Timid is as Timid Does

Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden is upset that Russian President Vladimir Putin attacked, again and extensively, Ukraine’s power infrastructure. He said, through his National Security Council’s Spokesperson Adrienne Watson,

This bombardment—part of a series of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure— is a terrible reminder of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people and plunge them into darkness[.]

Here is our President yapping like a porch dog from the safety of his NSC porch, along with (to mix metaphors) furiously wagging his finger at the barbarian.

While doing precisely nothing material to help the Ukrainians.

Pay Their Fair Share

Progressive-President Joe Biden is busily trying to raise taxes in his never ending effort to get the Evil Rich to Pay Their Fair Share™.

Here are some numbers and a couple of graphs, via The Wall Street Journal‘s editors:

…for 2021 show that the top 1% of Americans reported 26.3% of the country’s adjusted gross income, while paying 45.8% of total income taxes.

This graph shows the trend of taxes paid and who pays them over the course of this century:

Punishing Success

Los Angeles has decided that the successful are too successful, and they must be knocked down. To that end, the city’s government has decided to tax the sales proceeds of the wealthy’s homes at 4% on homes sold for $5-$10 million and at 5.5% on homes sold for more than $10 million. This is on top of the real estate brokers’ ordinary 6% fee, and it’s paid by the buyer. Not that that will have any impact on the seller’s ability to sell at a fair price, or anything.

Federal Revenue

The Wall Street Journal is concerned about the IRS exercising its claimed authority to delay implementation of some tax requirements for which Congress had set strict enforcement deadlines. Apart from the question of whether the IRS actually has that authority, the concern centers on how the agency moves might impact revenues for the Federal government.

…the tax agency’s moves frustrate lawmakers’ attempts to raise revenue and plug gaps in tax compliance.

The real question, though, centers on an aspect of Federal revenues about which I’ve written before. This is the claim made in the linked-to article’s headline, and which is repeated in the body of the article:

So It Should Be with General Infrastructure

The subheadline outlines part of the problem:

Companies often need to show progress to get government cash but struggle without it

In the body of the Wall Street Journal article at the link is this:

Some of the companies are in Catch-22 situations. Washington won’t issue them loans until they raise outside money and move ahead with projects.

It’s true enough that big, established companies are better able to game the situation. It’s also true that high interest rates—especially after an extended period of no- to low rates—and inflation have hurt, but these only emphasize my point in this post.

Federalism and State Taxes

A Wall Street Journal editorial opens with this:

One great benefit of America’s federalist Constitution is policy competition among the states. Voters in Florida don’t have to live under New York’s laws, and Americans and businesses can vote with their feet by moving across state lines.

The editors proceeded to a description of State-level tax laws and the mobility of us Americans and our businesses in leaving States with high taxes in favor of States with, often markedly, lower taxes. But that lede overstates the case.

Racing to the Bottom

So far, Ireland is winning, and that’s paying off big for the Irish.

In the past eight years, the country of five million has watched its corporate tax income triple to the tune of 22.6 billion euros last year, equivalent to almost $24 billion—giving it a budget surplus last year of a comfortable €8 billion euros when many governments are suffering from a postpandemic debt hangover.


Ireland became a hot spot for US companies by slashing its corporate tax rate from 40% to 12.5% starting in the late 90s, and offering a well-educated workforce and a tariff-free way into the European Union.

SEIA’s Response to Bidenomic’s Tariffs

The Wall Street Journal‘s editors correctly noted the internal—and intrinsic—contradictions in the Biden administration’s “renewable” energy demands and its trade policy. The administration is pushing ever harder to shift our economy, for good or ill (mostly ill IMNHO), to energy sourced to non-carbon-based, but renewable only—nuclear need not apply—producers. Then comes Gina Raimondo, Commerce Secretary, and her decision, backed by that same Joe Biden, to apply tariffs as high as 254% to solar power-related products imported from five People’s Republic of China enterprises, never minding that these companies are American domestic solar power producers’ primary sources of the needed articles.

A Thought on SALT Deductions

New York Republican Congressman John Tamny had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal early last week in which he advocated enthusiastically for raising the ceiling on the deduction of State and Local Taxes from Federal income taxes. That deduction currently is capped at $10,000, and Tamny worries that that works a hardship on his constituents, since despite their high incomes, those folks aren’t really all that rich. New York’s high taxes and prices already work to reduce those folks’ relative wealth.

A WSJ reader responded in WSJ‘s Sunday Letters section.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s Brief Thought on Taxation

And my brief response. Ramaswamy has said in the past that he favors an estate tax as high as 59% on his theory that passing wealth from parents to children breeds inequality and “hereditary aristocracy.” Stipulate that’s reasonably accurate: he needs to show that he’s considered other means of preventing that aristocratic development and how those alternatives are inadequate to the task.

More importantly, though, is this underlying theory of his:

I do believe in a vision of bringing income taxes as low as possible, if one could collect it back on the back end[.]