Rich People: Now They’re ‘Job Creators’
I usually don’t read a lot of “celebrity” news, but for some reason, a story in the online version of the British newspaper The Guardian caught my eye.
According to the Guardian story, Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg and Gwyneth Paltrow (who, as it turns out, is Spielberg’s goddaughter) recently got in a little bit of trouble when a motorboat from Spielberg’s 85-meter yacht, the Seven Seas, got a little too close to a beach in Sardinia.
Swimmers were quick to call in the Coast Guard, which slapped a fine of 172 euros (about 247 bucks) on Spielberg for violating Italy’s strict laws about beach safety.
My first thought upon reading this story was, “Heck, he ought to just rename the boat ‘Job Creator’ and come back to America. In this political environment, he could do anything he wanted: run over fishermen, crash into the docks, generally act like the Rodney Dangerfield character in ‘Caddyshack’ did when he got on his boat.”
See, thanks to the no-taxes-on-the-wealthy rhetoric that has been mandated by the fanatical wild-eyed mullahs of the Tea Party Jihad (or Teahadists, as I call them), what used to be known as “rich people” are now “job creators.” And God forbid anyone doing something that might disturb the delicate feelings of the JCs, like asking them to pay their fair share for the running of this country.
According to the speaker of the House, Cryin’ John Boehner, “The mere threat of tax hikes causes uncertainty for job creators, uncertainty that results in less risk-taking and fewer jobs.”
Hear that? Even talking about asking the JCs to pony up a few more shekels is likely to make them curl up like snails into their shells and take the jobs with them. Environmental and financial regulations? Fuhgeddaboudit. We can’t make the “job creators” angry.
This deification of the so-called “job creators” has gotten so entrenched that I’ve actually considered getting a license plate that says “JOBCREATOR” so I could drive as fast as I want and never get my car inspected. On April 15, I’ll just write “Job Creator” on my tax form, send it in, and tell the IRS to go pound sand. And if anyone dares cross me, I’ll threaten to sic John Boehner or Mitch McConnell on them.
The only problem is, the frequently repeated assertion that “if we tax the rich, it’ll kill jobs” is a crock. After all, Bush the Younger was a tax-cuttin’ fool (literally), and The Wall Street Journal (not exactly a bastion of liberalism) called his track record on jobs “the worst on record.”
According to The WSJ, “The Bush administration created about 3 million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton’s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.”
Yet the Teahadists act like Clinton-era tax rates are so heinous an example of government tyranny that they’re perfectly willing, even eager, to suicide-bomb the entire economy to stop them from ever coming back.
As so often happens, neither history nor math is kind to the Teahadist dogma. The Center for American Progress looked at the numbers and found that top income tax rates bear little or no relation to job growth.
In fact, they note, “In the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now. ... For instance, in years when the top marginal rate was more than 90 percent, the average annual growth in total payroll employment was 2 percent. In years when the top marginal rate was 35 percent or less — which it is now — employment grew by an average of just 0.4 percent.”
Further, “When the marginal tax rate was 50 percent or above, annual employment growth averaged 2.3 percent, and when the rate was under 50, growth was half that.”
Long story short, lower taxes on the wealthy don’t equal more jobs. They never have. That’s just another one of the long cons the GOP is running on people, playing on economic fear to reap more tax breaks for the same fat cats who’ll most likely use the extra cash to give themselves huge bonuses for sending jobs overseas.
Don’t fall for it.
Dusty Rhoades lives, writes and practices law in Carthage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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