Politics and the Bankruptcy of Truth

As soon as the White House released its framework for tax reform, democrats who like to get media attention condemned it as a sell out that will mainly benefit the rich.  This gives validity to what use to be a political joke but no longer is—How do you know when a politician is lying?  When he/she starts moving his/her lips.

John Adams two centuries ago said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”  He was absolutely right as was the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan who said that we are all entitled to our own opinions; just not our own facts.

The case for tax reform has been evident since the end of the great depression as the economy has grown less than 2% annually.  With an aging population and slow-down in productivity, achieving 4% growth would be quite a challenge but there is little doubt that we can do better.  We need more domestic investment, we need our companies to be more competitive, and we need more good paying jobs.

That is where tax reform comes into play.  Contrary to democrat assertions about only benefitting the wealthy.  There is a strong analytical case for reducing the corporate tax rate and simplifying the tax code.

The Heritage Foundation just released a paper that is a review of the economic literature on the impact of taxes on workers’ pay.  It starts with the seminal work of Arnold Harberger in 1962 and includes analyses in the 2000s.  The case is compelling: cutting corporate taxes will lead to higher wages.  Some analyses suggest that upwards of 75% of the benefits flow to workers.

These same democrat politicians also have a strange interpretation of fairness.  Demanding that the tax code be made fairer conveniently ignores the fact that according to the Tax Foundation, the top 10% of taxpayers pay 70% of the individual income tax while the bottom 50% pay 2%.  This does not mean that only democrats lie.  Distorting the truth and water boarding facts until they confess to anything and everything is bi-partisan.

The erosion of truth by blind adherence to political ideology and expediency helps to explain why respect for politicians and Congress is so low, 20% in the latest Gallup poll.  As a nation, we face a large number of serious problems, the economy being a major one.  Problems will multiply and get worse until those chosen to govern put the national interest ahead of self interest.
 

Author: billo38@icloud.com

Founder and president of Solutions Consulting which focuses on public policy issues, strategic planning, and strategic communications.

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