Search This Blog

Thursday, July 8, 2010

One a fool always a fool.

Stephen Moore, is the former President of the euphemistically named, Club for Growth and is now on the Wall Street Journal editorial board. He has an MA in Economics but you would hardly think so considering his many vapid utterances. He has appeared on Bill Maher's Real Time on HBO in the past but has been smacked down repeatedly, especially on Iraq and on his strange ideas of budgetary priorities that he hasn't been back in a while.

Conservatives are rapidly approaching full fearmongering mode because the Bush tax cuts are due to expire at the end of this year. The Obama administration is proposing keeping the tax breaks for 98% of Americans but raising them to previous levels for the top 2%. For the top 2% their tax breaks alone are bigger than the average incomes of 90% of Americans.

Stephen Moore is front and center in the fearmongering, spouting ideas that have no basis in reality. Yesterday he said that it would benefit the economy more if the lowest tax rate was increased from 10% to 15% while the highest tax rates should be lowered even below the current Bush levels.

He uses the canard that lowering taxes for the the rich will lead to more investment to create jobs. When businesses, whose taxes are not affected by any of this, invest jobs are created but they key for business to invest is increasing demand which results from increased spending. Rich individuals invest most of their additional income in stocks and bonds which help the financial markets but do virtually nothing to spur the real economy.

On the other hand lower income earners spend virtually all, if not all their money on buying things and paying bills so their money gets circulated right back into the economy where it does a lot of good. Real economists who actually use real economic data know that lower income spending generates $2-$3 for every dollar of actual spent. In Moore's panglossian world his ideas are somehow better for the economy.

Here are some real facts about income disparity in America today. The top 1% today earn 25% of income whereas in 1970 they earned about 10% of income. While median income in America has stagnated over the past 10 years income for the the top 2% has more than doubled. In that same time the gap has risne to its highest levels since the 1920s and we know what followed that era.

Another study recently found that the top 400 earners paid an average of 30% of their earnings in taxes in 1995. In 2006, a variety of tax breaks and loopholes had lowered the average to about 17%, which is 8% lower than a single person earning $34,000 or a married couple earning $68,000 pays. Something is radically wrong with this picture.

If people like Moore had their way, achieving a healthy economy and reducing the deficit would be virtually impossible. Then again. Moore and his cohorts believe that the Federal government should only spend money on defense and securing our borders. That will reduce the deficit but it will also destroy education, health care as well as any assistance for the needy or the unemployed but Moore won't have to worry. He will still be paid to spout nonsense.

The original piece here./

No comments: