Wall Street that offered no protection to workers. Obama’s biggest contributor last election = Goldman Sachs. Goldman just announced (again) they are getting rid of NY workers while adding “thousands” of jobs overseas. And then they announced they’ll be backing Romney instead of Obama in 2012 (so they made a fool of the guy twice with one swing).

A lot of their jobs, factory work and farm work, have gone overseas. That isn't the Democrats fault.

The bailout, post Bush’s bailout of AIG, was in fact, the Democrats fault. Not what caused it, but how the bailout was handled. Not a single stipulation to protect American jobs (i.e., We’ll give you $700 billion if you a) put half back out in loans to small business within 3 months and b) discontinue and/or retract outsourcing.) Just two examples of how any moron could’ve requested OUR money be spent. Obama gave them that money (OUR money) with no strings attached.

That is the fault of government, in particular. My husband saw a study recently that showed that the biggest tax gifts to corporations did not help the employees at all; it ended up in the pockets and bank accounts of the CEO's, et al. In other words, no trickle, not even down anyone's leg. Just a giant sucking sound as jobs went overseas, and ordinary citizens' lives were upturned.

See above; that’s the point. Trickle down economics didn't work ... so why did Obama hand over that bailout money without protecting workers? Obama had majorities in both houses and could’ve demanded SOMETHING for workers. He didn’t. Nor did he ever walk that picket line like he promised in 2007.

The Tea Party is really irrelevant. It's funded primarily by the Koch Brothers, who don't give a fig about the average citizen, have outsourced thousands of jobs, and who--with 75,000 employees--have managed to get themselves listed as a "small business". They are billionaires, and it IS in their best interest to see personal responsibility in the way of paying taxes lessened, but it is NOT in the best interest of the average TP'er.

I agree it isn’t in the best interest of most Americans (anyone not making $250,000 and above), but then how can you say they are irrelevant. They just beat this guy into the ground on taxes again (remember he agreed to allow the Bush tax cuts to remain in 2010). That’s some kind of “irrelevant” from where I sit.



See the documentary by the Johnson & Johnson kid (The One Percent). Milton Friedman calls him a socialist for asking for the rich to pay more in taxes (the way many called Obama a socialist). Trust me, Obama isn’t one. I have no problem with socialism. None whatsoever. Capitalism, as far as the middle class and poor go, has seen its better days. Socialism, at least regarding healthcare and equity distribution of actual “earned” income, would be a huge improvement. A hedge fund guy earned $2.4 million an hour last year. An hour. The average salary in the U.S. is roughly $35,000. Guess who pays more of a percentage in taxes? It’s absurd, as is the thought the tea party has been irrelevant. Perhaps if Obama had some backbone early on, they might’ve been irrelevant. He blew that one (backbone) before he lost the majorities he had. He’ll probably win re-election (if unemployment doesn’t hit 10% before the election) but so what? He’s been way more useful to Wall Street than the American worker. Personally, I was working 7 days a week before Obama. Now I’m unemployed. Both jobs outsourced.

Karen in Ohio said...

Charlie, I fail to see how Obama could have caused the bailout, when it happened before he became President.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/business/21qanda.html

Sorry, but this is not the Democrats' fault, and especially not 100%, as you say. The GOP blocked everything the Dems did, and have done, using the filibuster. Look it up; they filibustered everything of any substance, causing there to NOT be a Democrat majority. They had such a slim majority that it wasn't filibuster-proof.

I love how righties blame Obama, yest Bush--who had a Republican majority in both houses for most of his eight years in office, seems to get off scot-free. Bizarro world.

Charlieopera said...

Kathy, you failed to read what I wrote: Not what caused it, but how the bailout was handled. Not a single stipulation to protect American jobs Then again, I guess they have to actually read what they signed ...

Sorry, but this is not the Democrats' fault, and especially not 100%, as you say.

Since the Dems were in TOTAL control of the house and Senate (and Obama was president) how they HANDLED the bailout was 100% their fault ... oh, yes it was.

The GOP blocked everything the Dems did

Actually it was a dozen or so blue dogs who blocked everything .... you look it up.

And as for Obama’s job Czar watching GE send a couple more thousand jobs to China last week, I guess that can’t be blamed on Obama either, huh?

Yes, us “righties” love Obama bashing. Talk about Bizarro world ...

Karen in Ohio said...

Clearly, you've made up your mind, but the facts say otherwise.

Karen. Not "Kathy". Pay attention. Thanks. :-)

Charlieopera said...

Karen, Kathy, whatever ... The facts are all in my favor. Every last one of them. And you made my point perfectly for me; so long as liberal dems defend their party without seeking alternatives, they will continue to get their asses kicked six ways to Sunday by a group of Ayn Randers who can't take the time to spell their protest signs correctly. But here's one more for you to stew over: How's that hopey changie thing working for ya?

It isn't, exactly. So make sure you get behind Obama and the Dems in 2012 again. Ignore Ralph Nader, the socialist and communist parties and spend all your energy whipping up on the tea party ... he'll probably win in 2012 (Obama). American workers can hardly wait to see what he does to us next go (sarcasm intended).

And in case you weren't sure, those blue dogs were Democrats.

Karen in Ohio said...

Okey, dokey. The Blue Dogs, sure. But the Republicans still had nothing to do with it? I guess they weren't voting at all then, eh?

Rolling eyes.

My hope for change was that the damned partisanism would go away. Fat chance, with knee-jerk comments like yours and Sarah Palin's.

Charlieopera said...

My knee jerk comment was to stir the shit (in case you didn't notice). The Republicans are one pubic hair to the right of the Democrats (if that much). You want real change, you'll have to vote for it. If you think you'll find it between those two parties (both of whom have been corrupted beyond measure), you'll be waiting for change for a very loooooong time.

My point was until the democratic left starts to split from their own party (in the form of votes), they'll be as ignored by their own (as they currently are) as they are ignored by the other side (Republicans).

Leave the political party. Take the Cannoli.

Charlieopera said...

I missed this, I guess.

But the Republicans still had nothing to do with it? I guess they weren't voting at all then, eh?

The Dems had clear majorities in both houses. Why does that math not get through?

You think you’re rolling your eyes?

And now that they (tea party) control the Congress (According to crazy Bachmann, they now number 51 of 435), they seem to run the show. They don’t own the Senate or the Executive branch, yet they forced the GOP to force the President and the Democratic left to swallow yet another pro rich/business package (a debt ceiling vote that was traditionally a simple process).

The point, once again, the tea party was VERY effective (not for a good reason, no, but effective nonetheless) because they went after the GOP where they could and forced the party to vote their way. Whether it lasts or not remains to be seen, but there’s no denying they won the last several fights or do you think liberal democrats are happy with what’s going on these days?

The difference is, liberal democrats will fall in line behind the party’s nominee no matter what. He'll probably win because the GOP has nothing to offer (that isn’t close to batshit crazy (Bachmann/Perry) or just mundane (Romney) but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference who wins when the outcome of legislation is ALWAYS pro business (why is that, you think?). Obama making noise about corporate profits after giving away the store doesn’t give him much credibility from where I sit. And nothing really has been done to prevent another meltdown (regarding real regulations). I’m actually on your side, Karen/Kathy ... but you seem too blind to see it.

Karen in Ohio said...

Charlie, your argument that we're on "same side" would be more effective if you weren't so condescending and rude.

But whatever.

Charlieopera said...

Karen: I'll tell you what I tell the wingnuts I fight over at a consersative site (i'm fighting right now, in fact) ... when you're nice to me, I'm nice to you. It's as simple as that.

Your first salvo: I have the opposite take on this, and it's based on observation of actual people, not the rantings and ravings of "entertainment" media.

I'm an actual person, too ...

JD Rhoades said...

A big part of the problem, that I think Charlie has touched on, is that the Senate Democrats, even in the majority, refuse to be an actual "opposition" party. You've got people like Ben Nelson who might as well be Republicans, and the abominable Joe Lieberman who's apparently decided to punish liberals for primarying him...and Harry Reid and Barack Obama, the alleged party leader, don't do squat about it. Can you imagine LBJ putting up with some of the shit from his own party Obama has? Pelosi's a little better...at least she can deliver votes when needed. Hell, she got Dennis Kucinich to vote for the ACA. But they're still way too willing to give up Democratic values because they're afraid of being called liberals...so they get called worse names by the Right while the Left walks away in disgust.

Mr Lonely said...

walking here with a smile.. have a nice day ~ =D

Regards,
http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

Charlieopera said...

Bingo, J.D.

It would be nice to see liberal Dems do what the tea party did to the GOP, at least to be heard. The only way 48 or 51 or however many tea partiers there actual are have so much power is by default; nobody willing to fight them back. It's time for Obama et al to quit trying to be nice. Nice (or compassionate) isn't in the tea party (or most of the GOP's) vocabularly. Fight fire with fire.

JD Rhoades said...

The main reason the Tehadists had so much power in this debate is becuase their votes were needed to increase the debt limit. If something needs to get done, saying "no no no" is powerfu.

I wish they'd remember than when it's time to vote on letting the Bush tax cuts expire.

Indiana Joe said...

Mike Kimel at Presimetrics and Angry Bear has been saying the same thing for years.

Charlieopera said...

If something needs to get done, saying "no no no" is powerfu.

Something the dems (especially liberal dems) maybe should learn.

Let's just hope Bernie Sanders is on the "super committee" or they might as well fold their hand (again) now ...