Conservative Political Commentary

...anti-socialist, anti-globalist, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New Taxes, Anyone?


By Eddie Howell

 The late conservative columnist Robert Novak said that God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes. The GOP has a very mixed record in this regard; their opponents the Democrats have been very consistent in their efforts to increase taxes and spending. Since it's hard for tax revenues to keep up with massive spending programs, stratospheric deficits have resulted, to which both parties have contributed.

Both presidential candidates have spending plans that would strain the deficit, but depending on the makeup of the Congress over the next few years, there could be some restraint applied. Of the two candidates, Hillary Clinton has the most aggressive spending plans, seeking to provide everything liberals could wish for, and maybe even outdo Bernie Sanders' admittedly socialist agenda. Free or nearly free college, more government regulation and enforcement for mandatory benefits for workers (child care, paid family leave, equal pay for equal work), more refugee and other immigration with benefits, plus more military adventures abroad. If you listen to Hillary's speeches, you may note that almost everything she proposes will require more government, more regulation, and much more spending, not to mention more in-your-face and on-your-back government. While supposedly aiming the financial burden at the “rich,” it turns out that the rich are everyone who owns a business, and ultimately anyone who has a job and is currently paying income taxes. But it's true that higher incomes are hit harder as percentages, due to the Buffett Rule.

According to Tax Foundation analysis, Hillary's plan, if enacted would increase tax revenue, and decrease after-tax income across the board, and reduce economic output. In other words, it would lead to a recession. There would be reductions in jobs, wage rates, and capital investment. Not a good prospect for middle-class earners who haven't seen a real raise in years.

Donald Trump's plan calls for significant corporate and individual tax reductions that would stimulate economic growth. According to Tax Foundation analysis for Trump's plan, wages would increase, jobs would increase, and capital investment would increase.

Neither plan looks likely to decrease the national debt, but progress on that can be made only by cutting spending. You can be sure that Hillary's plan will exacerbate the deficit problem more than Trump's. Her plans for more social engineering and massive immigration would preclude any deficit-reducing progress. Spending cuts would be easier to find in a strong economy than in a declining one.

Economically, it's a clear choice: pro-growth with Donald Trump or no-growth (except government) with Hillary Clinton.

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