Friday, October 19, 2012

Anyone? Anyone?

Ben Stein was on the tube last night calling for higher capital gains taxes making the argument that we've had higher taxes in the past and the economy did just fine, in fact boomed. Now, I know the guy has heard of the Laffer Curve and so have you if you've ever been within shouting distance of me, so what in Hades is he talking about? Taxes are there to generate revenue for the government without harming productivity. Taxes shouldn't be for reward or punishment. And just because capital gains or marginal rates were at one rate under Bill Clinton doesn't necessarily mean that particular rate will be appropriate in today's situation. That's like saying it's bottom of the 9th., we're two runs behind and down to our last out so we should bunt because that's what the Orioles did against the L. A. Dodgers in '66 World Series and THEY won the game. Nevermind that the Orioles had speedster Paul Blair on third and we've got our fat-ass 1st. baseman just brought up from AAA and he's got a bum knee. See what I mean? Situations are different and there's as much art as there is science to running a modern economy. Bill Clinton said it himself, raising taxes in a weak economy is crazy! You might get away with it in boom times like Clinton enjoyed (thanks to being handed a strong economy by George I & Reagan) but if you do it now, in this very weak economic environment, then you're just dialing up a major recession. It's just disturbing when a guy like Stein doesn't know this.

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