Thomas Sowell

Given the steeply "progressive" tax rates, most of the taxes paid are paid by people in income brackets that liberals choose to call "the rich," though that label would probably come as some surprise to many people in those brackets. Therefore any serious reductions in tax rates will necessarily directly affect them most.

The point, however, is not simply to move money around but to change behavior in a way that will result in more economic activity. Tax cuts have a long track record of doing that, resulting in rising national incomes and rising employment.

But there is no way that some people are ever going to admit that what they call "tax cuts for the rich" are tax cuts for the economy. As far as they are concerned, this is all just an excuse to "give" something to the rich, in hopes that it will "trickle down" to the lower income brackets.

A year ago this column defied anyone to quote any economist -- in government, academia, or anywhere else outside an insane asylum -- who had ever argued in favor of a "trickle down theory."

Many people quoted David Stockman as saying that others had made that argument. But David Stockman was not even among the first thousand people to make that claim. What is crucial is that not one of those who made the claim could provide a single quote from anybody who had advocated a "trickle-down theory."

The "trickle down theory" has been a stock phrase on the left for decades and yet not one of those who denounce it can find anybody who advocated it. The tenacity with which they cling to these catchwords shows how desperately they need them, if only to safeguard their vision of the world and of themselves.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate



TOWNHALL MEDIA GROUP