Tag Archives: national review online

Tax increases are not the way to go

Tax increases are not the way to go

President Obama just does not get it.

Liberals love tax increases.

Seven Reasons Why Tax Increases Are the Wrong Approach

Uploaded by on May 3, 2011

This Economics 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity gives seven reasons why the political elite are wrong to push for more taxes. If allowed to succeed, the hopelessly misguided pushing to raise taxes would only worsen our fiscal mess while harming the economy.

The seven reasons provided by the video against this approach are as follows:

1) Tax increases are not needed;
2) Tax increases encourage more spending;
3) Tax increases harm economic performance;
4) Tax increases foment social discord;
5) Tax increases almost never raise as much revenue as projected;
6) Tax increases encourage more loopholes; and,
7) Tax increases undermine competitiveness

________________________

The Real Budget Problem

by Michael D. Tanner

Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and coauthor of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.

Added to cato.org on June 15, 2011

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on June 15, 2011.

If you listen to the discussion of the deficit in the mainstream media or the talking points from leading Democrats on the Hill (but I repeat myself), the refrain is that tax increases must be part of any deficit fix.

There is a superficial moderation to that appeal, a sort of splitting the difference between Republicans who want to cut spending and Democrats who want to pay for popular programs. And, frankly, some tax breaks and loopholes should be eliminated — ethanol subsidies, for example — not as revenue raisers, but because they are such bad economic policies.

But raising taxes to reduce the deficit would be bad policy for several reasons:

There’s not really a revenue problem. Democrats correctly point out that federal tax revenues are now just 16.5 percent of GDP, well below the post–World War II average of roughly 18 percent. This would have meant a bigger budget deficit than usual even if spending hadn’t exploded in recent years. But much of that decline is due to the economic slowdown, not to the Bush tax cuts or other policy changes. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that as economic growth returns, federal tax revenues will grow by an average of 7.3 percent annually over the next ten years. By the end of the decade, taxes will have pushed back through the 18 percent level, and be headed toward 20 percent — all without any changes in tax policy.

Government is too big, too intrusive, and too expensive. It doesn’t take more taxes to fix that.

There is a spending problem. Focusing on taxes implies that the problem is how to pay for spending — taxes or debt — not the spending itself. But, as Milton Friedman constantly pointed out, the real cost of government is the size of government. According to the CBO, the federal government is on track to consume 42 percent of GDP by 2050. (State and local governments will consume another 10 to 15 percent of GDP.) Would we really be better off if we raised taxes enough to pay for all that spending?

You can’t tax enough. The president keeps talking about solving our deficit problems by taxing millionaires and billionaires. Congressional Democrats throw in oil companies. But you could confiscate — not tax, confiscate — every penny belonging to every millionaire in America and cover barely one-tenth of our government’s total indebtedness (including the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare). Meanwhile the tax breaks for oil and gas companies amount to about $1.4 billion annually. Those tax breaks may or may not be defensible, but they amount to less than 1 percent of this year’s budget deficit.

Bait and switch.  If you look at most of the deficit-cutting proposals, including the president’s, they call for tax increases today in exchange for spending cuts somewhere in the future. I think we’ve seen that movie before. In fact, the president’s proposal actually makes the bait-and-switch game worse. His proposal says that if Congress didn’t actually make those spending cuts, there would be additional tax increases. So Republicans would be agreeing to tax increases today in exchange for . . . more tax increases tomorrow.

Tax hikes are bad for the economy and for freedom. Of course it’s an exaggeration to suggest that all tax cuts pay for themselves, but there is no doubt that high taxes discourage the type of investment and risk-taking necessary to grow the economy and create jobs. Every dollar that the federal government takes in taxes is one less dollar that the private sector can save, invest, or spend as it sees fit. Unless you believe that the government knows better than the private sector what to do with that money, this exchange hurts the economy. And unless you believe that our money really belongs to the government, it means we are less free to make use of the fruits of our labor as we see fit.

Republicans should not fall into the trap of reflexively defending every special-interest loophole in the tax code. But neither should they be seduced by the argument that we need a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction that includes tax increases. Government is too big, too intrusive, and too expensive. It doesn’t take more taxes to fix that.

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Occupy Wall Street vs. Steve Jobs

COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION: At Kappa Sigma house in Fayetteville.

  • COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION: At Kappa Sigma house in Fayetteville.

The Drew Wilson photo above went viral last night — at least in Arkansas e-mail and social media users — after the Fayetteville Flyer posted it in coverage of an Occupy Northwest Arkansas demonstration in Fayetteville. The 1 percent banner was unfurled briefly on the Kappa Sigma frat house at UA.

_______________

I read this material above from the Arkansas Times Blog today.

I have posted a lot about Steve Jobs and I think this article below from the Cato Institute is probably one of the finest I have ever read on him.

I love reading the Arkansas Times Blog because Max Brantley does a great job of keeping us up with all the latest national and Arkansas news. However, when I read this article today on the Cato Institute, I thought of Max and his failed liberal ideas. Max is great at trying to fire up the middle class against the rich.

Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute said it all baby with this paragraph:

The next time someone suggests that what we need is more taxes, more regulation, more class warfare, more government programs, we should instead suggest that what we really need are policies that encourages a poor boy from San Francisco to become rich and thereby make the rest of us a little richer as well.

Occupy Wall Street vs. Jobs

by Michael D. Tanner

Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and coauthor of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.

Added to cato.org on October 12, 2011

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on October 12, 2011.

The last week brought us a striking contrast that tells us much about the current debate over the direction of this country.

On one hand were the perpetually aggrieved protestors of Occupy Wall Street. While much of the media, desperate to find a liberal counterpart to the Tea Party (remember coverage of the state-house takeover in Wisconsin?), tried to pretend that this was an organic and leaderless uprising by middle America, the reality was that most of the demonstrators were the same motley crew that regularly shows up to demonstrate against the World Bank or G8 meetings, their ranks bolstered by union activists, MoveOn.org, and the Obama front group Organizing for America — not to mention the usual collection of filthy-rich movie stars who flew in on private jets and then climbed into waiting limousines to show up to denounce the filthy rich.

But while Roseanne Barr was suggesting that the rich should be beheaded and demonstrators were making such reasonable demands as the forgiveness of all debt, much of the rest of the world was mourning the death of Steve Jobs, the filthy-rich businessman who was responsible for all those iPhones and iPads that the iPod-sporting protestors used to organize their demonstrations.

[W]hat government jobs program has created as many net new jobs as Jobs?

Jobs certainly was rich. Estimates suggest he was worth more than $7 billion. But it’s important to realize that he didn’t start out that way. Jobs’s story was a quintessential American one. Born poor (and out of wedlock), he achieved success through hard work and brilliance. Along the way he failed sometimes. But when he did, he didn’t beg Washington for a bailout. Instead he frequently put his own capital at risk, taking chances, because entrepreneurship truly is risky. And he showed us that no amount of adversity can stop someone who is truly determined and talented from achieving the American dream.

Does it really matter what tax rate Steve Jobs paid? He was not even a notable contributor to charity. Yet, he did more to contribute to American prosperity and the general betterment of mankind than any government program could ever hope to. Start with the obvious: The various businesses started and run by Jobs employed more than 30,000 Americans and thousands more around the world. Jobs truly was one of those job creators so disparaged by the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

Estimates suggest that Jobs generated as much as $30 billion annually in increased wealth for the U.S. economy. Obviously, without the wealth that Jobs created, all of society would be that much poorer. And, of course, as Jobs drove the value of Apple from $2 billion to $350 billion following his return as CEO in 1997, all of us moved a bit closer to a comfortable retirement as the value of our pension plans and 401(k)s, almost all of which include Apple stock, increased.

But that only captures a small fraction of the social benefits generated by Jobs.

The technology that Jobs brought to the mainstream of American life doesn’t just let us listen to music or play Angry Birds. It has made businesses more efficient, lowering the cost of goods and services for all of us. It has made it easier for everyone from doctors to teachers and students to soldiers on the battlefield to access information and stay in contact with others. It has disseminated knowledge, improved medical diagnostics, and helped bring about the overthrow of dictators. It has helped the blind read the denominations of dollar bills and alleviated the symptoms of children with autism.

The Occupy Wall Street crowd, and for that matter President Obama, see government as the center of our existence. It is government that makes for a better society, while the rich, businessmen, and entrepreneurs are “takers” who don’t “pay their fair share.” But would we really have been better off if we had taken more of Jobs’s wealth and given it to the government? Would President Obama really have used it better than Jobs did? Would the government have given us all that Jobs did?

Government has spent trillions on schools that don’t educate, anti-poverty programs that don’t lift people out of poverty, stimulus programs that don’t stimulate, and health-care programs that don’t control the cost of health care. Compare Apple or Pixar’s record of success with the failures of government. For that matter, what government jobs program has created as many net new jobs as Jobs?

In fact, the next time someone suggests that what we need is more taxes, more regulation, more class warfare, more government programs, we should instead suggest that what we really need are policies that encourages a poor boy from San Francisco to become rich and thereby make the rest of us a little richer as well.

Related posts:

Steve Jobs’ Father

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

Steve Jobs at Stanford

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

Steve Jobs depicted at pearly gates with Saint Peter

It is strange that the New Yorker Magazine did no research. (If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible […]

Steve Jobs: Great Entrepreneur

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist

Some people have called Steve Jobs an atheist. According to published reports Steve Jobs was a Buddhist and he had a very interesting quote on death which I discussed in another post. Back in 1979 I saw the film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? by Francis Schaeffer and I also read the book. Francis Schaeffer observes […]

Steve Jobs and Adoption

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address Uploaded by StanfordUniversity on Mar 7, 2008 It was a quite moving story to hear about Steve Jobs’ adoption. Ryan Scott Bomberger (www.toomanyaborted.com), co-founder of The Radiance Foundation, an adoptee and adoptive father: “As a creative professional, [Jobs’] visionary work has helped my own visions become reality. But his […]

What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life?

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs?

I loved reading this article below. (Take a look at the link to other posts I have done on Steve Jobs.) David Boaz makes some great observations: How much value is the Post Office creating this year? Or Amtrak? Or Solyndra? And if you point out that the Post Office does create value for its […]

Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs:Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not know about Steve Jobs ,Steve […]

Steve Jobs was a Buddhist: What is Buddhism?

(If you want to check out other posts I have done about about Steve Jobs: Some say Steve Jobs was an atheist , Steve Jobs and Adoption , What is the eternal impact of Steve Jobs’ life? ,Steve Jobs versus President Obama: Who created more jobs? ,Steve Jobs’ view of death and what the Bible has to say about it ,8 things you might not […]

 
Did Steve Jobs help people even though he did not give away a lot of money?

  Did Steve Jobs help people even though he did not give away a lot of money? (I just finished a post concerning Steve’s religious beliefs and a post about 8 things you may not know about Steve Jobs) Uploaded by UM0kusha0kusha on Sep 16, 2010 clip from The First Round Up *1934* ~~enjoy!! ______________________________________________ In the short film […]

 

Tax increases are not the way to go

Tax increases are not the way to go, but the president doesn’t get that.

Liberals love tax increases.

Seven Reasons Why Tax Increases Are the Wrong Approach

Uploaded by on May 3, 2011

This Economics 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity gives seven reasons why the political elite are wrong to push for more taxes. If allowed to succeed, the hopelessly misguided pushing to raise taxes would only worsen our fiscal mess while harming the economy.

The seven reasons provided by the video against this approach are as follows:

1) Tax increases are not needed;
2) Tax increases encourage more spending;
3) Tax increases harm economic performance;
4) Tax increases foment social discord;
5) Tax increases almost never raise as much revenue as projected;
6) Tax increases encourage more loopholes; and,
7) Tax increases undermine competitiveness

________________________

The Real Budget Problem

by Michael D. Tanner 

Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and coauthor of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.

Added to cato.org on June 15, 2011

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on June 15, 2011.

If you listen to the discussion of the deficit in the mainstream media or the talking points from leading Democrats on the Hill (but I repeat myself), the refrain is that tax increases must be part of any deficit fix.

There is a superficial moderation to that appeal, a sort of splitting the difference between Republicans who want to cut spending and Democrats who want to pay for popular programs. And, frankly, some tax breaks and loopholes should be eliminated — ethanol subsidies, for example — not as revenue raisers, but because they are such bad economic policies. 

But raising taxes to reduce the deficit would be bad policy for several reasons:

There’s not really a revenue problem. Democrats correctly point out that federal tax revenues are now just 16.5 percent of GDP, well below the post–World War II average of roughly 18 percent. This would have meant a bigger budget deficit than usual even if spending hadn’t exploded in recent years. But much of that decline is due to the economic slowdown, not to the Bush tax cuts or other policy changes. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that as economic growth returns, federal tax revenues will grow by an average of 7.3 percent annually over the next ten years. By the end of the decade, taxes will have pushed back through the 18 percent level, and be headed toward 20 percent — all without any changes in tax policy.

Government is too big, too intrusive, and too expensive. It doesn’t take more taxes to fix that.

There is a spending problem. Focusing on taxes implies that the problem is how to pay for spending — taxes or debt — not the spending itself. But, as Milton Friedman constantly pointed out, the real cost of government is the size of government. According to the CBO, the federal government is on track to consume 42 percent of GDP by 2050. (State and local governments will consume another 10 to 15 percent of GDP.) Would we really be better off if we raised taxes enough to pay for all that spending?

You can’t tax enough. The president keeps talking about solving our deficit problems by taxing millionaires and billionaires. Congressional Democrats throw in oil companies. But you could confiscate — not tax, confiscate — every penny belonging to every millionaire in America and cover barely one-tenth of our government’s total indebtedness (including the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare). Meanwhile the tax breaks for oil and gas companies amount to about $1.4 billion annually. Those tax breaks may or may not be defensible, but they amount to less than 1 percent of this year’s budget deficit.

Bait and switch.  If you look at most of the deficit-cutting proposals, including the president’s, they call for tax increases today in exchange for spending cuts somewhere in the future. I think we’ve seen that movie before. In fact, the president’s proposal actually makes the bait-and-switch game worse. His proposal says that if Congress didn’t actually make those spending cuts, there would be additional tax increases. So Republicans would be agreeing to tax increases today in exchange for . . . more tax increases tomorrow.

Tax hikes are bad for the economy and for freedom. Of course it’s an exaggeration to suggest that all tax cuts pay for themselves, but there is no doubt that high taxes discourage the type of investment and risk-taking necessary to grow the economy and create jobs. Every dollar that the federal government takes in taxes is one less dollar that the private sector can save, invest, or spend as it sees fit. Unless you believe that the government knows better than the private sector what to do with that money, this exchange hurts the economy. And unless you believe that our money really belongs to the government, it means we are less free to make use of the fruits of our labor as we see fit.

Republicans should not fall into the trap of reflexively defending every special-interest loophole in the tax code. But neither should they be seduced by the argument that we need a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction that includes tax increases. Government is too big, too intrusive, and too expensive. It doesn’t take more taxes to fix that.