Tags: Boskin | government | income | tax

Stanford's Boskin: Government Acts as if All Income Is Its Own

By Dan Weil   |   Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 11:39 AM

The government is taking away the rights of citizens to control their own income, says Stanford University economist Michael Boskin.

"Property rights and the rule of law are essential foundations for a vibrant economy," he writes in The Wall Street Journal. "When they are threatened, or uncertain, the result is inefficiency, rent-seeking, a larger underground economy and capital flight."

And that's exactly what's happening, says the former economic adviser to President George H.W. Bush.

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"Individual rights to capital, land and the fruits of one's labor are threatened — in many cases redistributed from creditors to debtors, from those out of political power to those in power, and especially from young to old. And a much larger battle is looming."

What's that battle? The unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and state and local government pensions and other benefits are "in the trillions of dollars and mounting," Boskin notes.

The government spending required to finance all this "implies that taxes will have to double from the current, near-historic average, 18 percent of GDP," he argues.

"Left unchecked, many middle-income earners eventually will face marginal tax rates of 70 percent or higher — reducing them to minority partners in their own additional work and sundering the value of the investments in their own education."

AIG Chairman Steve Miller also thinks the government is overstepping its boundaries.

"Investors I know are afraid to invest in the U.S. in job-creating industries, because they don't know how punitive the regulations will be, how costly these healthcare mandates are going to be," he tells CNBC.

The country could use a president like Ronald Reagan again, Miller said.

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The government is taking away the rights of citizens to control their own income, says Stanford University economist Michael Boskin.
Boskin, government, income, tax
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2014-39-17
 

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