Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vitter: "I Disagree With The Premise" That Tax Cuts Have To Be Paid For

In August, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked, "Why did tax cuts become something we pay for?" This denial of economic reality stems from the same Republican disconnect in which one can be a deficit hawk while advocating extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, which would add at least $700 billion to the deficit over 10 years. Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, a Republican, stated that extending the cuts without offsetting them could be "disastrous." Yet here's Senator David Vitter of Louisiana espousing MConnell's fanciful views. Watch:

Vitter: Well, first of all, I disagree with the premise that in order to keep tax rates where they are and not increase taxes, somehow we need to pay for that. I think that’s Washington-speak, not Louisiana-speak. [...]

Q: It’s a misnomer to say this continuing, for the top rates, wouldn’t have to be paid for. You would have to pay that $750 billion because it was supposed to sunset. It’s not an increase, it’s a sunset.

Vitter: Just to be clear, the premise that I disagree with is that to avoid a tax increase, we somehow have to pay for it. It’s not the government’s money, it’s our money. That’s the point. (h/t Truthout)

The spending cuts Vitter proposes do not make up for the $700 billion in decreased government revenue and increased deficit. In addition, warning against cutting taxes on small businesses is based on a standard Republican falsehood. Such cuts do not affect the vast majority of such businesses:

Analyses from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization, show that less than 3 percent of filers with small-business income pay at the top two income tax rates, and many of those are doctors and lawyers in partnerships.

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