Revenues, the Laffer Curve, and a Note to D.C. Politicians

I had Bret Baier on while I was at my computer yesterday. During the panel segment, a woman who mainly talked like a conservative referred to a debt ceiling package that included “cuts and revenues.”

My head about exploded.

You see, it’s one thing for liberals (in both parties) to disingenuously use the word “revenues” as a euphemism for “tax hikes;” it’s another thing entirely if we conservatives start speaking that same language. The misuse of a word might not seem like a big deal in the long run to some, but this kind of thinking is gravely mistaken. The connotative definition of “tolerance” didn’t go from “live and let live” (which is, incidentally, still the denotative definition) to “kowtow to the protected minority group du jour” overnight — the delightful consequences of which we are currently reaping.

“If you give them an inch, they will take a mile,” comes to mind.

You see, “revenue,” like “tolerance,” is a good thing; “tax hikes” and “subservience” are bad. And so the people who want to push the policies of the latter mask it with the terminology of the former and hope that the rest of us are too stupid and/or nice to call shenanigans. They are counting on this.

So let’s call some shenanigans.

The problem inherent with treating “tax hikes” and “revenues” as though they are synonymous is that it’s not necessarily true. As anyone familiar with the Laffer Curve can tell you, there comes a point where the tax burden becomes onerous enough that businesses begin seeking greener pastures and the wealthy look to squirrel their money away rather than invest it. (One who wishes to see this principal in action need look no farther than states like New York and California — or states like Texas and Florida, who are reaping the benefits of the more “progressive” states’ short-sightedness.) The un- and under-employment that follows cuts into the tax base, hurting actual tax revenues even further.

Already the United States is listed as having the most “progressive” (i.e., “soak the rich”) income tax in the developed world, with the President and his fellows clamoring to jack the rates up even higher. Add to that the fact that 51% of the nation (and yes, my family falls into this category) has no income tax liability whatsoever; the fact that the sum of the total tax burden for many of the job-creators in this country is more than half their income; and the 9.2% unemployment rate, which is only that low because they don’t count the people who have simply given up on finding work — and it’s not too difficult to ascertain which side of the Laffer Curve we as a nation are currently on.

(Note to Washington: It’s the side where raising taxes decreases revenues and increases unemployment.)

(As an aside — is anyone else heartsick at the thought of the cesspool that has been made of the city that bears the name of possibly the most honorable man in our nation’s history? What a disgrace.)

And so, to our dear overlords representatives in D.C. — mine in particular (Peter DeFazio, Jeff Merkley, and Ron Wyden) — I will say this: You want to talk some real revenues? Fantastic. But you’d better be telling me about a flat tax and how Cass Sunstein and his ilk will shortly be seeking gainful employment in the private sector and/or getting fitted with regulatory shock collars. But no, you won’t do anything of that nature, because it doesn’t fit your little class warfare scheme, in which you gain power at the expense of the most vulnerable among us, all while foisting the blame on someone else.

It’s garbage like this that has given rise to the Tea Party — the fact that I’m not saying a single freaking word that is news to you people, and yet you shamelessly trundle on, speeding the greatest nation on earth toward a cliff in the hopes of remaking it in your own image. But let me be clear: it doesn’t matter how much you insult us, patronize us, or try to ignore us — it will only grow our numbers and encourage us to redouble our efforts to see people like you in the unemployment lines that you helped create. You may be willing to flush this nation for your own personal gain, but we are not. So how about this: either grow a pair and tell the American people exactly, in clear language, what you want to do with this country; or, you could set your narcissism aside, decide to take seriously that oath in which you pledged fealty to the United States and its Constitution, and buckle down and do your damn job. Either stand up for what you believe in, or sit down for what we believe in.

We certainly are looking down the barrel of a fiscal crisis, but it’s not the default boogeyman that Obama keeps trying to scare us with. When 40% of every dollar spent by the federal government is borrowed money, and the only solutions coming out of Establishment D.C. are ones that aim to increase that percentage, what you have is a crisis of confidence of world-altering proportions. The United States of America is a load-bearing wall on the global scene — one that you people have been going after with pickaxes and power tools in hopes of finding Narnia on the other side.

Stop the finger-pointing. Stop the blaming. Stop the word games, the fear-mongering, and the outright lying. Stop kicking the can down the road and at our children’s heads. Cut the size of government, cap the spending for real, and balance the budget.

Do your jobs. Or we’ll find others who will.

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2 Responses to Revenues, the Laffer Curve, and a Note to D.C. Politicians

  1. Pingback: Some straight talk about the economy | PoliNation

  2. Sandy says:

    Hi! Here is a great video series on the Laffer Curve to follow up on your post:

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