Phil Kerpen is a contributing editor for National Review Online. He has been a vice president of Americans for Prosperity and a policy analyst for the Club for Growth and the Cato Institute, as well as a writer for Fox News Opinion. In short, you get the idea: he is a conservative’s conservative these days.
I want you to read a paragraph from a piece published on Monday and written by Phil Kerpen for National Review Online:
President Obama likes his Clinton nostalgia — he has told the American people his tax increases are a return to the policies of the booming Nineties. It is ironic, therefore, that Obama insists on actually reversing one of the most critical economic successes from the Clinton years: the capital-gains tax cut. Before Clinton signed the 1997 budget deal, the capital-gains rate was 28 percent, and with Clinton’s approval of the cut it fell to 20 percent; Obama now insists on raising it to 23.8 percent, undoing not just Bush’s capital-gains-tax cut but almost half of Clinton’s, too. Such a move would undermine the fragile economic recovery while being unlikely to raise any federal revenue.
Absorb that. Right now, and since 2003, the long-term capital gains tax rate (on assets sold after being held for more than one year) for high-end income earners is, uh, 15%, as Mitt Romney taught us with his tax return. After this year, that rate will, without further action, rise to 20%.
According to Phil Kerpen, the conservative’s conservative, a mere move from the upcoming 20 percent to an Obama-blessed 23.8 percent in the capital-gains tax rate will, “undermine the fragile economic recovery while being unlikely to raise any federal revenue.”
Yes, that 3.8 point difference is crucial for gazillionaires like Mitt Romney. By God, if they get taxed that extra amount, they will take their toys and go home. To hell with America, and Americans.
In the mean time, from the Center for American Progress, we get this:
And, because of the effect of lower capital gains tax rates on gazillionaires, we get this:
As you can see, if you earned $50,000 in 2007, you paid roughly the same effective federal income tax rate (this doesn’t include regressive state and local taxes) as someone who earned $345,000,000.
And that’s the way conservatives, conservatives like Phil Kerpen and Mitt Romney, think it should be.
Now, we have all heard the argument that giving rich folks a break on capital gains promotes economic growth and job creation, right? But, as the Center for American Progress says:
the evidence to support this claim is lacking and it is difficult to find any correlation between low capital-gain rates and economic performance over time. The capital-gain rate was 28 percent throughout much of the 1990s—a time of strong business investment, rising productivity, and spectacular economic growth. By contrast, the capital gains and dividend tax cuts of 2003 were followed by a period of weak investment and growth—even before the recession began in 2007.
Think about how silly is the argument by Phil Kerpen that a 3.8 point difference in capital gains taxes will “undermine the fragile economic recovery.”
The small mind that argues that is only trumped by the small minds that would make his prophecy come true.