The Left is in a positive lather over this clip from Elizabeth Warren, now running for Senate against Scott Brown:
First, Warren is factually incorrect. We didn’t get into debt because of $1 trillion in tax cuts for the rich, we got into it because of $3 trillion in tax cuts for everyone. Tax cuts are tax cuts; revenues are revenues. Tax revenues do not magically multiply and close debts because they happen to come from rich people. As Alex noted, taxing the rich only gets you so far — and not nearly far enough.
When Democrats blame our debt not on the tax cuts, but only on those that benefitted the rich, what does that tell you?
She has a point on the drug benefit, but it should be noted that what she and her fellow leftists wanted was more expensive. She also has a point on the wars. But, ignoring the question of necessity, the Democrats weren’t exactly screaming for more tax revenue when the wars started. They voted for the wars and have continued to vote for the wars.
And that doesn’t include the decade-long boom in all other spending, which the Democrats have embraced with both arms. Just today, the supposedly fiscally responsible Democrats rejected the House continuing resolution. The reason? Republicans wanted to pay for disaster relief by rolling back corporate welfare — i.e., subsidies for green cars. Isn’t spending — now up to 25% of GDP — at least part of the reason we’re here? Not according to Elizabeth Warren.
Second, no one is saying the rich should not pay anything. They’re paying plenty. When you count all income, including capital gains, which are Warren Buffet is on about, you find that the richest quintile are paying about 25.5% of their income in taxes and the richest 0.1% about 30%. That includes the corporate tax that applies before capital gains and stock income. That can be contrasted against the lower three quintiles who, including the payroll tax that funds their Social Security and Medicare, pay effective tax rates of 1.6-14.1%. That’s not including state and local taxes, which tend to be progressive.
So no, the goods were moved on roads that the rich paid for. The factories used workers whose educations the rich paid for. The rich didn’t have to worry about marauding bands because of the police and military that the rich paid for. And the real problem is that all this happened with no one paying for it, so we had to borrow and borrow and borrow.
Finally, notice the angry and bitter tone. This is precisely why I can’t stand Elizabeth Warren. She is an abrasive and factually-challenged demagogue who passes herself off as the voice of reason. There is nothing positive in her diatribe, only vindictiveness.
The Left is very excited about this, as Hot Air noted, because it plays into their delusion that Leftist ideas are failing because they haven’t been communicated well enough. If only Obama would rant like this, they think, Americans would see the light and we’d have a socialist paradise.
But they are ignoring something. The Left already has the microphone. Hollywood pumps out movies with liberal themes. NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSN all parrot the liberal line (media are 90% Democrat). I used to hold a contest to ask people if they could tell the difference between Democrat Party position papers and the editorials of the New York Times. From preschool through college, children are awash in Lefty ideas. I knew teachers who gave out extra credit if kids protested for higher teacher salaries. And academia tends to be not just liberal, but radical. Count the number of courses that teach Das Kapital as opposed to The Wealth of Nations.
People are exposed to Lefty arguments from cradle to grave. And about 70% of Americans reject them anyway. The problem is not the medium; the problem is the message.
Update: A note on my data on taxes. The Left likes to talk about the prosperity of the 50’s when marginal tax rates where in the 90s. They ignore that those rates only kicked in at *very* high incomes, much much higher than the $250k level they’re talking about now.