Post Classifieds

What's Left: Just Plain Logic

This Week’s Topic: Tax Reform

By Andrew Philipson
On February 8, 2012

  • TWO FOR 10. New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning led his team to its second Super Bowl win in five years, but is it enough to guarantee a spot in the Hall of Fame?

What Republicans tout as the "golden years of the American economy" – Ronald Reagan and "Trickle-Down Economics" – gave birth to the hegemony of the modern corporation: bosses made smart investments that paid off in the billions, and the bot­tom joined the collective angst that came to a head in the stock market crash of '87 and recession of the early 1990s.

Thus, the ladder was born, where at any position you had someone above you and someone below. Salaries mimicked this innate rule: the higher up the ladder, the higher the salary.

In early 2011, when mega-billionaire Warren Buffett announced that he desired high­er taxes for the rich, an idea was born: those making more money should also have to pay more in taxes.

It makes perfect sense: these high earners depended on more people to continue earning their wages.

In the 2012 State of the Union Address, Obama declared that Warren Buffett's secre­tary paid a higher percentage in taxes than her boss, the third richest man in the world. I don't know what sort of America the GOP wants once Obama is no longer President, but I sincerely hope it's not one with our existing, unfair tax brackets.

There is no point in arguing about taxes. Nei­ther side is changing the other's mind. But every single Republican candidate for President in the history of the party has advocated some sort of government program.

In this cycle, most agree that Ron Paul advocates the smallest government. When asked to summa­rize his political ideology, Paul stated, "I believe the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud and little else."

Thus, by definition, every single Republican fa­vors at least a minimal amount of taxation. If taxes exist, it makes perfect sense that those who are high­er up on the corporate ladder should be in a higher tax bracket.

Every Republican is clamoring for the God-like figure of Ronald Reagan, the President who cham­pioned corporate hegemony in his economic plan. And every Republican wants at the very least a few government functions.

But they refuse fairer taxation and cling to these supposed "American ideals." I'm tired of this politi­cal posturing. If we were to all at the least think things through logically, we could pass some useful legislation.

Enough with the hypocrisy. Say what you want about Obama and other Democrats; the "Buffett Rule" is smart, rational and just great legislation.

Republicans can't claim that Obama is a horrible President if they have just as many failures as they claim he has. Our government is all connected: great Presidents have great Congresses. Boehner and his gang aren't deciding whether to share in Obama's legacy. They are, instead, assuring their own destruction.

Contact Andrew Philipson at aphilipson@colgate.edu.


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