President Obama has frequently justified his policies—and judged their outcomes—in terms of equity, justice and fairness. That raises an obvious question: How does our existing system—and his own policy record—stack up according to those criteria?
President Obama routinely blames the Bush tax cuts for our current economic woes, which he implies have starved the Federal government of the revenue it needs to create jobs and an “economy that is built to last.” Among his proposals is to impose a new, 30% minimum tax on “millionaires.”
But, as Lawrence Hunter points out : ”If every taxpayer earning more than $1 million was put under Obama’s 30-percent minimum tax rule, it would generate a maximum of only about $39 billion new revenues a year on a purely static basis, which requires assuming unrealistically that they all take no action to mitigate their increased tax liability. This is chump change for the federal government (3 percent of the annual deficit) and a clear indication that Mr. Obama’s proposal to increase the progressivity of the already highly progressive federal income tax (See Chart 2) is motivated more by animus toward those at the top of the economic ladder than by the deficit, concern for the economy, or compassion for those at the bottom trying to get a leg up the ladder.”
The call for higher tax rates on those with financial resources is also about increasing the power of the Federal Government over the private sector by starving it of risk capital and money for philanthropic activities.
What is capitalism?
It seems like a simple question, but many who pass as authorities in the court of public opinion are dreadfully wrong on the answer. Ludwig von Mises described capitalism as “essentially a system of mass production for the satisfaction of the needs of the masses.” Friedrich Hayek called it “the system of free markets and the private ownership of the means of production,” which is an “essential condition of the very survival of mankind.”
Perhaps the most succinct definition of capitalism comes down to this: a state of affairs where two private parties are free to enter into a contract where one acts and the other remunerates. As the Austrian School emphasizes, such a mutual agreement means both parties are necessarily better off than before or else such a transaction would not have taken place.
America is coming apart. For most of our nation’s history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world—for whites, anyway. “The more opulent citizens take great care not to stand aloof from the people,” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville, the great chronicler of American democracy, in the 1830s. “On the contrary, they constantly keep on easy terms with the lower classes: They listen to them, they speak to them every day.”
Americans love to see themselves this way. But there’s a problem: It’s not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s.
But where’s my five-point plan? We’re supposed to trust that large numbers of parents will spontaneously, voluntarily make the right choice for the country by making the right choice for themselves and their children?
Yes, we are, but I don’t think that’s naive. I see too many signs that the trends I’ve described are already worrying a lot of people. If enough Americans look unblinkingly at the nature of the problem, they’ll fix it. One family at a time. For their own sakes. That’s the American way.
Who Causes Income Inequality? It’s the 99% — Walter Williams, Investors Business Daily
Joanne Rowling was a welfare mother in Edinburgh, Scotland. All that has changed. As the writer of the “Harry Potter” novels, having a net worth of $1 billion, she is the world’s wealthiest author. More importantly, she’s one of those dastardly 1-percenters condemned by the Occupy Wall Streeters and other leftists.
How did Rowling become so wealthy and unequal to the rest of us? The entire blame for this social injustice lies at the feet of the world’s children and their enabling parents. Rowling’s wealth is a direct result of more than 500 million “Harry Potter” book sales and movie receipts grossing more than $5 billion.