Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Minor point
Over the weekend I saw Bush on TV addressing a hand-picked, friendly crowd somewhere. At one point he said something to the effect of, "John Kerry wants to raise taxes on the richest families." "Now, why would you want to take money away from the people who create jobs?"

I've heard the trickle-down argument so often over the last quarter century that I usually don't give this nonsense any attention. I had been reading about Kerry's tax plans earlier in the day, and for that reason the comment got my attention this time. The Kerry proposal that Bush was referring to was a plan to roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals. The wealthy don't create jobs out of their personal pocket money.* For the trickle-down theory to work, the corporations need to keep more money and neither Bush nor Kerry were talking about corporate taxes here.

* Okay, maybe a few jobs. They hire another pool boy or buy some luxury goods. If Lear is selling a few more private jets this year they might hire another upholstery seamstress. Luxury goods are a very small sector of the economy. The number of new jobs in this sector is not enough to have a significant effect on the employment situation of the economy as a whole.

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