Club for Growth: John Edwards Changes Campaign Theme from “Two Americas” to “War on Prosperity”
Nachama Soloveichik • 202.887.7039 • 646.528.1029
Washington – If there is any lingering doubt about John Edwards’ bristling hostility towards economic growth in this country, all doubts should be laid to rest with John Edwards’ announcement of yet another tax hike today. In a desperate attempt to drive home his lefty bona-fides and revive his faltering campaign, John Edwards is promising to raise the capital gains tax from 15% to 28% if elected president.
As John Edwards continues to wage a political war against prosperity, his campaign platform is looking more and more like Karl Marx’s wish list:
· Terminate the Bush tax cuts
· Raise taxes at least to Clinton-era levels
· Impose socialized medicine in America, to the tune of $120 billion
· Punish the private equity industry with new taxes
· Support anti-trade protectionist policies, including opposition to the pending trade treaty with South Korea
· Choke off entry-level job growth by raising the federal minimum wage
· Diminish the prospect for worker productivity gains by raising capital gains taxes to 28%
“Perhaps John Edwards was too busy learning how hedge funds work to recognize the economic prosperity caused by the 2003 tax cuts over the past four years,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “Since 2003, unemployment in this country has tumbled from a high of 6.1% to a low of 4.5%, while the economy has gained 8 million jobs since its low point in August 2003. At the same time, revenue from capital gains taxes has shot up over the past three years and continues to flow into the federal coffers at an astonishing rate, bringing us to the threshold of a balanced budget today. One would think Edwards would be interested in keeping the economy strong, unemployment down, and balancing the budget, but maybe he cares more about pandering to his far-left base.”
This press release, along with most of the unthinking and history denying conservative lies about the economic situation in our country, deserves an answer, point by point. Here it is.
Karl Marx would get about as much attention in this country now as Eugene Debbs did in the 1912 election. Give me a break. Let's go through this "wishlist".
Terminate the Bush tax cuts
These tax cuts drove up the stock market, and helped the rich get richer. But I'm convinced, as is a strong majority of the country, that these tax cuts didn't do anything to help build our infrastructure or provide services to people who need them.
Raise taxes at least to Clinton-era levels
This causes the reader to believe that high tax rates cause low economic growth numbers. That's a flat out lie. Let's look at the history of our tax rates:
In 1913 the tax rate was 1% on taxable net income above $3,000 ($4,000 for married couples), less deductions and exemptions. It rose to a rate of 7% on incomes above $500,000. During World War I the top rate rose to 77%; after the war, the top rate was scaled down to a low of 25%. During the Great Depression and World War II, the top income tax rate rose again. In the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, the top rate was 75%. The top rate reached 94% during the war and remained at 91% until 1964. In 1964 the top rate was decreased to 70% (1964 Revenue Act), then to 50% in 1981 (Economic Recovery Tax Act or ERTA). The Tax Reform Act of 1986 reduced the top rate to 28%, at the same time raising the bottom rate from 11% to 15% (in fact 15% and 28% became the only two tax brackets). During the 1990s the top rate rose again, standing at 39.6% by the end of the decade. The top rate was cut to 35% and the bottom rate was cut to 10% by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA). - Soure: Wikipedia
Impose socialized medicine in America, to the tune of $120 billion
Providing health coverage to everyone in the United States wouldn't cost any more than we are paying now, but the difference is that the money would go to doctors and hospitals instead of insurance companies and drug companies who spend several billion dollars a year on lobbying when they should be paying out claims.
Punish the private equity industry with new taxes
Any private equity firm that puts their profits ahead of the needs of the country deserves to be punished. I don't object to collections of capital, I object to the abuse of that power. Private equity firms are draining the capital out of our communities, and draining the lifeblood of our country. They can stop this abuse and damage without losing any money, they just don't want to.
Support anti-trade protectionist policies, including opposition to the pending trade treaty with South Korea
Oh, you mean the US - Korea Free Trade Agreement that would put workers in the United States making $20 per hour on even footing with workers in South Korea making $2 per day? Oh, and thanks for using the word protectionist. We all know that conservatives have no interest in anything that would protect American Jobs or the American infrastructure.
Choke off entry-level job growth by raising the federal minimum wage
So people who are just entering the workforce don't deserve to make a wage that allows them to live and seek the American Dream? $5.15 per hour won't even pay rent on studio apartments in most of this country. Neither will $5.85, but at least it's a start. Our minimum wage had its highest purchasing value ever in 1968, when it was $1.60/hour ($9.12 in 2005 dollars). This doesn't even come close to that. Why don't you want people to be able to live in this country?
Diminish the prospect for worker productivity gains by raising capital gains taxes to 28%
When did "worker productivity" depend on the money raised by people who do nothing but wait for their dividend checks to arrive? Why does Warren Buffett pay 3 percent, while his office secretary pays a tax rate of about 30 percent? It's because under conservatives, workers get no respect.
The Club for Growth is insane. If the Dow reaches record territory on the backs of the people building our infrastructure, they like it.
America hates it. It's time for a change.