Democrats & Liberals Archives

House Votes Tax Increase for Workers

The big Republican mantra is “cut taxes.” They cut the income tax. They cut the inheritance tax. They cut the tax rate on dividends and capital gains. And yesterday the House extended the tax cut on dividends and capital gains - $60 billion worth. Evidently, when Republicans talk of tax cuts they mean tax cuts for the rich. If our ever-growing government can’t get money from the rich, where can it get the money? Besides boosting the deficit, the government must increase the taxes on workers. What the Republicans call a tax cut is effectively a tax increase on workers.

The Republicans offer all sorts of reasons for the tax cuts. One is supply-side nonsense that President George Bush I called "voodoo encomics." Cutting taxes on dividends and capital gains, they tell us, will enhance economic growth. These and other reasons are only camouflage for the real reason: GREED.

They are worried about the poor CEO who makes a mere $150 million a year. Why should he pay so much on his investment income? What would he live on? He needs all of his millions to live in a manner he is accustomed to.

Republicans talk about growth. Is growth a problem? From what I can tell, the stock market is booming. The rich are getting richer at a faster pace than ever. Workers, however, are not doing well at all. From the New York Times, I picked up 2 salient statistics for the third quarter of 2005:

  • Productivity in the non-farm business sector increased 4.7%
  • Real wages decreased 1.4%
Productivity is rising at a fast pace. This means that business is selling more and making more profit. What about real wages? We were told that when productivity increased so would real wages go up. Why did they go down?

The problem we have is not that business is not doing well, but that workers are bleeding. Will Republicans do anything about this? NO. Republicans take care of their constituency, business, and pay no attention to the problems of labor. When occasionally they do, they say the benefits will "trickle down."

In the midst of all this, the House votes what it calls a "tax cut" on capital gains. This is a tax cut for the rich, a tax cut for business. In the practical world, this translates into a "tax increase" for workers.

The Republican mantra should read: "increase taxes," because this is what their policies do to the majority in this country, who are workers, not business people.

Posted by Paul Siegel at December 9, 2005 5:01 PM