It has been said (often by yours truly) that the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. It can be applied to many types of situations, but it hits home when it comes to certain policies.
One would think if you’d just come off a monumental loss in the past 2014 midterm elections, you might want to try something different. In the case of the far left progressive socialists of the Democrat Party the answer is — nah.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “With less than a month before the White House sends its budget proposal to Congress, a senior House Democrat on Monday introduced an “action plan” foreshadowing the upcoming battle over the tax code and whom it benefits.”
“The proposal from Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, is aimed at encouraging companies to boost salaries at a time of stagnant wage growth and enabling workers to keep a bigger chunk of their paycheck. The centerpiece of Mr. Van Hollen’s proposal is a new $1,000 tax break for workers earning under $100,000 per year, or $2,000 for working couples making up to $200,000, with an additional bonus for those who direct part of those extra funds toward their savings.”
So once again Van Hollen and the House Democrats are playing the game of picking the winners. Once again, they come up with the scheme of attracting voters with gimmicks. And you can just imagine the propaganda campaign to demonize any opposition as being “all for the rich” or “standing with the one-percenters.”
But the rest of the story lies in the details of just how this gets paid for, and by whom — yep, here comes the insanity.
“Mr. Van Hollen would offset the cost of his proposal by curbing tax breaks on investment gains and implementing a new fee on financial market transactions.”
“Our tax code today is stacked in favor of people who make money off of money and against those who make money off of hard work,” Mr. Van Hollen said Monday in a speech at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank. “There’s a disconnect between the value workers are creating and what they are taking home.”
So in other words, those who decide to make their money work for them via investing are once again the “bad guys.” And if there’s no investment, just how does economic opportunity and growth occur? How will there ever be new startup business when there’s no capital from investment — because Rep. Van Hollen believes money should go for another of his insidious budgetary schemes. And did you sense that class warfare insinuation — “against those who make money off of hard work” — as if Van Hollen feels there’s an atmosphere of indentured servitude. Why is it that progressives love to make arbitrary income level delineations? Why do they believe in penalizing individuals who understand how to make their money work for them?
As a young lieutenant in the Army, I recall setting aside $50 each paycheck. And as I earned promotions I increased my capital investment — so I must ask, hey Chris, is there something wrong with that?
So does Rep. Van Hollen believe the tax code is stacked against those who are smart with the money they earn? And how about this for a policy solution — reform the tax code to a flat tax in order to spur on small business growth and allow Americans to hire other Americans and unlock wage stagnation.
What about creating the economic, regulatory, and tax policies that bring about true growth and reverse the tide of hard-earned, middle-income resources going to Washington DC?
“To address the disparity between the compensation of corporations’ top executives and the rest of their employees, Mr. Van Hollen would prevent companies from claiming tax deductions for high-ranking employees’ compensation over $1 million unless their employees also receive an increase in their paychecks linked to higher productivity and the cost of living.”
Once again the progressives are up to their usual antics of choosing how the private sector compensates itself — who is Rep. Van Hollen to define what a corporate executive should be making? That’s a board of directors and shareholders decision. Oops, sorry, I forgot that this is all about the redistribution of wealth.
So what is acceptable? Here’s what I recommend.
A two-tiered flat tax with an income cut line at $200,000 since it seems that’s a number the Democrats like. Lower the rate and reduce exemptions. I don’t mind two deductions if the rates aren’t low enough, for charitable deceptions and mortgage interest. We need to lower the corporate tax rate to between 21 percent and 24 percent with zero deductions. Eliminate the dividend and estate taxes, while keeping the capital gains tax between a 13 percent to 15 percent band. The crux to all of this is to establish a balanced budget amendment for Congress and reform the government budget process away from baseline (annual increases) to a zero-based budgetary system — as well as reforming the size and scope of government. Hey, after all it was Bill Clinton who stated, “the era of big government is over.” Sadly, it’s back.
Now, I don’t have a dynamic scoring system in my head and neither does Rep. Van Hollen who just believes that increased revenue is the means to their ends. But the insanity of always promising to one group at the expense of another has to end. It is the style of politics as opposed to the art of policy.
The bottom line is that the spending model for economic growth is a fallacy. The means to true private sector, free market economic success lies with capital development and policies that allow for investment, ingenuity, and innovation — the American pursuit of happiness, not a Chris Van Hollen government guarantee of happiness.