One of the most hotly debated economic topics in this election has been whether to extend further tax cuts to the wealthy. Democrats have maintained that the middle class needs extended tax cuts and that the wealthy need to see increases in their marginal tax rates. With many wealthy individuals paying taxes at a much lower rate than middle class workers do, Democrats believe that a need exists to force the wealthy to take on a fair burden of the tax bill. Republicans have countered that increases in taxes for the wealthy will hurt economic growth and force business owners to cut back on hiring. Unbeknownst to the public, the Congressional Research Service published a report on this subject. A report that was quickly suppressed by Senate Republicans.
The Congressional Research Service is an objective, non-partisan arm of the Library of Congress that provides policy and legal analyses for Congress. The report determined that “the reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth.” This means that providing further tax cuts to the rich would not spur economic growth. In fact, the report determined that “the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.”
Republicans knew that they had to silence this immediately, having no evidence to refute the conclusions in the report, Republicans challenged the “tone” and “wording” of the report. They objected to phrases like “Bush tax cuts” and “tax cuts for the rich.” The report was quickly withdrawn, despite objections from the author, Thomas Hungerford. In a statement to HuffPost, Hungerford confirmed that the report was taken down due to “pressure from the Senate minority.”
While I’m sure they would rather replace the terms “rich” and “wealthy” with their favorite new catch phrase “job-creators,” I don’t see any other reason for their objections. They simply don’t want a report published that obliterates one of the basic principles of their economic policy. Without it, they have no reason to give themselves, and their rich supporters, further tax cuts. This will make their greed evident, even to those who are blindly accepting their flawed economic theories.
Regardless of their desires, it is never acceptable that any congressional representatives suppress information. The freedom to obtain information and use it to make an informed decision is vital to our success and growth as a nation. The willingness of Republicans to deny us vital information about the effectiveness of a major economic policy because it undermines their quest for increased power, shows that they have been corrupted. It is simply another step towards creating an American aristocracy, in which an elite few possess the vast majority of the wealth and power. Suppression of information is how they will ensure that those who are not a part of their aristocracy submit to the will of their self-proclaimed superiors. If no other issue drives independents and undecided voters to remove Republicans from office, this single act should be enough to sway their votes.