A Year of No Net Neutrality


It’s been a year since the FCC put an end to the so-called “net neutrality” regulations. IIRC, ending those regulations was supposed to kill either all of us or the Internet or, maybe, both, depending on which Progressive was warning us.

I have to admit that I’m a bit bored with that form of being dead. However, some of the tax silliness being proposed may create new opportunities to be be dead for tax reasons.

Math and Facts are Harder


I’m sure Paul Krugman thinks he made a morally justifiable argument in his recent NYT article supporting ¡Ocasio! She Guevara’s proposed higher tax rates, but he’s dead wrong on both the facts and his math. He wrote,

The controversy of the moment involves AOC’s advocacy of a tax rate of 70-80 percent on very high incomes, which is obviously crazy, right? I mean, who thinks that makes sense? … And it’s a policy nobody has ever implemented, aside from … the United States, for 35 years after World War II — including the most successful period of economic growth in our history.

It’s a fact that World War II ended in 1945. You can look it up.

It’s also a fact that the top U. S. personal income tax rates were cut from 70 percent to 50 percent in 1964. Paul Krugman could have looked that up in the NYT’s archives.

1964 – 1945 = 19 and 19 < 35.

Also, the peak period of post WWII economic growth in America was after that tax cut, a fact that Krugman would have also found if he researched his paper's own archives.

Space prohibits a full discussion of the impact of the tax cut, but current data show that inflation-adjusted G.D.P. increased 5.8 percent in 1964 after a 4.4 percent rise in 1963. Growth improved to 6.5 percent in 1965 and 6.6 percent in 1966. These were the three best back-to-back years for economic growth in the postwar era, and economists generally credit the Kennedy-Johnson tax cut for much of it.

Sometimes Truth just refuses to fit The Narrative.

UPDATE—To be fair to Paul Krugman, the Kennedy/Johnson tax cut became law just before his 11th birthday, so he probably has no real memory of the economic conditions he was writing about.

Don’t Know Much About History Meets Math Is Hard


Jeff Dunetz has a post over at The Lid about ¡Ocasio! She Guevara’s “tax fairness” proposal. He quotes her as saying.

You know, you look at our tax rates back in the ’60s, and when you have a progressive tax rate system, your tax rate let’s say from zero to $75,000 may be 10 percent or 15 percent, etc. But once you get to the tippy-tops on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent …

Uh, wrong! The 70 precent top rate on incomes above $100,000 was a holdover from the ’40 and ’50s. One of the key accomplishments of the Kennedy Administration in the ’60 was to get the top rate lowered to 50 percent as a means of stimulating economic growth. Even corrected for inflation, her imagined threshold income for the top rate is an order of magnitude higher than the ’50s value. She’s set her definition of rich too high.

In any event, her numbers don’t add up with the current distribution of incomes. Jeff includes the following table—The top marginal rate is now about 40 percent. If doubling the rate didn’t result in the rich moving more of their their assets offshore and the taxman could take twice as much money from them, one could expect about a 20 percent increase in revenue. Personal income taxes would increase 40, but personal income taxes are only about half of the government’s take. That would provide roughly 800 billion dollars a year, which would not quite offset the deficit expected before implementing She Guevara’s Green New Deal. In fact, doubling everyone’s taxes wouldn’t provide enough money to fund her schemes.

TANSTAAFL!

UPDATE—With her congressional pay, Ms. Occasional-Cortex will be entering the upper 5 percent of income earners. Perhaps this will provide her with the same sort of practical education experienced by other who have climbed the income ladder.

Let’s Make a Deal


Sarah Hoyt has a long essay over at According to Hoyt very effectively demonstrating the stupidity of She Guevara’s proposed Green New Deal. Ms. Hoyt does this in a most unfair manner by using Real World data and numbers and math. For example, consider the cost of green energy upgrades to “every” residential and commercial building.

That estimate— which, frankly, for a full remodel of an average 2,500 square foot home to state-of-the-art anything is still probably small— would put the cost of this project at 1.36 trillion dollars. Oh, plus another 336 billion dollars if we assume renovating commercial buildings costs only about 6 times as much, per building, as private homes. Or, for convenient reference, a bit more than the 1.688 trillion the government is expected to make in personal income taxes. Again, by fairly conservative estimates. This could be way higher.

Read the whole thing. I did, and in the process I also found couple of useful new terms to use in reference to the young congresscritter-elect: ¡Ocasio! and kindercaucus.

Omelettes, Eggs, Some Disassembly Required


“What’s your comfort number, Lefties?” asks The Phantom over at The Phantom Soapbox. Even before taking office, She Guevara has already threatened the President’s son with a subpoena because of an effective meme on Twitter, and Eric Swalwell has expressed a willingness to use nuclear weapons to enforce gun control. Both may be joking or speaking hyperbolically, but they tipped their hands. It’s clear that these socialists are willing to use government power to force through the social changes they want.

P. J. O’Rourke once suggested that we should not favor any government program that we were not willing to kill our own grandmother for. He reasoned that if she didn’t pay her taxes to support the program, the government would send an agent with a gun to collect the taxes and that further resistance could be fatal, so we only should support a government program if we really supported such an outcome. The Phantom wonders how many of our grandmothers these socialists are willing to sacrifice—

So there’s really only one question worth asking DemocRats in the USA and Liberals here: how many people are you willing to throw out of work to get your socialist plan enacted? How many will you imprison to enforce your regulation? How many senior citizens are you willing to freeze to death for your ecological fuel tax? How many resisters will you kill? Hmm?

One?
Ten?
Ten thousand?

The Communist’s answer was 100 million in the 20th Century. The entire nation of Canada, four times over, died for the myth of the Worker’s Paradise. The Chinese Communists are still at it.

Read the whole thing.

Math Is Hard, Facts Are Stubborn, …


… and socialist claims don’t add up. She Guevara’s latest silliness suggests that converting to a renewable energy economy will establish … oh, here are her own words—

As a matter of fact, it’s not just possible that we will create jobs and economic activity by transitioning to renewable energy, but it’s inevitable that we are going to create jobs. It’s inevitable that we’re going to create industry, and it’s inevitable that we can use the transition to a hundred percent renewable energy as the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America.

Ummm, I suppose Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is relying on the “fact” that the socialism being practiced in other countries isn’t the real thing, and that she and her comrades would finally get it right here in America. After all, the real world facts show that the proles in France (the intellectual cradle of Marxism and Post-modernism) are rebelling against a carbon fuel tax. And the socialist destruction of the carbon fuel industry in Venezuela has not had a positive effect on that country. (However, wrecking that industry was probably an unintended consequence of other socialist policies.)

Whatever.

What does seem to be true is that she’s been reasonably successful selling her brand of snake oil. She’s been elected to Congress. She’s developing a national following. And there seems to be a group of uneducated young people who are rallying to her promises of free stuff. It’s been suggested that she could be the Left’s answer to Donald Trump, a brash upstart who doesn’t play by the rules and who intuitively understands how to sell her program to a large segment of the voters. If that’s true, let’s hope that Reality catches up to her before she can do real damage.

Don’t Know Much About History


The Washington Free Beacon reports that She Guevara (AKA Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) has compared her winning an election to the moon landing or establishment of civil rights. She’s quotes as saying:

We’ve done what we thought was impossible. We went to the moon. We electrified the nation. We established civil rights. We enfranchised the country. We dug deep and we did it. We did it, when no one else thought that we could. That’s what we did when so many of us won an election this year. That’s what so many of us did.

Neil Armstrong and Martin Luther King, Jr. were unavailable for comment. However, Sarah Hoyt has noted “WELL, MOON, MOONBAT….”

The good news is that She Guevara seems to be proving that her place in politics is to provide comic relief. The bad news is that her legislative proposals, if successful, would wind up increasing the federal budget much, much more than the Apollo program did during the ’60s. (NASA’s slice of the pie was a bit about 4 % then; it’s about 0.4 % now.)