Sunday, March 30, 2008

News Jog Brief 3-31-08

CNBC: Obama might double cap-gains tax
The Jog often finds itself stewing while the usual suspects bog down legitimate criticism of Barack Obama's presidential campaign with misguided attention placed on race, race, and more race. Anyone who refuses to vote for the first term senator because of his ethnicity is a complete moron. Intelligence and bigotry enjoy a perfect inverse relationship- the more you have of one, the less you have of the other. The reason to be wary of an Obama presidency has nothing to do with the color of his skin and everything to do with the notions rattling around his brain. The idea that raising the capital gains tax is the answer to all that ails the economy is simply wrong. In fact, raising the tax just a slight percentage can only hurt the economy. Capital gains are the dividend of investment. The economy always does better when more people who have the means to invest (that's right, the wretched rich) have incentive, and are inclined to do so. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the more one stands to gain from investment- the more capital one is willing to invest. If a politician sincerely wanted to turn the economy around he or she would do everything in their power to abolish the capital gains tax in its entirety. Just get rid of it. But that will never happen because most voters live in complete ignorance of the real world forces that govern the economy. The truth is there is no such thing as an economy that's good for the working man and bad for the rich. A good economy will always benefit the rich because sound fiscal policies benefit everyone of sound mind and body willing to work for a living. It is impossible to hurt the rich without punishing the poor. Think of a train with many box cars- out of fuel and stuck on the track. Think of the engine room as the filthy rich and continue the metaphor by imagining the caboose as the nation's poor. Now think of yourself as a rescue worker arriving on the scene with a large supply of coal. What part of the train do you suppose it makes most sense to toss your shovels of coal at in an effort to get the caboose moving on down the line? You could, out of some imagined moral duty, convince yourself that the only decent thing to do would be to focus on those at the back of the line first. The truth is that you could heave every chunk of coal you have into that damned caboose and the train wouldn't budge an inch. But start feeding the coal into the engine and the old iron horse would quickly sputter to life. Before long the whole train would begin moving smoothly down the track. Sure, the well-to-do would reach their destination first- but the movement of the whole train is the only way to eventually get those in the caboose further on down the line as well. Over-taxing the rich hurts the rich and the poor. Removing the obstacles to investment helps the rich and the poor. There is no other way to achieve sustained economic growth and Barack Obama should know better than to resort to class warfare in an effort to scare up votes. The fact that he doesn't is but one of several legitimate reasons not to vote for him.

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