Watch out, Mr. President!
Joe Biden began receiving my praise here even before he officially declared his candidacy. My praise continued through the eve and in the aftermath of the election. I praised Biden for his instinct for pragmatism and his ability to keep his left-wing mollified without embracing most of their most extreme propositions.
While disputing several of his policies, such as shutting down Keystone XL pipeline, I praised Biden’s focus on tackling the pandemic and on getting relief to the millions thrown out of work by the pandemic or government measures to contain it.
I’m neither Biden-basher nor Biden-hugger.
So perhaps I have standing to call out his "infrastructure package" and its attendant tax hikes as a poison pill. President Biden appears about to succumb to his party’s addiction to tax hikes, stumbling into a political quagmire that will dash his prospects for re-election as well as crushing Vice President Harris’s aspirations.
During the presidential campaign I warned Team Biden against a tax hike blunder. Now, politics’ Godzilla, a monster tax hike, is surfacing.
Let me warn again.
President Biden, overrule you advisors, don your scuba gear, deploy the Oxygen Destroyer! Thwart the monster who would suck all the oxygen out of the economic recovery! Thus, save America and yourself!
As I wrote in Hey Joe Biden, Soaking Voters is Bad Politics when you first proposed these taxes:
Democrats have an odd fixation on raising taxes. In falling for it, Biden has fallen into a political trap.
Raising taxes is unpopular with voters. Dems seem oblivious to that. At the 1984 Democratic Party national convention, nominee Walter Mondale, in his acceptance speech, declaimed: "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did." The crowd went wild.
Reporters Jeff Birnbaum and Alan Murray, in Showdown at Gucci Gulch, reported that then: "Dan Rostenkowski, standing next to the candidate in front of the cameras and the cheering crowd at the convention after the fateful speech, whispered to Mondale, 'You've got a lot of b****s, pal.' According to Rostenkowski, Mondale whispered back, 'Look at 'em, we're going to tax their a** off.'"
Mondale lost 49 states. He was buried by Reagan in the biggest electoral landslide in history.
Per Politico, Joe Biden's plan to raise a hefty $4 trillion over 10 years would fall almost entirely on the affluent. So what's wrong, politically speaking, with that? Here's what. A majority — at least an electoral college majority — of voters are more interested in getting rich, or at least affluent (on whom most of Biden's taxes would fall), than they are in taxing the rich.
Joe Biden is a lot smarter than his advisors.
U.S. Senator Joe Biden voted in favor of both Reagan tax rate cuts which cut the top tax rate from 70% to 28%!
As I revealed here the impetus for cutting the top rates came from Democrats, not Republicans, and the second round, cutting the top rate from 50% to 28% (with Biden’s vote) passed the Senate by a margin of 97-3.
Now that’s bipartisan! The economy soared.
President Biden? Some of the trillions your team proposes to spend would go toward fixing roads and bridges. Pretty popular? Yes, but per the New York Times most of the money is directed "to harness the power of the federal government to make the economy more equitable, address climate change, and improve American manufacturing and high-technology industries in an escalating battle with China."
That’s not "infrastructure." And we voters hate to have those trillions extracted from our pockets, directly or indirectly. We even hate to see taxes raised on brackets to which we aspire.
As the ever-sensible Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) crisply observed, "I don’t think there’s going to be any enthusiasm on our side for a tax increase."
President Biden? Don’t break bad. Don’t raise taxes. There’s a better way to get your hands on all that lovely money. Get economic growth up to 4%, yielding, over ten years, more trillions in tax revenue than you and your successor will know what to do with! (Hint: pay down the national debt!) All gain, no pain.
Place your political chips on proven ways of fostering economic growth! Raise taxes?
Instead, increase growth so that we all, from lowly scriveners like me all the way up to Great Big Uncle Sam, Spender of Trillions, can enjoy a rising tide of prosperity.
To paraphrase Mr. Mondale, Your advisors will tell you to raise taxes. I say raise economic growth. They won't tell you. I just did. Abandon your disastrous course toward a whopping tax increase.
Instead, tack toward policies of prosperity. Then watch the crowd go wild, handily gliding to a landslide reelection.
Just like Reagan and Clinton.
Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $88T. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.
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