Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | October 31, 2013

Want hope and a future? Deregulate.

Readers, I was actually, in effect, composing a new post when I responded to Reader of Excellence “jgets” in a comments exchange at TOC today.  Rather than spending time tweaking this further, I will simply post it to get it out there for discussion.

Reader jgets posited the following:

[Apropos this link, suggesting a higher tax rate on the top 1%.]

More ideas like the above from the 1%, a steady reduction in government expenditures and entitlements, a smarter tax policy for the upper middle class, a modest tax contribution from the now untaxed middle class, a token contribution from the working poor, and maybe we’ll get out of this financial mess.

Can the Republicans make a compelling message outta that moving towards 2016?

TOC response:

No. The middle class will hear exactly one thing out of that summary: “a modest tax contribution from the now untaxed middle class.”

The middle class is already taxed. People making $75-250K are the middle class. They’re the ones who make the economy go. They are taxed, in every way (not just sales tax, excise taxes, and fees), and they’ve been taking big economic hits over the last 5 years.

People making $40-74K a year may not, depending on their life circumstances (e.g., lots of kids), pay net federal income tax in a given year. But they do pay other kinds of taxes, and many of them are aware of it.

Moreover, these are the folks most likely to have formerly made $40-74K a year. These are the people who’ve been losing their jobs right and left since 2008, or seeing their small businesses fail. Even if they haven’t, they’ve been losing their health insurance.

Obamacare has now come along and made it too expensive to pay for individual private coverage — if they’re lucky enough to have gotten a wage job at Wal-Mart since losing the job with insurance benefits (or maybe the wife has gotten a good reputation as a substitute teacher, and can work a good 15 days each month so there’s at least some discretionary income). Now you want to tell them they haven’t absorbed enough economic blows, and they need to pony up “a modest tax contribution” on top of that?

We can’t get out of our current mess by tweaking the tax code. We have to deregulate. Build that Keystone pipeline. Drill off our coasts. Retool old refineries and build new ones. Drill and frack where we’re not doing it now. Stop killing coal and the trucking industry with psychotic emission limits.

Stop trying to de-incentivize new single-family residential building, by driving up the price of it with draconian land-use limitations and tying it to high-density residential and light-rail hubs. Unload the whole Agenda 21 template and let people drive the cars they want to drive and live in single-family homes in the suburbs where the schools are better and the kids can be safe at the parks.

Stop forcing long-term reorganization and shrinkage on American agriculture — killing off the family farm and the whole economy that centers on it — by artificially withholding water from farmers and regulating their “dust.” (Stop with the federal subsidies to agriculture too, of course.)

Stop driving ranchers one by one off the land with lawsuits against grazing — grazing that no one but a few clinically demented eco-activists thinks damages the planet.

Stop requiring, with federal and state law, that it cost employers so much to employ the American worker — but that the money it costs go to the state, or the state’s designated recipients (e.g., insurance companies), rather than into the worker’s pocket!

RR Jobs quoteStop burdening American businesses with the whole array of preemptive regulations they have to spend so much of their revenues to comply with. No one, businesses or individuals, would have to borrow as much as everyone routinely does now, for any purpose, if government stopped taking such a big slice out of current-year revenues. Rampant borrowing gets us in a lot of trouble — creating a titanic and ever-present moral hazard for regulators as well as creditors and debtors — and everyone, literally everyone, would do a lot less of it if government didn’t cost us so much in so many ways.

The most effective way to reduce that cost today is to deregulate. But deregulation would also open up colossal revenue streams we don’t tap today, from energy, transportation, construction, manufacturing, and even agriculture and husbandry. We’ve been slowly killing off our economy for the last 100 years; it’s mind-boggling how many more people would be better off today if we hadn’t been, and how much smaller our government debt would be at all levels.

People can understand that message, if it’s put clearly. Don’t go out and tell the people they have to contribute more to a fatal enterprise. Tell them there’s a way for all of us to have more options and get more from our labors.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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Responses

  1. jgets gets it, except those making $40-75K have been losing jobs longterm since 2000 due to the convergence of 1) manufacturing jobs migrating to Canada and Mexico, 2) The late 70’s inflation-changed Wall Street paradigm that forced ‘consolidation’ and monetization of everything publicly traded since 1978, and 3) what I call the Enron-business-model effect (long story).

    And, I would add that anyone who has a land line and/or cable has been seeing a cascade of very small ‘taxes’ since 2011. (Don’t have a cellphone, assume same little taxes there too.)

    thanks.

    • Bill Gross and Optcon get it K2K. My intention was to act as a catalyst to get the ideas going.

      The treatment of middle class incentives and taxes will have to be refined. The “modest contribution” part was meant to describe a general reprieve of the burdens shouldered by some in the middle class as opposed to other members who don’t contribute enough, but can’t be considered working poor. I admit it’ll have to be more clearly defined. And handled in a fashion the can’t be twisted by the democrats into a “see, the republicans don’t care about the middle class, they are going to raise your taxes” weapon. Optcon’s handling of the issue is on the right track.

      The middle class is the crux of a successful campaign strategy. No presidential election can we won by the republicans unless it is addressed properly.

      Al least Bill Gross’ ideas, negate “soaking the rich” type arguments. It can hardly be considered that, if the 1% suggest they pay more in taxes on their own, seeing the benefit to the Nation’s economy. There is much the republicans can do with these types of ideas to counter the (false) perception that they are the party that only represents the wealthy and privileged.

  2. Have government let up on its crushing over-regulation? I am not optimistic.

    If there wasn’t enough incentive to do that during this latest recession, when will government ever think to take the boot off the necks of productive citizens?

  3. The problem in a nutshell is how do you change the desire to do something – the prog default and even the establishment GOP DC type – into the desire to STOP doing things.

    Govt is sucking the host dry and wandering into terminal territory. How do you convince a bunch of hanger-ons, with limited practical contributions to make to society, to surrender the wealth and prestige that comes with “govt service”?

    When we decided character didn’t matter, which was a cornerstone of the house the founders built, it was merely a matter of time until those with a shread of integrity would be overwhelmed by those without.

    I am not optimistic that it can be saved and tend to think along the lines of Williamson at NRO that it will just start falling apart and be left to those of us with a partially functioning brain to move forward. The diffusing of the centralization of information and communication channels will give us a vehicle for doing so.

    The govt is doing way too much; but a lazy, inattentive electorate is more interested in the royal baby or what is happening to the Kardashians (sp?). While it is always overkill to bring up the bribery of the Roman populace in the time of the Roman Empire, we are to some extent there. While Romney was not my ideal candidate, it is telling that all I see now are a bunch of articles about how Romney was right on more and more things. WE know the press safely feels they can do that now. But if you want to do something that would make a huge difference, start hurting the media’s bottom line. They are your enemy because they realize the future as it is being realized no longer needs any of them.


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