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News Link • TAXES: Federal

You Can't End Poverty without Cutting Taxes

•, David Weinberger

Critics have predictably launched an all-out assault on the idea that taxpayers should keep more of their own money. One op-ed bemoansthe "alchemistic belief that huge tax cuts can pay for themselves by unleashing faster economic growth." Another decries the alleged lack of financing to "pay" for tax cuts, while further deriding them as mere "benefits for the wealthy." Others have abandoned evidence entirely and resorted to personal attack. "When power meets greed, you can bet, the schmucks in the red hats will pay," snarksone such commentator.

Tax reform advocates have rightly refuted these tired and often evidence-free attacks. For instance, hard facts demolish the farce that tax cuts uniquely benefit the rich. In percentage terms, tax reductions have historically tilted toward lower earners. As Thomas Sowell has pointed out, the slogan "tax cuts for the rich" should be labeled "tax lies for the gullible." Furthermore, talk of tax cuts "paying for themselves" is disingenuous. 

A lower tax rate may mean lower revenue, but less revenue is not the equivalent of government expenditure. Government spending must be "paid for," but taking less of a worker's income "costs" nothing, as the income earner—not Uncle Sam—has the right to the fruit of his labor. To argue otherwise means income first belongs to the state, not the individual. Remarkable that a country whose founding creed was "no taxation without representation" would lose sight of such an elementary truth.

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