The unofficial moniker of the tax cut votes scheduled for Dec. 4, 2010, is “Showdown Saturday.” This tit-for-tat exchange between Democrats and Republicans is more an exercise in futility (and a race for public opinion) in the upcoming 2012 elections than what representatives from both sides would like to admit.
The Democrats are taking the stance that they are fighting for the middle class by preventing tax hikes, accusing the Republicans of politics as usual, by extending tax cuts and passing new tax breaks for the “rich.” Essentially, both parties are saying the same things they have for decades, continuing to chase their own tails.
What All of This Means
Historically, 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work, and make 80 percent of the money. Thus, that same 20 percent (those doing the majority of the work) pay 80 percent of the taxes in the US. The more you earn, the more tax you pay; it’s that simple because it is based on the archaic system the IRS has relegated the citizens of the United States to.
Yet, the House and the Senate cannot fall blameless in this comedy of errors, as tax cuts and tax breaks are an expected platform that our political leaders jump on the proverbial bandwagon for when campaigning and displaying a “for the people” approach to politics.
Of the People, By the People
What Senate Democrats and Republicans seem to forget (due to schedules filled with heated debates and lengthy press conferences) is that they are public servants. Indeed, they were put in power by the voice of the people, those whom they are sworn to represent. Unfortunately, political bias and greedy agendas often take the place of the servitude that they are sworn to.
This “Showdown Saturday” is essentially little more than political posturing for a party to take the early lead in the run for the presidency in 2012.
While this may appear to be a cynical and sardonic attitude toward the government in the “land of the free and home of the brave,” it is this writer’s opinion that these individuals are not subjected to the tax laws they pass. Senators and congressmen don’t pay taxes, thus they cannot possibly have passion about the repercussions felt by the public (i.e. those whom they represent). Essentially, tax cuts are to win public opinion, and have been so ever since the birth of the IRS in 1953.
The goal of “Showdown Saturday” on all sides of political partisanship is to do little more than create headlines and twist public opinion toward one party or another. This control mechanism keeps the public from delving into larger economic pools and asking questions that neither the Senate, the House, nor even the President would care to answer at the moment. This political propaganda is the well-conceived agenda of those currently in power, attempting to stay out of a figurative public firing squad.
Sure, I’d like to see tax cuts as much as the next guy. However, tax cuts are not the issue nor the solution to a struggling economy and volatile real estate market. A tax cut for any economic class right now is like putting a band-aid on a wound that requires stitches; it may stop the bleeding for a short time, but it won’t heal the wound. Thus, “Showdown Saturday” would be far more accurately described as “Ho-Hum Saturday” designed around personal agendas for greedy politicians.
What to Do
The sad truth is, once elections are over, no matter how many letters get written and sent to political figures, those we, the people, have elected are in control and in the drivers seat of our tax dollars. Thus, it is our job as Americans to research candidates and hold them accountable before they sit in that drivers seat, not to vote based on partisan preferences, but to vote based on economic conservatism. Frankly, that is the only way the dollar will recover and the US economy will weather this storm well after 2012. In order to change the nation, begin within the elections for your community, as your community leaders are the county, state, and national leaders of tomorrow.
Matt Jaffee and Huma Khan “Senate Showdown Saturday: Tax Cut Votes on the Way”, ABC News