Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 7/13/18
Is it ignorance or dishonesty? That’s the question to which I can never find an adequate answer when it comes to Democrats and their economic predictions. Last November, as the tax measure that eventually passed was being debated in Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said,
…this thing will explode the deficit.”
(As an aside, that marked the first time that the word “deficit” escaped Nancy Pelosi’s lips in nearly nine years. Through the entirety of the term of Barack Obama, massive federal deficits never bothered Ms. Pelosi in the least.)
But she’s all about the deficit now. As recently as last month, Ms. Pelosi was still calling the Trump tax law,
…the deficit-exploding GOP tax scam for the rich.”
Meanwhile on the north side of the U.S. Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said of Republican assertions that cutting taxes would spur economic growth,
It’s just made-up, fake math to hide another deficit-busting tax cut to benefit the wealthiest Republicans.”
Even as ordinary Americans began enjoying more net pay in their paychecks and even as they were receiving bonuses from their employers, Ms. Pelosi characterized those benefits as, “crumbs.”
So how, then, do Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer deal with this little fact just released by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office? Federal revenues from income taxes are up $76 billion in the first calendar half of 2018 as compared to the first half of 2017. Defying Democrat predictions of shriveling federal revenues, treasury receipts are up nine percent since January, despite the fact that lower tax rates went into effect in February.
This is a puzzlement to Democrats. Or at least it appears to be. By all evidence, they just can’t grasp the concept that taxes affect behavior. They can’t wrap their heads around the idea that if you tax something – say, enterprise and risk-taking – you get less of it. Nor do they understand the converse, tax it less, and you get more of it. They completely reject the idea that if you get out of the way of the American economy, it will soar.
By all appearances, Democrats are so economically illiterate, so ignorant of capital and markets, that they just can’t understand that lowering tax rates spurs economic activity that ultimately serves to generate increased tax revenues.
Or so they would have you believe.
The other possibility – by far the more cynical – is that Democrats understand all of this full well but don’t care. They’re not interested in success. They’re interested in power. And they’ll say anything, support anything, oppose anything or do anything in order to obtain and hold on to it. That includes pandering to the least educated and the least economically literate. They’ll not only demonize the successful, they’ll actively work to stymie success if they believe that doing so will garner the votes of those who are disaffected as a result.
So, which is it? Ignorance or dishonesty? I still can’t tell. But I know this. Either is bad for the country.