A $6 600 refund? Nah, why bother

By Vin Suprynowicz
web posted August 16, 1999

Let's suppose a stick-up guy offered to hand you back one of your 20-dollar bills, so you'd have carfare home. You'd still be unhappy -- you'd still gladly pick his photo out of a book of mug shots -- but you'd take back your 20.

Right?

Now suppose this masked bandit hands you back a 20, but out of the wallet of the guy next to you -- the one wearing the gold Rolex and the Christian Dior suit -- he offers back a 50. Would you say, "No, no. It's not fair to give more back to him than you're giving back to me. Under those circumstances, keep all the money -- I don't want my 20 back"?

I didn't think so.

Yet the first tactic of those who ridicule the Republican Party's proposed $792 billion tax cut was precisely to complain middle-class voters should reject it, since it meant individual doctors, lawyers, and airline pilots might be allowed to keep slightly more of their earnings than would be handed back to the poor -- that being the inevitable result of the socialist-style, "graduated" income tax rates imposed by the Democrats in the first place, of course.

Since that hasn't quite done the trick, those defending President Clinton's plan to veto the tax cut and keep all the money for his bureaucrat buddies now shift to ridiculing the GOP tax cut as "too small to do any good "-- a mere 1 percent off the federal tax rate in each income bracket.

Now, the proposed cut can indeed be criticized for being too small. Only if it were large enough to actually reduce Washington's spending, forcing the shutdown of many counterproductive regulatory ant farms and freeing up more capital for private investment, could we count on it to really spur a new decade-long economic boom. It's also valid to ask why the cuts aren't all put into effect immediately, instead of being phased in over a period of years -- a plan dependent on the cooperation of future congresses who cannot be bound by today's votes, and all contingent on the economy continuing to do well.

But the logical inconsistency here should be obvious -- anyone complaining the tax cut is too small should be proposing a larger tax cut, while the Clinton-Gore Democrats, in fact, want one that's only one-third as large.

But even this argument -- that the proposed tax cut is too minuscule for anyone to get excited about -- turns out to be untrue.

The nonpartisan Tax Foundation (www.taxfoundation.org) has worked out how much the average household would save over the next decade -- on a state-by-state basis -- under the GOP tax cut as enacted. The national per household savings would by $7,396. Here in Nevada -- where average salaries are somewhat lower, as is the cost of living -- the average per household savings over the next decade would be $6,650.

Yes, under the GOP plan the federal government would still be much larger than that envisioned by the founding fathers. It would still be meddling in many areas not authorized by the Constitution. The whole job of restoring our liberties -- including an end to this "stealing the bread from the mouth of labor," which Thomas Jefferson warned us against -- would not be done. But the average Nevada family would have $6,600 more in the bank -- or a car in the driveway worth $6,600 more than the beat-up model that sits there now.

That's a whole lot more than a 20-dollar bill. But Democrats still expect you to say "No thanks: If taxpayers in high-income, high-tax states like New York and Connecticut would be getting back an average of $10,000 per household, then that's not faaaair. Under those circumstances, I'd just as soon not get back my $6,600 back, at all."

An extra $6,600 per family -- a total of $5.2 billion left to be spent in the local Nevada economy, which otherwise would go ... where?

Aha.

They don't just throw that money in the ocean, you know. Taxes hurt us two ways. First, we lose our money. But then they spend it beefing up the IRS, the ATF, the FDA, the DEA, our own domestic secret police and hostage assasination squad ("the FBI"), the Forest Service, the EPA, the BLM, the federal Department of Education -- the whole alphabet soup of federal regulatory intervenors who increasingly whittle away our traditional rights and liberties -- and especially the rights of westerners and southerners who just want to be self-sufficient, live free and make their livings off the land.

Talk about a package deal. Who could resist mailing in more money for that?

Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His new book, "Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement, 1993-1998," is available at $21.95 plus $3 shipping ($6 Priority) through Mountain Media, P.O. Box 271122, Las Vegas, Nev. 89127. The 500-page trade paperback may also be ordered via web site http://www.thespiritof76.com/wacokillers.html, or at 1-800-244-2224.




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