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DC Economics ‘Experts’: Too Much ‘DC’ – Not Enough ‘Economics’

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

More Out of Balance than Ever

Steve Forbes, Larry Kudlow, Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore are four big name Washington, D.C. free market economic “experts.”  They have for decades been ensconced inside the Beltway – doling out their brands of reform.

But as we have seen from nigh anyone who enters the belly of the DC Beast – people grow comfortable, and start to stray from the less government ideas that brought them there.

Rather than rock the boat – they’d prefer to remain comfortably aboard.

DC is now a $4-trillion-a-year luxury liner.  Retaining your all-access-passage – far too often trumps adhering to better policy.

Art Laffer was the first to deviate from the conservative norm.  He has for years been a leading champion of the Marketplace Fairness Act.  An absolutely awful federal law that would empower state governments to collect sales and use taxes – from companies not located in those states.

Get that?  This is the quintessential example of taxation without representation. More

The Border Adjustment Tax: If You’re Right – You Don’t Have to Lie

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Once Lost, Integrity is Difficult to Regain

I like Bill Buckley, Frederic Bastiat, Milton Friedman and a whole host of other conservative luminaries.  But I am a conservative first and foremost – because I loathe lies and liars.  And Leftism – is a giant lie.

All the lies told by all of Leftism’s practitioners – are told in service of hiding the fact that the Big Idea behind all of it is hopelessly failed and fraudulent.  What is particularly annoying for a conservative – is when other conservatives do their best Left impersonations, and lie to advance a bad idea.

I speak of the very good idea that is the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) – and the lies some conservatives are telling to try to stop it.

What is the BAT?: “Under (this) tax reform, this system would not tax the exports of American companies, but would tax the gross value of any imports into the country. The new rate of tax on corporations is expected to be 20 percent, so that would also be the de facto rate of tax on imports.

“U.S. companies would immediately be on equal footing with their international competitors, the great majority of whom benefit from territorial taxation and border adjustability today.  American firms would be further advantaged by tax reform’s low 20 percent tax rate on corporations (down from a global high 35 percent today), and full business expensing of asset purchases (replacing multi-year depreciation deductions).

“Instead of taxing exports and not imports, we’d be taxing imports and not exports. Instead of reading about corporate inversions and outsourcing, we’d be reading about jobs and firms moving into the U.S. to take advantage of the favorable tax rules here.” More

Phil Gramm is Woefully Wrong on the Border Adjustment Tax

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Still His Approach Today

I have long liked former Texas Congressman, Senator and presidential candidate Phil Gramm.  I in fact voted for him in the 1996 Republican presidential primary.  The one time I got to meet him – years thereafter, at a UBS event (with whom he’d landed a post-politics gig) – I told him I had cast a presidential ballot for him.  His response was a deadpan “That was you?”

Gramm received my 1996 vote – in part because of a move he made in 1983.  Then a conservative Democrat Congressman, Gramm had been just about excommunicated from the Donkey Party for working on budget issues with Republican President Ronald Reagan.  So he announced he would switch Parties – and that he would resign his seat to do it.  Having been elected as a Democrat, he felt it dishonest to make the change without again facing the voters.  His voters re-ensconced him in a special election.

Gramm called his move: “(T)he only honorable course.”  He described his situation thus: “My crime was that I dared to practice in Washington what I preached here at home….That I should be punished for representing the people who sent me to Washington is unfair.” More

Republican Business Tax Reform: Less Government in Businesses’ Wallets – and Yours

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Finally Headed in the Right Direction

Congress hasn’t done major tax reform since 1986.  We are WAY past due.  And it is WAY past necessary.

The current tax code is an economy-stifling combination of sky-high rates – and stupid mandates and stipulations.  Most of what our government has ensconced in tax law – works to drive businesses out of business and out of the country.  Taking with them the jobs and salaries they proffer.

Our elected officials say they want to foster a business-friendly environment – so as to make available the most opportunities to the most Americans.  Their tax code belies them.

We invite you into our house – and then our tax code simultaneously picks your pockets and beats you about the head and shoulders with a bat.  We should at least have the decency to not act surprised when you get up and leave.

We need to rewrite tax law – that has for decades incentivized a mass American business exodus. This America Last, “Made In America Tax” code – is terrible policy. More

Do We Want the Tax Code to Prioritize Job Exporters – or Job Importers?

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

A Little Birdie Told Him – But He Didn’t Listen

I loathe taxes.  I loathe the concept of anything or anyone having mandated access to the money I earn.  They didn’t get up at 4:10am to go to the gym – so as to be able to begin work at 6am.  Day after day, every day – for years and years.  Why do they get a huge and growing chunk of any resulting coin?  It is offensive.

My late grandfather felt…similarly.  (Is this genetic?  I’m betting it at least partially is.)  If you mentioned the Internal Revenue Service in his presence, he would immediately spin to you and with a steely gaze hiss “They’re not the IRS – they’re The Assassins.”  And he wouldn’t let you call them anything else.  He wasn’t wrong (ask the Tea Party).

On this I am totally with the Libertarians – taxation is theft.  But I am a Realist.  In the panoply of evils – taxation is a necessary one.  It is absolutely not necessary in the omni-directional ways and at the confiscatory levels at which it currently exists.  But my organization is called Less Government – not No Government.  We need some government (Hello, Constitution – and its curtailed, delineated limits).  So we need some taxes.

The question then becomes – how to tax?  Taxation being theft – it damages the things subjected to it.  We Realists understand dynamic analysis – that government actions have private sector reactions.  And we Realists understand human nature.

It is we Realists who observe government for decades taxing people who work and paying people who don’t work – and are not surprised by a persistent perpetual underclass of people not working.  Even the Left occassinsaly cops to the effects of government action.  As demonstrated by their incessant pushes to tax all daylight out of cigarettes and sodas – to get people to stop purchasing them.  (That is allegedly their intent – of course they don’t in the slightest mind all the additional government money taken thereby.) More

The ‘Border Adjustment Tax’: Great Tax Reform – That Gets Us Great Trade Reform

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Let’s Bring Them Back, Shall We?

Our nation’s tax code is a nightmare mess of thorny brambles.  Interwoven with other thorny brambles.  Behind a high wall of thorny brambles.  It is anti-citizen.  And it is anti-anything-productive citizens choose to do – up to and especially including engaging in anything having to do with business.

Many, many facets of our tax code are anti-Constitution.  For instance – do you like the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal-protection-before-the-law clause?  The tax code doesn’t.  There are seven different individual/family tax rates.  Get that?  One law – seven different rates.  Not even close to equal protection.

Then there are the anti-American-productivity facets.  Do you like doing business?  Or being hired by a business?  Or purchasing things from business?  Our tax code doesn’t.  In a global marketplace – where our businesses are competing against not just businesses across town and from Des Moines and Dallas, but also places like Dubai and Dublin – our government saddles our businesses with the world’s highest corporate tax rate (35%).  Which is…unhelpful.

Now-President Donald Trump is now-President Donald Trump in large part because Candidate Trump repeatedly pointed out that so many things our government does to the citizenry is just this awful.  And Trump rightly saw this as why businesses have spent the last several decades moving out of America. More