Do Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves?
May 19, 2010
As a longtime viewer of your TV show, I enjoy the overall content and views expressed by you and your guests. However, this morning was the second time that I heard economic comments from you that make me wonder about your understanding of Econ 101. If I heard you correctly, you made a statement this morning to the effect that reduction on taxes does not result in increased (federal) revenue. If I am hearing you correctly, then I must disagree. As a retired business professor of over 40 years, and now a rancher in Colorado, I go back to the federal tax reductions under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush and can only wonder about your statement. What we need at the federal level is a tax break for small business combined with a sharp reduction in federal spending -- thus we must begin to make a dent in our huge national debt. Your reactions?
Old Bob "The Cheerful Malcontent"
***Editor's note: Following is a transcript of John's comments in last weekend's Mailbag segment...
TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG.... RUSSEL LEE IN OLDTOWN, IDAHO, HAS THIS IDEA REGARDING FARM SUBSIDIES AND THE OBESITY PROBLEM: "WHAT WE SHOULD DO IN THE NEXT FARM BILL IS DRASTICALLY REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SUBSIDIES FOR CORN AND PUT THAT MONEY TOWARD SUBSIDIZING THE GROWING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS AND LOW-FAT PROTEINS." RUSSEL, THE BATTLE BETWEEN FOOD AND FARM PROGRAMS IS TRULY UNDER WAY. JUST THIS WEEK, TESTIMONY AT ONE USDA HEARING FOCUSED ON THE PERVERSE SITUATION OF OBESITY PROBLEMS AMONG THE POOR. IN FACT, EVEN THE WAY WE MEASURE HUNGER MAY BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEM. REGARDLESS, I SUPPORT YOUR IDEA. FIRST, BECAUSE I CONTINUE TO OPPOSE FARM SUBSIDIES AS MORALLY BANKRUPT AND ECONOMICALLY IRRATIONAL. AS THE CORN GROWERS HAVE STRESSED, THE PRICE OF SUBSIDIZED CORN, FOR EXAMPLE, HAS ONLY A TINY IMPACT ON FOOD PRICES. UNFORTUNATELY, THE MYTH OF FARM PROGRAMS BEING CHEAP FOOD PROGRAMS IS AS HARD TO LAY TO REST AS THE NOW THOROUGHLY DISPROVED IDEA THAT TAX CUTS PAY FOR THEMSELVES. BUT LIKE YOU, I THINK THE IDEA OF MAKING GOOD FOOD CHOICES MORE POSSIBLE FOR LOW EARNERS IS GOOD FOR CONSUMERS AND PRODUCERS. FOOD STAMPS ARE AN EFFICIENT ECONOMIC TOOL, BECAUSE EVERY DOLLAR GETS SPENT. WHILE I AM SUSPICIOUS OF SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO COMPLEX ISSUES, THIS MIGHT HAVE POSSIBILITIES. SINCE WE ALREADY STIPULATE WHAT FOOD STAMPS CANNOT BE SPENT ON, SUCH AS ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO, WHY NOT HAVE FOOD STAMPS DESIGNATED STRICTLY FOR PRODUCTS SUCH AS YOU MENTION? DEMAND RISES, DIETS IMPROVE, AND JUST MAYBE, WAISTLINES SHRINK.