Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's a start

I'll admit that I am genuinely surprised that Obama has agreed to extend the current tax rates rather than raise taxes. Our economy will do better because of this. Now if government could learn the lesson and realize that the best thing they can do for the economy is absolutely nothing we'd all be better off.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time for your feeding

When are the poor going to be outraged? I ask because government, in the name of helping, treats them as substandard. Personally, I can't stand being treated as less than someone else and I cannot understand why the poor tolerate it.

Helping is noble, whether through government or private charity. But how you help indicates how you perceive those helped. Take food stamps for example. A food stamp is basically money that can only be used for food (a government gift card). Why does government give people gift cards instead of money? If you said because it doesn't trust them, go to the head of the class.

The implicit assumption is that poor people are so stupid or irresponsible that they will not spend the money on food. That's insulting. Yes, there are irresponsible people, but do you seriously think they would starve to death if you gave them money rather than food stamps?

Give people money to buy food and let them save their dignity. If they screw up, let them suffer the consequences and learn from their mistakes. If you treat them like adults, you might be surprised to learn that they are not much different than you.

Wealth is Right

Just to give an idea of tax revenues over the years, look at the chart. While recently things haven't been so good, the overall trend is up. In fact, revenues have tripled since 1965. If we assume that past trends will continue, then the government will take in about $6.5 trillion 45 years from now. To put that into perspective, our population is only expected to be about 438 million in 2050. This means that the federal government can spend twice as much on every single one of us than they do today.

What's even more striking is the implication for the welfare of the average American. In order to take in that amount of tax revenue, actual productive output must increase correspondingly. This means that in aggregate, there will be a ton of money in the hands of private individuals, about 2.5 times the amount today.

What this implies is that the fiscal future is bright regardless of today's rhetoric. A good conservative strategy should be to wait it out by delaying the left's agenda for as long as possible. Liberalism's greatest argument has always been about helping those in need while it's agenda has always been one of control. One day, we will be rich enough to lift up the needy and cut down the legs of liberalism.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How much is enough?

With all the talk about extending the Bush tax cuts, all I hear about is how the rich aren't paying their fair share. Let's disregard the fact that the rich pay more in taxes than they collect in benefits. Let's disregard that they earned their money through hard work and thrift. And let's assume that the rich are dirty rotten scoundrels. What I want to know is how much is enough, how much is fair, and at what point does it get ridiculous?

Here's my point, even if we concede that government's role is to redistribute wealth, most would agree that raising taxes on the very wealthy so that everyone has at least $100,000 is absurd. On some level, the argument for redistribution is to prevent poverty, not to enable every dead beat American to live an upper middle class life. In addition, most don't make $100,000 working, so why would anybody work?

You might say that that's an extreme example, no one is advocating giving everyone $100,000 for being alive. Well, no, but at some point if our economy continues to grow and government revenues continue to increase and our birthrate continues to decrease, government will be flush with money. And the question that ought to be on everyone's mind is what will government do with that money?

When we get to that point, and we will, one has to ask the question, how much is enough?