I don’t want to imply that there’s some moral equivalence between Hillary Clinton and Willie Sutton. Perish the thought!
After all, I’m sure Willie Sutton never expected gratitude from his victims.
If I had to summarize my views on fiscal policy in just two sentences, here’s what I would say.
- Government spending undermines growth by diverting labor and capital from more productive uses to less productive uses.
- Tax rates on productive economic behaviors such as work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship should be as low as possible.
Since innovation, risk-taking, investment, entrepreneurship, and hard work are the keys to long-run growth, it certainly seems that the tax code shouldn’t be punishing those things.
She (Hillary) wants voters to adopt and us-vs-them mentality, so she demonizes successful people and implies that their wealth is somehow illegitimate.
In part, she is perpetuating the traditional leftist myth that the economy is a fixed pie and that the rest of us have less because someone like Bill Gates has more.
Source: Hillary Clinton, Willie Sutton, and Class-Warfare Tax Policy | International Liberty
Anyone who is serious about evidence need only compare black communities as they evolved in the first 100 years after slavery with black communities as they evolved in the first 50 years after the explosive growth of the welfare state, beginning in the 1960s.
You would be hard-pressed to find as many ghetto riots prior to the 1960s as we have seen just in the past year, much less in the 50 years since a wave of such riots swept across the country in 1965.
We are told that such riots are a result of black poverty and white racism.
But in fact — for those who still have some respect for facts — black poverty was far worse, and white racism was far worse, prior to 1960. But violent crime within black ghettos was far less.
Murder rates among black males were going down — repeat, DOWN — during the much lamented 1950s, while it went up after the much celebrated 1960s, reaching levels more than double what they had been before. Most black children were raised in two-parent families prior to the 1960s. But today the great majority of black children are raised in one-parent families.
Such trends are not unique to blacks, nor even to the United States. The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England over the same period. Just read “Life at the Bottom,” by Theodore Dalrymple, a British physician who worked in a hospital in a white slum neighborhood.
You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.
Politicians constantly find crises they will solve by increasing government power. But why is inequality a crisis?
Alexis Goldstein, of a group called The Other 98 percent, complains that corporations got richer but workers’ wages “are lower than they’ve been in 65 years.”
That’s a common refrain, but it’s wrong. Over the past 30 years, CBO data shows that the average income of the poorest fifth of Americans is up by 49 percent. That doesn’t include all the innovations that have dramatically improved everyone’s life. Today even the poorest Americans have comforts and lifespans that kings didn’t have a century ago.
George Mason University economist Garett Jones says, “If I was going to be in the bottom fifth in the America of today versus the bottom fifth of America in 1970 or 1960, it’s hard to imagine that anybody would take that time machine into the past.”
And despite America’s lousy government schools and regulations that make it tough to start a business, there is still economic mobility. Poor people don’t have to stay poor. Sixty-four percent of those born in the poorest fifth of the U.S. population move out of that quintile. Eleven percent of them rise all the way to the top, according to economists at Harvard and Berkeley. Most of the billionaires atop the Forbes richest list weren’t rich. They got rich by innovating.
A recent Congressional Budget Office report shows that when you measure federal taxes paid minus federal transfers received welfare, food stamps, Social Security, etc., the top 20 percent of earners pay an average of $46,500. The next 20 percent pay an average of $700. The bottom three-fifths get back more than they pay. Plus, the U.S. already relies more heavily on the income tax for revenues than any other advanced economy nation.
In other words, America already has lots of economic redistribution. American voters evidently sense that more redistribution would sap economic growth. They’re willing to throw a little to minimum wage earners, but they don’t want to kill the geese laying the golden eggs.
Americans are not alone in feeling that way. You don’t see much demand for Piketty policies in other countries either.
The tax-credit reformers also argue that their proposals are much less susceptible to class-warfare demagoguery that is the supply-side approach, since tax relief flows to lower- and middle-income voters. …But here’s the downside: Conservatives can bend over backward to appease the class-warfare crowd, but they can never outflank them. …Once conservatives have accepted the left’s premise that tax policy should be based on static distribution tables, they won’t have a ready answer for the left’s gambit.But as far as I’m concerned, the real issue is how to raise take-home pay.The reformicons want to make families more secure by reducing how much the IRS takes from their paychecks.I certainly like the idea of boosting post-tax income, but I contend that it would be even better to focus on policies that increase pre-tax income.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) recently asked Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen “are we still a capitalist democracy or have we gone over into an oligarchic form of society in which incredible economic and political power now rests with the billionaire class?”
Yellen deflected, saying she preferred not to assign labels, but Sanders struck a nerve.
Russia’s oligarchy has two salient characteristics. The government uses its power to regulate markets to concentrate wealth in the hands of an influential few, while most of its citizens stay poor by western standards.
Those in the media, in politics and in academia who seem determined to blame American society for individuals and groups who do not rise would be hard-pressed to explain why immigrants of various colors come in at the bottom and proceed to rise, both in the schools and in the economy — on both sides of the Atlantic.
It would probably never occur to those who are eager to blame “society” that it is they and their welfare state ideology who have, for generations, burdened the underclass with a vision of hopeless victimhood that immigrants have been spared.
By the time various immigrant groups have been here for generations, they have already risen, despite the welfare state ideology that says that they cannot rise.
That so many in the media and in academia who proclaim the end of social mobility in America leave out the fact that data they cite do not include various immigrant groups tells you all you need to know about them.
“The Triple Package” is a book that tells us much that we all need to know about America — especially if we want to keep the welfare state ideology from destroying the American Dream.