In other news, Art Laffer has become a parody of himself.
- Deliberately misrepresenting the flat tax. Making it sound like 12% is a tax cut for most Americans, when in fact the effective tax rate for everyone making under $100k is already under 12%.
- If what you really want to do is raise taxes on the poor and cut taxes on the rich, why don’t you just come out and say it, Art?
- Conflating simplicity of tax returns with elimination of tax brackets.
- Poverty is caused by high tax rates and welfare. Quick, tell Somalia!
- Brings up sin taxes as a distraction, like a magician’s trick.
- No estimates of how much income is being “accelerated” from 2013 into 2012, only statements that the number is huge.
- Of course when the tax rates rise on the rich, they’re all going to flee the US. Because ceteris paribus it’s in their interest to do so. All other things considered, the first thing I do every morning is ask what tax rates are on various activities I could engage in and various countries I could move to.
- The sign is negative, therefore the magnitude is large.
- Also austerity is equivalent to growth, although later on he contradicts that and says a lot of government spending is necessary. (Wonder whether he wants to cut health benefits, elderly benefits, military protection, or government jobs?)
- Some government spending is wasteful (again no discussion of magnitude—.00001% or 10%?) therefore austerity.
- Ricardian Equivalence, because I say so.
- Twisted reasoning like “Poor people are poor because of disincentives to work, but rich people would pay all of their tax if only you didn’t ask so much of them.” However not going to prove any of that, it’s just “common sense”.
- This passes for argument: “Come on, you know that.” (I count four.)
- Because, incentives. Because, markets.
If you laugh and squeal while you say it, you’re right.
I would love to have a less cynical view of the world than that any yahoo who claims taxes can be vastly reduced on the rich with no negative consequences to anyone gets banquets in his honour, funding from “think tanks”, and handed the reins of policy. But this sh*t tests me.
Searching for something positive to say…at least he said the goal of government is to get poor people to be prosperous.