Ayn Rand Was Right: May 2009 Archives

Arthur Laffer, he of the Laffer Curve, and Stephen Moore wrote one of the more definitive pieces about taxes and 'soaking the rich', opining that if the rich are taxed too much, they will pick up and leave, taking their money with them. The forum related to that piece has been abuzz with those agreeing with Laffer and Moore, and those condemning them for fearmongering, as if Laffer and Moore were trying to justify the rich not paying their fair share.

One of my questions: How much do the rich have to pay in order to pay their fair share? I get the impression that to many of the more leftist commenters, 100% would not be enough. Do you think I'm kidding? Merely saunter over to the forum and read for yourself.

But one of the most egregious comments took me aback, making me wonder if it was a joke or a troll. After reading other comments akin to this one I realized this joker was probably quite serious.

The problem is that big business and greedy rich people are once again finding new ways to avoid paying their fair share. A business or individual should not be able to exploit a loophole in the law by packing up and moving across state lines to avoid taxes. For example, a business or individual who has made their money in California and enjoyed plentiful state services in growing wealth should not be allowed to greedily abandon ship just to save a few dollars.

The solution is to require states like Texas to levy some kind of minimum sales / property / income taxes. Right now the situation is a joke, Texas is basically saying "all greedy tax dodgers, move HERE". If Texas were required by the Federal government to increase their taxes then this incentive to cheat would not exist.

Texas and others have already stolen billions from California, which is why we have such a large budget deficit and such poor schools.

So rather than California putting its financial house in order, this jerk wants to force other states to raise taxes they don't need just to make him feel better and to leave a free people with no place to run. How is it the ability (and freedom) to pack up and leave at will should be eliminated just so the Socialist Dystopia of California can spread the misery? This guy needs to be deprogrammed.

Notice how he blames problems California has with profligate spending and confiscatory tax policies on other states that have exercised fiscal restraint and kept spending and taxes under control? He calls it theft. Psychologists and psychiatrists call it projection. He calls people not willing to stay in California so the state can bleed them dry "greedy". But it is he who is the greedy one, the jealous one. He wants to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor, steal the money from someone else's bank account because he figures he's entitled. But we call it something else. Theft. It is he who is the thief.

It is obvious that, if this individual is serious, he is delusional, uneducated, and a danger to society because of his beliefs. He'd probably feel right at home in the old Soviet Union...until he did something to piss off the KGB and ended up in a gulag.

Unfortunately the opinion expressed by this person, SR, isn't all that different from a lot of other leftists who fancy themselves as some kind of all-knowing economist or sociologist. The problem is that they are woefully ignorant and more than happy to remain that way. That way they don't have to take into account the human factor when it comes to their economic or sociological prognostications.

I've seen more than one economist make a fool of themselves over the years because more often than not they look at just the numbers when making a projection, ignoring what really motivates people to do one thing or another. They wrongfully assume a large portion of the populace will act altruistically rather than in their own self interests, which is why they are wrong such a large percentage of the time. Such is the case with SR, who expects business owners and wealthy individuals to passively accept their lot in regards to confiscatory taxes and onerous regulations and remain in a state that seeks nothing more than their ruination. How naïve is that?

Obviously SR hates the business owners and the wealthy, looking upon them as someone to be exploited. It's no wonder someone like him/her will end up going through life being constantly disappointed.

The present situation (and SR's intense dislike of the producers wealth) reminds me of quote from Lazarus Long, aka Robert A. Heinlein, about society and its attitude against those who actually produce wealth.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded -- here and there, now and then -- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck".

Sound familiar?
When I saw the headline, I almost did a double-take. But I realized that it should not have been surprising at all. After all, why wouldn't Obama's first economy-busting budget have a $1.8 trillion deficit?

For those of you out there that are Economics 101 deprived (or are incapable of reading a balance sheet), the projected deficit for the first year is 150% above all of George W. Bush's deficits (6 years worth) combined. Does anyone one on the Left care to explain how Obama's creation of a single year deficit of almost $2 trillion (with a follow on $1.3 trillion deficit next year) is somehow more fiscally responsible than George Bush's now minuscule-by-comparison deficits?

Anyone? Anyone? No?

I thought not.

Again it appears the Left still believes the money to finance this incomprehensibly huge debt will appear by magic. Certainly the Chinese won't buy into it. Neither will anyone else. And we already know the rich don't have enough to pay for it even if Obama took every penny they make (the funds collected would barely cover a fifth of the total deficit). That means he'll go after the businesses that employ us, and then he'll come after us. And still it won't be enough to pay for all of the Left's dystopian programs.

Atlas Shrugged indeed.

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