Saturday, April 04, 2009

"This upsets me."

It's comments like the following that upset me with some alleged libertarians?

Brink Lindsey, of the Cato Institute, supposedly a respected libertarian think tank, wrote in an online article for the New Republic that also appeared on the Cato website:

Tax reform also offers the possibility of win-win bargains. The basic idea is simple: Shift taxes away from things we want more of and onto things we want less of. Specifically, cut taxes on savings and investment, cut payroll taxes on labor, and make up the shortfall with increased taxation of consumption. Go ahead, tax the rich, but don't do it when they're being productive. Tax them instead when they're splurging — by capping the deductibility of home-mortgage interest and tax incentives for purchasing health insurance. And tax everybody's energy consumption. All taxes impose costs on the economy, but at least energy taxes carry the silver lining of encouraging conservation — plus, because such taxes exert downward pressure on world oil prices, foreign oil monopolies would wind up getting stuck with part of the bill.

Shift taxes? Increase taxes? Tax the rich? Impose new taxes? Use the tax code to influence public policy? What kind of libertarian tax reform plan is this? How about reduce, cut, eliminate, and abolish taxes? Not deductions, not exemptions, not credits, not shelters, not loopholes — taxes.


1 comment:

MasoodM said...

I understand what you're saying, and ideally we'd eliminate most taxes. But as long as we have some programs to maintain, I don't see anything wrong with trying to do it by wasting less money than we are now. Again, this should NOT be the focus of our efforts, but as long as it's a more peripheral concern and doesn't distract too much from the main story...