Mitt campaigned in Colorado today (good luck with that, since the marijuana ballot initiative will bring out young voters) and slammed President Obama’s plan to extend the Bush tax cuts only for those making less than $250,000: “For job creators and small businesses, he announced a massive tax increase.”
That’s not true, and it drives me crazy to hear it, but I’ve decided that if voters are dumb enough to believe it and Mitt wins, they will get what they deserve.
First of all, most small business owners don’t earn over $250,000. In fact, Obama’s plan would not affect 97% of small businesses.
Second, Frank Luntz recognized that arguing against raising taxes on the rich to help with the deficit was a tough, losing slog and suggested that instead of calling them the rich, the GOP should call them “job creators.” He deserves an enormous bonus from the Koch Brothers. That’s evil genius at its best. I tip my hat in admiration and frustration at Luntz’s gift for the Orwellian.
But the rich are not job creators. Some of them are employers, but employers don’t create jobs, consumers do. If you have a little ice cream shop, and you can handle the traffic yourself, you don’t hire anyone else. Your tax rate has nothing to do with it, you’re just going on how much demand there is for your product. If demand increases when school lets out, you may hire a high school kid part-time to help out. If the line is out the door all day long and people are walking away rather than waiting, you’ll hire more people so you don’t lose those customers. But it’s people wanting ice cream cones and hot fudge sundaes that dictates your hiring, not the IRS.
That’s why our periods of highest growth and greatest prosperity since WWII have come when marginal tax rates on the rich were much higher than they are now. Consumers had money in their pockets to buy ice cream cones — and cars and carpet and clothing.
If the Obama campaign can’t get this very basic economics across to people, and the GOP gets away with their “job creators” BS, Obama deserves to lose.