Thursday, October 04, 2012

The perpetual lie that the federal deficits come from cutting taxes

Tonight, the Golfer-in-Chief wanted to blame the deficits on everything except the Occam's Razor answer: that the government is simply spending more than it's taking in. Meanwhile, he again took false credit for ending "the war in Iraq."

It's true that George W. Bush and the 110th Congress were responsible for this country's very first $1 trillion deficit. Obama and subsequent Congresses didn't start it, but they haven't had to keep the pedal to the floor. The 2009 deficit included Obama's $787 stimulus, but what is the excuse now? Blaming it on falling tax revenues would be an outright lie, since we can see they were up slightly in 2010.

This article from the Christian Science Monitor is a good look at the liberal mythology that the post-Clinton tax cuts gave us the deficits today. The first part is clear: the CBO extrapolated from the tech bubble of the 1990s, figuring tax receipts would continue to come in faster than Congress was spending.

Now what about those tax cuts?
Then there were the tax cuts. President George W. Bush instigated most of these, but President Obama also pushed through Congress a payroll tax cut intended to pump money into a moribund economy. Tax cuts accounted for a further $2.8 trillion of the $11.7 trillion discrepancy. (Yes, the big kahuna here is Mr. Bush’s 2001 reduction in income-tax rates, which alone accounts for about $1.2 trillion in revenue foregone over the decade.)
But that's only $120 billion a year. In other words, the tax cuts were only one-quarter of the typical GWB-era deficit. Clearly, restoring higher tax rates -- on everyone, not just "the rich" -- won't cure the deficit. In fact, it's been calculated that revoking the "Bush tax cuts" would bring in only $70 billion annually from the top 2% of federal income taxpayers. This clearly shows that the tax cuts benefited $50 billion annually on the "non-rich," and this plain fact demolishes the argument that only "the rich" benefited from the tax cuts. In fact, it shows clearly that "the rich" benefited less from tax cuts for the kind of taxes they pay.

Note that as an anarcho-capitalist, I completely oppose all taxation. I'm merely pointing out what happened with the tax cuts and what would happen if they were revoked, and most importantly, that so many Americans swallow the lies that "the rich" don't pay enough in taxes, and if only "the rich" paid more.

Walter Williams: "Because of the earned income tax credit, most of America's poor pay little or nothing. What the Tax Policy Center calls working class pay 3 percent of all federal taxes, middle class 11 percent, upper middle class 19 percent and wealthy 67 percent."


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