Progressive Radio: This Week On The Fallon Forum
you want to help the poor by giving the rich a tax cut is like saying
you want to feed the sparrows by giving the horses an extra scoop of
oats.” – Senator Tom Harkin
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Often, partisan battles seem like so much posturing. Not so with the proposal by the White House and congressional leaders to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone except individuals earning over $200,000 and couples earning over $250,000. Tax rates would go back to the previous level only for the upper 2 percent of earners, remaining the same for the other 98 percent of us. That's estimated to save an average middle-class family $2,000 per year. Sounds good to us.
So, it's really hard to understand Republican opposition, both from a policy perspective and a political perspective. White House senior adviser David Axlerod summed it up succinctly yesterday in a McClatchy-Tribune News Service article: “If (Republicans) want to block a tax cut for 98 percent of the American people in order to preserve a $700 billion tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent, I'd say 'Let's have that fight.'”
But wait! What about the trickle down theory? You know, the one Reagan talked about? The one the elder George Bush called “Voodoo Economics?” Well, Tom Harkin used to sum-up that theory with a vivid agrarian metaphor, along the lines of: “Saying you want to help the poor by giving the rich a tax cut is like saying you want to feed the sparrows by giving the horses an extra scoop of oats.”
Understand that back in the 1970s, the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans used to be 70 percent. Repealing the Bush tax cut would still leave the top rate at 39.6 percent for couples.
If Republicans defeat this legislation, someone earning more than $1 million would continue to see a tax break of potentially $100,000 a year! We just don't see why that's good politics or good policy, or how Republicans justify another $700 billion hit on the federal budget at a time of runaway debt, when the vast majority of us continue to cut back, tighten our belts, and struggle to get by on less.
Monday, we talk about this issue with Allyne Smith, an all-around smart guy who served as Ed's policy wizard during Ed's 2008 congressional campaign.
Tuesday, Steve Fugate with Iowa Renewable Energy Association (IRENEW) joins us to discuss climate change and the serious repercussions of not addressing it.
Wednesday, Sandra Sanchez of the American Friends Service Committee is our guest as we talk about immigration reform, and specifically how the issue is being discussed in the campaign for Governor.
Thursday, from 7:00 – 7:30, Ying Sa of Community CPA & Associates comes on the show to answer your tax and accounting questions. At 7:30, Ruth Ann Gaines is our guest, discussing her campaign for the state legislature.
Our Thursday give-away is either a free membership to the Iowa Food Coop (worth $50) or a $25 gift certificate toward purchasing Iowa Food Coop products.
We'd like to remind you that this show would not be possible without the support of our local business partners and non-profit sponsors, including Sierra Club, Des Moines Social Club, Iowa Farmers Union, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Iowa Renewable Energy Association (IRENEW).
Ed and Lynn Fallon