Book debunks liberal vision
If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, ”Who’s The Fairest of Them All?”, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide.
Since ”Who’s The Fairest of Them All?” was published in October, there was little chance that it would affect this year’s election. But this little gem of a book exposes, in plain language and with easily understood facts, the whole house of cards of assumptions, fallacies and falsehoods which constitute the liberal vision of the economy.
The title ”Who’s The Fairest of Them All?” is an obvious response to liberals’ claim that their policies are aimed at creating ”fairness” by, among other things, making sure that ”the rich” pay their ”fair share” of taxes. If you want a brief but thorough education on that, just read chapter 4, which by itself is well worth the price of the book.
A couple of graphs on pages 104 and 108 are enough to annihilate the argument about ”tax cuts for the rich.” These graphs show that, under both Republican President Calvin Coolidge and Democratic President John F. Kennedy, high-income people paid more tax revenues into the federal treasury after tax rates went down than they did before.
There is nothing mysterious about this. At high tax rates, vast sums of money disappear into tax shelters at home or is shipped overseas. At lower tax rates, that money comes out of hiding and goes into the American economy, creating jobs, rising output and rising incomes. Under these conditions, higher tax revenues can be collected by the government, even though tax rates are lower.
Another surprising fact brought out in this book is that the Democrats and Republicans both took positions during the Kennedy administration that were the direct opposite of the positions they take today. As Stephen Moore points out, ”the Republicans almost universally opposed and the Democrats almost universally favored” the cuts in tax rates that President Kennedy proposed.
Such Republican Senate stalwarts as Barry Goldwater and Bob Dole voted against reducing the top tax rate from 91 percent to 70 percent. Democratic Congressman Wilbur Mills led the charge for lower tax rates.
Unlike the Republicans today, John F. Kennedy had an answer when critics tried to portray his tax cut proposal as just a ”tax cut for the rich.” President Kennedy argued that it was a tax cut for the economy, that changed incentives meant a faster growing economy and that ”A rising tide lifts all boats.”
If Republicans today cannot seem to come up with their own answer when critics cry out ”tax cuts for the rich,” maybe they can just go back and read John F. Kennedy’s answer.
Because so few people bother to check the facts, Barack Obama can get away with statements about how ”tax cuts for the rich” have ”cost” the government money that now needs to be recouped. Such statements not only promote class warfare, to Obama’s benefit on election day, they also distract attention from his own runaway spending behind unprecedented trillion dollar deficits.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Distributed by Creators Syndicate.