Monday, April 13, 2009

Republican Wrong on Taxes!

Ari Fleischer published an op-ed in today's WSJ, in which Fleischer argued that the Bush tax cuts are good and that raising taxes would be a form of socialism. Not surprisingly, Fleischer made several deceptive claims in his piece.

First, Fleischer gives the impression that Obama's tax plans constitute a radical redistribution of wealth. Not true. In fact, Obama's tax plan would keep the tax rate for the richest Americas at approximately 10% less than it was for most of the Reagan administration. Cite.

Second, even under Obama's modest tax increase upon the wealthy, we still would have just about the lowest tax rate in 100 years. See the graph at this site. In other words, the richest Americans currently enjoy almost the lowest rates in a century, and would continue to enjoy such rates under Obama's plan. Hardly radical.

Third, Fleishcher deceptively spends a great deal of time discussing income. As Fleischer knows, that is not the proper metric for measuring wealth, as the wealthy enjoy many exclusions from income and are able to suppress income in various ways. The significant statistic net worth. In American, the top 20% of Americans hold 84% of America's wealth, which, of course, leaves only 16% of the remaining wealth for the other 80% of us. Cite. Thus, it seems justifiable that the rich carry a heavier tax burden.

Fourth, the tax cuts enacted by Bush were very damaging. Bush took a budget surplus and turned it into the largest budget deficit in the history of America. The tax cuts were a large part of that, because they drastically decreased government revenue. Cite.

In other words, Fleischer is wrong.

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