by Max Brantley
Rep. Charlie Collins is doing his part for the wealthy with state income tax relief.
But he's a piker compared with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. An analysis of his latest budget shows that it would be a bonanza for the rich — a savings of $400,000 a year, on average, for people making more than $1 million. It'd produce a few hundred dollars for people making less than $50,000. Arkansas House Republicans will vote in lockstep for it, presumably. They'd pay for the windfall for the wealthy by cutting Medicaid, food stamps and Pell Grants. Have these guys got hearts, or what?
UPDATE: Take it back. Only 10 Republicans voted against the comfort-the-rich Ryan budget. One of them was U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro. Comments Talking Points Memo on the 10:
The members are a mix of GOP moderates and conservatives, reflecting the fact that the budget remains a political lightning rod in swing districts, but that the conservative tilt of the GOP conference still dissatisfies some of the party’s more radical members.
The Democratic Campaign Committee quickly noted the vote by Rep. Tim Griffin for a budget that "cuts taxes for millionaires, raises taxes on the middle class and forces seniors to pay more for their care by ending the Medicare guarantee." A DCCC news release noted, among others, that "The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that “families with children that have incomes below $200,000 would have to face tax increases averaging more than $3,000 a year,” potentially losing middle class benefits like the mortgage interest deduction while millionaires will still have “an average net tax cut of about $245,000.”
“Congressman Tim Griffin must be living in a different reality than most Americans — one where the rich should pay less, hardworking families should pay more and the biggest sacrifice should come from our seniors—but those aren’t the values that made America great,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Rep. Tom Cotton also drew a blast from DCCC. “Today, Tom Cotton again embraced an extreme budget that would have disastrous consequences for Arkansas seniors, students, and middle class families,” the release said.
States that enacted major personal income tax cuts in the 2000s, before the most recent recession hit, were as likely to lose economic ground as to gain it.
Of the six states that enacted large personal income tax cuts in the years before the recession, three states saw their economies grow more slowly than the nation’s in subsequent years, and the other three saw their economies grow more quickly.
The three that grew quickly are all major oil-producing states that benefitted from a sharp rise in oil prices in the years after they implemented their tax cuts. In other words, all of the lesser- and non-oil-producing states that enacted big personal income tax cuts in the 2000s grew more slowly than the national average.
Similarly, the biggest tax cutting states of the 1990s — all of which enacted substantial personal income tax cuts — also did not perform particularly well in later years.
States with the biggest 1990s tax cuts grew jobs during the next economic cycle at an average rate one-third the rate of states that were more cautious.
The biggest tax-cutting states also had slower income growth. In none of these states did personal income growth in the next economic cycle exceed inflation.
Don't bother sharing this with Republican legislators. Faith (blind), not facts, drives their voting.