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Letting Bush Tax Cuts Expire: Good Or Bad For America?

30 July 2010 4 Comments

Everyone loves to talk about the Bush tax cuts.  Democrats hate ’em.  Republicans swear by ’em.  So, what’s the deal?  Should they expire?  Should they be extended?  If so, partially or completely?  There’s essentially two main sides to the decision, but unfortunately, way more political rhetoric than reason.  Let’s try and break it down…

The Case To Let Them Expire

The deficit.  The government needs revenue.  The tax cuts would bring in some nice revenue to help fund the government programs and reduce the money that is borrowed to do so.  This is a positive step for reducing the deficit – but, hardly an end-all solution.  Of course, we could consider cutting the size and scope of government to reduce the government, but that would be too mean.

The Case To Extend Them

Now, while taxing people more will bring in more revenue (arguably) and help reduce the deficit, the problem is that our economy sucks.  Taxing people in the middle of a recession/depression isn’t exactly the way to get people to invest and spend – which is exactly what we need now.

While liberals and progressives hate when rich people get tax cuts because they want their precious programs funded, the reality is that many of these “rich people” are small business owners that create and maintain jobs – I work for one of them.  In my opinion, if the progressives want to demonize the rich, the tax cuts should be for everyone under something like $750,000.  The $250,000 level is absurd and in many levels these people are more middle class than rich.  Again, I’m referring to the small business owners who are crucial for an economic recovery.

The Political Game

As the year moves forward, this debate will only get more intense… and more obnoxious.  Look for some serious partisan banter and attacks.  Unfortunately, many people want to kill the tax cuts simply because Bush created them.

The reality is that there is no easy answer here.  We passed the opportunity for easy solutions years (decades) ago.  We need to reduce the deficit, but we risk hampering a very weak recovery.  No matter what side of the argument you’re on, be careful what you ask for!

Where do you stand?


  • Rick Caird said:

    I suggest Alex look up Hauser's law. Basically, regardless of the marginal tax rates, the Federal tax receipts come to between 18 and 20% of GDP. So, Alex, unless you have some kind of magic that tells you the economy does better with higher tax rates, then your recommendation of letting the Bush tax rates expire is nonsense.

    And before you hop up and yell "Clinton", remember two things. Clinton's spending was restrained by Gingrich and Clinton benefited from the dot com bubble . Funny, that bubble was not a "this time it is different" bubble either.

  • Ecclesiastical said:

    I think some of you are missing a key point why to KEEP the taxes low…
    If peopel have more money they WILL spend it…
    the MORE people's hands the money gos through the MORE taxed that same money is…
    PLUS if people are spending more then Business will get more and will HIRE more…

    SO, in the long run Expiring the TAX cut WILL DECREASE govenrmental Coffers… and hurt our economy… it seems backwards but when you realize motivating and empowering the PEOPLE to spend HELPS our economy.

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