An Excess Profits Tax

In 1917, Progressive icon Woodrow Wilson instigated an excess profits tax running from 20%-60% because, of course, the Progressive knew better how American business owners should spend their money than did the Americans who’d actually earned it through their businesses.

During the Great Depression, Democrat (and Progressive) icon Franklin Roosevelt instigated two excess profits taxes while openly slandering American businessmen as being on a capital strike: Roosevelt actually accused businesses of refusing to spend—at rates satisfactory to the Democrat (and Progressive)—the profits they’d earned.

Now we get the proud early 20th Century Progressive, Hillary Clinton, with her proposal for a “tax credit…to encourage more businesses to offer profit-sharing to their workers.”

Progressives still claim to Know Better what American business owners should do with their money than those business owners who did the work to earn that money. Progressives now also claim to Know Better what labor agreements are fit to be negotiated between employee and employer than those employees and employers—American citizens.

Now, the Progressive wants to foist tax credit onto us, to “encourage” businesses to spend their excess profits—her definition—because, of course, she Knows Better.

She also knows full well that with a tax credit, she’s intends to force all of us to pay a tax on a business’ “excess profits.” She knows full well where the money must come from in order to pay that “credit:” from higher taxes or more borrowing.

She closed her proposal with this bit:

I really think our corporations are missing a big bet. Because credible studies prove that profit-sharing with your employees is good for the employees, good for the businesses, good for the economy. I want to incentivize more companies to do just that.

Never mind that businesses are in the business to make money, not to serve as privately funded, government mandated jobs welfare programs. Never mind that in a competitive—that is to say, a free—market economy, businesses have to compete for employees as well as for customers. Never mind that the incentives are present in a free market economy for businesses to get the most out of their employees.

And so never mind that to the extent “credible studies” are right about the efficacy of profit sharing, in a competitive, free market economy businesses already would have profit-sharing plans.

Oh, wait, they’re just not set up in a way that suits this Progressive. The businesses are missing her bet. And so she demands that we all pay.

As an aside, some homework: crunch some numbers, and see whether a $750 credit for a $5,000 profit-sharing payout makes any sort of sense for a company laboring under the US’ highest corporate tax rate in the world—35%—on all profit, “excess” or not. See whether Clinton has any clue at all.

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