Ontario Conservative politicians running from carbon taxes

Going green is going too far.

The Liberal government in Canada’s province of Ontario has been in power for a long time, and is due for an election this June. The government is deeply unpopular outside of the big cities primarily because a) the Premier is a gay woman and b) green energy policies. I wrote about the last Premier stepping down:

It is the coal that killed him; In the last election he lost a huge number of seats in rural ridings divided by wind turbines on land and offshore. To save an important seat in Oakville, Ontario, he cancelled a natural gas peaker plant that was already ordered; This is growing in to a half a billion dollar scandal. Dalton was done in by his green energy policies and the NIMBY reaction to them. It is a cautionary tale.

Kathleen WynneOntario Wind Resistance/ Premier Kathleen Wynne up against Wind/via

The opposition Conservative party should have won the last two elections after all these scandals, but they kept choosing seriously right-wing leaders who scared urban and suburban voters (the majority in the Province now) away.

People's guaranteeProgressive Conservative Party Peoples’ Guarantee/Screen capture

Enter Patrick Brown, who became party leader in May, 2015. He tacked hard to the left as what used to be known as a “Red Tory”- unlike the USA, in Canada red means liberal and left, blue means conservative and right. His “People’s Guarantee” probably would be too left wing for American Democrats. It also had a carbon tax that seemed quite sensible; according to Tony Keller in the conservative Globe and Mail,

A revenue-neutral carbon tax is also beloved by economists, since it involves raising taxes on something our society wants less of – pollution – and using the money to lower taxes on the productive economic activities we want more of, such as paid work.

Then Patrick Brown got caught up in a #metoo scandal and was dumped as leader about three hours later, and there is now a last-minute leadership campaign to replace him. And the biggest question right now is who can run furthest and fastest from the carbon tax.

The candidate to come out against it was Doug Ford, yes, the late Rob Ford’s brother. He is picking up the hard right wing torch and will burn the province down, like he almost did to the city. He is quoted in the Star:

I am the only candidate who has been unequivocal in opposition to the carbon tax and … have been clear since day one. I will axe the carbon tax. Just watch me.

Christine Elliot is the experienced hand in the race, and is listening to the Vox populi:

I personally oppose a carbon tax, and I know many of you feel the same way. This leadership race is a way for you to have your say.

Not to be left out of the party, Caroline Mulroney, daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney who was a really red Tory, even signing a free trade deal with Ronald Reagan, has flipped over.

As the leader of our party I will not support a carbon tax. I’m a conservative and I’m not in favour of a new tax, especially Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax,” she said, adding she has “now had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of members of our party” and “consulted with members of our caucus and our nominated candidates.”

Patrick Brown told one interviewer that “we have to take climate change seriously. We can’t avoid conversations on the environment.” But apparently it is back to business as usual; if you are a Progressive Conservative, you can.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/ontario-conservative-politicians-running-carbon-taxes.html

Re: Israel imposes taxes on church, UN properties in Jerusalem

The Israeli municipality in Jerusalem began to impose taxes on church and United Nations properties in occupied East Jerusalem, Israel Hayom reported.

The Israeli newspaper said today that the Israeli municipality will collect tens of millions of dollars from churches and United Nations institutions as a result of the real estate taxes.

It added that the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, changed the policy applied since the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

The Jerusalem Municipality informed the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister’s Office that it is demanding that church and international institutions pay municipal taxes on properties owned by them.

The paper pointed out that the ruling will affect 887 properties which belong to the church and the UN.

It is estimated that the municipality will earn 650 million shekels ($191 million) from the new policy.

Read: Connecticut church’s interfaith group detained by Israel for holding Palestine flag

“The talk is not about the role of worship, which is excluded from the property tax under the law, but properties that are used for purposes other than prayer and some are used for commercial activities,” Israel Hayom explained.

It added that this week the municipality imposed restrictions on the bank accounts of evangelical, Armenian and Roman churches on the grounds of non-payment of property taxes.

“The decision of the state [exemption] over the past years has caused losses of up to one billion shekels. It is unreasonable for the residents of Jerusalem to pay the price of garbage collection, lighting, gardening and street construction, while preventing the municipality from raising large amounts of money that could help it, Significantly in the development of the city and improve services for the population [of the listed properties].”

“Either the state will compensate us financially for not collecting these funds or we will collect them according to the law,” the municipality said.

US President Donald Trump’s decision last month to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has encouraged the Israeli government to annex large swathes of the city and force its laws on it. World leaders and international organisations rallied to condemn the move and its disregard for the final status negotiations of the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Source Article from https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180202-israel-imposes-taxes-on-church-un-properties-in-jerusalem/#comment-3740308314

Thirty-Six States Have Nullified Sales Taxes From Silver & Gold: Alabama & Tennessee Preparing To Nullify Taxes In 2018

In 2017, Arizona, Louisiana, Virginia, Texas, and North Carolina, and even Minnesota made progress on the sound money front. In 2018, other states could do so as well.

Thirty-six states have already removed sales taxes from precious metals transactions, and bills being introduced this year by sound money advocates in Alabama and Tennessee could add to that list.

Both Utah and Oklahoma have already passed legal tender laws recognizing gold and silver as money. The monetary metals can be used freely as a means of payment.

Meanwhile, a new Wyoming bill next month would repeal both sales and income taxes on bullion while affirming gold and silver as legal tender and strengthening gold clause contracts.

Other states, including Arizona and Idaho, have moved forward on legislation to exempt gold and silver bullion from capital gains taxes.

Last year, a bill to eliminate capital gains taxes on precious metals passed the Idaho House. Money Metals Exchange President Stefan Gleason testified before the House Committee on Revenue and Taxation, and here is some of what he had to say

Stefan Gleason: Our mission is to educate people also about precious metals and help them diversify into this reliable and more stable form of money, really truly a Constitutional money with tremendous history going back to the founding of our country. Gold and silver have been chosen for thousands of years as money because of their qualities as financial insurance, as a store of value, and its practicality as a medium of exchange. The bill I want to talk about today is a straightforward bill. Basically, we don’t want to tax money in Idaho. Idaho already does not tax precious metals with its sales tax, and we’re asking for it to be removed from the calculation of income tax in Idaho.

The Founders of our nation dealt with the collapse of the un-backed continental dollar, and that was fresh in their minds when they created our monetary system and established gold and silver as our nation’s money. In fact, the dollar was defined as a fixed amount of silver, and even in the Constitution the Founders restricted states from making payment in anything other than gold and silver coins for payment of debt. For the first hundred years, our nation’s money gold and silver coinage maintained its purchasing power pretty much consistently, except for a small period of time during the Civil War when we went off the gold standard.

But then about 100 years ago the Federal Reserve was created, and since that time we’ve seen a dramatic decline in the purchasing power of what is now considered the dollar but really is called the Federal Reserve Note. Of course, the last link to gold was severed officially in 1971, and that has led to an acceleration of this devaluation in purchasing power and an explosion in federal government debt during that same period of time.

The people that are most harmed by inflation are wage earners and savers. When the dollar goes down in purchasing power, they lose. Fortunately, an increasing number of citizens are recognizing that owning gold and silver as an alternative form of savings is a good way of protecting some of their wealth, protecting some of their purchasing power, and standing against this ongoing devaluation. It’s also something that helps in periods of financial turmoil, which seem to be increasing under our current system. Gold and silver are a safe haven.

Under current law, however, when a taxpayer sells their precious metals, they may end up with a capital gain because it’s measured against the Federal Reserve Notes that they sell it for. Now it may not be a real gain. In most cases, it’s not a real gain. It’s a nominal gain. It’s an illusory gain. Yet it’s still something that triggers taxation at the federal level, and a taxpayer has to include that in their taxable income if they sold gold and silver bullion or coins.

It’s even taxed at a discriminatorily high 28% rate for long-term capital gains… It’s 15 and 20 for other types of assets. Then Idaho in the calculation of Idaho taxable income essentially carries forward that income number, and then there’s some adjustments that are made on various things according to Idaho statutes to arrive at the Idaho taxable income.

This legislation simply would back out the federal income or loss that somebody reports on precious metals out of their Idaho taxable income. This is something that Idaho can do. Obviously, we can’t mess with federal tax laws, but Idaho decides what it’s taxing as income, and we propose with this legislation that precious metals be removed, because it’s money.

Also weighing in on behalf of Idaho’s bill to free precious metals from state taxation was an executive of a freedom-minded group in the Gem State.

Fred Birnbaum: My name is Fred Birnbaum, with the Idaho Freedom Foundation and I’m here to speak in support of this bill. I’ll be very brief. I think Mr. Gleason covered just about everything. But I’ll make a parallel point. Recently, actually this week, there was a lot of debate about a constitutional amendment, article five convention. I’m not going to re-open that debate. But I think it’s relevant, to some extent, to this bill. I certainly don’t want to overplay that point. What came up and one of the central issues was the unbalanced federal budget, if you will.

And the fact that we’ve accumulated about 20 trillion of federal debt and I think sometimes it’s hard to think of the inflation that we currently have as inflation. It certainly varies. It hasn’t been very significant, say in gasoline. It is in property. But the potential for inflation is huge because the Federal Reserve has now issued about 4 trillion dollars of digital money into the economy. It’s pushed it since the recession. So, I think what this bill does, in many ways, is it’s a prospective measure in that those folks who either own gold or silver now or may in the future, if we do have a real bout of inflation, this will protect them from that.

One of the challenges in getting this and similar bills passed is educating legislators on why gold and silver, being constitutional money, are different from other asset classes. Some politicians just don’t grasp the fundamental distinction.

Committee Chair: Questions for Mr. Gleason? Representative Gannon?

Rep. Gannon: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Sir, one question I always have asked of me is, if we pass a bill like this, is, well are we picking winners and losers? What about if I invest in a gold stock and I make money on my gold stock or what about oil companies? If we open up the door to one particular kind of investment for a tax break like this, how do I explain to constituents that their particular investments don’t get the same kind of tax break?

Committee Chair: Mr. Gleason?

Mr. Gleason: Okay. Mr. Chairman. Representative Gannon. It’s a good question. The key distinguishing characteristic here is that gold and silver are money. They’re not a stock, they’re not a piece of property and when it comes to mining stocks and things like that, obviously that’s not covered here.

We’re talking about taking away taxation on the exchange of one form of money with another. So, people are not unfortunately able to deduct the loss that they take when they have Federal Reserve Notes and they dramatically decline in their value. There is no deduction for that. The deduction is basically everyone is paying the inflation tax and they are not able to recoup that or protect themselves against that, so gold and silver is another alternative form of money. It’s actually much more stable and a historic form of money, and so that’s how I distinguish this. This is about sound money and preserving people’s savings and not giving any kind of special break for an investment class.

Fortunately, there are politicians who understand that not taxing money in any form is a matter of consistency. Idaho State Representative Ron Nate made a strong case for treating gold and silver the same as the Federal Reserve Note when it comes to taxation.

Rep. Nate: Thank you Mr. Chairman.

 (I’m) in favor of the motion, this isn’t just an investment. This is a money. And so, Federal Reserve Notes are the nationally recognized money, but according to Article I, Section X of the Constitution, the only thing that the states can declare as money, we can’t coin our own money, the only thing we can use as money is we can declare silver and gold as money.

 So, it’s the only real state money that we have control of. And if holding money becomes something that is subject to taxation, then we have – I think – a perverse incentive in our government here, that the money that they declare, that the government declares is legal tender suddenly becomes a tax instrument for them as well.

 This makes sense for consistency. If gold and silver coin are money, then we should not tax it when it increases in value. If you argue that we should tax it when it increases in value, then you should also argue that Federal Reserve Notes, when they diminish in value because of inflation, we ought to be able to declare capital losses on those on our tax forms as well.

 But because we don’t allow that, we shouldn’t be taxing either capital gains or losses on gold and silver coin. This is a matter of consistency with regards to currency and the tax treatment of it. Thank you.

Last year, the Arizona Senate Finance Committee heard testimony from none other than former Congressman Ron Paul. Dr. Paul was the leading voice in the U.S. Congress for sound money issues during his tenure there. He turned the once obscure idea of auditing, reforming, and ultimately ending the Federal Reserve into a national campaign issue when he ran for President in 2008 and 2012.

Ron Paul said the following in support of Arizona’s ultimately successful bill to eliminate income taxes on gold and silver:

Dr. Ron Paul: It would be legalizing competition in a constitutional fashion. It isn’t like saying, “Okay, Arizona wants to print their paper currency again.” Because you’re not allowed to do that. On the monetary issues, the states are talked about in the constitution and they have restrictions, they can’t print money but they also have been told in The Constitution that they can only use gold and silver as legal tender. So, the responsibility is one the states to follow the rules and that meant nobody was supposed to use anything other than silver and gold as legal tender. We’ve had a mess, it’s gotten worse, it started in 1913, there was a climactic end in 1971 but the problems have continued.

 If you look at some of the charts, things have been really rocky since ‘71, with the destruction of the value of the money. Since 1971, we’ve lost 95% of the value of the dollar. Believe me, the Gold Standard was invented a long, long time ago, from the beginning of recorded history. Five thousand years ago they used gold and silver, biblically gold and silver, real weights and measures, that’s what they count it by. So, this is not brand new, it’s the governments and the people who seek power are always undermining the restraints placed on governments by honest money. So, I congratulate you for hearing and dealing with this bill, because I think if you do pass this bill it will be a great step forward for a lot of people to understand the money issue and the freedom issue. Thank you very much.

 Chairman: Thank you very much Dr. Paul.

Similar sound money efforts are springing up in other states. Of course, states won’t be able to abolish the discriminatory federal taxation of precious metals. But state level reforms will catch the attention of members of the U.S. Congress. Sound money victories at the state level will help build political momentum for sound money legislation at the federal level.

Groups such as the Sound Money Defense League are advancing the sound money movement by educating the public on the problems of our inflationary monetary system as well as working with allies in elective office to enact reforms.

Setting gold and silver free as competing currencies to Federal Reserve Notes won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but real progress can be made and is being made one step at a time.

Tenth Amendment Center

Related News:

  1. Silver Expected To Outperform Gold In 2018
  2. Global Silver Institute: Physical Silver Supply Deficit Since 2004
  3. Bill Clinton Father Of The Financial Fallout: Clinton’s 1999 Deregulation Of Rothschild Wall Street.
  4. Silver Is a Strong Buy 2018: “The Last Straw” For The Large Paper Speculators, who have “thrown in the towel”
  5. Gold’s Global Supply Artery: Declining Supply Heading For Cardiac Arrest With Increasing Demand Vs Debt Clock
  6. Why Silver & Gold Are Not Presently $728.00/Ounce & $5,996.00/Ounce Respectively: The Economy Is One Big Scam

Source Article from https://politicalvelcraft.org/2018/01/30/thirty-six-states-have-nullified-sales-taxes-from-silver-gold-alabama-tennessee-preparing-to-nullify-taxes-in-2018/

South Side Chicagoan Refuses to Get a Job, ‘Pay Trump Taxes’ on New Showtime Drama

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Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/amelia-hamilton/2018/01/08/new-showtime-drama-chi-illustrates-how-high-taxes

143 MILLION will get lower taxes…

The Republican tax law just signed by President Trump benefits most American taxpayers, at least until key provisions sunset. Those gains, however, still fall mostly to the wealthy.

That’s the conclusion of a look at the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by the Tax Policy Center.

Related: The Trump tax calculator — will you pay more or less?

The good news is that there aren’t many who will pay higher taxes next year — about 8.5 million, compared to the some 143 million who will get lower taxes.

For the most popular bracket of what the Tax Policy Center calls expanded cash income level, the $50,000 to $75,000 range, will see an average tax change of $870.

Millionaires on average will get an extra $69,660 boost. Those with less than $10,000 will get an extra $10 to play with.

The percentage change also skews upward, with the best benefits accruing to the $500,000 to $1 million bracket. The $50,000-to-$75,000 bracket sees a 1.6% benefit.

Things change however once 2025 rolls around. If no change is made, what were tax cuts will become tax hikes, even relative to current law.

A majority of Americans in a decade’s time will then pay higher taxes, including 69.7% of the middle quintile.

Republicans insist that they will not let the individual tax cuts sunset. However, that could take the total cost of the bill to over $2 trillion over a decade, according to separate estimates from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The bill as currently written has a headline cost of $1.5 trillion, with the final cost shaved by over $400 billion if faster economic growth is spurred.

Tax Policy Center analyzed the law using what it calls tax units, which includes those that both file and (like spouses) don’t file taxes. Expanded cash income refers to cash income plus tax-exempt employee and employer contributions to health insurance and other fringe benefits, employer contributions to tax-preferred retirement accounts, income earned within retirement accounts, and food stamps.

The Joint Committee on Taxation, which is Congress’s independent number cruncher, came up with similar numbers. They found the average tax rate would fall to 19% from 20.7%. The tax rate for those with an adjusted gross income between $50,000 to $75,000 would see their tax rate fall to 13.5% from 14.8%.

Source Article from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-are-the-winners-and-losers-of-the-final-version-of-the-republican-tax-bill-2017-12-18

Republican Promise to Boost Wages with Lower Taxes a ‘Big Lie’ – Journalist

“The key is that people want lower taxes, and I don’t think that many people are going to get lower taxes,” Lindorff said. Instead, “they’re going to see other people on the high end of the income scale getting their taxes cut significantly.”

The claim that lower corporate taxes will boost wages and salaries is the “big lie,” underlining the Republican effort to change the tax code, the reporter told Loud & Clear.

Writing in a December 20 Counterpunch article, Lindorff explained that “at no point” in the process of bringing a good or service to market “does management say, ‘Hey, we’re paying lower taxes this year. We should cut the price on our widgets and pass the benefits along.’ Why would they?”

Instead, it’s “far better to pocket that extra money for the benefit of management or for the shareholders,” according to Lindorff.

Nevertheless, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said Wednesday “I don’t know” why polls show the tax bill is unpopular among the American people. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Tuesday found only 24 percent of Americans think the tax code reform is a good idea.

Furthermore, Cohn said that US President Donald Trump and the White House attempted “25 times” to eliminate a loophole known as the carried interest provision that mostly benefits wealthy investors on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. The administration “hit opposition… every time we tried” from Congress, which is led by more establishment politicians in House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Source Article from http://govtslaves.info/2017/12/republican-promise-to-boost-wages-with-lower-taxes-a-big-lie-journalist/

MSNBC’s Steele Blames Republicans When Dems ‘Have to Raise’ Taxes

12:14 p.m. ET

ALEX WITT: I want to get right into this New York Times / Survey Monkey poll. Here are the numbers which show a majority, 57 percent of Americans, they disapprove of this tax plan — 37 percent approve. The President’s calling this the greatest Christmas present, but are Americans willing to say, “Yeeaah, no thanks.” What do you think?

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, I think Americans have done something that they have learned to do from the Obamacare era, and that’s actually just sort of figure out what’s in the bill since our legislators seemingly don’t really pay that much attention to what’s actually in the bill. And they’ve discerned for themselves that this is not something that’s going to necessarily be beneficial to them. Certainly not long-term. I mean, I think folks understand that all these, you know, all these tax cuts that are being trumpeted by my party go away in 2025. 

And they’ve got these little caveats in there saying, “We’ll revisit this — we’ll see where we are in the economy,” and all this other things. But the expectation is this is going to be massive growth off of this because, yeah, we have been in a sluggish growth period — there’s no doubt about that. Wall Street has done very well, main street not so much. But there are ways in which conservative, you know, fiscally conservative Republicans in the past would have approached this a lot differently. But this is a political grab as much as it is a reform of tax legislation. And I think it’s important for people to understand — and they seemingly do — that there are some down sides to this that folks aren’t being very honest about now.

WITT: Well, yeah, I mean, the last time we did this and had massive tax overhaul was in the Reagan era —

STEELE: Right.

WITT: — so, I mean, you look at that, and you’re basically kicking the can down the road since these aren’t permanent. They expire in what, seven or eight years, so you’re dooming whoever is in power in Congress or who’s in the White House to potentially — if there’s not this extraordinary growth that’s being promised here — raise taxes on everybody like that’s going to go over like a lead balloon.

STEELE: And that actually, Alex, has been somewhat the cycle as we’ve seen. Republicans have cut taxes, and Democrat administrations have had to come in and raise them. We saw it with Clinton after Reagan — we saw it with Obama after Bush. And so now the question becomes: Do we want to continue that cycle? There was a smarter way to do this.

I love the idea of cutting taxes and having, you know, average Americans keep more in their pockets every pay period, but there are also costs that come with that. And saddling $1.5 trillion on the backs of future generations is not the way to do it, and it just shocks me still that the very conservatives that I helped get elected in 2010. The fiscal hawks who came to Washington to say, “We will not spend one dime more than the American people can afford,” have just signed off on a $1.5 trillion tax increase on those very same Americans.

WITT: I know. That’s remarkable.

STEELE: It’s amazing.


STEELE: Right now, you have a party in desperation for a win. They want to get out of this year as soon as fast as they can with a pat on their back to say, “Gee, look what we finally did,” so they can go into next year making the case to people who are already on shaky ground with the party in terms of supporting them in 2018 and say, “We have given you the best Christmas present we could possibly give you, and that is a massive tax cut,” without letting them know that when you unwrap this thing, it may actually contain coal.

And that’s the problem that the party’s going to have to deal with as people go through next year and really drill down on how this affects them, then realize that with respect to their state and local taxes — their property taxes and other things that are impacted — they’re going to come on the short end.


WITT: You still have to explain to me how trickle-down economics is going to work in this effect because we’ve not seen it work before.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/brad-wilmouth/2017/12/16/msnbcs-steele-blames-republicans-when-dems-have-raise-taxes

Death and taxes: In ruins of Greek economy unpaid debt more than half of GDP

Overdue debt to the state has reached nearly €100 billion with only €15 billion possible to be returned to the government’s coffers, as most are due to bankrupt businesses and deceased individuals.

The Greek tax authorities seized pensions, salaries, and assets of more than 180,000 taxpayers in 2017, expired debts to the state treasury continue to grow. The Independent Authority for Public Revenue confiscated nearly €4 billion in the first 10 months of this year with forced measures to be reportedly taken against 1.7 million defaulters in 2018.

Nearly 1,000 confiscations a day from people with debts of more than €500 were carried out in October alone. IAPR statistics show that in October the unpaid tax obligations of households and enterprises was another €1.2 billion.
Failed debts to the state in Greece have been growing at €1 billion a month since 2014. Nearly 4.17 million taxpayers currently owe money to the country, which means that every second Greek is indebted.

All in all, the economy has returned to modest growth with the international bailout program expected to end in August 2018. The country’s GDP rose for a third straight quarter for the first time in more than a decade, marking a 0.3 percent expansion in the three months through September, according to the latest data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority.

However, demonstrations throughout the country show that most Greeks do not feel the situation has improved. People are reportedly tired of the current political system as the threat of an early election might spark further economic turmoil.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/413398-greece-tax-debt-half-gdp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Why Not Lower Taxes Through LESS Government?

The ongoing debate over tax cuts has been framed, as it always is, in stark terms: Either we stimulate the economy by cutting taxes — leading to a rise in deficits and debts — or we raise taxes to pay the ever-higher cost of government. In general, Republicans have tended to favor the former, arguing that tax cuts, paradoxically, will lead to economic expansion and higher tax receipts over time. Democrats deny this, arguing that tax cuts will increase the debt and deficit, and leave America unable to defray the costs of government.

There is, however, an excluded option that neither side is willing to acknowledge: the possibility of cutting the size and cost of government. The debate over whether to raise or lower taxes is a false dilemma: It is the size of government, and not the level of taxation, that is the real rub.

The notion that tax cuts can lead to greater tax revenues has been popularized in recent decades by economist Arthur Laffer, whose “Laffer curve” suggests that somewhere between zero and 100 percent taxation rates (two extremes that are both assumed to yield zero revenue), there is an optimal rate that will lead to more revenue than either a lower or a higher rate. Economists disagree widely on what that rate may be, but the notion that there exists an optimal tax rate — which is significantly lower than current rates — is what is driving the GOP push for tax cuts right now.

But note well the underlying premise: Trump and the GOP want to cut taxes so that the government can maximize tax revenues. The entire notion of economic stimulus via tax cuts is motivated by the belief that it will actually lead to more revenues and facilitate more government spending.

That is precisely what happened back in the ’80s, when the Reagan administration, heavily influenced by Laffer and his acolytes, pushed for deep tax cuts. The economy did indeed take off, at least in part because of lower taxes (although they weren’t the only stimulus; monetary policies at the Federal Reserve under Chairman Paul Volcker and his successor, Alan Greenspan, also helped to fuel the long bull market of the ’80s and ’90s). And with the soaring economy, tax revenues soared as well.

But somehow, despite nearly two dec­ades of unremitting economic growth, the government grew and grew. Deficits and debts exploded, prompting Reagan’s successor, President George H. W. Bush, to raise taxes. No sooner was he ousted from the White House for breaking his infamous “read my lips” promise not to raise taxes, than President Clinton raised taxes again.

The lesson to be extracted from the last three decades of taxing and spending is that while tax cuts do indeed stimulate the economy, they are no remedy for the larger problem, which is out-of-control government spending. Indeed, successful economic stimuli such as tax cuts tend to encourage higher levels of government spending, especially when the entire motive for such stimuli is to increase tax revenues. Nowhere in Washington does the notion that government itself needs to undergo drastic cuts have any traction.

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Source Article from http://govtslaves.info/2017/12/not-lower-taxes-less-government/

NYT Blames Racism for America’s Appalling Aversion to Taxes, Says GOP Shreds Safety Net

American tax policy must stand as one of the great mysteries of the global political economy.


Wagner’s Law, named for the 19th-century German economist Adolph Wagner, states that government spending as a share of the economy will increase as nations get richer and their citizens demand more and better public services. This may approximate public policy in other industrialized nations. In the United States, it fails.

Americans are paying dearly as a result, as their comparatively small government has proved incapable of providing an adequate safety net to protect those most vulnerable to globalization and technological change.

It is hard to understand the deep reasons behind the American aversion to taxes and government. Is it the vestigial expression of a rugged individualism born on the American frontier? Is it racial hostility — an unwillingness by whites to fund social programs that some believe unduly benefit minorities?

And whatever apologists for small government might argue, there is no credible evidence that countries with higher tax rates necessarily grow less.

Over the last couple of weeks, Republicans have offered legislation to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade — more than half a percentage point of G.D.P. They assert a dire need to stimulate growth by encouraging corporations to invest in the United States.


I have written about this country’s uniquely stingy tax policy before. Small government, I believe, has proved to be no match for its social ills, too puny to offer much resistance to rampant inequality, stubborn infant mortality or off-the-charts opioid addiction. American voters’ uniquely intense hostility toward trade can, in the same way, be traced back to the government’s ineffectiveness in mitigating trade’s disruptions.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/clay-waters/2017/11/16/nyt-blames-racism-americas-appalling-aversion-taxes-says-gop-shreds