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Don't Cut Taxes For Billionaires. Double Them.

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Bargain Basement Deal

A lot of Democrats and so-called 'centrists,' that's who, and thir most prominent spokesman is one Bill Clinton. Clinton's been talking up the "Simpson Bowles" proposal that would do exactly that: cut the top tax rates for millionaires, billionaires, hedge funds, and corporations -- then, supposedly, overcome the shortfall (and more!) by closing those same loopholes.

But seriously, folks ...

Actually it is serious. The President is praising the fallacious Simpson Bowles deal. Senators in both parties are meeting to craft a bill along its lines.

Suddenly Chuck Schumer, the Wall Street-friendly New York Democrat, is now thought by some to represent the left flank of the tax argument. Schumer, who's presumably manning the barricades with his fellow radical Warren Buffett, would use any additional revenue to cut deficits and not to provide needed services.

What makes them think of Sen. Schumer as an obstructionist lefty? He wants to keep millionaire and billionaire tax rates at their pre-Bush-tax-cut, already insufficient level. Schumer's proposal, like Buffett's, is a cool solution to a hot problem. But at least neither one of them has drunk the Kool-Aid.

Many of his Senate colleagues, on the other hand, have gotten intoxicated on the stuff. They want to cut billionaires' taxes even more. And they claim they're acting in the name of deficit reduction!

That's how surrealistic this debate has become. 

Sanity Check

What can rational people do in the face of this collective billionaire and corporation-sponsored madness? Remain calm. Don't become infected with the mass hallucinations surrounding you.(We've seen that movie already.) And stay grounded in reality.

We can do this. We've built a thriving, growing economy before and we can do it again. All it takes is hard work, old-fashioned American optimism -- and a fair tax code. 

These tax rates helped make America great. The America that Rick Perry and other conservatives wax nostalgic about was built by rich people paying their fair share. The money was used to build our schools, bridges, and highways, to educate our young people, to make us the world's leader in the sciences, and to reach the moon.

Fair taxation works. It worked in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and for most of the 1980s. It will work again, and we should demand no less from our leaders.

I love our "patriotic billionaires," and look forward to hearing them demonstrate that patriotism every time they repeat these words: Double my taxes now!

Crossposted from The Huffington Post

 

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Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

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