A Thought on Taxes

With a tip of the hat to The Wall Street Journal, and a caution to those who insist on raising our taxes—including doing so only to certain governmentally disfavored groups.

Henry Hazlitt in “Economics in One Lesson,” 1946:

When a corporation loses a hundred cents of every dollar it loses, and is permitted to keep only 60 cents of every dollar it gains, and when it cannot offset its years of losses against its years of gains, or cannot do so adequately, its policies are affected. It does not expand its operations, or it expands only those attended with a minimum of risk. . . .

There is a similar effect when personal incomes are taxed 50, 60, 75 and 90 per cent. People begin to ask themselves why they should work six, eight or ten months of the entire year for the government, and only six, four or two months for themselves and their families. If they lose the whole dollar when they lose, but can keep only a dime of it when they win, they decide that it is foolish to take risks with their capital. In addition, the capital available for risk-taking itself shrinks enormously. It is being taxed away before it can be accumulated. In brief, capital to provide new private jobs is first prevented from coming into existence, and the part that does come into existence is then discouraged from starting new enterprises. The government spenders create the very problem of unemployment that they profess to solve.

What he said.

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