Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Can't We Cut the "Redistributionist" Crap?

The United States of America has had a progressive income tax for almost a century. Social Security is almost three quarters of a century old.


  1. It's not the same thing.

    Taking more money from higher earners to pay for roads is very different from taking money from them to send checks to other people.

  2. How about taking money from higher earners to pay for foreign wars? If Bush had made his rich supporters pay for his Middle East adventure rather than giving them a big tax cut and running huge deficits, the economy would not be in the mess it is today.

  3. Well, paying for a war isn't redistribution.

    However, since the data show that raising taxes lowers government revenues (and vice versa), I don't see how that would have helped.

    The problem with our ever growing debt is not that taxes are too low but that spending is too high. Getting spending under control -- real control -- is necessary and will be quite painful.

  4. Chris,

    Do you understand that tax revenues would not increase if tax rates were cut to 0%? If so, then you should understand that there is no magical relationship by which revenues can always be increased by cutting taxes. Any given situation depends upon a variety of factors. For what its worth (and I realize its not much), I don’t think that most economists subscribe to the Laffer Curve these days.

    All government spending involves redistribution. The money comes from one place, whether it is from taxes or borrowing, and it goes somewhere else. We can disagree about the benefit produced by any particular type of spending and whether it justifies the taxation or borrowing that funds it, but it all involves redistribution.

  5. Can't We Cut the "Redistributionist" Crap?

    Oooh, oooh, I know this one! That answer is "no."

    Glad I could be of assistance.