John Agnew said:
An interesting column from the latest Time magazine:
"Conservatives now espouse ideas drawn from abstract principles with little regard to the realities of America's present or past. This is a tragedy, because conservatism has an important role to play in modernizing the U.S.
Consider the debates over the economy. The Republican prescription is to cut taxes and slash government spending & then things will bounce back. Now, I would like to see lower rates in the context of tax simplification and reform, but what is the evidence that tax cuts are the best path to revive the U.S. economy? Taxes, federal and state combined as a percentage, of GDP are at their lowest level since 1950. The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies. So the case that America is grinding to a halt because of high taxation is not based on facts but is simply a theoretical assertion. The rich countries that are in the best shape right now, with strong growth and low unemployment, are ones like Germany and Denmark, neither one characterized by low taxes."
Typical Time Lies, and no one cares pablum.... just a couple of factual errors:
what is the evidence that tax cuts are the best path to revive the U.S. economy?
Um, Zakharia? Hello? Anyone HOME in that skull of yours? Remember "Reagonomics?" Tax RECEIPTS more than doubled, while the marginal RATES were slashed... THERE is your evidence. The fact that deficits also went up was because the Congress would NOT approve the proposed Reagan spending cuts at the same time.
Taxes — federal and state combined — as a percentage of GDP are at their lowest level since 1950. The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies.
BZZZZT. Wrong again. The US Corporate income tax is the HIGHEST (or in the top 3 or 4), not "among the lowest"... Taxes paid as a percentage of GDP is a bogus metric, because it doesn't describe several important points/aspects, including: paid by specifically WHOM; or the aspect that the way the government calculates GDP has completely changed multiple times over the years - much like they are conveniently re-defining how inflation is calculated (to their benefit).
In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, the U.S. government made massive investments in science and technology, in state universities and in infant industries. It built infrastructure that was the envy of the rest of the world. Those investments triggered two generations of economic growth and put the U.S. on top of the world of technology and innovation.
This one is the best, and most "clever" lie... all those so-called "investments" were made with BORROWED MONEY! And, combined with Johnson's "great society" stupidity, are precisely what started the debt bomb ticking that we are now faced with imminent explosion. It was therefore mostly fictitious "growth". Now, had those investments been SOLELY in infrastructural related areas, the Keynesian theory would actually have worked out as he IMPLIES. But no, the Democrats and Country Club republicans of the 50's through 70's, ALSO created the concept of "investing" in social welfare, setting up the healthcare cost crisis, and the debt bomb that is Medicaid/Medicare and Social Security.
The government doesn't INVEST; only private individuals, using REAL capital to make investment decisions, do so. Anything else is gambling and/or gaming the system.
When considering health care, for example, Republicans confidently assert that their ideas will lower costs, when we simply do not have much evidence for this. What we do know is that of the world's richest countries, the U.S. has by far the greatest involvement of free markets and the private sector in health care. It also consumes the largest share of GDP, with no significant gains in health on any measurable outcome.
This would be hilarious for it's ridiculousness, if he weren't so sanctimoniously serious!
he thinks we have no significant gains in health on any measurable outcome [scale]? Really? Is that why everyone comes from other countries HERE to get the BEST care? Is that why we've developed the best technologies? He seems to want it both ways simultaneously - btw a common Liberal mental condition (fugue?)... And he forgets that the crisis - which was always one of COST and not one of availability of technology or services - was created by the distortions introduced by Medicare/Medicaid in the first place. Government money chasing a "system" distorted it...
The only point he makes that I think is somewhat valid relates to the reality that our entire governmental taxing and regulatory system is so complex and "gamed" by special interests (Unions, Lawyers, special interest companies, etc.) that the net effect (post special interest loopholes) may be "lowest taxes per GDP" but they are coming from all the wrong places.
(This is why the Goldman Sach's, and large insurance companies, etc. of the world are equal opportunity "buyers" of politicians). THAT is the problem that must be addressed.
If he'd advocate a flat tax, then I just might believe he's given up on his liberal bias/orthodoxy... but the left will NEVER go there...