Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On the Book List

Some of the Lefty Talking Points rebuffed:

“It is uncertain when life begins”

“Legalized abortion reduces child abuse”

“The Whitewater investigation never proved anything about the Clintons and was a waste of taxpayer money”

“Prayer in schools is unconstitutional”

“Democrats are the party of the little guy”

“The Reagan era was a Decade of Greed during which the rich got richer and the poor got poorer”

“To stimulate a slow economy, we should increase government spending”
“The Democratic Party best represents the interests of women”

“The 2nd Amendment does not guarantee an individual’s right to own a gun – only the right of states to maintain militias”

“Gun control laws eliminate guns and prevent crime”

“America needs a government-run health-care system like Canada’s to keep costs down and solve the problem of the uninsured”

“The death penalty doesn’t deter violent crime”

“Sex education in public schools reduces the number of unplanned pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases”

“There is no liberal bias on college and university campuses”

“Global warming is real, and results from human activity”

“Drilling in Alaska’s ANWR region will degrade the environment and kill wildlife”

“Nuclear power is dangerous and potentially harmful to the environment”
Our planet is grossly overpopulated”

“The 9-11 attacks occurred because of U.S. support for Israel”

“America’s wealth is responsible for breeding the global poverty which creates terrorism”

“Bush exaggerated the case for war in Iraq by lying about Weapons of Mass Destruction”

“Bush stole the 2000 election, which was actually won by Al Gore”

“Bush won in 2004 because of a smear campaign by the Swift Boat vets, coordinated with Karl Rove”

“Banning ‘gay marriage’ is akin to banning interracial marriage”

“Children raised by homosexuals are as well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexuals”

“Ten percent of the population is homosexual”

“Affirmative action ‘levels the playing field’ and gives disadvantaged minorities a fair chance to compete”

“Social Security is solvent; Republicans are engaging in scare tactics by saying it’s in danger of collapse”

“The GOP plan to privatize Social Security is risky, and would unfairly benefit the rich over the poor”

“Tax cuts cause budget deficits”

“Higher marginal tax rates for the rich are only fair – progressive taxation levels the playing field”

“The American colonists stole America from the Native Americans and the Mexicans”

“Western civilization is not superior to any other culture – all cultures are basically equal”

“Democrats represent the best educational interests of minorities”

“Spending more money on our public schools will improve results”

“Conservatives oppose welfare because they don’t care about the poor”

“Illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans won’t do -- and our economy depends on cheap illegal immigrant labor"

“The Founding Fathers were slave-owning hypocrites who only gave lip service to liberty and equality”


  1. You've taken away all my good arguments. Seriously, books like this are part of the problem. I have never used any of the mentioned arguments as they are written, but maybe 5 or 6 with modifiers. Take school prayer. No one should stop a student from praying, but a principal of a public school should not lead the entire school in prayer every morning.

    Or "tax cuts", the math is simple. Putting the blame only on spending is disingenuous, and consistently running huge deficits is letting the next generation pay for this generation's tax cuts. How about the conservative idea that tax cuts will pay for themselves with stimulated economic activity?

  2. "How about the conservative idea that tax cuts will pay for themselves with stimulated economic activity?"

    That's already been borne out.

  3. The idea that tax cuts completely pay for themselves is, from what I've seen, incorrect. Greg Mankiw, Harvard econ professor, former chief economic advisor to GWB: "They find that, in the long run, about 17 percent of a cut in labor taxes is recouped through higher economic growth. The comparable figure for a cut in capital taxes is about 50 percent. This means that the true revenue cost of a cut in capital taxes is only half of the cost estimated with static scoring." Reference.

    More of Mankiw's general conclusions:
    Lesson No. 1: Lower tax rates lead to a more prosperous economy.
    Lesson No 2: Not all taxes are created equal for purposes of promoting growth.
    Lesson No 3: How tax relief is financed is crucial for its economic impact.

    My points: tax cuts do not completely pay for themselves & thus lead to higher overall levels of debt. Someday they will be paid back, and the ever increasing debt level is an effective transfer of taxation from one generation to the next.

  4. "The idea that tax cuts completely pay for themselves is, from what I've seen, incorrect."

    More accurately, tax rate CUTS do indeed pay for themselves.

    The Laffer Curve establishes that, and has the evidence to back it up.


    "So, can tax-rate cuts pay for themselves? The Laffer curve clearly demonstrates that cutting tax rates that are in the prohibitive zone will pay for themselves, while lowering tax rates in the normal zone will not. If Democrats understood this concept, it would be logical to assume that they would be for lower tax rates in the prohibitive zone and higher tax rates in the normal zone.

    The next time we have a debate over whether or not tax cuts pay for themselves, some well-educated Republican should take a page from Sen. Conrad and use this exhibit to demonstrate the real relationship between tax rates and tax revenues."

    Revenue is up, the deficit is down, despite no reign on spending.

    Here's what we can look forward to if the democrats ever regain complete control of the government:

    "Thanks to inane budget rules in Congress the capital gains and dividend tax cuts are currently set to expire in 2008. (When was the last time a spending program in Washington expired?) One thing would seem certain: Raising the tax rates on capital gains and dividends would be a formula for choking off the expansion and reversing the stock market climb. Until now, the Democrats in Congress have in unison sanctimoniously charged that the government can't afford the price tag of making the tax cut permanent. But, of course, all this new fiscal evidence points to precisely the opposite conclusion: that we can't afford not to make the tax cuts permanent."

    (again, from the Opinion Journal)

  5. So where is the turning point at for the transition from prohibitive tax rates to non-prohibitive? So Mankiw's analysis of the actual taxes involved isn't worth anything? When your only numbers on the y-axis are 0% and 100%, you're just drawing whatever you feel like.

    Revenue is up compared to what? Asjusted for inflation tax revenues for 2005 are about 5% below 2000 levels. If you have real modest economic growth of say 4%, you can reduce taxes as a %age of GDP and still increase revenue. That is just simple math. But when your spending is growing with GDP, your deficits can go up.

    It is possible for a tax cut to completely pay for itself, but that does not apply to the recent "Bush" cuts. Mankiw has published this, and Nugent has pretty pictures.

    Remember:"Lesson No 3: How tax relief is financed is crucial for its economic impact."

    We are still running considerable deficits that will have to repaid someday.

    You follow Rally cars at all?

  6. Besides the fact that the one part of the govt that runs a surplus is the social security system, whose taxes were not touched. Take out their surplus and the budget picture looks a lot worse.