Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lead? Who, Me?

by John Hinderaker - June 29th, 2011 - Powerline

Sometimes the things Obama says are so breathtakingly hypocritical, or – this is the other possibility – stupid, that it is hard to know what to make of them. Now, he realizes that “one of the most important and urgent things we can do for the economy” is “reduce our nation’s deficit.” Really? Just when did he figure that out? Because in February of this year, he offered a budget for FY 2012 that contemplated, even based on the ridiculously rosy assumptions embedded in the numbers, burgeoning deficits as far as the eye could see.

As much as I agree with Hideraker on most of his criticisms, as usual he joins other establishment Republicans in going over the top with his defense of the Wall Street demand for lower tax rates.

Clearly Obama is lying with his claim that taxes are lower than they have been since the 1950s. That does not alter the facts. The chart that Hinderaker includes shows that (with the exception of two short periods during the 'roaring twenties' and late in the Reagan boom years at the end of the 1980s) taxes are at historically low rates.

Our argument should be that it is not tax rates that we need to worry about 'right now'. It is tax revenues, which will not go up until the economy is kick started. Raising rates, no matter how little, will not get the economy going. It will damage the economy. That I agree with.

Looking at the graph though, I wonder about those Republicans who try to claim that we MUST LOWER RATES. With rates at close to their lowest levels in the last hundred years, the arguments for that better be impressive. So far I have heard nothing serious to justify the knee jerk demand for tax reductions that some Republicans always trot out. Leave the rates alone. We have more important issues to address.


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