The race for the U.S. Senate seat open in Pennsylvania pits right-wing Republican, Rep. Patrick Toomey against Joe Sestak, the progressive Democrat who defeated Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter in the primary earlier this year.
There are clear differences between the Democrats and Republicans in the Nov. 2 elections.
Most Democrats, throughout the Obama administration, have pressed for and Republicans have opposed fair taxation, green jobs and health care reforms.
Many of the Democrats have pointed out that the Bush tax cuts for the rich are not an effective way to promote economic growth and job creation, that they contribute to the deficit and are a major cause of the economic crisis itself.
Nevertheless, Toomey, a former Wall Street derivatives trader, and his Republican colleagues call for extending those cuts. For Toomey, defending Wall Street profits is more important than meeting people’s needs.
The Congressional Budget Office reported July 26 that the Bush high income tax cuts were “the least effective of eleven options to stimulate growth and job creation.”
Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com, provided details of how government spending on social programs is far more effective than tax cuts for the wealthy.
Zandi compared the increase or decrease in gross domestic product for each dollar of an increase in federal spending or each dollar of a decrease in federal taxes.
He found that each dollar spent on unemployment benefits extensions increased the gross domestic product by $1.64, every dollar put into food stamps increased GDP by $1.73, every dollar put into aid for state governments increased GDP by $1.36, and that each dollar put into infrastructure increased GDP by $1.59.
In contrast, each dollar’s worth of dividend and capital gains tax cuts increases the GDP by only 37 cents. Each dollar’s worth of corporate tax cuts yields only 30 cents and making the Bush tax cuts permanent yields only 30 cents.
The Philadelphia Inquirer cited a report that said a public works project maintaining public parks would generate more than 57,000 new jobs and return at least $4 in economic benefits for every federal dollar invested.
The CBO report cited by the Washington Post on Aug. 2 indicates that not only are high-income tax cuts relatively ineffective, but those tax cuts are the largest cause of the structural deficit. The tax cuts for the rich have so far totaled $2.3 trillion and, if Toomey and the GOP have their way, will total $700 billion more on top of that.
While Toomey and the GOP complain about deficit spending, they oppose progressive taxation for deficit reduction and job creation. They use the deficit, meanwhile, as an excuse to destroy Social Security and every other social program.
In order to force lifting of California’s greenhouse gas regulations, lobbyists from Valero, Tesoro and Koch Industries, among that state’s top polluters, are claiming this is the only way they can create jobs.
Governor Schwarzenegger called this approach a “corruption of the democratic process.” “Texas oil companies have descended upon California to overturn a California law. There
is a struggle playing out right here in California that the world does not know much about. Today, Valero and Tesoro are in a conspiracy. Not in a criminal conspiracy, but a cynical one about self-serving greed. Does anyone think in their black oil company hearts that they want to create jobs?”
Economist John Maynard Keynes wrote in 1935, in the depth of the Great Depression, “The outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth.”
In every economic crisis, great inequality precedes lagging sales because of the resultant poverty. Businesses close down, there is massive job loss, and if no spending program is put into place, the process continues until the crisis becomes nation-wide.
The Bush tax cuts for the rich of 2001, 2002 and 2003 were an immediate and continuing cause of the current crisis. While the Democrats are initiating remedies the Republicans obstruct and then blame the Democrats.
In every business cycle, the process would continue until production sunk to extremely low levels, causing even more massive unemployment.
From the beginning of the Obama presidency until Oct. 6, 2010, Senate Republicans stalled 420 bills that were passed in the House despite Republican opposition in that body. Job creation was a feature of many of those bills.
Republicans even voted against loans small businesses needed so they could create jobs.
Astoundingly, the GOP is for tax breaks for companies leaving the country and leaving Americans unemployed.
The GOP even plans to dismantle health care reform, to privatize Social Security and to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich.
There are many reasons to vote in this election. Reversing the Bush tax giveaways to the rich are among them. With those tax cuts the nation faces continued high unemployment, greater debt and continued crisis.
A massive vote on Nov. 2 will save the nation from disaster.