Instead of cutting taxes on the wealthy in this country, think about what might happen if we did the opposite and raised taxes on them instead. That’s reportedly what White House adviser Steve Bannon advocated recently, arguing that such a move would be a “potent populist idea.”
But to hear anti-tax activist Grover Norquist tell it, raising taxes on those who can most afford it would be cruel.
Appearing on CNN Monday afternoon, Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, commented:
“It’s a particularly cruel thing for Bannon to do.
“The whole point of high tax rates is so that politicians can tell the middle class, ‘Oh, are we screwing you? Not as much as that guy over there.’ High tax rates on the highest income people are an excuse they use to damage the middle class. And if somebody is in the White House and hasn’t read history — well, that’s unfortunate.”
History? Norquist wants to look at history? Then let’s consider the last time taxes on the wealthiest Americans were slashed under George W. Bush. We ran up massive deficits and the economy nearly melted down in one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen.
Norquist then doubled down on his assertion and predicted that the idea of raising the top income tax rate would go nowhere in Congress:
“This is not going anywhere. It’s a distraction. And it’s an unfortunate distraction, because it’s a cruel joke on middle income people to think that killing their jobs helps them.”
Only one problem with the dubious theory that raising taxes on the wealthy kills jobs: It’s not true. President Bill Clinton raised the top rate in the 1990s and the American economy boomed. 21.5 million jobs were created.
Tax cuts are not the panacea the GOP pretends they are. They never have been. It’s time we make the wealthiest members of this society pay more for the benefits they’ve received from this economy.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org