Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Here's a Shock! Thomas Sowell Gets it Completely Wrong!

I don't know whether I've ever mentioned what a despicable turd of a human being Thomas Sowell is. But he is. And in their ongoing attempt to increase the velocity of their downward spiral from respectability, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution keeps reprinting this turd's columns. Here's the latest:a

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Deficit Reduction 

Another deficit reduction commission has now made its recommendations. My own recommendation for dealing with deficits would include stopping the appointment of deficit reduction commission

 Ooooh, good one!

Deficit commissions make it politically possible to spend money first and get somebody else to recommend raising taxes later. They are a virtual guarantee of never-ending increases in both spending and taxes.
Okay, good point. Except that the recommendations of the Debt  Comission include:

Tax Reform
! Lower Rates
! Simplify the Code
! Broaden the Base
! Cut Spending in the Tax Code (Tax Expenditures)
! Improve Compliance (Tax Gap)
! Make America the Best Place in the World to Start
and Grow a Business
! Reduce the Deficit

And this:

Yeah, lowering the top rate from 35% to 23%, that sounds like "never-ending increases in both spending and taxes."

So, Thomas is engaging in one of two types of dishonesty. Either he hasn't bothered to read the commission's recommendations and is basing his argument on what he assumes they probably are, or he has read them and is just flat-out lying about them. 

But being honest or getting things right or using sound logic are not among the requirements for the recipients of wingnut welfare. As long as Sowell keeps churning out columns complaining about taxes and big government and how the darn liberals are just ruining everything his position at the Hoover Institution will not be in any jeopardy. And his bullshit column will continue to run as long as the Hoover Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, and Heritage Foundation, and the Manhattan Institute, and the Cato Institute etc., etc., etc. are around to keep pressure on media outlets to move further and further rightward, lest they be accused of *gasp* LIBERAL BIAS!!!!!!

So why is it that these righties don't just argue their case honestly? Could it be that they know they can't win an honest debate? Um, yes. Yes, I think that's exactly why. That's why they turn to scumbags like Frank Luntz.


Luntz is the man who brought focus-group marketing techniques into politics. Which is like being responsible for introducing sewage into the drinking water supply. Luntz knew that if you refer, correctly, to the estate tax as a tax that heirs pay on money and/or property which they did nothing to earn; if you say, correctly, that the tax only applies to very large estates so most Americans will never be affected by it, it's a little tough to convince people that this tax ought to be abolished. It's not an easy sell to say "Paris Hilton should not have to pay any tax on the money handed to her by her late grandfather, but you should pay income tax on the money you earned by the sweat of your brow." You're just not gonna get a lot of takers on that.

But if you call it the "Death Tax," people suddenly look at it as something fundamentally unfair. Which it would be if it were really a tax on death. If an IRS agent showed up at your death-bed demanding payment from you before you were allowed to drift into the sweet hereafter, that really wouldn't be fair. So now every conservative refers to the estate tax as the Death Tax. And support for abolishing this perfectly reasonable tax is pretty high. 

So a proposal to allow more clear-cutting is named the "Healthy Forests Initiative," and allowing more air pollution is the "Clear Skies" something-or-other. And someone decided that the word "Democrat" used as an adjective, sounds worse than "Democratic." So now every conservative refers to the "Democrat Party" or says "My state has a Democrat governor." I don't know why, I guess it sounds sort of dismissive?

And it's not just the word games. it's BS like "Raising taxes on the rich will hurt the economy." or "Social Security is insolvent." It's a crock of lies of course, but say it often enough and people start to believe it. Almost everyone now thinks that Social Security is going bankrupt. It isn't. And it won't. But most people think it is. Thanks to scumbags like Frank Luntz and Thomas Sowell.