Here is a quote from the WSJ by Arthur Laffer
Just look at Sen. John Kerry’s recent yacht brouhaha. He bought and housed his $7 million yacht in Rhode Island instead of Massachusetts, where he is the senior senator and champion of higher taxes on the rich, avoiding some $437,500 in state sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.(WSJ Aug2, 2010 page A13)
The government can try to levy a high income tax on the rich, but it will fail miserably. A tax accountant knows all the loop holes that the rich can use to their advantage to avoid taxes.
Inflation is one invisible tax that gets into everyone’s wallet. The eerie thing, is the poor (those living from paycheck to paycheck) never really experience the full blast of inflation. Those saving for retirement get hit the hardest 20 years down the road.
Figure an average taxpayer paying 20% in income taxes. His savings is being taxed by inflation rate of about 6%. Neat! huh? And the über rich, with bundles of dollars in the bank, are being taxed while they sleep. In 12 years they will have lost half their purchasing power from inflation alone. Of course if you’re unemployed and broke, you’re not very concerned about taxes or inflation.
In a depression unexpected things happen. Increasing tax rates brings in less revenue. Plus unemployed people generate less tax revenue. At this point, the government has to print more dollars to cover the short fall. It is the same with private business, the fixed costs are still there, the profit isn’t. This is where the herd gets thinned out, only the strong survive. Private enterprise can’t print their way out of this mess like our government can.
The quasi appearance of deflation will show up in items that we can do without; fast food, cable TV, Internet, sports tickets, advertising. The reduction in price of a taco at Del Taco from 59 cents to 39 cents is the final step before bankruptcy---sell them a taco and hope to make a buck on the soft drink. What we are looking at are institutions, that relied on a wild spending economy, to survive. Business models are collapsing. Can a basketball team afford to pay a superstar 16 million if the fans and advertising drop 50 percent? Do we need a Starbucks coffee shop spaced every half mile?
And with public services, we found out here in San Marcos what happens when everyone got together and cut down on water use during the drought, we got charged more for consuming less!
The real thing that bothers me is that the country as a whole is oblivious to the fact that the national debt is drastically out of whack. It’s the concept; “We did it yesterday and it worked, let’s do it again today.” Collectively we have 17 trillion in savings, and the government has borrowed and spent 13 Trillion of it. This is one of those plans that work until it doesn’t.
The deflation that we seem to be experiencing is coming from over capacity. Too many homes, too many restaurants, etc; lack of consumption is about to fix that. The inflation out there is real. My paycheck is buying less and less every day. The neat thing about inflation, the government doesn’t have to collect it as they do with taxes. Inflation generates more taxable income. The government finds it easier to pay off hard earned borrowed dollars with inflated ones in the future.
Real deflation (massive debt destruction) is still possible with this out of control unfunded government deficit spending. All it would take, is for interest rates to hit 8% and Uncle Sam would be insolvent; the national debt bubble would pop. Vaporizing 13 trillion in debt would be equivalent to what happened during the Great Depression. So its full speed ahead, the national debt be damned. We’re not sure where we are going, but we’re making excellent time.