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Archive for January 21st, 2023

Copying some self-styled national conservatives, Donald Trump this week endorsed major tax increases on lower-income and middle-class Americans.

But he embraced huge tax increases in an indirect fashion.

  • He did not say “let’s adopt money-siphoning value-added taxes” like they have in Europe.
  • Nor did he say “let’s impose very high income tax rates on ordinary people” like they do in Europe.
  • And he didn’t say “let’s have much higher payroll tax rates” like they have in Europe.

Instead, Trump embraced huge tax increases by default. He told congressional Republicans to ignore America’s slow-motion crisis of entitlement spending.

For all intents and purposes, that is the same as embracing huge tax increases.

To be more specific, if you endorse European-style government spending, you are necessarily and unavoidably endorsing European-style tax policy.

And that’s what Trump did. Here are some excerpts from a report in the Hill by Brett Samuels.

Former President Trump on Friday urged Republicans in Congress not to cut “a single penny” from Medicare or Social Security… “Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security…,” Trump said in a recorded video statement posted to Truth Social. …The former president’s message about protecting Social Security and Medicare is consistent with his previous comments on the issue as a candidate in 2016.

For what it’s worth, I’m not surprised at what Trump said.

He favored big government as a candidate in 2016 and he expanded the burden of spending when he was President.

But some of us don’t want to surrender and doom the United States to European-style economic stagnation.

Which is why I’ve decided to take a sentence I wrote last month and turn it into the 15th Theorem of Government.

Here’s the bottom line: Genuine patriots recognize America has a problem and they have the courage to advocate reforms that will actually solve the problem.

It will be interesting to see how many Republicans fit that definition.

P.S. I’m not a never-Trumper or anti-Trumper. For instance, I praised his tax policy and said nice things about his record on regulation. But I’m loyal to ideas, not to people, so I don’t hesitate to criticize any politician who pushes ideas that are bad for America.

P.P.S. Here are the other 14 Theorems of Government.

  • The “First Theorem” explains how Washington really operates.
  • The “Second Theorem” explains why it is so important to block the creation of new programs.
  • The “Third Theorem” explains why centralized programs inevitably waste money.
  • The “Fourth Theorem” explains that good policy can be good politics.
  • The “Fifth Theorem” explains how good ideas on paper become bad ideas in reality.
  • The “Sixth Theorem” explains an under-appreciated benefit of a flat tax.
  • The “Seventh Theorem” explains how bigger governments are less competent.
  • The “Eighth Theorem” explains the motives of those who focus on inequality.
  • The “Ninth Theorem” explains how politics often trumps principles.
  • The “Tenth Theorem” explains how politicians manufacture/exploit crises.
  • The “Eleventh Theorem” explains why big business is often anti-free market.
  • The “Twelfth Theorem” explains you can’t have European-sized government without pillaging the middle class.
  • The “Thirteenth Theorem” explains that people are unwilling to pay for bloated government.
  • The “Fourteenth Theorem” explains how poor people are hurt by big government.

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