Friday, October 31, 2008


It's really disappointing that the McCain campaign isn't doing a better job exposing Obama's economic plans for the sham that they are. They should be pointing out wherever they can that raising taxes, particularly during an economic slowdown, is a recipe for failure. Spending money you don't have compounds the problem. I call this 'wishonomics' because you have to wish that economic realities don't exist in order to believe it will work.

Obama wants to raise taxes on dividends and capital gains. History has shown that when you raise these taxes you get less revenue. Obama knows this, but is on record as saying he doesn't care. He will do this to impose his notion of 'fairness'. Raising taxes on investment will result in less investment, or misallocated investment. Instead of investing in higher risk, perhaps a new business or idea, investors will stick with safer investments. Capital which has gains, will stay locked up as people avoid paying the higher tax rate in the hopes that down the road saner heads will prevail. The net effect of raising taxes on dividends and capital gains is to reduce revenue to the government at a time when it will certainly be needed, and to reduce investment in productive economic activity, again, at a time when we desperately need it.

Obama also wants to raise taxes on people earning over $250,000. IRS data shows that the majority of individual filers who report income over $250,000 are actually people who own businesses and are reporting business income on their personal return. Raising rates effectively reduces the amount of money that these business owners can use to invest in making their business grow. Small businesses are the largest employers and hurting them seems counter productive. People who cheer the idea of making the rich 'pay their fair share' should realize that they are simply shooting themselves in the foot. People like to mock 'trickle down' economics, but the simple fact is that if you hurt the ability of small businesses to grow, by reducing their access to operating capital, you will cause businesses to either fail or grow slowly or not at all.

In the face of a recession, where tax revenue will naturally decline, and with the almost certainty that his tax policies will futher reduce revenue, Obama then proposes spending even more money than Bush. Everywhere he appears, he is promising that he will have a refundable tax credit for this, that or the other thing. If these promises are kept, all that will be accomplished is an explosion of debt. I really fear that we are entering a period very similar to the 1930's. I don't think we will go into a deep depression, but I feel that the poor economics of our current president (playing the role of Herbert Hoover) will lead to the election and destructive policies of Obama (playing the role of FDR). I expect that there will be plenty of stupid laws passed and further restrictions of freedom that will take decades to repair.