On Hauser’s Law and Soaking the Rich

Whenever the subject of the deficit comes up, many well-intentioned people make the suggestion that we should repeal all or some of the Bush tax cuts and that this will go a long way to at least beginning to fix the problem.

Often times this graph (or one like it) is used in support of this notion.

First, let’s keep in mind that this is the deficit, the annual shortage when one compares money spent to money collected. This is different from the national debt which measures the sum total of the deficits.

On its face, it would seem that raising taxes (or eliminating the Bush tax cuts as some prefer to say) would be a reasonable approach. The problem is that the blue line above assumes that all taxpayers would leave their behavior unchanged. This is demonstrably false through what I have come to find out is called Hauser’s Law.

What this graph clearly shows is that raising taxes actually has little to no effect on money collected as compared to GDP. Why? Because taxpayers do change their behavior. The wealthy will shift money using tax sheltering or even move it out of the country.

What is worse is that which is unseen – The slowdown of the economy that would result from this activity. So what is to be done?

There is only one viable answer – reduce the size of government.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST!

On the end of DADT, but a troubling image

Note to readers: While running for Texas State Senate, I kept my political posts in this space to a minimum, but now that the election is over, I find it difficult to continue to separate the political stuff. So, if you don’t like the political stuff, please just ignore it. Most of my post will still be business related.

Yesterday, it was announced that the Congress has authorized an end to the “Do Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which will enable openly homosexual men and women to serve in the United States military. I applaud this decision and believe it will ultimately lead to a stronger more vital force.

I have long believed that anyone who wants to serve in this capacity should have the right to do so. My thanks to anyone who has served in the past! Here, here!

altThat said, accompanying the story was this photo of President Barack Obama:

The image of the President seems to be a common occurrence, and goes all the way back to some of his campaign shots in which the circle representing the halo was the logo from his campaign.

What is even more troubling to me is that Obama is not alone in being portrayed in this fashion. It seems this was trend for George Bush as well although the number of different images is considerably less. What is more, you cannot find this type of image for Clinton, Bush 39, or Reagan. (I did not go back any further.)

I do not think it is helpful for us to see images as sanctifying our leaders. Our Presidents, on both sides of the aisle, are humans with humans flaws and failings. They are not capable of miracles, nor, quite frankly, should we want or expect them to be.