Saturday, September 03, 2011

The terrible tax logic of RWers

My post Shabbos wisdom for tonight is as follows:

The GOP thinks rich people should get tax breaks, on the (slightly specious, slightly superstitious, but also somewhat justified) grounds that the rich will use the money they save to buy things, and to create jobs. However these same GOP people often oppose social spending, even though the same positive argument can be made. If you give the poor money aren't they likely to spend it? If you give them negative incentives to find employment, isn't that a form of job creation in that it leaves spots open for others to take? If you provide them with medical services, won't that keep them healthy, and keep them earning and spending money? In fact, can't an argument be made that social spending, as a whole, serves to protect capitalism? If poor people are left to rot in their own filth, and given no hope for the future, how safe is the economy? People with no seat at the table almost always find a way of turning it over, especially if they have nothing to lose. Social spending provides them with hope and stability, and by providing them with hope and stability, we discourage them from overturning our entire system.

So why are handouts to the rich sacred cows, while handouts to the poor, which provide identical economic benefits are verboten? Why are the expected indirect benefits of paying off the wealthy something to celebrate and treasure, while the indirect benefits of paying off the poor are disdained?
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