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The Hitler-Stalin pact

By Owen Paine on Tuesday December 5, 2006 06:46 PM

In the joust between the prog pops and the neo-libs for the honor of wearing the longest pair of ears, here's a show-stoppin' flash: if the block of DLCers and Rubinoid Hamiltonians needs help, reinforcements may appear from, of all places, the "free to choose" and "make Uncle a midget" wing of the GOP. Yup, the Babbit libertarian horde may ride to Bobby and the boys' rescue -- or so sez some buffoon over at the Cato Institute site:


Allow me to hazard a few more specific suggestions about what a liberal-libertarian entente on economics might look like.... (zero) farm subsidies and other corporate welfare....

The president of Cato and the executive director of the Sierra Club have come out together in favor of a zero-subsidy energy policy.... A nascent fusionism on these issues already exists; it merely needs encouragement and emphasis....

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.... And tax everybody's energy consumption.

...Gore has proposed a straight-up swap of payroll taxes for carbon taxes, while Harvard economist Greg Mankiw has been pushing for an increase in the gasoline tax.

But there's a small cloud...
Entitlement reform is probably the most difficult problem facing would-be fusionists.... Here, libertarians' core commitments to personal responsibility and economy in government run headlong into progressives' core commitments to social insurance and an adequate safety net. Yet a fusionist synthesis is possible nevertheless, for the simple reason that some kind of compromise is ultimately unavoidable.

Comments (8)

J. Alva Scruggs:

That cloud is where I usually get out my knife and back away carefully from people who are suffering visions of capitalist liberty. The yearning for endless rounds of creative and not so creative destruction means "winner take what he can" chaos, not liberty and not anarchy. I'd like to know with what, exactly, do they plan to replace the governing effect of entitlement spending? It's close to ten percent of the GDP.


I love the idea of a murderous carbon tax, but where Cato's cloven hoof peeks out is the suggestion that it should be used to offset payroll taxes -- which are, of course, the last revenue sources that preserve any vestigial traces of income-progressivity. No doubt the Hamiltonians would also be quite happy to erode this principle still farther.

What I'd like to see is a walloping carbon tax that would be rebated, in its entirety, on a strict per-capita basis, to every man woman and child in America.

js paine:

the two economic pillars of our state system
(from a weeble point of view):

the tax and transfer system
uncle's unlimited credit card

both of these are profoundly
"in contradiction"
to all babbit libertarian fantasy
"little umpire states"
j alva
l like your distinction between
anarchy and chaos

not that a wonderful stateless society
is just one good rev away

(as crypto kropotkinites asser)

but stateless ness

-----with its non legitimate rulers
default mode
"mob rule" ------

is not the real horror here

but rather
"license calling itself liberty"
specifically in our social formation
rampant privateering for profit

ps hows that for oh rotund !!!!!

js paine:

father smith hacks the secret code
contained in this quid pro quo

"Specifically, cut taxes on savings and investment, cut payroll taxes on labor and make up the shortfall with increased taxation of consumption.... And tax everybody's energy consumption.."

where i say cut the payroll tax back to pay as you go (plus some borrowed smoothery )
and tax wealth

the babbit libertarian
trade off is
a pay roll tax cut
for the jobbled millions
what amounts to a giant step further
towards a tax free profit zone
for the wealthy privateering class

"deal or no deal ?? "
what say u mates ????

an inside slam
the sublime father points to :

the tax base for the transfer system (pay roll)
is here narrowed
as what ...a vat moves in
to replace all this

progressive consumption taxes
like uncle milty's " negative income taxes"

wage earner mickey finns

both expedite
the tax free profiteering zone
as schemes they
demoralize the progs
social engineering plans
by debasing their tax tools
and making a new world sweden

Michael Hureaux:

That's what I'm talking about. The future is in the direction Venezuela and the southern hemisphere are travelling, toward non-allignment, and grassroots socialism, or there is no future.

js paine:

M Hureaux

oui oui



Payroll taxes are actually regressive. The Social Security of the payroll tax applies a 6.2% tax rate to the first $94,200 of wage income. If you make $94,200 or less, your effective tax rate is 6.2%, but if you make $942,000, your effective tax rate is 0.62%! The Medicare portion of the payroll tax is a flat tax that is 1.45% on all wage income. As the Social Security portion is much larger, the payroll tax is regressive.

The federal income tax is progressive, although not as much as it used to be.

js paine:

va green
indeed the payroll tax system
is regresssive extraction

(btw both father smith and i have pointed this out on most opportune occasions)

we're all for sharper progressivity in the extractor mode

in particular beyond the rate schedule
climbing like a roman candle
we need to hit non job income

not set up a pathway to tax free zoning for profits

final solution

a wealth tax baby
a wealth tax
that services
the national debt
and the pentagon

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