PHILADELPHIA – Why is it that Philadelphia politics are always about which candidate is going to raise or lower taxes and not necessarily about what is good for Philadelphia residents? How is it that almost everyone in Philadelphia and America has forgotten that the Clinton administration and its 90 percent tax rates for the wealthy funded the United States into a surplus-an over $200 billion surplus. This surplus, which started the year Mr. Clinton became president, helped to fund some of the most drastic and helpful changes American had seen in decades. Why is it that now, when Philadelphia and America need it the most, no one wants to raise taxes on the people who can afford it most?
Much of the government wants to extend the tax cuts; some, including Pat Toomey, say it is because the government should never raise taxes in a recession. While this is indeed a good answer, it is a moot point. According to The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the recession ended in June 2009. Others say it is because raising taxes will force businesses to cut spending on new hires, creating even higher unemployment rates. Another moot point because according to The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), employment rates have declined since October 2009.
Still others state that the more taxes the wealthy are forced to pay, the less spending the economy will see; the money the wealthy do not spend on taxes will simply sit in a bank account. While this is true, it would make no difference because this happens anyway. When the wealthy do not pay higher taxes, they dump the “extra” money into savings accounts, meaning the economy still suffers, seeing no increased spending.
The real reason why many officials want to extend the Bush Tax cuts is because many of these officials live in and represent areas populated by the wealthy. They do not wan to lose their government seats, so they opt to extend the tax cuts to make the wealthy and corporations happy because it is the wealthy and the corporations paying for their campaign funds.
Problems with Candidates
Pat Toomey, stating that taxes should not be raised on anyone in a “time of economic hardship,” has also recently stated he wanted to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent full well knowing it would create an even larger deficit in the future. What makes this worse is that of the $384 billion of the tax cut spending from 2009, more than half of that money was distributed to people who earn over $169,000 a year, according to The Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Corporation for Enterprise Development report.
Again, another break for Wall Street while forgetting about Main Street. How many Main Streeters in Philadelphia make this much? With 1.4 million people living in the city according 2007 to estimates from the Census Bureau, only about seven percent of that population earned over $169,000 in that year-only seven percent of Philadelphia saw over half of the 2009 stimulus. Distributing the other half of it to the 93 percent of households earning less than $169,000 per year, these households saw only 2.6 percent of the remaining stimulus. How does Philadelphia let this happen?
The problem in Philadelphia is that we elect government officials who only care about Wall Street. Imagine my dismay at finding out that both candidates for senator are wrong for middle class Philadelphians. Joe Sestak voted yes for the stimulus that funded banks and Wall Street; Pat Toomey made his money building his career at Wall Street and now wants to force Pennsylvania into a bigger deficit by granting Wall Street permanent tax breaks.
Whatever happened to Philadelphia’s promised Main Street help?
“The Clinton Record,” Perkel
“The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Procedure: Frequently Asked Questions,” National Bureau Economic Research
“The NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Procedure Report September 20 1020” National Bureau Economic Research
Alex Rose”Senate Spotlight: Economic Policy a Key Issue,” Daily News