Oh that’s rich. A lot has been made recently of the belief that the rich aren’t paying enough in taxes. Most analyses are long on hyperbole but short on outcomes. The general belief is that the government is denied funds by the Bush tax cuts. While rarely stated, the implication is that taxing the rich would provide the nearly destitute government more funds for more excellent government programs like the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Libya – things like that. Somehow, we are led to believe that the government’s outstanding track record on solving problems would be extended if only the rich paid more taxes.
The problem with socialism. Maggie Thatcher once famously quipped, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Well said, Madame. But what of the argument that holds the government nearly penniless in the face of rich people’s greed. Isn’t that valid? Not really. The government has found plenty of money to spend even with the Bush tax cuts and the growing income gap. Total government spending as a percentage of GDP has increased from just over 20% in 1950 to just over 40% today. Half of the increase has occurred in the last 10 – 12 years. More government spending has not saved the middle class, it has not reduced the wealth gap and it has not made America more competitive on the world stage.
Money, money everywhere but not enough to spend. The government has doubled its level of spending as a percent of GDP since 1950. Yet, some want the government to have yet more money to spend. What percentage of GDP is appropriate for the government to spend? Marx, et al thought 100% was a good number. Well, we’re on our way.
One is too many, another is never enough. If it isn’t unfunded wars it’s insolvent entitlement programs. If it isn’t insolvent entitlement plans it’s troops in Germany or Korea for the last 65 years. The government’s track record on spending is less than stellar despite flushing 40% of the GDP largely down the drain. Yet the government’s voracious appetite for ever more of the economic pie is unstoppable. The government is drunk on spending and it wants an extension on its bar tab.
A plan, a plan, my kingdom for a plan. I give up – what is the government going to do with the additional money it takes from “the rich”? Spend yet more of the country’s GDP? Why? Because the increase from 1950 to now has been so successful? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing while expecting different results. As of today, we are insane.
Honesty is the best policy. Let’s be honest – those who want to raise taxes on “the rich” want to penalize those who have succeeded. It just irks them that others have made more money than they have. They know that more government spending won’t make things any better. If they would just admit that they want a pure and simple wealth redistribution it would be better than their current claims. If you want to tax the rich then be honest. Say, “We want the money you earned because we haven’t done all that well financially and that bothers us.” Then, take the money from the rich and divide it up among the non-rich. But, for goodness sakes, don’t just give it to the government and wait for good things to happen. That won’t help the rich, the poor or anyone else. Except, of course, for the political elite – they do quite well as the government spends more and more of the nation’s GDP. And speaking of honesty, look at the graph. The last time government spending as a percentage of GDP fell Clinton was president. In fact, it fell almost the whole time he was president. Run Hillary, Run.
By Groveton, busy spending his money before the politicians can get it.