Sunday, April 20, 2008

Charles Gibson, magician

Is longtime ABC newsman Charles Gibson a magician now?

During the much-criticized Obama/Clinton debate moderated by Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, Gibson absurdly claimed that capital gains tax cuts increased government revenue, while an increase in this tax reduced revenue.

Seriously, he said that.

Let's look at how silly this is: He says that if you lower taxes, the government brings in more money. How is that possible? It isn't! Unless you have magic powers of some sort.

Gibson is channeling Ronald Reagan, I guess. Everyone remembers when Reagan claimed he could cut the deficit by lowering taxes and squandering money on his 'Star Wars' boondoggle. Gee, that really worked, didn't it? (That's sarcasm, folks.)

And economists say Charlie Gibson is full of shit. The Center for Economic and Policy Research's Dean Baker said Gibson's claim is "rather dubious." The Joint Committee on Taxation says the 2006 extension of Bush's 2003 capital gains tax cut (which was a tax cut for the rich) will bring in $20,000,000,000 less revenue over 10 years.

Everyone knows that if the government wants to keep bringing in as much revenue, it can't slash taxes and fees. It's impossible! We all wish it could be this way, but it can't be. It's irresponsible to pretend it can, and it just ends up raising taxes in the long run to pay for it.

But Gibson pretends anyway. I'm sure he's not exactly hurting for money, so I guess he's not too crazy about a tax that hits the rich harder. But it strains suspension of disbelief to claim cutting the tax would increase revenue.


No comments:

Post a Comment