Even the Supposedly Sane GOP 2012 Candidate Gets It Wrong on Jobs and Taxes

Dec 04 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Ever the diplomat, Jon Hunstman (lone standard bearer for sanity in GOP 2012 farcical circus) said this of Cain according to a tweet by Steve Brusk of CNN:

“Hunstman on Cain: unique and valuable voice to the debate over how to reform our country’s uncompetitive tax code & turn around the economy.”

You might be dismissing Jon Huntsman due to his low polling, but Huntsman has recently been given an infusion of cash in part from his billionaire father via OurDestinyPac and he is hoping to make New Hampshire a game changer.

Frankly the guy is too sane to appeal to the Tea Party and too Mormon to get the Cain evangelicals, but with money and a jittery Republican field may come opportunity for Huntsman. Whether it’s due to the ads running courtesy the PAC or the vast craters courtesy of supremely unserious opportunists in the race, Rasmussen reports that Huntsman’s numbers have moved up into double digits in New Hampshire. And then we have conservative commentators desperately pushing Huntsman (wouldn’t you if you really cared about your party?).

And so we come to the part in our program where we look under the hood of the clown car in order to examine the ideology being trumpeted by the allegedly sane Republicans.

Before the current round of Republican clown show reality TV scandals, Huntsman was often lamented as the one sane person in the race. Now that he’s approaching relevancy, let’s look at Huntsman’s tax plan, modeled after Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform package. It consists of (in part):

1) Eliminate all deductions and credits in favor of three drastically lower rates of 8%, 14% and 23%.

2) Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax.

3) Eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends in order to eliminate the double taxation on investment.

4) Reduce the corporate rate from 35% To 25%. Huntsman would also shift to a territorial tax system and implement a tax holiday for the repatriation of foreign earnings.

As Reuters detailed, “In addition to killing tax breaks for businesses, Huntsman would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, healthcare exclusion, and the child tax credit among other ‘tax expenditures. ‘ We’re talking about a whole herd of sacred cows. Both his fellow presidential candidates and Washington lobbyists will likely attack him for some of those ideas.”

Sounds like a lot of hits to the middle class along with killing tax breaks for businesses and lowering the corporate tax rate.

Code Red: This “tax reform” is also part of Huntsman’s job plan.

So, once again, we have the notion that lowering taxes on businesses will create jobs and this is simply not proven. This is in fact like hitting our heads against the same brick wall and expecting different results – the definition of insanity, by the way.

Hunstmans’ claim that his tax reform as governor of Utah created jobs was rated as “half true” by Politifact, given a number of factors – not the least of which was that Huntsman was governor during an economic expansion. “And we don’t think it’s valid for Huntsman to claim as much credit as he does for himself and his tax changes for the jobs numbers.” So much for that “jobs plan” via “tax reform.”

Hunstman critisized Obama’s “tax and spend and regulate” prosperity model, claiming that the “free market” would lead us to salvation. If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will. How about this? Hunstman wants to kill Dodd-Frank regulations. Yes, because that’s what we need right now – less regulation so we can continue to prop up a failing economy with lies and shell games and thereby rip off the lower and middle income classes again when too big to fail comes acallin’ for help.

The CBO finds that Huntsman’s plan would help wealthier individuals (shocking, eh? Lie to us, we promise to believe.):

Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, who previously worked for the Congressional Budget Office, said the plan appears to offer more benefits to wealthier individuals. “As presented, it would almost certainly benefit people at the top end better than people in the bottom end,” Williams said.

For example, Williams said, wealthy people get a much higher percentage of their income from capital gains and dividends than poorer people. “If you got rid of taxes on capital gains and dividends, people at the top of the income distribution would make out like bandits,” Williams said.

Ever since Alan Greenspan fought the out of whack demand v production problem in America by lowering interest rates every time the economy started to collapse, we haven’t had to really face the core problems of our economy.

We have an unregulated Wall Street aided and abetted by years of unfunded tax cuts and wars, compounded with a false economy created by lowering interest rates to get money moving again when quite honestly, it should not have been moving.

Unless Republicans start talking about the economy honestly, they should be relegated to the crazy train and dismissed. We can’t afford to have denial running the country.

If this is to be the land of economic opportunity as our founders intended, we must first address the foundation of our system. Government must be involved to a larger extent than it has been; government is the only entity that can serve as a protection between the people and corporate greed and abuse. The only real, serious question at this point is not whether or not to regulate but HOW to regulate Wall Street and the fed.

Huntsman is being helped by an infusion of cash via the Our Destiny PAC. However, he will have to avoid the appearance of collaborating with Our Destiny PAC and yet, his former political strategist is running the PAC that is funded in part by his father. Luckily for Huntsman, unless he shows some further strength in New Hampshire, no one will be looking at his ethics and anyway, with Newt Gingrich as the front-runner, it’s obvious that Republican voters don’t give a hoot about ethics. For years now, having a few ethics violations under your belt has been de rigueur for Republican candidates (see McCain Palin).

Huntsman has been hailed as the sane one because he doesn’t say alarming things about bombing Iran and he actually knows things about foreign policy. Compared to the other Republican candidates, Huntsman at least allows us to hold our head up on the international stage.

Hunstman is a man of some integrity, but his solutions to our greatest problem are nothing more than Reagan retread failures. Being reasonably sane isn’t enough. We need real ideas and innovation. We need corporate money out of elections. We need reform of Walls Street, not tax codes. We need a government of the people and we need real jobs, not trickle down fantasies coming from rich boys who’ve never known the terror of unemployment sans golden parachutes of family money.

We need honest actors and people with economic vision.

Even Jon Huntsman the “sane one” isn’t offering real solutions for the economic problems that we face. The things wrong with Jon’s tax plan are the same things wrong with Republican ideology, after you strip away the deliberately distracting clown costumes and their outrageously, humiliatingly ignorant made for reality TV show candidates. It’s just that with Jon, we can discuss the real issues and perhaps that is one reason why he is not a front-runner for a party whose ideas quite simply are not serious enough to sell without the Big Show.

Jon Hunstman’s polices are revealing of the real, underlying problems with the Republican Party; their ideology has been tried and has failed. They can dress it up as crazy and sell it with a cross, but when it comes without packaging as it does with Jon, their ideas simply don’t make sense as solutions.

Image: JeffWinbush

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