Odds and Ends
20 6, 10:27pm
.... I looked in depth at the Sanders platform (I do like the guy and much of what he had to say). His taxes on the wealthy would not be enough to balance out the drastic increases in spending. Take trying to expand social security. Social Security already has a massive unfunded liabilities problem because it was never designed to help people for more than a few years. As FDR intended it, it was designed so that those who outlived what they saved for retirement did not have to return to the workforce at an advanced age. However, life expectancy has risen from 61 to almost 80 from 1935 to today, while the Social Security age has only risen from 62 to 66. To propose to expand Social Security is fiscally irresponsible, especially when that money could go to areas that need it (infrastructure being a big one). You could tax the rich at 90-95% and that unfortunately still would not be able to support the massive spending increases that Sanders wanted.
If you seriously think I don't have a major issue with the idle rich, you must not read many of the comments I post here. But in case you haven't, my ideal position would be to lower income taxes and replace them with high estate taxes and high capital gains taxes. As far as I am concerned, you work for income, so we shouldn't penalize that. But you don't work for inheritance or dividends, so we ought to tax that higher. Income inequality isn't great, but wealth inequality and subsequent lack of class mobility is the real death sentence for the US. A high estate tax solves this, because the idle wealthy will spend their money (hopefully in the form of charitable donations) rather than give it to Uncle Sam before they die. This would in turn, combined with stronger labor unions and reduction of H-1B's/immigration, stimulate the US economy and result in higher wages for all, which would result in less dependence on government for assistance, which creates further budget surpluses.