The Economic Vote

In an earlier post, I mentioned that there was a prevalent theme in the media, talking heads, blogs, and political ads that basically encouraged women to NOT base their vote on social issues. That all this talk about women, rape, abortion rights, contraception, and fair pay was “small ball.” That the “rape thing” was not an issue women should be concerned about.

I think I made it pretty clear in that post how I felt about that argument and why I’m not going to be allowing them to frame which issues are more important, or valid, for me.

However, I do want to make clear that I ALSO feel Obama is the correct choice based on economic issues.

Yes, you heard me correctly. Even if you were to set aside social issues and all of the misogynistic things that have been said this election cycle (and there have been many,) Obama has done a lot for the economy. More importantly, I believe he has the correct values and priorities for the economy.

This is a report from the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan congressional think tank, that explores whether or not cutting taxes for the very rich would actually improve the economy.

As we’ve all heard by now, the main difference between the two economic plans is that the Democrats are saying we should raise taxes on the top “1%” in order to create more revenue to help pay down the deficit.

The Republicans are saying we should actually be cutting the taxes for the top “1%” because they are the “job creators.” By cutting the taxes, it would spur economic growth and creation of jobs. To make up for the lack in revenue, they want to heavily curtail “entitlement programs.”

This report, which is only 20 pages (16 + references) and written accessibly in layman’s terms, details how lowering taxes for the very wealthy would NOT actually help the economy. Here’s a quote taken from the text:

Throughout the late-1940s and 1950s, the top marginal tax rate was typically above 90%; today it is 35%. Additionally, the top capital gains tax rate was 25% in the 1950s and 1960s, 35% in the 1970s; today it is 15%. The real GDP growth rate averaged 4.2% and real per capita GDP increased annually by 2.4% in the 1950s. In the 2000s, the average real GDP growth rate was 1.7% and real per capita GDP increased annually by less than 1%. There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth.

Think about that. There is no conclusive evidence that by cutting the wealthiest Americans taxes (aka the “job creators”) it created economic growth. It goes on to say:

Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.

Meaning, not only was the economy NOT spurred into growth, but in cutting the wealthiest’s taxes, there was a greater disparity between the “have” and “have nots.” Marie Antoinette would be so proud of the Republicans. Let them eat cake, indeed.

Keep in mind, this is a completely unaffiliated, non-partisan think tank that has the reputation of being the “gold standard.” Incidentally, when CRS went to publish this report, the Republican Congressmen protested and insisted that it get buried.

Ok, ok, it’s Monday and I can appreciate that my readers may not be feeling up to the task of reading a 20 page report on the economy. So, to help you out, I’ve also found this handy dandy little video that basically makes the same points. The source is not nearly as unbiased, but the facts remain the same and it’s done in an entertaining way.

So, there you have it. I didn’t want my readers out there to think I was basing my vote solely on the social issues. The economy does matter. It may not be the ONLY issue that we should be basing our vote on, however, it should be a factor in our consideration.  Yet, even when you do take into account the economy, the Romney and Republican economic plan simply does not add up and is not good policy.

As a sidenote; most people can probably tell, I’ve given up the ghost of not posting too much political stuff on my blog. (Hahaha! Yeah, like that was going to last!) Luckily, with only two more days until the election, things will probably cool off again naturally and I’ll go back to posting little anecdotal tales of life and thoughts. Hang in there! (Specifically my Ohioan friend who has GOT to be sick of being pounded by politics! Even I would be batty by now. I feel for you, buddy. I really do.)

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4 comments on “The Economic Vote

  1. ngnrdgrl says:

    Great post! I saw the video on your pinterest board, but I had to watch it a second time. He is such a great speaker. It’s so true! I’m glad he’s calling their BS. I hear so many middle to lower class republican believing in their spoon fed trickle economics. It’s just flabbergasting that people can still believe that is the solution when that is what helped get our economy where it is now.

    • Janyaa says:

      I get pretty astounded as well! I’ve read and seen a lot of charts that show the states that run a surplus tend to be Democratic, while the states taking the most handouts tend to be Republican. Higher education standards tend to be in Democratic states, higher food stamps in Republican ones. If we were to gather up all of these facts, without labeling them Democratic or Republican, and just look at the numbers, most people would find it pretty obvious which system is working better.

      I think the thing that bothers me more than anything is the hypocrisy of it all. If you say you want smaller government, then stop legislating my body and peoples’ rights to marry.

      If you say you want to lower the deficit, then don’t turn around and propose more tax cuts.

      If you say we need to curtail “entitlement” spending, then don’t request more money for food stamps and welfare.

      I don’t understand why our media doesn’t call these things into question more often. That’s not a matter of bias. These stats are a matter of public record and facts.

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