1950s and Taxes
Republicans and Libertarians are continuing to howl about "high taxes." I got news for them: There has been no such thing as high taxes in America since 1981. Every broad-based tax change since 1960 has been a reduction in taxes. And in 1950s, which was a highly prosperous time and one to which many Republicans hearken, the highest-income-bracket tax was 92%.
That's right, 92%.
Not under Communism.
Not under socialism.
Not in Soviet Union, in China, in Venezuela, in Sweden or in France.
In 1950s, United States of America, under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower.
Has anyone outside World War II generation in America seen a tax rate of 92%? Not even the most militant socialists - of whom there are many fewer in America than the Right wants to claim - dream of raising anyone's taxes to anywhere near that level. And yet the right-wingers continue to play up 1950s as something like the Golden Age when everything was right. You want 1950s again? Fine then, pay 92% of your income in taxes. And if you are not willing to do that, please shut up.
If there could be broad-based prosperity in 1950s when the highest income tax was 92%, then claiming that a small rise in higher income bracket taxes now - when the highest income bracket tax is 35% - would choke the economy is ridiculous.
And ridiculous also is the frequently repeated claim that tax cuts have always created prosperity.
It worked when Kennedy did it because the taxes at that time were ridiculous.
When Reagan did it, it created growth but also created big deficits.
And when Bush Jr. cut higher income bracket taxes in 2001, the results were completely disastrous. No jobs were created; no private-sector growth was created; and America was burdened with a huge and unnecessary accumulation of debt only to see the economy tank at the end of the Bush administration - a crisis from which it is only now beginning to recover.
So it's about time that these Republican and Libertarian claims be confronted with fact and reality. America does not suffer from too much taxation; it suffers from a gap between outlays and revenues. This problem was fixed under the Clinton administration through a mix of responsible spending cuts and a slight tax raise on higher incomes.
And it is restoring the successful economic policies of the Clinton administration, not going further down the blundering path of the Bush and Congressional Republicans, that will solve this problem once again.