When it comes to confiscatory taxes, up-and-coming Progressive politicians are honest in their desires, but dishonest or misinformed about their facts.
I’m developing quite the soft spot for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It’s not that I think she’s either intelligent or that her ideas are good. To the contrary, I find her somewhat stupid, astonishingly ill-informed, and ideologically dangerous. Still, Ocasio-Cortez she has a singular virtue which we need to recognize, and that is the fact that she speaks honestly about Progressive goals, all of which are imaginary unicorns, and the way in which Progressives believe they can harness those unicorns. So it was that, on 60 Minutes, Ocasio-Cortez spoke freely about her desire to use her government position to enact confiscatory taxes:
‘You look at our tax rates back in the ’60s, and when you have a progressive tax-rate system, your tax rate, let’s say, from $0 to $75,000 may be 10% or 15%, etc. But once you get to the tippy tops, on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60% or 70%.’
Perhaps worried about being associated too strongly with Venezuela, which went from one of Latin America’s most profitable countries to one of the poorest countries in the world thanks to socialist policies, Ocasio-Cortez insists that her dreams are limited to having America copy the wonders of socialist Sweden:
Anderson Cooper: When people hear the word socialism, they think Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela. Is that what you have in mind?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Of course (LAUGH) not. What we have in mind— and what of my— and my policies most closely re— resemble what we see in the U.K., in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden.
Julian Castro, Obama’s House and Urban Development secretary and current Democrat presidential hopeful, thinks a 70% tax rate is for pikers. While he ostensibly supports Ocasio-Cortez’s 70% top marginal rate proposal, he seems to believe that confiscatory taxes can – and should — go even higher:
“There was a time in this country where the top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent, even during Reagan’s era in the 1980s it was around 50 percent” the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, said.
Castro also floated “that we get more serious about making sure the corporations pay their fair share,” so the country can fund policy programs like “Medicare-for-All,” as well as universal pre-kindergarten and higher education.
“During this campaign, if I run, I’m going to be very up front with the American people on how we would do that because I think that they are owed that, but it is worth it. It is worth it in this country for us to do that,” he said, vowing not to be “a single issue candidate.”
Before I get to the facts, as opposed to the fantasies, that drive those two hard-Left, attractive, young Hispanic politicians (be afraid, be very afraid), I want to make just a few points about that whole “fair share” thing:
First, “fair share” is an entirely subjective standard, so the phrase is meaningless political waffle.
Second, in a free country the government should not create a sliding scale determining what is fair for some but not fair for others.
Third, if you want “fair,” a flat tax makes sense. Everyone should pay 10% or, alternatively, there should be a flat 10% tax on all goods except for food. Everyone will pay at least a little, but the rich will pay a lot — and without wiggling out through clever tax dodges.
Fourth, as a subset issue related to that 10% tax idea, I hate the way people conflate percentages with fixed values. I was raised to tip service providers 15%. With inflation, people started saying, “We have to tip them 20%.” It was impossible to explain to the ones advocating this 20% rate that percentages are always proportionately the same. You don’t need to raise them as prices go up, because the 15% amount automatically increases with the inflationary price adjustments. If a 10% tax is a fair rate, it should be fair for everyone.
Fifth, when discussing taxes, we need to discuss those who currently don’t pay, as well as those who pay disproportionately. I believe everyone who votes should have skin in the game. This leads to two proposals: Either everyone pays something (perhaps that 10% flat tax or a 10% flat sales tax) or those Americans who pay nothing (the takers, not the payers), don’t get to vote.
Okay, now back to Castro’s and Ocasio-Cortez’s honestly expressed opinions about taxing the rich. As to those, I have three points to touch upon: [Read more…]