Some people like to keep the money they make. There's a word for those people, according to leftist economics columnist Eduardo Porter: (wait for it...) racists.
New York Times writer Porter says in Wednesday's “Considering the True Cost Of Keeping Taxes Lower” that Americans would have no problem shelling out mega-money for the government's pet projects if only we weren't so doggone filled with hatred for minorities. Eschewing notions of "rugged individualism" as a reason to hold onto one's earnings, Porter lands the front page of the Business Day section with the blunt accusation of racial hostility. It is, he says, the cause of our country's resistance to the extreme financial governmental confiscation found in other parts of the world. Porter paints America as strange as he mandates that we get with the program:
American tax policy must stand as one of the great mysteries of the global political economy...Wagner’s Law, named for the 19th-century German economist Adolph Wagner, states that government spending as a share of the economy will increase as nations get richer and their citizens demand more and better public services. This may approximate public policy in other industrialized nations. In the United States, it fails.
Porter's assertion that it is the rich who want to benefit from government services seems patently absurd...but he continues, ridiculing the country's wimpy federal government that just isn't giving (subsequent to taking) nearly enough for our own good:
Americans are paying dearly as a result, as their comparatively small government has proved incapable of providing an adequate safety net to protect those most vulnerable to globalization and technological change.
Furthermore, Porter tells us he just can't fathom why we'd want to keep our earnings, but then he hits pay dirt -- racism:
It is hard to understand the deep reasons behind the American aversion to taxes and government. Is it the vestigial expression of a rugged individualism born on the American frontier? Is it racial hostility -- an unwillingness by whites to fund social programs that some believe unduly benefit minorities?
Vilifying those racists for wanting to keep their money, he asserts:
I have written about this country’s uniquely stingy tax policy before. Small government, I believe, has proved to be no match for its social ills, too puny to offer much resistance to rampant inequality, stubborn infant mortality or off-the-charts opioid addiction. American voters’ uniquely intense hostility toward trade can, in the same way, be traced back to the government’s ineffectiveness in mitigating trade’s disruptions.
Citing a study by the left-wing Brookings Institute indicating that Republicans' plan to raise the estate tax exemption to $11 million will only help the super rich, Porter castigates the wealthy and ridiculously contrasts higher taxes with babies dying:
It is hard to conclude that the Republican proposal is about anything but that narrow sliver. If it succeeds, it will transform the United States from a low-tax country to a lower-tax one. And the mystery will persist: In cutting taxes as babies die and adults waste away in addiction, what do Americans mean by nation?
Porter isn't NYT's only supporter of the government's totalitarian confiscation of the citizenry's financial resources: on Thursday, the Times doubled down on allegations of American racism as cause for communist resistance. Alan Rappeport's “Tax Rewrite Could Mean Cuts in Safety Nets" argues that, since Republicans are talking about tax cuts, it's time to bring up something the paper had no discernible concern for during the Obama years — the deficit:
Republican lawmakers have largely dismissed concerns about how their $1.5 trillion tax cut would add to the federal deficit. Now, some Democrats are warning that the tax rewrite would ultimately be financed by gutting entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The possibility of cuts to safety net programs appeared more likely on Tuesday, as the Congressional Budget Office warned that the tax bill could set off an arcane budget rule that would make deep cuts to Medicare over the next decade.
Republican lawmakers have turned a blind eye to the effect of the tax bill on the deficit, saying the tax cuts would essentially pay for themselves through increased economic growth.
But the party of deficit hawks is beginning to once again complain about the ballooning federal deficit, suggesting that spending cuts must be enforced to reduce the national debt, which has surpassed $20 trillion.
At a town hall-style event in Virginia on Tuesday night, Paul D. Ryan, the House speaker, said the most important steps that could be taken to reduce the national debt were spurring economic growth and making changes to entitlement programs.
For good measure, Rappeport quotes a big-name Democrat degrading and dismissing Republicans as maniacal congressional deviants:
Democrats said the tax bill was opening the door to the kind of entitlement cuts that Republicans had long wanted to pursue. “This is a nasty, two-step strategy that has long been the holy grail for hard-right Republicans,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader. “If this bill passes, you can bet the Republicans will immediately sharpen the knives for middle-class benefits."
To many at The New York Times, American politics is a clear-cut case of Democrats being virtuous providers for the masses while Republicans are sinister forces killing children. So is the state of the leftist mainstream media. But when those attitudes creep into discussions of economics by those who are supposed to have a knowledge of the subject, and when capitalist America is compared to countries with lower standards of living and still lamented as worse, we've wandered off the reservation in a bad way. Hard working Americans want to keep the money they earn. And it's that work ethic -- and the liberty which provides the possibility of its reward -- that has made the United States not a racist place, but a place that the Left trumpets so often: the longed-for destination of immigrants around the world.