Friday, October 12, 2012

The Revenue Act of 1964


Not surprisingly, Paul Ryan got his facts wrong when crediting Kennedy for the first tax cuts.  The Revenue Act of 1964 was signed by Johnson, after an arduous battle where Johnson had to convince Congressional conservatives that the 20% tax cuts wouldn't bust the budget.  Here is his radio address on the signing of this historic bill.

We have now had decades of substantial tax cuts to the point that the corporate tax base is now lower than it has been since the 1930s, with the average actual corporate tax paid being less than 12 per cent. Yet, here is Romney and Ryan suggesting another 20 per cent off the top while keeping the Bush tax cuts in place.  They have failed to show any evidence that these new tax cuts can be balanced without removing substantial loopholes that would actually raise taxes for the middle class, which Biden pointed out in the debate.  Why Obama let Romney slide on this one remains a mystery.

Even when the income tax rate was an astronomical 92% for the highest income level, there were many loopholes and deductions so that no wealthy individual with a good accountant would pay even half that much.  As for corporate tax rates, it is the profit that has been taxed with corporations able to write off virtually everything in the way of expenses, to the point that many corporations continue to pay zero corporate taxes.

Yet, we find that Romney and Ryan are simply not being held accountable for their assertions.  Thanks, Joe, for pointing out what they have to say is "a bunch of malarkey!"


7 comments:

  1. In fairness, though, weren't tax cuts being promoted by Kennedy when he was killed? Funny how the republicans have found one more area to pander to their "base."

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  2. As Caro noted, the bill was bogged down in committee because the Kennedy team wouldn't bring the budget down to $100 bn (those were the days). It took Johnson to do the dirty work, cutting military as well as domestic programs until he had a budget that satisfied the finance committee. But, such nuances are beyond the grasp of someone like Ryan.

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  3. A good commentary -- I like Freeland:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/opinion/sunday/the-self-destruction-of-the-1-percent.html

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  4. And an excerpt and interview with her about her book:

    http://www.npr.org/2012/10/15/162799512/a-startling-gap-between-us-and-them-in-plutocrats

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  5. Chrystia Freeland will be on the next Bill Moyers & Company with Matt Taibbi. Airs Sunday on my public television station.

    http://billmoyers.com/segment/matt-taibbi-and-chrystia-freeland-on-the-one-percents-power-and-privileges/

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  6. Excellent discussion. Taibbi comes across much different in person than he does on the page.

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  7. Thanks for the heads up. I've become a huge fan of that show. I usually listen on the radio but I'll be on the road again. I'll try to catch it on TV Sunday. I like both of them.

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