NYTimes: There’s Not Enough Taxes Out There


By: Warner Todd Huston

John F Kennedy once defended his stance on lower taxes with the phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats.” But, if the New York Times has its way they would change that to a “a rising tax tide swamps all boats.” Or at least one would be excused for thinking that upon reading an unsigned editorial that laments “A Dearth of Taxes” in the U.S. today. Stating that a “zeal” to cut taxes is “misguided,” the Times whines that the U.S. government doesn’t bring in the kind of tall cash in taxes that European countries do. But, this confiscatory policy that the Times pines for assumes one thing and one thing only: that government will spend that money well. And THAT is the main reason that Americans are against high taxes in the first place, government does NOT spend our money well and everyone but the Times seems to know it.

This is just one more example of how far out of the mainstream of American thought the folks at the New York Times are. In fact, it shows how downright unAmerican the Times truly is. After all, didn’t we start this country over a matter of disagreement on a 2 pence tax on tea? But, let’s not let any unAmerican attitude dissuade the New York Times from their desires to remake the country in their ideal socialist image, shall we?

The Times begins their paean to European anti-capitalism with a jab at the current field of GOP contenders for the White House.

President Bush considers himself a champion tax cutter, but all the leading Republican presidential candidates are eager to outdo him. Their zeal is misguided. This country’s meager tax take puts its economic prospects at risk and leaves the government ill equipped to face the challenges from globalization.

You just don’t get it, NYT. For a true American the formula is simple. Taxes = bad. Tax cuts = goooood.

Next, one wonders what economics class the NYT editorialist attended? And if the editorialist for the Times ever did darken the door of an economics class, it is sure that this person failed the course.

According to a report from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, a think tank run by the industrialized countries, the taxes collected last year by federal, state and local governments in the United States amounted to 28.2 percent of gross domestic product. That rate was one of the lowest among wealthy countries — about five percentage points of G.D.P. lower than Canada’s, and more than eight points lower than New Zealand’s. And Danes, Germans and Slovaks paid more in taxes, as a share of their economies.

So, the only conclusion one can draw from the Times’ position is that a country can tax itself to prosperity? Milton Friedman needs to come back and haunt the dunce that wrote this editorial.

Then the Times unleashes this foolishness:

Politicians on the right have continuously paraded the specter of statism to rally voters’ support for tax cuts, mainly for the rich. But the meager tax take leaves the United States ill prepared to compete. From universal health insurance to decent unemployment insurance, other rich nations provide their citizens benefits that the United States government simply cannot afford.

Naturally, the Times falls back on the canard that tax cuts are only for the “rich” and doesn’t bother to mention that 90% of taxes are PAID by the “rich” and that any cut would have to affect those who pay them — and if it’s the “rich” who pay them, then who else would cuts affect? Worse, the Times imagines that taxes makes a country able to “compete” with others. How is it taxes help a country to “compete”? Why by offering free health care, of course!

I have news for you, if these happy recipients of free health care in these “other rich countries” have it so good, why are they pulling their own teeth instead of contentedly going to their state run dentists?

And what is the Time’s biggest lament? That there is “growing inequality” in this country. I’ll tell you what “inequality” is, the fact that many millions of middle income Americans pay no Federal income tax at all. Now that’s unequal. Why should many millions of Americans who could afford to pay something in Federal taxes get off the hook entirely? Don’t they use government as well as any “rich” person does? And, how long can we unequally burden a small sector of the country to foot the bill for everyone else and not risk the sort of class hatred that would either destroy the earning segment of our economy or enlarge those who purposefully stay below certain income levels to avoid taxes?

Let me close with an admonishment by the redoubtable Alan Keyes:

“Tyrannical taxation, and excessive government spending and borrowing, are not only threats to our economy–they erode the resource base of our freedom and our moral responsibility. The income tax is a 20th-century socialist experiment that has failed. Before the income tax was imposed on us just 85 years ago, government had no claim to our income. Only sales, excise and tariff taxes were allowed. We need to return to the Constitution of economic liberty that our Founders intended to be a permanent bulwark of our political liberty. The income tax in effect makes us vassals of the government–the politicians decide how much income we can keep. No mere ‘reform’ of this slave tax, such as flattening the rate, can correct its fundamental denial of control over our own money.”

Just so, Alan, just so.

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