How Wealthy Donors Get What They Want

Paul Krugman asks why every Republican candidate is obsessed with cutting taxes for the wealthy.

“True, you can find self-proclaimed economic experts claiming to find overall evidence that low tax rates spur economic growth, but such experts invariably turn out to be on the payroll of right-wing pressure groups …  Independent studies of the correlation between tax rates and economic growth, for example by the Congressional Research Service, consistently find no relationship at all.”

“Still, tax cuts are politically popular, right? Actually, no, at least when it comes to tax cuts for the wealthy. According to Gallup, only 13 percent of Americans believe that upper-income individuals pay too much in taxes, while 61 percent believe that they pay too little. Even among self-identified Republicans, those who say that the rich should pay more outnumber those who say they should pay less by two to one.”

“It’s straightforward and quite stark: Republicans support big tax cuts for the wealthy because that’s what wealthy donors want. No doubt most of those donors have managed to convince themselves that what’s good for them is good for America. But at root it’s about rich people supporting politicians who will make them richer. Everything else is just rationalization.”

4 Comments

  1. Exactly. This is the precise reason, the only real reason, why the wealthy get away with such a ridiculously low tax rate. They paid for it.

    And there’s no point talking about changing any of this, as long as we have a Supreme Court that says money = speech.

    And we can’t have progressive change if we can’t change the tax structure.

    So there’s no point talking about progressive change unless we can flip the court.

    And we almost certainly can’t flip the court if we can only hold the White House for two consecutive terms.

    So progressive change means winning–not electing the most progressive candidate, but the candidate who can win, and can be relied upon to nominate liberals to the court. Which any of the current Democratic candidates would do.

    I’m far more enthused about a third term than I could be about any individual candidate. Because winning that third term matters far more than the person who wins it. Whoever that person may be.

    Obama got us two thirds of the way there. We don’t have an Obama this time. Nobody even remotely in his league. It’s up to us now.

    1. Yeah, Krugman nailed it. But you need to be able to talk about this stuff to motivate people to go to the polls, so that we can start changing the courts and tax structure. So there is a point to at least that. But definitely, we need that third and fourth term. Start making lasting changes. Then you can have progress.

      1. Geez, even Trump is talking about it. The only politicians who don’t want to talk about it are the ones who depend on billionaire cash to win election or reelection.

        And please note–Hillary is talking about it. It’s probably cost her some big donations. She goes right on talking about it.

        1. It’s a real problem. It should be talked about, addressed and corrected. Pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t get it fixed.

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