Carol Platt Liebau: Expensive at Half the Price

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Expensive at Half the Price

This Boston Globe story reads as follows:

Clinton said it is "unconscionable" that the United States has not toughened car emission standards, and he objected to the president's efforts to permanently repeal the estate tax. An estate tax on the richest one percent of Americans could raise $25 million to $40 million a year, enough to wipeout extreme poverty around the globe in a decade.

It's not clear whether that last sentence is Clinton's or the Globe's, but is it really true that $400 million could wipe out extreme poverty around the globe in a decade? If so, someone ought to tell Warren Buffett and Bill Gates -- 'cause that's only a sliver of the $30 billion going from the former to the latter's foundation. And note that the federal government has already thrown in more than a billion in aid to the states hit by Katrina -- but you've not yet seen the elimination of extreme poverty there.

What's more, it might be simpler and more efficient just to cut the capital gains tax again if revenue is what Clinton wants -- because studies show that it costs more to collect the death tax than the government brings in. How efficient is that?

And how's this for a prime example of liberal thinking:

Clinton noted he is one of those rich Americans and that taxes are in some respect a duty.

"I think it's the price of civilization," Clinton said.

Everyone is willing to pay taxes for the things that matter. But Clinton conveniently forgets that with the estate tax, people are being asked to pay twice. Is that the "price of civilization" -- or just the price of big government?


Blogger Dittohead said...

Eliminating extreme poverty is a noble cause. Thanks Bill Clinton for reminding us of who we are as Americans and the noble causes we can fight for. There is much more to happiness and a good life than cutting taxes for the wealthy.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Carol, why don't you weigh in on the Republican leaders of the House preventing a floor vote on the proposed minimum wage increase last week when it became apparent there was enough bipartisan support for its passage?

Do you care for the poorest Americans who are willing to work to stay off welfare but whose $10,712 per year is being eaten up more and more by the increases in fuel prices, insurance, groceries, and utilities? I know, you're right there with them when it comes to defending Wal-Mart, but making sure the Waltons get the lion's share of the poor's dollars is not quite the same as actually standing up for your fellow Americans and helping them ask for a raise.

Or are you too preoccupied with capital gains, estate, and income taxes to bother? Or are you convinced all the poor need is for more money to be thrown at the wealthiest Americans in the hopes it will trickle down?

12:22 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...


10:49 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I support the working poor by opposing an increase in the minimum wage.

Increasing the minimum wage will increase the cost of producing the very goods and services the working poor are struggling to purchase.

Do you think businesses will simply absorb these increased labor costs? Or, do you think they will pass on these increased costs to the purchasing public?

At the very least, increasing the minimum wage will increase the price of goods and services thereby negating the desired benefit (improved purchasing power) of increasing the minimum wage in the first place.

But it gets worse. Many businesses do not have the luxury of increasing prices as costs increase. Those businesses will then be forced to either go out of business or reduce their labor force.

Either choice will cause many working poor to actually lose their jobs.

Nobody wants that.

So, like I said, I support the working poor by opposing an increase in the minimum wage.

Let me ask you, Duke. So long as you're advocating a centralized economy where economic decisions are made by the government instead of market forces, why not go ahead and propose price controls or any of the other failed socialist economic policies?

Wait a minute. Maybe you are doing that. You support wealth re-distribution, don't you? You support legislating equal outcomes rather than equal opportunity (regardless of effort or qualifications), don't you?

11:46 AM  

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