Republican Voodoo Economics and CMR
Twisting the truth or just a plain lie?
NEWS FLASH: McMorris Rodgers, under pressure, has rescheduled her “Conversation with Cathy” for next week. Put it on your calendar.
WHEN: Aug 31, 2022 / 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM PT
WHERE: Spokane Convention Center, Centennial Ballroom, 202 West Spokane Falls Boulevard
Today’s Post: Republican economics boils down to two principles:
Any tax that affects the wealthy or corporations is a tax on the middle class and the poor.
Any reduction in taxes on the wealthy or corporations is really “money in your pocket(s)”, the pockets of the middle class and the poor.
This is the rhetorical version of what Republicans like to call “supply side economics”. Others, more accurately, refer to it as “trickle down” economics, “voodoo” economics, or “horse and sparrow” economics, the idea that the sparrow will benefit from picking out any oats that have passed through the horse intact.
This self-serving economic construct foisted on the body politic by Republicans for at least the last forty years has resulted in massive redistribution of money from the working classes to corporations and the wealthy.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, “our” U.S. Representative to Congress from eastern Washington (CD-5), displays her devotion to the two Republican economic principles at every opportunity. When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed (as the singular legislative achievement of the Trump presidency) she was tirelessly on message with “money in your pocket”, even while most of the money went to the wealthy and corporations, money mostly spent on stock buybacks rather than capital investment that might have produced some jobs. Of course, she completely ignored the obvious: cutting taxes is, in budget terms, exactly the same as spending. A dollar not collected is the same as a dollar spent. Each contributes the same to overall debt.
Now, conveniently, McMorris Rodgers has shifted her rhetoric. Because the Inflation Reduction Act was passed by Democrats the Republican economic lens must be flipped in order to “properly” understand the consequences:
Last week, President Biden signed legislation to raise taxes on nearly every single American.
In contrast, the bill summary states:
There are no new taxes on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses – we are closing tax loopholes and enforcing the tax code.
Someone is lying. Is it McMorris Rodgers or the Democrats who drafted the bill? The answer is found in McMorris Rodgers’ source link: Analysis: Inflation Reduction Act would increase taxes on nearly all Americans published in “Center Square”. The truth is buried in a barrage of numbers and speculation, apparently meant to impress the reader with its economic erudition. I particularly liked this one:
Overall average tax rates would increase from 20.3% to 20.6% in 2023 alone, according to the analysis.
Hold on to your wallet!! The average tax rate might rise a whole 0.3%!! Oh my god! Could it be that the increase in the marginal tax rate on large corporations and on annual earnings of more than $400,000 could raise the average rate for everyone by a whole 0.3% without touching the tax rate for those in lower brackets? You bet it could.
There are points in the Center Square article that McMorris Rodgers conveniently avoids articulating:
But The Wall Street Journal editorial board argues that’s exactly what it will do. The bill is “a tax increase on nearly every American,” they write. “Raise the corporate tax rate, and you’re cutting wages and salaries for workers.”
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee argue the same. They warn it’s full of “hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful inflationary spending [and] won’t reduce the deficit.”
This is trickle-down, horse and sparrow economics, another presentation of the very tired Republican economic gospel. Tax rates for those earning under $400,000 will NOT rise—that is a McMorris Rodgers perpetuated lie foisted on her followers for the purpose of ginning up anger, fear, and loathing. Shame.
The “wasteful inflationary spending”? To the Republican heirarchy, including McMorris Rodgers, any spending in an effort to combat climate change is “wasteful” and for her giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry is inflationary anathema—but she doesn’t want to talk about those features of the Inflation Reduction Act. After all she wouldn’t want to point out features of the Act that her constituents would actually find appealing and worthwhile.
Vote this woman and her voodoo economics out of office in November.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. “Center Square”, the web-based “news” source of the article McMorris Rodgers quotes is a misnomer. It is not Center at all, despite its name. It exists to push Republican anti-tax rhetoric on its readers. Center Square is a project of the Franklin News Foundation, part of the Koch-funded right wing media echo chamber. Center Square was founded in 2009, during the astroturf Tea Party era. It is an affiliate of the State Policy Network, the Republican consortium of libertarian think tanks of which the Washington Policy Center is our local manifestation. Read Center Square with a healthy dose of skepticism. Do not be surprised when it is quoted by local Republicans as an authoritative source on local issues, e.g. homelessness. Center Square is a national organization with locally targeted stories.