default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

High taxes for the rich and other myths

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:39 am

In the past year or so there have been many letters to the editor criticizing the president and his administration. One in particular suggested that Obama must go and that he should stop blaming Bush for the nation’s woes.

Most would agree that placing blame is not a solution and the country must and will move on. However, a look back at the Bush administration record is worthy of consideration in order that our nation understand and avoid mistakes that were made in the past.

Let’s not forget that Bush was left with a budget surplus by the previous administration which quickly became a deficit, and during his term the national debt nearly doubled. This was primarily due to two controversial wars, the Medicare prescription drug plan, the Bush tax cuts and interest costs associated with borrowed money to fund these programs. Debts incurred as a result of programs initiated under a previous administration do not just disappear when a president leaves office and neither does a recession.

I suppose we could blame both parties for the wars since both voted for them, although we now know that Congress was lied to about WMDs, yellow cake and threats of mushroom clouds. We also know that the prescription drug plan was written primarily by and beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry and was approved by a Republican-controlled Congress. The tax cuts were supposed to stimulate the economy by the so-called job creators and we now know how well that worked. It makes absolutely no sense to borrow money to pay for a shortfall in revenues due to tax cuts for anyone, much less for the wealthiest among us.

History shows that the recession began in 2007 and we were losing jobs at a rate of nearly 800,000 per month in the final months of Bush’s term, which left behind an economy in free fall, enormous national debt and ongoing tax revenue losses. Some will say “it was not all Bush’s fault” and blame it on legislation that was passed before his time.

Nonsense. When it happens on your watch you own it! Had this occurred on Obama’s watch we would likely be in the midst of impeachment hearings.

This much we do know, at the end of 2008 the major stock indexes were down more than 40 percent and home values had decreased by as much as 50 percent in many cases. Since then, under the present administration, the market has fully recovered its losses plus some and most people have seen their IRAs and 401Ks return to their previous levels, but it does not appear that home values will recover any time soon, if ever.

Job growth, although not strong enough, has gone from negative to positive since early 2010 under Obama. No small feat when we consider that this has been the worst recession since the Great Depression and it took more than 12 years to fully recover from that one.

Although the stock market had seen an amazing recovery by the end of 2010 it did suffer a setback in 2011 as a result of the debt ceiling fight created by Republicans in Congress. This was a completely unnecessary and political maneuver since raising the debt ceiling was not about permitting more spending. It simply allowed the country to pay its existing debts and thereby avoid default on our existing loans.

This needless debt ceiling fight resulted in a lowering of our triple “A” credit rating by the rating agencies and the subsequent tanking of the stock market, once again putting investment portfolios and retirement savings in jeopardy. Fortunately the market has since recovered fully once again, but who knows for how long if this political grandstanding is allowed to continue?

Although Obama seems to get little or no credit for his accomplishments, many good things have happened on his watch. For example, we now have an equal pay for women law, a children’s health insurance law, a food safety act, a Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection act, the American Recovery act and the Affordable Heath Care act, just to name a few. Additionally, our involvement in Libya with our allies rid us of Khadafy in months, rather than years, without the loss of a single American life, and Bin Laden has been eliminated along with more than 20 other high-level terrorist leaders.

The American Recovery act and the Affordable Health Care act warrant further discussion. The Recovery act included funds for the new waste treatment facility in Calaveras. Our congressman was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremonies even though he had voted against the act, but he is not alone, Republicans all over the country are taking credit for the many approved job-creating infrastructure projects which they also had voted against.

With regard to the Affordable Health Care act, Republicans are fond of pointing to polls that show people are opposed to it, however, what they fail to point out is that these same polls include huge numbers of people who are opposed to it because it does not go far enough and they want a single-payer system. Although the health care law is not perfect, anyone who is familiar with it knows that it includes numerous patient protection provisions.

Probably the single most important provision in the new law is its increase of the 15 percent capital gains rate to the 20 percent level that existed prior to the Bush tax cuts. This increase applies only to the top 2 or 3 percent and only to the amount in excess of $200,000 (single) and $250,000 (filing joint).

Republicans now argue that we must extend the Bush tax cuts for all and that it is class warfare to raise only the marginal tax rate on the top bracket. That is a ridiculous argument. The top 2 or 3 percent could care less about the marginal tax rate, they never pay it! Typical evidence of this is the Romney 2011 tax return that shows he will only pay 15.4 percent tax on his $20.9 million adjusted gross income.

It is time to end this myth about tax breaks for “so called” job creators who only create jobs overseas while killing them here at home!

Robert Erk of Copperopolis is a retired manufacturing engineer for the aerospace industry. Contact him at

© 2015 Calaveras Enterprise. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
  • 2 Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.
  • 7 Printed Comments. Unless expressly asked not to publish your comments to stories and posts, we reserve the right to publish your comments in whole or in part, in our printed product.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Mike Bullard posted at 6:51 pm on Sat, Oct 27, 2012.

    Mike Bullard Posts: 569

    The W/Cheney machine orchestrated all that and alot more.

  • TimEsq posted at 6:35 pm on Sat, Oct 27, 2012.

    TimEsq Posts: 8

    Cheney outed a Cia agent?? I know the left is fond of revisionist history, such as calling Republicans racist when the Democratic party has a two hundred year history of racial oppression, but it is rather common knowledge Valerie Plame was outed by Richard Armitage, who was deputy Secretary of State under his friend that noted right wing fanatic Colin Powell.

  • Cleareye posted at 1:37 pm on Sun, Oct 21, 2012.

    Cleareye Posts: 654

    Not 'everyone' believed that Saddam had WMDs. A great many people predicted pretty much what was going to happen. We were an easy sell, chumps for Bin Laden, and the Iranians. Bush had a failed hero complex that almost put us in a depression. He may have earned the title of the most hated American ever around the world. One exception could be in southern Africa because of his HIV efforts.

  • Cleareye posted at 1:31 pm on Sun, Oct 21, 2012.

    Cleareye Posts: 654

    Cheney should be spending the rest of his life in prison for outing a CIA agent, no matter what the excuse.

  • Cleareye posted at 1:27 pm on Sun, Oct 21, 2012.

    Cleareye Posts: 654

    Surprisingly to you I guess is that yes, we are better off. We are not in a complete world wide depression. That is what Bush left for Obama to deal with as he snuck back to Texas to hide out. The man thought he could just start wars on the credit card and lett someone else worry about the payments. It was like giving a 12 year old an unlimited Amex card. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Cleareye posted at 1:21 pm on Sun, Oct 21, 2012.

    Cleareye Posts: 654

    I get tired of people saying they are tired of hearing Bush is at fault. To bad for you. He is at fault and always will be at fault for today's economy. To pretend he isn't would be like saying it was really the Koreans that bombed Pearl Harbor. Maybe Obama could have fixed it sooner, or better, but he is fixing it. Voting for Romney will be like saying you didn't get enough of Bush and want more!

  • Mike Bullard posted at 5:37 pm on Mon, Sep 10, 2012.

    Mike Bullard Posts: 569

    Yeah, or somethin'... Of course Bush the oil tycoon had his grubs in it, if it's Bush it's dirty. appears to suggest nonenvironmental trouble.

  • SuziB posted at 4:47 pm on Mon, Sep 10, 2012.

    SuziB Posts: 8

    Thanks for the read Mr. Bullard. Here's one for you..
    I understand Bush mandated extraction from this area but environmentalists have obstructed the plan successfully.

  • Mike Bullard posted at 8:46 pm on Thu, Sep 6, 2012.

    Mike Bullard Posts: 569

    That was a good hard comment. I'm thinking your numbers're republican numbers. Wanna blame Obama for gas prices?

  • SuziB posted at 6:26 pm on Thu, Sep 6, 2012.

    SuziB Posts: 8

    Sorry Mr. Erk, I disagree. Shortly after Bush took office a recession began, officially March 2001. America then experienced six years of uninterrupted economic growth and a record 52 straight months of job creation that produced more than 8 million new jobs. During the Bush presidency the unemployment rate averaged 5.3 percent annually. From 2000 to 2007 real GDP grew by more than 17 percent, a gain of nearly $201 trillion. In January 2001 when Bush was inaugurated the budget surpluses were already evaporating as the economy slid toward a recession. In addition to the devasting economic effects of 911 when we lost about 1 million jobs in 90 days, the surplus went into deficit. President Bush proposed policies that triggered the kind of sustained growth that saw the deficit fall to 1 percent of GDP by 2007. Before the financial crisism of 2008 Bush's budget deficits were 0.6 percentage points below the historical average. You are so right Mr. Erk, when it happens on your watch you own it. Under Obama's watch unemployment has gone from 7.8 percent to 8.3 percent, gas from $1.84 a gallon to $3.85, $10 million debt to $16 million, more Americans on govt assistance than ever.Obama owns it, even as he and the democrats continue to whine, it's Bush's fault. Obama wants to take us "Forward" forward where, over the fiscal cliff? Wake up, this President has failed miserably and its time to get rid of him. Stop worrying about how much money Romney makes, his taxes are based on the US Tax Code, maybe this is where we need to make changes. You can make excuses for Obama till the country is completely bankrupt or you can open your eyes. Do you really believe we are better off now than 4 years ago? Then reread the above paragraph.

  • Mike Bullard posted at 9:54 am on Sun, Sep 2, 2012.

    Mike Bullard Posts: 569

    W's daddy got the ball rollin' on the depression, and the Democratic Party had control of Congess for just, what, weeks then somebody died or left and it went red again. Clinton was working with the Mid-east and global community to oust Hussain BECAUSE of the genocide AND potential. They all--even W--knew it was comin' when and because W took office. Clinton woulda waited for the UN resolution, W's daddy was buddies with the Saudis and even he told W not to invade Iraq alone, so W convinced Tony Blair with lies and fear to invade Iraq and he peed like a race horse.Clinton got oral in office, W did cocaine in his daddy's oval office. Clinton was all that and a bag o' chips, W 's a punk.

    Edited by staff.

  • TimEsq posted at 7:37 am on Sun, Sep 2, 2012.

    TimEsq Posts: 8

    So the recession started in the same year the Democratic Party took control of Congress. What a coincidence! And then of course, Bush lied about WMD in Iraq! It's not that he was relying on any information from another source, was it?

    "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear.
    We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
    President William J. Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998 in an address at the Pentagon. Source:

    Why not go all the way and blame Pearl Harbor on him as well?

  • Audio posted at 9:51 am on Thu, Aug 23, 2012.

    Audio Posts: 7

    America's government is the best money can buy.

  • Mike Bullard posted at 3:35 pm on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    Mike Bullard Posts: 569

    Mr. Erk. Sorry about that.

  • Mike Bullard posted at 2:41 pm on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    Mike Bullard Posts: 569

    I think Mr. Elk's writing was a masterpiece, though he was kind to the W/Cheney machine. Wanna argue the WMD thing? When W sent his "man" to... what, Conta Costa[?] and got a clean bill on them tubes as NOT of weapons grade material, W outed the guy's wife--a CIA operative--and went on with it like a conformation. It was W who sold the world on those WMDs, even convincing Congress, Great Btitain and more of Hussein's worldly threat. Read up, it's all right there. W, W, W, bigger'n [expletive.]
    We went to war to protect his and Cheney's oil interests and 'cause Suddain "...threatened [his] daddy."
    Obama's trying to clean up W's mess and he's working against a red hill with the vengence of group of sandbox brats paying dirty debts and keeping dirty promises. W punked his way through Harvard (like his C- daddy but worse) and his crew lost their lives when he--as an Air Force pilot (who wouldn't but rarely come to work by the way)--was the first to bail in an incident and left his crew to perish. Now s'pose a brutha with a history like that put this nation in such a [expletive.] Where's your rope now?

  • chris posted at 1:28 pm on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    chris Posts: 10

    Both parties have made positive and negative impacts. Neither party (or member) is always right nor are they always wrong. Bush blew a surplus, but one could easily argue Clinton benefited from Regan's policies. While $250K is a lot of money, it does not make someone "wealthy", nor does it make someone a "millionaire or billionaire". The President is fond of saying that millionaires and billionaires need to pay their "fair share", but the last time I checked, $250K is not a million or a billion.

    The US has the most progressive tax code in the world. It's not a matter of taxing fewer people at a higher rate.

    Many people don't realize the government uses a technique called "baseline budgeting". So called budget "cuts" are actually cuts to the rate of growth. Nothing is ever cut in absolute dollars. The budget of the US government has never been reduced in absolute dollars, nor inflation adjusted dollars.

    As to the wars and WMD's - everyone in the free world believed Sadam had WMD's mostly because Sadam had done a masterful job of making the world believe he did - including actually using them on the Kurds post Gulf 1. To say the administration was lied to is to diminish your entire opinion piece. Was an intelligence error made - yes. Was Congress lied to - no. Has the war been prosecuted well - no.

    The President is a bright guy with some great ideas, but he's in over his head and is surrounded by people who are interested in personal success over that of the country.