The Blog

John Kerry: You Know What's the Problem With Stimulus Tax Cuts? All That Freedom.

4:20 PM, Feb 6, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Sen. John Kerry took to the Senate floor today to pace, rant, and raise his voice in a monotone simulation of human passion as he spoke up for the massive spending bill the Democrats want to pass today under the guise of "stimulus."

During his speech, he addressed the argument made by fellow senators and many economists that tax cuts might be more helpful to stimulating the economy than long-term government spending. The American people are also coming around to that view, according to a recent CBS poll, which found only 22 percent of them favor more government spending over tax cuts as stimulus.

His argument against tax cuts for Americans during these hard economic times was illuminating:

I've supported many tax cuts over the years, and there are tax cuts in this proposal. But a tax cut is non-targeted.

If you put a tax cut into the hands of a business or family, there's no guarantee that they're going to invest that or invest it in America.

They're free to go invest anywhere that they want if they choose to invest.

Indeed, people with their own hard-earned money in their own pockets are free to spend, save, invest, or not wherever they please. Kerry betrays the fear that haunts every good liberal- that the American people won't spend their money on exactly what good liberals would spend it on. Good liberals must, therefore, advocate for forcibly relieving the American people of the better part of a trillion dollars of their own money to fund things like STD education, welfare programs, and water parks.

Senators like Kerry have placed their own ideological desires over the right of the American people to a clean stimulus bill without the long-term spending even Obama himself admits is in it.

Kerry went on to declare with frightening candor his indifference to the waste of as much as $50-100 billion taxpayer dollars- the amount by which moderate senators are negotiating to cut the controversial bill.

"So frankly, you know, the difference between $50 billion on this bill or $100 billion -- let's get it moving. That is not going to make the difference to the economy."

Kerry's priority is getting the bill moving, not quibbling over a $100 billion here or there. One wonders then why Kerry couldn't bring himself to support even one of the Republican amendments adding tax cuts to the bill. The Joint Tax Committee scored Sen. Jim Bunning's proposal to lower Social Security tax rates at a mere $14.4 billion, according to Bunning's office.

There was also Sen. John Cornyn's proposal to cut the income tax rate for the lowest bracket in half. Cornyn estimated in his floor speech that the cut could save married couples $500 each, and would help as many as 105 million Americans. Undoubtedly, he did not mean that each of 105 million Americans would save $500, but let's use that scenario, giving us a total that's undoubtedly higher than Cornyn's plan would require. In that case, the total is $52.5 billion.

Add just those two together, and we're nowhere near Kerry's paltry $100 billion figure, under which he believes all savings are negligible. Why then did he not support a couple Republican tax cuts up to the $100 billion mark in hopes of winning a couple Republicans to the "Yea" side? After all, it's about what gets this thing moving and what will get the economy going. Fifty or $100 billion in tax cuts should not stand in the way, right?

But for Kerry, the only time $50-100 billion in tax dollars is worth worrying about is when taxpayers might have the dangerous freedom (gasp!) to spend it as they wish. When he's spending it, don't worry your pretty little heads about it.