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Steve Benen: Fiorina and the Tax Fairy

Fiorina, who decided to parlay her professional failures into becoming the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in California, talked to a the CBS affiliate in San Francisco this week about her approach to tax cuts.

"Let me propose something that may seem crazy to you: you don’t need to pay for tax cuts. They pay for themselves, if they are targeted, because they create jobs."

This is, in most respects, even more ridiculous than Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-Ariz.) assertion that shouldn’t try to pay for tax cuts. For the Senate Minority Whip, tax cuts are always good, even if they increase the deficit, because they shrink government. For the deeply confused Carly Fiorina, the policy is more fantastical — paying for tax cuts is unnecessary because once taxes are cut, more money simply materializes, magically, in the federal treasury. The deficit simply won’t go up, she argues, no matter how much taxes are cut.

Thirty years ago, this raving stupidity had a name: “voodoo economics.” More recently, it’s come to be known as belief in the “Tax Fairy.”

Regardless of the name, the notion that tax cuts necessarily pay for themselves is one of the more pernicious lies in the far-right arsenal. It’s both gibberish and right-wing propaganda, but it’s neverthelessrepeated from time to time.

It shouldn’t be — the concept has been debunked repeatedly by those who care about reality. How wrong is the argument? The Bush/Cheney Office of Management and Budget and the Bush/Cheney Council of Economic Advisers rejected the notion that tax cuts can pay for themselves out of hand. Fiorina, in other words, is promising to be even more fiscally irresponsible than the bunch that added $5 trillion to our national debt in eight years.

Fiorina is a terrible candidate and person, but I’m not in California so it doesn’t really effect me.  What does effect me on a daily basis, however, is the idea that tax cuts for the wealthy will somehow help the poor.

It’s absurd in the extreme: here you have an extremely affluent, wealthy American who is telling the rest of the country that because they’re going through tough times, the best solution is to lower her taxes and cut services for the poor.  She insists it creates jobs without listing a single real reason it would, and completely ignores the fact that, with our global economy, any jobs created by tax cuts to the rich are just going to be outsourced.

How do I know that?  Well, when Fiorina was in charge of HP, she laid off 18,000 workers and exported their jobs overseas- a practice she termed “right-sourcing”.

Another thing that bugs me about this is the almost oppressive stench of white privilege on Fiorina.  She torpedoed HP (HP stocks shot up by almost 7% the day after she was fired) and got a 21.4 million dollar severance package for it, she embarrassed McCain (her words were “I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation”) and yet she STILL gets to stay in the upper echelons of society and wealth.

Is it that there are no other qualified people seeking similar positions as hers?  Is it that she’s particularly good at what she does?   The answer to both questions is ‘obviously not’.  So what accounts for her status?   Birth (daughter of a prominent lawyer and judge), networking (her daddy sent her to law school, but she dropped out) and the fact that she’s wealthy and white all keep her above the rest of us, and that just infuriates me.

  1. other-stuff reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    The whole idea that tax breaks for the wealthy will help me — drives me bonkers.
  2. onlylivinglesbianinoc reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    I am in California so it does effect me and I agree she’s horrible. I hope we let her know just how horrible she is when...
  3. ubu507 said: Truth truth truth…the whole tax cuts are good for the economy idea didn’t even work in the Reagan days…but how the Republicans cling to their willful ignorance…like Reich I think it’s probably a sex problem…
  4. jonathan-cunningham posted this