Slashing taxes for the rich won't help America, and Trump probably can't do that anyway


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/03/voodoo-economics.html


#2

Tax cuts for wealthy individuals is crazy. Their income has risen faster than the rest, so their taxes need to go up.

There is an argument for lowering corporate taxes, but only along with reforms that close all the loopholes for companies setting up shells in other nations to redirect profits, in order to make their US revenues appear tiny. Its bullshit and it has to stop. Then we can lower the corporate tax rate, and increase revenue at the same time.


#3

Reaganomics? No thanks!


#4

Yeah, this is something I never really understood about the complaints about the corporate tax rate. A company of any size is certainly offshoring and exploiting various loopholes to get to a real tax rate that is likely at or below that of individual citizens. Sure, give them a reduced tax rate, as long as they’re actually paying it all.


#5

First the rich lobbied for loopholes to cut the 90% top tax rate, then they lobbied for a cut in the tax rate. As far as I know, nobody closed the loopholes, it was a clever scheme.


#6


#7

It’s not about making America better or stronger or safer. If they cared about those things they would be Democrats.

It’s about gaining and holding as much power as possible. Not God, not guns, not gays; just naked power.


#8

Also bizarre that the complaint against taxation is often that people don’t want to “pay for things they don’t support.” so this means they prefer to support a huge industry of offshoring specialists, accountants, lawyers and lobbyists rather than sick children, poor mothers, public education and public transportation. Makes sense I guess, as the former is just them all swap-meeting jobs for each other’s children…


#9

And really, there’s not a choice. One of the establishing principles in the preamble to the Constitution is to “promote the general welfare”. This is done via taxation and redistribution as well as other methods. People who don’t want to help out their fellow humans are un-American (and unkind, un-Christian, unwise and… so on).


#10

i “liked” what you said, it’s good to the constitution in there. only, “help” sounds like “charity” and this is a conservative framing of the issue.

many people have a rough time just getting by, and if you ask them to “help”, they will say they want to, but honestly can’t. there’s nothing wrong with that. and they aren’t unamerican or bad people for feeling that way.

the better framing is that by working together we can make life better for everyone. that’s the point of a “country” in the first place.

moreover, it’s a responsibility that we have - just as people feel about the military - to the country that we were born into: otherwise it’s we who are getting something for nothing.

for “proud independent americans” that last one can be difficult. most people have had a public school education, most people have family getting social security, many people want to see the cost guard, police, and military paid for. people like their parks, their roads. none of this is free.

the path forward – i feel – is getting people to realize that we are all in this together… and always have been.


#11

What are you a commie? /s


#12

I’d actually like to know the math on this. With all the tax shelters and other tax avoidance methods used by the wealthiest people, I wonder if the IRS collects less from them than they would if the same money had not drifted away from the middle and lower class who rarely can avoid taxes.


#13

Sure, that would be a good thing to know. The more money you have, the more likely you are to have an accountant who can help you find as many loopholes as possible.


#14

Right. So either:

  • get rid of loop holes to yield closer to tax rate, selectively maintaining tax breaks for lower income earners
    or
  • other policies to redirect more income away from higher brackets to lower brackets where tax yield is higher, such higher min wage, mandatory benefits, public programs replacing private expenses (healthcare, daycare), minimum basic income… take your picks

#15

You mean the Swedish National Bank’s Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.


#16

The legislative filibuster will disappear the moment that it becomes inconvenient to McConnell.


#17

When conservatives hear the argument to get rid of income tax loopholes, they may be in favor of it in the form of “the tax code is too complex, just change to a simple flat tax like 10 or 15% for everybody”. But that’s dangerous because 15% of a poor person’s income is a sizable chunk which could leave them homeless and destitute, while for a wealthy person who doesn’t even really need income to live comfortably, it’s a negligible amount (relative to needs, although it’s a greater amount absolutely).

What’s really needed is not so much income tax changes, but wealth tax increases. But that’s something that the wealthy naturally won’t agree to.


#18

I think that the article, while interesting, ignores the gist of the problem: why would corporations invest in the USA? Even with no tax at all: why would they invest in the USA? Is there profit to be made? Is there more profit to be made than with other options?

One will only invest if there is money to be made. As far as job costs and infrastructure is concerned, the USA lags behind other countries, so anything that can be transported is cheaper to manufacture somewhere else. For things which cannot be transported (for example oil extraction, or house building), you need customers in the country. That might work for oil extraction, less so for house building: when a sizable portion of the population is effectively bankrupt, that part of the population will not buy a house.

In effect, the USA is turning into a third world country. In many of these as well, the only corporations investing are in the mining sector. Taxes or no taxes. Their governments usually also runs a large level of debt, as the USA do.


#19

The US is still a huge consumer, so a lot is to be made there. If there was any sort of focus on that buying power, or what was acceptable for import, that would be a completely other, world altering story.

For the US domestic economy, we have been a welfare state for decades. A trickle up welfare state, where median incomes cant even remotely afford shelter, healthcare, and education, so the government steps in to secure loans and other programs to subsidize the customer base, to the benefit of private banks and those with expensive things to sell.


#20

I don’t recall them asking us to agree as our income was diminished and our taxes increased.