High Taxes Are Not What We Need

What? Higher taxes aren’t good? Really?

Every rising generation needs to be taught the basics — and at times it seems as if Republicans and conservatives are failing to get the job done. For many, the subject of economics, government spending and debt, causes their eyes to glaze over. They don’t know why they should care. Raise taxes on the rich? Why not? They can afford it!

For many years economist Stephen Moore has been an effective voice on behalf of limited government, fiscal restraint, lower taxes, and for what’s possible regarding growth and rising standards of living for everyone. Recently he had an article published in the Washington Times that laid out in nice, simple terms, the very message Republicans and conservatives need to disseminate to the masses on a continual basis. Here is the first part of Moore’s article — as you’ll see, it’s not complicated. Note also the reference to Thomas Piketty’s book, which BarbWire addressed earlier this month:

In public policy, bad ideas — no matter how many times they have been discredited — never completely go away. They seem to pop up over and over. Enter the hot new book that has captured the imagination and attention of the left because it endorses an 80 percent tax rate on the rich in the name of “leveling” incomes.

The book is “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by French economist Thomas Piketty. In addition to 1970s-style tax rates, he wants a new wealth tax on the rich and more money for social-welfare programs. He’s being treated like the modern-day Adam Smith by the media.

The way to create a more equal distribution of income, apparently, is by making everyone poorer.

Mr. Piketty warns that “meritocratic extremism” — which is another way of saying you get to keep the fruits of your labor — is ruining our nation’s economy, and if we don’t divide the pie more equally, the result could be “truly frightening.” He says that his goal is to “save capitalism,” which sounds much like the logic of President George W. Bush circa 2008 during the height of the financial crisis: We need to suspend the free-enterprise system in order to save it.

Mr. Piketty insists he has 200 years of evidence to show that tax rates can and should go much higher on the rich. He must not be counting the most recent 50 years, though, because this has been an era that has proven time and again that high tax rates can destroy an economy.

If tax rates didn’t matter, as Mr. Piketty conjectures, then it would be hard to explain why Florida and Texas — states with no state income tax — have gained four times the number of jobs over the past 20 years as the two states with the highest rates, California and New York (with rates close 13 percent). If overspending and high tax rates create a workers’ paradise, why have American workers left these two states in such a steady stream?

Read more: Heritage.org