The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

How to Prevent Economic Growth

Posted on | August 4, 2011 | 24 Comments

“Tax cuts do not . . . create jobs . . . When we do not ask the super rich and the corporations who make billions of dollars of profits off of the American economy [for more taxes], we will not have the funds to keep that engine running . . . to make sure that we can meet our nation’s obligations to our seniors, our children and our poor.”
Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat

This morning I did two things I seldom do anymore — eat breakfast and read a newspaper. The complimentary breakfast here at the motel in Des Moines was excellent, and they provided the Wall Street Journal, which included a column by David Wessel that quoted Barbara Lee’s words.

Should it really be necessary to explain what’s wrong with Lee’s rhetoric? She depicts the “super rich” as villains. And they are evil because they prevent “we” — by which she means, government — from getting “the funds to keep that engine running,” as if tax revenues were the fuel of economic growth.

The entire purpose of economic activity, so far as Lee is concerned, is to meet “obligations” to old folks, kids and poor people.

(Questions: How is it that, merely by siring offspring, I have created “obligations” for my fellow citizens? Aren’t we parents responsible for the care and maintenance of our own children? How did it happen that, in the mind of Barbara Lee, this responsibility was transferred to that amorphous “we” by which she means the federal government? Why should people in Iowa or Texas be taxed for the support of children in California or Florida? Shouldn’t taxpayers at least get visitation rights to the children they’re supporting?)

Missing altogether from Lee’s discourse is any sense of the “super rich” as investors and entrepreneurs, whose capital — whether provided by the purchase of stocks or through loans — is the sine qua non of economic growth. Whatever our “obligations” may be, we cannot improve our economy by siphoning wealth from the investor class and transferring it, via government welfare programs, to people not engaged in productive economic activity.

The fact that recipients of government aid are old or young or poor (the sole qualifications for worthiness, in Lee’s estimation) obscures the fact that such aid, if funded by punitive taxes on “the super rich,” amounts to nothing less than the coercive transfer of money from the productive to the non-productive.

Even a nation as rich as ours can only do so much of that stuff before it begins to suffer from the diminution of competitive capacity.


  • jwallin

    Worse yet is a fact that seems to elude all liberals and most of the people; taxes laid on corporations are not paid by them.

    corporations (or businesses) merely add their tax burden to their overhead which determines their pricing of their goods or services.

    It’s a simple concept that eludes all liberal politicians. Any politician that votes for more taxes on businesses should be run out of office for at least being ignorant of the basic laws of business.


  • Hgreen

    When will you learn that mindset of black and liberal politicians is “Government is Daddy”. Once you acknowledge that fact, everything they say makes perfect sense.

  • JeffS

    Communism (I’d say “socialism”, but I am not in the mood to mince words) has a way of making people stupid. 

    As in, people are stupid to listen to communists like Representative Barbara Lee.  Or vote them into office.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, she’s not unique.

  • Libby

    Someone needs to clarify for her the difference between giving a man a fish vs. teaching him how to fish. The government gives fish, the “”super rich” villains aka “employers” gives them the opportunity to get (earn) their own fish. Not that hard to grasp, is it?

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  • DaveO

    When has Lee ever made a payroll using her own, not-from-any-government-fund money? How many businesses has she run? How many of those are still in business?

    Professional politicians from all parties know only one thing about creating wealth: pick the pocket of the dude next to you.

    Lee is an immoral hack.

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  • Anonymous

    Let Them Eat Hope

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  • rosalie

    You could ask the same questions of O.  They don’t know the first thing about working for a living.   

  • Anonymous

    “Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper.”
    – Francis Bacon

  • Brad Bettin

    Lee’s engaging in the left’s favorite game – moral preening.   

    Her compassion for the downtrodden knows no bounds … as long as she’s spending someone else’s money and she gets to siphon off a bit of it as it passes through the system to the “unfortunates.”

  • Adjoran

    I’ve begun working on a compilation of quotes from Barbara Lee and Sheila Jackson Lee which I intend to shop to publishers as a humorous toilet book.

    Tentative working titles:  “Sistas from Diff’rent Muthas” or “Being Fat, Ugly, and Stupid Is No Way To Go Through Life” . . .

    A side benefit will be constipation relief, as the assorted pictures paired with the quotes will be guaranteed to make even the tightest anus want to suck buttermilk.

  • DaveO

    I don’t think her ‘downtrodden’ are all that down or trodden. It’s hard to find a parking space for the new Lexus when going in to argue for more food stamps.

  • Doug Hagin

    Stupidity taken to the extreme is common for fools like Lee. She should study the writings of our Founders, and Milton Friedman and stop reading Marx and Engels

  • Anonymous

    That “way” is called entitlements.

    Resistance is not futile but it will get nasty.

  • Anonymous

    You must be on some powerful anti nausea medication.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt she’s read either.

  • Anonymous

    I think diminished capacity explains a great deal about Congress…

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  • flyoverpilgrim

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m on the same planet as these people.  They can’t even see the facts for what they are.

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