Fellow Patriot:

The voluntary financial generosity of Patriots — people like you — keeps our doors open. Please support the 2021 Patriots' Day Campaign today. Thank you for your support! —Nate Jackson, Managing Editor

Thomas Sowell / Nov. 16, 2010

Deficit Reduction

Another deficit reduction commission has now made its recommendations. My own recommendation for dealing with deficits would include stopping the appointment of deficit reduction commissions.

It is not the amount of money that these commissions cost that is the issue. It is the escape hatch that they provide for big-spending politicians.

Another deficit reduction commission has now made its recommendations. My own recommendation for dealing with deficits would include stopping the appointment of deficit reduction commissions.

It is not the amount of money that these commissions cost that is the issue. It is the escape hatch that they provide for big-spending politicians.

Do you go ahead and spend the rent money and the food money– and then ask somebody else to tell you how to escape the consequences?

If President Obama or the Congress were serious about keeping the deficit down, they could have had this commission’s recommendations before they spent hundreds of billions of dollars, handing out goodies hither and yon to their pet constituencies.

I don’t know why people agree to serve on these bipartisan commissions, which save the political hides of the big spenders after they have run up huge deficits. Back in the 1950s, there was a saying: “If you didn’t invite me to the take-off, don’t invite me to the crash landing.”

Deficit commissions make it politically possible to spend money first and get somebody else to recommend raising taxes later. They are a virtual guarantee of never-ending increases in both spending and taxes.

Why provide political cover? Leave the big spenders out there naked in front of the voters! Either the elected officials will change their ways or the voters can change the officials they elect.

There is no special information or wisdom available to unelected deficit commissions that is not available to elected officials. Nor are they more far-seeing than politicians.

Cutting defense spending to save money? That is one of the oldest moves in the liberal play book. Some soldiers may pay with their lives for this, but that could be years from now– and after the next election, which is as far as most politicians think.

The biggest immediate tax issue is whether the Bush tax cuts will be extended for everyone. Here, as elsewhere in politics, sheer hogwash reigns supreme.

Nancy Pelosi claims that the “tax cuts for the rich” cannot be continued because it would be “too costly.” Although former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey says, “Demagoguery beats data” in politics, here are some data anyway.

The first big cut in income taxes came in the 1920s, at the urging of Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon. He argued that a reduction of the tax rates would increase the tax revenues. What actually happened?

In 1920, when the top tax rate was 73 percent, for people making over $100,000 a year, the federal government collected just over $700 million in income taxes – and 30 percent of that was paid by people making over $100,000. After a series of tax cuts brought the top rate down to 24 percent, the federal government collected more than a billion dollars in income tax revenue– and people making over $100,000 a year now paid 65 percent of the taxes.

How could that be? The answer is simple: People behave differently when tax rates are high as compared to when they are low. With low tax rates, they take their money out of tax shelters and put it to work in the economy, benefitting themselves, the economy and government, which collects more money in taxes because incomes rise.

High tax rates, which very few people are actually paying, because of tax shelters, do not bring in as much revenue as lower tax rates that people are paying. It was much the same story after tax cuts during the Kennedy administration, the Reagan administration and the Bush Administration.

The New York Times reported in 2006: “An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.”

Expectations are in the eyes of the beholder – and in the rhetoric of the demagogues. If class warfare is more important to some politicians than collecting more revenue when there is a deficit, then let the voters know that.

And spare us so-called “deficit reduction commissions.”

COPYRIGHT 2000 CREATORS.COM

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.