Ep. 107 The Problems With Tax Reform

8 October 2017     |     Tom Woods     |     10

Krugman complains that what we know so far about a potential Trump tax reform plan is not good — it would give most relief to millionaires and billionaires. We discuss Rand Paul’s opposition to the plan, and what genuine tax reform should really do.

Krugman Column

Republicans, Trapped by Their Flimflam” (October 3, 2017)

Contra Columns

How Draconian Is the Ryan Plan?,” by Bob Murphy
The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks,” by Christina Romer and David Romer

Video Discussed

Episode Mentioned

Ep. 1001 Rothbard on Strategy: Need We Abandon Principle to Be Successful?

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  • davegrille

    It is interesting that the delusion that poor people benefit from the taxes of the rich is continually proffered.and reiterated..

    • https://www.facebook.com/david.rogers.hunt David_Rogers_Hunt


      As every progressive politician knows for certain,… the purpose of taxes is NOT to primarily generate tax revenue,… but, is instead, to inflame and appease envy! Of course! How can progressives stay in power other than by creating class warfare where otherwise it wouldn’t exist. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/58db347c9a4d842a53065f307b9f71525b21ea770bdeb1a81e78550f4592f12f.jpg

      • davegrille

        I agree!

      • martinbrock

        The richest congregate around the center of state power to inflame and appease envy, not to play the rent seeking game, to channel more of the state’s tax and inflation revenue in their direction? If taxes are all about inflaming and appeasing envy, why is the D.C. area so attractive to the one percent? Shouldn’t it repel them instead?

        • https://www.facebook.com/david.rogers.hunt David_Rogers_Hunt

          😉 is the emoticon for sarcasm since many people seem to be incapable of recognizing sarcasm,… even when using the emoticon 😉

          • Tyler Folger

            I wasn’t sure if your explanation of sarcasm was sarcastic or not given all of the emoticons

  • http://www.economicmanblog.com Roger Barris

    David Stockman, who knows a thing or two about budgets and taxes, is the best on Paul Ryan. Here is an example:


    Frankly, I think that the criticism of Ryan is not entirely fair. He’s not stupid and he can do lower math. The problem is the political economy of spending and tax cuts.

  • Clayton Soultz

    I can understand your point about the draft analogy, but I think it falls flat for this reason: In the draft analogy, by not instituting the draft, there are definitely, concretely fewer people engaged in war. In the tax-raising vs. deficit question, those deficits are *still* being borne by people in the economy, either by current citizens in the form of inflation or by future citizens with debt. This may be a bit too much of a ‘utilitarian’ or ‘consequentialist’ view for this crowd, but to me, we are already involuntarily harming citizens through government spending, one way or the other. We might as well use the form that meets the strategic goal of discouraging public spending. In the draft example, the ends don’t justify the means, because we’re sending more people in to fight than otherwise would. That is not the case in the tax cut argument – the government is stealing from someone regardless.

  • tz1

    PK: Right now, I’m feeling more terrified than at any point since the 2016 election. Why? It’s time for some game theory…
    So from now on, until he’s gone, I’m going to fire up my computer every morning in a state of existential dread.

    But it is to Trump, not you two. Need to try harder.

  • TomMullen

    Again with Rothbard’s principle: Support tax cuts when tax cuts are discussed and oppose spending when spending is discussed.

    Therefore, support abolition of border laws when borders are discussed and oppose the welfare state when welfare is discussed. Right?