As you all know by now, the entire Missouri House delegation voted yesterday against extending the Bush tax cuts for 98% of Americans – those individuals who make less than $200,000 and families who make less than $250,000. This naturally left me just a little curious about how my own representative, Todd Akin (R-2nd), rationalized his vote given that he’s spent lots of time over the past few years gassing about how Democrats want to raise our taxes. And sure enough, when I went to his Webpage to see if he had something to say on the topic, I learned that he wants us to know that he “will be fighting for the extension of the Bush tax cuts for all Americans.” Which seems to mean wealthy Americans since he showed us yesterday that he doesn’t care diddly for my bottom line or that of most of my neighbors.
Of course, poor old Todd is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and might be a little confused – or he just hasn’t been paying too much attention to what he’s voting on. On his Webpage he claims that:
While Democrats are preparing to raise taxes by $3.9 trillion, ordinary Americans are still struggling to find work. It is wrong to prioritize the singling out of some Americans for tax increases at the detriment of creating jobs
First, the $3.9 trillion he’s talking about is the cost of all the Bush tax cuts over ten years. Since it was the Democrats who were offering him a chance to cut a big chunk, $3.2 trillion, off that sum, the amount that would give a tax break to most middle class Americans, if Akin isn’t confused or not paying attention, he just might be trying to spin a little fib. My question is why doesn’t Todd, winner of a Distinguished Christian legislator award in 2007, know that Jesus frowns on bad little boys who tell lies? (For that matter, doesn’t he remember that Jesus said that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven (Matthew 19:16-30). Seems like he might show a little more concern for the souls of the wealthy, no?)
Second, the amount in question is not the only little invention he’s trying to pass off. Clearly, the middle class tax cut he nixed might do something to create some jobs since it gives folks who have to watch their pennies a little more spending money and thus creates demand – but I bet (and economists agree) that the wealthy 2% he’s so concerned about won’t kill that many jobs when their income tax rates go up by about 4.5 percentage points – still among the lowest top-bracket tax rates in the developed world. Letting the top bracket tax cuts expire would cut the deficit by something in the vicinity of $700 billion dollars over ten years – and isn’t the deficit what all the GOP deficit scare-mongers are hyperventilating about, the reason why they can’t do things like extend unemployment benefits for those victimized by the recession laissez-faire, tax-cutting policies created?
But hey! You know what? I bet Akin won’t sweat it. He can always depend on the gullibility of the black-is-white, tea-drinking brigade. Winger Dan Varroney of The Hill’s Congress blog, accuses President Obama of missing the “message” of the Nov. 2 rout – he thinks that Obama’s not only wrong, but condescending when he stands by his policies. Varroney compares the President’s logic to that of a chef who claims that it’s not “his inability to cook, but the customer’s inability to think the food tastes good.” While Varroney might be right about Obama’s condescension, he need only take a careful, unbiased look at the tripe that respected Republican congresspeople, such as Rep. Akin, are dishing out and that the GOP base is gobbling up to understand that a little condescension might be in order.
People voted for Todd Akin in spite of the fact that almost every other sentence he writes or speaks can easily be shown to be intellectually spurious and often dead false. The same people who vote for him over and over again, no matter how egregiously he betrays their interests, will probably give him a pass on this issue as well because he says he’s “fighting for the extension of the tax cuts for all Americans,” and if he says so, it must be true.