This is an interesting, bothersome video.
The tax system in America right now is profoundly screwed up. You don’t need another uninformed recap from me about the massive tax breaks and bonuses being flung around the financial sector which caused an economic meltdown. You probably understand all that better than I do.
But I don’t think most of the people in this video have the answer.
I agree with their rhetorical point that the majority of working citizens could do with being cut a break, more than the handful of multinational corporations with huge financial sway. But a small minority of motivated and organised voters asking “Who will it be?” doesn’t seem likely to change many politicians’ minds and stop them opting for the latter.
Which is a shame. Because although the principle of trickle-down economics isn’t wholly without merit, it’s been turning into the right-wing’s over-simplified answer to everything.
It can make sense, in some situations, to provide financial benefits and encouragement to businesses, which will then be able to provide more jobs and broaden their scope and stimulate greater economic activity, in ways that wouldn’t have been possible for them if they’d been taxed so heavily to start with that they could never get off the ground.
But not every attempt to make the uber-rich pay something more closely resembling a proportionate burden is going to cripple industry and destroy their motivation to create profits.
There comes a point when trying to make sure that extremely rich people and corporations continue to amass as much money as possible, so that we can get more of it back when they spend it, becomes ludicrous and self-defeating.
And the reported tax bills for some billion-dollar companies, such as Barclays, have been bizarrely low recently (though the commonly cited example of General Electric in the US may be more complicated than it seems).
I’d be interested in hearing some more details from the economist in that video who seems to know what she’s talking about. I think that’d be more helpful than all the “Time to invest in America” chanting from well-meaning passers-by, who’ve been stood in front of a camera and prompted to repeat a vague mantra.
(H/T Red State Progressive)