Monday, August 13, 2012

Tea Party Economic Madness and the Romney/Ryan Ticket

To listen to the Tea Party supporters of the Ryan/Romney ticket we might as well be electing Gordon Gekko as President. Greed is good, they pontificate and have the most naive idea of economics ever promulgated on the American public. Their idea seems to be that every dollar should only be taxed once, as if it got a little stamp on it when first earned (whenever that is) and thereafter would never be taxed again. You pay it to someone for a good or service, and bingo! no tax on that dollar, because it was already taxed when the buyer first received it. A fourth grader can see that this is idiotic if there is to be a functioning economy, but I have heard this again and again on the talk shows this past weekend applied to the capital gains tax (which Ryan would reduce to zero) and the the inheritance tax (which he would also reduce to zero). 

The anti-tax crazy Grover Norquist simplistically defended this by saying "most Americans agree with this principle." Well Duhh. If you ask Americans whether their inheritance or investments should be taxed, what do you think they will answer? Economic policy is not a popularity contest. If it were no one would pay any taxes ever. 

It is already the case that the rich reduce their capital gains income to near zero through legal legerdemain. Now they want it made simple and explicit. No paying accountants and lawyers to game the system, just don't charge them anything at all. "Only the little people pay taxes!" -Leona Helmsley