May 9th, 2012
By Truman R. Leopold -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Bill McKibben of 350.0rg, Brent Blackwelder of Friends of the Earth and Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense will hold a news conference Thursday to announce legislation that would eliminate all oil, coal and gas production subsidies.
Every0ne in the United States who has paid any attention at all to the dwindling middle class
and the staggering economy knows that our tax policy is tragically flawed. We have given tax incentives to corporations to close plants here and shift manufacturing off-shore, while lamenting the loss of good jobs here in the U.S. We have fretted about climate change and the end of fossil fuel supplied energy -- while subsidizing oil, coal, and gas production companies like they were struggling companies in a fledgeling industry with overwhelming competition we need to protect them from -- at the same time railed against government subsidies of green energy efforts, saying we are unfairly "picking winners and losers" while driving up worldwide food prices.
We have steadily and continually reduced the top marginal tax rate such that the effective tax rate on top income earning individuals and corporations is at historic lows -- while the Grover Norquist
crowd and enabling his alter boys wring their hands and "cry wolf" that higher taxes will kill jobs, maim the "job creators" and crash the U.S. and world economies. All of which are basically bull crap. The Bush tax cuts, for one example, resulted in the lowest eight years of "job creation" in decades, if not in our entire of our history. Recent and continuing studies have shown that low tax rates do not result in jobs being created as a result -- and that higher tax rates in many cases actually benefit the economy -- and taxes at the high end to not have much, if any, of a negative impact on the economy generally. Like the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" red herring of the Bush-Cheney regime provided them what the CIA always called "plausible deniability" in their lying us into the war in Iraq -- so the myth that low taxes create jobs and high taxes kill the economy provide plausible deniability for bought and paid for politicians cutting taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations that by and large provide them money to run their campaigns.
Republicans run for office saying that government is wasteful, incompetent, and too large --
then get elected and run the deficits up even higher, and deliberately undermine and sabotage the programs that do work so they can point to them and criticize the inefficiency of big government.
It has always baffled me why the American people vote politicians into office who hate government,
swear it's too big and doesn't work -- and who are terrible at doing it -- and then sit with their hands folded in their laps and watch them destroy everything good about America and our democracy -- and lament that it's the government and the national debt that is the cause of all the problems.
It's refreshing to see a politician with the courage to step forward and introduce a bill that actually does something which is not only needed, but long overdue in terms of righting our fiscal ship and redirecting our energy policy in a more sustainable direction.