On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published the Op-ed, “The 91% tax fantasy” by Peter Schiff. He does an excellent job of debunking the myth of people having once paid 91% of their income and explains how people are now paying more in taxes. It’s an excellent read and I suggest it.
What I am presenting are two videos. Both include Peter Schiff discussing his Op-ed. The first is from the Yahoo’s Daily Ticker. If you have never heard of it, don’t worry you are not alone.
Now, let us take a look at how the more widely seen, CNBC, chooses to handle Mr Schiff.
I think this is a prime example of how we are losing the messaging. Mr Shchiff acquits himself well but his message is lost. Yes, I can take the time to debunk Mr. Brodsky’s argument, especially his belief that people are not going to go to great lengths to avoid paying taxes. All I have to do is point you toward California or France.
It is not enough to be correct. We have to figure out a method of getting the message heard and comprehended by the public. The latest polls say nearly 60% believe raising taxes on the top 2% will not hurt the economy. This belief stems from the fact the economy grew during the Clinton years in spite of his tax increases. This was debunked in the 2008 piece, “Tax Cuts, Not the Clinton Tax Hike, Produced the 1990s Boom” by J.D Foster. He concludes:
Proponents of tax increases often reference the Clinton 1993 tax increase and the subsequent period of economic growth as evidence that deficit reduction through tax hikes is a pro-growth policy. What these proponents ignore, however, is that the tax increases occurred at a time when the economy was recovering from recession and strong growth was to be expected. They also ignore that the real acceleration in the economy began in 1997, when economic growth should have cooled. This acceleration in growth coincided with a powerful pro-growth tax cut.
The evidence is persuasive that the tax increase probably slowed the economy compared to the growth it would have achieved and that the subsequent tax cuts of 1997, not the tax increases, were the source of the acceleration in real growth in the latter half of the decade. As taxes are now above their historical average as a share of the economy, and are rising, Congress should look to enact additional tax relief to keep the economy strong.
Again, it does not matter what the facts may be if people do not hear them. Right now, the media have them believing raising taxes is the cure to what ails the country. With 50 percent of the public believing the President and Democrats are being more reasonable in the fiscal cliff negotiations, it is clear that the Republicans have little room to maneuver.
I have said it before, I’ll say it again; unless we can find a way to get through the firewalls that are the mainstream media and our educational system, the only way the public will be receptive to a message of smaller government is through a painful life lesson.
Unfortunately, many of us will have to suffer with them.