Majority of Americans: Please raise taxes on billionaires. Congress: Herp derp screw the middle class! Majority: #fuckyouwashington
Senator Bernie Sanders (one of the few Senators I respect) says essentially the same thing, but more eloquently than I did:
The rich are getting richer. Their effective tax rate, in recent years, has been reduced to the lowest in modern history. Nurses, teachers and firemen actually pay a higher tax rate than some billionaires. It’s no wonder the American people are angry.
Many corporations, including General Electric and Exxon-Mobil, have made billions in profits while using loopholes to avoid paying any federal income taxes. We lose $100 billion every year in federal revenue from companies and individuals who stash their wealth in tax havens off-shore like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The sum of all the revenue collected by the Treasury today totals just 14.8% of our gross domestic product, the lowest in about 50 years.
In the midst of this, Republicans in Congress have been fanatically determined to protect the interests of the wealthy and large multinational corporations so that they do not contribute a single penny toward deficit reduction.
If the Republicans have their way, the entire burden of deficit reduction will be placed on the elderly, the sick, children and working families. In the midst of a horrendous recession that is already causing severe pain for average Americans, this approach is morally grotesque. It’s also bad economic policy.
The whole thing isn’t very long, and it’s worth your time to give it a read.
The door was open but Republicans refused to negotiate.
Instead, they decided to filibuster, which will push any negotiations/decision-making right up to the Tuesday deadline, if the Republicans agree to negotiate at all.
On behalf of those of us with money invested in the stock market, thank you, Republicans. The market just *loves* economic uncertainty. And no one knows the magnitude of the hits we’ll be taking Wednesday, only that they’re body blows, and they’re gonna hurt.
But please, keep filibustering instead of actually helping to make progress.
a) impose a tiny tax hike for the uber-wealthy and close loopholes that currently let massive corporations get away with paying no taxes (mostly due to creative accounting or corporate welfare), WHILE still making modest cuts on spending
b) make massive cuts that will effect the day-to-day life of the majority of citizens by underfunding initiatives and social programs that the American people depend on.
The ridiculously-rich would hardly feel the sting, whereas the lower and middle classes would be hugely affected by cuts to the programs they rely on to survive. Why is there even a question of which option is better?