I have long held the belief that when Republican deficit hypocrites talk about “reducing the deficit,” they are simply using it as secret code for “exploiting regular Americans.” They almost never have plans that would actually reduce the deficit. Their “deficit reduction” plans are mainly schemes like taking Medicare and Social Security from middle-class people, not raising taxes on the rich or implementing policies like direct drug-price negotiations, which would reduce government cost but hurt the profit of large corporations.
Sadly, it appears the Obama Administration now falls firmly in the same camp of having “deficit reduction” just mean stealing from the poor to give to the rich. While the president talks about how we need to reduce the deficit, he has his staff and surrogates fighting diligently to increase the deficit by making sure hedge-fund managers and wealthy Wall Street investors pay a lower tax rate than teachers and police officers. From “The Wall Street Journal”:
In a CNBC interview late Wednesday, [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner said the Obama administration still hopes to hold the top tax rate on both capital gains and dividends to 20% next year – the level the White House has been proposing since taking office.
Of course, a 20% rate would represent a big increase over the current 15%. But it’s a lot better than the 39.6% top rate for dividends that congressional Democrats have signaled they were planning next year for higher earners.
This shows what a complete farce Obama’s Cat Food Commission really is. It might force hard-working janitors to labor two years longer by raising the Social Security retirement age, but what it really cares about is assuring extremely low taxes for wealthy people on Wall Street. The people who helped ruin the economy have the Obama Administration fighting to protect their low taxes, while the people they hurt are losing their retirement money. So much for shared sacrifice.
Until we adopt a more cost-effective health care system like single payer (which would completely eliminate the long-term deficit), end our wars, make real cuts to our bloated Pentagon budget, end corporate welfare programs and make Wall Street millionaires pay at least as much taxes as a school principal, no one in Washington, Republican or Democrat, should dare even think about cutting Social Security or Medicare to reduce the deficit.
Obama’s talk about wanting to reduce the deficit was just talk. His Administration thinks helping Wall Street is far more important. Good to know where we rank: Wall Street Millionaires > Corporate Welfare (PhRMA, for- profit hospitals, too-big-to-fail banks, military contractors and more) > Deficit Reduction > Regular People.