John Ransom

It was a great week of debate on TH Finance. Now that we're at the weekend that means another stellar edition of Email, Hate Mail and Comments from Readers.

It's MY turn to sound off.

Keep the comments coming:

Brad wrote: “We need to go back to a 70% top marginal rate for income around the 10 million per year level. That would lead to a reversal of the last 30 years of income inequality that is killing our economy. Too much income at the top has led to asset inflation and bubbles over and over again” in response to Larry Kudlow’s column Paul Ryan's Growth Budget

Dear Brad,

Shouldn’t you be negotiating with Congress or submitting your own budget? Does Michelle know you spend this much time on the internet?

I couldn’t think of a worse idea than raising taxes. Almost half of all Americans pay no taxes already. In 2008, the top 50 percent of earners paid 97 percent of income taxes. The top 10 percent paid 70 percent of all income taxes. That’s up from 65 percent in 2001.

Confiscating money from the rich to give to the poor has never led to prosperity. In fact, one of our biggest problems is that our tax system rewards politicians and voters for giving away money. That’s why spending is out of control; that’s why the real estate market blew up.    

Ress wrote: “California won't provide a sufficient example for the disaster that awaits the country at large, for the simple reason that California can't print money to cover its debts and will therefore be forced to come to reality much sooner.” in response to Mike Shedlock’s column Jerry Brown Plans Massive Tax Hike

Dear Ress,

Yes. That’s part of the equation. The ability to borrow without restraint I think is a bigger problem. If you didn’t allow the government to borrow, they’d have no reason to print money.

Much of the consternation that you’ve seen in the states has to do with the fact that they must balance their spending against revenues. Every state except for Vermont has some sort of balanced budget requirement, although the details vary by state.

As a consequence, states can’t play the fuzzy math game that the feds have gotten away with.     


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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