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How High Taxes Kill Jobs

Jim Manzi explains it to Barack Obama. Unfortunately, both presidential candidates are economic ignorami.


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anon wrote:

Just one, er, "problem": Under Obama's tax plan, 90% of Americans will be paying lower taxes than under McCain's plan. Who does McCain actually work for?

memomachine wrote:


"Just one, er, "problem": Under Obama's tax plan, 90% of Americans will be paying lower taxes than under McCain's plan. Who does McCain actually work for?"

Great plan. Only problem is that the people Obama wants to tax the most are the *same* people who have the necessary resources, i.e. --money--, to implement tax shelters to *avoid* those taxes.

Or who have the resources to simply emigrate to another country.

BDavis wrote:

"90% of Americans will be paying lower taxes than under McCain's plan."

That 90% will be really happy when Obama taxes their employer out of business, won't they? Welcome to serfdom.

Carl Pham wrote:

Under Obama's tax plan, 90% of Americans will be paying lower taxes than under McCain's plan.

Mmm, yes. Assuming, of course, that Obama's plan represents anything more than campaign-trail bullshit, utterly impractical, and about which he isn't the slightest bit serious.

His reversal on the town-hall debates, taking public money during the campaign, filibustering the FISA act, as well as his increasingly "nuanced" approach to the Iraq war and offshore drilling -- stuff he hammered Hillary Clinton for during the primaries -- strongly suggests that Obama adjusts his message freely to suit his political needs of the moment.

So I dunno if those 90% should really count on Obama's plan after the election matching up with his plan before the election, especially if it doesn't happen to be convenient for him.

David Summers wrote:

For one thing, will somebody really stay late at work for $2 million per year, but not $1.8 million? Lots of smart liberals ask some version of this question, and the only realistic answer is “probably not”.

This is completely false, and anyone who thinks that is a moron. In my business (building startup companies into real companies), everyone I know is heading for the hills. The mere likelihood that Obama will get elected already has everyone selling and quitting the business.

Just look at the action in the M/A space - no one is being shy about it. Everyone is trying to sell their businesses and get out before the capital gains tax increases hit. Few people are starting new businesses - you're better off doing something else with your money.

The choice is not work for $2M or not work for $1.8M, the choice is build a company and have an expected return of $200K per year (after accounting for failure probabilities), or just take a $150K a year job. Obama's plan lowers that $200K to less than $150K for most startup people (who are the ones getting the capital gains). If you are already in the position to make $1.8M or $2M, you do that - but if you are given the choice between $150K per year steady or $0 per year for 5 years and then $1.8M on the last year, those taxes matter.

Larry J wrote:

Obama doesn't seem to realize that it isn't what someone earns that matters but how much they get to keep. My wife used to work for a very successful oral surgeon. Every year, he'd take several months off because if he worked more, he'd be slammed so much with higher taxes that it wasn't worth it in his opinion. Multiply that across the economy and you start to see why lowering the marginal tax rates leads to higher tax revenues. At the lower rates, top earners still pay more in taxes but they get to keep more for their efforts.

There are also other spin off effects from raising the tax rates on top earners. For one, lowering their disposable income may be satisfying to the economic penis envy crowd, but lower disposable income means they have less money they're willing to spend on things like home improvements, new cars, and the like.

Remember what happened not too many years ago when the economic dim bulbs in Congress passed a high tax on "luxury goods" (then defined as things like expensive boats and cars (IIRC, an expensive car was one that cost over $30K at the tme). The sales of those products decreased, leading to a lot of lost jobs in the industries that built the luxury goods. In the end, they probably lost more tax revenue due to the number of jobs terminated than they ever gained in the luxury tax. But hey, it sure felt good sticking it to the fat cats, didn't it?

Stepped on chewing gum in LAX's long-term parking lot wrote:

To hell with America's Tweedle-D and Tweedle-R incumbent politicians. Let's just outsource America's governance to Singapore.

john hare wrote:

It would be interesting to know how much productivity is lost to the perception that working overtime is a waste due to the higher taxes. I have heard dozens of stories about people that lost take home dollars after getting raises. And dozens more about how working over 40or43or so depending on the teller just goes to taxes and isn't worth doing.

That any of this is self defeating in the long term is obvious to any that can do arithmatic. Unfortunately, the millions of workers that believe one or more of these things are expensive to the country, and even more expensive to the individuals that buy in to them. The self made millionaires that I know didn't turn down raises and worked a lot more than 40 hours a week.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Lol didn't catch the comment by "Stepped on chewing gum in LAX's long-term parking lot" before now but that comment and name combination is hilarious in so many ways ^_^

Was that you Rand?

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on August 2, 2008 10:31 AM.

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