Thomas Sowell

This result was not peculiar to the 1920s. In 2006, the New York Times reported: "An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year."

Expectations are in the eye of the beholder. Tax cut proponents expected precisely the result from the Bush tax cuts that so surprised the New York Times. So did tax cut proponents in the John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan administrations.

If this concept has not yet trickled down to the New York Times or CNN's Gloria Borger, that is a commentary on the media commentators.

Ms. Borger may simply not know any better, but Barack Obama cannot use that excuse. When he was a candidate for president back in 2008, Charles Gibson of ABC News confronted him with the fact that there was no automatic correlation between the raising and lowering of tax rates and whether tax revenues moved up or down.

Obama admitted that. But he said that he was for raising tax rates on higher income earners anyway, in the name of "fairness." How higher tax rates that the government does not actually collect make any sense, whether from a fairness perspective or as a way of paying the government's bills, is another question. The point here is that Obama knew then that tax rates and tax revenues do not automatically move in the same direction.

In other words, he is lying when he talks as if tax rates and tax revenues move together. Ms. Borger and others in the media may or may not know that. So they are not necessarily lying. But they are failing to inform their audiences about the facts -- and that allows Obama's lies to stand.


Thomas Sowell

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

Creators Syndicate