First it was President Obama, who told an audience in Quincy, Illinois:
“We're not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. I do think at a certain point you've made enough money, but you know, part of the American way is, you can just keep on making it if you're providing a good product.”
Er, I don't think that has much to do with financial reform, Mr. President. As I see it, your financial reform package is designed to maintain government control over the finance industry. What has government domination of the finance industry done for us? Fannie. Freddie. Value of the dollar down 98 percent in 100 years. On that record we are supposed to increase the government's powers?
Then it was Hillary Clinton in a speech at the Brookings Institition urging governments to "increase their public revenue collections" to spur investment.
"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues (the United States is), whether it's individual, corporate, whatever the taxation forms are," she said.
You mean increase taxes on job creators in a recession, Madam Secretary?
Then there is Robert Reich who says that "'investing' in 'people' through education and social welfare programs leads to job and economic growth."
You mean the wonderful system that gives us 15 percent of adults "below-basic" in literacy? And welfare programs that have cratered the low-income family?
If Clinton and Reich were correct, then with the massive increase in "public revenue collections" in the 20th century from about 7 percent of GDP to about 35 percent, we should be seeing a lot more jobs and economic growth. Actually, spurts in growth happened after the government lowered tax rates in the 1920s, 1960s, 1980s, and 1990s.
In fact, rich people pay rather more than their fair share of taxes, particularly income taxes. In 2006 the "top 1 percent of households earned 18.8 percent of income and paid 28.3 percent of taxes."
Democrats seem to be eager to argue for increased taxes in the upcoming mid-term elections this Fall. We will see what the American people think of that.