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July 10, 2008

Balancing the Budget and Paying Off the Debt

-- by Dave Johnson

Oh, so NOW they want budget deficit reductions!

Here's what I think: The money for those tax cuts was borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, and America's rich people have had quite a party with that money. That means that America's rich people owe the money to the elderly. It was borrowed from the elderly and it has to be paid back to the elderly. It is wrong to ask elderly retirees to accept less because we gave the money away to rich people to have a big party with.

And the money we owe the Chinese was borrowed and used to give tax cuts to the rich, and subsidies to oil companies, and no-bid contracts to defense contractors with Cayman Islands addresses.

Since the borrowing began in the early 80s there has been a massive shift in wealth from regular people to a very few wealthy people. Now that the borrowing has to start being paid back they are asking regular people to be the ones who have to work harder, accept less, drive on unrepaired roads and send their kids to bad schools.

We used to have a 90% top tax rate because we felt this kind of concentration of wealth was bad for democracy. Corporations used to foot a much greater portion of the country's tax bill, but this has also shifted onto the backs of regular people. And you know what? When we had those tax policies the economy worked better. In a consumer economy, regular people with more dollars in their pockets mean the economy does better.

I'm an independent contractor so I have to pay 15% to social security on my first dollar to my last dollar - before income and other taxes. That is a direct subsidy to those tax cuts. It pisses me off.

Posted by Dave Johnson at July 10, 2008 12:05 PM

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