Using MMT for Evil
Out of the comments, Tom H had a gem:
Waren has pointed out that Art Laffer understands monetary ops perfectly. His whole game is cutting taxes, cutting spending on social programs, and increasing corporate subsidies. This is the source of Cheney’s famous, “Deficits don’t matter.”
The problem is that “they” do get it and have been using it to advantage. Laffer’s current disciple is GOP “budget whiz” Rep. Paul Ryan. But now the fiscally conservative GOP wing is objecting to what Poppy Bush called “voodoo economics.” So we’ll have to see how this shakes out on the GOP side. So far the Lafferites are winning, with tax cuts blowing out the deficit, which is good from the MMT vantage at this point in time, with huge leakage from demand due to increased saving/delevering and an outsized CAD.
I confess, I knew that Laffer knew monetary operations, and how it all worked. I just didn’t put together that someone could use the ideas of MMT in evil ways. Doh! How did I not see this?!?
If Art Laffer really gets and believes MMT, then he must be a pretty heartless guy. As far as I can tell, he does not now and has never advocated a payroll tax reduction, even though those are the people that could boost demand the most. And he even goes out of his way to misrepresent the amount of taxes working people pay.
Let’s take a look at the bottom 75% of taxpayers over this same time period — the group current Democrats refer to as middle- and lower-income earners. From 1981 through 2005, the share of all income taxes paid by the bottom 75% of all income earners (as reported on the individual income tax returns) declined to 14.01% from 27.71%. As a share of GDP, total taxes paid by the bottom 75% fell to 1.05% from 2.50%. The bottom 75% of all taxpayers today pay less than 35% of all the taxes paid by the top 1% of all income earners.
Over the last 25 years, the bottom 75% of all taxpayers’ tax payments fell and their tax rates fell. This is the group the Democrats are targeting for tax cuts.
Where is any mention of Social Security taxes? If he knows MMT – which according to Warren he does – then he cannot be ignorant of the impact on the lower classes of these taxes. Also, he must then realize that the greatest corporate tax break possible would be to reduce the employer side of Social Security taxes. But he doesn’t talk about this – even though it would be the most logical and large tax reduction we could have.
I bring this up because all he really talks about is reducing taxes. So why not aim at the biggest tax pie out there?
His life goals must involve some form of bringing back poor houses and trying to undermine the government.