And while there seem to be no details about what he actually wants in the plan, there is one very important thing he doesn’t.
Sen. John McCain is putting together a major economic plan that will be structured, in some ways, off of Newt Gingrich’s famous Contract With America.
In an email obtained by the Huffington Post, the Arizona Republican’s chief of staff, Marc Buse, asked an outside adviser for help with a “ten principles” program that the senator could use as a “definitive” platform.
“We are looking for some guidance on a definitive plan (aka contract with america style) on the economy…principles,” writes Buse. “Ten principles that JSM could point to on what MUST BE DONE to address the problems our nation faces.”
Buse doesn’t offer specific suggestions of his own, save “NO TAX INCREASES.”
If the e-mail is true, it demonstrates a bit of shallowness. Because coming up with a “ten point” plan is a gimmick, nothing less. Who cares if there are 5 points or 7 points or 11 points?
But hey, I could be wrong. They could find ten points that make a hell of a lot of sense.
For instance, I’m sure many of you will be happy that no tax increases will be included in that, even though making the wealthy pay just a bit more shouldn’t be seen as too much to ask in this time of crisis. Especially when they’re enjoying the largest income inequality since, well, right before the Great Depression. After all, what have they been asked to sacrifice in the past 9 years except donate money to the Republican party so they could get their capital gains taxes decreased 5% and their dividend income capped at 15%?
For some perspective on those cuts, I give you this from 2003…
The 400 wealthiest taxpayers accounted for more than 1 percent of all the income in the United States in the year 2000, more than double their share just eight years earlier, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service. But their tax burden plummeted over the period.
The data, in a report that the I.R.S. released last night, shows that the average income of the 400 wealthiest taxpayers was almost $174 million in 2000. That was nearly quadruple the $46.8 million average in 1992. The minimum income to qualify for the list was $86.8 million in 2000, more than triple the minimum income of $24.4 million of the 400 wealthiest taxpayers in 1992.
While the sharp growth in incomes over that period coincided with the stock market bubble, other factors appear to account for much of the increase. A cut in capital gains tax rates in 1997 to 20 percent from 28 percent encouraged long-term holders of assets, like privately owned businesses, to sell them, and big increases in executive compensation thrust corporate chiefs into the ranks of the nation’s aristocracy.
This year’s tax cut reduced the capital gains rate further, to 15 percent.
No tax increases? When we all know that the wealthy draw their main source of income from investments that they only have to pay 15% on?