Taxes and Job Creators
One of the key Republican talking points is that taxes should not be raised on those they call the “job creators.” Most other people refer to these “job creators” as the “rich.” However, it is somewhat wise of the Republicans to use this euphemism. After all, saying “taxes should not be raised on the rich” has far less rhetorical bite with middle and lower America than saying “taxes should not be raised on the job creators.” After all, middle and lower America are facing the consequences of these tax cuts, such as a sustained attack on the education of America’s children and the social services aimed at aiding the poor and needy.
The use of rhetoric is, of course, no substitute for actual arguments. After all, calling the wealthy “job creators” does not prove that taxes on the wealthy should not be restored to what they were before the Bush era tax cuts. However, an argument (or no doubt many) can be made in favor of leaving the tax cuts in place. Obviously enough, such an argument can also be countered.
Taking the Republican rhetoric at face value, the argument could be that restoring the old tax rate would result in the job creators not creating as many jobs. This would, obviously enough, be harmful to middle and lower America because these Americans need to work in order to pay for the necessities of life. After all, they are not rich.
Obviously enough, this sort of argument makes some critical assumptions. The first is that the job creators are, in fact, job creators. It is clearly the case that some of the wealthy do, in fact, create jobs. However, it is also clearly the case that not all of them should be lauded as job creators in a meaningful and significant sense. Of course, it could be argued that the wealthy are all job creators-after all, they create jobs via spending large sums of money on goods and services provided by other American. On this view, however, anyone who spends money would thus be a job creator, which would seem to render the classification somewhat empty of significance.
The second is that the job creators would create less jobs if they had to pay more in taxes (either because the tax cuts were removed or the entitlements for the job creators were reduced). This can also be seen in a positive way: less taxes means more jobs. However, there are two obvious replies here. One is that the economy was doing much better during the Clinton era-which was before the Bush era tax cuts. Second, tax rates are currently very low and many companies are flush with cash, yet the unemployment rate is rather high. As such, it surely cannot be the taxes that are the main factor in job creation. One plausible explanation is that the American approach to profits tends towards cutting employees. After all, the math is obvious: making the same amount of money while paying fewer employees (and/or paying them less) means a decrease in costs. This would nicely explain both the high unemployment rate and the substantial profits of many companies. As such, keeping the tax cuts in place would not seem to create jobs-it merely allows the job creators to maintain their substantial profits without creating any jobs.
A reasonable case can, however, be made for providing actual job creators with tax benefits-benefits linked specifically with creating jobs for middle and lower America. After all, the employees will be paying income tax on their pay, thus generating tax revenue that indirectly comes from the job creators. Linking these tax incentives to actual job creation would transform the Republican rhetoric to something meaningful.