Monday, August 15, 2011


Warren Buffett's article

The New York Times recently published an op-ed piece by Warren Buffett in which he decries the Republican (i.e., Tea Party) argument that lowering tax rates will produce prosperity.  He's right to skewer the Republican argument, of course.  He probably knows also that the argument is merely one of convenience.  Historically the Republican Party has always favored reducing taxes, especially on super rich guys like Warren Buffett (read: Koch Brothers).  In good times a typical argument is that the tax rates are raising more money than the government needs and the money should be returned to the taxpayers.  In bad times the argument is that (a) everyone else has to reduce expenditures, so also should the government, or (b) reducing taxes will stimulate the economy and produce more jobs.

As I say, these arguments are merely arguments of convenience.  The Tea Party is funded and led by a group who simply want taxes reduced as much as possible and who want government to become as weak and ineffectual as possible.  According to Gloria Steinem, interviewed by Ian Masters on Sunday on radio station KPFK, when conservatives are honest they admit that what they really want is to create a class of workers who will take menial jobs at low wages.  In that way they won't have to export work to China and other low-wage countries.  They don't want the government to provide free or good education for anyone.  They don't want unemployed workers to enjoy the benefit of unemployment insurance.  Senator Kyl of Arizona has said that unemployment insurance encourages unemployment; without the insurance, the unemployed worker would take any job available and whatever wage was offered.

We progressive liberals must keep trying to inform the public as to the real intentions of these people who put ending the deficit and paying off the national debt ahead of creating new jobs with decent wages, saving Social Security, improving Medicare, and extending unemployment benefits.

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