12/07/2017

Fiscal Responsibility Or Lower Taxes?

Ben Shapiro, Townhall

This week, Republicans in the Senate finally passed their long-awaited tax reform plan. It lowers individual income tax rates across the board, although it does claw back some government revenue in the form of elimination of state and local tax deductions. It drops corporate tax rates as well. It is, in other words, a significant but not atypical Republican tax cut designed to boost economic growth by allowing Americans to keep more of their own money.

The tax cut will almost certainly increase the deficit, however. Even with dynamic scoring -- the assumption that the economy will grow at a faster clip thanks to tax cuts -- the tax cuts could lead to $1 trillion in lower revenue through 2027. This has led some conservatives to sour on tax reform altogether, rightly saying that Republicans were, until a few months ago, complaining incessantly about former President Obama's blowout deficits and the burgeoning national debt, which now stands at a cool $20.5 trillion. That doesn't include long-term unfunded liabilities, which are slated to bring the debt to some $70 to 75 trillion in coming decades.

So, which is more important: cutting deficits or cutting taxes?

The answer, in the long run, is obvious: cutting deficits. Deficits impoverish future generations; they undermine the credibility of our financial commitments; they prevent us from fulfilling promises we have already made to our own citizens. There are already millions of Americans who will never receive Social Security in the amount they have been promised; there are already millions of Americans unborn who will spend their lives paying off the commitments made by others for political gain.

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In Search Of History

4,000 Years Of Price Control

Tablets, said to be 200 years older than the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi ... show that the ancient kingdom of Eshnunna had wage control and price control. The news ought not to have come as a surprise. For the code of Hammurabi itself (unearthed in 1902), which was promulgated earlier than 2000 B.C., fixed prices, wages, interest rates, and fees. This makes price control at least about 4,000 years old. ...

 

Ironically, it is those who now wish to return to this ancient totalitarian device who are fondest of calling themselves “progressives.” They are also fond of saying that those who believe in economic liberty “are living in the nineteenth century.” These controlists have yet to learn that they themselves are still living, as the discoveries in Babylonia attest, in the nineteenth century—B.C.!

-- Henry Hazlitt,

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    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 9.9%

*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]

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