When it is suggested that their tax rates be increased a modest 4.6 percent to the 39.6 percent rate they were paying in 2000, the Republicans scream that this is "job-killing class warfare." Maybe the GOP's tax hardliners think we're stupid. If we believe this, we are.
Common sense let alone simple arithmetic tells us the federal deficit cannot be brought under control by spending cuts alone.
It will take some combination of cuts and revenue increases, whether by tax hikes, loophole closings or, by some devoutly be-wished-for miracle, a really robust economic boom.
Congressional Republicans for the most part are dead set against any tax hikes –– the more extreme among them believe any loophole closing is a tax increase and, thus, heresy –– and they have threatened to drive the country into default if they don't get their way.
Last November, they fiercely opposed letting a temporary tax cut for upper-income earners lapse, even though the country badly needed, and still does need, the money.
The Republicans might want to factor into their thinking a survey conducted by an executive compensation data firm for The New York Times.
Keep in mind while reviewing the figures that that the average American worker was taking home $752 a week in late 2010, up 0.5 percent from 2009. This means, after allowing for inflation, the average worker was getting less than the year before. Also for the year 2009, the U.S. Census says the family income was $61,082.
According to the survey done for the Times, median annual pay for executives at 200 big companies was $10.8 million, a 23-percent increase from 2009. Despite all our economic problems –– ours, apparently, not theirs –– some top executives are making more than they did before the economy went south.
In addition, cash bonuses for executives have made a comeback. Last year, they jumped by an "astounding" –– the Times' word –– 38 percent.
America's best-compensated executive, according to the survey, is Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, who took home $84.5 million last year.
When it is suggested that their tax rates be increased a modest 4.6 percent to the 39.6 percent rate they were paying in 2000, the Republicans scream that this is "job-killing class warfare."
Maybe the GOP's tax hardliners think we're stupid. If we believe this, we are.
-- MetroWest Daily News (Mass.)