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Eric Cantor has a plan for job creators.
 You don't count. (DonkeyHotey)
In their drive to restore some sort of economic equity to our society, decrease our deficit and restore some semblance of balance to the federal budget, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have repeatedly called for closing corporate tax loopholes and increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Poll after poll has shown that the American public, and even a strong cross section of Republicans, look favorably upon this idea. And who could blame them? At a time when the rich are getting ever richer while everyone else is wondering how they will keep their heads above water and figure out how to pay for college for their kids, it only makes moral and logical sense that those who are well off should make a little bit of a larger contribution to bring out nation's economy and people back from the brink.

Not that one will ever hear any Republican acknowledging this. As a matter of fact, one would be lucky to hear a Republican discussing the idea of taxing the wealthy at all. Instead, you will hear nonstop references to raising taxes on "job creators." This wholesale substitution of "job creator" for "rich" is designed to linguistically codify the prime principle of trickle-down economics: that if we just give more tax breaks to people who already have it made, that they'll find it more worth their time to create jobs for the parasites who did not have the drive, smarts or pure Galtian determination to make it to the plateau of the producers. There's only one problem: job creators aren't always rich. To prove that, I would like to introduce an outstanding job creator: my mother.

My mother is by any account an American success story. She grew up in a very small town in Texas and, after going to college but not finishing a degree, started going to work to support her family. She worked at a variety of jobs but none lasted for all that long; she was fired from one of them for the odious offense of daring to be pregnant with me. Eventually, she found a job as an intercept interviewer for a survey research company in a shopping mall: she was one of the people who you used to see in a mall standing around with a clipboard asking to talk to people in the days before so much of that work came to be done through online providers instead. Through her own hard work and competence, she was promoted to supervisor, and finally to office manager. Later she was asked to open new offices in other cities and expand the pool of services that the company provided. But eventually, after a series of successful relocations and office openings, she was told to relocate once again, and take a paycut while doing so. She refused, and decided twelve years ago that she knew better how to run a company than the people she worked under for fifteen years. Now, it was her name on the door.

Starting up a business is hard work. It requires no small amount of paperwork, worry, forethought, research and creativity. But she succeeded, and is still going strong: her business survived the economic meltdown through austerity, sacrifice and sound management. Today, her office provides employment for ten people and receives high ratings for industry reviewers. But according to the Republicans, she doesn't count as a job creator. And even if she did, giving her a personal tax cut wouldn't even come close to creating one single job.

To be clear, my mother's business is organized as one of the types where business profits are reported on personal income tax returns, which is the only logical way that an increase in personal income tax rates could be called a tax on job creators. But even though my mother has created more jobs than John Boehner's 112th Congress, her small business doesn't make nearly enough profit to put her into the tax brackets that are under discussion as "job creator" tax hikes should they be raised back to Clinton-era levels. Not that she's alone: a full 92 percent of small businesses that employ people besides the owners don't meet that threshold either. If you include the small businesses that create only a job for the owner (which still counts as creating a job), that number falls to below two percent.

My mother gets a little miffed sometimes when she hears Republicans talk about job creators because she knows that they're not talking about her; instead, they're only talking about the wealthiest eight percent of job creators—the ones who need the least help surviving a tough economy. Most ironically, a tax cut wouldn't help my mother create a job anyway. Even if she did receive a tax cut, it would not change one fundamental thing: there is no need to hire anyone else because there is no demand. It would not matter if the tax burden on her business were completely eliminated because there simply aren't enough productive hours for her current employees as it is.

The trials and tribulations of an everyday small business are enough to expose the fraud that is supply-side economics for what it is: an intellectual excuse for plutocratic sociopathy. If John Boehner and the Republican Party were truly interested in the other 98 percent of job creators, they would focus more on creating the demand that gives business owners a reason to hire people, rather than giving away more money to the wealthiest among us in the supposed hope that they will make a nonsensical decision to hire people to do nothing in particular.


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