Thursday, September 30, 2010

The rich don't pay, they leave ~ By John Stossel

John Stossel's column this week is about higher taxes for "the wealthy" and whether or not it will help the economy or lower the national debt or annual budget deficits. Will higher taxes on the wealthy actually increase tax revenues? Or, will it hurt the economy even more? 

The following video of John Stossel talking with Bill O'Reilly discusses most of the points made in this column.  There is a short discussion about Stossel's conversation with a union boss, but the rest of the video will cover the subject of this column:

Bill O'Reilly: John Stossel vs Unions And Taxes On The Wealthy

Video provided by iwanttomarrycarrie

So, you see, it's really all about class warfare. The left wants to have us all believe that the rich are just greedy individuals that should be punished by high taxes. In the meanwhile, the economy continues to be stagnate. There are many of us that believe the "rich" are the ones that will use available funds to invest in capital assets, which stimulates the economy. Take away their funds by higher taxes and you will see less j0bs being created by the private sector.

Combine higher taxes on wealthier people with the uncertainty of not knowing what the tax rates will be, not knowing how everything in the Obamacare legislation will affect their businesses, and wondering if further Obama agenda like cap and tax or card check will be enacted in the lame duck session, keeps private investment down. Those things not only hurt the "rich," but it will hurt anyone hunting for a job.

My preference for getting the economy back on track would be to not only extend the Bush era tax cuts, I would give business owners more incentives by even further cuts in taxes and increasing the confidence and certainty by making the tax cuts permanent. Just sayin'...

Art Laffer, the economist who has a curve illustrating this point named after him, isn't surprised.

"It's just economics," he says. "People don't work to pay taxes. People work to get what they can after tax. They'll change where they earn their income. They'll change how they earn their income. They'll change how much they earn, when they receive the income. They'll change all of those things to minimize taxes."

We can see it in the statistics. In 1960, federal revenues were 18.6 percent of total output. Over the next 50 years, that percentage has rarely exceeded 20 percent or fallen below 17 percent. As Laffer says, people adjust their activities to the tax burden.
The rich don't pay, they leave

By John Stossel

Posted: September 29, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

Progressives want to raise taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year because they say it's wrong for the rich to be "given" more money. Sunday's New York Times carries a cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing money to a fat cat. They just don't get it.

As I've said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some – by force – and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated.

That's the moral side of the matter. There's a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation. That hurts everyone, the lower end of the income scale most of all. An economy that, through freedom, encourages the production of wealth raises the living standards of lower-income people as well as everyone else.

A free society is not a zero-sum game in which every gain is offset by someone's loss. As long as government keeps its thumb off the scales, the "makers" who get rich do so by making others better off. When the government allocates capital or creates barriers to competition, however, all bets are off.

Of course, this is not the prevailing view among the intelligentsia.

Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill tells me, "Those who have more should pay more."

But is there a point where they stop producing wealth or leave altogether?

"The rich have always cried wolf like that," Hill says.

But the wolf is here. Maryland created a special tax on rich people that was supposed to bring in $106 million. Instead, the state lost $257 million.

Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who is running again for his old job, says: "It reminds me of Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was always surprised when Lucy pulled the football away. And they're always surprised in Washington and state capitals when the dollars never come in."

Some of Maryland's rich left the state.

"They're out of here. These people aren't stupid," Ehrlich says.

New York billionaire Tom Golisano isn't stupid, either. With $3,000 and one employee, he started a business that processes paychecks for companies. He created 13,000 jobs.

Then New York state hiked the income tax on millionaires.

"It was the straw that broke the camel's back," he says. "Not that I like to throw the number around, but my personal income tax last year would've been $13,800 a day. Would you like to write a check for $13,800 a day to a state government, as opposed to moving to another state where there's no state income tax or very low state income tax?"

He established residence in Florida, which has no personal income tax.


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