By John Seiler | For Watchdog.org
HELENA – Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester often calls wealthy Americans to pay more to fund government programs, but he forgets that his own party once believed tax cuts spur job creation.
At the Oct. 8 debate with Republican challenger Denny Rehberg, Montana’s lone congressman since 2001, Tester backed his national party’s stance – and that of President Barack Obama – that Congress should hike taxes for rich people because, well, they can afford to pay more than others.
Conversely, Rehberg advocated for lower taxes, telling the packed auditorium on the Montana State University-Billings campus that reduced rates leave money in the pockets of America’s job creators.
“Well, the fact that, if you want to talk about job creation and what creates jobs, you’re right, it’s the small businesses,” Tester agreed, at first. Then he quipped, “It’s not the multi-millionaires, like yourself, that create the jobs.”
Like almost all Democrats nowadays, Tester seems to have forgotten his party’s legacy of supporting tax cuts to boost the economy, in particular the tax cuts President Kennedy backed in the early 1960s, which were enacted in 1964 after he was assassinated, and which propelled the 1960s economic boom.
Curtis Dubay of the Heritage Foundation says data stands with Rehberg, not Tester. Dubay pointed to Obama’s own Treasury Department, which notes that while only about 1 percent of America’s 35 million small business owners gross more than $1 million annually, the produce 39 percent of the “flow-through income” – that is, income that “flows through” to investors or owners.
On the other hand, 48 percent of small business owners make under $50,000 annually and usually don’t employ workers.
So even the Obama Treasury Department reported that it’s not a single person selling old Beatles LPs on eBay, but Tester’s branded “multi-millionaires” that create the jobs.
Moreover, these small businesses commonly file as S-Corporations, which are taxed at the individual tax rate. So increasing income taxes on “multi-millionaires” means these small businesses will have less money to invest and create new jobs.
Dubay also said that allowing the Bush tax hikes to expire, even for the wealthy alone, will kill more than 700,000 jobs. He pointed to a July 2012 study by Ernst and Young, which says the hikes could devastate small businesses.
“Tax increases would take away money that could be put into jobs creation,” Dubay said. “It also would reduce risk. It would take away the incentive to earn more from risk.” An entrepreneurial economy such as America’s needs risk takers.
Instead of taxing the rich to fund the government’s myriad programs, Dubay says lawmakers should seek ways to jump startb the economy, thereby increasing federal tax revenues. “Taxes are low because the economy remains weak,” Dubay said.
Nearly 50 years ago, Kennedy, unlike modern Democrats, praised tax cuts as an avenue to sustained job growth.
“Profit margins will be improved, and both the incentive to invest and the supply of internal funds for investment will be increased,” Kennedy emphasized in an address to the Economic Club of New York. There will be new interest in taking risks, in increasing productivity, in creating new jobs and new products for long-term economic growth.”
Tester continues a campaign of class warfare and wealth envy.
“But the fact is that the folks that are making millions and millions and millions of dollars ought to be contributing to the coffers” of the government he said at the debate.