[FoRK] Obama: Redistributionist, pro-capitalist, or both?

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Tue Aug 26 16:34:44 PDT 2008

On Aug 26, 2008, at 4:05 PM, Russell Turpin wrote:
> I suspect, though, that most of the real antagonism at that notion
> isn't concern with its macroeconomic consequences, or even selfish
> concern some might have from paying a little more on income over
> $250K, but a deep philosophic opposition to the notion that the tax
> code should be used to such purpose.

While I agree sort of, this is not really the point being argued.   
Yes, using the income tax that way is philosophically bad and has some  
mildly negative economic repercussions that could probably be offset  
with smarter policy elsewhere.  There is also the matter of massive  
increases in entitlement spending being proposed that has to be paid  
for somehow.

However, if you paid close attention you probably would have noticed  
that neither I nor Jeff (I think) are really talking about *income  
tax* rates.  We are talking about capital gains tax rates.  Raising  
income tax rates is obnoxious, but I mostly do not worry about it.   
Raising capital gains taxes is unambiguously destructive on a much  
deeper level and on a larger scale.

Increasing the income tax rates is obnoxious, increasing capital gains  
rates -- nearly doubling in Obama's proposal -- is catastrophic.  We  
can survive the former, but not the latter, particularly now that  
recent regulatory nonsense has already weakened the capital markets.

  J. Andrew Rogers

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