Comment 36423

By Irving (anonymous) | Posted December 17, 2009 at 10:51:36

The anti-tax fanatics can't really be reasoned with. They're like a guy with a screwdriver who thinks the screwdriver is the only solution no matter what the circumstances. Of course, if you took their "logic" to its ultimate conclusion, there would be no taxes, and therefore no functioning government. I'll pass. A common tactic they use is to cherry pick two cities/provinces/states to demonstrate the wonders of lower taxes, while conveniently ignoring any counter examples that might get in the way of their conclusion, or any other relevant variables. The current wave of this nonsense was arguably instigated by Arthur Laffer, Grover Nordquist, and their ilk. Laffer observed that tax revenues are inversely correlated with tax rates, which is true at or beyond a certain point (just as a screwdriver works well in specific circumstances). Of course, the point at which revenues are optimized is open for debate, but it's absurd to think it's a fixed amount, and is not dependent on economic circumstances. It's also absurd to think that government revenues or tax rates are the only concerns in tax policy. Short term economic conditions may warrant running deficits, using tax cuts as stimulus, etc. But even when tax cuts are warranted, the issue remains of where to target them. Do you target them at the wealthy in the hope that they'll reinvest? (Didn't work too well in the United States if you look at the resulting deficits and the growing disparity between rich and poor). Or do you target them at the lower and middle working class in the hope that they'll spend money? Like most things, it's more complicated than what's typically presented by right wing tax cut fanatics. They should be ignored for the most part until they have something more than just a screwdriver, and until they acknowledge that well functioning societies have shared responsibilities, which includes paying taxes.

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