Monday, February 23, 2009

Prediction is Difficult

Prediction is difficult, especially the future.
— Niels Bohr

I very rarely attempt to predict anything, but I am prepared to make one exception: Obama’s plan to cut the deficit in half by raising taxes will fail. The very act of raising taxes will shrink the tax base, and there will either be a vast shortfall, or taxes will have to be raised even more, leading to further shrinkage, leading to… Well, you get the picture.

Tax raisers are either zero-summers, in which case they are simply wrong; or else they are ideologues, in which case they don’t care that raising taxes may actually shrink revenues. Their goal is redistribution.

Either way, we are in for a mess. And seeing as neither major American political party seems to care much about deficits anymore, it may be a very long time before we ever see a balanced budget.

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