Democrats are always good for a laugh, and the way they stumbled all over themselves to cut the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was better than a car full of clowns.
The simple truth about the AMT was that it was never intended to do what it’s doing now. All the Democrats who passed it in 1969 under the late, unlamented reign of LBJ wanted was to soak a few (166) selected wealthy families. It was just the usual simple Democrat program to use governmental power to harass a few people they didn’t like, constitutional protections be damned. Since the Supreme Court was an agent of liberal activism at the time, there was no worry on that front anyway.
However, thanks to the Democrat’s endemic lack of foresight, the AMT soon became extremely effective at extracting taxes from the unintended who, thanks to patterns of urban settlement, politics, and high state taxes, became higher-class, and increasingly middle-class, Democrats.
Therefore, the Democrats seemed to have a simple task ahead: reduce or eliminate the AMT, and with it the unintended but very real tax consequences to their constituents.
But wait. Nothing is ever easy for Democrats. In a vain attempt to hide their “tax and spend” spots, Democrats had coined the un-Democrat phrase of “pay as you go,” aka PAYGO. In essence Democrats said, with particular intent to protect newly elected members from right-leaning areas, that no tax cuts would be made unless they could be rendered “revenue neutral.”
The problem with the AMT was that its ability to generate tax revenues was increasing exponentially, and Democrats being Democrats, they had big plans for the many ways they could spend their largesse.
“But wait again,” you say (and if you don’t, I will). “Democrats had no intention of taking money from the people who are now being (or soon will be) soaked by the AMT.”
I agree most decidedly. Therefore, those tax revenues are like “found money,” or ill-gotten gain to the government, so why continue taking them from the people?
“Because,” Democrats are quick to point out, “it’s a lot of money now, and will soon be a humongous amount of money, and we can’t think of any other way we can get our hands on that much money to spend on our growing stack of pork – oops, sorry, what we really mean to say – to spend on ‘investments’ for the people – for our people, who are highly dependent on us bringing back some bacon, or why would they have elected us in the first place?”
“Sorry, I was carried away by an unexpected wave of honesty. It won’t happen again, you can depend on that, so help me Nancy Pelosi.”
At that point he lowered his left hand and took his right hand off Nancy’s book: “Pork is Your Friend – How to Win Friends and Buy Their Votes.”
The “Democrat’s Dilemma” – what a nice book title that would be! Like “Pilgrim’s Progress” with no progress – is that if they do nothing about the AMT they will be recipients of an ever increasing flood of tax revenues to pass out amongst their poorer and very hopeful supporters. The problem that creates is that it will make Republicans of their wealthier, and therefore big contributing, Democrat supporters.
“Let’s see,” said Nancy, “on the one hand (left, of course) we have a bunch of people who support us and want us to give them goodies. Lucky for us they will keep supporting us, even if we don’t give them much, because we’re the only goodies-giving game in town.”
“On the other hand,” she continued, but still using only her left hand, “we have a bunch of people who support us who give us goodies. If we don’t cut the AMT, they won’t have goodies to give us, but those rascally Republicans will be happy to cut the AMT – they promised to do so anyway, but we stopped them – and will be overjoyed to accept our grateful former supporters’ votes and contributions.”
(In the interest of honesty and full disclosure, at this point I must admit the obvious: all the above are made-up quotes. However, as CBS News and Dan Rather reporting about Texas Air National Guard letters, and the French press reporting Palestinian propaganda as fact would be quick to point out, made-up news is the best news, because it illustrates the “truth” of an issue in a way that real facts, contaminated as they are by actual events, cannot. Therefore I follow their examples, except I do what they don’t, I admit it when I make things up.)
In the end, Democrats cut the AMT and didn’t raise the taxes on the wealthy.
Even “Dimocrats” have seen the light that “Trickle Down” works, and that it’s not good politics to demonize the rich, then beg for their contributions.