Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Challenge to My Conservative Friends

I am agnostic about most things. I don't believe in God because there just isn't enough evidence to convince me that God wasn't cooked up by humans as a way for primitive people to explain what they didn't understand (the reaction of religious people to science is further proof of that to me!).

So, when conservatives try to convince me that tax cuts are what needed to fix the economy, I want some proof. Same goes for liberals who might think we need to raise them. What evidence ya got? Do you just not like paying taxes, or can you somehow prove that lower taxes will lead to economic growth and benefit the country?

So, here is an intellectual challenge, mostly in this case for my conservative friends. Read this post by Bruce Barltett, who was an economic advisor to Reagan and Bush the less dumb (so you can't dismiss him as a liberal who hates America) and convince me that tax cuts are what is needed to turn out economy around.

Here is a summary of the facts in Bartlett's post:

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that federal taxes would consume just 14.8 percent of G.D.P. this year. The last year in which revenues were lower was 1950, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

The postwar annual average is about 18.5 percent of G.D.P. Revenues averaged 18.2 percent of G.D.P. during Ronald Reagan’s administration; the lowest percentage during that administration was 17.3 percent of G.D.P. in 1984.

corporate taxes are expected to raise just 1.3 percent of G.D.P. in revenue this year, about a third of what it was in the 1950s.

So, there you go. Those facts would lead me, and Bartlett (Did I mention he worked for REAGAN?!) to believe that tax cuts would not do much for our economy.

So, convince me otherwise. I am an open minded guy with no dogmatic beliefs. I used to believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, but facts convinced me I was wrong. Or, if you are a lefty and don't want to leftied out, then convince me why we need to raise rates.

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