Tonight is the first Republican presidential debate with all the top contenders planning to attend. And there is only one question I want to see asked:
Why didn’t the Bush tax cuts create any jobs?
Every candidate on tonight’s debate stage not only continues to support the Bush tax cuts, but also proposes additional tax cuts for corporations and individual millionaires.
Tim Pawlenty wants to cuts taxes on the wealthiest from 35% to 25%, and on corporations from 35% to 15%.
Newt Gingrich proposes an “optional flat tax” of 15% which will surely be “opted” by every millionaire now paying 35%, as well as eliminating the estate tax on heirs and the capital gains tax on speculators.
Rep. Michelle Bachmann voted for the House budget, which slashed the tax rate for corporations and wealthy individuals to 25%, then argued that what we really need is higher taxes on the poor and middle class.
Rick Santorum criticized the bipartisan tax cut deal President Obama forged with congressional Republicans on the grounds it did not cut taxes on the wealthy enough.
Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain calls for more tax cuts for the wealthy, but hasn’t given specifics yet and also backs cutting the capital gains tax and eliminating the estate tax.
Mitt Romney is calling for lower taxes on corporations but hasn’t yet laid out specifics.
Yet none of them have been directly asked to explain why they support an extension and expansion of, according to the Wall Street Journal, a tax policy that produced “the worst record on record” on job creation?
Shouldn’t they at least be expected to offer a reason why the Bush tax cuts didn’t work?
How can we take them seriously if they can’t learn a single lesson from recent history?
This is no longer an abstract debate. The Bush tax cuts happened.
Conservatives claimed they would boost the economy and create jobs. They didn’t.
The fundamental truth of the failure of the Bush tax cuts should be front and center of any discussion about our future tax policy.
Any presidential debate that ignores this fundamental truth is doing a disservice to the electorate.