Updated: Tax Credits = Social Engineering (Tax Talk)

Barack Obama,Democrats,Economy,Political Economy,Taxation


H. L. Mencken called elections “a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” As he ramps-up for an election season, BO proves once again that he has perfected the art of robbing Peter to pay Paul. The president’s next gambit is “tax credits” for the middle class.

These are “subsidies disguised as tax cuts. In other words, they are spending in the form of direct transfers from the treasury to individuals, except that they are administered by the tax authorities rather than the agencies usually responsible for welfare.”

Social engineering is what tax credits are, as they target certain constituencies to the determinant of other, less politically powerful ones. Basically, “taxpayers can receive a raft of tax credits if they engage in various government-specified activities.”

You need very few brains to err on the side of growth and usher in, “lower tax rates for everybody.”

Update (Jan. 26): The familiar demand that I abandon a discussion on tax policy because I stand for abolishing the 16th, “The Number of The Beast,” is a position I’ve denounced again and again. This is what goes for libertarianism in many quarters; you sit on the fence, make nothing but tinny, tedious, purely theoretical arguments, and congratulate yourself on retaining your political purity. To repeat, this is nothing but sloth. It’s also boring, foolish and uppity without being superior.

Yes, taxation is immoral and naturally illicit. And yes, tax policy needs to be debated among the handful of intellectually curious, clever, engaged individuals, and yes, the fact that one wishes to see a return to natural justice does not preclude a pragmatic support for, say, a flat, low tax. Let the poor set the rate.

8 thoughts on “Updated: Tax Credits = Social Engineering (Tax Talk)

  1. Robert Glisson

    The imagination of the people who are running “the scam of the week” through the White house is amazing. In one year we have seen more ‘smoke and mirrors’ than all the presidents together in the last one hundred years, or have I just lost count. If this administration’s imagination had been put to work productively, there would be a Mars colony already established and every one would be rich with three years optimism left.

  2. Shawn

    “You’d think that BO has perfected the art of robbing Peter to pay Paul, but as he ramps-up for an election season, BO proves once again that he has perfected the art of robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

    This sentence seems a bit clunky.

    [Ta. moved a clause around; forgot to delete the first iteration. fixed.]

  3. Myron Pauli

    An interesting aspect about all these tax gimmicks (credits, IRA’s, etc.) is how they favor married couples over single parents. One probably does not notice until one is in the latter position. Ironically, the idiocies of the tax codes makes the best case for gay marriage I can think of. Who put the %^&*@$!! government into the social engineering business in the first place?

  4. Gringo Malo

    I submit that a government that issues a fiat currency need not collect any taxes at all. When Uncle Sugar wants to buy something, he just writes a check. Nobody would dare tell him he’s overdrawn.

    So really, the sole purpose of the income tax is “social engineering,” which is just another way of saying “Orwellian assertion of power.” If we’re going to have a pointless debate about lowering the tax rates, why not have a pointless debate about abolishing the income tax? Obviously, with Democrats (i.e., Marxists) in control, both debates are equally moot.

    [Living in reality is never pointless.]

  5. Steve Hogan

    Yes, low tax rates for everybody…accompanied by offsetting spending cuts. Borrowing money to pay for lower taxes is nothing more than a deferred tax, paid for by the next generation.

    Whatever government we think we need (I wish it would simply vanish) should be paid in full right now. A balanced budget? What’s that?

    Kicking the can down the road and living it up now is for cowards and thieves, which, strangely enough, characterizes this administration perfectly.

  6. james huggins

    Scam of the week is certainly to the point. I envision a smoke filled room where administration figures opine that the fat is in the fire because of one thing or another. Therefore they decide to do this that or the other, such as tax credits, or some such folderol, to BS the public and make them think the government is really thinking about them after all. It’s all bull feathers. Beware Greeks bearing gifts and in the case of the federal government beware of creeps bearing gifts. ALWAYS..

  7. haym

    And that is why a smaller government is invariably better than a bigger one.

  8. Gringo Malo

    Actually, the Democrats might cut income tax rates for the alleged purpose of stimulating the economy, but only for people in lower income brackets who aren’t paying much in income tax anyway. Should the Republicans regain control of Congress, they might cut income tax rates for people who actually pay the lion’s share of the income tax, but will increase rather than decrease the government’s expenditures, judging by their record. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will enact a flat tax because members of Congress of both sides of the aisle enjoy using the tax code to tell us how to live. Should the Libertarians win control of Congress, I’ll eat the Capitol Building in one sitting. That’s what I call living in reality.

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