Tag Archives: Tax the Rich

Ted Cruz in CNN debate: taxing the rich 100% isn’t enough to pay for socialism

Ted and Heidi Cruz have a plan to simplify the tax code

On CNN, you get anti-conservative propaganda 24 hours a day. The only exception are the policy debates they sometimes air, in which intelligent conservatives get to speak. Past debates have featured Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is the most intelligent conservative debater in the USA. On Tuesday night, Cruz was joined by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, another able conservative. They debated two radical leftists – Bernie Sanders and Maria Cantwell.

The Washington Examiner had an excellent summary.

Excerpt:

Sen. Ted Cruz sniped at Sen. Bernie Sanders’ often-used complaint about “millionaires and billionaires” not paying enough in taxes during the CNN town hall debate on Tuesday, and quipped there aren’t enough of them to “pay for all the socialism that Bernie and the Democrats want to give away.”

The comment came as Cruz, R-Texas, took aim at the line of attack favored by Sanders, I-Vt., and the Democrats against the GOP tax reform about how it’s a tax cut for “the rich,” but Cruz said that really means it is a tax cut for “taxpayers.”

“Democrats have one talking point on taxes: It’s a tax cut for the rich,” Cruz began. “And they say it over and over and over again in response to everything. The most important thing for you to know when you’re at home is when they say rich, they mean taxpayer. Every time they say ‘rich’ they mean taxpayers.”

“Why is it? Because the very rich — there aren’t enough of them,” Cruz continued. “Bernie ran for president, he rolled out a tax plan. His tax plan was a massive tax increase. If you took every single person in America making over a million dollars, and you taxed them 100 percent of their income, you took every penny they earned — you came in in jackboots and confiscate it — it would pay 8 percent of the cost of Bernie’s tax plan. You know where they get their money? They get it from you, they get it from the the middle class.”

Cruz went on to cite a quote from his and Bernie’s prior CNN debate in which Sanders, while describing his preferred tax plan, said “everybody will pay some more.”

“You’re a single mom, you’re working, he says you’re going to pay some more,”‘ Cruz said afterwards. “You’re a small business owner, he says you’re going to pay some more. And the reason is, there aren’t not enough millionaires and billionaires to pay for all the socialism that Bernie and the Democrats want to give away.”

[…]”You said we’re going to tax the middle class but then you said, ‘we the Democrats are going to give it back to you. We’re going to give you free stuff, free healthcare, free education,'” Cruz said. “But you know what, it’s going to be Bernie and Maria deciding what you get. Tim and I have a simpler view. You keep your money, you get to decide if you want to invest in your decision.”

Is Ted Cruz correct about this point? Yes.

In 2012, John Stossel wrote this in Forbes:

If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion.

In 2011, the Tax Foundation explained that even if you taxed ALL THE INCOME from all the people who make $200,000 or more, you would only raise $1.53 trillion dollars:

So taking half of the yearly income from every person making between one and ten million dollars would only decrease the nation’s debt by 1%. Even taking every last penny from every individual making more than $10 million per year would only reduce the nation’s deficit by 12 percent and the debt by 2 percent. There’s simply not enough wealth in the community of the rich to erase this country’s problems by waving some magic tax wand.

Finally, to put everything in perspective, think about what would need to be done to erase the federal deficit this year: After everyone making more than $200,000/year has paid taxes, the IRS would need to take every single penny of disposable income they have left. Such an act would raise approximately $1.53 trillion. It may be economically ruinous, but at least this proposal would actually solve the problem.

That’s much less than the $10 trillion that Obama added to the debt in his 8 years in office. And much much less than the current national debt which is over $20 trillion. Taxing the rich isn’t enough to pay for our current spending – we have to cut spending. 

Tax cuts are designed to spur economic growth by putting money into the hands of job-creating entrepreneurs. It’s the entrepreneurs who make inventions like smartphones and online marketplaces and streaming online media which make us all more productive. Competition between entrepreneurs drives quality up, and prices down. That’s why we give tax cuts to entrepreneurs – people and businesses who create economic growth by innovating. Giving taxpayer money to the Department of Motor Vehicles generates ZERO economic growth. Giving money to innovators and job creators is what gets us the new inventions and services that grow the economy. 

As Ted Cruz noted in the debate, we do indeed see increased economic growth and higher tax revenues when we have cut taxes in the past, e.g. – under Ronald Reagan. Not the mention the millions of jobs that are created by putting money back in the hands of entrepreneurs.
According to the radically-leftist communist NPR, Bernie Sanders’ most recent tax proposals would add $18 trillion to the debt over 10 years. That’s $1.8 trillion PER YEAR – much more than the $1.53 trillion you get from taxing the rich. So again, even if we take every penny made by those who earn $200,000 or more per year, we aren’t going to be able to pay for socialism. And those people aren’t going to just keep working if you take everything they earn anyway. They’d either stop working or just leave the country – just like the rich left France when they impose a top tax rate of 75%. This is how the world really works, OK. People don’t work for nothing. They probably wouldn’t even work if the government took half of what they earned. I certainly would not.

Back to the debate…

Here is a clip of Ted Cruz explaining how there isn’t enough money to pay for the Democrat spending platform even if you take every penny earned by the top earners:

Here is my favorite clip of Tim Scottt:

I like this clip of CNN cutting off Ted Cruz when he is presenting evidence, too:

The full video of the CNN debate is here:

And here is the full transcript.

Democrat policies hurt the poor, and actually increase income inequality

Two articles from Investors Business Daily. The first discusses how big government tax policies actually encourage poor people not to work. The second one looks at major cities, and finds that 9 out of the top 10 cities with the most “inequality” are run by Democrats.

Let’s start with the first article.

It says:

The nonpartisan Tax Foundation has put out a new report titled “Income Tax Illustrated .” OK, cue the jokes. But it isn’t boring. Really.

[…]”As low-income households earn more money, not only do their tax burdens grow rapidly, but they also receive fewer benefits from federal social assistance programs,” the report said. “In fact, individuals who move to higher-paying jobs sometimes end up with less overall disposable income, after taxes and transfers.”

The report uses two examples, as noted by the Washington Beacon. In one, a single parent earns $4,800 in salary before taxes. That’s not much, but because of entitlements such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, and Housing Choice Vouchers, that person’s take-home pay for the year jumps to $22,090 — not a lot, granted, but it’s more than 4-1/2 times greater than what that person actually earned working.

That compares to someone who earns $21,000 before taxes but, because of taxes and entitlements, takes home $24,057 for the year.

Yes, that person earns $16,200 more from work, but takes home just $1,967 more, thanks to the tax code and generous benefits to those with less income.

“As low-income households earn more money, not only do their tax burdens grow rapidly, but they also receive fewer benefits from federal social assistance programs,” the report said.

“In fact, individuals who move to higher-paying jobs sometimes end up with less overall disposable income, after taxes and transfers.”

[…]Believe it or not, this bizarre distortion gets worse when you consider a married couple with two kids.

Because the Earned Income Tax Credit is phased out at higher incomes, a family of four making $48,000 faces a marginal tax burden of 43.7% — an absurd disincentive to work harder and earn more for families.

When Republican presidential candidates like Jindal, Cruz and Rubio talk about simplifying the tax code, their intent is to solve these perverse incentives that keep poor people dependent on government. We have make changes to the tax code so that people who are able to work can do better by working, rather than by not working. Republicans are in favor of encourage people to work, marry and have kids. Democrats… just want them to keep voting for dependence on big government.

On to the second article.

Which states have the most income inequality?

The Washington Post looked into the numbers and found that 5 of the top 7 states are decidedly blue — New York, Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

And Washington, D.C., which is ground zero of big government liberalism, has the highest level of income inequality of all.

At the other end of the spectrum, the three states with the lowest levels of income inequality are solid red: Utah, Wyoming and Alaska. Nebraska comes in fifth and Nevada ninth.

And what about down at the city level?

The liberal-leaning Brookings Institution looked at inequality by city, and the results show that 9 of the top 10 are run by Democratic mayors — including San Francisco, Boston, D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Baltimore.

In contrast, 7 of the 10 least unequal cities are run by Republican mayors, and 9 of 10 are in red states.

And what about Obama, has he helped to reduce income inequality, or has it increased under his watch?

Now take a look at the national level. As the chart above shows, income inequality as measured by the Census Bureau was flat over the course of the George W. Bush years. But under President Obama, it’s been on the rise.

Under Obama, the poor have gotten poorer and the rich richer. Incomes for the bottom 20% have fallen in each of the past four years and are now 8% below where they stood when Obama took office. Meanwhile, incomes of the wealthiest 5% have climbed under Obama, after adjusting for inflation.

IBD had a nice graph for that last point:

The Gini index measures income inequality
The Gini index measures income inequality

So, why is this happening? Why does taking money from “the rich” and giving it to “the poor” makes income inequality worse?

IBD explains:

As we’ve seen over the past seven years, higher taxes, vast new regulations and sharp increases in spending primarily benefit a relatively small number of well-connected people and those companies that can afford an army of lobbyists. In other words, the rich.

At the same time, higher taxes, more mandates and onerous new regulations stifle innovation and make it harder to start up new companies — the sort of companies that create new jobs and new opportunities. The Kauffman Index of business startups, for example, has been below average since 2011.

Incomes are down, because there aren’t enough job creators. We have a 38-year LOW in labor force participation. People rise when there are lots of job offers from job creators. The more people looking to hire, the more people can shop around and get the most salary and benefits for their labor. But wages have not gone up under Obama. He punished job creators with taxes and regulations, so they are creating fewer jobs. Fewer jobs means less competition. Less competition means lower wages and fewer worker benefits.

Unemployment rates are lower and wages are higher in right-to-work states

Map of right-to-work states: Michigan is #24
Map of right-to-work states: Michigan is #24

Previously, we saw that unemployment rates in right-to-work states were MUCH lower than in states that force workers to join unions and pay union dues in order to work.

Curtis sent me this article from Investors Business Daily, which looks at whether wages are lower in states that have right-to-work laws.

Excerpt:

The president says right-to-work laws mean “the right to work for less money.” So how does he explain the fact that incomes are up in RTW states while forced unionism is a proven job killer?

Campaigning Monday in Michigan as it stood poised to become the nation’s 24th right-to-work state, President Obama spoke the exact opposite of the truth to union workers at a Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in the birthplace of organized labor.

Is Obama telling the truth?

Let’s see:

According to Michigan’s Mackinac Center, using data taken from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics, private-sector, inflation-adjusted employee compensation in right-to-work states increased by 12% between 2001 and 2011 compared with just 3% over the same period in forced-unionization states.

These good wages came from good jobs. Employment in right-to-work states expanded 2.4% over the same stretch vs. a 3.4% decline in non-right-to-work states. Ironically, Obama is taking credit for jobs created in RTW states.

According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, right-to-work states (excluding Indiana, which passed a RTW law in early 2012) “were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012.”

This is why people vote with their feet and move to these states. RTW states experienced large population gains of 15.3% from 2000 to 2010, compared to 5.9% in non-RTW states.

Obama did get one thing right, though, when he said the bills that passed both houses of the Michigan legislature “don’t have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics.”

The president who fought Boeing’s expansion in RTW South Carolina knows it’s all about his keeping union dues flowing into Democratic coffers and maintaining the plush lifestyles of the union leaders who support him.

The right thing for Republicans to do when they get elected is to cut off all sources of funding for the Democrat Party. Right-to-work laws and school choice promote freedom and diminish the amount of power that left-wing, pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage labor unions can exert. They will have less money, and with less money, they will have less influence on elections. Let the people decide, not the powerful, corrupt labor unions.

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