Now that the Republicans have taken the electoral pasting they so “richly” deserved, I get the impression that a lot of people in this country weren’t buying the line about tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations creating jobs. So, I feel like talking about job creators. This is the promise: we let the richest portion of the American business community have their tax cuts and everybody will benefit! This is “trickle-down” economics.
Except that reality doesn’t work that way. The aim of the capitalist is to get rich. The aim of the rich is to stay rich.
What they are proposing is merely a continuance of making wealthy people wealthier and the rest get to suffer and starve on the false promise of prosperity that will never come because the system is rigged against the worker. The disparity of executive to middle-class wages has continued to widen ever since Reagan was in office. How many businesses have moved to foreign countries whose only promise was a low-wage workforce? When was the last time you got a cost of living raise that actually kept up with the cost of living? Have you ever asked yourself where all that money for the lobbyists and campaign donations came from and if they could have been put to better use elsewhere?
I find that Grover Norquist’s arguments against Warren Buffett to be laughable. Warren Buffett is a businessman who knows how the business game is played and if he says that the richest of us can afford to pay more in taxes, I would be inclined to believe that he knows what he is talking about. And what I really want to highlight is when Buffett says, “if I call you and ask about investing in a new business, you don’t ask me what the tax rate is.” That is what is missing from the Republican argument and why what they are saying is so dishonest. The wealthy get a portion of their money from capital gains, that is, investments. That is the difference. Investors aren’t job creators, they are… investors.
Now, it can be argued that without the investment, there won’t be jobs. That is true, in part. But an investment is just money: it isn’t the decision-making to run the business or the work it takes to make a business successful. An investor doesn’t invest money because it will create jobs, an investor is looking for a return on his investment. That’s it. If the investment in the business creates a hundred jobs or only five, it doesn’t matter to the investor. It doesn’t matter if the jobs created are even in the U.S.! The only thing that matters is the bottom line. This is probably why so many people saw through what Romney was trying to sell: it didn’t matter if he saved a business or not, he was determined to make money regardless for his investors.
Look at it another way. We’ve all seen the commercials for organizations promising that for a certain amount of pennies a day, a child in a third-world country can be fed and educated. What we are being asked to do is to throw money at a problem. We aren’t being asked to run the charity or how to feed the children or anything else about accomplishing the work of the charity. We are merely investors in the charity’s mission. We don’t expect a return on our investment other than the hope that we have made a difference in helping improve someone’s life. This is the same condition that the so-called “job creators” find themselves in. They are just throwing money at a business.
Now all of this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t demand responsible spending of tax revenue and cutting where cuts need to be made. But let’s stop with the nonsense of looking at tax increases for the wealthy as a bane to business in the U.S. If there is a chance that there will be a payoff, investors will invest. Job creation is someone else’s responsibility.