Commentary: Pro-Growth Arsenal?

From the Weekly Standard - by Irwin M. Stelzer - As if the economic news is not worrying enough, politicians around the world have decided to make things worse. The Chinese regime treated vice president Joe Biden rudely on his visit to Beijing to discuss economic issues of mutual concern—the rapidly depreciating dollar worries the Chinese, while the too slowly appreciating yuan is on Biden’s list of woes. Here, in America, Republican presidential candidates tripped over one another to display their ignorance of economic affairs, with the entire field promising Iowans and a national television audience never to raise taxes even in the unlikely event that the Democrats agree to cut spending by ten times as much. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama chided Congress for not acting on several trade agreements, neglecting to mention that he has not submitted the agreements for congressional approval lest he antagonize the trade unions. The world’s politicians have no monopoly on mischief making. Warren Buffett, the multibillionaire, weighed in with a complaint that his effective tax rate is too low, lending support to the president’s argument that “millionaires and billionaires” should pay more. Of course, there is nothing to stop Buffett from paying more: since 1843, the treasury has accepted donations “from individuals willing to express their patriotism to the United States.” But the Omaha sage says he prefers to put his billions into private charitable foundations, including three run by his children, because “they will do a better job with lower administrative costs and better selection of beneficiaries than the government.” Oh. But either deliberately or unwittingly he has lent support not to a tax on billionaires, which in any event couldn’t yield enough revenue to affect the rounding error in the nation’s debt load, but to Obama’s plan to raise taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year, and families with annual incomes in excess of $250,000. As the Wall Street Journal points out, “Roughly 90% of the tax filers who would pay more under Mr. Obama’s plan aren’t millionaires, and 99.9% aren’t billionaires.” Read more



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