Why are Republicans pushing to extend the Bush tax cuts?

Do they really believe in Laffer Curve/supply side economics and think that it will actually raise revenue? Are they in the pocket of the rich? Do they just see it as a way to rile up the base so they can get re-elected and gain back seats?

Despite persistent evidence to the contrary, it’s hard to believe that they are either that stupid or that evil.

Yes to all three I think.

Compared to other stupidities and evils they are guilty of extending tax cuts is quite mild.

Because some of them think it’ll result in job growth and increases in revenue. That or they are motivated by aristocratic/plutocratic ideologies.

I’d say all 3. However I’d say the main motive is the aristocratic leanings of the leaders of the GOP. If you sat people down and had a conversation, I doubt many would say they wanted to keep supply side tax cuts because they have a strong belief that that will result in GDP growth and job creation. I don’t think most will say they’ve had a long, introspective debate within themselves and decided supply side tax cuts are the most effective means of GDP and job growth. I’d say most of it is just knee jerk support of the aristocracy.

Not that liberals are perfect either. But I think it is because the GOP has become very plutocratic and aristocratic. And for some reason, it doesn’t seem to affect them negatively. Probably because their base thinks they will become one of the plutocrats someday, or that the plutocrats will protect them.

They’re looking out for their constituents, or, the people that keep them elected through contributions.

Also, there are dogmatic reasons, like you mentioned with the Laffer Curve.

There’s also a political reason, and that’s to keep hammering away at “tax cuts are good, and then you cut taxes again and again” and to keep going at it until it happens. After that? Who knows? There’s also the “we want you to keep more money in your pocket and away from Big Government” theme, and while that sounds nice on paper, many things get left unfunded.

Also, some people think they’re going to be taking advantage of those tax credits in their lives, and they’re mistaken.

All of the reasons given in the OP, plus.

  Vote against keeping the tax cuts, and you have "raised taxes," If someone is running against you in November all they have to say is "Senator Phogbound voted to raise taxes."  Most people have no idea if taxes affect them, or whether they are or ever will be rich enough to have to worry about it. All they hear is that taxes will be raised and they have a knee jerk reaction. 

 It doesn't matter if Phogbound is only voting to repeal a tax cut for left handed oil executives who make over 500 million a year. The talk show hosts, and internet buzz only has to say that he is raising taxes, and most people won't bother to do enough research to find out the truth.

Forget Laffer. The idea that one needs to replicate the same tax receipts is not necessary to oppose tax increases. This assumes that the same or greater level of government spending needs to be maintained, which it doesn’t.

Why in God’s name does the government need/deserve 39.6% (plus Medicare, etc.) of every dollar I earn? When half (that’s half) of the country paid no net taxes last year? Screw that.

Taking money from people coercively and without right is theft. Period. Theft is wrong. Cf. Seventh Commandment.

So then why not articulate a series of spending cuts that represent a significant enough portion of the budget to close the deficit and pay off the debt? It seems that would make sense before lowering revenue.

Oh, and how will keeping tax rates low for the wealthy make more American’s pay taxes?

That’s like saying why not adapt my metabolism to run on less food before starting a diet.

That’s bass-ackwards. Just take away the food, and my body will have to figure out how to get by on less.

If you define 35% as “low” and “wealthy” as making more than $200,000, I could meaningfully answer your question. I don’t accept either premise.

I earned my money. My default assumption is that it is my money, not someone else’s. The government didn’t send somebody to do my job for me from January through April, so, again, my default assumption is that they haven’t proven they deserve all of my income from that period.

And to answer your question – if the beast decides it’s still hungry after being unable to take more than a mere third of my food, maybe it’ll take some food from the 50% of freeloaders who have the same vote as I do. I’d be more okay with that than I am with a further 10% increase in the bite out of my lunch.

Because some conservatives believe that the only way to reduce the size of the government is to reduce taxes first, and that the government will then respond by cutting programs: Starve the Beast:

Whether it’s an effective strategy or not is open for debate, as the rest of the wiki article indicates.

Moreover, the proponents of this approach aren’t typically Laffer curve types, because they don’t want to increase government revenues by cutting taxes - they want a net reduction in goverment revenue.

This is not yet a theocracy, so the Bible is irrelevant. And taking money from people by taxation isn’t theft, it’s making them pay what they owe.

Or it will simply starve and die. Which is pretty much what happens in places where people with your philosophy get their way; everything falls apart and collapses.

The government made that possible, and performs thousands of other services as well. You simply want to force other people to pay for it all.

Tell me, Huerta, is there no point at which private property becomes an absurdity? Are there no rational limits, simply a sacred principle that trumps all others? Suppose a man were to amass enough money to buy the Grand Canyon (or, more practically, buy enough Senators and Reps to make it so…) May he then fence it off for his own, personal enjoyment?

A rich man can afford better medical care for his children. Are his children more deserving that yours, or mine? Are they to be disciplined for their rather foolish choice in parents? A rich man can afford better education for his children, are his children inherently smarter, save for that initial choice? Are they, by some magic, destined to be better citizens, or simply more powerful citizens?

A rich man indulges his narcissism with a grossly self-indulgent mansion, with solid gold bidets. If we tax his wealth so that he cannot afford another, is he somehow injured, deprived of some essential human right? Are we to weep for his deprivation, when his fellow citizen, endowed by the same Creator with the same unalienable rights, has to choose which of his children to buy shoes for?

Private property is a right, of course, but it is not above all others. It is not as if property rights were the essential crown jewel, and all the other rights are mere embellishments, to be abandoned if they conflict with the most important right, property.

Our fellow Americans, are they our people? Or not? And if they are not our people, if they do not have good reason to rely on our generosity and good will, who’s people are they?

“Its not a crime to be poor in America, but it may as well be.”

  • Will Rogers

A person who earns (not finds, not wins in a lottery) $200,000 being permitted to pay “only” 35% to a bloated inefficient income-redistribution scheme strikes you as beyond “rational limits?” Then we really can’t talk.

What’s this ‘Republicans’ stuff? Obama wants to extend three quarters of the tax cuts as well. Probably because he knows a huge tax increase will stand a good chance of causing a double dip recession. Tax increases hurt GDP growth, and it’s already very low. Because of that, Obama’s economic advisers want the tax cut extended. Ben Bernanke just gave a speech recommending that they be extended as well.

So it’s not just Republicans.

Cool, I wish all conservatives were willing to admit they want to raise taxes on the less wealthy. Nit sure how it would play with the voters, but at least it’s honest.

Oh God, there is no hope at all if we really do have the Democrats believing this as well.

The wealthy have a lower marginal propensity to spend, so all things being equal in our current situation we’d be better off letting the tax cuts expire and spend the resulting revenue on projects that create jobs.

If you mean “raise from a zero percent effective rate for half the population to some non-zero number,” of course I do. There is nothing more calculated to cause mischief than allowing people to vote on, among other things, fiscal policy when they have absolutely no skin in the game.

So yeah, I want basically everyone paying something – a broad and not grossly stratified tax rate structure. How can you have a stakeholder/ownership society when two percent of the population is subsidizing half the tab, and fifty percent subsidizing none of it?

What rights are you referring to? The right to health care? No such thing. The right to education? No such thing. So, in your mind, these perceived rights trump the actual rights we have. Everything you wrote may make people feel better about taking what they did not earn and giving it to others but it’s really a load of BS.

The Wealthy have a higher marginal propensity to invest. So all things being equal we would be better off not raising taxes so that capital investment creates jobs.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with people paying zero federal taxes. But, in my opinion, if you are not paying into the system then you should have no say and no vote on federal issues. What gives those who contribute nothing to the system the right to vote to take more away from those who do contribute. As the number of people who pay nothing approaches 50% this becomes a much more serious question.

Considering that without one of those people are likely dead, and without the other they are incapable of making a living they certainly are rights, in a moral if not a legal sense.

And if you intend to deny people health care and education, then I fail to see why they owe you any consideration whatsoever. When you do that you make yourself just as much an enemy as any foreign invader driving though town in a tank blowing up buildings.