Burnard: The new old planWritten by Don Burnard | | email@example.com
The Aug. 15 Hot Corner column, “A dangerous plan,” elicited some mail that seemed to indicate some disagreement with my points of view. Unfortunately, none of the irate authors seemed to be able to back up any of their rage at my liberal fulminations with anything remotely resembling verifiable facts.
You see, you shouldn’t be able to just make things up, and pass it off as truth like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Glenn and Rush and many others. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once stated, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”
I may not say what you want to hear, but I base my opinion on actual studies done by sources that are recognized in their respective fields, sources such as the Congressional Budget Office and other nonpartisan sources that don’t have an interest in demagoguery and fiction for political gain. When I have named these sources before, many of you have dismissed them as the elite liberal intelligentsia and refused to even consider the many years of study they have put into their respective fields. It couldn’t possibly have any bearing on your particular beliefs or circumstances.
You carp the fact that it appeared in The New York Times should automatically disqualify it from consideration because all they print is liberal scum. To you, I say, put up or shut up. Just because Eric Cantor or Sarah Palin or any number of FOX news personalities said it doesn’t make it true. While many of the sources that I use may not represent the ultimate outcome on any given subject, at least they are basing their opinions on study and past history as compared to making stuff up for political gain. I would humbly suggest you actually read some of the studies done by these academics, etc. before dismissing them out of hand. You should read the dissenting opinions further than the first sentence or two before you crumple up your paper and vow never to read this or that paper ever again. Alas, I feel that most of you who I am directing this missive to have probably already bailed and will never avail yourselves of my suggestion.
Now, on to business. As previously stated, the so-called conservatives are busily calling for severe spending cuts for the middle class while pushing for retaining the obscene tax cuts that the rich received in the past nine years. Their newfound obsession with paring the deficit at all costs, with the insane exception of tax cuts for the rich, is a large part of the reason that we’re in the shape we’re in.
It’s based more on demagoguery than any plan to help us. John Kasich, the GOP candidate for governor, has suggested that he would end the state income tax. This, on the surface, sounds like something that everyone would love to see happen. Unfortunately, the state income tax provides about 45 percent of the income the state needs to run itself. He provides no plan for how he would make up the difference other than nebulous “cuts in spending.” What those cuts would be he can’t or won’t say. This local example is just one of many that the GOP is trying to sell nationwide.
If we remember the past eight years, tax cuts were the answer to every problem that came along. We were sold the old snake oil that if we gave the rich the vast majority of the benefit, they would help us by creating new, good-paying jobs for all. Well, we know that didn’t happen. We went through the only period in postwar history with zero job growth, eight years of zero job growth. In addition, we doubled the deficit, tanked the economy and left ourselves with two unwinnable wars that our children and grandchildren will be paying for.
One of the problems with this new old plan they’re selling is that it has already been proven not to work. When you give the already rich a huge tax cut like those got for the past nine years, they don’t invest it in new jobs; they save it. If the tax cut money is given to the working middle class, they spend it, thereby helping the economy. We’ll discuss this in-depth in the next column, where, of course, I’ll be sure to have lots of those pesky academic opinions to make my case.
In the meantime, the next time your favorite GOP candidate or representative tries selling you that snake oil, tell them to put up or shut up.
E-mail columnist Don Burnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.