Friday, November 25, 2011

Americans Prefer Class Warfare to Math

As we slog through middle age, we become convinced that most mortals can't do math and like it that way.

Dr. Krauthammer is an exception, as his column this week demonstrates.

In it he lays bare several myths that the Party of Jackson is presently employing to get its hapless President re-elected. They are:
  • That Republicans refused to raise taxes in the failed supercommittee negotiations.
  • That Republicans act as they do because they are in the mystical thrall of Evil Geniuses, the latest being Grover Norquist.
  • That the Republic's salvation lies is robbing from the rich and giving to the middle class through higher tax rates on the rich, particularly through repealing the "Bush Tax Cuts" that have caused every evil thing in the last decade.
Dr. K ably points out that the significant Rs in negotiations proffered various plans to increase tax revenues, all rejected by the Ds (with the excuse, not mentioned by Dr. K, that they were "too small"), while the Ds have a consistent record of never even introducing a budget in the Senate, except for BHO's February 2011 offer that was rejected 97-0.

The problem, ably noted by Dr. K, is that Ds are obsessed with raising tax rates on the "wealthy." This, of course, is the outcome of their decade-long anti-rich, faux populist rhetoric. Like Roman Catholic dogma, the Democrats' policy platform must somehow remain consistent with everything they've ever said before.

Ds desperately hope that Americans are as bad at math as they appear to be. To wit: they hope that Americans confuse tax rates with tax revenues, just as they seem to confuse wealth distribution with wealth creation.

[We were going to explain these distinctions in a few sentences, but then we decided not to. Anyone who doesn't understand should either search this blog for earlier posts that provide such explanations, refer to any responsible textbook on economics, merely contemplate the difference between numbers that express percentages and numbers that express quantities, or stop reading this blog as one unworthy.]

As a check on this matter, and as a check on all nonsensical statements made by Democrats about what "the vast majority of economists" say, we refer to the remarkable IGM Forum, which now routinely asks leading academic economists their views of key public-policy issues. Recent polling shows that such solons agree that (a) while a small increase in the highest income tax rate would put negligible drag on the economy; (b) such an increase would also have negligible impact on the federal deficit; and (c) the more promising opportunity both to address the deficit and economic growth would be to reduce tax rates while also eliminating deductions that prefer one kind of economic activity over another.

In other words, what Rs on the supercommittee were proposing.

No comments: