The rich don't create jobs. The bottom 80 percent of Americans have 15 percent of the net worth, and the top 1 percent has 35 percent of the net worth in what is still the richest country on earth. So, when I say "rich" - I mean really, really rich. "The rich create jobs" is a well-worn catch phrase from right-leaning political yappers who give this 1 percent all the credit when it comes to the financial health of the country.
But the rich are not, in fact, the venerated "job creators."
What creates jobs? Demand. You and me and all the other unwashed masses demanding a product or service forces businesses to hire more people. It's not "the rich" out of the goodness of their hearts hiring poor slobs to help them out. It's a simple Econ 101 staple: Supply and demand. Demand is a good old democratic/egalitarian tenet of the power of the consumer. Supply is the purview of businesses and the acclaimed entrepreneurs. We want - they deliver. Basic economics. Basis of civilization.
Supply-side economics is... well, one-sided. And currently not growing anything but wealth disparity.
So why treat "the rich" as some fragile group of demigod humanitarians who will wither if ever subjected to a tax increase? Republicans act like taxes are the kryptonite/Achilles heel/Samson haircut to their mythical hero job creators. Americans are noted for being resilient, hardy and enduring people. But the rich must have constant coddling, or they won't survive?
One type of job created by high demand and, therefore, wealth is lobbyist positions. Lobbyists are a security force hired to protect your pile of cash. And since the Republicans just so happen to be the party that will tell you wealth as a virtue, poverty as a personal failing and taxes as the most putrid of punishments - well, it sounds like the said pile of cash defending itself.
Despite the soaring deficit due to unpaid-for tax cuts and unpaid-for wars, the solution to the sagging economy in the Republican-controlled House is... wait for it... more tax cuts.
Yes, the Republican proposed "JOBS Act" calls for the top corporate tax rate to be cut by 10 percent. It also dismantles unemployment insurance as we know it.
More unpaid-for tax cuts?! Sound familiar? In a word: Yes.
"Just because we proposed it in the past doesn't mean it was not a good idea," House Speaker John Boehner told POLITICO. "The fact is, we've had a lot of good ideas. We're trying to package this in a way where the American people understand what it's going to take in terms of changing policies here that will create jobs in America."
Why do Republicans believe the wealthy are solely responsible for the economic well-being of the nation? If the rich were the job creators - they have failed at the task (ahem, 9 percent unemployment) so because of that the GOP should stop kowtowing to them. If a chef, whose job is to create meals, didn't create meals (except maybe overseas), he'd be fired - not "given more incentives" to create meals.
President Bill Clinton, who left office with a budget surplus, said last week at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit in Washington, "The idea that the lower the tax rates are, the better everything'll be has been debunked now for 30 years both in positive terms when I was president, and in negative terms by quadrupling the debt once and then doubling it again. So, I mean, how many times do we have to see this movie before we know how it ends?"
Yes, if deregulation and unpaid-for tax cuts were the secret to a robust economy, we'd have a robust economy. The Democrats are pegged as the party of "tax and spend" - but at least when you TAX and spend - the spending is paid for.
Here's some demand-side economics: Pay for spending. Tax the rich.
• Tina Dupuy is a national syndicated columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org