Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nooo...really??

"An elephant: a mouse built to government specifications."--Robert A. Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Our Dear Leader has told us that we've run out of money.

Given that both Obama and Bush spent like drunken sailors without regard for whether or not we had it in the treasury, and given that spending on credit and living above one's means (whether as an individual or a nation) has been what's been pushed by all of the financial industry for pretty much my entire lifetime, it's absolutely not surprising.

I think, however, what the government will find surprising is that increasing taxes on individuals and small businesses will do nothing but slow the inflow of money.

Why?

Simple. If, say, I wanted to open a small business, I'd probably do my best to avoid the top tax brackets. Which means that, were I honest, I'd simply not try to be as successful as I could be, because, in my perception, success is punished by the government (unless it's the upper echelons of union management). Therefore, I wouldn't be paying the government more than I absolutely had to, and I'd be spending a good chunk on accountants to minimize that as much as possible. After all, it's my money, I earned it, and I want to manage where it goes--including which charity it goes to (in other words, as an ant, I don't want to subsidize grasshoppers' song and dance).

Were I dishonest, I'd be taking a lot of payment for my goods and/or services in cash. I'd be taking payment in kind, if cash weren't available. I'd likely keep records on about a third of the business I actually did. And I would not report more than I had records on as income. Again, my money, my charitable contribution choices.

Obama says he's going to raise taxes on the "rich." The "rich" will cut back their businesses because they can't afford to keep them going at the same rate with the same number of employees (who, incidentally, pay income taxes on their paychecks). They fire employees (who quit paying income tax and start drawing unemployment), and slow production. Their prices go up, but at the same time, their income drops because they won't be doing as much business. That means they also pay less in taxes.

That doesn't mean that government spending slows, though. It's an example of the same lack of common sense as the farmer had when he killed the goose.

In any case, that's all a moot point. Obama has openly stated that it doesn't matter that cutting taxes has shown to bring in more money, because cutting taxes for the "rich" isn't "fair."

To be perfectly honest, "fair" is a bad idea. "Fair" would be presenting each individual over the age of 18 as of January 20 with a bill for their share of the national debt, and telling them that they have a limited amount of time to pay their share.

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