CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Trust me, Rep. Shelly Moore Capito says. No way.
First, I believe Capito is an honest broker and welcome her views on a variety of matters. But, on her recent commentary on taxation and the future of West Virginia, our representative is being disingenuous when she says she voted against raising taxes on job creators.
True, she voted to extend the Bush era tax cuts for everyone. But, there's a bigger issue here. Republicans are on the one hand criticizing president Obama regarding the deficit and voting on the other in ways that would make the deficit explode. Shelly Moore Capito is not telling it straight on this one. Nor is the House leadership. President Obama says we should extend the Bush tax breaks for all but the wealthiest Americans. Capito wants to continue tax breaks for the rich because she and the Tea Party want you to believe that rich people create jobs from that extra wealth. It is categorically false that wealthy people invest more in job creation when their tax rate drops from 39 percent under Bill Clinton to about 34 percent under George W. Bush. The evidence is clear. We already have the tax breaks, and there are no jobs.
The entire Republican Party is not telling you the truth. Their standard line is that raising taxes on "anyone" right now in this economy is a bad idea. Nonsense. When tax rates on the wealthy were only slightly higher, the rate to which Obama wants them to return, prosperity reigned. Wealthy people got better off when their tax burden went down. But, the economy didn't improve. In fact, it went off the cliff. Rep. Capito may want you to believe your taxes will go up under President Obama, although I believe her to be more professionally courteous in her dealings than Mitt Romney. But, it's an act of political theater. Nobody knows better than the president how much West Virginia has been hurt by the tanking economy. Nobody wants to help the middle class more than Barack Obama.
Voting for tax breaks for the rich is a bad idea for West Virginia and the country. No Republican has supported an honest plan to reduce the deficit responsibly. They voted for Paul Ryan's budget, which guts programs for the poor, the elderly and the infirm. But, they protect special interests, lower taxes for the well to do, and outrageous defense spending that rivals the rest of the world's many times over. Mercifully, Shelly Moore Capito to my knowledge does not espouse the hatred of Ayn Rand and her ilk, but any member of Congress who votes for tax breaks for the rich is putting those people ahead of the people of West Virginia. And with all the state's many challenges, an unforced error like that should not be allowed to stand. Tell our representative to put working class West Virginians ahead of the wealthy. Doing so would be a refreshing change.
Swindell is a professor of ethics, and can be reached at chris_swind...@hotmail.com.