[ Dear Readers : I have an unusual request. Because traffic in the blogosphere is lighter on Friday, Saturday and Sunday than the rest of the week, you may have missed Friday’s post here at CoF. I’m asking you to please take a few minutes to read, at least, the last few paragraphs where you will find three examples of The Stupid that is coming out of the Obama administration in recent days. This is important information that you need to have and to share with others. Thank you for your indulgence.]
The following article was originally published by Pat Slattery at The Free Market Project on August 8, 2011.
Who do they hurt?
The following are Democrat/progressive policies. The Dems and progressives claim to be the guardians of the poor and middle classes. Let’s see…
Preventing Energy Production: This raises gasoline and electricity prices. Who can least afford higher gasoline and electricity prices, the poor and middle class, or the rich? It also results in higher prices for any goods that have to be transported, or utilize gasoline or electricity to manufacture or grow. Again, who can least afford the higher price for goods, the poor and middle class, or the rich? I won’t even get into how many jobs could be created with a robust policy of energy exploration and production, but if I was to get into it, I’d ask who was hurt most by the lack of potential jobs.
Regulations: This is a very broad category because it includes everything from licensing to curbing energy production, to specific things that businesses are forced to do. Here’s the bottom line, though: Regulations have costs to businesses. Costs are built into the prices businesses charge for their goods and services. Who can least afford to pay the higher prices for goods and services, the poor and middle class, or the rich? In addition, many regulations (including licensing) make entry of a new business into a market too expensive or cumbersome for entrepreneurs. Which entrepreneurs are least likely to be able to bear these costs as they try to build a business to become successful? Poor and middle class people with a good idea and ambition. Who is least able to afford the higher prices that businesses that aren’t threatened by new competitors can charge? The poor and middle class.
Raising income taxes: Even though this is supposedly directed at the rich, who is hurt? The Democrats claim that rich people have plenty of money and will not be harmed by paying more in taxes. That may be true for the very rich. But it doesn’t mean that they won’t have a reaction or that something more productive might have happened with that money than pouring it into the black hole of government. What is, historically, the reaction when there is a disincentive (higher tax rates) to earn? Less economic activity–less spending and less investment. Who is hurt most when the economy takes a downturn? The Democrats themselves will tell you that it’s the poor and middle class. Yet, even knowing that raising tax rates does not historically increase government revenues, and historically decreases economic activity, they are so dedicated to class-warfare rhetoric that they won’t give this one up. The ones disproportionately hurt by an economic downturn are the poor and middle class.
Corporate income tax: Corporate income taxes are generally passed along to consumers. True, a certain amount of tax increase is simply absorbed, but companies run (unlike government) on a cash-flow basis. If anything increases the outflow of money (increased costs or taxes) prices have to rise. Businesses have a responsibility to maximize profits. Who can least afford the increased costs of goods and services caused by increased taxes on businesses? Further, there are places where businesses can go that allow them to continue providing lower cost goods and services while retaining more profit, namely other countries (or on a state level, other states). Who is hurt worst when jobs leave a country (or a state)?
Entitlement programs (specifically Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid): These programs are meant to help the poor and middle class (the rich don’t really need them). They are on a path to bankruptcy unless they are reformed. Actually, they need to be transformed from Ponzi schemes into something else entirely. Democrats don’t want to touch them, and they demonize Republicans (Paul Ryan springs to mind) who suggest that there is a workable way to transform the programs in the future while keeping the current and soon-to-be recipients receiving their benefits. Who is going to be hurt the most when these entitlement programs collapse? And they will collapse. It’s not an ideological issue; it’s a math problem.
That’s just a small, but significant sample. I actually changed my political stripes (I was a Democrat) when I realized what the unintended consequences were of programs such as welfare, which spent billions, didn’t solve the problem, and caused huge social destruction in the process. Who was hurt the most? I didn’t get into education, but it is another place where the government has failed miserably at a cost of billions, yet the Democrats absolutely refuse to do such commonsense things as allow school choice. Who is hurt the most by the Democrat policies regarding education (refusal to allow school choice, kowtowing to unions, etc.)?
It goes on and on. It is far more difficult to find a Democrat position that actually helps the poor and middle class than it is to point out how their policies in every area hurt the poor and middle class. This message has to get out. If a presidential contender was able to get this message across, it would be the end of the Democrats.