There are myriad cases of people adhering to beliefs with the strong convictions despite superior evidence to the contrary, and they are usually delusional because their beliefs are based on false and incomplete information, dogma, or some perceived reality only they observe. Republicans preaching about the virtue and economic benefits of giving the wealthy more tax breaks gives the impression that they are delusional, but it is more likely they are deceiving voters with gross distortions of the truth and in the case of tax cuts for the wealthy, they are just lying. However, despite superior evidence proving the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich increased the deficit and failed to create jobs, Republicans are gearing up to fight President Obama, Democrats, and the American people to extend the wealthy’s tax cuts before the November general election.
There was talk on Capitol Hill about putting off any legislation regarding tax and spending issues until Spring of 2013 and delaying the automatic spending cuts from last year’s super-committee failure to reach President Obama’s goal of $4 trillion in cuts and revenue increases in a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, but House Republicans intend acting before the election. In fact, Republicans promise to act soon to extend the Bush tax cuts and they criticized Democrats for refusing to “join Republicans to stop the tax hike.” Chairman of the House Ways and Means, Dave Camp (R-MI) said, “That is why House Republicans will act this month to extend low-tax policies originally enacted in 2001 and 2003 and extended with bipartisan support in 2010, while laying the groundwork for comprehensive job-creating tax reform.” Translation, give more entitlements to the wealthy as if doing so will have any different outcomes than Bush-Republican tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. It is also fallacious for Camp to claim the 2010 Bush cuts were a bipartisan effort because Republicans held unemployment benefits and payroll tax reduction hostages unless they got a two-year extension on tax cuts for the rich.
Republicans are still adhering to the deceitful notion that giving more tax breaks to the wealthy will jumpstart the economy and create jobs in spite of overwhelming evidence it did not work in 2001, 2003, or 2010, and it is getting to the point that they are either pathologically deluded or think the American people are stupid. Speaking of the American people, they support tax increases on the wealthy and closing corporate tax loopholes as the best means to reduce the nation’s deficit, and according to a CNN/ORC poll in April, 72% of Americans favor the so-called “Buffett Rule” raising taxes on income over $1 million. In April, Senate Republicans blocked debate on the Buffett Rule and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The president is more interested in misleading people than he is in leading.” McConnell and his Republican cohorts are not delusional, they are liars for misleading the people on the benefits of maintaining tax cuts for the rich. In fact, Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, proposed give businesses a 20 percent tax cut this year that he claims will spur job growth despite overwhelming evidence that what businesses need are consumers with money to spend, not lower tax rates that are guaranteed to increase the deficit. After all, the wealthy and their corporations have enjoyed lower tax rates for eleven years and the only jobs created were from President Obama’s stimulus spending.
According to executive director of the National Employment Law Project, Christine Owens, what Republicans in Congress need to focus on to spur job creation is “more spending on infrastructure, fiscal relief to states and renewal of federal unemployment benefits,” and not more time bickering over extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. President Obama delivered job creation bills to Congress that have languished for nearly a year, and House Republicans dithered away precious time over a transportation bill that would create 3 million jobs repairing the nation’s infrastructure. Now, with only seven weeks left in the 112th Congress, Republican are planning wasting time on a symbolic vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that are proven to increase the deficit and not create jobs. Owens said “There’s too much at stake for Congress to spend the next four months campaigning, instead of getting serious about putting America back to work,” but she must surely know that putting Americans back to work is not the Republicans’ goal and it has not been for the past three-and-a-half years.
With all the evidence that giving the wealthy more tax cuts does not, has not, and will not spur jobs and the economy, it looks like Republicans are delusional in a pathological sense. President Obama said through a spokesman yesterday that he is committed to ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, and the people are in agreement that it is time for the rich to start paying their fair share they have avoided for the past eleven years. The President has stated his case that the best method for preserving tax cuts for the middle class is letting the millionaire’s and billionaire’s, who have prospered beyond their wildest dreams, tax cuts expire and nearly three-quarters of the American people agree. Still, with a short amount of time left before the general election, Republicans are making extending the wealthy’s tax cuts and repealing the ACA their signature issue as a campaign strategy instead of passing the President’s jobs bills, or expediting the transportation bill to put 3 million Americans to work right away.
It may be true that Republicans suffer from pathological delusions regarding giving the wealthy more tax cuts, but their disorder is not delusion, it is deceit that affects the economic health of the nation and millions of unemployed Americans. It is not clear who they think they are kidding, but after 11 years, Americans are aware that more entitlements for the rich will not create jobs or stimulate economic growth and yet every Republican repeats the mantra that letting the tax cuts for the rich expire kills jobs. It is important to remember that the greatest economic growth in recent memory took place under the Clinton Administration when the wealthy paid 3% more in taxes and environmental regulations were strengthened. The American people, and Democrats, know what works to improve the nation’s economy and put Americans back to work, and they know what has not worked. Conversely, Republicans still appear to think that extending low-tax policies originally enacted in 2001 and 2003 is key to creating jobs despite superior evidence to the contrary, and it proves they are either delusional, or deceitful.
Perhaps Republicans are not delusional, or deceitful, and instead of postulating what their particular dysfunction is, it is best to consult one of the world’s most acclaimed minds. Albert Einstein was not a psychologist, but he summed up the Republicans’ mental disorder with remarkable candor and clarity. He said, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results,” and after 31 years of giving the wealthy tax breaks, Republicans still expect a different result than fewer jobs, greater deficits, and widening income inequality. It is true they are insane, delusional, and deceitful, but more than anything, they have demonstrated that they are hell-bent on destroying the economy, killing jobs, and anything to give the rich all the wealth this country has to offer and if it means a nation of peasants and an economy in distress, they will spend the remainder of the 112th Congress making it happen.