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A correlation that Democrats and Liberals are completely incapable of grasping:
Via Dan Mitchell at International Liberty:
Higher tax rates are good news for the politicians, interest groups, bureaucrats, and lobbyists that dominate Washington.
Here’s a simple example. Let’s pretend we have a modest tax rate of 20 percent. Now imagine you are part of an industry with $200 million in profits and you want a special tax break. How much are you willing to pay to get that loophole?
Well, with a 20 percent tax, the most you can save (assuming the loophole is huge and you wipe out all your tax liability) is $40 million.
So how much would you spend on lobbyists, campaign contributions, etc, in order to get that loophole? That’s hard to answer, because it would require some estimate of the probability of success. But one thing we can safely assume is that the industry would never spend more than $40 million.
But let’s now assume you live in a world with 50 percent tax rates. Does that change the incentive for influence peddling in Washington? Of course it does. The industry’s tax bill is now $100 million, so it now has an incentive to spend up to that amount to get special treatment.
So now let’s consider a couple of additional hypothetical questions.
- First, imagine you’re a lobbyist. Do you think you will get more business if tax rates are high, or if tax rates are low?
- Second, imagine you are a politician. Do you think you will get more campaign contributions if tax rates are high, or if tax rates are low?
The answers are obvious, and so are the implications. Yes, higher tax rates are bad for growth and competitiveness. And, yes, they are unfair and discriminatory.
But they also foment and encourage sleaze in D.C., and that’s something that honest leftists should hate as much as the rest of us.