TeeJaw Blog

Eliminate Subsidies For Millionaires

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, December 9, 2011, 3: 56 PM

This is not class warfare. This actually makes sense. The Op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal by Stephen Moore and Walter E. Williams is what I’m referring to.

We propose a new law: Let’s call it The Millionaire Subsidy Elimination Act. It would prohibit anyone with an annual income over $1 million from receiving any government benefits. There’s a big advantage to cutting benefits to millionaires rather than raising their tax rates to 40% or 50%. Slashing expenditures would help grow the economy, while raising tax rates would hurt U.S. competitiveness and job creation.

Let us be clear on one point: We do not mean to demean the wealthy. The gratuitous bashing of rich people by the president and so many others in Washington is downright offensive. The United States is an affluent society because Americans reap rewards when they employ their talents, their innovative ideas, their entrepreneurial drive, and their sweat equity in ways that make products or provide services we all enjoy.

Those Earning a million or more a year don’t need any government subsidies. The don’t need social security (18-year old burger flippers paying their green fees) nor do they need medicare (they need the freedom to be able to buy any kind of insurance they want from any source in any state). They sure don’t need any agricultural subsidies if they’re already making a million bucks a year.  Oh, what if those subsidies are what’s enabling them to make a million a year?  All the more reason to stop the subsidy.

I would add one other provision to the Millionaire Subsidy Elimination Act. After a sufficient number of years, 5 say,  to show that Millionaires didn’t all die without their subsidies, and with their good example for going first, it would be time to implement an advancing scale downward to eventually eliminate government subsidies for everyone at all levels.  I guess that’s what Democrats call making everyone fend for themselves.  It’s what I call freedom and self-actualization, that happy state that Abraham Maslow declared to be the highest state of human potential, where we reach our best achievements in morality, creativity, spontaneity, lack of prejudice, problem solving, and acceptance of facts.

Read the whole thing in today’s Wall Street Journal on the opinion page.

So why do I think it not  likely that any politicians or policy makers will be beating the drums for this idea anytime soon?  Because, as public choice theory tells us, they care for and base their actions on their own self interest first.  How would this proposal increase their ability to buy votes with taxpayer funds, increase their rent-seeking abilities, help them foment hatred for the rich, or pack their campaign coffers with more dollars? It wouldn’t do much for them in any of those areas so they aren’t going to care much about it.  It would help the country immensely, but “so what?” is going to be their attitude.  Not that they would ever admit that, of course.

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