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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Economic Idiots, Part IV

JA asks "No mention of McCain's panderific "gas tax holiday?""

Well, no I haven't mentioned it yet, though I did take him to task for other economic issues. Besides, his gas tax holiday is an awful idea, and the MSM did a good job pointing that out.

But the MSM isn't going to point out that Obama is an economic idiot. I use the term "idiot" because the only other option is to say that he willfully wants to wreck the the U.S. economy, something I can't believe.

Besides, idiocy is the perfect term fora policy such as using a windfall profits tax to fund energy rebate checks. As James Taranto points out, it's robbing Peter to pay Peter. Ask any economist, and he'll tell you that corporations don't actually pay taxes. People do. Corporations simply pass along their tax burden to shareholders (in the form of lower stock prices) and consumers (in the form of highger prices). Raise taxers on ExxonMobil will just result in higher gas prices which we then can purchase with our "energy rebates".

7 Comments:

I love JA (and I know you're going to read this), but I simply don't think he has a good enough understanding of economics, thereby reinforcing my long-held belief that on most issues, if more of the country understood economics, there would be little disagreement - turning most "issues" within the country into purely social ones.

It's actually interesting enough to wonder if some on the left willfully distort economic reality to pursue social agendas - by keeping people thinking that "their side" will help people more economically, they ensure that many people vote their way in elections even if they disagree with their social agenda.
I actually agree about the windfall tax rebate checks.

Ezzie:

While I'm certainly no expert on economics, I think my big differences with Republican economics relate to values, not economics itself. For example, I support universal health care and progressive taxation not because they are the most economically effective systems, but because I think they are morally right.
Understood, which is exactly my point.

Progressive taxation is something that while not everyone might agree is morally correct (why should someone be punished for doing well?), it still makes sense even within that argument to make the most of it. The WSJ link I showed you a couple of days ago was quite clear in demonstrating that under Bush, the rich are paying an even HIGHER portion of all taxes. This is even more "progressive" than what existed before. Moreover, because this leads to higher total tax revenues, it seems silly to argue that the tax cuts somehow a) cost the country money and b) helped the rich.

UHC is similar. The question is not whether everyone should have healthcare - everyone would love if everyone could have healthcare. The problem is that it has an economic cost that is extremely large, and that UHC often leads to far other problems in terms of medical care, wait times, and the like. UHC can, particularly because of its economic cost, lead to far greater concerns down the road. (It is silly to ignore that economics plays a great role in people's health, whether directly or indirectly.)
I always forget to check the damn box.
why should someone be punished for doing well?

It's not punitive. Taxes aren't fines.

The WSJ link I showed you a couple of days ago was quite clear in demonstrating that under Bush, the rich are paying an even HIGHER portion of all taxes.

Because the rich got richer. The WSJ claims that this is because of the tax cuts, while freely admitting that it probably won't stay like this, even though the tax cuts won't be revoked for at least a year or two.

If you cut the bottom 99%'s income by 100%, the richest 1% would then be paying 100% of the income taxes! Or if you quintupled everyone's salary in the top 1%, they'd be paying way more than they do now! How progressive!

The problem is that it has an economic cost that is extremely large, and that UHC often leads to far other problems in terms of medical care, wait times, and the like.

"Extremely large" is a relative term. Are we talking larger than the Iraq war? Larger than the billions we pour into defense spending so that we can we the cold war, which ended years ago?

Just about ever Western democracy (and many non-Western, non-democracies) has some form of UHC. Civilized societies make the health of their citizens a priority. And we already have about 85% health care coverage in the U.S., so we're not looking at a whole lot of new spending, relatively.

Republicans seem to look at only one side of the ledger -- the cost. The benefits -- both fiscal and human -- are ignored. No program can stand up to that kind of "analysis."
Raising the rate - not just total taxes, but the rate itself - is punitive. Let's not delude ourselves.


"Extremely large" is a relative term. Are we talking larger than the Iraq war? Larger than the billions we pour into defense spending so that we can we the cold war, which ended years ago?


Just look at Romney's plan in Mass. It's a massive economic failure after just a couple of years, and that's despite being specifically touted as being a better version (though he and others warned that what the state wanted added was going to be costly, IIRC). That's in a small state after just a couple of years - what do you think will happen when you try to apply that across all 50 states, and with far more red tape and pork?

Republicans seem to look at only one side of the ledger -- the cost. The benefits -- both fiscal and human -- are ignored. No program can stand up to that kind of "analysis."

BS. They look at both sides too make sure it will actually work, so it can help the people for more than a few minutes. Dems just want a quick fix and the costs be damned - we'll just soak the rich again if we go broke.
The Blossom

(1)

Merry, merry sparrow!

Under leaves so green,

A happy blossom

Sees you, swift as arrow,

Seek your cradle narrow

Near my bosom.

(2)

Pretty, pretty robin!

Under leaves so green,

A happy blossom

Hears you sobbing, sobbing,

Pretty, pretty, robin,

Near my bosom.

-----by maple story account


 

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