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Posted by on Sep 20, 2011 in At TMV | 15 comments

If The Rich Are Jobs Creators, Where Are The Jobs?

In the founding days of the Republic, a highly literate and very politically savvy American citizenry would spend hours arguing the pros and cons of various governing ideas presented in a flood of pamphlets, and in tightly reasoned works such as The Federalist and The Anti-Federalist. The kind of political arguments impossible to fit in a 30-second TV special interest rant or a 140-character tweet — not that anyone employing these media would ever be interested in trying.

So be it. In arguing the merits of how to meet the challenge of government deficit reduction today, one is therefore wise to avoid the complex, the subtle, because really folks, who’s gonna pay attention to stuff like that, and just focus instead on a catchy phrase or two that seems to sum up the issues involved in a memorable phrase or two.

With that in mind, here’s my contribution to the present debate. A debate that has pretty much come down to whether all the pain of getting our fiscal house in better shape should come from cuts in government programs for the poor and middle class, or whether some of that pain should be shared by the rich.

Since the Republican argument is that the rich should be let off the hook because they are “jobs creators,” my whack-em-back is: If The Rich Are Jobs Creators, Where Are The Jobs?

Every time some Republican says we can’t tax the rich more because they are job creators, that’s the immediate come back. If The Rich Are Jobs Creators, Where Are The Jobs?

The follow ups should then note that those making over $250,000 a year have been paying less income taxes because of a Bush-era deal that was supposed to help generate jobs. So where are the jobs? The obscenely low “carried interest” tax rate for obscenely over-compensated hedge fund managers that was supposed to help generate employment has been around since the Clinton years. So where are the big job numbers this tax break was supposed to create?

Go through the list of tax breaks for rich, one by one, and ask the same question. Where are all the jobs they’ve created, what has the public gotten for these tax goodies. We know the rich have gotten richer because of lower taxes. But where are the jobs for the rest of us?

The big political focus today (finally!) is on jobs. Republicans say more tax breaks for the rich will produce more jobs. Long existing ones haven’t done that. So it’s worth asking — again and again.

If The Rich Are Jobs Creators, Where Are The Jobs?

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