Monday, April 6, 2009

GOP Budget Seeks to Hoodwink the Public

One can not watch the news without observing a Republican blow a gasket over projected deficits under Obama's budget. For weeks, Democrats challenged the GOP to propose an alternative to the Democrat's plan.

After several weeks and much criticism, the GOP House leadership finally released the "Republican Road to Recovery," here, which is principally designed to cut taxes and slash the deficit, mostly through a five year freeze on discretionary spending.

But even with this spending freeze, it is hard to understand how taxes can be cut so dramatically while simultaneously melting away the deficit. Thus, I was not surprised to learn that the budget makes these numbers work by way of simple obfuscation.

The GOP budget allots taxpayers a choice: (1) pay under the current tax system, or (2) pay a marginal tax rate of only 10% for income earned up to $100k, and then pay a 25% tax for all income over $100k. Obviously, those tax payers fortunate enough -- read: wealthy enough -- to enjoy this tax cut will choose the the option that pays out the least amount of tax dollars. Right?

You might be surprised to learn, however, that the Republican Road to Recovery disagrees! In an obvious and intentional falsehood, the Budget assumes that Americas will decide to pay the most expensive option -- i.e., the budget assumes that the wealthiest Americans, who receive the best tax advice, will opt to pay more taxes than is required. Source.

The GOP has much to gain from this falsehood, as it hides the fact that their record-setting tax cuts will plunge the country into deep debt. By assuming that Americans, when presented with two options, will opt to pay more taxes, the GOP seeks to deceptively "inflate" government revenue and thereby make it appear that the deficit will improve.

In a related attempt to dupe the public, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan drafted an op-ed, in which he defends the GOP budget proposal and attacks the Democrat budget proposal. As reported in The Atlantic, the op-ed fabricates spending numbers and falsely attributes the numbers to the Congressional Budget Office.

One must wonder -- if lower taxes and small government actually help the deficit, then why is the GOP utilizing obvious, intentional, and shameful lies to pimp out their budget?

In conclusion, I must admit that, in my opinion, both the Democrat budget and the Republican budget will harm the deficit. There is, however, a crucial difference: the Democrat budget will help those most in need (the poor, the uninsured, the unemployed, etc), while the Republican budget will help the rich with their taxes.

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