Monday, February 22, 2010

Thoughts on government redistributionist schemes

"If someone gets something for nothing, then someone else must be doing something and getting nothing in return."

"If you rob Peter to pay Paul, Peter will eventually stop working."

"Government has little or no ability to create anything, but it can move wealth around and discourage its production."

HT: Russell Redenbaugh


Cabodog said...

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money [to spend]."

-- Margaret Thatcher

Scott Grannis said...

That's a worthy addition to the list

W.E. Heasley said...

Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

Winston Churchill

Benjamin Cole said...

Oaky, so let's kill off the homeowner's mortgage interest tax deduction, and lower everyone tax rates accordingly.

Also, rather finance Social Security through a payroll tax, apply a flat tax across all incomes.

Scott Grannis said...

Killing the mortgage interest deduction would do wonders: it would reduce the likelihood of another real estate bubble, it would allow tax rates to be lower and flatter, and it would most likely result in lower mortgage borrowing costs.

Benjamin Cole said...

Canada has no mortgage interest tax deduction, so society can show stability and prosper without such a tax gimmick.

But the housing industry is very very powerful.

And we get locked in---I bought property due to the deduction. Now, I have to support it, despite my wisecracks here. Maybe it could be phased out.

I am pretty sure the mortgage interest tax deduction is with us as long as farm subsidies, and that means forever.

MadTax said...

Many people assume an extreme. The reality is one of gradation.

A good socialist might argue that the trick is taxing Peter just enough so that he still wants to keep working. But not so much that he stops.

I don't think the U.S. has hit that point yet where Peter will stop. I am still working.

But United States and Individual state tax codes do encourage me to move to Florida. They also have me thinking about how I could (legally) move to Liechtenstein.

By the way, yes, some view it as taxing just enough to not stop Peter from working, but separate from that, I think the key is how can we encourage Peter, Paul and Mary to all work really hard.

Mostly, I find, the answer is for government to just stay out of the way.

Douglas said...

"Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money." — George Carlin

Douglas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juan Jose said...

If you rob Peter to pay Paul, don't you end up with a sore Peter?