Thompson Tax Cuts Big Enough?

Fred Thompson has become the first Republican Presidential candidate this year to actually talk tax cut in any meaningful way. (Except, of course, for He Who Shall Not Be Named, who is still advocating eliminating the personal income tax altogether.) Bloomberg News is touting the “cost,” which Thompson hasn’t addressed, at $3 trillion over 10 years and $400 billion by 2012. James Pethokoukis notes that Bloomberg is committing the sin of static analysis:

That sort of “static” analysis assumes taxes have no impact on economic growth. If the tax cut boosts growth, then the so-called lost revenue won’t be anywhere near $400 billion a year. Plus, as the Thompson campaign notes, the candidate has also proposed a fix to Social Security, a far larger fiscal issue than the annual budget deficit.

With the budget on track to be in balance sometime in 2009, my question is whether a “cost” of $400 billion a year is enough. $400 billion in 2012 will be roughly, by my back of the cocktail napkin economic forecast, 2% of GDP, assuming the kind of growth that a serious round of tax cuts should bring. While a two percentage point cut in the tax burden is a good thing, a big chunk of that isn’t really a new cut at all, it’s just extending the by then 9-year old Bush tax cuts beyond 2010.

Fred Thompson has thrown down the tax cut gauntlet. If the other candidates are as serious about courting the “economic conservative” vote as they are about pandering to fundamentalist Christians, they have to pick it up and that means at least matching him.

[tags]Fred Thompson,taxes,tax cut,tax reform[/tags]

That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts

Thanksgiving Day, 2007
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Americans are a grateful people, ever mindful of the many ways we have been blessed. On Thanksgiving Day, we lift our hearts in gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, the people we love, and the gifts of our prosperous land.

Our country was founded by men and women who realized their dependence on God and were humbled by His providence and grace. The early explorers and settlers who arrived in this land gave thanks for God’s protection and for the extraordinary natural abundance they found. Since the first National Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President George Washington, Americans have come together to offer thanks for our many blessings. We recall the great privilege it is to live in a land where freedom is the right of every person and where all can pursue their dreams. We express our deep appreciation for the sacrifices of the honorable men and women in uniform who defend liberty. As they work to advance the cause of freedom, our Nation keeps these brave individuals and their families in our thoughts, and we pray for their safe return.

While Thanksgiving is a time to gather in a spirit of gratitude with family, friends, and neighbors, it is also an opportunity to serve others and to share our blessings with those in need. By answering the universal call to love a neighbor as we want to be loved ourselves, we make our Nation a more hopeful and caring place.

This Thanksgiving, may we reflect upon the past year with gratefulness and look toward the future with hope. Let us give thanks for all we have been given and ask God to continue to bless our families and our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 2007, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.


Previous Thanksgiving Posts:

2006 Thanksgiving Proclamation plus Madison’s 1815 Proclamation and Harry Truman’s 1945 Proclamation

2004 Thanksgiving Proclamation plus Washington’s 1789 Proclamation

The first National Thanksgiving Proclamation by the Continental Congress, November 1, 1777:

November 1, 1777
FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:
It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”
And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.

[tags]Thanksgiving,Thanksgiving Day[/tags]

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer?

The long time slogan of the demagogues is “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” A new tack on that old slogan is that prices are rising faster than wages. So, if Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all say it, it’s gotta be true, right?

Turns out, no. In fact, it turns out that the poor tend to get richer and the rich tend to get poorer, according to a ten year study of US income taxpayers released Tuesday by the Treasury Department.

Half the taxpayers in the bottom fifth moved into a higher bracket and the income of that bottom fifth itself increased. Median incomes of all taxpayers increased 24%, after adjusting for inflation, and those in the bottom fifth did even better.

Meanwhile, of the top 1/100th of 1% of taxpayers, the richest 11,700 taxpayers in the country in 2005, 75% dropped into a lower category and the median income of the top group declined.

Of course, don’t expect something like reality to interfere with Democratic demagoguery anytime soon.

Read the full Federal Treasury Income Mobility Study [PDF file]

[tags]Treasury,income mobility study,demagogue,Democrat[/tags]

Mr. Tancredo, Tear Down That Wall

Arkanssouri points to a Tom Tancredo campaign commercial that begins “There are consequences to open borders beyond the 20 million aliens who’ve come to take our jobs.” Opening right up with a display of ignorance of basic economics is not all that endearing in a supposedly conservative Presidential candidate. But aside from that, what about those consequences? “Jihadists who froth with hate” are running rampant across America, apparently.

This, it turns out, is “the price we pay for spineless politicians who refuse to defend our borders against those who come to kill.” Fine. Let’s ignore Mr. Tancredo’s ignorance, his racism, his religious bigotry and general xenophobia. Ignore all that and assume Mr. Tancredo has a valid point.

Does defending our borders “against those who come to kill” require abandoning our highest aspirations as Americans?

Does defending our borders “against those who come to kill” require closing our borders to those who come to work or those fleeing political or religious oppression?

Does defending our borders “against those who come to kill” require building a Wall?

If it does require a Wall, does defending our borders “against those who come to kill” require building a Wall With No Doors?

If that small minded little man thinks he should be President, he needs to take a look at the words of one of the greatest Presidents and give it another think:

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

God forbid we ever have to really say “Mr. Tancredo, tear down that wall.”