Skip to comments.How Even Scholars Misread 90 Years Of Tax-Cut History
Posted on 07/19/2011 4:34:13 PM PDT by Kaslin
The arguments of the proponents and opponents of tax-rate reductions have been arguments about two fundamentally different things:
(1) The distribution of existing incomes and existing tax liabilities.
(2) Incentives to increase incomes by reducing tax rates, so as to get individuals and institutions to take their money out of tax shelters and invest it in the economy.
Proponents and opponents of tax-rate reductions not only had different arguments, they were arguments about very different things, and the two arguments largely went past each other untouched.
Empirical evidence on what happened to the economy in the wake of those tax cuts in four different administrations over a span of more than 80 years has also been largely ignored by those opposed to what they call "tax cuts for the rich."
Confusion between reducing tax rates on individuals and reducing tax revenues received by the government has run through much of these discussions over these years.
Famed historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., for example, said that although Andrew Mellon, secretary of the treasury from 1921 to 1932, advocated balancing the budget and paying off the national debt, he "inconsistently" sought "reduction in tax rates."
Nor was Schlesinger the only highly regarded historian to perpetuate economic confusion between tax rates and tax revenues. Today, widely used textbooks by various well-known historians have continued to misstate what was advocated in the 1920s and what the actual consequences were.
According to the textbook "These United States" by Irwin Unger, Mellon, "a rich Pittsburgh industrialist," persuaded Congress to "reduce income tax rates at the upper-income levels while leaving those at the bottom untouched."
Thus "Mellon won further victories for his drive to shift more of the tax burden from the high-income earners to the middle and wage-earning classes."
(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...
The same can be said for this administrations foreign as well as it's economic policy.
God bless Mr. Sowell, he sure would have a place in my administration.
Did Dr. Sowell use, “even,” when he meant, “especially?”
You’re welcome, jaz
They really need to cite Mellon. He was an amazing economist. :(
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I think after many years and much experience we don't have to presume they were lying, because it's pretty obvious that most of these so called scholars were deliberately lying.
I assume you are referring to this paragraph?
The results show how unreliable peer consensus can be, even when it is a peer consensus of highly intellectual people, if those people share a very similar vision of the world and treat its conclusions as axioms rather than as hypotheses that need to be checked against facts.
Can't either one be used?
Yep-—dealt with most of these in both the Melow/Coolidge and Reagan years in my book “48 Liberal Lies About American History.”
Melow=Mellon. can’t type on a laptop.
I hope you included a chapter comparing/contrasting the liberal top down vs the conservative bottom up policy.
Those who are ignorant of history are bound to repeat it. Ray Moley, FDR brain trust member wrote of the New Deal:
“the rejection of the traditional Wilson-Brandeis philosophy
that if America could once more become a nation of small
proprietors, of corner grocers and smithies under spreading chestnut
trees, we should have solved the problems of American life. We agreed
that the heart of our difficulty was the anarchy of concentrated economic
po”ver which, like a cannon loose on a frigate’s deck, tore from
one side to another, crushing those in its path. But we felt that the
remedy for this was not to substitute muskets for cannon or to throw
the cannon overboard. We believed that any attempt to atomize big
business must destroy America’s greatest contribution to a higher
standard of living for the body of its citizenry-the development of
mass production. We agreed that equality of opportunity must be preserved.
But we recognized that competition, as such, was not inherently
virtuous; that competition (when it was embodied in an employer who
survived only by sweating his labor, for example) created as many
abuses as it prevented. So we turned from the nostalgic philosophy of
the “trust busters” toward the solution first broached in modern times
by Charles Richard Van Hise’s Concentration and Control.”
When I become king I'm going to make all "keyboards" have the flexibility to enable you to type with your hands in comfortable positions - with no need to strain elbows inward, and with the forefingers above, as well as inside, the pinkies.Since my Magic Mouse is damaged (affecting the left click that many PC users assume that a Mac doesn't even have) I bought a track pad for my iMac since the finger gestures which are supposed to be important on OS 10.7 ("Lion") will require it. So I've been trying to adapt to this newfangled thing . . .
“..........who nevertheless insist on reaching conclusions on economic issues.”
Thanks for the ping jaz. Others might have written to the effect of not knowin’ jack, but shootin’ off their mouths...., but NOT Dr. Sowell. He’s a good guy.
You can make profit on margin, or you can make it on volume.
Push for too much margin, volume goes down.
Reduce margin, volume goes up. There is a balance point which is optimal, and we're Taxed Enough Already.
Shift to a flat tax, if need be, and get 40,000,000 more people with skin in the game, or a consumption tax (eliminate the income tax either way), and leave food, primary housing (the shell, not the stuff), medical care, and home-used energy out of it. (Screw prebates and all the bureaucracy that goes with them, just don't tax those things at the point of sale and eliminate all that.)
Scholars are those too stupid to make a living in the real world!