"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If your only tool is a hammer...

Then all around you are nails. Take the capital gains tax cut the conservatives are constantly pimping for their wealthy overlords. They don't work the way the conservatives think they do. There are methods which are egalitarian and stimulating in their effect (spending on national infrastructure), and there are methods which are neither (Capital Gains tax cuts).
...Whatever the question, conservatives think the answer is cutting the capital gains tax. Still, it’s crucial to recognize what a lousy stimulus this is
Basically we can choose between methods that will be effective stimulus (boosting incomes for all) and somewhat egalitarian in their impact, or else the conservative alternative which gives us less stimulus but more inequality. This is the sort of mentality that leads to the outcomes Larry Bartels has observed in which trends in growth and inequality are strongly tied to the ideological orientation of the White House.
Why is this so regressive? It's not hard to fathom if you think about who benefits from capital gains in our society.
Households earning less than $50,000 a year collected a mere 2.5 percent of capital gains in 2005, according to the Tax Policy Center. Families earning more than $1 million a year collected 59 percent of capital gains. Moreover, most middle-class families with capital gains hold their investments in retirement accounts shielded against capital gains taxes.
More failed trickle-down economics. Haven't we had enough of this horseshit yet???

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