Friday, April 20, 2007

Leftist Defeated Big in Debate

From Larry Kudlow's TV-show:

KUDLOW: All right. Don Luskin, let me go to you. I'm looking at some of the distributional aspects of our current tax code. The top 1 percent now pays 37 percent of income taxes. Back in 1980, they only paid 19 percent. The top 5 percent pays 57 percent. That's up from--that's up from 37 percent back in 1980. And if you make over a million bucks, 181,000 people, they pay 19 percent of the income tax. Your thoughts, Don Luskin.

Mr. LUSKIN (Trend Macro Chief Investment Officer): Well, I'd like to borrow a word from Jared Bernstein, unfair. I'd like to know what's fair about getting one class of people to pay all the bills for another class of people, be they rich or poor. I'm sick and tired of hearing the word fairness used in this discriminatory way. It's a one-way use of a word, where it's fair if the rich pay more and it's unfair if the poor pay their fair share.

Mr. BERNSTEIN (Economic Policy Institute Senior Economist): You're breaking my heart here. For the rich...

Mr. LUSKIN: And I'm tired of it.

Mr. BERNSTEIN:'re breaking my heart here, Don. I mean, corporate profits are at 56-year high. Who here feels sorry for rich people?


Mr. LUSKIN: No one is feeling sorry for anybody, Jared. I'm talking about fairness. I'm talking about equality. I'm talking about egalitarianism...

Mr. BERNSTEIN: So you want--so you want everybody to pay...

Mr. LUSKIN: ...the kind of thing that people like you spend your whole careers raving about. All I know is that it doesn't make any sense for a taxi driver who is willing to work two shifts to pay a higher tax rate than a lazy taxi driver who only works one shift. Now, you explain to me what is fair about a tax code that punishes enterprise.

Mr. BERNSTEIN: Well, you want to talk about fairness, let's talk about the Bush tax cuts. The reduction in tax liability...

Mr. LUSKIN: Well, why don't you answer my question first before we talk about the Bush tax cuts?

Mr. BERNSTEIN: The reduction--I think I am answering your question.

Mr. LUSKIN: What about those taxi drivers?

Mr. BERNSTEIN: I am answering your question. The reduction...

Mr. LUSKIN: Why is it fair for a hard-working taxi driving to pay a higher tax rate than a lazy taxi driver?

Mr. BERNSTEIN: Well...

Mr. LUSKIN: Answer that question.

Mr. BERNSTEIN: Certainly that's not fair. The...

Mr. LUSKIN: Thank you.


Blogger dan the man said...

Of course this is correct. It must be a level playing field; will we ever see a flat tax? On the other hand, it pisses the entire world off for multi-millionaires to pay zero, zilch, nada. Know what I mean?

10:11 PM  

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