[FoRK] Obama: communitarian, redistributionist, confused? (from NYT)

geege schuman geege4 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 26 06:30:20 PDT 2008

Sorry - I'm a trickle up kinda person, not a trickle down.  JAR's lamenting
the lack of capital NOW, under the current Bush tax cuts.  Something doesn't


On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 3:24 AM, J. Andrew Rogers <
andrew at ceruleansystems.com> wrote:

> On Aug 25, 2008, at 9:02 PM, Bill Humphries wrote:
>> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/06/09/ST2008060900950.html
>> This a side by side of McCain and Obamba's (as of June) tax proposals.
>> I have no idea if Andrew and/or Bone are really in that top bracket, but
>> there are worse fates.
> Short term, I actually benefit from Obama's tax proposals.  That does not
> make them less stupid on both pragmatic and theoretical grounds, and I
> object to them on that basis.  Not that McCain's proposals are brilliant --
> far from it -- but they are more along the lines of the milquetoast
> political compromises we are already accustomed to.  No damage will come of
> them that has not already occurred for the last twenty years.  A bold move
> would be slashing the capital gains to zero and picking it up when it shows
> up as income tax -- the math is attractive and rational, if ideological
> abhorrent regardless of results.
> But succinctly, Obama's capital gains tax proposals border on militant
> ideological stupidity, which tells you most of what you need to know. I do
> not think even most doddering Keynesian's economists would say that is a
> good idea, never mind a competent economist, because there is no economic
> model where massively increasing such taxes does not cause Bad Things to
> happen in a vaguely modern economy even when offset by lower income taxes.
>  The Europeans are not stupid, and got that part right.  They structure
> their taxes to put the burden on those segments that damage the economy the
> least for a given level of taxation, which means avoiding capital gains
> taxes to the extent possible given their aggregate tax rates. Anyone who can
> propose such a transparently broken idea to pander to populists loses all
> credibility on economic issues.
> When a politician has a tax platform based on massively raising capital
> gains tax, you can be pretty damn sure that the reason is blindly
> ideological and not pragmatic, because outside of some weak-sauce populist
> arguments that do not survive scrutiny, there is little *economic* rationale
> for raising such taxes, at least not in the sense that they will benefit
> anyone.  You could raise the same taxes on income or consumption while
> visiting far less damage on an economy, but clearly damage to the economy
> was not an overriding concern.
> You cannot suddenly take a big chunk of the private capital out of the US
> economy without bad things happening, even under the most optimistic
> scenarios.  No amount of optimism will cover for that epic blunder.  And
> under no scenario does the economy going down the crapper benefit Average
> Joe.
> Cheers,
> J. Andrew Rogers
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