So you want to see the "new normal?" Better think twice about that because it's ugly -- very, very ugly.
After listening to the President tonight as he tried to make chicken salad out of chicken shit, I am too damn angry to even think straight. At the risk of regretting some of this tomorrow, here is my take on the Obama Tax Capitulation: The Republicans win big time.
This “compromise” gives the Republicans an immediate victory and sets them up for major victories in the future.
First, the President tells us that the “Bush tax cuts” are extended for only two years.
Please, Mr. President – I’m too old for you to piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.
I am to believe that he’ll put in place his own tax plans by 2012 – with the House controlled by Republicans, an election coming up, and the entire rightwing propaganda machine howling about how he’s raising taxes? That elbow to the lip must have scrambled his brains.
What this “compromise” does is make the “Bush tax cuts” PERMANENT and set up the destruction of Social Security and Medicare.
Since the Reagan years, the Republican strategic goal has been to “starve the beast.” By reducing taxes they reduce federal revenue. By reducing federal revenue, they force cuts in federal programs under the guise of balancing the budget. Republicans have made no secret of their desire to destroy the entire New Deal and it’s offspring by de-funding damn near everything except Defense.
This "compromise" now guarantees that federal revenue will continue to plunge, thereby setting up the Republicans to realize two of their favorite goals: Kill Social Security (and maybe even knock off Medicare in the bargain), and, abolish the estate tax.
This “compromise” reduces payroll taxes. These are the taxes that go to support Social Security and Medicare. If the President thinks these reductions will be in effect only until the economy recovers, he’s kidding himself. Even if the economy roars back tomorrow and everyone finds a job by next weekend, he cannot raise the payroll tax back to its current rate because, if he tries, he’ll be savaged for “raising taxes in the midst of a recovery.” And he’ll back off. The payroll tax reduction is now permanent.
This “compromise” will reduce by 15 percent the funds going into Social Security. Right now FICA is 12.4 percent between employer and employee shares. To cut that by 2 percent amounts to a 15% reduction in the amount of money available to fund Social Security and Medicare. Remember, it is estimated that by 2016, or perhaps 2017, Social Security payouts will exceed FICA revenues. Now, with a 15 percent reduction in FICA revenues, Social Security and Medicare are headed for the poorhouse.
Obama’s compromise, then, is the death knell for Social Security and Medicare – we’ll never raise payroll taxes back to current levels, the demands on Social Security will continue to increase, it’ll go deeper and deeper into the red, retirement age will be pushed up while benefits stagnate, the Republicans will push to privatize it – Grandma will be home fixing cat food for dinner while Grandpa works until he drops dead on the job.
And for the estate tax? In 2009, only estates of a value of greater than $3.5 million were subject to federal estate tax, with a top rate of 45 percent. Now, the limit will be $5 million, with a top rate of 35 percent. And as I understand the “compromise,” that will be a permanent cut in the estate tax, thereby driving the federal budget deeper into the red.
How did we get into this situation where such an obvious slaughter of the middle class, the elderly, children, and disadvantaged can be sold under the guise of “tax relief” and “economic recovery?” Simple: The Republicans decided three decades ago where they wanted to go and they have never taken their eyes off the goal. Listen to an old Ronald Reagan speech on taxes. Listen to Mitch McConnell speak on taxes. Notice the difference? Of course not – THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. They’ve been singing the same song for thirty years, abetted by a splendid propaganda machine that has convinced the people they are raping to lie back and enjoy it.
While Republicans have had a fixed strategic goal for thirty years, we Democrats have rested on FDR's laurels, compromised a bit here, compromised a bit there, dismissed the "real Americans" as bumpkins and boobs, and stood for nothing.
President Obama was asked a few weeks ago “Is this the new normal?” Now we know the answer. No, this is not the new normal. The new normal will be much, much worse.