Santa Claus Is Coming…by Dr. Thomas E. Guild, Professor Emeritus University of Central Oklahoma
It seems like Santa Claus may come early this year leaving a box adorned with a nice ribbon. Inside apparently there will be an extension of tax cuts for individuals earning $200,000+ and couples who make $250,000. It looks pretty.
However, is this extension of tax cuts for those in the top tax bracket the right thing to do? Is it the responsible thing to do? Is it what the voters were promised in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections?
Since the early 1960’s, the marginal tax rate on the top bracket shrunk from more than 90% to the mid-30% range. If the top tax cuts were not extended, the rate would return to the high 30% range, where they were during the Clinton Presidency. From those to whom much is given, much is expected. Taxes are the rent we pay for living in the United States. A more progressive tax code is the right thing to do.
Extending the tax cuts for those in the highest bracket will blow an additional ~$700 billion hole in the national debt. Those who talk about cutting the deficit have a golden opportunity to walk the walk, but are just walking away from a fiscal disaster. Our country can’t afford two expensive foreign military adventures and tax cuts not supported by appropriate revenues. What happened to the mindless chant about mortgaging our children’s and grandchildren’s future? We are now mortgaging our great grandchildren’s future. Many who would pay additional taxes, like Warren Buffet, are quoted as saying they don’t want or need an extension of these tax cuts and would rather invest in the future of the country.
Is extension of the Bush tax cuts for the top bracket what Americans were promised in the 2008 presidential and congressional campaigns? No. We were promised that the tax cuts would be preserved only for the middle and lower classes. Promises made should be promises kept.
Despite some protests to the contrary, Santa Claus is a fictitious character. The deficit crisis, however, is real. Somebody has to pay the bills and those who can best afford to pay are in many cases ready, willing and able to sacrifice.
Merry Christmas to all! In honor of His Holiday, maybe we should seriously consider His admonition to help the poor, hungry, homeless, sick and the marginalized. Our country needs you now! And to all…a good night!