Dumas: Unemployment Benefits will help stimulate Economy

HALT: Halting Arkansas Liberals with Truth

The Republicans have been made out to be the Grinch that stole Christmas because they did not want to extend unemployment benefits again. In fact, we have been told by the Democrats that unemployment benefits will help stimulate the economy, and we should not be trying to help the millionaires while the unemployed could help stimulate the economy so much faster.

Ernest Dumas in his article “Politics, tax policy converge,” (Arkansas Times) stated that “taxes on people of great wealth do not stunt demand like they do for the middle class, which spends, not saves, when taxes are cut.”

In his article “A Broken System,” (Arkansas Times, December 9), concerning the recent deal between the Republicans and President Obama, Dumas noted, “The compromise–sellout is a better description–includes some marginally hopeful parts. Obama won an extention of unemployment benefits and another stimulus benefit, a one-year reduction in payroll taxes that will give people another $120 billion to spend next year to see if it will stimulate demand.”

NOTICE TO LIBERALS: Government spending does not stimulate the economy because government must first tax or borrow that money out of the private economy which defeats the purpose in the first place.

Have you learned yet? Look at the stimulus that was supported (by Democrats only)when President Obama first came into office and the predictions made then. Did any of those predictions come true? Actually unemployment increased by almost two points!!!

I am responding to these liberal assertions with a portion from an article published January 29, 2007 called, “Ten Myths About the Bush Tax Cuts” by Brian Riedl. Riedl is the Grover Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs at the Heritage Foundation and Riedl’s budget research has been featured in front-page stories and editorials in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times

Myth #8: Tax cuts help the economy by “putting money in people’s pockets.”
Fact: Pro-growth tax cuts support incentives for productive behavior.

Government spending does not “pump new money into the economy” because government must first tax or borrow that money out of the economy. Claims that tax cuts benefit the economy by “putting money in people’s pockets” represent the flip side of the pump-priming fallacy. Instead, the right tax cuts help the economy by reducing government’s influence on economic decisions and allowing people to respond more to market mechanisms, thereby encouraging more productive behavior.

The Keynesian fallacy is that government spending injects new money into the economy, but the money that government spends must come from somewhere. Government must first tax or borrow that money out of the economy, so all the new spending just redistributes existing income. Similarly, the money for tax rebates—which are also touted as a way to inject money into the economy—must also come from somewhere, with government either spending less or borrowing more. In both cases, no new spending is added to the economy. Rather, the government has just transferred it from one group (e.g., investors) in the economy to another (e.g., consumers).

Some argue that certain tax cuts, such as tax rebates, can transfer money from savers to spenders and therefore increase demand. This argument assumes that the savers have been storing their savings in their mattresses, thereby removing it from the economy. In reality, nearly all Americans either invest their savings, thereby financing businesses investment, or deposit the money in banks, which quickly lend it to others to spend or invest. Therefore, the money is spent by someone whether it is initially consumed or saved. Thus, tax rebates create no additional economic activity and cannot “prime the pump.”

This does not mean tax policy cannot affect economic growth. The right tax cuts can add substantially to the economy’s supply side of productive resources: capital and labor. Economic growth requires that businesses efficiently produce increasing amounts of goods and services, and increased production requires consistent business investment and a motivated, productive workforce. Yet high marginal tax rates—defined as the tax on the next dollar earned—serve as a disincentive to engage in such activities. Reducing marginal tax rates on businesses and workers increases the return on working, saving, and investing, thereby creating more business investment and a more productive workforce, both of which add to the economy’s long-term capacity for growth.

Yet some propose demand-side tax cuts to “put money in people’s pockets” and “get people to spend money.” The 2001 tax rebates serve as an example: Washington borrowed billions from investors and then mailed that money to families in the form of $600 checks. Predictably, this simple transfer of existing wealth caused a temporary increase in consumer spending and a corresponding decrease in investment but led to no new economic growth. No new wealth was created because the tax rebate was unrelated to productive behavior. No one had to work, save, or invest more to receive a rebate. Simply redistributing existing wealth does not create new wealth.

In contrast, marginal tax rates were reduced throughout the 1920s, 1960s, and 1980s. In all three decades, investment increased, and higher economic growth followed. Real GDP increased by 59 percent from 1921 to 1929, by 42 percent from 1961 to 1968, and by 31 percent from 1982 to 1989. More recently, the 2003 tax cuts helped to bring about strong economic growth for the past three years.

Policies which best support work, saving, and investment are much more effective at expanding the economy’s long-term capacity for growth than those that aim to put money in consumers’ pockets.

(Below Senator John Thune interviewed by Sean Hannity on Dec 9th)

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: