In genereal liberals are not stupid; many of them just have bad luck when they think. (However, this cannot be said of California liberals).
As we await details of the House suit against this Executive, it might be good to remind ourselves what kind of thinking has put the country into a tailspin.
1. When you are against government providing a service or subsidizing a class of people, you are immediately pilloried as wanting to deny everyone the benefits of such service, or ‘waging war’ and/or ‘hating’ members of the subsidized class. You stand loudly accused of this no matter that the service can be freely and widely obtained elsewhere without government funding. And you are a hating warmonger no matter that you can demonstrate most government funding programs at worst exacerbate the stated problem, and at best are totally ineffective.
2. Given a uniform history of failures, the same government funded/imposed solution should be applied again because this time it really will work – besides, the data on past failures can simply be denied as partisan.
3. Messages from the wrong messengers need never be evaluated on their merits.
4. Government funded science should serve a prescribed social agenda and tailor its results accordingly. Science not funded by government is prima facie suspect.
5. Imposing calcifying regulations on an area of rapidly evolving enterprise is always good, especially when done without any understanding of the enterprise or examination of the effect of the new regulations.
6. Tax rates have no impact on the practice of taxed activities, or how much of the taxed products/services will be available to and/or demanded by the markets.
7. Unmediated democracy based on universal suffrage and franchise is the best form of government. Fair and just government results from allowing everyone to vote on everything. In the aggregate, all people are informed, wise, and rational. (Victor Davis Hanson gives us an overview here of what such people abet and abide.)
8. The government and the country are one. If you criticize and oppose government, then you are not a loyal American and subject to sanction.
9. There should be no limit on what fraction of GDP is made up of government spending.
10. Jobs are created by judicious government spending, and destroyed by corporate greed.
11. Taxing corporations impacts only overcompensated management and speculators in the corporation’s shares.
12. Above a certain TBD level government owns essentially all of your earnings.
13. Above a certain TBD level government owns ALL of your property and can charge you rent for its use.
14. All debts public and private can be forgiven at the pleasure of the government. All savings may be confiscated at any time for the public good.
15. The Founders erred when they provided Americans the means to vote with their boots, bullets, and ballots. Voting should only be possible with ballots.
16. Equality can always be increased without diminishing liberty.
This is a partial list. And recent examples of such thinking in action are readily available from the daily press. Two come to mind today.
American corporations pay the world’s highest taxes, averaging about 40% when all federal, state, and local taxes are included. This adds pressure to other reasons to relocate overseas – lower labor costs, taxes, proximity to world markets, less onerous regulations, declining access to investment capital, … . The promised tax reform is not coming, so corporations have increased the pace of ‘inversions’ – merging with overseas companies so as to relocate their headquarters offshore and essentially become foreign companies. This year we have already seen 14 inversions and more are cooking.
So what do the brainiacs in Obama’s administration propose, lower corporate taxes? Nooo, SecTreas Lew wants Congress to pass more onerous restrictions that prevent such moves. The collateral damage from such butt stupid solutions are manifold (more here and here).
Think tanks on the left are proposing that the top income tax rate be raised to 80% with an added 10% “wealth tax”. This would be the latest in government’s trashing the Constitution’s takings clause and exercise of eminent domain for public use (SCOTUS essentially trashed the latter in Kelso v New London which allows government to transfer property from one private owner to a more favored private owner). But the wealth tax is a dooser, any such tax is a constructive rent on the use of your former property which now tacitly belongs to the government (more here).