Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Governor Chris Christie is Firmly on the Side of the Millionaires

It doesn't get any more blatant than this:

This would have taken an extra 1.78% out of the pockets of millionaires and businesses that make over a million dollars in taxable gross income, something that doesn't even seem too unreasonable, given the times in which we live.

I think what is happening here is a microcosm of the problems that we face. Tax rates are almost artificially too low. Many Americans enjoy tax rates that are almost absurdly low and many corporations pay virtually no income taxes. I live in Europe where there are tax rates that would give an American millionaire a heart attack. And we can't discuss a meager increase in taxes to help make up enormous budget shortfalls?

Where's the room for debate? What is, and what is not acceptable?

Here in this one veto message from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, which has exactly three "reads" in his Scribd account as I'm looking at it now, is the American problem, writ large. No matter what, taxes cannot be raised. Not even by small, pithy amounts. Not for any reason.

Where, then, do you find the middle ground to compromise on anything? You can't.

This is, of course, a veto message. The legislative process is very complex, so I'm sure that this is not the only reason why the bill was vetoed. I get that. But what struck me was how small the increase on tax rates for people making over a million dollars per year was. It was almost nothing. Well, it would mean a lot to a person making nothing per year, of course, but I think we are well past being able to argue that cutting taxes creates jobs. It doesn't.

Fine. If taxes can't be raised, then we have to cut spending. Let's start with all the things that have to be cut, and let's let the Republicans explain why old people have to starve or go without medicine and let's watch them pitch wounded Veterans out onto the street by the busload. Let's cut Medicare and Social Security and plunge the country into Dickensian poverty.

Run on that come election day.

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