No, the North Pole Santa isn’t joining the chorus of the mega rich demanding to be taxed more. It’s the jolly old souls like Ed Rendell and Howard Dean, believers in a Santa Claus government, who want a tax increase–on businesses. (OK, the word jolly doesn’t really apply to Howard Dean.)
This exchange on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with Howard Dean, Ed Rendell and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) makes the political philosophical differences starkly clear. The Republican argues businesses create jobs. The Democrats think businesses exist to pay taxes so government can create jobs.
Rogers was actually on the show to discuss Libya. In particular what to do with the leftover weapons, including suspected chemical weapons. The word “money” came up and the bell rang for the Democrats to talk about raising taxes. The discussion was kicked off by Mike Barnicle.
Barnicle: The President of the United States is coming to Detroit after Labor Day to lay out a jobs program. What do you want to hear from the president?
Rogers: It’s been an unbelievable surge of regulation on business. When you talk to manufacturers, they are pulling their hair out at all the new regulations that face them. … because all this regulation, the health care bill puts so much uncertainty in their ability to hire. I would love the president to say, listen, we’re not going to raise taxes on business. We’re going to stop demonizing business. After all, it’s business that hires people. We’re going to have a freeze on regulation. We’re going to give you a breather so you can start investing in yourselves.
It’s a simple plan, but I think this economy is ready to roar if the government gets out of the way. The president has been beating up on businesses bad. They’re terrible. They have a corporate jet. It’s really a small and petty way to try to deal with what is a major concern. That’s the lack of jobs. Government doesn’t create a job. Private sector does. Let them do it.
Rendell: As a governor I understand the effect of over regulation. … You talk about businesses and taxes. Do you think it’s okay that 38% of people don’t pay business tax at all?
Rogers: I’m for tax reform.
Rendell [eagerly interupting]: Let’s do it now. Let’s do it before Christmas.
Rogers: Ed, you and I will agree on tax reform. The problem is, you can’t keep continuing taking money out…The way the president proposed raising taxes, 53% of the people paying it were small business owners. If we want to get out of this mess, we have to have small businesses believing they can take the chance that’s called American enterprises, take the risk to had hire somebody and grow their business. They look at all this uncertainty and think there is no way I can take this risk and I’m barely making it.
Rogers: I would be for tax reform but it can’t be on the backs of people who are paying a lot of taxes already. It doesn’t make any sense to take money out of local communities.
Rendell: You’re clearly a leader in the Republica caucus. Someone’s got to talk sense. We’ve got to do something big, more than 1.5 trillion…let’s do tax reform and let that revenue go into dealing with our problems we face with our debt and our deficit. It’s the right thing to do. It’ll help us.
Rogers says the only thing he hears from the other side is raising revenue through tax increases and points out putting people back to work increases revenue. Howard Dean jumps in at that point accusing Republicans of throwing a million people in government jobs out of work by cutting funds to states. Rogers says the president tried adding government jobs, 250,000 of them. It takes away from the local economy.
Rogers: If the only way you can be middle class any more in America is to work for the government we are in serious trouble.
Rendell: Tax reform. Tax reform. Let’s do it before Christmas. Before Christmas.
The real Santa took his business offshore ages ago.