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Archive for May 4th, 2011

As a taxpayer, I’m not overly happy that we still have an Indian Affairs Committee. And I’m definitely not happy that the Committee is wasting my money by holding a hearing about stereotypes. And I’m rolling my eyes that some folks on the Committee are upset that Osama bin Laden was given the code-name Geronimo.

Here’s what ABC is reporting.

The Senate Indian Affairs committee will hold a hearing Thursday on racist Native American stereotypes, a hearing that will now also address the Osama bin Laden mission and the code-name Geronimo. While the hearing was scheduled before the mission, a committee aide today said the linking of the name Geronimo with the world’s most wanted man is “inappropriate” and can have a “devastating” impact on kids.

I’m not saying that the Geronimo was the best choice in the world. I’m sure, for instance, that the CIA (or Defense Department, or whoever) would understand that a negative-sounding Middle-Eastern code-name (such as “Towel-head”) would be completely inappropriate.

Likewise, I doubt anybody in the government would use an African-American-sounding code-name, particularly when referencing a villain.

In other words, some common-sense sensitivity is a good thing.

But is there any reason why the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Akaka of Hawaii, can’t make a quiet phone call and say, “I know you guys didn’t mean anything, but in the future please stay away from using code-names that link bad guys to American Indians.”

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As I have explained elsewhere, tax increases are a bad idea – unless you favor bigger government.

And I’ve already added my two cents to the tax debate between Senator Coburn and Grover Norquist regarding the desirability of higher taxes.

So it won’t surprise anyone to know that I fully agree with this new video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, which offers seven reasons why higher taxes are a bad idea.

The video is narrated by Piyali Bhattacharya of Young Americans for Liberty, and here are her seven reasons.

  1. Tax increases are not needed
  2. Tax increases encourage more spending
  3. Tax increases harm economic performance
  4. Tax increases foment social discord
  5. Tax increases almost never raise as much revenue as projected
  6. Tax increases encourage more loopholes
  7. Tax increases undermine competitiveness

I think reasons #1, #2, #3, and #5 are the most powerful.

To a considerable degree, my video on balancing the budget makes the same point as reason #1 about why higher taxes are unnecessary. Simply stated, balancing the budget merely requires a modest degree of fiscal discipline, such as capping spending so it only grows 2 percent per year.

And if tax increases are not needed to balance the budget, then the only purpose they serve is to facilitate a bigger burden of government spending, which is why I like reason #2.

And reason #3 is standard economic analysis, making the common-sense point that if you punish something, you get less of it. This is why it is so misguided to impose higher tax rates on work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship.

Last but not least, reason #5 is just another way of saying that the Laffer Curve is real, as I explain in this tutorial.

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